Welcome to TruthForFree.com. Ok, let’s get everybody’s first question out of the way… Why such an enormous “about us” section? I’m chuckling as I type this because one of my good friends frequently teases me that this is the wordiest section of the site (hehe)… Ok, so that’s true (and yes I am terribly long-winded sometimes -haha), but it’s not without purpose. I had originally hoped it might help reduce the amount of e-mail from people wanting to know what I believe and where I’m coming from… In the beginning I was answering a lot of e-mail to this regard so my intention was to just get it all out of the way here for anyone who’s interested. This section of the site is also my “outlet” (if you will) for sharing my personal perspectives on life, faith, religion, and my walk with Jesus. Hopefully, many of you will find something you identify with and will be encouraged to find that you’re not alone! There are plenty of us Jesus freaks out here that sincerely love the Lord but are worn out on religion. More on that in a moment…
Now, as for the “us” part of this site… Well, for a long time the “us” was just plain ol’ me (hi, I’m Dave), as I am the sole developer of this website; TruthForFree.com (formerly prayershack.com). In October of 2007 I met the woman who would soon become the love of my life and, eventually, my lovely bride in September of 2009! We were married in Australia (her national home) and she moved to the States here with me in July of 2010. So the “us” finally really is an “us” and we do happen to live right here in the good ol’ U.S. too! 🙂 However, the “US” you are most likely here to read about is the “us” known as “TruthForFree”. Who’s behind this site and what is it all about? It is my pleasure to share with you just that!
There are some good friends of mine that assist me in the presentation here as well (a little more about them too later on) and lots of cool people LIKE YOU that help me so much by sharing link suggestions and articles so that people can be sincerely encouraged in the Way of Truth. And of course there is my beautiful wife Tammy whom, though she doesn’t help directly with maintaining this website, is an amazing support and encouragement to me. God is so good and it’s wonderful to be able to share His love with friends and acquaintances from all over the world through this incredible advent of Internet.
This site is simply a labor of love presented for “those who have ears to hear” and not intended to come across as some sort of “professional ministry”. I am not a professional pastor, I do not oversee some kind of religious organization, I do not endorse any particular denomination or house church movement, and I am NOT paid for doing this, nor do I request donations of any kind. I work a regular full-time job and have enjoyed sharing this site with visitors for more than 15 years and still going strong (and still plan to for years to come, Lord willing). My heart is simply to share some things that I believe God has enlightened me (and others) with along the path of truth and to share it for free; hence the site’s name “Truth For Free”. The Bible itself is plain on this matter: “Get the truth and don’t ever sell it.” (Proverbs 23:23) I prefer to consider Truth For Free a statement simply vocalizing the primary intent of this offering, rather than the title of some kind of “organized ministry”.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, there are aspects of the site that remain a work in progress. I’m always working to add more features, more resources, more ways to communicate and share information and ALL of it is 100% free! Please bear with me through the changes to the site as my time to manage it is, unfortunately, limited. The original site was recently (and finally) closed down once this updated site became adequately functional. The biggest construction section is the list of articles. Believe it or not, this takes a considerable amount of time to restructure (on the back side) – and since putting up the active blog section, I’ve honestly focused more on that than I have the old articles list (which, I realize, is overdue for a serious update). I work a full-time job, have my family, and then manage this site as well so updates are sometimes slow-coming. A fair number of the articles on the Articles page have been migrated into posts in the blog, but I will continue to add more as time goes on. Most everything on the site can be found by using the search box at the upper right corner of the page. Thanks for your patience. I know this isn’t the fastest-loading website on the Web and I’m working on that. There is a lot of content here and I’m somewhere between a novice to intermediate in my skill level with programming websites. Every day I get a little better at it and try to implement as many improvements as possible.
Thanks everyone for visiting! 🙂 Have a great day!!!
