Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ministry Update & Season's Greetings!

It has been a very long time since we have sent a newsletter from the foreign mission field. However, it is a great season to do so!

First of all, we want to send love and prayers for a blessed and prosperous Christmas and New Year to all who are reading this. You are in our hearts, and we think of you often.

You are no doubt aware of the fact that Vickie, Zachariah, and I have been living and working in the Dominican Republic. We love living in the DR! It is hard to believe that we have actually been here for 1½ years already. At the first of the year, we will begin taking language classes on a more consistent basis. For those of you who may think the Goodman family moved to the Dominican Republic to retire, please consider this: we are NOT retired; we are REFIRED!

We truly appreciate the love and support that is received from individuals and churches across the continents. Together, we are making a difference and seeing lives changed for the glory of God. Here is a small synopsis of the various areas of ministry in which we’ve been involved to include future plans.

Oceanside Christian Fellowship (OCF)
The church that we planted one year ago in Sosua, Dominican Republic, is doing quite well. The congregation includes folks from a variety of countries and backgrounds. This is an English-speaking group comprised of missionaries, ex-pats, and locals who have been here for years. It is a great blessing to provide a place of ministry, teaching, and fellowship for those who are serving on the frontlines in the field and the marketplace.

Local Outreach
We are becoming more and more involved with street outreach in the Sosua area; this includes prayer walking as well as one-on-one evangelism. As local Dominicans come to Christ, we make every effort to get them connected to a local fellowship where they can continue to grow.

We also started going to a Police Station in our area a few months ago. A dear friend had received dreams of simply handing out bread to offenders. As she shared this with Vickie, she was encouraged to be obedient as it sounded like a “God thing.” However, our friend was uneasy about undertaking this task by herself, and as a result, we told her we would go as well. This was the start of a great experience as we now take part every week and pass out doughnuts, coffee, and prayer to those who want it. The Commandant of Police has invited us to share and pray with the officers regularly. Things are changing in this town!

For years, many Dominicans have regarded Sosua as a “cesspool.” The sex trade is very prevalent as prostitution and debauchery are seen in the streets. However, through prayer and demonstrating the love of Christ, the situation is visibly transforming!

Ministry Training School (MTS)
MTS has been conducted at OceanSide for just about a year now. We average twenty or more participants each term. At present, this is for those who speak English and plans call for extending the program. You might be surprised if you knew how many folks enter the mission field with very little biblical training. Just like I did so many years ago, they simply stepped out in faith and obedience and went to a foreign land to serve God. MTS provides an opportunity to receive solid teaching while serving and working here. Those of you who have taken the course are aware of the benefits this provides.

We are also very excited that our Ministry Training School curriculum is being translated into yet another language! The people in the Philippines will soon have MTS in their own tongue, Tagalog. God is truly using this material as a discipleship tool, and we are so honored to simply be a part of what He is doing.

Cliffdale Christian Center (CCC)
As you may well know, I am now considered Pastor Emeritus of Cliffdale Christian Center, and our son, Joshua, is doing a fine job leading as Senior Pastor! It is very fulfilling to see God at work in that local body and how Cliffdale continues to be such a beacon of light and hope to so many. Vickie and I thank the Lord for the legacy of leadership that He has allowed.

Vision for the Future
In regard to the future, we have been praying about our ministry goals. This includes an INTERNSHIP PROGRAM for those who feel that they may be called to serve anywhere in the world. At present, we are considering various options and facilities to house the base of operations.

Students would be taught during morning sessions and have opportunity to connect with local mission organizations during the afternoon and evening. GTO is in relationship with a multitude of missionaries who are involved with various ministries to include: community development, children’s outreach, feeding programs, evangelism, etc.

Vickie and I have well over fifty years of combined ministry experience and feel a responsibility to make all of this available to anyone who might be interested. We would like to hear from you as soon as possible if you think that this might be something in which you’d want to be a part.

As you can see, we are still busy about the Father’s business! Again, we want to express our heart-felt appreciation to those who support us through prayer and financial partnership.

All financial support can be sent to our stateside address or donated online through Gospel Team Outreach and is tax-deductible per IRS code.

Gospel Team Outreach International Ministries (or) GTO
PO Box 25355
Fayetteville, NC 28314

May God continue to abundantly bless each of you!

Grace & Peace,
The Goodman Family
3 John 2

Friday, December 6, 2013

Suddenlies (Digging Ditches, Part 4)

Last week we left off with the “call to dig ditches”; today we are picking up with what happens when we dig. I believe you’ll find encouragement in this message! Please read the portion below from 2 Kings 3.

And he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ 17 For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’

18 And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand. 19 Also you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall cut down every good tree, and stop up every spring of water, and ruin every good piece of land with stones.”

20 Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water.

Can you say, “suddenly”? You know, there are many “suddenlies” in Scripture, but every one of them is preceded by something. These apparent “suddenlies” don’t just happen out of the blue. Think of: “Suddenly on the Day of Pentecost.” “Suddenly they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues.” There was something that preceded the suddenly.

God loves to involve man in His miracle-working process on earth. Man is an instrument. We are part of the enterprise; we are God’s entrepreneurs. We are the ones whom God has put here to manage, oversee, and take risks in order to conduct a successful work here on the earth for the Kingdom and glory of God! God has called you to this endeavor, be it business or ministry . . . guess what? They’re one and the same. Every business has ministry implications, and every ministry has business implications. If you don’t believe me, ask anybody who runs a ministry, and they’ll tell you that there are business aspects to it. Ask anybody who owns a business if there are opportunities for ministry, and you’ll get the same answer. God calls us to be part of this enterprise. There is something for us to do that precedes the suddenly of God. What was it that God told the people to do before the suddenly occurred?

In this case, we’re talking about digging ditches in the middle of the desert! That’s kind of like building an ark and nobody even knows what rain is yet. Why would anybody dig ditches in the middle of the desert? Well, the best reason I can come up with is because God said, “Do it!” That should be all the reason we need. If God said to do it, then He is up to something, and we should do it because He is about to suddenly do something. The Word of the Lord said they weren’t going to see the wind or rain, but that the ditches were going to be filled with enough water so that their armies and livestock would be satisfied. Suddenly, water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with it.

