Monday, January 31, 2011

Worms are gross!?

Psalm 22 (New International Version, ©2011)

 6 But I am a worm and not a man,
   scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 
7 All who see me mock me;
   they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 
8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say,
   “let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
   since he delights in him.”

How many times have you heard someone say "Worms are Gross!" Worms are greatly misunderstood. They are scorned and despised by nearly everyone. We always think of worms as the bottom of the bottom of life forms. Actually, the earth worm is an average animal. Half of the animals that occupy this planet are more complex and half are less complex. They truly represent the average. Worms are very critical to the ecosystem and serve a valuable purpose in plowing the earth from below. But, we don't have much respect for the misunderstood worm.

Christians are like worms. We are so misunderstood and it is so hard to try to get people to treat us with respect. We, often, are scorned and despised. Because of our zeal to bring others to know Christ, like we do, we often alienate those same people. We speak a different language. We might as well be a worm that doesn't communicate. Maybe we don't always do a good job showing our love. We try to hide our sinfullness and cover up our humanness.

As Christians, everyone is looking at us. We have to be so aware of our actions. We need to make sure we demonstrate the Love of Jesus into every situation. We need to be open to others, forgiving, genuine, and honest about our lives. We need to leave the judging to God. We need to keep from isolating ourselves from the world. We need to go out and share the Gospel from our heart. Be vulnerable and be real. We will feel insults, ridicule, and scorn. We need to share God's love even when it is difficult and attacks come our way.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who's to blame?

Psalm 21 (New International Version, ©2011)
 1 The king rejoices in your strength, LORD.
   How great is his joy in the victories you give!

 2 You have granted him his heart’s desire
   and have not withheld the request of his lips.[b]
3 You came to greet him with rich blessings
   and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
   length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
   you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.

I hate it when someone wrongfully takes credit for something. I get people that come up to me and congratulate me when our basketball team wins. I can assure you I do not deserve the credit. They made the shots. They got the rebounds or steals or made the free throws. I can't take credit when they win or lose. There is an old athletic director saying, "when the team wins, it's because of the players. When a team loses it's because of coaching."
David had it right in this Psalm! None of his victories were because of him. God is the reason for his victories. We should be the same way. God is in control of our lives, we asked him to. So why do we take the credit when things are great and blame God when there not? God deserves all the glorY, honor and praise. We don't!

Dear Lord, forgive us our arrogance. Forgive us for not praising you for every victory. Thank you for loving us anyway! Amen!

I need a chariot!

Psalm 20 (New International Version, ©2011)

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
   but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
   but we rise up and stand firm.
9 LORD, give victory to the king!
   Answer us when we call!

I am pretty confident I don't know anyone who trusts in chariots and horses over God! I am not sure when the last time I saw a chariot. I think it would be cool to ride to school, park my horse and chariot,and go to work. I get stares when I ride the Harley, this would get me a few more strange looks.

But, do you rely on your wealth to protect you? Do you rely on your social status? Do you rely on your charm, personality, or good looks? (I can definitely say no to the last three!) We do have a tendency to put more trust in earthly things than God. Well, in the old testament the wealth, prestige, and power were all connected to horses and chariots. When we rely on these things, we are going to fall. That's a guarantee. There is no wealth, power, prestige, or victory without Christ. Our failures seem to always happen when we forget where the real power is.

dear lord forgive us for misplaced trust. Forgive us for neglecting you in favor of our earthly things and pride. Purify our hearts, our minds, and our spirit! amen!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Prayer for YOU!

Psalm 20:1-5

 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
   may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
   and grant you support from Zion. 
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
   and accept your burnt offerings.
[b] 4 May he give you the desire of your heart
   and make all your plans succeed. 
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
   and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

   May the LORD grant all your requests.

This is the wish I have for you. I want nothing but the best for you. I wish God would grant you all of your desires and your entire life would be filled with the blessings of the Lord. I say this prayer for my wife. I say this prayer for my daughters. I say this prayer for my grandkids. I say this prayer for my coaches.  I say this prayer for my co-workers. I say this prayer for my friends.  I say this prayer for my church family. I say this prayer for my christian brothers and sisters. I say this prayer for my community. I Love you all. You deserve the best. I am so blessed to be acquainted with you and to have time to spend with you.

Please Lord her my prayer! Amen!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Think before you Speak!

Psalm 19 (New International Version, ©2010)

13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
   may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
   innocent of great transgression.

