Valentine’s Day Laugh

By Patrick Hawthorne

Ok….I couldn’t resist.  I stole this from a Facebook Friend.  So sue me…  Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, snippet

Compromise: The Path Leading to Hell!

By Patrick Hawthorne

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America is in a spiritual decline.  Perhaps the word decline is too safe.  Perhaps the word “free fall” would be a more fitting description. To that, no one rightly discerning the times can deny.  Many of our elected leaders are building their foundation upon the decaying corpses of all they have slaughtered through their lawless policies, deeds, and acts.  Meanwhile, they are ignorant to the death and decay that is swallowing their own souls.

Time and time again, we are told – and rightly so –  to pray for our nation and to pray for those in authority.  Yet, the more we pray the more it appears that this nation’s  downward slide has gained so much momentum that none, not even God, is capable to slowing its descent.

Habakkuk shared the same sentiment when he saw Judah fall into the hands of the Chaldean’s (Babylonians).  To paraphrase his opening statement, he asked, “God, why do You make me look upon all this evil and anarchy?  Don’t You see that the wicked have cut our legs out from under us by making any sort of justice out to be a joke.”

To this, God makes an interesting statement.  In Habakkuk 2:4, He says, “The just shall live by faith.”  If you read through the small book of Habakkuk, you will see that God is not blind to all that is happening in this world and in this nation.  He is not wringing His hands wondering what He will do next.

“But. why doesn’t He do something?”

To that question, I would like for you to read this quote from David Jeremiah in his book Agents of Babylon.  “Good men such as Daniel and his three godly associates didn’t prevent the fall of Babylon.  That wasn’t their purpose.  But they did prevent their own fall into compromise that would have swept them into perdition along with Babylon.”

Why are you to pray for America or the nation where you currently reside?  Why are you to pray for your leaders?  You pray because you walk by faith and not by what is visible.  You pray so that you will not fall into the compromise that is sweeping the world towards perdition.  You pray because God’s Word tells us to pray, even if we cannot see what is happening beyond the ability of our natural eyes.

Always remember this.  Daniel and his three associates (Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednigo) were not the only Jewish boys to be taken into Babylonian captivity.  Yet, they are the only ones we read about who did not compromise the Word of Truth by accepting the lies of the world.  As a result, they faced many trials for their faith.  “BUT GOD!”  But God delivered them out of them all.”

Unfortunately, many who claim Jesus as Lord have taken to the trail of compromise.  Setting themselves up as spiritual authority, they are leading many straight to the pit of hell with ear tickling messages of unity and finding common ground.  With God, there is no common ground and no happy medium.  It is His way or no way.

What will you do?  Will you stand with the world through compromise, or will you stand with God?  It is your choice.  Choose well.  Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, prophecy

It’s What You Do With What You Have Been Given

By Patrick Hawthorne

church meme

The God of this universe, our Heavenly Father, has given you a voice and a platform for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.  What are you doing with your platform?  Some will look over at their neighbor and think, “They have such a huge platform.  How can I compete with that?” The answer is, “you don’t.”

Sharing the Gospel is not about competition.  It is about working with what has been entrusted to you.  It is about pointing people towards victory in Jesus by pointing them towards the cross. It is about a choice.

The attached meme is dealing with the mark of an effective church – a group within the body of believers.  To this I agree.  However, if must always be remembered that you are the Church.  I am the Church.  The question should not be, “How many people am I attracting?”  No, the question should be, “How many lives are being touched because I dared hop up on the platform given me and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ?”

Whether your platform is a mega church or a small country church – a Bible study, or a street ministry, it is a special platform that has been given to you by our Lord. To keep your platform from falling into disrepair is to use it for His glory.  Be blessed.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10 KJV)

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Posted in Christian, Uncategorized

Set in Motion – The Ripple Effect

By Patrick Hawthorne

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My Pastor was finishing up a month long series titled, “Being Better.”  For twenty-one days of the month, my church, as a whole, set out to fast and pray.  To coin the famous words of Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.”  It was the worst of times because fasting is never easy.  It is not supposed to be.  Granted, my fast was only on weekday lunches, sweet tea, and soda’s, but that was extremely hard on this sweet tea loving Southern guy.  If you are not from the South, you just won’t understand.  We will give up breathing before giving up our sweet tea.  On the other hand, it was the best of times because my focus was on the Lord and I felt several binding chains fall off my life.

During the message, Pastor made an interesting comment.  He said – and I paraphrase –  “It is not your achievements in life that make the biggest difference but what things your achievements set in motion.”  If you are a science fiction nut like me, the first rule with time travel is that you must never change past events because of the “Ripple Effect.”  A small stone thrown into a large pond will cause a ripple effect that will cause  disruption throughout the entire pond.  The same is true with our lives and those things we set in motion.

Pastor’s example was an illustration of the first flight made by the Wright Brothers in 1903.  Yes, they achieved something grand and worthy of note.  Being the first to fly a powered “heavier than air” machine was no small feat.  Yet, what they set in motion far outweighed their personal achievement of flying.  Had they not mustered the courage to take that first flight, it is possible that our advancements in air and space technology might not be as far along as it currently is today. It was a ripple effect set in motion by their achievement.

When you do something for someone else, such as praying for them, always be cognizant of the fact that you are setting in motion a series of spiritual events.  That is why that old devil hates it when we pray earnestly and in faith.  While these events may not appear earth shattering to us, we have no idea what the ripples may cause to someone’s life further down the road.  Be adventurous; set in motion a series of life change events. Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, story, writing

“The Art and Mastery of False Perceptions.” 

