Jeremiah for many years has been one of my favorite books in the Bible. God’s dealings with Israel are very very relevant to where we are in the U.S. today; and to where Israel is today (spiritually). As I’ve read through this book over the years certain themes have begun to stand out to me. One of them is Israel’s forsaking God and their call to know and walk with Him and listen to His voice. This may be Israel’s greatest sin, and probably is ours as well. So the following verses are given to help you and I see how pervasive a problem this is; but also to see how much God wants His people to know and walk with Him. And ultimately to know that He is jealous for us and He will in time give us a burning heart for Him, and along with that grace to finally let go of all the idols we have worshipped/entertained along the way. Continue reading The Core Issue for Israel and for the U.S.A. from Jeremiah
Because truth has such a transforming effect on the lives of Jesus followers, Satan is always trying to pervert or corrupt it. A great or sad example of that is how he has sought to pervert and twist the wonderful truths regarding the blood of Jesus. There is a whole genre now of movies and T.V. shows that are obsessed with blood,… anyone’s but Jesus’s that is.
I guess that is your right if you work in Hollywood. But to be a disciple of Jesus, you must learn to relish and cherish the blood of Jesus. Jesus made this starkly clear in John 6:53, where He is quoted as saying, “….Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.” Continue reading The Blood of Jesus
January 2016 marked a new slice of life and ministry for me. For the first time in my 22 years in ministry here in Los Osos at that time, I started teaching our World Changers class once a month. My amazing wife has poured out her life for our children’s ministry for all these years. But I stayed next door with the youth and adults all these Sunday mornings. I tell you this to say – I’m not sure what these elementary aged children have learned from me over these last ten months, but I have learned a lot. And one of the most significant lessons I’ve ever learned about God came through preparing a lesson for these kids back in late May I believe.
Allow me to provide some background. Anne and I began our first ever Sabbatical (3 month period of refreshment and renewal and withdrawl from all ministry) June 1st 2015. We put together a five and a half week road trip that began with a beeline towards Redding, CA to hang out with the world renown Bethel Church for that weekend. We attended everything we could Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning. And repeatedly I heard from various staff the annoying phrase, “God is in a good mood.” Overall our time there was very refreshing and helpful, but that repeated phrase bugged me. Continue reading Knowing God as a Happy God
INTRODUCTION – I have two amazing brothers. My older brother Danny loves nature and wildlife – especially birds and deer, which he is constantly taking pictures of. My younger brother Billy loves nature and wilfdlife, especially deer and turkey and fish, which he regularly hunts with bows and guns and fishing rods.
While both of them see the value of nature and wildlife, thankfully both of them see that the value of humans is far greater as evidenced by their care and concern for many people in their spheres of influence. Continue reading The Value of Man vs. Animals
October 10, 2016
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe….” Romans 1:16
Last night after watching the first 30 minutes of the Presidential debate, I left the TV room where my Dad was stationed, and headed for my bedroom to read and pray before I went to bed. 30 minutes was enough to greatly sober me, but not depress me. For I had experienced something yesterday morning that renewed my hope in the one thing that can and will make a difference in our very broken (as in screwed up “broken”) nation.
Several months ago my daughter asked if I would accompany her and Emmeline (her one year old daughter) to Knoxville for a short trip so my parents and clan could meet her. Her husband couldn’t get off work, and navigating 3 flights (both ways) with a one year old alone was not a pleasant thought to her. So we arrived around 11:45 Saturday night. And by 10:00 Sunday morning my mother and I were sitting in the church sanctuary of the Good Samaritan Church of Hope (not to be confused with the Good Samaritan Episcopal church in Knoxville).
Continue reading Hope Renewed!
We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan
A revival is not a special service or a crusade or an evangelistic campaign. A revival is a refreshing from God, a reviving of existing spiritual life, a fire from Heaven, a moving of God’s Holy Ghost in and upon the lives of born again people. Tom Malone
A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life. Andrew Murray Continue reading Quotes on Revival
Prayer lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer.
Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. Corrie Ten Boom
Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.
Richard Baxter, 1615 – 1691
Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused. Spurgeon Continue reading Quotes on Prayer
These notes are one of the studies I do with pre-marital couples. The question I like to ask them is this: Why is the longest passage in the Bible about marriage in the book of Ephesians? Here’s the answer in a nutshell:
Understanding Ephesians vs. Other N.T. Books: Ephesians, like Romans, is more of a theological treatise than a personalized letter aimed at a specific congregation dealing with specific problems, questions or issues. Great thought went into presenting a complete package in the writing of Ephesians. Therefore it is imperative that in the pursuit of understanding any particular passage within Ephesians that we evaluate that passage in light of the whole of its teaching. Ephesians is a great example of the dictum, “The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Continue reading Marriage in light of the Big Picture in Ephesians
An address I gave last night (9/25/16) at the Opening Rally for 40 Days for Life in San Luis Obispo.
