En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Posting on a new site!

Posted by Scott on December 9, 2009

Christmas Greetings-

I wanted to share with everyone who subscribes to this blog I will be posting on my new site effective today 12-9-2009. You can go to www.EnGhedi.com and subscribe for RSS feed and direct email notifications there. The new En Ghedi site is colorful and hopefully useful. I have added some of my favorite mentor’s site’s I have gleened so much from in my journey to know God in a much deeper way. I think you will enjoy the new look, the new content, and ease of use. In the future I will post book reviews on both sites, articles I think are important to be on both sites as well, but the main site will be www.EnGhedi.com .

Over the coming months I will be moving many of the post from this site over to the new site, so you may encounter a repeat message.

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas and most blessed New Year.

Pressing on, Scott

www.EnGhedi.com

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Lost in the Woods

Posted by Scott on November 30, 2009

Lost in the woods: An adventure of two old cowboys searching for lost calves!

It was the spring time of the year when Harold and I were working cattle for days without much sleep. Our job was to move over four hundred head of cows, calves, and bulls from one section of pasture to another which happened to be on the other side of the canyon. The distance between these two pastures was over thirty miles. Harold and I along with about fifteen other hired hands could move these “beeves” about 15 miles a day.  It could be dusty, wet, and sometimes sleepless, most of the time a thankless job. This particular morning it was briskly cold. A sharp chill would cut right through my jacket which seemed to pierce my skin going directly into my bones. At times the chill seemed to get into my blood stream and would make me shiver from my head to my toes. I shouted to Harold, “I can’t get warmed up this morning. I wish that north wind would calm down.” I spotted in the camp hot tar black coffee on the fire and I thought to myself, “That will warm me up for the long day ahead”. You see, a cowboy almost has coffee running through his veins rather than blood. We live off of coffee in order to stay awake, alert, and when it is cold, it provides warmth for our soul.

The pastures we were working were in the valley down below the Sunhill Mountain range in southwestern Colorado. You could travel through hot ninety degree days in the valleys and enter thirty degree nights in the mountain area. Great area to run cattle, but the weather could change on you within minutes it seemed. Mr. Garret owned this cattle ranch called “Running Bar Ranch” and the ranch has been in his family for three generations. So, we all took great pride in tending to Mr. Garret’s cattle.

It was Harold and I’s job to see to it that every single cow, calf, and bull made it safely to the next pasture. We did not leave one calf behind if it was at all possible. Leaving a calf behind to die was like losing money and Mr. Garret frowned on that, plus he would dock our pay one days wages if he found out we had not tried to retrieve a lost calf. From time to time a calf would stray off into the woods at the foot of the mountain range. When that happened we would go into the woods after them. However, the calves would do this when no one was watching and we would find a cow not wanting to go with the herd. She would stand at the edge of the herd bawling towards the woods. That was our indicator a calf was in the thickets of the woods. Sometimes the momma cows would bed them down in the woods and other times the calves would simply wonder off in curiosity. Either way, our job was to go in after them.

I remember one balmy late spring afternoon just after the morning chill had finally given into the sunny warmth. We were driving our beeves north to far end of the pasture. We noticed about five momma cows refusing to follow in with the rest of the herd. They kept running towards the thickets to our west bawling loudly, but no calves could be seen or heard. I looked at Harold and motioned for him head towards the thicket after the calves and I would be there shortly.

I road my big fifteen hand brown horse on up towards the front to let one of the hired hands know where Harold and I would be and to keep moving the herd forward and we would catch up with them later that evening. So, I caught up with Harold and we moved slowly and methodically into the thicket. The trees and vines were so thick at times we had to get off our horses and go further on foot. Harold hollered out to me, “Where in the world could those five calves be?” I looked at him and just shrugged my shoulders in bewilderment myself. I had no clue. What some of these momma cows will do is take their babies off into the woods and bed them down together. But usually one momma cow would stay with them like a baby-sitter. However, this time it seemed all the calves were alone.

My thoughts immediately started thinking about how wolves or mountain lions possibly could have gotten some or all of the calves. No matter though, Harold and I would not stop until we had found all of the calves safe and sound or what was left of them as proof of their whereabouts.

