Sunday, May 17, 2009


This past Wednesday, May 13, I logged onto Facebook. Immediately it appeared that the majority of my Facebook friends were making some reference to either Lost (which was the night of the season finale) or American Idol. In somewhat of a provocative but facetious manner, I wrote a “tongue in cheek” update at 10:51pm: “It seems that 90% of my FB friends are either Lost or Idol watchers.”

Honestly I didn’t anticipate the series of comments that would follow within minutes that progressed to an avalanche spanning four days. I want to invite others into this fascinating dialogue amongst those who have engaged thus far concerning this vital issue of judging.

My desire is that we would each commit ourselves wholeheartedly to pursuing Christ himself with a humble and contrite heart. I’ve found from personal experience that when I’m in a posture of worship and humility before the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, it is in that place that I’m most able to see from His vantage point. Hence I’m able to seize the Truth in a manner that doesn’t puff me up; instead it causes me to bow my face even lower in the dust while simultaneous stirring my heart deeply to be a conduit of the gospel. Revelation from the Lord as revealed through the Scriptures MUST deal with both the heart and the mind. When we neglect one (i.e., heart, mind) it invariably affects the whole. Christians should set their hearts upon the Lord to pursue Him wholeheartedly which includes one who diligently exercises the mind “to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

I have more to write, but let me start by posting the dialogue up to this point on the issue of judging. I’ll be the first to confess that I haven’t studied this important issue thoroughly in the Scriptures; but my heart has been stirred to do so. I want to desperately know the heart of God in this matter so that I may better reflect the true nature of Christ. This may—well, I’m pretty confident that it will—require that I am willing to change my own assumptions concerning this issue. Again, the goal isn’t simply the attainment of “head knowledge”—but rather the ability in my heart to seize the Spirit of revelation and wisdom (Ephesians 1:17) so that I may be conformed to His image.

I think you’ll find the thread insightful.

In the Secret Place,


Brian Francis Hume—(10:51pm, May 13)
“It seems that 90% of my FB friends are either Lost or Idol watchers.”

Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:57pm, May 13)
Either way, it's a sad condition. Pray for their salvation or for holiness added to their salvation.The Holy Spirit will not LET me watch such unholy things. I detest it.

Tracy Parsley Kane—(10:59pm, May 13)
me too, I do not watch either one

AC—(11:01pm, May 13)
thanks a lot jason. thanks

Christee L Brindzik Jones—(11:02pm, May 13)
I'm part of the 10% :)

Erin Wright—(11:05pm, May 13)
uuummm, was "jason lon jacobs" for real? Pray for their salvation or for holiness added to their salvation? Seriously?

Juan M. Deleon—(11:38pm, May 13)
I watched both tonight! Did I just lose my salvation?!

Cathy Jean Coulson—(12:09am, May 14)
I’m neither

Jason Lon Jacobs—(12:19am, May 14)
Do you watch things on TV that God absolutely despises? Can you sit there and enjoy things that are so completely contrary to everything that God has told us about Himself? If so, then maybe you don't know God.

Psalm 101...
Romans 6:22
2 Corinthians 7:1
2 Peter 1:5-9

Christians are to be completely separate from this world.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

Amy Valentine Buhrman—(7:12am, May 14)
Ah! So a singing competition (where one of the strongest players is a fine Christian gentleman) is too worldly, but the Internet and Facebook are a-okay...ah, how we "Christians" love to pick and choose, judge and condemn, though we are certainly not called to do so...such a debate!

AC—(7:36am, May 14)
Jason, I don’t appreciate you being judgmental. Be careful what you say on facebook, it gives Christians a bad name. You dont know me or anyone else on here that watches those shows. So be careful, you are coming across as very judgmental. Thanks.

