Archives For All Things Christian

Hello and welcome Back!  I hope that You have the happiest Christmas ever!

It’s eleven days ‘til Christmas!  I made a decision this year—only reasonable portions and NO seconds!  Yep, I said it…the “N” word.  NO! NO! NO!

Why, you say?

I’m tired of being overweight, for one.  I’m tired of being a glutton, for two.  I’m tired of procrastinating, for three.  Oh yes, there are more numbers after these three but these are the main, motivating reasons.

THE PROBLEM

Somehow, I have slowly evolved from a 150 lb. 5 – mile a day runner to this 180 lb. couch-lovin’ blob that has mastered the defense technique of no-moves karate.

What is no-moves karate?

Let’s break it down, shall we?  You know what karate is, right?  Ok.  Let’s concentrate on no-moves then.  No-moves means just that.  No movement that is not absolutely necessary or desired.  Let’s look more deeply at the word necessary.

Necessary, according to Webster’s Online Dictionary, means inescapable.  Notice above: not absolutely necessary.  The meaning here is ANY movement that is escapable.

I practice that.

The other word necessary (no pun intended) for us to examine is desired.  Webster’s gives us this definition: longed or hoped for; felt a need for.  In other words, no movement unless it is longed for, desired, or a need is felt for it.

 I practice that.

THE SEASON

Holidays are the bane of every person considering on cutting down on the grub and increasing the exercise. Right?  Guess what?  It’s almost Christmas and New Year follows a close second behind it.

Dilemma: to eat or not to eat—that is the season’s question.

Most people around the holidays are quick to justify their actions by saying, “It’s the holidays!  I’ll get serious when they are over!”  Self-justification.  Is that Biblical?

Hmmmmm.

Romans 8:33 (HCSB) states: 33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies.

Seems that if I fall into the self-justification trap, I am trying to do God’s job.  I am not up to that.  I can’t even control my elbow from raising food to my mouth.  How could I justify myself?

I am going to quit self-justifying.  When I do that, I have to forget the old standard methodologies of the past.  No more Christmas excuses for me.  The same holds true for New Years.

Meaning?  I diet.

THE SOLUTION

What is the solution?

Trust.  Total trust.  I am going to trust the Lord’s word.  I am going to put my hope and faith in Him and believe Scripture, such as, Proverbs 23:21 (HCSB): 21 For the drunkard and the glutton will become poor, and grogginess will clothe them in rags.

Looks like the glutton

It appears that the glutton falls into the same soup as the drunkard, doesn’t it?  I suppose it is the excess, it is the disobedience, the lack of control because to indulge in either is to indulge in self-control.

Self-control or being in control of yourself and not allowing God to set your sail and decide your course—is sin.

The Bible says that I am to die to self.  In another place it says to take off the old man and to put on the new man.  In other words, I am supposed to put on Christ and let the old man die.  On the cross.

If I am in Jesus and Jesus is in me, I need to give up control and let Him take the wheel.

There it is.

The answer.

No more self-justification and procrastination.  Diet begins today, not after Christmas or after New Year’s resolution time.  I didn’t keep it last year, odds are I won’t keep it this year.

I begin now.  For the salvation of my health, my peace of mind, and my Christian walk.  God provides salvation in ALL things and the Bible says, “today is the day of salvation.”

“Father in heaven, I give up all control of my life and hand the wheel over to you.  You drive and I will act upon your word.  You give the directions and I will follow them, wherever they lead.  You give the orders and I will carry them out.  I trust you.  It’s in Jesus Christ’s name I pray,

Amen.”

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on this post?

Hello and welcome back!

It’s great to see you again!  Merry Christmas!

It’s snowing again.  I just looked out of the window of my office and it appears to be going to hang around for a while.  That’s ok.  It’s almost Christmas!  Looking out the window again, I remember a Christmas past.

I was 12.  Christmas was just ‘round the corner and everyone I saw was joyous.  Looking out the picture window that night with Christmas only 10 days away, I was fascinated by the falling snow reflected by the street light on the corner.

Snow was falling!  Jolly ol’ St. Nick would be arriving on our roof in 10 days and all of the presents I had asked for would finally be mine!  I kept looking into the snow as it continued to fall and enjoyed trying to follow individual snowflakes to the ground.

“Hey son,” dad called, “Come here a minute, Mom and I have something we need to tell you.”

I followed one more snowflake to the ground then turned and went over to where my mom and dad was sitting.  He looked up at me as my mom began to cry.

“What’s wrong, Mom?”  I questioned while watching as she dried her eyes on her apron.

Dad reached out and took me on his lap and then told me the facts.  He had been laid off from his job that day and would have to leave the next day with some other men who were also laid off to take a job in another state.  Dad was an electrician and there was an overtime job that was hiring electricians and dad couldn’t turn it down if we were to survive.

In those days, credit was something people just didn’t have much of.  These were days before credit cards, easy home equity loans, etc.  This was basically a cash and carry world that we lived in and if a man got without work he went to where he could find it.

“No son, I don’t take charity, never have and never will,” he stated while shaking his head vehemently.

Since I was in school, mom and dad decided that we would stay behind and she and dad would decide what to do about things when summer came.  My younger brother was eight years younger than I was so that made him 4 years old that Christmas.

Well, I remember thinking that the end of the world had come.  Dad was going to go away and here it was only 10 days until Christmas!

Mom asked dad if he would run to the store before it closed for bread and milk.  He said that he and I would go get it.  That’s when dad handed me the envelope.

“Here son, this is the best we can do this Christmas what with me having to go to a job out of town.”

