Saturday, December 30, 2017

Truth One On One

Truth One On One                                     12-30-17

Psalm 25:4-5 (ESV) 4  Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
5  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Some thoughts for the New Year.This is my verse for 2018. 

Years ago,my friend and mentor Pastor Doug, told me something about ministry that has stayed with me. The most effective ministry,he said, was one on one. While we and of course, God, can minister to one another in the sacredness of the sanctuary,surrounded by others of like faith(church), or in great evangelistic services, or wherever people come together,the MOST EFFECTIVE ministry is conducted one on one. It is the privacy and intimacy of one on one that allows people to let their hair down. To wash away all the makeup,and get down to the heart of the matter.Now for sure,it takes time to develop the trust needed for a relationship that is forthright and honest.But,that is where truth is discovered. Not too long back,God spoke those same words to yours truly. And herein lieth the lesson.

Look at that verse again. Pay particular attention to that one word..........What one word Ronnie?..........That word YOUR.

"Make me to know YOUR..... teach me YOUR........Lead me in YOUR......."""

I watched the movie "The Shack" this week. Yeah I know. The book,in my opinion wasn't that good. Some even called it sacreligious. I personally did not like the book and did not agree with some of the characterizations. But, the movie was different. It still had some sketchy issues,but there was something about the movie that I didn't find in the book. The movie had a deeper,underlying meaning that I did not find in the book. Truths about the nature of God,(He really is good,a lot if not most of His children don't grasp or believe that truth deep down),His sovereignty,(He can appear as a black female if He so desires), He can speak to His children using unconventional and non traditional means(see Balaam's donkey) on and on and on. It touched my heart. But, there was one underlying truth in the movie that stood out above the rest.

When God needed to talk to one of His devastated children,which the lead character in the movie most certainly was........when God needed to minister and heal that hurting child,He chose one avenue to accomplish His purpose. What was it you say? Just this.

God got his child ALONE. He invited him out to a deserted shack. Just him. Not him and anybody or anything else. JUST HIM AND GOD. Period. Ya gettin' my drift here?

Brothers and sisters as we walk out of yet another year,(they are stacking up!)and walk into a brand new year,let us strive to make the above verse a reality in our lives.

Do we need others in our lives? Oh yes. Community is God's idea isn't it? In laws,out laws,pastors,church families,friends.....that is what makes God's world turn. It's all there for us to enjoy. the midnight hour........when facing down the barrel of a  sickness that isn't going away,when the blows and wounds from friends and foe alike are open and festering,when the guilt and confusion from past sins and mistakes come calling, when the reality sets in that the lost loved one isn't coming back in this life.......ya feelin' me here? There's only one solution. Get alone with God. Allow Him to teach you the path that you should walk,let Him lead you in HIS truth for YOUR life.

I will leave you with the ONE TRUTH for us all as we enter this New Year.

There is only ONE truth in all life. That truth will not be found in the halls of politics. It will not be found in political correctness and coexistence. It will not be found in any of the gods of this world. Whether it be capitalism,patriotism,socialism,nationalism or any other ism.It is not to be found in Allah,Buddah or any other god of this world.


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.

Happy New Year!

God Bless.


Friday, December 22, 2017

What Was,And Is,And Is To Come                           12-22-17

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.

Luke 2:11 (ESV) 11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday season. I love the commercialization of Christmas.Yes, I know there is a true meaning of Christmas. We'll get to that in a minute. But,I LOVE all the hustle and bustle.The seasonal movies,the scenes at the mall,the tacky house lights,the presents.I love the expectation and excitement in the kids as the BIG DAY approaches.Shelley and I have our own version of Ralphie walking around the house. You know Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," don't you? Well,Ralphie's female clone,known by the name Chloe, is alive and well at 5304 Foxwood Rd. complete with the pink bunny suit(except it is a pig suit here).I can see many Christmas's past, as my own kids tried every way imaginable to figure out what was under the tree and what the Man in Red, from the North Pole would be bringing them.

The glitter and excitement for me has faded somewhat in the present day. I could go without getting anything for Christmas and be perfectly content watching the younguns open their stuff. However, I will gladly accept ANY present that you,Shelley,might like to buy me!!smile. But seriously,I am going to soak this Christmas in. I am going to enjoy this coming weekend to the max. I look forward to seeing Maddie and Chloe run around the house all excited. I am looking forward to hearing about my grandkids' Christmas. I look forward to opening my gifts and watching others do the same. Looking at all the before and after pictures in the HUNDREDS That Shelley and her mom Sharon,will post on Facebook. lol I want to soak it in. Why? Because I may never get to experience another Christmas like this one. I want to hold this blessing from the Lord close to my heart.SOAK IT IN TODAY. None of us knows the future. What's that you say? The real reason for the season? Yes I do. It's a matter of what was and what is and what is to come isn't it? And herein lieth he lesson.

 About two thousand or so years ago the prophesied Messiah,the Savior of the human race was born in a land far,far away.All the innocence and hope of an entire fallen race lay in that manger.That's why we are celebrating this season. We want,we NEED in some way to FEEL that innocence and love and hope.The presents,the carols,the candlelight services and communions all contribute to our NEED to FEEL the love and goodwill,the PEACE towards ALL men.A Christmas past.Yet there's more to it isn't there? 

John 3:16 (ESV) 16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

About thirty or so years later,that child born in that stable would set himself on a course. His primary,overriding purpose would be to show the world that He loved His Father,God Almighty. He would humble Himself and freely GIVE His life in the most gruesome way imaginable,to prove His love of God. As a result,He not only proved His love for His God,but He proved His God's love for us.Because of this love,God's creation,you and I can live forever.All we must do is believe. An age of grace and mercy. A Christmas present.
Ahhhhhhh........but there's more to come isn't there,dear saint? A Christmas  FUTURE! And this is the one I want to focus on.

