Monday, March 30, 2009

God's Creation ...

"I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works." ~ Psalm 9:1

Friday, March 20, 2009


Sometime back, I watched, at least part of, the movie ‘Back to the Future’. This isn’t a review of that movie but somehow God used it to speak to me. I am sure most have seen the movie and I think I had seen parts of it before, but this time, one of the last lines spoken by Doc, the scientist, was what hit me, what spoke to me.

The girlfriend of Marty said something about the words on a letter she had received from the future had vanished. Doc told her the future for her hadn’t been written yet and that she and Marty would write their future each day. Such an amazing thought! The future is in each of our hands, at least part of it; we make choices each day that determines our future for years to come.

Each time any of us make a choice we write a line into our life’s book and that choice will dictate our path. I remember struggling with the decision of which college to attend. To me it was a life altering decision but as I look back on that simple decision I realize how it has molded my life and set me on a path. I met a girl at the college I chose, we got married, we had a son, we went our separate ways, and I raised my son. A simple decision about the place to play basketball and to get an education led to the place where I became a husband, for a short time, and became a father, for many years now. I can’t honestly say God was a part of that decision making; it was more based on my likes and dislikes. But God used it to bless me with my first son who is now one of my dearest friends; he is also very involved in the Lord’s work. Did I make the right decision? I have no idea what God had planned for me but I am very happy I made that decision. A decision about college determined a segment of my future.

A number of years later I remarried, we became very involved in the youth work at the church and I began to write. Even in college, I enjoyed writing and had something published in the school paper about a ‘snipe hunt’. I soon made the decision to get more involved with the Lord’s work and became the superintendent or a church affiliated youth camp. While serving there I became involved with the paper the camp published and wrote many article for that paper. After a few years the church called a new pastor, who was also the president of the camp, my boss. He decided I was too busy for the work with the paper and he took the job. I decided to give up writing, another change in my life over a simple decision.

Before I left the work of the camp I had taken training to become an Emergency Medical Technician. I needed such training for the camp; we were located in a very rural part of the county, maybe ten miles from the hospital. When I left the camp, I was offered a job as an EMT for the service in the county where I lived. I accepted with the condition that if a Paramedic class became available I could attend. We agreed and I began a lengthy career in emergency medicine. After about a year with the service I was asked if I wished to purchase it. My wife and I prayed and we felt it was God’s will that we get involved in this work. Shortly after beginning to operate our ambulance service we both began Paramedic training. All the decisions that have such a bearing on our future. We continued in this work for almost twenty years; then it ended with bankruptcy and divorce. It was God’s will for us to begin but along the way we pushed the senior partner, God, out. I can’t tell you that was one of my better decisions, but I made it.

There have been numerous decisions made in my life some good and some not so good. The best decision I have ever made and the one that determined my eternal future is accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was about ten. Yes Jesus was Lord then but throughout the years He has been and He hasn’t been. Many times I made the decision to make myself Lord of my life.

If you have never made that most important of all decisions then now is the time to make it. We are told in II Corinthians 6:2 that ‘now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. If you haven’t made the choice to accepted Jesus then you have made the choice to reject him, either way you have made a decision that affects your eternal future. Just as I was happy about my choice of the college I attended because of the results I want you to be happy with your choice about Jesus. Let me give you a hint; you won’t be happy if you continue to reject Jesus because you will spend eternity in Hell. Hell is a place of punishment created for Satan and his angels but is now the place of punishment for all those that refuse to accept Jesus.

If have chosen to accept Jesus then your eternity is certain but is your present being spent as it should be? We are told that we are saved unto good works. We weren’t saved just to keep us from hell but for us to serve God in this life. Joshua said ‘choose you this day whom you will serve, but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord’. Have you ever chosen to serve God? This is one of the good decision you can make.

We face each day with many decisions to make and many of those will have lifelong consequences in our life. What decision do you face now? Makes very good sense to me to ask the one that knows the future for help: ask God. Each day you write a page in the history of your life and make decision for the future of your life. Decide wisely!

Spreading His Word, Don

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Be Careful What You Say

Over the years, I have from time to time heard people say ‘My God’, “Lordy”, and “Jesus” at times of shock, hurt, or anger. Maybe they were really addressing God Almighty but I doubt it in most cases. The use of these names and titles were used as slang or even as curse words. In response to such language I would often ask “Close friend or just a casual acquaintance.” The one using the slang word or curse word was shocked and didn’t usually give a reply.

