Saturday, June 25, 2016

From Out Of The Past A Blessing And A Burden ... Dominie Bush And Evangelist Al Lacy

After many years, I am in communication with a former member of the church I founded and pastored nearly 30 years, Temple Baptist Church,  now changed to North Florida Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL. Her name is Dominie Bush and she was saved at Temple during a Revival meeting under the preaching of Evangelist Al Lacy. Dominie works for Challenger magazine, a real Christian witness outlet to thousands, which published Dominie's own testimony of her salvation, which I am sharing with you below. I hadn't thought of Brother Lacy in years and decided to send Dominie's testimony to him as an encouragement to an old preacher. I Googled his name and discovered Dominie had already let him know God had used him in her salvation. But, I also learned that Al is now under care for Alzheimers which saddens me but motivated me to ask your prayers for this great man of God. I might also mention that Mack Evans who came to do the music each time Al was with us for revival, passed away several years ago. Many of you knew both Dominie and Brother Al. Pray for them both and subscribe to Challenger, its free, at P.O.Box 750759 - Petaluma, CA 94975-0759 or by email to  - RB

I add this 5 hours after publishing this post. Brother Lacy passed away about 2 and a half hours ago. RB

Religious But Lost
I appeared to be a Christian. I was born into a Christian home and attended church faithfully. I was baptized when I was 12. I made straight A’s and was active in school organizations. I could quote many Bible passages. As a college student at U.C.L.A. in 1968, I became involved in campus Christian groups. I later attended a Bible college and served as a missionary. I then began teaching in a Christian school and played the piano for various churches. However, there was one problem—I had never truly placed my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior.
How could this be?
When I was growing up, I thought that sins were things like drinking, dancing, smoking and playing cards. I didn’t know anything about having a loving, personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. When I was a 16-year-old college freshman, I heard the words “God loves you” for the first time while attending InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ meetings. This idea was unusual and refreshing to me, because I had always thought of God as a stern taskmaster in the sky with a big stick, ready to hit me if I did anything wrong. Many of my college friends seemed to have a close, warm relationship with God, and when I was around them, I felt like an outsider. I was with God’s family, but not part of His family.
After college, I discussed my feelings that something was missing in my spiritual experience with two Christians whom I respected. They assured me that I was a good person and just needed assurance of my salvation. Their answer didn’t satisfy me. I had a lot of Bible knowledge and “deeper life” teachings, but I also had sins in my life which people couldn’t see, particularly unforgiveness toward people who had wronged me. I had no joy in hearing of the salvation of others. You could say that my Christian experience was “all in my head.”
Years passed. I pursued my career and was active in church life, but my spiritual life remained the same. But at age 36, something happened that changed my life completely. It happened on May 11, 1988, while I was attending a revival service at Temple Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL, where Evangelist Al Lacy was holding meetings. I sat in the back of the auditorium on the ground floor under the balcony. In front of me was a row of rough-looking men from the rescue mission that our church operated downtown. The evangelist spoke on “The Contrary Christ,” how Jesus had defied every law of nature. He was born of a virgin, He healed the sick, He walked on water, and He even ascended into Heaven, defying the law of gravity. I noticed that the men from the rescue mission were saying a lot of enthusiastic “Amens” and “Hallelujahs.” In my heart, I looked down on them because of their unkempt appearance, and some even had needle marks on their arms from long-term drug use. But I also observed their joy and obvious connection with God—something I did not have.
As we stood to sing the invitational hymn, the Holy Spirit suddenly and powerfully gripped my heart with the absolute conviction that I had never really accepted Jesus as my Savior. The conviction was so strong I could hardly breathe! I realized without Jesus I had no hope of eternal life. The thought went through my mind that if an explosion were to destroy the building we were sitting in, the men from the rescue mission would go to Heaven and I, “Miss Goody Two Shoes,” would go to Hell. My heart was so moved I began to cry. A lady counselor met with me, and we read Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 together. “For by GRACE are you saved THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” These were verses I had learned as a child, yet I had never understood them until just then! For the first time, I realized that I could not get to Heaven on my own merits. I needed the Savior! Right there I made a “business transaction” with the Lord—I gave Him my sins, and He gave me His righteousness. What a great deal! As the old hymn states, “’Tis done, the great transaction’s done—I am my Lord’s and He is mine...Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away!”
My life was changed forever. I now belonged to Jesus! I was eager to tell others. I loved the Lord and wanted to obey Him in every area of my life. I now felt ready to serve the Lord.
I have learned that, unfortunately, there are many people like me. I can now understand the testimony of others—a youth pastor at my mother’s church, a prominent deacon, a seminary student, and a man in our church choir—who, after years of Christian service, have come to realize their state of unbelief. All were convicted by the Holy Spirit that they were depending on something other than Jesus for their salvation.
What I and others have learned is that Christian activity does not give eternal life. In a tract called “Counterfeit Christians” by Evangelist Luis Palau, the question is asked “What does it take to make someone a real Christian?” The reader is asked to check as many as they think apply:
Being born in America
Thinking positively
Living a good life
Going to church
Giving to others
Being baptized
Taking communion
Believing in God
Talking about Jesus Christ
Reading the Bible
Prior to becoming a true believer, I would have checked many items on the list. Luis Palau wrote, “The truth is that while many of the items are Christian activities, not one of them can make you a real Christian. . . . God wants you to know where you stand in His eyes. Don’t settle for counterfeit Christianity when you can have the real thing.” This is what I had for so many years—“counterfeit Christianity.”
Right there I made a “business transaction” with the Lord—I gave Him my sins, and He gave me His righteousness.
Being a true believer has not meant that my life is free of trouble. Satan will always bring attacks against God’s people. I have gone through much personal upheaval and disaster, but through these trials, I have learned to submit to Jesus as Lord of my life. I have found that there can be only one will in my life. This has required that I die to my own will so that Jesus can live His life through me. My prayer is always, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”
If a person is depending on anything other than the atoning blood of Jesus Christ to get to Heaven, he will not make it. The Holy Spirit can open a person’s eyes to their need of a Savior, just as He did with me—when I was religious but lost!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Suggestions For Dealing With An Enemy, And The Last Resort When All Else Fails

