Happy Father’s Day!

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 The fearless Franklin Hotrods baseball team of 1978. My Dad is the coach on the far right and I am the second kid from the right on back row.

My Dad and I go way back to when I was first born. I don’t really have any memories before that time. My parents have always been there. I remember my parents taking me to the Tulsa Oilers (Cardinals Triple A team) baseball games back in the late 60’s early 70’s. As a matter of fact these games may have been the first sign that my mind does not work quite like everyone else’s. First, when I was around four or five I thought there were three teams. I thought the outfielders were a team, the infielders were a team, and the catcher, pitcher and batter were a team. I also was very fascinated by the fact that the umpire would throw out a new baseball when one got knocked over a fence or lost. I remember sitting there trying to wrap my little brain around the fact that it was still the same game but a different baseball.  After all we played a hundred games at home with the same ball.

 

When I was twelve I decided I wanted to play baseball. I wanted to knock the ball out of the park like Reggie Jackson, or throw a no hitter like Nolan Ryan. Problem is everyone else decided they wanted to play baseball when they were six, not twelve. My Dad called around and got me a spot on the team of the nearby public school, Franklin Elementary. I was so proud to be on a real team, the Franklin Hotrods! After a meeting of the parents, my mom and dad brought me home my uniform. I was so proud but the number I was assigned did turn out to be prophetic. My number? 00.

 

Not only did I become a member of the Franklin Hotrods but my Dad became a coach. Let me tell you, My Dad is the only one of us who did the team any good. He was a good coach but I played terrible. I struck out all the time, hit into a fielder’s choice once, laid down one good sacrifice bunt, and got only one base hit in my entire little league career. Granted everyone else had been playing for five or six years already. After our last game of the year, a play off loss, that was the end of my baseball career and dreams.

 

Funny I still have so many little league memories. My parents going to every game and cheering for me, and never letting me know how embarrassing it was for me to strike out all the time. My Dad and the other coach would often take us to Tastee Freeze after a practice or game. A time or two we all went out for pizza. At the end of the year we celebrated by taking the whole team to Six Flags over Texas. My parents helped organize the trip which was a huge success.

 

A few nights ago on my way home from a Bible study I drove by a little league park with a game going on. I noticed something, the stands were empty. I know many parents have to work extra these days to provide for their families, but it made me sad that these kids were playing with no one cheering in the stands for them. I am so glad my father and mother have always been there for me. Now when I look back at my little league days what I remember most is not all the strike outs, but my parents always cheering for me, not just in baseball but in everything. When I think about my baseball career or just life in general, I realize, its not whether you win or lose that counts, but who you have cheering for you in the stands!

I love you dad! You too mom! Thanks for always being there for me.

By the way, I have since grown up and given up my silly dreams about being a baseball star. I am going to be a golf star now! And once again, Dad is with me on this.Golf and Picnic 002

Baptism in Light of the Cross

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You can download a printable copy of the complete set of In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides for free here. You can purchase a copy for your Kindle here

Baptism

Brief overview: By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life. Thus we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, become His people, and are received as members by His church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It is by immersion in water and is contingent on an affirmation of faith in Jesus and evidence of repentance of sin. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of their teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)

Why it is important to understand the truth about baptism:

The Bible only teaches one form of baptism. See Ephesians 4:5. We get the word “baptism” from the Greek word, “baptizo” which means, to immerse. To be immersed you must go into the water all the way.

Why it is important to understand baptism in light of the cross:

Romans 6 tells us the reason there is only one form of baptism. Baptism is where we are crucified with Christ and die to self. In Baptism we are giving all of ourselves to Jesus because He loved and gave all of Himself for us. When we go under the water we stop breathing for a moment. That is symbolic of our death to self. When we come up out of the water we take a new breath and that new breath represents the new life that we are now living for Jesus.

Further Study on Baptism

How essential is baptism?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5

How many types of baptism does God recognize?

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, Ephesians 4:5

How was Jesus baptized?

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him . And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:13-17

Why did John baptize there?

And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. John 3:23

How did Philip baptize the Ethiopian?

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. Acts 8:38

What must precede baptism?

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. Matthew 28:19, 20

What else must take place?

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

What must follow belief?

Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:37, 38

What does baptism symbolize?

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:3-6

Who now lives in us?

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. Galatians 2:20

What are we declared to be?

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

For what reason might one be re-baptized?

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:1-5

What should one not do?

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16

If you would like to be baptized please contact me at laypastor@tampaadventist.net

For more Bible Studies on Baptism and God’s Church click here.

For more Bible studies on the new birth and plan of salvation click here.

