Easter - 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Capturing the Essence of the Guidance of the Holy Spirit!

I discovered a poem that spoke to me and it captures the essence of the Holy Spirit's guidance. It is from Morning Star Poetry and I trust it speaks to you as well.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Oh blessed trinity
One living God divinely three
King for eternity

You make of me Your dwelling place
You guide me in all truth
Anoint my life for serving You
Erase my sins of youth

Pour into me and fill me up
Your love I can’t deny
You search me through and know my thoughts
Of Christ You testify

You teach me how to yield each day
And make the holy choice
My breath of life, flow through me now
You are my still small voice

You know me more than I myself
And lead me by the hand
You counsel me in ways of life
To help me understand

Bestowing me with gifts unearned
Defending me from sin
Like mighty wind, expose my guilt
Restore me from within

My praise for You will never cease
Be my one desire
I’m sealed until redemption day
Warmed by holy fire

You claim me as a child of God
Always there to witness
You comfort me and ease the pain
Healed by Your holy kiss

Renewing as the latter rain
Your love is so immense
Regenerating hearts for Christ
With fruitful evidence

The stamp of Your eternal pledge
Proves purchase at a price
Your gift of grace is free for all
By faith in Jesus Christ

I am wanting to hear and listen to the Holy Spirit everyday. It is my prayer, my goal and my passion. A Christ-follower desires "everything" God has to offer. Seeking the Holy Spirit is the only means possible to achieve success in knowing God.

You know I love ya, Don

Monday, March 26, 2012

Drunk, Intoxicated, Completely Immersed....in the Holy Spirit!

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:15-18

Ephesians 5:15-18 is my reading for today and I did a search and discovered a great devotional by Ronald Ovitt. He writes:

We don’t know much about the Holy Spirit. We get saved, understand that we have the Holy Spirit and then get busy with life. We never take advantage of the relationship that we have with the Holy Spirit. But we cannot afford to be passive any longer. We were not meant to function without the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Paul says we should be “filled” with the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? The key is in the comparison to being drunk on wine. There is only one way to get drunk. You get drunk by being “filled” with alcohol until the amount that you consume has you under its influence. This is not a casual drink that is in moderation. This is in excess to where you become drunk. So what is he saying about our life in the Spirit?

Paul says let us have the same insatiable appetite for the guidance and fellowship of the Holy Spirit that a person does that chooses to get drunk on wine. When we meditate on God’s word, pray and commune with the Holy Spirit, we will begin to be “filled” or “under the influence” of the Holy Spirit’s leading in our daily living. It is interesting, however, that the tense is not a “one time” filling, but actually means “be filled and keep on being filled.”

You do not get drunk on wine once for the rest of your life. The effect of the wine soon dissipates. To continually be drunk you have to continually drink the wine. Although the Holy Spirit does not leave us, in order to stay “filled” or influenced by the Holy Spirit, we need to continually stay in communication and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it time that we begin to experience all the ways that the Holy Spirit wants to help us?

I agree with these words. We are to listen to the Holy Spirit in our daily living, yet we choose to ignore the Holy Spirit and do not understand what He says when we need it. The reason we do not understand is because we do not know Him nor do we listen to Him in the daily journey of life. If we fellowship His God's Spirit, we will hear His voice and receive the guidance He offers in good times, bad times, hard times, and typical times. He wants to have a relationship with His people. Do we choose to have a relationship with Him?

You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dream the Impossible / Seek the Unknown / Acheive Greatness!!!

With man all this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Amy Rodgers writes:

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could call on God and He would snap His fingers and make our disappointments and frustrations disappear?

I’m reminded of how God works all things together for a purpose. You can see it in all aspects of nature with God’s animal kingdom – they keep struggling overcoming daily obstacles. I think of students who toil long and hard for degrees, and patients undergoing therapy striving to regain their strength, or artists who paint landscapes, starting over and over until they’re right.

What about life’s disasters? Many thrown our way loom like mountains, but with God’s help we can work through them. Each time we take a step we grow. We feel pride, strength and satisfaction that we could never have experienced if all were handed to us so easily on that first try. There are lessons to learn and lives to touch along the way. At times our mountain prepares us to help others.

For me at this stage in life’s journey, it’s coping with aging parents – a mother who has Alzheimer and has taught me patience, acceptance, grief, and how to let go of the small stuff – a father undergoing dialysis showing me strength, humility, pain, and compliancy.