Every enemy is a mother's son and an eternal soul.

Sixty five years of ministry, have attracted a broad assortment of enemies across my path. I have made all the mistakes possible in dealing with people, and have paid the price for my ignorance. By this blog I hope to save you some of the lost time, energy, lost opportunities, and lost progress I experienced. Heated arguments, excessive anger, physical fights, lawsuits, and making enemies over minor disagreements are never beneficial to the winner or the loser.

1. Love your enemy enough to share your faith with him. That will either convert him, neutralize him, or bring his dislike for you to the surface, where it can be dealt with.  Jesus said "...Love your enemies...." Luke 6:27. It is not love which acquiesces to evil or compromises truth.

2. Do not mistake rudeness, insult or a presumptuous bad attitude with Christian boldness or commitment. Approach the non-Christian with respect, generosity and humility ... even if he is an enemy.... until that is no longer possible. "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Rom.12:18

3. If you make enemies because of your Christian stand for our Lord, be patient, and wait on the Lord. He will either resolve the problem, give you an out, or neutralize the enemy. Just be sure its not your bad attitude that offends him.
4. Few people will be your enemy because of your love for the Lord. It's when you live it, speak of it and take a stand for Him that will make enemies of people, but you can't help that. You are called to live your faith and be a witness for Christ regardless of the reaction of those around you. "... be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord...." 1 Cor.15:58.

5. Make no enemies intentionally; you will make enough of them unintentionally if you live your faith and are unashamed to share it. Stay out of other people's arguments. "He that ... meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears." Prov.26:17.

6. Never pick a fight with anyone intentionally... but do not flee in fear either.
"... in nothing terrified by your adversaries." Phil.1:28. You can't escape an angry dog by running. Pick up a stick and look him in the eye."...Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7.  If you live and speak as the Holy Spirit directs, the world will pick enough fights with you to consume your time and energy. David didn't pick the fight with that Philistine, Goliath. The Philistines picked that fight and God sent David to neutralize the situation.

7. Don't choose your enemies. If you walk with God and speak the truth, they will choose you and that is all the enemies you can afford. Stand on principle and trust God to convert them or eliminate them. Adjust all your dealings with them so that they are either drawn to Christ or you slowly end all contact with them. They will either change or wither on the vine. "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." John 15:18

8. Never underestimate an enemy and try not to overestimate him, but the first is the more prudent of the two. If you have to defend yourself, if it is verbal, let your friends do it for you if possible. If it is physical, break his arm kindly... and then tell him the error of his ways and how to be saved. If you are out numbered, follow Jesus' advice ,,, "...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Lk.22:36. 

