Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Coming Election

 On Halloween Day in 1864, congress admitted Nevada to the union as the 36th state.  Nevada failed to meet the required number of citizens, 60,000 by fully one-third; however, her rich silver mines and her promise to support President Lincoln in the 1864 election carried the day.  

We are nearing a national election which could very well turn on whether or not genuine Believers are willing to set aside personal considerations in order to insure that a candidate whose stated positions are so contrary to Biblical principles is not elected.

Time and again the citizenry are disheartened as elected officials allow political expediency to trump their campaign promises.  However, now is not the time to crawl into a virtual cave and give in to the sense of hopelessness which continually whispers, “What is the use anyway?”  Rather, now is the time to dig down deeply and stand up for your faith based principles.  Every Christian Citizen must become a sacrificial statesman willing to put his future, his wealth, and his life on the line for the cause of truth in these days.

Compare the stated positions of the two candidates: (1) One Supports abortion without limits–the other does not. (2) One candidate openly supports an organization which is instigating mass civil disorder in many cities while one calls for the arrest and prosecution of those who are destroying property.. (3)  One candidate favors statehood for both Washington D.C, and Puerto Rico, while the other believes that such political dependencies should not become states. (4) One candidate believes the failed socialism of Europe & South America should be tried here–the other is a strong proponent of free enterprise. (5) One candidate believes the way to curb violence is to confiscate legal guns from the citizenry, while one believes strongly in the Second Amendment.  (6) One candidate believes the government can more effectively use your earnings than you and wants to repeal tax cuts while adding additional taxes–the other candidate believes the American people can be trusted with the funds they earn, and that increased taxes is counterproductive to strengthening the economy. (7) One candidate believes that he can legislate the way churches and religious communities exercise their worship, while one believes that Freedom of Worship should not be abridged by government.


Now, I’m not going to tell you who believes what.  You have several days to ascertain which is which.  The time has come to stand up and be counted by determining the truth, and voting in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.

Should God visit upon us a season of chastisement as He occasionally did National Israel by raising up a leader contrary to His way, we should not despair.  We stand by His grace and not by our strength, riches, or ingenuity.  I believe God has blessed America because of our willingness to export the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.  The opportunity to continue to utilize our bountiful resources to that end could cease as we become more and more pre-occupied with own comfort and prosperity.  The season of chastisement would be occasion to re-evaluate our priorities and turn once again to the ultimate calling of all genuine Believers found in Matthew 28:18ff.

Nevada would eventually have become a state, but political expediency caused the bending of rules and suspending of hard and fast criteria to insure the re-election of President Lincoln.  Let us not compromise Biblical principles for the empty promise of a life of ease where everyone sits on his own ivory couch under his own fig tree.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

What Next From SCOTUS?

Early Christians were willing to face any amount of torture rather than agree that the state (Caesar) held authority over Christ’s Church.  They understood that there could only be one LORD.  Either Jesus Christ is LORD, or the state is.

During the first three hundred years of Church History, the state dominated the political, economic, and cultural environment.  However, in the early fourth century, an emperor arose who wed the state with the church, and the Holy Roman Empire was birthed.  Now, Rome had been the predominant world power for about four hundred years, but now ostensibly the state and Church would share power.

The result of this marriage was a thousand years of darkness where churchmen became rulers of men through their dark alliance with various governments, so that tyranny under the papal clerics was worse than any under secular governments. 

The American Founding Fathers understood that government and religion could not be wed.  They incorporated into the Constitution guarantees for the free exercise of religion, even while establishing secular government as the political and economic power.  Religion had no authority over the state, but neither could the state subsidize, limit, or show preference to religion. 

The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that position time and time again until Friday, May 29, 2020.  The decision of John Roberts to join with the liberal wing of the SCOTUS and allow the state of California to limit church attendance in effect, authorizes the state to define what does and does not constitute a church.  Something heretofore steadfastly opposed by SCOTUS.

What does it mean in practical terms?  Local municipalities will be energized to limit churches, they might even go so far as to determine that enough churches exist and prohibit the establishment of new ones.  In times past local entities have tried to define churches by the number of attendees and/or income.  One entity in a Mid-Western State went so far as to say that a body was not a church unless such and such percentage of the income was for pastoral support.  The SCOTUS rejected each and every attempt to define church by government entities UNTIL YESTERDAY.

