Prophetic Sword Picture

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

CONTROVERSIAL! Does a woman have the right to choose? Biblically, yes she does!

Dear friends and readers,

Based upon the title of this article I already know that some of you are about to "blow a gasket" and metaphorically throw me in a pit and stone me to death. WAIT!!! Before you do that please read the entire article and I will explain the statement "Does a woman have the right to choose? Yes, Biblically she does"!

First this article begins with the subject of abortion but  moves past that to other issues that believers struggle with all the time. For the record, I am flatly against abortion---with a caveat!

I am totally repelled by the fact that in the United States alone over 1000 abortions have already happened this very day by the hour I am writing this is in my time zone, 541,000  so far this year (end of July 2018) and worldwide since 1980, 1.5 BILLION children have been killed.

My caveat? As a pastor if confronted with a situation involving a child conceived through violent rape, I would ALWAYS suggest bringing that child full term and adopting out if necessary. Also I would never dream of saying to a woman "I understand what you are going through" because no man could ever really understand that kind of violation, pain and humiliation. So I am also not prepared to point my finger at any woman faced with those choices even if they choose abortion. That kind of pain and trauma  is never a good time for judgmentalism or hyper legalistic Christianity.

Biblically speaking the Lord is crystal clear in Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, THAT I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING; THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, THAT BOTH YOU AND YOUR DESCENDANTS MAY LIVE"! God has given all of mankind a choice, life or death. That does not mean He has given permission to choose death for yourself or anyone else including an unborn child. In fact He also makes it clear that He wants OUR DESCENDANTS to live. And good or bad choices are met with either blessing or cursing. God does not force us to love Him, or obey Him and He clearly wants us to make choices that lead to life, but these are our choices to make---bearing in mind that we will also answer for the consequences of our choices.

NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY because you who are reading this may at one time have had an abortion, or your life may have been touched by the affects of one.  Today you are a believer and look back wondering if you made the right choice? While we cannot reverse history, the Word of God is also clear in that once having sincerely repented for our past sins, (PSALM 103:12), we are forgiven.  "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us"! None of us were perfect before we met the Lord including myself, nor for that matter are we perfect now. We all made grievous errors and mistakes but they no longer exist through the shed blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ. We all have regrets but we can and should learn by those mistakes, try not to repeat them and occasionally use our own testimonies to help other folks through similar troubling times.

Would God EVER approve of terminating life in the womb? NO, not in my opinion. But He has given men and women the choice to decide their own destinies even when it proves to be self destructive.

Too many times in some circles of the church, the Lords examples of love, grace and mercy seem to be sadly lacking. Instead of trying to help a person (in this case a woman) faced with an unplanned child, the favorite expression for some people is "Tsk, Tsk". This goes even further; In fact often during public trial our system of juris prudence allows innocent female victims to be publicly humiliated to try a get that filthy rapist off the hook criminally.

But getting back to church, judgmental thinking is often taken to other extremes as well. Leaving the subject of abortion, the question is simple. Can mankind make other members of mankind holy? And of course the answers is no. There are some members and some denominations who clearly think they can either command respect or "MAKE HOLY" through extra Biblical rule books. Skirts a certain length, suits and ties, head coverings, dietary restrictions, man made statutes restricting alcohol, movies, places people frequent and the plethora goes on and on.

The truth is that HOLINESS proceeds from the hearts of people who are committed to the Lord and want to please Him, not the elders of a church. Sound strange coming from a pastor? It shouldn't because I have read Colossians chapter 2:18-23. ALL ABOUT FALSE HUMILITY and legalism.

So lets take a look at some examples; Alcohol (nothing I am about to say should be construed as  encouraging the use of any substance that could possibly cause an addiction). We are only speaking about legalism in the church---which by the way, is far and away at the top of the "drive them out of the church" list! Whether you use alcohol or you do not, has zero effect on your walk with the Lord as long as it does not lead to an addiction which can be self destructive. Or in the event that your own (public) use makes someone else stumble in their walk with the Lord.  Some people can enjoy one beer and walk away but for some people, touching one drop and they down an entire case. Some people have addictive personalities and some do not. The Apostle Paul said it very well (1 Corinthians 6:12) "all things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me but I will not be brought under the power of any". So the question is simple? Am I doing anything that is bringing me under ANY KIND of addictive behavior?

I have frequently been asked (no kidding here) "how can that (past church of mine) talk so much about the sin of even one drop of alcohol when Jesus Himself turned water into wine (John 2:1-11 for a bunch of drunks by the way) and Paul instructed Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23) "no longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities".

You know what? I cannot defend that! The Bible says what the Bible says. What I myself have done over the years is stay completely away from legalism but talk about the far greater issue; IS THERE A CHANCE THAT ANYTHING YOU DO AS A CHRISTIAN---COULD MAKE A WEAKER BELIEVER STUMBLE??? Romans 14:21 "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor DO ANYTHING by which your brother stumbles or is offended or made weak". Clearly Paul is speaking about what we do publicly. Does that include only what we eat or drink? No, how about our choice of movies we go see or reading materials left on our work desk top? Of course we must also ask ourselves the benefit of feeding our own souls with questionable garbage.

