Thursday, December 31, 2015


Have you been wanting to read the Bible more consistently but sometimes lack the drive or just don't know where to read? Then let me suggest reading the Bible through in a year. Here's a handy chart that will tell you where to read each day. You can print it out and put it in your Bible.

We put the chart out on the back table of the church in January and encourage anyone who has the desire to join us in our through the Bible in a year journey. It averages three chapters a day and takes about ten minutes. Just think, in the whole year you would have read the Bible through!
Lost your print out?  Then go to the church website and find it on the left hand side.  It will be there every day for you!  

(Psa 119:105) Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(1 Cor 9:25, 27) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things…27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…
Well, here we are on top of another new year.  We’ve indulged during the holidays in lots of food and fun and are now feeling bloated and broke.  We’ve set some goals and are motivated to take on some challenges.  But what will we do when we start losing that inspiration down the line?  We’re going to need some personal discipline to keep on with the task and accomplish what God has set before us.  
If there is one thing that sets apart a winner from a loser it is personal discipline.  Paul references the Olympic games when it comes to being self-controlled in one’s desires and how a person needs to reign in the body appetites to win the prize.  Are you ready to be one of those winners in life when others give up and give in?  
Brothers and sisters, it’s time we say NO to ourselves and our desires so we can reach the goal that is set before us.  God has great plans for our lives this year but we need to do our part in making the right choices.  We can’t have our way and God’s way at the same time.  Once we turn our will over to the Lord then we will get that stimulus we need to forge on despite the obstacles before us.  
A lot of us were spoiled and coddled growing up.  Our parents did so much for us that the instinct to fight was never really bred into the fabric of our life.  Others of us are just so laid back that we need a push in the right direction.  Some of us are so indecisive and are afraid of taking any risks because it’s all about being safe.  When we give into these fears and apprehensions we think we are in a safe house but we are really in a prison of procrastination, losing ground to the territory God has for us.  (Josh 13:1) Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.
Are you ready to say no to laziness and taking the easy way in life?  Disciples of Christ must have discipline so they will accomplish the Father’s will and not their own.  (Mat 16:24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  Cry out to the Lord and ask Him for the incentive you need to really do something for the kingdom of God this year.  (Phil 2:13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Tell yourself that even if you don’t feel like it you will read your Bible, exercise, make that phone call, take that class, etc.  And you know what it will cost you in less TV, computer, entertainment, sleep, etc.  But by this time next year your goals will have been met and your joy level full.  Personal discipline will lead to praise the Lord!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Pet peeves.  We all have them whether we admit it or not.  It’s those annoying and inconsiderate bad habits of others that irritate us to no end.  Here’s a list of common pet peeves:
Drivers who don't use a turn signal.  Loud chewing. Talking during a movie.  People who drive too slow in the fast lane.  Family members who don’t replace the toilet paper.  People who don’t cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze.  Tapping noises.  People who interrupt   you.  Those who talk on their cell phones in public.  And the list goes on.
When we experience a pet peeve we usually issue a reaction.  We either verbally object or we at least reprimand in our minds.  But have you ever challenged yourself by asking why certain things bother you?  As Christians we must be gracious and keep from succumbing to being so petty and peevish in our attitude.  Here’s some things to think about from God’s Word:
OVERLOOK PEOPLE’S FAULTS:  (1 Pet 4:8) And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”  
BE CAREFUL, YOU HAVE FAULTS TOO!:  (Mat 7:1-5) “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
RESIST THE URGE TO VENT: (James 1:19) So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
BE GRACIOUS, AND DISPLAY THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:  (Gal 5:22-23) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control…
FOCUS ON THE LARGER ISSUES OF LIFE: (James 5:8) You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
PERIODICALLY READ AND PONDER THE LOVE CHAPTER: (1 Cor 13:4-8) Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails…

