Friday, December 31, 2010

Unstuff by Hayley and Michael DiMarco

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3

Unstuff by Hayley and Michael DiMarco

Unstuff focuses on our culture of "stuff".  Material stuff, mental stuff, physical stuff.  All this stuff.  The question is if its worth it.  Do we really need all the stuff we have?  Are we honoring God?  Or are we pushing Him aside based on our flesh.  The authors use their own lives as examples of taking an honest look at where we are in our walk.  Then, they look at how to "unstuff" our lives to allow our focus to be on God.  All this for His glory, and our benefit.

When I first started reading this book I thought it wasn't written for me.  The first part is more based on material possessions and the authors definitely live a completely different lifestyle than I do.  Still, ,as I read I began to see more that applied to me.  Stuff is a lot more than a material item.  Its things in our mind that rob our time.  Its the way we treat our bodies.  Its a lot.  As that message came through I really began to enjoy this book.  Many scripture references are used to show God's mercy toward us.

I know that this will be a book I pass on to a few friends.  Its a helpful look at who we are in Christ.  I would recommend it to anyone who has a notion they are tied to something in the world.  And also to those who feel they aren't tied down.  Overall, I'd give this 2 out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers  as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Jesus Inquest By Charles Foster

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 1 Corinthians 15:13

The Jesus Inquest By Charles Foster

Mr. Foster is an English lawyer who set out to write a book about one thing.  The truth of the resurrection.  As a Christian, the resurrection is a key element to the truth of Jesus Christ.  As the Son of God, he defeated death.  Something no man has ever done.  To attack this issue, Mr. Foster has come up with a debate between two fictional barristers, X and Y.  They present arguments for and against the resurrection to inform the reader on a broad picture of the pieces of this event.

The style of writing is one that is new to me.  I must admit I became angry on a few occasions when I would forget I was reading the points of the barrister against the truth of the resurrection.  Still, the arguments are well presented.  Mr. Foster uses his own job experience as a credential to write the book in this manner.  He contends in the court system he is often required to research and present compelling evidence, even on subjects he does not personally agree with.

Overall, this is a good book on apologetics.  There is a good amount of information on the points of naysayers and great historical and biblical counter-points.  The author tries his best to take a mountain of evidence and make it palatable.  I think the most noble part of his effort is that he wrote is as an evagelism tool to use with his own family.  What love!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Child Is Born

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

Prophecy!  God tells us that He wrote things in the Bible before they happened so that all would know that He is the Lord.  To make sure that we got the picture, the test for someone calling themselves a prophet was 100% accuracy.  100%.  No mistakes.  Because God would not make a mistake.

So, let's look at Micah.  Micah's prophecy was written down 700 years before the birth of Jesus.  700 years.  He even named the city.  A city so small that it didn't even warrant a commanding officer in the army of Israel.  It was here that God would send His son to come and fight for us.  Bethlehem.

It's Micah's prophecy that the wise men use to know where to find the new King.  It's in Micah's prophecy we see the promise of the Messiah.  Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chasing Elephants by Brent Crowe

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 1 Corinthians 10:31-32

Chasing Elephants by Brent Crowe

Chasing Elephants deals with the "gray areas" in the Christian walk.  Those things that are not directly addressed in scripture.  The idea is that by developing a framework to look at things with a Christian worldview, any topic can be analyzed.  Mr. Crowe uses several examples of social drinking, online networking, service opportunities, and others.

I was leery when I first began reading this book.  I was on guard against a liberal world view being presented.  Part of this is because of the topics the author chose to use as examples.  I was dead wrong.  Mr. Crowe is grounded in scripture and speaks truth.  Even hard truth.

The book begins with establishing a framework.  Through scripture, Mr. Crowe identifies 18 different questions to use to evaluate a decision.  The decision on an activity, a group, anything.  This is a powerful tool.  We are called to be in the world, but not of the world.  What better way to guard against that than to see the truth in scripture!

Once the framework is established, several real examples are studied and applied.  Its a great application demonstration and really worked well.  I have already been sharing these questions with others.  I am sure it will be a great ministry tool.

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Voices of the Faithful By Beth Moore, International Mission Board

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:12-13 

Voices of the Faithful  By Beth Moore, International Mission Board

Beth Moore has teamed up with missionaries from around the world to write this inspiring devotional.  She has a great heart for missions that shows in the tender way she writes of the people she has met.

The book has one devotion for each day of the year.  Each devotion is written by a different missionary serving in the field.  The devotions are heart inspiring as you get a glimpse into their lives.  Additionally, each devotion ends with a prayer to take the message of that day before God.  Beth Moore writes an introduction to each month as well as a commentary on the mission field.

I really liked this book.  The idea of bringing so many stories together into one place is great.  The fact that there are so many different authors makes it even better.  Each person or team shares some of their own struggles and triumphs as the reflection for each day.  What better way to edify the body that through God's people!

I am thankful Mrs. Moore had the idea to compile this devotional laid upon her heart.  It will surely be a blessing to anyone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mothers and Brothers

Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Matthew 12:47-50

As Jesus was teaching of the kingdom, His mother and some of His siblings came to talk to Him.  When He was told they were there, He addresses those around Him and says that the ones who are doing the will of God are His brothers, sisters and mother.  This was not meant to insult His natural family, but to be an encouragement to those around Him.

So often as Christians the terms 'brother' and 'sister' are used as a sign of fellowship in the church.  However, Jesus wasn't using this for a kind address.  He was demonstrating the true meaning of family.  The Savior equated those who are doing the will of God with being a member of His family.  As a member of the family, Jesus taught how we are to love one another, care deeply, bear burdens and encourage.  He was taking this teaching directed at earthly families and now applying it to the bigger family, the church.

As members of the true church, all under the authority of Jesus Christ alone,  we are linked together.  This bond is to encourage us to reach out and be a part of the lives of others.  Addressing by 'brother' or 'sister' is a title of deep connection.  It's a pledge to that person that you will be there for them.  You will fight to save them.  You will help carry their cross.

Merry Christmas, my brothers and sisters.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jesse Tree

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  Isaiah 11:1

Christmas is coming!   Jesus, the rod of Jesse, the Redeemer has come.  What an amazing season.

In our house we are wrestling with keeping traditions versus honoring Jesus.  How do we do it?  Here's something that may be of interest to you:

What do you think?

Monday, November 29, 2010


But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  John 10:12

Wolves.  In John, Jesus talks about wolves catching and scattering sheep.  He compares Himself as the Good Shepherd to a hireling.  The hireling being someone that is just doing a job versus Jesus who will lay down His own life to protect His sheep.  The result of the hireling leaving is that the wolves scatter the sheep.

So, wolves.  They come at a time when the sheep are not under the watch of the Good Shepherd.  If we as Christians are the sheep, and Jesus is the Shepherd, what does this mean?  What about when we look at the times in our lives when we take control.  We stop asking God for His direction, stop listening to the voice of the Shepherd, start making our own way.  When we do, we are taking ourselves out from under the authority of the Shepherd.  When we are called and do not respond, we are taking ourselves out from His authority.  Then, the wolves come.