How about what we wear (or the lack thereof) in public places, the way we express ourselves (IE: road rage), the kinds of bumper stickers we display? profanity (whoops-glad you were not in my shop when I hit my finger with a hammer---REALLY GLAD we have repentance and forgiveness). Or how about this? When was the last time in church you heard a sermon on the excess of food and particularly sugar? We (some not all) Christians rage about booze, scanty clothing, vulgar speech and "un-Christian like" behavior, but where is the outrage about people killing themselves with food related diabetes issues? Currently childhood obesity in the USA is at near epidemic proportions including within the church. 160 million Americans are very overweight. Among men a whopping 32.2% and women 35.5%. Mostly as a result of imbalanced diet/overeating plus sugar intake and probably lack off exercise. Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint problems and CVD (cardiovascular disease) are literally immobilizing large portions of our western populations.

NOTE: Not all of these health problems are caused by excessive and unhealthy diets. Some folks are simply genetically effected.

But when was the last time we discussed these things in church? No pastor wants to tackle over eating even though it is killing far more people than alcohol abuse by a factor of 10.

And how about the untamed tongue (James chapter 3). In the Hebrew the language it is called Lashan Hara---derogatory speech. Talking trash about someone else. Some of our churches are plagued by this. Or the "dirty little secret". PORNOGRAPHY. Did you know that there are very many internet organizations now set up to help pastors fighting porn within their churches?  It is a very big problem for believers as well as non believers. In fact FOCUS ON THE FAMILY has a ministry of helps specifically for PASTORS who themselves have a porn addiction.

The issue for churches today is to be balanced in their teachings. It is not enough to focus on the "seen sins" but also the unseen. Not enough to concentrate on the more obvious physical sins but also to tackle sins of the mind. The ONLY way to do that is for pastors to do two things; 1). Teach the whole counsel of God. Cover to cover and do so in context. 2). Be willing to tackle issues that are killing our saints but are not popular to talk about. That can be done publicly or privately without embarrassment and with great success.

CONTROVERSIAL is really the key issue of this article because if we in the church are not willing to take on those tough issues, are we really doing our jobs?

God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

FEELING OLD? Aches and pains? Trying to deal with the inevitable? You don't have to, it's a CHOICE.

Dear friends and readers,

I am going to address an issue today that I have never felt comfortable sharing publicly before. This is about getting old and feeling terrible. About aches and pains, joint problems, sciatica, neck issues, over weight, failure at constant fad diets and generally giving into the inevitable. Getting old is only for the brave!

This is about CHOICE! First allow me to file the normal disclaimers; I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, a qualified gym trainer and do not recommend you follow any advice I give particularly without obtaining clearance from your doctor. Also, what I am about to say may not apply to anyone with an aggravated health issue. Are we clear? OK so lets talk about getting back in shape---NO MATTER YOUR AGE!


I have never ever spoken publicly about myself and what I do to keep in shape but I also know that very many of you in my general age group are going through the very same challenges that I have at 74 years old!

21 years old, 225 pounds,  young and healthy. 

74 years old. 217 pounds.  Young and healthy.
(Albiet somewhat bruised and broken after 53 years of intervening life!)

Frankly at this age I am feeling great (has not always been the case) and I am as strong or more so than I was at 40 years old. The course I have chosen at this point in my life is not easy, frequently hurts, and I often hate it. Hate what? GYM TIME! I work out most mornings 5 days each week for as long as 2 hours. There is never one single morning that I don't try and convince myself that there must be a great reason why I should skip hitting the gym. But I always come to the same decision. If I do skip it I will FEEL IT and I don't like feeling bad.

Some background; If you know me personally or follow my articles you know that I was career Law Enforcement prior to going into the ministry. It was a tough, often violent time during the 60's, 70' and early 80's. During my 18 1/2 years wearing the uniform I was seriously injured several times all of which required surgeries and several weeks to recover. I carry those scars to this day and often they hurt. My left knee was destroyed and I have not had any cartilage between the bones for 40 years. Until I began working out, I never took a step without pain for all those years. I chose not to have a knee replacement at 40. The nerves in my left elbow were destroyed and as a result my left arm has never been as strong as my right since the injury---again over 40 years ago. I have had 5 serious hernias. Plus another surgery to "route out" my nasal passages (trust me you NEVER want to have that done). I have "carpal" in my right wrist to the point that there is little feeling in my right thumb and two fingers. I have sciatica in my right hip which was often nearly debilitating. Before I began seriously working out the bones in my neck "cracked" every time I moved my head and when I stood up I nearly always became dizzy.  I have a right shoulder problem and have had for years. Other than those issues, I am in great shape (-: It reminds me of an old country song, part of which said, "I am in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in".

Today after 1 Year of  seriously working out in my home gym, the difference in my health is nothing short of amazing. Because of strengthening the muscles of my left leg, I can now walk without pain in my knee (although still have to be careful when on stairs). My left arm is now fully as strong as the right. I wear protective gear while working out to avoid further hernias. My sciatica is still there but seldom bothers me anymore and I have learned how to rid myself of the pain through simple warm up exercises. My neck no longer "cracks" and I have not been dizzy in nearly a year. I still have the shoulder problem but have figured out ways around that while working out so I do myself no further damage.

This is not a brag sheet. No pride working here, it is hard work. I simply got tired of feeling miserable. The condition I am in today required massive self discipline always coupled with prayer. My entire adult life I have weighed in at between 225 and 230. Today I weigh what I did at 19 years of age---217. Fully 75% of my belly fat is history and I am still working on the rest (the toughest thing by far by the way).

