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January 2012

New Years Prophesies for 2012 That Will Never Happen!

Corinne sometimes calls me "Scrooge!"  I don't get into all of the "sappy" Christmas movies, that type of thing.  I love Christmas, New Years, the so called, "Holidays!" Tonight we have a fabulous New Years Eve party and service scheduled at church..... I can't wait.  However, I also can't wait until next week when "things" get back to somewhat normal.  Of course we begin 14 days of special meetings tomorrow evening too, so what is normal?  Who's to say!

One thing I do find interesting this time of the year is all of the "prophetic words" that are coming forth in regards to the New Year, this year, 2012.  OK, here comes the Scrooge part of me.... The vast majority of these "words" will never come to pass!

I've been a student of these "words" over the years, and most of them, and many of them given by well known, famous ministers, never come to pass!  That is right the vast majority of them never happen!

What's the problem... doesn't God still want us to use prophetic words.  Well, I find the problem isn't with God, it is with those who are saying God gave them these prophetic utterances for the New Year.  New Testament prophesy is for "edification, exhortation and comfort."  The model of the Old Testament prophet being found in the New Testament just doesn't exist.  In the NT we can all prophesy and we all have the Holy Spirit on us, in us and anointing us.  Not so in the OT!  They needed Isaiah, Jeremiah and the such.  We don't need the prophet as we have Him, Himself... all of Him, in us, on us and through and through us!!!

So when you hear some great "word" for 2012 come from Rev. Billy Bob of the Greater is Light Christian TV Network, give you his great word for 2012, you might consider writing it down and this time next year look at it and see if the "word" came to pass! But don't be too surprised if it never happens!

Happy New Year from Scrooge... Ooops... I mean Larry!



In Galatians chapter 1 Paul makes a very bold statement..."If anyone, even an angel, preaches a Gospel (Good News) other than what he has preached, let him be cursed!" Pretty bold huh?

How do we find out what Paul preached? The answer is simple, study the books (epistles) he wrote. Last night I began teaching from the book of Galatians. If you have been a Christian for awhile, been a church attendee, it might be a good place for you to do some study as well.

Many Christians are living under either the OT Law or some other law or laws that have been placed on them in order to get them in the place of pleasing God. However, according to Paul's Gospel God is already pleased with us, and it's not by what we do or don't do.....It is because of the blood of Jesus! That is the GOOD NEWS!

Wow! I love it!


My Wish for the New Year: That Every Pastor Would Teach the Book of Galatians!

Admittedly, I spend a lot of time teaching our people at our church about living within the New Covenant. So, I may be a little biased on this subject.  However, I have a very distinct impression that many, maybe even most, Christians do not really know what it is to live outside of the Law.  So many have been taught that they have to "do" in order to "be!"  

Last week I asked our church, during one of my messages, a very important question.  Here it is for you to ponder.....  Two guys, one named Joe and the other Pete, worked at the same place and both were laid off at the same time.  Both men made equal money and had pretty equal family situations. Both men loved the Lord and worshiped at the same church.

The difference was that Joe became fearful about his circumstances.  He grew very anxious, began to worry and fret.  He began to complain a lot and it made his family life very difficult.  On the other hand Pete understood that God had a plan for his life.  He began to enter into deep periods of worship and praise. He was very thankful for what he had left.  He was faithful to his church and took his new time off, and helped with projects around the church and helped others out, fixing up needed repairs for widows, etc.

The question to my church was..."Which man does God love the most?"  "Which one is going to get a great reward in this life?"  I got some interesting answers to this, but the truth is that God loves both equally!

Of course Religion would say that God would have to love Pete more!  The truth is that both men have come to God through the cross and are now seated strongly within the wonderful confines of the New Covenant.

Now... about Galatians...wow!  People with religious spirits must really hate this Book!  I wish to share just one tidbit from it:  Galatians 5: 1-4 (NLT)

Freedom in Christ

 1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

 2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

Again I say, "Wow!"

I'd also like to add, that this passage goes beyond the Law of Moses.  Trying to keep any "law" in order to please God likewise causes us to "fall away from God's grace!"

Sister Shannon, one of our wonderful gals, told me a couple of months ago, that she used to attend a church where she felt like she needed to get "resaved" every week!  The pastor laid down his "law" and everyone had to measure up!

Hummm.... I think I just might teach from the Book of Galatians tonight at our Wednesday night meeting!  Yeppers... I will!

Be free Saint of God!  Enter fully into the grace of God and live entirely within the confines of His New Covenant!

If you are a pastor, prayerfully consider doing some intense study into the Book of Galatians and maybe even teaching it to your people.  You will be doing a good thing!


Thinking About Fish for Breakfast

This morning's breakfast was great!  Earl and I went fishing the other night and I caught a 13-14 inch Spec..(That's Florida for crappie)  Last night I suggested to Corinne that we have a great Saturday morning breakfast of fish and eggs.  She wasn't in the mood for that, so this morning I had to eat both fillets.  Oh bummers!

We are so blessed of God to live on the shores of a beautiful lake.  We live on a 22 mile chain of lakes.  Here's the view from our family room window.  This is what I'm looking at right now as I'm writing this blog post:

View from our family room window 001

God is blessing Corinne and I.  We are fully aware of the blessings of God!  We are pastors of one of the finest churches in the State of Florida, we watch God move all of the time!  Just last night people were wonderfully touched as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit flowed in our church.

