How now shall we know God's personal will?

I have been thinking about this for quite some time. Someone in my Sunday School class said she didn't think that God really cared about the mundane in our lives. After all, why would He care what dress we wore or if our shoes were comfortable? He has so many more important things on His mind. Like what He has in mind for the Bride of Christ, World events, things like that. Which is an excellent overview of the kinds of Wills of God. His perfect will, His absolute will, His divine will, His personal will for each of His children. There is a personal will because, by golly, He designed our good works before the foundation of the world.
I believe that He is intensely interested in His people. He cares if you are late for work or if you are hungry or if you are dressed in a manner that is pleasing to Him.
All that said, I read somewhere that George Muller said, "our outward man is not fit for work unless our inward man eats God's Word." I am reminded so much of Jesus sitting by that well in Samaria, hot, tired, thirsty and hungry, but He talked to a woman. When His disciples returned with food pressing Him to eat, He replied that He had "food to eat which you do not know." It's that Spiritual thing which supplies the soul far beyond any kind of satisfaction the body could possibly know - including chocolate brownies hot from the oven.
Fact: We should steep ourselves in God's Word every day. Not this one verse a day with a few paragraphs of devotional (I am not saying that isn't good! It is. It is just that 10 minutes a day is not enough!) Never wait until a problem needs solving or a decision needs to be made to open the Bible, then expect some Holy Oracle to spill forth giving you exact instructions. Your mind won't be prepared to hear exact instructions unless you are prayed up, read up, and revved up, and shored up in Christ. You may get a notion of what to do, but it won't be like as if you were rooted in Scripture.
Fact: There is much to be learned with Context. It is far too easy to get something that isn't entirely Biblical or to skew doctrine when only reading Proof Texts rather than the whole discussion. How does one know truth from fiction if one does not know the whole story? With this same premise, how does one know God's complete will, if one isn't familiar with the Bible? The first place to go to know and understand His will is understanding how He dealth with His people. Abraham was created to be His friend. David was a man after His own heart. Jesus was His only begotten and beloved Son. And there are lessons upon lessons in how Jesus dealt with his followers.
Fact: Confession of sin opens the floodgates of your relationship with God. When temptation rears its ugly head, the mind reels with its heady steam, the body follows the thoughts and pursues a course of action that the soul knows is wrong, this action puts the soul, mind, and body at odds with God. Disobedience is the wall between you and God. Confession is that which tears the wall down. If the wall is up, the ears are closed and there's no hearing God, no matter how much you want to hear Him, you can't. Confess that sin (both of commission and ommission). It is the only way to restoration and revival. Otherwise you are in a Spiritual Coma.
Fact: You probably already know God's will on most things in your life. You know to dress modestly. You know that a job which is morally or legally wrong is against God's 10 commandment teachings. You know if He has given you a propensity toward the mechanical (working with your hands) or the physical (carpentry/construction) or the mental (math acumen or writing ability). Some people are better at certain things than other people. It is what makes the world go round and round.
Taking these facts in consideration, we can then walk a fairly straight path into God's personal will for our life's choices.
Asking yourself a few questions will help to generate some answers that will result in making godly decisions.
Is it a legal, moral, spiritually correct thing to do? Most people would say, "Well, duh!" Then again, perhaps this is why there are so many people becoming Christians in prison. This also includes all those possibilities that could hurt or harm other people. We are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Did God make a promise in the Bible about this thing you are considering? You may or may not be amazed at how many promises God has made that pertain to our daily Christian living. Hey, that's an excellent topic for another post or column at Live As
Are all the doors truly locked, or is there something that God is wanting you to do, but you are actually resisting Him? I cannot tell you how many times I have had to do something that I really did not want to do, but I went ahead and did it because I knew it was what God wanted me to do. Then, after doing it I was blessed immensely. So many times, God is testing to see if we really mean it when we sing, "I Surrender All, all to Thee, my Precious Savior, I surrender all."
During consideration of one or another of your choices, do you have peace in your soul? This is something that a lot of Christians will tell you: You can't depend upon your feelings. I think that is a bit of poppycock. The Holy Spirit is alive and well dwelling inside us. When we grieve Him, our soul hurts. When He rejoices, our soul also rejoices. This is because our soul is one with the Holy Spirit. It is He who makes us Spiritually Alive! He lets us know when we are confronted with temptation not to go down that path. He nags us when it is time to confess and get back right with God. It is the Holy Spirit that urges us, prays for us, interprets our deep groanings, and who seals us against all things Satanic or demonic. That is who should be in control of our feelings and when we get that Gut-Feeling of peace, then the decision should be settled. Often times, the decision to do a particular thing is not reasonable or justifiable, but extremely peaceful. Go with the peace path because that is part of the Fruit of the Spirit.
Can you absolutely ask God to enable you to do what ever it is? Because of the first question, it would be ridiculous to ask God to help you rob a gas station... but, there are other things that may not be so obviously unethical or immoral, but just as wrong. Such as asking God to give you a promotion even though you are not qualified for the position. Asking God to bless your course of action without discussing it with Him in the first place is probably the fastest way to failure in a venture. The Acopulco Divers always study the waves before diving off those cliffs, why should any Christian check to see how deep the water is by diving?

