Thursday, December 3, 2015


Still another “mass shooting.”  The argument will continue without resolve, because murder is not a matter of guns or explosives or any other weapon, it’s a matter of the heart. 

It reminds me of the words of Jesus when He said:
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched. … And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched. … And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.  Mark 9:43-48 

HERE’S THE REALITY!  A person can be blind and still lust.  A person can have no hands and still steal.  A person can have feet and still walk the wrong path.  Now, should we remove from our lives those things which cause us to sin?  Certainly!  So hear clearly what our Lord is saying: Sin is a condition of the heart, Hell is for real, and Sinners (who don’t receive Him/Jesus for the forgiveness of sins) will go to Hell.

In my opinion, if a person isn’t a hunter, policeman or soldier, I don’t know why he/she needs a gun.  But that’s my opinion and I’m not laying that on anyone else. This I do know, the more we remove Christianity from our culture and the public arena, the more we’re going to see these evil and wicked acts of violence.  

We are told there will be no televised Christmas Celebration at the White House this year.  (Don't blame the Networks! All President Obama would have to do is "say the word.)
Here's the reality, President Obama in this his last term denigrates Christianity and applauds Islam.  Are you not, like me, sick of the distain for the ‘one religion’ that elevates cultures and shows up with a benevolent hand when disasters strike throughout the world ... and remains after most charitable funding has gone?  

And ... as I see it, that is why America is where it is and why it keeps spiraling downward.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States.  It is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday in November. The day was originally set aside as a time when families gather together giving thanks to God for the year’s blessings.  In many homes, a large dinner, usually consisting of roast turkey or ham is served as the main course.  Accompanying the meal are many side dishes and desserts.  Thanksgiving is traditionally a harvest festival.

A small ship, Mayflower, set sail from Plymouth, England, on September 16, 1620.  The passengers spent 66 days in the hold of the ship arriving on November 21.  Most of them were Puritans who had been persecuted for their religious beliefs in England.  One month later, on December 26, all 102 passengers set foot on land and began to establish the colony of Plymouth.  The Pilgrims, as these people came to be called, had borrowed money from a group of English merchants to cross the Atlantic Ocean and start a settlement in the Virginia Colony (USA).  But during the long voyage, storms blew their crowded little vessel off course.

After sailing for more than two months, the Mayflower finally reached land near, what is now Provincetown, on Cape Cod. An Englishman named Captain John Smith had explored this part of the American coast (New England) several years earlier.  The Pilgrims followed Smith's maps and sailed across Cape Cod Bay to the mainland coast of

They founded the Colony of Plymouth in December 1620. Most of the Pilgrims had suffered terribly from the long voyage.  They immediately began to build shelters, but soon they were overcome by a local sickness.  Through the course of the winter 46 died, nearly half their original number.

The Mayflower had been a cargo ship and had to be refitted to handle the Pilgrim passengers.  It had three masts and a double deck.  No one is sure of what happened to the original Mayflower after it returned to England the following April.  A replica of the original Mayflower was built in England in the mid-1950's.  This ship, Mayflower II, sailed across the Atlantic in 1957 to commemorate the Pilgrim's voyage.  It is now anchored in Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts.

The first American Thanksgiving is thought to have taken place in New England.  The Pilgrim settlers, who established Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620, were the first to celebrate it.  The Pilgrims had struggled bravely through a grim winter with much sickness and little food.  The following spring, friendly Indians helped the settlers to plant corn, and in the autumn, the first crop was harvested.  Governor William Bradford proclaimed three days of prayer and thanksgiving.  The Pilgrims gave a huge feast and invited the Indian Chief, Massosoit, and 90 of his people.

The custom of observing a special harvest thanksgiving day spread throughout the other colonies in the years that followed.  After the American Revolution various states continued the custom each one naming its own day for giving thanks.  In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday in November. The present date was established by Congress in 1941.