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The author of this website believes the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, which (by-the-way) has nothing to do with altar calls, observing Sabbath days, keeping the 10 Commandments, attending church, going to confession, getting baptized, participating in religious activities or trying to emotionally persuade people to make decisions based on emotional experiences or intellect alone. Those things are NOT the Gospel. I believe that the Gospel is something that God Himself provides faith to believe (Romans 12:3) and, therefore, He is the one who calls the lost unto Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit. This leaves man no room to boast in his own efforts concerning salvation. For this reason, I do not believe in attempting to persuade people by manipulating their emotions or through mere intellectual reasoning. While a person’s experience of hearing and believing the Gospel may involve very real emotions as well as illumination of truth through various thought processes (initiated by God’s own will and choosing), the Gospel is what it is and can only be accepted by faith in the Grace of God who saves us and this exchange is something quite personal between a believer and the Lord. To those who may be interested, I encourage you to read What Is The Gospel? – by Dr. Harry Ironside. This is an excellent, concise article presenting the simple Gospel of Jesus… as well as a brief statement on what the Gospel is NOT. Too many people today (largely due to the traditions of men) have no idea what the Gospel is, according to Scripture. Even many church attending Christians (including many pastors) in recent years have demonstrated a disturbing lack of knowledge concerning the Gospel. This article presents a basic, eye-opening look at the plain message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ without any extra frills or doctrinal twists, leaving the reader to make a decision based on the conviction of the Holy Spirit rather than the inflated traditions and doctrines of men.
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
John 3:16 – For God had such love for the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever has faith in Him may not come to destruction but have eternal life.
Romans 10:8-11 – Salvation that comes from trusting Christ-which is the message we preach-is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
Early on, when this site was first developed (back in 1995), I shared a flat with two other friends (John Drummond and Curtis Flowers; all of us met while attending the same institutional church) and this site predominantly documented the testimony of some prayer meetings that were transpiring in my home at that time (which we nicknamed “The Prayer Shack”; there’s more information about this in the about us pages for those interested). The bro’s (and myself) have since moved out and on and much has transpired since those days, so of necessity this site has also embraced some new direction and purpose. The principle inspiration, however, remains the same; the heart is to glorify Jesus and encourage others in the pursuit of intimate relationship with Him – leaving all distractions behind and embracing only His truth.
Please know that my intention with this site is simply to provide an encouraging resource to viewers. I do not claim to have the “market cornered” as it concerns truth. I always encourage everyone to test all things with Scripture and follow your conscience and convictions as the Lord leads you.
1 Timothy 1:19 – Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “Now we see things imperfectly as through a dark glass, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” For this reason I am well aware that even my best insights along this walk through life may be flawed on occasion (as likely will some of yours), though I always speak from sincere conviction, a clean conscience, and doing all in my power to align wholly with clear Scripture and sound reason.
The Problem of Religious Distraction
It is this author’s opinion that too many believers today have become distracted with the organization of religion (content to go with the flow of what is traditionally accepted as “Christian” instead of knowing what Scripture teaches and the Holy Spirit designs) and too few know how to really discern the body of Christ, which is a living organism and a SPIRITUAL house of living stones – not defined by religious buildings, lifeless programs and denominations. This is not to say that there is never any benefit to organization so long as we are following the lead of the Holy Spirit… but our freedom, joy and spiritual strength in this life depends on the nourishment we receive through our submission to Christ alone and our willingness to follow Him regardless of whether His Way aligns with our “traditions” or not.
Often our “organization” too quickly mutates into stale tradition when we try to box God’s purpose and leading into a comfortable static routine that we control. Before long, our “program” no longer bears any similarity to the thing God ordained to begin with (not to mention the fact that our traditional thinking often warps what God inspired us with before we even set out to accomplish it). Because so many who are steeped in traditional church patterns tend to think according to those influences and therefore often operate from a mindset that is not planted in full submission to Christ to begin with, just about anything they endeavor to organize ends up digressing further and further away from His perfect will almost without even trying.
The end result can be anything from a sense of “spiritual dryness” to “burn out”, disgruntlement with leadership, concern over false doctrines being propagated, recognition of problems in the modern church system, or even a total frustration concerning what is perceived as “Christianity” altogether. For others they seem to develop a sort of numbness to things that enables them to just keep going through the motions, week after week, with virtually no complaint or thought that anything is wrong (ignorance is bliss). Some feel that something is wrong, but can’t seem to put their finger on it and so they end up running after all the latest spiritual fads (i.e. books, ministries, doctrines, teachings, principles, keys, programs, conferences, prophets, pastors, gifted speakers, worship services, etc.).
