It Was Never About Hate – It Is About Heritage

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Black Confederate Soldier

 

“Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southern man apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance. Our cause was so just, so sacred, that had I known all that has come to pass, had I known what was to be inflicted upon me, all that my country was to suffer, all that our posterity was to endure, I would do it all over again.”  — President Jeff Davis, C.S.A.

 

Journal,

As for the Civil War, I don’t know of a Southern person today who would argue that slavery was ever right. It is certainly not my purpose in this entry to justify slavery in any case. I merely wish to speak just a bit about our Southern heritage.

However, it is important to understand that the civil war was not simply about slavery. The primary issue was a states rights of succession. The right of succession was placed into the American constitution. 

And, believe it or not, the civil war also had to do with heritage and culture. 

This is one reason that so many blacks and whites in the South today, resent the pictures that are being portrayed of our Southern culture. These sordid portrayals are made by people who do not understand the love that Southerners have for their culture. There are no racial lines when it comes to being Southern. 

Actually people from the north do not yet understand why the South is so distinctively different from every other Black Confederate Soldier3part of the nation. Yet Northerners by the droves are moving to the south, and it has nothing to do with the weather.

Something is drawing them. What is it?

Could it be because Southern women are prettier? (Don’t go there – I’m just kidding.)

Did you know:

(1) The first state to choose a black governor was Virginia, that is Doug Wilder in 1989.

(2) According to census, hundreds of thousands of blacks are leaving the North and coming South. Many are returning home and to a culture that they love and appreciate.

(3) Race relations in the south have always been better than those relationships in the north. Take note of where almost all the riots are seen. This should tell us who is really having a race problem.

Let me bring it a little closer to my home state of Louisiana.

Did you know:

(1) The word “Dixie” comes from currency issued by banks in Louisiana. The ten-dollar note was labeled “Dix,” French for the number ten. The notes came to be known as “Dixies” by the English speakers, and the area around the French parts of Louisiana came to be known as “Dixieland.”

(2) In my hometown, Pineville, Louisiana, we have a black mayor, and yet our population is predominately white. Across the river is Alexandria, Louisiana, with a white mayor, yet their population is predominately black. Does that suggest anything?

(3) Louisiana is also very unique in that we are pretty much the blending pot of the south. We are red, black, white, creole, Cajun, Spanish, German, red bone, and anything else you can throw into the mix, and we are downright proud of it.

What does that tell you about Southern race relations?

But why…

 

Why is the South so Distinctively Different

I would suggest that a primary reason the South is so distinctively different is because we are essentially a Bible loving people. Let no one fool you, there is a genuine Bible belt in the United States. That Bible belt is made up primarily of the old South.

The South is almost a nation within a nation. Bible Belt

How does being in the Bible belt affect the southern culture?

When it comes to respect for your elders, to general friendliness, to caring for your neighbor, to a love for family and tradition, to church attendance, we are all cut from the same clothe.

And by the way, who ever heard of Northern gospel music?

By the way, did you know that Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, had never been to the South and had never even seen a plantation and how they were run. 

There is one Scripture that sets the stage for why the South is so distinct in our Christian heritage. Yes, it does come back to the Bible belt.

Listen carefully:

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Gal 3:27-29)

There is so much I would like to share about our southern heritage, but perhaps I should let some of our black brothers tell the story from their own view of the south. They can do it better than I can.

This first video clip is of a former NAACP president of Asheville, NC  –

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The next video is, “Behind the Dixie Stars”

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In Christ always,

Buddy

 

The Goshen of America

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“Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.’” (Gen 47:4-6)

 

 

Journal,

There is no question in my mind that the United States of America is a God-created nation. From sea to shining sea we are unique in all the world. We are a fiercely independent people united as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The one major reason that makes America so unique in the world is that our government was set in place by the founders based upon Christian core values. And to this day 78.4% of Americans associate themselves with the Christian faith. (1.7% Jewish; .6% Muslim; .7% Buddhist; .4% Hindu; 16.1% Unaffiliated. [Statistics by 'The Pew Forum])

Note: On a world-wide basis 33% of the world’s population associate with Christianity, 19:6% Muslims, Hindus 13.4%

It is our Christian core values that has made American a beacon to the world. And while the United States is overwhelmingly Christian, yet it was the wisdom of our founders not to set up a state religion. We offer freedom to all who come to us.

Thus the compassion of America is best seen in the poem by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, 
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips.
‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Our Southern Bible Culture

I like to refer to our southern states as the ‘Goshen’ of America. What may seem odd is that statistics consistently show that the most patriotic people in America to this day are from the South. We southerners fully accept that it was God’s providence that this nation not be divided into two nations.

Probably the least understood issue has to do with the Civil War itself. The Civil War wasn’t actually a civil war in the truest sense. A civil war is about taking over the government of a nation by a faction. The southern states wanted to see two nations who could coöperate on the world scene in matters that involved both nations.

