Wednesday, February 29, 2012


THE INCARNATION....Why did the Father choose to send His Only Son to Earth


As we continue through this Lent season, let us turn to the scripture to remind us of the sacrifice the Father made when he sent his only Son to be crucified for the sins of mankind.

There are a number of verses that I choose to meditate on during this time. Each verse helps me realize even more the truth of Christianity and reminds me why I need to continue spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ to the world.

John 3:16 is perhaps one of the most popular Bible verses. It states that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” From this verse, we know that Jesus Christ was crucified to give those who believe in him eternal life. What does “eternal life” mean, though?

In John 14:1-4, Jesus tells his disciples that he will be leaving them soon and to comfort them he says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas answers Jesus by saying, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

In John 14:6, Jesus replies by saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

These verses tell me that I must believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings, in order to receive eternal life with God.

In 1 Corinthians 15:56-57, we are told “the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” These verses reiterate that, without Jesus Christ, we would have no victory, no salvation from sin.

Jesus Christ was sent to walk on Earth with man to save us through his crucifixion, but he also brought to us the teachings of love, forgiveness and meekness.  Below are a few favorite verses of Jesus’ teachings in truth. We tend to take these things for granted; viewing them as common place values. However, these were original teachings of Jesus Christ (and were originally thought to be radical and illogical by many of those who heard him teach). 

Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
Matthew 5:27-28
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Matthew 5:38-39
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Matthew 5:43:45
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

God bless you through your Christian journey. May you find enlightenment through these teachings and continue to seek the truth through the Word of God.

Whitney Reed



Over the past year, the question of a person falling from grace...and actually losing one's position as a child of God has been popping up in some of the unlikeliest places.  Just this week, I was also asked this very question. Therefore, in short, let's try to examine most of the following issues to clear up this matter, once and for all!

There is the issue of the 'backsliding' christian. 
There are those who simply walk away from Jesus, like Nascar driver Jeff Gordon, who was once the poster boy of the Nascar Christian.   
There is also the Role of God's Holy Spirit in all of this.

For those who say a Christian can lose his/her salvation, their argument revolved around the following short passage: "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been partakers of the Holy Spirit, and having tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame." Hebrews 6:4-6.

Before extrapolating that to Christians today, let us realize this book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, who were left leaderless when the Jewish priests killed James, the half brother of Jesus. James, author of the great book of James, was the leader of the Jerusalem church. Because there was now no church leader in the Capitol city of Christianity, Messianic Followers of the Way, were under heavy assault by the Judaizers to get back under the Law of Moses, in order to just live and get food! 

These believers did not backslide, but were under assault by teachers of the Law to add good works as well as all the ceremonial laws, which Christ did away with on the Cross!

If a modern teacher or pastor uses Hebrews 6:4-6 to say that a person can lose his/her salvation, they will clash with the clear actual translation from the original Greek! The phrase from Verse 4 "those who have once been enlightened" actually does the opposite of the "Lose Your Salvation" proponents!

Witness - "once (hapax) been enlightened (photizo)"....HAPAX means - once and for all. PHOTIZO means brought into the light....that is - rescued from the domain of darkness or hell!

Right off, the Word says - you are saved ONCE AND FOR ALL!

In Verse 6, we need to look at two phrases and here is the first "and then have fallen away" . The original word for this is "parapipto" or fallen from a close position as a follower of Christ! 

Then the phrase from Verse 6 " it is impossible to renew them again to repentance" rounds off the core of what we are discussing.

Basically, from the original text, the Word says in plain English - "if you, Mr or Ms Christian, falls from grace,  it becomes more and more impossible to change your mind and align it with the Mind of Christ...(the broadest meaning of Repentance)".

Therefore, Hebrew Verse number 4 says that we are saved once and for all. Then verse number 6 says you can sure fall from grace and get to the point where your love grows cold.

Jesus Himself confirms this passage in Revelation 2:1-5, when He lays into the Church of Ephesus. Jesus fleshes out the concept of what I just laid out from Hebrews 6:4 and 6, when He says in Revelation 2:2-5 "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."

The Lord says in Rev. 2:5 that they had fallen flat on their face..and fallen or backslidden really bad. He gave the church a chance to repent. He did not take away their salvation. 


