“Praying in the Spirit”: Excerpts from Francis Chan at the BCP&L

“Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 (CSB)

We have to pray for all the saints. The entire body of Christ. Each and every church. The brothers and sisters that sit next to you or are scattered abroad throughout the whole earth. Often we lack kingdom mindedness and just pray for me, me, me!


It can feel impossible to lead people. We need to stop comparing and start praying for each other.

We should tremble at God’s Word when it says, “Stay alert with all perseverance.” “A person should think of us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of the mysteries of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1 (CSB) Are we still amazed by the mystery of God being manifested through us?

Finally, come on guys. FINALLY! Get with it. Lets do this. Be strong. Use God’s strength. In our flesh we are useless. In the Spirit we can be dangerously powerful. Power is gained by praying in the Spirit.

“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength.” Ephesians 6:10 (CSB)

“Walking By the Spirit”: Excerpts from Kevin DeYoung at the BCP&L

“I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”  Galatians 5:16-18 (CSB)

We all have desires that we are not to pursue and do. In order to over come these desires we must utilize the work of the Spirit in our lives. We are to, walk by the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, live by the Spirit, and keep in step with the Spirit.

Our personality type is not an excuse for failing in this endeavor. And how do we know we are walking by the Spirit? Our actions will be marked by the fruit of the Spirit. If not those action will be marked by the things of the flesh.

We are warned about the flesh life. You do not see God unless you are growing in holiness. Good works by believers can be done even if they are not perfect. True Christians do not give up on righteousness. True believers don’t keep on sinning.

The Spirit helps us by showing us five things:        IMG_2786

  1. The Spirit shows us the nature of sin. Our morals reflect what we believe about sin.
  2. The Spirit shows us the origin of sin. Sin is not a little thing. It is what the Devil does. Do you practice righteousness or sin? When we sin we are only continuing the Devil’s work.
  3. The Spirit shows us the person of Christ. We need to know Christ and what He does. Be who you are in Christ. Grow in to who you are. You will get there.
  4. The Spirit shows us the work of Christ. The Devil is for sin. Christ is for salvation.
  5. The Spirit shows us the new birth. The giving of the seed. A new nature, principle, and power is at work to transform us. You are not the same person you were.

Give people hard truths and give them hope. Make them know what is at stake. Warning people of great sin is a sign of great love!

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25 (CSB)

“Seeking the Spirit”–Excerpts from Pastor John Piper at the BCP&L

“you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”1 Peter 4:14 (CSB)

In times of difficulty and trial will I turn against God in anger or praise Him with joy. In this hour the critical question on our mind always becomes, “Where is God?”

Seven things to remember that the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God does.

  1. He is the Spirit of truth and He will bring to mind what ever you need for theIMG_2779 2 time. He will give you the measure of truth that you need to be faithful.
  2. The goal of the Spirit is to bring and to expose the beauty of Jesus Christ.
  3. The Spirit rests upon us to sustain the love of Christ.
  4. He causes us to feel that the glory we are losing isn’t worth keeping. The glory that we are gaining is worth infinitely more. A taste of eternal glory will come.
  5. In the hour of doubt the Spirit will give you preservation from faith destroying doubt.
  6. The Spirit will bring to mind the things to say to those around you. If you need to say nothing that will be His prompting.
  7. In your hour of trial the Spirit will give you Himself, the Father, and the Son.

Be filled with the Spirit. God wants you to be.

Meditate on what God has said in His Spirit filled scriptures. Believe what you hear and read in the word. Really believe it! Hold Fast in obedience to what you have heard and believed. In all your meditating, believing, and holding fast, desire all that God is for you. Thirst for God.

Prayer: Lord give me a deeper relationship with the Spirit.

“And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18 (CSB)

Bethlehem Conference for Pastors and Leaders: Olivia, Riddley, and I

Tomorrow Olivia, Riddley, and I will be heading to Minneapolis on the annual trek to the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors and Leaders. It will be my 13th year in a row. I am always excited about what God will do as a result of these three days.

IMG_2769This years speakers include Francis Chan, Kevin DeYoung, Miguel Nunez, Sam Storms, Jason Meyer, and of course John Piper. The theme is, “Gospel Power: The Christ-Exalting Work of the Holy Spirit.”

As usual it will be deep in spiritual growth, worship, networking, and learning how we all work together for the gospel to be spread with a joy and passion for all people.  I will be writing here on my blog three times during the conference. Tomorrow night, Tuesday afternoon, and Tuesday night. Thursday after I return home I will give a summary blog of the conference.

In the meantime please pray for safe travels, an open and soft heart to what the Holy Spirit has for me, and a refreshing time of worship and fellowship with like minded believers. AMEN!!

God’s Word in Our Hearts Will Guide Us Through This World of Strife

“Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers”.                      –Psalms 1:2-3 (CSB)

The current state of our world is in constant upheaval. Fighting, sexual perversion and harassment, world powers taunting each other, folks on Twitter and Facebook toying with each others feelings and desires, churches and church members doing whatever they can to one up each other. Its crazy, its disturbing, its disgusting, but most of all its blowing our faith to pieces.

We must all take a strong look at ourselves and stabilize our foundation. In some cases we will need to rebuild our foundation. The foundation of our faith. The foundation that puts Jesus Christ as the cornerstone and keep Him there.

How can this be done? One very simple answer. By relearning, or in some cases just learning, how to follow God by meditating on His Word. Its hard work but it will be worth it for the peace, joy, and understanding that comes from knowing the Bible. Spend time reading the Bible and thinking about what you have reaIMG_2737d. It will cause you to ask yourself tough questions in regard to how you are living your life. It will reveal how you should change and live as God wants you to live. Knowing and thinking about God’s Word is the first step toward applying its principles to your everyday life. In order to rebuild and shore up the foundation and be able to follow God more closely you must know what the Bible says.

The more we know God’s Word the more resources we will have at our disposal to make wise, Biblical decisions and walk in a manner worthy of His calling. The more we come delighting in obedience to God and the Bible the more peace and joy we will experience in our lives.

Trust me there will be days of failure and difficulty but when you know God’s Word those days will be much easier to navigate. When we apply God’s wisdom to those difficulties the result will be good fruit. The fruit of the joy and peace that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.

Just as a tree soaks up water and bears much fruit, we are to soak up God’s Word. When we soak it up and apply it to our lives then we will produce actions and attitudes that honor God and can be world changing.

“I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” –Psalms 119:14-16 (CSB)




Walking this life

we will encounter great strife

Around every bend

could be the ultimate end

Reaching for hope

allows us to cope

Turning to the word

we can wield a sure sword

Inflicting the enemy

with wounds for the world to see

Making clear the path

that we might avoid His wrath

Expecting to move toward

His loving grace and future reward

—Timothy W. Ketcham, December, 27, 2017

What is Christmas? Jesus Your Savior Born This Day!

“Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” –Luke 2:7 (CSB)

May we be able to recognize Christmas for what it truly is. The birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Our first picture of Jesus is as a baby in a manger. His family forced to stay in a stable, or perhaps a cave that served as a stable, because there was no other room available for them in Bethlehem. I am sure it was dark and dirty and not what we would expect as the birthplace of the Messiah. But God by His own choosing, in our sin darkened and dirty world chose this humble place, a stable, dark and dirty, with a small wooden manger as the place where the Savior of the world would be born.

IMG_2726.jpgOur first picture of Jesus in this place, a stable, lying in a manger must not be our last picture.  We must not leave Him there. This tiny, helpless baby Jesus came and lived an amazing life, died for our sins, rose on the third day, and is now preparing a place for us to one day reign with Him. One day He will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The greatest event in history had just happened. The Messiah had been born! The good news about Jesus is that anyone can accept Him as their Savior. You don’t have to be anybody special. Rich, poor, tall, short, beggars, rebels, prodigals, humble, weak, misfit heroes, sinners just like me, anyone can receive Jesus. You see we are all really just beggars in the presence of the King. But if we will humble our hearts, confess and repent of our sin and turn to Him in faith, believing that He is the Savior, our lives will be changed forever. Whoever you are and whatever you do, you can have Jesus in your life.

“Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” –Luke 2:11 (CSB)