What are you afraid of? Saturday, Apr 24 2010 

  1. Everything great in history has arisen from silence … even great noise.
  2. Beethoven and Mozart closed themselves off from the world and inhabited silent rooms for days at a time in order to hear things that no one else could hear – sounds so glorious that they themselves would never hear in the midst of the world, and yet sounds that the world would never know if Beethoven and Mozart had not befriended silence.
  3. USA Today conducted a survey in which people were asked to name the ten things they feared the most.
  4. The most feared was death, and then flying.
  5. After flying … silence – followed closely by public speaking, dogs, snakes, and spiders.
  6. Why do we fear silence?
  7. Why do we avoid silence?
Just wondering today?

Are You Surviving or Thriving? Friday, Apr 23 2010 

Are the tears you shed for your marriage happy tears or sad tears?

Surviving or Thriving?

Somewhere around 3000 years ago a giant named Goliath walked out on the battlefield and challenged the armies of Israel. The gauntlet was thrown down and the challenge was bellowed.  The terms of conflict were clear for everyone.

It was winner take all and no survivors!

I am convinced today there is another challenge, on yet another battlefield.  Satan struts out on the battlefield of America and throws his challenge.  The battle in 2010 is for our homes.  Satan attacks with technology, with Hollywood, with busyness and time constraints, and stress.

One of his most effective attacks is on marriages.  He has rolled out the big artillery the last few years.  He is after the family values in America.

In 2009 there were 2,162,000 marriages in America.  The marriage rate was 7.1 per 1000 people.  The divorce rate was 3.5 per 1000 people.

In the 1996 presidential election 50% of the electorate said moral values were one of the most important issues.  In the 2004 presidential election, that percentage stood at 34 %. In 8 years 16% of support had eroded.

From the 2000 election to the 2004 election, support for gay marriages increased 50% in America.

For the last 30 years moral values have been some of the most important factors in elections.

In 2005, 11 of 17 states amended their state constitutions to prohibit gay unions or gay marriages.  Satan is attacking the Biblical ideal of marriage between a man and a woman.

But he does not stop there.  Satan also attacks the marriages of Christians.

Some statistics say the divorce rate for conservative Christians is higher than the rate for atheists and agnostics.  Others say the opposite.  Tom Ellis, Chairman of the Southern Baptist convention’s council on the family says the true fact is 1 in 39,000 marriages, end among conservative Christians. That is 0.00256%.

The question in your marriage is, are you surviving or thriving?

Are you and your spouse meeting each others personal needs?

Here we are in mainstream America where prayer is illegal, and abortion is encouraged.

Where, if you resist the gay marriage deluge, you practice hate speech, and you are homophobic!

Where our kids walk through metal detectors to get on the school ground and are handed condoms.

Does anybody believe me when I scream….the battle is raging?

If anyone is naïve enough to think you can ignore your marriage, and it will thrive on it’s own, by simple church attendance, you are sadly mistaken!

On January 31, 1996, I ended a journey of 9048 days of marriage.  Over 25 years.  I dated in the church, I married in the church, and was finally divorced in the church.  On that January day in 1996, I started a journey that has now stretched to 5,192 days, over 14 years of living alone.

If I could help even one person to not go down that road, it would be worth it all.  But even more, what if I could I help those still in the marriage, to make that marriage all God intended it to be?

I was driving down the road with Martyn Ballestero a few weeks ago.  We were on main street in Sumner Washington, right in front of McDonalds, in the left turn lane.

God spoke to me.  God said “What did the children say of their mother in Proverbs chapter 31?” In my mind I answered, they called her blessed.  And God said, “What did her husband do?”. I answered he praised her.  God told me to look it up and see what kind of praise the man gave his wife.  I did, and Brother Ballestero wrote a wonderful blog on it.

I hope you will click on the link, go to his blog site and read the blog on how to have the best wife in the world!


Thanks for reading today!


Do Your Emotions Rule Your Life? Wednesday, Apr 21 2010 

Is the storm coming or going?