Brother and sister,if you are beat down. If you are hanging on by a thread. If life has worn you out,maybe you have suffered unimaginable loss, or as the Apostle Paul said,you have fought the good fight,you have finished the course and the time of your departure is at hand........ then READ ON child of God. 

Revelation 1:12-16 (ESV) 12  Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.
14  The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,
15  his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
16  In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

THIS is the REASON FOR THE SEASON. The Lord Jesus is no longer a babe in the manger. He is no longer a suffering servant hanging on an old rugged cross. No,NO! He is a King that is coming back for His own.He dwells in unapproachable light,and He's coming soon to take us,YOU AND ME, HOME. And so we shall FOREVER be with the Lord.

Revelation 22:12-13 (ESV) 12  “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.
13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

God Bless.


Friday, December 15, 2017


Confusion                                               12-15-17

1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV) 33  For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,

I think I like the KJV a little better here.

1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) 33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Some thoughts today. As Led Zeppelin said, Dazed and Confused.

My friend,Charles Saia had another less affectionate name for it,Psycho babble.What? Huh?What's that your friend said Ronnie? Psycho  Another word for confusion.

Confusion. To make unclear in mind or purpose.A condition in which things are not in their normal or proper places or relationships.

I was listening to two men at work this week past discussing their views on religion.The discussion ended very amiably with an agreement to disagree.During the discussion,although I was not involved, I asked a question that I wanted and needed an answer to. Huh? Glad you asked. "Why"I asked, "If God is not the author of confusion,then why is there so much confusion?" Unbeknownst to them,the question was directed more at me and my confusion than to them.(smile) 

Let me see if I can explain. Have you ever been unclear in mind about what a preacher,teacher,commentator,or blog writer has written or said? Have you ever been unclear in purpose as to what God was supposedly saying to you through someone else? Oh yeah I feel ya. Me too!!(smile)

As I listened this week, I could see myself making those same arguments that I was hearing.As a matter of fact I have done that very thing recently. I listened intently as each one quoted a Scripture to support his position. As my friend Pastor Doug says, "Been there,done that,got the t-shirt,and bought the video!

Do I believe in having a CONSISTENT Scriptural foundation for what I believe? You better believe it!I went for far too long in my Christian walk without that firm foundation.Do I believe that my way is the right way? ABSOLUTELY. Do I believe that you may have a different perspective and that your way is the right way?ABSOLUTELY. Hear me out on this.

For every Scripture someone gives me about conditional salvation, I can give them two about eternal security. The same goes for tithing. The same goes for the role of the New Testament church.On and on and on. Isn't it odd that The Apostle Paul wrote that verse on confusion after explaining what is probably the most argumentative and confusing issue in Christian circles today.The role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the individual believer and the local church. An interesting insertion indeed.

I mentioned that I have been studying the Book of Job recently.Fascinating and profound book.As far as I have gotten,(first round of speeches) there is one recurring theme(among others) that has captured my attention. 

Job's friends,his "comforters" are all theologically correct in what they say.Their positions about the demise of Job all sound good.Based on correct theology.

Why then does Job refuse and even spurn their advice? If you read it,you will find out that not only does Job disagree,he disagrees violently with them,for reasons too numerous for this blog.Jobs turmoil, his absolute agony does not lie in his physical loss or suffering. He,so far has never once asked to be healed or restored. I don't think that he ever does. I will find out.Job's agony is in his confusion of why God has done this. And herein lieth the lesson.

Job's confusion and agony is rooted in the fact that all he is hearing is what his friends say ABOUT GOD. They talk ABOUT God. They tell him what they THINK is wrong.They tell him what they THINK is Job's solution.They tell him what they THINK God is saying. It sounds good. It is theologically correct. But,it is WRONG in Job's particular circumstances. Their religious reasoning,based on sound theology does not fit Job's case.Their counsel and application is wrong,their theology is right.They don't have all the facts of Job's demise.They talk ABOUT God,but they have not talked TO God;and apparently have not allowed God to talk to them.

Job,all the while is over here contemplating and voicing this one complaint,this one TRUTH over and over.ONLY GOD HAS HIS ANSWER. God is the ONLY one that can give counsel and comfort to Job's confusion.And that brothers and sisters,is our ONLY answer when we are confused and dismayed. Whether it be a Bible doctrine,personal loss and suffering,or any other circumstance that causes doubt and confusion,our first source of refuge is in God and God alone.

Confused? Doubtful? Hurting?Get a Bible. Go find your alone place with God.Talk to Him.Let Him speak to your heart.Let Him give you the counsel about your PERSONAL circumstances.

Don't worry. If our heart is in the right place.If our desire is to sincerely hear His voice.He will guide us into all truth. He will direct us to that person,church,book or WHATEVER that can minister to our pain and confusion.  

 God is never going to lead us astray.His counsel will always,on every occasion line up and concur with His word. There will never be conflict there.But, BUT, His ways are not our ways.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV) 8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither 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.

God's ways at first glance may not fit the traditional mode. They may, at first glance,conflict with man's theology and even man's sense of justice and fairness. If we get out in left field trying to follow Him(I have), if we misinterpret His voice(I have) don't worry.... He is strong enough and more than capable of righting our ship. Our responsibility is to have a heart that is perfect and sincere towards Him. Amen?

Psalm 81:13-14 (ESV) 13  Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!
14  I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.

God Bless