Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sunday School notes for Romans 15: 1-7

Romans 15:1-7 KJV
[1] … We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. [2] Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. [3] For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. [4] For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. [5] Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: [6] That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. [7] Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. …

Sunday School notes for Romans 15: 1-7

Verse 1-2
In the Christian life we that are strong in the faith are to provide support and if possible lend a hand up to the weak. The strong believer must lay aside any selfish motivation or agenda and seek the welfare of their fellow believers. Our goal should be to build one another up. At times we may have to be patient with a weaker brother or sisters point of view or spiritual maturity in order to help them. We may not agree with them and may see the error of their ways in non-essentials but in order to keep peace and unity, at times we may need not argue the point but just let it go. This can be hard to do but it can be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. However, there are times when we must confront error with truth.

Verse 3 - Paul is quoting Psalm 69.
Psalm 69:7-9 KJV
[7] Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. [8] I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. [9] For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. …

This psalm of David describes the earthly sufferings of Christ. He endured unwarranted insults from His own people for our benefit. He did not seek what was best for Himself but what honored the Father and best for us.

He is our example, He was insulted for zeal for His Fathers house, we should be willing to bear with one another's weakness's for the building up of one another, which is building up the house of God. Lest we think this is too much to bear we are to consider our Lord and Savior.

Hebrews 12:2-4 KJV
[2] Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. [3] For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. [4] Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. …

Now If Jesus the sinless endured this great contradiction of sinners against Himself, how much more should we deal with the weakness of one another, namely, weak in faith, knowledge, and even in moral strength. This does not mean that we should not try to help one another to grow in faith, knowledge and grace but we should be patient as we seek to build one another up and realize that some of our brothers and sisters have different opinions in matters of faith that we cannot change or in some instances try to change. However, we have a moral obligation to help those we can who are seriously erring from the truth, but there will be those who are so set in their ways that they will not listen to sound reasoning. We have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in dealing with such and pray that God would open their eyes to the truth, actually we need to always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in all things.

Verse 5 - This is a directive coming down from our King to be of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same views, be harmonious. Unity in the essentials of the faith. I think it is important for believers to agree to be unified in the essentials.

Verse 6- that with a unified mind and mouth glorify God. Unified in the essentials.

Verse 7- Just as Christ has received us into the family of God, we are to receive one another. No saint should ever be made to feel like a second class saint but should be joyfully received and welcomed as a fellow citizen in God's kingdom.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The True Meaning of Christmas

Matthew 1:20-23 KJV
[20] But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. [21] And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. [22] Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, [23] Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. …

Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays, yet how many know what it is all about. Some say it is all about the kids, giving them toys that will amuse them for a small span of time. Others might believe it about families getting together and exchanging gifts and eating too much. For others it a time of all the Christmas festivities and cliches, Santa Clause, pretty lights, dreams of snow on Christmas Day or a little baby laying in a manger giving hope to the world though they really don't know much about the hope He gives. 

In the passage of scripture above we have the true relevance of the baby's birth that gave birth to the holiday known as Christmas. I have just a points to make as in I do not want to bore you with spiritual rhetoric but only want to remind us of the signifcance of the birth of Christ.

In verse 20 we see the intervention of God in the affairs of man. God cause a young virgin to conceive. The creator of the universe has created a miracle in the womb of the young Virgin Mary. I believe it is safe to say that God did not do this just to wow us or give another miracle for us to believe in but there was a divine purpose in this divine intervention.
In verse 21 we see the purpose of the intervention. The purpose being that through the baby in Mary's womb He was going to save His people from their sins. We know from other passages of scripture that this include all who will place their faith in Him. Some might ask, "why would I want to saved from my sins?" My answer, why does a cancer patient with a malignant tumor want to be rid of the tumor? The answer of course is that the tumor if not removed will kill them; sin is more deadly than the worst cancer we can imagine. Let's look at Romans  6.

Romans 6:19 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 No good comes from sin it brings eternal death, sometimes physical death and I believe it works the principle of death in our lives, it kills our potential, relationships, peace, joy, influence, productivity, who we really are or who God created us to be and makes us into something else. In short, sin if not atoned for by the blood of Christ will condem us to the Lake of Fire known as the second death when this life is over and will bring death to the life we could have had here on earth if we would have followed Christ.

