Friday, December 27, 2013

A News Year's Resolution...?                                                          12-27-13

I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore. The RESOLVE in my resolution to lose 20 pounds quickly melts as the visions of  Penn Station cheesesteaks or  Firehouse Sub meatball marinaras dance wildly about in my head. As someone once told me" they call me by name." Oh well...I will trod down to the gym and do my penance on the treadmill as if it will do me any good. Unfortunately those 20 pounds aren't coming off without a dose of self control and discipline. Amen?  As I was thinking about what to write today, this passage rolled by my eyes.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NASB) 7  But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;
8  for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

The Apostle Paul is encouraging Timothy, his pupil in the faith to train himself to attain to godliness. Why? Because it holds promise not only for the next life, but, for THIS LIFE as well. I thought to myself"hmmm... that sounds like a good New Year's resolution. Let's see here.. Godliness..hmm oh here it is. According to Mounce's Expository Dictionary, it is defined as "a manner of life that is devoted to God." Also, Paul exhorts Timothy (and by default you and me of course) pursue godliness strenuously. 

1 Timothy 6:11 (NASB) 11  But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
But, I need a little more help here's just not... wait a minute there it is. Look at this.
Godliness is a life DEVOTED to God. O.K lets see here...devoted, that's it. there it is.

Devoted-" to attend to or devote oneself to in a regular and steadfast manner." To be around or commune with in a consistent and persistent manner. You see, I had the wrong idea about Godliness.
Godliness isn't about being "spiritual," I can't find Godliness in a set of rules of conduct or behavior; whether they have been set by me or someone else. No, that in and of itself is nothing more than mere religion. Godliness eludes me when I attempt to tie it to some doctrine or creed. You know what I mean don't you? You have to believe a certain way(usually the way I believe) to be "Godly." Allow me this aside on doctrine. While there are some fundamental truths about the Christian faith, once we go beyond Christ, the Cross and His Resurrection, it's ALL DOCTRINE. Remember this brothers and sisters, God is the Judge and the Justifier. He is the author and FINISHER of our faith, and only when we stand before the Lord Jesus will we be called to account for our doctrines and our works. Jesus and JESUS ALONE will decide whether our works will stand or fall before Him.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (NASB) 12  Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13  each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.

You see folks being Godly isn't about rules or conduct. It isn't about saying the right things or acting the right way. It's not about outward appearance. Being Godly is about being with and around God. It's about letting Him free your heart from hatred. It's about letting Him free your mind from worry.(something I saw on Facebook today) It's about you and me ceasing from our attempts at "being spiritual" and attending to God; letting HIM make us spiritual from the inside out. Do we want a "Godly" new year? Then let us spend time meditating on His Word. Let us spend time with Him alone in His presence and allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives. Let us pursue TRUE righteousness and godliness.

Happy New Year All.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB) 23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24  And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

God Bless

Friday, December 20, 2013

Enough Is Enough                                                             12-20-13

Proverbs 19:3 (NASB) 3  The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the LORD.

Merry Christmas All! It won't be long until the big fat man pays us a visit. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season.

That verse above is one of my favorite verses in all the Bible. I remember what my stepfather, years ago when I was a teenager, used to tell me, " there's nothing but trouble out there past 11 o'clock." The clock crept up every year until I became a senior. Then it went like this, " there's nothing out there but trouble after 12 o'clock." The time had changed but the message had not. After a certain time there was nothing out there but trouble. As I grew up and stepped out on my own, much to my chagrin, I found something else out. It didn't matter what time it was, trouble was always out there! As a matter of fact, I didn't even have to look for trouble, it would find me!! Can I get a witness from anyone out there? 

Understand this, everybody has limits. The patience of even the most cool and level headed among us can be pushed to the breaking point. Parents with children, employers with employees, police and judges with lawbreakers..everyone reaches a point where ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Can I get an amen please?

 The wisdom of the above verse rings in my ears on almost a daily basis. It has
been an eye opener to me in my own life more times than I care to remember. Here's how it goes. We will get out there and test the limits of God's Word. God in His mercy will protect us in our stupidity time and time again. We'll keep pushing the envelope until one of two things happen.1) All Hades comes crashing down as a natural response to ignoring what God's Word says. OR 2) All Hades comes crashing down because God has had enough and it's time for a trip to the woodshed. Either way....well you get the picture. So when we are sitting in the middle of the road trying to get the number of the truck that just clocked us, what do we do? We take it out on the Lord. That's the message of that verse. OUR FOOLISHNESS ruins our life but we rage against God. All God has been doing all along is protecting us from ourselves; yet we are calling Him on the carpet for our demise. 

   Proverbs 20:2 (NASB) 2  The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

I never was a Bob Dylan fan, but he wrote a song "..Gotta Serve Somebody."
In the song he says that we may be somebody or nobody, rich or poor, famous, infamous, or unknown BUT we ARE going to serve somebody. If we don't bow to mama and daddy, we will bow to the police. If we don't bow to the police, we will bow to the judge. If we don't bow to the judge, we will bow to BIG BUBBA in the jail, BUT, we are going to bow to someone. You, me, the next door neighbor...we are going to serve someone. As Bob Dylan says,"it might be the devil, it might be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody."

I will leave you with this. No matter how far you or I have fallen, God is there. No matter how bad we have been, God has forgiven us. If you need to feel His love, His touch, His forgiveness all you need do is ask. If you will take one step toward God, He will come running to you and gather you up in His arms. He's holding NOTHING against you or me.

 Romans 8:38-39 (NASB) 38  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Psalm 130:3-4 (NASB) 3  If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
4  But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.

God Bless


Friday, December 13, 2013

Only In The Next Life                                                                  12-13-13

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB) 12  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Pastor Doug's son Joshua wrote me a note this week. In it he wondered aloud if the messages were impacting people's lives. He then made this comment "We will know for sure in the next life.." That set me to thinking. There are things that happen in this life that are ..well...strange. Or as one fast food company advertises "outside the box."  They are dissonant(my new word for the week) out of harmony. You see it all the time. An evangelist will have a healing ministry and some people get healed and some don't. Others are called to prophesy and some of their prophecies come to pass and some don't. There are ministries that we would label as shallow and self-serving; yet, God prospers and uses them mightily for His purposes. While others that we consider far more insightful and in depth, labor in obscurity,seemingly forgotten by God. Personal theologies are adjusted and overhauled to harmonize with reality. Just recently a nationally prominent Pastor wrote a scathing rebuke of a prominent theological position. It didn't work, it didn't fit. It wasn't in harmony with his belief system. He was left with no other avenue save to attack it.

