Friday, January 30, 2015

Are There Prophets Today?

  Several years ago, I was asked if I believed there were still prophets like in the Bible. I answered yes. God has always had a prophet. If ever the world needed the ministry of the prophet, it is now. The Old Testament prophets usually prophesied to Israel to return to the Lord. I hear the modern-day prophets repeating the same words to our nation.

     "There is no doubt God is restoring the prophet today. There is a desperate need for the prophetic to bring clarity, balance, and understanding to the Body of Christ." Dr. Bill Hamon

     We are admonished in Scripture concerning prophecy, "Do not despise prophecies." 1Thessalonians 5:20. Don't despise (reject) what God has revealed.

     My first encounter with a modern-day prophet was in 1975 when I served on the staff of Bayshore United Methodist Church in Tampa. Pastor Robert A. Shelley flowed in the gift of prophecy and was a prophet to the Florida Conference and the entire United Methodist Church. Bayshore UMC was the
Rev. Robert A. Shelley
fastest growing church in the Florida Conference at that time. As in the Old Testament times he was shunned and criticized, but he was faithful to operate in the office of Prophet. After serving as a UMC minister for over 30 years Pastor Shelley resigned and was called to serve Christian Heritage Church in Tallahassee. When asked by the Tampa Tribune why he left the United Methodist Church he replied, "I didn't leave the Methodist Church; it left me!"

     God has, and is, raising up a company of prophets in every denominational and nondenominational faith group. Although I do not consider myself a prophet, I do preach prophetically. The way we do church is changing. God is pouring new wine into our structures. If we are flexible, our wine skins will contain the new life of the Holy Spirit. He will take us to places in the Spirit that we have never been. If our structure is not flexible, the new wine will cause the old wine skin to burst and both will be lost.

     The new book I am writing is about the personal prophecies that have been spoken over and into my life during the last 41 years. I believe in the prophetic and to see and hear the things that the Lord has prepared for us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Our Time is Being Compressed

Time-compressed speech is a technique used, often in television and radio advertising, to make recorded speech contain more words in a given time, yet still be understandable.1 When you compress time in a video, you are making the duration shorter than real-time. 2

Theorists generally identify two historical periods in which time–space compression occurred; the period from the mid-19th century to the beginnings of the First World War, and the end of the 20th century. In both of these time periods, according to Jon May and Nigel Thrift, "there occurred a radical restructuring in the nature and experience of both time and space ... both periods saw a significant acceleration in the pace of life concomitant with a dissolution or collapse of traditional spatial co-ordinates."3 

We are now experiencing a significant acceleration in time. "Can you even recall a time when you didn't Google? When you didn't know what it meant to "unfriend" someone? Or when you couldn't surf the Web, send an e-mail and take a picture from a palm-sized device that fits in your pocket? The past 10 years have given us countless innovations that improve – and confuse – our daily lives. From Internet technology to finance to genetics and beyond, advances in science and technology have changed the way we communicate, relate to one another and think about what it means to be a modern human being. GPS, Hybrid Cars, instant text messaging for mobile phones, Friendster, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Apple's iPhone Introduces Smart Phone."4 

Change has accelerated. Not only has change accelerated, but also world events. Each week we hear about another terrorist attack, mass killings, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and Radical Islam. Bad news is occurring more frequently and regularly.

The lease on planet earth is almost up. As the hourglass is compressed the sand in the top moves faster. This is why it seems that time is moving so quickly. Our time is being compressed. This is the reason we Christians must quickly do the assignment God has given to us. We must work the works of Him that sent us while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4 KJV

The good news is that we are seeing and hearing things from the Holy Spirit that prophets of old desired to see and hear! Jesus said, For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Matthew 13:17 NASB  This is the reason we are hearing and seeing into the realms of the Spirit like never before. This why everyone that calls on the name of the Lord are being saved. This is why dreams are being interpreted and visions are being sent by God. Spiritual things will be revealed to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

We are racing quickly to the end of this Shemitah Year (the Sabbath rest for the land every seventh year). Leviticus 25:1-4  “As every seventh day was the Sabbath day, so every seventh year was the Sabbath year.” The Shemitah of ancient Israel refers not only to the releasing of the land but also to the nullification of debt and credit ordained by God and performed on a massive nationwide scale. This Shemitah Year ends on September 13. I will not be surprised if America experiences accelerated changes and events.

