Friday, December 18, 2009


For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. Matthew 24:24

Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." John 1:16-18

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough....For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13

This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. Galatians 2:4-5

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. 2 Peter 2:1-3

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3

Be wise, Brethren. Check what you hear according to God's Holy Word. Test to see if what they say and what they do are in line with God's Word.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. -------- Acts 17:11


Monday, November 30, 2009


The concept is fabulous.
. . . If we CHRISTIANS only trade a worldly thing for a Christian thing..... it's not a renewal ...

It's like dressing up a CAVEMAN in a suit.

Maybe that's why there are so many Christians that disappoint people by occasionally acting in an "unChRistiAN" way--- maybe because they are just the same old worldly person dressed in a Christian suit?

The Bible promises RENEWAL.
Colossians 3:10-17 says to PUT ON the new self.
And nothing about just switching from worldly music to Christian music, going to church on Sunday morning instead of sleeping late, or just wearing a cross instead of a peace sign! - - - RENEWAL, not mere SUBSTITUTION!

Col 12-15: "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."
That should be our prayer.
That should be our desire.

Here is a biblical paraphrase by Sam from Jesusbranded:

"Be changed by the renewing of your mind, for it does not have the things of God but rather is concerned with the affairs of men; men who come near to me and honor only with their lips, but whose hearts are distanced from me, whose worship is comprised only of rules taught by themselves- As far as the heavens are from the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts greater than your thoughts; so give ear and hear me, that your soul may live:
THIS IS LOVE: NOT THAT YOU LOVE ME, BUT THAT I LOVE YOU- you are my child, with whom I am well pleased."
(Romans 12:1 / Matthew 16:23 / Isaiah 55:3, 9 / 1 John 4:10 / Luke 3:22)

Friday, November 20, 2009


made often enough becomes
which reaps
which reaps
which determinesDESTINY

Thursday, November 19, 2009




The Bible says in 1 John that followers of Jesus are increasingly known by five “marks."
An authentic Christian increasingly

loves deeply,

obeys faithfully,

lives authentically,

knows completely and

believes confidently.

How are you doing?


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Ah, the good old King James Bible. What could sound more beautiful? But many don't seem to have an ear for it. Go to any Christian bookstore--- or any bookstore, for that matter-- and you will find many translations of God's Holy Word.

But are they all the same? Obviously not. There have been many translations written for many different purposes. For example: We see in the KJV a "formal equivalence," which means a word for word translation. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is also translated word for word, but it's authors sought to render the grammar and terminology in contemporary English terms.

The New International Version (NIV) is a dynamic equivalence, or "thought for thought" translation. These translators made more of an attempt at interpreting the meaning for the reader, while the translators of the KJV and NASB leave you free to make the interpretation yourself.

Another translation of the Bible would be the "paraphrase." Into this category are the translations The Living Bible, Phillips Paraphrase, and The Message. These were written by men in an attempt to contemporize the Bible. For example, Kenneth Taylor wrote the Living Bible so his children would more easily understand the Bible. A paraphrase of the Bible should not be used as a Christian’s primary Bible. We have to remember that a paraphrase is what the author thinks the Bible says, not necessarily what the Bible says. In fact, often we find in these books that they can be very misleading and actually not what the original texts intended.

I am disturbed at how much New Age terminology and obvious occult references are in The Message Bible by Eugene Petersen. I have read that people who have been brought out from New Age beliefs have said that if they had read Mr. Petersen's version of the Bible, they would have never left those practices for the salvation of Christ because they would have thought they were on the correct path. Mr. Petersen also waters down the condemnation on homosexuality, the submissive role of a wife, and the place of Jesus as Lord. These are things to beware, Brothers and Sisters!

As for me, I can not see where these is any value in The Message for serious students of the Word. And I cringe at the thought of this book being read from the pulpit. God's word does not need help from us. It is the Living Word of God that alone has the ability to transform lives!

For further information on The Message:

• By Mary Kassian •
....April 6, 2009


This week, Christians around the world will commemorate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It was at a Maundy Thursday service at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, in 1984, that a four-foot bronze statue of Jesus on the cross was unveiled. But to the shock of the congregation, the image of Christ on the cross was, in fact, an image of Christa. It portrayed Christ as a woman, complete with undraped breasts and rounded hips.
Betty Friedan, the main force behind modern day feminism, predicted that the question of the eighties would be: “Is God HE?” The Christa sculpture was the liberal church’s response to the question. And although Evangelical Christians have been much slower to consider female gendered God imagery, the recent phenomenon of the multi-million best-seller, “The Shack,” indicates that Evangelicals, too, are succumbing to the feminist pressure to image God in feminine ways. It’s a scenario that I predicted almost 25 years ago.
If you haven’t read it yet, and are amongst the un-Shacked evangelical minority, here’s the story in a nutshell. Mack’s youngest daughter Missy is kidnapped and murdered in a remote mountain shack by a serial slime, called the Daisy Bug Killer. Mack goes through a denial-grief-anger-bitterness cycle until he receives a letter in his mailbox from God who tells him to go back to the shack to confront his point of pain and suffering. When Mack gets to the shack he blacks out and awakens to find himself in a cabin complete with a manifestation of the Godhead. But this is no ordinary Godhead.
God the Father, called “Papa,” is a She. An Aunt Jemima pancake cooking Mother. Think Whoopee Goldberg in an apron. And Sarayu, the Holy Spirit with an Assyrian name, is a wispy ethereal female. Think life-sized Tinkerbell emitting rainbows and sparkles. Jesus is a human “male” - the one the three members of the Godhead collaboratively spoke into existence as the Son of God (umm… go figure). Then, in a bizarre twist that defies the orthodox image of the pre-incarnate Christ, another woman, “Sophia” appears as the divine personification of God’s wisdom. And in the end, Papa contributes to the gender-bent confusing mess by setting aside his/her female cross dressing persona for a slightly more familiar masculine one- a grey haired man with a hip ponytail.
Forgiveness and healing from pain is a valid biblical motif - one to which I am profoundly committed. But the way we heal is by running toward the God of the Bible, not by killing off or altering the parts of his character that we find politically incorrect. Not by coming up with an image of a God that is more palatable to our modern-day sensibilities. Not by altering God-revealed truth about the Trinity. Not by thinking we need to “help” God with his image. Over the years, I’ve witnessed thousands of women come to a place of healing and wholeness through the redeeming power of the unvarnished foolishness of the gospel.
The Shack contains terribly wrong concepts about God. Plain and simple. If you think it doesn’t, then you’re well on your way to accepting the image of the Christa on the cross. In a few years, you might be hanging her up in your church. I don’t think I’m overstating the case. In my book I’ve carefully documented the way it happened in mainline churches. The arguments used to justify their feminist Christa are the same ones the Shack uses to justify its feminized version of God. In essence, there’s no difference between the artistic image of a feminized Jesus (a.k.a. “Sophia”) hanging on a cross and the artistic image of a feminized Aunt Jemima Papa god in a book. If the latter doesn’t offend you, then the former really shouldn’t.
I’ve had good friends tell me that I’m missing the point of the Shack. Maybe I am. But maybe, just maybe, they are. Maybe they are getting caught up in the emotion of a heart-wrenching story and are failing to notice the horrendous theology that under girds it. The authors claim that “at its core the book is one long Bible Study.” This isn’t an ordinary story book. It’s a book that seeks to transform people’s ideas about God. The fiction is merely a vehicle for the theology.
How we image God matters. So the image of God the book presents matters. It matters a great deal. I seem to recall that God wasn’t terribly amused when his people imaged him in the wrong way, as a golden calf. If you’re not convinced that we should refrain from imaging God as female, and are interested in understanding more about the feminist theology rampant in the Shack, check into my book, The Feminist Mistake. If you take the time to understand the impact that feminism has had on society and church, then maybe you’ll understand my distaste for the Shack’s feminine god rendition.
When it comes down to it, my primary interest is not to engage in a debate about the merits of the Shack. It’s OK if you liked the book. There are some good messages in it, and parts that I liked very much. And it’s apparently helped people in some significant ways. So that’s the good part. But I do want you to think about the false gender-blended image of God this book insidiously presents. And I do want you to base your thinking about God and masculinity and femininity on Scripture, and not on the spirit of this age. The thing that bothers me the most about the Shack is that it wraps destructive ideas up in an appealing package and feeds it to people who have neither the discernment nor the desire to carefully separate truth from error. Most Shackites don’t have a clue about the magnitude of the implications of messing with Trinitarian imagery.
Here’s the thing. In the Old Testament, God instructed his people to reject female goddess images and images of God as a bi-sexual or a dual-sexual Baal/Ashtoreth-type collaboration. God hated this imagery so much that he had his people destroy it and all those who promoted it. The New Testament Church also fought hard against teachings that sought to incorporate female images of God alongside the male images - the Gnostic heresy, in particular. And now, it seems that the same ideas are knocking once again…. and many are throwing the Church doors wide open and welcoming them in.
What’s the big deal? Why can’t we image God as female? The main reason is that God defines who God is and how we are to image him and relate to him. God has chosen to reveal himself with male imagery. Father is HE. Son is HE. Holy Spirit is HE. That’s not to say that God is male. He encompasses everything that is good about masculinity and femininity. But that doesn’t mean that we have the liberty to think or refer to him as female. That’s crossing a line we have no right to cross.
The gender imagery that God has given us is highly important. It reflects critical truths about the nature of the Trinity. Calling him “she” violates his character and important imagery about the nature of our relationship to him. As C.S. Lewis observes,
Common sense, disregarding the discomfort, or even the horror, which the idea of turning all our theological language into the feminine gender arouses in most Christians, will ask “Why not? Since God is in fact not a biological being and has no sex, what can it matter whether we say He or She, Father or Mother, Son or Daughter?”
But Christians think that God Himself has taught us how to speak of Him. To say that it does not matter is to say either that all the masculine imagery is not inspired, is merely human in origin, or else that, though inspired, it is quite arbitrary and unessential. And this is surely intolerable: or, if tolerable, it is an argument … against Christianity. It is also surely based on a shallow view of imagery. Without drawing upon religion, we know from our poetical experience that image and apprehension cleave closer together than common sense is here prepared to admit; that a child who has been taught to pray to a Mother in Heaven would have a religious life radically different from that of a Christian child. And as image and apprehension are in an organic unity, so, for a Christian, are human body and human soul.
The innovators are really implying that sex is something superficial, irrelevant to the spiritual life… [But] one of the ends for which sex was created was to symbolize to us the hidden things of God. One of the functions of human marriage is to express the nature of the union between Christ and the Church. We have no authority to take the living and semitive figures which God has painted on the canvas of our nature and shift them about as if they were mere geometrical figures… [God images himself as masculine because]…we are all, corporately and individually, feminine to Him.
…The male you could have escaped, for it exists only on the biological level. But the masculine none of us can escape. What is above and beyond all things is so masculine that we are all feminine in relation to it.
(Quotes from C.S. Lewis Essays Notes on the Way and That Hideous Strength.)
There’s a whole lot more to be said about the importance of accurate gender imagery and the importance of honoring and preserving masculine imagery for God. But I’ll leave it at that for now. Hopefully this post has alerted you to some popular false ways of thinking that are both insidious and dangerous. The nearly universal frothing of the Christian community over the Shack shows me how very much the philosophy of feminism has influenced even the Evangelical church.
For those of you who are interested, here’s a more detailed critique of the Shack by renowned Christian reviewer, Tim Challies