“I understand,” I managed to say.  I thought about the list I had written to Santa but I was old enough to know that he didn’t really exist.  I looked in the envelope and found a $20 bill.

“If you wait until after Christmas, you can get twice as much for that $20,” dad said trying to make me feel better.  I took the $20 out of the envelope and put it in my pocket.  “Yeah,” I muttered, “prolly so.”

We drove to the store that evening – both lost in our own thoughts.  I was going to miss my dad, especially on Christmas day.  We were a very close family and this was the first Christmas that my dad wouldn’t be with us.  Not very pleasant thoughts were crossing my mind as we arrived at Thompson’s Grocery Mart.  I remember feeling distinctively bitter that my Christmas was ruined as we entered the store that evening.

I looked at people laughing and talking, people greeting friends and neighbors with hearty, “Merry Christmas!”  I felt jealous as we sought out the bread and milk, found a check out isle that wasn’t too crowded and I was feeling about as low as a 12 year old kid can feel, I guess.

As we were preparing to leave, dad noticed a family preparing to leave at the same time.

“Merry Christmas,” dad offered as he held the door for them.  That’s when I noticed something.  The lady was sobbing and the man had a look on his face I couldn’t identify when I was 12.  It was the look of a man totally void of hope I discovered after I had some years on me and had experienced some of the highs and lows in this life.

“Is there anything I can do to help you out?” dad offered as we all exited the store.

“Not much anyone can do,” the man said in a hollow, ethereal tone, “they took the house today.  All’s we have to our name is in the car.  Three kids in the car and it’s Christmas.  Nothing anyone can do,” he repeated as he and his wife walked towards a dilapidated old Chevrolet sedan like people twice their ages.

As we walked up beside of them, I saw three kids in the back seat.  The hollow, haunted eyes stared back at me.  I felt something within my chest that I had never felt before in the 12 years of my young life.

Something inside of me guided me up to that window as the man started the engine.  I remember the look on his face as he noticed me standing outside his window on that cold, snowy, winter night. That look touched my heart.  He rolled down his window and bent out the window.

“What is it, son,” he asked as I just stood there shivering in that dreamlike moment as snow landed on my eyelids.

I reached into my coat pocket and found that folded up $20 bill my dad had given to me less than an hour before.

“Here sir, please take this,” I offered as he just sat there staring at me.

“No son, I don’t take charity, never have and never will,” he stated while shaking his head vehemently.

“No it’s not for you, sir, it’s for your kids – a Christmas present from me to them,” I stated as I offered that $20 through the window again.

He stared at me a moment then said, “Son, you sure?”

“I’m sure, sir,” I smiled as I handed the $20 into his halting hand.  “Thank you for taking it sir, I want them to have it for presents.”

He sat there looking from the $20 in his hand to me as I stood there grinning broadly and trying hard not to shiver from the cold seeping through my coat.  His expression changed from one of stubborn pride to one of understanding.  He looked me in the eyes and I sensed he realized that this was as much for me as it was for his kids.  He reached out and took it.

Clearing his throat, he managed to croak out a guttural thank you as he started the car.  He looked from me to my dad standing next to our car and nodded.

“That’s a fine boy you have there, mister.  You’re bringin’ him up right.  I thank you both from the bottom of my heart.”  They both nodded at one another.  He started that old car and pulled off.  I just stood there watching until I could no longer see the taillights.  I then turned and walked over to my dad and we hugged.

“Proud of you son,” dad whispered.  We got into the car and rode home.  I remember that ride like it was yesterday.  We didn’t say a word.  Dad was lost in his thoughts and I was lost in mine.  I remember thinking, “This is what Christmas is all about.  It’s all about the giving.”

Looking back upon my 12 year old memories, I think that was when I began to grow up.  I never thought of Christmas in the same way after that day.  I remember the Christmas Eve sermon Pastor Hinton preached.  It has stuck within my mind and heart through all these years.  That was a half century ago.

He preached on Acts 20:35:

“I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

I knew when I heard Pastor Hinton’s message that Christmas Eve that had I heard the same message the Sunday before I would not have understood it at all.  I felt humbled sitting there on that pew as a 12 year old boy.  Christmas would never be the same.

I smiled.

Until next time!  Merry Christmas!

Zach

QUESTION:  I would enjoy your comments about when you first remember experiencing the blessing of giving over receiving! 

Hello and welcome back!

I saw something today that I would like to share with you.

I was driving down the street and noticed some activity taking place off to my right.  What appeared to be Christmas decorations were being installed by the city.  The closer I got to the intersection, I noticed that the wording on the sign read, Happy Holidays!

I understand the need for diversity.  I even understand the importance of social relevance.  What I do not understand is why there isn’t parity in America in terms of equal opportunity for Christianity as a religion.

“What?” you say?  “What are you talking about?”

I’m talking about an article in the Christian Post in on June 24th, 2013 which stated, “It’s illegal for Christians to pray in public school, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. But in Michigan, Muslims are being given special prayer privileges by school administrators, raising questions as about due process, equal protection, and freedom of speech for followers of the faith of America’s Founding Fathers.”

I’m talking about a school in Boston reportedly had a Muslim poem recital over the intercom instead of the Pledge of Allegiance on the 12th anniversary of 9/11.

I’m talking about a NBC news report on NBC News.com on January 31st, 2013, and I quote, “According to The Washington Post, about 10 Muslim students at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Md., leave class for about eight minutes every day to pray. They are part of the school’s Muslim Students’ Association, Principal Cheryl J. Logan told the Post, adding that another student is hoping to raise his grades so he can join the others.”

