Jul 062014
 

Sunday July 6, 2014

Several weeks ago, I began to ponder the way we glibly say “God bless America.” I suddenly came aware of the fact that we are more blessed than we deserve. Isn’t that the way God does. But my mind was led to the reality that there must be something else, something better that we should pray. I say it is time for America to bless God, rather than the selfish and continual request for Him to bless us.

America has asked God to stay away from our children in school. We have told children and teachers that it is inappropriate to bring their religion into the classroom or even the lunchroom before the noon meal. We have ignored Him in the history classroom. We have ignored Him in the Social Studies classroom. We have ignored Him in the Health classroom. We have ignored Him quite notably in the science classroom. In the principal’s office and on the sports field, we have asked God to leave. Then we have the nerve to pray for God to bless America. I say it is time for America to bless God.

America has asked God to step aside while we kill thousands of unborn babies each year. We speak humanitarian reasons; we speak health reasons; we speak comfort and convenience. We speak anything and everything other than Godliness and holiness. Then we have the nerve to pray for God to bless America. I say it is time for America to bless God.

America has asked God to keep out of our homes. We do not concern ourselves with His word when we are dating. We don’t bother praying as we decide when and whom to marry. We don’t listen when we are raising our children. We throw away Biblical truth because we are too lazy and indifferent to apply it in our very own homes when there isn’t even anyone else looking. Then our marriages fail and we wonder why. Our children grow so indifferent to God that they are not even aware that we have left God out of the picture. There is not so much as a prayer before a meal. There is no reference to God unless we use Him as a threat against our children to make them fear. If anything, God is a crutch that we sit in a corner until we stumble and hurt our feet. Then we have the nerve to pray for God to bless America. I say it is time for America to bless God.

In our courtrooms, we shake our fists in defiance of the law of God. The very fact that it is in God’s law seems to make it necessary for out civil laws to discount it and deem it inappropriate for consideration. Then we have the nerve to pray for God to bless America. I say it is time for America to bless God.

Our government seems to have forgotten that it is God who gave us this place where we live. Somewhere in the process of administering the necessities of the people, they have determined that they are the owners of the people rather than the God who created us. They do not care that God has commanded. They believe that it is theirs to make all the rules and it is ours to blindly follow. They claim that now famous misunderstanding of the establishment clause of the United Constitution (the first amendment) claiming the founding document requires that there be no involvement of faith and government, especially when the elected officials want something outside of the written revelation of God. Then we have the nerve to pray for God to bless America. I say it is time for America to bless God.

Our military chaplains are given instruction to speak softly about Christ. Our soldiers are given instruction to keep their faith to themselves. We send them to fight for those who spit in the face of the one true and living God while proclaiming diversity with the same tongue that we praise the satanic regimes that do not know Him and shun any mention of His name. Then we have the nerve to pray for God to bless America. I say it is time for America to bless God.

Even our churches have forgotten God. His name has become simply the password for admission into the club with a cross on the top of the building. Godly truth is meaningless. The study of the Bible has been changed to studying about the Bible. Ministers are now hired hands rather than men called of God to be His ministers and church leaders. Times which are meant to be moments of corporate worship have been made into show times with a house full of audience members. We have failed to focus the attention of the worship on the audience of one. We want to feel the music. We want to enjoy the music. We want to perform the music. Much of the music is about men rather than God, and we still call it worship.  The preaching of the Word of God has become a brief moment to make sinners comfortable in their sin rather than experiencing the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We work hard so that there is no chance that anyone can be offended by God’s standards, and treat offence at the identifying of sin as the greatest sin of all. Many times, the group with church, or fellowship, or some other religious sounding word on the sign ignores God altogether. Then we have the nerve to pray for God to bless America. I say it is time for America to bless God.

America, God will be blessed when we read to His word – all of it.

America, God will be blessed when we preach His word – all of it.

America, God will be blessed when we live His word – all of it.

God will be blessed by America when He again becomes the center of our lives.

When our army fights for His cause, He will be blessed.

When our schools promote His greatness, He will be blessed.

When we stand for His people, He will be blessed.

When we oppose sin, He will be blessed.

When we care about lostness more than social ills, He will be blessed.

America, God will be blessed when we return to Him; all of us, to all of Him, for all of time.

God will be blessed when His people, “who are called by His name humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked way” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

And this preacher thinks that we should stop asking God to bless America. He has blessed us over and over again. We have turned on him. I say it is time for America to bless God.

See You SONday

Pastor Steve

(C) SF Gallagher 2014

May 242014
 

 

May 24, 2014

 

I am a veteran of the United States Navy. My service was pretty light in its content. Yes I did go to sea and yes the ship on which I served did have a major fire while I was onboard and yes there were men who died in service while serving at the same time on the same naval vessel. But I was never under fire. I am not sure that my life was ever actually in danger during my service.

