Saturday, May 18, 2019


      This week I received my much anticipated copy of Dabster Gentlemen Death or Life.  If you have not heard of Dabster Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce you to a unique sounding band with, what may be to some, familiar vocals.  
     Dabster Gentlemen, based in Amarillo Tx, is made up of  Myles Barfield and Dale Thompson.  (yeah, that Dale Thompson).  DG originally started out, more or less, as a Jazz outfit, but have implemented elements of Flamenco guitar, folk and rock to craft something that is hard to categorize but very fun to listen to. 

       The combination of the light and airy, yet masterfully complex, musical compositions of Barfield, coupled with the rock/metal infused vocals of Thompson somehow works in a way that has to be heard to be believed.  

       From the first track, Thick as Thieves, you will find yourself tapping your foot, well before Thompson's vocals kick in. Thick as Thieves is the perfect selection for an introductory song and sets the tone for what the listener can expect.  

           The second track, Animals, rolls a little toward funk with a fun piano foundation.   I love the organ giving way to the Flamenco sound of Rejoice. Darkness Falls actually sounds like it could have been included on Bride's Drop album, with very reflective and thought provoking lyrics.  

            No Signs of Life could easily have been released as a follow up single to Thick As Thieves if the state of Christian radio was not so abysmal.  Have You Met The Man has a bit a of a country vibe that brought me back to the good old days of Outlaw Country.  When The Preacher Stops Preaching kicked me into a Led Zeppelin III kind of vibe.  

          Lyrically, Death or Life is exactly what you would expect from any project to which Dale Thompson is connected.  Deep, meaningful, thought provoking, scripture based and God honoring.

             Overall, this album is a winner and should be on any music lovers rotation.  

            Have they invented a new genre of music? I will leave that up to you do decide. 

     If you would like to learn more about Dabster Gentlemen you can check out their Facebook page here.  

              This CD has a very limited release of only 100 units so if you want one, you may have to act fast. For digital downloads you can hit them up on Amazon or wherever good music sold digitally. Here is a sample of what you have been missing: Don't forget to play it loud!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


If you have been to church for any period of time, you have probably heard it.  The infamous "Storehouse Message"  You may be feeling a little squirmy just reading this, or maybe you are rolling your eyes, thinking "here we go again".  

        Relax, I am not going to give you seven Biblical principles on why you should give to me or my ministry.  I am going to give you only five... just kidding, this is totally not about that.  

         In fact, one of the biggest tragedies in the church today is the handling of money and methods employed to get more.  I wonder how many pastors Jesus would drive out of their pulpits with a whip after hearing the latest gimmicky sermon designed to raise more money.  

          Maybe, like me, you have heard gems like these, "cash in your nest egg for our latest building project." Or my personal favorite, "dig deep and show Jesus how much you love him."  

  I remember when I was visiting a local church for a few weeks, I felt led to put my tithe in the offering plate.  The next week, a gentleman on the finance committee came up, put his arm around me squeezed real tight and said,  "boy, I'm glad you're here!"   I wonder if his exuberance was because I was a brother in Christ come to worship with him or maybe had something to do with the size of the check I dropped in the plate the previous week.  He wasn't so glad I was the week before...

           As the western church continues to thrive as a business, business interests will continue to muddy up the waters of ministry.  After all, competitive salaries, high mortgages and exorbitant utility bills have to be paid somehow.  The kingdom of God is free, but it ain't cheap!

Storehouse giving

     One of the most blatant and shameful mishandling of scripture is the "Storehouse message", designed to shame and manipulate church goers into giving. The Storehouse Message comes out of Malachi 3:8-10  Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.  You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.  Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 

       I certainly believe in the principle of tithing and yes, we are commanded to give to the Lord, but the Storehouse Message has nothing to do with funding a church to pay salaries, mortgages and light bills.

    Unless your local church actually has a literal storehouse where the needy can come and be supplied, this message should never be applied to the offering plate. 

  Keeping the big givers happy

      What happens if your biggest contributors are your biggest sinners? What happens when your biggest contributors begin to assert their agendas with the unspoken threat of withholding their generosity?  

      The Apostle Peter dealt with just such a situation in Acts 8 when a new convert offered money to receive authority in the church.  I love his response: Act 8:20-21  But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 

  Peter was not interested in the man's money, but his soul.  What if Peter was facing a huge mortgage payment on his extravagant church building, high utility bills, and needed to make sure he and all his assistant pastors got paid?  What if Peter viewed his ministry from a business perspective?  

    Peter focused on the work set before him and trusted God for provision.  Peter had no need to coddle a wealthy contributor or sugarcoat the truth for fear of losing a big donor.  

Teaching to the tithe

       Another big trap a ministry can fall into is teaching to the tithe.  Teaching to the tithe is making sure the message offends no one because let's face it, happy customers are paying customers.  If McDonald's decided to change it's menu to only healthy food, how long would it take before McDonald's went out of business?

        Recently, I heard a nationally syndicated radio talk show host say church should not challenge people or make them introspective, rather church should make people feel good about themselves. 

