Mother’s Day Tribute To My Wife

My father said to his sons and daughter: “It is up to you to celebrate Mother’s Day for she is not my Mother.” Consequently, that is the way I have always looked at Mother’s Day, it is mainly up to the daughters to honor Cindy this day.

Of course, Dad was trying to encourage my siblings and me to honor our mother on her day; he was always kind to her every day.

I do want to say on this Mother’s Day. One of the things I appreciate the most about Cindy is the love that she had for my mother, which was equal to my own. The truth be known Cindy might have been better to my mother than I was. The first few years of our marriage we lived with my widowed mother.

Cindy always encouraged her in the loss of my father. As a care giver Cindy surpassed me, especially when my mother in her last several years suffered a broken hip and certain complications with the new hip. Also, Cindy was helpful in ministering to my mother during the disease that resulted in her passing.

My mother was exceedingly energetic for almost all her life; she was a great influence, example and inspiration to Cindy.

Cindy took notes on my mother’s cooking and learned to prepare all my favorite foods. As I recall, Cindy even took notes before I asked for her hand in marriage, just in case she got a proposal from me. Eventually, Cindy added her southern flair to my favorite dishes and prepared new ones that I enjoyed as much as my mother’s.

After we did get our own home, Cindy was always ready to visit my mother or have my mother visit us. There were no mother-in-law issues. Of course, my mother dearly loved Cindy and helped her mature in Christ and learn to be the lady she became. My mother was a one woman finishing school for Cindy.

Cindy grew up with five step mothers, one of them twice. Thankfully, Cindy had the opportunity to know my father for a few years before his passing, so she was exposed to the stable Christian marriage of my parents. Having known my father, Cindy knew what to expect from me.

 

Image may contain: Cindy Smock, smiling, closeup

Now Play Ball

Casey Stengel charged home plate in a World Series game. Mikey Mantle having a full count, did not swing on pitch number 7. The home plate umpire yelled “Strike 3!”

Casey was furious, as were most of the Yankee fans. He charged the umpire and got in his face, screaming, as only Casey could do.

The umpire responded in a clearly Brooklyn accent of the period: “I’m the umpire. I calls ’em as I sees ’em. Now play ball!”

Among open-air preachers there is strong controversy about what is permissible to say or not; whether or not a preacher can carry mace or forcefully defend himself, whether or not one can lie to the authorities to avoid trouble or arrest, etc. There are other such issues.

Some are calling preachers with whom they disagree to repentance. They are even shunning those who refuse to change.

Many want to act as umpires and make the decisions for others as to what can be said or not said or do or not do? Who appointed these umpires? We all call ‘em as we sees ‘em. I see the differences as judgment calls as to what is effective and what is not. In my opinion the differences are not moral issues.

Preachers, quit arguing and play ball! Stop putting down one another and go about your business of preaching to the lost. I am glad for all who are playing ball as they think best, including the ones who are denouncing me. I am going to continue going about my ministry, as I have been doing for 45 years, whether the wanna be umpires like it or not.baseball.jpg

Mother’s Day

My mother (1911-1994) was the love of my childhood. When I started school, I insisted for several years that my mother wave to me from our bay window as I walked one block from our home to Fairbanks Elementary School in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The last thing I would say to Mother upon leaving for school with my books in hand was, “Don’t forget to wave.”

On very rare occasions she got busy, so I would wait a few minutes at the corner and if she did not appear, I would run back to the house and remind her of our daily ritual. I don’t remember when or why we stopped waving.

Sadly, with the passing of the years, when I reached the age of accountability, my heart turned cold towards my mother. By the time I was 15, I was living a life of self-indulgence and dishonor to my mother and father. This was a very shameful period of my life.

I remember one terribly inconsiderate Mother’s Day, when my mother lamented at the end of the day that I had not wished her a happy Mother’s Day. How does a boy from such a loving home become so selfish? Saint Paul called it “the mystery of iniquity.”

Thankfully, when I converted to Christianity at 29 years old, my love for my mother was quickly renewed as I learned to walk with God day by day.

Mother has been in Heaven for 24 years. I look forward to the future when we will meet again along “the river of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb,” never to part.

Is it any wonder one of favorite songs of this Hoosier boy is, “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away?” My childhood home on South Sixth Street was just blocks from the Wabash River. This nostalgic song by Paul Dresser, which is the state song of Indiana, is also a wonderful Mother Day’s song.

