Friday, September 30, 2011

Why?

Why write in this blog 6 days a week?
Why share thoughts and belief's with people I can't even see?
Why?
Because there needs to be a message of hope floating around out there on the 'net.
Why me?
I've asked that question a lot.
If you look at the picture up top, you'll see I'm really just a "good ol' boy".
I have no degrees.
But I do have a call from God.
Kind of an unusual call. I felt as though God called me to be a Preacher/ Pastor back in 1964. I won't go into the details. I was 13 at the time. Needless to say, it scared me to death. I was such a ball of insecurity and doubt that I kept trying to shove this "call" to the back burner and not think about it. For the next 33 years, I ran from it. It surfaced at various points along the way and in different situations, but the result was the same. I did not want to do what God was calling me to do.

It wasn't until 1997 that I finally said "yes".
Here I am 14+ years on the other side of "yes".
It truly has been a ride for me and my wife, one that I'm glad we took.
Back to the question at hand. Why write this? What qualifies me to speak into the lives of those who stop by here to read this blog.
I guess the only answer I could give you would be, "God told me to do it."
This blog is only about one thing..........Jesus.
Who He is...
What He has done.....
The life He wants to offer to those who do not know Him.
I want you to go away from this blog with the idea that no matter how messed up you think your life is, Jesus is the answer.
I know it sounds "too simple." But the truth is...it is a simple as what I have written.
Does this mean that life suddenly becomes manageable and my circumstances all disappear? No..It does mean that you have someone who will direct you and guide you, empowering you to weather what ever comes your way.

The apostle Paul best described who I am and what this blog is all about in I Corinthians 2:1-5
"And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

If you are running low on hope this morning...
Know that Jesus is the hope you need....
If you find yourself confused and without direction....
Know that Jesus is the compass that will set you on the right path.
It's just Jesus....

God on you.....
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Time Out

Jeremiah 5
But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned aside and gone away. They do not say to themselves, "Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and springs rains in season." Your wrong doings have kept these away. Your sins have deprived you of good."

I think that sometimes people in addiction forget that they are the purveyor of their own troubles.
They had a tendency to blame everyone else but themselves.
They blame society for not giving them the breaks that they think other people have gotten.
They blame their parents for not being very good at the way they were raised.
They blame God (go figure) for the way their lives have turned out.
The point the finger at every one except themselves.
Why?
Because it is too painful to look at their own life.
Forget that they had the ability to choose just like every one else. Now, after a long history of addiction, they have lost that choice to choose. An alcoholic does not possess the ability to choose not to drink. It truly takes intervention from a Power greater than themselves to stop the insanity in their life.

My sinful nature keeps the good things of God at bay.
I have separated myself, by believing the lie of addiction, from the blessings and life God wants to give me.
I believe that God is the God of Genesis 1:1 ----that He created everything with the sheer sound of his voice and the power he possesses. But I do not believe that this same God could actually speak into my life and bring about the creation of a new life, one free from addiction (II Cor. 5:17).
It is the breaking down of the lies we have bought into under our addiction that allows the Holy Spirit of God to do His work. Breaking down and casting out of our old patterns of sinful behavior and replacing it with a new way of living. This is the God I know! One who restores, redeems and sets free from a life of darkness and death.

Psalm 128
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house.

Your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.


As it is written in Deuteronomy.....
"See, I have put before you today blessings and curses....Choose!"

God on you....
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Can't Keep A "God" Man Down

John 21:25
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Sometimes we, as human beings, have a tendency to exaggerate. "I have told you a million times......"
Now we really haven't told anyone a "million" times to do anything. We say those things in order to get across a point. Here in the John passage, I don't think John was exaggerating about Jesus' ability or the deeds he did while he was here on earth. IF you truly think about this verse, there is a lot left unsaid about Jesus' time here on earth. Should I feel short changed? Should I feel as though we have an incomplete Bible? I don't think so. I should be encouraged that the scope and realm of Jesus stretches beyond the limit of human understanding. It lies in a place that only my faith can give me vision to see.

To rest in the knowledge that Jesus truly is more than my mind can comprehend. Jesus is truly more than what I can deduct with my senses.

Any understanding I have of Jesus, who he is and what he has accomplished when he walked this earth, is limited by my "humaness." II Corinthians 13:9-10 reads: "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. This means that all understanding will be given to me when I stand before Jesus or, as he is referred to, "the perfection." Then and only then will the veil be drawn away and I will see in ways I can only imagine.

That is why today, I choose to live by faith.
Faith that Jesus is who he claims to be...
Faith that Jesus will do what he has promised to do, as found in the Bible.
I don't have to know.
I don't even have to see (although that part would be nice).
I choose to look to Jesus.
Any struggle you have with addiction today is only temporary.
Stretch your faith out to Jesus and allow him to strengthen you.
He is greater than any craving....
He is stronger than any thought that comes to your mind to return to your old ways of living.
He is wiser than any plan you can concoct in your own mind.
Say it out loud...."I Choose To Follow You Today Jesus!"

Ephesians 3:20 - 21 reads: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Think on these things today and let them percolate within.
God on you.....
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011




Time: Early 70's
Person: Nancy Honeytree
Song: Pioneer

A genre of music that formed before it had a name.
People who were saved and began a love affair with Jesus, wrote songs and sang of His love, His presence, His kingdom.
This was before the world discovered that it could make a buck in Jesus' name.
She sang because she had to share what was on her heart.
Call me nostalgic or naive...the music seems purer and more heartfelt than a lot of what I hear today.

Countless names and bands that filled small venues all over this nation during the 60's/ 70's/ 80's.
Traveling across this country to play.
Not because they were getting rich. Most of them didn't even make a living. They were the "musical" missionaries sent out to share Jesus with who ever would listen.
Enjoy this song.....

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Bone Tired?


I see it in the eyes. Looking into them, you see no life what so ever. No hope. No future. Nothing. Just a dullness that has bought the lie. What lie? "I am what I am, I cannot change, there isn't any hope for me."
The lie of addiction.

It takes the Spirit of God to break through such a stronghold that has cemented a life in place with the thought of not being able to break free of addiction. I like what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30. I like the way the Message Bible writes this.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me---watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."  Did you catch that? Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. In other words that is a pace and a flow to walking daily with Christ as my Higher Power. He becomes the current I jump into and follow Him all the day.

I know that we have the TWELVE STEPS and they seem logical and in order. But within the life that these steps have lead me to, there is uncertainty and unknown and all the other things that use to drive us back to our drugs / alcohol/ sex or whatever your D.O.C use to be. That is the beauty of jumping into the current of Jesus. He will take you around these places that intend to cause you to crash on the rocks and sink into oblivion. Jesus is the great navigator that I learn to trust with my life and my recovery on a daily basis.

