484:  Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph

484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph

One of the most important things we can do to combat the coming apostasy, as we have shared before, is to develop an intimate relationship with both God and His Word.  In essence, to have an experience with Him through His Word.   And we do this by slowing down and asking questions of the text, just like we would if we experienced it, first-person.  As if we were actually there.  Today, being close to Christmas, we will briefly look at the birth account of Jesus through Luke’s eyes and see if some questions arise when we read Luke’s words.  Maybe some questions we would want to ask Joseph about the trip to Bethlehem.

And why is that so important?

To begin with, the first step in learning how to experience God through His Word is to slow down and take your time.  In essence, give God time to speak to you.  Remember the points we discussed earlier?

•  Take your time.  After all, this ain’t no race, and the prize doesn’t go to the one who finished first.  The winner is the one who hears from God.
•  Therefore, you must wait for God to speak to you wherever you are reading.  Slow down and take your time.  Remove the yoke of bondage you have placed on yourself with your agenda or Bible reading plan that is more important than experiencing God in His Word.
•  Again, slow down and take your time.
•  Wherever you are at in His Word, read the passage over and over again, out loud.  Emphasize each word or phrase.  Let your ears hear what your lips are reading.  Use dramatic effect in your voice if necessary.  Become the characters.  Feel what they feel.  And think what they must have been thinking.
•  Then ask the obvious questions or wait for questions to arise.  They will if you don’t rush your time with Him.  And when they do, watch what happens.

As an example, today we will look at Luke 2:1-21 and see if we can experience God in this account of Jesus’ birth by waiting for our questions to arise.

There Are Some Questions I Would Like to Ask Joseph

Can you think of any questions you would ask Joseph if he were sitting with you at a small cafe telling you the story you have heard every Christmas?  What would you ask him?

How far along was Mary?  Was she in much pain during the trip?  And how many days did it take?  Where did you sleep at night?

Why did you take her with you in the first place?  Couldn’t you have made the trip faster alone and returned quicker if she stayed with her parents in Nazareth?

Did her birth pains come on suddenly, like a surprise, totally unexpected?  Or did you have some warning her time was coming close?

Where did she give birth?  Was it in a barn or stable?  Or maybe in a cave where animals sheltered at night?  Was it in an open field?  Where did His birth take place?

How did you feel when the shepherds came to visit you that night?  Did you immediately believe their story?  Or did it take some time for it to sink in?

After the birth of Jesus, why did you not return to Nazareth?  Why did you stay in Bethlehem?  And what did you do to support your new family in Bethlehem?

And the list of questions could go on.  The point is, none of these are specifically answered in Matthew’s or Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth.  But they are questions we would ask of Joseph, nonetheless.  And by asking these questions, the Scriptures become more alive to us as we begin to experience God, through His Word, like never before.

The following message is a continuation of Step One on How to Be a Small-Time Pastor.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE



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467:  We Are Living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany

467: We Are Living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany

In the 1930s, if you were a Jew in Germany, you would be faced with unforeseen challenges, that would only get worse.  And if you were a Christian during the same period, you would have to make the same choices many of those brave men made, to follow Christ or the Reich.  This choice is now thrust upon each of us who are called by the name of Christ.  Will we follow His commands or cower to the oppressive power of the State?  And just like Bonhoeffer and the members of the Confessing Church, we must stand or fall together. So yes, we are living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany.

Recently, the Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, denied an appeal for a Nevada church to allow additional worshipers to join in-person services based on building capacity during the virus.  Nevada has placed a 50-person cap on all places of worship, no matter the capacity of the building.  But that cap doesn’t apply to casinos, movie theaters, and restaurants.  Does something seem amiss?

And in California, churches must meet outdoors and limit the number of participants.  Plus, there are no potlucks or fellowship dinners allowed.  No singing, even in small, home groups.  And all of this is happening while riots and demonstrations are permitted and encouraged by the same government officials, yet ordinary citizens must comply with Covid19 restrictions.  Why?  Because our governmental officials state the demonstrations are “too important” to regulate.  So how are we to respond to this hypocrisy?

How Are We Living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany?

Our response is simply saying, “Enough!”  This is exactly what some churches, including Grace Community Church in California and their pastor John MacArthur, have done.  They have publically said, “Enough!”   But they have said it with grace and respect.  And they have not said it quietly or behind closed doors.  Boldness seems to be the great need for the church today.

Remember the poem found in the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem that speaks of the times in which we live.  It is titled “First They Came.”