Whatever the varied end result happens to be of our fascination and intoxication with the program of religion, it seems that most Christians, when interviewed (whether they happen to agree with the idea of organized or institutionalized religion or not), tend to admit that today’s church looks virtually nothing like what they read about in the pages of the New Testament. Most Christians would chuckle at the thought of Jesus taking up an offering after feeding 5,000 people (you know, to help pay for all His ministry’s expenses) or the silly thought of Him exhorting the masses not forget to attend Sunday School next week before service. Even many pastors (some that I know personally), who are some of the biggest supporters of today’s traditional religious program, admit that we are a long way away from the life, joy and power of the Christian life that was manifested so vibrantly in the first Century Church.
Isn’t it funny though how so many believers look at the Scriptures today and acknowledge that therein is an example set forth that we should earnestly seek after, yet in the first century (and for the first couple of hundred years following) they had no church buildings, no pews, no pulpits, no church choirs, no static liturgy of service, no media merchandising (Paul the apostle didn’t charge $19.95 for his great new book called “Letter to the Galatians”), they had no organizational oversight/covering, no senior pastors, no denominations (and when these kinds of mindsets rose up they were shunned by the apostles – e.g. 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 – and even Jesus Himself – Matthew 20:25-28), and virtually none of the things most Christians think are so essential to what they call “church” today.
Modern Church-ianity May Be New But It’s NOT Improved!
I’ve actually had some pastors tell me that I’m wasting my time being concerned about what Christianity was like in the first century because, they say, the Church has “matured” since that time in history. Oh really? Hmmm… Is that why one of the highest divorce rates in modern times is among Christians (higher than every other faith group and even higher than among atheists and agnostics)? Is that why over 70% of pastors (yes, that’s right, over 70%) struggle with depression and burn out and why 35%-40% actually ditch “the ministry” after only 5 years? New and Improved??? Really???
The Schaeffer Institute reported from one of their surveys that out of over 1,000 pastors they polled, every one of them had a close associate or seminary buddy who had left the ministry because of burnout, conflict in their church, or from a moral failure! 75% of that same group that was polled felt they were unqualified and/or poorly trained by their seminaries to lead and manage their churches or to counsel others. 38% of those polled were either presently going through a divorce or were already divorced. 30% said they had either been in an ongoing affair or a one-time sexual encounter with a parishioner!
The Barna Group, Focus on the Family, and Fuller Seminary concluded from their research* that fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry EACH MONTH due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches! Focus on the Family also found that we in the United States lose a pastor a day because he seeks an immoral path instead of God’s! In fact, the same study found that pastors who tend to be very educated seem to have the ability to embark in sin on Saturday and then preach the Scriptures on Sunday without thinking anything is wrong. Surely a gifted preacher with a seminary degree is evidence of a mature man of God, right? WRONG! And, just to be fair, just because someone (like myself) has a fancy little website on a Gospel theme, doesn’t mean anything either. However, I hope that genuine spiritual fruit follows my life and that the doctrine presented herein gives testimony bearing Scriptural evidence. By all means, use godly discernment as you read… and please, above all else, follow the Lord’s leading to the best of your ability and don’t place any man’s wisdom on a pedestal. Even teachers make mistakes!
My point of mentioning some of these disturbing statistics is to highlight the very apparent reality that organized religion is severely flawed and not getting better. Some will argue, but that doesn’t mean every organized religious group is bad… Please hear what I am saying, I’m actually not talking about the “group” (for I would differentiate the group from the organization) but the ideology that says this organized format of religious meeting is essential and defines the biblical Church – that I would contend. There is always potential for some groups to function better organizationally than others; but I would rather emphasize the more important fact that Jesus did not come to start a new religion or build religious organizations. He came to reconnect man with God THROUGH HIMSELF! When Christians make too much of religion, they do err. When Christians define their concept of church as a “religious organization” rather than simply “the Lord’s body”, despite good intentions, they do err (if you’re gonna accept that Scripture defines what the Church of Jesus Christ really is; HIS BODY, HIS PEOPLE)!