Conservative churchmen have long felt that the time is rapidly approaching when Genuine Believers will be separated from the cultural christians which seem to make up a large portion of church memberships.   With the advent of radical feminism, the homosexual agenda, metooism, and now the pandemic fear; the stage is set for the state to define legitimate church activities by the degree with which the church agrees with and practices what the state promotes.  The rumblings can already be heard within the bowels of once staunch Biblical bodies, as more and more justification for acquiescence to state edicts are expounded from once sound pulpits across the land. 

That Believers in America have become soft, lazy, and ineffective ambassadors for Christ is almost without dispute.  Socially acceptable pastors, and deacons invited in the debauched settings without a word of rebuke being raised demonstrates the weakness of the so-called spiritual leaders of today.  Each time I consider the lives of those who stood for Biblical principles and the consequences they paid, I shudder to think in America today, the most celebrated of men are often pulpiteers who stress blending to the extent that they are almost spiritual Neville Chamberlains.  “It is only a little bit, this compromise we make,” they opine. 

Time and again, I return to the analogy of my Grandfather’s pasture gap which was sealed by five round poles resting in notches in the fence post.  At one point someone was in a hurry and failed to replace the top pole, well that wasn’t bad because there were still four and the cows were still contained.   Then one day a boy broke the current top pole while climbing over it.  Again, there remained three poles to restrain the cows from wandering from the pasture.  However, that very afternoon, one of my uncles ran over one of the poles and broke it.  Now, only two poles remained, and new poles needed to be cut because now the cows could just step across.  That is exactly what happened, the cows always thinking the grass was richer and greener outside the pasture, were soon in Grandmother’s garden.  When the boys returned with the poles, they had much, much bigger problems.  Winter’s food was being devoured by the cows which were simply doing what comes naturally to them.

In much the same way, government is naturally inclined toward control.  As long as government is contained and limited by the Constitution and those limits are supported by SCOTUS, people are mostly safe and prosperous.  But once those poles in the gap begin to come down, they are almost impossible to put back before irreparable damage is done.


Tuesday, April 07, 2020


On March 14, 1954 a force of 40,000 Vietnamese guerrillas began the attack on about 15,000 French troops at Dien Bien Phu.   The French assumed their superior armaments and artillery would demoralize and eventually destroy the attacking force.  However, they underestimated the effectiveness of guerrilla warfare.  On May 7, 1954 Ho Chi Minh’s troops over ran the French positions bringing about Vietnam’s independence from France, and ending a war which had turned the tide of public opinion in France against the war.

The American Army of the West was forced to contend with the unconventional warfare utilized by the Native American Indians whose attack and retreat methods coupled with their ability to launch deadly assaults from hiding created such unease that time and again the forward progress of the nation was stalled, and Eastern newspapers reflected a growing frustration with the military’s failure to affect a speedy victory over the disparate tribes.

Fidel Castro made guerrilla warfare so popular in the Western hemisphere, as he operated from remote mountains to eventually overthrow and depose Fulgencio Batista of Cuba in 1959, that revolutionaries sprang up in nearly every Central American Country.   The “Big Stick” diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt evolved to a “Walk Softly” approach as the Communist advanced inexorably forward under the leadership of Castro disciples like Che Guevara who became the spiritual leader of revolution in the Banana Republics, due in no small part to the fear of entanglement in more prolonged, costly, and painful guerrilla warfare.

Then the ominous and effective tactics of Ho Chi Minh, when once again pitted against overwhelming military power, led to the disenchantment of yet another nation as America lost her will to defend an embattled people.  The public clamoring for an end of American participation in the bloody conflict, led to an ignominious retreat from Saigon and the consignment of millions of Vietnamese to the brutal atrocities perpetrated by their new communist masters.

Ho Chi Minh, an autocratic dictator who ruled by force of arms,  was not constrained by the need for popular support.  Casualties, wrought in pursuit of the ultimate goal of victory, were little more than logistical inconveniences.  Hoards of sapper squads penetrating defenses in suicidal attacks did little to affect military victory, but the emotional effect they left on the fragile psyche of a soft American populace cannot be overstated.

Today, America again stands against multiple foes who are little influenced by public opinion or the need for popular approval.  While these enemies give little thought to affecting a military victory, they are purposeful and vicious in their attacks upon the soft underbelly of the collective American psyche.    Lacking the firm resolve with which to confront these enemies we might well return to the wavering and mushy “jello diplomacy” of the late 1970's & the Obama years.