“As an American, I would fully defend the right of anyone who had the desire to worship a 1/4” wing nut if they so desired.”

I’m talking about the seemingly unfair practices where Christianity is concerned.  Is it my imagination that Christianity is being discriminated against in the public school system? By the government?

Am I just imagining it?

First of all, I am an American.  I believe in our constitution.  I also believe that the first amendment of the constitution grants equality to all religious freedoms.  Don’t take me wrong in what I am about to say.

I am a practicing Christian and I will always remain one.

As an American, I would fully defend the right of anyone who had the desire to worship a 1/4” wing nut if they so desired.

Would I be attempting to deliver the gospel of Jesus to this person if I had access to them?

Of course!

However, I would still defend their right under the U.S. Constitution to worship as they please if they refused to act on the gospel of Jesus.

Here’s the rub.  It appears that the United States government at the national, state, and local levels are running scared and being desirous of following “Politically Correctness” for the sake of being considered a cultural bigot.  I leave room for being wrong but I do not see any other reason for this post-modern behavior.

Here is my opinion – how I really feel about it.  Christmas is Christmas.  It is a holiday.  Christmas is not just a holiday, it is the birth of Christianity’s Savior, the living Son of God.  For Christians, it is one of the most significant of our religious holidays.  We want it recognized as Christmas not just a happy holiday.  When I see Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas, I need a plausible reason.  I have not heard a truly plausible reason, have you?

I don’t condone bigotry or cultural bias.   I am a non-racist and happy that I am.  I am not approaching this question from any prejudices.  I am simply stating my opinion regarding the rightness of it.

This is a different type of blog post from my regular fare.  It’s intentional and directional.  It was time for a change!

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  Do you have an opinion on the above rant?

Hello and welcome back!

How is winter treating you where you live?  You know – I have experienced three seasons in just as many days.

How?

By living in New Mexico!  New Mexico is a state where if you don’t like the weather today, hang around until tomorrow.  It is sure to change!

In fact, the only sure thing about the weather in New Mexico is that it will be different tomorrow!

Change can be good though, can’t it?

Think about your life before you found Jesus!  Oh.  You haven’t found Jesus yet?

Ok.

Hang with us while I discuss with those who have already found Him about how good change can be as a Christian.  Those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior realize that our lives before finding Him were pretty bad, right everyone?

I mean, walking on the pathway of sin was a normal occurrence for most of us back in the day.  One day, we were truckin’ along – doing our thing – when Jesus found us.

Everything changed!  We went from death and entered into life!

Now, ff you are still in your sins, if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, and if you really don’t know what it is I am talking about, let me tell you a story.

” For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Time: 1st century A.D.

Location: Outside the city of Jerusalem.

Scene:  A hill called Mount Calvary.

30–36 AD     

A Man named Jesus of Nazareth is being nailed upon a Roman cross, after being charged with crimes He didn’t commit.

Those driving nails into His flesh are cursing Him, are spitting on Him, and are causing pain in His already abused body which has been scourged (whipped and ripped almost to the point of death).

Why was this man, Jesus, being treated in such a manner?

Let’s take a look at what the Bible, God’s holy word, says on the subject:

Isaiah 53: 1:12

Who has believed what we have heard?
And who has the arm of the Lord been revealed to?
He grew up before Him like a young plant
and like a root out of dry ground.
He didn’t have an impressive form
or majesty that we should look at Him,
no appearance that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;
He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.

Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses,
and He carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded Him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him
for the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
and like a sheep silent before her shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
He was taken away because of oppression and judgment;
and who considered His fate?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
He was struck because of my people’s rebellion.
They made His grave with the wicked
and with a rich man at His death,
although He had done no violence
and had not spoken deceitfully.

10 Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him severely.
When You make Him a restitution offering,
He will see His seed, He will prolong His days,
and by His hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished.
11 He will see it out of His anguish,
and He will be satisfied with His knowledge.
My righteous Servant will justify many,
and He will carry their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion,

and He will receive the mighty as spoil,
because He submitted Himself to death,
and was counted among the rebels;
yet He bore the sin of many
and interceded for the rebels.

(This description of the Messiah was written through prophesy, according to most scholars, between 701 B.C. and 681 B.C.  This is more than 700 years before Jesus actually appeared on earth).

What we have just read is the prophet Isaiah proclaiming God’s word of the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ and the reason for His crucifixion.  He died in our place to redeem us from the wages of sin – death.

“I’m a good person!  Why am I condemned?  There’s worse people than me!”

Romans 6:23 – 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s love for the people groups of the earth was such that He gave His own Son to die upon a Roman cross for sins He did not commit so that we might live.

John 3:16-18 –  For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God [emphasis mine].

Condemned of what? You might be thinking, “I’m a good person!  Why am I condemned”!  There’s worse people than me!

“Just what are all people who are not in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the Messiah – the living Son of God – guilty of?  I know I am better than many people who attend church!”

Disobedience to God, unbelief in God, unbelief in His Son, Jesus Christ – through the breaking of His Divine Law – the 10 Commandments is what creates the guilt before Him.

Are you familiar with the 10 Commandments of God?   Here they are below:

Exodus 20:1-17 – Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
Do not have other gods besides Me.
Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.
Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: 9 You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. 11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not murder.
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

What we come to understand through the words of God in His holy word is the nature of God Himself.  God is Righteous, all holy (meaning set apart) and totally unable to abide sin.  He is perfect goodness.  He is love.  He is truth.

