Testimony 3 Sermons/Mission Outreach

This continues are testimony page. The sermon listed first is from the paper before current issue. If you want to see our current sermon, go to current issue on the dash board and look at pages 3, 4 and 12. The Southern Arkansas Tailgate News publishes a new issue every Friday. Thank you for you interest and here is hoping you find the sermons useful in your walk, or considered walk, with Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of Jehovah God.

Before you read another sermon, ask yourself if you want to put legs to the love in your heart? Mission Outreach, in Nigeria, is ran by volunteers and doctors from Arlington, Virginia by a few souls who want to feed the starving, medically treat those in a hopeless situation and provide a daily Christian service for accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and overcoming counselor. Mission Outreach also teaches them how to provide for themselves to stop the generational curse of poverty. But without your monthly contribution, this effort, which started in 2012 and has witnessed about 200 souls a year get saved, can not grow. The need is nearly endless. If you do your part, you can make a positive difference in spreading Christian love and showing the mercy to others that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has shown to you. Give what you can every month. Here is a chance to make your life matter in the grand scheme of things. Don’t let death be the only mercy these people will know. True, you and I can not right all of the injustices in this world. But we can, and should, do what we can.

Mission Outreach: Food, medical care and Christian services PLEASE HELP. Your donation means saving lives. Do your part! Malnutrition has a cure, YOU.

 Mail your donation to the editor: John Nelson, 111 East Cherry Street, Gurdon, Ark. 71743 and you will get a receipt. See Aug. 19, 2016 of Tailgate News for a feature on the Mission Outreach Ministry.

Consider the video after you read the story on the pdf below. Click outreach mission page below and see the story and photos about the mission.

 

outreach-mission-page

 

 

 

Make Jesus
your guide
in 2018…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
If you are like me in any way, you have tried just about everything you can think of to achieve the American dream. In my case, I got my dream but seem to some how have not gotten the financial part just yet.
No matter your status, perhaps it is time to realize you need Divine help. Jesus Christ stands ready to guide you, give you direction in your day to day life and the rewards are only limited by the success or failure you have in obeying the guidelines He gives you.
Most of those guidelines can be found in the Christian Bible. When we are young, most of us, Christian or not, have got this misguided notion that we know what is best for our lives. It is a new year folks. The past is history. What occurs in your life and mine during 2018 is up to us and, if we ask Him to help, up to the perfect and Divine Spirit of the Only Begotten Son of the Living God – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The simplest place to start for me, since I have serious financial problems at this time, is with what the Bible tells me about tithes, offerings and blessings that come from obeying that guide line in scripture. (1).
In entrepreneur advertising and Green Energy 2 jell pack sales, my two sources of income, I find it to work best when I take the Lord’s advice and do it all as a “straight up deal.” If I collect $100, I put $15 back for the church and use the rest to cover my bills. When I do this simple formula, the bills melt away.
The problem is discipline. I do not consider this a unique problem, as most human folk I talk to have equally hard times with discipline when Satan’s arrows fly.
Praising the Lord and thanking Him for all His many blessings seems to give me the strength I need, if my mind, body and soul are even in the least determined to do the right thing. We are all human, and there will be times when we lack this determination or inward strength. Jesus said He came into the world not to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved (2). So it would follow that He does not want us to waste time condemning ourselves or others.
When we fall, we should ask the Lord’s forgiveness, thank Him for the opportunity to try again and ask for the strength to carry out His guidance in the next set of similar circumstances. Thus, I say repeatedly, you must avoid pressing a quit switch. I have always said I did not have one. That arrogant remark has come back to bite me.
So far, I have not felt inclined to use said quit switch in my career pursuits but when the body is weak it is so very tempting to roll over and try tomorrow. Don’t do it. It is habit forming and very detrimental to your life. I have seen the results of other people doing it and pray that I am never guilty of quitting on my dreams and aspirations.
I advice you to have the same goal. Take a ragged breath, thank the good Lord you still can take that breath and put one foot in front of the other toward carrying out the guidance and direction the perfect Spirit of Jesus Christ is drawing you to for that day. How do you know what it is? Personally, I pray and then a peace comes upon me. Then I study scripture and normally find a basis in the Christian Bible for the guidance and direction being considered.
This Bible backing is essential, as it tells us that we are not alone in our thoughts or about to pursue something originated by our own self will or the will of the devil. The devil, Satan, if you will, comes to steal, kill and destroy (3) the body, mind and very soul we possess as living and breathing creatures created by Jehovah God – our Heavenly Father and provider. The Word of God says He wills that we have life and life more abundantly. Jehovah God obviously does not want us to be unproductive failures.
The Christian Bible also speaks of Christian joy that is only known when we come clean with the Lord and realize we so desparately need His guidance and direction every day and His supernatural strength to carry it out.
While it is human to look at the big picture, little things mean a lot toward giving us reason to smile. When you have a small success, or realize you have a little bitty blessing, thank the Lord God for His mercy and grace.
He is like anyone in this case. Do you not feel a sense of joy inside when a child thanks you for a bowl of Fruit Loops? See there. It works. Thank the Lord for your food, your shelter, your transportation, your very life blood that allows you to think and do.
He sees an even bigger picture of your lives than we do. Starting with the small things in life is the key. A grateful heart can accomplish many things. A bitter heart seeks to numb itself on too much fantasy. Take the time to feed your pet a little extra.
Be ever so grateful for the money to do that and that your pet is there. Take nothing for granted. A movie called the Ultimate Gift, starring the late James Garner, tells us when you have lost everything you have it is the perfect place to start over.
I must admit I have never been down so low yet that I resided under a bridge, but it is only by His grace. When your heart tells you to write, as mine does, you write. God guides me as to what words to give you in each of these sermons.
The big step is salvation. The Chirstian Bible tells us to accept Jesus Chirst and His pure blood sacrifice on the cross that this only Begotten Son of the Living God did so that you and I could have our name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. It tells us to ask forgiveness of our sins and believe the miracle of the cross. And it also states we must forgive others so that we may be forgiven. Do this. Then enjoy the lifting of a burden you did not even know you needed lifting off of you.
2018 has just started. The first of a year gives us all the feeling of renewal. Start out on the right food. Accept Jesus as your Savior if you have not done so. If you have done so, thank the Lord for His grace and your eternal spot in glory and heaven instead of the pit of hell all of us sinners deserve according to the law.
Then, in whatever way the Spirit of Jesus guides you to do, spread the Word. Tell a friend. Tell them of the new hope Jesus has given you to make a positive difference in the lives of others – leaving selfish thoughts of material gain and hoarding of time and money in the great abyess of your past.
Christianity is a process. You will find as you walk your path with Jesus Chirst that His timetable of success in your pursuits, as well as His methods, seems peculiar. That is because we can not see the results of each thought we have, and each action, on our own futures and the futures of those we love and serve.
But take heart, Christ will keep you on a path of joy over riding sorrow. It is easy for the Christian soul to see that the good has outweighed the bad in an individual’s life. If you are a non-Christian, this does not happen so much. The Christian Bible says the success of the wicked is but for a season. Then physical joy, power and money, none of which are important in the after life, fade away. But the treasures of love we sew are eternal and remain in our crowns for the rest of our earthly lives and on with us to our heavenly homes.
Happy New Year folks. Let’s join team Jesus this year and see the best blessings that Jehovah God can offer, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, in love instead of hate.
SCRIPTURES
1) TITHES AND OFFERINGS – Malachi 3:8-12 New International Version (NIV) 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
2) JESUS DID NOT COME INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN IT – John 3:12-26 New International Version (NIV) 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
John Testifies Again
About Jesus
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.)
25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
3) SATAN COMES TO KILL, STEAL AND DESTROY – John 10:10-29 King James Version (KJV) 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. 20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? 21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

 

 

 

How well do
you know Jesus?
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Many people seem to have the attitude about Christian salvation of “saved and satisfied.”
They are really missing out if they do not take the time to get to know the personality of Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, by reading those red letters in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.
Jesus Christ has a real personality. He is not just a buffer from going to hell. He can be, and wants to be, your best friend, closer than a brother (1).
This holiday season is supposed to be about his birth. Instead, in the United States that I know at least, it has become an endurance test and a way for hard working men and women to put themselves in debt over not having all they want to give to their family and friends.
It has the highest rate of suicide of any season in our calendar year. Christmas time, in many cases, is a time of sorrow when a man or a woman feels like they have failed their loved ones.
Or, in the case of those finding themselves alone, it makes people feel hopeless and causes them to wring their hands in self pity.
Christ would certainly not have wanted any of this. The Christian New Testament talks of Jesus asking us to take his yoke, that it is easy and He will give us peace (2).
The words of the Apostle Paul the disciple Peter come to mind when they tell us through Jesus they both learned to have joy in the good times and the bad times by taking comfort in eternal things and a refreshing of their souls through Christ and His ways (3).
Let’s face it. Life can be hard. We can do our best and it seems to be still not enough. I am a very frustrated businessman at this point in my life and hoping and praying the economy will pick up and the Lord will send me an enthusiastic sales person to pick up some of the slack in things. Perhaps you have similar concerns.
Then I think of the sacrifice Jesus made on that cross so I would not have to go to hell. He did it for me and He did it for you. The Lord’s mercy in sending the pure blood sacrifice of his only Begotten Son to save us from our just end astounds me.
When I think of the suffering Jesus endured, it makes me ashamed that I have ever complained about anything.
A big deal in getting to know the Spirit of Jesus Christ is trust. Read His words in that Christian Bible and ask Him for the strength to obey.
He will wrap His spiritual arms around you in times of trouble and be there to celebrate your victories as well.
Two years ago, I had what I considered a stable blended family. My wife ended that in August, after a 20-year investment in the marriage from both of us… It was not all her fault.
Anytime something like that happens, the blame game is useless. And details are really relatively unimportant. What matters is getting through the pain and going on. Talking to the Lord daily has helped me survive it.
He has also provided me with one of the most encouraging ladies in my life that I have ever met. Life will go on. Will it go on as I had planned? No. But perhaps the new life will be even better than the old. Again, we must trust the Lord and what He says. When one door closes in the Christian life, another one opens.
The Lord’s Word teaches us to be thankful in all things. In my case, I have a wonderful new lady in my life, three wonderful grand kids, a fantastic daughter and at least two step kids that I believe still love me, as well as four step grand kids that I will always love.
I have many friends, even though I don’t see them as often as I should and am not always able to be there when I wish I could. Plus, my business doors are still open.
I have reasonably good health and I give the Lord Jesus Christ credit for being as stable and fortunate as I am. I am sure you could form your own list of things in your life you are thankful for.
And you really should think on them. Anyone can be happy when the bank is fine, the family is at peace and you feel like singing Christmas carols of praise.
But the thing is, most of us talk to Jesus more when we are down and out.
He is the great encourager and never leaves us high and dry. The Bible talks of Jehovah God giving us hope, faith and love – and the greatest of these gifts is love.
Don’t be foolish like I was as a young man and put Jesus in your passenger seat. Let Him guide and direct your day.
Ask for His will to be done in your life. Pray for strength to carry out His guidance and direction and resist the temptations Satan throws at you.
Sit in silence now and then. This old world makes a racket. And the Internet is too often a source of too many multi-subjects at once, leaving us feeling like sheep led to the slaughter.
When we sit in silence, it seems to me that is when the feelings of love put there by Christ swells up on the inside of us. Think on the good times.
There will be more. Indeed, life is a roller coaster. This too shall pass. Remember you are not stuck in your circumstances but merely passing through them.
Life is about laughing and crying, highs and lows. We all know it. Christ makes it easier to be thankful for a cookie in times of tragedy. The Lord I know has a wonderful sense of optimism. Just look at what the disciples said about his wine parties, including the last supper. A part of me wishes I would have known Jesus in the flesh.
But His divine spirit lives on. Salvation is a free gift. Read those letters in red and then come back and tell me that was not the Son of God. If you really read them, you will know better in your heart.
It amuses me when scientists try and prove He does not exist. And that there are no miracles. I once used the power of Jesus to raise a completely deceased kitten from the dead. And then Jesus removed a scale from my eyes.
You don’t have to believe me, but I believe me because I was there in both instances and witnessed what I would call two miracles. They were very big deals to me. I also believe the divine Spirit of Jehovah God kept me from falling off of barn beams into tools below as a child growing up with two elderly grandparents on an Indiana farm.
The love of God has been with me for many years. I recommend getting to know our Lord very highly.
I do not claim to be the best lamb in the Lamb’s Book of Life, but I know that I know my name is in there. Jesus is a very reassuring Spirit and friend. As an old commercial said back in my younger days, try it and you will like it.
So this Christmas season, as you reflect on family, finance, friends or whatever seems most important to you, remember it is the time of year we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, a gift from our Creator so we could accept the help and one day come home to heaven.
But also remember that Spirit a saved person carries with them on their daily walk enjoys a good laugh, loves to see us enjoying ourselves, doing all we know to do right and just guiding us through an ever more complicated world. Merry Christmas everyone!
SCRIPTURES
1) JESUS STICKS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER – Proverbs 18:18-24 New International Version (NIV) 18 Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart.
19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. 20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. 22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly.
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
2) TAKE THE YOKE OF JESUS AND FIND REST FOR YOUR SOUL – Exodus 6:7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
2 Samuel 24:22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood.
Isaiah 14:25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders.”

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

3) PAUL FOUND JOY IN REFRESHING HIS SPIRIT, PETER SPOKE OF UNSPEAKABLE JOY – 2 Corinthians 7King James Version (KJV) 7 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. 3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. 5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. 8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.
13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.
14 For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth.
15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. 16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.
1 Peter 1:6-10 King James Version (KJV) 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.

 

 

Young men have
visions; Old men
dream dreams…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
In this life, Christian or not, most of us have our dreams and aspirations. Some, like myself, have seen many of them come true.
The Christian Bible talks of young men having visions of their futures and old men having dreams of their past (1). I suppose I am somewhere in between, as I now have both. I will be 59 this Christmas Eve, and in fairly good health. So thinking back on my life, and yet making plans for the future, makes good sense to me.
Sometimes those visions and dreams can help all of us conquer holiday depression. While the holidays are supposed to be a time when family comes together to rejoice about the birth of Jesus Christ, a lot of times we feel we are not rich enough to buy the gifts for our family we want to, or perhaps we find ourselves alone without any family or friends present.
This is why it is especially important to get out and comfort a friend or two during the holidays. It takes our minds off of our problems and is just a good Christian thing to do. The three biggest most of us remember about the New Testament are hope, faith and love – with the biggest one being love.
Human beings all need to feel loved. The Christian Bible says the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the ultimate love example, sticks closer to His followers than a brother. His love is always there. Without love, life becomes an empty business that nobody wants to deal with if they have half of a sane brain.
I think of the New Testament story of Jesus Christ in the garden praying and asking for His friends to stay near by. Even the Son of Jehovah God, while in human form on this earth, needed to feel loved – especially in a time of great crisis. Jesus died shortly there after on a cross so that we might all one day make heaven our home by way of His pure blood sacrifice (2). He had a vision of giving all of us the opportunity to live in heaven with Him, friends, relatives and Father God.
The Bible says no one who has sinned will enter heaven unless he or she has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and had Him put his or her name in the Lamb’s Book of Life (3). God gave us good news. He sent His Son not to condemn the world, but that through Jesus Christ, the only sinless man, the world might be saved by this ultimate, pure blood, sacrifice.
The presence of Jesus in our day to day walks also keeps down the loneliness in this thing we call life. We are approaching Christmas, the date selected by the powers that be to celebrate His birth. Instead of being thankful for the opportunity to by pass eternal punishment of justifiably going to hell for our sins, so many embrace their haunting dreams of pasts they are not proud of at Christmas time and even go so far as to take their own lives to try and escape the pain of feeling inadequate and unloved.
Each man and woman has value. One way of sorting dreams and visions out in a positive manner is to have a little talk with Jesus, as the song says. When I get down and out and lonesome, like we all do from time to time, the Spirit of Love, that is of Jesus Christ and Father God is a big help to cheer me up. One of the best ways this happens for me is by way of serving the public as a community journalist, the keeper of the scrapbook of good memories.
Although writing a weekly publication is my primary service to man kind so far, when I am able to give a helping hand to someone less fortunate, it reminds me of the passages of scripture where Jesus said He is pleased with those who feed his children, cloth them and visit them in jail or where ever they may be having a hard time.
Life has taught me that jails do not always have bars. Sometimes we place ourselves in a jail of loneliness and despair that only we have the key to open. But other times a call or visit from a friend does the trick to give us a good cheering up or a healthy belly laugh. When a haunting dream hits your mind, think of a day fishing with a friend, a time when someone told you they respect your work ethic or better yet a time when you visited a shut-in and made them smile by just listening to a memory they wanted to share of an uplifting time in their lives…
Problems will always be there. I don’t care who you are, whether rich or poor, married or single, life has its rough patches. Personally I prefer to minimize those things and remember the good times. It helps my smile to appear more often than not. Thinking of plans for a future filled with loved ones who want to share good times helps me want to continue in my quest to spread the Gospel and to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
I suppose my last vision was one of a future serving the Lord with these sermons and maybe even some day preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ behind a pulpit in front of a live crowd. If even one word God speaks, using me as His preacher, reaches the heart of someone thinking of ending it all, and convinces him or her to turn to the ultimate hope found in accepting Jesus as Savior, my efforts would be more than worth it.
Human beings need purpose. Many times finding your purpose starts with seeing yourself in a position, through a vision in your mind, and that putting hard work behind those thoughts to reach such a goal in reality. When we have purpose, and tasks to accomplish, there is very little time to feel worthless, desperate and left out of the loop of life. As one help group leader said, people want to feel a part of, not a part from…
As to dreams, I think back over my life as a public servant. I dream of the days in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, as the editor of the Mt. Vernon Register News, when my newspaper profession was respected and in its hay day. I so enjoyed uncovering the next story and exposing the bad guys, recording the times of joy like weddings or anniversaries, talking of that winning football or basketball game and the like.
Now the digital world is the media of choice. We get bigger audiences, so the counters say. But working alone is much harder than bonding with a small group of dedicated journalists like in the old days. Those glory days will always be in my dreams. I felt a part of…
I also dream of my daughter Kelley having a fun time at a park in Bryant or North Little Rock, or of the time I climbed Panicle Mountain with Kelley because it was there and nobody else would climb it with her. Dreams, for me, involve the good times of life. I dream now and then of a happy wedding, a moment of tenderness with a spouse or prospective spouse, things like that.
I also dream of my days growing up on the farm, the talks I had with my grandparents who did all they could to give me a good start in life. I realize I am a very blessed men to have so many beautiful memories and dreams of the past. But I also realize there are those out there who are not so lucky. I am here to tell you that mounting up good dreams and memories, of the past, or dreaming up visions of a productive future, are the choice of each individual.
The devil, or Satan if you will, will tell you its all so much meaningless dribble, and that nobody really cares about you are what you think. I went to a Christian altar in the First United Methodist Church of Hagerstown, Indiana when I was 15 and met Jesus Christ there. I asked forgiveness of my past, present and future sins and had a belief that Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of those sins and was faithful to forgive me. I then began to communicate with Jesus in the Spirit.
This is where it gets strange to the scientists who seem to think we live, then we die and any hope of spirituality is so much jibberish. Yet it is interesting to note that every case I have ever heard of to date where somebody set out to prove Jesus was a hoax has ended with them becoming a believer in the ultimate power and love of Jesus Christ or else walking away in silence because you can not disprove reality.
Miracles come from our Creator. The flesh man Jesus did many while on earth. His Spirit is alive and well in those who follow Him. The Christian Bible says the only prayer Jehovah God hears from someone who has rejected the pure blood sacrifice of Jesus to cover their sins in His eyes is the prayer of pleading for salvation. Once salvation is sealed, you can pray about loneliness, sickness, Christmas blues over money or whatever is bothering you and your friend, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, will be there to help you sort it out.
Dreams and visions sort of run together for me. As a Christian, who like most of us is still in the evolving process, I ask the Lord Jesus Christ for guidance and direction each day so that I can not only know God’s will in my life but also have the strength to do it. We get weak. We stumble. We fall. Life gets in the way of accomplishing our human goals. Biblically, old men dreaming dreams makes me think of someone looking back on their life. Young men having visions makes me think of somebody who God has shown a particular future as a starting point. It is then up to the individual whether he or she pursues the future shown by Jehovah God.
Visions, goals, dreams of the future, only come true when you hold the hand of Jesus Christ and work with everything in you to make it so. If you are feeling down and out this Christmas season, get saved if you have not done it and go from there. If you are saved, but feeling discouraged because of unexpected life changes, ask our Lord Jesus Christ to show you a future He has in mind for your life. Then pray for the strength and endurance you will need through the maze of this life to make such a future real. Working with Christ, you can do it.
Working alone, not so much. The Bible says the accomplishments of the wicked last only for a season. You see, power and money mean nothing when you are living alone with nobody to talk to and nobody to love. If you can get up at of your bed, go see a friend who is down and out or just wave at someone on the street and smile, that is a start. Remember this Christmas, your depression will end when you take your eyes off of you and put your consentration on making the next person feel just a little better.
As one friend of mine used to say, get out of bed, wash your head and greet God with thanks for getting you up. Then offer your services to others. Get your walking papers through your morning prayer and push on. Let folks into your heart. Don’t walk around with an attitude of being afraid of getting hurt. Being hurt is part of life. It shows us we can still feel. The only truly comfortably numb, protected bodies, are over at the funeral home. Don’t make an early trip there by shutting out the world.
Merry Christmas to all of you. May your dreams of the past be pleasant, your dreams and goals for your future come true and may you be blessed by the presence of the Lord Jesus Chirst in your heart, mind and soul.
SCRIPTURES
1) OLD MEN DREAM DREAMS, YOUNG MEN HAVE VISIONS – The Day of the Lord
28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
2) JESUS SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS – John 19:22-36 New International Version (NIV) 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The Death of Jesus
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”
3) THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE – Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Revelation 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

 

Hard times come,
but the path Jesus
tells you about
is always best…
Some people think when hard times come Jehovah God is trying to punish us Christians. That is just not so. The hard times are often there just because God can see what is on the end of them and wants to bless our path in life.
I am currently going through a divorce after 20 years of marriage to a good Christian girl who left me four months ago for reasons I will never really understand. It is all good. We are still friends so far. But the pain of the break-up took its tole. Still about a month ago, I finally began to date. And the girl I ended up makes me happy so far. Life is full of the unexpected.
So you never know what our God and Jesus Christ have in store for us. This too shall pass (1). And it does. We just have to pray for patience. Most won’t do that because usually waiting patiently involves enduring one form of pain or another.
But the Christian Bible says once we have accepted salvation, we are new creatures(2). I find nowhere that says this happens in an instant. It too apparently happens in God’s timing. In my life at least, this changing to a new creature in Christ Jesus seems to be comparable to what I imagine a lady goes through in giving birth. The result is the same – a new child.
When the Spirit of Jesus comes to live on the inside of a person, the Word says the old man (or woman) passes away. Again, we are given no time table as to how quickly this will happen. I imagine it is different for every new Christian. I accepted Jesus at 15. At 59, I still have a lot of growing up to do in the Christian faith. To me, the main thing is to never stop trying to become more full of love and Christ like instead of remaining hateful and full of the devil.
When I think of growing in the faith, the disciple Peter comes to mind. Here was a fisherman, a fellow with a pretty hard mother-in-law to get along with, a guy who ran off when Jesus was taken into custody by Pilot and denied knowing Jesus Christ three times when the cock crowed (3). Peter also cut off the ear of a Roman soldier trying to prevent the capture of his friend Jesus.
Yet Jesus told His disciples they would be judges in heaven one day of the 12 tribes of Israel. That would include the imperfect Peter and also the suicidal Judas. So you see, we are not expected to be perfect. The law, as television minister Andrew Womack said, is put there to show humanity we can not hope to obey very much of the law, as depicted in the Christian bible, without the Lord Jesus at our side in a post salvation state of mind. I personally believe that obeying the whole law is probably not possible saved or unsaved. But the Lord will help us strive to get better if we are open to His guidance and direction.
The Christian Bible tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Keep in mind that many things we do are unknown sins, that is disobedience without specific direction to stop or not do. The rule of thumb to me is if it feels wrong doing it, maybe you should quit. One church I attended called it individual, non-salvation standards. Giving up something questionable in your life, in order to show a better love witness for Jesus Christ, is a good thing. Still, in my case at least, giving up any of my habits comes with much prayer to the Lord.
The Word of God says we lay up treasures on earth or we lay them up in heaven. If we choose the path depicted in the Bible that Jesus did, instead of the path of say blatant sin and disobedience, we are surely pleasing our Savior. Notice I said choose the path of Jesus. We can not succeed in entirety in this sinful world, or so I believe. There was only one sinless man and that was the only Begotten Son of Jehovah God, Jesus Christ of Nazareth…
As His followers did, you and I following the actions depicted in the Bible as to love and compassion is not only our Christian duty, it makes sense. If you follow a perfect man, you naturally strive to be perfect like the Savior. Personally, I have a long way to go, but I will do all I know to stay on the Christian path. We are creatures of free will.
So the logic behind pain bringing us closer to Christ-like seems sound to me. Since we are not likely to change our habits much on our own power, Jesus may very well step in and remove the temptation to continue in a given sin. Perhaps a lover will move away from a married person. Perhaps an unexpected new job, or even a firing, may take place in order to stop the individual from back-biting a co-worker who simply gets on his or her nerves and brings out the worst in that person.
TRUSTING GOD
When choosing a path, the main thing is to trust Jehovah God. If you have made up your mind to do something easy, that usually involves a short cut to a goal, you have most likely picked a route initiated by self or by Satan. God’s ways are higher than man’s ways. He may send you around the barn to get 10 feet, but there might have been fatality in the making if you choose to drive down a dirt road because it looked so good.
For more than a year now, I have been wanting to help a Christian missionary return to the United States from overseas. She is practically fund less and starving to death. I have no idea what the reason is that my marketing jobs have so are not allowed the purchase of her airfare, but I do know the good Lord has His reasons.
This is just like what happened to my best friend. He was a government employee and required to do some very anti-Christian things to keep his job. Mike was in a terrible accident and became wheelchair bound. God took away the circumstance that would have allowed him to continue his gruesome duties.
So trust the Lord. He sees the entire consequences of your actions. You only see a small portion at best. Trusting God to keep you on a path to become more Christ-like is admittedly a lot harder than you might think. But we are never guaranteed that things worthwhile will be easy. As a matter of fact, they may be a lot harder than we counted on them being. I had a plan to retire when my current wife did and do some more traveling in my country to see the sites.
Who is to say if Michelle and I had stayed together that plan might not have me serious injury or the road or even an early death? It does boil down to trust. Would you rather trust your own guesses as the best path to take in life, or would you rather trust the judgment of the Man from Galilee, who has the power and desire to save your soul from hell?
SCRIPTURES
1) THIS TOO SHALL PASS – Matthew 24:30-40 New International Version (NIV) 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[d] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.
2) THE OLD MAN (or woman) DIES WHEN WE GET SAVED – Romans 6:6-23 New International Version (NIV) 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3) PETER DENIES CHRIST THREE TIMES – Luke 22:50-70 New International Version (NIV) 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
Peter Disowns Jesus
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
The Guards Mock Jesus
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
Jesus Before Pilate
and Herod
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.”

 

 

 

 

Who Is
Your God;
selfish desire
or the unselfish
will of Jesus?
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
A friend of mine told me I should stop worrying about saving other people from their poverty and begin accumulating wealth for myself before it was too late. I told her I am a giver and always will be.
Does this mean I will never prosper? No. I firmly believe television evangelist Joyce Meyer is right; God’s formula for financial success is to give a little, spend a little and save a little out of every time you get paid.
If you always put your tithes and offerings first, Jehovah God will take care of your needs (1).
But this sermon is not on the habit of tithes and offerings. Frankly that is a freewill decision and totally up to you – not up to me. What I will write to you about is why I give.
I have been down and out; not too far from that right now as my wife left four months ago and the bills are mounting. Don’t get me wrong, Michelle and I had a great 20 years in my opinion.
I wish her only the best. But her departure means that all of my plans have changed.
All that is – except my desire to help others who are worse off than me and to give. We all, as I told her, have our priorities.
No, I do not intend to try and save the world. Jesus Christ already gave folks the opportunity to be saved from an eternity of hell with His pure blood sacrifice on the cross.
But giving money or time is a great way to get the non-Christian world’s attention.
So am I crazy? Of course, any true Christian in action is insane according to the current United States evaluation standards imposed by non-Christians. But no, in reality, giving to others is not crazy.
Naturally, you must manage your money or you can not afford it. And it may very well be a lot less than you want to give.
But in my life I have found it to be true that what I give comes back to me many times. The Christian Bible says to give your tithes as your reasonable service and your offerings on top of that 10 percent will result in the Lord pouring out His blessings in good measure (1).
On the other hand, of those that are selfish and refuse to help others, the Bible says they will prosper only for a season and then their wealth will burn up. Wealth, to me, is not only about money.
It is about loving and being loved. We all want to be accepted by others. When we are rejected by those who once professed to love us, many times the results are that your heart feels busted into a million pieces.
And as television preacher Charles Stanley said recently, if you think your selfishness will not catch up with you, think again.
Those who disobey God when He tells them to help others will reap the results in due time.
But on a positive note, those who give as the Spirit of God directs, will reap their blessings in due season as well.
So you back the play of whoever did the selfish act, turn your attention back to giving and living with self respect, loyalty and integrity, and go on.
Of the cheater, as one of my friends puts it, thank them for their ways and then pray God shows them a better way.
In my case, since I have committed that sin at one time or another in the past, I consider it all a lesson learned. Again, integrity and including a partner in a marriage is essential.
Unfortunately, some cease to want to be included. Then it is impossible, as if one party is rowing a boat one way and the other the opposite way, that boat goes nowhere. If you have been through this conflict of finding yourself in a giving stage of life and your partner in a selfish one, pray.
Pray that God will touch both of your hearts with forgiveness and whatever can be salvaged for the good is salvaged. Here is a Cherokee belief. Mean people never win. And being selfish is one of Satan’s top ways of making a person mean.
I have recently taken to praying for strength after God gives me guidance and direction in my spirit.
I mean I pray for strength to carry out His will and that his angels will surround me in doing so in order for the devil and his doubts to not talk me out of doing the right thing.
We have all been selfish. I suppose some people always are givers. Me, I have been both. Perhaps you are in the same boat as me, imperfect.
That is why Jesus had to go to the cross. He come into the world not to condemn the world, but so that the world through Him might be saved (2).
Perhaps it is like a song I once heard about an old hippy, where the Bellamy Brothers said, “He traded in the love-ins for a greater kind of love.”
Indeed, when we come to Christ and admit we can not reach our goals without His guidance and direction and the strength to carry them out, we reach for a greater kind of love.
Remember the old story in the Bible about the rich man who asked Jesus what he must do to enter heavens gates (3)? Jesus said sell all you have and give it to the poor.
The man was trying to hold on to riches and ignoring the needs of others. While I find nowhere in the Bible that says all of us must give everything we have to the poor, I see the point. Greed simply breeds unhappiness and even causes some people to doubt their own salvation.
The Bible says all of us are to give 10 percent to our place of worship plus offerings. We can give our offerings in part to the church and part to whomever we believe needs it the worst.
But as a good friend of mine likes to ask, there are givers and there are takers, which are you?
SCRIPTURES
1) TITHES AND OFFERINGS – Malachi 3:7-10 New International Version (NIV) 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
2) JESUS CAME TO SAVE THE WORLD – John 3:12-18 New International Version (NIV) 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[a] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
3) WHAT MUST I DO TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE? Matthew 19:16-30 New International Version (NIV)
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

 

 

 

Jesus Christ loves
even the worst
parts of His lambs…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
In the Cherokee Nation, there is an old saying that each man and each woman is composed of a good dog and a bad dog. How the person acts is determined by which dog the individual decides to feed the most.
I have always thought that is a pretty good illustration of the Christian walk. Salvation is a gift. Becoming Christ like to help others value salvation who have not found it is work – and lots of it… You have to learn how to live all over again and the bad dog is constantly barking at you.
The older I get, the more I realize the damage done by giving into my human side and saying or doing things out of selfishness. Sure, if you are married to someone, you expect to be able to express both sides of your personality behind closed doors.
But if you are a Christian, letting the bad dog out – especially within ear shot of anyone else, does nothing but hurt your witness.
Jesus over looked a lot when He hired his original crew. Peter was a fisherman who cussed a lot and apparently did not get along with his mother in law.
Then there was the Apostle Paul, who came a little after the Lord gave up his physical body on the cross to wash away all of our sins. Paul was the former Saul, and a killer of Christians.
Jehovah God put Abraham to work. That guy tried to give away his wife to save his own skin, claiming she was his sister. And of course there was Moses the law giver. He killed an Egyptian in anger. The list goes on. God’s people, as the old saying goes, are not perfect – just forgiven.
But even with all of our faults, sometimes the Spirit of Jesus Christ works with us and uses us because He can see something positive and beneficial in us that we ourselves can not see. Jesus knows what will happen with each of us if we feed that good dog.
So this next little bit is directed at those of you who got up from the altar after requesting forgiveness from Jesus Christ and professing His love, and yet you feel like your mistakes have probably made the Lord remove your name from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
You have this fear that even though He gave you the gift of the promise of eternal life in heaven, Jesus Christ may secretly be raising His eyebrows at you as you walk down life’s path – waiting for an opportunity to judge you early and toss your soul into a lake of fire, promise or no promise…
An American Family Radio (AFR) preacher addressed that today. He said the only sin that really keeps a Christian from going to heaven is to leave this world not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior when check out time comes.
If that is true, perhaps unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ is what the Bible calls blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. If anyone out there has a better definition, email me at: tailgatenewskid77@gmail.com. I would love to hear your opinion.
But at any rate, today’s topic is how Jesus loves us even when we are doing our worst. And He really does. The Word says Jehovah God will be with you, even if you make your bed in hell. But He will gently poke our conscious, letting us know our actions are hurting our witness. While when the Lord does it, it makes sense, I have never understood it when other people do it.
The Christian Bible plainly states to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (1). I can find no where that it says I am supposed to work out your salvation with Jesus. That, my friend, is your job.
If you ever find someone who does not bash your character, hang on to that person. Those sweet, non-judgmental souls make great spouses.
And, as previously stated, they have a Christ-like characteristic about them – that is they are nonjudgmental and accept you for who you really are. They accept both the good dog and the bad dog.
They also make great friends. It is an art to take someone where they are and gently show them where what they are doing might lead to in regard to punishment from God or society. Let’s look at Saul, later the Apostle Paul, on the road to Damascus. The Lord simply told him it was hard to “kick against the pricks (2).”
To me Jesus was saying to Saul that Christians were here to stay and that trying to wipe out followers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a futile effort.
The Christian Bible goes on to say the Spirit of Jesus gave Saul, who become Paul, instructions to fight the good fight of righteousness on the side of righteousness instead of continuing on a road of destruction that only glorifies Satan and his kingdom of self-righteous, power hungry control freaks.
In short, Jesus came on the scene in Paul’s life, Paul realized the Lord was right and began to change.
Time has made one giant change in my life, as I now pray for God’s guidance and direction more often than not. I have learned the hard way that selfishness does not pay and my own human answers only last a little while.
Trying to help the other guy or gal in this earthly walk is the most rewarding pursuit I have found. I have made it my goal to help as many people as I can with the remainder of time I have left on earth.
Do I still have things about me that are non-Christian in the eyes of the unsaved? Yes, of course I do. It is also one of my goals to eliminate as many of those negatives from my visible character as possible. This is a challenge to say the least.
One thing that I have discovered is that when people hurt you, you have a choice. You can remain loving to them or you can flair up. While flairing up occurs as a first reaction in me, and perhaps in you, when we calm down we can decide logically that loving someone is much better than holding a grudge.
But once again, Jesus Christ takes us where we are and begins a work only He can do. You do not have to already be cleaned up to come to an altar. You just have to be sorry for your sins against the Lord, ask forgiveness of them and believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God who has the power to save you and place your name in the beloved Lamb’s Book of Life.
My good and bad dog logic agrees on this next statement. What have you got to lose by believing in Jesus Christ and accepting salvation? But if you choose not to believe, what do you have to gain but hopelessness in this life and in the next?
The acceptance of my bad side by the Lord is a great comfort to me. When people simply can not deal with a blunder a person has made, Jesus Christ can always be counted on to be right there in the trenches with you – like the truest best friend you have ever known. Anybody can be happy on the mountain top.
But when a loved one rejects you for example, or accuses you of something that is simply not true, it can make you feel very alone in this world. Jesus hears your rant and gets you to calm down. Then He gently points you in a direction that will get you back on track to a healthy attitude and productive life.
I am at a crossroads in life and needing some positive changes to occur. Maybe you can relate to that statement. I have looked for the answers in other people and discovered many of them do not know what to say. They don’t know what I need and I no longer seem to be able to tell them. So I pray. It helps. Jesus, as the old Christian song says, is right there to have a little talk with.
The Christian Bible says there is one who will stick with you closer than a brother (3). I have found that someone to be the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you too are at a starting over point in life. Reading the Bible is not a bad place to start. Perhaps the love you seek was there all the time and you just refused to accept it.
The bottom line is simple. People will hurt you to get what they want. Jesus has no selfish needs to contend with. His yoke is indeed easy. Come to the Lord and you will find the peace and rest you seek. As the Bible also says, Jesus came not to be ministered to but to be a ransom for many.
While us humans who have accepted salvation will never be totally Christ-like, there is no finer thing that I have found on earth than to continue to strive toward that goal.
I think we have to get this mind set if we are going to do other people any good.
We have to learn to put self aside and see the world through the eyes of others if we are ever going to help them get from where they are to a point where they are willing to accept the love and salvation offered by Jesus Christ through His sacrifice on that cross.
And no matter what our egos may tell us, we really have nothing else of value to give them…
SCRIPTURES
1) WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING – Philippians 2:10-17 New International Version (NIV) 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
2) JESUS TELLS SAUL IF IT IS HARD TO KICK AGAINST THE PRICKS – Acts 26:10-20 King James Version (KJV) 10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. 12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
3) JESUS STICKS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER – Proverbs 18:20-24 King James Version (KJV) 20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. 22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.
23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Editor’s Note: The Spirit of Jesus Christ is that friend, in the opinion of this writer and many others.
Win, lose or draw, Jesus offers guidance and direction to a path of unselfish service to others and the rewards of seeing another’s needs met.
There are a never-ending number of souls to share love with if we learn what love really is; a respect for the free will of others and somehow knowing in our heart of hearts that we too can love them as Christ loves us…

 

 

 

Trusting Jesus
can get you
back to healthy
patterns
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
One of my favorite movies is the Ultimate Gift by James Garner. One of the best lines in it relates to where my life is right now. He says when you have lost everything, it is the perfect time to start over.
A year ago, I had a wife, a family I was proud of and who came to see me and a career in writing that seemed to be getting better.
My wife of 20 years left me three months ago and the divorce is pending. Every pattern that I loved in my life has been rocked to the core. But my friend Jesus is still here with me.
He comforts me in my loneliness. Slowly but surely, I am beginning to form new patterns. Reading the Word of God helps. Listening to television ministers like Dr. Charles Stanley helps.
He said today that many times the reason God does not give us what we want is because He has something better planned. Who knows. One chapter in my life has closed.
Perhaps the next one will be even better than my good memories of this one. I have noticed one pattern I have that the Lord seems to encourage in my spirit and that is the pattern of remembering the good times. In the Christian Bible, there is a place that says if the people won’t praise God, the stones and rocks will (1).
That sort of tells me the story. Another says we are to have hard times but joy will come in the morning(2).
It does not sound like Jehovah God intended us to walk around with sour faces. Since we are talking about healthy patterns in life, let me say the good has far outweighed the bad in my life. If a person can say that and mean it, I believe that is a good sign your pattern has been healthy.
The Apostle Paul said he had fought the good fight. That tells me he had successfully done the pattern of preaching the Great Commission of the salvation offered by Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross to all of the folks Jesus intended Him to preach to.
Of course, this was probably not true. Paul was human. He probably missed a few opportunities to share the gospel. None of us are perfect, no not one.
As a friend of mine from the wrong side of the tracks used to say, there was only one perfect man. His name was Jesus Christ and they crucified Him! Indeed they did.
And because Christ still lives in Spirit, you and I have our names in the Lambs Book of Life – that is if we have accepted the gift of salvation – and we are on our way to paradise and heaven instead of the devil’s hell we deserve for our disobedience to Jehovah God (sinful nature).
The type of pattern that each saved lamb chooses to get there is totally up to him or her. That is one of the most beautiful parts of our God to me.
He will offer guidance and direction, but he will not force us to make a certain decision. The older I get, the more times I do what the Lord suggests. Rebellion seems to dissipate as we grow closer to coffin. At least it has with me.
When disaster happens, and patterns are disrupted, a person discovers their own true colors. This was evident in Peter’s life in the Bible.
He loved Jesus so much he would have killed a soldier to protect Him, and Peter did chop off the ear of one (3). But Jesus rebuked Peter for it, shall I not drink of the cup that the Father has given me to drink?
This was a matter of understanding. Peter thought he was protecting his friend. Jesus knew he must die on the cross for the ultimate sacrifice or the souls of the past, present and future worlds would have no chance for redemption…
This is usually the case when our patterns of behavior suddenly are not available to us anymore.
Jesus had been there for a three-year ministry with Peter on earth. Peter did not want that to change and tried to intervene.
If you lose a spouse, as I did three months ago, it is tempting to try and replace that spouse quickly to maintain a pattern. Normally, this won’t work. A person learns you must wait on God, whether you want it that way or not.
Selfishness is huge enemy to a healthy mind, soul and even body. We can either have it our way or we can let the Lord guide us and direct us to new healthy patterns that fit the upcoming times in our lives.
I dream of one day preaching in a church. My soon to be ex-wife once told me she had no desire to be a preacher’s wife. Despite what some think, God hears all conversations and most likely took note.
There are many reasons why we broke up. And it was certainly not all her fault. The blame game is also a human emotion when patterns are disrupted.
The key is to get past those natural reactions into a state of a peaceful mind that is willing to listen to God.
I often have told the Lord I will love Him, win, lose or draw. And I mean it. When this last major life change happened to me, I found out I really do mean it.
And He has taken care of me and led me every step of the way to what will be a better life – in His time.
Right now you may be thinking, yes but you don’t know what I have been through. A friend of mine named Charlotte told me she lost her home, her husband and every material possession she ever had a few years back.
She took a small apartment and lives very meager and alone. But she is writing some books she has always dreamed of writing and would probably have never done that is her material world had stayed in tact and her husband had not gone his own way.
She said her loses actually woke her up and brought her closer to God.
So take heart fellow Christians. The troubles you are going through may be a training ground for better days.
Look at the life of Paul in the Bible. God blinded him and took him totally out of the assassin business. Paul gave his life to Christ and wrote much of the New Testament from jail.
Now who wants to go through temporary blindness and be put in jail for preaching the gospel? On the onset, it sounds horrible. Yet the results were wonderful for the Christians yet to come from then even to current times.
I have figured out I will never live long enough to understand the ways of Jehovah God. The Christian Bible says His ways are higher than our ways.
If you and I could hear and understand every conversation taking place on planet earth, perhaps our reactions and ways would be different as well.
The key is trusting Jehovah God. If His word says it, it is true. Try those truths and reality will follow. Patterns will begin to form you can live with and enjoy after a storm. The Word also tells us tonight may be filled with sorrow, but joy comes in the morning.
If you are like me, healthy patterns keep you going. So when they must be changed, it can be hard. But take heart, trust Jesus Christ, resist the temptation to solve the major life change dilemmas on your own and the miracles of Jehovah God will appear like the sun coming out after a dark storm. Again, the key is trusting the Mind that created you.
SCRIPTURES
1) ROCKS WILL PRAISE GOD IF WE WILL NOT – Luke 19:37-44 New International Version (NIV) 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
2) JOY COMES IN THE MORNING – Psalm 30: 1-5 A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David. 1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. 3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
3) PETER CUTS OFF AN EAR – John 18:5-15 King James Version (KJV) 5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. 7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. 10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? 12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. 14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.

 

 

Christian Love
unconditional,
no quit switch…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I was born without a quit switch. If I believe in something or someone, I just can not bail all together. I have noticed that Christians seem to feel that way about Christian love.
I suppose they are looking to our example, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It would have been easy for Him to have quit on the idea of being nailed to the cross to save us from a devil’s hell but he did not quit. He stayed the course.
I am going through some hard times right now. It would be easy to throw up my hands and quit, but I will stay the course. I have always been one of these people who wonders what would have been if I did stay that course. I was raised by two farmers who worked hard and gambled on the land.
Me, I gamble on marketing. But this sermon is not about me going through a divorce, getting an apartment and probably selling my house.
Everyone goes though hard times upon occasion. The key is to make it through to the other side of them. As the Christian Bible says, this too shall pass (1). Nothing comes to stay.
I go back to my father’s saying, life is a roller coaster. It is not our job to complain in the lows, but to learn to enjoy the ride. Paul illustrated this well in our Christian Bible when he spoke of learning to live poor or rich (2). We need to understand how to do both, as we will face both in our lives.
I have always told my daughter that I will go down with a fight. I have indeed lived life to the fullest. If I prosper again, so will my friends and charities. I love to give. The Lord knows that. I would be willing to bet there are still good times ahead. So if you too are having hard times, take heart, it will get better.
I am a man called to preach. This has been hard for me to face. I have many faults, but apparently Jehovah God trusts me to tell people about His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. I know one thing, I feel honored the Lord wants me to speak up.
Throughout history, the Lord has called the less than perfect. Moses was a murderer. Abraham offered to give his wife to another man in order to save his own skin. Paul killed Christians for the Roman government to make a living. Peter was a fisherman with a bad temper.
We are all just people. It is not whether we have sinned, but rather if we are sorry and want to do better. And then we must love the Lord Jesus Christ enough to accept what He did on the cross to get our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Once we have been saved, the ball is in the Lord’s court and He is good at improving His children to be what they were called to be.
The key is not to walk away. Don’t quit. The difference between a winner and a loser is the winner refused to give up.
The cartoonist who does Andy Capp said that. He was right. Tenacity seems to be a lost art in modern times. Maybe, for the good of humanity, we should reconsider that motion. Going through the hard times is admittedly hard. Don’t tell her, but if my wife wanted to come home I would let her. Of course, if I get involved seriously with another lady, it would be too late. But right now, forgiveness would have to prevail.
Look at all the times Jesus Christ told his disciple Peter to forgive others. Peter asked if he should forgive them seven times? Jesus said, “Forgive them 77 times.” (3). Forgiveness is one key to having no quit switch. When others walked away, Jesus Christ stayed with the lady caught in adultery. He asked her woman, where are you accusers? He had just gotten done challenging them by saying he who is without sin, cast the first stone.
They left. As the Bible plainly states, all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was the only sinless man, as He is part of Jehovah God and so therefore could live without sinning.
His pure and sinless blood shed on the cross is the reason for the existance of that Lamb’s Book of Life that every saved person has an entry in.
But he said to the girl, caught having sex with her boyfriend, go and sin no more. Sure, she probably did sin again. But it is my belief she never forgot the experience with Jesus and probably got married shortly there after. I think they call that having the fear of God put in you! And we have all had it done.
I nearly had a wreck while speeding once because I thought I was going to not be able to stop when crossing a main road in Blytheville, Arkansas. There was a dirt road on the other side that I did not know was there and no traffic coming.
I did a lot of thankful praying and drove home very slowly. When we feel the power of God, it can be a little scary.
But it is also very comforting and keeps us going. Encouragement from God helps me not to quit when I am disgusted more than any other factor. I drove all day in my marketing job. I got mostly “be backs,” as we call it in sales. I did make enough to have insurance on my work car and to have a good weekend with my grand kids. I am so glad I did not quit and stay home.
That is another point I want to make. If you finish the race, as the Apostle Paul did, and you fight the good fight in regard to what is right in your life, then you can face your Maker in the end with a clear conscious.
Sure, you will make mistakes. You will scrap your knees. You will have times when you think God’s guidance and direction makes about as much sense as trying to eat a fence post, but keep on keeping on. You will not regret sticking with what you believe with all of your heart is the right thing to do in your life.
I will give you a small example. Maybe because I am in my 50’s, I am not very Internet and digital smart. But in 2012, it became impossible for me to afford print bills. I have been a newspaper man since 1980 so this upset me greatly. I determined there had to be a way to produce a traditional looking publication on line.
A friend offered to have a Word Press web site built for me. I paid the toll and got the thing. I remember pondering my dilemma for a long time.
I stayed up all night doing it, but I figured out how to make a paper appear on that web site. I have put one on there every week since. I did not quit. It would have been easy to throw up my hands and go searching for a job. But I held on to my dream. Somewhere in that night, the Spirit of God laid on my soul that I needed to include a home-spun sermon every week.
This sounded scary to a community journalist such as myself. But so far, I have obeyed what I believe was a request from Jehovah God to me. I have not quit. Every week, I write to you and bring up scriptures to back my thoughts.
It is important to me that everyone reading this at least knows that Jesus Christ is our ticket to heaven and to a much happier life on earth. He is our counselor, a friend that sticks closer than a brother and our saving grace in eternity as well as in our decision making process on this earth.
A counselor I had once in Celebrate Recovery, with the initials of Tommy Potter of Gurdon, Arkansas, used to say, “Try life with Jesus Christ in it. If you just don’t like it, the devil will always take you back.”
Amen. Like Tommy, I do believe we have the choice to tell God to go away and send ourselves to hell – even after the salvation experience. But I do believe it is highly unlikely a person will do this. The Word says the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost of Jehovah God.
Most are not that brave. They remain saved and Jesus comes after his wandering sheep. The Lord, like me and many others, does not normally have a quit switch. The Christian Bible says if you make your bed in hell, Jesus will be there with you to guide you back to a heavenly place. I believe that with all of my heart. And I am not going to ever stop believing it. I won’t quit. How about you?
SCRIPTURES
1) AND IT CAME TO PASS – 1 Corinthians 10:8-16 New International Version (NIV) 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ,[a] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[d] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Idol Feasts and the
Lord’s Supper
14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
Editor’s Note: From what I can understand, us not being tempted beyond what we can bear translates in common man talk to nothing of pain will last forever. In short, this too shall pass. Likewise, the good times won’t last forever either. Enjoy life while it is before you.
2) PAUL LEARNED TO BE CONTENT IN ALL SITUATIONS – Philippians 4:10-18 New International Version (NIV)
Thanks for Their Gifts
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
3) JESUS SAID TO FORGIVE SEVENTY SEVEN TIMES – Matthew 18:10-30 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11]
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Dealing With Sin
in the Church
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

 

 

