Category Archives: Callings

Are You Willing to Pay the Price?

The vibrant sounds of Mozart’s Piano Concerto Number Seven swirled through the Beacon Hill mansion’s ballroom. The fifteen females seated around the grand piano, listening to the maestro, had proper Brahmin names like Cabot, Coolidge, Forbes, Lodge, or Shaw. Each traced her ancestry back to the earliest Puritan settlers of Boston. This blueblood lineage insured their invitation to the social tea, no nouveau riche Johnny-come-latelies were among the invitees.

When the pianist completed the piece, he stood and bowed. The women showed their appreciation with warm applause. One of the ladies put her white-gloved hands to her mouth and said, “Oh, I would just do anything to be able to play the piano like that.”

The maestro turned and stared at her. His eyes exploded with fire.

“No you wouldn’t,” he said.

The crowd collectively gasped. All felt sorry for the woman who had been openly rebuked by the man’s insensitive words.

As for the lady, she sat stunned, paralyzed by his harsh eyes, tears rolled down her cheeks. Then, as if she remembered her privileged pedigree, she mouthed three defiant words at the pianist: “Yes, I would.”

“No you wouldn’t,” he said again, leaning over the piano toward the lady.

“Because if you really meant what you said, you would have been willing to give up your youth, your teenage years, and eight to ten hours every day practicing on the piano. You see there is a price to sit on this bench. I’ve been willing to pay it, and you have not!”

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24)

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Filed under Callings, Christianity, Eternal rewards, Fear of the Lord, Humility, Prophecy

Hey Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 4)

A few days ago, another believer asked, “Larry, why are you so passionate? Why not just slow down and enjoy the last days of your life?”

“Because I will soon appear before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and I fear that day,” I replied.

“What? Nobody thinks like that!”

“Well, I do and they should feel the same way,” I said.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others… (2 Corinthians 5:10-11)

Not long ago, I started a longterm vacation from Facebook and other social media outlets. Plus, I cut back following sports, watching TV, reading mystery novels and most other hobbies.

Why?

For some reason or another, I recently checked the Social Security Actuarial Life Tables and looked up what the life expectancy was for a man who is 73 years old. It turns out that on the average, I can expect to live 12.43 more years. Now, what this really means is that fifty percent of the men my age will be dead in 12.43 years.

Yes, I could live a lot longer, but the opposite is also true, I could live a lot less.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming novel:

A terrifying vision awakened me out of my spiritual slumber.

In it, I stood before the Judgment Seat of Christ. I wasn’t alone because hundreds of other believers stood there in numerous rows, waiting for the Judge − Jesus − to appear in front of us. I watched Him off to my left walking down my row with a torch in His right hand. He stopped in front of each believer, looked down and lit piles of what looked like grass and sticks at the feet of each person with His torch. The piles burst into flames. The piles quickly burnt out to reveal gold, silver, precious stones or nothing but scorch marks on the ground. Those who had precious metals and stones bowed down and worshipped the Lord. Those who had scorch marks wailed and screamed like they were in hell, even though they were in heaven.

I looked down at my feet and saw a puny pile. I knew this small heap represented all of my works done on earth for the Lord. Not much for a whole lifetime, I thought. A holy fear enveloped me.

I turned and looked at the person next to me and realized he was a successful Christian businessman, whom I greatly admired. He was an elder at Jedidiah Smith Community Church, Sunday school teacher, weekend street evangelist and well-known benefactor. The newspapers were always reporting on his philanthropy and many works.

I watched Judge Jesus bend over and light the businessman’s pile with His torch. The pile quickly burnt out to reveal nothing but scorch marks on the ground. The businessman fell to the ground and wailed at the top of his lungs. His screams echoed through my mind.

Oh no, I thought. If this businessman’s life did not please the Lord, how will mine be any better?

The Lord stood in front of me.

I looked into His eyes and knew His love was not on trial, but mine was at that moment. He bent over, ready to touch my puny pile with His torch.

“Lord, give me a second chance,” I pleaded.

He looked at me without straightening up. His torch remained close to my pile. “And what would you do differently?”

“I will serve you night and day without complaining. If need be, I will crawl on my knees across San Francisco on streets covered with broken glass to be Your ambassador. I will gladly carry cups of cold water to people, minister to them as Your servant and if you need a martyr for Your kingdom purposes, I volunteer myself for that assignment.”

He straightened up and looked me squarely in the eyes. His love melted every hindrance in my heart. “Remember to do your works to please Me, not to please other people like this businessman did during his life. He received his reward on earth. Go and be My servant.” (From upcoming novel, Still in the Fight)

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to check out the whole series to date, click here.)

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Filed under America, Callings, Christianity, Church, Geezers, Judgment Seat of Christ, Prayer, Prophecy, Senior Citizens

Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 5)

I was going through the worst trial of my life where nothing was going right for me. Finances, relationships and everything else were in the toilet, waiting to be flushed. It was all I could do to rise each morning and put one foot in front of the other throughout the day. Then I had a dream.

In it, I arrived in heaven. It was so beautiful and peaceful there. No fear. No worries. No enemies. Only peace. Only joy. Only love. Even the colors were alive and seemed to sing in their beauty to the Creator.

But as dreams usually do, the scene changed and I saw myself standing in front of a long line of young, dark-skinned people. The first one walked up to me and said, “I died young and did not achieve God’s destiny for my life because you failed to fulfill the calling on your life.” When he finished, he walked off.

The second person in line then stepped forward. He repeated what the first young man had said to me. Then, a third. And a fourth. And so forth.

As I stood there and looked at the endless line of young people waiting to talk with me, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I cried out to the Lord at the top of my lungs. “Lord, give me a second chance. Send me back to earth and I promise to not allow pain, agony, rejection, sin or anything else to stop me from fulfilling the calling which You have placed on my life.”

End of dream.

Yet, I can still see the long line of young people waiting to talk with me. The dream continues to work on me, even today.

For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14 AMP)

The Lord determines the type of calling He places on our lives, but we determine whether or not we are chosen to fulfill that calling on earth by how we endure His training program.

You see, at any point in the training process, we can rebel and opt out. It’s our decision, but we need to remember that there are consequences involved with our decisions.

(Continued in Part 6…but if you want to read all the parts to date, you can go here.

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Filed under America, Callings, Christianity, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Rebellion, Sin, spiritual warfare