It started getting late as the sun was just barely peeking over the mountain peak and we had been hunting for these calves for hours. It was starting to get cold again and a small thunder shower had formed just above us over the mountain range. Fortunately, we had packed our rain slicks for such an occasion. As the rain pelted our heads and soaked our boots, Harold heard a faint bawl of a young calf. We hurried in the direction of the cry over large rocks and around enormous boulders. There just on the other side of a jagged boulder he found two of the calves hung up in some of the thickest vines and trees we had encountered. Since we found them, what would we do with them? It was no easy trip up into the mountain range to start with. Harold or I could take these two calves back, but what about the other three. About that time two of our riders from the herd came clapity-clopping up next to us. “Do you guys need any help finding the calves?” one of the hands yelled. “Yes, you can take these two calves back to their mommas with the herd while Harold and I look for the other three calves.” One of the hands yelled back, “We figured with it getting so late and we had not seen you guys yet, you probably needed help.” So, they put the calves across their saddles right in front of them and off on their horses they went.

As Harold and I climbed higher and higher into the mountain area the thicket was extremely dense. The darkness seemed to fall like dark chocolate running down the sides of an ice cream cone. It was thick and heavy darkness. I pulled out an old flashlight I had stuck in my saddle bag hoping it would still work. It has been at least 6 months since I last used it. Sure enough, the flashlight worked, when all of the sudden, Harold let out an “eek” loudly. I yelled over to him to find out what was the matter. When from high above us on rock cliff was the biggest mountain lion I had seen in decades. The sound from this mountain lion would make your skin crawl. The big cat was positioned to jump on top of Harold. I grabbed the 30-30 Winchester from my saddle holster took aim and fired. I nicked the cat right on his behind. The cat took off up the trail above the rock cliff out of sight. I hurried over to Harold to make sure he was alright and of course he was.

About the time we were starting to head up and around the rock cliff, I heard something off in the distance. A faint but steady bawl from a young calf. Apparently, Harold and I had gone too far up in the mountains not realizing where the calves might be. So, back down the trail we went and found the other three calves safe and sound. Harold grabbed one calf and stretched it across his lap while I took the other two smaller calves and stretched them across my lap on the saddle. Off towards the herd we went.

As we traveled down the mountain side we came across a good trail that lead us right out of the thicket in the valley below. The herd was bedded down for the night about twenty minutes ahead, so we should be able to get back in time for supper. I looked over to Harold and said, “You know Harold, you and I out searching for these five calves tonight through the thicket, the vines, the boulders, the jagged rocks, and all reminds me of how Jesus seeks us out to save us for eternity”. I quoted Jesus from Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus’ mission all summed up in a few words. We came out into the mountain range to seek and to save that which was lost. The result was we found those calves and saved them from danger. Jesus does the same for his own people. “You see Harold; these calves were not looking for us. They may have known they were not in the right place, but did not know who to be looking for”, I spoke plainly to Harold. “People are the same way you know”. People don’t seek after to God. In their lost sinful state of being, they have not a clue they need Jesus”, I confidently exclaimed.

I pondered further about the subject for the next fifteen to twenty minutes until we got back to camp. Finally, arriving at the camp we put the calves back with their momma’s. All the bawling stopped as the calves and momma cows we joined together again. Thinking back over a Sunday-School lesson I heard about a son running off on his own lost to the world. The father speaking to the son’s brother quoting from Luke 15:32 says, “It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.” About that time one of the other hired hands came wondering up to me and asked what I was thinking about. So, I simply told about how Christ had come to seek and to save the lost of this world. How Jesus talked about in Luke 15:4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” I told the hand Jesus would come after the one lost no matter what. I then turned to him and asked him simply, “Have you put your complete trust in Jesus Christ as your only Lord and Savior?” He just wrinkled his face in an expression of “I don’t know”. We left it at that. But the day’s affairs had made me think more about Jesus seeking out His lost people and how He would go through the thicket, across the rocks and boulders engaging Mountain Lions and all in order to save His own.

by scott bailey (c) 2009

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Book Review: “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

Posted by Scott on August 31, 2009

    This is a great little devotional book for every day of the year.  The devotional is written by long time missionary, Sarah Young and published by long time publishers, Thomas Nelson Publishing.   Jesus Calling is geared for both men and women with quick and short paragraphs that would be most desirable for someone on the run that needs to take five minutes to stop and reflect on God and reflect on Him speaking to them in that very moment.

Each daily devotional is done from the point of view that God is talking to them that very moment.  The fact is, He is talking to each of us Believers all the time if we would stop and listen.  This little devotional book brings that out in a unique way.  At the bottom of each page are great verses of Scripture to deepen the experience of that days devotional. 

