Saturday, October 29, 2011


Ecclesiastes 6:1-2     I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

The ways of the world began to influence and affect my life. College days were spent in learning the wisdoms of the world. The days of employment were marked by the struggle for material success and acknowledgement by others of my successes. A high salary, impressive titles and position, many employees to rule over, people to impress these were the marks of my success as I understood success. The world had me by the heart and mind. Their philosophy I learned in self-help books. My mentors were men of the world. Greed, lustful, self-centered, egotistical were their principles of life they shared with me. They were my role models. Church life and Christian beliefs were no longer a part of my life. They were no existent in my world.

            All the efforts for material and worldly success proved to provide no happiness. I was neither content nor satisfied with the attainment of the world's success symbols. I realized in 1987 that my life was moving further from my family and my heart felt beliefs. Everything I tried to do as the world taught me was not proving to be fulfilling.

Grace Presbyterian Church,  June 12, 1993

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Genesis 37:28  So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

            God humbles his people before he elevates them. He kills them in order to bring them back to life. He devastates them before honoring them. He knocks them down in order to pick them up. God’s methods show the highest artistry and wisdom. We cannot understand how events like these are a part of God’s plan until we were his plan completed. When these events are happening, they can’t be understood, except through faith alone.

            In the same way, faith in the Son of God will comfort me when I leave this earth. Even so, my body will be buried in the ground and eaten by worms; it will rot and decay (Job 17:14). I don’t see God’s plan for me when I look at death. Yet God has promised that I will come back to life. Christ said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). But how will I live? I will live in eternal life, in a body that is brighter and more beautiful than the sun. I can’t see or feel any of this yet. But I believe it, and I can tolerate the short delay. Eternal life is already prepared. As Paul says, “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Timothy 4:8).

            But God does everything in secret. We have to be patient while God hides his intentions from us. Jacob and Joseph couldn’t see the future prize. But with the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites, the future was being prepared. Gold sees everything as if it has all taken place already. Everything he wants to happen will certainly happen!


Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional, By Martin Luther. March 24.

Friday, October 21, 2011


John 3:16   For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

What are you to do when someone says: “So… I read at our college bible study group thing last night in Revelation that the book of life was written BEFORE man… which means who goes to heaven and who goes to hell is already decided…. So what is the point of even trying? Because right now, Christianity is looking very stupid and pointless, and hypocritical too. Why would a God promise salvation if he has already who he wants? Why would I want to worship a god like that.  Because I don’t. Why give up your life to something that doesn’t love everyone?”

Can you agree with this person? When Christians shoot abortion doctors or speak evil to gays and lesbians they seem very hypocritical. When pastors steal funds from the church or run away from their family with the choir director, they look very stupid. When Christians behave like everyone else around them, it seems pointless to strive for their label. Can you agree with this person?

What are you to do when someone says all that? You are to sit down, listen and begin to converse with empathy. Because now you have something in common: Who would want to worship a god like that?

 Not me !

Jericho Road Ministries Chapel,  2011.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Acts 17:18-21   A group of philosophers took Paul to a meeting of the Areopagus where Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas. They said to Paul, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.”

            I love to read. Most any subject can catch my eye. A good mystery novel, history and even a scientific journal about birds can catch my interest. When the reading turns to Christian subjects, I read broadly across the spectrum of authors. I find some authors difficult to read when what they are saying does not line up with Scripture or with what I have been taught. My usual tendency is to drop such books and move to something more in line with my thinking. I have been challenged to take a different approach lately.

            Denis Haack writes in Critique Magazine: “I do want to read so that my thinking is not merely reinforced but challenged. I want to be challenged by the best that can be arrayed against what I assume to be true. It is not always easy and never very comfortable, but then truth is like that: gritty, real, messy, sharp. If what I believe to be true is convincing only because I live in the shadows away from the best arguments against it, I can hardly claim it to be the light. It may be, but it will always seem dim and untrustworthy, and my claims will always seem to be bravado instead of reality. Having been made “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) by God’s grace means we have nothing to fear from the darkness.”

            If we are to counter the misleading philosophies and untruths in the world concerning religion and absolute truth, we need to know what we are facing. As your faith grows stronger allow yourself the time to learn to understand the beliefs of those lost in the darkness of our contemporary world.

Jericho Road Ministries Chapel,  2011.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


John 15:15   I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Jesus exhibited a team approach to leadership. He knew the game plan and assigned each follower the roles to execute the plan. The disciples were never in the dark about what Jesus believed nor where he was headed. Yes, they misunderstood Jesus. But Jesus did tell them these things, none the less. We read Scripture today and we can see what Jesus was saying about his destiny. The disciples, too, saw and understood after the events of the Cross and the Resurrection.

“Leadership is not about position; it is not about person. Leadership is always a relationship between a leader and a follower – a relationship in which both persons lead and both follow. Both participants in a relationship of leadership exercise leadership, both seek to influence the other. Everyone leads at one time or another as each person seeks to influence the vision, values, beliefs, or behaviors of those around him or her.”

Rescue.  July/August 2011. By Walter Wright, pg. 15.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


 2 Timothy 2:24-25    The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

            The ministry is a “learned profession”; and the man without learning, no matter with what other gifts he may be endowed, is unfit for its duties. The minister must be “apt to teach” says the Apostle Paul. The other requirements refer to his spiritual fitness. He must be godly. The best service we can offer to God is just to do our duty – our plain, homely duty, whatever that may be.

            Every man who aspires to be a religious man must begin by doing his duty, his obvious duty, his daily task, the particular work which lies before him to do at this particular time and place. If this work happens to be studying, then his religious life depends on nothing more than just studying. No religious character can be built up on the foundation of neglected duty.

Put your heart into your studies; do not merely occupy your mind with them, but put your heart into them. They bring you daily and hourly into the very presence of God; his ways, his dealing with men, the infinite majesty of his Being form their very subject-matter. Take the shoes off your feet for you are on holy ground in His presence.

The Religious Life of Theological Students, By Benjamin B. Warfield.

Ministry Scenes

Have The Homeless Become Invisible?