Thursday, November 24, 2016


Senior citizens in the west are treated as almost a disposable group. I have seen in first hand, in over a decade of ministering to and at Senior; Retirement and nursing homes. To be fair, many residents in these homes do need professional medical and other care which they may not be able to receive at home by themsel
ves. However the Lord has a great message for those feel lost, lonely and neglected.  If I had a dollar for every person who told me that our service to them, on a regular monthly basis, makes it easier for them to get through the week, I would be a rich man (in worldly terms).

There is a way for those who are aging, as we all are, to turn to the Lord, get out of the funk they're in..... and just reboot. The great inventor Thomas Edison, founder and creator of the functional light bulb and the record player, once lost over $1 million in property and equipment when his place burned down in West Orange, New Jersey. Think of all the things this genius inventor lost in that fire. One million dollars in 1914 was a huge fortune. Yet Edison said the following “there is value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Now we can start anew!”

Imagine how different things can be for folks in their later years….and even the modern depressed younger generations, if they just turned to the Author and Perfecter of our Faith – the Lord Jesus Christ? His Words, the Words of the Father, inspired by the Holy Spirit are the Trinity of Excellence – timeless and true for all ages of all time. Yet, only even 9-11% of Christians even have the Biblical worldview necessary to live in that peace, joy and contentment. Look at the powerful teaching and encouragement from even a small portion from the Prayer Book of the Bible – the Psalms. Psalm 71:9-14 is the plea of a person who is older. Yet, the Scriptures applies to everyone and a young single mom, or a soldier away from home can place his or her name in there and have the same power from Above as the plea reaches heaven.
Psalm 71.
9    Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
10  For my enemies speak against me;
And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
11  Saying, “God has forsaken him;
Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
12  O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13  Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
14  But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
The inspired author is asking for the Lord not to cast him in Psalm 71:9 (Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails). Sometimes the combat vet with extreme PTSD returning home, or the abandoned teenage girl under peer pressure or the young father struggling to pay medical bills for both his autistic son and an indigent parent DO feel unwanted, unloved and without a lifeline.  Sometimes it feels as if the silence from Heaven is even more overbearing when you’ve spent most of your Christian life talking about the goodness and trustworthiness of the Father. Yet, no help is around the corner.

In times like these, we do not just stop there in verse 9. We do not jump in with the crowd, who sound eerily like Job’s friends and the unbelievers who mock Christians and tell us “God has forsaken him….there is none to deliver him” (Verse 11). We press on. We pray on. We persevere on. We never give up.

We keep reading on and praying ahead and looking up and forward saying, as in Verse 12 in an even MORE intense plea “Oh God do not be far from me….make haste to help me!”  There is nothing wrong with desperate prayers, because if we stick with it. If we stay faithful. If we never ever give up, give in or throw in the towel. If we lift our eyes up unto the hills from where cometh our help...from where our help cometh from the Lord, the victory will come. Though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning.

We may be in pain - young, old, middle-aged. We may feel forsaken. We may see the mocking and the scoffers making fun of our faith. We may even question our faith but HOLD ON! But look at what's coming! HOPE! Hope never dies! Faith is substance AND evidence so we do have a hope.

Look at verse 14 "But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more"! That's powerful. Sometimes the thing we are praying for never gets answered or is answered in the negative. We never turn back because the Eternal City lies beyond Jordan! The Eternal City where the King lives across the cold running river with its unknown currents and turns. But we have Hope based on the substance of our Faith. This will never leave us stranded.

The bottom line is this - when the rubber meets the road and when trouble comes, reboot! Yes - start anew! It matters not if we are 75 years old, retired on a park bench feeding pigeons at 9 am or a 25 year old in the drive up line for a morning Java - start anew. Hope is around the corner. Reach out and grab it! Start anew by grasping for the Ancient Words from the Ancient of Days - Holy God. By doing so, a new God-ordained paradigm, which will immediately come into alignment with the Plans and Purposes of God to confirm our Hopeful Future! Glory to His Name. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The old gospel song says “I know not what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future”…..and so, it goes.  There is absolute Truth in that statement with Jesus Himself instructing us to not worry about tomorrow because Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34b)

Living Life in the moment is where it is at…simply because this is literally ALL we have! Each breath we take is not our own. We are allowed to stand downright upright on this here planet called Earth, because of the Grace, Mercy and Love of God.  Living on borrowed time should really spur us to gratitude, tremendous gratitude because we are just not our own. Even those who do not believe in the God of heaven – Yahweh – have the Law of God written on their hearts.  They may live like He is not their God, but His indelible signature embedded on their souls tell us otherwise. On that Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, all will be revealed and sorted out. But for today, we who are being saved, have so much to be humbled in thanksgiving.

I remember a very rare time where a small measure of self-pity suddenly washed over me and just as quickly, the Lord reminded me of how fortunate and blessed I am to have even the simplest blessing in life. He did it in the form of a song, by of all things, a country station playing a song by Montgomery Gentry called "Lucky Man". It reminds me of how God has been not just to me, personally but just about everyone who lives in western democracies and can move around freely, eat until full and dress with clean clothes while driving a nice car.