The wolves are a bad thing.  Trust me.  However, don't lose the beauty of a God that cares for us more deeply than we can realize.  The wolves will drive us back to Him for protection, comfort and love.  The wolves, as all creation, serve to glory God.

Remember, the wolves would have never showed up if we were near the Good Shepherd...

Real-Life Discipleship by Jim Putman

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.   Matthew 28:19-20

Real-Life Discipleship by Jim Putman

Real Life Ministries is an Idaho based church.  They have a great network of teaching, discipling and bringing people to Jesus.  The main catalyst is their home group model.  I was intrigued by their church's fulfillment of the great commission and success in getting people together so well.  This book explains some of the methods used in their ministry.

The best part of the book is the focus on Jesus.  All things for Him.  All for the King.  The whole process of discipleship that Pastor Putman lays out is modeled directly from Jesus' life.   The process is in 2 parts.  The first focuses on looking at leading an unbeliever all the way up tp the point of releasing them to make disciples.  This is not a quick process.  However, it is intentional and layed out.  The second focus is on the role of the discipler.  The steps and the process are layed out as well.  Methods are given to help figure out how to shepherd a believer along the way.

The other intriguing part of the bok is what they call "the phrase from the stage".  Its a way of figuring out spiritual maturity levels based on phrases used by people.  This is really helpful since actions and physical age may lead people to make assumptions on spiritual maturity that are just not true.

This is a great resource for church leaders as well as church members.  Even if your entire church does not adopt the process and philosophy, you can still be encoraged and given great resources to use in your personal walk and discipling.

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

From "WHY REVIVAL TARRIES" -by Leonard Ravenhill.

Today God is bypassing men -- not because they are too ignorant,
but because they are too self-sufficient. Brethren, our abilities are
our handicaps, and our talents our stumbling blocks!

Elijah lived with God. He thought about the nation's sin like God;
he grieved over sin like God; he spoke against sin like God. He
was all passion in his prayers and passionate in his denunciation
of evil in the land. He had no smooth preaching. Passion fired his
preaching, and his words were on the hearts of men as molten
metal on their flesh.

Brethren, if we will do God's work in God's way, at God's time,
with God's power, we shall have God's blessing and the devil's
curses. When God opens the windows of heaven to bless us, the
devil will open the doors of hell to blast us. God's smile means
the devil's frown! Mere preachers may help anybody and hurt
nobody; but prophets will stir everybody and madden somebody.
The preacher may go with the crowd; the prophet goes against it.
A man freed, fired, and filled with God will be branded unpatriotic
because he speaks against his nation's sins; unkind because his
tongue is a two-edged sword; unbalanced because the weight of
preaching opinion is against him.

Ah! brother preachers, we love the old saints, missionaries, martyrs,
reformers: our Luthers, Bunyans, Wesleys, Asburys, etc. We will
write their biographies, reverence their memories, frame their
epitaphs, and build their monuments. We will do anything except
imitate them . We cherish the last drop of their blood, but watch
carefully the first drop of our own!

Oh, my ministering brethern! Much of our praying is but giving God
advice. Our praying is discolored with ambition, either for ourselves
or for our denomination. Perish the thought! Our goal must be God
alone. It is His honor that is defiled, His blessed Son who is ignored,
His laws broken, His name profaned, His book forgotten, His house
made a circus of social efforts.

God's problem today is not communism, nor yet Romanism, nor
liberalism, nor modernism. God's problem is -- dead fundamentalism!.

"So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will
spew you out of my mouth." - Rev. 3:16

This generation of preachers is responsible for this generation of
sinners...Sin today is both glamorized and popularized, thrown into
the ear by radio, thrown into the eye by television, and splashed on
popular magazine covers. Church-goers, sermon-sick and teaching-
tired, leave the meeting as they entered it -- visionless and
passionless! Oh God, give this perishing generation ten thousand
John the Baptists!

-SOURCE: The book 'Why Revival Tarries' by Leonard Ravenhill.
(-One of the most stirring books on Revival ever written!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Letter

And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.  2 Kings 19:14 

When King Sennacherib came against the kingdom of Judah he sent a letter to King Hezekiah. The letter was full of threats against the city, promise of destruction and blasphemy against the true God.


Sennacherib said the army of Asyria was stronger than God.  Wow.  And look at Hezekiah's response.  He takes the letter to the Lord.  Calls him by the covenant name of God.  Tells Him that there's a letter for Him.  Then, Hezekiah prays and waits.

Do we do that?  When threatened or hurt, do we turn to God and wait for Him?  Or, do we pray as we are making our own defenses and retaliation?  "Trusting" God, and making a plan B just in case.  God wants our faith, our trust, our lives.  He is the father that will not abandon us.  He is the father that will stand with us.  He is God!  If we let Him be.

Do you have a letter that needs to be laid out?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


-by Greg Gordon.
[Founder of]

1. The “church” at large has forgotten that the chief end of man is to glorify
God. (Rom 16:27; 1Cor 6:20; Mt 6:9; 1Cor 10:31)

2. Christians ignore most of the methods, practices and principles found in the
book of Acts. (Acts 2:42,44; Acts 2:46; Acts 2:38)

3. Many treat “church” like any other social club or sports event that they
might attend. (Acts 2:46; Heb 10:25; Acts 1:14)

4. We’ve made Christianity about the individual rather than the community of
believers. (Rom 12:5; 1Cor 12:12; 2Tim 4:16)

5. In most “churches” the priesthood of all believers isn’t acknowledged and
the role of pastor is abused. (1Pt 2:9; 1Cor 12:12; Eph 4:11-13)

6. The “church” as a whole has lost the concept of their being grafted into the
promises given to Israel. (Rom 11:15, 17-18, 20, 25)

7. There needs to be a recovery of teaching the whole counsel of God,
especially in expository form. (Acts 20:27; 1Tim 4:6, 2Tim 2:15)

8. We take it too lightly that we have the blessing and honor of having God’s
Scriptures in our possession. (Ps 119:16; Acts 13:44; Neh 8:9)

9. There has never been more access to the Word of God, yet so little reading
of it. (1Tim 4:13; Neh 8:1-3; Ps 119:59)

10. Some read the Scriptures to attain knowledge, but do not practice what they
read. (Jam 1:22; Mt 7:21; 3Jn 4)

11. Worship has become an idol in many “churches”. The music often resembles
that of the world. (Amos 5:23; Phil 4:8; 1Jn 5:21)

12. The world is shaping the views of the “church” more than the “church”
shaping the world. (Rom 12:2; Mt 5:13; 1Cor 1:22-23)

13. The “church” spends more money on dog food than on missions. (2Cor 9:6; Lk
21:2; Acts 4:34-35)

14. We take lightly the cost of discipleship laid out by Jesus Christ and do
not deny our lives. (Lk 14:33; Lk 14:26-27; Mt 8:19-20)

