Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Evangelist Wil Rice IV (firstlight@billriceranch.org)

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"

Times, Seasons, and Purpose

Not too long ago, I came across a picture I had taken while we were driving down a coastal highway in South Florida. The picture is of a beautiful, lavish house with elaborate landscaping and a stretch limo parked in the driveway-the owners of this home undoubtedly could buy almost anything their hearts desired! King Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, was also a man of untold wealth. Not only was he rich, but he was also the wisest man on earth!

But, contrary to today's thinking, both wealth and wisdom are folly by themselves. They only matter when they are used to affect eternity. You see, everything has its season; things of earth will pass away. Ironically, the surest thing in life is the fact that life will end! This is the basis of King Solomon's message in Ecclesiastes 3: "to everything there is a season."

A sense of time automatically brings restraint. All things in this life have a definite beginning and end. Notice the "seasons" mentioned in the next few verses: "A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which was planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. . . ." And the list goes on. We must be reminded that we only have a short time here on this earth.

This restraint should give us a sense of responsibility. Whatever we are going to do, we'd better do now! Before we know it, the season of sowing will be past. So make the most of every day-don't take time for granted. What are you putting off that should be done for the Lord today? What eternal goals are you aiming for today?

With this sense of responsibility, the Lord gives us a wonderful reminder. Verse 11 says, "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." God has a purpose behind every season and time throughout history, and He also has a purpose for every season we go through in our lives. God is the One who determines our purpose in life. His plan for my short life is part of His great plan for the ages! No life-no matter how short-is an accident; God has a specific, unique purpose for every life.

Not only that, but His purposes extend to each season within our lives. Each changing season brings with it a unique purpose. So find pleasure in the season you are in today! Yes, be busy doing the work God has given you for today; but don't get too busy to enjoy your life. Everything we have is given to us by our loving God! Verse 22 says, "Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?"

So be mindful today that your life is only for a season, but rejoice in the truth that God has a purpose for your life today! Make the most of your "portion" today and enjoy what the Lord has given you.

Prayer Requests:
1. Bill Rice Ranch Men's Conference (Oct. 2-4)
2. Deaf on the Move Rally in Seattle, WA (Oct. 4)

For more information about the Bill Rice Ranch visit our website: billriceranch.org

Monday, September 29, 2008


Probably the most used tract every written

SumnerSep 29, 2008

This may be the most used tract ever written I hold in my hand probably the most used tract of all time. "God's simple plan of Salvation" by Ford Porter. Over 560,000,000 in over 120 languages, that is over one half BILLION, have been given out and thousands have been saved through reading it.

It was my special joy, and privilege of meeting and having lunch with Ford Porter, this dear man of God while I was on the faculty of Moody Bible Institute. He impacted my life for ever. He burned in my heart how tracts can be used by every person to get the gospel to lost people. He prayed fervently every day for his tract to be used by God and for His glory. God certainly has done that. I pray that for my tract every day. You and I can pray for and pass out tracts and see the same results today.

Robert Porter, Ford Porter's son and my dear friend wrote me and said, "Paul Ramsey is the only living incorporator of Dad's tract ministry. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Paul. He was my father's traveling companion to the Holy Land with a side trip to Frankfort, Germany where they met Kurt Wagner, one of the former body guards for Adolph Hitler. Hurt was saved through reading my dad's tract in the German language right after the war was over. What a wonderful time they had together." Kurt was the pastor of two churches in Frankfort at that time.

Now isn't that an awesome story.You see why I am so passionate about using tracts. My deep desire is to have my tract "Your Ticket to Heaven" published and used in your language, all to HIS Glory. Stay tuned. ABC Sumner.

"Thanks for the tracts you sent, and for these incredible emails" He entered the drawing, his name was drawn and now he is laying up treasures in heaven through tracts. Steve and Alyssa for a fantastic job with the web site. Go to www.sumnerwemp.com. read and be blessed.

Pray for "Your Ticket to Heaven". Call 1-877-872-2871 ask for :sales" order some, give them out to have an eternal reward and joy for obeying God to get the gospel to every person.

Christ's command, "Preach the gospel to EVERY creature" Mk 16:15. Tracts can help

Sunday, September 28, 2008


EXODUS 4:18-31

Pastor Rick Jackson

I. THE PROCEDURE [v. 18-23]

1. Supplication [v. 18]

2. Information [v. 19]

3. Expectation [v. 20-23]

II. THE PROBLEM [v. 24-26]

1. Failure to understand the importance of Dedication [v. 24]

2. Failure to understand the importance of Obedience [v. 25]

3. Failure to understand the importance of Attitude [v. 26]

Zipporah is sent back to her father until chapter 18

III. THE PROGRAM [v. 27-31]

1. Moses shares God's Word with Aaron [v. 27-28]

2. Aaron & Moses share God's Word with the elders of Israel [v. 29-30]

3. Israel responds to God in worship [v. 31]


II Thessalonians 2:1

Pastor Rick Jackson

A class reunion, a revival meeting, a homecoming game, a family reunion, a convention of like-minded individuals, a political rally, or a fireworks display. These are just a few "gatherings" we are all familiar with. But each one pales beyond the gathering mentioned in the song or in our text. Imagine if you will those gathered out of every nation, every tribe, every group and all with one thing in common:

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

What a Gathering!



1. Believed [v. 3, 10] Notables and unknowns...

2. Obeyed the Gospel [v. 8]

3. Were Sanctified by the One in whose Gospel they believed [v. 10]



1. Of Rest [1:7]

2. With Christ [2:1]

3. Of Everlasting Consolation [2:16]

As great as the place may be, as wonderful as the people in the gathering may be the truth is there is no comparison to:


1. He will be revealed from Heaven [1:7]

2. He will be glorified in His Saints [1:10, 12]

3. He will be admired in His Saints [1:10]

Saturday, September 27, 2008

QUESTION OF THE WEEK! - Does the Evidence Matter?

A: It is commonly claimed that the major reason why most people reject Darwinism and accept creationism is due to religious motivations. Although this is often true, in a large number of cases, an understanding of the scientific evidence was the major factor that convinced many to reject evolutionism. Some of these persons who rejected Darwinism then, realizing that Darwinism does not explain the origin of life, become creationists.

Creationists realize that only two possibilities exist: either intelligence or blind natural forces were ultimately responsible for the creation of the world around us. Every adult accepts the reality of a creation and acknowledges that the creation had some sort of cause or creator. For this reason, everyone is a creationist to some extent, and the only difference is one’s conclusion about who or what was responsible for the cause of the creation.