What is called the civil war was actually about succession. All the states held to the right of succession. While slavery was an issue it was not the dominate issue. (Slavery was on its way out in short time.)

For southerners the war was more about independence and culture. The south had a strong Bible emphasis built into their culture. It was not the same with the northern states. It remains that way even today.

According to Gallup polls the ten most religious states are: (Kentucky and Texas share same %. Notice the Bible Belt largely makes up the Southern Confederacy.)

85% Mississippi

The Bible Belt of America

82% Alabama
80% South Carolina
79% Tennessee
78% Louisiana
78% Arkansas
76% Georgia
76% North Carolina
75% Oklahoma
74% Kentucky
74% Texas

 The ten least religious states:

42% Vermont
46% New Hampshire
48% Maine
48% Massachusetts
51% Alaska
52% Washington
53% Oregon
53% Rhode Island
54% Nevada
55% Connecticut

A Southern Migration

Coming Home

But why? Why has there been for the past several years a migration from the north to the southern states? The short answer has to do with culture.

In the South you find a culture built around generations of a strong Bible emphasis. Out of this emphasis comes friendliness, hospitably, a special ‘spiritual’ kinship, and a genuine care for one another.

It is so sad how the South has often been displayed over time. ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ was written by a woman who had never been to the south nor had she ever been on a plantation. (Harriet Beecher Stowe.)

For those who would like to read up on the real culture of the South, I recommend, ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to The South (and Why It Will Rise Again) by Clint Johnson. (There is also a Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War.)

There are a couple of movies that can help people gain a better understanding of southern culture: Gods and Generals, and, ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales. (Directed and starred in by Clint Eastwood).

Yes, it really is about culture. And, yes, I dearly love the United States of America. My family has fought in every war of this nation from the Revolutionary War on. We southerners love ‘Old Glory.’ We’ve fought for her and will fight for her again.

And by the way, the North really needs us. (Think about it. Whoever heard of ‘Northern Gospel Music.)

As for culture take time to view this clip, titled, ‘

A Tribute To Our Black Confederate Heroes

In love with Jesus,

Buddy

Does God Really Care About Little Animals

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“How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God.” (Psa 84:1-3)

 

Journal,

Sometimes I receive questions from children wanting to know if there will be animals in heaven. Often it has to do with the loss of a pet. I always assure them that their little dog or cat will certainly be there.

Have you ever thought about it? Have you ever wondered if God really does care much for the animals he has created? I say that He does. I believe that God’s love is directed to all of creation.

Notice how Jesus points to God’s care for the animals:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.” (Luk 12:6)

Did you catch it? Not one sparrow is ever forgotten before God.

Perhaps the best way I know to share about God’s love for animals is with a true story of a godly Christian woman that the Lord used to help a small dog. See if this story touches your heart.

 

The Story of Our Little Hobo

You’re probably wondering, “Where in the world is she going with this.” God loves hobos?

This story is about a four-legged hobo who showed up in my front yard homeless, neglected, hungry, and almost lifeless, two weeks ago. It was obvious he hadn’t been loved and cared for.

It was our larger dog, Leroy, who found the little guy when he was going for his last walk of the day. My husband opened my front door, dropped a big ball of fur in my lap and said, “Look what Leroy found.” At first glance I couldn’t even tell what it was.

It was late so we decided to put him in a cage for the night and attempt to locate the owner the next day. My husband found the owner half a block away but it seems she had thrown this precious baby out of her house and said, “He’s not right. I don’t want him anymore.”

I had the day off so decided to take our little visitor to the vet to have him checked out. He was in pretty bad shape with ear infection in both ears, conjunctivitis, infected with fleas, matted hair, and it was obvious he hadn’t been fed properly and only weighed four pounds. We gave him all his shots, medicated him for the infections and treated him to a day at the spa (groomers).

I began posting pictures and sharing about the life of this little dog on Facebook. I was amazed by the love and concern that was being shown for our little hobo. He was pretty quiet at first but within a few days he decided he would try to become leader of the pack. Leroy and Alex didn’t approve of his decision and voted not to allow this to happen.

But our little visitor never gave up. He was getting a lot of love and attention and he didn’t want to share any of it with the big boys.

For some reason I knew this was not to be his final home. I guess my first clue was not being able to name him. We nicknamed him our little hobo because he was homeless and looked a little rugged at first. But I knew he would have a name some day and would also have an owner who would love and care for him.

I have no doubt that God temporarily placed him in our care to nurture him back to health and to care for him while he was preparing his permanent home. I somehow knew that God was preparing a heart to receive this little special gift that he created.

Last night I brought him to my room and laid him on my bed while I worked from my computer. I glanced over at his little eyes and noticed him staring at me and watching every move I made. It was unusual for him to be up that late but he was wide awake looking at me as if he knew something I didn’t.

