Warning!

That word always gets your attention, doesn’t it? It seems we live in an increasingly dangerous world. Warning signs are on our highways letting us know of low overpasses, washed out bridges or road construction areas. If we violate the rules of the road, the law enforcement officer turns on his warning lights.

Amusement parks have warning signs to let us know that even though a particular ride was created for our enjoyment, it may be hazardous to our health.

And then there are the warning labels and disclaimers posted by the pharmaceutical industry. Is it just me or does it seem that those drugs advertised on TV have many potential side effects more threatening than the disease they’re designed to cure?

In an ever evolving modern society with new products, new ideas and new technologies, it is essential that we investigate the risks that may accompany that which is “new.”

All consumers of the “new” are not affected the same way, but if only one out of thousands are adversely affected, then a warning must be issued or posted to protect others who may potentially be at risk.

A 10.0 Magnitude Earthquake

Yesterday when I awoke in the morning, I turned on the TV to see what was going on in the world. I turned to the History channel at one point and there was a program dedicated to exploring the possibilities of a 10.0 magnitude earthquake. Almost every scientist contributing his or her opinion to this potential dilemma agreed that it was highly unlikely, if not almost impossible, that such a cataclysmic event could occur. Still, they speculated as to what might happen and how one might go about warning of such a disaster.

On they went discussing other possibilities related to volcanoes and asteroids. The somewhat cynical part of me suspects that by presenting even the possibility of such horrific, cataclysmic events, (thus inciting fear amongst the general population) funding for research continues.

In other words, scientists almost unanimously agree that such a disaster as a 10.0 earthquake is likely never to happen; still, in the extremely remote possibility it might, they would like several hundred million dollars to continue to consider the possibility.

Warning Signs in Scripture

There is, however, a much greater cataclysmic event that is occurring even now on a regular basis. Warning signs have been clearly posted for centuries and everyone is at risk.

Here is but one of the warning signs posted in scripture: “For the time will come when they (some translations say men) will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.” (II Timothy 4:3-4)

Keep in mind that this portion of scripture, written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, is given within the context of warning what things will occur in the last days.

“The last days,” when referenced in scripture, points to the time between Christ’s ascension and His return. Our perspective, because of fulfilled end-time prophecies, would influence us to consider ourselves as living in the final moments of the last days.

I believe we are, and never has this scripture warning been more timely and applicable than now. There are many “voices” in the land today engaged fully in the “tickling ears” approach to ministry.

The Gospel Message

I have recently been made aware of some, of great notoriety and repute, who seem to be on a mission to diminish the gospel message in an attempt to be more relevant and less offensive. This, of course, is nothing new, but in view of our proximity to Christ’s return, it does seem to be especially concerning.

One famous preacher has shifted specific and almost exclusive emphasis to the resurrection, at the expense of considering the atoning blood of Calvary’s cross. Scripture teaches us that, “…without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22)

The resurrection confirms that God’s plan for the substitutionary atonement for sin was accomplished. These components of God’s eternal plan simply cannot be separated.

Again, Paul writes to Timothy: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Warning! There will be more and more in ministry who will succumb to the pressure to water down, distort or ignore portions of scripture. What’s the risk to those who follow such as these?

According to II Timothy 3:16-17 if you don’t receive and believe all of God’s inspired Word, you will be receiving unprofitable teaching. You will lack in the benefits of reproof and correction and will not be trained in righteousness. Finally, you will be inadequate and ill-equipped for every good work.

This is serious stuff!

May I encourage you to study God’s word diligently so that you might know the truth? Make sure you are receiving sound biblical teaching and preaching from your pastor and church leadership.

The Solid Rock

We used to sing as children in Sunday School: “The wise man built his house upon the Rock” and when the rains came down and the floods came up, “the house on the Rock stood firm!”

Build your life, your faith and your eternal hope on the solid rock of God’s Word and Jesus’ name.

Storms and floods will come. Adversity and persecution will happen. But if we have built our lives upon God’s unfailing and sufficient Word, we will be able to say with Paul: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Have A Question to Ask Dallas?

When you become a Praiseletter subscriber you have the opportunity to send Dallas any questions that you may have about this article or anything you’ve ever wanted to ask him. Fill out the form below and you’ll be subscribed when you submit your question to Dallas.

Praiseletter - Question & Answer

One Nation Under God?

Arrogant. Dishonest. Immoral. Profane. Unkind. How’s that for a list of very unflattering words? Not only do those words bespeak a lack of character, integrity and morality, they are the words used daily, both in public and in private, to describe our two 2016 candidates for President of these United States.

In fairness, some of those words and perhaps all could be used to describe us at points in our lives. Hopefully those points would be in our “pre-surrender to Christ” days.

However, we must confess we all have sinned and continue to do so, thus prompting repentance and requests for forgiveness.

It is shocking, however, and greatly concerning to me and apparently many others, that high praise for spiritual and moral character seems to be in short supply for our presidential candidates.

If it was just a matter of words, that would be one thing. But the arrogance is astounding, profanity regularly punctuates primary speeches, dishonesty has been documented, immorality has been illuminated, and unkind could be the word best used to describe the whole spectacle of the presidential debates.

Early on President Obama said, “America is not a Christian nation.” One has to ask if that is an observation or a prophetic insight.

Prayer in the Capitol Building

Linda and I spent time early on in 2016 visiting Washington DC. We had a wonderful trip and were privileged to minister in our nation’s capital.

