Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oswald Chambers Quotes on Prayer Part 4

Prayer is the evidence that I am spiritually concentrated on God.

Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not the thing that makes him alive, but the evidence that he is alive.

Prayer means that I come in contact with an almighty Christ, and almighty results happen along the lines He laid down.

See that you do not use the trick of prayer to cover up what you know you ought to do.

The greatest answer to prayer is that I am brought into a perfect understanding with God, and that alters my view of actual things.

The prayer of the feeblest saint who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan. The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer; no spiritualistic séance can succeed in the presence of a humble praying saint. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds fussy in active work till we cannot think in prayer.

The prayer of the saints is never self-important, but always God-important.
The purpose of prayer is the maintenance of fitness in an ideal relationship with God amid conditions which ought not to be merely ideal but really actual. …by prayer we lay hold on God and He unites us into His consciousness.

The purpose of prayer is to reveal the presence of God equally present, all the time, in every condition.

The revelation of our spiritual standing is what we ask in prayer; sometimes what we ask is an insult to God; we ask with our eyes on the possibilities or on ourselves, not on Jesus Christ.

The tendency nowadays is to worship prayer, stress is put on nights of prayer and the difficulty and cost of prayer. It is not prayer that is strenuous, but the overcoming of our own laziness.

 If we make the basis of prayer our effort and agony and nights of prayer, we mistake the basis of prayer. The basis of prayer is not what it costs us, but what it costs God to enable us to pray.

The whole meaning of prayer is that we may know God.

There is nothing to be valued more highly than to have people praying for us; God links up his power in answer to their prayers.

To pray strenuously needs careful cultivation. We have to learn the most natural methods of expressing ourselves to our Father.

We do not pray at all until we are at our wits’ end.

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. We lean to our own understanding, or we bank on service and do away with prayer, and consequently by succeeding in the external we fail in the eternal, because in the eternal we succeed only by prevailing prayer.

We think of prayer as a preparation for work, or a calm after having done work, whereas prayer is the essential work. It is the supreme activity of everything that is noblest in our personality.

When we learn to pray in the Holy Ghost, we find there are some things for which we cannot pray, there is a sense of restraint. Never push and say, I know it is God’s will and I am going to stick to it. Beware, remember what is recorded of the children of Israel: He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

When we pray for others the Spirit of God works in the unconscious domain of their being that we know nothing about, and the one we are praying for knows nothing about, but after the passing of time the conscious life of the one prayed for begins to show signs of unrest and disquiet. We may have spoken until we are worn out, but have never come anywhere near, and we have given up in despair. But if we have been praying, we find on meeting them one day that there is the beginning of a softening in an inquiry and a desire to know something. It is that kind of intercession that does most damage to Satan’s kingdom. It is so slight, so feeble in its initial stages that if reason is not wedded to the light of the Holy Spirit, we will never obey it, and yet it is that kind of intercession that the New Testament places most emphasis on.

If you desire to "experience" a time of prayer - join us this evening at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene at 6:30! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Even more additional thoughts about the 9th Commandment - Do Not Lie!

The most important ingredient to building a moral society is truth, both inside and outside a courtroom. The prohibition against "bearing false witness" does not only demand that truth reigns supreme in a trial, but that it is a societal value throughout the culture. Bad things happen when people believe lies. With truth, we can build a decent society. Without it, even the other nine commandments won't help.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Additional thoughts about the message yesterday at NRN - Do Not Lie!

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 
                                                                                  Exodus 20:16 NIV

The Bible says that liars of the Truth will end up in Hell.
The ninth commandment is no joking matter. This one command is quite possibly the most broken, and one we tend to see as minor sin. Our God, however, does not qualify good and bad sin. Sin is sin to God, and He can tolerate none of it. One white lie is as bad as a cold-blooded murder to a Righteous and Holy God.
Yet, most of us break the command every day. Oh sure, I know you don’t go to court every day to testify against your friends, but have you ever talked less than kindly about them? Have you ever complained about their actions, repeated a rumor, criticized their work, or summarized your theory about their life? Let me put it in simpler terms. Do you gossip?
When you say something about someone else that may damage his or her reputation, you have broken the ninth commandment, and God says Hell is good enough for you! Praise God for the grace of His Son Jesus, (grace and grace alone will get you to Heaven) but you have broken His holy law when you speak against another.
What do you have on your heart or mind today? (Remember, sin is not confined to action, but also applies to hidden thought.) Is there something you’re thinking about another person? Does what you’re thinking build them up or tear them down? Would you repeat it to God? If you did, would God be proud of you for thinking it?
Momma (and Thumper) knew best when she said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Let that be your goal today. It will be tough! You may have to bite your tongue a few times. You may not be able to talk for weeks.
But, Praise God, you will be on your way to obeying the ninth commandment. Soon you’ll start talking again. People will love what you have to say. God will be pleased!

