Perhaps I’ll be called a religious simpleton for advocating for simplicity, but that’s okay, it helps me make my point. Innocence really does invite simplicity. We can see it around us and we can make a case for it in Scripture.
For starters, the Bible has a way of boiling issues down to their essence while leaving large gaps that could be filled in with all kinds of complicated details on how something might play out in a person’s life. It was written in a way that was understood by laymen of its time. The most important issues can still be understood by laymen. The rest is probably misunderstanding by modern people of historical context.
We should all be a part of the resistance. An organized, cohesive unit poised to take back that which an occupying force has usurped. No one should be sitting on the sidelines as long as this occupying force has a shred of influence in our territory. We have been tasked to confront this force and wield against it such weapons as are suitable for its defeat.
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. – ESV
Something I’ve struggled with over the years is finding purpose. Everyone wants their life to count. To be meaningful. To have value. Taken to an extreme, this can cause Christians to endeavor, carnally, to do spiritual work. And it can cause believers to disdain work that seems mundane by nature. Both are the result of working from a false premise, and I’ve been ensnared by each.
There have been times I’ve questioned the prudence of rearing children in this hour. The waters of life seem so murky and troubled. The culture of our nation seems to be increasingly hostile to sound Christian values. Will we face persecution in the near future? People have already lost livelihoods due to their faith. What if we’re entering the very last days?
Hi all, since the release of my book, I’ve taken a break from blogging and have taken the time to reorient myself a bit. I’ve started a podcast in order to host the audio-file of my book as a giveaway for those who sign up for my email list. Since I’ve already set that up, I’ve had the idea—which was also suggested by a friend—to start doing podcast episodes.
Hi everyone! I thought it would be appropriate, since I’m launching Forged Destiny, to do a video providing an overview of my history as a writer and doing a quick testimony of how Forged Destiny was birthed. I’m providing a link right here if you wish to buy the book. I hope you enjoy. God bless!
Adventure. Exploration of the human condition. All woven into a grand tapestry…
In this allegory, join Talon Forge on his youthful quest for a brighter destiny. Brutal work at the forges and a dogmatic culture are behind him. The world is at his disposal. Unfortunately, he finds rejection, suffering and darkness awaiting him. The Xandrian estate is the first place he finds that offers hope and light. But also a cross. He detests this and is easily persuaded by Lumen, who is crossing the Xandrian estate, to travel with him to an island called Prospect.
To get to it, they must go to a harbor called Wide Gate, sail the Sea of Delusion and dock at the Port of Inflamed Imagination. There is light and happiness in abundance as the voyage begins. All is luxury and decadence. But Talon can’t fit in. And he discovers an undercurrent of hostility despite all the accommodations. After serving time in the oar room and eventually being evicted from the ship on a raft, will he get to Prospect somehow? If so, will he finally find his utopia, or just more putrid darkness beneath a shiny surface?
Forged Destiny is a thought provoking and captivating allegory containing timeless truths and timely insights. Readers of John Bunyan’s allegories would enjoy this tale!
Buy Forged Destiny to join Talon on his quest, today!
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – ESV
Is the cross a package deal? It certainly is, and people these days really put a lot of emphasis on that. It is said that if you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Plain and simple. Top to bottom. That’s the end of the old you. The problem is, the cross is a really big package, while many these days portray it as a small package we get one day from Fed-Ex laid on our doorstep. It is portrayed as a little package, easy to open, and it brings an end to all things past upon opening.
Psalm 62:5-6 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. –NIV 84’
Many Illegitimate Options
How many things do we find rest in? Now more than ever it is possible to create illusions of security and rest in corruptible things. The temptation is, to put our eggs of hope for rest in many baskets, in case any of them fail. If we are fortunate, they all fail at once, so our illusions are forever shattered. Continue reading “Find Rest, O My Soul”→
Today we observe the 19th anniversary of the attack on NYC by Islamic terrorists. Most of us do not spend every day thinking about it, but when the anniversary comes around, many of us remember that day very well. There are other times some of us think about it—when everyone else seems to have forgotten. Continue reading “But We Have Forgotten—9/11/01”→
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. — ESV
How many of us feel like we have been perfected in love? Does fear spring up from time to time? Perhaps it is a constant problem. According to what we find in the verse above, it is because we expect punishment and have not received God’s perfect love.
