Sunday, June 7, 2009

Life is for Living

I just got off of the phone with Austin Casselman. Austin is the son of an old and dear friend of mine, Don Casselman Back in the day when we both were young, our senior year in high school, Don was the quarterback and I was the running back of the most feared tandem in the history of high school sports. At least that is how we remembered it.
After graduation I went into the US Air Force, to fight for our country's freedom and Don went to Indiana University to learn how to spell and do arithmetic, and to make a name for himself in big time football.
We went out separate ways for many years and one day I am out knocking on doors inviting people to church and telling them about the love of God. I knocked on the door at a house, on Karyn street, in Plainfield,IN (one that was just like my house in Bedford) and behold the man that answered the door was Don. He did not have time for me, or my religion, he was going to be a big star in Nashville, in the record business. We parted ways again. I promised Don that I would pray for him and he assured me that he appreciated the thought but really did not need my prayers.
Years passed and one day I received a letter in the mail (for those of you that don't know that is when you put a written paper in and envelope and send it through the United States postal system. Otherwise known as snail mail) It was from Don and he told me about getting saved and how that God had worked in his life. We got together a few years ago and he spoke to my congregation. As I listened to Don's testimony I had to laugh to myself. Who would have ever believed that Don Casselman and Steve Goens would have been sitting on a platform, in a church, telling people about Jesus. But that is just the way that God works.
Over the last several years Don and I have shared phone calls, e-mails, and jokes. He has invited me to his house and I have finally decided to go and visit Don. We will not share a meal, or trade jokes, or remember the good ol' days. Don died this morning of a massive heart attack. I will be going to his home in Nashville this week to pray with his family, and cry with them as he is laid to rest.
I just finished talking to his son a moment ago, when his son asked me "Are you the preacher that sent the Life is for Living daily devotional?" He said, "are you the counselor?" and" Are you the one that teaches the lesson on focus, when you have someone look around the room at all the red things and then ask them to look at you and name three yellow things." Yes Austin, that is me." He began to cry and said "That is the last thing that Dad and I talked about, was your daily devotional." I began to cry!! I must go now, I have tears to shed, not for an old friend-He is safe in heaven. But, for his family, that will miss him, and for those in his family yet unsaved, and for those who are reading this note, who do not know about the grace and mercy of God.
Goodbye Don, I loved you, prayed for you each day, and I will help your family and those that you loved, and those that loved you, to the very best of my God given ability.
I will do that because you and I both know that "Life is for Living," just ....
Because He Lives,
Pastor Steve Goens

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blood Clot Goens....

Well, it has finally happened. After 59 years on this earth I am now spending the longest stay of my life . . . in the hospital. I have, of course, been to the Drs. office. But never have I been overnight in the hospital except with the church members and friends that have been far less fortunate than my self. I developed a blood clot in my leg and now have been hospitalized since Thursday morning.
Never having been hospitalized and never having developed a blood clot I am rather naive with the whole treatment thing. So when the Dr. told me what was going to be done, I agreed with it and was set for the treatment, or so I thought.
Now for those that do not know I have a daughter that is nurse at Duke University, (I only mention the name of the Hospital to irate my Kentucky friends), but she thinks that she is a Doctor, and that the Duke way is the only way. When told of the treatment that I was to receive she began with her dogged determination to make sure that the treatment went beyond what was prescribed and that it would include more. Now I would like to explain all of the procedure to you, but I don't understand it my self, but let us just say that my Doctor had a difficult time to find someone that could do it the "Duke Way"
The surgery, that sounds more important than procedure, will take place on Tuesday in an Indianapolis area hospital. I do not mention the hospital because I do not wish all of my fans to show up and cause a big scene. I feel confident that the surgery will go well and in no time I will be back on schedule. As I was laying in bed thinking of the love that my daughter has for her daddy and how insistent she was that things were to be done the "right way" to lessen any further complications I began to think of the preaching of the Gospel of Christ.
There is a standard procedure, one that everyone is satisfied with " It doesn't matter where you go to church, as long as you go." That is standard procedure. It will make you feel good and you may even live a better life. But there is a better way. The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. It does make a difference what you believe and where you go to church! Many roads may lead to Rome, but not every road leads to the Heavenly City.
When it seemed doubtful that we would find a surgeon to do the surgery, a Doctor at Duke told Julie, "Tell your dad that we will send the helicopter after him and I will do the surgery." Julie said "That would be very costly", to which the Doctor replied, "Don't worry about it."
Would it not be great if we were as concerned about the lost that we would not count the cost, but just get the job done? Judgmental? I don't think so, I think it is love! There is a way that seems right unto a man, but God's way is the only way.
Because He Lives