Each days writings are from Sarah’s personal encounter with Jesus day by day as she recorded in her prayer journals.  Sarah would write down what she sensed the Lord telling her in her prayer time daily.  I believe Sarah does a fantastic job helping the reader to understand that Jesus is ever present with us and we can enjoy His peace on a daily basis.  This is not a deep book understandably at first glance, but it helps to get each of our minds and hearts turned back towards Him each day and learn to listen for His voice out of the hundreds of voices yelling around us taking us into a deeper walk with Christ.  Jesus does speak to us today through His Scripture and through daily time listening to Him.  This book is a great way to get back to or continue on in each Believer’s personal quiet time.  Our spiritual health depends on it.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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A Living and Holy Sacrifice! By Guest Blogger Dave Stallings

Posted by Scott on March 12, 2008

by Dave Stallings

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1, 2).

It’s 5:15 in the morning and I am still awake from the pain in my back from the cancer lesion that was removed from my back yesterday morning. They said that I would experience some pain after the local numbing medication wore off and they were right. I am, indeed, wide awake, and unable to sleep from that experience, however it seems to be yet another opportunity in my life to allow God to be glorified. I cannot, on my own, endure the difficulties that go on in my defective “tent” so I sit here at my laptop, attempting to present my body, as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God…”  and allow Him to minister to my needs even now at another inconvenient time. And as the scripture says, Paul reminds us to NOT be “…conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds”.

I have seen that over the past 3 years now, nothing outshines God in my life, nothing is more important and nothing is capable of “calming” my mind and spirit the way that just thinking of God is able to do. So I think of God a lot in these times. “…being transformed” and “…renewing my mind” makes me think that I am, daily getting closer to God and farther from the securities (or perhaps insecurities) of this world. I seem to be reminded every day, by something that this world is not our home and I am simply just passing through. This is the thought process that helps us shake off the fears of life and know that our God is preparing us for an eternity in the presence of His Glory. Makes me wonder how it is that others can endure some of life’s hardships without His Spirit residing in them.

The passage of scripture goes on to say “…so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE and PERFECT.” It is words from God like that which take me all the way back to the beginning when God created this world for us and He said, upon completion of each event that “it was good” (Genesis 1). Can you look at a “thorn in your flesh” this morning and see that it is good? If you can, then perhaps you are being transformed and renewed in mind and spirit by the only force that can give you true peace. After all, isn’t true peace what we are all looking for in this life? Paul says earlier in Romans that he is “…not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Ro. 1:16). Are you listening close enough to God to have the power to be transformed and renewed, in spite of the difficult and sometimes, near impossible situations in this life? Next Thursday I get the opportunity to have another PET SCAN for the Lymphoma and I really expect the cancer to still be sleeping. I believe that God has done that for me. He can do that for you, too. Take the time, each day to be transformed and renewed, and know that God is the only tool you need.

About the Author
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Dave Stallings lives in Phoenix , Arizona with his wife of 36 years, Barbara, who also suffers a serious chronic illness, and their dog, Captain Jack…along with their kids and grand kids ! Dave is a semi-retired pastor and loves to blog on his personal web page since being diagnosed with Stage IV incurable non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma almost three years ago now and his motto is “It is what it is and God is not surprised”…. His personal testimony can be read at http://www.nowwhut.org/ and he can be reached by email at mailto:dstallings2@qwest.net
.

www.nowwhut.org

www.nowwhataz.blogspot.com

dstallings2@qwest.net

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The Good Samaritan! by guest blogger David Stallings

Posted by Scott on January 14, 2008

The Good Samaritan

Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho , and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.” Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” Luke 10:30-37

This popular parable emphasizes the meaning of neighborliness and the importance of true Christian compassion. Responding to a lawyer who asked, “Who is my neighbor?”,   Jesus makes it clear that any human being in need is our neighbor. By casting one of the Samaritans (men much despised by the Jews) in the role of the compassionate neighbor, Jesus challenges His audience. He seems to be saying: If a Samaritan, whom you consider an outcast, will rescue a Jew in trouble, what a reflection it is on you and your religion if, in indifference, you pass by those in need.

What side of the street are you walking on these days?

About the Author
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Dave Stallings lives in Phoenix , Arizona with his wife of 36 years, Barbara, Who also suffers a serious chronic illness, and their dog, Captain Jack…along with their kids and grand kids ! Dave is a semi-retired pastor and loves to blog on his personal web page since being diagnosed with Stage IV incurable non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two and a half years ago..his motto is “It is what it is and God is not surprised”….his blog is http://www.nowwhataz.blogspot.com/, his personal testimony can be read at http://www.nowwhataz.org/ and he can be reached by email at mailto:dstallings2@qwest.net.

