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A new comfort zone?

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Comfort zone…

We all have one,or maybe several.

Our comfort zone is that place where we are most comfortable and can live in a way that pleases us.

There are comfort zones at work, comfort zones at church, even comfort zones within our own homes.

They’re places where we can just be ourselves without fear of judgment or backlash from anyone.

And we all LOVE our comfort zones, don’t we? And we HATE the notion of being uprooted from them!

Having been involved in church ministry for over 37 years now I know a thing or two about comfort zones at church. There can be great comfort in working alongside others who are all a part of the bigger ministry team.And there is a lot of comfort in knowing that every Sunday you will be delivering a sermon to (mostly)friendly people who share the same values as you do.

But what happens when our comfort zone begins to become a place of discomfort? Like when going to church every Sunday hearing the same music and listening to the same sermons and seeing the same faces no longer seems to satisfy our soul?

Ever been there? I certainly have,and in fact I have been in that place of discomfort for nearly a year now.

I’ve grown stagnate.I’m not growing.The rituals of religion are choking the life from me.

Being a minister I know all the stock answers to this dilemma because I’ve handed them out to others for many years.

I know all of the scriptures that we use to lift up and encourage the faithful.

And I still believe in every one of them.The answers are found within the pages of God’s word and I have never doubted that for a moment.

I still read…I still pray…I still encourage the discouraged….I still desire to extend the mercies of Jesus to the hurting.

Yet my comfort zone has been swallowed up with a yearning for something more than religion or even church as we know it.

Within my heart burns this thought that God did not save me from the life of Hell I was living to simply spend the rest of my days as a “Sunday Performer”.Turn it on.Turn it off.

Enough already!

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament and today began reading the story of Moses in the book of Exodus,and was reminded of his battle with his own comfort zone.Here are a few verses of the story:

1Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
2And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. Exodus 3:1-4 KJV
Moses’ life started out in a way that could hardly be called comfortable.Born at a time when all male children were supposed to be killed at birth,his mother instead placed him in a small ark and placed him at the rivers edge,choosing to place her baby in the hands of fate rather than see him killed.
Being rescued from this predicament,Moses was raised in the house of Pharaoh.Along with that came the many privileges of education and training alongside every other Prince of Egypt.Moses certainly enjoyed the good life for quite a while,yet there burned within him a different spirit.An unquenchable yearning for something more.
A spirit that manifested itself one day when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew kinsman,and in defense of this man he killed the Egyptian and buried his body in the sand.
So long Comfort Zone!
Moses made a fateful decision that day,a decision that would forever alter the course of his life.In an instant he was transformed from a prince of Egypt to a man with a price on his head.It was this event that turned Moses’ life upside down as he became the hunted and fled for his life. He who had enjoyed the perks of royalty had been humbled to become nothing more than a tender of sheep, which is where we find him in the verses above.
While this is just the beginning of the story,I want to focus your attention on the first verse where we find Moses on the back side of the desert. No where’s ville. The other side of the tracks. A place where only the worst of the worse go to hide out.
Now consider the disparity of his former life and the life he now lived. A life of pleasure has become a life of solitude and hardship.A life of tedium and danger. A life so far removed from his former existence that the two can hardly be compared.
From the ultimate comfort zone to the back side of the desert. Worlds apart.
Of course,we can all agree that Moses is far worse off than he was before.
But is he really? Let’s look at this from a different perspective.
From a simply materialistic point of view Moses has made a left turn and is headed the wrong direction.Say good-by to “Your Best Life Now” Moses!
Yet I happen to believe that in his heart Moses had reached a point to where he could no longer look past the status quo. He had to stand for something or continue to march along side everyone else’s cookie cutter life.I mean, why be different when we’ve got it made,right?
So let me get to the point with this thought: right where you are,right now,in whatever comfort zone you happen to be in….are you pursuing the God of heaven with passion and fervor?
Or are you like the masses simply going along with the crowd content to just be in that number?
I have many more thoughts about this man Moses and his divine purpose which I will share later,but for now let me close with this thought;
We can stay in our comfort zone and be content that we’re doing all we can,or that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.Follow the program…Don’t deviate…Dress the part…Act the part….Eyes on the prize.
Or we can take a look at our lives from a broader perspective and ask ourselves: is this really all there is to this Christian walk? Is following God really just about Sunday attendance, an offering, a prayer, and see you next week?
Am I really that content? Should I be that content?
Think about it!
Be blessed,
Ron

Take it to the Lord…

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You’ve been there,haven’t you?

