Monday, December 21, 2009

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

I SAT DOWN TO GIVE A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE BUT I COULD NOT COME UP WITH MORE BEAUTIFUL WORDS THAN WHAT I HEARD FROM THE CELTIC WOMAN GROUP. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO LISTEN TO THEIR ANGELIC VOICES.











THAT BEING SAID,I WISH ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS

LARRY AKA PHOTOGR

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

THE UNCLEAN GENTILES


We all know in biblical times the Hebrew Christians thought of Gentiles as unclean and had nothing to do with them according to the law Moses had set forth.



That was all about to change when Jesus stopped Saul ( Paul) on the road to Damascus and asked those famous words " Saul ! Saul! why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9: 3 - 17). In these passages Jesus explains to Ananias that Saul was to be his instrument to preach to the Gentiles and kings as well as the Israelites.



Now comes Peter a devout follower of Jewish law. As he was praying on a roof top, he fell into a trance and out of the heavens came down a large sheet held up by four corners.In this vision there was all sorts of animals on this sheet. A voice spoke to Peter to kill the animals and eat them. Naturally he rebuked the order stating he could not eat what is unclean according to Jewish law. The voice then stated " Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean". The vision was repeated three times before being pulled back up into the heavens. (Acts10:9-16). What was the voice trying to convey to Peter? If God made it, it was clean ( man or beast)?



About this time the Holy Spirit spoke to Peter saying 3 men have come seeking him and go with them quickly as he had sent them because Cornelius ( A Roman officer and a Gentile) that was summoned by an angel to seek him. Peter went with them to the home of Cornelius in Caesarea where Cornelius had gathered all his relatives , friends, and servants to hear of Jesus and God. It is then that Peter finally realized what that vision on the roof top meant when he made the statement about associating with Gentiles. (Acts 10:34 -43).



Many that day were blessed with the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and were baptised in Jesus name. This totally surprised Peter that Gentiles could also receive the Lords blessings. As the word spread about the incident at Cornelius' home, Saul ( now Paul) and Barnabus was also preaching to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles who better received his words over the Jewish people in one town. The Jewish people incited a riot and ran them out of town, through jealousy of preaching Gods grace to the Gentiles. Paul and Barnibus were better received in other towns as they made their way back to the council in Jerusalem. Gentiles along the way were converted and baptised. So in actuality, I stand corrected in my assumption that it was Paul only that brought the word of Jesus to the Gentiles. It was Peter, Barnabus and Paul that introduced Jesus to the Gentiles. The three gave their testimony to the council in Jerusalem about the Gentiles hearing the word of God and believing just as Jesus had instructed the Apostle's to do. ( Acts15 ).



From that meeting, came the agreement to share with the Gentiles the word of God's prophecies and the word of Jesus with out the traditional customs of the Jewish faith to all that would believe and repent of their sins. A letter was sent out to the new believers out lining what was expected and guidelines to follow much to the joy of the Gentiles.



What joy it is to realize that Jesus chose to include the Gentiles as His followers and share the word of the Lord so that so many more can become a part of the Body of Christ. We are certainly blessed and should give thanks and praise to His Holy name for allowing us to worship Him.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

WHO AM I ?


Certainly a simple enough question for one to ask others. This is actually a question Jesus put to the disciples " Who do the people say I am?" ( Luke9:18). Some of the disciples mentioned what the crowd thought of who He was but Peter mentioned He was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus replied to Peter, " You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father has revealed this to you". (Luke 16: 15-19). Only Peter correctly said who Jesus really was. The other disciples stated the crowds thought he was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets. I don't think the others were sure who he was. This was an early indication of Peter's understanding of Jesus mission on earth.



Jesus had fed thousands of followers and healed many more all the while preaching in parables and teaching of God's kingdom if they would believe. Jesus raised people from the dead and gave them life. Many were baptised in His name and became disciples.



At another time,the masses went to Capernanum to find Jesus but He admonished them for only seeking Him because He feeds them not because they understood the miraculous signs he performed. ( John6:26-27) Jesus At one point stated "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you cannot have eternal life with in you". ( John 6: 53) This was a hard teaching and many failed to understand this metaphor. Most of the followers deserted Him as they failed to understand what He meant. Had they stuck around they might have been privileged to hear His meaning ( John6:60-71). This was a way to frustrate the impure motives of ones who tried to be close to Him. The original 12 disciples although clueless did stay around for Him to explain to them the purpose of the metaphors.



As you read the scriptures in the New testament, Jesus did speak frequently in parables and metaphors to confuse the ones seeing but were blind and the ones hearing but were deaf. As that fateful day in Jerusalem drew near, Jesus spoke plainly to the disciples of what He has taught and what was to come to pass. He spoke of Peter denying knowing Him three times before the rooster crows. He spoke about the day the temple in all it's beauty in Jerusalem will come down with no stone un turned which actually did happen 70 years later in a siege by the Romans to over throw a revolt by Hebrew rebels.



Jesus is the most pivotal person or God in all creation. What He has stated and prophesied in the New Testament was the foundation of a new church belief called Christianity that promised eternal life in God's kingdom. Jesus spread His message of salvation through out the biblical lands two thousand years ago. He raised the dead, healed the sick, did miracles, cast out demons, taught a new belief of love for others, taught righteousness walked on water, fed thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a few fish. He also went to the cross as a sacrifice to pay for mankind's sins. He frequently met with His disciples after He was raised from the dead for 40 days to show them he was raised and lived. He commissioned the 11disciples to go forward and spread the Good News (after being touched with the Holy Spirit at a later time) as He ascended to Heaven. He also converted Paul who was an enemy of the new Christian movement to a pivotal leader in the new Christian movement. From that humble beginning the Christian movement has encircled the earth and many today are still being won over to Christ from those humble beginnings. I might say Jesus was and is a super natural being ( God's Son) blessed under the power of God to offer salvation and eternal life to the ones that would only believe in Him and accept Him as their personal saviour. Why is that so hard to do for some people? The scriptures shows you the way. Just read His spoken words in the bible. It should inspire you as it has me.






I lightly covered Jesus ministry in that short 3 years to give you an impression of who He was. What would you say if Jesus asked you that question "Who am I?"





Monday, November 23, 2009

YOU ARE NOT RETIRED, YOU ARE REFIRED UP.



When one decides to retire and take life easy, one does not expect to do any more task or jobs. You know, the easy life. The one thing you planned all your life so you didn't have any time sheets or cards to punch. No more bosses, no more deadlines, no more pressure and no more stress. Yep, that is going to be great or so I thought. I was fortunate to take an early retirement as I had planned for decades. Well I have to tell you for me, it did not happen or didn't work





As I was getting used to the "easy life", I always felt uneasy and wasted a lot of time doing nothing or had no real purpose for getting out of bed. I did take up managing a mobile home park part time a few years back to have a purpose but that wasn't it. Although I was a par time believer on again and off again and occasionally attended a church, I was not getting some strong messages or I wasn't listening to that still silent voice.





A little while later I was at a nature preserve doing photography work when all of a sudden I felt like I was struck by a lightning bolt out of the sky. It wasn't that stormy of a day but it sure felt like it. All of a sudden I vividly recalled certain passages from the scriptures , the feeling of elation and peace fell upon me. It was something I never experienced before. When I came to my senses, I was down on my knees and the Geese nearby looked at me dumb founded. I looked up at the sky and all that I could say was "My God what did you do? ". Then I began to hear the still silent voices that I ignored before through the years. No I wasn't struck by lightning but I think the Lord struck me up side my head with a base ball bat to get my attention.





