Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday With A Black Eye?

Will you turn Thanksgiving into thanks-living ..all year long? Why not?

"Twas the night before Black Friday and all through the land, consumers were striving and conniving up a plan. All worried and uptight ..all upset and in fright, some were 'bout to get in a fight. So they filled out long lists to just to take a stand, for their stockings were soon to be hung up with care and they knew without shopping, those things would hang there all bare and visitors might even stare... So with turkey in their tummies and the employees acting all chummy.. with holiday angst a flowing, they thought it would be good to turn in for the night, quite fully knowing that their loved ones with goodwill would soon be showin' ..up. So around the globe after eating their cod they wondered if there really was room for God, and going to bed ..even the Europeans with digital visions dancing around in their heads.

Then with some oversized driver landing on the roof, and other geeks to peck on ahead of them, they knew in a moment it must be St. Tech. More rapid than broadband or reindeer they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now Canon! Now Pentax! Now, Olympus and HP! On, Kodak! On Sony! On, Nikon and Fuji! To the top of the porch! To the chimney wall let's install! Now click away! Now click away! Now click away small and all!

As stressed-out shoppers that before the time when they buy, approach a sale and do fly, but if they meet with an obstacle, they sure will poke out an eye or shoot em up to the sky. So up to the house-top the reindeer; they flew with a sleigh full of cameras, puters and accessories too.. but what about you. .will you be grateful or blue?"

Be careful, this could be a very dangerous shopping day for some. Please don't get trampeled or in a brawl on Black Friday? How's your holiday weekend going? My lovely wife, Liney, thought it would be FUN to go out and spend some time together shopping THAT DAY. Man, who doesn't love SHOPPIN'? She told me it wasn't the shopping so much, but the time together as a couple. Well, I personally don't like shopping; getting mauled in the mall all, but because I no longer live at the beach where it is warm during this time of year.. because I can't really go jump in the sea (where my parents will be)... Well, I did want to be with my bride so where could I hide? I went along out there in the clamoring masses. It's amazing what we'll do for loves' sake huh. It took hours and a will to survive but now we must all decide. At least I will choose to give thanks in all circumstances ..feel like it or not and take things in stride.

"Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You" (Psalm 67:3).

"Be thankful to Him, and bless His name" (100:4).

The apostle Paul urged his fellow Christians to be grateful even when things look black out ..saying give, "thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:20).

During this hectic time of year are you getting all caught up big time in the materialism, strife and draining busyness that often robs Christians of joy? Perhaps you're not sure you are a real Christian but you long for that peace, love, and joy in Jesus? Are you pushing, blowing-up at strangers, or striving to claim that coveted place in line just for sweet deal? Do you take the time to stop and be with the Lord alone earnestly thank Him for His many blessings that keep coming your way? Back Friday doesn't have to be so black—it can be filled with light and love! My son Stephan works in North Dakota.. in retail right now (Man, I' hate to be in retail on this day). Anyways, its' his birthday today (25) and he just sold one whole kitchen at a Home Depot type of store. It's kind of interesting to hear him describe how it's been going up there ..with lines down the block. Is this thing universal or just American? People often come there from Canada to get a deal. No fights there yet, but I feel for all those working in this field. Maybe your workplace is heated and intense like Stephan's. God can give you grace to get through it right as call out to Him and shine His light. Christians let's be different and treat workers with love and respect, even if others won't. Maybe you are wondering what we bought at the stores. Well now, all that effort went to buying some cold soup.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks Regardless

Happy Thanksgiving! Liney and I have a great day planned here in Dallas with friends coming over for a traditional turkey pig-out-session with the Dallas Cowboys. Here's what we've been enjoying today (I don't know how to cook any of it..) but I trust many of you are having turkey and all the fixin’s too! Here's my favorite Thanksgiving chow:
  • Turkey - I prefer the white and dark meat
  • stuffing - not soupy
  • Fresh hot rolls - by boys go nuts over that stuff
  • Mashed potatoes - with gravy
  • The normal green bean deal
  • Pies - Liney make the best apple, pumpkin, and cherry pies
  • Sweet potatoes - especially with melted mini-marshmallows on top

I hope you have an awesome day too. It's a good day to share our faith about the love of Christ with loved ones! I dare you to pray for them, be tactful, loving and bold. Go for it wisely. The Lord will guide you. He cares about them more than you do.

Give Thanks To The Lord In The Good Times And In The Bad.

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —1 Thessalonians 5:18

Think again about the four basic levels of gratefulness in life. Level one: It is represented by folk who are constantly complaining and grumbling about stuff. They brighten up a room just by leaving it.

Then there are folk who merely exist living lives marked by ingratitude. They don't complain much, but they never overtly thank God for His obvious generosity or blessings. That's a step up—a little better way to live than the former option.

Then, there are people who thank God for obvious blessings. When something good happens, they're grateful. That's even better.

Finally there is the higher level: It is to be grateful in Jesus and express it all things at all times. Now folks when you choose that option, then you’ll live a life of joy that's pleasing to the Lord ..and people will begin to wonder why they like to hang around you so much.

God is always very generous—that's how He was when He gave us His sinless Son and that was how Jesus was when He gave us His life!

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" —Psalm 118:29

But thanking God in all things is perhaps one of the hardest things that we Christians are called to do ..especially when the circumstances are more than difficult. You know that the Holy Spirit inside of us can help us though, because He shows us that expressing gratitude to the Lord is basically an important secret for being well-adjusted, joyous and productive in this life.

