Wednesday, October 27, 2010

on Leave a Comment

Bigots And Racists

          Who are the real bigots and racists these days?  In my opinion the charges of bigotry and racism are being used to obscure the real issues facing our country.  The true bigotry and racism going on now is by those who are bigoted against the human race as created by God.

          Bigotry is defined as “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own”,[1] and “a bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.” [2]  Racism on the other hand is defined as “the belief that the genetic factors which constitute race are a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”[3] and “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others”[4].  Another definition of racism is the hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

          As I have stated in the past; since we all come from the same genetic line starting with Adam, we are all the same race (the human race). This is why the Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself.   Bigotry as defined above doesn’t appear to me to be a problem as long as what you are bigoted about is true.  The distinction seems to be facts verses opinion and prejudice.  Stubbornness, intolerance and obstinacy are in no way improper if you are firmly based in the truth.  Truth never changes; it’s the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.  A fact is a truth and although people can try to say it is not; it cannot be other than what it is.  Facts are stubborn things.[5]  If you are not firmly and factually based in what you believe; why do you hold those beliefs?  If you are in some way unsure of your belief

system, you need to get busy and study to show yourself approved.  Beliefs not founded in fact are simply opinions or emotional determinations.  If your beliefs are not founded on more than emotion or opinion, you are simply opening yourself up to control by others.  This is why the progressives are trying to convince you that there are no absolutes.  Not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but the sun will be coming up tomorrow morning, even if you can’t see it through the clouds.  The stars are still in the heavens.  God is still there also, and the world is going along as planned.  

          Today, the progressives along with the majority of the lock step press seem to be the biggest offenders in bigotry and racism.  They use accusations of bigotry and racism through innuendo and just plain untruth.  They are doing their best to drive wedges between the people of our country with the idea of divide and conquer.  The following are some examples

1. “As our readers have already learned Rep. Andre Carson gathered Capitol Hill reporters around him and told the tale of racial slurs and menacing crowds on the verge of hurling rocks at the congressmen.  Our first few videos showed the congressmen coming out of the Cannon Office Building, walking down the steps and into Independence Avenue from various angles.  None of those videos revealed the racial hatred Rep. Carson conveyed to reporters that day and none of the videos showed a mob rushing or in any way impeding the congressmen.  When Rep. Carson gathered reporters around him to spread the myth of racial slurs being hurled “fifteen times” he painted the protesters not just as racists, but as a terrorist threat. 

 KERRY PICKET (Wash. Times): Do you think the people outside are generally dangerous or no?

REP. CARSON: Oh absolutely. I worked in homeland security. I’m from intelligence, and I’ll tell you, one of the largest threats to our internalsecurity…I mean terrorism has an Islamic face, but it really comes from racial supremacist groups. (Inaudible) It’s the kind of thing we keep a threat assessment on record [for].

PICKET: From groups like this?

REP. CARSON: Oh absolutely.

And we can now see this two pronged message continuing in the narrative from Democratic politicians and the media:  The Tea Party protests are really about white rage and they are sowing the seeds for domestic terrorism.  This was the message delivered by Rep. Carson that afternoon and that is the message the media has run with.

Only problem is, we can’t find any proof to back up Rep. Carson’s story.  And when challenged, he hides behind the legend and stature of Rep. Lewis.  The constant challenge of “Are you calling Rep. John Lewis a liar?” must now be answered with “Are you calling Rep. Andre Carson beyond reproach?”[6],[7]

2. “President Barack Obama, known for his lectures to others on civility, saw fit to use the obscene and derogatory term “tea-baggers” in a book interview with author Jonathan Alter.

Below is an excerpt from Alter’s new book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, to be released May 18:

Obama said that the unanimous House vote against the Recovery Act ‘set the tenor for the whole year’: ‘That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.’  For Obama, this was the greatest surprise of 2009.

“It is insulting to have him lecture on civility while being the least civil participant,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.  “Obama, get out of the gutter, wash your mouth out with soap and grow up.  Obama is acting like a teenager -- trying to be funny by using foul language and sexual innuendo.  Pre-teens think that is funny.  Adults do not.”

