Monthly Archives: April 2014

Without Friday, There Is No Sunday

It seems that every time I have been alone this week, which hasn’t been often, I have had a lyric fest in my head…lyrics about the cross…I find myself singing in my imagination like Karen Harding, or Karen Peck….or some Karen that sings like Celine….the luring melody of the songs of the church.

“Then a stone moves, the Earth shakes….birds start singing,
the sun shines, the Earth warms…new life it’s bringing; a little boy stops crying, a mother is smiling, for death could not hold their King” rolling over and over in my busy brain.

“There was a cross made for the Son of God at Calvary.
Two pieces of rough timber on a hill.
Through His hands and through His feet,
He took the nails for you and me.
Angels watched as He died for the lost.
Though He could have walked away He chose the cross.”

I can hear the kids singing this in my head…without headphones, or a CD….just simply the recall of the memory, the staggering truth that is depicted here. For everything I claim to be, hope to be, every fiber of this ___ lbs. and 5 feet 2 inches is instantly “alive” when I hear these songs. Tears are automatic. It is honestly borderline embarrassing. Am I the only one? When the reality of my mortality is recognized I cry like a baby. It happens a lot….in restaurants, and the server always thinks that Steve and I are having a fight.

There is much that I could have discourse about that would address the atheistic movement in this country, the lack of attack that atheists have on Muslims, (they don’t want to be blown up and know that Christians will turn the other cheek)……the secularists movement…I could write all night and NOT begin to cover the major points of a bias against us, the Christian…the Christ follower, the believer, and ultimately they battle the cross, always our symbol, always their battle. For this is the week that we are mocked, told that our intelligence is low or we couldn’t believe this fiction, we are scoffed as hillbillies and a low class demographic. That’s okay. Let them say whatever they want to say. I know how this story ends, and I know that the end is near. 200 million people are suffering some sort of persecution world wide for their Christian stand as I write this. 200 million now….in 2014. I am not persecuted…not much anyway. Like most of you, my philosophy is entrenched in the DNA of my blood. I expect the return of Jesus. That is non-negotiable in my belief story line. He is coming, for us….the bride, the righteous. But let’s get back to Thursday, and Friday. I am operating under the assumption that we all know that this may or may not be the exact week of the crucifixion. However, I am operating under the assumption that this isn’t an argument.

This is the week that we are choosing to celebrate our Lord. The man that went to pray….as His sweat became as blood. He knew. He knew you, He knew me….He knew how rotten we are…He knew that we would be selfish, mean, spiteful, materialistic….He knew we would abandon our children, cheat on our wives/husbands, fall to perversion…He knew we would steal and murder…sometimes just for fun. He knew. He knew that we would beat our children, rape them, judge our neighbors, and yes….struggle with boundaries, judgement, and yes even food…and drink…and shopping…and JEALOUSY…and gossip and worshiping many things besides Him. He knew us intimately…..more intimately than our spouse knows us.

“He knew me…yet HE loved me….He whose glory makes the heaven shine…so unworthy…of such mercy….when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.”

He could have left the garden and snuck off to the country side…or the sea…He could have walked away. He could have refused to surrender those hands, the same hands that had created the heavens and earth…remember He told us that He could have called twelve legions of angels. He was not a hostage…he was willing. He could have left us empty and thirsty. He could have walked away….but, He didn’t. He provided us with the plan to live in His fullness, and die in His presence.

Truly, this is more than I can fathom, and I don’t claim to be a scholar. Actually, I make no claims to anything…except the “I know that I know” obvious. I am not positive what God will say to many of the difficult questions: Why do we have horrific heartbreak, why do babies die, why are good people sick and mean people well, why are the wicked prosperous and sometimes good people starve. Why, why, why?? Well I could handily quote a few scriptures right here….about how it “rains on the just and the unjust” and “it’s appointed to man once to die”….and on and on. But that is the small stuff. This trip to the cross is the big thing. That bloody body hanging on that cross provided the answers for our lives here, and there. Period. Done. He is the answer. Sick? Well? Rich? Poor? Eternity doesn’t give “get out of jail free” passes. Eternity knows no color, age, gender, income tax brackets, intelligence level….when the last breath is appointed, you’re finished. You will face the “forever” of your choices. Is he a Savior of all? You bet He is. Does He love all…you can bank on it. If you know Him, you are different…in a “hopeful” kind of way. If you don’t know Him, you’re eternally lost. That’s what the Bible says.

