Friday, October 19, 2012

Larry Macknicki Writes The Bricks Have Fallen

I just read a blog post from Matthew 5-7 Ministries, entitled "The Bricks Have Fallen."  Mr. Macknicki notes the lack of humility and the abundance of arrogance that is present in our nation.  He also wrote about how a former political leader read from Isaiah 9:10 in hopes of encouraging and comforting our nation.  Unfortunately, the politician was not familiar with the scripture and took the words out of context because Isaiah 9 was about warning and condemnation, not comfort.  Although it is easy to criticize this nation for it lack of biblical literacy, I am sure someone sitting in the audience who have read through the Bible a few times could have easily been fooled by the politician's presentation.

I am providing Mr. Macknicki the following response:

I am in 100% agreement. My big fear is many Christians do not see this as a time for repentance. Instead, we worry about our wallets, 401(k)s, and who is in political office. Instead, we need to return to the Lord. Thanks for posting. 
This morning while reading Joel, I tweeted the following from Chapter 2:
"Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate.

Here are some excerpts:

“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” ~Isaiah 9:10

Our nation was founded on the knowledge and understanding that we are placed here to serve God's purposes and to honor and give glory to Him. Sadly, this is not the attitude that our nation is governed with today. Many politicians use God's Word when it suits them but in a nation where we argue about whether or not the laws of God should be allowed to be displayed in our courtrooms, or whether the birth of our Lord Jesus can be allowed to be celebrated on our public grounds, or if we can even mention the existence of God to children in our schools, it becomes clear that we are no longer living in a nation that truly honors God.  

Let us repent and return to God and may God again bless America!

When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. ~Jonah 3:10

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lee Grady Asks Once Gay, Always Gay?

Lee Grady should play baseball because it seems like every time he writes a column he knocks it out of the park.  In his most recent column, he writes about a new law in California where the state has made it illegal for a counselor to offer reparative therapy to gay minors. There are many great quotes in the article including,
To tell a teenage boy that he must automatically embrace gay feelings—especially when his sexuality is still being developed—is a worse form of quackery than [Gov.] Brown has condemned.
In the manner of a true minister, Lee Grady highlights 3 points: 1) Homosexuality is not necessarily inborn; 2) The Holy Spirit can heal broken sexuality; and 3) Many homosexual strugglers want freedom.

Lee's entire column can be found here: Once Gay, Always Gay?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tennessee Volunteers Being Challenged By Freedom From Religion Foundation

The Tennessee Volunteers have a tradition of beginning each football game with prayer. Apparently, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is not happy and they are threatening the Vols. Good luck FFRF. Then again, we believe in faith, not luck:
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, in response to a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation urging Tennessee to stop its ritual of pregame prayer, University of Tennessee officials ruled there is no violation of the U.S. Constitution with the invocation. The Freedom From Religion Foundation argues that it should be discontinued on the principle of separation of state and church. "This is a public university, not a Christian club. It's open to all comers and should be welcoming," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation and author of the letter sent to Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, according to the News Sentinel. "When you're not religious or are of another faith and you get prayed at during events, it's really very grating. It's a sock in the gut for you to go for a sporting event and then be told to conform to someone else's religion."
Source: Tennessee-Pregame Prayer Isn't Unconstitutional

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Judge Michael Nettles Rules

In South Carolina, a woman pleaded guilty to drunk driving after crashing her car and seriously injuring two men.  Her blood alcohol content was four times above the legal limit.  Judge Michael Nettles, a circuit judge in Rock Hill S.C., ordered the woman to spend 8 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and attend substance abuse counseling.  The woman, who recently started attending church, agreed to an extra condition to the sentence - read the book of Job and write a summary of the book. The sentenced woman indicated that she was grateful for the reading assignment and has begun work.  See Judge Sentences Drunk Driver to Bible Study.

Predictably, commentators on a certain political site are not happy:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Things Are Being Shaken

I've read Matthew Casey's The Return: An end-time epistle to the Church in America a couple of times.  His book is a great wake up call for the church in America.  He is calling the Church to get serious about seeking God because things are about to happen.  Overall, the book is a call to God's people to return to God.  I suppose a good way to sum things up is repent, return, revival. 

The following are my notes from reading Chapter 1 of Matthew's book.

From chapter 1 of Matthew Casey's The Return

Now is time of shaking as pointed out in Hebrews 12:26-27:

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken —that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

While things may seem uncomfortable it is actually a good thing.  Are you sure? Yes. Since 2007-08 economy has been in trouble from real estate foreclosures to auto bailouts to unemployment.  4 years later there still is no real sign of recovery.  Why good?  Because the temporal things are being shaken and only the eternal shall remain.  In the first chapter, Matthew lays out three major points for the Church:

1. God only disciplines a nation when he still has plans for it

2. Shaking is good for the Church.  We have done things the worlds way. Now is time to do things God's way.

3. Shaking can only remove what is shakable.

The overall lesson from the opening chapter of Matthew's book is do not despise the shaking because God is going to make make things happen.  Chapter 2 is about "Missing: The Presence of God."

Friday, June 15, 2012

First United Church of Oprah

I saw this on someone's Facebook page. He wrote it's funny because it's true. Obviously, this is a skit. But for many Americans, this is what we are looking for in our churches. Actually, this is what we get from the programs that we watch and the different forms of self-help activities that we pursue. I suppose now is a good time to quote 2 Tim. 4:3-4, which reads

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lighter Fluid by Matthew Casey - Spring of Life Ministries

I received a nice devotional this morning from Matthew Casey at Spring of Life Ministries.  This devotional encourages Christians not to stop taking action when things get hard.  Instead, he says  it is time to pour on the lighter fluid.  He encourages the reader to 1) Swing Your Sword (Eph. 6:17); and 2) Practice Praise (Ps. 71:14).  To see the devotional in its entirety, go to Matthew's site that is located here: Lighter Fluid.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Court Awards Damages Against Photographers For Standing by Their Faith

The Alliance Defense Fund is representing a husband and wife business that declined a request to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony.”  A lesbian woman asked the business if they would handle the ceremony.  The business said thanks, but we handle traditional weddings.  The lesbian’s partner called the business and without disclosing the nature of the ceremony asked if the business would photograph their wedding. 

