Monday, December 26, 2011



Preparation of the Groom

During the betrothal the bridegroom would spend his time in preparation building an extension onto his father's house for them to live. Since customs forbade premarital sexual relations before the nuptials, they would spend a year apart while the bridegroom built their house. This mandatory time apart would prove the purity of the bride and that no sexual relations had taken place, because if they had she took a chance on becoming pregnant.

Once the bride accepted the groom’s proposal, the groom would make the journey back to his father's house to start construction on their new home. As stated earlier, this was usually an extension of the father's house.

Parallels to the Church. . .

We accept the proposal of Christ through the communion. At Christ’s death, He journeyed back to heaven from whence He came, to prepare a place for us [1]. It is my contention that as Christians, we are the temple of God [2] making us the many mansions that Christ spoke of in John 14:2. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ is spiritually preparing our temple for His return.

[1] John 14:3
[2] 1 Corinthians 3:16


Sunday, December 18, 2011



The Veil

The woman, upon her betrothal would henceforth cover her face with a veil whenever she went into the public arena. When the woman veiled her face in public, it meant that she was unavailable and that she was setting herself aside for the one who had just bought her for a price. It meant that she’s chosen and consecrated unto her bridegroom.

Parallels to the Church. . .

The veil is symbolic of separation or setting oneself apart [1] for Christ. Before the Cross, it was separation from God. After the Cross, it is the separation from the world, which has to do with our consecration to God.

v19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you [2].

When we veil our faces, we are saying to the world that we are unavailable and are staying true to Jesus and not committing spiritual adultery. Christians are the lights of the world [3] and we need to stop our unholy alliances.

v15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them [4].

During the time of our betrothal to Christ and wearing our symbolic veil, we are not to be distracted by false teachers [5], or worldly things [6]. We are in the world, but we are not of the world [7].

[1] 2 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Peter 15:1
[2] John 15:19
[3] Matthew 5:14
[4] 1 John 2:15 NIV
[5] 2 John 7-11
[6] 1 John 2:15
[7] John 17:14


Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Preparation of the Bride

The preparation for the bride was a time of separation, purification, anticipation, and preparation for the groom's return. The bride would take what they called a mikvah, which is a bath of purification. Even today, Jewish brides need to obtain a certificate to show that they have acquired the ceremonial mikvah.

Parallels to the Church. . .

The mikvah is the washing of the Word. We are to remain pure to Jesus and not fornicate ourselves to other god's and committing spiritual adultery. Spiritual adultery would not only be adultery with other gods, but is the act of loving and even spending more time with anything or anyone more than we do with God. Chapter five of Ephesians tells us about the parallel of mikvah to the church.

v25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her
v26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word,
v27 and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless [1].
v11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God [2].

The mikvah is also the baptism of water either through immersion or by sprinkling. There is a baptism of the Holy Spirit as well.

v19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [3]
v16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost [4].

The parable of the ten virgins [5] tells us always to be ready with our flasks of oil continually full and prepared for the trip. The oil is always representative of the Holy Spirit of God. So be sure that we replenish daily with the infilling of the Holy Spirit [6].

Do not be like the five unwise virgins whose flasks were empty, but to always be ready for His return, for we know not the hour of His return [7]. We should make certain that our light shines [8] before the world and that we are always ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us [9].

Our focus should be on Jesus Christ and His return, not the world’s plan. God changes not and what Christ wrote will stand and will happen. So let the world worry about the last days and we can prepare ourselves for the return of our husband.

As the bride of Christ, how can we prepare ourselves for His coming? The baptism of water is the act of separating ourselves from the world and setting ourselves apart. Being in our prayer closet, every day is prudent. Reading His Word daily and going to church regularly is a good way to prepare for His return.

We can use our spiritual gifts for the edification of the body and for our own growth. Fulfilling the great commission given to us by our Lord [10] is the last thing God told us to do, so we should continue to do so.

It is all about relationship. Ministering to the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for His return is among the things that we could be doing. Our focus should be on Him, especially at this hour [11]. First Thessalonians 5:12-22 gives us some things to do to prepare ourselves for His return.


[1] Ephesians 5:25-27 NIV
[2] 1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV
[3] Matthew 28:19
[4] Acts 11:16
[5] Matthew 25:1-13
[6] Luke 11:13
[7] Matthew 24:42
[8] Matthew 5:16
[9] 1 Peter 3:15
[10] Mark 16:15
[11] Colossians 3:1-3


Sunday, December 4, 2011



Bride Price (Mohar)

According to Jewish marriage customs, it was mandatory, by law, that the groom negotiated and paid a price to the father of the bride. The price (Mohar) was normally in the form of currency and was compulsory. The bride price was high so as to compensate the parents for the raising of that female child and as an indication of the value that the groom placed on her.

Sometimes the bride price was sheep or it could very well have been anything that they agreed upon [1] and I mean anything, as 1 Samuel 18:25 declares. David doubled that and gave Saul 200 [2]. I am guessing it was an “in your face type of thing,” because the price was to render David dead.