I am a very private guy so writing this in not easy for me. I do not go around thumping my chest, flexing my muscles  and you will never see me on the beach without a shirt on. But through a consistent work out regimen both my wife Brandy and I have seen the composition of our bodies change immensely. We have more energy and a far more positive outlook on life. In both cases we take no meds for blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol problems. Brandy has shed her meds for both thyroid and hormones. I take daily saw palmetto to keep my prostate healthy, a mens multi vitamin and a pill for tinnitus (ear ringing) and a joint supplement--and that is it. My muscles are developing naturally and I have never taken any form of steroids or muscle growth hormones. No surgeries to get skinny and look good.

What this is NOT about for me; This as not about big muscles, chasing my youth, looking good on the beach, pride or lifting 300 pounds of dead weight off the floor. In fact while I do lift weight daily, I have no desire to lift anywhere that amount. I have no desire to be a body builder or look like  "Arnold". I want to be a healthy ME!

What it is about is feeling good, moving without pain, reseting my range of motion and being the healthiest and strongest I can at my age. And most importantly--being able to take care of my family. It's about getting some fun adventure back in our lives and doing so without pain.

So what does this take to achieve?

Frankly you cannot get there solely through dieting. You also cannot get there solely through gym work or other forms of exercise. Brandy knows some folks at her gym who have worked out for two years and have not dropped one ounce. AND, you will never ever get there without a soul wrenching commitment and self discipline.

You CAN get there through a combination of all of the above. It does not have to be hard or confusing.

First you cannot get there with "twinkies, candy bars and sodas" in your life! But, you also do not need fad diets and frankly I advise against them because every single person I have known who used those and did loose the weight, gained it ALL back in the course of time. (NOTE: I am not speaking of doctor prescribed diets for people with specific health issues---follow your doctors advice).

Brandy and I are not vegans, we eat some meat and some carbs but do so circumspectly. Our lives are NOT consumed with counting calories. We do not starve ourselves, in fact we eat great meals of Brandy's design. Sometimes we declare a food holiday and pig out! We eat lots of fruit, vegetables, chicken and fish and some red meat.  WE ENJOY OUR SELVES!

Advice learned the hard way from UNCLE RANCE! Next Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving when your body is crying out for that second plate? Finish the first plate and wait 10 minutes. If you still need more go get it but I would put a buck on the line that says after 10 minutes your body will tell you that you do not really need that second plate. That same advice works on a daily basis.

Drinking water is a must but frankly if I drank as much water as Brandy, I would never leave the bathroom. I listen to my body and drink when it tells me I am thirsty. I know, I know the Doc's today say you have to drink 80 gazillion glasses of water daily. Think of this; During the wagon train days, people walked or rode horses 2 thousand miles through deserts. They had no candy, cokes, little if any sugar,  zero refined white flower and had to ration their water. What they did do was eat sensibly and work hard sunup to sundown. Minus some disease or plague, very many lived into their 90's. JUST SAYIN! P.S. I eat when my body tells me I am hungry, not just when others do at 8-12 and 5.

One other peace of advice and please do not confuse this with some silly "power of positive thinking" malarky. Having said that, you really are what you think about yourself, what you eat and what you do. We know people much younger than we are you go around constantly confessing how old they are, how broken down they are. They have accepted whatever they are now. Minus some serious health issue, you are what you are willing to accept in your life.

QUESTION? Are you happy with what you are right now and are you feeling healthy? If you are then fine but if not, what are you willing to do to change it?

Now for work outs: I started with a $50.00 cheapie weight beach from Walmart and two 20 pound weights. I now have a full on small gym in my home and love it but that was NOT the way it began. Oh, no, it was pure misery and the first few workouts I felt like parts of my body were going to fall off! The next morning I could barely get out of bed. I had to "gut" my way through it every single day but after two weeks I was no longer sore and could begin adding new exercises and more weight---but only a bit at a time. I am not into max weight lifting and never will be. For some people (including Brandy), that's fine. But for me, endurance is far more important.  I do max repetitions with lessor weights and since I am doing so in my own home, I am not in competition with anyone but myself. Brandy enjoys a competitive but friendly public gym atmosphere. We are different in that respect. I now have lots of equipment every one of which I really do use. I purchased three things new and the rest for pennies on the dollar used. It is fun for me But in reality you can get back in shape without all that stuff.

All people are different and have different needs. Brandy chose to join a Christian gym---wholesome atmosphere and lots and lots of cheerful emotional support. She readily admits that a home work out would not do well for her because she needs help maintaining her discipline. I am a very disciplined person so prefer to work out alone. She is now a personalized trainer and her "book" is nearly always full. I have no such desire but really do enjoy my gym time because I feel better now than I did when I was 40.

Before Brandy broke her ankle just one year ago, she weighed in at 216, her health was increasingly bad, was on several different medications. She had very little upper body strength. When her ankle broke her doctors told her she would not walk unassisted for 4 months. She had to crawl back and forth to the bathroom. She looked down the road of her future and did not like what she saw. Probably not many years off, lying in some convalescent hospital having her diapers changed.

SHE MADE A DECISION! And through prayer and just plain old "gutting it out", she was doing light exercise in the gym in THREE WEEKS and was walking on her own. Praise the Name of the Lord---prayer works!!! One year later she has dropped 70 pounds and is dead lifting 185 and increasing. She refused to accept what she saw in her future. She made a decision.

