Wednesday, March 30, 2011


“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Genesis 19:26
“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.  On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down and get them.  Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.  Remember Lot’s wife!  Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.  I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”
– Luke 17:30-35

Coincidentally, I thought about Lot’s wife in conjunction with a friend’s struggle to let go of the past.  Some of us tend to pick our feet up and move forward one slow step at time.  Others are threatened by the truth.  They put up their hands and say, “It’s too scary to move forward.  I want sympathy, not truth.  I don’t want to live.  I want what I used to have.”  The question I posted on Facebook was:  When Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt was it because of her disobedience to God or does the scripture go even deeper?
Pastor Bernie Lutchman responded with,
“Basically she was told (along with Lot) to NOT look back…and that meant in all senses of the word – kinda like when grumbling Israel moaned about how “good” they had it under slavery in Egpyt and blamed Moses for everything.  She had a pretty luxurious lifestyle in Sodom. Remember Lot chose the best land from under Abraham! In Luke 17:32 Jesus mentioned her in as much to say..when He says go – just drop everything don’t look in the rear view mirror – something may be gaining on you!!  Great lesson as well about letting the dead past bury the dead past and constantly focused ahead without trying to recapture the past.”
It was the answer I was looking for, but I was disappointed that no one else participated.  Perhaps my conscious probed the deeper motivations for writing transparently?  Am I walking forwards or backwards?  Conversationally talking about my past is like therapy.  It helps me think it out, make sense of it all, and when you really see, you can see God in it all.  There’s a healthy way of looking backwards.  It’s when you use your past to help others who have not yet healed.  If you are always standing in the puddle of the past, you’re bound to sink into it and become mired in the misery, angry because everyone else is living.  I like laughing.  I like the silliness of life.  I like taking risks.  If I fail, I praise God.  If I succeed, I praise God.  In my hikes, I’ve seen the clouds move over the sky and momentarily hide a patch of ground from the sun.  The semi-darkness is never forever.  The sun will peek through again and shine its warmth on the ground drying up the mud.
Lot’s wife had friends.  She had wealth.  Was it the fascination of seeing the wonder of God’s wrath pouring out over Soddom and Gomorrah, or was it a yearning to turn back and go home?  In Genesis 19, I sense hesitancy on the part of Lot and his wife from the very beginning.  Neither really wanted to leave.  He begged God to let him go to a nearby town for safety rather than to flee without stopping through the plains.  In Matthew 19:24 it says, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”  Letting go is a lot like attempting to pry the keys from a drunken man’s hand so he doesn’t bring others down with him.
Could you refrain from looking back?  What does that say about my belief in an omnipresent God?  Are things more important?  Am I waiting with open arms for His return?  Or is one eye looking over my shoulder in regret of what I would leave behind?
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Sunday, March 27, 2011


Victory and Deliverance can come out of radical and Biblically sound Prayer Counselling! Here is my latest worldwide post on three separate cases with the Biblical Foundation to undergird it!!

Set the Captives Free

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



Grab your coffee and let’s go check out Mephibosheth who is down on his knees, completely surrendered before David.

Now to those who read this history without the spiritual significance, it doesn’t make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :(If anything, whenever we think of the word surrender or the position of surrendered, it feels more negative than positive, and it’s not a place or position that we’re eager to go to. Reading this story without the ink of grace casts a dark cloud on its outcome. It is only by reading it with our spiritual senses that we can recognize its true significance.

I know for me, surrender was like a sign of weakness which stemmed from watching my mom get the sense beat out of her by my step-dad when I was a little girl. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t be weak and let others be stronger over me, and every time my step-dad or my mom would “over-spank” me, that philosophy got beaten into me even deeper. That took some undoing, let me tell you. The crazy thing I’ve learned about being surrendered is there is more strength found in that mindset, in that position than there is in self-sufficiency, thinking I have to be strong all on my own.

So let’s look up the definition of surrender(ed) and see what we find:
To relinquish possession or control of to another; to give up or abandon; restoration of an estate – hmmmm, that one’s interesting. Now let’s check out the Hebrew and Greek concordance and see what they have to say about surrender and then we can put it all together.

