Can greed and envy destroy the world as we know it?

We can see America changing and continue to wonder where it will end. There are a number of risks that we now must take into consideration. There is excess leverage, government deficits, higher taxes coming, money instability and new regulations. There is potential for inflation, rising oil and gas prices and costs resulting from the oil spill off the Louisiana coast. European country’s debt crisis could become a global threat. You may be wondering why a small European country, Greece, is affecting the U.S. stock market. It is more than just Greece. If they can’t save Greece there are other countries that could default. If the plan to keep the PIIGS, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain from defaulting does not work it could tremendously affect the U.S., Asia and Latin America. It could even lead to another recession or an economic double dip. This is one of Wall Street’s major concerns. Should they default or have problems borrowing, U.S. and U.K. banks could be seriously hurt. There is a slight possibility that it could cause the fifteen nation euro zone to become undone which could affect the world financially. It is with these questions in mind that we look to and plan for the future. The problems with Europe are their government guarantees for socialized health care, retirement benefits and high wages for government employees. America could be headed for similar problems. The direction many nations are following could put the world into a major financial crisis. If politicians had spines this could all be fixed. However, when you see rioting in Greek’s streets because people are unwilling to submit to a lowering of their standard of living you can see why it is not easy to change. I am waiting to see what will happen in California if they don’t get bailed out. We are getting a similar view with government employees in Clark County unwilling to renegotiate their contracts. If the world is headed for a potential crisis what could be the outcome?

What has caused the world to get into this financial mess? Revelation 12:9b – “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

What we are watching throughout the world is the committing of the seven deadly sins. Pride produces all of the other sins. Then there is gluttony: the desire to consume more than one requires. Two more are lust and anger. Then there is sloth or the avoidance to work or improve oneself. The two I want to discuss is how satanic forces have caused greed and envy to affect our entire world. First, let me refer to the blog: “Satan’s attack on the Catholic Church”. It is estimated that Catholic priests have performed 100,000s of exorcisms on those possessed with evil spirits. Many of those possessed may have been in leadership positions. How many successful people have we tried to emulate what they may have done to become wealthy? Can you describe their character? Do they practice honesty, integrity, fairness and service to others? Or, are they willing to do whatever to achieve success?

Have we gone too far in pursuing wealth, fame, power and instant gratification? How much is excessive? Is there ever enough for many? One of the seven deadly sins that corrupt many is greed. If we do not want to be greedy and sinful then let’s call it a different name. We can call it being overly ambitious or extremely competitive making the sky our limit. Therefore, we must determine if we are working with the right motives and many have not been. How many of us are greedy enough that we would do almost anything for money, power or fame? Would you estimate 75% of the population? Has the world been allowing Satan and his millions of fallen angels and demons influence and set people’s goals? How susceptible are we to temptation?

Let us assume we are given a raise from $75,000 to $100,000. We go home and tell our spouses how pleased we are and how much the company appreciates us. We are celebrating, excited and very pleased until we find out that another employee we work with was raised to $125,000. Now we are angry! We become envious. Envy can be worse than greed. Envy may cause more athletes, actors, CEOs and others to demand excessive pay than greed. Envy has probably caused more wars than any other reason. Envy may cause more problems in the church and between churches than other factors.

If you are listening to the evening news or reading the daily paper can you not see what is happening in our world today? Politicians, unions, different political doctrines, executives and I could continue on putting themselves before everyone else. How capable is the world of reverting back to a less standard of living if it becomes necessary? This is what happened after the great depression of the 1930s. How many are willing to give up something to benefit others? What happened to love your neighbor or do unto others as you would do unto them? Greed and envy can cause picketing, riots and revolts. What will keep all of this from occurring? History tells us that this will take God’s intervention. When will God intervene? Scripture says only after thousands upon thousands of Christians pray for God to become involved. Want to know the rest of the story? Study Revelation! If you are willing to pray for a revival go to: 100 Prayer Warriors @

The Rejection

Last March we received word that the book I wrote, with the help of Doug Lee and Dick Shine and according to our contract it would be printed January 2010. As I have mentioned previously, it was suggested that I start a blog. At first I was very hesitant and wondered if I had time and could I put something together each week. Seventy four blogs later and approximately 3500 hits to the blog we have been told the book will not be published.

My first response was: “God, what are we to learn and what do we do next”? The book was to help others; from the experiences we have had working with hundreds of people in the workplace. It is our belief that as Christians we have tremendous advantages. Whereas, we hear so many Christians indicating that being a Christian has many disadvantages at work.