This is not to say there is no place for organization among Christians. But organization is NOT Christianity. Nor does building, maintaining, or attending an organization constitute being a follower of Jesus. Too many people live under the false notion that attending church (i.e. attending a weekly religious meeting) constitutes “spirituality” and, inadvertently, qualifies them as a Christian worthy of heaven. Under this understanding, all a person has to do (so they think) is attend a church and they are qualified. This is complete error and deception! In fact, if you want to get bluntly honest about it, this concept is fundamentally opposed to the Gospel message itself! The Gospel says, “you’re a sinner… so come to Jesus. PERIOD.” Jesus told the sinner, “Go, and sin no more!” He did not say, “Hurry and get plugged into a church program.” Religion typically says (or at least implies), “Wanna be a Christian? Well, just go to church, follow the rules, let us help manage your life (telling you what’s right and wrong, what God thinks, what He’s saying, what you should do about it, etc.), follow this prescription, say this prayer, sing these songs, pay this amount of money, and do it every week, and then you’ll be counted right with God.” If the devil can actually get people to believe this, then he has won in leading them away from the whole point of Christianity itself, which is JESUS as Lord and Savior!
I think it’s pretty obvious that today’s institutional church has NOT matured beyond what Scripture reveals to us from the first century. In fact, judging by these statistics, I think it’s quite fair to say it has digressed severely. Did the early believers have problems? Of course they did… Did they sometimes have to put up with false teachers and immature believers? Absolutely… But the big difference between them and the entity that calls itself “the church” today is they weren’t organizationally minded. They were simply a family of believers and they held closely to their one Leader; Christ Jesus and His doctrine! They weren’t trying to run a religious corporation or make their brand marketable to the whole world… They just lived out a pure relationship with their Lord that infectiously touched everyone around who came in contact with them. Jesus wasn’t the subject of an evangelistic program; He was the center of their very lives! The good news about Him was spread because they couldn’t contain their joy, not because they were trying to increase the size of their congregations.
Together those early believers walked, as family, following the Master day by day, house to house in His loving grip. The Truth was FREE! The simplistic reality of sharing in His life with one another was void of the anxiety to turn every kind of motivation to serve others and the Lord into some kind of official “ministry” or “religious agenda” (let alone any concern to figure out how to finance it). Yet, somehow, these truths about the Lord’s Church as revealed in Scripture are widely overlooked and men continue to pursue their programs, their rituals, their business-like religious endeavors, their man-made traditions – all housed in their religiously-dedicated temples – and somewhere along the way they actually have convinced themselves that it is these things, not purely what Scripture reveals, that are essential.
Been There, Done That!
I believe that organized religion, for all of its “godly-looking” exterior show and alleged intention to accomplish some “spiritual good”, it rather has the general effect of progressive digression away from the purposes of God and serves mostly to make Christians weaker, not stronger, in their faith and more dependent on men and “the system” than upon God.
I probably wouldn’t be able to make such confident statements in this regard if it weren’t that I have been guilty of falling prey to much the same kind of mindsets about such in the past as well (thirty years in hind-sight gives a person quite a perspective), not to mention the fact that I have stood amidst others who were captivated similarly and watched this digression happen before my very eyes. What may have started out to be a good thing, even motivated by Christ and coupled with pure motives, can easily turn into death when we stop allowing Him to lead and take the reins wholly to ourselves. And when it comes to pass that His Spirit is no longer leading a group of people because they chose to have things according to what seems wise in their own eyes, they often begin to instinctively substitute life for counterfeit life (which is no life at all). This is generally why the organized church system thrives on scores of rules, regulations, legalistic benchmarks and unspoken expectations (because real spiritual life is absent from it and there is little or no real trust of the Holy Spirit).