Interesting, the word surrender is actually not in the Word, so I looked up its synonym and it’s “submit.” Now that’s in there for sure. Okay. In the Old Testament, it means to humble one’s self. Let’s check out the New Testament, the Greek definition: A voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, to be under obedience. Wow, that’s a mouthful.

How ironic that I’ve been reading a book by Andrew Murray on humility. I’m thinking He’s really wanting me to get this so let me share a few things with you about humility, the root in which grace can grow!
So what does it mean to humble one’s self? The first step of that is realizing that true humility doesn’t just happen with the snap of our fingers. No, it must become the object of priority, a special desire, if you will.

It takes prayer for sure, and then it needs to be practiced. This same position of surrender that we read about Mephibosheth being in, our Redeemer has also been in, not for Himself, but for us. If we really want to humble ourselves, we must study the character of Christ so our souls will be filled with love and admiration for His own surrendering and submission to serving us. It is then that we will understand that He came to bring humility back to earth so we could become partakers of it.
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Part 1

Grab your coffee and let’s get back to King David and Mephibosheth who is prostrate on his face right in front of King David. Hurry!

Oh, if only I could have been a bug in David’s head as he watched his best friend’s son come into his throne room. How his heart must have filled with love and joy to see him. The scriptures make it very clear that David was indeed happy to welcome him and that his happiness far outweighed Mephibosheth’s pain, shame, and fear.
Isn’t that how it is with Jesus when we finally come to Him with our burdens, fears and our shame? He washes us with peace and a happiness that transcends all understanding, and not because we deserve it, but just because He loves us like no one else can or will.

So David looks to Mephibosheth and calls his name very gently. And Mephibosheth answered: “Here is your servant.” David’s reassuring response tells us that Mephibosheth is still pretty scared and/or nervous: “Do not fear for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan, your father’s sake . . .” DETOUR AHEAD!

Now let’s swap out the characters here. David is Jesus and Mephibosheth is you, or me. Jesus is telling you and me to take off the garments of fear, shame, anxiety, and any other negative emotion that keeps us from bowing our hearts and knees to Him, for He will most definitely clothe you and me with kindness for His Father’s sake, and for ours! Do you see the symbolism? We have the same kind of reception awaiting us when we come to Him!
The example we see in Mephibosheth is that of complete surrender, despite his fear and shame and being crippled in both feet. See, for many who are crippled with lameness, shame, addiction, eating disorder, relationship problems, surrendering is the hardest thing that will have to be done before breaking free from that which keeps you crippled. I better let you go for now, but please join me on Wednesday for more on the subject of surrender.

Reach out and make it a great day!

(Bernie's Note: Evinda can be heard here on BLOGTALK radio! Her popular Understanding Personality Program is on air at 1pm Pacific Time!)
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011


2 Thessalonians 5:17 exhorts us to "pray without ceasing". Can a person really pray without "ceasing"? What about sleeping, eating, going to work etc etc... Someone would ask..even the most enthusiastic Christian!

This is a great question! The answer, of course, is YES! You can pray WITHOUT ceasing because if you ever cease or stop praying, you have stopped your fellowship and communion with Holy God, through Jesus Christ.

These three words pack POWER!! Let's take "PRAY". The original Greek word is "proseúxomai" which means to interact with God by converting from YOUR wishes to WHAT HE WANTS TO IMPART THROUGH YOUR FAITH IN HIM!!!" Can you see now why WORDS have MEANING! God does not just put words in Scripture to hear Himself talk. The Holy Spirit is giving full direction and counsel from Jesus what is expected of a Christian!

Now, the OTHER WORDS are :WITHOUT CEASING". The original Greek word is "adialeíptōs: which means "leave NO TIME-GAP between this prayer and the next one"! Simple, huh! Christ, through His Spirit wants nothing left between us and Abba, no stumbling blocks and hindrances or lapses in time or continuum, when it comes to praying!! So the next time you see this VERY SHORT VERSE - just remember, you can actually pray without ceasing! Because it is like breathing in and out - it is the Breath of Life - Fellowship with the LORD...ALWAYS!!
In Jesus' Name, amen.
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Monday, March 21, 2011