Cyndi Brown Logsdon—(8:13am, May 14)
We don't get either of them here in Turkey - but I must confess, I sure enjoyed being in the states last year and catching a week or two of Idol. :)

Christian Fletcher—(10:32am, May 14)
Examining one's own heart is something a christian should do on a regular basis. If the Holy Spirit urges you to not watch Lost then by all means don't watch it, but be careful when telling someone they are not a true christian or have false salvation or are lacking in holiness because they are doing something you don't approve of. It can lead to legalism and we all know where legalism got the church in the days my Christ walked the earth. If the Holy Spirit is leading you to confront somebody, be careful of your delivery because you are already telling someone that something is wrong in their life and too often I see christians with good intentions do more harm because of a harsh delivery.

Thank you, Jesus, for your grace in my life.

Christian Fletcher—(9:42am, May 15)
Let us all be careful not to judge. I believe that Jason's intentions are good. He is trying to further the kingdom and provoke us to examine our hearts and that is commendable. Idle time is not just idle time. I, personally, do not believe that watching Lost or American Idol is detrimental to my health as a Christian. I also don't believe that having a glass of wine with dinner is either. However, there are several people I will not have a glass of wine around because it is something they struggle with. I do believe that there are families who place TV above all things in their lives. If that's the case they need to not watch TV just as the alcoholic needs to not drinkthat having a glass of wine with dinner is either. However, there are several people I will not have a glass of wine around because it is something they struggle with. I do believe that there are families who place TV above all things in their lives. If that's the case they need to not watch TV just as the alcoholic needs to not drink.

Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:03pm, May 16)
Juan, the question is not 'did you lose your salvation'. The question is, are you truly saved? I do not and cannot judge the heart of men. Only God can do that. So, examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith.

Amy, it's not an innocent singing competition. It's called "American Idol". Does it not promote idolatry? The name says it all. Does it glorify God? Paul said whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all of the glory of God.

Amy and Alysson, we as Christians are absolutely called to judge one another. I have followed the words of Christ and have not judged harshly or hypocritically. Paul also tells us to Judge. Have you not also judged me by calling me judgmental. That, of itself, is hypocrisy.

Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:06pm, May 16)
Alysson, you're right. I do give Christians a bad name. The world hates me, as it hated Jesus. Jesus promised it would be so. When was the last time you were persecuted for Christ? Don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity towards God? But make no mistake, I love people. I love lost people and saved people. I love those who bless me and those who curse me, yet it is not I who loves, but Christ in me. And I don't have to know you or anyone else here because I know men and women in general. I know that many man and women profess to know Christ with their lips, but deny Him by their actions. Christ is either everything or nothing. I don't judge the hearts or intentions or motives of men and women. I judge their actions.

Jason Lon Jacobs—(10:56pm, May 16)
Christian, I ask this tenderly. Why were you so quick to correct me and defend the others? A true Christian will grow in holiness. What does "holiness" mean? You say that the Holy Spirit will convict some Christians of watching a certain show and not others? How can the Holy Spirit be divided? If something is unholy, a Christian will know! And it's not simply me who doesn't approve. I quoted several Scriptures in support of what I said (to which no one has made mention, nor has anyone backed up their position with Scripture).

Legalism isn't the issue - lawlessness, self-righteousness, disobedience and unholiness are the issues. But since you bring up legalism, maybe you should define it (since the term is thrown around these days)You say that "you personally don’t have a problem with watching Lost or American Idol". It doesn't matter what you think - it matters what God thinks. Judge those shows (and all others) against what God has said is wicked, then decide

Amy Valentine Buhrman—(11:01pm, May 16)
Romans 2:1: "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same thing." ...we need to speak out against sin, but we must do so IN A SPIRIT OF HUMILITY. If we look closely at ourselves, we may find that we are committing the same sins in more "socially acceptable" forms.

Matthew 7:1: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (Christ's own words...) ...Christ tells us to examine our own motives instead of judging others.

Romans 14:10: "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat." ...Each person is accountable to Christ, not to others; many times Christians base their moral judgments on opinion, personal dislikes, or cultural bias.

Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:07pm, May 16)
Christian, you really cannot compare the consumption of a glass of wine to the filling of your mind with sinful, wicked, unholy "distractions". This is not a Romans 14 issue - nowhere close.

