Our New Home

Our New Home
I love all the summer greenery around our home!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Condition vs Activity

In yesterday’s post I left you with the question: “To be or not to be…”  (from William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” written around 1600).  I proposed this question concerning the decision of how you view yourselves as a Christian.  According to the Bible in Colossians 2:10 “God has made you complete in Christ.” (Gods Word ©) Therefore the quiz involved looking inside to understand if you see yourself as “Being Complete” or as one who is “Becoming Complete?”

It really is a question that directs the entire focus of your Christian walk. With one answer you are working “toward becoming” all that God has provided for you through Jesus’ finished work.  With the other, you are spending your time learning how to actively participate in all that “you already are” in Christ.  Like I been stating all week, it can be a totally NEW way in which you live your life.

Did Christ do it all for us?  Was God’s plan of salvation really a masterful, complete work, or do we still need to help Him finish what Christ started 2000 years ago in order to finally become “complete?”  Humm… as I pondered this thought today, I realized that the way I answered that question could be pretty prideful on my behalf!” 

Do me a favor… Don’t just jump to a conclusion here.  Take some time this weekend, put aside your background, traditions and personal thoughts and dig into what the Bible truly says about your REAL identity “In Christ.” 

Scott Schang, the Senior Leader of The Promise Church in Woodland, Washington, says in his book “The Rhema Code,” that being “complete” is a condition of our faith, not an activity of it!  (page 73)

Have a GREAT weekend!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What great NEW things am I expecting today?”

Thursday, July 28, 2011

“To Be or Not To Be…”

Let’s go a little deeper into the subject of something NEW that we have been discussing over the last few days…  Colossians 2:10 says that “God has made you COMPLETE in Christ.”  (Gods Word ©) Is that how you see yourself as a Christian?  Do you view yourself as “Being Complete” or as one who is “Becoming Complete” in Christ?  It’s all a simple matter of perspective, but yet it is the life altering point from which we live and experience our lives from!

This morning as I was studying the Word, and meditating on this question, I experienced the stark reality that even though I believe in and have been taught this truth in Bible School and for the past 28 years in the churches I have attended, that I have not always lived with this as the filter for my every thought, decision and action that I have taken.  Especially now, with the attack upon my wife’s health.

Yesterday as I was walking by myself through a local mall, I suddenly was struck with the fear of what it would be like to be living my life without my wife at my side.  As I viewed two couples walking with their arms wrapped around each other, the thought of being “incomplete” rose up inside me.  As I looked up to the ceiling and shook that picture away, the Lord spoke to me and reminded me that I am already “complete” in Him!  It’s kind of like my wife is the thick, rich, luscious icing on the top of the already delicious cake!

So what is the viewpoint or "the grid” from which you base the daily decisions and corresponding actions of faith in your life?  Do you choose to “BE” or are you working toward “BECOMING”?  The Bible seems to make it clear that we ARE partakers of His divine nature because we have been given “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” 
(2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV)

So while I can’t say that I am a big fan of William Shakespeare, his famous words from the play “Hamlet” written in the 1600’s do strike a nerve with the question that each of us must ask ourselves… “To be or not to be, that is the question…”  Stay tuned and keep asking yourselves… “What NEW things am I expecting today?”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Totally NEW!

So… you became a NEW creation when you received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  NEW in what respect?  NEW in what perspective or design?  When you were born again you were born into the family of God!  The J.B. Phillips paraphrase of the New Testament makes this real clear in James 1:18 saying: “By His own wish He made His own sons through the Word of truth, that we might be, so to speak, the first specimens of His NEW creation.” 

As a member of this NEW family you have a whole new set of rights and privileges.  Ephesians 2:6 says that “God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with (or in) him.”  (Gods Word ©)  Get a hold of that thought!  You now posses a heavenly position and have the backing of heaven in all that you do.

A few years ago I managed the receiving department for a Home Depot store in Oklahoma.  As a part of that position, I had the authority to receive (or reject!) thousands of dollars of merchandise on a daily basis.  My decisions and my signature on that Bill of Lading had the backing of the Home Depot Corporation.  That’s the same type of backing that we have as children of God.  When we act on the Word of God in this life, we have the full support, power and authority of the kingdom of God behind us!

With that truth in mind, the promises in Hebrews 13:5-6 where it says that “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” and “I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (King James Version) should bring on a whole new meaning and structure to the way we operate in our everyday lives!

Ponder those thoughts today!  You may be living in this world, but the Bible makes it clear that you are not a part of or subject to its ordinances and influences. (Colossians 2:20)  Can this revelation change the way you approach your daily life?  You bet it does… and that’s just the way God had it planned!

If you haven’t done it already, start living your life TODAY within the rights and privileges that are yours as a son or daughter of The King!  Talk about something NEW!