Monday, April 6, 2009

4-06 Update from the Philipenes

Due to computer problems and travel I have not been able to send out Goensmyway as often as I had hoped. I am in Tar lac, Philippines and God is blessing. I have many adventures from Davao to tell you but I will catch you up on the last few days first.
I am here with Brother Joey Cosme, a young missionary we were able to help in the states. Brother Joey has a beautiful wife, one with a great sense of humor and an apparent love for her husband, a couple of very cute little girls as well as the the Lord. I have put the Goens charm on one of the little girls and won her over very easily, however, the youngest one will not even eat at the same table with me. Well, I guess that just proves that you can't win every time!
Brother Joey started a church about four years ago and turned the work over to another pastor when he came to America for his education. I had the privilege of holding the first revival meeting this church has ever had. We made a great connection with the people and their pastor and the revival was very successful with good crowds, great altar results a couple of young people called to preach and 4 saved.
We have preached at three other churches here since April 1, when we arrived, and God blessed at each place. Sunday we preached at two churches and all totaled I believe that God blessed with thirty two souls saved. One church, one of Tar lac's largest, the altar was full and the people, once again very receptive.
I am not sure why, but the Filipino pastors are extremely receptive to our ministry and friendships are formed very quickly. The Filipino congregations also are very gracious and even seem to enjoy my rather off beat sense of humor. A bond is formed quickly and my comfort with the pastors and people amaze me.
At one church that we were at the church has a wall around the building, as do all the churches, with barb wire and broken glass embedded in the concrete blocks around the top. Just a couple of months ago, at 2 AM, his home was broken into, all in the house held at gun point, tied up and all of the worldly goods stolen. A frightening experience for his wife, and daughters and of course for the pastor himself. The robbers were caught a few days later, but the area is full of their "friends." I am here but a day, the pastors live here every day and face great difficulties, but their thirst for God is not quenched nor their fire for souls put out. I thank God I can come here to encourage them to continue on and fight one more round.
We are leaving today to go to yet another part of the Island, to a place where Bro. Joey is going to be starting a new church in about a month. We will be "door" knocking and saturating the area with literature. Door knocking is not really the case, everyone in the Philippines are on the streets it seems, 24 hours every day. Stand in one place and hundreds will just pass your way. We will be preaching in several other churches before we come back home. Please pray that many more souls will be saved and lives changed.
I miss my family, my church and my schedule back in America, but God seems to be using our ministry to encourage the people here. Thank you for helping make this trip be successful, with your money, your prayers and your love.
Because He Lives,
Bro. Steve

Friday, March 27, 2009

Filipino Graduation

Sunday and Monday I spent my time at graduation ceremonies in four different schools. Here in the Philippines the school system is very low quality and students do not learn a great deal. Bro. Claro and those he has trained believe in a Christian education and I must say, I was truly impressed with the children I met.
The graduation program, like everything the Filipinos do, takes forever. The ceremony at one school lasted longer that the school year itself. At each of the schools the children did an outstanding job with the program. Each child that had a speaking part stood, bowed, recited loudly and clearly. Believe me, it was a tough act to follow.
I am very grateful that these pastors invited me, and rearranged their schedules to fit into mine. I had a great time and was impressed by the dedication of very poor families to invest their money into a quality education for their children.
I was sure that one of the fathers, a father of 3, was going to bust the buttons on his shirt as his children received several rewards. The Filipino are very precious. One of them right now is standing on the back of a bench, telling the other children that LOLO White is busy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Update from the Phillippines

Today I conducted my first wedding on Philippine soil. We drove to a place close to Muslim territory to perform these nuptials for this outstanding young couple, a second generation preacher and a daughter of a large family with many in the ministry.
My weddings in America last about as long minutes as the Philippine weddings last in hours I was not prepared for a two hour ceremony but that is just the Philippine way. The wedding started a 9:30 AM and that was quite a surprise for me. The wedding I will be performing next week begins at, are you ready for this my sleepy headed Americans, 5:30 AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We will be going up the day before and spending the night there, and as I understand it, I will have the privilege of living the Philippine lifestyle. The Bamboo floors, no water, etc. We will also be going through some Muslim Terrorist territory where I will be dressed as a , are you ready for this, a Muslim! Maybe they are kidding me but they tell me I must be covered. But they have also told me not to worry because the best of fighting forces in the Philippines will be there to protect me.
When I get back to the States I will certainly look at the American weddings in a different light. By the way, if you do not receive any e-mails after March 31, well, it has been nice knowing you.
Because He Lives,
Bro. Steve

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22..Arriving in Davao

One of the things that amaze me about the Filipinos is the way that they treat their guest and show their love. For an example. The first time I was here I was greeted by about 30 preachers with a banner welcoming me to their country.
As I pulled on the property for the first time, about half way on the mile long entry way there was a big sign that read "WELCOME DR. STEVE GOENS. YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME. As we approached the tabernacle there was another sign, WE ARE GLAD YOU ARE HERE. Then another one on the Platform WELCOME DR. STEVE GOENS TO OUR FAMILY CAMP. I was so honored.
The second time about the same thing, except they forgot to pick up the banner for the airport and told me they would get it later. At the end of the week I asked them about the banner and they said, well we had already picked you up.
This time, no banner again, no preachers at the airport, they all were running late and left me all by myself in the land of kidnappers. No sign on the road to the camp and only a chalk board with a welcoming message.
Do you think that they are trying to tell me something?

Flight to the Philippines

I am a few days behind because of computer problems at the camp that I stay at. I know that some of of couple of readers have been waiting for my reports.
The flight here was as good as could be expected. I had a decent seat, and I thank God for that. I asked all my friends that I would be able to get a first class upgrade. Well, I could see first class from where I was seated which proves what I have always thought. My friends prayers fall just a little bit short.
On the flight I met a lady from India. She ask me what I did for a living and I told her I was a Baptist Preacher. I thought that would end the conversation, but instead it just inspired one. She asked me why people suffer so very much. Her thought was that if you were bad in a previous life that you would have a back life in the next life. As a Hindu she believed in reincarnation, a past life, a life now and a life to come. I told her that Christians believed in the same thing, that we too believe in a past life, a present life and the life to come.
We believe in the reincarnate life of the Lord Jesus Christ. That He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the World. That before we ever came into the world that God loved us so much that Christ was willing to die for us on the cross. Of course we believe in the life that we live now. And that in this life there are blessing and curses. Our trials only come to make us strong.
And of course the life in the future is a place where we call heaven. Not all are going there, only the ones that are saved. She leaned back on seat closed her eyes. I thought that she had had enough. As we were preparing to land in Hong Kong she leaned over and thanked me for being a kind and considerate seat mate and told me that I had given her a lot to think about, and asked me to pray for her. I told her I would.
Now, that is something you cannot get in first class!
Because He Lives,
GOENS MY WAY - Philippines 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Off to a Great Start

