To Walk Circumspectly.

When we began with the Lord, we were very careful about what we did. One, we did not want God to take away His redemption. But secondly, we want to please God for what He did in our lives, picking us up from the dirt and cleaning us off. As we progressed with the Lord, there is a tendency to make our own decisions and not follow God. As believers we have to make our own decisions because of free will. But when we came to the Lord, we gave our lives to Christ. As the scripture says we are crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). Which means that we are dead to this world and alive to Christ. Do you cheer as much for Christ as your favorite football team? Are you excited about going to church? Do your neighbors see Jesus in you? Do you love your neighbors as much as yourself? If you have answered no to these questions, then you need to reevaluate your relationship with Jesus. Our walk with Jesus means that we are committed to the cause of Christ. God gave us everything,  when He sent Jesus to die for our sins. But what glorifies God is our free will offering of ourselves. This does not mean that we do not live in this world. But what it does mean is that we change our world into what God has called us to be. People are looking for what is real. This means they want to see a God that is alive and real. God works through us. So, if the world cannot see Jesus in us, there is something wrong in our lives. This is what it means to walk circumspectly.

Ephesians 5:15.16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

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 just finished a series on prayer on my blog. Starting with “What is prayer” unto the last part “Staying in an attitude of Prayer.”. 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.

Waging the war.

My second son join the Army National Guard, after the events of September 11, 2001. He wanted to serve his country. He was deployed to Iraq in October 2004. His brigade spent a month in Kuwait acclimating to the desert and the heat. He said that all the soldiers were talking about how well they would do in battle. They spoke like that because they had never tasted the sting of battle. Veteran soldiers know the taste of battle. It is never the same for anyone. Some are successful and some aren’t. Each person deals with it differently. Waging a war demands commitment. Each person must be wholehearted in the battle. It is because lives depend on it. Spiritual battles aren’t different from physical ones. People’s lives are at stake. Though we don’t fight against flesh and blood, it has eternal consequences. The Roman soldier trained for 5 years before entering battle. The American soldier trains for 1 year before entering battle. The Christian soldier goes into battle every time they learn a new scripture. We don’t fight in our own strength, we go in God’s power. The first time I went into battle, all I said was God do something and God did. As we have prepared all along the way, everything falls into place as we believe and trust God.    

Luke 14:31 “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.”

2 Corinthians 10:3 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

I Timothy 1:18 “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:”

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Crain Blanchard.

Standing in the gap.

God had blessed Abraham and his nephew Lot. Their flocks were getting big and competing for the grassland. Abraham told Lot they had to part company, and he could choose any place to go first. Lot choose the valley of Sodom and Gomora. Those two cities were evil and wicked. Jesus and two angels came to visit Abraham to tell him that God was going to destroy them. Abraham began to intercede for them. He asked if God would find 50 righteous people would He spare the cities. God said He would. Then he asked if God would find 10 righteous people would He spare the cities. God said He would. What Abraham was doing was standing in the gap for them. Those people in Sodom and Gomora couldn’t ask God for mercy, but Abraham could. The problem was that there weren’t 10 righteous people in Sodom or Gomora. The cities were destroyed. But God honored Abraham’s prayer. There are times when God can’t find someone to stand in the gap and people are destroyed. We are the watchman on the wall. You will find yourself asking God to stop something. If you are persistent, God may change His mind. Because we have a relationship with God, we have confidence to approach the throne. And if we have faith and staying power, God will move on our behalf.  

1 Corinthians 14:8 “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

Ezekiel 3:17-21 “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand…”

Ezekiel 22:29-31 “…30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none…”

Crain Blanchard.

Defending the faith.

The bible says that we are to sanctify God in our hearts and have an answer to everyone that ask about the hope we have in our hearts. On this earth it is our job to do the will of God. What is the will of God? Jesus said to preach the gospel, heal the sick, deliver the bound, and to show that the kingdom of God has come. He also said start in Jerusalem and then go to the world. It seems that defending the faith is going out and doing the will of the Father. This means outside of the church building. I saw the power of God in people before I came to God. They showed me that He was real and alive in this world. Where are you going? And what are you going to do? I have seen so many twists and turns in human behavior. People seems to go with the flow. Defending the Faith isn’t a small thing. Everything you believe will come into question. You have to believe for the right reasons, or you could lose everything. It is never about you and it is always about God. Your power to defend the faith comes from God. Trusting and relying on God is the only option there is. I’m talking as a soldier of Christ. I have served on the front lines of battle for many years. I know what it requires. It requires total commitment to God.  

2 Timothy 2:1-5 “… 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier…”

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Crain Blanchard.

Looking through your Eyes.

Life is difficult to start with. When you walk with Jesus, your life seems to get harder. But that really isn’t the case. Its not that your life is difficult. It is that your life now has opposition. God called us to go out into the world and preach the gospel. We look and see the opposition and declare that we can’t do it. And we get discouraged. When God called us to believe in HIs son Jesus, He knew our strengths and weaknesses. So God provided a way for us, even though it may seem difficult. The faith part is stepping out to do what God has called us to do. Then when we do step out, we don’t see the opposition as a threat. The threat becomes just an annoyance. And we wonder why we were stopped by that annoyance. How can this be? It is very simple, God goes before us and makes the way smooth. The scripture says if God be for you, who can be against you. Which means that no one can stop God for any reason. People have tried to stop God and literally He has destroyed them. As a child of God, He has given us gifts that will with the using make us stronger every day. It is up to us to use our gifts, like they were intended to be used for the kingdom of God. That is the faith part of our lives. Our lives and our eyesight change into the eyes and hands of God. We can see clearly about what is important in our lives and in the lives of others. So I say use your faith and change your eyesight. God is waiting for us to use of faith and walk all the way home to heaven.