The Truth Comes To Light, But For Some Is Hard To See
Additionally, it seems that those who “buck the religious norm” (so to speak) for the sake of desiring to follow the truth are perceived as negatively critical individuals who only desire to pick apart everything. It’s true that as God begins to open our eyes to the problems inherent in various facets of organized religion, there may be some temptation to be too critical and less discerning (not to mention forgetting to respond to people who disagree with grace and humility); however, those who complain about the critics also ought to humbly examine the possibility that they themselves can sometimes so heavily over-spiritualize and emotionalize things to justify their traditional comforts that they are actually led much more easily into error and deception because they really do not regard the teaching of Scripture or the pure leading of the Holy Spirit so highly.
How sadly typical it is today to see multitudes of church-attending individuals running after the latest book or seminar which promises to unlock the hidden keys to revelation, healing or deliverance. Emotion-charged “revival” services, wild manifestations or astonishing “new” teachings are so easily accepted today, almost unanimously without question – so long as a church organization’s leadership endorses it. Christians can actually be led into massive deception simply because they are not as “critical” as they should be and they neglect to recognize that this kind of discernment is essential and biblical.
A lot of Christians also tend to throw around the words “God told me” or “the Lord laid it on my heart” far too easily, when all many of them are really doing is seeking to make their opinions and religious comforts unchallengeable by others. I think if many of them were embarrassingly honest about things, they would likely have to admit that their perceptions of things do not always confidently come from the Holy Spirit directly but thorough some other kind of influence (be it the instruction of a pastor, prophet, seminar training, a book, Christian television program, etc.).
I think it’s probably safe to say that most religious organizationally-affiliated people don’t have a necessarily biblical or “revelational” comprehension of what the Lord’s Church really is (and I might even be bold enough to add – neither do many of them really care – so long as they are comfortable and feel validated spiritually by the routines they engage in and how they make them feel emotionally). Some have a theological comprehension of the truth, but most even go beyond this and indeed believe “the church” is a building and a weekly program… but this is an idea wrought from the influence of tradition (even historical pagan culture) not Scripture and not the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the “business” of “doing church” and lose sight of the revelation that, if we truly belong to Christ, we ARE the Church. If we claim to be His then we must acknowledge the fact that we are His body and He alone is our Head. Sometimes even seemingly good things can turn out to be obstacles to our spiritual growth and exercise of faith in Him if we are not careful to maintain a proper focus and build on only the foundation of Jesus Christ.
It Must Be True and It Must Be FREE!
The intent of this site is to present the absolute essential truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom, to encourage readers with the uncompromisable truth of Scripture, and to compel believers to rely on the strong guidance of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes this emphasis on truth (despite possible controversy due to conflict with traditional mindsets) may admittedly offend some readers, but this is of little concern so long as truth is not in compromise. Truth indeed holds the capacity to offend our comfort zones and especially the motives of those who do not love the truth. Furthermore, we are instructed in the Scriptures to love not the world and not to follow its mindsets, but to submit ourselves to God so that we may resist the ungodly mindsets of it and flee the schemes of the devil (James 4:4-7) so, in some cases, offenses will be inevitable the closer we move to truth and the crucifixion of our old mindsets and even some of those stale, stumbling religious ways. The endeavor here, however, is not to offend (as much as is “humanly” possible) but to share the truth in love and lift up the name of Jesus Christ and His message… and to do so FREE OF CHARGE!
Pray For Those Still Enamored With Religion
Another very important thing I wish to convey is that, with this site, I hold no intention of encouraging an “us versus them” mindset as it pertains to progression of knowledge in matters of truth. I believe soundly that Christ Church is His body and it is important that we maintain love in all of our endeavors. Obviously we will not all agree on everything and some convictions may indeed make it difficult to walk together at times for that reason, but such should not cause us to react in bitter fashion. Love can very easily delight in the truth without having to force itself on others – and those who do not love truth or those who may simply not yet understand we pray will be convicted by the Holy Spirit – but not because they sense any shred of manipulation from those who do. May God help all of us to walk humbly and receive directly from His hand.
