Singer Russ Taff Reveals Life of Drinking and Shame, Needing Therapy

‘Praise the Lord’ Singer Russ Taff Reveals Life of Drinking and Shame, Needing Therapy to Overcome Trauma

Leonardo Blair , Christian Post Reporter | Oct 6, 2018 9:35 AM

Many Christians may know six-time Grammy Award-winning Christian singer Russ Taff as the anointed voice behind “Praise the Lord.” In a new documentary set for release this month, Taff, 65, reveals a decade long struggle with alcohol that required trauma therapy to set him free.

“Shame is a prison. I was locked up in shame’s prison for over 40 years,” Taff revealed in a trailer for the documentary “Russ Taff: I Still Believe,” set for release in theaters for one day nationwide Oct. 30. 

“Behind its bars, I was safe, isolated and hiding from pain, disconnected from family and everyone I ever loved. Abused as a child, shame told me it was all my fault. Singing for Jesus and living a secret life as an alcoholic. Shame whispered, ‘there is no hope,'” he explained.

The iconic singer, who toured with contemporary Christian music stars such as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and the Gaithers, told the Tennessean that for a long time, he used alcohol to numb the pain of his childhood trauma. His father was a Pentecostal preacher who also struggled with alcoholism and his mother would frequently unload her anxieties about her family life on him.

The documentary examines Taff’s childhood abuse, his addiction, depression, suicidal ideation, how he abandoned his own family and once showed up drunk for a major Christian TV show taping.

Taff told the Tennessean that after his mother unloaded her anxieties on him, sometimes he would take his father’s church key late at night and find a place inside the sanctuary to unload his burdens on God.

“I was able to dump on Jesus,” he said.

He eventually also found an outlet for some of his pain in singing and found inspiration in his mother’s black and Southern gospel albums.

After launching his music career, however, Taff developed a taste for alcohol when he was 26 and like his father before him, his wife and children were no longer a priority in his life.

Soon he was in and out of rehab. When his father died in 1997, he also turned to alcohol.

It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that he got desperate and checked himself into a residential trauma treatment center for 63 days. It cost his family most of their savings, but it helped him find peace as he was able to work through his childhood trauma.

“I did start feeling compassion once I started dealing with my stuff for them (parents) and what they had to deal with,” Taff said. “When I left there, I had this feeling like I wish they were still alive. I think I can talk to them now. No more rage and anger. I feel sympathy.”

In the trailer for the documentary, Taff points to his redemption.

“Prison doors were meant to be open. Captives can be set free. I learned the Gospel is greater than I could have possibly imagined. I am a child of the King. I am broken. I’m an alcoholic. I’m forgiven … And I still believe,” he said. Luke 4:18.



A Thousand Sorrows Prepares a Man to Preach


D.A.Carson, Timothy Keller, and John Piper.


Judging vs. Discerning

Judging vs. Discerning

Jesus plainly stated that we are not to judge others. But

so often His words are used against Christians who are trying to

point out wrong in society. And it seems that so few Christians

know how to answer such objections.

So, what should you do if, upon seeing evil in the world, and

stating your convictions regarding it, you are told that you have no

business judging others? Are Christians to become mindless

people who can’t tell the difference between good and evil? Is

this mindless condition something we are to strive for?

First of all, there is a big difference between judging someone,

and discerning evil. The two are not the same at all. In

the Bible, the word “judge” is often a woeful translation of the

Greek word “katakrino.” This word literally means “to judge

against.” In other words, it really means “to condemn.” But there

is another Greek word, “krino,” which is often translated

“to discern.” “Krino” literally means “to separate.” Or, to put it

more clearly, it means “to separate the good from the bad.”

These two words aptly show the contrast between judging

someone, which God forbids, and discerning, which God desires.

“To judge” means to condemn. It means to render a sentence

against someone as if you are God. And “to judge,” the way

Jesus forbade it, is always a product of a bad attitude. It stems

from never having seen that you are as needy as the one whom

you are condemning. “To discern,” however, carries no

desire to see someone “get what is coming to them.” True

discernment doesn’t condemn at all. It simply sees things as they

really are, with the mind of Christ.

True discernment carries no blinders. It sees evil. And it

confesses what it sees if the love of God dictates it. Don’t think

that the love of God would avoid pointing out evil in society. Read

the gospels. Jesus continually upbraided the Pharisees, yet He

said He judged (condemned) no man. Jesus knew the difference

between judging and discerning. He always discerned. He never


Rather than be blind to evil, Christians will become more

sensitive to it — if they are getting closer to God. Getting closer

to God and developing His mind will not make us less sensitive to

sin. It will make us more sensitive to sin. And it will give us the

ability to discern things the way God discerns them — clearly, but

in love.

The book of Hebrews gives us a verse which tells us that

it is God’s will for us to discern the difference between good and

evil: But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age,

even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised

to discern both good and evil. (Heb. 5:14)

It is a mark of Christian maturity to discern the difference

between good and evil. It is also a greater mark of maturity, that

having discerned that difference, to be able to stand in the love of

God regarding it. God wants us to discern. But He tells us we

must not condemn.

