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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas Story

Quoted directly from the Holy Bible, King James Version:
From Luke 2: 1-20.

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Merry Christmas!

May you have a meaningful and blessed Christmas.

Here is a treat for you. The incomparable Cathedral Quartet singing  a cappella  "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from 1985.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmastime is here...

Well, my brothers and sisters, Christmastime is upon us once again.

Some people dread Christmas. Perhaps it is because the expectations are high. We are "supposed" to be happy. We are supposed to act merrily. We are pressured to spend money we don't have to give people things they may not want or need.

And then others love Christmas for its fanfare. They like the hustle and bustle. They love to bask in the lights and decorations. Nothing wrong with that. But it may not suit everyone's personality.

I have to admit I took myself out of all of this years ago. I got tired of it. I dreaded the superficiality of it all, the blatant commercialism, the pressure to "put on a happy face."

Don't get me wrong. I like a certain amount of decorations if they are for the purpose of getting at the real meaning of Christmas. My church is one of the most beautiful places at this time of year. Nothing too fancy, but absolutely beautiful. The adornments seem to encourage one to look beyond this world to the spiritual realm, the realm not seen with human eye, to see the hand of God, the love of God, and He reaches down to fallen humanity, and gives us the perfect gift of His only Son.

Take some time this Christmas to focus on Christ. Contemplate Him. Meditate upon Him. And be blessed. That way, none of this world's mixed up values will drag you down during this season of the year.

Merry Christmas one and all...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing,
He chastens and hastens His will to make known,
The wicked oppressing, now cease them from distressing,
Sing praises to His name, He forgets not His own.

We all do extol Thee, our Leader in battle,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be,
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation.
Thy name be ever praised, O Lord make us free.

--from an old traditional Thanksgiving hymn

Read more about Thanksgiving, 2013 here.

God bless each and every one of you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Billy Graham speaks to the nation in historic event beginning tomorrow

Beginning tomorrow, Nov. 7, 2013 and continuing throughout the weekend evangelist Billy Graham, who turned 95 years old this month, will speak to the nation in what was being billed earlier in the year as "the living room crusade."

As time progressed, however, the name changed to "My Hope, America."

Dr. Graham has stated that this will in all likelihood be his final crusade as age and several ailments have ended his ability to travel or even speak for long periods of time. Thus, he states that "with all my heart I want to leave you with the truth."

To that end, Graham has subtitled his message as "The Cross."

Graham believes that through the Cross of Jesus Christ, God is reaching down to man with love and forgiveness to anyone who repents and receives Christ as Savior and Lord.

According to The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, special events revolving around "My Hope, America" have already been underway across the nation and around the world. These events will culminate and climax with the special broadcast featuring Dr. Graham beginning tomorrow.

Check your local listings for the channels and times the special broadcast will be shown.

Fox News will carry the event nationally. BlazeTV and TBN will also carry the event, as well as many others. This page will give you a partial listing of the networks carrying the event nationally.

Throughout his long ministry, Billy Graham has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more people than any other person in history. He has personally shared the Gospel with presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens, and heads of state, including Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, LBJ, and Richard Nixon, along with Communist Party officials in China and the old USSR.

For tomorrow's broadcast Dr. Graham has called upon Christians everywhere to invite their friends, neighbors, and family members to gather with them to watch.

Not only will the broadcast feature a special message by Graham, along with popular Christian music artists, but rare footage from Graham's long career will be presented as well.

When Graham went to Madison Square Garden in New York City to hold a crusade as a young man, what was designed to be a two week event turned into 10 weeks as crowds swelled each evening to a point that exceeded the capacity of the arena to accommodate them. Graham agreed to continue preaching each night as long as the crowds kept showing up.

A similar thing happened in Los Angeles and in London, England.

Many Christians have stated in recent days that the thing that makes this "living room crusade" so special is that it may well be the last time Americans will get to see this living legend in public. Multimillions of Christians the world over describe Graham as the man who led them to Christ. Many people had never been in a church or heard the Gospel until they saw Graham on TV.