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


It is amazing how the Old Testament predicted the advent of the Messiah to earth.  Below is a chart of some of the Divine expectations and their New Testament fulfillments:
1. Messiah born of a woman.                        Genesis 3:15               Mat 1:20/Galatians 4:4
2. Messiah born in Bethlehem.                     Micah 5:2                    Mat 2:1/Luke 2:4-6
3. Messiah born of a virgin.                           Isa 7:14                        Mat 1:22-23/Luke 1:26-31
4. Messiah from the line of Abraham.         Gen 12:3; 22:18          Matthew 1:1/Romans 9:5
5. Messiah a descendant of Isaac.                Genesis 21:12              Luke 3:34
6. Messiah a descendant of Jacob.               Numbers 24:17           Matthew 1:2
7. Messiah the tribe of Judah.                       Genesis 49:10              Luke 3:33/Heb 7:14
8. Messiah heir to King David's throne.       2 Sam 7:12-13/Isa 9:7 Luke 1:32-33/Rom 1:3
9. Messiah's throne anointed and eternal. Psa 45:6-7/Dan 2:44   Luke 1:33/Heb 1:8-12
10. Messiah called Immanuel.                       Isaiah 7:14                   Matthew 1:23
11. Messiah spends a season in Egypt.        Hosea 11:1                  Matthew 2:14-15
12. A massacre of children.                            Jeremiah 31:15           Matthew 2:16-18
13. A messenger prepares the way.             Isaiah 40:3-5               Luke 3:3-6
Wow!  What do we do with all that?  FIRST, we notice how God sees the future: (Isa 46:10) Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’  SECONDLY it points to Jesus as the only Messiah and Savior and no other: (John 14:6) Jesus said…“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. THIRDLY it speaks to the fact that all of God’s promises come true!: (Josh 21:45) Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.  Is there an issue in your life that you are concerned about?  God sees ahead, Jesus is your only Savior, and His promises will absolutely come true!  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


                                                             SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
For a long time now there has been discussion of whether a Christian can be demon possessed or not.  Perhaps it is generated by fear or by observing something they saw in others or even an experience they had themselves.  As in everything else we need to go directly to the scriptures and never base anything on experience or feeling.  Here are some verses to contemplate:
·         (Col 1:13) He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. 

·         (2 Cor 6:14-16) … For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?  15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?  16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them… 

·         (1 John 4:4) You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
The scriptures clearly state that believers are the temple of God and that God dwells in them.  God has no time-share with the devil!  But we know that if a Christian cannot be possessed then at times he can be oppressed by the devil.  Demons cannot live in Christian hearts, but they surely can perch on Christian shoulders and whisper in their ears.  
Someone might bring up Judas but we have to remember he never really was the Lord’s.  He was a false professor of faith.  (John 13:27) Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him.  And what about Saul?  Here’s what it says about him: (1 Sam 16:14) But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.  So there is the difference between Judas and Saul.  One was possessed because he was not saved and the other was oppressed because he knew the Lord but had was settled in willful disobedience.  
Good Christians may at times experience oppression from the devil.  (Psa 42:9) …Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”  But we know the Lord delivers us from attacks from Satan if we call on the name of the Lord!  (Psa 18:3) I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.  When the devil knocks remember to ask Jesus to answer the door!  (James 4:7)…Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
But someone might say they knew a Christian who was demon possessed.  Maybe they were never saved?  Psychological problems that appear as such?  Let us use wisdom and discernment as Christians and always test our experience against the solid truth of the Word of God.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Genesis 6:13) And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
God made the world so beautiful.  But then man sinned against his Creator and it didn’t take long for violence to enter the world with Cain killing his brother Abel.  By Noah’s time the world was so full of violence that God sought to destroy it and start over.  Now history is repeating itself in our times as our news is filled with foreign terrorism as well as violence in our own land.  What is going on?  Will it ever stop?  Will we ever feel safe?   
There has always been violence in our country but the acceleration of it is what is getting to us.  (Hab 1:3) Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises.  We used to call it the problem of urbanization but now no sector of our cities or rural population is excluded: (Psa 55:9)…For I have seen violence and strife in the city.  And it’s not all foreign terrorists finding their way into America to wreak this havoc.  It’s also of our own citizens that commit mass murders in public places as well as domestic violence in apparently cozy homes with non-suspecting neighbors.   
If you are a person of faith you know that this was predicted: (Mat 24:37) But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  It’s an unmistakable sign of the times and marks the soon coming of Christ that only a few will be prepared for: (1 Peter 3:20) who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.  
As believers we also know that we have promised protection from the Lord: (2 Samuel 22:3) The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.  God’s got us covered and His angels are all around us!  And just think that when we are gone how bad the world will be without our godly influence as salt and light: (Rev 9:21) And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
One of these days we will be in Christ’s kingdom with zero percent crime!  (Isa 60:18) Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; But you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
Violence is also a wake-up call to Christians who have been lukewarm to get their fire back for the Lord and stop living for this world that is perishing.  (2 Pet 3:11) Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.