CV64CapSo I got to come home and I now enjoy the accolades and benefits of being a veteran. I am proud that I can. But the holiday we recognize this time each year is not about me any more than it is about going to the lake and getting drunk. It is about men like me who went to places and did things that may call them to their death. More so, it is about men who both heard and answered that call. It is about men who stepped out of time and into eternity just at the right moment as to guarantee that those of us who did not take that step may continue to walk in the freedoms that remain for us. We bow on this day giving thanks to them and for their sacrifice. It is good that we remember.

But there is one man who cross3stepped out of eternity and into time. He did so to provide us a freedom that no other soldier could ever even offer. He offers eternal freedom. His name is Jesus. His sacrifice provides assurance of Heaven. Many knees have bowed and many tongues have confessed who He is and what He has done. Many have given thanks to Him for his sacrifice. Have you? It is even better that you remember this.

 

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11NKJV

See You SONday

Pastor Steve

Jan 092014
 

One last thing; while this appears to be directed at career professional ministers, it is not. The well said motto of many churches states “Every Member a Minister.” That means that everyone can do a part of this sharing Jesus thing. When everyone gets involved, the message will be stronger. If the church waits for the few staff members to do all the evangelism, precious little will be done.

 

So you, pew sitter, and you musician, and you usher and you committee member and you, whoever you are, go lead someone to Jesus. At least help them get a bit closer to Him. Then this wonderful world that we live in will be even better.

 

See You SONday

 

…To Be Continued – Or at least it should be – Will it?

© SF Gallagher 2008

Jan 072014
 

It is true that there is a great battle afoot. It is also true that there are many other topics that can be added to the list above. Marriages and families are treated as a throw away commodities or even less. Children are being tossed around as play toys and bargaining tools in these breakups. Generational conquest of the welfare system is becoming a full-time occupation for irresponsible yet able-bodied people who can, but will not work. By others, earning money is deemed more important than raising children. The government is too large and the courts are too powerful. In spite of all that I still repeat, “This world is a wonderful place.”

 

It is also true that the Church must stand and address these situations. We can not overlook that responsibility. And in many ways, churches are addressing these issues. We have social concern committees. We cooperate with law enforcement to catch the bad guys. We provide educational opportunities for addicts and families in trouble. We picket, petition, and pray. While all this is well and good, we have often used them to replace something much more important. If there must be a choice made between any of these things and the thing which I will mention in a moment, we must forgo all the other in order that we may truly address the most important situation.

 

Please remember that the church has the answer to all these problems. Sexuality can once again become a thing of beauty and purity rather than a debased and perverted thing. Drugs can be tools in the physician’s hands rather than a toy in the addict’s hands. The family can be strong and in the home rather than at the gang house. Children can be safe on the playgrounds and in the schools. Babies can be born and raised by their mommies and daddies. Welfare rolls can be shortened. The government and the courts can be brought under control. And the guy in the local paper’s headline will be there for something good rather than an act of unfaithfulness or violence. At least that is the way we dreamers see it.

 

The church has a vital roll here. We have a very large responsibility, because only the Church of the living God has the one answer that will fix all the problems. You see, one thing – and only one thing – will affect each and every one of our social concerns like nothing else can, and the church has the key to that file cabinet.

 

First though, we must stop expecting the baby not to cry. That is what babies do. We have to quit thinking that the dogs won’t bark. That is what they do. Druggies do drugs. Abortionists kill babies. And you can fill in a myriad of others. We need to stop expecting the lost to behave and believe as though they were redeemed. We need to accept them as they are so we can have an inroad to lead them to Jesus rather than building a wall to keep them away.

 

These things tend to bring up a rise of righteous indignation. But we have to learn to see as Jesus sees. He looks beyond the behavior, because He knows that lost people act like lost people. Isn’t that the point? We are so busy trying to remedy the bodies and behaviors of these lost folks, that we have forgotten that our primary task is not social, it is spiritual. The bottom line is that people need Jesus – FIRST! If these lost people have a real experience with the living Savior, their lives and behaviors will be changed and the social ills of our societies will be radically different.

 

If we righteously indignant preachers would quit trying so hard to be transformers of human behavior and get determined to be tellers of the grace of God, lost people would get saved. If lost people get saved, God the Holy Sprit moves in and there is then a new base line for behavior and the greatest transformer of that behavior is now on board. What a difference that would make.

 

Do you want to see the local abortuary closed? Tell the people running the place about Jesus. It is the best shot you have. A saved doctor in the business of healing is better any day than a lost one still plying his murderous trade. Do you want to see the gang-ridden streets cleaned up? Well, don’t go get your gun. That will just put a lost man in Hell. Rather, arm yourself with the sword of the Spirit of the risen Lord and go tell them about Jesus. A saved gang member is better than a dead lost one any day.

 

This preacher truly believes that the answer to the social concerns that are before this culture is not that we become pro-active against all the ills of the activities of lost people. I am not suggesting that we ignore them either. But, if our energies and resources limit us to only one course of action, the best course is that we tell them about Jesus. Jesus will do a much better job of changing those behaviors than anything of which we are capable.

