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Category Archives: Spiritual Dryness

Why I Don’t Watch Christian TV

Let me first say that I’m not trying to influence anyone in any way. To watch….or not to watch…that’s your own business. And if you’re getting blessed by Christian TV….watch on!! I’m just stating my own opinion. And my reasons for not watching may not be valid for you in the least. When my life first ‘made the turn’, so to speak, back in November of ’84 I did watch quite a bit of Christian TV. I even watched Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker some. I did find them to be a little peculiar but, what the heck, I did learn a few things by watching their show. Same with Paul and Jan Crouch; peculiar people but no big deal at the time. And I do believe that lots of people were blessed through their TV ministries, even though I didn’t send my $100 for the little bottle of ‘holy water’ from the Red Sea.

But the further I went the less I watched TBN, The 700 Club and shows like that. For the most part, at least for me, it started feeling un-authentic, a little too much put-on, and way too theatrical for my liking. I would catch Jack Hayford from time to time, which was always good. There were a few others who weren’t ‘regulars’ that I’d try to watch if I had the chance. But it wasn’t too long that I found myself not watching Christian TV programming at all. (Been about 20 years now) And now if I’m surfing through the DISH channels and happen to cross one of those networks it just seems that I’m now further and further away from where they are and what they’re saying…..and from what I believe and perceive the Lord is saying to me. 

But the clincher for me came a few years back when someone very close to me was contacted by one of those TV shows. It was one of the most highly acclaimed ones….and one that you’d surely know if I had the liberty to disclose it. This person’s life has been one of the most, if not THE most, dramatic conversions and transformations that I’ve seen in all my years. And after several phone interviews with my friend and then with me….they declined to do the story. Why?? Because, according to their representative, his conversion and transformation didn’t fit their grid of how it should happen. Tragic….in that this person’s life….and his story could have made the difference in hundreds, if not thousands who might’ve seen the TV show.

I left that situation discouraged and, to tell the truth,….about half ticked off. It was obvious to me that they were completely out of touch with what often happens out here in the real world. There’s no formula and there’s no set way for someone coming to the Lord. There’s millions of different scenarios and I wouldn’t argue the validity of any of them. “Any man who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”.

The cynical part of me would say that if my friend would’ve just said, “I was at the end of my rope, on drugs and ready to commit suicide and I turned on the TV and the  “- – – – – – Show” was on and I fell down on my knees and cried out to God.”, that they would’ve done the show as quickly as possible.

So, don’t get me wrong….I think there might be a place for Christian TV….but it needs to be authentic, it needs to ‘not’ be about money, and it needs to be relevant for what the Lord is saying and doing in our generation.

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Quit Telling Me What The Problem Is!!

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Double Check Your “Invitation List”!!

You’ll be glad you did. Anytime you’re going to host an event, party or get together of any kind you first have to think about who you want to be there. I don’t do many things where I have to think about that but if I did…..I’d definitely double-check! I’m an ‘all-inclusive’ kind of guy and I’d be scared that I’d leave somebody out. That would be awkward and it’d make me feel really, really bad to leave somebody out….and it’d probably make them feel bad too. Yep….definitely double-check the invite list!

Years and years ago there was a wedding happening. There were a lot of people at this wedding; actually quite a few more than the wedding planner had bargained for. So, naturally the refreshments started to run low. The wine for the wedding was just about to the point of running completely out but luckily the hostess had invited her Son to the wedding. She instructed the other helpers at the wedding to do whatever her Son said. He told the helpers to fill up the water containers and take them to the wedding table. When the containers were poured out….miraculously wine was in them! Not the cheap stuff either….it was fine wine.

You’ve probably figured out by now that it was Jesus Who was invited to the wedding. It was the first miracle He performed….changing water into wine.

Have you invited Him? Have you invited Him to your life, to your problems and dilemmas? Have you invited Him to your relationship problems or your business decisions? Have you invited Him to your 401k or your family functions? There could be some miraculous things happen if we would actually invite Him into our little world.

…..PS-And, don’t worry about sending a self-addressed stamp envelope for the RSVP. You can be sure that if you invite Him, He will definitely come!

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You Can Live in the Past if You Want To…..But There Is a ‘Downside’

II’s not rare to see people who are living in the past, in fact it’s pretty common by my experience. By ‘living in the past‘ I mean that most of a person’s entire focus is directed on what’s happened before. There are those who live in the regrets and failures of the past…but then there are also those I see from time to time who live in the victories and triumphs of the past. Obviously focusing on victories and triumphs would be a more pleasant thing than focusing on failures…..but either way……..there’s a downside.