The creation view concludes that intelligence is responsible for life; the other view, evolution, concludes that DNA copying mistakes called mutations create genetic variety that is “selected” by natural selection—Darwin’s famous survival of the fittest theory. In other words, Darwinism teaches that genetic mistakes, mostly a result of the accumulation of copying errors that occur when DNA replicates, is our creator.

Creationists realize that evolution, defined as progression from molecules to humans by way of animals (from the “goo to you by way of the zoo” theory), is a failed theory. It has failed because it has been shown by scientific investigation to be not just unverified, but scientifically false. Evolution did not occur, and could not have occurred, and this conclusion is based on scientific observations, not religion.

To read more about how science upholds the truth of creation, visit Persuaded by the Evidence.

News to Note Quick Look

A(nother) tragic school shooting in Finland: Finland has been shaken by another violent school shooting, the second in less than a year. Read more.

Inventing the walking fish: Evolutionary scientists have discovered the origin of fingers and toes: fishlike creatures that swam the seas hundreds of millions of years ago. So what exactly was the science behind the discovery, which was reported in Nature? Read more.

Also: Neanderthals on the see-food diet, clever crows, not the big bang they were looking for, who’s more superstitious, and what the candidates agree on. Read more.

This information was provided by Answers In Genesis, an excellent source of material relating to Creation and evolution. Please visit their website using the link in the upper left.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dinosaurs and the Bible‏

"Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: . . . His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God." (Job 40:15-19)

In this remarkable passage, the Lord has been urging Job and his three philosophizing friends to consider all the marvelous evidences of God's power and wisdom in nature. Finally he calls their attention to "behemoth" (from a Hebrew word meaning "gigantic beast"), the greatest land animal God ever made--"chief of the ways of God."

Commentators who have tried to identify a living animal as behemoth have called it either an elephant or a hippopotamus, but it is obvious that neither of these animals "moveth his tail like a cedar." The other descriptions are also inappropriate. It should be obvious that the behemoth is an extinct animal, very probably a great dinosaur. This would be obvious were it not for the widespread evolutionary delusion that dinosaurs became extinct 70 million years ago, with man evolving only about a million years ago. Modern creation scientists, however, have published many well-documented evidences that dinosaurs existed contemporaneously with early humans up to relatively recent times, and that these supposed evolutionary eons of time are pure fiction. Early men, such as Job, could indeed marvel at this gigantic creature of God and also rejoice in God's ability to control the great problems of life as well as His sincere concern with every individual need of His people.

It is also worth noting that there are several references to dragons in the Bible, as well as in ancient traditions everywhere, and it is likely these also reflect the memories of dinosaurs retained by early tribes after the Flood. HMM

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September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008


There are many good solid fundamental churches out there that are having financial problems. A friend of mine who is pastor of such a church recently asked for prayer. his church is not alone. What seems to be the problem? There are actually many problems.

The Decline of Membership
Sometimes churches see their membership declining through various circumstances. Good members move out of the community or may even pass on to glory. Others leave looking for the bells and whistles at bigger churches even though the smaller church is often responsible for the salvation of their loved ones.

I know personally of a woman who wanted a church with more senior programs now that she was retired. She didn't seem to mind the small church she had been attending when the pastor led her husband to the Lord a few years earlier. Another woman almost broke up her family to get her kids in a church that had more programs for children (read into it- babysit my kids so I can do what I want) even though the small church was responsible for her whole family's, including the kids', salvation.

Still others blame the church for their personal failures. After they have destroyed the influence of the church by nitpicking they blame the church for not having influence. I am amused and saddened by those that give their "doctrinal" reasons for leaving and then go into a church that they disagree with even more doctrinally. Makes one wonder does it not? One leaves because the pastor doesn't follow another pastor's example to the Nth degree and then joins a church neither pastor would approve. Pot... kettle... black.

The Decline of Finances
Of course members leaving puts a drain on finances. Especially when those same people voted that the church take on certain responsibilities (missions, staff, programs, etc.) and then leave the church to deal with their vote but without their help.

Sometimes as members move into new phases of their lives their income is not the same. In retirement that can't give as much as they could when they were working full time. This only makes sense but it doesn't eliminate the need. Some good people start giving their tithe through other channels (some proper- some not). They forget the churches bills and obligations have not stopped. A pastor friend told me he had to quit taking his salary because the church couldn't afford to pay him and meet other obligations and even with this godly man's sacrifice the church could close by Christmas. A Christian brother who mows for a living told me that many churches in our community were having a rough time financially. I have watched 3 or 4 mega churches in our area adding gymnasiums, sporty "family life" centers and other bells and whistles while a church that has been faithfully proclaiming the Gospel for decades can't afford to mow their lawn... my brethren, these things ought not so to be.

The Decline of Energy
In smaller churches there aren't as many to take on the work load. This may cause burn-out in those doing the work. People must take care that they don't over-extend themselves or blame the church when they do. I know some pushy pastors but I also know some pushy parishioners. A mature Christian must learn to say "no" to some tasks while saying "yes" to whatever the Lord would have them to do. Just because someone asks you to do something doesn't mean you have to do it. In some cases we may find ourselves enabling those that could be helping themselves and/or others but enjoy being on the receiving end.

The Decline of Culture
I am not saying it can't be done. But really our whole culture fights the idea of church in general and Bible churches in particular. We think of the days in our country where the church was respected (as opposed to being maligned by some presidential candidates who said “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,”). But the truth is, the church hasn't always been respected in the world. The early Christians faced a hostile government. But in the United States of America the Christians have been seen as leaders despite the opinion of those who want to rewrite history and exclude the very ones who really helped make this country free and great.

The Defining Moment
Let us help these struggling churches that are worthy of our aid. Let us pray, let us promote, let us give, let us not be guilty of vain-glory and wanting to be in the big crowd when the Lord has other plans for us.

Zechariah 4:8-10 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008



Pastor Rick Jackson


1. John was in a sad situation [Mt. 4:12, 11:2]

2. John was right with God [Mt. 14:3-5]

3. We all suffer because we all live in a sinful world [Rm. 8:14-31]

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Your situation may or may not be of your own making, but God will make it turn out for your good and His glory!


