Let Freedom Ring 2020+

Who would have ever thought that a kid from a small town in Texas would try to start a race war in Los Angeles? The folks of Copeville were shocked that one of their boys had committed multiple murders while on drugs. They heard that he had met up with a madman named Manson, who believed the “blacks” would ask him to be their leader, after they rose up in power from killing off “whitie.” Though delusional at best, it was believable to his ardent followers, considering racial tensions in the late 60s. Racism is fertile ground where seeds germinate to bring forth the most undesirable fruit.

“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:8).

The Boy They Knew…

The Watson boy they knew, grew up without a prejudiced bone in his body. They recalled a boy who made a new soap-box car every 6 months, excelled in sports and worked in his dad’s store, eventually heading out for success. The family was in church every Sunday and a pillar of the community.

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His mother remembered him as a beautiful baby boy who loved baby chickens, kitty cats and his dog named “Collie.” He was in both the Cub and Boy Scouts, plus he advanced to be a Life Scout, with numerous merit badges. He was even in the Future Farmers of America, raising livestock and winning many blue ribbons.

Living in a Bubble…

It seemed that living in a small town of one-hundred and fifty people sheltered folks from the racism in the cities, plus world news about racism traveled slowly, since having a television was a luxury. It was almost like living in a bubble, void of reality. But in hindsight, this was a blessing from God, not growing up with a prejudiced attitude; however, maybe small-town racism was just ignored.

There was only one “negro” man in town, who most called N_ _ _ _ _ Red, yet he was trusted enough to get credit at WATSON’S store. Other “blacks” would stop for gasoline or fishing gear, but it was all business, skin color didn’t matter. [The word “negro” may be offensive, but in those times it was commonly used in the South, like “black” was in the West.]

Little Charles followed in his siblings' footsteps, listening to the old 78 records, mostly of “black” artists of the late 50s. When the hula hoop came out in ‘58, it was all about dancing with a hoop to Chubby Checker’s “twist” music. It was the eve of Rock ‘n Roll with Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Lou Rawls, so “white” artists like Pat Boone, the Beatles and the Beach Boys had some catching up to do.

Overcoming Segregation…

Segregation didn’t stop the music, foot to the peddle, driving to school with the radio blasting at 90 mph. During lunch break, the jukebox was stuck on Jerry Lee Lewis’ hit single, “Great Balls of Fire.” The only racial relations were at the shoeshine stand, since “blacks” went to a different school and lived in a different part of town, which was the best place to buy bootlegged beer. When segregation ended in ‘64, college wasn’t much different, with only a few “blacks” in class, but as Dylan sang out, “...the times they are a changing”.

Back home, high school sports significantly improved with desegregation, but in college, it was all about the party life; no matter the skin color. The only clubs worth going to were those with black musicians, who played the Blues and Rock ‘n Roll. The highlight of the year was a concert with B.B. King and his guitar, Lucille, while setting up front ordering beers and bringing in the New Year. It was all about the music and a good time with friends, dancing the night away.

“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Caught In a Trap…

After moving to California, the word “black” was used instead, which seemed to me very degrading. Maybe brown but not black. But regardless, music ruled the day. The Doors, Richie Havens and Jimmy Hendrix were the groovy ones to listen to while smoking pot. It was almost heavenly driving around in a ‘35 Dodge pickup listening to “Jimmy” with the hinged windshield cranked out, going down the freeway at the truck’s top speed of 65 mph.

In those days, it was normal to pick up hitchhikers, but not band members like Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Before wrecking his two cars, he met Manson, after picking up a couple of his girls hitchhiking. Now, it was him being picked up in a ‘35 Dodge and driven to his home where Manson was visiting one evening. Dennis would introduce Charles to Manson. The rest is history. It’s like a bad dream, only to wake up, and the ripple effect is still there. Solomon warned:

“My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, ‘Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. Come. Throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.’ My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths. They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder. If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away” (Proverbs 1:10-17).

Reflections…

It seems that Manson’s philosophy was pro-black or anti-white, due to him blaming society for his failures. Maybe being pro-black was appealing to a Texas boy, because of previous music taste. According to the Beatles, Manson believed that “whitie” deserved a “damn good whacking”, which was confusing for a youngster forming his belief system. It was all part of the nonsense of Manson’s “no sense, makes sense” philosophy. That was a big part of the problem!

There’s a sharp lesson here, everyone needs to view things in their true relationship or importance and the make up of one’s social circle, evaluating the consequences. When a group of disobedient druggies come together, looking for acceptance by making wrong choices and decisions, and a strange man manipulates their identities with his charm and delusional beliefs to get on an emotional roller-coaster, watch out---Helter Skelter!