3.Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2003.© 2001 Selection and editorial material Jon May and Nigel     Thrift

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Part 2-Someone's Trash is Someone's Treasure

I received many responses to my post about the thrown away roses yesterday on Facebook. Each response was special to me. Two of my evangelism friends, Pastor Gordon Calmeyer and Revivalist Barry Perez especially spoke prophetically to me.

"GOD took us as the world's throwaways and made us beautiful gifts to be given as blessings." Barry Perez

This morning, all the way from South Africa, Gordon posted, "Those roses tell a story. I wonder what it is, pray for the heart broken angry lady who threw them away, or for the guy who thought she wasn't worth it. Whatever it is, it's sad. But our God is able. Or maybe an Angel who left them there for Bill :-)

Then I thought of the song by the Bee Gees', How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.

I agree with both Gordon and Barry. The thrown away roses do tell a story. Pastor Vicki Cater wrote a one-word response, "Sad." A broken hearted, angry woman and/or a man who thought she wasn't worth it. Both speak of sadness. There are so many sad people all around us. They may wear a smile, but on the inside they are broken. They are hurting with so much pain. The Bee Gees' song, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, echoes the lives of shattered individuals.

How can good news be found in this story of thrown away roses? The good news is what Barry wrote, "GOD took us as the world's throwaways and made us beautiful gifts to be given as blessings." The angry woman can find peace and love through Jesus Christ. The discouraged man can find meaning and purpose again for his life through Jesus. He finds us and makes something beautiful!

Something Beautiful by Steven Curtis Chapman

Monday, January 26, 2015

Someone's Trash is Someone's Treasure

I don't rummage through the trash looking for something valuable. Some people actually go to the trash landfills searching for buried treasures. I do enjoy looking for bargains at the thrift stores. I have an eye for a bargain! A friend, Joey Elmore, introduced me to this way of shopping 31 years ago. I have bought TV's, make-up mirrors, bikes, suitcases, clothes and shoes with the tags still on them. Once I purchased a yellow sport coat and found $60 in a side pocket. Price of the coat was $4. I think I got more than I bargained for! Someone's trash is someone's treasure. Someone's throwaway becomes someone's gift.

On Friday I stopped for gas and saw two dozen roses in the trash container next to the pumps. The stems were sticking out so I pulled the flowers out. The leaves were wilted and the flowers were drooping. I could see the potential that 24 roses could be revived and become a gift to my wife.

After cutting off the ends of the stems we put them in two vases filled with plant reviver water. Within four hours, the roses were almost new again. The next morning they were; buds had opened and the leaves perked up. (See the finished results in the photo above) The change was remarkable! From near death to new life.

Revivalist Barry Perez saw the photo and remarked on Facebook, "GOD took us as the world's throwaways and made us beautiful gifts to be given as blessings." He is so right. All of us are thrown-away flowers made beautiful gifts of our lives. We are blessed to be a blessing to other throwaways. (Revivalist Barry Perez's ministry info

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Need for "Young Rascals"

People Got to be Free

The Young Rascals – “People Got To Be Free” were very prophetic. This need and desire still needs to be realized. Needed more now that when they first sang it.
How about some new “young rascals” that will share the freedom of Christ in unconventional ways!
All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
Listen, please listen, that’s the way it should be
Peace in the valley, people got to be free
You should see, what a lovely, lovely world this would be
If everyone learned to live together
It seems to me such an easy, easy thing this would be
Why can’t you and me learn to love one another
All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
I can’t understand it, so simple to me
People everywhere just got to be free
Ah, ah, yeah . . . ah, ah, yeah
If there’s a man who is down and needs a helping hand
All it takes is you to understand and to see him through
Seems to me, we got to solve it individually
And I’ll do unto you what you do to me
There’ll be shoutin’ from the mountains on out to sea
(out to the sea)
No two ways about it, people have to be free
(they got to be free)
Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be
It’s a natural situation for a man to be free
Oh, what a feelin’s just come over me
Enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see
Everybody’s dancin’, come on, let’s go see
Peace in the valley, now they want to be free