What good thing do we really deserve from Him today anyways and yet He has given us so very much! Listen, God doesn’t owe us anything good, but so many people around us feel that He indeed does. You and I have sinned and deserve Hell, but there have been some.. at least a few pearls of blessing within our ugly gumbo soup of a past.

It’s time for us to extract complaining, cussing, and all self-pity from our minds and mouths..and insert some enthusiastic praise to the Lord instead! Try to remember all that He has given you and done for you--recalling the good is key! Hallelujah, that He hears and answers all the prayers of every Christian (with: yes, no or wait--He knows best)!

If our loving heavenly Father is sovereign and allows both blessings and trials into our lives, it must all be for a reason huh. Father knows best! That’s why we can boldly express thanks in all things! Like me haven't you got a bumb deal before where you felt angry at God and then later on it turned out to be a real blessing in disguise?

Man, I have so much to praise God about. But when God allows something really hard into our lives—you know, a MAJOR OUCH!—even though He does feel for us at the time and He weeps with us.. there is potentially great good that can come out of it if we will have faith. Some think God is selfishly looking for personal gain from us, but that just ain't so! A thousand times “No!” He is looking to bless and help a whole lot of people—yes, whoever will allow Jesus entrance and control! God has no needs and is not small in His mind-set! He's always been more than big-hearted, generous and smart.

It was beyond hard for me to thank God when I had to do a funeral for my sister who died young. It wasn’t God’s will how it happened either. I still don’t understand everything about it, but some attendees repented and trusted Jesus because of that horrific tragedy. That’s why I could thank God in and during that whole uber-painful ordeal. A person's life is changed forever after something like that happens. Please run towards God and His church when you feel intense pain, not away from Him. Better yet, do it before the pain arrives.

Everyday ought to be Thanksgiving Day for Christians! Why not; we have a lot to be grateful for! Let’s turn Thanksgiving day into daily thanks-living! The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits...” (Ps. 68:19). He loadeth us up big-time every single day!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Blunt Prayer Among Those Given To Moral Relativism

You've heard what Moral Relativism is, right? Our Nation has been headed south in more than one way due to this. Is your truth yours and mine mine? It there more than one for different situations? WRONG! Do you ever pray that God will show you His way? Today, I am thankful for Bob Russell who penned a very blunt prayer that really does need to circulate until we as a people take heed and change. It hits us Westerners right between the eyes.

The Bible says, “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” (
2 Ch. 7:14, nkjv).

Perhaps you’ve seen a version of this
blunt, straight to the point prayer already?

“Heavenly Father,

We come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!”

We’ve all heard about this ugly stuff much so.. that it’s now easy to turn it all off and refocus on something pleasant, "nice," or pleasurable. When we hear certain words related to these subjects we switch to OFF, but it's time to wake up, speak up--not give up. Boys, girls, men, women, straight people, gay people – it’s time for us in America to turn away from these sins. God hates all sins because they destroy people. It’s time to call evil “EVIL.” Wrong is wrong—it will never be right.. not for you, not for anyone!

Anger is a gift. —Zack de la Rocha (anger at the sin)

Happiness? Since when is God interested in your personal happiness? He is far more interested in your full submission. Not on your knees, but on your belly, submission.
Whatever happened to contrition, to brokenness, confession, U- turns, holiness and virtue?

Jesus zealously preached, “…unless
you repent you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3).

Currently there are 1.6 million abortions performed in the U.S. each year. We don’t need to wait until the next election to make our voices heard
(on high, or down here on earth).

Approximately 6 million women in the U.S. become pregnant every year. About half of those pregnancies are unintended. Either the woman or her partner did not use contraception or the contraceptive method failed.

Eighty percent of women having abortions are single.

Eighty two percent of the women having abortions are unmarried or separated.

Almost half of American women (43 percent) will have an abortion sometime in their lifetime.

Each year more than one million U.S. teenagers become pregnant — one in nine women aged 15-19 and one in five who are sexually active.1

Lord, because of the cross please convict, and cleanse us from sin.. one by one, set us free. That is our earnest plea!

1 Sources: Planned Parenthood, National Center for Health Statistics. The above prayer didn’t come from Billy Graham or from Paul Harvey as some have said. It was written by Bob Russell and a version of it was prayed out loud by Minister Joe Wright from Central Christian Church in Wichita when he was asked to open the Kansas House of Representatives in a word of prayer on January ’96 (see

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wholly Committed To The Holy Spirit?

Got some questions for you.. What do you know about the Holy Spirit? Perhaps you were taught about Him as a child when the teachers used to call Him the “Holy Ghost.” Maybe you envisioned something like Casper the ghost floating around the room in a white sheet when He was spoken of. To some people.. talk of Him could come off a bit scary. I used to see some preachers on TV talking about Him and they really were scary.. and would therefore make Him seem scary too.

When a person becomes a Christian, it was the Father working (through the Holy Spirit) who drew them to Christ. See John 6:44. The Holy Spirit literally comes along side of them to talk some sense into their minds. He comes to convict them of sin and to point them to the only viable Solution for their poor spiritual condition, and that Solution has a Name: Jesus Christ the only Way and only Savior. Yup, the Spirit is the One who introduces you to the Lord, but after that most important experience, it’s Jesus who turns around to introduce the new convert to the Holy Spirit. Why? It’s because the Holy Spirit never points to Himself—always to Jesus (and we would do well to follow His example). It’s because you are really going to need His help, His daily guidance and His world changing kind of empowering be an effective witness for God.

Did you know that you can have a relationship with this Person? Did you know that He is so for you every moment of every day; to comfort, to build up and to encourage you as you pursue a lifelong joyous and fruitful partnership with the living Lord (the ultimate Fisher of men)?

Many people have some crazy ideas today about what the Holy Spirit is about and doing here on earth. He is all about you learning to glorify and please God consistently and He’s also wanting you to become a great witness (by your holy life, your sound words and by your selfless deeds) as unto the Lord and not merely to look good. Of course some people think that when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will lose control of your faculties, get a liver quiver and then go berserk into a wall. Some think you will start to flop and jerk about on the floor just like a big ole salmon out of water that’s trying to get away from a hungry grizzly bear. Some think you’ll get a glazed look in your eyes like those who have been buzzed on weed and then forever act bazaar.. to the horrific public embarrassment of the Church and your entire family. This is false. These ideas are simply not true, because self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Now, think back for a moment about what were you taught regarding the Holy Spirit. Does it really square with the Bible or is it merely religious jive? Have you checked it out for yourself?

Q: Has Jesus Christ made you ready for life in Heaven yet? Have you confessed your sins, repented and asked Him to? Q: Has the Holy Spirit made you ready for life on earth yet? Nowhere in the Bible does God tell you specifically to ask to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, but as you read through the book of Acts isn't it clear to see that you need the Spirit to have all of you; that you indeed need this experience? Isn't it abundantly clear that God wants all believers to have this empowering experience?

The Bible commands, “do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). God doesn't want you debauched, wasted or out of control. Jesus once asked, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Lk. 11:11-13, nkjv). God clearly wants you to strongly desire, to ask for, to be filled with, to be refilled with (over and over again) and to be controlled by the Holy Spirit!

Allow me to ask you this.. If you are ready for eternity with God, are you helping others to get ready for that journey into eternity that each one of us must take? As believers, we all we would be wise to clearly tell our friends and loved ones others about the Lord warning them to flee the wrath to come. But many of us don't know how to ..or we feel too afraid to start because we do not want to flub it.

Want to hear what Kurt and Liney really believe about this unique third person of the Trinity—the one and only Holy Spirit? We both believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers who will turn from their sins, believe in Christ’s finished work on the cross and then welcome Him inside. We believe that He is available to comfort, to enable, to teach, to guide and to empower the life and ministry of each and every believer. He does this as each one wholeheartedly pursues knowing Christ in a personal way (not just in gaining head-knowledge—that’s so weak by comparison) and also in making Christ known (that’s so non-weak!!!).

Yes, we believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, invaded this world in a unique manner on the day of Pentecost according to God’s divine promise. We believe He will empower every willing believer for practical spiritual service ..I mean every Christian who will allow Him to rule in and through them. He is here to unite all believers into one body for a purpose. He is the source of all power for acceptable vertical worship to God, for impacting horizontal ministry to other believers and for witnessing to lost souls. We believe that He never departs from the universal church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever present to testify clearly of Christ and of the Gospel through Christ’s body.

We are here for Him (we are His property) and not here for ourselves, for pleasure--for “a buzz.” We are not here for exotic supernatural experiences either. We believe that the Holy Spirit's abode in the world in this special sense will cease when Christ comes to receive His own to Himself at the completion of the Church (2 Thessalonians 2:7; John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:22).

We also believe in the gifts of the Spirit for today, but not in the misapplication of these gifts for say ego’s sake or some other wrong reason (see 1 Corinthians). We believe that God the Holy Spirit works miracles and heals people today. Even physical healing is provided for us in the atonement.. but not guaranteed for everyone this side of heaven. Going to heaven is the ultimate healing. God does work miracles today, but think about this... if miracles happened as much as some Christians say they did—every day—they'd be called "regulars."
We do reject how some so called Christian "miracle workers" and "healing evangelists" that are living lavishly ..selfishly fleece God’s flock as a habit ..using so called “miracle services.” They use crafty slight of hand, slight of mind tricks with fake words or alleged gifts of the Spirit, all for their own aggrandizement and benefit. There are true evangelists and fake ones today--wolves in sheeps clothing so we must be careful to test what they say. We must keep our eyes open. We do believe that in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit, and that it is the duty of every Christian to recognize and understand them well and to be adjusted to them in their own life and experience. These ministries are the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the regenerating of anyone willing to turn from their life of sin to Christ; the indwelling and anointing of those who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the baptizing into the one body of Christ of all who are saved; and the filling (and refilling when needed) of power, sound teaching, and grace of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will. (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; John 3:6; 16:7-11; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 2:20-27).

Today I heard Chuck Swindoll talk about this need saying, "What a shame it would be if you had inherited a fortune but didn’t know it, living as a homeless person without enough food to eat during the day or a place to lay your head at night. How unfortunate it would be if you owned a new car but didn’t know that it needed gasoline to operate, instead pushing it everywhere you went. When a person is born into God’s family of faith, several things occur within us that others can’t identify just by looking. Among these ‘things’ that occur is the sudden and immediate presence of the Holy Spirit. Think of it! At salvation, God takes up residence in our lives. And He does so for a purpose; to enable us to operate our lives on a supernatural level of power that could not possibly be produced in the energy of our own flesh.”

When we realize what all this means, the difference the Holy Spirit can make can is unimaginable! Jesus is thee KEY, and the Holy Spirit is like the fuel to keep things running right if you will. I really need Him to keep the fire inside burning. He is the One who lubricates the gears too. He is always there for you and me!

It’s a wasted prayer for a Christian to voice.. “Lord be with us” for He always is. You’ve been in His presences all week long. It’s a waste for a believer to pray.. “Soon, Lord, send your Spirit into me” ..for He already is inside of you. Most Christian denominations and churches recognize that when a person repents and receives Christ by faith ..apart from good works (as it really happens during a biblical salvation experience).. at that moment the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside that person. That’s absolutely true and that’s the greatest miracle that God still does today!

My question is this: If you have the Holy Spirit, does the Holy Spirit have you—have you allowed Him to take control of every area of your life? To me it’s not as important what you call this relational situation with the Spirit, but if you have the Holy Spirit. Are you filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit? Check out these verses dealing with the Spirit (within their own context even).

Ezekiel 36:26: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:27: "And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

John 4:10: "Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’"
John 4:11: "‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?’"
John 4:12: "Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
John 4:13: "Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,’”
John 4:14: "but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’"

John 7:37: "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.’"
John 7:38: "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
John 7:39: "By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."

John 14:16: "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--"
John 14:17: "the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you."

John 14:26: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

John 16:7: "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you."
John 16:8: "When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:"

John 16:12: "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear."
John 16:13: "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come."
John 16:14: "He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you."
John 16:15: "All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you."

Romans 8:9: "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."
Romans 8:11: "And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."
Romans 8:12: "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it."
Romans 8:13: "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,"
Romans 8:14: "because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."
Romans 8:15: "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’"

1 Corinthians 2:12: "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us."
1 Corinthians 2:13: "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words."
1 Corinthians 2:14: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

1 Corinthians 3:16: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"

1 Corinthians 6:11: "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

1 Corinthians 6:19: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"

2 Corinthians 1:21: "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,"
2 Corinthians 1:22: "set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

Ephesians 1:13: "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,"
Ephesians 1:14: "who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of His glory."

Ephesians 4:30: "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

Galatians 3:2: "I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?"

Galatians 3:5: "Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?"

Galatians 3:14: "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

1 John 2:27: "As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him."

1 John 4:13: "We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit."
1 John 4:15: "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."
1 John 4:16: "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."

Regeneration is a work of the Spirit; sealing believers is a work of the Spirit, sanctification is a work of the Spirit.. teaching us truth so we can apply it and mature is a work of the Spirit (but we still need to hear human Bible teachers that are saved as well). This "empowering of us to fish for souls" is the work of the Spirit. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we speak to sinners and to each other correctly ..with grace, truth, tact and wisdom. When we are baptized in the Spirit, we are to live wholesome, normal lives (a "true normal" with spiritual health and practicality).

All Christians need to experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and believe what's true about this. Then they need to be controlled by Him! Some Christians falsely believe that when the Holy Spirit gets a hold of your life, you should live abnormally with flamboyantly uber-erratic weirdness and imbalance. Let Christians primarily look for power, good feelings and over-the-top supernatural experiences all they want.. I just want to seek the real Jesus. Hey, the world is looking for what genuine Christians have—they have an attractive authenticity; a gracious enthusiasm and a glorious joyful attitude in Jesus. They don’t get hung up on all the religious periphery junk that's distracts. When you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you will have freshness, a power to control your tongue.. to think pure thoughts.. to enjoy a normal marriage relationship filled with agape love (which is so rare to see these days). It will affect your walk and your talk in a good way!

A so called Christian man returned home after hearing a rabid egotistical preacher teaching at a conference for men. He had listened to the preacher for a whole week in teach on how a woman’s place is in the home and how she is supposed to submit to her husband.

When the husband got home he literally yelled for his wife to come as if she were a dog. And He really dressed her down loudly, letting her know how things would change around the home… “Listen woman! From now on, this is how it will be in this house. I am the boss and you will do what I say, because you are the wife and right here in the Bible it tells how you are to submit to me! Got that woman?” He went on and on ad nausium.

Well he didn’t see his wife for two weeks after that time. But after two and a half weeks had passed, the man started to see her a bit.. through one eye. (Hey..just a little joke to show how not to communicate).

Today we have “expert theologians” (that are not) popping up to join the aberrant “Jesus Seminar” which is wrongly respected in this world.. or they join some other cult (or cultic group preaching a false Jesus, a false Holy Spirit ..even within Christendom). Some sadly in Jesus’ Name “creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:6-7, nkjv). These people say they love and know the Holy Spirit, but they learn and never arrive at the truth. It’s because they reject what the Bible clearly says about Him. They unfortunately make the choice to ignore the admonitions of the real Holy Spirit and remain lost.

But we are convinced of better things for you as you get real, get honest, get humble before the Christ of the Bible. Yes, as call out to the Lord, as you get in His Word (and let His Word get in you), an assurance of salvation will be yours! You can be empowered for witnessing. The Holy Spirit is holy and is committed to sanctifying you in holiness for this purpose. Will you wholly
commit to Him!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Ever Think About Your Future Eternal State?

I just had a wonderful time chatting with, and witnessing to an ole friend who approached me to catch up on things. He commutes to Dallas from Fort Worth and eats at Denny's every morning at the same time--he's a man of habit. I have known him for a couple years and he has a great sense of humor.

I'll call him, Bob. Anyways, Bob is a great shoeshine man and his "woman keeps him matching," he says. Yup, his ball cap always matches his slacks each and every day (that's better than I can do).. just like it should be with any downtown professional dressed for success. Bob's got a lot of ball caps too. I never met anyone that does better work on shoes than Bob. People line up and wait for Bob to do his thing with his snapping waxy rag on their work zapatos. Nice guy too. You'd love him. What a joy it was!

