Sunday, July 5, 2009

Freedom and Fire Works

2 Corinthians 3:17 (KJV) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

There is supernatural connection between the appreciation that Americans have FOR God and the freedom we enjoy FROM God. Although it is certainly not "politically correct" to acknowledge this fact, it is true nevertheless.

President George Washington stated it this way in a prayer he prayed for our great nation:

“Almighty God: We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the heads of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, and entertain a brother-affection and love for one another and for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large.

“And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion and with a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can ever hope to be a happy nation.

“Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”

De Tocqueville of France, well over a hundred years ago, visited America. Upon his return home he wrote: “I sought for the greatness of America in her harbors and rivers and fertile fields, and her mines and commerce. It was not there. Not until I went into the churches and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the greatness of her power. America is great because she is good; and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

We need pulpits in our nation that still declare the whole counsel of God. We need churches that still seek the demonstration of God’s spirit, that sets men free from the carnal concepts that enslave individuals and even entire countries.

We need a new revelation of the freedom and the fire of the Holy Ghost. We all need to experience a fresh wave of God’s presence that renews our desire for holiness. We need more than just a form of godliness wedged into a busy holiday weekend. We need a great awakening in every sanctuary across our land.

Freedom and Fire Works! Find a church where the Holy Spirit is given free access to the hearts of men and women; Find a church where the desire for God is so intense, that the fire of the Holy Ghost transforms the lives of the entire congregation. Find a church like that and let your hunger and thirst for Jesus Christ awaken in you a whole new appreciation for life, liberty, and the pursuit of spiritual joy. Then you will discover the supernatural connection between our God and our land.

Luke 3:16 (KJV) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

God and His Crazy Commands

1 Kings 17:8 - 9 (KJV) 8And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

What’s a girl to do? Her husband is dead. There is a severe drought in the land. Apparently there is not much food left to provide for her and her son. Perhaps this is what led the widow woman at Zaraphath to call on the Lord. We don’t know much about what she said to God, but we see clearly what God said to her: God commanded her to provide for the prophet.

Certainly God can be trusted, but who can fault the widow woman from doubting her answer from heaven? We don’t know how much time had passed; but from the time God spoke until the time the Prophet Elijah showed up at her house, she had reevaluated her options. No offence God, but I think I’m going to do it my way this time.

1 Kings 17:10 - 12 (KJV) 10So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

It is noteworthy that her solution outside of God’s command did not buy her much time. Even though God’s idea was outrageous, her own plans were incredibly limited under the circumstances. It is also significant to me that the prophet only asked her to follow through on the instructions she had already received from the Lord.

If you fast-forward to the end of the story you discover that God’s command was right on the mark (as usual). No matter how crazy it sounded, obeying God was the best option in spite of the circumstances.

Wow! Some things don’t change. Some people still balk at the crazy commands we find in God’s word. However, God doesn’t change. His ways still work regardless of the uncertainties we face in our generation.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 - 14 (KJV) 13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Maturity Trumps Therapy

Ephesians 4:14 - 15 (KJV) 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Our generation seems intoxicated with psychobabble. Sometimes therapy is the key to healing and restoration. However, there are times when the honesty we need is exchanged for the excuse we prefer. Don’t help me BE good, just help me FEEL good! Somewhere, somehow, somebody needs to tell the truth.

In the early days after my children arrived on this planet I did not place much value on their maturity. In fact as they grew enough to make certain sounds, I would imitate their attempts at speech. I was trying to sound like them; all the while they were trying to sound like me. They would giggle and I would enjoy making them feel good.

As they have grown even a few years older (Abigail is 5, Harrison is 2), I have become less of a mimic and more of a mentor. Therefore they have discovered that “goo-goo gaga” doesn’t get them very far. Even Harrison is already using words that make it clear he knows what he wants (and he wants what he wants – exactly when he wants it).

Baby believers need healthy relationships with believers that are not babies! Someone needs to model maturity for the children of God that are new to the body of Christ. Someone needs to feel responsible (even accountable) for the spiritual growth of spiritual babies. We cannot copy the “conversation” of the newly converted while they are desperate to discover the lifestyle of true disciples.

Maturity is NOT the enemy. Putting away “childish things” definitely has its advantages. Thank God for the parents, pastors, and people that are passionate about helping others GROW. Babies are absolutely adorable; but there is nothing cute about an adult acting like a child.

Thank you Jesus for putting people in my life that have helped me mature. Not that I am everything I want to be (or even need to be), but thank God I am not what I have been. I urge you to honor the people that God has put in your life that help you grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

There are times when the admonition of those that love us might sting a little bit. “Goo-goo gaga” doesn’t provoke my children near as much as the clear sound of correction. However, maturity has its privileges. I appreciate the wonder of being born again. However, I yearn for more than new birth, I want new life. I want Christ to be formed in me. I long for maturity.

Galatians 4:19 (KJV) 19My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Homesick For Heaven

Matthew 4:17 (KJV) 17From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Recently I spent eight days away from my family. I was horribly homesick. I had forgotten to travel with my favorite pillow. I neglected to bring my favorite stuffed teddy bear. I didn’t even have my Superman pajamas. You can’t believe how huge the “S” is on my big belly!

