Friday, May 29, 2015


Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (NKJV)

It has been a week since I shared any thoughts with you. The past week has been a busy one ministering to families who were facing some difficult circumstances. But it was also during that same week that I witnessed God at work in those circumstances. 1) I witnessed the faith of hurting people being released as they trusted God with their pain and sorrow. 2) I saw the care, love and concern of the body of Christ being released toward these hurting individuals. 3) I witnessed the Love of God being put into action through the lives of men and women who made a conscious decision to serve their fellow man. There is much more to write and share and I had planned on sharing those thoughts on the blog today. BUT the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in another manner today and I feel that I need to listen to His direction.

The passage of scripture in Matthew 6 rose in my spirit as I prayed this morning. I will emphasize a few words in the next few sentences and I trust you take a moment and listen for the Voice of God to speak to you as He spoke to me this morning. What if every believer made Matthew 6:33 their primary desire? What if we put this passage into action on a daily basis? Why have many Christians allowed their relationship God to become secondary in their lives? Why have many Christians turned serving God into a convenience driven relationship rather than a primary desire in their lives? Each of us must remove those things, desires, plans and personal agendas that are interfering in our walk with Christ. 

There is a new word that has been added to our Christian vocabulary. It is the word "nones." It is used to identify that group of individuals who have distanced themselves from any form of organized religion. You can read more information about this new designation on different websites. But the Spirit placed another word in my heart this morning that troubled me. It was the word "Somes." I doubt this word exists but the Spirit used this "word" to illustrate the condition of some in the modern day church. "Somes" are people who serve God when it is convenient, easy, and especially those times when it does not interfere with their plans, ideas, desires or pleasures. Serving God is not always convenient; there is a price to pay to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Let me remind you of some other words that Jesus spoke.

Matthew 7:13-14,  “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell (the road that leads to destruction) is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." (NLT)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day we remember those who demonstrated their priorities by giving the supreme sacrifice. Men and women of the armed forces fought and died so that others might have liberty. It is always sobering to reflect on the reality that the liberties we enjoy today came at a great cost. So we pause as a nation to express our recognition and to collectively say we won’t forget.

Memorial day affords us the opportunity to remember those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We must do our part to pay proper respect and honor to those who have died in the process of defending our freedom. But we must also use this weekend to remind ourselves of the valiant men and women in our Armed Forces who are presently serving our nation. 

There are some things that are worth forgetting and there are some things that we need to forget but our men and women in uniform are not one of those things that need to be forgotten. Let us make sure that we teach our children and grandchildren to properly respect those individuals who have served as well as those individuals that are serving in the Armed Forces at this time.

May God continue to bless our nation with freedom and may God bless those heroic Americans who are defending that freedom today!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Are we Listening to God?

Luke 21:37-38, "And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet. 38 Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him." (NKJV)

Have you ever heard these words being spoken, "Are you listening to me?" These words may have been spoken by your parents, your spouse or in some cases even your children. Each of us have caught ourselves not paying attention to what was being spoken by someone. Again this "wandering ear" could have happened to us in various situations in which we failed to comprehend what was being spoken to us. Let's be honest for a moment, it is easy to allow our minds to drift away from what is really important. Distractions or even other attractions can contribute to this problem of a "wandering ear."

Don't you believe that it is time that we paid close attention to what the Spirit and the Word are saying to each of us today? I think that we can become so captured by the idea that God has a revelation for the Body of Christ collectively that we fail to pay attention to what He has to say to us on an individual basis. I don't mean this in a harsh manner but we need to start paying attention to what the Spirit is saying to us today. We need to turn our "ears" toward heaven and hear what the Lord is saying to us.

This past Sunday morning the Spirit brought this reminder into the corporate worship meeting of our local church. The Spirit challenged us with these words in three successive statements to the congregation; "I love you and I am calling you to draw near to me." But here is one of the problems that I identify in the modern day church. Each of us believe that God is calling everyone else but me. You need to respond to God and I will stay in my position of spiritual comfort and spiritual ease. But is that really the posture that Christ wants us to take? In my prayerful opinion, we must stop "passing the buck" to everyone else.

We need to make a sincere effort to hear what the Spirit is saying to us. God knows what is best for us and God knows what is right for us. Are we (me) willing to respond appropriately or will I continue to just ignore the call from God and reason in my mind that the call from God pertains to everyone else? It is time to listen to what God is saying to us and begin to put into practice those principles that will lead to spiritual transformation.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Philippians 4:19, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (NKJV)

We are entering the time of the year in which we will read about the lack of rain in certain areas of our country. We will hear words such as "dry spells, drought and extended drought." These words remind us of the shortage of rain which will lead to a shortage of an adequate water supply. In simple terms these words remind us that our natural resources are disappearing and that it will take rain to re-fill the rivers, lakes, streams and reservoirs. 