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It is early Tuesday morning and in just a few short hours I will be getting on the plane and heading to the land of the Philippines.
Monday was a hectic day and my schedule was jammed packed. I received a phone call from a lady that I had told her, "If I can ever help you let me know". She asked me if I meant that and she said yes. Her Grandmother was dying and she did not know if she was Saved or not and the lady wanted to talk to someone.
Not today, I thought I am to busy to win anyone to Christ today. I have to prepare to go on a missions trip to win souls. It took me about 2 seconds to tell her I was on the way. She warned me about her rude, crude, irreverent family in a bad part of Indy. I assured her it would be OK I arrived and was greeted by a lovely young lady who escorted me to the place where Grandma was. I had prayer with her, told her of our great saviour and how he loved her. As I led her in the sinners prayer, she took her thumb and tapped my hand as I asked her to pray the "sinners prayer" I questioned her again and again she tapped my hand when I asked her if she had confessed her sins.
About three hours later this babe in Christ crossed over into the wonder of eternity safely on the wings of the Grace of God. Too late to enjoy the abundant Christian life but just before the death angel came. She never knew about answered prayer, or the victory of living by faith, or the joy of the daily walk with Jesus, but thank God, she did make it home in time for supper!

Because He Lives,
Bro. Steve


Dear Friends,
I want to thank you for all the response we have to our daily devotionals. It is a blessing to me that there are a few who really enjoy the insights that God gives me into the Scriptures. Not all agree with the insights but none the less, that has never stopped me from writing.
As some of you have noticed you have not received them the last couple of weeks and the reason is simple, there are only 24 hours in a day and I must get at least 4 hours of sleep a day or I just can't function.
I have been wrapping up the classes that I teach here in the States and then there is working ahead on all of the work at the church, and then there are the messages to be preached in the Philippines. This is my third trip there in the last 2 years.
I will be going to the southern part of the Philippines to a place called Davao City. After performing two weddings, and preaching(40 times last year) on prophecy, some graduation ceremonies, I will then head to Manila where I will preach from April 1 thru April 12. Then back home again to Indiana.
Please pray for me in the following ways if you would please.
Safety, on the island I will be, there are a lot of Communist and Muslims.
Success. We would love to see at least 100 people saved. Much of the time we will be teaching preachers. But there will be those times in churches and we pray for a great harvest of souls.
Pray for my health. I am not as young as I was last week. Pray for my diabetes, high blood pressure, teeth that needed work on that I just never got around to fixin', my back, ankle swelling, eyes, GOOD NIGHT, WHY AM I EVEN GOING, I AM A SICK TIRED OLD MAN!!!! As you pray for my health, Sharon has decided, in the case of my death, that she will only bring me home if they will strap me in a seat to use my ticket to return home. If there is an additional cost, she will just leave me in the Philippines and send God a change of address form just in case He forgets where I am at his second coming. HA!
Thank you to all that has contributed to my trip. I trust that I will be all that I can be as I represent you in the Philippines. The Filipinos are great people and I love to work with them. I will be posting my daily adventures on here and would enjoy if you would stop by and rejoice with me in the victories that I believe God is going to give.
Because He Lives,
Pastor Steve Goens

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Devotionals March 2-4th

MONDAY MARCH 2, 2009 -
Whenever I read the Word of God I get excited. The next great event on the Christian calendar is what is commonly referred to as the "Rapture" of the church. Now, you cannot find the word "rapture" in the Bible but that is the word that we use to explain this event. One day, the Bible states, God is going to open the graves and call all of his saints home to heaven. The Bible says "in a moment, the twinkling of the eye" we are going to be gone. The Bible gives us many signs of his coming. And one of the signs is "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the son of man." There is no doubt that we live in a very sinful, wicked world. I am just 59 years old and have been in the ministry for 35 of those years. If someone had told me then the things I am seeing today I would have told them, "maybe other places, but not in America." I would have been wrong. The focus of today devotional is found in verse 5. All that Noah's generation thought about was sin, how to commit it, how to hide it, and how to get by with it. Now, that sounds a great deal like today.
The Bible tells us that "whatsoever a man thinketh, so is he." Take a moment, and ask yourself this simple question. Do I think as they did in the days of Noah, or are my thoughts on the things of God?