Q: Ever consider what your future eternal state will be like? That sounds like such a good and serious question huh. I've got a handful more to consider: Where will you spend eternity? What do you believe about a life or existence beyond the grave? Do you even care? What will happen to the physical body that you now live in? What about your family members, or all decent people and evil doers that you know—where will they be? What exactly will happen to people after their bodies reach room temperature, are cremated, buried etc? How will you plan in advance?

Want to hear what Kurt and Liney really believe and some rock-solid truth regarding these important questions?

We believe in the bodily resurrection of everyone; yes every human being who has lived. We believe in the everlasting blessedness of those in right relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ, and in the everlasting punishment of all those who have rejected God's forgiveness in His Son. Some people say that is so harsh to believe in the punishment part--so cold blooded, but we have good grounds to believe in the truth of both these statements just the same. Please remember that our God is merciful, loving and very just (you wouldn't ever want to live in a town where injustice was the rule of the day would you?). In the end, all of us will see how incredibly fair God really is. Besides, not believing in these things as taught in the Bible will not make them go away. What has been prophesied in the past by the prophets of old—the words that we find in the Scriptures—have been fulfilled with 100% accuracy thus far and will be fulfilled with precise timing in the future as well. In fact, there really are not many prophecies left to be fulfilled.

We believe that at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation ..will pass immediately into God’s presence and then remain there in conscious bliss rather than in boredom, until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes back for His own. At that time those souls and bodies will then be reunited and associated with Him forever in glory to wholeheartedly continue worshipping Him in truth. The spirits and souls of the unbelieving will not be in God’s presence right after death (..until they come to their final judgement before Him. They also will not be annihilated into nothingness either. If they were annihilated, they couldn't experience everlasting torment as they each will indeed experience). Yes, the spirits and souls of the unsaved will certainly be conscious of condemnation and will be in misery until that final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body alike shall be reunited and ultimately cast into the lake of fire (a very real place of pain--no party), not to be merely eradicated into a non-existence but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord almighty, and from the glory of His holy power. (See: Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15).

That's how it will be. Are you ready for the Rapture of the Church and all this stuff to play out before you? Please come to Christ on His terms today! I am answering questions and praying for my friend, Bob, and will pray for you as well ..if you want me to. I don't want you or Bob to miss being caught away, for the retirement benefits are out of this world! Why not think about and pray about some of these practical and future happenings for a few moments ...things that are slightly more important than deciding upon the right place for lunch today?

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Be Uptight? God's Got It Under Control!

"Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up" —Proverbs 12:25

How are you and your family doing with all the new change happening? Seems like a whole lot is in flux these days huh. Are you ready for the holidays? Has the economy and future uncertainty got you feeling up tight? Do you really believe that the Lord has things in hand?

Christian, please choose to put off worry ..permanently. God's got it and He has you in hand too. Understanding God's sovereignty is key for us who would fish for souls. Yes, it makes a person passionate for Christ and for biblical evangelism in a shifting society and in world gone astray! God is so BIG and so Great—He has an eternal purpose for everything He does!

Yes, resting in His arms and understanding this, will make us Christians concerned for the unregenerate ..enough to act. He is the One who motivates us to reach out and serve the last, the lost and the least ..worldwide. God's sovereignty will never make you sluggish, passive or pathetic with an I-could-give-a-flip attitude. Rather, it makes Christians awake, zealous, enthusiastic, fresh and worry free! So why opt to be inverted instead? We are living during exciting times filled with opportunities! The Bible says...

Fret not—He loves you (John 13:1).
Faint not—He holds you (Psalm 139:10).
Fear not—He keeps you (Psalm 121:5).

Christ can give you satisfying answers to such questions as 'Who am I?' 'Why was I born?' 'What am I doing here?' 'Where am I going?' All of the great questions of life can be measured when you come by faith to Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Lord. Let Him be your Pilot. He can take away the worry from your life. —Billy Graham

The Word says, "Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." —Proverbs 16:20

God assures Christians, "Fear not, for I am with you." —Isaiah 43:5

There is no time to fritter away; no minutes to waste! God really does cares for you and your neighbors and He is in control! He will lovingly provide for you and use you as you properly prioritize. He knows all your needs even before you ask ..not just for food in the fridge, gas in the tank, and heating in the house. He does whatever He pleases! His ways are so much higher than ours and we should be so thankful for that. He comes through with precise timing too. He will never leave you in a lurch. I wish you could ask Joseph 'bout it. All things work together for good if you love Him and are called according to His purpose (see Romans 8:28).

Listen, if you can get a grasp on this concept of God ruling without rival—I mean His sovereignty—then you'll never complain again! All doubt will fly out the window!

Did you know that having an understanding of God's sovereignty was the secret of Billy Graham's fruitful evangelistic ministry? That's what Cliff Barrows said (on Billy's 90th birthday on November 7th, '08). You too can apply the principles of the Word just like Billy has done for all these years. You too can enjoy close fellowship with God in Christ and joyously fish for souls ...with urgency, with love and with results! So lay down all your worries at the foot of the cross!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Got Econo-Phobia? Has The Uncertainty Of Riches Got You Scared?

To The Victor …Goes The Mess

Sometimes we actually get what we want and then discover what we got. Citizens will also soon discover what we got from that last election. Beloved, have you been worried about how to make ends meet? Who or what do you put your trust in? I hope you don't say in those on Wall Street or in Washington's personnel. Polished and intelligent men--markets and politicians can let you down (They also let each other down). In recent times, after each election, the new guy always inherits a huge mess--larger debt.