To quote my daughter Kelly, “When I was lying on a stretcher on I-85 and my middle child is being air lifted with massive blood loss, and a blood pressure of 60 over 30, and my husband who has a serious brain bleed and injury, is unrecognizable…and to the human eye, in that moment of carnage the odds look bad for his survival…when I was lying on my back, looking up into that North Carolina sky at two life flight helicopters with my baby and and the love of my life each in those helicopters, I know that something is SO wrong with my back, I don’t realize yet the severity of the break, but I am painfully aware that I can’t walk….the bus is destroyed, the sirens, ambulances and helicopters are deafening….to the ear….that Holy Ghost that has been my song for 20 years, that message of faith that we have spent countless hours talking about..suddenly became the comforter that assured me that “He” had this. If I never saw them living and breathing again….if this day changed my life forever, I would lean on the redemption of the cross….because that is our hope, our only hope.”

While the world is looking for answers, we know the road that leads to eternal life, while the world tells us we are insignificant, we know that we are royalty, while the weakest of us are sustained, the thirstiest are quenched, the wounded are healed, and the dirty are cleaned…..that Friday…that Friday when the earth shook, the darkness hovered….I am sure the hearts of those that loved Him wondered….would light ever return, would the world forever be black? But it wasn’t to be…the darkness turned to light, and then that curtain in the temple…torn, from top to bottom…forever to remind us that ALL of us are candidates, all of us.

When you truly comprehend the change “this” particular Friday brought to humanity, you may cry in a restaurant, or you may cry when you walk in the nursing home and hear that 89 year old, trembling…pushing out a whisper, that used to be a good low baritone, “On a hill, far away….stood an old rugged cross”……you may get those Holy Ghost bumps when you lower that friend into the ground after that long battle with lung cancer…….for the foundation of the Christian faith, this 2,000 year old story that can’t be muted or disputed, became our heritage, our DNA was birthed on that bloody cross, for there my soul found liberty. It was there that ALL hope was born. The cross is the birth place of hope. That dying man is actually just starting his life…when Jesus died, he paved the road for us…the road from here to there….from pain, disease, trauma, burns, abuse, cancer….that final road, that ALL of must walk, he paved it and made it easy….that Friday gave us eternity. Easy, simple, available, eternity. There are no pre-requisites. You don’t have to be “born” into it, or study for it. That Friday cemented John 11:26 “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” Yes, he made this my heritage, and my future. He made it the hope of generations that have been, and generations to come. For in fact on that Friday, Jesus changed the world forever. The enemies of the gospel have tried to get rid of the church for 2,000 years, and currently the enemy is raging…..but after that Friday, when the perfect lamb hang between heaven and earth, and was the sinless sacrifice for me, and you, we are here to stay. We will work until HE comes. We won’t die. We will believe, and go to church, and sing our songs, and worship HIM who loved us…we will read, study, and shape our lives for this gospel. We will let it breathe life into our hopeless mornings, speak encouragement to our sick bodies, reprove us when needed, and always guide us through a weary land that becomes less comfortable with “us” every day. We the radically saved, the “laying on of hands” crowd……the “pray for the lost in Wal-Mart” crowd….yea, we do that….but this “church” that tarries for now, will work until HE comes. We will work smarter, harder, and know that eternity is at stake for ALL that miss this message. Yes, that’s what we believe.

