Friday, December 29, 2017

Waiting Patiently for the LORD in 2018

This year has been very difficult for me and I could have never predicted it one year ago today. I was doing a ministry I loved and felt like it was making a difference in people's lives. I was a Hospice Chaplain/Bereavement Coordinator. Each day I companioned the dying and walked with their loved ones. Yes, it was a stressful job but I believed I was called to it. Being called to a ministry is the key to overcoming the challenges and stress associated with working with terminally ill patients.

At the same time, I knew something was not right with me physically. For the past two years, I felt very fatigued. I rationalized that I was getting older and maybe that was the reason. As 2017 progressed I was experiencing dizziness, unbalance, and lack of concentration. After a short rest, I would feel better. My doctor said that everything seemed fine after a general checkup. Blood work didn't show any major issues.

I realized that I was not able to give my best to my work and told my manager that maybe I should retire earlier than I had originally planned. At the end of May, I officially retired. This was not the way I had planned the year. A man's heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9.

In August I had my six-month checkup with my doctor and she detected a heart murmur while listening to my heart. She remarked that she had never heard this previously. She referred me to a cardiologist and within two weeks I began a series of tests. The last test was an MRI of my heart in October. The MRI and electrocardiogram revealed a serious heart condition, Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. It is hereditary and causes sudden cardiac arrest. My mother and both of her parents had died from sudden heart attacks. I was told that it was not curable but treatable with medications.

As I previously said, "I could have never predicted it one year ago today." This diagnosis rocked my world and changed my everyday pace. At least I now knew why I felt fatigued all the time. A muscle on one side of my heart was restricting the blood flow out of my heart to the rest of my body; thus the dizziness and lack of concentration.

A follow-up electrocardiogram has shown an improvement in the blood flow. The second half of 2017 was not a part of my plans! I am beginning to learn how to allow the Lord to direct my steps.

Here is a Scripture text I want to put into practice as I begin the new year ahead. I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a new place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the LORD. It's not easy to patiently wait for the LORD. My theme for 2018 is "Waiting Patiently for the LORD." The Message translation of Romans 5:3 is so appropriate as we enter a new year: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us. In 2018 we all will need passionate patience! It is certain that our world will continue to experience troubles on every hand. How we respond to trouble can develop patience in us.

I do not have any idea what 2018 will have in store for me. I will not attempt to predict my way but learn how to wait patiently.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

6th Night of Hanukkah

There is a Talmudic statement that there are six seasons in the year. This ritual for the sixth night of Chanukah honors the six seasons and reimagines Chanukah as a rededication of the earth. While it is common to think of there being four seasons, according to Gen. 9:22 the seasons' number six. When Noah emerges from the ark, the Creator makes a covenant with Noah and all of creation by means of a rainbow, saying: "As long as the days of the earth endure, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease." We also see the number six in the six visible colors of the rainbow. Six is the balance and beauty of the physical world.

Special appreciation to Tel Shemesh which is a web resource.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

5th Night of Hanukkah

The Hanukkah candelabra is known as a hanukkiyah, not a menorah. The menorah is the seven-wicked candelabra that stood in the Jerusalem Temple. It became a symbol of Judaism and is carved into one of the gates of Rome as a symbol of the Roman conquest of Judea in 70 C.E. The hanukkiyah, in contrast, has nine wicks. One wick, typically in the center, is set apart from the others and known as the shamash, or “head” candle. It is used to light the other eight candles. BY RABBI EVAN MOFFIC

4th Night of Hanukkah

Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat candles are lit before dark. They are lit inside our home. By contrast, Chanukah's candles send a light into the darkness of the night, and near a window facing out into the street.

Shabbat candles bring light within, but the Chanukah lights go further, also transforming the darkness outside.

