Seeing that Thanksgiving will soon be here and (hopefully)the thought of thankfulness is on a lot of people’s minds, I wanted to offer this post as a way of expressing my gratitude for several things.

First and foremost I am thankful to know Jesus Christ as my Savior.In my life,this is the starting point of every good thing that has come my way.Everything I have or enjoy is because of His provision.No one ever needs to tell me that I am nothing without Him,I know this to be true.

The story of how God interrupted my life as I traveled my own Damascus Road is one that most would find hard to believe.To say I was headed for Hell would be a gross understatement,and the power of God’s Love,Forgiveness, and Grace makes my story all the more remarkable.Suffice it to say that to whom much is forgiven…

I am also thankful that God has blessed me with a loving and caring wife.When I listen to other men tell their “less than flattering” stories about their wives it only increases the gratitude that I have for my wife.While the Lord may indeed be my Rock,she is my soulmate and the greatest source of encouragement a man could have.

I cannot remember a day that she hasn’t said something to me of encouragement,hope,and love.She prays for me without ceasing,both for physical healing and also that I would continue to seek the Lord’s direction for our family.She is strong in her convictions and will not be swayed by popular opinion,be it a spiritual matter or otherwise.In this we are identical.

She is a praying wife and mother yet she is also very sensitive to the needs of others.She loves the elderly and I lover her heart for them.Like me,she roots for the underdog and those who society disregards.She loves deeply,and also hurts deeply.

I am thankful to have a great job,material blessings,and pretty much anything I need in this life.I have made many,many acquaintances through the years that I have been involved with in ministry as well as working at a secular job.My friends can be counted on but a few fingers (what does that word really mean anyway?),yet I consider myself highly blessed.

In spite of how I may feel however, the scriptures remind us that there would come a time when people would generally be “unthankful”and it’s pretty safe to say that we are living in such a time.While many wonder why or how things are so out of control in our world today,anyone can find the answers to their questions in God’s word.Which makes me want to say “wow! this Bible stuff that was written so long ago is amazingly accurate isn’t it?”. But that’s for another time.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”  2nd Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV

The awesome thing is that God has made a way that we do not have to be like those described by Paul in his second letter to Timothy.We can choose a different path,one filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for what He has done in our lives.

It really is that simple.God has set before us a door that He invites us to walk through.On the other side is a peace and contentment not found in the world we have created for ourselves.

Won’t you join me this Thanksgiving? Be thankful to God for His many blessings.


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As I read the papers,online news sources,TV news,etc…it is obvious that something is horribly wrong in America.

Now,before you say well duh,there are a lot of things wrong in America right now, let me explain.

There was a time in America when we were known around the world as the most prosperous nation on earth.We gave more to the world because we had more than any other country to give.We have a long standing record of feeding the world with the bounty from our fields and farms.I doubt that a more generous nation has existed.

We helped win world wars and turn back the tide of those who sought to conquer the world.The blood of our soldiers has been spilled all across this globe because of our willingness to support those who desired a better life than what they had.

Our manufacturing might revolutionized the industrial world and our wealth supported countless economies the world over.

But something has changed. Tens of millions of our own people are now dependent upon help to feed their families every month,yet the news reminds us that more jobs are being created than ever before.If that is true,then why can’t we feed ourselves? And if we are creating more jobs than ever before why isn’t the standard of living being increased? Something is wrong!

Listen,I’m no economist, and I’m about as far from being a politician as a man could be,but even I can see that something is terribly wrong in America!

Are we doing something wrong? Are we not doing enough? Is the answer more social programs? If so,who will pay for them? And where is the church in all of this? Why does it seem that in such a time as this the church is largely silent?

Do you attend or have membership in a church? If you do,would you describe your church as one that has a servant’s heart?

Is your church burdened with the needs of the downtrodden and poor of your community? Does your church feed the hungry? Does it clothe little children who otherwise would have next to nothing?

Is your church afraid to roll up it’s sleeves and get it’s hands dirty with the hard work of the ministry?

If yours is a church that is actively involved in the ministry and is truly making a difference in your community,you must count your blessings and give thanks to the Lord for the privilege of being a part of a real community of believers.

