Thursday, December 24, 2015

Behold The Man

Behold The Man                                        12-24-15

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) 6  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.

Early post this week. One of my favorite essays about the Lord Jesus Christ. May we all "Behold The Man," this Christmas.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life 

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) 8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Psalm 100:1 (ESV) 1
 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

Here's wishing you and yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.

God Bless.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Next Generation

The Next Generation                                     12-18-15

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) 6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

It was like watching the newsreel at the movie theater. For those of you unfamiliar with the newsreel, ask mama,daddy, or better grandma and grandpa to explain just what it is. Anyway, story after story with pictures rolled across my screen this week. Three, however stood alone and sparked this message.

I watched this week as a "prophet" spoke before a crowd of hundreds, maybe thousands of all ages and declared that speaking or saying the words "Merry Christmas" was on a par, no was WORSE than fornication and murder. No commentary here just reporting what I saw.

A little later in the week, I read of a political science professor at a prominent evangelical Christian college donning a religious headdress and proclaim that we all worship the same God. Again, no commentary, just the facts. Well,..... maybe a small commentary here......not my commentary, but the opinion of another......

 John 14:6 (ESV) 6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 


At any rate, these various and sundry reports played on this newsreel were against a backdrop of a star pointing to a manger with a babe in it.A babe appointed to save you and I from our sin.Why all the rage against this innocent child????  Just for the record, this "babe" is no longer in the manger, nor is He on the cross..nope, He is the soon returning King coming to take His brothers and sisters home. I digress.

Pondering the assorted chaos this week, I had  pause. I remembered my third story of the week and the point of my message. I remembered a church somewhere in northeast Georgia. I've never been there and know of it only through my wife Shelley, and my angel ,Chloe.

It seems that this church took Chloe and her brothers C.J. and Tyler under their wing. For some time now, the church has provided transportation for the kids to and from church whenever they wanted to go. They have ministered to those kids in many different ways. Sunday School, Church, outings and whatnot. Week after week, month after month, picking them up, taking them home, this and that.They have been "training them up" if you get my drift.

Whenever I would talk to Chloe on the phone, I would ask her how she liked her church. She would say that she really liked it and all that; you know how kids are.But, here's the payoff. Not too long ago I was talking to Shelley and she told me of a phone conversation she had had. Chloe had a question .Chloe had asked this. She didn't know whether she had to "ask Jesus to come into her heart every night or not." It seems that she had forgotten to ask Him into her heart the previous night and was wondering about it. She then informed Shelley that she had asked Jesus to come into her heart at church the previous Sunday or Wednesday, don't know which; and wanted to make sure that He was still in her heart since she hadn't asked Him the night before.

Then she told Shelley that she wanted to be baptized. Bap-i-tized as Chloe puts it. 
When I heard that story for the first time, I was almost brought to tears, as Chloe is very dear to my heart. Once again for effect.

 Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) 6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Brothers and sisters, make no mistake about it, our nation is being invaded. Our country is under assault. WE ,as Christians are under assault. Our children and grandchildren are in the spiritual cross hairs of the enemy. Do not be deceived by the RHETORIC. It's akin to waves rolling in on the seashore. One after another, six or seven, then a BIG ONE comes, knocks you down and the pattern starts all over again. You feelin' me here? But. BUT.

Make no mistake, BE ASSURED, this invasion is doomed to failure. That babe in the manger was, is, and will be a conqueror. That much is certain.Our job is to prevent as many casualties as we can, however we can,don't you think? And herein lieth the lesson. Because of the unseen and unheralded efforts of some folk in a church somewhere in Georgia, a small child, a member of the next generation, was transformed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. SHE GOT SAVED!!

I have thought about this much over the last few years. In my opinion, MY OPINION, we owe it to the next generation to do all we can to stem the tide aimed at their destruction. Someone did it for us when we were coming up, and we owe it to the Chloe's of the world. That's my personal take on it. At any rate, this verse came to mind while writing this blog.

Hebrews 6:10 (ESV) 10  For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.

Maybe you are a parent of small or not so small children, working yourself to death trying to provide for those babies under your care. Maybe you are a grandparent or great grandparent praying continually after those children and grandchildren for their welfare.Maybe you are a church worker faithfully teaching that children's class or working in that nursery,OUT OF THE SIGHT  AND MIND OF ANY AND EVERYONE. Rest easy, you are not out of the sight of GOD ALMIGHTY. He has not and will not "overlook" you.

Let us all endeavor, in whatever capacity big or small, to "train up" that generation that follows us. Amen? AMEN!

And here's for whomever is reading.


Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV) 1
 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

God Bless



Friday, December 11, 2015

Hitting The Rewind Button                                12-11-15

Romans 8:13 (ESV) 13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

A little background is needed here in order to trace my steps to my hopefully logical conclusion. (Hopefully being the key word here!) smile.