Step #1 -  I come face to face with the eternal truth: I am powerless. I cannot manage my life or my addiction. There is evidence of my inability to live life on life's terms by the destruction I have left in my wake.

Step #2 -  Came to believe in a Power greater than myself that could restore me to sanity. In other words the powerlessness I admitted to in Step #1 is defined by the insane/ addiction thinking that has followed me around. Addiction logic tells you to spend your last few dollars on getting high rather than buy diapers for your baby. Spend it on drugs rather than buy groceries so you can eat. Addiction logic tells you to use everyone around to get what you want. It doesn't matter who you hurt or who you destroy because according to addiction logic, they didn't really love you anyway.

Step #3 -  Make a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him.
I don't have to have all the answers. I don't have to have some of the answers. I just have to trust in God that He knows what is best for me, because by my actions, I have proven that I do not know what is best for myself.

I have a saying I use here at Rapha. I will go into a classroom to teach and there are all these guys there waiting. I usually begin with, "Gentlemen! Your very best thinking. The best thinking you are able to come up with. The top of your game....your A-game has got you sitting in folding chairs at white tables. Maybe it's time we find another way of doing business if this is the best we've got."

It truly is the great trade off.
I trade all my junk....
All my past behavior and the destruction I've caused....
I trade all my emotional baggage with you, O' Lord.
And in return,
I get everything you have.
Sounds like a great deal.

If you need prayer, feel free to reach me at this blog (In the comment section)
or you can E-mail me at:
rapha7@bellsouth.net

Know that God loves you....and I love you.....

God on you.....
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Monday, September 26, 2011

C'mon Down! The Price Is Right

What a wonderful weekend. Vicki and I drove over to Athens, Georgia to visit with Josh, our son, and Heather, our daughter-in-law. Just good to have some face time with the two of them. Lot's of movie trivia and laughter. Good food and good company. Found a new route to take and it cut 30 - 40 minutes off the route we previously had been taking to Athens. 

This coming Saturday night, Seth Barber will be speaking at our meeting at Rapha. Looking forward to this, as Seth always bring a word with him. Always relevant and to the point........something we can hang our hats on (so to speak). Something we can put in our hearts that can make a difference in our daily lives.
Be in prayer for Seth that God would speak to him.
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Matthew 13:45
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he has found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Kingdom of heaven? What is that? Lot of different men, much smarter than me all have different ideas and thoughts as to this phrase. Some believe it to be heaven itself. Some believe it to be God's rule here on earth (thy kingdom come...they will be done on earth as it is in heaven). I tend to lean to the latter. The kingdom of heaven is God's rule and reign here on earth in the lives of His children. 

The verse gives the impression that this kingdom is worth more than anything here on earth. More than gold, oil, money, greed, power....insert what ever you would like to....the kingdom of heaven's value exceeds anything found here in this world. In fact, in the parable, Jesus says a man finds, after seeking and searching, this pearl of great price (Kingdom of heave) and sells everything he has to possess it. Sells every thing. What fall under every thing? Every thing! Even after selling it, the man turns over the proceeds to the owner of the pearl and said pearl become the only possession he has. This kingdom of heaven becomes central to the man's life. He no longer has anything of value here in this world, at least not of value as the world dictates value.

Funny but relationship with Jesus is the same way as the transaction for the pearl.
So many folks try to spiritualize the parables of Jesus. "Well, he didn't really mean we have to give up every thing to be in relationship with Him?" Didn't he? I think clarity comes as you realize that you actually do not own anything. Every thing I possess is simply because God allows me to borrow for a time until my death or he needs it back. I truly do not own anything. So why would I want to be heavy handed and let greed fill my life and vision to fight and claw to keep something of this world? I would rather be free from the bondage of real ownership of the "stuff" of this earth. Now this brings up another thought. "Does God mind me having stuff? No! God doesn't want "Stuff" to have you. He doesn't want a divided heart that wants to serve Him, but retain love for the world and the trappings that come with it. Hold everything loosely and follow this God. That is where the real life is.

A giving up of every thing.
My life....
My family....
My home....
My possessions.....
My friends.....
My job......
My talent......
anything I find value in, I surrender to God.
Why?
So I can receive from God every thing I need to walk out this life here on earth according to His plan for me.
Ain't that cool.....

God on you.....
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Anti-addiction

II Corinthians 5:9
Therefore, also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him (God)

No thought to my own selfish desires that have gotten me in trouble. No thought to my own selfish desires that have brought about destruction in my life. My focus now is on pleasing God. Turning away from the darkness of addiction to the light of surrender and receiving this new life in Christ, I have a single purpose ....to please Him. That my life might reflect the goodness that has been given to me.

Ephesians 5:8 & 10
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord: Walk as children of light.
Trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Here again the focus of my life should be going about my daily activities, but allowing God's Holy Spirit to direct me each moment. With every decision made, our aim should be to please God. How can I know what pleases God? Get in the book....a.k.a the Bible. Read it. Study it. Digest it. You might be surprised at what happens.

John 8:29
"And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."
Why should I live my life to please God? Because when Jesus walked this earth, that was His goal. To be pleasing to His Father. To do only those things that He knew would please Him. What things actually please God. Well, for starters.........how about Obedience. Simply doing what we are told to do. Wow! I could have had a V-8!!!!

Luke 9:23
And He said to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
Pleasing God begins with dying to self. Realizing that this new relationship we have with Christ, began with the act of us dying. Now we are resurrected to a new way of living. One that has no place for selfish, self-centered thoughts and desires. This is so opposite of the way the world system operates, but it is the economy of heaven. I can only cease to be selfish when I truly trust God that He will meet my needs and has my best interest at heart. Then and only then can I truly walk out a life that is pleasing to Him. All of this that I  have wrote of this morning is a process. It is growth and learning and messing up and being forgiven. But it truly is the heart of God.

God on you......
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Worry Warts....

Luke 12:24
Consider the ravens for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them . Of how much more value are you than the birds?

Addiction causes a person to loose their sense of self worth.
The destruction that comes through using causes shame and guilt, both toxic emotions, to be heaped upon the individual.
Here in the Luke passage, Jesus is saying, "Hey guys....(Well, I don't think Jesus ever said "guys") you need to understand your position in Me.  You need to understand that the things you are worrying about are really in My Father's hands."