I’m telling you, I’ve been to this part of the world, and it has some of the most dry, barren land you’ve ever seen. There are small riverbeds (wadies), but they are totally dried out. They don’t get but only a few inches of rain a year, and oftentimes it will come all at once. The water comes running through very quickly, and they tend to dry up just as fast. A lot of times the water is captured and held under the surface. There’s a high level of calcium in the soil, and it will solidify and actually capture the water under the ground. Suddenly, the water comes, and the wadi is filled, and the ditches that the armies have dug out are brimming with water.

20 Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water. 21 And when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to bear arms and older were gathered; and they stood at the border.

Here we find the Moabites standing at the border of Edom and Moab. There is a river that is at the ancient border. On that particular occasion, the river had become so full that the overflow ran into the ditches that the Lord had told them to dig.

The Moabite leaders were standing at the borders looking out, and they saw a peculiar sight. They saw that the entire area was filled with water that the sun was shining on, and it appeared to be blood. As a result, they assumed that their attackers had actually turned the sword on one another. So the Moabite leaders said, “Look, the Israelites that were on their way to attack us have turned the sword on each other. Let’s go and take the spoils of their battle.”

When they got down there, they found that the Israelite army was preparing for warfare! The Israelites began to kick tail and destroy the Moabite army (who at that point had been taken by surprise and started to run). They began fleeing back to Moab with the army of God chasing them. The Israelites were on the verge of taking their city and laying siege to it, and the Moabites and their king were under great distress! He didn’t know what to do.

The King of the Moabites took his son up on the city wall and offered him to Chemosh, the pagan god. He killed his son in plain view for all to see. This act incited the army of the Moabites who retaliated against the Israelites with a surge of indignation. The Israelites chose to call off the whole siege of the city and go back to their homeland.

There are some lessons in this story for us:

1) It’s always best to consult the Lord before we launch the attack. This is how we guarantee success, and the victory will come as long as we act according to His will.

2) We see the value of teamwork. Israel and Judah weren’t exactly getting along back in those days, and they certainly were not getting along with the Edomites. In fact, there had been recent war between Edom and Judah, but they solicited the partnership of others in order to destroy a common enemy. So there’s value in partnership, just know with whom you’re partnering.

3) Don’t wait to get into trouble before consulting the Lord. Now, we can do that, but there is an easier way. You’ve heard me say it many times. A whole lot of problems could be avoided if we consulted the Lord before we experienced the difficulty. Our natural human tendency is to wait for the problem to come, and then we get real spiritual and cry out to God.

A lot of our problems are self-imposed and self-inflicted. We never consulted God whether we should do it; we just did it! Why? Because it made sense to us. Many times we just don’t want to do it if it doesn’t make sense. I say these words to my wife a lot, “You know, it just doesn’t make sense to me; if I could just understand.” When we do get into trouble, it’s okay to consult the Lord. “Is there not a true prophet that we can go to?” Then what did the prophet say? “Bring me a musician.”

Sometimes we need to calm ourselves. We get all wrapped up in the problem and stay in turmoil. There are times we go to sleep in turmoil. We wake up thinking about the same problem and are still in turmoil. We’re being driven by circumstances and not being led by the Spirit of the Lord.

“For the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” What’s going on inside of us can be a good standard by which we can judge our state of affairs. If you don’t have peace, I suggest you stop until you get some! STOP, just STOP! We have a hard time stopping. We think the more we go . . . STOP! Elisha said, “Bring me a musician.” He was obviously troubled in his own soul, and he wanted to be certain that he heard the Word of the Lord. So the musician came and played, and the prophet discerned a Word from the Lord that was totally contrary to human logic: dig ditches in the middle of the desert.

Maybe God has brought you to a place of digging ditches in the middle of the desert. I can think of no tougher place to do so than the south end of the Dead Sea! That ground is hard, it’s hot, it’s rocky, it’s dusty, it’s dirty. I’m sure some of those soldiers were thinking, “What in the name of Jehovah God are we doing digging ditches in the middle of this God-forsaken desert?”

So if God’s called you to dig ditches, bless God, be the best ditch digger you can be and maintain a Christ-like attitude! Digging the ditch means one thing . . . there’s a miracle coming! If you’ll just dig the ditch, your suddenly will come upon you. You probably won’t see or hear it approaching, but suddenly that water will come down and fill those ditches, and you’ll be filled with fresh life! Don’t worry about where it’s going to come from or when it’s going to get here, just dig the ditch! Don’t ask why. Dig the ditch. “Why”? “Because God said so!” “DIG”! “How deep”? “Don’t worry about it, just keep digging.” “How wide”? “Just DIG THE DITCH”! We want to ask a thousand questions. Simply take the shovel in your hand and dig the ditch, because digging it can only mean that God’s going to send the rain. He’s going to send the water! In that water you will find provision, and you’ll find new life.

Grace and peace,

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Digging Ditches, Part 3

Greetings from the harvest field! I’ve had the distinct blessing of ministering in several churches in Puerto Rico this past week. The Lord truly blessed us with His presence and several visible miracles. I am very glad to report that the fire of God is permeating the land and people of this lovely place!

“Digging Ditches” has been the subject we’ve been dealing with in the last few articles. Please see Parts 1 and 2 if you’ve missed any portion of this series. We’ll pick up with 2 Kings 3:14.

14 And Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.”

Note that he’s talking to the king! Did you ever wonder what you’d say if you were in the presence of a king? There was Elisha, the prophet/man of God, and he looked at the King of Israel and was like, “You know what? If it weren’t for the King of Judah (Jehoshaphat), I wouldn’t even look at you. I would totally ignore you. You would not even be here.” Look at what was said next in 2 Kings 3:15.

15 “But now bring me a musician.”

