Wednesday, December 30, 2015
I had a wonderful experience an hour ago. While waiting for a friend of mine to get out of therapy in a local nursing facility I had the proviledge of witnessing a sort of revival.
My intentions were to visit a fellow church member, but she was in physical therapy, so i went to the other side of the building and visited the father of a co-worker. Having met him in the hall on his way to the dining area, we walked and talked about christmas and family and things to come.
Once we got there the radio was playing music from the 40's, 50's and 60's era. Every once-in-a-while a christmas song chimed in putting us in a good, but subdued mood.
After about 15 minutes of being there, the song Silent Night started to play. Without making a sound i just formed the words with my lips and sang along. Then, a lady across at the next table started lip synching the song, and then another, then another. As I panned around the room everyone and I mean everyone was mouthing the words to Silent Night. It was a moment to behold. In that room of about 20-30 residents the name of Christ was on each set of lips and in their hearts. My eyes teared and a smile was on my face.
Acts chapter 2 tells of the Day of Pentecost when those gathered, in one accord praying and seeking God's direction, in the upper room were filled with the Holy Spirit. This may not be the upper room but I would not doubt that the Spirit of God filled each person and caused them to sing in one accord the words of Silent Night. God be praised.
The song ended and no one moved. It was a moment of silent introspection and continuance of a very powerful time. I prayed thanking God for this priviledge.
Several seconds later movement came from my left, a chair scraping the floor. The workers were getting the residents ready for lunch. The moment has passed but will not be forgotten.
Definitely a sign of things to come.
Will it be the body of Christ?
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
Several instances come to mind when I know that i have been outside of the will of God.
However, being out of the will of God and having the absence of God in my life are two different things.
This can only be known by the person in which whom God is absent and the Father Himself.
Others around us may sense it by outward actions but cannot say conclusively.
God does know the heart.
I can recall it as if it was yesterday. I was on the couch in my living room and heavy hearted but thankful for all that had transpired the weeks before. Having been backslidden from my faith and upbringing I tried to say the Lord's prayer. Simple enough. NO!!! I tried and tried to say that prayer I had memorized as a child growing up, yet, i could not. Finally after about 15 tries I hear a voice say to me "Now do you see how far away you are from Me?"
King Saul, in his quest to satisfy his own paranoia and pride, has set it in his heart to kill David.
Now confronted by David and his men in the Wilderness of Engedi, Saul realizes how his actions reflect the absence of God in his life. 1st Samuel 18:12 Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul.
The dye had been cast and Saul admits his actions are not of God's design. Chapter 24:20 "And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand."
Pride and jealousy will always steer a heart from the One True God if is is allowed to fester and grow. Saul among his many misdeads had ample opportunity to repent and be a instrument of great works for God. But, time and time again Saul chose to follow his own path.
Every believer in Christ has been down the road of their own choosing at some point in their walk. The ever-present God offers us forgiveness and redemption at every turn. His love in never ending. His patience also, but He will let us suffer the consequences of our decisions. King Saul has reached the zenith of his rebellion to God and now knows another king shall sit on the throne he was chosen to sit on. God has rejected Saul as king of Israel just as Saul rejected God as King of his life.
In closing let me quote Isaiah 59:1,2 "The LORD'S hand is not to short that it cannot save nor His ear to heavy that He cannot hear you. But your (our) sins have seperated us from God and He will not listen to our voice, nor listen to our prayers and He turns His face away from us."
Why risk such a move? God knows and God loves us. Should we not offer the same to Him?
O for a closer walk with God
a calm and heavenly frame
a light to shine upon the road
that leads me to the Lamb
Return O holy Dove,
Sweet messenger of rest
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
and drove You from my breast
The dearest idol I have known
whatever that idol be
help me to tear it from Thy throne
and worship only Thee
So shall my walk be close with God
calm and serene my frame
So purer light shall mark the road
that leads me to the Lamb.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Christmas has become, over the years, a difficult time of year for me.
So as the year 2015 draws near its end, the feelings are stronger this year.
This past week my church had Christmas eve and Christmas day services. On christmas day
a few minutes before the service I sat in one of the pews and listened to two of our youth play songs of the season on their guitars for the people as they came into the sanctuary.
They played Emmanuel and O' Come all Ye Faithful. As i sat there and let the music filter through my body I began to think of Saul, the first king of Israel. The account in the book of 1st Samuel 16 says "a spirit of distress troubled him and caused great unrest within him."
In order to combat this spirit, King Saul asked his court to "find someone who can play well and bring comfort to my soul."
That someone, we all know, was the shepherd boy David. David's playing and worshipping of the Lord as he played brought a peaceful spirit from God once again to King Saul. And it says Saul became refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit departed from him.
