My Top 5 Posts Of 2013

Are You A Participator Or A Spectator?

There has been a lot of football on the TV lately. Of course it has. It's that time of year. Bowl games and playoff games filling the airwaves in great number! Stadiums filled with ravenous fans rooting on their favorite team. Add to that the millions of fans watching by national television. It's all because 22 men on a field - battle it out for a trophy, an egg, a championship, a title, and bragging rights for the next year. Yes, it's that time of year again. (Read more...)

The Miracle Of His Birth

It's that time of year when many folks celebrate the birth of Jesus. Even though the exact month and date of His birth is unknown, it is still a very special time of the year. Most of the world (even other religions) at least acknowledge His coming. However, to followers of Christ, one of the greatest attributes of His coming is the miracle of His birth. It is the way Jesus was born that infuses Him with the authority to defeat all evil. No one else has ever been conceived and born in such a manner. It was truly a miracle; a miracle like none other. (Read more...)

The Chronicles Of A Missionary (India)


My first trip to India was the one that radically changed my life as a follower of Christ. I was the Pastor of a church which regularly supported an Indian pastor. My purpose for my first trip to India was more visionary than anything else. I wanted to get a good look at where the church's finances were going, and how it was being used. This particular purpose ... (Read more.)




What You May Not Know About Marriage

Marriage is an institution. It is an institution established by God Himself. If you are a Christ-follower a keen understanding of this can revolutionize your marriage. If you're not a Christ-follower what I am about to share can draw you to the cross of Jesus.

The institution of marriage was established immediately after God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24) For what reason?...(Read More.)




Will Jesus Return Soon?

Can you see what I see? Can you sense what I am sensing? It really doesn't take much to see and feel that we are living in very interesting times. If you are a student of the Bible much of what is happening in this world and in the heavens today is not really surprising. It's been prophesied, we've read about it for years, and now we are seeing it come to pass. 

I am not an "end-time specialist" but since I am a student of the Word, and live in the end times, I can sense we are very, very near to the return of Jesus. (Read more.)

What You May Not Know About Marriage

Marriage is an institution. It is an institution established by God Himself. If you are a Christ-follower a keen understanding of this can revolutionize your marriage. If you're not a Christ-follower what I am about to share can draw you to the cross of Jesus.

The institution of marriage was established immediately after God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24) For what reason? To answer this question we must look at the preceding 3 verses. "So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis 2: 21-23)

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2: 24) The word "man" in the preceding verse is the Hebrew word 'îysh which means - a male or a man or a husband as an individual. The word "wife" in the same verse is the Hebrew word 'ishshâh which means - a female or a woman or a wife as an individual. It is actually the feminine form of the word 'îysh. Now I am not a Hebrew scholar, but it is clear here that the Scriptures refer to male and female, husband and wife completing God's institution of marriage. They become "one flesh" in God's eyes, just as Adam was one flesh before God created Eve.

Here is another (and perhaps very unique way to look at it). God created Adam with all the attributes of male and female. This may sound weird but think about it. Adam was created in the image of God. Even though Adam had all the attributes of male and female he was alone. So God took part of Adam and made Eve. Eve now had female attributes. Adam retained male attributes. And...according to the Scripture they are not complete until the "two become one flesh". "One flesh" is marriage. God designed it so that the "oneness" is completed through complete intimacy within that marriage.

Marriage between a man and a woman is holy and ordained by God. When couples acknowledge this they enter into the blessings of God. Why? Because God blesses marriage they way He instituted it. One of God's blessings of a Godly marriage is the gift of children.

This issue of marriage between a man and a woman, and the two becoming "one flesh" is mentioned several times throughout the Bible. Jesus stresses it. "And He answered and said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."(Matthew 19:4-6) (Upper case added by NASB) Mark's account of this is almost identical in chapter 10. Paul addressing marriage mentions this in Ephesians 5:31.

Paul teaches in Ephesians that the Godly institution of marriage should be a reflection of the relationship between Christ, and His bride the church. He also stresses that in order to have and to maintain a Godly marriage we must study the relationship between Christ and the church.

Finally, please let me encourage you to include Jesus in your marriage. Build your marriage on Jesus Christ Himself...making Him the center and foundation of it. When your marriage struggles (and sometimes it will be challenged), keep your eyes on Jesus. He is the Creator of marriage. Understand that the ways of the world only work against marriage. But Jesus as the center of your marriage will empower it to stand and overcome the challenges of this world. Remember marriage is holy and instituted by God.

The Love Dare
By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick / B & H Publishing Group

Discover the #1 best-selling devotional seen in the hit movie Fireproof! Featuring a new preface from the Kendrick brothers and real-life reader testimonies, this updated 40-day guide is designed to steer you away from a painful breakup---and back to your spouse. Includes Scripture, a practical daily challenge, journaling space, and a progress checklist. 256 pages, softcover from B&H.

The Miracle Of His Birth

It's that time of year when many folks celebrate the birth of Jesus. Even though the exact month and date of His birth is unknown, it is still a very special time of the year. Most of the world (even other religions) at least acknowledge His coming. However, to followers of Christ, one of the greatest attributes of His coming is the miracle of His birth. It is the way Jesus was born that infuses Him with the authority to defeat all evil. No one else has ever been conceived and born in such a manner. It was truly a miracle; a miracle like none other.

Others like Isaac, Samuel, and John the Baptist were born through miraculous circumstances, but only Jesus was born of a virgin. This miracle establishes with extreme significance who He was and is. I want to encourage you to focus on this miracle this year. If you do, the significance of His coming and the significance of His sacrifice will mean much more to you.

