If you have stumbled here by accident let me first insist that there really are no accidents in life. If however, you came on your own free will then please by all means open your hearts and your minds to the "New Wine" that God has prepared for you!

Monday, May 21, 2018


Carrie was born with several genetic childhood diseases. She was the middle child in a family who were trying to make their way in a new place, the state of Oregon. She was like any other child growing up and loved to play inside with her little ponies. Carrie also loved to play with her older sister and younger brother outside in the fresh Oregon air as often as the rain and snow would allow it.

As she grew childhood epilepsy choked out many activities that other children routinely enjoyed while growing up. Carrie couldn’t run around like the other kids and often had to endure whole afternoons just sitting in the house staring out the window watching other neighborhood children laughing and having fun.

School was a challenge too because the drugs she had to take for epilepsy caused her to lose focus, attention span and made her drowsy. Childhood depression soon set in as she began to withdraw from life that continued to thrive everywhere around her. To counter balance her depression she started self medicating with drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

It wasn’t long before Carrie started to hear other voices in her head. The voices grew louder and louder as her substance abuse grew into a full blown addiction and she was soon diagnosed with schizophrenia. She would have to endure this paralyzing mental fragmentation for the rest of her life.

Unable to cope with the stress most people have to deal on a day to day basis, Carrie ended up living on the street where she was abused. The world is a cold, dark reality for many who are mentally or physically challenged.

Because of an ill managed and out-of-control welfare system combined with state and federal support drying up, many people who need to be institutionally taken care end up living out on our streets. Once on the streets they are forced to endure lack of nutrition, restroom facilities, and medical services while continually being battered by the harsh elements that eventually lead to premature death or incarceration.

Although many law enforcement officers try their best to help these people out, they are not equipped with the right tools or training to safely handle many situations that often turn deadly for the mentally disabled.

For Carrie her relatives were successful in finding her help which included medical, dental, a place to live and a care giver. However most people are not as lucky as Carrie and come to a tragic end while living on the street.

Carrie died yesterday at the age of thirty-nine. She went to bed and never woke up. She never really had a chance at living a normal life in this world. My only hope for her is that God in his great mercy will resurrect her in heaven and give her a new body and mind that is perfect, free from disease, where she can finally experience life as it was meant to be.

Some might call me naïve that I believe in God and know that He has a special plan for children like Carrie who are forced to grow up in a world that is fragmented and constantly coming apart at the seams. While our bodies will one day decay and turn to dust, our spirits will live on and for Carrie, well; she is finally free from the constant torture of a broken mind.

There is hope for Carrie and people like her. Actually there is hope for all people born into this world. Through God’s love and mercy He planned a way that we can return back to Him. It is through the sacrifice of God’s One and only Son, Jesus Christ that we can once again be healed and stand in God’s presence.  Jesus promised that He would prepare a place called heaven for us.

In contrast heaven will be a fresh start for us where God will wipe away every tear. In this next stop this fallen world’s sin won’t be a problem anymore. God will correct the destructive forces of man’s will and impose His own perfect will for all eternity.

On that day the lion will lay down with the lamb while greed, selfishness and evil will be thrown into the pit of hell where they belong. What the world needs now is love. Love is only of God and not from man. We can only love because God first loved us and allows us to love through the power of His Holy Spirit.

So it is time for all of us to get together and start loving one another before our King returns for us. Again, what the world needs now is love sweet love that is the only thing that will heal the wounds of this world.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Through the storms

“God is still on the throne and prayer changes things!” said the voice on the radio. Harold thought about that for a moment as he drove to work. He had had a fight with his wife the night before and left the house early the next morning without saying goodbye. While cruising down the freeway Harold didn’t close his eyes but connected with his Creator through a short prayer.

“Lord please soften my heart and help me to show my wife more kindness” immediately his cell phone rang. The voice on the other end of the line was that of his wife’s. She had called to let him know she was sorry for last night’s argument and asked for forgiveness. Harold said “No, I’m the one who should be apologizing to you!”

Cheryl had to drive downtown for a doctor’s appointment and try to find a parking space three blocks away during the morning rush. She circled the block several times before praying “God please don’t let me be late for my appointment”  suddenly a car put on its turn signal and pulled out from the curb allowing Cheryl to signal and take advantage of the large open space.

Nick fell onto the sidewalk as he left work at Harrah’s Casino. He convulsed as several people stopped to give him first aid. One woman passing by knelt down and while putting her hand on his chest said a prayer “Heavenly Father please help this poor soul. Heal him and bring him back to life”

Within seconds Nick’s eyes opened wide and he sat up right as several people were shocked and frightened at what they had just witnessed. Nick asked the woman what had happened to him to him as the woman replied “Why God just performed a miracle and healed you son” 

Prayer is our connection to God and His unlimited resources and potential. Unfortunately, for many of us, it is has become only a vain hope or last ditch effort. Seeking God in times of trouble should be our first response. We sometimes put too much trust in ourselves when we should take a moment to go to God in prayer.