I say that because I see America’s greatest problem as a spiritual problem. I see America as having abandoned it’s Creator and is now hopelessly burdened with the impossible task of raising it’s self up from the pit of iniquity it has fallen in to.

And lest you think this is a new thing,or that somehow our actions have taken God by surprise,read along with me in the book of Jeremiah,chapter five. Please read this carefully and see if you don’t agree that the similarities between ancient Israel and America are striking.

22 Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, Yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.

23 But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; They have revolted and departed.

24 They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”

25 Your iniquities have turned these things away, And your sins have withheld good from you.

26 ‘For among My people are found wicked men; They lie in wait as one who sets snares; They set a trap; They catch men.

27 As a cage is full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich.

28 They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper, And the right of the needy they do not defend.

29 Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord. ‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land:

31 The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?               Jer. 5:22-31   NKJV   

I find it astounding that God declares that He withholds even the rain because of the iniquities of the people. How can we honestly say that this is not our present condition today? And what’s even more amazing is that for all of this,the people of God did not repent and change their ways.

For the Lord to say the deeds of His people surpass the deeds of the wicked staggers the imagination! Their houses are full of deceit. Israel has abandoned the God of their fathers and they are paying a price that will destroy them.

God declares that He will punish His people for this abandonment-are we so arrogant as to believe that we will not suffer the same fate?

The prophets,or religious leaders prophesy falsely.The leaders,the shepherds,the pastors,are all ruling by their own imaginations.They have not heard from God! The word they declare is their own word!

Yet worst of all is the declaration that the people love to have it this way! Again,are we any different today?

Do we not love to be told that everything is going to be alright? Do we not shop around until we find the church or pastor who will tickle our ears and tell us pleasant things? Do we not surround ourselves with like minded church folks-after all there must be security in numbers,right? Follow the crowd,they must be right!

What I’m about to say will not be received by most but I would be remiss if I did not say it.

America’s best days are behind it.

It cannot be any other way if we are willing to abandon the God of our blessings.We cannot have His blessings if as a nation we reject Him. It doesn’t work that way. Never has,never will.

God is no respecter of persons. If He rejected His firstborn because of their disobedience,then He will surely reject all who follow the same path.How could a just God do otherwise?

I hear the cries of nationalism that say God is for America,not against it.

I hear those who maintain that God will never turn His back on America.

My response to that is to say that you are absolutely correct:God will never turn His back on America. He doesn’t have to.

We turned our back on Him.

And what will we do in the end?

Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”            Jer. 1:4,5  NKJV

Much has been written about the prophet Jeremiah. About how he served his God as a Prophet to the nations and saw very little in the way of fruit for his labors.For someone called to be a prophet before he was even born he knew little except hardship,disappointment, and torment his entire life.No royal attire for him,no dinners at the king’s table,no respect of his peers.

Very different than what we see today where the name of the game is to identify ones self with God in order to gain materialistically,yet shun any part of the refiners fire.The fire that cleanses from the inside out,and shapes the very character of a man until he is fit to be called a servant of the Most High God.

Serving God can be like that when you have His call upon your life.Jeremiah understood this all too well.

Funny thing,this calling.For those unfamiliar with what this means the simplest way to describe it would be to say that it is something like a voice inside of you that there is no escape from.A voice that calls you to holiness and a right relationship with the Almighty.

It compels you onward when every fiber in your being screams “GIVE UP”! It is an unseen force that you know is there because in the worst of times it somehow sustains you.I can only imagine how many times Jeremiah wanted to quit because I have felt that way more times than I can remember.

Haven’t you?

A calling is ever present,whether in the slime pit, the pulpit or on the job.This presence,or calling is a fire shut up in the bones of the one who has an unction from the Lord to go forth and speak what must be said.

In spite of the lack of support from those who know better.

In spite of the fact that it would be so much easier to just walk away.

Except that you cannot just walk away. Not from the call. Not from something so holy.To do so would mean acknowledging that God cannot do what He said He would do.And we know better than that.

Are we to believe that God does not know every one of us just as He knew Jeremiah? Are we to believe that God did not form us in the womb and ordain our steps long before we breathed our very first breath?