Our hope and prayer is that one last time during Graham's life multithousands if not multimillions will come to know Christ as their Savior and Lord through Graham's faithful proclamation of the Word of God.

But of course, an even better outcome would be that God spares him to preach yet again in the future. God works in mysterious ways.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Take the name...

Take the name of Jesus with you
Child of sorrow and of woe.
It will joy and comfort give you.
Take it, then, wherever you go.

Precious Name, O how sweet.
Hope of earth and joy of heaven!
Precious Name, O how sweet.
Hope of earth and joy of heaven!

At the name of Jesus bowing
As a shield from every snare.
When temptations 'round you gather
Breath that Holy Name in prayer.

Precious Name, O how sweet.
Hope of earth and joy of heaven!
Precious Name, O how sweet.
Hope of earth and joy of heaven!

--from an old traditional Baptist hymnal

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A busy month

Just a heads up on the flurry of activity here.

Beginning the last Sunday of September and continuing with the month of October, I have been super busy doing musical programs for churches and leading Bible studies.

As you know I have a part time ministry on the side. I sing, and thus, I do concerts for churches free of charge and on a love offering basis. I have never turned down a church due to their inability to pay. My last concert was very gratifying. The people were super-gracious and a joy to sing for. I love doing these things to the degree that I would do it full time if had the opportunity.

I also do Bible studies and fill in for ministers on Sundays and Wednesdays from time to time. That, too, is always gratifying.

When I get busy like this, I am unable to do what I normally do on this site. I am sorry about that.

In addition, discouragement sets in when it comes to politics. I am as troubled by what I see  happening to our country as I have ever been. When Obama got reelected in November, I remember writing that I did not see how the nation could survive another four years. My view about that is that now we are in even worse shape...just within a few short months. I don't think we will make it four years if things do not change drastically.

So, I do my best to write and sound the alarm. But frankly, not many listen. When I see people turn a deaf ear to the truth, I get so distressed that I literally get sick. During those times I have to take a day or so to regroup.

Thanks for understanding, and thanks for your prayers during this time.
(Cross-posted at The Liberty Sphere).

Monday, September 9, 2013

Train Up a Child

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6).

These words from the Bible tell us of the awesome responsibility of a parent. It is a responsibility that, if taken seriously, will culminate in a vastly improved society filled with mature adults who wish to do what's right, avoid what's wrong, and lead productive lives.

But if that responsibility goes unheeded, the consequences are disastrous.

I see those very consequences at work today in America. Many if not most youth are disrespectful to their parents, grandparents, older persons, teachers, ministers, and others. No thought is given to whether something is right or wrong. Cheating in schools and in universities is raging out of control, and even the teachers and professors often secretly encourage it so that they will "look better."

Where is the breakdown? Where is the point at which there is a massive disconnect that leads to these loathsome circumstances?

Blame is easy to throw around. When a child gets old enough to know right from wrong, they have free choices to make, and they often choose wrongly. The freedom to choose is a personal responsibility, and many youths today simply decide to do the wrong thing. Further, public schools are a cesspool of anti-Christian sentiment, drugs, lack of discipline, and a failure to inculcate within each student the ability to think for themselves and an insatiable thirst to learn. This breakdown is the responsibility of teachers, administrators, school boards, and parents.

And then at church very little of the demands of Christianity are taught and preached. What we hear are nice little object lessons that never drive home the fact Jesus made some very specific and difficult demands of His followers in the realm of morality, ethics, philosophy, conduct, mindset, and the like. These are being ignored in order to avoid "turning modern people off to the Gospel." But in doing so the churches have made sure that no Gospel is presented in lessons and sermons.

But the ultimate blame goes to the parents. I see many parents failing at every juncture to teach their children in the ways of the Lord. How many homes in America today have a daily Bible study and prayer time for the whole family? At one time this was a routine staple of Christian life. Most of the time these days not only do parents fail to demand that their children sit down with them for a meal, together, but they also fail to demand that their children sit down and hear the Word read and taught. Prayer is also conspicuously absent in the home.

