Saturday, February 20, 2021

Reflecting on scripture!

 

          As I read this morning from Mark 2: 1 – 12; I felt a special sense of urgency.  I was reflecting on the types of people we encounter every day in our Christian walk and our churches, just like Jesus did on this day.  Jesus sat in the house (church/meeting place) and was actively involved in teaching those present.

I noticed five types of people present on this day; like with most days Jesus preached.

          One, there was a crowd … These people were there simply to see what was happening, maybe they wanted to see a miracle, or maybe a family member had dragged them to see Jesus. I think about the large crowds that pay good money to go to sporting events, or concerts and often wonder how many are simply there out of obligation to someone.  In the same token I often wonder how many people are in churches and just come out of obligation to parents, spouse, children, or friends and they are simply a part of the crowd.

          Second, there was the Religious people … The Bible tells us the Scribes were present. The religious leaders, scholars, students of the Old Testament and Jewish Law. Their philosophy was like most of the religious leaders of our day (Understand sometimes religious leaders, don’t have to be the pastor, it can be deacons or other people within the church that are convinced God is only going to do it one way).  These guys wanted to argue about Christ healing and saving a person.  They would argue that preachers wear a suit, preach from the right version of the Bible, talk with a certain accent, and Jesus simply laughed at them and rebuked them.

          Third, there was the Sold-Out friends … These guys had attitude, their friend needed a touch from God, and whatever it took to get it they were going to accomplish it today. The Bible said there was no room to get to where Jesus was because of the crowd, so they went on the roof and tore a hole in the roof and lowered their friend down on a cot (the NASB uses the word pallet), right in front of Jesus.  

My pastor Roger Webs states that we often to should spell Faith as “R.I.S.K” sometimes we need to take the risk and step out in Faith and rip the roof off and get people into the presence of God.

  How far would you go to get your family member or friend in front of Jesus, to see their healing or more importantly for them to know Christ as Savior?

 

Ironically, he got two blessings that day he got healed and was able to walk out with his cot in hand, but he also had an encounter with God that would forever change his destiny and allow him to spend eternity with Christ in heaven. There is a way to get people int0 the church, so that they can receive their healing, and more importantly that they can come to know HIM as Savior.

          Fourth, there was the friend that needed a touch from God … We don’t know how long he had been paralyzed. However, at this point in his life he needs to be touched by Christ. There was nothing he could do on his own, I’m sure he had seen all the doctors in town, he felt it was hopeless until he heard Jesus was in town, and he was able to get his friends to help.

Fifth, and most importantly Christ was in the House! … Let me ask the question to pastors and religious leaders, is Christ allowed in your service today?  Sadly, I know pastors and church members are more worried about not offending people, or sharing a message of positive thinking, encouraging thought, or a modern-day history lesson than introducing people to Jesus.

          Folks, it is time for the Church to stand up and allow Christ to take His rightful place in His House. We need pastors and religious leaders to Preach Christ high and lifted up, for members to get so excited that they will go out of their way to get people in the church, so they can receive their healing, and more importantly that they can come to know HIM as Savior.

The question is simple …. Which one the four are you (we know we can’t be Christ). However, every one that reads this blog post is one of the four. Are you just a part of the Crowd with no real interest, are you a religious leader that knows of Christ but never had a personal encounter, are you the individual that needs a personal touch from Christ and to come to know HIM as Savior, or are you the friends that are Sold-Out and willing step out in faith and take the RISK to impact your friends, and family life with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Sad day in American history!

          Yesterday,  January 6, 2021 will ultimately go down as one of the saddest days in American History! The reason will vary depending on who you talk with, some will say it is because of the defiance of an American President, others will  say it is because of the outcome of a stolen election, others will say because it is the beginning of the Socialist takeover of America.

However, the reality is that when a group of thugs overrun the Capital building in the name of protest we have stepped into a place in history that sadly will live in the history books for decades. It is heart breaking that people were hurt, and a young lady was killed, people lived through the fear of this event.  Justice must be carried out, every person involved must be prosecuted.

