Tuesday, October 28, 2014

If You Are Interested

I recently have finished putting together a short book of messages for the elderly.  These messages are what the Lord gave to me while preaching at our nursing home ministry.  The book contains just under 60 pages and includes why to have a nursing home ministry, how to have a nursing home ministry, and 25 messages for the elderly.  The messages are a study of the elderly in God's Word.  The messages are a study of the elderly's life and lessons from them that can be applied to elderly today.  The book is being printed and will be available in print in a month for $5; or you can purchase a PDF copy of the book for $2.  Just email me at cozaddalebapt@zoomtown.com or you can pay via paypal on the link on this page.

Also, I recently finished writing a short play for our Christmas service at church.  The play should last approximately 30 minutes and is simple to act out with only 8 actors (5 of which should be children).  The play is titled "Shalom".  You may have a copy of it should you desire for $1.  All offerings given towards the play will go towards our church camp.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gunnison Day 2

"That's beautiful!"  These words were spoken one...two...maybe three hundred times today. The beauty of God's creation is truly astounding!  Here in Colorado, it is on grand display.
Waking up early, I was able to take a walk this morning in the brisk cool Gunnison air.  I was able to meet a lady who also was visiting the area from Arizona.  As I asked where exactly in Arizona, she replied, "Oh you will never have heard of this place.  It's in the Mojave Desert in the middle of nowhere."  I finished her statement by adding "Bullhead City?"  Long story short, she was raised Lutheran, but I was able to share a witness with her and shared information about Mojave Baptist Church (our church plant in Bullhead City).

Following my walk, I joined up with Bro. Roberts and Bro. Davis and we headed out looking for housing for both of these men's families.  Our goals today were to find them both housing, Bro. Roberts possible employment, and a meeting place for the church plant.  Yes, I know that is a bit much to ask for in just less than  a day, but we do serve a big God!

By 10:45 a.m., the Lord had allowed us to meet Floyd who offered a completely furnished home to Bro. Davis to rent at a very great rate.  The house can fit all his family and has "hunting ground" if he is interested.  If you know Bro. Davis, you know this is amazing!

We then began driving, calling, and asking God to lead us to a place for the Roberts family.  We found quite a few leads, but the cost has been very high.  This evening, one person we had left a message with called back.  It was near dusk, but we agreed to go and look at the home.  The home has room for the family, a nice size yard, is extremely clean,  and has a huge separate garage and work shop for someone who would like to work out of their house.  We have not been able to go in the house yet, but have an appointment to do so in the morning.  If you know the Roberts family (and his profession) you know this is amazing!  Please pray for our meeting in the morning!

While visiting one of the homes today and touring it, we heard construction sounds.  The house next door to that one was being built.  Upon meeting and speaking to these men, the owner of the business invited Bro. Roberts to call him when he returns in October as he could use some help with someone with carpentry experience.

We then went across the street to the Gunnison Recreation Center.  Bro. Roberts explained to them that they were coming to plant a church there in Gunnison.  He asked if they had any ideas for a meeting place when needed.  Just so happens that something was open.  They had a room that could accommodate up to 60 that was available.  Bro. Roberts asked about the cost, to which the lady said she would love to have them, "how about $20 a week?"  Yeah, we can handled that!

We were able to pass out tracts to quite a few, Bro. Roberts was asked to preach every Sunday at a local camp ground, we enjoyed great fellowship, and shared our hearts with one another.  

It is now 10 p.m. here in Gunnison.  Let's review what the Lord did today.  Housing for the Davis family-YES.  Housing for the Roberts family-seems like a YES.  A meeting place for a church plant-YES.  Bro. Roberts to find employment-YES. Gospel passed out, fellowship shared, and God knitting hearts-YES, YES, Yes!  Can God do all these things in 14 hours-YES!!!!!

Please pray for us as we look at the house in the morning.  Pray for the Lord's will there.  We then will make a four hour drive to Denver and Lord willing a 3 hour flight home followed by an hour drive home.  Please pray for safety!