During a conversation this week I was reminded of a popular saying from the movie "Rudy." In response to a question posed to him by Rudy,the priest in the movie said that in 30 something years of ministry he(the priest) had learned two incontrovertible facts, "...there is a God and I ain't Him!" Brothers and sisters that basically sums it up.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB) 8  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
9  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Allow me to present you with a profound and even scary concept.I hesitate to even speak about it because my understanding of it is infantile at best. But, it is on my heart so I'll go with it.

God Is Sovereign. Again. God Is Sovereign

That's it Ronnie !?? God is sovereign?? Sheesshh Jenkins...everybody knows that!


1) a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler
2)a person who has supreme power or authority

Those words make good sense...sometimes. Supreme power, unquestioned and unchallenged authority, supreme authority. Truths about the God that you and I serve. These are lofty and well received words when all is well.When there is enough money in the bank, when we have good health, WHEN ALL IS WELL.

But, and let me state emphatically here that I am preaching to me at this point. BUT,when our lives are outside the box, when ALL IS NOT WELL, when our current and long held theology ISN'T working... God is STILL SOVEREIGN. When all hell is breaking loose in our lives, when there is nothing but affliction and suffering, He is still working His purpose. Listen brothers and sisters, consider those words CAREFULLY. I assure you that I will. We are frail creatures folks. I can unashamedly confess that I WILL crumble under the SLIGHTEST AFFLICTION without God's grace to see me through. No amount of personal piety, repentance, prayer etc., etc., will strengthen me sufficiently. All of my "spirituality" lay in a dirty heap at the foot of the savior. I stand, no that is wrong, He UPHOLDS me in the power of His grace and His grace alone. I am helpless on my own accord. All of our theologies are just that. Theologies. Our knowledge of the one true God. And as the scripture says, it is at best partial and incomplete. Our confidence, knowledge, power and WHATEVER else we claim to be is wrapped up in one word JESUS.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB) 2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The beginner and finisher of our faith. Grace plus absolutely nothing. That's all our hope. 

God Is Sovereign.

Psalm 107:1-2 (NASB) 1
 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
2  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary

God Bless

Friday, December 6, 2013

In Times Like These                                                              12-06-13

Psalm 31:15 (NASB) 15  My times are in Your hand;

Times..the events that make up our lives on this earth. The Psalmist David learned to trust the Lord with the events and circumstances, good and bad of his "times." In times like these there are no words that comfort, no scripture that alleviates the pain, no prayer that lightens the burden. In times like these all we want to do is crawl up into God's hands and find a place with Him. All we want is to feel His arms around us and to hear Him tell us that it will be O.K. Please remember Pastor Doug, Wanda and all their family in these times.

Psalm 23:1-6 (NASB) 1
 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
3  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
6  Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

God Bless

Friday, November 29, 2013

Nothing But The Blood                                                                           11-29-13

Romans 5:9 (NASB) 9  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Man, I am stuffed. Can I get an amen? I got the night off and decided to write my message tonight. It's 2 o'clock in the morning and the peace and quiet is nice as I can hardly move after the gorging I did today. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and now let the shopping begin!!

I heard that old gospel hymn this week. It was on one of those Bill Gaither specials that come on from time to time and it touched my heart.

                                        What can wash away my sin?
                                         Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
                                         What can make me whole again?
                                         Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
                                         Oh! Precious is the flow
                                          That makes me white as snow;
                                          No other fount I know,
                                          Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

The stain of sin. We can't wash it off. We can't go to church enough, can't read our Bible enough, can't pray enough. All the holy living and good works that you and I can muster have no effect; and all the money in the world can't buy it off. As a matter of fact there is NOTHING that YOU or I can do to make it go away. No human merit or work of righteousness is sufficient. Oh, but listen. All anyone need do is get under the flow. Nothing but the blood. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

It appears that we have started a new holiday Thursday night. A lot of the stores opened tonight trying to get a head start on the competition for the holiday sales dollar. Even both of our local malls opened early this evening. Listen, I like all the holiday hustle and bustle.It brings back childhood memories and the almost unbearable countdown to the day that the big fat man made his yearly trek to my living room. Those were some good times for sure. Understand however, that this world is in a mad dash for every last dollar that it can squeeze out of us;and Jesus, and His Blood probably don't figure too prominently into the equation

Having said that, the hymn song this week made me think about the upcoming season and provoked me to consider the man Jesus. You know something? we don't serve and worship a babe in the manger any longer. Yes, I love the songs of Christmas and the baby Jesus. The sweetness of spirit that surrounds Christmas and all the rest that goes along with it. But, let me repeat..we no longer serve that babe. No, no.  We serve a crucified and risen savior; a soon coming warrior-king. The world wants to keep Jesus in that Bethlehem manger or on Calvary's cross; but He's no longer in either place. He sits on a throne in unapproachable light and glory. He's coming back to execute His vengeance upon this earth and all the inhabitants that don't know Him as Savior. He is going to set up His kingdom with all the answers to man's feeble attempts to govern the world that God gave him.  Not only does He have all the answers that men are seeking on this earth; but, He has all the answers for the sin sick soul and the weary ones that have lost their way. As they say today, He's the real deal.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB) 28  "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
29  "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
30  "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

 Even better than all that is that He loves you and me and wants to make us a part of His grand design. An important part! Find some one on one time with Him today. He knows what you are going through. Whether it is a secret sin that is weighing you down or crushing circumstances beyond your control, He has a healing Word for You and You alone. His Word says it's a sustaining word. As the song says, His Blood will wash away your sin AND make you WHOLE again.

Isaiah 50:4 (NASB) 4  The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.

