Well, I want to start off this morning with some scripture verses. The only people that come to see me are people that wish they didn’t have to come and see me. Unhappy, people in turmoil, confused, mixed-up, that’s where we start. I think of some of these Bible verses, and let’s copy them down. Proverbs 1:33, okay, Proverbs Chapter 1 verse 33, “But whoso hearkeneth to me will dwell safely and be secure, and without any fear of evil.” Is that a tremendous promise? When you think about the people around you: fearful, uneasy, uncomfortable, un-relaxed. What are you telling me when you say you’re that way? You’re telling me you’re not paying enough attention to the Word of God.
You can tell that to yourself, because if you’re walking within the limits of His word, it says you will dwell safely, and secure, and without fear of evil. Look at Proverbs 3, 1-2. “My sons, do not forget my commandments, and hide them in your heart, for length of days and long life and peace will they add to you.” A very simple key to long happy life. Let your heart keep God’s commandments. When you think about the things you listen to all week long. You come in the car and set on the radio, a newspaper, a magazine. What do we let settle down into our minds?
Listen to this verse….This is in Isaiah 48:18. “If only you had paid attention to my commandments.” If only you had obeyed my word. Well your Righteousness is a robe of this city. If only you would pay attention to my commandments. Psalm 19:23. “The fear of the Lord leads to life than one less content, untouched by trouble.” Jesus said in John chapter 16, “This I say to you, in me you will have peace, in the world you will have trouble.” Imagine living untroubled in a troubled world. The key to it? Pay attention. If only you would pay attention to my commandments.
So I’ll have to warn you what you are becoming. When you’re a young crab, you’ll become an old crab, unless you change. Now how simple to master, to pay a little attention to your Bible? Yet how many of us neglect that very state? Another one, this is Psalm 119:155. “Great peace have they who love thy law, and nothing will cause them to stumble.” Well, I’ve been around awhile, and I can guarantee you that if you pay attention to the Word of God, then you will end up with long life and peace along with it. A good long life. Just like it said. I proved it to myself. Well, the power of the call. It’s a mystery to me that this book is written.
It’s a mystery to me that my path has crossed Kerry’s path. It’s a mystery to me that the three of us can work together so well. It amazes me. I think of all the books in five years. My first call. I didn’t even recognize it. When I was a Christian for two weeks, I was a disturbed Christian. I started with my testimony. I thank God for a mean, old nasty boss that I had who kept picking on me all the time. Hollering at me, and yelling at me, and I’d stay mad at him. I just did everything I could to change him so I could be this nice man that I wanted to be, if it weren’t for him. Then I’d go home and yell at my wife.
I thought women were looking forward to finding out what their husbands want them to do, and that their career is to carry out their husband’s instructions. That’s what I thought. My wife did not understand it that way. Till the last breath, she didn’t. She had ideas of her own. So on top of that, we had a baby that couldn’t even talk. He was really driving me crazy and he couldn’t even talk. Babies have other devices that get your attention, don’t they? Between those three people, they were driving me crazy, literally driving me crazy. I had to find an answer. I finally found it in the Bible.
Two verses. I got to the point where I had asked for forgiveness. I was working in the engineering department where we were making Rolls Royce engines, the English Rolls Royce engine. A very complicated engine. Mass producing them in this country, and we’re designing the tools and machinery to do it. Very responsible commission. Brilliant men. That was it, but we were all miserable. Brilliant but miserable. We would spend our lunch hour saying how we hated the boss. One of these days, one of us is gonna tell him how we feel. Well, you can’t do that. If you tell your boss what you think of him, if I would, that would solve my problem right there. I wouldn’t have a job. And so this mean, angry man like me, well, like I was, when your boss calls you, “BRANDT, COME HERE!”
How are you suppose to look? Well, you look like this. I despised his looks, so I learned to say, “Yes, sir.” And that was not true. I struggled with that for months and months, and months. Finally one day I got it through my head that I can’t manage this. I can manage my smile. I can control my words, I could be careful how I behaved. I could not manage my heart. I could not manage my spirit, I was convinced of that. I cherish the day to this day, when one day I was convinced that I’m helpless. I can’t do anything about it, so I asked the Lord to help me. Somebody said, “You need a miracle.” The person looked back and said, “No you don’t need a miracle, there are no miracles.” Well, this was a miracle when I agreed, I give up, I really meant it from the bottom of my heart, and my boss hollered at me like he always did, “BRANDT, COME HERE!”