If we are not going to give our children and grandchildren this basic elementary opportunity for Christian learning, then it is no wonder we see the entire society going to the toilet.

We can do better.

This verse from Proverbs above says that if we train our children in the ways of the Lord, when they are older and mature they will not depart from it. Now, often they will stray and test out the waters of sinful living and experiment with the ways of the world. But if there is a solid foundation that has already been laid within their hearts in a Christian home where the Gospel has been taught each day, they will eventually be drawn back to the faith...in time.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Story of Great Hope

Hello, my friends. Just a word of encouragement to you for your spiritual growth.

I discovered the video below while browsing YouTube, and it brought back many wonderful memories and a story I just had to share. I will make it brief.

When I was growing up George Younce sang bass for a well-known quartet that traveled out of my hometown. That is where I first encountered him. I remember seeing him on TV and at the Gospel concerts that his group held four or five times per year in that town.

Then, suddenly, one day he was gone. Poof. Vanished. Out of sight.

I did not know what had happened to him. The group for which he sang never said a word about it. They had a new bass singer on board as soon as George left.

In just a few short years, however, I heard a Gospel song on the radio, and immediately I recognized that bass voice. It was George! But the group sounded entirely different than the one where I got to know him. In fact, this group was different, so different in fact that I remember thinking at the time, even at my young age, that this would one day be THE group in Gospel music, the standard by which all others were judged.

Two of the main reasons for my prediction were, of course, that unmistakable bass voice of George Younce, and the other was a crisp, clear, strong lead voice of someone I did not know and had never heard before. I learned later that this lead singer's name was Glenn Payne. The group, of course, was the Cathedral Quartet.

Shortly the Cathedrals came to my hometown for a program, and George gave his testimony. He said that while he was with the other group he had strayed away terribly from the Lord and turned to alcohol. He said often he sang on stage half drunk. He said that at night on the bus, he kept an open container of whiskey by his bunk in case he got the shakes in the middle of the night.

But then Glenn Payne called from Ohio and said that the Cathedral Trio needed a bass. George said he told Glenn that he was "a mess" and not a very good spokesman for the Lord at the time. Glenn said it did not matter, to come on up to Ohio and he would help him get cleaned up. And he did. Then, Glenn and George made an agreement that as they embarked on this new venture together, they would do it "the right way," the Lord's way, and whatever success they may achieve they would owe it all to Him and would give Him all the glory and honor.

George re-found the Lord and his life totally changed. At that point George began writing Gospel songs. He didn't write that many, but let me tell you when he did, they were fantastic, moving, gripping.

One of those songs George wrote is featured below. It is a song about George's testimony, a miniature story of his life. It is titled, "I've Been Wrong." And it is about a man's conversation with the Lord when he comes to Him for forgiveness. The opening line is, "Lord, you know I've been wrong my whole life long..."

But then he describes the great hope that is available through our faith in Christ. I know this song is true. I saw it in George. The final chorus of the song proclaims that great hope, "Lord, I know, I know you care, you answer prayer, hear my plea, Lord save me."

Shortly after George wrote this song the Cathedrals sang it on the old Gospel Singing Jubilee that used to come on TV every Sunday morning across America. This is one of the earlier versions of the Cathedrals with Glenn and George, and Mack Taunton on tenor, and George Amon Webster on baritone and piano. I think it is a treasure. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

If you ever look for me...

A brief devotional thought for today....

I have been in a deep contemplative mood as of late, and I have reached the point in life where eternal matters are of vast significance and claim an ever increasing amount of my free time.

Death does not scare me like it used to. I cling to "the Christian hope" that this world is but a shadow and that the real life is coming hereafter. Christ, thus, is becoming more real to me than I ever imagined, and in that place, where faith becomes sight, I shall see Him and be with Him eternally.

