“Spiritual Authority”?

Absorbing God Word

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:19

Applying God’s Word

Yes, I believe that the spiritual realm exists and that the enemy is very much present in the spiritual realm. In 1 Peter 5:8 it says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Last week, Louise and I stayed at a hotel while visiting and assisting her two young grandchildren doing school online. Normally, when we arrive in a place that has hosted other people from all walks of life, the first thing we do is pray to cleanse the room of any evil. In our haste to help them, we forgot to pray.

The first two nights, Louise suffered with a bad rash, a reaction to disinfectant used on the furniture. The fourth night she was bitten five times by a black-widow. That’s when we remembered that we hadn’t prayed in that room yet.

As Christians, we have been given authority to overcome the attacks of the enemy so as not to allow him place or an opportunity to devour us.

Accounting of God’s Word

Do I remember to pray each day for protection against the enemy? Do I pray when I am away from home?

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“In Disguise”

Absorbing God Word

“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5

Applying God’s Word

What did an evangelist look like during the time of Jesus?  They looked like fishermen, husbands, wives, bakers, tent makers, tax collectors, doctors, and even carpenters. What do evangelist look like today? They look like fishermen, husbands, wives, bakers, tent makers, tax collectors, doctors and even carpenters. Evangelists are everyday people like you and I who are agents for Jesus in every area of our lives.

I stopped giving out my insurance business card about 15-20 years ago and I have been handing out my ACT Ministry card instead. When people ask, “What does ACT stand for?” I reply, “Applying Christ’s Teachings”. That’s when the Holy Spirit takes over.

I am not a husband, father, grandfather, friend and insurance broker disguised as an evangelist. I am an evangelist disguised as a husband, father, grandfather, friend and insurance broker.

Accounting of God’s Word

What kind of evangelist for Jesus do I look like?

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“Co-Workers” ?

Absorbing God Word

“Greet Priscilla[a] and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.” Romans 16:3-4

Applying God’s Word

Louise and I just finished watching a movie on Prime TV titled “Paul, Apostle of Christ”.  Many of these gospel movies are done well, but not necessarily accurate. We thought the acting was very good in this one. Paul was played by James Faulkner. Luke was played by Jim Caviezel who also played Jesus in “The Passion of Christ”.

Our hearts were drawn to the lives of Priscilla and Aquilla who became Christian. They also became co-workers with Paul for Jesus and suffered tremendous persecution.

We are all called to be co-workers for Jesus. Louise and I recently attempted to hold a small outside prayer gathering for our community, but the idea was rejected by the homeowner’s association. Meanwhile, the HOA was allowing exercise classes and other functions to take place in the same spot. They referred to our event as a non-essential gathering. If ever there was a time in our country when prayer was essential it is now.

Accounting of God’s Word

Have I been rejected, persecuted or discriminated against because of my faith in Jesus? Am I praying faithfully?

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“Wednesdays With Bob”?

Absorbing God Word

“He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” Acts 11:24

Applying God’s Word

Bob and I were friends for over 35 years. It started out as a business relationship.

In April of 1987, I agreed to attend a Christian’s in Commerce retreat weekend with Bob. It was a powerful experience for each of us. It drew us both into a life of daily prayer, which in turn changed every area of our lives.

Along with a couple other men, we started the San Jose Chapter of CIC and made a commitment to meet every Wednesday morning for prayer and fellowship. We did that for thirty years and Wednesday became one of the most important days for Bob, me and everyone who attended.

This last Wednesday, September 23rd at 10:50am in the morning, Bob’s body lost the fight with Parkinson’s, but his spirit won a spot in heaven for eternity. 

God doesn’t make them any better than Bob. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and faith, and he brought a great number of people to the Lord. He was a Godly man, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and an incredible friend. 

Thank you, Bob, for being such a great example for me and for others to follow. I love you.

Accounting of God’s Word

Who in my life has set the bar a little higher for me? Am I setting the bar a little higher for someone else?

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“Anxious To Worship”

Absorbing God Word

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Applying God’s Word

I walked outside, took a deep breath, looked up at a clear blue smoke-free sky and said, “I take way too much for granted. Forgive me Lord.”

Admitting I have taken way too much for granted all of my life, I began making a mental list of those things. Sadly, there’s not enough room in this writing to share them all with you. My important takeaways from that mental list though are my time with God, family, all of you and worshipping together as a church again.

We have to believe that there are plenty of nonbelievers who have not given a second thought to churches being closed. There are also many believers who have become content with going to church on-line and who may adopt this as a permanent habit in the future.