 His blood still works. It can, no, it WILL save you from your sin. It will restore and refresh your soul. It will encourage and strengthen you to keep on going against the odds and will give you victory in the end. It is the only true reality in this world that we live in. And to top it off it won't cost you a dime. No standing in line and you get instant approval. Seek Him out.


Psalm 34:22 (NASB) 22  The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

God Bless            

Friday, November 22, 2013

Garbage Cans                                                                                 11-22-13

Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) 21  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

I can remember exactly where I was when President Kennedy was shot 50 years ago today. I was sitting in Mr. Morris' 8th grade English class. I will never forget it. Fifty years ago! Just another reminder of how quickly this life passes. Well, this message may get out today and it may not. I have been teaching myself to type and this is the first time that I am trying to do it all by the book. So, look for the message either today or tomorrow!lol

I had the truth of the above verse played out in front of my eyes yesterday. I have heard many sermons on the above verse. Most of them have the speaker in view as their subject; but, I want to talk today with the listener in mind. Someone once said(I can't remember who) this," My ears ain't no garbage cans." The wisdom of that statement became painfully evident to me yesterday. Allow me to elaborate.

My mother, who is ?4 years old. She would kill me if I actually revealed how young she is. (smile.)
She is somewhat frail, but manages to putter around reasonably well. Yesterday she was having a good day,busying herself with various tasks that she wanted to do. She had recently missed a phone call from a long time friend and decided that she would return that call yesterday. I was sitting at the kitchen table within earshot of Memaw when she called. It began like any other call,"hey, how you doin?" and all that; but, then something changed and Memaw became silent. After a few seconds of silence my ears perked up to hear anything. I heard her say" oh that's too bad" then after some back and forth I heard "let's talk about something else." Well, this back and forth went on and I overheard "this is depressing me, it is reminding me of what all is wrong with me, let's talk about something positive." This banter went on for about ten minutes back and forth and then I heard my mother say "I've got to go, I'm feeling funny." She wasn't kidding. I didn't think too much about it believing that she had had enough and was trying to politely say good-bye. No big deal until she called for me a couple of minutes later. I went to see what was up and saw her trying to balance herself. I asked her what was the matter and she said the room was spinning. As I went to her side she started gagging; needless to say, I became concerned. For the next few minutes it was very hectic, trying to figure out why the sudden onset of illness and what was the matter. So much so that I called my sister to come over and have a look.

O.K. The rest of the story. When mother finally calmed down, before falling asleep for the rest of the day and night she told me that the phone call had made her sick. She said that ------ had made her very nervous talking about how bad things were. It had upset her so bad that she had gotten violently ill. I asked her again today if she felt better and what had happened. She repeated that the phone call had made her sick. Words had upset her so bad that she made herself sick.

I thought of the above verse and that comment about not turning our ears into garbage cans. You see if we aren't careful, all the negative that surrounds us will affect us the hearers. Sometimes we have to zone it out. No, that doesn't mean that we get all high and mighty. I've had people tell me that they weren't going to let me bring them down AFTER asking me about a circumstance in my life. No, remember that the Bible also says that we should bear one another's burdens. But, sometimes we can't bear anymore. Amen? What is it that they say? One negative comment offsets five positives?  It's something like that. The tongue can be destructive or it can be healing.

Proverbs 12:18 (KJV) 18  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

Proverbs 10:20 (KJV) 20  The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
Listen, there are times that we can't take anymore. We have to get away and get alone with God. We have to allow Him to heal our wounds and encourage us. We have to allow Him to work it out. We are all guilty from time to time.But we have to clean out the garbage that we allow to get on the inside of us. When the hopelessness of this world poisons our spirits, there is only one antidote. You have to open up that Bible and let IT talk to you. You have to take it to the Lord and let Him heal your heart.  

Well, it took me 45 minutes to type this. It would appear that I have some work to do!
Happy Thanksgiving! Talk to you on black Friday.

  Psalm 52:2 (KJV) 2  Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.

God Bless

Friday, November 15, 2013

On Feeling Human                                                                                 11-15-13

I am often reminded of the old Temptations song,"Ball of Confusion."
"Round and around and around we go, where the world's headed, nobody knows. It's a Ball of Confusion."

From the "What else is new department." It seems that North Korea executed 80 people this week past for owning a Bible and for watching television that was being broadcast from South Korea. Not to be outdone, a CHRISTIAN pastor who is an AMERICAN CITIZEN no less is being imprisoned and tortured in Iran while his own country isn't lifting a finger in his defense as far as I can tell. Makes me wanna holler.

Acts 20:35 (NASB) 35  "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

This world is a hard place. If you don't believe me just take a trip down to the local Walmart. Cars at breakneck speeds through parking lots to get to the closest space. People shoving other people out of the way, rushing to the checkout lane. It's a jungle out there!lol But, seriously, take a look at what's happening. We are constantly bombarded by bad news. From every imaginable venue, it's ALL BAD!
I don't have to tell you, you know what I am talking about. Add to this the pressures of daily life and it is a challenge to remain positive about ANYTHING. The burden can be difficult at best. It's very easy to become hardened and cynical.Who can blame you?  The enemy's arrows are constant and when they find their target, they hurt. Yeah, I hear you. But, sometimes when our shield of faith is full of arrows and we lay it down to pick up another one we get hit. You feelin' me? At any rate we begin to build walls around our hearts because of the pain. We can become indifferent and impassive towards other people and their struggles. Not because we are mean or have "backslidden" but because our battle is fierce and OUR plate is full with very REAL problems. But, let me share a little testimony here and maybe it will help you this week.

The above paragraph described how I felt early in the week. I can't really say that I had any crushing problems raising their head; but, I felt cold and indifferent in my spirit. I felt hard and aloof. I didn't want anyone bothering me, I was self absorbed. So, off I go to the aforementioned Wally World to bump and shove with everybody else. As I walked in from the parking lot, there was a man who had a table set up for donations to a local drug rehab. While I was approaching I felt a nudge in my spirit to make a donation. But, I didn't respond and walked right by and on into the "jungle." But, the Holy Spirit wasn't going to let me off the hook this time. The man at that table was in the back of my mind the whole time. So, round and round I went and as I left the Walmart, I nonchalantly remarked in my spirit,O.K. Lord I'll give a donation. What happened then.. changed my day. The man with the most warm and sincere smile gave me a heartwarming "Thank You, We really appreciate it." The appreciation and sincerity was so real and it touched my heart. I remember thinking while walking away, that he had made me feel human on the inside again. My cold heart was melted and I felt good on the inside. It was then that the Lord spoke that verse to my heart.