I read an article this week in a magazine that I don't normally read or even like. But, the title about markers on the road to offense caught my eye. As I read on, a phrase used by the author really hit home. It hit me "where I live," if you know what I mean. The condensed version goes like this. Among all that leads us into offense, one of the markers or warning signs is hitting the rewind button. No, not on the radio or television, but in your mind. How's that Ronnie? Just this. Someone says or does something to hurt your feelings. Someone says or does something that insults you. Or maybe what is said or done isn't even the truth. You hearin' me here. Yeah, I feel ya.

Anyway, when these unpleasant circumstances happen, if you are like your's truly, you tend to hit the rewind button in your head and replay the incident over and over. IF, you are like ME, you rehearse it and rehearse it until you have every word, nuance, facial expression, tone of voice, body language or anything else that helps you build the case for injustice DOWN TO A TEE. (Amen or Oh me!lol)

Against all reason and good sense, you continue to hit the rewind button until you have built a wall of resentment in your heart. If not very careful this can lead you or me into a hardened heart and offense; then, according to the Scriptures, that offense can defile not only us but those around us. 

Hebrews 12:15 (ESV) 15  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

That being said, here is where I will share what I believe God spoke to my heart this week. About a fortnight past, I had once again fallen into this snare of the devil. Playing over and over again perceived injustices. Sure enough I had rehearsed enough to be able to store a goodly amount of resentment in my heart. So, when I saw this article I had to admit to God that I was indeed guilty as charged. At this point this thought entered my mind and heart.

"Ronnie, do you want victory over this?" As I considered that radical  (at least to me, smile)) alternative, the Holy Ghost expounded on that idea.

I spend a lot of time praying about "victory." Victory in my circumstances. Victory in my finances. Victory in the lives of my children, family and friends.You know what I am talking about don't you? Nothing wrong with that at all. God wants us to take our requests to Him above all. However, the Holy Spirit gently impressed me about  the time I spend in God's Word and before Him in prayer seeking "victory" over the sin in my life.Those things that are displeasing to Him and those things that grieve His Spirit. In other words, "where I live."

While trying to digest all this, He moved me a little further down the road. A victory by it's very meaning implies a battle or a contest with an opponent. In order to have a victor, you must also have one who is defeated. Now, in the natural world, depending upon their nature, these battles can be friendly,as witnessed by the Tennessee Vols defeat of the Georgia Bulldogs this year(couldn't resist) or they can be belligerent.

But, in the spiritual realm they are NEVER friendly. Our common enemy seeks to do nothing short of destroying us and all we hold dear. When you have the time, read the 6th through 8th chapters of Romans. It's hard reading. It describes us(our old selves) as being "crucified" with Christ. It spends time describing the battle we face in trying to do the right thing. Then it talks about the "how to" in achieving victory. It doesn't put a pretty face on it. It's a down and dirty, in the gutter, no holds barred fight. Look again.

Romans 8:13 (ESV) 13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Brothers and sisters, in order to have victory in this realm, we must yield ("by the Spirit") ourselves to God's power in our lives and "put to death those deeds of the body." 

"Ronnie, I can't do that. I don't have the strength." I know you don't. Neither do I. But, if we keep fighting. If we press on in spite of our failures. If we continue to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives; if we PRACTICE letting God have control, THEN those victories that prove so elusive will begin to come. Eventually, if we keep at it and keep at it, God will change those attitudes and practices that displease Him and do harm to us. It ain't pretty, it may hurt, and we may get scuffed up a little; but God says it will work if we will trust Him and fight those fights in His power. In the end it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.Amen.

Psalm 119:71 (ESV) 71  It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

God Bless

Friday, December 4, 2015

When All Else Fails He Alone

When All Else Fails He Alone                           12-04-15

Psalm 62:1-2 (ESV) 1
 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
2  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

It was chilling. I just this moment turned on my television looking for a reason that the price of gold had jumped this A.M. There, in front of me, was the ever present "Breaking News" headline caption. Sure enough, my and almost everyone else's fears were realized. It now seems that the shooting in California was indeed a terrorist attack. As I watched the camera pan inside the home of these terrorists, for some reason chill bumps ran up and down my arms. I looked at the military type hardware and all the other paraphernalia; nodding my head and speaking to myself that "yes indeed, they are here."

My attention was then directed to a verse,(see above) I came across this week past. I opened my Bible and reread that entire Psalm. In the wake of the revelation on the television, a sense of reverence flooded into my soul. It wasn't one of those jumping up and down "Praise The Lord" kind of moments. It was a sense that I was in the presence of the God of all creation.Nothing I could say or do was sufficient. I just needed to sit there in silence and RESPECT the fact that He and HE ALONE IS GOD.


The moment and the sense of awe passed, and I knew I had my message. Folks, take some time SOON and read the 62nd Psalm.

For some weeks, months actually God has been speaking to your's truly about two subjects. In no particular order of importance they are 1) Becoming a giver and 2) Developing a personal, intimate relationship with God Almighty outside of all the busyness of life. Just me and God one on one. Dining room table. Living room couch. Park. Just God and me. Now I understand that in truth, this is not a new spiritual revelation is it? That has been the plan since the beginning hasn't it? If only I would HEED that call. Know what I mean?