Which leads us to this. John 10: 27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me". Jesus sheep is us.

Now here is the KEY VERSE IN ALL OF THIS...the very next one -  John 10 Verse 28 "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.

We hear Him because His Spirit - the Holy Spirit of God - lives in us! This is the same Holy Spirit Who hovered over the unformed space called Earth, and spoke Creation into being!

If we say that people can lose their salvation, we are basically, well, to put it mildly, saying that JESUS MISSPOKE!  Do we really want to "go there"?!

If we say "God says it, and I believe it", we have to believe Him and His declarations here as well. The New Testament believer, who has been actually converted...AND THIS IS IMPORTANT, cannot lose the Holy Spirit, Whom the Bible says HAS SEALED US UNTIL THE DAY OF REDEMPTION!

There is NO doubt the Holy Spirit has the lead role here. 

For this logical and literal argument, which I have laid out to PROVE a Person cannot lose their salvation, there has to be a TRUE CONVERSION and not the typical majority of American "Christians", who raise their hands, walked an aisle or just call themselves 'christians' or 'evangelicals'!

True Conversion is the person who is a new Creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17) because he was literally born again or rejuvenated in the spirit-man by Conviction of the Holy Spirit; then there was Repentance of all that sin which He reveals; then seeking, obeying, believing, trusting and accepting the Free Gift of God.

Once this person is converted or "saved", he or she now has a commitment to make - and that is to submit to the Will of God through Christ and determine to live like Him. If this is done, He is now LORD of your life NOW, here on earth! Most Christians or church go-ers have big problems here in America with that one. For most Americans or western christian THEY are the lords of their lives, not Jesus. Those are the ones who easily fall away, when hard times or persecution hits.

So, can a person really lost their salvation? For the professing "Christian" who has never been born again, the answer is YES. For the rest of us, who have the Holy Spirit living in us and are saved - the answer is NO! We cannot lose our salvation.

(Image by Bing Images)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012



16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Romans 1:16-18
How can there be shame in the gospel? For it is Good News of the revelation of God , of Himself, to mankind to show perfection and flesh as ONE. What we first ‘heard’ we then ‘saw’ and now ‘do’.

The shame in the gospel is thus: Jesus was denied by those closest to Him. Jesus was mocked and scourged (Mark 10:34). The Messiah – the unblemished Lamb that came to be the propitiation, or complete appeasement, of sin, was spat upon and hung on a cross with a thief.

But even, more! We deny speaking His name as it is not a part of our cultural vernacular. Jesus is considered and outsider to conversation because we are uncomfortable and the one we converse with is as uncomfortable.

It can be said shame exists even in our walk with God. However, here it is said “I am not ashamed”. Say it and pray it. In the gospel is God’s revelation of righteousness.  As Matthew Henry states (paraphrased) the first faith is from God, Christ yet unseen, to the last faith, Christ thus come and risen. The just or righteous, the obedient and law-abiding, shall live by the last faith and we shall know this faith is evolved. For as once faith was unseen and then fulfilled through the stripes on Jesus’ back,  it is also our initial commitment to Him,  and the works of obedience we do and loyalty we have thereafter.

Wrath of God is now the eternal separation from our God because there is no righteousness where faith is absent. Where faith is absent, God yearns for our heart. We believe God. No wrath is greater than eternal separation in our unrighteousness and what seems righteous to the world is folly. Every man has his set of values. Each man a little different. Without a focal point of moral judgement and an Absolute moral standard, all is relative, it is Relativism. The concept is a simple one. A relative moral standard is diluted by the very body that claims it’s truth.

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” 1 Cor 1:25

Man alone in a self-centered wisdom cannot even approach God’s wisdom. Therefore, a claim that has been diluted holds even less merit. Man is foolish in his claims of goodness.

So let is be said, we are saved into righteousness through Jesus Christ and our hearts soar to His elevated throne. Righteousness is for we who are just. We who are just are righteous because we have faith. We have faith because we know that faith was first heard then seen on the cross. I plead you hear these words. Seek Jesus unashamed. Follow Him unashamed. Speak His name to the world so man will hear. 