15. There is a lack of true discipleship and making others to be obedient
disciples. (Mt 28:20; 2Tim 2:2; 2Tim 2:14)

16. Many subscribe to the error that parts of life are to be spiritual while
others are to be secular. (1Pt 4:2; Col 3:3; 1Jn 2:6)

17. Modern Christians often find Jesus’ command to sacrifice and serve
abhorrent. (Phil 2:21; Jam 3:16; Rom 12:1-2)

18. Self disciplines in the Christian life such as fasting and praying are
considered legalistic. (2Tim 2:21; 2Tim 1:8; Mt 6:17)

19. Little thought and contemplation is put towards the lostness of men, the
seriousness of the Gospel. (Phil 3:8; Gal 2:20; Heb 10:34)

20. We are living with an epidemic of cheap grace with flippant confession and
shallow consecration. (Lk 14:28-30; Lk 14:26; Jam 4:8)

21. Since the inception of the Church, the Gospel had the requirements of
repentance and discipleship. (Acts 2:38; Lk 14:26; Jn 8:31)

22. Now forgiveness is offered without repentance, discipleship without
obedience, salvation without sanctity. (Heb 10:29; 4:11; Lk 13:24)

23. Introspection, counting the cost, godly sorrow over sin, are all foreign to
many in the “church”. (Acts 2:37; Ps 119:9; Heb 6:1-2)

24. The modern church loves itself more than its neighbor. (1Cor 3:3; Gal 5:13;
Phil 2:3)

25. The church must repent of its idolization of personality, and of business
principles. (2Cor 2:17; 1Cor 3:5; 1Cor 12:23)

26. Many elders and pastors of the “church” sadly are fleecing the flock to
supply their own wants. (Jn 10:12-13; 1Pt 5:2-3; Rev 2:15)

27. The qualities most in demand in today’s pastorate are frequently foreign to
the Scriptures. (1Tim 3:2-3; 1Tim 3:5; 1Tim 1:5-7)

28. The professionalization of the pastorate is a sin and needs to be repented
of. (2Cor 11:13; Gal 3:1; Gal 2:6)

29. There must be repentance for the ambitious desire and idolization of the
celebrity pastorate. (3Jn 9; Jer 17:5; 1Cor 12:22)

30. Pastors must trust the Spirit, not statistics. (2Sam 24:1; 1Cor 1:25; Rom

31. Modern day prophets are being stoned by criticism and neglect. (2Tim 4:3-4;
Gal 1:10; Jer 1:7-8)

32. God’s prophets are ill-treated and shunned by most “christians” considered
too harsh or extreme. (Jer 6:10; Isa 6:9-10; Gal 4:16)

33. The prophets prophesy falsely, priests rule by their own power; and my
people love to have it so. (Mt 24:4, 11-12; 1Cor 1:19, Jude 8 )

34. There are many false gospels being preached from pulpits in our day. (2Cor
11:4; Gal 1:8-9; Jude 16)

35. There is an epidemic of a “mock” salvation message. It is correct in
doctrine, but false in reality. (2Cor 3:6; 1Jn 5:11-12; Rom 8:9)

36. A salvation that does not make men holy is trusted in by a deceived
multitude. (Jude 4; Rom 8:1; Rom 6:17-18)

37. There is a needed perseverance in the truThes of the Gospel without
unbelief. (Eph 1:1; Heb 6:11-12; Heb 10:26-27)

38. A great need is to see “christians” become saints in actual experience.
(1Jn 2:29; Col 3:5-8; Tit 3:8)

39. Many professors of religion are forbidding people to be a part of the holy
body of Christ. (Mt 23:13; Ps 119:1-2; 2Pt 1:3-4)

40. Preaching has become all about the happiness of man and not the glory of
God. (Jn 6:26; Rom 4:20; 1Pt 4:11)

41. Preachers give smooth words to entice men, yet very few give any words of
correction or rebuke. (Jer 6:14; Pro 1:23; 1Tim 5:20)

42. Run from gospels that focus on our success and prosperity in the name of
Jesus Christ. (Jn 2:16; Acts 20:33; Jer 6:13)

43. Run from gospels that focus on self-improvement. (1Tim 6:5; Heb 12:14; Jam

44. Run from churches where men, and not Christ, are glorified. (Col 1:18; Jude
25; Jn 16:14)

45. Run from churches where there is no Bible, no cross, no mention of the
blood of Christ. (1Pt 1:18-19; Eph 3:13; Rev 1:5)

46. Run from churches where the worship leaves you cold, where there’s no sense
of God’s presence. (1Cor 5:4; Ps 80:14-15; Jer 12:11)

47. Run from churches where you’re comfortable in your sin. (1Cor 14:25; Heb
10:30-31; Heb 4:13)

48. Run from churches that use the pulpit of God for a personal agenda. (Jude
10-11,19; 3Jn 9)

49. Run from those who preach division between races and cultures. (Jam 2:4,
Gal 3:28, Rev 5:9)

50. Run from ungodly, spasmodic movements and endless empty prophesying. (Jer
5:13; 1Cor 14:33, 1Jn 2:16)

51. Run from preachers who tell mostly stories and jokes. (Eph 5:4; Tit 1:8;

52. Run from those that are only after money, who use one gimmick after another
to get your money. (2Pt 2:3; 2Cor 12:14; 1Cor 9:18)

53. The phrase “accept Jesus as your personal Saviour” is not found in the
Scriptures. (Rom 10:9-10; Col 1:13; Acts 26:20)

54. Evidence of true conversion does not seem important to modern day
Christians. (1Jn 2:6; 1Jn 4:17; Mt 7:20)

55. Thousands of sinners think of God as having only one attribute: Love! But
they continue in sin. (Rom 1:18; Acts 5:11; Ps 2:12)

56. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” has hindered true
evangelism. (Rom 3:19; Acts 26:18; Phil 3:18-21)

57. A Gospel of love and grace only, without the law of God being preached.
This is a doctrine of Satan. (2Tim 4:3-4; Rom 2:4-5; 3:19)

58. There has clearly arisen a careless mixture of 20th century reasoning with
God’s revelation. (Col 2:8; Rom 1:25; Gal 1:6)

59. Decisionism and the “sinner’s prayer” has been a major cause of false
conversions in the “church”. (2Pt 2:1-2; Eph 2:4-5; 2Cor 5:17-18)

60. Many will be surprised to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you, depart from
me.” (Mt 7:22-23; 1Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21)

61. Men have taken the place of the Holy Spirit in confirming men in their
supposed salvation. (1Jn 2:3-5; 2Thes 1:8; Gal 6:12-15)

62. The doctrine of hell and eternal suffering is something little grasped by
most professing “christians”. (Mt 13:42; Jam 5:1; Ps 9:17)

63. The judgment seat of Christ is perhaps one of the most neglected topics in
the modern pulpit. (2Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10; 1Cor 3:13)

64. The second coming of Christ needs to be re-instated as the church’s general
thrust and burden. (1Jn 3:2-3; Col 3:4-6; 1Thes 4:14-17)