Some dear friends of ours moved to DC a couple years earlier to minister in our capital city. Through a series of events, relationships and God’s favor, they were able to secure a room within the Capitol building itself for a Wednesday evening Bible study/prayer meeting.

To give a little context, this was the first time in over one hundred and forty years that a regularly scheduled, on going prayer service was being held in the Capitol building.

So when I say Linda and I were privileged to minister in our nation’s capital, I mean in our nation’s Capitol!

More and more congress men and women are attending this service. Our friends are having regular times of private prayer and fellowship with our congressional leaders.

God is moving in the hearts and lives of many of our elected officials and for this we should all be thankful and encouraged.

After our time of ministry through singing and preaching, we were privileged to take a special tour of the Capitol building. Our local representative from East Texas, Louie Gohmert, was our guide. Louie is a good friend, a true conservative and a wonderful Christian brother. He took us places and showed us things the normal daily tours miss. There are probably very few more qualified to speak about our nation’s history than Louie. He loves to talk about our founding fathers, the price of freedom and the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

God was in, through and above all that birthed this nation. That is simply undeniable.

But my, how far we’ve come! We’ve kicked God out of our schools, banned prayer and the Ten Commandments whenever and wherever possible, made same-sex marriage the law of the land, made the killing of millions of innocent babies for convenience legal, and now can no longer define what constitutes a man or a woman.

Christianity is being attacked and marginalized before our very eyes.

A “Civilized Nation”

While we were in DC we went to the Holocaust Museum. I had been to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Dachau, Germany back in the early seventies. In the mid-eighties Linda and I visited Yad Vashem, World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, Israel.

Each time I was struck by the absolutely insane brutality visited on the Jewish people and others, by a “civilized nation” under the arrogant, dishonest, immoral, profane and unkind leadership of an individual.

Now while some of you are catching your breath, wondering if I am likening the state of our nation to Nazi Germany or our leaders to Hitler, let me say this: We’re not to that point and I pray we never will be, but any and all arrogance, dishonesty, immorality, profanity and unkindness is the absolute antithesis of humility, truthfulness, morality, holiness and goodness.

And when these Godly qualities are absent, ungodliness wins the day.

I’m not what you would call an overly political person. Like Chuck Colson said, “The Kingdom of God is not going to arrive on Air Force One.”

However, if Christians aren’t willing to speak up, take action, fight for our rights, defend the innocent, denounce injustice and cast our vote, not for a person or a party, but for a nation “Under God,” what then should we expect?

The Lesser of Two Evils?

During the 2016 race many said, “It looks like the upcoming election will be about ‘the lesser of two evils.’” My friend said, “It’s always been about the lesser of two evils unless Jesus Christ was on the ballot.”

Well said! The system has its flaws and people are imperfect, but God is in control and He still saves.

If Saul, the great persecutor of the early Church, can be knocked to the ground to be humbled by a Holy God and blinded so he might see clearly the way of truth and righteousness, then there is hope for any and all who might aspire to lead this nation.

One Nation Under God?

Join with me to commit to complain less and pray more. Let’s not just hope someone does something to protect the innocent unborn, but let us rejoin the fight and find what we can do.

We must guard against a cynicism that suggests all our leaders are corrupt. Let’s pray for those in authority (which is our scriptural mandate) and be encouraged by the many in offices of governmental leadership who love Jesus.

Don’t we benefit from those who tell us they appreciate us, love us and pray for us?

I would imagine our congress men and women would be blessed likewise by a letter or phone call letting them know we appreciate their service to our nation and we are praying for them.

Our nation, no matter what its present condition, is in the hands of God. “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Romans 13:1).

This is one of those oft-debated portions of scripture. But the debate only ensues because of a lack of willingness to understand and accept God’s sovereign rule and reign over everything.

The question we should be asking ourselves is, “Is this nation in our hands or have we dropped the ball?”

In a very real sense, this nation and where it goes is largely dependent on our actions, our hearts and our prayers.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. The King’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, but his anger is towards him who acts shamefully” (Proverbs 14:34-35).

Let’s be wise – let’s pursue righteousness and in so doing let’s remove the question mark from One Nation Under God!

Have A Question to Ask Dallas?

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The God of All Comfort

In our culture I fear the word comfort is most defined by that which pertains to ease. Anything that might possess the potential to dis-comfort must be avoided at all costs. Our definition of comfort often has a sense of passivity if not laziness.

We ride in comfort, we walk in comfortable shoes, we lounge in comfortable chairs, and we even eat comfort food.

We sleep beneath comforters on our beds. Actually, here is where someone in our culture seems to get it wrong. Who makes these ten pound, claustrophobic bed coverings that seem to be in every motel and hotel room in the country? When my wife and I check into a motel, which we do often in our travels, one of the first things Linda does is pull that lead impregnated decorative tarp off the bed. Who can sleep under the weight of all that comfort? But I digress…

It’s interesting to note that the first definitions given to us in the older more reliable dictionaries are, “strengthening aid or to give strength and hope to.”

Older, more reliable dictionaries define comfort as 'strengthening aid or to give strength and hope to.”Click To Tweet

One does not get a sense from these definitions of passivity or self-ease but rather a call to aid or involve one’s self in the task of strengthening, lifting and encouraging others.

The World, The Devil and The Flesh Are Conspired Against You

Perhaps you are that one who needs this kind of comfort now. Maybe it seems the world, the devil, and the flesh have all conspired to discomfort you. The cares of life, the deceitfulness of riches, the daily news, and just the reality of life in a fallen environment have made you un-comfortable.