Let me ask one final question. 250,000 - 300,000 people die EACH DAY - most of them don't know Jesus. WHY do Christians waste their life with "entertainment"!? Can you really imagine the Apostles watching TV after being commissioned by Christ and compelled by the Spirit to tell others about such a wonderful Gospel?

"Do you see? Do you see, all the people sinking down? Don't you care? Don't you care? Are you gonna' let them drown...Jesus rose from the dead, and you - you can't even get outta' bed!" -Keith Green

Amy Valentine Buhrman—(11:07pm, May 16)
Here's the thing...any of us could go on and on, quoting Scripture, spouting our beliefs, putting one another down (intentionally or not). We can make case after case, based on our various interpretations of the Word. I do not judge you, and I don't make assumptions; I don't know any of you. I don't pretend to know your heart for Christ, though it seems evident to me that each and every person who has responded to this post has a strong faith. Jason; I appreciate the strength of your conviction, though my own opinion is that the presentation (were I not of good heart) would cause me to run far, far away. I do not know you, just as you do not know me. I do not judge you; I do apologize if that is the appearance that I presented. There is a rather large difference between disagreement and judgment. I truly do find all of this discussion quite interesting

Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:25pm, May 16)
Amy, thank you for your loving reply. Thank you for using Scripture, too. I agree that various cases can be made based upon "personal interpretation" of Scripture. There is but one TRUE interpretation. Only one! Let's seek the truth. Jesus promised us in John 16:13, that when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide us into all truth. Let us all seek to rightly divide the Word.

Romans 2:1 is not speaking to Christians, but to those who don't know God. (Read Romans 1:18-32 for context)

I'm curious, in your opinion, how does a person humbly speak out against sin? And how can that person prevent themselves from being labeled "judgmental" when speaking out against sin? Is it even possible?

Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:31pm, May 16)

Matthew 7:5"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Jesus gives us permission - actually commands us - to remove the speck from our brother's eye BUT not until we've removed the plank from our own eye. I've removed the "TV plank" from my eye, so I can freely speak against one or two specific (specks) shows.

I've stopped worrying about offending people. I've stopped picking and choosing my words and walking on eggshells with people. I don't try to offend, but I definitely don't soften the blow. Speaking out against sin and unholiness will never feel good to the hearer. Look at how they reacted and what they did to Jesus. Sure, I tailor my message as the Holy Spirit leads, but speaking out against sin is a serious thing. I trust in the SOVEREIGNTY of GOD and the power of the Spirit to convict, convince and save - not in the persuasiveness or delivery of my words.

Jason Lon Jacobs—(11:46pm, May 16)
(...cont again)

This doesn't give me license and freedom to go around saying mean or hurtful things, but I say what needs to be said and I know that God will take care of the rest. When I am wrong, God will discipline me, sometimes by another brother or sister.

Romans 14 doesn't apply to Christians judging or correcting sin or unholiness in one another. The context is in judging one another based on the consumption of foods which were previously forbidden by the Law of God given to Moses. The greater lesson is that love for one another limits our Christian liberty - as Christian pointed out earlier.

I too am enjoying the discussion.

Finally, when it comes to entertainment, the only question we need to ask ourselves is this: "Is it godly?" If the answer isn't a CLEAR YES, then reject it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Word to Graduates

This is the time of the year when there are many across the nation graduating from high school or college or some higher level educational program. I found on Stephen Mansfield's blog a list of 10 things that he highly recommends for all graduates. For those loved ones that are graduating this year, why don't you take the time to compile your list of ten things that you would highly recommend to them as a new graduate.

Stephen's 10
09 August

A dear friend and faithful reader of my blogs recently asked me to write some advice to his son on the occasion of the young man's graduation from college. He didn't want explanations. He wanted the simple maxims that play in my head as I live my life. It was an interesting assignment and I thought I would share what he has come to call "Stephen's 10" and in the same spare form he requested. Use these. Make them your own. Most of all, live an exceptional life, for heaven's sake!

