Are You Sticky?

Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

My dear friend Dr. Larry Lilly wrote an amazing book “Lasting Friendships in 30 Days”.  It is such a great resource on friendship.  If you have not gotten one I suggest you do at .

My wife and I worked until long after 2:30 am on a project for a dear friend of ours.  We were attempting to put together a DVD slideshow of pictures of preschool children for their graduation ceremony tonight.  It took us both working together for 2 hours to learn how to use our software program and another hour to make the movie.  Then when we attempted to burn it to a DVD, we had no blank DVDs.  Not one.  We went to bed.

Now the fun begins while I wait for the laptop to burn the DVD and then see if I was successful.  If I am successful it is because of the love of a friend.  This friend cared enough to come bail me out early in the morning with no expectation of repayment (he knows I have now means to do so right now).

Dear reader, if you are in need of a friend above all friends then all you need do is to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and He will be the best friend you ever had or will have.  We have His Word on it.  “… there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”  There it is in black and white.

So, how are you doing?



Beauty For Ashes

Isaiah 61:3, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

I have heard for many years that the work that firemen do is called “dancing with the devil”.  This is an interesting phrase.  It was pointed out to me that when a fire is photographed that you can almost always find a satanic-looking face in the flames somewhere.  This was also interesting to me.  It was demonstrated to me and found to be true (not 100% of the time).

Most people do not find ashes to be very beautiful (I do).  Most people are devastated by ashes and rightly so.  Here is another way to look at it.  Sometimes you have to tare down before you can build up.  This is easy to say when you are not looking at your home in flames or ashes.

If we will trust the Lord, He can bring beauty out of the ashes no matter if it be a home or a life.  Ask Job of old about beauty coming from ashes.  We will look at him on a later date.  Now, you my friend, what about the ashes in your life.  Do you see them as ashes or an opportunity to rebuild?

So, how are you doing?

According To His Circuits

My wife and I are famous for getting lost on vacation.  I cannot tell you how many useless miles we have logged on vacations over the years of our marriage.  It is a huge joke anymore when we travel as to how far out of the way we will go on this particular trip.

A man named Matthew Maury was a man who studied his Bible.  He studied the following three passages of Scripture.  Read the following:

Psalms 8:8, “The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.”

Psalms 107:24-26, “These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.”

Ecclesiastes 1:6, “The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.”

As you read these passages of Scripture you might be asking yourself what I am talking about here.

The man Matthew Maury read the Word of God and discovered the shipping lanes in the ocean.  He figured out from the Scriptures that if a ship got into “the paths of the seas” that the distance was farther; but, the ship would move faster.

Friend, as you seek God’s will start in the Scriptures and pray fervently and let God speak to you.

So, how are you doing?

How Are The Mighty Fallen Part 2

II Samuel 1:25, “How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.”

Today is Memorial Day 2012.  Happy Memorial Day!  If you can read this thank a teacher.  If you can read this in English thank a soldier.  I realize that I will not be popular for such a stance; but, I am not on earth to win a popularity contest.  I am here to exhort Christians to live their lives for God.

It concerns me that our country is declining in the direction that it is going.  It is not a surprise though.  Anyone who reads the Bible can see that this will come to pass.  What does concern me is when Christian people give up and give in to the way of the world.  God has called us to be different.  In our day it does not take much to be different than the world.  Remember this is a battlefield and not a ball room.

Christians have buried their heads in the sand like a spiritual ostrich and think it will be alright.  Wrong!  We need to stand up and fight the good fight of faith.  We need to take the battle to the enemy and quit sitting around on our “Blessed Assurance”.  This is why you sit on a “pew”.  Really, we need to enlist in the battle and get to it.  Stop being a spiritual casualty.

So, how are you doing?

How Are The Mighty Fallen Part 1

II Samuel 1:25, “How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.”

Tomorrow we will celebrate Memorial Day 2012.  It is so sad; but, most Americans only see this as a long weekend.  It is vastly more than just a long, drunken, three day weekend.  It is a time that we honor those who have given their lives in war.

It originally started to honor the Civil War dead and has finally blossomed into a holiday to honor all war dead.  This is how it should be.  These men and women have left home and family to pledge their allegiance to our country and defend it with their life.

Over 2000 years ago someone named Jesus Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice when He died to pay the debt of mine and your sin.  He gave His lifes-blood for you and me.  Oh what a Saviour!

As you celebrate Memorial Day 2012 it is my wish that you will take time to remember the One who truly made the “Ultimate Sacrifice” to ensure that you and I can be spiritually free.

So, how are you doing?

Anger or Mercy

Esther 1:12, “But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.”