A lawsuit followed.  Although the government of New Mexico does not recognize same-sex “marriage,” civil unions, or domestic partnerships for homosexuals, the court ruled that Elane Photography had engaged in illegal discrimination based on sexual preference under the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA).

The Alliance Defense Fund, which was representing the business owners, has decided to appeal the case to a higher court.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Todd Friel - What Theology Is This?

Ladies and gentlemen, please do not get your theology from the view. It could be hazardous to your health. The blind leading the blind comes to mind.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Do You Know This is True

We had a great day at CBMC on Wednesday morning.  To rewind a bit, on Tuesday we had the TampaBay Leadership Prayer Breakfast.  During the breakfast we heard from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn whose brief remarks were powerful.  It seemed like Mayor Buckhorn was ready to preach.  I was impressed when he suggested changing the name of the event to the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, which was the name that was used from the first event in 1971 and throughout the years.

Next, we heard from the guest speaker Wally Armstrong.  He told some great golf stories.  He noted that before he became a pro-golfer he spent time as a caddie until he was fired for an oversight in leaving overripe bananas in Gary Player’s golf bag – yuck.  He made a few references to his book, the Mulligan, told several other stories and then went into a nice Gospel presentation.  I am not sure of the numbers, but I would say there was between 650-700 attendees at the event.

Since Wally was the speaker for the TB Leadership …..errr, Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, we have been doing the Mulligan Bible Study.  This morning’s discussion focused on God’s promises contained in Romans 8:31-39.  Those promises include, 1) God is for us; 2) God gives us his Son to die in our place; 3) God graciously gives us all things; 4) God finds us justified; 5) Christ intercedes for us; 6) God makes us more than conquerors; and 7) nothing can separate us from God’s love. 

Now comes the good part.  Besides our usual group of five believers, we also had a visitor.  Earlier in the morning he indicated that he did not attend church.  We also learned that he is suffering from a back injury after falling out of a tree stand while deer hunting.  Because of that injury, he can no longer work.  To date, Social Security has turned him down 18 times.  That is incredible.

As our regular group was discussing the scripture, our visitor, Tim asked to speak up.  He wanted to know how did we know whether any of this was real.  He noted that he recently began reading the Bible, from the Old Testament and it seemed to him that God was mean.  Before I could open my mouth, others in the group started talking to him.  One friend indicated that at one time he was asking the same questions.  Tim then asked does a person who go to church automatically go to Heaven.  Then asked about Hell.  Essentially he asked all the classic apologetic questions. 

After overloading Tim with more information than he probably needed to hear, we pointed one thing out to him.  Read the Gospel of John.  Grab a notebook and make a list of questions.  He really came across more so as an agnostic than an atheist.  We are praying that God will reveal his word to Tim.  Many prayers for him as he goes through the next week and I am looking forward to seeing him next Wednesday to see if he is ready to receive the Gospel.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tony Evans on CNN Talking About Marriage

Over the last few days, Dr. Tony Evans was invited on a few programs to comment on President Obama's recent announcement on gay marriage.  Tony provided the best response that I have heard anywhere regarding the announcement.  Despite the efforts of the interviewers to make things political or to focus on popular opinion, Tony kept things biblical. Tony did not bash the opposing view.  He clearly communicated the biblical worldview.  Excellent job, Tony.

Check out Tony's appearance here: Tony Evans on CNN

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

He Was Rich, He Was Young, He Was a Ruler

Tuesday’s CBC devotional focused on the story of the “Rich Young Ruler,” in Luke 18:18-27.  I have to thank Pastor Brian Jones at the Sunday Night Remix Church, who preached on this passage this past Sunday. I borrowed heavily from Brian's message to put the story together.

The story of the “Rich Young Ruler” tells us about a man who has everything.  There are three things to know about the Rich Young Ruler.  He was rich.  He was young.  He was a ruler.  That may be an oversimplification, but those are the three things to remember about the Rich Young Ruler.  By modern day standards, he would be a good candidate for “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” or “the Bachelor.”  He had cash and he was influential in the religious community.

Yet, the Rich Young Ruler knew that something was missing.  He was familiar with Jesus’ reputation or knew something about Jesus.  So, he turns to Jesus and says “good teacher, what must I do to earn eternal life.”  Despite having all this stuff, he turned to Jesus for answers to why he is here.

Jesus catches him off guard by saying, why do you call me good.  Then, Jesus tells him that he needs to follow the commandments, highlighting five of the ten.  The Rich Young Ruler wanted to justify himself by claiming that he kept those five commandments.  In other words, he lied because no one could even keep one of those commandments, much less all five of them.

At that point, Jesus speaks to one thing that has a hold on the Rich Young Ruler, his wealth.  Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor. He adds after doing this, the Rich Young Ruler can follow him.

The response highlights why this is one of the saddest stories in the Bible.  The Rich Young Ruler, had no further questions for Jesus.  He did not say, I am going to have a yard sale, where can I meet you.  Rather, he went away sad.  He did this because he could not imagine himself parting with all of his wealth.

This was not a failure on Jesus part.  Jesus spoke to the greatest sin in this man’s life and he although Jesus held the key to eternal life, this man was not willing to part with his things.  He allowed his stuff to come between him and Jesus.  His inability to part with this stuff, makes this one of the saddest stories in the Bible.