This is important. Even prophets need to calm their souls once in a while as they can get wound up pretty tight. If you read the preceding chapter, you’ll find out that Elisha had just taken part in an altercation before this happened. Then here came “We Three Kings,” and they wanted the Word of the Lord. Elisha saw the son of Ahab and Jezebel coming to inquire of him, and he seemed to be a bit stirred up. Let’s look at the last part of verse 15.

“Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.”

There is a God-ordained connection between music and the calming of the soul. Now, I’m not talking about Led Zepplin and Metallica! I’m talking about calming and soaking music. People have asked me, “Why do you soak?” I do so because it has a calming effect, and it puts me in a position/posture to hear more clearly from the Lord!

Elisha knew that he dared not speak forth the Word of Lord without knowing that he had received the Word of the Lord! The first thing the prophet needed to do was to get his soul calmed down. Do you know that one of the best things we can do is to quiet our soul? We think we’re hearing from God, and oftentimes, we haven’t even consulted Him! We assume we’re being led of the Spirit! So when things go wrong, our immediate reaction is to blame God! “Well, God brought us here.” Did He? Did God call you to that endeavor? “Well, the Lord put the two of us together!” Did He? Oftentimes we do not consult the Lord or seek to discern His will until we’re neck deep in a problem, and then suddenly we’re humbled and come on bended knee to inquire of the Lord.

So the prophet understands the value of calming his soul in order to hear the Word of the Lord! We need the Word of the Lord. So often we go consult others to give us His Word. Nothing wrong with that . . . sometimes people will come to me for advice and say, “I need you to pray about this and let me know what you feel God is saying.” Quite often the counsel I give is, “You need to go quiet yourself, seek the Lord, and see what He has to say about this, and HE will give YOU the answer.” It is not for me to answer all of your questions. I don’t have all the answers. Many times, Jesus won’t give the answer! I believe I’ve made this statement before: if you study the life and ministry of Jesus, you’ll see that He responds with many more questions than He does answers! A lot of times, He’s really giving the answer in the form of a question because He wants us to look within ourselves. Let’s continue with verse 16.

16 And he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’"

We need to understand something about the geography in the region to which we referred. It was a very dry, barren land, particularly around the south side of the Dead Sea (it still is today). It’s very dry and has many craggy rocks . . . quite rough terrain. The man of God said, “Make this valley full of ditches.” This was a very difficult task.

I’ve named this series, “Digging Ditches,” and I believe it’s very relative for us today. Oftentimes God brings us to a place of digging ditches. I don’t know how many of you have ever been involved with digging literal ditches. When I was a young man, I did all kinds of labor in the hot Florida sun to include everything from digging, to roofing, to building tennis courts. I labored! When I was a young man, I WORKED HARD! If some of you wonder why I don’t work so hard anymore, I WORKED HARD when I was young. I remember living in a place called “Weeki Wachee, Florida.” I assisted with putting in the new water and sewer lines. There was a whole lot of ditch digging, and it was DIRTY work!

When it comes to digging ditches, I don’t care if we’re talking about digging physically, digging spiritually, or digging from a business perspective, there’s a reason for digging them! It just may be the Lord Who calls you to that place. Don’t despise the day of ditch digging; it is preparation for something! You can’t expect a miracle if you won’t dig the ditch. The ditch digging precedes the miracle!

Now that I have whetted your interest, next week we’ll find out what happens when we begin to dig!

Thank you so much for keeping our family lifted up in prayer as we seek to accomplish all that the Lord is directing and guiding us to do in Dominican Republic and elsewhere.

Grace and peace,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Digging Ditches, Part 2

Hello! We’re just coming from a weekend of great ministry here at OceanSide! My wife gave a powerful word to the ladies on Saturday, and the men had an opportunity to serve those wonderful women that God gave us! It’s such a great privilege to be where God has placed us, and we don’t take it lightly.
In the last blog, we were talking about the Israelites and how they were experiencing trouble in the midst of their journey, and as a result, concluded that it was “God’s doing.” Let’s pick up right where we left off . . .
Jehoshaphat—remember, he’s the King of Judah—said in 2 Kings 3:11: “Is there no prophet of the Lord here whom we may inquire of the Lord by him?” Things got tough, and finally someone said, “Let’s inquire of the Lord.” It’s amazing how often we wait for problems to get so big that we can’t handle them and then we turn to God to see what He thinks about them. Is anybody listening to me? Nobody consulted of the Lord before they even embarked on this whole journey!
Nobody asked the Lord which route they should take. Nobody asked the Lord if they should even attack the Moabites. God was not consulted until the going got tough, and then suddenly they fell on their knees, got all spiritual, and cried out to God. They probably sounded something like this: “Oh God, what would Thou havest me to do? Here I am, your humble, broken servant.” Hello? Why do we wait for the going to get tough before we go to God when He’s always there and willing to be consulted?
So one of the servants of the king of Israel answered and said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.”
I read that and said, “Goooolly (spoken like Gomer Pyle), well, lookie there! Elisha just ‘happened’ to be there!” What do you make of that? Talk about spiritual kingdom coincidence! Elisha could have been in one of ten thousand places, yet there he was in the middle of nowhere just waiting for somebody to come and consult the Word of the Lord.
Prophets have an uncanny way of being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes I wonder, “What has happened to the true prophets?” You know, I remember being around prophets thirty years ago, and it made me nervous. I didn’t like being around them. Nowadays, everybody is a prophet. If it isn’t a “good word,” then it isn’t deemed a Word of the Lord.
We tend to be like the Israelite king and say, “Oh, I don’t like that prophet because all he ever does is speak bad things to me. I like prophets who say good things.” Today, the world is full of prophets who have nothing but goooood things to say: “Oh, God loves you and wants to bless you, and He is giving to you and pouring out, etc.” Whatever happened to, “Turn from thy sin, and the Lord will bless you.” When I used to be around some of those prophets from back in the day, I always thought they knew things about me that I didn’t want anybody to know. Come on, you act like you’ve never had anything in your life that you didn’t want anybody else to know! We all have had things that make us think, “Hmmm, I wonder if he’s going to be reading my mail; I’d better repent before I go have lunch with this guy.” Anyway, enough about prophets, and I’m not saying that they can’t prophesy good words. I’m just saying that it seems like all we hear from these days are what I call, “Pop Culture Prophets.” There are far too many of them on the scene today.
12 And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13 Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.”
See, this is what I’m talking about: the prophet looked right at the King of Israel and said, “What do I have to do with you?” He then sneers at him and treats him with a level of disdain. Elisha says, “Go the prophets of your father and mother.” Anybody know who his mother was? The king’s mother was Jezebel! At this point, she was still alive and continued to be so throughout this guy’s entire reign. 
But the king of Israel said to him, “No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”
Do you know that sometimes we speak the same curses over our own lives? Many times we think the worst of our own situations, and oftentimes we don’t realize that we’re thinking the same about God!!!
Whatever happened to, “Speak the Word only and my servant shall be healed”? Huh? Whatever happened to, “Where is the Word of God . . . what would Jesus say about this situation”? If we don’t know what God says, we ought to open the Scripture and find out! It seems that our first inclination is oftentimes to speak words of cursing over our own lives, families, ministries, and businesses. It’s almost like, “Well, I guess we’re all going under.” God’s not called us “to go under”! We might not always “go over,” but bless God, He’ll always bring us “through”!
Look how the king blames the Lord:

10 And the king of Israel said, “Alas! For the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”
I don’t recall anybody asking the Lord anything before they started this whole journey! The Lord didn’t do that! That was the king saying, “You owe us money, and since we want it, we’re coming after it.”
I’d better stop here. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. Let’s continue to look for God’s hand in our lives and to seek Him early!
Grace and peace,

Monday, November 11, 2013

Digging Ditches

Greetings from the North Coast of the Dominican Republic! We’re starting a new series today called, “Digging Ditches,” and we’ll begin in 2 Kings 3.

This is a message that is really intended for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit. What is an entrepreneurial spirit? What do you think about when I say that word? I might ask you, “Are you an entrepreneur?” You may respond, “Oh no, I’m in ministry.” The word “entrepreneur,” by definition means, “One who takes responsibility, oversight, and risks involved with an endeavor or an enterprise.”

In other words, an entrepreneur is someone who is willing to take some oversight and risks. The similarities are striking between being in business and being in ministry. A lot of people think that they’re worlds apart, but they are not. The person who is in business basically has the same attitude and outlook as the person in full-time ministry. Even those who are missionaries are of an entrepreneurial spirit, and they’ve already proven it by taking the risk. So let’s not be confused thinking that only those in business are entrepreneurs.

Now, I believe this message will speak to all of us. Every person who has this type of mindset will be involved with what I call, “Digging Ditches.”

Our biblical account begins in 2 Kings 3:1.

Now Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father and mother; for he put away the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless he persisted in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.
Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheepbreeder, and he regularly paid the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of one hundred thousand rams.

In other words, the King of Moab was a type of vassal king, and in that role, he was required to pay tribute to the King of Israel. He was not a ruling/reigning king in his own right. He was forced to pay tribute to Israel in return for not being utterly destroyed and wiped out. That pay-off, or bribe, was paid to the true ruler.

But it happened, when Ahab died, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
So King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. Then he went and sent to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”

So I want to draw the picture and make it plain. The King of Moab declared that they were not going to pay tribute to Israel anymore. Historically (and for quite a length of time), no tribute was paid. They owed Israel a lucrative amount of tribute from the wool of these rams. In fact, this particular king of the Moabites raised the best sheep and rams. They were renowned for the quality of their wool, and the people were heralded for their sheep-breeding skills. They also had the best pastures for raising them.

The Moabites said, “We’re not going to pay tribute to Israel anymore.” So the King of Israel said, “Okay, if you’re not going to pay us our money, then we’re going to come after you.” Please note that the Kingdom of Israel at this point of history was divided in two. The two kingdoms were Israel and Judah. The King of Israel went to the King of Judah (Jehoshaphat), and he asked him, “Will you go with me to fight against Moab?” And he said . . .

 “I will go up; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”  Then he said, “Which way shall we go up?”

Basically, the King of Israel was telling Jehoshaphat that there were two directions from which they could approach Moab. They could go around the Dead Sea to the north, which would have been a bit of an easier journey, or they could go the southern route that was more difficult, but it would have made the attack of Moab easier. The great fortress stood at the northern border of Moab, and that’s where the armies of Moab were logically situated. The Moabites never expected an attack from the south because of the terrain, as it was much rougher. Nobody in his or her right mind would attack from the south.

Jehoshaphat, drawing on his own logic, said, “We will take the southern route, and we’re going by the way of the wilderness of Edom. They were going to go through Moab to Edom (Edom and Moab were separated by a stream). So the King of Israel went with the King of Judah to approach the King of Edom. They had recruited the Edomites to fight with them.

There is one thing that will bring two enemies together: a common enemy. Many covenants have been established upon the commonality of an adversary. We may have two people groups who hate each other, but they will join in an alliance in order to go after a common enemy. So, they recruited the King of Edom and marched on that roundabout route for seven days. We see that it was very circuitous. There was no water for the army or the animals that followed them.

10 And the king of Israel said, “Alas! For the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”

So the immediate response to the King of Israel was, “God has brought us together so we could all die together.” Isn’t that amazing how some people’s inclination is towards the negative? “We’re all gonna die.” Not only was he making the claim that they were all going to die, but he also blamed God. “God did this to us. He brought us together so we could die of thirst together.”

It’s amazing how often God’s people blame Him for adversity in their lives. They’re saying, “God did this,” when in reality, God was not even consulted. Up to this point, nobody had even asked God what He thought about the whole plan.

Now we have built our premise for the continuation of this series, “Digging Ditches.” Vickie and I pray for those of you who receive these emails! May God bless you mightily in all of your endeavors.