First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Grace Community Church published a position paper on why they will not adhere to the Governor of California’s decrees to limit worship and curtail freedom of religion.  It is a paper that communicates the rationale behind civil disobedience from a Scriptural perspective.  We, at the Church Without Walls, have modified and adopted this statement as our official position.  In this message, we will talk about the ramifications of standing for Him alone, even if you have to do it alone.

Join us as we stand in faith together.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE
To download the Statement on Government Restrictions on His Church, click – HERE


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466:  How to Seek God’s Face

466: How to Seek God’s Face

One of the four requirements found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a cryptic command to “seek” God’s face.  Note, not His hand, nor His blessings or grace, but simply to seek God’s face.  What does that mean?  And how is that done?

Think, how do we begin the process of seeking God’s face?  What does the Scripture say about that?  Is it something I should be doing?  Are there any requirements or things we first must do to be ushered into the presence of God?  What is it like to “behold the face of God”?  Is that even possible?   If I do seek God’s face, won’t I die?  And if I actually do experience the presence of God, how will that experience change my life?

It’s maybe not as simple as we were led to believe.

So, How Do I Seek God’s Face?

In Psalm 24, we find the requirements God demands to have unhindered intimacy with Him, or to seek His face.  These are not suggestions, but are aspects of our sanctification that allow us to “be holy, for I am Holy” by experience (1 Peter 1:16), and not just theologically or positionally in Christ.

Note the question and answer in Psalm 24:3-4:

Question:  Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?  Or who may stand in His holy place?
Answer:  He who has clean hands (outward holiness) and a pure heart (inward holiness), who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.

Also, note the distinction between outward and inward holiness.  It’s the same distinction we find in the Sermon on the Mount.  For example, let’s look at Matthew 5:21-22:

Outward:  “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'”
Inward:  “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”

And there is so much more we can learn about God’s requirements or standards that must be met to have the kind of intimacy with Him described as “seeking His face” and finding it.  So join with us today as we strive to do just that, to “seek His face” together.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE


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America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now

America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now

The following is a sobering, all-important message from Dr. James Dobson regarding the future of our nation and the quality of life for our children and grandchildren.  I have decided to post it here in its entirety.  You need to read the entire article.

And be warned, the future of our children and grandchildren are at stake.  What will we do?

America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now

From Dr. James Dobson, August 2020 – www.drjamesdobson.org

Dear Friends,

As I write this newsletter, voters across this nation are only a few short months away from the next general election.  What an ominous time this is for our 244-year-old republic.  Its future hangs in the balance. The choices we make on November 3rd will send this nation down one of two dramatically different paths. The wrong decision will be catastrophic.  I agree with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who said recently that the next election will be “the most important since 1860.”   He also warned that if we appease or ignore the violence and anarchy occurring in the streets, it might be the end of civilization as we have known it.  Those are sobering words coming from a man who has stood at the pinnacle of national power.

Mr. Gingrich referred to the significance of 1860 because that was the year Abraham Lincoln was elected president.  I’m sure the Speaker would agree that the following election of 1864 was also critical to the future of the nation.  Lincoln and his opponent, Maj. Gen. George McClellan, were in a hotly contested campaign for the White House that could have gone either way.  The “war between the states,” as it was called, had been raging for three ghastly years, and the entire nation was staggered by reports from the bloody battlefield.

Lincoln was running for a second term, and he campaigned on the promise of finishing the war and preserving the Union.  These were momentous times for the young nation.  During the first week of January 1863, the President signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.

Democrats and their presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. McClellan, initially campaigned on a “peace platform,” pledging to end the war and send soldiers home.  As the election approached, he talked more about negotiating to let the South establish a separate government whose cornerstone would be slavery.  If McClellan had been elected, there would have been no foreseeable end to the inherent evil of buying and selling human beings and treating them like cattle.  Thus, the Civil War was a struggle for the soul of America.

The summer before the election, the war was going badly for the Union.  Lincoln, in fact, was convinced he was going to lose the election.  He wrote the following memorandum on August 23, 1864, asking his Cabinet to accept the grim prospects for his re-election. These are his words:

This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such grounds that I cannot possibly save it afterwards.

No wonder Lincoln dealt at times with depression.  Clearly, the Union was a hair’s breadth away from losing the war. But then, the tide began to turn.  One historian wrote, “The political landscape shifted dramatically when Gen. William T. Sherman took Atlanta in early September.  This major military shift, coupled with the severe internal strife within the Democratic Party, solidified Lincoln’s chance at victory.”

