Saturday, October 27, 2018


“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Listen, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you; the sure mercies of David". (Isaiah 55:1-3)

All through the Word of God - the Bible - our Heavenly Father beckons, calls, beseeches, begs, asks, summons and always directs us to come. He is the God Who invites us to sit at His table. This table is prepared for His Children because He loves us more than the world will ever acknowledge.

How much does God love us? Ask Jesus - He came off the eternal throne of Heaven, was born as a man in a cold stable on an early Fall night and lived to show us HOW we should live. God loved His wayward children so much, He even allowed His one of a kind (only begotten son), Jesus, to literally die on a cross as payment for all our sin, for all time, before rising to Glory to confirm the defeat of Death, and the hope of mankind.

God not only invites us to Heaven, and one day soon - the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, but while we are alive on this earth, and have troubles, trials and pain, He does summon us to not just reason and test Him, but to find comfort, peace and tranquility in Him. You will not find it in any man-made system or in emptying your mind and brain and soul as the eastern mystic religions do. You will not find it in crystals and new-age ungodly mantras and meditation. You can only find it in the pure, unfiltered Word and Mind of Yahweh, the Great God of heaven.

So here, in point form, is an amazing invitation from our loving, merciful, compassion and relationship-building God, our Father Who is in Heaven. The text is from Isaiah 55:1-3 (seen above). As we read these specific, true and guaranteed invitation, let us apply it to our lives and do as He says. It will transform our lives:
-   Come to the Waters (Verse 1a - for those who are thirsty for a drink of life that satisfies).
-   Come, buy and eat....without money (Verse 1b) - the Grace of God is free. Not for sale.
 Listen carefully to me (Verse 2a) - when God speaks, pay attention, for our own good.
 Let your soul delight (Verse 2b) - come, listen and just sit and rest in the love and grace and goodness of our Father,
-   Incline your ear (Verse 3a) - not just listen, but make the extra effort to move your head closer, so your spiritual ear and heart, can hear better from God. Why? Because He says "come closer".
 Listen and your soul shall live (Verse 3b) - Twice He says "listen" in the last two verses. Hearing the Voice of God calling us to forgiveness, repentance and Faith is the only way to gain eternal life with God in Heaven.

There is no better invitation anywhere in this universe. 

Friday, October 26, 2018


The accomplished actress of the big screen and television (Frost/Nixon; God's Country, Doonby etc.) Jenn Gotzon-Chandler is now a wonderful new Movie Producer and producer of many other things including products to lift up the lives of young girls and women.

The Pennsylvania native now lives outside New York City with her husband Jim E. Chandler, who is himself seen quite regularly on made for TV movies and other television series. Jim and Jenn have produced a wonderful family Christmas comedy called "The Farmer and the Belle". It is based on a true story

This is now in the Kickstarter stage in order to complete the production and distribution of the film, which has already been recorded and directed.

Here is the Kickstarter page for anyone who would love to be a part of this really nice family holiday classic. 

Also check out the following trailer:

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
These directives from God is absolutely clear. They are real. They stand for ALL generations.  Lack of financial resources, opportunities or circumstances of birth are of no excuse or import to these Biblical Commands from the God of all Creation, all the Universe and all Mankind. Absolutely no parent is exempt of accountability for these commands, anywhere in the world, at any point in history.

So how does this generation and all future generations (since it is too late for all who have gone before) avoid the fatal eternal mistakes of not bringing up their children in the ways of Yahweh? First we start with these important commands from our Heavenly Father and we establish a home, from Day One, where Jesus Christ is the Head of the Household.

This is so for one very valid reason – Christianity is the only Thinking Man’s religion. We do not need to examine any other fake system out there, which either requires a person to sit like a sponge and empty their mind so the god of this world can fill it with untruths or, some of the other systems which require a certain amount of “good works”, no matter how degenerate the person may be in their personal lives. They never say how much is enough “good stuff” or what percentage their god will accept.