When we look back at what we have accomplished and endured with God’s help in moving that mountain and carrying our cross we can see ruts and furrows along the way. Where did they come from? I know I was not strong enough to make them on my own! I thank God for fellow Christians, for God’s almighty hand and when Jesus picked up our heavy cross and carried it for us.

We must never forget, we pray to a God the does not know or experience the impossible...You know I love ya, Don

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sharing the Sight!

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. - Matthew 20:29-34

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound"....were the words we sang yesterday in worship. There is a sweet sound to realizing the special favor of God on our lives. He is a good God and grants His love and grace on us everyday. My devotion this morning came from, "Today in the Word" at www.todayintheword.com. It read:

Imagine a hospital filled with people who had been instantly and painlessly cured. As word has spread of the amazing wonders done in this place, it begins to overflow with patients who have received the healing they were hoping for, family and friends who rejoice in the miracles, and amazed onlookers who just want to be able to say they were there. It becomes so crowded that when genuinely sick people arrive asking for treatment, the celebrating crowds angrily demand that the sick leave immediately.

Today’s passage describes such a scenario precisely. Jesus had performed countless miracles to the awe of the people in cities, towns, and villages across Israel. He was being followed from town to town by large crowds who had grown fascinated with His teachings on the kingdom. Judging by their response to the pleas of mercy from the two blind men on the side of the road from Jericho, the people who were following Jesus (geographically speaking, at least) were distracted by grand thoughts of political triumph. The kingdom was coming, and they wanted be a part of it. The sick and lowly were not welcome.

Jesus saw things differently, and the blind men didn’t care what the crowds thought. They just cried out louder for Jesus to have mercy on them. Jesus made a point to ask them what they wanted. He didn’t need to ask; He knew they were blind. But amid the insensitive rebukes of the crowd, He gave the blind men a platform to make their request, a considerable gesture of honor and compassion.

At this point in Jesus’ ministry, He didn’t need to tell the people to go and spread the news of their healing. This miracle didn’t add to His renown. No, these recipients of Jesus’ grace and love had the liberty to follow Him as new additions to the growing throng of followers. They were no longer blind, and they were no longer outsiders.

It is true for us today as well. As Christ-followers, we are no longer blind to the lifeless death of the flesh and we are no longer outsiders to the love, grace, and future with Jesus!

You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grace! - Poem's that change life!

Grace! by HubPages © 2008 SirDent

Thrusting through blackness

Reaching for the light,

Satan's against me

I keep up the fight.

Knowing You are there

Keeps me cruising strong,

Warring with Satan

Whose time isn't long,

Leniency shown in

Everything You do,

Grace is adequate

Because it's from You.

Able to forgive

Our abundant sins,

Bring us righteousness

Not to sin again

Love is what You give

To those who receive.

Watch out for Satan

He'll always deceive,

Setting traps and snares

For each child of God,

Trying to trip us

Yea, he likes to prod

Knowing we merit

Death, hell, and the grave,

Jesus gave it all

So we can be saved

He died on the cross

Alone and in pain,

My sins cast away

I'm no longer stained.

Eph. 2:8 "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God"

I am grateful for His grace....You know I love ya, Don

Monday, March 12, 2012

Not Only Chosen....I Am Loved!

“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”- Colossians 3:12
I have always liked this verse because God chose me. There is an old song titled, "He Loved Me" that I used for my entrance recital at Pacific Christian College. The song takes the verse above and combines it with Romans 8. Not only did God love me but He made a way that I might be a chosen child of the creator of the universe and nothing will separate me from that love.

God is also faithful and steadfast in the truth of His power. There is nothing that can separate me from God's love...nothing! Therefore, it is my response to completely cover myself with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience...Why? Because He loved me first and totally transformed my life.

You may ask, "how do I know these are true?" My answer in totally conviction and sincerity, "He lives, works, and dwells within my heart. I have seen, lived, and experienced Jesus to long to deny Him."

I trust He can transform life for you as well, together we will learn to hear His voice and live beyond ourselves and into His grace....you know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Repurposed - Redeemed - Restored!