Read the Psalm today. It covers the whole gamut of what we are dealing with as Christians,no indeed as HUMAN BEINGS in today's world.In vs. 3 and 4 it speaks of  attacks upon men to "batter" them. Look no further than San Bernardino. People blessing with their mouth but inwardly cursing. Hello media moguls.

In vs. 9 and 10. it casts light on all of low and high estate.The absolute delusion that riches and power somehow will provide security in he dark days to come. Hmmmmm. Sound like the 1%'s and then all the rest of us?

Want to know who is the REAL power broker in this fallen world of ours? Read vs.11.

Brothers and sisters read the very first line of that Psalm.

"For God ALONE(caps mine) my soul waits in silence;"

Hear me. Like it or not, they are here. The enemy is at the gate.

Like it or not we are in a war on many fronts. We are being assaulted by an enemy from without AND an enemy from within.We must contend with an enemy hell bent on our physical destruction; and an enemy from hell, bent on our spiritual destruction. Ya feelin' me here?

There is NO other refuge. There is NO other hiding place.Outside of the dwelling place of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and His ONE AND ONLY SON,The Lord Jesus Christ, ALL ELSE WILL FAIL!!

Let us all endeavor to seek Him. Let us all hunger and thirst for His presence. For He and He alone is our hope and our salvation.

Psalm 62:5-7 (ESV) 5  For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
6  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

God Bless


Friday, November 27, 2015

Consider The Source

Consider The Source                                 11-27-15

Luke 17:15-16 (ESV) 15  Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;
16  and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday! I am presently paying the price for failing  yesterday to not gormandize .(There's one for you Pastor Doug) At any rate, in the midst of recovering from my self induced food and sugar coma yesterday, while reading, I came across this phrase.

Consider the source.

We often use that phrase in a negative connotation don't we? We will read about something that someone said or did. Or more often than not, that phrase will come up while we are TALKING about what someone else said or did."Well, just consider the source....." You know don't you? (smile)

The above verse though, sheds a positive light on that phrase doesn't it? This Samaritan figured it out didn't he? Take a look.

Consider- To think carefully about. To contemplate or reflect upon. To turn over in one's mind. 

You know I don't mind all the "commercialization" of Christmas. As a point in fact, I rather enjoy it. All the hustle and bustle, the decorations, it's a great time of year. Watching this year's version of the Walmart Black Friday, I was tempted  in my heart to say "I would never do that"..... until I remembered a Black Friday many years ago. As a parent of two young boys, I ran(not walked) but RAN to the BIG WHEEL display,punching and kicking to be FIRST in line to get that must have Big Wheel!!

But, this Samaritan had it right didn't he? Just what are you saying Ronnie? Just this. He considered the source did he not? Look again at the passage. Ten lepers were healed by Jesus. Now, I am betting that these men were jubilant and could not wait to share their healing with their family and friends.....and understandably so. BUT, one, for some reason ,began to consider. As he went, he began to contemplate...he began to turn it over in his mind.....and he figured it out. It was a revelation. 

"...when he saw that he was healed, turned back...."

You know something, as a parent and father, my heart would almost burst when my children would take time out from the "big wheels" and come up to me, give me a hug and say a simple "thanks Dad." At those times, I would have moved heaven and earth for them if I could have. Now, if God built us that way, I bet that He enjoys us considering Him in that way too, don't you think? Sure He does!

Listen, brothers and sisters, want to commune with God? Want to get close to Him? This Samaritan teaches us all a lesson. In the midst of all the gormandizing, all the giving and getting of gifts, take some ALONE time and consider. 
Get away and turn it over in your mind. Understand that the Lord Jesus is the SOURCE of ALL that is GOOD in your life. Indeed, He is your(and my) provider, your(and my) healer, our Savior and Lord.

During the jubilance and excitement, when we understand that we have been healed and provided for, let's take some time and TURN BACK and give the God of all Glory, thanks.   

Psalm 95:2-3 (ESV) 2  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3  For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

God Bless


Friday, November 20, 2015

In Your Land                                           11-20-15

Deuteronomy 15:11 (ESV) 11  For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

I have a couple of perspectives on this passage of Scripture this week. It seems as if the Lord won't let me leave this concept or principle of becoming a giver. It has been with me the last few weeks, and at least for now won't go away.Let me share with you what's on my heart.

First on the bigger stage. I saw a Facebook post this week regarding the subject that is on everyone's lips recently. That being the Syrian(?) immigrants. You, I am sure know the details, so I won't thrash about said details here. This Facebook post was simple in it's message. Take care of your own FIRST. It went on to say that upon arrival the immigrants would be entitled to free, modern housing, free food and to some extent, access to certain government benefits. Then, as I recall it, in big bold letters, "WHILE SOME 33,000 HOMELESS VETERANS WILL SLEEP ON THE STREET TONIGHT." As I read that verse today, this post, of this week past, scrolled across my mind. Without getting any deeper politically,zero in on the last three words in that verse. IN YOUR LAND. Not only veterans, but 1 in 5 (I believe that number is correct) children in the state of Tennessee will go to bed hungry tonight. 

