Archive for October, 2015

Grady Nutt, the late Christian comedian and preacher, used to have an entire routine that revolved around, ‘the call to the ministry!’ He added to that last word the grunt that many old-timer southern preachers add to almost every sentence. The word came out sounding like ‘ministruh’ with a strong emphasis on the last syllable.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:1, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Somewhere along the way between Paul and Grady many Christians came to the conclusion that ‘the call’ was only for ministers. In fact, ‘the call’ is described in hushed tones, as though it were some sort of divine, communicable disease with which God infected a certain few of His followers. And if one were to ‘get the call,’ it could result in a new big voice, big hair and a big Bible.

It is the conclusion of this writer that the church has misunderstood the words call and calling. The result then, is that the Great Commission that Jesus gave to all of His followers, is only being attempted by a handful.

In Paul’s opening words to the Corinthians in his first letter to them, he describes himself as “called to be an apostle,” then goes on to describe the church as those who are “called to be holy, to gather with all those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ…”

All three uses of the word call are from the same word in the original language of the Bible. It is the same word in Ephesians 4:1 and it has the general meaning of invite or summons, to call someone.

The question before the church then, is not, ‘Who is called?’ or ‘Have you been called?’ Rather, it is ‘Will you respond to the call of God on your life?’ The Bible teaches that all Christians are called by God to serve in His kingdom. Will we respond like Isaiah with “Here am I, send me,” or will we take the next-boat-to-Tarshish approach of Jonah? To better understand this subject we must see that there are three aspects of ‘call’ in every believers life.

First of all, there is a call to salvation. God sent His Son Jesus to seek and to save those who are lost. Peter explains that God is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”(2 Pet. 3:9b) God calls us to salvation and by grace through faith we can call back. Paul wrote, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom. 10:13)

Next, that call does not just result in ‘fire assurance’ as some term it, there is also a call to Christlikeness or holiness. “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy. “‘ (1 Pet. 1:15-16) The Christian is called, is summonsed to act like a Christian all the time, to be like Christ.

The word holy has the idea of being set apart. Like mother’s fine china dinnerware, the Christian has a special purpose. Unlike that china however, a Christian’s holy lifestyle is on view every day. God has called us to be Christians, to be set apart. There ought to be something different about us because of our relationship with Jesus. That difference is a Christlikeness that attracts others to what we have.

Third, every believer is called to ministry in God’s kingdom. Ephesians chapter 4 is one of four New Testament passages that list and discuss spiritual gifts. We must notice that none of these are considered exhaustive lists. Who can put a limit on what the Holy Spirit can do with obedient believers?

The Ephesians passage mentions gifts that we normally think of when we hear someone speak of being called to ministry. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers called “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”

The clear teaching of scripture is that all Christians are called to ministry. Earlier in Chapter 2, Paul wrote, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph.2:10) The gifts of chapter 4 then, inform us that some Christians are called to a particular ministry of preparing other Christians to do their ministry.

Every Christian has been called by God; called to salvation, called to personal holiness and then called to service or ministry. Some Christians are called to the particular offices mentioned in the fourth chapter of Ephesians. However, there are as many ways to minister as there are ministers!

For the Great Commission to be obeyed, every soldier in God’s army must do his or her assigned task with his or her grace gifts. The question is not, ‘Are you called?’ It is, ‘Will you obey the call?’


Roy D. Hall is Pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church in Diboll, TX and Professor of Bible at Angelina College in Lufkin, TX.

Pastor Todd Wagner is pastor of Watermark Community Church located in Dallas, Texas… in this short excerpt from a Service in the Church he Explains the Greatest Warning to all Believers. Enjoy and be Blessed.


Posted: October 20, 2015 in Uncategorized


Have you ever said to yourself, I’m not going to eat that chocolate . . . and then all you can think about is . . . chocolate? In the battle with temptation – and who doesn’t fight it – we’ll shoot the arrow through our own foot every time if our thoughts are aimed downward.

A Friend of mine (Lets call him John )suffered many such wounds during his 10-year battle with Masturbation. “For a time, I became a dry jerker,” he told me in one of our many discussions. “I wasn’t wanking, but I had done nothing to quiet the desperation inside my head. I always ended up going back to the thing.”

What John needed was a change of focus. Rather than dwelling on what he shouldn’t do, John-like everyone struggling with a harmful habit or addiction-needed to focus on three key targets from God’s Word:

Target #1: God’s purpose for me is to be conformed to the character of Christ.
The Bible says you are “. . . predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29).

  •  “Christ lives in me to conform my character to His character.”
  •  “I will yield to His control and do what’s best for my body.”

Target #2: God’s priority for me is to change my thinking.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

  •  “I’ll release my guilt to God and line up my thinking with His thinking.”
  •  “I’ll replace my defeated thinking with the positive promises from God’s Word.”

Target #3: God’s plan for me is to rely on Christ’s power to change me.
Philippians 4:13 gives this assurance: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

  •  “I’ll give Christ control of my life in order to ( list specific actions ).”
  •  “With the strength of Christ I will ( list specific attitudes ).”