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Totally NEW Things am I expecting today?”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A NEW Species

I seemed to be stuck on the thought of experiencing new things in our daily walk with the Lord.  And speaking of NEW things… Do you realize that 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man (or women) be in Christ, he (or she) is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become NEW.”  Think about that radical statement for a minute or two.  When you are born-again you do not just become an improved version of who you used to be, but you actually become a brand new creation.  I have heard that the word translated “creature” actually implies that you become “a brand new species!”

WOW!  Talk about a fresh NEW start!  The old you is gone.  Romans 6:7 makes it clear that you have been set free from the old things that were destructive to you before you were reborn.  You are totally freed from the holds that the bondages that made a mess of your life had on you before you made Jesus the Lord of your life!  Now that’s something GREAT to shout about!

Have you been living your life from that reality since you were born again?  There’s no better time than right now to begin living in the fullness of life that Jesus has already provided for you.  Grab hold of this revelation and begin to live as that totally NEW creation, born from above as an Ambassador of the Kingdom of God on this earth. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Not born again yet?  Then take the first step toward this totally awesome NEW way of living. Switch your allegiance from the ruler of this world by confessing Jesus as the NEW Lord of your life and believe that God raised Him from the dead.  (See Romans 10:9)  That’s it…  You are now a member of the family of the LIVING God. (Hebrews 10:20)

All things have become NEW!  If you made that move today, drop me a note at
pastorjim@whatareyouexpecting .org and I’ll tell you a little bit more on how to live this new life that you have entered into today.

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Totally NEW things am I expecting today?”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Keeping Up With Technolgy

Well, I finally got fed up with my old cell phone and it’s unlimited everything package that kept dropping the second half of many of my incoming text messages and had spotty coverage.  I feel like I finally made it to the modern age as I relented and purchased a iPhone.  What a difference!  Even though I have had it for less than one day, I can already see how the more efficient system, faster speed and multiplicity of capabilities will assist me in my daily life.

I am amazed when I come in contact with people who still don’t have cell phones, or if they have them, they barely ever use them.  Many times they make a comment that says something like, “Well I did fine without one for fifty years, why do I need one now!”

This reminds me of the individuals who have been in the same place of growth in their Christian walk for many years.  Hebrews 10:20 says that “Jesus has opened a new and living way…”  (Gods Word ©)  His ways are not old and stagnant but new, alive and fresh, and this is the way that He expects us to live our daily lives in Him!  There are always new and deeper paths to His greater glory for us to investigate. 

I can vividly remember the first sermon that our new Pastor gave to our young and fledgling congregation many years ago.  He stated how the Bible has many layers to it.  That the more you read (and re-read) it, the more revelation that will be unveiled to you.  Many times the traditions of men and the traditions of churches hinder the new places that our Master wants us to move on into.

I encourage you at the beginning of this new week, to not allow the traditions that you have been raised up with to stop you from moving on in the things of the Spirit.  Be open to the leadings of the Spirit as He gently nudges you on to experience the greater adventures that He has planned for you to do and “To Be”!  Remember… the next great move of God could very well be “YOU!”

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What GREAT NEW THINGS am I expecting today?”

Friday, July 22, 2011

Having GREAT Priorities

As I look over the posts from this blog this week, it is easy for me to discern that the key to success concerning the subject of personal revival is all about having the right priorities.  This is true for anything in this life.  Many of us get caught up making excuses for not doing certain things by saying that “Were just too busy…”  But, if we are really honest with ourselves we would see that we always make time for the things that we really want to do.

For years I found myself caught up in this spiral of thought.  Whenever I was asked how I was doing, my pat reply was “Yeah, I'm really busy!”  One day the reality of that statement hit home and I made a personal vow to stop confessing that I was too busy to do anything and to ultimately enjoy the life that God has given me to live for His glory. 

A few days ago I came across a tape of a teaching that my wife had presented to our church family at a mid-week service way back in 1998.  I popped it into our cassette player  (remember those) in the car and we listened to it on a trip to my son’s house.  I was not only reminded of the deep Biblical knowledge that my wife possesses (I would not be in the ministry today if it wasn’t for her example, patience and teaching during the early years of our marriage), but also of her attention to the priorities of our family.

At one point during our child rearing days, my wife came to me and talked about her desire to set priorities for our family, especially in the area of the best use of our family’s time together.  Like most families, our kids were involved in a myriad of activities ranging from soccer, ballet, basketball, Boy Scouts, church events, home school field trips, band, etc; as well as with the activities with all their friends in the neighborhood we lived in.  Her heart-felt desire was to prioritize and then limit their amount of activities in order to enhance the enjoyment of the things they did participate in and to preserve our family time together.

I agreed with her, so we gathered the family together, set priorities together with the kids and then chose the activities to pursue.  This action not only brought a sense of stability and peace to the family, but it also helped us to really concentrate on the things we felt led of the Lord to do.  Prioritizing made a big difference in the quality of life for our family.