So, from where will your comfort come? May I suggest that first and foremost, for the true believer, it will come from within. One of the very names of the Holy Spirit is The Comforter!

Contrary to the doctrinal discrepancies of some, every true believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. What hope could we possibly have of taking one step in Christ without His presence dwelling in us? Scripture tells us, “But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:9) So then, those who belong to Him, purchased by His blood, saved by grace through faith, have His Spirit and thus possess His very comfort within. For me, I find tremendous comfort in that.

Perhaps Why God Allows Things that Make Us Uncomfortable

The question then becomes, why would God allow the things of life that make us uncomfortable or in need of comfort? The following quote gives us insight:

“Dost though wonder why thou art passing through some special sorrow? Wait til ten years have passed, and thou wilt find many others afflicted as thou art. Thou wilt tell them how thou hast suffered and hast been comforted; then as the tale is unfolded, and the anodynes applied which once thy God wrapped around thee, in the eager look and the gleam of hope that shall chase the shadow of despair across the soul, thou shalt know why thou wast afflicted, and bless God for the discipline that stored thy life with such a fund of experience and helpfulness.”

Selected
Streams in the Desert

We have given ourselves to Him, have we not? We have agreed with Romans 12:1 and presented our very bodies to Him, a living sacrifice….which is our reasonable service. Just as He has within us brought necessary comfort in difficult seasons and sent others as emissaries of His comfort to aid and strengthen; so He sends us as ambassadors of His grace to aid, strengthen and comfort others.

The question then becomes, why would God allow the things of life that make us uncomfortable or in need of comfort?Click To Tweet

“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable but to make us comforters.” (Dr. Jowett)

Paul writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (II Cor. 1:3-4)

And sometimes I feel I’m drowning
In a sea of deep despair
Will the waves of sorrow ever cease to roll
And I wonder in my weakness
Is there anyone who cares
Will I find a peaceful harbor for my soul

Lord please comfort me
Before this undercurrent sweeps me out to sea
Tugging within, it’s sink or swim
Lord please comfort me

“Comfort Me”
words and music Dallas Holm, Mesa 1993

These words are the cry of many a weary soul on life’s tempestuous sea, but they are always heard above the storm by The God of All Comfort!

New in 2016

Did last year fly by as swiftly for you as it did for us? It seemed one minute we were blowing off fireworks for the Fourth of July and the next minute we were spreading the table for Thanksgiving. We barely dried the dishes from that scrumptious feast and we were gathered around the Christmas tree, opening presents and celebrating the birth of Christ.

Now January 2016 is already behind us and I’m pretty sure this year will fly by just as quickly, which leads me to the specific and exciting purpose of this edition of the Praiseletter.

The End of 2015

Over year’s end, my wife Linda, my daughter Jennifer, our website and social media consultant Dave, and I spent several days discussing, strategizing, and praying about 2016 and beyond.

We looked at the past and rejoiced in God’s faithfulness: His provision, guidance, and protection. He has certainly protected us physically through the miles and miles of travel both here and abroad. Even more importantly, He has protected the integrity of this ministry and by His grace has kept us on a course that has not detoured from His call to present the gospel and lift up the name of Jesus.

We carefully examined the present to assess what things we are doing well, what areas if any need improvement or refocusing, and whether or not there are things that have run their course.

I’ve often said, “We run a lean mean machine” and I do believe that is an apt description of our ministry. We desire to remain unencumbered by anything not aligned with our calling.

As we look toward the future, I am very excited about several new opportunities which I believe will enable us to reach more people, stay connected with them in a more personal way, and minister more effectively into their lives.

The Frustration I’ve Endured for Over 45 Years

For over forty-five years I’ve traveled to every state in our country and twenty plus countries around the world. Always, I have sung and presented in testimony and preaching the truth of God’s word. As a result many have come to faith in Christ and lives have been truly transformed by the power of the gospel.

My frustration has often been that after we leave the concert venue and community, we are unable to have much continued interaction with those whose lives have been so significantly touched.

Years ago when we were touring with the band, Dallas Holm and Praise, we would jokingly say, “I wish we could figure out a way for all these people to come visit us.” Now of course, through the miracle of modern technology and the internet, that’s a very real possibility.

We, of course, will continue to travel and minister as we have for these many years, but I believe we now have opportunity to connect with the friends of our ministry in new and exciting ways.

I’ll confess, I’m not a computer whiz but I’m learning. Linda and I have been surprised how many of our generation and older do much, if not most, of their communication via the internet. Hence, we are embarking on a new course of action which will not in any way replace that which we already do, but I believe will greatly enhance it.

While there is much I will share in coming weeks and months, today I would like to share with you something that we are very excited about.

For the First Time Beginning In March

In March I will be launching the first of several Q & A session videos. As I mentioned above, leaving a location after the concert always left the desire to connect beyond the gathering. Now, as a faithful subscriber of the Praiseletter we can, indeed, connect beyond the gathering.

Next month all who are subscribed to the Praiseletter will receive a link to a special Q&A session with me. We will continue to produce additional Q&A session videos on the months the Praiseletter is not released. Each month subscribers will have the opportunity to submit questions and I will take time to answer some of these on video and share them with you.

How You Can Participate

So, now over to you! I’d love to hear what God has put on your heard and answer any questions or share any stories that might bless you, your family and the season of life you are currently in.