Have you ever paused and considered how many different ways Jesus could have changed the world? As the author of life and the creator of the universe, He had all the knowledge and ability needed to do anything. Jesus could have invented things that weren’t even a thought among men, until about two thousand years after He died. He could have made exhaustive lists of the best remedies for all diseases—existing and upcoming. He could have written books on any number of subjects. No doubt they would have been the last word on every subject He touched.
The life of man, if left to his own devices, is like the seething waves of the sea, forever beating against the rocks, finding no rest for his soul. Like the restless tongue described in James, he is set on fire by hell, burning with passions, lusts and dreams not given by God. These provide an impetus to search in all the wrong places for the peace he longs for more than anything in the world, but can never seem to secure as his own. In fact, everything he sets his gaze upon to pursue in hope of finding this peace, only stings in the end, with the poison of sin that drags him deeper into his pit of misery. Continue reading “He Keeps Us In Perfect Peace”→
Where is the fear of the Lord? If we gaze across the global landscape, it is an obviously missing ingredient in the vast majority of influential societies. It is probably beyond coincidence that our world is in chaos right now. I think the two are very much connected. In times past, there have been great evils done and endorsed by large segments of the populace. However, it seems it was mostly because of blindness and deception. Or prejudices and biases. Continue reading “Where Is The Fear Of The Lord?”→
Often, I’ve thought of a hedge of protection as something God sovereignly gives to people for reasons not practical or traceable. I’ve thought the only thing you can really do practically to obtain a hedge, is to ask for it. Of course, it is true that asking for it helps greatly. Many times we have not because we ask not. It is also true that God is sovereign and we can’t always trace why He does things. Continue reading “Receiving A Hedge Of Protection”→
Our spiritual walk is an evolving one. God does not mean for us to be stagnant, stale or slothful. Because of this, we frequently find ourselves coming to the end of seasons and into the beginning of new ones. As the new ones begin, it is similar to a birth. We have the pains and struggles of a birth as a new form of spiritual life or duty manifests.
Proverbs 20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts. – ESV
What a statement from the wisest man who ever lived apart from Jesus. It is very counter cultural, and even counter intuitive for many of us. Our flesh cries out against the thought of discipline. That very fact should be an encouragement for us to consider embracing it. Often what is perceived as bad by the natural man, is good for us spiritually. Continue reading “A Merciful Stroke From Heaven’s Whip”→
Hebrews 12:26-28 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. – ESV Continue reading “A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken”→
Note: this post was first published on this site October 25, 2017
Freedom—the human spirit longs for it; people steal for it, go broke for it, even murder for it…and then there are people who actually fight for it and find it. This may come off as a strange or mysterious way to describe this cosmic battle. But as with all things, we will view this through the lens of spiritual understanding. Most take for granted that freedom is a good thing. There are exceptions to this rule. Mainly you find them in people who want to take away others’ freedom. Or else people who have a sycophantic view of those tyrants. But you will find in the main-stream human being, a general acknowledgment of the virtues of liberty. Continue reading “Freedom”→
Jude is not a popular book by most standards. It’s short, and it uses its limited space to mostly put forth some very stern warnings and convictions. It lists many attributes of fake Christians having snuck into the ranks of those Jude was writing to. The one that stuck out to me is found in verse 12 when it refers to shepherds feeding themselves. Continue reading “Shepherds Feeding Themselves”→
At some point in my walk with the Lord, I had a revelation concerning the seriousness of suppressing the truth. It occurred to me that it is the ultimate form of self-righteousness and evil. Suppressing God’s truth is like saying to God, “Your version of reality is a lie. I’d rather construct my own universe in which I can govern things as I please.” If God’s truth has the audacity to enter that universe, and toy with my fragile constructs that suit my own agenda, I’ll evict it and go on with my own way. Continue reading “Suppressing The Truth”→
Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. –NIV 84’
I’ve gone through times in my Christian walk when I felt powerless over sin and evil. I had to wonder what people meant by saying we no longer have to sin after we become Christians. Supposedly we only have to be born spiritually and our desire for sin is automatically cut off. And all we want is to do good. Continue reading “Hate Evil And Do Good”→
It’s easy to look across the landscape of global activity and become frustrated, fearful and angry at this time. There is a shaking happening. There is a storm going on. A storm of spiritual warfare. Things look dark to many. Not necessarily because of the Corona Virus itself but many times because of the fallout that comes from it. It is exposing corrupt desires of tyranny in many American leaders. It is causing an increased outpouring of hatred, lies and manipulation from our media. People are divided like never before. Some are virtue signaling by getting their neighbors in trouble. Continue reading “The Storm Before The Calm”→
As people in various states and occupations practice sheltering in place, they do so to avoid placing themselves in vulnerable situations physically. There was a time when Jesus’ disciples practiced sheltering in place, because of an order from their Master. It had nothing to do with their physical well being. It was for their spiritual effectiveness.