In verse 23 we see God coming down to us to help us with our sin problem which was brought about by man's transgression. What a loving God we have that instead of telling us to somehow try to make it up to Him, He came down to us. "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. …"

Merry Christmas to all.

What the Bible Says about Sexual Sin

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV
[9] Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. …

This passage of scripture that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson spoke of has stirred up a heated debate about the subject of homosexuality. In this portion of his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul goes from discouraging lawsuits to pointing out that those who refuse to turn from their sins and turn to Christ will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Paul goes on to point out that some those in the church of Corinth had been guilty of the previously mentioned transgressions, but something had happened to them and that something being the saving grace of Jesus. After pointing out their current position in Christ he then speaks of his liberty in Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:12-14 KJV
[12] All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. [13] Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. [14] And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. …

Paul uses the illustration of food as things that he was free to partake of without regard to the source of the meat or the type of meat. He pointed out that the both the stomach and the meat would be destroyed one day so it really didn't make much difference what you put in your gut. However, Paul makes a key statement next, while it may not matter what kind of food you put in your body, it does matter what you do with your body.

Paul stated that the body is not for fornication(sexual sin) but for The Lord. I believe it would be safe to concur that any sex outside of a marriage between a man and woman is a sexual sin.

1 Corinthians 6:14-20 KJV
[14] … own power. [15] Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. [16] What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. [17] But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. [18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. [19] What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. …

Paul in the passages above explains the logic behind the admonition for believers not to engage in sexual sin. I have listed 5 points that I got from Paul's admonition not to engage in sexual sins.

1) Believers are part of the body of Christ. When a believer engages in sexual sin they are taking Christ into that sin. Verse 15

2) In the sex act two people become one flesh, believers are joined to Christ and one with Him, if they engage in sexual sin they are as stated earlier taking Christ into that sin and joining Him to immoral person. Verse 16

3) Sexual sin is a sin against a persons body. I believe it is because they are taking a very personal, valuable part of their person and cheapening by illicit sex. Verse 18

4) Believers belong to Christ and their body is actually a temple for the presence of God. Verse 19

5) God has paid a high price to redeem believers, therefore they are to glorify God with their body and spirit that belongs to God. Verse 20

It is clear in this passage that is God's will for believers to abstain from sexual sin of any kind. While many Christians are all up in arms about A&E firing Phil Robertson for his remarks about the sin of homosexuality, it is equally important that we tell heterosexuals within the church to abstain from sexual sin.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sermon Notes on Matthew 6: 19-34

Matthew 6:18-34 KJV
 [19] Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 

The folly of pursuing and treasuring material wealth.

[20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

 The wisdom of laying up treasures in heaven

 [21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Our heart follows our treasure and indicates what we truly value.

[22] The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 

When our heart is right with God concerning wealth, His light will illuminate our being.

[23] But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

If our heart is not wealth then the illumination that God desires for us is darkness, a great darkness that obscures our spiritual vision from what is truly important in life. To borrow a line from a movie, that speaks of the immaterial becoming the material. What is deemed as immaterial by some will one day be clearly evident as the material.

 [24] No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

It is clear that we cannot have divided devotion, Jesus is speaking of material wealth. I believe this principle can be applied to other arenas of life as well.

 [25] Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 

 In this verse Jesus gives the hearers a clear application of this teaching, lest the poor people hearing this message thought that because of their poverty that they were exempt from this teaching. The application is that believers are not to be worried or consumed about the material things of life, even the bare necessities.

[26] Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? [27] Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? [28] And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: [29] And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus gives the reason not to worry, just look around and see how God takes care of His creation. Jesus points out that if God takes care of the animals and plants how much more will He take care of His children.

 [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

An admonition not to worry, those without God depend upon themselves to meet their own material needs. However, Jesus points out that our Heavenly Father knows all about our needs.

 [33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The focus and pursuit of believers should be God's kingdom and to be in and walk in a right relationship with Him. As believers make that the focus and pursuit of their life it is God who supplies their needs during their stay on earth.

 [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. …

Don't worry about the future, there is enough to be mindful about in the present. Worry about the future can rob us of enjoying what God has for us right now and can rob Him of our worship, devotion and service that we should give Him at all times.









Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Lights in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Christmas tree lights in Blue Ridge, Ga. I took these pictures last night after work last night. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Romans 13:11-14 KJV

Romans 13:11-14 KJV
[11] And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Knowing the time - What time? The age we live in, the last days which I believe started when Christ ascended to Heaven after His resurrection, we are to shine as lights in this dark age. A time of grace, a time of preperation and a time when evil will eventually be dealt with forever.

High time - Since we know the time we are living in, these last days, now is the hour for believers to awaken from sleep.

Awake - to arouse, cause to rise
to arouse from sleep, to awake
to cause to rise from a seat or bed etc.
to raise up, produce, cause to appear
to cause to appear, bring before the public
to raise up, stir up, against one
to raise up i.e. cause to be born

Sleep - metaphorically, of a slumbering state of soul, i.e., of spiritual conformity to the world, out of which believers are warned to awake. 1

Believers can be saved yet can be asleep at the wheel, lulled to sleep by fleshly selfish ambitions, pleasure and treasures of this world, the love and practice of sin, the practice of self-righteous self serving religion, false teaching, pride, greed, lust or any part of the old nature that remains un-crucified.

[12] The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Night - Outline of Biblical Usage
metaph. the time when work ceases
the time of death
the time for deeds of sin and shame
the time of moral stupidity and darkness
the time when the weary and also the drunken give themselves up to slumber 1

Far Spent- to beat forward
to lengthen out by hammering (as a smith forges metals)
metaph. to promote, forward, further
to go forward, advance, proceed
of time: the night is far spent
metaph. to increase, make progress 1

The dark night of the soul has went far enough, perhaps Paul was saying that some believers had walked for long enough in the deeds of darkness and it was time to get over it and get on with living for Christ.

the day- in the daytime
metaph., "the day" is regarded as the time for abstaining from indulgence, vice, crime, because acts of the sort are perpetrated at night and in darkness
of the last day of this present age, the day Christ will return from heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom. 1

Paul may have been referencing the day of Christ(His return)was at hand or maybe that believers have saved from the dark night of sin and that they have brought out into the daylight of God's salvation.

1 John 1:5-7 KJV
[5] This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. [6] If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: [7] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. …

Belivers are to clothe themselves with the armour of light whch protects the soul. Armour of light being the things that pertain to God and living for Him, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, helmet of salvation, shield of faith, feet shod with the preperation of the gospel of peace.

[13] Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

honestly- in a seemly manner, decently 1

rioting - a nocturnal and riotous procession of half drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honour of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of male and female friends; hence used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry 1

chambering - it speaks of the lying down, particularly the marriage bed pertaining to sex but in the context is speaking of illicit sex. As I have stated earlier and will continue to state sex outside of marriage is forbidden in the scriptures, marriage defined as a union between a man and woman.
wantoness - unbridled lust, excess,lasciviousness, wantonness, licentiousness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence 1

Wantoness perhaps is a step above chambering as it seems to denote someone giving in fully to their lusts and living shamelessly in gross opposition to God's moral standards. This is different from the sin of chambering in that people who have a degree of morality, with some self-contol and some moral-restraint will often give into sexual sin. It is an accepted and respected and even an expected behaviour by some in our society and even accepted in some churchs. What in times past was heavily frowned upon is now no big deal.

strife and envying - Contentionious, fussing and fighting, arguemenitive, envious, acting out of jealousy. This behaviour stems from believers with a self-centered fleshly mindset. Believers need to remember that it is all about Christ which leads into the next verse.

[14] But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. …

Rather than to be asleep spiritually and to live a life that emanates from the fleshly nature they are to clothe themselves with Christ, believers are clothed with His imputed righteousness already but by the grace of God and His abiding Spirit are to clothe themselves with practical righteousness( living outwardly what we are inwardly). Believers are not to figure in any any concesions for fulfilling the sinful desires of the flesh. We should burn bridges when applicable and not build any new bridges or highways that would carry us into sin.

ref 1.

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Romans 12 Bible Study Outline

This is my Sunday School notes for a review of Romans 12 before going into Romans 13.

In thinking about today's lesson I thought about the start of chapter 12 and how it spoke of living a consecrated and transformed life that we prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. My interpretation, a life that shows what it means to walk in fellowship with God following His will.

I thought about the scripture following the first two verses and it seemed to me that they were truths and principles to meditate on to transform our thoughts on the Christian life.

Verses 3-8 concerning spiritual pride and the use of spiritual gifts. These verses warn about thinking too highly of ourselves because God has given us spiritual gifts. Paul then encourages us to walk in those gifts.