I began to talk to God and tell him that I knew he was preparing his home and I knew in my heart he was working on building a little mansion just for him. He was once homeless, neglected, abused, and thrown away because he wasn’t perfect, but I knew he was perfect in Gods eyes and I also knew he would be perfect in the eyes of whoever God chose to receive him.

On my way to work this morning I thought of the little dog again as I prayed, and I asked God to let this day be all about Jesus.

Today was not going to be a typical work day. Myself and three others had to drive to Malvern for defensive driving. On the way to Malvern I began to share the story of our little dog with another driver who was sitting across from me. I didn’t realize that our driver, Keith, was paying attention to our conversation.

As he turned and looked at me, I noticed tears coming from his eyes. Now this is not unusual for Keith because he is very tender-hearted. He is a pastor and a servant to our Lord and Savior and has such a passion for Christ. We have had many conversations about the Lord and I always enjoy being around someone who knows Christ personally.

He began to share how he and his wife, especially his wife, had wanted a Yorkie for over a year. He said they had discussed it many times but the timing was never right. He knew immediately when listening to our conversation that this was from God. He knew this little Yorkie was a “God thing” and was meant to be.

I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing something else with you. He said today after we got back from class he went home, knelt down and prayed over what had just happened. God touched a heart through the life of a little hobo and I imagine Keith felt the love of God and wanted to give him thanks, and praise him for giving them their hearts desire.

How Awesome is our God!!

Normally after a class I would drive the rest of the day, but today there were no vehicles available for me to drive so I had the afternoon off. We planned to meet back at the base at 4pm to let him meet his gift God had just given him.

I came home and loved on our little hobo and wondered if I was doing the right thing. I began to miss him already and dreaded handing him over. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it so I asked for Gods help. I asked him if it was his will, would he take this lump out of my throat and take the hurt away.

God definitely has a sense of humor. The little hobo jumped down from my lap, ran in the dining room and pee’d twice in the floor. I had to laugh because it reminded me of a song “you’ve lost that loving feeling, oh that loving feeling.”

I got a little upset with the little hobo and lost that loving feeling, at least long enough to transfer ownership.

That loving feeling is back now, but it’s more for my father who entrusted me with the care of one of his creations who was abandoned, abused, neglected and thrown away because a human didn’t think he was good enough.

Aren’t you glad our father doesn’t throw us away or forget about us because we aren’t good enough?

We don’t have to earn his Love. He loves us no matter how many mistakes we make, and forgets our past when we come to him through faith. He loves us and knows our hearts desire. He loved this couple enough to give them their hearts desire and if he can see a fallen sparrow he can surely see a lost and lonely puppy who just wants to be loved and cared for.

I miss the little hobo tonight, but my heart is filled with joy because I got to see how God works and I just spent a day with it being “All about Jesus.”

God answers prayers and if he can love a little hobo and do this much for him, how much more do you think he loves us and is willing to care for our needs.

How great is our God!!

Linda

 

Thanks Linda and thanks Keith for letting me share this story.

Little Hobo has a new daddy now. Keith Lewis is one of God’s servant pastors, and Little Hobo has a new name. His new name is ‘Keynu’.

So, what do you think? Does God love little hobos? Sure he does. We were all hobos at one time.

Here is a video that will speak to your heart …

Would like to hear from my readers. Feel free to share a comment or two.

In Christ always,

Buddy

 

 

 

 

 

Time for a little laughter and reflections…

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Journal,

Maybe now is a good time to let our hair down with a bit of laughter. I’ve looked over some of my favorite video clips that I’ve shared on my blog. Thought I pass a few of them by you just for a moment of laughter and reflection.

For you who love the Gaither Homecoming Group, this first video will surely tickle your ribs. Watch as Mark Lowery has his fun with Bill Gaither.

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Remember Americas Got Talent? This next video will also bring laughter. Watch 11-year-old Taylor Ware yodel her way right into your heart.
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OK, I want to test your giggle some more. Everyone knows that I have a great love  for animals and dogs in particular. I’ve found that dogs are so highly intelligent that they’ve been known to drive a vehicle. Pay close attention to the very first part of this clip. It sets the stage. A dog asks for directions.

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Now for something extra special. Would you like to hear a girl who shares in a Jewish lineage sing of her love for Jesus. Let’s see if the Isaacs can pull on your heart-strings.

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Guess I need to show my heart a bit more. I’ve had a dream for years. When I think about my three kids and their musical abilities, I think, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could form a gospel group with my kids.’ Oh well, dreams are what life is made of. And Pop isn’t as young as he use to be.

Anyway, some years ago the kids helped me to make a Jubilee CD with songs that the Lord had given me. They provided the music for my songs. Others in the church also helped out. Thought perhaps you would like to hear one of my favorite songs. (Don’t expect anything professional.)

It is titled, In The Year of The Jubilee.



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Thats it for now.

Much love coming your way.

In Christ Jesus always,

Buddy

The Call of the Eagle’s Heart…

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Journal,

The apostle speaks of an upward call that all true believers share in Christ Jesus. It is our heavenward call. But the call also speaks to believers about learning how to live in their upward life.

