Thursday, February 26, 2009

Heritage Happenings

Well, I have been busy. The past few weeks have included: 2 campmeetings that involved getting home at 1 a.m. or later, 3 missionaries, many trips to Gulf Breeze, FL to take my mom to the doctor, and multiple double shifts at Heritage Boys Academy to cover the shifts. I am not complaining, but this type of continuous activity seems to have a draining effect on the body as well as the mind.

I love working at the Academy, though. Most people wouldn't understand that if they knew what kind of filth is dealt with on a regular basis. But I know that this ministry is the frontlines. These kids were the devil's. Our ministry goes into the devil's playground and nabs these kids, who were victimized by a violent society, and teaches them discipline, God, and the Bible. I think that is why we fight so hard sometimes. It is a spiritual battle that is far outside our capability to understand, and therefore we fight with the power of God, sometimes draining our physical bodies in the process. The devil knows the potential of a ministry such as ours as much as we do, and I'm just glad I'm a part of something that the filthy old serpent is mad at!

Well, onto other things...

I had a very interesting talk with Dr. David Gibbs, President of the Christian Law Association, at one of the campmeetings we went to. With the Lord's help, I will be starting pre-law studies this coming fall semester, so naturally the conversation was in that direction. He was excited to hear of my updated plans (I had talked with him last year), and his comment was, "Finish school young man, and I will fill your briefcase!"









Honestly, I can't wait. I also can't believe that it will be 7 years until I can practice law. That's a long time! Well, I say that looking at the last 7 years, and I realize, on a second thought, how fast it can go. I'll keep busy doing other things besides college, anyway.

Due to the busyness, I haven't had a lot of time to work on my blog. I plan on putting another post up tomorrow, so pray that works out. I am supposed to have the next 2 days off, but in this ministry, I'm on call 24/7. I hope the next 2 days are pretty restful, though. I could use it. I've been quoting Ecclesiastes 5:12 the last few days. "The sleep of a labouring man is sweet..." :D

In Christ Alone,
Clay

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Word of God

I have always loved Psalm 119. It's the biggest chapter in the Bible, and it talks so much about God's word. Out of 176 verses in the chapter, 167 of them refer to God's word. Words such as "statutes, ordinances, precepts, words, commandments, judgements, laws, and testimonies" are all used to describe the Word of God in the chapter. It is the overwhelming theme of the chapter.
And I cannot read it without a great depth of gratitude to God for my Bible!!

The King James Bible is the only one. Changes to it are perversions.

What a joy that while we don't have prophets and preachers doing miracles as they did in times of old, the preserving of our Bible is a miracle in of itself. "That which is perfect" is here. (1 Cor. 13:10) I love my Bible! It is my most cherished earthly possession. It is the only earthly possession I have that bears heavenly significance. Here are some thing I thought of that describe my Bible:

1. My Orders

As a soldier, my orders for battle are found in it's pages. It strengthens me to fight "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." It reminds me that I'm in a battleground, not a playground.

2. My Love Letter

It is through the Bible that we find Salvation in Jesus Christ; without God's word, we would all be lost. Thank God for the love of God that saved me, the love of Christ that constrains me, and the love of the bridegroom that shall soon resurrect me.

3. My Comfort

Sometimes only my Bible can solve my problems. It soothes my broken heart, it's the balm of Gilead to my troubled soul, and I run to it my darkest hour.

Psalm 119: 9
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."

Psalm 119:36-37
"Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way."

It keeps me clean. The more I read, the cleaner my mind and heart is. Someone in sin will not read the word of God; it cleans them. The longer I am in God's word the more it cleans me. "God's word will keep you from sin, but sin will keep you from God's word."

Psalm 119:24
"Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors."

Psalm 119:59
"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies."

Psalm 119:105
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

It leads me. When I don't undertand what to do or how to act, I turn to my Bible. I have great friends and counsellors, but the word of God excels them all! I can always trust in the counsel of the Word of God. It shall never fail me.

Pastor Hank Thompson said on his death bed, "I’ve lived my life upon the Scriptures. I’ve slept on them. I’ve fed on them I’ve given my whole life to the Scriptures; they’ve never failed me. They’ve kept me and led me. They’ve been my life. Don’t ever forsake them..."

Psalm 119:63
"I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts."

It associates me with the right people. When people have God's word in common, it seems like most other things fall into place. I have the most awesome friends anyone could ever have, and I have the Word of God to thank for that! It made me who I am, and it made my phriends who they are! It is how iron can sharpen iron, it settles disputes, it corrects mistakes, and it stays you when you misunderstand those around you.

Psalm 119:71
"It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."

Psalm 119:114
"Thou art my hiding place..."

It strengthens me in the battle.

When I am weak, and tired, and overwhelmed, I can run to the refuge of his words and find comfort, help, and peace for my soul. This world can tear you up! Especially in the ministry! But God is my refuge, he is a very present help in time of trouble. In affliction, it draws us to know God's words even better, and to love and cherish them even more.

Psalm 119:103
"How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

Psalm 119:130
"The entrance of thy words giveth light."

It is sweet. I love to sit and meditate on the words of God! It is a past time that you will surely not regret. "Where the word of a king is, there is power." I love the sweetness of the fellowship of God Almighty as I read his word.