Sorry…I’m too long into this journey to ever doubt that my steps are not ordained of the Lord.

I’ve been through far too much to ever doubt that only God and God alone could have taken me through the barren,dry deserts I have passed through.

No,God knew us long before we were formed. And He also KNOWS us,as in the right now.Everything about us.So much so that Jesus declared that the very hairs of our heads were numbered(Matt.10:30).

In spite of the many failures and shortcomings too numerous to recall,the calling of God drives me.It speaks to me in the early hours of the day to square my shoulders and take a stand.And I am persuaded that you sense it as well.

For you also have walked the deserts of sickness and pain.You too have felt the immense pain of abuse and abandonment.You’ve been there in that dark, lonely place where the only answer to your cries was the sound of silence.

But that still small voice,that call from the One who knows you better than you could ever hope to know yourself urges you onward.Urges you to take a stand and claim victory in Jesus name.

Our identity may be defined by the world as Mom & Dad,or Doctor,or Lawyer.But our true identity is hidden in the comfort of knowing that He has called us,and if He has called us He will sustain us through every season.

Be blessed


I’ve been reading this week in the Old Testament book of Esther and what a joy it has been to be reacquainted with this wonderful story of God’s redemption and grace. If you haven’t read the book of Esther in a while I encourage you to do so and enjoy this story along with me.

Even though Esther is the main participant there is another individual I want to focus on and his name is Haman. Haman was promoted by the king to a position of great power and authority,second only to the king.Incidentally, this king (Ahasuerus) was so great that he threw a party that lasted 180 days! And you thought you could party?

As I was saying,Haman was a great man who demanded that everyone bow to him in order to pay him the respect he felt was due him.And everyone did,everyone except a man named Mordecai,who was also a Jew.Day after day Haman passed by this man Mordecai who refused to pay him homage,and his anger grew more intense every day.So much so that Haman determined to destroy all the Jews and convinced the king to go along with his evil plot.

That says a lot about the heart of a man,doesn’t it? A man who had power and influence over an entire kingdom yet could only focus on this one man who refused to bow to him. Listen to what Haman did after dining with the king and queen one evening…

So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.

Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh.

Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king.

Moreover Haman said, “Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me to come in with the king to the banquet that she prepared; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king.

“Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”  Esther 5:9-13  NKJV

Can you imagine this scene? Here is a man who has been given so much.People honor him.They no doubt fear him.He even gets to have dinner with the king and queen.But even that is not enough to satisfy him.

No,he wants it all. And what is standing in his way of having it all is this one Jew named Mordecai.Can you imagine this?

Of course,no one dared ask Haman how much is enough? How much do you need? Will you ever be content with what you have been given? You have more than the rest of us combined!

Like Haman,many of us have been given riches beyond what most of this world can even comprehend,yet still that is not enough. I dare say that the vast majority reading this will not go to bed hungry tonight.We will not suffer lack tomorrow or the next day.We will go to our jobs instead of poking around a garbage dump or trash bin.In short,we will have all we could ever need, and exceedingly more.

And still we will not be satisfied.For our hearts wander aimlessly,ever searching for next new thing.The next rush,the next challenge.The next relationship.With our hearts divided we can never be satisfied, nor can we know contentment.We can only know the call of more.

Like Haman.

We sing the song “He’s all I need” yet continually search for something, or someone else.His word is filled with thousands of promises,yet still we look elsewhere.

Like Haman. Never enough.

When will we ever get tired of chasing what we will never find apart from a loving God?

Like most of America I was deeply saddened by the latest school shooting in Oregon this week.If I’m being honest I must admit that I wasn’t shocked,and that in itself is is a testament to how violent our society has become.Violence in America has become the norm,and whether we like to admit it or not,it is.

Let’s face it,violence has become so common place that it has lost it’s shock value.We shake our heads and bemoan the senseless loss of life,and then go about our business wondering quietly when and where the next attack will occur.In fact,only a day later and the topic around the water cooler is the football game.