Parallels to the Church. . .
As stated above, it was legally binding and mandatory that the groom negotiated and paid a price (Mohar), to the father of the bride. I bet that everyone caught this one. (You guys are catching on.) Jesus has bought us for a price [3], as required by law [4], and the currency with which He paid, was His own life [5] and the Blood of the Covenant. He has paid for us in full [6]. We are not our own [7]. Jesus must place a high value on His bride [8] that He would pay for her with His own life [9].

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:20

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23

From here Christ traveled back home to his Father's house to prepare a home for us, his new Bride.

[1] Genesis 24:53; 29; 34:12; 1 Samuel 17:25; 18:25; Hosea:3:3
[2] 1 Samuel 18:27
[3] 1 Corinthians 6:20
[4] Romans 8:3, 4
[5] John 3:16; Mark 14:36
[6] 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18
[7] 1 Corinthians 6:19
[8] John 3:1
[9] Ephesians 5:25


Wednesday, November 30, 2011



Cup of Acceptance

The groom then traveled from his house to the house of the prospective bride [1]. Once all the negotiations had taken place, the bride price given, and everything was settled, the groom would offer a cup of wine to the prospective bride. If she drank of the cup, it would signify that she accepted his proposal of marriage [2]. Once they drank from the cup of acceptance, Jewish law [3] considered the marriage ceremony legally sealed.

Parallels to the Church…

When Jesus offered the cup at the Last Supper He was proposing to all of the saints. When we take communion and drink of that cup, we are saying, "Yes Lord, I accept your proposal and wish to become your bride. I accept everything that you are to me and I put my trust in you. I believe in you Lord. Your death my husband, will not be in vain because I recognize and covet everything that you have done for me and everything that you are to me."

Once we accept that cup of communion, we are betrothed and have accepted His proposal of marriage. Our marriage to Christ is sealed.

v29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom [4].

Matthew 26:29 tells us of the second cup, which we will drink at the marriage ceremony with Christ. We will cover this in a moment.

[3] Halaka
[4] Matthew 26:29


Monday, November 21, 2011




The bridegroom gave gifts to the bride. However, the Mattan (love gifts) were not mandatory or prescribed by law. It was only customary and was a gesture to show the
love that the bridegroom had for the bride.

Parallels to the Church. . .

Jesus gave His bride the gifts (Mattan) of eternal life [1], peace [2], and anything else that she might ask Him for in His name [3]. Christ gave us so much more, too numerous to list.


The father of the bride also gave a dowry (Shiluhim) to the daughter to take with her into the marriage as a part of her inheritance to help equip her in her new life.

The idea behind the Shiluhim (dowry) was a settlement in lieu of the daughter's inheritance because Jewish customs dictated that the sons would succeed their fathers.

Parallels to the Church. . .

The Father’s dowry to us is the giving of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the spirit, a pledge of the spirit in our hearts, a measure of faith, grace, five-fold ministry, and the ability to speak and minster through the manifold grace of God. The Father has given us so much more as well.

We can find and study the dowry gifts (Shiluhim) in some of the following scriptures: John 14:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Romans 12:1-8; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:8-11.

I highly recommend that all believers take a spiritual gift class, no matter how old we are in the Lord. It might even be interesting to take the test periodically to see how the Lord is working in our lives and in what direction He is leading us. I would guess that there are many "on fire" Christians out there who have become unmotivated because they are not serving in an area of gifting or passion. Plus:

v29 . . .the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [4].

v21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
v22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts [5].

[1] John 10:27, 28
[2] John 14:27
[3] John 14:13
[4] Romans 11:29
[5] 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22


Monday, November 14, 2011



The Marriage Contract (Ketubah)

The Ketubah is a written contract between the bride and the bridegroom and was the groom’s responsibility to draft. It contained the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The covenant's purpose was to lay down the terms of the union. The Ketubah is the Old Testament scriptures.

Parallels to the Church…

The New Testament Ketubah is the New Covenant prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-33, revealed in Matthew 26:28 and fulfilled when Jesus hung on the Cross in Matthew 27:45-50. The New Covenant is the atoning Blood of Jesus Christ that He paid for His bride when He died on the Cross. The new covenant gave us access to the Holy of Holies and the presence of God.

It is important that we list Jeremiah 31:31-33 because it is a promise from God to us toward the coming of the Lord and a new covenant.

v31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

v32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

v33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people [1].

You might say, wait a minute; didn’t God already make a marriage covenant with His bride through Abraham? Yes He did. However, one of the reasons that Jesus could make a new covenant with Israel is that He had divorced her from the old covenant. Israel had broken the covenant a number of times and the Lord put her away [2].

This is one of the main scriptures that have split the Jewish people from Christianity. They argue that when entering into a marriage contract, if there are any changes, it takes the signature of both parties to make it legal. Since Abraham was dead when Christ fulfilled the New Covenant, they postulated that the new covenant was “null and void.”

