Posts belonging to Category Christian Success

Feeling Helpless?

Feeling helplessGod is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1 

The Lord (Jesus) is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7a

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Psalm 109:26

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17


Are you a false convert?


I’ve been going thru a study by Ray Comfort called “The way of the master”. It’s a great course on how to evangelize. In this study, he points out that modern evangelism produces on average 85% – 90% backsliders. One does have to ask…why are there such a large number of backsliders?

Modern Evangelism basically says “Accept Jesus and he will give you comfort…he will help you with your addiction…he will heal you of your sicknesses…your fears, your loneliness, he will heal your marriage, etc.  In other words…”Jesus will improve your life”!

Many times, alter calls are given after message on the above topics are given on any Sunday sermon. People then come forward and give their lives to Jesus to get help with their issues.

Another message you hear a lot is “God loves you and he has a wonderful plan for your life”.

Let’s tackle some needed questions:

1. What’s wrong with the above evangelistic approach?
Even though it is true that Jesus is our comforter, our healer, our helper and much more, that is not why Jesus came and gave his life on the cross…and it is not the true gospel. Ray points out that hurting people respond to messages on specific subjects like addictions or sickness and in a sense give Jesus a try. They’ve tried drugs and alcohol which have not helped so why not give Jesus a try. Then, when they don’t see a change in their situation, they give up on Jesus. They were false converts from the start.

2. Does the reason one comes to know Jesus matter?
If I gave my life to Jesus to help me with my struggling business…or heal my sickness…or help me with my drug problem…my fears…my financial problems or any other issues people struggle with, would I be saved? Is that what Jesus came to save me from? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. I tried to think back about 30 years and think about the reason I gave my life to Jesus for? I came to realize that I might have accepted Jesus for the wrong reasons as well. Bottom-line…the above reasons are NOT the reason one should accept Jesus as their Savior.

3. God has a wonderful plan for your life. Is this message true?
That message is NOT true as most of us would understand it that phrase. God does have a wonderful plan for those who accept Jesus as their Savior, however, that plan is more about the next life than this life. In this life, Christians have just as many trails…maybe even more than Non-Christians. Just think about the recent school shooting where the killer asked about their religion and people who said they were Christians were shot in the head, Non-Christians were shot in the leg. Or how about all the Christians who are being beheaded for their Christian beliefs in the Middle East or all the other millions of people who died for no other reason than they were Christians? How is that for a wonderful plan? In my mind, the wonderful plan concept is taken out of context. Even Jesus said “In this life you’ll have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world. John 16:33

4. What is the main message of the gospel? The main message of the gospel is that we are all sinners and deserve God’s just punishment and that is hell. However, (the good news) Jesus came and died for each one of our sins so we can be redeemed and spend eternity with him in heaven. Ray points out something very important. Unless, we’re confronted by the law (The 10 Commandments), we don’t really understand the magnitude what Jesus did. The law is like a mirror. It makes us aware of sin. (Rom 3:19). The bible says that the gospel is considered foolishness by the world, because they don’t believe they have sinned or done anything wrong. Only once confronted by the law are we made aware that we have broken his commandments and fallen short of his standard.

The 10 Commandments of God. (Exodus 20:1)

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 1

0. Thou shalt not covet.

Many of us, even people who call themselves Christians try to justify themselves by saying that yes, they have sinned but it was no big deal because overall they are pretty good people.

Go ahead and take the test and see if you pass the good person test.

You and I have violated the 10 Commandments. We might think that lying and stealing or taking the name of the Lord in vain is no big deal but that flip attitude is a FATAL error. God says in Rev. 21:8 “all cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Bottom-line, we are NOT Good. If you’re still trying to justify yourself, most likely, you are NOT saved. Get right with God!

The Good News! There is hope for me, for you, for us. God made a way for us to be forgiven. The question is, how do you access this forgiveness? God loved us so much that he sent his own son to suffer and die in our place, taking on our punishment for you and I so we can live. It is very simple…you broke the law and Jesus paid the fine. Then Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death. The bible says…if you repent – turn away from your sins – and place your trust in Jesus Christ as your savior, God will forgive you and grant you everlasting life. He will change you from the inside out and will make you a new person in Christ. Salvation is a gift from God. You cannot earn it, because it is impossible to earn it.

Pray this prayer. “Dear God, I confess that I’m a sinner and that I need your forgiveness. I’m truly sorry for my sins and humbly ask you to forgive me and cleanse me. I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place and that he rose again for my salvation. In faith I accept from you the gift of eternal life, and, with your help, I promise to serve you as long as I live. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen”

It is important to follow through if you were serious about your decision. Make sure you read your bible and find a good church. If you need help doing that, email us. We’ll be happy to help.

