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Showing posts from 2015

Grand pa

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Something happens psychologically to your brain.
I mean no one wants to be called grandpa. “You’re too slow, grandpa,” a taunt athletes make to each other (or at least I’ve been told. I’ve never been much of an athlete, except when I made the final point my eighth grade year in the final minute of my final basketball career as a B team 3rd stringer! I am proud to say I was the only 3rd stringer of the B team, a title of dubious distinction.)
No one, that is, except for, well, grandpas, I suppose.
Tucker Clark can call me Papa (what I called my grandpa, A.W. Clark...yep, I am the middle link between two Clarks, two generations apart). Or “Pa” which is what I called my other Pa ‘Keown. Or granddad, which is what my kids called Waymon Terry “W.T.” , Melissa’s Dad.
I have even thrown out there “great dad”, you know like how you call your uncle’s father. You don’t say “grand uncle,” you say, “great uncle” so “great dad” has a nice ring to it, if I do say so myself.
Then of course, ther…

Winning

“Hey, I’m going to a funeral , do you want to come?”
I’m not surprised by the answers I got from my kids and you wouldn’t be either.
I said it jokingly (is that wrong to joke about a funeral?), knowing they are here to celebrate a newborn baby, whom they will love forever, not to mourn the passing of a well-lived long life of a Christian whom they (nor I for that matter) never knew.
While the humor may be a tad morbid, it is ironic that we Christians can puzzle over a Biblical truth that says the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.* Irony is also found in that the most cynical and pessimistic book of the Bible, Ecclesiastes, is written by one of the most celebrated, richest, indulgent and even wisest human in the Bible.
Irony and but not surprise is fond that even today, we see a man who just a few years ago claimed he was winning when he clearly was not now has HIV and a mess of legal problems.  My prayer is that he will now seek and find God and truly be winn…

I will love you

“How much must you hate me?” That question came from an atheist to Christians who refuse share with him the horrors of hell and the blessings of heaven. What is true hatred? What is the most hateful thing a Christian could do? The owner of a patent for a life-saving medicine was recently criticized for sky-rocketing the cost of the pill by 7,500 percent! That greedy CEO effectively said, “I will only save the lives of those who can afford it,” loving money more than people. His greed led him to virtual hatred of those who desperately need that medicine. His puny excuse that the gouging pays for “research” does little to help those whose poverty condemns them to death because they cannot afford the cure. Do I hate people so much that I refuse to tell people how to gain heaven and avoid hell? I may not be greedy like the CEO but do I “love” the luxury of being politically correct so much that I put the price of salvation so high that I keep silent about heaven and hell? I have an orientatio…

God Novels From Galveston -- Mike

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“You are sort of a free agent, then.”

I said this to Mike after he told me he had been raised a Buddhist but had abandoned his faith even before he left his native country of South Vietnam. He looked at me for a moment and then he understood I was speaking about his lack of religious affiliation, then smiled broadly. “Yes, I am a ‘free agent.’”
His accent was still thick but his comprehension of English was sharp. He came to America more than 40 years ago, shortly after the fall of South Vietnam to the Communist north. “Mike” was not his native name but he had wanted to adapt to his new country, so he picked the name.
It was late afternoon when Adrian and I came across him. He was sitting in a beach chair low to the ground and the only way I could sit even lower than this small-statured man was to sit directly down on the gray Galveston sand. We conversed a few minutes about his journey to America, his successful career and now his retirement and his family he was vacationing with.
“Wha…

A Parable on Repentance

Key Principle #4: REPENTANCE (part 1 )
“There is no more confused message that you and I could give
to a lost and dying world than to live in sin
and at the same time to tell people about the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
God will not use a compromised life to reach a compromised world.”

Joe Focht, pastor of Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia 2And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried...to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms... 6Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 7And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God. Acts Chapter 3

     One sadly lacking aspect of the modern church is that it has forgotten its …

Rewards of being Spirit-filled

Key Principle #3: SPIRIT-FILLED (part 3) Acts 2:41-47 Rewards of being Spirit-filled
The tongues of fire and the understood languages were used on the Day of Pentecost to proclaim the Word, will and works of God. It was a sign of God’s power for unbelievers to see that God has poured out His Spirit on them, and 3,000 people were saved. Speaking in other languages was again shown on several occasions later in the book of Acts, each with a significant reason and each with salvation for unbelievers. Paul explained later that speaking in other languages was not a sign for believers, but for unbelievers. However, using your spirit-filled tongue to proclaim a prophetic message in an understandable language is a wonderful way to edify other believers (see 1 Cor. 14:22) and a great reward for you.
In fact, the Holy Spirit prompting us to prophesy was direct fulfillment of prophecy from Joel 2:28-32 as shown in Acts 2:17-18. To prophesy does not only mean “fore-telling” or speaking God’s truth…

