My Top 5 Blog Posts Of 2014

Here are the 5 most popular blog posts on my blog for 2014. I pray that I was able to encourage you in some way this year. I look forward to posting much more in the year 2015! May you have a happy and very blessed New Year!


Will You Withstand The Coming Flood?

Our culture is replete with opportunities to know God's Word. How many Bibles do you have in your home? Our country is full of Christian and secular book stores, both that sell Bibles. If that were not enough, you can go on line and order Bibles. You can download Bible software and have any version of the Bible on your computer or mobile device. Most churches provide Bibles during their services. In America, there is no shortage of God's Word. It's a tremendous blessing to have God's Word available to us in abundance. (More)

The Power Of Gratefulness


Here we are on the verge of another Thanksgiving in America. Thanksgiving is a great national holiday on which family and friends are brought together. But Thanksgiving didn't start as a national holiday back when the first settlers started the concept. Actually after that first brutal winter and growing season, it was a celebration of life and harvest. The first settlers (the ones who were still breathing) gathered to commemorate God's protection and sustenance. The gratefulness was genuine. I mean think about it. Many of your family and friends died throughout that first year. Through the difficulty, death, and destitution...a group had survived and now wanted to give God all the thanks. Making it through hard times and difficulty produces a truly grateful heart. That's what it's all about - gratefulness. (More)

He Waits For You


Recently I got up early, as I do every day, to spend time with the Lord. It was a typical morning as I prepared to be with Him. I'm not sure about you but usually, early on a work morning, my mind and body are not raring to go....even to the Lord. I don't mean I don't want to hang out with Him. I do mean though, that the fleshly, soulish part of me sometimes does not.

If I offered my flesh the choice of getting up to spend time with Him or staying in bed, my flesh would choose to stay in bed every time! But....I don't give my flesh a choice. I subject my flesh to my spirit, by subjecting my entire being to the Spirit of God! My spirit which is recreated in the image of Christ wants to be in the presence of Jesus every day...all the time! (More)

We Need Revival


What is revival? Revival is the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of decline. Revival has also been called "awakening" as the church awakens to her true call to live for Jesus Christ in the earth.

In essence, revival reestablishes God's standard of righteousness, and has been known to change the atmosphere of entire regions, or even nations. Listen to the wisdom of Proverbs 14:34. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." This is pure wisdom from the mouth of God. Righteousness lifts up nations. On the other hand, sin disgraces nations. (More)


The last time I was in India I had an experience I will never forget. It was one of those God moments in which He spoke something directly to me. It was our last day in India. It was already about 10 PM and we were on our way to the airport to return to the States.

As we were driving through the very busy streets of Hyderabad I saw people everywhere. There were thousands of people walking, which is quite typical for India. We stopped briefly due to the congested traffic and I caught a glimpse of a little "untouchable" woman sitting on the curb. Just so you will know an "untouchable" is a person from below India's lowest caste level. They are usually street sweepers or latrine cleaners or just jobless. Untouchables. (More)


003646: God"s Not Dead, DVD God's Not Dead, DVD

A Christian college freshman and his atheist philosophy professor debate the existence of God. To pass the course, Josh Wheaton must prove to the class that God is alive. Putting his relationships and his future on the line, will Josh be able to support his beliefs? Court is now in session! Starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Shane Harper (High School Musical 2), Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and David A. R. White (Jerusalem Countdown). Dove approved (12+). Rated PG. Approx. 120 minutes.

Make 2015 A Year To Fulfill Your Dreams

Here were are nearing the end of another year. Wow! Seems like we just got this one started. 2014 has been a very good year. There were a few challenges that made us stronger and better! And there were numerous opportunities God presented to us. Overall...a very good year. It amazes me how quickly the year goes by!

The end of a year brings the beginning of a new one. That is what really excites me. As we near the end of 2014, we embark on a new year...2015! The reason I get excited is probably the same reason I wake up every morning excited; it's a new beginning. Each day starts afresh with new challenges and new opportunities. "The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23) Just as God's lovingkindnesses (mercies) are fresh and new every single morning, so they are every new year.

Just as each new day presents you and me with opportunities, so does the upcoming year. I don't think it's tradition to want to establish new goals at the beginning of the new year. For believers I am convinced it is the mercy and lovingkindness of God! As followers of Jesus Christ we sense by the Spirit the freshness presented by the new year; and the opportunities God will present to us in it.

Our God is extremely awesome and intelligent! He knows we need a fresh new start each day. He also knows we need a fresh new start each year. We can establish goals any time of the year. But in my opinion there is no time better than at the beginning of each new year. Why? Because God's mercies are new, His compassion never ceases, and He is faithful.

Let me encourage you the last days of 2014 to pray and ponder your dreams. Do you have personal dreams? Dreams can become goals you know. What is it you would really like to do or accomplish in the year ahead? Or perhaps to begin in the year ahead? Think about it. Pray about it. As we embark on a new year, pray and seek God as to how you can begin to take steps toward your dream or dreams.

There is so much God wants to do in and through you in 2015. Making it happen may be beyond your capabilities...but not God's. However, He needs you to make your dream a goal. Instead of dreaming about it, begin to step in faith toward it. Trust God in 2015 to make it a reality. With God...all things are possible!

Remember, God is the one who put the dream in your heart. It is there! Our part is to trust Him to bring it to reality. Trusting God not only means praying, it also means doing what we can to take steps of faith toward the dream.