You see the blessing that Jesus talked about in that verse took a different form for me that day. It wasn't about the hundred fold blessing. Neither was it about planting a seed for a harvest. Those are both valid reasons when kept in perspective and Holy Ghost motivated for sure; but, for me, on that day, that wasn't it. My blessing wasn't material. But by the help of the Holy Spirit, when I walked over to that table my heart was touched. My insides were healed. You hearing me? The Holy Spirit then reminded me of an old truth.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB) 3  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
4  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Listen, there's nothing super spiritual about what I am saying here. To be honest, I'm over with super spiritual. But, if you are feeling cold and isolated this week,try helping someone else. Take some time for someone else and it might turn out to be a mighty blessing in your life as well.

Psalm 138:3 (NASB) 3  On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.

God Bless

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Grinder                                                                                                    11-07-13

Early message this week as I have been called out of town with my job tomorrow morning. Will be gone all day. Hope you enjoy it. God Bless.

1 Peter 2:19-20 (NASB) 19  For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
20  For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

No, I am not talking about that grinder. You know the one don't you?.. one of those cheesesteak sandwiches on the french baguette that make your mouth water and add pounds just at the thought of eating one! No, unfortunately.Actually, my sister and Tiger Woods got me to thinking  this week. I heard a television interview this week talking about what makes Tiger such a great golfer. There were a number of differing opinions but a near unanimous agreement on one trait above all others..Tiger Woods is the greatest "grinder" the game has ever seen. What do you mean Ronnie? O.K. try and picture this. You spend hour after hour at the practice tee trying to groove your swing. Swing after swing after swing and after God only knows how many swings, it seems that by golly you, at last are hitting the ball straight. Halleleuia! O.K. now multiply that effort for all the clubs in the bag(14 of em') and for all the different situations that Tiger finds himself in on the course; and you have an idea of the time and effort expended to play at his level. But, it's not commitment we're talking about here. After all the practice, when it's time to tee off in a real tournament, he walks up to the first tee to thunderous applause, television cameras rolling and promptly duckhooks his shot out in the second cut of the heavy rough. For all you non golfers suffice it to say, it isn't pretty. But, the real kicker is this, as the day rolls on Tiger's game doesn't get any better. Nobody can really figure it out. He's in the sand, he's in the rough, he's everywhere EXCEPT the fairway. He's scrambling on every hole. The commentators offer up many plausible reasons but no one has the answer. Fresh out of reasons, they resign themselves and you hear them say something like " well his 'A' game has deserted him today and he's really suffering out there he'll just have to grind it out." It's not going his way but he keeps on keeping on. He's suffering out there but he finds a way. He grinds it out; and, at the end of the day you look at the leaderboard and guess whose name is up there? Yep, you got it TIGER WOODS! Somehow, he has found a way. Through adversity he persevered and ground it out. That is what Tiger Woods does best.That is why Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world. (number 1 in the world as of this past Monday)

I watched my sister this week as she took care of my mother and was reminded of the above story. She was attending to my mother's needs and receiving some pretty harsh and downright angry comments for her efforts. Memaw wasn't herself that day. LOL But, Betty plodded right on. She patiently endured. A virtue in and of itself. It wasn't pretty. She was struggling to keep composed, but, she found a way. I'll give her credit, I would have certainly lost my cool. Next day she showed up again with a smile on her face and a sweetness to her voice. It wasn't easy, she was grinding it out. You gettin' the picture? That's the way it goes with us sometimes isn't it? You're doing it right the best you can. Praying, reading your Bible, going to church. Raising the kids, working, paying the bills etc., etc., but it's tough and it isn't getting any easier is it?  It's not like you sometimes hear on T.V. Just have enough faith and sow this seed and watch God take all your problems away. Find God's favor through this love offering. But, for YOU it hasn't worked out that way has it? No, no it's been tough. It's been a grind a lot of the time hasn't it. Look at verse 20 again.

1 Peter 2:20 (NASB) 20  For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
Sometimes we, like Tiger have to grind it out. It isn't pretty. It ain't no Shangri-la. But, if we can just find a way and hang in there,"...this finds favor with God." God hasn't forgotten about you. 

Galatians 6:9 (NASB) 9  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Hang in there. He's got your back.

Psalm 113:7-8 (NASB) 7  He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8  To make them sit with princes, With the princes of His people.

God Bless

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ascents                                                                                                        11-1-13

"Because there is a war on for your mind."

 That is the catchphrase that a popular internet and radio talk show host uses on his web page. I noticed it recently on the website. I read this fellow from time to time, not daily or even weekly but occasionally. My reason for dialing him in today? I wanted his take on the food stamp reduction and it's effect. Unfortunately I didn't find anything as he had already archived his thoughts on the issue and I didn't want to take the time to look those articles up. No, this isn't a political lecture, I have a point to make, just bear with me. I had been mulling this food stamp thing in my mind this week. I wondered how it made a struggling single mother or father feel, knowing that they now have less money to feed their kids. Or an elderly couple? Or a working poor family. It goes on and on. As I listened to the drivel coming out of Washington, I considered the helplessness that people must feel in those types of situations.

Have you ever had a heavy heart? Yes, I know, we all have at some time or another. I had a heavy heart last night for some unknown reason. Even though my mother has had a rough couple of days, there is food in the fridge, a car to drive, a job to go to and a roof over my head. Not too bad in the grand scheme of things right? But, just the same, my heart was heavy and I felt pressured. When I finally got to work last night I didn't want to talk to anyone. You know. Didn't feel like analyzing the Red Sox win in the Series. Didn't feel like coming up with the solutions for the world. I didn't even feel like figuring out how the Vols would beat Missouri this weekend. (smile) I just wanted to be left myself. You feelin'me? I got my paperwork done and told my boss that I was going out to my truck and for him to call me when he was ready for me to back up to the dock. I usually have some time before I get the call. When I got out to the truck, I just needed to talk to the Lord. So, I spent some time out there with Him and this message was formed.