God is working in us greater works than what we perceive. WE find ourselves focused on meeting our natural needs...food, shelter, clothing...a job. God has said, "I'll take care of those so you can concentrate on what I'm doing to you on the inside."  What God is not saying is, "Sit back and relax and all these things you need will fall from the sky like manna." What I have found over the years is that God will sincerely lead you to provision. You have to possess it and own it.

Letting God work in my heart lets me see myself for who I am.  I no longer get my worth from this world system or those around me. I gain my worth through "Whose" I am. I belong to Jesus and as such, He reveals to me who I am. I like what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:5-6 - "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, A Hebrew of Hebrews. Concerning the law, a Pharisee, concerning zeal, persecuting the church, concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."  In other words, Paul says, "I'm the man! I"ve got all the right credentials." No one could argue with that. But Paul goes on to say, "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish (dung) that I may gain Christ."  Paul says that every thing the world counts as being of worth, he counts as dung /  manure....That's pretty bold talk. How could Paul make such a statement? He ran into the real, deal Jesus. Not an ideal about Jesus...............not a concept of Jesus.............not a religious theory concerning Jesus....Paul ran into Jesus, and he was changed forever.

So as you begin this journey out of the darkness of addiction into the freedom and light of recovery, know and understand that the "HIGHER POWER" you are searching for is found in Jesus Christ.

       Because of Christ's Redemption
I am a new creation of infinite worth
I am fully pleasing
I am deeply loved
I am completely forgiven
I am totally accepted
I am absolutely complete in Christ

That's who I am
Who are you?


God on you............
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Raindrops Are Falling

We have almost officially entered into the fall season here.
Cloudy, drizzly, slight wind, temp in the 60's.
Perfect day for me.
Spoke at North Glencoe last night. As always, God was gracious and the people were incredible.
There is a real sense of family in this meeting. A genuine concern for each other and a willingness to be there should anyone be going through hard times.
Many Thanks to David Willingham for making his home available for the meeting.
I will be back there at North Glencoe again on November 7th.
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I Samuel 16:13
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward........

God placed His Holy Spirit on David and He rested there from that day forward. If this had been a movie script, David would go forth and just take names and do away with every enemy. He would bring peace to the Kingdom. He would take his rightful place on the throne and rule in peace. Whoa.....David did do that, but in the midst of all this "King-ing"...David had few valley's to go through.

1.) David saved a nation by killing the Philistine giant.
      A.) But lost the favor of King Saul because the people celebrated David and not him.

2.) David had to go on the run for fear of being killed by Saul.
     A.) Don't you think David contemplated not accepting the King gig?

3.) Hiding in caves does not do a lot for your sanity or self-esteem.
     A.) Top it off, 400 other neer-do-wells found out David's secret and came to join him. Talk about a band of merry men....These were not. Scripture says they were "Despondent and downcast". That's Old English for "Depressed and suicidal." Not exactly the kind of men you'd call upon to build a new kingdom.

4.) Faking insanity.
     A.) David found himself in the enemies camp looking for refuge and had to fake insanity in order to survive. With the drool hanging down from his beard and amidst all the grunts, groans and nonsensical words and sentences (you would have to be convincing), I'm sure David thought, "You know...I am really on the way to being King!".

I found myself thinking that having God's Holy Spirit in us (as believers) does not insure an easy road or path as we walk through this life. It does insure that God will take us through what ever comes our way.
No matter what the hardship....
No matter what the situation....
The enemy (a.k.a. devil) wants you to believe that God has abandoned you and has played some kind of cosmic joke on you. Not so. Jesus promised that He would never leave us (believers) or forsake us. What part of never do we not get? Never means never. So it doesn't matter what you feel or how you feel. You may feel that Jesus is a million miles away, but what's the truth? He is here. Why? Because He said He would never leave us.
That is a promise I can rest in today.....

God on you....
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Monday, September 19, 2011




I have finally found the way to live....
In the presence of the Lord.
Wow!  Like King David said, "I'd rather be a door keeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of the rich."
That is real relationship.
Enjoy the song....

God on you....
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Breathing Praise

Psalm 150:6
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

I found myself seated in a very traditional church yesterday morning.
Folks milling about before the service, talking and sharing with one another.
The choir and orchestra finding their places as the pastor made his way up on to the stage to be seated.
The music director (er...Minister of Music...titles have changed) was making last minute notations on his copy of the music.
Ushers were greeting every one who came into the sanctuary. The young people seemed to have carved out a section of pews for themselves. Conversations of school, dates, football and the lesson that morning in Sunday School could be heard rising up from this group. The thought came to me..."Enjoy this time boys and girls, for the real adult life is just around the corner. That which you have strained to lay hold of will soon be upon you and life will never be the same."

An older man stands to the pulpit and welcomes every one. The music starts and we are encouraged to stand and shake hands with those around us. Several come to greet me asking if I live in the area, am I just visiting and offers for me to become a member of this church. I welcome them all because they seemed to be genuine and caring toward me. There is a sense of family in this room. A warmness that is not artificial or forced.

The choir stands.
The Minister of Music cues the instrumentalist with a wave of his hand.
The music starts.
IT tells of the time of our day imposed over that day outside the city of Jerusalem when one man took the sins of the world up a hillside and gave himself to a cross. The music rises with passion and those incredible words come forth from the choir....."It if finished.....yes it is finished." Suddenly I am very much aware that the presence of God has filled this room. With each word, each note, I find my heart racing with the idea that never has truer words been spoken. It is finished. And it is because of this finished work that I can live in freedom and have relationship with Jesus Christ. The power of sin has been broken. The penalty of sin has been shattered, and the presence of sin has been dealt with. Praise God! It is finished.
I didn't go to this church looking for such a moment to happen. That is the neat "surprise" work of God when He brings about these moments. For a brief time, every person in that room forgot about their problems and the things that seem to dog them every day. Minds and hearts were turned to the very words "IT IS FINISHED!" 

As the song continued, people began to stand all over the sanctuary. Some raised their hands in a kind of surrender to God. Some clapped. There were strains of "Amen" and "Praise Jesus" all over the room. I knew that I was in the middle of worship and that the most important thing was for every one present to give back to God that worship and glory He deserves.

As for me....
We could have left after than song was finished. We had seen the presence and glory of God in our midst.
Who could ask for anything more?