1. Take God seriously and very little else.

2. Live everyday as though it were your last, for one day you are sure to be right.

3. History favors the bold.

4. You have a destiny and your destiny is fulfilled by investing in the destiny of others.

5. We make a living by what we earn and we make a life by what we give.

6. The best things in life are seasonal.

7. Thoreau said the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation. Don’t be one of them.

8. Life is too short for bitterness, anger and self-pity. See them as the enemies of your happiness.

9. A change is as good as a rest.

10. Do something every day that scares you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

E.M. BOUNDS | Stephen Mansfield

Today I came across two things concerning Franklin, Tennessee that caught my attention. First, I found an article that I had read several years ago by Stephen Mansfield; at that time I saved it so that I could reread it later. I tried to find it on where I originally saw it, but was unable to locate it. Anyways I am posting this excellent piece on the life of E.M. Bounds, who is one of my heroes of the faith. Most should be familiar with his writings on the topic of prayer (if not, please buy one of his excellent books on prayer).

Secondly I came across on CNN tonight a story about a body of a Union Civil War soldier being uncovered in Franklin, Tennessee. As you will read below, the Battle of Franklin had a significant impact on the life and ministry of E.M. Bounds.

E.M. BOUNDS by Stephen Mansfield

His name was E. M. Bounds and, though few may know of him, his books still sound a valiant trumpet call to intercession for those who have ears to hear. With titles like Power through Prayer, Prayer and Praying Men, The Essentials of Prayer, and The Possibilities of Prayer, this revered pastor, author, military chaplain, and prayer warrior has issued a Spirit-empowered call that continues to echo through the corridors of time. Yet if few know of him, even fewer may be aware of his incredible ministry during the War Between the States and the amazing impact he had on Franklin, Tennessee, just after that War. It is a story that bears telling, and retelling, among a people called to walk in his steps.

Edward McKendree Bounds was born in 1835 to Christian parents in Shelby County, Missouri. His middle name came from the famous Methodist circuit rider, Bishop William McKendree, who planted churches from the Atlantic coast to Missouri. As befit his name, Edward was an exceptional young man. In 1854, after "reading the law" as was the custom at the time, he was admitted to the bar at the astonishing age of eighteen. He quickly became one of the most respected attorneys in the area, but in 1859, to the surprise of all, he closed his office. Something had changed in Edward, and only his friends knew that it was a fresh encounter with the Lord Jesus. He began to devour the Scriptures and he read every John Wesley sermon in print. He also consumed the writings of Jonathan Edwards, whose biography of David Brainerd filled him with a passion for prayer. Edward's hunger for God increased and as his Heavenly Father filled him to overflowing, his heart longed to draw others into the transforming intimacy he had discovered. Finally, in 1860, his desire was granted when he was "Licensed to preach the Gospel of Christ" in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

His first pastorate was in Brunswick, Missouri, yet, in the sovereignty ofGod, it would not last long. In the fall of 1861, six months after the start of the War Between the States, Bounds was sitting quietly in his red brick church when Union troops rode up and took him into custody. He had once publicly voiced his opposition to the confiscation of churches by Union troops and for this offense alone he was beaten and consigned to a federal prison at St. Louis. This injustice would have crushed most men, but Edward was a different breed of man, one who had surrendered fully to his Master. Rather than nurse a destructive bitterness, he began to minister to the angry, hurting souls around him. So effective was his ministry and so respected was the character of this godly man, that following a prisoner exchange early the next year, Edward was sworn in as a Chaplain in the Confederate Army.

He now found himself in John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee and a more war-weary band of soldiers have rarely existed. These veterans had seen many a preacher appeal for converts in the quiet of the camp only to flee to the comforts of home when the firing began. Chaplain Bounds was a refreshing change. The soldiers learned that when the fighting broke out, they could find Bounds on the front lines, exposing himself to danger, and drawing fire as he shouted encouragement to "his flock." The men loved him. He was barely over five feet tall and as thin as a rail and when he made his rounds carrying a full backpack, the men laughingly called him "the walking bundle," for the man could scarcely be seen under the huge load. Edward would always smile, eagerly wave, and then turn to the next soul that required mending.