It was then that I felt compelled to start daily prayers, reading the scriptures, devoured numerous books on theology and Christianity, and began to generate a better understanding of scriptures that I never had before. After nearly two years of study, the wife and I were ready to take the next step and joined a church in order to have fellowship and serve the Lord. I started up a blog site to reach out to others that may or may not have a home church in order to spread the "Good News" covering topics of the Scriptures, miracles, the Holy Spirit, and the Spiritual gifts. We joined several classes in learning about the church doctrine,did some volunteer work, and made new friends.





At a recent Encounter ( mini revival , my term), I was really feeling blessed by the Holy Spirit while singing the Revelation Song. I didn't realize I moved up to the front near the altar while singing and rejoicing in the Lord. All of a sudden with in the large group of people at the altar, the head of the Encounter gathering came over to me whom I had never officially met before and began praying and laying of hands on my shoulder. I was surprised but then realized where I was. A warm feeling came over me and I felt revitalized as she prayed and I broke down praising god and began praying feverishly. I don't really know what I said in my prayers but she turned to me and said "you are not retired, you are re fired up". All I said was "Yes I am. Thanks" ( I think) and then she was gone back into the crowd of others praying.

I had been pondering my retirement fearing I was too old at 65 now to become active in ministering or pursuing an evangelist vocation other that what I was doing on the Internet. Was she divinely sent to seek me out and pass on encouragement from the Lord that you are never too old to serve? Is this the message I was seeking from the Lord? Why did she say that to me? I never mentioned retirement to her or her associates.

Considering God works in strange ways, I can only feel that message was divine. Now I know. You too can experience the same divine guidance by only accepting Jesus as your saviour and confess your sins. God is a loving forgiving God that wants you to share His love for you. Just don't take decades to understand that like I did. I wasted so much of my life refusing to serve and believe. I was lucky. He got my attention before it was too late. I dedicated my life to serve him and He has been a beacon of light in a dark world leading and guiding me. Life in the flesh is too short to waste it and face eternal damnation. As you read the scriptures, God is always a loving God that wants you to be saved in His grace. Every day He calls out to you to become one of His children in faith. He is also patient and forgiving. He has many gifts to offer you through the Holy Spirit and to witness the miracles of His healing powers. He is always and will for eternity be your pillar of strength if only you believe and serve only Him.

Can you make that choice today? Can you get down on your knees and pray with your heart for salvation in Jesus name? Time is running short. I can assure you if and when you pray to the Lord for salvation, You will be lifted out of darkness and forgiven of your sins. You will walk in the light of the Lord forever by only believing in this life and you will never taste the death of the flesh as your spirit will be lifted up into heaven to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

It is your call.








Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NO TITLE

Tonight I have no pictures to post. Tonight there is no title. Tonight I am deeply troubled. Tonight I see injustice every where I turn.




The world is a dark place with out light and peace. Every news station I watch, I only hear of death and violence. The Islamic radicals are killing their own and others for holy jihad. Grown men are taking little children for sexual satisfaction then killing them. They are also attacking adult women and killing too. Teenage children have become so rebellious that they kill and brutally attack each other or adults with out remourse if only for some kind of satisfaction. Others kill to settle a score or revenge. Our current political party has set out on a mission to ignore the wishes of the citizens and seem to be turning to a new age way of thinking. Socialism for the masses and a select few rule all. The constitution is no longer valid per their way of thinking.



Why does God allow these atrocities to happen? Wait a minute! We allowed God to be taken out of our schools, banned prayers, even the mention of God publically, our judicial systems, our displays in public places, our TV networks, and even our lives and yet we said nothing as believers. Don't you think God feels His grace is not welcome in our lives any more so why bother?



Then you may wonder why God lets these things happen. As in bibical times you remember the ones that rebeled and ignored His guidance were uncontrolable.They refused to hear his words. He had no recourse but to warn first of the results if repentance was not made. In the cases as told by the prophets for those that refused to change their wicked ways destruction and death proceeded. The case of Noah is a good example. Others can also be found in scriptures.



God can't control everything that happens out side of his plan but He can surely allow the ones in His plans eternal life in His kingdom after the death of the flesh. Those that fail to come into His grace before their death of the flesh will suffer the consequences eternally in damnation and hell. As Jesus has said only the young children are innocent of sin and will be spared in Heaven. So God does have a master plan for believers and sinners in the time of judgement days comming soon.It just doesn't seem to be that way now but He never rest.



These thoughts reminded me of the time of Abraham pleading to God for sparing Sodom and Gomorah if only 10 believers could be found there ( thinking of his nephiew Lot)(Genesis). Instead God sent two of his angels ahead to see what wickedness was there. Is this what our own country has become ( modern day Sodom and Gomorah)? I pray to God that He does not feel that way for the ones who do believe.



I would think it would be hard to target one home over the other to pelt with Hell fire and brimstones. However, He does have a master plan of allowing all to repent and come under His grace before the rapture. That will be the time that His patience runs out and Jesus will come back to earth to claim His church. Even then, God is still reaching out to the ones that still refuse to repent. This time though, the non believers only have about 7 years left should they survive the tribulations of famine, death, and plagues to repent. If not, eternal judgement and damnation will prevail for those that refuse Gods loving grace for eternal life.



God is a loving God and wants all of us to enjoy his love and grace. God hates sin and the ones who fail to repent but He every day pleads with you for a better way of life and peace. You will never find it in the Humanist manifesto, New Age thinking, a political ideaology, worshiping false gods, lust, money, power, or material objects. Only through God can you ever find inner peace and the glory of the miracles and super natural power of God. It is yours for the asking by only believing and praying for forgiveness. In Revelations chapter 21 to 22, we read of the New Jerusalem that will descend from Heaven to replace the old Jerusalem. Reading the descriptions will certainly prove God's love for you if only you will believe. This is our new home for all eternity in Gods grace.



What is your choice?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WHO IS MELCHISEDEC?




Who is or was Melchisedec? Although he was only mentioned in three places in the Bible but seemed to hold a high priest position above all others. Some articles even went so far as to proclaim him a Pre incarnate Jesus. In Genesis :14, Abraham was blessed by Melchisedec after his battle to save his nephew Lot. Abraham goes so far as to give Melchisedec a tenth of all the goods he recovered in the battle. At the time Melchisedec was the King of Salem ( Jerusalem?). In Hebrews : 6, 7, and 8. Melchisedec is called a High priest of God, a king of peace, a king of Salem. He had no record of ancestors and there is no record of his ending and beginning of his life. He was not a descendant of any Levites where normally the priest were from. It is said he was a high priest for ever resembling the Son of God. There fore are we to conclude that Melchisedec was a spirit sent to earth in the form of a human and return to Heaven as in the case of Elijah not experiencing death? He lives eternally?




It was also said Jesus is like Melchisedec and a high priest in the order of Melchisedec. It was evident the apostles knew the importance of Melchisedec in the Book of Hebrews. So why is there not more on him if he held such a high position? I decided to do some research to find out more on Melchisedec.


In one publication, Melchisedec was called the King of Peace. Bible scriptures called Jesus the Prince of Peace so does this mean that he was a holy high priest or angel in Gods temple that took on a human form to dwell on earth in biblical times. Had he visited earth as a messinger or an agent of God with the power as God? We all know that God in Heaven has many of angels or Priest in various levels of power that dwell or serve in the House of the Lord so it is not that God is alone.


Another article I found suggest that Melchisedec was the pre incarnate Christ that came to earth to converse with Abraham well in advance of his birth in Bethlehem hundreds of years later. This article also states he had no father or mother, did not die, or was not born of earthly humans. Essentially he was a spirit or the actual incarnate of Christ.