The tides advance, the tides recede.  Winter goes and summer comes. Summer wanes and the cold increases.  The sun rises, the sun sets.  The moon is full, the moon is black. The birds arrive, the birds depart.  Flowers bloom, flowers fade.  Seeds are sewn, harvests are reaped.  All nature is a circle of moods and I am part of nature and so, like the tides, my mood will rise; my mood will fall.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

It is one of nature’s tricks, little understood, that each day I awaken with moods that have changed from yesterday.  Yesterday’s joy will become today’s sadness; yet today’s sadness will grow into tomorrow’s joy, from exultation to depression, from happiness to melancholy.  Like the flowers, today’s full bloom of joy will fade and wither into despondency.  Today’s sadness carry the seed of tomorrow’s joy.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

And how will I master these emotions?  Unless my mood is right the day will be a failure.  Trees and plants depend on the weather to flourish, but I make my own weather.  If I bring rain and gloom and darkness and pessimism to my people, then they will react with rain and gloom and darkness and pessimism.  If I bring joy and enthusiasm and brightness and laughter they will react with joy and enthusiasm and brightness and laughter and my weather will produce a harvest.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

And how will I master my emotions so that every day is a happy day and a productive one?  I will learn the secret of the ages:  Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.  Each day I will follow this plan before I am captured by the forces of sadness, self-pity and failure  – –

If I feel depressed I will sing.

If I feel ill I will double my labor.

If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.

If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.

If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.

If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.

If I feel incompetent I will remember past successes.

If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

Henceforth, I will know that only those with inferior ability can always be at their best.  There will be days when I must constantly struggle against forces which would tear me down.  Those such as despair and sadness are simple to recognize but there are others which approach with a smile and a hand of friendship and they can also destroy me.  Against them too, I must never relinquish control – –

If I become overconfident I will recall my failures.

If I overindulge I will think of past hungers.

If I feel complacency I will remember my competition.

If I enjoy moments of greatness I will remember moments of shame.

If I feel all-powerful I will try to stop the wind.

If I attain great wealth I will remember one unfed mouth.

If I become overly proud I will remember a moment of weakness.

If I feel my skill is unmatched I will look at the stars.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

And with this new knowledge I will also understand and recognize the moods of him on whom I call.  I will make allowances for his anger and irritation of today for he knows not the secret of controlling his mind.  I can withstand his arrows and insults for now I know that tomorrow he will change and be a joy to approach.

No longer will I judge a man on one meeting.  This day he will not buy gold chariots for a penny, yet tomorrow he would exchange his home for a tree.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

I will recognize and identify the mystery of moods in all mankind, and in me.  From this moment I am prepared to control whatever personality awakes in me each day.  I will master my moods.

I will become master of myself and my emotions.

Thanks for reading today

So, How Desperate Are You? Tuesday, Apr 20 2010 

So, How Desperate Are You?

Every last one of us have those certain relatives that are our least favorite.  I know a guy who has this aunt and her husband who top his list of least favorite relatives.

He tells me his reasons are myriad. He says she dominated him growing up and bossed him to no end.  While talking to him one day he told me the craziest story I have heard in years.

This aunt of  my friend and her husband were church goers, and after several years were pretty convinced that God had special assignments for them.  Well, their pastor did not share their opinion when he was informed of their intentions.

Well, naturally, when the pastor could not hear from God, (in their opinion), it was time to launch out on their own and pursue their divine calling.

So no one was surprised when they decided to open their own church, and do things the way God was instructing them.  After all they were unique, and the Man of God in their life was not tuned in to the right spiritual frequency.

So they opened shop quite sure the multitudes would flock their way.  They certainly had known all the answers in their church when they attended there, and now was the moment to put their revelations into action!

Well, something seemed a little wrong after several weeks when they could not get any one to attend their services they were holding in their living room.  It must be the community! Or maybe people just were not aware of the incredible opportunity being presented at their small community of about 12,000.

Whatever the reason, they were convinced they needed “Exposure.”  So they were “Led of the Lord” to have an old-fashioned brush arbor meeting right alongside the highway into town.

Out came the tools.  Ax, saw, hammer, chainsaw all made their appearance as these missionaries to suburban America started in like a colony of beavers! Rough-hewn benches with no backs were fashioned.  Man were they fired up.  Just wait till the passing cars saw this, why there would be a traffic jam on highway 17!

Excitement and faith filled the air their first night as she broke out the accordion.  He had his best striped overalls on, with the bible under his arm.  They were ready for the deluge of sinners that were sure to come running to the altar!

Well, the first night was a bust!  No one stopped.  Faith diminished a bit, but hey, God was just testing them!  They would show their metal, ain’t no quitters in this church!

The second night was the same. Then the third.  The first week brought not a single person to their brush arbor revival.  Hundreds of cars were whizzing by and could see them plainly out there with the striped overalls and the accordion.

