Saturday, January 29, 2011


Have you ever cried out to God "Lord...Create in me a clean heart, o God. Renew a loyal spirit in me!" (Psalm 51:10) ...or can you truly say to Abba Father "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life" (Psalm 139: 23-24 NLT)? These are some of the prerequisites to the Process of Holiness, without which no one will see God!

Once we have arrived at a place where we can see our former selves (before we were saved, sanctified and sold out to Jesus); we are beginning to exhibit one of THE major Fruits of the Spirit - PEACE!

The Peace I am talking about is not of this world! But it's a Peace that comes from One Source and One Man only - God Who descended to die for us and now reigns forever - King Jesus!

This show on this particular fruit of the Spirit also examines a part of the process that led to my own testimonial to an increasingly vital walk with the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


These are some of the hardest words for a man to hear. As a father and a guy whose dad died at age 11, never knowing a dad after this age...growing up fast and working since age 12, I feel sad. HOWEVER this heartfelt testimony by a super-honest and wonderful saint, with whom you can identify will really touch you!! When Nikki posted this, I immediately knew we had to share this on my blog and our Business Men in Christ website!!!! Please read my friend, Nikole Hahn's piece here.....

Nikole Hahn
Do you have “daddy issues?” Are you angry at your parent? Sometimes, forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation. Sometimes, reconciliation isn’t even possible. Be careful that your “daddy issues” don’t influence the decisions in your life. Don’t reject your Heavenly Father or His teachings. Learn from me—I made decisions in my life based on my “daddy issues.”

“I want to tell him that I forgive him,” was what I told my grandfather in 2008 while trying to get my birth father’s contact information. Little did I know that I would regret those words. It’s funny how another perspective gives a complete picture of what really happened during those years when I was a little girl.
I thought my birth father had abandoned me. Mom said it so often that I believed it. No letters came from him. No sign that he wanted any involvement in my life broke the illusion that others had built up. Or at least, that was my perspective. A lot of my memories don’t exist and I can’t verify anything with real memory. There’s too much contrived memory from photographs or stories told by others.  In one of our phone calls in 2008, my birth father told me about a phone call during the time when my stepfather sought legal custody via adoption.
My mom said she never knew where my father lived, but somehow she had his phone number to ask him if my step-dad could adopt me. I didn’t remember that phone call.  I was attending Buena Terra Elementary School at the time that my mother called him.  She told him that I wanted to have the same last name as my stepfather. My birth father demanded to speak with me and, according to him, I echoed what my mother said. That night in 2008 I felt so much shame because I rejected my father so many years ago as a little girl. I didn’t know that he had sent cards that were returned. I didn’t know about the returned presents.
I didn’t know. 
From his perspective, his daughter rejected him. I can only imagine the pain that caused him. I have spent the last three years putting pieces of my past together, talking to people who knew and know my dad, talking to my dad, and going through the final process of healing and forgiveness. Not having my father in my life and struggling for my mother’s acceptance was too hard of a burden to carry as a little girl. It caused many psychological problems even into adulthood.
God brought caring people into my life as I was growing up; people who planted seeds about His love. I knew that God was around, watching after me, and I knew I wanted Him in my life. I didn’t have a Christian in my life that spoke the truth of the Bible. My problems kept me inwardly focused.
It took many years to finally get to this point in my life–the healing portion of my journey.  It’s no use crying over the past. It’s time to forgive ourselves and move forward. God knew what He was doing and no pain was ever wasted. Life turned out better than I had hoped, and now that the pieces are, for the most part, together that hole has disappeared. In it’s place the light of the Lord fills my soul with a peace that defies all understanding.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


What I like about this message from Carla is the encouragement for us to allow the LORD to reveal a Life Verse to us, through His Spirit as we think about this piece. God is Faithful and True as He IS the Word and it will never return void! So enjoy this short blog as the first month of the new year roars to a close! By the way,  my life verse for the past decade has been Psalm 27:4....I have a secondary one (Jeremiah 20:11) but Psalm 27:4 has spoken Life to me constantly! Amen!!!

Carla McDougal, Author/Speaker

"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 4:11

When God speaks...