Things can turn dangerous, even deadly when led in the wrong direction and quickly change the lives of many. Equally true, philosophies, identity and influence are interconnected with everyone around us and can affect every aspect of our life. The apostle Paul said: “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

For this reason, be careful what you listen to and believe. Remember, it’s okay to let the music lift you, but don’t let the wrong person lead you. Manson was certainly a very deceived man, but so were his so-called “family members”, through their own desires, irrational thinking and foolish choices. Always check for the Truth that sets you free, otherwise, deception is knocking at the door of your heart to enslave you. The truth is “...God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them; then God blessed them and said, be fruitful and multiply...” (Genesis 1:27, 28).

Free At Last…

It’s impossible to see a person’s heart, so judging one another is silly, but do check the fruit. Though created in God’s image, the fruit can still be rotten, without a change of heart. Focus on what you share in common, instead of projecting judgment upon others. For instance, music and God’s love cause the heart to vibrate in harmony when a chord is struck in the spirit of servanthood. Worship tugs on the heartstrings, causing one to vibrate in harmony together with God. But vice versa, a dark, prejudiced chord can be stuck by focusing on skin color or beliefs that divide, causing destruction, lawlessness and anarchy.

In the end, everyone is responsible for their own choices and decisions to temper the heart with God’s love or not, remembering that one reaps what is sown, whether life or death. The consequences of a prejudiced heart are deadly, but understanding God’s love and forgiveness brings life when you join to Christ by faith. This frees the Spirit of grace to flow forth, since Jesus' blood cleansed the heart from all unrighteousness so that righteousness could reign in life, allowing nothing but God’s peace to rule the heart, as the late Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed, “Let Freedom Ring.”

“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Here’s a prayer for you:

Jesus, thank You for providing forgiveness for my prejudiced heart, which I surrender to You. By faith, I accept Your work on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. I rejoice that Your resurrection from the dead shows Your complete victory over sin and death—making me holy and acceptable in Your sight. Thank You for providing the Way for me to have a relationship with You and with others no matter the skin color. Thank You for hearing my prayer and sending Your Holy Spirit to heal me in areas where I’ve been wounded and damaged. In Your Holy and precious name I pray Lord Jesus. Amen!

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The Christian's Toolbox

The Christian's toolbox is the place in our hearts where we have all of our God-given tools for immediate use in our lives and ministries to build, renew and repair lives for the Kingdom of God.

As we come up with other tools, let's keep adding them to your toolbox, because “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).

A large part of our Christian growth takes place by the renewal of the mind, creating emotional security through faith in the power of God's grace. We are given this warning by the apostle Peter, “Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:17, 18).

The Word of God

The Holy Bible is simply God's love story fulfilling our need for love and acceptance. His Word reveals the Lord rescuing His wayward children through faith in the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants fulfilled by the promised Seed, Jesus Christ (Gen. chs.12; 15; 17; 2 Sam. 7; & Gal. 3).

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Confession of the Word

The dictionary says that to confess means “ to make confession of one’s faults; to acknowledge faith in.” We are much aware of what it means to confess our faults to God and to one another. However, this  tract will consider what it means, ”to acknowledge faith in” through the confession of our mouth (Romans 10:8-10).

Confession means to speak the same thing as another; to agree with someone else (lit. “same-speak” in the Greek N.T.) This someone that we are to speak like and agree with is our Father God - His Word. “The word is alive and powerful, sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword(Hebrews 4:12). The sword of the Spirit is our tongue speaking the Word of God, putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

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The Believer's Identity

doveinclouds"For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)

Baptized into Christ
A. United with Him in His death.

"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death" (Romans 6:3)? 

"I have been crucified with Christ..." (Galations 2:20).

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Pay it Forward

passitforward-guyA few years ago, a young boy brought the concept of "pay it forward" to the movie screen. He showed by example how the world could be changed if every person who experienced something good would "pay it forward." God had this principle in mind before He even created man by paying His provision forward. He knew that even though Adam & Eve would sin, their seed would eventually change if they could experience His goodness, mercy and unconditional love.

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How Satan Works

Introduction

Make no mistake about it -- Satan is a real personality. He is also a positive enemy against God, all His purposes, His activities and His people. The name Satan means "adversary," and Devil means "accuser." He is called "the prince of demons" in Matt. 12:24.

In Revelation 12:9-10 our adversary is labeled "the great dragon," "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." He is also designated as "the accuser of the brethren," accusing them before God day and night. The name "great dragon" would speak of his power politically as world ruler and "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2). "That old serpent" speaks of his power spiritually as the deceiver of the whole world and "god of this age who blinds the minds of those who believe not" (2 Cor. 4:4).

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Deliverance

hawk-flightKing David was anointed of God to deliver Israel from their enemies. He proclaimed:

"I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared they faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and they truth from the great congregation" (Psa. 40:9, 10).

Today, the Internet is a great congregation to preach the righteousness of God. Righteousness is a gift that gives us the ability to reign in life. In other words, we have ability through Christ's righteousness to rule over immoral thoughts and practices, and things that consume us emotionally such as unforgiveness, bitterness, offenses, anger, and all the works of the sinful nature.

