2017

June 10, 2017

“I cannot imagine a greater motivation to pray than that God enjoys having me in His presence. He enjoys my company.” R.T. Kendall

The first time I ever remember hearing about the value or the practice of a daily quiet time with God was probably in my first or second year of high school. To play with one or more of the four sons of this godly couple down the street from me, I had to often interact with their mother. One day she gave me a booklet published by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship called “The Quiet Time”, and asked me to read it. Miraculously I did read it and then gave it back to her. She asked me what I thought. I replied it was great. She then said, well then now you need to practice it. For the next four years I rarely did. I had one foot still largely in the world at that time in my life, and the discipline of starting my day with God (or even ending it with Him) just never kicked in. Continue reading My Journey with Daily Quiet Times

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June 8, 2017

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

One of the skills I developed early in life is that of judging others. Whether it was a friend or relative or neighbor or fellow student or teacher or coach or leader in our church or a leader in government, if they had a fault, I was sure to find it. I could even identify their motives and the state of their hearts – hidden as that was to the naked eye! And I especially specialized in making sure someone around me knew of my latest insights into someone else’s character (or lack of).
Sadly that skill (or vice actually) is at an all time fever pitch in our culture today. Our cable networks even pay people to do it daily as a profession. Few seem able or willing to grasp the seriousness of the poison they are spewing, much less the seriousness of the judgment they are bringing upon themselves as a result of their own unrighteous judgment. Continue reading Fleeing from Unrighteous Judgment

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Why should we make teaching in the local church a priority?

– Because Jesus’s consistent pattern of ministry was as follows: “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” Matthew 4:23

– Because Jesus commanded us to make disciples by “…baptizing them…and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19, 20) Continue reading The Importance of Teaching in the Church

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May 14, 2017

INTRODUCTION – Lucille Ball – one of the great female comediennes of my early years on this planet, and of all time really – said of wisdom, “In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.”

One of the primary reasons true wisdom is so hard to come by is because Satan – the father of lies and the god of this world – has created a world system of belief and thought patterns and attitudes that operates on a false or corrupted sense of wisdom – a socially acceptable wisdom if you will. And he (that is Satan) has succeeded in getting most of our cultural influencers to embrace this worldly wisdom. The apostle James, who was never one to mince words, refers to this wisdom or way of seeing and doing life as earthy, natural and demonic in chapter 3 of his epistle as contrasted with divine or heavenly wisdom. (We will look at that passage later on) Continue reading The wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of man – I Cor. 1:10-25

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“Heavens” in the old and new testaments
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:9 Then God said, ” Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
Genesis 1:15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
Genesis 1:20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” Continue reading Heavens in the Old & New Testaments

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“Heaven” in the Old Testament

Genesis 1:8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
Genesis 6:17 “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.
Genesis 11:4 They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose topwill reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Continue reading Heaven in the Old & New Testaments

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I provide these passages especially for worship leaders, and other leaders of Christ’s church who want to worship Him in spirit and in truth. And who thus want to plumb the depths of the whole counsel of God on anything having to do with singing and music. May the Holy Spirit open your eyes and ears as you meditate on the following.

Sing in the Old and New Testaments
“Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and said, “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.” Exodus 15:1

“Miraim answered them, “Sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea.” Exodus 15:21

“The Israel sang this song: Spring up, O well! Sing to it!” Numbers 21:17 Continue reading Sing, Singing, Sang, Sung, Sings, Music in the Old & New Testaments

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This study is designed to help us understand the importance and role of dreams, visions, revelations, etc., in the kingdom of God.

Dream in New Testament
Matthew 1:20 – angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream
Matthew 2:12 – warned by God in a dream
Matthew 2:13 – an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream
Matthew 2:19 – an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph
Matthew 2:22 – after being warned by God in a dream
Matthew 27:19 – last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him
Acts 2:17 – and your old men shall dream dreams Continue reading Dream, Dreams, Vision, Visions, Trance, Revelation, Revelations in N.T.

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INTRODUCTION – Around the end of April of 2015 – our son Joshua called Anne and I and asked if he could come over and sit down with us. That conversation started the ball rolling that eventually (after many hours of meetings with our elders) led us to install Joshua as lead pastor as of June 1st of 2015, and then send Anne and I off on a three month sabbatical for those summer months to get rested up and re – envisioned for the years ahead.

When I jumped back in the saddle in early September of that year – our elders began to process together over many hours the changes that the Holy Spirit — primarily through Joshua was wanting to bring about.
One of the questions we wrestled with in some of those meetings (and I believe Steve Sharp joined us in some of those discussions) was what tag line or motto would best characterize who we are becoming, and what we are most pursuing as a people. Our eventual choice was: “People encountering Jesus.” We knew there were safer more acceptable words to use rather than “encounter” – but we all eventually concluded this was the word that best summed up what God wanted us to pursue, and what God wanted us to expect of Him. Continue reading Encountering God – Only One Thing is Necessary

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INTRODUCTION – William Carey, the great missionary statesman and missionary to India, said of the promises of God, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.”

Indeed for the children of God, the future is bright because God has given us promises for every step of our journey with Him. Everything God has willed for us, He has paved the way with His promises. They are like stepping stones for all the fullness of Christ and all the fullness of the Holy Spirit to become ours.