Then came the Battle of Franklin. On November 30, 1864, General Hood launched a frontal assault against the entrenched forces of Union General Schofield near a town south of Nashville called Franklin. It was a hasty, rash move and in a charge as dramatic as anything seen at Gettysburg, 18,000 Confederate soldiers were hurled against Union lines. It was a bloodbath and Hood lost 6,252 men that day, including thirteen general officers. Many prisoners were taken, and among them was Chaplain Edward Bounds. For days afterwards, Edward's heart-wrenching task was to dig mass graves for the very men whose souls he had tended. All the while, though, he sang hymns, quoted Scripture aloud, and offered encouragement to his fellow captives. Finally, after more than two weeks of this horror, most of the prisoners were released on condition that they not take up arms again. Edward accepted and left for his home in Missouri. His business in Franklin, however, was unfinished.

Early in 1865, Edward returned to Franklin. With all his heart he had loved the men in those horrible mass graves----he knew their hurts, the names of their wives and children, the shape of their fears----and he simply couldn't leave them there. He conceived a project to properly bury the dead and commemorate their lives. His vision moved a local farmer to donate some land and during the hot summer of 1865 some 1, 496 Confederate soldiers were exhumed and buried in the new cemetery on the hills of the Carter Farm. He even raised seven hundred dollars to pay local men to tend the graves. But it was not enough for Edward. He made a list of all the men from Missouri he buried at Franklin and published it in the Missouri newspapers to inform the families and generate even more support. Tenderly, he placed the list in his own wallet where it remained until the day of his death forty-eight years later. Throughout his life, he visited the families of his men, wrote them letters, and even helped acquire scholarships for the children of the men he had prayed with in those smokey Confederate camps.

But there was something else stirring him, as well. He had noticed, along with other believers, how a spiritual heaviness hung over the town of Franklin. One might expect this of Nashville, for during the War years it had been a center of prostitution, drunkenness, and the occult that was so much in fashion in the mid-1800's in America. Franklin was different, populated largely by Christian people. Perhaps it was the horrible bloodshed of those six hours on November 30th, or perhaps it was the depression of defeat that blanketed the South. Edward did not know why it was there, but he knew it had to go and that prayer was the key.

Since there was no Methodist pastor in Franklin, Edward became the pastor of Franklin's Methodist Episcopal Church. While fulfilling his pastoral duties, he continued to seek God for a strategy to break the darkness that covered the city. Finally, it came. Before long, he called upon the men of the city to join him in prayer. Every Tuesday evening, he proposed, the men would gather in the town square and cry out to God for their city. It must have sounded as strange then as it does today. Yet, the men came, and following Edward's lead, they knelt in the center of the town square and prayed, faithfully, every Tuesday for months. It worked. The darkness began to leave. What is more the Spirit of God began to touch hearts and the city experienced what can only be described as a spiritual awakening. In fact, Pastor Bounds' own church grew from a handful to over five hundred people. Once again, a faithful God granted an outpouring of his Spirit to believers who faithfully persisted in prayer.

Pastor Bounds remained in Franklin for two more years and then moved to Alabama. In time he married, had children, inherited property, and discipled many young men in the ministry. His life was filled with intense seasons of prayer, effective seasons of ministry, and fruitful seasons of writing. Indeed, his books on prayer, filled with wisdom acquired from so many battles both spiritual and human, are still the best to be found on the subjects of prayer and intercession.

Yet nothing stands as a testimony to the man quite like his pastoral ministry to the men who fell at the Battle of Franklin, their families, and the beleaguered city of Franklin. What kind of man is it who risks death to encourage others in Jesus? What kind of man quotes Scripture and sings hymns while burying the men he has pastored? What breed is it that can dig up almost fifteen hundred bodies only to bury them again in a manner that befits their sacrifice? What devotion cares not only for the men who have fallen but their children and even their grandchildren? And what kind of calling leads men to cry out to God for their city when others are lost in blackest despair?

The simple answer is that these are the characteristics of Jesus. What E. M. Bounds had learned was the secret of prayer, and how through the surrender that persistent prayer produces, Jesus pours his life, his heart, and his character. This is the meaning of the life of E. M. Bounds and this is the nature of our Lord.