On a few occasions they would say a ‘close friend’ and have a very sheepish look on their face; much like they had been caught with their hand in a cookie jar. I never had the response ‘a casual acquaintance’. I feel sure that many of these had never been introduced to God or to His Son, Jesus. They were some of the millions that have failed to be introduced even though I am sure they had heard the words since they were using them; inappropriate as they were.

We need to get a firm realization of who God really is and how we are expected to conduct ourselves with Him. What I am about to say you will call remedial Christianity. Let’s go back to our person, with the sheepish look on their face, that told me God or Jesus were close friends. They were saying to me I know God well and consider Him my friend but I made mistake and used His name in the wrong way. Not only did they use the name wrong, they were showing dishonor to God. We are to honor God and, also, to fear God. They also remembered one of the Ten Commandments that say we are not to take the name of the Lord in vain.

I didn’t try to correct these people; it appeared to me the Holy Spirit was doing that job properly. I am sure that when the next occasion arose that they considered using the name of the Lord in vain that the Holy Spirit called to remembrance this experience. It was not my place to preach to them but simply to call what they had done to their attention; this I had done.

There is another problem with the improper use of the name of the Lord and that is that it can become a stumbling block to the hearer. Let’s suppose that I was not a believer in Christ and I heard this person make such a comment. I am aware that the one speaking God’s name is a ‘so-called’ Christian and a member of such and such church, maybe even a leader in that church. I know enough to realize what has been said is wrong according to the teaching of his church and even what I had heard the Bible said.

And they want me to come to that church? Why should I? This member is absolutely no better than I am and I am not a hypocrite. I am just what I am and everyone knows I am. I wouldn’t dare try to kid anyone about being involved in this religious stuff. Hey, ol’ boy, you are no better than me and in my book you are not as good as me because at least I am honest. As I said, ‘I am what I am’; sure I have a few beers and I do other things that your church says I shouldn’t but who are you, Mr. Take God’s Name in Vain.

It is up to us to show Christ to the world and not present ourselves as fakes. Sure we will sin from time to time and make many mistakes, but be on constant guard concerning your behavior when around others. You are being watched very closely by the lost world. Satan is on their side, so when you least expect it expect it: bang with the hammer and ‘God damn’ slips out of your mouth never to return or to be taken back and it always happens that there are people to hear your slip. If this happens, God can use it for His good if you will allow Him.

Consider this; I make such a mistake and am heard by others. The words have been spoken and the harm has been done, unless. I quickly ask God for forgiveness and for help in rectifying this with those that heard me. God is very concerned about the lost and is no willing that any should perish; He will help you say the right thing to the hearers. God promises in His word to always give us the words we need to say in any situation, if we will allow Him to use us for His honor and glory.

Maybe something like this will come out of your mouth; Wow, boys, I am very sorry for my mistake of using God’s name improperly, I ask that you forgive me for this wrong. I know I am not supposed to do such things but even though I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I still sin even though I don’t want to. You know we are all sinners and there are two types of sinners in this world: lost sinners, the ones that have not yet accepted Christ as Savior and saved sinners, those who have accepted Christ. Boys while I am talking with you; which are you?

Amazing how God can turn bad into good if we will allow ourselves to be used by Him. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to go out and sin so God can use your sin to reach a lost person. He just might but don’t test God in such a way.

Spreading His Word, Don

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No Fear (part 1)

2 Timothy 1:7

As I look around at our nation and hear the fighting over political viewpoints, I begin to realize how skewed our views as a nation have become. Skewed and divergent.
On one side is the doom and gloom as our nation races towards socialism and financial free fall; and the other extreme is the hope that our government will straighten things out and there will be prosperity for all.

As a Christian, I have to look out of this chaos, to the Lord, for answers and direction. Psalm 121 promises my safety and security.

With many Christian leaders proclaiming that God will judge this nation, a nation that was founded on God's principles, it would be easy to succumb to fear. Prophecies of the Lord's judgment vary from economic collapse to civil unrest, violence and martial law. It would be easy to become so fearful of what is to come, to become paralyzed by fear even before the bottom falls out.

Instead I look to God's survival handbook for believers, the Bible. I have begun to learn how this all works. I have read how we are to have faith, Romans Chapter 5 especially verse 9. Without faith we will be beaten down, Ephesians 6:16. God promises that faith and prayer will cause God to move in our behalf, Matthew 17:20.

How do I exercise faith? How does this work? For me it's as simple trusting God and a short prayer: 'Lord give for my hands only what You want for me to handle, only as much as I can handle, and for the rest Lord, please take care of it.'

As I go through any given day, the stresses and problems are never in short supply. Overdue electric bills, little or no income, vehicles in need of repair & no money for parts. The list is always too long. I feel the resources I have are never enough. What I am supposed to do?

