Not Believing

I just read John Chapter 5. Jesus was in the temple teaching. The people of Israel have heard and seen many of the miracles performed by Jesus. When He went to the temple, He healed a lame man, who picked up his bed was walking around. The religious leaders were fussing at him for carrying his bed on the Sabbath day. The man told them that the person who healed him told him to. He said Jesus and the leaders wanted to kill Him. But Jesus tried to explain to them the gospel. They wouldn’t hear it. How dare God heal on the Sabbath. Jesus told them the truth and they wouldn’t listen. It has always amazed me how people won’t hear the gospel. They will fight against it, even though it means their death. I use to be just like that. It isn’t a stretch to see. The bible says that the Goodness of God leads us to salvation. So, God leads us to salvation. If you hear the call, listen and follow. There is no guarantee that God will call again. God gives everyone an opportunity to come home. If you reject it, you put yourself at risk of hell. It is very simple. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and receive Jesus in you life. God didn’t make it complicated. Just ask.

Crain Blanchard.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. Most retailers make most of their income from sales on that day. As online shopping became popular there began Cyber Monday. It is a big deal for most retailers. They can make most of their income for the year. If sales go bad, some retailers don’t make it to January 1st. As I looked at the financial news, they estimated that the sales were down about 10 to 15%. It is understandable why people don’t have money. The unemployment rate is up again. In our area of the country, it is about 7% of the population or about 175,000 people. I worked in retail for many years. I worked in a big box store. Over the years I watched people come in and out. It is not strange at what I saw. 2 or 3 weeks before Thanksgiving, people began shopping for it. Generally people were in a good mood and smiled. After Thanksgiving, the mood of the people switched. In the 1st week after about half the people smiled. Into the 2nd week about 1/4th of the people smiled. In the last 2 weeks before Christmas, people were fussing and fighting with their family and other people shopping. In the last week before Christmas, people were downright nasty. They didn’t want anyone to say anything to them. All of this was about money or the lack thereof. When our kids were little, we bought gifts for all of them spending a lot of money. As they got older, my wife and I and the kids started drawing names out of a hat and buying gifts for that individual. Gift giving was started in honor of God’s gift to us, Jesus. It is not an end to itself. We have to keep in mind that there is only one reason for this season, God’s gift, Jesus.

Crain Blanchard.

Learning to Pray

When I began I would say all sorts of things. I’d speak in a deep voice or use my hands to express myself. I’d quote scripture because I thought God wanted to hear all that stuff. I laugh sometimes when I remember hearing preachers pray with a big blustery voice. As if God would be impressed with that. I found a secret that most people just pass by in the bible. Prayer is talking to God. I speak in English unless I am praying in the Spirit. I’ll talk about that later. If you speak French or German, use that language to speak to God. When I first seriously asked God to heal someone, all I said was Ok God do something. And guess what He did. You can talk to God about anything. It doesn’t have to be about something serious. I’d talk to God about going shopping with me. Or I’d ask Him what He wanted. Or how He feels today. Talking to God is getting to know Him. And that is what God has wanted all along. First you must believe that God is, and a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. When you believe that He is there and listening, talk to Him and ask Him about anything. Do not be surprised if he answers you. Most people hear God perfectly. They are always surprised that that was the voice of God. If you a waiting for the megaphones to boom in your ears, sorry. God doesn’t use a big voice or stick. He sometimes uses lightning to get my attention. His voice is a still small voice that comes from the depths of your heart. It is peaceable, not confusing, and guilt free. When I started God used the scriptures to talk to me. So I wouldn’t be confused. Begin to pray and let God answer you. Let me know what you hear.

Crain Blanchard.

What is Prayer?

There are many kinds of prayer. God wrote about it from Genesis to Revelations. It depends on the circumstance as to what kind of prayer to use to speak to God. As Paul worked his way through Asia Minor, He left Timothy to be the first pastor of Ephesus. Paul wrote back to Timothy to encourage and teach him. Paul said “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;” So there are supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks to God. This is talking to God. Paul was trying to get Timothy to pray this way and teach the church to do the same. There are different types for different situations. I ask God about scriptures all the time. One day I was helping a friend move and I stopped to talk to God. I was sitting at the dining room table by myself. Their girls came in and asked what I was doing. I told them I had asked God a question and was waiting for the answer. The next question was, you talk to God? I said yes and He answers. They looked at me like I came from Pluto. I told them that they hear from God also. I explained to them how and they began talking to God. Their lives turned around. God help them to accomplish what He had for them in life. Talking to God does make a big difference in anyone’s life. Begin to talk to God about anything. And watch what happens to you. Let me know what happens.

Crain Blanchard.

The Ministry of John the Baptist.