We have been employees and we have been employers. We have worked with some fantastic people and some who were not. There are all kinds of bosses and then there are leaders. There are numerous differences between the two. It has been our intent to share what we have learned with others. Most employers are looking for people who are honest, dependable, loyal, hard working and have positive attitudes. Christians who strive to become Christ-like have those attributes. As Christians in the workplace there are many things we can do to enhance our productivity and acceptance. There are tips we thought we could share to make a Christian’s talents more marketable.

From the beginning we believed that if God wanted us to write a book it would get published and if not we could accept the outcome. Where do we go from here? Some of you have read enough of our blogs to know praying for future direction will be a priority. To continue writing the blog weekly will also be in my prayer.

For those of you who have read the blogs and if what has been written has been beneficial to you I would ask that you take a minute and also pray that God would give us direction. We have no desire to pursue seeking another publisher or continuing to write a blog if it is not God’s will. With prayer I am totally convinced that God will either open or close doors. Your prayers and comments would be appreciated!

What May We Expect From The Holy Spirit?

It is possible for Christians to let the Holy Spirit become dormant in their lives. If that is you, there are some things you may do to activate the Holy Spirit to again become active in your life.

Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
for they will be filled.” Jesus is saying that if we have a hunger and a thirst for righteousness and we will be filled. Filled could mean with a righteousness that only the Holy Spirit can provide. Christ is not necessarily saying we are to begin working harder in living a more pure life. I believe He is requesting that we become more obedient to God’s Word and more submissive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Let’s assume we have been living a Christian life for a period of time and we have become content with where we are spiritually. Is it possible to lose our passion to become more spiritual? Can we lose our desire to hunger and thirst to be more holy?

What is it that God wants from each one of us as Christians? He is looking for a body of believers that will live with Him through eternity. What is the number one requirement to enter that final destiny? The answer is love through our relationship with Christ. He wants our unconditional love toward Him and the same love to others. Can you visualize living in an eternity where everyone had that kind of love for God and for others? How do we obtain that kind of love? It will only come through the Holy Spirit’s help.

The Bible repeatedly says God is not interested in our works but He cares about what is in our hearts. Is His love really in our hearts? If so we have learned there can be no hate or a lack of forgiveness. What God requires can only be obtained by allowing the Holy Spirit to change who we are. This is why we cannot allow the Holy Spirit to be ignored. We must let the Holy Spirit become very active in our daily lives. If we are not seeing supernatural occurrences from time to time we probably have not made the Holy Spirit our partner. So shouldn’t we expect the Holy Spirit to be manifest in everything we do? He will if we pray and ask for His help. He will not force Himself onto us.

Start each day with prayer asking specifically for the Spirit within us to guide in everything we do throughout the day. When we are driving to and from work we can pray, without closing our eyes that he will bring the same love God has for us so we can return that love to Him and to others. The last thing each day, take a minute and thank the Holy Spirit for being active in our lives. After a time we will begin to realize and recognize that God’s Spirit lives within us and is actively changing our behavior. We will then begin to realize that we as Christians have been given a unique advantage in living our lives. We too will learn there are many blessings that God wants to give to us through the Holy Spirit within. Are a few minutes daily worth God’s blessings?

The Power Of Prayer

(Blog 69) The following information is from memory. I was listening to two scientists discussing the affect humans have on the earth. They were talking about Polar measurement of the metamagnetic system. They said that after 9/11 the measurement system reached its maximum. The Richter scale measures earthquakes and we have numerous measuring devices but one that measures the earth’s magnetic system.

Radio talk-show-host Art Bell in years past had people pray or mediate and saw how it affected people and weather to everyone’s amazement. At a point he became afraid of pursuing requests in fear of what might occur. He was concerned that if they prayed for rain, it might end up flooding.

When we were purchasing the property for Central Christian Church and erecting the building there were times we would hit a crisis. We would call our prayer team and ask that they pray. Miraculously the crisis would be solved. There were times when we had 24 hour prayer segments. The congregation was asked to pray about a certain problem or a real need. Again, the problem or need would be met. It was awesome how prayers were answered.

I was wondering, can people affect things when they focus on a particular object? Is nature or the earth programmed by God to react to people’s prayers? Scripture says: Joshua 6:2 – 5 – “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.’”