God on you....
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday

I've been under the weather, so to speak, this week. A victim of the "Rapha Creepin' Crud".
I was able to get home early yesterday and rest, so this morning I'm feeling a lot  better.
Church tonight.
Due to my frog-voice ( or lack of) Debbie Handy will be leading worship. It is always a treat when Debbie leads. She brings a voice of hope and encouragement to the songs.
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"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."-----Matthew 6:10

This verse has come to mean more to me over the years, as God has shown me the power in the words. As it is a prayer, we are asking God to bring down here His rule and reign of the Kingdom.
To intervene in our time and space with His authority and power. To come and undo and destroy the works of the devil.

To often, people fall prey to the notion that this world is beyond help. Or that evil has risen to such height and power, we are beyond the reach of God. How foolish to think such things. People will say, "Well, where is God? If He cares so much, why does evil seem to flourish?" Truth be known, they can't see the goodness of God or the "miracles" that he accomplishes every day. Things that are happening around them that God is bringing forth, are not detected because of their spiritual blindness.  We had a case where one of the men at Rapha received a call that something had happened to his dad. They were, at that moment, racing him to the hospital. His dad was not responding in a lucid way, was talking foolish and was not doing well. The guy asked me if we could pray for his dad. We did. In fact one of the things we prayed for was that there would be a complete healing and the doctors would not be able to find anything wrong with the dad. 

Few hours later, another phone call.  Dad was fine. Doctors found nothing. They were going to keep him for a while under observation. God healed this man. You talk about a faith builder for the man at Rapha! He was so jazzed. "God is real....isn't He? God truly does answer prayer...doesn't He?" The power and rule of God in heaven, had been brought to earth and healed this man. It has been 5 days and the dad is back home doing well. Thank you God!


So the next time you pray...
Thy Kingdom come....
Thy will be done....
On earth...
As it is in heaven......
Believe it!


God on you....
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Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Outta Here!

Mark 1:18
"And they left their nets at once and went with Him."

First question: Who left their nets?
Answer: The future disciples who would be with Jesus for three years.

Next question? Went with who?  Jesus.

These men left physical, tangible evidence of what their old lifestyle had been like, in order to follow a man they perceived to have knowledge into the future. They left their nets. Those nets were a marker.....a definition of who these men were. The nets represented their occupation. They represented their social status in life at that time. The nets were tied (no pun intended here) to these men and were the very things used to feed their families and pay their bills. Yet here in this verse, we read where they left the nets in order to follow Jesus. Truth be known, nets without fishermen are truly useless.

There was something about this Jesus that drew these men unto him. Was the unspoken promise of adventure? Was it because one of them had come to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah? It didn't matter, what was glaring and in your face was the simple fact that these men left everything to go with Jesus.

Kind of the way it is suppose to be today. I have given my life to Jesus. He owns it. He gives me direction, and part of that direction is to leave my old life.................and all the trappings that defined that life. I leave old friends..........I leave old places..............and, in some cases, old family members.
Following Jesus after being in addiction, truly is a parting of the ways, moving into new areas. It is scary and sometimes overwhelming because we fear change. Yet change is the nature of life and the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:33-34 reads: Steep your life in the reality of God, the initiative of God, the provisions of God. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns (and needs) will be met. (Message Bible).

KJV says we are to "SEEK" the rule and reign of God in our life (The Kingdom of God). That we are to pursue His Righteousness (or rightness) and He (God) will add all these things to our life. What things? Our needs. SO if my needs are met daily, then that frees me up to simply follow Him. No matter what change may come my way, Jesus is the constant I can lean on. NO matter what pops up to throw me off or disrupt my new found life, Jesus is the solid, sure place where I can stand and not be tossed around emotionally, physically or spiritually, but rest in Him.

So I guess the question today is:
"Are you still carrying around the "nets" from your old life, or have you discarded them in order to follow Jesus?"

Father God...
Today, I lay my nets down. I ask that you remove them from my life so I can follow you in freedom and from being hindered by my "nets." Thank you for life today and for the blessings you have already given to me this morning. Help me to hear you today. Help me to only listen to you and follow you through out this 24 hours you have placed before me. I thank you for my sobriety today and that you do love me and have a plan for me this day.
Bless your Holy Name....
In Jesus' name....
Amen.

Have a great day!
God on you.....
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pass It On

II Kings 2:9
When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, "What can I do for you before I am taken away?" And Elisha replied, "Please let me have (or receive) a double portion  of your mantle (Spirit/ Authority)."

This could be a tirade against this generation from my perspective, but I am not going there.
I can hear the words of the generation we replaced still ringing in my ears. Needless to say they weren't kind words or encouraging words. I think every generation that has it's time in the sun and then finds itself being replaced by an up and coming generation has trouble with the whole shift in influence. There is a tendency to push to remain relevant instead of simply doing and being who God has called you to be. In other words, stay true to who you are in Christ. It is kind of like all those churches who "decided" to do a contemporary worship service in order to cash in on getting their share of the market. Some who went this route did so, not because God told them to, but because they thought it was a good ideal. Turned out they looked like the King Family Christmas Special (Boy...did I date myself with that one or what?)

The one thing I have tried to do though, is be respectful of the ones who made it possible for me to do and be where I am today. Those upon whose shoulders I stand. Those who paid a price for me to be able to minister and be a part of God's Kingdom today. I never want to forget or not honor those who came before me. Those who poured their life into me and countless others passing on a legacy that is far greater than any individual or group.

In my own life, it seems as though every where God has placed me has been  outside of the main line, traditional churches. During my senior year in high school, I found myself drawn to Campus Crusade for Christ. The staff was from California and was fresh from the Jesus People Movement. They found themselves down here in the buckle of the Bible belt with all these ideas that weren't very common in churches around here. They taught us and encouraged us that we could "Do the Stuff" that Jesus did. We could be leaders. We were given opportunities to lead Bible studies among other students. They created a place where kids from all over could congregate on Saturday night and have a really incredible time. THE OTHER DOOR coffee house became the place to be. Singer/songwriters by the score poured through those doors and share their music.  It was a movement that empowered my generation to seek first the kingdom of God. Funny part in all of this, Campus Crusade was never aloof or apart from the local churches. They made every effort to be connected and share what their vision was for Gadsden.
It was in the times that I spent with Campus Crusade that I had the seeds planted that have produced God's fruit in me today.

Because of my own experiences, I have tried to pour out and encourage those around me who are coming up. In my case, it is the addict or alcoholic that is breaking free from the slavery of addiction. God has been very gracious to allow me to teach, pray and love over these men. I truly do ask God to give this generation who will take our place, a double portion of the anointing and authority that was entrusted to my generation. I pray that we were, and are, good stewards of God's kingdom. I pray that our efforts have not been fueled by flesh or human will but directed and empowered by God's Holy Spirit. It has been the wildest ride of my life and I haven't regretted one moment at all.