Yep, we're blessed!  

Years ago Corinne and I told the Lord that we'd go where He wanted us to go and do what He wanted us to do.  We meant it and so did He when He sent us out onto the "Highway to Revival" for over 12 years, criss-crossing America bringing the message of Revival to the small churches of the Land.  We left everything behind, including our family, which was the most difficult thing to do, and lived and traveled full time in a 37 foot Winnebago motor home, "Pilgrim 1."  We didn't have a steady income flow, no retirement funds established, and no other benefits that so many take for granted these days.  We just had the Holy Spirit leading us around the country, and Oh how we had powerful meetings!  We were honored to minister in some of the finest churches in America... and talk about some great friends!  Wow!

Then after Thanksgiving of 2009 we ended up in Hernando, FL and now nearly 3 years later we're still here!

We followed and still follow after God!  I am a great believer in "Seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be OK!"  We always put God first in our lives, and He seems to take care of the things we need.  Often with great blessings attached.  

If God called you, would you be willing to leave your home, family and friends and go to the nation or better yet, the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  So many say they would be willing to do anything for the Lord, yet, even in the simple things of life, they fail to fully surrender to Him!

He never forced Corinne and I to travel, to leave all behind.  He asked us to go and we said we would.  We were willing to go!  In our case He called us out to go.  However, it comes down to our willingness to go!  He may or may not be calling you to go, but the question remains....are you willing to go?  

OK....my lake is so beautiful this morning.  I might have to catch another Spec for tomorrow's breakfast.  God thought huh?  

But God knows, if He ever calls us out again....we will go!


Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!

I stand amazed at the number of Christians there are who do not have the slightest understanding what living in the New Covenant is all about.  People are always asking me, "What is the New Covenant?"  It seems that the Church has done a great job of teaching religion, but is seriously lacking in teaching true grace and New Covenant living.

Of course there are the FEW who have made a mockery of grace, even as going so far as stating that God's love is for everyone, no matter what they believe, and no one will ever go to hell, etc.  (Ultimate Reconciliation & Universalism)  Certainly some leaders will look at this and throw the entire "Grace Baby" out with the bath water!  Their thinking..."We don't want any of that 'sloppy agape' in our church!"  Oh my!

Please allow me to make a statement of faith here....THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO GOD, THAT IS THROUGH A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!  

When we truly understand the simplicity of the true Gospel of Christ there is only one thing that follows...Freedom!  Freedom! Freedom!




Seeking Jesus First

Years ago there was a book written, "In His Steps."  It was about a group of people who decided to only do what Jesus would want them to do, in every aspect of life.  The book was about the results of doing that, often the difficulty of actually following Jesus to the fullest extent.  

A few years ago the, WWJD thing took hold in America.  Again people were encouraged to do only what Jesus would do.  

I've been thinking lately about Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you."  What does seeking first the Kingdom actually mean to people, what does it  mean to me?

Last night several people left early a very powerful meeting in order to get home early as they had to work the next day.  I understand getting rest, how important it is.  But I'm wondering this morning how such actions would stack up to the WWJD thing!

I am totally convinced that a move of God in a person's life is much more valuable than an extra hour sleep!  Having the Holy Spirit move on me is the most important thing that can ever take place.... that changes my life and an extra hour's sleep cannot do so.  I get the sleep tonight and I need more tomorrow... it never ends! However God encounters can never be replaced by anything that this world has to offer!

Here's a suggestion today... think about, pray about, what does seeking first the Kingdom of God really mean to you.  You might be surprised what it really means to walk in the steps of Jesus, to only be doing what he wants us to do, to only seek first His Kingdom!

What thinkest thou?


The Cross Stays in Our Church!

Our church, New Beginnings Fellowship, in Hernando, Florida has a cross leaning on the back platform wall of our sanctuary.  Here's a picture of it:

043

We are in the process of doing some needed maintenance work in the building and getting Christmas decorations up, so some questions have been asked about changing certain items.  For instance we've changed our fellowship hall arrangement and the seating in the sanctuary.  Sometimes change is good!  The change question was asked about the cross, "Do we want to take it down for a season?" Both Corinne and I both retorted with the same answer at the same time, "NO!"

I find it very interesting that some churches are removing the cross! The reason is, "We don't wish to offend anyone!"  Well, I think that our cross needs to stay up forever!  It represents who we are and what we stand for!  My Bible says that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins.  My Jesus died on a cross, His blood was shed, and He is the only way to the Father, the only way to God!  There is no middle of the road on this issue!  So if the cross in our sanctuary offends someone my response is..."To bad!"  

So many these days are trying to produce "politically correct Christianity."  The thought might be, let's combine a little of Islam and a little of Christianity and we'll not offend anyone and everyone will find God.  Sorry... It won't work!   One can only find God through Jesus Christ!  It was because of His death on that old cross that makes it all possible!

So... just in case you are wondering...THE CROSS STAYS IN NBF!

1 Corinthians 1:17

New Living Translation (NLT)

17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.