Not being able to attend church doesn’t work for Louise and I. We look forward to worshipping God with others. It is important to our spiritual lives and to our Creator. We have gone to church on-line and have also found small outside services to attend. Anxious to get back to church, we pray that all the churches will be packed to overflowing in the near future.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I looking forward to worshipping with others at church again? Is church one of the things I’ve taken for granted?

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“Sins Of Omission”

Absorbing God Word

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13 & 16

Applying God’s Word

A couple of weeks ago I sent out a “Challenge” titled “Walk The Walk”.

A friend and someone I respect dearly wrote back saying, “I don’t agree that promises made and kept are the sole way by which one can and must judge the character of a candidate. Fidelity to the constitution, fidelity to vows, fidelity to scripture, fidelity to national traditions, truth telling, honesty, consistency and many other criteria are in play.” I loved his words of wisdom and wanted to pass it along to you.

There are so many things that we need to consider as we weigh issues, we truly value. I value new life. Early on, I didn’t think much about childbirth. Then our daughter was born with a heart defect and our first grandson died full term. Every baby I’ve seen and/or held since then has been a miracle of God. Therefore, I can’t remain silent about the issue of abortion.

Although the abortion rate is decreasing in the United States, we are still allowing over 600,000 abortions each year. For me to remain quite about this issue, is a sin of omission.

Accounting of God’s Word

Does God want me to remain silent or stand up for His truth?

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“Peacemakers”?

Absorbing God Word

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9

Applying God’s Word

We all know who the peacemakers are supposed to be, right? You and I are supposed to be the peacemakers. Unfortunately, we presently live in a world that requires some help in that area.

This week, I received a reference form from the San Jose Police Department for a young man wanting to become an officer. My first thought was who would want to be a police officer these days. Then I saw the name at the top of the form. It was the son of a former employee of mine.

I met Bruce shortly after his mom came to work for me and, as the years went on, we got to know each other well. What a fine young man. The last time I saw Bruce was at his mom’s funeral a couple of years ago. He had just returned home from an overseas tour of duty in the army.

When I called Bruce to confirm the reference, I asked why he wanted to become a police officer. He told me he thought it may be a way for his life to make a positive difference. I’m sure Erica would be proud of him. I am.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I one of God’s peacemakers? Is my life making a positive difference?

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“Walking The Walk”?

Absorbing God Word

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

Applying God’s Word

All Jesus does to determine a person’s authenticity is to look at whether they are talking the good talk or walking the good walk.

It’s almost election time and folks are starting to rattle their sabers for one side or the other. The finger-pointing is getting worse by the minute.

In casting my vote, I just look at promises kept or broken. Sometimes, that means voting across party lines. I’m voting for the person who has a track record for getting things done, even though how he accomplishes it may go against the grain. Jesus went against the grain, but we all benefitted by His getting done what He came to do. 

This election is probably the most important one in history. If the wrong person is elected, we may be kissing our religious freedom goodbye forever…. that and so much more. 

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I walking the good walk or talking the good talk?

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“It Takes Time”?

Absorbing God Word

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Applying God’s Word

There are so many folks dealing with losses right now; the loss of loved ones to Covid19, the loss of jobs and now the loss of homes due to recent fires. These kinds of losses can draw any of us into the different stages of grief.

I remember what I went through six years ago, when my late wife Joanne died. First came shock and denial. Joanne couldn’t be gone. Anger followed and most of it was directed at myself. What did I do wrong? What could I have done to save her? Even though depression has never been a problem, I tanked almost immediately. Spending time in two different grieving groups, time with incredible friends and time with Jesus brought me into a stage of acceptance. I was motivated to persevere and I sensed that God was truly empowering me to put grief underfoot.

We are called to pray for those who are grieving deeply right now. It takes time!

Accounting of God’s Word

What am I doing to work through my own stages of grief? How am I helping others deal with theirs?

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“God’s Strength” ?

Absorbing God Word

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13

Applying God’s Word

Today, is a great day for a list of reasons, but more importantly because our friend Bob is coming home. Bob has been released from a nursing home that he’s been confined in for over seven months.

Bob knows what it’s like to have plenty, but he has had to learn the secret of being content. At times, he’s waited over an hour for water or to be turned over, and he has waited months to be in the same room with his wife and family. Bob has been able to endure all of this, because he loves God and understands where his strength comes from.

Thankfully, he will be back home with a fulltime nurse during the day and cared for at night by his wife, Joan.

Accounting of God’s Word

Where does my strength come from?

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