It is Good News that all sin is appeased and placed on the cross and death is defeated. Life is born for we who seek it. We have eternity. We are the just and faithful.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Well, I just finished listening to some phone preaching...what a different experience!
But at the end of it, I was reminded that I SHOULD NOT be depending on OTHER people to get a word from God.

God communicates with His people all of the time.  He does not do for one what he wouldn't not do for another.

As Joyce Meyer says run to the Throne not the phone.

I don't need to listen to a preacher just to see if I'm going to get a Word from God.  To get a Word from God all I need to do is ASK God.

Not that the teaching wasn't good because it was.. but I need to rely on God.

I am facing alot of difficulties right now... if I thought about it too much I would probably not be as peaceful as God's Grace has allowed me to be lol  So the devil sees that I have a weakness and he is trying to take full advantage of it.  Having me look for answers to my problems in other places... like GOD isn't big enough to handle my situation.

I'm just going to shout it out.
Say it out loud.
God is BIG enough to handle my situation... 
Say it again.
God is BIG enough to handle my situation... 

Say it until you BELIEVE IT.  Write it on a Post-It note as I often do to truths that I am trying to keep at the front of my mind.

Don't run to anybody but GOD for answers unless GOD directs you to seek answers from somebody.  Sometimes I am lead by the Holy Spirit to turn on a program and I get a PHENOMENAL Words from it.   BUT that is God the Holy Spirt speaking to us and not us grasping at anything that looks promising within our vision.  Usually when I feel a tug to watch a program the lesson I get isn't the lesson I thought I need God to send a Word to me about! lol

We need to re align our vision and focus on God.  When you focus on God everything else will disappear. :)

I pray this blesses you tonight and I am thankful to God for his revelation and reminder to me tonight that God IS Big enough.  There is nobody greater nobody more worthy nobody as perfect as my Loving God.  

Psalm 84:11(ESV): For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

He won't withhold anything from YOU either.

Crystal is a popular blogger. Click here for her website.
She is a married mom of seven beautiful kids and often featured here!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


(Family Conclusion)

The assault on the Family will never stop until Jesus sets down on Mt Zion, splitting the mountain in half and wiping out all who have rebelled (this is accurately prophesied in the Bible).

Witness the following:
- A family meets in San Diego county AT THEIR HOME for Bible study. The San Diego sheriff shows up to shut them down. The matter is now in California court.
- California judges are now being asked to state their sexual orientation by Governor Moonbeam and his indoctrination camps. This is to insure only gay-friendly judges are allowed on the bench...and is also unconstitutional, but that has never stopped socialists. This is also designed to destroy the traditional nuclear family.
- California public schools are forced to teach the gay agenda, through new textbooks and curricula, to kids (due to a law signed by Brown in July 2011) while prohibiting parents from removing their kids from this forced indoctrination.....and on and on, ad nauseum, ad infinitum....

Not just California (which will feel the Wrath of God so badly one day, they would wish there were Baghdad), but all across the country, every entity - from liberal school districts, perverted politicians and corrupt city halls to the liberal media and yes, the church - the family structure God created to inhabit the earth, is being targeted for destruction, on purpose!

We can all trace it back to the Garden of Eden when Eve negotiated with a filthy serpent, while Adam stood by and watched his wife talking with a stinking snake! Yes, since then, fathers have fallen down on their jobs, gone weak and passive and let the snake rule his home. Adam, who knew and saw the Shekinah Glory of the Living God...Adam, who walked and talked daily with Jesus...Adam, who knew what it was to be a man of destiny and dominion...that Adam, turn his back on Jesus to follow a snake.

Since then, we have King David, not satisfied with the wives he had, weaseled out on his troops and spent the time on a roof top ogling Bathsheba. The fruit of that abomination is Solomon, whose sons not just destroyed Israel but Solomon's pagan worship led to Israel being a secular godless society today. Abraham's refusal to say NO when Sarah told him to sleep with Hagar, gave us Ishmael and every terrorist in the middle east. 

If you fast forward to the 1960's and the massive debt-ridden trillion dollar Great Society social experiments by US President Lyndon Johnson and the liberals, we can trace the breakdown of not just the entire African American family, but those in rural Caucasian America. When government assumed, on purpose, the Role of Father, weak men pulled an Adam, and let their women negotiate with the snake....this time, the snake had grown to the size and spirit of Leviathan! 

(By the way, if you ever wondered why, or where Evolution and the attack on the Book of Genesis and Creation came from, look no further than Genesis 3. The evil one does not want anyone, especially those in the church, to know he is out there, and the devastation he has wrought! So he has built a lie - the Lie of the Big for another study, some other time!)

All of the inner city decay, death, destruction and despair can be traced back to  President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was never saved and is now regretting everything he ever did. For most of the past 2000 years, the Church had been the meeting house and bedrock of the family. 

It was Christians who started the first missions to help the poor.
It was Christians who started the first hospitals.
It was Christians who started the first universities and schools.

Christians give the most to charities that feed mostly non-christians. Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse ministers to disaster areas, behind the scenes, while loud-mouth politicians, who never give a penny of their own money, decry those who do.

All of this came about because God established the Christian Family as the core of civilized society, when He sent the Apostle Paul to Rome to establish the Spread of the Gospel. This blog is not long enough to go into the history of how the early Christians lived, survived persecution, flourished, survived persecution again during the Reformation and then landed in America - once known as the land of the Free!

Today, in 2012, we see the most vicious frontal assault on the family of God ever. We see it from the highest echelons of power to the lowly city council alderman. We see it happen because parents and churches have become by-standers and enablers like Adam, while perverted and corrupt minorities set the tone and agenda to corrupt and destroy our children.

We sit by while Hollywood feeds the vilest trash on Television, night after night.
We sit by while comedians make foul jokes against traditional institutions and laugh with them.
We sit by while music promotes alternate lifestyles and have no idea if our children are downloading these songs to their ipods.
We sit by while pastors and churches in New York City are arrested for praying, by that mayor Bloomberg, and all we do and say is "we will pray for you"....and never do.
We sit by while churches are burned in islamic countries while cowering when the media say Christians are the problem. 
We sit by while the entire secular world gives us the finger, then throw up our hands and wish "Jesus would come and rapture us now"!


Men of God, where are you? You and your mega-churches said nothing when Bill Devlin and Manhattan Bible Church, in NYC and 60 other poor churches were kicked out of the empty school buildings they were renting. Rich Mega-church  pastors like A.R. Bernard and Tim Keller only ended up making "statements of support" for the real brethren out there, after the Christian Post and some of the persecuted pastors embarrassed them for their silence over the travesty happening this very month, in New York City. No thanks to Keller and these other rich dudes, a Federal Judge just this Friday told the City that the churches had to be allowed to rent the buildings.

Here is what God told Adam after he allowed Eve to not just eat the forbidden fruit, but then to eat it himself "And to Adam He said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.
(Genesis 3:17-19 ESV)

Men, it does not matter to  if you're an atheist politician, a corrupt businessman,  the local electrican or Mega-church pastor, GOD IS GOING TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR THIS ABOMINATION YOU HAVE ALLOWED!

Men, you and every man, who stood by, while the Culture, the Media, Big Education, Big Government and Big Lies destroyed the traditional family, will answer and unless you are barely saved by the Blood of Christ, you have no idea what the Wrath of God will be like. Men, you who are not walking in the Light of Christ, will wish you were stick in traffic again on an LA Freeway, or some such thing.

So why  no mention of moms and single moms....well, as a man whose father died when I was eleven and being raised by a single mom, I know what it took to get here - it was prayer and my Heavenly Father - no welfare state and no man in the house. Moms and the women of God have their own sin and other issues to deal with, which is not the focus of this message. It was Men whom God called to lead the family. As a man and the leader of several men's ministries currently and in the past, I know exactly what my role is.

Those whom God has ordained, He called and equipped. Men, put on your robes of righteousness now, or be stripped of your command one day. Our Nation, our Family used to be UNDER GOD, now it is mercilessly UNDER ATTACK.

The time is now, to correct Jesus' Name, amen.

(image courtesy Google Images)

Friday, February 24, 2012


"To her, the name of father, was another name for love..."

                                                                      Fanny Fern

When I first started this series of family, earlier this week, I knew it would be easy to write about something I knew about - boys. As a father and a follower of Jesus Christ, I know what He expects of men. Therefore it is easy to pass that on to younger men or just people in general. Yesterday's blog got some major feedback from significant folks who blessed these efforts and provided more encouragement to proceed.