How are your priorities set?  Are they set?  Do you find yourself commenting "how busy you are" all the time?  Do you find yourself at the end of the day, or the week, or the month before you know it?  Humm… maybe it’s time to PRIORITIZE your life!  And the subject that should always be at the top of the list is your growing relationship with the Master, Jesus Christ.  “But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval.  Then all these things will be provided for you.”  (Matthew 6:33 Gods Word ©)

Our kids may be literally spread across the country today, but they all have the same thing in common.  Their first priority is seeking God, and making sure that they are closely aligned with the leadings of the Holy Spirit in all that they do.  Is this something you also have in common?

God is good… not only good, but GREAT!  As we fill up on His priorities the rest of life will quickly fall into line!  Have a GREAT weekend and… Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What GREAT things am I expecting today?”


Thursday, July 21, 2011

GO!

Early this morning I was re-reading the scripture that we talked about in my previous post from Nehemiah 8:10.  After I wrote the verse down I paused, kicked back in my desk chair and looked back over my notes.  I didn’t get any further than the first word that I had written which was the command to “Go!”  It was like a blinking red light at a four way intersection.  That’s it… The Lord is telling us in this verse that the responsibility is all ours!

Everything that I discussed with you yesterday is dependent on the depth of our resolve to GO for it!  Some of you may have read the post and thought that I might be a little fanatical.  Maybe it’s just because you’ve never resolved to GO that far with the Lord…

Hummm… a party like experience every time you spend time in the Word?  Is it really possible?  I have to admit, I believe that it is.  I have been a student of the Pentecostal revival that occurred at the end of the 1800’s and early 1900’s and of the healing revival that swept our nation in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.  Lately, I have been reading about the revivals that took place in the American Colonies just before the Revolutionary War.  And they all have the same things in common.  The men and women who were the known leaders of these phenomenal moves of God were on fire with a zeal for Him that extended into every area of their lives… from the first thing in the morning until they finally settled down for the night, only a few hours before they arose again!  They were people like the Wesley brothers, George Whitefield, Francis Asbury, Charles Finney, Dwight L. Moody, Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake, William J. Seymour, Maria Woodworth–Etter, Aimee Simple McPherson, William Branham, and Oral Roberts, just to mention a few. *

Their zeal fueled revivals that are still felt today!  … And they started out as just regular men and women like you and me!  In fact, some of them were in pretty bad physical and/or emotional shape before they made the decision to GO all for the Master.  So… if you’re thinking like I am thinking… If they can do it, so can I - and so can YOU!

Take Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s command to heart then, and  Go, eat of the fat of the Lord and drink of the sweet living water of the Holy Spirit and then allow yourself to overflow into the lives of others!”  (Nehemiah 8:10 Gods Word © with a little personalization on my behalf!)  Wow… just think about the possibilities!  You could be another Billy Graham!

So, once again, I encourage you to “GO!”  Take one day at a time, but set your determination to not stop until the fire of your life can be seen and felt from any direction and from any individual!

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What GREAT things am I expecting today!”



* I realize that some of these individuals were active in ministry in times that may not fit exactly into the dates that I mention here, but they were definitely extensions of these revival periods.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Party!

So… be honest with me.  How many of you who read yesterday’s post stopped and shouted out: “GREAT!” when you were done?  If you didn’t do it, take a moment now, read the short post and then shout it out!  It’s good to give praise to our God, and I can’t think of anyone or anything that is GREATER than He!

Speaking of GREAT  I concluded my study time this morning by reading Nehemiah 8:10 where it says to “Go, eat rich foods, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who cannot provide for themselves.  Today is a holy day for the Lord.  Don’t be sad because the joy you have in the Lord is your strength.”  (Gods Word ©)  What particularly caught my eye and sent my imagination soaring was Adam Clarke’s commentary for the phrase “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (The commentary is written to go along with the King James Version).  He states: This is no gluttonous and drunken festival that enervates (or weakens) the body, and enfeebles the mind: from your religious feast your bodies will acquire strength and your minds power and fervor, so that you shall be able to Do His will, and to do it cheerfully.”

Now while I understand that this particular verse was actually speaking of having a physical feast with rich foods and sweet drinks, in my mind’s eye I immediately saw a vision of a church service where the Holy Spirit was moving and the people were saturated in His anointing.  They were laughing, praising and loudly celebrating the Lord’s presence in their midst.  This may seem a little foreign in some church services, but the Bible makes it clear that this is what happened to the 120 who were in that upper room when the Holy Spirit descended upon them.  They were so loud that people from all over the city came to see what was going on!  And if remember correctly, some 3000 people got saved that day! (see Acts 2:1-41)

This picture also got me to thinking about our personal times with the Lord.  We could have a feast in His presence everyday, in the privacy of our own homes!  Just think about that!  Walking into His banquet room and partaking of the richness (or fat – KJV) of the Lord, and drinking in the sweet waters of the Holy Spirit!  Then, when you’re done you go out and bring your overflow to those with whom you come in contact with throughout the day!