“Just like these traffic signs and signals, God alerts His children of danger in the world. It is important for us to stay in tune with the Lord so that we can see His warning signs as we go through each day. the more we seek Him, the more our eyes are opened to His directions and guidance for our life’s journey. Today, prepare your heart and mind to hear the from the Lord. And don’t forget, when you study a block of scriptures, God often gives you an opportunity to practice what you are learning. He wants you to move head knowledge to heart knowledge.” – Carla McDougal
Was it something I said? Was it something I did? I wrapped my mind about it, dissected it, prodded it, and yet no answers came as to what to do or say. Then, I received this in my inbox.
What keeps your voice from being heard by those around you? Are you living a life of integrity and compassion? Do you consider the perspectives of others and how they might hear your words before you speak? Are you speaking in such a way that your words build up those who hear them? Sharing your thoughts so that you are able to influence others is an art, not a science. How can you improve your communication with others?
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Prayer: Lord, I want the things I say to benefit those who hear me. Help me to listen to those I come in contact with, to discern their needs, and to speak words that encourage and strengthen them. Help me know when to listen and when to speak. May my words convey Jesus’ love, wisdom and character, and build up the people with whom I interact today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
It’s from Lead Like Jesus. Again, God speaks. It’s my answer to that knotty question. And once again, I’m getting out of the way so that God can work.
Read Acts 21-22:21: Note all of the warning signs given to Paul and his responses to them. Like Carla says, the more we seek Him the more our eyes are opened to Him
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Sunday, March 20, 2011


The Gift that keeps on Giving!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


CARLA MCDOUGAL (regular guest )
Temple of Zeus in Athens at Athens.Image via Wikipedia
The Athenians seemed to be a religious group of people. But, the problem is, they didn’t build their foundation on the true word of God. As a result, leaks in their religious thinking made it possible for false teachings and idol worship to seep in and spread. – Carla McDougal
Over the course of any year a book will explode in popularity promising “new” ideas of Christianity. Those ideas will spread like a refreshing blast of spring water over a parched desert. We drink up it’s promises as we attempt to grow more enlightened or pious in our thinking. This is the way God’s Word should be; it should burst into our world with greater impact than those books written by mortal men. Instead, we become refreshed for a moment only until the idea ages and someone else reinvents it and calls it their own. We’re all trying to be a Billy Graham, but some of us have become like the city of Athens as spoken about in Acts 17:10-33.

The NIV Study Bible gave me a lot of insight into these verses. Centuries prior to Paul’s visit to Athens, the city was famous for it’s art, philosophy and literature. In Paul’s day, Athens glory had faded, but it still maintained a good university and was well esteemed for its Philosophy. In Acts 17:10-33, Paul visits the ‘meeting of the Aeropagus.’

Aeropagus means ‘hill of ares.’ Ares was the Greek god of war. The council considered themselves, “custodians of teachings that introduced new religions and foreign gods.” Paul discovered the tomb of the unknown god among all of the idols in the meeting place. The Greeks were fearful of offending any god and so the tomb of the unknown god stood in various places all over Athens. Paul referenced the tomb in his preaching. Stoic and Epicurean philosophers gathered around him to hear the Good News. Some were moved by his words and others scorned him.

When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, ‘we want to hear you again on this subject.’ (Acts 17:32)”

“But when you get right down to it,” Carla McDougal writes on potholes. “Poor foundations and water create potholes.” Poor foundations create potholes! Poor foundations are when we listen and believe in other gospels and faiths, buying into perhaps that all religions lead to the same God. Or we dissect what we like about a religion and after taking a little from here and there we create our own god. Maybe God disappointed us and like shopping for a new car, we look for a new god to worship because we believe in something divine. Read the Bible!

There are many noteworthy narratives about the Christian faith and devotions that are heart stirring, but unless your main reading is the Bible your foundation cannot long withstand the pressures of culture, popularity, and tradition. The worship of the one true God requires more than fluff, more than emotion, but a total, hard core and loving devotion; more than the devotion that you give to your spouse and more than an allegiance to a country. There is only one way to Heaven and He does not compromise nor is He politically correct
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The Brevity of Life and How Jesus handled two tragic incidents in the Bible!

ACTION POINT: Read Luke 12 and Luke 13:1-5!