In a way, we also have stuff in our lives that may prevent us from being totally committed to Jesus. We have stuff that keep us from being “sold out” to the one who died for us.  We really need to let that stuff go and truly commit our lives to following him.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Today is the National Day of Reason

While many believers are celebrating the National Day of Prayer, others are celebrating an event called the National Day of Reason.  The groups advancing this celebrations are atheists, agnostics, secularists, humanists and free thinkers.

Some may be annoyed that this group would dare celebrate the National Day of Reason on the same day as the National Day of Prayer.  As for me, I think it is a great idea.  More power to you humanists, etc., et al.  To those celebrating the National Day of Reason, I would say, “come let us reason together.” 

You see it is good for us to reason together on the National Day of Reason.  I would follow that, with:

For this reason [because again, we are reasoning together] I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Today is the National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  Throughout the country there will be (or there are) many gatherings where groups will be prayer for their towns, communities, cities, as well as this country.  No doubt attendees will hear citation to 2 Chronicles 7:14.  That verse reads,

[I]f my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Of course in this verse, the Lord is addressing the children of Israel.  Many, however, are not aware of the context for this verse.  This verse was presented as the writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit (see 2 Tim. 3:16) was describing the events surrounding the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem.  This popular verse talks about God’s promises for blessings.  What is often missed are the warnings contained a few verses later:

But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.

2 Chronicles 7:19-20. Thus, where there are blessings, there are also warnings.  Both for the children of Israel and for us today, we must avoid the idolatry present in our lives.  This was a huge problem for the children of Israel, resulting in their captivity.  If God is consistent, I wonder what will happen if we fail to deal with the idolatry in our lives today.  May we honor the words of 2 Chron. 7:14 by humbling ourselves, seeking the Lord’s face and turning from our wicked ways.  Perhaps it is not too late for the Lord to hear from heaven, forgive us of our sins, and agree to heal our land.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Prefer Who is Jesus?

The question presented is "What is Jesus?"  My friend, Ely asks that question on his blog and seeks answers from readers.  The comments are interesting and worth reading.  He also presents an answer, via video from a Catholic priest.

Although he asks "What is Jesus," I prefer the question "Who is Jesus" because he is a person.  Indeed, Jesus asked his follower's who do you say that I am.  Peter answered "you are the Christ, the son of the living God."  These are very powerful words in such a short sentence.

In person, Jesus had to be fully man.  This added meaning to his suffering.  If he was not fully man, the suffering would not have had an affect on him. He also had to be fully God.  This was necessary to allow his sacrifice to cover all sins, past, present and future.

Before concluding, I cannot ignore one of the comments that I saw on Ely's page. It reads as follows

It's an interesting way of editing Jesus into something that fits with what Christianity requires. As you say, assuming of course he existed at all..

Alrighty then.  Of course he existed.  Even those who rejected him 2000 years ago acknowledged his existence.  Most atheists today, including the Dawkins himself, acknowledges his existence. Doubting his existence is something new in the atheistic community. What makes this funny is not even the most serious atheists doubt that he existed.

The real question is what will you do with Jesus considering all he did for you.

Go here "What is Jesus" to see Ely's article.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfast - May 15

Wally Armstrong is the Guest Speaker for the 2012 Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfast
at the Tampa Convention Center
May 15, 2012
7:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
(Breakfast at 6:30 a.m.)


Individual tickets are $32.66 purchased on line through Eventbrite.  After purchasing, print out your online ticket and bring with you to the Breakfast.

Tickets are available at the door for $35.00 and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

To order online go here: Tickets

or send a check to:

Top of Form
C/O Ferlita, Walsh, Gonzalez CPAs
3302 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33609-4926

Wally Armstrong, President of Gator Golf Enterprises, Inc., has played professionally and taught golf since 1968, and has conducted clinics and teaching seminars throughout the world.  A graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in Education, Armstrong was a member of the college golf team and earned All-American recognition in 1966.

A PGA member since 1974, he has competed in more than 300 PGA Tour events. In his first Masters he finished fifth setting a rookie record score of 8 under par. He competed in numerous majors including the British Open, MastersU.S. Open, PGA Championship and the Tournament Players Championship . During his career Armstrong was a solid frontrunner on the PGA Tour and led in over 30 tournaments, finishing second 4 times and one year finishing 7 times in the top ten. Because of his exceptionally consistent record, he was awarded a lifetime membership to the PGA Tour. In recent years he has played in some US and European Senior Tour Events.

More information on Wally here: Wally Bio.

Bottom of Form

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ross Douthat Discusses Christian Heresies

Listening to Wretched Radio, I heard Todd Friel highlight an interview on NPR of Ross Douthat.  The title of the article is “’Heretics:’ The Crisis of American Christianity.” Heresies can be defined as making Jesus fit the modern world or man's agenda, rather than Jesus as revealed in the Bible. During the interview Douthat addressed problems that are having a negative effect on today’s Christianity.  The thing that is remarkable is NPR through this interview is addressing issues that one would find in a magazine for evangelicals or hear at a conference for ministers.  The problems/heresies highlighted in the NPR interview include the following:

            1. The Heresy of the Da Vinci Code

            2. The Heresy of the Prosperity Gospel

            3. The Heresy of Eat Pray Love (which touches on Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle etc. et al)

            4. Heresy of Politics – investing religious energy into political figures and political narratives; putting chips into some great Christian leader who will usher in the kingdom of God on earth.

He also noted the problem of Christians being known for their political views and following the likes of Glenn Beck, rather than sharing their faith with others.

Apparently, Douthat stepped on a few toes because the interview generated over 150 comments on the NPR page and I had a hard time finding anything positive.  Douthat should know better than to attack America’s sacred cows.

The audio and summary of Douthat’t interview can be found here:  "'Heretics:’ The Crisis of AmericanChristianity.

Douthat also has book entitled “Bad Religion How We Became a Nation of Heretics


Sunday, April 8, 2012

He Is Risen

            Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

            On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?