The Refreshing

The man gave the bolt a final twist and stepped back from under the hood of the car. He wiped his grimy hands on a rag and then stuffed it in his back pocket. He gave a satisfied sigh as he headed to the office and the coffee pot. The coffee was strong and fresh, just like he liked it. Tossing a grin to Gertrude, his part time office help, he said, “Gertie, call Kent Boudreaux and let him know his car is ready and he can pick it up any time today.”

With only a little regret, he set his cup down and headed to back the car from the bay and bring in another to work on. Thank goodness God was good to provide so much work when the economy was so bad. Just as the back wheels cleared the bay doors, one of them ran over something. He didn’t have a clue what it could have been, since it had only been a couple of hours since he’d driven the car in the bay. Then his heart constricted and he groaned in sudden agony.

Alfie’s job was to meet and greet all customers that came into the shop. His throne was the cushioned chair that was next to the desk. Sure it was grimy, but it was comfortable for a small, snowy white, very fluffy dog. Normally, Alfie rarely ventured into the bay area. He preferred the cool office and comfy cushion to the cool, but mucky shop floor. Alfie was the beloved owner of the man and his family, which was his other job, to give love and happiness to those he loved best.

The man climbed from the car, dreading what he must find. Sure enough, Alfie was laying still and flat under the car. Tears welled up, and his heart wrenched again. Suddenly, the bright day darkened to night. The dog must have scooted out the door when he got coffee. Even though he wasn’t allowed in the shop, the dog had obviously disobeyed the standing command.

He cradled the little dog in his arms, unsure of what to do. The lifeless form just lay there, head lolled back and tiny pink tongue slack instead of happily panting. The shop owner sat down in a grease-smudged chair with the dog across his lap. What should he do? How would he tell his sweet wife and those precious girls what had happened to Alfie? Finally, he decided to put the dog in the dog food bag, and place him in the dumpster. In this concrete garden, there wasn’t anywhere to bury a pet.

The rest of the day, he worried and fretted how to tell the family they had lost one of their own that day. There was no good way, so he blurted it out as soon as he made it home. Rain began to patter against the home’s windows and it seemed God was sharing the family’s grief.
Next morning, what was normally a joy to hop out of bed and head to work became a heavy chore. Sighing heavily, all the way to work, he opened the shop for daily work, sans his beloved, tiny, fluffy employee.

The coffee had just finished brewing when the owner of the neighboring body shop burst into the office. “Are you going to tell me why your dog is in the dumpster?”

“Well, Jeb, I know he’s in the dumpster. I didn’t have any place else to put him. I ran over him yesterday.

“No, you don’t understand. Your dog is barking and jumping and trying to get out of that dumpster!”

“What? Are you kidding me?” With joyful heart, the man ran to the dumpster and grabbed up that fluffy bundle of excitement. That little pink tongue was exploring every inch of his face. That little dog had only been knocked out, and the most refreshing rain, that gift from God, had refreshed and revived him. Alfie wasn’t dead, after all, he just needed reviving.

How many Christians today look dead? How many are asleep at the wheel or get knocked silly by being someplace they are not supposed to be? Disobedience breaks fellowship with the LORD, and we can’t afford that when we need to be ready for that great and glorious day the Father looks at the Son and says, “Go get Your Bride, Son.” Glory!

Paul tells the Ephesians in chapter two verse one and following: 2:1 In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins. 2 At that time you followed the world's evil way; you obeyed the ruler of the spiritual powers in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God. 3 Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God's anger.

Paul was talking about how they acted as unbelievers, but I am thinking it sounds a lot like Believers of today. The Bride of Christ is sick these days, sick with the evil ways of the world. We can be like the Rich Young Ruler and say: These commands I have kept, I have not sinned.
But, how many of us have watched a movie lately in which God’s name was blasphemed? How many of us worry and fret, harbor anger… bitterness… jealousy, seek vengeance, are critical of others, controlling, gossip, pray by rote, fudge the truth, go places we shouldn’t go, do things in secret that we’d die if it were printed on the front page of the newspaper? How many pirate music? How many think if it doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s okay? How many haven’t returned something that was borrowed? How many of us allow work, family, hobbies, play time come first instead of the LORD?