One article suggested that Melchisedec was actually God himself in human form but goes on to say he might have been an intercessor for God. In Psalms 110.1 David is saying " the lord is saying to my Lord" (This indicates there are two lords conversing) "2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."


Another part of this article states: Therefore we see in this scripture that this one who is called Lord and Master will also be called a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek. It does not tell us that He is Melchizedek, but he will be a priest after the Order, which word AFTER comes from the Hebrew word, 'al' and it means, 1) upon, on the grounds of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with,… Therefore this one that is spoken of here will come and enter into a Priestly order which was founded by this Melchizedek. This then tells us that This Melchizedek laid the groundwork for this priestly order. He set the pattern, in which this other Lord will follow. At one point it states that Melchisedec was in fact Jesus in a preincarnate form. When Jesus was born, Melchisedec became Jesus in human form then we hear nothing else about Melchisedec until the book of Hebrews. I would have to think that Melchisedec was a priest of the highest order in the Lords house ( Heaven) with a large amount of power and ruling capacity.


Another article states also that Melchisedec and Jesus are the same person ( a preincarnate Jesus) at which time of Jesus birth, he became Jesus and at Jesus Resurrection Jesus became God.


Confused yet?

There are no clear objective definitions of who Melchisedec really was except of what is written in Hebrews. It was apparent the apostles knew of who he really was but did not elaborate except that he was a heavenly high priest of the Holy God all mighty. One of the mysteries in the Bible that does not fully explain his position. Perhaps in time it will be revealed Melchisedec's real identity. What we know now is Jesus was a high priest "after" the order of Melchisedec. Does this mean we are also priest in the order of Melchisedec as one article hinted since we are Christ followers?


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Sunday, November 1, 2009

WHAT IS IN A LABEL SPIRIT WISE.


PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL IN 2008 LABEL

It seems for some reason there has to be a label on your faith rather than just being called a Christian. It seems you have to have a label so that you can be categorized or fit in a nice pigeon hole category by others.



Let me see how many I can come up with from my studies. I am not going to get into the different denominations as that will be another category to cover. There are the fundamentalist, cessationist, traditionalist, dispensationalist, Pentecostals, evangelicals, Charismatics, Post tribulationist, pretribulationist, and the list goes on. Then you have theologians that fall into these labels too. Some believe this way and some believe that way. I guess with theologians, it depends on which seminary you studied under.



A few of these groups states that the spiritual gifts ceased after the last apostle's death but that might not be the case. It very well could have been the church groups and bureaucratic leadership possibly put out gifted people or the church rejected them. Thus the people stopped seeking the gifts in direct disobedience to Gods commands. (1 Cor. 12:31: 14:1-39). Augustine about 3 centuries later began by believing that the miracle gifts were with drawn from the church but near the end of his life he retracted his claim and recorded 70 instances of miracles happening in his city of Hippo. Another that substantiates this was Warfield about 500 AD although he failed to give credence to the miracles he did state there were miracles.



Think about it. If the church lost the gifts for so many centuries could they have not lost other doctrine? Take the case of the book of Deuteronomy. It was lost some time after Moses death and wasn't discovered until about 622 B.C. It also happened again in the doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ as stated by the apostles . It wasn't until the reformation in the 1500's and 1600's that it was found and made available to all people again in their own language. Can you wonder if more vital scripture is lost in a dusty closet waiting to be discovered? Lets not even talk about the Gnostic scriptures.



Back to basics here. The reason for all these labels as related to Christians is to determine where your ideologies and thinking follows. What I don't agree with is being pigeon holed into a label or group. I think a bible believing Christian that follows the scriptures as it is written is plenty of a label. What has happened is these labels has split up the Christian church and created division among Christians. Can you imagine what the non believers think of this? We can't even agree amongst ourselves what to follow. This is certainly not what God had planned or envisioned. And all this time He thought that the Nation of Israel was a headache. It would be nice for all people of faith to sit down and unite under one goal as Christians but that will never happen due to the many varied ideologies that we can come up with in worshiping the Lord. There in lies the paradox of who is right and who is not.



What ever Bible you read the scriptures from, it should convey the true word as stated by God and understandable as God's will for us to follow. Careful repeated study will reveal His true words and it will jump right off the pages at you. We don't need to be theologians to understand what God is saying. Through Paul He says to earnestly seek the gifts and miracles. Through Paul He states we will be baptised with the Holy Spirit in order to receive these gifts. He was not talking about only the Apostles but us as Christians. It doesn't take a theologian to figure this out.

Miracles, Spiritual gifts, super natural healing, and loving faith in the Lord is ours for the asking. No label or church can take that away from you. It is from God as He loves us all and wants us to experience His grace and gifts. Of course this is going to label you as a charismatic or whatever. The fact remains is you are a Christian seeking God's grace and love. That is the only label you need to worry about.



So what does that label me?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

CAN A ONE WINGED GOOSE FLY? MY MEDICAL EXPLOITS.


Now that is a silly question. Of course not. Or can they? This is a story about my recent exploits with the medical profession concerning what turned out to be Cancer. Scary word isn't it. Well don't get your hopes up. I beat it ( cancer) this time.

I am getting ahead of myself her so let me start from the beginning. It was a cold dark stormy night when I noticed 2 black spots on my back which I concluded might be melanoma cancer. A quick visit to the Dermatologist revealed it was only liver spots ( age thing) so I asked the Dr. to check my arm that had a growth that would not heal from a severe burn I got over 4 years ago. After spraying my whole face with Liquid Nitrogen and me grimacing from the stings he took a look. Bingo! It was cancerous big time. The only lucky part of the diagnosis was it was only Basal Cell. The bad part was it was really big and needed a surgeon to do his handy work. Kaching goes the cash register.

Next meeting was the surgeon at the hospital. A rather jolly fellow with a good bedside manner and a hearty laugh. He took one look and said "Holy Cow! That was a monster!" Next in came every doctor at the hospital with cameras wanting to take pictures. I asked if I needed to smile for the cameras, but I only think they focused on the arm. In walks the surgeon with a tray loaded down with needles to numb the pain. All I could see in his eyes was dollar signs rolling over at a fast pace. Kaching! During the numbing process we had idle chat on how I got the burn which he states that cancer could pop up if a burn is not treated properly. Now he tells me.

He finally got off the first layer and had it taken to the lab for test. After two hours and 19 slides later he came back with another tray of needles for some more numbing. He says the cancer went pretty deep down and wide. All I could hear was a cash register ringing up in the back ground. Kaching! Kaching! More skin was removed and taken to the lab. After another hour he came back with more needles. You guessed it. More cancer in the skin still even wider and deeper. About this time here came the other doctors with their cameras again while the Surgeon was cutting out more skin. Feeling no pain I asked was I supposed to be smiling for the cameras. and that ever haunting register sound Kaching ! Kaching! Kaching! started up again. I also prayed to the Lord to help me with the intercession gift to stop that cash register from ringing up. And out he went with the removed skin for more test.

Now being there all this time ( 5+ hours) I was really hungry and asked the nurse could I get something to eat. She looked at me with disbelief and asked what I wanted. I said A skyline chili 4 way would be nice. I sat up on the side of the operating table and said you could send my wife out for one. I didn't think it would be good for me to walk over to get it my self. Out goes my wife ( I love that woman) to get me a 4 way. They actually moved me to an adjacent room and wrapped up my arm so I could eat my 4 way. As I was eating my 4 way the surgeon came back in and said we got it all. He then looked at me eating and asked what in the hell was I doing. All I said was I am eating. He let out a loud laugh and said why didn't I get him one. Sorry Doc. Now I am ready to "get er done".

