The Unknown God

He is regarded as an Influencer. As some sort of force to influence people to decide in favor of whats good and right. Sort of like the angel on the person’s right shoulder who is trying to convince the person to go the route of righteousness.

He is identified as an Attitude. To think and behave like him is to be a reflection of his attitude. However, the experience is more of a station in life than a way of life. This unknown God is thought of as an attitude. He is a way of thinking, conversing and living.

He is also received as an Expression. He expresses to us the decisions we should make and guides people who follow Him in the paths He wants people to take.

I wonder how many who read this will know the ‘unknown God’ identity.

He is Holy Spirit God.

He is often thought of as a power, an influence or an attitude we possess when He is actually a person who possesses born again believers in. Jesus Christ!

Is Holy Spirit God in possession of you? How much?

Until next time,

Hoss

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Cruise line Crew & Staff Spirituality

I mentioned in my last blog about one of God’s personal surprise for me was the possibility of attending a bible study usually reserved for the crew and staff. As it turns out there was a time when guests could attend bible studies with the crew. Unfortunately that privilege was devolved.

As Bro. Ricardo shared with my wife and me, there was a time when guests were allowed. It was stopped because some guests made trouble in the meeting area resulting in not only the guests not allowing to participate but also stopping the few crew members who were active in bible study to not be allowed to use the meeting place any longer.

What exactly happened was not disclosed. I didn’t seek to pry. I was disturbed at the difficulties given to crew members by guests. Bro. Ricardo stated they had just gotten back the privilege of using a meeting place again.

Therefore, we were not going to be allowed to join their bible study. I understood. I felt saddened these persons had to fight to regain a once held privilege. I ask Ricardo what I could do for him. He shared two specific things they needed. The first was prayer to be good witnesses and ministers of the gospel for all members of the crew and staff. The second request was for bibles. Specifically, New American Standard light weight bibles in English or the Philippine language.

I know these people have chosen to be away from there families for long periods of time. I know it is for employment. I also know it is their ambition to better their families that they do this. I’ve learned many of them Skype in efforts to stay in touch with family. A very expensive endeavor.

So Christy and I are going to try and send some NAS bibles along with some gospel tracks to this group of fellow believers. Faith comes by hearing and that hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

It is another way we can assist in making disciples for Christ. The Great Commission commands it.

On another note, the ship we are sailing on has a wedding chapel which is made available for personal worship at a specific time. No one leads this worship. It is what they call ‘self-lead.’

Grateful for the room and opportunity.

Until next time,

Hoss

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God’s Personal Surprises

I have spent the last few months facilitating a discipleship process study group called MasterLife. The first book was titled, The Disciple’s Cross and we are now in week four of the second book titled, The Disciple’s Personality.

Any teacher/facilitator will tell you they usually get more out of the classes they teach/facilitate than do the students. Understandably so if they prepare as they should. Having said this I must admit my surprise at the blessings God has given me since the beginning of this discipleship process. For instance there’s the surprise at the local Olive Garden Restuarant.

The young man approached our table as my wife, niece and I were scanning the menu when the waiter asked if we wanted any drinks? These being of the the alcoholic variety. My wife kindly told him we don’t drink. I added the statement we were Christians and didn’t believe Jesus would be pleased with us drinking alcohol.

Normally we would usually just answer no and move on. However, this time I added my comments. I did so partly because of my commitment to be more of a witness for Jesus. A renewed commitment made while going though the MasterLife experience.

The surprise came when the waiter returned to take our order and shared with us he is required to ask about the drinks and went on to say he was a Christian. He asked where we went to church. He shared with us his church and seemed pleased to share his new life with Christ.

I could not help but notice how the folks at the tables around us seem to also be paying attention. It was a blessed surprise to hear a young man tell of his salvation and to have Christ bless me with a pleasant witnessing experience.

An additional surprise came weeks later while on our cruise of the Western Caribbean. Four days into the trip I learned our neighbors beside us had a group of fourteen people traveling together. We had been friendly and civil during our casual meetings. Yet it was on day four when I asked Charlie what company he and his group were in. It was then that I learned he was a Pentecostal Minister from Rhode Island. He had other ministers with him plus two deacons.

Charlie had started a church plant in Rhode Island. I teased him just a bit about being on a cruise ship with so much drinking and gambling. Afterwards I let him in on my position as an ordained minister. God blessed my wife and me with the surprise of meeting another minister and his wife while on this cruise. I’m thinking we could have church! Only concern was who all would end up preaching and for how long.

I’ve wondered since boarding this vessel days ago about the spiritual feeding the crew and staff receive. I asked my massage therapist who stated a few from her homeland of the Philippines gathered weekly for their own time of bible study. She is Catholic. I asked our waiter tonight about the crew having access to a chaplain. He spoke of the voluntary services set aside for the crew every Friday night from eleven to twelve. The crew is not required to attend but is open for those who voluntarily want to go.

As we were leaving the dining room; my wife and I were approached by the waiter. He told us he was going to ask if we could attend the crews bible study. We are to receive word tomorrow whether or not we can attend the bible study usually held just for the crew and staff. Regardless of the outcome God had blessed me with these and other surprises since working more earnestly to make Jesus Christ the Master of my Life.

Until Next Time,

Hoss

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Respect for Tarzan

An old man of some wisdom told me once, ” I’ll never fly in a plane.” I asked, “Why?” He responded to me saying, ” The Lord is not with you in those things. Don’t you know the scriptures say, ‘Lo I am with thee always, even until the end of the ages.’ So you see, only lo is Jesus with you; not up high!”