The massive earthquake which just hit parts of Japan will resurrect several strains of discussion, not just among the educational secular elite and intelligentsia, but even among Christians, about “How can a Good God allow this to happen”?

In fact this question and its assorted versions have been used by atheists, secularists and those who hate the God of the Book (which is what the word “BIBLE” means). It has been so since ancient times, but blaming God for natural tragedies and illnesses have been increasing in its boldness in the past 300 years.

Anyone who has watched the Tsunami just wipe out houses, cars and ships in its wake during the current tragedy in Japan, would be stunned at the ferocity and sheer power of nature. A twenty foot plus wall of water, advancing at up to 560 mph, is a scary thing to watch, even from thousands of miles away in the safety of the Midwestern United States!

This brings a little mentioned incident in the Gospel of Luke. Here is Luke 13: 1-5 (NLT) “About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered?


Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.” (Bold emphasis mine)

Two things were reported to Jesus by most likely His disciples or one of the many curious hangers-on, who turned against Him in John 6:66! One was that Governor Pilate was killing people from the same region Jesus grew up in! At the first look, some may say Jesus acted very non-chalantly to that news. He did not. He came to teach. Before one can form the proper biblical view of these hard verses, PLEASE READ CHAPTER 12.

My knowledge of Christ shows me that Christ is more interested in the eternal soul of a person than anything else on the earth – IF it comes down to such a thing. The Galileans were killed and persecuted in the Temple for obeying the Laws of the Torah (or the ancient Jewish Law). Jesus would know if their faith was strong enough and had already judged them according the Plumbline of Father Abraham!

He had the same reaction to the news about the 18 who died at the Pool of Siloam! The Lord showed His Hand when He said “YOU TOO WOULD PERISH – UNLESS YOU REPENT”!!!

Both these situations recall what Jesus Himself said in Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Emphasis mine.

Repentance is a topic for another day. To remain in focus here, Jesus actually revealed that both the Galileans killed by Pilate AND the 18 killed in the Pool accident did NOT make it into heaven! He said they perished…”unless YOU REPENT, you WILL PERISH TOO!!”

This is the first instance in the Bible of Jesus Himself saying who is already in hell! The good news is GOD DOES NOT WANT ANYONE to perish….and that means NOONE! NONE!! ZERO! ZIP! NADA! NAUGHT!

“The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” says 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT). There it is! Those same words – “perish” and “repent”!! I think if this were me, I would get it by now…and that is – God is trying to tell me something!

So at first glance, it will seem like a harsh reaction from the loving Jesus (to the Galilean slayings and the tragic Siloam accident). It would seem contrary to the Sunday message we all hear about from “tickle-your-ears” preachers. To understand His reaction here, please let us back up to Luke 12. Before I publish the entire chapter of Luke here (for the most part), I must say WHY I am doing this, and then let the Word of God get on the platform and speak for itself while I get out of the way!!!


First, how can an atheist/agnostic/deist/doubter (for they are all the same) blaspheme or criticize Holy God as Absolute, Absolutely uncaring and even Absolutely Judgmental, WHEN THEY DO NOT BELIEVE HE EXISTS! There are only two types of people in this world – those who believe and those who do not. Under the terms of logic, those who make absolute statements like this about God, and then say there is no such things as Absolute Truth are guilty of doublespeak! They themselves have just made an Absolute Statement contradicting themselves!

Therefore, they have lost their case and credibility!

Secondly, men of all tribes, tongues and races in the Developed World – from China to Chihuahua (Mexico); from Tokyo to Thailand; from Rome to Romania; from London to Lima; from Spain to Siberia; from Maine to Madagascar and from New York City to New Zealand –have heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For centuries, since the Moravians sent out their first missionaries to the West Indies, men and women have risked their physical lives in the service of Almighty God to fulfill the Great Commission and take the Good News to the Ends of the Earth!

(Here is the Great Commission Matthew 28:19-20 NLT) “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”)

For some reason, modern man (like those before) thinks he has time to “make things right” with God because repenting and getting his/her life in order now would step on their lifestyle and what they envision as their right to a good life here on planet earth. By so doing, they have bought the very first lie from the devil – and he exists – when he told Eve in Genesis 3:4 “surely, you will not die”!!!