-Scott Bailey 2008

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Guest Blogger, Dana Bailey: A Brand New Thing!

Posted by Scott on January 11, 2008

Isaiah 43:19.  

“For I am about to do a brand new thing.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home.  I will create rivers in the desert!”   (NLT)

I have the 43rd chapter of Isaiah marked in my Bible with the date of 01-30-01 beside it.  I’ll never forget the night that the Lord took me to this chapter.  I was a very fearful and anxious person.   My husband was gone on a short business trip and I was so gripped with fear that he would not return that I couldn’t sleep.  I remember sitting up in bed, grabbing my Bible and telling God that I didn’t want to be afraid anymore.  Then I heard him tell me to go to Isaiah 43.  I don’t ever remember hearing the Holy Spirit talk so directly to me like that before, but I knew it was him as soon as I began reading the first verse, “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.”  “WOW!”  I remember thinking.  I fell quickly to sleep that night knowing that my husband would be o’k and I had no reason to fear anything.

Many times since then the Lord has used chapter 43 to comfort my anxious heart.  Verse 19 was one of those verses that he used to remind me that he was working on me and starting am new thing in me.  He has taken my family through very difficult times and this verse has been a great reminder that he is at work.  In the midst of a spiritual desert, he is creating streams of water to nourish and refresh his people. 

But he asks in the verse, “Do you not see it?”  I know that sometimes I am so consumed by the trials that I cannot see the new work that he is starting.  I do not recognize the rivers in the desert because I am too focused on the wilderness.

We are beginning a new year.  Is God beginning a new thing in you?  He has already begun, but can you see it?  No matter how difficult your circumstances may seem, God is at work!  Do you believe that?  Even when the rent is past due or the medical bills are piled high, God is at work…do you see it?  Even when your husband walks out leaving you with the children & the mortgage, God is at work…do you see it?  Even when you lose a child and you can’t bear to even get out of bed, God is at work…do you see it?

Look for the rivers in your desert that are meant to nourish you.  Look for the pathways through the wilderness.  Do not ask him to take you out of the wilderness; you are there to draw closer to him.  Rather, use the wilderness to grow you in your knowledge and understanding of God. 

In verses 20 & 21, Isaiah writes, “Yes, I will make springs in the desert, so that my chosen people can be refreshed.  I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world.”

I know that my God’s love for me is so great that I cannot even begin to comprehend it.  I know that he will not take me into a desert and not replenish or refresh me.  He has promised me this.  I also know that he wants me honor him in the midst of my wilderness.  This is not easy, but he never asks us to do anything that he knows we cannot do. 

What is God doing in your life right now?  What are you learning about him that is new?  Do you see the paths through the wilderness that he is making for you and are you being refreshed by the springs in the desert that he has provided for you?  I do not ask any of this without knowing my own answers to these questions.  My family is living in our own desert right now and learning to walk in his pathways and bring honor to him while in our desert has become a daily lesson for us; a lesson well worth learning.  Our lives are a brand new thing and that is very exciting!

I pray that you are blessed by your rivers in your desert this brand new year!

(A river in the Mohave Desert)

For further articles by Dana Bailey goto LivingStones4Moms.com

-Scott Bailey 2008

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-Fierce Warriors in the Hands of God!

Posted by Scott on January 5, 2008

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth”
–Psalm 127:4

You may be thinking right now that I am crazy for using Spartan Warrior within Christianity, but read the entire piece before passing judgment.  Spartan Warriors were fierce fighters.  They would fight to the death for their family, king, and kingdom.  They were ruthless and unconventional in their process and training.  However, my research on Spartan Warriors turned up better qualities for these fighters that many of us as Christian men need to pay attention to. These warriors were trained from the very young age of 7 to be fierce in battle.  The meaning of Spartan is to be “totally devoted to one cause, self-deprived or stripped down to nothing, but the bare essentials, undoubting and courageous”.  They were trained to give their lives without hesitation.  These warriors did not think anything about danger and always expected to win or die trying to win.  These were dreaded men in battle. 

 Gentlemen, I am here to inform you that if you did not know this before now, we are in the battle of our lives and the lives of our families…time to wake-up!  I am afraid that unless we as Christian fathers do not began to train our young men to be like these Spartan Warriors, the future looks very dim.  We need to be training up our boys to be fierce when in battle and this battle takes place daily.  Young men that will not back down from authority that makes rulings in direct conflict with the scriptures.  We need young men that do not mind being ridiculed when they stand up for the under-dog or under-privileged or as they share the gospel to a neighbor or friend.  In some cases this may mean taking up arms to defend our nation and our families from the enemies abroad or even within our midst.  On a daily basis, we need to equip these young fighters with the Truth of God’s Holy Word above all else… God’s Holy Word is not found in the Koran! 