To Have A Future:
Live The Now,
Gain from Past…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Sometimes Jesus Christ is the only valid example a person can look to for guidance. I read the Bible extensively when I was a kid growing up on an Indiana farm in the 1970’s and I was fascinated by the logic expressed by Jesus in the red letters of my King James version.
Many have said there may be no future so why worry about it. I suppose that is OK if all you want out of life is a bottle for today… But personally, I am grateful for the life and talents given to me by Jehovah God.
I want to use them for the Great Commission by encouraging souls to either stick with their salvation commitment or to make that commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ in the first place.
I have also heard from many folks that if you do not learn from the mistakes of your past, you will be damned to repeat them. I buy that. We do need to learn from where we have been in life or things are never going to change. Not only must we learn, we as Christians need to put our mistakes (sins) on that Potter’s Wheel so the Spirit of the Lord can give us alternative courses of action when the same circumstances come up again.
Where would the rest of us be if Saul, on the road to Damascus, had told God no when he was asked to serve Jesus instead of the Roman government? Saul became Paul and wrote the majority of the Christian Bible New Testament from jail. Yet, he sang with prisoners Christian songs (1) instead of giving up on his future plans to continue preaching the gospel as long as Jesus Christ would allow him to do so. Can you imagine how disheartening it would be to know you were working with all your strength to promote the Kingdom of the Great I Am and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ and be put in jail and stoned nearly to death? Yet Paul continued to serve Jehovah God for the rest of his days.
The Word indicates Paul was a disabled tent maker and an assassin. That does not sound like a combination to make a good preacher if you look at it from today’s standards.
Yet here was a man who went to Corinth and preached the Gospel to many (2), spread hope all over the place in his time – and did all this after a past of hunting down and killing Christian converts for the legalists of that day.
This is not a unique example in our Christian Bible. Throughout the ages, Jesus Christ and Jehovah God have teamed up with former murderers, liars, thieves, adulterers and the like. The Bible talks of Jesus Christ eating with known sinners (3) instead of the traditional Old Testament preachers of His time while on earth. In my opinion, us outlaw oriented folks just need guidance and direction from the Lord. We already got the guts to serve Him and God knows it. Energy is energy. And through salvation it can be turned to the good side of things.
There seems to be something attractive to God about people who march to their own drummer. Look at King David. He was a fighter, a king, a leader and such, but he also had this idea that finding a wife he was satisfied with was a high priority whether the good Lord liked his methods or not. Besheba was married to Uriah. David knew it. But she was willing to make love to her king. David gladly obliged. He apparently, to use modern terms, clicked with her, and that was all it took for him to decide she would be his possession no matter what the cost.
The cost was great. He had to have Uriah killed and Uriah was a good soldier and loyalist to the king. But David’s prize was Basheba and he would not stop until he had it.
Quite naturally, since birth control was not mentioned much, if at all, in our Bible, Basheba ended up with a baby in her belly from David.
If memory serves, this was when King David decided something had to be done to make all of this right in the eyes of the people. So first off he asked Uriah to take some time off from soldiering and enjoy sleeping with his wife Basheba.
The man refused. He slept outside on the porch, saying it was not fair to his battle buddies that he have fun with his woman while they were busy with a war.
While this may have been an honorable sentiment, it cost Uriah his life. David’s plan to blame Uriah for Basheba being in a family way failed.
So the king’s next step was to send Uriah back into battle, with orders he be put on the front lines… If Uriah was dead, King David could take Basheba as his wife and make things right in the eyes of the people of that day.
Time went on. David had killed Uriah and a prophet of Jehovah God showed him through illustration how awful that was and how he, the king, had disgraced the thrown with his actions. David was more than likely very disgusted with his own actions. But his gal Basheba had the baby. God had it to die…
As the old testament says, an eye for an eye. David killed Uriah. God killed the first born of David and Basheba. But the couple got to stay together and conceived another Biblical character named Solomon, who would become the wisest man in the world. God had mercy and David, according to my understanding, had his Basehba for many years to come. David got what he wanted in the present, but learned a valuable lesson. Everything, it would seem, has its price.
So indeed, in order to have a future, we must live in the present and learn from the past.
In David’s day, it was lawful to have as many wives as a man could support. If a man is not an elder, the Word of God still seems to back this.
The Unites States government, however, seems to frown on bigomy. Besides most of us American men can only afford one lady at a time anyway.
The bottom line is David learned better than to break the will of God to take a short cut to what he had a passion for.
If a person does not want bad things to result from his or her actions, then they need to seek the guidance and direction of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that is the Holy Ghost, so they can enjoy blessings rather than cursings.
The Bible does not tell me, that I can find, about David ever getting rid of Basheba. Perhaps he clicked on with her for many years. And God had mercy.
Once that first child died so did Jehovah God’s anger over the whole thing. He loved David and continued to bless him.
The pair had Solomon, a king known as the wisest throughout all of time. But the next bottom line is, we reap what we sew. And that is also Biblical and just a fact Jack…
If we sew things like serving our fellow man, loving our family, trying our best to do right with the talents God has given us, then we will reap blessings.
If we sew things like adultery, murder, lies and the like, then we will reap cursings in our life. I believe they call that justice.
If you don’t want to experience undo suffering, that is suffering not connected with Christian growth, then it might be a good idea not to bring suffering onto yourself or others.
Let’s bring this into the modern world. Have you ever put another person down because they smoke, drink or wear short pants? Think about it. Does our Bible not say to judge not or you will be judged likewise?
If you want that blessed future, learn from your mistakes. Try to do better. It only makes common sense, even though as I write this in 2017 common sense certainly does not seem very common in the culture where I find myself.
On a happier note, lets look at giving. If you get in the habit of giving away more than 10 percent of what you earn, the Bible says your life will be blessed financially.
The Word calls the 10 percent your just giving and the rest is considering offering to be blessed. I have been doing this for several years.
Although my current life’s circumstances, of apparently facing an unwanted divorce, are not easy, God has not stripped me of the basics.
I blame the fact that I still give. If you are a giver, you get one future. If you are a taker, you get another.
Let’s look at why people refuse to give. They do it out of fear of not making it. But without giving, are they really serving anyone but themselves?
Are they not killing Uriah to get at his most valued possession instead of giving Uriah a huge ransom if he will divorce himself from Basheba?
You hopefully see the correlation here. Greed never pays and always has a price for your future. Giving has a price too; blessings from Jehovah God.
And the blessings are much more than money. They come in the form of family, health, overall happiness with occupation and more.
Get saved if you are not already. Believe me, it is worth the trip to the altar and Jesus Christ never stops tending His sheep.
SCRIPTURES
1) PAUL SINGING WITH PRISONERS – Acts 16:25-35New International Version (NIV)
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.”
2) PAUL PREACHES TO THE CORINTHIANS – 1 Corinthians 1-17 New International Version (NIV) 1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lrd Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Church Divided Over Leaders
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
3) JESUS EATS WITH SINNERS – Luke 15:1-10 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

 

 

True peace only comes by
accepting Jesus
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Searching for peace within ourselves is a common denominator amongst many of us so called human beings. But that peace, in reality, can only come to you after you have accepted Jesus Christ in your life.
I believe the divine peace comes because He knows you better than you know yourself and Jesus Christ’s spirit can calm you down with nothing but good thoughts – rather than doubts.
If we try to find peace within ourselves, it is inevitable that all sorts of thoughts will cross our mind involving negative stuff like guilt, regret or even a desire to take revenge.
If you are a Christian and pray for peace, Jesus is not going to lead you to any of those thoughts. He leadeth you by the still waters (1). That sounds like peace to me.
I thank Him for that in my own life. I am a person who lives on the edge and usually enjoys the gamble. But now and then it just gets too much and I have to go off by myself and seek peace.
Jesus is always there to meet me when I do. Whether I go out on the back porch to play both sides of a chess board, or go up front to listen to music on my best computer sound system, I can find peace if I dwell on the Lord and all He has done for me. The Christian Bible tells us to be thankful in all things (2). I have noticed when I count my blessings even the hardest of times do not seem all that hard.
The Rev. Charles Stanley asked in a broadcast the other day for anyone who God had ever let down on their basic needs to please raise their hands. It was a crowd of hundreds but not a single soul did. We are the sheep of Jesus Christ and He is our good shepherd (3). He takes care of us, even though His way of doing so may seem mighty peculiar at times.
We do not always get everything we ask Him for, and when we disobey the Word of God as a Christian we pay the price here on earth.
However, unlike the unsaved souls, Christians do not have to pay for their sins in hell or the Lake of Fire throughout eternity. Jesus Christ paid that price for Christians on the cross with His pure blood sacrifice. As the Rev. Stanley also said, a person can not truly know God and yet reject His Son and what was done by Jesus Christ of Nazareth to atone sin.
Those not accepting the salvation offered by Jesus are essentially telling God that they are good enough as they are, sin and all, and that if God does not like that, oh well… This is a dangerous, prideful, Satan induced, state of mind.
And that sort of a mind will never find the peace in life they are looking for. If you are in that category, try to find peace. And do not lie about it when that peace never lasts but for a few moments before you start thinking about your next sinful, Godly disobedient, action.
One of my minister friends, the Rev. James McCain, who pastors the Sycamore Full Gospel Church in Beirne, Arkansas, once told me that only the individual really knows if they have accepted the gift of salvation from Jesus Christ.
But if someone tells you they have, do not dispute it. Just watch them. If they are faking, they will either really accept the gift from Jesus or they will end up miserable in their hypocrisy.
So peace is a hard thing to come by for the unsaved, even on a temporary basis. My wife and I are separated right now. She is also a Christian and I do believe her. She says her solitude is her way of finding peace. If so, God bless her for it. I hold no malice toward her. That is part of finding peace; you must forgive anyone who has done you differently that what you wanted to happen. God has given us all free will. We must respect the other person’s decisions even though said decisions do not agree with ours.
Jesus does this for us. He can point us in a direction, but as dumb sheep we don’t always take His guidance and directions. Like real sheep, we stray in our ignorance. I do it. You do it. Probably every human being that has ever lived has done it. So the Lord gives us the rope to do our own thing and hang ourselves.
We will suffer when our thing differs from His instructions for living the blessed Christian life as depicted in the Christian Bible. But still, God will not stop us from adultery, murder or whatever sin a person might decide to be beneficial.
Yet when the deed is done, there will be a price. That is why when we know we are in the habit of doing a certain sin, like in my case cursing, we must ask the Lord to remove it from our lives so as to increase the likelihood of our Christian witness effectively pushing another human being toward asking Jesus Christ to come into their hearts.
Some times the removal of sinful habits takes a while. The Lord sometimes has to show the person why said sin is bad for them by a slap on the wrist or even a trip to jail. And sometimes spankings come from God in order to simply change our direction toward a mutual goal shared between you and Jehovah God.
Peace is an interesting concept. A corpse in a funeral home many times looks at peace. A man sleeping with the love of his life, if you could see his face through some camera on the wall, would no doubt look at peace. If his wife feels the same way, her face will light up with love and show peace as well. You may switch the camera of a family couple off and go to the fishing pond or the deer stand. Sometimes such hobbies will also render a look of peace on the face of the person out to relax.
But then let us move our video to a church. Let us look upon the face of a man or a woman who has just accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Tears of joy will be on a face that no longer looks worried about anything.
Think back on your own salvation experience, if you have had one. I can tell you a bit about mine. I was 15 years old and regularly attended the First United Methodist Church of Hagerstown, Indiana. I had been debating about this Jesus for a couple of years in my heart of hearts.
I grew up an only child on my grandparents’ farm, about two miles from town off of Highway 38. Growing up alone was good in a way, as it prepared me for the lonely times in the rest of mile life that I would experience from time to time. I never felt completely alone because Mr. God was always there to talk with. When I reached the age of accountability, probably at about 12 years old like most people, Jehovah God seemed distant somehow. Satan was more than willing to tell me how to get my own selfish desires.
I bought into that for two or three years, but always knew inside that the whole deal just did not smell right. I acquired a lover some months before I accepted Jesus. Joni was a girl I had stood next too in church choir, singing Christian songs, since I turned 8 years old and began to attend church. The newness of sexuality fascinated me, but something inside of me kept prompting me to look deeper than Joni’s physical attributes.
I knew inside that what I really wanted was love; love of family, love of friends and a return to the love I had known as a little boy to this entity I referred to as Mr. God…
So the emptiness of not having this love haunted me. About 6 months after becoming Joni’s man in every way a man can own a woman and that woman can own the man, Satan came to me in a vision and told me that all I had to do for Joni and I to live 100 years in good health and always be together, fully functional and happy was to serve him instead of Jesus Christ.
I had read the Bible extensively growing up, as a person growing up as an only child with elderly parents has plenty of time to read. The letters in red, spoken by Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of the Living God, fascinated me.
Here was a fellow who understood what love was really met to be. I wanted that. Satan’s version somehow sounded fake, and not very interesting in the long run.
I also noticed when I read or heard the Word of God, I felt a peace within my soul.
Sure, I still wanted Joni as my wife and the mother of my future children, but I began to realize I needed to accept come what may with our health, wealth and other happenings in life. I figured out in my 15 year old brain that the only way to have true peace out my dilemma was to go to the altar and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, my counselor, my friend for ever. And I prayed that Joni would do the same so that when this life was over we might sit on a heavenly bench someday and enjoy a bit of spiritual spooning.
The night finally came when I had an opportunity to get saved in my church. I was sitting with other teenagers who looked like they were glued to the church pews.
But when “Just As I Am” got played by our organist, this country boy got out of his seat, went up to the front and accepted Jesus Christ into his heart.
It was the best decision I have ever made and has brought me peace in the good times, and in the hard times, ever since.
SCRIPTURES
1) HE LEADS ME BY THE STILL WATERS – Psalm 23:
A psalm of David
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
2) BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS – Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. …
1 Corinthians 10:30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
3) THE GOOD SHEPHERD – John 10:1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:14-26 New International Version (NIV) 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” 21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication[a] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.

 

 

 

Take heart, Jesus
told us His yoke
is easy, burden light
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Have you ever been behind the eight ball in life so stiffly that you thought your whole world was going to collapse? Yes, I am there.
I turn to the scriptures for help. I notice that Jesus Christ has said to take His yoke and I will find rest, that His burden is light (1). I also take note at the end of the Christian Bible it says Christian believers win the battle for an eternal home in heaven, as their names will be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life (2).
Jesus not only died for our sins. When you accept Him, you have a conscious inside of you that you will have no idea why He loves you so much. But He does, and He will be there through thick and thin.
My situation involves the apparent collapse of my long-time marriage. I will resist the temptation to go into detail and simply say it has rocked my world emotionally, financially and even in regard to my church life.
Perhaps you too have experienced similar devastation in your life. Knowing Jesus is always there seems to help me. I think of the frustration the apostle Paul must have felt in the Bible, yet he kept serving Jesus until the end. Thoughts like that make me keep hanging on to my faith. Oh don’t get me wrong, I am sure this split up with my wife is at least much my fault as it was hers. I am doing better. Sometimes we simply have to take a long breath and start down another path in life.
Praying for the Lord to give me guidance and direction helps. And talking to Him helps. He, of course, already knows what you are saying. But by spilling our guts to God, we many times learn more about where we really are in the scheme of things.
The big deal here is taking the yoke of Jesus Christ. Salvation is the key to having a friend in the Lord who will stick closer than a brother (3). Once you admit you need forgiveness for your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, there is a huge relief as the Lord places your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Of course you have to believe in what He did and also forgive others who have trespassed against you.
And you have to believe that Jesus rose the third day from the dead and ascended to sit at the right hand of God the Father. In short, you have to believe in the miracle of our Creator’s mercy so that we could live forever with him in heaven, a sinless place, due to the pure blood sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
As the Rev. Charles Stanley says in his worldwide sermons, when it comes to forgiving those who have trespassed against you, God knows whether or not your forgiveness is real. Always remember that you can either get bitter or get better. The Christian Bible says to pray for those who have despitefully used you.
This does not come natural. But with Christ in your heart, and much prayer, it will come. When my wife left me to “go find herself and be happy,” I was hurt. I can not say I was ever really mad at her and we have agreed to be friends. And I think we will be. But it was the loyalty factor being brushed off like it was nothing that took me a while to forgive her for.
But forgiveness came with much prayer. I wish her the very best in life and hope all goes well for her with her new world of being a single woman about town. Me, I prefer the settled down life. One of these days perhaps the good Lord will bring me the right woman and I will say my marriage vows yet one more time. There is always hope. And we need faith to be wings to that hope and we need God’s love to make it worth the starting over.
Perhaps instead of a jilted romance and unstable money, you situation is different. Maybe you had a spouse to die or you just lost your job and can not seem to find another one. Maybe you are a missionary in a foreign land with no money and no food. There are all kinds of things that can happen to a Christian or a non-Christian to make that person finally sit down and weep. When we do, if we are Christians, Christ will hold you tight like a natural parent would a child who just skinned his or her knee.
In my case, the bills are mounting, things look like they are just done and its the bottom of the ninth inning. So what can I do but give this whole problem to God and simply obey what He tells me to do? I was convinced one client would not be there today that could significantly change things with a purchase. I felt God prodding me to go see her anyway. I caught her just as she was leaving for the day and got to pitch her. If she decides in a positive manner, it could save me a lot of trouble.
Something tells me God would not have prompted me to approach her if it was not for good reason. Sometime I will let you know how that one turned out. Either way, I feel good about listening to the Lord instead of going with my own gut. This is an example of how God’s love works. He will lead you but you must be willing to follow.
In my case, I experienced this in the natural with my grandfather. Grandpa was my daddy for all practical purposes. He and grandma adopted me when I was seven months old. Grandpa never really mandated me to do anything. I would ask for his advice because he was my best friend and I respected him. I did not always take that advice, but as I grew older I found out I should have taken more of it than I did.
It is the same with my relationship with Jesus Christ. Grandpa passed away in 1989. Since then, Jesus has been my chief adviser. I have had a couple of best friends who helped, but for the most part Jesus was my co-pilot for years. One day I realized I needed to let Him drive. I wanted to find out what it would be like to be lead instead of brain storming and leading all of the time.
I have said many times in this sermon section of the Tailgate News what my biological dad, Dr. John W. Nelson, said to me as a teenager and I will still stand by its truth here. Life is a roller coaster. Our job is not to complain about it, but to learn how to enjoy the ride. The apostle Paul said something similar in the Christian Bible. He said he had learned to live with plenty and learned to live with very little in a contented state of mind.
Life happens, as my kids have told me. Or as we say in the sales and marketing profession, you win a few, you lose a few but most are rained out… Expect the unexpected. Count your blessings even when all is bleak. The Word of God says be thankful in all things. If your money is funny but you have lights, gas and water and a home at the moment, thank God for the moment. The what ifs have never made anything any better.
In sales, going home does not make anything get better. Making one more pitch might. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. What is this burden Christ talks about that is so light, you may ask? He tells us to love one another. Try it. When you are down and out, do something for someone in an even worse spot. If you have two coats and your friend needs one, give him one.
I will confess to you that I have been out of my organized religion church since being deserted by my wife. The first month I stayed home and watched the television ministries out of embarrassment that my wife had been so disloyal after 20 years of standing by me. Then I got to feeling guilty because I figured I had given her plenty of reasons to leave. Now that the divorce is pending and the separation part is essentially over, I want to go back to my Assembly of God congregation to begin healing – and I believe I will.
But my daughter Kelley, who is really my current best friend, said daddy losing a spouse is a process. You have go through it. You can not avoid it. While she is 33 and I am 58, I do respect the wisdom she shared.
I had not been in this position since 1996 and never expected to be in it again. But that is what I am saying. The burden Jesus was talking about was sharing love. If I choose to continue loving me wife and respecting that it will just be as platonic friends from here on out, rather than stomping around in hate and childish anger, then I am honoring the will of Jesus Christ instead of just doing some human pouting.
So on the broader scale, that is my point. We need to do God’s will of being thankful in all things, helping those in need and loving one another instead of being so full of hate – no matter who did what to who or what is happening in regard to loss.
Look in the Christian Bible and find out how Jesus lived. I don’t recall him pouting and getting all discouraged about His lot in life. Sure, He asked Father God to change it if there was any other way. But then He did it. The only pure blooded man who ever walked the earth sacrificed that pure blood to save you and me from an eternal hell for our disobedient, prideful, lustful, “human” ways…
Take His yoke, it is easy. And He will give you peace.
SCRIPTURES
1) THE BURDEN OF JESUS IS LIGHT – Matthew 11:25-29 New International Version (NIV)
The Father Revealed in the Son
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
2) LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE – Revelation 21:24-27New International Version (NIV)
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
3) JESUS STICKS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER – Proverbs 18:20-24 New International Version (NIV) 20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for mercy,
but the rich answer harshly.
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

 

 

 

Being thankful for
the spankings
from Jesus Christ…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Have you ever been in a position where everything you touch turns to dirt? Ever since my wife of 20 years left me in mid August, I have been in such a position.
Whenever a person of the Christian faith feels like everything they care about is crumbling, the first thing most of us do is blame Jehovah God. After all, God is in control right?
Actually God has said in his Word that people are creatures of free will. This tells me most of the stuff that happens to me I probably brought on myself by bad decisions.
I can either dwell on that fact, get all resentful from the spankings associated with committing some sort of sin, or I can resolve to try and do better at not repeating said sin in the future – thus deserving less spankings in days to come.
The hard times, spankings resulting from disobeying God’s Word, are given to those of us whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Sure, the non-Christian goes through hard times too but when you have the mind of Christ next to your soul the reaction to said hard times is much less devastating. This is because you have a divine Friend that sticks closer than a brother.
My reaction to divine discipline is to thank Jesus Christ for what He did on the cross (1) and for caring enough about me to stick by me when my actions are foolish or unwise…
After all, the Christian Bible tells us to be thankful in all things (2) so why not be thankful that God loves me enough to try and help me straighten my life out?
In a way, the past two months have gotten a little easier. I figure I drove my wife to leave me so I take full blame. Oh sure, she did the leaving.
But since I love her with all my heart why not take all of the blame? Of course, Jesus Christ is not going to allow this. She will answer for her sins and I will answer for mine.
Don’t get me wrong. I know she is a Christian and I still respect her. What I mean is all of us, Christian or non-Christian, will answer for our disobedience to God’s Word on this earth.
The difference is the non-Christian will also answer for his or her sins in eternity by abiding in a place called hell – which is a launching pad for a place called the Lake of Fire. There the unsaved will burn forever and ever in eternal torture.
US DUMB SHEEP
Us dumb sheep that have accepted Jesus do not have to make that trip. We get our name in something called the Lamb’s Book of Life (3).
I applied for it when I was 15 back in my home church – the First United Methodist Church of Hagerstown, Indiana. It was the best decision I have ever made in my 58 years of living.
This dumb sheep does not mind a good spanking by Father God. After all, that spanking returns him or her to the fold where there is plenty of food and company.
But here is my strangeness. I see my wife nose diving as far as obeying God’s Word and my reaction is to plead with Jehovah God to let me take her punishment for her.
Of course, that is not happening. We all have to pay for what we truly do. But love makes us make strange offers, whether in the natural or the spirit.
I suppose I was thinking of Jesus willing to give up His life so the rest of us don’t have to go to hell if we are smart enough to hook up with Him…
But alas, I am just a human. Just because, at least through my eyes, my life partner has turned her back on me and most of her family, that does not mean I can step in and take her spiritual licks. According to the Word, not just her, but anyone who disobeys the Word of God will eventually crash and burn – either in this world, the next one or both…
But on a personal note, if her loyalty were to come back, she can sure come home any time she gets ready!
It is simply the way it is. Grandmas and grandpas remain so in God’s kingdom. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can turn back time. It takes a while, but most of us learn this truth.
So lets get back to Jesus spanking us. In the Christian realm, we call it putting known sins, which are out of control, on the Potter’s wheel.
I have many of those sins I want to stop doing and have asked God to help me with.
I assume you too might have a few that are hard to control as you try and improve your Christian walk.
I knew a homosexual girl a few years back who told me she had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ but knew her lifestyle went against the dictums of the Christian Bible.
I was not judgmental, but instead just listened to Miss Cathy. She said her urges seemed very natural but knew they were against her Christian beliefs. She was trying to improve. Jesus, she said, was helping her.
Many lifestyles, although may seem perfectly acceptable to the main stream society, are unacceptable to Jesus Christ and what He represents.
It is the same with my favorite sin; cursing in very fowl language. The Word of God says I will not be found guiltless with such words coming from my lips.
So I have asked Jesus to help me to abandon all that cussing and fussing, just as Cathy has asked for help with changing her homosexual lifestyle to line up with what the Christian Bible says is best for us.
I have not kicked cussing yet, but will let you know when the Lord peals it away from me.
So you see, the Lord spanking His children is good for them. If they had not accepted the Lord Jesus as a personal Savior, then true enough they would not incur the rod of correction by Jehovah God.
The sinner man or sinner woman feels no such guilt for disobeying God. They have only themselves and Satan to answer to. And I speak from experience, if what you want to do goes against the Christian Bible, Satan will become your biggest cheerleader.
SCRIPTURES
1) JESUS CHRIST CRUCIFIED – Matthew 27:32-56 New International Version (NIV)
The Crucifixion of Jesus
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).
34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!
Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!
He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[d] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
2) BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 New International Version (NIV)
Final Instructions
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.
13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
3) THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE – Revelation 20:12-15 New International Version (NIV)
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life.
The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

 

 

Trusting Jesus Christ
when all the facts
say you should run…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I have under gone some serious changes over the past two years. I went from a stable home, with kids and grand kids coming around pretty regularly, to living alone…
Without going into detail, I am in a situation where trusting anyone, much less a Lord I have never seen in the flesh, is very difficult for me. But trust Jesus Christ I do. In my mind, I have no choice.
Unannounced to me, my wife decided several years ago that when the kids were all living on their own she would try the same. She tells me she loves her new place.
Me, I live in our home, alone, except for the cat and dog she left behind with me. Actually, the old dog just died… While I have serious doubts as to whether this marriage will continue, I do respect the fact that my wife Michelle has professed to be a Christian the entire 20 years we have been together. I pray she finds the happiness she seeks.
So where, you might ask, does that leave me? I continue to put out the Tailgate News weekly magazine. I bide my time and perhaps I will begin to date some day soon.
For you see, I must now somehow formulate a new life, with or without a new life partner. For those who wonder, Michelle has not asked me for a divorce so the door to a reunion remains open just a crack.
Paul in the Christian Bible said that it is better to marry than to burn with desire (1).
Since I love being married, I may one day find another lady to love. Me, I believe it will only happen if Jehovah God brings me one. But my personal situation is only one example of being in a predicament where it is hard to trust.
Television minister Joyce Meyers, for example, lost all her friends when she told them she was called to preach. And then when things got better for her through the blessings of the Lord, God told her in the spirit to take care of her dad and mom. Her dad had been guilty, she said, of molesting her more than 200 times…
Now you gotta know that had to be hard to trust Jehovah God in that situation. She wanted to help her dad about as bad as I wanted to see my wife move out – not at all. But another scripture tells us that all things work for the good for those who love the Lord (2).
I listen to sermons by the Rev. Charles Stanley a lot. He said the other morning that when we are going through what us humans call our darkest hours, and we are Christians, then it just might be God creating a harsh situation to find out if our reaction is that of a grown up or a child.
I love kids. I have three grand kids I get to keep at my house once a month for “Grandpa Weekend” and Josh, Rayne and Daniel are three very important young folks to me. In fact, as my wife could tell you, I am a kid like them sometimes even to this day. I also have two step grand kids in Friendship that I hope someday to see on a regular basis again. Ava and Eden are wonderful children as well.
But I realize Jesus Christ has put a calling on my heart that challenges me to go beyond childish reactions to problems into the realm of adult wisdom.
I told the Lord as long as this magazine is published I will include a Christian sermon a week in it. I have kept my word since this thing went on line in the middle of 2012. For proof, go to the old issues free word press web site listed on the home page of this blog.
So what, you might ask, is my reaction to my wife’s departure? I wrote her a note recently telling her I was willing to give up our home and move in her apartment if she likes it so well.
I could not believe I was writing this note, as I love our house and my pets. But love will make a guy do strange things. I sort of got used to her being around these past 20 years…
Will she go for it? Only God knows the answer to that question. Right now she is dating someone else and I am contemplating doing the same.
But until I am asked to divorce her by her, or until God brings me someone else that I feel a sincere urge to partner up with, I want all the cards on the table.
So we must trust Jesus. No matter how much we want to blame Him for unpleasant circumstances, throw a childish fit and shake our fists at the sky, that sort of thing fits the immature category in my book. I am not saying I have not done it. I am human, just like you. But I realize that trusting Jehovah God my provider, asking for daily guidance and direction and praying the Lord’s prayer (3) constitutes a lot more Christian example reaction.
This is the hardest when we are in a situation that we consider unfair, inconsiderate or otherwise a pile of wood chucks. When we are down, our first reaction is to find someone, or some thing, to blame.
Most of the time, unfortunately, our bad circumstances are brought on by our own disobedience to the Christian Bible. This, as my grandparents used to say, is a bitter pill to swallow.
But I will say this. I have been through many good times and a few bad ones. Jesus Christ has kept His word that He would never leave us once we ask for salvation and our names are in His Lamb’s Book of Life. I asked for salvation at 15 years old. Jesus has remained closer than a brother, just as the Good Book said He would.
So if you are going through hell, as the song says, keep on going, perhaps holding the hand of Jesus will help you as it does me…
SCRIPTURES
1) BETTER TO MARRY THAN TO BURN – 1 Corinthians 7:6-12 New International Version (NIV) 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.
2) ALL THINGS WORK FOR THE GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD – Romans 8:26-32 New International Version (NIV) 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
3) THE LORD’S PRAYER – Matthew 6:7-19 New International Version (NIV) 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Fasting
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

 

 

 

Learning wisdom
in the Christian
walk through life…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I have noticed that not everything I really want would be good for me. Most of us, who have lived any length of time, have figured this basic truth out.
When we figure out a truth like that, some call that wisdom. Wisdom can be in the Christian mind or non-Christian mind alike. But after a guy or a gal accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, and Jesus dutifully places another name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the Spirit of Jehovah God, that is the Comforter or Holy Ghost part of the God All Mighty Godhead, begins to bring to a saved mind wisdom that can not otherwise be discovered.
For example, I have no clue why some people say they do not believe in Jesus Christ, Jehovah God and all the Christian Bible stories about our Creator and His love. Yet the unsaved mind sees it is a book of fiction. Satan is responsible for that. An unsaved mind has no reference inside of it except the individual mind involved and the devil’s influence.
The devil, as always, stands there telling the person it is their life and nobody has got the right to tell them how to live it; especially some alleged Creator that seems to be wishful thinking at best… This logic eludes me. I grew up as an only child on my grandparent’s farm in Indiana. All that alone time taught me there is a God who listens and communicates back. Nobody, and I mean nobody, could ever convince me otherwise.
But many people, unlike myself, grew up in groups. Their alone time was limited and thus their communication with our higher power (Jehovah God) was limited as well. I get that. But I also know where there is a will there is a way. If you want to know God, He will reveal himself to you. The fact that you are reading this sermon tells me you are curious if this writer knows anything about Jehovah God and His ways…
I have lived 58 years. I have been a Christian since I was 15 years old. God was with me daily until I was about 12. Then I reached the age of accountability and listened to the devil for about three years as to how I could have anything on this earth I wanted if I would but serve Satan. The whole devil thing sounded like hog wash to me, but I entertained it as a young teenager for a little while.
Then I felt the draw of Jesus Christ as I sat on a church bench in the Methodist Church at Hagerstown, Indiana. The preacher began his spiel about how folks who were not saved by the grace of Jesus Christ needed to come down to the altar and get that done. I felt a drawing like I had never felt in my life.
I looked around at my fellow teenagers who were not going to move off of that church bench if an atom bomb landed next to them. I thought about how God had made sure I did not fall on farm tools as a toddler when I used to follow the cats across them while my grandparents did their farm work… I thought about how fascinated I had been while reading the letters in red in a Bible my Sunday School teacher had insisted my grandparents buy for me.
I have said it before, and I will say it again, my grandfather was a very brave man – probably too brave for his own good. He fought the war on poverty during the Great Depression, farmed for 50 more years after that and ended up living 96 years on this earth still fully functional in his mind and body.
I am my Grandpa’s son. I have been shot at and got mad at the assailant. I have done a lot of things I will not go into here. But when I was 15, sitting on that Methodist Church bench, I made the best decision I have ever made before or since.
I got up, headed to the altar, let the preacher pray me through and enjoyed a good cry to the old church song, “Just As I Am.” It was an experience I will never forget and never regret. I got saved. Now the road ahead would be long and winding. I am still on that Potter’s Wheel of overcoming sins and faults to this day at 58, but on that day, when I was 15, I met Jesus Christ at that altar and accepted Him as my Savior.
That experience was a big key to starting to accumulate wisdom. You see the God who had left me out there on my own at about 12 thought enough of me to draw me to that altar. And I thought enough of Him to accept the invitation. Did I already know God? You bet I did. I knew Mr. God for years when I was an innocent child growing up alone on that Indiana farm. I am sure in my own heart that when I was a young teen playing with Satan and his ways that Jehovah God was watching me, hoping I would come home to Him.
Again, the wisest decision I ever made in my life was to do so. I asked the Lord to come into my heart and live forever. I asked Him to forgive me of my past, present and future sins and to write my name in His Lamb’s Book of Life.
How do I know He did? Because I know that I know that I know. It is called faith. It is called trust. It is called love for the Creator and His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
You may have noted that Jesus invited me to that altar. Yes, I said invited. The Christian Bible tells us the Spirit will draw you only so many times before you are turned over to a reprobate mind (1). We are creatures of free will. God made us that way. And the Great I Am is a gentleman. He will invite you to accept the gift of salvation upon occasion until you make a firm decision. If you decide to pursue, power, money, lust etc. and that Satan’s kingdom is for you, Jehovah God will step aside and let you proceed.
It is not His will to do so, but Jehovah God is not going to force anyone to go to an altar, or wherever they accept Christ, and do so. It is an invitation, not a mandate. So what about accumulating wisdom after salvation? Now there is another can of worms. Once you have accepted the free gift of salvation, that is being saved from an eternity in a devil’s hell, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ (that is the mind of Jesus) comes to live on the inside of you (2).
This means you are never alone again. Oh, you can walk away and tell Jesus you no longer want him around. Again, the Godhead is composed of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost and our Creator is a gentleman. Many believe once saved always saved. I believe, and I also think I have Bible on this, Jesus Christ will make His bed in hell with you if that is where your travels take you on this earth and He will never leave you. But you can tell Him to go away.
If a saved man or woman really wants Jesus to leave so they can be free to go to hell, then I believe they can do it. The Bible refers to a situation that relates to my thought pattern here called blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
That is the part of God that is living on your inside and offering you guidance and direction; the motor of the car you are given at salvation. Never put the Holy Ghost down. Most of us are not sure what blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (3) really means and frankly I kind of hope I never find out.
Because you see, the Christian Bible tells us blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is the unforgivable sin. That does not sound good. I will now leave that subject alone and let you ponder that one for yourself. Let’s get back to Jesus being on the inside of the Christian and how wisdom develops as life progresses.
I suppose a lot of the wisdom I have learned came from my grand parents. They adopted me when they were 66 and 62 years old and I had them for 30 years before Grandma died on Oct. 31, 1988 at 92 and Grandpa died on January 22, 1989 at the age of 96.
They taught me to be loyal to my friends and lovers, even if I got mad at folk from time to time.
They taught me to work hard every day at whatever profession of work was nearest and dearest to my heart – and that I had the skills and abilities to do… They taught me that money is just a tool, a means to an end, and it is no sin to be poor – although they admitted it is very unhandy to be broke.
I have learned through the years that the more I give to others, the better the blessing flow from Jehovah God, my provider. That wisdom has helped my life a lot. I love my writing profession. I like my marketing profession. But neither one is more valuable than the love I have for my family and friends. This too took time to learn.
If you take the time and effort to respond to Jesus Christ when He prompts you to accept His gift of salvation, that is a ticket to heaven, you will also find wisdom – one block at a time. God is no respecter of persons. What the Great I Am will do for me, He promises to do for you. Give Mr. God a chance. Maybe you too will be kept from falling off a barn beam, so to speak, and you will find the happiness in life that I have found. God bless you all, until next time.
SCRIPTURES
1) REPROBATE MIND – Romans 1:24-32 King James Version (KJV) 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
2) HOLY GHOST (OF JESUS CHRIST) LIVES INSIDE OF US – 2 Timothy 1:10-18 King James Version (KJV) 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: 17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
3) BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST – Mark 3:22-30 King James Version (KJV 22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 27 No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.
30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Matthew 12:22-32 King James Version (KJV) 22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

 

 

Preaching the
gospel of Jesus
means accepting
where people are
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I have been exposed to a certain brand of Christian minister who takes joy in looking down his nose at me. If I am indeed going to one day preach from behind a pulpit, I sure don’t want to be that sort of person.
Sure, it will be my job to point humanity to Jesus Christ. But the first thing I must do in order to be effective at building a case as to why people need Jesus is to accept the person where they are and remember not to condemn them because they are living the life of self-centered disobedience.
I mean at least the guy or girl came to church to find something better and different. And we have all lived that life in our own way before we accepted salvation.
If a minister comes across like a self-righteous horse’s rear end, then what possible benefit will anything he or she says be to that individual who felt insulted? There is an old saying, be kind and rewind.
To me, the Christian minister needs to do all he or she can to point the way to a better life that exists after a person becomes a lamb of the Savior Jesus Christ.
Eternal salvation is a gift. It is not earned. It is either accepted or rejected.
For God loved the world so much He sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, not to condemn the world but so that through Him (Jesus) the world (unrepentant sinful folk) might be saved (1).
A person may come to Christ as an adulterer, a murderer, a gossiper or even a glutton. These things are known sins in the Christian Bible.
But salvation is a come as you are deal. Despite whether or not a person’s sins turn the stomach of some preachers, the preachers need to act in love or not at all.
As the old time Christians used to say, our job is to help catch the fish. Christ will clean them up once they have accepted Him as Savior. And indeed He will.
But when we first approach a non-Christian, we must realize that all sins are the same in the eyes of Jehovah God.
Some may seem not too bad to us; say a lady who is a legalist but has never accepted the free gift of salvation and eats too much and gossips a lot. But the truth is, she would be no less in danger of hell fire than a cold hearted killer who had also not accepted Jesus.
Degrees of sin only exist in the minds of man. To Jehovah God, sin (disobedience to the Christian Bible’s definitions of right from wrong) is simply sin.
Jehovah God gave us all an opportunity to stay out of hell fire for being lost sheep. In short, if we but accept the pure blood sacrifice Jesus Christ offered on the cross at Calvary we do not have to go over an eternal cliff and land in an eternal lake of fire.
Oh sure, we must still pay for our sins here on earth. Indeed we get what we put into life and people get what they deserve in return. It is the equal sign principle of the wicked world we live in and happens because of the Old Testament mandate of an eye for an eye (2).
I am certainly not denying that an eye for an eye is still relevant. I am just pointing out that God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son so that people did not have to go on paying for their disobedience after death and into eternity.
So what do we owe Jesus Christ to have this salvation? Nothing. It is a gift.
Now me, like probably most who have accepted the gift that insures my eternal life will be in the presence of the Great I Am in heaven, would like to give something back for the gift out of being thankful.
When the disciples in the New Testament Christian Bible asked Jesus what they could give back, the Lord said, “Go into all the world preaching the good news Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the Great Commission (3).”
To the point answers and blunt honesty are two things I have always admired about the letters in red, quoted in the New Testament Christian Bible as being the words of Jesus Christ.
If somebody asks the Lord a question, He answers them straight up and without hesitation. There is another scripture precluding Christianity in the Old Testament that says Jehovah God is not a man and therefore can not lie. Since Jesus is part of the God Head, He also can not lie.
So if you are a praying man or woman, and you are one who knows his or her name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life because you sincerely asked forgiveness of your past, present and future sins, then don’t be asking Jesus Christ for an answer to one of your day to day dilemmas unless you want an honest and to the point answer that might just surprise you.
You will know my friend if that answer is from Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “My sheep know my voice.” Need more evidence you heard from God and are not going completely crazy? Ask in your prayers for the Lord to show you in the written word of the Christian Bible where the truth He is trying to convey to you is coming from.
He will tend His sheep (us). And He will be faithful never to leave His sheep or forsake us. Sure, the sheep can renounce their salvation and walk away to re-enter Satan’s kingdom. That is a special kind of insanity that I, risking being in sin, would have to say is more foolish than jumping off of a cliff!
So let’s get back to the sermon theme, as illustrated in the title of this week’s writing, we must take people where they are and not desert them if we are ever going to help point them in the direction of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
So much modern psychology tells us that we must protect our own mental health and not expose ourselves to toxic personalities that will just bring us down. Satan seems to hold good standing in the modern psychology world…
This is really an old thought. In my day, we called it promoting the philosophy that if you stick your head in the sand a problem will go away… Give me a break. I have never seen a man or a woman who tried to place themselves in a protective shell that did not forget to kick Satan out of their sanctuary before closing the door on the big bad world!
We as Christians are to preach to who comes to listen. We are to be helpful as He was while He, that is Jesus Christ, walked the face of the earth. And if we stick our head in the sand and refuse to preach to someone because they have sinned in a way that makes us want to throw up, we have sinned against our self and against Jesus Christ.
We are simply to accept those Jesus brings our way to hear about Him as they are. If they accept the Savior, He will change them some – as He sees fit.
We are not Christ, nor do we have the option to judge others. If we do, the Word says we will be judged in like manner by Jesus in the end. Those choosing to listen to us will still always have the freedom to choose. But if they accept salvation, the Spirit of the Holy Ghost of God will make sure they have better choices to make; choices that lead to happiness from helping others, the respect and admiration of children and old people and a healthy respect for the man or the woman you see in that mirror every morning.
We can not do the Great Commission any good if we only preach to people who make us happy. We as Christians are built to serve.
And we are not built to run off on our brothers and sisters. Now foxes have holes, as do rabbits. Most people have some sort of sanctuary we call home. Home is somewhere where you can be totally honest with yourself and your God and you should have no fear of retribution from some well meaning soul who wants to do God’s work and do some changing on his or her own.
But when you are out in the world preaching and teaching, you could get anyone. You may be preaching to a practicing witch simply there to mock you. But to honor Jesus, you must preach on.
There is a difference between a little distance and desertion. I realize this. There are some folks I can talk to every day in my walk with Christ and my human experience. There are others that I may only be able to converse with a couple times a month without experiencing a serious rise in my blood pressure.
But if my talking with them a couple times a month helps them to want to learn more about my Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, then by golly I want to be there for those couple of talks a month!
Again, we are built to serve. We consume as a by-product. Consumption should not be the goal. Putting it another way, God gives us money, food, clothing and shelter – plus usually some sort of vehicle to get around from point A to B – at least in these United States if you are working. Are we really arrogant enough to think the Lord who provides all of this for us will be pleased if we simply create a room, never leave that room and only let folks talk to us about Jesus who are in absolute agreement?
It is a big world. There are many souls in it with many differing opinions. I have a friend who tells me missionaries think different from the rest of us.
I have been supporting a mission in Nigeria, Africa for a year. Indeed, the workers there think differently. Some Muslims, which dominate their countryas to religion, want to kill Christians for their believes. This reminds me of the persecuted Christians back when Jesus Christ walked this earth in human form.
Their attitude is an example of the non-Christian ways I am trying to get you to surrender. We are creatures of love, not hate, if we have accepted eternal salvation from Jesus Christ.
Just think of all of the souls who might have accepted the gospel if it were not for those who said crazy stuff like if you have facial hair you are going to hell?
I had a preacher tell me that once about my mustache. I try and pray for “Brother” Lonnie when I think of it. Our God is not one of cheap shots. Obviously Jesus Christ Himself had a beard or they could not have plucked it out during the ordeal of our Lord going to the cross to save us from ourselves…
SCRIPTURES
1) FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD – John 3:12-20 King James Version (KJV)
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
2) AN EYE FOR AN EYE – Exodus 21:22-27 King James Version (KJV) 22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.
27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.
Matthew 5:36-40 King James Version (KJV) 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
3) PREACH THE GREAT COMMISSION – Matthew 28:16-20 King James Version (KJV) 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

 

 

Being happy
in Jesus, good
times or bad…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Paul in the Christian Bible was a powerful preacher but the torture he went through in the process of his ministry is unsurpassed by anyone in that book outside of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Of course, you may point to Job. But this sermon will be about Paul for one reason; learned coping skills.
Paul tells us he learned to be happy in the Lord Jesus Christ whether his circumstances were abundance oriented or poverty stricken (1).
In my life, I have seen both. Perhaps you have too. But being happy in the good times is easy. When the roller coaster of life takes a dive is when true colors come out.
Some people pause and then push on. Others fall apart. Still others seem unaffected. Me, I fit the first category. I believe Paul fit the third.
Perhaps our Christian goal in this matter should be to follow Paul’s example. Here was a guy who started out as Saul, a known government assassin with an eye on Christian believers as targets. The very idea that there would be a New Testament Bible upset the Jewish leaders.
They not only believed that a Messiah would eventually come, they believed He would come in the very distant future. In the meantime, going by the Old Testament law and folks needing to confess to priests etc. gave those priests and religious leaders a lot of control, power and money.
Those guys did not want to give up any of that. After all, it was their bread and butter to remain the final word on what God really wanted people to act like.
In modern translation, the term control freaks comes to mind… Perhaps you have met folks in your travels like that; the my way or the highway type personalities.
So these Old Testament preachers hired assassins to maintain their positions. And it would follow they wanted Christians killed because Christianity threatened their authority (2).
Paul, then known as Saul, was on the road to Damascus, getting ready to kill a Christian and get paid by the Jewish authorities.
The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in the form of a bright light and asked, “Do you find it hard to kick against the pricks?” (3). The light was so bright it caused temporary blindness in Paul.
No doubt the experience had to scare the living daylights out of Paul. I know it would have me. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ told Paul to go to Taurus. I believe that was the town’s name. At any rate, Paul was to go there, meet with a Christian and get healed of his blindness. Then he was to start a new career as a Christian preacher.
No doubt Paul wondered why the Lord had picked him, beings as he was a paid killer and all? But that did not seem to bother Jesus. The dye was cast. Paul was hired on to perform the Great Commission and declare the gospel of Jesus Christ as the way to heaven and a more abundant life on earth.
This whole thing really upset his employers. They did the anger dance, had Paul put in jail time after time for his preaching and teaching, and tried to kill him on more than one occasion.
It was all good with Paul. Just before he finally did bite the dust, he told his followers, “Do not be upset. I have fought the good fight. I never did quit my assignment from Jesus himself. So now I must go on to my heavenly home.”
That is an indirect Nelsonism quote, but it is based on what I have read in the Christian Bible. My point is simple. Paul knew what God had told him to do and Paul had no quit switch. Times were sometimes easy, sometimes hard, but he kept on trucking. Should we as modern day Christians not do the same?
Paul had some sort of physical disability. He tried to get the Lord to cure it, but was told by Jesus Christ it was his cross to bear. Whatever it was, it must not have slowed the old tent maker down much. He kept on keeping on for many years and many say he was the author of some of the best parts of our Christian Bible.
But Paul also knew what patience was. God took him to an Arab land for several years to talk to him about what the gospel had to say before He turned his preacher loose on the public. This is a common thing in modern times. Many of the television evangelists, like Joyce Meyer or Happy Caldwell, tell of a time when God simply had them study and get ready. These were no doubt hard times financially.
But an assignment is an assignment. When Jesus Christ calls, we Christians need to listen. So let’s get to our subject directly. How do you fair in hard times? Are you in category one like me and take a ragged breath and then push on? Or maybe you are a quitter, like category two folk and attempt suicide, live homeless or simply take on a non-Christian job and try and hide from your Christian duties?
Then again, maybe, like Paul, you simply keep on smiling and keeping on even when there is no jingle in your pants. If so, my hat is off to you.
That third category shows a strength never to complain that I am still seeking. My wife recently separated from me after 20 years of marriage. I was devastated… But I have taken a ragged breath and now I just pray that she will be happy. I will continue to pray for God’s guidance and direction and take life one step at a time.
Did I complain? You bet I did. Did I whimper? Yes. Did I quit. No. I pushed on after my pity party and continued to write this magazine. It is the right thing to do.
I see that. Of course I was tempted to move to another location, contact old girl friends etc. But God got a hold of me and I am staying here with you.
Again, I bet the Apostle Paul was tempted to get himself back into the tent making business when they threatened to kill him for preaching the gospel.
But if we are serious about spreading the good news about Jesus dying for our sins and making it available to any sincere person who asks for it, while of course asking for their sins to be forgiven – past, present and future, then we got to do what we got to do.
So what is the solution to being able to maintain a steady attitude when the bad times come? Who knows. But one of the things I read in the Christian Bible is to be thankful for all things. If a person can think of what he or she has when all hell breaks loose on earth, it does ease the panic a bit.
The Lord Jesus Christ tells us to take His yoke, that it is easy and He will give us peace. I have slowly found some piece since my spouse went out on her own.
Tragedy, for all of us, is not easy to cope with. But the closer we live to the instructions in that Christian Bible, the easier it seems to be to take. God knows how to pick our testimonies. If he wants me to write a sermon in a magazine and you to start a church, well our Creator knows what we can handle. The big deal is to hear Him and do what he suggests. In the long run, that is for the best.
SCRIPTURES
1) PAUL LEARNED HOW TO BE CONTENT IN GOOD OR BAD TIMES – Ecclesiastes 7:12-20 New International Version (NIV) 12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter,
but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. 15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise — why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool — why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes. 19 Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city. 20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.
Thanks for Their Gifts
Philippians 4:10-13 – New International Version (NIV)10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
2) PHARANCIES DECIDE TO KILL CHRISTIANS – Matthew 12:20-42 New International Version (NIV) 20 A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”
Jesus and Beelzebul
22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. 30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
“31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The Sign of Jonah
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.”
3) JESUS ASKS SAUL ABOUT KICKING AGAINST THE PRICKS – Acts 9:1-7 King James Version (KJV) 9 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

 

 

 

Is grace real
or did Jesus die
for nothing and
only works count?
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
The question of how do I really get to heaven has haunted humanity since the beginning of time. About 2,000 years ago, a fellow named Jesus Christ, who claimed to be God in the flesh essentially, made the sun go out one day when he died on the cross for our sins.
For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, not into the world to condemn the world, but so that those who accepted His gift of pure-blood bought salvation could and would have their names put in the Lamb’s Book of Life and be on their way to a heavenly home for eternity (1).
But for some reason many folks accept salvation and then turn around and think they have to earn the gift. The scripture is plain. It is a gift.
This does not give the saved person a reason to sin and go wild. Sin, that is disobedience to the Word of the Great I Am as depicted in the Christian Bible, always has to be paid for.
The difference is do we pay for it here and learn to disobey less because we tire of the consequences, or do we not accept Jesus and take our licks for sin in hell from an entity known as Satan?
Either way, the wise will accept God’s free gift and then listen to the Holy Ghost inside of them as He directs them to a life that reduces the use of sinful activities on a daily basis.
The unsaved mind, if built on logic, will think, hey, this gift is free so what have I got to lose? The Bible says the sheep of Jesus know His voice (2). This tells me that Jesus Christ, in Spirit, is there to help us every step of our lives. Of course, to be saved you must realize that sin is wrong and ask to be forgiven of your past, present and future sin discretions. And you must forgive others of the wrongs they have done to you.
Jesus Christ will never give up on us dumb sheep. He takes us under His wing from the moment we ask Him to forgive our sins, all of them; past, present and future.
We need to believe He is real, that He arose from the dead on the third day and He ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Great I Am. Also, He requires we do this with all sincerity and realize without His pure blood sacrifice the Lamb’s Book of Life would not exist and everyone of us would probably end up in eternal torment.
The Christian Bible tells us there will be no sin in heaven, other than that which is covered by Christ’s pure blood and forgiven forever in the memories of the past of those whose name appear in that Lamb’s Book of Life. The Christian Bible also tells us the Great I Am will forget about forgiven sin and see us as white as snow – pure as we walk the streets of gold.
As the old Christian song says, I want to be on that role up yonder. Indeed, who would not want to have eternal peace and communion with the Great I Am? It is hard for me to imagine a day by day life without His companionship.
For you see the future of those who refuse the gift of salvation from Jesus Christ is quite different. They will have their souls thrown into an eternal lake of fire, after spending time thinking about this in a place called hell. Christ died on the cross because none of us are “good enough” to go to heaven on our own. It is a sinless place and we are sinful creatures by nature.
In short, we can not make it to heaven by our good works, but we can enlarge our crowns. The more we are like the Spirit of Jesus, at least in part, the more we can help God in His Great Commission. And who would not desire to do that once Jesus is on the inside of him or her?
The Bible tells us when one soul turns to Jesus Christ, there is rejoicing in heaven (3). This tells me my behavior needs to straighten up. I need to put my soul on the Potter’s Wheel of overcoming if I am truly grateful for being saved. And the Word of God tells us to be thankful in all things.
If we are to be grateful for a car that works, how much more grateful are we to be that God so loved the world that He sent His only Begotten Son to the cross at calvary to perform a pure blood sacrifice to cleanse your sins and mine?
We Christians, all excuses aside, are the representatives of the Great I Am, Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. Most of the time, including me, we Christians barely act like it.
We may talk the talk, but walking the walk is a different matter. Be sure to understand. You and I are both human. We make mistakes. I have no right to call your mistakes any worse than mine.
And you have no right to judge me either. The Christian Bible quotes Jesus Christ as saying, “Judge not, least you be judged likewise.”
If you look at your brother or sister and say to yourself, old Joe or Jenny is headed straight for hell, there are four fingers pointing back at you with the same conclusion. This is the essence of legalistic thinking.
Legalists believe they are some how together more than the rest of us and superior in their walks with God. In the days of Jesus, He called them Pharencitical hypocrites.
So you might conclude, who then do I preach to? Simply ask a person, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? They will tell you.
Take them at their word and go from there. As one of my minister friends, James McCain of the Sycamore Church in Beirne, Arkansas, used to say, nobody but the individual themselves knows whether they have sincerely asked for forgiveness of their sins and asked Jesus Christ to come into their heart.
So always assume folks are telling you the truth about the salvation issue and go from there. We are truly saved by grace. The legalists are wrong. You can not work your way to heaven. If you could, Jesus would not have been required to die on the cross for our sins. He even asked Father God to take the cup of death from Him if there was any other way to save the lost sheep but as we know, He did die on that cross for your sins and mine.
A good depiction of legalism comes to mind. I was about 27 years old and working as a reporter for the Marianna, Arkansas Courier-Index weekly newspaper. I was married to the granny of my three grand babies at the time, Doris, who remains a good friend to this day. Doris and I were attending a full gospel church out in the middle of no where. The preacher asked me about my Christian background.
I told Brother Lenny that I was raised Methodist and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at age 15. He smiled, shook my hand and we talked a bit of small talk. Then I went to the car and waited on my wife so we could go on home. She came out of the church steaming mad. She got in the car and informed me we were not coming back. Not knowing what the problem was, I asked her what was up?
Doris said, “That preacher looked me dead in the eye and said, your husband is a really nice guy. It is too bad he is going to hell for wearing that mustache.”
Doris was furious at the short-sided hypocrisy of that statement. I laughed. I guess you could say I believe my Jehovah God is much bigger than worrying about facial hair. After all, the Bible says they plucked the beard from the face of Jesus Christ during the crucifixion ordeal and what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
I listened to my wife though. We chose another church to go worship the next Sunday. The word of God also says if you argue with a fool, others will not be able to tell which of you is truly the fool. And in my mind, this Brother Lenny was acting like a fool. I call that discerning the spirits. In short, I probably should not have judged him. My Aunt Anna used to say if you don’t have anything good to say about the Brother Lennys of this world, just let it go. We will all have our day in court and Jesus Christ is the fellow with the only judgment that really counts anyway.
SCRIPTURES
1) FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD – John 3:12-20 King James Version (KJV) 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
2) MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE – John 10:4-28 New International Version (NIV)
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Further Conflict
Over Jesus’ Claims
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.
24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
3) REJOICING IN HEAVEN – Luke 15:1-10 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of
the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The Parable of
the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

 

 