How did Saul respond to David's playing? I can imagine the king once again worshipping The King
as he did many times before in his life. Saul cried out to his LORD for restoration and peace and God honored his request. Saul, at this time stopped looking outward at the people and lands and enemies of God. His perspective was "God has placed me here for a reason and I must look to Him for His plan and purpose beyond myself."
Today in the midst of my brothers and sisters in the Lord I too am refreshed and made well as the Spirit of the LORD brings comfort and joy to me. Instead of looking at the mad rush of people in the stores to buy presents and things that have no meaning, i am led to look inward at the reason for the season...Jesus Christ. His gift is the only one that matters. My joy had been lost, my peace had been lost because my attention had been diverted from the Cross. Saul's attention had been diverted and God was soon replaced by the pride of Saul. All that I have lost is nothing compared to what I am currently losing by letting the spirit of distress rule over me. My hope is in the Cross and anything else is hopeless.
As they come to the end of O Come All Ye Faithful, I go to the Lord in the quietness of my heart and seek to once again let Him be on the throne of my heart.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Grief covers me like a dense fog as I read the word of God and think of all who may perish through unbelief and the rejection of the free gift of salvation offered to all.
When sharing the message of salvation I try to tell them about God's love for them and His desire to have an eternal fellowship with them in heaven. Yet, because of sin we are separated from God. That is why we need Jesus, to bridge that gap between the Creator and the created.
Jude verses 22-23 tells me " some will be saved by compassion ( love and mercy) and some will literally need to be pulled from the very flames of hell, because of fear."
My first thoughts of hell came after the death of my mother and just wondering where could she be. Not bodily but spiritually. God spoke and I knew.
Many choose hell simply because of ignorance. They have no idea what awaits them once they take that final breath apart from the saving grace of the cross of calvary. In the mind of many hell will be a place where they can party with their friends. Hell is a place of suffering and torment for all of eternity.
The last written installment of the "Touch" series will look at the subject of hell.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Good morning everyone.
This morning i awakened with Psalm 37 on my mind. With all that has transpired the last couple of weeks around the globe, mankind seems to have taken several steps backward. Sin seems to be reaching lower depths as the days go by. Recalling the words of my pastor to "look up instead of out", praise comes from my lips. God is in control.
As I glance at the verses I read words like trust (3), delight (4), commit (5), rest (7) and as David did, I too find comfort in the LORD my God.
Being a child of God naturally I want everyone to know God as I do and find forgiveness and restoration through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. But, not all will accept the free gift of salvation.
So I endure as best I can. Verse 18 The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever.
All who have passed through and are still on this earth now will inherite forever. The choice being either heaven or hell? God knows whom will decide for or against Him. Free will has been imparted to all of us. It is ours to decide.
This psalm closes with these words in verse 40, "and the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him."
Where do you place your trust? Is it in yourself? Family? Friends? Or other people?
Who can deliver you from this present evil world? Who can reserve a place for you in the world to come? God can.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Today has been a wonderful day. As I was awakened by my alarm at 5 o'clock, I was warmed not by my covers nor the heat, but by the presence of God Himself.
Before going to bed last night i purposed in my heart to get up and not listen to the news on the radio as I normally do, but instead spend that hour in prayer.
Isaiah 26:9a With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
And I did. It was time well spent, namely for two reasons.
First, obviously being in the presence of the Almighty God. My desire is to continually dwell in His presence not just through existence but by seeking His face daily. Purposely wanting to have a time of intimacy with Him.
Second, the peace that fills me as I bask in His glory. My problem when praying is that I am praying.
God rarely gets a word in edgewise. Sometimes I ramble on and on and on.
This time was different. Moments of silence filled most of our time together. As previously stated I was warmed and filled with peace. I could not say anything but "thank you" to such an awesome priviledge. My thoughts did not stray, nor did any enter in.
Hebrews 4:16 states (paraphrased) because of the blood of Jesus, through prayer we can come boldly to the throne of grace, for help in a time of need."
However, the need I had this time as I came before Him, was, simply Him.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Monday, November 16, 2015
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Jesus, You are my only hope
I'm clinging to the Cross.
My sin and darkness illuminated by Your glory
washed away by Your blood.
I'm clinging to the Cross
My past holds tight
Saviour and King strengthen me for the fight.
You alone can wear the crown,
to You alone I sing songs of renown.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Last night some friends and I went to a hockey game. Our local team the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were playing the St. John's Ice-Caps. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ,or baby Pens, as they are often called are the minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
From the opening face-off the game was pretty intense. What hockey game is not?
The Ice-Caps play an aggressive style of hockey and i was not sure the Pens could match it. Why? I have been to a few of their games and sometimes their style of play is not such. They to my suprise matched the intensity and the first period was exciting. I had no hopes that they could keep it up. Boy was I wrong! With the first period ending in a 1-1 score, the crowd was on the edge of their seats.
Could we expect more of the same in the second period? Tune in to find out.