I will leave the decision to you(I have settled it in my mind) on where and to whom our resources and COMPASSION as a nation should be directed.

The Lord also spoke on a personal level to your's truly on this passage today.
I read an interesting take on the Shemitah this week, I will share it here. It seems as though the '''release"(Hebrew for shemitah) had a different core meaning than the one of judgment that has been spoken of so much recently. Now to be sure, the shemitah cycles have been characterized by judgment; but, it seems that the judgment was in response to the Israelites disobedience to God's commands, not God's original intent.

The "core" idea behind the shemitah was an opportunity to be givers and indeed to learn to trust God for their material needs. They were not allowed to plant crops in the sabbatical year, forcing them to trust God to provide their very food.They were to forgive debts,to extend mercy and grace ,and to "give back" to those in need.It was a release or better a relief from the toil,labor and worry of planting and harvesting. A time of trusting God for their well being. A time to learn trust and sharing. This was God's plan for the children of Israel in their dealings with each other. Those that were "in the land."

We have a small prayer group that meets on Tuesday nights. Shields, Shelley and me. I am always reminded during that prayer time to pray for those that are in "my realm, or in "my world."" Those that are in direct contact with me. They are in "my land." Isn't that what God is talking about here? Look at the verse again.

Deuteronomy 15:11 (ESV) 11  For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

What can we glean here? First there will always be a need in the land. There will always be someone that needs help.Secondly, this is not a suggestion to help those in need. "Therefore I command you....." Third it is unlike the command to tithe. How so Ronnie?

Israel was commanded to support the Levitical priesthood and the temple. In today's world they were commanded to materially support the church and it's ministers.It was a stated portion of their income. You know the story. But then, in addition to that support, God commanded the children to " wide your the land."

When dealing with their brothers and neighbors in need God spoke in descriptive terms didn't He? Words like "empty handed and grudgingly" were used in negative connotations. On the positive side "open wide, liberally." You gettin' my drift here?

Brothers and sisters, God does not want your money. He does not need the money. Yours or mine. 

 Psalm 50:10-12 (ESV) 10  For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
11  I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
12  “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.

What He wants is to bless us. The Bible is chock full of exhortations and examples of the blessings that befell folk who chose to trust God and become givers. God on occasion even challenges us to test Him concerning our being givers. One of the few, if not the only circumstance that He allows us to test Him. 

Malachi 3:10 (ESV) 10  Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

Don't worry about whether it is a tithe or grace giving, that isn't what He is trying to get across. What's important is that we BECOME GIVERS. If we do that, He will guide us on how much, don't you think? In these perilous times ahead we can stack the gold and silver from floor to ceiling. It just takes one "incident" and it can all be gone. On the other hand if we trust God with our resources, He will do the stacking  as He sees fit and it will be enough. Amen?

 2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV) 8  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Psalm 50:14-15 (ESV) 14  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
15  and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

God Bless




Friday, November 13, 2015

My God Is Able

My God Is Able                                          11-13-15

Malachi 3:11 (ESV) 11  I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts.
God is not limited in the way or ways that He chooses to bless His children.

Memaw,(my mother) who is socializing in the corridors of heaven today, never tired of recounting how God moved the Social Security Administration on her behalf years ago. His blessing resulted in a significant financial blessing for her.
She was always quick to point out to the listener that God honored and helped her due to her honoring God with her tithe. I certainly will not argue the point. Fast forward to this week.

Let me share an episode out of my life this week. Oddly enough, the "deal" was finalized just yesterday, which as you shall see, struck me as timely with all that is going on at the college campuses this week. Let's to begin..? At the beginning I suppose.

A couple of months ago I received a letter from a debt collector. Hopefully, you don't know what I am talking about, but, if you do, then this is for you. This letter informed me that they were trying to collect on a government debt that I owed. Now, let me state this right now. They were RIGHT!! It was a LEGITIMATE obligation that I has entered into many years(some 20-25 years) past. However, I had literally forgotten about this debt as it had been over 12 years since I had last heard from them..... 12 YEARS!

It irritated me and I ignored it. However, on the third or fourth notice I responded to it.(still irritated) They informed me that they were going to collect this debt and threatened legal action. Now, for a reason I will tell you in a moment I was steaming.As I conjured up all the various scenarios on the horizon, none of them were good. I was trying to figure out how much I would have to pay, this and that you know how it goes. I tried to come up with ways to free myself from this dilemma. You know how it goes. On and on. You know how it goes.

So, after MUCH wrangling in my spirit, I came upon a novel idea. What was that Ronnie? I decided to take it to the Lord God. I decided to PRAY about it. I still remember the ride up the road on my route talking to the Lord, just as I am talking to you right now. Here's what I told Him.

The reason I was so distraught(a "nice" word for what I really felt) was what I had seen going on in this country for years now.I didn't pull any punches with Him. I told Him that indeed mine was a LEGITIMATE DEBT. But, I also told Him that I had seen multi billion dollar corporations being bailed out by my tax dollars on their LEGITIMATE DEBT. I spoke to Him of seeing countless incidents of folks asking for and receiving forgiveness for their LEGITIMATE DEBT.  