There is a very real temptation among those (myself included) who no longer identify with participation in organized religion to embrace an isolated, even elite, mindset regarding our convictions and therefore a tendency to also definitively separate ourselves from anyone who is still engaged in the system of organized religion. While sincere conviction will likely require a kind of separation on some level (so that we avoid compromise and corruption), we should stay alert to the fact that the enemy may lay a snare of pride before us and cause us to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
The simple fact of the matter is that, despite the many flaws and illegitimacy we attribute to organized religion, many of God’s dear children are still to be found inside those walls and many of us were there not so long ago ourselves while God continued to show mercy and lead us along to truth. While indeed some of those people may be tares among wheat (something we are not always able to discern so easily), we cannot dismiss the fact that some are absolutely legitimate children and therefore just as valid a part of the family of God as you and I who may not frequent their meetings and organized plans. In other words, we don’t have the luxury of just dismissing everyone who doesn’t fully understand or agree with us. We should rather entreat God’s wisdom to help us to communicate His truths and especially through love to those who are observing us and asking questions. I hope this site will also aid in this direction as well. Ultimately, the task of changing someone’s heart is up to God and NOT us. We don’t need to waste a lot of time arguing with those who aren’t yet convinced by our conviction, nor do we need to get overly anxious about the fact that they don’t yet see it as we do. This message, really, is for those who have ears to hear. It is for those whom have already heard the Lord calling to them.
We must be cautious in our fault-finding to expose the system itself and its errors but appeal to our family in Christ with love for many of those inside the walls are just as hungry for truth and to be closer to Jesus as we are. If any of us become arrogant in our dealing with them, we may even cause them more damage than religion itself at this point and make it that much harder for them to understand the freedom we now enjoy. Love MUST guide us and God will give us wisdom to stay on the path, covering us with His grace and truth.
John G. Lake (March 24, 1927)
God’s Truth & God’s Family
While I am the primary author of this website, TruthForFree.com, the intended purpose has never been about “me” or “my ministry” (or even a concept of “organized ministry” in general) per say, but about the Lord Jesus and people who are desperate to know Him close – and who believe in sharing His truth freely. In other words, I see this service as being much larger than myself. I am but one small part of the body of Christ. While I do willingly take responsibility for everything displayed directly on this site, I am always open to glean wisdom and inspiration (and even correction) from various members of the body of Christ. In fact, if you have an article you’ve written or a website you feel is pertinent to the expressed vision of this site, please CONTACT ME. I would love to review your suggestion and possibly post it here on this site!
I’ve met a lot of wonderful people just by having this site online and that alone is a great encouragement to keep it running. My heart is to expand it even more, if possible, to allow the benefit of connecting with other believers to be more tangibly realized by those who visit.
I would also like to encourage those who have the desire and are Internet-savvy to consider setting up your own blog page for sharing your thoughts and experiences in the Christian life. Some great sites to help you with this are Blogspot.com or WordPress.com (and also WordPress.org – which I use and, if you use WordPress.org, it must be used in conjunction with a website hosting account like GoDaddy.com or BlueHost.com). Or try some of the social networking sites like Facebook.com. This presents a great way for others to read your comments and share conversation with you. As I said before, I’ve met some wonderful friends because of the benefit of having this site on the Internet. That having been said, I know not everyone is comfortable with attempting this challenge, which is the main reason I am working to try and host some options for connecting believers through this site in whatever way possible. I encourage visitors to comment on the blog posts, check out the Facebook page and check out the links to other websites where you can write to others who may identify with you on the journey.
The Friends & Family I Am So Thankful For
God has blessed me with some really close friends who have often contributed to the layout and content of this site through their suggestions, shared insights, prophetic promptings and continued close communication with me. Not all of them help directly with this site, but their friendship and love is equally important and sustaining to me. They are among my most trusted family in Christ who help to hold me accountable to truth and encourage me on a regular basis.
There are so many folks I could mention that have encouraged and inspired me over the years. My sincerest thanks to all of you! Worth special mention is my bro in Jesus, Shean Smith, who helped me tremendously in setting up this website (re-launched in May 2010). Shean is also an amazing author and has an incredible heart for God. We don’t always agree on everything, but the guy is absolutely connected to Jesus and is a close friend and I love the dude! He’s also quite a cut-up and I have suffered more than once from a sore belly after talking with my bro.