I'm so glad that Jesus will soon take “The government upon His shoulder” (Isa. 9:6). Aww Kurt, that sounds so Sunday school sweet--you just keep believing like that dear. It's true, He will soon be here leading us on earth and He will never let us down. Man, are you excited and ready to see Him like I am? Have you been forgiven and born again spiritually? Why not? It's a good time to start thinking about the righteousness He alone offers?

How are you feelin' today? After seeing 260 thousand job lay offs in the month of October alone American companies prepare to get taxed in a large way. How are you and your family doing? Have you been feeling the pinch--been feeling a bit up-tight lately 'bout the future? A lot of people in Dallas are.

Believer, allow me to ask you this.. Is politics your primary passion or is Christ your passion? Politics should never be, even if you are employed in the political arena. But the tendency of Christians in relation to politics seems to be towards one of two extremes today. Many don't vote at all and miss out on the privilege (thinking it would be worldly compromise to get involved), or they spend too much time with politics and make politics their passion. Please avoid both! I admit that I enjoy learning about the process and issues. I like making my vote cancel out my friend Dave's vote (LOL). And like any American, I too can become very moved by the issues at hand and what I read.. but by God's grace I choose to keep Christ as my First Love Passion. Yes, I feel passionate wanting to tactfully and proactively spread the Gospel more ..yes, more than I want to warn people of political weirdnesses. Like me, I'm sure you also feel concerned for Americans regarding their future welfare. The American electorate astounds me more each election season. It clearly reflects our nation's rapid spiritual decline (the hearts of people here need be transformed--abortion should be long gone by now). So many people have such bazaar beliefs.

“I never though this day would ever happen! I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car, I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help him, he's going to help me.” ~Obama voter, Peggy Joseph

Personally, I'd rather hold on to the true Words of our highest Authority over anyone running for office. But people here seem more desperate--intensely wanting change for the better, and expectations are running higher than ever now--free stuff is on it's way from our new President-Elect, Barack Obama. Man, he is going to need our prayers big time. He seems to be trying hard to use the right words huh (Glad he appligized to Nancy Reagan too). Did you like his new plastic sign that reads The Office of the President Elect? That's new! Never seen anything like that before. Anyways, babies in the womb and this multi-millionaire will really need our prayers as he inherits an economy soaked in bucket-loads of red ink. Yikes! Who will bear that load? Are you still thinking about all his promises to us?

"If you make under $250,000 you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime."

Do you really believe that line? What if the economy get's really in trouble Christian, do you believe that God is big enough to care for your needs in spite of what our leader does? He can handle all of them as we put our faith in Him!

Do you find it interesting how the liberal New York Times is no longer complaining about our bad economy now.. now that they have helped get Obama in the grandest office door. But the economy is still hurting in a large way many Americans are, who have already suffered loss. I feel for them.

Ahmadinejad sure feels happy though. For the first time ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this Iranian madman has actually written a congratulatory letter to a US President-elect. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said in his letter, "We hope the new government can distance itself from present statesman's wrong approaches." Bush has made some mistakes, but I can't stand how he is always the enemy to hate and to blame for everything--even by many misled Americans. And yet he has been nothing but a decent gentleman far more than some presidents who have preceded him (especially during this transition period). I'm grateful for how he did a good job to protect us from more attacks. Thank you Mr. W. Bush! As he relocates here to the Park Cities area of Dallas, maybe history will vindicate him if they don't further vilify him.

I'm now wondering what words will be said if we come under attack again by angry Muslims again (hopefully we won't). Will it be something like: "Let's be clear.. America condemns this unprovoked act of brutality with the strongest words possible--this cruel act where innocent civilians have died. Now we in this administration will have to sit down and discuss matters with the perpetrators face to face. What has happened must never happen again, but we seek to arrive at a peaceful solution with our enemies. Mark my words, we will thoroughly evaluate things. In fact a full investigation has already been launched." Yeah, we'll see what happens--remember that we do not really know our new leader much and many important questions asked, were avoided and never addressed.

Now the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías also feels very pleased. In fact he too has heartily congratulated our elected President, Barack Obama, for such an "important victory."

Have you been watchin' how McCain’s chaotic and defeated team keeps trashing, blaming and smearing Sarah Palin lately? Why? Does it bug you any? Wonder who it is? Only wimps pick on girls. What good does it really do? Got me! And where is McCain to defend her? You know, I don’t believe any of their pettiness and mean accusations (Did the harsh meanness that came to her make you feel embarrassed to be called an American. What has become of us?). A whole lot of money was spent by the liberals who, at great cost, flew up north to dig and dig and dig up dirt on Gov. Palin for her years of good work in Alaska ..and after a long time of searching real hard, they couldn’t come up with anything substantial. Where was all the negative stuff on her--the wrongs she committed in Alaska? So now all of a sudden she’s has somehow become as foolish, vain, and spoiled as some spoiled teenage pop star run amuck by all the sudden fame. Right! Let it rest. It’s time to get over it McCain-team and give the decent Christian lady a much deserved break.

You know what.. we do wish President-Elect, Barack Obama true success and will pray to that end (hopefully he knows this kind of success can be had and enjoyed in a close relationship with the Bible Jesus, rather than in mere religion or in some bogus church with brainless haters).