INTRODUCTION – One of the most fruit producing, justice establishing, church purifying, darkness piercing and life preserving ministries or movements on the planet today in my opinion is the “40 days for Life” campaign – – – especially when the said campaign is carried out by united, loving, humble, God dependent, Christ centered, Spirit led and Spirit empowered – women, men, young people and children.
My objective tonight is to share a few foundational truths that will enable you and I to be that kind of people as we begin together on Wednesday – the 40 days for life campaign in San Luis Obispo in front of Planned Parenthood on Pismo Street. Continue reading Preparing to Remove Mountains
I Cor. 10:21
I Cor. 11:25-29
The Mandate To Preach & Teach
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19,20
“Instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines…” I Tim. 1:3,4
“…point out these things to the brethren…” I Tim. 4:6
“..prescribe and teach these things…” I Tim. 4:11
“ ..give attention to the public reading of scripture, exhortation and teaching” I Tim. 4:16
“..pay close attention to … your teaching” I Tim. 4:16 Continue reading Mandate; Purpose; Motivations & Attitudes re: the Call to Preach/Teach
Prov. 8:12-16 – “..by me kings reign…”
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Prov. 9:10
1. Pray for our gov’t leaders to grow in their fear of the Lord.
2. Pray that our gov’t leaders will see the value of wisdom from above.
Prov. 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
1. Pray that our gov’t leaders will pursue righteousness, and flee from sin.
2. Pray that see the value of righteousness, and the destructiveness of sin. Continue reading Prayer Guide from Proverbs for Government Leaders
This outline was the start to a sermon series I did a number of years ago on worship.
I. Definition of worship: the classic dictionary def. is: “the performance of devotional acts in honor of a deity, as a church service; the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; reverence; submissive respect; loving or admiring devotion.”
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 lives seven days a week.” David Peterson
“Worship in the Bible may be viewed as a ‘reciprocal exchange’ between God and His people – an engagement with Him on terms that He proposes and in the way that He alone makes possible in the Holy Spirit.” C. Westerman Continue reading Sharpening our Focus on Worship
1. Scenario: Many wonders & signs taking place: Passage Acts 2:43; Categories: scope of healing ministry; through the apostles
2. Scenario: lame man healed; Passage: 3:1-4:4; Categories: initiated by Peter; in Jesus’s name; commanded to walk; result = healed man overjoyed, crowds amazed; opportunity to preach; many believed
3. Scenario: church prayed for; Passage: 4:29,30; Categories: asked 4 things: 1. to be able to proclaim gospel w/all confidence; 2. God extend His hand to heal; 3.signs & wonders be poured out through the name of Jesus; 4. God take note of threats of enemies. Continue reading Healing in the Book of Acts
INTRODUCTION – The intricate details of Jesus’s healing ministry were not recorded to fill up space. Because we can “walk in the same manner as He walked” (I John 2:6), every detail should be of great importance to us. This study is given for that purpose.
1.Scenario: Man w/ unclean spirit; Passages: Mk 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37; Categories: Result =crowds amazed; news spread;
2. Scenario: Peter’s mother in law sick; Passages: Mt. 8:14,15; Mk. 1:30-31; Lk. 4:38,39; Categories: Initiated by Jesus
3. Scenario: Multitudes; Passages: Mt. 8:16,17, Mk. 1:32-34 Lk. 4:40,41; Categories:Brought to Jesus by others or asked Jesus to go to others; caused by demons? (Matt. 8:16)
4. Scenario: Many demons; Passages: Mk. 1:39; Categories: Initiated by Jesus Continue reading Overview of Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ
INTRODUCTION – My story through praying for Steve & ________’s baby in H.K.
My objectives in these studies:
1. Is to give you an overview of the subject of healing so that you can see how prevalent a theme it is in the scriptures.
2. So that you can avoid some of the errors and extremes that have cropped up in some healing ministries.
3. So that you can study these passages yourselves and develop your own convictions about what the Bible teaches and what God would have you do about what He has revealed in His word. Continue reading Foundational Theology in the Old Testament re: Healing, Sickness & Sin
When the devil is called the god of this world, it is not because he made it, but because we serve him with our worldliness. Simeon
The triumphant Christian does not fight for victory; he celebrates a victory already won. Captain Reginald Wallis
A blind, anemic, weak-kneed flea on crutches would have a greater chance of defeating a herd of a thousand wild stampeding elephants, than the enemy has of defeating God. Ray Comfort
We…are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly, gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ. Francis A. Schaeffer Continue reading Spiritual Warfare Quotes
Lots of talk out there about spiritual warfare these days. Seems best to me to start with what is very clear in scripture re: our responsibility. Encouraging to me from meditating on these commands that we have the power and authority in Christ to resist the most powerful supernatural being (other than Jesus Christ and His angels) in the Universe. Being familiar with the context of these passages is very helpful in obeying the commands. May he be an increasingly defeated foe!