Discouraged…

Rejected…

Unsure of what to do next…

Do I turn right or left…

So confused…

I’m certain we’ve all felt those same emotions from time to time.

Come to think of it, I don’t know a single person who hasn’t felt the full range of these emotions.Comes with being human I suppose.

Aren’t you glad however that as a Christian you don’t have to languish in situations like these?

I happen to believe that God has a better plan for us and all we need to do is reach out to Him in prayer and He will reveal it to us through His word.

That’s right…the Word of God that proclaims in Hebrews 4:12…

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged 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.”

That Word.

The Word that is powerful and sharp.

That Word that cuts coming and going.

That Word that cuts away the world’s ideology and in it’s place gives us a calm assurance that there is One who is in control.

And sometimes we just need to be reminded that Someone far greater than ourselves has this whole thing in control-even when at times we wonder if that is really the case.

David was a man who knew something about taking his many problems to the Lord,didn’t he?

One of my favorite stories in all of scripture is when David and his men returned to the city to find it had been burned and all their wives and children taken captive,yet in the end God prevailed once again.

God does that a lot,doesn’t He?

Upon returning to the city and finding such carnage, it was only natural that everyone began to weep at the thought of what has just happened.In fact they endured so much grief that they reached the end of how much a man can grieve!

Many of us have been there,done that.

The resulting loss of their loved ones had a devastating,crippling effect upon these fierce warriors and left them stunned and confused.

Something had to be done.

A decision had to be made.

The people that were with David made their decision,a decision to stone David to death. After all, he was their leader and he had obviously failed them.

But thank God,David made a different kind of decision.

Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”   1Sa 30:6 NKJV (emphasis mine)

David made the only decision he could. I mean,what else could he do except turn to his God? For certain he was about to be killed by his own men,and when faced with that he did the only thing he could do and that was to take it to the only One who could rescue him.

There’s a great lesson here for all of us.The next time we find ourselves doubting, confused,rejected,or whatever…take it to the Lord! David strengthened himself in the Lord….and you can too!

Now, I don’t pretend to know what David said to his men to get them refocused on the task of rescuing their loved ones because the bible doesn’t say.But wouldn’t you love to have been there to hear that speech?

What we do know is that David inquired of the Lord his men must have heard him because the next thing we find is David and his six hundred men charging off to rescue their loved ones! warriors

How marvelous that the end of this story is so different than the way it began.

But wait a minute…isn’t your story the same?

Your end will be much greater than your beginning if you take it to the Lord and strengthen yourself in Him!

Be blessed this day!

Ron

Just give me the real thing….please!

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Your church…My church

Quiet church…Loud church

Wealthy church….Poor church

Proud church……Humble church

Denominational church……..Independent church

Everyone’s church is “THE” church.Just ask someone.

“There’s good people in all churches”we say.

Do “good people”qualify as His church?

And what about HIS church?

Has it breathed it’s last breath? Is it on fire for the Lord doing the work of an Evangelist?

Would Jesus recognize it if He were to show up at your church on Sunday?

But you say “He shows up every Sunday at my church”!

Really? Then your church must be bursting at the seems for all the people trying to get inside.

Every hospital around your church must be empty if Jesus comes to your church every Sunday.

Your community must be the most loving community around.

You probably haven’t had a need for prayer meeting in a long time since Jesus shows up every Sunday.

Unfortunately,most everyone else hasn’t experienced Jesus in their church in so long they have forgotten what it’s like.

We still have His name on the building,but no one’s seen Him around in a long time.

How sad that we go through the motions,yet we leave the service exactly as we came.

No change….no encouragement….no joy

Just more of the same church.

So close to the cross…

Yet so far from the Christ.

Yes…what about HIS church?

Either we’re in or we’re out. There is no “middle ground”,no fence straddling permitted.

For Me.

Against Me.

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.   

“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,I will vomit you out of My mouth.   Revelation 3:15,16 NKJV

Just give me the real thing….please!

Be blessed,

Ron

Running on empty…

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Have you ever felt that way?