Psalm 119:165
"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

It grants peace. What can you do with a man who is so founded in God's word that this world cannot offend him? Want peace in the storm? Turn to God's word.

This is not by far all that I gleaned in Psalm 119 this morning. As I drank my Dutch tea and read my Bible, I was simply thankful to God for allowing us the priveledge of holding his word. I pray that I never fail in my faith toward it. I pray that I live it, love it, and proclaim it as long as I live.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lunatics

In Matthew 17, we find the story of a man with a lunatic son. This son falleth oft into the fire and into the water. He's bound by sin and Satan, unable to even control himself. Aren't people today in this very same condition? Not only can they not help themselves, they can't even tell they need help!

The Condition of the Sinner is Needy. He is bound by the devil and the spirit of Satan. "Do you really think there are people like this around us?" you ask. If they were around when God himself walked the earth, you can be sure they are around in this wicked generation.

They needed help then, and they still do. The place to find help has not changed over the centuries of time. The lunatics need Christ!! If we can get them to Jesus, he can do the rest.

The Committment of the Saints is Neglectful. They cannot heal him. When Christ does the healing work, the disciples are confused. What had they missed? Why couldn't they heal him? Jesus' answer was simple: "Because of your unbelief." "Ye faithless and perverse generation..." Wow! Me? Faithless and perverse? Notice Jesus never rebuked the boy, or even the father. The reason is simple; it's not the job of the world to know the answer. They don't have the answer. They come to you, Christian, to find the answer. Jesus was not mad at the ignorant for their ignorance, he was angry with the disciples, who had showed their lack of faith after walking with the Son of God and seeing the most amazing power ever displayed in history!

I know you've thought it. I have to. "This person will never come around!" "Why do we keep on giving, when they never even notice, only so they can spit in the faces of those who care about them?!" "Why won't they change?"

I've struggled with this as of late. And Jesus gave us the answer in this passage.

Believe.

That simple; that unprofound! We simply don't have faith in God. I know, because I've been in that dark musty hole of unbelief! Recently, too!

"God, move mountains? I just want them to be faithful to church, or act like they care for once!"
In the ministry of troubled youth, I think sometimes the more you give, the more they devour without thought of the sacrifice of others. Sometimes, the ministry is just that way.

Believe? Is that all?

Well, there is one more thing. It's the harder part: "This kind cometh not out but by prayer and fasting." Praying is almost non-existant in churches today. I know that. Need proof? Need the evidence? Power is almost non-existant. Power is the gauge of prayer; no prayer, no power! It's that simple. Christians think that their lack of prayer is something they can hide because no one sees whether or not they pray, when really their complete lack of power is like a bullhorn on the street corner screaming, "I DON'T PRAY!"

I know that hurts; it hurts me as I write it.

If you had an invitation to the White House, you would come without missing a beat! Yet God gives us an invitation to the Oval Office of the universe every day, with the potential of turning nations upside down, and most Christians never show up!

And fast.

Push away from the table. If you thought prayer was almost non-existant, can you imagine the state of fasting?

Listen, God says this is what works! There are most certainly lunatic spirits out there, driving us crazy with our inability to affect them with our ho-hum, run-of-the-mill spirituality. We can't just follow a routine, or follow some script, and expect miraculous results in hearts that are hardened by sin and the spirit of sin itself.

We need belief. Belief that God can heal. Wait!! Not just that he can heal. Faith is substance and evidence! Faith is not just saying God can; Faith is saying we believe God will!
He will heal, and he will help, and he will save, and he will sanctify.

He will!

If they did it once, what's wrong with it happening again? Have faith. Take heart. And know that great victories never were produced over puny foes! Great victories require great foes! And the greater the foe, the greater the potential for God's glory to be shown in victory, and the greater we can expect from God!

"God, we just need you to be God!! For the sake of our churches, for the sake of our homes, and for the sake of our nation, please...just be God once again! And give us the faith to trust you to just be who you've always been, and to be who you are."

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Piano!

To start off with, I must say this post is well overdue. However, my schedule over the last week and a half has been hectic, to say the least! I could write a post on what happened just this last week and a half. And it would be a LOOOOONG one. Anyway, all that aside, about 2 weeks ago, the Lord blessed our church with a brand new keyboard. What I had been using was a 66 key keyboard that did not even produce sound to the back of our church properly. Folks that sat near the back said they could only hear a "hum." Well, that has changed.
It came in a box on the front porch. I was excited about it. It was donated by someone who saw the need and went out and provided it. It is a quality, top of the line keyboard that is used in studios. It is a Yamaha CP33. Praise the Lord!!! It is not my piano, but I am the biggest beneficiary of the blessing! I was prepared to go out the following day to buy a stand, pedal, speakers (it did not have built in speakers), and a cord to plug it in to our sound system. No need! God never does a half job!!! The following day, we received 4 more boxes in the mail. One had the stand, one had a new amplifier, one had two extra speakers, and the last had a memory foam cusioned stool. Also included was 2 input/output cords, a set of studio headphones, and the instruction manuals. I estimated that it could have collectively costed near $6,000. What a blessing!!
I am amazed! I have played it for multiple services now, and I still sit down and am amazed by the sound quality and the setup. Even more amazing are the simple blessings of life that God has taken notice of, and given us more than we have asked; Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!!

Here are some pictures:






And video of something I came up with: (I didn't know I was being recorded)



video



In Christ Alone,


Clay