Grace and peace,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Light 'Em Up! (Fox Tales, Part 4)

We wrapped up the last blog referring to Luke 19:13 wherein it speaks of the ten servants/stewards. The surrounding passage recounts the master telling his servants, “Occupy until I return.” We’re going to pick up right at that same point today.  
“Occupy” doesn’t mean that I’ll just take up some space and breathe some free air. It means that I’m supposed to do something. We’re not called to simply take up space. We’ve been sent here to set some fields on fire! Now, we have to have some fire before we can spread some fire!
For example, let’s just say it was my birthday, and Ms. Alexandra made me a birthday cake, as we all know that she bakes, right? You would proceed to light sixty birthday candles. I know many of you would wonder why we would need that many. Now let me ask you this: Are you going to take a match and light just one candle at a time, or are you going to light one candle and use that same candle to light others?
I have news for us today. We are those candles! God has lit us on fire so we can light other candles because there’s a great big birthday cake with a whole lot of candles that need to be ignited! It ought to be that we are so fired up that when our lives barely touch anything around us that it automatically blazes as well!
All it takes is simply one life touching another, one candle igniting another! God has sent us here to be torches and to set the world ablaze. Actually, that word, “blaze” comes from the Old English, and it was the word for “torch.” So God wants us to get fired up! “To get fired up” speaks of passion. Passion will fire you up, and sacrifice will depress you. Some of y’all think that you’re here on the earth to sacrifice. God didn’t call you here to sacrifice; He called you here to be obedient!
So get passionate about being obedient to God and that passion will transform into some fire, and it will bring life to those who are sick and dying all around us. God wants to set us on fire! He wants to see us burn with passion. Some of us need some fresh fiyah!
Hallelujah. God has sent us here to take care of business on His behalf . . . to advance the Kingdom of Christ. In order to do that, we’re going to have to be driven by passion, not simply motivated by a sense of sacrifice. I understand sacrifice, I do. When I spent five years in Haiti, people would come down from the States to visit or do some mission work. I lived very, very, very humbly back then. I was broker than broke. People would think I was suffering for Jesus because I was traveling on top of charcoal trucks or riding on tap taps everywhere I went. You know, even then, I never saw it as sacrifice. I was just doing what God called me to do. Come on, somebody! We should always consider it a privilege to serve the living God.
Do you know that out of six billion people in the world, He has called you to your specific mission? I would often tell my sons, “Do you know how few people in the world get to do what we’re doing right now?” In regard to my forty-year-old son, we’ve been through some stuff together—in ministry—in life. He’s always been by my side, during the hard times and many of the good times. So often I would say to him, “Josh, do you know how many people get to do what we’re doing right here, sleeping in this jungle? Do you know how many people get to sleep on a mat, in a jungle in Thailand, eating stuff that we don’t even know what it is? Praise God! Isn’t this fun?”
I’m going to close here with this simple message. Whatever it is that God has called you to do and be, simply go for it! The passion that you have burning on the inside of you WILL cause others to combust around you as a result.
This is the end of the Fox Tales series. I pray it’s been of value to you and that the light in you will burn so bright that you won’t even be able to control or contain all the fields that catch ablaze for God’s glory!
Grace and peace,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fox Tales, Part 3

Hello friends! I’d like to extend a very warm greeting from the Goodman family in the Dominican Republic! My wife and I get up every morning with such gratefulness for where God has placed us. We are unapologetic about it. Thank You, Jesus! We love the life the Lord has given us!

People get this mindset, “Oh, you’re on the mission field suffering for Jesus.” To which we reply, “No, Jesus didn’t send us to the mission field to suffer; we could have done that at home.”  Hello!!?? He sent us here to light some fields and some tails on fire . . . THAT’s why we are here!

God wants the church to be a place where people get fed, ignited, and equipped so they can be sent to the fields to do the work of the ministry. As Solomon used foxes to invade the enemy fields, so God wants to ignite us to basically carry out the same mission.

With that being said, we can also say, “The church is for grazing; the world is for blazing!” That’s why you and I have been sent here. I want you to consider something with me today. In the ministry of Jesus Christ, did Jesus ever preach in the church or the synagogue? Yes, He did. Did Jesus do more ministry in the church/synagogue or in the marketplace? The marketplace! The marketplace is out there; it’s the world in which we live our lives and conduct our business. 

I don’t know exactly what the ratio is, but Jesus did a greater amount of ministry outside the church than He did inside the church! See, the church is a place where the people of God gather to worship and be fed; then they are ready to be sent into the fields to bring the light and love of Christ to a sin-sick and dying world! Look around you, my friends. The world is sick and full of sin! It is dying. God has given you and I the goods to minister life to the world. 

The five-fold ministry of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher in Ephesians 4:11 has been given to the church for the equipping of the Saints. Have a problem with being called a Saint? Well, He says it about you! You might say, “I still sin.” To that I say, “Duh!” Isn’t that amazing? We continue to fall short, and God still calls us Saints. How do I know? Apostle Paul refers to the people of God as Saints! We’ve been set apart, my friends; yet we fall short sometimes. When we do, we have an advocate before the Father.

Say, “I’m a Saint.” If you’re like many Christians, you may have struggled with that. I’m just calling you what God calls you. Do you think that I believe that you always act like a Saint? I know that neither of us do! You know what? God knows everything; I am only witness and party to a very limited amount. God knows it all! That’s a scary thought, and we forget that every once in a while, don’t we? God is everywhere; He knows everything; He sees everything; He hears everything, yet He still loves us and calls us His Saints. Just study your Scripture, and you’ll see for yourself. I’m not calling you anything that God hasn’t already called you. If God says you’re a Saint, then bless God, you’re a Saint.

Now, as I was saying, more preaching, more teaching, more healing, and more miracles were carried out by Christ in the marketplace than in the house of worship. You think about it: the lives of lawyers, teachers, businessmen/women, civil authorities, peasants, priests, the rich, and the poor were all touched and impacted as Christ influenced the culture in which He lived.