Harming Israel & Experiencing the Results

I have searched for documentation concerning major events which have occurred in the US following non-support of Israel controlling the land God gave to it. This article is just a sampling of these events and well worth reading. Following President Obama's refusal to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March I truly believe America will experience severe consequences. The President will not meet with Israel's Prime Minister but had time to be interviewed by GloZell Green, from YouTube, at the White House this week. God will not be mocked when it concerns any nation intentionally harming Israel. I personally do not believe God created the storms, but I do believe God is using them as warnings to our nation.

Natural Disasters and Harming Israel

Is there a connection between natural disasters and harming Israel?
This is not my post. It was sent to me and I am sharing it. It has some interesting correlations between the weather, and forcing Israel to give up land.
God’s Final Warning to America
Below is a sampling of “record-size” natural events which coincided when the United States pressured Israel to give up its land for peace, as documented in John McTernan’s book, “God’s Final Warning to America“.
Nine Major “Acts Of God” That Coincided With The Timing of US Pressure On Israel To Give Up Land
October 30, 1991: President George Bush opens the Madrid Conference with an initiative for a Middle East peace plan involving Israel’s land.
On the same day, an extremely rare storm forms off the coast of Nova Scotia. (It was eventually tagged “The Perfect Storm,” and a book and movie were made about it.)
Record-setting 100-foot waves form at sea and pound the New England Coast, even causing heavy damage to President Bush’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
August 23, 1992: The Madrid Conference moves to Washington D.C. and the peace talks resume, lasting four days. On that same day, Hurricane Andrew — the worst natural disaster ever to hit America — produces an estimated $30 billion in damage and leaves 180,000 homeless in Florida.
January 16, 1994: President Clinton meets with Syria’s President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva. They talk about a peace agreement with Israel that includes giving up the Golan Heights.
Less than 24 hours later, a powerful 6.9 earthquake rocks Southern California.
This quake, centered in Northridge, is the second most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States, behind Hurricane Andrew.
March 1 to April 1997: The combination of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat touring America, and Clinton rebuking Israel for not giving away her land for peace, coincide with some of the worst tornadoes and flooding in US history.
On the very day Arafat lands in America, powerful tornadoes devastate huge sections of the nation, ripping across Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Arafat’s American tour also coincides with the storms in the Dakotas, which result in the worst flooding of this century, in addition to weeks of major storms throughout the Midwest.
Arafat finishes his tour and leaves the US and the storms stop.
January 21, 1998: Netanyahu meets with President Clinton at the White House and is coldly received.
Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refuse to have lunch with him.
Shortly afterwards that day, the Monica Lewinsky scandal breaks into the mass media and begins to occupy a major portion of Clinton’s time.
September 27-28, 1998: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright works on the final details of an agreement in which Israel will give up 13 percent of Yesha.
The same day Hurricane Georges slams into the Gulf Coast with 110 mph winds and gusts up to 175. The hurricane hits the coast and stalls.
On September 28, Clinton meets with Arafat and Netanyahu at the White House to finalize the land deal. Later, Arafat addresses the United Nations about declaring an independent Palestinian state by May 1999, while Hurricane Georges pounds the Gulf Coast causing $1 billion in damage.
At the exact time Arafat departs the US the storm begins to dissipate.