Christianity calls the sinner to not just come and “reason” but to “test” the Words of the Lord of the Bible. He invites anyone and fellowship with and learn from Him. He also has a special place in His heart for the children and raising them in not only in the way they are to go. Educating our children in the ways of the Thinking Man’s Religion is mandatory. Look at the commands from the above Deuteronomy passage:
  • Parents shall have the Word of God in our hearts. How? By reading, studying, memorizing and LIVING them (verse 6).
  • Parents shall teach them DILIGENTLY. This is an active, ongoing command to take painstakingly good care to teach, instruct and demonstrate Godly attributes and His Character as found in His Word – the Bible (Verse 7a)
  • Parents shall use every opportunity to demonstrate the power, majesty and creative brilliance of God in creation (nature) and everyday living.  This runs the gamut from nightly prayer with the kiddos to grace before meals, married with regular church attendance- WEEKLY (verse 7b). Children should be taught that even the act of getting off the bed each morning is a gift from God. Having something to eat at breakfast and clean clothes are daily gifts from our Heavenly Father. Reference Matthew 6: for this….and more.
  • Parents should teach by their actions and when given a choice,  openly where Christian apparel or jewelry where appropriate and as much as possible, since we do not wear the little bible boxes and other items on our person as they wore back in Old Testament days. We are supposed to be the entire package (Verse 8).
  • Parents should have something in their interior décor at our homes which tells the casual visitor; utility or repair man, that THIS is a Christian home. Deuteronomy 6:9 talks about writing the Word of God on “doorposts” – these are the Mezzuzahs which Jewish people still have by their front doors (see photo).  Most people will not do this, but they will have coffee mugs with Bible verses; fridge magnets or inspiring canvases in their living rooms. These are the items which have and even stronger cumulative effect of some verses on the door, in a metallic container. The best Bible is the one which the world reads by looking at our lives.

So, what does any of this have to do with Critical Thinking? The answer is – more than meets the eye. A child brought up in a functional 100% Christian home with two parents already has the tools to win in life, without this child even realizing it. The first thing is salvation. When dad takes the family, or leads the family to church, statistics prove that the child is saved and born again 85% of the time!

What needs to take place next, is something  for which parents are just as responsible. That would be instruction, mentoring and discipleship.  Leading our children to Christ is the main event, but there is more.  If they do not know about their Faith; how to study and comprehend it and then, how to defend it in the public arena, we would have fallen short.

In his book ALREADY GONE,  Ken Ham along with his researcher Britt Beemer, keyed into the terrifying problem of church-raised kids who end up losing their faith by their sophomore year in College…and increasingly now – High School.  While this book was released  in 2009, the underlying discovery stunned the world of church leadership.  Sure, we officially lost most church raised children in college. But the truth was that we lost them in 6th grade Sunday School!

Teens and millennials who walked away  from Christianity; still call themselves “Christians” yet believed “all religions worshiped the same God”, are as lost as a grain of wheat in a soybean silo at Harvest Time.  It is not they do not think, but they do not know how to think and process the information in the Bible…..because no one taught them. Most Sunday School members are well-meaning church members who may or may not have a well-read background in Apologetics (or how to explain/defend the Truth of Scripture).  Most  youth group leaders are even less trained and more apt to direct towards fun, games and entertainment than serious, deep age-appropriate bible study.

So, in light of all of this, how can we get this steadily downward trend to a halt before we can even attempt to turn the tide? We appeal to the mind and the heart of the young person.  It is never too late to start. The following two components are absolutely essential:
  • Take the time to teach critical thinking to your own kids, or hire a tutor.
  • Promote actual book reading (as in physical books) to compliment what is being taught
  • Spend time doing writing exercises with the kids which will cause them to both think and then write it down in a coherent fashion.

Teaching our children, as God commanded, about the Bible and Faith is critical to grasp every other aspect of life.  The reason the vast majority of people under 30 years old have no hope, no core belief and no eternity in mind, is because they were misled in churches or never got to the front door in the first place. 

We must teach them first to think on their own but according to God's Truth - NOT the world and through the brainwashing they receive in public schools and bad private schools.

We must teach them to understand both the meaning AND consequences of Words and especially the long term results of living part from the pure Word of God.

We must teach them to evaluate each situation against the plumb line of Truth, because there is this yardstick called Absolute Truth. There are things which are black and white. 

We must teach them that their misled peers who do not believe there is Absolute Truth are not thinking individuals but are misled into making absolute statements which can be absolutely denied by our children, under the terms of logic.

We must raise them up in the way they should go, because this is our ultimate responsibility, to which we will answer before God, if we fall short - like all of the secular world, and sadly, too many Christians. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

The majority of people who succeed in either the sciences in school; in business; the Creative process in computer science or the medical sciences engage in full logically thinking, deductive reasoning and processing. These are some of the major components of critical thinking, the ability with which to engage, has been given to every human.