© 2004 Mansfield Group


A dear friend of mine sent out his newsletter today that I want to share with you. If you're a pastor, I would HIGHLY recommend that you consider bringing S.J. to minister to your church. He is a true father in the Lord to many around the globe. And regardless of what others say about him, I think he's pretty funny too! Enjoy!

Stephen J Hill
May 14, 2009

Hi Everybody,

I can't believe it's May already and time for another newsletter. I pray that you're continuing to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and living in His loving embrace! I've been quite busy the last couple of months with trips to Louisiana, the Philippines, Texas, Illinois, and Holland. I also leave this weekend for meetings in Indiana. I've really enjoyed sharing my passion on the Father's love, as well as getting to meet some great people. If you're interested in keeping up with our traveling schedule, you can visit our web site at


For several years, I've been deeply concerned about the prevalent negativity I've seen within a large segment of the Body of Christ concerning the future of our planet. It has made me realize that our eschatology (what we believe about future events) will determine how we live in the present moment. For example, in the early 70's, I watched as men chose not to pursue any higher education because they believed Christ was returning at any moment. Now, many of them are in their late 50's and early 60's, and they're disillusioned because of the direction their lives have taken. Some of them have never liked their jobs, and now they're wondering why they bought into all the speculation presented by the popular "prophecy preachers."

I remember a man who wrote a book years ago that consisted of 88 reasons why Jesus was returning in 1988. Much of his eschatology was based on the belief that what Jesus predicted in Luke 21:32 would take place 40 years (the length of a generation, according to some) after the birth of the nation of Israel in 1948. Still others taught that Jesus was coming again in 2007, 40 years after Jerusalem became the capital of Israel in 1967.

What's sad is that this kind of speculation continues to this day as the "prophecy preachers" scramble to peddle their latest products. And, I'm amazed about how dogmatic many of them are concerning their interpretation of Scripture, especially the Book of Revelation. But how many of you even realize that much of the prevalent thinking about "end-time events" is less than 200 years old? John Nelson Darby started promoting his new beliefs in the 1830's, and they were later popularized with the 1909 printing of the Scofield Reference Bible. While Darby's views were initially rejected by much of the Church of his day, they're now widely embraced by many churches and denominations, as well as many radio and TV preachers.

Now that I'm 60 years old, I'm personally tired of all the speculation and dogmatic, fear-based preaching about "the end." I'm tired of hearing so much about the Antichrist and the mark of the Beast when much, if not more, is said in Scripture about the mark or seal of God placed on believers. And, regardless of your views about the Book of Revelation (Please don't write and ask me about mine; this is not the point of my newsletter.), it was actually an unveiling of Jesus Christ, and not Antichrist.

Speaking of Antichrist, do you realize that during World War II, many in the Church came to believe that Hitler was the Antichrist? Later, it was thought that Henry Kissinger was the Antichrist. I even read a book about 12 years ago that suggested Prince Charles was the Antichrist. Now, I'm hearing Christians clearly stating that President Obama could very well be the Antichrist!

Enough already!! When are we, as Christians, going to quit speculating about "the end" and start doing something about the future of our children and grandchildren? I believe we've been given more authority in prayer than we realize, and we've been called to be "salt" and "light" to this world. And, that's why I'm writing this article. Jesus has invited us to partner with Him in the earth to help accomplish His purposes. There may be those individuals who want to usher in a New World Order and a One World Government, but why aren't we praying against it? Are our views of "the end" actually keeping us from doing the works of the Kingdom? I think this is a valid question that needs to be addressed by everyone of us.

None of us can be dogmatic about how things are going to turn out in the future. But I do know we're called to love this hurting world and model the Father's love to our generation. Each one of us has a sphere of influence, and Jesus wants to use us to advance His Kingdom. Can we please do less arguing about "end-time events" and do more to change the social climate around us? I pray you'll hear my heart through the things I've shared in this newsletter.

Thanks for your continued prayers. Pam and I really appreciate them!!


S. J. (Steve) and Pam
P. O. Box 910
Harrisburg, NC 28075