About Me

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Granbury, Texas, United States
I love God and His people; starting with Yvette, my wife since '77, our family, congregation, community, state, nation, and continuing around the world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


    Many Christian postures today reflect two theologies that some call Calvinism or Armenianism.  According to Wikipedia, Calvinism is named after John Calvin, a French Reformation era theologian and pastor who emphasized the sovereignty of God; who some would accuse of minimizing the importance of man; while Armenianism is named after a Dutch pastor, Jacobus Arminius  from that same time period, who emphasized human responsibility and has been accused of minimizing the importance of God’s sovereignty.
     Debates have gone on for centuries as to which of these two men were - or are - right and many have polarized into opposing camps and denominations.  I do not think we shall ever settle the matter in our lifetime.
     However, I believe we should try to embrace the truth from both of these theological perspectives – and others - whenever we can.  I know it seems contradictory but the Biblical view of God and His ways is that of paradoxes and opposites; e. g. He is one God and yet three…
     Look at some of Jesus’ teachings, like “those who humble themselves shall be exalted” and those who lose will gain and those who gain will lose, or that we must die to live, etcetera, etc. 
What spiritual paradoxes He proclaimed!  “In the world you will have tribulations but be of good cheer…….”  We could go on quoting Him some more but I will not belabor the point. 
     On the natural side, we know that God created electricity which involves polar opposites, being both positive and negative at the same time.  To be balanced in our thinking we must keep things like this in mind.

     I live with this kind of reality every single day, having been married to my polar opposite since the end of ’77. It seems that for two to become one in marriage requires that both parties must die to self.  This is a paradox that can purify the selfish. (With me, this process is ongoing).  Perhaps God’s purpose of opposing realities - like electricity and marriage - is to shock the impurities out of our life as we learn to embrace them all wholeheartedly even when we do not understand them very well.                                   The bottom line of my purpose here is to appeal for balanced thinking so that we do not minimize important things that may be equally true just to satisfy our western mindsets.                                                      
    Water can be soft and yet it can also be hard. Recognizing this fact can prevent us pain while using it can bring us pleasure. Iced tea anyone?                       
    A story  is told of two men, one a hyper-Armenian and the other a hyper-Calvinist.  They both walk across the same field – at different times - and they both step on the upturned teeth of a rake which flipped up and hit them in the nose.                                                    
     The Armenian yelled,  “Man I am an idiot, why couldn’t  I see that?  I am never going to do that again.”  Punishing himself is a norm because everything is his fault unless he can find someone else to blame.  Often this kind of thinking can rob us of the joy of fully trusting God because it can place too much responsibility on our shoulders and even lock us into shame.                                                   
     Later the Calvinist walked across the same field and stepped on the upturned teeth of the same rake and it flipped up and hit him in the  nose, he picked up the rake and said “Man I am sure glad that part of my life is over!”

Monday, September 24, 2012


Dear Friend,

I want to share an amazing international on-line outreach opportunity with you!

With 90 websites in 11 languages, Campus Crusade For Christ presents the good news of Jesus death, burial and resurrection, millions of times every year. (2 million people conduct spiritual searches on the Internet everyday).

In 2008, over 3 million indicated that they wanted to become a Christian and 669,000+ signed up for on-line discipleship. (I know that being discipled face to face is the ideal situation but in many place around the globe this may not always be possible).

This opportunity before us today continues to exist because their current 3,000 or so volunteers are not enough to communicate - one on one - with all those who are waiting for discipleship.

After being screened and trained - on-line - those who volunteer to help can begin with their first person to disciple almost immediately and they can add more persons - if they wish to do so - at their own pace. The utmost care is taken to protect everyone’s personal information.


Many did not accept Jesus invitation when He said, “Follow Me.” 
Some simply because they were distracted by life, 
e. g. a purchase they were making, 
A loved one who was aging, 
A future spouse they were dating, 
A cake they were baking, 
A deal they were making, 
etcetera, etcetera, etc. 
They missed the opportunity of a lifetime 
All because of good things. 

What am I missing today because of good things?


If Trouble could talk, what would it say?

Hello, my name is Trouble
I've got troubles of my own
These believers are making me grumble
their endurance is making me groan

The holy people of the Holy Bible
believe all things work out for their good
My threats of death, they call great gain
things just ain't working out like they should


Let me know Your closeness and bring me closer still. 
Let me taste and see that You are good and fragrant if You will. 
O' hide me, in the shadow of Your wings. 

Tie me to this altar, don't ever let me leave. 
I want to draw more near to You, as You draw near to me. 
O' hide me in the shadow of Your wings. 