I encourage you to write down your dreams. Write down your visions. Pray over them. Read them daily. Speak them out loud! Then pray, read, and speak over them again...and again! 

"Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay." (Habakkuk 2:2-3) 

Be Careful How You Walk!

I remember some really good times when I would fish the jetties of Fernandina Beach with my 2 brothers-in-law, Jeff and Mark Hogan. On a good day we would rack up in just a couple of hours. What you caught depended on the time of the year, and at what stage the tide was. If the conditions were right you would fill up your croker sacks (burlap bags)!

It cost you something back then to fish those jetties: Not money, but energy and possibly some scratches, cuts, and bruises. You see, the jetties were large rocks that stretched far out into the ocean. They lined each side of the channel leading into the Amelia River, which led to Fernandina's marina and harbor. You had to do some climbing and some sliding! Waves frequently crashed against and over the rocks. These rocks were wet and very slippery; and they were covered with sharp barnacles. You certainly had to walk, climb, and slide with extreme care!

I remember one particular day we were heading back off the jetties. Jeff was crossing a low place in the rocks when a large wave came and washed him off the rocks! Fortunately at that point we were close enough to the beach that he could stand on the ocean floor and walk in. We were pretty good at timing the waves as they crashed over that particular area. However, if you slipped or slowed down you would be caught by a wave! Fortunately no one was hurt (or drowned) that day. If we were very careful how we walked on the jetties, we would come home with only a few cuts and scratches...and no bruises!

Likewise as followers of Jesus, we must be careful how we walk. "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16) Why would Paul urge us to be careful how we walk? Because we live in evil times. If we don't walk carefully we can slip in our walk with Jesus. To walk carelessly is to walk powerlessly. It takes care and focus to walk with Jesus in these last days. To walk and to live as Jesus did means walking in His power. This is what changes people and situations.

Many who claim to be Christians are not followers of Jesus.They may say they are a Christian, but they look like the world. Why? Because they walk in the same manner as the world. There is no distinction from those who follow after the world. A true Christian however, is one who lives for Him 24 x 7. This person is obsessed with following the teachings and principles of Jesus. The life of a true follower of Jesus Christ sticks out like a sore thumb in today's world. Jesus was the same way. He didn't blend in. He stuck out, and He stirred things up: Not on purpose, but simply by the way He lived for His Father. He was intent on doing the will of the Father, which should be our passion as well.

In the verse above Paul says that to "be careful how we walk" includes "making the most of our time". In other words, the days are evil (more than ever), and we still have the same amount of time. We must make the most of every moment following after, and serving Jesus. In light of His soon return, and the condition of today's world, there's a lot to be done in a short length of time. 

According to Paul, to live a laid-back, passive life as a Christian (in this evil age) is to be very unwise. But to be careful or intent on how we walk, making the most of our time (in this evil age) is to be very wise. Let me encourage you to be very careful how you walk in this world. The way you walk determines how others walk. Time is short. You are here to make a difference. I'll go so far as to say...you are here for such a time as this!

5 Truths About "Alone Time" With God

"But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray." (Luke 5:16)

Jesus' ministry was powerful. Multitudes were being healed. Crowds were gathering to hear Him speak. News about Him was spreading rapidly. Things were going well for Jesus. With all this going on, Jesus would slip away often to the wilderness and pray. Jesus wanted "alone time" with His Father and made it the priority. These "alone times" in the presence of God are what fueled the ministry of Jesus. There is no better example for you and me than Jesus Himself.

I see 5 powerful truths in this little verse that will revolutionize your "alone time" with Jesus, and thus your walk with Him.

#1.)  We must meet "often" with God. Jesus met "often" with God. Spending time with Him should be the highest priority for the follower of Christ. The fruit of priority is Consistency. If meeting with God is a priority, then one will meet with God on a consistent basis or "often". Consistency is not necessarily repetition. Repetition puts the emphasis on frequency. Consistency is the result of Jesus being the emphasis. I will say that we need time alone with Him daily. As God's mercies are new each day, taking the time to acknowledge such can be quite encouraging.

Remember, if you struggle with consistency in your quiet time, perhaps you need to move the principle of "alone time" with God to the highest priority. Consistency will be born out of priority. It was obvious Jesus held "alone time" with the Father the highest priority. This resulted in Him often slipping away to pray. Often is very good!

#2.) We must be "alone" with God. Jesus had to be "alone" with His Father. The word wilderness in the above Scripture is also translated as "a lonely place". This means Jesus would seek out a place where no one else would be, except His Father. Since God's Spirit is everywhere all Jesus needed was a place in which no other human being was. With literally thousands following Him this was a challenge. But He did it. By Jesus' example, it is very crucial that we be "alone" in our quiet times. It's impossible to have a completely effective alone time in God's presence among the clattering distractions of other people. Since it was a priority for Jesus, it must be for you and me. Quite often Jesus got alone with God. There were even times when He sent His disciples away, along with the crowds, so He could be alone with God. (See Matthew 14: 22-23)

#3.)  There are times in which we must "slip away" just to be with Him. Jesus often had to "slip away" in order to be alone with God. At times Jesus had to sneak away to find a lonely place to pray. The same must be such a priority for you and me. Not everyone will understand, but they will all know it is a priority for you. In our day and in our culture life is extremely cluttered. Our schedules are over-crowded. There are times when we must quietly slip away from the hustle and bustle of life, totally unnoticed by others, including our family. For me, my time is very early in the morning. The house is quiet, no one else is stirring. Not even a mouse! I have paid the price over the years as I have lost quite a bit of sleep, but it has been worth it.

