Welcome to this site. My prayer is that you take a look at the site and as you do, let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and reveal what God wants you to discover. (in Jesus' name)

God tells us that if we see a brother (or sister) in need we should do that which is within our means to help. Prayer is always within our means but we never know what doors Father may open through them. Should you desire prayer for anything (healing, direction, etc.) or if you want supportive prayer along with your own please feel free to e-mail that request to and be assured that there are others who will be praying with or for you.

In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' (discussion) on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

At the end of each post are the options to share, forward or make a comment. Click 'comment' to respond. Let us know if you like, don't like or are helped by what you read. Comments can be made or read by anyone. All you have to do is select the "comment" at he end of the entry.

Saturday, December 19, 2020


12-19-2020         Oh, Blessed Night

Mark and John don’t spend much time talking about the birth of Jesus but focus on the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Both declare John (the Baptist) as the one who is paving the way for the Messiah.  John baptizes with water for the remission for those who have confessed and repented their sins but the one who comes after him is mightier.

Matthew adds the time when the magi came upon the scene bringing their gifts to the young child, apparently still living in Bethlehem, after which Joseph takes his family go to Egypt until Herod’s death (Mat. 2:1-23).  Interesting to note the Greek word used to designate Jesus, the ‘young child’, is paidion which translates infant, half-grown child, child or even an immature Christian (hmmmm, I wonder how many Christians today are still paidions?). Also note that the magi had been following the star for about two years.  This is indicated when Herod saw that he was mocked and ordered all children under two years of age to be slaughtered (Matt. 2:7-16).  Then Matthew chapter three introduces John the Baptist then spends the next twenty-five chapters on the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Okay, but we’re not focusing on events before His birth, the ministry of Jesus or His death and resurrection right now other than to mention them.  We’re not going into the ‘natural’ lineage of Jesus other than that Matthew goes through the generations beginning with Abraham and ending with Jesus (Matt. 1:2-16).  Luke begins with Jesus going back to Adam, whom he calls the son of God (Luke 3:23-38).  We are going to talk about His birth into this physical world and how we can relate to it.

Luke gives a little more detail surrounding the birth of Jesus than the other gospel writers.  After all Luke was a physician and most likely accustomed to detail.  Luke declares that he has a clear understanding of these things, as he’s writing to Theophilus, so that he (Theo) will know the ‘true deal’ (Luke 1:1-4).  We don’t read anything about Luke (per se) in the gospels but the book of Acts is addressed to the same Theophilus as the gospel of Luke.  (hint, hint)

Luke 2:1-20

We are starting with Joseph taking his very pregnant wife, Mary, to Bethlehem, for he was a descendant of David and Caesar decreed all return to the city of their fathers for taxation.  Bethlehem is the city of David (Luke 2:4).  So it was there Mary gave birth to her first born son, in a manger.

Let’s look at some of the Greek words used here.  (GR phatne – 5336, a food trough or stall) and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes (GR sparganoo – 4683, strips of torn cloth)(vs 1-7).  Our Lord wasn’t born into this world in a warm hospital, a fancy hotel room or even back home where friends or family could help but a place for animals and in a trough for animal feed.  Jesus did not enter our world with a lot of ‘fanfare’!  Could one get a more humble beginning? 

The shepherds (Luke 2:8-20) 

But our focus is on what related to the shepherds’ experience. 

There some shepherds were watching over their flocks by night.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord came upon them.  (Now I don’t know if he came to them on the ground our hovered over them in the air), nonetheless, the glory of the Lord shone around him and the shepherds.  Imagine how you might feel if a ‘man’ suddenly appeared and a great and glorious light surrounded you.  Yep, they shivered in their boots!  They were greatly afraid. 

The angel had a message “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which is meant for all people.  For this day, in the city of David, a Savior is born who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign to you that you shall find him wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”

Now,, the Greek word for Christ is Christo (5547 – Messiah, Christ) which derives from chrio (GR 5548 – which is to anoint, as to rub with oil).  So this babe is anointed to be Savior.  So who has anointed this babe?  Jesus spoke to the people from the book of Isaiah “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach to gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, restore sight to the blind, to set at liberty, those who are bruised and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”  He closed the book, looked at the people land then said “This day, this scripture is fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:18-21”.  Jesus, Himself, declared that the Father has anointed Him.  (go back and read Gen. 1:1 & John 1:1 – in the beginning God …, in the beginning was the Word …

Back to the shepherds.  As soon as the angel finished speaking, the heavens were filled with a heavenly host (countless number) praising God saying “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will towards men.”  Now, these guys were in the air!  Filling the sky!  Can you imagine how awesome this must have been? 

Watching ‘Touched by an angel’, at the end of the show, the angels (usually Monica or Tess) always reveal themselves as such at which time a bright light shines down upon the angel from up above, often draping the angel down around the shoulders (or more).  If you have seen the show, imagine the sky full of angels surrounded by a light a hundred times brighter. 

(probably) As soon as they had composed themselves, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found Joseph, Mary and the babe and upon seeing this, they couldn’t wait to go tell other people about it.  The people, whom the shepherds told, wondered about what the shepherds had told them and May kept these things and pondered about them in her heart.  Now, here, I’m not clear whether the shepherds came back to where Mary and Joseph were or if they, then, returned to their fields, but irregardless they returned glorifying and praising God. 