          The reality is, we must STOP the madness! Most importantly, it is time for the Church to do what it does best, step up to its rightful place in America and become the Great Healer. It is time for the Church, first and foremost to unite in PRAYER for the next Great Move of GOD! No matter who you believe should be in the White House, what your political affiliation is, no matter your race, financial income, or even gender. The only thing that is going to Heal America is Prayer and a move of God!

          We hear a lot of people quoting 2 Chronicles 7: 14 … in the King James Bible it reads: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

          If America is going to survey the next 50 years, let alone another 200 hundred years we need the Christian Church to unite in prayer.  We need to see a “Transformation, a Reformation, and then a Proclamation of the Gospel across America” We need to be Praying for a Revival to sweep the land from the “White House, to the Farm House, to the Beech House across America and from the Eastern shoreline to the West Coast, from the Northern Boarder to Southern Boarder of America.  

          We need to stand united at the Throne Room of Heaven, praying, weeping, pleading, and believing God for the Next Great Awakening, a Revival that will sweep the land with such power that men and women will fall to the ground on their faces pleading for God’s forgiveness of sin.  We need to pray that pastors, chaplains, and Christian educators will stand to their feet and preach and teach the Bible as the infallible word of God, that Christ is the Son of God, who died for our sins, and arose from the grave, and is coming back soon.

 

          Let me be clear as a close, I don’t personally think that President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris are the best choice to lead America. I, from a Biblical point of view disagree with their position on several things. However, on January 20th they will be sworn in as President and Vice-President.  As a Christian it is my job to pray for them, pray that they hear from God, and pray that they lead America as God would do. While, continuing to pray for the Revival that I believe God is going to use to shake America and the World.

 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Let’s be very clear!

 Let’s be very clear!

I would be writing these words if the Representative of the House or Senate was a Republican or Democrat. When it comes to the Word of God, I’m not interested in party affiliation. I’m interested in truth. We recently had a member of the House of Representative use the terms “Amen” and “Awomen” to close out a prayer at a session of Congress.

The gentlemen who is an Ordained United Methodist pastor with a Master of Divinity degree from a prestigious seminary. However, he appeared to miss the first-year course how to translate from the original language to English. The word in the Hebrew is אָמֵן ʼâmên, aw-mane'; which simply translated according to Strong’s Concordance “verily, truly, amen, so be it.”

This blatant attempt to appeal to a specific group of individuals around the world by this gentleman (please understand I don’t know him personally) I’m only challenging his miss use of a word from scripture, and his theology.  Prior to his closing that was unbiblical he went further with the statement   “We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and ‘God’ known by many names by many different faiths.”  Wow talking about bad theology, Brahma is the “creator god in Hinduism” and then God known by many names; Sorry to inform you pastor God is not known by any other name than the “Hebrew letters (YHWH) as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” or the name “God” in the Greek.

This very prayer is a slap in the face to every Christian throughout the world, and even slap in the face to the founders of his own denomination, John and Charles Wesley would be defrocking him within five minutes of this prayer if they were alive today.

As I write this I’m sure I will get a dozen of Amen’s (in agreement with me) and hundreds of comments saying I’m intolerable to other people’s faith. Understand I’m not intolerable to other people’s faith, everyone can believe as you want. However, don’t confuse the God of Christianity with any other god and please use a Concordance next time so you use it in the right context. 

Personally, I believe this individual or any other individual that is doing the same thing owes God an apology.   And in this gentleman’s case the American people!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Christmas 2020

 

Christmas!

            I recently had a discussion with a very well-meaning Christian friend at work, and she shared that she didn’t believe that Christians should celebrate Christmas either as a secular holiday or a religious holiday. Her argument was based on that fact of the pagan influence that has overtaken the holiday, and from a secular view it has become materialistic.  