Remember now, I did say that my imagination went soaring when I read that verse!  But why not?  While the world says that its okay to party and to eat and drink the things that will end up weakening your body, we can party everyday and eat and drink of the presence of the Lord and end up strengthening our bodies, minds and spirits AND have plenty more to give to others!  Sounds like a GOOD time and a GOOD deal to me!

What do you think?  Let that soak in and then reconsider my recommendation to shout “GREAT!”  Who cares if your neighbors hear you.  If they come over to see what’s going on, invite them in to share in your party!  Oooh!… sounds like a church growth program to me!

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Isn't It Amazing?

Today as I meandered through the pages of God’s word, I was led back to the 23rd Psalm as seen through picturesque rendering of the Contemporary English Version.  For those of you who accepted my challenge awhile back, yesterday would have been the three month mark and (depending on how quickly you began your daily reading) pretty close to the end of the 90 Day event.

So now I need to know… What happened?  How much closer are you to our Master and Savior Jesus Christ?  As I camped out at verses 3-4 this morning, I felt as if the Lord was sitting next to me confirming the truth and vitality of His words saying, “Jim, as you have seen over the last 3 months, I am true to my name, and I have and will continue to lead you along the right paths.”

Isn’t it amazing how we can come to the point in our Christian walk where we can just sense the presence of the Lord as we sit down to fellowship with Him through His word?  He IS true to His word.  He will NEVER fail us nor forsake us  (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, I Chronicles 28:20)

That’s what brings us the “peace which is far beyond human understanding.” (Philippians 4:7 Good News Bible)  Wow!  Take a moment and just soak in the reality of that audacious statement!  Let that peace that only He can give us, continue to grow in you as you sit in His presence everyday!  So… with that thought established in your heart, have a *GREAT day!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”


*  Okay… step out of the box with me on this one… 
                                             Think “Tony The Tiger” and say: "GREAT!”

Monday, July 18, 2011

What Are The Results?

A few quick thoughts concerning what we focus on in life…  This weekend was kind of a tough one for me.  Friday was probably the hardest day I have been through in caring for my wife.  Saturday was much better and then Sunday started off by giving my Friday experience a run for the money!

In the height of the pressure on Sunday morning, I found myself shaking inwardly as I forced myself to sit down outside in one of our patio chairs.  At that point in time, things did not look too positive.  As I began to calm down I realized, once again, that I needed to separate my wife from the problem.  That helped me to focus on the real culprit behind the disease and not to be upset with my favorite date!  From then on the day went a lot smoother.  There were still battles to fight, but it was easier to proceed through the heat, knowing from whence the attack came.

This morning the Lord reminded me of Ephesians 1:22 where Paul tells us that “God has put everything under the control of Christ.  He has made Christ the head over everything for the GOOD of the church.”  (Gods Word ©)  When I read that word GOOD, it was as though someone poured a bucket of cool water on my head during a hot summer afternoon!  Suddenly my folly from Friday and Sunday came clearly into view.

As the symptoms began to rapidly deteriorate, so did my focus. I allowed myself to be dragged away from the solid expectations of God’s word, to the hopeless sentence that medical science has placed on my wife.  At one point this morning it began to look the same way, but this time I was alert.  I paused for a moment, took a deep breath and reminded myself of what I was expecting.  Then within a few minutes, things began to turn around.

As I sat back on the floor (with the dog assisting by licking me in the face…) I heard the small still voice inside me say: “Expect God’s best, and He’ll do the rest!”  I had to laugh because that’s what I attempt to share with you in this blog everyday!  What I was EXPECTING is what I received from Friday through today!  The only difference is that for three days the expected results gave me no hope for recovery, while today’s expectations opened the door for God to step in and work His Word for me and my wife!

If the results aren’t GOOD, then your expectation (or your focus) is in the wrong place!

So stop for a moment and do a quick personal inventory.  Line up the results, make the proper adjustments and then ask yourself… “What am I expecting today?”  .

..and know that this is exactly what you will get!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Choose Wisely...

I have a final end of the week thought concerning the antagonism between Love and Fear.  Actually… it is no contest at all!  Love always puts you in the winner’s circle.  I John 4:16 says that “We have known and believed that God loves us.  God is love.  Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.”  (Gods Word ©)

This verse alone is the key to living a life that consistently puts fear on the run away from you.  The two words “known” and “believed” say it all.  We have to know the love that God has for us and then believe that because of His love for us, that He will always be there when we need Him, so we can walk in peace and victory during every season of our lives.