All we can say after today is "To God be the Glory, Great Things He has Done!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Trip to Gunnison Part 1

Bro. Bryon Roberts surrendered to the Lord to take his family to Gunnison, Colorado to plant a church.  Bro. Roberts is sent out under the authority of the Cozaddale Baptist Temple.  Bro. Shane Davis just a few weeks ago, surrendered to the Lord's leading to go with Bro. Roberts to Gunnison to help do the work of an evangelist.  These are exciting days for our church!
Both men and their families will leave for Colorado the first of October.
In preparation for this move, I have joined these two men for a quick trip to Gunnison.  We left today, Wednesday, and will return Friday.  We have many goals for this trip and I am praying the Lord leads us to reach these goals in accordance to His will.
First, we desire to find housing suitable for both families.  Prices to rent are very high and we will need the Lord's leading in this area.  We also are seeking the Lord's leading as to a place where contacts to meet to have Bible studies and eventually meet as a church as homes are outgrown.  We will be looking at some community centers and such.  Possible part time work opportunities will be sought out as well.
Secondly, as pastor, I am praying the Lord gives me wisdom and counsel to share with these men the next few days.  Serving in the ministry is truly an honor and I am thankful for all the men who have shared with me counsel so vital to me today.  I seek to answer questions they may have, share dangers to avoid, and counsel to help serve.  I also seek to get a greater burden for Gunnison as our men are here serving.  This burden can then be taken back home to our church and prayerfully shared with our folks.
Thirdly, we seek to be a witness.  How awesome would it be to plant seeds, water seed, and possibly even see a soul accept Christ these next few days?  Already, God has enabled me to pass out the Gospel.  Would you especially pray for our shuttle bus driver in Denver whose son graduated from the University of Cincinnati.  We were able to speak to him and give him the Gospel.
Lastly, pray for good fellowship.  These men will need to be close and have their hearts knit together as they will serve in the ministry here.  It is my prayer that this Biblical team of 2x2 will be used of God to help establish a work for the Lord in Gunnison, Colorado.
As I flew in the plane to Denver, Bro. Davis was asking questions about the ministry, to which I was trying my best to answer  He then spoke of what sacrifices I have made to be a pastor.  I thought for just a second and said to him, "Brother, I don't understand what sacrifice is like you and Bro. Roberts know.  I have not been asked by God to sell my land, possessions, and leave my home to go to a field where I know no one.  It is you that have made the sacrifice."
I am thankful for these two men.  I am thankful for the friendship.  I am thankful for their testimonies.  I am thankful for their sacrifice to our Lord.  I am thankful for time to share with them, invest in them, and assist them in preparing for this work God has called them to do.
Isn't serving God great!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


One phrase I was never allowed to say when I was growing up, which we too don't allow our children to say, is "It's not fair!"  I thank my parents for never letting me get by with saying such a phrase, for it taught me to deal with it.  Sometimes things don't go our way, but God is still in charge and may His will be done here on earth as it is in Heaven.  The issue is not fairness, but submission.  It is not situations are unjust, but rather we are prideful.  So, when life doesn't go your way, you deal with it trusting God to take care of matters.  He always does.

That brings me to my post today.  Internet and social media has opened up so many avenues for the believer to share his faith.  I am thankful for this opportunity. I have embraced it and can say that over 60% of the visitors that have visited our church the last year first "checked us out" on the internet.  The days of the Yellow Pages are gone, people are going to check you out by your webpage and Facebook account.  Welcome to 2014.

Years ago I had a Facebook account, but I became inactive for a few reasons.  One of which, I was out of control.  I was addicted to seeing what everyone else was doing and then when I saw what many were doing, it made me upset and hurt that they would ignore God's Word and do such things. I then would start preparing sermons to "let them have it" for all the things I saw they were doing.  For me and my immaturity, it was good that I stepped away.

A while back, embracing the world we live in, I sought to establish our church on Facebook and social media and I would need to have a personal account to administer a page for our church.  So, I find myself back, but this time, I like to think I am a little more mature.  I set some boundaries as to who I would have as "friends" and have blocked any who would put me "in the flesh."  It's gone well thus far and I enjoy staying up with pastors, missionaries, family, and friends.

Still, there are those times when you read something or see something that makes your jaw drop or your blood pressure rise.  I will think, "I can't believe they would say such a thing," "how could you post a picture like that?", "why are you mouthing off like that?", etc.  I find myself in amazement how bold the carnal can be.  I then get upset in my heart, hurt in my heart, revengeful thinking, but usually by walking away can get over it and go on.