Also see Hell’s best kept secret.

Strength to Handle Everyday

StrengthPraise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These (trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

Though you have not seen him (Jesus), you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, Galatians 3:26


Claim to Fame


Have you ever claimed to be someone you were not?

My cousin Sandy and I did. I mean who could blame us? When you live in a family who has a member lost in the Bermuda Triangle or one who uses KFC buckets as lamp shades, you yearn for some form of normalcy. There were candidates on our list of families to join, but there was one that stood out above all the rest, so we joined them. In March 1975, Sandy and I became Osmonds.

You might ask “how exactly did this work?” Well for us it really wasn’t that difficult. We already knew everything about them and it was a natural fit, given our entertainment abilities. When we began claiming that we were Osmonds there were some things we needed to do to make this apparent. Right away, we began referring to each other as Osmonds. I would hang up the phone and my mom would ask me who I had been talking to and my reply would be, “Sandy Osmond.” Then Sandy and I needed to let the rest of the world know who we were claiming to be. So, on our Saturday morning shopping trips we made it a point to have casual conversations about the family while standing in line to pay for our lip gloss. We would say things that only Osmonds would say, like “Oh my, we better hurry so we won’t miss our plane to Los Angeles! Donny and Marie will be so upset if we don’t make it to rehearsal.” Then lastly, in order to make our claim real we had to put it down in writing. No longer did I write Debbie Arnold in the upper right hand corner of my math assignment, instead I was Debbie Osmond.

This is where our claim of being Osmonds ended. You see, Parent/Teacher meetings don’t go so well when your Dad walks in and Mr. Jones the math teacher calls your dad, “Mr. Osmond”.

Regardless of mine and Sandy’s entertainment abilities, claiming to be an Osmond didn’t make us an Osmond! Jesus made some claims about Himself. In John 8:58 He called Himself “I AM”.  Only the one true God who created the Heavens and the Earth could call Himself “I Am”.  It describes the Holy One who has always been, who is and who will always be.  When Jesus used this name, He was telling everyone that He was God!  You know what?  The Pharisees hated Him for it.  The Pharisees understood from Exodus 3:14 that God called Himself “I Am”.  God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  Imagine the religious leaders of the day not only accused Him of blasphemy for this they eventually had Him crucified for it.  They refused to believe that Jesus was “I AM”.  People still do this today, including many other religions.  We need to be wary of any religion or church today that denies that Jesus is the “Great I Am.”


Hope… the LORD delights in those who fear (honor) him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect (believers throughout time) and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. Titus 1:1-2

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5-6

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:5-6

This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:9-10

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

AMEN!!! … spread the Word

Pour Out Your Soul

There are many times in our lives when we are desperate for God to give us a breakthrough. We keep on telling ourselves that every day is the same but it’s not the whole truth. Because our minds are informing us that our breakthrough won’t come. Again, every day will be the same. Whatever you are struggling with in your Christian life, prayer is still the key for change. God had answered Hannah’s prayer and He will answer yours as well. Why? You are a child of God full stop. Let’s us turn our attention to Hannah’s prayer. She was troubled. Hannah had desperately wanted a child. You maybe troubled and you may desperately want a job, a house, a wife or a husband etc. For years Hannah prayed for a child. Nothing happened in that area except that her husband loved her dearly. He gave a double offering to the temple for Hannah. Hannah husband other wife would ridicule her relentlessly when they visited the temple annually. She must have felt humiliated by her husbands other wife who had children. This time Hannah was at her wits end. It’s was the final straw. You may find yourself in a cul de sac or in a dead end job with no prospect. You have told yourself will I lose my faith in God? Nothing is happening. I can’t bear it no more. Why is God blessing everybody except for poor old me? I have a degree in History, then why am I struggling financially to obtain a good job to pay my bills? The answer is still prayer. Hannah prayed to God with everything she got. She focused her prayer entirely on God. She set her mind, body and soul on God in prayer. She was so desperate for God to give her a breakthrough that she lost herself in prayer. Eli thought she was drunk. She was deeply troubled. Hannah was pouring out her soul to the Lord. Eli granted her wish through God. Don’t you know that God can supply your breakthrough through others? It is God who holds the earth resources and it is He who brings you success. Hannah held onto her faith during the toughest period of her life. She knew that prayer to God was the key.
In Luke 18:1-6 we read, Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
God gave Hannah a son who turn out to be a great prophet. No one could have imagined that someone as great as Samuel was coming out of a desperate woman’s prayer. Samuel changed the spiritual lives of a nation. Like Hannah, you can pour out your soul in prayer to God and something beautiful will come out of your prayer that will change the lives of many and your life.