Let me share a story that best describes this aspect of our heavenly life. Let’s see if you can identify with the eagle’s heart. (The is an old story that has taken many forms. I’ll give it one more form.)

Let’s tag this story…

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The Call of the Eagle’s Heartx

Somehow an eagle’s egg became mixed with a number of chicken eggs that had been set aside to be hatched. The little eaglet hatched right along with a brood of chicks. The eagle looked a bit different, but for all she knew she was just another chicken.

Yet something deep in the little eaglet’s heart was restless. She had this tugging in her heart that could not be explained. The eaglet kept stretching her wings. It made the other chicks look at her as an odd ball. But since chickens do very limited flying, the eaglet simply had to accept things as they were.

But it wasn’t just the stretching of her wings. For some strange reason she didn’t like the food that all the chickens were eating.

Now that was a real problem. All the other chickens continuously looked at the ground for bugs or corn or whatever they could find. But this growing young eagle just couldn’t keep her eyes off the sky.

So it happened. As was her habit, one day while looking up at the sky, behold the young eaglet saw some majestic birds soaring on the air currents. She couldn’t explain her feelings. Tears filled her eyes. Her heart-strings were being tugged at. Who are those birds? They sure don’t look like chickens.

She could not get her mind off of the majestic birds. What kind of chickens were they? None of the chickens she knew could fly. In fact the farmer kept their wings clipped so that they could not fly. And it was getting close to the time for the young eagle’s wings to be clipped.

And that is when it happened. One of the majestic birds spotted the young eagle and flew down to check things out.  The great eagle said, ‘What are you doing in that chicken pen?’ The young eagle said, ‘This is where all the chickens that I know, live.” The great bird said, ‘You are not a chicken. You are an eagle.’

Something just went off inside the young eagle’s heart. It was like an eruption of all her pent-up emotions. She thought to herself, ‘Is it possible that I am not a chicken?!’

She began flapping her wings as hard as she could. Her feet lifted off the ground but not enough for flying. The majestic eagle said, ‘You are doing it wrong. Come here. Climb on my back. I’ll show you how its done.’

Boy was she nervous. On the majestic eagle’s back she climbed. He spread out his mighty pinions and with a lifting of his wings, off they soared, higher, and higher. The wind flushed through her feathers. How wonderful it felt.

The eagle spoke to the young eaglet and said, ‘Don’t be afraid. Its your turn. You were designed to fly.’ The majestic eagle suddenly did a backward flip and off into nothing went the young eagle. ‘I’m falling! I’m falling!’

‘No you aren’t. Just spread out your wings! You’ll see.’

She spread out her wings and instantly the wind beneath her wings began to lift her up, and fly she did. Upward and upward she flew. She soared and soared and soared. The young eaglet could not believe how easy it was to fly. And, oh the view. She could see forever. The young eagle could not get enough flying. On top of everything else, the eaglet had also found a great family of eagles to be with. They were just like her.

OK, so now you know the story of the eaglet who thought she was a chicken.

No, she never went back to the chicken pen. After all, she was an eagle and eagles are birds of majesty. They are designed to soar in the heavenly places.

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How about you – Do you have the heart of an eagle?

If you are one of those who has an eagle heart, then this story has already resonated deep within you. In fact I really don’t need to fill in many blanks. You know full well what the eagle story is about. It is about you and you know it. x

A certain thing happens when a person is truly born again. This certain thing is a discernible awareness that a change has taken place in life. It’s not merely an emotion. This change has a permanent effect. The newly born person now has what can be called ‘God awareness.’ And the interesting thing is that the God awareness doesn’t go away. It is a constant reminder that you were designed for something better. Something higher. You know that there is something missing in your life.

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Paul explains it this way,

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.” He then says, “Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” (1 Cor. 2:12,13)

As for the testimony that cannot be refuted, the apostle said,

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The Spirit Himself testifies (bears witness) with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16)

Think about it. Is it time for you to learn to fly? Listen to what the prophet had to say about the wings of an eagle:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.

“Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isa 40:28-31)

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What else can I say that the eagle story doesn’t already address

Read the story again. Listen to its message and its music. The Lord has something to say to you. I am going to leave that between you and Him. After all, I too am an eagle. Why not ask the Lord to teach you how to fly. That is what I did.

If the eagle story has spoken to your heart, please send me a response. I really want to hear from you. Maybe there is something I can share that will help you with your higher-life journey.

In the meantime, listen to this song. It too will speak to your heart. It is titled, ‘The Power of Your Love.’

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From one eagle to another, ‘Lift your wings. It is time to fly.’

Forever in Christ Jesus,

Buddy

The Jesus kids…

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Journal,

There they were, a boy and a girl hitchhiking. It was 1971, and I was on my way to Lafayette, Louisiana. We had just completed our last revival. My former company asked me to come back to work with them. Off I went to scope out everything.

