Blog 233 for SEPTEMBER 25, 2021
AN EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER
After the 2020 National Quartet Convention was suspended due to Covid - 19 this year’s NQC will be back in full strength. The beautiful LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge will once again be the host for the week of September 26 - October 2. It will be a short drive from our cabins through the mountains for all the activities. It will offer Bess and me the opportunity to visit with all of the groups that yearly were featured in the Saturday Nights In Lakeland concert series, dating back to 1999. We are always grateful to renew our friendships at NQC with our dear friends. It is also very exciting to see and to visit with people that watched us every week on the worldwide internet. We will have the opportunity to visit with them in the big lobby and in restaurants. Most of these we do not know, but they recognize us from watching our services. It is always an exciting time!
Bess and I have tickets for the activities and concerts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday we will attend the special quartet matinee featuring The Kingdom Heirs, The Old Paths, The Mark Trammell Quartet, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, and Legacy Five. That will be followed by a very special matinee showcase featuring the Collingsworth Family.
On Thursday afternoon our keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas. A very special showcase will be followed by a very special “Person to Person” showcase featuring the Booth Brothers as they debut their new lineup for the first time. Following the Booth Brothers will be a 30th Anniversary Celebration of Greater Vision. A full night of concerts will follow featuring a line-up of music groups.
On Friday afternoon, Dr. David Jeremiah returns as the Friday keynote speaker and he will be followed by the most anticipated awards presentation of the year in the Southern Gospel music industry, the “Singing News” Fan Awards. A full night of concerts by a variety of gospel singing will climax the evening.
As you can see this NQC really is going to be an experience like no other!
Blog 232 for SEPTEMBER 18, 2021
Sixteen years ago at this time of the year, Bess and I purchased our two beautiful cabins in the Smokies. I saw an advertisement for a Smoky Mountain cabin for rent in the “Singing News” magazine that was in the area of our cabins. We were so impressed by the location and the beauty of the mountains that we ended up buying the two cabins that were for sale. Bill, the owner, made us an offer we could not refuse.
For these sixteen years, it has been a delight to own these two cabins. We have thought they really are the best location in the mountains. As a matter of fact, they have been very popular through these years as rentals. The people that rent our cabins give us a “5 Star” rating, and rave about their beauty and location.
When I retired from the pastoral ministry that took me across America in 56 years, in May of 2017, we decided to become “snowbirds” and spend the summers in the mountains. It really has been a delight! I have kept busy mowing the grass, trimming and cutting tree limbs and trees, updating and upgrading the cabins and property. It has been an exciting journey! I have said the cabins and property are my fitness center. For two summers I have turned the mowing over to mowers that do a good job. Many of my former church members have voiced their delight over this decision. When people see the slopes over which I had to mow, they are amazed! The slopes were not easy.
During these 16 years, the time has really made a change. Friends have left us and moved to heaven. Others cannot travel like they once did, and do not come to the mountains. We sure do miss their fellowship and times together. There is Gene King, an old college friend; Steve Stutz, who made me promise I would preach his funeral; and Vicki Haas, a very close friend of Bess and me. Just thinking about all of these, makes me homesick for heaven! Can you even begin to imagine what all of these are experiencing now? Remember, straight is the way and narrow is the gate to heaven. Are you ready to meet the Lord Jesus if your time calls yet today? Can you even begin to imagine what it is going to be like to sing around the throne forever? I have been thinking lately that America is very near the point of no return. Now is the time to give our hearts and lives completely to the Lord Jesus! Please do not delay!
Jesus really is coming again!
Blog 231 for SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
The happenings and conditions of our present world convince me that our Lord is right when He teaches us some profound things in Matthew 24 about His second return to this earth. In verse 3 there are two very important words to consider:
It means a coming and consequence presence. It is speaking of the glorious events of our Lord’s coming.
(2) “The end of the age.”
This is speaking of the completion of an era in preparation for an entrance into the next era. In our Scripture before us, Our Lord gives us some signals that have to do with the conditions of our world that will occur before the Lord comes again to this earth.
RELIGIOUS DECEPTION - VV 4-5, 11 - Jesus admonishes us to be intentional that no one deceives us. Some even claim to be Christ. The rise of cultism today is incredible. Their key is clothing error in half-truth. How can we avoid deception these last days? (1) Know what the Bible says. (2) The Bible says to test the spirits.
RUMORS OF WARS - VV 6-7A
Jesus told us that we would continually hear of war and rumors of war. He told us not to be fearful, for these things must happen before the end comes. At this present time, we are keeping an eye on the happenings that could erupt and explode in the Mid-East region.
A ROUND OF CATACLYSMIC EVENTS - VV 7-8
- These events may be physical actions of destruction or disaster coupled with social and political upheaval. Two of these are mentioned…Famine and earthquakes. Don’t forget the recent massive Haiti earthquake!
- Jesus is saying these are just pains that remind us that He is coming back to earth again!
RESURGENCE OF CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION - VV 9-10
- Many believers will suffer greatly, even to death.
- Jesus is telling us the world will begin to hate Christians like never before!
- This is happening at the present time in America.
- Public education, the media, and the courts are helping with their bias.
REBELLION TO AUTHORITY - V 12
- The law (God’s Word) is the authority.
- Rejection of authority ends up in coldness and rebellion causing lawlessness to grow and multiply. It is happening at this present time in the family, world, and the Church now.
REVELATION OF THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD - VV 13-14
- Everyone will hear of our Lord before Christ comes again!
- Technology, satellite, and computers all make this realistic.
- We have witnessed Russia and Europe opening to the Gospel. Recently a world leader announced that the Gospel of Christ was now open in his country.
THE RETURN OF OUR LORD - V. 14, 36-39
- The days of Noah are going to be like the days before the Lord returns!
- Millions will not be expecting anything to happen, just like in the days of Noah, and ignore the warning signs, and be unprepared for the Lord’s coming!
The condition of our world informs me that the Lord is going to come sooner than most everyone today thinks. Jesus did not say we would know the exact day of His coming, but that we will know the signals that He is coming!
Blog 230 for SEPTEMBER 4, 2021
Throughout the Bible, the heart is viewed as the center of life and is always associated with our thinking. Thus, King Solomon declares, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Solomon gives us three life-changing facts about our thought life.
1. THE CENTRALITY OF THE THOUGHT LIFE
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life."
- What you are now and what you will continue to be is the consequence of your thought life.
- All of life starts with our thinking.
- Sow a thought, reap a word; sow a word, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.
2. THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE THOUGHT LIFE
Back to verse 23 again
- Our Conversational life issues form our thinking.
- “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.” (Verse 24) It impacts our reading, television viewing, hobbies, and the kind of life we are living. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
- Our Observational life issues form our thinking, “Let your eyes look straight ahead.”
Your entire slant on life is affected by the way you think.
- Our Operational life issues form our thinking, “Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.”
Once we master our thought life, there is no question as to the path we will walk.
3. THE CONTROL OF THE THOUGHT LIFE
Don’t forget what Solomon has said in verse 23. “Keep your heart with all diligence.”
- The Apostle Paul speaks of bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ in 2 Corinthians 10:5.
- No one can be sure of their thought life until it is brought under the discipline of Christ.
- The importance of the thought life can never be overestimated.
Dear Lord, may the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.