And then,after pouring out my heart to Him I made a simple request. I asked God to move on the powers that be to forgive my indebtedness. Right or wrong, that is what I asked God to do. Hold on there's a little more. I then said that since it was a legitimate debt that if He saw fit to have me repay it so be it. If that was to be the case, all I asked was that the terms be something that I could reasonably afford and live with. I placed it in His hands and let the chips fall where they may. Now, here is where it gets good.

Soon after that night, I spoke with the debt collector and inquired as to how we could reach agreement. I listened as he told me the information I needed to provide etc., etc. I determined not to negotiate, nor would I cast myself in a bad economic plight. I was not going to put my hand, not even my little finger to the process. I would comply with whatever the collector wanted and that was that. Well, after a couple more phone calls where I supplied all the needed information, the day of reckoning finally came. I was truly expecting a demand for a few hundred dollars a month to satisfy my LEGITIMATE DEBT.

"Mr. Jenkins, after reviewing all the pertinent information, we have decided that $29.00 dollars a month is what we require, is that acceptable to you sir?"......................................!!!!!!!!!!"Uh, much was that again?"

"Sir it was $29.00 is that all right with you sir?" EUREKA!!! PRAISE THE ALMIGHTY GOD!!! I said as I was turning cartwheels in my living room floor. "Yes sir, that will be fine" 

God had moved mightily for my benefit. BUT, As Lee Corso on College Gameday says,"Not so fast my friend" ............God wasn't through.  Huh? What's that you say Ronnie? GOD WASN'T THROUGH.

As I talked with the representative, a very polite and courteous man, he informed me that after a final review was done, the paperwork for me to sign would be sent by e-mail within a few days. Here's where it gets really good. The same day I received the email I had a phone call from the debt collector. He informed me that after a FINAL review, it had been determined that a further reduction in my monthly payment was warranted. He then notified me that my monthly payment had been lowered to ..............wait for it......................$5.00 a month. Excuse me!!!???!!! How much? $5.00. As I sat there,flabbergasted, I literally said to myself "what is the point?" It will cost more to collect than the monthly payment. Oh well, THANK YOU JESUS!!

Brothers and sisters, I know this is lengthy, but bear with me. My point is this. I do not portray God as being some sort of heavenly ATM machine doling out money whenever we get into a tight. No,no. BUT, I will say this.


God didn't send me a check in the mail. He didn't allow me to win the lottery. He did not release me from my LEGITIMATE DEBT. No,no. He came to my aid when I didn't deserve it. He shed His grace in my life. All the parties are satisfied. No protest. No commotion. No demands. JUST GOD BEING GOD. I didn't deserve it but He did it anyway. You can't outgive God. All I can do is bow my head and say thank you.

 Psalm 23:5-6 (ESV) 5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

God Bless



Friday, November 6, 2015

On What I Think

On What I Think                                          11-6-15

Galatians 1:12 (ESV) 12  For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

I read an article this week past questioning the benefit(or lack of it) of asking people what they think about decisions or paths that we have chosen or in the process of choosing. In a nutshell the article said that unless we are willing to open up many doors of opinion and counsel, our question might be better left unasked. It was a good article, I read it and moved on.

However, that question popped up once again this week, except this time it was asked of me. A friend wanted my OPINION on a statement a televangelist had made on the T.V. that evening. I gave my OPINION on the subject, and, seeing it wasn't really anything of weight or importance, we both moved on. But, for some reason I pondered on that word opinion and even counsel. Allow me some room here please.

I was raised,spiritually speaking, under a ministry, actually a time that placed great emphasis on a teaching known as "spiritual authority." Watchman Nee's book of the same title was a must read by all of us in this camp. No great detail is needed here, but the concept was one of rank. Superior, subordinate, much like the structure in the military. You had a guy at the top who heard from God about the direction one or all should go and that was filtered down to the "soldiers" who sat on the pew for the execution of the plan. That is an incomplete and simplistic description, but it will suffice for our discussion. Now, to be sure ,I personally did not then and do not now reject that concept. As a matter of fact, I believe that the righteous kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ will be set up on those lines.

Unfortunately, we do not presently have as our commander the Lord Jesus do we?And therein lies the problem. With that foundation, I want to look at this from the "soldier's" point of view. The pew sitter. Why? Because, that's what I am. A layman. A pew sitter.

Here's what many times happens. We, as pew sitters, rely on the messenger rather than God Himself. As well intentioned and sincere as the messenger may be, they are still just the messenger.God uses them to draw or direct our attention to Him. He never intended that the messenger be the "final voice of authority" in our lives.
God wants, indeed commands that if we want success, we bow to Him and His counsel. That success is found in communion with Him. That success cannot be found in a charismatic personality. It cannot be found in a teaching commentary or a scholar's interpretation. It can only be found one on one in His presence. He, for some reason, will not let me move on from this basic truth. In these perilous times the direction and comfort for my soul is found only in alone time with Him.

