“The Lord hath need of them.”

It is a beautiful testimony that I hear when it simply suffices for a man to hear “The Lord hath need of them.”He could shift the responsibility to the Lord. “He knows everything; He controls everything.”

What I have to do is obey. I can depend upon it…if I obey the rest will come out all right.

We spoil so much of our obedience by criticizing the things were are called to do…or give….or bear.

Then we hesitate…question…doubt…and then finally, without enthusiasm we finally do what we were called upon.

If we know what God’s will is…that should always be enough.

We have nothing to do with the how or why.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

The Family of God

Someone defined home as the place where, when you show up, they have to let you in. So it should be with the family of God. It is God’s redemptive community. We don’t always agree, and sometimes members of that family get bent out of shape, or headed in the wrong direction, but we are still family. And if we are truly family, then we can touch each other on the deepest of levels, and meet the most pressing of needs.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

New and improved

New and improved. There is something contagiously alluring about the statement.

Obviously, research has shown that the American people like the idea. Manufacturers labor diligently to produce products which they can then describe as new and improved. And the reason, of course, is that we want things that are new.

We want a new and improved dishwashing liquid. We want a new and improved weed killer. We want a new and improved hair color. Some of us even want new hair — or any hair! We want a new figure. We want a new car. And the list can go on and on and on. We like things new.

All of this points to the biggest need that I personally had. It was the need for a new life.

The reason why I was dissatisfied with what I had is because I was dissatisfied with who I was.

I thank God for New (and improved) Life!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I have stepped over the line!

 I received this testimony in an email. It is too good not to share.

I am a part of the fellowship of the un-ashamed.  I have the Holy Spirit Power. The die has been cast I have stepped over the line. I am a disciple of His.

I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

 My past is redeemed…My present makes sense….And my future is secure

 I am finished and done with low living…sight walking…smooth knees…colorless dreams…strained vision…worldly talking…cheap giving…and dwarfed goals.

 I no longer need preeminence   prosperity, position, promotion, plaudits or popularity.

 I don’t have to be first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.

I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk in His patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power.

The die has been cast – I have stepped over the line.

 I have moved from:

Membership to discipleship…Spectator to Participator…Coming to Church to Becoming the Church…Sinner to Believer…Passive to Gospel…Fear to Faith

 What caught me attention are the words……

The die has been cast – I have stepped over the line.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

What Will it Take for Me to Be All I Can Be?

 The slogan for a Branch of the Military is, “Be all you can Be!”

What does that look like for the military?

What does that look like for a Christian?

What does that look like for me?

I am pretty sure that the Bible says that I will need to:

 Be sober

Be  holy  

Be submissive

Be ready

Be prayerful        

Be happy

Be diligent    

I am challenged again Lord. Help me!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I left My Church Yesterday!

I don’t get to leave very often.

It is because I am a “workaholic”.

It is NOT because there aren’t others who can fill the gap. There are several who always do very well when asked to fill in.

That being said, I had occasion to be in the congregation of the Baypointe Church in Panama City Beach for their launch yesterday morning.

It was a great experience for me and certainly different from when Sandy and I started a work eons ago. This one was well thought out, well planned, well oiled, and well staffed. Everyone seemed to know their job and they were at their post wearing big smiles.

The music was good as well as engaging with the selections for the day being meaningful and worshipful.

The fellowship was good and all in all, it appeared that those who attended were glad that they did so.

The message delivered by the Lead Pastor, Dr. Ben Liles, was timely, meaningful, and relevant.

I had a great time and I came away blessed. I am glad that I was there to witness what is going to be a great church.

I don’t leave my church often but yesterday I was happy to do so.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Dinner at my House

I have been really busy! I recently added some additional duties to my already heavy schedule.

Knowing about my additional responsibilities my wife has become very accomodating and carefull about making sure I stop to eat,  excercise and sleep.