It really goes back to His teaching in Luke 19:13 where He’s talking about the ten servants/stewards. In that one particular verse the master is leaving, and he places the servants in a position of management, or of oversight. He tells his stewards, “Occupy until I return.” You’re familiar with that, right? We understand that “to occupy,” means to take care of business on behalf of another, take oversight, take the management of. 

I lived in the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg, NC, area for twenty-five years. There are Special Force units and other “special entities” that don’t even exist, and how do I know that they don’t? Because even though I’ve been there, they’ve said, “You’ve never been here and this does not exist.” Twenty-five years around the military, and I’ve been told that the term “occupy,” means to advance. Whoa, a little added dimension. So why is the church here? Why are you here? We are here to advance the Kingdom of God! The question is: are you fulfilling your God-given mission?

Grace and peace,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fox Tales, Part 2

Good morning from the wonderful country of the Dominican Republic! Vickie, Zach, and I are all doing great, and we’re really seeing God do some amazing things in our midst.
Last week we looked at the biblical account of Samson and how he set a multitude of fox tails on fire and then sent them into the fields of the Philistines. A lot of times we don’t understand that we have been sent by God into a field. Jesus told us to go into all the world; He sent us. He even said that He’s sending us as lambs into a den of wolves. We have a mission, and it is a co-mission in which we are partnered with God to do His will—to see His kingdom come—right here where we are.
Continuing with the story of Samson, we see where he has been tricked by his wife who just so happened to have divulged the riddle in an attempt to save her family and home from being burned to the ground. Samson comes up with a most unique strategy. This story has always impressed me. When we think of Samson, we think of great strength, the pagan temple falling down around him, and his eyes being plucked out.  Everybody likens Samson to being muscular and strong, but he was also somewhat shrewd. Is it wisdom to set the field on fire one torch at a time, or is there greater wisdom in setting the tails of foxes on fire and letting them run wild into the Philistine’s fields? Which do you think is most effective?
You see, that’s why teamwork is so much more efficient than when we’re trying to accomplish something by ourselves because when two work together, there’s something exponential that takes place, and the fruit is multiplied. It’s one of the reasons that God has ordained this thing that we call the “Church”! Church is not just for us to come and fellowship. Church is a place for us to graze, and the world is a place for us to blaze.
Samson had a shrewd idea of setting the fox tails on fire. Notice he sent them out two by two. Does that remind you of anything . . . maybe in Luke 10 when Jesus sent out the seventy? Remember, He sent them out two by two. Why? Because two can work more than twice as efficiently as one. Does that make sense? When two work together, it’s not like 1 + 1. There’s a multiplication factor that kicks in and makes the work more effective and efficient.  
Just as Jesus sent His disciples two by two, I believe we’re seeing something very similar here as Samson sets the tails of foxes on fire and sends them into the enemy’s fields. Do you understand that we’ve been sent into the fields of the Philistines? If you don’t believe that, go downtown in any major city on a Friday or Saturday night. We have been sent into the Philistine's fields!
God’s intended purpose is for you and I to set those fields on fire! That’s why we’re here. I admit, some of us need a little fire put to our tails. When you put fire on a fox’s tail, he’s going to run! God needs to light a fire on our tail so that we’re sent out to run into the fields of the Philistines to bring them the Good News. The news of not only the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but also the revelation that God loves them and He wants to not only save, but to also heal and restore their lives back to what He intended them to be.
It’s time for some fox tails to get lit on fire and set these fields ablaze! Are you listening to me? Say to yourself, “God wants to light my tail on fire”! It’s always amazing to me how God uses the most natural things to bring about the most supernatural results. He’s using foxes. That is a natural thing doing a supernatural work; we see it throughout the Bible. God used a bird to feed a prophet! He can use something as natural as a tree to cause a short, little guy like Zacchaeus to be able to see Jesus.
Why, He can turn water into wine. Come on, somebody say, “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” He can take the most natural thing, turn it, and use it for His glory. He can take YOU and ME, flesh and bone, fill us with the Holy Ghost, put the Word in our hearts, light our tails on fire, and set us free to go out and do the most supernatural things. Through YOU, souls can be saved. Think about that! If you just open your mouth at the opportune moment, you can see the miracle of someone getting born again!
He’s using something perfectly natural: YOU! He’ll set you in the exact place, with the right people, doing exactly the right thing, and BAM, suddenly a miracle takes place! Someone who was dead in their trespasses and sins is suddenly made alive in Christ Jesus! That’s a miracle, supernatural! I submit to you that God wants to light our tails on fire!
That’s all for this week. Keep praying and seeking God, Church!
Peace and grace,

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fox Tales

Good morning! I felt like I heard the Lord speak to my heart this morning that we need less commotion and more devotion in our lives. I would encourage you to close your eyes for a moment and experience God in your surroundings; He’s right here with us. I believe He wants to make His presence known to each of us in a very real and personal way. Many times we hinder the presence of God. Take a moment of real devotion; block out the commotion. If you don’t experience the presence of the Lord, then there is nothing of real value that I can offer you. More than anything, I want to see people experience Him. Did you actually do it, and if you did, wasn’t that awesome?

Now that we’ve taken that opportunity to clear our hearts and minds and connect with the Lord, we’ll go ahead and look at the book of Judges. We’re going to study some “Fox Tales” this morning. No, I’m not referring to the Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. I believe that what God wants to speak to us today is pertinent to our lives. We’re going to be looking at a story about Samson that precedes the famous “Samson and Delilah” account. It is apparent that he is a man who obviously had a thing for pagan ladies. We will see that in this story.
1 Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, “I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.”