 Brandy at 49

 Brandy at 50 after "decision"


Because of my knee issues, I cannot run but I do not neglect cardio time. We have a tread mill and a "spinner" bike. At all costs keep your heart healthy and your daily cardio exercise helps in that area.  Some work out "peeps" (we affectionately call them "gym rats") neglect their cardio and they do so at their own eventual regret.

We live on a large property with literally dozens and dozens steps in various places. Without even going into the gym I generally get in nearly 10,000 steps per day unless I am doing a study and writing day. I keep a small "step counter" in my pocket to keep tract. Less than 5 bucks. You can do the same by simply walking. Work up slowly, once around the block now, two next week and keep increasing your distance. Try and get up to 10, 000 steps per day. Have fun with it, go out and talk to the Lord, walk with a friend or your ole dawg. Listen to music on headphones. While you walk, Talk to the "birdies". That in itself will increase your stamina and help you shed some pounds. Well, Er-- not the talking but the walking!

Start small, walk around the block. Then carry one or two pound weights in each hand. Advance from there but always in "baby steps". Determine what you want to be your end result. Weight loss? Running? Walking? Aerobics? Max weight lifting? Or as I do, simply wanting to get back in shape and feel good? If I can do it at 74 and with my past injuries you can to. If Brandy can do it from being very over weight and in terrible health, you can to. BUT I REPEAT, you must at some point confront reality! Make the choice and stick to it. You have to be disciplined or you will never ever get there. THE QUALITY OF YOUR FUTURE LIFE DEPENDS UPON THAT SINGLE DECISION!

DO NOT GO OUT AND PURCHASE SOME EXPENSIVE MULTIPLE POSITION WEIGHT MACHINE!!! For most people they become next years dusty garage sale fodder. Maybe someday but you do not need that to get started.

Folks get back in the saddle. Make the decision, get off the couch and turn off the T.V. Get active in some way that you enjoy because the benefits will surprise you---after you get past the pain )-:

Last week Brandy hiked to the top of a volcano and I rode my quad. Next week are are booked to go Kayaking in shallow ocean waters. For her upcoming (50th) birthday Brandy wants to go "zip lining". I would love to take a parachuting class. We have both come to the point in one short year that we can DO ADVENTURES without pain and can get there and back and still have energy. We are having fun!

I encourage you "seasoned" folks. You can get back in shape. It might not be in a gym. It might be riding your bike, low impact aerobic classes, walking, hiking, or any number of other things. All you have to do to get there is ------


First picture is my gym one year ago. Second and third pictures are my gym today.

Enjoy life, don't give up and never ever give in.

You can contact me at for tips on how to start small.

You can contact Brandy on Facebook for tips on heavy lifting and healthy FUN food. She will be publishing an ebook in the near future about healthy choices in food.

In closing, I  have nothing for sale, no t-shirts, diet books, DVD's, magazines, subscriptions or anything else. I simply want to encourage you "seasoned folks" that you CAN do it!

God bless,
Your friends,
Rance and Brandy.

P.S. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. And none of us know when the Lord will "ring our bell"! But for me, when He does ring it, it will not be because I have allowed either my body or my mind to waste away!

Friday, June 22, 2018

PEACE, Is that possible for believers?

Dear friends and readers,

The subject of followers of Christ living through evil times in a beleaguered world has been much on my mind lately. The Bible is full of admonitions for us to be peaceful---to live in peace and promote peace. But I for one have long since noticed that achieving true peace in our lives is one of those "easier said than done's".

With age and experience I have discovered that peace in my own life is possible but that requires daily and sometimes minute by minute decisions on my part. I am sure you have heard the old expression "the mind is the devils playground". A truer word has never been spoken.

Have you ever had one of those days when you fight a mental battle ALL DAY LONG because you have been injured, insulted in some way or simply slighted---and all you can think about is telling that no good so and so off? You know, that rascal that hurt your feelings. Or hurt someone else's and you are simply enraged by it? Let's be honest here, I certainly have. And probably will all my life. The question is, do I have any control over it? And have you noticed that when you are in the very center of some kind of contention, it is not so easy to simply throw scripture at the problem and expect it to immediately go away?

I am a peaceful man. I value peace in my life. Whenever possible I CHOOSE to walk away from contentious people. Nor do I choose to fight or even argue with anyone. Have I always been able to do that well? No sadly I have not but I am learning. My desire not to fight or argue does not in any way infer that I am a "pacifist" because I am not. A pacifist is a person who is opposed to war and violence in any form. That's not me because I know that sometimes war---as evil as the reality may be, is unfortunately necessary. Had the United States and the Allied powers not taken decisive action during WWII, the Nazi's of Germany may well have conquered great swaths of the entire world. On the other hand, there are no winners of war! Oh, the Allies overcame evil at that time in history but at the battle of Normandy alone, 9000 Allied soldiers died in one single day. That is not what I would call "winning" anything.

On  a personal basis, I come from a violent background and have many scars on my body as testimony to a career in Law Enforcement and also some military background. I chose to do those kinds of jobs because I know that true peace between countries and within societies can only come through strength and the rule of law. And to this day I would never stand idly by and see my family or friends physically abused or anyone else for that matter. No I am not a pacifist but when I have a choice to make in the matter I choose to live a non violent lifestyle--in peace. Not just physically but also emotionally, spiritually and in every other aspect of life. Admittedly, sometimes that is easier said than done!

Biblically speaking much is expected of us where peace in concerned. Jesus gave us the tools; John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you, NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES YOU, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let if be afraid". So, we have a choice, we can try and find our peace through worldly ways or the way the Lord would have us do so.