However, without going into a complete Greek word study, suffice it to say that the term “will make” means “to complete that which already is,” and the word "new" means "to make better in quality," not to “make better in time.” The new covenant was not changed. Christ made it better.


[1] Jeremiah 31:31-33
[2] Jeremiah 3:8


Monday, November 7, 2011



Betrothal (Kiddushin)

Jewish marriages hinged upon two ceremonies: the betrothal (Kiddushin) and the marriage ceremony (Nissu’in). The betrothal [1], is less than a marriage but more than an engagement. The Kiddushin means sanctification or set apart.

When a Jewish couple entered into a betrothal, they considered the marriage to be legal and binding. In fact, when they entered into a betrothal, it was so strong and binding that if the bridegroom died, they considered the woman to be a widow.

The bridegroom brought three things to the house of the prospective bride: a marriage contract (Ketubah), gifts for the bride (Mattan), and the bride price (Mohar).

The father of the bride also gave his daughter a dowry (Shiluhim). When they agreed upon the terms, the groom offered the bride the cup. If she drank from it, this meant that she accepted his proposal. They called this the cup of acceptance. This sealed their marriage.

The groom would then leave and prepare a place for them to live and the bride would prepare herself by taking a ceremonial Mikvah, veil herself until his return, and anticipate his return with fervor. His return is now her only focus.

Parallels to the Church…

Just like the groom left his father's house and traveled to the bride's house for the purpose of betrothal, so did Christ travel from heaven to the earth for the purpose of betrothal and marriage to His prospective bride. The reason behind Christ’s coming was forgiveness from Adam’s sin [2] and to establish a marriage covenant with His bride, the church [3],

The next eight steps happen during the betrothal period: marriage contract, gifts for the Bride, the Father’s dowry, the cup of acceptance, the Bride price, the veil, the preparation of the Bride, and the preparation of the Groom.


[1] Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:19, 20
[2] 1 John 1:9
[3] Ephesians 1:9-14


Tuesday, November 1, 2011




Bloodlines were (are) very important to the Jewish people. It was highly discouraged, and in many cases, forbidden to marry outside the Jewish faith [1]. Bloodlines, traditions, customs, and faith remained uncorrupted and pure when covenanted marriages took place within the tribe. Israel was worried about the absorption of other faiths, because there were tribes that did not serve the God of Abraham, but instead, served Baal and other gods.

Parallels to the Church…

Jesus holds an importance to bloodlines as well. His Word exhorts us not to unequally yoke with unbelievers.

v14 Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness [2]?
[1] Numbers 36:6; Nehemiah 13:27; John Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible, Jeremiah 29:6 commentary
[2] 2 Corinthians 6:14


Sunday, October 23, 2011




The first thing that we notice is that the Old Testament referred to [Israel] as the Bride of the [Lord]. The next thing that comes to mind is the fact that the New Testament frequently characterizes the [church] as the Bride of [Christ] [1]. However, many Jewish people did not understand this dynamic of their betrothal to Jesus Christ, because many did not believe Him to be the Messiah. They understood the marriage customs but not Christ being their husband [2]. It's hard for men to grasp this concept.

Once the groom found and chose a bride, he had to arrange a marriage between them. We will cover the coming of Christ, and end in His departure back to heaven as He prepares for His return. But first, the match.

The Match (Shiddukhin)

According to Jewish marriage customs, the fathers of the groom arranged most the marriages [3]. There were many avenues in which the Jewish people could use to negotiate and make their matches for marriage. The mother sometimes had a hand in choosing a bride [4] but the father could act alone [5]. However, more times than not, an interested man would just ask his father to seek out a particular woman for her hand in marriage [6]. (The choosing of the bride by the groom did not happen much.) If there were an interest all the way around, negotiations would start.

Friends from either party, or a matchmaker could also negotiate a match [7]. These matchmakers had to be of strong character, high integrity, and had to be highly trusted. It was not necessary for the bride to give her consent, but most generally, they asked her [8].

Parallels to the Church. . .

Jesus chose us [9] but did not act on His own initiative [10]. The Holy Spirit is the matchmaker today and the agent of the Father who negotiates for the bride of Christ [11]. It is the Holy Spirit that draws all men/women to Jesus Christ [12]. All who are born again are born through the power of the Holy Spirit [13]. Once that someone becomes a believer, that person becomes part of the Bride of Christ.

Fathers in the Old Testament did not discount the personal feelings of the bride or groom with regards to choice, neither is our feelings discounted when it comes to that same free will choice. Our Father in heaven gave us free will to choose with whom we will follow and serve [14]. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord [15].