In Mark 14 Jesus took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The first thing He did was to invite Peter, James, and John away from the group. But then He separated Himself from those three to be be alone with God and pray. Verse 35, " And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray..." Even the night He was betrayed and arrested He first sought to be alone with His Father.

#4.) Alone time must produce "communion" with God. Jesus communed with the Father during His time with Him. It wasn't just some time set aside. Luke 5:16 says He prayed. Jesus communed with His Father during His alone times. As He poured out His heart, God filled it. As He worshiped the Father, the Holy Spirit comforted, encouraged, and strengthened Him. What an example for you and me. We need the fresh life-giving power of God to live this life following after Jesus. This only happens as we have communion with Jesus and the Father through the Holy Spirit. As we pull ourselves away from the daily drudge and meet with Him we are filled with His life.

#5.)  We will find the victory "alone" in His presence. Jesus won the victory while alone with God. I'm taking nothing away from His physical crucifixion, and the cross itself. But we must realize Jesus won the victory in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night he was arrested. Luke tells us He was alone with God and an angel came from heaven and strengthened Him. He needed it. The spiritual warfare was so intense that His sweat became drops of blood. The blood He shed for you and me started flowing right then and there, during alone time with God.

We cannot begin to understand the spiritual and physical pressure Jesus experienced that night. But we can celebrate the fact that during time alone with God that night, He won victory for you and me. What an example! What a demonstration of the significance of having time alone with our Father through Him.

God is good. To move toward God is good. To drift away from God is not good. You're either doing one or the other. The goal of having time with God is to meet with Him, and interact with Him. Since He is so good, meeting with Him is life-changing. You will not remain the same by being in His presence, especially on a consistent basis. This is God's goal for every genuine believer.

"But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works." (Psalm 73:28)

The Power of Gratefulness

Here we are on the verge of another Thanksgiving in America. Thanksgiving is a great national holiday on which family and friends are brought together. But Thanksgiving didn't start as a national holiday back when the first settlers started the concept. Actually after that first brutal winter and growing season, it was a celebration of life and harvest. The first settlers (the ones who were still breathing) gathered to commemorate God's protection and sustenance. The gratefulness was genuine. I mean think about it. Many of your family and friends died throughout that first year. Through the difficulty, death, and destitution...a group had survived and now wanted to give God all the thanks. Making it through hard times and difficulty produces a truly grateful heart. That's what it's all about - gratefulness.

Understand that a grateful heart is very powerful. It is a force that motivates a person to endure the most difficult of circumstances. A grateful heart can recall God's past faithfulness and envision His future faithfulness. The result is a steadfastness in the present that has a supernatural essence. No one looks forward to tough times. But it's the tough times that toughen us up! Connie and I understand tough times and I'm sure you do too. Tough times come in different shapes and sizes for different people but the result (should we choose it) is the same...a grateful heart. I'll admit, tough times can also produce numerous opportunities to complain and maybe even murmur. But a truly grateful heart acknowledges God is fully in control. We don't always understand the circumstances...but we can understand that God does and has all the answers. Yes, we can thank Him in the hard times as well as the easy times. 

A grateful heart makes one sensitive to the needs of others. I don't mean this to sound bad, but there is always someone whose situation is worse than yours! What a great time to thank God for His faithfulness to us, and offer ourselves to Him as an instrument to help others. A grateful heart. It's very powerful. A grateful heart endures circumstances because its eyes are not on the circumstances but on God. 

I'm reminded of how Judah was completely surrounded by its enemies in II Chronicles Chapter 20. Jehoshaphat was a Godly king and gathered the whole nation for prayer. If God doesn't intervene...the whole nation will be wiped out. In this prayer meeting Jehoshaphat leads the prayer and begins to thank God for all He has done and all He has promised for Israel. Then He says, "We are powerless against this great multitude, nor do we know what to do. Nevertheless...our eyes are on You." God moved in behalf of the nation of Judah and routed its enemies. It took three days for Judah's people to collect the spoils of the battle.

A grateful heart is powerful. I encourage you in these hard times...remember His faithfulness, thank Him for His future faithfulness, and thank Him for all you have today. Be thankful for the things that matter this Thanksgiving. It will change things. It's the power of a grateful heart.

A Nation Drifting Away

I remember back in 1991 when the Gulf War broke out. We were sending our troops (along with troops from some other nations) to the Middle Eastern nation of Kuwait to liberate it from Iraq and Saddam Hussein. A nation had been overrun by a bully and his forces. America and its folks knew it was the right thing to do to stand against this unwarranted assault.

What I remember most about that time were the prayer meetings that broke out in behalf of our troops and our nation. People gathered to pray regularly in churches, restaurants, homes, malls; anywhere people could meet together. Churches were filled with people seeking after God for His protection for our troops and for our nation. It was very obvious God was with America, and those who stood up for the helpless innocent. It was also obvious that God moved and protected because of the prayers ascending from America and other nations.

On September 11th, 2001 tragedy struck our nation. Again, bullies that prey on the innocent launched the worst attack on our nation since Pearl Harbor. I can easy recall the images of our national leaders praying together on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. For a short while there was no Democrat or Republican. We were just Americans, and we had been attacked. It seemed the only response to the atrocity was to seek the face of our mighty God. And we did.