Author of ‘Your Change is Coming’, a free eBook from

The Power of Prayer

The power of prayerTrust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

Paul writes, And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

… keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 21


The Entrepreneurs

Matthew 5:17-30, 5:43-48, James 2:8-11

David and Donny

My cousin Sandy and I were quite the entrepreneurs.  By the age of seven we had embarked on several small business ventures.  Our first endeavor was selling lighting bug bellies as glow rings.  We would catch them by the dozens, tear off their glowing bellies and sell them to all the unwitting and weak stomached children in the neighborhood for a penny a piece.  This was successful but our labor cost was through the roof so we tried M&M’s.  We would buy a bag for 25 cents then sell them individually for a penny a piece to same children we had duped before.  This was really quite lucrative because we were netting a profit of 15 cents per bag!  These successes only increased our confidence for our next and our biggest enterprise.  Sandy and I both knew that we were one day destined to be either, a Brady kid, a Partridge kid, or most likely the wife of an Osmond so why not cash in on our musical talents by putting on a show for the children we had already victimized?  So we advertised all three of these very famous families on the tickets we sold for 50 cents a-piece throughout the neighborhood.

Sandy and I recruited my brother and another child to round our group out.  We spent days getting our costumes and dance routines just right.  The day of the big show came and when we finished our performance we waited for the standing ovations but there was only silence.  What was going on?  Was the audience expecting an encore that we hadn’t prepared for?  No!  The audience was mad.  Sandy and I didn’t understand because our routine was perfection.  We had the moves, we had the gestures, heck we even had the tennis- racket-turned-air guitar down.  The problem was that the hostile crowd wanted to see Greg or Marsha. They wanted to see Keith or Danny.  They wanted to see Donny!

Well our mom’s -turned-bouncers made us return the crowd’s money before a riot broke out in our back yard.  This was not the end of mine and Sandy’s business ventures but we did learn a valuable lesson.  Just because we called ourselves The Brady’s, the Partridges, and the Osmond’s didn’t really make us so.  Even though we had put on the perfect performance that didn’t mean we had real talent.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 pointed out these same truths.  The Pharisees called themselves righteous before God but were they really?  They too gave quite a performance but did it mean that they had perfected the law handed down by God?   The Pharisees were all about performance.  They were following the law (or the Ten Commandments) in performance only and even declaring themselves righteous before God because it.  Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount points out that they need to look inside not outside.  He taught in this most famous sermon that you can say you never committed murder physically therefore you followed the law but if you have hated someone then you have broke the law in thought.  Jesus taught us in His sermon that the righteousness we want, we cannot achieve on our own.  The law was given by God to show us that we never earn our way to Heaven.  That is why Jesus came-to fulfill the law!  Through faith and heart- felt belief in what He did on the cross for you is the only way to get to Heaven.  He was righteous and He did follow the law in actions, in word, and in thoughts.  His perfect obedience to God’s law made Him the only sacrifice acceptable for our sin.  Believe it, confess your sins, repent and ask Him into your heart and then when God looks at you He sees Jesus’ perfection.

Overcoming Adversity

Overcoming AdversityTruly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:1-2, 5 & 8

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.  1 John 3:20-21

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

AMEN!!!   … spread the Word

Barnabas and Robin

God Protects


Bar and Robin


Daniel 3:1-30, 6:1-28


All of us as kids were afraid of things like sleeping in a dark room or monsters under our beds but we also had heroes to protect us. Hands down, the biggest fear I had as a kid was being bit by Jonathan Frid. I wasn’t the only kid with this fear, all the kids were afraid of being bit by Jonathan. You see every day at 4pm we would glue ourselves to the television as Jonathan aka Barnabas Collins would bite someone in the neck and then watch as they would slowly turn into a vampire. I thought he was real and it scared me to death.
Living in a world where Barnabas could show up at any time and turn me into a night dweller I had to counteract the threat with a protector, a hero. So I chose someone I could put my trust in; a hero or should I say heroes. In my book there was no one else as capable as the black knight and the boy wonder, the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin! I watched their show too and I knew that they were out there fighting crime and evil men like the Penguin and the Joker so they could handle Barnabas.

