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February 2016

Just thinking.....God loves divorced people and so do we!

When I was a young Believer we were a part of a church where the pastor would never marry a couple when one of them had been divorced. His first question to a couple seeking him to marry them was, "Have either one of you been married before? If the answer was yes, he would politely send them down the road!

Back in the day, we used to say it is easier for a person to find forgiveness in the Church for murdering their spouse than to divorce them! Actually, people who had a very bad lifestyle, found the Lord and testified of their conversion were treated as hero's but the poor guy who divorced his wife was forever treated as a 2nd class Christian! These people might be allowed to be an usher in the church but usually that's as far as they could go. If they ever had thoughts about becoming a pastor...FORGET IT! It just couldn't happen because divorce and remarriage was strictly forbidden!

Now, this post is not, in any way, advocating divorce! However, we understand that life does happen! And...after all, is one "sin" worse than any other?

Here is the deal, divorced and remarried people are fully welcome at our church, New Covenant Grace Fellowship in Inverness, FL! Here is the reason....If God loves you, then we do too! And, without a doubt, GOD LOVES DIVORCED PEOPLE! Glory!

Grace and peace!


Just thinking.....You are not wretched!

Romans 7: 7-24 is often misunderstood by Believers in Christ. In that the 2nd rule for proper Bible interpretation is "context" it behooves us to read Romans 7:15-24 in context with the rest of the chapter, verses 1-13 where Paul states that Believers are no longer under the law, thus no longer bound by sin.

Many believe that verses 14-24 is Paul writing about his current struggle with the sin that he just can't help from doing and how he struggles with his relationship with God as a result. I feel that this is one of the most often confused portion of the New Testament! Again, context is the key. In order to understand verses 14-24, The NLT says it this way, "Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?" One must understand verse 25 where the beautiful verse of hope comes forth, verse 25, "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." In his paraphrase, "The Mirror Bible," Francois du Toit writes verse 25 this way, "Thank God, this is exactly what he HAS DONE through Jesus Christ our Leader; he HAS COME to our rescue! I AM finally freed from this conflict between the law of my mind and the law of sin in my body." (emphasis mine)

In Romans 7:14-25 Paul is not speaking of his current life of grace. He is speaking of his old, under the Law life before Christ. Therefore Romans 7: 14-24 shows people their hopelessness prior to entering into the Christ life. After the application of verse 25, those of us who believe enter the new covenant grace land of Romans 8. I love Francois' rendition of Romans 8:1, "Now the decisive conclusion is this: In Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled!" Powerful isn't it?

Just some thoughts here! Enjoy the cold weekend!

Grace and peace!


Just thinking...."Let's make America great again!" But wait....

If anyone wishes to think that my following statements are politically motivated, they are just totally wrong! This blog comes from observations of mine, thus the title, "Just thinking!"

It seems that one of our current Presidential Candidates is running on the motto, "I want to make America great again!" This sounds pretty good, especially to the many, many dissatisfied American voters of these days. However, my take is a little different in that I believe that America is already great! You heard me, I believe that America is already the greatest nation in the world. If you don't believe me, how about visiting some other countries and seeing how they fit for size! OK, can things improve in America? You have that right! But I wouldn't trade our country for any other country in the world!!

People judge America by the need that we Americans have for improvement. For instance, I'm sure the the citizens back in the day of the Civil War wanted to see America great again! I know that people living in the days of slavery wished to see a greater nation! Without a doubt the Americans alive on December 8, 1941 wanted to see a great nation arise! How about those of us living in the divided nation of the Vietnam War Era? We were craving greatness! The list could go on and on, but the facts were that America, with God's help and our American resolve became great again, each and every time.

I am noticing that many Christians this year are going to be voting from the standpoint of anger and fear. These are not good emotions to use when choosing a new Leader! Instead we should be seeking God's Kingdom, thus allowing His Spirit to lead us into all things! After all it was God (Jesus) who said, "But seek first the Kingdom of God and all of these things will be added unto you!"

Just maybe the Candidate who is running on making America great again is indeed God's man. If so, lets make certain that he wouldn't be elected from the Body of Christ acting out of anger and fear! After all, that would create more problems for us than we already have!

So, America, take a breath! Relax some, watch what God will do for America as we, His Body operate from the place of rest!

Grace and peace!


Just thinking.....Some in the "Grace Camp" down play the Bible. Not me!

Over and again, I read Facebook posts from grace teachers who downplay the Bible. The main theme often is whether or not the Bible is the Word of God or not. Before I go too much further here, let me emphatically state that the Bible is the word of God, not the Word of God! See the difference? Actually there is only one Word of God and His name is Jesus!

As a new Christian I was taught by our pastor of the day, that every word in the New Testament, except for John 3:16 was written to Believers. Well, that just is not true! Much of the New Testament, and many of the words of Jesus Himself, in the four Gospels, were not spoken or written to new covenant believers in Jesus Christ. Rather they were written prior to the cross, to people still under the old covenant of the Mosaic Law. So, one must understand the Bible, how it was written, etc. in order to find what part is a "word of God" to you. I know some will have a hard time with what I just wrote. To be honest, a few years ago, I would have had a hard time with what I just wrote also!

So when Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work" he is NOT talking about the entire Bible!

The word, "Scripture" simply means any type of holy writing. Strongs says that the word means, "A document ie: Holy Writ, Christian writings." Now this will really cork off the religious, that is if they are still reading, but this blog post that you are reading right now is a form of scripture! It's the same Greek word involved!

Paul, elsewhere shoots down a lot of the Bible himself. For instance in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 Paul states that reading the "Old" instead of the new will lead to condemnation and death. In verse 15 he says, "Yes, even today when they read Moses' writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand!" So, don't you see a conflict then between 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Corinthians 3: 15? I sure do!