Did I mention my glow in the dark turtle? Light emanates from its shell so that the moon and the stars dance upon the ceiling all night long. I never have to sleep in the dark! But alas, my turtle was nowhere to be found. I think my two year old Harrison hid it from me, so that I wouldn’t take it on my trip. After all, it does belong to him.

When I travel, I am often homesick for my home and family in North Carolina. However, I am always homesick for my home in Heaven. No tears, no sickness, no pain, no heart-ache. The scriptures assure us of a place where “the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

That’s what I’m talking about! HEAVEN – I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Somehow it just seems like it won’t be long until we’ll be going home to be with Jesus. One song writer described it this way:

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see
When I look upon His face, the one who saved me by His grace
When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the promise land
What a day, glorious day, that will be

When Jesus ministered to people He did not automatically transport them to Heaven. However, after their repentance, He routinely brought heaven to them. He healed the sick, He cast out devils, He gave joy for sorrow and peace to replace their pain.

I am looking forward to going to heaven. But I am grateful that Heaven is available to me today. Through repentance and a passion for His presence, I can have a little heaven right here on earth.

Psalms 16:11 (KJV) 11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Acts 3:19 (KJV) 19Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Power Of A True Friend

2 Samuel 13:1 - 3 (NLT) 1Now David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her. 2Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill. She was a virgin, and Amnon thought he could never have her. 3But Amnon had a very crafty friend—his cousin Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimea.

It is unlikely that I would ever have a blog entry with such a lurid account of someone’s private life, were it not for the fact that these details are enumerated in the Bible.

The story of Amnon reveals to all of us the influence of a “false friend.” If you take time to read the rest of the story (2 Samuel 13), you will discover the tragic consequences that unfolded in the life of Amnon. His demise can be attributed to the treachery of Jonadab whom Amnon evidently considered a true friend.

When it comes to finding a true friend, many people value secrecy over honesty. The coworker that you confide in regarding your ongoing affair with another man’s wife must be your true friend. The classmate that would never tell your parents about your addiction to pornography must be your true friend. After all they keep your secrets. In some cases they provide the “therapy” that helps you survive the lie you are living.

How can a true friend not value what is true? How can a true friend’s love for you be trusted, if their lack of integrity undermines the nature of true love?

1 Corinthians 13:4 - 6 (KJV) 4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Your buddy that helps you justify your ungodly fantasies is not your true friend.
Your partner that “talks trash” about purity and morality is not your true friend.

Your soul mate that undermines your appreciation for what is right before God is not your true friend. That one that influences you to hate the truth you use to love, that person is not a true friend.

Jesus went to Calvary to prove that he is a true friend to sinners. But in accepting his sacrifice for our sins we are forced to acknowledge our sins. What kind of true friend would not allow us to hide our sins? What kind of true friend would not join us in excusing our sins?

Perhaps the kind of TRUE FRIEND that would die for our sins; the kind of true friend that now lives to give us His Holy Ghost power to overcome our sins.

John 15:13 - 14 (KJV) 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Thanks To Pastor Darrell Johns

Psalms 90:12 (KJV) 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Pastor Darrell Johns has a strong background in youth and family ministry. Clear and understandable biblical teaching is a hallmark of his ministry. His ministerial background includes 17 years in youth and family ministry, and leadership training.

He served as a pastoral staff member at the First Pentecostal Church in Jackson, Mississippi from 1978 - 1988. During this time, he also served as a Bible college instructor and from 1986 - 1988, as Administrator of Jackson College of Ministries. Many readers of this blog will remember his years of excellent service to the General Youth Division of the United Pentecostal Church International, including his tenure as the General Youth President.

Since September of 1995 he has served as Pastor of the Atlanta West Pentecostal Church ( in Lithia Springs, Georgia. Apart from all the accolades that I could mention regarding his revival church and his contribution to the work of God around the world, there is one thing that stands out in my memory when I consider my gratitude for his impact on my life:

Pastor Johns has always had time…
to encourage and inspire others (including me). I can recall numerous occasions when he took the time to “speak into my life” with insight that always provoked me to pursue excellence in my service to Jesus Christ.

At some point in the early 1990’s Pastor Johns recommended that I read “Ordering Your Private World”, by Gordon MacDonald. Ironically one of the subjects that is handled masterfully by MacDonald in this book is time management. Please forgive me Pastor Johns; just this week I found the time to read this book. You were right as usual, what an awesome and insightful reading.

My delay in responding to the aforementioned recommendation was not due to disregard for the wisdom and instruction that I have grown to cherish from my dear friend. In fact on numerous occasions I have purchased this book for others I wanted to impact in a positive manner.

Almost twenty years have come and gone and my recent reading has revealed one of the greatest qualities that I have observed often in Rev. Darrell Johns: He has succeeded in making the most of the minutes, hours and days that have past since he first started influencing my life. Today I am especially inspired by his example and I wanted him and YOU to know it.

Recently I ran into Rev. Darrell Johns in the lobby of the Hampton Inn on Dunn Road in Hazelwood, Missouri. After a brief discussion with Pastor Johns, I was NOT surprised in the least that he was up late (as usual) redeeming the time. He was helping his youngest son Justin with a College paper that was soon due.