Middle Eastern Terrorism, Chinese Expansionism, and Russian Militaristic Intrigue have been relegated to back burner priority as the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the nation’s once explosively dynamic economy.  And the battle raging across the fruited plain has devolved into a blame game, as leftists on the West Coast, Big Cities, and Upper East Coast, with a complicit national media, seem more intent on attempting to discredit a President, than in returning the country to her former prosperous, powerful, and influential position.

Never doubt that the guerrilla tactics of the main players have lessened, however.  China’s actions in the aftermath of the spread of the Huwan originated virus have exposed that countries leadership as ruthless and ambitious for world dominion, while Russia appears to be playing their typical waiting game as they foment confusion and probe for weaknesses which will allow them to gobble up yet another indefensible country.    The Middle East Terrorists, meanwhile, are experiencing fewer disposable monies directed toward terrorism because of the oil glut and decline in demand for oil.

Perhaps the most odious participants in the current drama are the Pelosi/Schumer liberals who are continually attempting to hijack every initiative by attaching onerous plan after onerous plan intended to build some measure of political capital, rather than affirm integrity and statesmanship.  They obfuscate to the degree that their tactics seem drawn from the Guerrilla Tactic Handbook.

What lies ahead should we not stand firm and establish policies which will deliver us from dependence upon these self-serving governments whose sole desire is to subjugate and/or destroy America, is a repetition of both real and contrived crises until the American people either capitulate, or rise up and strike out decisively against our foes.

I believe the greatest threat to world peace would be our unwillingness to seize this moment in history to re-establish our complete independence and become once again self-reliant.  I pray our politicians and the American Public grasp this moment.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Wake of Johnny Davis

It wuz the Sprang afore my eighth birthday that Jack come to live with us.  During them days thar war’ many Jacks traveling the southern route of Highway 80 through Meridian.  It was the time of the Great Depression and nobody seemed to thank much of a stranger showin up at our place thar’ along the Sowashee Creek.

 Now Pap didn't thank anythang jest happened.  He'as big believer that the Almighty was working thangs out to benefit them whut belonged to Him.  So, since him and Uncle Will wuz a'figuring on clearing that thar new ground south of the creek and since Jack war willing to work fer feed and found, it peered to him that this was the Almighty's way of saying to git to it.

 I‘as always jest a little scart’ of Jack. I thank maybe it was cause of that thar scar that started at the corner of his left eye, curved back in front of his ear and ended right on his adam's apple.  He said once that he'd got it from a gator down in Lou’siana.  Pap said the gator was mor'n likely a Cajun frog sticker.

 But, in spite of my fear, I’as drawn to him like a tack to a lodestone.  He had a queer way of looking at ya, almost like he’as pulling your leg.  And that twinkle in his eyes, devilment Pap called it, seemed to say, "Sump’um's ‘bout to happen."  Well I just couldn't get enough of him, er his stories either fer that matter.

 He told stories about every kind of thang imaginable, but most of them wuz about practical jokes.  Like the time he found a bunch of boys and girls skinny dipping in the creek over near Montgomery.  He took all their clothes and left town.  You found yourself wondering if such thangs really could happen.  Yet, there always seemed to be ‘nough truth in’em to whur they just might have.  But nuthun he ever told topped what actually happened one August Night.

 Johnny Davis had been coon hunting down on the Valley Road and he died when he fell out of a tree and plumb broke his neck.  Well, Pap took all us over to the Davis house whur the body was laid out in the parlor.  In them days people'ld come to the home whur the body was laid out and set up with the body all night, ever’ night until the funeral.

 As the evening wore on, the sweltering August heat influenced nearly ever manjack  to work his way out to the front porch and into the front yard with the hope of catching a good breeze. Jack said that he'd stay in the house with the body while er’body cooled off.

The 'squiters started to find the range as the even'n wore on and people started to head back inside.  Somebody asked whur Jack had got off to, but nobody thought much about it until one of the wimmin went back into the kitchen to fix some coffee.  Comst a few minutes a bunch of high pitched, hysterical screams seemed to rattle back and forth off the walls and throughout the rooms.  Er’body was tripping over er’body else as we all tried to crowd through the door to get to the kitchen. By the time we finally reached her, the screams had trailed off to a kind of pathetic wail.

She’as whiter‘n airey ghost and she jest kept a’wailing and a’pointing.  Soon’s we all turned towards the source o’ her distress, I felt my blood run cold, for thar’, propped up in the corner behind the door, with a fresh rolled cigarette stuck in his mouth, and his arms crossed just like the funeral home director had left him, was ol' Johnny Davis.

I don’t think I’m the only one who was scart’ nearly to death, cause someone ran back to the parlor to see if the casket was really empty.   To this day, I’ve not heard such screaming and carrying on. 

By the time Pap and the others finally got poor ol' Johnny back in his casket agin and everybody settled down, it was pretty late for us young'uns.  Pap said they hunted for Jack most of the night but didn't see hide nor hair of him.  He said it was just as well cause lynching fever’d already hit some of the men and they had plenty of ropes.

It seemed to me like most of Meridian was at the funeral.  Pap said that folks are just naturally curious about such strange happenings.  Uncle Will said that ol'  Johnny'd  probably thank Jack for causing such a turn out for his burying, if he could.  E'rybody kinda laughed and it seemed like the anger just disappeared.

After a spell people stopped talking about Johnny's wake.  E'rybody seemed to forget Jack ‘cept me and Pap.  But now and again something would happen to cause folks to think about ‘ol Johnny standing there in that corner with a cigarette in his mouth, and er’body'd laugh.

We didn't hear from Jack for a long time, but I knew we'd see him again.   An I for shore knowed I'd ner’ fergit the wake of Johnny Davis.

"The Wake of Johnny Davis" Copyright by Mike Rasberry, 1996. All rights reserved. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

I’ve Discovered I’m Lazy

I have come to the realization that I’ve grown very lazy in my dotage.  I really don’t want to do anything except sit around and drink coffee and tea.  Now, this might not be a new reality, but it certainly is a new recognition of that reality.

I watch my wife, Diane, up and out like a bee buzzing about doing this and that as if she simply cannot stop.  She has more energy in her right arm than I have in my entire body.  I get tired just watching her.   Oh, I still do stuff, but I just don’t want to any more.  I take great pleasure in the cows, horses, and dogs; but I no longer want to expend the effort to care for them.  I have a great sense of accomplishment when I complete a task, but I’m always wondering, “why bother?”   

I find great pleasure in writing, reading, and studying but my brain is saying that all that seems like a lot of work, and I’d rather be on a creek bank with a fishing pole, if I didn’t have to do what is necessary to make even that happen.  Yes, I’ve become very lazy.

Horseback riding is so relaxing and it allows me an opportunity to think without having much interruption; but catching the horse up, then saddling him sound like work.  And, now that the horses have all grown higher than my leg will reach, just mounting sounds like work.  Yes, there’s little doubt, I’ve become lazy.

I really think I could sit around in my sleeping clothes all day and just do nothing.  My clothes need be put away, but bending over to pull that drawer out is seemingly needless exertion.  The clothes are fine piled where they are, and at least I’ll know where they are the next time I decide to get dressed.  The odds are rising that I’m definitely lazy.

I am a little hungry.  Is there anyone who will bring my meal to me, perhaps a damp cloth so I can wipe my hands.  

I’m not certain there’s a cure for this ailment.  I’m not certain I want one. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Making Wise Decisions

Image result for God's wisdom graphicsI hope that you fully understand the import of James 1:5,6, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Sometimes, I forget the simple message that God will give me wisdom to make decisions, if I ask in genuine faith.   We, who are the Children of God, by faith in Jesus Christ; should not allow ourselves to become paralyzed through the inaction self-doubt brings. 

Such paralysis robs us of our initiative, our energy, and our creativity.   Prolonged periods of it might even adversely affect our physiology, making us ill.

We are told in Scripture that there is safety in a multitude of counselors, but sometimes we must act according to our own understanding of the situation.   At such times, it is comforting to repeat the passage above and ask God for guidance and wisdom in making the decisions facing us.

Someone remarked to me that it is well and good to do that if one is walking with God in the power of His Holy Spirit.  Well, let me tell you that I’m thankful that I don’t have to be perfect to ask God for wisdom.   What I must do is believe that He hears me, and that His Word is true.  Then, I must act on what I say I believe, knowing that He that is within me is greater than he that is in the world.   I’ve asked Him, by faith, believing, and He’s promised to guide me in such situations, so I act on the desire He places within my heart.  