The word translated “known” means for us to have an increasingly more intimate knowledge of His love.  Intimate with the same closeness, desire and passion as married couples experience in the privacy of their bedrooms.  (look at Strong’s and Thayer’s Greek Definitions to grasp the depth of the intent of this thought)  The more we are consumed with the knowledge of His love, the less the treat of fear will impact our lives.

The Apostle Paul was a man that walked in this growing revelation of the Master’s love for him.  How else do you think that he could have faced the persecution, the beatings, the harrowing ship wrecks and the daily rejection from the Jewish people he loved?  The Apostle John is known as the Apostle of Love.  He was tortured with burning hot oil, was left to die on a deserted rock in the middle of the sea and still kept on going, teaching the love of God for us by precept and personal example, and was the only one of the original twelve to die a natural death.

How you and I fare in this world is directly connected to our increasingly more intimate, personal knowledge of the Father’s love for us!  Is the time, effort and personal sacrifice worth the rewards of this lifestyle?  That’s a question that each of us has to answer on our own.  I know that I have recently been tested to extremes that I never thought I could endure.  His love is the ONLY power that has enabled me to push on through and continue to reach forth for the joy ahead of me as promised to me in His infallible word.  (see Hebrews 12:2)

I’ll leave you on this beautiful warm Friday afternoon (here in northern California…) with a question posed by the Patriarch Joshua, as he encouraged the leaders of Israel just prior to his home going.  In a move to get them to clearly understand the importance of their part in the success or failure of their future he said “choose today whom you will serve.”  (Joshua 24:15 Gods Word ©)

Like I challenged you yesterday, I’ll ask again today… How about you?  Will you to live a mundane life fighting off fear that lurks around every corner, or make the commitment to seek out, and continually grow in the personal revelation knowledge of the Father’s love that He has just for you?  This is a love  which “goes far beyond any (natural) knowledge”  (Gods Word ©). Choose wisely, for the length and happiness of your days may depend on it!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What (Good Things) am I expecting today?”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lose The Fear!

This morning the Lord led me to begin my morning study in the book of 2 Timothy where the elder Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, his young son in the Lord.  Paul was languishing in a cold dungeon, imprisoned by the Emperor Nero.  “Paul knew that his work was completed and that his life was nearly at an end.” (NIV Study Bible Introductory Notes to 2 Timothy)  With this understanding in mind, I tend to read this book with a greater sense of urgency, knowing that Paul was giving his young protégé his final words of wisdom and encouragement.

In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul declares: “For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid (fearful, or in dread of life); instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love and self control.”  (Good News Bible – words in parenthesis from other translations) From this verse, the Lord centered the rest of my study around the subject of being timid, fearful or in dread of the situations we face in this life.  I John 4:18 relates that “No fear exists where his love is.  Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment.  The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.”  (Gods Word ©)

What I began to realize this morning was that when fear prevails, love is lost.  It is lost because we have taken our eyes off of God and His Word and have transferred our attention to the limited confines of the natural world about us.  This revelation came to light this morning as I was reminded of the intense frustration that I had been experiencing toward some of those who are close to my wife and I, who have given up hope for any turnaround in my wife’s condition.  Today’s study revealed to me that the foundation of their downcast outlook is based upon the restrictive bounds of medical and herbal science.

That’s why I would get frustrated after sharing the latest medical reports with them.  The Lord expounded to me that I need to help them to expand their boundaries into the limitless realm of God’s abundant life that is available to us through the finished work of Christ!  In other words, part of my job is to lead them away from the clutches of fear, and into the loving, faith-filled expectations that come from the promises that He has made to us in His word.

How about you?  Are you or someone you love experiencing any fear today?  Remember that God’s word says that His “perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18 Modern King James Version)  I therefore encourage you to be strong and determine to make a break from the bondage of fear by filling your thoughts to overflowing with the loving expectations that reverberate from the pages of God’s word.  Then take that love to a friend and see them set free to be all that God has called them to be!  Turn it around… Lose the fear and gain the everlasting love that only Jesus can give.  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What (Good Things) am I expecting today?”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who Are You Going To Believe?

I ended the post on 7/11/11 with the scripture from Hebrews 6:18 where the writer proclaims that “God cannot lie.”  (Gods Word ©) This is the second point that I wanted to delve a little deeper into from the Monday post. This fact has to be the unshakable foundation for every Believer.  Without this basic understanding, we could never be in faith for any of the promises listed within the pages of God’s word!  This truth is found throughout both the Old and New Testaments.  (see: Psalms 119:160, John 17:17, Hebrews 13:8, and James 1:17 to name a few)

So the next logical question would be:  “If God can’t lie, where do all the thoughts, symptoms and accusations that are contrary to His word come from?”  The answer is simple – directly from the father of lies, otherwise known as the devil!  Jesus made this point very clear when He was arguing with the religious leaders in Jerusalem.  He said that the devil was “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 Gods Word ©)

Therefore, whose report are you going to believe?  The infallible word of the living God, or the deceitful accusations of the one who couldn’t tell the truth even if he wanted to!  My life accordingly, is based on the abundant life that Jesus afforded for us (John 10:10), as found in His word.  How about you?  Our Heavenly Father is Truth, is Love, and is all about giving of His best to us!  (remember John 3:16?)