Paul also states in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, "Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message FROM US, you didn't think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God-WHICH, OF COURSE, IT IS."

Isn't this interesting? Paul says that his teaching, his writings are indeed the word of God. Why would he say this? Because he received his revelations directly from Christ himself in Arabia where he met with Christ for 3 years. So, God (Christ) gave Paul this teaching and as Paul taught others, he was simply passing on the "word of God!"

Pretty simple I'd say! How about you?

Grace and peace!


Just thinking....It seems like some just don't want to understand grace!

I had a chat today with someone about grace. This person just didn't want to understand God's love. Instead the "what if's" came up. You know the questions.... "What if a person is a homosexual?" Or, "What if a person cheats on their spouse?" It is then asked, "Will that person really go to heaven?"

So many don't realize that Paul was asked the same questions. His message of grace was so radical that the religious of his day had a hard time with it as well. (Romans 6:1) But here is the bottom line for me...The more a person understands what God's gift of grace is,the more that person will live a life pleasing to God.

We grace preachers are always being accused of giving people a license to sin. Well, people don't need a license to do that they manage to do bad things unlicensed! But, the more revealed grace is accepted, the less sin and bad things become an issue!

The answer is Jesus!!! Glory!

Grace and peace!


Just thinking.....Why Revival Tarries?

My question is actually the title of a famous book written by Leonard Ravenhill many years ago. It's been years since I read that book so I really don't remember too much about it. But the title came back to my mind a bit ago and I was thinking about it. The question, "Why revival tarries" is probably an very much thought of question over many years of Church history. And, of course the answer to this famous question is probably as diverse as there are Believers in Jesus Christ!

One thing I know, and this comes from a lot of experience in this thing called, "revival" and that is man just doesn't have the proper answers for this question! I've noted one thing and that is that often there are "hot spots" of spiritual activity around the world from time to time. Often, in our past history, there have been churches effected by what we would call, "a move of God." The sad thing is that there just doesn't seem to be lasting results! One church is effected for a year or so years back, and it may be another church today. Some of the churches that were effected by these times of excitement are pretty dry today! My observation of traditional revival is that "it is here today and gone tomorrow!" Since coming into revelations of grace a few years ago, I've noted one thing and that is people who have also had grace revealed to them have had their lives transformed and the transformation just doesn't seem to leave! I even see that in my own life. I'm more excited about my walk with God than I've ever been in my entire Christian life!

Grace is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Actually it is the person of Jesus Christ. One cannot separate Christ from grace. It just can't be done! In our new church in Citrus County, FL we began what we are calling "Revival of Grace Meetings" Sunday night. The meetings run through Wednesday evening. Grace is being revealed and the Holy Spirit is moving. All I can say we are in a win, win situation! Glory!

Grace and peace!


Just thinking.....Report of church kids not knowing that God loves them!

So what's with this? Yesterday, in our evening special "Revival of Grace Meeting," we were told by a person in the know that a local church youth leader asked several kids, age 13-17, if they believed that God loves them. All of them said, "No!" The startled adult asked why they said no. The response was, "I don't read my Bible enough, I don't go to church enough, I do bad things, etc!" The adult leader went home and wept!

Then we were told by Dave, our Childrens/Youth Pastor about an incident in his class yesterday morning. His question was a little different, actually the opposite of the other question asked the pre-teens, but it lead to the correct answer. Dave asked his kids, "Why do you love God?" Little Evan, about 7 years old, immediately answered by saying, "Because God loves me!" Wow! Evan hit a home run!

To me this was a very dramatic pat on the back from the Holy Spirit to what is happening in our church! None of the kids in a traditional, religious, performance based church knew that God loved them. Yet, one little kid in our grace centered church knew immediately that God loved him!

From time to time I run into people who are getting revelations of grace and because there is no grace centered church in their area they ask me if they should still attend a local church anyway! I usually ask if they have children. If they do, I ask them if they wish their children to get as messed up with their understanding of God as they were? Usually, then, the light clicks on!

I know that people often think that I've lost my mind, that I've compromised the Gospel, some even think that I'm a heretic. But I'll tell you one thing....THE CHILDREN OF MY CHURCH, NEW COVENANT GRACE FELLOWSHIP OF CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA KNOW THAT GOD LOVES THEM! So...we'll keep going in this direction! Glory!

Grace and peace!


Just thinking.....I'm so excited about 2016! Are you?

I can't remember a New Years when I've been more excited about the new year than I am this year. Now this is not because last year was so bad for me either! Certainly, last year, like any year had its share of trials, but over all, God's glory and victory brought us through it all! But this year, this new year, I'm full of anticipation such as I cannot ever before recall!

I'm so excited about my personal walk with God! He has revealed so much of Himself to me over the past few years, and the past year was not exception. As a result I'm full of vision, and am doing some goal setting, both personal and for our church, New Covenant Grace Fellowship in Inverness, FL (www.ncgrace.com) We have a church Leaders Meeting in a couple of weeks and I'm already busting ready to share some of these things with our Leaders!

Now it could be that you are not as excited as I am right now. Maybe last year was really hard on you and things this new year don't look much better. Friend, I fully understand as I've been there too! However, the truth of the Gospel has so much good news in it that once that is realized everything else dims in comparison.

Here is just a nugget....Titus 3: 5 (NLT), "he saved us, not because of the righteous thins we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit." Then in verse 7 Paul goes on to say, " Because of his grace he declared us righteous!" Listen...you may be in a heap of trouble right now, but the fact is that you are already righteous, no matter what you do or don't do and for that matter, no matter what you are currently going through! That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let that sink into your heart some and watch and see what happens! You may find yourself getting excited about this new year too! Glory!

Grace and peace!