If you look at the obituaries in any local newspaper in any state or province of this world, you will see an increasing number of young adults or even teenagers, who have been called “home” in the prime of their lives or in the midst of their opulent busy ‘lifestyles’. From the descriptions of their lives and loves, it becomes obvious they did not have a relationship with God or were even professing salvation in Christ!


God is no respecter of persons. He gives us the same opportunities to be saved, sanctified and made right (justified) before Him. Yet modern deceived people keep putting it off, not believing it or worse – not wanting to even HEAR Him talk.

So, finally, when a tragedy happens, such as horrible earthquakes in Chile or Christchurch, New Zealand or Japan, God (through His missionaries in the flesh or on TV/Radio etc) has already given each of us, a chance to repent and be saved! Therefore when the force of Natural occurrences destroys an entire village or city, it is just simply His Timing.

Luke 12 (NLT) will be presented as written. Especially read the last section called “JESUS CAUSES DIVISION”!! It immediately precedes the news Jesus got, which I mentioned above about the Tower of Siloam falling on and killing 18 people (because Chapter 13 begins …”About that time…

This entire passage is not one of those! Luke 12 is plain and gives a warning to anyone – Christian or not – who has incorrect notions and beliefs about the Son of God and what He is saying to us in these last days. Please do not ignore it!






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Thursday, March 10, 2011


"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him"...
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)

Our God blesses those who bless Him. We can never outgive the God and Creator Who made us. All He asks is that in times of trouble or despair, comfort or pain, joy or name it...ALL HE ASKS IS - we remember Him.
All He asks is we trust Him.
All He asks is we call on Him.
All He asks is we persist, insist and don't resist HIM.

Christ is the Author and Perfector of our Faith. Can we get anymore real or really good than this? What can this world offer us? NOTHING. So trust in the Lord, call on Him, depend on Him and He will direct, guide, provide and illumine your path!

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Sunday, March 6, 2011


  There are only really two churches - the church of man and the church of God. The church is here to "show God to the people"... You could say, we are individually and collectively "God's expression of Himself on the earth"... To the extent that any church, or any member of a church, does not show God, is the extent to which human nature is still operating in them.
I have been concerned that leadership sometimes sets a bad example, and will be accountable to God for that. I do see it as an infiltration of worldly cultures, where leadership is from the top down, where the "little people" have to hold up the big guys. If you take this to its conclusion, it's no wonder so many church leaders feel uneasy, and are also sometimes afraid to promote gifted people, for they may lose their top position. And instead of linking in and supporting other churches - like holding hands around the city - there is competition and bad feeling - as if we weren't all on God's side, for His purposes! The prime rule - to love - has been forgotten, as has happened so tragically through the ages. Nothing illustrates the church of man so graphically, as a lack of real caring love, that reaches out to uphold others. How do leaders expect their members to behave, with this example? Love is the sign of true maturity - the perfection that scripture speaks of. [Matt 5:48; Eph 4:13; Heb 5:14]
The kind of leadership Jesus showed by his life, and taught to his disciples, was of one who served, looked after others, didn't think about himself. [Mark 9:35; 10:44] I strongly suspect that the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes [Rev. 2:6; 2:15] was actually about the wrong kind of leadership - 'nike' means conquer (like the sports gear!) and 'laity' just means people. Somewhere, somehow, 'laity' came to mean 'those who are not ministers', and a separation was created. John the apostle reported the Lord as even hating the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, yet it is a fact that we do not really know what this was about, although scholars have made some guesses. I prefer to think that the Lord didn't leave it there for us to guess - the meaning of the word itself is plain.
Wrong kind of leadership is about building up an empire of self, about trying to feel important by having a lot of influence - but it won't be real. And it will not impress the Lord when there is an accounting for stewardship. In God's eyes, we are born important - a God-created bundle of amazing ability and wonderful potential! To develop our gifts, to give of these to help others in many varied ways, is our calling as a human being. It certainly is not the prerogative of a few! A church leader is to serve by doing all he or she can to help others develop their gifts - that is the highest calling. It is the people confronting the lost in their homes, shops and workplaces that need real support. The aim is to spread the Gospel far and wide - the church is called to expand sideways - not downwards!
I think the model of 1-10 Moses was given, was a healthy balance as to how many people one is looking after directly. More than that, there will be some who are overlooked. Think about the tithe as well, if ten families give ten percent to the one looking after them, that would give an average income - then ten percent of this income is given to one looking after the hundreds (the leader of the leaders of the ten), and so-on... There'd be no more of leadership living above the people... Of course the thought of a home group leader (pastor) getting a wage does seem a little ridiculous to us, and who would pay for the church buildings, and missionaries etc?... But it does bear some thought.
I'd like to finish with King David's last speech:
The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. 2 Samuel 23:2-4
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Reflecting Him: The Work Zone by CARLA MCDOUGAL

Read: Acts 16:1-40
A preacher’s words may strike an emotional nerve, mold or warm a heart not yet cold, but the positive actions of a believer opens the eyes of the most cynical among us. Acts 16:1-40 takes us to Philippi.

Few Jews lived in Philippi. There was not enough to justify building a synagogue. The Jews met outside the city gates near running water to pray. Paul and Silas walked to this place of prayer when a slave girl began to harass them. She cried out repeatedly, “These men are the servants of the most high God who are telling you the way to be saved (v. 17b).” According to the NIV notes ‘Most High God’ was a title, “used by the man possessed by an evil spirit (Mk. 5:7). It was a common title among both Jews (see NU. 24:16; Isa. 14:14; Da. 3:26) and Greeks (found in Inscriptions). But the title is not used of God in the NT by Christians or Jews (cf. Ac. 7:48).”

Impatiently, Paul whirls around and commanded the evil spirit out of the slave girl. Greed motivated the owners of the slave girl. They could no longer profit on the girl’s ability to predict the future and vented their frustration upon Paul and Silas. The owners pressed charges and the authorities of Philippi flogged Paul and Silas and threw them in prison. Paul and Silas spent the evening singing hymns and praying to God. In Acts 16:25b, “…and the other prisoners were listening.” Unjustified prison time wouldn’t have motivated me to sing hymns and to pray. Rather it would cause assertions of rage and passionate declarations of innocence.

The violent earthquake that crushed the prison and released the prison doors did not encourage Paul and Silas to escape. The prisoners might have encouraged it. The jailor ran into the destroyed prison in sheer panic. He had a family. His position in Philippi was not envied. Nasty consequences followed the escape of any prisoner. It meant the Jailor must take his own life in exchange. The jailor rushed in expecting all the prisoners, including Paul and Silas, to have vacated the premises.

Can you imagine the temptation? The authorities imprison you unjustly and God has freed you. Perhaps, any other human being would have taken the open prison doors as a sign to run, but I think the open doors were symbolic of how God would use Paul and Silas’ prison time. The Jailor takes out his sword and prepares to pierce his own body with the blade. Instead, Paul yells out in Acts 16:28, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The prisoners listened to Paul and Silas’ singing and prayers. It was counter cultural and their actions changed the whole mood and intentions of the prisoners.

The Jailor and his family took care of Paul and Silas after becoming saved through the Spirit. He knew they were Christians by their actions. “Learning to live in victory with Jesus despite our circumstances should be one of our prayers as Christians. The enemy tries to entice believers into believing that they are immune to persecution. False! Christians are targets. Not because the enemy can snatch us from Jesus’ hand, but because we are Jesus’ hands and feet here on earth. The enemy works hard to encumber our relationships with Jesus so that we fail to accomplish God’s purposes. God uses these difficult times in our lives to refine us, perfect our faith, and make us more like Jesus. They can be compared to work zones in road construction. One day you’re driving down the highway and come upon a sign like the one at the beginning of today’s study: Road Work Ahead.” Says Carla McDougal.

In the Christian life expect three things: Expect the Unexpected, Slow Down, and Pay Attention to the Signs. Your grasp of the English language may make you appear like a believer, but your testimony becomes your actions. Like Paul and Silas, we can sing hymns and pray carrying a good attitude in the midst of difficulty while bearing our freshly made wounds to the world, or we can pout, throw a fit, or treat someone badly. What do you think is more powerful?