1. We see John reminded of Jesus [Lk. 7;11-18]

2. We see John requesting of Jesus [Lk. 7:19-20]

3. We see John received of Jesus [Lk. 7:21-23]

Isaiah 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

It's not wrong to go back to the Word of God for comfort, for confirmation, for convictions. Remember this truth, don't doubt in the shadows that which was revealed in the light!


John did not get to hear the Lord's commendation of him and his ministry. That was left for his homegoing. Why should we expect more than him?

1. His Stedfastness [Lk. 7:24]

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
2 Corinthians 1:7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

2. His Sacrifice [Lk. 7:25]

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

3. His Spirituality [Lk. 7:26-29]

"None born of woman is greater. Yet the least in the kingdom is greater. Not in character or function, but in privilege... we see the end from the beginning." - Herschel Hobbs

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don't mess with the Word of God!

The Integrity of the Written Word

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." (Deuteronomy 4:2)

In addition to the numerous times when the writers of the Bible asserted that what they wrote came directly from God (e.g., Leviticus 1:1; Jeremiah 1:4; Revelation 1:1), there are at least four warnings against tampering with these revealed words.

The first is our text above, in which Moses commanded neither to add to nor diminish from anything he had written. This warning was supplemented later with the following: "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it" (Deuteronomy 12:32).

Moses was the first writer of the Bible and it was appropriate that he should give such a warning. The last was John, and his warning was even more severe, at the very end of the whole body of Scripture. "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life" (Revelation 22:18-19).
Since John was the last apostle, it is clear that this warning is against any later attempt to add some new "revelation" to the now-complete Word of God.

Then, very near the middle of the Bible, there is this: "Every word of God is pure: . . . Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:5-6). And remember also the words of Christ: "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18). So don't mess with the Word of God! HMM

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Monday, September 22, 2008

How else do we make ourselves fit for God to use?‏

Sumner Wemps Spiritual Encouragement & Motivation (sumner@sumnerwemp.com)

Sep 22, 2008

How else do we make ourselves "fit" for God to use?

Rule No 1. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves" 1 Jn 1:8.

Well, what do you do? "If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" 1 Cor 11:31. You be the judge, guilty or not? Sins of commission or omission, we are all guilty. None of us has read our Bibles enough, prayed enough, witnessed enough.

Rule No 2. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins"...1 Jn 1:9.

King David committed adultery and murder and went a year carrying the guilt and grief of unconfessed sin. Most of us do the same today. "If I regard sin in my heart, God will not hear me". Multitudes carry guilt and grief today.

Rule No 3. Private sins ought to be confessed privately.

A Christian boy went up to a Christian girl and confessed to her that he had lust in his heart for her. That was stupid. It scared her to death. She was petrified every time she saw him. Confess private sin to God alone. Personal sin ought to be confessed personally. You have offended someone and you and they know it. You should go to them and confess it and forsake it. Public sins should be confessed publicly. It was in the news paper, every one knows about it. It should be confessed publicly. It is too bad this is not practiced today.

Rule No 4. "If we do not judge ourselves", you can be sure God will and He "chastens" us (spanks us) "that we should not be condemned with the world."

The Lord Jesus has already paid the penalty for our sins. How does He chasten? "For this cause many are weak, many are sickly and many sleep (are dead) 1 Cor 11:30. Prayers are not answered, Where is the fullness of joy among Christians? Where is the "peace that passes understanding?" "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay!, they were not ashamed, neither could they blush" Neh 6:15..Multitudes are right there today. What a shame. Almost daily I get emails from Christians who are miserable and empty because of unconfessed sin.

ABC Sumner

"I am so glad Sue let me in on your emailing's"
"You have no idea how the Lord speaks right through those messages and brings victory and power and strength."
I gave "Your Ticket to Heaven" to my Doctor this week. He stopped and said, "I need that. I will read it tonight" I said, just do what it says at the end from your heart." I wont be a bit surprised to see him in heaven. God is using them.

Call 1-877-872-2871 and ask for "sales" and get some to give out. The reward in heaven will stagger you.

Pro 3:11,12 "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:. For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth".

Sunday, September 21, 2008


1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

EXODUS 4:1-17

Pastor Rick Jackson

There are patterns in Scripture. one pattern concerns the nature of sin and how it is exposed in our behavior. Every sin is either a result of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life or a combination thereof. This pattern was shown in the way Eve was tempted in the Garden, the way David was tempted and sinned in these three main areas, and the way the Lord Jesus was tempted by the Devil in Matthew 4 - yet without sin! I had never noticed but the pattern is repeated as Moses tries to get out of the service the Lord is calling him into and his excuses fall into this familiar pattern.


v. 1 shows us Moses' concern was how the world saw him and how he saw the world

1. What You Have Is Enough [v. 1-5]

David's sling, Gideons trumpets & pitchers, the widows oil, the lad's lunch, etc.

2. Grace is an inward solution because sin is an inward problem. [v. 6-8]

The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.

3. The Blood is the Solution [v. 9]


1. The Jimmy Stewart Syndrome [v. 10]

2. The Producer/Casting Director's Knowledge [v. 11]

God knows how sin has affected His creation.

3. What You Say Is More Important Than How Well You Say It! [v. 12]


1. The Arrogance of False Humility [v. 13]

2. The Anger Against Unbelief [v. 14]

3. The Admixture of Faith & Failure [v. 15-17]

Psalm 106:15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

Sometimes that which we ask for turns out to be a burden as well as a blessing.


Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.


Pastor Rick Jackson

Elisha is certainly one of the great prophets of Israel. He's one of those who had the distinction of following a great man and NOT staying under his shadow. He was not Elijah, he didn't try to be Elijah, but he was the best Elisha he could be! How did he do it? What can we learn from this man in order to do our best for God?

I. DON'T BE AFRAID TO WORK! [I Kings 19:19]

1. Work is NOT part of the curse [Gn. 2:15-17]

2. Work is satisfying to body and soul [Pr. 12:11-14, 27; 13:4, Eccl. 5:12]

3. Work is a part of Christian testimony [II Th. 3:10]

II. DON'T BE ASHAMED TO SERVE [I Kings 19:21, II Kings 3:11]

1. Joshua had no problem exclaiming service [Joshua 24:15]

2. Paul had no problem explaining service [Colossians 3:17-25]

3. Jesus had no problem exemplifying service [John 13:12-17]

Some people think certain jobs are beneath them. After being the 17th President of the US Andrew Johnson became a US senator again. One someone asked him if that wasn't a step down from being president he replied, "It's never step down to serve your country."