[1] Here are a few examples for study: Matthew 9:15; John 3:29; Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 6:15; Ephesians 5:23-33; Revelation 19:7-9; Revelation 21:2
[2] Galatians 3:28
[3] Genesis 34:3-6; 38:6; Jeremiah 29:6
[4] Genesis 21:21; 27:24
[5] Genesis 38:6
[6] Judges 14:1-10
[7] Genesis 24:2-4
[8] Genesis 24:5, 58
[9] John 15:16
[10] John 5:30
[11] 1 Corinthians 2:10; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:12; Romans 8:16
[12] John 6:44
[13] Luke 1:35
[14] Deuteronomy 30:19, 20
[15] Joshua 24:15; 1 Peter 1:8


Thursday, October 20, 2011



The following is the first of 16 installments covering the Jewish Marriage Customs. I pray that it blesses you all. God bless each and every one of you.

Ever since God banished Adam and Eve away from the Tree of Life, mankind has been in a fallen state. However, for man to become the Bride of Christ, he had to be in a sinless state. The Bible says what fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness [1]? Because of man’s fallen nature, becoming the Bride of Christ was impossible. Therefore, God’s plan required that mankind needed forgiveness before he could become the glorious Bride of Christ [2].

Four-thousand years later…destiny called, and we find Christ and His disciples in the upper room taking communion at the Last Supper. This moment in history was predestined and Jesus knew He was about to die and had been warning the disciples of His impending death. This upset the disciples, greatly.

To comfort His remaining disciples [3], Jesus gave them a promise analogous to Jewish marriage customs of the day. This promise was to touch and encourage the souls of the entire world and encourage all those who were yet to come. Jesus told His disciples,

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 [4].

Christ was telling them that he had to leave in order for Him to build a place for them to live, but that He’d return for them so they could be together. The reason why Jesus came to earth was for the forgiveness of man and for a bride. God created mankind to acquire a bride, and all of scripture points to this truth. Israel and the disciples did not have the ears to hear this during Christ's physical stay on earth.

From Eden to Golgotha, Genesis to Revelation, nothing speaks to this fact like the Jewish Marriage Customs. The Bible is replete with references to them. God’s Word is a love affair between Christ and His Bride. This love affair culminates in the Book of the Revelation at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb [5].

While on Earth, Christ used marriage metaphors to teach His disciples about His Kingdom, all of which came from the early scrolls that we call the Old Testament Scriptures [6]. When we put these marriage metaphors beside the Christian Church, we see a parallel that we cannot deny.

To grasp the meaning of Christ’s promise to the world, as written in John 14:1-3, then it would be prudent for us to study the steps of the Jewish Marriage Customs. This will keep His discourse in context, because context is everything. Not only will this help us understand Christ’s promise, but it will help us understand the entire Bible.

Once we get the idea of Jewish Marriage Customs, the Scripture will jump right off of the pages. What was difficult for us to understand before about God’s Word will be academic to us when we grasp the steps of the wedding customs? Before the foundation of the world, while God formulated His plan, Christ desired a bride. He was just hours away from paying the bride price for her.


[1] 2 Corinthians 6:14
[2] 1 Peter 1:16
[3] Judas had left to betray Jesus.
[4] John 14:1-3
[5] Revelation 19:9
[6] Christ taught from the Scrolls of the Old Testament era.


Friday, June 3, 2011



Last night while in bed, I had just turned out the lights, pulled up the covers, and gotten comfortable, when the Lord gave me something. I thought He had perfect timing? LOL. What a sense of humor He has. I was so tired I didn't turn on the light and write it down, but I spoke it out loud there in the dark. I knew that faith comes by hearing and the hearing of the Word so I spoke it a couple of times, rolled over, and went to sleep.

When I awoke this morning, I couldn't remember what He gave me. I went to the computer and got ready to write. I thought maybe that would help me to remember. It didn't. I apologized to the Lord for not writing it down and asked His forgiveness. I was a little upset. Not at the Lord, but at me for not writing it down. Habakkuk 2:2 tells us to write the vision and I disobeyed. I was remorseful.

I tried to shake it off and began typing. I had typed about a page, when all of a sudden, there it was. What I had spoke in the darkness of night into the atmosphere last night, was now on the screen. At the same time, I could feel God's forgiveness. I could feel Him smiling and chuckling at me. It dawned on me that I wasn't ready to receive what I had forgotten yet. God [does] have perfect timing. He brought that thing to my remembrance and onto the computer. What an awesome God.

I have found the same thing with unanswered prayers. Sometimes we can get discouraged at God because the thing we asked for didn't transpire. Maybe we weren't ready to receive what we prayed for yet. Just a reminder, God [does] have perfect timing.

Any similar stories?




The whole world seems to be against Israel today and argues that they don't even have a right for existence. Israel is the key to Bible prophecy. Do you want to know what is going to happen next? Watch Israel.

The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Zechariah 12:1-3 KJV

When the Bible talks about "That Day," it is talking about Armageddon. It sounds as though the seeds of Armageddon are being planted as we speak. Look up because our redemption draweth nigh.