Verses 9-13 actions and attitudes toward one another and towards life in general( based on love, hope and devotion to God) 

Verses 14 How to  deal with persecution.

Verse 15 -18 Speaks of our response to others,sharing in their joy(not envious but being joyful with them) and being sensitive to those who are going through heart wrenching times by sharing in their sorrow,

Paul also speaks of humility, Believers are not to be consumed by seeking personal elevation or things that make for and reek of pomp and pride but rather should seek to be carried away with true humility.   We should be willing to yield ourselves to lowly circumstances if it be God's will. There is the warning not to to think of ourselves as self sufficient when it comes to wisdom. We are taught not to respond to evil with evil and to live a life free of reproach before all people. Finally, in this section of scripture we are told to get along peaceably with others to the best of our ability.

Verses 19- 20

These verses tell us not to worry about righting the wrongs done to us but to leave that in God's hands but rather instead of retaliation to respond with good that they may be shamed and repent. Finally, we are not to let evil get the best of us but to overcome it with good.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Penalty for No Healthcare Insurance

People who do not have healthcare that meets Obamacare's minimum requirements will have to pay a penalty. The penalty for 2014 will be calculated by two formulas and those paying a penalty will pay the greater of the two. It will be either 1% of the household income or $95 per person($47.50 for children 18 or under) with a maximum penalty of $285 per family.

This penalty does not seem too bad, most people may think they will just pay the fine and go uninsured or get cheaper insurance that does not meet the Obamacare minimum requirements. That may not be too bad for 2014, but according to the site, the penalty for 2015 will be eiher 2% of household income or $325 per person. The fee for 2016 increases to 2.5% of household income or $695 per person. People need to realize that even if we can slide by this year, we probably have not seen the worst.

The American people need to wake-up and try to elect people who will do all within their power to repeal this law. If they don't, I am afraid life as we know it in America will be changed forever, and not for the good. Obamacare is eroding our freedoms, the freedom to buy or not buy healthcare insurance and also the kind of healthcare insurance that we want to purchase. If we as Americans relinquish this freedom, what's next? Something to think about.

Please share this with others so that people will vote for people who will do whatever it takes to get this law repealed. I just pray it is not too late, please pray for God to have mercy on our country

Update 3/4/2024
(I just heard on Fox News that the individual mandate has been delayed, do not know the details. Check out for more info.)

Cracker Barrel Insurance for 2014

In compliance with Obamacare's minimum requirements for healthcare insurance, the new weekly cost for employees purchasing family coverage is just a little more than last year, only a mere $207 a week. Of course, this is just pocket change for the employees of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. I am being facetious, this is more than a 400% increase for some employees who had family coverage. Apart from the $207 weekly contribution from participants in the plan, the plan has a $5000 calendar year deductible for those using network providers and $10000 calendar year deductible for using non-network providers. After meeting the deductible, participants in the plan pay a 50% co-pay. So now Cracker Barrel employees who purchase the Obamacare compliant insurance will, apart from wellness check ups will pay $15,764 out of pocket(deductible + weekly contribution) and then a 50% co-pay if they use a net-work provider (add $5000 more for using non-network providers). These figures are only based on family coverage and only on the Par Plan that Cracker Barrel is offering, some workers may qualify for subsidies, I have not checked that out. I believe this a direct result of Obamacare, the insurance Cracker Barrel offered last year was not the best but it was affordable. I do not foresee this as affordable insurance for Cracker Barrel workers who are depending upon their Cracker Barrel income to live on. I believe this a good example of what president Obama has brought on the American people with his healthcare overhaul. May God have mercy on us all.

On a more positive note, hats off to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for providing a basic healthcare insurance policy that is more affordable for their employees. The only thing problem is that it does not meet Obamacare's minimum requirements, which means that workers who choose this plan will have to pay the tax/fine for not having insurance that does not meet Mr. Obama's standards.

I hope that as Americans see the rollout of Obamacare and it's effects on health insurance as we know it that they will be outraged and moved to action. It is high-time that Americans take a stand before we lose more of the freedoms that men and women gave their life's blood for.