Raising and leaving a Legacy through a teenage daughter (through the eyes of this father) is another story. From time to time on this week, I could not help but analyze how to approach this, in a meaningful way....and came up with no major revelation!

Any mom, from across America, Canada, Australia, Finland or South Africa (where this blog is read) can do a better job than I could, explaining my own daughter Sarah. In fact, what I am noticing more and more on the internet or social media etc. is that the most popular blogs and websites, for families, are run by moms!

I have yet to come across any site run by a dad dedicated to raising girls. In my case, while I wish I had two or more daughters to raise, the one teenager we have at home now is quite a handful. At the same time, what a joy she is! What I have noticed, for the most part of daily life, no matter how the day went, at the end of each day, our daughter goes through this wonderful routine of hugs and kisses before bed with both my wife and I. This underscores not just our love as a family, but the impact we would appear to be having on her as parents.

Spending time with Sarah is uniquely different from the boys...and as it should be! I have been doing more, going on more shopping dates or movie dates with her, since our two sons got older and part-time jobs to pay for their car maintenance! Since way before Christmas, we have gone to fashion shows; teenage stores in the mall; fancy yogurt shops with her BFF's and the one that shocked me the most - the best World War II movie I ever saw - REDTAILS! In fact, I would not have even gone to see that movie if she didn't bug me to take her on opening night. Sure enough, she was one of the very few girls there in a large theater packed with men and a few wives!

Of course, all of the physical issues of growing from my baby 8 year old to preteen to teenager, are handled by Vicki, but developing this once in a lifetime relationship with my daughter has become one of the most exciting things of this past year! She is loyal and very strong-willed.  Just like her brothers, she was saved as a young child. Unlike most adults, who claim to be saved, she can remember when it happened and can discuss the Gospel in real terms. Just this past week, I was explaining what  Cessationism is, after she revealed a certain incident that happened in a class last weekend.

To me, this is an overflow of walking with the Lord and growing children up in the church, the correct way. The incorrect way leads to rebellion against God and Christ by pastor's kids (PK's) who long to bust free, because their parents have to appear a certain way, all the time. What we have raised our own children to do, with fine-tuning (depending on the kid), is to think for themselves and never force them to attend this or that extra-church event. What we have since discovered is each of them are now stepping up to read Scripture aloud or sing a gospel song or discuss the error of baptismal regeneration!

I like what John Gregory Brown said here "There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself".

My wife and I are not wealthy people but what we are is rich in love and the sense of the Christian family. We would never trade that for anything in this dying world. In practice, ours is a faith which reaches out by its love, but nevertheless, is grounded in Truth. We believe telling people the Truth is  love. What we're doing here is allowing God's little daughter, whom He placed in our care, to blossom into one day, the woman I may be forced to give away down a wedding aisle! But that too, will be a legacy.

Because of the time spent walking, talking, praying with and in discipleship with her, neither my wife nor I ever felt the need to read any book about "Bringing up Daughters". For discipline, grounding her from her friends is all that's needed to alter a certain shortcoming.

During my difficulty of two surgeries, about 3 years ago, when I was laid up for a total of 8 weeks, my favorite nurse was my then 11 year old Sarah! Still, I know both her and her mom have these long drawn out discussions. When these things happen, I turn immediately around and leave the room! This is the way it will be until Sarah is in her 20's and sees things a little differently.

There really is no advise to give anyone about raising a daughter! I will leave that to all the dear women who raise 2,3 or even 4 daughters and still keep smiling and driving that mini-van around to soccer or volleyball practice! In this celebration of family this shortened week, it is an honor to celebrate the life of our only daughter....who is now bringing us more joy. Just a few days ago, I was back in the Indoor Soccer rink for the first time in over 7 years, as yet another kid took up indoor soccer! It felt great to be back with that kid-like enthusiasm and joy we get from cheering on a loved one!

In conclusion, when I lay on my dying bed and look at our kids, I would want to be as completely satisfied as I am right now, that I represented my Father in Heaven, to my little Sarah, by being her father here on earth. That will be, most certainly, the greatest legacy any person can hand off to the next generation!
In Jesus' Name, amen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Webster's dictionary define's Legacy as "something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past". In other words, Legacy is sort of like "passing the torch" from one generation to another.

Many of us who are parents (of any age), most likely, did not grow up in a household where this was taught or expected. It may have been implicitly known, but never formally recognized and never made a ceremony. Societies of old, even some in agrarian America (pre-1800's Industrial age), practiced rites of passage where a young person is transitioned from a teen into adulthood. 

In the purely honorable and biblical sense, this is a good thing. The Jews bar-mitzvah their boys where on the boy's 13th birthday wherehe is required to start keeping the 'mitzvos' or Laws of God. The new teen is now a "son of the Commandment"! All Jewish men must keep these. Of course, in essence and truth, no one can keep all 613 Laws and commandments. The Catholic and mainline equivalent of this is Confirmation, but it is nothing compared to a Bar Mitzvah!

I did not grow up in any of these systems, except for the Confirmation part. Being one of six children, I was very close to my father until he died suddenly of a heart attack at the young age of 51. I was only 11 and it basically wrecked my life for decades. For most of my life, I had no positive male influence after that, except for my youth group leader who, thankfully, took me on missions trips and youth events. My male relatives' favorite hobby was not the Word of God (except for Christmas and Easter morning church), but drinking and partying.

At the Catholic prep school I attended, I began a search for the meaning of Life. Existentialism and Albert Camus attracted me. I looked into all religions and found them all wanting. I thought manhood was a form of religion and then, mostly wine, women and song. Fortunately, my family and school-trained morality never allowed me to pursue a life of wanton lust. When I was finally saved in 1988, by the Spirit of the Living God, and  gave up fleshly pursuits, I still had nowhere to turn. I remember sitting in a chapel on top of a mountain, going "what now, Lord"?! I took time off work, as my encounter with the Living Jesus was at 4am August 16, 1988 on a work day!

Fast forward to 1996 and my first Promise Keepers event at Soldier Field in Chicago and am in a new thing called a small group, where men are supposed to confess their Father Wounds and talk and pray about it. This did not freak me out, as long before I was saved, I was briefly part of the charismatic Catholic movement of the early 1970's.  But it was still new. I had no Father wound, having no father to speak of, after age 11! 

What followed was years and years of going to men's conferences and seeking advice or counsel from older men, who could or would teach me the Ways of the Lord.


For the most part, I still had and have no real mentor but the Holy Spirit. He has led me to the Knowledge of all Truth and Wisdom in Christ. He has counseled me... upbraided me... disciplined me... brought me low... led me to my knees...had me on my face...and more! I do have a wonderful older brother in faith, a retired pastor named Doc, who speaks Truth and Prayer into my life for years now....and whom I trust with my life!  Every man should have an older man as his spiritual guide, brother and friend, to whom he can turn, at any time!

Through it all, God has given me a passion and zeal for Jesus and the Bible which NO ONE and I mean nobody, can take away! Jesus is my First and Second Nature now.

All of this is a long introduction to say, I am like every other man who had no formal introduction to becoming a Man of God and neither was I given a Legacy. But when God saved me and then gave me two sons, He expected me to start one of my own -BASED ON HIM!

To that end, I have raised my sons - Bernie (19) and Sam (16) - to be men of God. Not only have they grown up in the church, but for years, I took them to Promise Keepers men's events with me, where 13 and 11 year old boys got to hang out with Jesus loving, Spirit-worshiping men of God in the open and then eat out at at IHOP in St Louis or Peoria!

My sons have gone with me to several parades each time for many years, passing out hundreds of gospel tracts and still do when I ask. They minister all the time now with us at senior homes and in the churches we are invited to over the years. But still, that is not enough. I am not a pastor, even though I am must be the only licensed Five Fold Southern Baptist minister I know, who can preach in either a Baptist, Bible, Nazarene or Pentecostal church! God has made a way.

Our boys - Sam and Bernie - can do all the "Christianese", which have led many a PK (Pastor Kid) astray, and still not be walking with the Lord. I know that too well, since with the Spirit's leading, I had to bring myself up in the Ways of God over 20 plus years!

I wanted my sons to be real Men of God! So how do I do that? Where do I turn? Fortunately, before I became the President of Business Men in Christ, a powerful and growing men's ministry here in Central Illinois, I was part of a movement which came out of Fellowship Bible Church, Little Rock, Arkansas. Developed by Dr. Robert Lewis, this movement - Mens Fraternity -really changed my life, starting in 2001-2002.

My good friend and our youth leader at the time was a man named Bryan McKenzie, who was once a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, and had the same burning fire for Christ. He brought this new thing to us called THE GREAT ADVENTURE, and this did it! I not only stopped chasing windmills or reading books about Jesus, but found out how He wired me for His Word; found myself in Him and the Bible only and have been flying high on the Holy Ghost since!

Now, 11 years later, I can't wait for the next day or the next event to pass on to my sons....or to share the Truth with someone else. I met Dr. Lewis, who created this now worldwide phenomenon in the men's ministry movement at the Southern Baptist Convention (I left the Catholic church a couple decades ago now). Dr. Lewis took one look at me and with a huge smile on his face said "you're living the Great Adventure, aren't you?"! This was in 2006 and I love that guy!


Long before the Lord led me to the woman, who is now my wife, I promised Him if He ever gave me kids, I would give them back to Him. Therefore, I am now in the process of so-doing and it is now in a different phase. I wanted Bernie and Sam to live the Great Adventure too! So I got the Father/Son Version of it to bring the three of us closer together as Authentic Men of God.

We are now not just Father and Son but co-inheritors of the kingdom.

What I have done over the past almost six weeks and sessions of this curriculum is have Dr. Lewis teach us on DVD what an Authentic Man really is. This is not just Four Pillars of a Man's Heart stuff. This is bold in your face manhood - from the Bible.

What my sons and I are growing into as a knowledge of not just how the First Adam screwed up royally in the Garden, by watching a stinking serpent deceive his wife and then sin with her, but how the Second Adam - JESUS - corrected all of that perversion for eternity!

The best gift a Father can pass on to a son is Jesus and WHO they ARE in HIM. We have enough bibles in this house to supply half a village...and have done so through a ministry called Love Packages (which sends used bibles to Third World countries). What boys need to learn from their elders and dads mostly, is how to WALK out all that talk in the Bible about David and Paul and Peter etc!

We have learned the Four characteristics of a man - the Warrior, King, Friend and Lover. 

We have learned the following four Attributes of an Authentic man of God:

- An Authentic man is NOT like Adam, so he rejects Passivity and will not stand by and watch everyone or everything God has given us to be stewards of, go down the drain!
- An Authentic man accepts responsibility! Through a couple fender benders and now part time jobs as well as school, both sons are learning not just money management but a level of responsibility to family.
- An Authentic man leads courageously! Long before the movie Courageous came out, we were walking that road. But by taking the kids to see it, the message of Courageous manhood, fathers and more has been driven home to them, fearlessly!
- An Authentic man expects God's greater reward! I am not talking about what awaits us in heaven, in our Father's House. The reward is a life lived well RIGHT NOW! The minute one is saved, eternity begins! Many in the church don't see it because to their stuffed shirt pastors, that sounds like charismatic stuff! Well, it ain't! The moment we are now fully a saved and rescued follower of Christ, we are brought into the Eternal Kingdom and can access everything from eternity past as we await eternity future! This is when the Bible comes alive! This is when what Moses wrote in Genesis speaks loudly of His Wonderful matchless Grace! This is Authentic Manhood!

The Reward of an Authentic Man of God is watching his Legacy - his sons - grow into their destiny as they become their OWN men of God, because you brought them up in the way they should go! The great disciple John said this "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth(3 John 1:2-4 ESV)

Finally, as we go through this Legacy building, I plan a ceremony where my two sons and I will be sealing this knowledge into our hearts. This is not going to be some medieval rites of passage! I actually plan something they can do with their own sons someday, if Jesus has not yet returned.

I am gathering two of my older bibles; writing letters to them and getting them a compass and some other personal items that mean a lot to me. I have obtained certain audio teachings called Affections of a Godly man....or how a real man loves God (through Jesus).These items will placed in a box for each son. I will take them to the best barbeque restaurant in town where we will hang out in a private booth and well, the rest will be all Spirit led! Amen!

Have any of us arrived? No! But we have arrived at a moment in time, where we either seize it or throw in the towel. I refuse to let my life go by, without passing on a blessing and legacy to our children. You too can do this. If I am able to assist anyone interested in learning about Authentic Manhood or men's or senior's ministry, feel free to drop me a line here:

To God be the Glory, through Jesus Christ the King, amen.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


February is not only the shortest and fastest moving month of each year (with Valentine's Day and all) but a time to remember a lot of historical events. Nothing is becoming history faster than the traditional North American Family! The typical nuclear family of mom, dad and two or three kids with the suburban home and a privacy fence is slipping fast into the minority. 

This is by no means, a criticism of single moms and their kids or those wonderful grandparents who are now raising their own grandchildren! In fact, I know of a great-grandmother in her energetic 80's who is now raising a great-grandchild! These folks are saints! What this tells me is the men who caused these children to happen failed them by either leaving or not being there, for whatever reason. If anything, this is a HUGE criticism of men - from a fellow man! I know of what I speaking, being a men's ministry leader since 1997....(by the way, in all of Christianity, men's ministry is the most difficult to execute for Jesus! I can explain some other time)! 

What we are seeing though is family re-defined, by mandate, from politicians and judges, who are infringing on our Faith beliefs. These people tell us we have to accept two members of the same sex as they redefine them as a family. What God and His creation tells me is two men or two women in an unnatural relationship are not the same as a mom and dad! Whether these authorities or those in same-sex relationships know it or not, they are under the Law of God against adultery, false gods and if they are granted adoption rights - are in violation of the Commandment of parenting! For instance, how can a child honor "thy father and mother", when society tells that child that he has two dads or two moms?! This alone brings a separate judgment from Christ, Who said that if anyone causes the least of these (young ones) to stumble, it would be better if they had an appointment with a millstone necklace!!! (Read Matthew 18:6

It is hard enough being a regular parent balancing work, bills, obligations, routine home and auto maintenance while raising toddlers and/or teenagers, without outside forces telling us how we should live, eat, drive, pray etc etc... The question is, "Who do these people think they are anyway?!!!"  The other question is "What business is it of some busy body on the local or national news, or some corrupt politician or media person, anyway?" Just recently, we had the United States government telling churches and their supporting organizations they must provide contraception and RU486 abortive pills free of charge to employees! Now, even our churches are not safe from this sort of thing!  

Yes, we deserve a break today! We have Mother's Day coming up....then Father's Day.... Independence, Labor, Veterans, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day....How about American Family Day? We don't need a paid vacation day off for that. We just need to set one aside. Some may say we have family day already and it is the big meal on Thanksgiving or the kids coming home for December 25. That's nice...but those are days of excessive eating and shopping for gifts.

Let's set aside one Sunday per year to fellowship as a family; read together; pray and sing together. If we do that, that one Sunday then becomes two...and three...and pretty soon, we find out we are hooked and woohoo...we're rolling like the Von Trapps in Sound of Music or the Duggers!!

My family is very blessed as we do that several times per month for many years, from when the kids were little and involved with musical instruments. Now, in the past two years, their grand parents have joined us as we added several new senior homes and visit each, monthly, to minister;sing; pray and I share a message from God with the folks there. We kick it off with an after-church Sunday lunch at our home with between 7-10 folks each time, depending on who is going with us! It is really heart warming to watch our teenage sons share their musical gifts with seniors in wheelchairs or 95 year old ladies with walkers and most Sundays especially, these folks have their families visiting. Most of these families never go to church or hear the Gospel, so I get to tell them about Jesus or watch my mother in law share a wonderful testimony, with her sweet home Alabama accent...while my wife sings a Southern Gospel classic to them!

The family that shares and loves and praises Jesus together, stays together. One of the silver linings of these dark and rough economic times is that all across America, young adults moving back home and/or sticking closer to their folks.

Friends, let us all try and leverage these opportunities, not to make scrapbook picture memories alone, but to begin building a legacy - a living legacy. Friends, THIS is what we are called to do. You may not hear this kind of thing in church, but you should...and you are hearing it here now!

Here is what our Father in Heaven told His people...and make no mistake WE TOO are His people, and if we do not do these things, we will be held accountable. Being a parent is the biggest/greatest and most fulfilling occupation we will ever have. 

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)