Within the pages of the Bible are many fierce warriors who fought bravely like King David as one example.  The Lord helped him fight with full control of himself and bravely.  David fought mightily with the hand of God on his life…”And David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.”  2 Samuel 5:10 (NAS)  He as a warrior for the Kingdom of God and Spartan Warriors in ancient Greece were courageous and self-sacrificing.  The crusade I am speaking of today is for the minds and hearts of our young people.  Many Christians have already given up this crusade long ago and have decided to just blend in with the rest of the world in order to have peace.  They may go to church and bible study, but nothing  is different in their lives or the lives of their kids.  We have bought into the society belief that we can be immersed in the life style of the world and still maintain an effective evangelical witness. 

 Titus 2:12(NIV) says, “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”  In John 15:9(NIV)  it states, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”   

Just hoping our kids will turn out alright is not the answer.  Our adversary, Satan, would like nothing else than for parents to take this approach.  Of course by the grace of God some do turn out alright and frankly that is how we all turn out alright. However, these kids are placed in our hands for a short time for training and preparation for the future and we do not want to let them down if at all possible.  The battle for the heart and mind of our children today include homosexuality, pornography, drunkenness, illegal drug usage, over eating, moral relativism, unfaithfulness, theft, lying, and so on.  This corruptness is being taught in nearly every public forum and institution in America as being “right”.  Our children are being taught that there is no sin and there is no right or wrong.  Their cry is that we all need to be more tolerant of each other.  They are taught that Adam can marry Robert and Eve can marry Laura and it is “ok”.  The truth is that homosexuality is sin and it is not “ok”.  This sin is as forgivable as over eating, as is drunkenness and so on. Glory to God that they are forgivable, but I do not want this deviant trash taught to my children and grandchildren as being “ok”.  Pornography is down played as just a natural thing that men and women desire and it is “ok”.  Christian men are not immune to this.  Men it is not “ok” even in the privacy of your own home.  What we put in our minds has a direct impact on what comes out of our life each day.  Much of the violence against women today stems from pornography.  If this kind of trash goes into the mind then I can guarantee you that vile trash will come out in some form of your life.  Drunkenness is very accepted these days as well, although it is nothing new to the ages.  Drunkenness is mind altering and you will do and say things that will not honor God in any way and will bring shame upon your family. 

Psalm 23:33 says about too much wine, “Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will utter perverse things.” 

God has always spoken out against drunkenness in His Word.  I said here, “drunkenness”, not a glass of wine at dinner…I just wanted to clarify that.  A trendy activity nowadays is to go to church on Sunday and raise your hands and sing in what is perceived to be praising and worshipping God.  Then the rest of the week live as you wish and on the weekend get stumbling drunk with your buddies and come to church on Sunday to be holy again.  Is this truly grace in action?  What a mockery to the glory of Jesus Christ!  Does this show a deep love for our Savior?  Does raising our hands to the “bouncy” music in the churches today that stirs up the emotions really make us spiritual and holy?  I am not attacking praise worship music entirely, but in observing the true impact of this movement that has forgotten the testimony of the hymns of old, I have witnessed people actually growing more vile in their lives rather than a closeness to the Lord as the music stirs up emotions rather than a deep seeded devotion to worshipping Christ in the music and message of the pastor. 

Men, take a hard look into your heart….is that burning desire to know Jesus and love Jesus really there?  What is your reason for going to church or reading your Bible?  Another hot trend within the world today is embracing the Muslim or Hindu or Buddhism religion as another way to heaven…that we should be tolerant.  We are told that there are many ways to God. 

 Matthew 7:13-14 speaks of those broad roads and narrow gates, “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” 

We are taught to believe they should have equal access to the minds of our children, our culture, and we should move over for their ways and embrace their teachings.  I will make this statement as clear as I can, men, NO ONE has the right to access the mind and heart of my children other than God Himself.  God gave those children to me and my wife to love, nurture, train and protect.  The liberal left does not have the right to them, the Communist left wingers do not have a right to them, the Muslims, Hindu’s, or Buddhist do not have rights to them, the homosexuals do not have rights to them or the legalist within the church today do not have the rights to them, or any other kind of evil that permeates this dark world we live in today.  If I sound a bit combative in this, I am combative.  This is no powder puff football game we are in, people. 

