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!

Sunday, March 11, 2018


 As I sat there, glancing out at the rain in the stillness of the early morning, I suddenly remembered that I had unfailingly forgotten to set my clock forward an hour. So when I looked at the clock, which digitally and joyfully lit up red proclaiming it was eight o’ clock it was in fact nine.  I detest having to reset all the clocks in my house twice a year and think that whoever came up with the idea of daylight savings time should be keelhauled, that is if a ship of considerable enough breadth can be located.

Usually, the realization that I had forgotten this small, seemly insignificant fact and now would be late for church wasn’t such an immense problem. The whole slipup just meant I could just lie around in bed for a few more hours and enjoy a book, catch up on the news or finish a crossword, however, as the main speaker who was suppose to be standing behind the pulpit in an hour I was immediately gripped with fear. 

Forgetting to do some things like take out the trash, make my bed or squirt WD-40 on the bathroom door hinges doesn’t usually make me panic and run for the trashcan but when a hundred or so people are sitting in a church somewhere staring blankly at the front wall, well, you get the idea.

I still had time to get there, if I could just change into my clothes as fast as Superman. Quickly, while shoving my leg into my trousers, I began to go over the calculations in my head; five minutes to dress, three minutes to brush my hair and teeth allowing twenty-five minutes to drive to church just as the musicians and singers were finishing up with worship. 

Around the same time my blood pressure was beginning to subside I realized my lovely wife had straightened up the house and was now punishing me for being a slob by hiding my sermon notes somewhere in the house.

Reworking my calculations I discovered that I had not anticipated this latest turn of events allotting extra time to complete a search and rescue mission for my missing papers. As I frantically hunted for my notes I managed to step on the cat’s tail, bump into the dog and run into the corner of a poorly positioned living room coffee table. 

As I stood there throbbing with pain, half dressed, I thought that if the daylight savings time guy or girl was still alive and could be found I might have to haul them over the keel twice. 

Forgetfulness is no laughing matter, especially when it comes to leaving a pan on the stove with hot oil. Next on the list would be forgetting to pick someone up from somewhere which comes in at a close third but the absolute worst thing to forget about is spending time with God.

Life today is so busy that at lunch time we often either hastily pull in for fast food or skip it altogether. We have so many diversions to distract us that many times neglect to pray, read our bibles or attend a weekly study. Spending time with our Creator has unfortunately fallen to the bottom of our lists and if you’re anything like me then you don’t even have a bottom to your list. 

King Solomon once stated “Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” 

Our days here on earth are numbered and there are only so many breaths we will take in. Therefore, we should make the most of our time for the years are destructive and corrosive. Too many of us continue to throw caution to the winds of time blatantly ignoring the warnings God continually puts in front of us. 

He has set us in this world for only a short time. We are merely pilgrims passing through on our way to eternity. Our lives are like vapor which is seen one moment then gone the next. Where we will spend eternity depends on what we do with our time we spend with our Creator. Putting God first in our lives, making time with Him a priority is a great place to start.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever should believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” 

So while forgetting to set the clock forward might make you late for an appointment, forgetting about God and His Son Jesus Christ will make you miss eternity.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the name of love

 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” said Paul to the people who had gathered at the synagogue to hear what he had to say.

Then one man in back of the room said “but I follow Apollos for he is a gifted, scholarly man from Alexandria” and another man stood up and said “I follow Barnabas for he was chosen by God” and yet another stood up and said “I follow Paul for he was visited by the Messiah in a vision on the road to Damascus”.

However, there were also those assembled there that day, in the synagogue, who did not believe in Jesus to be the Messiah and when they heard the things spoken of by Paul they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 

“It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourself unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the gentiles. For the Lord has commanded us.” said Paul who spoke with boldness to everyone gathered around him in the synagogue. 

Solomon was right, there really isn’t anything new under the sun. People have been arguing about religion, the existence of an all powerful God for millennia. Wars and crusades have raged all over the world at the expense of innocent lives. Various conflicts over Catholicism verses Protestantism have maimed and killed the young and the old and continue to this day in some areas of the world.  Even the Lord, Jesus Christ, was put on trial, condemned to death because He dared to tell the religious leaders of His day the truth about God’s love for mankind. 

These religious leaders insisted on following rigid and strict rules to the point where they ignored people’s needs while assembling religious systems for their own profit. They would go through a variety of religious practices even praying loudly hoping that people would notice.  Jesus once asked these men why they spent so much time cleaning the outside of their cup while the inside remained filthy. Simply put religion is man’s attempt to reach an all powerful, all knowing eternal God. Man in his arrogance and pride embraced religion over the relationship that God had always intended to have with his creation.