To submit your question, click here. Our team will go through all the questions and select the ones that we believe will build our relationship together as well as God’s Kingdom here on earth.

The next Praiseletter will be entitled, The God of All Comfort. The ministry continues….and as they say, “Stay tuned…”

In Christ,

Dallas Holm

The Christmas Story

We have in our family a Christmas tradition which has now endured for over sixty years. Our family has always chosen to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus and all related joys of the Christmas season on Christmas Eve day.

Some would argue that the “related joys” such as lights, presents, decorations, and all that accompanies what we call Christmas have no place in the Christian celebration. I would beg to differ however. I believe every twinkling light, every gift exchanged and even those poor inflatables that come to life in the yard at night and lie sadly deflated during the day, serve a purpose, though perhaps unintended.

They all testify to the fact that something happened! God invaded history in a manger in Bethlehem and the world has never been the same. Now I would certainly concede that one can go too far in all this celebratory extravagance, but the fact remains if Jesus isn’t given in a manger, there are no lights, presents, carols or anything we refer to as the Christmas season. Thus, “…all things in moderation” remains a good guide.

A Family Christmas Dinner

Our family gathers for the traditional Christmas meal (at least at our house) of Swedish meatballs, even though we’re mostly Norwegian in our heritage. Our children used to and now our grandchildren continue to suffer through the slow motion process of adults enjoying a wonderful meal. Comments like, “Oh, these mashed potatoes are the best!” or “I think I will have one more meatball,” seem so meaningless compared to the desire to dive into the sea of presents at the base of the Christmas tree.

Then the dreaded conversation every child mourns at the end of the meal…”Should we do the dishes before or after presents?” To a child anxiously waiting to see if they’ll get to utter those wonderful words…. “Oh, that’s just what I’ve always wanted”, a conversation about doing dishes is as deflating as what the blow up Santa in the front yard will experience in the morning.

Then, in a surprising if not miraculous turn of events, one of the adults (usually me) says, “The kids are excited, let’s open presents, we can do the dishes later.” (I’m good at the “presents” announcement but a little weak on the “we” part of doing dishes.)

With great excitement and unbridled energy the children rush to the living room as meatball, mashed potato laden adults follow carefully and slowly behind. Still, before presents are exchanged there is one more detail to take care of, a tradition to be observed. The reading of the Christmas story.

My Christmas Story Tradition

When I was four years old, my mom and dad bought a Christmas story gift set. It contains a spiral bound book containing two Christmas carols: While Shepherds Watched and Away in a Manger. It also contains a short and sweet account of the age old Christmas story replete with wonderful illustrations. The set also contains a 3D cardboard nativity scene which must be assembled by inserting tab A into slot A and so on.

As I write this account, I’m a little teary-eyed as I remember being a small boy sitting around the tree as mom, dad or perhaps my brother would read the story. One day I would be old enough to read the story myself and this would surely be a significant rite of passage.

Speaking of passage, the years have come and gone, our daughter and then our son have read the story often. Now our grandkids have read it. Not that long ago our now fourteen year old grandson, Jacob, read the story while Sophia held the all-important star of Bethlehem (a flashlight) to illuminate the manger scene. Sophia is now twelve and such a reader of books. In recent years Sophia has read the story and Alex held the star. Maybe Alex, now seven, will read this year while Caleb (3) holds the star, though I fear the star will be moving and shining everywhere. Ava, just short of a year old is waiting in the wings to someday shine and read as follows:

Mary and Joseph were on the way to Bethlehem. Mary rode on a donkey. Joseph led the donkey carefully over the rough roads. They had traveled all day and now it was growing dark.

At last they came to an inn. “Have you any room for us?” Joseph asked the innkeeper. “No, there is no room in the inn,” the innkeeper replied.

The innkeeper looked at Mary. He saw how tired she was. Then he said, “If you like, you may sleep in the stable. There is some clean hay that will make a soft bed for you.”

“Thank you sir,” said Joseph. Joseph helped Mary off the donkey. He led her into the stable. They were both glad to have a place to rest.

There in the stable, In the quiet night-time, God sent His Son to be Mary’s Baby. There was no bed for the little Jesus in the stable.

“I will make a bed for the Baby in the Manger,” Mary said to Joseph.

Mary wrapped her Baby in some soft, white cloth and carefully laid him in the manger on some sweet hay.

Out in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were watching their flocks. The sheep were resting quietly while the shepherds were gathered around the fire talking together.

Suddenly a bright light shone around them. The shepherds had never seen such a bright light before. And they were afraid.

Then an angel appeared. The angel said, “Do not be afraid, for I bring you tidings of great joy. Jesus is born in Bethlehem. You will find Him lying in a manger there.”

And as the shepherds listened to the wonderful news the heavens were filled with angels saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

“Let us go and see this thing that has happened,” the shepherds said. And they hurried across the fields to Bethlehem.

(The Christmas Story By: Ruth S. Gray Warren Press 1952)

So this Christmas let’s read the story again. Let’s tell the story every day of our lives through the words we speak and the way we live. Let’s shine the light on the reality of Christ and the truth of His word just as surely and clearly as God lit up the sky over that little manger in Bethlehem so long ago.

May all we are and all we do express The Christmas Story

In Christ,

Dallas Holm

Enlightened. Equipped. Engaged.