My mind then at times goes back to that little child in me that says, "It isn't fair!"  Why can the carnal all express their beliefs and carnality, but I have to be quiet because it may offend them.  You can point fingers at me and call me spineless, but when your church member or another well known pastor puts pictures of themselves dressed carnally, you don't say anything either-at least to them, or I would read it.  We will take strong stands against the people we never speak to or come in contact with, but those "in our circle", well...we just take it and deal with it.

But, I've been thinking lately about this.  Consider these verses:
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience, the aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine, shewing incorruptness, gravity, sincerity, should speech, that cannot be condemned: that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you...  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;... these things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let no man despise thee."  Titus 2
"This witness is true.  Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;" Titus 1:13
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2
"Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear." 1 Timothy 5:20
"And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 
There are many more verses, but you get the picture.
Now, I know we should do these things with long-suffering and treating others not as an enemy, so I am letting everyone know that I am not your enemy, and I love you, and will always love you not matter what; but, when you see the #notyourenemy, you will understand.

So, if you know better, but decide to be carnal and put a half naked picture of  yourself for the world to look at, be ready for the #notyourenemy.  When you say, "If I see that preacher I will punch him in the face," expect to get a reply #notyourenemy.  When I put a Scripture verse that deals with your carnality, remember #notyourenemy.  When you start mouthing off about doctrine, holiness, or a church doing right, don't be surprised to see the #notyourenemy.  When you put up your worldly music and you know better, the #notyourenemy is coming.
I encourage other believers to get a spine with me, and without being hateful, in love, simply add a #notyourenemy.  Soon, just the #notyourenemy will speak enough.

In our family devotions last night, we were reading 2 Thessalonians 3 and I was speaking to my children about these verses and I paused at vs. 14 and the "that he may be ashamed."  I told my children that the reason people who claim to be saved are so bold in their sin many times,  is that no one ever makes them feel ashamed. We should be doing this.  We can still speak the truth in love.  We can still be long-suffering and kind.  We can live in a 21st century and still take a stand because we want to see others do right.  We need others to tell us when we are wrong that they are #notyourenemy.  We need to bring back some holiness by standing with the Word of God and may others know we love them, desire God's best for them, and we are #notyourenemy, but will stand with God!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Have A Weird Church

I attend and have the privilege to pastor the Cozaddale Baptist Temple.   I truly LOVE what the Lord has called and enables me to do.  I've been pondering a motto the Lord gave to me the last few days for our church:
"A 21st Century Church Just Like Your Baptist Grandfather's"
I think that would adequately apply to us, and for this, I praise the Lord.  I have intently studied our church's history, I have read about the past and spoken to to past members, I have been at the church since 1994, and I am thankful that our church, for many years has stood for the Truth.

I guess living and serving in my little world around me caused me to grow ignorant on some things.  Recently, it was said of Cozaddale Baptist Temple that:
"That church is a little weird and believes things no other churches do."  
At first, I was a little taken back, then a little upset, then a little proud, then a little convicted I was proud, then...well...here I am.  It was the word "weird" that got me.  Why would any one say my church was "weird?"  I looked up the definition of weird:

"Bizarre, unnatural, unearthly."
I am good with it! Now, I know the pastor is a little weird, but I don't think that is what is meant in the statement.  The focus is on the second part of the person's statement "...believes things no other churches do."
First of all, there are plenty of churches which believe very much like we do.  Every church is going to have differences, that is part of being autonomous.  Every church should preach the Truth as the Lord teaches us in His Word.  Every pastor should teach and preach the Word of God.  Will there be differences?  Yes.  Can there be fellowship still?  Yes and no.

Yes, we can love every believer and treat every believer with respect.  No, we cannot compromise what we believe the Word teaches by ignoring Scriptural truths.  Here is the thing, for every standard our church holds, I can think of a church that has a higher standard than we do.  My daddy taught me many years ago, "Never criticize someone with a higher standard than yours."  I wish there were more daddy's like mine so I wouldn't have to write this.

Fact is, our church does hold high standards in doctrine and holiness.  Why?  We just strive to live and believe what the Word teaches.
So what makes us weird?  You know it isn't the non-denominational crowd accusing us of being weird.  The world doesn't like us, but by in large respects convictions.  It isn't other denominations that accuse us of being weird.  We have some serious doctrinal differences, but never has another denomination accused Cozaddale Baptist Temple of being weird.

