Thursday, May 19, 2011

Retro TBN

So it's midnight and I turn the tv on to TBN (Trinity Broadcast Network) to catch a little Creflo Dollar or some other inspirational speaker right before hitting the sack. I notice that "Praise the Lord" is coming on and it is straight kick back to the 70's. No joke, they had a re-run on from the early 70's that started with the host and hostess walking down a plush red carpeted staircase fully decked out in the tackiest suit and dress you could ever see on two people. The host had the grey tinted hair and matching mustache while the hostess was sporting a pink dress I can't even describe and what looked like silver lipstick including too much blush and eye shadow for anybody. My cynical nature was just waiting for the host to give some watered down version of praise and worship and how we "sinners" must turn our life to Jesus. I was waiting for some "miracle healing" and "praise be to God" anthem that was so famous for this age. I was pretty blown away when these two people from 30 years ago that had just received a complete lashing of my own judgement began to speak about prayer. The host stated, "I believe too many of us are commanding God to come down to take care of our business. We're busy saying, "Lord, come down and take care of this, heal that, cast out that". God commanded us to go out. God commanded us to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give".

Did you catch that? Why is this the most difficult concept to hold onto? Why do we proclaim the message of salvation but stop there? Why do we merely claim a title but don't explore the power that was handed down to us? Jesus told us what we were to do. He told us what was going to be sent to us...the Holy Spirit.

Here are a couple simple questions....Do you believe in God....if you answered "yes" you believe in Jesus Christ....if you answered "yes" you believe in the gift of salvation...if you answered "yes" then you must truely believe in the Bible??? Maybe, but maybe not totally?

Here's the deal...either the Bible is totally true or it's totally false. There is no in between with any of it. You can't pick and choose as you see fit or else you are making your own religion to follow. Sounds good but it doesn't really work. This is more of an "Oprah" opinion if you ask me.

My personal opinion...the Bible is 100% true, not one thing added or taken away. So, what took me so long to comprehend the fact that Jesus called us to "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

No joke, Jesus put his Godhood aside to come and live on this earth as man should. He left everything aside to show us what man could do if he lived in right relationship with the Father. He showed us what TRUE faith really was. He created it, He perfected it. All that was available to Jesus is currently available to us. Heresy you that Bible that you claim to be truth. We can cast out demons, we can heal the sick, we can heal the lame....IN JESUS NAME! Ever hear the song, "I can do all things, thru Christ, who gives me strength"? There is power in the name of Jesus.

Hebrews 12:2 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus never lost sight of where he was headed. Please understand that he did not come to earth as God. He came to earth as a man completely leaving any power that he had as the Son of God. His power came through the faith that he had in the Father. He knew that he would return to God and his faith pointed in that direction continually.

When you find yourself staggering in your walk of faith, remember that Jesus came to show us the way. He only did as the Father did. His faith was always in the Father. The faith that Jesus had is in us...the Holy Spirit! Such power and wonderful things exist by claiming the name of Jesus...the power to cast out demons, the power to heal our sicknesses, the power to oversome any forces of darkness that present themselves. Remember, only good comes from God. Those negative feelings, those bitter thoughts, those resentful impulses, those destructive ideas...they are not from God. But by the name of Jesus, they are forced to leave. Such peace and comfort lies in his name.

Name it and proclaim it. If you believe the words of the Bible to be true then you need to start acting upon them. Can you fully fathom what true believers can do if they follow the direction that Jesus is giving us? Our world is turning upside down but I know that the more this world is led into darkness the more the power of the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the earth. We are in those times. Will you let the enemy trample us down or will you stand upon the Word of God and rightly claim what has been given to us?

"But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkenss. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep , but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self- controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11

What good are we if we sit on the sideline and utter God's greatness only in the presence of other faithful? What good are we if we sit in disbelief when we see the enemy taking advantage of life before us? What good are we if the Holy Spirit resides in us but does not pour out of us? What good are we if we don't proclaime the great name of Jesus who was brutally crushed and crucified...who committed no sin, who still bears the mochary of this fallen world but yet died in our place?

You are me and I am joke. I write this with love and, hopefully, encouragement. I long to be a faithful servant of God but yet I fall so disgracefully short. I have to fall upon the Word and realize that I am not alone...nor are you. We are children of God but we are not perfect...but yet, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit and can learn to live as true children of God. I pray this in Jesus name!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I saw some graffiti on a wall the other day that disgusted me at first but then made me really think the more I thought about it. The graffiti on the wall said, "Are you ready for Hell?". At first I despised the punks who would put such filth on a wall and thought that they must be some real low-lifes to write something like that. Then I started thinking about what was written on that wall and it took me back to when I was a young high-schooler going to my local youth group. The youth pastor at the time suggested that we will do one of two things in our lifetime...we will either lead people to Heaven or we will lead them to Hell. I know that that is a tough thing to stomach but it is so true when we break down our Christian lives.

