Tag Archives: testimony

Where is Your Treasure

Matthew 6:19-21

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

My brother used to have a fun game he played with his grandson. It started when he was just three and went on for about 6 years until the young man outgrew it. My brother would draw up treasure maps They would feature keys areas in and around his yard, and his grandson would try and decode those. At first. He needed help. But then it got harder and harder for my brother to make them difficult. Somewhere along the way, his grandson started making up maps for my brother which got more and more challenging. It was a fun game that I’m sure they will remember for the rest of their lives.

I can remember as a teen doing a lot of scavenger hunts. You were given a list of items and you had to go around and find them somewhere. One of those lists might include a pine cone, a paper clip a tube of lipstick and other very diverse items. We always had fun trying to win those scavenger hunts to win some silly little prize. Sometimes I feel like doing one again.

All of my life I have been hunting treasure though. For 24 years I hunted the treasures of this world. Wealth, fame, status, respect, power – these are all the treasures of this world. I was drawn away from this quest by what I perceived as the treasures of the flesh. These are the things we want so that our physical life will be more exciting and more provocative – sex, drugs, booze. These things dominated my life and distracted me from those fleshly treasures that most go after., They made me unable to function to my fullest capacity and I fell way short of the things I could have accomplished. They caused me to drop out of college and waste my mind. They caused me to pour out my income like water into the abyss. They caused me to become a lost soul. This is what the treasures of this world will do to a man.

Moth and rust corrupt. This is an interesting saying to me. A moth will eat away at natural fibers like wool until it is destroyed. When I think of moths, I think of wool Moths can destroy a wool coat quite quickly. When wool was stored in old days, people used moth balls to keep the moths away. They really stink, in case you didn’t know. I’m not sure whether people still use them or not. I used some to put under my deck and keep the stray cats out, and it worked!

Rust uses the oxygen in water to corrode items made of iron. Iron is known as a very strong metal, but it is no match for rust. I remember once having a Dodge Opal car which was made in Germany. It came overseas on the deck of the boat and all that salt water had quite an effect on the car. As much as I loved that car. It had rust everywhere, and it just kept getting worse. When the floorboard started rusting through, it was time for it to go!

These two items are known for their durability and strength still today. Yet that durability and strength are vulnerable to a small insect and the natural elements of the world. Our lives are the same. No matter how strong we are, it’s the little things that will seep in and destroy us. Paul wrote that a little leaven will leaven the whole lump (Gal 6:9). Leaven in this case is referring to sin. If just a little gets in, our whole body is infected with it. The riches of this world can bring all kinds of sin alive in our lives. Greed, jealousy, pride, arrogance, haughtiness, boastfulness, and the like. These seeming little things will corrupt us, and people will easily see past our Christian façade.
The other thing about the worlds riches is that thieves can steal them. People can take them away from you. We hear of this all the time not only with traditional robberies, but with the many scams that are going on, money making schemes galore. And people just being plain dishonest. All of these things rob our of our earthly riches.

So then, are we to not put aside money for retirement or the future of our family? This is not what Jesus is talking about here. He is talking about gathering to yourself riches to lavish upon yourself. He is talking about getting riches so that we can appear better than anyone else. God hates pride, and riches can easily lead to pride if we are not careful. If you are accumulating wealth for your retirement and future generations, do not think for a moment that God is not pleased with that activity. That is part of being a good steward. But if you are heaping up treasures and just storing them to lavish on yourself then beware lest you be carried away by their allurement.

We are to lay up treasures in heaven. What are these treasures? Many believe these are souls saved because they hear our testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and want the same blessings on their life. In Rev 11:12, we read that we are saved by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of our testimony. This testimony that we share might be the story of how we came to Christ, or a healing He has done in our lives, or peace that He has given us in the worst of times. We do not have to wait for some mighty miracle or special discernment from God to share a testimony. The every day blessings He gives us make a wonderful testimony and can minister just as effectively to those who do not know Christ. I think many Christians shy away from giving a testimony about the Lord because they don’t feel anything “spectacular” has happened to them that would sway another person. Never feel this way. Share what Christ has done for you with anyone where the Spirit prompts you. Your treasure awaits you!

Another thing that is promised to believers are the five crowns. These are mentioned in various places in the New Testament. They are the Crown of righteousness, the incorruptible Crown,, the Crown of Life, the Crown of glory and the Crown of rejoicing. Let’s briefly look at who earns these crowns (yes, they are earned).

The Incorruptible Crown:

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 KJV

This verse tells us that those who are willing to sacrifice everything, including their earthly body, will earn this crown. It is not given to those who just barely make it into heaven, or those who just do what they are told and nothing more. It is given to those who go all out, those who are seeking more and more to do from God. Think of the missionary who goes into the jungle seeking out tribes that have never been reached. It is for those who “strive for the mastery” in a controlled, concise way.