So why would "the brethren" think us weird?  Why would communion, modesty, the bride of Christ, preaching a divorced person remarrying is adultery, desiring music that glorifies God and not man, only accepting baptism with authority, ordaining our own men make us weird?  Then again, it is those very things that has become bizarre to many of God's churches, they are most definitely unnatural, and certainly unearthly.

So, I suppose they are right.  I have a weird  church.  Thank God I have a weird church! If you have a weird church, you ought to praise God to!  We may be weird, but praise God we are not dead!!  Our church is growing, reproducing (planting churches), souls are being saved, buses running, academy, nursing home ministries, fellowships, community outreaches...not bad for weird church.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY! GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!

I love my weird church!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dressing for the Occasion

No, it's not a matter of salvation; but neither is it an amoral subject.  It is sad how far we have fallen amongst believers in our area of dressing for the Lord.  Many books have been written, sermons preached, and more debate over this subject than I could ever write about; yet, the deterioration of standards continue at an alarming rate.
The core of the issue has already been mentioned.  While many verses and arguments can be made, let us get to the crux of the matter.
"....whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31
When our motive is simply this, to bring glory to God, modesty is never an issue.  The problem is not "Old Testament Law," "long flowing robes," "or covering loins to thigh;" but the person dressing for their own glory and not God's.  A person dressing for God's glory would not care to take a chance on wearing what God would be displeased with.  A person dressing for God's glory would not desire to wear clothing that attracted sensually the glory to themselves.

Let's cover a few arguments:
Legalism:  Legalism was an issue of the Pharisees in God's Word attempting to obtain salvation through the following of strict rules and guidelines.  While I do know some who believe in a works salvation, most everyone of them are not "dressing for the occasion."  When one accuses someone who believes in modesty of being a legalist, they are showing an ignorance in the term legalism and falsely accusing a brother.  I repeat my first line, "No, it's not a matter of salvation."

Judging:  The most quoted verse of the Bible as of 2010 is  Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged."  How often do we here the immodest crying out that people need to quit "judging them?"  First of all, please continue reading that passage in context (vs. 2) "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:...(vs. 3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerst not the beam that is in thine own eye? (vs. 5) "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye: an then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."  So, the context of the passage is we need to make sure we are right before we help someone see how they are not right.  It's not about one person better than another, but all about one person helping another. The reason this help would be rejected is because the person has a carnal mind.

It's Old Testament:  Usually this is the argument used against a woman not wearing "that which pertaineth unto a man." (Deut. 22:5)   The argument is that it is found in the Old Testament and not applicable to this age of grace.  Or that this passage refers to the sin of cross dressing only.  The New Testament simply says this in Romans 3:31 "Do we then make void the law through faith?  God forbid: yea, we establish the law."  Because we are saved by grace does not mean we make void the law (Old Testament), rather we establish it!  Our life should be one that desires to be holy, to obey, to live a life that glorifies God.

You Can Be Immodest In a Skirt:  True, you can, but that is why we have mothers who teach young ladies how to sit, how to walk, and how to stand.  This "Excuse" is the worst to me.  Young children also don't have a problem running around completely naked, but their comes a time when a parent teaches them they cannot do this anymore.  Problem is mothers do not want to dress right, so they let their girls dress wrong  and now ladies don't know how to sit, walk, and stand in even modest clothing because they are so used to sitting cross legged, legs spread, and bending over in front of the whole world.  If one desires to dress to glorify God, they will easily be taught to stay modest in those clothes.

I'm the Same Person in Jeans as I am in a Skirt:  No argument.  You just as carnally minded in a skirt as you are in your jeans.

There are plenty of books and materials to study Scriptures on why to dress modestly.  Everything changed when the mega churches started enjoying the money.  The Fundamentalism influence ignored doctrine.  Church members never matured.  The "big churches" dropped their standards.  The "little churches" followed the big church's example.  I am sickened by the pastors who once taught, lived, and believed this, but have given in to their wife's carnal desires or their lusts and changed their stand.