9. Keep in mind that the great Apostle Paul was once the arch enemy of all Christians. He abused them, imprisoned them and even killed them, but after he was saved, he wrote half the books in the new Testament and established more churches than anyone I have ever heard of.  Your enemy may be such a person.
"Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him...." Joel 2:14.

10. On dealing with dangerous, unrepentant enemies of Christ, such as Elymas, Paul didn't witness unto him, he turned him over to God to blind him and render him helpless. "And (Paul) said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind ...."  Acts 13:10-11. In effect, Paul delivered this enemy of Christ unto the judgment of God. When the enemy is totally intransigent and radically anti-Christ, this kind of action is Give to them according to their deeds and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give to them according to the work of their hands; render to them their deserts.sometimes necessary. On another occasion, In dealing with a rebellious, unrepentant, professing Christian, Paul advised the Corinthian Church to do a similar thing, but different in that in this case, the professing, but lost Christian was delivered into the hands of the Devil for fleshly destruction, that the man might be truly saved as a result. "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." 1 Cor. 5:5. 

Sometimes the best thing that can happen to an enemy of justice is for that person to suffer the consequences of his actions. As David  prayed..."Give to them according to their deeds and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give to them according to the work of their hands; render to them their deserts." Psm.28:4.

There is, in the Western World, a strange, perverted sense of the equal sanctity of all so called, "religions", so that the lost world and Liberal, leftist professing Christians consider all faiths, but one, as harmless friends and fellow religionists. This expresses itself, in America, as a peculiar sense of equal fairness to radical Muslims bent on killing Christians and Jews and all non-Muslims. "Fairness" is not what radical Muslim terrorists need. They need Jesus Christ as Savior. As long as they reject Christ, the lost world will continue to consider them "friends".
But Bible believing, born again Christians as the real enemy. If that seems strange, it is also commonly seen emanating from the White House, from Democrats, RINO Republicans, the secular Main Street Media and around the world. RB

Here is a clear summation of Islam's violent invasion of the Western, so called "Christian", world put out by 12 Tribes/Israel Video Network. If you think Israel is biased, the God of Abraham is also biased ... in favor of His people who are being brutalized and murdered.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Just One Single Thing Shines Above All Else Like The Sun In The Sky ... Jesus On The Cross For Sinners

Nothing else compares to God's Son on the cross for our sins.

There are ten thousand opinions in the hearts of men of the most desired, the most important things in this old world to love, hunger for and seek after. Many of them are worthy and honorable and important and many are lustful, greedy and dishonorable. But all the host of angels in heaven and doing God's service on earth sing out across the universe, in harmony with the sun, moon and star studded sky in exalting the single most glorious, ultimate expression of God's great love for the human race .... Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins. I myself have great affection for hundreds of God's Children I have known and served with, and dozens of wonderful gifts God has blessed me with, and the beautiful things around me He created, but far, far above them all is Jesus crucified on that old rugged cross for my sin. So I testify and confirm and give thanks to my Savior for what He did there for me, my family and my friends and I will glory in the cross. I will glory in the cross drenched in the blood of Jesus. I will glory in the cross.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fred Good's Mind Altering Blowout On A Late Night Highway In A Rainstorm

Here is another Fred Good experience which helped make him the man he is.
May it motivate us all to consider the spiritual impact a kind word or action may have on the lives of those we encounter every day. Each and every one of them carry burdens and needs we cannot see. A kindness may be of more value than a fortune in gold. RB

