The Enemy

The Enemy

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11

On April 7, 1945 Ensign Jack Fuller and his air crewman, Charles Williams, Jr had put on the full armor that their plane launched from the USS Bennington, could carry.  They assisted in the sinking of Japan’s largest battleship the “Yamoto” and while doing so were shot down by AA fire from the Yamoto. They had an enemy and they gave their very lives in helping to defeat that enemy.

God’s Word warns us of our enemy, the devil, and urges us to prepare for the battle he launches against us.

 We can believe in an enemy like we face now in terror attacks and have faced in our past from warring countries.  But few of us are prepared for the daily battle with Satan, How strange, how tragic.

Ivan

Published in: on May 5, 2016 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two Things

Two Things

First today is our National Day of Prayer. In Byrdstown we will gather on the high school lawn beneath the flag pole watch as our Honor Guard presents the Colors, give our allegiance to our flag and nation and be directed in prayer by a number of our citizens.

This takes place at 9:30 with the students who wish to attend sharing with us. A second service will be held on the Court House steps at 12:00 noon, our community will pray, we love our country and believe in our Heavenly Father.

We know that the answer to our future is held in the hands of God for His people who ask.

Second: Today marks the 39 anniversary of my mother’s death. It was a Thursday then just as today, we had enjoyed lunch together in Jackson, purchased a weed-eater for dad and some strawberries for mom along with a beautiful dress.

At a few minutes before six that afternoon she slipped out of the house at 246 South Lindsey Street to the home prepared for her by our Lord.

The house never smelled the same, the rooms never felt the same, the celebrations with the family were never the same, mom was not there.

I am now older than she was at her death all the family of 246 South Lindsey Street are gone except me they share the glory of Heaven now and in time I will join them.

Life has been good, better than I deserve, I am grateful.

Ivan

Published in: on May 4, 2016 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

We Have Sinned

We Have Sinned

For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. Job 19:25

I watched as the great crowd of people gathered in front of our state capital to pray for our nation. It was moving to see so many people standing, listing, praying for forgiveness of their own sins and for the forgiveness of our nation’s sins.

We were asked to pray and confess our own sins and you could hear the tears in the voices of all those around you as we each confessed to our Lord that we needed His forgiveness and His renewal in our lives.

The gathering with Dr. Franklin Graham was as nonpolitical as would be possible with all that is taking place in our country. He ask that all Christian vote and to study carefully those running for office and seek our Lords will in casting our vote. He expressed that the answer was not in a political party but was in God.

I could not help but remember in the early days of the nation of Israel when they sinned God often gave to them the leader they wanted, a leader that caused great judgment on their land. They wished for a leader who would allow their sin and God granted their wish. Can the same not be true today; a nation that wishes to be built on its on desires will receive the leadership of those desires.

Let us truly confess, turn and fall on our faces before our Lord, may He show us His hand.

Ivan

Published in: on May 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gratitude

Gratitude

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16

Are you not amazed that of the ten only one came back to give thanks for his healing? Sounds a bit like America, does it not? After all that God has done for us, all the blessings these more than two hundred years have given us on any given Lord’s day only a few will be in His House to give praise and thanks to Him.

Remember gratitude unshared and unspoken is no gratitude at all. Not just being in worship together, but living a life that expresses gratitude in all that we do. I wonder where so many unthankful people believe that our blessing have come from? Do we believe that we have earned them, deserve them, we are too smart to believe that, surely we must see all around us from our land to our people, God has put His hand on us and blessed us.

Let us express our gratitude not only in worship but in daily living; share your best self with all whom you meet and see.

‘Father help me to understand that I can complain all I want to about the nine of ten who did not and do not give thanks, but that is not the great question for me to answer. My question is, ‘Am I thankful and do I show it?’

Published in: on May 2, 2016 at 11:24 pm  Comments (2)  

God is Watching

God is Watching

Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf. Job 36:1 He does not take his eyes off the righteous; . Job 36:7

This thrills me. He does not take His eyes off the righteous. No matter how alone I might feel, God is near and I am in His eye. Sickness, there, pain, there, disappointment, there.  Name it and He is there, you are in His eyes.

I realize that many do not understand this and many do not believe it. But the scripture is clear He will not leave His people. Maybe our problem is that we are asking outside of His will, we don’t want to hear no, we want it our way even when we know we are wrong.

Think of so many of the problems that people are concerned with, which bathroom to use, that sound like a real joke, but it is not, people really have made a case to divide our moral values from legal rights.

I have been going to the bath room for over 78 years and I have never felt a need to use another, Men works for me.

Now you say that is too simple Ivan, some folk have a real concern, but the problem is that when we began to change all the rules, we cause more confusion for others; we create a real safety issue, for parents.

Go to the bathroom you know you belong in and if that bothers you wait for a stall, close and lock the door and accept the trouble for yourself without making a lot of trouble for others.

Remember God is watching.

Ivan

Published in: on May 1, 2016 at 9:55 pm  Comments (1)  

Blessings

Blessings

Remember Jesus is not praising poverty of things and needs; He is speaking of poverty of the spirit. Barclay translates this verse thus: O the bliss of the man who has realized his own utter helplessness, and who has put his whole trust in God. For thus alone he can render to God that perfect obedience which will make him a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is when we realize that without Jesus there is no value that we are able to reach to Him for our salvation. That is my translation.