In a room with other people, go to google images and search "modest clothes girls."  It's happy, it's pure, its easy to look at with no fear of who is looking at you.  Then let your wife search "girls in jeans" and ask if she would like her husband and sons to look at the screen?  

I am an endorser of preaching and letting people have time to mature.  But friends, there is a big difference between "I don't know" and "I won't, NO!"  Clothes do not change the heart, but having a heart after God changes the clothes.

Revelation 4:11 reads, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created ally hints, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Romans 9:23 reads, "And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory."

We are to live for His pleasure and for His glory.  Now, may we dress for the occasion!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Lot of Hurt

We live in a world that lives for pleasure yet dwells in depression.  1 out of every 10 Americans are now on anti-depressants, yet we live in a nation with more ways to make one's self happy than any other nation on earth.  There were nearly 40,000 suicides last year in this country.  People live in darkness and depression fighting their own thoughts and emotions until getting to a place of exhaustion and depletion.  Sadly, this is not just occurring in the lost world, but in God's churches as well.
HURT.  It's a terrible word.  The word means "mental pain, offense, grieving; to injure, to cause pain."  For many, this is life.  If it isn't the mental pain, it is the physical (or at least the belief one is in physical pain).  The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world's population, but consumes 80 percent of its opioids -- and 99 percent of the world's hydrocodone, the opiate that is in Vicodin.  Why the usage? Because they HURT.  
In the Bible, demonic forces are always bringing hurt upon people.  For example, consider thedemoniac in Luke 4:33-35: 
"And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.  And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not."
Also, Mark 5 speaks of the demoniac of gadara who "always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones."   HURT.  Crying and cutting himself was the result of a great demonic presence.

Our nation has not only a sin problem, but a demonic mastery.  We truly, as no other time in this nation's history, deal with "spiritual wickedness in high places."  Those lost without Christ in this world stand no hope in overcoming the hurt without the power of the liberating Gospel.

Sadly, many Christians deal with demonic hurt as well.  A believer in Christ cannot be demonically possessed, but can be demonically oppressed, depressed, obsessed.  Before salvation, we were of our father the Devil who held possession of our life.  At salvation, the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13) indwells us, and never more can Satan hold possession of our life!  Satan then seeks oppression, depression, and obsession.  Satan can attack from without in your life to bring oppression through circumstances, temptations, and the past.  Once he is allowed place in your life, he then will bring a depression and darkness into the life.  Doubt will fill the mind of the depressed.  Soon, by the believer giving place to the devil, that believer can be demonically obsessed.  The HURTing will separate themselves from all they love, their church, their faith, and will soon lose even the ability to stop the wrong thoughts from overwhelming them.  They are demonically obsessed.  (Eph. 4:27 "Neither give place to the devil." Rom. 7:18 "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." )