Are you surprised by the level of violence in America? If not surprised,what are you? What emotions are you dealing with in light of the Oregon school killings? Are you angry? Are you hurt? Are you sickened by it all?

And what is the underlying reason behind all of this? Well,as a Christian I know that the driving force behind all of this is evil.It is the force of darkness being unleashed upon a society that has by and large rejected God.You see,we live in a society where men’s heart are cold and hardened by the deceitfulness of sin,and from what I read in the scripture it is only going to get worse.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”   Matthew 24:12

Of course,in America we don’t teach such things any longer,and even if we did most parents are not reinforcing it at home.I read recently of someone who stated that he simply did not believe in evil,that the word evil was just an excuse.Try telling that to the parents of one of the victims of this weeks murder spree.

I believe we in America,and especially the church, are in denial about what is taking place right before our eyes.For the past couple of hundred years the church has been only too willing to accept a new premise that there was no need to be concerned about the dangers of a last day rebellion against God, for after all one day the Lord himself is going to snatch us all away and spare us any suffering.Well guess what? We are living in the last days in the midst of a great falling away.

And you’re still here!

Easy believeism that says repeat this prayer and you are a Christian.Easy believeism that says suffering is for those “left behind”. Easy believeism does not require a change of heart,only that we fall in line with the millions of others who are pretenders for the faith instead of contenders.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”   Jude 1:3

Do these words hurt you? Do they offend you? That is not my intention.I seek only to call attention to the fact that we are fast asleep to the evil all around us.

Millions of words have been spoken already regarding this latest tragedy.Some,like our President, are angry and want to impose strict controls on who can possess a firearm.Others see the solution as one of arming everyone so that we at least have a chance to defend ourselves.Many are also speaking out about the lack of available mental health resources.Still others are taking the position that it’s the parent’s fault.

What I have yet to hear is someone willing to step out into the spotlight and state publicly that we are reaping the consequences of our own past decisions.That’s right…we have brought this evil upon ourselves!The society we now have is the society that has been created by a populous consumed with the ideology that God is dead,if indeed He ever existed.

We,by our insistence on creating a society where every man is responsible only to himself,have created a culture of death.We act as though we cannot understand why there is so much killing,yet think nothing of killing tens of millions in the womb because we pretty up the massacre by calling it “choice” instead of what it really is.We are delusional,we are willingly ignorant of the facts in the hope that “it won’t happen to me”.

How in God’s name could we ever think that we could end up any different when our hands are stained red with the blood of the innocent?We in America glorify death,we celebrate it and the forces behind it.We continually reelect politicians who will carry out our wishes for more carnage,lest by some miracle someone would actually be given an opportunity try and stem the (RED) tide.We have opened up a Pandora’s box of unprecedented evil,and yet still we refuse to humble ourselves before the only One that can save us.Yes…we have what we have because we have paid a great price to have it so!

In the verse from Matthew quoted above,Jesus stated that the love of many shall wax cold.We are witnessing just such a thing right before our eyes.The sinner who has continually rejected Christ continues to grow angrier by the day.His heart knows nothing but rage for he is angry at what he does not know.

But there is also this:the love of many Christians is waxing cold as well.Oh,we may not read about them shooting up defenseless citizens,but they are turning cold nonetheless. The lack of genuine Christian love is appalling today and it grows continually worse.You see,in the church there is a different “culture of death”. It is a culture of complacency,a culture of lack,and a culture of “you are not important enough for me to care”.

The day of the Oregon shootings I asked my wife when all of this would stop.Her answer? “When we get to Heaven”. She was 100% correct, I’m afraid.

Why so much killing?

It’s because we have supplanted the love of God for the love of self.


Have you noticed that truth is something people do not like to hear? Why is that?

Do your children like it when you tell them the truth,as in “no,you cannot get into Harvard with those grades”? Does your spouse like it when you tell them “I’m sorry but we just can’t afford a vacation this year”?

Probably not,right?      bigstockphoto_Truth_1044622

There can be a sense of finality in the truth,a sense of “well,that’s the end of that”. And oh how do we not like that!