President Obama has brought a curse onto this nation by shunning Israel and by asking for the retreat of the pre 1967 borders. The curse is not on the people (unless they are against Israel) but against the nation of America. He had better recant or be prepared for the wrath of God. What say you?

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 12:3 KJV

The “Thee” that the Bible talks about in Genesis 12:3 KJV is Israel.

Sha alu shlom Yerushalayim
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem


Friday, May 6, 2011



NOTE: Every once in a while you run across something that is worth sharing. I have found one that you might enjoy. It is a good pick-me-up. I did not write this but wanted to pass it on to you. Now to the story.

Not too long ago I had "one of those days." I was feeling pressure from a writing deadline and I had company arriving in a couple days. Wouldn’t you know it, the toilet clogged up. I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine. By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner.

Deciding on Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B - leftover baked beans. I grabbed the Tupperware container from the fridge, popped the seal, looked, and groaned. My husband isn't a picky eater but even HE won't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars.

Really frustrated now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition-free: hot dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull. The bag didn't open. I tried again. Nothing happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a hearty wrestle. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I stood there holding the empty bag.

It was the final straw. I let out a blood-curdling scream. "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage: an opened can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips. My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of, he took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. Then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process!

I stared. I fumed. Soon I was working to stifle a smile. Eventually I had to laugh. Finally I decided to join him. I, too, took a leap onto the chips. Then I danced. Now I'll be the first to admit that my husband's response wasn't the one I was looking for. However, the truth is, it was exactly what I needed. I didn't need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has God ever stomped on your chips? I know that plenty of times in my life I've gotten myself into frustrating situations and have cried out for help, all the while hoping God would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess.

What often happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in the manner that is best for me after all. Sometimes I can see right away that God's response was the best one after all. Sometimes I have to wait weeks or months before I begin to understand how and why God answered a particular prayer the way he did. There are even some situations that, years later, I'm still trying to understand. I figure God will fill me in sooner or later, either this side of Heaven or beyond.

Do I trust Him even when he's answering my prayers in a way that is completely different from my expectations? Do I trust Him even when he's dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping? Can I embrace what He's offering? Can I let His joy adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of the dance he's dancing' with my needs in mind?

I'll be honest with you: Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I'm working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the older I get the more I realize that He really does know what He's doing. He loves me and I can trust Him, even when the chips are down.

-- Author Unknown


Friday, April 29, 2011


Isn't it strange that Christians seldom talk about what Jesus talked most about: The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven (Same thing)? How desperately this message of the kingdom is needed today!

Kingdom living to me is living in God or like the Bible says, "In Christ." It is the building of Christ's character within us. Some emphasize manifestation while some emphasize teaching. I say that neither are right. The only thing that transforms us spiritually is the action of "following Christ."

However, in order to engage in the "following" of Christ, we need a clear understanding of the Kingdom of God/heaven; that you are accepted by the grace of God "In Christ." That lays the foundation for as much doctrine as you can manage and as much manifestation of the Spirit as you can stand.

The Kingdom of God/heaven is the main message of the New Testament, Christ, and the Apostles. Below are some (underline some), Scriptures that can help you in your study or confirm your own thoughts. There are a ton more.

•John the Baptist announced the Kingdom in Matthew 3:1,2
•Jesus later came into Galilee proclaiming it in Mark 1:15
•Much of Christ's teaching dealt with the Kingdom of God in Matt 6:33; Matt 12:28; Matt 19:24; Luke 6:20; John 3:15; Rom 14:17; 1 Cor 4:20; Gal 5:21; Col 4:11 -- the list goes on and on and on and on. Luke is loaded as is Matt and Mark.
•Most all of Jesus' parables pictured it in Mark 4:30-33;
•The message of the Kingdom of God was still the message after Christ's resurrection Acts 1:3
•It was the message of the early Apostles in Acts 8:12; 19:8
•In Matthew 24:14 Jesus makes plain that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to the whole world at the end of the age.

We live in a time when millions of people are overcome and ruled by wicked spirits and by the earthly things around them. Unfortunately, it seems that many of these are Christians.

God’s plan is that man through Christ should exercise rule and authority over the earth and everything in it (Gen. 1:26, 28). Proverbs 25:28 tells us: "Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls" (NKJV).

How do you define Kingdom Living?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


This one is special for my brother Jeff who is a Sherlock Holmes buff.


There are probably only a few people on the planet who have not heard this exchange:

“I say Holmes, you’ve done it again.”

“Elementary my dear Watson, elementary.”

The greatest detective that ever graced the pages of a mystery novel, Sherlock Holmes, was telling his sidekick, Dr. John H. Watson, that the solution to the problem was very simple, easy, and basic my good man.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s a basic mistake that foils the criminal. However, ninety-nine percent of the time it is a basic solution that thwarts the wiles of the enemy.

“Elementary my dear Christian, elementary.”

Myself, I find it helpful to visit the basics from time to time because they are foundational to the policing of our faith. The deep things of God are rooted in the basics.