You see Paul spent three days fasting after his encounter with the Lord Jesus. He knew who had spoken to him on that road,"I am Jesus" the Lord had spoken to him.However God required Paul to wait in Damascus to be told what to do. During that time He sought no one's counsel. He didn't submit it to authority for approval or opinion. He fasted and waited. But then, when God's answer came, Paul hit the ground running.

Acts 9:20 (ESV) 20  And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”
Brothers and sisters, human counsel, no matter how sincere is still just that..human counsel.No, we do not isolate ourselves on some spiritual island, rejecting anything that anyone has to say. Not at all. But, at the end of the day, ultimately, we must rely on what God has spoken to us in the quietness of our prayer closets. Nothing else will do, no matter what I or anyone else thinks. The voices that surround us these days will only grow more numerous and louder.The confusion is only going to become more pronounced.We must not allow ourselves into thinking that any man has the final, ultimate answer to life's questions. 

 Psalm 85:8 (ESV) 8  Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.

God Bless 


Friday, October 30, 2015


Giving                                                       10-30-15

Before I begin ,a side note. Second Kings 17, especially from vs.24 on has some compelling reading about what is more likely than not happening in our world today; especially  as pertains to Europe and the good ol' U.S.of A. Give it a read why don't you. O.K. Move on Ronnie.

 Matthew 6:21 (ESV) 21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The preamble to my message today is longer than the message itself so please, bear with me.Earlier this week on a website that I regularly read, an article on the "calm before the storm" struck me. After reading the article I felt a leading to write on giving this week. I thought about it and had a confirmation when my good buddy posted the same article on Facebook later that day. I let it stir in my spirit for a couple of days and today felt that indeed "Giving" would be the subject this week.

But, today I had a strange feeling. I don't believe that I have ever written this in this blog. However, I have a feeling that God is wanting to speak to someone or someones(is that a word?) through this message. No, He did not put your name or face in my mind's eye. I can't ever remember having this feeling about my messages, but someone or someones need to hear this. It could be me PTL!

Going further, the leading in my heart was specific. It was to be a word about giving money. Yes, the Bible speaks to our giving our time, talents, and whatnot to the furtherance of God's Kingdom. But, that is not what was put on my heart. It was about giving money. Going to the back pocket or the purse as the case may be.

Now to be sure, this is not an appeal from me. NO,NO! As they say these days, I do not have a dog in this fight, nor do I have any skin in this game. I am not a pastor, am not in full time ministry, and do not ask for or receive any donations. Rest assured this is not a "word" to personally enrich me.This is coming from an unbiased, objective and materially disinterested source.Amen?  

No, I cannot tell you to whom or how much to give. But, I will interject this.

In this discussion about money and the giving of it, this is something to consider. We hear much about the tithe as opposed to grace giving and on that I will mention this. The Old Testament talks about giving in terms of percentages. The children of Israel were under the Mosaic Law and tithing was to be a percentage of their income. It was denominated in agricultural terms as Israel was a farming community. The New Testament uses different terms in talking about giving. Words such as "generous, bountiful, cheerful." It moves it out of the realm of the accountant or the bean counter and into the realm of the heart. That is all I can say on that. Your giving is and MUST REMAIN a matter between you and God. Amen?

The point of this message is not to whom and how much, the point is that we are instructed to GIVE! GOD is more than able to guide you in the specifics if you will allow Him.

That being said take another look at the scriptural reference today.

Matthew 6:21 (ESV) 21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Those are strong words. The Lord Jesus did not mince them. That passage in context is speaking to material belongings or material wealth.

Here is the heart of the matter. That article I referenced above is speaking to a calm before the storm that many believe is on it's way. It is talking about (screaming is the word used in the article) a global financial meltdown that is already under way. All sorts of financial terms, debt, currency, commodities collapse, etc., etc., It mentioned in the most general of terms about how we might want to prepare for what's coming. It was at this precise point that the Holy Spirit spoke to me about what to do in making preparations for the soon coming financial winter. This is what was laid upon my heart. "GIVE"

"What's that you say Ronnie?" I repeat "GIVE" That, very simply, was the solution that the Spirit of God spoke to this writer. Look at this.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV) 7  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.
8  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Pay especial attention to verse 8. ".....does not fear when heat comes"........."is not anxious in the year of the drought"..... "does not cease to bear fruit."

Brothers and sisters, a shaking is on the way. No, I am not trying to foretell what and how. The BIBLE tells us that a shaking is on the way doesn't it?

Hebrews 12:25-26 (ESV) 25  See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.
26  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.”

A question to me. "Ronnie, do you seriously think that your little bit of money in the bank, your gold, your silver, your IRA , your guns, your dehydrated food is going to see you through the SHAKING that is coming upon this world?" 