Speak the truth in love today!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The message today at NRN

Today I returned from two weeks of vacation.  My body is rested and my soul replenished.  I am excited to preach the message that has marinated in my heart for many days.  Here is the text of my message today at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene: 

Part 9   DO NOT LIE

INTRO: So, there’s an old Jewish proverb about a rabbi who lived in a small town, and he was a man of good character. He had given many years of his life to serving the people in that community. They saw him as an honest, forthright, trustworthy, and hardworking man—until one day, a visitor came to town.
A new resident joined them in that small town, and for reasons unknown to the rabbi, started saying untruthful, horrible things about the rabbi, undermining his credibility and character. This led to a lot of speculation and division in the community. Some became suspicious of the rabbi’s character. Others assumed every negative thing they heard and turned against him. This really devastated this man, who had worked so hard for so many years to build up a reputation in that community. And this went on for some time. The visitor decided that he would remain in that town and call it his home.
After an extended period of time, the man who had moved to the town and undermined the rabbi’s reputation met with the rabbi and said, “I regret what I’ve said and what I’ve done. It was unfounded and untrue, and I want to make it up to you. So, what can I do to fix what I’ve broken, to straighten out what I’ve made crooked?”
The rabbi told him, “I want you to go home and take your pillow off of your bed. I want you to go outside on a windy day. I want you to tear the pillowcase and I want you to scatter all of the feathers from your pillow into the wind.”
The man did that, returned back to meet with the rabbi and said, “I did as you asked. Is there anything else I can do?” And the rabbi said, “You need to take your pillowcase and go collect every single feather.” And the man said, “But that’s impossible!” And the rabbi said, “Exactly my point.”

Today’s topic is bearing false witness about your neighbor, lying about someone. And once we release that lie, we can never regain the truth.
Today we find ourselves in the Ten Commandments at the ninth commandment. So, we’re going through Exodus 20. Today, we’re in verse 16. And the ninth commandment is, “Do not lie.” Here’s exactly how God says it through Moses: 

 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”                                                                      Exodus 20:16

God considers lying a very serious matter regardless of whether the consequences of that lie are immediate and deadly or not. 

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.              Proverbs 6:16-19 


1. Truth demonstrates you’ve REALLY   CHANGED

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices . . .”                                                                                                Colossians 3:9-10

“I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.”                                     I John. 2:21

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.          John 14:16-17 (LB)

Lies evidence that you are still a liar. In John 14:16-17.

 Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the “Spirit of Truth”. When you took Jesus as your Savior, you received the Holy Spirit who now lives within you and is supposed to be in control of your life. If the Spirit of Truth is present and in control, what should be flowing out of your life? [TRUTH] Then how come you are still lying? Lying in your life brings into question either the presence of the Holy Spirit which would mean you are not saved, or it brings into question whether He has control of your life.

2. Truth provides PROTECTION for you.

Whatsoever is true . . . think on these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”                                                                                       Philippians 4:8

“Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled . . .”               Ephesians 6:14

“In a recent survey . . . it was found that 15 percent of the ladies tinted their hair, 38 percent wore a wig, 80 percent wore rouge, 98 percent wore eye shadow, 22 percent wore false eyelashes, and 93 percent wore nail polish. And 100 percent voted in favor of a resolution condemning any kind of false packaging.”                                                            [Tales of the Tardy Oxcart, p. 146]

3. Truth identifies you with the FATHER

“I am the way, the truth, and the life . . . “                      John 14:6

“. . .it is impossible for God to lie . . .”                            Hebrews 6:8

Have you ever thought about what it would be like if God could lie? 

     Think about some of the promises that He has made to you:

“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also.”

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God”

“. . . nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

“My God shall supply all your needs. .

4. Truth creates a spirit of TRUST between you and others. 

“Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth. I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the LORD.”           Psalm 31:5-6 

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”                                       Ephesians 4:25

Let’s have a teachable moment:    

C.S. Lewis has well said that a little lie is like a little pregnancy. Everyone is going to know soon enough.

5. Truth frees you from BONDAGE
               “. . . the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

How many of you have ever told a lie, and then had to tell a bigger one to cover that one, and then had to tell a bigger one to cover that one. . . and so on?    …lies enslave.
Mark Twain Quotes: on slide
Lies trap you because you have to live in your own false little world that you have created. You can’t allow anyone to see the true you. You have to keep up the show and keep pretending that you’re that person that everyone loves you to be.