Thursday, March 3, 2011


This map shows the percentage of the U.S. adul...Image via Wikipedia

Bernie Lutchman

Events in this world are racing so fast out of control, and from one sequence to another, that sometimes it’s difficult to keep focused on what just happened 5 hours ago! A friend of mine once likened these shortened days of the End Times to the last few sheets in a roll of paper towels…. that is to say, the closer you get to the empty cardboard roll in the middle, the faster the sheets fall off!

So is it with these fleeting days! We look around and find ourselves living in what could be most generously termed – a parallel universe! On one side – the side with all the glitz, glamour and going bonkers – we have the Charlie Sheens, Lady Gaga and Lindsay Lohans of this world. At the side of this, we have “Father of the Year” Billy Ray Cyrus complaining about his daughter Miley’s slide into Sodom and Gomorrah in Hollywood – WHEN HE WAS THE ONE WHO LET HER GO THERE!!!

On the world stage, we have varied and assorted madmen from the anti-Semitic Iranian President to a man who ran his country for 41 years and a full army, yet remained a Colonel – Muammar el-Gaddhafi (or however they spell his name these days).

On the church level, more and more so-called Evangelical churches have leaders, who are not even saved, preaching the Gospel! Why do I say that? Because they said so, in a their own way! They not only believe more and more in Evolution, but we have proof!


The latest and largest Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey of 35,000 adults was conducted in 2008. It found that 57% of the people sitting next to you in Church believe that ALL RELIGIONS LEAD TO ETERNAL LIFE AND HEAVEN AND THERE ARE OTHER WAYS THAN JESUS!! Now this is the United States, but it’s even worse in Western Europe and Canada!

This is over half of American congregations…from evangelical churches! The word “evangelical” comes from the Greek word, which means “good news”! This is good news indeed …for the devil! He is winning the intellectual battle on earth. This also confirms what the Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 22:14 “many are called but FEW are chosen”!

There are all kinds of stunned and concerned Disciples of Christ who are looking not just for the reasons for all of this, but the solutions to save the NEXT generations before it is too late. But from what we’re hearing from further research by Dr. Ken Ham and Britt Beemer from Answers in Genesis, it may be already too late! They published a book in 2009 called ALREADY GONE which showed with facts and figures, how have already LOST the current and NEXT generation of kids, starting in 6th Grade!!

The culprit is not just weak church leadership not following the Bible, but the Curriculum and lack of proper Discipleship and Mentoring in most US churches! We have already lost most of the mainline, Orthodox and other traditional churches. In fact the same Pew Religion survey found over 25% of their congregation DOUBTED THE EXISTENCE OF GOD!! Yet they call themselves Christians!!


How did all this bad news happen? Read the Bible Teachings on here by my brother in Christ, friend and even my mentor himself – Dr. Earl Powell. He just posted a major 14 page Document. This teaching by the Doc is full of the richness of the Bible, while direct you there for all the answers and will show not just how FAR we have fallen but how we can return to the fold of Christ followers!

TIP: search above for Earl Powell and then click on the photo, which says “Godmobile” on it. You will find that aforementioned bible study which should take you over two weeks to go through properly!

Just briefly, there are MANY, MANY reasons for our youth leaving the Faith – physically when they graduate from High School and mentally from 6th Grade on…and it not only has to do with the teaching of Evolution which church leaders are ill-equipped to combat. One major reason is – our youth and the adults in this Pew Survey (and similar ones by George Barna) – do NOT believe the Bible!

It has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of some of their parents living like the devil all week, minus one hour in church. Churches have turned into glorified pep rallies, with just enough Jesus to qualify for the race, have our kids for a couple hours each week, then turn them loose for the rest of the week – INTO THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND!!

Now thank God for Godly parents, homeschoolers, private schools, Bible studies in public high schools and more…. but they are still the minority. When several of our so-called conservative church leaders are doubting not just the young earth Theory (where God created the earth in 6 real days, less than 7000 years ago) but they doubt the Cross-, the Blood and the Deity of Christ, the God-Man – HOUSTON, we have a big problem!

Doubters, scoffers and intellectuals will dismiss the Bible as a book of tales and as the unsaved US President Thomas Jefferson once said about the book of Revelation “ it is a book written by the imaginations of a mad man”!! Those of us who have the Spirit of Christ – the Holy Spirit – living not just in us, but teaching us DAILY, know the Truth of the Bible – it is the LIVING, BREATHING WORD OF GOD!


