Monday, June 1, 2009

Ancient paths

There is a Scripture in Jeremiah 18:15 speaking of God's people "stumbling or wavering" from the "ancient paths" (Hebrew: 'owlam: shabiyl). These words simply stated mean that something has caused His people to stagger off the track which He laid out for them since the beginning of time. Now this isn't necessarily your individual path, He is speaking of the entire Judeo-Christian community getting sidetracked by the devices of the enemy!

His entire family is spoken of. Now some are on a good path and even the "ancient path" He speaks of, but as a whole, we are not where He wants us and the reason is that we are not on the right road! If you are going to Tallahassee you have to get on US 90 or I-10 and head East! If you are on US 231 south you will not get there without a lot of unneccessary sidetracking!

He says in this Scripture that we are walking on a path (Hebrew: halak: nathiyb), "following the beaten path" that is not the "turnpike" He prepared for us and put us on in the beginning. We are following the footsteps of others instead of His designated "road".

His road is a superhighway which, described by Job this way: "There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen: The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it." that is the "Ancient Path" he wants us on. Don't be discouraged by others not walking it, YOU walk it and help others to follow!

It is a path of obedience TO Him, and of faith IN Him, and of loving His commandments.


Monday, March 23, 2009


I just preached yesterday about Adam's disobedience resulted in his turning the helm over to Satan of everything he was placed in charge of. I think it is good to realize that we do the same thing almost daily!

God has given us a certain amount of power and authority. We are no longer the servants of sin and it has no dominion over us. However we sometimes act as though we couldn't help ourselves. I have had several people through the years ask me "Why did God allow Satan to tempt me like this?". I am quick to tell them that Satan couldn't tempt them with something they were opposed to! I cannot be tempted with any of the following: Chitterlings (chitlens to you country boys), beets, liver and onions, sousse (hog-head cheese), or grapes! So to tempt me, you have to put coconut cake or banana pudding in front of me!

Get the point? Satan tempts us with things we have a weakness for. We have to overcome that weakness and say no! When you yield to temptation you weaken yourself and sell-out to the deceiver! As much as I hate to write this it is still true; Disobedience has its roots directly in disrespect for the authority that made the rules. From Adam to you and me... this is true!

Sometimes the devil wears blue-jeans, short-shorts, Prada, or he adds social standing or fame, or he coats his stuff with coconut, banana cream, or just plain sugar! He is a brilliant deceiver or he could have never fooled Adam who walked with God personally in the Garden!

don't let him fool you... Now everything pretty or tasty isn't from him, but everything from him is usually pretty or tasty!

Don't fear, just be careful...


Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Fever and Faith

Hi blog...

I'm probably the only one who reads my stuff so I'll' just write to the blog!

It is fast approaching spring and it is raining cats and dogs outside... An ambulance and fire truck are going by while I write... all in all though it is a really good day. the Ambulance isn't going after me and the fire isn't at my house. Now don't think I don't care about others and their problems, I am just very grateful that this time it isn't me!

The old stuff about 'spring fever' is more real to me than it ever was when I was young. I thought it was a joke until I passed 55 or 60 years old and then it hit me... there really is such a thing as spring fever!! I haven't done anything to amount to much and I have slept my 5 hours, yet I am still lethargic!

I wonder whee the line is drawn between lethargy from spring fever and pure laziness? Maybe it is just an excuse! I don't guess it matters, I've got it anyway.

You know what? I am so glad that when the Lord gave them the disciple's prayer He said to pray this way, "Our Father which art in Heaven..." I think the reason he said the " Heaven..." part was to remind us that He isn't affected by weather, economy, seasons, sickness, failure, decay, destruction, and on and on... you get the point! He is removed from the influence of the things which influence us so dramatically!

Our day can be ruined by a flat tire in the rain, or someone cutting us off or getting our parking place close to the building. His is only affected when after all He has done to keep us at a peak, our victory is lost and our faith fails! How does it make me feel to know that my lack of faith can affect the Creator's day?? OR, how does it make me feel to know that my abiding faith in Him can "make His day.."?? WOW!!!

I think I will just have faith!!!


Monday, February 23, 2009

A Cue FromGod

I recently got a piece of mail from someone that had one statement in it that made an inroad into my heart... It said that there was "help in the wings" or something to that effect. I immediately thought of the times I have been preaching and suddenly needed help from the wings. A cue! A clue!

I have been preaching and pastoring and teaching Bible for 40 years now, give or take a month or two, and I have never gotten over the supernatural "stage-fright", the fear of not pleasing the Creator as I spoke of Him, His son, and His Spirit! Anyone worth their salt, and with an ounce of realization in them is a little afraid of not measuring up to God's level. Now I don't worry about people, only Him! If I was preaching about people then I would worry about them... but I'm not!

I believe that He is able to take what I say, especially if I have been dilligent in my preparation, and minister it to the hearts and minds of the hearers. But I still want to please Him. I don't want to make it necessary for Him to repeatedly replace "Malchus' ear" weekly! That is just one of the problems. Here are more!

