A brief history: When Patrick was 16, he was captured from his home in Great Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland. He was there 6 years before returning to his home in Great Britain. His conversion to Christ began while he was a slave. He later returned to Ireland to preach the Gospel. He was marvelously used by God in this ministry and baptized thousands. He also ordained many as clergymen. He died on March 17.

Almost 12 percent of Americans claim Irish ancestry and over 80 million worldwide claim an ancestral connection to the “auld sod.”…Legend has it that if you are wearing the color green, the quintessentially Irish, fairy-like creatures called leprechauns won’t be able to see you. And if they can’t see you, they can’t pinch you.

Patrick was very eloquent in his prayers and his preaching. A good example is titled ST. PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE: “Christ be with me…Christ before me…Christ behind me…Christ in me…Christ beneath me…Christ above me…Christ on my right…Christ on my left…Christ where I lie…Christ where I sit…Christ where I arise…Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me…Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me…Christ in every eye that sees me…Christ in every ear that hears me…Salvation is of the Lord.”

It is obvious that St. Patrick was a ardent believer in and follower of Christ.

I close with two of his benedictions: “May God give you…for every storm, a rainbow, For every tear, a smile, For every care, a promise, And a blessing in each trial…For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, For every sigh, a sweet song…And an answer to each prayer.”

“May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Amen! Comments?



“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share”… I Timothy 6:17-18.

1. Material riches tend to make a believer haughty and trust in uncertain riches. Riches in themselves are not evil, but the love of money is a root of all kings of evil. I Timothy 6:10. The question is do I possess my money or does my money possess me?…Do I control my money or does my money control me? And are material riches really uncertain? Wise Solomon has some good advice, “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” Proverbs 23:4-5

2. Material blessings are to be enjoyed by believers. “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22. “He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:17 “For He remembered His holy promise And Abraham His servant. He brought out His people with joy, His chosen ones with gladness.” Psalm 105:42-43. It is possible for us believers to have feelings of false guilt about having material things. When we are blessed and others seem to be lacking, we can struggle. We should not feel guilt be rather we should feel gladness! God is honored when enjoy our blessings and trace them all to His hand.

3. The previous statement needs to be qualified. When we are blessed with many blessings then we are to “do good…ready to give, willing to share..” In the final analysis, we are not owners of our blessings but rather stewards. He doesn’t bless us just to bless us. He blesses us to bless others. We enjoy the blessing but we don’t keep it! Our Savior said it so eloquently, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” AMEN!


“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38

There are three key words as we look at our text: DESIRE, DRINK AND DISPENSE

1. DESIRE “If anyone thirsts..” Desire is a great God-given force in life. Apart from desire we would never take nourishment…we would never marry…we would never have babies…we would never make music or paint portraits or explore space or heal bodies…we would be sterile and bored and hopelessly passive…The desire in our text is the strong word “thirst”. Jesus saw the religious crowd milling about on the Feast Day and said, “If you are thirsty, come to Me.” The only pre-requisite for a spiritual life is thirst. You don’t have to be specially gifted or highly intelligent or theologically astute, just thirsty.

2. DRINK “let him come to Me and drink.” We are to come to Jesus when we are thirsty. We don’t attend a seminar or read a book or even seek an experience, we simply come to Jesus…We don’t analyze Him or study Him or admire Him or even tell Him that we are thirsty. No, we just drink! We take into our lives all that Jesus is. Paul says, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the God-head bodily;.. and you are complete (made full) in Him.” Colossians 2:9-10.

3. DISPENSE “out of his heart (inner most being) will flow rivers of living water.” When we drink deeply from the Lord Jesus who is the fountain-head of all living water, then we become channels of this living water to others….we are channels not containers!…And these are rivers that flow in all directions and to great distances. As with all rivers, these rivers will flow to the horizon and beyond. They will flow to people and places that we do not even know about. Staggering thought! Little wonder that Oswald Chambers said, “God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is.” Amen!


In my early life and ministry I did not follow the Church Calendar with those churches that observed the rituals that were a part of their tradition. However, I have come to see the value of taking part in Lent. Leila and I were introduced to Lent at an Ash Wednesday service at our church and found it very meaningful…The following are some personal thoughts that have come to me as I reflect on what Lent is all about in my life. It has to do with a biblical perspective of Lent.