Original article by Larry James, revised by J. Bruce Sofia

Saturday, October 17, 2015


INTRO! Some years ago when the Harry Potter books were being made into movies, people wanted me to address the subject from the Pulpit.  In so doing, I addressed Halloween and Harry Potter.  This is from my public address (sermon), along with a few additional thoughts.


Every year at Halloween people ask me, “Is it alright to celebrate Halloween?”  And every year I tell people the same thing: “To the pure all things are pure.”  What I mean by that is, if you have a problem with it, “Don’t,” if you don’t have a problem with it, “Do it and have fun.”  Personally I have no problem with Halloween.  Here’s why:

ILLUSTRATION:  Now that I look back on it, this is somewhat surprising.  Remember I grew up “Pilgrim Holiness.”  As “Holiness,” practically everything was wrong except going to church – yet we were allowed to celebrate Halloween.  And celebrate it we did!  We’d go out with pillowcases, fill them up, come home, empty them, and go out again.  Afterwards, those of us who went out together would compare our goodies and even trade for our favorite candies.  Never once, not for a moment, did any of us think we were honoring Satan by going “trick or treat.”  Why?  We never even thought of it as Satan’s day, it was a time for us to have good clean fun and get all kinds of goodies.  

I still remember the Halloween parties where we would get prizes for the best costume.  The person who remained unidentified for the longest time won the ultimate prize.  How clearly I remember Bob Westcott – we were all night trying to figure out who was under that outfit.  Finally, somebody recognized the boots – Bobby boy won first place.  

When Sheryl and I directed the Youth group at Mt Pleasant Church we would run a Scare Mare at Halloween.  Hundreds of kids came through.  The last room was a funeral parlor.  By then they’d be scared to death.  We’d give the plan of salvation.  We had hundred’s of “decisions.”  How many “disciples” was another story.  We would say afterwards, “Just because you scare the hell out of people doesn’t mean you put them in heaven.”

WHAT AM I SAYING?  If you want Halloween to be an evil holiday, then most likely for you it will be.  If you want Halloween to be a time of clean, wholesome fun – it will be.  “To the pure all things are pure.”  

1 Cor. 8:4-6 tells us: 
    [4] So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. [5] For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), [6] yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. 

IN OTHER WORDS Paul is saying, “I could eat food offered to idols and it would never bother me, because I know idols are nothing.  Only God is God.”  Again, “to the pure all things are pure.”

MORE ON THE SUBJECT: I have written more extensively on Halloween, including its history.  On this sight, type in Halloween and open October 11, 2013; a history of Halloween is given. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Listen to your spiritual gut!  

Here’s what I mean:

Today I felt strongly impressed to have breakfast, which I seldom do, at Melinda's Gourmet Deli.  Whenever I have those gut feelings, they are usually not wrong; they are Holy Spirit promptings.  Well, listening to His voice brought 4 divine appointments in 40 minutes.  God is so amazing!  PS - pictured is PB's Special.  PPS - That's not what I had for breakfast.  LOL!

It was not coincidental that I received this from one of our GCCC mothers this morning – further confirmation that we should listen to out spiritual gut: 

PB, I wanted to share a story with you about something that happened at work today. There is a new secretary in my office and she has a picture up of one of her sons with his name "Phil" written on the picture. I have to pass by her desk often and every time I do, when I see his name, instantly the verse Phil 4:13 comes to mind. For the last two days I felt the Lord telling me to stop and tell this new secretary (whom I've only ever said hello to) that her son's name reminds me of Phil 4:13. I finally listened and told her this morning. It turns out that her son Phil is a freshman in college and has been struggling in school and with his faith, and she had been looking for words to encourage him. She was so thankful that I stopped by to tell her the verse! It turns out she is a Christian and used to listen to you on the radio a few years ago. I told her about WIAM.  She was so excited as she didn't know how to find you on the radio and couldn't remember the name of our church.  Amazing!  B. R

So, if God is speaking to your gut ... listen. You won't be disappointed. And your blessings will be more than the thrill of knowing you obeyed God, but eternal.


