The Movers versus The Muscle

In 2001 I was making a move from the low country of South Carolina to the Upstate. A whole team of people came to help us load up for the beginning of a new ministry at Fairview Baptist.

The church I was leaving was so delighted in my leaving that no one showed up to say goodbye. Happens that way sometimes.
Eddie Wayne was driving one of the truck pulling a trailer. Once we jumped started one of the vehicles, off we journeyed to higher ground.

The trip was in its first hour of a four hour drive when it happened. If the small town muscle says you go 45 mph then that’s what he means. Eddie Wayne was towards the front, then there was the U-haul, and then me.

Eddie Wayne was taking the polite approach and trying to explain relocating the pastor to another ministry. You know, the compassion for the clergy appeal. The muscle, local police, didn’t seem to care. Eddie Wayne, Billy and his wife were all in the truck. I still don’t know what Billy said but the local lawman was not impressed.

I had pulled over and lined up behind the police car. I decided I’d get out and see if I couldn’t help matters. I said, “sir?” And he said, “get back in the car!” That concluded my involvement.

Moral of the story? You may have the muscles to move tons of weight but the local lawman can put the brakes on with just a pen, pad, and blue lights.

My recent trip to the area today brought back some memories. Thought I’d share.

By The Way,

Support Your Local Lawmen

Until Next Time,

Hoss

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Integrity Matters

I was traveling home from work one evening in the early 1990’s when I listened to a popular pastor on the radio tell of a personal experience he had as he journeyed through the Atlanta airport. It was a personal experience shared with much detail.

The very next Sunday morning service after this broadcast a young man came and spoke for youth Sunday. During his sermon he shared a personal experience he had as he journeyed through the Atlanta airport. His experience was identical to one the one shared by the popular Atlanta pastor.

Needless to say, I felt concerned about the sharing of identical experiences. I had to question, to myself, the legitimacy of what was shared. I tend to think the Atlanta pastor was the one who had the actual experience. The young man probably shared it as an illustration and thought to make it his own. I’m guessing. Can’t be for certain.

Sometimes things are shared which come across as original with the speaker. Perhaps the one talking doesn’t mean to convey things as his/her idea. They just didn’t mention where it came from.

I’m reminded of a verse in the New Testament that says,

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. (‭Acts‬ ‭17‬:‭11‬ NASB)

I have often heard it said, there is nothing new under the sun. Even if one should embrace that position, it would still make it courteous to state where we get our sources for our messages. Is it deceptive to withhold information, to give half truths, and fluff material to put ones self in better light?

Until next time,

Hoss

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Re-post: Others May, You Cannot

Others May, You Cannot!
G. D. Watson (1845-1924)

If God has called you to be really like Jesus, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to measure yourself by other Christians; and in many ways, He will seem to let other good people do things which He will never let you do.

Other Christians and ministers, who seem very religious and useful, can push themselves, pull wires and work schemes to carry out their Christian goals, but these things you simply cannot do. Others may boast of their work or their writings or their success, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you ever try it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, but most likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him and the joy of seeing Him supply your needs day by day out of an unseen Treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and keep you hidden and unappreciated because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work on and on without others knowing how much you are doing; and then, to make your work still more precious, He may let others get the credit for the work which you have done, and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

The Holy Spirit will rebuke you for little words or deeds or even feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem to be concerned about, but you must make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and He has a right to do whatever He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in the way He deals with you, but if you will just submit yourself to Him in all things, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and bestow upon you many blessing which come only to those who are very near to His heart.

Settle it then, that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that your secret heart becomes pleased and delighted with this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, then you will have entered the very vestibule of heaven itself.

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Used to sell life insurance

How many remember the days when the insurance guy would come by the house carrying his book which looked more like an accordion with a handle than a book?

He would come up to the porch and take the small envelop with the premium book inside from the screen door take the weekly, monthly payment, and mark the collection. Occasionally he would have to go inside. Some of the older folks liked the visit so the ‘insurance man’ would be invited in. It was about the only company many people received.

I was an insurance man many years ago. I can recall driving all over the country side looking for homes, running my route, and trying to make a sale.

I can tell you there were some homes I entered that simply were not fit to live in. The filth and stench of the place would make you gag. It wasn’t the place for weak stomachs.

I recall one home I visited where the pots used to cook the grits were set outside the front door for the dogs to eat. The food had dried up and swarming with bugs and flys.

The old couple who lived there didn’t clean house. The man was in such bad health he was on oxygen at all times. The home smelt so bad any one going in would need it as well.

As I was leaving I met the social worker who came to visit. She informed me that changes were coming. I might be having to make different arrangements in making my collections. The place was not fit to live in.

This experience reminds me of another home I have been a visitor in. It too is saturated with filth. The stench is unbearable at times. The home I’m referring to is Earth. The stench is sin in all it’s horrific forms.

Changes are coming. Are you ready?

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭1-3‬ NASB)

Until next time,

Hoss

Posted in God's Favor, Jesus, Scripture | 1 Comment

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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