Planting spiritual
seeds for Jesus
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
A Christian is not done when he or she simply accepts Jesus Christ as a Savior, asking forgiveness and believing that what Jesus did at the cross and afterwards was real.
From the moment a person accepts Christ, the Holy Spirit begins cleaning that person up to be usable in Christian service. Whether it is writing a sermon for a public forum like this or something so simple but necessary as cleaning a church once a week, a Christian servant always plants seeds.
Like a farmer, the Lord Jesus Christ seeks a crop. The crop the Lord wants is souls saved from the fiery pits of hell because they have accepted the gift of salvation. This gift has been freely offered to the people after the high price of divine pure-blood sacrifice was finished on the cross more than 2,000 years ago. These words make no sense to the non-believer.
Even if God is trying to reveal the truth of the cross to an individual, people are stubborn. They think they can make it on their own in this old world without the guidance and direction of the words in red offered by Jesus Christ. People in general, before being saved, either do not believe in God or they have created their own god to believe in. Some, of course, have turned to Satan for guidance and direction to achieve selfish desires.
Eternity, by definition, is forever. If you reject the cure for going to hell, that is the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Living Jehovah God, then you are also on your own in this life. We do not have the scope of what God sees in an unsaved state. It is a dangerous state of mind to be in, this business of rejecting Christ.
That is why planting seeds for accepting salvation is so very important. If you are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and your friend is not, show him or her love. Do not condemn that individual. They need salvation more than any straightening up you may suggest. Just be giving, loving, treat them as you believe Jesus would if He were you. You are His representative of love, as defined in Corinthians by Paul in the Christian Bible (1).
Feed the lost and your fellow Christian brother or sister, put clothes on their backs, give them shelter, be a person who wants nothing in return, as Jesus has instructed (2). Jesus Christ is a representative of real love. He says of His saved, it is the will of God that not one of them falls from his hand.
The Lord knows we are just people, but it begins with you accepting the pure blood sacrifice of Jesus. Once that is done, the Lord puts His Spirit in with ours. The more we read the Bible, the more we become a more effective Christian soldier. In short, if you want to follow a path, it is a good idea to read the road map. And make no mistake, when you accept the salvation gift of Jesus Christ, you have enlisted in an army.
Plant seeds. If someone puts down Christianity, ask them how they feel about the power of love? Most will say, well I believe in love, just not in your God. Then point to the scripture in the Christian Bible that tells us the Great I Am, that is God All Mighty, is love (3). It is on the other side of the equal sign.
This may make some of them begin to turn the wheels in their heads and look at this Jesus thing a bit differently. If the Christian Bible is true, then only a fool would not believe it all. Truth, after all, is truth. And our New Testament Christian Bible tells us that Jesus Christ will stick with us closer than a brother while we live and breath.
It also says that when our judgment day comes after death, Jesus Christ will be both advocate and judge as to which direction our soul will go – heaven or hell…
Jesus Christ, when walking this earth in body for 33 years many years ago, taught his followers, and would be followers, in parables. He said some would have ears to hear and listen. Others, apparently those determined to be the lost sheep He spoke of, had no such ears to listen and instead were ruled by sinful desires of lust, power, money and other temptations.
Satan tries to convince each human to pursue sinful desires because to the devil pleasure, whether Jehovah God approved or not, is worth everything to have. Lucifer lost his place in heaven forever because of being a proud musician. He was so good in his own eyes, he proclaimed himself greater than Jehovah God. What Old Scratch does not tell his followers is that disobedience to the will of God comes with a very high price.
One such parable that Jesus used as a teaching tool was about the prodigal son. You can look up the story in its full glory in the Christian Bible. But to summarize, there was a rich man who had two sons. Both were grown and worked with him on his land. He had promised them an equal share of his wealth for an inheritance.
One was willing to continue helping his father and worry about his inheritance post mortem. The other young man had visions of the wild life and saw a chance to finance his lustful desires. He asked his father to turn over his portion so that he could travel the world in style.
Although it must have hurt his father, he turned over the lustful boy’s money to him. The boy began a long journey to the dark side of life. He bought women, strong drink, threw money down the drain and did all of the above for many days. Perhaps he was robbed of some of the funds. I really do not remember.
What I do remember is that Jesus told his followers, and would-be followers, the prodigal son ran out of money and found himself on the verge of starvation. Shame began to come to his mind. He was ashamed of how much he had wasted on the lusts of life but no longer felt worthy to go home.
So the boy took a job feeding pigs, eating what the despised beasts of the Jewish culture ate; corn shucks, slop etc. He lived like this for a time and then began to think; my father’s servants live better than this. Perhaps if I go home, my father will hire me on as a servant. I would sure be better off than in this awful life…
The Christian Bible says if one person is saved there is rejoicing in heaven. The young man made the long journey back to his home. His father saw him coming up the path. He told his servants to go fetch a beautiful robe and a ring. Then he told them to kill the fatted calf for there would be rejoicing in his home on that night.
The boy finally arrived to face his daddy. The daddy stood waiting to hear what his son had learned. The boy said, “Dad, I am broke. I threw away the money you gave me on wine, women and song. I have been working as a pig farmer assistant and tire of the scraps in my belly. I beg of you my father, will you hire me as one of your servants? I do not even feel worthy to be called your son.”
The older gentleman hugged his boy and cried and cried. Finally he spoke. “My servants are getting you a robe and a ring. We are going to kill the fatted calf and not work this evening. We will eat, drink and be merry because my son has returned to me!”
It sounds like a great place to stop the parable, but Jesus went on to give further warnings to his Christian followers. He began to speak of the boy who had stayed home and worked. That older boy was very upset because of the reception his father gave the wayward son. He began to speak to his father.
“All this time, I have stayed, slaved here and served you. You never killed a fatted calf and gave me a celebration. And now this brother of mine comes home in shame and yet you treat him like a king. It just does not seem right,” he said.
And that is enough of the parable for our purposes today. When you are planting your Christian seeds, you will discover that life is unfair, you take what you get and you go from there.
But the Bible says be thankful in all things. Rejoice when your brother or sister accepts salvation. Do not be jealous if they receive “better” treatment than you believe you are getting. Instead rejoice that they are now saved.
Love them. Feed them, cloth them, give them a space to live. Do as Christ directed and grow on your personal potter’s wheel. The more you mirror the ways of Jesus Christ, as described in the Christian Bible, the happier you will be on this planet and in the life to come.
SCRIPTURES
1) THE GREATEST GIFT IS LOVE – 1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV) 13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
2) THE CHRISTIAN HELPS BY FEEDING, CLOTHING, SHELTER – Matthew 25:30-43 New International Version (NIV) 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
3) GOD IS LOVE – 1 John 4:1-8 New International Version (NIV)
On Denying the Incarnation
4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 

 

 

 

 

Learning to live
with helping
others for Jesus
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
The Lord Jesus Christ is quoted in the Christian New Testament Bible as telling his followers to learn to live with persecution for spreading His words and for helping others (1).
My grandmother was an Eastern Star in the Masonic Lodge. They had a saying that comes to mind; no good turn goes unpunished.
There is always a cost in this evil world for doing what we know be the Christian and right thing to do. The Good Samaritan story illustrates this pretty well. Even though he was a Samaritan, he had the heart of Christ and stopped to help someone in trouble (2).
If I recall the scriptures, a Levite man and a Jewish Priest both passed the stranded and hurt man up, avoiding the task of helping.
How many times does God put a hitch-hiker in front of us and we drive on? How many people have asked your for $5 and you just gave them a cold stare and kept walking? We are all guilty, in my opinion, of helping only us at times and the hell with the other man or woman…
I help a rather unpopular group of Christian missionaries who have an Outreach Mission from Alexander, Virginia located in Onipan, Lagos, Nigeria – which is an impoverished nation with many starvation cases on a daily basis.
I have helped them a year. I have been told by friends and family members that I should back off because it is probably just a scam. After three investigations by legal authorities, it remains in business and as far as I know is legitimate. But the proof does not matter to the people I tell. All they know is it must be a scam and I should have let those who God charged me with starve to death or find help elsewhere instead of giving what I could.
Unfortunately, due to a family crisis, I can not help them as much anymore. I pray that they do find many other sources. Right now I am helping myself out of said crisis so that someday I will be able to do a lot more than my tithes and offerings to my church again. It is my opinion that Jesus does not want us to drain ourselves to the point to where we are as bad off as those we have been trying to help. But as I tell my family and friends, when I have got it, you have got it.
The world seems to be a very cold and ugly place sometimes. I believe Jesus would have helped these stranded missionaries and so I feel convicted to help them all I can. I have learned a lot from the experience and have become good friends with one of the ladies in charge, a real estate broker from Arlington, Virginia. Her mother actually started the mission in 2012 and 200 souls a year were saved through 2016. Then the place went broke.
It had been personal money that kept it going. Now it exists on small donations. The facility still stands. Church is still held every evening and no doubt people are still getting saved. The mother and daughter take care of two malnutritioned children, who are now on life support. Plus there are about 60 homeless people who sleep at the mission every night.
When there is food, Deborah stays up until all hours cooking and feeding the homeless. But many times there is nothing to cook or eat, or just bread and water to consume. Deborah, 29 years old and fairly strong, tells me she only eats three to four times a week – leaving the rest for those she cares for…
We live in an age when everything in the world is considered phony. And if we Christians try and help someone, we are called fools. But does this mean we should stop trying to cloth the poor, feed them or give them shelter? Jesus Christ told us to do all of these things(3).
So who do we listen to, the world’s view of logic or the words in red letters of Jesus Christ? Folks, I pick Jesus. This life will not last forever. Sure we all have dreams, talents, likes and dislikes.
And it is important to develop what your talents and desires point you toward. Still sooner or later a person realizes the real purpose of those talents is to help someone find Jesus Christ as Savior. To arouse curiosity about Christ, we Christians need to learn to live Christ like. When someone got in trouble in the Bible, Jesus helped them.
Look at the lady caught in adultery. By Jewish law, she was to be stoned to death. Yet the Lord pointed out that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He asked the sinless man among the group to cast the first stone… None did. What had Jesus done? He had helped someone in need while pointing out that none of us is better than our brother or our sister. Is it not our duty to do the same every chance we get?
If you are curious about the mission I try to help, go to Testimony three on the dashboard of this web site and open the mission PDF.
I published the story of Outreach Mission and now keep it visible for all to see. I will leave it up, just in case someone with means who does want to help these starving souls can do so.
I just don’t have much any more above my church tithes and offerings and I need to treat my church right.
The Word says bring your tithes and offerings to the store house. Anything else given to other places should be above that in my humble opinion. If I got it, they go it.
There is an old saying that my grandparents taught me that comes to mind. The Lord helps those who help themselves.
If you do not have enough sense to get yourself stable, then you will have nothing to give the less fortunate. To me, this is part of the joy of working; being able to share it with those in need. I also love to give to loved ones and friends. As I said earlier, when I am flush, if I got it, they got it.
Don’t get me wrong. I thank God for His many blessings. When He is not blessing me with money, He blesses me in many other ways; good health, good friends, a decent place to sleep, something to eat – the list goes on.
When the money is thin, remember what Peter said in the Christian Bible to the beggar who needed a healing, “Silver and gold, have I none, but what I have I give to you.”
SCRIPTURES
1) JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES THEY PERSECUTED ME, SO THEY WILL PERSECUTE YOU – John 15:18-25 New International Version (NIV) The World Hates the Disciples
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.
As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
2) THE GOOD SAMARITAN STOPPED TO HELP – Luke 10:25-37 New International Version (NIV) – The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
3) WHEN I WAS HUNGRY – Matthew 25:35-45New International Version (NIV)
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 

 

 

Forgiveness
verses anger
and vengeance
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
As Christians we are taught that having a forgiving heart is the name of the game.
We know the Lord does have a forgiving heart or there would be no Lamb’s Book of Life for the names to go in of those folks who have accepted salvation from what Jesus did for us on the cross.
But when someone hurts us badly, forgiveness is not the normal human reaction. When I worked for the police in Florida years ago, if somebody hit me I wanted to hit them back. If they repeated the gesture, I usually did!
It is most likely the same for you. Many of us have self-defensive personalities. But whether you hit someone back physically, verbally or just by avoiding them, revenge is still against the Christian Bible.
If you are a saved person, and you know if you are or not, then the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells in you. Jesus got mad (1). He cleared the temple of the money changers.
He said it was a building and place designed for people to worship Jehovah God, not to make a buck! But he got angry and sinned not. The rest of us surely have a hard time with that one.
Many of us get angry and sin plenty… And when we sin, we pay. If we are saved from eternal punishment, and our names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that is wonderful.
But nothing saves us from being on earth, sinning and paying the penalty for that sin while we are still living our human lives.
Dr. Charles Stanley, a national television minister I like, says once saved, always saved and that nothing can take salvation away from someone who has asked forgiveness in eternity of past, present and future sins – plus who believes that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Living Jehovah God, rose from the dead on the third day and went to be at the right hand of the Father until the end times.
But my Bible tells me blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is an unforgivable sin. I am not completely sure what that is but I think it has something to do with completely rejecting all of the parts of Jehovah God once you accepted salvation.
In short, if you want to go to hell, God will let you. The Christian Bible tells us Jesus Christ is a gentleman. We are not forced to accept the gospel. We are invited to accept it (2). We should accept it for our own good, but God gave us free will.
So let us talk about forgiveness. Some folks hurt others and never know the other person is hurt. The hurt person forgives the best he or she can but gets hurt again and again because the problem is never revealed or faced. Be open. Problems are best faced head on so festering does not occur. Some things a guy learns in 58 years.
As I have said many times, I have committed nearly all known sins for the fun of it. One of my pastor friends, the Rev. James McCain of Beirne Sycamore Full Gospel Church, always tells us sin is made fun by the devil or nobody would sin. Sin, in the Christian Bible, is defined as intentionally disobeying Jehovah God’s recipe for life that is written in His Bible pages.
But I gave up my honeymoon with Lucifer. Somewhere along the line, I started listening to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, which has been living on the inside of me since I accepted salvation at age 15. The Word tells me Jesus will stick with us if we make our bed in hell. I am ashamed of some of the places I have taken my Jesus. I am tired of driving more nail scars in His hands by listening to the suggestions of the devil.
Another aspect of forgiveness is sincerity. It is easy to mouth the words but hard to get something out of your heart when you have been cut deep to the bone by another human being. One of my kids did that to me last Christmas. I love her so much. And I have truly forgiven her for what she caused in my household. But it took me quite a while to move said forgiveness from my head to my heart.
Perhaps you have had a similar experience. You are a Christian. You have heard the scripture about turning the other cheek (3), but forgiveness in its real form is a tough nut.
When we accepted salvation, we asked Jesus to forgive our past, present and future sins and place our name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He forgave us. We also told Him we were sorry for our shortcomings as a person and the we believed Him to be the only Begotten Son of God who died a horrible death on a cross so we could go to heaven.
The free gift to us was hard on Jesus. He took the entire ball of wax of everyone’s sin from birth to death upon His shoulders. I personally feel bad about my part of what He had to endure. That is the main reason I am writing to you. And my point this week is that no matter how hard it is, we all need to forgive the shortcomings, as we see them, in others.
Anger, so shrinks tell me, is a secondary emotion. When we get hurt and find it hard to forgive, hurt is what we feel. The anger is a very poor reaction. Think about it. You really do not have to get angry. It is a choice.
Lets look at the results of using anger as a defense. The results range from murder to hurt feelings. And most of the time, the anger builds walls. If that is what you want, scream on. If not, perhaps forgiveness might be a viable option with simple silence being the prelude.
Believe me, the worst of anger is not very productive. I once had to kill two people in self defense when I was working as an undercover cop. It is a memory I really wish I did not have. I did not do it in anger, but in self defense. Still yet, it taught me that holding my temper is my best option.
So you see, I am not writing this with a holier than thou attitude. But rather, I am writing to you as a warning. Be slow to anger, fast to forgive and faster to love all you meet.
And silence is truly golden. As my aunt Anna used to say, if you can not say something good it may be much better not to say anything at all.
The Bible has a similar saying. The Word says if you argue with a fool then nobody can tell who is the fool…
SCRIPTURES
1) JESUS CLEARS THE TEMPLE – Matthew 21:8-17 New International Version (NIV) 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus at the Temple
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”
14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?”
17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
2) SALVATION OFFER – John 3:12-24 New International Version (NIV) 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
John Testifies Again About Jesus
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.)
3) TURN THE OTHER CHEEK – Matthew 5:33-42 New International Version (NIV) Oaths – 33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Luke 6:28-30 New International Version (NIV) 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

 

 

 

 

Healing is easier
when you have
Jesus Christ…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Whether it is mental or physical healing, knowing the Lord Jesus Christ can ease the pain of the process. Believers have a divine hope, faith and love that non-believers simply do not possess.
Many folks even come to salvation over personal pain from a death, a divorce or even just breaking up with a boy friend or a girl friend. Non-believers rarely put much stock in the marriage certificate. It is just a legal bother to them.
Of course, there are non-believers raised with integrity, and who have a Christian background. They, of course, show more respect than some of the other devil’s captives. But for the most part, in our modern world, Satan has a tight grip on the non-believer. When one needs healing, only knowing Satan and self, it many times ends in extremely stupid and life changing decisions, or else suicide.
Let’s look at a Biblical Christian suicide. Judas Escariet, one of Christ’s 12 disciples, hanged himself over grief from betraying the Lord (1).
The Christian Bible says the 12 disciples of Israel will be in heaven to judge the 12 tribes of Israel (2). Therefore I do not believe suicide is the unforgivable sin.
But it must break God’s heart, as it does mine. Our bodies, such as they are, are said to be God’s greatest gift to us. Most of us try and take care of them reasonably well, although there is usually a balance between pleasure and common sense. When a body goes wrong, the impulse of most of us is to try and fix it. Healing is God’s job. Realizing that, not trying to fix or permanently fix by suicide, is a wise move. Put the fixing in the hands of God. Trust Jesus Christ and His judgment over your own and you might be surprised at the miracles that result.
Even so, with the popular philosophy of living, not just existing or living in a paranoid state, sometimes our day to day living habits still results in some sort of horrible disease.
Whether that disease is physical, or some sort of terrible burden like an unwanted divorce, pain is real. Talking with the Spirit of Jesus Christ can help. The Bible says a person who has professed Christian salvation will have his or her name put in the Lamb’s Book of Life. It further says the lambs know the voice of Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ (3).
This is why so many of us Christians talk about having a spiritual talk with the Lord Jesus. He is real to us. I know for sure He is real to me! I asked him to heal a growth on my eye lid a few years back that was hindering my career as a writer. Like many writers, my funds are limited.
That growth dropped off in just a few months and my doctor was amazed that no surgery was required. That is just one personal example of what faith in Jesus can do. My doctor was amazed, and frankly so was I. The Bible does say if we do not ask we can not receive. So if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, ask Him for what you will.
His answer may be yes, no or at a later date. We are given free will by the Lord so it is not hard for me to comprehend that He also has free will. His word does say if what we ask in righteousness and Christian humility, we can have.
This can be illustrated by one of my favorite scriptures; Mark 11: 23 – Mark 11:23 King James Version (KJV) 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Many times what we ask may not meet God’s conditions, but my philosophy is to ask anyway and let the Great I Am decide if I am asking in Christian righteous or asking in some selfish manner, known Biblically as asking for something amiss. The scripture in Mark that I quoted leads me to believe that if we believe in our heart that whatever is in our way will be moved then our heart must believe that what we want would glorify God, not glorify self.
For example, suppose you are bored with your spouse. You may not feel hard toward him or her, and you may realize it is you that has a problem and you who is responsible for spicing things up bit. But what you do is ask for God to bring you someone more exciting. This is the dangerous ground of amiss that the Christian Bible speaks about.
This is not anywhere in God’s plan for your life that I can find in the Christian Bible. And God may answer you in a way that ends up with you going through pain for wanting something non-Christian and designed by Satan to bring your life down to the ground.
In short, the answer to the non-righteous prayer may be a spanking from our Lord designed to get you back on a Christian track. But the bottom line is we have a Lord, Jesus Christ, who loves us.
When asked to help us in anything from preaching the Great Commission to donating a few dollars to a mission, He will make a way for us. But if we are praying for taking that pretty girl in the second row out for a milk shake behind our wife’s back, we may get our wish and then wish we had not gotten into so much trouble for our sinful thoughts being put into action.
Here is some free advice. Do not try and control the thoughts of your spouse or significant other. This is a free world and they have the right to think what they will. They also have the human right to toy with temptation. If they act on it, then that is a different set of cards. We can not control the devil and his temptation. But with Jesus Christ inside of us, we can choose to resist. Sure, anyone can resist temptation. But face it, the non-believer in Jesus rarely does much resisting…
I had a couple of friends who have both gone on to be with the Lord a few years back who had the gift of physical healing. The late Jimmy and Gladys Bird were wonderful people.
Folks in our church, Sycomore Full Gospel Church at Beirne, Arkansas, said prayers from the Birds had stretched a too short leg for a lady and prayed away a death promoter from our pastor’s heart.
Doctors, once again were amazed. There was no natural explanation for why either of these events happened.
Some of you will not believe that story. Others will hope it is true. I know it is true. I was there when it happened in both cases.
The Birds simply had the gift of healing from Jesus Christ and the faith to activate it from time to time. It was a wonderful thing and knowing them was a tremendous experience.
Keep in mind that the Bible tells us we Christian believers all have the measure of faith. So we are all capable of trusting God and using the power of Jesus Christ for healing. But we all do not have that kind of trust in the Great I Am.
Before we can use the gift of healing, or any gift that is promised by God, we must have pure and righteous motives. Sure, sometimes folks are not healed because it is there time to go to heaven. Or it may be that it is not the right time for them to be healed. The apostle Paul is said to have carried a physical disability his whole life, although he prayed several times for God to remove it.
Paul’s burden was apparently beneficial to his ministry. I personally have a disability that I take a pill for every day. I wish it was not so. I have prayed for God to take it, but I am 58 and although the problem has been under control for many years I know it is still there and I must continue to treat it.
If that disability keeps me humble and wanting to write you a sermon every week, and its absence would make me want to quit this service, I will keep the disability and be glad to have it. Only God knows the deal. But time does prove things to us.
I praise God He can use me, whether I have to take my one pill a day for the next 50 years or not! Sometimes we must realize God knows best and He can use our shortcomings for His glory. The big deal to receiving a healing is to ask for it, wait on the Lord and trust that the results will be for the best.
The Rev. Charles Stanley said in a recent sermon that when we pray we should always praise God and ask for the results of said prayer to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ through the results. This strikes me as very sound advice. If we do that, we know the answer to that prayer in our lives will enhance our Christian witness to someone and bring them possibly closer to Jesus or to accepting Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior. If either of those things happens, as a result of my prayers, that is enough for me.
So yes, healing is real in my mind. Jesus Christ is real in my heart, mind and soul. My hope for you is that you will find the peace in the Lord that I have found. If you need healing for you or someone else, remember to love your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul and to trust Him always. And remember, things happen for in God’s time if they are to turn out right. Never try to give the Lord the bum’s rush. It is imposing our will over His and the results are generally not very favorable.
SCRIPTURES
1) JUDAS HANGS HIMSELF – Matthew 27:1-10 New International Version (NIV) Judas Hangs Himself
27 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. 2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.
8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
2) JESUS SAID ONE DAY THE 12 DISCIPLES WILL JUDGE THE 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL – Matthew 10:1-9 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Sends Out the Twelve:
10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.
Matthew 19:23-30New International Version (NIV)
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
3) THE SHEEP KNOW THE VOICE OF THE THEIR SHEPHERD – John 10:27-32 New International Version (NIV) 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

 

 

God talks of
the pure heart
finding answers
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Most people are not arrogant enough to believe they have a pure heart. They may have enough confidence in Jesus Christ to believe that they are saved, but a pure heart? Right.
As we Cherokee say, everyone has a good dog and a bad dog spirit inside of them. Christians have a third Spirit; the Holy Ghost of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And believe, me three is not company. It is a comfortable fit.
But the Christian Bible says Jehovah God answers the prayers of Christians with a pure heart (1). It does not give a time table as to when those prayers will be answered, not does it say the All Mighty will always say yes to a prayer – even when it is ended in the Name of Jesus Christ.
This is where hope, faith and love of the Great I Am comes in. And also it is a factor as to whether we are doing all we know to be obedient to the Word of God – and all we are capable of.
God will not put anything on us that we can not stand up to (2). Therefore He does not expect anything from us that our countenance at the time can not handle. That is my theory anyway. It is a non-salvation issue and a Nelsonism.
Jesus Christ saved a woman from stoning in the Bible who was committing adultery. He looked at the crowd and said, “He how is without sin, cast the first stone.” Every one of them dropped and rock and beat feet.
Christ was the only sinless man and therefore the only pure hearted man. We are all in the same boat as the rock droppers. How many sins we do will determine how lousy of a time we have on earth in the long run, Christian or not.
But if you are a Christian, you have an extra conscious in the deal to at least give you a warning when temptation to disobedience is at your door. Otherwise, as the Rev. Charles Stanley said recently, the non-Christian is fighting the devil and his evil world all by him or her self… That does not sound like a very fair fight.
No wonder statistics say there were 43,000 or so suicides last year in the United States – a record number the news account announced on Thursday this week. And sadly, some were of the Christian faith.
Hopelessness, when the way out of poverty or a rut seems impossible, is a natural reaction. Jesus Christ answers the big problem of how a person can go to heaven to many, but to the problems of poverty, or finding a purpose driven life, many of us must wait for an answer.
We strive along and sometimes think we have it all figure out. Then we fall down again and again.
I tell people I was born without a quit switch. Here lately my challenges are many and if I was ever tempted to throw up my hands and quit my dreams, my work and everything it is now.
Then I remember the phrase in the Bible where Jesus Christ tells me to take His yoke, as it is easy and He will bring me rest (3). Again, He does not say when rest, or this apparently calm easy feeling, will come. It may be in this life, but it could be when we open our eyes in paradise.
So what do we do about this purity thing? I can only answer that question with speculation. To me, a pure heart is one that truly wants to serve God above self and even others.
All we can give is what we have and I believe Jehovah God takes us as we are and molds us into something more useable in His kingdom. To me, the purity is the willingness to be molded.
The Christian Bible tells us to be free in Jesus Christ is to be free indeed. If we were capable of having a pure heart on our own, it strikes me odd as to why Jesus had to come to earth to save us.
Again, all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. One sin negates true purity, or so our American definition would have us to believe.
The Word says no one who has sinned will enter heaven unless their name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. So it follows we must pray to Jesus who hears us and saved us and He will clean those prayers up so they will appear to have come from a pure source and therefore be heard by the Great I Am.
After all, the Christian Bible tells us that the acceptance of Jesus as our Savior will wash us and leave us pure as snow. The New Testament Christian Bible also tells us Jesus Christ was the only sinless man who ever walked the earth and his pure blood covers all of our sins, past, present and future – if we accept His gift of salvation and ask Him to forgive us our sins and imperfections from the past and present and we ask Him to forgive the indiscretions we will no doubt commit in the future.
Some Christians have come further on the task of overcoming sin, but sin continues to crop up in all of our lives. Again, this is a Nelsonism and not a point I wish to argue. I simply believe the Bible.
And that Bible tells me I am a dumb Lamb in need of daily guidance and direction from the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, This tells me I have a moral obligation to do the best job of living a Christ-like life that I can.
And I believe the sheep analogy speaks the same logic to all Christians. It also means Jesus will be there throughout our lives to catch us when we fall.
My point in today’s sermon is do not give up. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and asked forgiveness for your sins, you have praying ground to stand on. Prayer changes things. Reading and studying the Christian Bible also changes things in our lives.
Nobody can cook a new recipe without reading the instructions. It is our guide to overcoming. If we do not understand that something is wrong, or see examples as to where said disobedience or sin will harm our lives, it is unlikely we will ever stop doing it.
But if you see it in the Christian Bible, and then ponder what you have read, the Holy Ghost will guide you to success. Perhaps purity, as I believe, is a willingness to become.
And our wills may very well be leading us to become something we really do not want to be. Once you have accepted Jesus Christ in your life, something inside of you wants to try His will for your life.
You seek it. If you can reach the point where you really seek it with all of your heart, your God given gifts can begin to be used by Jehovah God, the provider of all things – even the provider of His Son’s pure blood sacrifice so that we can spend eternity in heaven…
It is my hope that someday I can discover and conquer enough of the sin in my life to preach to you from a pulpit, not just from a story in a magazine. But I realize I have much work to do on the Potter’s wheel.
That work is not always fun, but it is very rewarding when my true beliefs flow over into my pubic life as a reporter. It is then when someone gets a glimpse at how much I really love Jesus and want to share Him with that person.
Life is a process. Purity, to whatever degree the Lord wants to guide you or me, is a process too. We do not have all of the answers. I am not sure I even have all of the questions. But the Word says seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added to you.
So be a seeker, not a quitter. Dream your dreams and go after them with all of your heart. But let the teachings of Jesus Christ reveal to you how to do it.
SCRIPTURES
1) PRAYER AND A PURE HEART – 1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Psalm 24:4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 73:1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. Psalm 73:13
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?Proverbs 22:11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend. Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
2) GOD WILL NOT PUT ANYTHING ON US WE CAN NOT ENDURE WITHOUT PROVIDING AN ESCAPE – 1 Corinthians 10:4-17King James Version (KJV) 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
3) TAKE MY YOKE, FOR I WILL GIVE YOU REST – Matthew 11:20-30 King James Version (KJV) 20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

 

 

 

Why I believe
in Jehovah God
and Jesus Christ
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I remember asking my grandfather as a small child if he believed in God? He was silent for a moment and then he answered me.
John Hans Nelson, my grandfather who raised me, said to me that day on our Indiana farm, “I am a farmer. I watch things grow. I watch life being born and how it is all so perfectly built for what it is to be. I have to believe a God must have put all of this in motion. It could be no accident.”
I thought on what Grandpa had said. It made sense somehow to my childish mind. As I grew a little, I became interested in Jesus Christ. My neighbor lady, Martha Giggy, was the organist at the First United Methodist Church in Hagerstown, Indiana. Her son Kevin, now a Methodist minister, was one of my best friends growing up.
I attended the Methodist Church nearly every Sunday from age 8 until I was 18 and went off to college. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at an altar in that church when I was 15. The sermons helped, but the real thing that convinced me that the saving grace of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross was real was my extensive reading of His words that I found in my King James Bible that were in red. In other words, the direct quotes of what Jesus had said while on earth captured my young mind with awe.
I could not believe anyone in human form could be so perfect. Indeed, this had to have been the only Begotten Son of Jehovah God. Besides I knew the spiritual heart of this Jesus. He was my child hood friend and protector who I called Mr. God as I grew up alone on that Indiana farm.
I say alone because my elderly parents were not always around to watch me. I explored a lot of stuff out there on my own and Mr. God always made sure I did get hurt or in trouble. One such time, when I could have been killed, was when I followed cats across barn beams as a toddler. It was like a mighty hand made sure I did not fall off of them to my death on the farm implements 50 feet below.
As I grew, my activities out there widened. I became accustomed to shooting my bee bee gun and killing sparrows coming in for the night to roost through a broken window at the top of our barn. I was in sixth grade at the time, as Mr. Whitman was my science teacher at the Hagerstown school. He taught us about brown recluse spiders and how they could kill you if you were bitten.
I looked at the photos of the spiders in my science book. I realized I had seen these “fiddler marked” beasts many times. When I lay in wait in the old barn hayloft nearly every evening before sunset, those spiders were all around me. They never attacked me, never even crawled my way… Mr. God always kept them at peace as I lay there. Jehovah God protected me. Why, the Great I Am only knows.
But He did protect me. I thought of that on many a nights as I read those red letters that represented the quotes of Jesus Christ while He walked this earth. I was absolutely in awe that my Creator had loved me so much that He sent His only Begotten Son to make sure my sins would not have eternal consequences if only I would ask forgiveness, forgive others and believe in the miracle God had provided.
Somewhere in there, probably at 12 or 13, my human side kicked in with the “what about me” syndrome. I considered Mr. God a friend for life but yet knew that this entity called Satan really wanted me to turn my back on Jehovah God and follow my selfish desires forever. Temptation, by definition, is tempting.
I was intimate with my girlfriend and decided she was the most perfect girl in the world. Satan told me in a dream that Joni and I would live for 100 years without aging, in pure human love, if only I would agree to place him, the devil, as my leader and best friend instead of Jehovah God.
I just could not do it. It was a very stormy night when I had the dream and there was a loud thunder clap when I said the “no” that woke me up.
It was so loud that my grandfather rushed to my room to ask me if I was OK? I smiled and said I will be, and that I had just had a bad dream. He smiled and went back to bed. I got saved that next Sunday to seal the deal with Mr. God that I wanted His Son’s sacrifice to make sure my name was in His Lamb’s Book of Life – Mr. God’s way of protecting my eternal future. I felt so loved on the day I was saved… I knew in my heart of hearts his protection would be there for the rest of my life and beyond.
Life went along pretty good for a long time. I went through years where Jesus was my co-pilot and experimented with women, alcohol, nicotine – not really much into the illegal drugs, although I did smoke a few joints in college. Now is that a Christian life style? Nope. Not particularly. But I was a babe in Christ and just learning about the Potter’s Wheel and what being a witness for Christ really met.
The philosophy being pushed during my college days was if it feels good do it. I knew sleeping with a woman in my arms felt good. I knew drinking beer felt good. And I had a cigarette habit as well. I kept my partying to a minimum and managed to graduate college with a bachelor of science in journalism and psychology. I had an A – average. In high school I had an A average. There were not as many distractions when I was younger.
Joni and I lasted five years. Looking back, a marriage to her would not have been such a bad idea. But I was young and too into the Baby Boomer hedonistic lifestyle to marry so young. The Bible says Jesus will make His bed in hell with us on this earth (1). I am ashamed now of how close to forcing the Lord to do that my old life style required.
I could go on and on with why I believe in the Great I Am that Moses had the privilege of meeting when he collected the 10 commandments (2). The Christian Bible, Old Testament, tells us God revealed his hind quarters so Moses would not die of the shock of seeing God in human form, face to face. Moses was a murderer. God used him. Since I believe that, I am convinced He can use me as a soldier for the Great Commission – and He can use you too if you accept His gift of salvation and ask to be of use.
Now let’s look at the life of Jesus, according to the King James Version of the New Testament. He healed the sick, raised the dead back to life and talked of mercy and forgiveness. He took control away from the hypocritical priests of the time who controlled the people by convincing them good works would get them to heaven. Jesus was not all about good works as a prerequisite to salvation.
I think of a sermon I heard on YouTube recently by the Rev. Charles Stanley. The older minister told his audience that salvation is based on forgiveness and accepting the pure blood sacrifice given to us by Jesus Christ on the cross. When we ask and we believe, our names are placed in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Only we can remove them. No one else can do that, nor can our future sins. However, if you are saved, the Spirit of Jesus Christ will let you know quickly and your love for the Savior will make you ask forgiveness and the strength not to hurt Him with said disobedience again…
Our stumbling good works or bad works do not remove us from the Lamb’s Book of Life. Us dumb sheep have to accept Satan’s invitation to turn our back on Jehovah God out of a feeling that we are in a hopeless situation in order to re-enter the land of the damned. This is highly unlikely to occur if a person has hope in salvation from Jesus Christ, faith that Jesus is real for them and a love for their Creator.
Hope, faith and love (3) represents a growth system and the more we grow in it the more we believe that Jesus Christ was sent by Jehovah God to provide for us a way to be with Him in eternity and to join Him in defeating the devil’s lies. In my case, my growth system grew next when I put it to the test.
I was 47 years old. I was a journalist working at night on producing a paper My wife and children were at a funeral. I was thinking a lot about eternity when a dream I will never forget came to me. I remember falling asleep and dropping my exacta knife. I laid down to let sleep overtake me. I was suddenly in a spiritual realm, facing a black and white creature that told me he was the angel of death and he was here to take me to hell.
He grabbed me hard. I screamed at him, “You can not do that. My name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life and my soul belongs to Jesus Christ. You have no power over me.”
The creature became very irritated. A crew of other beings resembling him all tried to drag me, but a bright light entered the realm. The angel of death grabbed my throat. Then I felt a peace like never before. I awoke from my dream and got up off the floor.
I was pretty shook up and went to the restroom to wash my face. I looked in the mirror and so red hand marks on my throat… I washed up and thanked Mr. God for being there for me one more time.
In the estimation of some of the legal eagles, I am a weak Christian. But in the eyes of my Lord, I am a work in progress. We all are and we always will be works in progress until that final day when death is not a dream.
When that day comes, who will be there to save you from the justifiable punishment due you because of your own personal sins? Jesus did what was necessary to get that job done.
Be blessed, go find out what that means. Your life will still not be perfect but you will have a defender from the wiles of the devil. And that will bring you joy unspeakable; win, lose or draw in any given circumstances.
Consider your own life before you turn Jesus away. Consider the times when you too should have perished or gotten into a mess from which there would have been no escape. Indeed, we entertain angels unaware. Perhaps it is time in your personal life you got to know those angels… And of course, the boss man who will judge our souls; Jesus Christ of Nazareth…
SCRIPTURES
1) IF YOU MAKE YOUR BED IN HELL – Psalm 139:6-12 King James Version (KJV) 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
2) MOSES ASKS TO SEE GOD – Exodus 33:11-23 King James Version (KJV) 11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. 12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
3) THREE GIFTS FROM GOD – HOPE, FAITH AND – 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 English Standard Version (ESV) 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

 

Trusting God is
essential in the
hard times…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Trusting in Jehovah God, His son Jesus Christ and the Creator of this whole thing they call the universe is hard even for the most devoted of Christian souls.
But to win the war involved in serving the Great Commission of God All Mighty, it is a necessity. I suppose I see the whole thing sort of like a football game. Players can only win if they trust and listen to a dedicated and wise coach. To me, that describes the Spirit of Jesus Christ, to whom I profess to serve.
Now comes the question do I personally trust other people? Yes, to a point I do. But normally once they violate that trust I will forgive them – just not put myself out there to be stomped on again. This, of course, is a human reaction. If I feel in my spirit man that circumstances, rather than malice, have caused the indescretion, than I have been known to give people chance after chance. I do this because I too can not always keep my promises, as I am certainly not Jesus Christ. As to the Spirit of the Savior, I do trust it. When I know that I know that Christ would have me continue in somthing and use hope, faith and love to seal the deal, I keep on keeping on.
And I must say, when it comes to trusting Christian principles and the Spirit of our Savior, I have never felt let down. Sure, I misunderstand Him from time to time because of my own enthusiasm on certain matters of the heart – or more often on timing. But then I go back to the scripture which says God is not a man and therefore can not lie (1).
Trust is built on honesty. Jesus is always honest with his followers. The Bible says His sheep know His voice (2). This means they can count on their Savior to be honest and have their best interests at heart, and that somehow those who follow the Great Shepherd somehow know when the still small voice they hear is His.
Circumstances sometimes make what we hear from Christ a very difficult thing to believe, but if you do not panic things will be fine. I am half Cherokee. Those Native Americans believe that he who panics last wins.
So many times I panic. But rarely do I act on it. I guess I have things half right. If we were on Facebook just now, I would end that statement with “Laughing Out Loud (LOL). But it is true for all humans; we either see our cup as half empty or half full. I write to you just now on the 4th of July. This is the Independence Day celebration time for America. The America I speak of is my United States.
If you are reading me from another country, let me explain a bit. We fought hard at the beginning of our nation to get away from being controlled by England like a little dog on a leach. It worked. A bunch of determined and armed farmers blew away a bunch of corporate soldiers in red coats. I suppose I see this as a Christian thing. Jesus is a Savior of freedom. He saves us unconditionally. It is indeed no license to sin to accept salvation.
But when sin occurs in the life of the believer, trust me on this, Jesus Christ will let you know real quick that you have made the wrong decision.
Then it is up to your free will to ask forgiveness and go on. You do not have to do so. You do not have to do anything except pay taxes and die.
But if you do ask for forgiveness and thank the Savior for what He did for you on the cross, believe me you will never regret that decision.
Still, more importantly than believing me, always believe the Savior. For example,when He tells you through His Chrisian Bible that adultery will get you in trouble He is not trying to spoil your fun. He is trying to explain to you that pain will result. Your family will suffer. A divorce could happen. Children can be hurt. In short, His “rules” are for your own good. It took me a lot of years to realize this fact.
Perhaps you come out of your own favorite sin in like manner. Whether it is jumping the fence of love, cussing a blue streak, killing someone, stealing the Hope diamond or whatever it is, if the Bible defines it as sin, trust the Word of Jesus Christ, it is definitely not to your advantage to continue on your folly.
The just of today’s sermon is trusting God when all of your hopes, dreams and desires seem to be fading to black. These times come to nearly everyone I know, including me.
And I am the first to admit what I propose that you do is far from any logical choice. When the world turns into a storm around us, the human reaction is to try to find any way we can to pull our car back up out of the ditch and on to the highway. Most of us do not care how we do so.
But our Savior Jesus Christ does care. He has the perfect way to get your life back on track – IF you can see fit to trust Him in all things. To use my own life as an example, I am currently in a financial bind. Admittedly, I have nobody to blame for this but myself. I could whine about it, go get a loan shark to grant me temporary relief or I could simply pray to Jesus Christ to show me the way out. I choose the latter.
Time will tell if it is the best choice. Personally, I have every confidence that it is. I refer you to the scripture that this too comes to pass (3). In short, the Great I Am is telling us that nothing that happens to us while we are renting these bodies comes to stay.
This truth works both ways. If you were once young and healthy, in body, mind and spirit, then you know what I mean if a little age has come upon you. Our youthful vigor does not last forever on this planet.
Someday, sooner than you expect in all probablility, your body will start to break down. You must trust God then too. He will guide you through old age.
There is a preacher on television named Happy Caldwell who claims God does not require we die of some health hazard. The Rev. Caldwell says people can just fade away.
I had an uncle who did just that. Gussie, as we called him, died at 92. He was healthy as a horse to the end, an old dairy farmer with a tremendous sense of humor. He simply watched a ball game on television, put out his cigar, went to sleep and never woke up.
Not all of us are so lucky. On this Independence Day weekend my thoughts drift back to the farm where I was raised. I have been trusting Jehovah God in my life for many years.
I still can feel the barn beams under my toddler hands and knees as the Great I Am made sure I did not fall off and plunge to my death 50 feet below on old rusty farm equipment…
Trust can be hard. Trusting a God you can not see can be even harder. But think of your blessings. Say your thank yous to your Creator, take a ragged breath and give life all you got. After all, you did not come to this planet to stay.
SCRIPTURES
1) GOD CAN NOT LIE – Numbers 23:16-23New International Version (NIV) 16 The Lord met with Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”
17 So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the Moabite officials. Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say?”
18 Then he spoke his message: “Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor.
19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
20 I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. 21 “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed[a] in Israel. The Lord their God is with them, the shout of the King is among them. 22 God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox.
23 There is no divination against[b] Jacob, no evil omens against[c] Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
2) HIS SHEEP KNOW HIS VOICE – John 10:22-30 King James Version (KJV) 22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
3) THIS TOO SHALL COME TO PASS – Deuteronomy 28 King James Version (KJV) 28 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. 6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
7 The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
9 The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.
15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. 24 The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. 25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. 27 The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
28 The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: 29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.
30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

 

 

Life’s choices
INCREASE
after you accept
Jesus Christ…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
A lot of folks who have not accepted the saving grace of Jesus Christ believe that doing so would decrease their freedom of choice in life. Actually, just the opposite is true.
I used to be among those who had this criticism before it dawned on me that the idea was not coming from the Spirit of the Lord. Satan wants us to make the choice to do whatever we can to promote self.
And what he does not say is that selfish behavior leads to feeling sorry for one self, to pain and to misery. Helping others, a Christian element, does just the opposite.
Remember the scriptures where Jesus tells us if we have fed the poorest of the poor, we have fed Him (1)? Our Lord wants us to be of help to those who are hurting. In doing so, He gives us tools to carry on and therefore we do not become just like those we are assigned to teach by example the ways of Jesus Christ.
In short, we take action to help instead of just throwing up our hands in despair. And witnessing is not just preaching salvation at them. It can involve food, clothing or shelter.
It could also involve giving a complement to someone who appears down and out.
Giving is addictive. The more you choose to give instead of seek to receive, the more you feel right about it. The Spirit of Jesus is like that. The Lord will let you know when He is pleased. Jehovah God tells us to be thankful in all things (2). Giving thanks is one way of pleasing Jehovah God. The Christian Bible also tells us that things come to pass, not to stay. We must face that we live in an ever changing world.
Soon, as you learn to give a little, the Spirit of Jesus Christ will make a way for you to give more and more. The takers will consider you foolish, but something strange is going to happen.
When you give, the Lord will give back to you, pressed down and in good measure (3). It is a principle of prosperity that is a Jehovah God thing and defies all aspects of human logic. But try it, it works!
When I grew up in the 1970’s, there was a rock/gospel song that said, “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. They will know we are Christians by our love.”
Love in part, as referred to in that song, includes a spirit of giving to those less fortunate – be they a family member, friend or stranger. This sentiment seems to me to have diminished somewhat over the years in my United States culture.
It is too easy to stay away from those who are hurting. People are too self-absorbed, or so it appears from this reporter’s point of view. Sure, I could be wrong, or simply observing the “bad dog” people, but I think you know what I mean. In fact, there are some horrors that my flesh also draws back from helping or facing. I am trying to overcome said weaknesses.
Still, every person who grows older, like I have already done to a point, and thinks back on the “glory days” of youth, from time to time thinks the past more just.
It is easy to think we had it right and today’s people of the earth are somehow lacking. This, of course, is probably a wrong view. It is most likely an unjustified profile when it comes to many millennials, yet it is easy to think it when you have been raised in the Baby Boomer generation like myself.
Here is truly how I feel. If you have accepted Jesus, whether you are 8 or 80, I accept you as a brother in Christ or sister in Christ. As to generational differences, I have always found I could learn a lot more from folks who were raised differently than me than from other Indiana farm boys raised in the 1970’s.
Again, God wants us to make our own choices, whether it be the choice to be a giver or the choice to be a taker. And your age, color or background does not seem to matter much to Jesus. It is a shame it does to so many people.
Some very young Christians are fantastic givers. Some old ones are very miserable takers whose telephone never rings. It is not an age thing to have these choices. Sure, many fit our profile modes or those profiles would not exist. But what we have to remember is that everyone, Christian or non-Christian, young or old, has their own choices to make and some of us do not fit in any profile.
Since I am, shall we say, a bit unusual, I can tell you this as a fact. And it makes it easier for me not to take profiling too seriously . I choose to believe the individual personality theory.
You see, in getting to know Jesus Christ over a life time of attempting to overcome this sin or that mistake, I have learned a little. I have learned that I worship a God who gives me freedom of choice and when I make a Christian friendly choice the results are much happier.
I look at the people of the world, who listen to Satan and have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. It would seem they really have no freedom of choice. They are told to do this or that by friends, and told how nobody will find out if they act in lust instead of love.
Then they do it. They have sex with a stranger, try one more drink of hard liquor or eat some sort of drug that may damage their bodies forever more. They get a thrill and then they seek another thrill.
As a Christian, the choices we have involve the giving and receiving of love and blessings; not the shame and penalty of pure animal lust done out of wedlock.
For example, the Holy Ghost living on my inside tells me to give to a homeless person, or to a mission in a foreign land. I have freedom to say no. But I take God’s guidance and direction seriously, so usually I say yes and give… I am told the person in trouble is a scam. I am told I am a fool for helping that person. It is typical Internet satanic discouragement. But yet there is a possibility the person who I am helping really does need the donation to keep from starving to death.
I pray. Jehovah God tells me in my Spirit to keep giving and to hold tight. I was in this situation once. I kept giving. I am so glad I did.
I also had another opportunity to help someone in another country, with yet another person who said they had a financial need, but I did not feel the Spirit tugging me to act. I turned that one down and just offered her mental comfort. With me, my action involves prayer and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ to help me do the right thing with my resources.
Trust helps me make those choices that I have in life as a Christian that I did not ever have before I was saved. I accepted Jesus Christ at age 15. I suppose I was free to communicate with Jehovah God and be heard until I was about 12.
That put me out to pasture from the Lord for about three years before I made the best choice of all; to accept the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
During those three years, before I asked Jesus to come into my heart to stay, I made some choices I am not very proud of doing. I experimented with “calling the corners,” wigee boards, studied about the fables of vampires, wizards, warlocks, witches and wear wolves. I studied re-incarnation, trying to side step my inevitable death. In short, I studied witchcraft and the power of white witchery.
I got to know the devil on a first name basis – so to speak. Perhaps you have similar stories from your pre-salvation days. Perhaps you are going through some of that stuff as you read this sermon and are wondering why anyone would want anything different. Obviously, I can not know what your life’s choices have been. This is especially true for those of us who have not ever met.
But people in general have common denominators. I grew up an only child on a farm with my grandparents in central Indiana. I talked to God a lot growing up. I read the Christian Bible a lot. The letters in red fascinated me. And I believe Jehovah God had His hand on me before my age of accountability came around. So therefore I was very used to flexing the spiritual muscle. You see, we have a physical self, a human being self and a spiritual self. If any of the three are inadequately satisfied, the animal we call a human being will do what he or she can to fix the problem.
When Jehovah God shut my lights out, so to speak, at about 12 years old, all of a sudden I felt like I was so alone. Satan, quite naturally, took this opportunity to jump up on my shoulder and start in yapping. Don’t laugh too hard. He has probably done the same thing to you at one point or another. So I made some bad choices because my spiritual connection to Jehovah God was gone and I was young and inexperienced in understanding the results of selfish actions.
The Bible tells us God only hears one prayer after we are of the age of accountability; the prayer from a man or woman that asks Jesus Christ to forgive him or her and to put his or her name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That prayer starts a new life. I did that at 15 and let Jesus know I believed in Him and the saving grace of His pure blood sacrifice to wart off the results of sin (disobedience) to Father God.
So before we are saved, and after we are accountable for our actions, the human being naturally feels lonely for some sort of spiritual comfort. This explains why so many folks out in the world try to fill the void with multiple sex partners, harmful drugs and the like. They feel empty. Satan tells you he can fill that void. When you jump off into his play pen it does not take most of us long to figure out something just does not smell right.
So choices determine what sort of life we will lead. If we feed the good dog, life can be happy and involve happy tears. If we choose to feed our bad dog self more, we also get tears. But many times those tears lead to broken lives, damaged loved ones and an eventual life of living alone, one day at time. This, of course, is a formula for suicide for many…
So it is up to you. You choose. Does converting to Christianity limit your choices? Absolutely not. It gives you a Counselor to guide you along life’s path and it makes life worth living – from start to finish. Again, you choose.
SCRIPTURES
1) WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR THE LEAST OF THEM – Matthew 25:38-42 New International Version (NIV) 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink.
2) BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 New International Version (NIV) 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3) THE LORD REWARDS A GIVER – Luke 6:32-42 New International Version (NIV)
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Judging Others – 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

 

 

 

 

 

The selfish person
in a confrontation
will miss Christ’s
love lesson…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
When I was young, like many folks, my focus on what I perceived as achieving happiness involved getting what I wanted out of people, places and/or things.
The years went by and at 58 I have changed my mind considerably. I attribute getting to know the mind of Jesus Christ over the years as the primary reason for this change of heart.
Now I believe that in any confrontation the selfish person always loses in the long run. If both folks are being selfish, then there is no winner and heart ache and pain will surely follow all selfish folk concerned.
So how does a person have a long-term relationship that succeeds? Well one way is to curb your own selfish desires and concentrate on helping the other person achieve his or her happiness.
If you can find someone who is at the same place in their Christian walk, and that person wants only for you to be happy, then until death do us part in a marriage does not seem so unrealistic to achieve. These principles could also apply to successful friendships.
Another attribute a Christian should have in any relationship with another human being is kindness. Find out the other person’s goals and try and help them achieve them. This can be hard when you want so badly for your spouse to want what you want. But to stay on this side of sanity, it is necessary to make this mental change. You must learn to put the other person’s happiness ahead of your own.
Sometimes this means honoring their request for you to drop out of their life.
But more often than not, if the basis of a relationship exists, putting the other person’s happiness first through a goodly dose of kindness and lack of selfishness will result in you getting some sort of a job in their lives.
If nothing else, you may be fired as a spouse but hired on as a friend and an encourager. In short, people all need fans. And if you switch over to becoming a person’s fan instead of spouting off about the Joyce Meyers syndrome of “What about me,” you just might find that your friend or spouse begins to smile instead of frown when you come around.
Jesus Christ was a giver. He gave folks their salvation by way of His pure blood sacrifice on the cross and all they had to do was believe and accept it (1). He gave folks food. Look at the 5,000 who were fed from the one boy’s couple of pieces of fish (2).
And He gave folks their lives back. Remember the story of the man healed of being crippled and Jesus telling him to take up his bed and walk (3)? So you see, Jesus was patient and kind with people. This is our ultimate example folks of how things ought to be.
Consider how he saved the lady caught in adultery from being stoned. He told the judgmental folk ready to kill her to cast a stone at her if they had never sinned. Indeed, this was merciful, kind and patient.
The mercy was that He spared the life of the gal caught in adultery. He was kind in that He told her to go and sin no more. And He was patient because there is a good chance the gal was a prostitute and might have to come out of that lifestyle one step at a time instead of all at once.
The other factor in behaving with an unselfish heart is love. A person has to love their spouse or friend before any of the patience and kindness stuff will have much effect. Love, as they say, is the glue that holds any relationship together.
And now lets look at this from another angle. Suppose you have been called, as I have, to spread the Gospel Of Jesus Christ – that is get involved with the Great Commission. There will be those who mock you or even threaten you for doing so – even if all you do is publish a weekly sermon in a local magazine like I do.
This is because Satan values his customers and wants a full house down there in hell someday. Our job as Christians is to somehow make sure there are a few vacant seats…
There is an old saying in the ministry; hate the sin but love the sinner. So there is the instruction to choose to have some glue (love) in each of your potential relationships – whether with the saved or unsaved on this earth.
As to the kindness and patience, that is not so hard with strangers as it can be with spouses or friends. After all, strangers are much easier for most of us to walk away from…
Lets look for a moment at Corinthians 13, the love chapter. Perhaps we can all gain a little bit of knowledge about how to express the unconditional love of Jesus Christ by understanding this chapter. Here is it in the NIV, International Version of the Christian Bible.
1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV) 13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
In short, love, Christian style, is about forgiveness, hope for what is to come and an eye toward the future being a time of improvement and good times to come.
It is not about jealousy, wandering eyes to satiate animal needs that should be coped with within the boundaries of the marriage, anger because someone else has a dream or desire that does not match yours and real love is not about revenge.
Frankly, love sounds pretty dangerous to most of our mental health stress levels. Many of us are not good at not getting our way. Many do not like it if someone goes out on us or mocks us, or simply decides to discredit our dreams or major purpose in life… We have a tendency, as human beings, to take a lot of stuff personal. Our love chapter tells us doing do will end in disaster. Don’t get me wrong, I am not implying that you and I do not deserve to be happy and that we do not deserve truth in any close relationship.
But whether we get it or not, as my pastor (Andrew Goodwin, First Assembly of God in Gurdon) said, the only thing any of us really deserve is judgment form Jehovah God for our sins.
Jesus Christ went to the cross so we did not have to get what we deserved on that count. So here is the deal, true happiness for the Christian comes from attempting to make others happy and comfortable.
If we can do that, we can achieve happiness from their smiles and successes.
Again, as my Celebrate Recovery leader Tommy Potter said about a decade ago, give God’s ways a chance. If they do not meet your needs, Satan will always take you back.
And God’s ways involve loving humanity, forgiving them for their faults, showing mercy on them when they do not meet your expectations, showing unconditional friendship even when doing so makes us uncomfortable, exhibiting patience while someone is “finding themselves,” and being kind when your human side wants to jack slap the be Jesus out of someone for their own good!
As my grandparents used to say, “How do you like them apples?”
SCRIPTURES
1) SALVATION THOUGH JESUS CHRIST – John 3:14-18 New International Version (NIV)
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
2) FEEDING 5000 – Mark 6:40-54 New International Version (NIV) 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
Jesus Walks on the Water: 45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake.
He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus.
3) JESUS TOLD THE MAN TO TAKE UP HIS BED AND WALK – John 5:6-23 New International Version (NIV)
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
The Authority of the Son
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

 

 

Godly love
does not die
from pain
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
We humans go through a lot of pain in relationships. Husbands and wives burn out on each other. Children turn on parents and parents on kids. Pain is the name of the game in the human race of this century, or so it would seem.
Is there any solution to this in the realm of Christianity? Do Christians go through the same thing and does it really make a difference if the Divine Counseling of Jesus Christ is available to help work out solutions? I think it does.
Let’s consider for a moment what Jesus Christ went through on earth to grant us safe passage to heaven by offering to place our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life if we just ask for forgiveness and believe in the power of his sinless blood shed for us on the cross. It is a divine miracle that all Christians are thankful happened. But it is also a depiction of the ultimate pain.
The New Testament tells us when Jesus died on the cross, the soldiers did what was common to make sure the body was dead. (1). But the first real pain felt by Jesus in the physical seems to have been those brutal whipping lashes (2).
Mentally the Savior suffered from rejection by the Jews, both common and the leaders, of His time (3). They were jealous of His power to heal, the power of truth itself. They realized the bigger His ministry would get, the less people would bother with them.
So yes, our Savior suffered. The Word (Christian Bible) tells us He is a friend that will stick closer than a brother. This can really help when you go through those many dark hours of pain that are common to us all. Grief therapy comes to mind. Whether it is an actual death, a divorce from a life partner that had been there for years or the death or desertion of a child or parent, loss of a loved one usually produces the highest level of pain in the human experience.
All of these type pains are nearly unbearable. But if you know the Lord, things are easier. Somehow the comforting spiritual arms of Jesus Christ around His children make the pain level go down. He can allow us to see through the tears that cover our soul in our grief to the smiles of those who have left us. It makes little difference if it is death or desertion. Leaving someone high and dry can make them suicidal without the Lord in your heart.
But Jehovah God can give us our hope back if we will accept His comfort. I have called the Great I Am Mr. God since I was a small child. I went through a stage of confusion right after I became what they call the age of accountability, but I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart at the age of 15. So as to real pain, I have never faced it without Jesus right there.
I am so glad He has always been there to see me through. I am not a man who dwells on the bad times. I have always bought into the idea that if you make it through a horrible situation, you will be stronger the next time the devil hits you with a sucker punch. Some pain, we bring on ourselves. If a loved one, for example, deserts you, and says they just do not have time for you, it can hurt probably as deep as a sword through the heart.
I have found that when something like that happens, if I will think back on a good time with that person who has simply died or viciously deserted me, it helps me make it through the heart ache. Perhaps it will help you too. Jesus said take his yoke, it is easy. To me that means if we give to others by delivering Christian service to them, it will make us feel better.
In short, if you find someone who appears to have it worse than you and you lend a hand, your problems somehow do not seem so brutal, so painful and the pain will slowly go away. This technique was taught to me back in 2005, when I was in an organizational program called Celebrate Recovery.
I was encouraged to join a group called Helping Hands ministry, which concentrated on providing food and shelter for a few homeless folk in the Arkadelphia, Arkansas area. The organization was several years old but was looking for new blood on its board of directors. I was made a board member and even served as an officer for awhile. In trying to help the client base get up from a homeless status, I was made to realize that many people had it worse off than me.
At the time, my wife was in another state and I lived in the back of an elderly man’s house. I was pretty poor, as most of my money was being garnished by my employer, the Gurdon Times, and sent to my ex-wife Renee, up in Indiana, to help send my oldest daughter Erin to computer programming school. By working with those who did not even have a job, much less a family to support and/or miss, I discovered a valuable way of dealing with pain.
Pain can come in many forms, and it can come for many reasons. If your pain comes from the loss of an individual, sometimes thinking of better days helps. I lost my best friend last year. That pain haunts me but I think of Mike pulling out a big catfish and I feel better.
I have not seen my biological dad in years. He believed in tough love and felt if he gave me too much of his money I might never learn to earn a buck on my own. Besides paying for my first semester in college, I think he gave me $50 one time in my whole life… Oh well, he told lots of good jokes to me and taught me a lot about basic medicine. Dr. John W. Nelson was very successful as a neurologist, not so much as a father. But fortunately, his parents adopted me at 7 months old and took that pressure off of him. I am happy he had a successful career.
When I think of him shooting crows with a scope on our farm from a walnut tree a half of a mile away, I smile. We had some good times. Daddy was not so bad. As I love to say, happiness is found on the journey of life. How it all ends is not the big thing. It is just the final scene, nothing more, nothing less.
I could use more personal examples of painful situations in my life, but I will not. I will ask you instead to accept Jesus in your heart so the next time you go through the pain of loss, it will be much easier to cope.
Remember what Jesus did for the fisherman, Peter. Peter had fished all night and came up with empty nets. Jesus Christ told him to drop those nets once more. Peter told Him of the bad night but said he would drop his nets just once more, once more for the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter caught so many fish he had a hard time dispersing them. Jesus eased the pain of a terrible night of unsuccessful fishing while also proving to His fisherman friend that miracles were indeed possible – even in the most unlikely circumstances.
Remember the mercy He showed on the woman who was caught in adultery and about to be stoned to death for being caught in the act. Christ looked at her accusers and said, paraphrased, “Yes adultery is a sin. I want the person here who has never sinned to cast the first stone.”
Then when they all left, Jesus looked at the girl and said, “Woman, where are your accusers?” She replied they have gone. He probably smiled and said, “Go then, and sin no more.”
I take that as Him telling her to learn from this lesson and not do that act of sin again. Whatever He met, He sure was merciful to an individual who under the law was due for a good stoning… He saved her mortal life out of love and relieved a lot of potential pain. He has done the same for me many times.
You may ask how? Especially you may ask that if you have not accepted salvation through accepting Jesus Christ and having known his Spiritual friendship. That is the key. Accept His salvation and His presence will change you for the better. You will not understand what I am getting at until you take the plunge. Come on in, the water is fine!
As my Celebrate Recovery counselor used to say, “You have tried the devil. Give Jesus Christ a chance. If you do not like the results, Satan will always take you back.” So you see the point of this sermon is how to cope with pain. Pain, mental anguish or physical harm, is going to hurt by definition. How we handle it depends on what defenses are available to us. For the Christian, the love of Jesus Christ is with us and His banner of us is love.
For the non-Christian, we may have good friends and maybe even some money to ease the suffering some, but many times friends stay away during a crisis out of fear circumstances will rub off on them. And money, well we all know it comes and it goes – especially in the secular world. The love of Jesus never leaves you. And Jehovah God never stops providing for you physically and mentally.
To begin to understand how this matters when you are in pain, you have to possess three gifts from God. They are hope, faith and love – with love being the greatest of the three. Jesus tells us in the Christian Bible that His spirit will never leave His children and will never forsake them. Jesus will remain in Spirit while others walk away from calamity. He is the great shepherd and His lambs will be brought back home by Him – one lamb at a time, no matter where they find themselves.
The Christian Bible tells us that if a man or a woman makes their bed in a living hell, Jesus will be right there with them. If you are in intense pain from losing some one special in your life, or from finding yourself alone because of your own mistakes, Jesus will see you through each such valley in your life. You may lose the most special person in your life unexpectedly, but in many cases for the Christian the loss will clear the way for another chapter to begin. The key is to keep the faith that your pain will not last forever. This too shall pass.
SCRIPTURES
1) MAKING SURE JESUS CHRIST WAS DEAD – Mark 15:34-47 King James Version (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. 37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
2) WHIPPING LASHES FOR JESUS CHRIST BY PILATE – John 19King James Version (KJV) 19 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
Matthew 27:23-28 King James Version (KJV) 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
3) JESUS REJECTED BY THE JEWS – John 5:28-47 King James Version (KJV) 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men.
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Steal your
Christian joy
back from Satan!
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Every now and then, despite my work schedule, I crawl in bed early and get up to hear the sound of the birds bringing our world to life after a few hours of sleep.
I used to do that more often. I would get my fishing equipment ready and go pick up Mike, my best friend for 22 years. Mike passed away about a year ago. It stole a lot of joy from me but the Lord has restored much of it.
I want to ask you, the reader, a serious question. Has the devil and his evil clan stole some of your Christian joy? Most of us will answer that in the affirmative. But my assertion is that we can steal it back from Satan, if we ask our Lord Jesus Christ for guidance and direction to do so.
Many times in life, we humans assume that Jehovah God has ran off to play golf when we believe we need Him the most. This, of course, is a lie from the pits of hell. Consider the Bible story of Jesus Christ raising Lazarus from the dead (1). This man was said to have been the best friend of the Lord. I believe this story contains our shortest quote from the Christian Bible, “Jesus wept.”
But let’s look at why the only Begotten Son of the Living God cried. It was for the lack of faith of the family and friends of Lazarus. It was not for Lazarus because Jesus knew He could bring him back to life. Our assumptions in life allow Satan to steal our joy. If you can see past our carnal world when disasters happen, and try your best to see where the Spirit of the Great I Am is going with what we see before us, we can steal that joy back from the devil by using the weapon of Christian faith.
Sometimes hope and faith are the rock of a young Christian. When we let Jesus drive, and promote Him from the co-pilot days of our humble beginnings, things begin to change. It took me a lot of years to realize that one.
You see I discovered that worrying through the night is normal for a mind like mine, and perhaps for one like yours. But our Christian Bible tells us joy comes in the morning when we reason with the Lord (2). I do that quite a bit and have found it to be true for me. Having a little talk with Jesus, telling Him all about my troubles, like the old gospel hymn says, is a wonderful way to get your joy back.
Jesus Christ, as is witnessed by the red letters in a Bible with the red letter edition coloring, is and was a man of giving. There is an old saying that says if you are down and out, find someone worse off than you and lend them a helping hand. Volunteering at a mission, financing someone in a foreign country at a mission, taking a meal to a shut-in, going after an alcoholic who has had too much – the list by which you can help others goes on and on.
But if you are thinking of any of this, Satan is for sure going to tell you that you are simply too busy for such things and you just do not feel like being around people. Sulking gives Satan one more link in the chain he has on your Christian joy. That joy, by the way, is not the same temporary joy most of us would feel if we won $50,000. It is a joy that comes from giving unselfishly when logic would suggest you have nothing left to give.
After the act of giving, there is just something special that happens to a Christian soul, regardless of where that person may be in the sin overcoming process we all go through. It is a special feeling that gives the befuddled soul a feeling of purpose he or she desperately needs. The Lord has said if we feed someone, cloth them or provide them with shelter, we have done the same for Him (3). To me, this is saying that if Jesus were here in the flesh, He would do all of those wonderful giving things for His children.
In short, when Christ uses you to do His will, you will find a joy that is indeed, again as the gospel tunes of old suggest, is unspeakable. I must admit, I really do not know how to get human joy back when someone loses a spouse, a career, a best friend or whatever human loss you may have suffered. But giving to others creates a new type of joy that most of us never thought possible.
And perhaps also importantly, it drives the devil crazy. His whole kingdom of darkness is built on selfishness. Even though we do not want to admit it, at least in most cases, our families, our careers, our friendships and so forth have elements of selfishness – especially if none of the above leads to a Christian giving lifestyle.
I have lost all of the above elements at certain down times in my life. There is not enough space here to explain it all, but I lived in a room in the back of a house in 2005. My wife and family were all elsewhere. My room mate was 40 years older than me, or there about’s. Bob is dead and gone now. He helped. He made me realize my life was not over, but rather I was just taking a break. Another friend, Tommy, taught me by example what giving instead of taking could do for a soul.
I liked it. I am still not all that good at it, but it slowly but surely returned my self-confidence and my talks and prayers alone with Jesus did the rest. There have been hard times since, but nothing like those days. Sometimes we must get all alone to begin the process of being thankful for our lives. Since those days, my wife came home, my career is once again in tact and life has been better down deep inside of me.
Sure, there are moments when I think my joy has slipped. When Mike died, it slipped a lot… But the Lord is faithful. Giving and being thankful are results of hope, faith and love. Some of us see our cup as half full, others see it as half empty. Christianity makes us members, more often than not, of the first club…
I have been a member of both at times. When the devil eggs me on to self pity, I do not always resist. I think they call that being human. But when I review the afore mentioned Christian principles of putting the needs of others first and being thankful for all the good Lord has provided in my basket, it always brings a smile. And that smile, my friends, will bring you joy in the morning!
Life is a series of new beginnings. When you wake up, you and you alone decide to follow your own feelings or pray to Jesus Christ for guidance and direction for that day. The choice is yours each and every day you spend on planet earth.
One thing I learned from Christian counseling years ago is to own you own actions. Do not blame others for your choices. They did not make them for you. They may have influenced you and even tried to control you. But you, and you alone make your choices. You chose to allow the Lord to fill your day with joy by being a giver or with self-pity by curling up in some little ball and begging for material improvement, fame, fortune or some other person’s love to save you from your misery.
Only the love of Jesus Christ, and following his example, will save you from pain and misery in this life. And as that one friend Tommy used to say to me, “Try the Lord’s ways. You may find they work for you. If not, you can always go back to the self-centered ways of the devil. Satan will gladly take you back.”
So how do we really steal our joy back from Satan? Give, give and give. Give stuff to those in needs. Give thanks to the Lord that you have it to give.
SCRIPTURES
1) RAISING LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD – John 11:30-45 King James Version (KJV) 30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. 32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
2) JOY COMES IN THE MORNING – Psalm 30King James Version (KJV) 30 I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. 7 Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. 8 I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication.
9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? 10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.
11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
3) WHEN YOU FEED THE HUNGRY, YOU FEED ME – Matthew 25:34-40 King James Version (KJV) 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 

When you feel
down and out,
pray for advice
from Jesus…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
It is the beginning of summer in Southern Arkansas, where I write to you. The school kids are free and many are planning vacation time.
Others just trudge on – working hard to keep the wolf away from the door. But in this world of information overload, high tech scams and day to day disappointments, even for the Christian it is easy to get down and out from time to time.
Although I am a very moody guy, I have been fortunate in that my depression has never stopped my productivity – at least not so far. What is my secret? My happiness comes from giving to others. I give them stories, photos, a weekly magazine and sometimes cash when I have it.
I also talk with my Savior, Jesus Christ, every day. I have been all about talking to the Great I Am for as long as I can remember. I was raised an only child on my grandparents’ farm in middle Indiana. Mr. God was my constant companion for survival. Does He respond? Yes, in my opinion He responds though the Christian Bible and through a comfort from His love that I can not explain.
But let’s look at this thing that in my generation we called the blues. In marketing, which is what I do to make money, we call it a blue funk and it is very hard to sell when this hits you. To sell an ad, or a package of LED lights, which are my two lines, you have to be decently dressed, have an upbeat attitude and display an optimism that will move product.
So when I get the blues, I pray to Jesus and remind Him that my attitude in the field is very important to my family income. I am 58 and I can honestly say the Lord has never let me down. Help does not come in the way we expect, that is in most cases. But if we keep the faith, help will come – in God’s time not ours…
What does the New Testament Christian Bible say about depression. Jesus says take my yoke (work for me) and it will ease your mind (1). It also tells us that you will be blessed for feeding folks, clothing them, giving them somewhere to sleep (2). Serving Jesus Christ is a life of giving.
God is well aware that money is a tool we need to serve Him in serving others. I have heard many sermons about how if you give in faith, especially something near and dear to you, your love offering will be rewarded even more so through the blessings of Jehovah God. I have found this to be true in my life, but I have also found it sometimes hard to part with something when it is my last little bit.
Then I think of the woman in the Bible who gave her last meal to feed the Lord. It was all she had for her and her son to eat. Now that is faith. I pray for that kind of action to faith in my own life someday. I know the Word of God (Christian Bible) tells us we all have the measure of faith, but turning that faith from potential to kinetic energy can be a challenge.
In my life, the few times I have done it involved intense love. I once had the faith to raise a dead cat back to life because I did not want to devastate my then little 5-year-old before she got on a bus to go to school. I have given that testimony here several times.
But for those of you who need a real life example of faith in action, here goes. It does not involve money, but it does involve believing that Jehovah God will do just what He tells us He will do.
The incident took place in Alexander, Arkansas, say around 1989. My then wife Doris and I lived in a mobile home and my office for the Bryant Community Press was in a Ford dealership where we had the use of a couple of rooms on a trade out basis to help keep the paper going. I was in a hurry to get to work that morning and so I got ready to leave before my little girl Kelley got on the bus.
Kelley had this little kitten. I do not remember his or her name, but she was a feisty little thing. She jumped off of the porch and grabbed my leg, drawing a little blood and a lot of surprise from me… I am a farm boy. I do not have a good reaction to being attacked in any way, shape or form. My gut reaction was to throw that cat straight up in the air. I did that. Then I realized it was my child’s pet as it came down and hit the cold ground. There was no breath in the thing.
The farm boy murder procedure had worked like a charm. No more cat… I began to tear up for my little girl. I prayed, “Lord, in the Name of Jesus, bring kitty back to us so Kelley will not be hurt. I thank you Lord.”
I prayed with the right stuff; hope, faith and love. The cat got up, shook itself, and began purring as it rubbed on my leg. My little girl came out of the trailer to catch her bus, reached down to pet the cat and gave daddy a kiss. To this day, I am so thankful that God had mercy in that instance.
Sure, some of you will say the cat was never dead – just in shock. I got news for you. I have killed many threatening creatures like that as a farm boy. That sucker was dead as a door nail! So no, we do not always have to wait very long to hear from the Great I Am.
Still, many times we do have to wait because what we want is not necessary for the moment in the eyes of our Creator. In fact, if He gave us our desires out of time, things might just be worse. The key is to trust God, try and remain calm and count your blessings over and over in your head.
Most of us realize adequate tools will be provided in due time to help a person that the Lord has put on our heart to help. If your prayer is a selfish one, it may take longer. You see Jehovah God is looking for a heart that wants to help others first. Either way, waiting can bring a person down to rock bottom quick if you let the devil convince you that the Lord is too busy for you this time…
If you are like me, impatience is a big prompter for depression. We humans simply get tired of waiting, whether it is waiting on a commission check, waiting on a friend or family member to get off their high horse and be reasonable, waiting on a vacation so you can relax – or simply waiting for supper to be done! Let’s face it, most of us want things to happen instantly.
And when we have to wait too long, it usually leads to the blues – clinically known as depression. So when that depression hits, start remembering all of the times in your life when God has come through. Thank Him for the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Thank Him for raising a cat from the dead, giving you the health to do a job others say you are never going to have again – just anything you can think of that pertains to your own experiences. If nothing else, thank Him for the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you had for lunch while others around the world lay dying of malnutrition.
The Christian Bible tells us that Jehovah God wants us to be thankful in all things (3). When we obey this, it does not take long to figure out that the good in our lives seriously outweighs the bad. That is, if you are honest with yourself. And here is one that I am preaching to me, as well as you. Stop talking negative about things.
Sure, consider what you will do if God decides the best answer to your prayer is no, but always believe the Lord will have mercy. Never say things like, “Well, this time I guess I have just had it. If God doesn’t move, I will be homeless, starving to death and probably die young of exposure to the elements.”
You see, the power of the tongue is huge. The Christian Bible tells us God hears every word we say. If you do happen to mutter some negative jargon before your spirit man whoops you flesh into line, ask forgiveness as soon as you come to your senses. God is not to blame when things are hard. Life is hard.
Usually, we bring most hardships on ourselves. But be of good cheer, when you ask for mercy from Jehovah God with a sincere heart, He will respond – that is if you have accepted basic salvation. The Word says we must do that before anything else.
Then our name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, our soul is headed for heaven and Jesus Christ is our shepherd. As television evangelist Joyce Meyer says, “I get in some terrible messes but Jesus sees me through. I am so glad I am His child. I do not know what I would do if I did not have Jesus as a counselor when times get hard.”
Well I have been on those streets. I do know what many folks do who do not believe in Jehovah God, His mercy, and the saving grace of His Son. They get depressed, suicidal and often kill themselves slowly with self medication that involves poor choices – such as meth, heroin, prescription pain killers, excessive drinking or whatever demonic drug use that may bring them a few hours of solace.
Don’t get me wrong. We all need to relax. If you drink a couple of glasses of wine to mellow out after a long day of working so you can sleep, well Jesus Christ says take a little wine for your health so do not worry about it. We all have to do what we believe will keep us rolling on to the next task in this life.
But using in excess is different. Addicts know the difference. In the case of the abusers of hard drugs, the killer drugs, or even over indulgence of certain legal drugs, users of those are not trying to relax. They are trying to escape their problems instead of face them.
Many non-believers simply can not face them. The devil has them over a barrel mentally before they realize what is happening. So avoid this down and out scenario in your own life. Accept the salvation offered by Jesus Christ, count your blessings and start smiling.
Most of us living in the United States have food in our refrigerator, a home of some sort to live in if we want one, clothes on our backs and even some sort of job, career or occupation to keep us busy. But the devil tells us things are not moving fast enough. If God’s time table drags on a bit, we watch bills mount up, people suffer because we do not have the means to relieve their pain and so forth, and this can bring on discouragement.
Discouragement is the first phase of depression. We must remember that Jehovah God, as is my favorite way to refer to the Creator because it means God our provider, sees the whole picture. We as humans only see part of what is.
When God does not provide help when we believe He should, it is because He sees how the greater good can come down without His immediate intervention. This, my friends, is the greatest weapon against depression that I have found in this life. In short, the created being following Jesus must trust the Creator.
And when you are down and out, trusting Jehovah God can be like holding onto a life preserver in a bouncy ocean. Without the preserver, you would sink to the bottom of the ocean without a prayer.
Oh, you may float for awhile, but fear will sink you like a rock. With the preserver to hang on to, even though you may be humiliated for awhile by feeling like you are helpless, at least you have the hope of floating up onto dry land and having another crack at life.
This is what beating depression is all about; living through it and gaining strength to fight for something positive on yet another day of life. Jesus can help you do that. And He will never leave you. Do you know of a human friend that really fits this mold?
Have a great summer. And for those of you who are depressed, thank the Good Lord for those little victories. I am financially embarrassed just now. But I can thank God for the fact that I ate a bowl of soup for supper and my sore throat is about well.
Jesus Christ will move your being off the depression, but you must agree for the Lord to work. Pray without ceasing and never let that negative old devil known as Satan steal your inner joy!
SCRIPTURES
1) TAKE MY YOKE FOR IT IS EASY – Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Exodus 6:7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
2) WHEN I WAS HUNGRY, YOU FED ME – Matthew 25:35-45New International Version (NIV) 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
3) BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS – 1 Thessalonians 5:13-22 New International Version (NIV) 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

 

How much do you
care if your friends
go to hell?
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
The Christian Bible plainly states that there is no way to go to the Father (Jehovah God) except by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
For many Christians, who come in daily contact with family and friends who have not accepted Jesus, this is almost a forgotten fact! We worry about behavior. We worry about this sin being worse than that sin, when the fact is what counts is whether a person has their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
A friend of mine from the Assembly of God used to say it was a shame that many folks would enter the gates of hell very respectably… They may not curse, lie, cheat on their taxes, go out on their wives or husbands and be innocent of all bar fights or murders, but they simply never understood the need for the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The Christian Bible tells us heaven is a place free from sin and all temptations (1). It also says the Great I Am will allow no sinful creatures there, save those with their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life (2). Furthermore, that same Bible tells us our Creator is not a man and therefore can not lie (3).
Now let’s consider all this from a logical standpoint. All that is needed to avoid an eternity of hell fire is to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and take the free gift he has provided us by sacrificing Himself on a cross in a pure blood, non-sinful state. The pure blood blots the sin out from the sight of the Great I Am permanently – allowing a human being who has repented of said sins to be forgiven of said sins – past, present and future after accepting, and never rejecting, the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
Free will is a gift from the Great I Am to all of us humans. We do have the freedom to reject the gift of salvation offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In other words, yes, we can send ourselves to hell if that is our choice. Whether they know it or not, those rejecting the gift of salvation are calling Jehovah God a liar. This means said person believes God’s Christian Bible a lie and therefore, through default, is a follower of our father below – Satan.
If God had never sent Jesus to that cross, then all of us would get just what we deserve for our imperfections in the here after – hell followed by eternity in a Lake of Fire with Satan and his demons. The mercy of God, and His unconditional love, have drawn us a pass. I don’t know about you, but I am forever grateful.
Television evangelist Joyce Meyer said in a sermon recently that preachers in the modern world are guilty of rarely preaching on hell being hot and heaven to gain by accepting salvation from Jesus. Instead, they tickle the ears of their congregation with stories of prosperity while on earth, or they teach on being kind to others.
All of this stuff is good to know, but in order to desire to change, one must get a good grip on what our Savior has really done for us. And we need to remember a wise fact; people can not change themselves – only cover themselves up. God is the only one who can change your belief and action system and you must come to the Great I Am with a sincere desire to change or once again – you will still live a cover up…
But if you are a Christian, and you know in your heart of hearts you want to change into a Christ-like behaving individual, the Spirit of the Son of the Great I Am, which lives inside of you, will guide you either quickly, but usually slowly, to said change. For most of us, the journey on the Potter’s wheel is a life-long effort.
Once Jesus is in a person’s heart, our job of the Great Commission is done. Sure, we can share scripture, but the Lord is more than capable of cleaning the fish once they are on the shore. It is called conviction when it comes from Jesus Christ. When it comes from man, it is called meddling…
For example, if you are preaching to someone and you say the practice of fornication and/or adultery is wrong, you are meddling. If you suggest to someone committing said sin that they read the passages containing the 10 commandments and then research what happens when they are broken, you are simply giving the sinner food for thought. If you are talking to a fellow Christian, Jesus will take it from there.
When talking to a an admitted non-Christian, the salvation message is all that is needed. This is the case because a non-saved sinner will not listen to Christian rights from wrongs unless he or she first accepts that plan of salvation. And that acceptance comes from a salvation sermon and then a drawing, felt in his or her spirit, from the Holy Ghost of God.
Someone in the Christian Bible asked Paul if being saved by Jesus mean the person can then just live any way he or she wants and commit all sorts of sins with no fear? The truth is we are free to do so but a true believer will no longer have the desire to live self absorbed, like an unforgiven sinner does. Christ instills a desire to give, rather than an obsession to take.
Thus the point of this sermon. Suppose you are saved as you are reading this. You have accepted the gift of salvation, believe in Jesus Christ and you are truly sorry for your selfish sinful behavior and pray to God that He will help you keep sin to a minimum in your day to day walk from here on out so you may be of service to the One who saved you from going to hell. If that is the case, tell everyone you see what you have been saved from! Somebody just might need to hear it.
You have learned the Christian principle of putting the needs of others ahead of your own. You have also learned, given the opportunity, you need to take care of your family before giving away the store. That is wisdom. The Bible says a man who will not take care of his family is an infidel. Whatever that truly means, it sure does not sound very good. Remember, you are a Christian. Sharing wisdom is fine, but do not loose site of the real answer; the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior, Friend, Counselor and Mentor. Many Christians try and do the job of the Holy Ghost for Him.
I believe playing Jehovah God will probably result in very unfavorable results for the impersonator. Just be you. And present the best Christian you available at the time. Be grateful God has put it in you to care for the unsaved and simply ask them, have you considered where you will go after you physically die? It opens up a can of worms. Point the person you are talking to the real answer, not you, not me, but Jesus Christ and all that He stands for when it comes to an ability to place a person’s name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Once you accept Christ in your heart, each day you overcome just a little more of your old habits and you have a solid relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that brings you an inner joy you never thought possible before you took that walk to the altar and asked the Lord to forgive you of your selfish and disobedient life.
This describes a progress walk in Christianity that I personally am on. But here is the deal. If we are indeed supposed to put the other man or woman first, do we not have an obligation to tell them of Jesus and His love? Do we not have an obligation to spread the good news that the free-willed children of the world do not have to go to hell if they will simply “have a little talk with Jesus” and take the blood sacrifice gift to be their own for now and ever more? I think we do have that obligation – politically correct or not.
So how do we get the word to folks who are worried about being offended in this old life instead of facing that they are going to spend eternity somewhere? We find the scriptures that describe Jesus as the only way to heaven and also the scriptures that the Lord Jesus Christ gives to His children to spread the good news of salvation. In short, we must be willing and ready to be used in that Great Commission fashion – doing our small part to tell folks what that Christian Bible has to say about eternity.
You may be thinking, man they just won’t believe me. In some cases you are right. Not everyone will believe. But if you do not tell them the truth about eternity being eternal and people either spending it in the presence of the Great I Am in heaven or in a devil’s hell for disobedience, arrogant pride and a stubborn heart of self righteous foolishness, then many good people will not even realize there is a decision to be made about their eternal destination!
One part of the Christian church background I have brings to mind a song about letting your light shine. When you have accepted Jesus Christ and start to crave changes in your mind that involve the practice and acceptance of unconditional love (like the personality of Jesus revealed in the red letters of the Christian Bible), you may feel the need to let that light of hope shine and pass on the gratitude you feel inside of yourself.
One thing I do in my walk is to ask Jehovah God each and every day for His guidance and direction. Then I trust Him that He will give it to me. You see, in my life, I have found no evidence in 58 years of breathing that Jehovah God has ever lied to me. It requires a certain amount of hope, faith and courage to spread the gospel of love that Jesus gave us. But ask yourself this, what else will I do that is worthwhile with the time the Lord has given me on this earth?
I have a long way to go in my Christian walk. I make mistakes every day. But I do believe I am getting closer to the mark of unconditional love and to forgiving those more quickly who cause me pain with false blame. I do not mind taking the blame for what I have done, but it is harder to accept it when people lie on you or persecute you for no apparent reason other than you are trying to show them a love you have discovered.
So it is going to be easy to tell a man or a woman asking you questions about your Christianity that there is an eternal hell and an eternal heaven – with the choice being up to the individual which one they shall choose? No, it is not. Jesus said they persecuted Him for telling the truth so they will persecute His followers for telling the same truth.
So what makes it worth trying this thing called forgiveness and attempting to practice this Christian thing called unconditional love? Appreciation. Jehovah God says be thankful in all things. When He uses you to accomplish a push toward salvation with an individual that sticks, that person is more than likely going to thank you some day. If not, that is OK too. But if that thank you comes, it is worth all of the persecution Satan and his people can muster. Because that thank you, whether it comes from the newly saved person or just as a feeling that the Spirit of Jesus is giving you a hug, it means one more soul is headed for heaven and avoiding an eternal hell.
SCRIPTURES
1) HEAVEN HAS NO SIN (DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD TO CAUSE PAIN AND SUFFERING) – Isaiah 35:5-8 King James Version (KJV) 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
Isaiah 65:19-23King James Version (KJV) 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
Philippians 3:21 King James Version (KJV) 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Revelation 21:1-8 King James Version (KJV) 21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
2) THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE – Revelation 21:24-27 King James Version (KJV) 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
3) JEHOVAH GOD CAN NOT LIE – Titus 1:1-8 King James Version (KJV) 1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; 4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. Numbers 23:17-21 King James Version (KJV) 17 And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the Lord spoken? 18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

Service to Jesus
comes first, above
all human love…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Jesus Christ died for all our sins 2,000 plus years ago on a cross because His sacrifice was one of pure blood and necessary to allow us to be in the Lamb’s Book of Life and to enter heaven’s gates without tarnishing a perfect heaven in the here after.
Therefore, service to Jesus Christ, our Savior, who saved us from a devil’s hell that all walking humans have deserved for not keeping the commandments and mandates in the Christian Bible, needs to be above all else in life – even above our families, careers, wants, needs or desires.
These statements are for those Christians who wish to be Christian soldiers for the cause of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are at war with Satan and we have a foe that is a worthy opponent. But I have read the end of the book; we win…
It may not seem like a win when a loved one makes the choice to not ask Jesus Christ to be a Savior to him or her and we know in our heart of heart that said loved one most likely went to hell – on the way to an eternal Lake of Fire.
But Jehovah God can not lie (1) and He gives each human freedom of choice. We are not puppets on a string. There are several names a person can use to refer to the Creator, but Jehovah God is my favorite. It means God our provider and in the Bible it is used when Abraham realizes there is a ram to sacrifice, provided by the Great I Am, to take the place of his son Isaac (2). Abraham was in service to Jehovah God first, putting his family under the protection and judgment of the Great I Am. Me too.
I do not pretend to be a very nice person. I smoke, I drink and I flirt with many women. I do not, however, commit physical adultery, I do not get drunk and I do not over-smoke knowingly. Does that matter? Well, it does to me.
Perhaps God will clean Grandpa up one of these days. As my grandchildren all tell me, Grandpa needs some churching! But one thing, I do love Jesus Christ with all my heart and I put my service to Him above all else in my life. As to my overcoming progress, that my friends, is between me and Jesus Christ. We work on it daily.
This, many will say, is a sure sign of my insanity. Perhaps so. Lord knows I am crazy and I freely admit such. What about you? Do you put your service to Jesus Christ above all others? Or are your family, friends, career, hobbies etc. more important to you and you simply serve Jesus when it is convenient?
On a brighter note, if you do put your service to Jesus Christ above all others He will take care of your family, friends, career, hobbies or even making sure you have something to eat.
The Lord is the best provider and Friend that a man or a woman could ever have.
I am listening to a Christian group just now as I write to you called “Casting Crowns.” My favorite song that they have done is “As far as the East is from the West.”
It talks of a man who has failed to meet his goals many times and is afraid Jesus will give up on him due to poor performance. The singer’s heart is right, but his flesh is apparently weak.
This pretty well describes me and many of those I know who are also attempting to serve Jesus.
The Christian Bible tells us Jesus Christ will stay by us always, “even if we make our bed in hell (3).” And believe me, there are many beds in earthly hells throughout our worlds. Still, the point is Jesus is not going to walk away from you for giving into the flesh as long as you never deny your own salvation sealed by Christ and by you… “Back sliding,” at least according to what I have read in the scripture, is a myth.
Don’t get me wrong. You are a creature of free will. If you tell Jesus Christ you do not want His salvation, He will leave you be and allow your choice of spending eternity in hell.
But if you are like me, and you do not believe you would ever consider that denial, take heart. Just because you fall down and skin your knee, Jesus is not going to toss you into a furnace.
If you raise your eyes in pain, the Lord is much more likely to take you in His arms spiritually and give you the guidance and direction you need to keep on keeping on.
He knows us. But every soldier has to learn the rules and then learn how to do them. I know a lot of rules I find in my Christian Bible. I am still learning how to do some of them. I call it incubation.
I am evolving into a better witness for Christ. How fast I evolve depends on how much desire to please Jesus I can muster up in my soul instead of trying to please me only.
So service to Christ, at least in my case, requires a lot of incubation. At this point, I feel comfortable serving Jehovah God with this sermon every week. I have high hopes someone is gaining more confidence in the truth that Jesus brought to this earth by reading along.
As to verbal preaching, missionary work or the like, I feel called to do all of it. But I know, in my heart of hearts, I will need to weaken more of the me part of my soul and strengthen the part that craves to be more like Jesus Christ before I can take the next step in service.
Where are you in your walk? It is a walk, taken one step at a time. If you are on the path at all, that is if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, take heart, the Lord is patient and kind. You will stumble and fall, but He will help you up.
SCRIPTURES
1) JEHOVAH GOD CAN NOT LIE – Numbers 23:17-21 New International Version (NIV)
17 So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the Moabite officials. Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say?” 18 Then he spoke his message: “Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor.
19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
20 I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
21 No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The Lord their God is with them, the shout of the King is among them.
2) GOD PROVIDES A RAM – Genesis 22:10-17 King James Version (KJV) 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. 15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.
3) JESUS WILL STAY WITH US IF WE MAKE OUR BED IN HELL – Psalm 139:6-10 King James Version (KJV) 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

 

If you want to
serve God, be
wise as serpents,
gentle as doves
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
This will be the last sermon before our Southern Arkansas high school graduates start crossing the line into adulthood after graduation, as most will be graduating before getting a chance to read my May 19 “words of wisdom.”
Perhaps reading something from the experiences of an aging hippy farm boy, before throwing that high school cap, will help them on their journeys.
Using wisdom in life’s decisions and keeping one’s relationships with others as calm and gentle as possible is my topic.
In this old world, whether you are a Christian or not, you are in a war to survive. Oh, you may spend time serving others.
Or you may think yourself simply seeking your own pleasure or power trip in your mind, but in reality you are doing what you can to survive physically and mentally.
Surviving as an agent of Christianity, that is spreading the Gospel, has this in common with those who do not accept the faith. We all need to listen to the Christian Biblical principle that the art of survival means we must be wise as serpents yet gentle as doves (1).
My war, as with most independent business folk, is at least in part about financial survival. I am the son of two doctors. My mother, Audrey Hancock Nelson, would have helped me more financially if she could have. She died of cancer in 1976.
My father, Dr. John Woolard Nelson, believed in tough love. His view on the world was that a person should make their money, first and foremost, and then worry about charity – even charity to a person’s own son…. Still, I learned much from Dr. Nelson.
My grandfather and mentor, John Hans Nelson, did everything a surrogate father could have done to help me succeed. I attempt now to pay that forward.
And last but not least is my surrogate mother, Marvel May Woolard Nelson. She was my blood grandmother and the only real mother I ever knew. She always backed her husband’s play and did all she could to give me a good start in this old life.
But the folks passed away when I was 30. Grandparental welfare ended and now I am 58. My second wife, Doris, and still good friend, was with me awhile when they were still alive. She knows I am not lying when I say they were not just parents to me, they were my best friends.
But when they passed away, ages 92 for her and 96 for him, I felt all alone in this world. But I had accepted Jesus at 15 so I turned to a lot of prayer.
I remembered what the Christian Bible had said about growing up (2) and I knew it was high time I took the full responsibilities of being a man. The Word of God says, “When I was a boy, I acted as a boy, I played as a boy, but when I became a man I put away childish things.”
Well, I knew the truth of that indirect quote a lot sooner than when I finally started taking it serious. As with most baby boomers, I was used to seeking pleasure, fortune and fame. Not that I achieved much of that stuff, but my culture got me used to chasing all three. It took awhile. I found out what it felt like to lose, I mean lose self respect, a good marriage and a lot of drive.
But I prayed to the Lord again and things started slowly coming back in regard to wisdom and gentleness. I still have an explosive personality, and I still get mad as a hatter. But most of the time, I exercise self-control. Christianity is about that. We as Christians must learn the wisdom of the statement about being gentle as doves.
Folks in modern times make fun of our believing in Jesus Christ more than they have throughout history – or at least as much. The United States is no longer a sanctuary where Christians can simply go to church without a hassle and do the best they can to be people of integrity.
Now we have terrorists in our country from the Muslim extremist faith who would love to cut the head off of a professing Christian just so they can get so many extra virgins given to them in an after life they believe in.
My Christian Bible tells me those extremists will get a party all right, a party that starts in hell and ends with an eternity in the lake of fire. But that is post animal body days. While we are still here in those animal bodies, we are in danger of losing our carnal lives if we stand up for Jesus Christ.
Jesus said in the New Testament of the Christian Bible that if folks hated and perscuted Him they will do the same to His followers (3).
So we must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. If the good Lord has called us to preach the gospel, and we know that we know the calling is from Jehovah God, then we must learn to survive as well as preach in this old world.
First off, if your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is abundant, your fear will be at a minimum. Still, if a guy shows up with a sword to cut off your head, self-defense is not illegal.
As a matter of fact it is as wise as a serpent. How you defend yourself is up to you. I was raised with a gun in my hand. I have to live with that…
If you can find a gentler way to survive a terrorist attack, more power to you. Be careful, if you openly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is just a matter of time before the devil will formulate some sort of attack. If it is not physical, it will be mental. Have you ever heard the term frame?
During President Barack Obama’s term, Muslim “rights” were at a premium. Even today, some parts of the United States are actually under Sharee law instead of the American Constitution.
Sharee law calls rape the sex game and it is never prosecuted in their culture.
Woman are essentially slaves to men, and they have many times had their private parts mutliated to discourge them from a normal husband and wife relationship of pleasure.
These folks simply are not of the Christian world view and they are colonial. They want to change the United States into an Islamic State, one state and one city at a time. How do you handle such a people? We love them, pray for them. and preach the saving grace of Jesus Christ to them.
And if they reject the Savior, we keep praying – just like we do to unsaved Americans. But most unsaved Americans just call us crazy and walk away.
These Islamic extremists react by saying convert or die. And then it comes down to survival. In some cases, someone will die.
The choice then, if you are in that situation, becomes yours. You must decide your future at that point and then you must be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.
This is a scary sermon right? But our world is getting rougher. We Christians must be prepared for whatever comes down the pike to defend our faith.
Suppose preaching is not your calling and you are a Christian but you work a regular factory job? You can still be a victim of a terrorist with an insistance that you give up your faith. What will you do?
And this brings us back to decisions that must be made usually after a high school graduation. Most graduates want a normal family life and a decent job to support it.
They probably will never face a terrorist. But in life, all possibilities should be considered. My grandmother used to say if you stay relatively unimportant, you will probably live long and prosper.
But staying under the radar gets harder every day. To stay under it and still live a Christian life that others will recognize as just a little bit out of the norm is becoming much harder.
Many seem like they are no longer seeking an answer to the eternal question of what happens to me after I die? When we answer that question as Christians, we need to do it with wisdom and we need to keep our words soft. But even if our Christian values are no longer popular, we must defend them and be honest in our answer.
SCRIPTURES
1) WISE AS SERPENTS, GENTLE AS DOVES – Matthew 10:14-22 King James Version (KJV) 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
2) WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I THOUGHT AS A CHILD – 1 Corinthians 13:10-13 King James Version (KJV) 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
3) IF THEY PERSECUTED JESUS, THEY WILL PERSECUTE HIS FOLLOWERS –
John 15:18-25 King James Version (KJV) 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 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. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

 

What is your
Great Commission
for Jesus Christ?
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Once a person has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, it is a wonderful feeling of relief that only those who have done this understand.
Your sins are washed away. You have indeed sat down and reasoned with God. Your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your ticket has been punched for destination heaven. But if you are like me, the next thought is what do I do now coach?
To find the answer, you have to search the scriptures and do a lot of praying in the Name of Jesus Christ. This is where work detail comes into the picture. Jesus said to His disciples, “Go you now into the world, baptizing who you will in the Name of the Father, In the Name of the Son and In the Name of the Holy Ghost (1).”
There used to be a denominational argument about this in some of the Pentecostal churches I attended. They insisted Peter said in the Book of Acts that we Christians should be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ (2). Research seems to indicate that both are correct, as the Name of the Father, the Name of the Son and the Name of the Holy Ghost is the Name of Jesus Christ.
This is a non-salvation issue and a point of contention I no longer care to argue. I just figured I might as well let you know the conclusion I came to back then. You, being a free choice spirit like me, are more than entitled to do your own research on the subject and draw your own conclusion.
If you are Christian, and we meet someday walking those streets of gold, we can find a park bench in heaven and compare notes. Most likely neither of us will be so inclined… So many of the disputes in the American Christian churches over the years have, in my humble opinion, been the result of boredom. When we humans get bored, our eyes get off the prize. In this case, the prize is salvation. And the only way we who care can help the Lord is to keep pointing folks to Jesus Christ and encouraging them to learn His ways.
Well, at least that is what I call the Great Commission in the life of John Nelson. I am a word smith, how good of one is your judgment not mine. I do not pretend to write like Mark Twain, although the writings of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), especially about his experiences with his pals on the river, have inspired me in many ways.
Back in 2012, I made a very difficult conversion from print media to the world of producing a weekly digital blog magazine. As you may have noticed, I still do that every week. And this sermon is a very important part of it to me. You see, I promised Jehovah God if He would show me the way to continue my writing, along with the means to make a decent living, I would never fail to include a Christian sermon in His publication. So far, by His grace, I have kept that promise.
Yes I know, many feel making a promise to Jehovah God is dangerous. But that is not my opinion. Abraham, in the very first part of our Christian Bible, promised to sacrifice his son Issac back to God to prove to the Great I Am that obedience to his Creator was the most important thing in his life (3). Indeed, the ram was there. Jehovah God is a God of mercy and always has been.
Look at the sacrifice He made on the cross with His own Son Jesus for the rest of us. And nobody was there to stop it because sin had to be purged, once and for all, by the pure blood of the only sinless man to ever walk the earth. Otherwise, a sinless heaven would have been as empty as a used up can of coffee.
So let’s talk about you. What does accepting the Great Commission of Jesus Christ mean in your particular life? Maybe you have no idea. I know I could not have answered that question very well a few years back.
Not only that, but when we think we have our spiritual orders figured out, do not put it past Jehovah God to change them! Working for God is not boring. Or at least I do not find it so. I am having a blast right now knowing that someone might read this sermon and find an altar for salvation somewhere in this big old world.
So how do you know what Jesus wants you to do for His kingdom? It is not always a calling to preach but it is always a calling to show love to your fellow man. If you have a chance to help the less fortunate, do it. As I said in a previous sermon, Jesus once told followers when He was hungry they fed Him, when He was naked, they provided clothes and when He needed a place to stay they opened their homes to Him.
This talk confused them and they asked, “When Lord did we do these things for you?” His response was simple, “When you have done this for the least in the Kingdom of God, you have done this for Me.”
In short, anything we do by way of Christ’s example for others counts as work in His Great Commission to spread His ways and promote the acceptance of salvation in each heart we meet. This encouragement comes in many forms. It might be in giving someone who has just had a fire an old coat. It might be in giving a beggar $5.
Sure, that beggar may go to the beer store. But what, by chance, he or she takes that $5 and gets a water and two Mcdoubles? It is not our job to decide who is being honest in their request for assistance. It is our job to help if we can. Even a habitual thief needs Jesus. And if they find Him, he or she may change their ways once the Spirit of the Lord comes into their lives.
A few years ago, I worked as a reporter for the Paragould Daily Press, a daily newspaper in Paragould, Arkansas. I had a bit of free time on my hands from time to time and volunteered to serve food at the local mission. I found myself counseling those in much worse shape than a working man. Hope was at a minimum. The lady who ran the mission was named Rita England. Ms. England was a fantastic Christian example of love and giving. I admired her.
And I am sure some of those folks most would call bumbs accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and had their lives and their eternal future changed because of her efforts. One never knows what will grow when you plant good seed.
Suppose your Great Commission work is to volunteer at a local mission, a food bank or just to cut the grass at your church? A stranger seeing you do any of these things might come up to you and talk. And that encounter could lead to questions about your Christian beliefs and present an opportunity to present the gospel.
The Great Commission work of anyone is serious business. Remember the Christian Bible says that when one soul accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, there is rejoicing in heaven. I do not know about you, but I would love to have a hand in that rejoicing!
When I was younger, many churches had group witnessing teams that went house to house on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes we were rejected flat out. But most of the time the people seemed grateful that someone cared about their eternal futures. Still, in modern times this practice seems rare. We have one group that comes to our house about once a month on a Saturday. I try and treat them with respect and exchange Christian views.
Financial support is another way of working for the Great Commission. You may not have the time to be directly involved, or perhaps the Lord has not given you the unction to do so, but if you work, you can give a few dollars to a Christian church. Our tithes and offerings are both a sign of love and obedience to the Word of God. So is giving to Christian missionaries. These folks need our help and are quite often putting themselves in danger to spread the gospel.
The Christian Bible speaks of a blessing on those who give an evangelist a drink of water. As Joyce Meyers, a Christian television evangelist, says on a regular basis, if you work, give a little, spend a little and save a little for the hard times that will surely come to us all.
As a journalist, with not much capital, my giving is limited. But if we all give a little, good things will result. Being a Christian, as the song says, means being a Christian soldier and we must march onward. Surely our cause is worth it. Just think of all of the folks who ask you for money for some cause or product that has no eternal meaning. Think of someone being happy with the siding they bought yet they no nothing about Jesus or why He came to save the world from eternal damnation…
We must search or hearts. The Christian Bible tells us to be thankful for all things. As Christians, surely the top thing is to be thankful for our own salvation. If you are thankful, as a fairly modern movie title once said, play it forward. Share your light of Christ in the world you find yourself in – in any way that presents itself. Make no mistake, there will be a judgment day when Jesus Christ will do the judging – and the defending if your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
There is a passage that says there will be some who will remain in the Lamb’s Book of Life but all of their works will be burned up as they journey to their heavenly destination. At least I have heard all my life it is in the Bible. If a man or a woman is thankful for their salvation, should they not add Christian works of love to that attitude of gratitude?
I will leave that determination to you my brothers and my sisters in Christ. For me, I want to serve. I want to do whatever the good Lord suggests through His Word and through opportunities presented me on this journey we call life.
I have a favorite story I tell about a minister I met up in Southern Illinois. I was the editor of the McClensboro Times Leader and my now nearly 33-year-old daughter was probably about 3 years old. Kelley caught pneumonia. I was responsible for a special edition with a strict deadline and I loved my job.
But I loved my daughter more… So I drove to the hospital and skipped work for a day or two to be with Kelley while she recovered. I did not get fired over it, as my publisher had mercy. But the Rev. Jesse Taylor rode with me to the hospital and shared a bit of wisdom. He was from the Assembly of God Church there in McLeansboro, Illinois.
My lifestyle, having been very wild at one time, has not always been recognized as Christian, although Christ has been in my heart since I was 15. The Rev. Jesse did not question my belief system but rather encouraged me to keep praying to Jehovah God to make myself a better Christian witness.
He said, “I am a Christian by choice. I am a minister of the Gospel because I answered the call to be so.
“I choose a traditional, expected Christian lifestyle. I am an old man and I have drank deeply from this life. But now it is time to give back. If there is no Jesus Christ, I have lost nothing by following His instructions for life that I find in my Christian Bible.
“It is a lifestyle of integrity which I enjoy. If, on the other hand, those who do not believe are wrong, they will spend an eternity in hell wishing they would have accepted the offer of salvation and free gift to have their names placed in the Lamb’s Book of Life so they could have enjoyed an eternity in heaven.
“By my living a lifestlye that reflects, at least in part, the loving ways of Jesus Christ, it is my hope that at least one non-believer might reconsider the rejection of my Jesus and end up going to heaven after all.”
His words come back to me now and then. One of my other friends, the late Buddy Francis of Gurdon, Arkansas, used to say many good people will split hell wide open and do it with respect… But hell will still be their eternal home and they will never know what it is like here on earth to wake up with a friend at their side who will never leave or forsake them. That friend, of course, is Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of the Living God.
The Great Commission is wide open folks. What will you do to show Christian love in your life with the goal of inspiring another soul to be saved? It is up to you, my free-willed friend. If you feel blessed in your Christian walk, let those momemts of joy bubble over. Play it forward.
SCRIPTURES
1) BAPTISIM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST – Matthew 28:13-20 King James Version (KJV) 13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
2) BAPTIZING IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST – Acts 2:30-42 King James Version (KJV) 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Editor’s Note: As previously stated, research indicates a “name” is a reference to a family. This writer’s conclusion is that the direct instructions of Jesus, as to baptizing in the “name” of the Father, the “name” of the Son and the “name” of the Holty Ghost is saying to baptize followers of Jehovah God in the family name of Jehovah God. Peter’s words do not contridict that theory.
Feel free to draw your own conclusions on this non-salvation issue. I personally was baptized in the name of the Father, the name of the Son, the name of the Holy Ghost and in the name of Jesus Christ (the Son), plus I was emmerced in a lake of water as the Christian Bible instructs. In short, I wanted the please Jehovah God so I covered all of the bases.
3) GOD PROVIDED A RAM AS A SACRIFICE TO PREVENT ABRAHAM FROM USING HIS SON ISSAC – Genesis 22:1-13 King James Version (KJV) 22 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

Hope in Jesus
starts making
your journey a joy
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Have you ever been asked if things in life will smooth out soon by a loved one and all you could muster was a smile? Then he or she persisted and finally you offered, “I hope so.”
This generally brings a smile to the face of the other person. I have had this problem in life as a journalist in the area of finance. But someone, the Great I Am has always made sure I have enough to get by.
You would think, after many years as a writer, I would be used to the situation. Usually, it is OK. It is OK because I have hope.
I have hope the money will come when it is really needed. This may or may not be when I think it is.
I have hope that my stories will develop by deadline, my personal life will level out and I will say something in one of these sermons to prompt one of you to turn his or her life over to Jesus Christ.
Hopes can be big or small. Sometimes a person just hopes they will get a good night’s sleep and wake up in a sound mind ready to face the day. What are your hopes? Did they prompt you to create your dream circumstances in your life?
I had hopes of becoming a professional singer. I do sing karaoke upon occasion and love the small audiences who clap and smile afterwards. I think there is just something in me that wants to bring comfort and pleasure to the world’s people. I hope so.
When I was in sixth grade, I created comic strips for a student-created newspaper. I suppose that is when I first start hoping I could be a newspaperman for my career and do it long-term. I saw it as a way to get my writing out there.
That hope turned into action. I went to college and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana – 1982 vintage. Then I took a job as a newspaper reporter in Marianna, Arkansas. My hope had come to pass.
It is now 2017 and I still write a digital magazine once a week, lay it out, design it, plus sell and create the banner ads that keep me in enough money so I do not have to turn to a job I do not particularly want to do.
I have held other jobs, but have always seemed to return to the “paper business” within a relatively short period of time.
Now I have hopes of some day showing a significant profit for the business I created in 2007. I believe the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News will continue every week for years to come. But I have come to the conclusion that its survival will occur through diversification of income within the small business world. I hope so. And as Moe, on the old-time comedy show “The Three Stooges” used to say, “We shall see.”
And then there is the other major area in my earthly life; marriage, family and friendship. Now that one is a harder nut to crack. Sometimes I have high hopes that my wife and kids love me, and that I really do have a few good friends. Other times, the devil gets up on my shoulder and tells me I am in this life all alone and I about half believe him…
What are your hopes and dreams? Some folks, like me, dream of a certain career they intend to practice or a certain person they intend to marry. Others just dream of becoming a better fisherman for the fun of it, or a better chess player so they can win a few bucks to take them to the next chess match. It all depends on the individual what they hope to accomplish.
The Christian Bible speaks of hope, faith and love (1). Paul, who writes the 13th chapter of Corinthians (known to many Bible readers as the love chapter), seems to indicate one follows the other and all three gifts are from Jehovah God, that is the Great I Am, which is also the Spirit of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the Man and Spirit, has been called the Blessed Hope (2). He has also been called the Lamb of God, that is the ultimate sacrifice for your sins and mine so the ramification of said sins do not follow us into eternity. The Christian Bible tells us the wages of sin are death (3). That tells me if you sin, disobey the Biblical guidance of Jehovah God, something about you is going to die. Perhaps it is just an earthly opportunity.
Perhaps it is one of the human functions you can perform. Only Jehovah God can take away the ramifications of your sins and that is with the Spiritual blood of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. But be warned, many times sins still result in an earthly spanking for the sinner.
That same Bible assures us accepting salvation by way of Jesus Christ means the spanking will stop when we turn and follow Him. Thus is the jest of the song, “Blessed Assurance,” which used to be an old standard song in many a Christian church when this writer was 30 years younger than he is now…
Times change, so they say. But God’s offer of salvation remains the same. The Blessed Hope is just that, an eternal invitation to Paradise and ultimately to heaven.
How do I know this? I hope it is true. I have faith it is true and I love Jesus Christ, the words left by the man in my New Testament Christian Bible, and His Spirit that gives me guidance and direction every day of my life.
If you knew me better, you might wonder if all that as true in my pole cat life. I am a sinner saved by grace. I am an overcomer on the Potter’s wheel of life. I do not pretend to be perfect, or to have arrived at perfection. Yes, that same Bible says we are to be perfect. I personally believe that perfection will come to us when the tempter is no longer in the picture. Until then, we are striving for perfection if we choose to do so, or we are floundering in sin and have apathy toward the entire concept of eternal life.
If you are anything like me, and you are very honest with yourself, you probably bounce between the two – depending on whether or not you are giving in to some Satanic temptation at the time. I have always hoped the Spirit of Jesus Christ never runs out of mercy in my life. I have faith that this is true. And either way, win, lose or draw, I love Jesus and always will.
In stating that, I know Satan will try to change my claim. So far, in 58 years of going up and down in this path called human life, he has failed. I pray he always will and I pray for the strength to make sure he does.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
So what about you and your hope? What about your struggles with eternal concepts and what you think God really is, or if you even believe there is a Creator of the Universe known to many as the Great I Am spoken of in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible?
As my grandfather used to tell me about things that just are, I advice you to think about this concept. It just might change your life – or rather it will change your life for the better or the worse, depending on which conclusions you come to from your pondering.
If you hope, for example, to some day see friends and relatives that have left this earth by way of the grave or crematorium, that hope is a bit of motivation for believing in an eternity of spirits and souls.
Or perhaps you can simply not bear the thought of your own soul and spirit no longer existing. The Christian Bible asserts that they are both eternal and your body, that is your animal side, will go back to the earth from which it was formed.
The Bible does say if we listen to the guidance and direction of Jehovah God, our provider, that we do not have to die sick. We simply live and then we die if we put action to that hearing and obey God’s Word – that is the Christian Bible.
A good friend of mine used to tell me to try God’s ways. If they do not happen to suit you, you can always go back to the floundering, hap hazard ways of listening to Satan and putting action to his temptations.
I have higher hopes than the latter. And my hope that the words from the man Jesus Christ carry eternal direction give me much joy as I walk down this path called life.
I get up each day and say, “I love you Lord.” I feel the Spirit of Jesus Christ give me a Spiritual hug and then I arise from the bed and truck on. Yes, there are days when I forget to do this. Days occur when I am too caught up in my day to day walk to think of a God. Those days are fewer as I get closer to coffin.
I have heard my young friends tell me that Jesus Christ was just a cool dude, but He died a long time ago and surely did not understand what they happen to be going through. I disagree with that concept.
I have never faced anything in life that a study of the Christian Bible did not give me guidance and direction as to a stable way to react to said circumstances. And, if you are honest with yourself and read that Bible, neither have you!
So let’s talk about hope leading to joy in this world and the world to come. If you hope for children to make your life fuller, there is a joy that comes with being a parent. If it does not occur because of your cross to bear in that animal body of yours, you can still adopt a child who needs you and still have a great time watching a little whipper snapper turn into a man or a woman. In other words, be it by birthing or conceiving, or it be by signing some adoption paper work, having kids in this world is very possible for nearly all of us.
But it starts with hoping to do so. And then when you have that little bundle of joy in your arms, your hope has indeed brought you joy. So this is my point about hope. Birthing can be more than just the physical.
Let Jesus Christ nourish your hope, no matter how bleak your situation. The Lord only has the real power to guide you to a bright new day where the birthing of ideas and Great Commission quests – be they preaching or simple acts of Christian love, can occur once again.
I recently went through a crisis that your open book preacher does not really want to talk about. An old remedy, given to me by my grandparents, gave me a reprieve and has made me feel fresh and new.
I had hope. I had faith. I had love to share. God acknowledged that I wanted to yet contribute something positive to His kingdom. His record of rescuing this crazy writer guy is in still in tact, 100 percent for 58 years.
So personally I will hope for better days, continue to have faith the tools for all tasks God wants done will be provided and I will keep loving the Lord Jesus Christ all of the days of my life. I invite you to trust Him to have your back too.
As the Word of God in our Christian Bible says, we may toil through the night but joy comes in the morning. Indeed Mr. God, indeed.
SCRIPTURES
1) JEHOVAH GOD HAS GIVEN US HOPE, FAITH AND LOVE – 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 New International Version (NIV) 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
2) THE BLESSED HOPE – Titus 2:9-15 King James Version (KJV) 9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
3) THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH – Romans 6:9-23 King James Version (KJV) 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus can renew
your life now
and forever…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Have you ever tried to change something about your habits or character by using pure will power? Yep, me too. No luck, no way.
Now do we give up on the goal of said character improvement or do we really, not pretend, but really, pray for guidance and direction and turn it over to Jehovah God?
Jesus Christ is more than a ticket to heaven. His Spirit can renew your life, make you feel like your health and drive is back and you are ready to take on the world.
The key is that it is in God’s time that change happens, even for the Christian. I look at it like a video inspection of the mind. God’s inspection includes all of our world and who knows how many other worlds in His creation. Our inspection, even with modern technology and our memories, includes a fly speck of His.
And so is it any wonder that to renew your life on earth and to secure a place in heaven instead of hell, you have to do it using the precise formula dictated by Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago?
In comparison to the knowledge held by the Creator, there is no smart human that is anything but dumb as a rock.
We need help. That is just the fact of the matter. Jesus Christ said I am the way, truth and the light of the world. He said there is no way to the Father (Jehovah God and heaven as our home) except by Him (Jesus Christ) (1). This is exactly why the Israelites were looking for a messiah in the first place.
They knew, as do I down deep in my soul, that there is more to life’s conclusion than a slow driving hearse and someone putting you in a hole.
I have been contacted too often by the Spirit of who I call Mr. God not to believe. And you? Think about it. Are your life’s occurrences really just chance?
I love life. I do not particularly love the pain. But I do love the challenge and I love helping others. I enjoy it when my finances are such that I can donate to whatever good cause that comes along.
So yes, solvency in my finances is one thing I want renewed. Jesus can do this. He can give me the tools to produce things and give a portion to others.
I want my savings renewed. I want to feel like my efforts have given me a nest egg to help me through the hard times of life. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something.
Sure, I have done both of these renewals on a temporary basis several times in these 58 years. But something always seemed to happen to knock me off my perch. That something is what they call the fiery darts of Satan punching a hole in my dreams.
I am sure the devil loves knocking us off of our perches. How does the devil get this done? I can not speak for your life but I can tell you how he has accomplished his goal on more than one occasion in mine. Temptation. He puts it out there. I say to myself, why not? Then I do stuff just because it looks like it might be fun.
When I do this, without regard to obedience to Jehovah God and His guidance as depicted in the Christian Bible, my being gets knocked off of said perch. I then blame God. I blame other people. And finally, I blame the real guilty party; ME.
So what do I do to stop the cycle? Well folks, the ultimate way to fix it is to obey the Word of God in the Christian Bible in every aspect that a fellow has the know how to do.
In other words, use the parts of the Bible we understand in our day to day walk and pray to the Lord Jesus Christ that He increases that understanding and gives us the wisdom to use it.
We can look at the Christian Bible and find out a life of obedience to the commandments of the Lord results in a blessing instead of a cursing (2).
Now, if you are anything like I am, you are thinking, that is much easier said than done. And in human form, we are right as rain. The Great I Am is our source of true love in our life and true love of our Lord is probably the only motivator we humans can give Jehovah God to give us the ability to change. In short, it is our love for Jehovah God that causes the desire for positive character change and His mercy that allows it when it actually happens.
But if we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, Lord and Master, some things usually do change. I have made it through accepting Him as Savior. I also realize He said in the Christian Bible to get baptized after that by immersion – if there is said time to do so before we die (3). I did that already.
And I can read in the scripture where Jehovah God, that is the Great I Am, that is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that is the Holy Ghost, is really one mind and a friend to us over comers (4). Then, you might ask, what is an over comer? A fellow or lady who wishes to walk more like Christ did, as depicted in the historical account of His life in the Christian Bible, is an over comer if said person puts action to his or her wishes.
The Christianize version of overcoming our sins is called being on the potter’s wheel. I am not sure this is in the scriptures but it is a good illustration.
Jesus Christ was indeed the only perfect man to ever walk the earth. And the power of Jesus Christ, which is still available to us earthlings, is the only power we can trust for real improvement in our characters.
In studying His life, we can see what we should be in order to be more effective in our quest for converts.
If we really care about the souls of others, we will encourage the Spirit of Jesus Christ to help us be more like Him in order to participate in the Great Commission.
And to me, that is what it is all about. Folks will watch our lives. Some will be inspired to come to Christ. Others will not. I personally believe the more we walk the walk instead of just talk the talk of the life of Jesus, the more people will see Christ in our actions and begin to realize that true love is in Christianity. And many, many people are looking for true love.
There is a lot of truth to the old saying that you may be the only Bible some folks will ever read. I feel much guilt as I write this, as I know I am not the man I should be in my Christian walk.
But I do care. And that is a first step. Perhaps, by the grace of God, someday I can be more of a tool used by the entity known as Love in my Bible.
That would be true life renewal. The Bible says seek you first the righteousness of God and all other things will be added unto you. I suppose that could be taken a lot of ways.
All, to me, means all of the elements needed to express the giving, kind, honest, merciful and unconditional love of the Savior. And not only express it, but have the strength, the where with all and the true desire to score high on the test of life in the living it area…
SCRIPTURES
1) THERE IS NO WAY TO THE FATHER BUT BY JESUS – John 14:3-9 King James Version (KJV) 3 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 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
2) OBEYING THE LORD RESULTS IN BLESSINGS – Luke 5:1-11 King James Version (KJV) 5 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.
And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
3) BAPTISM BY IMMERSION – Romans 6:3-7 King James Version (KJV) 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
4) GOD IS A FRIEND OF THE OVERCOMER – Revelation 2:6-11 King James Version (KJV) 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

 

When I was hungry,
you fed me, when
I was naked you
gave me clothes…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
When I was hungry you fed me. When I was naked, you covered me (1). These were the words of Jesus Christ to His followers many centuries ago.
They apparently looked at him with questions in their minds and responded they did not remember doing such things. He told them what they have done for the least in His Kingdom, they have done for Him…
So how about us in 2017? Are we doing our part? On this Easter weekend, can we say we have honored the Savior by feeding and clothing the poor? Some of us can. Others hold their heads in shame.
Some of us are financially strapped ourselves and can only give a little. But even if we have no money, we have our hands and our minds. We can all give something to honor Jesus Christ and his efforts on the cross to save us so many years ago.
My grandmother used to tell me I could not save the world, but if I had a chance to help someone I should do it. Just think how much better this old earth would be if everyone helped out the less fortunate when they were able to do so.
I personally wish I could help folks more. Writers, at least small town journalists like myself, are usually not rich. But I have what I need and a few of my wants from time to time. If Jehovah God wants my bank account to grow, that would be great. But if not, I am still grateful for the many blessings the Lord has given me.
So lets take a look at this thing. We live in a world where probably a third of it is living in starvation conditions. We sit here in the United States and do not realize how fortunate we really are until we get a bit of exposure to the horrible conditions that exist in places like Nigeria or Uganda. No, we can not save the entire world single handedly, but we can all do something.
And apparently, according to the above scripture, if we are followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ, His Spirit expects us to do something about caring for those who can not care for themselves.
Still it is obvious from the teachings of Christ that he considers life more than raiment (2) and also tells His disciples to go into all the world preaching the Great Commission, that is the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
We humans are patterned after our Creator so it should come as no surprise that we also have three parts – a body, soul and spirit. To me, and this is just my opinion, the soul of a man or a woman is their mind. That mind and spirit make a journey when this shell of a body we have dies, going either to paradise or hell. Again, this is my understanding of scripture.
I see paradise and hell as holding tanks for heaven and the lake of fire. And once a man or a woman is separated by death from the body, there are no more decisions to make about your eternal destination. In short, the salvation of Jesus Christ’s act on the cross is free for the asking, but once Christ comes to live with you a lifelong overcoming process begins so that a Christian can be of better service in the army of Jehovah God while still walking this earth.
So we need to feed folks. We need to cloth folks, but most of all we need to obey the order to preach the gospel to folks – since that is what Christ has told His followers to do. It all works together. When a Christian knows of a need, he or she should try and meet that need. If the Lord tells you to do something, like walk a path you do not want to walk in order that someone might hear His word, do it. If your actions result in a man or a woman coming to Jesus Christ for salvation, there will be rejoicing in heaven over one more soul for the kingdom!
But do not dismay when the path gets hard. Jehovah God will indeed not put more on a person than he or she can stand. And the more humble and willing to help others we become, the more tools Jesus will bring us to get the job done. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan (3)? God used a stranger to the Jews to help a fellow in trouble because the religious leaders of the day were too into what they wanted at the time and their self centered attitudes would have caused a man to die if not for the heart of a kind hearted guy who was just passing through.
The Lord knows how we will react and is a better judge of our abilities than we are. We simply operate the body and mind He gave us. The big deal is to never lose site of the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was crucified, dead, buried, AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY, so that you and I could have our names in the Lambs Book of Life with our sins under His perfect sacrificial blood.
This is our ticket to heaven and the only way an imperfect man or woman will be welcomed into a perfect and sinless heaven after Judgment Day.
Jesus tells us He is the truth and the light, and the only way to the Father is through Him. When you think about what the only Begotten Son of God went through to pay that price for us that we could never pay for all of our mistakes in this old life, I don’t know about you but it makes me want to give Jesus something back. That is where feeding and clothing the poor, accepting the Great Commission and preaching the gospel and just generally allowing yourself to be part of the solution to the horrors of this world instead of part of the problem comes in.
But sometimes we must be ready to lose it all if that is what it takes. Careers and dreams and families are three of the biggies that people expect God to help us succeed in, but sometimes our own personal wants, hopes and desires have to take a back seat to what Jehovah God directs us to do.
God has had mercy on me. I have been a professional writer since 1980 and can still do my job. I will continue to produce this magazine, including this weekly sermon, until the good Lord says no more. If and when He does, and I know that I know that I know I have heard from God via the scriptures and the circumstances I am in, then I will give what I have all back to Him lock, stock and barrel. He will not have to rip it from me.
Sure, I pray that never happens. I want to keep doing my dream career for at least another 20 years before I slow down at all. But nobody knows the future. If God can use me in full time missionary work and preaching more, then He will show me how to get the tools and I will carry out the orders.
I am not bragging. A bragger spouts off about what he will do and has nothing to back it up. Me, when I make a declaration, I mean it. And that is the truth of the matter.
I am not a person who particularly wants to leave his comfort zone any more than anyone else usually does. But if I am the key to keep someone from starving, or I am the key to someone hearing the gospel for the first and maybe only time in his or her life – and Jehovah God directs me to go help – I pray I still have the strength to answer the call.
EASTER
Easter is upon us this weekend. Some churches call it Resurrection Day because of the pagan connotations associated with Easter bunnies, eggs and the like. Still, it is the celebration of the resurrection on the third day after being crucified of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. You can call it Easter or Resurrection Day, which ever. The big deal is understand the importance of what Christ did. He beat death and went to heaven. Therefore we can too if we but follow Him.
A word to the wise, however, might be that a new convert is many times like the guy who just quit smoking. He wants to tell you what you should do. Instead of worrying about how the other fellow is doing in his walk with Jesus, let that problem be between each man and his Lord. We all get down and out now and again, Christian or non-Christian a like.
And we all pay for our sins (disobedience to the commandments of Jehovah God) while here on earth.
But folks, the beauty of it is we do not have to keep paying for them in eternity if we but accept Jesus as the way, the truth and the light that will take us to paradise and eventually to heaven.
So give that poor guy or gal a bowl of beans. Let them have a coat from your closet if they are cold. Jesus is the Savior of Love. If you accept Him, and you realize what He has done for you, pass it on through doing what you can for a fire victim, a mission in our country or abroad.
It all matters to Jesus. Remember the words in print in our Christian Bibles, “God is love.”
Let’s look at our introduction again. Christ said, “I was hungry. You fed me. I was naked and you gave me clothes. If you have done this to the least in the kingdom of God, you have done it for me.”
I will take it one step further. A minister I had one time told me that nobody is sure if an individual has really accepted Jesus Christ in their heart except that particular individual. He had a point. So in short, help who needs help. If they are not saved yet, maybe the love you show them will make them curious about your Jesus… Again, we do what we can do. And if we all will just do that, the world will be a much better place.
SCRIPTURES
1) WHEN I WAS HUNGRY YOU FED ME – Matthew 25:35-40 New International Version (NIV) 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
2) DO NOT WORRY, IS NOT LIFE MORE THAN RAIMENT? Matthew 6:25-30 King James Version (KJV)
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
3) THE GOOD SAMARITAN – Luke 10:25-37 King James Version (KJV) 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

 

Standing up for
Christian values
by preaching love…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
When I was younger, say about 35 years ago, I had some exposure to a brand of Christianity that at the time seemed based on works – not on the free gift of salvation which is Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for your sins and mine.
When I was exposed to all of that, my first reaction was to ask those in charge what happened to God’s loving Spirit? None answered me. They just kept quoting Biblical rules and even rules that some of them must have made up… One fellow told me if I chose to mow my grass in the summer with a short sleeve shirt on instead of a long sleeved shirt then God will surely send me to hell.
I looked at this guy and asked him what “god” he was talking about? Surely, I said, Jehovah God, who I have talked with all of my life, would not be so shallow and short sited. Again, no answer. So yes, I understand that Christianity can be used as a weapon to try and get people “under control.” And some day those guilty of that will be judged just like the rest of us by Jesus Christ of Nazareth on judgment day (1). Without judging the “control freaks” too harshly, let me just state a fact from Nelson’s point of view.
I will take my judgment and be glad to get it for showing love and mercy to those less fortunate or less appealing to me but who still profess a love for Christ over whatever judgment the cruel will get from Jesus Christ in the end. I also believe in showing mercy to those who do not profess anything but a desire to be happy in this old world.
In the words of a bumper sticker I once read, “Mean people suck.” Indeed they do children, so let’s be sure we are not mean to those we find mean because two wrongs do not make a right! For the record, being a control freak is about as mean as it gets in my book. I was taught that those who have to find joy by putting the rest of us in our places are insecure and should be pitied not condemned. Maybe so. In short, we as Christians should show mercy to all of them, even the ones we find despicable.
That is as close to judging the other fellow as I want to get. I want you to understand I am not judging an individual as I express my dislike for dictatorship religion, but rather I am judging an attitude and with prayer and desire attitudes can change.
The Bible calls this discerning the spirits. I take that to mean we are to recognize the odor of sin over the odor of a rose and respond accordingly. In other words, I subscribe to the old Christian adage of “hate the sin, but love the sinner” and to a saying I grew up with that says we are to call a spade a spade.
So let’s fast forward to modern times. We old timers, well at least most of us, learned from our mistakes in regard to presenting the gospel. After much study, it became obvious that good works really do not get a guy to heaven (2), but rather accepting the pure blood sacrifice on the cross made by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago and getting your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life is the only ticket that counts as far as going in the right direction after death.
This, as should be obvious, does not have anything to do with long sleeves or short sleeves on a shirt… And it does not have anything to do with a woman wearing make-up or if a man needs a hair cut or not. In the opinion of this half-breed Cherokee, mankind has come up with some weird interpretations of the Bible in these last 2,000 years.
But the theme of this sermon is about standing up for Christian values with a heart of love and forgiveness, not a heart of self-righteousness and grudge holding hatred. The Biblical principles need to be taught in love, not as some sort of whipping post!
Even so, the statutes of God’s laws still need to be freely taught in our day to day lives and from pulpits across the globe if folks are ever going to understand the miracle of Jesus Christ and what His actions on earth have brought to the people of our world – escape from our just reward for sin (disobedience to the laws of Jehovah God) – which would be eternity in a place called hell.
Now comes the latest lie from the devil. The people who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, at least some of them, are now saying that anyone who calls their favorite action a sin – that is an action directly named in the Bible as disobedience to the will of God, automatically hates them for committing said sin.
They refuse to recognize that stating, for example, the 10 commandments, for evaluation and to understand why God’s prescription for life works, is not an act of hate just because it disagrees with their home-made version of right from wrong. It is merely a warning as to what the Creator has put in the Christian Bible and as that same Bible asks, “Who can be saved without a preacher?” Folks, we must spread the gospel and do it with as much love as possible. There will be some of the non-believers who will hear God’s word and be saved.
The Bible says there is rejoicing in heaven even when just one man or woman is saved, so never give up spreading the gospel and preaching the Great Commission of Christ and Christ crucified! And folks, nobody that I have ever met agrees with all of God’s rules and laws in His Bible – especially at first. But the more you know what Jesus would do, the smarter you find out He is.
Frankly, there are still elements of all 10 of the commandments where this writer occasionally says to the All Mighty, “but wait a minute, what about this exception?” And it is my prerogative to discuss such things with the Great I Am. However, the older I get, the more I realize the rules are still the rules and they were literally set in stone and brought down the mountain by Moses for a reason.
Moses knew of their importance and broke the tablets in anger when the people were partying in mockery of Jehovah God. (3). And no amount of arguing with God is going to make it right to steal another man’s wife as far as bedroom duties (adultery) or make it right to take another man’s life unless it is self-defense….
God is eons old. We are not. His wisdom goes eons. Our little lives spans over a few decades of living. I do not know about you but my human arrogance is just not strong enough to think that I know better what is right from wrong than God.
Now do I buck the rules laid down in the Christian Bible like everyone else from time to time? Of course I do. I have a human spirit.
But the older I get, the more futile I realize it is to intentionally buck the basics of such things as the 10 commandments. I have trouble with the anger laws more than anything else. It is very easy to justify an outburst of colorful expletives when somebody cuts in front of me in traffic on the grounds that those words just came bursting forth, yet my Christian Bible tells me a man who swears will NOT be held blameless before the Lord…
I am not getting as far away from our original premise here as you might think. I mean, for example, if I tell a man that is a professing homosexual that the Christian Bible calls homosexuality a stink in the nostrils of Jehovah God and an abomination and said man (or woman) says I am a hater and then he or she promises to burn my house down for telling him what God’s word says, it makes me want to break all kinds of commandments. But as I said in the title of this sermon, we must show love to those who persecute us.
In this example, the Christian thing to do is tell the practicing homosexual that you love him but that you are worried his life style will not have the loving results he intends to achieve. In short, sin comes with a price. Unforgiven sin, for the non-Christian, has a price tag on earth and a bigger one in the lake of fire and hell.
If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation, said sin is forgiven and forgotten in eternity for those whose names are in that Lamb’s Book of Life and therefore are adopted children of the Most High.
But if God’s saved children sin, they will still suffer on earth for that disobedience to God’s Holy scriptures. It is the nature of the beast. This is why teaching folks what the Biblical laws are is so important, whether they call you a hater or not. And whether or not they threaten you for trying to tell them what God has ordained as right from wrong is no excuse to quit preaching the truth – the truth that is as it is stated in black and white in the Christian Bible.
Let’s look at an animal side example. If you saw your girlfriend or boyfriend about to sit down on a hot branch during your camp out and knew he or she would have a significant burn on their rear end after said sitting, would you not do all you could to stop the event from occurring so that you could spare your partner the pain?
Preaching the Word of God is parallel to that. Get it out there. If the people choose to sit down in a fire anyway, then it is on them not on the messenger…
SCRIPTURES
1) JESUS IS OUR FINAL JUDGE – Matthew 25:31-46 King James Version (KJV) 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
2) WE DO NOT GET TO HEAVEN BY OUR GOOD WORKS – Ephesians 2:2-18 King James Version (KJV) 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
3) MOSES BRINGS THE 10 COMMANDMENTS AND GETS ANGRY AT MOCKERY – Exodus 32:12-24 King James Version (KJV) 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. 15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. 21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

The new generation
of Christian
persecutors
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Things have changed in Christianity a lot in the last half of century here in these United States. When I was a kid and going to church even those who did not go respected the principles of the Christian Bible and did not show open disrespect for those trying to follow Christ.
This is not the case today. Persecution is getting worse as to non-believers getting all over the cases of believers. Well, at least that is how this Baby Boomer of 58 years old sees it. If there is some truth to my observation, then perhaps a sermon on handling persecution is in order.
We hear a lot today about how if you are simply a decent person you will go to heaven. And we hear how surely a God of Love would never hold it against His creations for openly disobeying His Bible full of “suggestions.” But this is not what the Word of God says.
It tells us we must admit our imperfections, forgive others and ask Jesus Christ to come into our lives and hearts to forgive us. And it tells us then, and only then, will our names be placed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
It further states that only those with their names in said book will go to heaven because heaven is a place without sin – with the exception of the forgotten history of those in the Lamb’s Book of Life whose sins are covered by the perfect blood sacrifice of God’s Only Begotten Son on the cross at Calvary more than 2,000 years ago.
If you go trying to tell this to a lot of today’s “good people,” you will be called a hater and an unaccepting soul with a narrow mind.
Yet if those same persecutors accept the salvation that Jesus Christ offers, then they will have a blessed assurance of acceptance like they have never known. Come on former murders, rapists, prostitutes – you name it. All can have the salvation of Christianity if they accept Jesus Christ in their hearts.
Sure, Jesus will rub off on them and their evil ways will either disappear right away or in time – depending on their growth in Christianity. But they wanted to be good people right? Once they have accepted Christ, they can pursue that goal. The Christian Bible says only Jehovah God is truly good. But the more we obey our perfect Creator, the close we can come to it on this earth. Perfection, in my opinion, is a goal we will only reach once we go to heaven.
As I write this, I am astounded at how many people ignore the scripture that says you can not go to heaven on your good works (1). Jesus says there is no other way to the Father but by me (2). Jesus Christ is our life line people. Grab it and see what happens to that happiness you seek. You will find the more you help others and show the mercy of our Lord, the more satisfied you will become in your very soul. Sure, you will have to learn patience, but there will be an inner glow to help you through persecution or other harshness in life’s path like you have never known.
I went to the First Assembly of God church service today in Gurdon, Arkansas. A lady, who is the daughter of a good friend of mine, sang a special song. Before she started, she let us know her feelings about the love of Jesus. She compared it to a mother’s love for a very sick child. The child is still sick when Mommy picks him up and rocks him, but his healing is less painful due to the love he feels.
She said Christianity is that way. A young Christian may make a big sin mistake. Say it is a young lady and she gets pregnant by a man who chooses to desert her instead of marry her and help with the raising of a child. She is in pain, working two or three jobs. She wants to be at home with her child, but it is with the baby sitter or a grand parent…. She cries her self to sleep at night in her small apartment that she shares with her baby or toddler…
But when she prays, she feels the compassion of Jesus around her. There are no illigitimate children, just illigitimate parents. The mother jumped the gun and gave her all to her beloved before there was an aniticipated commitment. And as the old timers say, she sinned in haste so she could repent in leisure – many years to come.
Is my example you? If so, young lady you are not a bad person. If you have accepted Christ, you are a very special person in deed. Jesus Christ has forgiven your sins under the blood and will help you raise that little boy or girl. It may never be all right, but it will be OK.
We could site many examples of what happens when a person is tempted by the devil and breaks a sin commandment – even after accepting salvation. The battle of life continues after you accept salvation. But then you have a partner, a friend and a counselor that will never desert you – no matter what. And His Name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And His Spirit is of Jehovah God and can be everywhere all the time. The Christian Bible tells us that the Holy Ghost Comforter (Spirit of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ) came to be with all Christians after our Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven (3).
So for those of you thinking that getting saved by Jesus Christ means you will never sin again, think again. The devil, Satan, is very smart in his trickery. He is very good at making a wrong seem right. But take it from an old Cherokee, there is but one good dog (Jehovah God) and one bad dog (Satan). And the spiritual battle you feel for your soul will continue until your last breath.
Much of said darts of the devil are in the form of persecution. You may be minding your own business and have a Christian Bible on your desk.
So here comes the devil through a coworker who demands you remove your Bible from sight! In today’s world this may very well be an ultimatum to losing the job. That was unheard of when I was young. Again, disrespect is the main way of the day in this modern world.
Television is filled with swearing, porn refererences and shows that depict homosexual life as something to be praised. I have nothing against any one who sins. But get real folks, do not call a buffalo chip a golden pizza platter… Sin, that is disobedience to the Christian Bible and the commandments of Jehovah God, is the former. It does not mean I hate any sinner. I have counted up in my life. I find very few sins available that I have not done before the Spirit of Jesus started the overcoming process in my soul. So who am I to judge you? I am simply pointing you to Jesus where forgiveness and peace are available.
So indeed, in Christ there is no condemnation. But calling a wrong a right is not the way to live. It is no skin off of my nose mind you. But one day you who are putting down Jesus Christ will stand before God on a judgment day to review you life. Your friends in sin will not be there with you to offer a defense. Just food for thought to those who persecute us. Christians are by nature a bunch of givers.
For someone to accept free food from a church and then disrespect it is not what I call much of a lover. Who indeed seems to be exhibiting hate here? I choose not to judge anyone, as I have been so guilty that many of my sins are not even fit for print! Besides, my Bible tells me to judge not or I will be judged likewise.
Still, Jesus is teaching me that if I do not point out what His Word says, who will? For example, the Christian Bible calls homosexuality an abomination and a stink in the nostrils of Jehovah God. Is there really any way to sugar coat that folks?
So go ahead, sin. I did. And I still do, just not so willingly any more and I am repenting a lot and uttering a lot of overcomer prayers.
But by all means, kill, steal and destroy, as Satan directs. Brag about that front seat in hell you intend to have… But as the Masonic lodge taught me long ago, be very careful of what you wish for or you shall surely get it….
SCRIPTURES
1) YOU CAN NOT GO TO HEAVEN BY GOOD WORKS ALONE – Ephesians 2:10-18 King James Version (KJV) 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
2) JESUS SAID THERE IS NO WAY TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME – John 14:2-9King James Version (KJV) 2 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.
3 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 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
3) JESUS CHRIST IS ALWAYS WITH US THROUGH THE COMFORTER – John 16:5-7 King James Version (KJV) Jesus Christ said: 5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Acts 2:1-41 King James Version (KJV) 2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Jesus Christ can
help you like the
man in the mirror
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I am a product of Celebrate Recovery, 2006 vintage. I used to drink too much. Celebrate helped me get it under control.
I still drink a little beer, but with a lot of controls. Some alcoholics can do that. Others can not. But one reason I respect the man in the mirror is because of my Celebrate Recovery training. It is a Christian based help program for folks who want to learn how to help themselves have a better life.
I respect that man even more because of his acceptance of our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, counselor, friend and now Lord. Respecting the man in the mirror is a life long project once you start it. As long as we are human, we are subject to the devil tricking us.
Satan came to kill our dreams, steal our money and destroy our eternal hope. That is a Nelson interpretation of a scripture (1). As a person gets older, ramification of sin usually get more intense so it may mean you should start considering potentially sinful actions more seriously before diving in and proclaiming in your soul that the water will be fine…
Charles Stanley, a minister I enjoy listening to on VTN Christian television, said Sunday something I have been thinking for a long time. Salvation from Jesus Christ is free for the asking. But then the new Christian has a choice; he or she can barely get by in the faith or set out to listening to that still small voice of God when there is a check in the spirit.
For those unfamiliar with the term “check in the spirit,” it simply means you feel a twinge of guilt for something you are contemplating doing. If you do, you might ought to pray before acting. It could be the good Lord giving you direction. While it is never a good idea to judge the behavior of others (2), it is an excellent idea to judge your own personal behavior. Read your Christian Bible. Compare your actions to what is described as obedient to God in the scriptures.
A good place to start is the 10 commandments. Work toward obeying them. Once you really study them, this may be a bigger challenge than your realized it might be. And there are particulars to getting God’s promises to work. If Jehovah God inspires you to make an improvement that would bring you closer to increasing your service in the Great Commission, pay attention.
As is normal, I am talking to me just as much as you. I have been fighting giving up another addiction and am now ready to give it up. It is not particularly a salvation issue, but it is important to my health. I will report back to you in a month, if I succeed with the help of Jesus Christ to break this bad habit.
So you see, I will never talk down to you in a sermon. I too am in a battle to be a better servant to our Lord Jesus. I encourage you to fight your own battle. The Word of God clearly tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
Do not listen to those who condemn you. The Holy Ghost will let you know when your actions are on dangerous ground. Many times other people have issues with Christianity so they want to point fingers to take attention off the fact that they are the ones living against what the Christian Bible proclaims to be the righteousness of God…
The scriptures also tell us there is no condemnation in those who are in Christ Jesus (3). Paul knew. He knew that hypocrites who claimed association with Jesus Christ but were really just trying to maintain an earthly position of “importance” would condemn honest folks who choose to deal with honest hindrances in their Christian walk.
I am here for a reason. The man in the mirror, despite my flesh ranting and raving from time to time, is usually a happy camper. There is too much evidence that God is not through with John Nelson.
By way of testimony, through a bit of medical science, a lot of holistic medicine and a pattern of life I understand, the Lord Jesus Christ has controlled and nervous system disability I have for 11 years and counting.
Then my eye sight became under fire. I had a growth about five years ago that should have stopped my driving effectively and my ability to produce a weekly magazine because of there being so much close editing work involved in each publication. One day, after praying in the Name of Jesus Christ, where all power exists, the scale on my eye simply fell off and has remained off now for more than three years!
Then there was obesity. My gut had gotten so big I was about to become a stroke or heart attack ready to happen. Through a Christian missionary named Barry Watson of McLeansboro, Illinois, I knew of a diet that was unconventional but effective.
I tried it and over two years was able to lose more than 50 pounds. I have now kept it off for going on more than another two years.
Now I will spill the beans on my cigar habit. That is the one I know I must give up, or at least cut way back, for health reasons. I started yesterday. And so far, what I have known for years, seems to be working. Through the power of Jesus Christ, all things are possible. This is day two and I seem to be succeeding so far in removing said poisons from my body and giving said body a physical break.
The Lord has also laid it on my heart that I need to start doing at least a small bit of daily exercise, like I used to do all of the time. That order is still in the contemplation stage for me. I think you get my point.
If we want to live for God, and to be ready for the future in which He has planned for us, we need to do what we can to take care of ourselves, respect Biblical principles and cozy up to the idea of being obedient instead of the rebels we may have more or less been all of our young lives.
The good news is it is never too late to start all over again. We can make new friends, new connections, form new goals and give it another go – until our health or time itself pushes us down to the recliner.
I personally, at 58, would like to put that off for at least another half of a century.
I have a lot of stuff I still want to accomplish while this body has breath in it.
So let’s look together at this man in the mirror. What would make you happy with your self? Would it be so impossible to work toward the goal of liking you? Many of us already like ourselves.
But if we are honest, there have usually been several times in life when we did not only dislike ourselves but we really would have just as soon been someone else…
I imagined myself in great health as I approached traditional retirement age, happy with my career, my family and most importantly my relationship with Jesus Christ. There are shortcomings, but all is well. As the comic strip writer Andy Capps said, “The only difference between a winner and a loser is the winner simply refused to give up.”
Amen Andy, Amen…
So take a good look at that man, or that woman, in the mirror. Do what you can to discontinue actions that are directly against Christianity.
While it is true you will not get to heaven on your good works, the Bible also says love is the key to much. Love yourself and you will learn to love others.
Don’t get me wrong. When I say love yourself, I do not mean to encourage arrogance. The Christian Bible, and logic, tells us that the hauty man or woman is setting him or herself up for a fall. Satan looks for openings. When you receive a complement, which most of us do from time to time, always give God the credit for the accomplishment.
And be a giver instead of a taker. I have heard it said many times a man or a woman can not out give God. I am not sure if that is scripture or not, but since the Word does tell us that if we give our tithes and offerings, the Lord will give us back our funds or efforts pressed down and in good measure, giving all of a sudden becomes a pleasure instead of something we should be frightened about.
And giving makes a person like that man in the mirror more. It makes us realize that we can make a difference, no matter how small, and that is important to feeling satisfied in the Christian walk.
It makes us feel like we are working for something instead of laboring in vain. Remember, there is a bit of truth in the old sayings of this world. Indeed, you may be the only Christian Bible many will read.
SCRIPTURES
1) SATAN COMES TO KILL, STEAL AND DESTROY – John 10:8-11 King James Version (KJV) 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
2) JUDGE NOT OR YOU WILL BE JUDGED LIKEWISE – Matthew 7:1-14 King James Version (KJV) 7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
3) THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE IN CHRIST JESUS – Romans 8:1-12 King James Version (KJV) 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

 

Jesus Christ says
to have friends
you must be friendly…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Have you ever caught yourself walking away from an opportunity to visit a friend because you just “need a little time to myself,” or “I would love to see them but just not right now?”
While taking a little time to be with oneself, or simply commune with Jehovah God, is healthy and wise, shutting out our friends is never a good idea.
Looking at this from a Great Commission standpoint, let me ask you this – how do you expect to share the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ in action or in words if you crawl into a rabbit hole?
As in most cases, I write this to both you and me. I am a man who used to always have a solid circle of close friends around him. Now, at 58, putting out a magazine on my own and checking off the tasks of each day, not so much. I find myself planning isolation, even from the very ones I love so dearly. Then I think of the scripture I saw the other day, “To have friends, you must be friendly (1).”
I realize that here lately I have not exactly been too friendly. I have become self absorbed in my work and worry. This does not sound very Christ-like now does it? I am big on accountability. By confessing to you about the Satanic trap that I have allowed myself to fall into, it will help me to climb out of the rabbit hole and back into social production.
Someone once said confession is good for the soul. In the matter of salvation, this saying is truer than in any other instance. Part of accepting Jesus Christ into your life as a Savior, friend, counselor and Lord, starts with confessing your sins and asking for forgiveness (2). It is also essential that you forgive others for whatever wrong you perceive that they have done against you.
But life goes on after salvation. And life can get lonesome. When you get lonesome, remember that scripture; to have friends, you must be friendly. Let’s look at the 12 disciples in the Christian New Testament Bible. They were the circle of 12 that Christ announced as the judges of the 12 tribes of Israel (3).
This announcement is why I personally believe Judas of Iscariot may very well be in heaven, forgiven of his suicide after all. If indeed Judas is one of those judges, surely Christ will not have him doing any judging from hell…
But these were His 12; the band of friends that laid down their earthly occupations to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ all of the days of His earthly life. In all likelihood, they continued following Him in the spirit after His death and are probably drinking wine with Him in paradise.
Here is another Nelson interpretation of scripture that probably does not have beans to do with salvation. I have always read the Bible as if there are apparently four dimensions after we die. The ones whose names are in the Lambs Book of Life, that is the followers of Jesus Christ, cross over from this world and its woes to a place called paradise. Remember Laserath and the rich man in the Old Testament? The rich man crossed over to hell, while Laserath was in paradise.
The Word of God says no man shall see heaven until the judgment day. My view is if my name is in that Lamb’s Book of Life I will wake up in paradise and immediately be free from all temptations of the devil and problems associated with this world.
Friendship then will be easy, as conflict will be a thing of the past. And I do not believe a fellow will go from paradise to hell so if a guy or girl wakes up in paradise, heaven is simply an expected promotion that will come by and by.
On the other avenue of spiritual futures, if a fellow or girl wakes up in a flaming, horrible smelling place called hell, the expected promotion after the day of judgment is an eternal lake of fire with daddy Satan who God promises to toss in there one day.
That sort of future would seem to eliminate our worries about friendship. Hate will apparently be the word of the day, and of eternity, for those who end up in hell and are promoted to the lake of fire…
Thankfully, if you are reading this, there is still time to change your mind on your eternal destination. Salvation is a free gift. Jesus died for you and for me.
But crawling in bed, so to speak, with the Lord is not without its difficulties. Oh, you can still sin, that is disobey His Biblical instruction, but not without a guilt ridden conscious. You see, the Holy Spirit comes to live with you when you get saved from hell and that lake of fire.
That Holy Ghost sticks with you closer than a brother, so the Word of God says. Visits from your carnal desires will become less and less appealing to you as they always result in you feeling guilty if you give in to them. Satan poses as your friend with some great ideas about looking under the wrong skirt, complaining about your circumstances, being tempted to give in to deserting a Godly inspired task when you are half-way through and on and on as it would seem the list of sins never end.
The more you accept sin into your life, if you have been saved, the more guilt you carry in your soul. There are two solutions. You can start obeying God and shirk those sins off one by one, using the power in the Name of Jesus Christ to do so or you can tell Jesus to go away and return to your place in the kingdom of the devil. Since ending up in the lake of fire does not sound appealing to me, I chose the former solution.
In order to put legs to my desires, I have to listen to that still small voice of Jehovah God on issues of life that He knows I need to work on.
In the case of the present, the big issue for me is learning how to be friendly in a wicked world of unfriendly people. I used to find this easy.
As I grow older, I find it a little more difficult to take the time for friends when after all I have work tasks to complete, family time to salvage from the work time etc. etc.
I have noticed in my communion with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and the scriptures He uses to communicate with me, excuses do not do much except maybe to add to my unhappiness, loneliness and personal feelings of guilt for not being a better friend.
So to have friends, a man or a woman must act friendly. What does this mean to you? To me, being friendly simply means smiling instead of frowning, laying down a task at hand to share a joke or pleasant memory with someone, deciding to make a plan to have some harmless fun just to enjoy somebody else’s company or simply listening when a buddy has something he or she needs to get off of their mind.
God is love. That is what our Bible tells us. And those who do not show love do not follow the essence of what God is.They follow the path of selfishness, not the path of sharing with others and being supportive of their hopes and dreams.
If a man or a woman continues down the path of selfishness instead of showing love to others by way of helping the other person have it a little easier, that selfishness could not only lead to an eternal destination with some scary surprises, the selfish individual often ends up spending a lot of time alone to enjoy the fruits of his or her selfish labor.
In other words, they more than likely end up with no friends… The Christian Bible tells us we are our brother’s keeper. It may be hard to be a keeper of the brethren or sisterhood if you never communicate with them because of selfish pursuits.
I got lucky today. I heard the voice of an old friend that I went to high school and college with. We both graduated Hagerstown, Indiana High School in 1977 and Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
It looks like Dean Charles and I may try to do a little business together. I am grateful for the anticipated reunion. It is not often a person gets so fortunate as to renew an old friendship over so many miles and so many years.
I will do my best to be friendly to my friend. As this sermon taught both of us, to have friends you have to be friendly. And what about you? Do you find yourself isolated? Do you find that you think often of the good old days instead of living life each day as it comes?
Get out there again. Make some new friends. Choose them wisely. Find a good church home and bond with the people you go to church with. I do not do enough of that myself. As I have said several times, I learn too from the lessons God brings to my mind for these sermons.
We must all smile and be friendly. You never know when that simple act of kindness may be worth more than gold to the recipient.
SCRIPTURES
1) TO HAVE FRIENDS, YOU MUST SHOW YOURSELF FRIENDLY – Proverbs 18:18-24 King James Version (KJV) 18 The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty. 19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. 23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
2) FORGIVENESS – Psalm 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Daniel 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.
Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
3) 12 JUDGES OF THE 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL – Matthew 19:24-30 King James Version (KJV) 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

I

The friction
of walking
in obedience
to Jesus Christ
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
My minister friend Harry Hashburger, in the Methodist Church back home in Hagerstown, Indiana, gave a sermon in the 1970’s about how if the devil was not throwing monkey wrenches in your plans as you walked along then the smooth sailing just might indicate you were walking along in the same direction as Satan.
So if you have no particular problems in your day to day life, you might need to check your goals. Are you wanting to prosper in the Kingdom of God or our you just trying to prosper in the kingdom of this world?
We talk a lot in modern Christianity about prosperity. But in Christianity, maybe even more so than for the unbeliever, prosperity comes with a big price tag. That price tag, in large part for the believing Christian, involves trusting Jesus. The more we trust Him, the less likely we are to get upset when things do not go our way.
I am 58. I professed my salvation for Jesus Christ at age 15. Jesus has been very patient for me not to throw fits, and to stay calm, when things go wrong. Learning to keep gratitude in my attitude has helped me with this calmness goal.
Here lately I do pretty good with many of those monkey wrenches. My fits are growing less and less and my attitude of gratitude is growing. As I have mentioned many times, Jesus tells us in the New Testament Christian Bible to take His yoke, for it is easy and He will give you rest (1). But in order to get that rest, you must put your faith in Him. This trust comes with communication and friendship with the Lord. Jesus offers to be our friend and stick closer than a brother (2). As I get older, I can see where I am taking Him up on this offer more and more. But the enemy of our soul does all he can to get under our skin anyway. The secret is to keep in mind the perfect record that Jehovah God has for seeing us through situations.
Satan is a sly one. As long as he believes a person has no intention of doing anything toward spreading the Great Commission and good news about the salvation offered through the pure blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that devil will walk along with you as you wander through life seeking what pleasure and riches you can find.
But when the Christian decides he wants to give back to the one who saved him from an eternity in hell and the lake of fire, watch out. It is then when the monkey wrenches to your plans will start dropping in the gears as they move along.
Lately, I have been getting hit hard in the area of finance. I have been trying to help a Christian missionary get home to solicit more financing for her mission in Africa. Many need help with malnutrition, sickness and of course spiritual help to know about the salvation of Jesus Christ in Deborah’s world down in Nigeria. It is going OK.
I send a little here and a little there as my meager writer’s income allows, but the bigger money she needs to get home must come from a miracle of God. The good news is our Jehovah God, that is our provider, is still in the miracle working business.
I firmly believe a way will be made so this outstanding Christian girl can get home and God will send the financing because of her willing and kind heart to be of service to others. But are there monkey wrenches that happen while she and I wait for that time? You bet there are.
The key here is when you get a hold of a task that you know is in the obedience of Jehovah God’s word, hang on until things blossom.
In my opinion, you must forget you ever thought of quitting. In short, get rid of your quit switch. I am lucky. I was not born with one – or at least there is little evidence of it so far.
Like the old adage says, when you feel like giving up, tie a knot in your rope and hang on. The Christian Bible tells us God’s ways are not the ways of us humans. God’s ways are higher than our ways (3). So when you know that you know that you are obeying what you truly believe is the will of Jesus Christ, keep on keeping on.
As our preacher Andrew Goodwin said at First Assembly of God in Gurdon Sunday, the Apostle Paul would go places to preach the gospel when he had already been told in the spirit by Jesus that his preaching would result in him going to jail, being rejected or sometimes experience extreme poverty or real danger.
Paul experienced the friction of obeying Jesus more than most, but to use his words, “I finished my course.” That is the deal. If we are going to live to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must realize that the mountains of joy just might be pretty high but the valleys of trouble could go lower than we ever imagined. As an old song once said, we must be willing to march through hell for a heavenly cause.
The key is to finish the course. Know that you know that you have done all you can to encourage others to accept salvation and get their names in that Lamb’s Book of Life. If our eyes are on the prize, the darts of the devil will not bother us nearly as much.
You have heard the old Christian ease phrase, “God is in control.” Take it from me, He really is. He gives us freedom of choice, but when we choose to obey, even in a small way like writing a weekly Christian sermon in a magazine called the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News, God will be there to bless us with the tools we need and the encouragement to help us keep on keeping on.
Like many on this path, God has shown me there are bigger fish in my future. But the timing of growth in a Christian depends a lot of when a person finally begins to obey the things the Lord has told him or her to do.
If the Lord points out to you that you need more gratitude in your attitude, the next time Satan throws a road block in your way, thank God for the very last thing you know He made possible. That will encourage you to go on with your quest to obey His will more and more.
I do not believe God just has to hear our thanks to be happy, but rather He realizes we need to give that thanks in order to realize how blessed we are and to cope with life’s challenges as they come upon us.
I will use a struggle I go through as an example. When I get stressed out, I do not just grumble a little as a natural reaction. If I allow my fleshly desires to come out, I get down right mad and cuss a blue streak, a red streak and streaks that are not even in any rainbow you have ever seen! I was raised on an Indiana farm and watched my grandfather get passionate about many things. Still, the old man also mellowed as he aged, learning to hum when things went wrong instead of cussing or fussing.
My daughter Kelley is doing so good on controlling this generational curse. I admire how much control she has over her language. I remember her colorful language of the past, but she seems to have come a long way on her over coming in this area. Yes, I am very proud of her apparent success. That is not arrogant pride folks. It is a grateful pride of a very grateful Daddy.
It requires a lot of prayer and patience in some of us to break a generational curse. I am learning and God has been patient with me. My point is simple, we certainly have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But when we get saved, we get a new strength that lives on the inside of us.
Once we use the power of the Holy Ghost of God to resist temptation a few times, a better set of habits start to form. But again, we must set a Biblically correct goal and keep our eyes on the prize. When I resist my temptations to cuss, I smile and put my hands to the sky, saying to the Lord, “Jesus, win, lose or draw, I am with you and I want your will in my life to conquer and replace my carnal will.”
It helps. When you say it with sincerity, another type of friction goes away. Soon our old habits get less and less as we feed the good dog and starve out the bad dog. When we have a goal to overcome a bad habit, the soul of the over coming Christian is going to pray something like this, “Not my will in this situation Lord Jesus, but your will is what I want.” As the old time preachers used to say, when we lay our wills down, the will of God stands up, a cross is formed, and progress is made for the spreading of the gospel.
Another thing that will help you obey the will of the Lord is understanding how important respect can be. If we begin to think of what the other person needs and not just our own selfish needs, we develop a helping hand attitude instead of a self centered, living in a bubble, lifestyle.
This makes the devil have a fit of his own, but becoming less selfish is a way to show people the love of Jesus Christ. And showing may be even more important than telling others what that Bible says. It creates the question in the mind of the observers of “How in the world did he or she do that?”
When you let a stranger go in front of you in a line to buy groceries, that person remembers your kindness. When you stop and ask someone who looks sad if they would like to talk about it, that gives someone a boost of encouragement like you would not believe. Suddenly the sad person does not feel so alone in this old world.
Sure, there is always a risk of rejection when one reaches out to a stranger. But when you get a smile and the other person is in awe of your respect and consideration, you have struck a nerve in them that brings to the surface of their thinking that love just might still exist on planet earth. That reaction is something to shout about! You have renewed just a little hope in someone who may have been needing it in the worst way.
If they seem to be more at ease, gently say, “I thank the Lord Jesus Christ you feel a little better.” It plants a seed. Indeed, the preaching of the gospel is much like farming, you plant the seed and the love of Jesus brings in the harvest.
The more kindness and love you show, the easier it gets to follow the patterns of Jesus Christ. In other words, there will be less friction when you form the habit of doing what you know to be obedient to God’s will. In my case, it is a life long process. But as with all men and women, perfect peace will be ours when our names are read from that Lamb’s Book of Life on judgment day. With no temptations in heaven, there will be no conflicting friction in our minds.
SCRIPTURES
1) TAKE MY YOKE, IT IS EASY – Matthew 11:25-30 King James Version (KJV) 25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
2) JESUS WILL STICK CLOSER THAN A BROTHER – Proverbs 18:20-24 King James Version (KJV) 20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. 22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.
23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly. 24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
3) GOD’S WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR WAYS – Isaiah 55:2-13 King James Version (KJV) 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. 5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

 

Realize worriers,
Jesus has cut you
a trail to success
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
The Christian Bible quotes Jesus Christ as letting folks know, if they have accepted the gift of salvation, that we can give him our worries – as worrying can not add anything good to your life (1).
Still yet, most of us worry about business, our marriage, our children, our grandchildren, our friends and even how many days we can take off from our careers to play. Oh we may make like we are giving said worries to the Lord, but we usually pick them up again before the end of the prayer…
Notice I am using the word “we.” I am human, just like you. I do not understand some of the orders given in that New Testament Christian Bible where I get many ideas. I, by the way, do believe the Old Testament has much we can learn as well. It is, after all, where the 10 suggestions are found…
Nope it is not. It is where the 10 commandments (2) are given. Jehovah God is very serious about His children going by those 10 commandments – or at least working toward such as an honorable thing.
I personally do not always go by all 10. I hope to give you a much better report in the near future. I realize we are animal, human (soul) and spirit. If we go to hell, I personally believe the animal dies at the graveyard but the spirit follows the soul to an eternal lake of fire – the devil’s palace for eternity.
This may surprise many of you who are not saved. You may see it as down right cruel and unusual punishment – especially if your self righteousness is at peak performance. Never the less, if I did not announce your destination to hell, then I would not be doing my job for the Great Commission. I am an advertising salesman, but first and foremost I am a salesman for the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Living Great I Am.
If you do not like such a destination, Jesus Christ has cut a trail for you to escape. He was the only man to never sin on earth, as He had the Spirit of the Great I Am inside of Him in a supernatural way beyond our understanding.
His pure blood, shed for you and me on the cross, presented the perfect sacrifice for our sins to be forgiven by Father God, the king of a place called heaven where no unforgiven sin is allowed.
You see, when the pure blood of Jesus covers you, your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This means you are child of the king. And all you have to do for this is believe that Jesus died, rose from the dead on the third day and ascended into heaven to be at the right hand of the Great I Am.
If you are a skeptic, study this out historically. You will find there is much more evidence that Jesus Christ was the miraculous Son of the Living God than not. Many scientific minds have done this research and are preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ today.
So since Jesus cut a trail for us to get to heaven if we but ask His forgiveness and believe, is it not logical He has also cut a trail for us though our trials and tribulations while we walk this planet in the animal form?
Lately, I have been going through a trial. In sales, we call it a blue funk. That simply means everything we touch turns to donuts instead of dollars.
I know my Jesus is at the helm. Somewhere in all of these rough waters is the voice of His reason. Patience (3) is the key. If you do not have patience, pray for it. Do not be afraid it will bring you trouble to do so.
It just might, but it will also bring you to the point where trusting in the judgment of the Great I Am is your only logical choice. This brings an inner peace like you have never known before.
When you get in the thicket of things, you must know that God has already provided a route of escape. I ran into a real life situation today where God tested that sort of faith in me. My timing belt went out on my work car. Fortunately, I had a friend to call in the wrecker service business who came after me within an hour or so. But during those first few minutes, before I called my friend Sonny, it crossed my mind that all of my work plans were ruined and I would be losing ground financially instead of selling advertising to make my bills.
Then I realized Jehovah God was still on the throne and I had a friend in a very high place indeed. I prayed. I called my wrecker buddy and I made it back to his shop. It is a set back but my wife and I can share our other car and the trail could have been much worse. Jesus cut a trail to where I was not injured and my nerves would somehow be OK.
Jesus also made a way for the car to be repaired. I should have it back, up and running and ready for action in a couple of days. I thank the good Lord for that. A person in the sales business needs a way to get to his best leads in a hurry.
It is a small example I realize. But you can surely think of a time in your own life when your hope had to birth some faith and your love for Jesus had to give you the only security available in a situation.
Many of us have had near death experiences. Now there is a time when hope and faith have to grab love for all it is worth to make it to the other side of the situation.
What I call my near death experience was in the form of a dream that seemed very real. I was working on page layout alone in Lono, Arkansas. My wife and children had went to the funeral of their grandfather. Mine is a blended family and I did not know these folks from my wife’s ex-husband’s side of the family. I had a paper to put out, the Magnet Cove Community News, My wife agreed to allow me to stay home and finish my work.
So there I was alone at our home, laying out my paper with an exacta knife. My 47-year-old eyes became weary. I am now 58 but it seems like this happened just last night. I slumped to the floor and remember the sound of the journalism cutting tool falling to the floor. Then I found myself in a place I had never been before, a spiritual holding tank of sorts…
There I found the angel of death, dressed in a black and white jump suit thing, along with a band of demons surrounding said being. The main being began to speak. He told me I was on my way to a front seat in hell and asked if I had anything to say before he took me below? I got mad.
I told him I had accepted Jesus Christ at 15 years old and my name was in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I screamed at him that if he had the power to take me to hell, go for it. If not, please leave me alone! The being screamed at me and grabbed my throat. Then I saw a bright light and I woke up.
I stood up and looked at my newspaper pages. I picked up the exacta knife and laid it on the table. Then I sat down and thanked Jesus Christ for saving my soul. It felt good to be alive. I went to the restroom and looked in the mirror. As God is my witness, I saw red hand marks on my throat. I have now lived to tell you the rest of the story. I praise God for that too.
To survive the tricks of the devil, we must hope Jesus has our back. We must have faith He does and we must love Jesus Christ enough to turn potential panic into productive action. And yes, I humbly appeal to all Christians to do as I did in my dream – stand up to Satan! Many have called him the enemy of the human soul.
Yes, he is. And his deceit knows no bounds. Satan’s theory of hopelessness was defeated when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day, conquering death and hopelessness forever.
All folks have to do is accept the gift of salvation from the only Begotten Son of the Living God – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Have you ever been walking in the woods and felt lost all of a sudden? Me, I have been there a time or two, having grown up around woods and on a farm. Somehow, you may not be sure how, but somehow if you found yourself lost in the woods you made it out or you would not be reading this sermon right now.
That somehow is the guiding hand of Jehovah God. The Bible says the still small voice of God guides his children. In my humble opinion, even his future children have His grace. He knows who will accept salvation and who will not…
I will go you one further. God gives us free will but He already knows what we will decide in a given situation. Therefore He sets the stage to help us. Win, lose or draw, Jesus sticks to us closer than a brother. Jesus was a terrestrial human, just like the rest of us, and even now is the Spiritual part of God that communicates most frequently with our spirits – well that is my humble opinion anyway.
And yes, I respect the Holy Ghost Comforter. They are three parts of the same Jehovah God, my provider and my friend.
So when you think all is lost, cry out to Jesus Christ. He will guide you through your thicket. He already has a path ready. All you have to do is take His hand…
SCRIPTURES
1) WORRYING IS USELESS – Matthew 6:25-34 King James Version (KJV) 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
2) THE 10 COMMANDMENTS – Exodus 20King James Version (KJV) 20 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour.
3) PATIENCE – James 1:1-8King James Version (KJV) 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Luke 8:12-18 King James Version (KJV) 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Real Prosperity;
being saved, blessed
and at peace
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
We American workers spend the biggest part of our best days on earth working to pay for the wants and desires of a family, chasing a dream to be the best at what we do (or at least respected) and to be sure we are out of debt and have a place to live when our age or health puts a stop to our working days.
Is this so bad? Probably not. But many of us throw the baby out with the bath water. In college, I had a poster that said, “Happiness is along the path, not at the end of the road.” Amen.
If we claim to have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior of our soul, and we feel a peace about that, why are we so ungrateful for that fact that our minds immediately return to trying to do everything for ourselves? In short, we go right back to work, stress out over bills and wish, like the devil wishes he was not going to hell, that we could handle our bills and pay for our possessions without the daily struggle involved in doing so.
I will give you my opinion as to why. After all, you are voluntarily reading this sermon so here goes. We just do not realize what we already have. We have something much more valuable than riches. We have the Only Begotten Son of the Great I Am on our side from the time we accept Him until – forever…
And if you ever notice, somehow the hard times always pass (1). The Christian Bible tells us things come to pass. They do not come to stay. Folks should take note of this for the good times as well as the bad. Coming to pass simply means that the only thing for certain in this life is that it will change. In the scripture example, we see how taxes coming to pass led to the coming to pass of the birth of Jesus in a manner that was Biblically predicted.
Many times our peace really does result from going through pain for that peace to come to pass. Consider the virgin Mary and the mental pain she must have gone through being pregnant out of wedlock?
So we are blessed and highly favored (2) because we are Christians and our spiritual father is no longer Satan but rather The Great I Am. Jehovah God sees our heart and blesses us with whatever assignment in the Great Commission that He sees as fit for the kind of person we are down deep inside.
In our scriptural example, He blessed Mary to carry the only Begotten Son of the Living God in her virgin womb. Why Mary? Only the Great I Am could answer that.
When He blesses you for your desire to serve in His Holy Kingdom, down deep, beyond all the “logical” excuses, take that assignment and move forward. Enjoy it and do not quit, even when “logic” tells you to throw up your hands. Be thankful in all things (3), especially if the Lord includes you in helping with spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is prosperity in tenacity. Another college poster of mine used to have comic strip character Andy Capp on it, with his arm around a girl who was crying and calling herself a loser.
Andy smiled and said, no, you are going to try again. And remember, the only difference between a winner and a loser is the winner never gave up. Think about that when the road gets rougher than a log trail in Arkansas!
Now for the third part of our sermon title. What is peace? For a Christian, it should come from the confidence we have that Christ has our best direction and best interest at heart and the more we obey His Word (as told in the Holy Christian Bible), the more peace we should have in our souls.
But ironically, many active and unforgiven sinners seem to be more at peace than many professing Christians. As in most cases, I am first and foremost preaching to me folks.
I have professed Christ since I was 15 but trusting in hard work is ingrained in me. I seem to only pray to Jesus about my business ups and downs when the down times come. Here lately, I am trying to pray a prayer of gratitude to go with my attitude whether the results of my efforts are win, lose or draw.
When we express gratitude, the Word of God says that pleases the All Mighty. In short, it should also make a professing Christian calm down. After all, does Jesus not tell us to take His yoke and it will be easy? When He leads our life, there is blessings and peace. We simply have to look up instead of look out.
So when Satan brings that bill you have no money to pay because you just can not always stretch that work wage to what life presents, look up, smile and feel blessed. The Lord will see you through the road bump. After all, has He not always done so?
But being at peace with one self means something else as well. We must love ourselves enough to work toward being happy with the man or woman we see in the mirror. That person will work toward perfection in Christ in some cases, but the real perfection will not come until her or she passes through those heavenly gates.
In the mean time, we must realize we are in an incubation mode. If we have given Him permission, Christ is working to improve our character. Thus the term “potter’s wheel.”
The more success we achieve here, in the realm of obeying what we know to be right in the Christian definition of it, the more we can be used in the honorable job of preaching the gospel.
That is, the more we can be used in the Great Commission. That task is described in the Bible where Jesus recruits willing salesman for the sale of taking Him up on the offer of being saved from a devil’s hell by way of His pure blood sacrifice.
This should be any salesman’s dream that has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. But it usually takes a big chunk of a lifetime before a boy or a girl becomes a man or a woman. The Bible says when we are a child we are expected to speak and act as a child, but there will come a time when we must grab a hold of the responsibilities of being an adult and put away childish things.
I am sure I am not the only one who has held onto childish habits longer than need be… So don’t worry, Jehovah God is patient with those who have good intentions and never quit striving.
The old devil’s saying about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions, in my opinion, applies first and foremost to the folks who throw up their hands and quit trying to be overcomers of their sinful ways. They quit. It is too hard. So they quit.
We have all met quitters in every walk of life. They are usually the ones who blame others for their failures and shortcomings, isolate themselves from others and simply strive to have no stress (and more than likely not much purpose) in their lives. Oh they may have purpose, but have you ever met a quitter who is happy? Neither have I.
So to have peace in Jesus, or peace in your life in general, a person has to keep on keeping on, taking the good with the bad and respecting other people’s freedom to be themselves. If you truly get annoyed by someone, limit the contact to a few moments with plenty of time in between meetings, but do not desert someone who is reaching out to you. It makes the one you deserted feel hopeless. And hopelessness opens a door for Satan and his works.
If we are hopeless, we try things that relieve pain over attempting things that bring peace and gain. Once we are dead, if we have accepted Christ, there will be no more pain and suffering, according to our New Testament of the Christian Bible.
But until then, even a hermit will suffer the pain of being alone – having pushed everyone who ever reached out to him or her away because of their imperfections.
When I was young, I ran with folks of all sides of the tracks. They were my PALS. I will not tell you what the acronym stands for because many of your would be offended by the vulgar language. But I will tell you this. I learned that all of the people I have never met anyone who does not have at least some quality of at least one of the letters of that acronym in their character.
One letter describes cowards. The second letter describes know it alls. The third describes quitters who never follow through on any of their goals. And the last one describes the type of person who will do anything to get what they want.
If you do not see your character fault described, I advise you to apply for sainthood somewhere! The point is simple. Everyone of my friends of the past also had very good and ethical qualities. For the most part, due to integrity or plain old fear not to be destroyed, they were honest with me. I appreciate honesty. Without it, life becomes a mirage of fluff indeed!
So let’s look at some attempts in the Bible where folks tried to become prosperous on their own terms. One guy stole his brother’s birthright. Another married more than 500 women, figuring the perfect mate would surely show herself…
A third man simply thought himself a skilled and competent fisherman. He got nothing in his nets one day until he let the Lord Jesus tell him where to drop them. Then his nets were overflowing.
I personally believe the biggest reason a man, or a woman, does not follow the Biblical instructions of Jesus Christ is not lack of love and appreciation for the Creator. It is lack of trust. We all want to do life our own way and expect that to bring us prosperity and peace. Disobedience to the Lord, in fact, brings just the opposite – at least in this world and sometimes in the next.
Let’s get off of direct disobedience to the 10 commandments and the results there of for just a moment and inspect what happens when a guy quits a battle he knows he is supposed to fight. I will use King David in the Bible as my example.
David became like the factory owner who never goes to the plant just to check on things. You know, the guy who assumes all is well and decides it is time to play golf every day instead of rolling up his sleeves and helping those in his employ. Don’t get me wrong. I love to play golf and fish, plus I love a good game of chess or pool. But if I spent all my time with those hobbies, no advertising would get sold for this publication and I might get considerably thinner than what I want to be.
David decided he had won enough battles. He turned the battlefield over to his soldiers and headed for a hammock. He was determined that he was king and a successful king so it was time to quit his work of conquering and defending his own kingdom and take it easy…
This went Ok for a little while until he happened to notice a pretty woman taking a bath.
Besheba might have been a fine wife to Uriah, but she was also a loyal subject of the king. When her king sent for her, she probably got dressed, put on some perfume no doubt and hauled her apparently very beautiful body over to David’s place.
David did what nearly any man in his position would have done. He made love to this girl and felt like a million dollars had just been given to him afterwards.
The devil’s snare was in place. Lust had ruled a king who should have been in the battle of life, working too hard to notice Besheba and her charms.
But David let up on the gas. He thought himself too accomplished to continue his purpose. So instead of feeling the healthy pride of winning a battle, he ended up feeling the sting of adultery.
You probably know the rest of the story. If not, in brief, David’s girlfriend got pregnant. He had the husband killed in battle and David claimed his girlfriend as a wife.
Back then, you could have more than one wife if you could take care of them. David was rich so keeping Besheba up was not an issue. The issue was how he had gotten said wife.
He had taken from his loyal subject Uriah all that Uriah had… a wife Uriah assumed would always be there for him. David’s quit switch had a back lash. It is my contention that all quit switches do. No matter how smart you are, you can not fool God.
And right is right and wrong is wrong. David and Besheba lost their first child as punishment for Uriah being deceived and killed for the wedding to even take place. In short, what goes around comes around.
So do possessions mean peace of mind? It really depends upon the manner by which they were acquired.
If we possess tools because God has given us an arsenal to do His work, that is one thing. If we possess tools because we stole them, that is quite another.
And then there is the third, and probably most used, way of getting tools to do something. We sacrifice love of another human being for more materialism thinking we can go get love out of a box when we are ready for it…
However, the question asked in this sermon is what is prosperity to you? Is it riches? Is it a beautiful or handsome spouse? It is power? Or is it just knowing that your Savior Jesus Christ loves you and will always take care of you – one way or the other – in due time?
1) IT CAME TO PASS – Luke 2:1-15 King James Version (KJV) 2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
2) BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED – Luke 1:24-32 King James Version (KJV) 24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.
3) BE THANKFUL FOR ALL THINGS – 1 Thessalonians 5:15-21 King James Version (KJV 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

We struggle, but
God brings joy
in the morning!
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
It always amazes me when my preacher ends up giving a sermon that relates to what I was already thinking of talking about here.
Brother Andrew Goodwin, of Gurdon’s First Assembly of God, told us this morning that Jesus Christ can gain from out pain. At first this sounds ridiculous. Then when you hear the explanation, it makes more sense.
Pastor Goodwin was trying to say the trials of life sometimes come for the greater good in the life of the individual and the potentially converted general public to salvation. In short, a man or a woman getting saved from a testimony that might relate to their own is far more important than the individual avoiding a bit of financial or marital struggles – or even more important than avoiding a death in his or her circle of family and/or friends…
The Christian Bible says when we are weakest Jesus Christ is strongest in our lives. Sometimes bad things have to happen to good people in order for the true love of Christianity to shine.
I want to talk about joy coming in the morning (1). The Christian Bible talks about our trials and struggles and yet assures us that Jesus has the best interest of the most people coming to salvation in mind. Many times a sacrifice must be made on an individual’s wants, hopes, desires, dreams and even his or her needs. Things rarely change for most of us until we do not have a choice if we want to survive.
I have been going through a financial trial that is about to kill me. But it would seem that I may be on to something that will solve it.
I am learning how to post affiliate ads on my magazine web site. With God’s continued blessings, that may be the extra income I need to publish a book I wrote and get a better work car. Time will tell. But I do believe Jehovah God will continue to provide for me. He always has and I am very grateful.
Perhaps you have over extended yourself financially for one reason or the other in the past. You have more than likely figured out that a generous and grateful heart usually comes out on top. Give because you want to do so. Give until it hurts if it seems like the Christian thing to do. The Word of God says Jehovah God will give it back to you, pressed down and flowing over (2).
By the same token, the Lord calls a man who will not take care of his family an infidel – roughly translated an irresponsible fool. So there is a balancing act here. In other words, do not second guess God. Pray before you act. That is wisdom. The Masons, an organization my grandmother belonged to many years ago as a member of the Eastern Star, used to say, “Act in haste, repent at your leisure.” In other words, there are usually consequences to quick decisions that are not thought out.
When things go wrong, it is natural to assume there is no way out sometimes. But to quote the Bible again, “God makes a way where there seems no way (3).” And when He does we can usually understand why we had to suffer. While we suffer, that is when we really feel like the Lord, and the whole world, has looked the other way.
But then I think of the scripture that refers to joy coming in the morning. There is, in other words, a light at the end of the tunnel. And life really is a roller coaster. Indeed, it is our job to enjoy the ride and praise the Lord anyway. I love it when joy comes in the morning. In my case, it is usually in the form of a little, unexpected, victory.
I was able to afford new wiper blades on my work car today. This certainly may seem small to many of you, but to me it was a big deal. Now, as far as I know, my work car is mechanically fit. This means a lot because I do not think I can afford a better work car for awhile, at least until the benefits of those affiliate ads produce profits on my web site. Everything is relative in life. Perhaps instead of wiper blades, you got flowers for Valentine’s Day unexpectedly. There you go, a little victory of sun light in a dark world.
God sends us helpers if we but just look for them. Look at the man who was rescued by the Good Samaritan in the Bible. Being an Israelite, that hurting man probably never expected a Samaritan to rescue him.
They were traditionally folks who did not associate with each other. Still yet, it was a victory, in that God sent the right person for the right task. The Lord not only sent an unusual rescuer, he sent one with the means to house the fellow while he got well from what memory tells me was a beating.
This brings up something I learned the hard way. If it is God who tells you to help someone then the means to do so will be provided by the Great I Am. If you just want to help, but have no means, your prayers may be all you have to give. Give them and be at peace.
Consider Jesus Christ on the cross. There was a time when our Savior faced darkness and the Great I Am turned His back on His own Son because our Jehovah God can not stand to look upon our sins.
Jesus took our burden. He was sent to save us from our own best of intentions because those intentions are, without many, if any, exceptions, riddled with sins and other mistakes. And sin can not be in a perfect heaven, at least not without the blood of the Lamb of Christ covering it.
Jesus stood the pain so we could have the gain of going to heaven one day instead of paying for our sinful ways in a devil’s hell.
He gave us a pardon from our just penalties for being sinners. All we have to do is ask for that pardon and believe in the miracle of his death, resurrection and power to cut us a path to heaven. In doing so, we must be sorry for the way we have fallen short in our lifestyle of our own choosing and sincerely seek a better way on the Christian path. And one day, we must grow up a bit. We must learn to obey the voice of God, as it directs us to scriptures that let us know it is an instruction from love rather than from the enemy.
When we get up from a salvation prayer, that is most likely another example of joy coming in the morning of our lives.
Salvation is a decision made after a deep and dark night stage of falling further and further away from the will of the Great I Am, as illustrated in His Biblical laws. For you see, our spirits miss our Maker. And when we drift away from the will of Jesus Christ and grow cold in our selfish ways, God stays with us. And soon, He draws us back to Him.
But make no mistake, if we turn Him down in His invitation to live for love one time too many, He will eventually quit calling…
The unsaved carry their own burden. It may be in the form of loneliness, greed, addiction or any number of tools the devil uses to bring a soul down to the ground. But upon being saved, these things can change as we grow in the ways of Christ.
As singer/song writer Kris Kristopherson said, “You will feel a forgiveness that you never even knew you needed. And there will be a release like you have never known before.”
Suppose you are already a Christian and yet your leg has just been crushed in a car wreck – leaving you with no ability to work and provide for your family for several months. Then a nurse notices you are singing Christian songs and reading the New Testament Christian Bible as you lay in your bed. She is fascinated as to how you could possibly be happy. It leads to her asking Jesus Christ to save her. You get my point. She gained from your pain.
So take heart folks, the low tide is not necessarily as horrible as it sometimes seems. We just have to trust God that indeed there will be joy in the morning and there will be Great Commission gain from your pain.
SCRIPTURES
1) JOY COMES IN THE MORNING – Psalm 30 English Standard Version (ESV) Joy Comes with the Morning
A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple. 30 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 3 O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. 5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” 7 By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed.
8 To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: 9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper! 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
2) PRESSED DOWN, GOOD MEASURE – Luke 6:36-44 King James Version (KJV) 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.
For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
3) GOD MAKES A WAY WHERE THERE SEEMS NO WAY – Isaiah 43: 1-19; King James Version (KJV) 43 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. 8 Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.
9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things?
Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.
13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

14 Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. 16 Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;
17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Many seek love;
few understand
our God IS Love!
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Valentine’s Day is coming up on Tuesday, February 14 and love will be in the air for a lot of couples, some human, some not.
If you think about it, eagles mate for life. That has to be some sort of a love connection. Many people have more than one spouse in their lifetimes – trying to find the perfect one. There is something in all of us that seems to connect perfection with real love.
That something is God. I mean the Great I Am, Jehovah God our provider or in human terms, the soul light that flowed through the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. You see, the Christian Bible plainly states God is Love (1). And the Great I Am is a perfect God, perfectly merciful, kind and worthy to be praised.
But most of us humans sniff around the opposite sex, thinking a new mate will show us what real love is.
In my humble opinion, if you want real love and you are a Christian, be sure the girl you are dating is also a Christian. When the hard times come, and they will, you and her will have to get on those knees and do a lot of tall praying.
It will help a lot if you love birds know exactly where that love came from; courtesy of Jehovah God!
Besides, the Lord gives us some advice in the Christian Bible about this matter, telling folks not be yoked together with those of different faiths (2).
I believe that was Solomon he was talking to because Solomon had this need for more than one wife and some of those wives were from a very large distance from camp. In fact, the distance was so far that many of his more than 500 wives were of a different religion and had a different God…
Now I am not advocating you young men go out here and check out 500 ladies enough that you can take them all to the altar. There are differing opinions on whether a fellow should become one flesh with even more than one wife if he is following the Word.
Now what I am about to say is a Nelsonism. But my Biblical teachers have told me what is OK in the old Testament is still OK, as God is unchanging.
Certainly both Leah and Rachel were Jacob’s wives (3), neither of which would fall into a harlot category or be less important than the other. I have opened a can of worms. I will let you sort this non-salvation issue out for yourself.
Let’s get back to Valentine’s Day. Most of us here in America take our wives, and/or girl friends, one at a time. We scout them out for looks, brains and religious conviction – well at least I do being of the Christian faith.
My wife is good looking. She is also successful in business and seems to have some pretty good brains in her head. But thirdly, and most importantly, she loves Jesus Christ just like I do.
This love of the Lord has carried us 19 years so far. God’s love gives a human relationship some extra glue that is just hard to explain – but it is wonderful.
Let’s go back to King David in the Bible for a moment. God and David had a relationship that only someone growing up in a lonely environment would understand.
Out there sheep herding, David had no one else to talk with but Jehovah God. I can relate to that. I grew up with my paternal grandparents on an Indiana corn farm and was an only child. I spent countless hours alone out there; talking to Jehovah God.
Have you noticed in traditional man-woman love, the more you two talk, the stronger the bond between you? Our preacher, Brother Andrew Goodwin of the First Assembly of God of Gurdon, Arkansas, said what I am about to say in his sermon Sunday.
God is the same way as your favorite man or woman friend or spouse. If you take time every day to talk and joke with a person, you get to know them and form a strong bond.
If you get to where you do not take the time for them, the relationship will weaken and other interests will take over. Don’t get me wrong.
I am a writer and a man who also does lay out and production for my weekly digital magazine. I spend countless hours alone. Michelle has her living room and I have my office/man cave. But there is something comforting in knowing my wife is in the next room and I can go talk to her whenever the need arises in me.
Not let’s look more at God love. When I was a kid on the farm, I called the Great I Am, Mr. God. Sometimes I still do in my prayers. I really do not think He minds.
The point here is that if we want the true benefits of the love of God in our lives, we must communicate with Him. Read His Word and meditate over questions you have about the Old and New Testaments. That is always a good start.
I do not mean to put down our culture’s traditional meaning of Valentine’s Day and the honoring of sweethearts. Healthy relationships between the opposite sexes are important. It is how families are formed. But do not leave the Great I Am out of the picture. When He blesses your marriage, it will have joy. And as the Bible says, there will be joy unspeakable.
For those of us who are over the age of accountability, there is a way to find love like no other. Realize you need Jesus Christ to save your soul and enrich your life.
Go to an altar of your choosing, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, believe He is the son of God and only pure blood sacrifice and believe Jesus Christ will place your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life for eternity.
When you arise from your prayer, you will be starting a new life of love like you have never known before. Jehovah God will be there as our friend and counselor the rest of your days and some day He will invite you into your heavenly home. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
SCRIPTURES
1) GOD IS LOVE – 1 John 4:4-12King James Version (KJV) 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
2) DO NOT BE YOKED WITH AN UNBELIEVER – 2 Corinthians 6:3-18King James Version (KJV) 3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
3) MARRYING TWO WOMEN: RACHEL AND LEAH – Genesis 29 King James Version (KJV) 29 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth.
3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place.
4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.
5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him. 6 And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.
8 And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.
9 And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.
11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.
13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month. 15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?
16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. 21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel?
wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? 26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. 28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. 29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. 31 And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.
33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.
34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. 35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
Editor’s Note: So are the fundamentalist Mormon’s wrong about more than one wife? If so, God would have to change. Here in scripture, Leah, although squeezed into the deal, was Jacob’s first wife and then Rachel, the love of his life, was also his wife.
He supported and honored them both. So can a man be one flesh with more than one wife? Again, a can of worms I leave you to ponder. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

A Double Minded
Man Is Unstable in
ALL of his ways…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
The Christian Bible tells us that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways (1). This applies to those of you of the female persuasion as well. Fence riding Christians suffer much.
Of course, even those unsaved folk who walk around with an attitude of being swayed by the wind will pay for their wishy washy ways with heart ache and disappointment.
Much of God’s wisdom is for all of His children, not just the saved ones. But the saved ones usually take it more seriously.
With our recent change in United States presidents, our country’s leadership seems to be of like mind on many issues to keep us free and safe. I sure hope so. The President Barack Obama years were scary to me. I had a president of the United States telling me transgender men should have the right to go in a girl’s bathroom or locker room “if they feel like a girl today,” and a Christian businessman paying fines because he did not want to make a cake for a same sex marriage when the couple could have gone down the street and bought a cake all day long.
In short, it seemed as though my country was trying to use force to change my morals instead of protecting my right to choose. The free America I had known as a kid seemed vanished forever. Apparently enough people felt the same way as me. President Donald Trump seems pretty traditional in many ways and not down on the 10 commandments or Christianity in general. So, to me, our government is coming into a phase where the double minded hypocrites will have to take a back seat.
Any time freedom of choice in behavior is restored to an individual or a group of folks, things start to get better. The use of force, such as implementing a law to legislate morality, is always the wrong move in my opinion.
When I was younger, I was taught that sticks and stones could break my bones but names could never hurt me. This helped a lot when the older generation called me a long-haired hippy freak and questioned my masculinity because of my long hair and love for rock music.
But since many members of our younger generation were not taught the sticks and stones thing, they apparently believe words can be stifled and they will feel less hurt. Shutting the other man up is the devil’s trade mark. Differing opinions existing side by side without penalty is the mark of God and a free nation.
I do agree there is no reason to hurt another person with your words intentionally. But as the historical figure Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you have to say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
For example, to simply quote a scripture is religious freedom and people need to realize, whatever generation they are from, that they can take the instruction or leave it. In short, don’t shoot the messenger. Folks need a tough exterior to make it through the criticisms of this old world. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not entitled to forcibly change the next guy or gal.
So let’s look at this double minded scripture thing. Do you suppose God All Mighty has never been bad mouthed? Then think again. In the form of Jesus Christ, he was persecuted by the religious hypocrites of the day.
Those folks wanted the status of being preachers, yet they wanted some sort of exclusive deal on it and meeting Jesus made them feel like they were losing their perch.
They wanted the benefits of true love but not the responsibility of living out what they preached. Thus, those Pharisees back in the days of Jesus Christ of Nazareth fit the definition of being double minded – that is serving two masters.
Christ is quoted in the New Testament as saying those who try to serve two masters can not stay in that state of mind. One day they will love the one and hate the other. The truth of what the Lord said made those hypocritical preachers of the day furious because they felt threatened when they heard the truth. And when modern day preachers preach the gospel, those who oppose it still try and shut them down. Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, why do you find it odd that they persecute you(2)?”
Indeed, it would be strange if the general public did not persecute and put down those of us who have realized our own abilities are flimsy and our only hope for real strength is to turn to the ways and deeds of Jesus Christ for our example. Bringing it up to my Baby Boomer generation, Jesus was the first hippy and perhaps the only hippy who would ever cut the mustard of being a man of true peace and love.
And believe me, us “hippies” were put down, scorned and made fun of. My personal opinion is because the straights of the time were jealous of our free spirits. This is not the case in the youth I now study.
They appear to be ashamed of their ways in many cases. So they feel obligated to put down the Bible, which tells them of their errors. Nobody likes to be told they are wrong.
But eternity demands those who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ point out God’s lists of rights and wrongs, as the Christian Bible reveals. Once you have dropped your pride, realized your powerlessness, asked forgiveness of your sins and forgiven others who have sinned against your, Jesus Christ is faithful to save you from your just reward for disobeying Jehovah God.
If your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you will be pardoned from an eternity in hell (3). Your sins, no matter how repulsive to God or other human beings, will be covered with the pure sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ. But people have to know they have gone against God or they will never be sorry for their self-serving ways.
So if I tell you homosexuality is a stink in the nostrils of the Great I Am, I am just quoting the Christian Bible so you may have an idea what your Maker believes. Or if I tell you that adultery is a sin against your own body and irresponsible sex leads to pain and destruction on this earth and in the life to come if you have not accepted Christ, do not be offended.
I am not double minded in my heart. Some day I hope to conquer ever being in my actions. Through Christ, perhaps I will accomplish this goal.
I am a sinner saved by grace and I love it. And I want it for you. I want you to know that Jesus Christ loves you and that understanding Christian truth will bring you more and more love and peace in your life than you can ever imagine – if you just accept that the Creator is smarter and wiser than the creation. And in accepting this fact, you will begin to soak up the ways of Jesus like a sponge and you will know joy unspeakable.
I must warn you, once you make up your mind to accept Jesus as your Savior, He will begin to mold you into a better self that you did not even know existed – at your own pace, when you let Him…
The devil came to this earth to kill, steal and destroy. And creating a double mind in humans, that is imposing what science calls cognitive dissonance, is one of Satan’s favorite ploys. And it keeps working generation after generation. He sprinkles a little greed, a little lust and a little brain washing about being self reliant, and there you go; double mindedness in those whose conscious in not already seared.
If it is seared, then that individual has a reprobate mind and will be lost for eternity in a lake of fire. This gives Satan pleasure. The Bible assures us that those whose name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life will have a fate worse than death. Your body will not last forever. Let Jesus rescue you from an eternity of torture before sin sears your conscious and God quits calling you home.
Do not let your selfish and prideful convictions take your soul to a place from which there is no return. Pushing your mind to where everything is OK and your conscious is seared from any remorse from your disobedience to God’s Christian Bible is as close to the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, that is unforgivable sin, as I can come up with.
It is essentially saying, I can live with my life just the way it is and I do not believe there is anything better. That sort of person has gone beyond being a fence rider to a state of mind ripe for hell.
Let’s look at Pontius Pilot in the Bible. He knew very well it was wrong to crucify Jesus Christ because Christ had not broken any laws. But he reasoned that the public would never be satisfied if he did not commit this man to death so he went ahead with it. They picked Jesus over Barabus, a career criminal of the time, to die on the cross. Don’t you know Pilot had to be wrestling with his decision?
This is double-mindedness; riding the fence and blaming others because in your own mind you are not on solid ground with your actions. Sure, in the example of Pilot, it had to be that way for our Savior to complete His destiny of being a sinless and pure sacrifice for the rest of us. But as for Pilot, what a fate this fence rider must have had in being the man who authorized the crucifixion of an innocent man.
Let’s look at your own life. Have you ever known something was wrong and decided to do it anyway? How did it make you feel when you looked in the mirror afterwards? I am not sure a man or a woman can get away from this double minded stuff without the Lord. Jesus is steadfast. His ways, as depicted in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, did not change because of His great love and respect for God the Father.
Perhaps love and respect are two of the keys we can use to unlock stable thinking. One thing is for sure, when you show both to someone else you definitely do not feel the guilt you might feel if you are their friend to their face and make fun of them behind their back.
Be true to yourself. God knows your belief system. If it is to change for the better, it must incorporate the love and respect found in the Bible. If you would rather just keep the belief system you have and never let the teachings of Jesus Christ put you on the Potter’s wheel of improving morals, character and integrity, then your days may be filled with sorrow unnecessarily.
Embrace love. Find out what that means. One great place to find out is by reading John 3:16 and realizing the God you have made fun of loves you more than you love yourself and thought enough of you to give you an out to an eternity in hell for your unforgiven disobedience (sin) to his instructions on how to live and be at peace within.
Instead of swaying about and concluding God might be real and He might not, give Jesus Christ a chance to show you just how much He is real and how much you need Him in your life. In other words, get off the fence and commit to following Christ or follow your human definition of right from wrong and arrogantly assume your ways are superior to the ways of the Great I Am. But do not be like the old time political cartoons of a man or a woman whose convictions sway like the blades of grass in the wind. The double minded who stay that way will have a miserable time on earth and after this life is over.
SCRIPTURES
1) A DOUBLE MINDED MAN IS UNSTABLE IN ALL OF HIS WAYS – James 1:2-12King James Version (KJV) 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
2) IF THEY PERSECUTED JESUS, THEY WILL PERSECUTE HIS FOLLOWERS – John 15:18-25King James Version (KJV) 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 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.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Matthew 10:22King James Version (KJV) 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
3) THOSE WHO ARE SAVED HAVE THEIR NAMES IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE – Revelation 21:20-27King James Version (KJV) 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Luke 10:18-21King James Version (KJV) 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

 

Let Jesus be
in charge of
your when
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I am an impatient man who accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior many years ago. Patience is one of my overcoming goals.
Since I pray for patience, obstacles are thrown in my way on a very consistent basis. But rather than fire up my violin singing poor, poor pitiful me, here lately I would rather praise God instead!
Life can be seen as a half empty bucket or a half full one. Me, I choose to see mine as half full and I am counting on the guidance and direction of Jesus Christ to fill up that bucket before I depart this earth.
But I fall down in many areas of life. I think they call that being human. I fall down on finances, on family matters and even on desire to do my hobbies with friends. Why is this? Simple, every now and then I look down. I know better, but I find excuses not to jump and ask God how high when pragmatic things stand in my way.
Frankly, I am tired of trusting my own estimation of timing in regard to success and ignoring the time table of the Great I Am. I recently missed an opportunity to increase my income significantly. I have apologized to God. I had great excuses for putting this thing off, but by my estimation, I was wrong. I should have listened to that still small voice inside of me known by my crazy self as Mr. God.
Perhaps this has happened in your life. I normally jump on a gamble I believe in. It is the nature of being a dreamer. But in this case, I decided car repair was more important than part-time job application. I knew at the time I made the wrong move. And low and behold the car still does not run and I am still having budget problems.
I think I learned something about trusting God when I know that still small voice has put an idea in my spirit. So since I may have learned this time, perhaps it will all still work out. Thankfully, Jehovah God is definitely a God of second chances.
We serve Jesus Christ, His only begotten son and extension of that Spirit of Love, full of mercy and grace. Still yet, I have a feeling things would have progressed much more quickly if I had not flinched and listened to Mr. God the first time… Thus the old saying, I trust God and me and me I am not so sure about.
This happened to folks in the Christian Bible. God told the Israelites to take the land of Canaan. Two of 10 scouts said go for it. The other eight said the giants who lived there would destroy the Israelites if they invaded (1). As with most of us, those Israelites believed the majority and ignored the two guys who where apparently anointed with God’s truth.
It cost them dearly. Read the scriptures provided if you want to know more.
Then there is another example of a man obeying God’s timetable and saving the life of his son. If Abraham had not gone up to the mountain, fully prepared to sacrifice his son because of his strong trust and love for Jehovah God, then Isaac, his son, would most likely have died. Jehovah God provided a goat as the sacrifice to save Isaac in the nick of time – God’s time…
We will never know what would have really happened that day if Abraham had looked down. But Abraham followed God and not logic. Most of us follow logic and go with the majority consensus in our own minds. Me, you, most everyone is guilty of following logic. But when it comes to serving the Great I Am, logic has to go out of the window.
What would happen if we had started following God’s guidance earlier in life? Well, it really does not matter. What matters is coming to the point in life where God’s will seems like the only way to go.
What if we were to pray, get an answer from God and ignore the criticisms of the devil and his earthly logical buddies? In my mind, this would help any of us grow faster in the quest to be more Christ-like and we would have much happier lives. In short, we would embrace love, respect and obedience to our Creator and turn out back on rebellion for the thrill of it.
Waiting on God is not always easy. Many times it gives the devil time to present a very believable explanation about how you missed the will of God and your waiting is just making you look foolish. But if God tells you to wait an hour before going to town, do it. It just might mean you missed an accident that could have seriously injured you or even killed you.
Skeptics may ask how I know when God is telling me to wait on something? That is an easy one. God will block your progress to bring on actions that will help you achieve righteous goals. The devil will simply tempt you to break a commandment or to be disobedient in a host of other ways. For example, if a fellow hits you and the devil wins the argument so you hit him back, it usually does not make a person feel better about himself. Most generally, we shrug and feel foolish because we know down deep that two wrongs do not make a right.
Let’s look at King David. Here was a guy who knew he was supposed to be leading his troops in battle. But instead of doing the righteous thing, he went home to rest “and sit this one out. (2)” That is when he saw a beautiful woman bathing next door to his castle. She was up on the roof and Bathsheba was looking hot.
Even though King David had to have known that adultery was against the will of God, he recruited that lady to come to the palace and go wild with him. After he had done his best to fill her with child, someone told him she had a husband named Uriah.
David knew he had given into his lust and disappointed God. So, like most of us would have done, he added another wrong to his stack of sins to try and cover his mistake and had Uriah sent to war on the front lines. In the meantime, he kept up his baby making stuff with Bathsheba.
Before he shipped out Uriah, he told the man he should go be with his wife on leave from the battle. The guy would not do it on the grounds he did not feel right about having fun while his fellow soldiers perished.
This panicked David, as he would not be able to tell his fellow countrymen that Bathsheba was bred by her husband, not him… So that is when he had Uriah march off to his death, figuring if Uriah was dead he, the king, could at least give Bathsheba the security of being a wife of royalty when she had his baby.
Now what was God’s will for David here? God plainly wanted David to use integrity and lead his men into battle. If he had obeyed the loving and right thing to do, David would never have fell into being tempted by the assets of a beautiful and naked woman taking a bath on a roof top! But David disobeyed and the temptation of sin took over.
Now let’s look at a time in history when somebody obeyed Father God, even though it made His flesh crawl so bad He began to sweat blood. In the flesh, the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ prayed for a reprieve.
He knew God’s time for his crucifixion was near, and that Father God wanted a blood sacrifice from the only sinless man to ever walk earth, but the thought of the torture did not suit the flesh man Jesus. He prayed, “If there be any way Father, take this cup away from me. But never the less, your will be done not mine (3).”
Christ obeyed His father in heaven and cut a trail for the rest of us to be forgiven of our sins so we could one day enter a pure heaven if we only but believe and ask.
As followers of Christ, we must respect the obedience of Jesus, as He adhered to God’s timetable even though it was His own human life that was about to end. If Jesus Christ could do that for us, could we not wait just a few moments, hours, days, months or even years for God’s time in regard to promises He has given us in our own lives?
If you pray, and God gives you righteous direction, that is an assignment to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you must wait until He believes you are ready to receive the fruits of His promises. If we throw up our hands and quit, the devil will entertain us all right. But the distraction may mean that when the answer to our prayer comes to pass, we may be at the airport looking for an ocean liner to come in! In short, some folks get off the path of following God and never find their way back.
So dear friends, this sermon’s main point is simple. Wait on God’s time table and be in the right place at the right time to do your part in God’s kingdom. We only have one life to live. If we have accepted the gift of Christ, is it not better to pass that gift on when God says to then to run off half cocked thinking we are smarter than the All Mighty?
The fact is when we jump ahead of the Lord, it should come as no surprise that the results are not always very positive.
SCRIPTURES
1) THE ISRAELITES DECIDE NOT TO INVADE THE CANAANITES IN GOD’S TIME – Numbers 14New International Version (NIV) The People Rebel
14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”
13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’
17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’
19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.[a]”
26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”
36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.
39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”
41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you.
You will be defeated by your enemies, 43 for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”
44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
2) KING DAVID DECIDES TO STAY HOME FROM BATTLE – 2 Samuel 11:1-17King James Version (KJV) 11 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. 10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. 12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house. 14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
3) JESUS PRAYS AT GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE – Luke 22:39-46King James Version (KJV)39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

 

Don’t believe your
fears right off,
Jesus creates
many surprises!
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
When I was an active song writer years ago, many of my small fan club used to say I wrote my best stuff when I was down and out. Perhaps the hope of Jesus Christ was shining through the music.
Here lately, with times being what they are around our house, living on love and loving Jesus is a necessity. Our soon to be ex-president once said us Christians carry our Bibles in one hand and guns in the other. That may be true Mr. Obama, but most of us would much rather use the Word of God in Love than a gun in self defense.
I have noticed the best part of being a follower of Jesus Christ is the surprises. I could list many in my own life. But can you imagine how Moses felt when Jehovah God parted the Red Sea (1)? That must have been awesome!
Or what about old Jonah? Can you imagine his relief to be upchucked where God wanted him to preach instead of digested by a huge fish (2)? Once he was on shore, for some reason obedience overcame him…
In my own life, there seems to be a lot of rivers blocking me lately, as well as alligators biting my heels. I suppose it is a result of poor economic times and my own miscalculations concerning the costs of what I have. But for whatever the reason, I am praying for a miraculous surprise from the Lord Jesus Christ. It does not have to be a financial miracle. I can live poor or I can live rich. I do my best, give my tithes, offerings and once in awhile a charity donation – and leave prosperity to God.
But I am still praying for a positive surprise. Maybe I will get a chance to lead someone to the Lord. That would be better than money in my humble opinion. Maybe some family walls will come down and there will be peace in our whole family again. Self respect, respect for others and mutual trust are important factors in my walk with Jesus Christ.
I guess everyone has their share of problems. I am personally very thankful to have a home to sit in, a car to drive, a business to run and most of all family and friends to share good times and bad times with. I remember a personal surprise worth sharing.
Many, who read this column regularly, may recall this upcoming story. But here goes. I was a much younger journalist living in Alexander, Arkansas. My child, Kelley, was perhaps 6 years old or younger. She was old enough to go to school and we were attending a Pentecostal Church in Bryant, Arkansas.
I was in a hurry to get to the newspaper office that morning. I stepped out on the porch to go start my car before taking Kelley to school.
One of her kittens came out of no where and dropped on my face from a tree, claws cutting me and freaking me out. I was raised on a farm, with survival always my first priority. Before I knew it, I had thrown that cat about 20 feet in the air and it came down still and looking dead.
I realized what I had done and thought of how much it would hurt my little girl. I hit my knees right next to the kitty. I felt its little body but the thing seemed lifeless… I prayed, “Lord Jesus, you raised people from the dead. For Kelley’s sake, would you please bring life back into this kitten. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray.”
That cat got up and started rubbing my leg and purring. I burst into tears. Kelley came out and played with the cat and we went on to school and work. Now that resurrection was a big surprise to this journalist.
Believe me, I do not normally have that kind of faith. But as my grandfather used to say, desperate times call for desperate actions. And believe me, I was desperate to see that cat alive again!
Some will say the cat was never dead. I can see that. But I know better. He had no heart beat and was bleeding out from the mouth. I will bet there are unexplained miracles in your own life if you just stop and think about it.
For most of us, our salvation experience was a miracle. I was 15 and the devil fought me all the way to the altar. Yet, accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior of my soul was the smartest thing I ever did in these now 58 years of living. Salvation was instantaneous for the asking of the free gift. But overcoming a sinful nature is a life long pursuit for most Christians. At least it is for me and I make no bones about it.
I make mistake after mistake and have to repent when conviction falls upon me. But I try and make different mistakes as best I can to get closer to the way Jesus tells me to walk in the famous Sermon on the Mount.
Being on the overcoming Potter’s wheel is an honor I hope to never give up. As I said at the beginning of this sermon, I am at a low ebb in life just now. But Jesus is with me in this valley, just like He is on the mountain tops.
You may be experiencing great financial luck, have peace in all of your family and an abundance of good and healthy friends. God bless you if that is the case. God is working on you from another angle if you are letting Him.
It is harder to learn to be on the losing end of life’s circumstances and still smile than it is when everything is turning up roses, but consider the Apostle Paul in the Christian Bible. He prayed so hard in jail that the jail doors flew open (3). Now you know that had to be a very pleasant surprise!
Then the guy guarding the prisoners discovered what had happened and started to take his own life. Paul told him, “Sir, there is no need to harm yourself. We are all here.”
The prisoners were singing praises to Jesus Christ and had no need to leave jail at that point. The guard was astounded and if memory serves he accepted Jesus right then and there. Sometimes it just takes some sort of unusual and unexplainable surprise to push a soul in the right direction.
With me it was a dream where the devil offered me 100 years of youth with my beautiful high school girl friend. Joni was very pretty and smart and I thought I would never get tired of her.
It was a tempting offer, but I said no as I knew Satan would demand my soul if I accepted his proposal. I put on the armor of God the next Sunday at a Methodist Church altar in Hagerstown, Indiana out of pure self defense against the devil.
I figured I had nothing to lose by accepting Jesus as my Savior. Besides, He was drawing me pretty strong and I knew I must do what was right. As to knowing I needed forgiveness, that was pretty obvious to me as well.
Perhaps you remember your own salvation experience and what led up to it? Perhaps you are considering a salvation experience as you read this sermon.
Either way, I invite you to read John 3:16 and the eighth chapter of Romans in the New Testament and get started on your walk with Christ. The Word says He will draw us all to Christ, but if we say no enough times we will be turned over to a reprobate mind – that is to the devil.
As I grew up and moved away from my home town, I became a journalist full time with a spirit of hedonism in my private life. If it looked fun, I wanted to try it.
I am afraid I put Jesus in a box for awhile, only paying real attention when I got in dire straits. Even though I try to give thanks to Jesus Christ every day now for all He has done to keep me safe and secure in this life, I still bend His ear more when times are hard.
I figure I am not alone in this. But the older I get, the more I am thankful to Him for being there when things go right too. Mr. God, as I always called Him when I was a kid, is amazing. I highly recommend you ask Him for a surprise. You just might have the thrill of your life!
SCRIPTURES
1) THE GREAT I AM PARTS THE RED SEA – Exodus 14; New International Version (NIV),
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.
3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him.
7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen[a] and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.
The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He jammed[b] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving.
And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward[c] it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
2) JONAH GOES TO NINEVEH – Jonah Goes to Nineveh 3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it.
4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth.
Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
3) THE JAIL DOORS OPENED FOR PAUL – Acts 16:22-33 New International Version (NIV)
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.
23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.
At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.

Jesus Christ can
guide you to a
new start again…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I have come to a point in my life where I know I must add to my activities or lose a lot. Perhaps some of you have also been where I am now.
Starting over at something totally new does not appeal to me. But starting from where I am and setting new goals for improvement is on my mind. An old friend of mine, and financially successful man, Ray Akins, of Keiser, Arkansas, once told me that pouring out what you have gained is rarely the key to advancement.
He told me building on a solid foundation would get me further toward my goal of paying my bills and still making enough money to have a decent monthly savings. Many times what we have already accomplished is such a foundation. Perhaps it is time for me, and maybe you, to start building walls to this house of ours to reach our goals…
Another friend, a college professor named Bill Strailie back at Indiana University, told me necessity is the mother of invention. Many will determine I am young and that is why I am starting over. Actually, I am 58 and glad to be doing what I do.
But I am searching for an additional way to support my publication efforts to go along with advertising revenue so that my later years will not include so much financial pressure.
As is the case with many of you, at one point or another, basic bills are eating my lunch. Your worries may not be financial. Perhaps a spouse left you. Perhaps a friend is in trouble and you want to help them but simply do not have the means.
There are many things that cause a person to have a sense of urgency; trouble in love and lack of money are two big ones for me.
I recently had someone I love very much desert me and my wife for our reactions to incidents that happened many years ago. Without going into detail, it hurt so very much because we love her so much. If we could go back and improve our actions, I am sure we both would.
But since that is impossible, we have both had to say so long to her, hoping and praying God will show her the way to forgive and move on in order to enjoy a relationship available in the now.
There is much pain in this old world of many different kinds. I do not know what I would do at 58 years old if I did not have Jesus Christ to talk to about all of this. That, to me, is the key to successful “starting over” or advancement in love, money or whatever moves your heart.
Jesus said take my yoke, it is easy (1). There are many times here lately when I have had to let a lot of my own personal pride go by the wayside and do just that.
Accepting the yoke of Jesus, as I understand the scripture, refers to acting on a desire by following the guidance and direction in the Christian Bible and going to work for the Great Commission of spreading the Gospel and pure love of Jesus Christ – that is to show them God’s love and mercy still exist on this planet we call earth. If you do not know this Jesus, John 3:16 and Romans 8 are two good places in the Christian Bible to school you on Who Jesus is and what He wants to do for you.
The earth bound yoke is what the old time farmers used to harness their beasts of burden and guide and direct them through the field for planting and harvesting. If your crop of love or money has come to a stand still, perhaps you need to let Jesus put a yoke on you.
I highly recommend it. Even in my darkest hours on this earth, knowing the only Begotten Son of the Living God is with me has pulled me through. And Jehovah God, of the Christian Bible, promises He is no respecter of persons (2). If He will stand by me, He will stand by you.
I also want to assure that bad times do pass away. Nothing in life is permanent for those of us who tie a rope and hang on. But in my personal situation, I do not believe I have enough common sense to make it through life and contribute anything of consequence without the guidance and direction of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Oh, they tell me I have a fairly high IQ, and I earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and psychology years ago, but what I face now can not be solved from a good brain, good education or any other talent I may have without guidance from my Savior. I suppose my grandmother, Marvel Nelson, was right. We are only ready to learn when we realize we do not know anything of consequence.
Historically, those who have followed the guidance of the Son of God have accomplished many things that seem impossible. You can look at the lives of famous ministers such as Billy Graham or even Andrew Womack, Kenneth Copeland and James Robinson. They all came from humble beginnings but were willing to used to spread the truth found in the Christian Bible. A Christian’s happiness is found in love. Money is simply a tool to spread love and the gospel to a lost and dying world. I don’t know about you, but this truth puts a whole new perspective on my day to day walk on this earth.
But let’s talk about the subject matter at hand; starting over or adding to one’s abilities to bless others with love or money. Although many will disagree, I have found that if we do not build a good foundation those walls to allow giving will never hold. With a weak foundation, the first strong wind will blow our walls and efforts to the ground.
In other words, we had better have the foundation of love, as found in the books of the Christian Bible, if we expect to advance. It is the same in business. I have worked since 2007 to build an 80 or so member client base and most of them are pretty loyal. But now I must face that my foundation is not enough to give me time for stress free and creative writing to glorify the Lord and encourage people to deal with their problems in a productive and positive way.
Now I must begin building the walls to allow what I believe Jesus Christ would have me to do for the long hall come to pass. Many will say the answer to my problem is here, or maybe there. I firmly believe my answer is in learning to hear, accept and perform more of the guidance and direction for success as is illustrated in the Christian Bible. For me, starting over means studying the patterns of the only man to ever walk this earth in total obedience to the will of The Great I Am; Jesus Christ.
Some of the basics of how to accomplish the kind of starting over or spiritual advancement I am talking about can be found in the Sermon on the Mount (3). It speaks about folks who have their reward in life already because their goals were shallow. I do not believe having my reward, so to speak, would make me particularly happy unless it was a reward resulting from successfully accomplishing what ever guidance and direction my Lord gave me.
If that sounds a bit lofty, what I mean is my motivation is passing on love to others and being a positive influence in as many lives as possible, not necessarily to build the biggest business in the world.
If by the grace of God, I do succeed in my business ventures, I want to use that success to help others for as long as this mind and body will do so. If you have similar desires, read that Sermon on the Mount over and over again. There is a lot there, not only in that sermon but in the entire Christian Bible.
It is not necessarily an easy path to be a Christian and want to serve others, but you have a friend (the Spirit of Jesus Christ) who will walk that path with you until your last biological day on planet earth. The Holy Ghost, who represents Christ in your heart, will teach you to do as Paul did in the Bible – to enjoy the highs and lows of your whole ride.
SCRIPTURES
1) THE YOKE OF JESUS CHRIST IS EASY – Matthew 11:27-30 King James Version (KJV)
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
2) JESUS (JEHOVAH GOD) IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS – Acts 10:30-37 King James Version (KJV)
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached.
3) THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT – Matthew 5:1-12 King James Version (KJV)
5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Matthew 6:1-20King James Version (KJV) 6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
Editor’s Note: To get the full picture of the basics, in regard to the ways of Jesus Christ, read the entire chapters (Matthew 5&6).

Successful giving
means listening
to Christ’s rules
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
The devil, known as Satan, comes to walk the earth, seeking to kill, steal and destroy any Godly dream mankind has – as well as take a man or a woman’s soul to hell if he or she submits to the suggestions of the evil one.
But Old Scratch (Satan) is sly. He will fool the most dedicated Christian soldier if he can find even a small opening in the Christian armor. I have been attacked by the devil on my tithing principle in a very excellent manipulative way. He fooled me for many months.
Now, by the grace of Jehovah God, my eyes have been opened to do my first works over in the realm of money distribution. I am feeling good about this, even though my current funds are very low. I have every bit of confidence that my change in mental attitude will result in actions that will cause me to once again respect the man in the mirror.
God’s word tells me the more I give with a humble heart, the more blessings can be released by God (1). Sometimes, as is in the current case of me, I must say, as Peter did, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you. (2)” St. Peter was, of course, referring to the healing power of God through the power of the Name of Jesus Christ.
My position is good one to learn from. If I can be faithful in the small gifts to others, some day God will allow me to give them the big gifts that I would love to give. My position makes me humble and thankful to greater degrees than I am accustomed. One of my personal prayers is that I continue my humble and grateful attitude as I prosper from giving what I can out of love and compassion to those less fortunate than me in my relatively financially depleted position.
Prayer, whether it is because we are broke, sick or broken hearted, does make a positive difference. Jehovah God has been merciful to me in my life time after time in these now 58 years.
But I have learned the hard way that help from our Creator does not usually come on our timetable. It comes on His. And the older I get, the more that is OK by me. The hard times teach us to be humble and wiser during the good times of life.
We need humbleness, whether it is in the area of finance, the area of love for others or the area of pride in ourselves instead of being proud only when we have overcome a sin and scored an obedience touchdown for our coach, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I believe Jesus rejoices with us when we conquer a sin habit or choose a path we know is laid out by Him – even when that path sounds pretty hard.
While we are waiting for a needed blessing, instead of pouting around with impatience, the most productive thing we can do is set our lives up to receive. That is, we need to give more. If you know someone who needs a sweater, and you have an extra one, give him or her one. Giving does not always have to be a big thing. The important thing is to give from the heart. The giving helps us receive and the act of giving shows God we still have faith during the struggling times.
Some say we should not give to get. I agree. Greed is not a Godly ordained thing. To me, we must give because that is what we want to do in our hearts.
And it must be ordered, that is the giving should only take place if your prayer to Jesus reveals to you it is the right time.
As to what you can expect from giving, you can expect Jehovah God to be pleased that you are doing your part and trust you with more and more if you keep your compassionate and willing to share attitude.
If your finances are low, perhaps your gift can be mental. For example, you could give people a magazine to read every week, like I do, if that is your skill, desire and career calling. That seems to be a good thing in my life. But the biggest blessing to my heart that I have found involves the joy of giving to an individual. The Christian New Testament tells us when we give, we should do so in secret, never bragging, just doing (3).
I went through a program a few years ago now called Celebrate Recovery. The teacher was a giver. Tommy still is and is still a very good friend of mine. Even though I have not been involved with Celebrate since about 2009, I will never forget vacuuming our meeting hall with an 80-year-old room mate. My family and I are for the most part reunited now, but back then I was estranged from them and living in the back of Bob’s house for a time of peace and pondering.
My wife came home in June of 2005, after a 23-month separation. I lived with Bob in his house from October of 2004 until June of 2005, but continued to be his friend and co-worker for Celebrate Recovery until his death in 2010. Yes, we stopped, for the most part at least, going to Celebrate in 2009, but I never stopped being Bob’s friend.
We live and learn in this life. If you are down and out because of Christmas season reflection, take a deep breath, get you a plan, pray about it and ask for God’s guidance and direction. Do not worry so much about the “when” part of your plan, or if the Lord Jesus Christ modifies it because of time and circumstances.
Let the surprises of life spur you on to be a better servant to others. Instead of impatience, choose to do what you can with what you have got at the time, like St. Peter did.
I am excited about putting out a magazine this week. Sure, I am now looking for a second income that I can do on the Internet with my journalism skills, but I love this magazine work enough that I am thankful for it, win, lose or draw.
I think that is important in all of our lives, to be thankful and maintain a love for Jehovah God in the good times, the bad times and those lulls in between.
I think we have to be willing to change our patterns when survival dictates we do. If something in our pattern is suddenly not working, we should pray to Jesus for guidance and direction to fix it – and then quietly listen for the answer He will bring. If it is the Lord you are listening to, you can count on the solution being one that involves being good to others. When it comes to blessings, I have noticed you really can not out give God. That is an old “Christian ease” saying, but in my life I have found it to be true.
The Word of God tells us the Lord loves a cheerful giver and a thankful and humble heart. It also says pride (the arrogance that occurs when Satan convinces you that you are responsible for you own success) rises up in us before a fall. So thank God for all you have. Let Him know that you humbly appreciate each day that you can get out of bed and go about your business.
I have had several friends who no longer can do this. They are reduced to either self-pity over physical or mental disability, or they are still active in Christian counseling as their minds will still allow that activity.
If you are functional, and reasonably healthy, reasonably sane and reasonably able to do whatever you ever were able to do, then thank Jehovah God for these blessings.
My best friend Mike, of 22 years, died on March 30, 2016. He had a massive heart attack at 65. Sure, I was, and am, very sad about it. But after serious contemplation, I began to be thankful for the time my friend and I had together. I pray I will see him one day on the other side.
I went through this a couple of years back with a dear friend named Ruby. I also went through it with my grandparents who raised me, my mother and several other dear souls that touched me in a special way during my lifetime.
I am now truly thankful for the time I spent with them. This old life is not forever. As you get your engine going in 2017, do your very best to achieve success. But make sure you pray to Jesus Christ for that success to be a goal reached for the Great Commission of love.
If you seek love, you will find it. Money is just a tool. God will give you what you need. I believe that and will continue to do so. Jehovah God has shown me a bright future. The details are known by Him. I just pray that I can make more and more decisions to live in obedience to the scriptures of Jesus Christ. I personally believe that is the key to real success in this old world.
SCRIPTURES
1) GIVING PRODUCES GODLY BLESSINGS – Acts 20:32-38 King James Version (KJV) 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,
38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
2) SILVER AND GOLD, HAVE I NOT, BUT WHAT I HAVE I GIVE TO YOU – Acts 3:4-10 King James Version (KJV) 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
3) DO NOT BRAG WHEN YOU GIVE – Matthew 6:1-23 King James Version (KJV) 6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Loving the Lord,
Being Thankful,
Win, Lose or Draw…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I should be bummed out right now. Things are piled up and Christmas is just around the corner. But it is all OK. I am still thankful to know the Lord Jesus Christ; win, lose or draw.
I have learned one thing in life if I have not learned anything else. All that happens is relative. Nobody’s problems are meaningless. To that person, be it me or you, our problems are very real and need to be dealt with in an attitude of conquering them. It helps me to pray about each one.
Win, lose or draw, I seem to survive so far. And as Jehovah God has promised me, I am still fully functional for the time being at least. I realize one day I will be out of aces for good. That is OK. Nobody said life was forever, at least they never said it to me.
But my Christian Bible tells me as long as I am alive, I am to occupy (1). I take that as I am to do more than just take up space because the Word of God also tells me if I will not work I will not eat.
This is not a put down of someone who is too disabled to work. That happens and they deserve respect and help. Of course, I am old school. I think the church should take care of them, not the secular government.
I do not believe our churches are living up to all of the responsibility outlined in the Word and therefore we have a secular welfare system that is sometime seriously out of hand. So much for my views on that.
This sermon is about how sometimes in life we win our bets, sometimes we lose everything but most of the time we just land somewhere in the middle without much significant happening. I tell Jehovah God daily I will love Him, win, lose or draw.
It helps me to be happier more often than not. I got a surprise sale today. It is still not enough to make it through December with all of the holiday expenses of a large family, but it sure will help. I thank God for each and every blessing and try to give back as much as I possibly can.
The Bible says we are our brother’s keeper (2) so I take that seriously. If someone needs to talk and take a little comfort from pleasant company, I try to take a break from marketing and be there for him or her.
I have noticed this seems to be a lost art in modern society. With the explosion of social media, people do not have to learn how to communicate in person nearly as much as when I was younger.
Even so, there is a lot less hitch hiking when your car breaks down because of cell phones. High tech has helped in some things, but in developing personal relationships I am not so sure.
I have noticed also that Internet relationships do help in one command our Lord Jesus Christ gave. It is now much easier to go into all of the world and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation we all need (3).
But sometimes, in meeting folks from all over the globe on the Internet, I feel like I will never really know them. As I have stated in other sermons, it is my contention that mankind is three fold; animal, soul and spirit.
We need folks around us that please all three phases of our existence. Have you ever watched two dogs getting to know one another? As a person growing up on a farm, I have had many occasion to watch the behavior of animals as they relate.
Dr. Dolittle was right. Animals have to smell each other to really gain trust. It helps them detect whether the other animal is about to pounce or simply wants to be friends. I think the human animal is the same way. In each relationship, there are conclusions drawn. Friendships are won, adversaries are made or most of the time there is very little interest expressed. Again, it is a win, lose or draw scenario.
And then there is the soul realm. That is the part of us that is human and decision making. We go beyond the rest of the animal kingdom in concerns such as food, shelter or breeding rituals. Oh sure, we have these animal things in our make-ups, but the soul wants more. It craves love. If it can not fill itself with love, it will use things such as materialism or riches to fill the void. Obviously, this substitution has horrible ramifications in the long run.
If the soul is lucky enough to find some love in friends, family and close acquaintances, it will feel some comfort. But it will still feel something is missing.
This void comes because of the third phase of mankind, our spirits. Our spirit wants love too. And communication and acceptance of Jehovah God, through accepting Jesus Christ, is simply the only place a human spirit can find peace. After all, the Christian Bible plainly states that God is love…
Jesus Christ gives an invitation in the New Testament of the Christian Bible that can not be misunderstood unless Satan has a total grip on your soul. Jesus says, “Take my yoke and find rest. My yoke is easy and my Spirit is humble.” That is actually a Nelson interpretation but I am sure you can look up the real deal if you are interested.
My point is simple, if you only satisfy your animal self, you will feel lonely a lot. If you choose to develop and satisfy your soul through work, family, friends and hobbies, you will find a temporary fix for your lingering unhappiness. But when you go somewhere alone, you will feel the presence of an eternal God. The Great I Am makes Himself known to all of His creations. But He only draws each spirit so many times to the cross and the acceptance of Jesus Christ. If you reject His invitation to salvation too often, your free will is honored and you are turned over to a reprobate mind – a man or woman destined for eternity in hell.
You see, humans all sin. Jesus did not. He was the human soul of the Godhead so He could not sin. When He sacrificed Himself on the cross, He paid for all of our sins with His pure blood. The Bible says there will be no sin in heaven unless a soul is named in the Lamb’s Book of Life and his or her sins are covered in the Savior’s pure blood.
It is a sacrificial principle that relates to Old Testament animal sacrifices, which only temporarily covered wrongs (sins against God’s commands) of the pre-Messiah era.
Back then, God still knew the hearts of man. But it is unclear to me how they achieved atonement. I am sure more knowledgeable Bible scholars could answer that mystery. I am not that skilled yet. But I do intend to find out.
That is what life is, a series of lessons. The first step is salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible says God will wink at our ignorance for a time, but then we must put away childish things and begin to grow in the Lord. I did not really understand that one until about 12 years ago when the Lord put me though what has been my darkest hour so far.
I finally had a newspaper that was prospering. I had a beautiful wife and also a beautiful girl friend. I thought I had it made. But you see, I was not being a husband to that girl friend and even though I was not sleeping with her, it was surely adultery in the Lord’s eyes.
I was so blinded by my form of career success that I could not see the path Satan was leading me down. God intervened and took me off of that path. You see, when you accept Jesus Christ, you are no longer a child of the devil and his ways, you are a child of Jehovah God. And your new Father will give you a time to think when sin is getting a hold in your life.
In my case, all hell broke loose. I owed child support on my oldest daughter. I also owed college abatement money. My first ex-wife was suing me and closing in on my life from four states away. Looking back, I am glad she did. It helped Erin get a great career in computer programming.
But at the time, I had to get away and get steady work to retire the debt. It was that, or go to jail. I could not see how three hots and a cot would help my daughter achieve her career dreams. Had I been left alone another couple of years, I could have probably written a check for the entire $23,000, as the Magnet Cove Community News was growing by leaps and bounds.
But time was not on my side in this instance. I was on my way to church when Jehovah God made his presence known in my car. I felt Him telling me in the spirit I was about to lose it all and go through my darkest hour. I tried to convince myself He had not told me this. But He surely had done so…
I was choir director at Victory Assembly of God in Lono, Arkansas and I got up to lead the singing. My preacher, Brother Glen, already had his book turned to “Amazing Grace.” He looked out at the congregation and said, “Sing this one for John. It is his time.”
When we reached the verse that says, “Praise God,” I lifted my hands and spoke in tongues. I had never done this before but had sought the gift for many years. I was so happy it had finally happened. Little did I know that God had given His Holy Ghost tongues through my body for a prayer of protection for what was about to happen to me.
The year was 2003. I left the church, spent a little time with my wife Michelle, and then took off for my office across town. I knew something was wrong. But I could not put my finger on it. I drank a few beers and tried to forget what I knew.
Early the next morning, I was called by my ex-wife’s lawyer who demanded $20,000 cash immediately or I would go to jail for 8 years… I told him I could make payments. He told me I would not have much luck with that. Then Mr. Jeff Wibble hung up on me.
I went back to work. I had a paper to finish. My partner, Britt “Santa” Armstrong and my land lord at the office Jackie Kinnerly, tried to comfort me. But I knew in my heart, something bad was about to happen.
I got stopped while delivering the paper by a police officer friend. He checked his computer and found I was wanted for a college abatement lawsuit and back child support on Erin Nelson, my adult and oldest daughter in Indiana.
I was taken to jail. Santa bailed me out after one night there. I had $600 in ad money. Santa put up the other $900. I got a phone call from the daughter I raised. Kelley was living in Minnesota at the time. She told me that state would let me work off my debt for Erin and protect me against the Indiana extradition order.
I sold a computer to my print company and gave the $500 to my wife Michelle. Then I took off for Minnesota to go to work. I could go on with this story, but you get the idea. God warned me of what was to come. For those interested, it took me a couple of years but I paid that entire $23,000 and helped my daughter Erin to succeed in business.
When I got home to Arkansas, I had to start over. After spending a couple of months in Paragould, with my best friend Mike, I got the job as Gurdon Times editor and have been in Gurdon since August of 2004. I was put here for a reason.
My family was restored and in the mean time my former girl friend got married and is happy. The adultery thoughts were gone and self-respect came back. I also received forgiveness in time from my Christian wife, Michelle.
It all took time, but liking the man in the mirror again has been a win. God guided me through a tough time but he brought me to a place where I could grow in the Lord. Jehovah God is no respecter of persons. If He will do it for me, He can and will do it for you.
Life is not perfect, but if you listen to the guidance and direction of the Great I Am, you can not go too far wrong. The friendship of Jesus Christ is better than anything else I have ever experienced in nearly 58 years of life.
You will win some and lose some, but usually our plans are rained out. This fact of life is not my point. The point is you will learn to enjoy the ride if you let Jesus drive.
SCRIPTURES
1) YOU ARE TO OCCUPY – Luke 19:12-16 King James Version (KJV) 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
2) YOU ARE YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER – Genesis 4:7-10 King James Version (KJV)
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Matthew 25:34-40 King James Version (KJV) 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
3) BEING SAVED FROM HELL – Romans 10:8-12 King James Version (KJV) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Jesus is the best
Christmas gift of all and He is free!
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Christmas is just around the corner and everyone is excited, especially the children. Gifts are being selected and love is being expressed in many different ways.
I have never really had a bad Christmas. Some have been flush, others slim in my nearly 58 years of life. I will be 58 on Christmas Eve.
My mother said Silent Night was playing when I was delivered. At the time, she was planning a long life with my father.
They were both doctors. She had a disability that he could not live with so they divorced. His parents ended up raising me.
But growing up on an Indiana farm was wonderful. I was always in charge of putting up our Christmas tree. I loved doing that.
My best friend at the time, Kevin Giggy, had a mom who was the organ player at the Methodist Church in town.
She invited me to ride to church with them when I was 8 years old. I will never regret saying yes I would like that very much.
We all have good secular Christmas memories, or at least most of us do. But let’s think about what Christ Mass is really all about. Jehovah God realized that no man could live a sinless life and many good people would die and go to hell if He did not send His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ into the world “so that the world might be saved (1).”
We serve a perfect and sinless God and His home is Heaven. There is no sin in heaven, so our Christian Bible assures us, and no more pain caused by sins. Sins are mistakes. They are disobedient actions to instructions given on right from wrong by the Great I Am.
The 10 commandments are examples of said instructions. When we go against one, we have sinned.
The Bible says no sin will enter heaven except the sinner’s name be in the Lamb’s Book of Life (2). The reason those names get in is because of the pure blood sacrifice on the cross by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. While on earth, Jesus said, “There is no way to the Father but by me.”
Salvation is a free gift, but we must ask for it. Once saved, we have power over sins. We may still choose to sin out of ignorance, but we no longer are bent to a sinful, unrepentive life, like someone without Jesus Christ in his or her heart.
This is not judging. It is just Christian Biblical fact. God gives us a choice. We can accept His Son and enter heaven, through His pure blood sacrifice, with our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life and our sins forgiven, or we can stubbornly reason the escape clause from hell is not needed…
Folks who do that will have eternity to regret it. But let’s get back to Christmas. Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The giving spirit promoted is a good Christian spirit. But the Lord never asks us to give what we do not have.
People ask for gifts someone else can not produce and that makes other people who don’t have much feel like second class citizens – especially at Christmas time when so many well off flaunt what they have…
This leads me to the title of this sermon, Jesus is indeed the best gift for Christmas of all gifts and He is free.
When we accept Jesus, we have a Tiger in us that will guide us, direct us and give us freedom from our sinful and ugly lifestyles.
Those lifestyles may seem fun for awhile, but I have noticed in my own life that the Biblical saying that the wicked will only prosper for a season is a true one.
It is also true, as I can personally attest, that a stubborn, overcoming, work in progress Christian like me will also suffer until he finally submits to the full will of Jesus and makes that will his own.
I have found the Lord in me is like a gun. It is powerful if I shoot it, but not of much use if I just set in on a shelf. The older I get, the more I want to examine my gift of salvation and see just what I really have here…
We can relate that sentiment to traditional gift opening as well. If you are a person who gets a bike for Christmas, then you open it, look at it and never get around to riding it, then you will never know the joy produced by using it can bring.
I suppose the point here is that when you accept the gift of salvation, use it for more than fire insurance.
Jesus is living on the inside of you, alive and well. Talk to Him. He is no longer the infant in the manger, or the toddler the wise men finally discovered a couple years later.
He is the Jesus in the Bible, an arm of Jehovah God with human experience. He will talk to you like a best friend if you let Him. This is the key, let Jesus out of the “hat box” you have Him stuffed in and see what happens.
He will lead you to study the Word of God in the Christian Bible. His Bible says He is our friend, not just our Lord and Master.
Once salvation is accepted, ask Jesus anything you want. You will find that He will answer. That answer may not be in an audible voice, but He will lead you to your answer through other Christians or the Christian Bible.
But lets talk about Christmas present. What are you ideas about this holiday? Is it just another day? Is it a time to see family and friends to cuss and discuss politics, sports or the weather? Is it a time when you usually go in debt heavily to buy presents for little hands to hold?
Or is Christmas a lonely time for you because your choices in life have left you without a family or friends near you?
Many with family and friends around them still feel woefully sad at Christmas. They know something is missing.
The Christian Bible says give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down and in good measure (3).
I have an addictive personality. I am now trying to overcome my fear of giving too much so I can become addicted to giving. I believe that is a good thing.
If you have no money, no family, and maybe even no friends, do not give up on life. The spirit of giving is in the air during the holidays. Grab it and go for a ride.
You can give your time to someone less fortunate if you have no money or possessions to give away.
Giving a complement to someone else having a hard time could mean the difference between that person feeling encouraged to keep on keeping on or maybe even taking their own life.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. My best friend, Mike Reddick, used to tell me that. We were best friends 22 years.
He passed away of a massive heart attack this past March. Mike was a disabled veteran in a wheel chair his last 15 years of life.
I was not nearly as giving to him as I wish I had been, but I did try to give him comfort when I could.
Try it. Try reaching out this Christmas. Accepting the gift of salvation from Jesus Christ will stir your desire to do so, but even if that has not happened for you yet, you can still give your time, money or service to others this season.
It will get your mind off of your own problems and all of a sudden your life will not seem nearly as hard. Jesus gave us the ultimate gift – a chance to accept Him as Savior and spend eternity in heaven with Jehovah God as an eternal companion.
The Bible also says no greater love has a man (or a woman) than to lay down his (or her) life for a friend. Forget your own life for a little while the next time you have some free time.
Visit a nursing home and make someone realize they still matter. Listen to a dream goal a child wants to share and encourage him or her to go for it!
Come on guy or gal reading this, you know you want to give something of yourself to help someone else. Go ahead. What have you really got to lose?
SCRIPTURES
1) JESUS CAME SO THE WORLD MIGHT BE SAVED – John 12:44-50 King James Version (KJV) 44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
2) THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE – Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Luke 10:20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Hebrews 12:22-23
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
Daniel 12:1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
Philippians 4:3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
3) GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN TO YOU, PRESSED DOWN AND IN GOOD MEASURE – Luke 6:32-40 King James Version (KJV) 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.
For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

 

Down and out?
Ask Jesus for
his binoculars
and see God’s plan!
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Have you ever been behind the eight ball so badly financially or some other way that walking down the road and hitching out sounds good? Me too.
But most of us do not have that option. We must work through a valley in our lives before we can ever hope to get to another mountain top. The Christmas season is bitter sweet to me.
I suppose I do not make enough calls and sell enough Christmas ads. One of my friends does this and survives that way. In fact, he even sometimes takes his family on a trip with his extra money!
But the one thing I have always done to get through the financially slow times in life is to pray to Jesus Christ for direction and for comfort. Christ will take your burdens off of you long enough for you to see the mountain beyond the desert you are facing. All you have to do is tell Jesus that your worries are real and you need Him to carry them so you can see clearly how to work well.
And if you ask, Jesus will sometimes let you use His binoculars. I believe He has shown me bits and pieces of my future. But of course, time will tell if my visions come true. The Christian Bible tells us old men will dream dreams and young men will have visions (1).
I am no longer young. I will be 58 on Dec. 24, if the Lord allows me to continue living that long. My grandfather was 96 when he passed from this world into the next. He always had a goal to see the other side of 100. I will do my best to hang on to accomplish his old goal. But length of life is not nearly as important as purpose and quality of life. I have learned this truth as I have passed day after day as a writer.
Jesus tells us He will bear our burdens if we will take His yoke and it is light (2). His yoke, of course, is to do our best to overcome our own will and pray to Jesus Christ for His will to be done in our lives.
And so we overcome successfully some days and some days we fall on our faces. The bad times are the true indication of our character. Jesus Christ, in the Christian Bible, has told us what is right and what is wrong, according to Jehovah God.
We see those words about not cussing, not trying to act on our natural lusts for the opposite sex or whatever you favorite sins happen to be, and we think, no way Jack! Then the Spirit of Jesus Christ reminds us that God can make a way where there seems to be no way (3). Part of our mind says cool. The other part shakes its head and we put our head in our hands in despair…
The answer? Don’t give up on your overcoming goals! As a good friend of mine says, do what you know is God’s will as often as you can and your life will end in praise! I sure hope she is right. By way of comfort, Jesus Christ gives me visions of my future. It is a possible future if I but do not give up on overcoming my sinful nature.
Those glimpses of a decent and productive future, filled with Christian commitment and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, keep me going in the bad times. I am very grateful when Jesus Christ loans me His binoculars. I look in them and see the results of never giving up on obtaining the ways of a righteous man and it gives me encouragement beyond words.
Of course, I am a believer in freedom of choice. Jehovah God has placed in my spirit since I was a small child that my actions are up to me.
Jehovah God will not force a man to quit taking the name of the Lord in vain, or stealing love from an unmarried woman. These things may be fun for a season, but are irresponsible and will lead to much despair in the long run.
So here we are, back in reality. We are tempted daily by the devil and his wiles. Our financial burdens sometimes seem insurmountable. Being a sports writer, I have a tendency to ask, what do I do now coach? Sometimes Jesus will tell you to punt that ball down the football field. Other times, He will tell you to go for that touchdown. It all depends on what circumstances you are in. But one thing is for sure, you will never know the will of Jehovah God in your life if you do not ask Him.
I had a dream once where I believe Jesus just might have been letting me use those binoculars.
I was not just writing a sermon. I was preaching to a congregation way out in the woods. It would seem that in the time zone of the dream most Christian meetings in the United States had to be held in secret.
Now I will not say the entire dream was a God sent deal. There were some parts that I am sure the devil fiddled with. But being up on front of a crowd to deliver a Christian sermon was most likely not from old Satan. I am fairly sure he would never inspire such a thing. The devil usually spends this time trying to convince us the gospel is a fantasy and seems to back off when a miracle occurs – like a farm boy writer delivering a sermon on salvation in person.
The parts of the dream where I was preaching some how made me feel right at home. With my present array of items on my overcoming list, I am pretty sure it was not about tomorrow or the next day.
It was probably several years into the future. The only explanation for how real it felt is that God was showing what just might happen if I do not lose hope or faith. Of course, I must also continue to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to partner up with me and give me the overcoming strength to resist the temptations Satan places in front of all of us.
You too may have had a Godly dream or two. You know, where you were much further in your Christian walk than you perceive yourself to be at the present moment.
Sometimes those visions come to us while we are awake, sometimes while we sleep. But if a vision involves you working to spread the Great Commission of the salvation of Jesus Christ, you can safely bet your own mind did not produce it – and certainly bet that Satan did not inspire such a thing.
Here is a Nelsonism. I believe at least some of the dreams our Bible refers to are dreams of our past. But the dreams of the future, or visions, are what I am concentrating on in this sermon.
I conclude this because if you are truly old, perhaps there is not much future left. On the other hand, who knows. Perhaps old men dreaming dreams is still some sort of signal that the fat lady has not sang just yet in an old person’s life and there is still work to be done for the Kingdom of Jehovah God.
So along the way of life, if you think you have received a glimpse of what our Savior sees through His binoculars as possible for you, ponder on it. Look up scriptures to find out if it is even something God would approve of, and if it is thank Jehovah God for the encouragement.
It is not only true that we do what we want in this old life, but it is equally true that we do what we want if we believe we can do it.
If you have never accepted salvation, this sermon may seem a bit strange. But for those of us who have asked Jesus Christ to forgive our sins, past, present and future, and have repented of having sinned in the first place, this sermon may hit home.
The first plea of our Lord to indicate He wants us to accept visions in our life probably comes in salvation. One of the things that our Christian Bible says is a requirement is to believe that Jesus is the only Begotten Son of the Living God and that He died on the cross, arose from the grave three days later and basically cut a path to heaven for all of those whose name is found in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
To be saved, we must believe the miracle of salvation is possible. The New Testament Christian Bible also says that those who do not believe are damned already…
Fortunately, I believe in the miracle of the pure blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of the Living God. I hope you do as well. As television minister Charles Stanley said last Sunday, “You do not have to accomplish anything to be saved. You simply have to believe and ask for salvation, that is for Jesus Christ to come into your heart.
“Christ will do the rest in due time and from your salvation experience on your name should remain in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Of course, a person can remove his or her name. We are creatures of free will. But asking God to remove your name from the Lamb’s Book of Life would have to constitute some sort of serious insanity in my humble opinion.
I mean who in their right mind would ask the Lord to take them out of the running to go to heaven and set them on a trail to split hell wide open? It takes all kinds I suppose. But this to me is unthinkable.
While the Christian Bible plainly says accepting the gift of salvation is not a license to sin. It also says all of our sins are under the blood after we accept salvation. Therefore, what is the deal? To me, the thing is when a Christian sins, the still small voice of Jehovah God alerts that person of his or her mistake. Then it is up to us to apologize for that sin and ask Jesus for the strength not to commit it again.
Losing heart is normal. That is why I am recommending you ask the Lord Jesus Christ to show you a bit of the high mountains in your most likely future.
Ask the Lord for a glimpse through His binoculars and you will see the will of the Father for you and that will is much better than anything the human mind could create. There is nothing in life as comforting as the encouragement that Jesus gives us.
So I recommend you look deeply in His binoculars when depressive thoughts over finances, marriages, career problems or the like get you down. If you do, my bet is that the corners of your mouth just might go up a bit.
SCRIPTURES
1) DREAMS AND VISIONS: Acts 2:16-20 King James Version (KJV) 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come.
2) JESUS SAYS HIS YOKE IS EASY – Matthew 11:28-30 King James Version (KJV) 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
3) GOD WILL MAKE A WAY – Isaiah 43:16-22 King James Version (KJV) 16 Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.
18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

 

The Giving Spirit;
Nobody can
out-give
Jehovah God!
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
This week is Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for me and you to have eternal life in a place called heaven with a God to keep us company who loves us enough to take our punishment for us if we but accept His gift of salvation. The Great I Am is faithful to forgive those who ask for His amazing grace.
This means of course that to accept that gift you must first admit you have made mistakes and sinned against All Mighty God and that you need forgiveness. Then you ask Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, who died as a pure blood sacrifice to the Great I Am, to forgive you of all of your sins, past, present and even future.
Of course, to do this, you must believe that Jesus is capable of placing your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life and lead you to a Godly life and an eternity in heaven. The Word of God says those who do not believe this are condemned already. Some say that is cruel. I say I serve a Jehovah God who gives me a choice to believe. That same Jehovah God gives me a choice to send myself to hell with disbelief in my heart.
God gives me that freedom. So do not feel sorry for those who choose hell, for whatever reason they reject the salvation of Jesus Christ. They made their choice. Feel sorry for yourself fellow Christian that you, or somebody else who professes to love Jehovah God, did not preach the right words to stir that person to wake up from their Satanic slumber and ask for the forgiveness we all need for our sins (mistakes that hurt others).
Yes, it breaks my heart when I hear someone tell me they do not need Jesus Christ to go to heaven. The reason is, my Bible tells me that nobody will get to the Father (the Great I Am) unless they go through the justification provided by the pure blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross 2,000 years ago.
God has given you the ultimate gift; a way to justifiably miss an eternity in hell that all who sin deserve. There is no unforgiven sin in heaven. The Bible says God is Love. And love must live with love, not with hate. Are you really willing to risk your eternal destination of reward rather than torture over some stubborn belief that there are many ways to heaven when God’s Christian Bible plainly tells you that you are wrong?
If your sin is covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, it is not seen by God. The Christian Bible says He will not remember it (on your judgment day) if it is under the pure blood of the only sinless man to ever walk the earth (Jesus Christ) and you can enter a sinless heaven when you leave this planet.
Wake up and take that gift and you will develop a spirit of giving to those around you because the thankfulness in your soul for your own salvation will set a fire of sharing that never goes out.
If you do believe what I have just told you, Jesus Christ is calling your name and drawing you to ask forgiveness of your sins and accept His ultimate gift of salvation. This sermon is on giving. Give yourself a big gift before you give to others, answer the drawing of the Lord on your soul…
I am thankful to live in the United States in 2016. Freedom still exists at the time I write this for folks to proclaim the glory of God and His Son Jesus.
That may not always be the case, as the tricks of Satan are getting stronger and time is getting short until the return of Christ and the world will be changed forever.
I attended a service at Gurdon First Assembly of God Nov. 20 and listened to Brother Andrew Goodwin preach on being thankful. There really are so many blessings that we Americans enjoy.
The message might be highly unpolitically correct if the far left politicians of our country, who apparently follow their hero U.S President Barack Obama, were to decide to evaluate it. The reason is Brother Goodwin told us about the difference between the modern day entitlement mind set (where a man or a woman thinks a living is owed to him or her) and the man or woman who is thankful for a chance to make his or her own way and for the blessings our Lord Jesus Christ has bestowed on our each and every effort of honest work.
Being thankful is the guidance and direction given to us in the Christian Bible by the words of the Great I Am instead of complaining and putting out a hand to receive more and more of those entitlement checks.
The Christian Bible plainly says we are to be thankful in all things (1). And it also says God loves a cheerful giver.
Let me say this. I am feeling convicted about my complaining. There is an old preacher saying that you should do what I tell you the Bible says do, not what you see me do. Narrow minded people call it hypocrisy. No, hypocrisy is judging others for the sins you yourself are guilty of.
As to Biblical instruction from a non-perfect preacher, that is not hypocrisy, but rather a pointing of the way for you and that preacher to follow. Of course, in order not to be a hypocrite, that preacher must admit he too is on a path of correction and on that Potter’s wheel.
Still yet, when I am feeling that Jehovah God, my provider, wants me to put an item on my overcoming incubation list, I do it. Complaining is on that list. I have hope and faith that through the love of Jesus Christ I can break this habit and that thankfulness for my many blessings will eventually take the place of all of my complaints. This may take some time, but God is faithful and the Bible says God is a friend of the overcomer (2). In our sincere desire to do better, light will seep into our life to replace the dark results of continuing in a sin we sincerely want to extinguish.
The key is sincerity. Jesus Christ has changed me for the better. And I am willing to bet He will continue to change me into a more Christ-like human being all of the rest of my days.
Jesus Christ took our sins on His shoulders and the punishment that goes with them. He forgave us of our past, present and future sins at the point of salvation. So it is not heaven that is at stake for ceasing those sins, but it is our earthly happiness.
In falling in love with Jesus Christ more and more as the time goes by, we naturally want to please Him more and more and experience the full benefit of His divine friendship.
But even more importantly, overcoming sin means others see us on a track of positive change and they begin to get curious about this Christian salvation we keep telling them they need in their lives.
What we are talking about is not easy. If you just lost a family member, or a best friend, it is hard to sincerely thank God for the loss. So what do we do? His Bible says be thankful for all things. So therefore, do not look at the loss. Look at what you gained by knowing that family member or friend. When our eyes shift to that, thankfulness becomes easy.
So after Thanksgiving, here in the USA, we get into the Christmas season of giving. We can look at that as an unwelcome expense and go hide. Or we can give what we can give and praise God for the birth of His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. And then we can look around at what we have to give to the less fortunate.
We can also look at our family and friends and give them what we can. If times are hard, maybe that is not much. If times are good, it may be quite a bit. But do not be afraid to give. Indeed, you can not out give Jehovah God. Your giving will come back to you, pressed down and in good measure (3).
And it is the hope of this writer that if you do practice the spirit of giving this season, you will get addicted to its joy and continue giving all year long.
Do not get embarrassed if you lack much to give. You can give what you can give. If that is just a hug, somebody may need one more than you know. I have a friend I have been trying to give a computer to for several weeks. Our schedules and circumstances have stopped this procedure. But we are not giving up. I will give her the computer and she will write for my publication. It is just a matter of God’s time table, not mine or Danielle’s.
Satan always tries to block our giving or actions from our heart of gold. Giving represents just the opposite of selfishness, which is always the devil’s way. Do I hate people begging from me? Yes. It bothers me in the natural.
I figure I have enough problems of my own. But through the love of Jesus Christ, I can overcome my feelings about beggars and realize many of them can not help their circumstance.
You can guess my views on entitlement, that is the government stealing from me, a worker, and giving it to some who have not been vetted and simply are too lazy to work. Still, even entitlements that are stolen from me by my government and given sometimes to thieves are still gifts. I am working on letting that go too…
If I can convince myself that theft from me that is given to those who simply want a free ride is God’s will, I will indeed overcome a big hurdle in my personal walk as a Christian.
Somehow it seems to me that I ought to have a choice in this matter of giving. Pray for me over this personal problem and I thank you for your prayers. You see one of the 10 commandments is though shall not steal. But God is the justifier here, not us.
The big deal is the more I sincerely thank God for my blessings, the more I want to share them. It is a gift from Jesus Christ that I am very grateful for! If you search your life for what you have as blessings, and you thank God for those blessings over and over again, soon there will bubble up in you a Christian desire to share said blessings.
Try it and see if I am right. Of course, if you have not accepted that you need our Savior of Love, Jesus, in your life and as your Savior, do that first.
Then start thanking Jesus for the very basics He has blessed you with all the way up to the biggest things you believe are yours in this old world. You can start with thanking God for bread and beans in the kitchen.
Then you can work your way up to a marriage that has at least some love in it. Then you can thank Him for your business or job and the ability to get up every day and swing the axe.
So get thankful. It will make you smile. And when Jehovah God places it on your heart to give to a mission and help a small child, you will do it. When He tells you to take a meal to a shut-in, you will do it. And you will be thankful for your ability to do so.
SCRIPTURES
1) BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-20 King James Version (KJV) 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings.
2) GOD IS A FRIEND TO THE OVERCOMER – 1 John 5:4-5 King James Version (KJV) 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Revelation 2:4-7 King James Version (KJV) 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
3) GOD WILL GIVE BACK TO YOU, PRESSED DOWN AND IN GOOD MEASURE – Luke 6:36-40 King James Version (KJV) 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

Giving God credit
where credit is due
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I am feeling very optimistic today and very blessed by all phases of Jehovah God, that is the Great I Am, Jehovah and Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of the Living God and the forerunner of the Holy Ghost that lingers with all professing Christians.
The idea for this sermon, “Giving God Credit Where Credit is Due,” came from some scriptures in Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 3: 7-10 (1) was the jest of it, as a matter of fact. You can read them in the scripture section of this sermon, but let’s just say those passages are about who does the blessing in this old human life we all share.
One reason I am in such an optimistic mood as I write to you this week involves a wedding. My daughter Kelley married one of my old Veteran friend’s son, Chad. And I believe Chad will be good to her and the three grand kids. Plus, I believe they will be raised knowing about Jesus Christ, as both parents have professed a love for Jesus.
Even though the Obamaites lost the national election, there are those folks out there who believe religion and guns are not the basis for success in America. I am not one of those people. I, being a Christian, of course believe the religion needs to be Christianity. As for guns, I believe every family has a right to legally purchase whatever gun they can afford for such things as hunting, self defense or target practice.
The liberal left gave us a run for our money on the Christian front these past eight years. Perhaps President Elect Donald Trump will show more respect for a still predominately Christian nation with overall Christian beliefs as to the rights and wrongs of life. Time, of course, will tell.
Thus far, in our 200 years as a nation, whether the socialist/communist bent crowd likes it or not, the 10 commandments, as listed in the Christian Bible, have been the traditional legal measuring stick for the USA.
Admittedly, most of us have fallen short of going by those Commandments all of the time, but we still respect them in the Christian religion thus far. And until the past 10 years or so, I would have told you the left wing political fringe also had a healthy respect for them. But the world it is a changing, as Bob Dylan sang decades ago. And as the old saying goes, the only thing that is for sure in this life is change.
Getting back to giving Jehovah God credit for the blessings of life, further evidence is how much the Christian Bible illustrates that arrogant pride is not on the good Lord’s like list. Thus the scripture, pride goes before a fall (2).
Have you ever noticed when you have accomplished something and make the slip of feeling like YOU have really done something fantastic, it does not take long for the air to be let out of your balloon? Well I have done this plenty.
I remember one instance in particular in Marmaduke, Arkansas many years ago. My wife, two workers and yours truly had built a 14-page broadsheet weekly newspaper from scrap and the circulation was booming. One of our real estate customers came in to buy an ad without even being solicited. This, in sales, is a miracle and a rare occurrence. It was even rare back then, before most people stopped having $10 in their pocket and started to barely have $5.
So when the lady came in, I was on top of the world. I told my wife Michelle, in front of this lady, how our staff had really gained the confidence of the public and nothing could sink our ship.
I had just watched the Titanic movie and had that line in my head. My wife got this look of fear on her face.
She informed me that God had blessed the Marmaduke Chronicle, but that if her spiritual feeling was accurate our paper was about to take a nose dive. I looked at her a bit curiously. Then she said, “You just gave us humans credit for the success. That is arrogant pride and the Lord has said many times that pride goes before a fall.”
I realized she was right and prayed a pray of forgiveness, but the damage was done and the penalty for my sin of arrogance was sure to come upon us. And it did. We had to start borrowing money from one of the worker’s mothers to keep print bill paid and advertising sales dipped so low I thought the thing was soon to go belly up. Yes, God can sink any ship. And if you test Him by crediting yourself with your success, He will note that brag and sink your ship too.
The moral of the story is simple. When Jehovah God blesses you, say thank you Jesus and go on. Do not sit around patting yourself on the back. You may not only twist your arm into pain, you may be sending those blessings down stream and over the water falls…
Charles Stanley, a television preacher I like, spoke on adversity today. It gives a bit of a twist to this sermon I had not thought about. Sometimes we get ourselves into messes. Sometimes Satan provides our misery and still other times the Great I Am gives our happy times the old heave ho. The Rev. Stanley put it this way, if a fellow or gal learns to thank God for circumstances, even when they are bad, you are money ahead.
Sometimes what seems like a slamming door is God’s way of opening up opportunity for us or for those who will come after us. Stanley pointed out that if the Apostle Paul had never gone to jail, several books in the Bible would have never been written. So the bottom line is sometimes adversity can be a blessing in disguise. And so thus the Biblical logic of give thanks for all things (3).
The thing is most of us do not think like God. Perhaps hardly anyone even comes close. God wants us to maximize our potential for the proliferation of the Great Commission – spreading of the good news Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we need a television station to do so, He will let us know. But the success of a well viewed television station can end over night. God’s goal of spreading the Gospel goes on and on from generation to generation.
SCRIPTURES
1) 1 CORINTHIANS 3: 7-10 – 1 Corinthians 3:7-10 King James Version (KJV) 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
2) PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL – Proverbs 16:14-22 King James Version (KJV) 14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it. 15 In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he. 21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. 22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
3) GIVE THANKS FOR ALL THINGS – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 King James Version (KJV 12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Editor’s Note: God seeks our humbleness so He can mold us into our best selves. Like any good Father, Jehovah God wants only the best for His children. God made us folks. If we can not trust the Great I Am, who can we trust? Remember to always give credit where credit is due. He is the Creator and we are only here because of Him…

Obsession helps
if we are obsessed
with Jesus Christ
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I have been guilty of obsessing over this and that ever since I can remember. When I was a boy, I obsessed over one day being a famous singer with a perfect wife and children.
As a man, I have obsessed over being a famous writer and finding at least one woman who was willing to partner up with the likes of me and go along for the long ride of making my dreams come true. Later in life, I began to dwell on our Savior…
In doing so, I realized my earthly obsessions were temporal at best and could use some re-evaluation… I have been re-evaluating ever since that realization struck my now rather humble example of a mind.
I was around the ripe old age of 45 as I recall. I am a Christian. I accepted the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ at 15 and I am certain He placed my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I have never asked Him to remove it.
Before going on with our sermon, I want to briefly repeat what happened to me in a dream at age 45. I was alone one night, working on producing a copy of the Magnet Cove Community News. I was at the lay-out table, as back then we had to produce our boards in hard copy and put them on a press to print and distribute.
I fell asleep and remember the exacta knife falling from my hand. I collapsed in exhaustion on the floor. Then the dream began. Many demons arrived by my side and also the angel of death. I was told by the death angel that my time on earth was over and I would spend eternity in hell. I got mad. I told that angel I was a Christian, had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and that Jesus had promised to forgive my sins, past, present and future – because of His pure blood sacrifice on the cross.
The angel laughed and asked me to come along quietly. I told the angel of death he was a liar and I would never go anywhere with him. He reached for my throat in a fit of rage and tried to strangle me. Then I woke up.
I was breathing hard. I went to the bathroom mirror and took notice of the hand prints and bruises on my throat. Then I was the one laughing. I knew from that moment on that my Covenant with the Great I Am was real, real beyond any more doubt and that no devil in hell could break that Covenant.
When I accepted salvation, Jesus went to work on a very hard task – taming me. In my own way, I was a very rebellious child of Christ. I still am in some ways, but I work on this task of overcoming pretty consistently so I hope I have improved in my Christian soldiering role. Only the Lord really knows the answer to the truth of that hope.
Perhaps you have also experienced temporal obsessions in life. It could be career, the perfect mate, lots of money, possessions, fame. The devil has a whole list that can take up a good deal of your thoughts if you let them. But they are all distractions.
The real deal is the Lord told us Christians to go into all the world and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. That obsession is worthy to pursue. Your role in Christianity may be simply to be a kind and giving member of your community, inviting folks to your church when you get a chance. There is no role in the Great Commission too small or too large.
My present role seems to be putting out a good news magazine once a week to serve a community and writing a weekly sermon for the Lord. If Jehovah God wants to change it, I am all ears. Otherwise, I will keep on keeping on.
But now let’s look at the dark side. Satan is a master of distractions. And he will mix just enough truth with a lie to trap you, drain your strength so to speak. One key I have found to overcoming Satan’s annoying suggestions is boredom.
The Word of God in the Christian Bible is not boring. Other temporal distractions get that way to me. I think about what stepping out to pursue one of them would do to my loved ones, my humble career, having a home and a place in society. Then I take a ragged breath and realize said distraction is just not worth it.
And God may give you a Christian assignment and personal involvement may become an obsession and ruin the whole deal. I have certainly been guilty of this happening in my life. It is like Satan lulls us into a sleep, just like he did in the case of Samson and Delilah. Samson had all that strength but his obsession with a woman he “loved” ruined his purpose in life because he trusted the wrong person (1).
Perhaps Samson should have put himself in a time out and thought about the whole thing more thoroughly. Spending time alone with the Spirit of Jesus Christ has stopped a great deal of heart ache for me and perhaps it will for you too. When someone is trying to give you the bum’s rush on something, beware. Take your time before you act. Pray much.
I have also noticed that obsessions about an assignment from God, when God has closed the door, also seem to end in disaster. If you know God wants you to change, get on with it. Do not try and keep an old door open with a crow bar. I have tried that too. It did not work so well.
We can look in the Bible and revisit the story of Noah and get an illustration of that one. Those folks did not want to repent and get in an ark (2).
They did not believe God was going to flood the world. They were obsessed with getting married, seeking fame and fortune and all of the rest of the human desires you can think of. They wanted their self-indulgent lives to go right on as usual and for God to go warn someone else.
Each and every time you go with your own obsession instead of listening to the Lord, they call that pride. The pride of life is what causes God to turn away from a person. He seeks a humble heart. Consider King David after Jehovah God showed him what he had done to gain his wife Besheba. The Lord let him keep the woman but their first child died. David humbled himself and sat in sack cloth and ashes (3). His obsession with the woman had cost the life of the child.
So the next time you get obsessed with an earthly goal, remember you are allowing Satan to lead you around by the nose and perhaps you should rethink your situation. Let God lead. Forget the obsession. Go about your business trying to help others and show them you are doing so because the love of Jesus Christ is in your soul.
My wife tells me when I obsess about something, I dwell on it until it happens. This can be good or bad. So now I am praying that the Lord turn my selfish desires into an obsession to be a part of the solution to the pain of others. I have had a good life. The good has far out weighed the bad. In the time I have left, I want to touch as many souls as possible with the gospel message of Jesus Christ. That is my Godly obsession and that one I do hope I continue to obsess over so it comes true.
Once you turn your attention to the main obsession of promoting the Kingdom of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, and you let God know you are willing to give up all of the other obsessions to do so, you might be surprised how many of your wants come true. God is good all the time. And Jehovah God is our provider and our best friend. Obsess over that if you need something to obsess about.
SCRIPTURES
1) SAMSON TRUSTS DELILAH – Judges 6-22: 6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” 7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.” 11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads. 13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”
He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and[b] tightened it with the pin.
Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric. 15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c] And his strength left him. 20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”
He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
2) THE PEOPLE IGNORE NOAH’S WARNINGS – Genesis 7 King James Version (KJV)
7 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. 2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 5 And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. 7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, 9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.
17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
3) KING DAVID HUMBLES HIMSELF – Psalm 51:1-13 King James Version (KJV) 51 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Trusting God
to make it through
the storm…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Life is a roller coaster. It will get worse when you are having trouble… Then it will get better. Our job is not to worry about the bad times but to just learn to enjoy the whole ride.
My father, Dr. John W. Nelson, told me this when I was a teenager. I had been complaining about something my girlfriend Joni did that did not suit me. It was a small thing. So small that I can not even recall what I was upset about.
Dad knew that. I did not. But his words have stuck with me all of these years. Jehovah God takes care of His children all of the time, through the good times and through the storms.
The key is to trust in Jesus Christ crucified for our sins, accept the gift of salvation and let God be God in our lives. The second key is to always trust that Jehovah God will provide, no matter what sort of financial fix, family crisis or career crisis we might happen to be going through.
The third key involves a verse from the Christian Bible that has also stuck with me. It says, “And it came to pass (1).” I have heard it recalled this too shall pass as well. The point is nothing, good or bad in our lives, is ever permanent as long as we live and breath. Life is a journey. How yours turns out depends on how much you personally pray, especially if you are a man or a woman who has accepted Jesus Christ as our saving grace from hell.
Pray for guidance and direction. And then please, do not do as I have done so many times and decided some hair brained idea you come up with is going to work better than following the instructions of the Christian Bible and Jehovah God.
Don’t get me wrong. I am praying for divine guidance and direction every day these days, and my percentage of following His instructions is much better than it used to be. But I am still human. I still love this or that. I still want to do this or that so bad I just might take a Satanic oriented short cut to get this or that. My point is this. Short cuts most generally do not pay off. Patience is a virtue (2).
Remember Job. Now there was a guy who loved Jehovah God and had patience. How many of us would keep the faith when our kids were dying and our wife had given up on the Lord (3)?
If Job could make it through to give God time, me and you can too. I have made it though death, divorce from three women and getting down to brass tacks. You can make it through your darkest hour as well.
I will testify to you about mine. I spent about eight months in Minnesota back in 2003-2004, away from family and friends, paying off a college abatement law suit from my first wife and working three jobs. It was not fun, but I got back to Arkansas in June of 2004 and the good Lord has helped me build a decent life.
My current wife came back to me after the separation and has been my partner again now ever since. Michelle is made of better stuff than the other three were. She knows what marriage is all about. I feel very blessed to have her around.
But there were plenty of times in Minnesota, living there alone, that I felt like giving up. Instead, I chose to take the advice of a friend. I took a ragged breath, put action to my prayers and plowed on. I was raised by two farmers so I know just what that expression means. It is what a farmer must do when he loses a crop.
Me, I lost a good business and was basically exiled to a northern state where it was freezing cold and I knew only my daughter and one of my ex-wives. My wife took our kids to Oregon until the lawsuit was over. I did what I had to do. I fought my way through the maze.
Oh sure, I spent a certain amount of time feeling sorry for myself. But it all worked out and I went home to Arkansas after a long eight months. Then I got a steady job in journalism, my profession of many years. In June of 2005, my wife came home and has been my rock ever since. In short, Jesus Christ heard my prayers and He saw me through the storm.
I learned in my darkest hour that indeed Jesus sticks with us closer than a brother. He died on that cross for our past, present and future sins. If it were not the case that He had the power to forgive those who ask, then there is no way I would have made it through that dark time without a scratch.
It got terrible. I even got in trouble once but was OK within four days. And when I got back home, God used my best friend Mike to help me get back to a meaningful life. Oh sure, the traditional preachers tell you that you must clean up everything about you before God will hear you. But my Christian Bible tells me all you need is to accept Jesus Christ and He will change you to a more Christ-like person in due time.
The key is to know first off that Jesus Christ has put your name in that Lamb’s Book of Life. Start out reading Romans 8, the whole chapter, and then read the traditional John 3:16. As the old Methodist hymn says, Jesus Christ will accept you just as you are. Even if you accepted Jesus Christ as an innocent child, you will go through much in life learning the why as to why sin is always attached to a price tag.
If you do not accept that Jesus Christ can save you, and take Him up on it, life is going to be much harder. The reason, of course, is because your counseling comes from Satan. And Old Scratch is not going to help you through a storm unless he has it in mind how that “help” will transfer you to a storm that is even worse!
Think about the time Jesus calmed the sea when His disciples were afraid their boat would capsize. They asked Jesus Christ to help them and the winds died down. In short, if you have no decent help in a crisis, perhaps you have not asked the right person, that is the person of the only Begotten Son of the Living God – Jesus Christ.
For those of you who have doubts about the power in the Name of Jesus Christ, try praying using that power. You will get results. Now, if you are non-Christian, pray to a lower powered god and see what happens. Jehovah God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three aspects of our Creator. There is no other power, in heaven and earth, that can top them.
And the Christian Bible is full of promises that the Great I Am will do for those who have asked for salvation. That same Bible assures us God can not lie. Now it may not happen overnight, but again, when you face a crisis, remember for the Christian, “this too shall pass.”
The Christian Bible is not so optimistic for those who choose to go it alone. Without Jesus and his pure blood sacrifice, your name is not in that Lamb’s Book of Life. Sure, you may still get rich, but the Bible says the wicked will only have success for a season. Many times those who come by their wealth in a way that is against the Bible will be doomed to a life of loneliness. That may be a storm that never passes unless you find Jesus Christ.
That same Christian Bible tells us of a man who has arrived at wealth. He folds his hands and says tomorrow he will build bigger barns. That very night his soul is required. He dies without a Savior and spends eternity in hell. Take Jesus Christ into your heart and don’t let that be you.
I believe many folks are under the misguided notion that you have to be perfect to get saved and you have to know everything there is about abandoning sin to stay that way. That is not what the deal is according to the Word of God. Good, bad or ugly, the offer for the free gift of salvation is good. The Word says Jesus Christ is no respecter of person.
As the old time Christians, with hope in their hearts, used to say, “Our job is to bring them to Jesus. Once they have accepted Him as Savior, God Almighty, in due time, will clean them up.”
I wish preachers said that in today’s world.The storms of life come and many preachers turn away the rankest of sinners who is looking for answers out of appearance, language or some other social problem. But just remember this, Jesus Christ will not turn down a sincere heart seeking help. Do not worry about your past. Just let Jesus put it under the pure blood sacrifice He did on the cross to save you. Another Christian Bible verse illustrates my point.
It says, “Come, let us reason together. We can make your stained garments white as snow.” Thank you Lord for always being there for the likes of me, through every storm in life. I am certainly not the perfect Christian, but you, my friend Jesus, are showing me so much love it makes me want to try and improve my performance in your eyes.
Try praying that and meaning it. Those are words to get through a storm by. Before I close, let me share one more experience with you to think about. I was going to a full Gospel church in Bryant, Arkansas back in the 1980’s. We had a girl with a lot of problems with her teeth. In fact, starting with a couple in the back, the dentist had told her she would lose them all.
For a girl in her 20’s, this was a serious storm of life. She was crying and begging the Lord for mercy. Then she calmed down. The preacher asked her if she had accepted the free gift of salvation offered by God All Mighty’s Son, Jesus Christ? The girl said yes she had but he did not seem to be doing anything about her teeth. The elders of the church prayed for a miracle concerning those choppers. Jesus heard them.
The service broke up and the revival continued another few nights. A couple of nights later, here came that girl. She showed about 50 people, including myself, how a couple of teeth had come back in and were perfectly healthy where holes had been just a couple of nights before. I had to smile. I just knew Jesus would answer our prayers!
I have heard stories of such miracles and had my doubts in the past. But I saw those teeth with my own eyes. About 5 years ago, I had a personal miracle happen for me. I had a scale on one of my eyelids that was getting bigger and bigger. Dr. Shawn Purifoy, of Malvern, Arkansas, told me my only hope to see out of that eye correctly again was surgery. Being a man of modest means, that seemed impossible to me.
I prayed in the Name of Jesus Christ for Him to take it off my eye. He did so. When I got up the next morning, it was gone. My eyes are very important to me as a writer. God apparently was not through with me in that regard. I will admit I tried to cut it off several times in the months before I prayed. But it always grew back even worse. After that doctor said what he did, then I turned to my faith. I praise God and thank Him for his handiwork. It has been 5 years and that scale has never come back!
I do love the Lord and I do trust Him. Because of the fact that I do still make mistakes, I have been told in the past that this could just not be true. My mistakes, sins if you will, are leaving little by little. If I had listened to those do-gooders, I would have turned away in despair.
Whatever you think, think on this. If someone tries to tell you that you are not a saved soul, and you know in your heart of hearts you have accepted Jesus Christ, don’t let them talk you out of your salvation. The Christian Bible tells us the Great I Am will hear no prayers from an unsaved man except the prayer of salvation. God cured that scale on my eye. Thank you Jesus for saving my soul and hearing my prayers!
Jesus Christ himself rebuked people for judging others, saying, “Judge not or you too will be judged likewise.” It is possible the act of trying to decide another man’s sincerity, and continuing to do so, might be a way to lose said salvation. So personally, I will tell folks what the Bible says about right from wrong, but that is it. As to judging the path of another, that is a storm I just do not want to have in my life. If a man or a woman tells me he or she is saved, I leave the truth of that statement between the individual and the Maker.
As the old saying goes, you can not get saved by your grandmother’s love for Jesus, nor can you go to hell because an old uncle was an atheist. Your relationship with Jesus Christ is personnel. If you know you have sinned, and you are a Christian, it is your job to repent and ask the Lord for the strength to cease such sin. This is a job we Christians will have during the storms or the high times for the rest of their lives.
Being a Christian, despite what some say, does not mean we will never sin again. But it does mean our desire to do so will leave. Sometimes it leaves quickly. Sometimes it leaves slowly. But it will leave if we continue praying to Jesus Christ to help us have the strength to stop. And for the record, humbleness, which takes away a lot of desire to sin, usually kicks in during a storm in your life. So maybe, for the Christian at least, storms may not be a bad thing after all.
SCRIPTURES
1) AND IT CAME TO PASS – Luke 2: 1 and Luke 2: 15 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
Editor’s Note: One they paid the tax, it would come to pass that the tax decree would be met and so the order did not last forever to those who obeyed it.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Editor’s Second Note: The only constant in the universe is change. Everything, endured by man or predicted by God All Mighty, comes to pass.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 King James Version (KJV) 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2) PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE – Galatians 5:22-23 King James Version (KJV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Editor’s Note: Long suffering, patience, is part of the fruits of the Spirit of Love. It is a quality that reflects a true love of God and faith in His timing being superior to our own.
3) THE PATIENCE OF JOB – James 5:11-15 King James Version (KJV) 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Discerning the spirits;
Jesus Christ always
counsels correctly
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Temptation would not fit its own definition if it were not tempting. Or as one of my preacher friends says, sin would not be so popular if it were not fun.
But who is doing this tempting? The Christian Bible tells us it is the devil and all of his demonic angels. They come as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So what do we do? As my current preacher says, you can either go through the pain of overcoming temptation and sin, one at a time, or you can reject Jesus Christ and his gift of salvation, which means you will suffer much pain for your own unforgiven sins.
Let’s look at what the spirit world, that is the dark side, commonly comes to us with. Saul consulted a witch when he was confused as to what to do next in the Old Testament (1). This was probably the biggest mistake a person could make.
The Christian Bible says the devil is the author of confusion. If you want to improve your life, that is become obedient to the God of Love and enjoy forthcoming blessings, talking with an agent of the devil to receive guidance and direction is not a good move.
Most of us realize that. Over the centuries, the devil has become more subtle in his spiritual intervention. One friend told me once, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. On the other hand, as my banker friend says, there is usually some truth sprinkled in a good lie to make it believable.
Prayer helps me to discern. Sometimes an idea comes to me and it is from the Great I Am. When His still small voice gives me guidance and direction, there is nothing in my heart that is suspicious. That is I feel no check of doubt in my spirit. On the other hand, when the devil comes to get me off track, there is always some doubt in my heart. I call it a Holy Ghost warning.
Let’s look in the Bible for examples of temptation. Jesus was tempted by the devil to bring angels to his aid and to turn stones into bread when he was very hungry and on a self-imposed prayer fast (2). His response was to quote scripture to the devil that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word the comes out of the mouth of God.
As to the devil asking Jesus why he does not jump off a cliff because a legion of angels would stop his body from dying, Jesus replied, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” And Jesus is quoted as saying, “Get behind me Satan,” on several occasions.
I remember one scripture story in the New Testament when Peter begins to talk about how to protect Jesus Christ from being picked up by the Roman soldiers. Jesus knew He had to go to the cross or none of us could get our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. So instead of listening to Peter’s plan for personal safety, our Lord said once again, “Get behind me Satan.”
Just looking at it from a human standpoint, this probably did not make much sense to Peter at the time. Peter may have even wondered why his friend was calling him Satan? It is very likely that Peter wondered what was the problem with simply offering a plan to protect his friend from going to jail.
But Jesus knew that following such a path would stop God’s will of the crucifixion from ever coming to pass. In short, God’s ways are higher than the ways of man. Peter was concerned with the personal safety of Jesus Christ the man, whereas Jesus Christ was trying to for fill his mission of sacrificing his pure-blood body on a cross so the rest of us would have covered sins – making us acceptable to the Great I Am on judgment day.
Bringing our examples down to human experience, have you ever been tempted not to finish a job that you knew needed to be done? Laziness is a drawing card in most of our lives. Most of the time I can conquer that one. But it is still there when a person feels just plain wore out and yet things are not in order for the next work day.
Are you married? Ever had Satan tap you on the shoulder with the temptation of adultery? I personally think everyone has. But most of us, as we get older, realize that following up with such a thing would cause nothing but pain to ourselves and those we love. Still, it is a huge drawing card when you think on it too much.
Adultery temptations are very difficult when the prospective outsider to the marriage is combining beauty, soothing your ego and making promises of a perfect experience if you but jump the fence. But if you are a Christian, you will feel a Holy Ghost check in your spirit about this. You will know, down deep, that pursuing such a thing is not right. The Christian Bible says there is a way that seems right to man but is an enemy to Jehovah God. This adultery thing is a good example of what He was talking about.
You may not be able to keep from feeling love for a person of the opposite sex outside of your marriage, but you are able to let it go at that before acting on it makes your life end up like Sampson’s did with Delilah.
As I recall, when Sampson gave into lust, she cut his hair and he ended up losing his strength and freedom (3). So never underestimate what temptation can do to your life if you give in to it. When you think, “but I love her,” and she has no golden ring of marriage from you on her hand, you are on dangerous ground to a good whipping from Jehovah God.
Perhaps you are tempted to take your own life. As my best friend used to say, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Indeed it is. Yet pressure can make a person tempted to do crazy things. The key here is when we know something is not of love, but rather from the world of hate, we need to avoid it. Suicide is taking revenge out on yourself for what you perceive as your own unfixable ways. Revenge is a good example of blatant disobedience to Jehovah God.
When you are tempted to get back at someone who has done you wrong, remember Jehovah God has said vengeance is His. He said it for a good and logical reason. Think about it. When you get somebody back for some wrong you perceive they have done to you, you are starting a chain reaction of vengeful actions that can surely come to no good end.
If you want to turn somebody in to the police for our court system to do its job, that is justice not vengeance. Vengeance is when you take the law into your own hands and act on your first impulse to get back at someone for stealing your wallet by say stealing their motorcycle. Two wrongs never make a right. If your wallet is stolen by a bully thug and you simply fill out a police report and let the law do its job, you are much better off. Then you can pray for the thug to change his ways instead of getting yourself in trouble by stealing his motorcycle.
Discerning the spirits means we must often think of the consequences before we put an impulse into action. If the devil says hit that guy who just poked you in the eye, your first thought might be to do so. But if you think about it, such a response would not be one of love. The New Testament says if we live by the sword, we will die by it.
Taking Christian scriptural advice always turns out better than acting from the human heart on impulses.
Keeping silent when I am hurting is the hardest for me. The devil hops up on my shoulder and tells me, cuss and fuss, it will make you feel better. I have known this was the devil for years, yet only recently have I had an extreme desire to overcome this temptation. Again, when discerning the spirits, it is much better to think about your actions before you put them into play. This is even true with the words you choose. I have caused myself much pain by repeatedly not taking my own advice here.
I share it with you so that perhaps you will think about it and not do the same. When you are unsure what to say, and you have not felt God is directing your words, silence is indeed golden. Cussing and fussing is something I have prayed forgiveness for on many an occasion and now I am praying for its elimination from my habits in this life.
If I get angry and quote scriptures, or choose to be thankful for what good I can see in a situation instead of just giving into self righteous anger, I end up liking that man in the mirror a lot more. In other words, as the preachers say, it is better to light a candle in the darkness than to curse the darkness.
The human side of me for years has told people to follow God’s ways if they want to be happy. But giving into too many temptations has stopped me short of taking my own advice on too many occasions. Now I am at the point where I want to speed up my overcoming and get it right more than wrong so that my testimonies might encourage you to do the same.
In short, I am ready to choose the blessings of Jehovah God by way of obedience to the Great I Am instead of dropping back and punting the football in an attempt to get some quick relief from a problem by taking a Satanic short cut. I have learned the hard way that Satan’s short cuts just do not gain me anything in the game of life.
SCRIPTURES
1) SAUL CONSULTS A WITCH – 1 Samuel 28: 1- 16; King James Version (KJV) 1) And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.
2 And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever. 3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
4 And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. 5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.
6 And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. 7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. 9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. 11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 17 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:
2) JESUS TEMPTED BY SATAN – Matthew 4:1-11 King James Version (KJV) 4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
3) SAMPSON REAPS ADULTERY – Judges 16: 1-21 King James Version (KJV) 1)Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her. 2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.
3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.
4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. 7 And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. 8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known. 10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.
11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. 12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.
13 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web. 14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. 16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man. 18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. 20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.
21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

 

Jesus tells us
to pray without
doubt to move
big mountains…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Sometimes we get saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and we become, as my old minister James McCain used to say, saved and satisfied…
But there is more to the Christian walk than that. As hard core sinners, we sought one more sexual partner, one more drink or whatever our pleasure. In order to have the fullness of God in our lives, we need to ask the Spirit of Jesus Christ to teach us how to seek one more Godly blessing.
Even though it may be difficult to keep the faith, shedding human doubt about the instructions in our Christian Bible is the key to removing stumbling blocks from the life of a Christian and to obtain what seems to be unobtainable blessings.
I was listening to television minister Andrew Womack this morning about a scripture where Jesus Christ has given us the power to move mountains if we but have no doubt in our hearts when we ask it to be done. The scripture Womack referred to is Mark 11:23.
I listened to the second part of the Womack sermon. He warned us that this scripture is for the individual prayer warrior. You can pray for others with no doubt in your prayers, but their wills will over ride yours. They have to want success too, and shed Satan’s doubt to get it, or it just will not happen.
By way of example, I will tell off on myself. My finances in this life and business are unstable. My money management skills are not the best, but the fact is not all that much money is made selling advertising in 2016. My collections were twice what they are now 10 years ago. As a one-man-show advertising director, editor and weekly publication production man, I have to stay on track or the Friday weekly may not make the web site until late into the night. So time is also a factor.
Al Lyons, an old friend from my years in Florida, has invited me to join an online business venture that could create a monthly check for me. It could possibly match what I clear selling advertising. I want to do this. I know Al prays for me. He as been a Christian minister for years.
But I keep coming up with excuses not to start… I let doubt stop me from good fortune. I am working to overcome my weakness in this area, but my point is simple. We have the biggest control over our own lives, no matter how stupid our decisions. Jesus Christ, as television minister Andrew Womack says, will not allow anyone to force us to get saved – or to practice the ways of the Christian Bible.
The promise that God will come through for the Christian, no matter what the difficulty, goes right along with the familiar scripture about how we have not because we ask not (1). That old familiar scripture has a qualifier that if God does not grant your request, then He has judged that you have asked for something that would be consumed and not used for the betterment of the Great Commission of spreading the Love of the Great I Am. In other words, to get Jehovah God’s attention, we must not ask out of selfishness, but rather out of love for others.
On the other hand, this Mark 11:23 scripture is more about removing stumbling blocks that make it hard for you to go on sounding the alarm about the importance of accepting the free gift of Salvation through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. You could also pray for the removal of stumbling blocks that stop you from showing love to others – like providing food, clothing or shelter. If you pray in earnest for these things, without out a doubt, then Mark 11:23 will make them come to pass in God’s timing.
Mark 11:23 further takes Jesus Christ at His word. Doubt kills many blessings in this life. Once you remove doubt, when it comes to trusting the words of Jesus, the next step is to assume success in your prayer and thank the Lord for what He has done.
To my knowledge, I am physically and mentally capable of being used any way Jehovah God chooses to use me. I am not particularly young anymore. As I write this, I have lived close to 58 years. But the Lord has blessed me with full functionality so far. I can read what the Christian Bible tells me is possible through the power of the Name of Jesus Christ. I choose not to doubt those words. I pray for strength to make it so.
It is a choice. I was raised Methodist. It was a good atmosphere to learn why I should choose to ask Jesus Christ for the free gift of salvation. I have come to believe that asking Jesus to come into my heart and save me from my just reward of hell and the Lake of Fire for being an unforgiven sinner was the best decision I have ever made in my life. About this, I truly have no doubt.
The founder of the Methodist Church was a man called John Wesley. Television evangelist Joyce Meyer quoted from Wesley’s diary in one of her sermons. She read this to the millions who listen to her. The following is an indirect quote: Day one, I was thrown out of the St. Peter’s Catholic Church after preaching a sermon today. I preached that night at the St. John’s Catholic and they had a special meeting of the decans. They sent me word that I was never to come back.
Then I preached God’s word about the miracle of Jesus Christ in a meadow to a dozen onlookers. The farmer turned his bull loose and it ran me out of there… Then I went to an empty field that night and 10,000 people came to hear about the free gift of salvation, as provided by Jesus Christ and how He alone, through His pure blood sacrifice, has the power to place the name of a man or a woman in the Lamb’s Book of Life…
My point is simple. As was the case with John Wesley, if we preach Jesus, it will anger Satan and his legalistic hypocrites will raise objection. The New Testament quotes Jesus Christ as saying, “Since they have persecuted me, they will persecute you.”
I have had the Lord prove to me over and over again that His Word, that is the Christian Bible, can be trusted as being completely true. Yet I have been one of the world’s worst victims of Satanic doubt that has ever lived – and for no valid reason. Keep me in your prayers on this.
I submit to you once again that I choose no longer to doubt the Word of God. Indeed, if Jesus Christ said it would happen, it will happen. Consider Mark 11:23 King James Version (KJV) 23 in its entirety (2). You must not doubt God’s willingness to grant you what you desire in unselfish love and humbleness.
That scripture makes my hope and faith do flip flops in my very soul. I, just as you probably do, have many mountains I must remove from my life if I am to be an effective promoter of the Great Commission. And the more I preach, the harder Satan will fight me. I know this. It is frankly the devil’s job to do so. He can not stand the fact that some of us Christians want to preach to his subjects and show them the way to eternal life and how to have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Letting go of doubt, when it comes to what Jesus Christ says we can do, is hard for anyone at first. But like anything else, it gets easier each time you obey. Can you imagine the doubt that had to be conquered by Moses when he was driving a people toward the Red Sea that God had told him would part and let the Israelites go through? The sea will part and allow a dry path to cross… Many of us would have thought, “Sure, Ok fine.”
What about the doubt that Jesus Himself must have felt in the Garden of Gasimine when He prayed so hard that the Great I Am would show Him another way to save the souls of repentant sinners besides dying on that cross? The Word says Christ prayed so hard for another solution He started to sweat blood (3).
So if Jesus could conquer His horrible doubt about the being crucified, surely you and I can stop doubting God will help us with simple things like getting out of debt, finding a mate to pair up with who really understands us and can not wait to see us walk in the door or even the doubt when we are hungry that somehow food will become available.
As an aside, I have determined in my own mind that worries will strike my mind. When they do, instead of dwelling on those worries, I give them to Jesus Christ to worry about for me. I trust the mind of Christ a lot more than I do the mind of John Nelson to render an acceptable solution. I am now also praying that he takes away my doubts when it comes to asking Him to remove thorns from my side.
When it comes to moving mountains in your life, you have to trust the Savior. After all, when you asked for your salvation you placed your soul in the hands of Jesus Christ and invited His Spirit to dwell with yours forever. It is like many things. The answer is already before you. If you could trust Jesus for salvation, it should follow you can trust Him for the mortgage payment or to pay your tax bill.
When doubt comes to haunt your prayers, ask Jehovah God to remove it from your thoughts. When His love wraps itself around you, that old devilish doubt will melt like butter. Remember, ask for things that will help you help others and the kingdom of the Great I Am. Or ask for mercy and healing from a disease so you have a functional mind and body to be a more effective in following God’s directions.
If you choose to ask to remove everyone else who plays Publisher’s Clearinghouse so you can win the $7,000 a week in order to go on a cruise or buy a bigger house than you will ever need, that might just qualify as asking amiss. On the other hand, if you ask for the money so you can afford to preach all over the world, the same request, asked without doubt, just might move the mountains Satan has in place to block your desired divine action.
Think of it in human terms. This may make sense if you are a parent. Suppose your child asks for a bicycle to deliver papers and be of service to his community while learning the value of earning a living. Now suppose he asks for that same bicycle to ride by others his age and force them off the roadway. It is the same bicycle. But God, like a mom or dad, looks at the heart. So get your heart in the right place and give your doubts and worries to God before uttering your request.
SCRIPTURES
1) WE HAVE NOT BECAUSE WE ASK NOT – James 4:1-12 King James Version (KJV)
4 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
2) ASK WITHOUT DOUBT AND MOVE MOUNTAINS – Mark 11:21-26 King James Version (KJV) 21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. 22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
3) JESUS CHRIST OVERCAME HIS DOUBTS AND FEARS ABOUT THE CROSS AND EVEN SWEAT BLOOD IN THE PROCESS – Luke 22:39-44 King James Version (KJV) 39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Editor’s Note: If you have a need in your life that is blocking your service to Jesus Christ, take to the Lord in prayer. Remind Chirst of the fig tree and how it was dried up at his earnest request to Jehovah God. Pray without doubt and worry.
Ask God to take both off of your shoulders before you approach him with humbleness. The big deal is to keep praying until the storm stops.

Jesus tells a man,
do not forget your
first love…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
We live in a society of people who do not know what to do. We are in the middle of a presidential election where most people do not seem very satisfied with either candidate running for the office.
The good part, in this writer’s opinion, is if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump becomes president, we will probably be better off than we are under the leadership of the man from Kenya. Both Clinton and Trump are Americans through and through, with a good deal of old fashioned American values. Sure, they see things a lot differently than each other. And Hillary had a point in the last debate, her husband Bill is a financial genius and his presidency helped all of us economically.
I choose to believe that the hearts of Hillary and Donald are both in the right place. Time will tell if I am right. So what does all of this mean to the Christian? National worries are one thing. But what about our day to day lives of trying to pay a light bill or keep a roof over our heads by avoiding a foreclosure notice? Times are tough for many hard working Americans right now.
I love to blame United States President Barack Obama for this. I do not agree with his methods of economic recovery, nor do I believe his health care plan is the answer to the medical problems of the working man. Still, as Mrs. Clinton said in a recent debate, some good has come out of both. We as a nation can not afford to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Frankly, whether Clinton or Trump wins, I think efforts will be made to improve our economy and to get Congressional approval of changes in our country instead of just being childish about things like Obama did and signing yet another executive order against the people and principles of the United States of America’s Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
But again, what about the day by day struggle many Americans face as they go to low paying jobs with a lot of disappointments attached? I can tell you from experience it helps to be Saved. When a man or a woman has accepted the fact that they need a Savior and Jesus Christ is the only one available with any real power, things begin to slowly but surely change for the better.
We serve a Jehovah God of mercy. The Great I Am has been in the business of providing for His children since mankind showed up on planet earth and I firmly believe He will continue being merciful until the last human being exists this joint – if that time ever comes.
When I first accepted salvation I was 15 years old. It was during a service at the First United Methodist Church in Hagerstown, Indiana. I felt the tug of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of the Living God, the Great I Am, pulling at my soul. I had read you can not be Saved unless you feel that tug somewhere in the New Testament of the Christian Bible (1).
I was very thankful that I felt said tug, but yet it was hard to get out of my seat during the altar call. My young friends were around me. Most of them had yet to accept Jesus and so they may very well have been feeling that tug as well.
“Just As I Am” was being played by Martha Giggy, our church organist. My more or less live-in girlfriend Joni was sitting beside me, or at least I would imagine that she was. Joni and I had been chums in church choir since I started church at 8 years old. We had both noticed that we were turning into a woman and a man. And it would seem we were left only with each other for companionship on many an occasion.
Looking back, it was my first marriage in the eyes of God and in the eyes of Joni and John. We simply were too young in the faith to realize how important it was to make it right; that is get a piece of paper called a marriage certificate and have a sincere preacher say a few words…
So there I was, with my woman by my side, at the ripe old age of 15, being tugged in the heart by a fellow I had known in my young life as Mr. God. Many kids who grew up alone had an imaginary friend. I did not. I had Mr. God. For some reason, Jehovah God decided it was fun to play with an only child kid on a farm in middle Indiana. I was honored with His presence and so glad He thought of me.
Mr. God led me to read that Bible religiously. One of my ex-wives, Miss Doris, said she was amazed at my Bible knowledge. Frankly, growing up, sometimes that was the only thing I had to read so I read it a lot. You could only watch Perry Mason reruns so long…
So I knew God before my age of accountability kicked in. I also knew Satan. And the difference in the spirits of Good and evil was profound enough that discerning the two was frankly not very hard. Satan had thrown me a curve ball a few nights before my formal salvation experience.
As I have freely admitted, I was already sexually involved with my girlfriend Joni. She and I had consummated our marriage, so to speak, at band camp the summer before. I was enjoying our animal experiences together and I assume she was as well. We were young and innocent, just two farm kids holding on to one another. I did not know it at the time, but that “marriage” was to last about five years.
I have always believed had we taken it to the next level and gotten married for real, we would still have been together and probably had three or four kids together. But alas, immaturity and listening to a hedonistic cultural philosophy ruined that for both of us.
Satan’s temptation came in the form of a dream. He knew of my puppy love for Joni and how much I enjoyed it being a Joni and John thing. As I write this, I am 57 years old. I still look back on that high school sweetheart relationship and it still makes me smile. I was simply too young to realize what I had; a woman who would have been a devoted life partner. She would have probably been there for me on into rocking chair days…
So here was the dream. Satan showed me Joni and I in the buff in some sort of Eden of his manufacturing. Then he told me he would keep our bodies and minds young and allow us to be together for 100 years before either one of us began to show our age. Sorry folks, but that was very tempting to my 15-year-old self. I wanted that woman bad. And 100 years seemed like a long time to me.
In the dream, I asked the devil what he would have to have in exchange? He told me I would have to serve him, lie, cheat and even murder. He told me the good part is I would never get caught and I would be very rich financially. And he assured me that all of my adultery would go unnoticed by my wife and Joni would never leave me. Even with my love for Joni, I had an animal desire to explore the bodies of other ladies.
I remember watching Joni and I like it was a movie in my dream. We were looking very happy as we made our way from a beautiful cabin, arm in arm, down to a beautiful lake. I suppose we were going there to fish or something. At any rate, the movie played on in my mind. I was feeling very tempted. Don’t tell my current wife, but the fact is it was more than puppy love. I loved Joni Woodward with all of my heart. I just simply did not know how to treat a wife at the time…
It was then that the Great I Am showed up in my dream. I knew Mr. God’s voice very well, as I previously stated. He said, “John, if you agree to this, I will be out of your life for eternity. I will no longer be at your side to help you with your problems.”
I remember thinking about the time Mr. God saved me from falling from a barn beam. Then I thought about the time I nearly lost my eyesight over a bee bee gun fight with my best friend Kevin at the time. I thought about the conversations I had with Mr. God when I would have otherwise been a very lonesome boy out there on that farm. Then, it was decision time.
Keep in mind, that at that point in my life, I was a practicing white witch. I had discovered witchcraft books in the upstairs of my farm house that my mother Audrey had left there many years before. I knew how to light the fires of Satanic incantations, call the four corners of earth, wind, fire and water and I was pretty good at casting immature and naive spells.
So you see, it really was decision time. I knew I would never again feel right about practicing the craft if I chose Mr. God over the devil. And I knew the promises Satan had given me about Joni and I would never become reality. I also realized Satan’s promises were really not worth spit. On the other hand, I had read in the Christian Bible where Mr. God was not allowed to lie and that His promises could always be counted upon (2).
I looked Satan right in the eyes in my dreams and said, “No, I will not live for you. I know right from wrong and the Christian Bible is right. I choose Mr. God. Stay away from my Satan, I will take my chances with salvation from Jesus Christ!”
The next thing I knew there was a loud thunder crash. I sat up in my bed at the farm house and my grandfather came rushing into my bedroom. He asked if I was all right? I smiled and told him I had never felt better in my life!
It is hard to say what your conversion experience was like. You have just read about mine. I am a simple man and it was a simple dream and conversion. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Tests say I am intelligent. But my likes are simple and down to earth. I needed this sermon as much as perhaps some of you did.
Sometimes in this complicated world of Satan calling wrong right, it is hard to get a grip on the fact that those 10 commandments are still God’s version of a clean and right life (3). But they are. Let us not forget that our Lord added a very important commandment; Love thy God with all of thine heart and all of thy might. I will include that in our scripture section. But here is the deal, we must not forget our first love. The Lord also added to love thy neighbor as thy self.
We, as Christians, have an awesome responsibility in this arena. It simply means we are indeed our brother’s keeper. And, of course, our sister’s keeper as well. Love is real and love is the answer. And Jesus Christ is our first love. We must not forget what He did for our enternal souls!
SCRIPTURES
1) TO BE SAVED, CHRIST MUST FIRST TUG AT YOUR HEART – John 6:41-47 King James Version (KJV)
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
2) GOD, THAT IS THE GREAT I AM, DOES NOT LIE – Numbers 23:17-23 King James Version (KJV) 17 And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the Lord spoken?
18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. 23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
Hebrews 6:17-20 King James Version (KJV) 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
3) THE 10, OR 12, COMMANDMENTS TO OBEY GOD’S WILL – Exodus 20: 1-17 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
John 13:33-35 King James Version (KJV) 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

If God wants a change
in your life, He will
persist in telling you
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I don’t know about you, but I have rarely experienced the still small voice of the Holy Ghost of God only reminding me once of something He would like me to do.
In my life, it would seem Jehovah God is the most powerful memory jerker there ever was! When I forget I have promised Him something, little things keep happening to remind me that He remembers and does not want me to neglect such a thing over being too busy for the task to come back up in my mind.
When I was young, I asked God for my own publication and the right small town to serve. I have a love for community news and believe it to be an effective form of positive communication. I especially love writing about family triumph.
He finally landed me in Gurdon, Arkansas. But He also asked me to write a sermon in my publication every week to glorify the Great Commission of God.
I ran from this divinely inspired still small voice request for a change in my traditional community based format for nearly 30 years.
Then there came a time when I knew Jehovah God wanted that promise kept and He met immediately. I have done so since the middle of 2012 when the Tailgate News went digital.
And I have never regretted keeping my weekly promise. I am doing it again right now as I write yet another sermon for you.
If you tell God you want to work for Him and be the best Christian soldier you possibly can, the Holy Ghost of God will get persistent with you too when an assignment comes up He believes is right for you. And most of us, if that something looks pretty impossible, have a tendency to put things off.
In my experience, the Great I Am will tolerate procrastination for a time, but then a sense of urgency comes upon a person that an honest soul has to obey.
Perhaps in your own walk with Jesus Christ, you have experienced similar prodding by the Deity, also known as Jehovah God. If you are curious as to how all this works, as you are now thinking it sounds crazy, the first step is to ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart, forgive you of your past, present and future sins, and choose to believe with all you have in you that Christ’s work on the cross is the miracle that will place your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life – leading your soul eventually to heaven.
Once you are saved from the fires of hell by accepting the gift of salvation, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ lives on the inside of you, you will begin to understand very clearly what the persistent prodding of Jehovah God is all about.
He is our heavenly Father, and like any Father, does what He can to give us guidance and direction for our own good. He will do more of it if you ask Him to do so.
The Bible says God is a gentleman and will not force Himself on you (1). If He did, then we would not be creatures of free will. The persistent guidance and direction is what I am talking about. But the real thrust of this sermon is on those matters of a seemingly impossible nature that the Spirit of Jesus Christ keeps telling you or I will really happen. It is widely accepted in the Christian world that the Great I Am will never lead you to do something that is contradictory to the Christian Bible.
I have had a repeated vision of owning a cabin in some woods with a lake near by. On a journalist’s budget, this seems very improbable in the natural. But Jehovah God keeps thrusting the vision of that cabin and property into my mind. Frankly, I believe it will happen because I believe its existence is a message of reassurance from my provider, Jehovah God. Time will tell, of course, if that vision comes to pass.
The devil is good at giving us visions too, but it seems Satan’s are always self indulgent. They never seem to be visions to help others, or to survive to keep fighting to spread the Great Commission. Satan motivates in a much different way – promoting adultery, suggesting theft, suggesting laziness instead of doing our jobs well. Those things are from the devil and tear down our integrity. God’s visions build it up.
I have had a repeated vision of myself preaching before a congregation. I have never done that to date, but the persistent vision, at least in my mind, is surely from Jehovah God and not Satan.
Satan definitely does not want anyone preaching about the miracle of the cross and what the only begotten Son of the Living God has made possible for those who accept Him.
So I will preach before a crowd one day. I choose to believe that. Time will tell if it is from God or if John just has a vivid imagination. I choose to believe it to be a vision from Jehovah God.
That is the key here. When you have a persistent vision, you must decide to either believe it is from Jesus Christ or not. If you do decide to believe your vision of the future is from Jesus, let your actions be those of a nature that reflects what you have chosen to believe.
In short, play out the hand of cards you profess to believe that you have been dealt.
Let’s look at Abraham in the Christian Bible for a moment. He was told to sacrifice his son Isaac to God, but He chose to believe God was his friend and would mercifully provide another sacrifice (2). A goat appeared in the thicket to do the job just moments before Abraham was to kill his own child with a knife. Wow what a test! I think back on my life and I have been through a few hard times, but nothing like that. The test must have been horrible for Abraham to have to go through.
Issac’s parents, Sarah and Abraham, slipped up and had a hand maiden get pregnant because they tried to rush Jehovah God’s plan.
Their mistake, nearly 3,000 years ago, created the Islamic nations (3). Islamic worshippers have denied the power of Jesus Christ and seemingly assume that forcing women to be virtual slaves in that society is the way to go to please their god, call allah. This goes against everything the Christian faith stands for and does not make any sense to this writer.
But then, nothing Satan promotes is sensible. Of course, many will disagree that the Muslim faith, based on Islam, is Satanic. Those folks have a right to their opinion, as I also have a right to mine.
To me, many Muslims have found Jesus Christ as Savior and I do appreciate that. I pray that more do. I personally do not want anyone to go to hell and I sincerely believe that there is no other way to the Father but by the only Begotten Son. The Bible tells us that it is true. The work Jesus Christ did on the cross to save us represents the ultimate mercy of the Great I Am.
In the Christian Bible Old Testament story, Abraham believed in the mercy of God. It was his choice and God honored his belief by sparing Abraham the horrible act of killing his own son. Many of lesser faith in God would simply not have taken Isaac up there to the sacrificial site in the first place.
But apparently like myself, Abraham realized the Lord gives and the Lord, therefore, can take away. That same Lord can, and does, show so much mercy in so many areas of our lives.
He knows us much better than we know ourselves. Choose to believe in a vision that God persistently conveys to you and see what happens.
I can not recall a time when I ever did that and Jehovah God let me down. He is faithful to us. Will you be faithful to Him?
SCRIPTURES
1) GOD WILL NOT FORCE HIMSELF ON ANYONE. WE HUMAN CREATIONS HAVE FREE WELL TO CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST FOR SALVATION OR NOT TO DO SO – John 3:12-22 King James Version (KJV) 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
2) ABRAHAM TRUSTED JEHOVAH GOD – Genesis 22:6-14 King James Version (KJV) 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
3) THE CONCEPTION OF ISLAM – Genesis 16:1-11 King James Version (KJV) 16 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee.
6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
7 And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
Genesis 21:3-12 King James Version (KJV) 3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. 6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. 8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Editor’s Note: Carry the cross God has given you. God is a gentleman and will let you know when you are to change gears. Wait on the Lord but act quickly when you know that you know Jesus Christ is calling you to new service.

Showing respect
to God, even when
you disagree,
will benefit you…
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
I am the world’s worst when it comes to showing proper respect to a decision Jehovah God and Jesus Christ have obviously made for my life when I think that decision is bonkers. But it is my latest overcoming venture and I am slowly but surely improving.
For sometime now, in areas of business and family or other personal matters, I have been in the habit of praying the Lord’s Prayer after describing the situation to the Lord.
I go to Jesus with expectations of success in sales, meaningful stories to write, Grandpa weekends, charities I support and many other matters.
The Christian Bible tells us the Great I Am has higher ways than humanity (1). I can see that. So why is it I used to get so mad, and sometimes slip and still do, when a perfectly good plan of straight-line success in my mind goes around the barn? I have learned that I fall into the trap of Satan when I respond to an adverse situation with loud objection instead of remaining calm and waiting on the Lord to show me why something has gone off of the course I thought was right.
But lately, I have been trying to sit calmly in a storm of life and say, “OK God, I have no idea what is going on but I thank you for helping me avoid a disaster that using my own judgment instead of yours would have surely brought into my life.”
This is new stuff for me. My deep down gratitude that I have been experiencing as of late seems to be growing because of my work for Outreach Mission, an organization I have been trying to help in Nigeria.
The missionary lady is from Arlington, Virginia and Deborah has been helping her mother feed the hungry, give medical care to the sick and with the preaching of the gospel for three or four years. The more she tells me about what life is like there, the more grateful I am to live in the good old USA.
We are indeed a blessed and exceptional people, even though Satan seems to be having a field day with sin as of late as he uses people to tear down our traditional value system of right and wrong.
As I was taught in the Methodist Church in my youth, we may not all always follow the 10 commandments, but there is something inside of each and every Christian that tells us they define what is just and right. And if a person is raised with them, I believe understanding those 10 commandments can and do lead many to accepting the salvation offered by Jesus Christ through the love, mercy and sacrifice Jesus made by going to that cross to save us from our just reward in the eyes of a perfect Jehovah God – eternal separation from the Creator and eternity in hell as a prelude before our soul burns forever in the Lake of Fire.
If a person realizes those commandments are God’s will, it does not take a genius to see none of us has the fortitude to live life without ever breaking them.
In that realization, comes the truth that we need forgiveness for being imperfect if we ever plan on making our peace with God.
Since I do not live in Washington D.C., many of the anti-Christian laws about how we are to keep our mouth shut about what is sin and what is not have not directly effected my life.
But it does bother me that Christians in my own Christian based country are told by sincere Satan followers that our ways are those of haters…
Most of us, even after accepting Christ as our Savior, have to grow into the Christ-like life that the Bible describes. But part of preaching salvation is to be honest about what the Bible calls right and wrong.
Sure, I, just like you, have read in the Bible where Jesus tells us we will be persecuted, scorned and even killed for our believes. I suppose I just naively believed it could not happen in the United States. Wake up and smell the coffee. It is happening here!
Don’t get me wrong, if someone is practicing sin, as defined in the Christian Bible, I do not believe in using it as a weapon on that person. Jesus Christ said do not attempt to remove the splinter from someone else’s eye when you have a log in your own (2).
But for the government to try and tell us we must proclaim sin as the right thing is a bit strange in my mind. At any rate, I digress. If you are a Christian reading this, you have probably listened to enough sermons and read enough Bible that the definition of Christian right from wrong is no mystery to you.
And perhaps you too believe the mind of Christ to be superior to your own so you pray to Jesus to guide you and direct you in your day to day as I do.
If you have come to this point along with me, you also know praying to Jesus Christ for guidance and direction is a comfort and certainly brings an ever-growing inner peace.
Lately, I have been having work car trouble. I need to find out if something is blocking my fuel line because the thing dies on me and leaves me on the side of the road for a few moments before it will restart. I was headed to a ball game the other night to take photos for this magazine and really needed to get there when it happened. I thought seriously about shaking my fist at God and screaming like the brat I can be sometimes.
But then I thought about all of the things Jesus Christ went through so that my sins would not send me to an eternal hell. I sat there on the side of the road and kept my mouth shut. Then I thanked Jehovah God for His guidance and direction and prayed in the Name of Jesus for my car to start. It did. And I had no further car trouble that evening.
It was an instance where sincere and honest prayer, for something reasonable and not entirely self serving (as far as I know encouraging young athletes helps them), was answered in a positive way by the Lord Jesus Christ nearly instantaneously. This, obviously, is not always the case.
Television minister Andrew Womack said something today that applies to this. Womack said prayers in the name of Jesus, said in faith, are answered by the Lord.
It is just that sometimes those answers remain in the pipeline for a time. In short, God has His own ideas about right timing but He does answer His children’s faithful prayers.
The New Testament Christian Bible also mentions that sometimes we pray amiss. To me, that is when we are praying for things that are only of a selfish nature or when we pray for harm to someone else or ourselves.
Christianity is not all about praying for pain, but rather about praying for the spreading of help by showing love through encouragement and forgiveness. Otherwise our Bible would not place Jehovah God on the other side of the equal sign from love.
In other words, God is love in its purist form. Hate is the devil’s territory and an amplifier used by those desperate souls who know down deep just where they are headed so they want to step on the heads of others to make themselves not look so puny and pitiful. This is not picking on anyone. Before accepting the salvation of Jesus Christ, we all looked puny and pitiful.
We all needed forgiveness and most everyone around us knew it – except us. The unsaved man or woman, thinking they do not need forgiveness and salvation, is on slippery ice and they know it.
Many try and tell you eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may be in a front seat in hell!
Unfortunately, this toast comes true for the unsaved who stay that way. But it does not have to come true for you. Have a little talk with Jesus before it is too late. Read Romans 8 and open your heart to the forgiveness that Jehovah God offers.
Here is the deal. I have known for many years my Christian Bible directs me to respect the decisions God has for me over my own judgment. But knowing it in your head and moving that knowledge to your heart is not always easy.
Even so, if you are going to grow in your Christian walk, you, like me, must learn to follow the directions of Jesus Christ and respect where He has landed you rather than complain about it.
It has finally clicked in my brain that I need to not only know it is wrong to complain, but that it is now time in my walk with Christ to actually stop complaining and hold my peace. Perhaps this means I can now be a more effective servant in the high calling of the Great Commission.
I think of the apostle Paul singing in jail(3). It would probably have been easier to sit there complaining to God about the fix he found himself in.
I mean Paul was doing all he could to promote the Great Commission and yet the Great I Am allowed him to be arrested over and over again. This sounds to my human spirit like an objection was surely merited.
Yet Paul sang Christian hymns and created prison converts instead. It is always our best choice to show God respect, even when things look bleak. That same Paul has been the crux of many sermons that have told humanity to be thankful in the good times as well as the bad.
I caught a sermon on television today where a minister said he is convinced a person going through a good time in life probably needs more prayer than the fellow with the flat tire on the side of the road who just realized he has no spare. In other words, if you are flying high, it is easy to take credit for your own success and put a chip on your shoulder. This presents an excellent opportunity for Satan to knock it off.
The key here is to stay humble and to respect the will of Jehovah God. If you have accepted the salvation of Jesus Christ, and are seeking His will for your day to day life, trust is also a key.
If you best friend tells you to wait an hour before you leave for an appointment, you might be wise to consider the motion and be grateful. That same best friend might have heard on his scanner about a traffic jam that needs time to clear out.
Even though Jehovah God does not always let us know if our plans would head us into a wreck or traffic jam, the change in plans that He brings to our lives should cause us to have a moment of silent prayer to thank Him for His mercy and never dying love instead of letting pride ruin the occasion.
Self control in such a situation is a sign that wisdom is taking precedent over doing the complaining that comes naturally when we find out our original plans are toast.
And showing respect to God when you think His directions are crazy does something else. It gives you time to think of all of the times the directions and guidance you have received from Jesus Christ through prayer or Bible study have been your shield from harm’s way.
Oh boy is this sermon hitting home. My best friend Mike used to say that I complained more than an old lady who had just come home to find her kitchen a mess and muddy foot prints all over her kitchen floor! Shamefully, I must admit Mike was right. Growing up has been a slow process for this half-breed Cherokee. Perhaps my awakening will help you in your quest for happiness if you too have been known to complain and remain.
Probably the best Christian Bible based example of disrespect for God is the Israelites on their way to the promised land. They took 40 years to make a 40-day journey because of not trusting Jehovah God. God provided fresh manna (bread) from heaven every day and they complained about the menu. They told Moses he should have left them in Egypt because they were too impatient to accept the hardships they had to endure. God let them complain, get angry and wander around. Finally, after 40 years, the faith of those people turned their attitude to gratitude and the promised land was entered.
Even Moses got discouraged during the journey and had a bit of a fit so God let him stay among the remaining complainers but also gave him the understanding that the grateful folks were about to be blessed and highly favored.
I love that expression, blessed and highly favored. If I can remember to start thanking God, especially when things seem to be turning sour, I have faith that He will bless me with favor even in the toughest situations.
Many of you reading this sermon may be thinking, this business of exchanging complaining for a grateful heart in all circumstances sounds great, but it sure seems like a fantasy when you are facing a divorce, a foreclosure, your business going belly up or you lose your job.
My answer to that is simple. If you are anything like me, you have taken the devil up on his offer to spout off complaints during hard times more often than not. Why not join me in trying this thankfulness thing? It is not only Biblical, it will give both of us something different to do.
And as popular psychologists say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I personally am thankful that God’s guidance and direction has allowed me to write you this sermon and make such a suggestion for change.
Biblical scholars tell us faith in Jehovah God, and trust in Him, produces positive change. Being thankful, really thankful, down deep in your heart, when your car just caught on fire, is hard. But that car is done for anyway so why whine about something out of your control? Just be thankful you had wheels when you did.
SCRIPTURES
1) GOD’S WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR WAYS – Isaiah 55:9 King James Version (KJV)
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
2) JESUS SAID NOT TO TRY AND REMOVE A SPLINTER FOR YOUR BROTHER’S EYE IF YOU HAVE A LOG IN YOUR OWN – Matthew 7:1-8 King James Version (KJV) 7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
3) PAUL SINGING IN JAIL AND THE DOORS OPENED – Acts 16:25-40 King James Version (KJV) 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. 35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.
37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. 38 And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.
39 And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. 40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

Waiting on God
can be difficult
By JOHN NELSON
Tailgate News Editor
Sometimes the only thing a person has is faith in the Biblical proclamation that this too shall pass. If that is you, read on.
I am a Christian, that is to say I accepted the salvation offered by Jesus Christ at age 15. I am also, as the Apostle Paul said in our New Testament, the king of sin. If any of them got missed, it was by the grace of God. I have asked forgiveness and stood on the promise that whosoever will can accept Jesus Christ as a pardon and have his or her name placed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
In recent years, I have been very diligent in my attempts to overcome my sinful thoughts and actions. That is my story and that is all I know. If a man like me can begin to feel like Jesus Christ really does love him and that there is hope for a much better future than I had in my past, then you also have a chance for the same.
The title of this week’s sermon is “Waiting on God can be difficult.” I believe when the waiting is over that Godly action will arrive for me and for you and probably sneak up on us like a friend coming out of the rain who you never expected to see again. I am an educated fool, as the old saying goes. I have a college degree and nearly all A’s and B’s in my academic career, although I graduated college many years ago. I understand how to put out a publication, how to produce it and how to sell the advertisements necessary. But here lately, I have let distractions stop me from doing efficiently what I know to do.
Perhaps the devil has given you the honor of distractions as well. Prayer is the answer. When you have a hurt leg, you pray and God will bring the healing if you but have faith. When you have a hurting heart and soul, you can expect the same comfort and healing from the Lord – in His time of course. Pray to Jesus Christ for some relief and it is bound to come. They tell me it is always darkest before the dawn.
Maybe it is also darkest before God can get a man or a woman ready for action as an advocate of the Great Commission – in whatever way his or her talents bend that person to do. That is what this 57-year-old is counting on; that Jehovah God’s time for the pendulum to swing up in my life is just around the corner. I have been told that those who do not give up on a goal to glorify the Great I Am will one day see that goal turn to reality. This too, is something I am counting on.
I caught a sermon on a Christian television station out of Little Rock recently and the preacher had this to say. He said he looked around at the crowd of highly productive and successful ministries during an evangelical convention and thought about the path they had taken to get to where they were.
The preacher said it had not always been easy for him and it seemed like the higher God places a Christian soldier, the more hell on earth he or she must endure to achieve success. The path to serve the Great I Am has never been an easy one. So if you are going through an especially hard season in your life, take comfort. Perhaps God believes you are good material to promote His kingdom – so good you are worth His time to chip off the rough edges.
Moses killed a man. Then he ran to the desert and started a new life. But he wanted better for the Israelites than bondage to the Egyptians, which was what drove him to kill (1). God never forgot the desire of Moses to help His chosen people – that is the Jews. The Word of God tells us that what Jehovah God will do for one, He will do for all.
If you are saved and discouraged, this message might give you some hope. Let’s consider King David, hiding in a cave because Saul wanted to kill him (2). I am sure the man of God had to be discouraged at that point in his life. Who needs the agony of being hunted?
Or let’s speed up a bit and go to the New Testament. Can you imagine how St. Peter felt when the cock crowed three times and the prediction of Jesus Christ had come through and he, Peter, the alleged brave disciple, had denied even knowing our Lord and Savior three times (3)? Peter wept and went on. So did David. Neither man let their circumstances stop them from doing what they could to represent the Kingdom of God.
Some of us are like that. We have no quit switch, so to speak. I have always been very grateful to the Great I Am for not installing one on me when it comes to my desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in hopes someone reads one of these sermons and accepts salvation.
If you have not ever asked Jesus Christ to come into your heart and save you from your just rewards in hell from your sin, now is the time to do so. It is a personal matter. Nobody can do it for you. You have to humble yourself enough to ask the Lord to forgive you of your sins, all of them – past, present and future. You have to forgive yourself and you have to believe in the power of the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and accept His pure blood sacrifice on the cross. Plus you have to believe in the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus, that is that He rose from the dead after three days in a tomb.
Historically, in the modern world, one can find much more proof on the Internet that all of this really happened than it did not. We find Biblically that at least 500 living human beings saw Jesus Christ walking around, living and breathing, after the Romans declared Him dead and buried him for three days.
After stirring up hope inside of yourself, accepting the gift of salvation from Jesus becomes a choice. If you do get saved, life changes. Eventually, you realize how much better the Lord is at making decisions for your life than you are. You, as I continue to do, take on the task of overcoming your sins and living to enjoy the company of the Spirit of Jesus Christ and the comfort of the grace of God – knowing that you know that your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your soul will find its home in heaven one day, when your journey is over and your life on planet earth becomes a closed book.
But what about in the mean time? What about when the chips are down and you see no way out of any given horrible situation you may find yourself in on this planet? The Bible says that we are strongest when we are weakest because of the added strength that the Spirit of Jesus Christ will give a humble and down trodden soul. So reach out for His hand. Jesus says to take his yoke, for His burden is easy compared to the weight of the secular world. For example, thanking Jesus Christ for the many blessing you have had in life does not lead to suicidal thoughts like entertaining the idea of how badly you have missed the mark of being the man or the woman you should be…
Our minister, Andrew Goodwin, at the First Assembly of God, said in a recent sermon that pain is real no matter what you do in life. But the pain of striving to be disciplined in the walk you know in your heart God wants to you take is much less than the pain of regret for living a sloppy Christian life without any effort to change.
I agree with that. I have tried it both ways and the striving hurts less. The Bible calls it putting oneself on the potter’s wheel for a more precise Christ-like walk and the earning of blessing while you are still on earth instead of suffering from earthly curses for allowing sin to run wild in your life.
But let’s stop with the Biblical examples for a moment and talk about every day life. Your finances are a mess. Your marriage is in trouble. Your career or job did not turn out like you planned. A loved one died. Or maybe you are just lonely, even in a crowd of smiling faces, for some more good times in the midst of the harsh world of responsibilities you find yourself saddled with on too many days.
There are any number of reasons to feel down and out. But there is but one way to get out of that mood that I know of; thank Jehovah God for everything good that you can think of that you know He allowed to come into your life. Then ask the Lord to guide you and direct you into what He would have you do next.
The Bible says we are to thank Jehovah God for all things. If your car payment is over due, it is very hard to thank the Creator for that fact – regardless of whether the financial chaos is your own fault. So my advice is to count your blessings, realize life could be much worse than it is and realize God must surely love you or you would have had no such blessings and abundant living evidence in your life in the first place.
Life is definitely too short to worry about circumstances that seem terrible at the time. And the more times you ask Jehovah God for His guidance and direction in your life and follow His lead, the less suffering will befall you. As another friend of mine used to say, if you put enough clear water in a murky glass of water, sooner or later the water in that glass will clear up.
Moreover, once you have really taken a good hard look at all of the times God has kept His word and brought you through the storms of life to a time of rest and/or post accomplishment good times, it will not be nearly as impossible to go ahead and thank Him for all the bad times/character building experiences that seemed like dream killers but ended up being dream enhancers.
My work car started acting up Friday night when I needed to be at an out-of-town football game to shoot photos of a homecoming. After screaming at Jehovah God as to how unfair this was, I repented of my disrespect and went on to our home town football game. I ended up getting an award shot I would have totally missed if that car had been working right. My point is God knows what is over the horizon, whereas we do not…
Once you have gone through a complete thankfulness list, you will find your productivity returning and your ability to get done what you believe the good Lord would have you to do once again in place. Remember, good times or bad times really do come to pass.
My father the doctor had a saying about that. He said son, when things go bad, cheer up. They might even get worse… Then after a time things will get better. Life, he said, is a roller coaster. It is not our job to complain but simply to hang on and enjoy the ride. Amen Dr. John W. Nelson, amen. And this direction is much easier if you have given Jehovah God and His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the keys to your roller coaster.
SCRIPTURES
1) MOSES KILLS THE EGYPTIAN – Exodus 2:11-15 King James Version (KJV) 11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.
12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?
14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
2) DAVID HIDES FROM SAUL – 1 Samuel 24:1-10 King James Version (KJV) 24 And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.
2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. 3 And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
4 And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily.
5 And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. 6 And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.
7 So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way 8 David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
9 And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?
10 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord’s anointed.
3) PETER DENIES CHRIST THREE TIMES – Luke 22:54-62 King James Version (KJV) 54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.
55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. 58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. 59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. 61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
Editor’s Note: Peter did not stop with his weeping. He gathered his nerve and earned his place in eternity as a judge of one of the 12 tribes of Israel.
Acts 4:1-10 King James Version (KJV) 4 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.