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What (Good Things) am I expecting today?”

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

I want to deviate away from my original intent for today’s blog concerning the second point that I intended to explain, concerning my post about my wife’s latest doctor’s visit, and take you on a little stroll down memory lane…

Go back with me to July 12, 1975.  This was the fateful day that my lovely wife and I stood before Pastor Bob Heydon and shared our wedding vows.  As I recall it was a beautiful, clear and sunny Saturday afternoon.  Everything was going smoothly as the bridesmaids proceeded down the long center aisle of First Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, California.  Then it happened… After the bridesmaids had taken their positions at the altar, there was a pause in the music and then Piper and her dad stepped out from the Pastor’s study in the rear of the church while the wedding march sounded throughout the modern, theater like setting of the sanctuary.  The feelings that flowed throughout my being at that moment were totally indescribable.  It was wonder, joy, extreme happiness coupled with a disbelief that something this good was really happening to me.  This was suddenly followed by an unexpected wave of nervousness and emotion!

As Piper gracefully came up the stairs to where the Pastor and I were standing, I found myself fighting a losing battle with my emotions.  But just as the tears were beginning to let loose and all control lost, my five year old niece, who was presiding as our flower girl, took an inquisitive interest in Pastor Bob’s black ceremonial gown.  Without any intimidation she lifted up a corner of the gown and began to peak at his black suit underneath.  With that observation I broke out in hearty laughter and all the nervous emotions dissolved!  From that point on I was able to give all my attention to the ceremony of dedicating my life to the one that I had fallen head over heals in love with some five years previous, as a high school senior.

Proverbs 31:10 says that “A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find.”  (Contemporary English Version – CEV) This scripture completely defines my wife and the wonderful marriage that we have enjoyed over the past 36 years.  In many ways my wife has always been quite different from the rest of her family.  She is adventurous, vivacious, a lover of the great outdoors who would prefer a week in the Sierras over a luxurious resort, has loved to cook, drive hot cars, and has always possessed a pioneering spirit.  Over the years we have been a foundational part of three start up churches in our town.  In fact, the church we now are apart of originally began in the living room of our new home in the early 1990’s.

Piper has always had a love for children and Home Schooled our four kids from Kindergarten through High School.  Back in the early eighties Home Schooling was not a very well known alternative, nor was it well accepted by the mainstream educational world.  (Even our parents were not too happy with us!) Once again, she was a pioneer in this field.  She researched it out, had us to join the fledging Independent Study Program at Santa Rosa Christian School along with the Home School Legal Defense Association and the rest is history.  In fact, the local paper did a front page story about her and our schooling at home, complete with an in depth interview and photos!

Now as we have literally grown up together over the past 36 years, there are not too many things that I would change if I had the opportunity.  The Lord has been so good to us.  Yes, we are dealing with some challenges, but as I have stated before, the victory was already provided through the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago!  Romans 8:31 sums it all up with the solid promise that “If God be for us, who can be against us!”  (King James Version)

Happy Anniversary Honey!  You have given me the greatest and most fulfilling life a man could ever ask for.  I love you.

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Name Is Just A Name… or Is It?

Ah… The start of another wonderful week!  We are back to our regular summer weather pattern here in northern California, where the days begin with a high ceiling of fog.  This normally burns off by mid-morning, allowing the temperatures to rise up to the low eighties, and then cool off in the early evening with the timely return of the fog bank.  As a kid growing up, this pattern used to bother me!  I disdained the fog and enjoyed the hot days and warm evenings.  Looking back now, this was probably because I had to take swimming lessons in the early mornings for many years!  As I have gotten older (& also having spent 3 hot summers in Oklahoma…) I have come to relish the cool mornings and evenings!  It just seems to add a refreshing touch to the long summer days!

I wanted to explain a few things that I mentioned in the posting on last Friday.  One of the results that I mentioned that came out of my wife’s Neurologist appointment was that we now have a specific name for the problem.  This is important for two reasons. 

First of all, we read in Mark 11:23 that Jesus commands us to speak directly to the mountains that block our paths to victory and success in this life.  In this verse, the Master says: “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.”  (King James Version)  Mountains have names and we need to be specific as to the particular one that we are commanding to move.