An infant needs the nourishment of milk because it is all that their body can handle until they grow and graduate to solid food. The body has a learning curve in which to learn how to eat and digest solid foods. Peter talks about this in 1 Peter 2:2: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow. . .

Later on in her life, my mom developed Osteoporosis because she hated milk and wouldn’t drink it. She did not get enough calcium to maintain her bone strength and she ended up bed-ridden with a fragile spine. If she fell or even turned over the wrong way in bed, it could have broken her back.

Basics are the calcium to the health and strength of our bodies or should I say, “the body.” The body of Christ will end up bed-ridden with fragile bones if we do not get our calcium of basics. It is the bones that give the body support, without which we would crumble to the floor.

A case could be made that all of God’s Word is basics and not just a few. The reasoning is simple, the complete Bible is foundational to our lives and how could we live without its entirety? However, what most believers consider basics are:

* Prayer [1]
* The Cross [2]
* Not forsaking the assembling of one another [3]
* Reading God’s Word [4]
* Loving the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves [5]
* Submit to God [6] and obey Him [7]
* Forgiveness [8]
* Spread the Gospel [9]

Given the case we made earlier, you may have different ones than I do and you’d be right as well. Maybe your basics list is less or more than mine by which you live. That’s okay. The foregoing are my nine. Maybe you can share yours.

God bless you all and thanks for stopping by.


[1] 1 Thessalonians 5:17
[2] Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 12:2
[3] Hebrews 10:25
[4] 2 Timothy 3:16
[5] Mark 12:30, 31
[6] James 4:7
[7] Acts 5:29
[8] Mark 11:25
[9] Mark 16:15


Thursday, March 31, 2011



What powerful words those are, but do we actually comprehend the story behind them? The major missing link is truly receiving the unconditional love and acceptance of the Father. When we go to the Cross and still struggle with guilt and shame, it is a sign that we haven’t received God’s unconditional acceptance. If we had, the Cross would be as Jesus said, “It is finished.”

Until we understand this and receive the fact that God loves us enough to send His only begotten Son, accept His sacrificial death, and leave guilt and shame at the Cross, Christ will never be Lord to us. We have made our guilt, shame, and attitudes the lord of our lives. We want somehow to bear the guilt and shame ourselves. We punish ourselves to the point that we set ourselves up as our own atonement. We make ourselves out to be as God and in so doing we leave the Holy Spirit out of our lives as well.

God is not angry at us or keeping track of our sins. Every sin we have ever committed was already paid for by the finished work of the Cross. When we are sin-conscious, we are stepping back into the Law as if we had to cleanse ourselves. The Law made us aware of sin so much so that we feared every move we made and we developed a sin-consciousness.

First, God gave us the Law to maintain the Abrahamic blessings. This was the purpose of the Law. Israel then tried to secure God’s acceptance by earning it through keeping the Law. In the process they wanted to establish their own righteousness by works, which Galatians 2:16 tells us is impossible. This is the “Great Disconnect Theory.”

We are to look toward the New Covenant and not at the Law because Christ delivered us from the curse of the Law [1]. In other words, when Christ hung on the Cross, all the sin of the world was placed on Him. Christ drew all the judgment to Himself on the Cross and became our sin. Do you remember when Christ was on the Cross and He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do [2].” Even on the Cross dying, He was praying for us. Matthew 27:45 tells us that “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.”

During this time, the sin of the world was placed on Christ. The Father is a holy and righteous God [3] and there is no sin in Him so He could not even look at His own Son and turned His face from Him. In verse 46, listen to what Jesus says now, “. . .Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The Lord is not addressing His Father as Father, but as His God.

Romans 8:32 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Christ was and is “The Son of God” but addressed his Father as “His God” while separated from him in our place. Paul said, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [4].”

We can therefore, because of the Cross, thank Jesus, not because of sin, but because of our righteousness through the Cross. Don’t get me wrong, we are immediately to ask forgiveness for our sin but we are to thank Jesus for covering our sin and leave the guilt and shame at the Cross. The Holy Spirit convicts us to righteousness not because of our sin [5]. Otherwise we’d feel condemned all the time. Christ came NOT to condemn the world but to save it [6]. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [7].

The Father also separated Christ from Himself because the wages of sin is death [8] and the Father did not even spare His own Son because of His Word [9]. Although Christ did not sin, He became sin for us. Therefore, when we sin, God separates us from His presence as well. We are in good company. However, the Word says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [10].”

Is it any wonder that there is an identity crisis occurring in the body today? We have taken upon ourselves guilt and shame that doesn’t belong to us. We are under grace.

Can anyone out there relate to what it feels like when we can't feel the presence of God in our lives? It happened to me once. It was the blackest, darkest, ugliest, emptiest, most awful sick feeling I have ever had in my life. I felt like dying.

I had a spirit of unforgiveness on me once that God didn't like AT ALL. Forgiveness is the basis of our faith. I had that feeling for about a week until I finally came around. I NEVER want that feeling again.