The Chanukah Lights remind us in a most obvious way that illumination begins at home, within oneself and one’s family, by increasing and intensifying the light of God’s Word in the everyday experience, even as the Chanukah Lights are kindled in growing numbers from day to day. But though it begins at home, it does not stop there. Such is the nature of light that when one kindles a light for one’s own benefit, it benefits also all who are in the vicinity. Indeed, the Chanukah Lights are expressly meant to illuminate the “outside,” symbolically alluding to the duty to bring light also to those who, for one reason or another, still walk in darkness.

Yeshua said, “I am the light of the world.”

Then he said, Matthew 5:14-16

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

These words are so appropriate for the lighting of the 4th Hanukkah candle on this Shabbat evening.

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

* Special appreciation to for Hanukkah resources and music by Itzhak Perlman.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

3rd Night of Hanukkah

The Healing Light of Chanukah by Ariel Neshama Lee

Rabbi Malka Drucker (2002) states that the miracle of Chanukah is not just about a little bit of oil lasting eight days. It is about the inner healing light within each of us. Chanukah is a time when we can celebrate this inner healing light as we move toward wellness. Chanukah is also about the miracle of survival against all odds, about hope, courage, and belief in one's ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This is a powerful symbol that can be used for healing and wellness. This imagery can be used to help people believe that they can overcome obstacles to wellness and healing.

First night:
For the blessing of well-being and transformation that flows from this season, we light this candle for the health and wellness of our bodies.

Second night:
For the blessing of well-being and transformation that flows from this season, we light this candle for the health and wellness of our minds.

Third night:
For the blessing of well-being and transformation that flows from this season, we light this candle for the health and wellness of our souls.

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time 

One of the traditions of celebrating Hanukkah is to sing songs after the candles have been lit.

Maoz Tzur
Ma'oz tzur yeshu'ati,
lecha na'eh leshabe'ach,
tikon beit tefilati,
vesham todah nezabe'ach.
Le'et tachin matbe'ach
mitzar hamenabe'ach.
Az egmor
beshir mizmor
chanukat hamizbe'ach

My refuge, my rock of salvation!
It is a pleasure to sing Your praises.
Let our house of prayer be restored.
And there we will offer You our thanks.
When You will have prepared the slaughter of the barking foe,
Then we will celebrate with song and psalm the dedication of the altar.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2nd Night of Hanukkah

This night I dedicate to increase, to the second step of every path. This is the move towards abundance, to building in increments, an ordered process. The treasures of the house tell of holiness that should only increase, ever rise. Thus it was decreed that we light an additional candle to mark each night. 

For holiness, like light and all luminescent goodness should always advance, like an ascending staircase, ever more inclined, increased, enhanced. Just as each good act gives forth another, one spark springs forth to a second wick, while a string of candles awaits.

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

I stand at the stairway, ready to rise, to explore. Having found my foundation, I move with upward momentum, the second night, the second step, the strength to start.

First Night of Hanukkah

Special appreciation to for the resources provided.

Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting and special prayers. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.

In the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Syrian-Greeks, who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in Gd. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of Gd.

When they sought to light the Temple's Menorah, they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity. To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah.

At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting. The menorah holds nine flames, one of which is the shamash (“attendant” or “servant”), which is used to kindle the other eight lights. The first night which is tonight, we light just one flame. On the second night, an additional flame is lit. By the eighth night of Chanukah, all eight lights are kindled. The shamash, the "attendant or servant" candle that is used to kindle the other lights, sits a bit higher than the other candles, on the ninth branch of the menorah. Though the shamash's primary function has been served once the candles have been lit, we don't extinguish the shamash. Instead, we set it in its place adjacent to the other lights, ready to "serve" in case a candle blows out. Before we light the first candle these special blessings are recited:

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

On the first night of Chanukah, Tuesday, December 12th we add the following blessing:

Blessed are You, Lord our Gd, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.

We light the first candle of Hanukkah and we remember the miracles of God in our lives.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Remembering Hanukkah and Israel

Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. The coinciding secular dates for this year are December 12-20. 

The first candle of the menorah is lit at nightfall this Tuesday. Hanukkah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers, and fried foods. 

The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.

