Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Hannah

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV --

I learned a valuable lesson from my granddaughter Hannah this weekend. We were visiting and she asked me if I was for letting the Syrian refugees come to the US. I am not. She was devastated. Her compassion for these people was deep and extremely real. I let her down. It made me sit back and think about my position. Her heart was so set on helping people who are in the midst of crisis. Regardless how I believe our own President has caused much of this turmoil, regardless how I feel the innocents are being used as a pawn by an enemy who is bent on destroying us, Regardless of the real or imagined fears I harbor about this topic, I need to have the compassion of my granddaughter and the heart of Jesus. Jesus helped save me even though I didn't deserve it. He saved me even though it meant he would sacrifice his life. I have heard it said even if just ONE of these refugees is a terrorist we should not help the rest. I'm not sure that stands up to the standards of Christ. Maybe I should be willing to sacrifice my own comfort to save just one family whose country is under attack by extremists.

I think we need to find a way to act on the compassion of my lovely granddaughter and we need to do it as soon as possible. If we can just save one life it will be worth it. The divisiveness of politics needs to stop. We need to come together, both sides, to be compassionate and diligent at the same time. Time is short, lives hang in the balance.  My granddaughter has it right and here is my public letter to her:

Dear Hannah, 

      I am so proud of you for your bold stand and emotional compassion for the Syrian refugees. Never ever let politics get in the way of your love of people in need. If our politicians had your love of Christ and the love of people that you have, we would be able to solve most of the problems in our world. Continue to listen to your heart because it is the Spirit of the Lord calling to you. I love you and am honored to be your grandfather!

Love forever,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Do not Panic

“He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.”
Deuteronomy 20:3 NIV --

I have ISIS on my mind, as does the rest of the world. The attacks in Paris last week may be a sign of a new offensive. This "war" is being fought in a very real way. I just heard about a High School group in Dekalb county that have cancelled there trip to Paris in 2017. I'm not sure what I think about that. Regardless what some people think, we are at war and I personally wouldn't travel abroad right now. But, two years from now? I think our fears of war, our fears for confronting evil can get out of control. We can't let the enemy change our lives. That is exactly what they want.

It's not just the fear of terrorists. We fear many of the evils in this world. We need to take this verse to heart. WE can't be fainthearted. We can not change the way we live our lives because of that evil. We need to hold dear our powerful, wonderful God. My wonderful Heavenly Father is with me. He is with those that love him and call upon his name. I will NOT be afraid!

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for your protection. I praise you for your love. I do not fear evil because you are with me. Please Lord help our leaders be strong in the face of this terrible threat. Give them wisdom and strength to continue the fight against evil in this world. We owe it to the weak and vulnerable to protect them with all our strength. We need to be strong and not panic or live lives filled with terror. We can only do that with you! Amen!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What sin have I caused?

“Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”   1 Corinthians 8:13 NIV --

Last week I had the privilege of traveling to an education conference in Orlando. In the evening we chose to go to one of these micro-breweries. I haven't had beer for a long time and didn't drink any this time either. I did have some of their own home made sodas. They were delicious. I had a red raspberry and a home made root beer. Wow did it have great flavor. Afterward, I really thought about why didn't I feel comfortable drinking a beer. It's not a sin. In my past I used to have quite a few beers. But at some point in my life, I decided not to drink alcohol any more. I did this because drunkenness is associated with drinking alcohol. I know many great people that drink and don't get drunk. They are fine Christian people. I just have chosen to try to make sure I don't endorse sin in any way. People know I am a Christian and I don't want to give even the appearance of being hypocritical.

But, do I pay attention to other sins as much as this one? Have any of my actions caused others to sin? Have my actions been hypocritical of the gospel of Jesus? I always need to remember that my actions speak louder than my words. I can spend a lot of time worshipping, praying, or studying God's word, That may make me appear like a wonderful Christian. My actions can destroy that witness in a brief moment.

Dear Lord, please help me be aware of my actions. Lord, forgive me for the times I have destroyed my witness by careless words or deeds. I don't want to become legalistic like the Pharasees. I don't want to judge others for their actions, but I do want to maintain a high standard for myself. I treasure the gospel and your wonderful, saving grace. I praise you Lord for your love! Amen!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We must fight the evil!

“When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.”
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 NLT

So many of us are angry right now. ISIS and the evil they are perpetuating is disgusting and our anger is real. We must fight to remove evil from this world. They are the biggest threat the Gospel has ever had. We need leaders to stand up for the weak and the persecuted. The spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is our only mission. We are told to GO throughout the world and share Jesus. The growth of Islam and radical muslims is a direct threat from Satan himself. The good news? Even through the vicious attacks, beheadings, and torture, it is reported that refugees are coming to Jesus in mass numbers because of this crisis. WE can never bow to evil! WE must step up our efforts to bring this world to the peace that ONLY comes through Jesus!

Dear Lord, WE need you. We need your protection for those on the front lines against evil in this world. We need your guidance and strength to continue to share your gospel even in the face of death.  I praise you Lord and take comfort in knowing you have already won the victory for us and even though evil exists in this world, you have promised a home in heaven that is filled with nothing but peace and love. Thank You Lord! Amen!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Lord Help us!

“Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Deuteronomy 16:19-20 NIV

Integrity is one of my most prized traits. I do everything I can to be known as a man of impeccable character and integrity. People know I'm a Christian. I pray they can tell through my honesty, integrity, and devout sense of right. Yes, I know that sounds a bit vain. I'm not where I want to be so I strive toward the goal of pure honesty, devotion, and justice. 

I am often saddened about justice in the world today. It seems that right and wrong or "basic" human rights are perverted based on politics and the power of the few. The integrity, honesty, and belief in absolute rightness is lost in our society. It starts with our leaders. The demise of our country hangs in the balance while we search for leaders with strength in character and purpose. We need leaders unaffected by the winds of political correctness. We need leaders that have a moral center and heart for truth and justice. We need leaders willing to attack the evils of this world straight to the enemy. We need leaders devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of love!

Lord help us!