The Greatest Encourager I know.

I have taken a series of posts from my idling blog site Kairos Now to share an example of answered prayer.

June 12, 2012 by Mannyr

The Greatest Encourager I know.

I want to share an experience in Christ for the purpose of showing how much those of us who have received the free gift of salvation come to understand little by little just how much of an encourager God in the person of the Holy Spirit is to us.

Having been born again and experiencing the reality of the living presence of God dwelling within me I desired above all things to know Jesus in a very intimate way. Little did I understand that I had been set up. Prayer had gone up on my behalf from family and friends as well as strangers whom I had never met.

Prayer changes things is a truism known only to those who draw near to their God in intimate conversation.

I need to digress a bit in my experience. I grew up running the streets of San Francisco California in a couple of gangs. Except for the presence of God, I felt as a boy of five in a store front church which my grandfather pastored, I never knew God. But I had felt His presence. Twenty-eight years later that presence had come to life within me.

After a while that first love of Jesus began to diminish on my end because of my need to grow up in Christ as He directed my steps in daily life. To say the honeymoon was over in my experience brought dark clouds of guilt. In fact, I remember telling Him “Lord, I am addicted to your presence” in the hope I could just park there indefinitely; of course, the Lord explained that He would always love me, but the time had come to start the process of growing His grace.

A few months later the Lord prompted me to watch a certain Christian T.V. program with two Jewish Rabbi’s in their robes sharing their desire for prayer for a Russian Jewish man who had been imprisoned as a spy and a Soviet dissident.

I am stopping here because I have to replace a hot water heater that had the gall to fall apart according to my wife after eighteen years of service. So, come back tomorrow for part two.


June 13, 2012 by Mannyr

The Greatest Encourager I know.


Part two

I don’t know how you feel about the process of growing up in the Lord. As for me, it meant the lessening of His presence. This of course meant that the addiction to His presence would be replaced with the uncertainty of the world I had lived in prior to being born-again.

As a thirty-eight-year-old man externally, my inner man needed the very nature of the Spirit of God to be my encourager.

Acts 9:31 says, Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.  The word here in the original is paraklesis; a calling alongside to help, to comfort, to give consolation or encouragement. The paraklete is a strengthening presence, one who upholds those appealing for assistance.

By this time in my walk I had learned that conversation (prayer) with my Lord overrode all the old ways and brought a sense of peace which washed over me and spoke volumes to the inner rage of uncertainty.

I would like to share an act of encouragement from my Lord for the purpose of building a desire to mature in Him through His presence.


On a cold day in February of 1982 I sensed the Lord calling me to prayer. I prayed as I walked home from my job at an equipment rental yard in Kingman, Arizona. The mile and a half walk went fast, and I experienced a breakthrough in prayer.

Later, that evening after dinner, my wife having bathed our daughters they waited for Dad to read a Bible story. We set a half hour time limit on the reading due to questions asked and answered.

Having settled in for the night I did a little channel surfing with the television remote and settled on a Christian television station. Two Rabbis’ in colorful robes told a story about a Russian Jewish man who had been imprisoned as a spy for the United States and for activities as a dissident. After the program ended I sensed again the Lord calling me to prayer.

As soon as I yielded He spoke to my spirit and said, “I want you to pray for someone, I know you have trouble with remembering names, so I will just give you his first name.”

Okay Lord what is it?” “An-a-to-ly.”

I repeated it several times until I felt I could remember this unusual name.  “Lord, who is this?” “He is the man those Rabbi’s spoke about who is in prison in Russia.”  “How do I pray for him Lord?”

“Pray for him, just like you do for the men and women you minister to in the County Jail. Except I want you to pray for him like a member of your family, daily.”

The leading’s to prayer came very strong at times. Often leaving me feeling like I were there with him in his cell. I felt his depression, the darkness of the oppression and most of all his sense of hopelessness. The fact that I ministered in the County Jail kept me in an attitude of compassion.

At these times I prayed in praise and worship to our Lord and would sense a lifting of the heaviness and an impartation of joy and strength.

After a few months the Lord spoke to me again and said, “I want you to know Anatoly’s  last name, it’s Sha-ran-sky.” I prayed using his full name when coming boldly before the Throne of Grace with my petition for his needs, and Anatoly when praying for family. As sand through an hour glass the years rolled on.

One night in February of 1986 ( four years later) I happened to be watching the evening news when a man was shown hurrying up a ramp onto an airplane and Walter Cronkite said,

Today Soviet dissident Anatoly Sharansky after serving nine years in prison has been granted freedom and flown to Israel.”

I could not believe what I heard, tears filled my eyes and the presence of the Lord was like a heavy blanket of comfort.

I thanked our Lord for the sharing of his heart’s desire and the privilege of praying for Anatoly. I shared this experience with my wife and daughters to show how perseverance teaches wonderful truths.

All prayers are answered. The most important part, it brings intimacy with Our Heavenly Father that builds a solid trust that prayers can change Nations as well as people.

Three days later I found a newspaper account of Anatoly’s release, it read like this. Early on a cold and windy morning a Soviet Official spoke to political prisoner Anatoly Sharansky and said. “Walk straight to Freedom!”

A man of deep moral courage and integrity Sharansky smiled from ear to ear and took his first step as a free man. As he crossed the Glinecke Bridge in East Berlin he proceeded to walk zigzag across the bridge in keeping with his life as a Rufusnick.

Like a young David, he met and conquered The Soviet Goliath with his obstinate refusal to quit speaking for human rights and of Soviet Jews to emigrate. He arrived at a hero’s welcome in Tel Aviv, and the waiting arms of his wife.

I lost track of Anatoly Sharansky over the years until I read an article about a man named Natan Sharansky who had written an autobiography entitled: Fear No Evil and also co-authored a second book The Case For Democracy.  President G.W. Bush having read The Case for Democracy invited Mr. Sharansky to meet with him in the Oval Office in November of 2004.

Shortly after that, President Bush’s second inaugural address contained many thoughts that had been expressed in Mr. Sharansky’s   book.

In his writings I discovered he has personally met five President’s and also with President-elect Barack Obama. It is humbling to see what our Lord had planned for this man of great moral courage.

Tomorrow: Part three.

The Greatest Encourager I know. Part three

June 14, 2012 by Mannyr

The Greatest Encourager I know.

Part three

The story of Anatoly Sharansky is one of faith overcoming all opposition. It is far more than one man’s struggle against the forces of evil played out by an evil and fearful nation. It is the very heart of  almighty God sharing His heart with a servant who needed to be encouraged. There are many small as well as large things that I have learned from this adventure.

First and foremost is the fact that our Lord desires to have intimate fellowship with us as individual’s in which He can teach us that intimacy with Him is progressive.

The Gospel of John 13:16 says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.”  We are first like a servant in the sense that we do what our Lord asks us to do in the role as a servant who listens and obeys his master.

Then as we grow in our obedience we come to second stage of intimacy. John 15:15 says, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I hear from My Father I have made known to you.”  Here is where we are in a different place in our walk and He shares things with us like we do with our friends.

John 20:17 says, Jesus said to her, Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’ ” Our Lord Jesus plainly speaks in these passages a progressive intimacy that we can walk in with Him by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit of God. The last stage is one where we are family and all things can and should be shared.

The encouragement of Anatoly’s story came as an example for me to learn and grow in the ways of our Lord. To share with Him in His desire for us to set ourselves aside and seek Him on behalf of others. This selflessness leads to intimacy in that as we pray we feel and sense the other person’s burdens. This is very real not some church doctrine or creed. It is the active participation of you and you Father.

So much can be said here. For example, try this yourself, in prayer ask the Holy Spirit if He would give you someone in the world who has no relatives, friends or neighbors who can tell him about Jesus and who Jesus is. Set yourself aside and pray for this person whom you do not know or may never know.

I had never heard of this man Anatoly Sharansky who lived in Russia and is Jewish. Just the name says volumes, I could never think up such a name. It is no coincidence that I was given the opportunity to pray for a man in prison in the worst conditions. Many of us are in prison’s in our daily lives. Many may stay for life and never come to freedom and intimacy with our Lord this need not be.

Our Lord Jesus on the cross said, “It is finished.” It is finished Amen! But you and I must appropriate what has been done for us as individual’s. Come on an get some encouragement from the Man from Galilee.




Healing the Wounds of the Soul.

Unfortunately, a great amount of hurt comes to children in this world.  Children’s hearts are extremely vulnerable, and totally dependent on Mom and Dad, the two BIG PEOPLE in their lives.  Children view these parents almost as God, during their first two years of life.  God has built into our little hearts the understanding that our parents are there to take care of us.  We trust them completely, and depend on them for everything, while we are little.  Of course, when we get to about two years old, our flesh begins to rise up in its independence and rebellion, and we begin to want our own way.

None of us has ever had the privilege of being raised by perfect parents.  Not even Adam and Eve were able to be perfect parents.  One of their sons killed the other one (see Gen 4:8).  This was a dysfunctional family, as is every family on this earth, in varying degrees.  Some are only slightly dysfunctional, while other are severely so.  Beginning with Adam and Eve, each adult has his own set of problems, sins, hurt, fears, guilt, anger, etc.  Each adult adds a good bit more pressure to his life when he becomes a parent, and his life becomes even more complex and difficult to manage.  Because of all this, it becomes difficult to attend to all the responsibilities of parenting, and to do it in a godly, loving and correct way.  We end up hurting our children and/or neglecting to give our children the unconditional love and attention they need, even though we never intended to do these things.