            Started to think about her position, and yes I have always thought that the we have over secularized the meaning of Christmas, with Santa Claus, and the hustle of buying Christmas presents for everybody we know.  However, I wondered about the Holiday celebration as a Christian, have we in the church lost the “Reason for the Season” in this push to celebrate a Holiday.

As I have looked through the writings of the Early Church Fathers, (I’m open to being corrected) I don’t see much discussion on the celebration of Christ Birth, nor do I see much discussion on the celebration of Easter either.  The emphasis is around the facts, Christ was born in Bethlehem, to the Virgin Mary, Shepherds and Wise Men came to see him. It wasn’t until almost two hundred years after Christ birthday do we see the church having a celebration or feast to remember it, and it wasn’t until well into the 4th or 5th century do we see Christmas becoming part of the church calendar.

So, what does this tell me?

1.       The Early Church Father’s and the Christian Community as a whole emphasis was not on the Celebration, but on the Message.

 

2.       They had a very clear focus on the Message that a Savior was born in a manager without fanfare to save a lost and dying world.

 

3.       That my purpose today is to remember the Reason for the Season! Christ the King was born to give the greatest gift for me.

 

Please do not misunderstand me, I believe the church should celebrate the Birth of Christ and use every opportunity to share with the World that Christ came as a baby, lived a Sinless life, and died on the Cross for everyone’s sins, providing for all humanity the greatest gift of all. However, I believe the focus and emphasis must be on Christ and not the Celebration!

As I reflect on gifts, parties, celebrations, and yes even Christmas Eve services that I and others will be involved in this year either in person or by virtually, connecting. amid the most unusual Christmas season in modern history, with medical professionals, governors, and even pastors telling us to social distance, to have gifts mailed straight to the person, and don’t have a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day celebration in our own home.

This is the perfect time to slow down this Holiday Season and spend some time as the  First and Second Century church fathers and Christians would have done, simply reflecting on the Birth of Christ and the meaning for us personally.

Honestly, I plan to sit back in my comfortable chair and read the Christmas story from the Gospels and reflect on the Real Reason for this Season … Christ Loves Me!

My family and I pray that you have a Merry Christmas and that the New Year brings you great opportunities to serve HIM.

 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Looking forward to Christmas 2020!

           In the middle of all that is happening this year in our families, communities, churches, and nation I’m looking forward to Christmas more than ever.  This year has been a whirlwind of uncertainty, we have seen people in good health die from a virus that we still struggle to get a handle on, we have seen a contested election, to the economy taking a nose dive, to chaos in the streets,  governors and mayors acting like little dictators, to not being able to attend church on a regular bases or in some cases not at all due to the uncertainty, and being in many cases limited to watching our pastor preaching and teaching to us through social media platforms.  

          However, the reality in midst of all this is I’m looking forward to Christmas!

I believe there are three things Christmas, especially this year brings for me personally. 

          One, it brings the assurance that Christ is alive and well. Born in the manager over two thousand years ago, he a came to earth to assure me even in the midst of Pandemic, Chaos in the streets, or who sits in the White House he is keeping his promise to love me and provide for me.

          Even when anxiety for some is at an all-time high this time of the year, Christ loves me and has promised to walk through the events I am facing with me and giving me his peace and comfort if I’m willing to ask.

          Two, it brings me comfort in knowing how important family is.  We all understand that Christmas celebrations will be different this year. I believe that this Christmas will allow families to slow down and focus on the real Reason for the Season together. Yes, there will be presents exchanged, and dinner enjoyed, but it will be smaller for some and allow for a more personal time of reflection.

          Third, it will bring us all to a point of Personal Reflection!

          Everybody must answer the question who is this Child is to me? You can go through life acting as if you don’t care and that is your choice.  However, the reality is God cares, and God will hold us all accountable for the decisions we make. Over 2000 years ago God was willing to send the Greatest Christmas Gift to the human race to live a life that would 33 years later provide the greatest sacrifice at a place called Calvary. As we celebrate this baby over the Christmas remember that this child would later grow up to be the same man that gave his life on the cross for our sins.