A line or two from a song will suffice:

If you ever look for me and don't find me here,
I'll be in heaven and I hope that I'll meet you there.
Then I thought about Mama and the songs that she used to sing.
She sang about Amazing Grace and the joy it can bring.

...words and music by Kevin Spencer.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Billy Graham to launch major national event this Fall

Famed evangelist Billy Graham, who turns 95 years old this year, will launch a major national event this Fall, an evangelistic campaign that he bills "The Living Room Crusade."

While Graham is no longer able physically to conduct his famous crusades around the world, he will use technological advances via video, the Internet, and other platforms, to launch a focused blitz to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who may have never heard it.

Graham will speak to America and to the world right from his living room in Montreat, N.C. He states that this may well be his very last public crusade. Advancing age and Parkinson's Disease has greatly hampered the famed evangelist in his efforts over the past 15 years. But Graham states that the spiritual decay and deterioration of America in recent years has been particularly troublesome to him. He hopes that this last crusade will do something to turn the tide and act as a major first step toward bringing America back to its spiritual roots.

Although Graham's message from his living room will be a central feature of the living room crusade, the event will also feature archived clips from Graham's ministry, including historical footage from previous crusades around the world.

In addition, Graham will be interviewed by his Pastor as part of the living room crusade.

Graham now belongs to the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, S.C., located in the foothills of South Carolina an hour away from his home in the mountains. Until he became ill and stopped traveling, Graham had been a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, which at the time was the largest Southern Baptist Church in America, with over 20,000 members, and was pastored by famed Baptist preacher W.A. Criswell.

So far, over 12,000 churches of all denominations have signed up to participate in the living room crusade. Graham perfected the practice of enlisting local churches in his evangelistic crusades through the years, believing that not only can the churches effectively get people out to the meetings but follow up on those who come forward and sign commitment cards at the end of each meeting. This way each person who made a profession of faith in Christ at a crusade meeting would be referred to a local church for follow-up and discipleship.

No specific date has been set for the event this Fall. But as the time draws closer, the information will be released by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hello there!

I'm still here, just been overwhelmed of late with things I am into. I have too many irons in the fire perhaps, but I have to do what I have to do.

And that brings me to today's devotional thought.

I get very very tired and weary. Worn out, perhaps, is the best term for it. I know most of you can relate.

At times the fatigue is so overwhelming that I am tempted to give up. But I cannot. I know myself too well. As long as I have life, breath, my mental faculties, and the ability, I have to speak out about the things I care about. And that means I will always be involved in the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through song, teaching, and preaching. I will always be involved in the political arena because I believe it is a fight for the good and the right against evil. And I will always be involved in music ministry through the local church as long as I have the ability. I love directing music.

None of these endeavors bring in a lot of money. If I did these things for money, I would have quit long, long ago. There is simply no money to speak of in these things, at least not for me. But I have learned that submission to God's will is the ultimate thing a person should strive for. If it is His will for me to serve Him in poverty, then so be it. But I will never be silent.

And this brings me to today's scripture verse, "And let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6: 8-10).

And so my friend, keep holding on. Keep on keeping on. There are people who sorely need our message. There are people who need the "touch of the Master's hand." And there is a Heaven to gain, one day.

I have a couple of videos for you today. These have been posted in recent days, but the songs are from several years ago, not that long though, and I happen to think they are fantastic.

The first is from the Florida Boys in a live performance in Charlotte, N.C. It features the man who is perhaps the finest young bass singer in Gospel Music today -- Gene McDonald. Not only is he plenty low, but he can take a lead and sing it like a lead singer. He has that mellow quality to his voice that is most pleasing. And I happen to know that Gene is a fine Christian, having spent time with him and the boys on many occasions.

This one is called, "I Can, I Have, I Will." It is a real treat.


The next selection is also from the same program in Charlotte. Here the Florida Boys sing one of my favorites called "Sing Me a Song About Jesus." It features the finest quartet baritone who ever lived, Glen Allred. Enjoy...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Hello, my friends, and I hope you have a very happy Memorial Day weekend.