Less than a minute into the second period the Pens scored to take a 2-1 lead. The crowd goes wild. On the screen above us a noise meter was displayed encouraging the hometown fans to make some noise. They did, believe me. The stadium began to shake from it all. With the crowd firmly behind them and the score in their favor, the Pens picked up the pace offensively and defensively.
As i take all of this in, Hebrews 12:1 came into my mind. It says "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and run with endurance the race that is set before us."
From the seats next to the ice to the seats up near the rafters, all were involved in the game. Not one person either a WBS fan or a STJ fan, was sitting idle.
That is what I get from Hebrews 12:1. No one in that great cloud of heavenly saints is sitting idle as we here are living our daily lives as children of God. Think about this for a moment.
Adam, Eve, Moses, Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Job, Jonah, Daniel, David, Jonathan, Saul, Asa, Joshua, Mariam, Anna, Sarah, Deborah, Gideon, Samson, Ezekiel, Caleb, Benjamin, Joseph, Hannah, Samuel, Nathan, Peter, James, Mary, Mark, Lydia, the prison jailer, Titus, Philemon, Timothy, Priscilla, Aquila, even those who are unnamed, and so many other's are up in heaven rooting for us to endure the trials of daily living but for a little longer.
Although the game was 5-1 in the second period, it was not over. The crowd was letting the home team know they are with them and if they can only endure the last 20+ minutes of the game then the desired results will be in their grasps. VICTORY!!!!
That too is our goal as followers of Jesus Christ, victory. We have the victory because of the Cross of Calvary, but we are not at the end of our race (our lives). Work still needs to be done. Souls needed to be added daily to the kingdom of heaven. That great cloud of witness is our crowd shouting and screaming and stomping their feet for our benefit. We cannot see them, but the Word of God tells us they are there. Who amongst us cannot find that extra mojo to keep going? Sure, we get tired and frustrated at the constant attacks of the enemy. At times is seems as if the enemy will overcome us and we will stumble along the way but, but, but " be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b). Victory is assured.
In our physical exsistence we cannot have that kind of assurance all the time. Life has too many variables. However, spritually, we can. There is only One and His name is Jesus.
I leave you with this from Matthew 24:13 " But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
We know the outcome of our faith. It has been foretold in centuries past.
The Penguins did not know the outcome of their efforts until the final horn sounded.
When we as born again believers of Christ hear that final trumpet then our victory will be complete.
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word,
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?
In God (I will praise His word),
In the LORD (I will praise His word).
In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Psalm 56: 3-4, 10-11
Saturday, October 31, 2015
"Good morning." I replied.
"Where are you headed?"
"Home." I said.
"Home!" He said with great emphasis as he spread his hands out before himself.
There on the ground between us lay 3 clear garbage bags and two folding lounge chairs.
"This is my home."
(Prior to meeting this young man, I had been out walking for almost two hours, trying to get an errand done. My mood was none-the-less unpleasant.)
His words received my full attention. I turned to face him squarely and listen to his story.
"As you can see I am homeless."
"Yes. I was there myself some time ago."
"My name is Smoky."
"Hello Smoky. My name is Darryl."
Smoky, details his life from the previous seven years. Because of the subject matter and those involved, I will not repeat portions of his story. However, I will tell you, I walked away weeping.
"I'm from this area (northeast Pennsylvania). I have family here. My mother stays right over there. So I am not totally alone."
"So why not stay with your family?"
"Truthfully I can. IF I wanted to. But I don't. My mother has done so much for me these past few years and I do not want to burden her."
Smoky's honesty is refreshing. Usually when I talk to someone homeless I get a laundry list of wrongs against them, perpetrated by family members. Smoky however lays the blame at his own feet.
I can see him getting antsy, so I tell him a short form version of my story.
"I myself was homeless for two years. I slept in abandoned buildings, on park benches, wherever I could find a place to lay my head. Or was allowed to."
Smoky looks at me and shakes his head.
"Yes, for two years."
"How did you do it? It's only been a couple of months for me."
"The grace of God and much prayer."
"I pray and it does help."
"The situation was not easy but God helped me get through it and now I am doing good."
"I know I am going to get through this, because I have a plan. The uncertainty is difficult to deal with. But I trust God."
At this point another gentleman joins us and he suspiciously looks at me as Smoky and I finish our conversation. He too is homeless.
"The hardest part is there are no places for the homeless people to goto. There are no shelters, or housing or anything. We are on our own."
How well do I know it. People see the homeless and assume the worst. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. Whatever their mind conjurs us must be the reason for their current predicament. Not always true. Economic reasons like loss of a job, downturn in the housing market, unforseen medical emergency, death of a loved one, etc. The list goes on and on.
Before departing I pray and we encourage one another.
As I stand on the corner waiting for traffic to pass by I think to myself "How did I make it?"
Easy answer. The faithfulness of a God whom I never really knew in that dark season in my life.
God says in His word "I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am with you always."
Promises. Promises. Promises.