Thursday, May 28, 2015


Today I met with the attorney who drafted the by-laws for/of Prayer Ministries, Inc./Gloucester County Community Church (1982).  We met for the purpose of putting into our by-laws GCCC’s position on “life in the womb” and “marriage” as defined by God’s word, our final authority for life, faith and the practice thereof.

With the real possibility of the US Supreme court ruling in favor of “same-sex” marriage, the Church needs to brace itself for the consequences of standing up for God’s definition of “life in the womb,” and “marriage.”  Clearly, God defines life as that which takes place at conception (Psalm 139:13-14), and marriage as that solely between a man and a woman (Mark 10:6).

As I have mentioned in the past, I close my day, everyday, reading On This Day by Robert J. Morgan.  This devotional captures a day in history, which impacted Christian living as we have come to experience it today – right or wrong.  For instance: The wife of a priest was executed because she refused to accept the doctrine of “transubstantiation” (the communion bread and wine becoming the literal body of Christ).  She was booted out of her home and then put to death upon this belief: “I have read where God created man, but I have never read where man created God.  Put that piece of bread in a box and let it sit for 3 months, you will find it moldy.”  She would not recant; it cost her her life.  Right or wrong (I happen to believe she was right), she was willing to die for what she believed.

I believe strongly that the day is coming when we Americans will pay a price, as do so many Christians in foreign countries today, for not compromising what we believe is truth.  

As men and women have fought against the wrong of slavery, for the rights of the orphaned, the poor … all close to God’s heart, so we must to fight for the freedom of the ‘unborn’ and ‘marriage between a man and a woman’.  Anything other than that allows Satan to reign in the life of the Church, for which God purchased with the blood of His Son, Jesus.

In Jesus,
The best of all is God is with us. Psalm 46:7/JBS 

*Painting: The Creation of Adam & Eve by William Blake

Friday, April 10, 2015


I’m still reeling from the President’s comments on Easter, calling out Christians or being “less than loving.”  Then I can’t help but recall that Christians today were criticized for something that happened 800 years ago, and even that was skewed.  (The Crusades were battles fought defending what was sacred and territorial to the Christian – it was a war.)  Even more upsetting is the statement: “America is NOT a Christian nation … we are a nation of citizens.”  What in the world does that mean? 

Compare Mr Obama’s comments with that of the Prime minister of England, who said that although England was comprised of many faiths, they were in culture and faith, Christian.  When the 154 Christians were murdered at Kenyan University, Mr. Obama spoke out about the murders, but NEVER mentioned they were Christians — the very reason for which they were killed.  He praises immoral behavior – abortion and same-sex marriage – and seems, at least to me -- and many others, to protect Muslims, even radical Muslims, while DISTANCING himself from Christianity.  
Let me go on record!  CHRISTIANITY IS A LOVING RELIGION/FAITH.  Look at the organizations, which show up for natural disasters and world relief, they are almost ALL Christian organizations – Red Cross, World Vision, Samaritans’ Purse, Salvation Army and the list goes on.  How about all of the homeless shelters and soup kitchens and missions, most of which are Christian based?  Furthermore, they are there when all others have left. … still loving, still ministering kindness. 

I’m sorry!  I have done my best to honor this President, but my respect for him is waning, quickly.  I have heard enough Christian bashing.  How about a little praise for Christians who truly love, minister to the poor, and the list goes on!

Well, enough venting; let’s talk about this week’s sermon.  Chapter 16 takes us to “the final battle of all time."  We don’t get there this week.  :-)  The Spirit directs our attention to “The God of Heaven” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”   It is so end-time and yet so powerfully contemporary.  I personalize The Lord’s Prayer illustrating how this is NOT a prayer to be said by rote, but it is a template to pray about everything under the sun from our hearts.