            Suddenly there was a great earthquake!! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was white as snow.  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

            [A]s they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

            When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side.  The women were shocked.

            Then the angel spoke to the women, “Don’t be afraid!” he said.  “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come, see where his body was lying.  And now go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee.  You will see him there.  Remember what I have told you.””

            The women ran quickly from the tomb.  They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.

            - Matthew 28:1-9; Mark 16:3,5

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Falling in Love with HIStory: How to Study the Bible

From Pastor Chuck Ammons

After looking at how to make the Bible come alive, we new need a method to study the Bible.

Most Americans are Biblically illiterate.  This was revealed in a recent episode where contestants could not answer questions from Deuteronomy, Jonah, and Revelation.  A major reason for this biblical illiteracy is because we have become an instant society.  We lost the discipline of study.  The scripture contains a treasure and a great treasure will be revealed when you dig.

1.  Remember the Big Picture!

The Bible consists of 66 books, one story.
We have to be careful not to take scenes out of the big picture.  Not considering the proper context will lead to bad results.  A few examples of this include the Westboro Baptists, “Christian” groups bombing abortion clinics, the pastor who wants to burn the Koran, and the prosperity “gospel.”

In the big picture, God is the hero.

The entire book points to Jesus.  The Bible provides us with the restoration offered by God. It offers the restoration that we need.

Hosea.  This book is hard to understand without knowing the big picture.  Hosea is told to marry a prostitute.  Sometimes God used prophets to provide a living illustration to make a point.  The story of Hosea is about God’s unconditional love for his people.  Jesus Christ is at the center of Hosea.

At the center of every story is the cross.  Almost every scene looks forward to the cross or reflects back to the cross.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Falling in Love with HIStory: How to Make the Bible Come Alive (Part III)

3.         Study the Bible to Change Your Life!!
            The Bible was not written to entertain, it was written to change your life.
            It is hard because it does take work; it does take effort.

            2 Timothy were Paul’s last words to Timothy.  He suspected these would be his last words. Thus, they were pretty important.
2 Tim. 3:15-17, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Paul emphasizes that wisdom can be gained from scripture.  Again, Paul writes “All Scripture.
God uses the scripture to prepare and equip.

The Word of God is not only to be read, but to be studied.

A technique for studying the Bible involves, observe, interpret, and apply,

Observe: Ask what the Bible is saying.  What are the facts?

Interpretation: Ask what does the Bible mean?  Who wrote the book? To whom is he speaking?  What is the purpose of his writing?  Who was/were the recipient(s) of the message?  What was the context?

2 Tim. 2:15 =>Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

The verse notes that one must correctly handle the word of truth.  This is important.  Correctly handling the word of truth takes work.  It takes research.

Misinterpreting=> You can get the Bible to say whatever you want it to say.  When this happens it does not say what it means.

            For example, the verse, get drunk, be merry for tomorrow we die, can be taken the wrong way.

You have to know the Bible to know how to properly apply it.

Application: What is the Bible saying to me?

Is there a sin to confess? Is there a need to change?  Is there someone whom I must minister to?

James 1:22=> Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
This simply tells us to be doers of the word.  When we read the Bible we can ask, God what do you want from me?  What are you saying to me that I need to follow?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Falling in Love with HIStory: How to Make the Bible Come Alive (Part II)

From Pastor Len Harper at South Brandon Worship Center

2. Memorize the Bible Regularly!!

Ps. 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Someone told the Pastor this verse will help him.  They said that this verse will keep him from sin; or sin will keep him from this verse.

Thus, 1) memorize the Word of God and carry it with you where ever you go.  It is like a smart phone in your head.  2) it gives you the ability to share it with others.

There is no need for you to force it on others.  Live it and they will ask.  From Hebrews 4:12, we know that the Word of God is living and active.  Something in them will come alive.

In sharing your faith, are you familiar with verses that can lead someone to Christ?  Are you familiar with the Romans Road?

Rom. 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Rom. 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Rom. 10:13 “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

By memorizing the Bible, we are able to share it fluidly with others.

The Bible will change you. In the same way they say, garbage in, garbage out; good things in good things out.

Falling in Love with HIStory: How to Make the Bible Come Alive (Part I)

From Pastor Len Harper at South Brandon Worship Center

The Bible is not boring.  It is the greatest story every told.  It continues adventure, wisdom, hope and inspiration. 

The middle verse in the Bible is Ps. 118:8.  That verse reads,  “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”

Recognizing the above, we need to:

1. Believe the Bible is God’s Word!

It is not enough to say that the Bible contains God’s Word; but that it is God’s Word.

There is a difference between just studying facts and understanding that as stated, the Bible is living and active.

Before you read it, pray, Holy Spirit show me what you are trying to say.  Speak to me through your word.

Although some readings may be difficult, there was never a time when I said, it was a waste a time.

2 Peter 1:21 “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God[a] spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  Thus, the Bible was God’s idea, not man’s.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

David's Display of Faith in Confronting Goliath

I was at bat Tuesday morning for the devotional at the CBCmeeting.  Last week, during my Bible reading I was impressed while reading the story of David and Goliath, so I decided to make that the focus of the devotional.

I had a glimpse of the children’s show Davy and Goliath, but I did not do any voices (“Gee Davy’) nor did I ask anyone if they remembered the story. 

My main focus was on the strength of David’s faith.  Many kids who attend Sunday School are very familiar with the story of David and Goliath.  That falls in the class of the top 5 that all kids know about regardless of denomination.  We all know that little shepherd boy David, brought down Goliath with a sling shot and 5 smooth stones.  Actually, he carried 5 smooth stones and took down Goliath with one stone.

As an adult, and reading through the book of Samuel, I picked up on things that may not have been discussed as a child in Sunday School class.  The thing that stood out was the strength of David’s faith.  When David heard Goliath challenging the Israeli fighting men, he said "Who is this pagan Philistine anyway that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?" 1 Sam. 17:26.

This is noteworthy because the Bible says that Goliath was huge.  He was 9.75 feet tall.  In other words, he was very close to being 10 feet tall.  David was probably a teenager at the time. Jewish men in that era were less than 6 feet tall, probably 5’5” to 5’8.”  So Goliath was nearly twice as big as David.  When the Israeli soldiers, and King Saul, heard Goliath, they were terrified.

David was the youngest of 8 boys (he had some sisters as well).  His three older brothers fought in Saul’s army and the oldest, Eliab, was angry with David for being on the battlefield.  David dismissed his brother’s discouraging words and said, “Don’t worry about that Philistine, I will go fight him” 1 Sam. 17:32.

Saul wonders why this child is willing to confront this giant.  David talked about how he tended sheep and when bears and lions tried to take the sheep he fought them away.  I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!  The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” 1 Sam. 17:36-37.

So then he confronts, Goliath.  Goliath, who had been trash talking for weeks, asks “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. 1 Sam. 17:43-44.

David did not allow Goliath to intimidate him.  David moved in against Goliath, who again was nearly twice David’s size.

“You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!  And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!” 1 Sam. 17:45-47.

Throughout this encounter, David never hesitated.  From the moment that he observed Goliath, to the time that he slung the stone and brought Goliath down, David remained confident that the Lord was with him.  This differs from the many other commissions and military conflicts presented in the Old Testament.  Moses tried to get God to select someone else to lead Israel out of Egypt.  Nearly two chapters are devoted to Moses trying to get God to change his mind.  It seems that other men who were called by God responded by saying, who me?  These responses were made by Barak and Gideon in the book of Judges.  In this battle, David recognized that God was with him and no matter what, he was not going to lose. See e.g. Psalms 23.   David was far from perfect.  Still, this story demonstrates that David possessed an incredible level of faith in God.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Falling in Love with HIStory (cont.)

3.   HIStory is About Him Restoring Us (cont.)

Jesus is a King, but he is not the king that the people were looking for.  He went from being exalted to being condemned (crucify).  He hung on the cross for 6 hours.  Everything went black.  For several days everything is quiet.  But then Sunday morning comes.  Jesus reversed everything that happened in Eden.

Then as promised, he sends us the Helper.  That is the Holy Spirit.  Check out the Book of Acts.  His followers become light to the rest of the World.

His Mission is not carried out through a nation.  Rather, his Mission is delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit reigning in the hearts of his followers, the Church.  The church members come together to encourage and strengthen one another.  Peter and Paul are revealed as leaders of the Church.

Next, we are given the letters.  A large portion of the letters came from Paul.  These letters instruct us how to live as Christians.

Then, the Rest of the Story – Revelation.  Some would say that this is the scariest part of the Bible.  Look at what Hollywood has done to the book.  In reality, it is the most hopeful book of the Bible.  It reveals that Jesus is coming back.

An example of this hope is illustrated in Revelation 5:9-10.  That passage reads:

And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.
The Book of Revelation is the end of the story.  It is not meant to scare, but to encourage.  The author was instructed to write it all down.  The words that he delivered are trustworthy and true.

He is making everything new. The book reveals that Jesus is coming soon.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

He wants us to read his book.  He wants us to fall in love with HIStory. And through it we will trust Him.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick Was A Preacher

Depending on your circle of friends, most would associate St. Patrick’s Day with going to an Irish bar or any bar and drinking several rounds of beer.  There is no doubt that local police and sheriff’s departments will be out on the streets pulling people over left and right for DUIs.  For others, St. Patrick is associated with parades and wearing green.  When you look around, you would think that St. Patrick was all about Irish Pride.

In reality, St. Patrick was a preacher.  While I use the term preacher, a more accurate statement would be an evangelist.   In his day, St. Patrick preached to the people of Ireland and many turned away from their pagan religion and turned towards Jesus Christ.  Not only did St. Patrick preach the gospel in Ireland, but he preached against an environment that was hostile to the gospel.  Dr. Russell D. Moore provides the following thoughts on the legacy of St. Patrick:

Any evangelical seeking to kindle a love for missions among the people of God will benefit from this volume’s [St.Patrick of Ireland:A Biography] demonstration that the Great Commission did not lie dormant between the apostle Paul and William Carey. Patrick’s love and zeal for the Irish may also inspire American evangelicals to repent of our hopelessness for the conversion of, say, the radical Islamic world—which is, after all, no more “hopeless” than the Irish barbarians of Patrick’s era.
See, An Evangelical Looks at St. Patrick.  So next time someone suggests that St. Patrick is associated with heavy drinking, you can tell them that St. Patrick was a preacher committed to the Great Commission.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Donations and Sponsorships for Tampa Bay H.E.A.T. (Home Education Activities Teams)

Please see the fundraising letter below for the Tampa Bay HEAT.  This provides sports for kids who are homeschooled.  I am proud to say that my 8-year-old son is part of the Triathlon Club.  There season just started a couple of weeks ago.  Help support healthy kids.  The big event is IronKids Florida at Haines City, which is near Orlando.

Tampa Bay H.E.A.T. (Home Education Activities Teams)
1011 Knowles Road, Brandon, FL 33511
Phone (813) 658-0559     Fax (813) 217-9808

Feb.6, 2012

We are the Tampa Bay Heat, a homeschool  group representing many areas in Tampa.  Our group was originally formed to organize reconized sports so homeschool  kids might too be able to get  athletic scholarships to college.  As both kids and parents, we have seen the problem with childhood obeisty.  In the state of Florida alone it was reported last year that one of every three kids was considered obese.  It is our desire to help kids be healthy and active through exercise and sports programs.  That is how Keeping Kids Fit began.  We hold fundraisers that involve exercise to sponsor children so they too can be on sports teams, participate in races, go to camp, and also pay for sporting equipment.  We financially support families who cannot afford to have their children involved  in athletic programs.  We truly believe a healthy child is a happy  child.