Until I rededicated my life to God and began to read His word, those promises were unknown to me.
Yet, through it all He remained by my side.
A million what-if's can pass in my mind but there is never a doubt God will always be ther for me.
Seasons come and seasons go. But God never changes.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
"From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2
Abraham. Moses. Joshua. Elijah. Deborah. Anna. Simon. Priscilla. Lazarus. On and on and on.
Many throughout the scriptures have suffered for the faith and have experienced great hardships.
The name of Jesus was forbidden. He was nailed to a cross and died and was buried. End of story.
Maybe their story, those who did not believe.
He was nailed to a cross and died and was buried. But three days later He arose from the grave.
The story continues, for those who believed.
God promises is His word to never leave us or forsake us. This especially so during our trials and tribulations as believers and messengers of the gospel message of salvation.
For the past few days I have had the pleasure of talking to someone about Jesus and what His salvation is and means. The young lady with whom I am talking was near tears, well she actually cried, when I told her "death is the end of any chance we have to make a decision for Christ. After that we are judged."
Silence filled the time and her look told me she was not happy with what I said. In my spirit I was screaming "now is the accepted time." However, I did not want to push. I often want them to say yes and be done with it. Too often I get questions and what if's, but few decisions for eternal salvation.
Frustration sets in and I have to quiet my soul because the work is not being done by me or in me. The Holy Spirit is at work in that person and I need to step out of the way.
"Pray" says the voice inside me. I obey and have not stopped yet.
My mind recalls the middle portion of the first verse of "Be Still, My Soul"
Leave to the God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul
Peace, followed by repentance guide my heart's desire. Thy will be done LORD not mine.
Trust in the Lord.
Trust in His Word.
Pray without ceasing.
Monday, October 26, 2015
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 (Jesus speaking)
Allow me to go forward by going backwards.
God was always a part of my life seeing as how my mother was always praying for me. I as a child and a young adult, had very little time for God.
I will not get into my early, pre-salvation life, 'tis very boring.
One day I was at the end of my rope and the walls were closing in. I was a very angry and frustrated teen. Why? That answer eludes me still to this day. Although our eternal enemy may have had a hand in it.
For many years my mother quoted this scripture to me from First Chronicles 28:9 "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if you forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever."
Laying on my bed one night after another fitfull and trying day, tears streaming down my face I cried out to this God in whom I never truly had time for. Here is what I said.
"God, if You are real and You can hear me, tell me why am I so angry all the time?
Why don't I have peace? Please God take away this anger and give me peace."
I fell asleep soon after not entirely sure if that prayer would be answered.
Much like David said to Solomon, and my mother to me, seeking after God was my only means to finding peace and not being cast off forever.
The following morning i awakened to the inner peace I had soooooo long sought after, but never knew existed. That was when God became real to me. My soul had been quieted.
V.1 Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side; bear patiently the cross of grief and pain
leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
My soul does rest in the Lord. That first verse speaks of a life as a child of the King. Before I knew Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I did not know how faithful He was and could be. But now! I see His faithfulness everyday. Let me end with this verse from the gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 11:28 "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
If you want peace, go to the Peacemaker
If you want healing, go to the Healer
If you want joy, go to the One who can take away your sorrows
If you are weary, go to the One who can give you strength
Come to the Cross of Calvary
It is there where YOU will find an all-sufficient God who can meet all of YOUR needs
Come humbly, come crying, come bowed down, come in need, come empty, come burdened.
Jesus is there to greet you with arms wide open.
Friday, October 23, 2015
One day while looking for something to do I turned on the radio and listened to the announcer as he finished a short on the life of Eric Liddell. Forgive me because the name did not ring an immediate bell.
In closing, the radio personality mentioned the movie Chariots of Fire, then recognition set in.
This dummy (me), pulled up on his smart phone the wikipedia on Eric Liddell. Several minutes and a few tears later I had finished the miniture byline on Eric Henry Liddell. I was speechless.
His life was one of total devotion and commitment to his God. His death, if i may say, started me on this present journey.
(Please bear with me as I try to put my thoughts down. I am feeling the emotions of the moment.)
Eric Liddell was in a Japanese internment camp when he died. Mr. Liddell died of a brain tumor.
Hours before he passed over into glory, he passed a note to a nurse in the hospital to pass along to the band playing outside in the yard. Eric Liddell requested that they play the song Be Still, My Soul.
Having never heard of it, i pulled my hymnal and suprise, suprise it was there listed, at #16. All of you will notice that as the opening post to this series of blogs i am working on now.
Between 3-4 hours after the playing of this song Eric Henry Liddell slipped into a coma and passed away. He was 43 years old. From that moment on i have been on a mission to find a more comprehensive book on his life.
