Friday, December 19, 2008

A Book Review of "The Bible and The Qur'an" by Steven Masood

The greatest damage ever done to the church of Jesus was not delivered by Muslim, Hindus, or Atheists. The sabotage of the church came out of the 19th century liberal seminaries in Europe and America with Germany leading the way. Their attack was made against the authority, inerrancy, and divine inspiration of the Biblical text. If the Bible is not the living Word of God, why should we bother with it at all? The Bible was reduced to a compilation of stories, spiritual platitudes, and outright forgeries according to the liberal establishment.

The Bible has withstood attacks of scholarship, archaeology, historicity and linguistics, but what it can not withstand is a scholar’s false personal assumptions; assumptions that reject the text before the investigation begins. The assumptions flow not from evidence, but from a desire to fit in with the elite professors and scientists in universities around the world.

A few assumptions of higher (historical) and lower (linguistic) critics flowing out of most liberal leaning seminary professors in Germany and other nations were as followed:

• The Bible is not the Word of God; it only contains the Word of God
• There was no special creation; God used Evolution
• The Old Testament record is nothing more than spiritual fiction to teach moral lessons
• Jesus was not the Messiah; miracles are a product of writers’ imagination
• We do not need a Messiah; man is actually good
• Jesus was a great teacher, but nothing more; not perfect by any means
• Jesus never performed miracles; the disciples were mesmerized by the teacher
• Sin is not really an issue; God will forget sin, if sin can really be quantified
• Miracle stories were added into the text by later writers

In short, their core beliefs reject all that Christianity has always stood for, yet they were the pastors and seminary teachers of the day. This philosophy has left many denominational churches dead and empty.

This produced dark days for many denominations and individual churches; some who have never recovered to this day. These assumptions create the following attitudes:

• All religions are the same
• Why worship?
• Why give?
• It doesn’t matter
• If there is a God all will go to heaven
• All worship is the same. Just be sincere.

In fact, if the Biblical text can not stand, then with integrity one should walk away from Christianity. If it stands then one must surrender one’s life to Jesus and His Word! The frightening fact is that many claim Jesus, yet deny the very stories that proclaim His Lordship. Historic Christianity lives or dies on the basis of the Biblical text, not the philosophies of the pastors, teachers, and denominations. Why do professors pretend to know more than God Himself?

In the book Mr. Masood seems to walk the fence with the manuscripts. While much of the Qur’an is a copy of the Old Testament which Muhammed would have had at his disposal, the real issues are the integrity of the historical textual evidence of transformed lives, the truth of prophecies, and the power of conversion without the threat of death. Perhaps the starting ground should be the following question: Is Jesus who He claims to be?

• The Messiah
• Savior of the World
• God in human flesh
• The favored Word of God

Why is it that countries, such as Saudi Arabia, ban Bibles, churches, pastors, and even Christians, if possible? Could it be that the Koran cannot stand against Bible in a fair fight? If Jesus is not who the Bible says He is then anything goes, but if He is who He claims He is, then Islam is a false religion. In fact, it becomes quite dangerous for both Jesus and Christians alike. While both the Biblical text and the Qur’an claim divine authorship, they both simply can not be so. Here are a few contrasting thoughts:

Bible Koran
God is Love God is angry
Love and Pray for enemies Kill enemies
Salvation by Grace Salvation by works
Salvation is available to all Salvation only by martyrdom

The author states that the Qur’an is the complete book of guidance from Allah, it is with us today, without change, with nothing added or taken away. It is the last book of guidance for mankind from Allah. In Hebrews 1 we were told that God’s final word to man was sent in His son Jesus. Islam only spreads through violence, threat, and hatred where truth is not allowed a fair hearing. In John 1:1 the gospel writer proclaims that Jesus is the “logos”-the Word of God! The same types of historical and textual criticism must be applied to both books.

Perhaps one of the greatest testimonies to the Biblical text is the scrolls found at Qumran in the Judean desert. While the Qur’an was going through many manifestations, we find that the Old Testament text has not changed in the last 2000 years. The Isaiah scroll in the “Shrine of the Book” in Jerusalem reads exactly as the Hebrew text does today. The Isaiah scroll is a real concern to liberal theologians who believe Isaiah didn’t write the book bearing his name. Yet when forced to face real evidence a silence falls over the scholarship. They turn up in another place to criticize the Biblical narrative, but never to admit their errors.

Satan has always been into imitation and forgery. In Genesis 3 he gave Eve just enough truth to lead her to destruction. Therefore we find in Islam part of that strategy. We find:

• A false book
• A false messiah
• False miracles

Yet the life of Jesus, in comparison to the life of Muhammad, speaks the loudest. One could discuss their ethics, treatment of people, or the teachings, but the real issue is that Muhammad is dead and Jesus is alive. Even Muslims believe that Jesus is going to return. Despite the insanity of our times both cannot be true! There is an answer to every math equation. Two plus two will always be four, regardless of ones educational background, political leaning, race, or nationality. Islam and Christianity cannot both be true.

“Muslim writers contend that the original Pentateuch and the original Gospel have disappeared and became extinct from the world. This claim is expanded by asserting, ‘We strictly deny that the original Torah (Pentateuch) and the original Evangel existed at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and that they were not changed until later.’ Such people say further, ‘The present gospels, chronicles and epistles are certainly not the Evangel referred to by the Holy Qur’an and so they are not, as such, acceptable to the Muslims’”

One can at least work with that statement. One book is of God while the other is a fake. They can not both be the Word of God. There is far too much effort made to try and splice the two books together. The text, nor peoples lives, allow for this conclusion.

Perhaps one of the best outward proofs of the validation of the Biblical text is the Muslims own thoughts. Muslims claim that the Bible cannot be true because it reveals its Godly men as sinners - men such as Abraham, Moses and David. This, however, only reveals our need for a savior, the only one that is shown to be sinless and perfect. The Moslems want to downgrade Jesus to the status of one of the prophets of history.