He took some samples of the muscle tissue to be sure the Cancer had not spread into the muscles which were also visible. Looking at the arm did make me wheezy but I was going to eat no matter what. I was a bit hungry. Next came the "pig skin tissue to lay over the open wound to help it heal. Yes pig skin folks. It is used to speed up the process so they can do a skin graft later. Kaching! I ended up with a hole down to my muscles and bone 6inch x 5inches wide. Never again will I ever let a rash that pops up go unchecked.

The surgeon and nurse wrapped up the wound ( or should I say canyon)and immobilized my arm with instructions to keep it elevated for two weeks. They shouldn't have had to worry about that. It was wrapped so that I couldn't even use the arm.

Next visit 3 weeks later I get the skin graft. Horay! No more bandages, or so I thought. This Visit the surgeon and I get into an argument on where the graft is coming from. I am saying stomach as I have a lot of skin there. He is saying off the upper arm. Unfortunately he won. I knew I should not have let him give me the shots until we both agreed on where. As looped as I was from the numbing I didn't care where he took it. 5 hours later here I am with the blasted arm wrapped up from my arm pit to my wrist and no way to lower it. I mean it was positioned to stand out away from my body and the only comfortable position was over my head so that the stitches would not pull out. Yep again I have to hold the arm up over my head for 18 days this time. Can you imagine me walking around when I am not laying down with the arm hanging over my head almost for 18 days. People are going to think weired things. What am I supposed to do walking around waving at everybody? I can sense the guys in the white coats coming for me right now.

Well here I am with only one working arm and telling this story with one arm over my head feeling looped with pain medication and antibiotics powerful enough to make an elephant sick but there is a moral this story. One should never let a rash or festering any where on your body go as long as I did with out getting it checked right away. I waited almost 4 years before getting it checked. I was lucky it was only Basal Cell Cancer. It did not spread into any vital organs or muscle tissue. I can be thankful to the Lord for that. It could have been much worse.

I would also like to thank the friends that were praying for me on this adventure in the hopes it could be caught before spreading too far and the wife for waiting on me hand and foot since there isn't much I can do yet. Oh yes I would also like to thank my surgeon for the work he and his staff did to make this event as bearable as possible considering the circumstances.

Let me reiterate quite strongly no one should let any thing that shows up on your skin go unchecked for any amount of time. Basal Cell is a slow growing non invasive cancer. Squamous Cell is a fast growing deadly and invasive cancer. Melanoma cancer is a deadly fast growing invasive cancer. Don't risk your life by ignoring any growth on your skin. By the grace of God I was spared this time or has He spared me in the past also?

As I look back in my life at critical moments, I begin to see a pattern. As a young child 2 years of age I developed a serious respiratory condition that didn't allow me to breath on my own and the Drs. told my Mom they didn't think I was going to pull through. This was the second time in a year that I had this. He suggested that she should have a priest give the last rites if she was Catholic. A few days later I began to respond to treatment to the surprise of the Doctors. After a month in the hospital I was back home healthy as can be.

As a rambunctious teen, I was always full of life and was always pushing the limit. I had become interested in go kart racing. I had one I built for racing in a series that used twin Mc Collough MC 10s for engines. I raced at a local track every week end but ended up in a freak accident that split open my so called racing helmet. I ended up in a coma for three weeks. The Doctors again saw no chance of me ever pulling out of it. If I did I would be a vegetable. Again I proved them wrong. I recovered with no side effects except for an occasional head ache and some memory loss.

As a young manager of a local Kmart store in Charleston S.C. on River Road, I stopped a irate shoplifter from beating up one of my assistant managers that stopped him. He pulled a gun and started shooting at me. I was able to jump over a counter as he continued to shoot through the peg board. I was hit in the neck by one of the bullets but I kept running. The police arrived in time to stop his rampage after shooting him. They were looking for bullets as evidence and I pulled one of the bullets out of my neck which was just under the skin. Should have known it since I was bleeding from my neck.

In the late 80s, I started up a professional drag racing operation with me as the owner and driver for what is now called the Pro Modified class ( 200 MPH door slammers on Nitros). A near fatal 200 MPH crash ended that venture two years later. Again I beat the odds and survived.

It was then that I started to get the feeling I was not immortal any more. It was during a 6 month recovery that I found God telling me He had plans for me one day while out photographing nature at a wild life sanctuary. I could have sworn I was hearing things but it was real as it could be. Verses from scripture started flowing through out my thoughts and references from my earlier misadventures came into my mind. I was terribly moved from what I was thinking I was hearing.

More recently nearly three years ago I started having prostate problems as most men my age do or so I thought. I finally went to the Urologist. They found a tumor on my prostate and the issue of blood in my urine confirmed I had a real issue to face. Surgery was ordered after a barrage of test. During the ensuing time waiting I prayed feverishly for a cure. Never had I done this before. As I went in for surgery, I felt an inner peace and left it all in Gods hands. After the surgery I was advised they did not find the tumor that was plainly shown from the MRI test and the biopsies showed no cancerous cells. The doctors were amazed and I felt my prayers were answered. It was then that I took up the cross in earnest and started on a new adventure now knowing God had always been there saving me from my self and showing his Love if only I would surrender myself to Him totally. That evening high on Morphine injections I prayed again giving glory and praises to God for once again saving me.

Know I do know what wonderful plans God has in store for me and I am eternally grateful. What time I do have left I will serve only Him and He has given me more Gifts in order to serve Him fruitfully. For that I am a humble and lucky man.

Monday, October 19, 2009

FUNNY AND CUTE SELLS. SERIOUS IS OUT.


HEY SINNER. GOD HAS WONDERFUL PLANS FOR YOU!
OR
IF YOU BELIEVE, YOU WILL HAVE EVER LASTING LIFE!


Have you ever noticed the advertisements on TV that have animals and Natures creatures hawking a product or service. Lets see how many there are: We have a white farm duck hawking AFLAC insurance. Then there was once a cute little puppy dog hawking Geico only to be replaced by a lizard and a smart one at that. We have red and pink bears hawking Charmin toilet paper. Then there are cute uncountable sheep popping up in your bed room hawking Serta beds. You have crows that seem to be smarter that the average window cleaning human. Oh yes, I almost forgot. Cavemen hawking Geico Insurance.

Kinda makes you pay attention doesn't it? Why is it that these commercials get your attention? They are cute and informative. They get a point across. Makes you want to buy their product doesn't it? What if God hired an advertising agency to get the word out and came up with ad jingles to stir up some attention to his salvation offered to us? Now I know I am stepping on hallowed ground here but I am only entertaining the possibilities of a cute ad campaign to win souls to Christ and better yet to get your attention. I will not go into the jingles area as that is up to God.

<> What I am trying to get across here is God does have a sense of humor and is filled with love beyond what we can even comprehend. How many mortals would allow their only son to be sacrificed so that his blood can cleanse us of sin so that we may be saved? ( John 3:16).None I can think of.

Jesus gave us two commandments. Love one another as he loves us and love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. ( John13:34 and Matthew23:37) Do we practice this much? As I was thinking about this, The Beatles song stance came to mind "Love is all We Need". (1Corinthians13:2) Paul stated of his gifts , knowledge, thoughts , and faith to move mountains; with out love He was nothing. There is that Love word again. God speaks numerous times about Love in the scriptures. He deeply loves us ( His children) and He has offered us salvation if we will only believe and sin not. Do we listen or understand that promise? It is a promise and God does not break his promise ever. As an incentive showing His love and grace, He showers us with loving gifts so that we can serve Him in His glory. He allows the Holy Spirit to grant us gifts that is best suited for our service and worship to Him. He allows the Holy Spirit to Baptise us with His being as a show of love. He encourages us to use the gifts to edify His grace . How can we not Love a gracious God such as He is. Love is all we need right now for God, our neighbors, our church members, and sinners alike.