If you care more about what people think than what God thinks.
If you only communicate with God when there is some emergency.
If you and your life are not much different from the unbelieving world.
If you think more about your life on earth than about heaven and eternity.
If you do whatever it takes to alleviate guilt, from asking for God’s forgiveness -
- without genuine repentance - to denial and blame and even religious exercises.
If you want salvation from the penalty of sin but not from the power of your sins.
If you want Christ’s benefits and blessing without conforming to Jesus' character.
If you gage your spiritual condition by doing comparisons of yourself with others.
If you do not have the joy of the Lord because you do not spend time with Him.
If you are a full-time minister and a part-time Jesus follower. OUCH!


On my son’s 6th birthday, March 12th, 1988; while at a Men’s Retreat in Fort Worth, with men from Shady Grove Church of Grand Prairie, I experienced what could be called a visitation from God. That morning during several hours of silence the Lord began speaking to my heart some very clear direction for my ministry as a father to the children He had blessed me with. Others received similar life changing direction that weekend. In the following are some of the things I wrote in my journal that day. (I felt God was speaking directly to me). These words have changed my life and my family for the better. I hope they will bless all those who will take the time to read them. 

Please be sure to judge these words in light of the Scriptures. 


Take heed that no one deceives you, deceiving and being deceived, 
false christs there will be many, saying that they are of Me. 
There will be wars and rumors of wars, famines and disease, 
earthquakes in various places, sorrows' beginnings are these. 
See that you are not troubled, for these things must come to pass. 
Nevertheless, the end is not here and this day is not the last. 

For this gospel of the Kingdom, will be preached in all the earth, 
only then will come the ending, in the meantime there will be dearth. 
Now is when many will be offended, believers, many will hate, 
as Christians we may be arrested - like Jesus - we may be betrayed. 
In this world we will have tribulation, while in Christ we may have peace. 
Nevertheless, He said, "Cheer up! I have the victory" 

Perilous times, they are a' comin', when men will be lovers of self, 
boastful proud and greedy for money, rebels hell-bound for hell. 
Unthankful and unholy, unloving, forgiving they don't, 
headstrong traitors and haughty, submitting to God they won't. 
Both evil and imposters are growing worse and worse. 
Nevertheless, our redemption's getting close. 

The devil is like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. 
Resist him, steadfast and faithful, not leaning on your human power. 
Submit yourself to God and satan will flee from you. 
Keep your life free of evil and your feet can crush him too. 
Know our battles are not yet over and our story has not reached its end. 
Nevertheless, I know we are all going to win! 


Agreeing to go around the world
She said yes to his proposal
Such a young couple, this girl and boy
Gave themselves to God’s disposal

From the cornfields of Illinois
To the peach trees of Georgia
The glorious gospel they have noised
In cities, towns, and suburbia

This man named Sam - this wife named Joyce
Through serving and preaching were as one voice
Impacting nations and churches and leaders
Disarming powers, exposing deceivers


Once there was a farmer, who sowed a field for hay
But then in his impatience, he planted wheat on the next day

After but a fortnight, he plowed up the field again
This time planting pumpkins, instead of such slow growing grain

Less than a season later, instead of waiting like he should
He got in his truck and drove away, leaving the farm for good

Muttering to himself and shaking his head, while driving on for hours
"Me oh my! Tell me how or why, I planted pumpkins and get yellow flowers?"


Our backs were beat and bleeding
Sore feet made fast in stocks
We had been through much mistreating
Paul said, “Be glad they didn’t throw rocks!”

He had cast out a damsel’s demon
By using Jesus’ Name
Local businessmen started screamin’
Having lost divining gain

Accused, arrested as a public menace
Cast in the inner cell
To old cold chains we were sentenced
With the bats, rats and the smell

We believed on Jesus
Praying we would be saved
Began to smile and sing His praises
Glad to suffer for His Name

Recalled to memory our God’s greatness
Didn’t hear fellow prisoners mock
His Presence came in power and sweetness
Till that place did the ‘Jailhouse Rock”


No parents could be more prouder than
You have made your mother and this man

No greater feat could I do
Than to be the one who fathered you

So spread your wings because your grown
And fly for God, to Whom you're sown

To reach your destiny, we've released
Go make a difference with healing and peace

Seeing you launch has been our pleasure
May you succeed beyond our measure

Awed by the light which from you shines
We say, "Go girl and reach for God's confines!"

The sky is the limit as far as we're concerned
May the Word and the Spirit help you discern


In our quest of moral purity and lives that reflect the priceless righteousness with which Christ's followers have been accredited; we must not lose sight of His love for sinful people.