Children are also hurt by the other people in their environment, which may include relatives: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and even siblings.  In addition, there are neighbors, and those at school who may hurt them.  Many children go through their whole childhood feeling like they are in danger, living with fear, without any sense that there is a BIG PERSON who will take care of them adequately.  Just having this constant fear is a wounding thing, leaving their hearts very sensitive to any possible danger, and sometimes being paranoid about dangers, either physical or emotional.  This robs the person of the peace they should be having.  This causes them to pull back from relationships, so that as adults they are unwilling to enter into the kind of emotional intimacy that is needed for a happy marriage.  The damage to the soul can be great.

The kind of damage to the soul (our mind, will and emotions) that is mentioned above is a permanent thing, unless it is dealt with.  The Lord is willing to heal it, redeem it, transform it, and make us whole, but only as we seek Him out for His ministry to us, and cooperate with His healing process.  It is not automatic.  There is a good bit of what I would call “wishful thinking” in the Body of Christ, which would like to believe that when we are born again, we are made whole, automatically; that we are placed in God’s army, totally healed, and now we are supposed to press forward into the battle.

Our observation of Christians around us tells us that we are not made whole, automatically.  Scripture tells us the same thing, if we read it carefullyII Cor 5:17 tells us that “if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (or creation); the old things passed away; behold, things have become new (or new things have come, NASB)”.  This could suggest that old ways of thinking, feeling, reacting have passed away.  But, have they?  Why do so many Christians continue in their sins for so long? II Cor 4:16 tells us that “our inner man is being renewed day by day”.  This shows us that it is a process.  Well, what about this sudden passing away of the old and the coming of the new, mentioned in II Cor 5:17?  Could it be that the very structure of our inner man is what has been made new?  We have been “re-wired for power”, the power of the Holy Spirit, because He has just come to live inside us.  We have been “equipped with God’s wiring”, in some way connected to the Holy Spirit, so that we can feel Him, sense His presence, hear Him direct our paths.  This is what is new.  Then, Rom 12:2 tells us that we are to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds”.  It is a process of the Holy Spirit showing us that our belief on this subject, or that, is ungodly and needs to be replaced by this new godly belief.  Eph 4:22-24 also speaks of our process of being renewed.

In Phil 3:12-14, we read that we are to “press on”; that we are to forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead; press on.  Many want to believe that “forgetting what lies behind” means to go forward without dealing with the things in our past that need to be dealt with; that we are to just forget about it.  God wants us to deal with these things, the ungodly inner vows, bitter root judgments, unforgiveness, and the anger we have carried toward another person.  He also wants us to be good stewards of our own person and receive healing for the wounds that we carry with us.  They cause us to limp or stagger in our faith or do other things which are not in the Spirit.  Many stagger under a disabling load of condemnation and/or self-condemnation.  Some want to be good Christians but are so afraid of God that they cannot draw near to Him.  In addition to getting our healing, He wants us to get rid of the demons that we have carried for so long.

Many Christians can sense that there is a hurt, or a fear, or something, deep down inside, but they don’t know what it is or where it came from.  This causes them to want to just forget about it, because they believe they would not be able to tell a “ministry person” what the problem is, and that would make them uncomfortable.  The wonderful truth is that Jesus knows.  He has every split second of our lives memorized.  He knows what you were wearing on your very first day of school.  Chances are that even your mother can’t remember that.  Jesus knows our hurts and fears intimately.  He knows all about the event or events that caused our wounds, and He knows exactly how to heal them.  These wounding events happened in our past.  In order to get the wounds healed, we need to revisit the past, just for a few moments, so that Jesus can come into that past event and heal us.

People have a real allergy to going anywhere where there might be some discomfort.  We generally do not want to go back to an uncomfortable scene.  We would prefer that Jesus would simply come in the night while we are sleeping and touch us with His magic wand and make it all better.  Jesus does not do it that way, for several reasons:

He knows that to change us that quickly would shock our system.

He wants us to learn to have patience with His process for our lives, healing and otherwise.  He wants us to trust Him.

He wants us to see precisely what He is doing while He heals us, so that we can understand what He has done.

He wants us to pay attention to how He does it, because He may want to use us to bring the same healing to others.

He wants us to understand it so that we can have fullness of gratitude in our hearts toward Him.

Jesus knows all the details of the healing He wants to bring, as well as the long-term effects it will have on our lives.  He knows that it will result in a more deeply intimate relationship with Him than anything we have ever known.  He knows that it will open up our hearts to the level of real vulnerability that is necessary for His love to flow through us in a truly abundant way towards others.  He has called us to love Him, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40).  Many wounded people have so encased their hearts with protective walls that they have trouble loving others, and they have trouble receiving love.  This also affects their relationship with God.  Because of this problem, many have trouble being open to God’s love, and they miss out on this precious part of the relationship that He has designed for us.  By the time we reach adulthood, we all need healing.  Let the Lord show this to you and open yourself up to His plan for your healing.  You will be blessed.