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." - 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

I am in a Johnson University Master's of New Testament Program that has a great emphasis on Spiritual Formation. I am excited for the program and totally enjoy the work. There is a great deal of research and reading. Two words that start with "re." It is through that connection that I found this little excerpt of a Roy Lessin devotion. It has a great thought for us today.

There are many "RE" words that are packed with hope and encouragement. The word REpurpose reminds us that many things once discarded, considered useless, and put aside for the trash heap, can be brought back, become useful once again, have value, and take on new meaning.

In the Scriptures we find some wonderful "RE" words that can keep hope and encouragement alive and thriving in our hearts and help us to discover the new things God is doing in our lives.

--Roy Lessin, excerpt from his New Devotional: REpurposed.

So many people, including myself, need to hear these "re" words. I pray and seek to live a life that is filled with repurpose, redemption, and restoration. I have not read the book...yet. With these thoughts, I am looking for it and will be reading it very soon. I will let you know as soon as I get it!

You know I love ya, Don

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Who were the NICOLAITANS?
Did God actual HATE them?

"But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." (Revelation 2:6, NKJV)

Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." (Revelation 2:15)

When our Lord Jesus Christ walked among men, He taught His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, whom He denounced as hypocrites. With them He classed the chief priests and officials of the temple, together with the recognized teachers in the synagogues. He declared they had so corrupted the truth of God, which they were supposed to preach, with the doctrines and ordinances of men, that the truth, as originally given, was no longer with them. That which these blind leaders of the blind were giving forth as truth of God was making their converts twofold more the children of hell than they were before accepting the schism by these corrupt teachers.

What are the deeds of the Nicolaitans?

In the book of Revelation it is both "the deeds" and "the doctrine" of the Nicolaitans, who affected two separate churches, that the Lord addresses:

"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; . . . But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. " (Revelation 2:1, 6, KJV)

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: . . . Thus you also have those who hold THE DOCTRINE of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." (Revelation 2:12, 15)

The Lord demands repentance on the part of those who hold and practice these things and He threatens drastic punishment if they do not obey Him:

"Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent." (Revelation 2:5)

"Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth." (Revelation 2:16)

Meaning of the word Nicolaitans

The word Nicolaitans (Greek: Νικολαΐ́της or Nikolaitës, Strong's Concordance Number #G3531) is a compound word which is composed of THREE Greek words. Because of it being a proper noun, the word is TRANSFERRED instead of being translated into English. Thus, it is subject to the laws of Greek construction in regard to ellipsis, contraction and phonetics.

The three Greek words used in the construction of Nicolaitans are:

  • NIKOS, of which we use the English equivalents instead of the Greek letters, as we shall also of the other two. Nikos is defined as "a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated." Another transferred name in which this term is used is "Nicopolis," which is composed of Niko, which means conquest and polis, which means city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory.

  • LAOS, which means people. Another use of this word is found in NICOLAS, which is transferred and is composed of Nikos-laos and means one who is "victorious over the people," the letter "s" being in both words the nominative case ending, which is retained only at the end of the word to denote the case, while "a" short and "o" short are contracted into "a" long.

    A still further transferred use of LAOS is found in the name Lao(s)diceans (Greek: Λαοδικεύς or Laodikeus, Strong's Concordance Number #G2994), compounded with DIKE or DICE as the Greek "k" is the equivalent English "c." Thus, in the name Laodiceans, we have LAOS, meaning the people, and DICE, meaning judgment or vengeance, i.e., the people of my judgment, or of my vengeance. Also the Greek word la(ic)os, which means "laymen," of which LA-OS is the root and stem, which selfsame word, with the "o" short contracted to "i", to which root and stem the plural definite article TON is joined to form LAITON, which is a Greek phrase meaning "the laity."

  • TON is the third and last word entering into the construction of the proper name Nicolaitans. TON, in which Omega, the long "o", is contracted into long "a", thus making the word TAN which is the genitive case plural in all the genders of the definite article 'the.'

We therefore have, without the legal Greek construction, the English hyphenated word NIKOS-LAOS-TON, but which, with its lawful elisions and contractions, becomes the English name: Nicolaitans.

Is there a FULLER meaning to the word Nicolaitans?