Okay God, what is the problem they inquired?  It was then my friend told me the most hilarious revival story I have heard! This spiritually “gifted” man and woman became convinced the only thing standing between them and the deluge of sinners waiting to come ,was a few people in the crowd.

So, how to do that? They thought, they prayed, they fasted.  Finally God showed them the answer (Yeah right!)  They were led by God to go and buy some blow up dolls (life size), to put out on the benches so the crowds would be relaxed to come on in!

After much prayer the husband announced the only place he knew that had such life sized dolls was the pornography place over on the state line!  Assuring his wife he had nothing but the purest of motives, and was making a tremendous sacrifice, he set out to get some “Saint bait”, or “Sinner bait”, depending on your point of view.

It did seem to her he was gone a long time to just buy some inflatable dolls.  He did eventually return though.  Sure enough, he had purchased five life sized female dolls.

These particular models did not come with clothes so they set about to “Pentecostalize” them.  After several hours of huffing and puffing, blowing and wrestling with these dolls, they were ready!

Whew! Just in time for church too!  Then more disappointment struck.  The stupid dolls would not stay upright.  The slightest breeze toppled them every which way.  Their clothes kept getting all twisted up.  They tied the dolls, they taped the dolls, they weighted them down.

Church started a little late that night, with the pastor and his wife sweaty and frustrated, but hope still ruled the night.  Song after song, no visitors! Finally a stirring message wasted on airheads and no visitors.

There were tears that night, but they were the tears of the pastor and his wife!

My friend said the last he heard they still did not have anyone in their church, but they became convinced they were being persecuted for the name of Jesus!

So friend, how desperate are you for revival….:)

For the record, I am not that desperate!

Thanks  for reading today!

P. S. This is a true story!

Do You Have A Controlling Pastor? Monday, Apr 19 2010 

Do you have a controlling pastor?

Max walked up to Pastor Sunday night after service, and asked “ Hey Pastor, would you have time to pop up to the university one day this week and have coffee with me?”

Pastor concealed his surprise and smiled, and said, “Max I’d be glad to.  What day”

So it was a Tuesday as Pastor walked on campus, wondering what this was all about.

He spotted Max sitting at a table in the student center and was greeted by a genuine smile of welcome.

Max asked Pastor if he had ever been on campus before and Pastor admitted he hadn’t.

“So Max, what is this all about” asked Pastor?  Max sobered up and began to explain.

“Well sir, you know two weeks ago when you talked to me about that situation God spoke to you about?” Pastor was nodding slowly now.  Max continued, “Well I feel like I was gone, falling and on my way to being lost when God talked to you.  Honestly Elder, I do not ever want to even get close to the edge again.”

“I thought I had everything concealed and no one would ever know I was starting to see that unsaved girl.  It never went very far, but we did hang out together and even met and went to Sonic once.  We sat in the car and began to kiss.  I knew it was wrong.  I have been born and raised in the church and I have been taught never to date anyone outside the church, but I messed up.”

“It started slow.  We were in an English class together.  I saw her in the library and stopped to chat.  I sat down not knowing the path I started down that day.  Honestly Pastor, I never intended for it to go anywhere, or end up like it did.  Somehow I got more and more involved with her, and then that day at the Sonic: when we kissed for a long time.”

“I was pretty shocked when you came up to me that Sunday and told me God had talked to you about me.  Then when you began to tell me exactly what I had done and that God had revealed it to you, well that was, uh, well, to be honest I was dumbfounded!”

“So I asked you here today because I have decided to take some steps to make sure it never happens again”. Max slid a piece of paper across the table to his pastor. “That sir is all my information and passwords.  I want you to monitor every email, every text message, every phone call I make until you feel I can be trusted not to fall into this trap again.”

It had been many years since the seasoned Man of God had been this bamboozled!  He was speechless.  He looked down at the paper on the desk.  Listed were Max’s email address with his password.  Next were his cell phone number, the carrier, and the password to log on and check his calls and texts.

Pastor said, “Max are you sure about this? “ Max slowly nodded his head and replied, “Looking back I now realize that I had already backslid even though I still never missed a service. I was already in freefall Elder and you and Jesus reached over the edge of the cliff and snatched me back to safety.  Pastor, I never want to get anywhere near that close to going to hell again as long as I live.”

