Thursday, December 18, 2014


(Matthew 1:21) … and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
What do you call the Messiah, the Savior of the world?  It would have to be an important name to fit His noble character.  Even today the world waits anxiously when royal children are named in England.  When the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph he told him the Child within Mary was of divine origin and to call his name Jesus.  What can we learn from the name of Jesus?    
HISTORICAL – Actually the name of Jesus was a very common name in Israel.  In the Old Testament the Hebrew name for Jesus was Joshua.  There were two popular Joshuas in the Jew’s history:  Joshua the assistant of Moses who led the Hebrews into the Promised Land and Joshua the post-exilic high priest.  So to name your child Joshua was a special thing to do.  
PROPHETICAL – The angel said to call the baby’s name Jesus because He would save His people from their sins.  Jesus (or Joshua) means “Jehovah is salvation”.  How fitting because that is what Jesus would do on the cross and through the resurrection.  He would save mankind from their sins and give them eternal salvation as they placed their faith in Him.  
PRACTICAL – But the name of Jesus is not only historical and prophetical, but also practical.  Jesus is the:
- NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES:  (Phil 2:9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name. 
- ONLY NAME BY WHICH A PERSON MAY BE SAVED: (Acts 4:12) Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
- NAME THAT CAN BRING DELIVERANCE:  (Joel 2:32) … whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- NAME THAT BRINGS HEALING: (Acts 4:30) by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
My good friend and pastor Mark was up for cancer surgery and was in the hospital calling on the name of the Lord for peace and healing.  He asked the Lord to give him some kind of sign that He was with him.  Just then a male nurse walked in and said he was the one who would be with him by his side and that everything would be alright.  When Mark looked at his name badge it said Jesus! (Obviously of Latino origin)  What a peace came over him as he relaxed back onto his pillow and called on the name of Jesus!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


(Mark 14:32) Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane…
Gethsemane is the name of an olive-yard at the foot of the Mount of Olives where Jesus frequently gathered with His disciples because of its secluded garden-like environment (Luke 22:39).  The name actually means “olive press” and refers to how oil presses were used to extract oil from the olive fruit.  How prophetic because this is what Jesus experienced there the night of His betrayal.  
The evening started out festive.  It was Passover and the disciples had a traditional Seder meal in an upper room prepared for the occasion.  That night Jesus introduced the Lord’s Supper (communion) and washed the disciple’s feet.  It was also the night where Judas left early so he could have Jesus arrested.  When the dinner was completed Jesus and the eleven made their way down to the Kidron Valley, over the brook, and up the ascent of the Mount of Olives and into the garden enclosure of Gethsemane.  Though they were under a full moon, a strange darkness enveloped this nocturnal assembly and an eerie stillness seized the atmosphere.  
The first thing Jesus did was tell His disciples to sit down while He prayed in the distance with Peter, James and John accompanying Him.   He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.  He told the trio that His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Then He asked them to stay and be in a watchful mode with Him.  Jesus went a little farther and He knelt down and prayed.  His prayer was fervent and intense.  “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”  At that moment an angel appeared to Him from heaven and strengthened Him.  He prayed even more fervently even though He was in such agony. This intensive supplication produced such body trauma that His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.  When He got up from prayer He came to His disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow.  
Calvary was won in Gethsemane!  It was there that Jesus yielded His will to the Father to suffer and die for the sins of all humanity.  That’s why Jesus could give Himself to Judas and his arresting band.  That’s why He could suffer all night at the hands of evil men.  And that’s why in the morning He would let them drive the nails through His hands and feet into a wretched Roman cross and bleed and die.  
What about you?  Are you experiencing a Gethsemane in your life right now?  Are you being pressed like never before?  Are you in agony of soul over something you are being called to do that is against your nature?  Then it’s time to pray, “Your will be done!”  God will strengthen you to choose the Father’s will as painful as that may be.  Jesus died but He also rose again for our salvation.  The best things come when we choose God’s will over our own!   