The Crown of Righteousness

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8 KJV

This crown is given to those who love to see Christ when He appears. I am not convinced that this means only those who rejoice at His second coming. I also think it includes those who rejoice to see Christ at work in other people. They rejoice in the right thing being done in the name of Jesus, because that means Jesus has been present among them. They rejoice when others are touched by the Lord. They also rejoice in hearing from the Lord. Speaking to us is a way that He appears to us. They even rejoice at the Lord’s rebuke and correction because that means He is there. To receive the Crown of Righteousness we must eagerly await His presence among us.

The Crown of Life:

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12 KJV

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 KJV

This is the only crown mentioned in two different places. Both verses tells us that this crown goes to those who endure temptation and put up with the trials that they might face in their Christian walk. They do not shy away from trouble on behalf of Christ. They accept it as part of the price they pay and they remain faithful through every test the world might bring their way. We should not be afraid of these trials because we can rest assured He is with us in the midst of them for Her loves us.

The Crown of Glory:

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:1-4 KJV

This crown is for the Pastors and teachers of the Word. They have faithfully shared what God has placed on their hearts, delivering His message week after week. They have not shied away from the truth contained in the Word, and they have not altered their message for the sake of monetary gain. They are not forced to preach but enjoy sharing the truths of the Bible wanting everyone to walk in that truth. They shepherd their flock, leading them to still waters and green pastures.

The Crown of Rejoicing:

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19 KJV

This is given to those who witness to others about the Lord, sharing their testimony freely so all they come in contact with will know the saving power of Jesus Christ. They have no backed off or shied away from confrontation when it comes, but have persevered with patience to win souls to the Kingdom of God. The are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for they know it is the power of God to salvation (Rom 1:12).

There are many who have done long studies about these crowns, but I am going to leave it at that. Some will only receive one crown, others might receive them all. Most of us will fall in between. These treasures are only gained in heavenly realms. They are no earthly good. But the results of what it takes to receive them will bring us even more treasures in heaven. And that is a good thing to strive for.

Your heart will belong to the place where your treasures are.  It will long after them and want to stay in that place.  If your treasure is on this earth, you will be  reluctant to leave this earth.  Heaven will not seem so glorious, because the glorious things in your life are here on this earth.  Don’ let that be your attitude!  I pray that you are seeking those things which are above, not those things you can gather for yourself here below. This life is but a vapor. Why would anyone store up things that would last for a minute rather than have treasures for eternity? Let’s get out there and earn those crowns!


Keep the Commandments

Matthew 5:19-20

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.


These are two extraordinary statements for Jesus to make, not that this is uncommon. He made many statements that defied the thinking of His day. Just image if He came back today and taught the very same message. Looking at a woman with lust is adultery? Over half of our clergy leaders are caught up in internet pornography by most surveys that are done. Every one of them is guilty of adultery in His eyes. If we carry offenses and don’t reconcile with our brother, He will not accept our offerings? There are so many people offended by something and changing churches all the time it is amazing. This is fracturing the church, and it is very easy to correct. Jesus would find today’s church disgusting, believe me. What would He say about your church? If you answered that he would find faults, what can you do about it?

How many of our pulpits are teaching contrary to Biblical commandments? If they say homosexuality is not a sin, they are guilty. If they are teaching that abortion is OK because it is a mother’s choice, they are guilty. If they are teaching you are saved under grace and can do your own thing now, they are guilty. The list could go on, but you get my point. Jesus does not say that these men will not enter the kingdom of heaven which is amazing to me. He merely says they will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. The ones who teach obedience to the commandments will be called the greatest. He once again is enforcing the Old Testament Commandments, not the letter of the law but the Spirit of the law. This is an extension on the previous lesson about the fact that He fulfilled the law. He did not abolish it.

If you have leaders who are teaching contrary to Scripture, it would be good to talk to them about this verse if you dare. They will most likely quarrel about how love conquers all and we must listen to the people in order to have more people come. I would answer that argument with “Really?”. So then it’s more important to listen to man than it is to listen to God? Imagine if Peter had felt that way in Acts. He would have stopped preaching right away! The church would never have developed because they were told to stop preaching about this Jesus. But Peter knew He should listen to God, not man. What is happening to church leadership today that they don’t even see the error in their logic? Have they been that blinded to the truth? I read an interesting post yesterday by Kingdom Pastor about the Methodist Church and the Simple Plan they might be looking at. This is a scary thing. You can find it Here if you want to read it. Our churches are turning their back on the truth to cater to man’s itching ears. It’s time to get back to the Word!

Verse 20 really must have rocked their socks! Their righteousness needs to be greater than the Pharisees? These men were seen as the epitome of righteousness. Long flowing robes of vibrant colors, praying in the streets, leading the worship and reading the scripture were the works of very spiritual men in the people’s eyes. No one dared question their authority. Until Jesus came along. Actually it started with John. He called them a brood of vipers, and asked them who had told them to flee from the coming wrath. It was like He knew Jesus would come against them. And Jesus did come against them in a powerful way. He refuted their thinking every time they questioned Him.

One time they came to Him with a coin and asked Him if the people should pay homage to Caesar or to God. They were trying to trap Him into choosing one or the other. But Jesus came back at them, asking who’s image was on the coin. They said Caesars. Jesus told them they should render to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God. Whose image are is on us? God’s! He was telling the Pharisees that they needed to render themselves to God, and all the people should as well. This was another amazing answer. (Mark 12:14-17)

Another time they came to Him asking what is the greatest commandment. Of course, Jesus replied correctly, but then added the second greatest which is Love they neighbor as thyself. They asked Him who their neighbor was and He told the story of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan was the neighbor who was good to the stranger after religious leaders passed Him by. The Pharisees were reluctant to say the Samaritan, so they just said the one who showed mercy to him. This story got under their skin because the Jews hated the Samaritans. (Luke 10:25-37).

The diatribe of Woes to the Pharisees and Scribes is probably the best known of Jesus attacks on their righteousness. He really laid it on the line is this speech found in Matthew 23. It is long, but I want to put it here in case you haven’t read it in a while. Read slowly and carefully, there is a lot here. Pray the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to any of these things in your life or your church leaders lives.

Matthew 23

23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Over and over, Jesus calls them hypocrites. They are not following the scripture. They are following their own rules and regulations ahead of the scripture. The commandments of God took a backseat to the whims of man. Oh, how this is parallel to today’s church. I can see Jesus saying the same type of things to the Methodist leaders conference, or the Assembly of God, of the Southern Baptist convention. Has your doctrine become more important than God’s Word? If it has, you are hypocrites! Our righteousness must exceed yours. Righteousness in this case is referring to doing the right thing according to the complete law, the spirit of the law.

Jesus turned His world upside down, and He would turn our churches upside down today. We all need to take a hard look at ourselves, me included, and ask God to try us and then mold us into His image. We need to ask Him to perfect us through the struggles and trials that we face. We need to be bold and approach our leaders if our church is not following Scriptural practices. We need to be more like Him, touching everyone who crosses our path. The one who showed mercy to the man was the one who fulfilled the second greatest commandment. I pray we are all the ones showing mercy every day.

Be blessed!

Boxed In

I was a bit crazy in my youth. Maybe more than a bit. Maybe a lot. Especially when it came to driving. I wrecked three cars and should have died at least once, but God had some other reason to keep me alive, and here I am to tell about it. I also was not serving God despite being raised in church, so this is not going to sound anything like my typical posts, at least not at first.

I purchased my first car from my Mom. It was a 1965 brown Ford Fairlane. The year was 1969 so it was a fairly new car. I bought it for a buck. Quite a bargain, right? It was far from a perfect car though. You see, I was driving through a shopping mall parking lot on a cold winter night. There were slick spots everywhere. I came to one of those cross aisles and a car came up from my left. I put the brakes on, but was on a slab of ice and T-boned the car. Granted, I was only going about 10 MPH, but the front end was damaged pretty good. A new fender and radiator was in the works. My mom collected the insurance and got a new car. I got the Fairlane for a buck and fixed it up. Not a bad deal.

I drove that Fairlane for several years, drunken rides, high rides, sometimes pretty blind rides. We went to concerts and came home drunk, hopped bars all night long and were not at all sober. Drove to the Cape, to the mountains, to the Canadian border. We would drive to New York on Sundays to get liquor because they didn’t sell it in Mass on Sundays. I don’t know if I ever really drove sober. I know, that’s a bad thing. But it was a different era and there was not as much fanfare over drunk driving back then. I remember once driving home from a day on the cape where we had driven to P-Town, drank beer all the way there and all the way back. We got in the middle of a traffic jam in Plymouth and the cops were right there in the middle of it. We had the floor of the back seat filled with beer cans and one of us passed out in the seat. Nothing happened, but we were worried.


I finally traded the Fairlane off for a Triumph Spitfire. This white car with a convertible black top was my dream car. Fast, maneuverable and good looking. This was the ultimate party car. We drove it everywhere in new England, flying down the curvy roads at 60 or 70 MPH, weaving in and out of traffic and just not caring a bit. I’m not sure if I had a death wish or not, but people would think so because of my driving. The times I remember most fondly are when we would have about 8 of us in the car. We folded the front seats all the way down and sat semi-circle in the car, passing beers and joints all day as we drove through the White and Green mountains viewing the most beautiful Fall scenery in the world.

One time we were driving at night looking for a friend of mine who was high and tripping out. We were flying around the countryside when a cop pulled us over. We had definitely been drinking. He came up to the window and asked what the hurry was. I told him of my friend and that I was pretty sure we could find him, but we needed to do it soon or he could fly out of control. The cop actually let us go! We did find our friend and all turned out OK.

blue riodge mountains

Another time we set our sights on a vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains. We had our stash in hand, a cooler full of beer and cash to boot. We set out in the evening only to get 90 miles down the road and have the head gasket blow out of the car. It was late at night and no one was around. We limped back home, putting water in the motor several times before we arrived at my house round noon the next day. When my mom came home from work, we were sitting on a sofa in the basement, oblivious to the world. She asked what happened to our trip, and we just groaned and said the car broke.

Yes, I had plenty of adventures and misadventures with cars in my youth, but one stands out from them all to this day. As I said before, we were speed demons in that little Triumph Spitfire. We would dodge in and out of traffic going 10 to 20 MPH over the speed limit all the time. I hated it when someone passed me. Of course, the semi drivers hated my little car whizzing up from behind them and then ducking back in. One day as we cruised down the 3 lane Massachusetts Turnpike, I was on just such a mission. I wove around several semi-trucks and was just cruising fine. I came up behind on in the right lane and screeched out from behind him to pass, only to find another semi was in the middle lane up ahead. As I went to veer into the far left hand lane, another semi came up fast behind me, boxing me in on three sides. I tried to pull out, but a fourth one came up behind, and we proceeded to go 60 MPH for about 5 miles. I was out of my mind, as was my friend. We were boxed in with no place to go. These big rigs could crush my little car without getting a dent. I seriously thought about creeping under one of them on my side, but the car was a little too tall for that. That was the most harrowing 5 minutes I ever spent in my car.

Finally the semi behind us slowed down and the one in front pulled ahead so we could get out. They all blasted their horns as we drove off up the road ahead of them. I got the message loud and clear. They were in charge of the road, not me. They had mu number anytime they wanted to, and I better remember. My days of weaving in and out of semi-trucks was over. I respected them from then on.

There are times in our lives when we are going along without a care in the world. We’re just having fun and enjoying this gift of life that God gave us. We are not overzealous, but we are good Christians doing what God has asked us to do. The road seems clear ahead and we just keep going forward. Then someone comes along and says something that offends us. We are taken aback by that, and are not really sure what to do. The good book says we should go to them and clear it up, but that seems a bit too much for this small offense. It will just go away.

This offense festers in our mind until we have to talk to a friend about it. Well, now our friend is upset about it too! They want to get back at the offender but instead they start to say bad things about them to other people. Before we know it we are surrounded by negativity toward this person, and it was all such a small thing when it started, like that first semi I passed. No big deal. It’s just one truck. But then another and another got involved, and before I knew it I was boxed in. Before we know it I was boxed in with guilt that this whole thing has gotten out of control

Now you have to do something. You feel bitterness start to arise within you, and know it must not fester. That’s the worst thing that can happen. Finally you go to the person who originally offended you and you open up to them. You tell them what happened and you apologize profusely, asking their forgiveness. You back track to everyone else and let them know the truth. This is a hard lesson, like being encircled with big rigs was for me, but you learn it well. Take care of offenses at the outset. It will pay great rewards and relieve you from a lot of regret down the road.

I have never again driven like that. I learned my lesson well. And I hope that I never let offenses go too long without taking care of them. I never want to be boxed in again!

Jumping For Joy Cancer Update

Still in complete remission and no active lesions! Blood counts all look good. Praise the Lord.
This was the report I received Monday in Iowa City. I also found out my last day chemo is Sept 27th. Everything is progressing nicely. I am walking an average of 2 miles a day and biking 4+ miles a day. This is the most exercise I have ever done in my life!
On the “still believing God for complete healing” side, my neuropathy has not changed, but I am functioning better with it. And my fatigue level has slightly deteriorated (Maybe I exercise too much?).
I also have 4 opportunities to share the healing story of faith in the next two months, and continue to look for more open doors. Any suggestions?
Again, thank you for all your prayers and support. Janeen has drawn strength from them as much as I have. You are all very special to us!
Be blessed

Cancer Testimony Video

Several of you have asked for me to post this video, so here it is.  This is from our service at church Sunday night, April 22.  This service went well and we had an opportunity tom pray for several who were sick at the end of the service.  It was a blessed time in the Lord.

I am going to post this on both of my blogs, so if you are following both, you will see this on my Psalmist blog as well.

I pray it blesses you!