Thinking back to the inventors who have created the things we take for granted these days, they have two great qualities which led to the final success of their work.  Thomas Edison’s knowledge from his hard work, combined with his ability to turn constant failure into discovering what went wrong, in order to take corrective action, led to some of the most well-known things we use across the entire world. The light bulb, record-player and moving pictures, were all Edison products.  Another famous inventor – Benjamin Franklin, who is well-known for discovering domestic use for electricity and more. He invented the bi-focal glasses,  the catheter and even swim fins. He created the United States postal service, the public library system and while at it, even found time to help found the United States of America!

You and I will say that there is no way, we could ever do 5% of what these great men did and we could be right. However, it should not stop us studying HOW they did what they did. Inventors, leaders and other so-called geniuses, were not born this way. They learned skills, worked hard and were critical thinkers, plus.

There will always be heroes and heroines. These are the folks who will charge up an embankment like Sgt. York, to single-handedly capture over 100 Germans with machine guns in World War 1. We all remember the legend of the famed US President Teddy Roosevelt leading the charge up San Juan Hill with his rag tag group of rough westerners called the “Rough Riders”, during the Spanish American War.  How about the quiet Christian man from Arkansas Sam Walton, who turned a group of Ben Franklin stores into the biggest retail concern in America and the world – Walmart.

Men like these and countless others, have certain internal disciplines which contribute to leadership qualities.  Each person is born with those attributes. Very few develop them and even fewer rise above them to be a Sgt. York or a Lee Iaccocca, who rescued Chrysler, or a David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby.  

The first internal discipline was the act of Listening. They listen, learned and took note. They saw things that worked, looked for the smallest  opening to drive a Mack truck through and listened to raw facts. The worse thing a critically thinking leader could do, is to go in with pre-conceived notions, then listen to only the angle he/she is looking for and subsequently, take the meat and through the bones out….with meat still on it.

This leads to the next discipline – accountability. The willingness to be honest with the facts, to think of the consequences of doing or not proceeding with certain actions and then to seek advice from experienced and/or trusted peers or seniors, is the stuff of proper leadership. This is of prime importance, while the evaluation process is in the works. Reading and studying feed knowledge of where we wish to take this thing as we consider more and more research. This applies whether the leadership is in a small ministry, a non-profit feed the homeless project, or a medium sized start-up in the city, which just sort of took off successfully. Methodical research as to demographics, location and other obvious qualities exhibit the thoughtfulness behind the project, thereby determining its result.

The third attribute or discipline is honesty. Those who shade the truth and people who lie always get found out. In all human history, fakes, lies and inaccuracies litter the roadway to success along with their practitioners.  Honesty and truth still make the best ingredients to a successful life. It takes a lot less thinking and conniving to twist the truth than to just be straightforward and make informed decisions, based on the facts.

As the leader of an all-volunteer ministry for many years, and one which has served a growing segment of the community for over 15 years, integrity, honesty and seeking advice were key in longevity. Critical Thinking for leaders, in positions like this, involves accurate information, knowing the limitation, knowing when to both say yes and no.  Mission Statements must be adhered to as well as serious codes of conduct.

A ministry leader’s thought process should be on point at all times, covering every actual and potential weak spot imaginable, as it is the minutest or overlooked item which can bring something down crashing, when people from all walks of life are involved.  The tendency of too many professing Christian men and women to ask “forgiveness instead of permission” is actually sin and very corrosive to the integrity of a group, which is designed to only represent God the Creator on earth. The ability to discern consequences of people going off on their own and doing things to represent similar shortcomings, which can lead to disaster.

To wrap this up,  in order to have even the most minimal impact, which the vast majority of us will ever come close to, Critical Thinking has to be deployed. To wit, the following should be taken into account, right from the start of any project, initiative or proposal:
-  Is there really a need for this item, project or event
-  Cost/benefit analysis (re: promotion; free social media; materials; fees)
-  If it is a discipleship/mentoring project, and is the curriculum thought out towards a goal. Has this or any other project been prayed over.
-  If the project is doable, what is the intended result
-  Are there unexpected consequences and could they be harmful, in the long run.
-  When the event or project is in session, do you have spotters throughout who can be the leaders and bring research back, so decisions can be made.
-  Is a debriefing session on tap, for post- event evaluation for corrective, or repeatable actions.