 

So as we celebrate Good Friday, let’s remember that our freedom is based on this day. It is like our spiritual 4th of July. Without Friday, there is no Sunday. So don’t despair, don’t despise the blood…don’t deny the truth of the work that was finished….and you non-believers, remember if you’re wrong and I am right…..if there is nothing to this cross story…..if we just die and that’s it. The end. I lose nothing. I lived a good moral life based on the principles of the Bible. However, if you are wrong…..if this story of a man that let them beat him to death, put spikes in him, spear his side…all the while with the ability to stop them…if this story that the atheists call “fairy tale” material is true….if you MUST believe to have eternal life and avoid a hell of torment, if this is true….this gospel that we STAND on and believe with every molecule in us……is true, you my friend….you will be sentenced to a devil’s torment in hell, forever if you reject Jesus. Time is short. He gave His life, no one took it, He redeemed us. WE are free!!! That hole in your soul can only be filled by Him. Let Him love you like only HE can. Let the cross be your new story, and your new glory!!!

Fridays are game changers, truly!!!!! HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Gospel Music: The REAL Answers

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Today has been a typical “busy” day, pretty much the norm.  My real estate goals are front and center, my family, friends bringing up a close second in the bid for my time…and poor Steve gets to chime in here and there…sometimes he texts me and says, “ANSWER the phone!!” Yes…he uses all caps just like that! The point being that I have a very busy life. I always have. I call myself the poor man’s google (I know Google is free…so I’m not sure why I call it poor man’s, LOL.) In the last 24 hours I have been asked exactly 29 questions (via social media) that related to music, 5 that related to real estate, and a couple that were so random I am not sure what they related to. I make an effort to answer questions that are rational and reasonable. And let me add that I have a lot of social media friends, real friends, that prayed my kids through a bus wreck, my sister through a horrible accident, lifted me up to God while I was having open heart surgery….and so many other things that it would take a week to list them! I LOVE you all!!! I AM convinced that social media is our new instrument for ministry and commerce (duh…that’s almost a lame statement…it’s actually a no-brainer!)…I have said all of that to say this. I am NOT in the music business anymore, even though I answer questions all day long, my phone rings incessantly for Crabb/Bowling tracks, sheet music, etc..:)  I don’t sell sound tracks. I don’t record songs. Don’t waste your pitches on me. Send them, to the kids:) But I just said I had 29 questions that related to music….and I have been gone for almost 7 years I think….so you ask: Kathy, what are you saying??? 🙂 Here it is. Since many want my thoughts, here they are. Free. No charge, no offering taken:)

WE assume the artists (soloist, groups, whatever the case may be) is a sold out Christian. Everything I am writing is with that assumption. Let’s get that straight first. This view point pertains to folks that walk their Christianity as well as talk it. These are questions that I have been asked over the years. If you are in a music ministry, hang on. This will get good. These are honest, nothing held back answers. Here goes.

Question: How did you get started?

We got started by working 300 dates a year. We worked for anything/everything and didn’t pretend to be stars when we didn’t have enough popularity to draw flies, much less a crowd. We worked radio like maniacs and we promoted a dozen songs to #1 in a short time. We had great songs, talent (and I disqualify myself from this, because I am a terrible singer, mediocre pianist) and an amazing work ethic. We sacrificed everything. I quit a great job, the kids gave up their youth, and we sold out. Period. We paid our bills, bought advertising instead of clothes, bought equipment instead of playing golf, promoted an annual event instead of going to Hawaii. And friends, this is a very abbreviated answer. Did we know that God said go? Yes. There was a divine moment….that “lightbulb” moment (I know that’s not a very spiritual expressions..ha) when I knew we could take the risk. I knew God was floating this boat. Anything short of a divine word from God? Forget it. You won’t make it. It’s too hard.

 

Question: I have a song that God gave me and I want to you to record it. Will you? I am a new songwriter and I had a dream that you all would record this song, will you?