Psalm 131:1-3 (NASB)

 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.
2  Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3  O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.

My message is not so much grounded in a scripture but in what this Psalm is. This Psalm is called a Psalm or Song of Ascents.There are fifteen of these I believe, Psalms 120-134. These Psalms were sung by the children of Israel as they made their yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the three feasts that all Israel was to attend. They were feasts and gatherings to come before the Lord to worship Him and thank Him for His blessings and care. They were to be joyous occasions for the most part and all Israel participated  in them. The priests would also sing them as they stood on the steps of the temple in Jerusalem. They would step up the steps as they sang these Psalms hence the word ascents.
The word ascents literally means an upward climb. You see it was like a preparation for the heart before they entered the presence of the Lord.

There is a war raging for control of your mind. It for sure is in the media we see and hear every day. But, it doesn't stop there. You don't have to experience a food stamp reduction to be sucked into feelings of despair. No,no. If the enemy can't attack your checkbook, he can sneak up on you in other ways. I don't have to go down the list you probably know it by heart. But, in the MIDST of the battle we can find peace and rest and confidence for our very souls. We can ASCEND above it all. Look at what the Psalmist said.

Psalm 131:1 (NASB) 1
 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.

In today's vernacular David 'checked out.' He quit trying to figure it out. Let me put two cents worth in here. Do you honestly believe that if there is a power or a conspiracy or whatever we want to call it at work in our world today that your bellyaching and griping can do one thing to stop it? All it will do is give YOU an ulcer and make you depressed. Amen? or Oh me! In my best southern slang, "It ain't gonna happen Bubba!" Face up to it. There are things in this life that are too difficult for us. It's not just POLITICS! It can be a hopeless situation at home. A wayward child, a sickness, growing old. Any number of issues that are JUST TOO DIFFICULT FOR US!! Aahh... But not for God. You hearin' me?

Psalm 131:2 (NASB) 2  Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.

Here's God's solution for the madness. "... I have composed.." that means to agree with. "...and quieted.." to be dumb, silent ,or still. You see brothers and sisters if we can find a place' far beyond the madding crowd'. If in the midst of the war we can quieten ourselves and stay our minds on Him.
JUST FOR A LITTLE WHILE. If we can AGREE with Him that He is the Sovereign Lord and He has it under control. If we can believe that HE HAS OUR BACK.

Psalm 91:11-12 (NASB) 11  For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
12  They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

If we can do that, we can ascend above it all for a while. We can take a step up above all the destruction and misery and find rest for our souls. Listen brothers and sisters if this message is for no one else it is for me. There are things I can't fix. They are too difficult for me. If I fight it in my own strength it will frustrate and depress me. Only God has a relief valve. Only He can take away the pressure.

Psalm 131:3 (NASB)
 O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.

God Bless


Friday, October 25, 2013

Amnesia                                                                                                       10-25-13

I saw, this week past, an interview with Tori Hunter, the centerfielder for the Detroit Tigers. The interviewer asked Hunter a question about a circumstance that occurred during a game where Hunter had failed to execute. I can't remember the particulars. It was probably concerning an at bat or a fielding play that Hunter had messed up. The interviewer asked him" how do you come back from a situation where you have failed?" Hunter's reply was this,"... you have to develop amnesia in this game or you won't be around very long." His reply brought to mind something Brother Mushegan often said.

" Life is like a wheel" he used to say, "Sometimes you're on top, sometimes you're on the bottom."
Good days, bad days, in betweeners, hills, valleys,this is the stuff that life is made of. The trick is not to get too absorbed in any of it.

   Philippians 3:13 (NASB) 13  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

You see that wheel has two different perspectives depending upon where we are perched. Whether on top or bottom we have only one direction to go. Allow me to illustrate. Here you are on top of the world. Good job, good marriage, kids all doing good, bills paid and all of a sudden one report from the doctor and your life is turned upside down. The wheel rolls. Or how about from the bottom. A true life example. I remember a man that I used to go to church with who was a plumber. Now, this guy went through some hard times. Some really tough times. But, if I remember correctly he was turned into a millionaire literally overnight. He signed a contract with a huge grocery chain that turned his financial fortunes in a complete 180. You see, in a New York minute, everything can change. The wheel rolls. The snare for us is when we get lost in our circumstances whether good or bad. In the midst of suffering and affliction, it is tempting to give up on God and become embittered. Been there and done that. While at the opposite pole, when we are flying high, it is ooohhh so easy to forget God and the fact that it was He who made our good life possible. Been there and done that. Look at the Book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 30:7-9 (NASB) 7  Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die:
8  Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion,
9  That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.

This guy Agur knew exactly how we humans behave didn't he? When it's good we can be bad and when it's bad we can be worse!(smile) But, that is Paul's admonition here isn't it. Forget the past, it is gone. Lock in and press toward the prize of the Lord Jesus. The one thing that I must keep reminding myself of, is the fact that God is sovereign. No matter what the circumstances, God has allowed those circumstances,good or bad to achieve His purpose and will. Now, those words are apples of gold when you are sitting on top and have the world by the tail. Those apples turn sour and aren't nearly as tasty at the southern end of that wheel. Give me neither poverty NOR riches. Amen? Remember the old cliche? Success and failure are both impostors. Yes, it IS a cliche. But, it rings very true. The only fixed point that we have to navigate this life is the Lord Jesus and His truth. Everything else is a revolving door of change.

Brothers and sisters hear this. If you are living in the salad days at present, know that it was God that got you there and it is God that will keep you there. If you are at the bottom of the ocean with a 500 pound millstone around your neck, know this..God can change your circumstances overnight just as He did for my friend. Listen to Paul's words.

 Philippians 4:11-12 (NASB) 11  Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
12  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

How does that commercial go? FORGGEETT ABOUT IT! God is very able to see you and me through whatever life throws at us. He is able.