I attended an Encounter ( Vineyard slang for revival?) last night. There was a great amount of love pouring out through out the chapel in worshipping the Lord. The Songs worshiping God had a new meaning and people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Tears of Joy filled the room. People went forward to be healed and prayed for. Some were jumping for joy. The laying of hands were tremendous. Over half the people were in front of the stage praising God and giving Him glory as the band played the Revelation song and Hallelujah as well as others . The Holy Spirit had total control in this encounter. Some thing I had never experienced since the old tent revival days from so long ago. This is what we should experience each time we enter the Body of Christ. I guess this is where I realized I may be a charismatic believer fully aware of the Gifts and the Holy Spirit though Gods grace.

You too can experience these same feelings if you can only repent and accept what God has laid out for you in His master plan of salvation and love for you. Even if you are a sinner, it doesn't matter. He wants you to share in His love for you. He wants you to dwell in His house for eternity. He wants you to be saved. He wants you to be loved and you to love Him. Can you make that call tonight? It only takes a simple prayer in your own words straight from your heart to be in the grace of the Lord through Jesus name. It doesn't take a catchy jingle, glossy ad campaigns, or cute animals. Salvation is yours for the asking.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WE ARE IN TROUBLE BIG TIME



As I watch the news channels with the latest and horrifying news release, I begin to wonder what the dickens is going on. A young child was snatched from her home and was later found buried in a shallow grave and covered over with concrete. A mother murders her child and dumps the body in a field near her home and then goes out partying. A young teenage boy was doused with alcohol and set on fire for retribution. A group of gang members from a school slams a wood plank up side a students head and proceeds to kick and beat him to death. A student goes to school and slashes another students throat for what ever reason and the list goes on and on.



Then you have news channels that make the incident into a 1 hour show discussing the issues with a panel of experts proclaiming the reasons for these heinous crimes. They blame the violence on all the TV programs, or they had a dysfunctional early life. Some experts even go so far as to defend the criminals action as unable to tell right from wrong or they were abused as a child.



Come on panel experts! You have missed the true reason all together. It is what students and people are taught today in their lives. It is what we are brain washed with daily in our lives from school and after school for the last few decades. We are almost to the point that a human life has no value in our society. It is OK to kill. It is OK to attack a woman or child for sexual lust. It is OK to steal for monetary gain. It is Ok to do what ever you feel like doing . It is OK to kill the unborn as it was an inconvenience. It is Ok as long as you don't get caught so do whatever you like.



There are some movements ( I will cover these at a later date) that profess there is no God. They say we are our own gods and we have the right to determine what is right. If it makes us feel good that we should do it. They profess we determine what it is that our conscience determines is right or wrong. The scary part is these anti God movements have infiltrated our educational systems right up through college levels, our political processes and our courts with their agenda.



There in lies the real problem with our society. It is with out God in it's legal, legislative, moral, ethical, and educational process. The older ones of us do remember saying the Lords prayer and the pledge to the flag at the start of the school day. These organizations found this offensive and utilized their pull to have it stopped irregardless of the majority wishes. They were vocal and had political clout in the parties in Washington to do this. We the majority said nothing.



The 10 commandments in public view was offensive to them so it was barred. If you think about it, the commandments was a good rule to follow as far as ethical and moral guidelines even if you weren't a believer. Prayer to God in public places and school graduations were offensive to them so they rallied to have that removed and even with their minority voice it was removed. If you were to pray at those gathering, you might face civil charges in a court of law. How ridiculous is that? All the while we sat back and said nothing. Do we not care? If we as believers would only rally together and voice our displeasure's of the restrictions towards God, do you think we might be heard? Perhaps in the past had we spoke up. Today it will be a hard fought battle that we cannot afford to loose. We as believers must stand up to this and fight back as a united front.



I can see in the not too distant future if we don't take up the fight, we will be out lawed from assembly and worship to God in our own churches because it is offensive to the loud minority. We will be arrested for unlawful assembly and possibly charged with domestic terrorism. Do you want this to happen? Next it will be burning of the bibles ( well that has already happened).



Back to the latest news. In these news channel programs, have you ever noticed on the expert panels; interviewers failed to include a pastor or minister? Why is that? They could tell you right away why there is so much violence in our society. With out God, the 10 commandments, the scriptures, moral, and ethical values, you have a society in dwelt in anarchy and despair. You have a society that will eventually destroy itself from with in. Life will have no meaning or purpose. We need divine guidance in order to survive as a nation of freedom and peace.



As I read the Old Testament Prophet's visions, I can see it closely relates to our current events and time. It is so related I am thinking I am reading the prophesy of our own times. Is that what God also wanted for us to understand what was said 2500 years ago applies for today too?



WE ARE IN TROUBLE BIG TIME. We just don't realize it yet.





Friday, October 9, 2009

I AM LOOKING FOR A BIG TENT


As a young lad back home in Brownsville Florida I used to see many tents getting put up in a large field near my home over the course of time. It usually meant a revival was in town either from a local church or a traveling road show evangelist was setting up shop for a week. Being I was the kid with a curiosity about any thing I was always Johnny on the spot to see what was going on. I would ride my trusty Schwinn bike up to the event to watch what was happening. Some times they would have only an organ for music or a complete band. The music was what got my attention most of the time but that was only part of the show.



There was always the fellow who was the pastor or evangelist that gave a rousing sermon on damnation and salvation with a choir really getting into the singing. It certainly had my feet moving with the rhythm. As I sat in the back watching all that was unfolding, I witnessed some things that was alien to me at the time and was unable to comprehend at that age. I saw people jumping and waving their hands with joy and glee. Some were crying and some some were praying out loud so I thought. Some times the pastor or evangelist would call out for some to come forward to be healed. The pastor put their hands on the ones that came forward and appeared to be healed on the spot. Some passed out and were revived but all got up and jumped for joy at each healing..This was amazing for a young lad like me to take in but it captivated me to no end. As I sat there transfixed and taking in all that I saw, I had no idea what was going on but I was held captive with what was transpiring. It was never any thing I ever saw in my church I attended during those days as a child but it did move me.



At one of the tent risings for a revival, I looked for what seemed to be a pastor or evangelist and asked him what was he doing that made so many people do what they did. He looked me sternly in the eyes and said "Young man, I am winning souls to Christ and healing broken lives. Do you need to be saved?" (His statement has stayed with me all my life even when I was backsliding) I replied No I live with my mom and dad and go to church. He laughed and invited me and my parents to come to his revival so that they can be saved too. My parent did go to a few with me but they did not feel the captivation I felt at those tent revivals. I guess I had an impressionable mind back then.



Over the years I did go to some revivals as an adult but they seemed to disappear form the land scape over time. It has just been the last few months that this episode in my younger life has returned as a reminder about revivals from the past. I don't know why but the urge to go looking for a big tent has surfaced. Perhaps it is a yearning to experience again what I did as an impressionable youth when I did not fully understand what a revival really was. I know this though. It really made me feel good to attend one and see so many people with joy and happiness for the Lord.
I think that is what I have been missing in my adult life as a self professed Christian. The spontaneity of a revival where the Holy Spirit reigns and there are no regimented worship sessions. It is led by the Holy Spirit, in worship to the Lord.