I dare say nearly all of us have felt at times like our tank is running on fumes.

Between running errands, taking the kids to one practice after another, getting dinner ready, plus the burden of working to make all of this possible. No wonder we’re tired!!

And if we’re being honest, isn’t some of that self induced? I mean, whatever happened to just saying NO once and a while? Now,there’s a novel concept!

But what about your spiritual life? Have you ever felt so drained that your spiritual get up and go just got up and went?

If so you wouldn’t be the first one to feel that way.Many of us are feeling the pressure from the world to conform to their image of “Christian”. The doctrine of inclusion which says anything is acceptable and everyone is welcome to partake has permeated nearly every facet of the modern church.So much so that there is scarce mention of the word “standard” in the church today.

And the struggle to live according to God’s plan takes it’s toll on us.Many are struggling with this idea that what they’ve been taught all their lives is suddenly of no value. Or as one elderly saint asked me one day” “Ron,what has happened to the church”?

What used to be right is now wrong,or at the very least has been transformed into yet another shade of grey.Absolute truth as found in God’s word has been supplanted by “truth”as defined by a society determined to replace God with one of it’s own design.

Yet lest we think this is a new and strange phenomenon we need only to be reminded of the words of the prophet Jeremiah who said:

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 5:30-31 NKJV

Our land is filled to running over with false prophets who speak after the imagination of their own thoughts.How do I know this? If anyone speaks a word that conflicts with the scriptures,that is a false prophet.Listen to what they say-then check your Bible to see if it lines up. Simple.

Pastors,Priests,Teachers,all rule by their own authority,and God’s people love it that way!

Have you ever wondered why that is so? I believe it is because the majority of people in church today do not care to know the truth.They are content to let a person do their reading for them. Content to allow someone else to go to God for them.In other words, too lazy and too indifferent to care.

That’s the Preacher/Priest/Teacher’s job.

And we wonder why our spiritual tank is running on empty?

But thank God we don’t have to be that way!

King David understood the antidote for our dry,empty condition.Read along with me in Psalm 23:

1 [[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.     [Psa 23:1-6 KJV

psalm23-lg

I love how this psalm speaks of peace and rest.Everything that a weary traveler needs is contained in these few verses.

If your tank is running on fumes,He will lead you to a place of rest and peace.A place of restoration.

Be blessed,

Ron

“Lord,can I ask you a question”?

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Did you ever “go along” just to “get along”?

I think most of us do that because people generally have an aversion to conflict, and it just makes it easier for everyone if we all just “go along” for the sake of getting along.

I see it in the workplace all the time where someone will have an alternative point of view, but rather than be the lone dissenter in the group they just throw in the towel and go along with the crowd. We’re probably all guilty of that.

I see it in church meetings as well. The pastor or elder will have an idea about something and rather than speak up if there is disagreement, the group will simply just go along to get along.

How boring and utterly depressing that we would be like that! Is that how our Creator made us? I think not.

I remember a verse from the Psalms that addresses this here:

I will praise you, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works, and [that] my soul knows very well. Psalms 139:14 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Did you get that? We are wonderfully made in His image! We were not created to simply remain mute while our hearts are stirring within us!

Does that sound like a cookie cutter type of Christian? Or worse yet…the dreaded “Bobblehead” Christian?

You know the type, right? They’re the ones who always just sit there and nod their head in agreement with anything and everything that goes on as if they don’t have an opinion or thought of their own.

preacher bobblehead

Well…..that isn’t me. I have no problem questioning things. Not because I enjoy conflict or somehow get a kick out of watching others squirm. Not at all, for I’ve been on both sides of this many times.

If we never question anything how do we learn? How do we know if there are other options out there that might actually be better than the one being proposed?

I think the Lord wants us to ask the tough questions and yet it’s almost funny how some feel threatened when you don’t “go along” for the sake of “getting along”.

Many, many times in my Christian walk I have questioned the Lord. Haven’t you ever done that? Haven’t you faced tragedy or extreme circumstances that have left you bewildered to the point that you simply want to know “God, where are you”?

In the midst of a season of deep despair I actually took my bible and opened it to Romans 8:28 and began to ask God “how can this verse be true”? I was so desperate for answers that I didn’t know what else to do but ask!