Friday, November 27, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Luke 18:8) … when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” 
Truly we live in a time of terrorism.  We hear of horrible atrocities overseas and we have faced them even on our own shores.  What is going on with our world?  Why are things so out of control?  Why can’t the world get a hold of this problem?  How can a small group of people do so much devastation around the world?  Let’s take a look at terrorism from a Bible perspective:
GOD PROMISED THERE WOULD BE TERROR IN THE LAND AS A PUNISHMENT FOR TURNING AWAY FROM HIM.  (Lev 26:15-17) and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you…17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.  God created this world and gave us His laws.  If we violate those precepts then He said He would judge us.  God warned Israel not to turn away from Him but they did and they suffered severely for it.  What an example this is to any nation that leaves God out of its national life. (Read Lev 26; Deu 28)
WHAT CAN CHRISTIANS DO TO COMBAT TERRORISM?  We are to pray!  (1 Tim 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.  (Jer 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.
WE ARE TO BE FAITH-FULL AND NOT FEARFULL.  (Psa 91:5) You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day.  (Pro 3:25-26) Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; 26 For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.  (Isa 54:14) In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.  (John 14:1) “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  
THERE WILL BE UNIVERSAL TERROR ON THE EARTH DURING THE TRIBULATION.  (Isa 2:19) They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the Lord And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.  The world hasn’t seen anything yet!  Read the book of Revelation where terror will cover the earth after the church is taken up in the rapture and deposited safely into the presence of the Lord forever.  
Let us live confidently and avoid fear.  God is in control and His peace can reign in our hearts so we can do His will in simple trust (Isa 26:3; Phil 4:6-7; Col 3:15; 2 Tim 1:7; 1 John 4:18)