I’m telling you that it is an energizing joy to ask, believe, and act on that which He leads me in.   The world, and carnal believers have problems with those of us who don’t spend our time halting between two opinions while awaiting a “sign.”   If you’ve honestly asked for wisdom in a matter, and you’ve done it believing that He hears and rewards those who faithfully seek Him; then trust Him to put into your heart and mind what he wants you to know.  

Just a brief warning.  He will never lead you to do anything which violates Scripture.   But He has given you a mind to understand and a heart to receive His instruction.   Trust Him and act on the desires He places within your heart and mind.  It will bring you great peace, and it will make you more productive in His service.

Monday, April 30, 2018

“Too Old, Too Broke, Too ...”

I’ve been told that I’m too old to start a new church.  I will be seventy-two in June.  I’ve also been told that I don’t have the financial wherewithal to start a new church.  BOTH STATEMENTS ARE TRUE in the natural world. 

I believe God has stirred my heart to take His Church into the market place during these latter days, so that the disinterested, those who fallen out of church, and those who have an animus toward His Church will be confronted with the opportunity to turn to Him by faith.  I believe God wants me to lead a Church which is “Unchained” to tradition, personal family relationships, social norms, or economic downturns.

I realize my limitations, but I also know that God is NOT limited.  For that reason, the name of the new church will be “FaithWay Baptist Church.”   Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Faith is substance, and it is the evidence of God’s Divine provision.

No one comes to the Father, except through the Son, and only then when drawn by the Holy Spirit; and that coming is based upon faith.  So, the way of Faith is the only way to God, and the way of Faith is the only way to achieve God’s call upon one’s life.

Therefore, FaithWay is descriptive of not only how we come to Christ, but of how we live out the life He calls us to.

Baptist denotes the primary doctrinal position of the church.  There are several non-negotiable positions the church will hold.   They will be spelled out for each individual who becomes a part as he/she goes through a New Member class and agrees to them before becoming a member of the Fellowship.

Church separates the Fellowship from other organizations.   We do not organize to rid the world of evil, sickness, pain, or poverty.  We organize to reflect the life of Jesus in our everyday interactions with people as we devote ourselves to His purpose of seeking and saving those who are lost.

FaithWay Baptist Church will soon begin holding Bible Studies centered around our Membership Covenant.  Those classes will teach everything one needs to know to become a full member.   Classes will probably be held in the homes of interested individuals. 

Ministry Opportunities Available:

A Leadership Team to formulate and carry out ministry objectives, while overseeing the responsibilities listed below.   Team Leaders and responsibilities will evolve and should not be considered rigid.   All team leaders will undergo an intensive training program concerning the Membership Covenant, and be able to lead cell and training groups in the future.  All team leaders must have an outside source of income because the Fellowship will not be able to sustain paid staff for a couple of years, because much of what is received will be re-invested in the facilities, missions, and outreach.

An individual who can develop and lead a vigorous and exciting musical worship program, that features a blending both contemporary and traditional music.

An Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor to handle extensive writing and publishing of training and outreach materials. 

An individual to help develop a budget and maintain financial records, and present monthly financial statements.

An individual whose primary responsibility is maintaining the property and grounds.  This would include recruiting people to assist.

An individual whose focus is on training and education.  Cell group leaders will answer to this individual.

An Associate Pastor, who will be trained and serve in all capacities, and function in the Pastor’s stead when occasions require it.

An Individual whose primary focus is missions and outreach.

Others as the need arrives.

Now A Personal Word.    I’ve been told that I need to find at least ten people who will give one thousand dollars, and who will be ready to do it again if I get into a bind.   Well, I’m always in a bind, and I don’t know many people who can just send me a thousand dollars at the drop of a hat.  I do know a few thousand people.  I’m asking them to prayerfully make a commitment to send a monthly donation for two years for our personal support.  Any amount will be appreciated and honored as a gift to God’s work.  Both Diane and I receive small Social Security Checks, but no where near enough to sustain us in this endeavor. 

Until the church is organized donations can be made to Faith-Walk Ministries International.  I do have a Pay Pal account, & I’m told funds can be deposited in it.