The shepherds saw our Savior lying in a manger and recognized and glorified God.  How did we feel when we first let Jesus into our hearts?  Even now, do we glorify our heavenly Father for the things He does for us?

Paul encountered twelve men on the road to Ephesus.  Realizing that they had only been baptized in John’s baptism (water), Paul then baptized them in the name of Jesus, laid hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. These guys couldn’t wait to go tell others about their experience (Acts 19:1-8). 

Is there truly a perspective in this for us today?

A Messiah had been prophesied for Israel for centuries before the birth of Jesus so when they were told the Messiah was come, those who believed got excited.  Unfortunately, we know that like the scribes and Pharisees and even those in Nazareth, don’t all receive Jesus (Matt. 13:57-58 & 15:8-9).  Not everybody gets excited.

The shepherds did get excited about the birth of Jesus.  The apostles & disciples got excited when the Holy Ghost came upon them (Acts 2:1-20). 

How excited do we get when Father does something for us?  Big or little, where are our testimonies to God’s goodness?

Are we feeling the presence of our Lord in our own lives?

Are we seeing a tendency for great joy here?

I’ve mentioned this in the past but when I write the blog, I can feel the Lord’s Spirit rising up within me.  I don’t normally recognize this condition until I go to get up from my chair, then I’m all weak-kneed and I feel like the apostles from the upper room.  If anyone saw me, they would probably say the same thing about me as they did back then, “Is he drunk?”  Now, I’m not unique.  Just focused on what my Lord is doing at the time.  Even though I would like to, I can’t be like that all the time.  I would be no good to anyone – not even myself.  My brain is working fine but my legs & body are liked cooked spaghetti.  (is there an older fart around to help me stand up?)

My computer is down in the basement and everything else is upstairs.  I have to laugh at myself when I try to get back upstairs after working on the blog.  I literally have to crawl back up the stairs on all fours!  I feeeeel goooood, but I laugh because I think of what someone else might think if they saw me. 

Did I mention that when we experience the Lord, we should experience great peace and  joy?  I speak for myself, nothing else really matters until I’ve come down from this state of euphoria.  There is consolation, hope, no fear, I like to just sit back and bask in that feeling.  What’d I say?  I feeeeeel goooood!

So how does the birth of Jesus impact us today?  See for yourself.  Experience it for yourself!



Saturday, December 5, 2020


11-22-2020         Standing in Christ Jesus


        Standing with Jesus                         He is my everything

John 16:25-28

I’ve spoken these things to you in proverbs, but the time will come when I will no longer speak to you in proverbs but I will show you plainly about the Father.

In that day you shall ask in My name and I’m not going to tell you that I will pray the Father on your behalf

But the Father, Himself, loves you because you have loved Me and believed that I came from God.

I came from the Father, coming into this world, and again, I leave the world to go (back) to the Father.

Let’s take a look at what this passage is saying.

Here Jesus says that even His disciples didn’t fully understand what He was telling the people.  At another time He gave them a reason why.  Those who do not truly seek Him might gain an imagery of salvation without their sins being forgiven.  “Lord, didn’t we do all these wonderful things in Your name?”  Jesus’ response “I never knew You.” (Matt. 7:21-23)  In other words, there would be no true commitment because their hearts would not truly be changed, yet He was helping the disciples understanding (Mark 4:11-12) for they already knew Him.

He wanted their understanding to be solid and true.  He wanted their relationship to be firm.

He also told them that when the Holy Ghost is come upon them, He would lead them (and us) into all truth (John 16:13).

Look at the words of our Lord.  He says the time would come when He would no longer pray on our behalf.  Say what!  Jesus did say that whatsoever we do, ask in His name and He will do it so the Father would be glorified (John 14”13).  Just as Father spoke the Word in the beginning, the Holy Ghost performed it (Gen. 1:1-3).  When Jesus died on the cross, the veil to the Hholiest of holies was torn from top to bottom giving us direct access to the throne of God (Matt. 27:50-51).  Jesus doesn’t have to intercede because we have become one with Him, making us one with the Father (through Him).

So how does Jesus accomplish this? 

As we give our hearts to Jesus we, then, start a journey of learning to walk closer with Him.  To help us in that journey, He gives us the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Ghost. 

While Jesus still walked with His disciples He told them the authority He had given them when He sent them out (Mark 6:7-13, Luke 10:1-17), and confirmed it when He breathed upon them (after the resurrection) and said “Receive the Holy Ghost” (John 20:21-23).  Yet, it wasn’t until the upper room before the disciples actually received power (Acts 1:4-8, Acts 2:1-4) to fulfill what Jesus had told them.  Jesus physically walked with His disciples and He was their (our) power and He gave them authority – over sickness, disease and devils and He gives us that same authority and power through the active Holy Ghost in our lives. 

So Jesus clarifies His relationship with the Father.  As we keep His commandments, He will give us another Comforter (the HG) who is with us forever because He dwells in us (John 14:13-21).  In our heart!