Secondly, in talking about Jesus, the Apostle Paul tells us “Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and of things in earth, and things under the earth;” (Philippians 2:9-10 King James Version)   Here we see that the name of Jesus is higher, stronger and more powerful than any other name… period!  So the name of this particular brand of disease has to bow its knee, or yield its power to the mighty name of Jesus.

This oppression of the devil (Acts 10:38 King James Version) has to submit to the over-coming, over whelming, healing power inherent to the name of Jesus!  The heritage of the name of Jesus goes back further, has a greater foundation, and emanates directly from the kingdom of heaven, and no other name can be compared to it!

Is there a name that is attempting to come against you today?  As a born again Christian you have been given the authority (Matthew 28:18-20) to use THE NAME that will easily defeat any other that tries to usurp the position of the “name that is above every name.”

Wow… think about that!  Don’t use THE NAME loosely or flippantly.  Know Its tremendous power, use It accordingly, and walk in the victory that He desires for you today.  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What (Good Things) am I expecting today?”

Friday, July 8, 2011

That Settles It!

Today was one of those days that I was glad to have the answers to the questions before they were asked! It was the day that my wife and I went to her new Neurologist.  We have had a multitude of medical appointments over the last few months, but none gave me much satisfaction.  This was finally THE appointment with the specialist and I was loaded for bear!  We arrived on time with a briefcase full of records, x-rays, research on natural healing remedies and a long list of questions. 

Well I have to admit, that we left that office about an hour or more later, and I was quite satisfied with the amount and quality of information that was discussed.  I can’t say that the results were all positive, but we now have the confirmation of what we are facing in the natural, are working on a defined plan of attack, and feel confident with the medical resources available to us.

So… back to my opening statement.  In the natural, Dementia has no known cure.  I knew this going into this appointment but had been frustrated over the lack of direction we had been receiving from the battery of office visits we had attended, when we had to change doctors with the advent of new medical coverage.  We were believing for solid results today and received exactly what we were expecting!

What we now have is a confirmed name and a natural course of action to pursue.  But, the answers to all the questions though, were not revealed in today’s prognosis.  They were answered previously through the finished work of Christ some 2000 years ago!  The apostle Peter summed up all the answers nicely in 1 Peter 2:24 when he said “by whose stripes ye were healed.” (King James Version)  Jesus has already provided for my wife’s healing!  Psalm 107:20 says “He sent his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Psalm 103:3 says “who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” (both scriptures from the King James Version) I could go on and on… (Our senior Pastor has compiled a list of over 100 verses in the Bible that confirm this fact!)

So that settles it!  We’ve got some bad reports in the natural and we have some good reports direct from the Kingdom of God.  Whose do you think we will believe?  (Kind of a NO-Brainer huh?)

What about you?  Whose report, whose word, are you going to choose?  Hebrews 6:17 unequivocally states that “God cannot lie.”  (Gods Word ©)  Please don’t get me wrong here.  I am not calling the doctor a liar, but he is only reporting as much as he knows.  We have a God who knows all, and He is the one in whom my wife and I have placed the ultimate care of our lives.  How about you?

Stay tuned and keep asking yourselves… “What (GOOD THINGS) am I expecting today?”


Thursday, July 7, 2011

When The Going Gets Tough...

I have to apologize for yesterday.  It was one of those unusual days where I was so consumed with taking care of my wife, that I literally did not have the time to sit down and write a post for our blog.  She was having a rather tough day, and although I got quite frustrated at times, the words penned by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6 kept coming into my mind throughout the long day.  In fact, it was the scripture that started off my morning thoughts even before I got out of bed yesterday…  “Never worry about anything…” (Philippians 4:6 Gods Word ©)

As soon as I pulled myself out from under the sheets I went down stairs, retrieved my Bible and fired up the computer so that I could look up that phrase in some of my online commentaries.  The explanation that really caught my eye was the description outlined in Robertson’s Word Pictures.  It stated that the “present imperative in prohibition” of the phrase translated “In nothing be anxious” in other translations (ie; ASV, RV,), is a command to “stop being anxious”.  The Present Imperative is often a call to a long-term commitment and calls for the attitude or action to be one's continual way of life (lifestyle).” In this case, to “continually, habitually follow this command” (Greek Quick Reference Guide. http://www.preceptaustin.org/new_page_40.htm)

So we are called, or maybe it is more accurate to say that we are “commanded”, to live a life without worry because, as the rest of the verse goes on, we “let God know what we need in prayers and request while giving thanks.”  (Gods Word ©)  Then His peace will guard us and keep our minds and emotions in check. (see verse 7)

Well, I am glad that I had that instruction before my wife got up yesterday.  Otherwise, I’m not sure how else I would have made it through the day!  The point to remember is that He is faithful to His word.  When all the physical evidence around you looks to be at its worse, we have got to focus in on the truth of what God is telling us, and thereby allow Him to work His victory into our day!

