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


Friday, October 2, 2015

My Memorial                                                10-02-15

Luke 24:5 (ESV) 5  And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

A personal testimony this week.

Today is my mother's(memaw) birthday.This is the first birthday that she has not been around; God choosing to take her home last February. This Wednesday past, while walking the neighborhood thinking about what I would write on this week, I thought of paying my respects to my mom. It was odd however. How so? As I pictured my mother's grave site in my mind, I was not moved. I had no real emotion as I rehearsed in my mind's eye standing at her grave, on her first birthday after going home with the Lord. Although it did not really bother me, I wondered why no flow of emotion.

I even asked the Lord why it was that I was lacking any emotional response. As I walked a little further a verse shot across my mind.

..." Why do you seek the living among the dead?"

The question posed by the angels at Jesus' empty tomb. Well, I pondered on that for a little while longer and all of a sudden I had a "God" moment.

I looked up at the sky and the clouds which had been with us all day were breaking up in the western sky. It was tendering towards sundown, and a big patch of blue sky had opened up. Through the hole in the clouds the sun was setting, turning the clouds that color of reddish, pink, orange. You know what I am talking about don't you? That multi hued sky as the sun sets some time. "Red sky at night, sailors delight,"
that was the canopy I am endeavoring to describe.

Standing there, gazing at the sky,all of a sudden I knew........I KNEW that all was well. It was a rush in my insides telling me everything was O.K. I mean it was a  complete feeling of peace. I felt the Holy Spirit come over me like a wash. I stopped for a few seconds just to offer a moment of grateful praise to God. Yes, Pastor Doug, outside in the land of the living! (big smile and chuckle)Then those words again returned to my head.

"Why do you seek the living among the dead?"

 It was like a flood in my soul.Why was I picturing my mother's grave site? SHE WASN'T AND ISN'T THERE!!

That one thought filled my mind and heart. Memaw isn't there! Listen, I am writing this on Thursday night because I plan to go visit my mother's grave site tomorrow. That's what we do here on earth. But, my mother, Memaw to me, isn't in that cemetery. No, no. She is somewhere in the corridors of eternity, doing whatever it is they do in Heaven. And I will see her soon enough.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (ESV) 54  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55  “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

In the midst of this moment, just for the briefest of time, I hastened for the day that the Lord Jesus would return. Either for me personally, or for all His people who are looking and longing for Him.That great homecoming in the sky. Then, as quickly and magically as it had appeared,.. it was over.A moment, a gift from God, for me to relive at some point in the future. It was just one of those times when God visits us.

Brothers and sisters, the Lord Jesus is the real deal. He is the ONE TRUE AND LIVING GOD. And He is coming back for His own,soon and very soon, just as He came for my mother this year past.

If you have lost a loved one recently or not so recently, remember this. Try and not fret or grieve, as impossible as that may sound.And know this for a truth. The next time that you go to the cemetery in memory or to pay respects to the departed, don't be looking for them, because they aren't there. When they named the name of Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they booked a reservation in the halls of glory. They wouldn't come back if they could. Amen.

Why do you seek the living among the dead.

Psalm 116:15 (ESV) 15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

God Bless