Sunday, December 30, 2007


As we enter a New Year tomorrow, one new reality that comes from the closing events of the old year is the lack of a common moral standard. There is no longer a unanimous view of right and wrong. We are now two generations removed from a people who had a general Bible knowledge and participated in ongoing Bible Study. The result we deal with now is there is no objective statement or principle. As long as the Bible was the standard, we had one guide that was uninfluenced by emotion, surprise, or personal prejudice.
Today, it is a matter of perception, how each individual sees the situation. Anything may be right or wrong. You are your final moral law, how you subjectively feel about it is what matters. If you feel like you want to do something, just go ahead and do it.
Have you noticed the increase in the number of murderers who are captured who are described as “showing no remorse”? That’s the result of living by perception.
If you quote John 14:6 (NIV) where Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me” you will surely offend many who will gladly tell you that is just your perception, not to be held by all.
When each person does what is right in his own eyes, there is moral chaos resulting in societal chaos. If children are being raised without an objective standard of “right” their lives are rootless, they act out their lack of roots with extreme acts of violence and disruption. Lawlessness begets lawlessness.
Proverbs 14:12 (NIV) says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.” It’s happening everyday!
You can’t change society alone, you can’t even change your street. But you can make a difference in your house, with your family. Read the Bible daily together. It can be the objective guide for your family. Obey it whether you feel like it or not. Don’t trust the twisting winds of your perception. You will live to regret it if you do. Pray for help.

“God, You say about your Bible that it is a ‘lamp for my feet and a light for
my path.’ Give me the inner fortitude to walk in that illumination. Amen”

READER PLEASE NOTE: With this Blog, I complete the assignment I had from the Lord. Thank you for sharing with me the last 365 days! I trust that you have been at times inspired or informed or simply challenged to strengthen your walk with Jesus. These writings will remain at this site for your re-reading in 2008. If you want to E-mail me, I will be faithful to answer. IN HIS JOY! Pastor Charlie

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I was driving south on Interstate 95. Even though I was going 65, everyone was passing me. It was like a race track, people were weaving in and out, overtaking and passing. Suddenly, the traffic slowed down and everyone stayed in the proper lane. Why?
A state trooper was sighted up ahead! He had a powerful effect! Why did the people slow down? Fear getting caught? Fear paying a fine? Fear being seen by friends? Why is it, for many people, a slight reminder of law-breaking makes them stop? If people know right from wrong, why does it take an external stimulant to do right?
We have the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” You don’t have to surrender to every temptation.
Paul describes his own struggle in being a civil war site between good and evil. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 5:16) “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I can’t carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do, this I keep on doing.” (Romans 5:19)
Add to this the warning from Numbers 32:23, “You may be sure your sin will find you out” and hear the state trooper’s siren again.
There is a better way to a life of relaxed obedience. Jesus promised in John 16:13, “When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you in all truth.” When you receive Jesus, you receive his Holy Spirit who becomes your constant teacher to show you the right thing to do. Just listen! God loves us too much to leave us helpless in the face of temptation.

“We have all developed this stubborn streak, Loving Father, and we often
want to flirt with temptation and sin just to see what will happen. Forgive
us! Again! Amen”

Friday, December 28, 2007


Looking into the future today I can see the New Year struggling with his diaper while the old year is tottering toward the edge of the stage. I don’t think he expected to age so quickly, and neither do we. As we look today toward the yesterdays and the tomorrows, let us think about the possibilities.
The glory of being finite is the ability we have to grow and become better. In fact, the Bible says we should, “grow in grace”. I remember growing up on our farm and wishing the apples were ripe. I would pick an apple in July and it would taste terrible. But I could go back to the same tree in October and the apple would be sweet. That is a goal for us!
Of course, we do not automatically get better; we struggle against all that would keep us pulled down. The poet Robert Browning said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a Heaven for?” Keep your eyes fixed on Heaven.
I have the concept in my mind of Jesus on the horizon and He is beckoning me to come on; as I get closer, He moves further away with the challenging call, “I will make you to become what God created you to be.” Paul said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of my high calling in Christ”.
We need a wider concept of sin at this point. Sin is anything not pleasing to God, not just actions but attitudes, also. Sins of omission are as serious as sins of commission. Aim to grow daily. 1 Peter 2:2 says; “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow thereby.” We must not be content with mediocrity because Jesus always raises the horizons of His followers.
We should begin to pray today for the “courage of imperfection”. Heard of it? A consciousness of our imperfections does not paralyze us. I can preach even if I am not Chrysostom, I can teach even if I am not Socrates, I can study even if I am not Einstein, I can be courageous even if I am not Nathan Hale, or I can witness to Jesus even if I am not Paul. Do you get the point? A poet named Babcock once wrote, “Be strong, we are not here to play.”
Opportunities will abound in 2008 for us to make an impact on our part of the world.

“Lord, stir our souls today, please. We make excuses for our spiritual
laziness when there all so many possibilities for each one of us. Amen”

Thursday, December 27, 2007


As you begin to ponder a little about the New Year, let this summary of Isaiah 43:15-19 give you a challenge: “I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King. This is what the Lord says----‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?’” God is the god of the “new”! God is not tied down to the “past”. But your past experiences are going to determine your approach to “new” things. If you experienced a “new thing” with God in 2007, then you have greater anticipation for 2008.
Let’s look at this challenge! God challenges you to look around to see if there is something new on your horizon. Are you ready for it? Do you want something new because you don’t have to keep on repeating the vices or bad habits of the past?
How about a new “self”? As early as 1 Samuel 10:6 in the Old Testament we hear God challenging Saul, “the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power and you will be changed into a different person.” The offer of newness of personality is real. That comes about because of the new creation that Paul describes as waiting for people when they receive Jesus into their hearts. The passage is 2 Corinthians 5:17. Feel the inspiration of this from Galatians 6:15: “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.”
If you want to be new in the New Year now is the time to explore with Jesus His offer of the “new birth” from John 3:3,7. Christ will take over the control of your life, if you will let Him, and you will be “open under new management”. Does this scare you or inspire you? Don’t be afraid, just trust Him.
He can put a new song in your heart, better than anything that the electronic world will play for you. David, who really loved music, said in Psalm 40:3, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Finally you can make some pleasing sounds that will bless those around you. Your life may have been out of tune for so long that you irritated people in spite of your best efforts. Now an appealing sound from the “new you”, wow!
Top the newness off with living under the “new command” from Jesus, “A new command I give you: Love one another.” (John 13:34)

“Dear God, it is so exciting to approach the New Year following You because
we know the trip will be filled with blessings from Your love. Amen”

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Obviously, Christmas Day did not live up to it’s promise of fulfillment for a lot of people. The day after Christmas has now become like “Black Friday”, the most popular day for Christmas Shopping. Now the day after Christmas has the doors of the Malls opening at 6 a.m. to offer folks another shot at meaning and the fulfilling of hope. Thus is life when you expect anything but dissatisfaction from man-made gods.
Can you imagine worshipping a tree? Or a stone? Or a cow? Or Mars, the god of war? Or Diana, the goddess of sex? Or Mercury, the god of commerce? Or the Unmoved Mover? All of these man-made gods leave humans empty hearted and even with an empty bank account.
I am not being cynical. I am expressing genuine concern for people who invested so much in making Christmas this year “just right” and it turns out with no lasting blessing. Even a passing glance at the Bible will say that the Biblical message is focused on spiritual fulfillment. When the Prophet Isaiah spoke about 800 years before the birth of Christ he knew that he would not see the fulfillment of his words. Many people ignored the Prophets. They were strange people who dreamed dreams and saw visions and they often acted out there message in a dramatic fashion. You just had to wait and see if History would verify their words. Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, and 60:1-2 gave names and places and situations too exact to be ignored. Micah 5:2 even named the place of the Messiah’s birth, right on target.
For a hopeless generation we have the birth of hope, something that you can’t find in the Mall regardless of how many Gift Cards you are carrying. After Adam and Eve and their generation messed up so badly and then Noah’s generation did it again, the possibility of a personal relationship with God seemed forever lost to humanity. They had religion but it was religion by rote, dull and deadening repetition. But when Mary received the instruction to name the baby Jesus because he “would save people from sin”, (Matthew 2:21) people said, “why not?” and reached out to God in faith. And it happened! Whatever your circumstances or situation, it is never too late.
“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight!” That’s the phrase from the Carol. Release and relief! No wonder the angels were singing. What about you? How is your voice developing?

“Fulfillment is such a beautiful word, Dear God, promised to us in
so many places and by differing voices but You deliver. Amen”

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


That crashing sound that you have been hearing since Christmas morning reminded me of how the birth of Jesus the Christ was breaking down all the barriers that keep people from God. Long before the veil of the Temple was split down the middle when Jesus died on the cross and the way was open into the Holy Presence of God for anyone, Jesus had opened the way to God.
Remember how Paul talks about Jesus as the “destroyer of barriers” in Ephesians 2:14? Just look around you on this day after Christmas and count the broken barriers. Over there is the BARRIER OF NATURAL LAW. Natural law said a virgin could not have a baby and that God could not possibly become a man. Natural law thought it could limit our access to God and God’s access to us. Like Jesus said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” (John 14)
Next to it is the BARRIER OF IGNORANCE. Ignorant people referred to God as “the Unmoved Mover” or “the Source”, some of them were philosophers. Some were even the founders of religion that seemed more interested in hiding God and obscuring Him.
See there the BARRIER OF KNOWLEDGE. Smart people have said that you can “know about” God but that you can’t “know” God. You can know God’s “commands” but not Him! But John 1:14 says, “the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us.” Knowledge doesn’t like 1 John 1:1 where the testimony is “what our eyes have seen, our ears have heard and our hands have handled we declare to you.”
Notice next to it the BARRIER OF EXCLUSIVISM. Religions today like to be exclusive, like a private club. You know how it goes: only Jews will be saved or only Muslims will be saved or only Buddhists will be saved but John 3:16 says that , “God loved the world so much.” Jesus said, “whosoever will come to me, let him.” Little children, women, bad people. sick people, foreigners; none are excluded by Jesus.
Then there is the BARRIER OF UNBELIEF. That’s the problem today. Millions are celebrating the birth of Jesus this week as a “holiday” and not a “holy day”. They want to enjoy the fringe benefits of the Christian faith but refuse to make a commitment to follow Jesus. But many are discovering Jesus this week. Like Isaiah 65:1 says, “I will be found by those looking for me.”
All barriers that keep people from God must crumble in the presence of Jesus1

“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being a barrier breakers and all can get to
know You personally because You came to this world. Amen”

Monday, December 24, 2007


What you see at Christmas certainly depends on your perspective, just as at the first one.
From the perspective of the cow, it meant the loss of her manger where dinner was usually served. From the perspective of the sheep it meant there was something smaller and softer than itself in the stable. From the perspective of the shepherds this was certainly the most exciting night of their lifetime.
From the perspective of Satan it meant that his arch enemy had now claimed the territory over which he had exercised such control and caused so much grief. From the perspective of the Wise Men there was finally some relief from the passion that had driven them across the desert searching for the child.
From the perspective of the angels, the secret plan of the Father, known clearly in Heaven, had now been unfurled before the whole world. From the perspective of God it was His day to reveal His greatest act of love to a world that had such a hard time knowing Him. From the perspective of Jesus it was the time to leave the glory of Heaven and take on humanity and live among humans that they might know their Creator as their Savior, also.
What is your perspective on Christmas? For the lost, separated from God, it could be “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
For those saved, it could be, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (John 2:2)
For those deferring committing themselves, hear the words, “Arise, shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. The Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2) “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14) Whatever your perspective, history still reckons itself from the birth of Jesus.
Where are you? Still living in B.C. time or in A.D. time?

“Lord, sometimes we are guilty of looking at ourselves through rose-
colored glasses. Give us a clear perspective of Jesus and ourselves today.