As i read the scriptures i notice that once a person surrenders their life to God and commit to doing His will, an unshakeable peace fills them. More often than not, our enemy Satan comes along during our weak seasons and brings with him turmoil and unrest. During those times we can draw strength from the One who lives within us, knows us and cares for us and find peace and rest from all of our circumstances.
Eric Liddell may or may not have known he was about to die. But despite the conditions in which he found himself in and the harsh realities of life at that moment, he still knew whom his God was and
For the past several weeks I have been reading books on followers of Jesus Christ whose personal testimonies have made quite profound statements.
Not just their words, but their actions and how they lived.
An example I can give is Jim Elliot. Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries killed by the Auca indians in the 1950's. It was his testimony that inspired me to look into the lives of others who have died or been persecuted for their faith. Prior to that, the only exsposure i have had was the men and women in the bible itself.
Now, I am in pursuit of books that will open my eyes to the stories of Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Hudson Taylor and others who comprise the modern day "Hall of Heroes".
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was another man of faith who gave his life to push forward the cause of God without regard for his own life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was a German theologian, who faught the Nazi regime and their designs of a government run church, at first. Bonhoeffer also saw where this path was going. First a government controlled church, next total governemt control of the people and its industries. Mr. Bonhoeffer, later realized that he must be more proactive in his opposition to Hitler and his ideals.
Acts 8:1 Now Saul was consenting to his death (Stephen). At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Great trials and tribulations caused the early church to go out into other areas and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Looking at the history of the Christianity, persecutions have been hand-in-hand with the message. Still today we as the church, collectively, and born again believers, individually, face daily attacks.
My point is this. I have neglected this part of...how can i say this? The continuing story of church history (i tried). These men and women have displayed a resolve that is not seen in many followers today. I am not saying it is not there in today's Christians but their stories are very compelling to me and I want to know them better.
I sense that an area of my faith will be touched by the stories i read AND, AND I will be greatly encouraged to be more bold in my faith and in my commitment to the MOST HIGH GOD.
What a wonderful journey i am about to embark on.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side
bear patiently the cross of grief and pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul: thy best, heavenly friend
Thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God does undertake
To guide the future as He has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake
All now mysterious shall be bright at last
Be still, my soul: the waves and wind still know
His voice who ruled them while she dwelt below
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
"Today could be the day. Look up."
More and more within the past few weeks i have been hearing this statement. Yesterday as i was on my way to an appointment I heard two men talking and one said to the other "Look up, today could be the day."
Upon hearing those words my spirit was encouraged. Knowing that these gentleman were brothers in the Lord, I turned and said "Thank you. I reallly needed to hear that."
"You're welcome brother.", was his reply.
A couple of days before that, at our local mall, we had Fall Community Festival. This is the time of year when groups and organizations come from different communities and set up tables and put out baked goods or literature about themselves. For some reason this the festival was only for one day. It usually lasts the whole weekend.
My church group had a table there and it was an AMAZING time.
Our main goal was to give them Jesus. Hence, the picture above.
I am always excited to get out there and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Millions of people go about there day and never hear the words of eternal life.
Some have heard these words and still choose to sit on the fence and not decide, not knowing they
have already decided.
On one occassion Peter preached a sermon where 5,000 came to salvation. 5,000! That still floors me to this day. But the work was done by the Holy Spirit through Peter.
The mall was busy that day and many people came to our table and the gospel message was given, either through our word of testimony or the Jesus film we had playing on our television. What i can tell you is that a hundred or more people watched that video as it played. Many were taken back by the suffering Jesus experienced. Many more heard the words He spoke and walked away in stunned silence. After a while children started gathering around the table and we put on the childrens version of the Jesus film and then the children started asking questions. Praise God.
There are times when all i want to do is reap the harvest. I want hear all who hear the message of salvation say "Yes" to Jesus and eternal life. That is what we as believers live for.
At the end of my shift and a very long day I opened the newspaper and saw this caption.
My heart leaped within my chest. Figuratively. I was encouraged all the more.
Add to this the smile on the gentleman's face and how could i not praise God.
Jehovah is the LORD of the harvest. We are His workmen and women, His laborers.
Our harvest is the gathering of lost souls for the kingdom of God.
His harvest is the gathering of those, who have been found, into His eternal kingdom.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Thursday, October 8, 2015
My mornings are spent continuously hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock. As I do this the news begins to play on my am/fm radio (who still uses those?) and I catch up on current events from around the world.
Less than an hour later light from the sun filters through my curtainless window and I am refreshed by the light of its presence. A new day is dawning.
Hosea the prophet is echoing the same sentiment in regards to the Israel.
Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.
Israel although in sin, continues to find mercy and grace in the eyes of God.
Hosea pleads with Israel to turn from its idolatrous lifestyle. Even in the darkness God's word goes forth to condemn in judgment and comfort during repentance.
Just as the sun rises everyday and the warmth of her rays find me to penetrate the darkness of the passing night, so to does the faithfulness of God shine down on His children as we are awakened to a renewed life, a renewed hope, to an unchanging God.