I does bring up a haunting question of where did the revivals go? Why would such a spiritual filled gathering fall from the landscape in the Body of Christ? Has that been outlawed by our government now too? Do any of you ever hear of revivals any more? p

So with that I am looking for a big tent once again.


Monday, October 5, 2009

WHO WAS LUKE?

Luke ( or Loukon at that time) began life as a slave in Antioch to a wealthy Greek trader Theophilus. At an early age his curiosity fore told of great things that this young slave may become. Theophilus being a stoic in those times was very kind to this young boy and favored him over all the others. Luke at an early age had a flair for working with the injured slaves and helping the resident physician in his attending the ill.

Luke had two interest growing up. History and Medicine. His master Theophilus fore saw him as a physician and promised to finance him attending a university to become a Doctor as well as being granted his freedom.

When Luke entered the university, he also shortened his name to Luke. There he met also a new student called Saul ( later to be called Paul). Needless to say their relationship at the university was not the best being Saul was Hebrew and Luke was a Gentile. During Luke's stay at the university, he was seriously dedicated to learning medicine and became a man of medicine, returned to serve as a physician for Theophilus, and served as a physician on the sailing ships after he earned his freedom.

It was shortly after that when Luke began to hear of Jesus and His miracles He was doing in Judea and Israel. He also heard of Jesus being put to death on the cross. Over time Luke had head more stories of the Disciples and their teachings about Jesus but he continued to rebuke the stories as just that. Certainly a learned man such as he could not believe in these stories.

It was only after seeking out his old university associate Saul of Taurus at a chance meeting boarding a ship as the physician that he ran into Saul of Taurus. During this voyage Luke learned of Paul's ( Saul) new conversion as a disciple of Jesus and actually witnessed a healing of one of the ship mates by Paul. Paul also told Luke of his conversion by the Holy Spirit and Jesus appearing on the road.

This was the beginning of Luke as a believer and later as a Historian to record the many miracles and teachings of Jesus through interviews with the apostles and Jesus' mother Mary. He also became a teacher and elder at the Antioch church as well as writing the church history.

Luke also got the opportunity to travel with Paul, Barnabus, and others to spread the good news through out the areas of that time. After Paul's capture and imprisonment, Luke would visit frequently bringing in manuscripts from interviews with the disciples and Mother Mary for his review.

It can be said that Luke never was a witness to the miracles and teachings of Jesus first hand but he did a wonderful job of recording the history of the early Christian church and it's believers as well as becoming a teacher and elder after surrendering his life to serve Jesus and the church. With his writings and scrolls, one can almost sense they were there in those times as they were written through divine guidance of the Holy Spirit in God's grace.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

THERE IS A REASON WHY THEY CALL IT TONGUES



This will be the last of my articles on the Greatest gifts. This one is called tongues and the reason is this gift is plural in the literal and spiritual sense. Still today many churches fail to understand the implications of speaking in tongues and seem to shy away from this important gift as it may seem to them to be too pentecostal or holiness denomination in its roots. Some church organizations imply it is demons speaking rather than the Holy Spirit. Well there is a good way to check that out as I have mentioned in past articles on the Gifts.



Paul in Corinthians did allude to speaking of tongues and put down a guide line of how to use speaking tongues in the church. I can feel if Paul mentioned this in his letters, then it certainly is right to use this in worshiping God. However, he did also lay out the guidelines quite clearly on how to use this gift and warned of falsely professing or falsely using tongues to edify yourself rather than the church.

There is actually three types of tongues. One is when people are receiving the Holy Spirit and do speak in tongues as evidence of ones Baptism by the Holy Spirit. This may be a one time shot only in most cases. Does one speak in exotic , Hebrew, or Greek languages. Maybe or maybe not. Depends on having an interpreter at the time present. This type is when one is Baptised by the Holy spirit.

The second one is not up for interpretation. It usually happens in prayer meetings where the members are praying in the Holy Spirit. You should not seek interpretation as scriptures declares it so in 1 Cor.:14-2. This may also be led by the Holy Spirit but it is for the one speaking and God only. In some faiths the is a routine occurrence as part of the prayer. Most of the time is is not spiritually led nor is it a gift but that of adoration to God. For lack of knowledge of the ancient gifts one speaking may only be speaking in babel with no discernible language. Here is where you can get into some trouble speaking if you do not know what you are saying. I would think it might be prudent to speak in tongues in the English language to some degree and let the Holy Spirit lead you. Saying praises to God and exalting His grace might be a better position.

The third type of tongues is definitely open for interpretation and will be spoken as such. They have syllables and a discernible language as given by the Holy Spirit. It is decisive, instructive, divine, and beautiful to hear. This is when God is directly speaking to us in words not of our native language. This is to bring glory to the church and must have interpretation by one versed in the languages. The one doing the speaking is divinely guided with out pause in a quick short burst. Nothing lengthy, other wise it becomes filled with the persons thoughts rather than God's thoughts.

How can you tell the speaking is directly from God? Ones that speak a little tongue then some more or begin to repeat their selves is not speaking divinely. The same goes for interpretation. The interpreter stutters and stammers giving a word every now and then. God or the Holy Spirit is not lacking for words so it will be powerful and to the point. They don't need to look for words to speak. Any thing else is folly, demonistic, and false tongues spoken by one not edifying the church or God. So be careful in what you are saying or think you are saying in tongues. Never try to make your self to look saintly and profess what you don't really have. Make sure it is from the Holy Spirit or God by asking what you hear of feel by saying "Did Jesus come in the flesh" If it is demonistic you will not get a yes. If you hear a voice saying "If you will do this or that you can have holy powers etc. etc. or I want you to go here or there and you will get your mission to serve me. If you do that or this I will make you wealthy. DON"T BELIEVE IT. You are not being led by God but by demonic forces. Remember what John warned of in the coming times. 1 John 4:1-3

In possessing the gifts all is lost if it is not done in pure love of God , Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as well as your fellow persons. With out that love, all is in vain in service to the Lord. I pray it was my mission to introduce you to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit through God's grace so that you can experieince and desire these gifts in service to the Lord.

Friday, September 18, 2009

GREATEST GIFTS PART TWO



The gift of the word of wisdom as it is rightfully called is the ability to understand what is written in the scriptures but also the ability to make the correct decision on business matters, church matters, or other stressful matters. Rather than taking on a task or action based on your own talent and mind, you ask for God's or the Holy Spirit's guidance and suggestions and allow Him to lead you in decisions. This is a manifestation of the word of wisdom. If you hear a voice or think you do telling you something completely off track of the scriptures, It probably is from the wrong spirit. Always best to ask that spirit or voice verbally if Jesus Christ came in the flesh. If you get no reply then there is something wrong with that voice or thought. I suggest reading 1 John 4:1-3 concerning testing the Spirits then read the rest of 1 John 4:4-19 which I found meaningful.



The gift of the word of knowledge I think is closely related to the Word of wisdom and possibly will show your evaluation scores fairly close to each other from the evaluation test. Knowledge of the scriptures as how it relates to an issue does take an extensive and super natural ability to quote or discuss the issues with others less informed of the scriptures. This means you have the ability to quote scriptures by memory verse by verse and apply it to an application or an issue being discussed. When it is done by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so then it becomes the truth and lives full of power and God's grace



Smith Wigglesworth once said in one of his books " The bible is a dead letter except by the spirit. Jesus did not just speak dead words but spoke words full of spirit and life. John 6:63".


I know when I read Jesus words in the New Testament, I get goose bumps every time I read them. It feels like he is in front of me talking to me directly. If that is not full of the spirit and life I don't know what is.