Do we really know and connect with the real Jesus?

I am talking about Jesus of Nazareth, the One and Only Who –

• Ate with fishermen who had not washed their hands.
• Spent time with crooked lawyers and tax agents.
• Was labeled a friend of sinners.
• Befriended impetuous Peter and 2 mommy's boys, James & John; and Judas Iscariot.
• Went to a hated white collar criminal’s house for a visit (Zacceus).
• Was seen touching an unclean leper.
. Helped a man in chains who lived in a graveyard near a pig farm.
• Provided over 120 gallons of excellent wine for a wedding.
. Forgave an immoral woman and let her go unpunished.
• Let a woman with a bad reputation show Him great affection.
• Learned to live with false rumors and grew up being called a bastard.
• Had to move beyond the small thinking and rejection of his hometown.
• Loved and helped people in spite of their betraying flaws.


With limited experience like mine, one cannot begin to approach the subject of “Losses” without first acknowledging the fact that it’s with much to learn that the following attempt is made - to be an encouragement - for those whose losses may seem unbearable right now.

Martin Luther King Sr. is quoted as having said, years after losing two amazing sons and his talented wife to unjust and untimely deaths, "....Thank God for what's left.  There's always enough left in life to make it worth living......"

With some caution, I would like to ask a few probing questions to consider for those of us who are facing life after losses.

What do you have left after your loss?  (Think about it).
When this fog of mourning lifts, what will remain?

Do you still have some of your dreams?  (Try dreaming again).
Do you still have God's gifts and your God-given abilities?

Will you have connections with legitimate acquaintances?
Will you have relationships with people who love you?  (You can).

Do you have relationships with those who are overcoming their losses also?
Do you have any answers that people like yourself need?  (You may).

Will you still have a purpose?                                                                                           
Will you still have a voice?
There was a man named Moses, whose life began to change – after 80 years of loss - when God asked him,
 “What’s in your hand?”


For the past few years, I have become very concerned that many American Evangelicals - of which I am a part - are becoming less evangelical, while becoming more angry and rude. I know it can be upsetting to watch the powers that be as they try to erode our Christian values and influence on society. Also, I know that we should do whatever we can at the polls and in the marketplace to remedy our nation’s situation. However, whatever we do should never be at the expense of forgetting to obey the commands and commissioning of the true Lord Jesus. 

Through the media and over the airwaves we often hear angry Christian leaders ranting and raving while pointing their fingers at us and saying that the moral decay of our nation is our fault because we have not become angry enough to do something about it. If you have been upset and swayed by such, please allow me to use this note as equal time to make an effort to communicate where I believe perhaps more of the truth on this matter lies.


Count it all joy when you're going through trials,
Count it all joy where you're facing some fires,
Count it all joy while you're standing in water,
Count it all joy, for the Lord is your strength.

The joy of the Lord is our strength,
The joy of the Lord is our strength,
The joy of the Lord is our strength,
Count it all joy, for the Lord is our strength.



1. Seventeen eyewitness testimonies were recorded.

2. Persecution ensured the honesty of all eyewitnesses.

3. Christ’s enemies served to prevent any hoaxes from being faked.

4. The empty tomb helped birth the Church, which was walking distance from where the Church was born.

5. All cover-up attempts and counter-explanations thus far have failed.

6. After 300 years of violoent resistance the Roman Empire embraced and began promoting the story of the Resurrection.

7. History was marked by it permanently and the way time is measured was changed eventually to B. C. and A. D.

8. Believing in the Resurrection has changed my life and the lives of others - for the better - all over the world.


Making a List of "The Top Ten Things We Are Thankful For" is a good practice and a positive discipline for healthy mental hygiene. Many are discovering that a proven cure for worry is thankfulness!

What Top Ten Things Are You Thankful For?

Here is my list for today.

1. I am thankful that God chose to save me as I was by His grace - giving me His assurance of eternal life - for an everlasting relationship with Himself, from my present life into forever.

2. I am thankful for my wife Yvette who said “Yes” to me 33+ years ago and continues to amaze me with her love for God, His people, our family and – miraculously - myself. (I am blessed).

3. I am thankful for my family, including two healthy beautiful children and a gorgeous daughter in law, all of whom love God and are pursuing His will for their lives wholeheartedly. (How could I ask for more). Also included in this family are my parents who raised my wonderful siblings and I to love and follow the Lord with all our hearts.