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


By the President of the United States:
The goodness and the mercy of God, which have followed the American people during all the days of the past year claim our grateful recognition and humble acknowledgment. By His omnipotent power He has protected us from war and pestilence and from every national calamity; by His gracious favor the earth has yielded a generous return to the labor of the husbandman, and every path of honest toil has led to comfort and contentment; by His loving kindness the hearts of our people have been replenished with fraternal sentiment and patriotic endeavor, and by His Fatherly guidance we have been directed in the way of national prosperity.
To the end that we may with one accord testify our gratitude for all these blessings, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by all the people of the land.
On the day let all secular work and employment be suspended; and let our people assemble in their accustomed places of worship and with prayer and songs of praise, give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all that He has done for us while we implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuance of His mercy.
Let families and kindred be reunited on that day and let their hearts, filled with kindly cheer and affectionate reminiscence, be turned to the source of all their pleasures and to the Giver of all that makes the day bright and joyous.
And in the midst of our worship and enjoyments let us remember the poor, the needy, and the unfortunate; and by our gifts of charity and ready benevolence let us increase the number of those who with grateful hearts shall join in our Thanksgiving.
In witness whereof I have set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twelfth.
(Psalm 118:1) Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Friday, November 14, 2014



(Isa 54:6) For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God.

There is no job more difficult than being a single mom.  You typically have to juggle between parenting and employment and so often without the father’s support.  And when extended family and friends are thin then what can you do but feel like your living life on a razor’s edge constantly.  You need hope from God’s Word that will encourage you.  You also need validation that your task is not only challenging but vital and indispensable.

Single moms need support like no other.  Some are more set up than others.  They have child support and a great network of family, friends, and church family.  Others feel all alone.  Their husband is non-supportive and non-involved.  At any rate you need to know that the Lord is with you and has your complete interest at heart.  He wants to take care of you and provide for you.  If you give Him a chance He will show you His tender love and mighty power in such special ways that others will never know.  Here are some scriptures to encourage you:

(Heb 13:5)…“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”…(Isa 54:5) For your Maker is your husband…(Isa 40:11) He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.

God wants to be a Father to your children.  When they have no dad to lean on the fatherhood of God will be there for them.  Just as God comforts your heart and fills your lonely times with His presence, so the Lord will watch over and protect and guide your children.  He will provide for their safety, security, and their future.  Your family will lean on God and become strong and resilient.  You will be no worse for the wear.  Your kids will be ready for difficulties ahead because they went through hard times that prepared them for adulthood.  Instead of being entitled they will be thankful for the blessings they have.  They won’t become bitter because you have shown them how to move on from the past and trust the Lord for a brighter future.

I hope you have a supportive church you attend.  It is there that the community of faith will be a source of strength for you.  You will have others to build into your life.  A woman’s group would be helpful where you can talk and pray with godly and compassionate Christian women.  Getting involved in the church will be beneficial.  Your kids will enjoy the children’s ministry and your teens will have a positive peer group in the Youth Group.

And if you choose to date and/or be involved in a relationship, then make sure it’s a godly man who knows your present limitations and the challenges that lay ahead if you remarry.  No one has to tell you that your kids come first.


Thursday, November 6, 2014




(Acts 16:14) Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple…who worshiped God.  The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 

If you think about it, moms have worked since time began.  They have taken care of their husbands and children and have kept up the home.  They have also worked hard on the farm or in the family business.  But a handful of decades ago society changed and now we see many moms dropping their kids off at school and driving off to work.  For some it was an escape.  For others it was a necessity.  Material goods have inflated and the cost of living has skyrocketed.  For some it’s hard to make it on one income.  For others luxury items are a priority.  Single moms have no choice.  But what does the Bible say about mom going off to work?  

When Paul received the Macedonian call he and his missionary group found themselves in the Roman city of Philippi.  His very first convert was Lydia, a seller of purple.  She was originally from Thyatira and seemed to be opening up a branch of business in another location.  Purple garments were very expensive because the dye came from a shellfish from the Mediterranean Sea and the process of extraction was very complex and therefore escalated the price.  Only the well to do could afford any garments in the color purple.  Lydia was also a member of a woman’s prayer group that met by the river.  When Paul shared Christ with these ladies the Lord opened up Lydia’s heart and she was saved and she and her household were baptized.  She then persuaded Paul and his group to stay at her household.   

