Any old bush will do if the fire of God is burning in it!

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Listen to the Lord


I was standing behind the pulpit of a dead church on the equally dead side of town one Saturday night. My subject was regarding the call to the ministry.

 

One year later I was still there (or back again) and on the same subject. “Man have I ever gone to seed,” I thought. But that night God taught me a lesson.

 

The pastor of that Baptist church had invited anyone to speak at any length of time they chose, each Saturday night.  So, about a year’s worth of sermons later, still on the same subject, two men came forward. One came surrendering to the ministry and the other came forward to surrender to full-time evangelism ministry.

 

The next Saturday night God changed my message and told me it was time to leave. I should have left then and not come back, but I came back the next Saturday night.

 

The pastor, his associate and I got into a cur dogfight (a lot of barking but no fist fighting). Yes, I moved on!

 

Conclusion: Just about everywhere the Apostle Paul went, if not everywhere, there was trouble. And he would move on. Don’t try to think for God. Just do what He tells you to do.

 

 

 

God uses ladies auxiliaries also

About 44 years back while I was pastoring a church in a large city in the Midwest God began to deal with me about moving west, and it turned out to be a certain place on the western slope of Colorado. I voiced this from the pulpit but the men in the church thought I was just experiencing itchy feet.  One of the men, a deacon, who had a brother that was a preacher said: we might not let you go. I think he thought he was God himself because he had a brother that was a preacher. Shortly thereafter we got in a racial squabble. It seems that someone in a ladies meeting of the church ask if we could accept black people into the fellowship, for some had moved into the community.  At the next church service they ask me what I thought about it. Well, basically, I said that God only created one race of people and the Bible doesn’t exclude anyone from church membership on the basis of the color of their skin. The fur flew!

 

At the next meeting I offered my resignation to the church (God had set this up perfectly).  That deacon who thought he could stop me from leaving saw the trap he was in. It was written all over his countenance: “If we don’t accept his resignation we will have to accept blacks.” The vote was unanimous. I was moving west and that deacon was as hot as a firecracker.  Before we drove off the deacon was walking the yard in anger. He and I exchanged a few words and that was the last time I saw the brother.  At that time I had only been preaching for 6 years. I have no fellowship with that church.

 

Paul's Testimony To The Jews

Acts 22: 1-23

 1Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

 2(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

3I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

4And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

5As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

6And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.

7And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

8And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

9And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

10And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

11And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

12And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,

13Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

14And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

15For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

16And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

17And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

18And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

19And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:

20And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

21And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

22And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

23And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,

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 An angel of the Lord

A car load of us young men were traveling north just south of Healdton, Oklahoma late one Saturday night or to be more accurate, it was Sunday morning. We had just left a country beer joint and were headed for home. Suddenly my step-brother from the back seat yelled out “hey!” I was riding in the front seat opposite the driver. I awoke and for a  split second I was looking at the front end of a Gray Hound bus. About 60 years later now, I can still see very clearly the image of the front of that bus glistening in the car lights just yards away. The drunken driver was alerted by the yell also, just in time to steer back over into the right hand lane out of the lane of the bus.

In 2005 close to 17,000 died in alcohol-related crashes in the U.S. 

Conclusion: Proverbs 20:1 says: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”  


A Lasting Experience

There are some experiences in this life that can give us some insight into the joys of Heaven. One in particular happened some years back when I was traveling south of Denver, Colorado on interstate 25. The sun had gone down over the Rockies and it was almost dark on the east side where I was driving, but the sun was shining from behind the mountains up into the sky in a bright burst of light. As I was nearing Colorado Springs a local DJ played a recording that fit the occasion perfectly. I don’t remember the words to the song but I shall never forget the out-of-this-world feeling I felt. I am reminded of what our Lord said in John 14: 1-3  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”


Many joyful experiences in this life only last about 24 hours, but like the experience I described above, that has stayed with me for all these years, Heaven, yet, surely a much more joyful experience, will last for an eternity.

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