III. SEEK GOD'S BEST [II Kings 2:2-6]

1. Be Prayerful [Lk. 11:1-4]

2. Be Persistent [Lk. 11:5-13]

3. be Pleasing [Lk. 18:1-8]

IV. SEEK GOD'S POWER [II Kings 2:9, Lk. 11:13, Acts 1:4-8, 14]

1. It won't bring ease but it will bring satisfaction

2. It won't bring fame but it will bring results

3. It won't bring harmony but it will bring joy

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Q: Can a Christian survive college?

A: As modern philosophers go, Dr. Seuss isn’t bad. A popular high school graduation gift these days is a book written by the master of rhyme titled, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! The book, a graduation speech Dr. Seuss once delivered, begins like this,


Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!”

Dr. Seuss is right. College is just the beginning of the many places you’ll go, the beginning of many firsts. College is the first time you’re free from the regimented schedule of high school. You begin making more and more decisions for yourself—whether to go to class, or roll over and stay in bed. Whether to wear those jeans for the third day in a row, or do laundry. College is an exciting time, one more open door beckoning you further down the pathway of life. It’s a time when decision-making and responsibilities truly become your own.

“You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

I was so excited about going to college that I jumped in with both feet. Like Alice in Wonderland, I found myself in a strange and unfamiliar place, but this one was called Welcome Week. I understand that some years ago, Welcome Week used to be when you went to campus to walk your class schedule, buy books at the bookstore, find the good places to study among the library stacks, and meet other students in your dorm. You know the commercial that says, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile”? Well, likewise for Welcome Week. This is not your father’s Welcome Week.

These days, on most college campuses, Welcome Week is a not-so-subtle indoctrination into moral relativism. Moral relativism is the belief system that says there is no right or wrong. Right is what’s right for you. When followed to it’s logical end, moral relativism leads to anarchy, but when it’s cloaked in skits, games, group activities, mandatory lectures, and free pizza, it passes for freshman fun. Welcome Week is also an initiation into the drinking and partying scene, with ample opportunities for hooking up, which for you moms and dads is slang for a one-night stand. So much for finding out the library hours.

How can Christian students survive the secular environment of most college campuses? Start finding out with the first chapter of Abby Nye’s book Fish Out of Water: Welcome Week.

News to Note Quick Look

Don’t say that word!: “[S]cientist urges teaching of creationism in schools” blared alarmist headlines after Michael Reiss, Royal Society director of education who claims “creationism has no scientific basis,” nevertheless let his toe slip from the evolutionary line on education. Now, after less than a week, Reiss has been forced to resign—expelled, you might say. Read more.

We’re sorry, Charles! (No we’re not!): As part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, the Church of England is issuing an apology of sorts to Darwin for its previous “anti-evolutionary fervour.” The response from Darwin’s descendants? Thanks, but no thanks. Read more.

Also: Martian life found on Earth, Wilma Flintstone comes to life (almost), the world’s oldest gecko, creationists—unfit for office, man’s outward appearance, the art of mathematicians, and AIG’s $85 billion bailout. Read more.

This information was provided by Answers In Genesis, an excellent source of material relating to Creation and evolution. Please visit their website using the link in the upper left.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In the Days of Thy Youth‏

"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Here is the wisest counsel a young person can receive. Though it was first written many years ago, it is more relevant than ever today when young people are being bombarded daily with the propaganda and practices of evolutionary humanism. They urgently need to realize that despite these pressures, they are not products of chance, with pleasure their only aim in life. They are special creations of God, with a high and holy purpose destined for them by their Creator.

If they will only recognize this fact, acknowledging God, in Christ, as Creator and Savior while they are young, trusting and obeying His word as they mature, they can anticipate a life of fulfillment. "I have been young, and now am old," David said, "yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" (Psalm 37:25).

If they refuse their Creator in the days of their youth, however, then it will become increasingly difficult to remember their Creator as the years go by. Few are converted in later life. They can only anticipate the bitterness and regrets of old age and death, as described so vividly in the verses following our text. Under the figure of a decaying house symbolizing their aging bodies, the forlorn picture is drawn of fading eyesight, trembling hands, buckling knees, sleepless nights, easy irritability, increasing senility, and other aspects of approaching death--all with no pleasure in them, because they long ago had forgotten their Creator. Remember now thy Creator, young man, young woman! Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Therefore, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). HMM

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Gods Shall Perish‏

"Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens." (Jeremiah 10:11)

This is a unique verse. Jeremiah, the second longest book in the Bible, is written in Hebrew except for this one verse! Why would Jeremiah make this remarkable exception here?

This verse was written in Aramaic, which was the official language of the great Babylonian empire--the world's chief nation at that time. The Babylonians, as prophesied by Jeremiah, were soon to be used as a weapon in God's hand to punish His chosen people, carrying them into exile and captivity, and the main reason for such punishment was apostasy. They had corrupted the worship of the true Creator God with the teachings and idols of the Babylonians and all the other nations around them who had rejected God.

Jeremiah had repeatedly condemned this apostasy, showing that God's people were to be punished by the very nations whose religious philosophies had so attracted them.

But those nations needed also to understand that this was not because of their own strength nor the merits of their own gods. Thus, Jeremiah appropriately inserted a special word to be conveyedto the Babylonians, in their own official tongue. Only the true God, who made the heavens and the earth, is in control of the heavens and the earth.

The same type of warning, delivered in the "official" language of the modern world ("science?"), is needed even more today than it was in Jeremiah's day. Today's "gods"--Marx, Darwin, etc.--are even less deserving of trust than Zeus or Baal, and yet professing Christians have gone after them in droves. It is urgent that we call them back to the true Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, urging them--before God's judgment falls once again--to repudiate every vestige of evolutionary humanism. HMM

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September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Psalm 37

Pastor Rick Jackson


In 1923 nine of the world's richest men met in a Chicago hotel. The combined financial power of these men was more than the Federal Reserve Bank. But 25 years later 2 of the men had just gotten out of prison, 2 were wanted by the law, 1 was living on borrowed money, 1 was in a mental institution and 3 had committed suicide.


The boll weevil statue in Enterprise, AL is testimony to that truth.

Success is having the right perspective of failure. - Pastor Bill Monroe

I would rather fail in the cause that will someday triumph than triumph in the cause that will someday fail. - President Woodrow Wilson



Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Samson and Solomon all had great gifts but had unhappy or short lives.