It never bothered me to pick up hitchhikers if my family wasn’t with me. After all I had hitchhiked all across the country from California to Louisiana. The two young people got in the car. I asked, ‘Where are you going?’  ‘To the Maranatha House across from USL.’ (University of South Louisiana.)

And thats where our friendship began. These kids were part of the tail end of the Jesus movement of the 60s. The Maranatha House was an unofficial sorority for campus kids. (It was known earlier as the Mustard Seed.)

Photo: DPA

How I fell in love with these young people. They were so idealistic in their antiestablishmentism. But their love for Jesus was refreshing and even a bit disarming. It wasn’t long before they ask me to share Bible studies with them. What a joy. They would sit around me on the floor in rapt attention. They were all like sponges.

Now I must tell a precious story. At that time I was still involved in a very conservative Pentecostal church group. As things went a number of the Jesus kids asked me if I would baptize them. Checking with the pastor to make sure it was alright to use the church Baptistry, he gave his OK. It was on a Saturday. Several of the church people wanted to see the baptism. They heard of my work with these young people. But there was a problem that I had not prepared everyone for. In fact I hadn’t even thought about it.

I had failed to tell the Jesus kids how to dress. Here they came with their swim suits, some two-pieced for the girls and shorts for the guys. You should have seen the faces. Chins began to drop and eyes were wide open. It was certainly a new experience for everyone. The Jesus kids got to meet the church kids. (By the way the Jesus kids were often mocked at with the term ‘the Jesus freaks.’)

And, yes, the Jesus kids had their own struggles and failures just as we do. But they could make beautiful music. Their love for Jesus radiated. I guess you could compare them to diamonds in the rough. Aren’t we all? Oh how I could tell some hilarious stores about these kids. Maybe some other time.

Well, if you would like to see what the Jesus kids looked like back in the 60s and the 70s, here is a clip you will truly enjoy. Just look at their faces and the sincerity in their worship.

Children of the Day. ‘For Those Tears I Died.’

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Sometimes a song will reach deeper into our heart than anything else. Let’s move forward a number of years and listen to another group who loves Jesus dearly. This song is entitled, ‘He Understands My Tears.’ It is by the Jewish Christian group, the Isaacs.

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Jesus gave the most important object lesson to be had about life’s struggles…

The point is that we all sin. We all miss the mark. We all have issues where we’ve been the cause of our own failings. It is like the apostle wrote,

“There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turn aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.” (Rom3:10-12 nasb)

Did you catch it? There is not a person on this planet who can claim personal righteousness before God. Did you know that Paul called himself the chief of sinners?

So, what is the object lesson that Jesus gave us. It is found in this simple statement, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 nasb)

What does this mean? It means to stop pointing your finger at others when you yourself have your own struggles and failings and sin issues.

The Lord was not excusing sin. He was dealing with two very important issues. His first words were to the accusers of the lady caught in adultery. Those who dragged her before Jesus were guilty of a sin that can be very damaging to our own lives. The sin of self-righteousness.

What about the lady? Her sin was not self-righteousness. Jesus also had words for her. See if His words tell you anything:

“Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.’” (Joh 8:10-11 nasb)

Again did you catch it? The only one who could have condemned her was Jesus, and He would not. He did not come to condemn her, but to save her. Jesus came to help her get her life straightened out.

Our job is not to go about condemning people. We are in the business of helping to save people. It is like the preacher who said, ‘We preach best when we preach out of our own wounds.’

John wrote,

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged…” (John 3:17,13 nasb)

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Lord, save us from ourselves…

We need someone who can reach into our lives and save us from ourselves, from our foolish mistakes, from our own self-destructions, as well as from all the destructive forces at work in the world. We need grace! We need a mighty Savior. And that is what Jesus came to give us. Jesus saves eternally.

This is what Paul was talking about when he said that the letter kills, while the Spirit gives us life. The Lord give us His Holy Spirit to help us walk the journey of life. There are too many situations in life where only the Spirit of the Lord can help us to maneuver correctly. Our problem is that we tend to beat each other up with the letter, or even beat ourselves up, rather than allow the Lord to bring healing where it belongs.

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So, does God understand our tears?

Yes He does. He actually weeps with us. He knows our heart, our pain, our struggles. But He also knows our future. The Lord decided in eternity past that He would be our Savior. And He decided in eternity that He would give us the victory of the cross, and that no weapon ever formed against us would ever prosper.

He decided to take our place in this sin filled world, and to share with us His place in His eternal kingdom.

This is why I often make the statement, ‘Jesus saved us. Jesus is saving us. Jesus will save us.’

What about the Jesus kids?

Well, we are those kids. People will always be the same. Maybe it is a good sign that the world calls us ‘Jesus freaks.’ We should consider it a great honor.

I will never lose my love for ministering to those the world sees as misfits. Seems I will always have the heart of an evangelist.

Think about it.