After writing a couple pointed articles concerning false teachers, I had sort of hoped to “lighten up” a bit this time around. Though I’ve received many letters, texts and comments from people saying how much they appreciated the bible based, direct, “Take no prisoners” approach to highlighting and exposing the realm of false teachers; still I felt maybe we all needed a little respite.

These however are increasingly difficult and darkening days. There is an eternal rest for all true believers just ahead, but now, perhaps more than ever before, it’s time for every true Christian to “discern the times”, be serious about their calling and be enlightened, equipped and engaged.

Be Enlightened. Be Equipped. Be Engaged

Enlightened as to what the “enemy” is up to and how he is attacking: “Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8) “The Thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy…” (John 10:10)

Equipped with the whole armor of God: “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11)

Engaged in the struggle: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12)

I was watching a program just recently that was highlighting five different Americans who because of their religious convictions had either been terminated from a vocational position, sued by someone, shamed by the media, persecuted by the government or in some cases, all of the above. Recently a county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for refusing to sign marriage licenses for homosexual couples on the grounds of bible-based religious convictions. Some argued the clerk was a public official and must therefore obey the law recently delivered by the Supreme Court. That’s a valid discussion to be had and explored, but my point is that in each and every case it was Christianity that was being attacked, not protocols, floral arrangements, wedding cakes, T-shirts or even in the case of one, exemplary service in a high position of law enforcement. No, it was their biblical beliefs, religious convictions and Christian character that was the real target of the persecutors, and persecution it is!

We Are Not Protected from Bullies

Though our religious freedoms are clearly to be respected and protected under the constitution, there is a tidal wave of non-tolerant, politically correct “bullies” who have had just about enough of this Jesus!

The real question is, are there enough sold out, “crucified with Christ”, blood bought warriors in the Army of the Most High God who have had just about enough of this Devil?

Remember, we must love the sinner as Jesus does (and most certainly did with us) and demonstrate His love toward them as…”God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)

We must not however, confuse loving sinners and hating sin. In fact, it is in our commitment to fight the enemy and expose his lies and his schemes (according to scripture) that we do show our love and concern for the sinner because “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)

Persecution Is Coming to A Theater Near You

Persecution is coming to a theater near you!

That’s a bit of a twist on a clever little saying that’s bounced around for years. It is however, and I’m convinced, a reality with ever increasing momentum, the effects of which, we who believe, will feel more and more in the days ahead. “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Eph. 6:13)

Are we doing everything? Are we “fighting the good fight”? Will we live in fear, or confidence, knowing that where sin abounds, grace will abound more. (See Rom. 5:19-21)

Paul goes on to say in his letter to the Ephesians: “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, (truth brings freedom) and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (live holy) and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (trust in the power of the gospel) in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith (our protection) with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, (His crowning glory) and the sword of the Spirit, (our greatest weapon) which is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6:14-17)

We’re in the battle of the ages
In the Lord’s army there’s no retreat
Fighting against the powers of darkness
For us there is no defeat

Truth has defeated the deceiver
Hell has no power to wound the Son
So why do we fight like we’re losing the battle
When the victory’s already won?

From: It’s War, Change the World, Dallas Holm

Be Enlightened. Be Equipped. Be Engaged!

In Christ,

Dallas Holm

A Request to Help Us Continue Our Work

Continuing the work God has prepared for Praise Ministries relies on your financial support. Last month, there were many of you who generously gave. If that was you, thank you.

If you’d like to continue to donate to the continuing of our Kingdom work, you can do so on our website here. I would also like to challenge those of you who currently do not have any causes you contribute financially to, to consider making a donation to our ministry. You can make your first contribution here.

Thank you for all your support and I look forward to what God has next for us – “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Wolves Among the Sheep

In my last post (Hey Jude) I expressed my concern in regards to false teachers that seem to abound these days. Like the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, they seem to be among us in an often discomforting close proximity. Under the guise of “ministry” they sneak in amongst the flock, having an outward appearance that’s rather sheep-like but underneath are ravenous predators seeking to devour both the weak and the strong.

That last statement is noteworthy! I am amazed how many Christians who have presumably walked with the Lord for many years are being deceived and led astray from the true gospel by these false teachers.

I have a close friend who is a rancher up in Wyoming. Some years ago when mis-guided, uninformed environmentalists sought to re-introduce wolves into the Yellowstone area of Wyoming, my friend became a significant voice for the ranchers who expressed great concern about this re-seeding of highly skilled predators in their backyard. Sure enough, it’s been a disaster on many levels, but that’s a whole other story for discussion elsewhere.

Killing Only the Weak and Wounded?

I would like to point out however, that one of the most popular lines used to promote the “pro-wolf ” movement was: “they only kill the weak and the wounded.” Absolutely, categorically not true! There is ample and credible evidence to the contrary. Many verified accounts and photographic documentation of the dozens of elk, herds of sheep, prize domestic bulls and more, bear testament to the fact that wolves kill both the weak and the strong.Does this mean wolves are evil, demon possessed animals? No, they’re just wolves doing what wolves do. I had a close encounter some years ago with wolves as I was hunting in Alaska. An entire family of wolves, a male (probably 180 lbs.), a jet black female and four half grown pups presented themselves at about 50 yards. We viewed each other for a while and then I shot them all….with a video camera!

Had you worried for a moment, didn’t I? They’re a beautiful animal, and I have a great respect for their cunning and ferocity. As I consider God’s creation of both the sheep and the wolf, I am reminded of the scripture, “I am the Lord….causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.” (Is. 45:7) As someone said, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf!”