We won’t have to worry about what we say for the Holy Ghost will guide our speech (Luke 12:11-12).  As we allow the Holy Spirit of God to lead us, we know that we are God’s sons (and daughters – Rom.8:14) and we know that the Holy Ghost helps our infirmities and our prayers for He searches our hearts and minds (Rom. 8:26-27).

Jesus said He will give us another comforter (John 14:16).  We know that the Comforter is the Holy Ghost.  So who is the first Comforter?  Jesus! And we know that Jesus is in the Father and that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and Son (John 15:26).  In the beginning was the Word, and was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1) and was made flesh whom we see as the only begotten of the Father (John 1:14).  When God created all things, we know He spoke the Word and His Spirit moved upon the face of the waters (Gen. 1:1-2).  There is unity in Father, Son and Holy Ghost and we call that unity the “Godhead” (Col. 2:8-10).

The Gospel of John is focused on the love of Christ and in it, Jesus declares He wants the same unity with us which He shares with the Father (John 17:15-26).    

So how do we attain this unity?

We are redeemed and justified through the blood of Jesus (Rom. 3:25-26) for we have believed and received Him into our heart (Rom. 10:9-10).

We are drawn to Jesus because He shed His blood for us (Eph. 2:12-13) and the Spirit of God beckons.

And, as we read the scriptures, we realize that our sins are not taken away without the blood of Jesus (Heb. 9:16-22).

So, as we walk in the Light of Jesus, we are cleansed from all sin through His blood (1 John 1:7).

Peter calls those who have received Jesus, the blood of Christ, the “elect” of God (1 Peter 1:2).  We are special through our ‘salvation’!

Included with our ‘salvation’ whatever we say or do should be done with thanksgiving and in the name of Jesus (Col. 3:17) and Jesus will do it (John 14:13). 

Therefore, being covered in the blood of Jesus we may enter the holiest place (Hebrews 10:19-20) where, before, only the high priest could enter in (Heb. 9:6-7).       Go back and read it.  Before, only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies and even then only after a cleansing ritual and then to offer atonement for the people’s sin (Heb. 9:7).

Jesus reminds us that whosever does the will of the Father is His brother (Matt. 16:50).

We express our love for Him by keeping His commandments (John 14:15).

We are bought with a price (1 Corinth. 6:20), therefore, we live for Him (1 Corinth. 10:31).

God is Love, therefore His will is to love (1 John 4:7-13).  Love God above all else, then channel that love to those around us (Mark 12:28-31).  We are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27, 1 Corinth. 11:7) and God is love.

Standing with the Lord?  Receiving the blood of Jesus into our hearts and allowing the Holy Ghost to operate within us, thus living in His love AND then listening to His direction, is how we stand in Jesus Christ, being an example of His love to those around us.

We are obedient to His Word as we seek to abide in Him as He gives us the strength to stand and say and do that which is right.


Saturday, November 21, 2020


11-21-2020         True Forgiveness


Watched ‘Touched by an Angel’ episode 6 of the eighth season titled “Famous Lasts Words”.  The story of a man on death row for killing his step-father.  He discovers the truth about the relationship with his mother and his abusive step-father.  He finds forgiveness for himself, gives forgiveness to his mother and then asks forgiveness from his step-father’s mother. 

When we truly repent, God can truly forgive all things we may have done wrong, especially those which we are confessing.  Now remember, this is a TV show so all the words may not be said exactly to our liking, but the Spirit is evident.

I thought about Father’s true forgiveness for a while, then I thought about my own experience (TY HG).

My wife to be and I were counselling for marriage in the pastor’s office.  Now the pastor had some funny ideas about marriage – he felt that if Jesus wasn’t there, the marriage would be most difficult at best.  So, of course, he challenged both my wife and I.  My wife said yes and I said that I had grown up in this church (though under a previous pastor).  I said that I also attended an occasional Sunday evening and the Wednesday night youth study.  The pastor looked at me and said “That’s not what I asked you.  I asked you if you have ever received Jesus into your heart.”  I looked back at the pastor thinking that he was a little crazy.  I thought that what I said was sufficient to secure my spot in eternity.  As I was looking at him, the Holy Ghost jumped into my heart and convicted me that my honest answer was ’no’.  So, being a good Southern Baptist preacher, he asked me if I wanted to make sure.  I said yes and prayed to let Jesus in.  Now, the pastor told me afterwards that had I refused we would have to find someone else to perform the ceremony.  He would not perform the ceremony knowing that Christ was not present.  My wife gave her life to Jesus about three years later. 

I was baptized in water a couple of months later with others who had given their life to Jesus and I want to say this:  when I was baptized in water, all I got was wet.  Hold on.  Hold on!  Let me finish.  The afternoon I let Jesus into my heart (in the pastor’s office) is when I felt something.  After I had prayed, asking forgiveness and avowing Jesus as Lord, I could feel like a huge weight being lifted up off of my body.  Literally, I felt a ton lighter – instantaneously!  I could actually feel the weight of my sin lifting off of my body!   

John (the Baptist) told the people he baptized them with water of repentance for the remission of sin but one was coming after him who would baptize them with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:4, Acts 2:1-4).