Probably not. The Crabb Family recorded songs written by Gerald, and occasionally Aaron. We once recorded a Chris White song, but he didn’t pitch it. We knew it, liked it, asked to record it. We also cut a McGruder song, but once again he didn’t pitch it. However groups that are not known for writing their own songs would most likely listen and if they love it, you have a shot. Email or mail the demo to the artist. Make the best demo you can make. Use that little thing called “google” to find the artist’s address. You can do this. DO NOT knock on the bus and ask to come in and sing the song for them unless you know these folks well enough to have their cell number. If you are at a concert, they are changing clothes, making the dreaded set list, spanking their kids…checking their Facebook…you know all that important stuff:) Treat that “pre show” time like the 2 hours before you leave to go to work…..you know that busiest time of your day when you’re readying your household for the beginning of your day. Hmmmmm…..are you starting to understand? They love your baked goods, and more importantly they LOVE you, but they are working. Now…do they want to see friends? Of course they do. But they don’t want a songwriter that they have never met dragging a guitar, a notebook, and Aunt Velma up on that bus to sing their new song “God Is Nice” to them. Folks, it ain’t the time. 🙂 Remember the rule. If you don’t know their cell number or have never been to a restaurant with them, don’t knock on the bus door. If you truly are talented and make great demos…someone will  notice. This town is full of gifted writers that write all day long as their occupation. The key is to have common sense. That is helpful in getting the first open door.

 

Why did _______ quit? I miss _______? You all sounded better with them than you do now.

 

Are you kidding me?? We probably didn’t hire ____ thinking they were going to quit. How upset do you think that group is that ______quit, or worse yet had to be fired??If they got fired, believe me there was probably a great reason for it. TRUST these group owners/managers to know how to deal with moral failure. YES, it has to be dealt with. Do you honestly think that anyone is going to say, “Yes, that low life so and so had an affair” or “That spiritual Susie was not a sold out Christian…we got tired of dragging her out of a bar on Monday night!” The Christian thing to do is deal with the sin, adjust the business situation, and embarrass the gospel message as little as possible. Think how awful it is that this group owner is dealing with re-packaging all of that product, auditioning new people (it is so difficult to find and hire that right person) and recalibrating the storm of rumors that surround a personnel change. Lord people….I know plenty about this subject!!! When the Crabb Family quit, no one would believe that ALL was well, that there was not a BIG explosion between the kids. But guess what? There wasn’t. And guess what else? The road can kill you. Sometimes people want to go home. That’s it. Sometimes they need a “time out” because they have a bad marriage, or want to work in a church and see if that fulfills their calling. BUT WHATEVER the reason is, it’s truly none of our business unless we are paying their salary. NONE of our business!!! If we are supportive of THAT ministry…here’s what we do.

1) Support them financially, because personnel changes costs lots of money!!

2) Pray for the group that’s left behind to carry on, and pray for the departed. ALL of them need it.

3) Don’t, I repeat DON’T ask nosey rosey questions. Nobody wins and it makes you look bad.

4) Don’t tell them you liked them better with the former member. Do you want someone to tell you that your husband/wife had a hotter date before you came along? Seriously…this is how this feels. Give it a minute before you judge the outcome of the new member. Geez!!! 🙂

 

How do you believe? What is your doctrine?

We believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He has risen, the tomb is empty.

Doctrine? Jesus

Details? Bible

 

Can you tell me how to have a hit song?

 

Start by recording good songs. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Do the best record you can afford…THE best. Step two. Get it to radio. Make sure they pay attention. Market your music, yourself, your life, your world…. to them. Learn that “less is more”, and also learn to “go big or go home!” Ultimately these two phrases are the rules to live by when you are trying to “break” an artist. You must look successful (go big or go home) and make it look effortless (less is more) all…..at the same time. Oxymoron?:) Another small tidbit, it helps if you have talent. Truly, I have seen it happen without:) But I always say that talent is the small bonus, and the anointing is the BIG bonus.

Triple threat: Talent, great song, ANOINTIING! This my friend will work….unless you are lazy. If you are lazy. Stop reading now.

 

Can I get a cell number for _______?

No. I will give you their email address.

I heard you “had problems”? I’ve been praying for you.

Thanks for prayers, believe me I need them. I, like everyone have had my share of heart break. But make no mistake…there has not been a day in the last twenty something years that I have taken my eye off the ball. The day I left a secular job to devote myself to a ministry was the day the enemy declared war on my comings and goings, on my minutes, hours, and days….I know the devil hates me….I have been aware of that for a very long time. But, I am determined to run this race. Thanks for supporting me all of these years and covering me in prayer. If I don’t see you again on this earth, I will see your beautiful face over there. Thanks for being a friend.