As many of you read the bible, you may go back over a chapter and re read a verse that wasn't too stand outish. But this time a verse pops out of the bible and grabs you that you didn't notice before. It is as if a divine revelation was given to you personally. You have just been given a part of the word of knowledge. Rejoice in that as the Holy Spirit is talking to you directly.




The gift of faith. Everyone who believes has faith in God,but how much faith do you have? If you have divine faith in God, you can move mountains or at least he can but Jesus said you can move mountains if you believe. Can you heal the sick, bring joy to the depressed, give hope to the down trodden, and bring non believers to repent? This is where the faith of God's supernatural powers comes into play through the Holy Spirit. Salvation is by faith, through grace,and it is the gift of God.

In faith you are always looking for ways to manifest the gift of faith by the Holy Spirit. It is in this vein that the Lord will operate this gift in you at any time. At the same time one who is not in deep faith in the Lord through Love, determination, and boldness in faith, that one will never possess the gift. It is always good to have a higher level of faith than most others in order for God to have His will in your service to Him.

The gifts of healing as it is properly called is probably the most powerful of all the gifts in my view and rating. Why? I don't know but it carries the most ramifications. Healing gifts are so full that they are beyond human expression or comprehension. I am fully aware of the healing stories in scriptures and marvel at this gift. I am also aware it is one that calls for divine intervention through the Holy Spirit and God. I have not ever witnessed a real healing occasion done by a believer in God or action by the Holy Spirit to one of illness. What I am trying to say is that I have not seen a healing such as a blind person walks in blind and is healed on a stage by the pastor or minister then walks off the stage able to see. It is more complicated than that.

Now I do believe in healing but at a different approach. We should all seek the attention of a Doctor for our illnesses as he is trained to understand what is needed to heal. We as believers must pray for that sick person to be healed through God's divine guidance with the Doctor as he is better equipped to discern what needs to be done. Now a person touched with divine guidance in the healing gifts and is endowed with so much faith he or she may be able to heal on the spot but I feel they may need to have some medical background in order to discern the illness to be healed. In other words one blessed with the Holy Spirit through God's grace and is at the level of disciple ship in their relationship with God. I guess here is where I fall short in my faith still as many others. This is a super natural power given to one who believes and walks in the shadow of Jesus and is Jesus like with out any doubts what so ever of their abilities. I would hope there are ones out there that can heal but I have never met them yet. I f I do, then I will know through testing them with my own illnesses.

I have touched on only a few gifts of the Holy Spirit through God's grace but they are given to all that ask for them as God wills them. Again and again I must re affirm that these are gracious gifts and must be handled with humility and reserve. Not to be used for entertainment or folly but in power and boldness if it sanctifies the Holy Spirit and God. You do not lead the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit leads you if your heart and mind is pure and true in faith to God. So then you will experience the joy and peace of one sanctified in God's grace. Never abuse these gifts or add your boast full words to any of the gifts. Only glorify God

More to come later


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

THE GREATEST GIFTS YOU EVER RECEIVED

1957- 58- 59 CHEVY BODIES ON A 2008 CORVETTE CHASSIS



I can dream can't I? Tonight I was asked what was the greatest gift I ever received. In a half humorous statement I blurted out a red Radio Flyer Wagon on Christmas when I was 5 years old. Why that ever came up I don't have a clue. I was quite a believer in Santa clause back then and even though we didn't have chimneys or fire places in houses in Florida, I just knew Santa was going to get one into the house some way. I did get the little red wagon on Christmas day but he left it on the roof instead. My Dad and Uncle were quite imaginative in those days to my great surprise. I remember another time My Dad gave me another great gift of the times when I was about 8 years old. I had been wanting a camping tent because I was getting involved in the Cub Scouts and wanted one for camping trips. Here again, No chimneys and fire places in Florida but Dad came through again for me. After I went to bed, he and my Uncle spent Christmas Eve in our back yard putting up this great tent with only two flash lights and a lot of determination to surprise me.








Over the years I have received great gifts but as an adult these gifts became more special. My wife who decided to marry me was a great gift I had received as an adult at that time. Then there was our two daughters that followed two and four years later.

To say I was blessed is an understatement.




Tonight this question meant a new meaning. What was the greatest gift I ever received spiritually. To be honest, I can't list just one as the greatest. It would have to be many. You have to remember I am not a youngun any more and have been around a while.

When you are speaking of Spiritual gifts there are many as I have mentioned before so I will not dig too deep in that but it is a great honor to be given just one gift from the Holy Spirit through God's grace. With that honor comes a great responsibility and the wisdom of when to use it and how which I will discuss.

For most believers, the first great gift is the Baptism by water and the sanctification of being born again in a new body in Christ. What great joy that was in my experience. But that is only the beginning as far as gifts from God. He so loves you that he will shower you with as many great gifts as you can take in and use in service to Him. There is a second Baptism and it is by the Holy Spirit when He moves you to elation and joy in glorifying God. How do you know if you have been Baptised in the Holy Spirit? I cannot tell you how. There are many ways it affects the people. I can tell you in my experience I was more sedate and tranquil but became passionate in discussing the scriptures in the bible with any one that would listen. I found my self wanting to serve in the church, I felt compassion for others less fortunate, I looked for ways to win others to Christ, I really began to pray to the Lord for guidance and forgiveness of my sins frequently, I prayed for others that were ill, I found love for my fellow persons, I found a new interest in the Spiritual gifts and a burning desire to learn all that I could, and the list goes on.

As it is said in the bible ask in Jesus name and you shall receive. So it is with the gifts. Just ask for them and you will receive them that are best suited for you. Now you do not need to continually pray for the gifts as some might think. Once or twice at the most is all that you need. You will then become aware of what gifts you have been given. No God is not going to speak out in a thunderous voice and say "it is done" to you but you will start to get a feeling for possessing something special. Read in Corinthians of what Paul says on the spiritual gifts. As a matter of fact read all of Corinthians. You will get a deeper insight.

1 John 4:1-3 mentions to test the spirits for validity. There are two types of spirits. The Holy Spirit and the demon spirits which will give you a fit if you listen to the wrong one. Just as we think God is talking to us we should always ask "did Jesus come in the flesh" vocally. If you are unsure of who is talking to you in your spiritual communication. Any spirit that does not confess that Jesus did come in the flesh, you might be talking to the wrong spirit. Watch out! You are being set up to be led away from God. There is a reason for being vocal in your prayers. The demon spirits cannot read your thoughts. They can hear you and speak to you in your thoughts but they cannot hear your thoughts. Thus always ask and pray vocally or whisper. That way you will not get mixed signals and think the Holy spirit is the only one talking to you. It also lets the demon spirits know that you are under the influence of God's grace and time to move on. The reason I mentioned this is I am sure you are going to get this voice in your head that is going to promise wonderful things and certainly will not be the voice of the Holy spirit or God. Test the voices and spirit. Do not be led astray.

Now we have been blessed with spiritual gifts form the Holy Spirit. What do we do next? Which one did we get? Which one did you want? They all have about the same rule of protocol. The first thing you don't want to do is go about bragging you have a gift and edifying your self. You are supposed to edify the church and God in using the gifts. Use them with greatness but use them in the grace of the Holy Spirit and humbly

1 Corinthians14:1 Prophesy. When we think of prophesy we think of for telling the future only. That is part of prophesy but we can prophesy today by giving testimonials which is what most of us can readily do. However, Let the Holy Spirit lead the way in your testimonial and DO NOT stretch it out in a long winded essay that goes on and eventually is peppered by your own thoughts. Let the Holy Spirit lead you, not you lead the Holy Spirit. What you are trying to convey is that non believers also can be given the grace of God too, just as we have.