Any sin that is not confessed with the mouth, repented of, and salvation be asked for and obtained, ends in spiritual death and eternal punishment in Hell, the place where unforgiven sinners are destined.

“Have you ever told a lie?  Just one?”

Knowing this nature of God, we must understand that any sin at all, even breaking just one of the 10 Commandments only one time in our entire lives earns the wages of sin, which is death (See Romans 6:23 above).

Have you ever worshiped a false idol?  You have if you have ever put anything in your life above God Himself?  If so, that is what a false idol is today.  Anything you pay more attention to than God.

Have you ever told a lie?  Just one?  The wages of unpaid for sin – is spiritual death (Romans 6:23).  The only way to obtain forgiveness is to accept the precious gift of forgiveness and grace that comes only through Jesus (See Romans 10:9 below):

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jesus died so that you might live!  Read the Scripture below:  I Cor. 15:2-5:

 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.

Jesus says to believe in who sent Him (the Father) and to believe in Him.  He is the way to God and eternal life.  Check out John 10:8-10 below:

All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.

The above Scripture tells us that Jesus is the only way back in fellowship with God.  There IS no other way.

None.

Psalm 118:22:

22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.

Acts 4:11-13:

 This Jesus is

the stone rejected by you builders,
which has become the cornerstone.[a][b]

12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.”

13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.

That said, can you understand the guilt of all humanity?  That all have sinned and unable to earn their way?  Below is what God says about it in Romans 3:22-24:

22 —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Christians, send an email link to those who you know have not found Jesus.  Post this on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.  These are the words of the Gospel that lead to eternal life.

To you, the unsaved, I pray that you will read the above again, pray to God for the Holy Spirit to show you the way, find a Bible teaching church, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Need Prayer?  Contact me on Facebook!

Please, pass this along for those who are dying in their sin and need Jesus in their lives!

Until next time!

Blessings,

Zach

QUESTION:  If you are saved, would you give your testimony so others can be encouraged!

November 21st, 2013 Sharron Kay King Interview

 

This interview with Sharron Kay King will touch your life.

If you are a child of God, it will reinforce your conviction as you see the miracle of another life that was being devastated by the world turned around through saving grace!

If you are not saved, look and see how your life can be freed from the sentence of eternal death due to the unforgiven sin in your life.  Please listen to the Holy Spirit as he speaks to your heart through this divine appointment interview below.

________________________________________

Zach:  Sharron, would you bring my readers up to date on your gospel music career and winning female vocalist of the year?

Sharron Kay King:  I thank the Lord that He is able to work through me in touching the hearts and lives. For the past 23 years I’ve been a willing servant with a desire to reach the hurting through the words of my songs & testimony.

I’ve won a few awards through the years as well as being nominated for things as soloist, songwriter, mainstream artist & female soloist.  The one that I cherish most and means more to me than any of the others is receiving, The Award of Excellence in Music Ministry.

Zach:  Yes, I am sure that was extremely exciting for you!  Sharron, if you had to choose just one of the many wonderful songs that you have recorded, what would it be?

Sharron Kay King:  Probably My Best Friend. This song was my first attempt at songwriting after being saved and will always be the one that’s dearest to my heart.

“My family had given up on me and my own mother disowned me.”

Zach:  Wow, it’s one of my favorites too.  Are you planning a big Western United States tour for this summer?

Sharron Kay King:  As a matter of fact, it is in the planning stages now. In 2014, dates are being added to my schedule for June to minister in Texas & Oklahoma. I am also planning on visiting Ruidoso, New Mexico for the first time.

Zach:  Yes!  I will be so glad to get to meet you and hear you sing in person when you are in concert here at 1st Southern here in Ruidoso!

Sharron, could you give the readers a little background on yourself and how you came to saving faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ?

Sharron Kay King:  Zach, my life was nothing short of ending in 1987. I was 25 years old, a single mother of 3, a drug addict as well as an alcoholic.

I had nothing.

My family had given up on me and my own mother disowned me.

Looking up from the bottom I felt there was no hope for me. I was searching for answers to no avail. Deep in my heart I always desired to be a good mother and good person and most of all, a good daughter. I was lost.

After hitting rock bottom, the words of a Sunday school song came back to my memory. My granny taught it to me as a 5 year old girl.  I had been privileged to attend Sunday school with her— I think—about 3 times one summer.

Anyway, the words to Jesus Loves Me began flooding through my mind. The song’s melody would wake me up in the middle of the night and it would haunt me during the day.

I began wondering who this Jesus was! Conviction then set in on my heart and I thank the Lord for conviction!

Long story short, I found myself at an altar on July 25, 1987.  I completely surrendered my will to Jesus Christ that night.  He saved me, forgave me, and allowed me to feel a love that I had never known before.

I was free from every addiction of nearly 14 years. Oh!  The blood of Jesus that still washes white as snow!

Zach:  That is an awesome testimony, Sharron—thank you for sharing that with my readers!

How has God moved in your life since you have confessed Him as your personal Lord and Savior?

Sharron Kay King:  God has moved in my life in more ways than I can imagine. He totally restored my relationship with my mother and gave me a new lease on life. Allowed me to be that good mom that I always dreamed of being.

Not only did He save me that night, He has kept me safe in Him for 26 years.

Zach:  That is so inspiring.  You now share this amazing testimony and sing such inspiring music about our Lord!

Sharron, what is it like on the road—you know—meeting and greeting your fans all over the country?

Does it give you an opportunity to personally witness to people?

Sharron Kay King:   My life on the road! Ministry is a very lonely place, but a rewarding place.