We have heard many times that in Jesus is all victory. This is true, but I’d like to raise the bar a little higher by stating that in Jesus all is victory. Basically this means that not only is every victory we have, found in Jesus, but that if we abide in Jesus continually, all we face will be swallowed up in the victory we already have in Christ. Continue reading “In Him All Is Victory”→
1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —ESV
How many times do we go through life reacting to the circumstances around us, and feeling justified in doing so? It is tempting to be thankful when things are going good, and to complain when things are not going as planned.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. –NKJV
Here is a timely subject. It’s been in my list of post titles for some time now, perhaps waiting for such a time as this. And no, I’m not digging it out to preach at anyone. I’ve had fears of various kinds throughout my life. They’ve usually not been the same as the fears the masses have. For example, right now I feel no fear about the Corona Virus. But having experienced fears of many other kinds, I am no one to cast judgement. The only blame I have is for those who are intentionally creating the fear. But even with them, I have to pause and realize, our battle is not against flesh and blood. Continue reading “He Did Not Give Us A Spirit Of Fear”→
Dying is something none of us wants to do, but every time we do it, we are pleased with the results. We want more of it. We want a deeper death next time. But next time comes and it’s still a battle. I’m not talking about a literal death of course. That only happens once. But even the death we deal to our sinful, or carnal nature, is perhaps good practice for the literal event. Continue reading “Dying Takes Practice”→
Joshua 24:14-15 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – ESV Continue reading “Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve”→
I’ve been reading a memoir of John Bunyan. He was a great sinner before he found grace and had many struggles as a Christian because of it. I’ve found a few parallels to his and my own testimony and have been very taken in by the story of his life. As I was reading, I ran across this line, and it seemed to me to sum it all up nicely: “Satan is loath to part with a great sinner.” Continue reading “Satan Is Loath To Part With A Great Sinner”→
1 Kings 18:24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” – ESV
This was Elijah facing off with the prophets of Baal. As he went into this confrontation with a false god, the litmus test all agreed on, was that the true God would answer by fire. Elijah did not concoct this scenario himself, just in case we get the idea he was putting God to the test. In verse 36, as he prayed, he said he did it all at God’s word. Continue reading “The God Who Answers By Fire”→
In many cases believers find themselves going back and forth between grace and works as if the two are mutually exclusive. Somehow we can’t seem to grasp the fact that the two can coexist and even thrive together. But only if we have them in the right order and from the right source. If we work for God without first entering His grace, our work will be carnal and polluted and we have no hope of salvation. Continue reading “Work For It, Or Walk In It?”→
Another year behind us, a fresh one on the horizon. It’s amazing how the week between Christmas and New Year causes us to put on the brakes and think soberly. I know I did this past week, as I reflected on 2019 and focused on my Kingdom Goals for 2020. This year has been an incredible mixture of trials and joy, of failures and successes, of laughter and tears. So much has shifted, changed and been cleansed from my life. I lost a business and gained one. We had lost a child through miscarriage in 2018, but gained another this year. Step by step, God shuffled little things and big things to suit His purpose. Continue reading “Kingdom Goals For 2020”→
Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. –ESV Continue reading “For To Us A Child Is Born…”→
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. —NASB
Many people talk about God’s unconditional love these days. To me it is a moot point whether God loves unconditionally or not. All we need to know is that we cannot receive God’s love without meeting certain conditions. So even if He does love us unconditionally, it does us no good if we do not avail ourselves of it by meeting His conditions. This is true of even the first step in receiving God’s love through the promise of salvation. Salvation is for everyone, but only if we repent and accept Jesus’ righteousness for our filthy rags. In the same way, we find conditions attached to the promises we live by after receiving the first taste of God’s love. Continue reading “All Is Good—If We Love Him”→
How often do we face enemies? How often do we retreat? I’m not talking about physical enemies. We are in a war in the spiritual realm. Every day, if we are wise, we put on our armor, ready to do battle. The battle does not wait on us—it is around us all the time. We can choose to be caught in the cross-fire or become effective combatants. And though the battle is not physical, the best examples on how to fight in it can be drawn from physical parallels. Continue reading “Standing Before Our Enemies”→
1 Corinthians 14:32-33 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. –ESV