The Lord wants to come into your body and take up residence with your spirit. (1 Cor. 6:13-20; Rom. 8:9, 14-16).  The Lord desires us to have His joy and His joy remain in us (Jn 15:11).  We are instructed repeatedly in the New Testament to "Rejoice in the Lord!"  In the Bible, God always desires to keep his children FROM HURT (Daniel 3:25 "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt..."  Daniel 6:21-22 "Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me...")
David, because of his yielding himself to temptation, had become filled with sorrow and obsession.  In Psalm 51 we read that he felt dirty (vs. 2), his failure was ever before him (vs. 3), he felt cast away from God's presence (vs. 10), and wanted to have restored "THE JOY OF THY SALVATION."
Satan cannot have the soul of the believer, but should he take from them their joy, he takes from them their power to make a difference in someone else's life.  A believer robbed of joy becomes HURT and then all his life's focus and efforts are upon himself. The Devil is a thief.
Consider John 10:10
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:"-This is Satan.
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."-This is our Lord!!
So, how do we take back this ground yielded to Satan and get back our joy?  Consider three passages:
1. Daniel 6:  In this passage, Daniel was under attack, was hated, and lived in a land that was not his home.  Yet, he had, in vs. 3, "an excellent spirit."  If anyone had reason to HURT, Daniel did.  But rather, he had an excellent spirit.  How?  The answer is in verse 10, "...he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times  a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime."  He talked to God and praised Him three times a day!
2. Psalm 119:161-168:  The author was being persecuted (161) and lied about (163)-he was under attack.  Yet, he had (165) "great peace" and was not HURT.  How?  "I rejoice at thy word...thy law do I love...seven times a day do I praise thee."  He focused on God's Word and held it dear.  When one is under demonic attack, his mind and feelings will lie to him and all he can trust is God's Word.  Then, he praised the Lord 7 times a day.  The more intense the battle, the more often we must praise the Lord.  Why praise the Lord?  We are thanking Him for all the ways He blesses us.  Then we must answer this question, "why does He keep blessing me?"  The only answer we have is "He loves me!" The more we realize He loves us, the more we love Him.  The more we love Him, the more we "keep His commandments" and His joy remains in us (Jude 21). This is why Peter instructs believers in his first epistle that when they are in "heaviness through manifold temptations," to "gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according tot he former lusts in your ignorance, but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation."  The mind will begin to deceive you when in  you are HURTing.  Cling to His Word and Praise Him.
3. Colossians 1:13-14:  These verses are powerful verses in God's Word.  Revelation 12:11 reads, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony..."  They 2 keys to victory over "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" are Salvation and our testimony.  You must be saved to overcome.  Second, the believer overcomes by the Word of their testimony.  This is where these verses in Colossians come in.  I believe that if every believer takes the time to praise God at least three times a day (keep a written journal to look over at times to affirm God's love to your mind) and when under attack audibly give these verses as their testimony, the HURT will leave their lives.   Read aloud these verses:
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"
Glory be to the Lamb!!!  I am saved!  I am delivered from the power of darkness!  I am in the kingdom of His dear Son!  I am redeemed by the precious blood!  My sins are forgiven!!

Believer, you do not have to live in hurt.  No matter the past, no matter the temptation, no matter what your mind tells you, God's Word is true and it says I am delivered!
This is not just a sermon I put together, it was my life.  I spent two long years in HURT.  God graciously showed me how to have victory and I believe God allows these times:
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.-2 Cor 1:4
So many HURTing seemingly everywhere.  My friends, take it from me, God doesn't want you HURTing, and He will take it all away if we will take the time to lean on Him, see His love, love His Word, praise His name.  The HURT can be removed!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Modern Day Pharisee

As I read through modern Christian periodicals, books, tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and more, I keep coming upon a term that I think needs expounded on.  The term I keep reading of is "Modern Day Pharisee."

Sounds serious doesn't it?  Take that you....you...you whoever that stands for.  Modern Day Pharisee?  What is a modern day pharisee and what do they do?  Now, before the thousands who read this blog start hammering away at definitions of a modern day pharisee, I think it is best to stick with our rule of thumb....WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

I suppose the best way to begin to study this is by defining what a past day pharisee was.  The "law of first mention" takes us to Matthew 3:7-8:
"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:"
So a Pharisee was one who was not saved.  They had never repented and were not ready for the wrath to come.  I suppose then a modern day Pharisee would have to be someone who is not saved.

A pharisee was also someone who was very righteous in their works.  Matthew 5:20 reads,
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter ingot he kingdom of heaven."
Apparently, they were very righteous acting (not enough to work their way into heaven-no one can do that) but they were very righteous acting.  They did things like tithe (Matthew 23:23), pray (Luke 18:11),  fast (Matt. 9:14), and was sure to look good on the outside (Matthew 23).  And you know what? The Lord never rebuked them for doing these things.  His rebuke was not that their works were wrong, but rather:
"...within they are full of extortion and excess.....within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."
The past day Pharisee was a lost man.  A religious, but lost man.  They loved being seen by men, they lied, they converted others to lies....they were lost, but knew a lot about the Truth.  

Now, we come to 2014 and read all about the "modern day pharisee."  So, they must be referring to people who know the truth but are lost and need to repent and be saved, right?  

Let's examine.  Here is a comment from Facebook from an Independent Fundamental Baptist describing the modern day Pharisee:
"To hit the nail on the head it generally seems to be those who are 'most' separated.  The outside of the platter is clean type.  Ironically it is modern day Pharisee as it gets."
So, the modern day Pharisee is one who is most separated?  I don't understand.  I would if it would have been added, "but the inside of the cup is filthy and needs to be cleansed, but that isn't there.  Then you read of others who always associate the modern day pharisee with those who have standards in music and dress, strong doctrine, church discipline, proper church polity, and separation from things in the world that Scripture teaches are wrong.

