Real Hand to Hand Combat

May 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Posted in encouragement, pray, warriors | Leave a comment
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The picture below is from the front of a t-shirt and sweatshirt that I have. I really like wearing them and I think they sum up my feelings about prayer. Below the man is written THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD, BUT MIGHTY THROUGH GOD. (2 COR. 10:4)

 These are two of my favorite pieces of clothing. I used to wear them when I went to karate classes. One of them was a gift from my youngest son.

I used to like studying and practicing martial arts. I am a little rusty now and not as practiced as I used to be. I like the combat arts the best. Some of you know what I’m talking about, the real stuff. You see, for me there is a difference between martial arts and martial sciences. To me there is a big difference between sport karate and functional hand to hand combat. Spiritually there is a difference between asking God for something for ourselves and interceding with God for someone else. To me intercessory prayer is one of the most unselfish ministries we can be involved in. You see, real disciples learn to be unselfish.

When I was a little younger there were times I would get antsy. I needed a good workout, a good fight. My wife would tell me to “go fight with Bryan. You need to fight.” I love my wife; she knows when I need a good fight. As for Bryan, he was my sensei and friend. At times he would call me “the fighting pastor.” I can’t beat him and he sure knows how to fight. I have to admit, I miss fighting with him and working out with him. He hit me so hard one time; I literally saw stars, little silver things shooting in at me from all directions! Man, I miss working out with him. I can’t go back there, but I can still get a good fight – on my knees in prayer!

But that brings me to this. Those martial arts workouts were just physical and fun. There were rules for each participant’s safety and development. In spiritual warfare our enemy doesn’t play by the rules. But there are Kingdom rules that can defeat him. Almighty God wants you and me to grow spiritually and develop as prayer warriors. People and churches need us to do battle in prayer. Intercessory prayer is spiritual and necessary. People are dying and going to hell. Sinful lifestyles are destroying lives and families. Many churches have quit looking for the return of the Lord and have quit sharing the Gospel and making disciples.

Prayer is the first work. Prayer is the important work. The work of the devil, our sworn enemy is to keep us from praying. Will you take up the challenge and develop into a prayer warrior? Will you make the time or take the time from your 24 hours to become a prayer warrior? God the Holy Spirit will empower you (Romans 8:26); God the Son will intercede for you (Hebrews 7:25); God the Father will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3). With all that help and the Word of God as your manual how can you lose? You will be victorious and more than a conqueror! To God be the glory!

There will be more to come on prayer. Stay faithful and hopeful! Keep fighting the good fight!

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; John 15:7

“All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on Him being with them.” – J. Hudson Taylor

“The self-sufficient do not pray, the self-satisfied will not pray, the self-righteous cannot pray. No man is greater than his prayer life.” – Leonard Ravenhill

“For decades we Christians have boasted in sermon and song that our God is great, the He loves us, that He answers prayer and that there is nothing too hard for Him. Isn’t it high time to prove that with some-down-to-business-prayer?” – Lyle Eggleston

(3)For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. (4)The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (5)We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

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Pray for the Pastor’s Wife

February 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This Friday I would like to encourage everyone to pray for their pastor’s wife. I am not thinking of any pastor or pastor’s wife in particular. I am thinking that the pastor’s wife can be a tired lady. She may also be discouraged and lonely. Some women marry men who are pastors or who are studying to be pastors. Some men are called into the ministry after being married and the wife becomes a pastor’s wife. These are some of the reasons why we will pray this way this Friday.

Another reason a pastor’s wife may need prayer are expectations some church members may put on her. Some people think they know what a pastor’s wife should be doing in the church without getting to know her. Sometimes she isn’t accepted just for who she is. She may not know how to play the piano. So let’s pray for the pastor’s help-mate. Oh, if you’re a pastor, pray for some other pastor’s wife and trust God to raise up someone to pray for your wife.

Pray that:

  1. She will have wisdom and discernment in dealing with parishoners.
  2. She will have a good or a couple of good close friends.
  3. She will respect her husband privately and publically.
  4. She will be able to know who she is and like how God made her.
  5. She will have a close relationship with the Lord and know His presence.
  6. She will have the joy of the Lord in her life.
  7. She will serve in the church in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  8. She will love people and be friendly.

There may be other ways to pray for her too. Each woman may have different needs and be at differnent stages in life. This prayer guide is in no way exhaustive, but it is a good starting point. Thank you for praying for these important sisters in the Lord. I’ll leave you with a great Scripture and great song to take you into your weekend.

Much grace and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 16:11)

John 1:14

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.”

“Fairest Lord Jesus”

From Munster Gesangbuch, 1677

1. Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,

Son of God and Son of Man!

Thee will I cherish, thee will I honor,

Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

2. Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlawns,

Robed in the blooming garb of spring:

Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,

Who makes the woeful heart to sing. 

3. Fair is the sunshine, fair is the moonlight,

And all the twinkling, starry host:

Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer

Than all the angels heav’n can boast. 

4. Beautiful Savior! Lord of the nations!

Son of God and Son of Man!

Glory and honor, praise, adoration,

Now and forever more be thine.

Lead On!

January 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your dwelling. (Ex. 15:13)

This verse is a great reminder of God’s leadership in His people’s lives. The context is within a song of joy and celebration after God had displayed His great power against His people’s enemies (Ex. 14:31). Moses who was called by God to lead the Israelites through the Red Sea and beyond, led the people in a song of celebration to the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY (Ex. 15:1-18). Can you imagine the heart and emotion that filled that song? I think about that sometimes when I am between a rock and a hard place. I will break out in song and at times get others to sing with me. It’s not some lovey-dovey, touchy-feely moment; it is a moment of confident assurance in my Father God and His great power and promises.

What difficulty are you facing today my brothers? Can I encourage you to turn to the Word of God and search it for His promises, read them out loud and sing a song of faith to the Most High God? Lead on! Press on! Stretch and reach out to Jesus (Phil. 3:12-16). People around us need us to lead on!

They need us to lead them to Jesus. They need us to lead them to know God and His Word better. They need us to lead them to a better understanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. They need us to lead them to church. They need us to lead our families. They need us to lead in serving others. They need us to lead them to surrender all to Jesus. They need us to live like godly leaders would live. They need us to lead in praying. People need our leadership. They need us to live what we say we believe.

I don’t know who first said this, “leaders lead”, and I have read it and heard it many different times. It is true. There are both good leaders and bad leaders (Num. 13-14). I hope that you and I want to be godly leaders. We can’t really lead people to where we have not been. We may be able to point the way, but we can’t lead. We can’t lead them to stay and develop where we have not dwelt and developed. I hope that we have surrendered all to God and walk under the authority of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If we haven’t we need to get right with God. If we have we need to lead on! There is a battle for the souls of men, women and children that is staggering. Think of God, think of others and lead on.

“Lead On, O King Eternal”

By Ernest W. Shurtleff

1. Lead on, O King eternal, The day of march has come;

Henceforth in fields of conquest Thy tents shall be our home.

Through days of preparation Thy grace has made us strong,

And now, O King eternal, We lift our battle song.

2. Lead on, O King eternal, To lands of deepest night;

We follow where Thou leadest As heralds of the light.

May we to souls immortal Thy Word of life convey

And open heaven’s portal Through Christ, the truth, the way.

3. Lead on, O King eternal; We follow not with fears,

For gladness breaks like morning Where’er Thy face appears.

Thy cross is lifted o’er us; We journey in its light;

The crown awaits the conquest; Lead on, O God of might.

Be encouraged,

Bill (Rom. 15:13; 2 Pet. 3:18)

It’s Time

January 11, 2010 at 11:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It is time for me to enter the blogosphere. I have put it off for quite some time. I think that my age and experiences give me something to say. More importantly I think my personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has helped me through and taught me give me something to say. My hope and plan are to encourage my brothers in the ministry to stay strong, to be faithful, and to fight the good fight. Then I hope to encourage other male leaders within the body of Christ in a similar fashion. I also hope to encourage some men to quit making excuses and surrender completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and begin to serve in their local church. Finally, it would be a great joy if some men reading this blog came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

This blog will develop as I grow in both my ability to write (communicate) clearly what I want to say and my understanding of technology. My goal is to start writing weekly. I have been a collector of quotes for some time and will try to add to that page frequently. Since I read a lot I will post book reviews and encourage you to read and apply what you learn. There will also be a few links that I think are important. I’m thinking I may add a few other pages also.

I take full responsibility for what I put in this blog. To the best of my ability I will give proper credit and citation when I use someones work. Should you use something from this blog I ask that you cite me and give a link. As far as comments go, I will allow them, but reserve the right to delete any comments for any reason when I want to. I also reserve the right to block or not allow comments at any time for any reason. My personal material will be copyrighted.

 I truly hope that this blog will encourage you to press on with faith, hope and love; to faithfully do the work of the ministry to which you were called; and to be glad with the joy of God’s presence. Ministry is not easy and it is not for the faint-hearted. I hope this blog is a ministry to my fellow laborers. Take courage (heart)! God is with you and He will help you through each and every storm.

I truly hope that Almighty God gets glory from this blog and my life. I am still so grateful for my salvation. I am glad to live in such a time as this when opportunities for ministry abound. Redeem the time brothers, for the Lord’s return is closer than when we first believed. Let’s encourage one another to be found faithful.

(LORD, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us. – Is. 26:12 NKJV)

Be encouraged,

Bill  (Rom. 15:13)

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