The truth is that we know that Muhammad had many sexual sins as well as a history of murdering those who disagreed with him. The Bible is honest and states that all are sinners. That is why we have a perfect sacrifice for our sin. There is only one who is pure and sinless and He is God in the flesh. Jesus is the sinless one. Paul states it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:21:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Mr. Masood does an excellent job of laying out the specific arguments between the two books. He provides clear understanding of the challenging texts without caving into typical statements, such as “The Bible is full of contradictions”.

His explanation of the medieval forgery called the “Gospel of Barnabas” unfortunately is like Adolph Hitler’s famous quote, “If you say something loud enough and often enough the people will believe it.” It is also of note that Islam is most successful in the third world where poverty, illiteracy, and fear rule these nations of the world.

Yet one has to wonder if without the wholesale slaughter of Christians throughout the Middle East and North Africa, whether Islam would have ever been anything more that a small desert religion. Major oil money has also bought off millions who are not religious at all, but will be whatever they need to be to receive food and jobs. Many follow Islam simply to avoid persecution or even death.

I have concluded that to fulfill Jesus’ prayer in John 17 for the unity of the body of Christ for the purpose of winning the world to Jesus there are essential commitments that are to be made. I can partner with you if you believe:

• Jesus is the Virgin born Son of God in the Flesh, Savior of Mankind who is returning for His Redeemed Church.
• The Bible is the God inspired, inerrant words of the living God. These words are give to Christians and the church for truth and motivation.

This book was informative and gave testimony to the Bible, but also tried throughout to give equal footing to the Qur’an. Perhaps his purpose was to get Muslims to think through some of the verses, but for this writer it is far too close to synarchism, where all religions sort of blend together. That utopia of thought will produce a cursed “one world religion.” It was a challenging read with great research devoted to the project.

In conclusion, Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

This statement is either all true or all false. If there is an Almighty He is certainly capable of having His Word written in a way that can survive translation and the foolishness of mankind and have it passed down through the ages to all generations!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spiritual Death

Spiritual death is the result of a person, church, or nation turning its back on God. This is not done by rejection of God but by not obeying and fulfilling Jesus’ commands for His people. In Acts 1:8 we get the mission that keeps us alive.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Without God's vision being a vital part of our lives, we will shrivel up and die.

I am excited to call your attention to TCC's new missions blog that will keep you updated and alive in your walk with Jesus! Spiritual death occurs long before real death occurs. It happens the moment we cease to be a part of the mission.

Visit the blog here and sign up to get automatic updates on missions happenings that you are a vital part of and that transform the world every day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Message From The Prophets

Isaiah 64:6
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Jeremiah 6:16
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Ezekiel 22:30
"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

Daniel 12:4
But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.

Hosea 2:6-7
Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'

Joel 2:28
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Amos 4:12
"Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel."

Obadiah 1:3
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?'

Jonah 4:10-11
But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Nahum 1:3
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

Habakkuk 1:5
"Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Haggai 1:5-6
Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."

Zechariah 4:6
So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

Malachi 3:10
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Malachi 4:6
He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A book review of Oswald Chambers’: My Utmost for His Highest

The devotions in this historic book have produced faith in lives since they were first delivered in lectures from 1911-1917. Spiritual transformation is the goal of Mr. Chamber’s writings. He wrote, spoke, and lived to help others find the transformational promise of the Holy Spirit in their lives. His goal was for them to apply God’s word to their lives in order for them to faithfully serve Jesus through their gifts and talents.

Specks of Chamber’s power and connection with the Holy Spirit can be seen when he writes, “Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life has been hid with Christ in God. These are of the old time religion, hung to the nails of the Cross.”

The best evidence of Chambers kingdom commitment is seen by the fact that part of the lectures were delivered in Zeitown, Egypt as he shares with Australian and New Zealand troops serving in WWI. His desire to strengthen troops’ commitment to God’s Word in spite of his own safety speaks to his overwhelming desire to spread the message of Christ.

The thesis of this volume is Chamber’s statement about Paul when he said, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest-my best for His glory.” Chambers explain this thesis by quoting Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain,” and summarizing it by saying that our goal as Christ followers is “My Unstoppable Determination for His Holiness.” Everything we are for everything God is!

By taking one verse at a time Chambers gives a Biblical education that few have been able to deliver. His process does what few others have been able to do. In these writing he accomplishes the following:

· Provides Biblical teaching
· Provides systematic thinking
· Provides immediate application
· Provides memory verses
· Provides expectations
· Provides a high call to follow Jesus

Chambers died as a young man. He did serve Jesus in many ways, but one would have to wonder if his real calling wasn’t the writing of this one book. The materials were sifted and put together by his wife who recognized both the power of God’s words but also the power of Oswald’s craftsmanship of the Biblical text. It is a reminder to all of us to be faithful and serve where we are allowing God to use us as He see fit. You focus on the depth of your ministry and God will focus on the breadth of your ministry.

Chambers states, “My earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed.” What a life goal for himself and to share with his listeners and readers. No matter how many times one reads through this devotion it continues to change your life. He has spirited insights that allow him to be able to understand the text but then bring it down to our level or specific applications.

Those who truly desire to grow to mature in Christ realize that one must hear preaching and teaching that jumps up and down on toes. We must be confronted by sin and sloth. Chambers does it in a way that you thank him for hurting you, for you know that in the long run in some way your life will be richer as a result of His words.

Chambers uses an unusual approach in his writings. God’s word will work in almost any way as long as you receive the truth of the text, and he has found a unique approach to God’s word. There are styles such as:

· Topical preaching
· Expository preaching
· Allegorical preaching
· Textual preaching
· Biographical preaching

Chambers’ approach is expository teaching with a textual plan. He gives one verse, exposes the truth, and then pounds home the application for changed lives. This is an effective approach of bridging the eternal text to our transient lives. In fact, in some cases he may only use a small phrase from a verse as he does with Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him.” He would allow the Spirit of God to flow through the words and finish with a flourish of “the arm of a spiritually vigorous saint is that I may know Him. Do I know where I am today?” He is a master of not letting anyone miss the point. He will not allow us to get lost in the Biblical knowledge by always pushing the reader to Biblical wisdom. Many can expose the text, but only the Holy Spirit can direct the application of that exposition.