As you know, Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans won the election of 1864 in a landslide.  McClellan was defeated by more than 500,000 popular votes and 191 electoral votes.  An estimated 78 percent of Union soldiers cast their ballots in favor of Lincoln.  McClellan took just three states: Kentucky, Delaware, and his home state of New Jersey.  Less than two months after Lincoln’s inauguration, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.  He is said to have been the “last casualty” of the Civil War.

Why have I recounted our Civil War history and the election of 1864 at this time in our history?  It is for two reasons.  The first is to consider some striking similarities between then and now.  Our nation is divided like no time since the Civil War.  Lawlessness and anarchy stalk the cities as angry mobs riot, burn, loot, rob, and kill innocent bystanders.  Cultural monuments are being destroyed.  Scores of people have been shot.  Our courageous police officers are being brutally attacked by the same people they have vowed to protect.  A man and his son stopped to ask for directions, and he was gunned down on the spot.  A one-year-old baby was shot in the stomach while he sat in his stroller.  The child died at the hospital.

What began as a justified and lawful protest in response to George Floyd’s senseless murder by a rogue police officer has morphed into violence for the sake of violence.  Hatred flows in the streets, including vitriol directed at the President of the United States or anyone who dares to support him or his policies.  Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religious liberty are being trampled.  There is also widespread belief that violence and anarchy are being organized and funded by powerful forces that are maneuvering America toward a socialist dictatorship.  There is always a kingmaker behind such lawlessness.  Most disturbing is open talk of another civil war. It is troubling to even utter those words.  The last time Americans faced off against each other, 600,000 soldiers died.  May God forbid it from happening again.

During the revolution of the 1960s, I recall a ubiquitous bumper sticker that read, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”  It was a catchy phrase that made sense to those who opposed the Vietnam War.  But my reaction to it then and now is “What if they gave a war and only one side came?”  That question keeps me awake at night.  There are multiple millions of passive Americans out there today, many of them Christians, who are clueless about what is happening to their homeland.  They are losing something precious and irreplaceable.  Do they not understand that their children and those who are yet to be born will live in tyranny if we fail them on our watch?  Countless young men and women have laid down their lives on battlefields around the world to protect liberty and our way of life.  Now, what they purchased for us with their blood is slipping away.  Disengaged people won’t lift a finger to preserve this great land.  They won’t take even a few minutes to go to their polling places to vote.  There are also thousands of pastors who won’t allow voting registration tables in the lobbies of their churches.  Don’t they know or care that America is on the ropes?  Hordes of angry anarchists are salivating over the next election, hoping to push America over a cliff.  If they succeed, as Newt Gingrich said, Western civilization will never recover.  Is there anyone left who believes some things are worth dying for?  Aren’t there patriots out there such as Patrick Henry who said in defiance of British tyranny, “Give me liberty or give me death!”?  That was the spirit during his day.  The Declaration of Independence closed with these words endorsed by the signers, “We pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”  They knew they would be hanged if they lost the war.  Why did they do it?  Because they loved their country enough to die for it.

How I pray for the emergence of silent, intimidated Americans who will come out of their hiding places to let their voices be heard on Election Day 2020.  There must be tens of thousands of ministers in our midst who, like the Black Robed Regiment of the Revolutionary War, will strip off their clerical garb and fight valiantly for religious liberty.  If these men and women of faith and conviction don’t come to the rescue of their country, it is doomed.

During the Civil War, untold soldiers gave their lives to preserve the integrity of the United States of America and to end the tragedy of slavery.  Here is the question of the hour: Are you and our brothers and sisters willing to carry the bloodstained banner around which our predecessors rallied?  We will know the answer on November 3rd.

That brings us to the second reason I have addressed the Civil War and the election of 1864.  It is to remind us that voting matters.  Each presidential campaign has been important, but some have had jaw-dropping and nation-shaping consequences.  I believe we are at such a pivotal moment now.  You can be certain that America will be forever changed by the political party that gets its supporters to the polls. They will win the day— and the future.

Unfortunately, the majority of Christians have a record of not showing up on Election Day.  It is unbelievably sad.  As many as 75 percent of them sit on their hands, apparently assuming that their votes don’t matter.  They are wrong.  Voting ALWAYS matters.  George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 by 537 votes in a nation of 130 million registered voters.  Many down-ballot contests have been won or lost by a single vote.