The full meaning of the word Nicolaitans, in its native tongue and in its ecclesiastical setting, is that the bishops and prelates of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the LAITON, the laity, until they have been compelled to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates - 'Lords over God's heritage':

"The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; NOR AS BEING LORDS OVER THOSE ENTRUSTED TO YOU ('lords over [God's] heritage' in the KJV Bible), but being examples to the flock;" (1Peter 5:1-3).

The evidence of this full meaning is found in all our common school dictionaries, among which we find the following definition of the term "hierarchy: the power of dominion, government by ecclesiastical rulers," to which the following is introduced in evidence:

"If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by the divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema, Council of Trent (translation) XXIII 6." (Century Dictionary)

In other words, let anyone who has the audacity to say there is not a hierarchy, not a collection of human beings who have been given the power by other men of dominion, as ecclesiastical rulers over churchmen who are declared God's heritage, let that man be ACCURSED --- let death and hell and the devil get him. Surely, the thing in which that ecclesiastical company is glorying is their shame!

Webster's dictionary defines the word "episcopal" as

"the power of government, belonging to, or invested in, bishops or prelates. Government of the church by bishops."


"in episcopacy, the order of bishops is superior to the other clergy, and has exclusive power to confer orders."

In this definition it is affirmed that a certain portion of presbyters (elders) were even "in apostolic times superior in authority to ordinary presbyters," and also mentions the fact that episcopacy recognizes "episcopal rank" which is created by the institution thus governed; all of which affirms that any church in which episcopal government obtains is practicing the very carnal and fleshly iniquity of creating "Superiors" in what should be a holy brotherhood. The use of this appellation makes INFERIORS out of brethren who are in the selfsame clergy.

How can RANK and HIERARCHY destroy a church?

The approbation of "ordinary elders" demands a set of elders who are extra special, thus creating "rank" (caste) in the otherwise Divine brotherhood, all of which DESTROYS holy fellowship, creates division and strife, and fosters envy. No marvel that our Lord should hate a thing like that, condemn it, and demand that those who are guilty repent.

But will they? Yes, some will when the tribulation is on. Others, however, will stick to their ecclesiastical crowd, vainly imagining that their boasted "superiority" will carry them through that time of the greatest trouble the world has ever known, or will know. They must go down with the rest of the hosts of Antichrist.

And yet, one of the most unfortunate features of all this is that there are those in the Christian Church who do not hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, but who practice "their deeds" of dominating the laity by lording it over the Church of Jesus Christ, which should be subject only to one Divine Master!

Written by: J. H. Allen
edited by BibleStudy.org

We can learn from this great article by J.H. Allen. May we stay the course laid out before us and run with dedication to Jesus. You know I love ya, Don

Monday, March 5, 2012

Are you a lead dog?

"Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." - Mark 9:35

I read this scripture this morning and remembered this sermon I was study of Leonard Sweet. He has a great story on not stepping on others in order to make a difference. That are many times we strive and work, even in the Christian Kingdom, in order to save our own pride and seek to advance our own desires. The following is a great story that causes us to think

The world of sled dog racing is famous for a truism: "If you aren't the lead dog, the scenery never changes."

In other words, only the lead dog gets to see what is up ahead. Only the lead dog gets to sniff out new possibilities, gets to choose a new path. For the rest of the pack, there is nothing but a view of bushy backsides. No wonder in life we are all constantly striving to be "lead dogs."

Across the political spectrum, there is one common refrain. As the 2012 political races heat up every candidate, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal or libertarian, encourages their audiences with calls for America to reclaim her leadership status — in manufacturing, technology, production, influence, economic growth. Whatever the topic, it is being "in the lead position" that is the most important point.

We all want to be "large and in charge." Who doesn't want to chart our own destiny? Who doesn't want to choose our life pathway? Who doesn't want to decide for oneself? The problem for Christians is that Jesus had a rather startling response to that kind of an attitude: "Get behind me, Satan!"

Jesus' harsh "rebuke" of Peter ("rebuke" here is a word used in demonic exorcisms) doesn't sound so bad when it is directed at a dimwit disciple who had the audacity to try and tell Jesus he was wrong. It is another thing to have Jesus' words directed at each one of us, reminding twenty-first century disciples that none of us are "lead dogs," that none of us get to be "large and in charge."

Jesus' disciples are reminded by today's gospel text to "know our place." And where is our "place?"...

I know my place and I am grateful for the opportunity and the honor to serve. You know I love Ya....and keep serving! Don