Brothers and sisters, listen, there is nothing wrong with saving something for hard times, nothing at all. BUT,.....BUT it cannot, it must not have priority over our giving to the furtherance of God's Kingdom. The deposits that we have made into the heavenly account are the true wealth. It is that gold and silver that will see us through the truly perilous times. You, no WE, must understand that where our treasure is, that is where our heart is. And not only our heart, but our TRUST.

God owns it all anyway folks. I will leave you with some numbers for all of us bean counters out there.

There are over 2000 verses(some say the exact number is 2350, I don't know) that speak to money and giving.

"Give" is mentioned 921 times in Scripture. For a comparison.
"Faith" 270 times.
"Hope" 165 times.
"Love" 541 times.

Giving is mentioned more than ANY other subject.
Twice as much as Heaven or Hell
Thrice as many times as love
Seven times more than prayer
Eight fold more than belief
It(giving) comprises a full 15% of God's Word

Nuff said.

Psalm 96:8 (ESV) 8  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!

God Bless


Friday, October 23, 2015


Radical                                                      10-23-15

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root"

When I read  this quote recently on the pages of facebook I was set to thinking. The quote was an intro to an article about what a radical is. Let me see if I can explain.

Radical- of or going to the root or  origin; fundamental. forming a basis or foundation. pertaining to or forming a root.

The word is used in English as a noun or adjective. It has many different applications in the fields of grammar, politics chemistry, botany, mathematics, etc., etc., you get the drift here.

But, with all the grammatical uses, in the many different applications, it conveys one idea. That being of a fundamental nature, a root nature.

As I scrolled on social media today, as I do every day of every week(smile) I thought about the above quote. Why? Let me try and explain. On any given day, one can read on Facebook hundreds, if not thousands(if you are a real junkie lol) of clarion calls for change. Post after infinite post of zippy one liners about the evil in our society. Gun control, government intrusion, debt, middle east, on and on.And depending on which side of the debate you land on, explanations of just who is to blame for the slide into decay and decadence.

In addition to the political and social debate, there are any number of ads, posts that offer stuff to make you more masculine, more feminine; posts that offer encouraging devotionals. I could go on and on, but unless you are on another planet, you know exactly what I am talking about don't you? No need for further explanation. And here begins the talking point.

With all the of the rhetoric aimed at accountability, with the call to rise up and strike at the ROOT of the evil, the clarion calls to affect a transformation, to be a radical,......where is the change?When I look out my front window, it appears to me that the slide into chaos continues unabated. How's the view from where you stand?

Let me insert something here without spending time on it.To affect any kind of meaningful change, whether in our world or more importantly in our personal lives, it will cost us something. To be a radical,.... to have fundamental, root changes take place in our lives involves a personal cost. It isn't easy nor is it free.

That being said, this week in the midst of wondering why no change, God put a verse in front of my eyes. A simple, uncomplicated, enduring truth that affects the change we all seem to be seeking. Nothing heavy revy. No great spiritual revelation. Just a single passage of Scripture that goes to the ROOT of all our angst about today's world and it's influence in our daily lives. Look at  the 2nd Proverb.

  Proverbs 2:3-6 (ESV) 3  yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
4  if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5  then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
6  For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

You see brothers and sisters, God and His wisdom never changes. His handbook on being a radical is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Now to be sure, we humans will offer our "amendments" to His Word. We will attempt to add our insight to His wisdom. But, somehow it just doesn't cut it does it?
Folks, our screams for change, whether in our society or in our sin ravaged souls, will not be found in a political candidate. Neither will it be found in a protest movement.Our wisdom can't produce it and all the money in our world can't buy it.

Where then do we find it? It is found in our living room. At the dining room table. In our prayer closet. In the pages of His Word, and in His presence one on one. That is truly where the axe is laid to the root.

Psalm 77:1-2 (ESV) 1
 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2  In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.

God Bless

Friday, October 16, 2015

Acceptance                                                   10-16-15

2 Samuel 22:44 (ESV) 44  “You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. 

This is one of the most important verses in the Bible. Say what Ronnie? Bear with me.

"That's just not acceptable." Anyone ever said that about or to you? I'll bet they have. And I will bet that you and most assuredly I have voiced or thought the same about someone else. We hear that criticism stated in different ways(words, actions, attitudes of others) towards us every day..well...hopefully not EVERY day! smile. Everyone has their take on what WE are doing wrong!!You feelin' me here? Amen, I hear you brother.

Now to be sure, SOMETIMES those corrections, criticisms, scoldings are valid and warranted. OUCH! Sometimes we need our butts spanked don't we? But, that is not what the Psalmist and King is talking about here is it? No,no. Not at all. Back to the top.

2 Samuel 22:44 (ESV) 44  “You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.

This verse has a companion verse. As a matter of fact this whole chapter and Psalm 18 go hand in hand.

Psalm 18:43 (ESV) 43  You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.

The key here is found in the introduction to both of these chapters. Let's look at both of them.

If you look at the intro's to both chapters you will discover that this is a song of deliverance, written by David when he was delivered by God from his enemies and from Saul's hand.(with the people and with my people)David wrote this not at the time of Saul's death mind you, huh uh, but later in David's life, during his reign as King of Israel. 

