Sunday, November 20, 2011

God May Not Always Be On Time, But He's Never Late

Life has been difficult the last couple of weeks. So difficult, in fact, that I have quite forgotten to remember that God takes care of His people. I've been worrying so much that I haven't been able to sleep at night. My wife has been grouchy, and we've both been on edge.

I carelessly neglected to pay my State taxes from last year when I filed them. We couldn't afford them. We had more taxes to pay than previous years because we had received some extra money through the unfortunate death of my Father-in-law. I stupidly did not get around to making payment arrangements.

I don't make a lot of money. We rarely have more than a 4 or 5 dollars left from my paycheck by the time the next one arrives.

Three weeks ago, and one week before I was to receive my last paycheck, The State Department of Taxation sent me a letter explaining that my checks were going to be garnished until the full amount owed was paid off.

Now, I've had checks garnished before, and I found, at the time, it was a convenient method of paying debts. I didn't have to worry about having enough money left from my checks to make the payments because they were deducted directly from my paycheck off the top. But, they only took a percentage of each check. They didn't take the whole thing.

Initially, I wasn't worried.

But, then, I found out they were planning on taking my entire paycheck. My wife and I started making phone calls, trying to make other arrangements so I could have at least part of my check, and we did manage to get a break due to "hardship". Unfortunately, the payment arrangement didn't get to the payroll department on time and my entire check was taken anyway.

I haven't received a paycheck since the 27th of October.

So, we have been living on next to nothing for almost a month now. We were already behind on our water bill and our electric bill. We heat with fuel oil and that is so expensive, I haven't been able to afford to purchase fuel oil all summer. Our heating oil provider won't even deliver less than 150 gallons at a time and that runs almost $600.00. So, now, with winter rapidly approaching, we have been looking into other alternatives to heat our house. We have one small electric heater, and a wood stove. Of course, if we lose the electricity and our water, one wood burning stove would be woefully inadequate. If the temperature dropped, we would literally be freezing in the dark.

Then, one day before our water would be cut off, and two days before our electricity would be disconnected, God stepped in.

Friends offered to let us come and cut up a fallen dead oak tree at their house. Other friends loaned us just enough money to pay the past due balance on our water and electric bills. We are three days away from my next paycheck, which, because of the earlier payment arrangements, will be doubled, with only a hundred dollars deducted from the total, and it looks as if we will survive.

We have enough heat, and we still have light. We will make it to the next paycheck. Now, I said all this so I can say this:

I wholeheartedly believe that we managed to stave off freezing in the dark only with the help of a loving God, who, as He promised, takes care of us, even when we misplace our faith in Him, and disregard His promises.

Someone once told me (and I will never forget it), "God may not always be on time, but He's never late", meaning God will step in and help on His time, not ours, but it is always just when we need Him most.

As a way of acknowledging the awesome power of God and in thanksgiving for His timely help, I am posting the following video, which spoke to my heart more powerfully than anything has for quite a long time:

It says in music, what I say to God in my heart. Thank you, Jesus. How great Thou art!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

God Is Good!

Recently, a couple of serious problems happened to my wife and I which were singular in the way they were resolved. I can only attribute the resolution to God's Grace. I have no other logical explanation.

The plumbing in this old house stopped up completely. All the drains in the house would not drain. I plunged the toilet until my arms were sore. I used a cheap snake in an attempt to clear the drain to no avail. We couldn't take showers or wash clothes or flush the toilet without the drains backing up into the bathtub, leaving a black, crusty mess in the bathtub.

Eventually, I broke down and called a plumber, who assessed the situation and promptly wrote out an estimate of $772.00 to remove the toilet and run an electric snake down through the main drain.

I didn't have $772.00 to my name, so the plumber left and my drains remained clogged. So, then, I called a local plumber, who the first plumber had told me would be less expensive. He wasn't. In fact, he diagnosed the situation as tree roots that had broken through the old pipes and destroyed them, His estimate was between 3,500 and 5,000 dollars.

So, I called homeowners insurance, who told me it was possible they wouldn't pay the claim, if the pipes were destroyed by deterioration rather than by roots. Nevertheless, I had the homeowners insurance agent come out to inspect the pipes. She called a plumber to do the inspection for them, and he, in turn, brought out a backhoe and he dug up our front yard.

After uncovering the pipe in the front yard, he broke a hole in the pipe for the purpose of running a camera down the pipe to determine whether the roots caused the problem or if it was deterioration. Before he could run the camera, he had to clear the pipe of any obstructions.

In so doing, he actually cleared the pipe, and removed the clog.

