I Feel Alone

i-feel-aloneby Lanette Cape

Psalm 147:3, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

There is no other love like Jesus’ love. He carries us when we think we can’t even carry on. I really don’t know where I would be without my Saviour.

Loneliness during the holiday season is so real for so many. The death of a loved one makes our lives feel so empty. We miss their love, embrace and their voice.

Sometimes a family disagreement causes separation that seemingly feels like it can never be repaired. This also leaves a void in our hearts that feels so empty. Sometimes it feels the same as a death has taken place.

Circumstances around us change. Maybe a move far away from our close family and friends leaves us feeling so alone. Even with all of our modern technology that can bring us close in moments, that void is still there.

Satan wants us to focus on the negative so he can steal our joy this Christmas season. Even with all of our loneliness, we don’t need to lose focus on the good surrounding us. Feeling alone because of a circumstance should never dictate our happiness in daily life.

Yes, loneliness comes. Have your time of crying, but make it as short as possible. There are others around you who need you. The best way to not focus on your own loneliness is to turn your focus on others.

John 3:16 tells us truly what we should focus on this Christmas. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Longview Baptist TempleGod loved us so much that He sent His Son to Earth to be born of a virgin. The greatest gift ever given to this world! So why should we be so selfish and drown in our loneliness and keep that gift to ourselves. We need to focus on sharing the Gospel and giving the opportunity for others to receive the greatest gift of all.

If we sit and feel sad for what we wish could be, we will allow Satan to steal our joy this holiday season. God has allowed things to happen in our lives for one purpose, and that is to help others.

So inwardly look at your broken heart and allow God to heal it, and then turn your focus on helping someone else.

The old saying is, there is always someone out there having it a lot worse than we are, and that statement is so true.

So what do we do? Daily take your problems to God in prayer, meditate on His Word and listen to good Christian songs and hymns. If you do this, you will quickly be on your way again not focusing on yourself, but focusing on why Jesus came to this Earth.

Jesus walked alone to the cross. He even felt forsaken by His Father, but He never lost His focus and freely gave His life for us all. Today He lives, so that we can live through Him.

This Christmas Season don’t miss out on the blessings awaiting you. Don’t dwell on your own loneliness, but let God use you to bring joy to others. You will then have the best Christmas of all.

Lanette Cape
Pastor’s wife
Bible Way Baptist Church
Powder Springs, GA

The Identity of Words

identity-of-wordsby: Dr. Allen Domelle

Judges 12:6
“Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.”

Someone came to me recently and asked me where I was from. At first, I didn’t understand why they asked me this question, so I asked them why they wanted to know. They heard me say that I was from California, but they said my accent didn’t sound like I was from there. When I told them that I lived in Texas, they then understood why I spoke with my accent.

The verse above shows the power of not only what you say, but how you say it. Israel was fighting a civil war between Ephraim and the Gileadites. The only way they could discern who belonged to who was by how they pronounced a word. It is interesting that both tribes could pronounce the same word, but they pronounced it differently. How they pronounced one word showed their identity.

What you say is always important. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Saying the right thing at the right time can make the difference in whether someone is helped or hurt. I believe it is important to be proper with what you say all the time. God’s people ought to learn how to say the right thing all the time.

However, how you say something can be as important as what you say. Isaiah 50:4 says, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…” You can say the same thing, but how you say it can make a difference in how others take it. Your tone of words can make the difference as to whether you influence people for right or wrong. This is why Jesus said in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” God wanted His servants to be wise with what they say and how they say it. Understanding the importance of what and how we say something brings a couple of thoughts to mind.

Woodland Baptist ChurchFirst, don’t respond in anger. When you respond in anger, you oftentimes say words with the wrong tone. Many relationships have been hurt because someone responded in a moment of anger, and the tone of how they said it hurt or damaged the spirit of another. Christians need to have the character to temper what they say during times of anger. It is always best to stay silent in a moment of displeasure than to say something out of irritation and hurt a relationship.

Second, NEVER settle problems or respond to tense situations through digital technology. The tone of what you say can never be read through a text or email. You may be very clear in your response, but the tone cannot be picked up. Many people have had to apologize for what they said through digital technology because others couldn’t read their tone. The best thing you could do is never to write something that could be taken wrongly.

My friend, what you say is important, but how you say it is just as important. Let me encourage you to be as careful with how you say things as you are with what you say. You will never regret guarding your tone and choice of words.

Hillary Has Been Trumped

hillary-has-been-trumpedIt was strange when I learned that my sister and her husband were both Hillary supporters (despite being born-again church going Christians), and so were other members (unsaved) of my family, all belonging mainly to the “learned” class. This caused me to ponder on this situation, and I’ve come to realize a few things:

1) Hillary lost more than Trump won. What I mean is that the various issues of corruptions and lies played a key role in motivating many of her supporters to switch, including a significant number of Obama supporters who chose not to pitch in for Clinton.

2) The churches across America probably had a major role in the increased turn-out in rural conservative America. These were the people who realized the deeper meaning for what America stands, and the sacredness of her Constitution. They stepped up.

3) Many in the 20 to 45 age bracket, especially women, were aghast with the Trump victory, many broke down crying. Seems to be a young, educated lot who reasoned away the first two amendments promise of sacrilege to the need of the hour, without deeply considering the consequences, and with complete disregard of God and His blessings the country has enjoyed over the centuries. They have become humanists, paying only superficial reverence to the Bible, but really, they would rather do away with it. This segment is growing and that is the worrying part. The conservatives have won today, but the battle is not over, unless the church storms Heaven with great prayer and asks for guidance on how to overcome the challenge ahead.