I was talking to a friend recently who talked a lot about the ‘bad things’ (his own words) he’d done in the past. He was constantly saying about himself things like….“I don’t deserve for God to bless me”, “I know I’m not good enough”, “I’ve done a lot of bad things”. You don’t have to look far to find those that are hung up on their past. And then on the other hand I often hear those who, for instance, had a successful career in sports and much of their talk is about how good they were. In most cases it was probably true but I’m pretty sure to be focused, even on the glory days, has a downside.

I’ve had my own issues and temptations to ‘live in the past’. And for me it seems mostly centered around mistakes I’ve made and regrets of  not doing things different than I could/should have. It can be a recurring thing for me so I have to discipline myself to ‘not stay’ in the past for very long periods of time or it becomes extremely counter-productive….to say the least.

But the most tragic thing I see of people living in the past is that if your focus is ‘back there‘, so to speak, you are missing out on something today! Our joy and contentment can never be fully experienced if we’re focused on the past. And even more serious is the reality that if you’re missing out on something today….your future is severely impaired.

Most everyone would agree that God has a plan for their life, and for those living in the past…….if something doesn’t happen to cause them to re-focus they’ll surely miss their destiny. We need to learn to live in the ‘now’! It might be profitable to glance back every now and then and learn from our mistakes but we should get our focus back where it needs to be as quick as possible…….and that is on the Lord….and His plan for our lives!

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A “Disposable” Relationship

That’s what I’d call my relationship with the Lord between 1974 to 1984. I didn’t grow up going to church. In fact, by the time I was thirty I hadn’t even been in a church much. I got saved in 1974. It was in an area-wide crusade in Wheeler, Texas about thirty miles from where I grew up. It was on the first night and I was by myself sitting on the very back row. When it came ‘invitation time’ I knew, somehow, that the Lord was dealing with me. I got up and took the long walk all the way to the front of the High School Auditorium and gave my life to the Lord. Some people gathered me up, took me to an adjoining room with several others who had made similar decisions and there they prayed with me.

It was legit. I mean it really ‘took’. I can still remember the days following that night. When I’d have a thought or say something that was out of the character of Jesus, I’d immediately know it. I now know that it’s just how the Holy Spirit works. Julie had a little paperback Living Bible (before we were married) that she gave me. I just started reading on page 1. I got over into the book of Leviticus and got bogged down in all those ‘begats’ and put it down and didn’t pick it back up. I was rodeoing at the time and didn’t have any Christian friends and drifted away from any real, ongoing, relationship with he Lord. Nobody’s fault but my own.

So for the next ten years or so my relationship with the Lord went pretty much like this. When I’d be in a jam of some kind in my life, I’d run to Him for help. But as soon as that dilemma was over I was back to ‘my own way’. So, in that sense, I had a disposable relationship with the Lord. I treated Him as some kind of ‘possession’ that I’d use whenever I needed and just ignore Him the rest of the time.

Looking back….the incredible part is that even though I really had no sincere devotion to the Lord…..He’d help me anyway! Pretty amazing, huh?! Maybe you find yourself in such a place. Don’t allow your relationship with Him to be ‘disposable’. Life can be so much better….but don’t take my word for it. Taste and see for yourself how good the Father is!

The words to one of my favorite songs goes like this; “One day every tongue shall confess you are God, one day every knee shall bow. Still the greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose You now”!

You just can’t go wrong!

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If You See God “Wrongly”…….You’ll Never See Yourself “Rightly”!

There aren’t many discussions any more important than this one; Who is God? Big question, to say the least. And my fear is that God has been grossly ‘misrepresented’ in our world. Mainly by those who know ‘about’ Him…..but don’t really actually ‘know’ Him! It’s a huge problem if you ask me….and it needs to be fixed ASAP!…..not only for each of us as individuals….but for the whole world in general!

There are a hundred good reasons to connect with the Father relationally. It’s really what our lives should be all about. It’s the answer for everything that ‘s wrong. It’s the ‘cure for mankind’. When you ‘connect’ relationally with the Father you begin to find out “Who” He really is! But if we never do connect in that way we’ll always have a ‘secondhand’ perception of Him.