It brings to mind the following Psalm of Thanksgiving, in part, from a man after God's own heart - King David:
I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to You before the gods.
I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.
On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul......(Psalm 138:1-3, NASB)

When have we not called out to the Lord and He did not answer? He is Yahweh Jireh, the Lord Who provideth good things to His Children. The earthly half-brother of Jesus reminds us in James 1:17 that "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning". 

The perfect gift could be the roof over your head, when you were worried you had no place to rest your head. It may be the check which showed up in the mail to buy that full tank of gas, so we can go to work next week. It may be the invitation to dinner from the nice older couple at church, just when you were tired of eating leftover meatloaf three days in a row. There is no shifting or waffling with our Heavenly Father - Abba, Who loves us greatly. He is as fixed as the North Star and never changes. Because He is immutable (I, the Lord, do not change - Malachi 3:6a), He can be trusted. Therefore, His promises can be relied on. He gives and gives and then gives some more. We are alive and well today, because He gives....and because He lives. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow.

So, we are thankful and oh so grateful to You, oh God. Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings on me.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


"BELIEVE" - The Christmas family Drama due for national release in U.S. Theaters on Friday December 2, 2016 is a powerful, gritty portrayal of the current condition of small town America in crisis. Yet, in this crisis is the eternal embers of Faith, Hope and Love......overpowering greed, political corruption and cynicism - a perfect portrayal of America in 2016.

IMDB describes the plot thus: "In a small town going through tough economic times, business owner Matthew Peyton (Ryan O'Quinn) struggles between his desire for financial success and the responsibility of funding the annual Christmas pageant. Desperate business decisions ruin his popularity and angry employees seek their revenge. When Matthew meets Clarence (Isaac Ryan Brown), a joyful boy who believes in miracles, he must make a choice: do what's best for himself or give faith a chance by opening his heart to help his community". (Click on link for website).

But it is more than just a story of love and faith overcoming sin and despair. What the writer/producer Billy Dickson accomplishes about 75% of the way through the story seems to be the root cause of some of the decisions people make in life, that affect their current condition. Yet in that moment of self-realization, when God uses the most unlikely people and circumstance to trigger the response which leads to restoration, comes the breakthrough which leads to healing, love and eventual victory. The uncovering of deep emotional scars and wounds comes in the dark night of the soul, where many people sometimes seem too comfortable to hide.
The grittiness of the casting, (with Ryan O'Quinn - JAG, ER etc..- as "Matthew Peyton", a blue-collar millionaire auto parts manufacturer/supplier going through hard times in any-town "Rust Belt, USA"), is outstanding. This is foundational to grasping the direction of this 21st century Christmas story. As a man who lost his parents in an accident, raised by his grandfather and thrown into the role of "benefactor" of both the town's major employer and Christmas pageant producer, Matthew is the original reluctant inheritor of the town pageant where all the local mom and pop vendors based their Christmas hopes for the shopping season. Hard economic times, fueled by a crooked accountant stealing the company blind and working for an outside crony to take over the Peyton Plant, seem to be leading to the cancellation on this one annual event which the town depends on.

When some "muscle" from the local union, connected to a high city official, almost kills Matthew in an assault outside an inner city building, a young boy named CJ (Isaac Ryan Brown as Clarence Joseph) rescues Matthew from almost dying in the street. CJ and his beautiful mother Sharon Joseph (Danielle Nicolet, Central Intelligence etc.) nurse Peyton back to health and from there the story takes off, as CJ's simple, yet unadulterated joy and faith in life (and God, the Life-giver) show Peyton a side of life he has never experienced.

The former Scrooge-like Matthew Peyton, who denies he is "Scrooge", then becomes the benefactor to many cold and homeless people living in the abandoned slum where CJ and Sharon live. The human interaction, crime and political intrigue accelerate as the movie then speeds up to a powerful and gripping conclusion. In all of this, though, Producer/Writer Dickson does a great job weaving humor, love and joy and the importance of Faith in the film as a young child (CJ) leads the hardened despairing business man (Peyton) to "believe". This ultimately happens when CJ is almost killed in fire set by the crooked accountant Albert Bagley (Kevin Sizemore - Woodlawn, Fear of The Walking Dead Flight 462). 

The hospital room scene leads the now broken Peyton to Sharon's well-used Bible. He finally admits his brokenness to an unconscious CJ in his hospital room. Peyton then confesses that he finally believes. He never actually says in Whom he believes, but the viewer should know. The Name of Jesus does appear on a sign at the end of the film when the town finally gets its pageant off the ground. There is a lighted sign which says "JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON"....and that He is! There are some discussion of Faith, the power of prayers and "righteousness" during some of the tough scenes in the movie. In addition, the movie website Resources tab does have PDF's for small group discussion and is worth checking out. Click here.

This could be the surprise faith-based hit for the 2016 Christmas season and definitely worth taking the family to the local theaters, across the Heartland. BELIEVE is rated PG and is a production of POWER OF 3 ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION. Click here for BELIEVE, the movie website.