4) Listening to HIllary’s emotional post-result speech convinced me that the ideological divide in this country is huge. They believe they are right, all issues they stand for are real, and meaningful, for the citizens of this country. They seem unable to comprehend the people’s verdict, and are definitely shell-shocked.

5) The pollsters were a joke. Knowing the methods used in research, I realized they completely disregarded the people who didn’t matter (in their small minds); these people, who usually couldn’t be bothered with politics, stood up to be counted. Hallelujah!

Clearly, America is in need of a great revival. The learned generation, needs to learn about God and His saving grace, they need to step down from their lofty pedestals and open their minds to divine wisdom. But, reaching out to them needs a new strategy; these are not people who accept the message without questions. If we are in a situation where the person is living in sin, according to the Bible, our presentation needs to be different.

Westside Baptist ChurchA recent experience comes to mind. In Daytona Beach, my host, in the Air B and B home I was staying in, was very angry with the fundamental Baptist church in his area. I mean vociferously, vehemently angry. He had been divorced for several years, and had begun a relationship with a woman in a dead-end marriage. She went through a painful divorce, and then suddenly, she found God. She began fellowshipping at the Baptist church, and soon she was convicted strongly enough to end the relationship. Needless to say, he was devastated. He was a Democrat, and had enough of this old-fashioned religion. On trying to appeal to his sense of reasoning, I ran against the “Bible-is-not-the-Word-of-God” block. This block is universal among the school/college graduates of the last couple of decades. Colleges which were founded on biblical principles, to teach God’s Word, are today producing citizens with a clear conviction that God does not exist.

There seems to be no debate between creationism and evolution anymore. The schools seem to have done away with the biblical narrative. With the administration filled with modern day evolutionists, and with humanism as a philosophy reigning strong, the education system is being abused, in the effort to make it theologically neutral. Except when it comes to some minority groups who insist that their way is more important to them, and their rights need to be protected; therefore, their syllabus will contain what they believe it should. So fundamental Christianity is being compromised while other forms of religion are being protected. How strange can that be in this land of the free and the brave?

Conservative Republicans need to take this God ordained position of power to make those corrections. Bring God back into our education system, make prayer an integral part of our children’s education, teach them the Word along with the other views to give them proper balance. We need to sack those who think otherwise, the damage done is unbelievably extensive.

I firmly believe that children must be taught that it is not okay to be “gay,” or whatever other abomination that’s trending these days. We need to teach them that God loves them, but because they chose to turn their backs on God, they do not/will not enjoy God’s blessings and cannot be a part of our life in eternity with God.

But, we mustn’t exclude them (those living in sin) from our lives; instead, love them and in creative ways show them the wrong in their lives; never joining them. It is not for us to condemn them, that’s the job of the Holy Spirit to convict them. We must pray for them, and share the Gospel with them, and when they are in need, be the first to step up and support them, help them in anyway possible without compromising our own convictions.

I am in the world, but not of the world, and this principle needs to be understood by all of us. Yet, we are commanded by our Lord to love our neighbors, and also our enemies. This would include the ungodly; therefore, the love of God needs to touch them through our lives, and our witness of His salvation. It’s time for an awareness of the world we live in. We know it, but while we resign ourselves to our church services and the weekly preaching, the neighbors are crying for our attention, and we as God’s children need to reach out in love; God’s love.

Is this an idea, that we have special services for new believers, build up their foundation, before allowing them to experience the greater truths which convict us all along the way to the marriage supper as the bride of Christ. A kind of an invitational service, with all the reverence (which they expect) and an enlightening, life-changing basic teaching message from the Word.

I am convinced the enemy’s attack is direct on the Word of God, and this is where the church is going to be hurt the most. Perhaps special prayer times to address this issue would be a good way to start?

Pastor, I do not mean to preach, this is just a sharing of my thoughts with a person who has espoused God’s Word and God’s values have been a blessing to me during my stay here in San Francisco.


The Honor of Veterans

the-honor-of-veteransby: Dr. Bruce Goddard

Leviticus 19:32 says, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.”

Recently, while waiting in security at an airport, I was standing behind a quiet man, well built, but with a few years on him, thick, but with a subtle strength, well under six feet in height, but there was something about him, no doubt. A curve or two of the line brought my eyes to a hulk of a youth, well over six feet, obviously military, and briefly headed home or to being deployed. At one point the lines brought the two near each other and a brief conversation of “what and where” ensued. The older, (about 40 – 45 years) asked about some special training the other had just completed; the youth replied he had passed, and he was congratulated. The youth instantly replied, “I made it, but nothing like you guys would have done.” Unknown to me, the older must have been part of some special unit and was revered by the younger, who was unafraid to give honor to whom honor was due.

I suddenly envied the camaraderie and felt I was intruding a little bit into something sacred held by only these two among the crowded security line. Though they shared a few warm friendly words, the awe of the elder was clear. The line moved, the two were parted, and I felt like I was standing on holy ground where before me stood someone very special, and I held a great respect for the young hulk behind me for his unashamed revere of the elder.

We like the grit and toughness of our military, and all of us admire the scars or the battle wounds of veteran military folks. He will not push his way up front, but will stand in the back, say little, for he has seen the frailty of man, his own, and that of others. He has seen enough that he desires no accolades, avoids the platform, and certainly quietly holds inside the wisdom of decades.