He fixed the problem! Since he was in the midst of an inspection paid for by the insurance company, we were not charged. The insurance company paid for the work and we are not required to reimburse them. The only thing we have to pay for is the installation of a clean out pipe, a cost of fifty dollars.

Two days before the insurance investigation, a window air conditioner in our living room, which previously had been draining to the outside of the house, apparently shifted by itself, resulting in an immense puddle of water on the hardwood floor in our living room, which cause a discoloration of the wood. While the insurance adjuster was present, I put in a claim for that as well. She estimated a price for refinishing not only the living room floor, but repainting the wall and refinishing the dining room, too.

She wrote us a check for $1700.00 which coincidentally, was the approximate amount needed to repair the damage on the bathroom floor which was not covered by homeowners insurance. The damage to the living room floor is minor, and I can repair that with a quart of wood stain and a quart of wall paint.

I attribute the resolution to these problems to the grace of God, Who I believe watches over his children, and helps them out whether they ask His help or not.

Throughout this entire ordeal, I didn't think once about praying to God for help. It isn't that I don't have faith. I simply didn't think about it.

Sometimes, we don't think to ask God for help with problems that are not of a spiritual nature. Sometimes, we try to handle things ourselves and don't even consider that we have an alternative to worry.

But God is good and just and faithful to us whether we place our trust in Him or not. This is an affirmation of the nature of God.

The Bible tells us He knows the desires of our heart. He hasn't promised he will grant us all we desire, but He tells us He will grant us the desires of our hearts.

We know what we desire. We often do not know what our heart desires. But God does.

Praise the Lord!

Monday, October 05, 2009

People, Get Ready

I found this linked by someone I don't know to someone I do know on Facebook. It could happen like this. The point is, whether it happens like this or some other way, it will happen, and we need to be ready.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Some think the rapture comes before the tribulation. Others think it comes after.

I believe in the doctrine of "once saved, always saved". That doctrine is based on the premise, that once you commit your life to Christ, as God has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you". ~ Hebrews 13:5b

Some people believe in the doctrine that one can fall from grace and need to be saved again and again.

Glory was a legend in the Alabama hills.
Famous for her moonshine and the quality distilled.
If you had arthritic tingents for monetary gain
She'd sell you corn whiskey for the pain.
But come camp meetin' time
O, Glory, how she'd shine.
They called her 'Shoutin' Glo' at meetin' time.

Shoutin' "Glory, glory, I am saved, Hallelujah!"
One week in the summer, she would walk that line!
Come the second Monday in the month you'd hear her cry,
"Camp meetin's over grab a jug, let's have a time!"

Those lyrics to a rather obscure bluegrass song by Red, White, and Bluegrass, describe a false interpretation of what I call the, "fall from Grace" doctrine

Both Doctrinal beliefs are problematic in much the same way.

One could take advantage of the "once saved" doctrine, by returning to their old life because they are now confident they are safe from God's ultimate judgment. I submit that he who practices (for want of a better word) this belief, probably isn't really saved at all.

There is, after all, a difference between a head knowledge and a heart knowledge.

One who believes the "fall from Grace" doctrine, will oft times "raise Hell" During the week and get saved again every Sunday morning. I've known people who actually do this.

The problem with this doctrine, I think, (because I don't believe this doctrine so, I don't really know) is that it would seem to imply, once again, that the practitioner of this doctrine is, as in the other doctrine, not really saved. But, it is more based on emotion than the other.

There are times in my life that I wonder if I'm really saved because often I go for long periods of time when I act like anything but a Christian. That worries me, but then, I think, if I worry about that, I must be a Christian, because the unbeliever who doesn't follow God wouldn't worry about such a thing.

Circular reasoning, perhaps?

In other words, it is often healthy to have doubts. But worrisome.

I don't like that worrisome feeling.

These days, as I approach ever closer to my time of death, and the signs of the end times seem to rush at us with increasing rapidity, I am currently in a period where I am focusing more on trying to live my life in such a way that others can see Jesus in me.

That is a Christian's best testimony, in my humble opinion.

I think my Christianity needs a shot in the arm, metaphorically speaking, ever so often, and more and more often as we inch closer to Christ's return.

There are other times when I believe there can be no doubt as to my salvation because I seem to have a deeper understanding of the nature of God than others who profess their Christianity.

Christians know there is a knowledge of the nature of God that simply hasn't been imparted to those who have a mere head knowledge of God rather than a heart knowledge.

And the infuriating thing about that, to me, is that there seems to be no way that I can pass that particular knowledge on to those who profess their Christianity, but don't seem to understand it the way I do. This would explain why I often get frustrated and angry with those whom I discuss these belief systems.