65. The church has lost the fear of God and has over emphasized the love of
God. (Heb 12:28-29; Lk 12:5; Heb 10:31)

66. The church has left evangelism to a few trained professionals. (Acts 8:1,4;
Acts 4:29; Rom 10:14)

67. Repentance is considered a one-time act in modern evangelism rather than a
way of life. (Rev 3:19; Heb 12:17; 2Pt 3:9)

68. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is something that is not taught in many
pulpits. (Acts 2:36; 1Cor 12:3; Rom 6:18)

69. Many in “churches” are not open to correction, church discipline or rebuke.
(1Cor 5:5; 1Cor 11:31-32; Heb 12:7-9)

70. Some preach salvation as a theory instead of persuading men to come to
Christ. (Jn 5:40; Col 1:28; 2Cor 4:5)

71. There has been a loss of the fullness and majesty of the gospel. (1Tim
1:11; Jude 25; Rom 15:29)

72. There is little mention of sin or the depravity of man from “church”
pulpits. (Jn 3:20; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5)

73. Covetousness, consumerism, and coddling of the world’s goods does not
appear wrong. (Jer 22:17; 1Jn 2:15-16; 1Tim 3:3)

74. Little is made of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in churches or in
evangelism. (1Cor 15:14-15; Acts 4:10, 33)

75. The “church” has relied more on technology than God. (Zech 4:6; 1Cor 1:21;

76. The prayer meeting is considered one of the least important meetings in the
“church”. (1Tim 2:1; Acts 4:31; Phil 4:6)

77. Pastors have never prayed less than they do in the “church” today. (Jer
10:21; Phil 2:21; Eph 6:18-19)

78. Very few are waiting on God for His direction and purpose for His Church.
(Eph 1:11; Ps 37:7; Isa 40:31)

79. The “church” has many organizers, but few agonizers. (Phil 3:18-19; Rom 9:1-
3; Jer 9:1)

80. We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the “church”.
(2Tim 4:2; 1Cor 14:39; 1Cor 12:31)

81. A serious, sober, self-controlled Christianity is very seldom found or
preached. (2Pt 3:11; 1Pt 4:7; Jude 3)

82. The “church” at large has forgotten how to pray. (1Jn 3:22; Acts 6:4; 1Thes

83. Many “churches” are more dependent on tradition than the leading of the
Holy Spirit. (Mk 7:13; Acts 16:6; Acts 13:2)

84. Multitudes of professors preach and teach: that you cannot be freed from
sin. (Rom 16:18; Rom 6:1-2; 2Pt 2:1)

85. The Apostles and Christ always preached the possibility to walk free from
sin. (Tit 2:11-12; 1Pt 1:14-16; Rom 6:19)

86. Sinners are not saved to sin, but rather, saved to holiness and good works.
(Rom 6:13; Eph 2:10; 2Pt 3:14)

87. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the
sinner. (2Tim 2:19; 1Pt 4:17-18; 2Tim 3:12)

88. A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need
of our day. (1Tim 6:3; 2Thes 3:6; 2Thes 2:13)

89. Many are confused about obedience, and good works that are readily
mentioned in the Scriptures. (Tit 3:8; Jn 10:32; Rev 3:15)

90. Little emphasis is put on the plan of God to make us like Jesus Christ in
“churches”. (1Pt 1:14-16; 1Jn 2:6; 1Pt 4:1)

91. Christ did not die on the cross to obtain a worldly “church” but for a
“glorious Church.” (Eph 5:27; Tit 2:14; Col 4:12)

92. Christ does not come into an unregenerate and impure heart as many
contemporary theologians say. (2Cor 5:17; Mt 5:8; Eze 18:31)

93. A holy Church is God’s blessing to the world; an unholy “church” is God’s
judgment upon the world. (Mt 5:14,16; Eph 4:1; 1Thes 2:12)

94. If Christianity is to make any headway in the present time, it must be
proved to be more than a theory. (2Thes 3:6-7; 1Thes 4:1,11-12)

95. Unbelief has gagged and bound us as risen Lazarus! We need release in this
final hour! (Heb 3:12-14; 1Cor 3:21-23; Heb 11:6)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Pride.  What a battle.  Scripture tells us plainly that a prideful man is setting up for a fall.  A fall because our pride becomes an idol.  Pride does not share a stage.  It will muscle out whatever is around.  Unfortunately, this is God, our family, our friends.  All will fall victim.  So what are we to do?

The verse at the end of this post is from Pual to Timothy cautioning him on choosing people for offices in the church.  He warns that if someone is lifted up with pride he may fall into the hands of the devil.  What if we focus on that?  The fact our pride may cause us to fall into the hands of the enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy.  Sobering.  More importantly, this verse reminds us that pride is not from God.  Therefore, it is from the enemy.  The logical final step then is to treat it as an unwanted part in our spirit and cast it away in the name of Jesus.

Seeing pride like this may be odd to you.  Think about this, how did Jesus deal with idolatry or the money changers in the temple?  He cast them out!  So, we being the temple of Jesus, let us not tolerate any unclean thing.  In the name of Jesus we cast it out!

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  1 Timothy 3:6 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

From Charles Spurgeon

“If any man sin, we have an advocate.” Yes, though we sin, we have him still. John does not say, “If any man sin he has forfeited his advocate,” but “we have an advocate,” sinners though we are. All the sin that a believer ever did, or can be allowed to commit, cannot destroy his interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, as his advocate. The name here given to our Lord is suggestive. “Jesus.” Ah! then he is an advocate such as we need, for Jesus is the name of one whose business and delight it is to save. “They shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” His sweetest name implies his success. Next, it is “Jesus Christ”—Christos, the anointed. This shows his authority to plead. The Christ has a right to plead, for he is the Father’s own appointed advocate and elected priest. If he were of our choosing he might fail, but if God hath laid help upon one that is mighty, we may safely lay our trouble where God has laid his help. He is Christ, and therefore authorized; he is Christ, and therefore qualified, for the anointing has fully fitted him for his work. He can plead so as to move the heart of God and prevail. What words of tenderness, what sentences of persuasion will the anointed use when he stands up to plead for me! One more letter of his name remains, “Jesus Christ the righteous.” This is not only his character BUT his plea. It is his character, and if the Righteous One be my advocate, then my cause is good, or he would not have espoused it. It is his plea, for he meets the charge of unrighteousness against me by the plea that he is righteous. He declares himself my substitute and puts his obedience to my account. My soul, thou hast a friend well fitted to be thine advocate, he cannot but succeed; leave thyself entirely in his hands.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is He Real?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47 

Jesus is our Savior.  Do you believe that?

It's an easy thing to say, "Jesus is Lord".  Are you living that?  Is He really?  Let me give you an eample to show you what I mean.

What did you do today?  Since you woke up.  Did you eat breakfast?  Go to work?  Pray?  Now, here's what I'm getting at.  Did you ask Jesus what He wanted you to do?  If our lives are under Him, shouldn't we be asking?  Asking what He wants us to do.  Making ourselves available to be used by Him.  Submitting to Him.  Do you see what I mean?