I think it’s interesting that of all the creatures He created, the one He uses to symbolize the terrible danger of false teachers is the shrewd, cunning and highly efficient predator, the wolf!

The Wolf that Puts On Sheep’s Clothing

Many are probably familiar with one of Aesop’s Fables which talks about a wolf that put on sheep’s clothing so he could fool the shepherd and the flock into believing he was a lamb. Where do you suppose Aesop got this idea for that fable? It’s interesting to note that in Aesop’s story, the shepherd returned to the flock at night to gather meat for the next day. The wolf in sheep’s clothing was killed as one of the sheep! Oops!So, how do we recognize false teachers? What will their judgment be? How do we stand against them?

For the answers to these questions we must go to the Scriptures.

Peter, in his second epistle, writes to warn believers about the false teachers who are peddling damaging doctrine. He contrasts the life of a Christian, typified by moral excellence, self-control, knowledge, perseverance, godliness, and selfless love against that of the false teacher. He says (by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) they are sensual, arrogant, greedy and covetous.

I believe it’s interesting to note that false teachers are identified more by how they are and how they act than by what they say. If you are greedy you will pervert scripture in a way that will satisfy your greed. Beware of those ministries that spend most of their time continually, if not exclusively, asking for your money, promising such things as “large miracles for large offerings.”

Oh the shame of selling or putting a dollar amount on a miracle! Arrogance abounds these days as self-proclaimed “prophets” presume to be the only ones qualified to “speak the word of the Lord” when in fact, God has spoken clearly, definitively and completely through His Word.

You get the picture; bad character promotes bad theology and false teaching.

One might ask, “Why would a Christian minister go down this path?” I would submit that they likely were never on the right path to begin with.

John addresses this issue in his first letter starting at the eighteenth verse: “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us…” (I John 2:18-19)

If that was a problem and a prediction two thousand years ago, how much more should we heed this warning today.

Could anyone knowingly perverting scripture, taking out of context Spirit inspired words to build their own kingdoms and live their own pockets be considered for Christ?

I’ll let you answer.

Building Different Kingdoms

Let me pause for a moment and clarify a point some of you may be raising. Is every ministry that asks for financial help wrong in doing so? Absolutely not! My wife and I support several wonderful ministries and have for years. If they didn’t make their needs known we wouldn’t know how to respond appropriately. I think you understand the difference between these types of ministries and those that seem to exist for no other reason than to build their kingdoms, their bank accounts, and their image.Jude gives us ample description of false teachers. “…these men defile the flesh, reject authority…..are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.” (Jude 1:8-13)

How will they be judged? Jude continues; “And about these (false teachers) also Enoch…prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Let’s pause for a moment. Remember, the context of these verses is not about the ungodly in general but false teachers in particular. He goes on to say, “…they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.” (Jude 1:14-16)

What is our defense against such as these? It’s really quite simple I believe. The Word of God! “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Ps. 119:105)

Hunting Predators at Night

Most of you know I’m an outdoorsman. One of my favorite things to do is hunt predators at night. We have a significant problem where we live with both coyotes and wild hogs. There have been some coyote attacks just recently in the news, due to overpopulation of these predators. Both children and pets have been cited as victims of these confrontations.I like to go into the woods at night – predators usually prefer the cover of darkness, sit down by a tree and begin to make a sound like a wounded rabbit – predators are particularly drawn to the helpless. Often, in extreme darkness I can’t see the coyote or wild hog but I can hear, sometimes smell them – many predators smell.

I hope you’re getting all the symbolism!

When through sound, smell or sometimes just God given instinct, I sense the predator is within range, I hit my light mounted to my weapon and in that moment of illuminated exposure I dispatch the varmint.
So should we now be able to expose the false teaching predators by the light of God’s Word and so will His judgment one day dispatch those who have preyed on the sheep of His flock!

What We Are Seeing Happen In Our Country

Harsh, you may say? Friends, these are critical times. We have seen things happen in our country in recent days that we would never have imagined a short time ago. Lawlessness is on the increase, evil men are growing worse, as scripture predicted and the church is being assaulted and sadly often weakened by political correctness, shallow preaching and compromise of all sorts.But The Shepherd is not fooled and neither should His sheep be led astray!

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them…I am the good shepherd; and I know my own and my own know me.” (John 10:11-14)

He knows and we should know and be aware as well that there are true sheep and there are Wolves Among The Sheep.

In Christ,

Dallas Holm

A Special Request

In the past supporting our gospel work was supported primarily through my music and concerts. You can still purchase music here and see my concert schedule here.

Today, our ministry relies on your financial support. If you’d like to donate to our continuing Kingdom work, you can do so here.

Thank you for all your support and I look forward to what God has next for our work together.

Hey Jude

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
(Lennon – McCartney)

I’m sure the writers of this well-known Beatles classic did not receive their inspiration from the book of Jude in the Bible.  It is interesting and often beneficial however, for us to glean from the secular, things which point our attention to the scriptures.

I recently was studying the book of Jude and of course the song, Hey Jude, became firmly lodged in my brain for the rest of the day.  I went online to find the lyrics of the song and, as is often the case with Beatles songs (especially in their drug-induced, eastern religion days), just about the time you think you may know what they’re saying, you realize you actually don’t have a clue.  This becomes apparent as you find yourself singing along with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.  You’re in Strawberry Fields Forever proclaiming I Am The Walrus! 

All together now… “I’d like to be under the sea in an octopus’s garden in the shade.”  I rest my case!