I can remember President George W. Bush, stating time and again how we would trust God as a nation to rise up, rebuild, and bring justice to the attackers. People once again, began to cry out to God for help. For a few weeks churches were filled to overflowing. Prayer meetings once again popped up all over the nation. And when things seemed to be heading back to normal this wave of seeking God began to wan once again. However, things have never been the same since that terrible day of infamy.

The greatest threat to our land today is not ISIS or any other terrorist organization. It is not the Ebola virus. It is the fact that America is drifting farther and farther from God. This has produced blindness in many Americans to the gaping void of leadership in our land. We don't see the degradation of morality in our land. Or perhaps our hearts have become so dull that we don't care anymore. We cannot see beyond today, even though destruction lurks in the near future.

I fear the attitude of "what's the use" has settled in over those who actually understand what's going on. Have we forgotten just how big our God is? Have we drifted so far away from Him as a nation, and as individuals, that we see the problem as being bigger than He is? Well...let me be the first to say  my God is big! He is bigger! He is biggest! There is NOTHING He cannot do!

The farther a nation drifts from God, the more she will hate God. God is not angry at this. He stands ready to receive us back any time we wake up and run back to Him. The problem however is that to drift away from God, to hate God, means God cannot bless us the way He did before. When America was a Godly nation, she was blessed by Him. She was protected by Him. When the odds were against us, God intervened in our behalf. America was a nation with a heart near to God. Things are different now. The erosion of leadership, power, and service America has demonstrated to the world throughout her history is not the judgment of God. It is the absence of God!

The following words from the book of James are tough, but they are the answer for America and it's people. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you." (James 4:8-10) This passage begins with the call to "Draw near to God." The result, "He will draw near to you." The end result is that anyone or any nation who humbles themselves in the presence of the Lord will be exalted. America was once a nation exalted by God. This is not the case any more.

There is hope however. America can once again be a blessed nation. One who influences the other nations of the world. A nation that stands up for the innocent, and abhors even the thought of bullying tyrants. But she must return to God. She must draw near to God so that He will draw near to her. That begins with you and me, and anyone who will once again fervently cry out for America. God will make a way. God is the only way.


Will You Withstand The Coming Flood?

Our culture is replete with opportunities to know God's Word. How many Bibles do you have in your home? Our country is full of Christian and secular book stores, both that sell Bibles. If that were not enough, you can go on line and order Bibles. You can download Bible software and have any version of the Bible on your computer or mobile device. Most churches provide Bibles during their services. In America, there is no shortage of God's Word. It's a tremendous blessing to have God's Word available to us in abundance.

However, God's Word is powerless in book form alone. It is powerless printed on t-shirts alone. God's Word is impotent on plaques alone. God's Word must be applied to your life, and the lives of others in your realm. God didn't give us His Holy Word for decoration. He gave it for a reason. What is that specific reason? To be done; to be appropriated in your life.

Jesus gives us a valuable illustration of this in Luke 6:47-48. "Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built." This house was well built because it had been deeply founded on the rock. It had a solid foundation, and when the floods came...it stood! Are you preparing for the flood? Not to sound negative, or to scare anyone...but the floods of adversity are coming. The great news however, is that those who are founded on the rock (God's powerful Word) will not be shaken! They will stand!

How does one become founded on the rock of God's Word so that he/she stands the tests of life, and the onslaught of the enemy? Jesus said first, "Come to Me." It starts by being a follower of Jesus Christ. This means being born again of the Spirit of God. It means being a genuine Christian, one who has surrendered his/her life to Jesus. Second, a genuine Christian must hear God's Word. God gives to the genuine believer a hunger for His Word. A craving if you will, to read, study, and even memorize His Word. Third, and very crucial, those believers who will withstand the coming torrent will be those who act on the Word of God.

To act on the Word is to appropriate or apply the Word to every situation in your life. You cannot appropriate the Word of God without knowing the Word of God. God's Word is meant to be spoken, not just by preachers, but by believers. God's Word spoken over a person or situation is God's Word applied to that person or situation. God's Word applied to that person or situation becomes the rock on which they stand.

Listen to this powerful passage of Scripture from Isaiah 55:10-11: "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." God's Word is His desire...and comes out of His mouth. But it is powerless if it falls on deaf ears. It is powerless if it is heard and not applied.

God said His Word is like rain and snow that waters the earth. As a result plants bear, furnishing seed and bread to the one who sows. Rain and snow fall for a reason. They have purpose and impact. So does God's Word. When appropriated in your life by speaking it, God's Word is returned to God, accomplishing its specific purpose. That's why God provides Words that apply to any situation we will ever face.

The need to know His Word in these last days is crucial. Nothing this world offers you is more important or significant to you that knowing and applying His Word. The coming events of the latter days will soon determine who will stand and who will be swept away. Are you preparing? Are you building your house on the rock? (More to come.)

A Challenge To Go Beyond Yourself

Christmas is a very special time involving family and friends. It is the time for decorations, good holiday meals, and gift-giving. It is truly a special time of the year. But the greatest thing about Christmas of course, is that it is the designated season in which we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is all about Him and His humble coming to the earth. A Christmas celebrated with Jesus at its center it truly one of peace and joy.

When the office parties have finished; when the church parties are all over...most folks turn inward to celebrate Christmas with family. This is not a bad thing. But it brings me to the point of this post: THE CHALLENGE TO GO BEYOND YOURSELF.

