Wednesday, May 28, 2014




(Psa 25:7) Do not remember the sins of my youth… 

When we look back over our life we have a lot to be thankful for and how far God has brought us.  We also have a lot of things we are regretful for.  Especially those sins of our youth.  Those are the things that embarrass us to no end.  We wish they had never happened.  We never want to discuss them and we hope that nobody brings them up.  But they did happen and every now and then they pop up in our thoughts and we must deal with an unsolicited reminder.   What should we do at these times?  How do we deal with the sins of our youth?   

I think the first thing we must do is take those thoughts to the cross.  Jesus died for us and has washed us from all our sins.  The blood of Jesus has cleansed us and put us in right standing with God.  We are now fully justified before a holy God by the merits of Jesus on Calvary!  So when the thought of your youthful sins come back for an unwanted visit, then introduce them to Jesus!  They won’t want to stick around!!  (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…

Secondly, let’s think of our youthful sins as a way to keep us humble.  Sometimes pride gets the best of us and we can get an inflated sense of ourselves and our achievements.  But one thought of our youthful sins might be the very thing to pop our balloon.  I think often of Peter who every time a rooster crowed probably remembered how he denied the Lord.  No wonder he spoke of humility in his epistle:  (1 Peter 5:5-6)…be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.   

I remember my dad saying if I went out for track he would buy me a Ludwig drum set.  That was the coolest offer ever because that is what Ringo Starr of the Beatles played.  But back then in sports you had to cut your hair and I didn’t want to cut my hair.  Everyone was growing their hair out and I didn’t want to be uncool.  So I said no.  How my dad must of just shook his head.  But now every time I hear a good drum beat I think of my youthful foolishness.   

Youthful sins are costly.  But if we know God’s grace they don’t have to come back to haunt us.  In fact, God is able to even take our stupidity and somehow turn it around for good.  David went on to pray in his psalm:  (Psa 25:12-13) Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. 13  He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth.   

By the grace of God I learned to play the guitar and have led worship for the glory of the Lord.  And my daughter became a drummer!  Only God can do that.  Satan is such a loser!!   


Wednesday, May 21, 2014


(Deu 8:18)  "And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…
Memorial Day is a United States holiday observed on the last Monday of May.  Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I.  Many observe this holiday by flying the flag and visiting cemeteries and memorials.   Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries.  In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also used as a time for picnics, barbecues, and gatherings with family and friends.  Memorial Day is also viewed as the unofficial beginning of summer (with Labor Day as the unofficial end of the season.)
Freedom comes at a price.  How important it is to remember the sacrifices of others who have made it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms we have today.  I like to see the flag’s colors as…Red:  The blood of the slain.  White:  The purity of the sacrifice made for others.  Blue:  The heaven we enjoy because of that soldier’s sacrifice.  We have a lot of problems in our country but we do have immense advantages and most of all we are free!  And it’s because of the soldiers sacrifice of history as well as those securing our freedoms today by the giving of their lives.  You can be pro or con for the current wars we wage but let’s not forget that soldier’s sacrifice!
And as believers in Christ let’s remember all the Lord has done for us and our nation.  God has been good to us and we have been so undeserving.  It has been He who has given us the power to gain the wealth and prosperity we have.  God warned Israel to not forget His blessings but what did they do?  They forgot the Lord and took His blessings for granted.  They soon degraded into a pagan nation and then suffered the consequences under the correcting hand of God.  Isn’t that a pattern for any nation or individual who steps outside the will of God and becomes ungrateful?  
- (Psa 100:4)  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
- (Rom 1:21)  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
- (Col 3:15)  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Everyday should be a memorial day.  Rising up in the morning and counting our blessings.  What a great way to start the day!  And then thinking that all we have is because someone made it possible.  It comes from the hand of God and those who gave up something for somebody else.  What an inspiration for us to live our lives sacrificially:  (Heb 13:16)  But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.  

And don’t forget the greatest sacrifice of all.  Jesus died on the cross to make us free from sin and destruction!  His blood is red for cleansing which makes us white as snow, so we can live in the blue of heaven forever!  Let’s take some time today to thank God for the sacrifices that have made us free!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014




(Deu 25:18) how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. 

I want to address something that is so practical in nature it might not even seem spiritual at all.  And that is H.A.L.T.  Never make a decision if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.    

Decisions are important.  And we can really exercise poor judgment when our body and emotional needs are at their height.  When Israel was coming out of Egypt the Amalekites attacked their rear ranks where the tired and weary were lagging behind.  They had no strength to fight against this raiding band and succumbed to their advancements.  God said they were not to forget this attack and that they were to blot out their remembrance from under heaven.  We too can blot out many spiritual attacks if we take care of some practical needs in our lives.

HUNGRY – How awful we can feel when we are just plain hungry.  Our “fangs” can come out and we can be irritable and downright ornery until we eat something.  (Mat 15:32 )…“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

ANGRY – When we are mad our emotions get the best of us and we can do something we will later regret.  It’s always best to settle down before we pick up that phone and chew somebody out.  (Eph 4:26) “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.  (Neh 5:7)  After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers… 

LONELY – We all have a need to be accepted and to fit in.  When we feel isolated in life it can drive us to make unhealthy choices to meet those deep emotional needs.  The classic case is the lonely woman will marry not the best for her because she is so tired of being by herself in life. (Pro 2:11) Discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you.   

TIRED – How dark and dismal the world can seem when you are just plain tired.  Ant hills can seem like mountains and maybe all you need is a good night’s rest.  One time a friend told me, “Louie, one of the most spiritual things you can do is sleep!”  How the colors seem brighter and the burden’s lighter after a time of rest and refreshment!  (Mark 6:31) And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 

Remember something so practical but yet so spiritual:  Before you make a decision H.A.L.T!  Stop and take of your practical needs.  It is more spiritual than you think.  Time for a granola bar!   


Wednesday, May 7, 2014




(Genesis 9:6) “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. 

For a long time there has been controversy over the issue of capital punishment.  This argument has even existed in the Christian church.  On the one hand you have those who say justice must be served.  On the other hand you have those who say love and forgiveness must be offered.  What does the Bible say and what should we as Christians believe?     
Here is a list of offenses calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament: 1. INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE (Ex. 21:12; Lev. 24:17; Num. 35:16-21,29-34); 2. FALSE WITNESSING IN CAPITAL CASES (Deut. 19:16-21); 3. IDOLATRY (Deut. 13:1-18); 4. ABDUCTING PERSONS FOR SLAVERY (Ex. 21:16; Deut. 24:7); 5. SEXUAL ACTS OF INCEST, HOMOSEXUALITY, AND BESTIALITY (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 20:11-17); 6. RAPE (Deut. 22:23-27) including the girl if she did not cry for help; 7. ADULTERY (Lev. 20:10-12; Deut. 22:22); 8. SEX RELATIONS OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE: (a) before marriage, but discovered afterward (Deut. 22:20-21), the woman alone to be executed; (b) relations with another's betrothed (Deut. 22:23-24), both to be executed; (c) the harlotry of a priest's daughter (Lev. 21:9); 9. WITCHCRAFT AND FALSE CLAIM TO PROPHECY (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:20; 1 Sam. 28:3, 9); 10. PROFANING THE SABBATH (Ex. 31:14-17; 35:2; Num. 15:32-36); 11. BLASPHEMY (Lev. 24:14-16,23; 1 Kings 21:13; Matt. 26:65-66); 12. CURSING OR STRIKING ONE'S PARENTS (Ex. 21:15,17).

But some say that Jesus and the New Testament brought in a new order of love over the law.  But consider that Jesus said that He didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it and that God’s law will never pass away (Mat 5:17-18).  The apostle Paul in Romans 13:1-4 says that the state does not bear the sword in vain and that the authorities are an avenger of evil to execute wrath on those who practice evil.  Also in Acts 25:11 Paul said if he was an offender or had committed  anything deserving of death he would not object to dying.  

Others say that one of God’s commandments is you shall not kill.  But that is not true.  Exodus 20:13 says you shall not murder.  Self-defense is permitted in the Bible (Exo 22:2; Luke 22:36).  And the main purpose of capital punishment is not revenge but justice.  A person intentionally took someone’s life and so that person’s life must be forfeited.  It is punishment that meets the crime.  Also the Bible teaches that capital punishment is a deterrent to crime (Deu 13:10-11) and that delayed justice will encourage people to more delinquency (Eccl 8:11).   

And if you think about it…capital punishment ties into Jesus dying for our sins.  Someone had to pay for our sins and Jesus did that on the cross.  It was the just for the unjust (1 Pet 3:18).  The cross is where justice and mercy met and mankind was forgiven!   Hallelujah, what a Savior!   


Thursday, May 1, 2014




(Gen 7:19) And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.   

As you read some Bible commentaries and hear some Bible teachers they will speak of the flood of Noah as being only limited and not all over the world.  What does the Bible really say about Noah’s flood?  Was it universal or local?  And does it really matter?  

First of all the language is very clear in that the waters covered ALL the high hills under the WHOLE heaven.  One of the most helpful hints of Bible interpretation I have ever received was “If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense”.  We are to take the scriptures literally until the text proves itself to be otherwise.  The Bible means what it says! 

Next, you can take that common sense and apply it to the story of Noah in a practical way.  So we would surmise that if it was a local flood there would be no need for an ark.  Noah and his family would have just left the area and let God wipe out the region!  Makes sense to me!!  Why frustrate the meaning of the Bible?   

Other passages point to a universal flood.  Why would the Bible contradict itself?  (Isaiah 54:9) “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer COVER THE EARTH, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.  See also Psalm 104:5-9, 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5, 2 Peter 3:5-6, Hebrews 11:7.   

Jesus Himself believed in a universal flood and took it as the type of the coming destruction of the world when He returns (Mat 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27).  He reminded us that "the flood came and destroyed them ALL" (Luke 17:27). 

Then how do you explain the fossil record?  And animals deposited where they don’t belong?  There are vast fossil graveyards found on every continent and large amounts of coal deposits that would require the rapid covering of vast quantities of vegetation. Oceanic fossils are found upon mountain tops around the world.  What explains the huge amounts of animal species buried in mud, frozen in ice, or petrified?   

And consider that literally hundreds of people groups have their own accounts and legends of the flood. One of the most remarkable is the Babylonian account, which is similar to the Genesis account in many ways and is clearly drawn from it. Since all mankind came from Noah’s sons, all mankind remembers the flood.       

I vote for a universal flood.  But I also believe God so loved the world too!  (John 3:16) 



(Proverbs 14:34)  Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. 
(Psalm 106:43) Many times He delivered them; But they rebelled in their counsel, And were brought low for their iniquity. 
(Luke 19:41) Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,   
(2 Chronicles 7:14)  "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 
(Jonah 3:1-10) Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,  2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”  3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey[ in extent.  4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.  6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes.  7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water.  8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.  9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? 10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. 
(Nehemiah 9:17) …But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them. 
(Jeremiah 29:7)  And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace. 
(1 Timothy 2:1-2)  Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 
(Deuteronomy 8:1-20) “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.  2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.  4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.  5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you. 6 “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.  7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills;  8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;  9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.  10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. 11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,  12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them;  13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied;  14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;  15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock;  16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—  17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.  20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God. 
(Lamentations 3:22-23) Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.