“Pastor I would also like you to walk the campus here with me today.  I would like to show you where my classes are and invite you to stop by any time and see me when I change classes or when I am on this campus.”

Pastor felt a tear begin it’s decent down his cheek as he looked into the eyes of the young man he had pastored for the last 22 years.  “Max, I just have one more question.”  Max  looked up, “Sure Pastor, anything.”

The Man of God chose his words carefully. “Max, what about your father? He is a good man, and a member of our church for many years.  However, we both know he feels like I control our people and their lives.  Won’t he see this as me controlling you by monitoring your emails and texts?”

Max smiled.  “Yep, I am pretty sure he will.” Pastor said, “So how will we handle that?”

Max answered, “Maybe he needs to learn the difference between control and accountability. This might be the best opportunity for my dad to stop trying to protect his son from what he misidentifies as control.”

Max continued, “Pastor I asked you here today.  I willingly gave you my information, and I ask you to hold me accountable so I do not end up lost.”

As the pastor slowly walked back to his car on a beautiful spring day, it seemed the sun was shining like it hadn’t in many, many years.

Max had learned a lesson no university could teach, a valuable life lesson.

Holding someone accountable is not controlling them, it is protecting them.

Thanks for reading today.

The Daily Grind. Saturday, Apr 17 2010 

Good morning blogging world!

Sleepy and bleary eyed, I wonder again how many people in the world keep the crazy schedule of an Apostolic minister? 🙂

Returning home after being at 33rd annual meeting in Beebe Arkansas. Too much food and too little sleep!

Dr Scheel and his family and church are never surpassed as hosts.  They are incredible!

44 years ago, a 17 year old, single young man, hitch hiked into Beebe with his worldly belongings in a cardboard box and a paper sack.  He was starting a church.

This was to be his second church.  He had already pastored one church and even built a new church building at 14 years old.

2 and 1/2 years later he married a young lady named Vicki, and they started their family.  A couple of years later and their firstborn came into the home.  A son followed four years later, then  three years later the baby girl joined the growing family.

44 years of victory and tragedy, joy and pain, and through it all a great work for God.  There is now a beautiful church plant and congregation.  Congratulations to Dr Scheel and Pastor Scheel for this landmark celebration.

Janice Alvear spoke the first night.  The day speakers were Greg Riggen and Tim Bourn.  William Davis was the night speaker.  All the messages were outstanding.

No one surpasses Lighthouse Pentecostal Jesus Name Church in christian hospitality.

Lighthouse Jesus Name Pentecostal Church, Beebe Arkansas

My thought today is the “Daily Grind.”

We have a fireplace in our sanctuary.  When we have tried to use it the ventilation is poor and our members with asthema have not been able to stay in the room.  The fumes were offensive to their sensitive allergies.

Someone suggested we use logs made from coffee grounds.  I did not know there was such a thing.  I checked. There was.

We tried it and every single person with allergies felt comfortable with the “new fire.”

Someone had found a use for used coffee grounds!

Coffee beans grown and harvested somewhere thousands of miles away, now ground up and used, still had a life!

The grind and purging had taken any irritant out of them and they are perfect as unoffensive fire.

Isn’t life like that sometimes?

The grind of life wears off our rough edges and makes us tolerable to people who might be sensitive.

Even though Life is so “daily”, the daily grind has a benefit.  When our fire burns after the daily grind, it is an acceptable fire.  The toxins of pride and self will have been flushed out with the brewing.

The man who walked across America was asked what discouraged him the most.  Was it the mountains?  Was it the burning desert? His reply……

It was the sand in my shoes, that almost drove me to quit my journey!

May I encourage you today to see the “Daily Grind” as part of God’s brewing process to remove the offensive particles out of your life?

Is it possible that someone can now tolerate, and even enjoy, the warmth of your life, because of that “Daily Grind?”

Just one more reason for that tantalizing, wonderful cup of brew every morning!

Thanks for reading today.

It’s A Slip And Not A Fall Friday, Apr 16 2010 

If there ever was a tale of American Leadership and perseverance, it is that of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was born into poverty in 1809.

Throughout his life he continually faced setbacks and defeats.  He twice failed in business, lost eight elections, and suffered a nervous breakdown.

Defeat and failure were often beckoning him, inviting him to quit, but he refused that invitation, and his story is one of extraordinary perseverance.

This is the sketch of his life:

In 1816, Lincoln’s family was forced out of their home, and he had to go to work to support them.