Now did the past day Pharisees pay attention to details in strict standards, Bible, discipline, polity, and separation?  Yes, but those things were never rebuked by our Lord.  Matter of the fact, He says, "these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."  Again, they were rebuked because inwardly they were lost and all the rituals in the world profit nothing without a personal experience with Christ; but after a personal experience with Christ, these same things can share light to a very dark world.

Take circumcision for example.  Some Jews were thinking that their circumcision was "what it was all about,"  Paul rebuked them in Romans 2 saying:
"For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.....But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
Let me conclude....I get it.  I know what everyone is trying to say.  There are some who are so full of themselves and proud of themselves that they forget what it is all about, souls.  But it seems that the only people using the term "Modern Day Pharisees" are other believers who have lower standards of those they accuse trying to appease their conscience by casting stones at others.  The ones accusing others of being a MDP are not trying to help a brother, but tear one down.  The ones accusing others of being a MDP usually are the ones who in their heart know they are not right with God in a matter and just because another brother will not tell them they are "OK" or condone their unbiblical life, they feel the need to tear them down and destroy them.

Wait a second, the past day pharisee couldn't stand the righteousness the Lord lived and tried to tear Him down and destroy Him to cover their inward wickedness...maybe the modern day pharisee is the ones accusing others.....maybe....think about it.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Webster's 1828 defines Balance as: "an impartial state of the mind, in deliberating; or a just estimate of the reasons and arguments on
both sides of a question, which gives to each its due weight, or force and importance."
I've been doing a lot of thinking on balance as pertaining to the ministry and being a pastor.  I've learned a lot and am trying to keep learning a lot.  Growing up in the ministry as I have has allowed me many unique opportunities to watch first hand the ministry....people.  I've learned there are many different types of people.  I've learned there are many different types of pastors.  I've learned there are many different types of stands about everything.  
I've also learned just how many "camps" there are in just the Independent Baptist arena centered around these different stands.  There is one group that says "dress however you want" who is opposed by the "high standards and nothing else" crowd.  There is the "repentance means change of mind" crowd opposed by the "repentance is a work that must be accomplished before salvation crowd."  There is "be loyal to and obey your pastor or else" crowd opposed by the "the pastor is just one of the guys" crowd.  There is the "music better come from the Pirate guy" crowd opposed by the  "Legacy Five is performing at our church" crowd.  Then there are the following: "We use a screen and no song books/those liberal churches using a screen," "Nonessentials don't divide/everything is essential," "mission boards/no mission boards," "you need a little righteous indignation/all anger is wrong," "pre,post, a",  "open, close, closed," and the list goes on and on.  Area churches keep their distance from me because they "have heard" what I believe, but not many have ever ask.
I've watched men change over the years.  I hear of others today.  I read about pastors and their wives who I've had speak at my church just a few years ago now tearing down what they preached was right at this church.  So what is the balance?  With all these voices, what is right?
I've tested the waters with some different camps since becoming pastor.  I've been with the fundamental crowd, BAPTIST crowd, Bob Jones crowd, Southern Gospel crowd, sacred music crowd, Baptist are the only ones going to Heaven crowd, and have been contacted by the ecumenical crowd too.  I've hung around Ruckmanites, Hyles worshippers, John R. Rice groupies, Sword, Revival Fires, Fairhaven, Heartland, and West Coast.  I've had Pastor Brandenburg, Ev. Ted Alexander, Missionary David Cloud, Pastor Jeff Fugate, Pastor Mike Allison and Kenny Baldwin at my church.  I've been removed from mailing lists, put on black list, made fun of by the fundamentalist and hated and scorned by What Fundies Like.
All the while wondering, "where do I fit in and with who?"  You know what?  I gave that up a while ago.  I really don't care.  I've learned this, all that matters is the Bible.  I don't follow a certain man, camp, or philosophy. 2 Peter 3:17-18 reads, 
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen."
You know what God wants?  He wants us to steadfast and growing in the Lord. He wants us to beware of lies and crowds that are in error because He is coming back soon!  The Lord wants us to be balanced.   The picture above says it all.  Stand upon the Rock!  Take Truth and lay it out and just stand upon it.