This year I offer to you the opportunity to step outside of your realm and help someone less fortunate. As a matter of fact...I challenge you. I want to help the families of the children Harvest Celebration Ministries sponsors. And if possible, this Christmas I want to help some of the children in Honduras that we don't normally sponsor by providing a gift for them as well. Most of these precious folks live in the small, remote village of Concordia.

Most of us will spend a lot of money this Christmas on gifts. Please consider helping someone beyond your realm. This is the challenge to go beyond yourself!

If you can help, visit www.harvcel.com and click the "Donate" button at the top left of the page. This will link you to PayPal, the most secure way to donate. All the monies we raise in October and November will go directly to this project. Any amount will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your consideration!

Steve Hutto

Whom Shall I Fear?

There are bullies in the world today doing atrocities striking fear into the hearts of men and women. That's the way bullies operate. They manipulate by fear. Fear is a powerful dictator. But there is One who is much more powerful. He is the Lord, Jesus Christ! He defeated the author of fear long, long ago. Jesus rules the universe. He created the universe, and those who subject themselves to His Lordship also inherit the power with which He defeated all evil. With His power we rule OVER all evil, thus all fear of evil.

Those who are His have the peace which passes all understanding ruling their hearts, their minds, and their lives. After all, He is the "Prince of Peace". In the midst of the storm, peace rules. Even over the blatant threats from the enemy....peace rules. Even in the face of danger...the peace of God reigns supreme.

This post is a message for anyone who may be struggling with fear as the world seems to spiral out of control. Listen to God's powerful Word:

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? When evil doers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident." (Psalm 27:1 -3)

David the psalmist never said war wouldn't come. David was a man of war. He never said evil doers won't attack to devour. He never said we wouldn't have adversaries and enemies. He never said a host would not encamp against you and me. But David did say they would stumble and fall. He did say,"...my heart will not fear." He did say he would remain confident...in spite of all the enemy does. King David's knowledge of the Lord, his Light, and His Salvation; his knowledge of the fact that He will defend him prompts some very literal questions. Whom shall I fear? Whom shall I dread? Paul said, "...If God is for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8:32b) The answer to the 3 previous questions is one and the same...NO ONE!

One of my favorite Biblical events is found in 2 Chronicles 20. The nation of Judah is surrounded by an coalition of enemies. The situation is hopeless...so it seems. King Jehoshaphat first fears, but then turns his attention to seek God's help. He calls the entire nation (from the oldest to the youngest) to a solemn assembly of prayer. They fasted and prayed fervently for their nation. Just before the Word of the Lord broke through proclaiming how God would defeat their enemies, Jehoshaphat prayed theses words: "For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." Could it be that's where we are today? Could it be we need to turn our eyes back to the Lord Jesus, expecting Him to fulfill His Word concerning those who are His? After all, whom shall we fear?

This is the point at which God spoke prophetically to Jehoshaphat. "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's." (2 Chronicles 20:15) Notice God's first instructions to Jehoshaphat and Judah were "Do no fear or be dismayed..." You will notice back in verse 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid. God continued to proclaim that He would fight and win the battle for Judah. As a result they celebrated victory even before it actually happened.

There are great dangers threatening innocent people of the world, including God's people. But God sent His only Son to break the grip of sin off of me. He did that by defeating the the author of death, destruction, and fear. When those who make themselves my enemies (because I choose Jesus) come against me, they will ultimately stumble and fall. When war rises against me I will be confident in my Savior. I am His. Therefore whom shall I fear?

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He Waits For You

Recently I got up early, as I do every day, to spend time with the Lord. It was a typical morning as I prepared to be with Him. I'm not sure about you but usually, early on a work morning, my mind and body are not raring to go....even to the Lord. I don't mean I don't want to hang out with Him. I do mean though, that the fleshly, soulish part of me sometimes does not.

If I offered my flesh the choice of getting up to spend time with Him or staying in bed, my flesh would choose to stay in bed every time! But....I don't give my flesh a choice. I subject my flesh to my spirit, by subjecting my entire being to the Spirit of God! My spirit which is recreated in the image of Christ wants to be in the presence of Jesus every day...all the time! We simply must do our part to create an atmosphere conducive to meeting with Him.

I like to listen to anointed worship music to get me started. That is the easy part. The most difficult part is getting my flesh to worship. There are times when I think I can hear my flesh say "I dare you to make me worship!" But I keep pressing. I keep praying. I keep worshiping. There is always a point at which my flesh gives in. It is not always at the same point. Some days that point comes later than on other days. But as I have committed my life to praise, worship, and prayer...that point always comes! And oh, what a joy to break forth into His incredible presence! "Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises." (Psalm 98:4)

And then there are those mornings like the particular morning I'm referring to (which are coming more frequently) when it seems He is waiting on me. Think about it. The Creator of all the universe is waiting to be with me intimately! How can I let my fleeting flesh keep me from these Divine appointments? I won't! I've gone too far! I've experienced too much of His goodness. I've found the secret place of the Most High!

Understand there is great cost to intimate fellowship with Him. But the joy, the strength, and the blessing far outweigh the cost. And the change in attitude, outlook, and perspective far surpass the effort. What is the cost? You! Your time, your focus, and perhaps some sleep! We have a responsibility to approach Him. He is the King. He is the Creator. He is the awesome One!

There is no better place to be than in His presence! I challenge you to press in, to move forward, to seek Him fervently with only one purpose...to meet with Him.