October 15-22, 1998: On October 15, 1998, Yasser Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland, to continue the talks which ended on September 28.
The talks are scheduled to last five days with the focus on Israel giving up 13 percent of Yesha. The talks are extended and conclude on October 23.
On October 17, awesome rains and tornadoes hit southern Texas. The San Antonio area is deluged with 20 inches of rain in one day.
The rains and floods in Texas continue until October 22 and then subside.
The floods ravage 25 percent of Texas and leave over one billion dollars in damage. On October 21, Clinton declares this section of Texas a major disaster area.

May 3, 1999: This is the same day in Israel that Yasser Arafat is scheduled to declare a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital.
The declaration is postponed to December 1999 at the request of President Clinton, whose letter to Arafat encourages him for his “aspirations for his own land.” He also writes that the Palestinians have a right to “determine their own future on their own land,” and that they deserve to “live free, today, tomorrow and forever.”
That same day, starting at 4:47 pm CDT, the most powerful tornado storm system ever to hit the United States sweeps across Oklahoma and Kansas. The winds are clocked at 316 mph the fastest wind speed ever recorded.
August 29, 2005: Exactly one week after Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon completed the forcible eviction of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip hurricane Katrina struck the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama with a destructive and catastrophic force.
80% of the entire city of New Orleans was left under water. Many weather experts called this the worse hurricane and natural disaster that has ever hit the the country. 
President Bush supported Sharon’s evacuation from Gaza.
In April 2005 Bush and Sharon met in Crawford, Texas where Bush praised Sharon for his “strong visionary leadership” in initiating the Gaza withdrawal, known as the disengagement plan.
“I strongly support his courageous initiative to disengage from Gaza and part of the West Bank,” he said, referring to the withdrawal of more than 8,000 Jewish settlers from Gaza and four isolated West Bank settlements. 
What will happen next? Suppose, instead of cheating Israel out of its land, we do worse, and turn our backs completely.
Suppose we violate the holy city of Jerusalem by giving it away to heathen gentiles, who will trample it underfoot, and establish an abomination in the holy place.
God help us on that day. And that day is coming very soon. God forgive us, and God help Israel.

Friday, January 23, 2015

An Emotional Shift is in Order

Today has been unusual for me emotionally. I like winter, and rain does not bother me. I cannot blame my emotions on the weather. The truth is that I just do not feel good. Some people of faith discount emotions. They even try to explain away why Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb. When you examine the life of David you find his emotions were all over the board. He was known as a man after God's own heart. The psalms he wrote expressed his feelings when he was up and when he was down.

There are two verses in the Bible that I turn to when I am emotionally down. The first one is found in 1 Samuel 30:6 "but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."  David did not wait on someone else to pick him up. He did not wait until the negative circumstances changed. David encouraged himself. He took matters into his own hands. He encouraged himself in the Lord! I am sure David started remembering the many times God had delivered him. As he remembered the stories his courage was renewed. When we remember our own stories of deliverance, our faith and emotions start to turn around in a more positive way.

Acts 26:2 "I think myself happy..." Paul said this to King Agrippa. Jesus said, "As a man thinks, so is he." How we think about situations makes a big difference in our emotions. We can say, "I think I'm going to fail this time." We can say, "I think the Lord is going to help me." Thinking and saying the right things can change our situation. We have control over both; we are not robots.

After writing this post I am feeling much better!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rev. Graham: ‘This Country Was Built on Christian Principles' Not Islam
( – Reverend Franklin Graham, son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said America “was built on Christian principles” but Christians are being pushed “to the back of the room” today, and he added that Americans need to embrace those principles, knowing that this country “wasn’t built by Islam” or “any other group” but by those “who supported and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.”“I agree with diversity but what’s happening with this country is all these religions are getting front row and Christians are being pushed -- and we’re the majority -- are being pushed back to the back of the room,” said Rev. Graham in an interview with WNCN News about his recent call for Duke University to end its policy on having a Muslim Call to Prayer at the campus’s Christian chapel.
“This country was built on Christian principles, it was men and women who believed in God and believed in His Son Jesus Christ who built this country,” said Rev. Graham. “We’re the greatest nation in the history of the world. It wasn’t built by Islam, and it wasn’t built by any other group. It was those who supported and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Reverend Graham went on to say that while our forefathers made mistakes and some aspects of our history are regrettable, the foundation is what is important and we must protect it from our enemies.
“[W]e’re the greatest nation in the history of the Earth,” he said, “and we have people today that want to destroy what we believe and what we stand for. I think the university needs to understand that the world in which we live today, we’ve been at war now 10 years against terrorists and the terrorists we’ve been fighting are people who support and believe in the Islamic faith.”