Psalm 40:4-5 (NASB) 4  How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
5  Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

God Bless

Friday, October 18, 2013

Clocked!                                                                                                      10-18 13

2 Timothy 1:12 (NASB) 12  For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

Clocked. Have you ever been clocked? No, not on the clock as in work or by the clock as in telling time. Nope, I'm talking about what happens on the corner when you get clocked.

Clocked-slang- To strike sharply or heavily. Now you gettin' it? It's when somebody goes up side your head and "puts you to sleep" lol

Here you are minding your own business, going about your life, doing the best you can and BAM! as Emeril says, you get clocked. Not physically, but spiritually. Some devil in hell raises up and attacks you or a loved one through any number of avenues. No rhyme or reason, just for the sole purpose of bringing you down. Just because you or they are a child of the Almighty God. That fact alone puts a bullseye on your back.  You know how it feels don't you? Your heart is crushed, your gut is churning and twisted like a rope and then you get that numb feeling while your looking for the truck that just ran you over. No warning, didn't see it coming, didn't even have a clue until... you were on the ground staring blurrily upwards. You just got CLOCKED.

I live next door to the daughter of a very prominent local pastor with a very prominent local church just a couple of miles from where I am writing this. This pastor had spent the last 25 or so years laboring for the Lord and God had blessed his work mightily.Then a couple of years ago he lost his teenage son and he was devastated. His son's demise made the paper and was a matter of public knowledge. Now, I have never spoken to his daughter about that incident but, it doesn't take a genius to figure it.My guess is the family was devastated. They got CLOCKED.

That verse above was laid on my heart last night. I was going in a different direction when that verse was put in my spirit. But, the take that I got was this. The message today lies more in the verses leading up to that verse. I'll try to put into words what's in my heart.

Look a couple of verses back.

2 Timothy 1:8 (NASB) 8  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,

You see Paul must have really been going through it. He was concerned that because of the testimony(a.k.a. suffering) of the Lord Jesus or of Paul himself, that Timothy might be ashamed of their suffering. Now folks that's a powerful lot of suffering in my opinion. But, that's the way it appears in a lot of Christendom today. Suffering and spiritual warfare are for the 1st century church, not today with all our knowledge of the faith walk. But, look at what Paul says next. "...but join with me in suffering for the gospel....."" join with me" Paul then goes on to tell us about a holy calling according to His own purpose and grace. Paul invites Timothy to join with him in a holy calling according to God's purpose. To bear the burden and fight the fight.Truth be known that's just not a show stopper is it? My flesh doesn't very much care for those words suffer and fight and whatnot. That might not preach too well these days.

Brothers and sisters, I can't make light of this fact.When you and I are going through hard times, no one can truly know how we feel. There aren't any words that make the pain and discouragement go away. The Holy Scriptures read like The Wall Street Journal. There is no relief in sight. And in those times all anyone can really do is pray and be there for us when we need them. You get my drift on that? In those times only God has the answers. He is the only relief and comfort. However, He is mindful of our plight and makes a great promise to us. Again.

2 Timothy 1:12 (NASB) 12  For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
Look at the back half of that verse. "...I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted..."When my world has been clocked, my faith sometimes wanes. Discouragement will set in
and I will wonder what is going on. Where are you God? I can't take it anymore! I can't fix it and I just want it to go away. Or just let me go away. Ever feel that way? Me too. Plenty. But, God says this. Whatever we have entrusted to Him..our families, our finances,our very lives.. WHATEVER we have put in His hands... He is able. Able to what Ronnie? Able to guard, able to keep, able to PRESERVE FROM PERISHING. That's what that word guard means. It may look bleak. It may look dark and hopeless. It may even look frightful..but GOD is able to protect us.

 Job 19:25 (NASB) 25  "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

Our Redeemer lives and He has paid our ransom. He has us and all that we deem precious in the palm of His hand and NO ONE can snatch us out of His hand. Heck, we can't even snatch ourselves out of His hand. Brothers and sisters, umderstand me, the battle is real. It don't come easy. Anyone who says different is deceived or they're just not in the ring. It is so real and fierce that Paul admonished us not to be ashamed of our or someone's else's plight.  It is a war in spite of all the faith we claim to possess. But, Paul was CONVINCED that he and WE have a Redeemer in the Lord Jesus Christ and He is going to bring us home. He is going to preserve and protect us in this life and the next. He is going to preserve and protect those that are precious to us in this life and the next. Oh yeah, that's right. I meant what I said. IN THIS LIFE and the next. He is able to guard us UNTIL. Up to the time that or when some event occurs. Those are HIS words not mine. In this life and the next. AMEN? AMEN!!

Psalm 63:8 (NASB) 8  My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

God Bless

Friday, October 11, 2013

Discernment                                                                                                   10-11-13

Hebrews 5:14 (NASB) 14  But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Man it is gorgeous outside. I enjoy this time of year. If you are a sports fan then October is your month. Why so Ronnie? Well, we have the baseball playoffs going on, the NBAand NHL have kicked off, PLUS my favorite, college football and the NFL. The sports plate is full in October. Only problem is with October's arrival, Old Man Winter can't be far behind. Oh well enjoy it while you can, Amen?

That word discernment was on my mind all week. Strong's translates that word as "an act of judgment"
 but that doesn't capture the nuance of the word. Vine's has a better rendering. It means" to distinguish, or to discriminate." Being capable of distinguishing between good and evil. Not only that, it seems that this skill of discernment or distinguishing must be learned through practice. The root of the word discern in the above verse is "to learn by discriminating."

I heard something this week that put this word 'discern' on my mind. You know sometimes instead of discernment we operate in judgment. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. The Bible speaks in many places about discerning this or that. Jesus spoke of being able to discern the signs in the heavens but not the reality of who He was. He spoke somewhere about swallowing a camel but straining at a gnat in our discerning of sin, mercy and judgment. Then He spoke a truth concerning what true discernment was all about. Discerning good and evil.

  Matthew 7:15-16 (NASB) 15  "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16  "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Paul spoke of the natural man not being able to appraise or discern spiritual things.