In another devotion, Chambers writes about the “simplicity that is in Christ.” For 2 Corinthians 11:3 he states, “Even the very smallest thing that we allow in our lives that is not under control of the Holy Spirit is completely sufficient to account for the spiritual confusion, and spending all of our time thinking about it will still never make it clean.” Simple, powerful and personal; the teaching can be ignored but the point can not be missed. His economy of words cuts direct to the facts of the text which drive an arrow into the hearts of mankind.

It would behoove the church today to allow these teachings to impact our lives, to bring the power of God back into our lives and impact us on a daily basis. The church should pray for God to raise up more Holy Spirit filled lives that are committed to the Word and, like Chambers, who expect God to transform lives. The bold assurance that he delivers is absent in our overly educated pulpits that often miss the spiritual powers that only the Holy Spirit can bring. One can study, plan, write, and deliver a message, but if God does not show up there will be no souls saved, nor addicts delivered, or marriages restored. One may receive words and tributes from man but only the Holy Spirit can bring the impact that we desire upon our lives and upon the lives of those we lead.

Good Biblical teaching often employs the gift of asking the right questions at the right time. Chambers writes of Genesis 5:24, “ ‘Enoch walked with God’, the truest test of a person’s spirited life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when nothing tremendous or exciting happening.”

In some cases he asks specific questions, while other times the one he leads you to the question in your own mind. You think, what are the ordinary times?

· With my children
· At the park
· Mowing the yard
· Taking out the trash
· Going to work

Am I walking with God during these ordinary moments of my life? Am I being the Christ follower that I had intended to be? When a writer or preacher can cause a listener to ask the right question of them it allows the Holy Spirit to operate in their lives.

Chambers also writes of “Arise from the dead” from Ephesians 5:14 in this text by writing “Get up and Get Going!” he takes your reluctance by the throat and throws it overboard; just do what needs to be done!. It is a call to action, to get up and serve Jesus. He did not move us from death to life for us to set still. In fact the reason for leaving his body on earth is for us to bring the power of God into our culture, into our neighborhoods and into our homes.

Chambers speaks powerfully of Jeremiah 45:5, “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'"

He begins with an awesome question. “Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person?” The Apostle Paul says it this way, “Eagerly desire spiritual gifts.”

Do we want all that God has for us that will bring glory to Him or do we eagerly desire gifts that only benefit ourselves? For the most part non-Pentecostals shy away from spiritual gifts which is absolutely tragic. We need all the gifting of Holy Spirit we can get. Do we ask for any of the following?

· More of the Holy Spirit
· To Know Jesus more
· Use us to reach the lost
· For Unity
· For Forgiveness
· For Power
· For Courage
· For Faith
· For more ministries and more missions
· To give more
· To plant churches
· To drive out demonic influences

Jesus did teaches that “we do not have, because we do not ask.” James says even when we ask we do not get “for we ask for ourselves”. Chambers calls us to dare to ask God for power to advance His kingdom globally. Chambers reminds us that when he says, “God is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you-that they may be one just as we are one.”

Who are we afraid of a Father who calls us friends and fellow heirs of the Kingdom? Maybe because with the gifts we realize that there will be tremendous responsibility. We will have to produce as Jesus teaches us in John 15, “Much fruit”. The real issue is that we are responsible to bear that fruit so we had better eagerly seeking those spirited gifts.

In his final devotion in the book Chambers does an all-star job with the text from Isaiah 52:12, “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” He speaks of eternity from yesterday, for tomorrow and for today. He states that one must, “leave the broken, irreversible past in His honor, and step out into the invincible future with Him.” If we are not secure we will never learn to be daring people of faith. Finding security in Jesus through His grace allows us to find the strength to live by faith. This faith is evident by:

· Great giving
· Great praying
· Great teaching
· Converting souls
· Forgiveness
· Healing
· Love

None of these can be reality without feeling a security that we are forgiven and God has our backs. Chambers says, “Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.”

In short, this book is one of the deep devotional books of all times. As a result of its connection to the text it is an exhaustible resource to use over and over to continue ones journey of faith with Jesus.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Heart of the Matter!

God's Word is full of references to our hearts. The heart represents the "inner person"; who we are when no one is watching. In Proverbs 4:23 we are told by King Solomon, "Above all else guard your heart." What truly needs to be guarded in your life? Think long and hard before you give an answer.

A devotional book written on "The Heart of the Matter" is available at

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life Chain

The Life Chain is a yearly stand for pro-life. As we've done for years, we recently stood for an hour in front of our church property holding signs of repentance, encouraging adoption, telling the truth that abortion is murder, and proclaiming forgiveness of sins. My prayer is always for one young lady who sees the signs and decides to keep her baby. I am also involved for the simple reason that I want my God to know where I stand on this issue of the mass slaughter of a civilization. As usual, the event was exciting. We encountered drivers honking and cheering for us, others giving us a thumbs down or a finger up, drivers swerving as if to hit us, and one with a sign that said, "You are all idiots."

In 1 Corinthians 4:9-10a Paul states, "For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ!"

Are we OK with this? Can we say proudly, I am a fool for Christ? Whose fool are you? Below is a list of ways to stand for life.

Let me add that the most disturbing actions of those who passed by our Life Chain were those with no reaction. Apathy. This is the defining moral issue of our day — the 21st Century's slavery. What will we do? We have heard, "A woman has a right do what she wants with her body." But the last time I looked at my children, they have a separate body from mine.

How can we help?