While we are here, let’s take a look at four words: water, baptize, fire remission.  Matthew uses the word ‘baptize’ in conjunction with both water (of repentance) and fire with the end result as remission of sin.

Baptize              (907)  baptizo  baptize, make fully wet or wash.  From bapto (911) to cover wholly with a fluid, moisten or stain part of a person’s body, dip

Being raised Southern Baptist, I was taught that being baptized meant being fully immersed in water as example of burying the old self and rising up out of the water a new creature in Jesus Christ.  Understanding that it represents the cleansing of my spirit, I have always preferred this way, but note, that the Greek definition also includes (maybe) only a portion of one’s body might get wet.  I used to always ask myself if a man were laying on the battlefield and lay near death and he receives Jesus, how would one get him to a pond to dunk him?  Most GIs carry a canteen with them (or they used to).  I’m not suggesting to dump the whole canteen on the man, but perhaps some of the water on – say the forehead – would seem to suffice.(?)  It wouldn’t be ‘total’ immersion, but it would be getting a part of the body totally wet.

I also note that John says that water baptism represents our repentance, which, of course, leads to our salvation.  We have to repent in order to be saved!  What does Peter tell us in the book of Acts?  “Repent and everyone be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).  Now, I’m not going to discuss the difference between “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” and “In Jesus’ name” (Matt. 28:19).  You have the references here, check it out for yourself.  However, repentance is required for salvation.

Yet, our water baptism is an outward expression of our inner repentance of our sins.  In short, our water baptism is saying “I’m serious about what I have expressed with my lips.  I’ve received Jesus into my heart and I’m not embarrassed to let the world know it.

(  various scriptures = why water baptism)

Water (5204) hudor or hudatos (5202, 5205).  The base is 5205 (huetos) which is rain, like in a shower.  Note also 4095 (pino) which is water –hudor/hudatos is water.

Water has a cleansing or refreshing aspect but the same word designates something to drink.  Nonetheless, it is wet.

Fire                  (4442) pur fiery, fire     Our word pure associates the Latin word purus which means unmixed with anything else.  Note the similarity for pur, purus and pure.  Ergo fire purifies us - by burning off the chaffe.

In Matthew chapter three, John says the one coming after him will baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire.  In Acts chapter two we see the Holy Ghost descending upon the disciples in the upper room as tongues of fire.  An angel touched Isaiah’s lips with a live coal from the altar purging his iniquity and sin (isa. 6:6-7).  So fire is indicative of our cleansing or, if you will, purification. 

A test of one's abilities to perform well under pressure, as in Finishing a huge list of chores in time for the wedding is really a trial by fire. The twelve labors of Hercules are brought to mind which were used to purify him for killing his wife and children.  This expression also alludes to the medieval practice of determining a person's guilt or innocence by having them undergo an ordeal, such as walking barefoot through a fire (  As I said, fire is symbolic of our purification.

Remission       (359)  analusis means departure.  It is derived from analuo (360) & luo (3089) which is break up, put off, dissolve.

So remission of our sins basically means a departure of our sins.  They are broken up, dissolved, cast away.  Isaiah tells us that God delivered his soul from hell and put is sins behind His back (Isa. 38:17).  We should do as Father when we truly confess our sins, that is, put them behind our back.  Forget them.  Should the enemy try bring them back up declare that we’ve confessed and repented them thereby receiving God’s forgiveness.  So remission means they’re gone.  Father won’t bring them back up and neither should we.  And when the devil tries to bring them back up, we need to stand our ground telling Satan to get behind us (Matt. 16:23).  Satan is a liar and is the father of lies and deception (Rev. 12:9, John 8:44).  If he can keep us in guilt, thereby preventing our spiritual growth, that ole devil will do so.

Now, we didn’t talk about acknowledging confessing and repenting our sin.  That’s a given.  We can’t receive true forgiveness without doing these things, but we did talk about what happens after we’ve done these things. 

A quick refresher:  first we have to admit we have sinned, confess that sin before God then renounce that sin and our part in it.  No, we don’t have to get re-baptized should we sin (once we’re saved), but anointing with oil won’t hurt anything. 

What we did talk about is that our forgiveness means a cleansing with water (oil) and a Spiritual fire.  Our remission means speaking against our part in the sin and determining not to do it again.  When the enemy attacks, we stand our ground (in our forgiveness) rebuking our foe for what he is. 

Father gives us victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord (1 Corinth. 15:57) because He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5-6). 

When Isaiah said God puts our sin behind His back, that means, for Him, it’s over and done with.  We start afresh with a clean slate.

Forgiveness means being cleansed and setting what has been done behind us and not looking back.  We do it for others.  We do it for ourselves because God has done it for us.

So what is true forgiveness?  You tell me!


Saturday, November 7, 2020

 11-7-2020 Joseph’s Dream

No, I don’t mean the sheaves.  Not that Joseph.  I mean Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth.

Matthew 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus happened.  When His mother Mary had been espoused (engaged) to Joseph, as they were not yet living together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Ghost.

Her husband Joseph was a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

But while he thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (Isa. 7:14).

And she shall bring forth a son whom you shall name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.” 