After my own “overdue assignment” and after observing the life of Darrell Johns through the years, I am reminded that greatness doesn’t happen by accident. Great men, great families, and great churches are intentional. They are testament to the passionate pursuit of godly priorities. Similar to the priorities I have read about, not just in books, but in the lives of people like Darrell Johns.

Ephesians 5:15 - 17 (KJV) 15See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Miss The One I Love

Romans 5:8(KJV) 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God is love! That ought to frost your flakes; that ought to honk your horn; that ought to butter your bread; that ought to mow your lawn… God is LOVE! It just doesn’t get any better than that.

John 3:16 (KJV) 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Recently I have thought to compare the love God has for the world with the love God has for His church. I have concluded that God is love. No matter what - God loves me, God loves you, God loves everyone. However, there is something about God’s love for His church that is noteworthy.

Ephesians 5:25, 31-32 (KJV) 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it… 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

I have been traveling in Scotland and I’ve been away from my family and friends for about one week. I cannot wait to see my loved-ones. However, my desire to see my wife surpasses my affection for any other person that I am missing while I am away.

Perhaps there is something about the relationship that Jesus has with His bride (the church) that is significant. It’s not that God loves the world less than He loves His church. It’s just that those that have become a part of His church (His Bride) enjoy a sacred connection with Him.

1 John 2:15 (KJV) 15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

How does God’s love for the Church compare with God’s love for the world? It is not the amount of love God gives; it is the amount of love we are able to receive.

I miss the one I love and it’s only been one week. How long has Jesus been missing you?

1 John 3:1(KJV) 1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Visit With John Knox

James 5:16 (KJV) 16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

This week I have the privilege of visiting the students at Harvest Bible College in Glasgow, Scotland ( I am so grateful for the wonderful hospitality of President Robert Kelley and all of the staff and students here at the college. It is obvious that this college is strategically equipped to prepare men and women for the revival that is promised for our generation. The personnel that are instrumental in making this college such a success should be commended for their intense vision. The exceptional student body is poised to be a great blessing to the harvest field in Europe and the regions beyond.

Not far from Glasgow, in Edinburgh, Scotland is a tourist site known as the John Knox house. John Knox (1505-1572) is remembered by many as the leader of the Scottish Reformation and the founder of the Presbyterian Church. He is thought to have died in the house in 1572.

In the winter of 1834, the great revivalist Charles Finney spoke about John Knox in his Lectures On Revival. Here is what he had to say:

John Knox was a man famous for his power in prayer, so that bloody Queen Mary used to say she feared his prayers more than all the armies of Europe. And events showed that she had reason to do it. He used to be in such an agony for the deliverance of his country that he could not sleep.

He had a place in his garden where he used to go to pray. One night he and several friends were praying together, and as they prayed, Knox spoke and said that deliverance had come. He could not tell what had happened, but he felt that something had taken place, for God had heard their prayers. What was it? Why the next news they had was, that Mary was dead!

I don’t know a lot about John Knox. However, I am admittedly intrigued by a man that could pray with such persistence and passion for a country in need of deliverance. Many who read this blog entry live in countries that are desperate for a demonstration of the power of God. May we all summon the courage and the conviction to pray with the kind of effectual fervency that will usher in the next “Great Awakening.” Indeed every urban jungle and every country village across this planet is ripe for the revelation of the name of Jesus Christ, and the redemptive power of His cross.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) 14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This Is Our Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV) 1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

This morning I received this startling email in BIG, BOLD, COLORFUL PRINT:

04:05:06 07-08-09


It reminds me of the numbing effect of the steady march of time through our lives. It is so easy to be lulled to sleep by the sense that the way things are is the way they will always be; over and over, and over; tic tock, tic tock, ad nauseam.

Meanwhile something can happen in the midst of the monotony that is unprecedented in our generation. Something already scheduled on God’s Day-timer; something that may not happen again for a long, long time.

Not far from where I live in North Carolina, a divine appointment took place in August of 1801. William Whitaker writes about it in the historical record entitled, “Centennial History of Alamance County”. Here is a brief excerpt:

A large crowd of people gathered at Cross Roads on an August Sunday in 1801 for the annual communion services, and since the village could not accommodate all of them, a number of families camped in their wagons. It was a warm day, and they sat restlessly while Reverend Paisley and a number of other ministers preached to them. As the meeting drew to an end with little sign of success, the country preacher rose to dismiss the congregation, but he could find no words to say to them.

Just at that moment, however, a member of the congregation rose slowly from his seat, and a profound silence descended over the meeting. His voice was simple and quiet. "Stand still!" he said. "Stand still-and see the salvation of God!" A wave of emotion swept over the people like an electric shock. Many sprang from their seats, and sobs and moans rose from every part of the little church. A miracle had been wrought. The excitement continued for the rest of the day. The congregation sang and prayed and gave thanks for the new spirit which had suddenly come to them. It was midnight before they finally departed for their homes.

A month later, Reverend Paisley held a service at Hawfields, and hundreds came to hear him preach. For five days the services continued, and the effect has seldomly been equalled. A current of religious fervor spread throughout the State. Through some tremendous miracle, the little church at Cross Roads had shaken the great world beyond it.

God has a purpose for our time.

Something is about to happen in our time that will be absolutely startling. A fervor for Jesus Christ will be ignited that will literally blaze a fire of Apostolic revival around the world. Thousands, even hundreds of thousands will seek to be baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost, as evidenced by speaking with other tongues.