The one talent man that is using that talent to the best of his ability is more successful than the ten talent man who is only using five of his talents. - Bill Monroe


Paul certainly had his share of problems according to II Cor. 11:23-28.

Was he a success? Look at II Tim. 4:6-8. If you could die with what Paul had you could count yourself a success.

1. His Readiness Based on His Salvation [v. 6]

No man who goes to Hell forever can be considered a success! - Unknown

2. His Realization Based on His Surrender [v. 7]

In God's will there can be no failure; outside God's will, there can be no success. - Bill Monroe

3. His Reward Based on His Service [v. 8]

In my notes from the first time I preached a version of this sermon back in 1986 I credited the inspiration for this message to J.R. Sandberg and Wm. T. Monroe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Visible Love‏

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18)

It has become popular for Christian organizations to cite this verse as their mission to help the poor and struggling peoples of the world.

There is no doubt that God's people are to give alms to the poor and represent Christ even with a "cup of cold water" given in His name.

But this passage emphasizes how the believer is to treat another Christian brother or sister, and not about the needy unbeliever.

The continuing message in this small epistle begins with our fellowship "in the light" (1:3-7), producing love that is perfected by keeping God's Word (2:5), which in turn is necessary to abide in the light (2:10-11).

This commandment is as old as the beginning (2:7) but also "new" in the sense that it now includes both Jew and Gentile (2:8).

The vivid example of love is clearly displayed by the substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus (3:16), whose selfless and sacrificial love demands both sympathy and empathy toward our brothers and sisters in Christ (3:17). It also demands specific action in "deed and truth" (3:18). Our precious Lord did feel for us, but He also did for us.

The external action in addition to the internal attitude is certainly parallel to showing our faith by our works (James 3:18). We must be doers of the Word and not just hearers only (James 1:22).

The emphasis on works by the apostle James is certainly in keeping with the apostle John's insistence that the love for our brother be "in deed" as well as "in truth." HMM III

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September 15, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008


EXODUS 3:10-22

Pastor Rick Jackson

As you read the Bible it should become clear to you that the men and women of the Bible are just like you and me. They have fears and failures, faith and the lack thereof, worries and problems just like the rest of us. They also have joy and happiness just as we do. They also makes excuses for not doing what God wants them to do... just like we do.

The great man Moses who got ahead of God at 40 is seen falling behind God at 80. As we open the Word of God to Exodus 3 we might figure out that excuses haven't changed much in the last 3500 years.

I. WHO AM I? [v. 10-12]

1. Man's Excuse- "I am a nobody" [v. 10-11]

Hey! God don't make no junk! On the one hand we can say with the Psalmist, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" but on the other hand, the very fact that God has taken an interest gives us worth does it not?

2. God's Response- "I will be with you!" [v. 12]

This guarantees success! There is no failure with God on your side. The Bibles says, "we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Note that when God redeems us--- He redeems us for His service [v. 12, Eph. 2:8-10]

3. Our Promise- Mt. 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen


1. Man's Excuse- "I have no authority" [2:14 was still the burning question in Moses mind, which explains his question in 3:13]

2. God's Response- "I AM THAT I AM" [v. 14-15]

God was giving an explanation of the name Yahweh (Jehovah). Bible names carried great significance. The Self-Existent, Creator is sending you. He that has all authority.

3. Our Promise- Matthew 28:17-18 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. ("My name for ever" -v. 15)


1. Man's Excuse- "I don't know what to say." [v. 13]

2. God's Response- "Give them My Word." [v. 14-22]

v. 14-16 God Knows [Gn. 50:25]

v. 17-21 God Can

v. 18, 22 God Wants (us to respond in faith)

3. Our Promise- Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1 Corinthians 15:1-6a Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once;

Sunday, September 14, 2008


JOB 23

Pastor Rick Jackson

The man Job was a believer in the one true God. He tried to serve God with his whole being. He did not know that Satan had challenged God concerning Job and that God trusted Job to be faithful. Job lost his wealth, Job lost his family, Job lost his health. Job did not lose his testimony. Job did not curse God. He may have gone a little far in questioning God but even there he was quick to repent and make things right with God. About the middle of the book we find Job answering one of his friends and we get a little insight into his thinking. Note first of all:


1. Life had become rough [v. 1-2]

2. Explaining to God would be enough [v. 3-4]

3. Feeling God's presence had become tough [v. 5-9]


A confession in the Bible is not necessarily admitting a sin. Confession in the Bible is being in agreement with God. A lost man does not confess his sins to be saved. He must confess the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, he agrees with God that Christ died to pay for his sins, that Christ rose again the third day proving the payment was enough and that Christ is God, and that by receiving Christ and His payment for sin God will assuredly save him [Rm. 10:9-13].

A saved man confesses that something he did was wrong and that it broke fellowship (not the relationship) with God. He agrees that it was wrong and that God will restore the fellowship on the basis of Christ's shed blood.

Job here agrees with God on several points.

1. God knows what man is going through [v. 10]

2. God is using the circumstances to purify his servant [v. 10]

3. The end result is for man's good and God's glory [v. 10]


1. To Keep the Way of God [v. 11]

2. To Keep the Word of God [v. 12]

3. To Keep the Witness of God [v. 13-17]

Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Job 40:3-5 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Job 42:1-6 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Ron Hamilton's "Rejoice in the Lord" based on Job and Philippians


God never moves without purpose or plan.
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD, though your testing seems long.
In darkness, He giveth a song.

He makes no mistake.
He knoweth the end of each path that I take!
For when I am tried and purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

I could not see through the shadows ahead,
So I looked at the cross of my Saviour instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day,
Then peace came, and tears fled away!

Now I can see testing comes from above,
God strengthens His children, and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging, more fruit I will bear.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Q: A Miniature Big Bang or More Hot Air?

A: Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have hit the switch to activate the nearly $9 billion Large Hadron Collider. But what will it produce—a mini big bang or more hot air?

Flowing champagne marked the startup this week of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a nearly 17-mile-long (27 km) tube located 300 feet (91 m) beneath the Swiss–French border. The new LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, designed to (essentially) hurl two beams of magnet-accelerated particles at each other inside a vacuum, with the inevitable, hoped-for result being some incredible collisions.