 Now all this was done so that the word of the prophet of the Lord might be fulfilled which was:

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is interpreted ‘God is with us’”

Then being raised from his sleep, Joseph did as the angel said and took upon himself his wife.

And he did not know her until she had brought forth her first born son and named Him ‘Jesus’.

In those days, families would arrange marriages between a man and a woman.  I guess this was kind of like an engagement for Joseph and Mary as they were not living together as man & wife, that is until he brought her into his home. 

It was during this engagement period that Mary was found to be pregnant.  We know that when the angel told Mary she would have a child, she replied that she had not been in an intimate relationship with any man, how could this be (Luke 1:34)?  A woman, untouched by any man and now is with child, how could this be (conceived, of course, by the Holy Ghost)? 

How did God create the world?  He spoke and the Holy Ghost put His Words into action (Gen. 1:1-31) so God spoke and put His Word into Mary’s womb.  In the natural, though pregnant, she remained a true virgin!

Let’s take a closer look at Joseph.  Joseph knew that, if he brought Mary’s condition to public knowledge, people who engaged in pre-marital or extra-marital activities could be stoned – to death (John 8:3-11).  He wasn’t going to let this happen.  So, before anybody else could realize what had happened, he brought her into his home as his wife – knowing that she was with child.  Realizing the lack of virginity in a wife, a Jewish man could divorce his wife (Deut. 22:13-30, 1 Corinth. 7:32-40, Matt. 19:7-9).  Joseph did not, but kept Mary.  He decided to keep her as his wife though all he had was the angel’s word. The angel’s word was from God.  Dare I say that Joseph believed God? 

Now, the angel says two things to Joseph about Jesus.  First, Joseph is told to call his, yet to be born, son “Jesus”.  This is New Testament so the word used for Jesus is the Greek word ‘Iesous’ (G2424) which is derived from the Hebrew word ‘Yeohowshuwa’ (H3091) and ‘yasha’ (H3467).  Today, so we see it as Jesus, meaning ‘God-saved’ and ‘preserve, save, get victory’ (respectively from the Hebrew root).  So we translate Jesus as savior.  Second is Emmanuel which Matthew translates for us as ‘God is with us’.  The base words here are ‘Emmanouel’ (G1694) & Immanuwel (H6005), either of which is a combination of im (H5973) and el (H410) which mean ‘with us is God’.

Understanding that this was prophecy from Isaiah, Joseph, believing prophecy, took Mary as His wife (so none could accuse her) and did not have intimate relations with her until after Jesus was born.  No chance of misconstruing who was, or was not, the father.  Mary was a virgin before conception until after the time that Jesus had been born.

Though people may assume that Jesus was the son of Joseph (Matt. 13:54-57).  Joseph knew who Jesus’ real Father is and Mary was spared the disgrace of being accused (therefore stoned).

Now, Jesus also knew who His real Father is.  When He was about twelve, his family had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover and after, when they had travelled about a day, headed home, they realized that Jesus wasn’t with them.  Not finding Him with any of the other relatives, they went back to Jerusalem and found Him talking with the doctors (G1320 – didaaskalos -  doctor, teacher, master).  Mary explained that they were worried about Him, but Jesus asked “Why were you looking for me?  Didn’t you know that I should be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:42-49) Jesus spoke not of His step-dad but, of course, His real Father.

So, now, when we look at the two names the angel of God gave to Joseph we draw a conclusion that, from the Old Testament, God is with us and in the New Testament, to save us.  In short, God, Himself, came in the flesh to save us from our sin!  You ask “How can this be?”  Can we separate Father from His Word which is put into action via the Holy Ghost? 

An example from my youth.  A bunch of us were together.  I think I was saying that I could take a punch to the gut, so one of the boys punched me in the stomach.  It knocked my breath out – completely.  My lips moved, but no sound came out.  I was trying to tell them that I was OK, just trying to get my breath back.  Father used this incident to explain (later) how Father, Son and Holy Ghost work together.  We know that when someone speaks to us, the breath from their mouth carries that sound to our ears.  The outer ear funnels that sound into the middle ear which stimulates the inner ear causing vibrations enabling us to hear the noise or words.

Briefly, God speaks.  What does He speak?  What do we speak when we talk?  Words!  Our breath carries our words to others so they can hear what we say.  If you will, our breath puts our words into action.  Now, the only action our words can take is to enable someone else to hear what we say.  When we speak, we stimulate the air around us.  If you will, that means our words ‘shift’ the atmosphere.  God, being God, when He speaks Words, His breath (the Holy Ghost) shifted not only the atmosphere but everything that was, bringing everything into being, existence.  The big difference is that it takes some sort of physical action to back up the words when we speak (James 2:17-19).  When Father speaks, the Holy Ghost shifts the atmosphere to accomplish what Father has said.  All we do is moves the air around us.  When God speaks, the Holy Ghost moves everything to accomplish God’s Word.  We should be careful of what we say, though, for we don’t know when words will come to pass (Prov. 18:21).  God’s Words don’t come back void (Isa. 55:11) and whether we realize it or not, He honors our words and brings them into being. 

