Sunday, February 7, 2016

Guns vs the Bible

“But LORD, you laugh at them. You scoff at all the hostile nations.”
Psalms 59:8 NLT

We are at war. Not only is the battle between good and evil men, there is a joint battle in the heavenly realm. ISIS, these Muslim extremists, are a part of satan's army. They are trying with all there efforts to topple Christianity, as we know it, with the backing of the dark forces. They are not the only ones siding with the enemy. Many "POLITICAL ACTIVISTS" are also being used by the deceiver to do his work. There is so much hate in the world and attacks against followers of Christ. So, yes, we are at war and even though I know the ultimate victory is in Jesus, I will do everything to protect my family. God has put me in a place where I can protect my wife, my daughters, and their families. Yes, I have the power of prayer. Yes, I have the power of the word of God. Now I also have a handgun.

Since just after Christmas I own a powerful tool for protection and now I'm learning how to use it. Slowly I am improving my ability to use it effectively. I did not purchase a gun to leave it sitting in some drawer hoping I could use it effectively when trouble comes. I will carry it. I will be ready to take action not just to protect myself and my family, but also other innocents caught in the turmoil of our society. I have a huge responsibility to make sure I am trained properly and use as much restraint as possible in the use of this new tool for safety. 

The Bible is just like my handgun! I know that my bother some people. But, the Bible, the word of my Lord, divinely written, is my protection. More powerful than any two edged sword and certainly more powerful than my handgun. There are many similarities between the word of God and my weapon of choice. So many people purchase Bibles and then they just sit as some decoration in the living room or get stored on some book shelf. It is a tool of eternal value. For the past 15 years, I have been diving into the word of God. I have been a Christian for over 40 years. The first part of my walk with the Lord, I read the Bible on occasion, but never really STUDIED it. Now that I spend more and more time in  the word, the more I am prepared for the troubles that are sure to come. I have my glock and I value it's power. I believe that the Lord wants us to use all means necessary to protect ourselves and others. But, there is nothing like the power of the Word of God. I trust in it to fight for me in the battle between Good and Evil. I have seen it's truth come to life in my life. It is not just a book, it is the word of God and useful to guide me in the direction of my life. IT IS MY PROTECTOR!

Dear Lord, I praise you for the word you have provided us. You alone, Lord,  are in control of all of my life. I completely trust you and your power. I praise you for the protection you provide. Watch over me as I try to protect my own family and friends from the enemies we meet everyday. I praise you for providing ALL the tools to keep us safe as we travel this life. Amen!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Power Corrupts

“When Saul realized that the LORD was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life.”
1 Samuel 18:28-29 NLT

I love seeing others succeed. I get no greater pleasure than to see my students thrive. I also really get "pumped" when I see people overcome obstacles. Watching someone struggle pains me deeply, but that can totally change if they defeat the barriers and come out victorious. So, I just don't understand the thoughts of Saul. He's a man of God. When he sees someone else chosen by God, over him, his ugly jealousy swings into action. He was not happy being out of the spotlight.

So many of us, myself included, love to lead. But if leading turns into the desire for power, things can get ugly. Much of our culture centers around the acquisition of power and as the old saying goes "power corrupts". I see all of these candidates on the political stage running for President, and wonder what they will REALLY be like running our country. I might be naive, but I think most people that start in politics do so with a great heart. They truly want to do good. As they see success, pride gets in the way. Pride feeds the desire for more adulation and they seek more power. As they seek more power their confidence and arrogance grows. Eventually they forget their beginnings. They trample on the people they love the most.

I don't want to be like Saul. He forgot his humble beginnings and being chosen by God. His power and position got to him. He could not celebrate the new successes of David. If I ever get to the point where I can not praise the accomplishments of others, even if they are at my expense, I have failed. My job is to support new leadership. My job is to help new leadership grow so they can eventually replace me. That's my job.