It is a humbling experience to be in a service and begin to sing only to hear people singing my songs and worshiping Jesus along with me.  I remember one day as I was going through a check-out line with my son.

The cashier kept looking at me to the point I began to feel uncomfortable. She then looked up at me and asked, “Are you Sharron Kay King?”

I was shocked.

I answered and said, “Yes, I am.”

She smiled and started telling me what my music has meant to her.  My son looked at me as we walked away and said, “That was pretty cool!”

I walked away from there feeling very good.

Zach:   It’s so interesting hearing about life on the road for a professional singer and performer.  Thank you also for telling us about that encounter in the store!

You touch the lives of so many with your testimony and your Southern gospel music! Do you have any plans to release another album soon?

Sharron Kay King:  I’m praying right now about making my first Hymnal project. I love the songs of old. As a writer, I feel such conviction and compassion in the words from the old church songbooks.

It’s sad we don’t use them much anymore.

Zach:  I can hardly wait until THAT album hits the racks!  Sharron, if you could tell our audience only one thing about your life and career, what would be that one thing that stands out to you the most?

Sharron Kay King:  That I love the Lord, Zach. When I felt called into this ministry, I fought it. I honestly didn’t see what God could use with me.

Once I realized that I didn’t need a college education or a music degree, I realized that I just needed God to work through me.

It’s not about me or anything I am able to do.  It’s all about Him and His ability to take a broken vessel and mold us into a masterpiece.

Zach:  Thank you for a great interview, Sharron.  Would you mind if I place an audio file at the end of you singing, God’s Been Good?

He has certainly been good to you and I just want this interview to encourage people out there who don’t quite know where to start or how to turn to God?

Sharron Kay King:  Absolutely!  I would like to add that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you have been—Jesus loves you and He won’t give up on you!

Trust Him!

Zach:  Praise God for you, Sharron, and for the wonderful gift of music and vocals that so touch my heart and many millions as well!

Sharron Kay King: Thank you, Pastor Zach, for allowing God to use you in touching my life!

QUESTION:  How has Sharron Kay King’s testimony touched your life?

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Songs of Sharron Ministry

 2013 ICGMA Horizon Female Vocalist of the Year

Sharron’s home state of Indiana is where she resided most of her life. Since 2008, she has resided in Georgia.

Award winning Singer/Songwriter ~ Full time ministry.

“Sharing the message of Jesus Christ through song, testimony & his word. I love Ladies Retreats ~ please consider giving me a call, I’d love to come worship the King with you!”

GUEST POST:  This post was written by a very good friend of mine, Pastor Alan Stoddard.  Alan is pastor of First Baptist Church of Ruidoso, New Mexico.  He presents a very important concept in this article.  I hope it benefits the reader as it has benefited me and my family.

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I have wondered if a pastor could write a post like this one. A post that conveys the inside walls of the average pastor’s heart. Well, here is goes. Here are 7 things your pastor won’t tell you but wishes you knew. He would never want to be rude or callous in the matter. Yet know these things can help you partner with your pastor and spiritual leaders in accomplishing much for your church.

1. He cannot keep up with everyone in the church.

If your pastor serves a church of 100 or more, he cannot keep up with everyone in the best of circumstances. If you help him by making your needs exactly known, that will help. If you need your pastor, you should call and make an appointment so he knows exactly how to meet your need.

Pastors are like everyone else.

They are busy in personal and professional life.

The difference is your pastor is probably responsible for many more people than the average person. Don’t hold him to an unrealistic standard. He is not trying to avoid you. Try not to make him have to run you down. He probably has many of those kinds of situations. Make it easy on him and form him to meet your needs.

He will do it. Free him up to meet your needs while also allowing him time to interact with unbelievers. Get in a small group of your church. Let your needs to met there also.

2. He knows he is not perfect.

Your pastor knows he is not perfect.

At times that can be lost in the interactions within leadership. Some pastors are arrogant and have poor personal relationship skills. That is sad but true. Most pastors I know understand they are not perfect. And yes, at times pastors act like bulldogs and do not take their teeth out of issues when they should.

Yet most pastors are leaders, loving, and desire to feed and shepherd God’s sheep.

Yet your pastor probably gets nit-picked to death for things that are not that important. If you need to get something legit off your chest, take your pastor for coffee.

Love him.

Be gracious.

Let him know you are on his side. Don’t send him cheap emails. You make him have to decide to answer you in writing. Telling your pastor he is not meeting your standard for something is best done in person, not email or text.

The reason why people email or text or gossip the issue is because it is easier for them to perform “drive by” pot shots that way. In volunteer organizations, your pastor knows he has to be godly leveraging authority. He does not want to go to war with you. He wants to fight Satan. He knows he is not perfect. Be careful how you tell him that.

3. He works 7 days a week.

Yes, it it true.

Your pastor works 7 days a week. He does not mean to do it, but he does.

He always has someone reaching out to him in need (see #1). He gets a call at night. His wife counsels someone while on an off day. Someone is sick. Another dies. He prepares sermons because he had to adjust his weekly schedule because of other things that came up in the week.

Your pastor likes his work because he is called to it. He is not going to complain about it. He does want you to know that he works 7 days a week, but he is not going to tell you.

4. He wants you to help him grow your church.

Your pastor cannot do it without you.

He needs your help. He needs you to not only have ideas, but to implement good ideas. If you do not support the ministry of your church, your church will be limited. Your spiritual leaders need your support not gripes.

Your pastor would love for you to responsibly take charge of your own spiritual life. He wants you to take ownership in your church. He needs your help to grow your church.