ILL: The last birthday that you counted was 15 years ago. “While Jan was visiting her mother, they went for a walk and bumped into the pastor.  "Is this your daughter?" he asked. "Oh my, I remember her when she was this high." Without pausing Jan’s mother said, "Well, she’s twenty-four now." Jan, 35-years-old, nearly fainted on the spot. After everyone had said their good-byes, Jan asked her mother why she’d told such a whopper. "Well," she replied, "I’ve been lying about my age for so long, it suddenly dawned on me that I’d have to start lying about yours too."”                  – Bible Illustrator. 


1. Recognize the ultimate CONSEQUENCE of lying

“All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire.”      Revelation 21:8 

2. Confess and TURN   YOUR   BACK on the sin.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”                                             1 John 1:9

ILL: To prevent this problem in one church, the “minister wound up the services one morning by saying, "Next Sunday I am going to preach on the subject of LIARS. And in this connection, I would like you all to read the 17th chapter of Mark." The next Sunday, the preacher rose to begin, and said, "Now, all of you who have done as I requested and read the 17th chapter of Mark, please raise your hands." Nearly every hand in the congregation went up. "Very good," said the preacher. "You are precisely the people I wish to speak to this morning. There IS no 17th chapter of Mark!"” – Bible Illustrator.

3. Admit your human nature is DECEITFUL. 

“Out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts . . . deceit.”                           Mark 7:21-22
    “The heart is deceitful above all things…”                              Jeremiah 17:3

4. CHANGE   your thinking about truth and lying. 

“Put away all lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor.”                        Ephesians 4:25

“Buy the truth and do not sell it again.”                  Proverbs 23:23

5. Remind yourself daily to ADIBE  by your new decision.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 
                                                                 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”                                                                ~ John Maxwell

6. Look to the source of TRUTH for help

“I am the way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6 (NKJV)

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
                                                                              Philippians 4:13

Closing ILL: If you were to ask Jesus, “How do I look?, what would he say? What signs would he hang around your neck – “Liar”, “Hypocrite”, “Cheater”. We all carry those signs to one extent or another. You’ve broken promises to your family; you’ve broken promises to God. When you asked Jesus to be your savior, you promised Him your life. But you’ve taken it back so many times. Why don’t you come and bring it to the foot of the cross this morning.

I’ve asked a few people to help me this morning with a little experiment. Come forward.  They are going to show us the lies Satan places in our hearts and what happens when we bring it to the foot of the cross and experience God’s forgiveness and grace.

God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done.                                                                        Ephesians 2:8-9a

Ø Abused – Depressed                       - Restored  Joyful
Ø Hatred God                                      - Now I love God
Ø In church, but far from God          - Stopped running and experience His grace
Ø Addicted to Alcohol                          - Found Freedom in Christ
Ø Didn’t have anyone I could trust       - Found selfless Christian friends
Ø Never felt good enough                   - He loved me in spite of my failures

Ø I was lost                                          - Now I am found 


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Preparing for worship at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene

I am so glad to return to North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene after a time of rest and replenishing my soul. Words cannot express how excited I am to preach tomorrow and to welcome our church family together. 

Here is the planned order of worship:

Pastor Rick returns to continue in the current teaching series. The most important ingredient to building a moral society is truth, both inside and outside a courtroom. The prohibition against "bearing false witness" does not only demand that truth reigns supreme in a trial, but that it is a societal value throughout the culture. Bad things happen when people believe lies. With truth, we can build a decent society. Without it, even the other nine commandments won't help.

We remain in an attitude of worship as we go before the LORD in prayer with thanksgiving. Let us prepare our hearts to worship the LORD with our offering to proclaim His name!

     Hope you planning to join us at the YARD SALE  - TODAY - 7AM -NOON! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Rare Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Takes Place this Sunday Evening!

With the huge supermoon lunar eclipse happening this Sunday evening, it's time to dust off your small telescopes and binoculars, track down an observatory event or webcast, 

or draft your invitations for a moon-cake party.  Don't wait too long — if you miss it, the next one isn't until 2033.

The supermoon lunar eclipse of 2015 will occur Sunday, Sept. 27, and is a confluence of three events: a full moon; a lunar eclipse, in which the Earth blocks the sun's light from hitting the moon; and lunar perigee, when the moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth. The last time such a confluence happened was in 1982; there were just five instances of it in the 20th century. This time around, viewers looking from the Americas, Europe, Africa, western Asia and the eastern Pacific Ocean will have a chance to see the show. [Video: Rare Super 'Blood Moon' Lunar Eclipse Coming, Last Until 2033]

During lunar perigee, the moon appears larger and brighter in the sky, which is why a full moon coinciding with perigee is known as a "supermoon." (A "minimoon" is when the full moon is at its farthest point from the Earth.) This large moon will present the perfect canvas to watch the Earth's shadow slide over and block the moon's light.

