The reality of Christianity#5.

I went to my parents to share what I had found. I pulled out the big family altar Bible. We only use that Bible to put pictures in. I read my dad a scripture. He thought I’d lost my mind.  He told me to get out of the house and never come back. I came back the next day and did the same. His reaction was the same. I kept it up until he was willing to listen. After a while he saw that what I had was real and true. Then he began to ask questions. I led my father in the prayer of salvation. My mother said several years ago she and dad had a rough time. She didn’t know what to do and gave her life to God. I should have known. They were traveling to Oral Roberts University for the seminars.  I thought it was odd until I begin to know God. I have 3 brothers. I was fortunate to lead one to the Lord. He went home 3 years ago. My other 2 brothers know who God is and hopefully before they die they will accept him. The reality of my Christianity would begin to grow here a little there a little. As I was growing and learning about God, my reality grew. My world includes thousands of people now. I’ll continue the story tomorrow. 

Crain Blanchard. 

The reality of Christianity#4.

That’s Sunday I went to church I didn’t know anything. But all I knew said this is where I belonged.  I went forward to pray with the pastor. My friend came with me. The pastor led me in a prayer asking God to forgive my sins. When we prayed that prayer the pastor asked if I wanted the Holy Ghost.  I had no idea what he was talking about but I said yes. As I begin to pray God came down on me. God surrounded me. It was like being 10000 miles away. People talk to me and I talk back. But I don’t remember anything after that. All of a sudden I was home. I had driven to My Friend’s house and back. I wasn’t sure what to do next. The next day I went to my friend’s home. They begin to teach me about Christianity. I spent the next 6 months at their home each night. His wife had a new baby then. Now she was caring for 2. They begin to show me what the reality of Christianity really is. I had a Bible in my car, home and at work. I had never read The Bible before. As I read I cried and I still do. I was 28 years old. 

Crain Blanchard. 

The reality of Christianity#3.

I went to join a business but I was terrible at selling.  What I found was worth more than anything. It took 3 months of talking about God before they asked me to go to church with them. I said Yes. The next Sunday I went with them and their families to church. There were about 500 people in that church.  They were meeting in a warehouse/ store front building.  My friend introduced me to people. I have no idea who I talked to.  We found our seats and I watched the people. They all stood up to sing and so did I. I watched them sing. Then we sat down. The preacher began. I was still watching the people. Everyone was watching the preacher when he suddenly stopped. He face the congregation. It was absolutely quiet. Then he said hello. It was an expression that only I used. No one else use that expression. I turned and looked at the preacher. Then I heard a voice speak to me. It said what more do you want?  I didn’t recognize the voice then. But I would come to know that still small voice Intimately. My friend asked if I wanted to go up to the front and pray with the pastor. I said yes. I’ll continue the story tomorrow. 

Crain Blanchard. 

The Reality of Christianity#2.

It took 28 years before I was ready or even willing to hear the truth about God. I have no control over the things that happened to me. I was planning my life but it never quite went the way I was hoping it would. It seemed that difficulties got in the way. I knew there had to be a better way. And I had to find it. There were 2 men who wanted my brother and I to join their business. At this point I was willing to listen to the truth. I met with these 2 men each morning to discuss business. We met for coffee each morning.  I was always there before my brother. I got my coffee and sit down and listen to these 2 men talk. They would talk about what Jesus had done for them. I didn’t participate in the discussion. But I was intrested. I never heard this side of God. They talked about how loving and kind God was. It amazed me. A God who is loving. I wasn’t sure who they were talking about. But I knew I wanted to hear more. I listen for 3 months before I was ready to do anything. I’ll continue the story tomorrow.

Crain Blanchard. 

Under Authority

For years now the struggle against authority has been raging. I can’t say that rebellion began in the 1960’s, but it came of age in America. I grew up in a conservative home. My parents tried to teach me self-constraint. It was like water on a duck’s back. It didn’t really take effect until my rebellion started to cost me. I will tell you the truth, it cost me a lot. I wouldn’t listen until I was almost 30 years old. That is because I was so close to death. I had burned down everything that was good and true in my life. I finally figured out that my parents weren’t as stupid as I thought they were. Each person has to come to that reality or they will lose their life, literally. Authority is portrayed as something useless. You don’t have to go far in America to see people who have lost the constraint of authority. All you have to look at is the mess in Missouri and Maryland. Then you can look at people who believe in authority in South Carolina after the church shooting. In the past few weeks there have been 9 police officers killed in the line of duty in America. If you don’t recognize what this whole plan is I will tell you. If is a plan to discredit God Himself. Without God in charge, who will fix the problems of man? You can see for yourself the failed plans of our government to fix anything. Every great civilization has fallen because of the lack of God in their lives. Soon Christianity will be outlawed in America. What will happen is the fall of America. The church will have to go underground just like the 1st century Christians did. There was a Roman Centurion who went to Jesus to ask for help. His servant was sick. As the soldier approached Jesus, he began to ask for help. Jesus said I will go to your house. The soldier said, I am a man under authority. All I have to say is to do this or that and it is done. He ask Jesus just to speak the word and his servant would be healed. Jesus said, I haven’t found so great a faith in all of Israel. You can’t be in authority without being under authority.