5. There are always a few he cannot please.

Right now, there are a few people who love to nit-pick, harass, and stress out your pastor.

In every church there are a few people who not only have complaints about some part of the ministry, but they communicate those complaints in ways that are not godly or professional. They have no respect for your pastor. He does not mention these people.

If those few people were on a job, they would be counseled or fired. In a church, they can take potshots without consequence. Know your pastor cannot manage or lead some people. They will not let him. He needs your help in protecting him from negative people.

They are only a few, but they can be loud. Help your pastor manage them. Don’t be one of the few. Most of the time, the issue is they want the pastor to do what they want while they are unwilling to follow that same leadership themselves.

6. He knows he is accountable.

Your pastor may come across as not accountable to anyone. Yet he is accountable to God.

He is accountable to the spiritual leadership.

He is accountable to the church.

If your pastor lives with integrity, is not stealing money, is not sleeping with another woman, is not lazy, visits people, cares, etc., then give him a break. Encourage him. Don’t assume he is not accountable just because it is not the accountability you think he needs.

7. He is thankful for what you do.

Pastors in general are thankful for all you do.

He is appreciative for your generosity.

He loves you.

He sees your extra time you put in for God’s causes. He sees what you do for him and his family. He is thankful for his salary, time off, benefits, etc. He is thankful. Pastors need to actually express that fairly often somehow. Yet know that your pastor, even when he does not say it or express it often enough, he is thankful.

Question: What would you add to this list?

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If you found this article interesting and beneficial, you may also enjoy another article of his that runs in this same vein beneficial as well.  It is called, 7 things people wish their pastor knew, but won’t tell him.

You can follow Alan Stoddard on his site AlanStoddard.com.

The Torment of Jesus Garcia

October 21, 2013

Hello and welcome back!

 I have some thoughts to give you today that sprung from my off-the-wall thinking processes this week.  I have a tendency to dwell on things and sometimes entirely lucid concepts arise from these weekly mental meanderings.

Last post, I talked about how individual and subjective thoughts can shape our understanding of our abilities.

The objective word of God not only informs us who we actually are in Him but grants us the ability to understand the importance of the Holy Spirit and our obedience to Jesus’ commands to the church.

 And yes, that was presented by comparing two different sized dogs and their perception of their abilities based on what they both considered the reality.

This post, I want to talk about Jesus.  That’s right…Jesus.

Not Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Savior.  Jesus Garcia who was the custodian of my first junior high experience.

Jesus Garcia was said to be an excellent custodian, dependable, loyal, honest as the day is long, and one who always did more than expected of him by the school system.

 But that isn’t the topic of Jesus’ life I wish to tell you about.  That’s not the topic at all.

 The Girl Froze – Jesus didn’t.

Jesus Garcia, alias “Ol’ Gar” to us 7th graders, was a man of great patience and kindness.  There wasn’t one day that passed that school year that “”Ol’ Gar” didn’t speak to me first and never forgot to ask how my family and I were doing. He was hard to understand sometimes but he had a good heart.

The sad part is, most of the kids at the school made fun of Jesus.  They would wait until he had passed by and make fun of the limp he had.  Either that or they would make fun of his unique voice character when he wasn’t around.

Jesus also had a hearing problem that was unusual in a man in his early 40’s and some of the kids began to ask him questions just to get him to say, “What you said dere?”

 It became a standing comment to make when you didn’t hear or understand what someone said to you at school, “What you said dere? Dent ketch it!”

Everyone knew that Jesus knew what was going on but that didn’t slow them down any.  Most kids said, Ol’ Gar don’t deserve any respect.”  They said that because they felt he was a retard and just good for cleaning the school and being the target of their jokes.  They said he was called “Ol Gar” because he smelled like one.

Around the last few weeks before school let out for summer, there was this incident that changed a lot of people’s attitude towards “Ol’ Gar.”

It was a Friday after lunch when most of the kids were on the school campus.  Groups of kids were standing around, some in circles talking while others just milled around from group to group.

A few minutes before the bell rang announcing the start of the second half of the day, Jesus walked out of the door between the gym and the cafeteria with a large bag of garbage and headed out to the street where the dumpsters sat.

An eighth-grade girl was crossing the street in the middle of the block when a motorcycle careened around the corner bearing down on her.  Ol’ Gar saw that bike heading toward her about the same time she did.

The girl froze.  Jesus didn’t.

Several groups of us kids saw what was taking place.  Jesus pushed that girl just as the bike slammed into his side.  Kids screamed.  Jesus went down as that bike carried him along with it – right into a tree between the street and sidewalk.

 A few of us ran over to where he lay.  The biker was up and standing over him as we came up alongside of them.  Ol’ Gar looked up, saw me, and asked about the girl he had just protected.  I told him she was unhurt.  He nodded.

The ambulance finally arrived after what seemed forever but was actually only about ten minutes.  I heard one of the medics say, “He isn’t going to make it, losing too much blood.

Turns out that the force of the accident had ruptured an artery in his stomach and that was where all the blood had come from.

 Mr. Jesus Garcia, alias “Ol’ Gar” had given his life to save one of us.  No one said so but it was obvious that attitudes had changed towards Jesus.

School turned out for the funeral.  That was when all the kids who attended had the opportunity to meet Jesus’ family consisting of his mother, his wife, and his two, young daughters.

Jesus became real to that group of kids that day.  There was a plaque put up in the hallway, a special assembly was held, the girl whose life he had saved read a poem she had written to him.  Most of the kids were silent -reflective.