How many times do we find ourselves in doubt—questioning the will of God, our motives and even the path we are on? In a sense, these questions can be good. A person who never has doubts or at least serious consideration concerning some of these things probably does not have a healthy fear of God. But perhaps at times we take it too far and bog down in our consideration of details. Continue reading “He Is Not A God Of Confusion”→
I am going through a major transition in business right now. My partner and I had two businesses together. We have agreed to separate, with him taking one business and me taking the other on negotiated terms. I have sensed that God has orchestrated this. I believe He has led me to this place, but it has been a walk of faith. The business I am leaving behind is one that I believe God showed me He cannot bless. I won’t delve into the reasons why. After He had shown me this, I prayed for Him to open doors in a different direction. Immediately things went terribly wrong in the business I am leaving behind. The result is me leaving it and taking over the other business on negotiated terms. Continue reading “Dealing With The Curses Of Balak”→
The history of Halloween is a long one. Many cultural practices have conspired to create the product we have today. I’ll try to present this information chronologically to avoid confusion, and will add a few of my own thoughts at the end. I do not claim to have created a comprehensive account here; only a brief over-view, since many are not familiar with the basic history of Halloween. Continue reading “The History Of Halloween”→
There are many things that guide people, that people essentially use as a compass. Money, relationships, entertainment and pleasures of all kinds. Or perhaps in many cases these things are more like treats dangled in front of us, leading us one step at a time to an unknown destination. In our natural state, we are quite content with this moment by moment existence. Our imagination keeps us supplied with notions of how ultimately we control the course we are on. But that is not reality. We are really walking one step at a time in a mirage that is ever shifting and changing on us. But we have no problem with it when we are walking in the flesh. Continue reading “God, My Compass”→
We were all created with the need for a Shepherd. In Eden, man communed regularly with God and they were in a perfect state of dependence on their Shepherd. When man fell, it was due to the fact that they wanted to become shepherds and gods unto themselves. God let them have their way in this and they effectively became independent of God. Continue reading “Our Need For A Shepherd”→
In an age where repentance is hardly acknowledged as a necessary means of salvation, my title may come off as paradoxical to some. Many view the idea of repentance negatively. It creates a premise that we are fundamentally evil. This used to be a commonly held belief in the church. But today many have lost sight of it and have turned to some hippie version of Christianity. They believe all is mellow and all people are good at their core. Continue reading “The Gift Of Repentance”→
When we first started out on our journey of faith it might have come as a surprise to us that we were destined for hardship. The first few bumps we faced certainly did not inspire joy, and probably caused us to pause and evaluate. What did we sign up for? Is it worth the cost? Or perhaps like myself you might have thought, ‘I can make it through these few trials—surely after this all will be well on my journey.’ Continue reading “Do We Count It All Joy?”→
Many times we get caught up in the time leading to the second coming of Jesus. This is to be expected. There is so much going on in that season. The chaos. The promise of revival. The dread of persecution and darkness. There is good and evil on the horizon—both in proportions possibly not seen before in the world. This equals great conflict and of course absorbs a lot of our attention. Continue reading “Are We Prepared To Marvel?”→
It is no secret among those of us who are truly enlightened, that what the world calls enlightenment is nothing more than an excuse to actually go back in time, presenting old evils in a different light. And if we do not agree with the moral legitimacy of what they present, then we are outdated and unintelligent. But I find it interesting since, what is being presented as enlightened and cutting edge, is often, as I mentioned, actually just a repackaged version of an ancient evil. Sometimes it is not even repackaged, they just bring it back and call it the height of enlightenment to accept it. Continue reading “The Age Of Enlightenment”→
A while back, after a major spiritual breakthrough, I had incredible peace. I had just made contact with someone from back in grade school whom the Lord had led me to reconcile with. I’ve had major wounds in my heart from childhood, and bullying from school and elsewhere had played a major part. After battling in my mind for many days, I could not deny what the Lord was asking me to do—and I finally extended forgiveness.
As mentioned above, the result was a major breakthrough and peace. I communed with Jesus and celebrated what He did for me. The thought crossed my mind that more and more I am clothed and in my right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus. My problems throughout life have obviously not been equal to the man in the tombs from whom Jesus cast out the legion of demons, but I’ve had some.