Can you imagine then, what Christ went through on the Cross. He was physically a mess. He was beaten and marred beyond recognition and the full weight of His body hanging from spikes and ripping at His appendages. PLUS, the Father had separated from Him. I cannot EVEN come close to grasping what He felt.

Thank you Jesus and I thank you for dying for me in my place. Forgive me for all the guilt and shame that I have hung onto in the past. I thank you and worship you for your unconditional love for me.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [11]? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord [12].

[1] Galatians 3:13
[2] Luke 23:34
[3] Psalms 99:5
[4] Romans 6:14, 15
[5] John 16:8-10
[6] John3:17
[7] Romans 8:1
[8] Romans 6:23
[9] Romans 8:32
[10] 1 John 1:9
[11] Romans 8:35
[12] Romans 8:38, 39


Monday, March 7, 2011



Something happened yesterday that I am absolutely sick about.

To begin with, I am in the process of selling my house. My Realtor tells me that in order to show the house, it is best if there were no pets on the premise.

The second half of this equation is that my new residence does not accept pets, which means that “Bird” would have to go. Bird is what I named her. She gave me a lot of enjoyment and now I had to get rid of her.

I only had one requirement; it needed to be a good and responsible home and one where they would take care of her. I finally found a good home and they would be here momentarily to take possession. Along with Bird, came a large birdcage and five to six months worth of food. They came in a truck without a canopy, so we needed to put Bird in the cab.

We tilted the cage to squeeze it into the cab but unbeknownst to us, the cage door unsnapped and Bird flew out of the cage and into the cab of the truck. Before we could shut the truck door, Bird continued her flight out of the driver’s side window. All we could do was stand there and watch as the parakeet flew the length of the driveway, across the street, and out of sight.

There were many places to perch but it appeared that she couldn’t wait to leave and get to places unknown. She didn’t even look for a place to land. She just flew toward the horizon as fast as she could. What was up with that?

I never mistreated that bird. I fed her, watered her, and cleaned up after her. I covered her at night and uncovered her in the morning. I fellow-shipped with her during the day and particularly loved it when she, without warning, took flight for her two trips around the family room. She did that two or three times a day. And here she was, flapping her wings as fast as she could to get as far away from here as she could.

As sure as my name is Jim, I know that without my provision, Bird doesn’t stand a chance at survival. Escape meant death. Lost and afraid, she could freeze to death, starve to death, get scared to death, or some cat could make short order of her. This deeply saddens me. It is the closest I’ve been to tears since dad went to be with Jesus. I loved that bird--and now, she was gone.

Christ’s death on the Cross opened the door to the Father’s presence and I am sure that the Lord is also deeply saddened when we run away from Him and head for the horizon. Without God’s provision, we don’t stand a chance of survival. Our escape from His presence is death, and We are lost and afraid from out of His provision and love. If we remain in this condition for very long, the enemy will make short order of us as well.

Instead of flapping our wings and floundering before the serpent, we need to find our misplaced faith in the Cross and give guilt, shame, and fear the boot. Second Corinthians 10:5 says it best:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. . .



Wednesday, February 16, 2011



I'm sitting here with an idea that I've been thinking about for a while. The idea concerns a cost/value analysis that I was making about something that I wanted to buy. As God most often does, He reminded me that all truth was parallel that for every natural truth, there is an equal and corresponding spiritual truth. This is what got me to start thinking. I began searching my memory for things that I had purchased on which I placed a high value.

Bingo, bango, bongo, I remembered one. In 1980, I purchased a Geo GLC Sport. I loved that little car. It was fun to drive and could go 35 miles on one gallon of gas. If I remember right, I drove it off the lot for around $3500 and because that was a lot of money for me at the time, I gave it a high value. I washed that car every day and no one drove it but me. I religiously kept up the maintenance schedule and made no rabbit starts or hard stops. Maybe I should have gotten a birth certificate for that car instead of a title.

I could see where the Lord was going with this when it hit me. It would appear that people place a high value on something in terms of how much it cost them. The more it costs, the more they value the item. If it didn’t cost much, they are more inclined to treat it more carelessly. If the item breaks or is lost, no biggy, they’ll just go out and buy another one.

Just when I think I have God figured out, He surprises me. I heard in my spirit, until man can realize what it cost God to send His Son into the world to redeem and save mankind, he will never understand the value that He places on him by sending His Son to the Cross.

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. [1]

In biblical times the Law mandated that the father of the groom pay the Mohar, price [2] for the bride [3]. Actually, besides the Mohar there were two other prices paid for the bride. The groom paid the Mattan price [4] for his beloved. The Mattan was not mandatory but was an expression of his love for her. The father of the bride paid the Shiluhim to equip her for her new life and was a part of her inheritance [5]. It was her dowry.