When asked about Muslims who have condemned Islamic terrorism, Graham said, “First of all, you don’t have condemnation outside of this country. You’ll have clerics in this country who’ll condemn these acts. But these acts of terrorism are not condemned by the mullahs in Saudi Arabia or in Egypt, or Iraq or Syria.”
“The reason is,” he said, “is because the Quran teaches this and so, if they condemned it, they would be condemning the Quran, and they’re not going to condemn the Quran.”
“So, the teaching of the Quran permits slavery, it permits the killing of Jews, permits the killing of Christians, and it’s a very, very dangerous world in which we live and we need to be aware of the truth,” said the reverend.

Last week, less than 24 hours after Rev. Graham called upon Duke University to reverse its policy on allowing the Muslim Call to Prayer from the bell tower of the Christian chapel on campus, the school did so. It reportedly also had received much negative reaction from some Duke alumni and donors to the college about the proposed policy.
Rev. Graham is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, based in Charlotte, N.C., and the international aid group Samaritan’s Purse. He is married, has five children, and lives in Boone, N.C. His famous father, Billy Graham, is 96 and reportedly in fairly good health and living at his family home in Montreat, N.C.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Mystery of the Shemitah on My Retreat

"Expanding on a mystery introduced in his bestseller The Harbinger, messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn explains the prophetic significance of the "Shemitah"---a recurring Sabbath year prescribed by the Torah. Learn how the ancient 7-year milestone is connected to world history, including the events of the Great Depression, 9/11, and---possibly---the fall of the United States." 

I read this book in November during a five-day retreat. I got away to pray and seek the Lord's word for me to share in 2015.  Several friends had asked me if I knew anything about the Shemitah. I had never heard this word before, and I have been a Christian for forty-four years. 

On the second day, I downloaded the eBook version. I began to read and had a hard time putting it down. I was fascinated as the pieces to the prophecy puzzle started coming together for me. I did know about the Sabbath year, but I didn't realize its name, the Shemitah. I wanted to know more. 

I knew this was my word from the Lord for 2015. Everywhere I minister, I will be teaching and preaching about the Shemitah. The Shemitah year is the seventh Sabbath year. God told Moses that every seventh year Israel was to let the land rest for one year. Israel did not honor the Lord by keeping Shemitah. 

It just so happens, we are in the Shemitah year now. It began in September 2014 and will end on September 13, 2015. The Stock Market has had the greatest losses in September (during the Shemitah year).  How can we forget September 2001 following 9/11. Many of us lost a good deal of money during the last Shemitah of 2008. Guess what year this is! It has been seven years since September 2008.

We have experienced accelerated change since that time. I am looking for significant things to happen this fall. Only God knows what it will be. Just be prepared.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Coming to a Theater Near You

The pendulum of extremes moves from ultra conservative to ultra liberal. What position is our nation now? We have moved from moderately conservative to moderately liberal. The pendulum is moving in the direction of ultra liberal. Last night I saw a commercial of a new show and two men were saying how attracted they were to each other. The producers and sponsors of the show are betting that Americans are okay with this on television. 

"The number of gay and bisexual characters on scripted broadcast network TV is at its highest-ever level in the season ahead, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The total on cable television is also going up.

The 17th annual "Where We Are on TV" report, released Friday, found that 4.4 percent of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series during the 2012-13 season will portray lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters. That is up from 2.9 percent in 2011, which saw a dip in what had been a growing annual trend.
The study reviewed 97 scripted TV programs scheduled to air in the upcoming season on the broadcast networks, counting a total of 701 series regular characters. The study found that 31 of them are LGBT characters."          