Next up is Wisdom and faith in part two.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WHAT IS A BURNING PASSION?



When we say we have a burning passion what exactly do we mean? What strokes the flames to keep this going? Where is it leading us? Is it desire? Is it lust? For most, this comes to mind in desire for material things, enjoying doing a pleasurable activity, or lusting after a beautiful woman or handsome man.

My question is What is a burning passion spiritually? Have you ever had one? What was the passion about? What led you to have this obsessive passion? We have all heard of our pastor in a local church that was set a fire to become a minister story. It was a compulsion led by God to star preaching the Good News. The poor fellow drops everything in his life to become a servant to God and I admire that. It takes an immense deal of commitment to do that.

What I am thinking of is the lay people ( us Christians allegedly)that gets a divine awakening ( burning passion if you will) to serve God. It has been said once the Lord smites you with a mission; nothing gets in the way to serve or proceed with that mission. Is it from fear or love of the Lord that you pursue the mission? For most believers of the faith this is a no brainer and it certainly is the case in my actions. What I have learned, the Lord is not age biased, race biased. social biased, or sex biased. He takes all to come under His grace to serve Him.

I don't know about other's passions so I will have to give you ideas about my experiences. In one way or another I had always been in a church setting as a member off and on most of my life. You know going on Sunday and the rest of the week it was tied up making a living and raising kids trying to lead a good life while lusting for material things, money, and climbing up the corporate ladder of success. I even went through a period of Darwinism, Humanism, Scientific evolution, and the Big Bang theory. I even believed that money was the only thing that could buy you happiness. You know what? I was miserable, lost, and felt life had no meaning unless I bought more material things to sooth my feelings and lusted for more money. Quite an endless cycle of despair and no passion.

I took up photography to find something that I was missing. I immediately began to find peace in Nature by observing and photographing wild life. I also found that these creatures are so related to us in their natural actions of everyday life and survival that it overwhelmed me with wonder. It was then that a still quiet voice spoke to me and said " Look what I have created with my hand and so I did mankind too." It didn't sink in at first but as I continued with my photography, I did hear more still quiet voices as I discovered more in Nature. Then one day in an approaching storm a bolt of lightening ( it felt) seemed to strike me down with the thought God created all living things out of his love including us. As I fell down to my knees some thing happened I have never experienced before. Inner peace, contentment, and joy. I looked up from eyeing the Canada Geese around me and thanked God for all the wonders of his creation.

Then the burning passion to read the bible took over and relearn the scriptures and His word. I had a few health issues and prayed for healing and more time to learn of God's word which was granted. I had what the Doctors believed was possibly Prostate Cancer. Surgery revealed no tumor and no cancer. I was convinced I had been given God's grace and a reprieve to serve and worship Him. I studied more of the bible and researched books on Christianity. I went back to church with a renewed interest and passion to serve the Lord. I wasn't content to sit in the pews and listen to the sermons. I took action and found by accident the spiritual gifts granted in God's grace by the Holy Spirit. I took test to find the Gifts I might possess. I joined small groups to practice fellowship, I began to speak up with a fiery passion about the scriptures when called upon to speak, I began to desire in earnest the Spiritual Gifts knowledge, I opened up an evangelist blog site, I became totally convicted and surrendered my self to God and serve him, I started to witness to others. Now I have a burning passion to serve the Lord God all mighty in Jesus name. Now I have joy, peace, and hope in my life here on earth. I no longer lust after material things. I have compassion for my fellow persons. I appreciate what God has done for me. Now I know.

You too can experience that same thing in your life by only accepting Jesus as your saviour and ask for forgiveness in Jesus name to God. Time is short. Do not hesitate. You don't have to earn God's grace. It is yours for the asking by only believing. God so loved us that he gave His only son as a sacrifice for our sins so that we may be forgiven as sinners. John 3:16. It will make a difference in your life.

Monday, August 31, 2009

WHAT HAPPENES WHEN THE FLESH DIES?





Certainly a dark subject for most but it needs to be addressed .Scientifically speaking, this process starts when a vital organ stops functioning which leads to all the other organs becoming starved for vital oxygen and blood circulation. If not refrigerated, the body's cells begin to decompose immediately. The skin begins to loose the flesh tones and turns a pale color. The neurons in the brain begin to die off and create short circuits all through the brain with flashes of bright light as seen by the dying who have been revived. Some state they saw their body while floating in the air above their body or are led to a bright light only to be returned to their body. At that is what people say in their near death experiences.








To date, no mortal has been able to return after death of the flesh and give us any specifics as to what really happens. Only one since recorded history has ever been able to do just that. Not only did He come back to life but He left a message to his disciples to give hope to all that there is life after death. He talked to Mary as he ascended from the tomb, He passed through doors, He ate with his disciples, He showed Thomas his wounds so that he would believe, He was resurrected from death, He was Jesus the son of God in a new Holy form . He promised eternal life in a place called heaven for those that would repent of their sins and believe in Him as our saviour








What will happen to us when our body dies? We think we are good people and led a moral life so we should get to go to heaven but wait, heaven is not a place for good people. It is a place for forgiven people that believe and accept Jesus as their personal saviour and God as their Holy Father. Sorry No atheist that are good people allowed.








Lets look at what happens when it is our time to depart the sin full flesh on earth. Will we be put to sleep in our graves for a period of time before the rapture then our bodies will be called to heaven during the rapture? Does our souls or spirit go first then join up with our bodies after the rapture? It all depends on where you read this issue in the scriptures. What I have discovered is truly amazing and it is what I have come to in my conclusion through studying of the scriptures and other books.

If you read certain scriptures, you might be led to think if you die before the rapture, you may have to lay in a grave till the rapture comes or you might be buried in a grave for a thousand years, then get raised up to heaven. That is not what the scripture says. Far from it.

It is not spelled out in plain text but in that small silent voice with authority. As our bodies of the flesh dies, we are immediately raised up to heaven to be with our Father and with those that have gone before you. This is not mentioned only once in the scriptures but many times. Paul comes to mind. He mentioned this in Philippians 1:21-23, 2 Corinthians 5 :8, and Acts 7:56-59. Then there is Luke quoting Jesus on the cross. Luke 23:42-43. These four passages attest to the fact you will be raised up to heaven in spirit immediately. Your spirit will be raised up to heaven immediately but you body will be laid to rest in the grave. Your body ( flesh) dies but your spirit lives eternally with the Lord. Paul also states our bodies will be asleep but this relates to death of our bodies. not our souls or our spirits. They are already with the Lord by then and will enjoy the grace of God and living in his presence just as the Holy Spirit and Jesus. .

Ok now we have all these bodies that will be called up from the grave during the rapture. So we are in the grave till then too? NO! Absolutely not. Our bodies are like seeds planted in the soil to grow into something wonderful. A new being. A new appearance. I like to plant flowers from the seedlings I harvest every year. What grows from those seeds? If I am a good gardener, I get blooming flowers with majestic colors and beauty beyond imagination. So it will be with our bodies during the rapture. Our bodies also will unite with our spirit in heaven and we will be glorified in the likeness of the Lord Jesus with out pain, infirmities, and flaws. But yet all through this we live in His name in spirit and then in the body as a whole when the rapture appears.

What wonderful promise is laid out for us in the scriptures if only we repent of our sins and follow Jesus. What great super natural powers we will have in worshiping the Lord our Father. What peace we will have in eternity if only we ask for forgiveness of our sins and worship Him today.