4. I am thankful for a Local Church Family who continue to inspire us with their Godly unconditional love and forgiveness for one another; extending the same out to their neighbors and our city.

5. I am thankful for our Church Elders and Staff that go beyond the call of duty to serve our congregation and myself, enabling me to serve while growing as a leader.

6. I am thankful for my Pastor, Olen Griffing and our friends with mentors who encourage us and one another to go on, even if it means laying down our lives in the process for the cause of Christ’s Kingdom.

7. I am thankful for God’s many other blessings, safe shelter and good food. (O’ yes I am thankful).


As the Creator of all languages, Almighty God does not insist we learn another language – neither Arabic nor Greek or Hebrew - to worship Him. 

Language is a vehicle that He created with all of its differences and dialects - and abilities to change with times and places - yet remaining able to communicate His timeless truths in countless ways so that people in every place and time will be able to understand.

Therefore, we can all rest assured that the following prophecy of Scripture will one day come to pass everywhere - for all people - in every language.

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee* should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth**, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue*** should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

* “every knee” means every person is going to bow to their knees.

** "in heaven, on earth and under the earth" means that this amazing event will take place everywhere.

*** “every tongue” means every language will be spoken 
(γλῶσσα, i. e. glossa is the Greek word the writer used here, meaning language)

Here is a sampling of exactly what is going to happen when this prophecy is fulfilled:


Thank God for a son who makes his dad proud.
His life - like his name - is alive and loud.
Unique, uncommon and original,
Compromising values no longer optional.

His voice can sing and his mouth can preach,
Heart’s being trained through which God can reach.
Hands playing instruments like guitar and drum,
Look out world here comes my son.

He married a wife , the lovely Miss Jamie,
Together we call them Mr. Mrs. Zamie.
To some I’m not known by my own name,
Glad to be called the father of Zane.



  • Remiss - rebel - repeat – regress – regret    

  • Remember – return – repent – reconcile


  • Receive – remit – release - restore – rejoice


  • Resent – reject - refuse - remiss............


As a believer, you may be disturbed by winds of doctrine that often blow through our land on the subject of giving.  From the internet, broadcasts and the printed page, we can hear and read many teachings on this topic. 
     Extremes range from the promise of "100 fold returns" to the need to "name your seed" or the call to "Give right now, while God is giving the angels their assignments for the coming year."  I have even seen the attempted sale of God's blessings, like receiving "a new anointing times 10 for $2,500."                  
     Because of these extremes, some might react and accept other beliefs like, "Tithing was only for those under the Law."
     For the sake of Biblical stewardship, please consider the truth of the following:


     While rebuking the Pharisees, who tithed legalistically and meticulously, our Lord said that tithing should be done, providing that more important matters like justice, mercy, faith and the love of God were also observed. 
 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
LUKE 11:42
"But woe to you Pharisees!  For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs,
and pass by justice and the love of God.
These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
     These Pharisees were being corrected for using tithing as a substitute for true devotion to God and their fellow man.  Therefore Jesus rebuked them for what amounted to being a religious cover-up, which is hypocrisy, yet still He stated tithing’s importance.   
     Here is a humorous story that I think helps to illustrate this point about hypocrisy. 
     A priest was walking home one night            
in the dark, when he was accosted
bya robber, who pulled a gun on him
and demanded, “Your money or your life!” 
     As the priest reached his hand into his coat pocket,
the thief saw his clerical collar and said,
“Oh father I see that you are a priest! 
Never mind.  You can go.” 
     The priest, surprised at this unexpected show of mercy,
offered the robber a candy bar, to which the criminal said,               
“No thanks! I am giving up candy for Lent.”


     This certainly would include everything He had said earlier about tithing. 
MATTHEW 28:18-20         
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
 baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching  them to observe all things that I have commanded you;….


He is our perfect substitute
He died so that we could live
He came out so we could go in
He came down so we could go up
He was bound so we could be free
He was beaten so we could be healed
He was cursed so we could be blessed
He became naked so we could be clothed
He became poor so we might be made rich
He took our place to give us rights to enter His
He was bruised so our iniquities could be forgiven
He stood in our position so we can sit with Him in His
He was wounded so our transgressions could be erased
He became what we were so we might become what He is
He took the blame so we could stop playing the blame game
He said, "It is finished" because all our debt had been paid in full
He lost what was rightfully His so we could win what was not ours
He became sin for us so we could become the righteousness of God
He represented us to the Father so we could represent Him in the world
He was separated from His Father so we could be reconciled to our Him
He experienced out suffering so that He might be a more merciful High Priest