Last week I explored the scriptural directions in finding rest. But what if God is asking you to push ahead amidst difficult circumstances? Sure we can find rest in any and all circumstances, but sometimes we also need strength. Sometimes God will not allow us to completely lay down something we are walking in. Perhaps the work He is doing in us through the road we are walking on is not complete. Maybe the work He is doing through us for others is not complete. But we are worn out. What is the Biblical example to finding strength in these situations? Continue reading “Where Do We Find Strength?”→
Amos 3:2 “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. –ESV
I have heard many people mocking the concept of God’s punishment on nations for embracing iniquity. As it relates to laws enacted and proclamations made in the United States, many have pointed to other nations to say that that nation has embraced the same debauchery as the U.S. many years prior and they do not see any judgement from God. Continue reading “God’s Punishment On Those He Has Known”→
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Our Imagination & The Devil’s Lies
When we were yet sinners and unrepentant, we looked at the unchanging character of God as boring. Perhaps we thought anything that stays the same for that long must be stale. Our hearts were flitting this way and that, looking for freshness, excitement and ultimately—life. Ironically, all the things that feel like life to the carnal man bring death over time. Continue reading “God’s Unchanging Character”→
Everyone is propelled by some external force—some kind of spiritual winds. As much as we would like to think we are pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, we really aren’t. There is a fierce battle for our wills, our destinies and our souls. No one is exempt, and no one emerges from the battle a neutral bystander. Especially not in the age we find ourselves in. Continue reading “The Winds In Your Sail”→
How many of us felt like royalty when we came to the Lord? Were we not wretches instead? Would we not still be wretched if He had not plucked us from the mire we were in? The answer to the last two questions is obviously yes. But does that mean we exist just beyond wretchedness after receiving grace? Continue reading “From Wretches To Royalty”→
Most of us have been taught how to avert the wrath of God from our lives. Through cleansing by the blood of Jesus we are made whole and righteous before God. We put on the righteousness of Christ since He took our sins on Himself if we will but repent of them. It is an exchange. The greatest gift in the universe. But beyond an aversion of wrath, what is it that actually pleases God? The process I just described has, at it’s base, the component needed to please God in an elementary form. Continue reading “What Pleases God?”→
This may seem like a strange term, but I use it to make an illustration. So much of what we see on the internet, especially on social media, has to do with people building their brand. There is a lot of traffic on the internet. People can go there without leaving their seats. It’s where we can find a convergence of every conceivable demographic. The first thing that comes to a business savvy person’s mind is, how do I target these people and make them part from their money? And how can I get a little fame mixed in with the deal? Continue reading “Building God’s Brand”→
I am amazed at the amount of times God has revealed a certain level of glory to me and I was willing to sit back and say, “ah this is wonderful, I’ll just hang out here.” There have been times I reached points of victory that were great and I could not, in my little mind see anything better on the horizon. I’ve learned by now (I think) to assume that as long as I am alive, there is more coming. Not to mention the final glory when our race is finished, if we have finished well. Continue reading “From One Glory To A Greater”→
I have come down hard on some of the movements in modern Religion in a few posts on this blog. Some of this has been reactionary, coming from my own experience in some of these movements which produced frustration within me and a cry for something better. Something authentic, lacking men’s agenda and filled with the presence of God. I believe God has allowed me to experience some of these things first hand for a reason. Continue reading “The Spirit Of Religion—And The Aftermath”→
Many times we as Christians have drawn lines in the sand and then buried our heads in the same sand while our spiritual enemies erase the line. When we look up, the line is gone, so we draw it again—farther back this time. The enemy has gained territory. Sometimes it’s in society, sometimes in the church. Sometimes personally sometimes corporately. Continue reading “A Line In The Sand, Or Our Heads In The Sand?”→
You may think my title is paradoxical. Perhaps you’ve been fed a syrupy, gooey gospel that would not allow for the legitimacy of godly grief. I find the term comforting. It can be found in scripture—it is legitimate and the outcome of it is beautiful. Continue reading “A Godly Grief Embraced”→
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. –ESV
This verse is from the Bible so we must begin with the premise that it is true. But many times we look around and see what we perceive as righteous people cowering before an onslaught of evil bullies. I’m not talking about martyrs facing persecution. Even in this it is possible to be bold as a lion. Continue reading “A Lion In The Kingdom”→
I’ve heard many references given to the idea of being a living sacrifice for God. But recently I came on a fresh perspective by Sarah Liberman on her Facebook page. She simply stated that “God’s fire does not fall on an empty alter.” It was a profound statement I thought. It said so much with so few words. Continue reading “A Living Sacrifice”→