How many of us have given up on a brother or sister in Christ because he looks dead? How often have we thrown a sibling in the dumpster without thought to the prayers of a righteous man and the resuscitation process laid out by Jesus in Matthew 18: 15-17?

Nothing happens in secret that will not be found out, and nothing done in the dark will not be brought to light. But, why would a front page news story matter more than what God thinks of us? How could it matter more than our precious relationship and that refreshing rain from above?

Revive us LORD Jesus, send your refreshing rain of blessings, wash us clean, and awaken us from our dead sleep. Help us watch and be ready… The Bride awaits her Groom. Come LORD Jesus and find Your Bride doing the mighty works prepared before the foundation of the world. AMEN.

This column was inspired by one of my favorite preachers, Dr. Preston Nix. He is an Associate Professor at New Orleans Baptist Seminary, and he is leading us in revival this week.

Between us and the bad guys

Every so often something comes in the inbox that just gives tremendous pause. I have a huge respect for all our military, especially those in the Air Force because my Dad was a Staff Sargeant in the Air Force... I was born into the Air Force.

On 8 June 2005 the following item appeared in the Albuquerque Tribune:

Air Force Capt. Jeremy Fresques, a Farmington native and Farmington High School graduate, joined a growing list of New Mexicans who have died in the war on terrorism, when the surveillance plane in which he flew crashed last week 80 miles northeast of Baghdad. Three of his U.S. colleagues and an Iraqi airman also were killed. Fresques was awarded the Bronze Medal posthumously Friday.

Fresques was 26. He left behind a wife — also an Air Force captain — and his parents. His sacrifice — and theirs — in the name of our nation's security and the cause of democracy was immense. Col. O.G. Mannon, commander of the 16th Special Operations Wing, rightly called Fresques and his comrades "heroes." We regard Fresques and all men and women with New Mexico connections as family and hold them deeply in our hearts.1

Capt. Fresques was killed in the line of duty on Memorial Day 2005, a month before he was to return home, and news of his death was conveyed that day to Lt. Col. Scott Pleus, commander of the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona, where Capt. Fresques had previously been stationed. Lt. Col. Pleus, along with a chaplain and a medical technician, drove that evening to Yuma, Arizona, to undertake the sad duty of notifying Capt. Fresques' parents of their loss.

About a week later, Lt. Col. Pleus was notified that a memorial service would be held for Capt. Fresques in Sun City, Arizona, on 15 June and that a fly-by from Luke AFB had been requested as part of the service in Capt. Fresques' honor. Lt. Col. Pleus quickly assented:

Of course we would do it. It's a four-ship formation. They fly straight and level over the gravesite and then, directly over the service, the No. 3 plane pulls away while the others fly straight ahead. Symbolically he's headed for heaven. It's the highest form of respect we can pay to a fallen airman.

Everyone involved in such a service considers it an honor. The fliers. The honor guard. The bugler who plays taps. All of us.2

While preparing to head from Glendale to Sun City (a distance of about 6 miles) for the memorial service, four F-16 fighter jets from Luke AFB flew a holding pattern over Glendale's Arrowhead Mall, prompting a local resident unaware of their purpose to send a sarcastic letter of complaint to the editor of The Arizona Republic:

A letter to the Editor;

Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show?

Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune!

Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns' early-bird special?

Any response would be appreciated.

Tom MacRae, Peoria3

The correspondent received a response from Col. Robin Rand, commander of Luke AFB's 56th Fighter Wing, in the pages of that same newspaper the following day:

Luke Air Force Base was asked to respond to a letter writer's question about a "morning air show" he observed recently ("A wake-up call from Luke's jets," Letters, Thursday):

The "wake-up call" witnessed the morning of June 15 was a formation of F-16 jets from Luke Air Force Base lining up for a memorial service in Sun City at the gravesite for Air Force Capt. Jeremy Fresques, an officer assigned to Air Force Special Operations. Fresques gave his life in defense of our country while serving in Iraq.

It is unfortunate that at a time when our nation is at war someone would believe we have less than honorable and professional reasons for such a mission.

The commander of the fighter squadron was given the difficult duty of informing the family of Capt. Fresques on Memorial Day that the officer, a husband, son and Arizonan, had died in Iraq.

On behalf of the men and women at Luke Air Force Base, we continue to keep Jeremy and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Col. Robin Rand
Luke Air Force Base4

Four days later, the newpaper also published a reponse from Lt. Col. Pleus himself:
Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke's jets":

On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt Jeremy Fresques.

Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.

At 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.

Based on the letter writer's recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the president of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?"

The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Lt. Col. Scott Pleus
Luke Air Force Base5

To his credit, the complainant, Mr. MacRae, tendered a written apology which was published in The Republic on 9 July:

Regarding "Flyby honoring fallen comrade" (Letters, June 28):

I read with increasing embarrassment and humility the response to my unfortunate letter to The Republic concerning an Air Force flyby ("A wake-up call from Luke's jets," Letters, June 23).

I had no idea of the significance of the flyby, and would never have insulted such a fine and respectful display had I known.

I have received many calls from the fine airmen who are serving or have served at Luke, and I have attempted to explain my side and apologized for any discomfort my letter has caused.

This was simply an uninformed citizen complaining about noise.

I have been made aware in both written and verbal communications of the four-ship flyby, and my heart goes out to each and every lost serviceman and woman in this war in which we are engaged.

I have been called un-American by an unknown caller and I feel that I must address that. I served in the U.S. Navy and am a Vietnam veteran. I love my country and respect the jobs that the service organizations are doing.

Please accept my heartfelt apologies.
Tom MacRae, Peoria6
The URL SNOPES page is

Sources taken from the SNOPES page.

1. The Albuquerque Tribune. "Editorial: Bouquets & Brickbats."
8 June 2005.

2. Montini, E.J. "Mission of Honor Managed to Fly Under Our Radar."

The Arizona Republic. 26 June 2005.
3. The Arizona Republic. "A Wake-Up Call from Luke's Jets."
Letters to the Editor. 23 June 2005.

4. The Arizona Republic. "'Wake-Up' Flight Was Memorial Service."
Letters to the Editor. 24 June 2005.

5. The Arizona Republic. "Flyby Honored Fallen Comrade." Letters to the Editor. 28 June 2005.

6. The Arizona Republic. "An Apology from the Heart to the Airmen of Luke."
Letters to the Editor. 9 July 2005.

Are you a Democrat, Republican, or Southerner?

Found while trying to recoup some lost data on my crashed computer... Certainly, I did not write it, but saved it for your pleasure today.

Are you a democrat, republican, or a Southerner

Here is a little test that will help you decide. The answer can be found by posing the following question: You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.

Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock cal 40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do? ________________________________________________________________

Democrat's Answer:
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
Does the man look poor! Or oppressed?
Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
Could we run away?
What does my wife think?
What about the kids?
Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation?
Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?Should I call 9-1-1?
Why is this street so deserted?
We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.


Republican's Answer: BANG!

Southerner's Answer: BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click.....(sounds of reloading). BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click

Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?

Son: Can I shoot the next one!

Wife: You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist!

Cloaking is see-through technology

Problem: an ugly refinery belching smoke is blocking your bayou sunset view and the noise is pounding in tune to your headache and destroying your peace and quiet.
Solution: cloak the ugly sight and dampen the noise with your handy-dandy cloaking device.

Okay, that solution is still a bit into the future, but it is not as farfetched today as it was back in the 1960s. Listen, hear the StarTrek theme in the background? Scotty bellows from the speaker, “The Klingons just uncloaked, Keptan, I’m giving ‘er all she’s got.”

That was science fiction. This is real technology. The theory is that light would bend around the object being cloaked so that the light behind the object would appear in front of it, making the object invisible. “It’s an artificial mirage,” says David Schurig, a researcher at Duke University. The microwaves aimed at an object, in this case it was a copper cylinder about 5 inches in diameter, just pass over and around the object without detecting its presence, like water flows over and around rocks in a stream.

This cloaking thingy made those copper cylinders invisible to microwaves. But, of course, the cylinders were there and the scientists were watching and the cylinders never left their sight. So, they were invisible but not invisible. It was technology creating a space warp. No kidding, that is exactly how it was described.

Actually, this cloaking device is one of those milestones that we knew would happen way back in the ‘60s (dark ages to you youngun’s), which I wasn’t sure I’d see in my lifetime. Kids have a way of believing things that seem impossible are possible. It was a hoot to get in the closet and pretend to be transported to another planet, holding on to my hair brush as my communicator with my trusty transistor radio as my tricorder. I would conquer what ever particular planet I was transported to and still be home for lunch.

Today we enjoy lots of things that were science fiction back in the dark ages. The communicator is our hand-held device that allows communication between persons that are a world apart, only we call them mobile phones. The tricorder, a device that sees into the body and detects illnesses and cancers, we call an MRI and a PET scan. Oh, and the photon torpedo? We call that laser surgery. We have talking computers and even brainwave activated computers. Automatic sliding doors, once science fiction are now quite common.

Two things, no three, are left to be invented: the transporter, the light saber, and the reconstituter, a device that goes beyond the microwave because it delivers every thing from pot roast to apples to Earl Gray tea.

It is astounding to me that technology is catching up to man’s dreams. It’s true, there really is nothing new under the sun. Man has already thought about it, but the trick is figuring out how to make it work for real.