EXODUS 25:1-9
As a regular reader, you know that I think about death and the legacy that I am going to leave behind. It is, in reality, a daily thought and prayer of mine. When the people that I counsel stand beside my casket, what will they think of me after spending many hours with me as I tried to help them? My congregation, what will they say about me after sitting under my ministry for over thirty years? When I have preached revival meetings and special services, did I effect anybodies life? The students, at Fellowship Baptist College, in Indiana, and Central Baptist Bible College, Philippines, that have sat under my teaching, did I make an impact in their lives? Did my writing ministry change anybody? All of these things are very important to me. However, there is one other thing that is more important that all of the aforementioned, what impact did I have on my family? That is the most important thing to me.
Now, I said all of this to ask a question. What kind of impact did Abraham have on his family? Abraham was a great man of God, much grater that I will ever hope to be. He was a great man of faith. He was courageous! But, and it is a big but, the problems in the world today between the Jews and the Muslims, can be put at the feet of Abraham. For that one moment, Abraham was impatient, he did not want to wait on God, he lacked the faith that he needed and went in with another woman, bore a child with her, and the Muslim world was born.
Abraham is now dead. Both Isaac, his son by Sarah, and Ishmael, his son by Hagar are at Abraham's funeral. One, a promise of God of prosperity, the other a son of destruction (Gen 16:11-12). What a shame such a beautiful life is marred for all eternity because of a lack of faith, just for a moment, but with an eternal impact. What about your life, what impact will you have for eternity?

As Moses and the Israelites were passing through there were many obstacles that stood in their way. As today, the same then, when they passed through a strange land, a land inhabited by others, they had to receive permission to continue on the journey. The Edomites and Moabites did not hinder the Israelites from passing through their country, though they were far from friendly and dealt with them in an unbrotherly way. However, when the arrived at Heshbon, the chief city of the Amorite king, Sihon, Moses overtures of peace were rejected.
The Bible says that God had hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate. Many times in the Word of God, you will find the phrase or similar phrase that God hardened their hears. Now the question arises, if God hardened their heart how then did a fair, and righteous God judge them if they could not help their heart being hardened?
First of all, God is God, and He can do as He wills. This is the sovereign act of God, and we must not question.
Secondly, when we question the act of God and think he is unfair, then we put ourselves into a position of being a judge and claiming that we are more knowledgeable, understanding, righteous and merciful that God. What a ridiculous and arrogant thought is that.
Thirdly, God simply puts man in a situation that reveals the hidden content of the heart, so that we can see the intent of heart as it is seen through the eyes of God. When you squeeze an orange, only what is inside comes out - orange juice. You squeeze an apple and what do you get? The only thing that you can get is apple juice. You squeeze a Triple Whopper from Burger King, and what do you get? Fat! When you find yourself in a tight situation, your decision will reveal what is hidden in your heart.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Devotionals Feb. 18th- 21st

ESTHER 2 19-23
Have you ever wondered where you are and why you are there. I have many times. Mordecai sat in the kings gate and heard a plot by two of the king's men to kill the king. Once again Mordecai and Esther were in the places that God desired them to be. They had made a commitment to God, and God had taken that commitment and used it to position them in the place to save the king and the kingdom.
Mordecai, after hearing the plot told Esther and Esther told the king and the plot was overthrown and the two traitors were hanged and Esther was endeared that much more in the heart of the king. God continues to work and position his people where He desires. If you are in the center of God's will you are where you are suppose to be, doing what He desires you to do. Don't question the shy's of God, simply do what God wants you to do, where He wants you to do it.
In this instance, Mordecai what where he was at the time he was to expose the wrong motives and actions of the traitors. God in his wisdom have his children to cry out against the sins of the people and to warn them of their destination, if they continue on the path of destruction.

ESTHER 3:7-13
Times have changed but people remain the same. Their lusts, their prejudice, their desires for wealth and power all remain consistent from generation to generation. In today's devotional Haman, an enemy of the Jews, goes to the king to obtain the permission and the funds to destroy, what Haman describes to the King, his greatest enemies. He received the Kings permission and the funds necessary and Haman set out to rid the empire of all of the enemies, the Jews, of the King.
God however had a huge surprise for Haman. Mordecai had advised Esther not to reveal her heritage, and unknown to Haman, and unknown to the King himself, Esther was a Jew. Once again, God had his servants in the exact place at the exact time. What a surprise Haman was about to receive. As the old time radio character, Chester Riley, use to say, "What a revoltin' development this is."

ESTHER 4:1-3, 9-17
I am 59 years old. And in all of my life I have never faced the things that we are facing today. We have had the tough times, I grew up very poor, was born during the Korean conflict, was a teenager during the Viet Nam war and served in the military during that time. I remember being spat upon because of the uniform that I proudly wore, and would still wear it proudly if any thing other than the hat fit. But in all honesty I fear more for our country today than I have at any other time. There are many reasons and I will not take the time to expound upon these points at this time.
During this time the Jews were greatly frightened. Why? Because of the order sent by the King and the works of Haman. What they did not know was the plan of God and the positioning of Gods people. Even in the worst of times, God is still on the throne. He is always a step ahead and always in control.

ESTHER 7:1-10
Haman, bound and determined to slay all the Jews and Mordecai, built the gallows to hang Mordecai. Now, stop and think about this.
Haman needed permission to slay the Jews. Granted! Haman needed the funds to go throughout the kingdom to spread the word that the Jews were going to die. Granted! I think that he enjoyed watching the Jews weep and cry because of their doom. He has won. He has the power, the authority, the wealth, the permission, the backing of the king, to destroy this hated people. Nothing, but nothing stood in his way. Off to the banquet. The King is there. Haman is there. And of course the Queen is there. What a great time Haman is having. Tomorrow, Mordecai, the Jew, dies on the gallows that have been built just for that purpose.
The King turns to his Queen and asks her a simple question. "What is thy petition?"The Queen, now remember this is the Goens translation, says "King, do you love me?""yes" said the King. "But King, do you reeealllllyyyyy love me?" "YES" replied the King. "Then why are you going to allow someone to destroy me and my people?" "WHAT?" shouted the King. "Tell me who it is and I will destroy them!" Would you not have loved to have been in the room to see the look on Haman's face! It was not the beauty of the Queen that saved her people. It was the God of heaven that put her in the right position at the right time. You are here for a reason, right where you are. Do what God wants you to do and be thankful for the grace, mercy and direction of our Lord.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Devotions Feb. 16th and 17th

