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Apr

17

Things I Want To Say To You

By pastorbillwalden

There is so much I want to tell you, and hear from you, but… 

It’s difficult.

I don’t know if I will drive you away, make you mad, make you sad, or be misunderstood. There are those who would tell me that my feelings don’t matter, and that the truth must be told, whatever the cost.  Yeah, I understand that…tell that to my heart.

I am telling the truth right now.  I worry about you…I wonder about you…I pray for you…I ache for you. Yeah, I do.

There are a thousand million “truths” out there in the world, and I very humbly but very firmly believe I have found “the” truth.  I believe in Jesus.

I know that you say you do too, but I wonder if you really do.  Who am I to judge, you ask.  You can consider me a busy body, a self righteous snob, or a loving friend…that’s up to you. No, I don’t know your heart, but Jesus said that “from the treasures of the heart, the mouth speaks”, and I hear you saying and see you doing things that cause me concern. (Matthew 12:34)

OK…here I go…

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Mar

30

What A Christian Is And Isn’t

By pastorbillwalden

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pDRdh9dRgh8

Jan

18

But Still You Loved Me

By pastorbillwalden

As I look back upon that night, I see myself again
I am there among the twelve, pledging my love
You had said that we would turn away, every single man
You had said that we’d would forsake the one we love

And then it was night
And then there was darkness
And then I was sleeping
As you poured out your soul

Oh how could it be, and how was it then?
How could you love this master of sin?
I turned away, just as you said
But still you loved me

You knew I would fail, you knew I would lie
You knew you would look deep into my eyes
You knew I would weep, hating my sin
But still you loved me, still you loved me

That dark day passed and then the next, we hid for fear of death
That the ones who hated you would come for us
And the third day came, but the shame remained, my life just seemed to end
For the faith I thought so strong had turned to dust

But then there were voices
Then came the story
They said that you lived again
Calling my name

Oh how could it be, and how was it then?
How could you love this master of sin?
I turned away, just as you said
But still you loved me

You knew I would fail, you knew I would lie
You knew you would look deep into my eyes
You knew I would weep, hating my sin
But still you loved me, still you loved me

Nov

7

Chicken Little And Barak Obama

By pastorbillwalden

If you don’t know the story of Chicken Little, here is a brief synopsis.  

The main line of the story has to do with a chicken who has an acorn fall on her head, and then proclaims “the sky is falling”.  The point that I get from the story is that the chicken over-reacts to an event, and makes more of it than what it actually is.

Among the Body of Christ, there may be some that have the Chicken Little mentality regarding the re-election of Barack Hussein Obama.  They might be believing that all is lost, that the nation is crumbling, and that the end is near.

In some ways I agree, but I am not wringing my hands this morning after America has re-elected Obama.  I did not vote for him, and I don’t like his philosophy of how to run a country.  I do believe that our nation is deteriorating on a moral level.  I would not be surprised to see a total financial collapse in my lifetime.  I would not be surprised if eventually the Church has to go under ground.

I worry about my children and grandchildren’s future.  In many ways, life may be harder for them than it has been for me.

But…none of this should surprise or undermine the faith of the Bible believing Christian.  We have been told ahead of time how things will come to a close.

1 Timothy 3:1-5a  1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power.

If you are a Bible believing Christian, you have been taught that such things will increasingly come to pass as time goes on.  Election 2012 should not shake you, if you view the results as lining up with this passage.

Dear brethren:  The church of Jesus Christ shall not fail.  Jesus said so.  Matthew 16:18 tells us, “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it“.

Finally, I direct your hearts to this incredible passage in Ephesians.  Take time today to think on this passage.  Take it in deeply.  It is an amazing truth.

Ephesians 1:15-23  15Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,21far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.22And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

May I invite you to read my sermon notes on this passage?  They can be found here.  God’s great power is working in us, His people, His church.

If, like Chicken Little, we focus on the fact that “the sky is falling”, remember that we are saved by the God who owns the heavens.

Psalm 89:11  11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;  The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.

My hope for every Follower of Jesus is that we would not be like Chicken Little, who had nothing but a sense of doom and gloom, but that we be Believers who understand the increasing severity of the world’s situation would have more hope than anyone on the planet.

Maranatha…come Lord Jesus.

Apr

7

That Same Full Moon

By pastorbillwalden

I stepped out under the full moon again tonight.  That same moon illuminated the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed so many years ago.  It lit the dark paths where Judas and the Temple guards came to arrest Jesus.  It shined down upon the fire where Peter swore three times that he never knew Jesus.  It guided the Roman soldiers as they led Jesus from Pilate to Herod, and then back to Pilate again.

The next night it shined brightly again, as Jesus’ followers were afraid for their own lives, and began to go into hiding.  They were dumbfounded and shocked at Jesus having been killed and laid in a tomb.  They saw Him die, and their hopes came to a brutal end.