The Second Coming in Light of the Cross

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You can download a printable copy of the complete set of In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides for free here. You can purchase a copy for your Kindle here

The Second Coming

Brief overview: The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour’s coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ’s coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)

Why it is important to understand the truth about the second coming:

Jesus Himself says many will try to impersonate His coming, so He told us exactly how He would come so we will not be deceived. See Matthew 24

Why it is important to understand the second coming in light of the cross:

There is a difference between believing He will come, and loving His appearing. Children who are misbehaving at home while mother is out running errands believe she is coming again but since they have misbehaved and made a mess out of the house they do not love her appearing. A true Adventist is one who not only believes in Jesus’ coming but is in love with Him and His appearing. They are like Paul in Galatians 6:14 and in love with the Cross and crucified to the world!

The Bible often refers to the church as a woman (Revelation 12). Revelation 19:7 mentions a bride who is ready for marriage with the Lamb. Who could the Lamb be but Jesus and who could this bride be but His church? Now when you go to a wedding you will notice a very pretty little flower girl all dressed up. She is prepared for the wedding. But the groom does not wish to marry the flower girl. Oh she is pretty all right, and she is prepared. But she has not come prepared for the groom. No, she has come prepared for the cake and punch after the service! The groom does not want to marry a flower girl and neither does Jesus. The groom, Jesus wants to marry the bride. You see the bride has come and is prepared for one thing and one thing only. It’s not the cake and punch, no all she cares about is the groom! You see Jesus is not returning for “flower girls” who just get all excited about the cake, punch, golden streets and mansions. Jesus is returning for a bride who cares about Him! Even Satan believes Jesus is returning, but that belief will not do him any good since he is not in love with Jesus.

At the cross we see how much Jesus loves and desires to be with us, and it inspires us to love Him and want to be with Him.

Further Study on the Second Coming

What did Jesus promise to do?

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. John 14:1-3

How will He come?

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:9-11

Was He a real person?

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Luke 24:36-43, 50- 51

To what does He liken His coming?

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:27

What type of glory accompanies Him?

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30

Whose glory is it?

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. Luke 9:26

What do the angels do?

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:31

What happens to the righteous dead?

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:16- 17

What happens to the island and mountains?

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:14-17

How many will see Him coming?

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7

Why is Jesus coming back?

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. John 14:1-3

For more Bible studies on events related to the second coming click here.

For more Bible studies on the 1,000 years, and death and destruction of the wicked click here.

Salvation in Light of The Cross

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You can download a printable copy of the complete set of In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides for free here. You can purchase a copy for your Kindle here.

Salvation

 

Brief overview: Salvation from death and sin is a free gift from God. It is not earned. It is a free gift courtesy of God’s love and grace. See John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-10, 2 Timothy 1:9.

Why it is important to know the truth about salvation?

In pagan religions man makes the sacrifices to obtain the pleasure and acceptance of his “god”. Some pagan tribes have offered up human sacrifices just to make sure the sun would rise the next day. They also brought gifts for their “gods” hoping to gain their love and blessing. In Christianity it is the exact opposite. Our God sacrifices Himself on the Cross to obtain not His but our pleasure and acceptance. While we were the guilty ones He did not wait for us to bring a gift or peace offering, but made Himself the peace offering.

Revelations 12 tells us of a war in heaven. Not with machine guns and tanks, but a war of the minds. Isaiah 14 tells us Satan wanted God’s seat to the point where he was willing to kill God Himself to get it. He convinced a third of the angels that it would be in the best interest of the Universe if he was in control rather than God. Satan came to this earth and in Genesis 3 convinced Eve and thus mankind that he was more interested in our welfare than God was. For years a great controversy has raged over who has our best interest in mind.

Why understanding salvation in light of the cross is important:

The Cross settles the controversy of who has our best interest in mind once and for all. At the Cross we see the true character of both God and Satan. While we see Satan manipulating men to kill God, we see a tyrant who is willing to kill anyone who gets in his way of being number one. In contrast we see a God who is willing to give His life to save the world. The Cross shows who is really interested in our welfare and who is just using us as pawns for his own selfish purposes.

While Satan pretended to be on our side and acting in our best interest we see what he is really up to. We can also see the God whom Satan claimed did not really care about us is actually at peace with us and on our side!