 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
   be pleasing in your sight,
   LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

10 years ago this week my Dad passed away. He was a great man. He was a Methodist Minister that started in the ministry very late in his life. Psalm 19:14 is a great reminder of my Dad. My Dad started nearly all of his sermons with this prayer. He was so sincere about this. He wanted to make sure that the words he spoke in each and every sermon were words from his Lord, his Rock, and his Redeemer. He lived his life the same way. He wanted to make sure the words of his mouth were always from the Lord. I am sure he struggled with this like all of us. But, it was the goal of his life.

We should all be as careful as my Dad about what we say. Words can be so hurtful. With our own words we can build-up or tear-down. With our words we can commit the most heinous of sins or deliver the most righteous praise. Because of the power of words, we should choose them very carefully. How many times have you been told to think before you speak? Oh, how true that is. What a great world we would have if we would all start with this little prayer before we speak. "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A picture's worth a thousand words!

Psalm 19 (New International Version, ©2010)

    For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
   night after night they reveal knowledge. 
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
   no sound is heard from them. 
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
   like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
   and makes its circuit to the other;
   nothing is deprived of its warmth.

I know I have talked about this before, but I just love nature and always feel so close to God when I am able to enjoy it. The attached pictures are from some of my trips. They speak for themselves. Like David said they don't use words, but they speak volumes!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Here he comes to save the day!

Psalm 18 (New International Version, ©2010)

6 In my distress I called to the LORD; 

   I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
   my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
   and the foundations of the mountains shook;
   they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
   consuming fire came from his mouth,
   burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
   dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
   he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
   the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
   with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
   the voice of the Most High resounded.[d]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
   with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
   and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, LORD,
   at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

I don't know about you, but these verses run chills up my spine. Do you get the picture? Someone is mistreating one of God's children. He is like  a mama bear when one of her cubs is being threatened.  With all the power she can muster, she will protect her cub. God feels the same about us.  He will not stand by when he hears our cry. Can you feel the anger? Can you feel the resolve? Can you feel the urgency? Can you feel the power?

God cares so deeply about us, his people, that he will protect us from all evil with every ounce of the power that created the heavens and the Earth. These verses tell of God's Love in a way that can not be matched. But, these verses are not just words. God backed up these verses from David with action. He sent his son with the same urgency. He sent him with the same resolve. He sacrificed himself just to save us from our sin. Re-read these verses. They are powerful. They are the true expression of God's Love! He will defeat the enemy in the final battle and WE WILL WIN!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bigger, Faster, Stronger with God!

Psalm 18 (New International Version, ©2010)
 1 I love you, LORD, my strength.

 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
   my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
   my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.

Our athletes spend a lot of time in the weight room. They spend at least three days a week in the off season and two days a week minimum during the season getting bigger, faster and stronger. There is not a single sport that strength is not a key aspect. Even our folders workout in the weight room to get the most out of their bodies. A good golf swing takes strong legs, abs, and arms. We work on agilities, speed, flexibility, and power. We use many tools to improve in these areas. We need to work hard in the weight room in order to really make improvements.

David constantly talks about the strength of God. He uses terms like rock, fortress, refuge, stronghold, shield, and strength to depict the character of God. But he also says that God is "my strength". I think everyone would like the strength and power of God. But, how? Well, it's just like the athlete. We can't expect to get stronger in the Lord without working out. We have to use Gods strength to develop our own. We can't just do it three times a week. We have to develop our strength through constant contact with the almighty. If we don't work hard at overcoming our weakness, we won't improve. God's strength can be our own, if we pray, study God's word, and learn to trust him. We can attain that perfect spiritual body through the grace of God.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hiking off the trail!

Psalm 17 (New International Version, ©2010) 

1 Hear me, LORD, my plea is just; listen to my cry. 

Hear my prayer— 

   it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from you;
   may your eyes see what is right.
 3 Though you probe my heart,
   though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
   my mouth has not transgressed.
4 Though people tried to bribe me,
   I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
   through what your lips have commanded.
5 My steps have held to your paths;
   my feet have not stumbled.