What’s more,why is it that when you do speak the truth to someone it seems as if you become their enemy? Is it because of this scripture becoming a reality to us: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”  Gal 4:16 KJV

Have you ever lost a friend because you told them the truth? Ever lost a business associate or account,your job or position,your church? Well I have,and I can tell you that sometimes telling the truth can be costly,even though it shouldn’t be.

Truth is one of those things that used to be valued much more than it is today,and I think that we as a society are much worse off because we have devalued truth in favor of man’s opinions.

If you really think about this,truth is something that the carnal man rebels against because when you break it down we all want our way,don’t we? Truth is sort of like rules,and we all know how we feel about rules.The truth says “no you cannot”or “no it is not”. Humans don’t like that “NO” word,do we?

Truth is an absolute.It contains facts.It is irrefutable,even though we pay huge sums of money to people who argue that the truth isn’t really the truth.And as much as we might like to believe this,truth,like beauty, is not in the eye of the beholder.It is what it is.

Church is a place where truth reigns supreme.Or at least that’s how I see it.We teach the truth.We teach on the truth.We teach about the truth.Jesus Himself taught about truth during his entire earthly ministry.Here are just three examples of such teaching from the book of John:

John 14:6   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth
John 8:32   And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free    (emphasis mine)
So if Jesus taught the truth,and based upon how many times truth is mentioned in the scriptures,what’s wrong with telling the truth? Why has telling the truth seemingly gone out of style in our society.And yes,in our churches as well?
I think it’s because we don’t like the finality of “truth”. Let’s face it-we want options,and truth doesn’t leave room for options.Our lack of desiring the truth has spawned a sub culture wherein lies and falsehoods have supplanted the truth to such an extent that most of us don’t even know what is truth and what is a lie.
The gospel message is one of truth and absolutes.There are no grey areas where the message of eternal life is concerned.The gospel contains no “half truths”. If it did it wouldn’t be the truth.Jesus did not leave any room for error in His message,and frankly it is not even open to debate.And I know most will not accept that statement.
Consider this statement from Christ as an one example: Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”   John 3:3 NKJV
Jesus spoke truth here.He did not say you might not see the kingdom unless you were born again,he stated he cannot see the kingdom unless he is born again. HUGE difference!This statement is non negotiable.It is not open to debate.It is not a point over which we can disagree.It is a truth.A Gospel truth.
I don’t know where you are in the great debate over truth.I only know that the Word of God is truth and as such that is my foundation. Everything else is measured against the Word.Many will call that narrow minded and if that is the case,then so be it.I refuse to measure truth by the world’s standards because they are ever changing.Not only that,but the world’s standards are pitifully inadequate to raise us up above our sinful condition.
Regardless of the cost truth is one thing that cannot be compromised,twisted,or distorted in order to fit the needs of society. To do so is to build our house on the shifting sands of opinion.
I’ll take the sure foundation of the Truth,regardless of the cost.How about you?

12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”.       John 15:12,13   NKJV

The gospel of John is far and away one of my favorites books out of the 66 books that make up our Bible.In it you will find just about every conceivable human trait on display at one time or another,and I often marvel at the sheer range of emotions found within it.


All of these and more are on display. Life is on display here.

Whenever I read John’s gospel I look to the end of the book with apprehension,knowing of course that before I get there Jesus is going to be violently murdered.But before the lies and betrayal, before the accusers line up to spew forth their hate filled demands for vengeance, Jesus spends His final hours doing what He always did.

He taught.

About love.

Jesus taught his disciples that He had a commandment for them. And that commandment was that the disciples were to love one another as Jesus had loved them.

What? Jesus is within a few hours of enduring the most horrific death imaginable. And He knows it’s coming.It’s unavoidable. He knows it’s coming because it was for this hour that he came into the world.

Yet His focus is on imparting one last word to those who had walked with him for over three years. His focus was on love,and more specifically that the disciples would love one another like He had loved them.

All of this begs the question “what kind of love is this”?

Well,for one thing Jesus loved them to death,didn’t He? He even went so far to say that there was no greater love than this,that a man would lay down his life for his friends.

Other worldly love. Incomprehensible love. God love.

I’d like to know that someone loved me this much,wouldn’t you?

How about you?