 I don’t know who suggested it but I think it was the girl he had saved.  We all took up a collection school-wide.  Turned out to be almost $500.  I don’t remember the exact figure but that doesn’t matter.

What I do remember is the life lesson that was learned by everyone that day.  I remember the remorse I saw on many faces because of how they had treated Jesus Garcia when he was alive and among us.

 I also remember the look of shock on those same faces when they discovered at the funeral why Jesus limped.  The shock of why his voice sounded like it did.  He had been wounded severely during the Korean conflict but had carried 5 of his fellow soldiers to safety under enemy fire.  He had been hit twice by enemy fire as he rescued them.

Lives were changed that day.  Lives were changed for the better. One was saved from certain injury or death.  Others were changed from lives of judgmental egoism.  All because of the Christian salt and light that had shown from the life of one man.

He was a simple man.

 He was a follower of Jesus.

His life meant something.

May we all have the opportunity for our lives to count.  More than that, may we all value the lives of others and never judge them on appearances.

The Bible tells us at Matthew 7:1-2:  “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

Let’s all remember that another Jesus, the living Son of God, told us to love one another as He loves the church.  Jesus Garcia did.

Until next time,

Zach

 QUESTION:  Have you ever looked down on another only to regret it later?

Hello and welcome back!

It’s good to see you and I have been praying for you since your last visit to the blog.

Yes, it’s true.  I pray for all of my readers each day.  I pray for your health and economic condition in these troubled days.  I pray for your loved ones, both saved and unsaved.

For the saved, I pray for God’s leading on their lives to be fulfilled.

For the unsaved, I pray for the Holy Spirit to lead them to the words of the gospel.  l pray for them to believe and find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today, I was just sittin’ out on my front porch – watching the changing leaves rub dryly against one another in a gentle breeze.  As I was watching (and listening) to the melodic sounds of fall coming down, I noticed this large dog.   I didn’t recognize it as belonging around here but I watched it come up over the rise across the street.

He stopped on the sidewalk for a moment and then crossed the street on a diagonal to my front porch just to the right of where I was sitting.  A small dog, a little male, that belongs to a neighbor was secured to a small tree outside of his residence.  He noticed the larger dog as it came closer to him.

What happened next was the catalyst for this article you are now reading.

That little dog began to make sounds I had no idea that he was capable of.  He began leap and lunge toward the monster dog, who was no more than 6 feet in front of him as if to say, “Come one step closer and it will be your last!”

Well, that big ol’ dog backed up one step, two steps – then turned and ran, making such a sissy sound that I could not help but laugh out loud.

I sat there, taking another sip from my cup of coffee, and sighed.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding…” 

Sometimes, size doesn’t seem to matter.  That large dog had a perception in his head that things were about to go bad for him in a hurry if he didn’t retreat as fast as doggily possible.  Which he did.  The small dog had a perception that, regardless of the big dog’s size status, he could take him and do very bad things to him in the process.

In reality, both dogs were very, very wrong.  The objective truth is the monster-sized dog could have eaten the little one and still have required more food.

In reality, the small dog – regardless of his confidence in his belief that he could defeat that large dog — was misplaced.

Problem:  Neither one of the dogs had a clue of that fact.

Outcome:  The large monster dog was unnecessarily defeated and the small dog won a battle that he didn’t deserve based on the objective facts.

Application:  Do not always believe in what you see. Rely on God.

Let’s take a look at this scenario from a Christian worldview.  Christians have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (power from on high) at the time of their salvation.

The great significance of this scenario can be seen in 1 John4:4, “You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is from the world, and the world listens to them.”

Remember that large but cowardly dog?  The one that ran from the little one?  Let the large monster dog represent the Christian – filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit.  Allow the small dog to represent this evil, secular world.

Is my analogy becoming quite clear?

IF we are following Jesus and obeying His commands, the Holy Spirit is active within us and God’s power will protect us from any true harm from the evil one, if we trust and obey.  We obey even if we have to face death head on – we will be victorious by the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

If we truly believe, trust, and obey Jesus, then we stand on the Biblical promise of 2 Cor. 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and prefer to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord.”

Takaway:  Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways and He will guide you on the right paths.

Thank you for stopping by.  I will be praying for you!

Until next time,

Zach

QUESTION:  When have you relied on the Holy Spirit and seen the hand of God in your life prevail?

 

Hello and welcome back!

I’m excited today!  I want to share that excitement with YOU!  Share what, you ask? I was reading in 2 Kings this morning and I had just turned to 2 Kings 6 and began reading about the floating axe head.

If you are not familiar with this passage of Scripture, please read it HERE.

If you remember, Elisha took on Elijah’s position after he had been taken up to heaven in a chariot.  Elisha was then blessed with a double portion of the Holy Spirit.

In 2 Kings 6, Elisha was busily training new profits in prophet school when one of his students mentioned the fact that the quarters they were training and living in was just too crowded.

The student suggested the he and the rest of the prophets-in-training go to the river and each cut a beam from which a new dwelling place could be constructed for them to live and train.

Elisha said, “Sounds like a plan, go to it!”

We all know what happens next.  One student’s iron axe head flies off the handle and lands in the river.  It rapidly sinks to the bottom as iron has a tendency to do when it falls into water.

“Do you self-inspect your spiritual walk with Christ regularly?”

What happens next is what God gave to me this morning to give to you and to use to prepare my Wednesday night sermon!

What do we do when we lose our cutting edge in serving Jesus?