For Further Study on Salvation:

WHY DID JESUS COME TO THIS WORLD?
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Matthew 1:21
WHAT DOES SIN DO?
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  Isaiah 59:2
WHAT IS THE RESULT OF SIN?
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Romans 6:23
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO SIN?
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.   Ezekiel 18:4
HOW MANY HAVE SINNED?
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;   Romans 3:23
HOW MANY ARE TO DIE BECAUSE OF SIN?
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  Romans 5:12
CAN WE CHANGE OURSELVES FROM OUR SINFUL WAYS?
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.     Jeremiah 13:23
WHAT ARE GOD’S FEELINGS TOWARD US?
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9
WHAT PROVISION DID HE MAKE FOR ALL MANKIND?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16
WHEN DID GOD FIRST LOVE US?
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.   Romans 5:8
WHAT IS THE ONLY WAY A PERSON CAN BE SAVED?
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift
 of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8, 9
WHAT DOES THIS SAVING FAITH PRODUCE IN OUR LIVES?
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.    Luke 5:32
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   1 John 1:9
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.  Proverbs 28:13
WHEN SHOULD WE ACCEPT THIS GIFT OF GOD?
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)  2 Corinthians 6:2
WHAT DO WE BECOME WHEN WE ACCEPT JESUS AS OUR SAVIOR?
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  John 1:12
JESUS AT THE DOOR
O Jesus! Thou art standing
Outside the fast closed door,
In lowly patience waiting
To pass the threshold o’er:
We bear the name of Christians,
Thy name and sign we bear:
Oh, shame, thrice shame upon us!
To keep Thee standing there.
O Jesus, Thou art knocking;
And low! that hand is scarred,
And thorns Thy brow encircle,
And tears Thy face have marred:
O love that passeth knowledge,
So patiently to wait!
O sin that hath no equal,
So fast to bar the gate!
O Jesus! Thou art pleading
In accents meek and low –
“I died for you, My children,
And will you treat me so?”

If you have never given your heart to Jesus, or are wanting to give your heart to Him again, I would love to hear from you at laypastor@tampaadventist.net.

For more studies on the plan of salvation and new birth click here.  For studies on Baptism and God’s Church click here.

William Earnhardt’s Financial Bailout Plan

I am writing from my comfortable apartment in beautiful Tampa Florida.

 

William Earnhardt’s Financial Bailout Plan

 

Okay, we all know I am no economic expert, but I think what we are discovering here is that we don’t have any economic experts! The reason we are having a world financial crisis is because the world’s financial policy is the exact opposite of Biblical financial policy.

 

Jesus says “The meek will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

The world says the greedy will inherit the earth. Sorry I have to go with Jesus on this one. And Jesus was not making a dictatorial decree when He said that. He was just revealing a law of nature. A law Wall Street will never learn, thus our financial dilemma today.

 

My bailout plan includes forgetting about yourself, and living to benefit others.

 

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:3-4

 

 

 

The Bible says, “If thou lend money to [any of] my people [that is] poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” Exodus 22:25

We have a big problem here because the world banking business makes its profit from something that is strictly prohibited in the Bible-charging interest. Again I understand I am no financial expert here, but I can’t help but see red flags when your financial game plan is strictly prohibited in the Bible. Not that God will curse us for going against His plan, but God warned us against charging interest because He knew where it would lead to. By now we should see that too.

 

My bailout plan includes doing away with charging people interests on their loans. I know economy majors are laughing at me right now, but I don’t see anyone laughing on Wall Street right now, and once again I have to go with the Bible here again.

 

A couple thousand years ago a prophet hanging out near the Jordan River said, “be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14 

The world tells us if we don’t make enough to get what we want then charge it or borrow money for it. (while creditors should not be charging interest, borrowers should not be borrowing money just to keep up with the Joneses.) I know it sounds crazy, but I have to go with the prophet hanging out down by the river instead of those Wall Street gurus.

 

Borrowing money is actually lying. We lie to ourselves when we tell ourselves our credit level is actually money that we have. It is not our money it is the banks money. When we are content with our wages we develop something essential for survival, and that is self control and character. In the 30s people survived the depression with their self control, character and creativity. Credit cards and rotting our brains watching TV have all destroyed our character, self control and creativity. I shudder to think what a depression will be like this time.

 

I remember as a little kid in the late sixties and early seventies going to a little Mexican restaurant in Tulsa. We went on Wednesdays when their enchilada dinner was a dollar off. I remember asking my parents, ‘Can we go to the Monterey House today?” And my mother would answer, “No it is not Wednesday and they do not have their dollar off the enchilada dinner today.” I have not seen that kind of reasoning in years. My parents have always been generous towards others and thrifty with themselves. Frankly they have seen good times and bad times financially, but to be honest I can’t really recall exactly when they were rich or when they were poor because in either case they have always practiced, character, self control and creativity.

 

Again I am no financial wizard so it took me years to wake up and make this observation. Poor people are poor because they live like they are rich and rich people are rich because they live like they are poor. Sure there are exceptions, but it all comes down to character, self control and creativity. My mother was creative and would make us tuna gravy on toast. I loved it! It was not till a few years ago my mom said she made that just because we did not have a lot of money. I had no clue. I thought she was making it because it was delicious!

 

Fifty years ago you saw someone driving a Porsche and you thought, “Man they are rich!” Today you see someone driving a Porsche and you think, “Man are they in debt!”  