I have been starting to plan our summer vacation 2011. Stephanie and I always take a long vacation in the summers via Motorcycle. We camp and really enjoy the time spent in the beauty of God's creation. We really enjoy taking hikes. Stephanie's idea of a great hiking trail is not the same as mine. I have more of an adventurous side than Stephanie. So, sometimes I will go on a more advanced trail and Stephanie will wait until I get back. This year I did that on one of the peaks at Glacier National Park. The temperature was about 40 degrees and the area was still covered with snow. So I took a hike back to Hidden Lake while Stephanie stayed at the Logan Pass Lodge. I have never hiked on snow before and it was amazing. It was also scary. One slip and I could just see myself sliding down the mountain onto the Jagged rocks at the bottom. I made sure of every single step and I did not venture off the path. Here are some pictures of the trail.

The rangers warned of going off the path. I know it's hard to believe, but people don't think, all the time, and several people venture off the trail. Every year the rangers have to go rescue someone. Sometimes these "adventurists" die from their poor choices.

God is just like those rangers. He has prepared for us a certain path. Even if we stay on the path it can be adventurous and even a little scary. But, if we decide to strike out on our own, we are in for big trouble. I am constantly amazed that people think they know better than God. Here is the creator of the universe and his plan is being questioned by one of us. How crazy is that?  Stay on God's path. Watch your step. If you can do these two things you will have a wonderfully exciting and adventurous life while walking with the God of Heaven and Earth.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Slice of Heaven!

Psalm 16 (New International Version, ©2010)

5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
   you make my lot secure. 
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   surely I have a delightful inheritance. 
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
   even at night my heart instructs me. 
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
   With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

This is kind of a strange verse to me. I was not so sure of its meaning until I started looking at some other versions and other verses. Being the "geek" I am, I love to do research on bible verses to get deeper into their meaning. Sometimes you can over think a verse and kind of destroy the meaning. Even if you like looking into verses deeper, it is always best to go with what God is speaking to your heart. The Holy Spirit will speak clearly if you really let it.

God has given us a great inheritance. We have been willed the most perfect plot of land. We have been given the most fertile farm land and we have been promised the most valuable mine in the world.  We have been promised a plot of land that would rival the grandeur of Yosemite and the peacefulness of the Smokies. God has promised us an inherited slice of Heaven. We can not begin to describe what the property will be. But, we can be assured that God's plans are beyond what we can imagine. Therefore, we should keep our eyes on the Lord, listen to his instruction, keep his council close and rely on him. I can't wait to det the deed to the property of this promise. Praise God!

Friday, January 21, 2011

God's Bucket List!

Psalm 15 (New International Version, ©2010)

A psalm of David. 1 LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
   Who may live on your holy mountain?
 2 The one whose walk is blameless,
   who does what is righteous,
   who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
   who does no wrong to a neighbor,
   and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
   but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
   and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
   who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
   Whoever does these things
   will never be shaken.

What a list! I can just see the list of people who meet these criteria getting smaller and smaller with each line. All I can say if it weren't for the grace of our Lord Jesus, no one would be able to dwell on the mountain of the Lord. Even though none of us measures up, God has provided a place for us in eternity. Still, we should not give up on studying this great list and striving to complete it. Kind of like a Bucket list, These are the things we should aspire to before we leave our Earthly home. We should work to treat our neighbors with dignity, honor the Lord, keep oaths of value, be generous, and so forth! We may not attain it, but we should try!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm not an Atheist, am I?

Psalm 14 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 The fool[a] says in his heart,
   “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
   there is no one who does good.

 2 The LORD looks down from heaven
   on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
   any who seek God. 
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
   there is no one who does good,
   not even one.

When I read the first verse, I was pumping my fist and saying, "Yeah stick it to them, (atheists). " I can't believe anyone who says there is no God could be anything less than corrupt and vile. David knew just what he was talking about. But, Hold the Boat! Verse 2 brings me back down to Earth.

We are so quick to criticize, berate, and ridicule the non-believer. But, how far are we from them? Not Far! As a matter of fact God puts us all in the same boat. None of us is sinless. All of us have turned away, become corrupt, and are not as good as we think we are. NO ONE! You would think the knowledge of this would make us more compassionate. You would think we would be more understanding of those who do not acknowledge God. But, instead of understanding, instead of trying to reach these "fools", we isolate ourselves. We set ourselves apart. We put ourselves at the top and these non-believers at the bottom.  We are all sinners. We have all fallen short of the Glory of our God. We are not the judge. We are the vessels to share God's love. We are to do everything within our power to be examples of God's grace and love. We are not different, we have just received the grace given to us by our savior! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wrestling with myself!