What is so miraculous about His birth? The miracle is that He was born of a virgin. He was born through Mary, a young woman who had never had relations with a man. So who was the father of Jesus? The Bible clearly states that God is His Father. Did God have relations with Mary? No, not in the natural sense. Of course not. Remember Mary was a virgin meaning she had no relations with anyone. So how did this happen. It was supernatural. God is supernatural, and when He moves it is...well...supernatural.

This is how the Scripture describes it: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you (Mary), and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God." (The Angel Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:35) I've seen God do many miracles in my walk with Him. I once saw a man with a broken foot get instantly healed. How did that happen? The Holy Spirit came upon him. I saw a crippled man in India get instantly healed. How did that happen? The Holy Spirit came upon him, God's power overshadowed him, and he was healed. Miraculous! When the Holy Spirit comes upon a person, and the power of the Most High overshadows them...the supernatural happens. This is what happened to the virgin Mary. And the reason the child Jesus was called the Son of God is because He was the result of the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary, and the power of God the Father overshadowing her. By virtue of this event He was literally born of God (into this world).

The birth of Jesus is much more than an event. It is more than something we celebrate at a certain time of the year. The conception and birth of Jesus is a miracle performed by God for you and me. God used this miracle to establish the significance of His coming to earth. Only God in the flesh could be an acceptable sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Only a human being without sin could qualify to pay the price of the penalty sin demanded for humanity. Only God Himself, in the form of a man could hang on the cross totally without spot or blemish or sin and take away the sins of the world.

Jesus came to be the sacrifice for our sins. However, the sacrifice had to be sinless...without spot, blemish, or sin. No animal or human being could come close to qualifying. But...if our sinless God became one of us He could. Listen to the words of Hebrews 4:14-15, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  Jesus, our High Priest can sympathize with us because He became one of us. A miracle!

This year as we celebrate His birth and His coming to the earth, let's focus on the miracle of His birth. No other religion came lay claim to the truth that their god was born of man and God through a young virgin. That is miraculous! Only those who follow after Jesus Christ can do so. What a substantial, faith-building miracle! The miracle of His birth.


333816: Why the Nativity? 25 Compelling Reasons We Celebrate the Birth of Jesus Why the Nativity? 25 Compelling Reasons We Celebrate the Birth of Jesus
By David Jeremiah / Tyndale House

In Why the Nativity? 25 Compelling Reasons We Celebrate the Birth of Jesus, author David Jeremiah addresses the top 25 questions frequently asked about the birth of Jesus. He discusses how Jesus' birth changed both world history and the lives of countless people. Read this book and this year when your friends and neighbors ask, "What's all the hoopla about Christmas?," you'll be ready. Includes discussion questions. Paperback.

Are You Running On Empty?

No one likes to run out of gas when driving. Fortunately for me, I'm not one of those who often procrastinates filling up the tank...which can result in a perfectly healthy car stranded on the side of the road! I'll have to admit though...there was one time I ran out of gas. I was actually on the way to the gas station when it happened. Again...fortunately for me, I actually coasted right up to the gas pump! I don't like the thought of running out of gas so I do my best to make sure I don't! I keep at least one eye on the gas gauge at all times.

You probably don't like running out of gas and being stranded somewhere either. My advice to you is to always keep the tank full! Instead of running near empty, run on full!

I see this happening with Christians also. Many of us procrastinate spending necessary time in the presence of God. We allow busy schedules and other things to take the place filling up on the presence of Jesus. Or we fill up on the wrong things. The result is we live our Christian lives running near empty. In Matthew Chapter 6 Jesus said, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Jesus wasn't emphasizing how to get "things". He was stressing the truth that He is first in "all things".  Seeking after "things" will drain your tank faster than anything!

In Ephesians 5 Jesus said to fill up with the Holy Spirit, not wine. Wine here represents the things of the world. Instead of becoming drunk on the things of the world, be filled with the Holy Spirit. There is a marked difference. To be filled with the things of the world means to be empty of the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit from seeking after Him means to be running on a full tank for Him.

In God's kingdom seeking is filling. I'm talking about serious seeking from a hungry heart. Seeking after Him is the way to be filled with Him. That's why Jesus said to seek Him and His kingdom first...and the "things" fall into place at a lower priority.

The reason you and I are called by God is to make a difference in someone else's life. It's the presence and the work of God in and through you that truly makes a difference in this world. If you neglect precious filling up time with Him you will run on empty. Running on empty as a Christian will not change anyone or anything. Running on empty will produce empty works, tradition, and in some cases...nothing at all. Let me encourage you to seek Him first. Seek Him regularly. Seek Him earnestly! He will move in you and through you.

You are created to do great exploits for Him. Thus you are also created to be filled with Him! That's how you and others will be changed. Don't run near empty! Make seeking Him your very first priority. Run hard on FULL!



21605EB: When God Turned Off the Lights: True Stories of Seeking God in the Darkness - eBook When God Turned Off the Lights: True Stories of Seeking God in the Darkness - eBook
By Cecil Murphey / Regal Books

Each of us experiences times of spiritual darkness, when God seems far away. It's like the lights have gone off and we are left to fumble in the darkness. In When God Turned Off the Lights author Cecil Murphey shares how he's walked this path on three separate occasions, and offers hard-earned wisdom to help you on your journey. He believes we have three choices during a spiritual blackout--give up, examine yourself for sin, or accept that God has a purpose for your pain. Previously titled Seeking God's Hidden Face.