CERN researchers separately test fired two proton beams through the LHC, and they plan to begin the actual high-energy collisions in about a month. When they do, more than 9,000 magnets will accelerate the two proton beams to 99.99978% the speed of light, each transiting the LHC racetrack some 11,000 times per second. At full speed, each proton beam will have an energy equivalent to a car being driven at over 1,000 miles per hour (1700 kph).

The beams will then intersect at predetermined places for “experiments,” with particles colliding up to 600 million times a second—all near detectors that will allow scientists to monitor the collisions for “interesting events,” as the BBC puts it. This is despite the fact that the individual particles are so small that the “task of making them collide is akin to firing needles from two positions 10 km [6 mi] apart with such precision that they meet halfway,” CERN’s website explains.

But what are the aspirations for the expensive project, which is already two years late in starting up?

Read the rest of our examination of the Large Hadron Collider and the research to be conducted there at A Miniature Big Bang or More Hot Air?

News to Note Quick Look

A 21st Century Dr. Frankenstein?: They may not resemble Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, but will the creations of molecular biologist Jack Szostak escape the lab and run wild—or just in the minds of evolutionists? Read more.

Playing the deity behind theistic evolution: It’s a video game that gives you your very own universe and lets you “play god”—so what’s the story of this latest venue for evolution? Read more.

Also: The end of the world as we know it, fossil forests from the time of Noah, erosion by water, imitating the gecko, introverts of the animal kingdom, and nuclear codes for Bible believers. Read more.

This information was provided by Answers In Genesis, an excellent source of material relating to Creation and evolution. Please visit their website using the link in the upper left.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Paleoanthropologists, seeking to trace man's supposed evolutionary ancestry, have widely different opinions as to the when and how of it. As one evolutionist lamented: "Paleoanthropologists seem to make up for a lack of fossils with an excess of fury, and this must now be the only science in which it is still possible to become famous just by having an opinion." - Days of Praise, 9-10-2008, HMM

Godly men are reasonable men. - Bob Jones Sr.

Be sure you're right--- and then go ahead. - Davy Crockett

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. - Simon Peter

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - Jesus Christ

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We remember 9-11

Please don't think for a moment we are making light of 9-11. We post these tributes by artists and photographers to illustrate how lives were touched.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



Pastor Rick Jackson

1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Are you tired of living? Not that you necessarily want to end it all but you kinda want it all to end! You are weary with the day-by-day struggle. The monotonous existence. The aggravating circumstances. The drudgery of reality. The slogging through the mire of disappointment, defeat, and disgust.


1. The problem wasn't that God was unmerciful [3:10, 4:1-3

2. The problem wasn't that God was unattentive [v. 4-9]

3. The problem wasn't that God was unreasonable [v. 10]



1. Jonah forgot about the meaning of life [v. 1-4] -
--Life is meant to be lived for Christ!

2. Jonah forgot about the matter of learning [v. 5-10]
--Learning that God's mercy is for everyone not just for us!

3. Jonah forgot about the motive of love [v. 11]
--Love (desiring the highest good) is God's motive and should be ours!


1. REJOICE IN THE LORD [3:1, 4:4]


3. PRESS ON TO THE MARK [3:13-4:1]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


All of these were taken from the September 2008 Reader's Digest

When I worked as a medical intern in a hospital, one of my patients was an elderly man with a thick accent. It took a while before I understood that he had no health insurance. Since he was a World War II vet, I had him transported to a VA hospital, where he'd be eligible for benefits.
The next day, my patient was back, along with this note from the VA admitting nurse: "Right war, wrong side." - M. Murray

The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook. - Julia Child

Red meat is not bad for you. Now, blue-green meat--- that's bad for you! - Tom Smothers

When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into 4 or 8 slices, I said, "Four. I don't think I can eat eight." Yogi Berra

Never eat more than you can lift. - Miss Piggy

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Scars of Sin‏

"But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house." (Judges 16:21)

The sad end of mighty Samson, who once had been so greatly energized and utilized by the Lord, is also an allegory and a grave warning to every Christian. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:14-15).

Satan knows our individual weaknesses and tempts us accordingly. Many Christians have fallen into sin through some Delilah, but probably many more have fallen into sin through pride, or covetousness, or compromise, or apathy.

First, sin blinds. We are commanded to grow in Christ, adding to our initial faith the attributes of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Otherwise, "he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins" (2 Peter 1:9).

Then, sin binds. It may not be with chains, as with Samson, but unconfessed sin quickly enslaves its practitioners. "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" (2 Peter 2:19).

Finally, sin grinds. Instead of the promised freedom from restraint, a sinful life soon becomes a "grind," tedious and tasteless, like "the dog turned to his own vomit again" (2 Peter 2:22).

Samson did return to God again before his death, but he was still blind, and bound, and grinding. God forgives, but the effects of sin are not easily removed. How much better it would be never to yield to the temptation at all. HMM

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September 8, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008


EXODUS 2:15-3:10

Pastor Rick Jackson


1. His Character [v. 15-17]

2. His Contentment [v. 18-21, 1 Timothy 6:6]

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

3. His Core [v. 22, Heb. 11:24-27]


1. The Process of Prayer [2:23-25]

2. The Perspective of Patience [3:1]

3. The Prospect of Power [3:2-3]


Moses had tried to deliver his brethren before. He was in the prime of his life. The peak of his political power, he had the greatest education a man could have at that time. And yet he failed miserably. He was finished and he knew it! But God was not finished. God was not finished with Moses. He had to get Moses to depend on Him not on himself. 40 years in the desert had taken its toll on Moses' ambition. Now God can make the difference. God is the Difference Maker. In Moses' life, in my life, in yours. Let God make the difference!

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Someone has said, "During the first 40 years of Moses life he thought he was Somebody. During the second 40 years of his life he learned he was Nobody. During the last 40 years of his life Moses learned God can use Anybody!"

Some important things to remember concerning making a difference with the Difference Maker!

1. God is the Instigator! [v. 4]

2. God is the Identifier [v. 5-6]

3. God is the Intervener [v. 7-10]

Saturday, September 06, 2008

QUESTION OF THE WEEK! - Q: Changing our mind?

A: Creationist researchers strive to understand what the earth’s rock record has to teach us about God’s judgment and mercy. While we never waver on God’s Word, we must constantly reevaluate models and adopt new ones if they make better sense of the evidence. British researcher Paul Garner made such a radical shift when he learned what the catastrophic plate tectonics (CPT) model can explain.