Wounds of rejection, fear, trauma, or worthlessness are very real.  If we could see our souls, and if they had physical properties, like a liver, we would see bleeding wounds and deep bruises on them.  These wounds are just as fresh as when they happened.  The world teaches us that “time heals all wounds”.  This is a lie from the “father of lies”, the devil.  The wounds never heal unless Jesus heals them.  Those who have wounds that Jesus has not healed will usually try to heal them through their own efforts.  Finding that this doesn’t work,  they usually resort to some form of trying to protect the wounds from being touched, so they will stop hurting.  People build walls around themselves, to protect their wounds, so they won’t get hurt.  People engage in activities and forms of conversation that are only on the surface, so nobody will get deep enough to touch their wounds.  Hurt is a part of nearly everybody’s life, because of these wounds.

Are you willing to trust the Holy Spirit?


When Love Divorces Doctrine and Unity Rejects Truth

It is evident that leading neo-evangelicals believe our main goal is to eliminate doctrinal distinctive’s and to emphasize unity among those claiming to be believers.

One of the basic ideas of today’s philosophy of ecumenical evangelism is that love is more important than doctrine. Ecumenical evangelists say that doctrine divides, whereas love unifies. What does the Bible say? Is it true that in the New Testament love is more important than doctrine, or Truth? In the so-called Love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, we are told:

Now abideth in faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love (agape).

Some say — That settles it: love is supreme! But when we examine that chapter more carefully, we discover that Truth is also mentioned in the chapter. In verse 6 we are told that, love rejoices in the truth. In other words, faith, hope, and love are virtues but Truth has an altogether different status. It is the frame of reference, the foundation, the atmosphere without which virtues such as love cannot exist at all.

Love rejoices in the truth. Why? Because without Truth to define it, to interpret it, to protect it, to guide it, to channel it — love can become a total disaster. We dare not place Truth on the same level as virtues. Virtues would shrivel up and die if it were not for Truth.

We cannot imagine life on this planet without water. Water is absolutely essential for life, as long as it stays within proper channels, within its canals, aqueduct, and pipes. But when water gets out of control, it is the second greatest catastrophe that can happen to this planet, second only to fire. On the one hand, it is an absolute blessing, but on the other hand, it can be a total disaster. So, it is with love.

God’s Definition of Love

Love without divine definition (God’s revealed channels within which it must flow) becomes the most horrible thing on earth. It can destroy human beings by the millions and can be reduced to satanic sentimentalism.

Love, as defined by God, is doing for a person that which is best for him in the light of eternity, no matter what the cost may be. That is how it is defined by God. Somehow, when it comes to world evangelism, many people have forgotten God’s definitions and have fallen into sentimentalism. Consider some key Scriptures which illustrate the distinction between love and Truth.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. — John 8:31,32

Ultimate freedom may only be achieved by total submission — unconditional surrender to Truth. There is nothing here about love.

Love Obeys the Truth

There are many who speak glowingly of their love for Jesus Christ and for lost men. In John 14:15,21,23,24, He stresses that obedience to Truth is the best form of love:

If ye love me, keep my commandments He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keeps not my sayings: …

This is what we call the acid test of love — does a man obey the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ? It makes no difference how much we talk about our love if we do not obey Christ. It is obedience that counts, not words. Obedience without love is theoretically possible, but love without obedience is, in practice, impossible. It is a satanic substitute for God’s plan.

Love Teaches the Truth

John 21 gives an example of one who said much about his love for Jesus. But when it came to obedience, it was not there. When the pressure came, his resolution collapsed, and he denied his Lord. After the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord confronted Peter lovingly, but in truth:

… Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, feed my lambs Feed my sheep Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17

How do we express love to the Lord Jesus according to the lesson of this confrontation? By feeding His sheep, as He also commanded in the great commission, by teaching His people and training them in the whole counsel of God, teaching them whatsoever I have commanded you.

In Acts 20, we find a good example of an apostle who obeyed the great commission. He says nothing about love to the Ephesians in this passage. But he exhibited the supreme love of any disciple toward the Ephesians. What did he do for them? Did he say, I love you, I love you, I love you? Acts 20:26-27 gives the answer:

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Love Leaves Nothing Out

The result was that all which dwelt in Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord Jesus. Paul based his evangelism on sound doctrinal instruction. That is God’s key for world evangelism. The words of Paul in Galatians 1:6 were blunt and necessary as Paul says in Galatians 4, in order to tell them the Truth.

Ephesians 4 tells us how we can achieve the perfect balance. Note the gifts God gave the true Church, the body of Christ, for service and ministry in this age: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers. — Ephesians 4:11

Every one of these gifts in the form of a person is a doctrinal person. They are all totally involved in Truth. All were totally involved in preaching, teaching, and discipling in the light of revealed Truth. There is no teaching whatsoever in the New Testament suggesting that love is more important than doctrine or Truth.

Love is referred to in Galatians 4:15 where we read of, speaking the truth in love. Love is the manner and method of speaking Truth. Love is the servant of Truth. It makes it easier to receive, absorb, and digest. But it must never be allowed to eclipse or set aside Truth. God’s Truth can never change, but God’s Truth in the hands of human messengers is a very delicate and fragile thing.