In my life I often set my own course.  Drive my own ship.  Sometimes I ask for directions first.  More and more I am struggling to ask first.  It's hard!  Asking about how to use my time, my finances, my talents.  Here's the question I am trying to ask more and more: Am I proud to lay my life in front of Jesus and say "It's yours."  My life meaning all of it.  All my thoughts, my possessions, my choices.  All of it.  Now, what would Jesus' response be?  Would He want it?

These are questions only you and He can answer.  Ask Him!  He is faithful to show us what we need to change.  As I said, I'm fighting through this now.  I am glad to have a few close friends to go throught the battle with you.  I encourage you to not let this just pass by.  Stand!

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

The American Patriont's Almanac by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Romans 13:1 

The American Patriont's Almanac by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

This is an impressive book.  It is beautifully bound and the pages are intentionally given a rustic feel.  Inside is a treasury of information.

The book itself is a collection of historical events that occurred on each day of the year.  Additionally, it contains information on the constitution, declaration of independence, flags of history, the Gettysburg address and other important historical documents.  The authors do not just present the information in an encyclopedia format.  They tell you the story behind the event or document.  They draw you in.  They make it something that you care about.

I am impressed by this book.  The authors begin by regaling America.  It's great points, the reason we are a great nation.  Surprisingly, it's not all smiles.  They candidly discuss the hardships of the current wars, the economic downturn and that we sa a country don;t always do things right.  However, we have a nation of Christian men and women that are a force to be reckoned with when we work together.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a history buff, a patriot, or both.  It is an inspiring collection of stories about our country that will be sure to renew pride.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Truth That Sticks by Avery T. Willis Jr. and Mark Snowden

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Truth That Sticks by Avery T. Willis Jr. and Mark Snowden

This is one fantastic book.  The basic idea is how do you tell truth in today's world.  Less than 1/3 of the population of the world is functionally literate.  Add to that the fact that the Western world has switched to either bite-size reading (twitter, texting, etc.) or audio/visual learning style.  With this mountain of obstacles, how do we spread the truth of Jesus and build disciples?  I think these guys are on to something.  Stories.

Jesus taught through stories.  He revealed deep truth to crowds, and individuals, through parables.  He did this to help them understand hard truths.  Also, we are wired for stories.  We love stories as children.  As we get older, our stories just get a little longer and complex.  So, what better way to get truth to stick in the minds of people than using the God made paths!  Jesus told hundreds of stories that dealt with many topics.  As modern believers, we can retell His teachings and ask questions to guide people to truth.  This process is true for both leading someone to Christ and then leading them to His kingdom.

If you couldn't tell, I loved this book.  I am excited to try out the method of storying.  I have a deep respect for the several groups that came together to formalize this method to use in sharing the Gospel and discipling.  We are strong in Jesus!

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stay Focused

Here are some fantastic quotes I received in an email from  I think they are great reminders of keeping God and His gift through our savior, Jesus Christ, at the forefront of our minds.

"The Cause of the weakness of your Christian life is that you want
to work it out partly, and then have God help you. That cannot be.
You must come to be utterly helpless, to let God work. He will
work gloriously." ~ Andrew Murray

"To DIE TO SELF, or to come from under its power, IS NOT AND
CAN NOT BE DONE by any active resistance we can make
against it OR by our own power of nature. The one true way of
dying to self is the way of patience, meekness, humility, surrender
and RESIGNATION to God." ~ Andrew Murray

"We Can not please God by what we do for Him in our own human
effort, we can only please Him by surrendering and letting Him work
in and through our lives." ~John Mulinde

“I will die for my God. I will die for my faith. It's the least I can do
for Christ dying for me.” ~ Cassie Bernall, Columbine High Martyr

"We must be careful not to choose, but to let God's Holy Spirit
manage our lives; not to smooth down and explain away, but to
stir up the gift and allow God's Spirit to disturb us and disturb us
and disturb us until we yield and yield and yield and the possibility
in God's mind for us becomes an established fact in our lives,
with the rivers in evidence meeting the need of a dying world."
~Smith Wigglesworth.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Figs and Fertilizer

He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. Luke 13:6-9

This parable struck me hard.  A tree without fruit slated to be cut down.  Cut down because it was a burden to the very ground that sustained it.

3 years.  For three years this tree had not bore any fruit.  I know that feeling.  There are dry spells in my life for certain.  Times where I feel there is no fruit from what I am doing.  Times where I feel I am not working to advance the kingdom of God.  Not moving in the gifts God has given me.  That's why this parable hits me.  How often has Jesus came to check my fruit?  What I am bearing.  Does He always find it?  No.

And that's the rub.  If we are not bearing fruit, we'll be lost.  A transformation of our soul is proof of salvation.  Our growing in the image of Jesus causes us to uncontrollably bring glory to God.  This happens as we change our lives.  Changing our entertainment, language, dress, lifestyle, habits, etc.  Bringing all under the submission of Christ.  All to be more like Him.  Sometimes.  Sometimes because we pull back and live for ourselves.  We want what "we want".  3 years.

I am thankful for 3 years.  Jesus is showing us He is patient.  3 years the fruit was checked.  Not just one time and then burned.  A full season of growing to see if there is any life.  We are to be eyes open on this.  Don't look at the 3 years as a "grace period" for sin.  Instead, see it as mercy.  Every day should be lived as it was the last of the 3 years.  Make today the day you bear fruit for the Lord.

Let's not forget the friend and fertilizer.  He intercedes for 1 more year.  He volunteers to fertilize the tree and till the soil.  Give the roots new nutrients and oxygen.  Invest in it for one last chance.  How beautiful.  So, if we are grateful for our 3 years, who are we fertilizing?  Are we close enough to someone to come and help them bear fruit in troubled times?  Who's doing that for you right now?


If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26 

What a hard verse!  Surely the King of All does not want us to hate.  So, what does He mean? 

A friend and I were just talking about this verse today.  We both are married and have kids, so this si a dear subject to us.  As fathers we are called to protect our family from physical distress, be spiritual leaders of the home, and to love unashamed.  And Jesus tells us we can't follow Him unless we hate them.  The word here is not hate.

The better translation would be "love less".  He who doesn't love His family less than he loves Jesus cannot follow Him.  Jesus is simply telling us that He is to be our everything.  We are to place Him first.  When we do, we are being the best fathers and mothers we can be.  The best sons and daughters we can be.  The best followers we can be.  This may not be so impactful right now, but it will be.

There will be times where the world's view of what we need to do for our family will conflict with God.  Do we sacrifice Him or them?  Do we forsake time with the Lord for activities?  Do we work at our jobs to get money for our stuff at the expense of Him?  Do we really place Him first?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adventures in Booga Booga Land

Adventures in Booga Booga Land is a children's DVD from Tommy Nelson Publishers.  It's a collection of 3 short stories illustrating Bible stories.  The stories are told through the 2 main characters, Gerard the giraffe and Marty the monkey.  The 3 stories on this volume are the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, the Parable of the House on Rock or Sand, and the Parable of Hiding a Lamp Under a Basket.