We all smile at the good looking youth in their dress uniform, but show us the old soldier, having served 20-30 years with many deployments. We feel an awe, an almost spiritual reverence, and rightly so. You know that though there are a few more pounds, there is more battle wisdom, grit, and deadly experience than the good looking fresh youth could imagine; and the wise youth knows it to be true.

Golden State Baptist CollegeAmerica knows the veteran to be rich in experience and wary in conflict. The fearless youth might in passion run in where death waits, unaware of hidden danger. So our wise leaders use the older soldier to temper and guide. The aged soldier sees things the young man has not learned to identify. There are things that cannot be seen; it is an instinct, a sixth sense that guides the seasoned vet who directs the youthful soldier to survive in dangerous situations.

To some extent, we feel the same way toward coaches. Not as athletic, yet knowing, seeing, understanding and anticipating and able to guide the best of athletes to success.

Thanks to books, the internet and video, I have the same awe towards the grizzled preacher, mostly discharged and gone on to their reward. Heart scarred in decades of battle, having buried many a fallen friend, but seeing what others cannot see, sensing and aware of the wiles of the wicked one when the passionate youth might miss it.

The lean frame is not there, the flash of the new uniform is missing. The smooth skin, the bright smile, and casual air are all so different from the battle-scarred prophet. He seems to walk with a little skepticism, guarded, wary. The veteran knows loss, having walked through deadly fires and wept over countless spiritual graves, wearing toughened leather like spiritual skin tanned in mighty conflicts. The prophet knows the need for youthful blood and new soldiers on the battlefield, but hopes the fair-skinned youth would not be too impressed by himself or those peers who boast of gifts and more current ideas.

Some in America see the portly old man with the “Vietnam Vet” or ” WWII” hat and feel no respect, no awe, but the wise young soldier sees something rich and deep hidden beneath the wrinkles and gray hair.

Even in the difficult situation of Job and his friends, the younger Elihu understood that the prudent thing was to hold your peace and let the elder men speak.

Job 32:4 says, “Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.”

Job 32:6 says, “And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.”

Wise young men are a little hesitant to divulge their thoughts, knowing they sit among wiser and more experienced men. With unimpressed air, we use the colloquialism, “Been there, Done that,” but these seasoned soldiers of the cross “have and did,” and impressed we would wisely be. With the Elijah’s and Micaiah’s of our world, who’ve faithfully wielded the Sword, they walked differently, they looked different, they stood almost alone, among men yet distant; there was simply something different. They are the warrior, prophet, and man of God. No one has ever worshiped them, and the idiots who blast their “man worship” rhetoric are only revealing their immaturity and jealousy for the richness of the prophets life and reverence wise younger men feel for them.

You’ll find no battle scars on the guy who fits into the world. There are no grizzled old veterans of the contemporary church, for they have comfortably retired in their nice homes and casually speak in their occasional conference or cruise. Or, they have found more fertile fields in secular business, writing or motivational speaking. Serving the church and weeping with the hurting does not fit their successful lifestyle.

The prophets warned of the day when the ancient was not revered. Isaiah 3:5 says, “And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.”

The day when the elder is not honored is like the writing on the wall; trouble is on the way. Lamentations 5:12 says, “Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honoured.”

For me, I will honor the Jack Hyles, (you knew it was coming, I didn’t want to disappoint you) John R. Rice and the Lee Roberson’s, Oliver B. Green’s and the Lester Roloff’s, Bob Jones, as well as their friends who fought the fight and stood true to the end. I will with humility and pride “rise up before the hoary head” and “honor” their name.

Dr. Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar CA

The Spoiled Liberal

the-spoiled-liberalby: Dr. Allen Domelle

The elections are over, and the liberals are already revealing who they are. From a group who preaches the importance of reaching across the aisle, they are sure revealing how spoiled and exclusive they are. From the spoiled brats rioting, their actions are for another article, to liberals like Juan Williams spewing hateful venom, to tweets calling for President-elect Donald Trump’s assassination, the real agenda of liberals is being exposed.

It reminds me so much of three stories from the Scriptures. The first story is of Ahab, who went to Naboth to ask him for his vineyard. The vineyard was Naboth’s inheritance. It was what his fathers had passed down throughout the generations. Ahab wanted the vineyard because he wanted to sacrifice to Baal on the land, but Naboth would have nothing to do with it. Naboth told Ahab in 1 Kings 21:3, “…The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” He knew what Ahab would do with the vineyard, and he knew what the inheritance meant to God and his family. When Naboth wouldn’t give his vineyard, Ahab went “into his house heavy and displeased” because he didn’t get his way. It resulted in an evil plan to have Naboth assassinated because he wouldn’t bow to the spoiled liberals way.

Another story is found when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, demanded that Hezekiah surrender to him. Sennacherib said that if Hezekiah surrendered, that he would give him a “land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.” The liberal always says that what they have is better than what you have; however, Hezekiah wouldn’t cower to the threats of the liberal king. This resulted in threats that Hezekiah would be destroyed because his basis upon which he based his decision was antiquated. Although history proves that Sennacherib was wrong, he tried to threaten God’s people into compromise with empty threats like every spoiled liberal does.