1. Pray.

2. Get involved with a local pregnancy crisis center.
Resources for Women
Pregnancy Crisis Center
Alpha Pregnancy Center

3. Support adoption financially or adopt a child.
Christian World Adoption
America World Adoption
Embraced By Grace
Community Partnership for Children
Christian Family Services
Bringing Children Home, an adoption ministry of Tomoka, contact Bobbie Fraine

4. Get involved with local pro-life ministries.
Volusia County Right to Life
Florida Right to Life

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Christian Manifesto - Doctorate Paper 2

Francis Schaeffer was one of the great thinkers of the Twentieth Century. He was a powerful voice for Christian ethics and morality during a time when the American culture was imploding. Schaeffer’s words are more potent for the simple reason that he lived out his faith in the midst of the moral decline that was all around him. In the face of free sex, drugs, and drop-outs Schaeffer was a voice speaking for truth.

Schaeffer starts his masterful book with a discussion of worldviews. Our worldview impacts every area of our lives. What are my basic beliefs about the following?

  • Creator God
  • Creation
  • Morality / Sin
  • Absolute rights / wrongs
  • Afterlife
  • Work ethic
  • Alcohol/Drug use
  • Marriage
  • Parenting

Our basic assumptions about life will ultimately control every decision that we make in our lives. The problem that is pointed out in Schaeffer’s philosophy is that Christians try to compartmentalize their lives, somehow believing that the physical or material world has nothing to do with the spiritual one. Without question, he was confronting a no responsibility culture of free sex, free love and free drugs. He would then help them to find spirituality in the midst of all that sin. Here is a passage from Francis Schaeffer’s book that speaks to this topic:

“True spirituality covers all reality. There are things the Bible tells us as absolutes which are sinful-which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these, the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.”

The Apostle John taught this reality in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

Nearly thirty years after Schaeffer wrote his words, they still ring true. The real question is, do you believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word? One must believe the core truths of Scripture: creation, virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus. Yet this is only the foundation. Will we apply the ethical demands of Scripture to our own lives?

Schaeffer points out that even humanists like Julian and Aldous Huxley know that their world view was much different from the Christian view, while many Christians still try to synthesize the two beliefs. Desiring to be religious, but not wanting to conform to God’s will, many stand on the fence and play a dangerous gambling game with their own souls. If we do not stand firm in our faith we will not stand firm in anything.

It is well stated that one’s decisions along the lines of Biblical truth will set the stage for one’s moral positions on:

· Abortion

· Homosexuality

· Fornication

· Evolution

· War

· Environment

· Lying

· Murder

Hitler and Stalin probably best demonstrated the humanist manifesto. Cultures still believe that man is the measure and that mankind is getting better and is the answer to his own problems. I would dare say that humanism still dominates North Korea, China, Russian, Iran, and many other nations who are in moral and cultural decline.

Schaeffer points out that, “Having produced the sickness, humanism gives more of the same kind of medicine for a cure. With its mistaken concept of final reality, it has no intrinsic reason to be interested in the individual, the human being.” Without a creator God there is no:

· Right and Wrong

· No basis for law

· No ethics

· No marriage

· No government

All becomes right, for in a sense one has enthroned themselves as God. John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian minister and President of what is now Princeton University, preached a sermon to congress and stated, “A republic once equally poised (as a Christian foundational government) must either preserve it virtue or lose its liberty.”

This is a message that our nation and churches need today, yet it seems that Americans believe that God will bless us simply because we are American. It was William Penn who wrote, “If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.” Many are willing to see America destroyed rather than admit that God has always been a part of this country’s fabric.

Common sense states that there must be a foundational set of values that all laws, ethical rights and wrongs, flow from in any culture. It is obvious that our founding fathers had the Bible as that foundation. Joseph Story reminds us all of this fact when he states, “There never has been a period in which common law did not recognize Christianity as laying its foundation.”

We find ourselves now in a post modern culture where even the Supreme Court judges tell us that what they arbitrarily decide what becomes law. Humanism has become the god of our society. Frederick Moore Vinson, former Chief Justice, said, “Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are not absolutes.” A great judge cannot see the absurdity of his own statement.

The tyrants are now ruling. Man will vote on morality and Joseph Fletcher’s situational ethics are in full bloom in our generation. What is right for you may not be right for me. What is right today may not be right tomorrow. I have to decide in each situation what is right. Thereby, I become the Lord of my universe. This system might work if you were alone in the world, but if six billion people “do what is right in there own eyes”, anarchy and chaos will ensue. This is the proposition statement of the book of Judges. This worldview creates total chaos.

Schaeffer reminds us that “The dignity of human life is unbreakably linked to the existence of the personal – infinite God.” We read this powerful, self-evident statement in the face of statements like Carl Sagan’s that are taken as inspired, saying “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or will be.” It is a statement that reads like a religious creed. It certainly is not science as it is unobservable and unexplainable, and yet Sagan’s own friends tell us that there are no absolutes that govern the universe. The absolute foolishness of having no absolutes makes everything legal:

· Abortion

· Child Pornography

· Mass Murder

· Abuse

· Infanticide

In fact, under Sagan and his ilk’s view he can not say that Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hussein or others like them did anything wrong. After all, nothing is wrong. If each person or nation decides morality for themselves then everything must be declared good. Trying to teach morality in our schools has become impossible because a child can see through the hollowness of this mock morality. Why, they ask, should I listen to my parents, teachers, or the police for that matter, after all I am god and I decide what is right? Without God no set of values has any merit whatsoever.

Once life is devalued to that of an animal God removes His hand of blessing from a nation. There have been fifty million abortions in America over the last 35 years and while child molesters and mass murders are protected, babies are being slaughtered. Does it really surprise anyone that an all Holy Creator would get intensely angry at those who wholesale massacre his children? Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hussein have nothing on abortion doctors of the 20th and 21st century.

Our nation in particular, and the world as a whole, is collapsing for the simple reason that we have rejected our Creators ethic for life. Once one buys into atheistic evolution all bets are off. You abort babies, kill the infirmed, sterilize the weak, and sell body parts of children; all this while we focus on protecting the environment, saving the whales, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint. We live in a culture that Isaiah warned us about when he said, “Right will be called wrong and wrong will be called right.”