Love Resists Poisons

There is no living system known to science that can survive without an intricate, elaborate, and constantly-used system to purify itself from poisons. This is true of God’s Church. It is impossible for any organization to survive unless it has a system to purify itself from poisonous influences.

We need to remember we are in a highly poisoned environment. We are immersed in Satan’s world. He has constant access to every servant of God through his fallen nature. How can the relative success of a Christian’s ministry be evaluated apart from God’s infallible inerrant Word? Who is to determine what success means?

Love Protects the Flock

Did the Lord Jesus encourage His disciples to listen sympathetically to other religious leaders of that time? His answer is given in Matt. 7:15, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Yet we are told today by neo-evangelicals that we should both teach and study in liberal universities and colleges of theology. There is one thing worse than division and that is peace with compromise. Truth is infinitely more important than the false unity of the world.

Love Corrects Error

Why? Because for the sake of Truth, even families will be split with hostility so that at least someone within that unit can perpetuate God’s Truth. In Romans 16:17 Paul says,

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which causes divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

If we honor and love the Lord Jesus, we will watch for anything which may destroy His Truth. We will avoid such people.

A good way of life or good doctrine is always contaminated by a bad environment or bad associations. A mere association of the good with the bad will never make the bad thing better. The good gets worse; the bad does not improve. It is the same with a rotten apple in a barrel. The bad one never gets better, but the good ones go rotten (1 Cor. 15:33). Is it right for doctrinal purity to be blatantly submerged for the sake of worldly ecclesiastical unity? Surely this is a total denial of the Holy Spirit’s Word through the Scriptures.




God loves crackpots

2 Corinthians 4:6-4:18 Read from Bible

So here is what we can see in God’s Word

God loves crackpots

God turns our weaknesses into strength

God uses Cracked pots

God loves Crack Pots

The only way that you never get cracked pots is to never use them, to set them on the shelf and just look at them. (Repeat)

God loves cracked pots because;

We don’t live in a room that never damages us

We do not live in a world that never put their hands on us

We live in a world that is more like a scratch and dent sale than a showcase room of collectibles.

Here is a liberating thought for you –

God didn’t create you to be decoration.

Because you are cracked, does not mean you have no value.

(6-7) that we read

God tells us that He gets glory when His light shines out of darkness.

Out of His abundant light, He allows His light to shine in His people. So that they not only see God’s light when looking at God but through God’s people.

God’s power working through us in earthen vessels brings Him Joy.

God does not have to work through us. He does not need us, we need Him. But He chooses to work His power through us. You want to put a smile of God’s face, allow Him to work through you. It will bring Him Joy.

Clay pot means ‘earthen vessel”- the ordinary clay that makes ordinary pots allows God to do some amazing things.

A created pot has not value until it is used for its purpose. An empty pot has not value. A pot sitting on a shelf just looks pretty, not useful.

God specializes in broken.

He never gives up on someone because they have a few dings and dents.

The broken pieces fit together when the potter is the one putting the pieces together.

I think God loves yard sales- because He get great joy finding something that someone else has discarded and finding value in it and will put it again to use.

Jeremiah 18

The prophet Jeremiah was instructed to go see what God had in store for Israel.

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Go down to the potter’s house and there I will give you my message. So, I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot that he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so, the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”

God was giving instruction to the prophet Jeremiah for the nation of Israel.

The principal is the same for us today-

God doesn’t throw out- He desires to reshape the broken and unwanted piece of clay and molding into something beautiful.

“Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does? Declared the Lord. Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand Israel.”

God turns our weaknesses into strengths.

Some are broken and trying to find what good can come of these experiences we have gone through.

Psalm 20:7

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord.”

Apostle Paul tells a young Timothy

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

Feel overwhelmed?

Over extended

Tired/ exhausted

People/things not moving fast enough?

God turns weakness into strength when we turn our weakness over to him and His strength becomes our strength.

The devil wants you to believe;

You are the only one feeling this way.

You are the only one going through something like this.

Pushing you to give up because you feel powerless.

God uses Cracked pots


God loves Cracked pots

God turns our weaknesses into strengths

And finally, God uses cracked pots

I love calling you cracked pots! You and you and you! Why?

Because I am one too!

We are all damaged goods that the Lord has taken an interest in.

There is not one of us sitting here that does not need Jesus!

There is not one of us here who would make heaven without Jesus!

There is not one of us here who on our own merit is worthy of a relationship with a holy God!


Because we are sinners!

Because we are broken, and our vases should wear and tear and have the glue marks to prove it.

God turns those broken and glued marks of our lives and uses them as badges of honor for what He has brought us through and where He wants to take us.

What doe s it mean to be a broken vessel that God can use?

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 Read slowly and clearly

We are treasures to God- Clay yes! Breakable Yes! But important to God.

Containers made by a holy and perfect God.

All different sizes for all different purposes.