I'm not saying I know more than anyone else. I most assuredly don't. But there are certain things about the nature of God of which I seem to have a firm grasp, that many "intellectual" Biblical scholars don't seem to grasp at all.

That is perplexing to me, but then, God does say there are things the unbeliever simply can't understand without the indwelling of the Spirit in their lives. So, those scholars who have oh so much more head knowledge and book learning about the nature of God than I do, appear totally unaware of what to me seems so simple.

Am I right? Am I wrong? I truly don't know.

And so, I toss the dice and hedge my bets by leaning toward what I believe to be the right side. The side described by Christ in the sermon on the mount, so I can be better prepared (if one can be prepared at all) for the second coming of Christ, or the rapture, whichever comes first.

If the rapture comes first, I can only pray that I am strong enough when I am faced with a very real challenge to choose between my life and my faith.

Again, this is something I truly don't know, however, in real life situations when I have been faced with the choice of professing my faith or suffer varying degrees of persecution for what I believe, I have passed the test, and bravely professed my Christianity.

But those are poor examples. Those situations didn't involve actual physical pain or the threat of death. Could I, as Rachel Scott, at Columbine High School in Colorado did, look certain death in the face and say, without hesitation, "Yes, I believe in God"?

I'd much rather Jesus come back first, so I don't have to find out the hard way.

Either way, we'll all just have to wait, watch, and see.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Meeting In The Air

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Pray and Vote!

My brother, a Minister, Pastor, and Retired Missionary to the Philipines, sent this to me:

He also forwarded this e-mail to me:

Believing that November 4th is a critical day in the life of America, I feel compelled to send this note I received from a friend this morning that we all might continually be called to prayer asking in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to fight one more battle for us ALL. This is truly what I have been teaching the last several weeks for God states "this battle is not yours, it is God's". Let us remember that God is faithful to hear the cry of His children.........AND move mountains!!

It is the desire of my heart that this be passed on to all who will pray.......

Are you sensing that there is something different about this presidential election? I was telling someone just recently that it seems like this election is far more serious than those in the recent past. Something in my spirit is very uneasy. In the past I have felt the need to pray for different elections but I have never felt so strongly the urge to pray, and pray fervently, for an election as I do for this one. I truly believe that if the wrong person (Obama) is elected this nation will be changed forever. We may not be able to undo the things that will be unleashed during an Obama presidency.

My concern about an Obama presidency is not based on politics; it is based on righteousness. Look at any of the major moral issues and you will find Obama on the wrong side of the issue, and Palin and McCain on the right side of the issue. What makes this so disturbing is that the Obama team has raised far more money than McCain/Palin and the media is unabashedly supporting Obama with every story and headline they write. Currently McCain/Palin is behind in the polls and is having a very difficult time. Some in the media have suggested that the race is over and there is little or nothing McCain can do to change the outcome. Oh how wrong they are!
Let me briefly share a story I recently read in 2 Samuel Chapter 5. David had just become king of Israel and the Philistines went up to wage war against him. So David inquired of the Lord and said, 'Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?' The LORD said, 'Yes I will surely hand them over to you.' So David went and defeated them. He said, 'As waters break out, the LORD has broken out against my enemies before me.'

After suffering a great loss in the first battle the Philistines must have thought they now knew David's defense strategy and they would be ready for him the next time, because once more the Philistines came up to attack David. So once again David inquired of the LORD, but this time the Lord gave different instructions. He said to David, 'Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.' David obeyed the Lord and was victorious.

This story holds a very important lesson for us at this time. In most presidential elections a frontal assault, a face-to-face battle, is what is needed. But this is no ordinary election. McCain is trying all the normal tactics but he is not prevailing. It seems no matter what he says or does it is not effective. I am convinced this election CANNOT be won using normal methods. Just as the Lord told David to go around behind the enemy and attack him there, so we must go around the face of this election and wage war where the battle is truly raging…in the spiritual realm! The fact that the normal physical methods are not effective this time should tell us that this is a very important spiritual battle and we can only win by using spiritual methods…Prayer!

What about the sound of marching in the treetops? What is that? I have read on the Internet several accounts of fellow Christians being stirred up in their spirits to pray. Many have been drawn into times of deep prayer and weeping as they intercede for Palin and McCain. Some have woke up in the middle of the night and sensed a great need to pray, other have told of how when they heard about Sarah Palin being chosen as VP that something came over them and they wept and felt a need to pray for Her and McCain. Many others are feeling the calling and urging of the Spirit to enter into a time of fervent prayer and fasting for Palin and McCain and our nation.