Lydia is that picture of a professional working woman.  She was a sharp lady, enterprising, and had great people skills.   But she also found time to join a prayer group in the midst of her busyness.  When she received Christ her goal was to lead the rest of her family to the Lord.  She seemed to have that balance of family, business, and spiritual life.  What a model to follow for the working mom.  So what does it take to be a working mom and also a woman of faith?    

- KIDS COME FIRST:  At all times the children’s needs and concerns come first.  If that cannot be maintained then adjustments must be made.  Perhaps another job?  A cut in hours?  Talk to boss about flexibility in schedule?  Can work be done at home a few days a week?   

- HUSBAND’S SUPPORT:  You can’t do this alone.  Your husband must be 100% behind you.  That means he has to pick up some slack to help make it all happen.  There must be division of labor. Is the husband up to that?  Can he do a little laundry and cooking and shopping and cleaning?  

- MAINTAIN SPIRITUAL LIFE:  Lydia found time for prayer and for leading her children to Christ.  How about you?  Or are you too tired to maintain spiritual life at home?  May the Lord open up your heart and give you the wisdom to wed faith, family, and work in His strength and power.   


Saturday, November 1, 2014




(Titus 2:4-5) that they admonish the young women…to love their children…to be homemakers… 

So you have chosen to stay at home with your kids and not go out into the workforce.  Good for you!  That is a choice that God will honor because you are putting your children first.  But the path you have chosen is not easy!  Therefore receive encouragement from God’s Word:  

- HUSBAND’S SUPPORT: (Amos 3:3) Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?  The number one thing you need is for your husband to be 100% behind you.  You must decide together that this is God’s will for you.  Once you do that then you won’t buckle under the pressure when your decision is challenged.  When you get second thoughts then your husband will be able to encourage you to keep pressing on at the goal set before you. (Phil 3:14) 

- FINANCIAL:  (Mat 6:19-20) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… One of the most difficult things about staying at home to raise your kids is the money aspect.  You will feel poor so much of the time but you have to tell yourself it is worth it.  Let’s be honest…you will have to sacrifice earthly comforts and put your treasure into your little ones as they grow.  That means perhaps driving an older car, not shopping for clothes as much as you would like, not being able to go out to eat as much as before, denying yourself your gourmet coffee (but McDonalds is half the price anyway!), etc.  Your husband might have to work extra hours and you yourself might have to consider a home-based enterprise. 

- PEER PRESSURE:  When you choose to stay at home and raise your kids there might be pressure from your family and friends.  Your parents might not favor your decision because they don’t want you to struggle financially.  Your friends might have double income and be more upscale than you.  You drive up in an older car and might not be able to park on their nice concrete driveway because of your oil leak.  You walk into their house and see all the nice furnishings.  You drive home and second guess your decision.  STOP!  You are under pressure from others, but probably more under pressure from yourself.  Stand firm!  (Acts 26:19) 

- IDENTITY CRISIS: There are so many women in the work force these days and you might feel lonely at home with your girlfriends at work.  Maybe you could join a Christian mom’s group at church or in the community where the kids could play together and you could pray with the other moms.  This will reinforce your commitment knowing others are doing the same.  (Gal 6:2) Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 

My wife was a stay at home mom and she raised two beautiful daughters.  It was rough at times but I am so proud of her determination.  She tells me she wouldn’t change a thing! (Psa 113:9) 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HALLOWEEN OR HALLELUJAH? (English and Spanish)