That is when faith gets a work out. Faith means trust in the Lord. If I trust Him I will obey Him. If I obey Him it is because I trust His written word as the final authority for life. Though I am in no way perfect, and stumble often, I try my best to honor His word and live according to His survival handbook. Jesus said that with faith as like a little child we shall see heaven. Matthew 18:3. Therefore I try to trust in God's direction through His word and believe with faith like a little child. Often what I read in the Bible makes no earthly sense, but even as a little child believes what a parent tells them without understanding, I take on faith what God's word tells me. It is in this complete trust in Him that He blesses me.

God has provided for my needs every time. Many times it is obviously a miracle. Sometimes you might explain it away as coincidence. If you believe in the Almighty God who created Heaven and earth, a sovereign God, who is who His word says He is, there is no such thing as coincidence.

It is a thrill to watch Him work. I have been blessed in that the more I trust Him, the more I see the miraculous where there could be no explanation of coincidence. I have heard good and decent folks attempt to explain away God's moves under the "coincidence" label. Paul wrote that faith is believing in things not seen. I believe that faith is an action word, a verb if you will. If you have it, you DO it.

One thing I want to be sure is clear. Faith alone is worthless. God has brought me through circumstances that teach me very clearly that if I have faith in Him, I must accept Him on His terms. I read things in the Bible that I don't understand. I have encountered many people that say they believe in God, but don't agree with this or that. How many times I have heard the phrase "I just don't agree with that" or "How can a loving God do…….?". Personally I think most of these folks really haven't read the whole book. Those that may have, really don't want to confront sin the way God does. They don't want anyone, not even God to tell them what is sin. Some folks act like they want to straddle the fence rather than stand for God's principles. The go along to get along crowd. I believe that God is going to take this world and this nation to a place where fence straddling will be a thing of the past. That old saying, "you got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything" comes to mind. I know from personal experience that faith requires standing on God's word, all of it. He has proven to me over and over that accepting Him on His terms and acting on faith trusting all He has said means that He alone will provide and guide me through whatever happens.

Whatever comes in this nation as God judges it and the world for thumbing their collective noses at the Almighty, My faith is in Him. I have seen Him do it. His word tells how He has done it. And I know He will take His people, by faith, through what is to come.

Thank God He make His truth easy to understand, even for a simple person like myself. Simply walking in faith, Ray

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Urgent Message from David Wilkerson

In the past couple of days, there has been an urgent message sent out by David Wilkerson, pastor of Timesquare Church in New York City. This has been added to the Fellow Travelers page & The Road Ahead page. We encourage you to see this, pray about what you've read, and follow the Lord's guidance.

Also, David Wilkerson currently has a blog David Wilkerson Today. You will be blessed by his messages of hope.
May the Lord bless you,
Fellow Sojourner,
Lee Ann

Monday, March 9, 2009


‘Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound.” Yes, how sweet the sound, also how sweet the fact that God has provided grace sufficient to save you and me. Amazing grace to save me from a justifiable eternal destruction in a lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels: Eternity in Hell.

Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Only by the amazing grace given us by God can anyone of us have hope of salvation.

The dictionary defines ‘grace’ as the unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration or sanctification; also, mercy, clemency, pardon, forgiveness—the favor and love of God; influence of God operating in man to improve and strengthen. The assistance of God, the forgiveness of God, the love of God, and the influence of God: all compose the grace of God. But wait! Have you ever considered the fact that God’s plan of salvation is truly that; God’s plan of salvation? The first step in God’s plan for the salvation of man was to provide for the atonement of man’s sin.
Romans 5:10-11 says, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to god by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement,” An atonement is the act or fact of making up for something, This atonement, in accordance to God’s plan of salvation, required the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. John 1:29 says, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Yes, Jesus, God’s only begotten son, the Lamb of God, had to give his life in sacrifice as the atonement for each of our sins. Mark 16; 24 says, “And when they had crucified him.” Romans 3; 11 tells us, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” God has provided the atonement through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, but how can man be saved if he doesn’t even seek after God?

Another step in god’s plan of salvation provides: John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” God draws man to Jesus Christ and then amazing grace brings salvation to man who simply believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretched like me. God’s plan of salvation in action – saving people like you and me. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness: but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9

Spreading His Word, Don

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Fight God

Yes, many of us are guilty of fighting with God. We stand toe to toe with him and express are wishes and desire, even if they are contrary to His.