Joseph had a dream.  He did as the angel directed so our Lord could be born into this world, as a human, to redeem us from our sins.  Joseph’s dream helps us to understand John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and he Word was God.”

Joseph of Nazareth had a dream, or a vision (if you will).  His dream fulfilled prophecy that God (Himself) was coming into this world to redeem us back into His kingdom!        

Concerning his bride to be, Joseph did right in the sight of God.  He chose to keep Mary as his wife even though the law allowed him to ‘dump’ her.  Joseph demonstrated that he was most likely to follow the ‘Spirit’ of the law rather than just the ‘letter’ of the law.  We may conclude that Joseph was not just a ‘just man’ but a righteous man therefore a good role model for the child Jesus.

Just something to think about in respects to the unity of the Godhead and how Father works in our lives.  And, being righteous through Jesus Christ, maybe we should be following Joseph’s example.  Hmmmm?


Saturday, October 24, 2020


10-24-2020         The Gift


Matt. 2:9-11                Magi bring gifts

Gal. 5:22-23                Fruit of the Spirit

Rom. 11:29                  Gifts are given without repentance

Rom. 12:5-9                Gifts of the Spirit

1 Corinth. 12:1-12       More gifts

1 Peter 4:7-11             How to minister


Understand that when the magi came to the young child Jesus, they brought Him gifts, gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold is a gift fit for a king, but it also provides for the family of the king so that they would not have to worry about where they would live or what they would eat.  They would have enough.  Yet, don’t forget, Joseph was a carpenter (Mat. 13:55) so he did not live lavishly on what the magi brought but he also worked for a living.

Frankincense is an oil with a wood, spicy aroma.  It may have medicinal qualities which aid in arthritis, the digestive tract, asthma, oral health and even some cancers. 

Myrrh is a gummy resin used in perfumes, medicines and incense.  It has been used as an antiseptic, healing salves and has analgesic properties (eases pain).  It has also been used as an ingredient in anointing oil.  The ancient Romans also used myrrh to mask odors from burning flesh (in executions).  When Jesus came into Bethany, Martha declared that Lazarus had been dead for four days and surely his body was stinking (John 11:39-44) and yet Jesus called Lazarus forth, alive and whole.  Myrrh may also have been used to cover the odor from decaying bodies.  This may have been part of the spices the women mixed to anoint Jesus’ body with, after His burial, when they returned after the Sabbath (Matt. 23:52-24:3).

So, through the gifts of the magi, Jesus’ family had financial support and health, healing and, possibly anointing for burial.

Don’t forget that the greatest gift we have from our heavenly Father is the ‘breath of life’ and man has been giving gifts of thanksgiving, back to Lord. That is for what He does for us since Adam.

However, I’m not talking about us giving, but what Father has and continues to give us.  God’s first gift to us is the ‘breath’ of life.  He breathed life into Adam and He continues to give us more gifts to operate in this world around us.  Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

When we read Galatians, one might say “Wait a minute, that’s fruit, not gifts!” 

Look at the world around us and ask yourself, in the world, how much true love is there?  What has happened to joy?  Peace? Who puts up with their neighbor’s antics for long?  I’m not talking about ‘joking around’ but putting up with stuff that really grates our nerves.  How many good and gentle people are in the world today?  Yes, we can find some (PTL), but how many?  Where has goodness gone?  Who truly trusts God in ‘ALL’ things?  How many of us insist on being dominant in any situation, instead of approaching others in humility and respect, looking for common ground?  Do we always exhibit self-control – instead of always wanting to strangle the *?! out of somebody, do we look for an appropriate solution?  These qualities come from God and are enhanced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  So, aren’t these gifts, as well?  These ‘gifts’ are increased within us as we walk with the Lord.  They are ‘gifts’ from God which exhibit the inner man, our relationship with our Lord.

Paul tells us, in the book of Romans, that the gifts of God are given without repentance.  This helps us to understand why it is that people who don’t know Jesus still can sing really good, others can teach, give awesome speeches, care about others, etc., but when Father inhabits those gifts in His children He can carry them to a much higher level, especially when we glorify Him.  

God gives us gifts according to His will, as also listed in the book of Romans.  Gifts He wants us, as individuals, to have.  Does everybody have the same gift?  Does only one person have all the gifts?  We are mentioning only a few gifts here yet the United Nations estimates over 7.8 billion people worldwide.  The need for gifts? 

Even Jethro (father-in-law of Moses) realized that Moses needed help in ministering to the people and encouraged Moses to appoint help (Exod.18:12-26).  God knows that only one person cannot minister to the world.   Now, we all can serve in any of these gifts, but only to the degree which Father has given each one of us.  God gives us, whom He loves, a level faith to prophecy (give direction), minister (serve needs), teach, exhort, rule (govern or be in charge) and mercy.  Now, all of these qualities are good to have, but God gives special portions to those whom He calls and/or anoints to special situations. 

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that we are the body of Christ and the body has many gifts flowing within it to help the whole body grow strong and do our Father’s will.