Another Scripture says we can move mountains. Matthew 17:20 – “He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’”

How much faith and how many people praying would it take to move a mountain? If a million people went to Washington D.C. and marched around the capital for six days and on the seventh day, seven religious leaders carrying trumpets followed by the million people and when they blew their horns and the people shouted would the capital building fall down? It might produce more response from congress than town meetings or tea parties. (Please, do not take this particular illustration as something I am recommending.) However, I wonder if the world is created so prayer could change natural conditions and for walls to react to prayer. Quite a reach!

The more I learn about the power of prayer the more I am convinced that some of the things found in Scripture may be taken literally. Collectively, as a body, nothing may be impossible.

When a church is having a problem they often try to fix it themselves. A number of churches are having serious problems; apparently, they do not really believe in the power of prayer for their situation. Don’t we believe the best thing to do when a significant problem arises would be to ask the church’s membership to have organized prayer? We have personally been witnesses to what corporate prayer can do. So when all else fails and we can’t fix the problem, we know corporate prayer works!

The News – The Good And The Bad – Your Prayers Are Needed

Years ago it became evident that God had a plan for Las Vegas. We don’t know where His plan started but Central Christian Church was in on it from the very beginning. Many in Las Vegas have been watching the Christian community mushroom in growth. Now a number are becoming aware of what is happening here throughout the U.S. The Holy Spirit has shared with them that God is using Las Vegas to wake American up spiritually. We have always heard many Christians say they didn’t believe anything good could ever come out of Las Vegas. However, it is very apparent that Christians everywhere are now amazed at what they are hearing.

We have mentioned before how our church attendance was 400 on a Sunday when we began attending Central in 1981. Last Sunday, September 13, 2009, we had approximately 17,000. It took us over 30 years from the beginning of Central, which started in 1962, to have an attendance of 3000. So far this year we have had more than 3800 conversions. Our board has a vision of reaching 200,000 in attendance on any given weekend. This would also include those on line and satellite churches across the world. Are we surprised that this is happening. Not really! The Holy Spirit shared with us two things a number of years ago. A revival in America would come out of Las Vegas and Central would be one of the largest churches in America. Since our president said: “America is no longer a Christian nation” it is our belief that God is going to prove him wrong.

It is not just happening at Central. We now have a number of large churches in our valley on fire for God. But our Christian community is being attacked and this is the bad news.

Three large churches in town are in serious trouble. They are not in any way connected with Central but they are our Christian brothers and sisters and they are suffering. Ministers from out of town have come in to minister, council and help them survive. We do not know all of the facts and that isn’t necessary. But Las Vegas is suffering more economically than practically any city in America. We have been going through some very tough times locally. Our city’s unemployment of 13.4% is one of the highest in the nation.

Ephesians 6:12 – “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” With the spiritual growth we have been witnessing in our midst, do you think Satan is going to stand by and let this happen without trying to stamp it out? What we need is for a number of Christians to commit to praying for these churches that they become well and continue their ministry. While we are praying ask God to put a revival spirit into the hearts of every Christian American. Let us witness to the world that America is on fire for Christ!

The Gift Of Healing

Acts 5:14 – 16 – “Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women. As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.” NLT

It does not say some were healed but all. Scripture says that the sick and those possessed by evil spirits from the cities surrounding Jerusalem were brought into the streets to be healed. What the apostles were doing was exactly the same thing that Jesus had been doing. God was giving a sign to all who would believe that Christ was the Son of God. His followers were there to carry on with His ministry and had been given many of the same supernatural powers.

The apostolic gift of healing, meaning everyone was healed that they touched without exception, is no longer available in the church today. We know of no one who has the gift of healing as described in Acts. We know some have a gift of healing but their gift is limited. Otherwise, they could go into every hospital world-wide and heal the sick and demon-possessed.

James 5:14 – 16 – “Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” NLT

Why do you think the Bible says to call for the elders of the church to pray over the sick? Do they have a special gift for healing? Maybe it is to emphasize that the sick person must have the faith and believe that they can be healed.

Scripture said that people would come to Jesus or to the apostles to be healed. Should we believe what James is telling us? What are we to do when we are sick? Maybe James meant it was only for those in the early church when he said their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick and the Lord will make you well. We then must ask how important is confessing your sins to each other so that you might be healed? He finishes with: “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”.

Many believe that God has given the ministry of healing to church elders. The elders are told to anoint with oil. Oil in Scripture was often symbolic or sacramental. Kings were anointed with oil as were prophets & judges. Jesus also was anointed with oil. (Luke 7:46) Oil has a purpose and may be more than symbolic. Oil in the Old Testament was also symbolic with the Holy Spirit.