ESTHER 2:1-11
In chapter one, Queen Vashti refused the command of the King. A seven day celebration and strong drink had made the King make a very bad decision to have the Queen parade herself and her beauty in front of a large group of drunken men. When she refused the King became very angry and he, and a group of drunken wise advisors decided to dispose of the Queen and choose another young, fair, virgin to be queen.
In chapter two a beauty contest is arraigned and this is where the workings of God begin to develop in full view. It is always interesting to me to see how God works, and it makes me wonder about nearly every situation that I find myself.
We have a lady by the name of Esther, a Jew, who was an orphan. Her mother and father had died and she was raised, as his own daughter, by her cousin Mordecai. She was a woman of great beauty and charm. Mordecai was one of the Jews who was taken away in the captivity from Jereusalem. Now both Mordecai and Esther find themselves at Shushan the palace. Have you ever wondered why you are where you are at this particular time. I have. I have found myself at a place that many times I ask the Lord what he is doing in my life. And I presume you have as well. One thing that I am sure of, that God has a reason for my life, and he has a reason for your life as well.

ESTHER 2:13-18
The other virgins required many ornaments and other things which they thought would appeal to the king, but Esther required nothing extra except what Hegai suggested. Perhaps her very simplicity made her beauty stand out more than all the others.
When she was taken to the king he indicated his love and favor toward her above all others, and set the royal crown upon her head. She was now the Queen, the lady that took the place of Queen Vashti.
How did Esther become Queen? By just being herself, being the woman that God had made, being the best that she could be, but still, just being herself. I know so many people that try to be someone other than who they are. They live in a land of make believe, always desiring to be someone they are not. An original is always more valuable than a copy. If you imitate someone, or try to be someone that you are not, the best that you can ever be is second best.
Esther became Queen, because that was the will of God for her life and being in the center of God's will is the greatest place to be, rather you are a Queen or a dishwasher, be what God wants you to be and be the best at it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Devotionals Week of Feb 2-7th

Monday February 2, 2009 - 1 Kings 19:15-21
Have you ever felt all alone in this world? Have you ever felt as though no one understands you? Have you felt as though nobody else is standing for God, and you, and you alone, are the only one doing your best for the kingdom?
That is exactly the way that Elijah felt. Did he have good cause to feel that way? Maybe. But we must never live our lives from the position of being a victim, or with a poor little me attitude. If you are fighting the battle alone, you still have the Lord, and that makes you a majority in and of itself. It makes you a winner, it makes you a warrior, it makes you a conqueror, it makes you victorious! But you are not alone.
There are thousands fighting the battle, and winning the war. There are thousands that are suffering far greater persecution than you are but they are suffering victoriously. There are those that are far less fortunate that are not crying about the lot that has been given them, they are just doing what God wants them to do.
That is what today's scripture is all about. Elijah said God, I am the only one that loves you. God said no you aren't, let me introduce you to several thousand.

February 3, 2009 - 2 Kings 2:9-15
If you could have any thing in life, what would it be? Well, one of the things that we think of is money. If I could have all the money I needed all would be well. But think of all the people that have hundreds of millions of dollars that have miserable lives. Maybe beauty would be something that we would desire. A beautiful face and body would make my life complete. Well, as one that possess a beautiful face and body, I can tell you that will not turn the world around for you either. Friends, no that will not do it. Power and position in life, nope that still will not do it.
Elisha had the answer. He wanted to be a man of God. Elijah was a man of God and Elisha wanted a portion, no wait, a double portion of what Elijah had. More than anything else he wanted to be a man of God, a man that would be a blessing to others long after his days on this earth was finished.
With everything else, a man without the blessings of God has nothing. With nothing, but only the blessings of God, a man has all that he will ever need.

February 4, 2009 - 2 Kings 4:8-17
Notice verse 8. "And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread." A great woman? This was a lady who was financially well off and of significant social standing. She was a great woman in the eyes of the financial world and the social world as well, but is that what made her a great woman in the eyes of the Lord? She was a spiritual woman. She was able to perceive that Elisha was a holy man of God. She persuaded her husband to build a chamber, a place for this man of God to lodge while passing through the area.
Although she was a lady of society and a woman of wealth she needed and wanted something that society could not give her and that money could not buy. She was barren and her husband was old. She needed a touch from the man of God and a blessing that only God could give her. Because her focus was not on her position in life, nor the size of her bank account, but on the man of God and the blessings of the Father, she obtained the one thing that nothing else could give her, something that only could come from the hand of God.

February 5, 2009 - 2 Kings 4:27-37
What would it take to turn you against the Lord? As a representative of my Lord as an assistant pastor and as a pastor for 34 years, I have seen a lot of people quit on God. They all have their reasons, and I am sure that their reasons are real reasons to them. And yet, the same reason that those that quit use for quitting others use for drawing closer to God. This lady from yesterdays devotional has now lost the child that God had given her.
How could this happen? Why would God do this? Why would God allow this? I am sure that she did not understand, but her response was a Godly response. She clung to the man of God. "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." The God that blessed her, would not leave her at this moment in time. And the God that has bless you, will not leave you at your darkest hour either. He will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. The God of the mountain is also the God of the valley.
I have known many that have had their world crash and burn. Those that forsake God never seem to get out of the ashes, those that stay close to God, begin to build new mansions.

