Wow! Thank God for the Finnish!

Ken and I are into music. The song that leads in and out of the Don’t Blame Jesus episodes is actually a worship song called “King Jesus” that Ken wrote.

So anyway, Ken was recently me showing a Christian Eurotrance band called “G-Powered” that comes out of Finland. Just beautiful. “With You” by G-Powered

And while I was looking around on youtube for other Finnish Gospel music, I came across two songs by a band called “HB” that I had to share. Got to love some good Christian Finnish Metal

It amazes me that so many of “Christian” bands in the States seem to be saying less and less with their lyrics. I am glad to see that bands out there in other countries are proclaiming the good news boldly.

First HB video here is “It Is Time.” Challenging people to take advantage of the Gospel offered to them right now!

I have included the lyrics to this second song below. Wow!

HB “God Has All Glory”

When I was reborn, you gave your sign to me. The cross was the way and it says you’ll be with me… Day after day. I Heard you calling and felt that I had to seek you! And I finally realized. That your ways are so much higher than mine.

You know everything. Your wisdom and power exceeds all limits

God has all glory, power and honour! He came to save us. He gave His life for us! God has all glory, power and honour! He conquered death and brought us salvation.

You forgave all the things that were sin against You. It was so outstanding – my dark heart is so clean – You love me so! Now I want to serve you. Whatever You want, I will do. You have all the power thats why I can trust in You. Jesus. My Lord!

My life belongs to you, you promised to lead me and never leave me.

Richard

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Podcast 25 – Philemon

Ken and I finished this podcast this afternoon.  We both agree this is one of our favorite books.  What an excellent story of friendship and redemption.  I also love the book because it is HILARIOUS!  Hope that you enjoy!

Rich

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No Sliding Backwards!

I was messing around on youtube recently and came across some Christian Punk that I used to listen to my first semester in Bible College. The song is called “Sliding Backwards” by Pat Nobody. The album was called Nobody Special.

Pat Nobody, if I understand correctly, is Pat Taylor, the younger brother of Joey Taylor of Undercover. For those that don’t know Undercover is one of the favorite bands of Ken and I.

I used to be into RC car racing and I had cut vinyl graphics across of hood of one of my cars saying, “No Sliding Backwards!” which had to do with this song.

Anyway men, we want to be moving forward with our faith and not sliding backwards.

You might also want to check out some of the other songs by Pat Nobody, like Burnt, Aint That Hard and Get Off The Air.

Richard

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Hurts, Habits and Hang-Ups!

It seems like so many of friends are going through difficult times right now. Well, let me share something that helps me and others. There is a great book called “Life’s Healing Choices” by John Baker. I think that many of you know about the recovery ministry that I ran in Weed, California. The program that I ran there was a chapter of the ministry that John Baker started, called “Celebrate Recovery.”

Some of you know some of the issues that I am dealing with, having to deal with hurts, and forgiveness, and I found the sixth chapter in “Life’s Healing Choices” really helpful. I have given out lots of copies to friends and had lots of comments from people about how the book is helpful.

Why is it helpful? Mainly because it gives you verse after verse of Scripture on how to deal with your hurts, habits and hang-ups. It also has great testimonies, of people who God has put their lives back together.

I don’t know how to recommend this book highly enough.

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Welcome Friend — You know who you are.

A couple of days ago I was chatting with one of my friends on the phone. He just got a new computer and he is back on line now. This is all a big deal for him, as he is a grandfather and can use this to keep in touch with his daughter and grandkids.

This friend of mine and I go back about 4 and a half years (something like that). At that time I was an associate pastor at a small church in Northern California, and I had just started a new program called “Celebrate Recovery” at our church. You can check out the ministry at www.celebraterecovery.com.

I met him like a day or two after he had been released from prison. (I think you said that you had been inside for 17 years, with maybe 30 days out from time to time on parole.) He had been Special Forces in Viet Nam, then in a motorcycle gang and then in a notorious prison gang. I must admit he was the scariest man I ever met.

He had come to Christ inside prison, but was still super rough around the edges. Heck, today he is still a little rough around the edges, and we joke about it.

There were times as we were going through the program together that he would get unbelievably angry about certain people, and there was a real risk of violence. BUT, He also had a love and respect for God. Times when I had to stand up as tall as I could and confront him with the word of God to get him to calm down. If I had just tried to calm him down with my own opinion or philosophy, I really don’t believe for a second it would have worked, bad things would have happened and my friend would be back in prison.

He’ll tell everyone “Man, you know it is God, you and the program that has kept me out of prison.”

He gave me a lot of sleepless nights as I was praying to God about what to do. But also I learned more than I ever thought possible about the grace of God. It doesn’t matter what you have done, and it may have been a lot, but if you give it to God, He will forgive you. God’s grace is sufficient for all the sin of the world, if people will just respond to the forgiveness of His son, Jesus Christ.

We walked together to get through the program, all those Bible verses and letting those effect our lives.

I ended up having to move to another church in Oregon to continue ministry. While my friend stayed in that area and tried to disciple anyone that was willing.

So 4.5 years or so out of prison, and a year or so off parole. Instead of the 30 days that he would get, when he was running his life his own way, doing all the same things that got him into prison.

No, now he has found freedom in Christ that he never knew before. Now we talk about Jesus, fishing, and his family that he gets to know.

So my friend I am glad that I met you. You are a trophy of God’s grace. God is willing and can change the lives of anyone.

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Thank you and upcoming events.

Ken and I were just looking at the Google stats on this site. Thanks to all those who are coming and taking a look at www.dontblamesjesus.com. Lots from Washington State, but also from Texas, Ohio, South Carolina, Michigan and more. Thanks you Australians who are coming and checking out the site. Hopefully we are encouraging you.

Ken and I recorded a new podcast today, and hopefully it will be posted up soon.

Please take the time to check out the podcasts if you haven’t yet.

We were also talking today about posting up our first DBJ video. Hopefully it won’t be to far off.

Richard

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You want a good read?

It is not a new book. But a lot of guys don’t know about it. You can pick it up cheap used, or get the latest edition with a couple of new chapters.

The book is called “God’s Smuggler” by Brother Andrew. True story. He lived through WWII, later became part of the Dutch Special Forces, and eventually God gets a hold of his life and he is used to smuggle Bibles into Iron Curtain countries.

God's Smuggler Book Cover -- One of many covers
My mom read it to me in the 70s. I read it my son this last year. He loved it.

I wish that I could buy all my friends here copies.

I know that some of you are in used bookstores getting books all the time, check it out and then report here how you like it. I know that you will.

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Don’t Give Up Brothers!

Are you an ex-pastor, former pastor, former youth pastor or served God in some position previously and now you are out? Don’t give up!
A number of things happened just recently, that I want to encourage you with.
1. I just past the one year mark of when I was asked to resign my senior pastorate. A year ago January 13th was the last sermon that I preached. You know what I am still here. Still ministering. A couple of friends who are ex-military were telling me, with men who were soldiers, or ex-cops, and also ex-pastor, you might not be that thing anymore, but it can’t be taken out of you. You are still a pastor and minister unless you give that up and turn your back on it.
2. I just was on facebook a couple days again and came across another friend who went to Multnomah Bible College with me, who also went through the wringer with some church politics. In fact I hardly know of any godly men who are in the ministry who haven’t has some horribly painful experience of betrayal and being back stabbed. Many great pastors have to just shake off the dust and jump back in to ministry somewhere. Don’t judge Jesus on church politics.
3. In training today with work, there was a quote about winners have scars. If you have been scarred in the ministry, join the club. Jesus and Paul show us by example that is par for the course.
4. I will telling another friend from Bible college today, that ministry can be just incredibly painful, but there are times that totally make it worth it.
a. friends coming to Christ
b. when the prodigal comes home
c. when those struggling in their faith let you know that somehow you are making a difference in their lives.
I served as the youth pastor in a Korean Church for two years and that brought about a lot of healing from some of the garbage that I had gone through previously. I think that I might still be a healing cycle right now, but I want to thank all of you for allowing me to minister to you and encourage you with our blogs and podcasts.
I was thinking today again about ministry and maybe I ought to write a book on “ministry outside the box” just to encourage men everywhere that there are many ways to minister. Maybe it would help light a fire under guys, and they would be blown away by how God wants to use them.
There are all sorts of guys out there who need (and I mean NEED) the gospel, who may not have found their way into a church for decades. Maybe the frontlines of ministry are out there and not inside the church like the frontlines in a battle is not inside the Pentagon. Church has its place of encouragement and I try to make it every Sunday. Sometime ministry takes place in a phone call, at taco bell, or in a garage.
My favorite verse is John 10:10 and I am sure that you will hear me referring to it from time to time. It maybe my favorite when I was working for a ministry called “The National Youth Crisis Hot-Line 1-800-HIT-HOME”.
The verse says “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, I (Jesus) came that they may have life and that abundantly”
You don’t have to look too hard to see how the thief, the devil is out there in the midst of our culture, stealing, killing and destroying lives. But the mission of Jesus, of saving lives, still is going on. That is what I want to be about. Brothers, let’s continue to be part of that.
More than anything, I just want to be used by God. The place, title, whatever is just not that important.

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Feel like you are getting washed away in a flood?

Man, life throws stuff at you so fast. Anyone else struggling to keep you head above water?

Psalm 69:1-2 “Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.”

Psalm 69:13-15 “But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord,at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of your lovingkindness, Answer me with Your saving truth. Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink: May I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me nor the deep swallow me up, no the pit shut its mouth on me.”

David, the King, Shepherd and Hero wrote this. Man, if he can go through such struggles, I guess that it doesn’t surprise us to much that we go through struggles as well. But just as he expects God to pull him out and save him, we can be expectant for God to save us in our struggles as well. Not because we are so cool, but because of His lovingkindness toward us. He has an investment of time and energy in His relationship with you. He is not giving up on you, don’t give up on Him. Take time to have a talk with Him, like David did.

God bless,

Rich

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Asked to do another couple podcasts on Prophecy

The first one will have to do with the City of Tyre. Ezekiel is the book where you can find it. Probably part of the podcast next time. I have another out of Daniel ready to go as well, that goes along with Revelation.

Ken and I need to be doing more blogs to encourage you. Next blog I will be adding links to some of the best teaching that I have found on where we got our Bible and how we can trust it.

God bless you guys,

Rich

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