Category Archives: Commentary

My Funniest Gospel Story – devotional

Years ago I heard this true story and go back to it many times because it shows that God has a sense of humor even in the worst times. Remember He is not caught off guard by any situation we get into.

The pastor at Almighty God Assemblies of God Church was working late on Sunday night at the office and decided to call home to tell is wife he was on his way soon. But the phone rang repeatedly with no answer. Thinking she must be in the shower he just closed the office and left. When he got home his wife said she’d heard no ring from him and they forgot about it.

Monday morning at the crack of dawn there was a man on the steps of the church with this story to tell. He had been in his apartment with a gun on his lap planning suicide Sunday night.

As a final ditch attempt  he said, “God, if you are really there, let me know and I won’t go through with this.”

Then the phone rang. He looked at the Caller ID – It said Almighty God. 

Frozen with fear the man stayed awake all night. Then he checked on the church address and ended up at the pastor’s office to hear a word of hope.

There are several things about this story that stand out. First, God is able to mess up phone lines when He needs to. We don’t consider how God can get around man’s opinions, his technology, his people, his church, his nations, even the bad ones. The Bible repeatedly says, He is Able. We allow our doctrines to hamper what He can do or will do.

Second, the man had to respond.  He could have looked at the Caller ID and thought, well, a phone call doesn’t count.  Sometimes our negativity is so thick we are unable to respond when we have the chance. It clouds our mind. This man realized something otherworldly had happened.

Third, and this is perhaps the most important lesson, I cannot prove it but somewhere, someone had prayed for this man.  Perhaps a family member, a coworker, even a person on a bus might have seen this man and thought, “He looks depressed and hopeless. He needs God.”

So, add a person you don’t know to your prayer list – the cashier at the Food Lion, the person in the next cubicle that you do not know, or the guy who is panhandling with a sign, “Will work for food.”  It doesn’t matter that he probably needs drugs too. Your job as a believer is prayer. That is a Christmas present you can give anyone.

With prayer you can be ‘Almighty God’ in your town too.

God is the One who Divides

Political complaints frequently start with the word divisive. The implication is that this is something wrong. But a look at the scriptures tells us another truth – that God spent a good deal of His time dividing, light from dark, day from night, good from evil, and the major division of nations from each other.

Would that modern nations would keep their greedy paws off other nations.  Separate nations were God’s original decision and when the early humans tried to bring in political globalism, God divided them into separate languages.

He divides their tongues, in other words He pits people against each other when they are out of order. (Psalm 55:9) He divides foolish virgins from wise by checking their supply of end time oil. He divided the land of Israel into individual parts for the tribes.  (Joshua 13) There is no mention of Palestine or their claim to this land. Period.

Controversy is healthy. General George S. Patton said, “When everyone is thinking the same thing, someone is not thinking.” Arguing is unhealthy because it goes nowhere.

God separates the angels who defied His rule and sent them to Hell, limiting their access to humans and truth.

He divided the soldiers who were not astute and prepared for war leaving only a handful to fight the war.  But that way when they won the battle they knew it was God!

Solomon suggested that he slice the baby boy into two parts after the mothers were fighting over ownership. Solomon was wise; he knew the real mother was the one who would not harm her child. Division will force you to make a choice for good or evil.

He divided the Red Sea so the escaping Hebrews could flee Egypt.  Hebrew comes from a word meaning “to cross over.”  And that is what we do – cross from death to life either as Jews or Christians.

He said every kingdom that is divided against itself shall not stand.  There are many kingdoms in this world. Civil war has decimated some of them already.

He separated sheep – those who obey – from goats, those who say, “But, But, But.”

He said He would divide families too; some will follow Christ, others will not. To make a decision is to divide yourself from those who disagree. Decisions have consequences. You obey or pay.

The Science Guy says that my state has the largest varieties of flora in the nation. God loves diversity. Look at His creation. But when it comes to God’s Laws, there are no divisions.

The Bible says God hates divorce but He never says that about separation. Separation is common and often a requirement for progress. Paul and Mark separated, and the Kingdom grew larger for it. The church at Jerusalem found itself scattered, and the gospel spread like wildfire. Catholics and Protestants separated and the world is dotted with churches from the Fiji Islands to the Arctic Tundra.