Here, on the one hand ,we have David, persecuted by a living Saul for years. But, when Saul died David's boo know,..his detractors ....the spectators in the cheap seats that kept reminding David(and those that today keep reminding you and me of our shortcomings) did not vanish. To be sure, David deserved some of it, but NOT most of it.

You know something brothers and sisters, it's one thing to serve others. The Lord Jesus taught us that we are to serve and love folks. 

Luke 22:26 (ESV) 26  But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.

But, it is an entirely different matter for someone to exert control over us because we try to cater to what they think about us. We fear their unwarranted criticism. 

Proverbs 29:25 (ESV) 25  The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.

Now don't get me wrong, I fret many times when I think someone is not pleased with me.When someone criticises me, the first thing entering my mind is"what did I do wrong?" And I'll tell you something else, most of the time(not ALL of the time) but MOST of the time, I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG!

MOST of the time, criticism is self serving and is offered from selfish and controlling motivations. People want to manipulate don't they? Not all, but most. Is this waving a red flag in your eyes? Yeah, I hear you. You keep beating up on a dog and he's going to take it for a while. But, eventually you're going to walk up on him one day and he's going to be showing you his teeth.Know what I'm sayin?

I have found that in 99.99% of the issues in my life, GOD ALMIGHTY is more than willing and certainly able to garner my attention when I need to make some adjustments to me. You feel me? Yes, there are certainly times when I need to listen and heed what others are telling me. Oh yes, without a doubt. But, when someone or some thing keeps on and on. Never giving a word of encouragement or a pat on the back. Never a thank you or a please. Always critical or demanding. It's always my fault or yours as the case may be. God never intended for us to submit to that. Don't put your hand to it, let God be God. Just sayin'

Psalm 35:1 (ESV) 1
 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!

God Bless

Friday, October 9, 2015

Where Were You

Where Were You?                                            10-09-15

Job 38:4 (ESV) 4  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.

Some thoughts.

Ya know, it occurs to me that over the last couple of years or maybe longer, when God Almighty has chosen to speak to me, He captures me with the same phrase. The same four words, when they enter my heart and mind, cause me to stand up and take notice. Those words being,"I got your back." When I hear that I know "somthin sup." You gettin' my drift?

Let me add this while I am thinking about it. You know...God rarely, if ever, brings a condemning word my way. Now that is not saying He does not bring a CORRECTING word. No,no.In my life those are too numerous to recount in this short space!(smile) But, rather than condemn and judge, He shows me a BETTER way of doing things.If I choose to believe and trust Him, then I am the better off for it. Those were my thoughts as I deliberated this message.

Back to Job.

 Job, in a moment of IMPATIENCE and frustration, questioned God and His wisdom concerning his(Job's) circumstances. After a three or four chapter rebuke of Job through Elihu, God Himself takes center stage and answers Job. Beginning with the 38th chapter God "calls Job out." After He mentions His council being darkened, the Lord asks Job a question,"Where were you...........?" God then proceeds to drive a point home. A point, that we today, both as individuals and a nation, should heed and not shun.A point best described by the priest in the movie "Rudy." Remember? While counseling Rudy he spoke these words, "There is a God, and I ain't Him!"

Do yourself a favor and read that passage of Scripture sometime. If you can't read the whole book of Job, start at Chapter 32. If that seems a bit ambitious, jump to chapter 38 and start. Fascinating,timely truth for us today.

As I thought about this, the Holy Spirit spoke this"You don't question My wisdom so much with your words(although I have in the past) as you do with your actions."


No, no He was in no way beating me up in my spirit. He was in NO WAY brow beating or intimidating or manipulating...not at all.

On the contrary, He was  pointing out a BETTER WAY. He was, once again, silently SHOUTING at me that indeed HE HAS MY BACK!! 

Let me interject something here. There are people in this world that are suffering on a scale that I can not even imagine. As a matter of point, it is embarrassing to even mention my "hardships" in the same breath. I am humbled,even fearful when I think about the circumstances that some of God's children are enduring. My point is simply this.

Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, we need to keep this fact ever before our eyes. THERE IS A GOD AND I(WE) AIN'T HIM. And no matter what, His wisdom is above ours. All He wants to do is show us a better way. He wants to assure us that He and He alone has our back.

I will leave you with a comment I read this week about King Hezekiah that I had  never considered. You know the story. Hezekiah fell ill and God told him that he was going to die. Hezekiah prayed and God answered. In His love and mercy for Hezekiah, He stayed his death and added 15 years to Hezekiah's life.

But, as a result of Hezekiah's unwillingness to accept God's sovereignty and ultimate  wisdom for his life, Hezekiah's descendants had to endure unwarranted suffering. During those 15 years, Manasseh was born. He reigned for 55 years and was the most evil king to ever rule Judah. 

2 Kings 21:1 (ESV) 1  Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.
Read the story.

Not only Manasseh, but Hezekiah's extended reign led to Judah's defeat by the Babylonians.

Just sayin'.

Psalm 111:10 (ESV) 10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
God Bless