The last story that comes to mind is when Balak offered Balaam riches, power and prestige if he would cross the aisle and compromise his beliefs to curse God’s people. When you read the story, you see that Balaam initially rejected the offer, but after more offers and pressure from Balak, he accepted the offer to curse God’s people. Had it not been for divine intervention through a talking donkey, Balaam would have found himself on the wrong side of history. Instead, he went and blessed the people of God, in spite of Balak offering compromise after compromise. When Balak didn’t get his way, he responded like every spoiled liberal responds. His response is found in Numbers 24:10-11 where it says, “And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.” Balak’s final response was a threat in hopes to get Balaam to offer a reconciliatory spirit, which he did not.

The results of this past election have revealed who liberals are and what they want. The rioting, threats and the “concerned” counsel by liberals to President-elect Donald Trump to offer an olive branch to the Democrats is simply another tool out of their playbook to get their way. I’m always amazed how liberals demand that those who stand for right should have a conciliatory spirit and not stand firmly on what they believe; yet, they won’t budge when they are in power. When liberals don’t get their way, they cry, riot, and demand that we should change who we are because they lost.

I believe this past victory gives us great insight into what those who are old paths, independent Baptist should do in response to the liberal cry to be more conciliatory in our stance. There are those in the “Christian” world, and I use this term lightly, who think that the old paths, independent Baptist are running people off with our stance on the Scriptures. Wow; it seems like I’ve just heard this from all the liberals who say you can’t win an election with conservative policies. I have several answers to those spoiled liberal “Christians” who say the old paths don’t work and that we should tone down our beliefs from the Scriptures.

1. I don’t do what I do because it is popular or because it attracts crowds. I do what I do because the Scriptures command me to do it.

Faith-Baptist-Church_Margate-ADWe are commanded in Jude 1:3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” God didn’t tell us to contend for crowds, but He said to “contend for the faith.” My friend, when you get to the point that crowds are more important than embracing truth, you are on changing ground. You will always find that those who do right have never been popular. John the Baptist certainly wasn’t popular, and he lost his head for doing right. Jesus wasn’t popular with the religious crowd, and they crucified Him for not falling into lock-step with their agenda. You will find that you will never be in the popular crowd when you stand firmly for truth. What we need today are Christians who fall in love with truth and embrace it, instead of trying to be appealing to the world to attract big crowds. You should never measure what you do by whether it builds crowds or is accepted by the populace, but you should measure what you do by whether it is right or wrong.

2. If liberal “Christians” are so concerned with meeting in the middle, why don’t they make the first move?

Isn’t it always amazing how liberals demand that we make the first step. This has been the Devil’s ploy since the beginning of time. He knows that whoever makes the first move has lost. That is why he tried to get Moses to compromise, but he quickly found out that Moses understood that truth was more important than the opinion of the Egyptians. You can never worry about how the world perceives you; instead, you must be concerned with God’s perception of you. Matthew 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Christian’s response to the liberals cry to move should be patterned after Nehemiah’s response. He said in Nehemiah 6:3, “…I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” My friend, don’t move when the liberal demands you make the first conciliatory move because you are doing a “great work,” and why should the work of God cease to make a treaty with a spoiled liberal. Always remember that any move is compromise, and God never commands us to move, but He does command us to stand.

3. I’m on the winning side, and history and prophecy prove it.

History has always proven that the old paths work. Hebrews 11 gives us a list of Christians who chose not to listen to the offers of compromise by liberals. No, they were not popular in their day, but history has proven them to be right. The Book of Revelation proves the old paths are right when God sets up His kingdom, not after the world’s system, but after His Word. Christian, why would you want to move away from the winning side? We know that holy living leads to joy and happiness. We know that men and women dressing decently leads to pure minds. We know that young people not touching each other before marriage leads to them walking down the aisle as virgins. We know that soul winning leads to lives being changed. We know that it is through the “foolishness of preaching” that lives are changed. Yes, we know that the old paths work! My friend, the old paths are winning paths that have been tried and tested by God’s Word. Don’t let the antics and attacks by liberal Christian elites cause you to leave what you know to be true from God’s Word.

As you watch the liberals respond to losing the presidency, remember that liberal “Christians” respond the same way. Remember that their antics are a way to shame you into cowering into compromise. The Christian must never fall for their foolery. Stand strong and always remember that the old paths are winning paths because the old paths are where lives are changed, marriages are salvaged, and the youth are challenged to live for God.

We Are In A Great Strait

we-are-in-a-great-straitby: Keith Phemister

This upcoming election could possibly be the most important and history altering election of our lifetimes. There can be no doubt that the ramifications from the vote of the American public will effect our children and grandchildren for the entirety of their lives – as well as ours.

If you are like me, you most probably are at times disillusioned by the nominees. I must admit, at times throughout this election year, I have probably been seen mumbling to myself, “I’m not voting this year – I will just save the gas it costs to go to the voting booth.”

Indeed, we are in a great strait. I follow those words which were spoken by David – after he had numbered the people and God had called him on it. We can pick it up here in 2 Samuel 24:10-17 where it says, “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.”

Fundamental Baptist Church Alvarado TXDavid had sinned and God called him on it. He offered him three choices to choose from as punishment. David responded, “I am in a great strait…” Now the reason he was in a great strait was because there was not a good choice from which to choose. No choice set before him offered a glaring joy, which would make it an easy choice.