About the Author: Mary Kassian, the founder of Girls Gone Wise, is an award winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and distinguished professor of Women's Studies at Southern Baptist Seminary.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


By now it is no surprise that gay marriage was defeated in Maine on election day. Here are some thoughts as I go through the various websites and the comments written there:

This is not a civil rights issue. I am truly sorry that so many people are so wounded about this, though. My heart goes out to those who are in this situation. But that doesn't mean that I agree with changing the definition of an established institution to cater to the desires of one group of people.

You don't have the right to have something that belongs to someone else.

You don't have the right to change the definition of something that has existed for thousands of centuries.

You don't have the right to redefine my relationship to validate your own.

To change the entire meaning/purpose/definition of marriage to suit one group of individuals is obviously going to upset the people who have vested interest in that union.

I am so tired of all the belittling and hate-filled talk from the gay community against people who simply don't want their sacred institution changed. Since when can't there be a civil disagreement? You can't marry just anybody. There are parameters. You can't marry your mother, father or grandmother. You can't marry your sister, brother or first-cousin. You can't marry a child. You can't marry someone of the same sex. You may WANT to. You may feel it is your RIGHT. But that's not the purpose/meaning/definition of marriage.

Monday, August 31, 2009

From Dr. James MacDonald's weekly online devotional:

Jesus Listens

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." - Hebrews 4:16

What do you think about prayer? Do you think that God really wants to talk to you? Do you think He really wants to hear what is on your heart?

The answer is, yes, He really does. He is an attentive counselor who listens to you. You understand this picture if you know what it's like to sit and talk to someone who really knows how to listen. They hear you. They get it. You can see in their eyes that they're tracking with you. Psalm 116:1-2 tells us "I love the LORD, because He has heard my cries. Because He bends down and listens." Picture your closest friend, turning his ear to you, and you cup your hand around your mouth and whisper your need. That's the picture.

God knows exactly what's going on in your life. He’s aware of your needs and your heartaches and your worries about the future. God totally gets it - that one truth has inspired and comforted and ministered to God's people through thousands of years of history.

Not only is God listening to your prayer, but He will give you wisdom about the difficult season of your life if you ask Him for it. James 1:5 tells us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." That phrase "without reproach" means literally that God won't sink His teeth into you. God won't be like, "What? What are you asking Me that for!?" He's not the impatient parent who doesn't have time for you or the irritable boss who snaps back. No, He's the attentive counselor, listening to you. Hebrews 4:16 assures you to, "with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Take to heart the comfort of Psalm 62:8: "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us."

click here to go to Walk In The Word

Monday, August 24, 2009


--- Mark 1:29-38
Muhammed Ali is the unprecedented three-time world heavyweight boxing champion. His picture has appeared on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED more times than any other athlete – including the likes of Tiger Woods and A-Rod. At the height of his popularity he "floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee." Everywhere he went reporters, trainers and his staff followed him. A number of years after he quit boxing, sportswriter Gary Smith, interviewed Ali about his life after boxing.
As they were visiting, Ali showed the sportswriter his gym, masquerading as the barn next to his farmhouse. In there, on the floor leaning against the walls, were pictures and framed newspaper articles from his prime. There were photos of the champ punching and dancing. There was one picture where his fist was punching the air. There was also a picture of Ali holding his championship belt high in triumph. A framed poster read "The Thrilla in Manilla".
     As the sportswriter looked at the pictures he couldn't help but notice they were covered with white streaks - bird droppings. Just then the champ looked into the rafters at the pigeons who had made his gym their home. Then perhaps as a statement of despair, Ali walked over to the row of pictures and one by one turned them over. Then he walked to the door and stared out at the countryside. He mumbled something so low the sportswriter had to ask him what he said. "I had the world," Muhammed Ali repeated, "and it wasn't nothin'. Look now."
What would it take to make you happy?
     More times than not, the teachings of Jesus run counter to the messages the world gives us about happiness. But Jesus' teachings were consistent. From the beginning of his ministry, crowds surrounded him everywhere he went. His disciples thought it was great. They couldn't understand why Jesus didn't share their excitement. According to worldly standards Jesus was a smashing success, an overnight sensation, a hit. His picture was on the cover of the Rolling Stone, as they say. The disciples were trapped into thinking that more was better. They thought this was what Jesus wanted. There were times they just didn't understand Jesus at all. If wealth and fame and acceptance don't bring happiness, where is it to be found? Some say happiness is just a state of mind, you know – “don’t worry, be happy.” But let me offer you another perspectiveA Biblical Perspective. 
Happiness begins with a touch
     In Mark 1:29-38 Jesus was visiting in the home of Simon Peter. Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. Without anyone saying a word about her illness Jesus went over to her, touched her, and lifted her up. Immediately she was healed. Notice that Jesus never said a word; he just touched her. We are not told how long she was sick in bed, or her condition. All we are told is that Jesus touched her and made her well. It was a miracle.
     Notice what happened next. She immediately got up and began serving Jesus and his disciples. How many of the women today can identify with that picture? Having been sick in bed she was probably weak, but when Jesus touched her she felt a new strength she had never felt before. She got out of bed and began serving him. This was her way of saying thanks. It was her response, but it began with the Master's touch. Happiness is not simply an option we exercise. People who buy self-help books on how to be happy are going to be disappointed. True happiness, lasting happiness begins with a touch - a touch of the Master's hand.     W. E. Sangster was once asked if he would find time to cheer up a young man who was recuperating from a nervous breakdown. Sangster promised to do his best. He sought the young man out and began to try to help him, but it was hard work. "This is a gray world," the young man said. "I see no purpose in it. It is dull, meaningless and evil. Its pleasures soon pass. Its pains endure. I seriously ask myself the question: 'Is life worth living?'"
     Sangster saw him once or twice a week for nearly two months. Every conversation was the same - nothing seemed to improve. Then something happened to that young man. He fell in love. Head over heels in love! On the day his engagement was announced he came to see Sangster and began the conversation with words something like this: "This is a lovely world. Come out into the garden and listen to that little bird singing fit to burst its heart. Isn't it a glorious morning? How good it is to be alive!"
     That young man did not will himself to that change of attitude. It was not a choice he made. Something happened within him. He fell in love.
     So it is when we experience Christ's presence in our lives. The world seems to change. But it isn't the world at all. We are changed by the Master’s touch. 
Happiness comes when we discover the power of prayer.
     An unwritten motto in our culture is that the busier we are, the happier we are. So we strive to be busy. It's a mistake. Consider Jesus' approach.
     By night fall word had spread throughout the town that Jesus was there and that he had the power to heal people. By dusk Mark says the whole city was at Simon's house looking for Jesus. They brought their sick, "with various diseases," hoping that he would be able to heal them. The disciples had never seen such a crowd. With all those people Jesus must have been exhausted. It was probably late when they all left. Yet early the next morning, before anyone in the house woke up, Jesus left in search of a lonely place, a place where the crowds would be unable to find him, so he could be alone to pray.
     Jesus, who had given so much of himself to others, needed some time alone with the Father. He who had given all that he humanly had to give, also needed His Master’s touch.
     That's true of us also. Some people really don’t understand prayer. Listen to this story:

"Hey, Father," said a man talking to a priest. "You got it all wrong about this God stuff. He doesn't exist. I oughta know.""Why's that, my son?" asked the priest."Well," the man said, "when I was ice-fishing in the Arctic far from the nearest village, a blizzard blew up with wind and blinding snow. I   was a goner. So I got down on my knees and prayed real hard, begging God for help.""And did He help you?" asked the priest."Heck no," said the man. "God didn't lift a finger. Some Eskimo appeared out of nowhere and showed me the way."
     Prayer is a potent force in the life of the believer. It is where we each make ourselves available to experience the Master’s touch. He doesn’t just reach out to us once or twice. He touches us over and over in response to our honest and humble need.
     Recently my burden was lifted from me through prayer. Sylvia hinted at it last week, so let me share it with you.
     At Boeing where I work, reductions have been announced… up to 10,000 employees. Well, my work group will cease to exist next week. That means that everyone in that work group, including me, needs to find someplace else within Boeing. This is at a time of budget cuts when other work groups are reducing their head count. I have been fearful of losing not only my job, but the income that came with it. I could not get past my whining “What am I going to do?” I’ve been having a real pity party for myself the past couple of months.
     As some of you know, on Friday’s I go to McNeil Island and assist the Chaplain with what ever he has for me to do. Usually this means ministering to the men as well as running errands. But this past Friday, he asked me to pray. He specifically requested that I pray against the strongholds that are within the prison system. After instructing me, he left and I went into the sanctuary and obediently started praying.
     I prayed for over two hours. God touched me during that time. He told me not to worry; He is in control. These are words that I know in my head, but God made them real in my soul. He also directed my path in a very specific direction. He asked me to do three things:
• Assist the institutional chaplains transition inmates from prison to the community.
• Support and prepare community leaders so that they can, in turn, support the men as they adjust from incarceration to community.
• And finally, God told me to be an encourager and witness to the ex-offenders.
     I shared this with Sylvia and together we are developing an action plan for me to transition into full-time ministry, specifically to work with male offenders in the process of re-entry.
     Since that dedicated time of prayer, where I made myself available for the Master’s touch, my burdens have been lifted. My excitement and joy have returned. I don’t know all the details yet. I don’t need to. God is in Control.
     Happiness is experiencing the Master's touch. Happiness happens when we run out of us and call out to Him. 
Finally, happiness is getting our priorities in order.
     We need to take inventory of our lives to determine what's important and what is not. Jesus did.
     That next morning when Simon and the other disciples awoke, they discovered that Jesus was nowhere to be found. Perhaps they panicked a bit. They actively searched until they chased him down. They interrupted his prayer time. "Everyone is searching for you," Simon told him. To this Jesus answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." Jesus would not be side-tracked by the adulation of the crowds. He knew where he was headed. He may not have been consciously aware of every detail, but in prayer his energy was restored and he knew what direction to go. Nothing else mattered.
     Gorman Williams spent most of his life as a missionary to India. In 1945 he purchased tickets for a long-awaited vacation back to the United States. He had counted down the months and days until he would be home. A few days before he was to leave he heard about some Jews who had escaped the wrath of the Nazis. They had traveled by boat to India seeking refuge. Since it was a time of global war, the Indian government denied their request to immigrate. They were granted permission to stay for a short time in the lofts of the buildings near the dock. Their living conditions were wretched. But it was better than being sent to a concentration camp in Germany.
     It was Christmas Eve when Gorman Williams heard about the plight of these Jews. Immediately he went to the dock, entered the first building and called out, "Merry Christmas! What would you like for Christmas?" The response was slow. "We're Jewish," someone called out. "I know," Williams said, "but what would you like for Christmas?" The weary Jews, fearful for their very lives, replied, "We would like some German pastries."
     At that point Gorman Williams sold his ticket to the United States and purchased more German pastries than anyone had ever seen. He brought lots and lots of them and carried them in large baskets.
     Later he told this story to a group of students. One brash, judgmental young man reprimanded him. "You shouldn't have done that," he said, "they were not even Christians."
     "No they weren't," the wise missionary quietly replied, "but I am." Gorman Williams, having been touched by the Master, had his priorities in order. He knew what direction he was to go. 
What would it take to make you happy? Every study I have seen on the subject indicates that people who are actively engaged in serving God are far happier than the general population. That does not surprise me. Happiness is more that a state of mind. Happiness is birthed in the touch of the Master's hand. Happiness becomes a possibility when we open ourselves to God through honest and humble prayer. Happiness is having our priorities in order. We are headed in the direction God has chosen for our lives, and nothing else is quite as important as that journey.