Schaeffer is calling the church to action. Spiritually, socially, and ethically we must impact our culture as salt and light for Jesus. This means action and investment of money and time in:

· Evangelism

· Pro-life Activities

· Adoption

· Ethical Laws

· Speaking up and voting our Christian worldview

· Creation / Evolution Debate

· Homosexual Marriage / Marriage Definition

· The authority of the Bible

· Feeding the hungry

· Clothing the naked

· Helping addicts

Many of the great Christians that we celebrate paid a high price for their faith. Whether Paul, Peter, Luther, Wilberforce or Mother Teresa they all paid dearly in this world as they dared to stand, live, and die for Jesus and His ethics. Why does this generation think it should be easy for us to be a follower of Jesus? The Christians were not loved in Jerusalem, Rome or Athens, yet when Christians boldly lived for and obeyed God’s Word the church of Jesus grew strong in numbers and in depth.

"Christians have the opportunity to show that Christ, and the Christian understanding of reality, can and do bring forth the “new man - not perfectly of course until Christ returns, but still in a substantial way where the Soviets (humanists) failed.” -Schaeffer

As Christians, our manifesto is to courageously believe through the truth of God’s Word, living it out through our ethical behavior. The Christian faith has to be believed cognately first, but then the daily transformation of our thoughts, words, and deeds are essential. People are known for their actions far more that their thoughts. If you tell a mother whose children are starving that you love her, your words are vain. By feeding the children the love of Jesus and our love is seen without any words at all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mere Christianity - Doctorate Paper 1

From time to time you will see some of the papers that I have written as I work on my Doctorate in Theology. Perhaps you can gain something from these or help you get some rest in the evenings.

A Book Review of C.S. Lewis’
“Mere Christianity”

Lewis declares, “There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of ‘Heaven’ ridiculous by saying that they do not want ‘to spend eternity playing harps.’ The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them.”

After reading “Mere Christianity” it is easy to assume that we are all pre-school children when it comes to our understanding of the major concepts of the Bible. As one of the early 20th Century Christian apologetics, Lewis plumbs the depths of philosophy and theology and attempts to make the complex understandable, or at least to stretch the reader’s minds into the depth of Biblical Truth.

This classic text is back in vogue in America as we begin the twenty-first century. This is primarily because the United States finds itself in a similar cultural and theological situation that the United Kingdom found itself in half a century ago. We live in an age of skepticism, even in many churches. Pastors who do not believe in the inerrancy of the Word of God, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus, or any other miraculous events recorded in the Bible.

Lewis’ book is all the more remarkable when we realize that he is standing with a small minority as he pens this book. In this age of syncretism the body of Christ must be called back the authority of the Biblical text or else we will, at best become weak, feeble, and ineffective. At worst, we will cease to exist as a living body. Much of modern Europe is a testament to this reality; marvelous church structures, yet most are used as monuments, museums, or mosques.
Jesus can not help His church who refuses to believe and obey His written words. We dare not forget the words of the apostle Paul from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 when he stated, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

While Dr. Lewis uses philosophy and reason through out this text, he is simply defending the ageless text of Holy Writ. He gives modern defense for eternal propositions. As this writer comments on this historic book, he will focus on the principles that will strengthen, defend, or help someone find their faith in Christ Jesus and the Word of God.

Lewis starts his book with a basic study of the law of human nature. He challenges the ethical thinking that is often being dealt with today. It is a discussion of right versus wrong without an absolute authority.

Lewis writes, “What was the sense in saying that the enemy were in the wrong unless right is a real thing, which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practiced?”
The point is often debated in our culture, school systems, and in political circles. The struggle exists when society tries to define right, but has nothing but personal opinion to back it up. The end result is a society where right and wrong can never be truly substantiated, for the circumstances, my difficult childhood, or lack of education may cause right to be wrong or wrong to be right.

Isaiah warned that we should beware when right is called wrong and wrong is called right. Yet without the authoritative truth of the Word of God anything goes. This is the culture today, not only of society, but sadly often also in the body of Christ. What is decent, moral behavior if there is not a measuring rod?

Lewis again states, “If no set of moral ideas were truer or better that any other, there would be no sense of preferring civilized morality to savage morality, or Christian morality to Nazi morality.” If morality can not be assessed from Exodus 20 in the Ten Commandments, then we have a world in a moral free fall.

“If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something-some real morality – for them to be true about” states Lewis. Everyone believes there truth to be truth. However, the Bible proclaims itself to be truth in Psalm 19, Psalm 119, Isaiah 40, and 2 Timothy 3. Either, the Bible is true and others false or the Bible is false and all others true. Philosophy forces us to make a decision.

He continues this same logic in the Creation versus Evolution debate. “We want to know whether the universe simply happens to be what it is for no reason or whether there is a power behind it that makes it what it is.” If you conclude that there is purpose and design in the universe, then one must figure out who the designer really is.

“Christianity differs from other religions. Christianity is right and they are wrong. As in arithmetic – there is only one right answer to a sum, and all other answers are wrong, but some of the wrong answers are much nearer to being right than others.” Lewis is correct in that all other religions believe that everyone is right but Christianity. Jesus stands alone as He proclaims in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” This statement forces all so-called Christ followers to make a decision. Jesus is right or wrong, but He can not be just another alternative.

Lewis then delves into the subject of free will. He reminds us that God’s love is so great that He will allow us to love Him or rebel and turn from Him completely. However, love is only love if it is by choice.

The subject of free will is often debated, yet it seems that just a few examples from Scripture will validate the doctrine of freedom and that the sovereignty of God can work hand in hand with this freedom. Adam and Eve, Jesus praying in the garden, and Judas’ betrayal all exemplify this doctrine. God’s foreknowledge does not remove our will; it simply demonstrates the majesty and eternality of our God.

The love of Jesus is even more amazing when one realizes that He gave us the option to reject His sacrificial love. Nowhere in Scripture is God’s love seen more clearly than the sacraments. Lewis writes, “There are three things that spread the Christ-life to us: baptism, belief, and the mysterious action which different Christians call by different names – Holy Communion, the Mass, or Lord’s Supper.”