Friday, November 13, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
The topic of immigration is without doubt a controversial issue facing our nation today.  On the one hand we have the group that says we should receive and provide for all who come in to our borders.  On the other we have those who draw the line and build the walls and say it’s too much for our society to handle.  So let’s take a look at what the Bible says about the immigrant:
AVOID ILL-TREATMENT AND BE UNDERSTANDING:  (Exo 22:21) “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  (Acts 28:2) And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.
PROVIDE FOR AS ABLE:  (Lev 19:10) And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God…(Mat 25:35) for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.  
BE AN ADVOCATE FOR: (Deu 10:18) He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.
SEE THEM AS AN OPPRESSED CLASS THAT GOD HAS A HEART FOR: (Psa 146:9) The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow…
SEE THEM AS PEOPLE WHO HAVE A MESSAGE FROM GOD FOR US: (Heb 13:2) Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels (messengers).
RECOGNIZE PEOPLE OF FAITH WHO WERE STRANGERS IN A FOREIGN LAND:  (1 Pet 2:11) Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. (I.e. Abraham, Joseph, Israel in Egypt, Ruth, Judah in Babylon, etc.)
It is quite obvious from these verses that God has a heart for the immigrant, and that we should follow in kind.  But that doesn’t negate the initiative that might be needed to bring about reform and regulation in the area of immigration.  That needs to be worked out by a society with just laws that benefit all (Acts 19:38; Rom 13:1-7, etc.).  But the Bible emphasizes an individual response and not just a legal response.  The forming of law and policy can coexist with a compassionate response to personal need. 
I remember how even subtle discrimination felt when we were living overseas as missionaries.  And to see how tough it was (and still is) for my son-in-law to immigrate to the U.S.  Let’s try to be like God who balances His justice and love in a world of constant collision of ideals.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
When you poll people today and ask them who Jesus is you will get varied answers.  And that’s no surprise because it goes back to the time of Jesus Himself:  (Mat 16:13-14) When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Here’s what some groups believe about Jesus:
JEHOVAH WITNESS: Created being. Michael the archangel who became a man. 
MORMONS (LATTER DAY SAINTS): Jesus is the spiritual & physical offspring of God by procreation. Had a preexistence as God's spirit child and brother of Lucifer.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE: A man in tune with the Divine Consciousness, not the Christ. 
UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY: Jesus was a way-shower whose crucifixion was not sacrificial, but released grace (inspiration).
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY: A great teacher who fully realized his personal divinity as a "clear."JUDAISM: An important prophet, but not a divine Person. He did good things & taught the Golden Rule.
UNIFICATION CHURCH: He was to restore original relationship between God & humanity by marriage. His mission was incomplete because he was crucified before marriage. He is a spiritual, not physical savior. 
HINDUISM: One of many incarnations, or avatars, of Vishnu.
BUDDHISM: A good teacher.  One among many, not unique. Less important than Buddha. 
ISLAM: Only a man, a prophet below Mohammed in importance. Did not die for man’s sins.
SIKHISM: Taught humans the Golden Rule; His death was not vicarious.
SECULAR HUMANISM: Secular Humanists view Jesus as just another human teacher. They deny that Jesus is divine.
NEW AGE MOVEMENT: Jesus was one of many appearances of God throughout the ages, one of many people who were fully aware of their true divinity.
PERSON ON THE STREET TODAY: A good teacher. One of many ways. Did good. A good example.  
(Mat 16:15-17) He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
WHO IS JESUS?  God.  Second member of the Trinity.  Savior of all humanity.  Jesus died and rose from the dead.  Ascended to the Father.  Soon coming King.  Rules in the hearts of men.  Jesus is the only way to God:  (John 14:6) said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  Is Jesus your personal Lord and Savior?  May the Father open your eyes and heart to believe and receive the love of Jesus today!  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
There are times in life when the pressure is so intense that we just can’t handle it and we flip out.  I mean, how much can a person take?  Aren’t we allowed to let off some steam at times?  We are human, are we not?  But if you were to ask the apostle Paul he would show you a healthier way to survive the perfect storms of life.  And who better to share than someone suffering innocently from a dark and dank Roman prison cell?  In Philippians chapter four Paul shares four key principles to keep from flipping out:
- PAUL LEARNED TO MAINTAIN A REJOICING SPIRIT AT ALL TIMES.  (Philippians 4:4) in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  This is probably the most unnatural thing to do in distress but the Holy Spirit will help us.  Keep rejoicing.  Keep counting your blessings.  Keep thankful.  It’s a choice we must make to keep our spirits up and avoid slipping into despair. (1 Thes 5:18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

- PAUL TURNED ALL HIS ANXIETIES OVER TO THE LORD (TO THE LAST DETAIL) TO SECURE GOD’S PEACE.  (Philippians 4:6-7) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Pray about everything that concerns you.  Don’t let anxiety take hold in the crevices of your inner life.  Keep clear from mental and emotional clutter.  Turn it over before you get pushed over! 

- PAUL LEARNED TO BE CONTENT IN ALL OF LIFE’S CIRCUMSTANCES THROUGH CHRIST STRENGTHENING HIM.  (Philippians 4:11-13) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  It is natural to complain and whine, but what good does it do?  Accept your circumstances and receive strength from above to rise into the jet stream of God’s love and grace.   