Psalm 13:2 (New International Version, ©2010)

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
   and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
   How long will my enemy triumph over me?

I tried wrestling when I was in junior high. I didn't last long. I just couldn't get past the idea of grabbing someone else's sweaty body and them grabbing mine. I was very uncomfortable with the whole idea. When you add on top of that the "interesting" uniforms, I had a very short career. But, I love watching wrestling. It is such an intense sport. Strength is important. But, Strength without technique can be easily defeated. The regular season for our wrestling team is about to end and the tournament series will begin. It will be intense. All of the training they have gone through, all the strength development, are for this purpose. The real battle is about to begin.

It can be just as intense when I wrestle with my thoughts. I battle with my own thoughts all the time. It doesn't matter how strong I think I am, I can easily be defeated by my own thoughts. Have you ever convinced yourself of something that was just not true? Have you ever gotten overwhelmed by an unreasonable worry? The evil in this world, worry, stress, and my own sinfulness can really drag me down. I can be driven to panic, to depression, to more worry, and more stress, just by my own thoughts. The only way to defeat these thoughts is to constantly spend time with my savior. Like a wrestler needs to develop his technique, I need to develop "skills" to listen to God and not my own sinful, hurtful thoughts. When I don't spend that time with my savior, I can get trapped in sorrow, depression, and darkness. Many times my own thoughts are the real enemy. I can defeat these thoughts through Jesus. But, I can't do it on my own.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I wish people could be like dogs!

Psalm 12 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore;
   those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. 
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
   they flatter with their lips
   but harbor deception in their hearts.

We have a dog. "Copper" is a Basset Hound who acts like a cat, sometimes. (I hate cats!) Stephanie and I have had a long line of dogs in our lives. We have had Bitsy, Hershey, Tootie, Princess, and probably more that I can't remember. I'm not sure why we keep getting dogs. They can be a nuisance. They dictate our schedule sometimes. We can't go out of town without making some special plans to take care of the dog. But, the best part of owning a dog, they are loyal to a fault. People could learn a few things about loyalty from dogs. Regardless what type of day I've had, Copper is always happy to see me. When I've had a bad day, he doesn't ask a lot of questions, he doesn't pry, he doesn't have to know all the details. He just wants to spend time with me in silence. He doesn't feel the need to butter me up with less than heart felt praise. He doesn't criticize me when I make mistakes. He always wants to be with me regardless what I've done.  He never lies to me and he's never deceptive. He is what he is, a dog.

I wish people could be like dogs. It seems the real art of loyalty has been lost.  Faithfulness seems to be temporary. 'til death do us part is just a saying. Loyalty, is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause.  I think this definition is missing one thing, FOREVER! You can't be loyal for a short time. You can't be devoted to something or someone unless it withstands the test of time. Loyalty is not earned through a set of rules or requirements. Loyalty, Devotion, and Faithfulness are all apart of my walk with Christ. The Lord of this Universe is the true example of Loyalty, Faithfulness, and Devotion. God walks with me regardless of the good, the bad, and the ugly. He is constantly waiting for me regardless of my mistakes. He is always truthful and never deceives. He is the most loyal friend I could ever have. I can only hope to be as loyal!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shot from the Shadows!

Psalm 11 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 In the LORD I take refuge.
   How then can you say to me:
   “Flee like a bird to your mountain. 
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
   they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
   at the upright in heart. 
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
   what can the righteous do?”

How many times have you just wanted to escape? I can tell you that I have had those thoughts a lot lately. I feel like I have been shot at from the shadows and sometimes it feels like the foundations are crumbling.  I can relate to David!

But, just like David, I can not escape. I have to face those who would come against me. I take refuge in the Lord. He is my rock and my foundation. He is the help in times of trouble. He is my shield and I will trust in his protection alone. We can do npthing, but the Lord is in control and he is more than enough to save us.

Dear Lord, Forgive me for my weakness and my fear. I should know, from all the times of my life, that  you alone are my refuge. I have no fear because of you. Thank You Lord! Amen!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Eliminate the losers!

Psalm 10 (New International Version, ©2010)

 12 Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
   Do not forget the helpless. 
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
   Why does he say to himself,
   “He won’t call me to account”? 
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
   you consider their grief and take it in hand. 