I don't ever want to use the pulpit to attack, promote, or please anyone. I don't want trivia. I don't want a "canned" sermon off the internet either! I really want to bring a relevant, revelant, 'warm' Word from God to His flock! That is what most people want anyway. They don't want to be excited by delivery, but by the Spirit! Most believers want something they thought came from God, through the preacher, to them!!!

Pray for me!!! jack

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Life is a wonderful thing... more wonderful some than to others for obvious reasons.

Here in America, the USA rather, if you are in reasonably good health and have a source of income other than welfare, life may be very good to you. You are free and you can seek avenues of pleasure and enjoyment to satisfy the need for some of these things. A need which most citizens of the USA have developed, mostly from Madison Avenue telling us that we want/need this to be truly happy.

There are many people in third-world countries which Madison Avenue has no access to and therefore they don't realize how deprived they are. Some have never known a family structure, i.e. father, mother, home, food, toys, etc. It is never missed because it was never known.

There could come a day when we blessed ones are in a different situation. Those who are severely deprived have learned to be happy and content with what they have. Paul said he was content... He was content because he found his joy, peace, and satisfaction in his relationship with the Lord. If you begin to lose your joy when gas prices rise, or inerest rates fall on your investment, or the stock market struggles, all you have to do is to remind yourself that His Kingdom is intact and flourishing.

I heard a preacher on TV say that church membership was failing and Islam was growing and he was concerned about the trend. I want the church I pastor to grow, but church growth is not a legitimate indicator of the growth of the Kingdom of God. It is an internal Kingdom. It does not attract the casual man of faith. It isn't showy or flambouyant. Its believers rest in the supremacy and sovereinty of God.

Life is short. Just the other day I was a young man enjoying my youth. Today I am 69 years old. I can't believe it. But for the past 40 years my faith has held me close to the Savior. Now my life is certainly closer to the end than the beginning, but I have a hope that reaches beyond my circumstance. In other words, I am closer to being with Him every day. Psalm 16:11 says it all... cling to this, "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Mistakes are more common than we would like to admit!

They are also more often the result of either oversight, rushing, anger, misinformation, and other like things than we would like to admit! Whether we own up to these actions or not, the truth remains the truth! Our denial, deception, or outright dishonesty about the cause of the mistake NEVER changes the truth!

Wrong roads travelled, wrong words spoken, wrong attitudes, wrong or incomplete information ultimately lead to the wrong "destination". If we get on the wrong road on our trip to Tallahassee, we will immediately (upon realizing it), change to the correct road. In life however, we often just change our destination to the one down this "wrong road" and act like we were really going there anyway.

Anyone can get on the wrong road, get the wrong information, or even miss our chance to turn off this road and get on the right one... but it takes a wise and secure man/woman to stop, turn around and go back to the right road/direction, and begin the journey over again! Honor belongs to the person who can say, "I was wrong." But honor is not always given. Why? Because we live in a society that holds mistakes against the erring one and counts them as less than smart or whatever!

I am, eventually, a man who can ask directions, keep my focus on what is my original destination, and take advice about "bridges out ahead"! Oh yeah! I almost forgot! I can admit my mistakes (if I was to ever make one!!)


Saturday, January 31, 2009


Funny thing about being in a family... you have to participate as a member before you can understand what it is about.

I knew a kid who was adopted into a loving family and readily accepted by the siblings in the family. He never "felt like a part" of the family so he didn't ACT like a part of it. Consequently he never benefitted from the adoption.People are born into a family (usually), and some are adopted into one. The same is true in the Kingdom of God! We are born (again) into His Kingdom and then adopted into a family (Body) of believers. If we don't feel like a part of it, that is our problem! It has to do with truth, not feeling!

If we don't act like a part we cannot expect others to act like we are a part... To them it looks as though we don't want the relationship so others just accept us as "visitors" in the home.

This is a true story... Shellie and I knew a multi-millionaire whio lived in Tallahassee who was a great Christian man. His son was a rebel and only used his father's name to get out of trouble. One time the man told us his son had taken a job at the airport cleaning a hanger and washing planes. One day the father was in his private plane and was taking off on one of the runways and looked down and saw his son mopping the floor in another man's hanger and he began to weep and speak to his son even though he could not hear him. He was saying, "My son, if you would just come to me you could be flying with me instead of mopping that floor."His heart was broken for his son and the way he was neglecting his father's influence and his provision. He could have been soaring with him in the skies, laughing and talking and learning instead of mopping that floor and cleaning planes.

Now that was a honest living, but it is not what he was born into! We often do the same thing. We are born for higher things than the carnal, earth-bound things. We are born again to soar!We are then adopted into local "families" so that our Christianity can be effective in influencing others to come into your Father's family. It isn't easy to be a family member! there are others to consider when making decisions. We are not the issue, the "family" is. Now this is not like many of the cultish families, this is God's family and He is the only real Father we have. The existence of a father says there is a family. Paul said there were a few fathers around, so the terminology 'family" is perfectly legitimate. We are family and he is Father!

Deal with it!!! jack