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Smart Passive Income Podcast with Steve McCranie

 
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Only Time and Perspective

Only Time and Perspective

Only time and perspective can make sense of some of the things that happen in this life— some of the things that are just thrown our way because we live in a fallen world. And time and perspective only come with age and experience. There is no short-cuts, no fast-forward, no Cliff’s Notes. It just takes time— lots of time, to see that not all things are important. This song illustrates that truth.

“Only a few things matter… and stuff ain’t one of them.”

Enjoy and be blessed.

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He was standing in the rubble of an old farmhouse outside Birmingham
When some on the scene reporter stuck a camera in the face of that old man
He said “tell the folks please mister, what are you gonna do
Now that this twister has taken all that’s dear to you?”
The old man just smiled and said “boy let me tell you something, this ain’t nothin’

He said I lost my daddy, when I was eight years old,
That cave-in at the Kincaid mine left a big old hole,
And I lost my baby brother, my best friend and my left hand
In a no win situation in a place called Vietnam
And last year I watched my loving wife, of fifty years waste away and die
And I held her hand til her heart of gold stopped pumping,
So this ain’t nothin’

He said I learned at an early age,
There’s things that matter and there’s things that don’t
So if you’re waiting here for me to cry,
I hate to disappoint you boy, but I won’t”
Then he reached down in the rubble and picked up a photograph
Wiped the dirt off of it with the hand that he still had
He put it to his lips and said, “Man she was something
But this ain’t nothin’

He said I lost my daddy, when I was eight years old,
That cave-in at the Kincaid mine left a big old hole,
And I lost my baby brother, my best friend and my left hand
In a no win situation in a place called Vietnam
And last year I watched my loving wife, of fifty years waste away and die
We were holding hands when her heart of gold stopped pumping
So this ain’t nothin’

This ain’t nothin’ time won’t erase
And this ain’t nothin’ money can’t replace
He said you sit and watch your loving wife fifty years fighting for her life
Then you hold her hand ’til her heart of gold stops pumping
Yeah boy that’s something,
So this ain’t nothin’

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Podcast 230:  Win the Saved!

Podcast 230: Win the Saved!

Without a doubt, the church languishes as it does today because many, if not most, of professing believers in America are not even saved.  Does that sound harsh?

Well, consider this: many today have bought into a mind set that allows them to live any way they want and still claim to “belong to Jesus.”

But John said, “If we claim to have fellowship with the light (to be a believer, a follower of Jesus, a Christian), and yet walk in darkness (to live like the world), we lie (in claiming to have fellowship with the light) and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:6).

Ouch.  Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study of the Lost in the Church today.

Download this episode (right click and save)

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Question:  Why is the church in the situation it is in today?

Question: Why is the church in the situation it is in today?

Without a doubt, the church languishes as it does today because many, if not most, of professing believers in America are not even saved.  Does that sound harsh?  Well, consider this: many today have bought into a mind set that claims to allow them to live anyway they want and still claim to “belong to Jesus.”  But John said, “If we claim to have fellowship with the light (to be a believer, a follower of Jesus, a Christian), and yet walk in darkness (to live like the world), we lie (in claiming to have fellowship with the light) and the truth in not in us” (1 John 1:6).

Also, many today flat out refuse conformity to the image of Christ.  They desire to model their life after the world and all its lusts and have a “form” of godliness but not power.  Why?  Simply because they have been told that salvation consists of nothing more than coming to church on Sunday, praying the “sinners prayer” years ago in VBS, or being baptized, and have no clue as to the radical change that takes place when regeneration occurs in a person.

To illustrate this point, the following is from Rick Warren’s book, the Purpose Driven Life (arguably one of the most popular Christian books in the last 40 years).  After spending two paragraphs condensing the Gospel into a simple “Believe and Receive” formula, the Purpose Driven Gospel Presentation moves to the closing prayer of repentance and faith.

From the pen of Rick Warren:

“Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: ‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.’  Go ahead.

If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations!  Welcome to the family of God!  You are now ready to discover and start living God’s purpose in your life.”

From there, the reader is instructed to email Rick and receive a free booklet from his ministry.

No repentance.  No recognition of the Lordship of Christ.  Nothing.  For me, it’s Gospel Lite.

“Same great taste, but less filling.”

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Podcast 229: What is True Worship?

Podcast 229: What is True Worship?

There are three great musts in the Gospel of John.

1. You must be born again – John 3:7.
2. The Son of Man must be lifted up – John 3:14.
3. Those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth – John 4:24.

The first two usually don’t cause us any problems. After all, what Christian would not agree that we must be born again?

But the third one, the spirit and truth one… ah, that’s where it gets a bit more difficult. What does Jesus mean? What is spirit and truth? And why is this one of the musts?

For answers, keep listening.

The following is a study of John 4:19-24.