These are just some of the obvious processes involved in planning and executing, while thinking ahead to the next big thing on the horizon.  Critical Thinking is as natural to leaders as water is to a duck. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Christianity is the Thinking Person’s religion where the Author of our Faith beckons all to “come let us reason together, says the LORD, though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). This is crucial because the Creator of all things – Almighty God – is inviting His sinful creation to come and speak with Him, test, understand and then come to an independent decision.

To arrive at a decision, when God makes an offer, requires not just thinking but Critical Thinking. Critical Thinking is the process, in which every aspect of our minds, emotions and logic is fully engaged, in order to accurately evaluate ideas and situations. This process determines the accuracy, validity or even the error of such matters.

How a wayward son of God came to Faith in Christ and was born again, is actually the result of Critical Thinking. In July 1988, after an extended time from where I walked away from the Lord to enjoy the pleasures of this world, the Lord had knocked me flat on my back. I was suffering from extreme fatigue, stress, lack of rest and just run down from burning the candle at four ends. When the Lord called me unto Himself, it was not an imposed decision made for me and I had to accept.

Unlike certain faith systems and religions of the world, God is not a dictator Who says “accept me or else”. At the same time, I don’t need a case of Bibles to fall on my head to know that this life is the in-transit room before boarding the one-way flight to Eternity. While no one was witnessing to me, giving me tracts, nor was I listening, I can attest to the truth that eternity is written on the hearts of all mankind.

The reasoning the Lord spoke of in Isaiah 1:18 came into focus. Without much debate, I knew, from days of lying in a sick bed, that I had two choices. It was as clear as day – go down the road I had been going of enjoying the fleeting things of this world, or choose God, and thus Heaven.  Sometimes, we do not need flow charts, a degree in Macro Economics or a computer program to get the correct result. I chose the pathway of God and Heaven, for one reason. The reason was the logic of one destination of unending fire and brimstone, the other was the Way of God. What triggered Critical Thinking in this decision, was a childhood and teenage background of family church activity, combined with the supernatural Law of God written on heart of EVERY human who has ever lived. Instinctively, I knew there were only two eternal destinations. I knew there was no such thing as reincarnation or purgatory. There was and always will be one truth - "it is appointed to man to die once and then the Judgment" 

Each human being ever born has this ability to discern, discuss, decide and deliver after thinking of all alternatives. All facets of our humanity, buttressed by information, must be engaged in this process. Critical Thinking involves more than just this, the most important decision we will ever make in this life. The great author/pastor and famous apologist for the Christian Faith – Lee Strobel – is one of the most prominent examples of how Critical Thinking can change a life forever.

Strobel was a most vehement atheist and the legal correspondent for the Chicago Tribune for 14 years. A  law graduate of Yale University, this atheist’s life was thrown for a loop when his wife was saved and joined the growing Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Il. With his home in turmoil, Strobel set out on a journey to investigate the biblical claims about Christ, from the legal and scientific angle, in order to disprove them, in part. He became a disciple and follower in Jesus Christ on November 8, 1981.  Apart from the Holy Spirit opening his mind to the Truth, Lee had to do all the work of reading, research and traveling all over America speaking to people of Faith with scientific and other background. Just like others who had to follow similar, but parallel tracks (like J. Warner Wallace, a former atheist Los Angeles Homicide Detective). Strobel evaluated all the documentary, scientific and traditional evidence…..and then surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. His life story can be viewed here on YouTube.

“Examine everything carefully, hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
This is an important directive from the Lord for believers and the principle of Critical Thinking MUST kick in here.