In 1818, his mother died.

In 1831, he failed in business.

In 1832, he ran for the Illinois House of Representatives and lost.

In 1832, he lost his job.  Later that same year, he decided he wanted to go to law school, but his application was rejected.

In 1833, Lincoln borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business, but by the end of the year he was bankrupt.  He spent the next seventeen years paying off that debt.

In 1834, he ran for state legislature again and lost.

In 1835, Lincoln was engaged to be married, but his fiancée died and it broke his heart.

In 1836, Lincoln suffered a total nervous breakdown and was confined to his bed for six months.

In 1838, he sought to become Speaker of the state legislature and was defeated.

In 1840, he sought to become elector and was defeated.

In 1843, he ran for Congress and lost.

In 1846, he ran for Congress again; this time he won and finally made his way to Washington.

In 1848, Lincoln ran for reelection to Congress and lost.

In 1849, he sought the job of land officer but was rejected.

In 1854, he ran for Senate of the United States and lost.

In 1856, he sought the vice presidential nomination at his party’s national convention.  He got fewer than one hundred votes and lost.

In 1858, he ran for the United States Senate again and lost again.

Then in 1860, Lincoln decided to run for president….

I mean, based on what?

His track record?

He won and went on to become one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States and one of the finest models of leadership in modern times.

In a speech, Lincoln said, “The path was worn and slippery.  My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other out of the way, but I recovered and said to myself,

‘It’s a slip and not a fall.’

Prov. 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Failure is never final.

If you have failed, get up and try again.

“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up” Anonymous

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try” Anonymous

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at His feet”  Mahatma Ghandi.

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success.” Walter Brunell

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Bill Cosby

Thanks for reading today!

Luceat lux vestra! Wednesday, Apr 7 2010 

Luceat lux vestra is latin taken from the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel.  It means “Let your light shine”

Thirty days ago tomorrow Martyn Ballestero encouraged me to write a blog.  I was hesitant.  He had seen great success with his blog, in my opinion. He persisted in encouraging me, and even set up my blog to get me started.

So here I am, on the brink of thirty days later, very surprised at how many wonderful people have taken time to visit my blog.

I would like to take this moment to say thank you.  I know you all lead busy lives.  It is so gratifying to have people visit and leave comments.  I thank you.

Writing this blog has given me a new perspective on life.

We all need a new perspective at least once in our lives!

In the late 1960’s there was a young man who had a dream of becoming a famous musician.  He knew what he wanted so he dropped out of high school and began to play his music. He was one credit short of his diploma.  His thought was, I am not going to Columbia University, I am going to Columbia records!

The opportunities came slowly.

He found himself playing in small dirty clubs.  He was playing his music to drunks night after night.  This was not his dream!

He had dreamed of playing to sellout crowds across America.  He dreamed of his music in the stores.  He even had the courage to dream of playing to a packed baseball stadium.  No one had ever thought of that or dreamed it.

It was not an easy road.  He had come on difficult times.  He was broke.  He was a failure.  His only joy in life was his girlfriend.

He and his girlfriend slept in laundromats to save hotel bills.  Finally one day she got sick of all the travel and failures.  She had dreamed of being married to a famous musician and singer. This was not the life she had dreamed of.  She left him.

This young man felt like there was nothing left in life for him. The night she left him he made an attempt to commit suicide. He drank a bottle of furniture polish and a bottle of vodka.  The next day, very sick, he checked himself into a mental institution.

Less than three weeks later he checked himself out.  He was a new man. He was refreshed and excited about life. He was cured!

He had not been given any medication of any kind. It was not anything the doctors or nurses had said to him.  The mental patients had cured him!

They told him how gifted he was, and they made him believe he could have so much more from life!

He was given a new perspective on life!

He walked out of that mental institution resolved to pursue his dream.  He would do whatever necessary to achieve that dream.

Three years later he wrote a song called “The piano man”.  Today most people in America have heard of Billy Joel.

June 22 and 23, 1990, Billy Joel played to sell out crowds of ninety thousand people at Yankee stadium.

Billy Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.

Billy Joel had Top 10 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and has 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote singlehandedly.

He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner, a 23-time Grammy nominee and has sold over 100 million records worldwide.

Billy Joel

We all need a new perspective at least once in our life.

I have a new perspective because you have read my blog.

Thank You!

Luceat lux vestra!

Thanks for reading today.