If we wonder if our gift is flowing in God’s will, ask yourself one question ‘do I consider Jesus a curse (to man), that is, does He go against religious beliefs?  Or should I say contrary to what scriptures say?  If I do, I’m not motivated by the Holy Spirit, for He doesn’t nor will He call Jesus accursed.  Jesus IS the Word of God and the Word was made flesh and they called His name Jesus.  If Jesus is going against scripture, He’s going against Himself!  Can’t happen!  If He should, He would be denying Himself as well as our Father (John 17:19-21, Matt. 3:16-17)!

Now, understand that there are different gifts but they are given by the same Spirit.  They may be manifested in different ways but have the same Lord and they are given to edify the whole body of Christ.  These Spiritual gifts are: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues (heavenly language for prophecy) and the interpretation of those tongues. [Note that ‘tongues is also for edifying the individual (1 Corinth. 14:4).] 

God gives these gifts to whomsoever He will, whenever He will to accomplish His work in the body, even in the world.  Again, Father can take individuals to whatever level He has intended for them.  The church should be one body though it has many members.  I’m not talking about just a single fellowship, but the entire body of Christ.  Yes, individual fellowships need these gifts in operation but every Christian denomination should also be working together, as well,  to accomplish God’s will in this world.  Is this happening?  I’m not talking about a megachurch here.  As individuals work together to help a fellowship, all those fellowships should work together for the growth of the whole body, the church!

Peter gives us some further insight as to how these gifts should operate. 

Peter first tells us to take our relationship with the Lord seriously.  After all, our eternity, and for those whom we influence, is at stake.  He tells us to watch to see what is going on around us so we can know and pray for what’s happening with people and situations.  He encourages us to express love within our own ranks because love covers a multitude of sins.  Therefore we should confess our sins, one to another.  At least between individuals.  Once we’ve realized that we’ve wronged someone, we need to go ask forgiveness.  Should we be the one wronged, we give that forgiveness from our heart.  As that love overflows, help others because we want to, not because we have to.  As the good stewards returned to their Lord with more than what he originally left them in charge of (Matt. 24:14-30).  Share the gift which God has given us with those around us.  Father will reward us.

When we speak, we should remember to ask Father to guide our speech.  When we minister, minister with the ability God has given us.  All done for the glory of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within us.

Remember, the gifts are nothing without love and love comes from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who has taken residence within our hearts via the Holy Ghost.

This entry is not to explain how all the gifts function, but to help you become aware of what they are and the purpose of these gifts – to edify the church!  To minister to the needs of the entire body.  To help people, by listening to the Holy Ghost, discover the way into the kingdom of God.  Then, grow strong in the Lord!

Father will give each of us a special gift in which only we (as individuals) can minister in the way God has given us.   Five unique gifts (not the only gifts) are the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher (Eph. 4:11-16).  That gift may intended to minister to only one soul or it may be destined for 100’s, 1000’s or even 1,000,000’s.  The greater the responsibility, the greater the anointing.  We won’t know where we stand until we get started. 

The gifts are not to show other people ‘how great’ we are, but point them into a closer walk with our Lord.  We do know that Father desires us to always operate under His guidance (via the Holy Spirit within us) so His will, will be done.  How are we ‘fitting in?


Saturday, October 10, 2020

9-29-2020        Remembering Malachi?


Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament.  There is discussion as to whether this was the prophet’s name or a title, “the messenger’.  Nonetheless, he was most likely a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah in the 5th century BC (that is the 400’s).

Because the book is short, four chapters long (our count, the bible wasn’t divided into chapter and verses until the 13th and 16th centuries (respectively)), so it was not considered a major prophetic book.

And I have to admit it, I never really paid much attention to Malachi until recently.  Probably, like many, I was familiar with Malachi 3:8-10 but I never realized how powerful this book is in the other 85% of this and the other 3 chapters.   Nor how relevant it is for today, beyond tithes and offerings.

The author points to the coming of our Lord Jesus and His return.

He speaks of coming judgment and the sparing of Israel.

He speaks of being cleansed and purified.

Malachi goes on to describe the blessings and benefits of getting back on track (should we stray).  Father also has our backs so we don’t lose what He has given us.

But, hold on!  Malachi doesn’t stop here. 

Like Israel, have we spoken ‘against’ God?  Have we declared it useless to serve God?  Where is God when we need Him?  What do we gain by being obedient to His word?  Where is our joy?  Do we exalt the proud or esteem those who do wickedly against the Lord?

God takes note of those who truly serve Him and spares them.  Just as Abraham spared his son Isaac.  As we seek the Lord,  there will be no doubt who is with the Lord and who is not.  Remember the sheep and the goats?

We’re looking specifically at chapter three, so read on!

1          Behold, I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way for Me and the Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to His temple.  Even the messenger in whom you delight shall come says the Lord of hosts.

2          But who may abide in the day of His coming?  Who shall stand when He appears?  He is like the refiner’s fire and the washer’s soap.

3          And He shall sit as the refiner and purifier of silver and He shall purify the sons of Levi, purge them as gold or silver that they may offer their offerings to the Lord in righteousness.

4          Then shall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to the Lord as in the days of old, the former years.

5          And I will come near to you to judgment and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, the adulterers, the false swearers,  those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, the fatherless and those who turn strangers away and don’t respect me says the Lord of hosts.

6          For I am the Lord and I do not change.  Therefore sons of Jacob are not consumed.

7          Even from the days of your fathers, you have strayed from My ordinances and have not kept them.  Return to Me and I will return to you says the Lord of hosts.  But you said how shall we return.

8          Will a man rob God?  Yet, you have robbed Me.  You say how have we robbed you?  In tithes and offerings.

9          You are cursed with a curse because you have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10        Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in My house and in so doing, prove Me says the Lord of hosts and see if I will not open the windows of heaven to you and pour out more than enough blessing to you. 

11        I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground (endeavors) neither will your vine cast her fruit before it’s time in the field, says the Lord of hosts.

12        All nations shall call you blessed for you shall be a delightful land says the Lord of hosts.

13        Your word has been strong against Me says the Lord.  Yet you say how have we spoken against You?

14        You have said that it is vain to serve God and how do we profit by keeping His ordinances?  And we have walked as if in mourning before the Lord of hosts.

15        And now we call the proud happy, yes, we even lift up those who work wickedness, even those who tempt God are delivered (escape –judgment by our hand).

16        Then those who respected the Lord spoke to one another and the Lord took notice and heard and a book of remembrance was written before him (those) who respected the Lord and thought upon His name.

17        They shall be mine said the Lord of hosts.  In the day when I make up My treasures, I will spare him as a man who spares his son who serves him.

18        Then you shall return and discern between righteous and wicked, between he who serves God and he who does not.

I started this presentation with a bunch of questions.  Now I’m going to raise some more!

I’m only presenting a synopsis of what Malachi says here in chapter three.  To take this passage concept for concept would take a lot of space because there is so much that could be said.  So -

Who is our Lord going to cleanse?  Of course, Malachi is speaking to Israel, the church of the Old Testament.  We are of the New Testament, covered by grace right?  Supposedly, we have picked up the banner of our Lord and ae carrying it forward.  Not bound by the ‘old’.  Now, wait a minute.  Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with it.  Israel did works to assure salvation, we are saved (by grace) so we do he works because our faith has brought us unto salvation.  Faith without works is dead.  Right?  How will people know that we are saved if we don’t do the works of God?  Actions speak louder than words?  The apostle Paul gives us several lists of those who will not enter into eternity, substantiating some of what Malachi says in these verses.  Sooo …

How many in today’s church have fallen away from God’s ordinances, laws and statutes?  How many have decided they do better in the world than under God’s wing?  How many in today’s church attend a fellowship simply because they think they should and not because they truly love the Lord?  I heard, in my youth, “you have to go to church in order to be a well-rounded person.”  Observe then and think about it.  God told the prophet Jeremiah (in part) to tell Israel that He’s going to deliver judgment because of their wickedness.  Why?  Because there were those who had forsaken Him, offered their incense (praise) to other gods and decided to worship the works of their own hands.  This was the church in Jeremiah’s day.  Today, Christianity is the church, but the church surely isn’t guilty any of these things.  Right? 

Jesus told His disciples that there would first be falling away, before He comes back for us.  Today’s church hasn’t fallen away, has it? 

Jesus also reminded His disciples to do what God told Israel “love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength!”  What was that first word?  Heart!  Jesus berated the scribes and Pharisees because, even though, the said and did the right things their hearts were far from Him.  They were merely performing rituals. 

When our heart is right, we will do those things that please the Lord.  Husbands, don’t you endeavor to do those things which please your wives?  Wives, don’t you try to please your husbands? Get the picture?

The world has continually drifted away from God since man was booted out of the garden in
Eden.  The church has been up and down ever since, whether trying to live by what God told man in the beginning, following the Ten Commandments as given through Moses or the adjustment into true love through Jesus Christ.

The church has done the same thing Israel has done – despite grace.  Just remember, again, Jesus didn’t do away with the Law, He reinforced it through love land grace.  In the Old Testament, as long as the church didn’t do evil they were OK.  Jesus says that should we consider doing it even without any action, we are still guilty.

Israel knew that when they truly repented the evil they did, God would forgive them.  That hasn’t changed.  When we truly repent, God forgives us, as well.  We just leave that which was broken behind.  It should no longer be a part of our lives.  Then press forward in our walk with the Lord.

Do you see any parallels between 4000 BC & 2000 AD?  (OK, for nitpickers – BCE & ACE, I choose to acknowledge the “year of our Lord – ‘Anno Diem’ and not the ‘common era’)

God is always the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He never changes.  However, man is constantly changing, through the ages, through the generations, even within a single life.  Man is with God, strays, repents and comes back.  Reading about Israel in the Old Testament implies that this could happen even multiple times.  With true repentance come true forgiveness.  When we are honest in repenting, God is faithful to forgive and forget. 

We need to focus on the Lord and should we slip, get back on track and keep pushing forward.  Go back and read the chapter again and ask Father “Where do I fit into all this?”  Listen and examine yourself.  Be honest then refocus on the One who desires us to be in eternity with Himself.  In the gospel of John, to paraphrase Jesus’ words ‘Father, I would that they (the believers) would be one with Me as I am with You’.  We become one by living, not just with Him, but in Him.



Erdman’s Handbook to the Bible, 1937