For the first time in my life, my heart matched my smile. Have you ever had that experience? The way your face looks in the mirror, and what your heart is. First time it ever happened. I kept up for two weeks. I quit griping at directions. That’s probably what got all the attention, and he is the one who told me that this is my call to serve the Lord in a very special way. That is: on a one-on-one basis helping mixed up people straighten up their lives. He came to me. I didn’t want him to come to me. I didn’t even like him, I didn’t like anybody. I wasn’t after these people, I dealt with machinery. That’s what I was interested in.
He comes to me and says, “You seem to be happy lately, are you?” Well, I had to stop a minute. I’m so use to acting, I said to him, I’ve been this way, I’ve been doing this for two weeks. You know what he said? “Could you help me?” I don’t know if you’d call that a call. I didn’t. I wanted to run. In the first place I only knew two verses. One of them was Ephesians Chapter 4, last two verse. “Let all wrath and anger, all bitterness, and wrath and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you.” That’s one verse I knew.
I didn’t like it. I couldn’t see anything wrong with being the way I was. That was my ability. I could go through all the time with these people, and I’d get this response. It’s not my fault that the people act the way they do. I need to spend a lot of time on that. And this says, “…And be kind to one another, and tender hearted, and forgiving one another.” Those are the first two verses I learned. I didn’t want that to happen to me either. I didn’t figure those people deserved it. Anyway, I said, how can I help you when I don’t know what happened to me? It’s only been two weeks. Will you try? Okay, I’ll try. That’s when I introduced my Bible study which I never abandoned.
I worked with my Bible and my concordance, that’s all I used. I tried some of the Bible commentaries. A lot of times a lot of people think about the Bible, I thought that I was just gonna read it for myself. So I took my concordance, and I tried to figure out what happened to me. Well, I didn’t know how to tell him, but he’s a sinner. See, what I’m talking about a highest-class, top-notch engineer. A brilliant engineer. I was gonna have to tell him that he was a sinner, and needs a Savior. I didn’t want to tell him that. That’s the last thing I want to tell him. Well, I wrestled with myself for a week. Finally, I told him that I was ready for him. He and his wife came over.
I had an elaborate Bible study ready for them, starting at Genesis. I went through the trials of the Israelites with them, and some of the King’s problems, and some of the prophet’s problems. I was getting closer and closer to the New Testament, and getting more and more uncomfortable. Finally I got into the New Testament after an hour and a half, or so, and I pointed out to him that the Bible says that you’re a sinner. He was telling me how mad he got at his wife.
I understood that, but the Bible says that you’re a sinner and you needs a Savior.
You wouldn’t want to accept the Lord, would ya? That was my approach. I didn’t want to tell him… why should I tell a guy that he’s a sinner in need ….anyway, he said he was ready an hour ago. How about that? My first contact reluctantly all the way. My wife will tell you that wherever we go, if we stay a few days, somebody will come up to me and say, “I’ve got a problem, could you help me?” And Jo and I will ask each other, who is it gonna be this time? Last week, this is now 53 years later. We’re in Germany. Well I was talking about anger. When I talk about anger, the people that listen to me get angry.
It’s true, they’re angry at that. They say, yea. But it doesn’t really prove that you are (inaudible). The condition of our hearts depends of your behavior. Well, let me explain to you how you can behave and I’ll be a gracious fellow, as long as you behave. Isn’t that what we say? Well, 53 years later in Germany. I’m explaining some of the things about anger. I usually explain it this way. You get so mad you can punch somebody in the teeth. Well this end, you can be so (inaudible) you can hardly notice it. It’s all the same kind of stuff. You’re so mad you can punch ‘em in the teeth, or if you’re so mad you can hardly notice it, it all comes from the same stuff. This lady came up to me and she sent her (inaudible) first.