So, I am declaring today that we must start raising our sons ,as the Spartan Warriors of the 21st century, that will carry on these truths that are in God’s Word and do it unashamedly.  We need a crusade where young men will give their lives so that our future generations can survive without having to bow to the vile images that are so prevalent in our culture today or be subject to the horrific views and taunting by the homosexual leftist agenda.  A desire must exist for young men to train themselves to be satisfied with only the bare essentials as Spartan Warriors were disciplined to be and not raised under pampered lives like so many of the Christian and worldly kids of today.  These young men need training to buffet their bodies and keep their actions under control regarding women, children, money, alcohol, politics, and the things of this world.  Our world is groaning for young men who have a deep seeded desire to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

   Can we train up young men that will carry as their motto, “Give me Christ and Christ alone”?  We long for young men who are willing to die for the cause of Christ.  This does not come naturally…it comes as we battle forward immersing ourselves in God’s word and let Him develop in our hearts and minds a “biblical world view”.  God is sovereign!  He has never moved or changed His mind.  He is not surprised by the darkness that envelops the world we live in today.  He created this universe and every living or non-living being in it.  He is not bashful about war, battle, death or even love.  So, our challenge today as fathers of sons is to bring up a new generation of young men that will fit the image of God, like a warrior for truth, justice and become a loving family man.  Steve Farrar put it very plainly with this quote from his book, “Standing Tall”:

“Gentlemen, we are raising our kids in this sewer of moral relativism.

If your kids buy into this philosophy, it will ruin their lives.

Here’s the deal, guys.  Our kids won’t know anything unless they see it in our lives.  Our kids won’t know that there are moral absolutes unless they absolutely see those truths lived out in our lives.”

-Steve Farrar, “Standing Tall” 1994

 

This is what I am talking about.  The training is about walking and talking God’s truth daily.  It does not mean we are perfect, but that we are able to show our weaknesses as well as our strengths.  We need to show our kids that God creates strength from our weaknesses.  There is a loud voice trying to wake up our countries Christian fathers.  I am afraid though we have ear plugs in or are ignoring this loud call.

“The Christian world is in a deep sleep. 

Nothing but a loud voice can waken them out of it.”

-George Whitefield, 1739

 

Guys, I cannot tell you what to do or how to raise your kids.  I cannot make you do anything you are not entirely willing to do from your heart.  This is not a legalistic set of rules or point of view even though it is my opinion.  I abhor legalism in all of its form when it comes to the scriptures and the life God would have each of us live.  However, I am simply challenging you to rethink how you are training your children, especially the boys and how you are living as an example for them today.  Is it with sacrifice or from a life of pure luxury?  At the age of 7, are you training warriors to do battle for their future wives, children, countrymen, and ancestry or just over educated athletes in hopes of landing that multi-million dollar contract so they can buy more boats, larger houses, more jewelry and filthier women?  What is their view of supporting the ministries that abound in their area today?  Do they have a worldly view or a biblical world view?  Can you see a servant’s heart or a future adult that will be demanding and hard to live with?  Think about what is important in this life that enhances your eternal life and the eternal life of others.  Out of your actions and training which of those give glory to the Lord?  Does baseball, football, basketball, the finest schools, dances, an exotic vacation, or other activities like these have an eternal purpose?  They could have, but just think for a moment how it is coming across to the kids.  Does giving them every single toy they ask for prepare them for the battles ahead in life?  Does saying yes to their every plea really give them a proper outlook on the future?  Does taking their side in every argument truly help them in preparation for debating the liberal left wing of this world?  Do they see you react to a problem with prayer and digging into your Bible or do they observe you speaking harshly of that person or problem and vow your revenge? 

Men, I am not bringing this message from an attitude of having all the answers or that I always do it right, because that would be a bold face lie.  I battle the same sins and problems you do.  I battle the same pride and ego that every man fights.  But the truth is what it is, guys.  I cannot speak totally from example, but simply from God’s truth.  We need fighters, warriors, kids that grow up knowing the Bible and believing that the Bible is completely true as the inspired word of God and fall in love with their Lord Jesus Christ.  Our world can stand young men that will be devoted to their wives, children, and country and see them as a blessing upon their lives rather than a curse. 