God does everything except separate Himself from His creation. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” He said. Prisoners may find Jesus standing right there in their cell. This is the mistake Deists make their mistake; they think God abandoned His work. But if you are paying attention you’ll find Him everywhere.

Some politicians plead for an end to division. No way! Why do they want unity? It may well be something we do not need for our society. We need make no deal with the devil. If a government will stick with what God wants (not God in charge as a theocracy) we will be happier for it.

Curse what God is doing, and it Backfires

For a solid year hundreds of individuals have cursed President Trump, wished him dead, even carried his blood-dripping head photo around as a war prize.  Anyone who had a platform thought it was open season on a man elected while they were congratulating themselves on the assumption they had won.The many-sided Donald Trump

What is happening here? This is about curses, and the Bible has a lot to say about how this works. It always backfires!

There is a little known the story of Shimei. When King David was struggling against his son Absalom for the leadership of Israel, Shimei cursed David for many things he believed David had done wrong- such as replace King Saul, war against his son, and some other behaviors. In all cases, Shimei was wrong. David has followed God’s plan and done it His Way.

David showed considerable restraint; he could have had the man’s head then and there, but he said, “Maybe God sent him to curse me.” David knew something we don’t – that to curse against what someone is doing as obedience to God is actually cursing God. Whoops!

Shimei later genuinely repented and asked David’s forgiveness which he received. But as David turned the Kingdom over to his son Solomon, he reminded him that Shimei needed to be dealt with. That was smart because then whatever judgment followed would not be personal -it would be a decision done lawfully.

Shimei’s punishment was that he could never leave Jerusalem, a City of Refuge where your sins and lawbreaking were not accounted to you – like a Sanctuary City today.  You are safe from the law there. But Shimei became cocky and forgot that he was protected. He left Jerusalem and lost his life as a consequence.

Today after much prayer by the American church, President Trump shows up on the scene. He is not David but he is a soldier for law, order, and righteousness to bring about reforms and change in what had become a broken system in every area of national government where he has had the authority to makes changes.

Donald Trump was not even a saved believer before his election. He had been “christian” as so many are, as a cultural choice from Scots ancestors. His subsequent salvation surprised many. But the Media, celebrities, editors, Democrats, Congressmen and foreign voices have since cursed the man.  And what happened?

Sex sins and violations of law, pedophiles and others are exposed on both coasts, in public causing loss of careers and positions of leadership from the TV news to sitting Congressmen. If I were a political official who had a hidden past I would be keeping my mouth shut and laying low, hoping no one found out. To curse President Trump is a ticket to public humiliation and loss.

God doesn’t go around making fools of people in public. That is not His first choice. He wants to cover your sins privately just between the two of you.

BUT, if human beings through warning after warning do not knuckle up to truth, God will bring them into public display.  The Democrats assumed they could continue the cover-ups with a Hillary win. The court cases against all kinds of treason and thievery have just started.

If an entire political party can believe they can get away with this, we too as lone human beings can also think we are going to get away with something. This whole scenario is a public lesson in how truth will win out.

God will soon be wrapping up the Church Age and making major changes. As a young  kid once told me 45 years, “I’ve read the Bible. Jesus is coming back and He’s really ticked off.”

But during this time we all have a chance to get right with God. Don’t throw it away.

Why should I pay 10% (tithe) to God?

Of course you don’t “have” to pay God anything, but if you want a blessing from Him, it’s another story. The principle of giving God 10% of your income goes back thousands of years. It was the way for Jews to support their religious system as well. But most of all, it was a blessing for the giver. Abraham started the tithe to God.

Hebrews 7:2-6 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.

And when you bless God, He blesses you back. Many Christians are only half-happy (or 90% unhappy) living without blessings. Maybe this has something to do with it? Furthermore, not giving God His due carries with it a curse.

Malachi 3:8“ Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘ In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.

God has no blessings for robbers. In addition, the money given to God’s work must be His work. This is called, in scripture, the storehouse. A storehouse holds seed grain. The seed is the word.

Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

That is your requirement too – that what you give to God will involve His Word, not just any ‘ole charity. (Not everything that is tax deductible glorifies God.)