February 6, 2009 - 2 Kings 13:14-20
All good things must come to an end, and the life of Elisha has done just that. I think about this more than the average man, maybe I think about it more than I should. Of all of the thoughts that linger in my mind, this one seems to no longer linger, but it abides there. When I die, what will I leave behind?
I read the Word of God and I read of the great men, like Elisha, and I thing how they turned around nations, and history was molded by their faith in God. I truly don't pay much attention to those that claim to be great men of God today because I think most of them have been created by Madison Avenue advertising agencies. I am sure there are some great men of God, I know hundreds of them, and I believe you are truly going to be surprised on judgment day when we find out the men that are truly God's men, who God knows.
Am I going to be one of them? Probably not. Sometimes I don't think I have the power to heal chapped lips, let alone turn around a nation. But I do pray, that when I am in glory, that the ones that know me, will know that I loved them, and that I was real.

February 7, 2009 - Luke 4:23-30
What is true Biblical success? A giant super church? Television programs? Radio broadcasts? Hundreds of thousands at crusades? Millions of followers? Millions of dollars in the bank, enough to buy you several homes, and jet airplanes? If that is the case then every single man and woman listed in Hebrews 11 hall of fame for those displaying great faith, are all utter failures because none of them had any of these things. Neither did they display the attitudes and convictions of those that are considered great today.
What is true Biblical success? Those who live by faith, love the Lord with all their hearts, love others as much as they love themselves, and win people to Christ. That is true Biblical success. That is what God is looking for. Will He find it in me? or you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Devotionals Week of 26th thru 31st

Monday, January 26, 2009 -
Numbers 6:1-8
Nazarite means "to be set apart" and is explained as a separation unto the Lord. The vow was taken by men or women who desired to consecrate themselves in an outstanding or unusual manner. It was a total consecration to the service of the Lord, usually for a specific period of time. Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist was set apart for life. This setting aside had some very specific and strict rules that were very similar to the vows of the priest and even the high priest. A special walk with God requires a special lifestyle, that is designed to bring unusual blessings.
The Nazarite vow is not for us today. It was for the Jews and that particular nation. However the principle is sound and remains. If we are going to be used of God, our walk with him must be close and personal as we walk in His will, do His will and live for His honor and glory. A special walk with God is not a burden but a privilege and well worth the price. They removed themselves as far away from the attitudes of the world and moved closer to God, and the benefits and blessing were enormous.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 -
Judges 2:1-5
The nation of Israel had enjoyed many victories and been blessed of God over and over again. Yet they continued to make league with the world. Look at verse 2. "And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
Boy, does that ever take me back to my teen age years. My Mother and Father always said to me, "You always have to learn the hard way, don't you? I did then and somehow I still do today. But learning the hard way always comes with a great price. It was true then and it is true today.
God broke the hearts of His people here in Judges chapter 2, and the brokenness brought tears. They named the place Bochim, meaning weeping, and sacrificed to the Lord. Do you remember the last time that you were broken of God.
Mark that spot. Name it. And look at it not only as a place of an ending, but a place of a new beginning to a greater life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 -
Judges 2:6-10
The work that I do as a pastor is not hard work. It is difficult. It is frustrating. It is heart breaking! Sometimes rewarding, but mostly it is tedious and unrewarding. But it is not hard work.
The Bible states that one generation serves God. They know Him, they have seen Him work, they had witnessed miracles but the next generation falls away. They get away from all that God is about, forgets his grace and mercy, and they have never observed His wonders. Whose fault is it. Is the parents? Did they fail to teach and train their young people. Was it the fault of the priest, the synagogue's failure to have a good youth program? Or, was it the fault of the next generation, who did not pay attention, who did not desire to walk with Him?
I guess we could argue each point of view, but I think the answer is that all have some responsibility. The question I think is why is there a falling away. How can some one be going great guns for God and then all of a sudden be as cold as ice?
I think it is because we forget. We forget where we were when we found Him. I think we forget what He has done for us. I think we forget that there is a future that we will need His help. Let us not forget.

Thursday, January 29, 2009-
Judges 2:11-17
"And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim." As I look at Scripture I always try to put myself in the time that I am studying. I have looked at this passage and to honest with you I am stuck. Why did Israel do evil in the sight of the Lord? Why did they take on the attitude and god's of those nations less fortunate than they? I must then also ask, why do we do the same thing? Why did Lucifer rise up against God? Why?
Yesterday we were admonished not to forget. Today, I think, we must never take the things of God for granted. Some how when we become prosperous we think that it is always going to be that way. That what was once a privilege becomes a right. And once we think that it is a right, we take it for granted.
A lady that I have known from years gone by is fighting a great battle against cancer. When we were young, health was something that we took for granted. It was our right. We are suppose to be healthy. But when we begin to lose that health little things begin to become precious again. One man that I knew who was battling cancer was excited when I visited because he was able to make it less than ten feet to the bathroom, with no help!
Let us not take things for granted. Let us thank God for all we have and never get to the place that God is taken for granted as we search for strange god's.