Penalty for not Having Healthcare Insurance

People who do not have healthcare that meets Obamacare's minimum requirements will have to pay a penalty. The penalty for 2014 will be calculated by two formulas and those paying a penalty will pay the greater of the two. It will be either 1% of the household income or $95 per person($47.50 for children 18 or under) with a maximum penalty of $285 per family.

This penalty does not seem too bad, most people may think they will just pay the fine and go uninsured or get cheaper insurance that does not meet the Obamacare minimum requirements. That may not be too bad for 2014, but according to site, the penalty for 2015 will be eiher 2% of household income or $325 per person. The fee for 2016 increases to 2.5% of household income or $695 per person. People need to realize that even if we can slide by this year, we probably have not seen the worst.

The American people need to wake-up and try to elect people who will do all within their power to repeal this law. If they don't, I am afraid life as we know it in America will be changed forever, and not for the good. Obamacare is eroding our freedoms, the freedom to buy or not buy healthcare insurance and also the kind of healthcare insurance that we want to purchase. If we as Americans relinquish this freedom, what's next? Something to think about.

Please share this with others so that people will vote for people who will do whatever it takes to get this law repealed. I just pray it is not too late, please pray for God to have mercy on our country

Saturday, October 26, 2013 Yikes! My Dad is a Zombie eBook: paul young: Kindle Store Yikes! My Dad is a Zombie eBook: paul young: Kindle Store

Are you interested in zombies? What if your dad was a zombie? How would you react if your dad died and then came back to life, how would you react. In this short Kindle book, a father of three dies and then comes back from the dead to the dismay of 15 year old Billy who must figure out what he is going to do with a Zombie Dad. This is not your typical zombie book and is actually a good read for younger readers. Check it out on Amazon.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It is all About Love

Today was a special day at church, it was one of those services where the various teaching and scripture readings flowed together as if the Sunday School Superintendent, adult Sunday School teacher and pastor had planned it all in advance. It all starred with a prayer by one of our members who is active in mission work, in his prayer he mentioned something about praying for our enemies. After this awesome prayer the Sunday School Superintendent read the following scripture that he had selected prior to the opening prayer:
Matthew 5:43-48 KJV [43] Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. [44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others ? do not even the publicans so? [48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 After the scripture reading by the Superintendent, then the Sunday School teacher, which happens to be yours truly read the scripture that he would be teaching from:
Romans 12: 9) Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. The scripture we were looking at today was the first part of the verse, 'Let love be without dissimulation'. Since we were studying about love today, I had selected the following scripture prior to this mornings service:
 Matthew 5:43-48 KJV [43] Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. [44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others ? do not even the publicans so? [48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. 

 Did you notice something? This was the same passage the Sunday School Super read, we did not plan this. After this reading from Matthew 5 I read and taught from 1st Corinthians 13.
 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 KJV [1] … Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. [2] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. [3] And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor , and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. [4] Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, [5] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh(take into account) no evil; [6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; [7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [8] Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. [10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. [11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. [12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. [13] And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 Guess what text the Pastor used for his message? 1st Corinthians 13. He said God laid this passage on his heart the night before, I have no reason to doubt him. The thread of love run strongly through our service today, I believe God was telling us of the importance of loving one another with His love, a love imparted to believers through the Holy Spirit. I believe this common thread of love at church today was the work of God, may we embrace the grace to put this love into practice.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yikes, My Dad is a Zombie

Yikes, My Dad is a Zombie  is a book I wrote about a young man whose dad dies and then shows back up at the house. This is not your typical zombie book but is in my opinion a unique approach to the standard zombie story. I do not want to reveal much more about the story because I do not want to spoil it for would be readers.

I will say this much, this book in not along the lines of The Walking Dead, one of my favorite TV shows but is a little more light-hearted at the outset but then turns very serious. There are not your typical zombies either but a better term would be undead. There are also some Christian overtures in Yikes, My Dad is a Zombie , but not too preachy.

Please check this book out on Amazon , I am running a free promo for a few days, afterwards it will cost you .99, which I believe to be a fair price for the Book. This book is geared towards younger folks but adult zombie fans may like it as well.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rick and Daryl from Walking Dead for President and Vice-President

Zombie Book
What if we had Rick and Daryl from the Walking Dead for President and Vice-President? You may think it laughable, but what if we had leaders in the White House that had proved thier leadership skills under the harshest conditions? I think Rick and Daryl are leaders who know the importance of doing what you have to do to survive yet still having a heart. Our country is facing some major challenges, there are hard decisions to be made, we need men in charge who can rise up to those challenges and make the hard decisions without letting thier judgement be clouded by ideology that is nor feasible for the nation.