Recently I was asked about what motivated me to write my first book "The Success Factor". I couldn't remember anything that compelled me to focus my mind on the concept of giving . There is, however, something that happened many years ago that could have directed my though in the direction that led me to write a book that was read in countries around the World. Most of my life was spent in the wholesale beauty supply business with the main office in Tallahassee, Florida and a branch office and warehouse in Pensacola Florida .
I believe the story here happened in the early 1970's . I had spent the week in Pensacola, calling on beauty salons in and around that city. I was driving back to my home in Tallahassee late one night. It began to pour down rain as I approached the little town of Quincy, Florida, which is about 20 miles from Tallahassee. I drove through Quincy on highway 90 as the rain kept falling. About a mile out of Quincy "BAM" I had a blowout. I wondered just what to do with the pouring rain and me dressed in one of my best suits ... My thoughts were only for a moment because almost immediately a car stopped and parked behind me. A man got out, came to the back of my vehicle and asked me to open the trunk so he could get the spare and take off the blown out tire. I pressed the trunk button; he took out the spare, jacked up the rear and put on the tire, all accomplished in a pouring rain. After the man finished his work, he closed the trunk lid, knocked on the back, waved and was gone. I really did not get a good look at the individual who chose to help me ... without showing himself or staying for a thank you. This simple act of giving has remained in my memory all this time. At times I have wondered if this individual, who walked out into the pouring rain, fixed my problem, then did not stay to be recognized or thanked, was a human being or an angel. For
years after the blowout, as I traveled, I actually looked for the same type of problem so that I could give the same help as the Angelic person that helped me . Fred Good

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Should Preachers Keep Silence About Moral Issues Though They Be Also Political?

Of what use is a watchman who sees danger and sounds no alarm?

"And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.... and he that departeth from evil makes himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment." Isa.59:14-15 
"Judgment" in this verse is the Hebrew word "mishpat" and means simply "Law and order" or "justice". The word "justice" means "rightness" and the word "equity" is plain "fairness". Isaiah, God's watchman on God's wall of protection, is describing a civilized society which has lost its spiritual compass and gone astray from its Creator God to lawlessness, unrighteousness, and  plain unfairness.  Their spiritual and political leaders had ceased to hold up the standards of God's word, truth and righteousness and their government began to violate the boundaries of truth and justice which error spread to the general population, their schools and their public and private institutions. So that their nation and people were becoming uncivilized, unspiritual, unjust, lawless and unfair. When this kind of spiritual or political deterioration and corruption begins, it is hard to stop until it slams into the neutralizing bottom ... of that pit. This is why preachers and Christians, though imperfect, must stand up and speak out against these revisionary changes at first notice and continue to do so loud and clear until a revival of truth is ignited .... beginning in the hearts of God's people. This has been the calling of God's preachers, God's watchmen, from the beginning.... God called no supermen or perfect watchmen to walk His walls, but as faulty as they might be, they are responsible to watch for the safety and welfare of the people against all invasion, intrusion and violation of the people.

Moses spoke up for truth, justice and rightness ..."Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen." Deut.27:19 (though Moses was imperfect himself, he had God's calling as a watchman)

David spoke up for God's word, truth and right ..."The God of Israel ... spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." 2 Sam.23:3 (Yet David himself was imperfect, he was called of God, as a ruler, to be just)

King Solomon knew the ruin of evil and the power of rightness ...
"It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness." Prov.16:12 (Yet Solomon himself, a king, was not without fault... but he was God's watchman)

Isaiah did not hesitate to rebuke kings, Judges and Politicians ..."Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed." Isa.10:1 (though Isaiah himself was was not a perfect man, he was God's watchman)

Ezekiel pointed these words in the face of the politicians ..."Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezek.45:9 ("exactions are the act of forcefully extracting money from someone") Neither was Ezekiel without fault but he was a "watchman".

John the Baptist told King Herod his sinful taking of his sister-in-law to his bed was illegal and wicked and John lost his head for saying it.
"John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her." Matt.14:4 (Though John was not without fault, he was God's watchman and delivered God's message ... even to the King)

It is the responsibility of kings and other rulers to defend and administer justice, truth, and law and order equally and fairly. It is also the responsibility of preachers to be the watchmen on the wall and warn the people, kings, judges and politicians of the dangers of doing otherwise and pointing the way of truth, justice and God's word. "Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth." Psm.2:10 (Listen to God's people, God's preachers, God's watchmen on the national walls. Those walls are there for the people's protection. Protect the people but do not abuse them or overburden them)

Don't expect me to do less than these watchmen on the wall. I have a wall to walk and watch for injustice or invasion of the people's rights and sound the alarm when God's protective wall is breached. Though I too am far from perfect .... I am a watchman on the wall God assigned me. The first thing I was taught in Marine boot-camp was the General Orders of a sentry on guard duty. The first of those General Orders was "I will walk my post in a military manner keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing." It is the sentry's sworn duty to protect, day or night, those within his area of responsibility and to sound the alarm if danger approaches. 

"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence." Isa.62:6.