How will he do it all and still hang on to all his dynamic appeal and popularity know, without him staying up real late night after night.. pacing those White House floors ..and without wringing his hands together until they're sore? Think about it a moment. He has inherited two wars and a collapsing economy (all blamed on Bush). Will the crowds keep cheering for him; will he be able to keep moving those crowds with all those exquisite eloquent pep-talks? Do you feel like many, that he is an expert and saying nothing? Perhaps you've already been feeling worried about our sick economy under his watch? Trust Jesus Christ.

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up” —Prov. 12:25

He tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you.” —Isa. 43:5

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.” —Eze. 22:30–31, kjv

Peace out in the Lord praying believers! It will go well with you. Most of America has chosen our new leader (of course 56 milllion did not vote for him or his values), but everyone wants to see improvement real bad. It’s cool that God is in control and after all the pushing, shoving, smearing, polling is all said and done.. everything will fall into it’s proper place with perfect timing the Lord brings about all end-time-events just as He said it would happen. The rapture and Christ's second advent are very near—His Kingdom will soon come upon this earth quickly and we who walk with Him will enjoy it during the Kingdom Age. How exciting will that be? History always has been “His story!”

Feel bored now? Do like Daniel did after the time of power-transition in his day (you remember how in his case, Mr. Darius became the new leader ruling Babylon). What did Daniel do? He didn’t sit around on the sofa, eating chips, drinking beer and watching TV night and day ..growing old. He was vigilant--very watchful! He also studied the Scriptures carefully and He prayed in faith. He believed God to provide—he didn’t waste time worrying. He prayed for himself and he repented of his own sin. He sought the Lord fully—not halfheartedly. Nothing like being right with God huh; keeping short accounts with Him and others!

Has "fear of future lack" gripped your heart? Do you have a nice quiet or a loud and cold-blooded employer who could pull the plug on your job and income soon? Perhaps you have been fretting about your job and stocks and this whole collapsing economy lately? Are you wondering how you'll makes ends meet and provide for your family? Are you in Christ today? You can be as you call out to Him in repentance and faith. Remember to find things to be grateful for ..and know that God provides for His own.

Hey, don’t be worried Christian! Just get your nose in the Bible and convert all your anxieties and fears into believing prayer God-ward in Jesus’ mighty Name! That’s no poor-use of time! Remember that the address on your candid knee-mail is slightly important too ..uh yeah! Too many people vainly pray to themselves and to other gods that aren’t able to accomplish a thing.

People who fear the Lord; “do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them” (Ps. 112:7).

Jesus was loving and direct when He said, “I'll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill people and then throw them into hell.” —Luke 12:5

We've all heard that it is good for us Christians to plan for the future, and not to ever waste any time worrying about or even trusting in the uncertainty of riches. I agree; it’s just not wise. The Apostle Paul said, "As for the rich in this present age, charge them not . . . to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy" (1 Tim. 6:17).

Typically, we Americans think of poverty as "uncertain" and we often think of riches as "certain." And it’s true that poverty is uncertain—it sadly creates a condition where there is indeed some uncertainty. Are you secure? Think about this for a moment.. so are riches uncertain. So what will it be for you? Uncertainty in the world with all the stress, insecurity, anxiety, and worry ..or hope, stability, a contentment, peace and clean enjoyment in fellowship with the best of friends--the Lord? Choose Christ over worry today! May you be a balanced red-hot spiritual believer for Jesus going the distance—living proof of a living hope in God during these days of real perplexity and economic testing.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hope Ain't Just A Worn Down Town In Arkansas

Apart from the different values and wide-range of foolish things said to each other ..apart from the radical buddies and strange convictions that we’ve each heard expressed for some months (including many good things said on both sides)... all Americans should recognize the historical milestone we just witnessed, that a black American has been able to make it to the presidency.

Now we hope and all should pray hard that President-Elect Barack Obama’s time in office will redound to the country’s long-term benefit ..for God’s glory! I pray that God will make him into a godly and truthful leader. I pray that God will protect the entire Obama family. Listen Conservatives, things could always end up good at the end of any leader’s term if God is allowed to get involved and lead that leader. What Kurt?--hey, it could happen. Iis it likely? One thing is for sure: No leaders will ever be near "great" supporting abortion, but it's up to President-Elect Barack Obama now to change and become fair. Promotion "should" bring a lot of true humility to anyone one of us. I think that conservatives (and all Americans) should quickly remember God’s Word and take heed -- “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chron. 7:14).

All conservatives need know and live for Christ 100% and start rebuilding right... willing to work with the Democrats in Washington for the people’s good. The times and Church have changed here radically.. from the time of this country’s founding, and this time from the inside for worse. The Church in America for the most part longs to become PC and accepted by all peoples of this land and others. The is positive news aw well (many people are still turning to Christ), but the Church has sadly compromised and lost much of its power to influence the American people and this culture in a positive godly way. And due to its’ compromised position, Christianity, Christ and those who serve Him, are openly mocked and ridiculed in every public arena. You know this! It’s time for the Church to repent and wake up all the others around us. The American Christian Church needs to get out of the world's bed (and all fun-loving preachers also need to keep their pants on and stay out of the wrong beds)—it needs to quickly set itself apart for God's holy use in a serious way. No time to play around! It needs to kick down its own decaying walls of mediocrity, lukewarmness, lame tradition and worthless ritual ..and go after Christ fullthrotle ..and then after the lost perishing people (here and abroad) just like a spiritual ambulance filled with nitro.