God on you.....
mb
p.s.-------ONE WAY!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Say Come! Lord!

Revelation 21:3
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying,"Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be among them."
You know, the whole deal with heaven, how it looks, what it sounds like has been in the forefront of my thoughts this week. Thinking back, I don't know if I have heard any teaching or preaching concerning heaven recently. It's almost as if the idea of heaven has been shoved to the back burner by preachers and teachers.
I love this verse from Revelation 21. God is going to be the tabernacle, or place of worship, as He takes his place "among"...."in the middle of".....His people. I think maybe God gave the example in Exodus and Numbers of how Israel was to set up camp each day when the journey was halted. They were arranged in specific order around the Tabernacle of Moses. The Tabernacle was always the center of the camp, just as Jesus is supposed to be the center of our very lives. Everything radiates out from Jesus and affects every area of our life.

Revelation 21:4
And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death. There shall no longer be any mourning or crying, or pain. The first things have passed away.
What an incredible place. Why is it incredible? Because God will be there. Every emotion that came about because of the introduction of sin back in the garden, will be eliminated. God has the power to cast out these emotions. How cool is that. So if there will be no more death...then there, in His presence, will be life that is totally off the scale. Think of the very best moment of your life so far..............now multiply that by a ZaZillion and you've got just an inkling of what life with Jesus is going to be like. In the verse, there is reference to the "first things" as having passed away. This would be the things that came in to us through the sin of Adam. Jesus will completely undo the curse that came in through sin. When this happens, the devil will no longer have any weapons with which to fight with. Imagine that! A toothless devil that has no power to call upon the destruction caused by sin. Jesus wins!  Jesus wins again!

Revelation 21:7
He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son (and daughter).
The official announcement of adoption. By overcoming............by believing.........by faith..........those who do not grow weary and give up...........those who overcome shall (no questions asked) inherit everything God, the Father, has in store for His children. But probably the most overwhelming statement to me is "I will be his God, and he will be my son." Wow! To hear God declare this out loud. To hear these words spoken that He declares us to be His children. How cool will that be? Cool X 10, that's how cool. For all the struggles here on this side of heaven, there is a reward and inheritance waiting for me if I don't grow weary of following Jesus. I want to be an over comer. I want to see this life through to the very end. I am so grateful for my salvation and for this relationship that comes from it. To be able to converse with God and to receive instruction from Him is beyond my comprehension. Today...I am grateful.

I pray that you find God this day.

God on you.....
mb

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

He Is Still Kickin' Today

Isaiah 40: 12
who had measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span,
and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales.

Some times I forget the awesomeness of God.
Some times I forget the power and majesty He possesses.
I forget that God does not need to promote Himself because the heavens declare the glory of God.
His creation continually points to His ability and creativeness.
Yet if God does indeed possess this ability and power, why is I have such a hard time believing that He would want to intervene in my life?
Why would I doubt that His offer of Salvation would bring with it everything I need to walk out my days here on earth?

One reason I believe is because we are into microwaving....
God is into marinading.....
In other words, it is my impatience and desire to "have it now" that keeps me from seeing God's hand at work in me and around me.
I keep looking for a finished result rather than enjoying the entire process of change.
The little nuances of change in me as the way I think is altered through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The way I feel toward others as my heart is transformed.
I know that I am not the same person I was last year or 5 years ago....
Or 10 years ago.
Sure some of the change is because I'm older, but the major difference is God's work that has been done to me. All for the better.

Now before you think I've gotten some sort of spiritual big-head...
I haven't.
I am a work in progress.
To me that is the most amazing part of all in this relationship I have with God.
That He is continually uncovering belief's and attitudes in my heart that He wants to change.
As I head toward the final part of my life, I am grateful for to God that He is all about seeing His work to completion.
Unlike me, He doesn't start a project and then abandon it midway through the process.No!
His work is for eternity.
I am going to be a part of that eternity with Him.
Can't wait.

Enjoy your daily walk with God.
Find those things that He is doing inside of you and give praise to Him for it.
Take this day and live for His glory.
Share His love with someone you meet today.

God on you...
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Monday, September 12, 2011

NEW MESSAGE !

We have had some difficulty with our pod cast section and are behind on loading messages.
TaDa! I have a new one from August 27, 2011 ---Seth Barber speaks on Gratitude.
Got to have! Got to live with an attitude like this.....
Listen and enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Greene Street Lettters...
mb

Using To Loose

Zechariah 10:2
For the idols (drugs and alcohol) speak delusion.
The diviners (dealers) envision lies, and tell false dreams (make promises they cannot keep)
They comfort in vain (the high is temporary and truly does not bring comfort)
Therefore the people (those who use) wend their way like sheep.
They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.


Since this blog deals with addiction and addictive behavior, I point people to scripture that falls in the category of a life outside of Christ. A life not lived for the fullness and glory of God, but rather to the idol of selfishness and self centeredness.
The entire scope of existence through drugs and alcohol is a lie perpetrated on a people who cannot discern truth. That is why the truth needs to be spoken to them. lived out in front of them, and not watered down or held back.

Zechariah 10:12 reads: "So I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in His name," Says the Lord.  Isn't that the heart of recover? A Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. To a life that is truly lived and not merely an existence. The answer is YES!!! Notice where the strength to daily work and walk in this world comes from. God says, "I will strengthen them." Them who? Those who give themselves to Christ. Focusing their will to only do His will.

May you find that Power today!


God on you....
mb 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Good Saturday Morning To You

Revelation 21:4
And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death. There shall no longer be any mourning or crying, or pain. The first things have passed away.

The words of this verse carry such hope for me. They fill me with an assurance that God is in control. That the end has been decided and He alone has the authority and power to make it so. For that I rest in the knowledge that what happens here on this side of eternity pales in comparison to being in the presence of God.

It doesn't matter what happen in our world today....
I have a story that has been born in my heart....
A story to share with others.
You don't have to be hopeless....
Hope is found in a person........Jesus Christ.
Say what you want....
Believe what you want....
But the truth of Jesus stands beyond any criticism and scrutiny.
The perfect in a world of imperfection.
The stability in a world of chaos.
The Savior in a world that doesn't even realize it needs salvation.

As I've grown older the things I thought were important have dwindled down until my list is very short.
Just Jesus.
In Him, I can live today.
In Him, I can love today.
In Him, I have a tomorrow, either here in this life, or with Him in the next.