The rising resistance to faith institutions is evidenced in the newer language used to discuss spirituality today. When it comes to matters of the soul, disclaimers are emerging as the new faith identifiers. Today, there are those who self-describe as "spiritual, but not religious"—individuals who like to associate with what they perceive as the positive elements of spirituality but not the negative associations of organized religion. Or consider the rise of the "Nones"—the much-discussed adults who are religiously unaffiliated and who don't want to use any conventional label for their religious faith. And in many places, the prefix "post-" is being attached to matters of faith. Post-Christian. Post-denominational. Post-evangelical. Post-religious.

So much change! And now, the rise of Radical Islam. Watch for it, "Coming to a theater near you."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Call to Muslim Prayer in an Unusual Place

Members of the Duke Muslim Students Association will chant the call, known as adhan or azan, from the Duke Chapel bell tower each Friday at 1 p.m. The call to prayer will last about three minutes and be “moderately amplified,” officials said in a statement Tuesday. “This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” said Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life. “It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.”

I wonder if a Muslim University would allow followers of Jesus this same opportunity? If you have ever been to Israel, you hear the Muslim call to prayer regularly. Now, Duke's students and faculty will hear the same call beginning this Friday. My, my how sad. What are we going to allow next in the name of pluralism? 

President Obama said, "The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer." He must have a strange sense of sound. To me, it is the weirdest noise I have ever heard! Obama also said, "Islam has always been a part of America, and I also know that Islam has always been a part of America's story." I call his knowledge of American history, "Selective Revisionism." "Oh, what a tangled web we weave... when first we practice to deceive."

Christy Lohr Sapp said when referring to the Muslim prayer at Duke, "This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke's mission." With this mission, Duke University will have no problem embracing a one-world religion. 

Is there evidence that we are also witnessing the globalization of religion?  Well, yes there is.  In fact, it appears that Pope Francis intends to lead the way. Since he has been Pope, Francis has expressed a desire for unity with the Eastern Orthodoxthe Anglicans, and many other major Protestant denominations.
Veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars fought to stop the spread of Communism into the Asian nations. As a Vietnam veteran, I am saddened to see the spread of the Muslim culture in America. However, I am angry about Radical Islam attempting to infiltrate every culture in the name of the Radical Islam god. I will never accept their religion, even if it means I lose my life. It may come down to this!  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Refreshing from Anointed Music

Have you ever needed a time of refreshing from the Lord? A time when you could be still and be touched deeply by the Holy Spirit. Then there are those times when you know that you know Jesus is very near! Listening to anointed music can often transport me into a heavenly realm. I just get caught up to another place in the Spirit.

That is what has been happening to me this morning. I began to listen to some recordings that Living Sound made in the 70s. (I have included one of the songs, "Blessed Be") My wife and I were in the Living Sound ministry 1980-1982. Evangelist Terry Law, along with his college friend Larry Dalton, founded Living Sound, a contemporary Christian music group in 1969. Listening to this music made me aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Often I receive a message from God listening to secular music. Sometimes the words sound like something Jesus would say to me. I can hear him saying, "Like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down." I remembered a gospel hymn this morning, "Grace Greater Than All Our Sin." It spoke to me of the measureless grace of God provided through Jesus Christ.

I recommend a time of refreshing from the Lord. "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Acts 3:19

Keeping Problems in Perspective

When you consider the grand scheme of things is your problem greater than God?  "When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—" Psalm 8:3  

I believe we can trust a God that has created galaxies 300 million light years from Earth. In perspective, our problems are in good hands.

Photo: About 300 million light years from Earth, twin galaxies face off in the constellation Coma Berenices.                                                         

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Modern Cannibals

A friend said that the reason he was no longer a pastor was because he was allergic to sheep bites. I posted this on Facebook this morning and received several comments. I liked the one that read, "Sad...but anyone in a ministering position (we are all priests) is going to get attacks. That is why He gives us armor." I in turn replied, "You are so right. I agree. Perhaps that pastor was wearing a hospital gown version of armor." 

Galatians 5:15 "But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another." I didn't know that Christians bite other Christians, and I sure didn't realize that we are modern cannibals!" NOT! Just being facetious in a humorous, yet serious way. The Apostle Paul wrote, "but if you are always biting and devouring one another..." Always implies continuous and uninterrupted cannibalism. No wonder many people shy away from our brand of Christianity!

Marshall Shelley refers to this type of Christian as, "Well-Intentioned Dragons." In his book, by the same title writes, "Well-Intentioned Dragons are the sincere, well-meaning saints who leave ulcers, strained relationship, and hard feelings in their wake. They don't intend to be difficult; they don't consciously plot destruction. But for some reason, they undermine the ministry of the church and make pastors question their calling." Marshall Shelley, Well-Intentioned Dragons: Ministering to Problem People in the Church (Carol Stream, IL: Word Books Publisher, 1985)

We don't intend to bite and devour others; it just happens. As we desire to walk in a way pleasing to the Lord let's practice, "Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you." Ephesians 4:29.

Monday, January 12, 2015

It is more common now for couples getting married to not know a minister to officiate. Six months ago I began making myself available for weddings. You can find me at: Today I started a website called, It is still under construction but here is a peak.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

When Angels Help Us

What I am about to share will take faith to believe, but it is the truth. This morning I left to preach at Vincent UMC. When I got over half way, I remembered that I had left my notes on my recliner. Normally that would not be a problem, but today I was preaching my new message about the Shemitah year. I needed my notes for this. I couldn't go back home. I pulled into a cafe parking lot to find the scriptures I was going to use. When I opened my Bible, the notes were in the back. How could this have happened? Needless to say, I was amazed and happy. I have only one explanation. The Lord sent an angel to minister on my behalf. When I returned home, the note pad was as I had left it on my chair, but the notes were in my Bible. I love special delivery by the Lord!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gossip and the Ten-second Sermon

The best-known types of computer viruses are known for the manner in which they spread and cause damage. Gossip quickly spreads also. "The words of a gossiper are as self-inflicted wounds, and they have gone down to the inner parts of the heart." Proverbs 18:8

It seems that bad news travels faster than good news. In a society that values information, we often listen to words, which may or may not be true. A few days ago we heard about the New York teenager who gained overnight fame after telling a reporter he had made $72 million trading stocks on his lunch breaks at school. He has apologized on video for 'making it all up'.

This young man's story went viral and people all over the world thought it was true. I was amazed and was happy for him. He told a lie, and thousands believed him. He was not a gossiper, he simply told a lie, and people believed it quickly. A gossiper is a person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts. Gossip can inflict wounds to the person being talked about. I unintentionally learned this the hard way when I was in college. I gossiped about someone and the word spread quickly. As a result, I hurt many people who were involved. Even now I still feel remorse for my insensitivity.

The old saying by Thumper is true, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all." (Watch Thumper

Friday, January 9, 2015

Malware, Bad Pennies, & Temptation

James 1:12 "Blessed is anyone who endures temptation." 

Temptations are like a bad penny turning up. They always turn up at the worst time! It is hard to get rid of a bad penny. They keep showing up. Nobody else wants it, so we are stuck with it. 

Malware is also like temptations. Malware is intended to damage a computer and to take partial control of its operation. For two days, I have been trying to remove malware from my desktop. I finally got the victory, but it was slow coming. Temptations come to damage our walk with the Lord and to control our lives if we do not deal with them. Everybody has dealt with temptation at one time or another. Even Jesus was tempted in all ways just as is common to men and women. Being tempted is not evil but temptation can lead to undesired behavior and thoughts.

Jesus told his disciples to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." 

"No temptation has seized you that is not common for people. But God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 

When you are tempted look for your "Exit" sign. After you endure it, you are blessed!