1. I LOOK BACK…”They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” John 19:37 With the crowd that looked at the pierced body of Jesus, I look back at Him who died in agony on the cross for me. He died for my sins! I Corinthians 15:3
2. I LOOK WITHIN…”look to yourselves, that you do not lose those things we worked for”..II John 8. It is possible for me to be a loser in life as a believer. Lent is a time for self-examination and to confess what is wrong in my life and make fresh commitments to do what is right.
3. I LOOK OUT…”look on the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” ..John 4:35. Lent is an opportunity to be reminded again that Christ died for the whole world. It is harvest time somewhere in the world right now!
4.I LOOK UP…”For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20. Our blessed hope is the personal and literal return of our Lord. This world is not my home..”I’m just a passin’ through.”
5.I LOOK AHEAD…”Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” II Peter 3:13 According to God’s infallible promise, the best is yet to come. That petition we have so often made, “Your kingdom come , Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..” Will finally be answered! Amen. Only believers can be truly optimistic about the future.

(From my files)


Evangelist Billy Graham went to be with Lord from his home in North Carolina this morning, February 21. He was 99. What can we learn from the man who spoke to more than 215 million and was the greatest soul winner in the 20th century?
2. Billy stayed within his calling. Because of his huge following, some felt he should get involved in politics or have a career in Hollywood, but he remained steadfast in pursuing his work of preaching the gospel.
3. He gathered around him a gifted and committed team to assist him in his work. This included musicians, associate evangelists and those who would follow-up on the converts in the crusades.
4. He wrote books, published a magazine and produced films that reached millions more.
5. He enjoyed meeting people in a personal way. This was on an international scale and included high ranking government officials, sports figures, church dignitaries and people in the entertainment industry. His social skills were enormous.
6. He preached with great intensity. There were preachers with greater scholarship and homiletical ability, but no one in his life time could match his skill in holding the undivided attention of the audience to the climax of the sermon and the invitation.
7. He and his associates met in Modesto, California in 1948 and drew up a Manifesto that declared that they would keep them selves from yielding to what had caused many minsters to fall and disqualify themselves from public ministry. To be specific, sex, money and power.
8. Finally, it is so good to see Billy Graham’s ministry extended and continued all over the world through his family. Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz and Will Graham are all a vital part this great family legacy. Amen


Next week we will observe Presidents Day. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the two who will receive attention. Many people will have few thoughts about these two great Americans, however, and will simply enjoy a holiday.

Some of us remember when we had black profiles of them on our classroom windows and instruction from our teachers on their character and the large contribution they made in our nation’s history.

The purpose of this article is to give a brief but serious look at the Christian faith of George Washington, the father of our country.

Careful students of the history of our country have observed that in the early nineteen hundreds, many educators and clergymen began to move away from America’s Christian heritage. Some tried to present George Washington as very secular and have totally ignored his lifelong practice of his Anglican faith.

I have a large volume titled GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SACRED FIRE. It is a collection of his personal letters, speeches, prayers and sermons. I quote one of his prayers, “Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of thy Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech thee, that thou wouldst keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.” Sounds like a believer to me!

By the way, we have black profiles of Washington and Lincoln on our window today.


Samuel is a person who came at a critical time of transition in Old Testament history. He was the last of the Judges and the first of the Prophets. He anointed the first two kings of Israel and thus led God’s people into the Monarchy. This ended with the Babylonian captivity…. Toward the end of his life, he said this:
“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.” I Samuel 12:23-24

From our text, there are Profitable Principles from the Prophet:

1. I must pray for the people that God brings into my life. I can’t pray for everyone, but I can and must pray for those whom I know. If I do not pray for them, I fail them and I sin against the Lord. The Lord Jesus is my perfect example. In His prayer He said, “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me..” John 17:9.

2. I must pray for people who are living evil lives. The context of our verses shows that the people Samuel prayed for were living in a state of rebellion. I believe that it is generally true that we find it easier to pray for good people rather than bad.

3. My vertical praying must also be accompanied by horizontal instruction. The prophet said, “I will teach you the good and right way..” We must not remain silent in an evil world. Jesus said that we are here as salt and light.

4. I must quietly remind people that the Lord has done great things for them. The Lord blesses even bad people with good things. Amen!


How many would remain in the local church if all sports, entertainment, social life, meals and extra-church activities were suddenly stopped? No one can say, but my guess is that a large number would be missing. I am not suggesting that these things are evil in themselves, but I am saying that they are not essential and if we are ever reduced to the life and activities of the first century church, we will learn this. We will learn also that the highest joys and the deepest satisfaction come from the simple things of the Spirit.

One gets the uneasy feeling as we looks at the average church calendar that much of what we are doing today is not remotely related to our God-given mission. I mean it won’t matter in heaven if we win in the church bowling league or if the review of Dr. Dryasdust’s latest book, “Dynamic Doubts for the Dialectic Disciple” was well received by the Sunday school class.