3 Then his father and mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” And Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.” 4 But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord . . .
So even in the midst of this (Samson being drawn to a Philistine, pagan woman), God was up to something! Let this be a lesson to us that even when we’re feeling nothing and seeing nothing, God is up to something, my friend . . . and He’s up to something today! Right here, right now, and in your life! We might not be able to identify what God is doing, but He’s always at work around us.
Samson’s father and mother didn’t know that God was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. At that time, the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
5 So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him. 6 And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.
7 Then he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. 8 After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion. 9 He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion. 10 So his father went down to the woman. And Samson gave a feast there, for young men used to do so. 11 And it happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12 Then Samson said to them, “Let me pose a riddle to you.
We see here that Samson was shrewd and had some wisdom (and apparently lacked wisdom in other areas as we’ll soon notice). Does this sound familiar? We can have wisdom in some areas, but in others, well, let’s just say that we sure can do some foolish things every once in a while! Come on, somebody! I’m not the only one, am I?
12 If you can correctly solve and explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing. 13 But if you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing.” And they said to him, “Pose your riddle, that we may hear it.” 14 So he said to them:
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
And out of the strong came something sweet.”
Now for three days they could not explain the riddle. 15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, that he may explain the riddle to us, or else we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us in order to take what is ours? Is that not so?” 16 Then Samson’s wife wept on him, and said, “You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me.” And he said to her, “Look, I have not explained it to my father or my mother; so should I explain it to you?” 17 Now she had wept on him the seven days while their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons of her people. 18 So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down:
“What is sweeter than honey?
And what is stronger than a lion?”
And he said to them: “If you had not plowed with my heifer,
You would not have solved my riddle!”
You just have to love the terminology of the Bible! How many of you know it’s wrong to plow with another man’s heifer? It’s a big “no-no”! Let’s continue to read this account:
19 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle. So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father’s house. 20 And Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.
15  1 After a while, in the time of wheat harvest, it happened that Samson visited his wife with a young goat. And he said, “Let me go in to my wife, into her room.” But her father would not permit him to go in. 2 Her father said, “I really thought that you thoroughly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister better than she? Please, take her instead.”
3 And Samson said to them, “This time I shall be blameless regarding the Philistines if I harm them!” 4 Then Samson went and caught three hundred foxes; and he took torches, turned the foxes tail to tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 When he had set the torches on fire, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves. 6 Then the Philistines said, “Who has done this?” And they answered, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife and given her to his companion.” So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.
7 Samson said to them, “Since you would do a thing like this, I will surely take revenge on you, and after that I will cease.”
Okay, we have set the stage for next week’s blog by reading the story above at length. What a cliffhanger! Next week we will look at the strategy that Samson employed by setting the Philistine’s fields on fire and how it might be pertinent to our lives today.
I would encourage you to continue with the practice of taking some precious moments out of your day to connect with the Lord and experience His presence. If you’re not already in that habit, you’ll soon see what a difference it will make in your daily life.
Grace and peace,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How To Live Sane In An Insane World, Part 8

I pray each of you are having a wonderful day today! I’m so thankful to the Lord for everything He continues to pour out. Everywhere I look, I see His hand at work!

In the last blog, we talked some about having our mouth filled with God’s Word. It is far too common to have blessing and cursing flow from the same port! Where does that blessing and cursing come from? Where does that sweet water and bitter water come from? Where does that life and death come from? It comes from my heart, and until I begin to “man up” and ask God, “God, where did that come from,” I might walk in deception. I have inquired of the Lord the source, and He has responded, “It’s coming from your heart; you have to get your heart straight.” Those are not pleasant words; I don’t like it when God says that to me. I may reply, “But God, I have the heart of David!” He says, “Yes, you do, and the heart of Saul.” That’s what needs to be transformed, our hearts.  

Listen, I’m tired of getting sucked back into the draw of the world and its mentality. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes, “No good soldier entangles himself once again with the things of the world.” I don’t have time for it anymore. I can’t afford to be entangled with the things of the world! There are too many things I want to experience in the Kingdom of God, and I’m robbing myself of the measure of God’s Kingdom by allowing myself to be entangled with the cares of the world, the lusts of the flesh, and the desire for other things. They are always there trying to pull us away from the things of God.

So, I say to you . . . if we will take the medicine—sometimes it does taste bitter—it will eventually bring us to a place of greater life.

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).

What are we seeking, friends? What are we fixated on? What is consuming our lives? What consumes our thoughts and emotions? What’s driving us? What’s compelling us? I will tell you this: in the Kingdom of God, motivation is everything! What motivates us to do what we do? What we do can sometimes look really bad, but it may be from a good motivation. Sometimes it can look really good, but come from an evil motivation! God is always looking at the motivation of the heart.

Other people don’t know your motivation; don’t worry about their judgments! You get your heart straight! Just as other people cannot see your heart, you can’t see theirs. Don’t be focused on the speck in a brother’s eye as long as you have a beam in your own. We’re so good at judging others while we walk around half blind. Isn’t that true? We need to search our hearts and let God search them, too.

Verse 2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” I like that . . . it’s like concrete setting . . . like a linebacker set in position. God wants us to prosper, so it’s not necessarily the things on the earth that are evil; God doesn’t have a problem with things, believe me! He doesn’t have a problem with you prospering. If He did, that means He would have lied. Just read your Bible and see how blessed women and men of the Old and New Testaments were! I’ve been young and now I’m old, but I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread. It’s not the things, it’s what you set your mind on! What are you fixated on? What’s driving you?

Paul continues in verse 3 of Colossians, “You died, and your life is hidden in Christ in God!” It’s time for us to consider ourselves dead! D.E.A.D.! When we consider taking up our cross, sometimes we want to die just a little bit at a time! We get one arm nailed up, then we pull it down and put the other one up there and say, “Okay, God, you can have this arm now.” Then we want to wiggle around on the cross. WHY DON’T WE JUST DIE??!! You can’t hurt a dead man. The reason we keep getting hurt is because we’re just not that dead yet. Dead men feel no pain. Let’s set our focus on things that are above and not of this world. Amen?

A key to living a crucified, victorious life is to keep our thoughts and minds in check. Again, here is a review of your complete spiritual prescription to be taken three times daily until you evidence a change in your thought processes. After that, administer as needed!