 

What a tragic thing it is to lose our battle in such a useless manner. Satan cannot be allowed to change the battlefield. He must be stopped by any means necessary. There is no time to spare. He lies to others in order to perpetuate his business and line his pockets and he should be exposed for the kind of indecent and horrible being he is. We who are ministers and professors of the grace of Jesus Christ which alone can make a heart clean must do all in our power to stand for God and be His spokesman in this generation of lost people. It is time for the church of the living and true God to stand tall and call from the mountains the truth that will bring these horrible situations to an end. We must call them what they are. We must profess a remedy for the horror. We must tell the truth so loudly and plainly that the lies will have no chance of being heard. We must fight the battle. We must remember that the real need this world has is Jesus. He alone can change the heart and that will take care of the rest.

 

So please, remember that in a world where many things need repair, we must never let the broken shutter or falling fence to take away from the real need that will repair the whole. That fix is Jesus. In His name there will be total transformation. With Him men are new creations. With Him a new man will emerge. With Him eternity will matter more than today. With Him money will mean missions. Without Him nothing will change. So remember, oh please remember, we can let nothing take the place of telling people about Jesus.

 

This world IS a wonderful place. God made it and He is active in it. The more people who recognize God as the supreme everything to this world, the better it will become. Please help this world become an even better place. Go tell someone about Jesus now.

 

See You SONday

 

…To Be Continued

© SF Gallagher 2008

Jan 052014
 

Under violent threats and murderous activities, gangs terrorize whole communities with their violence. Murder for the ability to claim a piece of a citizen’s property as their turf is a regular occurrence. Extortion is a way of life for these human leeches. They mark their bodies and boldly wear their colors. Schools are not safe because of them. Streets are a literal war zone when they are around. An axe handle to the head or a bullet in the gut is their response to a passing glance at the spectacle they have made of themselves.

 

These termites infest their way into anything they can. They would rather steal my car or my other possessions than find a legitimate way to interact with society and earn their own. On top of this, most are collecting public welfare to support their drugs and violence further.

 

Gang members spray their monikers all over anything to which paint will stick and expect that the rest of the community will cower to their claim that this is their place. This in turn costs businesses and communities their hard earned funds to abate their fantasy riddled delusion that they have any real respect from anyone. Since nothing they do accomplishes real respect from anyone that matters, they resort to extortion and tribute gathering coupled with cowardly violence to gain the appearance that in their worthless activities there is anything that merits any consideration of value.

 

These prey on our children and recruit them right from under our collective noses. With promises of anything they can steal and acceptance of all sorts of deviant behaviors, they entice children under the age of ten to commit their murders and terrorist acts. Then, when they have a grip on the child, they promise fates worse than death if they try to get out or reveal any information to anyone outside the “Family” – the gang.

 

What a tragic thing it is to lose our children, property and possessions in such a useless manner. Gangs can not be allowed to reign with their violence and hatred. They must be stopped by any means necessary. There is no time to spare. Those lying to others to perpetuate their business and line their pockets should be exposed for the kind of indecent and horrible people they are. We who are ministers and professors of the grace of Jesus Christ which alone can make a heart clean must do all in our power to stand for God and be His spokesman in this generation of gang infested people. It is time for the church of the living and true God to stand tall and call from the mountains the truth that will bring this horrible situation to an end. We must call it what it is. We must profess a remedy for the horror. We must tell the truth so loudly and plainly that the lies will have no chance of being heard. We must fight the battle.

 

See You SONday

 

…To Be Continued

© SF Gallagher 2008

Jan 032014
 

Drugs are a major blight on this society. Illicit transactions take place thousands of times daily in probably every city and town in the United States. Children are being given these doses often before they even learn to read (and often, as a result never learn). From a young age, addictions are formed and lives are ruined before they really begin.

 

Illegal drugs are not the only abused drugs. Prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications are also abused. There are improper addictions to these as well. While it must be noted that there are proper uses of these medications, often they are used in a manner just as dangerous and damaging as street drugs. Drugs are used as a substitute for learning to deal with the pressures of life. Drugs are used to escape unwanted realities. Drugs are used for a recreational “feel good” or an aide for boldness to do something – usually something clearly against God.

 

Regular houses in regular neighborhoods are turned into unsafe laboratories which explode and kill. Before they explode innumerable doses of mind and life-altering garbage is shoveled right out the front door. Young women turn to prostitution to support their addiction. Children are being used as delivery trucks for the dealers. Jails and courtrooms are jammed with the residue of this modern plague. Millions of dollars are spent on interdiction and surveillance attempting to stop the trafficking. Law enforcement officials are killed. Families are broken. Children are thrown away. Public safety is eroded. It has to stop.

 

Those who push such as this must be put in a position of accountability for their wrong. They must face the judge and hear the sentence pronounced – which may bring us to another issue to address. Here the church must stand. This ungodly activity has to be exposed. We have no choice except to expose the lie that there is anything of worth or value in the illicit use of drugs. It must be called sin, and the wrath of God must be pronounced.