I will tell you a story. One of my own because I don't like telling other peoples testimonies. In the area where I live, everyones houses are on septic systems. There are two houses on my property. One is equipped with it's own system and the other has always been in question. Since every thing is deep under ground it is difficult to discover for certain. The local authority over these public systems has always maintained that our second house is hooked to the community system. I have never believed that is the case and have expressed my opinion frequently. But I was basically forced to pay bills for 5 years that I never believed we owed. Recently the community system had to be worked on and guess what they discovered? My home was not hooked to it in any way. Never was!

Can you imagine my reaction to this news? "I WANT MY MONEY BACK!" But the answer I received back was basically "no way Jose". In the next 30 seconds, various scenarios went racing through my mind---I am sure you can imagine. 1). Make a huge ruckus in the community and cause my neighbors to take sides, thereby taking everyone's peace away. 2). Sue the creeps. But then that is a costly two year process during which time myself and my family would be embroiled in dispute and contention and our peace would be shattered. 3). Walk away!

Was it worth it to me to prove my point? To get that ounce of flesh that I rightly deserved? After all I was in the right. Was it not a matter of honor? Or did I just want to be proven right publicly?

At about the 29 second mark, the light came on for me and I CHOSE to walk away. Silly to think? Look at it this way. If I fought, the dollars I would have received back would get us to disneyland for about 2 days. But my peace would have been in tatters for months getting there. NOT WORTH IT TO ME! By the way, that was only a few days ago and guess what? I have lost no sleep. My peace is in tact, and I caused no ruckus in the neighborhood. Was the action taken by other people right? No it most certainly was not. But I have found out something very important in my life. I am not responsible for other people choosing to be jerks. And I have also discovered that I really don't need to prove myself right. Nor do I need to accept insult when it comes my way. That's a personal choice. I don't have to allow my feelings to be injured, that is a personal choice.

I don't have to be in unforgiveness toward any other human being no matter what. That is a personal choice. I do not have to be embroiled in other peoples problems unless it is to the extent of being able to help them in some small way. I don't have to be around people who are constantly living their lives from one drama issue to the next. I do not have to spend my time in fellowship with people who are contentious. In fact I have Biblical direction NOT to do so. Titus 3:9-10 "But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and useless. REJECT A DIVISIVE MAN after the first and send admonition". And I have a choice NOT to listen to bad mouth about other people. No No, I don't have to do that.

In the country there is an old expression; "Have you ever been around someone for a few minutes only to discover that their corn bread is not fully cooked in the middle"? That means don't eat of that guys verbal meal. You don't have to hang around people either talking or acting trash.

And here is the biggie, getting back to unforgiveness; If a Christian allows themselves to be in unforgiveness, they might as well take a high powered hand gun and blow a hole in their own foot. Either way they are only hurting themselves. Matthew 6:15 "If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your (heavenly) Father forgive your trespasses".

Now that is scary because without the forgiveness of sin, ask yourself---what is in my eternal future? Would I serve the Lord all my life and then allow myself hurt by hanging onto someone else's jerky actions or evil mouth?

For me the answer is no. It is simply not worth it nor is the lack of peace that comes as a close neighbor to unforgiveness.

So you say there is someone in your life who is mean spirited? Someone who takes your peace away? You know back in my law enforcement days we would often get complaints from ladies who had received lewd telephone calls. I would ask them how they reacted and nearly always they said something like "I screamed at that pervert and slammed the phone down". But he just keeps calling back, what should I do? My advice? Next time don't scream, don't call him any names, in fact don't react at all and above all don't slam the phone down. All that guy is doing is trying to get a reaction out of you and he is succeeding. Next time don't say a word and just silently press the button to hang up the call. Do you know what happened every single time with those ladies who followed that advice? The idiot making the calls stopped calling and chose another victim.

The very worst thing that can happen to a mean spirited, evil speaking person is to be ignored! Invariably what they really want is attention. They want their 15 minutes of fame. Don't give it to them. Keep your peace and walk away. That also applies to listening to evil speakers.  If you do that you are only becoming their audience without the price of admission. Walk away.

One of the most precious gifts the Lord provided for us is being able to walk upon this earth in peace. That does not mean that bad things don't happen because they most certainly do. And sometimes we are injured in the process. But absent some kind of sever accident or ailment, most issues in life, particularly involving other people, are within our own control. Or perhaps I should say, the WAY WE REACT is within our control.

We can CHOOSE to be at peace if we want to. I will leave you with a thought; When it comes to mean spirited people and those who want to cause contention, there can be no argument or fight if one person chooses not to engage in the issue.

Get your peace back and keep it.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

RED WAVE/BLUE WAVE??? The REAL wave is Believers voting!

Dear friends and readers,

Tired of speculation over the coming mid terms? Burned out on trying to figure out if we will see a RED WAVE or a BLUE WAVE?

The real wave will be Christians, followers of Christ going to the polls, We are millions and millions strong! Followers of the Lord can not only influence but turn any American election anyway we want. BUT ONLY IF WE VOTE!!!

Staying home and sitting on our collective hands will see defeat for the conservative cause. It will insure the continued advancement of political correctness, the squashing of free speech, the eventual demise of the second amendment, repeal of tax reforms, more regulations back in place, and a general degradation of our once great American society as it gives way to socialism.

Ask yourself some questions;

Do you like being a parent who has zero to say about your children's sex education classes in school?

Do you love high taxes?