Crain Blanchard.

Putting on the armor of God.

Paul always talk about things that the people of the day could understand. The Romans ruled the known world in Paul’s day. A Roman soldier was trained for 5 years before he was assigned to any battle. The soldier had armor given him to protect him in the battle. Paul wrote about being soldiers in Christ army. He talked about putting on the armor of God, your loins gird with the truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit. The sword of the spirit is the Word of God. I have become very adept with the sword of the spirit. I can use it at will. I have learn the word and have memorized much of it. I have been trained in warfare. I have fought in many battles. I have won most of them. When I started God asked me if I would die for him. I didn’t want to die, but I wanted what God wanted. I made my decision and became a warrior. That was 40 years ago. I had to learn to use the armor of God. It took training. Sometimes I didn’t want to train, but God said now is the time and today is the day of salvation. I’ll tell you the biggest battle I was in. I was in a small church and God separated me from it. God wanted to get to the pastor. God sent the morning of the battle a minister to the pastor’s house. God wanted this pastor to repent of his sins.  I went to my parent’s house. No one was home. As I stood in the kitchen a cold feeling came upon me. I felt strange and began to pray. I felt the blood drain from my face and arms. They turned an ashen grey. I was praying intensely as I shook my arms to get the blood back into them.  I was afraid and prayed by myself for 3 hours. Then I went to a friend’ house because I was afraid. Praying all the time. As I enter her home, she became afraid. She called pastors and preachers who didn’t understand. I was standing against death itself. He was coming for the pastor to take him. After 7 hours of pray, the pastor repented and death left me. God wanted me to stand not knowing what was going on. Even though I was afraid, I wasn’t going to let some stupid devil destroy people in my life. God knew I would stand. Put on the armor of God, stand up and be counted.

Ephesians 6:10-18 “…… 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places…..”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Crain Blanchard.

Exercising the gift of faith.

I grew up being taught there was a God in heaven. This God was all knowing and powerful. I began to see Him work in people on this earth. I saw miracles happen and wondered. When I was eight years old, I was watching TV on a Saturday afternoon. I was watching Billy Graham. Thousands of people had gathered to listen to this man. I listened and then prayed the prayer at the end of the service. Since that day I have witnessed God protect, heal, delivered and save my family and friends. My faith has grown since I was 8 years old. God showed me how to use my faith in any situation. I am as the bible says to give a response to anyone who ask about God. I took my faith and began to work it. I prayed for headaches, to start my car, bees that attacked, for money, for favor, for a broken finger and every silly little thing that I could think about. God answered my prayers and build my faith. My faith became strong enough to ask for bigger things. The first one was to straighten someone’s back and He did. I prayed to cast out devils and to heal the sick. Went to a local hospital to pray for a friend. He was in a ward. So they asked me to pray for this man. I thought he was sleeping. I began to pray and the family began to scream and holler. The man woke up. Then I found out we were in the Terminal Ward of the hospital. The man was in a coma, dying. Faith will take you from here to home. You have to use it and exercise it. God has given everyone the measure of faith. This is where you start on your journey home.

Matthew 21:21 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…”

Crain Blanchard.

Read, pray, then do.

When I first started with God, I was praying and communing with Him. God spoke to me. I was in my car headed back to the house. I stopped at a railroad track for a train. God spoke to me and said get out of your car and tell everyone stopped that I love them. I froze and told God I couldn’t do it. In a split second God removed His hand, and I was alone. I never felt so alone in all my life. I got home and began to seek God. Finally He spoke to me. From that point on we began to work on boldness. God called me to speak to people. He said I will send you to people and you will tell them what I say. I read the bible and had learn to pray, now it was time to do the Word of God. What God did was to send people to me. They would walk up to me and ask a question. The question was about God. People would sometimes not even know why they did. I have seen miracles, healings, deliverance, and salvations. Every time I opened my mouth, God moved. I started going to a new church. I didn’t know anyone. God said if you want friends show yourself friendly. I began to stand at the front door on Sunday morning and introduce myself to people. Soon people were greeting me all the time. You take the Word of God you have learned and put it into practice. It is not my job to see that the Word works. It is God’s job. And He isn’t a liar. The people of the first century only knew a few scriptures and they turn the world upside down. Now it is your turn.

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

James 2:14-24 “… 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works…”

Crain Blanchard.

Read Word of God.

The bible of the first century was not divided into chapter and verse. The bible was written on a continuous scroll. Depending on how big the script was, it determined how long the scroll was. Sometimes there were several scrolls. And the only people had these scroll was the Jewish synagogues. This is why Paul always began at the synagogue. It was very expensive and few people own one. That is why the ordinary person would go to a house meeting to hear the word of God preached. The reason that Paul called the Bereans more noble than anyone else. It was because they had a copy of the bible and would search it every night to prove what Paul said was right. Reading the word of God will separate you from everyone else. As you read you will change into the image and likeness of God. The bible says that when we see Jesus again we will recognize Him. It is because we will look like Him. So everybody waiting for the rapture if they don’t read the bible won’t see Jesus returning. The bible is a picture of Jesus, from Genesis to Revelations. There is a few other things in there that we need to know. Like how to use you faith in a fight or how to pray or how to minister to people. The bible covers many topics which you have to read and learn to be able to use them in life. 

Acts 17:10-12 “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so…”

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

Crain Blanchard.