This is our time to pray and prepare for God’s purpose for our time.

Acts 2:17 - 18 (KJV) 17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Son, the Sun Jumper

Philippians 4:13 (KJV) 13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance (1920’s – 1930’s). She lived in the Early 1900’s. She said this about her mom:

Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity - to 'jump at de sun.'
We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground."

There is something about being truly loved that motivates us to reach for great heights in this life. I know I have been surrounded by many (my mom, my pastor, my brother, my wife, my church family and several close friends) that have always encouraged me to try harder and climb higher. They have never ridiculed me for falling short, but they have always inspired me to “get off the ground.”

Today my son Harrison is 2 years old. I pray sincerely that I will always motivate him to “jump at de sun.” Actually my greatest desire is that he would grow to “jump at THE SON.” If I can inspire him to reach up to Jesus in EVERYTHING he becomes then he will be greatly blessed, even though there will be occasional falls.

I honor Jesus Christ today. He has always given me mercy to get up when I fall down; He has always given me hope to reach higher everyday. With His love we all can leap through life.

Makes me want to PARTY with my favorite 2 year old.

Happy Birthday my son.

Proverbs 23:24-25 24The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. 25Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Runaway Rabbits

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Margaret Wise Brown wrote a children’s book entitled, “The Runaway Bunny”. It describes a mother’s persistent and ever-pursuing love towards her child. It is a story about a bunny who wanted to run away from his mother. Here are some excerpts from the story:

Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away. So he said to his mother, “I am running away.” “If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”

“If you run after me,” said the little bunny, “I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.” “If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother, “I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”...

…“If you become a little boy and run into a house,” said the mother bunny, “I will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you.” “Shucks,” said the bunny, “I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.”

And so he did. “Have a carrot,” said the mother bunny.

Moms are famous for “keeping after” their children. My mom never hesitated to “show me the way more perfectly.” Sometimes it took a belt or a paddle, but she was determined not to let me slip away in the wrong direction. I am sure there were times I wanted to run away. Probably some times I misunderstood her insistence that I obey. But looking back, I am sure it was love that made it her mission to keep me on the right road.

Nobody loves us like Jesus. In love He calls us to keep His commandments. Nothing brings Him greater joy than to know that His children walk in truth. The reality is - nothing brings us greater joy than walking in obedience to his word.

When we stray, His grace and mercy prompts us to experience conviction when we have wandered from His will. It’s not His disdain, but His devotion that causes Him to reach for us when we are tempted to run away.

When humanity had run away, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” He stretched out His arms on the Cross to welcome us back to Him. Daily He wants to take us by the hand and lead us through this life, celebrating the joy that comes from trusting and obeying Him.

John 15:10 - 11 (KJV) 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Unrelenting Love

Isaiah 49:15 (NLT) 15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!

The love of a mom (especially mine) seems so unstoppable, so unwavering… so unrelenting.

Helen Steiner Rice wrote a well know poem about momma’s unrelenting love. I include the first four lines in this blog entry as a tribute to all moms everywhere, especially mine.

A Mother's Love

A Mother's love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away . . .

When God searched for a way to reveal to His children His unrelenting love, He compared His love for Zion with a mother’s love for her child. Not only does this reveal the high regard that God has for moms, it also indicates His unswerving, unmerited… unrelenting love for you and I.

It can never be overstated: “Jesus LOVES you!”

You can do nothing to make Him love you more. You can do nothing to make Him love you less. Jesus loves you with unrelenting love.

I am on a mission this Mother’s Day to get a message to somebody somewhere. God’s love for you is unrelenting love. You may have “a face only a mother could love”, or you may think even your own mom couldn’t still love you; but JESUS LOVES YOU no matter what! He loves you with unrelenting love.

Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “Youth fades, love droops, the leaves of friendship fall, A mother's secret hope outlives them all.” His words denote the high regard that many of us have for our mom’s and their unrelenting love.

However, sometimes Mom’s love is not enough. Although scriptures celebrate the strength of human love, many passages underscore the weakness of human love. Sometimes we need a love that surpasses the unmitigated love of mom. We need God’s unconditional, unbridled… unrelenting love.

Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine… 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 …shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Introducing Aslam Malik

3 John 1:5 - 6 (NLT) 5Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.

Aslam Malik went to Canada in 1992 from Pakistan. Both he and his wife Toy, from Oshawa Ontario, are Bible College graduates of Apostolic Missionary Institute. In 2005- 2006 the Malik’s served a one year AIM assignment in Sri Lanka under missionary Prince Mathiasz.

While in Sri Lanka, they were involved in many aspects of missionary work. They were active in preaching, teaching in the Bible school, Sunday school, office work, teaching computer skills and English. Aslam and Toy were also involved in the Tsunami disaster relief, outreach, home Bible studies, house prayer meetings, counseling, youth and evangelism. Thirty-seven people were baptized during their brief and busy stay in Sri Lanka.

The Malik’s were appointed missionaries of the United Pentecostal Church International to Pakistan in September 2007. They are excited about the future God has for them in the land of their calling. They seek to remain active in Bible College ministry as well as teaching, evangelizing and working with other missionaries serving in that region.

Recently I was able to enjoy a visit with The Malik Family as they traveled through North Carolina seeking to gain prayer and financial support for their efforts in Pakistan. I was deeply moved by their passion to be a blessing to a nation that is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

Aslam and Toy have two wonderful children. Isaiah is 9 and Tiara is 6 years old. They both are very friendly and it was delightful to spend time with them. They share their parent’s love for Pakistan and are eager to leave the comforts and safety of North America, for the uncertainty and unrest that often characterizes the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

During their quick trip through North Carolina the Malik Family was greatly blessed by twenty pastors and churches that joined them as Partners in Missions for Pakistan. I honor the great fellowship of the North Carolina District of the United Pentecostal Church International, whose vision extends beyond our borders and reaches around the world.

I give honor to Aslam and Toy Malik for their service and sacrifice for the kingdom of God. While in North Carolina they ministered in several churches and saw a number of people filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus Name. They also received word from a local pastor of at least one notable miracle that took place during one of their services. We appreciate their ministry throughout North America as they travel and promote missions. Above all, we are grateful for their sincere desire to be a blessing to the 172 million people of Pakistan.

3 John 1:7 - 8 (NLT) 7For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.

One Partner In Missions of $50 per month will help reach approximately 15 individuals per month in Pakistan. If you would like more information about Missions, or if you would like to partner with the Malik family, please visit

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why Are All These People Drunk?

Acts 2:12 - 13 (KJV) 12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

This week marks the 40th Anniversary of the North Carolina District of the United Pentecostal Church International. The North Carolina District Conference is in session in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Temple of Pentecost (Pastor Wayne Huntley).

Wednesday night was a wonderful service highlighted by the anointed ministry of the musicians and singers that are a part of the Temple of Pentecost (T.O.P.) Choir. It is worth noting that everyone at the “T.O.P.” is clearly committed to giving God glory in everything they do. It was obvious that many individuals from the church were working very diligently to make tonight a memorable evening for all the saints and especially the ministers from across the state that were in attendance this evening.

Anyway… about that choir! There were several times during the service when waves of worship swept across the entire congregation. The atmosphere during one song in particular could have easily fit the description of the believers we read about in Acts 2. In Raleigh, just like in Jerusalem the Holy Ghost was being poured out and people were acting more than a little drunk tonight (spiritually speaking of course).

It reminds me of something Rev. David Elms mentioned in his message tonight (Giving God What He Wants). Of course the message was very timely and very powerful in many ways. However, his thought about the “drinking” in Acts 2 is especially significant.

Luke 24:46 - 49 (KJV) 46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48And ye are witnesses of these things. 49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Without question the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus points us to the promise of the Father that was given on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts 2).

Acts 2:1 - 4 (KJV) 1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Pastor Elms made the following observation in his message: Of all the ways that God could give His spirit to His people, he did it in such a spectacular manner that the onlookers supposed that these new spirit-filled believers were drunk.

Perhaps it is an indication that Jesus never intended for his people to remain unmoved by the outpouring of His spirit. Perhaps believers filled with “new wine” should still act drunk when they experience the power of God like the original believers did at Pentecost. Perhaps the cure for powerless and passionless Christianity is a fresh overdose of the Holy Ghost!

Acts 2:14 - 18 (KJV) 14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Shall We Do?

Acts 2:37 - 38 (KJV) 37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Recently I had a wonderfully refreshing visit with a good friend. His name is Bill Hobson and he pastors a great church in Longwood (Orlando), Florida. Our conversation was born out of a powerful message I heard him preach. In our discussion together, Bill spoke passionately about the need for post-modern preaching to illicit the same response as the preaching we read about in the Bible.

Certainly the Book of Acts in particular gives ample evidence that the “first church” understood the need to “preach for response.” Numerous instances in scripture provide clear direction for preachers in our generation that seek to follow the example of the early apostles. Apparently they preached Jesus, fully expecting lives to be changed by the power of God.

The Apostles did not give talks designed to placate the carnal desires of listeners with no hunger for transformation. They preached with an agenda determined to call the crowd to repentance and adherence to God’s plan through Holy Ghost power.

Perhaps preachers should often revisit the history of the early church as recorded in the Book of Acts. This may insulate us from the pressure of our age to “dumb down” Christianity. Audiences today must be compelled to turn from sin and pursue faith that is demonstrated by obedience to the Word of God.

I honor Pastor Hobson and young preachers like him with a passion for “old time religion” just like we read about in the New Testament. Thanks for preaching that still motivates the masses to ask the critical question, “What shall we do?”

Acts 2:39 - 41 (KJV) 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

The following pictures were taken on Sunday and Monday of this week. They are beautiful images that remind us of the joy that comes when believers are encouraged to respond to “old fashion” Bible preaching!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No Substitute Preacher

1 Corinthians 2:1 - 5 (KJV) 1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified…

… 4And my speech and my PREACHING was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

In Acts 17, Paul is in Athens trying to preach to people that seem more interested in discussing theories, then listening to preaching.

Acts 17:21 (KJV) 21(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

Acts 17:32 - 33 (KJV) 32And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33So Paul departed from among them.

Even the great Apostle Paul could not fully impact people that were more eager to talk then they were to listen. He departed from Athens and in Acts 18 we see him ministering in Corinth. It seems that he adjusted his approach with the Corinthians based on his experience with the Athenians.

Acts 18:1, 4 (KJV) 1After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth… 4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Basically Paul went to preaching! Perhaps like the people Paul encountered in Athens, our generation prefers therapy over transformation. Many would rather hear themselves talk then endure preaching. However, preaching STILL changes lives. We can never fix with talking what can only be changed by preaching.

Obviously God was pleased with the Apostle Paul’s preference for preaching. Here is what the Lord said to Paul in Acts 18:

Acts 18:8 - 10 (KJV) 8…and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. 9Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: 10For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

God’s WORD for Corinth came through PREACHING.
God’s WORD for YOU will come through PREACHING.
Don’t miss church on Sunday because there is NO substitute for PREACHING.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

James 1:23 - 24 (KJV) 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall; who’s the fairest of them all?

Mirror, Mirror as I read; help me see the change I need!

Sometimes we forget the powerful purpose of the Word of God. When we look at ourselves through our study of the Bible, we see what God sees when He looks at us. I appreciate the daily look in the “mirror” of scripture. I don’t want to face the world without a daily “spiritual” makeover.

The preacher in our life is a great blessing. Occasionally we have a tendency to ignore the areas of our “spiritual look” that need adjusting. We look at ourselves and forget what changes we need Jesus Christ to make in us. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we've got "the look." However, when we have a preacher in our life, things are revealed through the Word of God that help us focus clearly on becoming more like Jesus.

Preach to me preacher. I don’t want to look in the mirror of the Bible and deceive myself. Give me the Word that challenges and changes me. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. Show me what I need to walk in the will of God everyday.

We are living in a generation when some no longer want to listen to sound and wholesome instruction from the preacher. People want to follow their own desires and they look for preachers that tell them what they want to hear.

Many forsake truth and chase fantasies. They want a “word” that says, “I’m the fairest of them all.” I want a word that transforms me. I crave preaching that provokes me to see what God sees; not just His grace that forgives me, but His truth that frees me.

2 Timothy 4:1 - 4 (KJV) 1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Please Protect Your Preacher

Romans 10:13 - 14 (KJV) 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Our generation often underestimates the value of the preacher. Perhaps because preachers are human, perhaps because preachers make mistakes, perhaps because some preachers fail - many people fail to appreciate the purpose of preaching in God’s grand design for New Testament Christians.

Of course our lack of appreciation for preaching does nothing to change the high regard that God has for the role of the preacher in His plan for His people.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV) 18For the PREACHING of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:21 (KJV) 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of PREACHING to save them that believe.

Take time today to pray for your preacher. Pray that he always remain passionate about preaching the Word of God without fear and without favor. Pray also for your own passion for your preacher. People that diminish their desire for preaching eventually loose their love for truth.

Your preacher provides the accountability that protects you from self-deception, so please protect your preacher. If you maintain a proper respect for preaching and an appropriate relationship with your preacher, you will have access to timely direction from God that will keep your steps ordered by the Word of the Lord.

Titus 1:2 - 4 (KJV) 2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised BEFORE the world began; 3But hath in due times (AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME) manifested his word through PREACHING, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here Comes The Church

Matthew 16:18 (KJV) 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The Church of the living God is advancing in these last days. While some report the decline and demise of traditional Christianity, believers around the world are absolutely pumped about the rise and revival of the church.

Every local congregation should acknowledge that the forces of spiritual wickedness and the agenda of the darkness of this world system cannot stop the unrelenting march of the church.

Here are some individual testimonies that bring me great joy about the progress of the church:

Jennifer wrote: I am writing to give you some news about what's going on with me. Since last Wednesday night, when I told you that I prayed that I might be a soul winner, in 2 days I have taught 3 Bible studies and everyone I taught wants to come to church with me.

God just opened these doors so easily for me and these people are just so hungry for more of the Lord. They are discovering things in the Bible as I teach that they never knew before. I am just really excited to see how these doors just opened so easily and I wanted to share this news with you.

Tony and Tina sent this note: It is really amazing to see what God is doing. You told us that God would set up opportunities for us and it is unreal what is happening. Tony now has 5 people that want to be baptized in Jesus Name. Recently we have connected with several people that have been away from church for a long time and now they all want to come back to church as soon as possible. Tony helped a lady who was having car trouble the other day and now we believe she is coming to church soon also! Some of our friends who have not been to church that much, are now helping us invite others to church. WOW!

WOW is right. HERE COMES THE CHURCH! There is a spiritual fire that is spreading forth from the Church. It is stirring up an unprecedented hunger for God in the hearts of sincere people that want more of Jesus Christ. This is the GREATEST HOUR for the Church.


Joel 2:28 - 29 (KJV) 28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Believers From Another Planet

1 John 1:7 (KJV) 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There is a place that God has created for human beings to live and thrive. That place is called… THE EARTH (Wow – what a revelation). Occasionally individuals have escaped the surly bonds of earth and have touched the face of God, or at least visited the Space station. However, if they don’t return home soon, we consider them LOST IN SPACE.

There is a place that God has created for Christians to live and thrive. That place is called… THE CHURCH (Wow – what a revelation). Occasionally you will encounter individuals that seek to escape the surly bonds of church and touch the face of God, or at least enjoy some football or NASCAR on Sunday. However, if they don’t return home soon, we consider them LOST IN SPACE.

