Showing posts from September, 2013

Honoring Mac Hammond

All believers should honor their “fathers in the faith”, ministers God used to help them grow spiritually.One who started impacting my life just before I committed my life to the Lord is Mac Hammond, pastor of Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.Today happens to be his 70th birthday.
Originally from the Deep South, James McBryde “Mac” Hammond served in the Air Force during which he flew 198 combat missions.After his discharge, he ran a successful airfreight business.A business acquisition brought Mac and his wife Lynne to the Minneapolis area where they ultimately founded Living Word Christian Center in 1980.
I first heard Pastor Mac in February 1991.My then-girlfriend had started attending Living Word and invited me to go with her one Sunday morning.Mac was in the midst of a teaching series about end time prophecy in response to the Gulf War that began a month earlier.He also encouraged first-time visitors to come back a couple more times “to take a more accurate m…

Music That God Likes

Have you ever wondered what music in heaven will sound like?People who go to mainline traditional churches might assume they will listen to organ music or angelic choirs for eons.Others might believe they will hear Black & Southern Gospel like they do now in their congregations.On the other hand, individuals who received glimpses of eternity testified of hearing sounds unlike anything on earth.
There’s an old saying, “Music soothes the savage beast.”This is some truth to that.Songs played by God’s people can dramatically change the atmosphere we are in.1 Samuel 16:23 mentions “…that David would take a harp and play it with his hand.Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.”
On the other hand, music played for ungodly purposes can have a negative effect.During the late 1980s and early 1990s I listened to a lot of New Age music.The genre’s dreamy mixture of natural and electronic sounds is intended to bring serenity to the listener…

A True Apostle

Normally I’m not quick to un-friend fellow believers on Facebook.I recognize all of us are at different levels of spiritual maturity.Still one disturbing trend I’ve noticed is professing Christians posting profanity online.Earlier this year I issued a statement on my wall rebuking those who repeatedly engage in such activity.In response, a (now former) friend wrote, “I train my kids to say s*** like a true apostle.”I was shocked to read this.My mother would have washed my mouth out with soap if I used a word like that around her!
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines apostle as “a person deputed to execute some important business; but appropriately, a disciple of Christ.”The Greek word for apostle is apostolos, which means “one who is sent”; “messenger”, “envoy”, and “ambassador.”Apostolos was derived from a sailing term meaning to send a particular ship or group of ships, a marine expedition or the leader of such.
In Revelation 2:2, Jesus commended the church of Ephesus because “…you have …

Into My Heart

As a kid attending Sunday school at a Lutheran church in North Dakota, I learned songs that still come to my remembrance today.One of them had these lyrics…
Into my heart/Into my heart Come into my heart, Lord Jesus Come in today/Come in to stay Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Sorry to say, that song didn’t mean anything to me then.None of my Sunday school teachers or my Lutheran pastor ever taught that I must be born again.It wasn’t until years later when I fully realized why I should have Jesus in my heart.
Some ministers oppose use of the phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” claiming it’s unscriptural.One nationally known pastor went so far to label the phrase “superstitious”, “dangerous”, and “damning.”I beg to differ.Jesus Himself said in John 7:38, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”(Other translations use the terms “belly” and “innermost being” instead of “heart.”)
Even the Old Testament talked about a time when ma…

Divine Connections Through David

Unable to fall asleep last Tuesday night, I stayed up until 4 a.m. doing various things on the Internet.One of them was searching for a man who was my best friend in high school.David Rask and I first met during an eighth grade art class at Central Junior High School in Moorhead, Minnesota.One of our assignments was to sketch a portrait of another classmate.David and I chose to draw each other.Although I wasn’t fond of how I looked, David got an “A” for his drawing of me.Eventually we started hanging out together.
In the winter of 1980, David invited me to a Bible camp we went to along with other people from the Baptist church he attended.At one of the services during this weekend outing, a three-piece Christian band told a powerful story in between songs.It was about a bridge that spanned across a large river.Most of the time the bridge was in an “up” position allowing ships to pass through.The bridge was lowered whenever a train needed to cross over it.One day the bridge operator l…