If Thy Hand Offend Thee

Matthew_5:30  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

I never did post anything about On Course Youth Conference that took place two months ago. Truly, it was a wonderful conference that our young people were blessed to be able to attend. The preaching was powerful and anointed, and it was beautiful to see the response of so many young people during altar service times. Although this conference is geared toward youth, there have been many times where God has talked to my heart through the preaching of the Word.

The message that Brother Paul Bertram preached with the above Scripture as his text is the one that stands out the most in my mind. He shared with us the true story of Aron Ralston, an experienced outdoorsman who through a freak accident had his hand pinned under a boulder, from which he was unable to break free. After being trapped for 5 days in this condition, Aron realized that his hand was rotting under the boulder, and the only way he was going to be able to survive was to cut off  his hand. So, he did. It still makes me cringe when I think about it.

Brother Bertram began to talk about how we can hold onto things that can slowly kill us spiritually. An area he dealt with a lot was cell phones. These devices are so popular in our society, and while they are very useful, they can also cause great harm to us spiritually when we use them inappropriately or devote too much time to them to the neglecting of more important things. God dealt with me during that service about something on my phone. It wasn’t a sin but something that was becoming  a weight, and I knew God was speaking to my heart to delete it, and so I did. I’m so glad that God cares about us enough to show us areas in our lives where we need correction or things in our lives that could become stumbling blocks!

We do need to exercise caution with cell phones and technology. It seems everywhere I go nowadays, I see people staring at screens, whether it be cell phones, laptops or I-pads. I wonder what would happen if we spent as much time in prayer and Bible reading as we do on our devices. I wrote the following while musing on that a couple of weeks ago. While it is a satirical piece, and I don’t really believe getting rid of our cell phones would bring instant revival, limiting the time we spend on them and dedicating more time to seeking God would certainly help.

Cell Phone Phenomenon

We stare at it while we cross the street.

It must accompany us when with friends we meet.

Oh, why can’t we seem to leave it alone;

this technological wonder we call the cell phone?

 

The husband and wife go out to dinner

to have quality time alone;

as they sit across from each other,

both of them on their phone.

 

And what shall we do with our cell phone next?

Should we start a photo stream or send out a text?

Our day is just not complete, it seems

without sending or receiving the latest memes.

 

Of course, there are amusements and games galore

to keep you awake until 3 or 4.

And there’s pressure to upgrade to the latest.

That I-phone 1,000 is just the greatest!

 

The apps to choose from can catch your breath.

There is even one to predict your own death!

Oh, all the wonders the cell phone is giving.

Before its’ time we weren’t really living.

 

It’s a glorious device upon which we spend time,

almost without care, reason or rhyme.

It’s so easy to squander the minutes away

held in the cell phone’s hypnotic  sway.

 

You may think I’m totally under delusion,

but my ponderings have brought me to this conclusion.

If cell phone time was replaced with prayer and reading the Bible

we’d have an earth shaking, devil chasing, Heaven sent revival!

4/20/17

 

Way To Go, Mike Pence!

Vice President Mike Pence has a long established policy for which he has received flack from those of a liberal mindset.  It has been his long standing rule to never dine alone with a woman other than his wife. I think that is commendable that he would want to safeguard his marriage! Click the link below to read the article about Vice President Pence.

https://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/bryan-fischer/2017/04/03/in-praise-of-mike-pence

My close associations are of the same mindset, and I could not imagine it being any other way. Our young people also do not date one on one but go out with groups or chaperones. It’s called having safe boundaries, and it’s a concept that does not make sense to the carnal mind.

The following poem says it so well.

 

The Ambulance Down In The Valley

Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, “Put a fence ’round the edge of the cliff,”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became full of pity
For those who slipped over the dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds and gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.

“For the cliff is all right, if you’re careful,” they said,
“And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they’re stopping.”
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would those rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old sage remarked: “It’s a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
When they’d much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief,” cried he,
“Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley.”

“Oh he’s a fanatic,” the others rejoined,
“Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
He’d dispense with all charities, too, if he could;
No! No! We’ll support them forever.
Aren’t we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence,
While the ambulance works in the valley?”

But the sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than cure,
And their party will soon be the stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
And while other philanthropists dally,
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.

Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
“To rescue the fallen is good, but ’tis best
To prevent other people from falling.”
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence ’round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.