     If we want to go higher in life, we must stop bringing ourselves lower by wearing those heavy chains we are creating by complaining; tha practice of which rarely helps and usually adds to our real burdens.
     Like the links of a chain, each of our depressing thoughts leads to another and another; with each additional link to our "complaint chain"  only makes everything seem heavier.
     If we do not stop this downward spiral, we may be tempted to seek relief in things that could lead us to more regrets and more reasons to complain.
     Like a growing python, the chains of our complaints can grow in strength and weight; while only one link at a time, its accumulation can cause constricting and hopeless despair.
Enough said about this chaining, lest we too start complaining. 
How about some solutions? 
Here is my attempt at a Top Ten List for refraining from complaining.
  1. Since the weakness of a chain is in its weakest link, perhaps it's time for us to examine each complaint and start destroying the weaker ones.  (Show no mercy).
  2. Instead of looking for confirmation to reasons for being negative - thus minimizing what could cheer us up - let's try do the opposite.  (Look for the bright side).
  3. Let's turn our negativity against our negativity and critique our own criticisms.
  4. Let's use these brilliant minds God gave us and make our creativity work for us instead of against us.  (Stop being our own worst enemy). 
  5. Let's realize that if God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how much He must love us. 
  6. Let's remember that if God loved us as sinners, how much more He must love us now as His Children. 
  7. Let's totally put our trust in the One Who gave Himself up for us and died for all our sins and all also those sins committed against us; past, present and future.
  8. Let's renew our minds to all the facts surrounding our redemption and we will find it hard to complain.
  9. Let's pray that He reveals to us the amazing mystery of the Gospel.
10. Let’s read the Scriptures; look into its mirror and repent if need be.

My Take On LOVE WINS by Rob Bell


Recently I purchased an audio version of LOVE WINS, written and read by Rob Bell himself.  I could not resist attempting to write my own comments after hearing him read each chapter.

In the following are those attempts, one chapter at a time, in sequence as I heard them. 

For the sake of pursuing Biblical truth,

                             Alan Latta


     In this first chapter, Rob Bell raises what appear to be some good questions concerning salvation and the forgiveness of sins. However, the confusing case he tries to build begins to fall apart, with a simple little Biblical promise that says, "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
     How a person calls on that Name - that is above every other Name - may vary from case to case, but the promise remains the same, "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (JOEL 2:32 & ACTS 2:21)


One of the earliest episodes of Startrek was entitled, The Trouble With Tribbles.  The storyline featured little furry creatures – called Tribbles - that were brought on board the USS Enterprize from some (fictitious) planet.  To the crew’’s dismay, these critters began multiplying so fast that eventually they became pests and had to be removed from the Starship.

Have you ever noticed that troubles – like tribbles – can be like just that?
What might be a minor annoyance can eventually become a catastrophe.

Like a snowball rolling across damp snow in winter, certain problems attract more problems, resulting in greater difficulty than at first.

For instance, an active automobile’s brakes that need servicing - if left unattended for too long -  will incur a larger expense because the problem can grow from just needing new brake pads (or shoes) to including new discs (or drums); because the old ones are too far gone to be resurfaced.

An impounded older car left at the auto pound for too long may not be worth retrieving after awhile because of the fees that can accumulate.

Like a small leak that can seriously damage your home and personal property  - a verse in the Bible says, “little foxes spoil the vine.”


Are You?
You ready?
Are you really?
Ready to change?
From audience to army?
From armchairs to actions?
From the stands to the Field?
From membership to ministry?
From Spectator to Participator?
From the bleachers to the goal?
From consuming to contributing?
From being bored to having scored?
From indifference to making a difference?
From a being a wannabe to really becoming?
From the fun of receiving to the joy of relieving?
From talking discipleship to walking discipleship?
From leaning on His arms to becoming His arms?
From being personally served to serving personally?
From just enjoying His benefits to carrying our own cross?
From comfortable Pews to the smelly “Peeuuws! of serving?
From Sitting and Soaking to Serving and Yoking with the Builder
   of His church and Head of His Body; Who gave us His prayer request?


To Summer and Paul,
May love grant you all
Your hearts' desires.
May God grant you wisdom,
Power and provision,
With steps that always bear fruit.
Free from division,
May He give you peace,
As His will is your constant pursuit.
Let the Lord be your guide,
As you always decide to follow His plans for your lives.
Let none cut asunder
Those He joins together, His purpose for husbands and wives.
May your home be a haven,
A picture of Heaven, where praise is the true way of life.
May your house fill with laughter,
Both now and hereafter, where hurt never turns into strife.