Risks of being Spirit-filled

Key Principle #3: SPIRIT-FILLED (part 2)
Acts 2:12-13 Risks of being Spirit-filled
When God’s Spirit fills you, others who look at your life may become confused or perplexed by the difference He makes in your life (Acts 2:12). Others may mock you (2:13). But some will become convicted (verse 37) and even converted (verse 41).
Speaking the Word of God will set you apart and may even intimidate others who are unsaved, or walking contrary to the ways of God. But for other believers, there’s no greater joy than being around a spirit-filled Christian and being a part of a spirit-filled church. If you don’t know for sure if your church is spirit-filled, then it probably isn’t! I’m not talking about a church which raises hands or sings great praise choruses, for that’s not the sign of a spirit-filled church in and of itself. The Biblical test of being spirit-filled is whether the Word and Works of God are present and evident and spoken of.
Is your church constantly talking about the things of th…

Reasons to be Spirit-filled

Key Principle #3: SPIRIT-FILLED (part 1)
Acts 2:4
Ask yourself a painful question…is your church spirit-filled? Want an even more painful question; are you Spirit-filled? I say it is a painful question because it is to me and many of the churches I’ve seen. You may answer that and say, yes, I am spirit-filled and so is my church. What does that mean to you?
This is what it meant to the early church and what it should mean to us today. A spirit-filled church is a power-filled church and it is a witness-filled church. A spirit-filled Christian is a power-filled Christian and a witness-filled Christian. It comes as a result of waiting on the Promise of the Father, being obedient to Christ and being saved and baptized by the Holy Spirit.
Reasons to be Spirit-filled
I’ve always had a difficult time visualizing this scene. I’ve seen it dramatically depicted in movies, but still, most difficult is how did a divided tongue of fire appear and how did it rest on people. Have you ever wondered why a…

Don't Let The Accuser Keep You From Witnessing

Key Principle #2: WITNESS (part 3)
Acts 1:8-26
Don’t Let Opposition From The Accuser keep you from witnessing
      Thirdly, don’t let adversity and opposition stop you from witnessing. Acts. 1:21 says “Let another take his office.” That word office is episkopen or sometimes translated as bishop or overseer. Peter used this word of position for what Judas held. Judas had a position of leadership, as did all of the apostles, and when his position was open, Peter found a Scripture which stated it should to be filled.
      If you read Psalm 109, you’ll quickly see Peter was studying Psalms. Read verse 3, “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers but I give myself to prayer thus they have rewarded me evil for good and hatred for my love.”
      Peter had heard Jesus use this same Psalm 109 on the night He was betrayed. John 15:25 ("But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is …

Don't Let Failures Keep You From Witnessing

Key Principle #2: WITNESS (part 2) 21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us ... one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection. ” ... 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles."          Acts Chapter 1         It is this passage of Scripture that has led to an erroneous division in clergy (those who make a living as a minister) and the laity (those ministers who earn a living other than through the church). The word “lot” is kleros from which we get clergy, so whenever we read “the lot fell on Matthias,” it could also be said, “and the clergy fell on Matthias.” But as we see in Acts 1:8, it’s not just the clergy who are to be witnesses for Christ, but everyone who receives the Holy Spirit, or in other words, all Christians.        As we saw in the previous blog, some use the excuse of "not being a member of the clergy" to not be a witness. Look at what Robert Coleman said about the …

Good news on book publication (kind of)

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Romans 8:28 states that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes. I am claiming that on the publication of the GoJODaaT.

Crossbooks, my publisher that I have been working with for nearly a year now, has gone out of business. So why is that good news? I believe that is going to lead the book to be published by a larger publishers, either by B&H directly (affiliated with Lifeway) or another publisher such as Thomas Nelson (the publisher of my preferred translation in the book, the New King James Version).

So above is the suggested cover design and my prayer is that God will actually achieve a wider distribution than Crossbooks would have provided. Drop me a note if you will join me in prayer (I believe you have to create a log in account in order to post comments).

I will be updating my corrections to the blog over the next few weeks so that a "cleaner" reading of the devotionals will be on the internet. You may beg…

Key Principles for the Church: # 2 - - WITNESS

Key Principle #2: WITNESS (part 1) ACTS 1:8-26 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."      Lawyers and judges say that one of the most convincing (but sometimes least accurate) evidences you can bring to a trial is to have an eyewitness of an event, depending of course on the reliability and believability of the witness.
        Luke researched the gospel and also the book of Acts by going to eyewitnesses of the events. I think it is extremely important that Luke says several times that Mary “pondered these things in her heart.” How would he know that unless he spoke directly to her?
        The use of witnesses …

Empowering the Church: Spiritual Immersion

This is part four of empowering the church, a key principle for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.



Key Principle #1: EMPOWERED part 4
"...for John truly baptized with water,
but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit
not many days from now."
Acts. 1:5
The Power of Being Immersed By His Spirit
We often are not empowered as a church and as individuals because we don’t understand what it means to be immersed with the Holy Spirit. I like the translation of “immersion” better than the word “baptized” in verse 5 because the word baptized is not actually translated from the Greek, it’s transliterated. What I mean is, the Greek word, baptizo, was not translated into an English word when the Bible was put into our language hundreds of years ago. When the Bible was first put into English, the most common form of water baptism was not immersion (that is, totally putting under water) but rather by sprinkling or pouring water over, in many cases, a baby as …