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On the Banks of the Wabash

Cussing Preachers

There has been a controversy on my newsfeed concerning “cussing preachers.”

One of the things that separates man from the animal kingdom is our wonderful gift of the language arts. We have the ability to express great thoughts and ideas with words. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” God spoke and it was done. Our words also have creative powers. So, we should choose our words carefully. We can make or break another person’s day by the words we speak.

Sinners on campus are often incapable of speaking a few sentences without the use of four letter offensive words, which are intended not to edify but put down those with whom they disagree. Their working vocabulary is limited.

Occasionally, some preachers use a cuss word or vulgarity for effect or shock value as a turnaround or to gain more attention. However, I would think that this only be done rarely, if at all. In the below pictures sinners are either directing their curse words against God or their fellow man for selfish reasons and for loss of temper, which is always wrong. God considers our motives more than our actual words. We should not curse those whom God has blessed; nor should we bless whom God has cursed.

One should always take into consideration his audience and the setting. For instance, one should not use questionable words in church or among children or the presence of ladies of whom I fear there are few these days. Women have often become fouler than men. Personally, I find such crude expressions as “pissed off” objectionable or the even use of “butt” instead of buttocks. But then I am of the older generation.

Those who believe that they have the liberty to use questionable language should be understanding of those who are reticent or have scruples against such terms. I do not consider the use of occasional cuss words as a reason to part company or even be overly critical.

We all have our quirks and different ideas as to certain behaviors we might or might not condone. Among those who have been arguing over this issue there does not even seem to be agreement as to what words are permissible and what ones are not.

Visionary Preachers from the 70’s & 80’s, where have they gone?

When I was saved in 1972, there were numerous big-name preachers, who wielded strong influence in and outside the Church with the Word of God. These were men of vision; who put into action their vision throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

Billy Graham was still in his heyday and holding his city-wide crusades and counseling Presidents. Multitudes were making decisions for Christ in large stadiums and countless others responding in their living rooms to Billy’s invitation for sinners to come, “Just as I am.”

Oral Roberts’ television program was popular and he was promoting healing and seed faith over television. OR University had been established and was growing. Roberts was breaking with classical Pentecostalism and to become a leader of the Charismatic Movement. He was determined to unite divine healing with the Medical Arts by establishing a hospital.

Jerry Falwell was promoting the Moral Majority and politically activating fundamentalists, who had traditionally removed themselves from politics. Republican presidential candidates were seeking the support of Falwell. Without Falwell, there may not have been a President Reagan. Falwell’s influence was to follow through his son, who was instrumental in the election of President Trump.

Robert Schuller pastored Garden Grove Community Church, which was founded in an outside drive-in theater; he was the successor to the legacy of Norman Vincent Peale. Schuller’s “Hour of Power” TV program introduced the witness of Christian celebrities to the masses.

Chuck Smith, generally known as the father of the Jesus Movement, was baptizing new believers in the Pacific Ocean. Soon Calvary Chapel Churches were being established in cities nationally and internationally. Those affected by the Jesus Movement took Christ into the streets.

Pat Robertson, Jim and Tammy Bakker and Paul and Jan Crouch were establishing Christian TV networks and hosting Christian Talk Shows and introducing Christian groups and singers on a world-wide stage. Robertson became politically influential enough to make a serious run for the presidency in 1988; he also established Regent University.

Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade for Christ was the leading voice of Christianity on college campuses. Meanwhile, Holy Hubert Lindsey’s open-air preaching at Berkeley was usually gathering larger audiences than the leftist anti-war radicals of the era. Other voices would follow Holy Hubert and confront sin on university campus and in the streets.

Kenneth Hagin from Tulsa, Ok, and his disciples were broadcasting a message of faith for healing and prosperity.

Jimmy Swaggart out of Baton Rouge, LA, at the time of his fall may have surpassed all the others on this list in national and world-wide influence. Considering his singing and piano playing and preaching abilities, he may have also been the most talented preacher of his time. Had not he fallen, he could have become was of the most influential preachers in the history of the Church.

There were other famous and popular preachers of that era, which need to be acknowledged.

My question is who and where are the preachers today with a vision, who are having the impact that these men had?

The Most Important Event in the Community

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Among the books which influenced me as a young Christian was Halley’s Bible Handbook.