There are three pillars to a healthy Christian life; prayer, study-meditation of God’s Word and the empowerment-refilling of the Holy Spirit. These three pillars work together like the legs of a three legged stool. If you lose one leg the stool becomes out of balance and will topple over.

To keep His balance, Jesus spent time getting alone and praying to the Father. He often withdrew into the wilderness to seek out the Father’s will. He also filled many hours of his life by studying the Hebrew Scriptures. The Lord modeled for us the healthy way to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

However, it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit descended upon Him that He was ready for His ministry. When John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River the scriptures say that the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the Heavenly Father spoke “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased!”

The storms of life will continue to crash around us, over us and knock us down if we are not connected to the rock. We must spend time reading God’s Word for instruction and then meditate on it. Then through our regular prayer time God can move and work on our hearts and minds.

However, it is not until the third pillar is constructed that we gain our total stability and potential as Christians. When we empty ourselves and allow God to re-fill us with His Holy Spirit then we are complete and ready to stand firm in our faith.

Picture a lighthouse that has been built out at sea along the coastline. The waves continually build and crash against the structure. As the waves grow larger more pressure and force is being exerted onto the walls. However, this lighthouse’s foundation has been drilled deep into the ocean’s bedrock and it is not moved by the force of the waves.

Our life in Christ is just like that. We must first be connected, attached to the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. We must then spend time studying His Word and meditating on it. Then as we withdraw to spend time alone in prayer God can work on our lives and speak to us, communicate to us through this relationship.

However, it is not until we ask God to help us through the process of empting ourselves that we can make room for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Surviving any storm depends upon being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our power, our victory comes from God above. He is our Rock, our firm foundation and shelter from the storm.


The portrait hung on the north wall of the great hall. The image that was preserved was a commanding presence that filled up the ancient stone wall almost completely. It truly was a beautiful representation of a king.  The artist had demonstrated incredible skill in capturing his subject’s spirit on a rough canvass while only using his imagination, five colored tubes of oils and a palette knife.

 The king’s emotions, thoughts and feelings had been captured and transported through time miraculously surviving the sunlight’s intense destructive fury. It was evident that he must have been as large in life as he now appeared on the picture that hung on the wall.

Who was this king of glory, who stood so majestically, dressed in a long white robe with a golden band around his chest?  He was clutching in his arms a bewildered little lamb whose long lanky legs dangled from his grasp. The lost lamb had been rescued from a pack of hungry wolves that could still be seen lurking in the background. 

 I wanted to know this King, to understand why he was standing there holding that helpless little lamb. Was he some kind of shepherd-king who left his palace in search of his lost sheep? His pleasant smile called to me as I felt the need to talk to him and hear his soft caring voice. 

I as stood there admiring his portrait I found myself longing to be returned through time to the day that the portrait depicted, to sit nearby, at the Master’s feet, under the shade of a large tree and observe this one moment in time. I wondered if he would care for me in the same way that he held that lamb so close to his heart. 

It made me consider why this king had left the lavishness of his palace to roam the hills and valleys looking for lost sheep? The robe he wore hung down to his bare feet, white and looked pure as the driven snow. His head and hair were also white and his bare skin was like glimmering bronze in the midday sunlight. He had a golden band around his chest which made him a priest. So who is this shepherd-king who was also a high priest?

I can only imagine when he spoke his voice was powerful like the sound of mighty waters. With His voice he spoke the universe into existence, raised the dead back to life and called to faithful to himself. His countenance was like the sun shining in all its glory! So bright and full of light that I couldn’t even gaze at him for very long.

This kind king healed the sick too. He restored the sight of the blind, made the lame to walk and cast out demons who came to torment their victims. He was a great physician, a loving shepherd, a king and a servant to all. He promised that he would one day return for his bride and so here we wait making ourselves ready for his imminent appearance.

“Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.  Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.  Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.”

So who is this King of Glory? His name is Jesus! There is no sweeter name in all the earth. The mountains tremble at His name and the seas roar at his command. He causes the sun to shine and allows moon to stay in a perfect orbit. He designed the earth to tilt, wobble bringing the four seasons for our enjoyment. He causes the rain to fall on both the righteous and the wicked.

Suddenly, I was returned back to the great hall where I had been admiring the portrait of this magnificent king. Where had I gone, how long had I been absent I did not know. Slowly my consciousness returned to me and I returned my gaze to the shepherd-king hanging on the wall and remembered something about him while I was gone.

He was Joseph’s son and he was born in the town in Bethlehem. He grew up in Nazareth and walked the hill country around the great inland sea of Galilee. He was born of a virgin and was the Son of God. He was without sin; his blood was pure and was not under the curse from Eden. He willingly allowed himself to be crucified so that you and I could one day be free. His name is Jesus.