Granted a misuse of scripture but I thought of it today. I also thought of Tarzan. For many of you that name is not familiar. Rather than explain who he was may suggest you goggle him.

The reason behind these recurrences of memories is the action packed, breath-taking adventure of the day. I’ve had my experiences with fishing lines, which can be very frustrating. I have seen more than my use of clotheslines. When I small hanging clothes out on the line was just another chore to add to the workload of children. May do us some good to bring it back!

Today was my first experience with a line of a different sort. Any of y’all ever heard of as ‘Zip-line?’ I promise you Tarzan has gained even more respect from me after I traversed seven (7) horizontal zip lines plus two (2) vertical lines. When I say vertical I mean straight down. One was 90 feet and the other about 30 feet.

I confess I cried out to the most high God. Not ashamed at all to say so. I can’t fly, I can’t swim, but I learned today I can drop. One more thing about those descents. Some say the fall won’t kill ya but the landing will. I got news for you there was a time or two I thought my heart was going to give out before I landed. Therefore the fall can kill you before the landing has a chance.

So my shore excursion on our recent trip to Jamaica included the Zip-line journey. As my darling, precious, adventurous and I might add the one who signed us up for the ‘fun’ followed behind me, I had to man up and meet the challenge with the gusto of a manly man. I had to muster up courage without letting on my timidity. Mission accomplished?

Two things I did which turned out to be smart. One was to wear long legged pants. This way I didn’t burn my legs repelling down the ropes. The second was the trip to the men’s room just before taking off! This way I didn’t ruin my clothes!

Could the old man have been on to something? The Lord not with you while up high? I found today just the opposite. The Lord was with me as I zipped across several lines.

So should you try your flight on a zip-line? I say yes. Only while zipping for here to there sing out to the The Lord an old hymn; Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord….

My faith increased. My trust in God increased. My years may have decreased.

Until next time,

Hoss

P.S. Cruising the Atlantic

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Free to be Me

I was reading where the slogan for the generation is, “If it feels good, do it!” Immediately I thought this statement was dated. Maybe a few years ago this was true. I’m inclined to think it has changed to “Free To Be Me!”

Now I realize the foundational emotion is the same. People want to be themselves, do their own thing and the rest of society just needs to get a grip and deal with it! Problem is a vast majority of these people still fall into classified groups. This is true whether they like it or not. Decent vs. Indecent, Saved & Unsaved, Natural, Worldly Christian or Spiritual Christian.

People do things because they want to be different. Being different means getting noticed. Even if getting noticed is for the wrong reason, hence students going to school to kill and maim. Scores of other examples can be given. Sagging pants, spiked hair, fluorescent hair colors, multiple piercings, tattoo body canvass and so on. Not a judgment here. Just an observation.

Of course people do good things to get noticed. For instance, any one remember True Love Waits? Pledges were made and time proved the pledges were likely motivated by reasons that were not good. On and on the list can be enlarged. Being a church deacon, 25 year perfect attendance pin for Sunday School, and so on.

Now for the crust of the matter. As a Spiritual Christian, who by definition has received Jesus Christ as their Savior who is led predominantly by the Holy Spirit, we can not embrace the generational slogan “Free To Be Me.”

The life of a Spiritual Christian is not his to live but for Christ to live in and through him. Holy Spirit led. Holy Spirit enabled. Holy Spirit controlled. God-honored lifestyle is our reasonable act of worship to God.

Churches are grabbing at whatever their natural minds think might work to add numbers to the congregation. Pep rally services. Feel good about yourselves preaching. In many cases they get the increased numbers because people don’t have to confront their sin and don’t feel challenged to live for Jesus.

I shall state a renewed conviction. The reason many churches do not grow is because of Worldly Christians. By definition a Worldly Christian is one who has received Jesus as Savior yet does not let the Holy Spirit be the predominant controlling, guiding force in his life. The are led of the flesh. They make decisions based on mental intellect alone.

Because the Worldly Christian is following the way of the world more than of God, they naturally follow a path away from God. You will find many of these worldly Christians serving in the church as pastors and deacons! Is your pastor a Christian following the way of the world? Is your church being controlled by men we call deacons who are not spiritually driven but worldly fleshly motivated?

Wonder what would happen if pastors and deacons led according to the Holy Spirit and did church according to the Gospels and Book of Acts? Add the Epistles and watch God work. Would we lose people? Most likely. Would we honor God to do church His way? Yes! Then do you think God would bless? Praise The Lord Yes!

Until next time,

Hoss

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What’s on your mind?

The Mind of Christ
As a Christian you have the goal of thinking and acting from the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 said, ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 2:16 saids, “Who has known the mind of The Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

“You can make Christ the master of your mind by removing all obstacles to your knowledge of God, by making every thought obedient to Christ, and by possessing the mind of Christ, and by renewing your mind.” {MasterLife, The Disciple’s Personality, page 36-37}

I’m facilitating a group of marvelous folks through the MasterLife Discipleship process. This is part of week’s reading.

Until next time,

Hoss

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Is God losing the war against evil?

When one takes a look at the events going on around us, whose winning the war of good versus evil?

Many if not most will argue ‘evil is winning.’

God-fearing believers will state, ‘good is winning.’

If indeed God is winning then why is Hell having to enlarge herself? Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: (‭Isaiah‬ ‭5‬:‭14-15‬ KJV)

Note to the wise: Appearances can be deceiving. For a glimpse of who will win the war, take a look at the back of the Book. Revelation.

Battles are win by this one or that one. However, God’s Got This!

Until next time,

Hoss

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