I guess all agree that the greatest days of the church are recorded in the first chapter of her history…back before she air-conditioned her banquet halls and padded her pews and learned how to entertain from a spotlight on the platform and be informed there about how to think positive thoughts of the inner self and thus be fulfilled.

What made her great back then? The Bible tells us:

1. There was “great power” in witnessing because the people were Spirit filled. Acts 4:33.
2. There was “great grace upon them all” as God saved them by His grace and then expressed a gracious spirit through them. Acts 4:33 They wore grace as a beautiful garment. You could “see the grace of God” in their life-style. Acts 11:23
3. There was “great fear” of God. They reverenced His name with an awe and holy wonder. God’s severe discipline of those who practiced immoral behavior made outsiders think carefully before joining them. Acts 5:5,11.
4. There was a “great company” of people that were obedient to the faith as the Lord added to the church daily. Acts 6:7. This included many religious people i.e… Priests.
5. There were “great wonders and signs among the people” Supernatural ability was seen in their ministry. Acts 6:8
6. There was “great persecution against the church” and she was scattered with her soul-saving ministry. Acts 8:1.
6. There was “great joy” as God crowned her efforts with glorious success. Acts 8:8

God help us to experience this greatness again. Amen!


Giving is a vital part of a believer’s life and ministry. Consider the following:

1. There is a PATTERN Factor in True Giving….”Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”…”Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house.” Malachi 3:8, 10. God set the pattern for giving in His ancient people, Israel. The support of His work was to come from ten percent of the income of His people, plus additional offerings. I believe the pattern remains the same for New Testament saints. The church is an extension and an improvement on the legal system.

2. There is a PRACTICAL Factor in True Giving….”On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper…” I Corinthians 16:2.. Giving is to be regular and personal and according to one’s resources and ability to give.

3. There is a PASSION Factor in True Giving….”Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we had hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.” II Corinthians 8:1-5….True giving is never flat and matter of fact and without emotion. The Macedonia saints did not have great resources but they had great enthusiasm! In a later text, the Apostle said that “God loves a cheerful (hilarious) giver.”

4. There is a PROMISE Factor in True Giving….”Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, And prove (test) Me now in this, Says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10. God promises blessing to those who give. We can never out-give the God who created and owns the universe! “Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38….In over 60 years of pastoral ministry I have never asked for a salary or required remuneration for any service I have rendered in professional work. I have rested on the clear promise, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19…In these 60 years Leila and I have been the recipients of many, many generous gifts…among them, a new automobile, innumerable cash gifts and travel expenses for several trips overseas. And all these gifts came from family and friends who truly loved us and our family. Priceless!

5. Finally, There is a PRAISE Factor in True Giving…”While you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God.” II Corinthians 9:11-12. The ultimate in true giving is not what I give or receive, BUT WHAT GOD RECEIVES! “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever”. Amen.” Romans 11:36


It seems to me that there is a legitimate place in the life of a believer for reasonable resolutions. He who aims at nothing hits it every time! In view of this, I am aiming at some goals for the New Year. I won’t hit them all, but with the dear Lord’s help, I will hit some…I RESOLVE to strive for self-improvement. Only then can I help the people in my life. I must be a better man by God’s grace…I RESOLVE to focus more attention on the ministries for which God has gifted me to perform. I must do my work and leave others to theirs…I RESOLVE to learn more of Christ’s composure. In a neurotic world that is hurrying to get somewhere but is actually going nowhere, I must embrace the peace of Jesus which alone can keep my heart and mind. See Philippians 4:4-6…I RESOLVE to be more alert to the unfolding plan of God for my life. I need skill to read His perfect providence and how I can bless others in every situation…I RESOLVE to read more and thus fill my mind with God’s Word and the wise writings of others. I cannot speak out of emptiness. Truth is never to be is to be shared!(Part of this resolution is reading through the Bible again.)… I RESOLVE to be less sensitive to criticism. What I do in the will of God need not be defended; what I do out of the will of God cannot be defended. My fallen nature requires the correction of others and I am always the better for it…I RESOLVE to remember that I am not responsible to bring solutions to the many problems in the world. Also, I cannot carry all the burdens of others around me and will only create disappointment in them and frustration in me when I try. I must resist every urge to “play God”…This being said, I must also remember that there are times when I must help in bearing the burdens of others. See Galatians 6:2…I RESOLVE to be genuinely enthused about my work in His kingdom. As I age, this is particularly critical. His Word says to me: “They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing..” Psalm 92:14…Finally, I RESOLVE to forgive myself even as God forgives me when I fail. I do Him no honor and myself no good when I refuse the immediate favor His forgiveness brings. He never “gives up” on His own and with this in mind, I must press toward the perfection He has promised. AMEN! Comments?