 

My bailout plan includes making character and self control the fabric of our lives again.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33  Wall street is now missing “all these things” because they never sought “His righteousness”. Again Jesus was not being dictatorial in Matthew 6:33, He was just trying to explain to Wall Street another law of nature.

 

Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].”

 

I am no economics major but I have a message for Wall Street. The tithing system cures the greed that has brought on your recession. I have another message that will baffle math experts as well as economists. After you tithe, 90% of your pay check goes further than 100% of your pay check without tithing. Tithing is a systematic way to overcome greed. Greed is what has lead people to borrow more money than they can pay back, thus causing banks to go under. Greed is what has led people to spend more money than they have so they can live the lie that they are richer than they really are. You may think I am crazy Wall Street, but I believe the tithing system will cure the character problems that have brought about our economic decline. Sounds crazy I know, but I dare you to try it! At this point, what do you have to lose?

 

My bailout plan includes systematically returning tithes and giving offerings. This will help us develop the character, self control and creativity that will help us survive what is ahead for us as a nation.

 

God Himself says, “And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.  A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of thy vine undressed. 

 For it [is] the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. 

And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest [ought] of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another: According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, [and] according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:   According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for [according] to the number [of the years] of the fruits doth he sell unto thee. Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I [am] the LORD your God.  Leviticus 25:8-17

 

Forgiveness!! Debts forgiven! Wall Street will never go for this especially the more they themselves are in debt but I am going out on a limb here in allowing people to question my sanity by saying this, if you want to get out of debt, then cancel the debts of your debtors. Wall Street will tell you the first step out of debt is to collect all that is owed to you so you can in turn pay your debtors. Wall Street will never accept a “year of jubilee” where all debts are cancelled and debtors are not oppressed but set free. Therefore Wall Street will never be a sound infallible financial institution.

 

My bailout plan includes canceling the debts that are owed to me so that I can get in on God’s financial plan which is the only sound plan there is. Again there is a natural law that the Merciful will obtain mercy and forgiving people will be forgiven. Wall Street may not buy into it, but there is One who over rules Wall Street.

 

The Republicans are accused of having their eyes on Wall Street while the Democrats say let’s watch Main Street. My bailout plan has nothing to do with where Wall Street or Main Street is. Lets follow the plan that comes from Gold Streets!  Hhhhmmm…. Think about it, my plan comes straight from a place that is so financially sound they pave the streets with gold. Brave enough to try my plan?

Play It Where It Lies

 I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area. 

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7 

 

 I have a confession to make. Often when I play golf I don’t play by the rules, if my opponent will allow me not to. For example, if I hit into the woods or a bunker, I will find my golf ball and throw it out onto the fairway instead of having to hit my way out. After all, all fairways are different and if I had been on another fairway I probably would not have hit into the woods or bunker anyway, so it’s just not fair. Why should I have to deal with something that could have been avoided by just playing on a different course? It’s not fair for other people to compare my score to theirs if they have not played on the same course.  

At least that’s how I used to play but not anymore. In a Bible study I was giving tonight somebody said something that totally changed how I look at my golf game as well as life. We were talking about the trials God sees us through and talking about how those trials make us stronger. We mentioned the Andre Crouch song called “Through It All.” In that song Andre asks the question, “If I didn’t have any problems how could I know my God could solve them?” 

 That is when it hit me. Back in early February I was watching the AT&T Pebble Beach PGA classic on TV. I remembered when Steve Lowry who later won the classic, was hitting out of a sand trap in the middle of the fairway. I marveled when he hit out of the sand trap and onto the green some 150 or 200 yards away just a few feet from the hole! What a beautiful shot! I am lucky if I can just get out of the trap. No way could I ever get up onto the green from a trap that far away. Tonight it hit me that I never will be able to do that if I keep throwing my ball into a more favorable position instead of just playing it where it lies, like Steve Lowry did. God will never be able to show me and the world what He can do for and through me unless I learn in golf and life to just play the ball wherever it lies. I can make excuses that I am just on a tough fairway and should be excused from the trial. I can just pick up my ball and drop it in a more favorable spot and just hit from there. Or I can just call upon the really great God that I have to help me right where I am. I can go play on an easier course or I can let God develop the skills I need to win right where I am.

From now on, I will play my way out of the woods and out of the sand traps and bunkers, so I can develop myself into the type player who, will one day hit out of a difficult place right onto the green next to the hole. I won’t be just dropping the ball out of the woods and traps to a more favorable spot. I will be facing my trials head on. I won’t be blaming my problems on the particular fairway I am on. I will accept my lot in life and just play the ball where it lies. I will allow God to use these trials to make me a better person not just on the golf course but in life. 

 Who knows? Maybe one day my most beautiful shot in golf or life may come while I am in the woods or a sand trap.

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