Joseph Malins

There will always be those who will mock, ridicule and deride those who want to protect things that are sacred, but thank God for boundaries and those who are willing to put them up!

 

Wise husbands could learn from Mike Pence

how to put ‘round your marriage, a fence

dine alone with just your wife

for she’s the love of your life

to do otherwise is just dense.

4/5/17

 

 

 

Just What The Doctor Ordered

Our high school Bible class is learning about submission and accountability this week. They were given an assignment by their instructor to write a piece as if they were a doctor giving advice or recommendations to a patient on how to avoid sin in their lives. I know I’m probably weird, but when I was in school, I loved assignments such as this one. I still do, and so I thought I’d give it a try.

clip-art-doctor-with-chart-clipart-1

From: Dr. Ounce O. Prevenshun

To: U.B. Carnal

Doctors Recommendations on How to Avoid Sin

 

The detailed instructions given below if followed, will aid the patient in abstaining from sin.

 

The DO’s

1.       DO have a regular time of prayer each day. Think of prayer as a daily vitamin, vitamin P (See I Thessalonians 5:17, Luke 22:40, Luke 18:1, Ephesians 6:18, Mk. 14:38)

2.       DO read your Bible each day. Think of it as your daily dose of vitamin B. Work on committing some Scriptures to memory, which can help you in times of temptation. (See Psalm 119:11, 2 Timothy 3:15, Proverbs 30:5,Matthew 4:4)

3.       DO make it a priority to be faithful in attending the house of God. (See Hebrews 10:23-26, Psalm 122:1)

4.       DO be submitted to the man of God in your life, aka your pastor. He is watching out for you. (See Hebrews 13:17, Jeremiah 3:15)

5.       DO fast on a regular basis. (Isaiah 58:6). It’s a way of saying no to your flesh, and when it’s coupled with prayer, it will help you draw closer to God. If you have a physical condition that prevents you from fasting, consider fasting an activity you enjoy (electronic games, Internet, going to WalMart, etc.) and spending that time in prayer.

The DON’TS

1.       DON’T put yourself into a place or a position where you know you could be tempted. This is also known as “not making provision for the flesh.” (For example: If you have struggled in the past with drinking alcohol, don’t go to a bar if you want some 7UP.)Even if you stay full of the Holy Ghost, remember this. Your flesh is weaker than you think!( See Romans 8:13, 13:14, Matthew 26:41)

2.       DON’T be lazy or allow yourself too much idle time. (See Proverbs 18:15) You’ve probably heard the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” It’s true.  Stay busy with the things of God and working for His kingdom, and you will be less likely to sin.(See also Ecclesiastes 10:18, Proverbs 12:24, Hebrews 6:12)

3.       DON’T let your close friends be those who are not striving to live a godly lifestyle. They can lead you astray. (See I Corinthians 15:33, Exodus 23:2, James 4:4)

 

These recommendations, if followed, will aid you in your endeavors to avoid sin. Choosing not to follow the above instructions can result in a serious heart condition which would require major surgery that is costly. If this be the case, you would be referred to Dr. Pounda Cure, but it is strongly urged that you heed the advice of Dr. Ounce O. Prevenshun.

The Blessing Of Distance

A few years ago at Pacific Coast Camp, I heard Pastor Ray Brown preach an excellent message on overcoming temptations. One of the things I remember was that he likened temptation to a magnet. If something that is attracted to a magnet gets too close to the magnet, well……………………………….. you know what happens. Likewise, if we get too close to the thing that is a source of temptation, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. If we know something is a temptation for us, the wisest course is to stay as far away from the thing as possible.

While musing on this one day, God inspired me with a poem. I’m so thankful that through the power of the Holy Ghost and keeping our distance, we can be overcomers!

 

Keep Your Distance!

 

The tempter is a master of persistence

desiring you to stumble and to fall

but from the things he offers, keep your distance

and you will overcome and still stand tall.

 

Do pray, into the snares you won’t be led

strive to please the Master every day

rebuke bad thoughts that come into your head

from enticements quickly run away.

 

Allurements, like a magnet, they can be

ungodly source that’s pulling at your soul

put space between the hankering and thee

the magnet’s pull will not win the control.

 

Joseph, day by day, he was provoked

Potiphar’s wife tempting him to sin

Running, the response by him evoked

Sometimes that’s what it takes to not give in.

 

To follow his example, we’d be wise

when by sin charmed, we must put up resistance

don’t’ let temptation lead to your demise

between it and yourself, just put some distance.