 

How are Mike and Kelly doing?

They are doing great. They are walking, talking miracles…and people love seeing what God can do. They love hearing that it ain’t over until God says it’s over. Their best days are in front of them.

 

Are you the “real mother” of the Crabb kids?

They have been in my life for 23 years or so…I traveled every mile for the first ten years, spent 24/7 on the building and branding of the family business until they went their separate ways. We are still a family. We’re weird like that:) I spent my time, love, and energy on ALL of them. I don’t use the word “step” as a reference to a child unless forced to clarify and avoid being depicted as a liar. I love them all, and they love me. The end.

 

I bet Krystal can sing, can’t she?

 

Krystal is a very smart, beautiful, and talented girl. However, singing is not one of her talents. Sorry Krystal:) Another thing that I don’t do is encourage people in an area that they are destined to fail. Krystal is not going to sing and Kelly is not going to be a math teacher. 🙂

 

I want to start a ministry and buy a bus. Can you meet with me and give me some tips?

 

Aw Lawd have mercy!!!!! So you are saying you want to worry about making payroll, insurance, fuel, an occasional blow out, transmission replacement, ginormous bus payment, advertising, etc.. You want to miss weddings, birthdays, ballgames, school plays…possibly the birth of a child (maybe your own child) to get on a bus and sing? And remember, this is a bus you probably can’t afford, but can’t stand the bodily punishment of riding thousands of miles every week in a car…a bus that breaks down as regularly as a you cheat on your diet…a bus that is rolling all night long down an interstate with a semi 18 inches from your fluffy pillow…..a bus that has to have a CDL licensed driver that won’t drive for free (typically) and probably won’t drive cheap (why should he) and can’t DRIVE SLEEPY!! (Remind me to tell you the story about the driver I sent home from Tulsa on a Greyhound:) ) You want to take home on average less than your hired employees? Yep….this happens often. You want to put a second mortgage on your house to buy a bus….borrow from Uncle Jasper (the rich alzheimers uncle) every time you don’t make your budget, which may be 3 out of 4 weekends…depending on how much “love” is in those offerings. Because after all, you don’t have a booking agent yet. But if you could just get a booking agent, and a record company it would ALL happen. Yea boy….the good life would happen. I mean you could make Vestal and Howard proud, cause after all…EVERYONE says you are the new Goodmans. Right? Uhhhhh….wrong. It is the single hardest thing you will ever do to make this a profitable business. And we aren’t “in it” for the money….right??? Well try being “in it” if you bounce your payroll checks, don’t pay your bus payment, and do a “drive off” every time you fuel up. That Pilot will call the police, those bounced checks will get turned over to the authorities, and your bus will be repossessed. You won’t be “in” anything but the county jail. Seriously. We all MUST have money. Being broke and demonizing people who have abusiness plan will not make you more spiritual. Whoa……I am stepping all over toes. 🙂 It’s the truth anyway. It you don’t have a plan you will fail. Now if you are still reading and care enough to know, there is more to understand. Plans change…..sometimes daily. Plans must be fresh and a career is always a “moving target!!” So let’s summarize. Here is the criteria to quit your day job and buy a bus:

1) A divine order from God almighty

2) Talent

3) Amazing work ethic

4) Money to lose

 

If you are still interested, I will meet with you:) If God is truly in it, HE will provide. Where His hand leads, His provision follows. PERIOD! I will write more about this another time. I have MUCH to say.

 

I want to finish with this final question.

How does it feel to see what your family has done and know that God had a plan?