So this study is designed to help us stand on God’s promises until His highest will and purposes for us are accomplished. May this simple outline aid in this pursuit. Continue reading Attaining God’s Highest by the Promises of God

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This morning after my time with the Lord, I checked my emails, the weather, and a smattering of news headlines from a few sources including charismanews.com. Therein was an article entitled, “16 Million Reasons People Are Leaving California by the Millions.” I suppose much of what Mr. Snyder wrote was true or possible (e.g. massive earthquake and tsunami coming some day), but I question the wisdom or purpose of such an article. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the potential additional sales of his latest book referred to in the article.

But my purpose of this blog post is not to criticize his article. It is rather to celebrate the Romans 11:4 reality that the living God has “…Kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” The context of that amazing revelation is God’s response to the prophet Elijah, who had lost all hope and faith in God’s ability to finish and preserve what He started with His chosen people Israel. Against all odds and so many attempts by evil governments and armies to wipe Israel out, they continue to thrive today physically; and their spiritual revival is soon to follow.

And the same can be said about the body of Christ in California. Yes our State is self destructing in many ways, and the worst may still come, but God in His amazing grace and power has called many thousands of His sons and daughters to dig our heels in and unite together to see “His glorious kingdom come and His will done” here in all its fullness before Jesus returns.

Last night Anne and I gathered with 33 others of our fellowship (most under age 35) (see pic above) at my son’s house for a night of worship and prayer. Every time when we thought their living room, dining room and kitchen were maxed out with people, someone else would walk in the door.

Extravagant praise filled the house with children wandering to and fro. Testimonies of God moving and working were shared at points; sometimes demonstrations of Him moving and working were evident in our midst. I know these kinds of gatherings are happening all over the world and are on the increase.

So to all of those who live in the cities of America or Israel or Nepal or Sumatra who know and walk with God, and who have discerned and submitted to His calling to dig your heels in and focus on what He is doing and saying in your city or State, rather than focusing on all the doomsday prophets – – I have one thing to say – “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” And I am very proud and thankful to be counted among you today.

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At some point this last week I felt led to go find in my office my copy of “Revival Fire” by Wesley Duewel sensing my own need for “revival fire” to be stirred up in my spirit. God has done some amazing things in this country that at a number of times in its history seemed bent on self destruction. Wesley does a great job of chronicling many of these revivals and awakenings as well as the significant ones in other nations. I struggled over which account to record for you. What struck me about the one I chose is first it was mostly layman led and inspired; and second Wesley speaks twice of an “unusual spirit of prayer” as he lays out his account of what some call “The Layman’s Prayer Revival”. Might this be the year when this “unusual spirit of prayer” is rediscovered in America? I hope you are stirred as I was by what God did in such a short time through ordinary men and women. May He do it again in our day. Continue reading An Unusual Spirit of Prayer

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January 26, 2017

When I was a child, we could be pretty self righteously brutal to our friends whom we caught lying. I’m not clear on whether I first heard the saying, “Liar, liar pants on fire” from one of them, or if I first heard it among my children and their friends when one of them was caught lying. Either way this many years later that little saying was was more on target than we realized.

There is an epidemic of lying going on in our national conversation, most obvious among those we have to listen to the most (e.g. media personalities, government officials, and ex government officials), but it certainly is not limited to them. Continue reading “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire”

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Lie in Old Testament:
Lev. 19:11 – “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” Re: man
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” re: God
I Sam. 15:29 – “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.” Re: God
II Kings 4:16 – “Then he (Elisha) said, “At this season next year you will embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God, do not lie to your maidservant.” Re: man
II Kings 9:12 – “They said, “It is a lie, tell us now.” And he said, “thus and thus he said to me, “Thus says the Lord, “I have anointed you king over Israel.” Re: men
Job 6:28 – “Now please look at me, And see if I lie to your face.” Re: men
Job 34:6 – “Should I lie concerning my right? My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.” Re: men
Psa. 62:9 – “Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath.” Re: men Continue reading Lie, Lied, Lying, Lies, Liar, Liars in Old and New Testaments

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Dear Squire & anyone else that wants to listen in,

Thanks for your thoughtful response to my facebook post today. As you have probably discovered by now, I rarely allow myself to get into debates or elongated conversations on facebook.

But in your case, since I so appreciate your zeal for knowledge and your sincere interest in politics and the welfare of our nation, I’m going to make an exception, but in the form of a blog post if you don’t mind.

As to President Obama’s farewell speech on Tuesday, it has been duly noted by another that he mentioned the word “republic” once, and the word “democracy” and its variants no less than 25 times. This pattern is pretty much in keeping with his tenure as our President over these last 8 years and in my view is not accidental. Continue reading Republic or Democracy are We?

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When planning a wedding with a couple this list has come in handy.

Pre-processional (music)
Lighting of Candles
Processional (music)
Seating of Grandmothers
Seating of Parents
Pastor and Groomsmen enter
Bridesmaids enter
Bride and Father enter
Welcome/Greeting from Pastor
Opening Prayer
The Question: “Who gives this woman in marriage?”
Sermon about marriage directed to couple
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
Lighting of Unity Candle (inside only)
Communion to Couple (usually inside, and not very common)
Blessing/Pronouncement
Warning: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
Kiss
Introduction of new married couple
Recessional (music)
Announcement re: Reception
Songs, relevant poems, and scripture readings can be mixed in anywhere

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January 3, 2017

“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” William Temple

“The theme of worship is far more central and significant in scripture than many Christians might imagine. Far from being a peripheral subject, it has to do with the fundamental question of how we can be in a right relationship with God and please Him in all that we do. Worship in the New Testament is a comprehensive category describing the Christian’s total existence. Worship is a subject that should dominate our live seven days a week.” David Peterson Continue reading Worship quotes

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