(1 Thes 5:5) You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Many Christians have questions regarding Halloween. Should Christians decorate their houses in this theme? Should we send our kids out trick-or-treating? Wow, what a loaded question! But let me give you some things to think about:
- Each Christian must make their own decision on how to celebrate any festive day whether it be Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. And we shouldn’t judge each other on this decision. Listen to the apostle Paul on this: One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. (Rom 14:5)
- We must ask ourselves, “Does it glorify God?” Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor 10:31)
- In regards to Halloween, we must keep in mind the scriptural prohibition of any kind of practice (and I might add symbolism) of witchcraft. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
- The Bible says we are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Jesus is the Light and we are to shine His glory. We are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of the light. (Romans 13:12)
- Remember we have the Holy Spirit, not the unholy spirit represented in symbols of a devil, a witch, or a ghost. True power is from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and we don’t need to be tapping into or even flirting with the power of darkness.
- Christians are into the theme of life, not death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23)
I hope this helps you to think along the lines of a transformed mind (Romans 12:2). Be led by His Spirit in all you do for yourself and for your children. Ask God for wisdom in all your decisions in regards to your family celebrations and plans. And remember, you are a child of the light!
Del Pastor a Las Ovejas
(1 Tess 5:5) porque todos vosotros sois hijos de luz e hijos del día. No somos de la noche ni de las tinieblas.
Muchos cristianos tienen dudas con relación al Halloween. ¿Pueden los cristianos decorar sus casas en esta época? ¿Pueden mandar a sus hijos a pedir dulces? Wow, ¡son preguntas difíciles! Pero dejame darte algunas cosas para meditar: 
- Cada cristiano debe tomar sus propias decisiones sobre como celebrar cualquier día festivo, ya sea halloween, Navidad, Pascua, etc. Y no debemos juzgarnos unos a otros en esta decisión. Escucha lo que el apóstol Pablo dijo sobre esto: "Uno juzga que un día es superior a otro, otro juzga iguales todos los días. Cada cual esté plenamente convencido según su propio sentir." (Romanos 14:5)
- Debemos preguntarnos, “¿Glorifica esto a Dios?” Entonces, ya sea que comáis, que bebáis, o que hagáis cualquiera otra cosa, hacedlo todo para la gloria de Dios. (1 Corintios 10:31)
- En cuanto al Halloween, debemos tener en mente las prohibiciones bíblicas en la práctica de (y debo agregar símbolos) de la brujería. (Deuteronomio 18:9-14)
- La Biblia dice que somos hijos de la luz y del día. No somos de las tinieblas o de la noche. Jesús es la Luz y nosotros debemos brillar con Su gloria. Debemos dejar las obras de las tinieblas y ponernos la armadura de la luz. (Romanos 13:12)
- Recuerda tque tenemos al Espíritu Santo, no el espíritu impío representado en los símbolos del diablo, una bruja, o un fantasma. El verdadero poder viene del Espíritu Santo (Hechos 1:8) y no necesitamos estar jugando ni coqueteando con el poder de las tinieblas.
-Los cristianos representan la vida, no la muerte. "Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, pero la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús Señor Nuestro" (Romanos 6:23)
Espero que esto te ayude a pensar como debe hacerlo una mente transformada (Romanos 12:2). Se guiado por Su Espíritu, por bien tuyo y el de tus hijos. Pide sabiduría a Dios en todas tus decisiones en cuanto a las celebraciones y planes de familia. y recuerda, ¡eres un hijo de a luz!
(Translation by Maura Cathey)



Wednesday, October 8, 2014


In the Old Testament the term Angel of the Lord appears many times.  Here’s a partial list: 
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARS TO HAGAR:  (Gen 16:7) Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARS TO ABRAHAM:  (Gen 22:11) But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.”
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARS TO MOSES:  (Exo 3:2) And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush…
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARS TO BALAAM:  (Num 22:32) And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. 
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARS TO ISRAEL: (Judg 2:1) Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land…
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARS TO GIDEON:  (Judg 6:12) And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARS TO MANOAH AND HIS WIFE:  (Judg 13:17) Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, “What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?” 18 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?”
The Angel of the Lord is an Old Testament preincarnate appearance of Christ (Christophany).  Since no one has ever seen God the Father (John 1:18; 1 Tim 6:16) and since the Holy Spirit never takes on bodily form, this suggests that this expression refers to the second member of the Trinity.  Also consider that after Christ’s incarnation there never is any reference to the Angel of the Lord.  As we study concerning the Angel of the Lord, we can see how God through progressive revelation provided hints in the Old Testament for the doctrine of the Trinity that is more completely expounded upon in the New Testament.
Jesus is seen in many types and portrayals in the Old Testament.  (Heb 10:7) Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me… He appeared in a preincarnate form in the Old Testament.  He is the incarnate Son of God in the New Testament dying on the cross for the sins of all.  Accept Him today and you will see Him yourself in heaven!  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