In Jesus,
The best of all is God is with us. Psalm 46:7/JBS 

Sunday, February 8, 2015


History of Valentines Day – The Man Valentine

Why is the history of Valentines Day expressed in the current celebration of yummy chocolates, lovely cards, and sparkling engagement rings? What is the story behind such a highly-retailed celebration?

Some say the day is named after a bishop named Valentine, who was stationed in the Roman Empire when Claudius II was the Emperor. Claudius thought that unmarried men made better soldiers, so he decided to make it a law that young men could not marry. Around 270 A.D., Valentine took pity on the ostracized soldiers who were not permitted to marry or see their sweethearts.

He became an advocate of these young lovers and began to perform secret marriages. He was soon found out and jailed. Emperor Claudius II attempted to convert Valentine to begin worshipping the Roman gods, but Valentine refused. Instead, he tried to convert Claudius to Christianity and Valentine sentenced to be executed on February 24, 270.

Another version of the history of Valentines Day tells that Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Just before his death, he sent her a note and signed it “from your Valentine.” An aura of romance surrounded his demise and those who knew about it spread the tale. Bishop Valentine became Saint Valentine with his fame extending to England and France.

After his death, Valentine then became what is known as a “Patron Saint.” Some considered him the spiritual overseer of an annual festival in which young Romans would distribute cards of affection to those they wished to formally see. This festival was held each February 14. There are Valentine cards in museums worldwide that date back to 1415.

February has been the month to celebrate love ever since the Middle Ages.

History of Valentines Day – Finding True Love
The history of Valentine’s Day began in the era of courtly traditions. The stories of how women were wooed by grand gestures of gallantry flourish in romance novels of today. We all wish to be desired - to be loved and accepted.

God has met this need through the most loving act ever done in the history of the world. God loved us so much that He sent His son to earth to live as a man. We are separated from God due to our sin, so God provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. In a great act of love, Jesus died on the cross as a perfect substitute for each of us. He died, was buried, and rose again. When we acknowledge His gift and accept it, He comes to guide our lives and love us as we’ve never been loved before.

Saturday, January 17, 2015



I knew a man who followed God’s plan;
He was a friend, I thought, to the end.
But when things went not his way,
Sadly, he went astray.

Bitterness and trash-talk became his way,
Then and now and throughout the day.
But God is faithful, that I’m sure,
And will keep knocking on his door.

It seems a pity that many of his ties,
Instrumental to the bye and bye,
Have been severed in a disagreeable state, 
Driven by pride, insecurity and hate.

But He who is faithful will bring it to pass,
Romans 8:28 will triumph at last. 

In my   (In my case it’s probably 100 times.  LOL!) 
sermon, “The Holy Trinity – Meet the Father” (Revelation Study 40, ser3394), we addressed the faithfulness of God and how the Holy Spirit will speak to us more than once with something He wants us to know or do.

Friday morning I awakened with a word percolating in mind regarding “once a friend – no longer a friend.”  Recall, we established “God will confirm what he tells us via the Holy Scriptures.”  My Scripture reading for Friday was the book of Isaiah.  (I had just finished Song of Solomon.  Now, that’s an interesting book to say the least.  J )  This is what I read:
Hear, O heavens! Listen O earth!
For the LORD has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me. …
they have forsaken the LORD …
they have turned their backs on Him. 
Isaiah 1: 1-4 (selected)

We have all been there – poured our lives into someone(s) only to have them turn their backs on us and say hurtful and untrue things.  If we are not above our Master and He was betrayed, too, should we expect anything different?  Furthermore, He was perfect and we are not!  So, where do we find our comfort?  In that what we pour into others, and how we treat others, we first do UNTO GOD.  These are the two GREAT commandments -- love God and love others.   

The beauty is that Romans 8:28 is at work REGARDLESS of how a person responds to your friendship and love.  Trust and rest in Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20.  Isaiah 1:27 assures us that “Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness.”  And the “willing and obedient will eat the best of the land.”  Isa 1:19