My pastor's words came back to me because of the way that I have lived my life. As a little background, I was saved when I was approximately 14 years old. I grew up in a Christian household but didn't quite grasp the ultimate saving grace of Jesus Christ and what being saved truly meant. I was at our summer bible camp at a night service where there was some intense worship happening. Young men and women to the left and right of me were giving their lives to Jesus and I was just standing and watching. My youth pastor simply asked me, "Lucas, would you like to put your faith in Jesus today?" Without a moments notice I said, "Yes!" and that was where my spiritual journey with Jesus began.

I'll never forget how I felt that night. I was now God's child, forever. So I returned home and told my church of what happened to me and lived a life for Jesus for about...2 weeks. Then I returned to my pre-bible camp days living a life for myself and not for Jesus. This continued through high school and through college. I was the ultimate hypocrite. I challenged my friends who said that there wasn't a god but yet I followed the exact same sinful lives that they were leading. I would say that 90% of the time I was the leader. I wasn't leading anybody to Heaven, I was leading all of my friends directly to Hell. Ok, maybe I wasn't leading them directly to Hell, but I wasn't leading them to Heaven. I am so disappointed at all of the lives that could have been touched positively by the way that I carried myself. But, yet, I gave in to my own sinful desires to be more of a people pleaser than living a holy life.

Thankfully, God knew that I was cross ways with His plan for me. Even though I was an enormous hypocrite and mocked His Word by the way I lived my life, He still loved me. He corrected me and changed my life. He sent my wife, Dawn, back to me and that changed everything because she also corrected me and changed my life. I am re-dedicated in my faith and will push forward to please God the rest of my days.

But, yet, I still don't push forward with what God has given me. I'm still timid to talk to my oldest, closest friends about Jesus Christ. I ask myself, "Why?", all of the time. Persecution comes to mind, but are we really persecuted here in the United States? What's the worst that will happen to me? My friend may turn from me or mock what I am saying, but that's really a worst case scenario. I feel so little in my shoes when I think of this because the persecution that we face for preaching the Good News is nowhere near what people face elsewhere in this world. People are killed, mutilated, slaughtered for even thinking about following another religion than what is laid forth by the local governments or municipalities. I would be in constant fear for my life if I lived in these foreign countries that do not give you the right to choose your own religion. We are a blessed nation that has the opportunity, but am I using that opportunity to it's full potential....absolutely not.

So I have to ask myself, "Am I leading people to Heaven or am I leading them to Hell?". If I can't look in the mirror and look at myself and answer Heaven without batting an eye, then something needs to change in my life. I long to live a life in service to my Savior, but my own personal barriers keep me from attaining what He has in store for me. I constantly hear the word surrender being whispered into my ear. I believe that the truth and strength I am looking for starts with that word.

Today, I will push forward, I will commit my life to Jesus. I will follow His Word and will seek out the lost among us so that they may be saved. I will not follow in my former footsteps but will walk along the path of the righteous. I will not fear the ways of this world but will live in the power of the Word of God. I will surround myself with friends of the Lord so that my path is straight before me. I will love my God, I will praise my God and I will live for my God.

“Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life” (Matthew 20:28).

"If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spiritual Wisdom

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him."
1 Corinthians (2:9)

The Apostle Paul gave these words to the church in Corinth to help them understand why God's word was repeatedly questioned and ridiculed by the masses and why they could not understand what the religious teachers during this time were presenting. The "intelligent" scholars of the day questioned and could not understand the Word and neither could the rulers of the day during this time or "they never would have crucified our glorious Lord." 1 Corinthians (2:8).

My friends, as we push on in our daily lives we are called by Jesus Christ to carry out The Great Commission stated in Matthew 28. Jesus tells his disciples "...go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

The reason that you are able to understand what I am writing and the reason that you know that we need to reach these people is because we have the Spirit living inside of us. The Spirit inside of us increases in knowledge everyday, whether that be by prayer, meditation, the Bible, triumphs, defeats, revelations, etc. We must understand that when we witness to others that we must do it in accordance with God's word. People that we witness to are not subject yet to the wisdom that God has imparted upon us. We must be cautious of the ways that we talk and proceed in witnessing to them. Be careful with your words, because a mind untouched by the Spirit of Jesus Christ will not comprehend what is being said. Remember that not even the most intellectual mind on the face of this planet will not comprehend the awesome power of the Lord Jesus Christ unless he admits that he is a sinner, accepts that Jesus Christ paid our debt on the cross, that Jesus conquered death and arose from the grave and that Jesus is our true Lord and Savior.

Let the Spirit of the Lord conquer your thoughts and your tongues as you speak to everybody in your daily lives. We may plant the seeds in the hearts of many but, "it is God, not us, who will make it grow."