Download this episode (right click and save)

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Hypocrisy and the Preacher

Hypocrisy and the Preacher

Guilty as charged.

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No minister is worthy of his calling.  Every preacher is vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy.  In fact, the more faithful a preacher is to the Word of God in his preaching, the more liable he is to the charge of hypocrisy.  Why?  Because the more faithful a man is to the Word of God, the higher the message is that he will preach.  The higher the message, the further he will be from obeying it himself.

From The Holiness of God by RC Sproul.

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Only Time and Perspective

Doing Great Things for God

The following is from RC Sproul, Jr.  It is a wonderful reminder that sometimes God, in His sovereignty, has plans for us that we didn’t ask for nor desire.  But they are His plans, nonetheless.  Also, as a bit of background, RC’s wife has been suffering with a debilitating illness for quite some time.

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Doing Great Things

We first learned that my little girl Shannon would always be a little girl, when we discovered about her first birthday that she was profoundly disabled. My father, a deeply compassionate man, asked how I was handling the news. I told him that I had been preparing for this moment all my life. If anyone should be able to rest in the sovereignty of God it is me. The sovereignty of God is the cornerstone of Reformed theology, which theology I have been schooled in from my youth by one of its greatest living proponents.

greatthingsThe sovereignty of God, rightly understood, was the very core of my father’s best known work, The Holiness of God. The doctrine came front and center in his next book, Chosen by God. I was a young man when those books were first published. Like many others I ate them up, drank them in, and like too many young men, spat out their wisdom with precious little grace and care. I reveled in God’s sovereignty, and delighted in nothing more than to argue for, to defend, to proclaim that sovereignty.

That all changed, however, when I read still another book by my father, this one born of a family hardship. Surprised by Suffering begins with the still-born birth of my niece, Alissa. From there the book explores not just the truth that God ordains our suffering but why. The point that has stuck with me over the years was this – suffering isn’t something that happens, nor it is just something God permits. It is instead a vocation, a calling. God does not merely say, “I’m going to make you go through this.” Instead He says, “It is My desire for you that you should go through this. Follow Me.”

All of us, when we are brought into the kingdom, in joyful gratitude for the grace of God, want to do great things for the kingdom. Having been rescued by His glorious grace, we want in turn to rescue others, to serve the body, to proclaim the Good News. God has called us to do just that. He calls out heroes who take the message to strange and foreign lands. He calls out pastors who feed the sheep. He calls out teachers, like my father, who explain to the broader body the fullness of the gospel. Some, however, He calls to suffer.

My wife, for this part of His story, is called to suffer. Her role right now is to do this great thing for the kingdom – to be Jesus to us, so that we might be Jesus to her. She is Jesus to us because as we serve her, we remember His promise, that serving the least of these is serving Him (Matthew 25). We, in turn, are Jesus to her, precisely because the church is His body. When we pray for her, she rests in Jesus’ arms. When we bring a meal, she tastes Jesus feeding her. When we dry her eyes, she feels Jesus wiping away her tears.

Hers is not an easy calling. It is, however, a great one. Being Jesus means walking the via dolorosa.

How blessed I am to walk that road with her, and with Him.

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Broken Bread and Poured Out-Wine

Broken Bread and Poured Out-Wine

It is a dangerous thing to seek the approval of man rather than obedience to Christ. And it is the hallmark of the Laodicean times in which we live.

Consider the words of Oswald Chambers:

Are you willing to be offered for the work of the faithful— to pour out your life blood as a libation on the sacrifice of the faith of others?  Or do you say— “I am not going to be offered up just yet, I do not want God to choose my work.  I want to choose the scenery of my own sacrifice; I want to have the right kind of people watching me and saying, Well done.”

It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door-mat under other people’s feet.  Suppose God wants to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased”— are you ready to be offered up like that?  Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket— to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served?  Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister?  Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity.

For me, the answer is a resounding, Yes!  Come join with me, will you?

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Podcast 228:  A Witness to the Light

Podcast 228: A Witness to the Light

The life and ministry of John the Baptist can be summarized in the opening few verses of John’s gospel. John 1:6-9 states:

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

I’ve got a couple of questions. What is the Light? How does he bear witness of that Light? Is it something that only he can do or can I be that witness also? It looks like there is so much more here than meets the eye.

There is. Keep listening.

The following is a study of John 1:6-13.

Download this episode (right click and save)

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Podcast 227:  What Do You Think of this Man?

Podcast 227: What Do You Think of this Man?

Jesus summed up the essence of His life in John 12:31-32 where He said:

“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

The key to preaching and the key to the Christian life is to simply lift up Jesus to our lost and dying world and let Him do the rest. But why is that so difficult? Why do we falter time and time again?

Are you interested in discovering what Jesus has to say about these questions? Good. Then keep listening.

The following is a study of John 1:1-5.

Download this episode (right click and save)

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