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As 2012 comes to a fast halt I was reminded of all the Good that God has poured out on me over the last 12 months.  Breath taking events that cause tears to well up inside of me because of the profound changes that has come my way. 

First and foremost is my Intimate Relationship with my Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  I am more in Love with Jesus now that ever before.  He has Lavished His Love upon me way more than I deserve.  He has Touched me in such ways that I will forever be changed, which is a good thing, because Jesus never wants me or anyone seeking Him to go backwards.  His Calling on my life to Proclaim the Gospel, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ,  has increased exponentially and His Fire of Holy Passion for the Lost and spiritually hungry has stretched my heart.  One example is the Word of God  “like Fire shut up in my bones” to the point of exploding!  It is my first and Primary Love in my life!  

The second glorious thing that has happened to me is also a Gift from the Father, my wife.  We celebrated our 1 year anniversary December 30th and I must say, wow, what a year.  My love for Jesus is now so intertwined with my love for my wife.  We are one.  Jesus, my wife and me.  It is  awesome what God has done for me as a reflection of His Love.  To explain how He designed the Holy Union between my wife and I must be in words that He showed me.  Everything in my life before my wife was centered around preaching and teaching the Word of God.  I was and still am Resolved to know Nothing but Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected.  This was all I was interested in doing.  I emptied myself and prayed for the Holy Spirit to consume me totally because there are so many around me perishing.  In this process of spiritual purging through fasting and prayer sometimes for weeks I was often preaching in my sleep.  Then when God “pressed” my wife into my heart I realized I have not experienced the fulness of Love.  Let me explain.  God’s Love is always enough and always fulfilling.  I was not seeking a wife.  The only thing is God wanted me to experience the Love of a Godly woman.  God told me that He was twisting my wife around the Word of God dwelling in my heart.  Very profound how this happened.  Everything I now preach and teach concerning Jesus Christ is linked directly to my relationship with my wife.  This is God’s design.  I have a deeper love for God and a deeper love for mankind now that God has given me a wife!  To add to this awesome year I now have 3 children with their spouses and 11 grandchildren.  Talk about God stretching a mans heart, wow!  

These 2 events has transformed my life during 2012.  I will forever be Thankful to God for His Marvelous Gift of Jesus Christ and my wife!  I am so looking forward to the coming year.  I am sure 2013 will be filled with challenges, trials and Goodness!  If I had a goal or resolution for 2013 it would be;  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” All of which will be with the Help of the Holy Spirit and my wife!   My wife and I Pastor 2 Churches.  We have 2 worship services a week. Bible studies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. All of which are streamed live through facebook and other web based programs like Twitter and youtube.   The Lord is using us to reach potentially thousands of people World-wide with His Transforming Message of Forgiveness and Eternal life through Faith in the Work of Jesus Christ!  Happy New Year! Image

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This came from the back of a church bulletin and is worthy of our time to meditate and reflect.  How to be a five star dad by Paul J. Twist:
It has been said, “The only things you can take with you to heaven are your children.”  “Father’s Day is a good day for dad’s to examine their hearts and priorities, asking questions such as; 1. Am I the spiritual leader God wants me to be in my family? 2. Do I spend more time earning money than I need to provide for my family? 3. Do I value the friendship of others more than time spent with my own family?  Often, mothers are thought of as the ones who have the greatest influence in training their children.  But a few years ago, a study revealed a startling fact regarding Church attendance.  When both parents attended Church, the study showed that 80% of the children also attended Church when they were on their own.  When the mother attended with the children, but the father did not, only 30% of the children attended on their own.  Yet, when the father attended Church with their children, without the mother, 70% of the children continued to attend Church when on their own, almost as high a figure as when both parents attended with them!  A family does need a strong, faithful mother who takes time to pray for her children, and train them in the ways of the Lord.  But the father needs to be the leader, and set the example by his own faithful Church attendance if his children are to follow Christ when they are older.  They are more likely to do as you do than to do as you say and the result of your Godly example will follow you into Eternity.” Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” So now what are you going to do with this thought?  God ordained the family unit and designated the father as the spiritual leader.  We can see in our own Nation how the world views a fathers role in the family.  But our thinking should not be as the world thinks but as God thinks!  O fathers and mother, the ruin of your children or their salvation, will, under God, very much depend on you. -Spurgeon For you fathers out their, let me ask a question; do you pray with your children? I said with them not for them. Do you lead them in prayer? Why not? Wake up and swallow your Pride if you do not lead your children in prayer or to Church!  I pray you so live, that when you stand over your child’s dead body, you may never hear a voice coming up from that clay, “Father, your negligence was my destruction.  Mother, your prayerlessness was the instrument of my damnation. Fathers remember the survey that was just shared? Do you want your pride and slackness to be the destroyer of your children?  Not to mention the destruction of your own soul! A mother is important for the children, but the father is the leader of both! God ordained the family unit. Can we undo what God has done? Only to our destruction as a family and then a Nation. Blessings to you fathers. Pr 20:7 “ The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”