In these ordinances we connect with the heart and soul of our Savior. Hebrews 11:6 states that when we live “by faith” we please God. Romans chapter six teaches us that at baptism we are buried into the death of Jesus so that we may enter into the resurrection of our Lord. Communion is the point, regularly, daily, weekly, as often as possible, that we confess our sins and remember our salvation comes through Jesus. Paul reminds us of this principle in 1 Corinthians 11.

However, we must choose to follow Jesus now, for Paul tells us in Philippians that “every knee will bow”. Now it will be for salvation, if we wait it will be to our own damnation. Lewis states that at death “it will be too late to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing, it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it or not.”
As Lewis moves into the area of ethics and morality, he wisely reminds us that you have to decide your goals before you start the trip or else we will surely miss the mark. He reminds us that “however well the fleet sailed, its voyage would be a failure if it were meant to reach New York and actually arrived in Calcutta.” Our choices, morally, have a tremendous impact upon spiritual choices that we will make. Many today, and in fact throughout Christian history, church goes have tried to pretend that their ethical life did impact their spiritual lives. However, we are unified beings. Our minds, bodies, and souls all function as one. Right behavior moved by our desire to obey the Words of God should be every believer’s goal.

We next tackle the subject of Christ followers actually living their faith. Usually the struggle is two-fold, morality and stewardship. Lewis hits the nail on the head when he states, “If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and can not do because our charities expenditure excludes them. For many of us, the great obstacle to charity lies not in our luxurious living or desire for more money, but in our fear – fear of insecurity.”

Personally, I think the issue is very basic. Stewardship is simply a faith issue. Tithing, missionary giving, and benevolent giving are all commanded and demonstrated in scripture. We’re told in Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Many people tell me that they have faith when in reality they only have a belief. It is a historical faith with no truth for today. No service, sacrifice, obedience, or radical Biblical prayer. It is simply a spiritual memorial to those who used to live by faith. Yet Paul told us in Romans that, “The righteous will live by faith.” Belief must translate into radical obedient faith that relives Hebrews 11. Faith always acts out of obedience to the Word of Spirit and God’s Spirit.
Lewis reminds us that, “Before we can be cured, we must want to be cured.” This is true of faith, addictions, or obedience of any kind. Growth will never just happen, maturity will not be a part of our lives, until we are ready for total surrender to the Word of God. There is no room for ninety-nine percent faith. It really is all or nothing. So often people want to bargain with God, they will keep eight of the Ten Commandments and expect the blessing of God. Obviously it all comes down to obedience with no middle ground.

In the section on charity Lewis describes the lives of many Christians that do not want to love those who are different; perhaps unlovely, ungrateful, or the color or nationality. Jesus teaches that our love is to be unconditional and that it is to flow out of His love. In fact, when Peter asked, “How many times do we have to forgive the one who has sinned against us,” Jesus’ ultimate answer is “as many times as you want the Father to forgive you.” This brings life back into focus in a hurry even for the most self-righteous. Lewis states, “The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not worried by our sins or our indifference and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.”

This is indeed a tremendous reminder to all of us to be people of grace, love, and forgiveness. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:1, “we are to be imitators of God as dearly loved children.” You and I are to be copying God, imitating His love. Perhaps this is best illustrated in Luke 15 in the three parables that Jesus tells of the lost sheep, lost coin, and the lost son. The Father’s love for the lost is obviously the key to the stories and the fact that it is recorded in three different ways speaks of the importance of the message. I would guess that the Spirit had Luke write all three together to impress upon us our purpose as the Body of Christ to reach out to lost, hurting, and sinful people with the forgiveness, love, & hope of Jesus. The church must be in the grace business.

The struggle in churches seems to be between grace and legalism. Surely we can love and forgive without condoning or comprising the Word of God. In reality we are often far too easy on the saints and tough on sinners, when it should be the other way around. The church must deal in hope or else we have no message to offer our sin sick work. Jesus said, “aim at Heaven and you will Earth thrown in; aim at Earth and you will get neither.” Jesus’ desire for His church must be our desire.

Jesus calls His church to be holy and obedient. These two issues have always been a struggle for God’s people as both require change on our part. We dare not lose our calling or purpose as Lewis writes, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find until after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside, I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.

Our culture is so self-absorbed that it would seem that they believe that they will live here on earth forever. They have laid up much for themselves, but do not seem to be aware of the fact that their souls will be required of them. It is an ‘eat, drink, and be merry’ culture even among the body of Christ.

In Hebrews 11 we are told that Moses turned his back on all the riches of Egypt because he was looking forward to a Kingdom that was to come. In fact, he accepted persecution, pain, and isolation because he believed that God has something better coming.

This vision is also what motivated Abraham as he left his comfortable life in Ur to go to a land that God promise and a hope that God promised, but he received no specifics. Apparently when we truly hear and understand God’s call on our lives, we are willing to sacrifice this world for eternity. When you tour the ruins of ancient Egypt, you can not help but be in awe of what this kingdom must have been like. Yet it is also a reminder that kingdoms come and go, power comes and goes, and people come and go. To not be prepared for eternity is the height of foolishness.
When we realize that we are made for another world it should impact our worship, our giving, our lifestyles, and our commitment to all that is the Word of God. Jesus taught in John 14 that He was preparing a place for all of us. This world is to be given away. If indeed we are made for another world, how should this fact impact the following?

a) Three billion people have never heard of Jesus
b) 200+ million children are starving
c) There are millions of orphans around the world
d) Missionaries are willing to go, but are lacking in funds
e) Fellow believers are under persecution, are arrested, or are sentenced to death

If our faith is not moved to mission passion and compassion then we might need to consider whether our salvation is real.

However, we live in a time within the church where people do not seem to want too much of God. They want just enough to cleanse their guilty conscience, but not enough to change their lives. They want a religion. Religion has been defined as man trying to reach to God, while Christianity is about reaching down to man and revealing Himself to all mankind.

