Friday, March 26, 2010

The Yard Sale

One thing happens when a family moves: they find out what they really have. Our things looked reasonably nice, tucked away in this cabinet, hidden in that drawer, placed in this room or that one. Then you begin to pack. As you pack you discover things you had even forgotten about. You say, “I wondered I did with that!” And so it goes.

We decided to have a yard sale. Though I am writing this now, the sale is still in the near future: tomorrow morning. Now, to have this sale we had to pull out all these things that were hidden here, there, and everywhere. We had to pull things out into the light, examine them, and decide if they were even worth selling. Some of it was valuable to me; other things, to Pam. But what about Jose Q. Publico (don’t forget where we are!)? We filled the entire front yard (it’s very small, believe me) with items. Much of it is on tables, other things on the ground. Some is hanging, some is shelved. But there it sits. It was a painful process to weed through those things.

Think of your heart. I suspect that the Good Lord would be delighted to have a “yard sale” and de-clutter our hearts. But you may not want him pulling some things out into the light. You may be very comfortable with—even attached to—some of those things he wants you to “sell.” Some of it may embarrass you. Some of it may sadden you. And you might just get a little angry if he touches some of your “stuff.” Yet, to move on it must be done. Let the Lord have a yard sale in your heart. Let him get rid of the clutter so that you can continue on your pilgrimage with him.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Integrity, part 2

Tonight was a historic moment for citizens of the United States. Tonight, your congress sold its soul to socialism. Voting to nationalize healthcare is only the symptom, so hang on to your hats.

The foundations of our republic are seriously cracked. They cracked with the slow, but steady, turn from being a Christian nation to being a Christ-less nation. They cracked when moms and dads found Sunday to be "Fun Day." They cracked when we reached a point when sin and sinful leadership is tolerated and even expected. They cracked when churches began to overlook sinful behavior in the name of love and acceptance at any cost.

Only a self-governed people can tolerate a free republic. By "self-governed" I refer to people who are self-disciplined. I refer to people of integrity. I refer to people who have a moral foundation. That foundation has serious flaws and is in danger of completely crumbling.

Unless America's Christians put away pride, persevere in prayer, seek the face of the Father, and walk away from wickedness--unless that happens and happens soon, this nation will go the way of the few European nations who once stood strong, blessed by their Christian citizens.

Repent, America! Repent, or perish.


Did you notice the title change? This is by design. My address remains the same for this blog. But my place for publishing will be changed. Our ministry is in transition. We are closing a volume of this journey, opening a new one.

As of April 18th, I will be a pastor in the United States. I will be in the Southern block of those great states, in south Mississippi.

The change is bittersweet. It has been delightful to serve our Lord Jesus in South America. We have done so since 1988, except for a brief return for medical needs at the beginning of the 21st century. So we have plenty of great memories and great hopes that we will see many hundreds of Peruvians and others in heaven one day. Only the Lord knows how many of the thousands that said they believed on the Lord under our ministry truly did. But we have great hopes.

Now it seemed good to the Lord to send us north of the equator once again. And we are excited. It's an exciting time in the world. It's a great time to be an active Christian. I can't wait to be back in the pulpit, equipping believers, challenging the congregation, seeking to evangelize the lost.

So, rejoice with me. But pray with me, too. The change is just now beginning to dawn on us. I look forward to it, but also walk in fear and trepidation.

Counting the Cost?

I wonder if we realize how much of the Bible is plain common sense for every day living? That is one of the things that sometimes we overlook.

One of those common sense teachings is in the Gospel According to Luke. It's Jesus' parable about counting the cost. Now, admittedly and most importantly, it refers to counting the cost to be his disciple. But don't ignore the common sense analogy. You don't go to war against a larger enemy without counting the cost. You don't start a major project without counting the cost. Those are the simple truths that Jesus used to impress the spiritual truth that we must count the cost to be his disciple. More about that in a moment.

First I want to point to the historic vote taking place as I write this. What so many do not know is that these men and women who are voting in favor of what is now called "Obamacare" have no clue as to the real cost of the bill. They are ignorant of that fact. In fact, they don't even know everything that is in that bill. That 3,000-page bill. That monstrosity of legislation. Aside from the bill that Obama's own actuary said he cannot calculate, the Congressional Budget Office only sent an estimated cost. Read that again: an estimated cost. The Dems are pushing for a vote on an item for which they have not counted the cost.

Only a fool votes for something or someone they know nothing about.

They are praying for 217 fools today. I am praying for 218 wise men.

Let this battle be a lesson for believers. Although my heart is broken for the United States, the United States, ultimately, is not my home. Heaven is my main home. The United States is just one place in which I and all believers are pilgrims. This is because I have counted the cost. It is wiser to be on the winning side. Jesus is the winning side, no matter what happens in this crazy world we are passing through.

Let's use this image and the subsequent fallout as an illustration of what happens when you do not count the cost. Many will suffer an eternity in hell because the failed to count the cost and "vote" the right way.