Friday, August 14, 2009

And in the morning, rising a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and prayed. ..... --Mark 1:35 KJV

It seems that we have an unwritten motto in our culture that says, "The busier we are, the happier we are." So we strive to be busy. But I think it is a mistake for us to be too busy for people, quietness, or conversation with God.
Consider Jesus' approach. By night fall word had spread throughout the town that Jesus was there and that he had the power to heal people. By dusk Mark says the whole city was at Simon's house looking for Jesus. They brought their sick, "with various diseases," hoping that he would be able to heal them. The disciples had never seen such a crowd. With all those people Jesus must have been exhausted. It was probably late when they all left. Yet early the next morning, before anyone in the house woke up, Jesus left in search of a lonely place, a place where the crowds would be unable to find him, so he could be alone to pray. Jesus, who had given so much of himself to others, needed some time alone with God. He who had given so much; needed some time to receive. That's also true of us. We need to take time to talk with God, so that we gain energy and strength to face the challenges of our lives.
I remember a story of a man who was talking to a minister. The man said, "Hey, you got it all wrong about this God stuff. God doesn't exist. I ought to know."
"Why is that?" asked the minister.
"Well," the man said, "when I was ice-fishing in the Arctic far from the nearest village, a blizzard blew up with wind and blinding snow. I was a goner. So I got down on my knees and prayed real hard, begging God for help."
"And did God help you?" asked the minister.
"Heck no," said the man. "God didn't lift a finger. Some Eskimo appeared out of nowhere and showed me the way to the village."
What this man didn't seem to understand is that God works through you and me. There will be times when our prayers will not be answered the way we want them to be. But prayer is answered. Sometimes the answer is "no." And another important thing--we should not allow our prayers to become a time when we list all of wants from God.
Prayer is powerful. Prayer is a time to connect ourselves to God, and that which is sacred, and prayer does bring us greater happiness and faith.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of prayer. Move me daily to spend time talking to our Father. In Jesus Name, Amen.

..........................--- from Today's Devotions, Ron Newhouse

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him." --Deuteronomy 30:19-20a

Monday, August 3, 2009


Faith. We all have it. It is hard-wired into us. The Bible tells us we can ask the Lord to increase our faith (Luke 17:5), but we all have faith. You get into an elevator and you have faith it will go either up or down when you press the button. You go into the bathroom, turn on the faucet and you have faith that the water will come out. You go into your den at night, click on the light switch and you have faith the light will come on. We are creatures of faith.

But sometimes when it comes to God, we don't operate in faith. We HOPE. We THINK. If you "think" God is going to work in your life; if you "hope" something will happen-- that's not faith. There is a difference between hoping God is going to do something in your life and having faith that it will happen.

Now we're not talking about wanting a Mercedes or for that "cute boy in English class" to notice us. We are talking about things that are in God's will for our lives. Of course, there has been some prayer involved, seeking what God's will is for us. But once that has been established: the Bible tells us to walk in faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Here are seven key words Charles Stanley uses to help you understand if you are walking in faith.

#1 ASSURANCE. Assurance that God is going to keep His word. God has many promises in the Bible. Many are applicable in our lives. What He says He will do, He will do. Mostly, if you aren't seeing God manifest Himself in your life, there are two simple options: a) You need to wait on God. Keep waiting. b) there is something in your life inhibiting the flow of God's grace. The problem is always on our side, never on God's side. Some searching and praying for insight might be necessary. Remember sin inhibits our communication with God.

#2 ANTICIPATION. When you anticipate that something is going to happen, you make plans, you prepare. I heard a great example of this: If you said to me that you were going to Europe tomorrow, I'd say "Great! Are you packed? Do you have your tickets? Do you know where you are going when you get there?" If you answered "No" to all my questions, then I'm afraid I have to say, "You're not going to Europe tomorrow." We need to be prepared for when God answers our prayers.

#3. AWARENESS. The sensitivity to see that God is already up to something in the circumstance you are concerned about. To watch for every little divine movement. To see the divine plan at work step-by-step. Once you set yourself to be aware for these "God moments," you will see them more and more. We have to start looking for these things.

#4. ACCESS. The use of the gift of prayer to access the Father at any moment, any time, any where. We have in prayer the best thing that could be given to us: unlimited access to the Father. From the the first waking moment of our day we should be addressing Him, thanking Him, and glorifying Him. Reviewing our day with Him. Asking Him for guidance. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Our first line of defense in every situation is prayer--- not our last resort. Christians should never say "Well, all that is left to do now is pray."

#5. AUTHORITY. The recognition of the authority given to us by the Lord. The scriptures say "ask and it shall be given..." Jesus said "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14). We have been given authority simply by who we are in His kingdom. Are you walking in this authority?

#6. ACTION. The acid test of your faith is your obedience to the Lord. Noah was told to build an ark, he started building. "I believe" and "I serve" are actions words. A person of faith DOES. Jesus said "If you love me you will obey me" (John 14:15). Faith-filled people are obedient people.

#7. APPROVAL We gain God's approval through our faith Romans 5:1 tells us that we have been justified by our faith. In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, biblical greats are innumerated for their faith with the final verdict being that they gained approval through their faith. "...having gained approval through their faith" (Hebrews 11:39). These illustrations in Hebrews 11 only go to show that God wants to bless you when you obey Him.