Do you want to continue seeing our cities filled with homeless?

Are you sick and tired of seeing your tax money dolled out to people on welfare (at least to those who can actually work for a living but don't)?

Does it bother you that the United States gives money to (MULTIPLE) countries who hate us?

Are you concerned that country after country that we have trade agreements with are shafting the American tax payer---and past administrations have allowed that to continue---by the BILLIONS OF DOLLARS annually?

Do you suspect that big government is the reason that social security and Medicare are going broke?

Are you tired of hearing career politicians tell you how to vote?

Are you worried that ultra liberal values will continue degrading a once proud nation?

Are to sick and tired of hearing about honest Bible believing business people being told who they can make cakes for and who they cannot?

Do you want to live in a place that values mom, apple pie and Old Glory---and the BIBLE?

Me too and while we are at it, I am also sick and tired of politicians ridiculing my Bible and what it says, trying to tear down crosses and dictate who can display a Nativity scene on their front lawns.

We can change that---ALL of it, but ALL the millions and millions of us have to register and vote!

It is a God given right in our democracy. Let's ban together and use it!

Don't wait till the last minute to decide---the mid terms are a very short 5 months away.

Good bless,
Pastor Rance.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

WORLD WAR III---What really are the chances?

Dear friends and readers,

It's a good thing that I have three blogs because the news is coming at us so quickly that I cannot publish fast enough. Normally this blog is reserved for encouraging the church to GET BACK TO BASICS, but right now I feel it far more important to address headline news.

Unfortunately Israel and news from the Middle East is buried deep within daily news casts because the "talking heads" on most channels are far more interested in Russian collusion or speculation over who the President may have played "footsie" with years ago. The REAL stories are not often reported and frankly when they are, I am totally stunned by the naiveté of people who should know better.

The following headline news has been repeated on multiple occasions by several people on nightly news programs just this week;

"WE ARE ON THE BRINK OF WORLD WAR III!" This, by several retired generals, and in some cases even retired high ranking diplomats and a few heads of state---not to mention very many liberal left wing news commentators.

For the record at least Biblically speaking I do not see a war approaching the status of a WORLD WAR until Armageddon. I do see a large conflict written in Psalm 83 plus a someday invasion of Israel by Gog from the land of Magog---Ezekiel 38-39. And of course events must play out one way or another that will set the prophetic stage for the total and complete destruction of the ancient Syrian city of Damascus. I should note however that no specific Biblical texts dealt with the overall circumstances involved with either WWI or WWII. So who knows, perhaps more surprises are in store.

My purpose today is to bring you up to speed on things that are currently underway that many news programs skip completely. First as you know, Israel and Iran (from within Syria) have begun trading rocket fire and this is the basis for many thinking that this could escalate into a world wide conflagration. And of course parts "B" and "C" of that scenario are the formal opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem this week. Then, very many politicians and heads of state seem to believe that President Trump canceling the JPOA agreement with Iran could grow into a firestorm not easily quenched. JPOA is the acronym for "JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION" that was signed into being on July 14, 2015.

This agreement was just that---a simple non binding agreement because absolutely no one including the United State Senate ratified this as a formal treaty. But it was taken seriously by the signatories who are the United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany and of course the target of this deal being Iran and it's desire to field Ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. Of course Iran has insisted all along that they only wanted peaceful nuclear facilities to produce power for their electric grids. But that is a pill extremely difficult to swallow in view of Iran's 60 year track record of calling for the total destruction of Israel, the United States and virtually any and all democratic forms of government worldwide.

Next on the very troubling hit parade of impending violence is the fact that Hezbollah (proxy army for Iran (ancient Persia---and sworn enemy of Israel) just won big time in the Lebanese parliamentary elections. Like it or not some governments are now in the unenviable position of having to recognize Hezbollah as a government entity even though they are really a terrorist thug organization bent upon total and complete destruction of Israel. And that puts the United States in a real political "pickle" because Uncle Sam has been pumping mega military support and training into the LAF (Lebanese armed forces) for many years. In fact reports coming out of Israel declare that the LAF has received over 1 1/2 BILLION dollars worth of advanced weapons systems including the training of 32,000 LAF military forces. This has been happening since 2007 and according to a well know commentator, Caroline Glick of Breaking Israel news, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut reported that in 2017 alone, the U.S. provided 32 M1A2 Bradley fighting vehicles, 50 armored Humvees, small aircraft armed with hellfire missiles, 55 mortar systems, 50 Mark-19 automatic grenade launchers, 1100 machine guns including 800 50 caliber weapons, 4000 M4 rifles, over 1/2 million rounds on ammunition, 320 night vision thermal devices, and 360 secure communications radios.

So what you say? As it stands right now, Hezbollah through the latest parliamentary elections is clearly in charge of Lebanon and since Hezbollah is a puppet army of Iran, so is the entire country of Lebanon which is exactly on Israel's northern boarder. Did I neglect to mention that Hezbollah already has 150,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israeli cities?

So, now because of inept U.S. foreign policy on the part of past Presidents, the current President Donald Trump faces an untenable situation; The U.S.A. stands solidly in support of Israel who will most likely be facing U.S. made and supplied weaponry in a war with Hezbollah that could break out at any minute---REALLY!

In the mean while Iran is doing all it can to build forward military bases in the war torn country of Syria which is also on Israel's boarder to the north east.