On January 1st, the Lord planted a thought in my headed. One that surfaces on a daily basis. I can't shake it from my heart and mind, so I must share it with you.
At the beginning of each year, I enjoy scanning a mental survey of the past year... evaluating the accomplishments, reviewing the changes, and setting the goals for the next twelve months. As I have matured (Ok, gotten older) I've come to realize and believe God knows what each year brings. Trusting Him for the future is what He calls me to do. So, as a result he is taking down a fresh path. A new journey for 2011!

Reading the Word of God is so much fun! It's almost as if a verse I've read over and over will all of a sudden come alive. Do you know what I mean? The freshness of the Holy Spirit connecting my thoughts to the heart of Jesus through God's Word amazes me!

The morning began with a fresh cup of coffee, a quiet house, my 5 lb Maltese at my side, and Bible in hand. The scene was perfect to spend a few moments with the Lord. So, in my cozy place, I decided to play the "Bible Bingo" game. You know... The "Lord, what do you want me to read this morning" game. I flopped open my Bible to 1 Peter 4. The words literally came off the page and into my heart! Reading 1 Peter 4:11,
"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."

Immediately, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge my heart strings as these powerful words filled my soul with freshness...

Here is your Life Verse for 2011!

Memorize it. Believe it. Live it!

God what does this mean... Life Verse? What are you saying to me?

Carla, every time you open your mouth let My words flow. When you serve as a wife and mother or in ministry through RLM let it always be through the strength that I give you. Never in your own power! So, in all things I will be glorified through your relationship with my son, Jesus! I am giving you this verse to live by in 2011.

Claim it. Apply it. Live it!

As a result, I am following the prompting of the Holy Spirit and making 1 Peter 4:11 my Life Verse for 2011. I am so excited to live for Him through this verse by letting God use my vocal chords. To serve in the strength He gives me. In fact, for the next few weeks we will make our way through 1 Peter 4. Each sentence is packed with a powerful message for believers. Let's enjoy learning and growing together!

Challenge for the Week... Ask the Lord to show you a Life Verse for 2011! I promise this is a fun and exciting treasure hunt. Write it out. Memorize it. Place it in a strategic place: on your bathroom mirror, in your car, a sticky note on the computer, and more. Have fun as the Lord shows you exactly your verse to focus on for the year. Let Him teach and lead you through the learning process. Share this idea with other people. You never know how the Lord is going to use your "vocal chords" to spread His message to others
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bernie.... Teaching on The Wisdom of God vs Man's Foolishness!

The LORD GOD said in the book of the great prophet Isaiah chapter 55:8 ""My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine" what happened was man in all his stupidity reversed that statement of fact! Every since they built the Tower of Babel and God had to come down and destroy it, man has chased after strange philosophies, doctrines and even other so-called gods, while claiming to believe in the one True Sovereign Lord.

What this video, from my Springfield Illinois weekly TV bible teaching show "PLUMBLINE" seeks to teach is the context of this great debate and how the Word of God and the Gospel and CROSS of Christ is so much simpler, more beautiful and more anointed!!

(by Bernie Lutchman)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 20, 2011


"Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours". 1 Corinthians 9:24 AMP
Ruins of an ancient Greek Palestra in Sardis
The middle of January sees all kinds of major sports  milestones - the NCAA College Football Champs have been decided and college hoops are taking off; Ice Hockey is back in vogue and a few people even watch the NBA (pro basketball)! Most are focused on America's sport - the National Football League's playoffs! Both College and Pro Football are known to have the vast majority of Christian athletes in America.  This is a testimony to the Fellowship of Christ Athletes (FCA) and their tireless work in the schools of America.
The Apostle Paul's writing is absolutely rich in its sports analogies (see above and in other places where he talks about "boxing" etc.). In fact one of my favorite examples is Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) ..."For we wrestle not against  flesh and blood but against principalities against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world against spiritual wickedness in high places". The word "wrestle" is "pale" - NOT Pale....but "pah-lay" from the root word palestrum.  This is specific meaning to the churches in those major cities where Paul planted churches. The Palestra was a multi level combat sports arena in the ancient Greek culture where all kinds of wrestling and physical contact sports occurred. Paul used that actual example to illustrate to the Ephesians (and us) that we face a level of demonic structure in the principalities of hell which is totally unfathomable!
Taken as a whole, and knowing of these things, we are to aggressively and proactively contend for our faith in an evil and hostile world...a world where even church theologies and the doctrines of man are stumbling blocks. As we seek to train up our youth "in the way they should go" let's follow the simple process which Paul laid out in the verse above.
Very succinctly, he gave us 5 extremely mportant Principles:
1. ACKNOWLEDGMENT  (Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete..)
You MUST know WHO you are in Christ, if you are really saved (by examining yourself daily to see if ye be in the Faith)
You MUST then know WHOSE you are!
You MUST acknowledge we are in on a journey that will never End...The destination is up to you.
2. RECOGNITION ( but [only] one receives the prize )
3.PURSUIT (So run [your race] )
You MUST actively pursue and seek daily a closer, more intimate Relationship with God, through Christ...and that can only be done through Worship, the Word and Prayer!
4. POSSESSION (you may lay hold [of the prize] )
Are you a Profess- or (mouthing the words with no heart change) or a Possessor?
5.  OWNERSHIP ( make it yours)
If Christ possesses you, do you now OWN to speak? Do you really FOLLOW, BELONG and LOVE HIM with all your heart, mind and soul?
I will expand on this brief blog in a future posting on the BMIC website and my blog, but these five brief points can point us to such a magnificent mile ahead, the joy in the journey will be so overpowering that you will wish you had known them before! Now this, my friends, is big time Championship styled winning in the only game that counts! This game is not the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup, but the deadly serious game of Life!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 17, 2011

BLAMELESS IN THE END...(as we stand before Him!)

A Guest Message
 by PASTOR ED EVANS (Retired Pastor, US Marine Corps)

Scripture: 1st Corinthians 1:1-9
1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
1:2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,
1:5 for in every way you have been enriched in Him, in speech and knowledge of every kind
1:6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you
1:7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:9 God is faithful; by Him you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

There is a story that made the rounds two years ago, supposedly out of Mt. Vernon, Texas, that pretty much describes much of what is going on today in our society. Although originally purported to be true, it's not, but rather probably originated in a pastor's sermon admonishing his congregation not to let secular issues get in the way of their faith.
As the story goes, in Mt. Vernon, Texas, Drummond's Bar began construction on expansion of their building to increase their business. In response, the local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar's expansion, using petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up until the week before the grand reopening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
After the bar burning to the ground by a lightning strike, the church folks were rather smug in their outlook, bragging about the power of prayer, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church "was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means".
In its reply to the court, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise. 
In court, the judge read through the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's reply, and at the opening hearing he commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but it appears from the paperwork that we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that now does not." 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, January 16, 2011




Revival is just a word...
I've prayed, and others have prayed.... "Send a revival Lord, please!!!"
But not a lot has happened, in terms of what revival means...
What does it mean?
There are three aspects:
1] Souls to be saved...
2] Sinners to change their hearts...
3] Saints to emerge... for the complacent, defeated, self focused to begin to turn their hearts and pray!
Revival depends on us...
It depends on us praying the right prayer, with the right attitude, for the right length of time...
What is the right prayer?
I finally asked God! And I felt something, a deep yearning, crying inside to come out... And at a church, the word came to me - "Life!" Simple? Enormous!!!
So don't just pray "send a revival Lord!", unless you are praying and desiring for these things to take place in your life!
Then you will have the revival your heart longs for...
And don't forget to say -"Start it in me!"


Are you being Real?
Are you ready to Return to the Lord (Hosea 6:1-2)?
Are you ready to Renounce your sins (put away the old things)?
Are you ready to now RENEW your heart?
Are you ready for Repentance?
If you are all these things ----Restoration, Reconciliation and Rejoicing are YOURS!

Revival is not a rootin-tootin Tent meeting with fire and brimstone even though this is a great thing too! It's great for a church and/or community to have these things as it fires up the body of Christ. However, TRUE revival, as you can see from the above "Are you....?" is about reviving your spirit and your love and passion for God. When each individual walks in this anointing, then an entire church or town can be in Revival mode!!!