"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." (Psalm 16:11)


There Is Still Hope

It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or even a carnal Christian to deduce that things are pretty bad in the world. Peter said, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts..." (2 Peter 3:3) And Paul said to Timothy, "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." (2 Timothy 3:1-5) We've seen all of the preceding increase dramatically over the past 2 decades.

People don't just choose not to serve God, they hate God. They mock God and hate those who live for Him. Things have become twisted in these last days. One who takes a stand for God, by standing on His Word, is branded intolerant. The one who accurately identifies sin...and calls it sin...is a hater of those who willfully live in sin. Things are backward in these last days. The prophet Isaiah put it like this. "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20) The honest truth is...God has not changed; neither has His Word changed!

What used to be immoral is now a matter of ones own opinion. What used to be moral is now outdated and politically incorrect. What were once atrocities are now one's rights in our land. Things are pretty bad in our world, and yes, God said it would come to pass. 

Add to these difficult times the forces of terrorism being unleashed in the world to destroy God's people, and the free nations in which they live. Never before in the history of our nation has the threat of terrorism been so great. Never before has it been so real. And never have we been so vulnerable. Terrorists live only for one thing...to die for their cause. They live to die so they can take multitudes of innocent people with them.

It looks pretty hopeless doesn't it? But actually it is not. Yes, things have gotten worse as the Bible prophesies, and they will get even worse. But it is still not hopeless. As a matter of fact, there is an answer. Contrary to popular belief Jesus Christ is still the answer. Why? Because He died for the immoral. He died for the terrorist. He died for the Atheist and the Agnostic. He died for you and me. There is no one alive on the face of this planet, saint or sinner, He did NOT die for. He died for all. As long as there is sin in this world, the blood He shed at Calvary still flows; it still washes the sinner clean. As long as times are difficult and people mock God, God's love still reaches through Jesus His Son.

If the answer if still Jesus (and it is), then the answer still comes through His blood-purchased church. But His church must be revived. She must return to her First Love, as she remembers from where she has fallen. This means you and I must repent of our wicked ways, and then seek the face of our holy God. When God's church faces the reality of her short-comings, and as a result draws near to God in fervent prayer, God will begin to change things. My only concern in these last days is will she do it? Can she see the error of her ways? If she can, and will repent and cry out to God...He will heal our land.

"If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place." (2 Chronicles 7:13-15)


We Need Revival

What is revival? Revival is the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of decline. Revival has also been called "awakening" as the church awakens to her true call to live for Jesus Christ in the earth.

In essence, revival reestablishes God's standard of righteousness, and has been known to change the atmosphere of entire regions, or even nations. Listen to the wisdom of Proverbs 14:34. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." This is pure wisdom from the mouth of God. Righteousness lifts up nations. On the other hand, sin disgraces nations.

When disgrace replaces the standard of righteousness in a nation (as in ours), that nation is in decline. But a nation in decline is not necessarily a nation doomed. That nation needs revival. True revival can change things. Revival can restore things. Revival however, must begin with the church. (When I say the church I am referring to those who are truly born again of the Spirit of God.) There is no other way for it to spread to sinners.

Revival is not a series of meetings. Revival again is restoration. You and I must pray fervently for the restoration of God's church in America, and in the world. As born again followers of Jesus Christ we must pray fervently for the restoration of ourselves. If revival must start with the church, it must start with me (and you). Listen to Jesus' words to the church at Ephesus. "But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent." (Revelation 2:4-5)

The answer for our nation is not found in the political realm. The answer to the terrorist threat is not found in our military or in the sophistication of our intelligence capabilities. The answer to injustice in our land is not found in demonstrations or in violent protests. The answer for our nation IS revival. It's that simple. The church must return to her first love, Jesus Christ. Let the depravity of our world and the church compel us (the church) to self-examination. How far have I fallen? Do I even remember my first Love? Will I repent, or continue to judge this crazy world?

As our world seems to fall apart we must pray for revival of the church. No matter how loud the terrorist threat gets I must seek His kingdom first. No matter how angry I get at the injustices of the world against Christianity...I must pray for revival. And no matter how disgusted and discouraged I may become over the lack of God's standard of righteousness upheld in our land...I must fervently seek the face of God for restoration of His blood-purchased church.

Are things bad? Yes. Are things hopeless? No. God's church is at a crucial crossroads in these last days however. Will she repent? Will she pray for revival of herself? Just like salvation, revival is God's work. We must fully trust Jesus to move in behalf of His church. And we must be willing to change as He once again invades our lives.

Can you see the need? Don't look at the folks in the world. Look at the church. Look at yourself. God created His church to be the most powerful force on the face of this planet. Instead she is divided and consumed with herself! Revival is the answer. I challenge you. Pray for revival. Study revivals of the past. Pray for the restoration of God's church. Don't be moved by the natural things. Simply seek first His kingdom, and His righteous until He moves.

"Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways." (Psalm 119:37)

Comfortable?

I was recently watching one of those reality shows about finding and purchasing a home. A younger couple was sitting down with their real estate agent making a list of what they desired in a home. They were sharing the contents of their wish list when the lady said something that kind of agitated me. After she listed several wants she said, "The main thing is that we must have a big yard for Joey (name changed to protect the innocent.) to play in." Joey was their dog. The main thing? (Note: I recently read somewhere that Christians in America spend more on dog food than they do on missions giving.)