Hamas is in a full scale uprising in Gaza and have announced that they are planning to turn out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the next week to overwhelm Israel's security fences and Israel has now moved several brigades of troops to the Gaza fences to defend Israeli territory.

To make matters worse, the Turkish news paper YENI SAFEK says that they and many Arab and Muslim leaders are calling for a new global "army of Islam" to march against Israel and take Jerusalem.

Speaking of Turkey---a once democratic nation with secular values, the current President has succeeded in turning the entire nation into a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalist extremists all of whom hate Israel AND the United States and although still officially a NATO country, have now aligned themselves with Iran, Russia and to an extent China, all of whom are enemies of Israel and the U.S.A.

Syria itself has been engulfed in a deadly civil war which has now lasted 7 full years since 2011. Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United States are all on the ground in that country with armed forces. How long before mass conflict breaks out between these forces all of whom have divergent military and political goals?

And this very week the tinder box has become full. A box of events, any one of which could well begin a massive war that could draw in very many countries---and that is why so many are speculating about WWIII.

1). Today, May 13 is Jerusalem remembrance day. It commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem in Israeli hands after the six day war of 1967. This is a day thoroughly hated by Muslims who are the predominant population groups in 50 countries.

2). Ramadan begins on May 15 and signals the largest convergence of Muslims worldwide and that begins in Saudi Arabia and goes through June 14.

3). The move of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with be dedicated tomorrow May 14th which is also the 70th birthday of the New State of Israel from May 14, 1948. Interestingly, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion announced the new State of Israel at exactly 4 p.m. on that date. The dedication of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is scheduled for precisely 4 p.m.

4). The Iran nuclear deal between several nations and Iran was canceled last week at least as far as the United States is concerned but this has caused yet another political firestorm, and more predictions of WWIII.  Standing with the United States in this decision are Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates. Standing in solidarity against the decision by the United States are Russia, China, The United Kingdom, France, Germany and of course Iran.

All of these things and more could ignite the firestorm of war with the slightest little spark either militarily or politically. Only time will tell.

But of further significance in the near future are 1). May 20th represents the day (on the Gregorian calendar) that the Holy Spirit came to the church, the day of PENTECOST in Acts chapter 2.

2). July 22 is the fast of the ninth of Av on the Jewish religious calendar. This particular day lives in infamy. Over the centuries very bad things have happened to Israel (and some times the world) exactly on the ninth of Av. Both Temples were destroyed on this day. Seminal events that kicked off both WWI and WWII happened on this day. Going back in time, when the Hebrew spies went into the promised land and became frightened, they were responsible for Israel NOT doing what God had commanded. Ninth of Av---resulted in the people of Israel wondering in the wilderness for 40 years.  During the Simon Bar Kockba revolt against Rome, The final battle was fought and the Jews defeated at Betar. Ninth of Av. The Jews were later expelled (all in different years) exactly on the ninth of Av from England and Spain.

Will anything happen this year? Only time will tell.

I will close with a Biblical admonition from Psalm 122:6-9 "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, peace be within you.  Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good".

Did you happen to notice the part that says "MAY THEY PROSPER WHO LOVE YOU"! A Biblical promise to be sure.

God bless you all in this time of turmoil,
Pastor Rance.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

COUNTRY WISDOM---Its time to get a chuckle!

Dear friends and readers,

Tired of constant bad news? Me too so it's time to lighten the load, Ease up, chill out, sit back and put yer feet up. Take a deep breath, get on the bus Gus and set yourself free!


It's downright annoying to argue with a fella who knows what he is talking about!

If you run with hounds expect to get fleas!

Coffee is best when it's saucered and blowed!

A little tears absorbs big pains!

Lifes a funny thing. You have to bust some clods before ya can plant a crop!

Debt is like dragging a rock in a cotton sack!

Small minds and big mouths have a way of hookin up!

Don't smoke in the hay loft---er anytime else ifn yer smart!

A mule can't help it if his daddy is a jackass!

Don't stand behing a coughing cow!

Country folks know a lot of stuff that ain't wrote down nowhere!

Hunt every varmint from downwind except a polecat (skunk fer you city fellas)!

It's hard to plant a seedless grape!

An acorn don't fall far from the tree but some nuts roll a long way from their roots!

An ounce of doing is worth a pound of talk!

Don't name a critter you plan to eat!

A single day in the country is worth a month in the city!


Better to have loved and lost than to marry a dairy farmer!

Early to bed and early to rise makes fer healthy families!

Trouble is a private thing, don't lend it and don't borrow any!

A hatful of marital advice still won't buy a cup of coffee.
Ya got ta learn it one day at a time!

Country fences need to be horse high, pig tight, and bull strong.
Married folk need ta build their fences together!

Life is not about how fast you can run
or how high you can climb
but how well you can bounce back!

Happy folk walk side by side!

Keep yer home peaceful
don't let other folks problems through the door!

Always keep drama at the theater!

The first two years of marital bliss can be a rocky road
but don't give up and it smooths out!

Keep skunks, bankers and lawyers at a distance!

Don't let yer wife wear polyester to a weiner roast!

Lettin yer chickens roost over the well is a big mistake!

Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps!

Yellin don't fix nothin!

Ain't nothing better in the evenin than you and yer honey
getting some coffee and hanging out with the horses!

Don't "gobble" in the woods during huntin season!

Country folk will help a fella who is down and out
but they got no use fer free freeloaders!

All marriages have squabbles but don't use yer spurs!

Split the chores, but remember the only thing worse
than a lawn mower that won't start is one that will!