None of what I have written conflicts with Deb's inspirational exhortation above. What it does is seek to create the foundations of personal revival to go about the Kingdom business Deb talks about above. This is the business of preaching the Gospel, planting seeds and bringing many to a saving knowledge of Christ!! AMEN!

Enhanced by Zemanta


On February 20, 2006  Peter Waldron was arrested while working in Kampala, Uganda.  He was beaten and thrown into Uganda's infamous Luzira Prison. The reasons why he was arrested, who he was and what he was doing in East Africa prompted a lot of questions during the brutal interrogation process.

This TRUE LIFE incident and subsequent events in the unbelievable life of this solid man of God and patriotic American, is told in an intense and stirring new movie "THE ULTIMATE PRICE". He is the trailer for this soon to be released movie!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Life is not a sprint but a marathon! The parable of the seed talks about the seed that falls on the rocks. In today's world that is a perfect illustration of the modern American Christian - he/she accepts the word of God as a vaccine but at the first sign of trouble, persecution or an answer to a "prayer" that the he/she does not like - that person is GONE! THAT, my friends, is NOT a WALK WITH CHRIST!
This teaching video goes into the Biblical definition of Walking with the Lord...and how to practically apply Scripture and your own life to what this kind of Walk is all about!

Micah 6:8 ESV says "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


How do we inspire our young people to learn beyond what is taught or isn’t taught in the classrooms?
There are stories in history, lessons buried in fact, and things our schools don’t even teach or tap into for the sake of brainwashing our country or fitting it to some politically correct agenda (which is why our country is behind other countries academically).  For instance, did you know that slavery was begun by a black person?
My nephew hates history.  It’s all dates and memorization.  But he sits and listens to my twisted fairy tales. I tell him, “Read.  Learn what you have to in school, but read outside of school.  Learn history.  Question the teaching, or do what you have to do to pass, but learn on your own.”  My college professor loved that I challenged the history text book used for the class.  In reading other sources, I found out much of the so-called fact was later proven to be a fraud, and long before that text book was printed.
That’s the word God has put on my heart in recent months.  I want to read and learn about history.  In every history, there are triumphs and shame.  I am going to read one book a week—some of which are required for my blog tours and reviews—but some I will do on my own.  I will also put a review on here if the book inspires or makes me learn.  Two nonfiction and two fiction books is the goal.  In fact, a blogger wrote how reading the theologians and history has helped improve her writing.  That person encouraged people to read outside their genre. I want history to teach me to be a better voter, a more informed person, and a better writer.

Here are the books on that list thus far:

Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef (currently reading)
America by Heart by Sarah Palin
Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
Tried by War, Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James McPherson
Hand of Providence by Mary Beth Brown
Ted, White, & Blue by Ted Nugent
C.S. Lewis
Charles Spurgeon
Oswald Chambers

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, January 4, 2011



For a long time I have been concerned that our concept of the word `grace', as translated in our Bible, falls far short of its actual meaning.  It has been spoken of as a gift - which indeed it is - and totally undeserved by any being on the earth, but I believe it is a gift we have barely opened!  The fact that we have received salvation by grace is only a small, but vital, part of the overflowing riches of grace.  It is a powerful and important concept, so important that we cannot become a Christian, or live as a Christian without its operation in our lives.  I would like to suggest that the nature of grace is very like a treasure chest of spiritual riches, and will use a number of ways to illustrate this.1/ THE IMPORTANCE OF GRACE - BY THE LAW OF `MUCH MENTION'Grace is the most common translation of the Greek work `charis'.  It appears one hundred and fifty four times in the New Testament [Strong's Concordance number 5485].  By the `law of much mention', this makes it an important word.  This principle asserts that the more times a key word or phrase appears in God's word, the more significant it is in His eyes.  There are also a good number of words directly related to charis which can be added to the total.  We use "charisma" for the gifts of the Spirit - which is a more specific form of charis - some say the gifts are little graces.  And remember just how amazing these gifts are - miracles and healings, prophecy etc.  How much greater is the total package wrapped up in the little word "grace".