Take some time to be with your family. Relax and enjoy yourself. And take several moments to remember with gratitude the great patriots of the past who gave their very lives to win, protect, and preserve liberty. Were it not for them we would not be here. More than likely we would be living in abject slavery. Some say we are headed for that anyway.

Wouldn't it be a shame if everything for which our forefathers gave their lives went down the tubes? The blood, the sweat, the hardship that they gladly and freely gave for freedom culminated in a country that believes that the rights of the individual are to be protected not only from government but from the majority of citizens. Are we to allow these freedoms to be celebrated only to stand idly by and allow tyrants to throw them away because we were not diligent enough to prevent shady politicians from encroaching on those freedoms?

As one of our Founders stated, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

We must also remember that our Founders believed that freedom, liberty, are given to them by their Creator, not by man, not by governments, not by a majority vote. These rights are sacred because they came from God. Thus, any attempt to nullify them or obliterate them is illegitimate, ungodly, evil, and not to be tolerated.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was not a pacifist. Yes, he preached and taught peace, but that peace must begin with each individual. He never stated that governments and/or groups of citizens are forbidden from waging war if their cause is right and honorable.

Any statement Jesus made concerning peace must be balanced with other statements such as, "I came not to bring peace but a sword." He was speaking specifically about the final war where He would triumph over all of His enemies. Evil, and those who perpetrate it, will be obliterated with the sword.

Pacifists and so-called "Christians" who obviously do not believe in the Word of God conveniently ignore those statements made by Jesus Himself.

Having said all of that, I do hope and pray that your Memorial Day is a sacred one. Bow your head and breath a prayer of thanksgiving that our forefathers believed that when Christianity, liberty, and all the values we cherish are under attack, we must take up arms to stop them. THAT is why we still live in at least what is supposed to be a free country today.

God bless you, and Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings and The Hallelujah Chorus

A blessed Easter to all. We serve a living Savior. Because He lives I can face tomorrow. And because He lives, we, too, shall live.

I can find no other piece of music more appropriate for this day than "The Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah." And I can find no better rendition of the piece than that which was performed by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

I like the video of this in particular because it provides a black and white photo of Ormandy, known as "the little maestro," in action, conducting the orchestra as no other. He was a genius, a child prodigy who grew up to conduct what became known as the finest orchestra on earth, the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Here you will hear what became known as "the Philadelphia Sound," which Ormandy perfected, that emphasized the smooth woodwinds and violins, violas, and cellos, and when he used brass he chose to smooth out the sound with the use of the horn muffle, called "the trumpet mute," so as to minimize the shrillness that often accompanies brass instruments. The result is a velvety balanced musical experience that is as near perfection as humans can achieve.

The tradition is that the audience stands while the Hallelujah Chorus is presented. This is in homage to the fact that upon hearing the piece for the first time, King George II was so moved emotionally that he rose to his feet. And when the King stands, everyone must stand.

So, here is my Easter gift to you. The great Eugene Ormandy conducting the great George Frederick Handel's "The Hallelujah Chorus." Enjoy, and God bless!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good Friday, 2013

Good Friday is one of the two holiest days in Christianity, the other being Easter Sunday. As beautiful and meaningful as Christmas can be when we focus on the birth of Christ, even that does not begin to approach the sacredness of Christ's crucifixion on a Roman cross on Good Friday, and his subsequent resurrection from the dead on Easter.

I can only say I am overwhelmed by it all. Sometimes it is just too sacred, too holy for words. During those times, I turn to music. The video below captures the meaning of Good Friday in song. Please listen to it. It is a thing of beauty, featuring one of the finest lead singers in the business, Josh Garner, along with the rest of the Florida Boys. It's titled, "For God So Loved."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Had to share this...