IS it just me or does it seem that the people who revile God win and the helpless lose. I know it's not true, but it always seems like it. I find myself, sometimes, wishing they would "get theirs!"  David was saying the same thing. But, we know something that David didn't. The victory has been won. The final accounting has already been done. The wicked lose and those who are helpless, those who turn to the Lord, win!

Our job is to make sure the number who lose, gets smaller. The Lord wants us to teach people that even if they are not called into account here on Earth, the final judgment is at hand. No one will escape! We can't spend our time wishing evil on the "losers" of this world. We need to work hard to build relationships with those people and then share the Love of Christ so they will not be losers! I personally know how tough that is. WIth Christ on our side, all things are possible!

Lord, Thank you for your love. Thank you for the victory you have guaranteed those who follow you. Amen!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In God We Trust!

Psalm 9 (New International Version, ©2010)

 7 The LORD reigns forever;
   he has established his throne for judgment.
8 He rules the world in righteousness
   and judges the peoples with equity.
9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
   a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
   for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Trust -- reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; Confidence.

Trust is such a key part of any relationship. I don't care if it's people you work with, people you work for, husbands/wives, sons/daughters, pastors, team mates, or friends, in order for the relationship to function it must be based on trust. If you don't think you can rely on the integrity, strength, and ability of those relationships, the relationships can not survive. I've found that the only real way to develop that trust is to get to know the person. I obviously trust my wife. I know her better than anyone. I know her heart, I know her abilities and I have complete confidence in her.

How can people not trust in the Lord? Do you not believe in his integrity, his strength, his ability? If you know the Lord, you have to trust him. If you don't really know the Lord, you can't begin to understand his integrity, his strength, and his ability. So much of our faith is based on trusting in the Lord. So much of our daily lives is based on Trust, integrity, strength, ability, and confidence. 

Dear Lord, Help me to be a person that can be trusted and help people who do not trust me get to know me. I love you and trust you with everything in my life.  You are my strength. Amen!

Friday, January 14, 2011

When my praises are weak........

Psalm 8 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 LORD, our Lord,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!
   You have set your glory
   in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
   you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
   to silence the foe and the avenger. 

3 When I consider your heavens,
   the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
   which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
   human beings that you care for them?[c]

When things aren't going well in our lives, we don't have to praise God at the top of our lungs. If God can use the praise of the weakest, children and infants, he can certainly use our weak praises. He doesn't rely on those praises, but he uses them regardless how powerful they are. He loves us and cares for us through all times. He doesn't just care for us when we praise him with the voice of a chorus.  He has built this universe with his owns hands. He knows us and has created the world around us with that care in mind. He knows are weaknesses. He knows our faililngs, he knows our sin. He still loves us. GRACE!

I must admit that my Praises have been weak lately. But, I have praised him even though life goes against me. My praises are weak. My voice is meek. But, God hears me. Even with my own "still small voice" he can thwart those who persecute me and can silence my foes. 

How majestic is your name Lord. How majestic is your name in all the Earth. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Amen!
Psalm 7 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 LORD my God, I take refuge in you;
   save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
2 or they will tear me apart like a lion
   and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

 3 LORD my God, if I have done this
   and there is guilt on my hands—
4 if I have repaid my ally with evil
   or without cause have robbed my foe—
5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
   let him trample my life to the ground
   and make me sleep in the dust.[c]

I am not a perfect person, yet I still don't think I deserve to be treated poorly. I am a sinner and yet I should not cower to evil doers who persecute me. That is what David is saying. He is being pursued by his enemies but he doesn't believe he deserves it. But, if God thinks he deserves it, he will take his punishment.

So will I!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nuf said

Psalm 6 (New International Version, ©2010)

 6 I am worn out from my groaning.

Dear Lord, You are sovereign. Your love is sufficient. You are the God of the universe. You are in charge of all things on Earth and in Heaven. Let me rest in your arms! Amen!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I live in a Sanctuary!

Psalm 5 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 Listen to my words, LORD,
   consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help,
   my King and my God,
   for to you I pray.
 3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
   in the morning I lay my requests before you
   and wait expectantly.
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
   with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
   in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
 6 you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
   you, LORD, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
   can come into your house;

in reverence I bow down
   toward your holy temple.

