Thanks Randy

Thanks Randy

One day last week Randy Tompkins called and said that he felt like we should get the churches in our community together for the purpose of praying for our community and nation. He asked if First Baptist would be interesting in being a part of such a meeting. It took me less than sixty seconds to say yes and to accept his invitation.

On Sunday night some from our church and many from other churches across the area filled the worship center of the Smyrna Church that is not a preacher’s statement, it really was full.

I watched as Randy directed the service, and pastor and layman alike spoke a moment and then directed our hearts in a time of prayer. At times bended knees, praying people, and tears filled the alter.  There was no preaching just praying.

We shared the needs of our people, held up our nation, repented of our sins and called for a revival from our Lord. We asked God to allow us to walk in His presence, to touch all of our churches and all who live in our community.

No politics, no putting others down, no rejoicing over past elections and no standing on the fallen bodies of those with whom we do not agree.

We just fell in love with one another through our Lord.  Ten, maybe more, churches together in a great prayer and praise meeting. The two hours passed in a wiz and we all left knowing that we had been in the presence of the Lord.

Thanks Randy for your leadership. SIDE BAR all were so blessed that we plan to do it again on the fifth Sunday in April.

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Published in: on January 29, 2017 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Enemy

Who is the Enemy?

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. . . . First Peter 5:8-9

You know we do have an enemy, it is not the government, not Democrats and not Republicans: it is Satan.

It is not politically correct I am sure but the bible says there is a Satan and that he is our enemy.  In fact he looks for us as a lion might hunt for prey.

Satan loves to hear us fight among ourselves, decide who is and who is not a Christian, make a real fuss and keep our heart separated from both our friends and God.

As long as we are occupied fighting one another we are loosing ground to Satan and that he loves.

Do you realize that you don’t have to be a member of any party in order to be a Christian and in fact you will not become a Christian by joining a political party?  Get it straight folks our enemy is Satan and his desire is to destroy our testimony, sadden our hearts, and remove our joy.

I would say that in just looking around I think he is winning.  Now I know he will not win but I also know that he can rob us of our joy, steal lost people from us and decrees our ranks and weaken our witness.

Ivan

Published in: on January 24, 2017 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Car Wash

The Preferred Car Wash

While waiting to pick up my daughter several years ago in Jackson, I decided to get my car washed.  I knew that the Amoco station down the street had a car wash and so I pulled in, filled up with gas and went in to get a token for the car wash. The clerk told me that they no longer used tokens but gave me a code, so I wrote it in the palm of my hand pulled around to the wash to discover that a large gold Lincoln town car was in the wash.

By the large cross on his back bumper I knew he had to be a preacher; I even thought he must be rather good at it to drive the town car compared to my Grand Am.

I also realized that the washer was not working; He opened the door and hollowed something back at me which I took to mean for me to hit the start button. Maybe he had put the code in but forgot to hit start and just pulled into the wash.

I lowered my window and just as I reached for the start button I saw him standing beside his car and his eyes got real big, I had hit the button, water came on from everywhere the arm that controlled the roller brush caught his car door and opened it all the way as he and his thousand dollar suit jumped to get back in the car.

Then came the soap, more water, his arm reaching for the door, window still down; the had to be famous preacher, now soaked both with water and soap, I am slipping down in my car so that I did not have to watch, and then the moment turned too funny for me to remain as I thought of what he would tell the congregation when he got up to preach in his great suit, wet and shrinking, himself more polished than ever before due to the efficient roller and preferred car wash.

I wanted to back out but he left in such a hurry, not sure the red light had gone off, that I decided the safest place for me was in the car wash.

 Be careful, those car washers can take all of your dignity.

Ivan

Published in: on January 23, 2017 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Peace

Found Any Peace?

Peace is not always what we expect it to be.  Many would believe that peace would be to have no debt, others great health, and other that which is most important to them.

We are not at peace today. Not only are our men and women in harms way but our world is out of step. Greece has a headrace and America catches the flu, Italy sneezes and our Wall Street gets a fever. The world is not at peace with all of its wealth.

We certainly don’t have much peace today as the world would define it. Just listen to the news, read the papers, read your email and you will see what an inward war we are fighting even among our own people. To read our mail you would think that we do not like anyone. I have just about stopped watching the news; it rattles my brain and makes me sick. I can’t believe what we say about one another, our hearts cannot be right.

We live in a world that is sick and we don’t recognize the disease. Can I say, is it politically correct, SIN is our problem. We have played with sin so long that we do not see it even when it moves into our own hearts and heads. We need a great dose of confession and then a long shower of His forgiveness.

Maybe we don’t have peace because we don’t know what peace really is? I think the best description of peace is the simple truth of knowing that we belong to God and we can depend upon Him for all things.

No one and no power is going to give you peace. No political party, no government program, no bank account can bring you real peace. God alone can give us peace; why don’t we call upon Him?

Ivan

Published in: on January 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm  Comments (3)  

The Oath

The oath is found in Article II of the Constitution. It contains 35 words and goes as follows:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

In a few hours after most of you have read this the newly elected president will repeat these words in front of millions of people watching all around the world.

Look at some of the words: Faithfully, Best, Preserve, Protect, Defend.