Halley stated: “If all Christian people would stir themselves up to be faithful, in this one fundamental Christian duty of going to Church every Sunday, it would set forward the influence of the Church, and the Christ for whom the Church stands, more than all the rest of the things the churches are doing put together.”

Halley wrote the above in the first half of the 20th Century, when Christians still considered church attendance a duty. It seems it has become an option in the 21st Century.

What do you think? Do you consider Church attendance an obligation?

“God instituted the Church, and God appointed the First Day of the week as Church Day. All Christendom has so recognized it and has made this day a day of cessation from the ordinary activities of life,” wrote Halley.

There is nothing more important going on in your community tomorrow morning than Sunday Worship services. At God’s appointed time, turn out, en masse, to honor HIM in whose name the Church exists.

Church is Not Optional

“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.” This the Lord’s admonition to each of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

Five of the seven churches he calls to repentance. The two that he is exclusively positive about are Sardis and Philadelphia. With the others he observes positives and negatives, except for the Church at Laodicea to which he has nothing good to say.

Usually, Christians are concentrating more on what the Spirit is saying to them as individuals instead of what he is saying to the Universal Church. Of course, in the admonition to hear what he is saying to the churches in general, he addresses particular churches. As well as telling individuals to be overcomers.

I don’t hear him saying to come out of the organized churches. He does teach in Revelation to come out of Babylon, which symbolizes the world.

The Churches are the called-out ones from the world, who then assemble in particular congregations.

What I hear from my newsfeed about the churches is usually the negative, usually from people that have come out of the churches. In reaction to all the negativity, I typically emphasize the positive and urge men to work within the church to bring about the necessary reformation.

The Lord is speaking to the angel (pastor) of each church. He is still speaking to the pastors of particular churches today.

Hopefully, Pastor has been in his study all week praying, seeking the Lord and studying his text to hear what the Spirit is saying to his church and churches in general in our time. It would be a significant hearing aid, if we all were in attendance each week to hear our pastor’s message.

The Apostle John was not afraid to say negative things about the churches. But John himself was a churchman, not a renegade. He addresses churches in The Revelation, which he is believed to have founded, except for the Church at Ephesus. As founder of these churches for which he is burdened, he earned the right to a hearing and personally knew their strengths and weaknesses, and, yes, even their sins.31143697_10156280851658917_4630883512923193344_n.jpg

Lamentations for Indiana University

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I have a love/hate relationship with academia and my Indiana alma maters IU and ISU. All my life has been spent around the university community.

My father was a professor and Chairman of the English Department at Indiana State University. I taught US History for a year at the University of Wisconsin before sinking into the depths depravity of the counter culture movement of the 60’s and early 70’s.

When I converted to Christianity in 1972, I determined to revive our colleges and universities and return them to the Christian vision of their founders.

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Yesterday, I walked around the beautiful campus of Indiana University, where I matriculated in 1960. I admired the Victorian brick buildings covered in ivy, walked through the Indiana Memorial Union, which has the appearance of a gothic cathedral and strolled along the Jordon River and over the stone bridge, which stretches over what is actually a creek.

I contemplated, “What an impressive setting to contemplate the Creator, the great ideas and books of antiquity and glorious cultures of times past and appreciate the scientific breakthroughs, which has made life in the 21st Century so easy compared to the past.”

Alas, I knew the appearance of stability was all a shallow veneer, a façade disguising the fraud and decadence which is truly Indiana Univeristy. The green ivy hides the crumbling mortar between the bricks of a university, which is crumbling at her very foundations.

The IU I love gradually and imperceptibly disappeared by the early 20th Century.

The mortal blow struck when the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction was founded at IU in 1947, right in the center of the cornfields and limestone of Indiana’s heartland.

The corrupt Kinsey Institute became the precursor for the sexual revolution of the late 60’s. Now the Institute is dedicated to promoting sexual perversions of all sorts, none of which results in reproduction. The homepage of their website shows two lesbians embracing.

Students are no longer seeking after truth, for according to their professors, there are no absolute truths and morality is relative. Consequently, they are pursuing a life devoted to self-indulgence, which always ends in self-destruction.

Great thoughts are not on their minds; their minds have become obsessed with sex, sex and more sex. The institution no longer even promotes the concept of university but diversity is the goal.

IU and other state universities have exchanged the truth of God for the lies of secularism, multi-culturalism, pluralism and a plethora of other isms covering virtually all that they can imagine, instead of the claims of the Christian religion upon which the University was founded.