If you don’t remember that verse I’ll include it here:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose. [Rom 8:28 NKJV

Beloved, when your heart has been ripped out and you feel like giving up on life even though you are actively involved in ministry and believe you’re doing your best to serve God, it can be hard to believe that what you’re going through will somehow work out for your good!

Let’s be honest here can we? Don’t you find that sometimes it’s hard to “go along” with God’s plan, even though you know deep down that He has your best interest at heart?

If I’m being transparent here I must admit that I feel that way at times. I question God about many things, things that I should probably just give up asking about and accept.

But I wasn’t created that way, and neither were so many of you!

I have no doubt that there are questions I have that will never be answered this side of heaven, and somehow I’m OK with that because I know that my Father loves me and is looking out for me.

And you!

Be blessed,

Ron

The Cross

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Really…as a Christian the Cross is both a sign of excruciating agony and an offering of forgiveness.It is a symbol of love and hate.Beautiful and ugly beyond words.

The Cross of Christ.

And only God could take something so heinous,so brutal,and so despicable and turn it into an instrument of His grace and love.

Before the time of Christ upon the earth,crucifixion had been employed for hundreds of years as a means of humiliation and death.It was by no means something that was seldom seen but was in fact reserved for those “deserving”of a special death.As a matter of fact, even the scriptures declared that if a man were to be crucified,he was considered to be cursed.

The Apostle Paul declared in Galations 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

I’ve often wondered how many times Jesus had seen someone being executed on a cross in the Roman occupied land in which He lived. I think that surely He must have seen the agony of others,even if but for a fleeting moment before He looked away…..knowing that what He saw would one day become His destiny as well.

The Cross……

May we never forget the price which was paid for our sins.

May we never forget that the cross was not meant to be something worn as a religious symbol,but rather an instrument of inhumane torture.There’s nothing stylish about that.

May we never forget that while we were yet in our sins Christ died for us.Once and for all the price had been paid that would enable us to become sons and daughters of God Almighty.

The Cross……it is the key that unlocked the door to the splendors of heaven.

Be blessed,

Ron

We Just Never Know Sometimes!

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Many no doubt are familiar with the biblical story of Joseph found in the book of Genesis and how that God used him through difficult circumstances to save his entire family.Just in case you’re not familiar with the story let me see if I can give you the micro version of it.

Joseph was the youngest son of Jacob and was one of several children born to him.Jacob had a tender heart towards Joseph and because of that there was much jealously in the hearts of his brothers.So much so that his brothers devised a plan to get rid of their younger brother.Did I mention they were jealous of him?

So they threw him in a pit and then sold him into slavery,thinking that was the last they would hear of him.But God had another plan

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His brethren went back to their father and told him that his favorite son was dead,apparently devoured by wild beasts.

Can you imagine the level of deceit that must have been in their hearts that they would do such a thing and break their father’s heart?

Jealousy is indeed a very powerful force! But what does any of this have to do with me you ask?

Have you ever endured such pain at the hands of another? Have you felt the sting of betrayal and abandonment?

It is difficult to think this but there are many people in this world that seem to take pleasure in afflicting others.I do not understand this mindset at all and often wonder what kind of life a person must have lived to be able to do this to another person.

Joseph’s brothers did what they did to him for very selfish reasons in the hope that once he was gone their father would look upon them the same way he did his youngest son.But as is often the case,there was more to this story than what it seemed to be.

For you see,God had another plan for Joseph.A plan that his jealous brothers were unaware of until many years later.

And it’s the same with you and I today!Often we are cast down and left to feel forsaken and all alone.But here’s the secret…

It’s all about the heart and it’s motives.Joseph’s kept his heart pure even though he knew he was completely innocent of any wrongdoing.He was falsely imprisoned and left for dead for refusing to give into the lust of the flesh.Yet he maintained his integrity through it all.

And so it is with you and I.Regardless of what life throws at us we must do our very best to maintain an upright and pure heart because God always has another plan for us!

Listen to what Joseph eventually told his brothers after having been reunited with them:

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; [but] God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as [it is] this day, to save many people alive.    [Gen 50:20 NKJV]

Did you get that?Joseph’s brothers thought they had hatched the ultimate plan to rid themselves of their kid brother…but God had another plan!

We just never know sometimes what God is up to in our lives,but if we keep our hearts pure it’s for certain that we will eventually know!