I would give anything to be able to……. Tuesday, Apr 6 2010 


To play an instrument?

To sing?

To be a soul winner?

To be independently wealthy?

Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak  Perlman plays the violin.

He might just be the greatest violin player on earth today.  In fact, he might be the greatest violin player in history.

When he plays, it is so much more than music.  It is an experience.

Was he born with some rare gift no one else has ever possessed?

Why don’t you decide!

Every morning Perlman wakes up at five-fifteen.  He showers, has a light breakfast, and begins his morning practice session, which lasts four and a half hours. He has lunch, reads for  a while, exercises then begins his afternoon practice session, which lasts for four and a half hours. In the evening he has dinner with his family and relaxes.

This is his schedule every day of the year except on days he plays concerts.

On concert days he wakes up at five-fifteen, showers, has breakfast and then practices for four and a half hours. He then has lunch, reads for a while, exercises, and then takes a ninety minute nap. When he wakes up he gets dressed and goes to the concert venue.  They perform a sound check, and have a brief rehearsal.

Forty-five minutes before the concert Mr Perlman goes to his dressing room and locks the door.  Two security guards are posted outside his door, no one is allowed in under any circumstances!

What do you think he does?

He prays.

Itzhak Perlman prays.

He spends one minute asking God to help him play the violin that night.  He spends the other forty-four minutes praying for the people who will attend the concert that night.  He does not doubt God will help him play the violin brilliantly for the concert. Why?

Because Itzhak Perlman plays the violin brilliantly for nine hours a day, every single day, day in and day out, in an empty room,  for nobody but his God!

Itzhak keeps his part of the bargain.  He has passion, dedication and faith. Therefore he has confidence God will keep His part of the bargain.

Itzhak Perlman makes people cry when he plays the violin, and they do not know why they are crying. He makes people feel and hear things they have never felt or heard before. He shares his excitement and passion through his music.  He motivates people.  He touches people.  He moves people. He changes people. He makes a difference in people.

Itzhak Perlman has found a way to touch other people’s lives, to raise them up, to share his passion.

Listen to the theme from “Schindler’s list”, and you will feel the passion.

Several years ago Perlman agreed to attend a charity event  in Vienna, after one of his concerts. Tickets were five hundred dollars each. The guests were allowed to speak to Mr. Perlman and get his autograph.

One man entered the roped off area where Perlman was and stretched out his hand to shake hands. The man said, “Mr. Perlman you were phenomenal tonight. You were absolutely amazing.”

Perlman smiled and said “Thank you.”

The man said, “All my life I have had a great love of the violin, and I have heard every great violinist, but I have never heard anyone play the violin as brilliantly as you did tonight”.

Perlman smiled and said nothing.

The man continued, “You know Mr. Perlman, I would give my whole life to be able to play the violin like you did tonight”.

Perlman smiled once more and said,”I have”.

Itzhak Perlman at the White House

What would you give to….

  • Be a soul winner
  • Be a prayer warrior
  • Be an intercessor

I would give anything to be able to…..

Thanks for reading today!

Perlman was born in Tel Aviv, in what was soon to be Israel, where he first became interested in the violin when he heard a classical music performance on the radio. He studied at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv before moving to theUnited States to study at the Juilliard School with the great violin pedagogue, Ivan Galamian, and his assistant Dorothy DeLay.

Perlman contracted polio at the age of four. He made a good recovery, learning to walk with the use of crutches. Today, he generally uses crutches or an Amigo POV/Scooter for mobility and plays the violin while seated.

The world falls in love with music when Itzhak Perlman takes up his violin. A superstar by any standard and a rarity in the classical field, Perlman has taken hold of the public imagination as few violin virtuosos ever have, bringing joy to millions with his playing. Having lost the use of his legs after falling victim to polio at the age of four, Perlman always sits as he plays. But he never fails to bring audiences to their feet.)

Burger King Got It Wrong! Monday, Apr 5 2010 

Burger King got it wrong.  They say have it your way.  The book of Judges shows me this is not the way to happiness or success!

The book of Judges opens to us one of the darkest times of man’s history.  The people of God should have been celebrating victories and conquering a new land.

Judges opens the window into the heart of mankind, and the picture is not pretty!

Seven times in the book the statement is made “Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord”, two times it says “Every man did that which is right in his own eyes”.  The result of that environment was catastrophic.  It further emphasis that there was no King in those days.  So every man was left to follow his own decisions.