It is such a privilege to get invited to someone's house. You don't just invite any average person to your home. Most of the time you have open invitations  to Family. Everyone else needs an invite. I know some people who invite everyone all the time to come to their house. They entertain constantly. It's like an open house every day. When my kids were young and in school, we had that type of invitation to their friends. As I have gotten older, I view my house more and more like a sanctuary. My sanctuary, my home, is an escape from this world. God has blessed me so much with a great family and he has also blessed me with a great sanctuary. I can come home at night and crash. I can sit quietly in peace and read my Bible. I can relax in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I can work off the daily frustrations  on the lawn or in the garage. I can release the stress by escaping to the sanctuary. My home is a place where I can get together with my grandkids, daughters, and son-in-laws. You know when you are at home, the people there love you. They love you unconditionally. They don't have any expectations or demands of you. They just love you.

God's house is the same. God loves for us to be with him in his house. As a matter of fact, he has gone their to prepare it specifically for us. He hasn't created this sanctuary as a place of judgement or punishment. He has designed this place for us to be in peace. He has designed it for us to relax in his presence. There is nothing we have here on Earth that can compare. It is great to realize and to focus on that final resting place, his home, our home!

Dear Lord, Thank you for providing a place for us to escape. Thank You Lord for Home. I also Thank you for the Heavenly home you are preparing for me. I know I have done nothing to deserve it. But, through your "Great Love" for us is by grace and we Love you! Amen!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

God is not running for Office!

Psalm 4 (New International Version, ©2010)

 6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
   Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
   when their grain and new wine abound.
 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
   for you alone, LORD,
   make me dwell in safety.

It's January and we are full of so much hope for the new year. Now that our politicians have had their time off, they are back to work and ready to save the world., at least that's what they tell us.  They are absolutely sure they have all the correct answers. David knew that men were not going to bring his country into prosperity, God was.  God is the only one that can restore us to true prosperity. Our Country has  drifted so far from God. Before prosperity happened, David knew he was safe. He could lie down at night and sleep knowing God was in charge. Without God at the center of our Nation, we can not begin to enjoy the blessings. We can not dwell in the safety of his arms.

Our nation still has a huge unemployment problem. Many in Dekalb County and the nation have given up on work and don't show up on the improving unemployment numbers. My advice to them, don't give up! Go to sleep at night and put your trust in the light. You will be guaranteed prosperity through the savior. He will prosper you in ways you can not imagine. You can trust him when both republicans and democrats disappoint. He is not interested in the next election, he is interested in you!  His Love abounds. His Grace is sufficient.

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving us through poverty and prosperity. Please help those who are suffering right now. Give them strength to rely on you. Give them the peace they need to rest at night. Give them the patience to wait on the Lord. Thank you for your Blessings. Thank you for your Grace. You are an amazing and powerful God and we Love you with all our heart. Amen!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sick of Being Sick

Psalm 3

 1 LORD, how many are my foes!
   How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
   “God will not deliver him.”[b]
 3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
   my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 

4 I call out to the LORD,
   and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I am Praising God today, I am finally feeling better. I have been sick since Monday. I can truly say I am sick of being sick. At first I thought it was just the flu. On Wednesday, I found I had a urinary tract infection. It has take until today for the "Drugs" to kick in. So, I have been laying around the house with fever, headache and total body aches for 5 days. 

God has been good to me over this past week even though I was sick. He has certainly been the shield around me. He has provided me with great people who have completely taken care of me. That starts with my lovely wife. She was my nurse. She has taken care of me all week. My great secretary at school has been the Athletic Director all week even though she is just back from her own surgery and recovery. Don't tell anyone but she is the reason for the great Athletic Department at GHS! All the other people I work with at school have pitched in to make sure things continued while I was out. They were wonderful.

When you're sick, it's hard to hold your head high. When you are beaten down by a fever and the aches of an infection, you just can't raise your head. God can. As we go through life we will always have pain, illness, and depression. We need to know that God is there to hold our head high even when we can't do it on our own. God has put in place people who love us, people who care for us, and people who will support us when we can't do it on our own. It doesn't matter if it's illness or some other set back. God will deliver us, he will hold up our head, he will sustain us and cure us. He is in control.

Dear Lord, Thank you for your healing touch and Thank You for providing for me when I can't life my own head. You are an amazing God! Thank You! Amen!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God's laughing!

Psalm 2 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
   and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
   and the rulers band together
   against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
   and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
   the Lord scoffs at them. 

5 He rebukes them in his anger
   and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
   on Zion, my holy mountain.”