Be blessed,

Ron

Are We Listening to His Voice?

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If you’re like me you read a lot and you try to stay informed about what is going on around you. And yet sometimes you just sense that something is taking place among us even though we can’t actually see or hear it.

I feel that way now and actually have been feeling this way for quite some time.

There is a cry going out across the world today. It is a Holy cry that the vast majority of earth’s inhabitants have chosen to ignore. It is a cry that is both heartbreaking and dreadful at the same time.

It is the cry of the Holy Spirit sent across this planet to plead with man to return to the only God who can redeem them, to return to the only Hope that can save them from the judgment to come.

It is a voice crying out “hear me, and listen to the words of life that I offer”. Much like the writer of Hebrews who said:

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice,

8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness,

9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.

10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in [their] heart, and they have not known My ways.’

11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ “

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.     Heb 3:7-13 NKJV

Or as our Lord Himself declared in Rev 2:9 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Sadly, it is a cry that has largely fallen on deaf ears.

Even more heartbreaking is that this is happening within the church as well, as we have become increasingly hard of hearing.

As I listen to the clamor of a world determined to forge their own path towards the goal of a man-made version of utopia, I am struck by a different sound.

I hear the sounds of anguish, disillusionment, anger and pain welling up from the masses. The sounds of an angry mob determined to go their own way no matter the costs.

I hear the sounds of consequence. The consequence of disobedience to the commands of a Holy God who throughout His word has implored His children to “come unto Me”.

I hear the sounds of war and discontent rising to a feverish pitch and in my spirit I know that what is coming will be of a scale unprecedented in the history of man. And so it must, for this has been foretold from ages past.

Rather than hear what the Spirit is saying to the church we all like sheep have gone astray and are following we know not what in this last day.

Why isn’t the church listening?

Could it be that we too, just like the lost world in which we live, have decided to forge our own path?

For all of the church’s wealth and riches it’s influence has waned to the point that its effectiveness is minimal at best. And yes, I am aware that many are touting that today is the church’s finest hour, but how can it be so?

Beloved, if that were the case we would see a world turning back to God in record numbers. We would violent crime decreasing and love for one another increasing.

Is that the condition of your world today?

Yet still the Spirit of God searches throughout the land, ever searching for those who have not succumbed to the spirit of the age. In spite of us, He continues to call all to repentance.

Today, if you will hear His voice, let not your hearts be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Call upon Him while there is still time.

Listen to His voice…and live.

Be blessed,

Ron

A “Divine Wind”?

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Divine. I’ve always loved that word because it speaks to me of something much higher, much holier than I am. Something beautiful beyond my imagination, something not of this world, supernatural.

Take a look at how the dictionary describes divine:

Full Definition of DIVINE from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divine

1

a :  of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God or a god <divine love>

b :  being a deity <the divine Savior>

c :  directed to a deity <divine worship>

That pretty much sums it up in my opinion. That is until the other day when I came upon an article on the Christian News web site about a pastor who has announced that he has received a new definition of the divine. What’s worse is that he attributes this new revelation to God. A “Divine Wind” he calls it.

Seems that GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee has adopted a new stance on the position of allowing homosexuals to not only join their ranks, but also to enjoy all the benefits of membership.That includes all sacraments as well as marriage.

Now, this is not a post about bashing gays. Not at all. In spite of what some in the church say, homosexuality is really no different than adultery, lying, or any other sin.To put it bluntly, any sinful lifestyle we are living in severs our relationship with God and it can only be restored after repenting of our sins.

Christianity 101 there folks.

Beloved, sin is sin, and it will ultimately lead you to eternity separated from God.

Man, and in particular the church, has decided that different sins should be ranked in some kind of order of severity, forgetting the fact that all sin separates us from God.

No, this post is about calling attention to the fact that a man masquerading as a man of God would even dare to stand before a congregation and declare that such a thing is ordained of God Almighty.

This is how far the church has backslidden! This is the depth of depravity that the blood bought church has slipped into.

It is treacherous, it is vile, it is an abomination, and it is an affront to a Holy God.

It is the fruit of those who “preach another gospel” that Paul warned about in his letter to the Galatians.

And most alarming to me is that it seems to be OK with the Christian masses who declare it’s not their responsibility to say anything. Really?