Each day during Hanukkah I will post a spiritual insight into this Jewish festival. I am doing this to show my solidarity with the nation of Israel and to encourage Christians everywhere to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Who Can Mend a Broken Heart?

Once again, a spiritual message is found in a secular song by the Bee Gees. It speaks of a broken man searching for answers to his brokenness. The theme of the song How Can You Mend a Broken Heart could well be from the Bible and especially the Job genre. He asks many questions such as, How can you stop the rain from falling down? How can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round? The main questions are asked out of his brokenness, How can you mend a broken heart? How can you mend this broken man? How can a loser ever win?

We then hear this broken man reach out to God and say, “Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.” He is asking for help, wholeness, and life. He desires to live again.

God will answer this prayer for anyone who comes to Him and asks. God can mend our brokenness (heart), make us whole, and give us new life. Jesus offers all of this to whosoever. Everyone experiences brokenness at various levels. We all need to experience new life. This life is found in Jesus Christ. I sure hope that the man in this song found it in Christ. 


Thursday, November 30, 2017

There is a Blaze of Light in Every Word

Why is our Hallelujah empty and cold to the world? 

You may wonder why I am putting a secular song on my blog. I do it because it can help us better understand people who may not profess Christ. The lyrics of this song, Hallelujah, get inside of the heart and mind of one who is not interested in our faith. They explain how they view the church and believers. The way we come across is often cold and judgmental. 

The second verse could be a raw conversation between a non-believer and one who claims to be a Christian.

        You say I took the name in vain, I don't
        even know the name.
        But if I did, well what's it to you?
        There's a blaze of light in every word;
        It doesn't matter which you've heard, 
             the holy or the broken hallelujah.

He is saying that the hallelujah coming from the non-believer is a broken hallelujah but it still is a hallelujah to God. The Christian thinks his hallelujah is a holy hallelujah, but the non-believer is saying that both the broken and the holy are a hallelujah to God.

When you hear his words in the last verse of the song you will hear his true heart:

         I did my best, it wasn't much.
        Couldn't feel so I tried to touch.
        I told the truth, I didn't come to fool you.
        And even though it all went wrong,
        I stand before the Lord of song with nothing
           on my tongue but Hallelujah.

He is admitting that even though he tried to do his best he told the truth. He is not trying to be something that he's not. He confesses that everything went wrong. But when he stands before the Lord of song he will have nothing on his tongue but Hallelujah. 

Help us, Lord of the song, to embody grace to those who don't have fellowship with you through Jesus Christ. May we be slow to judge and quick to give mercy. When we stand before you may the word on our tongue be Hallelujah, thank you for being merciful.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Free Gift with No Strings Attached

  • If it is free it is too good to be true!
  • There are no free lunches.
  • No strings attached.
  • Nothing in life is free.
  • An offer that good must have a gimmick in it somewhere.

Why do people think that a free gift is somehow a gimmick or ploy? Why are we reluctant to accept something which is free? This reluctance can rob us of the very thing that was meant for our good or benefit.

A gracious gift is given with a desire to bless another. A gracious gift must be received by a gracious receiver. Why is it so hard just saying "thank you?" Receiving graciously is an act of trust. We trust the one giving the gift. We trust that their motive for giving is pure. We learn to trust God and God is a gracious giver. God teaches us to become gracious givers and receivers.

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

I believe the Lord has led me to freely give a gift to pastors during this Christmas season. I truly desire to bless pastors and that is why I want to give my new audiobook to them. This gift is given with no gimmicks or strings attached. My only request is that pastors receive it.

Please send me an email with your name and address to and I will send it the same day. I do this because God has freely blessed me! Thank you in advance for allowing me to sow into your life.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Free Audiobook to Pastors

Available soon! 

Audiobook on a flash drive, For Those in Dry Places: Hope for Ministers in the Wilderness by William Harrison Phares. 

This book will be sent to any pastor requesting this free gift. Send your name and address by clicking the email button below or by posting in the comment box. I especially want to get this audiobook into the hands of pastors in eastern Europe. This book will encourage and minister to those who do not feel that they can make it any longer as ministers of the Gospel.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful for Jesus and Salvation

November 23rd and I am thankful for Jesus and salvation. Jesus saved me, is saving me, and will save me. I am very thankful that Jesus loved me that much. I could not save myself and I needed a savior. Today is a national holiday in the United States. Today is Thanksgiving Day and people are giving thanks to God for their many blessings. For the past 21 days I have posted what I am thankful for and today the best is Jesus. Without him, I would be lost in sin and no hope for the future. In Christ, I experience salvation now and for eternity.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thankful for Life

November 22nd & I Am Thankful for life! Sometimes life is taken for granted when we are young and carefree. We have a feeling that we will live forever. The truth is we will. There is life here and life throughout eternity.

Jesus said, "I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly." John 10:10. I can see two things happening in this sentence by Jesus. Life was not filled with purpose and meaning until Jesus came. Jesus desires that life is lived to its fullest. Jesus gives us life and his life can make our life more abundant. Without him, we exist but with him, we begin to experience life as it was meant to be lived. "And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20. Christ lives in us and our life is in him.

Secondly, having life more abundantly is a higher dimension of living. It is living life to its fullest. It is life in its fullest measure. It is a life that is full and good. It is a life that is rich and satisfying. Abundant life is a life that overflows.

This is God's plan for our lives. God desires our lives to have meaning and purpose. This life overflows to others. It is a contagious life affecting and benefiting those in need. It is not a life just meant for ourselves but a life that flows out to others.

Because Jesus lives in us we can face tomorrow. This life is eternal and never dies. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This life comes from God and returns to God. It is never-ending. If you have not experienced life like this I invite you to give your life to God in exchange for his abundant life.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

To Those Receiving a Serious Diagnosis

How do you handle receiving a serious health diagnosis? I share a word of encouragement from my own recent diagnosis. I trust this video will strengthen your faith. Please share with someone you know who may have just received a serious diagnosis from their physician. 

Dr. Bill Phares

God is My High Rock

November 21st & I Am Thankful that God is my high rock. Psalm 61:2 speaks of being overwhelmed by situations and circumstances. The psalmist writes, From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. The high rock was the psalmist's place of safety, protection, confidence, and encouragement. He felt that he was in the middle of nowhere and if he could get to the high rock then he would be safe. 

If you feel your heart being overwhelmed I encourage you to ask God to lead you to the high rock. God's high rock is never moved by instability or danger. The high rock will give you a new perspective on what you are facing. The high rock is God and God will lift you up. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Utilizing Social Media as an Evangel

The focus on ministry in eastern Europe continues to expand through the Drawing From the Well blog. Nine countries now receive the blog translated into their language. Sharing the Good News in these languages is a blessing and other nations are being added daily. Here is a listing of these blogs.      Belarus   is the newest website and you may be interested in the ministry website 

The Lord continues to open doors for utilizing social media as a fresh approach to nurture leaders and evangelize. 

I Am Thankful That Jesus Found Me

November 20th & I Am Thankful that Jesus found me when I was lost. "Finders-keepers, losers-weepers" is a saying that speaks of someone losing something and another finding it. The one who finds it gets to keep it. 

One time I had a $100 bill in my pocket but somehow I lost it. I was sad that I lost it. The $100 bill did not lose itself; I lost it. I could imagine the joy of the person who found it! They must have said, this is my lucky day! The money did not lose itself; I lost it. 

A lost-and-found is a place where lost items are kept to await reclaiming by their owners. I lost my $100 at a hospital. I went to the lost-and-found in the hospital to inquire if it had been turned in. The "finder" of my lost money kept it instead of turning it in. Although the money did not rightfully belong to the finder he/she kept it as their own. 

Jesus told three stories about losing and finding; lost-and-found. These parables are found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. Although I purposely write short posts I am impressed by the Holy Spirit to share the three parables in their entirety. My hope is that the reader will better understand God's great love for those who are lost.

Luke 15:1 One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, “This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!” So Jesus told them this parable:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them—what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it. When you find it, you are so happy that you put it on your shoulders and carry it back home. Then you call your friends and neighbors together and say to them, ‘I am so happy I found my lost sheep. Let us celebrate!’ In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.

  “Or suppose a woman who has ten silver coins loses one of them—what does she do? She lights a lamp, sweeps her house, and looks carefully everywhere until she finds it. When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, and says to them, ‘I am so happy I found the coin I lost. Let us celebrate!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents.”

11 Jesus went on to say, “There was once a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to him, ‘Father, give me my share of the property now.’ So the man divided his property between his two sons. 13 After a few days the younger son sold his part of the property and left home with the money. He went to a country far away, where he wasted his money in reckless living. 14 He spent everything he had. Then a severe famine spread over that country, and he was left without a thing. 15 So he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to take care of the pigs. 16 He wished he could fill himself with the bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat. 17 At last he came to his senses and said, ‘All my father's hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve! 18 I will get up and go to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. 19 I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers.”’ 20 So he got up and started back to his father. “He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him. 21 ‘Father,’ the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’ 22 But the father called to his servants. ‘Hurry!’ he said. ‘Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. 23 Then go and get the prize calf and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast! 24 For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’ And so the feasting began.
The sheep was lost. The coin was lost. The son was lost. An animal, an inanimate object, and a human being were each lost. Can you sense the sadness in each story? The shepherd loved the lost sheep. The woman was sad because she lost the coin. The father grieved the loss of his son. Each one represented an investment that the shepherd, woman, and father had made over time. Their emptiness would never be whole again until that which was lost could be found.
Somehow try to visualize and emotionally experience the joy the shepherd felt when he found the lost sheep. He found it and he saved it from sure death. Jesus is the great shepherd. We are the lost sheep. Because of sin we were lost and could not find our way. Jesus loved us so much that he searched until he found us. Jesus found us in our lost state. He came to us and saved us. We could not save ourselves. He found us and he keeps us.
If you have ever lost something valuable then you know the joy the woman felt and expressed upon finding the lost coin! Her livelihood was invested in that coin. She was so happy that she wanted to celebrate with her friends and neighbors. 
A sheep and a coin are of great value but nothing to compare with a son. A son, a human being, is the highest value a parent can know. A son was lost but now found. The loss was like a death but now he was alive.
Each of us is the lost sheep, coin, and son. Each of us was lost with no way of saving ourselves. Jesus searched until he found us. Jesus came to us and returned us to where we belong. Jesus' joy over finding us is illustrated by the shepherd, woman, and father. We were lost but now we are found! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 19th & I Am Thankful for Restoration

November 19th & I Am Thankful that "God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered." Deuteronomy 30:3 (The Message) Many people feel broken into pieces and life feels scattered. If this is you, then this word is for you. God spoke this word to Israel and promised to restore them as a nation for His glory. Hear this word and receive it as His promise to you. God can take the old and make it new; restore to a better condition than the original. Your present life can be much better than the old. What you once enjoyed in the past can be restored in your present situation. Embrace the God who restores.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

When Destinies Merge

Last Monday I posted a video about my renewed call to Eastern Europe. Last night I attended a worship service in a home of ministers to Israel. A pastor and his wife from Germany were in attendance. His name is Karl Phillippe Schneider and he is pastor of Church of God KdöR in Magdeberg*. This city was very important in the life of Martin Luther. It is also located in the eastern part of Germany which was once controlled by the Soviet Union. Karl's wife Claudia's parents lived under Communist control. I do not believe both of us were at this meeting by coincidence! The timing had to be a God arrangement. I am going to make a video today saying more about this. I can't quit pondering all of this, Selah 

The ministers to Israel are Jerry and Karen Ellard. They recently returned to the U.S. for a short season but plan to return when that door opens. They minister in the Jerusalem Prayer Tower and King of Kings Community Jerusalem. My wife met them recently at a church in Birmingham where they were ministering. A connection was made and last week the Ellards invited us to a time of praise and worship in their home last night. It just so happens that their home is a mile away, as a crow flies. My love for Israel and my renewed call from God to Eastern Europe merged as two rivers came together. I am still overwhelmed by all of this!

Think of the possibilities of this happening unless the Lord brought us together. The Ellards had to leave their home in Jerusalem at a certain time. The Schneider's had to be in Alabama, all the way from their home in Germany. Both couples met each other last Sunday at the same church in Birmingham. The Ellards invited the Schneiders to attend the praise and worship event in their home, which is one mile from my home. The Ellards had invited us before they met the Schneiders. I will not go into detail about how my being willing to attend was an answer to prayer for my wife. Innumerable details in all of our lives and circumstances had to come together at precisely the exact moment in history! Selah

The Lord knows our future and where our paths will lead us. 

* In about Easter 1497, the then twelve-year-old Martin Luther attended school in Magdeburg, where he was exposed to the teachings of the Brethren of the Common Life. In 1524, he was called to Magdeburg, where he preached and caused the city's defection from Catholicism. The Protestant Reformation had quickly found adherents in the city, where Luther had been a schoolboy.

Friday, November 17, 2017

November 17th & I Am Thankful

November 17th and I Am Thankful that we are saved by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8. Our response is gratitude, thanksgiving, and good works. 

Tribute to Garry Abbott

Tribute to Garry Abbott from Bessemer. Last night a memorial service was held to remember our friend Garry who passed away last weekend. Garry and I were classmates at Greenwood Jr High and Bessemer High. I'd like to share this story to honor him. When we were in junior high we had a coach named Joe Kirkland. One day in PE class Coach Kirkland introduced us to boxing gloves. Garry and I had a demonstration boxing match on the stage. We went several rounds and knocked each other silly. I will never forget that experience. The brand of the boxing gloves was "Everlast". This brand exemplified Garry Abbott. His life will "Everlast" in our hearts.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 16th & I Am Thankful-God is on Our Side

Psalm 124 "If the Lord had not been on our side..." We were going under, we couldn't make it, it was all over, BUT God! Our help is in the name of the Lord.
1 “If the Lord had not been on our side . . .” (Israel should repeat this.) 2 “If the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, 3 then they would have swallowed us alive when their anger exploded against us. 4 Then the floodwaters would have swept us away. An overflowing stream would have washed us away 5 Then raging water would have washed us away.” 6 Thank the Lord, who did not let them sink their teeth into us. 7 We escaped like a bird caught in a hunter’s trap. The trap was broken, and we escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

In My Life

This week some of us from my high school Class of 1967 will gather to remember another friend and classmate. This song has been echoing in my mind as I remember my friend. I'm sad that he is no longer here but I believe I will rejoin him someday in eternity. This song is also in honor of those who have been dear to me and to those who are still living. Some are dead and some are living. I wish somehow that they could hear this song and remember with me. In my life I am grateful that they loved me too.

In My Life

Seeing Through Kingdom Glasses

This is a season for seeing things with a new perspective. It is important how we look at what is happening in our lives and in the world. Circumstances are changing so quickly which can cause our vision to become blurred and hard to focus. Maybe it is time for new eyeglasses. The wrong eyeglasses can distort what is seen. Our eyeglasses were right for a season in our life but now new eyeglasses are needed for this season.

"Sight is the sum of the light receptive and integrative capacity of the eye including best vision, color vision, night vision, depth vision, field of vision and the ability to track objects in motion." Dr. Hamid Sajjadi. When our seeing is not correct even our lives are affected. Correct sight is essential for the way we live our lives and perceive what is going on around us.

Best vision is obtained when we see with 20/20 vision. This is a term used to express normal visual clarity and sharpness of vision measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance.  God wants us to see spiritually with 20/20 vision so that we can see with clarity and sharpness. 