          It is imperative that we understand that God only sent one gift entering heaven and that was this Baby Christ Jesus that we celebrate on Christmas.

          The shepherds came to see him, the wise men sought him, the King Herod (the government) tried to destroy him, and the world needed him.

          To all my family and friends around the world today, we have only two choices … to be like the shepherds and wise men and seek him, find him, and worship him or we can be like Herod and despise him, reject him, and suffer the consequence.

          Please take time this Christmas Season to reflect on the Bible’s account of the event’s that transpired 200o years ago and seek to know HIM and worship HIM in your personal life.

 

I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas!

I love you and praying that you and yours will be blessed beyond measure!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Special Offer for you ...

 

Sadly, for many this will truly be a Black Friday, with the loss of family, friends, and co-workers. With the world in the midst of a Pandemic, and the losses mounting, not only physically but emotionally. I want to share with you my book “Grief: Helping Christians Coping with the STORM of Loss” … Throughout the remaindered of November and the month of December we are going to be sharing my book for only 99 cents. Please download your copy today!


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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Time for the Church to step up and Lead!

 

           We have come to the crisis point in America and if the church doesn’t do its job, we will lose everything the church has stood for over the past two centuries here in America.

            As we patiently wait for the election to play out and the official announcement of the winner (not the News Media or Social Media), and even in the midst of the pandemic and chaos in the streets the church must return to being the cultural leader of this generation.

            Leadership of the church and nation starts and ends at the pulpits (with Pastors). When pastors allow the fear of the world to dictate their actions, we have begun a downward spiral toward anarchy and then becoming irreverent and no different than other countries that are shutting down churches, and yes even tearing them down in broad daylight.

            As I write this blog, I understand there is going to be push back. However, I believe that if the Church within America; I’m talking about local Congregations, Denominations, Fellowships, and individuals don’t stand up for the Gospel we will lose everything. I have heard the term recently that it is time for a “American Reset” with the possibility of Joe Biden becoming president. They are referring to going back to pre-Trump polices and beliefs.

            My opinion, it is time for the “Great Biblical Reset” …

Whereas a nation we go back to the Time of the Great Awakening a mighty move of God where the church leads the way in defining the Faith, Spirituality, Values, Morals, and Ethics in the Nation and the Church is focused on bringing people to a personal relationship in Christ. Never in my lifetime have I heard such negative preaching against an individual, as what has happened over the past four years. Pastors that I have respected have spent more time preaching about President Trump (not against his policy, but against him) than they have preaching the Gospel of Christ and sharing with people how to get to heaven.

It is time for the Pastor and Church to stand up and do its job! Acts chapter 1: 8  in the King James reads: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

The word witness within this text is the same Greek word “mä'r-tüs” which can also be translated “Martyr” something that most American Pastors and Christians are not willing to do.  It will not be popular to stand for Christ, to stand for moral values, and Biblical principles. However, it’s time for a RESET!

Another verse we quote often is II Chronicles 7: 14 also from the KJV “14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

It is time for us as Pastors and Christian leadership to humble ourselves before the Throne of God, seek forgiveness for the stupidity we have preached, and get back to preaching the gospel which brings people to a personal relationship with Christ.

I believe personally (This is my opinion only) that if the churches of America across  denominational, racial, economical, and political lines don’t begin to Preach the Gospel and Show the Love of Christ to a loss and dying Nation we are doomed, and we won’t need the Politian’s, health professionals, or anyone to help us we will do it by ourselves as failures of Christ calling.

 

Awake up Church its time for us to lead and do our job, be the witness and cultural leader of the nation.

 

Reflecting on scripture!

            As I read this morning from Mark 2: 1 – 12; I felt a special sense of urgency.   I was reflecting on the types of people we en...