Grace comes from the words for joy and rejoice.  We still use words like Eucharist, for Holy Communion - but it was originally used for giving thanks for a meal - as when Jesus prepared to feed the multitudes.1.  This is why we call the before meal prayer - "grace"...  Eucharist literally means "good grace".  We also have a closely related word referring to Mary being "highly favoured" - and us also, in Ephesians. 1:6 "wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."  And yet another word, sometimes translated "give" but also "forgive" as in Ephesians 4:32 "And be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."  Yet another means congratulations - as in sharing in another's joy.2  All these concepts are part of the huge and wonderful package we call grace.2/ A MORE ACCURATE DEFINITION OF CHARISCharis is not as common in ancient Greek writings as it is in Scripture.
The Theological Dictionary of the NT says, "Plato has the meanings "good pleasure", "good will", "favour", "what pleases", and "thanks".  And in Hellenism it is "a fixed term for the `favour' shown by rulers, or other dignitaries - even the `gods' grace and wrath is discussed in philosophy.  A second development in Hellenism stresses the power in charis.  This power, which comes from the world above, appears in the divine man and expresses itself in magic".3
Charisma is a specific grace.  William Barclay said it was a military term...
When an emperor came to the throne, or when he was celebrating his birthday, he gave his troops a donatirim [donation] or charisma, which was a free grant of money, a free gift.  They had not earned it as they had their wages; they got it unearned out of the goodness of the emperor's heart.4

So grace has just a little to do with prayer before meals, or with a person who is pleasing, beautiful, stately, admirable etc.  Strong's concordance has "graciousness (as in gratifying) of manner or act (abstract or concrete, literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and it's reflection in the life; including gratitude.)"

Biblical grace really means - everything God gives us freely, out of the goodness of His heart.  It doesn't just mean God's mercy and kindness - there is so much more God gives to us.  And the gift that we so often forget, is - His "influence upon the heart, and it's reflection in the life."  In other words, the ability to live the Christian life comes totally from Him - "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast". (Ephesians 2:8-10)

God's grace is not static - it is a vital, living, breathing in and out of the power of His Spirit.3/ FAITH - OPENING THE TREASURE CHEST OF SPIRITUAL RICHESTreasure!  It's an exciting word in our materialistic culture.  But these aren't earthly riches, rather those of the Spirit.  And it is not until we see our spiritual poverty and admit our weakness, that we will be looking for God's treasure.  So many of us strive mightily against self-focused flesh - and frequently fail.  We think this is what it means to live as a Christian - to try and "be good", yet in three of the Gospels, Jesus said that "No one is good--except God alone".5  It is humanism that asks us to be good - God asks us to do good - in His strength.  He asks us to be perfect - not the faultlessness of a perfect machine, but maturity - a perfect baby cannot work for God's kingdom.

When we see our poverty - and look at what God is offering, our next step is to take up the key - faith.  We believe that God can do all these things - but we must believe He wants to do them for us, in us, and through us.  There are those who don't know God personally who trust Him to help more than many Christians do.  Yet to know Him is the greatest gift in the treasure chest - for it is the difference between darkness and light, fear and love, between hell and heaven.  To have that sure foundation for the Christian life is an eternal issue.  But God wants to give so much more - an abundant life filled with joy and peace and love and light, sometimes despite the circumstances.  The spiritual life doesn't depend on circumstances, but in the treasure chest is victory over them.  "He said to me, `My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)  A life of adventure, companionship and fulfilling work - all this and heaven too.

A.W. Tozer shares a prayer..."God, unto whom all hearts be open... and unto whom no secret thing is hid, I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee. Amen".6  It is grace which enables us to love God, each other and ourselves - and so "fulfilling all the law in one word, even in this: `You shall love your neighbour as yourself'." (Galatians 5:14)  It is by God's grace that we grow into the maturity we need to love one another, and to love those we come into contact with - enough to make the kind of difference that will show, that will draw people to us, and to our God.

The writer to the Hebrews puts it best: (4:15-16) "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."  

Enhanced by Zemanta