Does everyone who is prayed for get healed? Yes but often times in different ways. I have been told by some that the Holy Spirit took away all fear when they went into surgery. They were healed through surgery as most are and we shouldn’t believe prayer always takes the place of surgeries and doctors. Others have said God gave them courage to battle through some tough times and they came out healed. Others have had life changing, miraculous healing experiences. Some were taken to heaven where there will no longer be any tears or pain. Once we have done what Scripture tells us to do, we must expect God to answer prayer and we are to accept His will; whatever it may be.

I had an aunt who was completely committed to the Lord. She was in a car accident and was in critical condition. Her son said: “Mom, don’t worry. Hundreds of people are praying that God will heal you.” She replied, “Tell them to stop praying, I am praying that God takes me.” He did!

I personally have been healed from a heart attack a number of years ago. After by-pass surgery you will never convince my family or me that it was not divine intervention and God’s healing. My attending physician when he was going to be operated on for a hip replacement asked that I pray for him. He must believe in prayer after what he saw God do for me.

If we accept what Scripture is saying we must either come for prayer or we are to call an Elder if we are unable to attend a service. It is my belief that elders may be classified as church leaders. However, many do not agree that it would include those who are licensed ministers as well as church board members.

Medical statistics prove that those who are committed believers in Christ and believe that prayers heal and have Christians praying for them have a greater chance of being healed and recovering faster. Statistics also show that those who do not believe in prayer have poorer results.

Don’t let pride stop you from asking to be anointed with oil and prayed to be healed. The sick person or family it seems is obligated to make the effort. (“Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.”)

Answered Prayers

Do you know someone who God just seems to answer their every prayer? I have known two friends and especially my grandfather and my aunt Lydia who when they prayed it seemed like the Lord was in the same room. Both my aunt and grandfather have passed away but I will always remember their relationship with God through prayer.

Naturally I would like to have the same power in prayer that they have. My problem is that my prayers turn into meditation. Each day as I pray it is difficult to focus. My mind drifts to Scripture or spiritual things. For 40 years I have taught Bible classes. It takes a few hours each week to do research and write an outline for my class. During my prayer and meditation time the Holy Spirit gives me guidance to how I should develop my message. But I am far from being a prayer warrior.

Let me give some illustrations to encourage each of us to pray more and develop a closer relationship with God. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a part-time preacher and a farmer. This wasn’t unusual for in most every generation there were farmer/preachers. The family tree goes back to 1709 when the family came to Pennsylvania to a Quaker settlement. They moved to North Carolina and part of their farm is now a small portion of Duke University. Pickett Road in Durham was named after them.

In the early part of World War II my grandfather prayed especially for my nine cousins who had enlisted in the armed forces. He assured the family that God had promised him that all would return after the war. He was so certain that he told everyone not to worry.

One of my cousins was a Navy pilot and had flown 112 missions in the south pacific. On one of his return flights his engine quit and he crashed on the shore of a small island. He was knocked unconscious and the plane was on fire. A member of his squadron saw what had happened and landed his plane on the beach. He ran over and pulled him out saving his life. A short time later a PBY seaplane landed. He was brought to the aircraft on a rubber raft. He became a minister until his retirement.

My cousin Jim had two liberty ships sunk and had to swim until help arrived. My cousin Lee was a corpsman. He was involved in the invasion of Iwo Jima. The doctor and crew Jim was with returned to the ship. Jim had to take another boat back to the ship. His crew’s boat was blown up and all were killed. Normally he would have been in the same boat.

My cousin Floyd belonged to General Patton’s tank division. He was a point man directing the tanks against the enemy. They would drive a jeep to the enemy lines. They then would go on foot, scout out the enemy and advise the tanks which direction to go. The life expectancy for these men was very slim. Some lasted only a few days. He went with Patton through Africa, Italy and into Germany.

Each cousin told how they believe they were alive only because of answers to prayer. There were times when members of the family felt led to pray for a particular cousin only to later find that was the exact time a cousin was in jeopardy.

I know many of you know of similar answers to prayer. Then why don’t we spend time praying continually as the Bible suggests? It is like starving and unwilling to go to the bank and draw on one’s savings. God tells us He will answer our prayers. Do we have enough trust to believe He means it? So how do we get prayers answered?

We pray!