Something I thought of recently was the way various groups of people reacted to the wonders Jesus performed when he came into their communities. In some cases, they attracted people. Mostly those who needed deliverance or healing. This seems pretty natural. Then there were those who felt threatened by His works because they upset a power structure they wished to maintain. But there was still another reaction some people had: fear. Continue reading “How Do We Look At The Wonders Of God?”→
The Israelites were in bondage to Egypt for over 400 years. There came a time when God finally raised up a man to deliver them. Through this man, Moses, God brought plagues on Egypt to incentivize Pharaoh to free the Israelites. 9 plagues of the worst kinds were not enough to completely convince Pharaoh to release his captives. Continue reading “Passover: Origin, Practices and Christian Significance”→
Ezekiel 20:30-31 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you. Continue reading “I Will Not Be Inquired Of By You”→
Something I have noticed throughout my Christian walk is that many times God lets me see what I would be left with if He would not move on my behalf. Sometimes I see a problem on the horizon and I work ahead of time to try and solve it before crunch time. I pray about it, but I also do everything I can to avoid disaster. Continue reading “If God Would Not Move”→
Wales has a history of a few revivals, but the one most talked about is the third one, which by most accounts started in early 1904. In a town called New Quay there was a preacher named Joseph Jenkins. He is considered to be the leader of the early stages of the Welsh Revival. Continue reading “The Third Welsh Revival”→
Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! –ESV
How often have we stood in the shadows and watched as others partake of the goodness of God, thinking instinctively that we have no portion in this? Even many who have some type of relationship with God, do not realize what is theirs experientially in Christ Jesus. Continue reading “Taste And See That The Lord Is Good”→
It’s like there is a lullaby playing on a PA system that reaches around the world. Spiritual slumber is settling like a cloud on hordes of Christians. With the availability of so many things that are spiritual poison to those who languish in them, many have done exactly that. Distractions, entertainment, ease, and comfort, help us along in our drowsy state if we revel in them. I am no exception. Continue reading “The Slumber Of This Age”→
You may have read the title of this post and wondered if I have gone off the deep end. Well, I haven’t. The purpose of this post is not to try and soften my characterization of evil in any way. I am not trying to justify evil by showing how it can serve God’s purpose. Rather, I am simply after two legitimate points: Continue reading “When Evil Serves The Purpose Of God”→
The mind has been referred to by many as a battlefield. It is true, there are many ideas that contend for supremacy in the mind of man. The victorious one will dictate the actions of a person and will leave their mark on history. The others disappear and will never be known in the external world. Continue reading “Think About Such Things”→
Matthew 24:11-12 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. –ESV
We are living in a time when this prophecy is being fulfilled. In general, it describes the condition of the modern church. And yet the dominant movement of tolerance in the modern church is said to be rooted in love. Many say or imply that it is a form of Godly love to have little or no regard for sin in the church body. Sin is lawlessness and according to the above referenced verses, it leads to a waning love. Continue reading “The Love Of Many Will Grow Cold”→
On December 14th2018 Jonas and Kristi drove from their temporary home in Virginia to New York City to catch a flight from the JFK airport. They were beginning a two week trip to the Holy Land. They had each been there before—Kristi with a church group and Jonas through the military, but this was their first trip together. It was also Jonas’s first trip there since becoming a believer, so it had added appeal to him particularly. Continue reading “Discovering Israel—With Jonas & Kristi Troyer”→
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. –ESV
This chapter in Hebrews is notorious. It has many graphic illustrations of faith–practiced by those of whom the world was not worthy. I recommend reading the whole chapter if you want a deeper faith. But in this post I would like to explore this one verse. And share a simple illustration for those who may be struggling to understand faith at all. Continue reading “Faith—A Simple Illustration”→
If you have been walking in the faith for any amount of time, you have probably wondered what your purpose is here on earth. Why were you made? What plan does God have for you? And what does any of this have to do with the title of this post? Continue reading “When heaven descends”→
As I go through life, many times simply trying to get through the next big hurdle, trying to meet the next deadline, or achieve my next self imposed goal, (not to be confused with a Kingdom goal) I can get pretty absorbed in mundane matters before I know it. When I start down this road, I catch myself eventually and remind myself of the dangers of this road if traveled for too long. Continue reading “The Fingerprints Of God”→
