Monday, January 21, 2013

Staying with God

1 Peter 5:8-9 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

I was approached yesterday by a man who so wanted to be doing God's will but instead he finds himself being easily distracted, troubled, distanced from those around him, dejected, and alone.  This man is not alone.  One of the greatest tricks the devil ever presented was getting man to believe that he does not exist.  But he does.  The battle between good and evil is very real and as we venture in the last days, the battle is intensifying.

For the man I met with yesterday, he is a strong believer.  He was recently baptized.  And God has given him visions of what He wants him to do.  But in typical manly fashion, the vision was easily cluttered by what man believes is important.  The pomp, circumstance, and the show have absolutely nothing to do with what God wants to accomplish.

In business there is a saying that goes like this "People do not care what you know, they want to know how much you care".  The same is true in our walk with Jesus.  We do not bring others to the Lord by creating a show.  But rather we lead others to the Lord by:
  1. Being open and approachable -If you are truly a follower of Jesus, no one can get to know you or Him through you if they can not approach you.  If you are unwilling to have more than the superficial Sunday morning "Hi, how's it going" conversation in passing, how can you ever get to the next step?
  2. Be willing to listen - The world is full of pain.  But it is also full of joy.  If you are unwilling to listen, being more in a fix it mode, how will you know what a person truly needs.  If you think you know best, how will God be able to guide you?
  3. Sharing your story -You do not have to have experienced exactly what anyone else has.  But it is your responsibility to share with others what God has done in your life.  If you look carefully, you can see where His power has worked in your life.  I used to look at my life as a series of one bad thing after another, but looking at it now with Jesus at my side, I see where He intervened, where He supported, where He improved my circumstances.  What has God done in your life that shows others how much they need Him?
  4. Be a vessel -You do not need to provide the answers for what ails those around you.  But you have to be willing to get out of your own way to be used by God.  Are you willing to let God use you?
  5. Pray - Above all else, you can pray.  In our days, sometimes just knowing that someone thinks of you enough to converse with God on your behalf can be more supporting that you are aware.  
We all have times where we feel alone and defeated.  Read John 10:10 and you will know the battle plan for both the devil and for Jesus Christ.  But those times can be fleeting when we are with God and when we surround ourselves with people of like faith.

I pray peace and blessings for each of you today.  God loves you and so do I.
Pastor Jim

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

God Where are you?

Most of us have experienced something tragic in our lives.  And when that happens, often times our response is..."God, where are you?"  Those words might be a knee-jerk reaction or it might be a question we know we'll never get an answer to here on earth.  Nevertheless, the feeling is there.

I have heard throughout the last few years a number of people ask questions in regards to 9/11.  "Where was God that day?  Why did he let that happen?"  Well...there is an answer.  One that will be useful to you anytime you reach a point of despair.  The story I'm about to share with you is a God-thing.  Told only by the one that knows......

I was there....

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001.  Neither will I.  I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say "Good bye".  I held his fingers steady as he dialed.  I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it but it is okay...I am ready to go".

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children.  I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.  I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to ME for help.  "I have been knocking on the door of your hear for 50 years!"  I said, "Of course, I will show you the way home - only believe in ME now".

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls.  I took him home to tend to his flock in Heaven.  He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer.  I was in the hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faiths had saved them.

I want you to know I saw every face.  I was in Texas, Virginia, California, and Afghanistan.  I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.  Did you sense me?

I want you to know that I saw every face.  I knew every name - though not all knew Me.  Some met ME for the first time on the 86th floor.  Some sought ME with their last breath.  Some couldn't hear ME calling to them through the some and flames "Come to ME...this way...take my hand".  I offered.  Some chose, for the final time, to ignore ME.  But I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day.  You may not know why, but I do.  However, if you were there in the explosive moment in time, would you have reached for ME?

September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you.  But someday your journey will end.  And I will be there for you as well.  Seek ME now while I may be found.  Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go".

 I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.


As we remember today, I hope that you find something in this posting that allows you to be comforted knowing that God is present and that no matter what you are going through, He has been and forever shall be there.

Pastor Jim
(God letter reposted with permission from My Father's Voice)

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Kneeling in the mud and dirt I am a not the proud soldier I once was. My armor is dirty and dented.

My sword lies useless on the ground chipped and worn.

My shield is battered but whole.

His banner, my Lords banner, the banner that I raised for him lies beneath me, torn and worn.

The enemy surrounds me; they know that I am beaten. The hate that radiates from them is overwhelming. It poisons me with every breath. The leader of this dark band hisses laughter mixed with excitement. He hates me and all my kind.

Oh how I once was proud. My armor shown brightly and my weapons gleamed with righteous fury. His banner was held high for all to see so that they would know that I serve him who sits the throne. 

When the Enemy came I beat sword upon shield, lowered my visor and marched to war with hymns upon my lips.
Now I am broken and afraid. I feel his presence behind me.

My King is there watching and waiting.

I have failed him, I know I have and I will not look Him in the eyes for I am ashamed.

If I were Him I would do the same, I would let the enemy take me for I am unworthy of carrying his banner, of championing his cause.

The Enemy sees this and acts. The Leader, corrupt and decaying draws a sword blacker than night so that he may make the killing blow and seal my fate forever.

Everything slows down.

I feel the breeze against my skin; I hear the sword arcing down to finish me.

I have been forsaken, I am alone and I will die.

Yet I still breathe. The sound of sword on sword rings out amongst us all. My King stands above me shielding my body with His.

“This one is mine” he screams to the enemy “you shall not have him” and charges forth to do battle.

My brothers come to my side and lift me up. 

They place my sword in my hand, shield on my arm and raise his banner once more.

“Come” they say “for the enemy is routed and you have served well.” 

I found this in recent studies.  Remember, ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  But we are not in the battle alone.  The goal is to serve the risen King and to do it with brothers who come around each other.  We support each other in any circumstance with love and conviction, not with judgement and condemnation.  Be sure men, that even though you may be the one who is up at the current moment, there will come a day when the encouragement of a brother may be all that stands between you and the the lost wilderness.  Will you not come together and lift a brother to remind him that the battle has already been won and that they have served well.  Will you not come together, and help a brother or sister to stand.

The key for victory for the enemy is for him to guilt us into believing that we have failed, that we are worthless, that we are alone.  My challenge to you is to find that one, two, three or however many people you can to come together to provide support to each other in your time of need.  Surround yourselves with people of like faith who when you fall (and we will all fall), they will lift you up, dust you off and get you back in the fight.  The battle is already one, you just have to keep going.

I pray blessing, health, and love for each of you.  God loves you and so do I.

Pastor Jim