Friday, January 30, 2009-
Judges 2:18-23
How important is true Biblical leadership? How important is the man that God has chosen to lead. Or the woman? Leaders come in all sorts of genders, colors, sizes, but all need to be Biblical leaders. Look at the first few chapters of the book of Judges. The nation was good and followed God under the leadership of Joshua. The nation fell, visited strange gods and God raised up Judges and delivered the nation. The Judges died and the nation went back to their old ways.
Has God put you in a position of leadership. Before you answer I want to ask you some questions. Are you employed and do the other workers know that you are a Christian? You are a leader! Are you a man that is married? Have children? You are a leader! Are you a mother? You are a leader. Anyone that can influence the life of another is a leader.
Never forget who you are and the position that God has put you in. Always remember that someone is looking at you for leadership and guidance and God expects you to be the leader He would have you to be.

Saturday, January 31, 2009-
Judges 13:1-13, 24
"And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord . . ."One day I am going to count how many times this phrase is repeated in the Word of God. In this area of the Bible that we have been in all week this phrase seems to headline every chapter. However, I wish to point out a couple of things that I hope will help you. '
Even though the rest of the nation went astray there were always those who stood for God and did not forsake Him and His principles. In the midst of all of the trouble there were those that proved to be real champions.
Secondly, somehow when others were being cursed there was those in the midst of the collapse of the nation that were blessed of God. When the rains fall, we, those who stay true to God, will get wet, but God will give us an umbrella.
In today's text, we begin with "The children of Israel did evil again, . . ." but look at verse 24 "And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson, and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him."
Do you see that. Blessing in the midst of trouble.
Isn't God good?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A request for prayer

Dear Readers,

Please lift this lady up in your prayers. She has been fighting this battle for many years.

Your letter of Devotionals was a great inspiration for me. As you know this fight with cancer has gotten the better of me. I am unable to do things that I once was able to accomplish. Lately, I too, had given into my demon. My demon, is cancer. But reading this has given me more inspiration to continue to fight. I was ready and had told my family I was no longer able to fight. You must have know deep down that I needed to go into the right direction, and not give into this demon. Next Monday I go back into surgery, I was ready to tell them no more, and let it run it's course and succumb to it. But upon reading this, now I know I will continue to fight. For the Lord did not put me here not to fight demons, but to win over them. My faith has never falter, but my body had. But now, I will give it all I have to fight off this large demon. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration that I needed at this time. I will continue with the surgery, treatment and medications to fight. Power of prayers have gotten me this far, and the power of the Lord and prayers will get me through this one also. Joy

This Weeks Devotional

Monday, January 19, 2009 -
Exodus 17:8-16
How do we battle against our enemies? We all have them. Sometimes our enemies are from without, sometimes from within. I know that I have many demons that I fight in my life, and most everyone that I know do as well. And I really do not know anyone that has no enemies without. Here in the book of Exodus the children of God was at war with Amalek, and his warriors. He wished to destroy Moses and Joshua and make no mistake about it our enemies wish to destroy us, whether the enemy comes from within or without. The solution is spelled out here in the Book. We must fight. We must not lay back and surrender. If Moses had done that the victory would never have been won. But fighting is not the only thing that we must do. We must hold the rod of God up high. While the rod was held toward the heavens, the Army of God prevailed. When the rod was let down, the foe began to gain the victory. The rod of God was used many times in many different miracles. Here it was used as a key to victory. What will bring us victory? Fighting the fight and holding the standard of God, the rod of God, the Word of God high. When that is done, victory will be ours. It is war, but the battle is worth it. Tuesday,

January 20, 2009 -
Numbers 14:6-10
God had promised His children victory and a promised land. Unfortunately many of the people feared and their faith was compromised. Fear will always cause you to have a lack of faith. So God granted them their wish and sent spies into the land of Canaan. The report came back and the majority of the people talked about how great the enemy was and how they could not be defeated. Two talked about how great God was and how He could not be defeated. Who was right? Well, they both were. The ones who looked at the enemy and their greatness never did defeat the enemy and they died in the wilderness. The ones that looked at the greatness of God and how he could not be beaten lived and entered into the promise land, the land of victory, a picture of the victorious Christian life. So, in your life, will you look at the enemy and say that he is too big to beat, or will you look at our Saviour and know that He cannot be beaten?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 -
Numbers 27:12-23
Moses was a great man of God, a great man of faith, a great man of victory. He led the children of God, faced enormous difficulties, fought brilliant battles but he never got to enter the promise land. God said in verse 14, “For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, . . .” To day, let us not name the sin of Moses that cost him presence in the Promise Land. We will not speak of the Grace of God that passes all understanding. I wish to look at one thing. The time that we spend in sin can never be recovered. In a life time the average will make a couple of million dollars. But once a dollar is spent foolishly, that dollar cannot be brought back by saying “do over.” A sin that is committed can be forgiven, without a doubt. A sin that is committed can be forsaken. A sin that is committed, but forsaken and forgiven will never be brought up at the judgment seat of Christ. But the time spent in that sin, and the damage it causes can never be overcome. Think about it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009 -
Deuteronomy 31:1-8
Moses was a wise, spiritual, strong, Godly man. He made his mistakes, which cost him dearly, but that did not take away from the fact that he was God’s man for the hour. The wisdom that he gave to Joshua is priceless and worth taking a look at and imitating to the very best of our God given ability. First of all, understand that there will be times that we fail God and even forsake Him, but He will never fail us nor forsake us.
That is why Moses states in verse 3, “ . . .He will go over before thee. . .” In verse 4, “And the Lord shall do unto them . . .”Again look at verse 5, “And the Lord shall give them up . . .” One more verse, verse 6, “ . . . :for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee . . .” God is always there for us, that we can be sure. Be strong, God will give strength through the Word of God. The joy of the Lord is my strength. And of good courage. Courage quality of being brave: the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action . Do not fear, fear cannot live where faith abides. Nor be afraid of them. Who is ‘them”. Our enemies, the ones from within, the ones from without, the ones that would distract us from our walk with God. Joshua, I am not going to go to the land of promise. I am old, I have made mistakes, God has appointed you, to lead the people, God’s people into the land of promise. God will bury His workman, but never His work.