The moonlight probably still shined that resurrection morning, as Mary and the others went to the tomb of Jesus to anoint His body for a proper burial.  There at the tomb, as the moonlight waned and as the sun began to rise, He appeared to them, and the world change began.

I am part of that world change.  I am a follower of Jesus.  I believe that He was raised from the dead, and that He is alive.  Either I am correct, or I am deceived.  I don’t think I am crazy.  I do believe He lives, and that He has dwelt within me since I surrendered to Him 38 years ago.

I departed from Him for 6 years, but He never departed from me. I have walked with Jesus for 30 years this year.  I cannot shake Him, nor do I want to.

I succeed and fail.  I am hopeful and hopeless.  I understand and am confused.  I have holy desires, and unholy ones.  I am a redeemed soul in an unredeemed body.  The internal spiritual war is constant, but it has gotten better every year, every month.

I cannot shake Him.  I cannot disregard Him.  I cannot convince myself that He is not there, not that I try.  He is alive, and He lives in me, my wife, and many of my loved ones and friends.

I expect to see Him face to face one day.  It will be awesome and fearful, but it will be good. I will finally be home.

Words of thanksgiving flow from my mouth on a daily basis. “Thank you for your love, your mercy, and your grace.  Thank you for your provision, kindness, patience, faithfulness.  Thank you for my wife, my kids, my parents, my friends, my church, and for this life you have given me”.

The words come like my breath.  I often don’t even plan on saying them, but they have become to me part of the fabric of my life.  They are not vain repetition, or a mantra.  They just flow.  They are real, because He is real.  It has become like breathing.

I cannot shake Him, not that I want to.  I cannot step out under that moon and not think of Him, especially at this time of year.  I cannot help but be amazed that I am a part of this grand plan for humanity.  I cannot help but be thankful.

I have not captured Him, but he has captured me.

I do not make Him promises.  I have never been a promise maker to Him.  I don’t think He asks me to promise Him anything.  He just asks me to keep trying and keep believing.  We talk, and somehow, I know He hears me, and somehow, I believe that He speaks back to me in the secret recesses of my soul.

I am a Christian.  I am a Christ follower.  I want no other name, title, or affiliation.

I invite you to consider Jesus.  The church has failed since the beginning, but Jesus doesn’t fail.  Jesus takes up residence within people that fail, and He brings great change.  He forgives, and renews.  I invite you to take an honest look at Jesus.  I may be right, or I may be wrong, but I believe that He is coming back.  I look forward to that day.  I pray that you will also.

I expect that as long as God gives me life on Earth, I will be enamored and intrigued at that same full moon.  It is something special that He shares with me.  I cannot help but be moved as I remember all He has done for me.

May God bless you this Easter season.  May you meet Jesus.

Dec

15

Immanuel: What It Means

By pastorbillwalden

During the month of December 2011, we are studying different passage regarding the birth of Jesus.  Here is the latest effort, from Matthew 1:18-25.

http://vimeo.com/33698255

Nov

12

Let God Fix It

By pastorbillwalden

Some thoughts for fellow followers of Jesus…  

The ten second sound bite version of what I am writing is this: If you blew it, and have a mess on your hands, let God fix it.  You thought you could be in control and do things your own way, and now you have a mess. In your flesh, you made a mess.  What makes you think that in your flesh, you can fix it?  Better to walk in the Spirit like you should have to begin with.  Walk in the Spirit, and let God fix it.

The longer version of the same story line is as follows…
Sin is a nasty thing.  It promises much, and delivers little.  The consequences are always bigger than the gratification.  It never seems as bad as it really is…until later.

We get used to sinning.  We minimize it.  We get de-sensitized to it.  We agree in our heads that something is wrong, but we do it anyway, intending to stop.

There are sins of commission: we do things that we know are wrong.
There are sins of omission: we don’t do things we know that we should.

The sin in a Christian’s life can run the gamut of not reading your Bible (dumb…you need God’s Word, heart, and direction) to something much more obvious, like substance abuse or sexual immorality.  We can be committing little sins, like being disagreeable, or we can be committing bigger sins, such as being violent and a striker.  A sin of omission might be that you don’t think that church attendance is important, and eventually find yourself isolated, alone, unchallenged, un-encouraged, etc.  There are numerous examples of sins of commission and omission.

Read more »

Oct

21

180 The Movie

By pastorbillwalden

Dear friends….please take 33 minutes to watch this documentary video.  

It is upsetting, shocking, and compelling, but it brings forth some facts and asks some questions that need to be considered.

http://www.180movie.com/

Mar

1

Who Is “The Son Of Man” From Psalm 8:4?