Instead, men have constructed denominational walls of separation while turning their backs on God’s simple message of love. Things haven’t really changed much today? Look around and you will find many religious systems that have been built on other men’s dogma and contrived theology. Even within some mainstream evangelical organizations we find the same legalism and lust for gathering large amounts assets; a practice that was increasing in Jesus’ time. No, religion will fail us every time and it will only be through God’s message of love, having a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ, that will be the world’s only true hope.

In Jesus’ time, He handpicked twelve uneducated men made up of fishermen, shepherds and tax collectors to witness how God was going to save the world. Even at that time, they jockeyed for position in their own little group, while Jesus was preparing to demonstrate what God’s love is really all about. They were proud; one of the Masters’s chosen twelve but none of them understood what Jesus was trying to teach them. Jesus even gave them opportunity to prove themselves during the last Passover Feast when they all pasted by the towel and water jug that was strategically positioned by the front door. You see, they were all too important to stoop to the lowest position of a household slave. One by one they passed by without washing one another’s feet. 

 “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”

So pride is our downfall, our mortal enemy and we will all struggle fighting against its power over our lives. I have witnessed myself, leaders in the church, men who God allowed to handle huge amounts of responsibility only to fall and cave under the weight of building their own kingdoms and reputations. That’s why I don’t look to men for the answers but keep my eyes steadily fastened on our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our salvation. 

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” said Paul.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Come just as you are

 Twenty-seven-hundred years ago near the Temple in Jerusalem, God asked a young man a question “Who shall I send, and who shall go for us?” To which Isaiah, soon to be prophet, responded “Here I am I! Send me.” 

Twenty-seven-hundred some odd years later God asked another man, who was golfing in 1937 on the 18th hole at the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, the same question. William Franklin Graham Jr. responded to that call “Here I am, send me!” and the rest is history.

Religion has always been man’s attempt to reach up to God; it has failed miserably. In the call Billy Graham heard God spoke to the young evangelist’s heart saying I want to have a relationship with you; go and tell the world how much I love them!

In 1949, Graham organized and scheduled a series of revival meetings, which he called “Crusades”, in Los Angeles, California where he erected circus tents in a parking lot. The event attracted national media coverage. It was clear that God was in charge of the event that drew thousands to the eight weeklong events – five weeks longer than planned. Part of God’s plan was to utilize heavy coverage from the wire services and national magazines to propel the fledgling evangelist into the national spotlight.

I stumbled upon this quote that sums up Billy Graham’s conviction about who was behind all his success "It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge, and my job to love."
In his quest to preach God’s love to a lost world Billy Graham faced many critics. Much of the criticism came as legalism directed at him from churches, Christian universities and other Christian organizations. Despite the criticism, he remained true to God’s calling on his life by listening to and faithfully communicating what God was really saying through the gospel.

Brian Brodersen, the senior pastor of the world-wide Calvary Chapel organization wrote “He was pejoratively referred to by some Christians as "ecumenical" and compromising because he associated with Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Liberal Protestants, and Jews and would invite them to participate in his crusades, even to the point of having them occupy the stage with him. I remember hearing him say in response to these accusations that if anyone compromised, it was not him but those who disagreed with his theology and yet participated in the crusades. He said with absolute conviction: "I have never compromised the Gospel." I would have to agree that he never did compromise the Gospel but preached it faithfully to the end.”

Dr. Graham stayed on course through his entire life even while navigating through two decades of riotous racism of the 1950’s and 1960’s. In a 1953 outreach in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Graham ripped down the ropes that event organizers had installed in order to segregate the audience into black and white sections. Billy wrote in his memoirs that he told two ushers to leave the partitions down "or you can go on and have the revival without me." He said in a scathing warning to the assembled white audience, "we have been proud and thought we were better than any other race, any other people. Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to stumble into hell because of our pride."

On Wednesday February 21st 2018 Billy Graham stepped gracefully into eternity. We can only imagine that he heard the same words the apostle Paul wrote to his friend and colleague, Timothy “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
 God is our Judge and we will all answer to Him one day; not to the leaders of our individual churches.

Billy Graham said “I think that everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are members of the body of Christ ... [God] is calling people out of the world for his name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something they do not have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think that they are saved and they are going to be with us in heaven”

Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? The blood of Jesus Christ is the most powerful thing in this universe. Have you received God’s free gift of salvation?