Lewis states it this way, “Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Keep back nothing. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. But look for Christ and you will find him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

If our desire is simply to have enough of God to alleviate our guilt we will miss the true heart of Christianity. We miss the father-child relationship, the eternal plan for salvation. We also miss our calling to love, teach, pray, and act on behalf of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Perhaps what we must lose out on is the relationship God so desire to have with us. Religion will always keep God at a distance, while Biblical Christianity should always pull us close to our Heavenly Father.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I love to read. Here is a brief list of great books:

Psalms - David and some friends

The Case for Faith - Lee Strobel

Daring to Draw Near - John White

My Utmost For His Highest - Oswald Chambers

You've Got To Be Kidding - Pat & Ruth Williams

That None Should Perish - Ed Silvoso

It - Craig Groeschel

The Bare Bones Bible Handbook - Jim George

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Wall to Remember

Most of the world calls the massive structure pictured here the Wailing Wall. The Israelis refer to it simply as the western wall. It is located in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Originally, it served as a support wall for a temple area. When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 and the Muslim armies repeated the devastation through the ages, both groups left this wall as a reminder to the Jewish people of what used to be. It speaks of their conquest.

Ironically, this wall has become a place of prayer and a remembrance of a God who is much larger than blocks.

Interestingly enough, the cross was to have the same impact upon the world. Twenty centuries later, Jesus and the message of the cross have transformed the entire world at one time or another, and will be the final trump card played when Jesus breaks through the eastern sky.

We have to take what this world gives us at times. But we do not have to let these events define us. Jesus said, "My house will be a house of prayer for all nations.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Recognize This Sight? Part 2

This will be the last sight on earth for several hundred million people. The truth is that thousands have already departed earth from this valley. It is the valley of Megiddo. It is better known as Armageddon. This site has hosted twenty-six different civilizations through the centuries. Currently the hill is a quiet tourist destination with a fertile valley below.

In Revelation 16:16 we are told that this is where the final confrontation between the Almighty God and mankind will take place. It is a sobering though that God has told us where and how it will end. Just a thought - get right with Jesus and stay right!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Recognize this Sight?

This is the sight venerated since the 4th century as the spot where our Lord Jesus was born. Exact spot or not, it is an emotional place to stand and imagine. It is an incredible place to pray and remember.

Strip away all of the marble, silver, gold and art work and you find yourself in a simple cave under the “Church of the Nativity” in Bethlehem. Sometimes we let the trappings of life prevent us from seeing Jesus and ourselves as we should. Perhaps we should all take some time away from our worldliness and see Jesus and His Word the way He intended.

Remember Paul’s words to Timothy, “Jesus came to SAVE sinners.”

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Mighty Mississippi: Flooding in the Midwest

When we read of the plagues in Egypt during the time of the Exodus, God’s purpose is often overlooked. His goal was to reveal himself as the one and only living God.

So as I sit not 30 miles from the flood devastation in the Mississippi Valley, what am I to think? When I consider the fires in California or the earthquake in China, famines, AIDS, hurricanes and all the evil of men, what am I to think? Could it be that the Almighty is allowing all of this to remind us that the world is temporary and that we need to look to Him for salvation?

There is one certainty: We will not tame this world as it is dying. In her death throes, she will break apart and cause great pain for millions.

The point: We need to look up, and get right.

1 Thessalonians 4-5

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Big Blue Beast

A few months ago, I purchased a beautiful 1990 Ford Econoline conversion van. You might ask, Why? Well, it is the perfect vehicle to haul children, luggage, purchases from Lowe’s, and my family back and forth from the soccer fields.

To be honest, while she looks rough on both the outside and the inside, she has only 95,000 miles on her and she delivers a smooth ride.

Her story is reminiscent of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — a once-glorious machine resigned to the trash heap. As I look at her, I can almost see a smile on that 19-year-old grill. If I listen closely, I can almost hear her say, “Thanks for not giving up on me. I still have life in me and something to give back. Thanks for letting me be used for what I was made to be.”

Maybe you can relate to this gem out of Detroit. Are you a little beaten up inside and out? Have you had others give up on you? Do you have high mileage? Do you think our Creator can still use you despite all the hurts?

If so, welcome to the battered and bruised crew! Put a smile on your grill because Jesus is still in the restoring business.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Trip to the Zoological Park

One of my favorite trips is to the zoo. As a young boy I became fascinated by the animals at the St. Louis Zoo. Who isn’t awed by the elephant, giraffe, or the mighty tiger? Penguins and walrus’ are awesome and the great apes are inspiring. What a day to enjoy these majestic animals.

As an adult I’m appalled that evolution has stolen our God’s glory as the mighty Creator and artist of life. Now I admire my God as I admire His handiwork. What a master designer and architect!

Maybe it’s time for a trip to the zoo, Busch Gardens, Sea World, the Marine Science Center, or just a walk in nature. Just don’t forget Genesis 1 as you are on your journey. Don’t lose your sense of awe of our Almighty Creator and Redeemer!

Romans 1

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Beasts

Our family's two terriers are quite interesting. I have little to do with them, but the girls love them - so I think you understand my position. Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned from these two wild beasts.

Early in the morning they go outside and play in their dog pen. Any time you step outside they are looking right at us waiting for that opportunity to enter back into our fun kingdom.

Once given approval for re-entry, they run, play, and use up my air conditioning. Even though I am not enraptured with these two, I must admit that they are smarter than I am. I find that I am not as focused on Jesus' return to get me and what I'll have in His Kingdom as my dogs are on me. To top it off, I have a God who loves me. He does not tolerate me as I do the beasts that live in my house. OK...I'll learn from the dogs.

1 Thessalonians 4-5

Thursday, June 12, 2008

11 Observations of Bold, Godly Leadership for 21st Century Churches

1. They seek God's will through His Word, prayer, and the Holy Spirit.
2. They have a spirit of fearlessness/boldness.
3. They have a desire to build the Kingdom, not please people.
4. They have a powerful sense of destiny, mixed with humility.
5. They have a personal commitment to observable ministry, missions, stewardship, and servitude.
6. Their leaders work together in unity.
7. They make bold decisions based on vision of God and need of culture.
8. Their decisions always involve faith, not sight; even more so when there is no money.
9. There is trust between elders and pastoral staff.
10. There is no micro-management at any level.
11. They dare to do the impossible daily, as the church did in the first century.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Plea and God's Response

This was written by Bree Morrison. Bree & Rich Littleton are Tomoka Christian Church partners.