Because the Father placed such a high value on Christ’s Bride, He sent His Son for her payment (Mohar). The higher the value, the higher the cost. Christ also placed a high value on His Bride for He willingly [6] went to the Cross and gave the ultimate price for her; His life (Mattan). How much more could He have given? Remember that the Mattan was not mandatory; it was an expression of love. Christ must love us very much to willingly lay down His life for us. As stated in John 3:16, the value placed on His bride was very high -- as was the cost. It cost God the Father His Son (Mohar) and it cost Christ His life (Mattan).

Have any of us really sat down and thought about what it cost God to give up the perfection that He had with us, to allow the fall and allow for everything else to happen, and to bring us into being a redeemed people, to be able to love God of our own volition.

Again, until man can realize what it cost God to purchase us with the life of His only Son, we will never know or understand the value that God places on us. If we do not seek God with love, obedience, and repentance, the judgment meted to us in the Garden of Eden will forever plague [7] us.

[1] John 3:16 KJV
[2] John 3:16; l Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18
[3] Romans 8:3, 4
[4] Eternal life, John 10:22-28; Ask for anything, John 14:13-14; Peace, John 14:27
[5] The Holy Spirit, John 14:16, 17; Spiritual Gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
[6] Romans 8:32; John 6:51; John 10:17, 18
[7] If Christ delivered us on the Cross, why does the judgment still plague us with sin and chaotic out of order living? Christ redeemed and saved us but if we don’t realize what it cost God and do not seek Him with obedience and forgiveness, the judgment will continue to plague us.


Thursday, January 13, 2011



I had my gun loaded, so I headed out for the bank. I'd spent the last two days getting my ammunition ready. Today was the day. I was sick and tired, frustrated, and angry.

I walked into the bank with my shoulders back and my neck as erect as I could manage. I wrinkled my forehead, pursed my lips, and gnashed my teeth. Now I am 6'2" and 250lbs. To most people, I probably presented myself as a pretty menacing figure. As I walked through the foyer, I could have sworn I heard some chuckling.

I looked around with my squinting eyes and noticed that the few people, who were there, did not even look my way. No one had a smile or was laughing. I stopped dead in my tracks when seven words subdued me. It wasn't a guard standing in front of me brandishing a nine millimeter or was it another man who was 6'4" and 265lbs with 15% body fat that stood in my way. It was the seven words that stopped me.

"Recompense to no man evil for evil."

The words caused every muscle in my upper body to go placid. I determined that it was the Lord who couldn't hold back the chuckle. I must have been a sight to Him as I walked into the bank looking like the Terminator. I had to laugh at myself.

Those seven words came from Romans 12:17 of the Holy Bible. The world has a similar thought, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down." Psalms 15:1 offers another avenue to take, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." A soft answer indeed, can take the wind out of someone’s sails. It is up to us as believers to set the tone for civil communication.

The Lord blessed me with a calm spirit so I could resolve the issue that I had with the bank. It was a three-month ordeal that was very stressful for me. I had let the enemy control my attitude. I am not proud of that fact, but if it helps somebody, then I’m okay. The issue is resolved though and they have seen the error of their ways. (Yes, they were at fault.)

I will try harder in the future to keep my gun of communication and my ammunition of words under close scrutiny. (What do you think I meant? LOL) As long as the Lord keeps chuckling with (or at) me, I’ll be okay. Does anybody else suffer with my affliction?


Wednesday, January 5, 2011



I have been thinking a lot about where man is today. It’s one thing to be in church and hear prophecies about the end of the age and raising hands to God praising Him because He is in control, while I learned about things to come. It was quite another to live through those prophecies. The words spoken from the pulpit wasn’t just words anymore, this time, they were real. It attacked my faith and made me feel uncomfortable.

This country has been my home for all of my 66 years and in my lifetime, I have seen many changes, changes that have hurt us but made us stronger as a nation and a people with a lot of determination and resilience. I have lived through the Second World War, the Korean War, the removal of prayer in school, the assassination of a President, Vietnam, the Gulf war, 9-11, and numerous other events. Now socialism was knocking on the door through corrupt leadership. I wasn’t just hearing about Matthew 24, I was living through it.

I felt torn and began to somewhat question my faith [James 1:3]. Was God really in control? Satan was aligning his forces for a final assault on the Kingdom of God and He appeared to be winning [Psalms 37:12-17].

Should I fight what’s happening in the world today? If I did, would I be fighting against the sovereign will of God. I just knew that I loved the Lord but I also love and have pride in my country and the heritage the Founders gave me. I wondered, is this what the Bible meant when it said that pride cometh before the fall [Proverbs 16:18]. I only knew that there was no doubt that the world today was in a mess and that man was totally depraved.

I said, “Lord, what about my children? What’s to become of them? Look what the world is doing to them with all the indoctrination, stealing their future, and stealing their freedom.” Have you ever said something and as soon as you said it, realized the folly of it? I heard in my spirit, “Look what they did to My Son.”

Am I alone in my thoughts?