Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thank God I'm free!

Freedom is precious, isn't it? Our freedom as a nation is something we often take for granted. As an American, I am privileged to live in a land where I have freedom to worship, or not to worship. Freedom to voice my opinions, cast my vote without fear of reprisal. The blessings of our freedom is an endless list. Same thing with our spiritual freedom. As a Christian, I am blessed with the fact that I am made free in Christ. He has broken the bonds of slavery that sin had on my life. Again, the list of the benefits of this kind of freedom go on and on.

And though we enjoy freedom, we must understand that freedom isn't free at all. Our spiritual freedom came at a price of God's most precious gift, his only begotten Son. It often costs those of us who serve in the church to maintain spiritual freedom. Discomforts, sacrifices, and commitment aren't words we hear in today's Christian vocabularies. But they are written in the hearts and lives of those who pay the price for you and I to enjoy the tangible presence of God in a world which rejects Him. And our national freedom is won and preserved by the serving of men and women in the military, who risk their lives for said freedom.

Yes, I thank God I am free! Thank God for liberty in Christ. We sometimes sing the song "Freedom" and add the chorus "no more shackles, no more chains, no more bondage, I am free."

What about you today? Are you free?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A sloppy wet kiss

I love the song by Kim Walker, "Oh how he loves us." It is a beautiful description of the love of Jesus for us. One of the lines in the song says "heaven meets earth like a passionate kiss." In one of the versions of it, Kim substitutes the words "passionate kiss" for "sloppy wet kiss." Wow, what a thought! Christ's love for us is a passionate love, a deep love, a fervent love, and an exciting love!

An image comes to my mind of my grandson's chocolate lab. His name is Buster. Buster has never met a person he does not admire. If you speak to him, he gets excited. I bought him as a 4 week old pup for Zach's fourth birthday, and in a couple of weeks, Zach will turn six. Buster just turned two. He loves to ride- in the back of trucks, on the golf cart, or in our Camaro convertible (when the weather is warm enough.) I remember the time a member of my church came over. It was a warm day, and we decided we would take Buster for a ride in the convertible. I opened the door, Buster jumped in the back seat awaiting his ride. We began going down the road when Randy Brown, my church member-friend decided he was going to talk to Buster. He turned his head sideways to speak to the dog. Wrong move. Buster planted a "sloppy wet kiss on him."

We are here at Valentine week. I just wanted to remind you that you are loved... God loves you with an incredible love. When you turn to Him, get ready to be kissed with the kiss of heaven!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I was preaching a powerful message to a packed house. It wasn't in the church I pastor, although I recognized some of the faces from my church. As a matter of fact, at the back I saw a couple of my parishioners who had fallen asleep. The service was a little difficult to get into at first, but as I preached, the word of God seemed to come to life. The anointing was growing stronger, and I could sense the awesome presence of God getting stronger and stronger. It is one of those kind of services I dream for. I love the presence of God, and I absolutely love it when the Holy Spirit takes over. That is what was taking place. And then it happened...

I got a text message from my cell phone. My phone is set up with the beep kind of tone that goes three or four times when I receive a text. I had forgotten to turn the phone off. I turned to my phone, cut it off, but it was too late. I had lost it. I was awake. And although I tried, I could not go back to sleep. Neither could I remember what I was preaching, nor where I was.

Did you get it? It was a dream! No, not the text message interruption part. That part was real. The powerful service was the dream part. It seemed so real. Have you ever had one of those dreams that seemed so real you could taste it? Well, that is what this one was like.

I awoke with that dream this morning, via the text message. And while the thoughts have been racing through my mind about the anointing and power of God, I have also been thinking about interruptions. We all have them. And there are times when we cannot control them. But other times we can. I remember years ago reading an article, I think, by David Wilkerson. It was about a "conspiracy of interruptions." He stated that the enemy would seek to interrupt your quiet time with God, your prayer time, your devotions. I agree. We need to guard against unwelcome and uninvited interruptions. Let's dream the dream. Let's spend quality time with God!

Still trying to remember what I was preaching, lol

Love greater than the stench

Those who know me well know that I have a weak stomach. The sight or smell of certain things are very repelling to me. I have been known to vomit in response to some things. It is not something I am proud of, but I purposely shy away those things which elicit such a response from me... at least from most of them.

I could never work in a hospital or any setting caring for the sick. When I see or smell vomit, I am subject to vomit myself. So I generally turn and go in an opposite direction.

Generally would be the objective word. There ARE exceptions. Without being gross, I want to share from my heart a point that came to my mind yesterday. My wife had become sick. She was nauseous, and was very dizzy. Making frequent trips from the bed to the bathroom, she needed help. The bathroom in our bedroom is adjoining, and not more than five feet from the foot of the bed. But Trish's condition required that she needed help.

Helping guide her into the bathroom, where she would vomit, then back to bed. The bedroom stank, and the bathroom needed cleaning... from the vomit. It was repulsive. It was stinking. It was making ME sick.

But I didn't run. I didn't complain. I didn't walk away. I prayed. I helped as much as I could. I cleaned up after her. And I stayed by her with love. And it came to me... My love for my wife was greater than my repulsion to the stench!

As I was thinking about this, the light came on! That's the love of God toward us, isn't it?! God's love to us is greater than His hatred of the sin that held us captive. He loves you greater than your sin, your stink!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Missing church

The snowstorm wiped us out this past weekend. Inclement weather greatly affects our ability to conduct services here in the south. Everything pretty much shuts down. And the storm produces several inches of snow, with some sleet and freezing rain on top. Missing a Sunday is difficult for a church, especially in our area, and one our size. It is difficult to make up the finances lost to a closed Sunday. The Sunday before last was not snow, but it was a cold rain. This also affects attendance. Although we held services, the turnout was down.

I was looking forward to service tonight. It has been a beautiful day, and the midweek service was one I was excited about. But my wife has had a severe attack with vertigo. She has had bouts with this before, but it has been a number of years. I have been known to leave the house and go one during one of these bouts, but I am hesitant to do so with this one. She can't sit up, and has been extremely nauseous. So Trish and I will miss the Wednesday night service.

They are calliing for a possibility of more snow this weekend. I hope they miss it. I am ready for some church!!