I find, for me anyways, that the great battle in the Christian life is not a choice of right or wrong, but of good, better or best. Someone wisely said, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” Just look at Mary and Martha as our Lord came for a visit. Martha was cumbered about much serving, but Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His Word. The Lord commended Martha for her serving, but at the same time taught her that “one thing was more needful” and Mary was doing just that, sitting at Jesus’ feet and hearing the Word. What Martha was doing was good, but what Mary was doing was better.

Going to a ball game may be in some ways a good thing, but when one goes to a ball game on Sunday and misses church, they have given way to a better and best thing. They have in effect made the good thing a bad thing.

I have tried as a pastor to keep the main thing the main thing. Soul winning has got to be center stage because it is the best thing. Fellowships are good and needy, I agree; however, I am finding in our circles that we have become so conference saturated perhaps that we have sacrificed the best thing for a good thing. Mind you, I am not against conferences held by good churches, but it seems there are so many coming across my desk – seeking us leaving the fields of sin and going away from our soul-winning ministries for the sake of a good conference and fellowship, especially on Saturday – a day I claim as the best day for soul-winning and visitation. It is my opinion, that many have given way to a good thing at the sake of a better. We must constantly be on the lookout for decisions that involve good, better and best and choose the better or best instead of the good.

On the other hand, like David himself encountered, there are occasions when we must make decisions that are not good, better or best, but bad, worse and worst. May I parallel David’s plight with America’s plight as the election day approaches. I don’t believe we have a perfect candidate, but neither will I let that thought keep me from doing my duty on election day. There must be wisdom as we go to the voting booth. Someone will be elected President in just a few days. America will have spoken and a new President-Elect will be upon us.

According to the Washington Post, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is already the winner in the November presidential elections. The Post says that “Clinton is ahead in nearly all of the key battleground states” where her campaign has directed the most resources, according to many recent polls…

I have heard all too often that since we do not have a godly candidate we need to cast a write-in vote or not vote at all. After all, they say – a deliberate choice to not vote is a vote in and of itself. Think of the logic here: As a Christian, we can’t vote for Trump because he is such an ungodly man, so by throwing a vote away either by not voting or voting for someone who can’t win, we are voting for an even more ungodly candidate, who will delightfully take away our Christian liberties in a New Hampshire minute! May I tenderly say that if one votes for Hilary Clinton, one is deluded, and that is terming it nicely. How can a Christian vote for someone who votes for the murder of innocent babies, or for the gay rights agenda, or for one who hates Israel and shows a disdain for born-again Christians? I certainly hear those who say they cannot vote for a candidate such as Trump. Believe me, I get it! But God has used ungodly men as leaders before and he can do it again. I am not voting for Mr. Trump for the pastor of a church or even as a Sunday School teacher.

November is not far off. Only the Lord knows the outcome of the elections. He will allow that which will further fulfill His prophetic Word. He is always in control. But while it seems we may not have a good choice as candidate for President, we do have a choice. If indeed it is choice of bad, worse and worst as it seems – let us use wisdom in selecting the bad choice, and in doing so – making a good choice.

Samuel Adams made a great statement many years ago. He said this, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Indeed, voting is both a privilege and a high responsibility.

As Christians, I believe we should be looking at the candidate’s platforms. The platforms in this election cycle are clearly opposite. One platform is for abortion, same sex marriage, open borders, illegal immigration, bigger government, freedom from religion. The other platform is against abortion, same sex marriage, illegal immigration, open borders and is for smaller government.

It is abundantly clear that very innocent people paid for the backslidden condition of their leader, King David. It should be abundantly clear to all of us that we too could pay – for the unwise selection of the next POTUS – by either not voting or by casting a vote for a write-in candidate. May we all seek the Lord as we go to the voting booth on November 8 and help decide America’s direction and future.

As David made the decision, he made the decision to be in God’s hands and not man’s. I am thankful for one thing – the the Lord is in control. No matter what happens on November 8th, I rest knowing who holds tomorrow! Brethren, we are in a great strait!

Keith Phemister
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Hudson, NH

PTSD: I’m Free

ptsdHello, friend, my name is Sarge. I was a Recon-scout in Iraq with over 250 combat missions in my last deployment alone. While I was in-country, I grew comfortable with that environment to the point where it was my “normal.” You see, we were maxing out our souls with a heavy burden of guilt with no thought of how the decisions we were making today would affect our soul tomorrow. It didn’t start out that way, of course. It started with stars and stripes in all our eyes.

Upon my return to the states, real fear gripped my heart because I knew I was a wild animal now. Yesterday, I was expected to follow orders to my death and kill if necessary. Today, I am expected to sit in church; be polite, and don’t offend; smile, of course, and tell people, “Jesus loves you.” The Preacher says, “Hello, Sarge. Glad to have you back!” Everyone claps in agreement to say, “We missed you.” The sermon is about forgiving your enemies. By this point, my worst enemy is me. Unbeknownst to those around me, vivid visions filled with the sights and sounds of another world are relived in my mind as the Pastor gives his message. My mind is meditating day and night on bitter memories with no understanding of how to calm the sea of rage inside my soul. Nightmares turned into day and life became numb. My days were filled with high-octane, rage-fueled adrenaline-pumping highs. My nights were filled with depressed suicidal lows. I couldn’t sleep with the internal demonic voices of hopeless defeat, a worthless future, and my helplessness to stop even the smallest attack on my soul. It was getting so bad that I was considering suicide. My wife begged me to seek help; so I did. The church was my first stop. While my Pastor wanted to help, he lacked the understanding on HOW to help me, and one day sent me away in frustration. So, I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb my senses. I knew I could not live this way anymore, but HOW could this maniac I now was be brought into his right mind?