I plead with you to register and vote in this presidential election.  I won’t try to tell you who to vote for because you can figure it out for yourselves.  But I will suggest how you might evaluate the situation we face. I’ll close with seven critical issues that have stunning significance for the nation.  Please think hard about them, and then go to the polls.

1.  The Next Generation

There is a fierce battle being waged now in the nation’s classrooms for the hearts and souls of our children and grandchildren.  Those of us who are passionately committed to the Judeo-Christian system of beliefs are losing our kids right before our eyes.  They are being force-fed a radical curriculum that is godless, anti-American, and sexually perverse.  Make no mistake, the left and secular culture are manipulating the minds of your sons and daughters every day of the year.  I urge you to be extremely careful about those whom you set in power over your children.  Protect them with your very lives.

2.  The Sanctity of Human Life

All life is sacred and is a gift from Almighty God.  But as you know, America has the blood of innocents on its hands.  Since 1973, more than 60 million babies have been murdered through abortion and countless lives have ended by euthanasia.  This is the most tragic holocaust in the history of the world!  Some states have even passed laws allowing wounded and suffering infants to lie alone on porcelain trays after somehow surviving unsuccessful abortions.  They will die without the comfort of their mothers’ breasts.  If that doesn’t touch your heart, you are without compassion.  I hope you will not cast a single vote for any politician who supports such wickedness.

3.  Marriage and Family

The family is God’s original building block for society.  Marriage continues to serve as the foundation for every dimension of human life.  Everything of value rests on it, including procreation and the care and training of children.  If that ground floor is weakened or undermined, the entire superstructure of civil society will come crashing down.  But listen carefully: powerful and highly funded forces, including LGBTQ and other leftist entities, are determined to destroy the family as an institution.  It is already on its knees, and its future is grim.  Before you vote, find out what position the candidates have taken on this issue.  Then vote accordingly.

4.  Religious Liberty

The first item listed in the Bill of Rights addresses the issue of religious liberty.  All the other enumerated rights flow from that fundamental freedom.  That is why it is alarming to recognize that this right to worship and honor God as we choose is under vicious attack today.  The courts have done the greatest damage, but now an entire sub-culture is trying to bring down the Christian faith.  Whether it has invaded your private world or not, it is at your front door.  It was this primary concern that led to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War in 1776.  We can’t compromise one jot or tittle within that fundamental right.  Fight for it with every ounce of your strength and determination.  Don’t let the government close the doors of your church or tell you when you can sing praises to the Lord Almighty.  They have a devious agenda, and it is dangerous.  Be ready to go to the mat in defense of what you believe.  And let this passion influence how you cast your ballot in November.  Here I stand.  Will you join me?

5.  Capitalism v. Socialism

It is difficult to believe that for the first time in American history, our nation appears to be thinking about trading our democratic way of life for the tyranny of socialism.  I can hardly catch my breath.  Could we really consider abandoning the beloved system of government that was designed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people?  Is it true that up to 40 percent of millennials and others are prepared to surrender their liberties in exchange for the absolute authority of the state?  Democracy and capitalism have made ours the most powerful and successful nation in the history of the world.  Are we really considering scuttling the system that has served us for 244 years in exchange for what some people call “free stuff?”  I pray not!  But that option awaits you in the polling booth.

6.  The Judicial System

Given recent rulings, we know that judicial overreach has almost ruined this great nation.  Justices and judges are constitutionally charged to interpret the law, not make law.  But again, and again, they have overstepped their authority and brought us atrocities such as abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and the so-called “separation of church and state,” which doesn’t appear in the Constitution.  Most recently, the Supreme Court handed down one of its most egregious rulings since Roe v. Wade.  It is the case of Bostock v. Clayton County.  This decision was not based on constitutional law but on the whims of six justices.  It created a new legal definition of sex out of thin air.  Lawyers tell us that this ruling will affect every dimension of culture and haunt the nation as long as it endures.  Please don’t vote for politicians who will expand, rather than limit, the power of the judiciary.

7.  The Nation of Israel

Scripture tells that those who bless Israel will be blessed (Genesis 12:3).  Our prayer is that the next Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. will continue to promote and cultivate a vibrant bond of friendship with the nation of Israel, which is our only ally in the Middle East.  Anti-Semitism and all forms of racial discrimination are inherently evil, and we condemn them categorically.  We are a nation that is dedicated to “freedom and justice for all” (The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance).