Do a self-examination of your eyes and ask the Lord to reveal anything that might be blurring your vision. Do this on a regular basis because spiritual vision is so crucial to seeing what God is doing in the Earth at this time. Be sure that you are wearing the correct frames and lenses. You may need to update your frames to be able to contain your new lenses.

The frame (framework), or world-view of how we see what is happening on planet Earth cannot be out-of-date. You may require an update. Not only do we see Scripture being fulfilled before our very eyes but there is also the Kingdom of God with God's purposes being manifested in the nations. If we only "see" this with our "church" eyeglasses our perspective will be limited. That is why we need to update our frames so that we also see beyond the obvious and perceive God's kingdom being established in the Earth (nations). Revelation 11:15 The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. This is a season for seeing things differently.

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13th & I Am Thankful to be Forgiven

Yes, I am thankful that God forgave my many sins and the truth is, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. During this season of thanksgiving I have taken serious stock of my spiritual life and it has come up short. Deep in my heart I want to be used by God. My prayer is, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

A clean heart and a right spirit does not hinder the flow of God through us to others. To be at the maximum use by the Lord, the Holy Spirit cannot be hindered by sin. It is a daily walk with the Lord. Our God, you bless everyone whose sins you forgive and wipe away. Psalm 32:1  I am truly thankful that God forgave my sins.

The Reoccurring Call

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11th & I Am Thankful for Veterans

Every country has veterans. I am grateful to have been born in America and for the privilege of serving my country. Patriotism is a normal trait of anyone who loves their country. Respect for that nation's flag is honorable. Freedom should not be taken for granted. Freedom is costly. Honor a veteran today. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

November 10th & I Am Thankful for Something to Lend to the Lord

November 10th & I Am Thankful. I am thankful that no matter how much or little I may have I still have something to give to those who have nothing.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 9th & I Am Thankful for New Beginnings

I am thankful for new beginnings and how God brings new life out of our old experiences. God does not reproduce, but rather produces something new. There is value in the old, but there is promise in the new. The old is in the past but the new is already beginning in our present. The new thing has never existed before. The manufacture date is Made Today! 

Grace Abounds on Our Behalf

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Audiobook for Eastern European Pastors

When God gives us an idea then we have a choice to either act on it or sit on it. Yesterday I received a God idea for a way to plant a new ministry in eastern Europe. I knew that the Lord was leading me in the direction of eastern Europe (especially in Poland) but I was not sure what path to take. I then received the idea to sow my For Those in Dry Places: Hope for Ministers in the Wilderness book in audiobook flash drive format as a Christmas gift to eastern European pastors and leaders. The flash drives are being created and I am narrating the manuscript now. Here is how the audiobook will look 
I can give each pastor this audiobook for $5 and I believe it will make a huge spiritual difference in a pastor's life. If you would like to partner with me to sow this spiritual seed for Christmas I invite you to participate. There is a "Donation" button on this page to contribute to make this gift possible. You can send a check to Stir the Fire Ministry, 307 Kevin Way, Helena, AL 35022. Your gift is tax deductible. Thank you for your consideration. I am a minister to ministers and I desire to give to ministers this Christmas.

November 8th & I Am Thankful for God Ideas

On this day I am thankful that God gives us ideas. God ideas kick-start our creativity and bring about valuable deposits in the Kingdom of God. God ideas originate with God rather than us; therefore God gets all the credit. Usually, a God idea comes to us at a time when we are not expecting. When we act on these by faith God activates the process and the idea moves into the realm of reality. Wow, God ideas rock!

As We Embrace Who God Is

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

Paul Scanlon: 'Step Out of Stuck'

This is Paul Scanlon teaching on when we can get to a place of stuck, or 'Bethesda', where high expectation is not met. He shows how we recognize the symptoms and advises the necessary steps to 'leave the colonnades' and closer to breakthrough.

Listen up, leaders! Our systems can be corporate as well as personal. I have been stuck many times, so I speak from personal experience. Leaders, I love you too much to allow you to not share this timely message with you. I am very thankful to Paul Scanlon for ministering to us.