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Pay it Forward 100 Fold

passitforward-lgThe Parable of the Sower is a perfect example of "paying it forward." In Matthew 13, the Seed is the Word of God sown into the hearts of people, but only those who understand it are converted and healed (v.15). That is, those who receive Seed on good ground are they who hear the Word and understand it, who indeed bear fruit and produce: some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (v.23). For this reason, you are being given the opportunity to "pay [the Seed] forward" a hundredfold.

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Pay it Forward 30 Fold

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God Paid "It" Forward

A few years ago, a young boy brought the concept of "pay it forward" to the movie screen. He showed by example how the world could be changed if every person who experienced something good would "pay it forward." God had this principle in mind even before He created man by paying his provision forward. He knew that even though Adam and Eve would sin, their seed would eventually change if they could experience His goodness, mercy and unconditional love. 1

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Spirit, Soul and Body

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23


The foundation of the Christian life is based on faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary. Our spirit is made alive [born again] when “… joined unto the Lord” (1 Cor. 6:17), through regeneration. Our new Spirit is released through our soul [mind, will and emotions]. This release empowers our walk to be in harmony with the Spirit. Our soul is the gateway which releases the Holy Spirit and brings forth the power and life of God into our actions and relationships. Our bodily conduct comes under control of the Spirit as we choose in our soul to walk in line with God’s word through renewing the mind (Rom. 12:2).

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God's Divine Flow

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Today, Jesus’ cry continues, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37, 38). This flowing river is the blessing of God’s love being “…poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5, 8). God's love for us has been lavishly poured out to the point of overflowing within our hearts to others and to God, who first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Also, according to the old King James language, divine love (Gk. agape) “constraineth us” (Gk. sunecho, 2 Cor. 5:14) means “to hold together.” God’s love holds us together in Christ. Absolutely nothing “…shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35-39).

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The Gospel

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Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you can say for certain, that if you were to die tonight, that you would go to heaven?

Yes | No

Suppose that you were to die tonight and stand before God, and He was to say to you, "Why should I let you into my heaven?" What would you say?

My Good Works! | Faith in Christ Alone!

Eternal life is a gift from God (Romans 6:23) available free for the asking because of a love story written in blood on a wooden cross 2000 years ago. Without this wonderful gift, mankind is eternally separated from God and will suffer everlasting punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

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Choose Life or Death

scale-crossStinky thinking causes emotional pain. Rather than doing something about our thought life, we choose the lazy way to deal with our pain, by medicating it with drugs, including alcohol. In other words, we choose death instead of LIFE.

But first, in order to CHOOSE LIFE, we must receive God's love. As we do, we receive God's Spirit and begin to see things from His point of view. A new identity begins to take shape in us, and our thoughts begin to line up with God's.

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Christ's Death Penalty

by C. Truman Davis, M.D.,M.S

cross002In this paper, I shall discuss some of the physical aspects of the passion or suffering of Jesus Christ. We shall follow Him from Gethsemane, through His trial, the scourging, His path along the Via Dolorosa, to His last dying hours on the cross.

I became interested in this when I read an account of the crucifixion in Jim Bishop's book, The Day Christ Died. I suddenly realized that I had taken the crucifixion more or less for granted all these years ... that I had grown callous to its horror by a too easy familiarity with the grim details ... and a too distant friendship with Him. It finally occurred to me that as a physician I didn't even know the actual immediate cause of His death. The Gospel writers don't help us very much on this point, because crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetime that they undoubtedly considered a detailed description totally superfluous ... so that we have the concise words of the evangelist: "Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified... and they crucified Him."

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Amazing Grace

"How sweet the soundgrace01
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see"

God's amazing grace has been defined over the years in many ways:

  • Grace is the undeserved, unmerited, and unearned favor of God (the moment you try to merit the free favor of God, His grace is nullified, Galations 2:21).
  • Grace is the personal presence of Jesus, enabling or empowering me to do all that God has called me to do, and all that God has made me to be.
  • Grace is God's ability working in me, making me able to do what I cannot do in my own ability.
  • Grace is God's Riches At Christ's Expense.

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Pay it Forward 60 Fold

It is most important to define "it" so you can see clearly what you are being required to pay forward. "it" is simply faith in the promises of God found in the Holy Bible, that cause faith to grow. 1 These promises are seeds that produce hope to yield fruit under all growing conditions some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundredfold. 2 The fruit is the awesome love of God always increasing and abounding that brings encouragement into the lives of others and your own trying times. 3

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Friends Testify - Norman Ezell

Saved from Satan

1 - A Child

"Train up a child in the way he should go......" Proverbs 22:6

Sometimes while in prayer I have to imagine myself floating in space about three hundred thousand miles from Earth before I can set my feet firmly in this world. There, as I look at the sun, moon, earth and stars, I realize the insignificance of myself in comparison to God, the Creator of these things. I am reminded that because of His mery, I have finally found the reason for my existence and for the existence of all things. I reiterate my thankfulness to Him for opening my spiritual eyes to the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. And I thank Him that my Mom introduced me to Jesus when I was a child and then prayed for me those nineteen years I went astray.

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