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Death from a Thousand Tiny Cuts

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I was sitting across from a good friend of mine, Pastor Ben Weeks, in Sonny’s BBQ in Thomasville, Georgia, when he dropped a spiritual MOAB on me.     The picture that his words had painted were clear, obvious, direct, and almost shocking to me.     So much so that I could hardly even say anything for a good 30 seconds or a minute, the missile had pegged me right where I lived on that day.     I can remember the conversation leading up to the moment that day.     My world had been marked by some personal major health issues, an incredibly challenging building program filled with trouble, and the general hectic pace of moving through church life and my own private spiritual world.     It was on that day he told me a parable of sorts that continues to resonate even now despite the fact that it has been more than two years ago.     It had been a day of shoptalk for two Spirit-filled preachers about the need for revival, the hunger for conversions and spiritual growth among those who we we

A Man Sent from God

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One of the benefits of pastoring the church that you grew up in is the grasp of local church history that you are able to look to.   As a disclaimer, it was never my intention to be the pastor of the church I grew up in, it just sort of happened with God opening doors but mainly closing the ones I wanted to exit through.   My parents moved to Dothan, Alabama in the summer of 1968 which was about nine months after Brother and Sister Patterson had initially planted the church.   I was not quite two years old at the time and literally from that point on, my life was completely intertwined in the Apostolic Faith United Pentecostal Church which would later become the Pentecostals of Dothan.   My parents and the Patterson’s became so close that it was almost as if they were our extended family.   I know many of the ups and downs, the victories and losses, and saints and devils that have walked through the doors of the church over the years.     In our almost fifty-fi

Why You Should Have a Prayer Bible

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In a previous blog to encourage you to pray effectively, I wrote about the importance of having a prayer journal .   They are extremely useful for recording some of your prayer needs and answers to prayers as well.   A prayer journal is greatly encouraging because it can help you see the prayer needs that are being met and it can be convicting as well when it shows the way that we neglect meaningful prayer.   We are commanded to pray but it will require great discipline on our part to do so (1 Tim. 4:7-8).   There are a host of commands that we find in the Word of calls to prayer.   A prayer journal can help you to become more focused and more disciplined in your prayers.     I think that most of the people who read this blog are familiar with the Pentecostals of Alexandria in Louisiana.   It is led by Pastor Anthony Mangun who has been there since the early ‘80’s and prior to that, his father, Bishop G. A. Mangun was the pastor.   One of the most important ministries of that chur

Why You Should Have a Prayer Journal

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Prayer is one of the most crucial things that we can do as Christians and workers in ministry.   What a tremendous need in our hour to have praying pastors and praying saints in the church.   But as you quickly come to understand in the area of prayer, it is not easy.   In fact, it takes hard work and rigorous discipline to become a consistent person of prayer.   It is often easier to plan, to visit, to study, or do a multitude of other “church” things besides give ourselves to prayer.   If there is a great mandate for the apostolic church it is expressed in Acts 6:4 where we are to give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.   Those two actions do more for the work of God than anything else that we may determine to give ourselves to.   One of the tricks of the enemy is to move us out of prayer closets and into arenas of public ministry totally devoid of spiritual power.     

Preaching and The Conscience

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I am preaching a series of messages through the life of Peter at the moment and it has been a blessing to me to dig into the early stages of his interaction with our Lord.  In the second message, I preached about the Lord changing the name of Peter and spent some time preaching about the necessity of the conscience being struck with the Word of God.  A quote that I wove into the message was from a book that Tony Mansinho sent to me a few weeks ago.  It is the biography of Master Robert Bruce—Minister in the Kirk of Edinburgh by D. C. Macnicol.  Bruce was one of the Scottish Puritans and despite some of their flaws, I have been incredibly blessed for close to thirty years by digging into their writings.  Some time was spent by Macnicol exploring the matter of the conscience of Bruce being smitten by God and the Holy Scriptures.  Here is the quote that I used: 

Shakespeare and Preaching

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She was probably in her mid-thirties when I met her.   Professional and articulate would be very good descriptive terms for her.   She had come to the Radiology Department for a CT scan for some diagnostic test that has long since escaped my memory.   Prior to these kinds of tests, I would take a brief medical history and then start an IV for the contrast to be injected during the scan.   Throughout that timeframe, I would be with a patient for about 10-15 minutes or so which gave me an occasion to get to know about their background as well as their medical situation.   When I asked her about her occupation, she told me that she was an English Literature professor who taught all of the Shakespeare classes at one of our local colleges.   Although I greatly enjoy books and have for most of my lifetime, I confessed that I would have some difficulty spending so much time with Shakespeare and all of his works.  

A Lifting Up for the Downcast - William Bridge

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--> If you are not familiar with the Banner of Truth Trust , you are missing out.   Over the years, I have found that the Banner of Truth does an excellent job with not only the content of their books but the craftsmanship  as well.   Their hardbound editions are especially nice, but their paperbacks also hold up well over time.   This is especially true for what they have defined as the Puritan Paperbacks.   I believe there are around 250 separate titles in this series with the pages ranging from generally 100 to as many as 300.   I do not have all of these in my personal library but the ones I do own have always served me well especially when traveling.   Obviously, you can obtain them in digital format, but I still have to confess that I favor actual books themselves given the opportunities to mark up the pages and write in the margins.   William Bridge has one that the Banner has published on Psalm 42:11 entitled A Lifting Up for the Downcast .   This is a com