Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Under pressure

“If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.” 
Proverbs 24:10 NLT. (http://bible.com/116/pro.24.10.nlt)

Most of us complain about stress. It's not fun being under pressure to do something. I have to admit there are plenty times I my life where I fail under pressure. I always look back at those events with sadness. Failing under pressure usually means hurting those we love. It means making poor decisions with serious consequences. I have written about the stresses of life in this blog and I usually write about trying to turn things over to God to relieve the stress. Sometimes God wants us to be under stress. He wants us to develop a strength that will be able to defeat even the toughest enemy. The only way to develop that strength is through trial. Even though I hate the stress when I'm in the midst of it, I always grow personally and spiritually through fire.

Dear Lord, thank you for caring enough about me to guide me through tough times. Thank you for helping develop my strength. I trust you and love you with everything in my life. I have had many trials and tribulations, but they have made me who I am. I wouldn't ask to change anything in my past or ask to remove the stresses that lie ahead. When I turned my life over to you, it was through all things, not just the good parts of life. Thank you Lord for my wondeful life. It is wonderful because of you and you alone. Amen!



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What's in a name?

““Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the LORD; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons. Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.””  Numbers 27:3-4 NLT. (http://bible.com/116/num.27.3-4.nlt)

My daughter is pregnant for her fourth child. It will be our first baby boy in the family. We have all been going crazy about names. It really is a little overwhelming choosing a name. When Stephanie and I got married we made the deal I got to name the girls and she got to name the boys. We never had a son. Sometimes I think about "my name" not living on. I have even teased my daughter about naming this new child Steve. To make a long story short, they can't use Steve, it has too many letters. All their kids only have four letter names and Stev just doesn't work. 

Just when I start feeling sorry that I don't have a namesake, I realize how truly unimportant it is that my name be carried on to the next generation. My name is NOT the legacy I hope to preserve. I would much rather my kids and my grandkids carry on the torch of Jesus Christ. I don't care about their label. I care that they love Jesus and will get to join me in eternity. Nothing else matters. What good is a name? It is temporary, life with Jesus is eternal. 

I am so lucky to have daughters who love the Lord. I see their own commitment growing every day. I pray the Lord reveals himself to all my daughters, their spouses, and certainly my grandkids. I pray they will grow closer to the creator of the universe everyday. I pray he will protect them, make his presence known, and to guide them throughout their lives of decision making. I want them to pass the exact faith I have, to their own kids and they to theirs. Passing the name of Jesus from one generation to the next is what life is truly about.


Monday, August 24, 2015

You are who you hang out with!

“Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too. Quarrels and insults will disappear.”
Proverbs 22:10 NLT. (http://bible.com/116/pro.22.10.nlt)

I have known this to be true. In my former life, as an athletic director at my high school, I had to have people thrown out of an athletic contest. It wasn't pretty, but it was effective. Once you get rid of the troublemaker, things settle down . Classroom discipline is the same. In the past I have removed a student only to see ALL the troubles melt away. This is true in nearly every part of my life.

You are who you hang out with. You hang out with drunks, you will, more than likely, be a drunk. You want to maintain a negative attitude, hang out with the people that can't see goo in anything. You want to live life with joy in your heart? Hang out with the God of the Universe. His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and peace will permeate every crack and crevice of your life. Throw out the mocker, throw out the sin. Then look at the quality of your life, not to mention the eternity you will enjoy.

Lord, I praise you. I long to spend time with you, selfishly, because my life on Earth always gets better. Thank you Lord! Thank you for your love and sacrifice even to the cross. Amen!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Why did I do that?

“The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.”
Proverbs 20:27 NLT. (http://bible.com/116/pro.20.27.nlt)

Why did I do that? This has been an all too familiar question throughout my life. I'm sure that's true for most of us with a conscience. Unfortunately when we get to that key question, the damage is done. Usually the damage is done through words. Once the words escape your mouth, it's too late. You can never recapture them. The consequences are set in motion. I have been on both ends of poorly chosen words. I've spoken them, with regret and I have had them spoken about me. 

Words are so powerfully destructive or so powerfully uplifting.

When I've been hurt, it takes some time to heal. I do heal, but the process is slow. When I've offended someone, I want them to heal quickly. I want the scars to go away. The best way I've seen to combat my loose tongue is to multiply my efforts to love the person I've offended. It can be tough and most people avoid that awkward situation. I recommend confronting that situation head on. Love conquers all. 

Even better than the healing power of love is the power of the Holy Spirit at eliminating the hurt before it occurs. If we let the light of the spirit chase away our hurt, our vengeance, and our hate, words of destruction will not be apart of our vocabulary. We will only build up. We will only speak of love and kindness. I need the Holy Spirit to keep my tongue in check. We need the power of Jesus to work in the hearts of people to eliminate the pain of poorly spoken words.

Forgive me Lord for hurting others and help me forgive others that hurt me. We can only do that with your love. Help us to mimic you and the way you handle those that hurt you and speak bad about you. Your mercy and grace should be our own goal. We love you Lord. We praise you and thank you for the joy in our lives.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The "nomadic" life

“The Israelites traveled next to Oboth and camped there. Then they went on to Iye-abarim, in the wilderness on the eastern border of Moab. From there they traveled to the valley of Zered Brook and set up camp. Then they moved out and camped on the far side of the Arnon River, in the wilderness adjacent to the territory of the Amorites. The Arnon is the boundary line between the Moabites and the Amorites.” Numbers 21:10-13 NLT. (http://bible.com/116/num.21.10-13.nlt)


This verse made me think of my "nomadic life" this summer. Stephanie and I love travel. We have been blessed to travel the country in our toy hauler this summer. We have traveled east and west. We love serving the Lord and we have been able to combine both throughout our lives. The last few weeks our travels have dealt specifically with CMA (Christian Motorcyclist Association) ministry. Three weekends ago we had a great ride to Toledo. Then we attended a big secular rally last weekend and this weekend we attended a family friendly event in Bluffton. It truly is a blessing to be in ministry sharing Jesus with people. We have had the privilege to pray with countless strangers. We have prayed for healing, safety, families, and businesses. We have spread the word that God is real, he's alive and he is active in the lives of his people. There is nothing more rewarding or powerful than sharing Jesus with people that just don't get to hear the message. It's not "in your face" ministry. It is ministry of service and loving people. It is ministry of just being available to listen. It's ministry offering something for nothing. There are no strings attached in what we do. That is rare in this world we live in. When you offer your time and your service for no gain, people will listen to what you have to say. 

I praise God for our summer travels. I praise him and am humbly honored to be chosen as a minister of the gospel. I pray that the Lord continues to use Stephanie and I for his purposes. I pray we are open to where he wants us to go. I pray for the wisdom in serving the way he wants us to serve. Praise God for this wonderful life of adventure.