Well one day I got some incredible news and my dream came true. The one and only boy wonder, the real deal, Batman’s right hand man Robin himself was coming to our town! My cousin Sandy and I begged my mother to take us to see him. Now I am going to blame it on our youth because for some reason we never second guessed his visit. We just assumed that it was natural for our super hero, our protector and the crime fighting side kick of Batman, to come to a no-name, small southern Oregon town to meet me and Sandy in a…furniture store! I mean why not? Well we figured it out when we got there. Robin the boy wonder wasn’t really interested in meeting the children he was there to pick up women. He actually asked my mom out on a date. He asked a lot of mom’s out on dates. Sandy and I left the furniture store totally discouraged and so did Robin. I guess being hit on by a man in a green and red body suit wearing hose and pointy shoes doesn’t make you much of a chick magnet.

I am so thankful that many years later God showed me mercy and saved me. I learned that the Barnabas’ of this world have no power over me. I also learned that the Robins of this world can’t protect me (or have a successful dating life). I have a God that will protect me whom I can put all my trust in. That is exactly what Daniel’s buddies demonstrated.  In Daniel 3:1-30, 6:1-28 when King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that everyone fall down and worship the statue that he had built, Daniel’s buddies refused.  The bowed down and worshiped the only one who should be worshiped, the ONE TRUE GOD.  Because of their refusal they were thrown into a fiery furnace.  They didn’t know the outcome of this situation but they KNEW HIM!  The one they can put their trust in, the ALMIGHTY GOD!

For another great article on trusting God go to Greg Laurie’s website.

West Virginia Perfection Test

Row House

Matthew 15:1-20


Have you ever met someone who seemed to be perfect?

Well my brother Steve seemed to be.  He was clean, neat, organized and he followed all the rules as long as my parents were watching.  I however, knew the real Steve.  I knew the Steve that would behead my Barbies and line them up on my bed, perfectly of course.  I knew the Steve that tied my stuffed animals to ceiling fan blades with perfect square knots.  I knew the Steve that would bark like a dog (in perfect pitch of course) while I was on the phone talking to my best friend Anjie.   He was all about appearing to be perfect and he knew how to play the part until he met his match one summer in a row house in Baltimore.

This particular row house was occupied by no one other than my grandmother, Lois.  Lois was born and raised in West Virginia which in her mind uniquely qualified her in the art of determining perfection.  So she put Steve to the test.

My grandmother had specific criteria for grandchildren and right off my brother failed her perfection test.  His birth was the first test he failed because he had been born with a defect; he was male.  The second test was the sweat test.  I think that pore and sweat gland growth were part of the curriculum in the West Virginia school system during the thirties because Lois was an expert on it.  According to Grandma the original architects of row houses designed the middle room with no windows specifically for male children under the age of eighteen because they don’t sweat.  So when Steve sweated, he failed this test too.  The last test was the commode flushing test.  The toilet could be flushed all night long and not disturb Lois, but somehow she knew when my brother flushed.  She would wait until he stumbled back into his bed and then yell at him to go flush it again but this time the right way.  So Steve failed the flushing test.

Although Steve failed the West Virginia perfection test his true motivation was a desire to appear perfect to my parents.  Most of us do the same thing.  We spend a lot of time appearing to be perfect Christians.  We focus on rules, regulations and even traditions instead of what God’s Word says.  Did you know that religious leaders in Jesus day knew how to play the part of outward perfection too?  They were all about following the rules, following the law and following traditions.  .

In Matthew 15:1–20 Jesus tells Scribes and Pharisees that they are teaching the doctrine of men and that their hearts worship Him in vain.  The Scribes and Pharisees were accusing Jesus’ Disciples of not washing before they ate.  This was a ritual based on a ceremonial tradition not on scripture.  When these religious leaders were declaring people unclean based on tradition they were denying people access to God.  These leaders had strayed so far from the truth of God’s Word that they could not see the Savior before them.

There are many traditions in the church today and they are not necessarily wrong but we need to be careful that these traditions don’t prevent or deter people from having access to hearing God’s Word preached.  Sometimes our traditions are just our preferences and not in scripture.  Let us watch so that we are not worshiping Him in vain and that our doctrine is God’s not mans.

Come to Jesus…

Come to JesusCome near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8a

Jesus saidIt is written in the Prophets: (Isaiah 54:13) ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. John 6:45

All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. John 6:37

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20 (when you let Jesus into you life, he brings meaning, companionship, strength and love to face each and every day)

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10


Hard Pressed

At face value the odds are against us when we are experiencing adverse problems or difficult challenges. Paul sums up how we feel. He wrote we are hard pressed on every sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; (Corinthians 4:8). The good news is that we are not distressed or crushed. You know when God is on your side the odds are in your favour. In Daniel 3 verse 15-30 we read:

15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

The Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced a life and death situation. They had no choice. If they bow the knees to the King and worship the idol the King would spare their lives and they would live to see another day according to the king’s perspective. They were determined not to worship the man-made statute whatever the cost. The cost was their lives. But God was in control of their lives and he is in control of yours. The King had no authority over their lives.