One of the biggest stumbling blocks for these doubters and scoffers makes the BIGGEST difference to what we’re talking about – the Deity of Jesus Christ! Other religions and cults call him a prophet or a good man. Modern secularists and humanists said he was some kind of a moral teacher. Mainline churches dispute not just the Crossing at the Red Sea by Moses, but the Virgin Birth of Jesus AND they doubt His Deity as well as the Resurrection! The fool has said in his heart and loud enough for us to hear that “Jesus never claimed to be God”!!

Oh yeah? Here is Jesus Himself in John 14:9-10 (AMP) “Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power).

The Deity of Christ and His Incarnation as both Man and God has baffled not just pagans worldwide, but religious scholars and now so-called “Christians” of this Age! This is the Foundation of ALL I have previously mentioned in this essay! If the matter of just WHO Jesus really is, has NOT been settled in the mind of a person, there is not transaction to be made with God the Father, because this person has NO CLUE or relationship with God the Son!

Therefore, this person is headed for an eternity in Hell!

Jesus has many titles and offices, present tense. But He had ONE big one, which will only occur once in Human History, and it ended on a Cross at Calvary almost 2000 years ago.

Jesus was God Who came to Earth as a baby born in a manger, to fulfill prophecy, minister and then die as a real MAN. Yet He never lost His Attribute as God of Creation!


Philippians 2:6-8 (AMP) says “Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God (possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God), did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!

Note several things in BOLD:

ONE WITH GOD – He was not just a form of GOD BUT EQUAL to God

POSSESSING THE FULLNESS OF THE ATTRIBUTES WHICH MAKE GOD– Self-explanatory because everything that made Father God, our Father Who art in heaven, made Jesus the same God!

STRIPPED HIMSELF – as the Amplified says, He gave up ALL His rights and privileges of being God and eternal King, to HUMBLE and POUR HIMSELF OUT as an offering for mankind! Think about this for a few minutes and how you or I could ever measure up to a sacrifice like this!!

ASSUME THE GUISE OF A SLAVE – the actual word is NOT servant but slave (doulos in the original Greek)! Jesus is the Ultimate Servant leader! He was born to serve to show US HOW TO SERVE each other…and we haven’t done a good job at this whatsoever!

HE BECAME LIKE MEN AND WAS BORN A HUMAN BEING – having poured Himself out of Heaven to suffer the Shame, suffering and Pain for our Gain, Jesus was born into this earth as a real human to a real human mother – Mary, period! There is no disputing this! His death and some of his life was recorded by the secular Jewish historian Josephus, who later became friends with the Lord’s half-brother James – the head of the Church in Jerusalem!

HE ABASED AND HUMBLED HIMSELF- do any of us know anyone who would go through, for another human being, what Jesus suffered? He was scorned by the religious leaders, scoffed and tortured by Pilate and then they killed Him on the Cross! This alone is the jaw-dropper of all recorded History!

CARRIED HIS OBEDIENCE TO THE EXTREME OF DEATH – Hebrews 5:8 (AMP) explains it best…since Scripture explains Scripture the best – “Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered and, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him”!

THE DEATH OF THE CROSS – You know, Jesus calls those who wish to follow Him, to take up their own Cross (as He did) and follow His Example. He is dead serious about this command. Through the ages, there has been a story about Peter trying to leave Rome before the Persecution began there, so he would not be killed and he saw Jesus dragging His Cross once again, walking towards Rome.

Peter was so torn up that he immediately turned around, turned himself in and only asked that he would be crucified upside down! The reason? He said he was not worthy to be crucified the same way as Jesus!

Are we ready for the same? The time of the Great Tribulation and Persecution is almost upon us and us in the Church. Many will go cold and not survive. The Remnant will make it, but with great pain and suffering and Cross-bearing.

Gird up your strength; walk in the Light; live the Great Spirit-filled life and surrender all to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the Joy set before Him (a restored Remnant of mankind) was born the God/Man, to save you and I. In a world of toil, turmoil and terror, this is the Good News, which will never fade away!

(image courtesy Google images)

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