The reason for our combat is this part of us that is referred to as ‘free will’. When God made each of us he placed this ability into every human that has lived on earth. We have the right and privilege of making the final decision concerning our actions. God may lead us, try to persuade us, and in other ways try to sway our decision to His will but we and we only make the final decision.
After thinking about fighting with God, I have decided it is expected of us. As part of our education and forming us into the image of his Son He often allows us to choose our way. We all know that our way is best because we and we only really know the situation.

As part of confession time, I must admit of a great warrior ‘against’ the leadership of God. I rank up with such fighters as Muhammad Ali, Jesse James, and others. I have used reason and logic to argue my point with God. I have even used His word (I thought) against Him. Most of the time I write it ends up being something from my life; so here goes again.
I had felt the call to preach for a number of years and I decided that just wasn’t a place of service for me. Yes, I wanted to be close to God and to serve Him but only in a way that fit with my schedule and the rest of my life. I didn’t have time to prepare and study to be a preacher.

Excuse one was that I couldn’t speak in public. Does that sound familiar? Do you remember hearing the story of God speaking with Moses through a burning bush? God appeared to Moses in a burning bush as Moses was in the mountains tending his sheep. God told Moses that He wanted Moses to return to Egypt, to confront the Pharaoh, and get the Israelites out. To paraphrase a bit, Moses said, ‘who me? You know Lord I don’t speak clearly. Maybe you made a mistake and should pick another.’ God had a ready response by say that as they spoke Moses’ brother Aaron was on his way there and Aaron could do the speaking for Moses. Of course Moses didn’t give up with his fight against God that easily, but God was ready and had a rebuttal for every argument that Moses offered.
I did the same thing many times and I could back it up. When in high school, my poor English teacher would have to threaten me at times to get me in front of the class to give a report. I would sweat and my voice would tremble. I had much rather have been sent to the principle’ office for about 3 licks than to stand before those people. In college, I remember sitting on the instructor’s desk as I gave a report in a class. I guess it was funny looking because he laughed.

I used the argument that I was not formally educated; that one didn’t hold much water with God. I have no disagreement with formal Christian education but true spiritual knowledge and understanding comes through the Holy Spirit and not from some text book. I wish I had more formal education because it says the Spirit will call into remembrance. If it isn’t there, there is no recall. We are told to ‘study’. We must consume every bit of information we can to fill the mind.

My ‘ace in the hole’ was the argument that I had been married before which is unacceptable in many denominations. The heat was being turned up on me and I just knew that I would soon have to agree to preach but I still had my ‘ace in the hole’. One day the time came to play that ace. I stood toe to toe with God and said, ‘but your Word that a preacher is to be the husband of one wife, therefore I can’t preach.’ Just as God had a rebuttal for Moses, he did for me. He very lovingly and calmly said, ‘I know, I wrote the Book.’ The fight was over, I had fought the good fight but God won. Then my brain went to work to see if I could get the last word and sure enough I had a spectacular idea. I simply said, ‘Alright, God, I will preach but you have to provide every sermon. Wasn’t I just brilliant? Kind of silly now that I am thinking about it. Sure He would provide the sermon or in this case article. It is His Word and we are simply the instrument chosen to spread His message.

Many of God’s chosen and probably all have at one time fought with God. Consider such notables as Joshua, David, Elijah, Jonah, and Paul. Paul was at one time God’s most committed opponent. Paul was determined to put an end to these upstarts and their heretical teaching. Paul was a driven person, totally committed to the task before him. All that really happened to Paul on that Damascus road was that his task was changed. Yes Paul accepted the saving grace of God and accepted the one he had fought to erase as his savior. After a period of time of education in the truth of God’s way, Paul began just as earnestly to spread the message he had struggled to silence. Paul didn’t do this task half way. He gave God all of him, even his physical life.

If you remember I earlier said that most if not all fight against God. It makes very good sense to do so. How many of us want to make a decision with only the facts about one side of the issue? I hope most of us try to find the truth before making any decision. God is big enough to allow us to look at both sides. He keeps us in His view and will continually try to direct us along the right path. Yes, he allows us to fall at times just like a parent with a young child allows that child to fall as it learns to walk. Did you realize that child could be very late or never learn to walk if you didn’t allow him the freedom to fall?

We aren’t robots and love God and serve God because that is according to our programming and we can do nothing else. We love God and serve Him because we make that choice. We may make it with the scares of doing it our way but those are valuable reminders of God’s love and patience.

Am I finished fighting with God, probably not. I want to serve God and do as he directs but I also want my way.

Why fight God? So you can learn, experience, and mature. It isn’t the worst thing you will ever do; just as long as you final decision is to surrender to the guidance and service God. The worst thing you will ever do is to make that final decision to continue to do it your way and to reject God.

Spreading His Word,