 Today, I encourage you to pray sincerely about all that you have read here.  Reach down deep into the pit of your heart to find that which God placed in your heart years ago.  Lift up your family, co-workers, in-laws, and enemies in prayer.  Dress down spiritually and put it all on the table, guys.  Leave it with the Lord…all of it…the hurt, the pain, the tears, the stress, the financial problems, sexual problems, weaknesses, family problems…all of it.  Leave nothing behind to carry on with you.  Then take a long deep breath and set there for a while in silence to listen to hear if God will speak to you.  It may take Him days, weeks, months or years to speak, but He will speak to you.  See if He speaks, not audibly, but spiritually, through His word, through His people, and through the circumstances.  It is better to not move a muscle until you hear God speak then to do anything that would be in direct disobedience to His calling upon your life. 

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”    Philippians 4:8-9 (NAS)

 

Guys think on a few questions this very day:

-Would the Lord have you change anything about your life, the treatment of your wife and children and then the training of your children?

-What change can you make today that would be positively noticeable to your family when you got home from work that would inspire them to want to follow you and serve the Lord more? 

What changes would bring glory to Christ today?

-Do you have a servant’s heart like Christ or is pride and ego in the way?

-Why do you go to church, bible studies, and other “religious” functions?

-What kind of men do you hang around with everyday?

-Most importantly, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are you just playing church or religion because it is the cultural thing to do? 

This is serious guys…your life and the lives of our children and grand-children depend on the decisions we make today….tomorrow may be too late.

Scott Bailey 2007 ©  

*Disclaimer:  In no way am I against sports, athletes, vacations, or money.  Joe Lewis, the late great boxer, once said that “no, money isn’t everything, but it sure ranks right up there with air…try to live without for a day.”  Each of us have a God given purpose in life and is according to what God’s desire for our lives are and we should be obedient to Him in that purpose if we want to live a successful life.  That could mean a pro baseball career for example or using your income to provide for families in need that live around you.  So, please reread this with an open heart and mind and look at it from God’s side as to what He might be seeing in us right now.  He wants us to be completely devoted to Him in all things and my heart felt belief is that we have missed this as dads on nearly all accounts…I am as convicted of this in my heart as anyone else. 

May God bless you as you go out each day to provide for your family and as you work hard to make that much needed time to spend with your wife and children.

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Christmas At Uz!

Posted by Scott on December 26, 2007

From the Writings of Ray Stedman

Christmas At Uz

READ: Job 42:10-11

All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him apiece of silver and a gold ring (Job 42:11).

Doesn’t that sound like Christmas? I suppose you are saying, “Wait a minute. Come on, this is not Christmas! Why, this was long before anyone ever celebrated Christmas! This is two thousand years before Christ came. How could there be Christmas in the book of Job?”

The first thing to note about this is that the occasion that is described here is a family gathering. Job’s brothers and sisters and all his friends who had known him before are getting together. The uncles and aunts are there as well as all the cousins, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren. By this time Job is a seventy-year-old man or even older, and though his own children had all perished, he must have had grandchildren and great-grandchildren by now, and all the neighbors and friends had brought their families. So this was a great family occasion as Christmas is for us and always has been.

The second thing you see here is that this was a time of feasting. They gathered to eat together, and we do that today. We start with stuffed turkey, and we end with stuffed people! This has always been the custom at Christmas. Throughout history and in most cultures where Christmas is recognized, feasting has been a part of the Christmas celebration.

Then there is another thing here that we can associate with Christmas. It is what we would call fellowship. Job’s family and friends gathered to comfort him and to express sympathy and understanding for all the pain and suffering he had been going through.

The giving of gifts also brings to mind Christmas. These friends gave to Job gifts of silver and gold. In the Bible these two metals are used symbolically as a picture of redemption. Silver is the sign of redemption, and gold is the picture of deity; God redeeming people. That is why this is Christmas at Job’s house. Job’s witness to his friends evidently had such effect upon them that in gratitude for what they learned from him, they gave him gifts of silver and gold to express their understanding of God’s redemption among people.

Job discovered two thousand years before Jesus’ birth and eventual death on the cross that One was coming into the world, and, as the angel said to Mary, “He will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). This is what brings joy and gladness to believers’ hearts at Christmas time. If you know the Lord Jesus, you have the greatest gift God can give to a person. Out of the richness of your life you will find yourself gladly sharing from all that you have with those who have less, that there may be the ringing out of joy and thanksgiving in a season like this.

Thank You, Lord, for the greatest gift—the gift of Your Son.

This daily devotion was inspired by one of Ray’s sermons. Please read “Christmas At Uz” (or listen to the audio file  Listen to Ray) for more on this portion of scripture.

-Scott Bailey 2007

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Men Delivered From Manifold Troubles!