This period of time lasted 450 years!  This period of time was as long as the entire duration of the monarchy.  Because there is one book of Judges, and six books of the Kings (Samuel, Kings, Chronicles), it is natural to feel like the Kings were a longer period of time.  Both of these time periods were 450 years.  Why?

God gave man 450 years to reveal what happens when man does that which is right in his own eyes.

The result of that time period is so abhorrent and tragic, we scarce can comprehend it.  The last five chapters of Judges are as bad and ugly as any period of history, any place on the Globe.  From this experiment and experience we can truly agree with God that it is not in man to direct his steps.

It might help to think of these Judges as freedom fighters.  The word Judge to us today speaks of courtrooms and juries.  These men, (and one woman), were liberators, fighters, leaders of armies!  They are renowned for their military campaigns.  The following is a list of Judges and their term of time.

Judge Enemy

  • Othniel/40 years                         Mesopotamia
  • Ehud/80 years                             Moab, Amon, Amalek
  • Deborah, Barak/40 years             Caanan
  • Gideon/40 years                          Midian
  • Abimelech/3 years
  • Toah/23 years
  • Jair/22 years
  • Jeptha/6 years                             Ammon
  • Ibzaim/7 years
  • Elon/10 years
  • Samson/20 years                          Philistines
  • Eli/40 years                                 Philistines
  • Samuel/20 years                          Philistines

By my addition there were 111 years of oppression and 339 years of peace for a total of 450 years of the reign of the Judges.  This is the same amount of time for the Kings!  There was 120 years of the United Kingdom, 200 years of a divided Kingdom with Israel and Judah side by side, and an additional 135 years of Judah.

The conclusion I get is this, God gave man 450 years of man doing what he thought was right on his own.  Then he gave man 450 years where a king ruled over his life.  Both time periods ended in abject failure.  Opening the door for the prophets and God’s voice being the law of man and earth.

The only successful government has proved to be when God himself rules over the affairs of men.

In the first 16 chapters of  Judges, it is all about God’s people being attacked from without.  The enemy is from the outside.  Then the last five chapters are the result when Israel turns upon herself and begins to carnage herself. The result is one of the most terrible times in all of history.

Before it is over Israel will have killed more of her own that any of her attackers ever did from the outside.  If fact, she will have killed more of her own that all of the outside attacks combined over the entire 450 year period!

What a statement God leaves on the pages of the Bible about what happens when we forget who our real enemy is and begin to war on our brothers.

In the last five chapters, it begins with the introduction of Idolatry into Israel with the story of Micah and his graven images.  The stage is set for idolatry and it takes a thousand years and a dispersion (Israel), and a captivity (Judah), to finally purge Israel of Idolatry!

The story moves on to the tribe of Dan.

This tribe is not satisfied with their inheritance so they look for new territory.  They journey east, then north, a total of about 144 miles to conquer Laish.  They rename the city “Dan”(hence the term from Dan to Beersheba).  This is not the inheritance God assigned to the tribe of Dan.

This story lets us see the terrible result of what happens when you are not satisfied with your inheritance!  The tribe of Dan is forever removed from the pages of the Bible.  The only mention I find is one descendant worked on Solomon’s temple.  Dan is never mentioned again, never included anymore in the list of the tribes all the way to the book of Revelation!

What more would anyone need to illustrate the danger of not being satisfied with our inheritance?

The book of Judges then moves on to the story of the concubine.

The woman was abused and finally dies.  Her master cuts her into twelve pieces and sends a piece of the evidence to each tribe.  The nation goes to war and the result is horrific.  Israel loses 65,000 men in the final chapters of Judges, all because they had a piece of the evidence.  The tribe of Benjamin is reduced to 400 men and almost obliterated.

I believe they would have been wiped out if not for a future son of Benjamin that would literally change the world, Saul of Tarsus.  God preserved the tribe for Israel’s first king, and Christianity’s first missionary.

The moral of the story is again so stark!  It is so dangerous to go to war over a piece of the evidence.

Was all lost for humanity?  Not at all.  God in his infinite wisdom was letting man work through the slow process of human government to help man self discover for himself his need of God.

All was not lost, for even in this morass, at the bulls eye center of the greatest carnage were faithful people who held on to God.  That is why Boaz steps onto the stage.  There was in the days of the Judges, Ruth 1.1

We will discuss that in the book of Ruth!

Thanks for reading today!

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