Crain Blanchard.

Philippians 3,4 – Our Goal and Joy.

Philippians 3 - Here Paul talks about obtaining the goal of our Christian Life. vs.13,14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4 - vs.2,3 - The only admonition in the Epistle, Euodia and Syntyche, 2 women leaders let their personal differences effect the church.
vs.4 - Rejoice always - in trials and tribulations.
vs.6 - Be careful for nothing - not being concerned with the cares of this world.
vs.7 - Peace of God - will keep your hearts and minds - the spiritual part of us. What about the physical part of us? Many people expect the physical part to be gratified, just as the spiritual. God says here the spiritual part is kept, because it controls the physical, the flesh being dead to self.
vs.8 - Think on these things - Whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of a good report.
vs.13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
vs.15 - Philippians only church to support Paul.
vs.19 “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matt.6:9,10
Jesus, at right hand of God, interceding for us. Rom.8:34.  

Crain Blanchard.

Philippians 1,2 – Prayer, Emptying Oneself.

Philippians 1 – Paul is thanking God for the Philippians, because when the gospel was preached among them, they began to live like Christ.
vs.3-11 – That good work begun in you, God will perform until the day of Jesus Christ.
vs.12-18 – Paul explains why he is going to Rome as a prisoner. It was to preach the gospel to Nero and his court.
vs.19-26 – “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The work on earth is needful for the saints, by his heart’s desire, to be with Christ.
Philippians 2 – The Kenosis Passage.-emptying one self. What we can do. Vs.1-4 “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
What Christ does. vs.5-11 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Crain Blanchard.

Philippians – Looking for Jesus in everything.

Philippi – city in Macedonia, named after Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great.
Personal love of Paul to the Philippians, more than other epistles.
Prison Epistle.
One Admonition – 4:2.
Philippians-the only church that supported Paul’s ministry.4:15
Konosis passage – made himself of no reputation. 2:5-9.
Emptied himself of his glory – John 17:1-9.
Had no form or comeliness – Isaiah 53:1.
Most joyful epistle in Bible – rejoice in the Lord – 16 times.
Paul was imprisoned in Philippi for preaching the gospel.Acts 16:25-31

Ch.1 - Prayer for the Philippians, Paul’s imprisonment, Trials.
Ch.2 - The Konosis Passage.
Ch.3 - Obtaining our Heavenly Goal.
Ch.4 - How to maintain Joy in our Christian Life. 

Crain Blanchard.

Ephesians 6- Practical Walk.

Ephesians 6- vs.10-18 – The Whole Armour of God.

  1. Loins girded with the Truth.
  2. Breastplate of Righteousness.
  3. Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.
  4. Shield of Faith.
  5. Helmet of Salvation.
  6. Sword of the Spirit.
  7. Praying Always.
  8. vs.19 Paul asking for prayer.
  9. vs.20 Paul saying he is in prison for Jesus.
  10. vs.21-22 Paul writes so that they wouldn’t be upset in his imprisonment. Crain Blanchard.

Right before our Eyes.

Sometimes I just can’t believe what I see. I was raised the right way. I was taught not to lie, cheat or steal. And when I did there were consequences. I have always asked God to see through His eyes. Now that I do, it grieves me. I see the world for who there are. I pray without ceasing. I understand how God feels about man. But because I love like God does, it hurts. I see people lying, cheating and stealing whenever they please. The darkness sometimes seems to be overwhelming. In Ecclesiastes, it says that there is nothing new under the sun. What was before shall be again. This is the truth. And that was written 4000 years ago. I thank God that He conquered death and hell and brought captivity captive. He gave us His sight so we could pray and bring His will to earth (The Lord’s Prayer). So when I see darkness, I pray. And it encourages me.

Crain Blanchard.