Would I be willing to talk to her? When I talked to her, you know what caught her attention? The fact that she was (inaudible). She said, “I’ve been mad at my life for 50 years. Do you think you could help me?” That was 53 years later, and between that first time, and 53 years later, are older and older and older finding themselves, I have people approaching me with a plea, could you help me? I’d say that’s a call. I didn’t seek it, I didn’t want, I didn’t want to pay for it, but there it is. I think of any of you here in this room can see that there’s a natural vent, don’t you? You relate to people the same way. Let me encourage you to really approach people and help them literally (inaudible) what God has for you to do it.
Now my mother had a call, too. She was a poor lady from across the tracks in Europe when she came to this country, and her talent was to clean a house. Somebody in our church was sick, you could count on it that my mother would go over there and clean their house. As long as I knew her, that was her calling, to clean houses. Seems to me that all of us need to have a calling. For 53 years that’s been my privilege. We don’t know what will happen next.
You know this lady, she’s a beautiful woman. Beautiful, ugly, mean, nasty woman. Beautiful complexion. I admired her complexion while she was telling me her story, and she and her husband…she could hardly stand for him to touch her, much less have any physical relations with him. She said, I can’t even stand to hear him breathe. Can you imagine that? How it would be to be married to someone you can’t stand breathing? If she would have found a way of stopping my problem. But folks, all she had to do was recognize that she was mad at all of him.
She wasn’t a maniac, but she has these problems. They had three. The last one they sent off to college. This one is a professional musician, and all of them are traveling. They’re thrown together very intimately for four months trying to survive the day. Second week that they’re on this tour, she said, “I’m going crazy being around that guy.” You know how I advised her? “Cut his meat.” Can you imagine? I think these people were fighting over this for 25 years on how to cut your meat. Now that’s commitment.
So help her, she’s not gonna give in, he’d better cut his meat the way she wants him to cut his meat. She didn’t like the way he wore his ties, she didn’t like the way he played the piano, she didn’t like the way he laughed at people, she went through this long list of things that just bothered and bothered her. These things have piled up on me, and I really tried suicide the last couple of days. I went to two verses. “Let all wrath and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you.” Now you realize that you only have five minutes.
Can you tell me now what’s wrong with you? She said, “Yes, I’m wrathful, angry, evil-speaking woman.” I said, “That’s right.” Well, I knew that. It has nothing to do with your husband does it? That was the end of it. Simple wasn’t it?
Now 53 years from the time I helped this first fellow and that first fellow died about two months ago. Guidance. I help a fellow know how to make up his mind. We have a choice to make, don’t we? Many times my wife and I ran into this problem early. People kept coming to me for help, and I’d go home and start up with my Concordance. I decided that I needed to study the Bible a little longer. Should I go to school, or shouldn’t I go to school? I’m 28 years old, and have two kids, I had a good career going. It didn’t make sense to interrupt a good career, and I had a good future, and a nice family, and a nice house.
I talked about it to my dad, I talked about it to my Pastor, I talked about it to my friends, until the last person. They advised me to stay home and keep pursuing a career. It doesn’t make sense for you to interrupt your career to go to school for a couple of years. You’re 28 years old. I went to my Pastor, though. I said, “Pastor, should I teach people how to solve their problems?”I’m very, very grateful for a minister who helped me solve our problem. He gave me three verses. For 53 years I only needed 3 verses to make up my mind. Sometimes you have to make up your mind, don’t you? Would someone read Psalm 37, verse 4. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
That was my condition. How often do you meet that condition? Don’t talk about the desires of your heart if you’re not (inaudible) to God. If you’re not happy (inaudible) to God, don’t try to make a decision, in other words. That’s what the Pastor told us. He said that to us once. And another verse, Proverbs 16:3. “Commit your works unto the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” You put those two verses together. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He’ll give you the desires of your heart. He won’t give you the desire of your heart if you come moaning, groaning, and complaining. This is a happy, cheerful person who is happy, and cheerful because he is walking in the Spirit.