If you are reading this for the first time and are ready to repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ so that you can receive his forgiveness, take a moment to pray like this:

God, I'm sorry for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and ask
you to forgive me. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ to die on the
cross for my sins. Jesus, I ask you to come into my life and be my
Lord, Savior, and Friend. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me
eternal life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

If this is the first time you have prayed this prayer, it would be good to tell a friend, possibly a pastor about your new decision to let Jesus be the Lord of your life. You'll want to find a Bible-believing church that is alive where you can meet together with other believers who now share our faith.

May the Lord be with you, in all that you do.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I attended the Ignite Men's Conference this weekend in Layton and was overjoyed at the outcome of the conference and the level of speakers that were brought to the event. I thought I would share a few tokens that I received while attending.

The most relevant issue that was discussed caught me off guard. I've been on a journey with Jesus for quite some time but have constantly struggled with the act of surrender, giving every portion of my life to the direction of God. The question was asked, "Did you accept Jesus as your Savior AND as the Lord of your life?" There's a huge difference there. You've accepted Jesus and have solidified your eternal life but we don't give the reigns to Jesus and let Him have complete control of our lives. We believe in the miraculous story of Jesus dying for our sins but we don't put our complete faith in His guidance of our lives. I don't believe that we will ever understand true peace and contentment in our live until we do this.

Simply put, untended fires will soon become a pile of ashes. Stay on fire for God and let go of your life. You, my friend, are not in control and when we assume that we are we are putting faith in ourselves and not in God, solidifying a true form of idolatry in ourselves. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord" Jeremiah 17:7. Too often we see God through the lens of our circumstances, putting our circumstances and issues directly in front of our face and responding to God's word by dealing with these issues first. Put God first, in front of your circumstances. See your problems through God's eyes, then, in turn, your problems and circumstances have to go through God first.

What will it take to keep your focus on God? A simple question to ask is...would I rather deal with the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Following Jesus is not always going to be easy, but the pain of discipline leads to a life of rewards. You will reap the benefits.

So what do we do to encourage this life of complete and utter faith in Jesus Christ? Here are a couple ways to continue your life of surrender:

1. Read the word --> We have an owners manual called the BIBLE that will lead you through anything in your life. Dive into it...or cannonball into it, making a huge splash on all of those around you.
2. Pray --> Schedule it in your life and come to the Lord in prayer. Like anything in your life, it's not going to come easy until you make it a habit. Talk to God continually, but also fall to your knees and bow down to the King.
3. Praise & Worship --> Pour yourself out to God. If you're a parent, think of how good it feels when your child comes to you and sits on your lap because they know that you take care of them or when they whisper, "I love you", out of nowhere. The feelings you feel from that do not even compare to what God feels when we praise and worship Him.
4. Community --> Don't go it alone. Community is where we find strength. We are to bare each others burdens. Find friends who are rooted in the Word of God and ask them to ask you the "tough questions".

We CAN do this. We can put Jesus at the center of our lives. Let's not build shrines to appease those around us. Let's not draw closer to ourselves and further from God. Let's surrender our lives, today!

God is saying, "I love you. My plans are good. Stay close to me."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Will You Lay Down Your Life?

I read a very interesting devotional today from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I thought I would share it with all today, I'll paraphrase where I can:

Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. Peter said to the Lord, "I will lay down my life for Your sake," and he meant it (John 13:37)....Has the Lord ever asked you, "Will you lay down your life for My sake?" (John 13:38). It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God. We are not made for the bright-shining moments of life, but we have to walk in the light of them in our everyday ways...For thirty-three years Jesus laid down His life to do the will of His Father. "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16). Yet it is contrary to our human nature to do so.

If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. But the exhibiting of salvation in my life is difficult. God saves a person, fills him with the Holy Spirit, and then says, in effect, "Now you work it out in your life, and be faithful to Me, even though the nature of everything around you is to cause you to be unfaithful." And Jesus says to us, "...I have called you friends...." Remain faithful to your Friend, and remember that His honor is at stake in your bodily life.

- The Utmost For His Highest ~Oswald Chambers~

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where Did the Dads Go?

I look around this world and am amazed at how many dad's have removed themselves from the structuring and raising of our children these days. Many dads feel that if they provide for their families that that is good enough. Many miss the fact that children need their dads just as much as they need a mother. It saddens me when I see young children whose fathers are more consumed with work, golf, yard work, etc...anything that gets them out of having a relationship with their children. Men...your children are not a burden. They are an image of you and deserve more than a few minutes at bathtime and bedtime. They need molding, shaping, direction and love and they need it constantly. Our society as a whole is diminishing because of this. Step up and be A MAN. A real man sacrifices every avenue of his life so that his family may prosper. That means pushing off the fifth golf outing of this month so that you can take your son to the zoo or so you can play a game with your daughter. That means going to bed early on a Friday night so that you can spend your entire Saturday catching bugs outside or just sitting and talking. Your life will be so full of reward if you take the time to get to know your children and to foster the growth in their lives. Once you have reconnected with your children you can then start applying practical Christian living to their lives. I say that you need to connect with them first because a child's view of you is how they will view God. Take the time because God takes the time for you. Don't miss another day!