Sunday, September 16, 2012

Isaiah 37

In reading Isaiah 37, I am impressed to comment on the attitude of much of the world with regard to Israel.  To set the scene, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, has sent his representative to Israel's king, Hezekiah, to make threats against them and blaspheme God.  He uses the age-old weapons of Satan by trying to plant doubts in the King and the hearts of people by questioning the power of their God.

Hezekiah is shaking in his boots, so he sends word to the prophet Isaiah of the threats and asks him to pray. Isaiah's response assures him (verse 6) with an often repeated verse in Scripture: "Do not be afraid...."  Soon a threatening letter arrives to Hezekiah from king of Assyria's servant.  This time, Hezekiah goes to the House of the Lord, spreads out the letter and begins to pray.  He concludes his prayer with these words, "And now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand that all kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou alone, Lord, are God."  (I believe God will always answer this prayer because that is His purpose - to display His power so that all men will be drawn to Him.)
Isaiah's response intrigues me with regard to what is happening in America today.  In verse 23, he records God's response:
"Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
And against whom have you raised your voice,
And haughtily lifted up your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!"
Continuing in verses 28 & 29:
"But I know your sitting down,
And your going out and your coming in,
And your raging against Me.
Because of your raging against Me,
And because your arrogance has come up to my ears,
Therefore I will put My hook in your nose,
And My bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back by the way which you came."

Take warning Muslim nations who are threatening Israel; to America and its leadership who are speaking against God Almighty and the people who are His chosen ones!  To the haughty ones who "think" they are in charge, God will not continued to be mocked.

To Christians who are praying - remember it is not for our own comfort that we pray (so we can continue in prosperity and a life of ease), but that God will show Himself mighty so that all kingdoms of the earth may know that He is God!  Remember in this election time, God is our deliverer - never a man who tells you what he can do.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

At a meeting last evening, we discussed the growing population of Muslims in the U.S. cities.  We had recently read a e-mail quoting a European gentlemen warning America to avoid the plight of his countries that are now overrun by the Muslim peoples. At their present growth, they will soon take control of much of Europe.  We then joined hands to pray for our country - and I was asked to lead the prayer.  As I voiced our concerns, God seemed to show me that we have a mission field in our midst.  I was led to pray that we would share the gospel with these hopeless people who are settling all over our nation.

If Satan can keep us viewing them as a threat, and incite fear in our hearts that we will be overrun by them, we will miss the opportunity that He has set before us.  Tolerance and appeasement do not work - we know  to them that is a sign of weakness.  But the gospel will work because God has commanded that we take the gospel to all people.  When we obey, He works.  We have no power to change anyone, but we do have the power to pray for wisdom and the knowledge to obey His command, which then empowers Him to work.

God, I pray for the Muslim people inside the boundaries of this country which was founded on your Word.  I pray that you will raise up strong witnesses to the hope that you give to the hopeless.  I pray for the many women and children who are enslaved within the Muslim communities by the evil one.  Send into their midst missionaries with a heart for these lost people.  May you bring them to you, one at a time as you open doors and penetrate the darkness of their lives.  May you be glorified in all the answers to this prayer.  I ask these things in the precious name of your Son, my Savior.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Romans 12:3 "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given me."   A reminder this morning by the precious Holy Spirit brought back the memory of a haughty attitude.  Our newspaper delivery has grown very sporadic.  I called to tell them we had not received a paper...again!  Now when they think of the person living at this address, they will not remember a pleasant, courteous voice, but an abrupt and frustrated customer.  My whole purpose changed when I accepted the Savior's offer of His life.  It is now to reflect only HIM...never me, because He paid a high price for me.  Father, please continue to remind me of that truth.  I keep wanting to take the throne that is rightfully yours.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Radical Experiment

I just finished reading one of the most awesome books - Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt.  As a result, I am committing myself to the radical experiment that he suggests over the next year:

  1. I will pray for the entire world using as my source.
  2. I will read through the entire Word over next year (beginning today June 11, 2012).
  3. Sacrifice my money for something that is gospel centered to meet a specific tangible need.
  4. I will spend time in another country to give of myself to share the gospel.
  5. I will commit my life to share the gospel and make disciples of those who are part of His body locally.
I am excited to offer my life to glorify God with whatever years remain for me.  Glorifying Him is reflecting Him to all with whom I come in contact so that they, too, may become His chosen.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

With regard to my service on the Search Committee for a new pastor, I was given insight this morning as I studied the lesson from a study of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar demanded that his “wise” men tell him his dream and then interpret it for him – an impossible feat for mortal man. However, because God’s spirit was so strong in Daniel, He was able to give Daniel the details of the dream and its interpretation. We will know the man that God has prepared for us – not through intellectual thinking – but by His Spirit!
Our committee looks at the outward appearance (photos of the prospective pastors and their families) much as Samuel looked at the outward appearance of the sons of Jesse in search of a King for Israel. God responded to Samuel that he was looking on the outward appearance while God looks upon the heart. We weigh their experience and their educations as though intellectually these things will tell us whom to choose. We rely upon the ideas of the corporate world choosing an employee. I have been in that position, and I know how flawed that tactic can be. My prayer is that we will rely upon our God to choose the servant of our Shepherd to oversee us in His behalf.
So how do we determine the heart of the man we are seeking? First, we ask God for the wisdom and insight to be impressed upon our Spirit. We rely upon God to infill us with His knowledge, and we listen for Him to reveal it to us as a body of believers. Then we pray that as we listen to words spoken by these men, we will hear with our Spirits, not analyzing every word, but waiting for the Spirit of God to reveal the truth. At the end of our search when we have all of the information, if we are truly directed by God’s Spirit, we should be able to do a secret ballot among the seven of us and the man will be chosen. God’s Spirit can bring about that kind of unity.