It occurs to me that there may be some reading this letter who are not familiar with the Beatles or their music.  Before you send in your “Please cancel my subscription” notice, allow me to continue…

In reading the book of Jude, I was struck with how pointedly the author exposes false teachers.  Historically, God revisits His judgment on those who willfully depart from His instruction, citing those who fell into disbelief after God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt.  Jude 1:5 says:  “the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.”

He goes on to reference the plight of rebellious angels.  “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6

Jude goes on to point out Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities who indulged in gross immorality and incurred the punishment of eternal fire.  In each case, the inference is that the aforementioned had all at one time heard the Word of the Lord and known the truth, but willfully departed from that very truth.  It is assumed that there were some who led the rebellion against God and truth and others simply followed.  However, in the end they all received the same judgment and punishment.

Most scholars believe Jude was one of Jesus’s brothers.  It must have been quite a journey to have grown up with the Son of God as your brother.  Prior to Christ’s resurrection, Jude apparently did not believe (see John 7:1-9).  Ironically, Jude probably grew up thinking his brother was some kind of false teacher, when in fact, He was not just a dispenser of truth, He was The Truth!

After the resurrection and surrounding events, Jude becomes a believer (see Acts 1:14) and I believe this is one of the reasons he offers such an indictment against false teachers.  Now, knowing The Truth in a unique and full context, he is most compelled to expose liars!

Jude goes on to list characteristics of false teachers.  They’re dreamers, they defile the flesh (immoral), they reject authority and flippantly revile angelic majesties (referring possibly to heavenly angels, but certainly to Satan’s hoards).

He makes this clear as he writes, “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him (Satan) a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”  (Jude 1:9)  But these men (false teachers) revile the things which they do not understand…like unreasoning animals” (Jude 1:10).

Now, you may be thinking, “where is he going with this?”

I believe false teachers abound today in far greater numbers and with much greater potential to influence millions than was ever the case at the time of Jude’s letter.  I see them on Christian TV programs, I see them holding conferences drawing thousands, and I hear them preaching their perverted persuasions from pulpits in churches large and small all across our great land!

The lyrics to An Octopus’s Garden, quite frankly, make for more sense than much of the false teaching coming from the present crop of false teachers.  In fact, I would submit that strange lyrics from a drug-induced state are far less concerning or offensive than false teaching calculatingly mined from the very Word of God.

Remember, God’s judgment and punishment will fall not only on those who lead the rebellion against the truth, but on those who follow as well.

Friends, it’s a serious state of affairs!  How will we detect a lie if we don’t first know the truth?  How can we spot a false teacher if we’re not well and intimately acquainted with The Great Teacher and the Word of God?

At the risk of sounding presumptuous, let me join in spirit along with Jude as he writes, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  For certain persons have crept in, unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”  (Jude 1:3-4)

I anticipate there may be some who will write me and say, in so many words, “Hey Dallas, ease off… don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better.”  In other words, “Sure there are some problems, but let’s just put a positive spin on it and make it better.”

Maybe the Beatles’ Jude just needed a pat on the back but the Bible’s Jude says we must contend or as Webster’s Dictionary defines, “struggle in opposition, strive in rivalry, and dispute earnestly,” for the faith!

As I wrote in a song some years ago:
It’s time to turn back the darkness
Time to believe what we’ve been told
That the earth is the Lord’s and its fullness
So be strong, be brave, be bold
(It’s Time – Dallas Holm
Going Holm Music)

In Christ,

Dallas Holm

P.S.  Next Praiseletter we’ll look at ways to identify false teachers, the future judgment of false teachers and the defense against them.  Until then, our prayers are with you and our desire is for God’s greatest purposes for your lives to be realized.

No Going Back

The unknown stretches out before us. This very day will all too soon see the setting of the sun. There is much that cannot yet be determined and even the remaining fleeting hours of this day are unsure. Amidst the shrouded uncertainty of the future there do, however, remain some “unchangeables.”

One being—“there’s no going back!” Recently I watched a favorite movie of mine; The Time Machine, starring Rod Taylor. I believe the movie was made in the 60’s from a book by H.G. Wells chronicling the adventures of a man who had created a machine by which he could either travel back in time or forward into the future. In the process of this ongoing experiment he realized how his actions could have a domino or ripple effect on others, on events, and ultimately on the world. A lighter treatment of this same point was viewed by millions over the holiday season as they watched Jimmy Stewart consider the “what if” scenario presented in the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life.

We can’t see where we are going or what lies ahead, hence we put our trust and faith in the One who can.

We can, however, see exactly where we’ve been and what we have (or have not) done. My question for each of us is what would we go back and change if we could and in view of that, what will we commit to do or achieve in this new year of opportunity? I don’t pose this question to in any way accentuate guilt or regret, but rather to enlighten us to the privilege we have before us to accomplish great things for our Lord and Savior, for the enrichment of the Kingdom and the benefit of our own souls.

At this point in my life I am continually struck with how swiftly my life has tallied up the years. According to average life-span statistics I’m in the final quarter or so of my life. In the natural that can sound kind of depressing, but in God’s economy it represents the pinnacle of pre-eminent possibilities! I have walked with the Lord longer; I know Him and His word better than any time in my life. I have a lifetime of the precious provisions of His grace and He has demonstrated His faithfulness throughout history and throughout our journey together.