 

Words are lame sometimes. This is one of those times. I have been blessed to see them sing overlooking the city of Jerusalem, I witnessed them look into the eyes of 100,000 Muslims in Morocco and sing “I’d Rather Have Jesus”…….I cried as I watched Jason sing at the Billy Graham crusade in NYC in 2005….I’ve watched them win Dove awards countless times, perform on famous stages in front of famous people. But, I have also been there when Kelly loaded a 7 day old baby girl on a bus and put her in a bunk. She’s 14 and is still in a bunk. I’ve seen them cry tears of disappointment, and unload equipment in a thunderstorm. I have seen them so tired that they couldn’t concentrate. I am sure there are many days they wonder what life would have been without the music. For you see, these 5 kids that sing have never worked outside ministry…ever. They have paid EVERY house payment, car payment, electric bill…bought food clothes, tuition…and well, you understand my point. God has provided. They all won…in many ways. God has put ALL of them in places that only HE could place them. There is no doubt that it was HIS plan. I thank Him daily for a front row seat. And God, from His throne in Heaven looks down, sees the effort, the souls, the encouragement, the lost sleep, the human sacrifice that these kids signed up for many years ago. This “thing” we call ministry, this gypsy like existence that has very little glamour, this roller coaster financial gamble that no financial planner would sanction….this challenging life that we call gospel music that is little known in many states, but the rage in the buckle of the Bible belt….is truly like salve on the wounds of the wounded. This music convicts, reproves, and encourages.  These straight forward lyrics about the blood, the cross, redemption….are like pressing the “on” button for worship. Truly, this is the best music in the world. And, I am not ONE bit prejudiced:) Always know that this mature (old) woman loves ALL of you and appreciates every ticket you have ever purchased, every dollar you have spent at the product tables, every prayer you have prayed, and every hug you have given…for we ALL thank you and know that you  have been the game changer in a long and beautiful life. For without someone to sing to, these dreams wouldn’t have come true. Jesus gave us a reason to sing, you gave us a place to sing. Thank you!

 

AND there you have it…..stay tuned for part 2!! And now…back to selling real estate!!!! 🙂

 

Disclaimer: I have countless friends and family that sing and are household names in this business. My opinions are mine, and only mine:) However, I think some of what I have written will bring a smile. These road warriors are truly heroes, soldiers of the cross. To every Lily Isaacs, Scotty Inman, Karen Peck, Jeff Easter…. that’s riding a bus and sacrificing to keep this wonderful music alive, keep doing what you do. To all of the folks that work 40 and sing all weekend, your sacrifice is mind boggling. You will have many stars in your crown. AKA (blingy crown) :)What you do matters. You are making a difference, one song, one story at a time. I love all of you.

The World IS Watching

Did I Just SAY that???

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I have learned since writing this blog that Bob Coy actually pastored 20,000 people, the 14th largest church in the country,  and had a staff of nearly 1,000 per this blogger. http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=17102

Well it’s Monday:
A wife in Florida is devastated this morning. A pastor of 7,000 resigned yesterday due to moral failure. The church says,”Don’t talk about it!” Well let me say this: CNN is talking about it, the man on the bar stool in Miami is talking about it, so this elephant in the room is in our face. The days of sweeping moral failure under the rug are long gone. Granted there are crisis managers that can help, in the old days they could bury info….but in these times of phones, cameras, video cameras, surveillance devices in every room and hallway, we the church need to sanitize and pray those “secrets” into the pits of hell. We need…

View original post 1,007 more words

The World IS Watching

 

IMG_3616

I have learned since writing this blog that Bob Coy actually pastored 20,000 people, the 14th largest church in the country,  and had a staff of nearly 1,000 per this blogger. http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=17102

 

Well it’s Monday:
A wife in Florida is devastated this morning. A pastor of 7,000 resigned yesterday due to moral failure. The church says,”Don’t talk about it!” Well let me say this: CNN is talking about it, the man on the bar stool in Miami is talking about it, so this elephant in the room is in our face. The days of sweeping moral failure under the rug are long gone. Granted there are crisis managers that can help, in the old days they could bury info….but in these times of phones, cameras, video cameras, surveillance devices in every room and hallway, we the church need to sanitize and pray those “secrets” into the pits of hell. We need to relearn the word sanctification. ALL of us. Was it ego that he couldn’t handle? Was it a bad marriage? I don’t know. I know what it wasn’t. It wasn’t a man walking after God. It wasn’t a man that feared God. The beginning of wisdom is to fear God so the Bible says. This wasn’t that…wisdom. It was wreckless, irresponsible behavior, pure and simple. Not only is it sin, it’s downright stupid to think no one is watching.