I have been to nations in which many people live a standard of life much lower than our pets here in America. I've seen people living in cardboard boxes in India and Guatemala, some literally on the streets. The picture above is from Honduras. (I actually visited the family that lives in this home. A total of 11 people live in this home.) Somehow I believe the priority for this family is not the family pet...but having enough food to eat. You cannot visit precious people like this and not be awakened to God's heart for the much less fortunate.

Most of us are living comfortable lives here in America. So comfortable that we cannot relate to the reality of the rest of the world. We grieve more over the loss of entertainers than we do those being murdered for serving Jesus in foreign lands. We need to be made uncomfortable by the One who died not just for Americans, but for the whole world. You see, being made uncomfortable produces a concern for others who are much less fortunate than we are. Spirit of God, please make us uncomfortable to the point of waking us up!

At the time of this post Christians are being heavily persecuted in Iraq. They are being sought out, run down, and killed. These are not only real people with families, they are brothers and sisters in Christ. The lack of concern troubles me. Where are our priorities? Where is the concern? Where are our hearts? Are we serving the American dream or the Lord of the universe?

The good news is that Jesus is the answer. Oh that we would turn back to Jesus for our every need. To need Him desperately is to trust in Him. It can only start as we plead for those overseas that are being persecuted. When all is said and done, it won't be about our comfortable American culture. It won't be about having all of our wants and desires fulfilled. It will be about Jesus....and those He died for. It will be about the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, the rejected, and the persecuted. That's where I want my heart to be.

Embrace The Difference

Please love me as I bear my soul on an issue. Before I continue let me say that no one has offended me. What I write, I write with no particular person or persons in mind. No one event or action by any one particular person or persons has provoked me to write this. It is what I see and hear that bothers me. It is also what I don't see and hear that bothers me. What is this issue? It is the issue of those who claim to be Christ-followers...not following Christ. One more disclaimer before I continue. I realize that we are not perfect, even as Christians. None of us are flawless. Thank our God we are not required to be flawless.

Yes we are still human. But we are very different. Different is the keyword. One who is a follower of Jesus is different. The Spirit of God in us makes us different. As a matter of fact, one who claims to be a Christian and is not different is not a true follower of Jesus. Can I say it one more time? In order to follow after Jesus one must be different.

When I completely turned my life over to Jesus I was different. I knew it. I acted differently. I began to talk differently. I began to live differently. And even though I was convinced I was different, those who knew me saw the difference as well. My family witnessed the change. My friends witnessed that I was different. I lost most of my friends because I was different from before. I was different from the world. The loss was a blessing however, as the friends I made were now different! The flow of my life was different from the world. Keyword (again), different.

What I see is a Christian world full of Christians who are coerced by the world to live like the world, not different from the world. For example, in our culture we are addicted to entertainment. Entertainment in itself is not bad. It's the addiction that concerns me. A Christian life addicted to entertainment is numb to real world needs, and to the Spirit of God.To be addicted to entertainment is to be addicted to self. (Do you still love me?)

What I don't see are generations being raised up to be sold out to Jesus Christ. Instead, Christian parents are allowing their children to be raised on Netflix, DVDs, Nickelodion, Disney, video games, and movies. What I don't see are Christian parents who require their children (from a very early age) to read, study, memorize, and quote the Scripture. To be sold out to Jesus is to be different. Being different will change the world...one life at a time.

Listen to Jesus. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 9:23) The only way we can follow after Jesus is to deny self. In order to follow Jesus we must be different. Believe me, one who denies self is different from one who lives for the world (and self). Jesus has done His part. He came and bore ALL of our sins. He came and removed our guilt. When we truly choose to surrender our lives to Him we become new creatures in Him. Our part is to embrace the difference, and follow hard after Him. It is impossible to change the world if we live for the world.

When Jesus came, He was different. The way He came was different. His life was different. He didn't conform to the standards of religion and legalism. He was just different. He was different because He was from another world, not this one. The truth is, if you are born again of the Spirit of God...you are different. You will know you are different. But it is your responsibility to embrace the difference. God's power is in the difference, not in the similarities to the world. Jesus went against the current of this world. But He changed the world. That is what He called you and me to do. Be different. And through our being different His power changes the world.

CD58791: Revealing Jesus, CD/DVD Revealing Jesus, CD/DVD
By Darlene Zschech / Integrity Music

From the original songwriter of dozens of today's most performed songs comes a live worship project that seeks to make Christ known to all! Featuring guest appearances from Michael W. Smith, Kari Jobe, Israel Houghton and others, Revealing Jesus includes "God Is Here," "All That We Are," "Best for Me," "Victor's Crown," and more. CD/DVD edition includes audio and video of the performance, captured at the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama.

CD77395: Tides Tides
By Bethel Music / Bethel Music

Led by Brian and Jenn Johnson, Redding, California's Bethel Music offers their first studio recording, a captivating thirteen song set of powerful worship originals. Tides adds rich layers of electronics to their lush organic instrumentation on a blend of ballads and mid-tempo tracks, including "Breaking Through," "Come Awaken Love," "Ascend," and more.

The Beauty Of Today - Did You Miss It?

I am what you would call a morning person. I always have been. Most of the time it doesn't matter what time I go to bed, I still wake up at about the same time...early! My Dad used to say when I was a kid I was like a vampire. At a certain time every evening (usually not too late) I would shut down almost instantly. Then next morning I would pop out of a deep sleep, abruptly open my eyes, and hop out of bed with a bright smile. Well, things run just a bit slower now, but I still enjoy the freshness of a brand new morning. I love it when the dew is still on the ground. I love waking up just in time to awaken the dawn, as David writes in the Psalms. "Sleeping in" for me is mostly not an option, or it means sleeping until just after the sun rises. Knowing the day has begun motivates me to get out of bed before I miss too much of it!