As if that weren't spectacular enough, there's the origin of the eclipse's other name, "blood moon." The moon doesn't simply disappear into Earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse; instead, it's illuminated by an eerie, reddish glow of the light refracting through the edges of Earth's atmosphere.

The moon will be shrouded in shadow Sunday night or early Monday morning (depending on the time zone). It will enter the dark part of the Earth's shadow at 9:07 EDT Sunday (0107 GMT), and it will enter a total eclipse by 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT Monday) before beginning to emerge from shadow 12 minutes later. Areas that cannot see the full eclipse, because sunset comes too late or sunrise too early, may still be able to see part of the moon obscured.

Watch NASA’s live stream from 8:00 p.m. until at least 11:30 p.m. EDT broadcast from Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., with a live feed from the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, Calif. Mitzi Adams, a NASA solar physicist at Marshall will discuss the eclipse and answer questions from Twitter. To ask a question, use #askNASA.

Throughout human history, lunar eclipses have been viewed with awe and sometimes fear. Today, we know that a total lunar eclipse happens when the full moon passes through the darkest part of Earth's shadow, the umbra.
Sunday’s supermoon eclipse will last 1 hour and 11 minutes, and will be visible to North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific. Weather permitting, you can see the supermoon after nightfall, and the eclipse will cast it into shadow beginning at 8:11 p.m. EDT. The total eclipse starts at 10:11 p.m. EDT, peaking at 10:47 p.m. EDT.

Of course, in addition to the telescope, binoculars and webcast viewing methods, the eclipse can be seen with the old-fashioned naked eye — so be sure to look up!

By the way - There are several Christian groups proclaiming that this is a sign the Jesus is returning this Sunday and the rapture may occur.  If so, I will not be at church next Sunday - but hope to see you in Heaven! 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Vacation is soon coming to a close....

Sharron and I are about to conclude our annual vacation to a NC beach.  It has been an awesome time of rest and a time to replenish. Here are a few pictures of our time at the beach this year;

The first evening at the beach brings a calm feeling.
Surfer girls are ready to hit the waves!
Fun in the sun!
The trip ( and the meal I prepared) get a big thumbs up! 

We are preparing to bring our vacation to a close. I plan to be back in the office on Friday and prepare for the big Yard Sale at the church which begins at 7:00am on Saturday!  Hope to see you then! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oswald Chambers Quotes on Prayer Pt. 3

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.

We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense.

We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.

We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.

The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.

 Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.

 If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.

The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the surrounding influence and qualities produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to give our attention to, and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.

There is no joy in the soul that has forgotten what God prizes.

Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.

What hinders me from hearing is that I am taken up with other things. It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place. I am devoted to things, to service, to convictions, and God may say what He likes but I do not hear Him.

The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.

Let God be as original with other people as He is with you.

Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. ‘Ask and it shall be given you.’
If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, He will give you the first sign of His intimacy-silence.

Is the Son of God praying in me, or am I dictating to Him? 

This evening at 6:30 there is a prayer encounter with God at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene.  If you desire a time with God in meaningful prayer - join us! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Additional thoughts on the Eighth Commandment - You shall not steal!

You shall not steal.  Exodus 20:15 NIV
The eighth commandment is not about cheating on your taxes. Oh sure, that is a sin, and the commandment applies there, too, but if you limit God’s instruction to theft of property, then you have diminished the word of God.
We are rising a generation of takers! We have developed into a society that steals from each other. For example, I go to my children’s school and there are three parents at the office waiting for the principal so they can complain about their child not making the team. I stand in the line at the grocery store and everyone is looking for the quickest line. No one is trying to let someone else through first. I ask someone to do me a favor and they reply, “What’s in it for me?”
We spend more time shopping sales for the best bargains for more stuff we don’t need than we do planning how we can give to world missions. We save and save our money so that when we see someone in need we can buy ourselves the latest flat screen TV. We budget our tithe after we see if we can meet our current obligations. We never worry about issues of money until our wallet is affected. We tend to give out of our wealth, never out of our poverty.
Can you relate?
Remember, Jesus looks beyond our actions straight to our heart. He considers our motivation. Let me ask you, what does He see? Does He see a heart with no desire for personal gratification, looking out for a neighbor before yourself? Does He see someone who desires to give more than receive?
I can’t see your heart, only you and God can, so examine yourself today. Do you find, like I found when examining my heart that you need to grow your heart in the area of giving?
You shall not steal! Become a GIVER today!