Should our leaders throw away thier conscious? I don't believe so, but they should open up thier minds and admit that perhaps thier ideology may not always be the right course. We have a constitution, and we have other branches of Government, I think that the Constitution should be adhered to and the White House should listen to what others in opposing parties have to say and also listen to the people. The President needs to be ready to really listen and be willing to accept opposing views, he needs to realize and be willing to admit he may be wrong.

Rick and Daryl have learned from thier experience on the Walking Dead that when it comes down to it you do what you have to do yet you still strive to do what is right within your power. When the world is going through a zombie apocalypse you learn that some of your social ideology is not as important as you once thought and you have to focus on the essentials of survival without losing your humanity. What of this way of thinking was implemented in Washington and our leaders focused on what we need to do to make it as a nation? It might mark a difference.

Anyways, I say Rick and Daryl for the White House. I know they are fictional characters but I trust their character's judgement more than I do the current administration.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Graveyard Near Blue Ridge, Georgia

Graveyard at New Antioch Church on Aska Road near Blue Ridge,Ga.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

World War Z vs HeyDay

Just got through watching World War Z on Amazon video, while my wife sat by my side playing HeyDay. I could not stop her from playing the game long enough to watch the movie with me. The movie was not what I expected, it was mildly intriqing but not the best movie I have seen in a while. There was very little character development, which was a shame since they had Brad Pitt in the lead role. Brad was likable but we really did not get to know him, in my opinion it was a waste of Pitt's acting ability. Compared to Will Smith's role in I am Legend, Brad' s was not even in the same league. Don't get me wrong, Pitt done a great job, there was just not enough time devoted to developing his character. So based on the lack of character development I give World War Z a neutral rating; alright story, shallow characters but great acting.However, HeyDay must I been pretty awesome tonight, my darling wife played it throughout the whole movie.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

View from Front porch

Sunday Evening in North Ga North of Blue Ridge

The evenings here in Fannin County or absolutely gorgeous. This is my favorite time of day to sit outside and enjoy God's creation.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Renewing the Mind Commentary on the second part of Romans 12:2

Renewing the Mind

(but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God)

We renew our mind by staying in the word of God. Through personal devotion , group Bible study such ad we are doing now, listening to sound Biblical preaching such as brother Randy's . However it is important that we walk in the revealed truth of God's word.

James 1: 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Our mind is renewed as we pray in the Spirit. That is, as we yield our heart and mind to God on such a way that we pray in unison with the Spirit.

Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

By fellowship with other believers.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

As we meet with other believers we sharpen one another and this especially true when we gather together in His name. For we have His promised presence which I personally believe a special anointing for His children since we have His Spirit with us all the time He could be saying there is a special manifestation of His Spirit when join with other believers in His name.

(that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God). When we refuse to be conformed to this world and choose to be transformed by the renewal of our minds we will be living examples of God's will for His children living in a fallen world. We will set a standard for other believers, our families, and the little ones who are watching. We will also be letting our light shine before this world that they may be able to see Christ in us, the hope of glory.

2nd Corithians 4 4 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Sent from my iPad

Commentary on Romans 12: 1-2


Chapter 12 1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

As we present our bodies as a living sacrifice, there is the temptation to conform to the world(values, morals, and belief system). Paul says not to succumb to this but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. There is more in this than I could bring out in our limited time and you would probably grow weary with me before I got through, so we will look at one good and relevent example and application of this precept.

Temporal as opposed to the eternal.
The world places its emphasis on the temporal. For the most part it seems that the world is all about the here and now with only a passing thought to the eternal with the exception of cults and false religious groups.

Believers are to live their lives from an eternal perspective. There is the temptation to be conformed to a worldly, temporal mindset, with a focus on the passing things of this life. However, through the renewing of the mind we can overcome this temptation and be transformed from a Christian living in the temporary to one focused on the eternal, proving what the will of God is for believers which is living life from an eternal perspective.

2nd Cor 4: 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
(It is natural to focus on the seen, but we need to remember that there is an unseen, eternal God who is sovereign who has everything under control and who loves us with an indescribable, immeasurable love that if we could only comprehend would banish all fear)

Note here this example of the seen versus the unseen with the prophet Elisha.
2nd Kings 6:11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?