Not small words, but powerful and demanding words.

To keep this Oath it is our God given duty to pray for the president. With the great pressures placed on this office, no one outside the strength of God can keep this oath.

“Father we give you praise for our land, our freedom, and our future, today we pledge our prayers for our president without regard to political party, we ask You to cover him in Your Power, Your Wisdom and Your Judgment.”

As Christians I believe that each one of you will pray for our President.

(comments welcomed at inraley@yahoo.com)

 

Published in: on January 19, 2017 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday is Coming

Tomorrow

You know what to do so do it.

 

If you would like to read a story go to the right hit the month you wish and then to date… I have some 1200 stories on here.

Ivan

 

Published in: on January 18, 2017 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pray it – Mean it

Father we are in trouble, we have sinned against You and in front of a dying world and now we are about to break the hearts of our forefathers as we trample under our selfish feet the great work which they did to provide us with a Republic and a nation of rule by the people and for the people.

On Friday we change leadership and never in our history have we been so divided. We are not only divided but we are mad at one another. We are not behaving like “One Nation Under God”, but like some third world country that cannot find our direction.

Father help us to find our way through You and Your will. Forgive our sin, each of our sins and forgive our nation of its sin.

Father as an old man I do not wish for our young men to have to go to war in order to bring us to the table of cooperation, guide us to discover Your way without the great cost of our young men and women.

Father, help us, help us, Let us shine for you and live as a nation for you. Give us the joy of seeing lost people all over the world as well as in America come to know you as Lord and Savour.

 

 

 

Published in: on January 17, 2017 at 11:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Time to Kneel

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed, before the God of heaven.  Nehemiah 1:4

When Nehemiah hears the troubling words of his homeland, how it had been destroyed and was as a waste land his first thought, first action was to turn toward God.

We don’t see Nehemiah trying to place the blame, to curse the King who had enslaved him, to rant and rave at all the wrong things which had happened to his people as well as his homeland.

Nehemiah who had the opportunity is not plotting the death of the king. Instead we see him on his knees confessing his sin and the sins of his people.  We see him weeping great tears of sorrow, not sending out shouts of foul play. We see him seeking an answer from God even when the answer includes the assistance of those who had enslaved him and destroyed his homeland. He was willing to take his sorrow to God, confess his wrong and ask the Father for a way to victory.

But look at us, we see the difficulties of our nation and we begin to assets the blame, to accuse our leadership, and cry foul to everyone involved. We blame ever group of people we can and we never once take any personal responsibility.

I wonder what would happen if the Christian people of this land would do as Nehemiah and weep, mourn, fast and pray to God.

I am sometimes shocked at how judgmental we are and how we are so sure about one side or the other without even a moment of thought and concern of how thin our innocence is and how our greatest woe is that we will not get our fair share of the blessings of this great nation.

May I call upon you to realize this is not so much the moment of judgment and blame but rather it is a time of personal sorrow, powerful prayer, private confession, and a public call to kneel at the Cross and seek the face, forgiveness, and will of God?

You know it’s not too late for our country; God has blessed us from the snow cover ground of Washington’s frozen army at Valley Forge, to the shores of Normandy, through the islands of the South Pacific, and He will bless us now as we call upon Him.

 

Published in: on January 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why Are You Angry

I am having a lot of computer problems thus I have been unable to share my devotions and blogs.  Hope to find a few dollars and a new computer.  Thanks for understanding.

Why are you angry?

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  Romans 12:21

I was listing the other day to a group taking about current events and they were loudly letting their feelings be known.  The amazing part was that I could not tell the difference between the Christians and those I knew professed no faith.  Maybe we need to think about that?

It has greatly concerned me that this past year so many people have been so very angry. It is as if we are all mad at everything and never aware of any blessing any good. We speak with such anger. I have received many half truths and even some untruths that people were using as proof of the issues. That is not like Christ.  Maybe it would be good if we would ask God to allow us to step back, see the real issues, take a stand based on His Word on those issues, but do it with His love and His respect. It just hurts to see so many people so mad. We cannot allow evil to overcome His good.

Published in: on January 15, 2017 at 10:52 pm  Comments (2)  

In the Wind

With The Wind in The Sail

A number of years ago I use to do some sailing, it was an activity which while I was not good at it I still enjoyed.

When the wind was right and I was doing what I should as the skipper it was a beautiful, relaxing, quiet experience. But sometime, maybe because of the change of the wind but most often because of my skill I would loose the wind, suddenly the sail would collapse and the boat would seem to stall, it would always take me a few minutes to recover, to find the wind and fill the sails and feel the forward motion of the boat, again it would be beautiful and relaxing.

But loosing the wind was never fun; I know some people, maybe you have met someone like them, who can remove the wind from anything, just take all the beauty, all the joy, all the excitement out of a moment. It was not always what they said; sometimes it was the way, the tone, just something that flowed out of them that stole the wind, caused the sails to flap and the forward direction to stop. In time you come to just not share the joy of your ‘sailing’ with them for the flapping sails are never a joy.

What kind of person are you, one who turns the rudder just right and keeps the sail filled with the wind or one who steals the wind?

Ivan

Published in: on January 9, 2017 at 11:37 pm  Leave a Comment