Most times, dejected strugglers like John meet me to express their defeat: “As much as I want to change, I simply can’t. Nothing works.” But God’s Word says otherwise: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness . . . .” So why is there such a battle? It occurs because the fear of pain keeps strugglers stuck.

As John went on to explain to me, “My addiction was both the root of my problem and my answer. It was my hell and my salvation . . . my curse and my blessing. It made life intolerable . . . and was the only thing that made life tolerable.”

The reality is this: Either way you go, you will have pain. If you stay as you are, you’re going to have pain. If you leave your addiction, you’re going to have pain. It’s guaranteed to hurt either way. Pain, however, can be your ally (propelling you to positive change) or your enemy (paralyzing you to stay stuck). You have a choice. Making the courageous decision to break free is the only way you’ll eventually be free – free from the pain of the past.

Fortunately, John finally chose to escape his debilitating addiction. “I never could have achieved it without the help of God, family, and the recovery community,” he said. “Through God, I received the grace, clarity of mind, and strength to ask for help.”

And that same help is available to you and your loved ones . . . right now! I can say with complete certainty that God can empower any person to defeat any addiction at any time – no matter the number of failed attempts. With Him, all things really are possible . . . including lasting freedom from any addiction.

The following is an excerpt from my message, “Stirring Truth That Makes Men Useful.”


A few days ago my son and I went grocery shopping. As a general rule, I do not take my baby with me to grocery shop because as any mother of young children – my son turns seven next month – will tell you, a trip for groceries with the children turns into an event laden with begging, tantrums and running through the aisles. This day, however, I wanted to be close to my boy for no other reason than the fact that I adore him, so I let him tag along.

Standing in aisle 5 as my son grabbed oatmeal, an older black woman approached selecting a box of oatmeal, then looking at the price, and finally replacing it. She walked away turning back to advise me, “If you have a car, you need to go to Walmart. Their prices are way cheaper.” I started to say, “I know…

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I grew up knowing —not believing— Grandma Nan could do anything. She could stoically kill a snake in her yard with an ax and resume tending to her collards in the garden — wearing a chiffon floral house dress. She’d tell my grandfather about it later, probably as they chatted over her homemade veggie soup and Mountain Dew. Sure, Grandma needed Grandfather Walter, but only because she wanted to. He built her house and later on, the garage. He drove the trash to the landfills on trash day (we’re country folks) and fixed every leak. Still, Grandma Nan was The Queen. As were the other women in my family.

My Grandma Nan My Grandma Nan

Men existed in their worlds but didn’t make them go ’round and I felt the strength of women all around me. After all, being strong is the one thing the world will tip their hats off to black women for — sometimes…

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Impressions of poverty

Posted: October 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

Critical Dispatches

Our national epichasyet to be written – James Joyce

If you’ve ever listened to the song Running to Stand Still from U2’s Joshua Tree albumyou will have heard about the Irish town of Ballymun in the lyric “I see seven towers but I only see one way out.” Located on the northern periphery of Dublin city, Ballymun was at one time Ireland’s largest and – at least as much as my own experience has led me to hold – most unattractive public housing estate. Hastily conceived through a confluence of public and political pressure in response to a housing crisis in Dublin in the early 1960’s, the Ballymun Housing Project was missioned with providing relief from the wholly unsatisfactory conditions of the collapsing inner city slums for the region’s poorest and most desperate. Upon the project’s completion in 1966, the Ballymun estate featured seven fifteen-story tower blocks…

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The Unrighteousness of Fat

Posted: October 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


An infinite line with Sin above the left arrow and Righteousness above the right arrow.

I’m fat. Technically, more accurately, I’m morbidly obese. But people don’t usually like technical, so I’m fat.

Being fat is hard in our society. Being fat and Mormon is even harder. As Mormons, we depend on outward actions and appearances to determine all things important, including our righteousness.

Fat Mormon Woman = Unrighteous

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I saw it and I am still wondering what happened to our precious moon. It looked like it was scarred from a bloody fight with another planetary body. Then I remembered Sid Roth’s, Perry Stone’s and John Hagee’s Teaching on the #BloodMoon. I was in awe for some moments.

Coincidentally, My Senior Pastor, #Amb_Emmanuel_Ohis in yesterday’s Service, taught on “How to escape the Horrors of the Last Days”. He pointed vividly the Importance of:
1. Knowing God
2. Loving God
3. Serving God and
4. Fearing God

I guess He said it all. If we must escape the Horrors of our times, we must put God in the right place in our Lives. We must not just stop at Knowing that there is a God, we must LOVE, SERVE and FEAR Him. It’s not Rocket Science, it is that simple.

If nothing has hinted you of the era we are in, Let the #bloodmoon serve as one. It’s time to examine and re-examine yourself. Only the Righteous can truly escape the coming events. Check your ways, your conduct and your desires, if any isn’t Godly, change it. It’s not about being Religious but being Godly. The Lord wants you to Escape the coming Horrors, but you have to be willing to play by His rules.

The more the clock ticks, The more horrific the days will become. The only way out, is in God.