Please feel free to go back into the achieves of this blog and check out the other postings.
Thank you for taking the time to stop here.
God on you.....
mb

Friday, September 9, 2011

Where Are The Tears? Part II

Crying Again
by: Mark Heard

The headlines in the dailies are the horses in a race.
They lead you to believe that life and death are common place.

I haven't been able to shake this line from my thoughts.
That the message of the world is that life and death are common place.
Nothing else.
You live.
You die.
When a person buys into this belief, then they spend their lives simply trying to find pleasure.
Their live becomes a series of events, encounters that seek only to live for today.
I fear that the common place has become the mantra for the masses today.

That is why I will proclaim Jesus!
To awaken those who cannot see beyond the common place
Lift your vision a little higher. See the goodness and invitation from God.
Don't let the common place rob you of hope.
Not hope in becoming lucky or winning the lottery,
but hope of higher calling.

Hope that drives a leper to risk it all to be near Jesus.
Hope that looks into an empty purse, all funds being spent on doctors and treatments,
but now the only thing left is to turn to Jesus.

Hope that looks at the common place and says, "No...my daughter isn't dead....Jesus can raise her."
Hope that looks beyond a drug or a drink.
For drugs and drink are the purveyors of the common place.
They ring loud and long with the message, "Why not give in? There is nothing to really live for!"
But the ring and voice of drug and drink does so with a dissonant sound.
One that simply will not set well with the spirit that lives in you.
The spirit that is you.
For that spirit was placed in you by Almighty God and it is with this spirit that His Spirit will come
and lift you out of the common place into new life.

How easy it is to accept the common place.
It requires no more effort than simply giving up.
Not looking or searching for anything better because the lie tells you there isn't any thing else.
Praise God! That Jesus shattered the common place with three simple words.....
"IT IS FINISHED!"
The common place was defeated on a hill top outside of Jerusalem.
On a cross, the common place was ripped open and the goodness of heaven and life with God poured forth to any who would receive it.
Jesus had been lifted up and, just as He proclaimed in Scripture, He drew humanity unto himself.
No longer would the common place rule.
The Kingdom of God was now at hand.
It is here...
But it isn't yet.
Strange words?
Not really.

We seen evidence of the Kingdom of God around us and in us.
We see people being saved.
We see people being healed.
We see people coming unto Jesus.
But we don't see death eradicated.
We don't see pain removed.
These things will be eliminated when The Kingdom comes in fullness.
But for today...
I do not have to accept...
I do not have to live in...
The common place.

God on you....
mb

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where Are The Tears?

Crying Again
by: Mark Heard

The headlines in the dailies are the horses in a race.
They lead you to believe that life and death are common place
Some believe it
and I'm crying again

I heard some good intentions, not all were second hand
But bravado and pretension will not feed a hungry man
It's been said before
and I'm crying again

Very quietly the world loses blood over night
without a fight
In the morning, the sickness will hide from the light
out of sight

Running from a world that they will never understand
The masses ride their passions with the throttle in their hands
Nobody knows
what is waiting 'round the bend.

Very quietly the world loses blood overnight
without a fight
In the morning, the sickness will hide from the light
out of sight

Now and then the criminal in my skin lets out a sigh
He'd like to think he's innocent but he cannot tell a lie
the truth is like a knife
and I'm crying again.
and I'm crying again.
and I'm crying again.

Luke 19:41 -  When He (Jesus) approached, He saw the city and wept over it.

He knew what was going to happen to Jerusalem.
He knew the pain and hurt and sorrow that would be common place like cheap wares in the market.
He wept.

Do we see that kind of burden today?
Do we see people weeping over the state of cities and towns?
Do we care enough to pray and share or are we merely playing and dancing proclaiming the goodness of God? What? We are not to proclaim His goodness? Yes! We are. But I don't believe we do such from a "Look at me if you want to see how good God is!" mentality.
I do not want to be a crier of depressing news or words....
But I do want the truth of God inside of me.
I want the truth of God no matter what.

I didn't ask for this and I do not come to you to proclaim myself to be a spiritual giant in any way.
But I was given a burden today.
A burden for those in addiction.
It was as if God opened my eyes and I truly saw that without Him....
Without the finished work of Jesus...
Without salvation and indwelling of God's Holy Spirit...
there was no hope....
There was no future.
What more......
I am powerless.
I can't make God do anything.
I can only pray and ask...
"God will you come and open the hearts of those who have been birthed in spiritual darkness?"
"Will you bring salvation to our town."
The more I thought on the men, I began to see their wives....
I began to see children....
I saw girlfriends....
Mothers and Fathers.....
Brother and Sisters....
I saw a host of people who were in darkness also.
I prayed, "Oh God! Let there be light to these who don't know you."
Open their hearts to understand the gospel.

I have an urgency inside.
Like time is running out.
Maybe it's my time that is running out, I don't know.
But I do know this....
"How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? "
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

I can't speak for anyone else, only myself.
But I think that days of joy are going to be replaced by another kind of joy.
A joy that isn't selfish and self centered.
Thoughts of self will be replaced by tears and concern for others.
As Jesus told his disciples, "Look! The fields are white for harvest."
I pray that the workers are not few.
I pray that just as the rain fell earlier this week....
The burden of the Lord would flood our churches
our home meetings..
When that burden is realized, I pray that a cry ascends to heaven before the throne of God
that would stir Him to loose a flood of salvation
as the word of God is spoken into the darkest of dark places.
Bring the light Lord!
Bring the light!

God on you....
mb





Play Nice

Acts 2:44
And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.

The church would really like to live like this.
Problem is, the church tends to create a need and then ask everyone who attends to join in and support the common need.
I believe that needs come up without someone pointing them out saying, "Look we need to funnel our energy or money (or both) into the is area. God creates a common purpose and a common thought among believers.
There is such a thing as unity and purpose in the real-deal church of Jesus Christ.
I'm not talking about the professing church. The denominational group that meets at a certain time in a certain building. I'm talking about the free-flowing church made up of believers who belong to denominational churches. There is a unity that binds them together with others. I have several good brothers and sisters who belong to other denominations. When we get together, there is a common thought and vision that is given by God. We find out through our conversations that God is doing a work across the board that has a common destiny or purpose to it. Even though we may not have had contact or talked about  it, we find out that we have all been on the same page, so to speak, and have been following God's directives.

The big view in our country today is that "we have strength through out diversity." To me that is absurd. How do you gain strength through being separate and divided. There are calls to be tolerant of each other. That works fine until you declare your allegiance to Jesus and then your branded a right-wing radical extremist fundamentalist and about a gazillion other names. It is the Holy Spirit that lives in us that creates this common view, common purpose and common life that we all share.

In the true church of Jesus, when we declare that we have all things in common. We are declaring that our lives  (1.) are not our own. We are under the Lordship of Jesus and, as such, we are given to following his direction and his directives in our daily lives. No longer are we swayed by the darkness of addiction. We are free to pursue the life laid out for us by Jesus.  (2) we declare that the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few (No..this isn't scripture...I stole it from STAR TREK II Wrath of Khan). It's no longer all about me, me, me. It's about Jesus.........my love for Him, my love of my neighbor based on how much I love myself. The hardest part of addiction is turning from a self-centered life to a life a giving away to others. But here in the giving is where we find the return from God. Whatever I possess, I can never truly out give God. He returns to me as fast as I give it away. Now that I've said that, please don't equate the "giving" with material things, or the receiving as to material possessions. God returns to us that which money cannot buy nor any man able to lay a price to.
Peace of  mind. Assurance of salvation. Contentment for today. The love of friends and family. Laughter. Healing. His Grace and mercy. The list can go on and on and on.

Having all things in common means that Jesus Christ is center to everything in our life.
He is Lord over my life.
He is the Savior and giver of salvation to me.
He my brother and calls me friend.
I am His child and sheep.
What more could I ask for?
Nothing.

God on you....
mb

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm An Immigrant To The Culture

Before you get into the heart of this posting, you need to realize that I am not an angry man or one of those people (it's always "those People" that are the problem isn't it?) who are anti technology. In other words, I'm not against gadgets and widgets. At the same time, my life is pretty simple so I really don't feel the need for gadgets. I have a phone, but I use it ..........(Gasp!) as a phone. Nothing more.
I don't do texts...
I don't play games....
I don't download mp3's onto my phone.
I call people....
They call me back.
Sometimes people try to text me and when I don't respond they become angry (well, maybe angry isn't the right word........how 'bout perturbed).
They will call and say, "Yo...I texted you. You're suppose to answer me back."
Sorry I don't text.
Then I receive a 10 minute speech of how I need to move into the 21st century.
I need to be current in my technology because life is passing me by.
Really?
I don't feel passed by.
I feel content. I am confident that I possess the place God desires me to be in.
I haven't missed anything....
That is beauty of being content.
Today is the best day you've had so far. It doesn't mean your satisfied, it simply means, "I'm o.k. with this day."

A cleaver man I know (Yes...it's you Jim!) once made the comment in a message he was giving one Sunday that "If you are over 50 then you are no longer a current member of the present day culture. You are considered to be an immigrant. You are here but you really don't belong." Now when I first heard this, I was mad as a wet worm. How dare you call me an immigrant. But you know what? He was right.
The idea of not being a citizen to the culture, but rather an immigrant, meant that I was old and that my time had come and was on the wane (so to speak.) You know what? That is true with any generation. We all have a moment in the sun where our very existence seems to matter and has purpose. Slowly as the years add up, we are moved to a new location in this culture. A place where our voices don't carry as much weight as they once did.

I guess the good thing in all of this is that God isn't really concerned with culture (At least not as much as many would have Him be.) He is more concerned with willing heart and I don't see an age limit place on hearts who are true to Him either.
Realizing this truth, it has served me well over these many years since that message of being an immagrant offended me.
I no longer have to race around for the perceived "next best thing" God is doing. I remember that last year a series of meetings were being held at a local church, and the expectations were humongous for God to show up. One of the people involved came to me and asked if I were going to attend. "Naw...I don't think so." This really shocked this person and they could not grasp why I would not want to be a part of such an event. I smiled and said, "God hasn't told me that I really needed to be there." I blessed them and prayed for them, but I wasn't released to go and be a part. "But it's God....He's going to some really cool stuff!" This person replied. "Good, I'm glad. Go be blessed and enjoy every minute of it." They simply could not fathom the fact that I was not going because God had not released me to do so.
I found out a long time ago, we get mixed up in things that God hasn't really gave us permission to participate with. I have to be very careful to always seek out God's approval and release for me to go and participate in meetings, events and groups. Early on in the days of our recovery meeting at the Vineyard, I grew discouraged because of the number of people who called Vineyard home didn't seem to have a heart for working with those in addiction. I could not understand why they didn't want to come and pray and love and listen to these folks who were trying to get their lives straight.  God, in his wisdom and love, answered my prayer by saying..."I didn't call all those other people....I called you." So really ever since that time, I have been very loving toward others who want me to  join their cause.
I found out that if God has called you to a work, He will supply everything you need (including people) to help you succeed. Isn't that just like God?

So I'm very content to live out my days at the pace God set for me.
I'll use my antiquated phone that only allows me to call others and talk "voice to voice".
I'll put my hands to the plow for the part of God's kingdom that has been given to me.
I bless the new and improved parts of God's kingdom where the rivers are flowing and the Spirit is moving. I will till the soil He has told me to place my plow in.
God is good like this, isn't He?

God on you....
mb

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why?

This week begins a new page for me at Rapha.
I have taken over the daily teaching duties.
Our program is a 6 month program that has, for the first 7 weeks, an intensive class room course that each man must go through.
Since I first came to Rapha back in 1998, I have done various teachings and classes, but starting this week, I moved into the full time teacher.
What's even more exciting for me is that we have returned to our old curriculum Conquering Chemical Dependency which is a Christ centered 12 Step look at recovery.

The teaching is where God plants the seeds of truth in each man. There aren't many things that I truly know, but I know this......the seed we plant at Rapha is good seed. It produces fruit in the lives of those who come through the program. It may not produce while they are at Rapha, but somewhere down the line, there is remembrance of things that were said, prayers that were prayed and things that happened. It causes a man to turn back to God.

II Timothy 2: 25-26 reads: They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
Here again we see the workings of God's kingdom.
It is predicated on truth. Not a relative truth that seems to permeate our society, but rather the divine truth that comes down from above. Truth that exists to guide and correct, lovingly turning the hearts of sinners to God.

I don't lay claims to having all the truth. I have and understand some truth.
Jesus is Lord.
Only the blood of Jesus can destroy the presence of sin, the power of sin and the penalty of sin.

Time moves ever quickly to confirm the truth of Scripture. We truly are in the last days or, as John Wimber use to say, "We are laster than we've ever been."

The same Holy Ghost that raised Jesus from the dead, now resides in me to bring about God's will in my life.

There is no hole or pit so deep that God is not deeper still (Thank you Corrie Ten Boom for saying this).
Not even the pit of addiction.