Next Thursday May 5th is our National Day of Prayer, if our nation ever needed to kneel before our Lord it is now.  Let me encourage  you to share in the day if it possible in your community and either way plan to spend some private, quiet time with the Lord for our nation.

Ivan

Published in: on April 28, 2016 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Multiple

Multiple

Let’s see; I have 3 X 10 now I have 30, great: 7 X 20 now I have 140, hey I like this and Peter says he wants God to Multiple our Grace and our Peace.

Now that I could use, more peace, more grace. Our world is struggling for peace, out youth have no peace in their education, job hope, and future, middle age Americans know that if they now have a good job and the company is purchased they will in all likely hood be out looking for another job at halt the salary. Those of my generation worry that they are just one step from a disease or accident that they will not be able to overcome and life as they know it will close.

But there is a place to find peace, that place is in the grace of God. By His grace we are saved, by His grace we will finish the course; by His grace our future is forever secured. Grace alone can bring us peace that is why it is always first for there is no peace without first knowing the grace of God.

Ivan

Published in: on April 27, 2016 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Our Town

I Like Our Town

I did not come here to stay, I came here as a ship in and was sure I would be around only two or three years, but here it is April 2016 and that is a long time from the first Sunday in February of 2002.

Like so many people from cities like Nashville my first time to come up I didn’t bring any money, just a couple of credit cards. All of us went to lunch and suddenly I realized that they did not take credit cards and they would not cash an out of town check so I had to borrow ten dollars from Jack to get out of washing dishes for my lunch.

Not really sure I ever paid him back that ten dollars, maybe that it why they have allowed me to stay so long, just giving me time to pay back that first loan.

I think everyone thought I would leave when I retired from the Baptist Children’s Home in 2006, but by that time I had fallen in love with my new adopted home. So here I am still around; now I know time is getting short for me but I still enjoy hanging on in this beautiful place.

I have received the best medical care anyone could hope to receive right here in Byrdstown. They even know my name at the clinic and in a lot of the stores where I shop. I had rather pay a bit more if I can get it here than to drive to some other place, besides they really seem like they appreciate my shopping here.

Our school is great our teams have character and our people are real. Because I lived here I opened Congress twice with prayer, not many can say that. Attended the Nation Day of prayer in Washington, D C, opened our State House twice and spoke to our graduates. Life has been good to me.

Our small church can be listened to on five FM station and on the internet around the world, not bad for a small town old man. That small church poured over 120 thousand dollars back into our community and missions around the world this past year, they are so unselfish.

Not sure about the last day, but today has been great, thank you.

Ivan

Published in: on April 25, 2016 at 10:30 pm  Comments (2)  

Need Any Help?

When a man turns away, does he not return? Jeremiah 8:4

We turn away but we do not want to return, why? It might be that we don’t want to admit that we have turned away.  As soon as you stop and ask for directions you are admitting that you are lost, confused, not sure.  We don’t like to admit to any of those things. After all we are the smartest generation, the best educated generation, and the wealthiest. How could we need help?

Could we use some help with our economy, maybe medical plans, how about help with getting along with others. We might need some help for the future, the long, long future of forever. But still we are either ignorant of that need are we just keep putting it off until there is no where else to put it; time is up. Business owners need help, government officials need help just getting along. I sometimes wonder if we are waiting for another 9/11 or December 7, 1942 to cause us to put aside our petty difference, get our heads together and receive the help we need.

A man never turns until he is willing to admit that the direction he is headed is wrong. In our government, in our business world, no one wants’ to admit that they are wrong. They cling to deceit; they refuse to return.

Stubborn all the way to defeat and even into eternity.

Ivan

Published in: on April 24, 2016 at 10:16 pm  Comments (2)  

Home

Home

It was more than fifty years ago but I remember it like last week. I lived in the churches house which was located next door, in the same yard with the church.

We’ll call him Bob, he was about seven at the time and he spent a lot of time at my house. He lived in a small share cropper’s house in the field across from me. Just out of nowhere he asked me one day, “Why do people say there is no place like home, I know lots of places I like better than home.” I searched for some minutes and said something like, “Bob when you are old enough to understand the difference between a house and home, then you will know what that saying means.” He looked at me and said in a very mature voice, “I like both your house and your home more than mine.” Knowing nothing else to do I hugged him and turned away.

I was in the area of that long ago place this past October speaking at an associational meeting. Having some time to kill before I had to be at the meeting I went by the church and house I had lived in more than fifty years ago.

I decided to visit the house across the road to see if the family was still there only to discover my seven year old friend, now a grown man with his own family. We spoke a few minutes and he said that he remembered me so we talked about long ago days. He turned and looking toward where he had lived at the time and said with tears in his eyes, “Remember that question I asked you about home?  I’m making real sure that my family knows that there is no place like home.  Bro. Ivan I never had that place but I have it now and so do my children.” Knowing nothing else to do I hugged him and turned away.

As I drove off brushing back the tears I thanked God that sometimes even in this life things work out right. And I praised Him for allowing me the desire to go backward for just a moment.

Published in: on April 21, 2016 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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