If you only see God as “Judge” you’ll always be somewhat ‘fearful’ of Him. You’ll always be mindful of your failures and all the things you’ve done to ‘let Him down’. And you’ll be scared about what He might say to you on that ‘final’ day! I have plenty of conversations with people who have made this their reality. They see themselves as not really ‘measuring up’. It’s a ‘wrong’ perception!! It’s not a little wrong, ……it’s a long way from the actual Truth! You see your self ‘wrongly’ ……because you are seeing God ‘wrongly’!

The only way we’ll ever see ourselves ‘rightly’ is when we start to see God for Who He really Is……and that is as a Father. The next step, then, is to begin to interact with Him at that level……as a son or a daughter. Now listen….it really does have to go beyond acknowledging Him as Father; it must be relational or we’ve totally missed the point. Don’t make it hard!! It’s the easiest thing there is for a child ………to naturally relate to his/her Dad. 

When you see God for Who He is, you’ll start to see yourself just like He sees you!

            You’ll see yourself ‘rightly’!!

            You’re gonna like what you see!

            I guarantee it!

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God Loves You, And There’s Nothing You Can Do About It!

There’s not a truer statement! But there are millions out there who, for some odd reason, think different. And to compound the problem  there’s the over religious, self-righteous, doctrinal police, church guy telling everyone that God’s mad at them. That’s the result when people read their Bible but have no actual relationship with the Father. That person has no understanding of the grace of God.

I was just talking to a friend a day or two ago that I hadn’t seen in 4 or 5 years. He said that he’d been in a hard place. Upon the death of his father several years ago he blamed God for it and turned his back on Him. His exact words were, “God, just leave me alone.” But what he found after a few years of being mad at God…….was that the Father just loved him more! And somehow He loved my friend back into relationship with Himself! ……..that’s the God that I know!

Have you been mad at God? I know a lot of people who have been mad at Him at one time or another. It’s understandable. Some of them have been mad at Him for years. And for the most part their anger has resulted from something that they believed God mishandled. There’s everything from, “God, why did you let my mom die?” to “Why do you make my life like it is?”  What would you think if I told you that God can ‘take’ that….He really can. And, in some strange way, I think He understands. After all, ….He made us! But what’s amazing is that He never, ever lets that affect His love for you in an adverse way. Much to the contrary; I think it’s like my friend experienced….He’ll just end up loving you more. 

There’s nothing you can do to diminish the Father’s love for you…..not one degree! You can be mad at Him, you can cuss Him, you can even tell Him you hate Him and turn your back on Him. But He’ll still keep on loving you……and there’s nothing you can do about it!

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The Most, “In Your Face” Verse in the Whole Bible!!

I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it or not. I have. The Bible is full of timeless wisdom from cover to cover. There are plenty of verses that challenge our humanity……but none as ‘in your face’ as this one: “Love Your Enemies”! Whoa! Now, that’s out there. In fact is’s so far out there that most of us never really seriously consider whether or not it’s true because it goes ‘so’ against our natural tendencies.

I’ve said many times before (quite a few times in my blogs) that the greatest challenge for the church…..and the greatest challenge for us as individuals is whether or not we are loving like He did. I get all kinds of feedback when I write about it. Some agree with me when I say that He wants us to love like Him. It’s my opinion that it’s the #1 priority of the Father for us love like He does. Some, however, don’t agree. Their argument is that there’s no way that we could love like He does. It’s a logical argument considering the magnitude of His love toward us. How could we possibly match that kind of love??! Well, I believe, He wants us to do just that! We most likely have opportunities right now to to practice up on.

If we are going to love like He does there are a couple of things to consider. These couple of things will give us a very clear indicator of ‘where’ we are in the process of loving like Jesus. 1) Matthew wrote in his gospel, “What good is it if we just love those that love us?”, “Even the tax collectors do that.” So, one of the ‘acid’ tests of our love is whether or not we’re loving those that don’t love us. You know, it’s like one of those “You Are Here” signs at the mall. How we answer that challenge is an accurate read on where we are where our love is concerned. 2) “Love your enemies”. I mean, nothing tests our humanity any more than the mandate to do this. And while, to do it is a good thing for your ‘enemy’.….you have more to gain than they do. Could it be that it’s more for you than for the other person??    I think it probably is.

While all the things we do in obedience to the Lord are important, I don’t think any of them are as important as “how we love”.”Love your enemies”! It’s in your face, alright…..but it’s undeniable proof that we’re becoming ‘like’ Him!

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