By pastorbillwalden

Each Sunday I receive questions from our congregation regarding either what I just taught, or about the Christian life in general.  We read a Psalm corporately at the beginning of each service.  On 2/27/2001, we read Psalm 8, which speaks of “the son of man”, in verse 8.

The question that came was as follows: Is the reference to to “son of man” in Psalm 8:4 a prophecy regarding Jesus?  If so, what does it mean that God would “visit” him?

In the context of the Psalm, I don’t believe that the psalmist is intentionally referring to Jesus, though Jesus did use the title “The Son Of Man” when speaking of Himself.

Regarding the passage in Psalm 8, David Guzik writes:

What is man that You are mindful of him: Considering the greatness of the heavens also made David consider the relative smallness and insignificance of man. David wondered why just a big, great God would bemindful of such small beings.

i. “We gave you but a feeble image of our comparative insignificance, when we said that the glories of an extended forest would suffer no more from the fall of a single leaf, than the glories of an extended universe would suffer though the globe we tread upon, and all that it inherits, should dissolve.” (Chalmers, cited in Spurgeon)

ii. God is so big that He makes the universe with His fingers; man is so small that he is dwarfed by the universe. Yet David did not doubt that God was mindful of man; he simply said “You are mindful of Him” and only wondered why. Before we share David’s question, we should first share his assured confidence that God is mindful of us; He thinks of us and considers what we do.

iii. “Sorry, sickly man, a mass of mortalities, a map of miseries, a mixture or compound of dirt and sin . . . And yet God is mindful of him.” (Trapp)

iv. “David’s question can be asked with many nuances. In Psalm 144:3f it mocks the arrogance of the rebel; in Job 7:17 it is a sufferer’s plea for respite; in Job 25:6 it shudders at human sin. But here it has no tinge of pessimism; only astonishment that thou are mindful and thou dost care.” (Kidner)

And the son of man that You should visit him: Indeed, using the poetic method of repetition, David repeated the idea in a stronger way. Son of man is a title that emphasizes the “humanness” of man, and we might say that visit him is yet stronger than are mindful of him.

i. David was confident that God not only carefully thought about man, but that He had some kind of personal connection and contact with men (that You visit him). He thinks about us and acts in our life.

ii. “The contrast between the stately splendor of the moon and the stars, and man – Enosh – frail man – and the son of man Ben-Adam – of apparently earthly origin. The contrasts are graphic.” (Morgan)

My Final Thoughts On This- The immediate context speaks of the comparative smallness of man compared to the greatness of God, and yet God is interested in man.  I don’t believe that David was writing a direct statement about Jesus.

Ezekiel was also called “son of man” by God  (93 times), as was Daniel.

It is to be noted, however, that Jesus was identified as “son of man” 88 times in the New Testament. When used of Jesus, whether prophetically in the Old Testament, or in real time (Jesus’ time), the title carried the significance of describing the Messiah of Israel.

As David Guzik mentioned the term “son of man” emphasizes the humanness of the one being spoken to or about.  “Son of Man” simply emphasizes the humanity of Jesus, who was both God and men.  The passage in Psalm 8:4 doesn’t seem to speak of Jesus directly, or that God would “visit” him. The “son of man” spoken of in Psalm 8:4 seems to speak of humanity in general.

Good question!

 

Sep

28

What A Waste

By pastorbillwalden

Mark 14:3-9 3And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.  

6But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Many who love Jesus give of themselves to Him.
They give time, money, talents, material possessions.
They forsake personal gain, high paying careers, and upward mobility.
Some would say that they give too much.

Parents may encourage their child to go to college and prepare for a good career, rather than go to Bible college and prepare for a life of godly service.
They would never tell their child to not be a Christian; they would just tell them to have a “balanced” life, and be sure to have a good career first. They may suggest that their child not get too fanatical about their Christian faith. They would emphasize that it’s a tough world out there, so their child needs to “look out for #1″.

There are many other examples of how people that give their lives to Jesus are warned or corrected by others who are around Jesus.  The disciples were with Jesus all the time, had seen the miracles, and heard Him teach, but they thought that what this was did was “a waste”.  They justified their opinion by saying that some good social act could have been done instead.  Helping the poor is important, but it wasn’t more important at that moment.

They made the mistake that so many Christians make: they miss the best and suggest the good.  They are committed, but not too committed.  They worship and serve, to a point.  They give, but are careful to not go beyond what is reasonable.  They try to be “reasonable” in their Christian life, and are careful to maintain a “balance”.

I never read about keeping a balance.  I read about being led by the Holy Spirit.

Like the woman who poured out the costly ointment, some Christians pour out their lives to God.
Like the woman, they are told that what they have done is extravagant and extreme.
Jesus had a different opinion, and defended her.

Be careful about how you judge such things.