If you take the time to read the article you will better understand how the doctrine of inclusion, while sounding good to the ears, is actually anti-Christ. It serves to scatter the sheep at the expense of gathering the goats.

The pastor of this church was quoted as saying “I am not sure I am right, but I am sure I sense the presence of God, and I know I’m doing my best,” he said. “And I believe before God almighty to this we have been called, and here we stand.”

So let me see if I understand this. You are leading your church in a radical departure away from biblical Christianity, but you’re not sure you’re right? And in the midst of your obvious confusion you are certain that you sense the presence of God?

Am I the only one who sees the deception this man is walking in, who sees the disastrous conclusion to this heresy?

From where I sit on the front row of the church I see someone who has lost his way and to add to it he is leading many hundreds down the same path of destruction.

Please join me in praying for this pastor and the congregation at GracePointe church. They do not need criticism or condemnation. They need a holy deliverance from the blindness that has ensnared them so that they may return to the God of the bible.

As for me, I just want to weep at what is taking place in our churches today.

A Divine Wind?

I’d say it’s Sin in the Camp!

The Power of a Praying Wife

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Thousands have no doubt read the book “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian.I cannot say that I am among them,although I have seen the book in my house.I think it was given to my wife some time ago,and I’m not even sure if she has read it!

No matter,for as great as that book may be,I have my own story of the Power of a Praying Wife. A real life story.One that I live every day.

Especially today.

Let me back up just a bit and let you in on what’s been going on in my work life.While most who read my blog know that for the past nearly forty years I have been actively involved in about every facet of ministry there is,I also have a full time secular job with a very large company.

I wear many hats and have a great deal of responsibility,which of course also means I sometimes have a great deal of stress in my life.Like for the past several weeks.

I have been involved in an assignment that has pushed me to the brink on more than a few occasions and the associated stress has affected me in a not so good way.Tired,not pleasant to be around,consumed with a million details.You get the picture I’m sure.

So,what do most men do when faced with the sometimes overwhelming pressures and stress of business?

They push harder of course!

Which gets us what?

More stress of course!

Doesn’t seem to matter if you’re a saint or a sinner,I think men are just wired this way(sorry guys!).

Until you reach the point that you know you can’t do this anymore.

Not this way.

Something has to change.

My work day started at 6:00AM and almost immediately I was faced with a situation that overwhelmed me.And trust me…that doesn’t happen often or easily.

All day it was more of the same,and actually it grew more intense as the day went on.I text-ed my wife that I was downright frustrated,mad,and disgusted with dealing with this situation and that I had had enough.

Enter my praying wife.

Who promptly told me that this was nothing more than an all out attack of the enemy and that I should begin praying right now,because she was praying mightily for the very one who was the source of the stress.

Now I must confess that this was not my first thought.Praying is always good and yes,I am fully aware of the scriptures teachings concerning prayer.After all,I’ve taught others about it for nearly forty years!

So why did I suddenly forget all I knew in the midst of this battle?

Because that’s what the enemy does to us. All of us.He strategically gets our thoughts so consumed with something that we forget that SOMEONE has promised that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world”.

The enemy is a joy killer. He is a destroyer of hopes and dreams.  He is a thief who will steal even our very souls from us if he can. What he does mostly however is create situations that consume us to the point of getting our eyes off of Jesus,if even for a little while,so that he can tempt and discourage us.

That’s why I am so thankful,so grateful to be married to a praying wife!

The power of MY praying wife cannot be measured and it is a treasure that I am not worthy of.We have been through so much in our life together and we have come through it all because of her unyielding faith in the Lord.She is a precious gift that for reasons yet unknown was sent into the life of a lonely man one day many years ago.To say that I love her does not do her justice.I need her.I depend upon her.She is my right hand.

She reminded me today of a very powerful truth that bears repeating here:there is no new way.The old way works.Get back to it.She was talking about prayer.

It really does work.

Especially when it comes from my praying wife.

By the end of the day the stress was gone and the meeting I had dreaded for so long went wonderfully.My presentation went well and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.It was as if the entire stress charged atmosphere had been changed.

And it had.

Because when you have a praying wife who is in the midst of the fight with you,and you bring the Lord into the battle as well,victory is assured!

Be blessed,

Ron