With a servant's attitude and the right personal choices that "could and should be made," anyone of us given a very important task could potentially "finish the job" in the will of God …rather than out of it. I pray our new leader will do this, but we all need to finish strong in God's will! Yes, the holy fear of God arriving in the heart of a person ..along with a born again experience where Christ is given the driver's seat--that would make a huge positive difference for anyone. All of us need to decide wisely regarding Jesus in order to finish right the field of our respective callings! Let’s all pray to that end and each pray for President-Elect Obama too.. for his family (they'll need to quickly find a real church in Washington, rather than a dead religious or hateful one). Let's pray for our congress and all American lawmakers! Let’s pray for Gov. Sarah Palin and her beautiful family and for an authentic nationwide spiritual awakening as well.. for many soft hearts in hot pursuit of a close relationship with Jesus Christ, for a real turning back to the Bible, for clear understanding of the Scriptures with wise application! We each can be a good example by His power starting today.

In our home, we certainly wish we could have had more leaders (of godly character, of faith and of strong virtue in that election process) to choose from. Why only the extremely rich--are they always the best suited to lead? The liberals will shortly be in the driver’s seat in Washington so to speak a way they have not been since the so called, “Great Society.” The Democratic majority in Congress will be slightly smaller than the one that greeted perverse President Clinton in 1993 ...but of course will be sadly more homogeneous in its liberalism. May the one true and living God give each of us a heart zealous towards His Son and towards what’s biblically right today! These aren't just empty religious wishes.

How 'bout you? How do you feel today? Are you stoked out? Maybe you feel like you just got ran over by a driver-less trash truck gone wild. Perhaps you feel elated, or shocked, or horrible, or thrilled, or just BLAH today.

Hey, I can empathize with many who are somehow getting through their Election Day withdrawals ..some after experiencing hardcore political-obsessive-compulsive-disorder (just kidding). Maybe you feel like you are going to get sick and hurl today--you know, launch your lunch? It seems to me that since the advent of the TV in America, every candidate who has been outwardly "more attractive" on the screen (no matter how they live or what they believe it) wins the election. Am I wrong? Just an observation. Have we allowed Hollywood to make us weird in this way? King David would have never been chosen in America.

So Much Of It Reminds Me Of What The Grateful Dead Use To Sing, “What A Long Strange Trip It's Been!”

But listen; no matter who you voted for, you have value! God has a good idea and plan for your life that will involve repentance and faith. No matter your political views, strong opinions or choices.. we can all love one another and work for a better tomorrow in this great Land. On the road to hope, there are obstacles God can help us each get around or dealt with--sins of the flesh, hate, selfishness, lust, un-forgiveness, unbelief, demon forces etc. Christian, if you feel good today.. praise the Lord in all circumstances!

Christian, if you feel lousy today; praise the Lord in all circumstances ..rather than "for" all circumstances! Not all circumstance are good and from God. Buckle your seat belt tiger, things will get tougher on earth in the future (check out Bible prophecy). It might get even more interesting in days to come, but God will overshadow and shield us. He will protect His own. Have you give yourself fully to Him yet?

Are you still down? The Psalmist asked, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God” (Ps. 42:11).

Need Some Hope?

Jeremiah said, "The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.'" —Lamentations 3:24, kjv

Who do you hope in? Please don’t say you’ve put your hope in your boss, in your president, in your governor, in a flawed monarch, in a chancellor, in your prime minister.. in this nation of ours that's been on a fast track towards wickedness.. in your lovely girlfriend or even in yourself. None of these individuals or things would be the best choice for you. But let’s talk about the One who is the best! Jesus Christ. Why not; we're supposed to be tolerant of everyone's preference and talk?

Someone anonymous once said, “Life with Christ is an endless hope; without Him a hopeless end.” How true! Perhaps you live in a country where the economy is whack and the outlook is bad and no politician can fix it all. Try the up-look! Perhaps your plans and hard work all seemed to have come to nothing? One of my dear Christian black friends, named Ray, came up to me a couple days ago and said with all sincerity, "Martin Luther King Jr had a dream and tomorrow on election day it will be fulfilled!" Well, we agreed to disagree, but that doesn't mean Ray and I can't work together to see Martin's dream of love and equality fulfilled in the future. Perhaps you've prayed for a different result and now don’t understand why the circumstances have quickly gone in another direction? Have you ever experienced reversals, despondency or despair? Have you watched so much news that you feel like engaging in some hardcore worrying about how things will go in the future? Don't fret. YO, it’s too early to give up a pursuit of the truth ..of a better tomorrow.. of justice in your country or of true righteousness!

Hey, you don’t need to worry; you don’t need to give up all that you know to be true because of some things you don’t know about. You just need hope in a Person ..who is real—One that won’t fail or forsake you—and I know where you can find Him. Go crack open your dusty Bible and pray.

As storm clouds do form on the horizon--as they will from time to time--as you stop to ask yourself about what or who you are really worshiping--what you are really building your life upon ..on shifting sand or on the immovable eternal Rock, Christ Jesus? As you check out the quality of your building materials and the firmness of your foundation.. As you contemplate the short time you have remaining on the terrestrial ball called earth.. remember your Maker get close to Him. Mortals will let you down. Yes, you and I agree that they do and that it’s simply too hard for anyone to live during these uncertain times without hope. People need divine solace, direction and to see light at the end of the dark tunnel they've been struggling to get through. Do remember the words of Edward Mote who wrote a familiar hymn--I just love the first verse of that song because it sums up hope for every believer, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name." Do remember that Christ is only a prayer of turning and trust ..away!

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