The institution has fallen into the blackness of darkness. She deserves the judgment of God for her apostasy.

I still love IU for what she yet can be if we succeed in bringing a revival of religion to her and rebuild her on the sure foundation of Christianity.

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Fall of Indiana University

30742500_10156273655728917_7002706831940255744_n“In the first half of the 19th Century Indiana University was essentially a Christian Institution. The school offered morning prayer and sabbath services and it required that students take religious courses,” wrote Gayle Williams in the Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 99.

David lamented over the fall of his bosom friend, Jonathon, in battle: “How the mighty have fallen and the weapons of war have perished!”—2 Samuel 1:27.

Indiana University is my alma mater, when I consider what she is today compared to what she once was long before I matriculated there in 1960. I can only weep over her terrible fall from truth and light into the depths of depravity and darkness.

Andrew Wylie (1789-1851) served as Indiana University’s first President from 1829-1851. He was a Presbyterian minister and theologian.

President Wylie joined two other Presbyterian faculty members, Baynard Rush Hall who taught Ancient Greek and Latin, and John Hopkins Harney who taught mathematics, natural philosophy, mechanical philosophy and chemistry. Wylie also taught classes in moral philosophy, mental philosophy, rhetoric, evidences of Christianity, belles lettres, and the Constitution of the United States.

President Wylie believed in giving religion and morality their proper place in public instruction. He told the state legislature, “Let our youth be taught to fear God and keep his commandments.”

With three Presbyterian ministers, IU was accused of sectarianism by other denominational leaders. I fear in the concern not to be sectarian, the institution was slowly secularized. Until today the Christian religion has virtually no significant place at IU. Much of what is taught is anti-Christian.

Beck Chapel constructed in 1957 is in the heart of campus, initially promoted Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths; however, now it contains religious symbols of Islam, Buddhism, etc. Nevertheless, it is a place where Christians can find a quiet place of meditation and prayer.

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Strange Pick by God

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Samson was called by God to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Samson had a lust for wicked, heathen women. He went into a whore in the city of Gaza. Evidently, betrayed by the harlot, the authorities found out he was in the city. So, they locked the city gates and determined to kill Samson in the morning.

But, “Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.”

He carried these weighty gates for twenty miles evidently in sight of both high cities. His exploit was a symbol of Christ’s resurrection, of whom Samson was a type, who being buried in a sepulchre, and sealed and watched by soldiers, broke through the bars of death and the grave, and carried off the doors in triumph; and ascended to heaven, whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God with power. When you think about it, Samson was an extraordinary choice to be one of the premier Old Testament types of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Samson was an aggressive and militant man of faith, who hoped to inspire his people by carrying the doors of the of Gaza gate in their sight for twenty miles but they just became more fearful of the Philistines and hid themselves instead of fighting for their inheritance.

Jesus said, “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against my Church.”

Regrettably, finding men of faith to believe Jesus’ prophesy in each generation is a challenge. Christians have too much of a fortress mentality, believing themselves to be safe as long as they stay within the gates of the Church, instead of taking the offensive and bringing Christ into the Public Square as President Trump has done. The Church should be storming the gates of Hell by taking Christ to the streets, instead of allowing Satan to attack the doors of the Church.

As a result of President Trump’s apparent weakness for loose women and prostitutes in the past, the Democrats hoped they would be able to entrap and slay the Presidency of Donald Trump, whom God has raised to deliver American from the hands of the economic and cultural Marxist (Philistines). But Trump broke through their iron gates and once again has triumphant over his enemies and their many ploys.

Trump is more outspoken and speaking of his faith than many ministers. He does not allow his past sins to make him cowardly and cow tow to his enemies as too many who name the name of Christ do.

Trump, America’s Samson, will prevail against the enemies of God, who are attempting to break up the foundations of our Republic. Just as Samson prevailed in the end over the Philistines and killed more in his death than he did in his life. Trump will be avenged against his foes and bring down the house of the Democrats.

Samson was a strange pick by God, who never seemed to lose his faith in Samson to perform his calling despite his moral failures. Trump seems to also be an odd pick to MAGA by reestablishing Kingdom of God principles in our civic and economic affairs. With the help of an awakened Church supporting the President, America can still see its best days ahead. Donald J. Trump is an extraordinary choice to make America once again a bastion of Christianity and the herald of the freedom that follows Christ.

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