On this planet it is reasonably clear in scripture that Christianity is NOT a “Lone Ranger Religion.” God intends for us to work together, pray together, serve together, fellowship together, love together, and grow together as part of His church.

Fellowship: Koinonia / Partnership; participation; communion; contribution


Sunday is coming! Let’s get TOGETHER at church.

Romans 5:6 – 8, 19 (KJV) 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward US, in that, while WE were yet sinners, Christ died for US… 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall MANY be made righteous.

Ephesians 2:4 - 7 (KJV) 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved US, 5Even when WE were dead in sins, hath quickened US TOGETHER with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised US up TOGETHER, and made US sit TOGETHER in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward US through Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Calvary Was For The Church

Acts 20:28 (KJV) 28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Some believe that Jesus died for me, myself and mine; so it is not really that important that I invest my life in church. They say, “I believe in Jesus, but I don’t believe in organized religion.” They say, “I love the Lord, but I don’t go to church.”

Brothers and sisters, JESUS DIED for the CHURCH!

Matthew 16:18 (KJV) 18And I say also unto thee, (Jesus speaking) That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The Devil is not a problem for the church. Terrorism is not a problem for the church. Even the economy cannot stop the church. One song writer (Dottie Rambo) said…

I’m talking about the Church in the Book of Revelation
It’s built on the Rock, it’s got a firm foundation
It’s been through the flood and it’s been through the fire
But one of these days, the Church is going to move up higher
It’s the Church triumphant. O Lord and it’s built by the hand of the Lord.

Your church has a destiny that began at Calvary. Your church has been brought to you by the blood of Jesus. Nothing can stop God’s plan for His church.

However, the Apostle Paul warned that one of the greatest danger to the church would be the church:

Acts 20:28-31 (NLT) 28 “…Guard yourselves and God’s people… 29I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. 31Watch out…

Perhaps some of the false teachings that negatively impacts the church comes from people that should be in church encouraging others to follow them out of church. May we never forget that Calvary was for the church.

Because of Calvary and on behalf of grateful believers everywhere, thank you Jesus for the church.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Your Church Is Valuable

Acts 20:28 - 31 (KJV) "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

In our consumer culture the customer is king. Some people choose churches the way they select restaurants. The food is too spicy; the music is too loud; the wait is too long… I don't like the 'service', I don't like church.

However, the church business is not the same as the restaurant business. The church is NOT about having it your way, the church is about having it God's way. After all, the church was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.

The modern American church is VALUABLE for many reasons; perhaps because there is a Starbucks in the lobby, a jungle gym in the nursery, Wii or Xbox in the Youth class and Clay Aiken in the choir. Once a 'church' has been outfitted with the latest and greatest of consumer friendly amenities, than people promote their church (not for its virtue but for its value). "Oh, I love my church! Oh I never miss church."

The world is filled with many C.E.O. believers. These are the ones that come to church on Christmas, Easter, and Other special occasions. This coming Sunday is NOT Easter Sunday, but your church is still a church. Express your appreciation for Calvary through your involvement and investment in your church.

The church is so valuable to Jesus that He gave His life for the church. Perhaps one simple way to please HIM is to give my life (my time, my talent, my treasure) for His church.

Hebrews 10:24 - 25 (NLT) "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jesus Is Coming!

Acts 1:10 - 11 (KJV) "And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."

Easter WAS awesome! Not because of baskets and bunnies but because of the bountiful blessings of Jesus Christ upon the people of God EVERYWHERE.

I have already received MANY wonderful testimonies of lives being changed by the wonderful power of the Holy Ghost this past Easter weekend (here are just a couple):

From Nathan and Tanya Harrod (Spain):
We are thankful for the move of God we had during our Regional Convention here in Barcelona this past weekend. During these weekend services we had 92 people filled with the Holy Ghost for the first time.
From Evangelist Tim Downs (El Dorado, Arkansas):
We defeated the enemy with 108 first time guests and baptized a total of 38 people in Jesus Name!
After the resurrection of Jesus Christ the disciples proceeded to "turn their world upside down" by going into the world and preaching the gospel. The appropriate response to the resurrection is not to gaze into heaven wondering what is going to happen next. God's plan for these last days seems fairly easy to grasp: Resurrection, Revival, and Rapture!

Jesus is coming AGAIN! We have enjoyed the celebration of His Resurrection and now we should labor in the harvest field with uncommon expectation. We WILL experience the greatest revival in the History of the Church in OUR generation; And then… JESUS IS COMING!

1 Thessalonians 4:14 - 18 (KJV) "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him…"


"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Because He Lives

Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

This Sunday many of us will rejoice as we remember the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Calvary is not just history it is a reality! Perhaps the greatest evidence of the power of our risen savior is in the testimony of the lives He is still changing everyday by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Here is April's story:
I was a functional alcoholic for years in the Navy; every afternoon as soon as 'Happy Hour' started, so did I. I would drink one after another, not stopping until I spilled one. That was my cue that I had drank enough that day, because I wouldn't want to waste my alcohol by pouring it on the bar.