Dear Lord, I love you and celebrate all that you have given me. I know it is from you and not through my own power and strength. Help me, Lord, to always have joy for others and their accomplishments. Help me to support new leaders, encourage them, and provide quiet guidance to assure their success. Thank you Lord for all the joy in my life and the presence of your love, mercy, and grace. Amen!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

There is a way

““Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
1 Samuel 17:33, 45 NLT,45.nlt

Our faith is so weak. We limit ourselves and our Father in Heaven. I am amazed at the power of Jesus that most never see. We live lives limited by artificial barriers, barriers constructed only in our minds. We serve a small God, not because of who he is, but who we say he is. 

I have been through personal financial problems, family medical crisis, turmoil in jobs,  and doubts from others. For those that don't know Jesus, they might think I am quite a great person to be able to handle it all. If I listen to them, my chest might expand in selfish pride.  I even hear doubts from my own brothers and sisters in the Faith.  My fellow followers that know the power of Jesus can be just as bad at limiting the size of my God. But I know that all I am, all that I have over come, all that I will face.............. IS BECAUSE OF CHRIST IN ME! My own witness directs me straight to Jesus. I am amazed by his power and might. MY GOD IS HUGE! He can and has overcome all of the GIANTS in my life. I no longer limit my God. People can make fun of my FAITH. They can ridicule and even persecute me for following Christ, but I know that even with a small pebble, I can defeat the evils in my life. Praise GOD for accepting me, loving me, and protecting me from all evil and sin in my life. 

IF you are facing trouble, turmoil, stress, and complete uncertainty in your life, THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO FACE THE GIANTS! You must completely turn everything over to Jesus. He has an ARMY that will be by your side and even in you defenseless, hopeless, state, he will guarantee certain victory. There is a way and it is through JESUS! Don't believe me, try it, and you will see the POWER!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ask, Listen, Obey

“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.””
1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT.

It should be pretty simple to follow the Lord. He doesn't demand much. He really just wants us to be obedient. He doesn't want our money and he doesn't want our sacrifice. He wants obedience. He wants us to shed our stubbornness. He wants us to serve and obey. 

I see so many people not only avoiding, ignoring God, they outright rebel against the creator of the universe. The anti-God crowd is growing and becoming more vocal. It is becoming politically correct to bash Christianity and bully the faithful. It makes it more difficult to obey knowing we will be convicted by non-Christians. 

WE who call our selves followers of Christ need to strengthen our defenses. That is not going to be done by our own design. WE can only protect ourselves by turning to our Heavenly Father. We need to LISTEN! WE need to seek his voice. We need to seek his power. We need to accept the commands and the path laid before us. In order to win the battle on this planet, we don't need more "burnt offerings" or more "sacrifices" we need obedience through all situations. We are in a battle for the souls of our communities and we can not back down to the "politically correct". We need to ask, listen, and obey. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Smelly Oil

“Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the LORD has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession.”
1 Samuel 10:1 NLT --

This verse made me think of my CMA state leadership meeting on Saturday. We had officer training to prepare for the year. It is a great time to get together with my fellow CMAers to learn from each other. At the end of the day, each officer from our 24 chapters were anointed with oil and were prayed over for the coming year. I loved the ceremony and it was powerful. But, I have to admit, the oil smell was overpowering and soon afterward I had to wipe it off. It made me chuckle think about Saul also being anointed. I wonder if he wiped it off.

The oil is a great symbol of God's overpowering strength and power in my life. I am so thrilled to be marked as one of his children. I am humbled that he has chosen me and the ministry of CMA to deliver his message to the lost. I really don't care about the smell. I care that the smelly oil means I have Jesus with me throughout all I do. God chose Saul for the special position of leadership to lead his nation. He chose me for my ministry with CMA and he has chosen you for your special ministry. Do you know what it is? Ask, listen, act on his call. He has a job for you. He will anoint you and send you out. You just have to answer the call. It is ridiculous if you do not have a specific ministry. God has chosen each of us to go out and spread the gospel. If you don't feel that is true about you, your not listening to the Holy Spirit. You need to bow down and ask the creator of the universe to reveal your ministry. He will do it. Pursue that ministry, act on his voice. 

Dear Lord, I am committed to you and the mission of letting everyone know of your love and grace. I am honored to be anointed for you. Forgive me for not always serving with passion and power. I love you and serve only you. Amen!