I could list dozens of other issues that should be considered as we vote on November 3rd.  I will end with this final statement from Abraham Lincoln.  He said:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

Let us come boldly before the throne of grace and ask God for His mercy on America.



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50 Things You Need to Get Before It’s Too Late

50 Things You Need to Get Before It’s Too Late

We are living in troubling times.  And, unless you are purposely sticking your head in the sand, you can see things begin to unravel at a frightening speed.  So what are we to do?  Prepare.  It’s really that simple.  We each have the choice of being a blessing or a burden to others.  We are a blessing if we prepare and have something to bless others who have nothing.  Or, if we continue with our dogmatic denial, then we become a burden on those who did prepare… and nobody wants to be a burden, do they?  So, in this vein of thinking, let me give you a master list of 50 things you need to get now before it’s too late and it gets to the point they will either not be available, or you will be unable to secure them.  Why?  Because you waited too long.

Consider this a master list or a set of goals to work towards.  You probably won’t be able to get all of these things today, or even next week.  But every journey, no matter how long, begins with the first step.  So take that step today.

50 Things You Need to Get Before It’s Too Late

These are not in any particular order.

1.   A Generator (we will talk more about this in a future post)
2.   Berkey Water Filter (the best water filter to have)
3.   Rainwater Collection System (if you don’t have an alternative source of water near your home)
4.   Emergency Medical Kit
5.   Rice
6.   Pasta
7.   Canned Soup
8.   Canned Vegetables
9.   Canned Fruit
10.  Canned Chicken  (these canned items are the best way to start building your pantry)
11.  Jars of Peanut Butter (lots of them)
12.  Salt
13.  Sugar
14.  Powdered Milk (these last three items will have to be stored properly.  We’ll cover this in a later post)
15.  15 Bags of Flour (or more, once everything else has been taken care of)
16.  Yeast
17.  Lots of Extra Coffee (even if you don’t drink it.  Others do, and they get nasty when they don’t)
18.  Buckets of Long-Term Food (I would suggest Augason Farms)
19.  Extra Vitamins
20.  Lighters or Matches (and a lot of them)
21.  Candles
22.  Flashlights or Lanterns (and include rechargeable batteries and lantern oil)
23.  Plenty of Wood to Burn (if the power goes out, how will you cook without fire?)
24.  Extra Blankets
25.  Extra Sleeping Bags
26.  A Sun Oven (several to choose from.  We’ll talk more about that in another post)
27.  Can Openers (many of them.  What’s the use of having canned food if you can’t easily open them)
28.  Hand Sanitizer (or Rubbing Alcohol to make your own)
29.  Toilet Paper (self-explanatory)
30.  Extra Soap and Shampoo
31.  Extra Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
32.  Extra Razors
33.  Bottles of Bleach (or packages of Pool Shock to make your own)
34.  A Battery-Powered Radio (very important.  A hand-crank radio is even better)
35.  Extra Batteries
36.  Solar Chargers
37.  Trash Bags (the big, black ones)
38.  Tarps (all sizes)
39.  A Pocket Knife (get a good one, Buck, Spyderco, Kershaw, Benchmade, Zero Tolerance, etc.)
40.  Hammer and Nails (different size nails and get them in abundance)
41.  Ax and Saw
42.  Shovel, Spade, Hoe, Pitchfork, Rake, and Other Garden Tools, etc.
43.  Work Gloves (several pair, different sizes)
44.  N95 Masks
45.  Seeds for a Garden (needs to be heirloom seeds and not what you’ll find at your local Feed and Seed Store)
46.  Canning Jars (with at least 4 times the number of lids)
47.  Extra Supplies for Your Pets
48.  An Emergency Supply of Cash (or other items for barter, such as junk silver coins, etc.)
49.  Bibles for Every Member of Your Family (this should have been first on the list)
50.  A “Bug Out Bag” for Every Member of Your Family (we will discuss the “why” and “how” of this in a later post)

And the list could go on.

The Time to Start is Now!

Over the next few weeks, we will look into each of these items, and others, and show you where to get them and provide reviews for your various choices.  That will be our job (and we haven’t even talked about guns, ammunition, and other items of personal protection).

Your job is to get started now.  How?  Start by going to Costco or Sams or your local grocery store and buying more of what you already eat.  Instead of one or two cans of green beans, get six or more.  Double what you think you will need for the week and in no time you’ll find you’ve made a start on securing items your family needs to survive, just in case.

And remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.  Make sense? Good.  Then let’s get started preparing to be a blessing and not a burden when the time comes.


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