Dead Sea scrolls were found in jars of clay- God’s Word in clay jars- Gods Word in each of us for safe keeping.

Clay jars are temporary holding places- these bodies of ours are temporary holding places for what God has for us in the future.

The light of God’s Word entrusted to us and dwells inside.

While we were dead in our sin and destined for destruction (Colossians 2:13), God made a way for us to be made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our physical “jars of clay” will be resurrected one day to become glorified, eternal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:20–23). God extends an invitation for “whosoever will” to come to Him while still in these earthly bodies (Revelation 22:17).

This knowledge and resulting relationship with God are the greatest treasures any earthly vessel can hold.

“We are not being fed!”

Anderson Cooper evolves as spokesperson for swamp dweller’s in a fit of “We are not being fed!”

Cooper unloads on press secretary Sara  Sanders because the M.S.M is not privy to the latest news releases from the White House. “In the past three months these daily releases have dwindled down to almost nothing said, Anderson.” I guess we can assume the media giants will be dredging the Potomic for fresh food.

There is a bolo alert out on “Frankenfish.”  You remember them they are a cross between an eel, snake and piranha that breathes air and has needle like teeth and grows to three feet long. Well the media can get fresh food from the Potomic just remember to spit out the teeth.


Why do Christians lie?

Why Do Christians Lie?

I stumbled onto this and it hit a nerve, thought i would share.

~ Anonymous

Rather than the lies for specific situations, this question implies general and ongoing deceit, most likely one of the following complaints:

  1. Why do Christians contradict one another?
  2. Why do Christians pretend to have all the answers?
  3. Why are Christians hypocrites?
  4. Why do Christians assert what obviously can’t be true?

These questions are more easily answered if restated with less bias.

  1. Why do Christians hold different perspectives?

We’re each speaking the truth we understand, like the blindfolded group describing an elephant as a snake, a tree, a wall, etc. How important for us to work for unity and share information to obtain a whole picture!

  1. Why do Christians sometimes share the wrong answers?

We hold all the truth we need in the Bible and in the Holy Spirit. But we’re still learning to understand and apply it and will continue to do so throughout our lifetime because it is so immense. We tend to fill in the gaps in our understanding with what we think is the truth but later learn to be off the mark. It is important to first ascertain the accuracy of foundational truths, remain teachable about all we have yet to learn, and remember that everyone else is also still learning.

That especially applies to teachers, (as well as people bold enough to attempt Q&A on Christianity and the Bible). James 3:1-2 (NKJV) says this: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things.”

  1. Why don’t Christians live up to what they preach?

Christians can become so excited about how salvation has changed us that we make it sound as if we’ve been made complete. We can start sharing a message implying perfect people rather than invoking the perfect Son of God, Jesus Christ. Although our redemption from sin’s death penalty is complete, learning to live like Jesus is a lifelong process. If we uphold Jesus Who lives inside of us as the Author of eternal Life, we’ll be safely speaking truth. If we uphold our incomplete selves as “Life,” the world may only see a crumbling bit of dying flesh and call it “Lie.”

  1. Why do Christians believe the impossible?

Perhaps the harshest physical reality of this world is that the dead don’t come back to life. The definition of a Christian is a Christ-follower anointed with His Holy Spirit, who used to be spiritually dead but has been spiritually resurrected. Once death has been overcome, nothing else God asks of the Christian is “impossible.”


All Comments are welcome.

One Terrible Lie That Is Destroying Christianity In America And Leading Souls to Hell

A vast array of lies and heresies have infected Christianity in America. It is difficult to narrow the list down. Certainly, we cannot point to just one and say, “This is the one causing all the trouble.” But I think there are a few very fundamental falsehoods that have given birth to this whole huge tree of lies, with all of its many branches and vines and all of its rotten fruit, and all of the countless people who have gotten sick and died from eating it.

I want to focus on just one lie today. This is one of the worst because it is so popular and so appealing. Many Christians have been escorted into the darkness by pastors and other Christian leaders who have convinced them of this deception. It is a deception that cannot easily be summarized in one sentence, and is rarely stated as forthrightly as I will state it here, but generally it goes like this:

A Christian ought to always think positive and be optimistic. He shouldn’t think about his sin or worry much about repentance.

Some Christians have adopted this idea explicitly. I have heard it said — by layman and pastor alike — that God “cannot see our sin” because Christ’s blood covers it, and so we need not concern ourselves with repentance. Just as one brief example, here is Rick Warren telling his followers that they should just “relax” because God “does not see” their sin. He does not say anything about repentance.

This is not only wrong but blasphemous, as it denies (among other things) the omniscience of God. It claims that there are things in this world that we puny mortals can see but God cannot. It gives us power over God. It denies an essential truth of the Divine: that He sees and knows everything. There is nothing you’ve ever done or thought or said that God doesn’t know about. He sees your sin, He sees it clearly, He sees it far clearer than you see it, and He demands that you repent of it or face eternal consequences.