In the Christian community there are different theories on when the Lord will return.  And it so often has to do with at what point of the Tribulation will Jesus come for His own?  Here are some of more popular theories:
PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE:  The Rapture happens just before the seven year Tribulation, so that believers will not have to experience the wrath of God being poured out on the ungodly.    
MID-TRIBULATION RAPTURE: The Rapture happens half-way through the Tribulation.  Up to that time, the Antichrist brings peace to the world. At the midpoint events take a sudden turn for the worse. 
POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE: The faithful experience the full spectrum of the entire Tribulation judgments and are taken up only at the end of the seven years.  
PRE-WRATH RAPTURE: This is a newer theory, promoted by Marvin Rosenthal. Pre-wrath Tribulationists believe the Rapture will occur during the Tribulation, halfway through or after, but certainly before the seven bowls of the wrath of God. 
PARTIAL RAPTURE: This theory teaches that only those who are faithful in their relationship with Christ will be raptured.  The rest will have to prove their faith during the Tribulation.  
Wow, so which one should you believe?  I believe the weight of the evidence is for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  Here’s some things to consider:  Jesus will come in the sky for His own (1 Thes 4:16-17) and then the Tribulation will follow (2 Thes 2:1-12).  The Church is not mentioned during the Tribulation (Rev 6-18).  The Bible declares that the Church will not suffer God’s wrath (Rom 5:9; 1 Thes 5:9).  Jesus’ coming is imminent and unpredictable (1 Thes 5:2).  
But you know, I’d like to put out another supporting reason for the Rapture.  I believe it fits the grace of God.  By this I mean we believe we are saved by grace (Eph 2:8-9).  We also believe we continue by grace (Acts 13:43).  So why not believe that we will be taken up by grace?  It just fits that the Lord will rescue His Bride.  He loves her.  He gave His life for her.  He provides for her and nurtures her (Eph 5:25-27).  It just doesn’t make sense that He would let her go through the Tribulation and not rescue His damsel in distress.
Some Christians make the Christian life so hard.  They know they are saved by grace but they are trying so hard to please God by the law (Gal 3:1-14).  I believe that these also feel they have to suffer to prove their worthiness during the end times. But God’s amazing grace says:  'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.”   

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


(1 Sam 3:1)…And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.
In between the Old Testament and the New Testaments (the Intertestamental Period) there is a period of time called the 400 silent years.  That is, no Bible books were written and no true prophets existed that spoke for God.  But as we shall see this time period was anything but quiet.  So what was going on during this pocket of time? 
Alexander the Great conquered the world and brought the Greek culture and language (Hellenization) to the empire.  
The Ptolemies and Seleucids battle it out with Israel sandwiched in between (predicted in detail by Daniel the prophet four centuries before these kings existed (Dan 11:5-20).
Antiochus IV Epiphanes erected an altar to Zeus on the altar of burnt offering outside the temple, and had a pig offered on the altar.  A family of Jews (the Maccabees) fought back and eventually won independence and restored the temple worship.  (Hanukkah holiday born)    
The Jewish people produced a sizable body of literature including the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament), the Apocrypha, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Jewish parties of the Sadducees and Pharisees came into existence.  Other groups include the Herodians, the Essene community out by the Dead Sea, and the Jewish zealots (sicarii). 
The synagogue form of worship was developed and established amongst the diaspora (Jews living outside of Israel).   
In 63 B.C., Pompey of Rome conquered Palestine, putting all of Judea under control of the Caesars. 
In short, Roman civilization had brought peace (Pax Romana) and a road system which aided travel; the Grecian civilization provided a language which was accepted as the lingua franca of the empire; the Jews had endorsed monotheism and held out the messianic hope in the synagogues of the Mediterranean world.  God was working behind the scenes so that one day the silence would be broken and John the Baptist would look at Jesus and say …Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
Take courage, when God is silent He’s getting ready to do something special!  (Hab 1:5)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014




God wants us to stick together no matter what.  (Mat 19:6)…Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”  But what do you do when you’re not happy anymore in your marriage?  Is staying together a ticket to misery the rest of your days?  Let’s talk about it because there are many people who are not happy in their marriage.