I was desperate. I was without hope. I was considering suicide more seriously. My strong wife begged me to get help. I went to the VA. They diagnosed me with PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. “Disorder,” that word brought new levels of hopelessness to my condition. They rated me and gave me fistfuls of drugs. Twenty percent of all suicides in the U.S. are veterans battling PTSD. More than one a day die from suicide. No doubt the VA thought I’d be dead within 24 months.

It all came to a head on a day when I took three times the recommended dose of narcotics in order to control the excruciating pain from a back injury I had sustained while in the Army. Plus, I took a fistful of anti-depression pills and anti-anxiety meds. Unfortunately, while feeling sorry for myself, I added alcohol to the VA cocktail and compounded the problem. Somehow I got home, because the next day I woke up on my bathroom floor covered in puke. Failure filled my heart. The hurt in my wife’s face was super evident. Looking at my children through bloodshot eyes, I was overwhelmed with defeat again. I remember my oldest daughter, who was 3 at the time, looking at me with such loving eyes and pride in her daddy. I was her hero daddy. I thought, one of these days that little girl is going to have a broken heart when she figures out that her daddy is a drunken, druggy loser. In my exhaustion, I whispered a prayer of desperation in my mind, “God, send me someone who can help. Fix me so I don’t die. Deliver me. I don’t know how to deliver myself!”

Golden State Baptist CollegeThe week passed and Sunday came around again. This time I went to a different church in my town that had an RU, Reformers Unanimous, program. RU is a faith-based addiction recovery program. The RU director handed me a book titled, “The Revived Life.” I went home from church and read the first page. The verse jumped out at me, “Oh wretched man that I am, WHO shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) It’s a WHO, not a what! I was trusting in all these whats to help me through my battle with PTSD. Church is a what. Drugs is a what; legal and illegal. The VA is a what. Jesus is a WHO!!! I suddenly saw it all clearly. I had not trusted Jesus to heal me. That first simple truth began my journey in the making-me-free process. That was some time ago. I have learned many more truths since then. Deception had enslaved me. Bitterness had demanded meditation and plunged me into despair. The Devil had lied to me, destroyed my life, and almost killed me. Jesus is the truth that makes me free! My new church helped me learn truth through my spirit-filled Pastor and RU director. Jesus taught me the HOW I had been seeking. He taught me that as I received Him, so I walk in Him step-by-step each and every day. It’s all by grace through faith. I trusted Him for my salvation to deliver me from Hell; God’s penalty for sin. Where I lacked understanding was this: I did not know I must also trust Him to save me from the power sin had over me. He is accessible NOW, at this very moment; if we but ask and receive it!

Friend, are you tired? Are you experiencing hell-on-earth and considering suicide. Jesus said He came to give you life, and life more abundantly! It is available right now! Go to Jesus and seek a relationship with Him, for He is the only one WHO can satisfy a hungry soul and fill it with goodness. I have remained sober from all drugs, even my prescriptions from the VA, since seeking a relationship with Jesus with the help of RU. Christ is living through me now. My children are happy. My wife loves me even more than ever, and I am sitting in my right mind in church with no help from the VA drug cocktails. In fact, I went to the VA after the last demon of hell left my soul. I told the VA I was cured, and it was Jesus Who healed me. They expected a relapse in the future because as far as the VA is concerned, what I said is impossible. That’s a lie! I know better. Jesus is able and willing to do what is impossible with men.

What do you have to lose? Without Christ there is no hope!


Don’t Vote for Trump

dont-vote-for-trumpby: Jason Williams

I am a Christian, and I am not voting for Donald Trump (and neither should you) 

I am a pastor in Ohio who is heavily involved in the political process, and I have hesitated to write this but I don’t think I can be silent about this anymore. Christians should not vote for Donald Trump (or Hillary Clinton, or Gary Johnson).

Now, to be clear, I am 100% against not voting. I believe that not voting is a waste of the gifts that God has blessed us with (think the servant who buried his talent in the sand).

This brings up an interesting question. If we are supposed to vote, but we are not supposed to vote for any of the candidates, then, who on earth do we vote for?

I’m glad you asked because I am very concerned about how many pastors from all across America were so quick to endorse a particular candidate in the primaries with little to no regard as to what their endorsement meant. To be clear, pastor, when you stand in front of a group of people and say I am endorsing this one particular candidate over another candidate, you encourage your people to follow your advice recommending that they also vote for someone that you know very little about. I have heard countless pastors say, “I met so and so, and I believe that I know them.” I promise that you do NOT know who they truly are. It is virtually impossible to know a person within several meetings. Think about it, did you truly know your spouse after one date? How would you possibly know enough about a candidate to endorse them after one meeting?

I only point this out because I believe that one of the biggest lies ever given to Christians is that we have had great Christian candidates in the past. All candidates are sinners just like you and me. We have always had to choose the lesser of two evils, and we will always have to. The real sin would be to not use our gift of freedom and refuse to vote simply because we don’t have a candidate who speaks our dialogue.

To be clear, I am not voting for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Gary Johnson, or myself for that matter.

This is why:

Believers are not supposed to vote for anyone; we are to vote for biblical values. Now, in this particular election, I believe that Donald Trump is the closest to the values that I believe the Bible teaches.

I’m not voting for Trump because I am voting for the Supreme Court – the next President will nominate several Supreme Court Justices and the Supreme Court will decide the future of our children.