Well 2018 is coming to a close, Christmas is over and the new year is about to begin. It is a well known tradition to make resolutions for the coming year, but I’ve found that for most people, those are setups for failure and disappointment. Most likely it’s because we enter into these resolutions with our own will and strength. And most of us know that nothing of eternal value is done with our own strength or will anyway. Continue reading “Kingdom Goals For 2019”→
I know some of these plays on words are cliché by now, but it struck me how true this one is, and I have never seen it before as far as I know, so it might even be original. Being holy before the Lord is not something written or talked about much in the church today, since the popular message seems to be grace. And the way grace is talked about in many cases is not necessarily Biblical. Continue reading “Holy (& Wholly) Unto The Lord”→
Many things in life are illusions, deceptions and counterfeits. If we have the Spirit of God as our counsel, and a healthy hunger for the truth, then this soon becomes obvious. The more we walk the walk of faith, the more we come to realize how little in this life is honest, real, and lasting. Continue reading “Stimulation Does Not Equal Life”→
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Continue reading “Nothing Can Separate Us…”→
Matthew 5:14 & 15 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. –ESV
Some of the posts I publish are nothing more than a reflection of my own mistakes and the lessons I learned from them. Lucky for those who read my posts, I have made plenty of mistakes and shouldn’t have a shortage of materials any time soon. I am reminded, because this post definitely falls in this category. Continue reading “Going Through Life Like A Battering Ram”→
Everyone has times when they feel alone and like no one understands their situation or their life. This can especially be the case for believers. Since our relationship with God is personal on most levels and corporate on a smaller level, there is a lot of room for misunderstanding. Continue reading “When Others Don’t Understand”→
There are many analogies thrown around, many metaphors given, and many philosophical statements made, in an attempt to encapsulate life and the world we live in. These methods create points of reference and pictures in our minds. So bear with me as I present yet another analogy. Continue reading “The Tightrope Of Life”→
Here is a subject that seems appropriate for the fall season. It is a time when many in rural areas are harvesting what they have planted in the spring. You see pumpkins and cornstalks lining shops in town. Local produce has been available for some time now. Soon the leaves will change and fall—nuts will drop to the ground in abundance. Squirrels and other animals harvest these nuts and have a nice store for winter. Continue reading “When The Harvest Is Not Yet”→
The priorities of the human mind amaze me. The way we embrace delusion for reality, and temporal over eternal many times. Even the most strategic businessmen—who are well acquainted with waiting patiently for a reward—do not necessarily know much about storing up eternal wealth. Also, many people in the faith do not behave as though there is another world coming. One more important than the one in which they find themselves. Continue reading “Temporal Or Eternal—Where Is Your Reward?”→
One would think that between light and darkness, the choice would be easy. If we were presented with a straight forward option between the two, it probably would be. The problem is, there is a friend of darkness who has strategies of glamorizing darkness and lying about its consequences. He presents doorways into darkness and calls them portals of light. This is especially the case in the age we find ourselves in. And this friend of darkness—Satan—has hordes of helpers—spiritual and physical, who are quite willing to be an echo chamber for him. Continue reading “Light—In The Midst Of Darkness”→
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. –ESV
This is a familiar verse to many of us. It has probably also been an inspiration to many. How many of us became born again, and did not learn to despise our old ways? It is impossible. Do the old things tantalize us from time to time? Sure, but then we remember what Christ has done for us and the death that comes with sin. Continue reading “The Old Has Gone, The New Has Come”→
The battle of the will is one that has spanned the ages. But no matter how many decades, centuries and millennia pass by, man is not content to honestly settle the issue of who knows best. Or who has supreme authority. This can extend into human authority that God has ordained as well. Continue reading “My Will Be Done, Or God’s Will Be Done?”→
We’ve all heard the old saying: “the truth hurts.” On face value it appears to be that way many times. You say something to someone without thinking. That person takes offense at what you said, even though you didn’t mean to be offensive. You have hit a nerve you didn’t know was there. Continue reading “The Truth Hurts—But Only If You’re Living A Lie”→
Refining lives through trials is something we hear a lot about as believers. We nod our heads and recognize the self-evident truth of the matter. But when our turn comes we tend to be a little more skeptical about the necessity of the procedure. Continue reading “The Fiery Trials Of Life”→
Are you hearing God’s voice speaking into your life? Many people make this out to be a mystical, unattainable thing, reserved either for lunatics or great men of God. And then there are some people who think there is no difference between the two. I’m not speaking to that person—I am speaking to the person who would like to hear from God, but is struggling. Continue reading “Making Room For God’s Voice”→