HONOR YOUR VOWS:  Okay, so you know divorce is not an option.  You took your vows and you know what it says: For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.  Be faithful to your spouse like Jesus is to you, His bride.  (Heb 13:5)

DON’T SEPARATE:  Those who separate enter the high-risk area of never coming back together.  You’ve already made a step in that direction and it’s just easy to go the next step of divorce.  Separation is allowable because of abuse but don’t fool yourself for other reasons. (Mat 19:6)

KEEP MAKING LOVE:  Don’t use sex as a tool to get back at your spouse.  Sex is sacred and can bond you together.  There are a lot of things we do in life that we don’t feel like doing.  (1 Cor 7:2-5)

DON’T SHOP AROUND:  It’s easy to fall out of love with your spouse and fall in love with someone else.  You might be feeling lonely and desire to be loved and understood.  But adultery is forbidden by God and you want to avoid the steps that lead up to it.  Fall in love with Jesus and get yourself some godly friends who will support you until your marriage gets stronger.  (Eph 3:17-20; Gal 6:2)

HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:  One person can’t fulfill all your needs in life.  That is reserved for Jesus alone.  Give your spouse some slack to be who they are.  As you do then watch how that grace comes right back to you.  Remember, marriage is two sinners under one roof!  (Rom 3:23; Col 2:10)

DIE TO YOUR SELF: In marriage there are many invitations to die to your own desires and prefer your spouse.  Be mature.  As you give in and serve your spouse God will bless you and grant you your longings because you were unselfish.  (Mat 16:24; Phil 2:1-5)

HAVE FAITH:  Every marriage has its ups and downs.  Nothing’s too hard for God.  Be optimistic and trust Him to work things out! (Heb 11:6)

AGAPE:  When your love quotient is running low read the love chapter (1 Cor 13).  Then ask the Lord to fill you anew with His enduring love (Rom 5:5).  And memorize these words or Jesus:  (John 13:34-35)…love one another; as I have loved you…


Wednesday, August 27, 2014


(Titus 3:5) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
The way we grew up and the way the world is today is that if you do something right you will be rewarded and if you do something wrong you will be punished.  Well, that works for parenting and in the schoolroom and in society in general but when it comes to God’s economy it’s just not true.  When Jesus came into the world to die on the cross for our sins He turned everything around.  He satisfied God’s wrath against sin and now man can be fully justified in God’s holy sight by personally accepting God’s free gift of grace.  The determination of the afterlife is not based on good works anymore but on the merits of Jesus from the cross.  This way good people go the hell and bad people go to heaven.   I guess I better explain!
GOOD PEOPLE GO TO HELL:  (Pro 14:12) There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.  There is something deep inside of us that thinks if we do good in life then God will accept us in the end.  It is always right to do the right thing but when you do the right thing for the wrong reason than that right becomes a wrong.  It then becomes pride and hypocrisy.  Pride because you think you can enter heaven on your own virtues and hypocrisy because you know in your heart you are a sinner but you come off like you are a saint.  Take the words of Jesus way down deep in your soul and wipe that self-righteousness right out of your life:  (Mat 7:21-23) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  
BAD PEOPLE GO TO HEAVEN: (1 Cor 6:11) And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  The bad you have done in life doesn’t have to keep you from God’s presence in heaven.  If you are forgiven by Jesus then His blood has washed you clean and you are fit for His presence.  You don’t have to go around wondering if you are going to be accepted by the Lord on that final day.  You can know for certain.  Why?  Because heaven is not based on your performance.  It is based by God’s mercy through Christ.  There is no need to live in dreaded fear any longer.  And if you blow it then just ask for forgiveness and know that He will forgive you.  You don’t fall out of salvation when you sin, you just fall out of that sweet fellowship with Christ that you can regain through confession and repentance.  He loves you and He can never unlove you!
Let’s get the word out there that good people go the hell and bad people go to heaven!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