 

11-30-16

 

Matthew 6:9-13  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

 

2Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 

 

Genesis 39:7-12  And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.

But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

 

James 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

 

 

 

 

So Run

So Run

 

Run the race

Run with purpose

Purpose of mind

Purpose of heart

Heart unwavering

Heart determined

Determined to endure

Determined to see

See that city

See the Savior

Savior,Redeemer

Savior, guide

Guide my footsteps

Guide my path

Path of righteousness

Path of holiness

Holiness in living

Holiness of mind

Mind of the Spirit

Mind of Christ

Christ the Light

Christ the Way

Way to salvation

Way to eternity

Eternity nears

Eternity beckons

Beckons and pleads

Beckons and summons

Summons to serve

Summons to sacrifice

Sacrifice self

Sacrifice time

Time to consecrate

Time to dedicate

Dedicate unselfishly

Dedicate wholly

Wholly yielded

Wholly given

Given to glorify

Given to fulfill

Fulfill God’s desire

Fulfill God’s plan

Plan to participate

Plan to be runners

Runners start

Runners finish

Start

Finish.

 

9/20/16

 

1Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

 

 

 

 

God Honors Faithful Praying!

 

This is a repost of something I had written a few years ago. I pray it will be a blessing to you.

 

Have you ever prayed for something for a long time and have just grown weary of praying?  Have you ever prayed and asked the question, “God, when are you going to bring it to pass?”   I wonder if Cornelius ever felt this way.  The Bible describes the character of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 and verse 2.

 

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

  I looked up the word “prayed” in this verse in Strong’s Concordance and the meaning was to beg, beseech or petition.  It appears there was something that Cornelius was desperately seeking God for, and he did it on a continual basis.  The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what Cornelius was praying for, but it does tell us there came a day when an angel of God appeared to him and told him that God remembered all the times that he had prayed. 

Acts 10:3  He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. Acts 10:4  And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 

 

 Although we may not know exactly what Cornelius prayed for, we do have the record of how God chose to answer his prayers.

 

 Act 10:5  And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: Act 10:6  He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. 

 

 Cornelius was told to send for Peter and that Peter would tell him what he needed to do.  Cornelius was about to have his Memorial Day!  In the meantime, God was preparing Peter to be the answer to Cornelius’ prayer as he showed him a vision and then sent 3 men to Peter who would escort Peter to the house of Cornelius.  (See Acts 10:7-24) 

 

After a brief discourse between Peter and Cornelius, Peter  begins to preach Jesus unto him.  While Peter was preaching to Cornelius and his household, the Bible records something wonderful that happened. Acts 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Acts 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  God’s spirit was poured out on Cornelius and those in his household that had heard the word of God preached.  They of the circumcision(in other words, the Jews)which were there with Peter were astonished because this was the first time that a non-Jew(Gentile)received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  How did these other Jewish men that were with Peter know that Cornelius and the others who were with them had received the Holy Ghost?  Verse 46 gives us the answer.

 

 Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  

 

Notice though, that this is not the end, for this verse concludes with “Then answered Peter,”.    God still had more for Cornelius. Acts 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Acts 10:48  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 

  What a glorious Memorial Day for Cornelius and his family!  If it was anything like the day that I was baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost, I know it was an awesome, unforgettable day.  I believe Cornelius’ prayers were answered in a far greater way than he ever expected.  God certainly honored the faithfulness of this man. 

 

 Is there something that you have been praying about for a long time?  Perhaps there is a loved one that you long to see come to God.  Maybe you are in need of a physical or emotional healing.  You may already have a relationship with God, but you are just desirous and so hungry for  more of Him.  May you be encouraged to keep asking, seeking and knocking.  God still answers prayer and He would love for there to be a  Memorial Day for you too! 

Memorial Day 

 

It’s coming – Memorial Day

 Cornelius, do not cease to pray

 Prayers sent up to God have been heard

  Every cry of your heart, each word. 

 

 Though answers may seem far away

   It’s coming – Memorial Day

   In faith keep on lifting your voice

   And soon you’ll have cause to rejoice. 

 

In our flesh we may groan, grow tired

   Let this grand thought keep you inspired

    It’s coming – Memorial Day

   In spite of the seeming delay. 

 

 Now brought to life, to fruition

    You have received your petition

   No longer do you have to say

   It’s coming – Memorial Day!