As a teenager, I worked part-time in my dad’s company, Builder’s Hardware, in Tampa, Florida. Fascinated by the forklift, I watched with envy as my older brothers and other employees unloaded pallets of hardware from trucks and hoisted them up on shelves in the warehouse. Sadly, I was never legally old enough to operate the machine. Instead, I moved freight around the floor manually with a pallet jack. I always dreamed of one day driving the forklift. Well, two days after graduating from high school, I began traveling with an evangelist in full-time ministry, so I never got the chance. However, God gave me what I call a “forklift ministry”—lifting people up with singing, preaching, praying and writing.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “You can’t have a testimony without a test.” If anyone ever embodied that truth it was Job. He lost everything but his faith. His life was shaken to the core, but he didn't waver despite his extreme suffering. Job was a wealthy, influential man who had “a very great household” and was “the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3, KJV). His long lifespan (140 years plus—Job 42:16) suggests that he lived during the Patriarchal Period in the book of Genesis. The fact that he wasn’t mentioned in connection with Israel and he offered his own sacrifices indicates that he probably predated Abraham and the Levitical priesthood.Read More
Life is full of peaks and valleys, ups and downs, highs and lows. While we’d love to live on the mountaintop all the time, that’s not reality. You will face some dark valleys in life, so don’t be surprised or despair. We all experience disappointments, failure, betrayal, conflict, broken relationships, financial stress and the loss of loved ones. That’s not negativism—that’s realism! We all deal with negative thoughts and emotions, but we must keep walking by faith, not by our feelings. Emotions fluctuate like a Yo-Yo, but our devotion must remain constant.
An altar is a place where God alters our lives. Altars are mentioned over 400 times in the Bible indicating their prominent role in lives of God’s people. Most Old Testament characters built or used them to offer animal sacrifices as atonements for sin and to worship Yahweh—the one, true God. In ancient times, an altar was usually a simple stone structure on which religious rites were performed. Pagans sacrificed at shrines often called “high places” (elevated or hilltop sites) to please and appease their false gods or idols. In Christian churches, an altar is a place to stand or kneel before the Lord to worship or pray. Salvation often occurs on an initial trip to an altar, but the altar should be used regularly thereafter. Done properly, the altar experience brings us and keeps us close to God. An altar is not limited to a fixed location inside a church building; it can be anywhere we contact heaven and make a spiritual connection with our Creator.
Imagine you’re on death row. Your only crime is preaching the Gospel. Your execution looms over you like an ominous cloud. You are confined to a dingy, dark, dank dungeon. To make matters worse, there is no plumbing in your cell, no toothpaste, no deodorant, no air conditioning, no Wi-Fi. You can only bathe occasionally. You look bad, you feel bad, you smell bad. How can you have peace in this miserable situation? Oh, and by the way, you can request three things. What would you ask for?Read More