Archive for December, 2014

Tony is neither a pastor nor an apostle, though he does the work of each. He also, as in Second Timothy 4:5, does the work of an evangelist. He says and means, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” Enjoy his message. Think on it.

Calvary Temple Winchester

True Church What Does the True Church Look Like?

One of the challenges to ministering in Winchester is that there is an overwhelming amount of religion there.  What I mean by that statement is that there is a strong spirit of religion that compels people to profess Christianity, even go to church more often than your average professed believer…and yet a precious few that I have met are walking in righteousness.  Oh, there are some out in Winchester that are hungry for the Word of God, these few that have a relationship with their Heavenly Father.  They face another dilemma that we will discuss later.  As we have talked with people and dug deeper than just the surface, many of them have confessed from their own mouths that they are Christian in name only.  Some were born into the church, others were looking for friends or relationships, but when pressed, admitted that…

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Mary and I had a son who was born with hydrocephalus (water on the brain); the spinal fluid couldn’t drain, so his head was about the size of a cantaloupe at birth (when the fluid was drained, it became more normal) and his brain was a thin layer, like peanut butter, inside his skull. Surgery helped, but he couldn’t eat or drink and had to be fed through a tube into his stomach. He lived to about 20 months before his body just gave up. Four days before this, on Mother’s Day 1979, Mary visited Calvary and became born again. Four days after he died, at his funeral, I accepted the Lord, though I didn’t put it to practice for a few weeks. Here’s how it came about:

One day when Mary was at the grocery store, a woman named Bobbie Mullins approached her to pray for our son, Jimmy. She and Mary became acquainted and Mary accompanied her to church at Calvary Temple on Mother’s Day, 1979. That was May 13th. Mary accepted Jesus and became born again that day. Four days later, on Thursday, May 17, Jimmy died suddenly. Through Bobbie, Pastor Scott was asked to preside at the funeral service on Monday, May 21, 1979. He declined, then prompted by the Holy Spirit, agreed to do the service.

He was late. I was pacing the hallway at the Ives Funeral Home in Arlington when a huge white Mercury pulled up in front and there emerged (Oh, no!) a huge white guy in a white suit with a huge afro, accompanied by a goateed little guy with beady eyes (the devil??). That’s my recollection anyway. They were Pastor Star (Huh?) Scott and Steve Gardner. I told the pastor that we’d been down so long that we needed something to lift us up. He spoke for about 40 minutes (30 of which my mother, behind us, repeated, “Is he ever going to shut up?” ) At the end of the service, he asked anyone who’d like to have Jesus become Lord of their life to raise their hand. Don’t know about anyone else, but I raised my hand and repeated the prayer he led.

I’d been really stressed (Jimmy’s perils are another story) and don’t recollect a lot of what was said, and it took a while to get my head together, to unwind from the stress. All this time, Mary attended church while I stayed home. One day, however, I pronounced, “We’re attending church as a family” (we also had a seven-year-old daughter), and we soon took the newcomer’s class (Paul Richards taught) and became voting members. Our first vote was never to vote again. Though unbeknownst to me Mary was tithing, I wasn’t, until one day I pronounced, “We’re going to tithe.” I don’t believe much had been said in that regard from the pulpit.

Though it was Pastor Scott’s habit to suggest we visit other churches to understand what we had there, we never did so for that reason, and only once attended another church on purpose, to visit the pastor who’d married us in 1971. Each time we would think of visiting elsewhere as he suggested, we’d ask ourselves, “Why go elsewhere? Here are the words of eternal life.”

So, how was I changed? Well, I did little myself to “change my ways,” per se, but I noticed that right off the bat cursing and other bad language—especially if it emanated from me—became a hated thing. I just had to share Jesus with folks. This led me to leave the Masons, since that kind of talk was prohibited since it “caused strife.” Whereas once abortion meant nothing to me, I now knew in my heart it was murder.

I heard about Jesus’ provision for my healing. For twenty-five years I had been receiving shots and taking pills just to be able to breathe. I couldn’t buy Mary flowers (my one attempt would have made a good sitcom scene); I couldn’t enjoy the outdoors; I even had to wear a special mask during the summer while operating my Postal route in Rosslyn due to the pollution and pollen. One day, I had forgotten to refill my pill bottle, and when I realized this, it scared me. I had only enough medicine for a couple of hours and I could feel the need coming to medicate. I pulled over to the curb and prayed, “Jesus, I don’t deserve anything, but I’ve been hearing about your healing power. Could you please make these last two pills last at least until I get home?” Two days later, I realized I hadn’t had to take another pill. I have been free to mow and hike and stick my nose in and smell flowers ever since. I remain pretty much unaffected even during the monstrously high pollen counts we’ve experienced the past few years, though a bunch up my nose can make me sneeze a time or two.

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Christmas Is For Nobodies


But I was reminded that’s exactly who Christmas is for. The nobodies.
I couldn’t help but think about  the question my youngest asked before we left for the airport, “Is it Christmas everywhere? Even in Africa and New York City?”
Yes, Christmas is everywhere.
Because He came for everyone.
He came for the huge masses. He came for little you.

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My friend Mike wrote a good post.  Click the link below to read it!

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things:

The Pure Presence of God.

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I find it troubling that in America today:

Grand juries can see ALL the evidence and make their decision, but the rabble decry the decision…based on what?

Accusers come forward against a heretofore beloved personality, and before any trial the individual is stripped of awards and associations.

The Executive Branch of our government elevates itself to an oligarchy, its head becomes a despot, even a tyrant.

Lawbreakers, from the moment they illegally set foot on our soil, are given status – and eventually preferred status – in hiring over citizens.

And, it appears (Jeremiah 5:31), the people love to have it so. Else, why do the citizenry remain docile?

Just wondering….

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