He is the one who can come to the Lord and ask for help to make up your mind. A grumpy, crabby person can’t make up their mind. So people would come to me for help to make a decision, one of my first conclusions is that you have to be happy first, look at you. I’ll be happy when…It will never work like that, you’ve got to cheer up. Cheer up, is that what the Bible says? That’s what it says. Delight yourself in the Lord. What difference does it make anyhow to delight yourself in the Lord? I know how things turn out. I don’t care how things turn out. All I know is watch the Lord work. That’s been my delightful 53 years, folks, to do that. The other verse is, “Commit your works unto the Lord.”
One of the verses that I…I can’t give you a reference, but it’s so true in my experience. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and neither are my ways your ways, sayeth the Lord.” I tell the Lord, usually in the morning, my time with Him is usually 3:00 in the morning. This work was written between 3:00 and 7:00 O’clock in the morning. The book before that (inaudiable phrase). That’s the most delightful part of the day. The reason why I do that is because I have a Parkinson’s problem, and Parkinson’s wakes me up. So instead of laying there awake, I decided to get up and I’d take a cold shower, that’ll do it for ya. Then study awhile, and then go back to bed.
I said that to say this: In other words, in the early hours, I talk early with the Lord that time of day. I very seldom plan a day and have a day turn out the way I planned it. Does that make sense? They just don’t turn out that way. So, that’s the way I don’t think like He does. But fortunately, He leads me. Well my wife and I, we went to Germany. Who will come forward and ask for help? We always asked that question, we always got an answer. Who will come forward and ask us for help. Sure enough, over and over again, I’ve experienced that people come to me with their problems, because I happen to be there.
I am waiting for the day to come to that place, the person comes to me for help, truthfully, didn’t even have a problem. Well, maybe they did. This is something that many years later there’s a hand…somehow there’s hand that steers you around, and I think I’m so smart , and make the plans in advance, and make it a schedule advance, travel agents in advance, and yet when I get there I realize that somebody else had directed that person to be there.
I’d never heard of them, and many times they may have a problem earlier than the date. Isn’t that a remarkable thing? See, that makes me feel very comfortable. I don’t care where I am. Just…you wake up and walk through the day. It’s a wonderful adventure. But you have to delight yourself in the Lord, first. You can’t be griping and crabby, and complaining all through the day, because He’ll hear you. “Commit your works unto the Lord.” If you turn it over to Him, what difference does it make how it turns out? One of my clients came to me awhile ago and said, “You know, I can’t trust God. He gave me all of these things he asked for, and God turned him down. I can’t trust God.
He thinks He is just somebody you give your orders, and He better come through with what He said they should come through. Well you can trust God, what difference does it make how the day comes out? I had a period of time that I had to trust God. First of all, I’ll finish with the third verse. Psalm 25:9. Somebody read it. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them in His ways.” He guides the humble, not the proud, but the humble. And He will teach them His ways. I think that those three verses, if I can humbly approach God, and trust in Him to have things turn out the way He wants it to. You keep saying you’re going to let that happen.
That’s okay, that’s just how you can measure how far off you are at the end of those days. Humbly, happily, cheerfully, approaching God. When all of those things line up. Humility, and delighting yourself in the Lord, and trusting in the Lord. When those things line up, then I’d say you can move forward. This is the formula I’ve used or 50 years. I even got real loud one time. I said to God, “I want to be a millionaire. I’d appreciate it if you would show me how to become a millionaire. You know, he showed me how to do that. The most disgruntling, difficult, unhappy task I ever heard of was to take care of a million dollars.
I needed to have a proper attitude toward money, and so He started me with a quarter of a million dollars. Be careful how you pray because he might answer your prayer. One time I was talking about this and a lady came up to me, she was pregnant. She looked like she was a little too old to be pregnant. She said, “You know, I just came to tell you that I understand what you’re saying when you say be careful how you pray. Last June, my last daughter walked across the stage to get her high school diploma. I said, “Oh Lord that’s our very last kid. Give me another child. Just be careful how you pray. Yea, I see it. Okay, your purpose. I want to talk about holidays.
One of the chapters in this book is used for that purpose. When I was writing this, it was around Easter time. When I got down in Florida, Easter time is called Spring break. You don’t’ talk about God. You know, they don’t play Easter music in the malls. They just don’t. They just don’t talk about that around my territory. Isn’t that sad? I got to thinking about Christmas. Same way at Christmas, too. Center-stage at Christmas time is a jolly old fat fellow called Santa Clause. We go around telling ourselves, Merry Christmas, don’t we?