I have learned over the years of being an early riser to appreciate each day thoroughly.  I am at an age now (not over the hill but no longer at the bottom looking up) that each day has more value than when I was younger. At some point in my middle-aged years I realized the day that just ended was gone forever! Each day passes like a grain of sand that falls through the hour glass. When it passes...it is through...and there are only so many left.  Our life is like that.  Today will never come again. Yesterday is gone. We can definitely prepare for tomorrow, but when tomorrow becomes today we must make the most of it.

What can I do today that will impact tomorrow in a positive way? What can I give my children today they will remember for the rest of their lives? Is arguing with those I love so important that I'm willing to purchase it with time I'll never get back? Ephesians 4: 26 says, "Be angry, and yet do not sin; so do not let the sun go down on your anger." I know now Paul was not only encouraging us NOT to give an opportunity to the devil. He was also telling us that when the sun goes down the day has ended. And that day, spent in anger toward someone, is gone forever.

Most of us look at the end of our natural lives as final. However, even from a natural perspective what we do today has an effect on people long after we are gone. In addition, what we do today has an incredible eternal effect on ourselves! That's why Paul writes that we should "redeem the time because the days are evil". It's quite easy to get involved in evil that has negative effects on our families and ourselves. But that evil also has an effect on us eternally.  It takes a firm commitment to Jesus, and an appreciation of today's breath of life to redeem our time.  

Finally let me encourage you to take a break. Stop...take a deep breath. Look around at the day happening around you. Slow time down a bit by enjoying the beauty of the day. Let me emphasize once again that every second that passes by is gone forever, and you've only got so many left.


768780: The Pursuit of God The Pursuit of God
By A.W. Tozer

Do you hunger for a vibrant spiritual life? Join Tozer in his passionate search for God! Offering relevant, time-tested insights, he encourages you to seek a personal relationship with your heavenly Father with single-mindedness, clarity, and commitment. His powerful reflections are complemented by devotional thoughts from Charles Swindoll, Britt Merrick, and others. 192 pages, softcover from Regal.

The Israel-Arab conflict

Please take the 7 minutes to view this video. It explains the conflict between Israel and Palestine as it exists today. While this video touches more on modern history, modern history is the result of what started way back in Biblical times. 

The mainstream news media reports Middle East events as if Israel is the bad one. Yes, war is never a good thing, and sadly innocent people die. But sometimes war is necessary. This video explains why Israel must defend herself against those who have always wanted to destroy her. Add to that the truth that the nation of Israel is God's chosen people. When all is said and done, God will fulfill His promised, glorious destiny for Israel. I am glad to be a friend of Israel!

Please share this post if you will. Thanks!  



63799: The Battle for Jerusalem

The Battle for Jerusalem

By John Hagee

In the infancy of the twenty-first century, Americans struggle to respond to the violent terrorists attacks that invaded our shores on September 11,2001. Citizens of the most powerful country on earth watched in horrified astonishment as a handful of men brought the Untied State to its knees. Wall Street quaked, national air traffic grounded to a halt, and normal life ceased to exist. To understand causes behind these events, we must look at the ancient and contemporary conflicts between Arabs and Jews. In this updated version of The Battle for Jerusalem, John Hagee explores the powerful significance of the Temple Mount, a thirty-five acre parcel that is the most fiercely contested real estate on earth. In clear terms Hagee also explains how the situation in Israel will continue to affect global politics, America's energy supply, and the world economy. Terrorists are motivated by more than political and economic reasons. They are also motivated by their extreme religious beliefs, and the repercussions of the strife between good and evil will continue to reverberate across the planet. Make no mistake--the significance of the ancient city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount will never diminish. These two names will become more frequent in the world media as God reveals His plan for the ages, which unfolds in the battle for Jerusalem

205288: Dateline Jerusalem: An Eyewitness Account of Prophecies Unfolding in the Middle East Dateline Jerusalem: An Eyewitness Account of Prophecies Unfolding in the Middle East
By Chris Mitchell

History's final chapter will be written in Jerusalem.

When an Iranian president thunders a murderous threat or an obscure Turkish drunkard has a dream in Mecca or a Jewish couple from Brooklyn lands at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, these events might seem disconnected. But they're not. In Dateline Jerusalem, CBN News correspondent Chris Mitchell connects the dots and unveils Jerusalem as the epicenter and crossroads of the spiritual, political, and, yes, supernatural worlds.

For thousands of years, Jerusalem's powerful draw has always transcended simple economics, military strategy, and religious affiliation.

In our own time, as the Arab Spring threatens to become an Islamic Winter, one commentator warns: "The Arab Spring doesn't lead to democracy, it leads to Jerusalem." Indeed, the fragile peace of Israel is in new peril as violent Islamic factions vie for control of surrounding nations. Yet Muslims are converting to Christianity in record numbers. Dateline Jerusalem untangles and chronicles all this through the riveting narrative of a Christian reporter in the upheaval of the modern Fertile Crescent.

We live in a world where we cannot afford to be ill informed. What happens in the strategic Middle East, Israel, and Jerusalem is critical. It matters to you. Today's news might focus on Washington, New York, London, or Moscow, but history's final chapter will be written in Jerusalem.