This same God who keeps us in His sight and showers us with mercy and grace until we return to Him and the glory of His presence.
God like the morning sun, is established forever.
Friday, October 2, 2015
How purposeful must our gait be when we come from the presence of the LORD?
Sunday's after our church services I feel as though I can take on the world. Having been with the body of Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit, in the very presence of God, I am energized.
Psalm 63:2 "So I have looked for You in the sanctuary. To see Your power and Your glory."
The sanctuary, in any true house of the Most High, is where He meets us. There amongst His chosen and elect God reveals Himself.
During the praise and worship time God is revealed, by the praise of His people in song as we proclaim His worthiness.
"Thou are worthy LORD God Almighty.
You who formed the heavens and the earth.
You who spoke the stars into being and named them all.
Great are You who formed my inward parts
and breathed into me the breath of life."
Think about the cross. That wonderful cross.
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
Jonah the prophet thought on these two things ( grace of God & the works he was called to do) as he spent three days in the belly of a whale. Jonah, looking at his own situation, set his heart toward God.
Because of his own disobedience Jonah wound up in an unlikely prison, but he knew God was still God.
"You have cast me into the sea, the waters tossed me about and covered me. I have been cast away from Your sight." Jonah 2:3-5
Jonah though greatly discouraged, finds hope within. He remembers the times he spent in the presence of God in His holy temple and remembers His goodness.
Instead of looking at the darkness all around him and smelling the stench, he cast his eyes inward to the Light, the LORD his God. Jonah began to praise God. That sweet savor reached the ears of God. And God was pleased. Jonah repented.
God knows our comings and goings. He knows our joys and sorrows. Praise Him.
We need not be confined to a prison of our own choosing forever. Praise Him and be restored.
Just as God spoke to the great fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land, God will speak to your situation and you will be placed once again on solid ground. A firm foundation.
Once we have found our footing and direction, we must continue to honor our vow to God.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
In the midst of the sea is where you find me held captive and tossed about.
The inner most chamber of an unlikely source.
LORD God, now, yes now, Your hand is upon me. With a heavy heart I cried out and You heard me.
I am completely surrendered to You.
I remembered You in my darkest moments and once again 'saw Your faithfulness.' My soul fainted within me, remebrance kept me from dying.
Life speaks of excess.
I shall speak of mercy and grace, found only in You.
Release me my God, not as Your bond servant, but from my bonds that keep me from serving You.
Salvation is of the LORD.
Friday, September 18, 2015
There is a song we sing at my church every-so-often, called "Spirit Move". It is a simple song, not very long. Yet, the words within the song convey a longing that every born-again believer in Jesus Christ desires, or has asked at some point after salvation.
Spirit move, in this temple
Spirit move, in my life
Spirit move, I am calling
Spirit move, I am Yours
As I look out at the waters of Lake Irene, I see the early morning mist ebbing across the top of the water,as the sun rises majestically taking its place in the eastern sky. Surrenity all around.
At one point several thousand years ago the Spirit of God hovered over the waters waiting for God's command to "give life." Today in my life and quite possibly yours the Spirit is waiting to come in and once again "give us life." It is the Spirit of God who makes the word of God come alive for me and brings meaning to the words contained in the holy scriptures.
Lately I have been reading from the prophetic books of the bible and much understanding has been given to me. But on the flip-side, some passages remain a mystery to me. I'm ok with that.
Jesus says in John 6:63 "These words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life."
My soul longs for the touch of the Holy One because without Him I have no life.
Just as the Spirit waited in anticipation to come into the waters and give life, so to, do He long to come into me and make me alive.
Unless I allow the Holy Spirit to do His given work, I shall remain like the waters before His touch "full of potential, yet empty of life."
Monday, September 7, 2015
This morning has been a battle for me. I struggled in my prayer time, trying to focus my heart on the Lord. I struggled reading the scriptures because of no direction. For a few minutes I walked to and from my living room and kitchen in silence hoping for a resolution.
I asked God to forgive me and sat down to sing a song of praise to Him. As I looked through my hymnal the Spirit lead me to this song "The Call for Reapers."
I don't recall having heard this song before yet it had the desired effect...peace, and it brought the desired result...perspective.
V.1 Far and near the fields are teaming with the waves of ripened grain;
far and near their gold is gleaming over the sunny slope and plain.
V.2 Send them forth with morn's first beaming; send them in the noontide's glare
when the sun's last rays are gleaming , bid them gather everywhere.
V.3 O thou, whom thy Lord is sending, gather now the sheaves of gold;
Heav'nward then at evening wending, Thou shalt come with joy untold
Chorus: Lord of harvest, send forth reapers! Hear us. Lord, to Thee we cry.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Breathe on Me, Breath of God
Fill me with life anew, that I may love what Thou dost love
and do what Thou wouldst do
Until me heart is pure, until with Thee I will one will
to do and to endure
Till I am wholly thine, until this earthly part of me
glows with Thy fire divine
So shall I never die, but live with Thee
the perfect life of Thine eternity
Amen. Amen. Amen
Saturday, August 29, 2015
How precious are we in the sight of the LORD?