It’s encouraging to see the growing number of modern scientists engaged in constructing the creation model of origins. Simply attacking evolutionary theories is insufficient. Instead, our main efforts need to be channelled into showing how the biblical framework of history explains the world around us better than any alternative.

Creationists want to reclaim the natural sciences for Christ, and that means constructing new theories in biology, geology, and astronomy that are founded on the Bible and consistent with the scientific data, and then fitting those theories together in a coherent creation model. This is no easy task. It’s much simpler to criticize evolution than to build positive alternatives that can withstand rigorous examination.

Since the advent of modern geology, John Whitcomb and Henry Morris’s 1961 book, The Genesis Flood, was pretty much the first attempt to create a creationist theory of the earth. But it was only a start. Their ideas need to be updated, improved, built upon, and integrated with new theories to produce a coherent creationist model of earth history.

The Bible gives information that can help in interpreting the clues we unearthed in geological studies, but many questions remain.

News to Note Quick Look

The armor of evolution: It’s yet another rock-solid proof of Darwin’s theory—at least in the eyes of Darwinists. Read more.

Misidentifying modern humans: News broke last week of the misinterpretation of Palauan bone fragments, which had led to the misidentification of a modern human as something else. It isn’t the first time! Read more.

Also: evolutionists join the attack, stem cells that honor God, elephant mathematicians, and gasps at a could-be creationist. Read more.

This information was provided by Answers In Genesis, an excellent source of material relating to Creation and evolution. Please visit their website using the link in the upper left.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Prayer Changes Things

Ezra 8:21 "Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance."

Prayer Changes Things

Each time my family leaves the Ranch to travel, you will see our brake lights at the end of the drive. Just like my dad did while I was growing up, we stop to pray for safety and wisdom in travel. This is not just a meaningless habit my family has formed; this prayer does make a difference. Here in this passage, Ezra and God's people were setting out on a risky journey through unknown territory. They were stopped at the river, leaving the known and familiar behind and crossing over into a land with many dangers.

As we can see in verse 21, Ezra took this time of prayer very seriously-they fasted, depriving themselves, so that they could seek of the Lord a "right way." Amazingly, they had been offered an escort of soldiers by Artaxerxes the king, but Ezra had refused this escort. Why would he do this? Verse 22 explains, "For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, 'The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him'."

First of all, Ezra was more concerned with God's glory than with his own safety. It would not have been sinful to accept this escort. We know that because many times the Lord uses other humans to provide for the needs of His people; and further, we see Ezra's contemporary, Nehemiah, using an escort. But Ezra did not want to be misunderstood by this pagan king, seemingly dependent on the help of man rather than the help of God. You see, this pagan king believed in many gods and Jehovah God was to him just another god. Ezra wanted him to see the supremacy and power of Jehovah God as the only true God-he wanted him to see that God did not need any "help" in protecting His people.

Secondly, by refusing this escort, Ezra was taking his hands off and letting God choose the means by which He would protect and provide for His people. If God could use pagan kings to accomplish His will, certainly He could accomplish His will in His own way. So here they were, entreating God for help before setting out "on their own." We find in verse 23 a wonderful thing: "So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us." They prayed and God responded! The pious statement that "the only thing that prayer changes is you" is absolutely wrong and unbiblical. Prayer does change things!

While ministering at a prayer station in Manhattan, a man came up to me, looked at what I was wearing (which said "Prayer changes things") and quickly retorted, "Sure it changes things-it changes you!" Now that sounds pious and nice, but it denies the power of prayer. This man, come to find out, was a man who didn't even believe in the God of heaven but believed that any kind of religion was perfectly fine as long as it helped your own state of mind.

Our sovereign God was the One who designed prayer to be the catalyst for His response.Things are different because we pray! If Ezra believed that prayer only changes the person praying, it would have been pure foolishness to set out across that river. Don't be afraid to lean wholly on your God for provision and protection; and pray to Him believing that your prayer does make a difference! You will see the God of heaven answer in a way that brings all the glory to Him.

Prayer Requests:
1. Elementary Retreat today and tomorrow (Sept. 5-6)
2. West Branch On the Move Regional Youth Conference tomorrow (Sept. 6)
3. Recruiting of Summer Staff for 2009.

For more information about the Bill Rice Ranch visit our website: billriceranch.org

You can sign up for this Biblical devotionals by going to the link immediately above this sentence. Evangelist Wil Rice is the president of the Bill Rice Ranch and I highly commend to you this man and this ministry which was started by his grandparents.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Law of the Garbage Truck‏

This was forwarded to me by veteran missionary Joe Jenkins.

"I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, "Why did you just do that? That guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" That is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it, and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it on to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life is too short to wake up with regrets, so....."Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't."

Isn't that great wisdom? I would like to learn to live like that. When I stop to think about it, I realize it sounds a lot like what Jesus said in Luke 6:31, "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you."

I think the best way to learn to live like that is practice...practice...practice. It has been said that to make something a habit, you have to repeat it for 15 days straight. Maybe, if we begin to put into practice the words of Jesus found in the Sermon on the Mount, we could learn to live like He wants us to live. "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

One last thought on this subject: "When you recognize that God is your audience and your Judge, it affects everything you do. All of life becomes a worship experience if you are always aware of God's Presence and do everything to His glory." (Taken from the July 11, 2008 Lead Like Jesus website devotional.)

The first key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be.-- Socrates

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


PSALM 146:3

Pastor Rick Jackson

Whom do you look to for fulfillment? For joy? For making life worthwhile? For personal worth? Many are the starry eyed youth I have talked to who thought their boyfriend or girlfriend was that one! Some look to others! Relatives, celebrities (can you spell "stalker"), political parties or figures. What saith the Scripture?


Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help


When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

III. PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PARTNERS [Pr. 21:9, 25:24, 1 Samuel 25:25-26]

IV. PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PROGENY [Pr. 10:1, 15:20, 17:25, 19:13, Dt. 13:6-8]


I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.


Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.


Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

VII. PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PRIDE (self, accomplishments) [Pr. 16:18]

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.


Where then can we find fulfillment? Joy? Satisfaction in life? Personal worth? A purpose for living? Where? Where indeed? Go back to our text but this time let us read the whole Psalm.

Psalm 146
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:
9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
10 The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Alaska Loves Palin

Someone named Judy had written her friend in Wasilla to ask her what she thought of Gov. Palin. This was the reply:


Sarah Palin is the US’s answer to Margaret Thatcher! Anyone who thinks she cannot handle the job or deal briskly and efficiently with ANY issue, including foreign governments … well, they haven’t met our Sarah .

As an Alaskan resident as well as a resident of Wasilla, AK, where Sarah Palin was at one time Mayor … I can speak with confidence. Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska is exactly what she portrayed during her introduction this morning and exactly what our US Government needs. She is ethical to a fault (if there is such a thing), a refreshing change to the status-quo and as smart and determined a PERSON (gender really isn’t an issue here as far as I’m concerned) as anyone could ask for at the head of government.

Sarah is no naive “small town mayor” – she just *started out* there. Btw, as Mayor of Wasilla, she brought this “small town” through a lot of GOOD changes and left it at the end of her term having grown to the 4th largest CITY in Alaska – a lot of growth and a stronger economic base than ever before.

She has EXECUTIVE experience *running a government* (something NONE of the other candidates can actually boast, even John McCain ) as Governor of Alaska and got there by defeating the *incumbent* Republican Governor, who was definitely part of the “old school” and who WAS very much in the pocket of the big oil companies. We in Alaska wanted change – and we got it in the person of Sarah Palin!

Sarah Palin is everything she looks to be and more. Her approval rating as Governor of Alaska has been as high as 95% and is currently leveled out consistently in the upper 80 percentile throughout the state (and in both parties) - the HIGHEST approval rating of ANY sitting Governor.

Sarah has been turning around corruption in the Legislature of Alaska - turning things on their ear for that matter; cutting spending in spite of the increased income the state is currently receiving due to the high oil prices - she has insisted on putting a huge amount of the 'windfall' into savings for the future rather than spending, spending, spending - and has insisted from the get-go on what she refers to as 'honest, ethical and transparent governing' - no more closed door meetings and dealings - the big oil companies thought she would be a pushover and have learned better to their chagrin.

She understands the 'real people' and the economic issues we all face (Alaskans along with the rest of the country) - she was one of 'us' not long ago. Rather than passing useless 'laws' or throwing money at pet projects, she (most recently) temporarily suspended the state gas tax (on gasoline at the pumps, fuel oil and natural gas for homes, etc.) and has ordered checks issued to ALL residents of Alaska this fall in an attempt to assist with the burden of high fuel costs for the upcoming winter. I could go on and on, but that's enough for now . She isn’t doing these things to be popular – she is doing it because her constituents are HURTING financially and she can help.

She became Governor of Alaska by defeating the Incumbent Republican Governor and doing it *without* the money or the support of the Republican Party, which was amazing in itself - and she won by a landslide. The 'powers that be' at that time totally underestimated Sarah and learned better the hard way. She has done exactly what she claimed she was going to do and is just as popular today as the day she was elected - perhaps more so since even the Democrats up here seem to like her - she works well with both sides in the Legislature here.

Sarah 'belongs' to us (Alaskans) ... and although we are going to be terribly sorry to see her leave before she finishes the job she started here (two years ago) straightening out OUR State ... we understand she is needed for a bigger purpose and hopefully her Lt. Governor will be able to fill her shoes here and continue the job.

As for worrying about what would happen if McCain were to die or step down or whatever ... Theta, up here in AK we've only been wondering how long we would be able to KEEP Sarah in Alaska and have seen her as our first woman President of the USA from the start. It's always been a matter of whether she would wait until the end of her TWO terms as Governor (no doubt at ALL that she would be re-elected if she ran for a second term at the end of her current term) ... or end up in Washington sooner. She could do the job TODAY.

Personally, I feel a lot better about McCain now that I know he has someone as savvy, as strong, as ethical and as steady as Sarah at his back. She will be an excellent Vice President ... and my guess is will be our US Republican Presidential candidate in four years - AND by then the country will KNOW her – will love and respect her as we do here - and she'll win by as much of a landslide as she did here in Alaska. I only wonder if McCain has a clue what he is unleashing on the US of A . She is going to be a fresh wind, but also a strong wind.

Is that enough of an endorsement? If not, I'll add this ... Jerry and I have for many years felt the best 'vote' was to vote for the lesser of two 'evils' and hope they didn't do too much damage. Two years ago during our State Governor's race was the first time EVER that we actually asked for not just a little sign to put in our yard showing our support of our candidate (something we've never felt the desire to do at all before) - we asked for a full 4' x 8' 'SARAH PALIN FOR GOVERNOR!' sign and were proud to have it. She hasn't let us or Alaska down. She will do the same for the USA if given the opportunity.

Feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested (and spam those who aren’t!).

-Deb Frost in Alaska

Monday, September 01, 2008

Still Better Than I Deserve

As previously mentioned in this blog...

Several years ago on Thanksgiving Day I was at the Campus Church at Pensacola Christian College and heard the then Pastor, Jim Schettler, mention a preacher he knew who would always respond to the question, "How are you?" with the reply, "Better Than I Deserve". The Lord spoke to my heart that day and as I contemplated the truth of that reply I decided that it would become my standard answer rather than lying (at times) and saying "Fine".

Little did I know then how that little phrase would affect my life. I have been using it since that time and actually have somewhat of a reputation regarding it. At several local fast food restaurants I am known as "Mr. Better Than I Deserve" - how much better is that than some Christians who are known as "Mr. or Miss Holier Than Thou"? The very fact I have that testimony proves out the statement itself. I certainly don't deserve to be saved, I don't deserve to be known in a positive fashion, I certainly don't deserve to be on my way to Heaven... hey, you know what? I AM DOING BETTER THAN I DESERVE!

Has the response always been positive? Oh no, particularly among some who call themselves Christians who have apparently grown tired of hearing it. They never seemed to tire of hearing "fine" whether the person was fine or not. Is there some conviction going on there? Has their conscience been pricked by the sweet Holy Spirit of God? Has their own murmuring and complaining been outed? I don't know... I just know, I am not going to quit saying it!

It is the most truthful answer I can give. It has opened the door for a positive witness many times. Some Christians have taken up the phrase themselves, others , on hearing it for the first time, are reminded of how good they have it due to the grace of God. Some people don't quite understand it so I made up a business card that explains what it means and weaves the Gospel message into the explanation. If you'd like a copy leave a comment with your address and I'll be glad to send you one. You can have your own printed up and pass them out yourself. Don't worry... I won't print your address on the blog. All comments have to be approved by me before they are published and I will edit out your address.

My life is not perfect. I am not perfect. But I can guarantee that I, and you, have it better than we deserve!