       Hmmm, I guess that makes Jesus the biggest failure when it comes to building a congregation.  In one day, Jesus attracted over 5000 people to His ministry and because He taught them things they did not want to hear, His congregation collapsed and He was left with only twelve.  Jesus was not very business savvy and not many church boards would tolerate such behavior from a pastor hired to "pack 'em in".  

         As soon as a ministry considers how a particular message or truth may negatively affect attendance and giving, the ministry has lost sight of it's true purpose. 

  Giving is commanded in scripture

      Don't get me wrong, I believe in giving and I also believe in supporting local ministries through tithes and offerings. This is scriptural.  What I do not believe in is a ministry strong arming people into giving where God has not directed.  

       God commands us to give, however, nowhere in scripture does it say, "Thou shalt give to the local church."  God may tell you, individually, to support a local congregation, or, God may direct to buy groceries for a needy family facing sudden unemployment.  

        The point is, if your giving is not God directed, it may be misdirected.  If you are giving out of guilt or intimidation, your giving is in vain, spiritually speaking.

Tithing is a Biblical principle

        For the Church, tithing is not commanded.  The clearest teaching on giving in the church age is found in 2 Corinthians 9:7  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 

        Tithing, however, is a Biblical principle established before the giving of the Law.  Hundreds of years before the Law was given, we see Abraham tithing the spoils of war to Melchizedek. 

         Tithing is basically a covenant between you and God where you set aside 10% of your income for His work.  I believe in and practice tithing.  I do not, however, believe we are called to blindly support a local ministry or church just because we are told to by someone who depends on your giving for a salary.

         Instead, allow God to direct your giving.  You may be called to support a variety of ministries, missionaries or individuals.  You may be called to give to the local congregation you attend.  Just be open to God's lead and give where God directs, regardless of how convincing this quarter's storehouse message may seem.  

        God calls us to give and to do so with a cheerful heart.  Don't be afraid to ask where the money you give goes.  Be open to the move of the Holy Spirit when it comes to your finances and know you can trust God.  

Now, go live as Christ... and Give the devil hell!


Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Ponder hell with me for just a moment.  Ponder the idea of eternal flames, wailing, gnashing of teeth, remorse and separation from God.  

        Now ponder this thought, people you know and love are on their way to this very reality.  

       Have you shared what you believe?  Have you taken the time to, at the very least, broach the topic of spiritual things?  

        We have no problem sharing our favorite stuff.  We can talk for hours about our favorite movie, TV show, music, food... well you get the idea.  So why is it so difficult to share our faith or simply make God part of our normal conversations?

         Yeah, I get it, as long as I talk about normal stuff, safe stuff, no one will think  I'm weird.  After all, who am I to push my beliefs on other people, right?

          If you truly believe in the reality of hell and eternal torment for those who do not know your savior, can you in good conscience say you love, or even care about them, if you never bring up the topic of God's grace?

           Would you watch silently as people you cared about drove 100 miles per hour toward a bridge you knew was out?  Would you care if people you claimed to love took a nap on train tracks?  Why is the surety and reality of hell any different?  

           What is a soul worth?  

           Consider, for a moment, what the Apostle Paul endured for people he never met:  2 Corinthians 11:24-28  Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;  on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;  in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 

           Paul's understanding of the reality of eternal separation from God drove him to cast aside his own well being and safety, even for people he never met and some who hated him.

            What perspective does this give us towards those we actually know and love?  

            No, not all of us are called to be evangelists, but we are all called to be salt and light to those around us.  This means we are to live and speak in a manner properly representing our Lord Jesus Christ.  

            This is not about "going out witnessing" or street corner evangelism or even handing out tracts, which are all fine and good for those who are called to such things.  This is about being real, being who you are in Christ, and possibly, doing nothing more than letting people know you are a person of faith, without getting preachy.  Living a life that honors God and seizing the opportunities God gives, with those whom you are already in relationship.  

            I decided to conduct a poll on Twitter @RealPaulAhnert, to see what the top hindrance is to sharing faith.  As of now, 40% of those who responded claim fear of rejection as the greatest obstacle.  Fear of being thought weird is running a close second at 32% and is my personal folly to overcome. 

          I am also very thankful to the many who left comments on the poll giving various other obstacles they face and those who have no hindrances at all are of course admirable.  

            The point is, most of us struggle with sharing our faith with friends and loved ones at one time or another.  This camaraderie cannot allow us to continue struggling and sensing safety in numbers, however.  Rather, we ought to be lifting one another up in prayer, encouraging each other and even throwing in a little good old fashioned accountability.      

              Getting started is the hardest part. Finding those openings, without making it seem forced or confrontational can be difficult.  Once the conversation starts, it takes, either, a natural flow or you may sense resistance pretty quickly.  Those sweet moments when the natural flow occurs are often amazing and unexpected.  When great resistance takes place, back off a bit and wait for another opportunity and do not forget to pray for the person.

      We do not face this alone 

                God does not leave us to fend for ourselves: 2 Timothy 1:7-8  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 
              When we do God's business, He equips us.  Live a life worthy of the Gospel, treat others well, earn the right to be heard and ask yourself one question: What is a soul worth?
       Here is a song by Rocketboy dealing with this very topic:  

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!