Sometimes you just have to laugh:  The other day I was sitting down in one of our swivel rocking chairs. I leaned back a bit too far and the chair tumbled over backward with me in it. It just happened that Stephanie was coming around the corner. She couldn't contain herself. She had to laugh at her graceful husband.  Laughter is Godly. Sometimes you can't help but laugh. But, sometimes laughing can get you in trouble.

I've had parents and students in my office to discuss a serious issue like failing a drug test or an athletic code violation. These discussions are pretty serious business. On occasion, I hear some pretty amazing excuses and some pretty wild stories. Believe it or not, every student that tests positive tells me it was their first time. Even if the results indicate excessive use, they always had "just  one beer". It's at times like these, it takes all my power to keep from busting out in laughter. (Stephanie should have had more control of her laughter the other day!)

God has to sit on his throne and laugh at our vain attempts to "Rule the World".  Most of us don't have such grand thoughts as ruling the world, but we do THINK we're in control of our own little world. We think we can do whatever we want against an unseen God. We think we can live however we want and ignore God's commandments. He just laughs at us! I'm not just talking about non-believers. We "believers" act the same way.

Just so you know, GOD IS IN CONTROL.

Maybe we should act like it. Otherwise, God won't be able to control his laughter!

Dear Lord, Thank you for this new year. Thank you for being in control of this mixed up and crazy world. We know that you win the ultimate battle and that the we have nothing to fear. You are victorious and we need to shout for joy. Maybe we should even laugh out loud knowing the battle is over! Amen!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 -- A new Start!

After a week off,  I am ready to attack another year of Blogging!

I have really been trying to get an idea about what I was going to do this year. Every year for the past 9 years, I have read through the entire Bible every year. I don't think God demands this, but it has been a way to get me on a schedule to be disciplined in my study of God's word. I have noticed when I do this, I get rushed because I have a deadline of about 3 chapters a day. I am sure God would prefer I spend more time reflecting on smaller pieces than  trying to meet some arbitrary deadline. SOOOOOOOOO, I am going to jump around, in some of the books I have really wanted to study more in-depth, instead of going start to finish. Wish me Luck!

Psalm 1 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 Blessed is the one
   who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
   or sit in the company of mockers, 
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, 
and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
   which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
   whatever they do prospers.
 4 Not so the wicked!
   They are like chaff
   that the wind blows away. 
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
   nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
   but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Military tradition and procedures fascinate me. Have you ever heard the command "Ten-hut" According to Wikipedia:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ten-hut is an American military term that means, "Come to attention!" It was shortened from "a-ten-hut" and came into use because it is easier to say at full shout than "attention."This command does not officially exist as a US Military command phrase. Use of "A-ten-hut" or "Ten-hut" may result in a "dressing down" from an Officer or NCO. Some units are not as strict with its use.
The correct order to come to the "position of attention" is; The Preparatory command: (ie. squad, platoon, company etc.) followed by the Execution command: "Atten-tion"

I think it is fascinating to watch military personnel march or interact with each other. The salute and standing at attention to signify respect of a superior officer is so honorable.  Our world does not honor or respect people like they used to. We don't open doors for women, we don't stand when a dignitary enters a room, and we don't respect our bosses or people in authority over us.

In a way, we Christians are honoring sinfulness by many of our actions. In an attempt to change the world and build relationships with Non-believers, we join them. Many times I talk like them, tell the same jokes, or at least laugh at them. Sometimes I even join in the mocking of another Christian or God himself. I show more respect for the sinful than the Righteous. I place the "World" and what it thinks above God and the things of Heaven.

God does not want me to march in step with sinners. I am to break ranks with the "World".  People have to be able to tell the difference between a Christian and a Non-Christian. I KNOW I am a sinner, but when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I chose to take a different path from the rest of the world. I chose to act differently and in so doing, be blessed by the creator of the universe.

I personally know how tough this is. It is so easy to justify inappropriate actions in the name of building relationships with non-christians. As followers of Christ, we must act IN the world, but no act LIKE the world.  It seems more often than not I try to act like the world.  In 2011, I need to be a changed person, to act differently than I did in 2010. I need to take the power and strength of Jesus Christ and apply that to my life in real and tangible ways in 2011.

Dear Lord, Help me be a changed person in 2011. Help me to be the vessel of your Love in a sick and sinful world. Help me to be your light in darkness and to resist the evil around me every single day. Thank you Lord for what you will do through me in this New Year!