  1. We are to examine, test, research and trust but verify EVERYTHING we hear or see against the Plumb Line of Truth of the Bible. The thing to note here is the word “examine” is first, derived from a word which gives us the English word “document”. This is explicit in us putting every new idea, teaching or movement to the test…then setting it aside before approving it. All of this is wrapped up in the original word used in the New Testament “Dokimazo”. The Bereans of the Book of Acts are still the standard for this. We read in Acts 17:11 that those from the region of Berea“…were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so”.
  2. Next, the examining relates to EVERYTHING….and it must be done CAREFULLY. Does everything mean well, all things? Yes. This means the kindle books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we watch and the next 30 Days of this or 21 Days of that which comes along the pike.  If Jesus is calling, He is calling from the Bible; His Words are true and we need to not only believe them completely, but handle the proclamation, interpretation and dissemination of them with absolute care. The Christian who thinks critically begins from this following point of reference: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).
  3. The Holy Spirit, Who lives alongside the spirit of every born-again believer, confirms that the Word of God is both true and a living, breathing document.  It should then lead the Christian to immediately pronounce that he/she is "not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the Power of God unto Salvation" (Romans 1:16). Thoughtful examination of the Attributes of God; the veracity of His Promises and Prophecies as well as the historical evidence provide information which influence our decision to stand firm in the Faith. The phrase HOLD FAST is not as powerful a translation from the original intent of the original word used ("katechó"). What the Critical Thinker needs to do is not just "hold fast"....but to lay a hold of and own, or take possession of the Truth of Scripture in order to both get it orderly and embedded in our own minds, but then use our intimate knowledge of God, buttressed by increasing archaeological evidence, to become a great proponent of the Christian Faith to both younger Christians and those who do not believe.
  4. THAT WHICH IS GOOD is an exhortation for the Thinking woman or man of God. The Goodness spoken of here, is not just for sharing the Faith but for the edification and spiritual growth of the faithful critical thinkers among us. The Bible says it best here: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16).  

Monday, October 1, 2018


Putting aside misconceptions of what being “spirit-filled” means, living a Spirit-filled life is what all truly converted, born-again Christians actually do. The Spirit spoken of is the Holy Spirit. At the point of conversion from darkness to light, when a person accepts Christ as Lord and Savior, thereby being born-again, the Lord immediately embeds His Holy Spirit in that person.  God gives all or nothing. So the truly saved receives 100% of the Holy Spirit at the point of Salvation. Case closed.

Now, we are to live as though the Spirit of God lives in us. The Bible tells us that before this life altering event, we were once doing the horrible deeds of the flesh. Galatians 5:19-21 enumerates this list of horrors. All of us used to belong to one or more of these categories before God saved us.  We were partakers in immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery (for example: witchcraft/New Age/Eastern Mysticism), enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these” (Galatians 5:19-21b).

The Holy Spirit immediately begins turning us away from those things, which unfortunately begin increasing their temptations and presence right up close and personal, in our faces.  Here is where staying close to the Lord, through reading and studying His Word, prayer and going to some form of assembly (home or formal church)  are the pillars.  No truly saved Christian will reject the Word of God. Truly saved Christians have to be taught the value and the mechanics of prayer so they will know how to communicate with our Heavenly Father.  This process can only work if the saved start attended good bible-believing and bible-preaching churches, that believe in Discipleship.

There is a school of thought that a person does not have to go to church to be “spiritual”. Not only is this unbiblical (“do not neglect the assembly of the saints”) but unwise for the person engaged in this spiritual neglect.  It is one thing for doctors, nurses, gas station attendants and others who work on Sundays to not be able to go to service. Many larger churches have Saturday night services to accommodate those who are unable to be in church on Sundays.  So, it is another thing to willfully disobey the Lord and stay away from the fellowship of fellow believers, as well as unwise as to accountability,  true spiritual maturity and service to the Lord.

The Bible basically instructs us to “walk by the Spirit and we will not carry out the desire of the Flesh”. This is absolutely 100% correct. DL Moody says “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible". Modern life is full of enough sin, temptation and distraction. The only way to beat this is to methodically, effectively and clearly walk away from falling into disastrous sin, is to walk almost 24/7/365 with the Lord, so as not to grieve the Holy Spirit.  The word “almost” is key here as nobody will be perfect, until we are completely with the Lord after leaving this life.

The depth of depravity and degradation from which we emerged at the point of Salvation gives way to a whole new world of permanent inner peace and a joy, which are both indescribable. The newly saved Christian is supposed to be able not just “hold those great thoughts and experiences” but use this newfound passion for the Lord to grow in Him. This growth is supposed to then lead, to Spiritual Fruit, which will then be a blessing to as many others as possible, and the Kingdom of God in general.

We get a perfect illustration of how we should live from the Lord Himself in Ephesians 5:15-21, which says:
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

A lifestyle, powered by Christ, such as this (among many other similar characteristics) brings a combination of solid permanent blessings, that embed themselves in our souls. Just like Moses when he came off the mountain and his face shone so brightly, that he had to use a veil so as not to scare the disobedient, our lives then become a reflection of the Holy Spirit working in us.

Calling them the “Fruit of the Spirit”,  the maturing authentic Christian exhibits the following attributes: