Thursday, September 24, 2009


Back about the time
you were born (If you
were born late enough.)
I became acquainted
with a very interesting
man. [Well, that is one
way of looking at it.]
He was a married man
with teen age children.
If I remember his wife correctly, he had been going to
school for twenty six years at that time. He had
several different majors and had studied seven

He told me that one of his majors had been archaeology.
He said the digging was too hard. So he changed his

Later at a "work day" for some one in the church, or
in the community, I noted something. He sat in a
chair, in the shade, and read, while his family and
every one else worked. Hmmm.
I begin to understand his lack of interest in

I cannot remember any of his other majors. But
later he wanted me to recommend him to the
school of Theology he was applying to. What would
you think? You guessed it. He was what we called a
"Professional Student".

As you know, a few years later when he could no
longer get grants he quit going to school.
After all those years in school, he took a menial job
in a local hospital.

Apparently that did not suit him either. He divorced
his wife and married a tottering old lady with -

Thus I learned what professional students are.
Come with me to church for a few minutes now.
Currently I attend a good church. A small church.
Mostly older folks. But still a good church.
Consider our mid week service. It is a Bible study.
Not a prayer meeting. But a Bible study. Now Bible
study is good and good for you. We all know that.

This Bible study has older, mature Christians attending.
There is one younger fellow. He was "born and
raised" in the church, and is now an aspiring minister.
That puts him a long way from being a new Christian.
But most of us have been Christians from ten to sixty

The Scriptures say,.
"Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of
Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a
foundation of repentance from dead works and of
faith toward God, with instruction about ablutions, the
laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and
eternal judgment." - Hebrews 6:1,2 RSV

Do you know what we are studying, and has a good

Biblical Foundations. Repentance, how to be
saved. Water Baptism. The second coming of Jesus etc.
I thought we were supposed to go on the maturity.
Now think with me. I'm sorry. I know thinking hurts.
But please bear with me.

The "Western Church" as we know it is weak, anemic,
powerless. Like a rat that has been living on d-CON
for the past week.
Could it be because we have become "Professional Students".
It it easier to study than to travail in prayer.
It is easier to study that to witness.
It is easier to study than to serve.
It is easier to study than obey.
Have we substituted studying for living and
working for God?

Are we, "Ever learning, and never able to come to
the knowledge of the truth." - 2 Timothy 3:7 KJV
Do we need more knowledge? Or just to apply what
we already know?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I cringe every time I am offered a Bible reading schedule.
Why do we read the Bible the way I used to read my "love letters"?

I was in the Navel Air Reserve. When away on a cruise
(Well, we flew.) My fiancee would write to me.
When Mail Call came I tore open her letters. I would
first look at the length. Then determine how many
paragraphs were in it. Then I could plot out how to read
it.  Twelve paragraphs. So today I will read paragraph five.
Tomorrow I will read paragraph three. Then the day
after read paragraph eleven.

If you believe that was the way I read those letters,
you would believe anything the Devil tells you.

But we read our Bibles that way!
Being too simple to understand much, I just picked
my Bible up and started reading. For years now, over
and over, and over. Yes, some times I would go back
and reread, or think about, or study, or memorize.
But the routine was, over and over and over.
Want to read through your Bible in a year?
Just pick it up and read it.

At church lately there has been a "preacher" visiting
with us. You can spot them when they walk in the
door. They have not found a seat before you know
they are either a preacher or a wantabe preacher.
You know what I am talking about. You have seen
them too. And they don't take to long to let every body
know they are ministers. Then as soon as possible
they will begin demonstrating their vast store of
knowledge when given an opportunity. Or even
with out an opportunity.

One night at the midweek Bible study this minister
was back in his full regalia of finery.  He looked as
good as any prosperity preacher.
At an appropriate time he began to wax eloquent,
becoming very emphatic about a certain position.
But the Holy Spirit brought to my mind and obscure
verse that I've never studied, thought on, or
memorized. It of course blew his position clear
out of the water.

I did not say anything. It did not matter that much.
BUT, the Holy Spirit protected me from being mislead
by reminding me of something I have read, over and over.
This is something that has happened numbers of times.

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in my name, he will teach you
all things, and bring to your remembrance all
that I have said to you."
-John 14:26 RSV

One time I had a pastor, a very good pastor. In a
Sunday School discussion he admitted that
he had just finished reading the Bible all the way
through for the first time. He had been preaching
twenty six years. Now that is pathetic.

If you ever get a chance, get a copy of the book
"How To Master The English Bible" by James
M. Gray. They are available as reprints.

Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the largest church
in the world, in his book "The Fourth Dimension"
on page 150 says,

"You must read the Bible. But do not read
the Bible for religious pretenses; do not
read the Bible to seek out new legalistic
rules for living; do not read the Bible for
historical purposes. Rather, read the Bible
to feed your mind and to renew your
thinking life. Fill your thinking with the Word
of God. Then God can have a free approach
to your life and flow out to do mighty things
for the glory of God through you."


Thursday, September 10, 2009


HEY! Be quiet. I can't

You have either said it,
or had it yelled at you.
When you want to hear
something you quit talking.
You do, don't you.
 Or you may turn off an appliance
or lower the volume on the T.V. You minimize any
distracting noise or influence you can so you can hear.

In an upholstery shop in Pomona, California I saw
a sign that said, "You can't learn anything while
you are talking." That is still true today.

The Scriptures say,
There is "a time to keep silence, and a time to
speak;" -Ecclesiastes 3:7 RSV

We all know about the speaking out part. At
least about the things we are interested in.
And that we should for the Lord. But do we
know how to be silent - so we can hear?

The most powerful church service I was ever in
was in one of the local churches. The
visiting evangelist was there with a musical team.
The presence of God was so real and close you could
feel it. You did not want to move or do any
thing that would disturb the way God was working
in our midst.

When the evangelist finished he turned it over
to the local pastor. Even the pastor was moved. The
pastor appreciated the service so much that he spent
the next 20 minutes telling how much he
appreciated the service.

He killed it. Literally killed the service dead. You
could not have killed it any "deader" with a shot
gun. The time to be silent was lost. The moving
of God's Spirit was gone.

I do not know how many services I have been in
where the preacher preaches a great sermon. Then
kills it himself.
He preaches till the sermon is finished. He knows it.
The congregation knows it. God knows it.
But he is enjoying preaching. Especially if the Holy
Spirit has been moving. He does not want to stop.
So he goes on and on killing his own sermon and the
moving of God.

Currently I attend one of those churches where
for some unfathomable reason they think some body's
mouth has to be going all the time. Numbers of times
the Holy Spirit has been ministering to me. But
some one thinks they have to say something. Maybe
in between the verses of a song or just at a pause. And
it quenches the working of the Spirit.

Jim Cymbala said it so well when he said,
"We must quickly be delivered from the delusion
that someone always has to be talking, teaching,
'sharing' or singing; that to keep the crowd interested
we have got to keep things 'moving' lest there be a
lull where God might actually draw us out of
ourselves into real spiritual communion."
-From, Whatever Happened To The Prayer Meeting?
in July 2009 Herald of His Coming, page 3.

God said, "Be still, and know that I am God."
-Psalms 46:10. RSV
Even for Elijah the Spirit of God did not minister
to him in the earthquake or the fire. But in "a
still small voice."

With God's help I want to quiet down and listen
for his "still small voice". How about you?