The first section of the Sermon of the Mount is the Beatitudes.  There are eight beatitudes and they describe the attitudes that ought to be in our lives if we are true Christians. (Mat 5:1-10)
“BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN:  Those who depend on God and not on their own abilities.  (John 15:5)…without Me you can do nothing.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED. Describes those who grieve over their sins.  (James 4:9-10) Lament and mourn and weep...{10} Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.  Not self-willed but living humbly before others (me-ek!) and letting God prosper in His time.  (Psa 37:11) But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED.  Those who possess a spiritual appetite and a keen desire to be pleasing to God.  (Psa 42:1-2)  As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…
BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY.  Those who are moved by the sufferings of others and seek to alleviate their distresses.  (Psa 18:25)  With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful…  
BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD.  Those whose minds and motives are wholesome and unpolluted.  (Psa 24:3-4) Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart…
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD.  Those who are instruments of peace in the world and overcome evil with good.  (James 3:18) Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.  People possessing these beatitudes would naturally stand out in a crowd and would take flak for being different. (2 Tim 3:12) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
THE BE-ATTITUDES.  Are these the values that you want to be in your life?  If that’s the case then look out because your life is going to be BLESSED!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014




(1 Sam 1:27-28) For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.  28 Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there. 

So your child comes to you and says he feels called to the mission field.  You stare for a while and then you ask the question where he feels called to go.  He tells you some far off place that maybe you haven’t even heard of before.  Then he goes into detail about how he was spoken to by the Spirit and about the need for Christ in this place and on and on and on.  When he finishes you hear crickets in the room.  You say that’s wonderful while you feel the swallow in your throat.  My son or daughter off to the mission field.   Wow, that’s great.  Or is it? 

As parents we love our kids to death.  We have sacrificed for them since they were born.  We raised them to be responsible and gave them all the tools they needed for successful living.  We spent good money and a lot time securing their future.  We counseled them wisely.  We hope they will make good decisions and achieve well in their chosen field.  Then they come and say they want to serve the Lord as a missionary.  Not only do we become concerned about their safety we also begin thinking about family ramifications.  You won’t see your child for a long time.  You will miss them.  You will miss the grandkids if they are a family.  What about holidays and birthdays and special events?  It starts to hit you like a ton of bricks emotionally. 

Samuel had a special calling on his life.  His mother Hannah prayed for a son after being barren for so long.  She said if God gave her her request she would dedicate her son for life to God’s work.  Finally God answered her prayer and she was good to her promise.  When it was time she presented Samuel to the Lord at the Temple.  She then went home without her son but she visited him yearly with the new cloths she made for him.   

You know, as parents we are so proud when our children achieve greatness on any level.  Parents can be so gratified to say their child is a doctor, a lawyer, or a soldier serving in the armed forces.  But what about the highest calling a child can receive…that of serving the Lord in the ministry?  To give spiritual life to others (doctor).  To be an advocate for the poor and needy and the marginalized (lawyer).  To be a soldier in the Lord’s army.  And with modern technology you can keep in communication on a daily basis.  And between traveling to see you child on the mission field and them coming home for a visit it’s just not as hard as it used to be.   

We can be a help or a hindrance to the call of God on our child’s life.  Let’s line up with God’s purposes and be a support to our children when they involve themselves in the greatest business of all…God’s business!  (Luke 2:49)…Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”  


Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Does God heal today?  Oh yes!  Here are some scriptures that declare it to be so:
- (Exo 15:26)... I am the LORD who heals you."
- (Psa 103:3) Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases.
- (3 John 1:2) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
If God’s Word gives us these promises we should diligently seek the Lord for His healing touch when we have need of it.  
But here’s the next question:  Does God heal everybody and at all times?  Some teach in the affirmative but the weight of Scripture says there are times when God would choose not to heal for a purpose He would have in mind.  Take Paul for instance.  He had an apparent physical malady that He asked God to heal and God didn’t.  Read this clip from Corinthians:  
(2 Cor 12:7-10) And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. {8} Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. {9} And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. {10} Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Sometimes there’s a lesson for us to learn before God heals us.  Until then, we can rely on His grace and claim His promise that He is our strength in weakness.  And if He still doesn’t heal us we are to remain true to Him and trust that it’s all part of His plan that will someday be revealed. (1 Cor. 13:12)
So bottom line:
- The ultimate healing is spiritual, the forgiveness of sins (Isaiah 53:5).
- We are to claim His promises of physical healing.
- We are to trust His purposes when our healing is delayed or denied. (Rom 8:28)
- And we are to remember the ultimate of healing and health is when we are in His presence forever as His redeemed saints, praising Him in our glorified bodies that will never know sickness, pain, disease, or death again.  Hallelujah!