The revelation of Obama’s use of the term “tea-baggers” comes within a few days of his oft-cited May 1 commencement speech at the University of Michigan.”.[8]

3. Recently, Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP, accused the Tea Party movement of condoning racism. He presented accusations that were devoid of proof.  

          God is neither tolerant, nor open-minded.  Since He made and therefore owns it all, He wants things, ‘by God’ done His way.  If I made it all and owned it all, you would ‘by me’ do it my way.  If it was yours, I would have to, ‘by you’, do it your way.  Do you get it yet?  He is the boss, and we need to do what He says.  The Bible has been therefore provided as the instruction book.  There are those that, through ignorance, will say that the Bible was written by men and therefore not to be considered the actual Word of God. It has been sad throughout history that men overstep the bounds of their own ignorance and make jest of those who do possess the knowledge of the truth.  Even though the Bible says this will happen, some times it still causes pain and sorrow when you realize that those ignorant people will be lost.  If there were no Christianity, I would be an atheist because there is no other religion that is acceptable to me.  ‘It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are stupid than to open it and

remove all doubt.’[9]  “Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them.”[10]  Progressives say "You don't need God anymore, you have us Democrats."[11]  

Our founders say "Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament & its best Security."[12] We seem to have a difference of opinion displayed here.  Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can hurt feelings, ruin reputations and ruin careers.  False accusations and innuendo are one of the last resorts of the insecure.  Beware though; progressives believe that the end justifies the means.  As Andy Stern of the S.E.I.U has said; “If we can’t do it by the power of persuasion, we’ll do it by the persuasion of power”.

[5] Ronald Regan
[7] KERRY PICKET (Wash. Times):
[8] John Kartch
[9] Unable to find out to whom to attribute this quote
[10] Jude vs.10
[11] Nancy Pelossi, 2006
[12] Sam Adams, 1780

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

on Leave a Comment

Apart From God, All Life is in Vain

The whole book of Ecclesiastes deals with the futility of life apart from God. Man has a place within himself that can only be filled by God. However, the “godless” man will seek to fill that void with anything and everything under the sun only to discover that all his work was in vain. We have seen humanity search to fill that void with wealth, intellectualism, work, sex, and a myriad of other avenues to try to bring meaning into their lives. Ultimately these efforts will be seen as unsatisfactory for the mere reason that everything under the sun will vanish like the wind. It is only with God as the center of our lives that we can truly see a purpose in our lives that has eternal value. Why is this?

God is the creator of all things, and it is His will that provides purpose that is real and lasting rather than temporal and corruptible. His ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts surpass any of our understanding. This explains why humans are always at a loss when they trust in their own limited wisdom and understanding rather than trusting in the Lord and His Word to show us God’s ways and will for our lives. A man’s ways are right in his own eyes and will therefore change with every wind that comes along. This is what leads to such ideas as women’s “choice” when it comes to abortion. Oh the folly of even assuming that our bodies are our own, and therefore we should have the right to “choose” death rather than life, whether it be for ourselves or for the unborn child. But again I say that this is the pitfall that man will fall into every time we try to live a life that is separate from God, His Word, and His ways.

It is not in the nature of man to be able to reach perfection in this world. Jesus, the Son of God, was the only one to ever accomplish that. However, He has given believers the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth. His Word is our “owner’s manual” by which we are to live our lives as we put our trust in Him to take us through this journey of life on Earth to prepare us for our real home in eternity with Him.

It makes me so very sad to think that some look upon His Word as just a nice little book of mythology written by mere men. They have not received the God knowledge of the power of His Holy Spirit who is able to inspire men to write His Word. As believers in Christ, it is not possible for us to live a life that is daily being transformed into the image of God, unless we have a full relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus told His followers to go tarry in the upper room and wait for His Spirit to come and dwell within them. Read the book of Acts and ask the Lord to help you see the transforming power that was brought about within each of them as they received the power of the indwelling Spirit to live within them. Evidence is plainly given as we see Peter changed from the coward that denied his Christ, not once but three times, into the man that would go into the world and spread the Word of God without fear of what any man could do to his earthly body.