I’m not voting for Trump because I am voting for religious freedom – Religious freedom is under attack in our country, and I believe that Hillary Clinton will continue that attack. In fact, I think she will step the attack up.

I’m not voting for Trump because I am voting for personal freedom – our personal freedoms are under attack like never before. We are slowly being stripped of all our rights, and it is important to look at the candidates and see which one defends personal freedom, and which one takes it away.

I’m not voting for Trump because I am voting for life – the single most important issue to me is life. If we as a nation are going to butcher children simply because we don’t want them then we are in real trouble. This particular election has one candidate who promises to help support life and one (Hillary Clinton) who promises to continue funding groups like Planned Parenthood.

Now, in all of these situations Donald Trump stands the closest to what I believe the Bible teaches. So it does so happen that when I vote this November 8, I will be voting for Mr. Trump. Not only that, but I will be hosting voter registration drives in my church every Sunday morning for the month of September. Pastor, I highly encourage you to do the same. Not voting is the greater of three evils! And you must do everything you can to ensure that your members are registered to vote and that they vote how they believe the Bible says they should vote! I have told you who I believe God wants me to vote for now you do the same.

If you would like information on how to do a voter registration go to GOPFaith.com.

Jason Williams
Singles pastor
High Street Baptist Church
Columbus, OH


Preachingby: Dr. Bruce Goddard

I remember hearing Dr. Hyles talk about moving up north and finding the culture awkward. He was a preacher, but they were familiar with a very formal, sedate service; he was anything but formal or sedate. Calm and sedate church services are not new in our society; they were a problem in the late fifties when Dr. Hyles moved “up north.”

When John Rice started the Sword of the Lord, the banner across the top said that he opposed formalism. He was, as other soul-winning preachers of his day, opposed to a calm and sedate service.

In 1982, when we started Faith Baptist Church, I was “preaching” from the very first day. I was excited. I was thrilled to be a preacher, and wanted the preaching to be exciting and upbeat. I was not a “pastor/teacher” type. The valley was filled with people from different religious backgrounds. Between the ten thousand people in Lake Elsinore and the one thousand in Wildomar, there were four other Baptist churches. So in 1982, a “preacher” showed up, and he was something entirely different from the teacher-type of pastor with which they were familiar. People like preaching. People like excitement; they like excited sports announcers; they like excited coaching; and the fact is, they like exciting preaching. It is the work of the Devil that brings preachers to calm, quiet, teacher-type lessons instead of old-fashioned preaching that changes lives. (Of those four “teacher type” Baptist churches 32 years ago, none have grown, two dropped the name Baptist, and somehow ours has kept reaching people.)

It is funny to me that Americans love singers who “feel” the music; but when it comes to the Word of God, they want someone who acts as though the Bible is a math book or some college literature course of which none of it really matters for eternity. Why not have a preacher preach as if everything he is talking about it true and literal? Why not preach as if you believe what you are saying.

After decades of marriage, some will cease saying, “I love you,” while others say it with little or no emotion. Honestly, is that the kind of preaching we want in our churches? So we want words to come out with no feeling or emotion attached?

When I first began attending in Bible college, I heard a teacher say there were Bible teachers up north and southern “theatrical” preachers. He was mocking the over-zealous actors of the southern style of preaching. I thought much about it and decided that I would rather be someone who speaks like he believes what he is saying, not as some dead lecturer who recites facts and bores the audience.

Texas-IBSA fake is someone who believes in Hell, but speaks of it as if it is not real. He is a fake who says he believes in Heaven but can speak on Heaven without joy or smile.

I’ll not be a fake! I’ll be excited about Jesus, happy about Heaven, broken over Hell, and passionate about serving the Lord. You can have your fraudulent “speakers” who teach from pulpits and transfer emotionless information to crowds seeking a head knowledge with no heart attached.

1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” It doesn’t say the lecturing of the cross, but the “preaching of the cross.” God continues in verse to say in verse 21, “…it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” It is always preaching that changes lives, not dead, emotionless teaching. Give me preachers!

Dr. Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar, CA

God Save America?

God Save America?by: David Owens

Why Should He?

Matthew 25:26, “His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:”

I have an opinion concerning American Christianity during my lifetime. The phrase “…Thou wicked and slothful servant…”, I believe, describes the condition of God’s people in 2014.

This is an article that you may begin reading but lose interest and stop unless you finish it on purpose. If you do read the entire article, you will find it hard to keep your mind on it. The reason? Satan does not want God’s people to understand this truth; for if we do, we will truly stop hiding the Gospel.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says, “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

We have all heard sermons concerning the subject “God Save America” and we have attended conferences with either the theme of reaching America, or saving America, as a part of the conference. Please do not misunderstand me, I love America! However, God never commanded me to just love America. To be godly is to love the world! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world.” While we are trying (too often in our own power, sad to say) to save America, God has commanded us to save the world. I fear this selfish attitude of ours has only hastened to bring destruction to our nation; for if our goal is different than God’s goal or if our goal is less than God’s goal, it will not have God’s help.

This is not just an American problem, it has always been a problem among God’s people, no matter where they live or at what time in history. The attitude of, “As long as I’m saved and my family is saved and my nation is ‘Christian’ and that is all that matters” is selfish. The attitude that God needs America to be strong in order to reach the world is not found in the Scriptures. If we would concentrate on the world as God commanded us to, we would also reach America, but we will never save America for America’s sake.