I just had to share this with you. Danny Funderburke, the powerful tenor featured on this Cathedral Quartet video, was my favorite tenor of all of the ones the Cathedrals had in their history. In fact, this lineup was my favorite ever--Funderburke, Mark Trammell on baritone, Glen Payne on lead, George Younce on bass, and Roger Bennett on piano. This is one of Danny's many signature songs he had while with the Cathedrals. And man, I mean he sings the fire outta this song! Note how the old men -- Glen and George -- can hardly contain themselves. Danny was DA MAN! And this song says it like I like it. I just started living. Amen!

In case you can't access the embedded vid above, go straight to the YouTube posting here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hello, and I hope you are having a blessed season of Lent

Hi there. Just a quick word to say hello. It's been a while since we last talked, but it's been super busy around here.

Lent is in full swing as we lead up to the commemoration of Christ's death on the Cross and his Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.

Many churches do not recognize Lent, but they do emphasize the importance of the Cross in their belief system. Without the shame and suffering and death of the Cross, there would be no resurrection, and there would be no Christianity.

These matters are central to the Christian faith. And the invitation to you is, "Come." The door stands open for you and anyone who wishes to accept Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life.

But how does one become a Christian?

First, you must recognize you are a sinner and stand in need of forgiveness. The Bible says "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." The result of our sins is guilt, shame, death, and more tragically spiritual and eternal "death" or separation from God.

Second, you must recognize that Christ is the only remedy for your spiritual condition, and the only means of salvation. We are not saved by our good works, by joining a church, or by trying to be a good person. We are saved through Christ alone. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to earth as a man, taught, preached, and healed, died on the Cross in our place, and then was resurrected from the dead. The suffering and death of the Cross was rightfully mine and yours because that is the penalty for our disobedience to God. But Christ became our substitute, paying the penalty for our sins, which is suffering and death. When you believe and accept Christ's substitutionary work for you on the Cross, your sins are forgiven, your past is wiped clean, you are made whole, and you are given a new life and a home in heaven.

Third, you must be willing to turn from your sins and follow Christ as the Lord of your life. Turning from your sins does not mean you will be perfect. Nobody will ever be perfect until they get to heaven. But the key is willingness -- the willingness to allow God to give you strength as you try to avoid your sins and walk as Christ would have you walk. A true disciple of Christ is one who is willing to be obedient to Christ, walking with Him through life.

Next, you must invite Christ into your life, allowing Him to set up residence in your heart and soul, and proactively turning your life over to Him.

Finally, it is important to make your decision to follow Christ in a public fashion. There is no such thing as a "private' Christian. You will want to inform your friends and family, at the appropriate time, that you are now a Christian. And you will want to find a church where the Gospel is preached that you can be part of. Tell the Pastor what has happened to you, and he will tell you what you need to do to become a part of that church fellowship.

The Bible says, "If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the death, you shall be saved."

And that is a promise.

Make your decision for Christ today. It is the most important thing you will ever do.

Until next time, God bless, and I'll see you out there somewhere at a Gospel music program.

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013

Hello, my friends, and a belated happy New Year to you.

We are well into 2013 now and gearing up for the winter and spring here at Martin Christian Ministries. As always, if your church, club, or group would like to schedule me to speak, teach, or sing, contact me at anthonygmartin1@gmail.com.

Church programs are always free, love offering events. I do not charge churches a fee. I ask only that you take a special offering during or after the program to help defray the costs of this ministry.

The thought for the day is from the Apostle Paul, who stated, "Leaving those things that are behind and looking forward to that which is ahead, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ..."

This does not mean that we are to "forget the past." Some things are too important, vital, necessary, and cherished to forget. The message Paul is giving us here is that it is important to keep moving forward. There are always new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

At Martin Christian Ministries this is what we intend to do. In this world of darkness and woe, the need for the Christian message is more needed than ever before. We will therefore present the Christian Gospel in sermons, Bible studies, and music.

Thanks to all of you who have given me the opportunity to do exactly that and for those of you who intend to do so in 2013. I look forward to seeing you.