Our current fundraising project is a 5K race being held at Alderman’s Ford Park. The race is going to be March. 24, 2012.  We expect to have at least 75 racers.  We are trying to find sponsors for our event. We are looking for gifts to give away and also money to help pay for expenses.

We would love to  put your buisness logo on every t-shirt printed, our web site, and our registration table.  Thanks  for your consideration in sponsoring us in this event. It truly will be a blessing to many children who need an oppurtunity to be heatlhy through exercise.

                                                                                            Tracy Reed 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Preacher Gets Hit At Super Bowl

Tony Miano was preaching on the streets during the Super Bowl. He encountered a few hecklers. Unfortunately, one took things further and tossed a burrito at Tony.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Falling in Love With HIStory!

We are in the middle of a series on understanding the Bible at South BrandonWorship Center and the Sunday Night Remix Church.  The following is an outline of the initial message, entitled Fall in Love with HIStory “The Story.”  Thank you Pastor Chuck and Pastor Brian.

1.  HIStory is about Him!

To understand the Bible you have to realize that it is about God.  The story of the Bible begins with God. The Bible is about God’s nature, his character, and his love.

Gen. 1:1  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Really emphasize the first four words. “In the beginning, God” It is all about Him.  No need to use it as a form of proof.  The statement establishes that God is.

Ps. 8:1-5  “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens…when I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?”

2.  HIStory is about Us!

The Bible is also the story about man.

Gen. 1:26,28  “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness… God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”

Note, that it says, “Let Us” That points to the involvement of all three persons of the Trinity in the creation.

At the end of each day, God said it is good, it is good, it is good.  With the creation of man, he said it is very good.

Gen. 2:15, 17 “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat it, you will certainly die.”

Here is a thought.  He had an apple tree.  He had a pear tree.  He had a banana tree.  He probably was near an orange grove.  He had access to mangoes.  Adam, why did you let Eve hang out near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Yes, HIStory is about us, and more often than not, we know how to mess things up.

Gen. 3:4-5 “You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman.  ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

We all know in every good story their has to be a villain.  With us, there is Lucifer.  He was the most beautiful of the angels, yet he was jealous of God.  In his hatred, he feel bringing 1/3 of the angels with him.  God loves man, therefore Lucifer/Satan hates man as well.

This story was not about the fruit.  It was about man, abandoning God.  Man had a choice, and we chose sin.  Eve ate the fruit.  Adam followed.  They chose to sin, then they ran to hide from God.  Today, we choose to sin then we decide to run and hide from God.  How often do we use the phrase, did God really say.

3.  HIStory is about Him Restoring Us!

Despite the tragedy of Gen. 3, there is hope.

Gen. 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

Satan and his demons will war with humanity.  But the child will crush you.  That was done on the cross.  The greatest rescue operation ever.

            Why is it that man has this desire to rescue someone.  God has put that in us.  Because created in the image of God, we are a shadow of his nature.

Man still has problems.  In the OT, God rescues the children of Israel, but they constantly complain.  God raises up judges, but man continue to do things his way, not God’s way…see Samson.

Then God raises up kings.  First, Saul who fizzles out quickly.  Then there is David, a man after God’s own heart.  Except his problem with Bathsheba.  David is followed by his son, Solomon who possessed wisdom and had a great start, but even with him, things fell apart.  And after Solomon’s death, the Kingdom is separated.

Through this time, God raises up prophets, trying to steer His people to Him. But for the most part, they ignore Him.  Then God’s people is in exile.  And after a period of time they return to Israel… but then there is silence.  No prophets.  No voice from God.  400 years of silence.

Then the silence is broken.  A man in the wilderness, eating bugs.  John the Baptist.  He talks about preparing the way of the Lord.  Then, Jesus shows up on the scene.  And he performs miracles.  But he is really on a mission of restoration.

Jesus is a King, but he is not the king that the people were looking for.  He went from being exalted to being condemned (crucify).  He hung on the cross for 6 hours.  Everything went black.  For several days everything is quiet.  But then Sunday morning comes.  Jesus reversed everything that happened in Eden.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Son's Last Words to His Father

 A couple of days ago, I met an interesting man by the name of Tom Curtis who shared the following story with me.  In retelling the story, I hope I accurately captured the facts as related by Tom.  Tom shared this story after we told him we were doing a Bible Study put together by former PGA Golfer Wally Armstrong.  In telling the story, Tom told us how he met a gentleman by the name of Wally.

A man named Wally said to Tom, you need to know personally know Jesus.  Initially, Tom was inclined to throw him out of the office.  Over the years, Tom had many ups and downs.  Up to this point, mostly downs.  Because about nine years before Wally approached Tom, tragedy had struck his family.  The meeting with Wally would lead to the end of one journey and the beginning of a new journey.

Tom and his wife had a son by the name of Nick.  Although young, Tom was a successful businessman.  On one particular afternoon, Tom was out on a yacht.  Nick was at home playing a game of tag with some friends.  Nick tried to avoid a tag and ran into some barrels that were near the house.  Earlier some men, who were working on the yard, left a gas container on top of the barrels.  The container fell and Nick was soaked.  At this point, one would wonder what runs through the head of a twelve year old boy.  Because a young boy will come up with things that at the time seem funny, but in reality could be dangerous, or even fatal.  As Nick stood there soaked in gasoline, one of his friends decided to pick up a match and throw it in Nick’s direction.  This resulted in an explosion.  Nick was on fire.

This occurred nearly 40 years ago.  This was before the days of cell phone.  Someone managed to contact Tom on the yacht and he got to his car and was headed straight for the hospital.  On the way to the hospital, he heard a story on the radio that indicated there was an explosion in one of the neighborhoods and a child had been severely burned.  Tom knew that it was his son.