 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB) 14  But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
There are untold numbers of false spirits, false teachings, false religions that we must guard our hearts against. We must practice and learn to discern between truth and falsehood, good and evil; but, and herein lieth my point.We are never instructed to distinguish or discriminate between brothers and sisters, believers if you will. We are cautioned against becoming fruit inspectors. It's easy to develop a critical or fault finding spirit and we must constantly guard against it. Let me say something here. If all the people who behave unwisely, if all the people who sometimes don't live as they should, you know who I'm talking about....all those sinners... If all the sinners in the world were disqualified from ministering, praying, giving to the rest of us...guess what? There would be NO ONE left to minister,pray, give!! AMEN??  No,no instead of discriminating between one another the Bible is clear how we should act toward those who name the name of Christ. Instead of discrimination we need to restore.

Galatians 6:1 (NASB) 1  Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

Why restore? Because next time I might be that sinner in need of prayer, restoration etc.,etc.,
Brothers and sisters there's enough true evil in this world to occupy all our efforts until Jesus comes. Let's train our sights on the true enemy of our souls and leave the fruit inspecting to God.

James 2:8-9 (NASB) 8  If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well.
9  But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

  Psalm 36:11 (NASB) 11  Let not the foot of pride come upon me, And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.

God Bless

Friday, October 4, 2013

By Faith                                                                                                         10-4-13

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NASB) 7  for we walk by faith, not by sight—

Whew! What a week! We've got growing(once again)tensions in the Middle East. We have a government shutdown with both sides of the aisle at an impasse. Tempers are flaring between Republicans and Democrats, Democrats and Democrats, Republicans and Republicans. Oh My!
As lawmakers try to find a solution to the shutdown, Obamacare is initiated amidst cheers or catcalls depending upon your party affiliation. Wait! There's more!! Sometime within the next two weeks, I believe it's October 17th isn't it? The debt ceiling will ONCE AGAIN be reached and the governmental powers will be faced with the option of raising our debt levels or defaulting on the obligations of the United States. Hmmm.. here's the problem folks.

Isaiah 17:10-11 (NASB) 10  For you have forgotten the God of your salvation And have not remembered the rock of your refuge. Therefore you plant delightful plants And set them with vine slips of a strange god.
11  In the day that you plant it you carefully fence it in, And in the morning you bring your seed to blossom; But the harvest will be a heap In a day of sickliness and incurable pain.

 Oh well, here's the good part, my two favorite teams, the Braves and Red Sox are both in the playoffs and the beloved Vols have a big game with Georgia this week. MAN! The buzz is everywhere. Positively and negatively these are exciting times in our land. Yeah,..'s a quarter... Ever feel like that? I had a couple of days like that this week. There were all sorts of drama being played out this week. My friend Charles used to call them "dog and pony shows" lol. But, I couldn't muster any passion for any of it.You gettin' my drift? It was a case of the doldrums.

Doldrums- A state of inactivity or stagnation. Dull,listless (and here's my favorite)The Blue Funk. Haha sounds like a 70's rock band.(courtesy of Dictionary .Com)

Life is a regimen. The responsibilities and duties of this life can sometimes smother our zeal. I don't know if you have ever felt like that, but that's how I felt this week. As I slogged through this week past I wondered why I felt so blah. I had a roof over my head, food to eat, a car to drive, a job, and even some spending money in my pocket. What's going on here? In the end all I could come up with was the enemy was trying to steal my joy. Know what I mean? The Holy Ghost then spoke that scripture to my heart yesterday.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NASB) 7  for we walk by faith, not by sight—
That word walk means to tread all around or be occupied with. Sometimes we have to occupy ourselves with the things of the Lord whether we feel like it or not. It is like Pastor Doug said in a recent sermon that when we feel least like praying is when we need to pray the most. Much like King David we at times have to shake ourselves and encourage and strengthen ourselves in the Lord. Whether times are good, bad, or in between we need to keep our minds and hearts on the Lord and His goodness. Amen?

1 Samuel 30:6 (NASB) 6  Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

I remember Brother Mushegan used to say that we have to drag ourselves down to the altar by the scruff of the neck and get alone with God. There are times when nothing else will do. At any rate, if you have ever felt or are feeling this way now, take heart this too shall pass.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NASB) 18  while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The world and ALL that is in it. The cares and problems of THIS life. The feelings and emotions that so often affect us. They are ALL temporal. Lord, help us to look past the impostors of this life and help us to see the reality of your kingdom and glory.


Amen. He's coming to get us brothers and sisters. Hang in there.

Psalm 39:7 (NASB) 7  "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.

God Bless

Friday, September 27, 2013

This Present World                                                                                          9-27-13

2 Timothy 4:9-10 (NASB) 9  Make every effort to come to me soon;
10  for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

I was looking through an old Bible the other day and I found a note that I had written in the margins. It was dated round 1985 and said " What was in Thessalonica that made Demas desert Paul?" Now, I don't remember whether that was a sermon that I had heard or a Bible teaching or just a note that I made for some reason. But, I started thinking about it a couple of days ago. Think about that for a minute. Here is this man Demas. This is not the only mention of him in the New Testament. He is mentioned in Colossians 4 and also in Philemon.

Colossians 4:14 (NASB) 14  Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas.
Philemon 1:23-24 (NASB) 23  Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you,
24  as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.

It seems that Demas was a friend, associate and fellow worker with some real heavyweights. Mark, Luke and the Apostle Paul were counted among his close friends. He appears to have been in the inner circle if there were such a thing at that time. I checked a couple of references but mostly all I  found out was what was mentioned in the Scripture. It appears that this close relationship had developed over a span of time. From all appearances, Demas was"one of the boys." At the very worst he was an acquaintance of men who were eyewitnesses of Jesus himself and who wrote much of the New Testament. That is pretty heady company don't you agree? So, what happened? Demas' defection is sobering isn't it? If someone who walked and talked with men who wrote the Bible can be enticed into desertion, what makes Ronnie Jenkins think that he is immune from such temptation? You gettin' my drift? I don't know what happened to Demas but look at what Paul said. "...having loved this present world..."  I read in 1st John this week this verse:

1 John 2:16 (NASB) 16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
That pretty much covers it doesn't it? John said this was "all" that was in the world. But, hold on a minute. It isn't about what is in the world. No,no. God doesn't mind if you have a decent house to live in. It doesn't bother Him if you have a nice car or some spending money in your pocket.No, it isn't soul annihilation we're talking about here. He gives us of those good things to enjoy in this life. The key words here are "lust and boastful pride."