- PAUL TRUSTED THE LORD TO MEET ALL OF HIS NEEDS FROM HIS LIMITLESS RESOURCES.  (Philippians 4:19) And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Jesus taught us to not worry about our needs being met (Mat 6:25-34).  God provides for the birds and flowers.  How much more does He love and provide for His cherished children?  Our greatest need of salvation has been supplied through Christ on the cross.  Won’t God provide for all the other things of life?  (Rom 8:32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
So the next time you feel like flipping out, turn to Philippians four and rehearse the key components of not only surviving but thriving in Christ!   

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GUN CONTROL (The right of self-defense)

                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
GUN CONTROL (The right of self-defense)
Today America is experiencing one shooting after another.  It used to be just gang shootings and an occasional domestic dispute but now we have killers entering public places and shooting indiscriminately.  And every time we have one of these high profile shootings the advocates of gun control step up to the plate and speak their minds.  But in the midst of all the debate we must ask ourselves what does the Bible say about this topic?  
Let’s go back to the first murder.  (Gen 4:8) Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.  Now it doesn’t say what he used to kill his brother.  Perhaps it was a big enough rock that was there as he was creeping up on his brother.  Man has always had a weapon to use because the Bible says violence begins in the heart.  (James 4:1) Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (See also Mat 5:21-22)  The Bible says this regarding the core of our sinful hearts:  (Jer 17:9) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?  So it’s really not the weapon, but the sinful heart that generates hatred and crime.  
One of these days the world will be peaceful under Messiah’s reign. (Isa 2:4) He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.  But right now we live in a world riddled with violence that needs to be kept in check:  (Joel 3:10) Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears…  In other words, a nation needs to “keep its powder dry” because there are rogue nations and despots still bullying the world.  And as a nation is to defend itself, so the individual has the right to defend herself on a personal level.  
The pacifist produces Bible verses such as this: (Mat 26:52) But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  But what they fail to notice is that Jesus previously said: (Luke 22:36)…he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one…(Luke 22:38) So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”  Jesus endorsed their personal protection in the threatening days ahead but during His arrest they were not to resist because He had come to die for the sins of humanity.
A man is to provide for and protect his family whether he believes in having a gun or not.  (Exo 22:2) If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. (See also 1 Tim 5:8)  If one chooses to have a gun then it is also important to learn to use it properly and to keep it locked up from children.  God protects us but we are not to tempt the Lord by not using sensible and appropriate means to restrain violence when it is called for. (Luke 4:12) 

Friday, September 4, 2015




Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  Over the years, it has developed from a purely labor union celebration into a general "last fling of summer" festival.  School is starting and fall is around the corner.  Everyone loves the day off enjoying BBQ, beach, or baseball and in a general sense feels honored for their hard work.   

But is your labor feeling more like toil and drudgery?  Do you feel more like a slave than a happy worker?  Do you work hard and feel no one appreciates what you do?  Then take heart because God sees how hard you are working and values your labor of love!  Be encouraged through these words of scripture: 

  • (Heb 6:10)  For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love . . .  

  • (1 Cor 15:58)  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
How can we find new energies and fresh inspiration for life’s tasks? 

  • (Psa 127:1)  Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it . . . 

  • (Col 1:29)  To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

  • (Mat 11:28-30)  "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
And remember that the work of salvation is free and you don’t have to work for it!