I watched this DVD with my 3 year old daughter.  She enjoyed the stories and the characters.  However, my wife and I did not.  The stories were good, but we had difficulty in pulling the Bible message out of them.  Our hope was that we would be able to use this DVD as a teaching time.  It didn't work for us.  Still, my daughter enjoyed it and we had a great family time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Fear Of The Lord

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

God is good.  God does love us, all of us.  Let's start there.  If He was not good or loving he would never have sent His son, Jesus.  Without Jesus, we would all be doomed to spend eternity away from our Creator.  Never being able to walk with Him.  Eternally kept away from the original plan of celebration.  The fact that God did send Jesus is testament to His goodness.  As I said, that's not in question.  Still, God is powerful and there is a fear we are called to have of Him.

God is the creator of everything.  He has placed the universe into existence.  He has defined the rules of physics and thermodynamics to create a place suitable for us to live.  He has also established the rules of life.  God gave us a standard that we are to live by, the 10 Commandments.  We cannot live up to them.  In fact, our enemy tricked the first man and woman and brought sin into the world.  That same enemy is constantly working to trip us up.  As Christians, we have a perfect high priest interceding on our behalf.  When we confess our shortcomings, he is sure to forgive us.  But is that all Jesus is to us?  A rag to wipe off with?

God has said we are to have fear so we may grow.  It is a dangerous place to be when you believe that because you are a Christian you can just live life and say "sorry" when you make a mistake.  That's not what we read in the Bible.  We are to be transformed into the image of Jesus.  We are to ask God to work in us and convict us so that we may grow.  Do we do that?  Always?  Or sometimes do we sin knowing we'll say sorry later.  It's not about the sorry, its repentance.  Repentance is to "turn from" so we don't do it again.  If we focus on the character of God, on His judgment of us in the future, would we act the same?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love and Respect For a Lifetime by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Love and Respect For a Lifetime by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Love and Respect For A Lifetime is a condensed version of Dr. Eggerichs' Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs.  It's a great coffee table book that has great quotes and a nice layout.  This is not the in-depth Bible study resource.  Instead, I see it can serve two great purposes.  One is that it is a great reminder for someone who is familiar with the teachings in this book.  The second is a great introduction to the material for someone in need.  Either one is a great start.

Dr. Eggerichs' main point is to look at marriage from a Biblical standpoint.  To boil it down:  Women need love and Men need respect.  In looking at this truth, he uses several great anaologies as well as personal stories from his own marriage and that of others.  It is a reminder of how God made us to be different, and to celebrate that fact.  It is also a reminder of how our spouse has been created.  When we remember their core need, it helps us to overcome communication differences in the midst of conflict.  It also helps to remind of how we can express our love in a meaningful way.

As I said, this is a condensed book.  It took me about 25 minutes to read.  I did like it.  However, I wish their had been just a few more pages with meat.  The quotes are timely and good reminders.  The illustrations make the points understood.  I was still hoping for something to hit a little deeper.  Still I can see this as a great book for someone to use to start to see God's true design for men, women and marriage.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Faith Comes By Hearing

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

We have been given the biggest gift in the world.  Salvation.  The Gospel.  Truth.  I say this for those who follow Jesus, those who just know Jesus, and those that reject Him.  Regardless of which of these three categories you fit in, you have heard.  How did that happen?

In Romans, Paul is talking about the importance of knowledge and understanding before one can believe.  How can we believe in something that no one has ever told us about?  We may have some elementary understanding based on things around us, but no concrete details.  It's like our cars.  Some people have a great understanding of how a fuel injected, computer controlled, internal combustion engine makes their car move.  Others just know that you hit the gas pedal and it drives.  Think of the Gospel as that in-depth knowledge of an engine.  You always knew it was there because you could drive your car.  Until someone gave you the details, you never knew why it worked.

So, have you told someone of the gift of Jesus to our world?  The way to eternal life?  The freedom we have in Jesus Christ?  Don't get caught up in thinking the only way to share is preaching from a stool or asking people directly.  God is glorified as we glorify Him.  As we do this, others will notice.  To God's glory, He has given each of us unique gifts to be able to share the Gospel with others.  My challenge to you is to ask Him to tell you how.  Maybe its handing out Gospel tracts, showing a movie, doing acts of service, offering to pray with someone, or something else that is uniquely you.  God knows.  Ask Him!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? Matthew 25:37-39

Outlive Your Life By Max Lucado

Outlive Your Life is a book to stay away from.  It's pure truth.  An honest look at the book of Acts and how it calls to the heart of Christians.  I say stay away because it is a book that will haunt you.  It will change you.

In unpacking a few key points, Mr. Lucado points you to a simple truth.  We, as Christians, were made for more than ourselves.  That's the concept of outliving your life.  Your impact on others in the world around you can be lasting, eternal.  However, we often hide from this awesome gift.  We sit in our "clamshell" and shield ourselves from the hurts and need of those around us so that we do not need to become involved.  How sad that is for us.   But our story doesn't have to end there!  We can change!

I enjoyed this book.  I was serious when I said it haunts you.  It's the kind of book that will open parts of the Bible in ways you may not have seen before.  It offers quiet conviction for choices in your life and empowerement through Jesus Christ to make big changes.  It's all to be for the glory of God, not ourselves.  Trust me.  Read this one with your Bible right next to you.  Let God speak to your heart.  Be changed.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Hand, Two Hands by Max Lucado

One Hand, Two Hands By Max Lucado

One Hand, Two Hands is a fun children's book.  A fun story with fantastic illustrations and an application at the end.

The theme behind this children's story is what things can we use our hands for.  Hugging, washing, playing, having fun.  It's a fun read my 3 year old enjoys.  The part I like most about the book is the application at the end.  The bulk of the story focuses on using our hands for good things.  Our hands were given to us as gifts from God, and we should treat them as such.  The application section at the end focuses on 4 major topics and give examples of each (Loving, Kindness, etc.)  The last question in the book is directed to the children asking something they can use their hands for.  It really is a great message in a fun story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

15 Feet of Faith

And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. Joshua 3:13

Faith.  Take a minute and think of this story.  Joshua has been given the invasion plan from God.  He is taking the soldiers of Israel to conquer the people in the land God had promised to Israel.  40 years earlier th people had distrusted God so He did not let them enter.  Now, God has given the order.  The attack is to commence.  There's only one obstacle.  The Jordan River.

At this time of the year the Jordan River is flooded.  It's moving fast and has created a barrier.  God is going to have His people cross it by stopping the flow of water.  To do this, the priests will be carrying the Ark of the Covenant.  When they get into the river, it will stop running and dry up.  It won't start again until the priests leave the river.  What a grand start to the battle!  What an awesome God!

So what about the 15 feet?  Think of the Ark.  It's big and heavy.  The Ark is about 3.5 feet long and really heavy.  God's instructions had the Israelites place two 15 foot poles, one on each side, to carry the Ark.  So, when we read the passage from Joshua, God says all the priests have to be in the water before the river will be cut off.  So its 15 feet between the first guy in and the last.  15 feet into a flooded, rushing, cold river.

Think about the guys at the lead.  The water is rising up to your chest.  The footing is difficult.  The Ark itself is catching the flow of the water.  It's rough.  And yet, there is faith.  God said the water was going to stop.  So, they kept walking.  Would you?  Do you believe God's word, or trust your instincts and stop?

Think about it.  15 feet.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Butterfly Effect

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  Galatians 6:7-8

The Butterfly Effect By Andy Andrews

The Butterfly Effect takes a look at a popular cultural saying.  The idea is that a butterfly flapping it's wings can so excite the air that eventually a hurricane is formed.  The bigger picture the book looks at is what is the effect our lives have on those around us.  What is our impact?  Not necessarily our great discovery, but us.

The way Mr. Andrews approaches this is fantastic.  The perspective is not telling us to go out and do great and mighty things.  Instead, the perspective is to be diligent about the things we do now.  The people we talk to, the choices we make, the roads we travel.  The author uses some very compelling examples to look at the impact one person has on an entire world.  When you read these stories it is quite humbling.  I don't want to spoil anyone's read by telling you the examples.  It is amazing.  The thought I am left with God uses one man to do so much.  What if we all lived our life, as Andy says, with "permanent purpose".
I really enjoyed this read.  It was quick (maybe 15 minutes), but so much punch.  I think of how Jesus used 12 men to spread his message to the world.  The 12 he took were not the best and the brightest.  They were the ordinary.  Like you and me.  What will be our hurricane?

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  1 Corinthians 1:27 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, August 20, 2010

Covenant of Salt

Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?  2 Chronicles 13:5

We are the partakers of a unique covenant in the Bible.  A covenant is an agreement, a contract, a promise.  In this passage, God is detailing that He had made a promise using a 'covenant of salt'.  This is a covenant of protection, of promise.  If the two parties were to literally place an offering of salt in a common pile, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.  They would be joined, permanently.  That's how God sees this agreement, permanent.

How does this apply to us today?  When we place our faith in Jesus and call Him Lord, we bind ourselves to Him.  We enter into His covenant of eternal life.  We are His.  In Matthew 5:13, Jesus says, "Ye are the salt of the earth".  We are called salt.  We are in the covenant because we are the offering.  That was our part.

Are you, as the saying goes, worth your weight in salt?  Are you working for God's glory?  Are you ready to change?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Focus on Jesus

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  2 Corinthians 4:8-10

God is good.  Period.  It's often easy to look at trouble in the world (pain, disease, death) and question how there could be a God.  How could He be called good?  The problem with that comes from looking at God from a human perspective.

We view God from our rules, our mindset.  We think He should behave a certain way because that makes sense to us.  However, we forget the trouble that lead to where we are today.  That trouble is the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.  When man sinned against God we were separated from Him.  Even worse, we placed ourselves under the plans of the enemy.  It is our enemy that brings pain to our world.  It is our Lord that loves us enough to send His son to die for our redemption.

That is why I focus on the first from second Corinthians.  It does not say that Christians are shielded from pain and suffering.  It says the opposite.  These trials will come.  It is our reaction to them that is different.  We are not confused, beat down, self-pitying any longer.  We stand in the power of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  His sacrifice.  His blood.  His love has given us power over these attacks.  Our reaction is a testimony to Him.

So.  How's your testimony?  Do you react as a redeemed Christian, or as a victim in the world?  Focus on Jesus!  He will carry us through.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Right to Lead by John C. Maxwell

So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands. Psalms 78:72

I just finished reading The Right to Lead by John C. Maxwell.  Wow.  I thought this book looked a little "light" at first.  It appeared to be a loose collection of tidbits from other books that had been repackaged for resale.  I was half right.  Much of the content is not new, but from other Maxwell books et al.  However, it is not loose.  The content is a soul searching look at what a leader is, and is not.

The main premise is that leadership is a right, not a title.  People will follow you based on title because of the structure of authority setup in certain places.  However, that does not make a person a leader.  John tackles 7 key qualities of leadership: Action, Vision, Sacrifice, Risk, Determination, Service, and Integrity.  Each section has key insights in small and concise summaries.  Additionally, many biographies show real life examples of these qualities in action and the resulting leadership of the individual.

This is a fantastic book.  It made me look at myself as a leader.  Am I living up to the potential God has given me?  Am I honoring the place God has put me in?  Am I trying to be better?  I have read this book several times already and will probably do so several more.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Word of Fire

Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

As I read through the Bible I am amazed at how it continues to change who I am.  How I see the world.  How my own character needs to be refined in certain areas.  How things in my life that I thought were acceptable are revealed to be sin.  That is the power of the Word of God.  It is living.  It has the power to change the hearts of men.

Yet with all this power, the scriptures are often set aside by both Christians and non-Christians.  Non-Christians attack the authenticity of the Bible, its age, the fallibility of its authors or that it is even truth.  How heart wrenching.  Our Creator, our Father, wrote us (all people) an amazing tool and it is turned away.  As I talk to people about the Bible, I hear a lot of arguments that are superficial and selfish.  Arguments to trick the mind into turning from truth and back to sin.  Arguments fueled by lies from satan.  That is why God calls His words hammer and fire.  When things of man come against things of God they will be destroyed.

Oh how I wish people could see this truth.  That God is God.  His Word is for us.  He loves us.
I mentioned Christians shy away from the Bible as well.  Many don't take time to read at all.  Or if they do, maybe they have a Psalms and Proverbs reading plan.  God's word is fire to everyone.  It is meant to refine us.  Burn away those things which are not needed.  So why do we shy away?  Fire hurts.  Yet without the refining, we cannot grow.  So, let's open our Bibles.  Read.

If it's been a while since you've read (or maybe never) start with the Gospel of John.  Hear Jesus' words as He speaks to a hurting world.  As He promises life to us.  As He heals people.  As He mends hearts.  As He speaks to you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Jesus You Can't Ignore

The Jesus You Can't Ignore (What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of Christ) By John MacArthur

The Jesus You Can't Ignore takes a look at several key sermons Jesus gave during His 3 year ministry on earth. MacArthur takes a look at Jesus' teaching style, audience and the background behind the sermon. The purpose is to point out the major flaw in modern evangelicalism. That is, we shy away from truth. We would rather not offend than tell the Truth of the Gospel. We use false attributes of Jesus to justify this approach. The truth, many of these teachings are blasphemy.

As to my own reaction to this book, I was challenged and angered. Challenged because it is a tough read to see how Jesus spoke truth with boldness. I often find myself meek or shying away as I am telling people of the Gospel. I feel challenged to stand up for truth just as our Savior did. There is no room for dialog, no room for alternate paths. Man can only be saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

I was angered when I read of some of the ways the Gospel is being diluted and dismantled. What a horrible thing to take the truth of eternal life and try to sanitize it as not to offend. Unfortunately, I have to take some blame myself. I have not stood for the gospel every time I should. But that is the past. I'll be held accountable now that God has revealed this to me. I must stand strong.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From Spurgeon

Yet there used to be a gospel in the world which consisted of facts which Christians never questioned. There was once in the church a gospel which believers hugged to their hearts as if it were their soul's life. There used to be a gospel in the world, which provoked enthusiasm and commanded sacrifice. Tens of thousands have met together to hear this gospel at peril of their lives. Men, to the teeth of tyrants, have proclaimed it, and have suffered the loss of all things, and gone to prison and to death for it, singing psalms all the while.

Is there not such a gospel remaining? Or are we arrived at cloudland, where souls starve on suppositions, and become incapable of confidence or ardor? Are the disciples of Jesus now to be fed upon the froth of "thought" and the wind of imagination, whereon men become heady and high-minded? Nay, rather, will we not return to the substantial meat of infallible revelation, and cry to the Holy Ghost to feed us upon his own inspired word?

The Spurgeon Archive. This excerpt is from "A Gospel Worth Dying For," a sermon preached on Sunday Morning, 12 August 1883 at Exeter Hall in London.

Monday, June 28, 2010


For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30

There is a shock for some people once they make a choice to accept Jesus as their savior. The shock comes in realizing there is still struggle in their lives. This may come in the form of an illness, death, financial hit, an "unanswered prayer" or a myriad of other ways. The truth is, there will always be struggle. It's where we are right now.

Originally, God's plan involved us and no struggle. That was the Garden of Eden. We were given a beautiful planet, abundant food and rich adventure. God told us to go and tame the earth. He wanted us to walk with Him, share our stories, and give our hearts to Him. Unfortunately, satan tempted Adam and Eve and they walked away from God's gift. As a result of following satan, we are under his rule, but only for a time.

A day is coming when Jesus will return and reclaim the earth. It will be remade into a place without struggle. All of us who have placed our lives under His authority will be resurrected with new bodies free of hurt and disease. Perfect again. Remember, that is the future.

For now, we walk with Him. When Jesus spoke the words in the Gospel of Matthew, He was telling people of a new way to follow God. They no longer needed all the 600+ rules and regulations they were being subjected to by their leaders. Instead, He boiled it down to only two broad categories.

1) Love God with all your heart
2) Love neighbors as yourself

That's it. These two commandments are summaries for the 10 Commandments God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. That's all we need to see God's standard. We have a rod we will be measured with. As we try to live for God, by His standard, there is struggle. As Christians, we fix our eyes on Jesus and ask Him to help us through. We submit our lives to Him. We live for His glory, and not our own.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

Discernment is a big word. A quick definition is the act of grasping the obscure. Looking deeper into a thing for the truth. Do you do this in daily life? Of course you do. It's the thing that keeps you from falling for the scam on the internet. That "uneasy feeling" you get when you take a wrong turn. We use it in our daily life, but what about in our spiritual life?

When we follow Jesus we are called to test the spirits that come to us. The spirits we are talking about are coming to us all the time. It may be a book we read, a TV show we watch, a teaching we hear, or even a thought we have. In all these things we are to look at them in context of Jesus. Is He being honored and glorified, or ignored? Is He being proclaimed, or disdained? Is He being spoken of as The Way, or one of many choices?

The truth is there are many false teachers. Many. More and more people are coming out against Christianity as the only way to eternal life. That is a lie. Even more disturbing are teachers that put on a "mask" of Christianity and then speak lies. These teachers are able to make it past some of the initial defense we have against outright blasphemy and instead come with more subtle lies. They are straight from the devil. If you need proof, look at Genesis 3:1-5.

More to come....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who's Doing The Talking?

For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. Malachi 2:7

I hear a lot of people talking about God. What He is doing. What He is not doing. What He is saying. What He feels. My question is, do you believe them?

As followers of Jesus we are called priests. We are to seek the Lord so that when we speak, we are saying truth. I wish every time I hear a "person of God" speak, I could know it was true. Unfortunately, I hear people today speaking falsely of God. This wouldn't be such a problem if some of them were not getting the spotlight of the media and attracting such large followings.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not painting a blanket statement. Instead, I want to give a test. If as priest's we are to keep the knowledge of the Lord and His law at our lips, can you listen to someone that teaches contrary to God's law? Unfortunately it is sometimes easier to listen to this false teaching. Our flesh wants a Gospel that says we will have eternal life when we die, but until then we are free to live carnally because we've said our sinner's prayer. That's not how it works.

We are given a new heart when we place our lives under Christ. A new heart! One that begins to change us and mold us into a person of freedom. Yet, we are willing to trade it away for a snazzy produced show and a promise of pleasure right now.

Where is that Gospel? Is it in God's truth, His knowledge? Then who's Gospel is it?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 26:1

An idol in life is not always a statue of wood or metal. It can be anything we worship or bow down to. It could be our reputation, money, a car, a house, even a relationship with another human.

God is calling us to have a heart that reaches toward Him. A heart that puts nothing else to His level in our lives. He is our father. Our creator. Our teacher. Our Lord. Do we treat Him as such? I know many times in my life I have fallen short.

I am trying to clean out my spiritual temple of idols and other junk. It's an ongoing process. I think I am making progress and suddenly I find a whole new pile of junk to deal with. I think that God works like that on purpose. Showing us enough to know we have work to do, and making the piles more manageable. The hardest part for me is keeping focused on the cleanup and not giving over to the urge to put it off, or be complacent with where I am.

How about you? Idols? Working to clean them out or happy with the junk?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What are you living for?

Right now I'm working on that. I want to believe I can be like Elisha.

So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him. (1 Kings 19:19-21 KJV)

When Elisha was called by God, he abandonded everything from his old life. He was a farmer. Plowing a field to plant. When he was called, he said goodbye to his parents, killed some of the oxen he was using to plow the field and then broke the plow to burn for cooking the oxen he just killed. He then shared the food with his friends and left.

He kept nothing from his past. I think this is the kind of life God is calling us to.

So what about you? What are you living for?


As I said, I want this to be a place where we exchange ideas. That said, I'm opening comments on most posts. That said, I will be moderating all the posts. This is for language only. If we're having a reasonable discussion, there's no need for harsh language. Content will stay intact. Your ideas and thoughts are what we're going for.

In His Service

First Post

Hi! Welcome to the blog.

I started this blog to spark conversation on one thing. Are the things we are living for worth Jesus dying for?

Now I'm not talking from a condescending view here. I am working to root idols, distractions, and interference from my own life. The true test is that whatever I do (TV show, movie, music, hobby) would I be able to stand before my judge and answer "Yes, this is worth it". You see, we were created with one purpose. That's to glorify God.

It takes some of us a little longer than others to understand that. It is only after we yield to God that we can even begin to appreciate it. That said, I hope that we can have some good discussions, I can share my head, and ultimately we all grow in our Father God.