In the writings of the Jews, there is a story of the prophet Elijah. He was a big burly man from the country. He was not a highly educated or sophisticated priest. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Elijah was a Prophet of the Lord. In these writings, two specific articles of clothing are spoken of, Elijah’s camel hair prayer shawl and his leather girdle. When Elisha had taken Elijah’s place, these two pieces were given to him by God. After Elisha’s death, the priest brought the camel hair prayer shawl and the leather girdle into the temple to ask God who was the next prophet. The Lord told them to place the prayer shawl and girdle at the Altar of Incense until He would show them the next prophet. In the economy of Israel, a man could be a priest and a prophet at the same time.  On the other hand, a prophet didn’t necessarily have to be a priest. Just before Jesus was born, Mary’s cousin husband, Zacharias was performing his duties as a priest. He was burning incense before the Lord, in the Temple. The Archangel Gabriel appeared to him in the Holy of Holies, and said to him that Elizabeth, his wife, would have a boy. He, John, would be a Prophet of the Most High God. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair and a leather girdle about his loins: and his meat was locust and wild honey.” Matt.3:1-4. Now you know why Jesus said this of John the Baptist, “But I say unto you, that Elias(Elijah) is come already, and they knew him not.” Luke 17:12. John came before Jesus preaching repentance for sins, preparing the coming of Jesus in his ministry. Mark 1:1-4; Luke 3:1-6; John 1:23; Mal.3:1; Isa.40:3-5. ff

Crain Blanchard.

God’s Love for Mankind.

Everybody talks about love. There are many movies made about love, but not one of them actually knows what they are talking about. The drive for sex isn’t love. If people would know how they wreak their lives with unmarried sex, they would leave it alone. Love can be seen in this world. People don’t even know that when an act of kindness is done it is love. Showing gentleness toward a person is love. Being longsuffering toward an idiot is love. Giving a person a hand-up is love. Rejoicing with a person who has accomplish a goal is love. Weeping with a person who has suffered loss is love. Providing food, clothing or shelter for the poor is love. Doing for someone without expecting a return is love. Love doesn’t fail, it bears all things, believes for all things, hope for all things and endures all things. If you want a good example of love all you have to do is look at God. God loves man unconditionally. And man has done everything they could to destroy the love of God. Yet God still loves us. This is true love.
Crain Blanchard.

Your Secret Place.

Growing up I always had a secret place. We had cedar trees in our backyard. They were close to 100 feet tall. I would climb to the top of the tree and sit in the fork in the branches. It was above the roofline of our house. I could see all around. The breeze would blow, and I couldn’t hear anyone or any noises. The birds would fly by and chirp. It was just me and God. I climbed as often as I could. Because I wanted the peace and the presence of God. As I got older, I seemed to have lost what I had gained. I didn’t climb any more. I was too old or too big. After my parents died, we sold the property. And that was that. I missed the peace that I had found there. It wasn’t until I dedicated myself to God, that I found the peace again. My journey had been up and down with a wife and sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. But I still have a place where I can go to be alone with God and the peace is still there. I go there often. That place is my prayer closet. And I am there when I close my eyes and pray.
Crain Blanchard.

A free will offering.

When God gave Moses the 1st 5 books of The Bible, A mandatory sacrifice was written into the law. Everyone was required to give to this sacrifice during the year. It was for a sin Offering. Although this offering was mandatory God wanted people to give out of the abundance of their heart. So what God established was a free will offering. This was an offering that you could give at any time of the year. Just when you were moved by God and you felt that it was necessary to express Thanksgiving.  A free will offering is not given because you have to, it was given because you wanted to. This is the only offering where the priest could eat from. In psalms 100 and says to enter his gates with Thanksgiving into His courts with praise. This is how you to give a free will offering by wanting to give to God because he had blessed and kept you all year. And this is how God wants us to go to Him. This is our free will offering, A thankful heart.

Crain Blanchard 

Staying in an attitude of Prayer

Did you ever notice that the Apostle Paul begins and ends all of his letters with prayers? Why do you think that Paul prayed so much? Also the majority of his letters were written from prison. The roman emperor imprisoned him for 2 years. I guess he had more time to write letters in prison. The letters I am talking about is the New Testament. He stayed in an attitude of prayer. What does that mean? It means that Paul stayed in God’s presence. Did you know that his prayers are still in effect some 2000 years later? Prayers don’t end until God says so (Rev.5:8). I mean that all the prayers of my family for 100’s of years still affect me today. There are prayers for your wellbeing or health, and prayers for your prosperity. These prayers are automatic. They work by themselves. Then there are prayers that require our participation. We have to personally get involved with the prayer. These prayers are for salvation or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. All the prayers of the saints will stop at the end of the world. How can we get into an attitude of prayer? I have a series on prayer on my blog. Starting with “Developing a skill” unto the last part “Where to begin, Part 11”. If you follow along and ask God to show and help you, you can get into an attitude of prayer. I hope and pray that you reach that point and stay there. Fellowship with God is the reason we are on this earth. I have wanted this more than anything God could give me. And I still do. Give God the opportunity He deserves and let Him bless your life. Let me know what happens.

Crain Blanchard.