Again, Tom was a successful businessman and he had his son moved from the local hospital in Ohio to a hospital in Massachusetts that specialized in the most serious burns.  He stayed with his son for nearly 3 months.  Then things started to happen.  Tom’s son asked him if he could be baptized.  Tom thought it was an odd question because through family tradition, Nick had been baptized as an infant.  Apparently, people who visited Nick shared the Gospel with him and encouraged him to get baptized.  The arrangements were made, but Tom was not present for the baptism.

Sometime after the baptism, Tom was at the hospital sitting at Nick’s bedside and holding his hand.  Twelve year-old Nick asked his dad, “Do you know, Jesus, personally.”  Tom thought that was a strange question.  How could anyone know Jesus, he’s been gone for nearly 2000 years.  And he said, “Nick there is no way anyone could know Jesus personally.”   As Nick held his dad’s hand, he responded, I know Jesus and at that moment he passed away.

So later, Tom approached two different pastors about his conversation with Nick and neither could give him a straight answer.  One said something along the lines of kids say the strangest things. 

So nine years later, Wally is standing before Tom and tells him that he needs to know Jesus.  After exchanging a few words, Tom decides to go to church with Wally that evening.  Tom heard the Gospel for the first time and he gave his life to the Lord that evening.  The question that haunted him for years was answered and for Tom, a new journey had begun.

Today Tom has an active ministry entitled to SOSEvents.  If you attend the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, be sure to look for Tom’s booth.  Tom also has sons who are pastors or involved in other forms of ministry.

When Jesus Enters Our World - A Papa Roy Devotional

A Touch of Encouragement
Today, when Jesus enters our world, he changes it. When Jesus enters our lives, he changes them. So the question for today, the ultimate question of faith, is this: "What, Lord, should I do?" So why not begin each day by asking Jesus that question?

Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14 NKJV)

Every profession of repentance, which is not attended with a change of life, is mere hypocrisy. It did not condemn their profession, or say that it was unlawful to be a soldier, or that they must abandon the business in order to be true penitents. It was possible to be a good man and yet a soldier.

What was required was that in their profession they should show that they were really upright, and did not commit the crimes, which were often practiced in that calling. It is lawful to defend one's self, one's family, or one's country, and hence it is lawful to be a soldier (Law Enforcement). Man everywhere, in all professions, should be a Christian, and then he will do honor to his profession, and his profession, if it is not a direct violation of the law of God, will be honorable. (A. Barnes)

Papa Roy says, I urge you, just as John urged those men and women of long ago, to take a public stand, to acknowledge your sin, and to express your faith in Christ as your Savior. No one is saved by osmosis, by inheritance, or by mere knowledge, but by a personal commitment, a personal entrusting of yourself and your eternal future into the hands of Jesus Christ, who died for your sins, whose righteousness may be your own. Do it today!
In God we trust, so, true repentance calls all sinners to inner renewal!

Read through the Bible this year: Leviticus 3-4, Psalm 47, Proverbs 16, Luke 3
Come Just As You Are

 Here I am Lord

  Give thanks for this day of February 02/16/12 for God has made it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thank God for His Gospel and Seek to Share it with Others - Papa Roy

A Touch of Encouragement
Today, we are commissioned not only to congregate in His name, but also to go out into the world, sharing His Word, His peace, and His love.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15 NKJV)

This command, often called ‘The Great Commission,’ is the second most penetrating imperative in the scripture right after, ‘You must be born again.’ The phrase “go into all the world…’ is literally, ‘as you are going.’ The world needs to see authentic believers living out Christianity in real life situations well. There are few things that turn off unbelievers more to the Gospel than phony Christians. A major temptation for us is to try to cover up our problems and to act pious and religious, pretending we are holy. The way to influence our friends who don’t know Jesus is not by leaving the impression that we never fall. We must be honest with ourselves and admit we’re no better than anybody else. Instead simply admit that if it weren’t for Jesus Christ, we’d be in big trouble. (E. Rea)

Papa Roy says, "Every morning, my personal ministry is to see as many people as possible come to the Lord through any means and to see Christians grow and go through the maturity that God wants them to reach." "I want to challenge everyone to look forward and remember that God heals the past. It's my personal mission that every soul who reads these devotions be inspired to pray that God would remove the strongholds around them so that when people hear the Gospel, they respond to it instead of react to it."

In God we trust, so, today in prayer, thank Christ for His Gospel and seek to share it with others.

Read through the Bible this year: Exodus 37-38, Psalm 44, Proverbs 13, Mark 16

Lord I Want To Be A Christian

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Include This Description in the Bible - A Papa Roy Devotional

Today's devotional from Papa Roy involves the anguish of David.

A Touch of Encouragement

Today, keeping our hearts aware of the inner workings of God’s Spirit in our inner being is an important part of our relationship with God.

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! (Psalm 38:1 NKJV)

In this season of his life David is experiencing much affliction as a bi-product of his sin. The arrow of God that has pierced his heart has touched him. He is feeling the weight of God’s hand upon him. What is essential is that we connect with David’s description of how these things have manifested themselves in his life. David speaks of God’s arrow, God’s hand and God’s wrath but then he goes on to describe what he is experiencing. Sickness, overwhelming guilt, being brought down, and mourning, filled with anguish of heart this is David’s description of God’s dealings.

This passage is a gift to us to help us recognize when God is pressing us to bring us to repentance. God’s discipline is never intended to destroy us. It is rather intended to turn us to Him and to train us in righteousness. (D. Lee)

Papa Roy says, why did God put this description in the Bible? Why does David compare the consequences of sin to being pierced by arrows, being pressed by His hand, sickness, a heavy burden, drowning, smothering and no peace? Because God wants us to hate sin. If for no other reason, the consequences of sin ought to warn us against sinning. The next time you're tempted, look past the pleasure to the pain and learn to say no. Remember what David says in this Psalm. You say, "I'm a Christian. I can sin." No, you can't, because you'll reap the same consequences. God chastens His own, for He wants us to walk in holiness. (W. Wiersbe)  
In God we trust, so, in the agony of guilt David's heart for God drove him back toward God.