I never knew cancer was going to be so hard. No, I don’t have cancer; my husband was diagnosed with one form of this enemy called multiple myeloma; a cancer of the plasma cells that is linked to the building blocks of the body’s immune system.

It seems strange realizing that someone you love is so fragile. Like a wind that seemed so strong and suddenly became windless.

The initial shock of understanding the medical cancer details, treatments, and possible life threatening conditions left me overwhelmed. Then, just as an order to the daily treatment routine seemed to settle our world, a great realization hit me one cloudy afternoon.

My husband did not have a cold that would cure itself with some fluids and extra bed rest. He had cancer. The words kept haunting me; there is no cure, only management of this disease. How do you manage a unchecked cell that doesn’t want to do the right thing to nourish and support your body? I felt helpless watching my husband take handfuls of pills that made him hyper, down, nervous, irritable, nauseated, and constipated, with more pills for addressing the side affects of the treatment drugs. I just wanted to scream out, “give me my husband back.” I don’t know this stranger that I watch daily transform into various people. I missed my sweet temperament friend, my lover, and my spiritual lead.

No matter what someone tells you, there is no getting ready for cancer. Not the person with the affliction or the loved one that stands by and watches the drama unfold. Desperate for answers, desperate for a return of the happy and normal life you once lived. Yet, knowing life will never be as it was before since this dreaded disease took control.

I go to God for guidance. I don’t dare ask God why, just how do I make it through it all? I ask, I wait for answers yet nothing seems to surface. No great revelations, no obvious signs, no special peace that give me strength and understanding. Only despair that the current is our tomorrows. Convincing myself that this is only temporary, it still lingers that change is only a threat of what worse is yet to come.

Why do I write these words? To comfort those reading it or to listen as I describe the horror of feeling helpless to control this ‘gone wrong’ life giving cell in his body. Confusing, frustration, and a sense of lost in time is the only way to really connect with this unusual feeling. Suspended in a bad dream that one only hopes has a morning. A time to wake up and take a breath, knowing it was not real. The whole experience was just an imagination gone wild.

However, morning comes and the reality is crystal clear, this cancer has come to stay at our home as an unwelcome guest. You can refuse to give it a key to your home, or feed it. It appears to thrive on just knowing how much you wish it gone. Who sent this evil seed into my husband’s body? Like a thief it dropped off contaminated droppings and fled in the night. It is a coward that aggressively destroys all things in its path for self gratification. You can’t wish this disease away. You can’t deny this disease an opportunity to run its course.


God’s word says that through faith that all things are possible. Faith takes actions to strengthen the cause. This faith has a name, God and me. You can’t go it alone. For no matter what you want, God wants this disease to represent a purpose. So no matter what that purpose is, it is for the good of mankind. Maybe not for you or even for Rich yet for someone who needs it?

So don’t get caught up in the self. You are my children and I love you. I admire your strengths that allow me to use you as an instrument for good. Walk the good walk. Love me, be obedient to my ways. And more importantly, stay firm and faithful. At the right time, I will reveal my purpose. You will look back on these times with no regrets, only a sense of humility as you realize what a great role you played in changing lives. Keep helping those to move toward me and to their Heavenly home.

So, don’t fret, don’t worry. I am with you for all times. That should be enough to comfort you.
Step out and teach of my hope. Don’t wait for something to come seek you out. I love you. I will never leave you. That is my greatest blessing to those that serve me. For when you are at your weakest points, you will receive your greatest blessings if you seek me for understanding.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Promise

This was written by a Christian lady who works at Ormond in the Pines, an assisted living facility here in Ormond Beach.

The Promise

Written by the Spirit that moved me
Jane Darveaux

I lay curled up in my bed
Not knowing what to say
My mind was numb, my body weak
Then I began to pray

I didn’t know how to start, Lord
I stumbled on my words
But somehow you understood, Lord
And through my struggling You heard.

“Jesus, this is hard for me
No one taught me how.
I need Your help, don’t you know
And I need it now”

“I’m lonely, Lord, no one cares”
I beg, I plead, I cry
“No one seems to want me, Lord,
And I just don’t know why”

“I need an answer. Can’t You see?
You know I’m hurt”, I scream
I fall asleep scared and crying
And this is what I dream

A tall figure in the dark
That I could barely see
And He appeared ragged and torn
But seemed familiar to me

He slowly moved on toward me
His feet didn’t touch the ground
I hid my face, fell on my knees
On His head was a thorny crown!

I knew who it was in an instant
And I trembled as I fell
He leaned over me and softly asked,
“My child, what have you to tell?”

I whimpered, “Jesus, have mercy
On my weary soul
I’m bent, I’m broken and have no one
Whose hand I can hold”

“I’m lonely, sad, and shaken
And I don’t know what to do”
He reached out His arms to me
And gently promised, “I’ll hold you”

He lifted me in His arms
O! What a sweet embrace!
I knew right then and there
That I had been blessed with Grace

I awoke when the birds started singing
Yes, what a beautiful sound!
No longer alone and shaken
I felt God’s love all ‘round

I knew Jesus was with me
And His promise He would keep
I still feel the awe and wonder
Had I really been asleep?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Blood Was Spilled

We are free today to worship, pray, and speak because men and women went to places like:

Bunker Hill


and the blood was spilled.

We can celebrate Jesus, pray in public, build church buildings……

Pearl Harbor
El Alamein


and the blood was spilled.

We can travel around the world, welcome the hurting into our nation because…

San Juan Hill

and the blood was spilled.

We can enter Heaven, spend forever with Jesus because...

He went to a place called Calvary.

and the blood was spilled.