Posted by Scott on December 13, 2007

Men delivered from Manifold TroublesMy bible gives a sub-title to Psalm 107 and it reads: The Lord Delivers Men from manifold Troubles. Listen to what it says in PS. 107:23-31 “Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters; they have seen the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep.  For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; their soul melted away in their misery. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet; So, He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His loving kindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!”

Most of you have read my wife’s email concerning my liver condition and what “appears” to be NEXT for us physically. And I, not unlike my wife, was thinking that “just two more sessions of chemo” then we get a break; then the liver function tests seem to want to prove different. So many of you out there are experiencing similar situations. You are tossed to and fro, like a little life raft out on the magnificent ocean of life. You stagger around as if “drunken” and still your feet remain “steadfast” to the deck of the boat of your life. One wave after another and you continue to get up, dust yourself off, and continue on the mission that God has chosen for you.

Well, nothing has changed here in our lives. We get up, thank God for His grace, and continue on in the direction He has sent us. For my liver function to go from 100k to 1.62 million is very dramatic in man’s eyes; “But God“! Up to and including today, God has provided me with a ministry of such tremendous magnitude and there is nothing that can stop it now. Psalms 46:10 says: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth“. That helps to remind me that NONE of this is “for me”. Be still and know that I am God. I’m here and I’m working it out. Just believe in Me and see the Glory of God.

Are you standing in the boat tonight, swaying to and fro from the treacherous winds of your life, not knowing where to place your next step. Anchor Deep. Stand Still. Remember that He is God! And let Him have His way with your life. You’ll be at more peace when you do. You wonder, “How can you know for sure, Dave”? Well, all I can say is “I’m standing in the boat”!

Be at peace. 

About the Author
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Dave Stallings lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife of 36 years, Barbara, Who also suffers a serious chronic illness, and their dog, Captain Jack…along with their kids and grand kids ! Dave is a semi-retired pastor and loves to blog on his personal web page since being diagnosed with Stage IV incurable non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two and a half years ago..his motto is “It is what it is and God is not surprised”….his blog is
www.nowwhataz.blogspot.com, his personal testimony can be read at www.nowwhataz.org and he can be reached by email at dstallings2@qwest.net

-Scott Bailey 2007

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The Power of His Presence II!

Posted by Scott on October 22, 2007

Daily Devotions

From the Writings of Ray Stedman

 

Help From The Sanctuary

READ: Psalm 20

May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion (Psalm 20:2).

That is wonderful–“help from the sanctuary”! The sanctuary is always a picture of the place where we meet with God. In Israel it was the temple, the place where the Israelites came to get their thoughts straightened out, to get their thinking corrected. There they met with God, and there they heard the Word of God, the mind and thoughts of God.

In Psalm 73 the psalmist is deeply troubled by the prosperity of the wicked, that perennial problem that can still bother us: Why do the ungodly prosper while the righteous seem to be downtrodden all the time? This had upset him–until he finally went into the sanctuary. There he began to perceive their end. There he began to see the whole story; he began to see the frill picture, and his thoughts were corrected. This is what the sanctuary does.

For us the sanctuary is the Scriptures. There is where we get help. It is there that our minds are illuminated, that we begin to see the world the way it is, not the way it appears to be. There is not one of us who has not already learned that life is not the way it seems to be, that what looks to be the answer and what we are convinced at first is the way things are often turns out to be exactly the opposite. Life is filled with illusion, with deceit; things are not what they appear to be. Doesn’t your heart cry for somebody to tell you the truth, to tell you the way things really are, to open your eyes to what is going on? That is what the Bible does. And unless you are in the Scriptures, there is no help. “May you find help in the sanctuary, in the Scriptures,” is the psalmist’s prayer, “that your eyes might be enlightened and you might understand.”

Help from the sanctuary and support from Zion. Zion is another name for Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom. In the Scriptures it stands as a symbol of the invisible kingdom of God with which we are surrounded, made up of ministering angels sent forth to serve those who are to be the heirs of salvation. In other words, all the invisible help that God can give you in the day of trouble, in the hour of pressure, is made available by prayer.

Remember that in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus was praying and sweating drops of blood in the height of His agony, an angel appeared and ministered to Him and strengthened Him. That angel was made visible to Him in order that we might be taught a lesson of what happens when we pray. I have gone into prayer depressed and defeated, but while I have prayed I have felt my spirits caught up, changed, and strengthened. I came out calm, at rest, and at peace. Why? Because I have received help from Zion.

Lord, there are far too many places I turn in times of trouble. Teach me to turn to your sanctuary for the help that I need.

-Scott Bailey 2007

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