12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.

14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.

5: 1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Romans 8: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

John 6: 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Just a few verses that reminds us that it is about the eternal and not the temporal.

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Syria Unrest Dirty Dance Moves Not Miley's Best

Wow, what a week is has been.From the turmoil in Syria to the raunchy dance moves of former Disney star Miley Cyrus. I would have to say the atrocities by the Syrians and the possibility of war with Syria would be the worst but both are disturbing.

Death and destruction on one hand and filthy debauchery on national TV on the other. It does not appear that things are getting better but that this world is on a downward spiral. However, hope is on the horizon, Jesus is coming back. Lets hope the Miley Cyrus' and those who traffic in death will get a clue before they meet King Jesus. May we all get a clue before we meet Him who created all things and died for the sins of mankind and came back from the dead with the  keys of death and hell.

Since He is coming back and will judge this world it would behoove us all to live for Him.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cyborg Willie at Cracker Barrel

While this may appear be a man waiting tables at Cracker Barrel, things are not always as they seem. This is Cyborg Willie, intergalactic time traveler and Galactic criminal, wanted across time and throughout the universe. He is currently wanted in 5 galaxies and in 1000 different centuries not to mention all the different planets and dimensions he is wanted for crimes against humanity and 2000  other life forms. If you see this man, contact James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, Kirk can be easily be reached at where he is posing as spokesperson for the motel booking site.

Of course this is fictional but I do refer to the man in the picture as Cyborg Willie when we work together at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Canton, Ga. I think he makes an excellent cyborg. Come by and visit us at Cracker Barrel and ask for Cyborg Willie to be your server, they won't know who you are talking about but who cares any way.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Unplugging from the World

Turning over a new leaf today 
Unplugging myself from all the fray
Cutting ties with the trite tirade
Giving up on the grand charade

Tired of  the unraveled and wasted years
Smile cross my face hiding the bitter tears
Squandered time the  end may be drawing near
With nothing to show for my time spent here

So now it's time  for me to turn off the surreal
And set the world ablaze with something that's real
Open up my heart for my Savior to fill
And let Him have His way with me and do His will.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lessons from the Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman Trial

George Zimmerman acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin, news that apparently shocked some and spawned outrage and protest across the country. Why the shock and outrage? Did people actually believe the jury would find Zimmerman guilty of murder? From what I gathered from news coverage on Fox News, George Zimmerman was flat on his back with Martin on top of him. Photographs of Zimmerman's face and the back of his head showed blood and contusions such as would be found on someone whose head had hit the concrete and whose face was struck with someone's fist. I am in no place to say innocent or guilty in this case, but considering the evidence I do not find the acquittal of George Zimmerman in this case surprising.
Why is it so hard to believe that Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he shot young Trayvon Martin? If a young man has someone on the ground and are on top of them beating them up, what is the person getting beat up suppose to do, lay there and take it? Nobody really knows but George Zimmerman what was going on inside his head on that fateful night. Maybe he tried to get Martin off him but was unable and felt the only way he would survive was to shoot Martin. The evidence showed that George had received injuries to his face and head, injuries that stun some people and render them unable to defend themselves. This may have been the case with George Zimmerman; the blows he received may have incapacitated him to the point that he was physically unable to defend himself and used his gun. If this is the case, I believe Zimmerman acted in self-defense, which is permitted by Florida law. One might argue if that was the case, how was he able to get to his gun, point taken.
On the other hand, and one I find most likely is that George Zimmerman feared for his life. Maybe he felt that the beating he was receiving from Trayvon Martin was the end for him. Before people make a snap judgment in this case and believe George Zimmerman should not have been acquitted, they should consider how they would react in similar circumstances. What would they do someone was on top of them beating them up and had the advantage over them? Unless they are a MMA fighter they might hit the panic mode and do whatever was in their power to end the fight.
I am not saying Zimmerman was innocent or guilty, but considering the evidence presented and that the jury was comprised of women, some having children of their own, I do not find it outrageous that George Zimmerman was acquitted in this case. The justice system makes mistakes at times, but whether justice was served or not in this case I believe that it was a fair trial and Americans should respect the court's ruling.
Lessons We can LearnTo the George Zimmerman's of the world who feel the need to follow people around because they find them suspicious, get over it. I believe Zimmerman was guilty of bad judgment in following Martin; he should have left it to the authorities. Just because Martin may have appeared suspicious to Zimmerman, he should have let the authorities deal with him. For all I know Trayvon Martin may have been innocent of any illegal activity and had no evil intent on the night Zimmerman was following him. However, whether Martin was guilty of any illegal activity makes no difference in this case. The point is, had George Zimmerman not followed Martin on that night, this terrible tragedy might have been avoided. Therefore I say George Zimmerman is guilty of poor judgment, but that is not what this case has been about. Zimmerman's judgment was not on trial but his claim to self-defense.
To the Trayvon Martins of the world. I do not know why Trayvon was beating Zimmerman, he may have feared for his life as well, what he thought perished with him that night. However, we need to realize that violence is not the answer and when we assault someone, even if it is only with our fists, the one being assaulted may respond with deadly force. We never know what to expect from someone, so the best policy is to do our best to avoid violent confrontations. Maybe Trayvon Martin felt he had no way out but to fight Zimmerman, if so, then he done what he had to do. May you and I learn from this and seek to live in peace with one another as God would have us to.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bible School Lesson on the Armor of God focusing on the Sword of the Spirit. Closing lesson.