It is easy to have an intellectual, or head knowledge of who God is. Satan believes and knows who God is. He even knows the scriptures as any one can see who reads of how he tried to tempt even Jesus in the wilderness. But he will never know what it is to have the power of the Holy Spirit within him because he refuses to obey God. It is the Holy Spirit that opens our eyes, ears, and hearts that we may yield ourselves to the true knowledge of God that we may not be deceived by ourselves, others, or Satan. That is why His Word tells us to be being filled by the Holy Spirit daily that He may perfect us and mold us more into His image, changing us from the corruptible “old man” that we were into the new creation that we are to become.

Imagine if you were just about to eat a beautiful looking piece of apple pie. From the outside, the piecrust seems absolutely scrumptious looking. However, as you cut into it you may see some of the residual juices but the apples, the most important part, is missing from the pie. As Christians, that is exactly how we are if we do not have His Holy Spirit within us. God tells us that this is what many of us, who think we are believers, look like. We may show all the outward signs of the customs and traditions of a Christian; however, that is mere religiousity, and we lack the power (of the Holy Spirit) within. No wonder He says in His Word, that He is going to say He knew us not and spew us out of His mouth. If we deny the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot enter His Kingdom. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which is denying Him and His power, is the unforgivable sin for which there is NO FOREGIVENESS. It is His Spirit that enables us to understand God’s Word. He tells us to study the Word that we may become a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing (understanding) the Word of God. Why would He tell us to study His Word if it was only a bunch of man made stories and myths? Why would He tell us that men, through the inspiration of His Holy Spirit, gave us His Word for our instruction and correction that we might know His purpose for our lives?

Why would He tell us to hide His Word in our Hearts and keep them ever before us?I once heard someone say that we are either walk with the Lord daily, or we are walking away from Him. There is no such thing as just retaining the status queue with the Lord. I can truly relate to that statement. Sometimes I have behaved as though Jesus is someone that I put on a shelf to sit there until the next time I want to call on Him. Do you know what I mean? It’s kind of like this. “Jesus, I think I can do this part without you, so you just stay there, let me do my own thing, and I’ll come to you when and IF I think I might need you to handle something in my life.” How ignorant and foolish of me. If I neglected to eat and/or drink daily, I would wind up being a very sick and malnourished person. Well, the same thing happens to my inward man, that is my spirit, when I don’t feed upon His Word and allow His Holy Spirit to keep me from becoming spiritually stagnant or sickly. Without His Word applied to our lives we are as a ship without a rudder, tossed every which way by the winds that are forever changing. Without His Word to instruct and guide us, we are led only by the power of our own fluctuating opinions. Man’s ways, without God, no matter how “good” we may try to be by our own efforts, are all in vain and are always going to lead to destruction.

That is why God tells us, if we continually deny the Holy Spirit, there will come a point when we will choose to trust only ourselves and will therefore no longer be able to receive the true knowledge and understanding of the one true living God. Instead, even though we may go to church or say that we read the Bible, we will pick and choose what is pleasing to our own ears and cast the rest of the body of His complete Word aside as we see fit. We will choose to incorporate only those things that please us or “tickle our ears.” As humans there is always going to exist some hypocrisy in our lives until we see the Lord face to face and His work within us is completed. We are to yield ourselves to Him daily, and trust in Him to continue to perfect us until that day. The purpose for our lives here on Earth is to glorify the Lord in thought, word, and deed. We are to love the Lord and serve Him with all our being. We are not saved by good works; however, we are saved to do good works. It is my daily prayer that I may do those things which are pleasing in His sight that I may be transformed more and more into His image by the power of His Holy Spirit. Growing in the Lord is not something that just happens automatically, but only as we really choose to spend time with the Lord. That is what makes Christianity different from all other religions.

Christianity is not a bunch of do’s and don’ts. It is a “personal” relationship with Him. Otherwise laws handed down to us would have been sufficient. There would not have been a need for Jesus to give His life that you and I might be saved through faith in Him. He paid the price, not Buddha or any other god. That is why there is no other foundation by which one may have eternal life. There is only one path to God and that is through faith in Jesus, the Son of God. God does not send condemn anyone to Hell. We condemn ourselves when we reject His provision and plan for our salvation. I could send you an airplane ticket to my home, but if you threw it away you wouldn’t get here. People are always trying to blame God, by saying they can’t believe a loving God would send anyone to Hell. How ridiculous! He sent the Ark (Jesus). It’s not His fault when someone refuses to get on board.