Buddy

Is prosperity knocking at your door…

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Journal,

Here we go again – Another new year. Seems like we just went through this. My, what ever happened to time. Am I imagining things? Has time moved over onto a fast track. Also seems like things are pretty much going cattywampus (awry, askew, out-of-sorts).

Every time I think about how fast time seems to be moving, a certain Scripture pops in my mind.

“Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.” (Mar 13:20)

Maybe all this about time being shortened is a good thing, at least for the people of God. Anyway, let’s have a bit of fun to end out 2009. How about a song by Ray Stevens, entitled, ‘We the People.’  == Jest funning ==

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OK, that was all in fun. Now let’s move on past the funny part and talk about the forthcoming year.

Is it time for prosperity to come knocking at your door?

Think about it. Is there a way for the good blessings of the Lord to come to your house? I believe there is. Let me begin by sharing a personal story.

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It is called ‘Miracle Land’

In 1974 we were the typical American family living on ‘Barely Squeezing By’ street. This is when something happened that forever changed the way we lived. The Lord opened my ears to begin hearing some solid Bible teachings on God’s platform for the prosperity of His people. I listened intently. The more I listened, the more I studied to see if these teachings measured up to God’s Word.

Measure up they did. One of the first things I came to realize is that making debts always serves as a incumbrance to a walk of Biblical blessings. It would not matter how much money a person made, living with debts would be like trying to fill a bucket with water when the bucked had holes in the bottom.

Blessed shalt thou be in the city and blessed shalt thou be in the field

What many of God’s people do not realize is that Biblical prosperity is not about how much money you have. Every thing centers on the blessing of the Lord.  A person can have hundreds of thousands of dollars coming in and not be living in Biblical prosperity. And a person can have a very limited amount of money coming in, and it tallies up to Biblical prosperity.

Yes, this does sound very strange, but it is true nevertheless. The prophet said that God’s ways are not our ways. The sage said, “It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, and He will add no sorrow to it.” (Pro10:22)

I discovered that the debtor is always servant to the lender, which means that part of the debtor’s life is owned by someone else. This is why God said to His Old Testament people, You shall lend but you shall not borrow.” The one who owes debts is not a free man. He is in the debtor’s prison

After searching this thoroughly, I came to the conviction that my financial straits were of my own doing. Thus I asked the Lord’s forgiveness for the debts that I had made. I also asked Him to show me how to clear up this area of my life.

The Lord began showing me how to live with a view to righteousness, which most certainly included how we were to give in accordance with kingdom business. I studied this through throughly. My wife and I came to a decision. We began to sow with a view to righteousness. (According to what the Lord put into our hearts.)

This issue of sowing with a view to righteousness is not some deep secret. Jesus included it in His sermon on the mountain, when He said,

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mat 6:31-33)

Here is what happened. Because our hearts had turned to God’s way of living, and because of our repentance, and because we began sowing with a view to righteousness, and because we desired to live under the rule of Christ, the Lord spoke into my heart. This is what He said, “Because you have believed Me, in six months you will be completely out of debt.” (God speaks through impressions of the heart.)

Did it happen? Absolutely! It was like the Lord had opened the door to miracle land. So many things happened that I can’t take the space to share then. We were beginning to draw on God’s good treasure from heaven. Did not the apostle say that we had been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ?

Yes, in six months we were completely out of debt, we were back into the full time ministry, and we were living on a level of life that I never dreamed was possible. We had passed through the gate of miracle land. (I also like to call this the land of sanctified faith.)

From that time to this time we have made living with a view to righteousness our primary view of life. We learned the great lesson of ‘sowing with a view to righteousness.’

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Does any of this have meaning for you?

Who can say. This is not something that I could teach another person. There is no formula to apply. Perhaps some of what I shared will serve to stir your heart. What I do know is that learning to live with a view to righteous living is deeply personal. It is a thing that can only be taught us by the Lord Himself. Much will depend on how serious you really are about walking in the ways of the Lord.

Always remember what I said about Biblical prosperity. It is not about money. It is about the blessing of the Lord. God spoke to Israel through the prophet Isaiah, Listen with your heart:

“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land. (Isa 1:18-19)

Did you see it? Repentance and obedience belong together. With that in mind…

Is prosperity knocking at your door?

Take to yourself one more portion:

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” (Psa 1:1-3)

Why not determine in your heart to enter 2010 with a resolve to seek out God’s ways and to learn to live with a view to righteousness. Do this and you will find prosperity knocking at your door.
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The Lord may not say to you, “In six months you will be out of debt.” He will say something that applies to your situation. What He shares with you will be different but it will be wonderful. He will show you how to live in true Biblical prosperity.
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Think about it.