7 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Along with all the other pieces of God’s armor: the belt of truth;  the truth of God and truthful living, the breastplate of righteousness; living righteously doing what is right according to God’s standard of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; being prepared to share the gospel and having gospel shoes to help us have good footing in advancing the gospel, shield of faith that quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked one; a faith that trusts God in all areas of life; the helmet of salvation; the knowledge and application of the benefits afforded by God’s salvation, we are told to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

It is called the sword of the Spirit. The Spirit of God uses the word of God to help us, out on the spiritual battlefield we certainly need this help.

John 6

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The words of Christ are of a spiritual nature. The word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit and I believe according to God’s will empowered by the Holy Spirit. However the devil may came at us, the sword of the Spirit can meet the attack. Whether it be through deception, temptation, physical / psychological attack, whatever it may be the word of God can meet that attack. In Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness He responded to each temptation with it is written referring to the Old Testament.  Likewise, we can respond to the enemy with the word of God.

1) The Spirit and the word work together

John 14

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Spirit of God brings to remembrance the words of God to help us when we need them. The more of God’s word we put in, the more He will bring out. That is why we need to study God’s word.

2) God’s inspired  word is very useful in battle.

2 Timothy 3

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Not only is the word of God profitable for the man of God but for each believer the word of God is beneficial.
Reproof: God can teach us by reproof, when we are out of line. This helps us to get back in line with God quicker.
Correction: When in the way of error, the sword of the Spirit can cut through error with truth. Error can lead us away from God’s truth and will for our lives.
Instruction: The sword of the Spirit helps instruct how to live out true righteousness.

In a battle, there may be times in close combat  the enemy gets in blow but with the sword of the Spirit we can quickly recover from his attacks.

3) The sword of the Spirit can help us fight for others. With the truth of God’s word we can hack away at the enemies work in the life of others. It can be for a brother or sister under attack, a backslider, or a lost person. Whatever the need may be, with the word of God welded under the influence of the Holy Spirit we can minister to the need.

18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

After speaking of the armor, Paul finishes with the exhortation to pray always.
This is my personal interpretation of this passage. Prayer is communion with God, through prayer we consciously tap into the resources God has provided for us and also petition God for things we may need or others may need. Praying in the Spirit is when we get our natural selves out of the way and pray in unison with God’s Spirit inside of us. Praying in such a way empowers us in our walk with God works with the armor of God.

Paul also calls us to watch for all saints, petitioning God on their behalf. He said to do this with perseverance. We are called to have endurance and not lose heart or give up in our watching and praying for others. The call to watch and pray for others reminds us that this spiritual battle is not just about ourselves and we do not want to get so self-absorbed in our own spiritual battle we forget about the rest of the body.

Paul also was requesting prayer for himself to be empowered to speak the gospel as he ought. Paul’s main concern for himself was not himself but for the proclamation of the gospel. As we come away from this week of Bible school, may we not only be better equipped soldiers with God’s armor but may we be advancing the cause of Christ by praying that God would strengthen His children and embolden them to tell the good news of Christ as we ought.