The past two days have been especially hard for me for some reason.  Day before yesterday I felt like the devil was kicking me in the hinder parts and winning.  I was thankful that a friend and outstanding Preacher was holding services in town and that I could go to them.  It was a real help, spiritually.

Today, it was back to the battle and for some stupid reason I gave in to temptation.  It made me so angry.  I know that Christ was not pleased with me and i have been angry with myself all day to the point that I have been useless.  This makes me even more angry.  I have had the pleasure of counseling with others in my very position.  Now, it is time for me to heed my own advice.

As I am writing this I was reading the above passage.  As I was reading I thought about the mercy of God for obvious reasons.  Mercy is God withholding from me what I truly deserve.  If I received what I deserved I would be in hell right now.  Thank God for mercy!

Our King is nothing like the king in our Scripture for today.  Our King is full of mercy and compassion and is ready, willing and able to forgive.  It is up to us to run to Him and ask forgiveness.

So, how are you doing?

What Is Your Label?

Acts 11:26, “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

Being the parent of a child with special needs I have run from those who want to put a label on everything and everyone.  This just goes against the grain to me.  We even find in our Scripture passage for today that this practice has been going on for centuries.

The other night I attended a jubilee meeting at a Church in the city.  One of the two men that are preaching the meeting made the comment, “I am a dependent Baptist”.  He said this in response to many in our circles who label themselves as “Independent, Fundamental, Bible-believing Baptists”.

When he made this statement my mind immediate went to John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”  This is exactly the point my friend was making.  Apart from Jesus Christ we can do nothing and we are nothing.  When we realize this truth it will revolutionize your whole life.  Would you label yourself and an independent or a dependent?  Truthfully.

So, how are you doing?

When The Fire Goes Out

Job 2:8, “And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.”

Many years ago I had the privilege of going with our Church youth group to the Indiana dunes for a camp out.  It was a great time.  We climbed the tallest of the dunes known as “Mount Baldy” and at the top my cousin and I met our dentist (we figured out where our money was going.  Just kidding.).

One thing that we had to be careful about was the campfire.  We were careful not to let it get out of control.  I remember someone pouring water on it to put it out and make sure that it stayed out.  We did not want to set the whole state park on fire.  Oh my.

Spiritually speaking sometimes we allow the devil to pour water on our spiritual fire and we let it go out.  We find Job sitting in ashes and he could not have done that if it were hot.  He sat in ashes and scraped the boils after the fire had gone out.  This is not a pleasant picture.  However, later in the book of Job he declares, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:” Job 19::25.   If you need a rekindle then I suggest you run to the LORD and let Him stir the coals and stoke the fire again.

So, how are you doing?

You Are Mine

Psalms 49:7-8, “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:  (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)”

The Story is told of a little boy who began building a model boat.  He worked very meticulously on it.  He worked all winter putting it together, sanding it and painting it.  When winter was over the boat was complete.  It was so well done that it was nearly a work of art.

The first opportunity the boy had he took it with him to a lake where he and his family often spent time relaxing.  They had prepared a picnic and enjoyed many family activities.  The young boy took his boat to the lake and put it into the water and began to play with it for a long time.  When something else caught his eye he ran off.  After some time the boy’s thoughts returned to his boat.  He went back to the water’s edge and the boat was gone.

Some months later as the boy and his mother walked through town the boy saw the boat in the window of a pawn shop.  He ran in and explained that the boat was his.  The shop owner told the boy that he had paid for the boat and that if the boy wanted the boat he would have to pay for it.  This little boy worked his heart out for many more months and returned to the shop with money in had to buy the boat back.

As the boy walked out of the shop with his boat held close to his chest he was heard to say, “I made you and I lost you.  I bought you with my own money and now you are mine.”

It is the same with Jesus.  He created us and because of sin we have been separated from us.  Through redemption He has bought us back never to be sold again.  Have you been born again, my friend.  If you have never established a relationship with Jesus start today.

So, how are you doing?

Why We Don’t Have Revival 2

Psalms 85:6, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

Let’s continue our thoughts from yesterday.  We don’t have revival because:

We have let up.  Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  So many people today are giving up on God.  Our kids are leaving the Church in record numbers because they don’t see that the Church is applicable to them.  God help us.

We have let down.  Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  The word “keep” means to guard or garrison.  Far too many of us have let our guard down and let the world, the flesh and the devil into our lives.

We have let go.  II Peter 1:5, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”  We cannot be satisfied with where we are at in our Christian life.  We need to be making godly changes daily.  We need to keep adding to our Christian life and not subtracting.

We have let loose.  Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”  God tells you and I to hold on tight to some things.  He is warning us against letting loose of the things that are important because it will give people the impression that we are not born-again.  Hang on or “hold fast”.

Take inventory today friend and see if you have the attributes that will keep you from experiencing real revival.

So, how are you doing?