My wife and I had a close friend during our college and young married days who’s favorite statement was “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”  That thought makes a lot more sense when you connect it with Hebrews 13:5, where the Lord is quoted as saying: “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you, NEVER!” (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible).  We can get as tough as we need to be in any situation because the Greater One, is always with us, always strengthening us, always guiding us, and always loving us!

Wow… that revelation makes me want to open up the front door and start singing the chorus to that powerful hymn “Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior for ever…” (Words and music by Eugene Monroe Bartlett, 1939)  Let that tune reign in your heart today! 

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What (GOOD THINGS) am I expecting today?”


PS:  Can’t remember the tune?  Click on the YouTube link and sing along!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Times of Refreshing

Yesterday was one of those text book northern California days.  My wife and I had gone over to my folks for a barbeque late in the afternoon, had a great time and then packed up and headed out the door a little after 7:00 pm.  It had been a beautiful and warm Fourth of July… maybe even on the hot side for our neck of the woods!  But, as we stepped out onto my parent’s driveway, the cool air that blows in from the ocean (about forty five minutes, and a small mountain range away) had begun to flow in and dissipate the tang of the heat that still lingered.

Ah… my wife and I stopped near the side of our Suburban and just soaked in the cool breeze!  It was so refreshing and simply renewed my question as to why people would want to live anywhere else!  (I also had to send up a quick prayer for my two kids who live in Oklahoma.  I knew that it had been hot and humid there, and at 9:00 pm their time, it probably had not abated at all!)

On the short trip home, I began to compare the typical cool evening breezes common to our locale, to the refreshing that comes every time we read the word of God.  Acts 3:19 says that “times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”  (King James Version)  His word has the uncanny ability to instantly bring relief from the heat, stress, anxiety or any other problem that may be causing you difficulty in your life.  Philippians 2:16 and I John 1:1 both refer to the Word as having life, and it is that life that refreshes and restores our beings.

So – okay… maybe the temperatures won’t be cooling down any time soon where you live.  But know that you don’t have to rely on the weatherman’s predictions for your refreshing!  The real cooling breeze is available 24/7, and is as close as your Bible!  Take some times of refreshing throughout the day today.  Soak in the “word of life” (Philippians 2:16 and I John 1:1 KJV) and allow His cooling sensations to permeate you physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What (GOOD THINGS) am I expecting today?”

Monday, July 4, 2011

America The Beautiful!

“America, America, God shed His grace on thee…” *

Did you know that the majority of the signers of The Declaration Of Independence were professing Christians?  Four of the signers were current or full time preachers, and many more were sons of clergymen.  They were a profoundly intelligent, religious and ethically-minded group.  These individuals were for the most part, active churchgoers and many contributed significantly to their churches both with contributions as well as with their service as lay leaders. The signers were members of religious denominations at a rate that was significantly higher than average for the American Colonies during the late 1700s. 

B.J. Lossing in his work “Signers of the Declaration Of Independence (George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York -1848) stated that: The signing of that instrument was a solemn act, and required great firmness and patriotism in those who committed it... neither firmness nor patriotism was wanting in that august body... Such were the men unto whose keeping, as instruments of Providence, the destinies of America were for the time entrusted;  Their bodies now have all returned to their kindred dust in the grave, and their souls have gone to receive their reward in the Spirit Land.”


Most historians who honestly study the intent and purpose of that great document would have to agree that the leaders of our country, who penned their names to this instrument, were seeking and planning for Divine intervention for their new country.  It was to be a country placed firmly under the care and direction of our Mighty God.


Over the last 235 years, we have seen those original intents muddled and confused, but I have to say that this is still the best nation in the world to call “home!”  Will we ever get back to the original purity of that unique document to which we give honor today?  To be honest, I don’t believe that we will. We live in a democratic society where the majority rules and the majority's ideas are rapidly moving in an opposite direction to those of our leaders in the late 1770’s.

Is all lost?  Never, but I believe that the future is up to us as Believers.  James 5:16 says that “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man (or women, boy or girl) availeth much.”  (King James Version)  Prayer is a most powerful tool, and it is time for each of us to step up and take our position to avail change in our families, in our communities and in our country.  I will never believe that God is giving up on America.  He had a plan for this country and still does.  You and I are part of that plan.


So as you celebrate this day with family and friends, remember to also thank our Heavenly Father in like manner as suggested by one of the Founding Fathers, John Adams, in a letter he wrote to his wife Abigal, concerning the importance of celebrating Independence Day: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty…” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States)

Happy Birthday America!


“O beautiful for patriot dream 
That sees beyond the years 
Thine alabaster cities gleam 
Undimmed by human tears! 
America! America! 
God shed his grace on thee 
Till nobler men keep once again 
Thy whiter jubilee!” * 



* America The Beautiful”  Words by Katherine Lee Bates, Melody by Samuel Ward