We live in sleepy times. Times when people would rather shrug their shoulders and turn the other way than stand for something decent. On the other hand, there seems to be no trouble in finding people willing to stand for what is immoral, and hold it up as the highest of virtues. Alarm clocks and wedding bells. Continue reading “Alarm Clocks & Wedding Bells”→
As you have probably heard by now, the Supreme Court reached an important decision on Monday June 4th2018. They were hearing the case of Masterpiece Cake Shop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Continue reading “SCOTUS Cake Shop Decision”→
How many military victories have been obtained by surrender? To the best of my knowledge—none. Traditionally, the nation represented by the military force that surrenders gets the lesser end of the terms laid out by their adversary. In extreme cases, they forfeit all they have and become slaves to the ones they have surrendered to. Continue reading “Surrender—A Paradoxical Path To Victory”→
Last week I wrote a post titled Yesterday—A Thing Of The Past. I Decided to keep things going on this track for two more weeks. This week I want to address the time we unnecessarily spend thinking about our future. Or the future of a corporate body we may be a part of. We’ve all heard the saying “tomorrow never comes.” It’s true, but we fail to grasp it at times. Continue reading “Tomorrow—A Day That Never Comes”→
How much time do we really spend in the present? It obviously varies from person to person. I know I have had to learn to do it—it doesn’t come naturally for many people. The temptation is to either dwell in the past, regretting things you have done, or else to look to the future in fear. Also there is the possibility of looking at the past through sentimental eyes, wondering why your present doesn’t match up. None of these are healthy—we miss what God has planned for us right now. Continue reading “Yesterday—A Thing Of The Past”→
“What do youknow about? Words & Wonders?” My brother asked me when I told him I had no interest in a particular conversation going on around me, for my lack of knowledge on the topic. This got us going about my blog, and I started digging for the meaning of my tagline. I finally decided it was a good time to identify what it means and share it with my audience. Continue reading “Words & Wonders”→
How often do we find some version of this admonition in the Bible? It was most famously spoken in preparing Joshua to lead the Israelites into Canaan, but a version of it is scattered throughout scripture so often, I think my time would be more effectively spent otherwise, than to get an exact count. The point is, the principle of courage and over-coming fear is one often repeated in the Bible—and for good reason. Continue reading “Be Courageous—Fear Not!”→
Like most things in our culture that once seemed pretty innocent, reading for the serious believer is now something that is done with care and caution. The entertainment industry and media are filled with evil—and books, magazines, blogs, and news-papers are not exempt. There was a time when many main-stream writers were producing content that was more wholesome than some things Christians are writing today. As a result of our nation’s shift in world-view, wholesome literature has become marginalized, and is now a niche market. Continue reading “Writing From A Christian World-View”→
How many times do you find yourself slogging through life, thinking you’re on your own, and you have to figure everything out from scratch? I know I do it from time to time, and I used to do it a lot. Pride can be a factor in this, as well as inferiority. Funny how these two are found together so many times. The thing is, two opposite extremes tend to be very comfortable in the same environment—they feed off each other and react to one another. But that’s not the point of this post—maybe I’ll do one on that later. Continue reading “The Art Of The Question”→
How many of you have uncircumcised Philistines in your life? Maybe they live rent-free in your head, mocking your dreams, visions, and goals, especially if they are Divinely inspired. Or they use other people to do it. Perhaps they speak through certain members of the media, or their political counter-parts, taunting the armies of God. Whether on a personal or corporate level, these are giants that can intimidate, bully, and shame you to ineffectiveness if you let them. Continue reading “Uncircumcised Philistines”→
OCD has become a bit of a buzz word among millennials, and those who have bits and pieces of it, seem to wear it as a badge of honor. You will hear phrases such as, “I’m really OCD about keeping dust off my computer but a cluttered room doesn’t bother me.” Or you may hear one of dozens of other variations of this line, depending on the preferences of the individual. The way it is said, makes you aware the person saying it is proud of his or her idiosyncrasy, and thinks it is a part of what makes them unique. Those who have more than just bits and pieces of OCD don’t seem to be quite as proud of their situation. They just quietly do what their OCD requires and wish many times they could just let some things go. Continue reading “From OCD To Excellence”→
or soon you will have no time. No one can add a single hour to their lives by being anxious according to Matthew 6:27, and yet it comes naturally for many of us.
Why do we have such a hard time believing that worry has no merits? First of all, many of the things we worry about do not come to pass, which makes it seem like our worry is being rewarded, thus giving it credibility in our minds. We do not allow that these might be coincidences, (or God’s mercy) and yet the many small (and sometimes large) miracles we receive from God daily, we so easily put down as coincidences. This is trickery from the enemy; we are misplacing our faith. Continue reading “Don’t give worry time to demonstrate it’s value—”→