In Christ,

Buddy

Thank God for the red, white, and blue…

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OD 12/4/88 Sun AMTHE SECRET THINGS OF FAITH
Pine Plaza (Pnvl)
Intro: Mt17:19,20 This stmt has always intrigued believers.  “..if you have faith..”
_ Not literal mtns? (Disagree!) I believe the Lord meant exactly what He said.
_ Probably always a problem area. (Either explain away; or misapply; Satan’s delite)
_ However, anything Jesus ever said was/is important. (?) He is the living Word!
Subj: The Secret Things Of Faith  (Pray, “The secret thgs belong to the Lord our God..”)
I – The Importance of this Statement (Start off with 4 reasons why is it important)
1. Important because of its emphasis. (Law of 2/3 witnesses?)  c/Mt21:20-22
¹ In both cases Jesus made stmt after doing something. (Demonized boy/fig tree)
2. Important because it explains why there is failure among God’s people.
¹. Remember the centurion w paralized servant? “I will come…I’m not worthy…”
*Israel was not in captivity to Romans because of Romans strength?  Traded faith/legalism!
². A lesson often taught the disciples:
Storm at sea, “..why r u so timid, you men of little faith?”
In Peter’s case, “..O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Sermon, “..anxious abt clothing..He not do more 4 u, O men of little faith.”
3. Important because it shows that true faith has unlimited potential.
¹ Its not has anyone ever moved a mtn!  The point, it can be done by faith alone!
_You must first realize how powerful this realm is!  Why? c/Eph1:18,19; (remember stmt, “..toward us who believe..”; Eph3:20
4. Important because it sets forth the realm of the N.T. believer.
¹ Everything Jesus did and taught relates to the New Covenant coming into place.
_c/Luke22:19,20 (B/4 resurrection; they didn’t understand) Luke 24:41-50; Gal 3:23,27-29
² Note stmt “..before faith came..”? – The thgs Jesus taught go far beyond
anything the O.T. Saints knew about.  When you believe in Jesus Christ a
total new realm of faith opens up.
_Understd this and many Scirptures will come together: “…believes in me..” “..Christ in you..”  “..God has alotted to each a measure of faith..” “I can do all thgs (movemtns)..”
‘BEFORE FAITH CAME’ MEANS THAT KIND OF FAITH WAS NOT AVAILABLE. Compare 2Pe1:1; Jude20
³ See why it is said you don’t pray for faith!  Prayer positions you in faith!
Prayer makes you hear faith!  Recall, “Have faith in God.  Truly I say to
you..Therefore all thgs fo which you pray and ask…”
_Talking about?  The secret thgs of faith.  Four important thgs Christ stm’t sets forth.
II – The Secret Things of Faith (Briefly share just three things)
1. Faith requires that we hear the Word of God. (Only available on the point of believing and then to believers thereafter)
¹ Recall; “..faith comes by hearing..”  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing..”  “But u do not believe because…my sheep hear My voice..”
² Remember the Bible includes the voice of God to those who believe; “..u search the Scriptures..” c/2Tm3:14-17
2. Faith requires that we operate on the Word of God. (Carefully) c/James1:22-25
*Remember, “..whatever He tells u to do..” Not talking about a make sense realm!  Doesn’t make sense to speak to mountains.  Remember when Jesus spoke to me about giving in faith!  In six months?  Example: 1Kings17:9-15 (Sold our home; gave furniture away; sowed etc.)
¹ O, if Jesus wd just tell me to do something? c/Luke6:38
* Over the years I have watched people give themselves out of debt? One day I going to teach on finances.  Give one Scripture: Prov11:24,25  (Laws of nature are reflections)
3. Faith requires a proper relationship with God.  “..delight urself…”

Note: The journal can now be read in 52 languages. Click on ‘translate.’

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M6OG000A

Journal,

This morning we had our Veteran’s Day Parade at the VA Hospital in Pineville. I’ve been in other parades, but this one was a bit extra special for me. Perhaps it had to do with where it was taking place. Most of the people who lined the roadway were veterans, and families and children of veterans.  Some were patients at the hospital. There was a comradery. I have always felt at home at the VA. Guess it goes back to my Navy days.

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Right to left - myself, Nathan, Rodney Alexander our state Congressman, and Woody Smith. (Not pictured were Art Baker and Eddie Ramer.)

It was so stirring to see the faces of the people, to see their smiles, to see the bright eyes of the children, and to hear time after time,  ‘Happy Veteran’s Day.’ ‘Thank you for celebrating with us.’  ‘Throw some candy mister.’

I’ve been in parades where thousands lined the streets. This parade had a few hundred. But it could not have been any more majestic and any more deserving. I thought to myself, ‘This parade is for you, my brothers and sisters. You are our heros.’

Every time I heard the marching band behind us play one of the military songs, I felt a lump in my throat. I wanted to get out of the truck and hug every single person there. After all, I am one of them. (Course I was driving, so getting out wasn’t a good idea.)  : )

Yes, there really is something that subsists between veterans and their families that speaks to brotherhood. It doesn’t matter if the veteran was Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, National Guard, the sense of brotherhood remains in place.