  • (John 19:30)  . . . Jesus . . . said, "It is finished!" (The work has been done on the cross)

  • (Eph 2:8-9)  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, {9} not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 So work hard but at the same time rest in the Lord and enjoy the work of your hands! 
  • (Eccl 2:24)  Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
What is true prosperity?  Is it achieving economic success and having the advantage of independence and the luxury to enjoy your success?  If that’s the case then way are so many successful and prosperous people miserable, divorcing, or taking their lives?  Or is prosperity something else, true prosperity the way God defines it?  There is a prosperity God wants us to experience and it’s called BIBLICAL PROSPERITY because it’s in the Bible for us to discover.  
THE PROMISE OF PROSPERITY:  It’s a Biblical fact that God wants to bless and prosper His children.  It’s even a prayer in the Bible:  (3 John 1:2) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  John’s wish for his readers was prosperity in three areas:  TOTALITY (in all things).  (Mat 19:26)…with God all things are possible."  PHYSICALLY (be in health).  (Exo 15:26)…For I am the LORD who heals you."  SPIRITUALLY (Pro 14:30) A sound heart (soul) is life to the body…  Are you expecting God to advance you and give you success in life?  
THE PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY:  So what is the pathway to prosperity? PERSEVERANCE.  Remember that on the way to prosperity is adversity.  Don’t let the health and wealth teachers convince you otherwise.  You have to bear the cross to wear the crown!  (2 Tim 2:12)  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him…  PONDER.  Read and meditate on God’s Word every day.  Try to never skip time with God.  (Psa 1:2 3)  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. {3} He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.  PRAYER.  Pray about everything you do and ask God’s touch to be upon it.  (2 Chr 26:5) He (Uzziah) sought God…and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
THE CHALLENGE OF PROSPERITY:  There is a danger in prosperity and that is forgetting the Lord who blessed us in the first place.  (Deu 8:17-18) 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…  We are to give thanks to the Lord every day and remember from whom all blessings flow.  And a sure way to also keep grounded in prosperity is to share the wealth God has given you.  Why do you think He has blessed you?  It’s surely not for yourself or to show how smart you have been your finances.  (1 Tim 6:17 18)  Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. {18} Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. 
Now we know what true prosperity is all about.  It’s called BIBLICAL PROSPERITY and it comes through a relationship with the Lord.  It’s experiencing His grace through Christ and sharing His blessings with a needy world so all can feast on the goodness of God’s salvation!  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


                                                            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(2 Chr 36:15) And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people. 
You know the familiar feeling when your check engine light comes on?  Thoughts run through your mind:  I wonder what the problem is?  The car seems to run fine.  Maybe it’s just a fluke and it will turn off eventually.  What if I need major repair work?  I should have sold this car ages ago.  I can’t afford a car payment.  And the list goes on while the icon stays on and seems to glow like a Time’s Square advertisement.  That’s kind of like how the Lord works with His children.  He sends them warnings but so often we ignore them until we break down. 
Whenever Israel went astray He would send warnings through the prophets.  They would speak boldly in the name of the Lord.  Look at the Old Testament and see how many prophets of God there were.  They were faithful to speak God’s message.  God wanted to spare His people from disaster.  That’s why the prophets would thunder their heavenly admonitions and some, like Jeremiah, had tears in their eyes.  But so often Israel persecuted and sometimes even killed the prophets.  They didn’t want to fix the problem and wanted to black out that check engine light.  
So how does that check engine light work when the child of God strays and needs a warning?  
- THE HOLY SPIRIT: (Isa 30:21) Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.  If you listen to that still small voice of the Spirit, He will guide you away from error and into the truth.  But you have to listen and not push Him away. (Psa 46:10)
- CIRCUMSTANCES: (2 Chr 13:12 )…O children of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper!”  Many times as we wrestle with the Lord, He will make the situations of our lives turn problematic and which defy solution.  This is God’s way of getting our attention!
- A FELLOW BELIEVER: (2 Sam 12:7) Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!...  When David strayed God sent a concerned friend to challenge him in the direction he was taking. (Gal 6:1)  Sometimes even non-believers speak out against our compromise, like my Christian cop friend who got angry and cussed in the squad car and was then rebuked by his unsaved partner.  
Is God trying to get your attention through your marital problems?  How about your troubling finances?  Is your health also something that might cause you to wake up and realize you have strayed from the Lord?  That check engine light is an opportunity to rededicate your life.  So why not do business with God right now and get everything cleared between you and Him?