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What is one of America’s most lucrative exports? Pornography! This is a multi-billion dollar industry that is destroying the Moral fabric of our families and ultimately our Country. God has called us to live a holy and Godly life. God wants us to enjoy Him. God wants us to Love Him with all heart, soul, mind and strength. He wants us to Love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Pornography destroys God’s will for our lives. This destruction happens slowly and will ultimately leave a person empty, lonely and full despair! Why? It goes back to God’s Moral standard of the second Commandment found in Exodus 20. Here we find God speaking His Will concerning your relationship to Him. “4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” You see, pornography is an image and God has said His Will for you is to not set an image before Him. Idiolatry is bowing down to and worshiping images. Paul the Apostle addresses it this way; Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities– his eternal power and divine nature– have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator– who is forever praised. Amen.” Images of the sexual nature is depraved and destructive. Remember God says He will “ visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” Not only does pornography rob you of your relationship with a Holy God but also affects your relationship with your children. America has an Image problem and that is Idiolatry! I must confess that I ave also been affected by this as well. I can remember the first time I saw a beautiful woman’s image in a magazine. Her image is still in my mind after some 30 years. See, the image stuck! At a Pastors meeting some time back, we were talking about pornography and the Pastor confessed he had a porn problem. We cried together and sought forgiveness through repentance. I you dear reader or someone you know has a porn problem, I want to share the only deliverance. John 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The first step to deliverance from Image worship is confessing and turning away from the destructive power of pornography. Being Born again in Christ means you have a change of mind, spirit and heart! The old self is gone, the new self has come! Become a new creation in Christ! There is no sin for which it is worth your while to be damned. -Spurgeon

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Do you have Moral principals that guide your world view? Everyone sees the world through preconceived moral principles. What is right, what is wrong and who or what determines that foundation. Listen to God; “Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Wow what a principle and a promise! By giving respect and lifting up my mother I will be blessed and live long. Someone once told me that a mother’s love is as close to God’s love we can ever experience this side of Heaven. It is pretty bad if your mother does not love you. I know no matter how or what I have ever done my mothers love has not wavered! God’s Love is similar; Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I desire to share a few more thoughts about Mothers day. First off I think Mothers day is under rated. What is my problem with that idea? The World views mothers as a means to an end- money. Can you put a price tag on your mother? Proverb 31:10 “A wife (or mother) of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” I am blessed to have such a mother that all the flowers, gifts and money in the World could not replace a hug, kiss and a I love you. To show honor to my mother daily and not yearly brings more wealth to my soul than all the money in the World! I must say shame on you if you cannot honor your mother who gave you life. Besides the fact God’s promise is void for those who do not honor their mother. It is incomprehensible to me that one day a year is set aside to honor mothers. If I cannot honor my mother everyday than I need to be shamed! One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters. There is none, in all this cold and hollow world, no fount of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within a mother’s heart. I think Lincoln said it best “No man is poor who has had a Godly mother. Proverb 31:27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: If I could recount the numerous times my mother spent praying for my safety and health it would add up to years and I thank God for such a mother as this, she is BLESSED! I must say to my mother; “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Some refuse to praise the Lord for their mother, but for those who have a God fearing mother knows that Mothers Day is everyday!

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The scriptures teach us to Honor your mom and dad…… what if your mom and dad are teaching you to tell “little white lies” like saying your 10 to get a cheaper buffet price or tell your teacher we had car trouble but really the kid was lazy and would not get out of bed. Things such as that? When you disagree with telling the lie, your parents get mad and tell you to do what they said. Or tell you ” a little white lie never hurt anyone”? You want to do what they said so you don’t get in to trouble, but you know it is wrong? First of all lets look at the sin of lying or bearing false witness. Scripture says Exodus 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 1. haughty eyes, 2. a lying tongue 3. hands that shed innocent blood 4. a heart that devises wicked schemes 5. feet that are quick to rush into evil 6. a false witness who pours out lies 7. and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars– their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” With these verses speaking for themselves let me ask a few questions. Do you know better than God? Do you like it when someone lies to you? What does a lie due to your credibility? Parents who have told by their youngsters by words or actions that it is ok to tell little white lies will answer for their deceit. I have had that very situation in my life many times. We have to get to the point in our lives where we can see the destructive power of lying and then stop justifying sinful behavior. God tells us plainly in His Word what will happen if we lie. Every time we lie or tell others it is ok to tell little lies it hardens our hearts. God has given everyone a conscience and the ability to tell the truth. Here is some help. Pray this; Proverb 30:8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 2Th 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. I know from my own life that overcoming lying is very hard but is attainable. Just speak the truth even when are tempted to lie. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus is the Truth! Here is a prayer: Father you hate lies. I am a liar, and I want to stop lying. Give me the strength and Grace to overcome my lying tongue and to live by the Truth. In Jesus Name Amen!

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In the lobby of the Department of Health and Human Services is a large bronze sculpture of a solitary woman playing with her three children. That sculpture is called “Happy Mother.”

Nothing better illustrates what’s wrong with American culture today than the philosophy behind that sculpture — that fathers are extraneous. Yet that myth is the basis of forty years of failure by the leftist research communities to honestly report on the problem of fatherless families.