What is this unusually stirring that is occurring? I believe it is the Sound of the Lord marching in the trees, calling his children to act quickly to pray and fast for Palin and McCain. Think about this, what would the marching have sounded like to David? It may have sounded like the rustling of leaves as when wind blows through them, but was this time something was different and out of the ordinary. Maybe it was like the sound of the great wind when the Spirit moved on the day of Pentecost. Also, God’s people are referred to as Trees of Righteous in Isaiah 61. So the sound of the Lord marching in the treetops in David’s time is a portrait of the Spirit of the Lord moving among and stirring up his children today.

So what are we to do when we sense this stirring of the Spirit? Two things, first we are to take it as the sign that the Lord is moving out in front of us. Anytime the Lord calls us to do something he goes ahead of us to prepare the way and fight for us. When Joshua returned from spying out Jericho the Lord gave him insight to see that the Lord had removed the Jericho ’s protection so Israel could defeat them. When the Lord calls us into battle he goes ahead of us, removes the enemy’s protection, and fights for us to give us the victory. Secondly, the Lord tells us when we sense the stirring of the Spirit we are to act quickly and join Him in the battle (through prayer, fasting, praise and obedience)

This election is by no means lost. For God would not be stirring up his children all across this nation and indeed around the world, to pray, if he did not want to give us the victory in this election. And he wants us to join him in the battle. God will hear the cries of his children if we will only cry out to him with fervent, earnest, prayers for this election and this nation. If those who are being drawn to prayer by the Spirit will indeed enter into a time of prayer and seeking His face, then God will have mercy on America spare us from having an ungodly leader, I’m sure of it!

One more thought, after the last debate, so-called ‘conservative’ David Brooks gushed about Obama, 'I thought Obama had the night he needed to have. You know, through this whole 20 month marathon, I think what struck me is how incredibly even he is. And how frankly reassuring he is. It is like you’re camping, and you wake up one morning, and there is a mountain. And then the next morning, there is a mountain, and there’s the next morning, there’s a mountain. Obama is just the mountain. He is just there. He is always the same, he doesn't hurt himself. McCain can sometimes lob a cannonball at the mountain, but the mountain doesn't move, and the mountain doesn't care. And so I think his steadiness, his temperament has been the dramatic theme of this campaign, dramatic in being undramatic. And it was on display tonight. And the good part of the mountain is that he is reassuring and reliable.'

I’m really glad he used the word ‘mountain’ to describe Obama. It caused me to remember what Jesus said about unmovable mountains. Jesus said, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'

And it only takes a little faith!

This election can only be won by going around the face of the election and attacking the enemy where he is vulnerable, through prayer, fasting and praise. If you hear the sound of the Lord marching in the tree tops, if you feel the stirring of the Spirit calling you to pray, then move quickly into a time of prayer, for God is moving ahead of you at that time to give us the victory. May God give us ears to hear the marching!

Together with you in the battle, Scott Whitley

Vote and Pray! Pray and Vote!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
--2 Timothy 3:1-7

In reading that passage, the word, "incontinent" kind of jumped out at me. Maybe I misunderstand the Biblical definition of that word, but if it is defined the way we normally define it, it would appear that possibly Paul was referring to the consequences of man-on-man homosexual fornication. After all, incontinence is a direct consequence of repeated penetration of the rectum by a penis. It is a common medical complaint of gay men. Many gay men wear diapers because they can no longer control their bowels.

Could Paul have been directly referring to the sin of homosexuality by using this word? Would God sanctify, or even condone the kind of behavior that would cause this kind of physical damage to oneself?

If God is not willing that any should perish, how much more would he not be willing that any would have to wear diapers because they have caused permanent physical damage to themselves through homosexual acts that have already been declared abominable by the Creator of the Universe?

There were physical common sense reasons for the rules set down in Leviticus. The reason they were told not to handle or eat pork and shrimp etc, was the same reason they were told not to penetrate each other's rectums with penises:

Irreparable physical damage and even death resulted from those behaviors then.

Now, we have learned how to process and cook pork and shrimp, etc, but the ramifications (Pun not intended) of homosexual behavior are not only still physically harmful, they are now deadly, like AIDS, the various new medication resistant strains of STD's, etc.

God knew these ramifications then, and He predicted them accurately.

In Acts 10: 11-13, the author writes: 11. He(Peter) saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
14. "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

15. The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

God was referring to the old prohibitions against eating unclean food. And comparing them with the old Jewish prohibitions against fraternizing with Gentiles.

He wasn't saying homosexual behavior is now considered clean. God has never changed the rules referring to homosexuality. If He had, there would be no such thing as AIDS.

The only entity that can change God's rules is God Himself. He has the advantage of forethought. No one else does.