 Let’s look at three things in 2 Kings 6:1-6 for a solution:

  • The young prophet student lost his ax head making him unable to complete God’s work.  Have you ever lost something that made you unable to carry on with your normal routine?  I have.  I once lost my car keys.  It took me over 3 hours to get another one made and get on with my routine.  I also once lost my wallet.  Not only did I lose the money and credit cards, I had to take the time to cancel the cards and send off for another SS card, driver’s license, etc.  I also had to borrow $20 from a close friend until I could get to the bank for more cash. When we lose our cutting edge for carrying out our obligations to God’s kingdom, we become worthless in pursuing God’s work.
  • We must identify the exact spot where we lost our cutting edge.  Pray in Jesus’ name for help in remembering when you first list the cutting edge and what was happening.  Elisha asked the young student, “Where did it fall?”  The best way to find something is to remember where you last had it.  Did I begin to lose my cutting edge when I quit attending Sunday School?  Did I lose it when I started missing church?  Maybe I lost it when I thought I didn’t have time to read my Bible daily?  Could it be I have allowed sin to dilute my relationship with God?  Have I become complacent in my Christian walk?
  • When we pray and God points out where we lost our cutting edge, we must do our part to retrieve it!  Elisha raised the iron axe head through the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t put it back on the handle.  He told the young student to reach out and get it.  We must do the same when the Holy Spirit answers our prayer and points out where it was that we lost our cutting edge.  God wants you, like the young prophet student, to do your part in recovering your cutting edge for kingdom work!

What if the young student had regularly checked the security of his axe head to the handle?

Do you self-inspect your spiritual walk with Christ regularly?

We are told to do a self-examination to discover our spiritual “fitness” when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  Why not do it at the end of each day?  If we discover our axe head getting loose, we can tighten it before it falls off and we will not have gaps in our obedience to Christ.

Summary:

  • Admit you have lost your cutting edge.
  • Pray for guidance to discover the exact place you lost it (and what was happening at the time.
  • When God raises it up, reach out and put your cutting edge (axe head) back on the handle and serve Christ!

Until next time!

Zach

 QUESTION:  PLEASE SHARE A TIME WHEN YOU LOST YOUR CUTTING EDGE AND HOW YOU FOUND IT AGAIN.

Hello!

Welcome back!

It’s great to see you again.  Today, I have a treat for you. Rev. Dr. Ed Hird (pictured above) is the author of the award-winning book, “Battle for the Soul of Canada.” Dr. Hird is Rector of St. Simon’s Church in North Vancouver, Canada.  Ed has graciously offered a guest post that was first published for the September 2013 Deep Cove Crier.  I feel that this article will be most beneficial for you, the reader of ZachMalott.com.  Please take the time to check out his blog article that identifies the heart of the practice of Yoga.

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

When the weather is warm and sunny, I love to swim outdoors.   As a teenager, I was involved three days a week with the YMCA Flying Sharks, a junior life-saving team.  My late uncle Don Allen was a career Navy deep sea diver, sometimes finding lost Caribbean treasure.  When I first tried learning to swim at the UBC outdoor pool, it was so cold that I felt frozen stiff.  It was only when I went to the warm Okanagan Lake that my swimming breakthrough came.  I know that summer is coming to a close when outdoor swimming comes to an end.

During the summer, most gyms and weight rooms are missing many regular participants.  September is the ‘Back to the Gym’ time,  ‘Back to School’ time, ‘Back to Church’ time.  September is the time when our life rhythms reconnect.  We all need times away, times of refreshing, time of letting go.  We also need times of reconnecting, of gathering, of pressing in.  Sometimes in the summer, we can relax and feast too much.  Back to the Gym helps us refocus, restart and recalibrate our lives.

My wife Janice encouraged me to start going to the gym fourteen years ago after I was a passenger in a rear-end car accident.  I naively thought that I would become physically fit and healthy almost overnight.  Instead restoring my health has been a gradual process.  When I have striven and pushed too hard, the result has been injury and setback.  God has been teaching me that I need to be more patient with myself and my weight room renewal.  There is no quick fix.  My exercise plans often suffer from good intentions.  So many weight room friends start with the best intentions, but give in to frustration and disappointment.  It takes too long to become healthy! Before you know it, they disappear and slip back into their old patterns of inactivity.

My encouragement this fall for those reading this article is to not give up when you go back to the gym.  Your health is worth it.  Your life is worth it.  You are worth it.  By your regularly working out, you will see gradual benefits that initially elude you.  Anything worth doing is worth fighting for.  Your health matters, not only to yourself, but to your spouse, your children, and your friends.  When you invest in your health, you open doors to your future.  When you invest in your health, your knees will thank you, your back will thank you, your neck will thank you.  Excessive sitting is one of the greatest curses of our post-modern culture.  What will it take this fall to get back to the gym? What is holding us back in doing the right thing? Why are we often our own worst enemies when it comes to our health?  Overeating, oversitting, and overdrinking are too often eating us alive.

For the past nine years, our congregation St. Simon’s NV has been meeting at the Maplewood School Gym each Sunday.  Worshipping in a gym has reminded me that being healthy is meant to be holistic.  God wants us to be healthy in body, mind and spirit.  He wants us to be physically fit, emotionally fit and spiritually fit.  Worship is meant to be a stretching experience where we encounter God with our whole person, all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  Why am I passionate about both worship and calisthenics?  Because both are about being healthy, both are about making a difference, both are about investing in one’s future.  This fall I invite you to go back to the gym, for physical, emotional and spiritual renewal.  Make an investment that will pay lasting dividends.  Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.