Many social scientists now agree: A loving mother and father within a committed marriage is the very best foundation for the family, for the economy, and for the nation. Yet currently, about forty percent of American children are born out of wedlock. That fact affects everyone and all of American culture. Though many have tried, there is no way to separate the social and economic issues; they are intertwined. Family problems always hit our pocketbooks — hard!

Bottom line: The family — the glue that holds our communities, nation, and world together — is weakening, and the moral foundation necessary for a civilized and well-functioning society is crumbling all around us.

When the family becomes nothing more than “any group of people living together,” there is no moral authority in terms of standards of behavior. Children are left to drift aimlessly in an “anything goes” culture. The family is where a child first learns what it means to “share and care,” to “take turns,” and to be an ethical, moral, and empathic person — one who will become a contributor to a good and prosperous society. These character traits are more “caught” than “taught.” Children need to observe those authentic interactions day in and day out in the reactions and relationships of the adults around them.

American opinion leaders have for years advocated and modeled a self-indulgent lifestyle, claiming that there are no negative consequences. An endless stream of so-called research studies has obfuscated the causes of the nation’s social problems. Reality, however, cannot be suppressed. Material prosperity will never compensate for moral poverty. Without authentic moral absolutes, America as we know it is at risk. Moral boundaries, not moral relativism, are the fiber of a strong nation. When truth and goodness are not vigilantly upheld, distortions, lies, and myths flood in to take their place like in sea-flooded New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

History offers harsh examples — Hitler’s Youth Movement or Mao’s Red Guards — that show the terror that can be unleashed when solid moral principles no longer guide a nation. When marriage and family decline, the quality of community life erodes, and there’s a corresponding breakdown in social cohesion. An examination of the world that our children inhabit shows the values vacuum created by those who disparage traditional morality, virtue, and good manners. The result is moral decay as vulgarity spirals downward into viciousness and crude immorality.

What is thriving in today’s values vacuum? Rock music and pop stars push the envelope with a hedonistic lifestyle and songs with misogynistic, crude, coarse, and shockingly vile lyrics. Cartoons, popular movies, and television programs portray parents as out-of-touch, old-fashioned, and prudish. Defiant, rebellious children talk back to teachers and parents. Patriotism, family traditions, and religion are treated with disdain. Adults and authority figures with moral values are often held in contempt, subtly mocked, or openly ridiculed. A favorite tactic of television situation comedies is to poke fun at bumbling and inept fathers, school principals, and religious leaders. Weakening respect for parents and other adult authority figures tempts inexperienced youths to make far-reaching decisions or take huge risks with potentially costly consequences.

In analyzing these problems, we’ve seen that changes in grassroots attitudes and the cultural climate of a nation don’t happen just because facts indicate the necessity for such changes. A sustained public effort is required in order to achieve needed social changes. Consider two efforts in America’s recent history that show dramatic success in producing broad cultural transformations. Their purpose has been to convince women not to smoke or drink alcohol during their pregnancies because of the potential danger to their babies. Subordinate campaigns sought to convince parents that secondhand smoke is damaging to children and that drinking and driving can be deadly. The results have been overwhelmingly positive.

First, these efforts to change public behavior were based on solid research data showing that certain behaviors produce negative health outcomes, especially for pregnant women and their unborn children. Second, both campaigns for change included broad public relations efforts that focused on the whole nation and enlisted the efforts of a wide spectrum of opinion leaders. All these efforts produced amazing results at the grassroots level. Perceptions changed, values changed, and most importantly, behavior changed.

The burning question we face today is whether the epidemic of single parenting is likewise amenable to influence by researchers’ findings and whether those who influence public opinion will support the effort to change those attitudes and behaviors that lead to the establishment of single-parent households. It is glaringly obvious that government solutions are never enough to compensate for the breakdown of the family.

Let us be clear. If America is to have a future as bright as its past, we must guard and maintain the fortresses of truth and knowledge against the unending assault of fallacies, folly, and myths.

In the early 1900s, Robert Frost wrote a poem called “Mending Wall.” That popular poem describes the experience of two neighbors meeting every spring to walk the fence dividing their properties and working together to repair the damage that occurred during the previous winter.

Today, we need a national application of the lesson of Frost’s poem: The good walls of moral boundaries make for a strong nation. We need to walk together along the fence lines of the walls that protect our culture. Together, we need to look realistically at the numerous areas that have fallen. Then we must work together to rebuild and repair those walls.

We must restrain the cultural pollution that poisons individual lives and destroys the potential of the whole nation. We must lift the heavy boulders of protection and replace them so that future generations will have a bright and prosperous future. Those who care about the future of America must be committed and determined to restore the moral foundation stones our founders laid for this great land. By Janice Shaw Crouse, writer for the American Thinker.

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Most people start the New Year with resolutions based upon their own desires without considering the spiritual aspect of their lives. People all the time ask and wonder why their Christian walk is not as fulfilling as it once was when their first started their Faith journey.  Simply put, we get out of Christianity what we put into it!  If you will ponder these 10 questions with open hearts to the Holy Spirit you may get some of that Holy fire back in your walk with Jesus. These 10 questions where asked by Donald Whitney on his website.
1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?
I invite you to pray this prayer: asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14

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