The LORD will wash away all of our filth, our sin and shame. And He will purge the blood, from the actions of our sin, from within our midst.
The spirit of judgment is making its way across this land and it will fall upon each one of us. None shall escape. This judgment comes because we have turned away from THE GOD who created us and the world we live in, and turned to gods of our own making and the god of this world Satan. Times are changing, and with it the hearts of mankind.
Consumation will be our end. Those who choose to stay in their sin will be consumed by that sin.
Sin, when fed and nurtured, becomes like a small spark in a very dry forest. We as a nation have turned from hearing the voice of God, namely our conscience. We intellectualize our reasons and compromise our beliefs, therefore nullifying any morality we have and causing a famine of the spirit.
Amos 8:11-12 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it."
Are thes words true of today? You better believe they are.
The fires, floods, droughts, diseases, tornadoes, hurricanes are the tell-tell signs of this coming famine.
All that we hold dear will become as the withering grass and fade away.
Take heart people of this earth, for God has made a way of escape. His name is Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the only hope for mankind. Not for the physical things of this world, but for you and I, the spiritually lost and dying. Jesus' death on the cross of Calvary does for us what the judgments of God will do upon this nation. HIS blood will wash away the filth of our sin thereby cleansing us and making us new. HIS blood, will purge away the blood upon our hands and clothing, thereby making us righteous in the eyes of God once again. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour a new dwelling place is created within us for the Holy Spirit of God to now fill. Now, we are covered within and without (inside and outside). With the covering of the blood of Jesus on the outside and the Holy Spirit on the inside, the Glory of God will now cover all that is His.
Back to my origninal question. How precious are we in the sight of the LORD?
VERY PRECIOUS. We are now His chosen. Priests and Kings and Queens.
The cloud of knowing is the very presence of God over us.
The cloud of knowing is the voice of God being heard daily in our lives.
The cloud of knowing is the Spirit of God leading us.
The cloud of knowing is the Son of God coming down to rapture us and take us home.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
The Book of Ezekiel tells of a priest and prophet by the same name, that ministers during the darkest days of Judah's history: the seventy year period of Babylonian captivity.
God is upset with the United States. Why?
God is upset with the United States. Why?
We have become united in forcing God out of our schools.
We have allowed praying to become passé. No longer allowed.
We have passed laws supporting and legalizing same-sex marriages.
Sin, is the new standard for living among the people. God has clearly reached the point where enough is enough, and is now become ready to judge US (people 'US', United States 'US').
Israel fell into the sin of spiritual idolatry, continuously. Their history is ripe with accounts. Is not America in the shadows of Israel? Yes. We have fallen in line with wordly thinking and spiritual fornication.
W H E R E I S G O D?
God is standing at the ready...to judge.
Chapter 22 (v.4) "You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near, and have come to the end of your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries. (V.5) those near and those far from you will mock you as infamous and full of tumult."
Even though these words are directed at the nation of Israel, how can we not see America in the subtexts? Go one step further and include ALL the countries of the world.
Morality is non-existent. Compassion is non-existent. Peace is non-existent. Because God is non-existent in the hearts of mankind.
W H E R E I S G O D?
God is standing at the ready...to forgive.
Same chapter (v.30) "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one."
HE found no one worthy among men.
Praise be to the God of heaven.
HE found ONE in heaven willing to stand in the gap before Him.
HE found ONE worthy to carry the banner.
HE found ONE to bare our sin and shame
HIS name is Jesus Christ.
Only those within the body of Christ ,can present Christ, to this lost and perverse generation.
Only those of this earthly royal priesthood, can stand before the MOST HIGH.
If you are numbered among them, will YOU be the one to take the message of sin, salvation and repentance to the world?
IS THERE ONE?
Friday, August 21, 2015
The Book of the Revelation has been a mystery to me for some time. In my early days as a believer I tried reading it and got awfully confused. But as I have grown personally and read more of the scriptures, the book of Revelations has become clearer to me. (Only because of the teaching and direction of the Holy Spirit.)
As I read this book I am, troubled, no stirred, to commit myself all the more to sharing the gospel of salvation. In the midst of God's judgments there is sprinkled, pockets of praise, as to not let the reader become overwhelmed with all the suffering and death. (This is especially true of someone who reads this book and tries to understand its signs and symbols, without having read the other books of the bible.) I was such a person.
Chapter 11 ends with the 24 elders, the the twelve tribes and apostles, are bowing before the Most High God worshipping Him.
"We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
V.18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
and that You should rewardYour servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth."
Looking at the world to come and the world now, we believers have our "pockets of praise".
We see the current condition of the world and long for the God to call us home.
"How long, O Lord, Holy and True, until You judge?" becomes our prayer. The walls are closing in and we are closer to our redemption.
Looking at the world to come, we see offerings of praise given to God because He Is.
Verse 17 (end portion) because You have taken Your power and reigned.
God is still in control. The judgments being poured out on mankind during the Tribulation period is from God. Why? His own creations have turned their backs on Him. They have rejected His free offering of salvation at the cost of His Only Son, Jesus Christ.
Despite all we go through in our daily lives , we can still offer God pockets of praise.
When aches and pains riddle our bodies, we can offer praise.
When financial difficulties threaten our way of living, we can offer praise.
When personal failings seem to overcome our confidence, we can offer pockets of praise.
In everything, we can offer God pockets of praise. Good or bad.
Jesus reassures us in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
In Jesus we have peace. It is an everlasting peace.
In the world we will have troubles. Temporary troubles.
Nothing associated with our flesh will last forever. The body dies, our personal possessions become someone else's and we leave this earth, as we were brought into it. With nothing.
However, those who accept the Cross of Calvary, gain eternal life, a glorified body, and heavenly riches that will never rust or decay.
P R A I S E G O D
As we draw closer to the time of the Rapture, let's us not forget why we have this hope. God. That is why we offer pockets of praise to Him. Our daily menstrations now, only serves to prepare us for heaven. Those same menstrations we read of in the book of the Revelation, are thanks to God for fulfilling our hope.
My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus' blood and righteousness. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
For 2+ years i worked in the local hospital with a young lady named Hope. Hope, like I was at the time, a nursing assistant. Hope however, has gone on to get her nursing license and became an RN.
From time to time i see Hope's sister, twin sister, Heather and we catch up on the times and rehash the olden days.
Since that day almost two weeks ago i have thought about the person and the meaning of hope.
Hope the person is doing well as a nurse and has gained the respect of her peers and other healthcare professionals who have seen her blossom. Personally, Hope has a family and is doing quite well on that front also.
Hope, the terminology, can inspire a person and cause them to continue on in the face of adversity and
great trials. As a believer, Jesus Christ, is our Living Hope, because He was ressurected from the dead. If we are indeed in Christ, then we too shall live, even though we die.
Having no hope, will have the opposite effect on a person. A person without hope, cannot find meaning in anything. There is nothing to persue or inspires them to continue on "in spite of."
In the book of the Revelation 9:6 a different hope is spoken of, or shall i say given an additional meaning. A great multitude of locusts will be loosed upon the earth to torment the unsealed. Men and women who have not accepted God's free gift of salvation. Those who are unsealed shall be tormented for five months by a creature with the sting of a scorpion.
Verse 6 says, In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
All who are stung by these beasts shall try to kill themselves or ask someone to take their life to escape the pain and suffering of it all. But death will flee from them. Even in life they have no hope. Add to the fact that when death receives them it will lead to eternal damnation because there is no gospel messege for them to hear. No hope even in death.
God's hope will become reality when they stand before Him on judgment day and with open eyes cry out for mercy, only to have the words fall on deaf ears.
As for me, I have hope in life, should the Lord allow me to tarry here on this earth until the rapture happens. I, too, have hope in death. Because i have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, i will someday see Him face to face and live in His presence immediately after my final breath leaves my body.
Why would I not want to share "this hope", Jesus Christ, with others?
Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross for our sins.
Jesus Christ died on that cross for our sins.
Jesus Christ rose again three days later.
Jesus Christ is my Living Hope.
What God has done for Him, He has done for me.
Let God do for you what He has done for me.
Salvation belongs to God, and He freely offers it to you.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Welcome to part two of my day in Jim Thorpe with Lisa.
You cannot really tell from this picture but on the four corners
of this building above the clocks are gargoils. As many times
as i have been here, I never noticed.
What captivates me the most about coming to
Jim Thorpe is the architecture and colors.
The buildings are so vibrant in color and never
look as though they have aged.
Love the flags.
On this particular weekend, there were a lot of yard
sales. My friend Lisa says it is called Yard Sale
Weekend. Strange we would go at this time without
knowing it was that time of the year.
The town and people are really amazing. Here we
have a young lad outside the ice cream shop
waiting for his parents and sister.
My pictures do tell the whole story because
the town was crawling with people. Almost all the
shops were filled with would-be shoppers and
Other alluring features of JT are the trains and train
rides, bike and hiking trails that are offered as part
of the town.
This bridge leads across the rafting waters, which
has a bike path and a walking area for the people.
Just part of the show.
After a short walk we came to rest at Glen Onoko
Falls Trail. I had a wonderful time and was pleased
with the people we met along the way on what
turned out to be a really beautiful and great day.
The time has come to end this post but be on
the lookout for more pics of the PA lifestyle.
Thank you for your time and God bless.