Our culture would have us believe that our lives are like a de-crescendo in a piece of music, denoted by two lines spread apart, gradually coming together to tell the musician to go from loud to soft to softer to softest. In fact, God, the great conductor of the universe, the Chief Musician, intends our lives to be a swelling crescendo, beginning in the soft intimacy of born again union with our Creator, to a loud grand finale as our spirit breaks the bounds of earth and ascends to the heavenlies where forever we will play our part in the “eternal symphony” of God’s design. In that crescendo aspect of our lives, we have each and every year the privilege and opportunity to do more, to do better, to please the heart of God and accomplish more for His Kingdom.

Have we fallen short, have we missed opportunities and do we have regrets both large and small? Absolutely; but if He is our Father and we are His children, let us hear Him say, “There is therefore now NO (emphasis mine) condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1)! The “therefore” in that verse refers back to the struggle that Paul articulates in the previous verses regarding his own failures, shortcomings and regrets. His own inability to reconcile the war raging within himself causes him to define his lot as that of a wretch! But “Amazing Grace” saved Paul and if it has saved you and me, we can also say, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:25).

Paul goes on to say, “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:12-13). We know elsewhere in scripture that, “…though the outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). Let me put it another way using the musical analogy. Our bodies are de-crescendoing but our spirits are crescendoing!

Let’s take the testimony of Paul, the words of scripture and the gift of our own will and determine to go forward into 2015 with renewed vigor and commitment; “…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, let us press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).

In Christ, let us move onward and upward because there’s “No Going Back”!

P.S. I feel I must take a moment to say a special thanks to those who remembered us at year’s end and honored God by sending an offering to help and sustain this ministry. It was greatly appreciated. Please remember, the need continues every month and without your support we would cease.

Most importantly, remember us always before the Lord in prayer, that we may accomplish His purposes and finish well. Thank you and God bless you.

Lord Speak

As I was reading the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke, I was struck by what an amazing moment it was when the angel Gabriel announces God’s plan to Mary.

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.

Keep in mind, Mary was probably a young teenager and a virgin. As far as we know she had never seen or spoken to an angel previously. Suddenly, one of God’s chief messengers appears to this young girl and tells her she will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit of God and bear His son and His kingdom will have no end. What thoughts must have raced through her mind? Is this really true?

Did this really happen? What will Joseph do? What will my family and all the people say?

I would imagine a mix of panic and almost uncontainable joy raced through her being simultaneously.

Is this not in a way akin to our own salvation experience. When I was saved I realized the awesome fact that God was speaking to me by His love through conviction. I too questioned whether this was real or just my emotions. I thought about others and what they would say and do if I allowed this re-birth to transpire. Would I agree to His Son living in me?

Mary’s ultimate response to God was, “be it done to me according to your word.” In receiving Christ through the salvation experience we too are saying, “Thy will be done.”

My point in proposing the similarity of these experiences is not to draw some particular parallel between the Virgin Mary and ourselves, but rather to ask the question, has God spoken to us so profoundly and specifically recently?

All through scripture God speaks to people, often in amazing ways. God spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden. God spoke to Abram and gave him instructions where to live and later in His old age spoke the promise of a child and an inheritance. God told Noah to build a boat. He spoke to Moses in a burning bush. Isaiah overheard God speaking and as a result asked to be sent. Many heard God say, “Thou are my son…” when Jesus was baptized by John. Peter, James and John heard God on the mount of transfiguration. Saul heard God on the road to Damascus. On and on we could go. Down through centuries and up to today many testify of hearing God’s voice.

If you’re like me sometimes you wish you could have one of those burning bush conversations so you could be absolutely sure, due to the supernatural circumstances, that it must be God.

Do you need for God to speak to you now? I do.

January 1st will mark forty years of ministry for me. To quote from one of my songs:

It’s been a lot of years
Been a lot of tears
Every now and then
There’s been some pain

Forty years is a significant number in God’s economy. Moses was trained for forty years in the desert, tending sheep before he was ready for God’s main objective, to lead His “people” out of Egypt in to the Promised Land.

I too have a sense that all that has thus transpired is only preparation for that which lies ahead. And I have something much
better than a burning bush…so do you!

We have God’s complete revealed Word. Everything God wants us to know, historically, doctrinally and specifically in regards to all aspects of our lives, past, present and future are addressed in that book, the Bible.

We have an advocate; Him who sits at the right hand of the Father, always making intercession on our behalf; the risen Christ to whom has been given all authority in Heaven and on earth.

And we have an intercessor, the Holy Spirit who searches our innermost being and prays at levels we couldn’t articulate.

How we often wish we could have the experiences of some of those previously mentioned. But don’t you see how they longed for and by faith waited for that which was to them yet ahead in the future though now possessed by us through Christ?

In days gone by only certain priests at certain times could even approach God but now He invites us all to come even boldly into His presence and make all our requests known.

Perhaps God speaks to us in direct proportion to how much we speak to Him. I’m going to speak more to God and listen with a more sensitive ear. I will pray for you as I know you too need to hear Him in regard to the next season of your life. Please pray for Linda and me as we seek God for His plans and purposes for our lives and ministry in this coming year. To complete a portion of the song I referenced earlier:

Though sometimes I’ve failed
When the storms prevailed
He has always stayed the same

I still love Jesus
He’s my dearest friend
Faithful till the end
I still love Jesus
And He still loves me

(I Still Love Jesus)
Dallas Holm

God will always be found faithful. If we hear and obey His voice, we will have a testimony of faithfulness as well; Lord speak!