The majority of Christians will agree, theoretically, that repentance is necessary. But they approach it casually and dismissively, echoing the attitude of their pastors and priests who treat it as so trivial that it barely needs be mentioned in their sermons. The apostles and prophets and the Son of God all preached constantly of repentance — they were all “fire and brimstone” preachers, every one of them, Jesus especially — yet the message you hear in most churches today is one of unrelenting rainbows and sunshine. The flock is not called to fall to their knees and beg for God’s forgiveness. Instead they are given comfort and reassurance and positive thoughts to dwell upon. But it is a false comfort and a false assurance and a false positivity. It is a comfort and assurance and positivity that comes from ignoring their own wickedness.

Christ said something very different. “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). “Unless you repent, you will all perish” (Luke 13:3). Jesus doesn’t want us to “relax” in our sin. He wants us to make war upon it. He wants us to gouge out our eyes and chop off our hands if they are causing us to sin (Mark 9:43). He wants us to reach always for perfection and to never be satisfied with anything less (Matthew 5:48). Relax? No, there is no time for relaxation. In the Sermon on the Mount He tells us not to be anxious about Earthly and materialistic concerns (Matthew 6:25), but on the fate of our souls we should be obsessively focused, for it is a narrow and difficult road that leads to life (Matthew 7:13).


This message is repeated over and over and over again all over Scripture. Paul’s message was repentance. Peter’s message was repentance. John the Baptist’s message was repentance. Repentance is the first message that Jesus preached after He emerged from His confrontation with Satan in the desert. The word “repent” or “repentance” appears over 70 times in the Bible. Repentance was Christ’s first sermon and it must be our first step. We cannot have true faith without it. We cannot be saved without it. We cannot go to Heaven without it.

The first step to the first step is to feel shame for our sin. It does no good to say we are sorry if we are not really sorry. We “store up wrath for the day of wrath” when we have an “impenitent heart” (Romans 2:5). That is why it is so unfortunate that the modern church has developed a deep aversion to shame but not an aversion to the sin that causes it. A Christian will continue on doing shameful things while pushing away the shame that follows. “Jesus doesn’t want me to be ashamed,” he says. No, Jesus doesn’t want you to sin. But if you do sin, He wants you to feel shame and feel it deeply. It is Satan who wants you to sin and feel no shame.

If we have never felt shame and guilt, we have never repented. If we have never felt disgust at our sin, we have never repented. If we have never allowed ourselves to suffer for our sin and embraced our suffering the way the penitent thief on the cross embraced his, we have never repented. And if we have never resolved with all our hearts never to repeat the sin, we have never repented. If you’re like me, you have resolved a million times and yet sinned again anyway. Our flesh is weak, that much is obvious. But our spirit must still be willing, and a willing spirit means coming to God in total submission and saying, “I am devastated by my sin because I know that it offends You. I ask You to give me the grace to turn from this wickedness and never indulge in it again for as long as I live. I would rather die than continue along this path.”

This is true repentance. A repentant heart is a radical heart because it is a heart that prefers death over sin. A repentant man realizes that sin is what brought death into the world, sin is what put the Son of God on the Cross, therefore sin is the most terrible thing in all existence. He sees that his sins are the thorns in the crown placed on Christ’s head, the whip that scourged Him, the nails that went through Him, the spear that pierced Him. He sees this and weeps over it. A Christian who can stand casually before the Cross and feel nothing for the abuse he inflicted on his God, is in an extremely dangerous state. He is even more lost, and closer to Hell, than an atheist or a pagan who does not believe in Christ but at least has a proper sense of guilt for his wrongdoing.

There is no way to be “positive” and “optimistic” as we look upon the Cross. Optimism is a temporal gospel for people only concerned with temporal happiness. The “positive thinkers” are able to think positive because they refuse to think about anything difficult. The Cross is difficult. It is the most difficult thing in history. The positive thinking Christian ignores it — ignores his Savior’s suffering and sacrifice — and becomes even more degenerate than the crowds that gathered on Calvary to spit in His face. At least they were there. The arrogant Christian, with his stupid positivity, can’t be bothered to show up.

The correct attitude is not one of worldly positivity and optimism, nor is it one of negativity and pessimism. Rather, it is one of hope. A “positive thinking” person refuses to look at anything that is painful or uncomfortable, especially the painful and uncomfortable things within himself. A hopeful person endures pain, embraces discomfort, confronts wickedness, repents desperately of his sin, weeps over what is sorrowful, hates what is evil, and still has joy — a joy much deeper than the fleeting pleasure of mere optimism — because he knows that something beautiful lies beyond the suffering. He does not attempt to go around suffering to get to the destination. Instead he picks up his cross and follows Christ through it, right into the pain, right into the dark, right up that terrible hill, where salvation awaits.

But the first step is to repent. And then to repent again, and again, and again, every time we sin. This is not the easiest or most comfortable road to walk. Indeed, it is the hardest and narrowest road of all. It is also the only road that leads to life. So, all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and begin.

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