This battle with the secularists is greatly hindered by headlines like this morning’s news. End times? Yes. Is the devil working over time? Yes. But that seems pretty lame for a man that has led tens of thousands to the Lord. “The devil made me do it” seems a tad bit comical for such a sad thing. How many will lose their fellowship with Christians, or possibly walk away from their life long commitment to their faith. These situations are fodder for the liberal media. And additionally, remember, this isn’t God’s fault. God didn’t do it. The word is still the word, and it’s still true. If there is any saving grace to this situation it’s this. At least he resigned. At least he came clean. Without repentance and confession there can’t be a true restoration. Maybe on this April Monday morning, this man who has planted, watered, loved, cried, spent his money and time to share Jesus,this intelligent, ambitious man who has helped thousands of foster care children….will start that long road that must be traveled to regain what can be hoped for. Will it ever be the same? No. But his soul is the concern, not his “brand.” His brand is forever tarnished. He can be forgiven in a millisecond…no problem. The problem is the black eye that will be a trophy to the atheists and secularists in this town. The erosion of confidence in our pulpits. That is what makes my heart cry.

Solution: Live right. If you are struggling, sit down. Take a break. We must remember that God sees our actions and our hearts. The world ONLY sees our actions. And sadly, most won’t remember much about the good deeds of the fallen….only that photo that ran over and over on the cable news outlets. I know most of you think I am harsh. Past failures are a testimony, they really are….the ex-drug addict that is clean and leading worship, the pastor that was in prison, found Jesus and now pastors a mega-church….but, a worship leader that’s “dealing” drugs and pretending to be clean? NO. A pastor that still murders? No. These scenarios are testimonies as long as they are stories about the past, not present. It’s not rocket science. These amazing stories build up our faith and show the lost what God can do…. as long as we are honest and don’t live in the hypocrisy. But if the failure is current, ongoing, and you are in ministry…..STOP. Don’t embarrass those that love you, don’t break God’s heart, and fix it before the PAIN of EXPOSURE is yours. Everyone is famous somewhere. You have no idea how famous a minister is until he falls. He becomes famous overnight!!!
If you are calling yourself a child of God, make HIM proud. And furthermore don’t start this “sin is sin” mess with me. Yes, sin is sin. But, a speeding ticket is NOT a moral sin unto God and your wife. An affair is. I rarely see a jail sentence for eating donuts. But I see them a lot for rape and murder. Have some common sense. All sin is wrong, but I’ve never seen a person miserable and unforgiving of their own sin when it was cheating on a test. A quick “God I am sorry”….zero from the teacher, a day of humiliation, and life moves on. However, I have seen suicidal actions from those that had embarrassed their family and those around them with reprehensible moral conduct. God is patient, but He wants honesty. God is love, but He wants sincerity. God is good, but hell is real.

Hey, I have made serious “lack of judgement” decisions in my life….everyone does when they’re young and misguided, or selfish, or whatever the case may be. If you work in a factory it’s not a headline to cheat on your spouse. If you pastor 7,000 people it is. When you place yourself in the seat of a spiritual leader, when God has TRUSTED you, when you weekly proclaim to thousands that you “have a word from God” you must wear your big boy underwear, say no to a little bit of that flesh and look the devil in the eye and say “No big boy”….”Greater is HE that’s in me”……is this difficult to understand? I suppose it is. I suppose most of you think this is too straightforward. But I firmly believe that when we tell ourselves the truth and those around us, we start the journey toward revival.

Let’s be accountable. Stop using the grace card. Grace is our most precious gift…it’s not a stomping ground. I am a sinner, saved by grace. So are you.
But Lord help us to ALL realize that God doesn’t play games. He knows the truth.
Dear Lord: I want to start with the broom in my own house. Let me make you proud not ashamed. For YOU have been so good to me!! I want to repay you with truth, and worship, and obedience. For I learned MANY years ago that obedience IS better than sacrifice.
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

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