Years ago I left a church. I felt a sense of loss – I had some fine friends there but God told me, “I cannot bless you because I WILL NOT bless them.” There was no Word of God going out from that church. It was all social work and social work is man’s work. It was not a storehouse.

Here is the storehouse passage.

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Finally, there is the issue of a good conscience. Sometimes we just do things because we want to be able to respond to God when He asks us – did we do everything we could when we were alive? These are called ordinances – we don’t do them in order to be saved. We do them because they are part of the witness of a Christian life. Your friends see it, your employees, your children, your neighbors. It shows you, God and others that you are serious about obeying God. In this passage, we are baptized in water occasionaly because we want the answer of a good conscience.

1 Peter 3:21-22 You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.

[from The Message version of the New Testament.]

Experiment with God. Give a tithe and see if you don’t see a change. And what do you have to lose anyway? You can pump up your faith and learn about His Kingdom at the same time.

Why Americans Must Support Israel and the Jews

February 2011 I started this blog because I saw so many people either confused or unlearned on some major Biblical issues. Today I reblog this to remind you that things have progressed to a critical state in the religious war of Islam. America, in fact most of the world, has been sucked in. The war is not going to go away. We must take our stand with Israel, not because we want to but because God is on their side, and has said so repeatedly, and we need for our own safety to be there too. In the end, He always wins.

People who don’t care a fig about religion have been forced to examine the 3,000 year old religious war now dominating the Middle East and our lives as well.  It’s easy to feel annoyed over this – like what business is this of ours?  But it is.

First and foremost, God Himself in the earliest documents said that those who treat Jews badly will suffer consequences.  Specifically, He said they would receive a curse.  That should help us smell the coffee.

This promise is in Genesis 12:3 I will bless them that bless thee, (Abraham)   and curse him that curses thee (Abraham’s offspring) and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  You may care little about blessing but surely suffering under a curse should get your attention.

Second, it is the cause of the millennial war between Muslims and Jews and our immediate on-going conflagration in the Middle East.  And Israel these days has only America to stand by her side.  If we do not, our whole nation comes under a curse!

The United States is a win-win nation and hated by Islam because we have blessed the Jews, allowed them, like any other ethnic group, to live, work, educate, marry, start businesses, and die in peace here.  Thank God.  That is what it means to be a free country.  Our open society is hated by Islam because it affords protection to all.  If you hate Jews or Muslims, or anybody, you can do it on your own time.  But the USA is here for all.  We are the land of the free and the home of the brave and must stay that way.

Why Soldier Suicide – How to Change It

This is the 3rd time I have published this post. Still, 22 soldiers each day commit suicide.  It can be stopped.

The chaplains in the Armed Services are being silenced again about faith foundational issues at a time when we learn that 22 former soldiers each day commit suicide. Who is in charge here? This is scandalous. This article about soldier suicide shows how moral and historical ignorance has led to hopelessness and despair. It is not necessary. These men and women can be counseled and preserved.

As thousands of soldiers waited in New York City in 1943 for the troop transports for Europe they saw the rousingly popular musical Oklahoma! and got one last taste of American life, often to die on D Day the following June.

Those soldiers knew what they were dying for –“wind sweeping down the plain,” for carnivals, and romances and grandmas apple pies at the state fair. They were dying so a nation enduring 2 theaters of war would survive, for little churches which preach God and country and faithfulness. They expected to come home – many did not. They had hope in their future and confidence that their service would preserve their homeland. They expected the girl they left behind to be there for them. And so did she.

That soldier no longer exists – but he still goes off to war, and he comes back – and kills himself? Why?

The answer is almost too easy. It is not simply because the family farm has been sold, the state fair is mostly auto shows, the church has been preaching diversity and his parents are divorced. That is bad enough in itself. But the man himself, just a boy really, has no roots in real America. His moral judgment has been tarnished by a wanton and indifferent culture, by teachers who praise marginal students, by gutless courses, and paper mache theologies. The man with roots in the real America is not there any more.

But he goes to Afghanistan and finds a culture that is supremely confident in itself… a male enemy and his religion that not only have open contempt for law and order, but also women and family, an “alpha” male society based on the scruffiest principles of overblown ego and violence. He has a new male model for himself. He is in awe of men who can kill a woman at will, or lock little girls in a school and then burn it down. Violence in the home is common, even applauded. This is power! In the clash of Muslim-American culture, he is co-opted and returns a totally different person.