My friend S.D. also deserves very special mention, as he is a great bro and an awesome friend! He has helped with ideas for the site, articles, music, and is a source of encouragement to me and provides lots of laughter and a shared sense of zeal for the truth and real relationship with God without all the trappings of organized religion. S.D. is also an amazing musician and many people are familiar with his earlier Gospel albums (available to download for FREE on this website). He’s also a skilled jazz piano artist, he’s authored a book, is an accomplished artist/painter, and has too many other talents to mention… and most often he tells me he just wants to remain anonymous (which is why you won’t find his name attached to his music on this website – per his request).
There are a number of others whom God has used to encourage me and challenge me in the truth over the years (please check out the Dedication page to read a bit more about a few of them – and see a few of their smiling faces below – sorry, I’ve probably missed a few of you but you know who you are). Some have contributed in various ways to the site and others have just been there as a supporting friend and sounding board to bounce thoughts and ideas off of. I have appreciated the friendship of Drew and Carey Ecker (one of my closest friends for more than 30 years now), Johnny and Lynne Johnson (these guys really deserve special mention too as I have known them since I was a young teen. In my early years I worked with Johnny in street outreach and youth crusades with guys like Israel Narvez. I also lived with them for a year before I was married and we shared many a conversation about the things of God and I also worked with Johnny on his website and various youth outreaches over the years), Matt & Sarah Deter (Matt and I were flatmates for 9 years and Matt has always been a voice of logic and stability concerning the things of God. I appreciate you bro.), Orland Myhre (one of my closest friends whom I’ve know practically since birth – our parents were even flatmates before they were married), my friend Michael Clark (you and your buddy in crime – hehe – George Davis; your website, books and articles have encouraged me so often and I’ve appreciated our phone and email conversations over the years. You guys are a rock solid voice of truth and God’s love!), Russ Kelly (whom I have to thank for so much encouragement and assistance in my early studies of the subject of tithing), Jason Cady (another one of my closest friends who’s been there through thick and thin), Joe and Deanna Rodriguez (I love and pray for you guys all the time), and so many others who have all encouraged me over the past several years as we’ve walked together knowing the Lord.
I’ve also been deeply impacted by the relationship I had with (and the example I learned from) my father, Allen, who passed away in 2001 and I am always encouraged by the strong faith, encouragement, acceptance, humor, love and continual prayers of my awesome mother, Ruth. God has truly blessed me with some amazing friends and family in God and I do not take any of that lightly. I’m also so very thankful to God for my amazing, loving wife who is always right beside me, encouraging me, praying for me, believing the best about me, trusting me, sharing her heart, and giving me so much joy and support. I may not be wealthy by this world’s standards but I am a blessed man beyond words! God is so good!
Johnny & Lynne
Matt & Sarah
Scott & Annette
Gabe & Elle
Mark & Karla
You will notice that this site features a host of resources, including articles by a number of authors and links to a number of different websites (many of whom I am acquainted with in some way or another and a few that I am close to). My sincere desire is that you will be encouraged, edified and strengthened in your walk with Christ through the ministry of the actual body of Christ (or, in other words, by various brothers and sisters in the Lord, from various backgrounds and locations, who have walked with God and have some precious wisdom to share with those that desire more than just traditional religion).
I sometimes receive requests from people asking for permission to copy the material on this site for use in group Bible studies/discussions, websites, personal use, etc. If this is your desire, you are very welcome to do so. However, please do not alter the material and please give the citation of where you found it and the author noted on the material. Also, please be sure to observe the Privacy, Content & Copyright Information as provided in the link for details concerning legal use of this material. In general you are free to photocopy any material you find on this site. My desire is to make it freely available to all. Make as many photocopies/print-outs as you like and feel free to share them with anyone you like, just please do not seek to make a profit from the material. If, somehow, you do, please put the funds back into producing more material. If you receive freely, freely give. Again, please feel free to use the material, print it, distribute it free of charge; link to the pages; or to the site (this is preferred since pages may sometimes be changed or moved and linking to individual pages can slow this site down). Just simply use it for the propagation of the true Gospel of Jesus and edification of the body of Christ. God bless you!
Click the desired link below for more information: