Saturday, February 25, 2012


Charlie and I have been involved in prison/jail ministry for thirty years. Last week I was privileged to attend a GED graduation ceremony at Bleckley PDC, our local detention center.

Watching the graduates enter the multi-purpose room to the taped majestic notes of Pomp and Circumstance, I couldn’t help but thinking; how different punishment would have been for these young men if they had been convicted for their crimes in Iran.

Under Sharia Law, capital punishment is the norm for those who have committed murder, rape, adultery, pedophilia, sodomy, drug trafficking, treason, armed robbery and of course disrespect or destruction of the Koran.

In 2009 a Christian pastor was arrested for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity. Although he had never practiced the faith of Islam, he was born into a Muslim family, therefore making it illegal to convert to Christianity or any other religion. The penalty: death.

After several appeals, a trial court has issued its final verdict and ordered Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34 year old father of two, put to death. Nadarkhani had approximately 400 believers in his congregation. He refused to denounce his faith in Christ and was eventually arrested.

“The case has come to international attention and the final verdict to execute Nadarkhani was handed down only days after lawmakers in Congress supported a resolution denouncing the apostasy charge.” (American Center for Law and Justice)

Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Pitts, who introduced the legislation, told Fox News, “Iran has become more isolated because of their drive for nuclear weapons and ….has stepped up persecution of religious minorities to deflect criticism. The persecuted are their own citizens whose only crime is practicing their faith.”

This week as I began preparations for our ninth annual Bible Reading Marathon; I thought of this pastor and what he and his family have been going through. Once again I gave thanks for the freedoms we enjoy in America. How long we will enjoy these freedoms is anybody’s guess.

Nearly 2500 years ago in Iran (formerly called Persia) religious freedom was also at stake. There were those who hated God’s people then, even as there are those in Iran today who hate God’s people.

A very bold woman, Queen Esther, made a stand for her people and her God. As a result of her courageous actions; Haman, the wicked perpetrator of this persecution, was defeated and God’s people were spared.

Esther’s uncle, Mordecai appealed to her with these words, “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:15) Those words and strength from the Lord gave her the courage to appeal to the king on behalf of her people.

The annual observance of this great deliverance is celebrated March 7-8, this year and is called the Feast of Purim. Haman, the enemy of the Jewish people, was hung on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.

Throughout history there have been other ‘Hamans’ who have sought to annihilate God’s chosen people. From the time of the Syrian, Antiochus Epiphanes in 175 B.C. to Germany’s Hitler in the 1940’s; the Jews have been the objects of demonic hatred.

We now have a 21st Century Haman, Mahmoud Ahmedinajad. This modern day Haman is also from ancient Persia (Iran) and is bent on destroying the Jewish race. Will he succeed? Not according to the Bible. Ezekiel 38:5 clearly states that: although Iran will come against Israel in the end times, it will be defeated by God Himself!
“I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 38:23-24)

My name is not Esther, but concerning the matter of the imprisoned Christian pastor in Iran I can do something to help and so can you! There is a website where we can sign a petition for his release. ( We can also urge members of Congress to help save this man’s life. Perhaps we have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.

Friday, February 17, 2012



Anyone who doesn’t realize America is on a moral slippery slope must have their head in the sand. Those who think a presidential candidate’s morals are irrelevant are just asking for the hill to get steeper and the morals to sink faster.

I’ve heard the old argument that our country’s morals have always been this bad. The reason we ‘think’ it is worse today is because we learn about things more often because of the various media outlets. Bosh!

The reply to those who point to moral wrongs and failures is usually, “He that is without sin cast the first stone” or “judge not that ye be not judged”. All well and good, but unless there is a national outcry against sin we will soon be swept into the sewer.

I recently read a book by Ray Comfort entitled, “Hitler, God and the Bible”. The book is an eye opener when it comes to exposing the depths to which an enlightened and educated country can sink.

At the conclusion of World War I, Germany was devastated financially; jobs were the main issue and the country was ripe for a change. Enter Hitler who claimed to be the answer to the nation’s ills.

The change came about slowly. Hitler was not elected as the Fuhrer (Dictator) until March 23, 1933, almost 15 years after the war ended.

Hitler had an ax to grind against the Jews. In the early 1920’s his admission application was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Fancying himself as an artist, he was devastated.

Upon learning that four of the six professors who had turned him down were Jews his hatred toward the Jewish race began to grow. In his infamous book, Mein Kampf he states, “I gradually came to hate them.”

Hitler was morally corrupt. According to historians Hitler had a tryst with a prostitute, from whom he contracted syphilis. In his book he alludes to the fact that she was Jewish and this further added to his hatred of the Semite race.

In 1922, when asked what he would do if he ever had total power over the Jews he replied, “If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job.”

Apparently this statement was not published throughout Germany because to the highly educated Germans, what would ensue in the subsequent Holocaust would have been absolutely unthinkable.

“Germany was a Christian nation. Two-thirds of the population held to Protestant Christianity, while one-third was Roman Catholic and a small minority held other beliefs.” (Ray Comfort)

To follow Hitler’s plan to eradicate the Jews he had to squelch the conscience of a Christian nation. It would not happen overnight. Liberties would be taken away slowly, but surely.

The bottom line would be a complete government takeover of all churches. The National Reich Church was created in July 1933. All crosses and bibles were removed. Those who did not comply were simply imprisoned or killed. The only bible allowed was Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the only cross to decorate a house of worship was a broken cross, commonly known as a Swastika.

Recently a meeting was held in the U.S. Congress; wherein leaders from the Jewish, Catholic and Evangelical faiths made their voices heard concerning what they felt was a chipping away of religious freedom by requiring Catholic institutions to offer contraception through their insurance companies.

These leaders maintain it has nothing to do with contraception, but had everything to do with the government requiring citizens to do something that violates the moral beliefs of their church. Although the president offered a concession of sorts; it remains to be seen what will be the final outcome.

When we go to the polls this year we can attempt to make our voices heard by voting for a candidate that takes the high ground morally. Ask yourself, “Does this candidate value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”

Does this candidate really believe in the U.S. Constitution and the values for which our founding fathers stood? How does this candidate feel about the Ten Commandments, the bedrock of the law of our land?

The other way we can make a stand for our country is by dropping to our knees and praying. Unless our moral fall is reversed we will no longer be able to sing, “God Bless America”.

Sunday, February 12, 2012



Being an avid reader, and it having been several years since my last eye exam, I decided it was time to get a checkup. Knowing they would probably dilate my eyes, I asked Charlie to go with me so he could drive home.

Naturally I couldn’t pass up a chance to stop at Wally World and pick up a few items. I was doing great inside the store with my dilated eyes. It was when we walked out the door that I knew I was in trouble. At some point during my shopping, I had taken off the special sunglasses the doctor had given me. Unbeknown to me, they had fallen to the bottom of the grocery cart and were lying beneath all my purchases.

No problem…I would just keep my eyes shut and place my hand on Charlie’s shoulder until we got to the car and the groceries were put in the trunk. Wrong…there was a problem. Charlie couldn’t remember where the car was parked. He thought we were headed for the right vehicle. It was the same color and the same make, but the wrong car!

Needless to say, Charlie eventually found the car and I waited in the front seat until he could retrieve the sunglasses for me. Meanwhile, I was laughing wildly as I thought about the ridiculous sight we must have made wandering around the parking lot. Picture me with my hand on Charlie’s shoulder, my eyes tightly shut, and Charlie pushing the grocery cart; just knowing that somewhere in that huge parking lot was a Chrysler 300 that belonged to us.

When we finally left the parking lot I felt like I had just experienced a hint of what Jesus was talking about when he challenged the Pharisees of his day by saying, “Ye blind leaders of the blind…”

Today there are so many people that THINK they’re headed in the right direction, but like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, not only are they on the wrong path, they are taking others with them.

A person can be absolutely sincere, but still be sincerely wrong. When Jesus Christ said that He was the way, the truth and the life, he was either a lunatic, a liar, or under great self-delusion. In fact, He said that no one could come to the Father except through Him.

If Jesus is the way and the only way to the Father, we have a choice to make. Either we believe what He says or we don’t. If we believe Him, then we have another choice…do we follow Him or someone else? If we don’t follow Him, who are we following?

You might say, “I’m not following anyone”. Really? You’re going somewhere in life. There will be an end and then what?

Recently an old friend came by to help us get our tractor running. Ray is a great mechanic and although we hadn’t seen him in many years, I just felt like he was the right man for the job and so we called him.

After he fixed the tractor, we reminisced about old times. “You know,” he remarked, “next month it will be my thirty year anniversary of when I received Christ.”

I’ll never forget that day. Ray’s grandfather had passed away and we went down to South Georgia for the funeral. When the service was over and just about everyone had left the cemetery; Ray stood by the hole in the ground, looking down at his grandfather’s casket.

After we had all stood there in silence for a few moments, I said to him: “Ray, one day you’re going to die, just like your grandfather. Someday you’ll be buried just like him. When that day comes, where will your soul be, in heaven or hell?”

Right there on that early spring day in March, 1982, Ray accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. No longer was he following the god of this world who was leading him to hell, but he became a follower of Jesus Christ.

Everything changed for Ray that day.
On the way home he decided to light up a marijuana cigarette. The ‘roach’ tasted awful and he threw it out the window. When he got home he opened his refrigerator and took out a beer. The first taste seemed like poison, so he poured it in his kitchen sink and then threw the rest of the beer in the trash.

Ray was no longer blind. His eyes were opened and the spiritual transaction was sealed that very day.
Next month, Charlie and I are going with Ray to visit his grandfather’s grave. He told us he hasn’t been to the cemetery since the day he received his sight; it just seems fitting to celebrate 30 years of eyesight at the place where real life began!

Friday, February 10, 2012


My good friend Steve Rodgers wrote an interesting article from God's viewpoint...I think you will find this thought provoking!

What About My Rights?

By: GOD, Creator of the Universe

I see today where another group of atheists have achieved their continued goal of erasing My name and existence from the United States of America, the land that was founded and blessed because of its fundamental belief in Me and the first men that came here asked My blessings be upon the land.

Now, over 200 years later, a few misguided, angry individuals have taken control and pressed their “will” and “beliefs” over the millions that are supposed to be My followers and just about removed Me from a country that would not have enjoyed liberty, freedom, and prosperity if it had not been given to them by Me. Where are My people, called by My name, now that I need them to stand and give Me honor and praise for My blessings? And why are they allowing the actions of a few to dictate the wills of the many?

First, it was the school system. Ms. O’Hare decided to have prayer removed from the schools and accomplished it with not much of a fight. Tell Me how that has benefited our children. Before prayer was removed, there were no cases of mass murders, kids bringing guns and bombs to schools to kill others, now it is a normal activity around the country. Judges banning the use of My name in school functions and still My people remain silent, not to upset any of those that are now writing the laws and making the rules which your children will pass on to future generations.

Check your history, I am mentioned by name in the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. My commandments are located outside the Supreme Court,
My name is on your money, and My spirit overshadows the land from the east coast to the west coast. Today, it is My name that is mentioned more with the word “damn” than anyone else, and more money, time, and effort is spent trying to erase My existence from America than is spent of finding cures for most diseases. America has gone from a nation blessed by God, to a land that is apathetic to morals and values, overflowing with immorality, and flooded with demonic activity.

Today, atheist groups are buying billboards to declare me “Dead” or “fiction like Santa Claus”. They want Me off the money, off the logos, off the lips of My followers, out of sight, out of mind and where are the churches, the religious organizations, and those I have blessed over the years to speak up and speak out for My name. Will not one of you go into battle as David did against Goliath and say “Thus saith the Lord” and fight for Me or do I have to come down and do it Myself?

This message goes to those who want Me gone first. You can take Me out of everything you see or own, remove My name from anything and everything it has been placed on for years, but you can’t remove Me or My Spirit from existing in the hearts and minds of My true followers. You may not believe in Me now because you don’t want to be accountable for your actions, but one day you will stand before
Me and see that I am real and then you can explain your actions right before I pass judgment on you.

Yes, I will have the final word in all of this.

For those of you that say you believe in Me and sit silently and do nothing to stop the madness and correct the injustice that is happening at My expense; you also will have to give an account for your non actions one day. While others are seeking to bury Me and take Me out of everything I have given you; you sit at home with your heads in the sand instead of bonding together to take back what I had given you from the start.

If I go, so go My blessings. Then you can have your country based on the same values, principles, and morals as Sodom and Gomorrah had many years ago. Check your history to see how that worked out for them.

I am GOD, I will not be mocked, and I will have the final say. And if you don’t want to believe in Me; that is your choice. If you believe and don’t want to stand up for Me; that is also your choice. But what happens in the end, how it happens, and to the extent of its happening; well that is My choice. And those that live in a land that I gave them, exist due to my blessings, and enjoy the freedoms that I have freely given them continually persist on taking me out of their lives, thoughts, and culture; then I will exercise my rights when I come back and we will see who is GOD and who is not.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Charlie and I have a lot of fun in spite of being such old fogies. Our most recent adventure involved a Valentine party for a few of our friends. Oh, the planning, scheming and conniving that went in to making a fun evening for twenty people.

First of all we needed the perfect place to make the party cozy, friendly and romantic. An old camp house in the country, located down a seemingly deserted dirt road, just fit the bill.

When I sent the invitations I included a list of certain ingredients for the guest to bring for hobo stew. (In case you’ve never eaten this type of stew, cooked in tin foil over a bed of hot coals, you don’t know what you’re missing.)

The invitation also said, “…we may have to blindfold you to take you to an undisclosed location.”

The excitement was mounting. One of the guys we invited came up to us several times during the weeks preceding the party and told us he was going crazy trying to figure out what was going to happen.

The night finally arrived. With only a few exceptions no one knew who had been invited. As the cars started coming down the driveway shouts of, “Oh, they’re coming too? Great!”

The clincher for the getaway was the blindfolding process. As part of the group piled into our church van and the others into my car, only the van driver (our pastor) and I were aware of the direction we were headed.

All along the way my bunch would comment on directions. “Now we’re turning on the Eastman Highway. I know where we are. We’re in the Lake Linda area. No, we’re on the Limestone Road.” And so it went as we wound around residential streets and up and down dirt roads. My group was thoroughly lost by the time we arrived at our destination.

I was so glad we weren’t pulled over by the police. We looked like terrorists who had captured hostages and were possibly holding them for ransom.

You would never know that these were grown adults. The adventure of the drive was superseded only by the quaintness of the camp house and the fun of building our individual hobo stews.

Later we sat around a huge table and played Spin the Bottle. Not the old way, mind you. Each time the bottle was spun the person to whom the bottle pointed had to share something romantic about their spouse.

That’s where this story ends. What happened there…stays there! I can say this; I have never heard such laughing and carrying on in my life. I truly believe Christians have more fun than anyone.

The anticipation of the evening was shared by the planners as well as those invited. On our part, Charlie and I knew what was going to happen. We planned for romantic music to be playing, a specially decorated cake for dessert and even a door prize of an animated toy that had a hilarious frog couple on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

When I think of anticipation I can’t help but think about my heavenly Father who is planning a great party for his children in heaven. Jesus said, “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.” (John 14:2)

Jesus is having fun right now getting things together for His children. We, in turn, can only wonder and anticipate what that day will be like when He calls us home to be with Him.

The invitations have been sent. Are you ready for the party?