1. “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry….and I do not want you to become sharers in demons…” I Cor. 10:14-21
2. “….and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Eph. 4:27 Continue reading Commands in the New Testament to Believers Re: Satan & Demons
March 17, 2013
INTRODUCTION – We have been recently exposed to the raised standard of financial health and prosperity via the Dave Ramsey Course – specifically:
1. Absolutely no debt;
2. Savings acc;t of at least 3 mos. Of one’s salary;
3. Diverse investments for retirement;
4. A lifestyle of liberal giving.
The feeling for some of us older folk is that we are so far off the standard/mark – – because of starting too late – – why try?! Every time we start making some traction, a car blows up or someone lands in the hospital with huge medical bills, or …….
Many times we believers feel the same when we read accounts of powerful ways God has worked through his people in days of old – like the one we are going to read today. Continue reading Raising the Standard for Healing the Sick – Acts 3:1-10
We may never be martyrs but we can die to self, to sin, to the world, to our plans and ambitions. That is the significance of baptism; we died with Christ and rose to new life.
Our justification from sins takes place at the point of saving faith, not at the point of water baptism, which usually occurs later. But if a person is already justified and has sins forgiven eternally at the point of saving faith, then baptism is not necessary for forgiveness of sins nor for the bestowal of new spiritual life. Baptism, then, is not necessary for salvation. But it is necessary if we are to be obedient to Christ, for he commanded baptism for all who believe in him.
WAYNE A. GRUDEM, Bible Doctrine
Baptism is rich in meaning. It suggests cleansing. When you are a disciple, you understand that you are cleansed by Christ. You understand that Christ died in your place on the cross, paying for your sins, fully forgiving you for all your wrongs. You are cleansed from guilt, and you are becoming a cleaner, healthier, more whole person.
BRIAN D. MCLAREN, More Ready Than You Realize
Continue reading QUOTES ON WATER BAPTISM
December 14, 2013
Lots of talk, debate, confusion and general angst these days about healthcare in general and Obamacare in particular. This post has been rattling about in my small brain for some time now as I continue to follow the public conversation, and deal with my own health related issues, and those of others I minister to here on the Central Coast of CA.
Anne and I are not facing any significant health issues personally of late. But we were one of those couples that received a letter some months ago from Anthem Blue Cross, whom we have had our medical insurance through for almost 20 years, stating that our monthly payment would be going from $403.00 a month to over $1,200.00 a month in January 2014 – if we choose to stay with Anthem Blue Cross and go with the policy or plan they are suggesting for us – in light of the “Affordable” Care Act kicking in. Continue reading Knowing God as our Healer
INTRODUCTION – Rom 15:4 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
My readings in Proverbs
Prov. 8:33 “Heed instruction and be wise and do not neglect it.”
Take a look at some of the first fathers on the planet. Far from perfect – all of them. But they all had strengths. They all did something right somewhere along the way.
Six lessons from six men whose example God wants us to learn from. Continue reading Learning from the Successes or Strengths of Fathers in the Old Testament
Read Col. 3:21
I. The Negative Command: – Do not exasperate your children
A. Definition – “to excite or inflame the anger of; to cause irritation or annoyance to; syn = irritate” Lightfoot translates it “show no bitterness, behave not harshly.”
B. Ways that we exasperate:
1. neglect through work and/or play (golf, fishing, watching sports on t.v., watching movies) Continue reading Fathers – Encouragers, Not Exasperaters!
INTRODUCTION – We get what we expect in life. “I was a terrible student, so I can’t really expect them to be any different.” Our Society and American culture has greatly lowered the bar or standard, and the consequences of that have been devastating.
When the Duke of Windsor was asked what impressed him most in America, he replied, “the way American parents obey their children.” Continue reading What We Should Expect From Our Children or Defining the End Product of our Parenting
INTRODUCTION – possible class topics to be covered (subject to change)
Prov. 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision (or revelation), the people are unrestrained (cast off restraint or are discouraged), But happy is he who keeps the law.”
Very few parents that I have known over the years have a clear vision or understanding or revelation from God and His word about what they are clearly called to be and do as parents.
Most parenting books give more advice on the practical aspects of parenting like: how to get them to sleep at night; how to help them stay motivated in school; how to help them get along with people; how to get them potty trained; how to keep them from getting on drugs and drinking alcohol. Continue reading A Parent’s Building Permit