By Patrick Hawthorne

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The other day, I read an article by a minister who was speaking out against deception through perception.  In this article the minister wrote of a common attitude that is prevalent in the Body today.  I will call this attitude, “The Art and Mastery of False Perceptions.”

Faster than the wild whipping of a forked tongue and able to leap inconclusive buildings in a single bound, we Christian’s often run to jump aboard the finger pointing circus locomotive named, “Perception Deception.”

Taking a little snippet here, or a little snippet there, we form opinions based purely off of the opinions that are force fed to us by those providing the information.  Rarely have I seen anyone go the extra mile to prove out the claim made against a brother or sister in Christ.  Meanwhile, we stand upon our soap boxes and shout to the world, “How dare you take the Word of God out of context!”

The example this minister used was concerning his dad.  His dad, also a minister, was preaching a revival.  One night, after service, his father was seen on the street putting his arm around a younger woman who was not his wife.  Soon the gossip began to flow.  The following evening, the minister felt that something had changed.  The congregation was not connecting with him.  After service he made some inquiries and learned of the gossip.

The next evening during service, the minister addressed the group concerning the allegation.  Looking to a young woman in the audience, he asked her to stand.  “I would like to introduce you to my sister.”  It was then obvious who started the rumor because all eyes shot to the instigator whose face was turning blood red.

Am I pointing my finger at you without first pointing it at me?  As we commonly say here in the South, “Aww heck naw.”  I’m just as guilty of jumping aboard the deception band wagon.  However, in my desire to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, (Titus 2:11-12), I am working diligently to cast off, by the power of the Holy Spirit, such stupidity.  Will you join me?  Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, teaching

Pray, Praying, Prayed

By Patrick Hawthorne

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Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV)

 

“Arrrggg… Life is already so confusing and now you tell me there are four ways from Sunday to pray?”  Prayers, prayers, and more prayers.  How the heck am I to distinguish one prayer from another?” 

If this is how you feel when reading the above verses, relax and take a deep breath. Learning the different types of prayer is relatively simple to remember.   Let’s start with supplications. 

  • Supplications – Just remember the word supply.  With supplications, we are asking – or petitioning – the Lord to meet a specific need; to supply the answer to the request.  As my friend commonly says, “God is not the cosmic candy dispenser.”  If you are asking for a Cadillac when the roads are not fit for a donkey, you might want to rethink your petition.  George Muller, an 1800’s missionary, petitioned the Lord on a daily basis for food and financing to run his orphanages.  This was an honorable request made with honorable intentions.  Subsequently, his requests were met by God.
  • Prayers – This is simply talking with our Heavenly Father.  Yes, we are always to maintain an attitude of reverence and humbleness, but this type praying is more informal.  It can be as simple as my morning salutations unto God.  “Good morning Father, good morning Jesus, and good morning Holy Spirit.  This is going to be an awesome day because You have made this day and I will rejoice and am glad in it.”
  • Intercessions – This is a more formal type of prayer in which we obtain audience with the Lord on the behalf of another.  Intercession is not complaining about the faults of another but asking God to move on behalf of the person.  This may be a loved one who doesn’t know Jesus and you are asking the Lord to send laborers across their path. Or, it may be the leaders over your work, city, or nation.
  • Thanksgiving – This is simply thanking the Lord.  It is finding the good and not focusing on the bad. For example, instead of complaining about your job, thank the Lord that you have one.  Having a heart of thanksgiving and finding the good things in life is the surest way to have a life of peace and joy

Paul was teaching Timothy a Godly principle.  If you incorporate these four types of prayers into your daily life, beginning with those who are in authority over you, you can guarantee that your life will be filled with God’s peace and His joy.  Why?  It’s because your focus will be on what is pleasing to God versus what is negatively impacting you.  “And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your mind through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7)  Be blessed. 

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The Beginning of the End – Prophecy Watch

By Patrick Hawthorne

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As one who is fond of regaling tales of adventure and hidden treasures, I enjoy studying Bible prophecy.  Each time I learn something new, it is as if I found that one valuable clue necessary to point me towards the infamous X on the treasure map

“knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV.)

If we were to go back in time a little over one hundred years ago, there would be virtually nothing of prophetic significance to indicate the soon return of Jesus.  Think about it.There was no Nation of Israel, no technology capable of tracking the monetary movements of the entire world, no television or satellite systems to record world events in real time, and no ability to move about the world rapidly. Technology, at best, was a mere dribble compared to the flood we see today.  If you were to ask most Christian’s back then if the season of Jesus’ return was at hand, most would probably say no.

Unlike the Christian’s a hundred years ago compared to Christian’s of today, we are being bombarded with prophetic nuggets at such a rate that most have become numb to the signs.  This is one reason why Jesus was able compare the days of Noah and Lot to today’s world. Most are going about their business without the faintest clue that the Day of the Lord is soon approaching.

Scoffers – mockers and false teachers – shout, “Where is the coming of this Lord Jesus you keep spouting?  You have been shouting this dribble for years and years, yet we do not see His return.”  What they don’t realize is that Daniel’s prophecy is being fulfilled at a rate quicker than the words exiting their mouths.  “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4 NKJV.)

Make no mistake.  We are living in the season of the soon return of our Lord Jesus.  Will it be a year from now or one hundred years from now?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that at this very moment we are closer than we have ever been.  Are you ready?  Be blessed.

28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28 NKJV.)

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