Update 6/11/12:  Our church voted to call David Henneke with a vote of 93 to 1 on 6/10/12.  As we reviewed the process, we could observe God's hand in this choice all along the journey.  He is an awesome God!  And all praise is His!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sermon time

It is sermon time! In way of explanation, for some unknown reason, God has sent to our Wednesday night church dinners, a flood of teenagers (of every hue). They are sometimes rowdy and loud. They do not act like "normal" church kids. I emphasize the word "sent" because there is no other explanation. We did not go out and invite or "round them up".

I suspect many Christians have the idea that if those of the world would just come to church, then we could really minister to them. However, I observe that is not true. Only if they behave like we want them to behave, do we feel comfortable with them. Three times in the last two weeks, I have heard statements that indicate "we are not taking care of our own youth because they are afraid and don't get anything out of it with all the rowdiness". My reply was "our youth" are from Christian homes, they should be getting the teaching there. Those who are coming are getting little to no spiritual instruction in their homes.

However, after much thought, I am going to tell it like it really is. If we decided to plan a mission trip to the slums of Mexico (we have done that in the past), parents and youth of our members would get on board to see that they had money to go. Is there danger in Mexico? You bet! Do those people need ministering? Most definitely. But isn't it ironic that we have our own mission field IN THE CHURCH BUILDING, and all we can do it make excuses for why "our" kids have dropped out.

Frankly, I told God I would be a missionary as a young person...then life sidetracked me. I have come to the realization that the mission field looked glamorous. But I think God is showing me I am a missionary wherever I am. I am cooking for kids who enjoy a good meal, who like the fellowship of their friends, and who stay for a Bible study and worship time. Several of us have been walking through our church on Wednesday afternoon, begging God to do a mighty work in this group of young people...and we get excited when He does.

Would you believe that the New Years night lock-in had 60(SIXTY!) youth show up? And after a message given at midnight, 20 (TWENTY!) young people were at the altar (with not enough adults present to counsel them).

Kids, you want to be a missionary? Come and rub elbows with kids you may not see as "cool" but who need a Savior. Get to know them. Hear them confess, "I really don't want to be a troublemaker and use curse words". They are not outcasts. They are human beings God created, died for on a cross, and He is wooing and calling them to Himself. If you get to know them, then you can speak to them at school, and set an example both at school and at church - one that says, "You are worth my time, so maybe your Jesus is also worth knowing".

If you really don't want to come on Wednesday night, why are you not at youth activities on Sunday afternoon, or Sunday School on Sunday morning. Both of those are available without a large crowd with which to contend. Parents, let's get real about this. Quit making excuses for your kids, and quit swallowing their excuses. If you want to check it out, come with your kids for the Wednesday night meal, and volunteer to help with the activities in either youth or children's department on Wednesday evening.

Don't like my comments? I am so glad it is a free country, and it is my blog. If you want to comment, go ahead. We can disagree and still be agreeable because God died for all of us and we are all precious in his sight.

Monday, January 16, 2012


  1. My God is my provider and security, and I am content in His care.
  2. He makes me feel safe and protected; He causes me to feel calm and peaceful.
  3. He helps me to regain strength by refreshing me; He keeps me on a safe path because of who He is.
  4. He walks with me through the dangerous, dark paths where He has gone before, so I am not afraid; I am comforted both by His protection and guidance.
  5. He goes before me and prepares my daily needs wherever I might be; He heals my pain; I am truly blessed.
  6. He will remain with me all the days of my life and I will dwell with Him forever.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Escaping the "Church Bubble"

I am reading a book by Dan Kimball entitled They Like Jesus but Not the Church. He describes how Christian people become so immersed in the church family, that they lose all touch with those in the world who are lost and on their way to hell. I clearly see myself in this description. Now, how do I break out? Jesus prayed for the disciples in John 17:15 "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." He was in the world, but not of the world. His life was immersed in those who were hurting, outcasts (by religious standards), rich and poor alike. It was there that He ministered. He did set aside time to teach His disciples, so the church does have a place. But I believe we are also to be "in the world". Do we not hide our lights when we are always among the other light bearers? When does anyone outside my Christian friends ever get a taste of my "salt" and see my "light"? My prayer: Lord, show me how I can find a place in our community where I can touch the lives of those who are turned off by church and Christians. This is the mission field where you have placed me.