The ultimate reason God will honor your faith is because others will see and be in awe of what He is doing in your life and in turn place their trust in Him. "I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear; And will trust in the LORD" (Psalm 40:1-3).

Friday, July 31, 2009

#1. Whenever you face difficulties, remember that God is in control of all your circumstances (see Romans 8:28-29).
Psalm 103:19 declares, "The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all." This is why believers can be sure that we will overcome every obstacle and problem---because God can handle whatever happens and is responsible for leading us to victory. Though He may not have
initiated our trials, He allowed them. That means He can bring good out of them and teach us powerful lessons if we trust Him.

#2. Remember that the Lord takes full responsibility for all your needs when you are following Him in obedience (see Romans 8:31-32).
Paul confirmed this principle when he wrote, "God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). The Father is faithful to provide for you, even when you cannot see how He will do so (Psalm 37:25). After all, He provided His very best---His only begotten Son ---to save you from your sins. Of course, this does not mean that God will give you everything you want. Sometimes the things you desire do not fulfill His purpose for your life. But you can be sure that whatever the Lord offers you--and even in what He withholds-- He always has your best interest at heart (Matt. 7:9-11)

Remember that if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Lord is always with you (Romans 8:35-37).
You are not alone. No matter where you go or what you go through, God will never forsake you (Deut 31:6,8; John 14:18; Hebrews 13:5). David testified to this when he wrote, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me" (Psalm 23:4). Though others may abandon you or leave you for some reason, the Lord won't. He can't because as a believer, you are sealed with His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). This means that you always have the most powerful Friend, Counselor, and Advocate with you to heal you, help you, and lead you when the road of life grows lonely and confusing.

#4. Remember that the Lord loves you with an eternal, irrevocable love (Romans 8:38-39).
You cannot lose God's love. It is unconditional, sacrificial, and based on His unwavering character--not on your behavior (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7-10). That does not mean He condones sin. Oh the contrary, ungodly behavior is destructive to you, so He despises it. Rather, it means His affection for you is not based on what you do. You don't have to earn it or work to keep it. When you fail, you do not forfeit it. And no one could every convince Him to care for you less. His love is freely given and all you have to do is open your heart to receive it.

We cannot escape the changes and trials of life, but believers can have confidence no matter what we face. Look to God no matter what your circumstances are. Rejoice that He is in control, provides for your needs, is always with you, and loves you. Because that, my friend, is the way to have peace, strength, and assurance through even the most troublesome times.

---Charles F. Stanley


Are you a mom who deeply loves her children and longs for them to grow up to be loving, confident and successful? Do you fear that influences outside your control will steal their hearts? You are not alone …
Moms In Touch International is:
  • Two or more moms who meet regularly to pray for their children, their schools, their teachers and administrators.
  • Mothers, grandmothers or anyone who is willing to pray for a specific child and school.
  • Moms who believe that prayer makes a difference.
Please consider joining a MITI group. We pray for one hour once a week. I guarantee you will see God working in amazing ways. To find out more about this wonderful ministry, go to
"pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children," --Lamentations 2:19


See You At The Pole will be on September 23rd at 7am. This is where students (and invited guests) go to the flagpole of their public school and pray and worship. You should inform the Principal of the school in advance. See their site at for resources, information, and planning. Every school should be bathed in prayer for the coming year!


The "Jesus fish." What really is it? The fish symbol by itself was used to identify oneself as a Christian. Following Christ's crucifixion when Christians were persecuted and even killed, it was a symbol that fellow Christians would understand and recognize but non-Christians would not. Christians could connect to each other with this symbol without revealing themselves to their oppressors. At that time, the cross was not used as a Christian symbol-- probably due to the fact that the early Christians needed no reminder of how Jesus died; they saw it in its most hideous form all too frequently.

ΙΧΘΥΣ is the Greek word for fish (pronunced ik-thiss). The English spelling is Ichthus or Ichthys. The addition of ΙΧΘΥΣ inside the fish stands for Jesus.

IesousChristosTheouYios *Soter

(* pronounced Iios -
with emphasis on the 'o')

The "Darwin Fish" that is seen in the cartoon and on the backs of many cars is the owner's belief in the absurd theory of evolution. Plus, they get in a little dig at Christians. How sad that so many are deceived. And that they would mock something that represents Jesus. Please pray that everyone who sports one of these on their car has their eyes opened to see the truth.

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." -- Galatians 6:7

Thursday, July 23, 2009


"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. For I will forgive their iniquities and remember their sins no more."-- Jeremiah 31:31-34

What is this "New Covenant?" What would be the basis of atonement under it? Atonement requires the shedding of blood (Leviticus 17:11). Since the Temple no longer exists, it is impossible to sacrifice. Prayers cannot take the place of a sacrifice-- there is no shedding of blood. Besides, if prayer could suffice, why would God have ever instituted sacrifice to begin with? Would God have allowed the Temple to be destroyed and stay destroyed for so long without another way? Click on picture for more information.