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Eddie Ramer served in Iraq. Congressman Alexandra took time to visit with him.

And yes, I do thank God for the old red, white and blue. Just yesterday, Betty and I attended a special Veteran’s Day program where two of our grandchildren attend elementary school. I could not help but notice that in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, when it came to, ‘One nation, under God,’ the voices became even more invigorated. Yes indeed, we are one nation under God.

Reaching back into my childhood memories, two special things always come to mind. One had to do with my mother teaching me how to pray the little child’s prayer, ‘Now I lay me down to sleep.’ That memory remains etched in my mind.

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USS Indianapolis

The other memory had to do with the ending of World War II. Yes, I well remember it. I remember the dancing in the streets, the jubilation, and news reels at the movie house. But most of all I remember how those of my family fought in that war. I simply idolized two of my mother’s brothers who served in the Navy, Uncle Holiday Carver and Uncle Grover Carver.

Uncle Grover was one of the few survivors from the USS Indianapolis. Uncle Holiday retired as a Navy Commander. Both saw plenty of action with the Pacific fleet. It would not do for me to join any service other than the Navy. So at age 18, young, immature, and brash, off I went to serve my country as a sailor. (Early years of Vietnam.)

My four years as a radioman saw me to the same areas that my uncles had served. I was in the Philippine Islands for a year and a half, abroad the USS Calvert for a year and a half, and in California for a year. In fact my Uncle Holiday gave me a tropical suit for my time in the Philippines.

Well, I’m not bragging, just thankful. And now it is time to put this entry to rest. Are you proud to be an American. Here is a song just for you…

Yes indeed – Jesus is a great Savior. You can fill in the rest.

Blessings,

Buddy

Who was that man…

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Journal,

I’m still marking time until my original journal is back up and running. (Don’t want to lose my prior entries.) But I haven’t stretched out, other than to annoy Jenni over when things will be back in place. Actually it has been quite restful. I’ve been able to set my mind on other things.

OK, let’s break the silence. Thought I’d take a moment to muse a bit. (Not that everyone will enjoy my musings.)

An interesting thing happened this last Saturday. I was on my way to my youngest sons for a fish fry. Knowing that I would pass near our community cemetery, the thought kept coming to me about a grave marker in our family cemetery that I’ve always wondered about. I wondered…

Who was that man?’

Most of the people buried in the old Campbell Creek Cemetery are my kin. But it is actually a community cemetery. Anyway, in the picture below, in the bottom row, beginning on the left is my dad’s headstone, Lawrence Bert Martin. Next to him in the brown colored headstone is our son, David Lynn. The double headstones are my grandfather and grandmother Martin, John Allen and Frances Ella. Further up still, without a head stone is my great-uncle, Jessie Martin. Then the next two standing stones are my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, James Erwin and Mary.

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At the very top of the picture is a home-made head stone with the writing, ‘Charle s. Martin,’ died June 10, 1895. (The ‘s’ is backwards and the ’9′ in 1895.) I knew that he was kin but I could never find exactly how. We have a number of Charles Martins in our genealogy.

And here is the blessing. At the fish fry I got to visiting with two of my long distant cousins who are very much involved in genealogy. Sonny asked me, ‘You don’t know who that Charlie Martin is?” “That is your great-grandfather’s, father.”

Wow – It lite up like a candle. Charle s. Martin is really Charles Seth Martin. He was born about 1825. What a connection! I was never able to find where Charles Seth was buried and there he was all the time in Campbell Creek Cemetery. Charles Seth was my great-great-grandfather.

But the story doesn’t stop there. What makes this even more interesting is that Charles Seth Martin is the son of Billy and Elizabeth Martin, the revolutionary soldier and his Indian wife, who are buried at Anacoco, Louisiana. (Mitchell Cemetery. Also known as Cold Water Cemetery.) Billy and Elizabeth came to Louisiana in 1803. Billy and Elizabeth were my great-great-great-grandparents. And now I have the entire lineage of my Louisiana Martin ancestry in place.

I’m not through yet. All our Martin men and their wives have been Christians. According to our genealogy, Billy Martin was a Methodist. And that brings me to the next musing. It’s about…

I Know Whom I Have Believed…

As is my custom, this morning I picked up my good friend Art Baker, for our weekly time of fellowship. We gather at a local restaurant. Art is a retired Methodist pastor. (Art is 83 years young. I’m just a youngster at 69.) Since 1988 a group of we pastors and other ministers have met once a week just for a time of laughter and sharing. When Art got in my truck he said he had a song he wanted me to hear. Art began to sing, ‘I Know Whom I Have Believed.”

What a wonderful voice. My eyes became misty as I listened to my old friend sing from his heart. Anyway, thought I’d share the song with you. Why not take a listen…

How about it? Do you know in whom you have believed? Are you persuaded that He is able to keep what you have entrusted to Him for that day?

Think about it.

Enough on my musings.

Love in Christ always,

Buddy