1.     Casting down imaginations (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
2.     Getting our minds renewed (Romans 12:1-2)
3.     Meditate on and SPEAK the Word of God (Joshua 1:8)
4.     Judge our thoughts (Philippians 4:8)

Grace and peace,

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Here we are . . . nearing the end of this blog centering on “How To Stay Sane In An Insane World.” If applied, this four-part prescription will help us achieve that goal! Let’s do a brief review of the previous three components that we’ve already covered.

1.     Casting down imaginations (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
2.     Getting our minds renewed (Romans 12:1)
3.     Speaking the Word of God (Joshua 1:8)

So, we’ve cast down our imaginations, and we’re taking authority over those thoughts that are exalting themselves above the knowledge of God. We’re also getting the Word of God in our hearts and coming out of our mouths.

This is so important! I tell Christians, “You ought to be speaking the Word of God even if you don’t believe it.” I want you to believe it, but everybody has something coming out of his or her mouth; it might as well be the Word. If you speak the Word of God enough times over and over, you’ll actually get to a place where you believe it! So just keep speaking it! When you’re sick, and you don’t believe you’re healed, just keep speaking the Word! If you say it enough times, you’ll start to believe, “By His stripes I’m healed”! Speak the Word! You don’t have to believe it at first. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word! Keep saying it; keep saying it; keep saying it!

Sooner or later, a switch will get flipped that will cause a light to come on, and you’ll say, “Whoa, I really believe that!” Jesus said that when you believe in your heart, confess with your mouth, and do not doubt, “You shall have that which you say”!

Okay, I know you’re waiting for point number four in the prescription, and it is found in Philippians 4:8. Paul says . . .
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Here’s the standard of judgment. All you have to do is ask yourself, “Are the thoughts that I am thinking . . . right now . . . true? Are they just? Are they pure? Are they lovely? Are they of a good report? Are they virtuous thoughts? How about right now? Are you thinking good thoughts? Are they praiseworthy?

We need to take time to judge our thoughts. You know, if we would actually do that, we wouldn’t say half the things we say. One of our big problems is that we talk before we think. Stuff just comes out. Do you ever wonder where that stuff comes from? Anybody else ever experience that? You might say, “Well, that’s just the way I am.” Well, yes, that’s why you need to change! I love ya, honey, but that’s exactly what Paul’s talking about and why you need to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I’ve shared with you before that this one little instrument right below my nose has caused most of my problems in life, and it’s not a mustache. It’s a big mouth. When I got saved and called to preach, I learned something. God impressed on me that I could either use it for good, or it could be used for evil. I can slice and dice people with my mouth and not even think about it! I used to hear the following when I was young, “You should have been an attorney.” Others said, “You should be a politician.” Then I got saved, and they said, “preacher.”

See, the ability to use words is either an asset or a deficit. It has come with great expense and inflicted tremendous pain and injury. Our mouths are capable of blessing and cursing. They can bring forth life on one hand or death on the other. They can be filled with sweetness or bitterness. A lot of times it doesn’t even take a deliberate act on our part; it’s almost automatic.

Next week will be the last blog in the series, “How To Live Sane In An Insane World.” I pray you have a great week ahead.  Keep the points above in mind by repeating them over and over until they come back to your remembrance effortlessly.

Grace and peace,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How To Stay Sane In An Insane World, Part 6

As you may know, Vickie, Zachariah, and I just returned from a brief visit to the United States. We so enjoyed getting to see many of you while we were there! At the same time, it’s wonderful to be back to the island nation where God has planted us: the Dominican Republic.

I’d like to continue with the spiritual prescription that we’ve been talking about. If you’ve missed any of the “recommended treatment,” you may find the preceding portions in the posts below. 

Number 3 in the spiritual prescription is found in Joshua 1:8. If you’ve been around any length of time, then you ought to be very familiar with this passage:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

“This Book of the Law (the Word of God) shall not depart from thy mouth.” In other words, that’s what is flowing from your lips no matter what situation you’re going through, no matter the insanity that surrounds you, or no matter the potential frustration that you’re facing. The Word of God is what’s coming out of your mouth. The Word of God can change any situation, but you have to begin to speak it with faith and stop living in fear. It’s by faith that you’ll accomplish the great things that God has called you to do, not by fear, not by intimidation, but by faith!  

The verse goes on to say that we "shall meditate on it." May I remind you that “meditate” means to “ponder, to think about, and to hold something in your mind,” but it also goes on in the original definition stating, “to mutter to oneself in a low voice.” Why is that important? Many times we’re muttering, but we’re muttering the wrong thing! Scripture says that we are to mutter to ourselves in a low voice and when we do so, we’re supposed to be speaking the Word of God! Why? Because faith cometh by hearing just as Romans 10:17 says.

“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Did you know that if we say something long enough and repeat it enough times that we’ll begin to believe that it’s true whether or not it is? The media knows it! If this is true of those who are worldly, how much more so when you hear yourself say it over and over and over? What’s God saying? He’s saying that we ought to be repeating what He has said until we get to a place of believing it! The more we say it, the more prone we are to believe it. Why? Because faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God!

You must learn to feed your faith and starve your fear. We get it backwards and are constantly feeding our doubts and fears, even by the words we speak and the thoughts we’re thinking! Many times we’re responding to situations exactly the way the world does, or the way we used to, and then we come away feeling bad about it.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night and hearken to do all that is written therein.” Be a doer and not a hearer only, because if all you do is hear it, but don’t do it, you deceive yourself. Self-deception leads to schizophrenia, mental illness, and derangement; basically, you’ll drive yourself crazy! Is this making sense to you?

God, in His infinite wisdom, leaves nothing open to chance. He spells out the necessary steps for us to live prosperous and healthy lives.

Thank you for joining me today, and I look forward to passing along Number 4 of the spiritual prescription. Until then, be blessed, and I’ll be in touch next week.

Grace and peace,