Greek NASB Number: 1939

Greek Word: ἐπιθυμία

Transliterated Word: epithumia
Root: from 1937;

Definition: desire, passionate longing, lust:--

Vines gives a more in depth definition. Lust is a desire or passionate longing that divides. It is the desire to have or acquire something even to the point of dividing between people and God. Isn't that what happened to Demas? Something in Thessalonica, who knows what it could have been, but something enamored Demas to the point that he was willing to part company with the Apostle Paul. Demas gave up who knows what...he could have been Paul's Timothy, we don't really know. The point being something divided Demas from Paul and even God.

 That phrase boastful pride of life also translates pride of wealth. The good life if you will. We, in America, compared to most of the world, all live the good life. That being said, if we aren't careful the good life can burden us down with the cares of MAINTAINING the good life. Amen? Jesus warned against falling into that snare.

Matthew 13:22 (NASB) 22  "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

satan will put snares and pitfalls all along our path and we must be very careful how we tread. Trust me I know, I speak from experience. The curves come from any and all directions. Jobs, relationships, money, convenience etc., etc., and here's the looks and feels right. If it wasn't pleasing to our flesh, we wouldn't lust after it would we? But, if we can somehow take a step back, deep breath and say within ourselves what does God think about it, we will be way ahead of the game. Listen, we don't miss anything by seeking God's counsel and waiting on His direction. Yes, I know sometimes that is MUCH easier said than done but, if we will do that we will avoid a lot of pitfalls.

  Proverbs 4:23 (NASB) 23  Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

I didn't look it up but I think that word diligence means "a painstaking effort." How does one do that Ronnie? I only know of one way. Stay before God. No great revelation there but that's my only answer. You have an issue? Is there a big decision you have to make? Is something pulling and enticing you to make a life altering move? Get alone with God. Open His Word. Read what it says.Take it to the Lord in prayer. Repeat. Stand firm until He answers and gives you direction. LORD HAVE MERCY! If yours truly had followed that advice all the time I could have avoided many heartaches! I suppose we all have the same story more or less. The good thing is that God Almighty doesn't and isn't holding our mistakes against us. You made a mistake? JOIN THE CLUB of which I and many others are CHARTER MEMBERS!LOL

This present world can be intoxicating both spiritually and literally. Tread carefully.The Lord Jesus Christ is there waiting to pick up the pieces of your life and restore you no matter what. He's the medicine for what ails your body and soul.

Psalm 130:1-8 (NASB) 1
 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD.
2  Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.
3  If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
4  But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.
5  I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.
6  My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
7  O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption.
8  And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.

God Bless

Friday, September 20, 2013

Are We There ?                                                                                             09-20-13

Luke 21:28 (NASB) 28  "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Well, we have a cold front coming through tonight. Temps going to be much cooler tonight. It won't be cold but just an early reminder of ol' man winter knocking at the door. You may be one of those polar bears that enjoys cold weather.(I can't for the life of me understand why lol) I, however DESPISE cold weather. Give me 80-85 degrees and sunny year around thank you! At any rate, I asked myself the above question this past week. Are we where Ronnie? The end of the age. I enjoy prophecy and taking notice of world events but it's not a priority with me, because I know that these things are coming to pass. My priority has always been trying to make it through the day to be ready when Jesus actually does part that eastern sky. That being said I read something this week that turned my eyes heavenward. Now, understand I keep up with the news but I am not a news hound. Neither am I overly political. However, I read a short book, pamphlet on something called U.N. Agenda 21. Maybe you have heard of it, I had not until this week. It seems there is a 300+ page document created in 1992 endorsed and signed by some 170+ nations (United States included) that is an outline for something called Sustainable Development. Without going into much detail, this document outlines in plain language the desire of the U.N. to achieve a worldwide government during the 21st century. Hence the term Agenda 21. They envision a world with no national borders therefore no national sovereignty. Massive depopulation and population redistribution into something called mega-cities. A proposal,in print suggests that up to 50% of the land mass of these United States be classified not habitable through the expansion of National Parks. The U.N. will achieve these and many other objectives through seemingly humane directives dealing with environmentalism and other high sounding policy initiatives. On and on and on. It seems this is a direct assault on our most basic rights and is determined to devalue and enslave humanity worldwide. This caught my eye this week for two reasons. The material that I read about in this agenda is not the opinion of some conspiracy theorist or an editorial comment of some newspaper. No, it is a plainly written document that is a matter of public record. This is not a deal being made in some smoky back room. Secondly, I have seen with my own eyes one of the planks of this agenda being initiated in this country. This booklet, this week, forcefully brought home to me the fact that we are marching with purpose toward Armageddon.

Truth is that there are times when the powers that are arrayed against God's people and people in general seem invincible. We hear about a global conspiracy to control the world and it seems so outlandish that it is difficult to comprehend. That is what I was thinking as I read that booklet this week.Then the Lord put a verse in my heart.

Proverbs 22:2 (NASB) 2  The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all.

Rich,poor. Powerful,powerless. Global elitist, newspaper truck driver. The LORD has made us all.The God of all the universe scoffs at agenda 21 and all the other "agendas" no matter their name that raise their heads against the knowledge of God.  

Psalm 2:1-4 (NASB) 1  Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2  The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3  "Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!"
4  He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.

God has everything in His earth under control.Agendas come, agendas go as the world's forces march in lockstep toward a confrontation with the Lord Jesus. Just as the Bible proclaims they will. Instead of fretting about the U.N. and it's agendas;the question we need to be asking ourselves is are we ready? Am I ready? Are you ready? When we see these things coming to pass, look up for our REDEMPTION IS DRAWING NEAR. Listen, if you don't know Jesus Christ as YOUR savior ask Him right now. Time is growing short.

Romans 10:9 (NASB) 9  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

God Bless