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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Your Choice - A or B

Given October 22, 2006
Do you have trouble getting things done? Does it seem you are not successful in the things you attempt? Are you being frustrated by your lack of accomplishment? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have the solution for you.

Choose from the following two choices:
A. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13"
B. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: ... for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5"

With Jesus or without Him, it's your choice: A or B. What'll it be?

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Dotson Code

Given September 22, 2006
The dictionary defines code as: "Any set of standards set forth and enforced by a local government agency for the protection of public safety, health, etc., as in the structural safety of buildings (building code), health requirements for plumbing, ventilation, etc. (sanitary or health code), and the specifications for fire escapes or exits (fire code)." Or, "Any system or collection of rules and regulations:" Basically, rules to live by. Got it?

The book and recent movie, The DaVinci Code, contains many claims about Christianity's historic origins and theological development. I have not read the book nor seen the movie but I understand many, if not all, of the claims made therein are false. However, I HAVE read the Bible and believe the "claims" made there are absolute truth; rules to live by.

So what is the Dotson Code? It's the same as the Smith Code or Wilson Code; the rules we live by. The Dotson Code is specific for me. God has a plan and purpose for me and His Word reveals my code with the help of The Holy Spirit. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4".

It's no big secret! God wants me to live according to His Word, (code), and if I do, there are unimaginable blessings and rewards waiting for me in Heaven AND here on earth as well! But, to tap in to all these good things, "you have to know the code", (spoken in my deep, Master voice). "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it...Isaiah 30:21". Or, He might say, "This is the Code, follow it."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2006
As we head into the holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving, I thought the other day, "What is the first thing you think of when someone says, Thanksgiving?" I'm sorry to say, for me, I guess it would be... food. Ask yourself that question and ask a few people you know and see what answers you get.

Some may say; football, family, Pilgrims, or turkey. But, as I was convicted to remember, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Being thankful for what God has blessed us with. "Yet he filled their houses with good things, Job 22:18". "And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 28:2". That's good news, isn't it?

In this country, no matter what we read in the paper and see on the news, WE ARE BLESSED! If you would go to another country and see the way others live, you would know, we're blessed. Our forefathers planned it that way by establishing a nation under God and those of us who believe that, should work to carry out their plan. (It's God's plan, you know.)

I'm thankful to live in a free country where I can worship as I please. I'm thankful for my lovely wife of 36 years and our four wonderful sons who are all saved and very successful. I'm thankful for my four grandchildren, (one unborn), and two daughters-in-law. I'm thankful for a career in education that is ending soon, (retirement), and whatever my next assignment is to be.

But most of all, I'm thankful that God chose me before the foundations of the world to be His son and that I accepted the sacrifice of Jesus some 44 years ago. I'm thankful for what God has done in me and for me, what He's doing and preparing right now, and for what He's got in store for me and my family in the future. It's gonna be good!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Way Of Deliverance

Given October 10, 2006
My wife and I were touring Monticello with our first son years ago and he was squeeling, laughing, and being a typical happy one year-old. I know it was beginning to distract the others and we needed to cut our tour short and get out. In addition, there had developed a diaper problem that was noticable as well. The tour guide was sensitive to our need and told us there was a secret door we could take to the outside. We took it!

I was reading in Psalms the other day and, for some reason, thought about that time. "Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. Psalm 91: 1-3, NLT". Sometimes, the devil will come in and try to mess us up with his distractions and temptations. He may be oppressing us and coming against us or our family. But, IF we are living close to God; IF He is our refuge, IF He is leading us on this life tour, then I can see God showing us the "secret door" of escape. I can see God saying, "Psst, Bill, take this door to safety." And out we go.

Then, I can see Him standing there with His arms folded across His chest blocking the way from the accuser. And, the devil won't buck God! The key is abiding in God and His Word abiding in us, (John 15:7).

Are you being tempted, oppressed, even attacked right now? Go to God, abide there, (set up housekeeping), get His Word in you and ask where the secret door is.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pump It Up!

Given November 11, 2006
How many times have you been in trouble, gone through a hard time, or just felt the pressure pushing you down? You know, it doesn't have to be something bad; it could just be the many things you've got going on in your life. Too many things. The greater the pressure from the outside, the more deflated you feel. When you feel like you've had more than you can take, (or, hopefully before you get to that point), it's time to rejoice, be patient, and pray.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12". When you feel the pressure, it's time to "pump it up" from the inside! Take time to remember that God's with you; there's hope in that, be patient, and PRAY. This will reinflate you from the inside and push the pressure the other way. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. He may be telling you to get rid of some of those things that are causing the pressure. Could it be?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Make Him Proud

Special Edition - November 11, 2006
Yesterday, my oldest son who had been blogging for the conservative political scene in Virginia for two years at Commonwealth Conservative, hung it up to spend more time with his family. As a father, it makes me proud to know what my boy has accomplished and to read the many positive comments left by his readers.

But it reminds me of my Heavenly Father, too. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galations 3:26". I am His boy and I want Him to be proud of me. Sometimes however, I disappoint Him and do or say things He's not pleased with. But He still loves me and is always there to take me back into His loving arms when I realize my mistake and come back repentant.

We all need to strive to make the Father proud of us; to do and say the things that will make Him say, as He said to Jesus, "...This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:17". Make Him proud!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Practice Makes Perfect

Given October 24, 2006
We've all heard the saying, "Practices makes perfect" and we may have heard it from parents or coaches who were trying to encourage us to do better. But do we ever think we CAN be perfect?

Jesus told us, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48" Would He have told us that if it wasn't possible? The Greek meaning of the word, "perfect", is complete. That seems a little more doable but what does it mean? How can we be, "complete" or "perfect" in our lives?

Here's the revelation I got about this matter. Life on this earth is a process. When we're young, we go through a natural learning and growing process that should take us to some form of completness. We have to go through the process and repeat the steps until we learn the skills. It's the same in sports; we only get good at something when we practice it over and over. It's the same with spiritual things too.

"Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. 2 Timothy 2:15". Skillfully teaching...you get skill from practice don't you? If we want to fullfill the plan God has for us on earth, to be complete, (perfect), we need to practice! If we want to, "lay hands on the sick and have them recover" Mark 16:18, we need to practice it. Set aside any embarassment you feel and lay on your hands and pray.

If you want to get people saved, practice telling them what God has done for you and invite them to ask Jesus into their heart. If you're tired of the devil messing in your affairs, boldly exercise your authority in Jesus name and tell him to take a hike! Practice, practice, practice. It's the only way we'll be perfect.

If this has meant something to you, let me know in the Comments section below. Be blessed!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Well-Lit Christian

Given October 25, 2006
During my prayer time on this day, I was praying for several people on my list who need salvation. I pray that they'll be convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit and drawn to salvation. I pray that they'll see a contrast in their life and the lives of believers around them.

As Christians, we're supposed to, "let our light shine", Matthew 5:16 , so God will be glorified by what we say and do. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12". Sometimes however, we Christians are not shining so brightly. We may, in fact, be casting a negative light on those around us.

But this morning, I prayed that one particular young lady on my list would be around some, "well-lit believers" that day so she would see a marked difference in them. I don't know where that phrase, "well-lit", came from...well, I guess I do know where it came from. The Holy Spirit is reminding me and all of us believers that we need to "turn up the power" and be bright lights to those in darkness around us. "Neither do [men] light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. Matthew 5:15".

And how do we increase our brightness? Get closer to the source of all light, be connected to it, and reflect our Savior and Lord.