Our spiritual journey also brings us to those moments of "dryness" in which our circumstances or the circumstances of those people we love have depleted our source of resources. Our health is fading and the Medical field has no answers. Our place of employment is laying off workers or even closing its doors and our hope for employment looks bleak. Our financial reserves have taken a hit because of illness, or because of unexpected repairs on our home or automobile. I am sure that you can add your own list of situations that hinder you and cause your reservoir of provision to look bleak or even empty.

BUT the people of God are not left without an Answer. We have somewhere to turn or I should say that we have SOMEONE to look to for provision. The passage in Philippians reminds us that God possesses "riches" that are more than capable of meeting the needs that we face. We can look in faith to God at those moments in which our needs are greater than our ability to meet them. We can look in faith to God at those moments in which we do not have the answers to the questions that we are facing. We can look in faith to God when the disease has been classified as "incurable" by man but very curable with God's intervention.

We serve a great God who desires to share "His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Will we take the time to call on His name and trust His Word?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sharing our Faith

2 Timothy 1:5, "I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you." (NLT)

I believe that it is very important that each of us share our faith with those people that we encounter but ever more importantly we need to share our faith with those people that we influence on a daily basis. We could use words such as "testify, living out our faith, or putting our faith into practice" to describe our desire. In my opinion the terminology does not matter as much as our willingness to share our faith openly so that those around us can recognize that I have a relationship with Christ. I believe that the Apostle Paul had seen this happen in the life of his protege, Timothy. I pray that that same release of faith can be identified in and through my life as I continue my journey on earth.

I would like to share with you some words that I spoke in last Sunday's sermon. I trust that you will be encouraged and challenged to share your faith with those people that you can influence on a daily basis whether they be family or friends. 

There is an element in our society which wants us to believe that the message of the Gospel is outdated, uninteresting and that is should be relegated to the past as an archaic relic.   But Paul's words to Timothy somewhat refutes that theory.   The letter written from the Apostle Paul to the young Minister Timothy identifies three (3) separate generations.   We have the grandmother, Lois; the mother, Eunice and the son, Timothy.   But there is a common element present in each of their lives.   It is not their age.   It is not their gender.   It is not their names.   BUT IT IS THEIR COMMON FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!!!   The King James Version refers to their faith as “unfeigned.”   Unfeigned faith is “genuine, sincere, and without hypocrisy."  Another interesting fact found in this letter is the fact that this faith has been transferred from generation to generation.   The same faith that first appeared in Lois and then in Eunice is now being lived out in the faith of the son and grandson, Timothy.   Timothy’s faith walk had led him into a ministerial call that would possibly affect people that neither Lois nor Eunice would ever know.   It is amazing the effect that genuine, sincere faith can have on people.   FYI: I believe that same type of faith can be effective in 2015.   

Monday, May 11, 2015

Active Faith

Romans 10:17, "So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ." (NLT)

I am convinced that God is calling the Body of Christ to live with "active faith." We are reading about the atrocities of persecution that our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing in various parts of the world. How are they overcoming the challenges that are being extended toward them? How are they willingly choosing death rather than denying their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? How are they maintaining their deep abiding faith in God rather than abandoning their relationship because of what they are facing? I do not want to appear unsympathetic to their situation neither do I want my thoughts to appear too simplistic in response to their situation. But I do think that it is fair to say that their faith is an "active faith" in which their relationship with Jesus is growing, maturing and developing into one in which they are willing to pay the ultimate price as a testimony.

I do not know whether or not that I will ever face that type of situation or whether or not I will ever have to make that life or death decision. My answer today concerning my response would only be speculation. Each of us would like to think that we know what our decision would be if we were faced with that scenario but in reality we do not know what we would do if we were faced with that decision. 

BUT IF DO KNOW THIS TRUTH FOR SURE. I must allow the Word of God to come alive in my heart so that my personal faith can become stronger than it has ever been. We can not just depend on the corporate faith of the local community of believers in which we participate on a weekly basis. Although I do believe that we also need to see the corporate faith of our local churches growing stronger. But we must see our personal faith develop into one that relies on God, trusts in God and walks by faith with God. I feel that we must pay even closer attention to the "Good News about Christ." We must develop a spiritual discipline that leads us to read, study and put into practice the Word of God in our lives. We can not afford for our faith to capitulate to the pressures of this world that is seeking to destroy our personal walk with Christ. We are called to be overcomers and not to be the ones that are overcome. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day

It is always a privilege and blessing to remember and recognize those special people who have made a difference in our lives. This weekend affords us the opportunity to turn our hearts toward our Mothers who have made an impact on our journey down the road of life. My Mother turned 81 a few days ago and she is still making a difference in my life as an encourager as well as a prayer partner. My wife was 21 years old when her Mother suddenly died at the age of 41. But the brief life of her Mother was not lived in vain. I still see the influence of Louise Phillips being lived through the actions and lifestyle of my wife as well as her siblings. We need to make sure that we pay the appropriate homage, respect, and appreciation for these women who have faithfully served their families throughout their life. 