There was a point in my life when I was a believer, but my husband was not. Yet God showed me the truth of His Word. I knew that the Lord said He would change my life if I would yield to Him and make Him Lord of ALL of my life. I had to make a choice. Was I going to really commit my life to Him or not? Satan, the liar, tried to tell me, “Sure go ahead, and just remember that He just might take your husband away from you. You know just how much you love Rick. Are you really sure that you want to do that?” Thank God, I did not listen to his lies. I chose the path to and with the Lord. He has kept His promise to never leave me or forsake me. God is so faithful. My husband not only received the Lord, but God has given us the kind of love for Him and one another that has seen us through the many storms of life. (I Peter 3 tells about how the believer may be used as an instrument to help bring the unbelieving husband/wife to the Lord. So if you Find yourself unequally yoked with an unbeliever I urge you to stand strong in your faith and do not compromise your faith. Remember that the Lord has said that if you are ashamed of Him before man, He will not recognize you before His Father in Heaven.)

I have not attained this knowledge by my own powers, but because of the Holy Spirit within me that continues to lead me and guide me into His truth. I can not boast in my faith as being from me, for even that is a gift from God. It is up to each one of us to make the decision to ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. To receive Him as Lord means that we then choose to obey Him and serve Him. How are we going to obey Him, if we live our lives based on our own opinions instead of His Word? Don’t take my word for it. It is not the gospel according to Ginger of which I am speaking. Rather, go before the Lord in prayer; ask Him to come into your heart. Ask Him to open the eyes of your understanding by the power of His Holy Spirit. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Our salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. May His Spirit empower us daily to do those things which are pleasing in His sight. May we each one seek His purpose for our lives through instruction and correction from His Word, renewing our minds daily by the “washing of the water of His Word.”

Isaiah 28:16
All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like a flower of the grass.
The grass withers, and the flower drops off,
But the Word of the Lord endures forever.
(Only God can give purpose and anything of lasting value to man’s life. Life without God is all in vain.)

II Peter:20-21
First of all, you should know this; no prophecy of scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.

II Timothy 3:13- 17
Evil people and imposters will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing those from whom you learned, and that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, and so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Ginger Rahn

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

on Leave a Comment


          I believe in the New World Order.  Not the one being designed by those pushing for it today, but rather, the one to be set up by the Lord after the great tribulation. 

          Those who are bent on the destruction of the American system as we know it don’t have to worry because there may not be enough Americans left to run the country after the Rapture.  I believe this is why the Bible doesn’t mention the United States as having any significant role in the end times.  Our government may be distancing itself from Israel at present but at least we won’t be one of the nations attacking it at the battle of Armageddon.  The decision we have to make now is how we want to live until the rapture.

          A country like ours and Israel that have been established by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Christians have been grafted into the line of the Hebrews[1]), cannot be defeated by Satan’s minions who at present are trying to remove God from the everyday discourse in our nation. What we have to keep in mind are examples like the Hebrew slavery in Egypt and the almost 2000 years that the Hebrew’s were out of the land God had promised to them.  God will not be mocked.  Remember the old saying that ‘the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away’.  We all suffer in a nation that has angered the Lord. 

          Vote for what you believe in.  Hopefully there are enough of us to thwart the efforts of those who are knowingly or unknowingly working for Satan and trying their best to destroy our nation.  Everyone should vote; those of us who believe in the real foundations of our nation, as set up by God through our founding fathers, as well as those who are against us.  If you believe in something; you need to do your duty and vote for what you believe in.  If you believe in the Marxist’s that are trying to take over the government; you also need to vote.  You could possibly, by voting for these people, at least hasten the return of the Lord. 

          I have often said that there are only two forces at work in the world.  I was wrong because there is a third force that is perhaps more pernicious than those who work for evil.   This third force is that of apathy.  “Not to speak, is to speak.  Not to act, is to act.”[2]  Your inaction is the action that the opposition needs.

          Ridicule is the first and last argument of a fool.  When you follow your own thinking, you follow a fool.  “A fool says in his heart, there is no

God”[3].  To argue with a fool is useless as they don’t know how to use information and therefore use emotion and ridicule to pursue their point.  One of the problems with our system is that we let fools vote.  Is it foolish or not foolish to let people vote that can’t read or write or speak English?  If you can’t understand what you are voting for how can you make intelligent choices?

          There are really only two choices in the upcoming election.  Either you vote to continue the Socialist slide the country is currently on or you vote to return to the constitutional form of government under which the country was founded and prospered.  Whichever choice you make; be sure that you have the courage of you convictions.  “Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as ... Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway.”[4]  There will be a cost to either choice because our freedoms, as granted by God in our founding documents, are not free and Socialism will cost you your freedoms. 

          Blindly pulling the lever for the Democrat or the Republican is a senseless act.  This is what is done buy those who don’t make the effort to find out what a candidate really believes in.  What you were used to thinking about the different political parties has vastly changed over the years.  Power and wealth have corrupted the system to the point that the system is no longer trustworthy.

          Whichever decision on the direction you would like the country to go doesn’t really matter to me if you are making an educated choice.  I know this is a real burden because you have to know what you believe in before you make a decision on whom to place your trust in.  Voting by emotion is not a real choice and may realistically be a form of treason. 

          At least show up at the polling place.  Go in, fill out the form and turn it in.  If there is no one that you like in a particular category skip that one: that makes a statement of its own. It would really be nice if there were a ‘none of the above’ choice for each category.  A lot of times there are write-in candidate spaces for some offices.  If you don’t bother to vote, you disserve whatever you get.   If you don’t bother to vote, don’t you dare complain about anything that happens! 

          What we must remember is that the politicians work for us; not the other way around.  Think of voting the same way you would when you are hiring an employee.  We must abolish the political class who have forgotten and ignore those to whom they are responsible.

[1] Romans 11:17-20
[2] Dietrich Bonhoffer
[3] Psalm 53:1
[4] Eleanor Roosevelt


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

on Leave a Comment

God In My Life

Throughout my younger years, although I didn’t know to whom I was speaking, I was able to converse with a greater entity than myself. There were many instances when I had conversations with this personage and felt that I had received guidance. This was not an audible experience, but rather more of an in my head thing. At those times, I didn’t realize that it was the Lord as I didn’t know who He was.

Several years before I was married I had a recurring vision of living in a white house with a lightly sloping back yard, and my wife and three children were in that yard with me. This vision came to be true in every aspect in 1977.

In 1967, when I was in the army, stationed in Germany, I had begun attending church with my wife. Pastor Bob Ferguson a Baptist missionary from Texas, conducted services in another town and then flew to our town for our services. I really didn’t relate to what was going on. I had not spent much time in church to that point in my life. My mother’s attitude was that when I reached eighteen I could go to church and make up my own mind. I stopped going and my wife was beside herself. She talked to the pastor about it and he told her that I was a good man and to stop confronting me and turn over her concerns to the Lord. Long story short, there was a visiting preacher that had come to do a revival for the church. Since I had never been to one, I wanted to go and see what it was like. I honestly don’t know what he was preaching about; however, during his sermon I came to the realization of who Jesus was. The sky didn’t open up and there were no shouting angels. I simply and quietly came to the realization of whom I had been conversing with all those years. Either that or He filled me with this realization by His sweet gentle Spirit. I didn’t say or do anything but a quiet, gentle, peaceful feeling came over me. As we were leaving I asked Pastor Bob if I could talk to him some time. That was all that I said and his reaction was that they would come to our apartment in twenty minutes. Both he and the evangelist showed up and, as I related what had happened, they did what they called leading me to the Lord. I guess it was just that I needed to say the right words in front of witnesses. That is what I later came to know as being born again. Shortly thereafter I was baptized. This baptism took place in a German Baptist church baptismal in Neu Ulm, Germany in 1967. At this point I think I should point out that my great, great, grandfather, Johann Rahn, a German Evangelical Reformed minister, brought the family here from Germany, in 1870, to keep the boys from being drafted into the Franco-Prussian war. Apparently I had to go back to within fifty miles of where they came from to find the Lord.

My wife, Ginger and I settled into raising a family and fairly consistently attended services at Baptist churches. We began hearing rumors about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ginger went, with friends, to a meeting at Saint Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore. Before the teaching started, a message in tongues was given. Father Phil Zampino refused to continue the service until the interpretation was revealed. An African couple in the front row stood up and explained that the message was in Swahili and was instructing them to stay in the United States rather than return to Africa. Gin came home and related the story to me. Perhaps this stuff is real but how would we know? We decided that with our limited knowledge of the gifts, we would continue attending the Baptist church until the Lord led us otherwise. We also decided a sure sign that we should leave that church and look elsewhere would be if the pastor would ever preach against the gifts of the spirit. You’ll never guess what he preached on the very next Sunday. Yep, the power petered out when Peter petered out. The gifts of the Spirit were for the early church only and not for today. That is except for the ones he liked such as the gifts of preaching, service and teaching. We thanked the Lord and started our search.

We heard of a good Bible teacher at the local Presbyterian Church who held a service on Friday nights. The Reverend Jim Mulholland and his wife Jean, who was a high school teacher, ministered there. Needless to say, we went. The fellowship and the music were great; however, when the music stopped the entire crowd stood up speaking in tongues. I looked for the exit, never intending to darken their door again. One problem, we were seated in the middle. We were trapped. The Lord does work in mysterious ways because if I could have left, I would have. Jean taught on the different forms of tongues and that one of the forms was worship. That’s what they had been doing, but it sure shook me up at the time.

We started attending the Presbyterian Church regularly and grew in our knowledge of the Lord and His Word. The church family was wonderful; however, we then got sucked into church service. Since Ginger and I both sang we were used in the different services in that capacity. Keep in mind that Ginger was a true coloratura soprano and could really sing. I, on the other hand, was just s story teller with a guitar. Then, after the fun parts, came the dreaded work part. I was elected superintendent of the Sunday school department. Several of the men there were members of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International. We attended a couple of meetings, and I joined the chapter in Woodlawn, Maryland. I served as a member, vice president and then president. This was a wonderful time in our lives. In addition to the above, we each ministered in music different places under the name of “The Spirits Nest Ministries”, I was co founder of the “Son’s of Thunder Ministries” along with my friend Harvey Cohen, who was a born again orthodox Jewish rabbi. I ran a cassette tape function for our groups. Now let’s see – Sunday school duties, attending church classes, church, Full Gospel meetings, music ministries, Son’s of Thunder, Spirits Nest, cassette ministry, various Christian educational classes when available and believe it or not, I was even the temporary pastor of a church for a few months (details later). OK, time for a reality check. Our kids came to us one day with the complaint that we never had time for them. They were right and since your first duty is to take care of the family God gives you we had to change. We had to temper our enthusiasm with what the Bible describes as moderation in all things.

Ever hear the voice of the Lord? I mean a real voice, not just a voice in your head? I was a traveling salesman and was just told that we would no longer be using our own cars but would be getting company cars. While driving through the mountains of North Carolina between sales calls, I was wondering (half asking the Lord) what I should do with my present car. A voice came from the back seat saying, “Give it to Heidi” (My cousin). I said, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. The voice said again “give it to Heidi”. I said OK, I’ll go home and tell Little Miss Tightwad (Ginger) what you said; and if she says alright, I’ll know it’s really you and I’ll do it. Gin said OK, and we called Heidi.

My first encounter with divine healing came about when I slipped a disc in my lower back. After explaining the condition of my back, the doctor told me to go home and lay flat on my back on the floor. A couple of the Full Gospel men came to the house with Pastor Mulholland. Jim laid hands on me while they all prayed. Against their advice, I stood right up after the prayers because the pain was instantly and completely gone. The second encounter came when I was visiting family and my cousin said she had been having back trouble for some time, probably connected with her horse activities. Since she was a fairly new Christian (recently saved at a Billy Graham crusade), I was some what hesitant. I suggested that we ask the Lord for healing and she agreed. We went to another room and I had her lay down on her stomach. With expectant anticipation, I laid hands on her back and prayed that the Lord would heal her. She said that it worked and that the pain was gone. Although her father was dubious and wanted to know what else I did to her, the healing was complete. I have not had many encounters of this type, but it is truly amazing when it happens.

As I said previously, I was for a time the temporary pastor of a church from which the pastor walked out, due to church politics. Because of my position in the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, I was asked to supply people to conduct Sunday services and also to do so myself. After my second sermon, I was asked to fulfill the duties of pastor. I agreed to as long as they actively sought their permanent replacement. I had to be ordained by the church I was attending so that I would be able to perform legal functions if they occurred. This was a very special time with the Lord. As I was still a full time on the road medical equipment salesman, I only had limited time to prepare for the Sunday service. I had to carry a recorder on the seat next to me as the Lord would give me my sermons as I traveled. This was a wonderful time in my life as it was like the Lord and I were really working partners. It seemed as if He was in the car with me (and the motel rooms and at home). I never have felt more in his will than during those months. Even as wonderful as it was, the Lord and I knew that I was called to the pastorate only for a season. When the church once again got a full time pastor, I was able to go back to my regular life. Never again though, have I felt that closely involved with the Lord. It was like He was with me every minute.

The older I get, the more I realize how much I don’t know, therefore, I have to rely on what I know to be true. The Bible and the founding documents of our country are what I have found to be the most trustworthy. I don’t care what religion you are involved in or not involved in; the difference between a relationship with Christ and any religion is as different as night and day. As a Presbyterian minister’s wife once told me, “a denomination is simply a monument to a dead saint”. Jean Mulholland was her name and she was a great Bible teacher. She described the steps in building a church congregation as the following: First you build up attendance until you have a decent sized congregation. Then you tell them that they must be born again. Subsequently you loose half of them and you must rebuild. Then you tell them that they must be baptized and you rebuild again. Next you introduce them to the Holy Spirit and you rebuild again. Then you teach about demons and I’m not sure if she knew the final outcome. The ability to turn over your concerns to the Lord is a wonderful advantage in life.

Just to show you how close some people are to being open to the Lords Word, I will relate this short story. After selling a medical laser to a doctor in Winber, Pennsylvania, I was required to make repeat visits for instruction (I hold a certificate for completing a course in Gynecological Laser Surgery by The Gynecological Laser Society) and checking function on the laser. I became friendly with the doctor and nurses who were Christians. One of the nurses asked me to talk to a nurse friend of hers about salvation as she and the doctor had been unsuccessful in their attempts. I had her set up a lunch date for herself, the other nurse and myself. After brief conversation I noticed some uneasiness on her part. It turned out that she was Catholic and knew all about the Lord. This caused a wall between us and her. During lunch I asked her who Jesus was. She said he was God. I asked if he was alive or dead. She said he was alive. I asked why he had died. She said so that we could be forgiven. I said do you know him and she said she loved him. I showed her Romans 10:9. I explained that she had just qualified as a Born Again Christian since she had told us the answers that she did. She responded that she simply didn’t understand what they had been talking about for so long. All she had needed was a simple explanation that all she had to do was confess before others what she really already believed.

There are many more things that I could tell you about my walk with the Lord, but I didn’t want to make this so long that people wouldn’t read it. It is my prayer that this might encourage someone to investigate what the Lord has available for them. All I know at this point is that I don’t know how my life would have been different without the Lord in it, and I really don’t care. Keep in mind that if I am right and I die, I go to my reward. If I’m wrong, it won’t matter. I can truthfully say that I have felt no loss, but only gain, from this relationship with God.

I have written this, not to pass judgment in any way or on any one, but rather as an invitation to those of family and friendly acquaintance to join me in the Kingdom of God. A personal relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit has proved, in my lifetime, to be an abundant source of both inspiration and solace. It is my hope that I will be judged not as having run a perfect race, but rather that I did the best that I was able. I can’t think of a better way to state it than as my great grandfather, the Reverend Frederick Rahn, put it as when the end of this life is near, “He gladly did what he was able to do and he unreservedly submits to the Masters call”.

Rick Rahn