Friday, January 23, 2009 -
Deuteronomy 34:1-9
As I read this verse my eyes tear. My heart rate is up, and my stomach feels sour. I think that this is one of the saddest passages found in the Word of God. In fact, I identify with it so much, that it causes me grief and I think I understand what was on the heart of Moses as he looked at the land of promise and knew that it would never be his. God allowed Moses to see the land of Canaan, the promised land, the land that flowed with milk and honey. So many times I have dreamed what God could really do with my life. I dream and think of my church being much larger. I drew up plans for a new place of worship 29 years ago, and I still have that plan in my desk drawer, but the building has never been built. I have dreams of a radio ministry that reaches all of the Philippine Islands and the regions beyond, some 100 million people, many of them Muslims and Communist. I have dreams of helping train tomorrows preachers to make a large impact for the glory of God. I dream of being used of God to build orphanages in India and other places where children have no hope or dreams beyond eating a good meal or of having a safe place to sleep. I can see these things with my eye of faith, but will God allow me to realize my dreams or will I die in the wilderness and be buried in an unknown grave the way that Moses life was ended? Only God knows, and I will be satisfied with His decision. But my heart still goes out to Moses. His eyes were not dim nor his natural force abated. He died with life still in him and dreams unrealized. I guess that a lesson here is that sin committed will cause dreams to be unfulfilled. However, I would rather die, with dreams not realized, than to never have dreams at all.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 -
Joshua 1:1-9
Moses is dead. We have mentioned a sin that Moses committed that prevented him from the realization of his dreams several times in this weeks devotionals. But notice verse one “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord . . .” God still loves Moses! He, God, still thinks of him as a “servant of the Lord.” That does not give us the right to sin. We must not sin and say “I can sin, and God will forgive me.” But it is great to know that when we stumble and fall, that God will pick us up, clean us up and still love us and never doubt our love for Him. What a God we have. Wouldn’t it be great if those that we have offended, those that we have sinned against, would be as gracious as God? I for one, will always take this position. This is a position of strength, a position that makes us more like Him.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thought for the New Year

As we begin a brand new year I am sitting here at my desk wondering how much of this year will be wasted. One shows up at a construction site and there is always a pile of lumber here and some dry wall there. Nails are laying all over the place and small piles of concrete scattered around. I am sure that the cost of these things that are wasted are just considered, well, just considered the cost of doing business. No building or project is designed to such precision that every nail, every board and every yard of concrete is used. In America we are accustomed to waste and a throw away society.
We do the same thing with time. I will stand in a department store and some one will say to me “May I help you?” I will answer, “No thank you, I am just killing time waiting on my wife.” Some one will call and ask, “What are you doing?” and I will reply, “Oh, nothing?” We all use those phrases and have those thoughts, but are we so successful, so fulfilled, so rich that we can kill time? Or that we can spend long periods of time doing nothing?
We waste minutes, days, months and even years, killing time or doing nothing! And when that time is gone, it is gone forever.
Well, this year I am going to be more productive. I have loaded my schedule to the place that I will have no time to do nothing. I will be writing, reading, speaking, producing every available minute of every available day. No more wasted time for me. I will not kill any more time. Let me add one more thing before I go. Date night with my wife is not doing nothing - it is doing something. Playing with my grand children is not killing time - it is producing memories. Spending time with my children is not non productive, it is the reward for being a father.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Devotional 1/10/09

Saturday - January 10, 2009 -
Psalm 34:4-14
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
God is greater than all our fears.
He is greater than our fear of death. His is our Life.
He is greater than our fear of troubles.
He is greater than all our troubles.
He is greater than our fear of our enemies, He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
He is greater than our fear of the government, the heart of the King is in his hand.
Seeking the Lord is the key. That is more that just church attendance. It is more that just an occasional prayer or Bible study. It is seeking the Lord to the degree that His heartbeat becomes your heartbeat.

Devotional 1/9/09

Friday - January 9, 2009 -
Psalm 33:8-18
“Let all the earth fear the Lord . . .”
This would be the wise thing to do, but alas, the world never does that which is wise. The world is very unwise.
We fear God because of His power. There is no power like unto His.
We fear God because of His counsel that standeth for ever.
We fear God because of His righteousness.
We fear God because of His judgment.
Someone says, “ I don’t want to fear God, I want to love Him. That is good, perfect love casts out fear. But if you do not have a perfect love, then you need to fear Him.

Devotional 1/8/09

Thursday - January 8, 2009 -
Psalm 27:1-6
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” One thing, just one thing.
We try to do so much, yet if we would do just one thing - dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life - just one thing. I visit many places but I dwell in only one. What a blessing we would receive if we dwelled in the presence of our God all the days of our lives.
That is where we will dwell if we feel comfortable in His presence. That is where we will dwell if we love Him the way that we should. That is where we will dwell if we know Him as our saviour. And when we do . . . ?
We will behold his beauty, and we communicate through our prayer life with Him. We will be where we should be, and the blessings will be abundant.