I firmly believe that God will bless America only if God’s people follow His command and example by sending the Gospel to the whole world, just as God loves and gave His Son to the world. Is it not wicked to concentrate on one people or one area or country when God concentrates on the whole world? (2 Chronicles 7:14) Why should God save America when American Christians are not producing for God as we ought?

American independent, fundamental, KJB Baptist’s; let me ask you a question: Why should God bless America? Because America is a moral nation? Because America loves God and respects godliness? Because America’s Christians do not compromise with the world? Because we are reaching America as we should? Because we love the world like we should? Because we are reaching the world like we should? Because we tend to believe that even future events in Scripture depend on America? Should God preserve our nation because God’s people in America are successfully preaching the Gospel to “every creature” in “all the world”? We are not even reaching America!

Going to church is not serving God. Reading your King James Bible is not serving God. Having standards is not serving God. Winning souls everywhere is serving God! “The field is the world.” Matthew 13:38

Westside Baptist ChurchActs 1:8 is familiar to us, but I fear we have not really studied it along with the context. I challenge you, look at it, open your Bible, check out Acts chapter one. We understand that the Jews were looking for the Messiah to deliver their nation from the Romans. They were looking for an earthly kingdom and king. In other words, “God, save Israel!” Even Christ’s disciples had a hard time seeing the world past their own nation.

After three and a half years of teaching, preaching, training and sending the disciples, just like us, they still struggled in understanding God’s heart. Christ had risen and His last instructions before ascending to His Father are recorded in Acts 1:8. Christ lists four places joined by the word “and”, meaning all the places at the same time. He used the word “both”, but went on to list four places. “Both” means to be a witness where you are and where you are not. I can reach those whom I can personally preach to and I can reach others by actively supporting those who are soul winning and planting churches somewhere else. The “somewhere else” is three of the four areas Christ commanded us to reach. We are not obeying the “Great Commission” until we are starting churches everywhere. Start them, plant them, establish them or birth them, call it what you want; but unless God’s people in America obey Christ’s last command to us, we should not even sing, “God Bless America.”

Now, don’t miss this: Acts 1:8 is actually Jesus’ response to this idea of “God save Israel” or “God save America.” Consider verse 6, “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus, you saved us, you trained us for 3½ years and you died and rose again, it must have been to save Israel. Note verse 7, “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” Jesus responded, the restoration of a nation is none of your business, that is not your concern, that is not what this is about, you are being short-sighted, you are limiting God, you are being selfish! Now Christ goes on in verse 8 and repeats the command, the Great Commission, which also applies to us today. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Jesus is saying, let me repeat this for you, here is the reason I came to Earth, trained you, died for you, rose again and am giving you the Holy Spirit. Witness to the whole world, not just Israel! I came to save the world, not just Israel. I love the world, not just Israel. Every where, to the uttermost, to every creature, into all the world, unto the ends of the earth. Disciples, stop worrying just about your community, your state and your nation and worry about the world. Stop trying to save just your community, your nation and save the world! Disciples, while you have been trying to save just Israel, Israel has rejected me. John 1:11 says, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Christian, while you are trying to just save America, America is rejecting God double time. And while we have spent years worrying about America, America is not only going to Hell, but so is the world! While we sing, “God Bless America,” America has outlawed Jehovah God and we ignore much of the world’s people who are receptive to the Gospel, but have never heard.

1. If you are not personally preaching the Gospel AND equally sending and supporting those preaching the Gospel to every creature and planting churches, you are not fully serving God.

2. Do not expect God to provide for you, protect you or save your nation if you do not fully serve God.

3. It is wicked to not fully obey God and allow any for whom Christ died to go to Hell without ever hearing the Gospel.

4. God never told the church to reach just Israel, just their own town, just their own nation or concentrate on just one portion of the world. God never told the Christian to just reach their own nationality or special-interest group. For God so loved the world, go ye into all the world, to every creature, the uttermost parts of the earth. Even David, giving to Goliath the reason he would smite him said, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” (1 Samuel 17:46)

5. So, child of God, stop limiting God, stop being selfish, broaden your vision to include God’s vision. Look out of God’s eyes.

Independent, fundamental Baptist churches, let’s compare: are you spending your time equally between reaching the world and your own community? Are you spending equal resources reaching the world as you do your own community? Are you equally concerned with starting churches outside of your community as you are with building your own church? By the way, are you doing at home what you expect the missionary or church planter to do elsewhere? Why, when you have financial struggles in your church, do you cut the missions budget first? Why is the revival conference or God Save America Conference better advertised and attended than the Missions Conference? Why do God’s people expect to have some special call to go preach, start churches or be a missionary when Christ already commanded us to do that? Where is the call to stay home and disobey Christ’s command? Pastors travel miles to attend a Bible or pastors conference in order to build their own church, but would not do the same for a missions conference in order to reach the world and plant churches. God never even commanded pastors to build their own church. (Matthew 16:18) God sent His son from Heaven to this world to die for sinners, why is it such a struggle for churches to send their trained staff and for parents to send their children to another part of the world? Just like the disciples, we are too often overly concerned with our own nation, our own church, our own community, our own family; but Christ is concerned for “…the uttermost part of the earth.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “…turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Proverbs 24:11-12 says, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”

God save America? Why should He? God will not restore our nation until God’s people in our nation are worth restoring.

David Owens
Westside Baptist Church
Pacifica, CA