Read through the Bible this year: Exodus 25-26, Psalm 38, Proverbs 7, Mark 10
February 02/07/12 click on this song
Mighty to Save

Thursday, February 2, 2012

This Sunday at South Brandon Worship Center - Super Bowl Sunday Celebration

Why is the Super Bowl such a BIG event? When I was growing up, it was bigger than Christmas and Easter. We would have a huge party with family, friends, and neighbors coming over to cheer for "their" team. Everybody wants to be a winner. If we don't feel like we are a winner, then we will "attach" ourselves to one and ride their "victory high" as if it were our own.

God says you are a "winner" in His eyes. Join us this Sunday @ SBWC (9:15 am & 10:45 am services)  and invite your friends to our "Super Bowl Sunday Celebration!" (Sunday Night Remix Service at 5:00 pm with Super Bowl Watch Party at 6:00 pm)

Luke 14:23  Jesus said: "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God Will Fight The Battle For You - A Papa Roy Devotional

A Touch of Encouragement

Today, God fights for us; we are to be still, and let God, rather than struggling in our own power when the world comes to bring us into slavery.
Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. (Exodus 14:14 NKJV)

 In our human frailty we most often do exactly what is not needed. We strive to fix and address life issues in our own right. We should learn, through God's grace, that our first charge in the face of adversity is to be still; for it is only by our inactivity are we able to see what God might have us do. During our time of stillness we learn to look to the Heavens and to ask God, if he needs us; for we worship a God of great power that does not need us to affect His will. Only if God needs us, do we need to respond to trials and tribulations about us, as often these are events well beyond either our control or influence. Also we worship a God who will fight for us, and frequently all we are required to do is to listen and be still.

Papa Roy says, God still delivers today you know. It may not be exactly at the time when we first demand it, but if we, like Israel, place our small, mustard seed of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we too will see the action of God on our behalf. But we should never dictate to God of course how He should do this. He is the potter and we are but clay. Sometimes He will deal to the difficulties in our lives; sometimes He will give us the grace to cope with it. What He does is His prerogative. But be assured that He doesn’t fail His people! (I. Gordon)

In God we trust, so, God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouth shut!"

February 02/01/12 click on this song
God Will Take Care Of You

Monday, January 30, 2012

Readjustment - A Papa Roy Devotional

Below is another devotional from Papa Roy.  Seems like I read the passage that he quoted from Mark earlier today.  Enjoy.

A Touch of Encouragement
Today, Just like Jesus, we are on a mission. Sometimes it can seem as though we are alone in that mission, but even so, we are called to be ready. Spend some time alone in prayer today.
 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35 NKJV)
Experts say that noise pollution is getting worse. In some major U.S. cities, noise levels have raised six fold in the past fifteen years. American ears are bombarded by noise from airplanes, traffic, lawn mowers, TVs, radios and cell phones. Maybe it’s because we’re surrounded by so much noise that we find it difficult to appreciate solitude. But getting away alone with God is essential for our spiritual health. Today’s passage shows that Jesus Himself had to withdraw from the hustle and bustle to sit quietly before His Father. (Anonymous)
 Papa Roy says; with our busy schedules and our hectic pace of life, we too need readjustment. Demands of work, family, and church can require reevaluation. One way we do that is by observing the Sabbath principle—making sure to set aside time to rest and prayerfully refocus our priorities. When can you pull aside from your activities and prayerfully ask God to reset your spiritual calendar to His Word and His will? Is it time for a readjustment?
 In God we trust, so, do you take time to read God’s Word and pray? Try it in the morning. It can transform your day.
 Read through the Bible this year: Exodus 7-8, Psalm 29, Proverbs 29, Mark 1
January 01/29/12 click on this Song

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Papa Roy Devotional: Bow the Knee, Watch and Pray

Here is another devotional from Papa Roy.  Papa Roy is a mentor for a good friend of mine, Dan Shock.  He compiles these devotionals on a daily basis and sends them out to his mailing list.  Read and enjoy.

A Touch of Encouragement

Ask the Lord today, as you pray, to help you recognize Satan and his ways so you will not be caught as his prey. God will help you identify him if you will only ask Him.

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh  is weak.”(Matthew 26:41 NKJV)

Peter yielded to temptation because he did not first take the time to put on the armor of God. Peter would have been in a much better position to overcome the temptation if he had first prepared his heart. We spend too much time watching television and not enough time reading the Bible. We spend a lot of time talking on the phone with our friends and not enough time praying to our Creator.

It takes patience to spend the time in prayer. Satan will try to remind you about all the important things that you should be doing. However, if you want to see the victories, you must put aside the things of this world and put on the things of God. Remember that God does not work on your timetable so be ready to wait patiently and not give up until HE gives you the victory. (Anonymous)

 Papa Roy says, true Christians do not have the luxury of complacency. He who said, "Watch and pray" meant both commands because both are emphatically necessary. Watching implies taking notice, carefully assessing, discerning details and trends.

Praying implies reflection, meditation; considering God’s ways, seeking his will, placing the clues we discern by watching into the framework we have seen in God’s word—and arranging as best we can the minutiae of our own lives in harmony with the grand features of God’s design. (R. Kindig)

In God we trust, so, bow the knee watch and pray, and put the weak flesh out and let the willing Spirit in. And watch and see what happens.

Read through the Bible this year: Exodus 1-2, Psalm 26, Proverbs 26, Matthew 26

January 01/26/12 click on this Song

Wonderful merciful savior