The sweet little thing he married leaving 2 children to rear has been running her own show for a year or more. Her authoritarian ways, her final decisions, her paying the bills, discipline, repairing the car – what happened to his male headship – out the window! The romance of being an alpha Muslim male which he picked up in the violence drenched desert takes over. Bang – the kids are dead, or his wife, or in final frustration, he copies the Muslim model of worship of suicide. He is a trained killer, after all, and he kills himself hardly realizing that suicide is a public confession of failure. Like Hitler. He is a now one-more-sacrifice to a foreign god.

In the 1980s a revealing PSTD study of Vietnam Veterans and female rape victims showed their trauma and symptoms to be identical. The study put the 2 groups together in a successful therapy. The main trauma was betrayal- the woman betrayed by a trusted male, the soldier betrayed by a slothful government. Today’s soldier has no more trust in an appeasement-government than the soldier of the 60s. It is friendly political fire to disarm the soldier in the presence of live ammo and committed foreign foes.

The battered wife in Dayton, Ohio has a better chance of survival in a half-way house with her kids protected by agencies and police than guys in Fallujah. No one has their back! But if he takes on the coloring, the morals, the standards of the death-obsessed Muslim; he has a new identity and possibly survival. He regains a sense of self, however false and unworkable.

Attempting to correct this after he returns is a mammoth job when it could be more easily addressed before he ever goes. Despite the sincere efforts of the armed forces bureaucracy to bring “readjustment’” the results are minimal because the effort is at the end, not the beginning of the deterioration process. They must learn that their Western God is not dead – He’s not even sleeping.

This is not complicated. Train the warriors in American values, constitution and morals before they face the enemy as victims, not later. If young soldiers do not know who they are to begin with how can they be restored to a place that never was.

Solders need a moral foundation based on clear-cut historical reality so the man who fights in 2012 is as well prepared to face his enemies as the man of 1944.

{PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder.}

Would You Consider?

As thousands of soldiers waited in New York City in 1943 for the troop transports for Europe they saw the rousingly popular musical Oklahoma! and got one last taste of American life, often to die on D Day the following June.

Those soldiers knew what they were dying for –“wind sweeping down the plain,” for carnivals, and romances and grandmas apple pies at the state fair. They were dying so a nation enduring 2 theaters of war would survive, for little churches which preach God and country and faithfulness. They expected to come home – many did not. They had hope in their future and confidence that their service would preserve their homeland. They expected the girl they left behind to be there for them. And so did she.

That soldier no longer exists – but he still goes off to war, and he comes back – and kills himself?…

View original post 622 more words

The Prayer that God will Probably Ignore

Jesus said these important words and many of his believers rely of them to be honest and true.

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
So we usually say our prayers and end it with this sentence. “We ask all this in Jesus’ name.”
But there’s a hitch.  If we ask something “in someone’s name” it means that person has already agreed to honor the request.  After all, you do not buy something with a charge card if your name is not on that card, because it is your name, and your name only means you will pay the bill!  Your name is your promise to back up what you said. And if you do this with another person’s card without their permission you are actually stealing!
So what if you don’t know what God has said? Then perhaps we should not be praying until we know what his will is.
This is the prayer that you can occasionally hear. “If it be thy will oh Lord, do this and such, heal so-and-so and” on and on.
In other words, the pray-er does not have a clue what God’s will actually is and just throwing out a hopeful prayer that maybe, just maybe God will honor the prayer even though it is not prayed in faith.
Here is what Jesus said about healing. Matthew 8

And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

The leper asked the right question.  Was it Jesus’ will to heal him.

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

Also in Matthew 8. Jesus announced his intention to heal.
The secret to answered prayers then is this – know first what God wants and then pray the prayer.

What does “taking the name of the Lord in vain” mean?

Quick answer: swearing.  But not the best answer.

Taking God’s name in vain means to use God to endorse words or actions for which He as no support.  Here are some examples:

1.  “God damn you – go to hell.”  God damns no one.  People choose hell for themselves by their life behavior and beliefs.  John 3:17 (we read verse 16 then ignore 17) “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

2.  We can state as God’s will something that is clearly false.

a.  There is no New Testament proof that Jews, as a group, go to hell.  They are God’s people.  The book of Romans chapters 9-11 clearly tells Christians to mind their own business. Besides, Jews have Muslim enemies enough without others butting in. Jews are God’s business and it is our job to pray for their nation and their safety.

b.  The Supreme Court heard a case involving the Westboro Baptist Church which was hassling funerals of soldiers with yelling and signs, like “God hates fags” “God hates abortion” “God hates America.”   It is true God hates sin, but sinners he accepts.  The plan of salvation is not complicated.  The members of this group have substituted their conclusions for what God is saying and doing.  There is no Biblical link between dead soldiers and what God hates or does not hate.

3. Final example.  “God told me you are to marry ____.”  Let God do his own talking please.  Can God tell you whom to marry?  Sure, but He tells the participants not others.  To butt into a marriage is called adultery, even if it is only in your mind or your words.  Find something else for your mind to do.  And if you are a man or woman who has been told this, back off and start thinking seriously about what is going on.  God wants to work through you for His glory.  He can lead you the whole way.

Westboro Cartoon

When the devil challenges you

Sometimes the devil will give you a free home Demon-stration.  It happened one Sunday. A man named Weldon came up to our table where we were having coffee and donuts before church.  He told Mike, a leader in the men of the church, what was wrong with their last meeting..  Clearly this was not God talking to us.

How did I know that?  He was taking away from the person and work of Jesus Christ, and saying that the believers had no power over the devil at some specific point.

I shot into the conversation “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.”  This is what Jesus did.  When he faced an evil spirit He quoted scripture. Jesus never treated the person as though s/he was the devil; He always spoke to the spirit inside.

Another man and wife sat down next to me and he started quoting scripture too. I was not to be shut up.  I said, “That is not true and I can prove it.”   Weldon took a step backward and away from me.  That is how I knew it was an evil spirit.  If he had been speaking for himself, he would have immediately replied, “OK, prove it.  I’m waiting.”  But he was afraid at this point.  He had been challenged by two of us, and was not getting anywhere with Mike either.

Mike meanwhile gave part of his testimony about experience with evil spirits.  Testimony is nice but it is not what Jesus did.  Testimony strengthens you but in no way deals with the devil.

Lessons from this:

1.I was happy to learn my church had leaders in it that the enemy wanted to challenge.  It means God is planing to use us in some way and good churches require more than good pastors.  They need many more to carry the load of real work of God.

2.Others spoke the Bible out loud without fear.  A fearful church has little future.

3. We need to ask God to expose false teaching in the church.  Otherwise it hides.  It gives us all a way to pray.

Why am I unhappy?

The main cause of unhappiness is that you didn’t get your own way. This emotion leads to both physical and continued, expanded emotional problems, bitterness, anger, revenge, even murder. But how to stop it?

If Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart (Rev 3:20), how can you open the door? The knob on your side is named “Forgiveness.”

Jesus’ basic prayer for all persons says, “forgive us our transgressions as we have (already) forgiven others. All that crucifixion, all that victory for the whole world starts at forgiveness, which is not God’s job but yours. Jesus did His job; now you do your part.

But I can’t do that, you protest! Yes you can, your future depends on your ability to release yourself from the bondage. It has nothing to do with your being justified in your position. You may be the victim who appears on a TV program; your story may be so awful no one listens or believes you. Never mind, God knows. And while you are seething with resentment and blame, the person you have not forgiven is living life without any (apparent) sense of loss.

What happens when you forgive? First, you are free. (By the way you may need to voice this forgiveness many times over.) But when you take your hands off the person(s) who hurt you, God is available now to judge and reach them.

Vengeance is mine, says God. (Deut 32:35) Good – now He can step in. And no, you don’t need to know how He is dealing with them. You will find out in due time. This is His promise. (Deuteronomy 32:35-Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them.)

“I choose to forgive (name them by name if you can)” and allow God to free you and to handle this situation. And He will.

Do not forget to forgive yourself and God too. Most people are blaming Him for something. People who pray this prayer often report immediate changes in their life. Try it. After all, it is your life and only you are in charge of your own life.