 

There is no time to spare. Those lying to others to perpetuate their business and line their pockets should be exposed for the kind of indecent and horrible people they are. We who are ministers and professors of the grace of Jesus Christ which alone can make a heart clean must do all in our power to stand for God and be His spokesman in this generation of drug addicted people. It is time for the church of the living and true God to stand tall and call from the mountains the truth that will bring this horrible situation to an end. We must call it what it is. We must profess a remedy for the horror. We must tell the truth so loudly and plainly that the lies will have no chance of being heard. We must fight the battle.

 

See You SONday

 

…To Be Continued

© SF Gallagher 2008

Dec 312013
 

There are other battles too. Battles that need the same attention and concern necessary to stop abortion. Children are becoming sexually active and having babies outside of the promises of a husband and wife, with commitment to one another for life and to the idea that the child will be a high priority in their lives. These children are growing up with no real parenting and it all begins with the lies that there actually is such a thing as “Safe Sex” when all who teach this must know that there is no sex between a man and a woman that is sure not to produce a baby without surgical intervention.

 

Sexuality is too common on the big and the little screen. Our girls are being taught to dress and make themselves up like playthings. Our boys are learning that our girls are nothing more than sexual playthings and to use them all they can, then throw them away when they are done. All of this with no regard for the future well being of this now woman and her children. They see it in their magazines, on their televisions and movies screens and on their computer screens. It is too easy for them be exposed to sexuality, and this society is paying the price. There are women who also perpetrate this abhorrent behavior. They are no longer always the used party in this sordid scenario.

 

With sexuality being the mechanism that God has chosen to use in order to further His created humanity, care must be given to every aspect of its expression. This inappropriate flaunting has caused us to consider that it is not important to be careful about sex. This lack of care has led to the rest of the equation (the family and parenting, etc.) to carry the same lack of commitment and concern. Our entire family structure is falling apart, and it can be traced to children’s sexuality.

 

Sexuality must be taken under control. Those lying to others to perpetuate their business and line their pockets should be exposed for the kind of indecent and horrible people they are. We who are ministers and professors of the grace of Jesus Christ which alone can make a heart clean must do all in our power to stand for God and be His spokesman in this generation of sexually perverse people. It is time for the church of the living and true God to stand tall and call from the mountains the truth that will bring this horrible situation to an end. We must call it what it is. We must profess a remedy for the horror. We must tell the truth so loudly and plainly that the lies will have no chance of being heard. We must fight the battle.

 

See You SONday

 

…To Be Continued

© SF Gallagher 2008

Dec 292013
 

This world is a wonderful place. At least that is the way we dreamers see it. We tend to see things as they should be or could be. We also tend to want to fight everyone and everything that would seem to impair all that God intends or that we could conceive in our own version of the “Christian Utopia” to be. There can also be quite an argument made that those of whom God has required their professional lives in His service are more quick to action on these matters.

 

It is true that there are too many perversions of God’s perfect direction for the lives of His creation. There, too, are many who simply throw away His rules and live by their own desires and dreams. Pastors, and other professional ministers, who live daily in the reality that we are held to a higher standard of character and behavior, must need something to show our aggression against. So on to righteous indignation we go with the assurance that any who would disagree with our point of view must be a heathen infidel and have no place in the kingdom of God.

 

We do fight a lot of battles, many of them for righteous sounding causes. We fight against abortion with high sounding sermons and marches and rallies and petitions and all the rest. A lot of effort goes into wiping out this mass murder of babies.

 

It is truly a terrible thing that babies are murdered with so little thought to the moral aspect of the whole situation. Birth control is a poor reason to take a life. Personal convenience is a poor reason to take a life. The choice for gender, the harvesting of tissues for whatever purpose, the hiding of one’s infidelity or promiscuity and even the lack of integrity to care for a child with a disease or malformation are all poor excuses for taking the life of a baby. This writer would go even so far as to say that incest and rape still are no reason to take the life of a baby – the punishment should be on the perpetrator of that vile act. Murder is murder no matter what issues one tries to put on it.

 

Abortion should be stopped! Those lying to others to perpetuate their business and line their pockets should be exposed for the kind of indecent and horrible people they are. We who are ministers and professors of the grace of Jesus Christ which alone can make a heart clean must do all in our power to stand for God and be His spokesman in this generation of murderers who will murder our babies. It is time for the church of the living and true God to stand tall and call from the mountains the truth that will bring this horrible situation to an end. We must call it what it is. We must profess a remedy for the horror. We must tell the truth so loudly and plainly that the lies will have no chance of being heard. We must fight the battle.

 

See You SONday

 

…To Be Continued

© SF Gallagher 2008

Dec 252013
 

Here is the last installment from a little Christmas program I have written. These poetic monologues are dispersed among songs and other symbols of the Christmas Season. I hope these little writings will help turn your attention to my Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Did You See Him – Person Today

 

Person Today

 

Did you see Him? I did

It was just yesterday

The pantry was empty

Buy groceries? No way!

 

But I heard the door bell

And right there on the mat

Was a basket of food

Now I might just get fat

 

I remember my friend

All racked up in pain

He was just barely conscious

In a hospital lain

 

The doctors all gave up

But we never would

And we gave it to Him

That was all that we could

 

But in just a while

He was out of his bed

And we all knew Jesus

Removed all our dread

 

I could tell you more stories

Of how I’ve seen Him

Of hope and forgiveness

I know I’ve seen Him

 

His face I can’t picture

I don’t mean it that way

But I really know

That I’ve seen Him today

 

 

 

In all that He’s made

In all that He does

I see His great glory

I know Him because

 

I’ve seen Him in my life

I’ve seen Him in you

Every day he makes known

His presence, it’s true

 

I’ve told you I’ve seen Him

In every which way

Now all I want to know is

Have you seen Him today?

 

See You SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

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Dec 242013
 

This is the fifth and next to last piece from a little Christmas program I have written. These poetic monologues are dispersed among songs and other symbols of the Christmas Season. I hope these little writings will help turn your attention to my Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Did You See Him – Town Person

 

Town Person

 

Did you see Him? I did.

The town was a sight

There was something quite different

That Bethlehem night

 

To register their own

There were many come ‘round

With taxes and letters

No solitude found

 

Except in the bustle

One single event

Received all attention

Beyond any hint

 

That one spot was different

There out in that stall

Behind the old Inn

Not in a great hall

 

A new king was born

A baby was there

Few understood

All I did was stare

 

At the setting serene

At His parents so poor

She could not bear a king

Yet it was king she bore

 

 

Oh I saw him there

Swaddled up on the hay

But I wonder my friend

Do you see Him today?

 

See You SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

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Dec 222013
 

This is the fourth piece from a little Christmas program I have written. These poetic monologues are dispersed among songs and other symbols of the Christmas Season. I hope these little writings will help turn your attention to my Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Did You See Him – The Innkeeper

 

The Innkeeper

 

Did you see Him? I did

But at first I felt bad

I’d have given them more

But that was all I had

 

I had no more room

So many were there

In our tiny town

It didn’t seem fair

 

I never expected

When I built that stall

God’s plan was to use it

When on us He’d call

 

I’d learned from my youth

That Messiah was near

But I never imagined

He would choose to come here

 

Behind my small inn

And in just one night

The whole world would change

My faith became sight

 

What I saw was amazing

God’s miraculous way

So let me just ask

Do you see Him today?

 

 

See You SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

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Dec 202013
 

This is the third spoken piece from a little Christmas program I have written. These poetic monologues are dispersed among songs and other symbols of the Christmas Season. I hope these little writings will help turn your attention to my Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Did You See Him – Shepherd

 

Shepherd

 

Did you see Him? I did

But first there was fright

The angels appeared

In the sky, in the night

 

But they told us “Fear not”

And announced Jesus’ birth

Then in unified chorus

They proclaimed His worth

 

They told us about

Just what there would be

And told us to go

The Savior to see

 

It was just so amazing

We could not keep quiet

So we told everyone

What we had seen that night

 

Back out in the fields

My mind far away

Makes me ask you a question

Do you see Him today?

 

 

See You SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

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Dec 172013
 

Here is the second piece from a little Christmas program I have written. These poetic monologues are dispersed among songs and other symbols of the Christmas Season. I hope these little writings will help turn your attention to my Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Did You See Him – Joseph

 

Joseph

 

Did you see Him? I did

I was by Mary’s side

From before He was born

Until His eyes opened wide

 

My first thoughts, to leave her

My fear almost won

But the Lord then assured me

That this was God’s Son

 

We took the long journey

To Bethlehem far

Not knowing that others

Were watching a star

                          

So many had gathered

As the law had required

Her time was so close

And she was so tired

 

The man said “No room”

With concern on his face

But out in his stable

He’d make her a place

 

I was not quite sure

That this could be right

But no more could I do

We were too tired to fight

 

So there we both stayed

And then the child came

I looked at God’s Son

I gave Jesus His name

 

 

Yes, I saw God’s Son

Asleep on the Hay

But for you there’s a question

Do you see Him today?

 

 

See You SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

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Dec 152013
 

My next few posts will be pieces from a little Christmas program I have written. These poetic monologues are dispersed among songs and other symbols of the Christmas Season. I hope these little writings will help turn your attention to my Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Did You See Him – Mary

 

Mary

 

Did you see Him? I did.

On that lonely Bethlehem night

In a stable, I held Him

Knowing all would be right

 

Just a short time before

The angel told me

His name would be Jesus

And I prayed “Let it be” (Luke 1:38)

 

Oh the wonder I felt

All the prophecies clear

Said that He would be great

There was peace, there was fear

 

As I looked at my child

As I held God’s own Son

As I looked at His face

I knew He was the One

 

Yes I did see Him

In that place far away

But there is yet a question

Do you see Him today?

 

See You SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

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Nov 232013
 

Working in the church should not be a depressant. I am not saying that it is, just that it should not be.

This thought comes to me while thinking about many men who leave their post with hurt and disillusion. Others who endure with a happy face painted on so that no one sees their pain because they have no place to go and they have to feed their families. There are statisticians who have studied and enumerated this reality. They would leave if they could. Some do anyway.

But the fact is that serving God within the context of His church should be a joyous thing. If it is not, there is certainly something wrong. This wrong may be on the side of the minister or on the side of those to whom he ministers. It may be a combination of both. But, it is very rarely a matter of external circumstances. It seems that most church folks are observant of such things from outside and keep them at bay.

Still, many pastors go to their pulpits with drudgery, hoping that something will be heard that is not going to be used in the next week as a whipping stick. They are times that he runs from the passage that he knows God is leading him to preach because he knows it will be used to bring him down further.  He goes to his office and shrinks at the ringing phone because he sadly knows that there are those who do not carry joy in their voices. His ears perk when the door is opened because there is a darkness that some bring to the room and he really needs something other than that this Monday morning.

Down deep, he knows that there are people who really love him, and these are people who attend his church. He is at ease with them even though he knows that the jealous others will make something of it. He prays that they would stand up with him (not just for him) and show enough interest to help cast a vision that will turn this social club into a church.

There are many in the church who think that everything is a matter of money (many in government think so as well – we know better). There are many who think that stuff is what matters. Style is raised as being more important than most other things. The music of worship becomes the impetus for decline or control wars. And there is a dry baptistery that sees water maybe one time every other year.

Depression sets in on the one man that should never experience it, or so it seems. This depression is rarely diagnosed clinically because of the stigma involved. Help is also seldom sought because this man of God still has the hope inside that only one possessed by the Holy Spirit can have. In the quiet places that no one else sees he finally releases, and the hurt overwhelms if only for that moment.

This should never be the case, but it is. There really is not much that anyone can do directly for that pastor. Most of the time, he will never let on just how much this sorrow and pain is tearing him up inside, even if specifically asked. He has to be strong all the time or he will lose what little momentum he thinks he has gained. He has a “don’t quit” attitude that pushes him to a stubbornness which usually never pays off.

The encouragement that I want to share here is really less about that man who is hurting and more about the church in which he serves. You see, when the light is on him, every flaw he has is on open display. Believe me; he already knows which things are not right. You don’t need to point them out. So take the light off him. He doesn’t want the spot light anyway.  It will allow him to have a flaw or two which are not displayed before the whole world. Give that man of God some dignity, the same dignity you want to enjoy in spite of your weak places.

Instead, help him put the light on things that God has called the congregation to do; The things God has shown him (which is absolutely not the repairing of everything you consider to be flawed in the pastor). After all, he may never get that thing corrected which you consider to be wrong. And that thing that you are so pointedly attempting to change in him may not actually be a problem after all. So, get off his back and get on his side. His hidden depression that is hindering the work will begin to heal, and people will come to Christ. Sounds like a prescription for good in both the pastor and the congregation.

See You SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

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Nov 102013
 

Confronting sin does not necessarily have to include the naming that sin. I do not find it in scripture that we are to go about naming people’s sins and calling them out and shaming them into the grace which God offers. We don’t need to categorize sin. We do not need to catalogue sin. In fact, we don’t even have to chastise sin. Rather than telling people all about their particular sins as if we had none ourselves, let’s tell them about Jesus!

There are too many people condemning others. They smile at the chance to do so. If there is a chance to point their pharisaical accusing crooked little fingers at another person, they rejoice at the opportunity. They are always looking for sin. They are always looking for wrong. They always want to accuse. They want to reject. They want to glorify themselves. They really know nothing about grace. They don’t tell them about Jesus.

I am certainly no advocate of ignoring sin either. There are those who go to this extreme as well. The absence of sin is also the absence of the need for salvation and God’s word is clear that all have sinned. That is a settled issue. It is an issue that bears preaching and telling. But it is not an issue that requires an attack. Rather, it is an issue that requires a Savior. We are, with our message, to convince men of sin. But to attack their personal sins seems to be an abuse of that mandate, because we are to convince, we are not to convict. That is the task of the Holy Spirit. Without some discussion of sin, we can’t tell them about Jesus.

So, for us, we tell everyone about the grace of God that cleanses all sin. When we sinners respond to His grace, God will cleanse them all (1 John 1:9). My view … Just tell everyone about Jesus’ love and sacrifice for every sinner. We can point out the fact that men are sinners without tearing them to shreds over a particular sin. If they are to be broken, leave that to God. Our part of the message is about healing, forgiving, cleansing and salvation. After all we are proclaiming grace – aren’t we?  Let’s tell them about Jesus!

See You SONday

© 2103 SF Gallagher

Nov 022013
 

November 2, 2013

I penned the following words for the monthly newsletter of Trinity Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA when I was her pastor in January of 2006. At that time, I worked as a truck driver in the Mojave Desert and through Los Angeles to make ends meet. I trust that it will make sense today.

“He never wanted it to be what it had become.”

     These words came to my mind as I traveled north on Highway 14 yesterday. I am not sure what they were to become, but there was such an urgency about them in my mind that, after I fought the urge for about ten minutes, I stopped all 18 of my wheels and proceeded to write them on the notepad I keep for just such an occasion.

     So there I was, in the middle of the desert north of Mojave, California, intending to be about a half minute or so, when I smelled something. It was not a bad smell, but it was familiar and I knew what it was immediately. Looking out of my windshield, there it was billowing steam from under the hood. A coolant line had sprung a fairly small leak, just a quarter inch or so, but under the immense pressure of the 190 degree water and antifreeze, it was making quite a show. By the time it was done, we had replaced five gallons of fluids, and my half minute turned into five and one half hours waiting on the mechanic to come with a new piece of hose.

   Now there is a point to my story. You see, if God had not stopped me long enough to jot a quick note to myself, or if I had chosen to use my micro cassette recorder rather than my pen to record this phrase which was meaningless at the moment, I might not have even noticed the leak until the engine had overheated and possibly been seriously damaged. The steam would have passed unnoticed right under my truck at 55 MPH. But God got my attention in an abnormal way and got me to do something I would not normally do. It was then that the situation became clear.

     So, is God trying to get your attention and cause you to see what might not be clear any other way? Are you feeling an urgency to do something you might not ordinarily do and you cannot get that thing off your mind? Are you afraid of that strange thing because it is so unusual?

     As you start your new year, decide to do the unusual. Shake something up and see what happens when things are not as normal as you would like. God may have something in that out of place event that you need to see.

Well, that was my story. I sure am glad I stopped that January day in 2006. Not only do I have a nice story to tell, but I also did not get stuck in the desert needing a tow truck. Thus we have another story of God taking care of simple and perhaps mundane things. Things like this just make me more resolved to go to church every single time.

By the way. I have never used this phrase for anything significant in and of itself. I am pretty sure that those inspired (not to Biblical proportions) word really don’t mean anything at all. But if I am ever in the desert, especially while driving an 18 wheeler, and those words come to mind, I am going to stop and sniff around a bit. Might just find something too.

See You SONday

(c) 2013 SF Gallagher

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Oct 202013
 

I have read some  posts recently on social media lamenting changes in the style or the look of a place of worship and the congregation that meets in that place. On one hand, it gives me some satisfaction to know that God used me there in a manner that pleased his people. I am humbled that some would like it the way it was a few years ago when I was there.

On the other hand, there is some regret that forces me to pause and wonder what it would be like if those things had never changed. I have to wonder if there would even Cattepillarbe a work for Christ among those people and in that place if those who stayed behind when God moved me had simply stayed the way I left them. What if they just stayed the same? What if nothing ever changed in or with the church? There is a hopeless fear that surrounds that thought. There is also a grace-filled hope that answers that fear.

In Acts chapter 2 the Holy Spirit of God descended on what would become the church of Jesus Christ. His power gave them the boldness and the power to speak the wonderful works of God. They were more concerned about the message than the language or the enumeration or the display of spiritual gifts. What if nothing had changed? In Acts chapter 4, Peter and John stopped their daily religious custom to give Jesus’ love to a man lame from birth. They also stood up to the religious elite who were set on allowing nothing to be different in the house of God and they prevailed. What if nothing had changed?  In Acts chapter 5, Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead when they lied to God. What if nothing had changed?  They were all in one accord and in one place. What if nothing had changed? Paul and Silas were jailed for preaching the simple gospel. What if nothing had changed? Fervent prayer from faithful followers of Christ freed them. What if nothing had changed? All of the faithful apostles were martyred for their tenacious preaching. Many others obtained the same fate. The gospel spread and those who saw it had an awe of what God was doing, even if they did not accept Christ. What if nothing had changed?

In the book of Acts, the greatest news is that 3,000, then butterflies5,000, then many then multitudes of both men and women came to Christ. They continued in the apostles’ doctrine and prayer. They did not let a disagreement stop them from sharing Christ, though sometimes they went in different directions to do so. They went with plenty of supplies and with no purse or even a clean shirt.  What if nothing had changed?

Today, the church seems interested in things that matter little. Comfort and personal taste seem more important than souls. Spiritual displays are deemed more important than sharing Christ. Flash more than faithfulness and clocks more than Christ are the evident order of things in what we call the church today. What if nothing changes? 

    1 Corinthians 15:50-53

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (NKJV)

 

©2013 SF Gallagher

Oct 182013
 

There is a lot of talk today about standing against the devil. Much of it is pure foolishness that the devil himself has helped us with so we will take out eyes off the prize and focus on him. We chant formulas of words and mimic motions many of which have their roots in pagan and spiritually dark places. Here’s my take on it. It might be simplistic, but it really is simple.

I cannot win and need not fight. His is the power of fear which perfect love casts out. His is a worldly power which is smaller than the power which created the world and resides in my heart. His is the power of lies from which the Truth has set me free. His is a stolen power, but Christ is the “highest Ruler with authority over every other power” (Col 2:10 TLB). My Savior’s blood surrounds me. The thief thinks he can take my life, but only my Lord has that power, and even if the thief is allowed to violently take physical life from me, I will serve Christ. I will turn my back both on and to the one who only comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). I will keep my face to the One who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). I will come to my Father through Him and no other will remove my attention from the “Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16). The “King of Kings and the Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16) will be in front of me and I will trust that He will also have my back – so to speak. Now, ain’t that simple? Okay, not always – but it works.

 

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 NKJV

© 2013 SF Gallagher

 

 

 

Oct 152013
 

They could not help but speak the things they had seen and heard. Here’s the problem.

Acts 4:19-20
19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
NKJV

Right here is the issue that keeps us from being able to speak boldly and pointedly the glorious message of Christ. We have not seen the greatness of the glorious message.

We have seen what the church or the denomination can do. We have seen what talented musicians can do. We have seen what gifted speakers can do. But, we have yet to see what God can do.

We have God in our box – usually shapedbox-shaped-chuch like a church house – and we refuse to imagine that He is or could be anything that is not in that box. And that box was built by folks that we revere so highly that we have never questioned that box. We have never ventured to even peek over the lip of that box to see what God is doing. And since it really takes none or very little of God’s power to meet our tainted expectations, we never see much of God going beyond our expectations. Further, our expectations are so low that they could all be easily met, and people might not see God while it is being done.

Peter and John could not help but speak in the name of Jesus because Jesus had radically changed their lives. They were jailed and threatened for speaking. They were expressly forbidden to speak of Jesus and the resurrection. They stood their ground. Yet in verse 29, they were still asking for boldness to speak His word. They weren’t sure they had spoken enough.

What is keeping us from speaking? Maybe we truly need to see and hear God’s power first hand.

 See you SONday

© 2013 SF Gallagher

Oct 142013
 

The following is a re-print from Flame Of Fire Ministry – Malawi. Since I wrote most of it and it refers to a mission which I will be participating in, I thought I should put it here. Please read it and consider helping this great work.

100_1982Quote

Flame of Fire Ministry will be taking a team to Malawi and Zambia in February 2014.  The excitement is growing as God opens the doors and the plan comes together.  FOFM will conduct three evangelism conferences, and the team will be traveling into remote villages to preach and to show the Jesus film to thousands, many who have never heard the “Good News” of Jesus.  You, the friends of this ministry, are very important to the success of this mission!
We need to purchase airline tickets the 1st week of November, which represents roughly half of the total cost we will encounter. We will also need to purchase Bibles and materials, van and boat transportation, travel insurance, lodging, also pay IMAG0625interpreters, food, transportation, materials, and meals for pastors and church leaders for 3 evangelism conferences in Malawi and Zambia, bottled water, fuel, Jesus film equipment, and other items. As you can see, this is a huge undertaking financially, but it is worth every dollar spent because they all translate into souls saved.
We are asking for your support for this ongoing work. We assume that you are already praying; please don’t stop. But will you also consider a monetary gift? And remember that this is an ongoing work which you may want to support on a regular basis. It would be a wonderful thing to never have to ask for you to help financially. We frankly do not like this part of the ministry. But we know that it is not just those who go that are blessed. Perhaps the greatest blessing on this side of the journey is for those who send. For those to whom we are sent, the blessing is Heaven.
SyntekExifImageTitle    Please contact us as soon as possible and let us know how you can help. All the gifts will add up, but we need to see several thousand dollars for this project by the end of this month. Checks can be sent or we can provide you with a PayPal account. You can PM here or Email to FOFM-Malawi(at)2BChurch.org – of course the (at) is @ and the capital letters do not matter. It is written that way to avoid that wretched spam monster – this is the internet you know.
www.evangelistcraighobbs.org is another source for information. We will get you specifics when you contact us. Your help really will matter. Please let us hear from you soon. And please pass this information to others who may be willing to participate.
End Quote

See You SONday

Oct 132013
 

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

Praying

 

Don’t put “Nothing” where “Everything” belongs.

Or vice versa.

See you SONday

(c) 2013 SF Gallagher

Oct 102013
 

I was told about one of my men who was invited to join a small group at church. This group would have met at the same time this man of God was standing his post as the doorman, the greeter, at the front door of the church auditorium. Every person, young or old, healthy or handicapped, everyone was greeted by a smile and open doors. This man opened those doors.

 I was told that when asked to join this small group, his answer was that God gave him that door. Way to go! I beamed with pride for him as his faith was growing into service. I saw it as the beginning of another life restored.

I wrote the above note to myself in October. By May, he had given up his door. And he didn’t go to a class when he did. I am sad because I wanted to write about his success. But he got a job and he got his disability check, and was able to move to his own house with his son. He got to a point where he was not absolutely forced to trust God for the next everything. He gave the door back to God and now no one stands there where God placed him.

 I am sad because he has become another in a long line of people whose lives are moving away from God. He once was so pleased to be a simple doorkeeper with a big smile on his face and an outstretched hand. Now, he is hardly ever seen at the church house. He is missed too.

See You SONday

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord  God is a sun and shield; The Lord  will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. O Lord  of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You! (Psalm 84:10-12 NKJV)

(c) 2013 SF Gallagher