I drank as an escape from the severe depression and loneliness I felt. Soon I became suicidal. My depression had become so severe that I wanted to die. I did not want my children to be raised by my abusive spouse so I contemplated murder/suicide, but couldn't bring myself to it.

My mother asked me to a concert at her church. I went just because she wouldn't leave me alone about it. While the singers were singing, God was speaking to my heart. I began to talk to Him, letting Him know that I knew I had made a mess of my life.

I gave my entire mess to Him! He filled me with His Holy Spirit right there on the spot while the concert was still going on. My life has never been the same again! That was over 16 YEARS AGO (January 3, 1993).
This Sunday is Easter Sunday. Don't attend church because it's Sunday or because it's Easter; Attend church BECAUSE HE LIVES.

Jesus lives and because He lives you can have life abundant and everlasting.

This Sunday don't just enjoy the history of Easter, experience the reality of resurrection power. In the songs you sing, in the message you hear, seek to be filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. It will change YOUR LIFE forever, just because He lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives

When the eggs are eaten and the bunnies have bounced - Easter will be history for many, including a lot of Christians.

But because He lives, you and I can live in the reality of the resurrection everyday.

2 Corinthians 5:14 - 15 (NLT) "Either way, Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It Cost To Be Lost

Ok! Cut me some slack; based on my blog entry today and yesterday I am obviously a little too fixated on finances at the moment… but hear me out:

Luke 15:13 - 15 (KJV) "And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want."


Maybe we should think a little bit more about the economic ramifications of being disconnected from our Heavenly Father. The prodigal son was not the last lost boy to blow-off the blessings of living at daddy's house for the illusive enchantments of riotous living.

Recently a friend of mine shared this testimony with me:
I tried to quit smoking for 3 months, but one day, I had to have a cigarette. I went to the store and bought a pack. Even though my family knew I was trying to quit, I knew I couldn't. So I went behind the house, and squatted down behind a barrow trying to hide from everybody.

But when I lid the cigarette and started smoking, I heard Gods voice. It was just as if someone was standing there talking to me. God said, "why are you hiding? I can see you."

Needless to say, I immediately put the cigarette out. This happened on a Friday. That Sunday, I went to church. There was guest preacher. After the first few songs, the preacher said, God told him, "He wanted to deliver someone from nicotine TODAY!" In my heart and mind I knew with out reservations, He was talking to me. I immediately got out of my pew and went up. The preacher laid hands on me, God took the DESIRE away from me and 2 days later I got the Holy Ghost… THAT WAS 18 YEARS AGO!
(Thanks Edith for sharing… YOU GO GIRL)!

One writer of a popular business journal put it this way:
The costs add up: Cigarettes, dry cleaning, and insurance - you can even lose your job. A 40-year-old who quits and puts the savings into a 401(k) could save almost $250,000 by age 70.
I AM NOT condemning people who struggle with addictions. I am just saying it cost too much! The far out journeys, the wasted substance on substances that leave us wasted… IT ALL ADDS UP. Much money could be saved if people could find their way BACK to their "father's house."

It cost to be lost, but it pays to be saved! There is nothing quite as satisfying as a right relationship with Jesus Christ. There is NO HIGH like the MOST HIGH.

If you find this opportunity even remotely enticing check out my blog from yesterday: Now that you know it cost to be lost, you might be glad to discover that the COST was in the CROSS!

John 10:10 - 11 (KJV) "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Cost Was In The Cross

Isa 53:3-5 "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

The cost of being lost is great, but the cost has been covered by the cross.

Rom 6:23
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Col 2:14
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"

John 19:30
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

NT:5055 teleo (tel-eh'-o); from NT:5056; to end, ie. complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt):
There was a time on earth, When in the book of heaven
An old account was standing for sins yet unforgiven
My name was at the top, And many things below
I went unto the keeper, And settled long ago.
Long ago (down on my knees), Long ago (I settled it all)
Yes, the old account was settled long ago (Hallelujah)
And the record's clear today, For He washed my sins away
When the old account was settled long ago.

2 Cor 8:9
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."

Let's celebrate Calvary today and EVERY day.

Let's live as though our lives have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

Welcome to Harold Linder's Blog

Rev. Harold Linder is a graduate of Kent Christian College where he earned his B. A. in Biblical Studies. Upon graduating, he returned home to serve seven years as Youth Pastor of Bethel Pentecostal Church, Long Island, New York (Bishop D.D. Davis, Pastor Doug Davis). While residing in New York he also served six years as the Youth President of the New York Metro District, UPCI.

Bro. Linder's ministry has included missions work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has also traveled extensively throughout North America speaking at revivals, rallies, conventions, and camps. He has ministered at the North American Youth Congress and the North American Youth Workers Convention. He has also served the General Youth Division of the United Pentecostal Church as a member of the Executive Planning Committee.

Pastor Linder currently teaches Youth Ministry as an adjunct instructor at Northeast Christian College in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada. He serves as the Foreign Missions Director of the North Carolina District and he is also a member of the Foreign Missions Board of the United Pentecostal Church International.

Since 2001, Harold Linder has faithfully served as pastor of Heavenview United Pentecostal Church in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He is very blessed to enjoy the capable support of his wife Lisa, their daughter Abigail (born on November 20, 2003), and Harrison (born May 13, 2007).