Always remember that gifts can never fully replace the words that you need to say and share with those that you love. Don't let a gift or a card attempt to say only what you can express. No Mother is perfect; we all understand that to be true but it does not mean that we have not known some wonderful women of faith who served God and served their families faithfully. Take a moment and applaud them today and let them know that you appreciate the investment that they have made in your life. You will bring a smile to their face and a warmth to their heart that the most expensive gift could NEVER bring. 

I also need to express thanks for my wife, the Mother of our two sons and four grandchildren. We have been married for over 43 years. We have been involved in ministry for all of those years with most of that time spent in Pastoral ministry. My wife has been an awesome Mother to our sons but also a an adopted Mother to many others. Some of our "adopted children" were older than her but she was able to fill that void in their lives. I can also identify some of those same qualities in my Mother. She has been married to a Minister for 64 years and has served in that same role for many of those years. Both of these ladies have "children" scattered around this nation.

I know that we hear about the "bad" Mothers of our day and time. I do not deny that these type of Mothers exist or have existed in our world. But I maintain the belief that the good Mothers far out number the bad Mothers. Let us thank God for those Mothers who have taught us about the Love of God but more importantly they have shown us the Love of God. I was privileged to be raised in a home that both of these qualities were evident. I also witnessed those same qualities being practiced in our home through the years. I thank God for my Mother, I thank God for my wife and I thank God for the wonderful Mothers who are making a difference in the lives of their families in 2015!!


Thursday, May 7, 2015


NOON - 1:00 PM

Brothers and sisters in Christ around our nation will make a decision to intercede at some point in the day for the challenges that are facing our nation. There will be a large number of Prayer Meetings that will begin at the Noon hour today. Will you make an effort to take some time today to pray for our nation? We need Christians who will pray for the leaders of our nation, pray for our military forces and pray for the spiritual leaders of our nation as well as other needs that the Spirit will place in your heart.

We must not ignore our call/responsibility/opportunity to pray for these needs through the power of agreement with one another. There is power released when people come into agreement with each other under the banner of Christ and the promises declared in His Word. 

At one point in his life Martin Luther King, Jr. declared these words; "Let freedom ring, let freedom ring..." In the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, I make this declaration today; "Let the prayers of the saints be heard today, let the prayers of the saints be heard today..." Let us boldly declare our faith in God through the actions of prayer, praise and intercession.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Urgent Reminders

Over the past few days the Spirit has used various sources to remind me of the need to obey what I feel God has placed in my heart. I sincerely believe that God is calling for Christians to be awakened from our spiritual sleep and slumber. We are being challenged to be alert and aware of the schemes, devices and tactics of the enemy. Paul wrote about this condition/situation to the church in Ephesus. God has used reading material to encourage my heart. God has used the words of others to encourage me. God has even used the prayers of others as they asked God to provide the strength that I need to share what God has deposited in my heart. All I can say is; "THANK YOU JESUS FOR WHAT YOU ARE PLACING IN MY HEART."

Earlier today God used George Washington or at least the words of George Washington to continue pointing me in the right direction. Would you take a moment and let this challenge that was written 236 years ago speak hope, encouragement, strength, reminder and revelation to you today?

General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, proclaimed a day of "fasting, humiliation and prayer" for May 6, 1779 (emphasis added).  He then ordered a one-day cessation of recreation and "unnecessary labor" so that his soldiers could observe the day.

A.W. Tozer warned that "the creeping wilderness will soon take over that church that trusts in its own strength and forgets to watch and pray."  

Are we willing to join with these two individuals and turn away from our strength, our arrogance, and our dependency on ourselves and turn our hearts toward God? 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Praying Church???

Mark 11:16-18, "And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching." (NJKV)

A few years ago I knew a fellow Minister who would often make this statement as he was sharing the message from the Word of God; "If I just had a praying church." I always assumed that he was looking for a church that had been praying as well as looking for a church that was praying as he was delivering the Word of God. Those words "If I just had a praying church" resonated in my spirit as I concluded my time of prayer this morning. Are there any others who recognize the need for us to once again become a praying church? These desperate times are calling for the church to take desperate measures and I believe one of those measures is the resumption and re-dedication of our prayer lives.