On Monday she came with me to the office. It was the first day of school for us and I wanted the parents, students and teachers to know that we were both thoroughly invested.

At the end of the morning I told Sandy that I would be home by 6PM to which she responded, “I will have dinner ready!”

Since that has not happened much recently, I was thrilled and looked forward to that time all day with great anticipation.

When I walked in at 5:50PM I heard, “Oh, is it that time already? I haven’t started dinner yet.”

We sat down for a few minutes and Sandy, having had a hard day, fell sound asleep.

I started dinner.

While one pot was simmering and another cooking I attended to some chores.

Dinner was almost done and I stepped out with the trash and that is precisely when Sandy woke up. When she went into the kitchen she saw that dinner was done….went to the front door and called, “Honey, Dinner is ready!”

It never dawned on me what had just happened until I was doing the dishes.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I sound just like a country and western song

Sometimes we complain about how bad we have it.

A woman who had gone through a divorce and dealing with many problems came to me for counseling. For the first ten minutes I listened attentively as she went through a litany of everything that was wrong in her life. Then, she stopped abruptly, after listening to herself, and said, “Listen to me. I sound just like a country and western song!”

One night the biblical scholar Matthew Henry was robbed. When he got home he was still trembling with fear. Yet, he regained his calm as he prayed. This is the prayer he offered and wrote in his journal: “Father, I thank You first because I was never robbed before; second, I thank You because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, I thank You because although they took everything I had, it was not very much; and fourth, I thank You because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.”

What a transformation of our attitudes takes place when we live in praise. Gratitude overcomes complaining. Rejoicing overcomes depression. Thanksgiving overcomes fear. While I have requests to bring before my Heavenly Father, I should begin my times of prayer by entering His gates with thanksgiving.

I would also do well to exit His courts with praise.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I Am a FAT Christian

“F” — faithful

“A” — available

“T” — teachable

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I Heard His Voice!

I would like you to imagine for a moment that we’re standing at the gate of Nain, through which a casket is being carried with the corpse of a young man, the only son of his mother, and she a widow. A great crowd follows in observance of the Jewish precept of “attending the dead unto the grave.” Heads are bowed and faces manifest the deepest sorrow for the bereaved. Bitterly the mother weeps as she walks behind the casket, for he, her only son, had been her only support.

Then suddenly the mourners are interrupted by a man who hurries forward, “here let me deal with the dead, I can bring him back to life.” Instantly the procession halts and with mystified faces gaze upon the speaker as he elbows his way through the crowd.

“All this man needs is education,” explains the man while boldly approaching the casket. And from his books of science and philosophy he attempts to teach the young man in the coffin. But in vain he watches for the flush of life to return; there is no response. Education has failed.

Another man approaches the scene, confidently proclaiming that he can bring the young man back to life, and so he begins, “Now young man, make up your mind that you are going to live. Exert your will, and choose to live – the choice is yours. You can get up if you only will”. But there is no response as the previously confident man looks upon the lifeless face of the young man. Free choice and will-power has failed.

Then another man came toward the crowd, calmly and with a sense of peace about him. For a few moments no one moves. Then the man speaks, “My friends, do you not know that what this man needs is religion? Through the knowledge of the Torah he will be revived”. And he sat down by the coffin’s side.

Taking a scroll from under his arm he declares, “Now I will reveal to the young man the precepts of the law, for if he will keep them faithfully he will live again”. “But” inquires one of the bystanders, “how can a corpse observe the laws since he cannot even hear your words? Until he is first alive, all the Jewish precepts will avail nothing”.

Sorrowfully the rabbi walks away, religion has failed.

Then from the crowd steps the figure of One who walks with perfect confidence and composure to a scene of certain failure. A sudden hush falls on the expectant throng as he stands for a moment beside the coffin.

Then He speaks, his voice calm but authoritative. “Young man, I say unto thee, arise!”

I am so glad I heard His voice!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

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