On July 22, 2009 over Asia and India there was a total eclipse. As the sun was starting to peek out again it resembled the Star of David. Cool, huh?

Monday, July 20, 2009


There are astounding correlations between the feasts God covenanted with Israel and Jesus Christ's first and second coming events.








For anyone who is interested in this I have written notes at GOING DEEPER IN HIS WORD.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I once heard someone say that we are so concerned with the type of learning our children are receiving in the education system, what they are watching on TV or in the movies, what they are reading, etc...but are we as careful with what their spiritual leaders are teaching them? Just because someone calls themselves a Christian---well, we all know that doesn't make them a Christian.
Young Life is a youth ministry that goes to where adolescents are and builds relationships with them while presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I recently had reason to check out their Statement of Faith. And I found it pretty comprehensive. No prosperity gospel. No emergent church babble. No New Age hype. Just straight forward principled beliefs. Do they line up with yours?

PREAMBLE: We the members of the Young Life mission join together in our affirmation of the following articles and our central purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and introducing adolescents everywhere to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.ARTICLE I
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the final and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
In the Scriptures, God reveals Himself as the living and true God, Creator of all things. Perfect in love and righteous in all His ways, this one God exists eternally as a Trinity of persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
God made man and woman in His image that He might have fellowship with us. Being estranged from God by our disobedience, we are, as sinful people, incapable of a right relationship to God apart from divine grace.
The only Mediator between God and all human beings is Jesus Christ our Lord, God's eternal Son, who as man fully shared and fulfilled our humanity in a life of perfect obedience.
By His death in our place, Jesus revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having risen bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven, He rules as Lord over all and intercedes for us as our great high priest.
The Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel, renews our hearts, persuading us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit, we are led to trust in divine mercy, whereby we are forgiven all our sins, justified by faith through the merit of Christ our Savior, adopted into God's family as His children and enabled so to live in the world that all people may see our good works and the Gospel of grace at work in our lives and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
God, by His Word and Spirit, calls us as sinful people into the fellowship of Christ's body. Thus He creates the one holy, catholic and apostolic church, united in the bonds of love, endowed with the gifts of the Spirit and summoned by Christ to preach the Gospel and to administer the sacraments, to carry on the ministry of reconciliation, to relieve human need and strive for social justice.
God's redemptive purpose will be consummated by the return of Christ to raise the dead, judge all people and establish His glorious kingdom. Those who are apart from Christ shall be eternally separated from God's presence, but the redeemed shall live and reign with Him forever.

Friday, July 17, 2009


How amazing God is. Really. I have been contemplating the "first Adam--last Adam." The similarities. The polar opposites that open the door to redemption. I think of all the people before Christ that through the centuries were told the story of Adam and Eve--- never knowing that much later on the timeline God Himself would step into time as the last Adam. And how privileged we are to be on this side of the incarnation. To be able to see it accomplished. To hold in our hands the very words describing both men. How God's plan, God's will, God's purpose was carried out. 
Who could have guessed? Who could have known? Only El Elyon. Praise to the King.

First Adam vsLast Adam

Ithe BiblePaul called Jesus the “Last Adam” because he is the remedy for idolatry and the redeemer of humanity, where as the first Adam was the source of idolatry and the down fall of humanity.
The first Adam turned from the Father in a garden; the last Adam turned to the Father in a garden.
The first Adam was naked and unashamed; the last Adam was naked and bore our shame.
The first  Adams sin brought us thorns; the last Adam wore a crown of thorns.
The first  Adam substituted himself for God; the last Adam was God substituting himself for sinners.
The first Adam sinned ta tree;the last Adam bore our sin on a tree.
The first  Adam died as a sinner;the last Adam died for sinners.

According to the Bible,we die in Adam but are born again in Christ: “For as in Adam we all die,even so in Christ all shall be made alive”.
IAdam there is condemnation, but in Christ there is salvation.
IAdam wreceive a sin nature, but in Christ wreceive a new nature.
IAdam were cursed, but in Christ were blessed.
IAdam there is wrath and death, but in Christ there is love and life.
This is incredibly important because, literally, your identity and your eternal destiny hang in the balance of whether you’re in Adam or you’re in Christ. You’re born in Adam as a sinner and you’re born again in Christ, who is the Saviour.
None of us are individuals alone. None of us are isolated. None of us stand alone. We’re part of one of two groups, one of two families, one of two teams, one of two nations: those who are in Adam, and those who are in Christ. Here’s how Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 15:21–22. “For as by a man came death,” that’s Adam, “by a man has also come the resurrection of the dead,” that’s Jesus. “For in Adam,” there’s one team, one group, one category, “all die”, but in Christ,” (here’s today’s big idea), “in Christ shall all be made alive.”
.......................***click here for more