Have a good Christmas. The week of Christmas is the one week out of the whole year when they sell the most whiskey. Christmas week. Totally forgetting the fact that Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins. It isn’t taken very seriously in our country, anymore. We talk about God’s will. I think one thing that I want to reassure and to make clear is why Jesus came to this earth. The other reasons He gives us is in Matthew 1:21. “His name will be called Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins.” When I travel around the world, sin becomes a remote word. You don’t hear it anymore.
People don’t know what it means. When I talk to people about their sins, people that go to church all of their lives don’t seem to understand what they’re talking about. That’s why Jesus came; to save us from our sins. If they need a director for letting people know about something, it seems to me that that’s the most important thing you tell anybody. It’s to help them understand what sin is, and to help them understand what they should do about it. In the health field, they talk about therapeutic help for people. Therapy? Kerry was telling me somebody asked his wife one time, “What do you do when you get into big time trouble? Where do you go? Not to God, would you? Not if you’re in big-time trouble. You have to go to a psychiatrist for that, don’t ya?
Well, it seems to me that one day you have to make the distinction between therapy and transformation. Well, I’ve been working with a lady recently in a prison near Houston. Gester two. Prison Fellowship is running that prison 24-hours a day. When they get there, they’re trying to get them straight. You get mixed up in all types of stuff. So far my job is to make sure that the prison is run as a Christ-centered, Bible base. What a thrilling opportunity that is. You know people keep wondering away from it. We have good discussions, don’t we? We can get together to support each other. It’s much safer to support one another when you’re trying to find God for support, isn’t it?
Now we get together to help one another understand how you can improve your faith in God, but to turn on one another is a very serious matter. When you push God out of the picture, and all you do is depend on each other for help. What is it that separates you from God? You’re a Christian. Look up Isaiah 59: 1-2. This is very important. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
I learned that while I was still an engineer. I would cry out to God for help, and no help. People come to me all the time and say, “It seems like my prayers end up on the ceiling. I can’t seem to get through to God.” What’s wrong with God is their question. Why doesn’t He answer me when I cry out to Him? The answer is really simple. If you don’t take care of your sins, you can’t get through to Him. Henry found that out last night in the Lord’s prayer. Did you catch what he said? He said, Lord, forgives us our sins, as we forgive each other. Do you know what you say? Well, the Bible is very clear.
You have to take those verse. Isaiah 59:1 and 2. You know what will cut you off from God? Not somebody else’s behavior, your behavior. It is your sins, and your iniquities that cut you off from God. I finally got that through to this fellow with my wife and my child, and my boss. It was my iniquities, not their behavior that cuts you off from the call of God. I want to end up on this subject of repentance. What is the nature of repentance? Repentance is a simple thing that opens the door for you to have a straight shot to talking to God by yourself. Mathew 1:21 “She will bring forth a son, and you shall call Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
You know the last thing that Jesus said before he left for Heaven? He was standing on the ground, and this is what He said, and after He said it, He took off for Heaven. The last words that He said on this earth. Luke 24:27 “Repentance or remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.” Repentance and the remission of sin should be preached in His name, then He took off for Heaven. Luke 24 verse 27. The Philip’s Translation of that same verse. “So what’s the change of heart which makes the forgiveness of sin, which will shall claim in His name to all nations.” Another song at Christmas, it’s an Angel that stopped some of the Wise men and shepherds in a field.
This is what they were singing. It’s in Luke, 2:14. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will towards men.” Jesus came to make it possible for you to repent from your sins, and to maintain a relationship that He would describe as peaceful, and is full of good will towards one another. The source of that is not cheating other people. The source of that is treating people while giving Glory to God. Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men. I would say in my relationship with Kerry and with _____ would be described that way. Peaceful and good will one towards another.
When we get together that’s the relationship that I sense, anyway. That’s what we’re trying to communicate to the world. So far I got to page 36 of this book. Obviously, if you want to know what else I know, you’ll have to buy the book.