Going to bed mad ain't no fun but it's better than fightin all night.
Besides in the morning most folks don't remember why they was
fightin in the first place!

Don't sell yer mule to buy a plow!

Two can live as cheap as one, if one don't eat!

Yer lady is like fine crystal,
she makes sweet sounds but shatters easy.
Think before ya speak!

You ain't goin to change him so pick right
the first time. And remember he ain't crystal,
he's a tin cup full of dents!

The best way ta get around yer spouse is ta hug em!

The best marriage is about 50 years old,
sittin on the porch together
waitin fer the grandkids
and sharing the teeth!

Oh, and if ya want to be happy in yer marriage
dont fergit ta talk with the Lord everyday!

Pastor Rance
Born and raised country!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

To tell the truth, so help me God!

Dear friends and readers,

Does anyone agree that the world is currently in terrible shape and getting worse by the day? Everywhere I look good pastors and reputable authors are publishing articles with exactly the same theme; JESUS IS COMING SOON!

Admittedly, probably all past generations of believers either thought that or at least fervently hoped they would be part of the rapture of the church. So why would it be any different for our current generation? Well, the simple fact is that no other generation since the cross actually witnessed the ingathering of the Jews back to their ancient homeland of Israel in accordance with prophecy in Ezekiel chapter 37. Also no other generation witnessed Israel once again becoming a nation on May 14, 1948. SPECIAL NOTE! In case you are wondering, in the entire history of the world, no---I repeat no other culture was ever reinstated to their ancient national homeland after being dispersed worldwide. It has only happened one time and Israel is the one nation it has happened to. And yes, I do believe that Israel represents a Biblically prophetic time clock against which all else in the world will be measured.

I have no idea if we are close enough to the rapture for me as an individual to experience what Christians worldwide have always longed for. But if I had to guess I would say that people of my generation---at least some of them will. I was born in 1944 which means that I was alive to witness May 14, 1948 and I actually have some dim memories of the actual occurrence. My grandparents had one of the very first round screen black and white T.V's. Of course then I also remember victrola's, horse drawn milk wagons, Levis with buttons and my very first car, a 1950 plymouth 4 door. 8 track cassettes, a drivers license at 14, 50 cent per gallon gas and being fortunate to earn $1.00 per hour.  And a bit later, transistor radios so my life has spanned some very interesting times. My father was an engineer on the very first moon shot and at 18 years old I was working as a hard rock miner 1600 feet under the ground on the very day JFK was assassinated. But I was making BIG money doing it. $2.12 an hour.

Back in those days, western movies featured good guys wearing white hats and bad guys wore black. The good guy always got the good girl and they didn't go to bed until after marriage. Drugs were around but only just and divorce (although it did happen) was socially frowned upon. There were NEVER any pregnant girls in high school (at least in the country) although you would never know it by all the lies the locker room guys were telling. I absolutely knew that they were lying because girls wore girdles in those days and those critters were undefeatable.

Then came the sexual revolution of the 1960's, Woodstock, huge rally's with women tearing their bras off and throwing them into bon fires to declare their independence. Next day the news papers were crowing about how large the crowds became. But I was in Law Enforcement at the time and can tell you for a fact that the next day "HUGE" crowds were mostly men gathered around the perimeters watching women tear off their bras. Funny the women never seemed to realize that!

Now here we are about 60 years later. Divorce is huge even within the church. I was doing some paperwork for our adopted son in a San Diego court a few months ago and there was sign advertising 1 day divorces??? Now men are becoming women and women becoming men? Makes me wonder who exactly is tearing off their bras these days? Drugs are epidemic. Politicians in most part are liars, Police are now the persecuted minority. In the past 40 years 1.72 BILLION aborted babies have happened worldwide. Nuclear proliferation is once again a threat to the entire planet. No one really knows these days who you are sharing a public toilet with. Children are given birth control devices at school without parental consent.

And those few things are only the tip of the iceberg.

Galatians 5:17-21 is now in full bloom. The works of the flesh. NOTE: Before going further this is no "goody goody two shoes" article. Christians make mistakes also and I fully realize that. My too!

But lets just list a few no-no's Biblically from Galatians and then you tell me if they sound accurate by todays news feeds? Lust, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery (including drug abuse), hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies (false doctrines), envy, murder, drunkenness and revelries.

Sound familiar?

If you want to see contentions simply look at the United States Congress. If you want to see murders simply look at most major U.S. cities. If you want to see adultery, lewdness, fornication and even more murder just look at our abortion rates. If you want to see liars just look at most of the large news agencies. By the way LIARS was not listed in Galatians 5. Want to know where it is listed? The very last book of the Bible, Revelation chapter 21:8 and 27. Scary!

In my day a man's hand shake meant something. And in a few cases today it still does. But not much any more. Today nothing is for certain. Absolutely nothing.

Well there is one thing that is certain; Jesus is on the Throne and coming back for His church--His Bride. But of one thing scripture makes absolutely clear. The Bride will not include liars or any of those other folks referred to in Galatians 5:17-21.

The good news is that Galatians also lists the fruits of the Spirit. LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF CONTROL, and against such there is no law.

I ask myself frequently if my life reflects those standards? I sure hope so because if not, I and anyone else who's lives do not reflect them will be in a heap of trouble when the Lord does come.

It's time for us who believe in the Lord to begin looking up, for our redemption really does draw close.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

God bless you all,
Pastor Rance.