We will face life changing situations like separation, bereavement and unemployment etc and they may not be as  life threatening like the three friends but nevertheless they are of significant to us. What we have learned from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is their faith in God. They were wiser and brighter than most people of their time. Their abilities weren’t  taken into account when they were thrown into the furnace. Your qualifications are useful but they won’t stop your employer from making you redundant. But, your faith in God that will get you through the period of self doubt, fear and your troubles. Like the friends, you will discover that Christ will never leave you nor will He forsake you. Christ is in the midst of your trouble. Keep the faith. God has the final say.

Hillary and The Alien Baby



John 6:1-14 and 6:22-66

Have you ever known someone who takes everything literally?

My grandmother Lois did.  In 1991 she became very enamored with Bill Clinton when he first became a national figure running for President.  She fell for his southern drawl, youthful looks and down-right charming personality.  She loved everything about the man and there was no one who would make a better President than Bill Clinton.

Her adoration for all things Clinton continued even though Bill hit a few bumps in the road with his “I didn’t inhale” comments, the draft dodging and even the Gennifer Flowers affair.  These faults were things she could live with.

Then June 15, 1993 the biggest and most scandalous news appeared in the paper.  It seems that Bill’s wife Hillary the First Lady had adopted an alien baby.  Evidently there was a UFO crash in Arkansas their home state and the alien baby survived.  Hillary adopted the baby and the secret service built a nursery in the White House, all on the tax payer’s dime.  Lois should have seen this coming since the Weekly World News (her newspaper) had also revealed in an earlier edition that aliens definitely supported Bill in the election over George Bush the elder.  The rubber met the road for Lois on the money issue.  Hillary had the right to adopt and alien but there was no way she would vote for someone who used tax payer money to build an alien nursery.

Many people are a lot like Lois.  Ok, I take that back, Lois was truly one of a kind but many people take things literally like Lois.  When they read in the Bible that Jesus refers to Himself as “The Bread of Life” they think that Jesus is actually a loaf of bread.  We often say we take the Bible literally but that might not be the right description to use.  We should probably say we read take the Bible straightforwardly.  There are many literary styles and genres as well as a variety of speech used in the Bible.  When you read Shakespeare you know that you are reading words written in poetical form.  When you read Stephen Ambrose you are reading words written in a historical form.  The Bible is truly unique because it has many forms all in one book.  This is important info to remember when others challenge us on the truth of God’s Word.  It truly is the inspired Word of God!

Click here for a great article on the literary styles of the Bible.




Don the John Wayne

JOhn Wayne

What does it mean to a friend of Jesus?

As a child we had a family friend named Don Lanning.  Don was a huge fan and follower of John Wayne.  He acted like him, he dressed like him, he walked liked him and he even talked like him at times.  Conversations with Don were not only annoying but very disarming.  At any time he could turn into John Wayne!  He would be talking about his car and then all of a sudden you found yourself in the middle of a scene from Rio Bravo.   In 1975 Don’s dreams came true when the “Real” John Wayne came to our town to film the movie Rooster Cogburn.  Don just knew that he would be picked to be John’s double.  After all Don actually thought he was John Wayne.  He had John’s voice, he looked like John, and he had the same amazing abilities with a gun and a horse as John.  The problem was that Don was a bit delusional.  First he was almost a full blooded American Indian and ten shades darker than John.  He was roughly eight inches shorter than John and he sounded like John with a severe Sinus Infection.   Don didn’t get the part and was crushed when they sent him, his horse, his gun and his nasal issues packing.


You see there is more to being John Wayne then just acting like him.  This is true for being a friend of Jesus.  Walking the part, talking the part and even looking the part doesn’t make you His friend.  It goes way deeper than that.  There are no actions, words or even good deeds that make you His friend.  In John 15:12-17, Jesus tells us that we are His friends if we do what He commanded us to do.  What is it that He commanded?  We are to love one another.  This isn’t the simple, “I love you man” feeling that we so carelessly toss around.  Jesus tells us what this love is.  It is the love that He has shown us; love that we are willing to give our life for.  If we love others like that then we surely are His friends and His followers.

For another great article read Greg Laurie’s How to Be God’s Friend”