It seems that the church has become comfortable operating in the power of the flesh rather than in the power of the Spirit. I receive "spiritual advertisements" desiring to sell me the latest "operational systems" that are going to place our local church into the proper mode and method of operation. Let me make it crystal clear; I truly desire for any church that I am serving or ever will serve to be in the right mode of operation. But I am concerned because I never see "Intercessory Prayer" advertised as one of the "systems" that are being offered as a solution to the problems that I am facing as a Pastor. Oh, if we just were a praying church, what could happen? I desire to be a part of a praying church that truly recognizes that only God is the answer for all that we need both now and in the future.

The term "praying church" almost sounds bizarre and I realize that the terminology may be outdated. But it does not matter how you may describe it or define it; we are in desperate need for the words of Jesus to be declared once more in our houses of worship; "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." I am determined to let that desire be lived out in my individual life and I am determined to encourage our local congregation to be a "house of prayer."

FYI: Thursday, May 7th is National Day of Prayer. The theme verse for this day of prayer is 1 Kings 8:28, "Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today:" (NKJV)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thoughts from the Weekend

I am quite sure that each of us take advantage of the opportunity of looking back at certain days and certain situations and reflecting on what we have learned or what we should have learned from those events. The greater majority of my adult life has been spent in the ministry and it seems that I have had my share of those types of opportunities. I am still determined to learn and understand those principles that God is revealing to me personally as well as ministerially, I never want to lose that desire or that concern for God and I realize that it is to my spiritual benefit to assimilate those lessons into my daily living.

Sunday's sermon brought to my attention a few critical decisions that I feel must be answered by each individual Christian. One of those questions can be framed in this manner; "What am I doing with those principles that God has taught me and what will I do with those principles that God is teaching me? The second question could be considered a follow up to the first question; "Am I willing to apply those principles to my daily life and follow Christ with a heart that is committed to Him in true discipleship?"

Individual Christians must decide whether or not that we will be an "onlooker" who is just interested in observing God or will I be a true "follower" of Christ who submits my life to Him as Lord as well as Savior? I believe that there is a true difference in an "onlooker" and a "follower." I also believe that Jesus is looking for followers and not just onlookers. The world in which we are living is looking for true, genuine, authentic believers who are willing to stand firm and strong in their trust in Christ regardless of the situation that they are facing. We see the difference between an "onlooker" and "follower" being lived out in various parts of the world where Christians, both young and old, are paying the ultimate price of discipleship. We are reading stories of believers being martyred for their declaration and belief in the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I don't think an "onlooker" would make the decision to die but it is very possible that a true "follower" (disciple) could have the courage to make that type of decision. 

At the end of the day the question still remains; "Am I a follower of Jesus or just an onlooker?"

Friday, May 1, 2015

Taking Proper Action

A few days ago I wrote about the need to listen for and listen to the Voice of God. The Spirit continues to draw me into His presence through prayer, meditation and reflection on the promises and provisions of the Word of God. This reflection causes me have a stronger more committed desire to seek His face as an individual believer as well as seek His face for my role in the family of God. My role at this time is to serve as a Gospel Minister with an emphasis on Pastoral ministry and Pastoral care for the flock of God. 

But I soon realize that I can not fulfill either of these roles or responsibilities in the power/strength of the flesh. The flesh is too weak to be able to serve faithfully and obediently but the power, direction, guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit will counteract the weaknesses and inabilities that I struggle with in completing those responsibilities assigned to my calling. God has provided me the means for me to win this battle but I must be willing to take the proper actions that His Word reveals. I must be able to respond appropriately and correctly to God if I am to expect Him to fulfill His promises to me. I must be willing to take the proper actions that God has outlined in His word and in doing so I position myself to see "His Kingdom come and His will be done."

I want to share some words with you from Max Lucado. I read them this morning and they sparked an even greater desire in my heart to take the proper actions so that I can position myself to hear the Voice of God. His Voice will provide the direction and guidance that I need.

"How long has it been since you let God have you? I mean really have you? How long since you gave him a portion of undiluted, uninterrupted time listening for his voice?

Apparently, Jesus did. He made a deliberate effort to spend time with God. Spend much time reading about the listening life of Jesus and a distinct pattern emerges. He spent regular time with God, praying and listening. Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Luke tells us, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Let me ask the obvious. If Jesus, the Son of God, the sinless Savior of humankind, thought it worthwhile to clear his calendar to pray, wouldn’t we be wise to do the same?"