Daily I am thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of Rapha. To be able to watch His hand touch and heal those who the world had given up on and tossed onto the garbage heap of humanity. To take from that pile and clean up, love and place His Spirit inside, giving them new life.

We serve a good God....
Amen?
Amen!

God on you....
mb

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lay-Burr Day!

Is it just me.......
or do you find it strange that we celebrate "WORK" by taking a day off.
Seems like we would celebrate work by maybe......working a double shift.

Or
working for free. Nah! That would never catch on.
Anyway, I am taking the day of from posting anything that might be worth reading.
We will grill huge portions of meat this afternoon.....
Watch football....

and, in general, just be slug-a-beds.

mb

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Psalm 119:1-11

Step # 11
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contacts with God, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.

There are a heap of nay-sayers out there who love to hate on the Twelve Steps.
They have every reason why it doesn't work.
Why it's supposedly a bunch of hooey-balooey.
But how can you argue with someone whose life reflects the goodness of God through the salvation they received from following these 12 steps?
Seems to me that a person with an experience will beat a person with an argument every time.

Psalms 119:3 reads: They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.
Imagine that.
Someone who was once trapped in sin that manifested itself through addiction now is not compromising with evil. Has nothing to do with evil. Shuns evil. Lives for God not just through words, but deeds. Deeds steeped in faith. Deeds that come because of a heart change and not an intellectual decision.

I like Step # 11 in that we are asking God for direction and, when it is shown to us, the power to walk it out to the fullest. Not half-steppers here. It is all in for this new way of doing business with the world.

In Verse 11 we read: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
How can I hide the word unless I know the word?
It is important that we read the Bible....Study the Bible.....Get it all down in us. Memorize verses.
Let the Bible become as much a part of our recovery (if not more) as the steps are.
The Bible is truth, and I have found that I flourish when I am surrounded by it rather than the darkness addiction brought.
If you read in Matthew 4, the story of Jesus' wilderness temptation, you'll read where the devil came to tempt Jesus. With each temptation, Jesus countered with Scripture. It wasn't a big "who-is-the-most-powerful" type of fight. Jesus simply "out-truthed" the devil. Amazing how powerful the truth is, especially when it is the truth of God.

Think on these things........
God on you.......

mb

Friday, September 2, 2011

1986 - 1989

Three years I spent with a group, a band, named HIS BAND. Started out calling ourselves "Sons & Brothers." Every time we played, people would ask, "Which one are sons and which one are brothers?" They didn't get the subtle message that we were sons of God and brothers to each other, hence the move to HIS BAND.

Billy Anderson played Keyboards, guitar and vocals. Truly as talented an individual as I have ever met. Billy was the unofficial spokesman and leader of our band.
Devan Jackson also played keyboard and guitar along with singing. Devan and Billy co-wrote several of our songs we played. This was the first group I had ever been a part of that wrote their own material. There was such a diverse sound that came from HIS BAND. Blues......Rock......Really good ballads and love songs to Jesus. Being a part of this group brought me into the song writing circle. I had tried my hand at writing and wasn't very good at it, but felt the desire to make a real effort. I think eventually we wound up playing about 5 or 6 of the songs I had written. I listen to the tapes and some of the music is really 1980's sounding, while others still hold up today.

David (the snake) Tucker played bass. And could David Tucker play bass or what? He was incredible. Just for the record we gave him the nick name "the snake" simply because we liked the sound of it. David was never really crazy about it when we would introduce him that way. Talk about laying down a groove or bottom, Dave was Mr. Bass man. He is, without a doubt, the best bass player I have played with lo these 46 years of my musical whimsery (is that a word? Well, it is now). We even thought changing the name of the group to Captain Dave and his Renengade Riders of The Dessert Night!
Catchy huh? We went through all sort of names.............Chrome Dog Bone..... Unborn Linoleum....Poo Nanny and the Barn Stormers. Not really, these are names I made up for bands that I never played in. Confused yet?

The main purpose or calling that we felt as a band, was to take the music into places that did not have an opportunity to see or hear Contemporary bands. Small churches and fellowships seem to be the focus of where God was directing us. We began to travel all over the state and into part of Florida as one group told another about us. Funny thing is all of this, we never charged anyone for us to come. We didn't even ask for a love offereing. We simply went knowing that we would be the beneficiary of God's grace and love. We never had visions of grandeaur or fame. We simply wanted to play and share Jesus with whomever would listen. We had no false pretense about our ability or considered ourselves to be a great band. We were just four guys who loved Jesus and music. Put the two together and that was His Band.

For the record, my good friend, David Finlayson, designed the card you see at the top for us. Always the consumate artist, David is hero. David writes songs on a scale that boggles the mind. After my days with His Band were over, I found myself connected to David playing under the name DREAMER. I could go on and on about who I've played with and such, but I won't. Suffice it to say that here, today, September 2, 2011, God still continues to pour out the gift of music and worship to me. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I'd still be playing today. Each time I get to strap on my guitar and join in worship unto God.................well, it just doesn't get any better than this.

Thanks for letting me wander through memories for a while...

God on you....

mb


Thursday, September 1, 2011

39 And Counting!


There she is.
The first face that I see every morning.....
Hers is the last voice I hear before I go to sleep.
My wife.
Today we celebrate 39 years of marriage.
We spent this morning talking over coffee about the years we have been together.
She still doesn't believe that I feel in love with her the first time I ever saw her.
She said it was hormones or infatuation.
I said, "Nope! It was LUV!"

I still can't wrap my head around the "39 years" part. That sounds so long and people who have that many years together should be old. In some ways we are old (or at least...Older). In other ways, it feels like we are just now hitting our stride in knowing each other.
I can truly say that I have been well loved by her, and she by me.
There isn't a day that passes that we don't share a laugh together. Actually it's my life's goal to make her laugh at least once a day. So far so good.

Vicki is more than just my wife.
She is my best-est friend.
I'd rather be with her than anyone else I know.
There is a comfort that we have kindled in our relationship with each other.
A comfort that allows us to be in a room together and not feel like we have to fill up the air with conversation.
She can speak to me with her eyes in a way that words never could.
Her smile...
Even the way she says my name is unlike any other person I know.
I have been truly blessed to be married to this incredible lady.
So here's to Tall Boy Vegetable soup......
Bacon, Lettuce and tomato sandwiches......
Not knowing how to burp......
Smelling something electrical that might or might not be on fire.
To 4-way stops and counting, "One, Two, Three, my turn!"
To "Something" by the Beatles.....
Ralphie......
and many other memories that have become a part of our life and language....
I love you Vicki.....

God on you.....
mb

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