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Showing posts from 2011

The Harvest is Plentiful

With my age of 84 and Bessie’s death on September 18, 2010 at 91, I have spent more time thinking about death. This is not really new because on 26 September, 1950 I lost five of the men in my battle station on the USS Brush. That evening I conducted the funeral for the man who died in place of me. We buried him at sea. I was 22 years old. I was able to speak at Bessie’s memorial service on Oct 14, 2010. She had asked me to preach the gospel. It was a great joy. I also preached the gospel at that first funeral 60 years earlier. There was a big difference. I am almost certain that fourteen of the sixteen men who died that day were not saved. Little had received Christ a few days before we hit the mine, and Fisher, when he was dying, asked me to pray for the other wounded men. I want you to think about those people who die without Christ. In warfare we think of the people we are shooting at as the bad guys. They may be bad guys. In wars with communists, Muslims, and nations made up m

Fruit of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience , kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22). Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is something that comes with our forgiveness, our salvation. God is patient. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance...And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him” (2 Peter 3:9,15). “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience , not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). When He saved us, He gave us this likeness of Himself. However it is a virtue that is existent without the use of the word. When we use the word “patient” we are probably impatient. “I have waited for you, p

Emotions and Expressions of Them

Emotions and Expressions of Them God has given us, spontaneous expressions of internal emotions. Two of them are tears and laughter. These emotions and expressions can be evoked. A funny story can cause laughter. “Once there was a dear widow woman who lived alone. One day she was working on a jig-saw puzzle of a rooster. She was getting nowhere. In frustration she called a widower who lived near by. She explained her difficulty and asked him if he would come over and help her. He came over; he looked at the picture on the box and at the pieces and said, 'We will never get a picture of this rooster. Let's sit down and have a cup of tea. After that we will put the cornflakes back in the box!'” I could also tell a story which would cause sadness and tears. Real events can also cause laughter and tears. Laughter and tears are God's means of relieving pressure, like a valve on a pressure cooker. Shouting and cheering can be expressions of man-made joy like home runs, touc

The Great Commission

Sometimes we express ourselves in understatements because we cannot express the truth adequately any other way. Sometimes we try and that trying makes it an even greater understatement. Here is an example. It is probably the greatest understated phrase of the last two thousand years: “The Great Commission.” “Then Jesus came to them and said, ' All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age'” (Matthey 28:18-20). The phrase is microscopic when placed next to the truth. Here is the first part of the truth: “all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me.” Please endeavor to get your mind around how much authority that is. It cannot be encompassed with the word “great”. The next word is connected to that t

The Life of Jesus

In the life of Jesus here on earth, 33 years, we have only about 45 recorded days in all four of the Gospels. In the four gospels of 89 chapters, 30 of them are on the last week of His life story. The account of his birth and when he was 12-years-old take 4 more chapters. 30 years of his life are not recorded. The last 3 years are given 55 chapters for 37 days. Many of theses chapters give accounts of the same teachings, parables, miracles, and narratives. There is very much teaching available in these 55 chapters. They are very important. However, the last week or the last three days and the days that follow are what the whole Bible is about. They are what was prefigured, prophesied, preached, and proclaimed. Here is the essence of these few days: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

The Blessed Man

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3). There are two key words, in verse 2 “delight” and “meditates”. His delight is in the Law of the Lord. His meditation is day and night, all the time. The result is wonderful, fruitful, doesn't fade, and does prosper. Meditation is not reading, studying, memorizing listening, or reciting. It is soaking in this wonderful truth by thanking God all of the time for this truth. Let's do it together every day and every night. “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one and in whose spirit is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2). The blesse