Monday, December 31, 2012

What I learned in 2012!

Everyone is busy tonight ringing in the New Year. ME? Stephanie and I are spending a QUIET night at home. We have made this our tradition and I just LOVE it. We have been on the go all during Christmas Break and we only have 2 more full days before it's back to school. I don't know if anyone else agrees, but I am ready to get back to my classes. I love being a teacher and spending my days with the Faculty, Staff, and Students at GHS. They aren't as important as my family, but they are my DAY FAMILY. They are a big part of my life.

I'm sitting here with Stephanie and Copper (my bassett hound) and looking back on this year with great fondness. I had a great year. I'm 52 years old and I'm still learning. So let me share some of the things I've learned in 2012.

10. It takes two weeks to come down from a Sugar High after Spring Break - I love spring break with my daughters and grandkids. This year was not exception. We've had this deal, agreement, that we have ICE CREAM every day on Spring Break. I love Ice Cream. However, when I come back from Spring Break my Blood Sugar levels take forever to RECOVER! I set a new record this year, two weeks to get it back to normal. The ice cream isn't nearly as much fun as spending time with the family. What a blast!

9. Pasties are AWESOME -  Stephanie and I didn't take a long motorcycle trip this year. But, we did make a short week long trip to the U.P. of Michigan. What a great time! The riding and scenery were great and the time spent with my wife was awesome. We did learn about a NEW treat. Pasties! Sounds a little strange but they were wonderful. If you ever make it to the UP you HAVE to try them. I cherish the private vacation time I have with my wife. Sitting around a campfire at night, exploring national and state parks and just US time has been a highlight of our lives together.

8. Who knew WingDingers could be so much fun? - The Honda Goldwingers spent early July in Fort Wayne and our CMA Chapter, worked to serve the WINGDINGERS. What a great time! Even though the heat was unbearable at times, We had a great opportunity to minister and serve. My CMA family is amazing and our times together are awesome. Wingers love to have fun and when you get a bunch of them together, you are in for a blast. Thanks Wingers, come back soon!

7. It rains in Hell - I went to HELL this year and found out it rains. Ok, it was Hell, Michigan. But it really did rain. For a motorcyclist, Hell wouldn't be fire, it would be rain. I went on several great rides this year, but none was as fun as riding with the Fremont American Legion Riders to Hell, Michigan. It was a perfect day until we got about a mile from Hell. Then it was a downpour until I got about a mile away. It seemed fitting!

6.  My family is full of NERDS -- Mckenzie graduated this year with her Masters in Nursing. Lindsae is finishing up her degree. Lauren made it to the Nerd Club and Hannah and I are the dounding members. All of my kids and grandkids are great students. We love learning and I couldn't be prouder of all their accomplishments!

 5. I'm JOYOUSLY addicted to Technology - Hi! my name is Steve and I'm addicted to technology. While I'm not in therapy,  I probably should be. I have an APPLE IPAD, my own personal MACBOOK PRO,  a school issued MACBOOK, an IPHONE, a SMARTBOARD, and projection screen. I write two blogs, tweet daily, read the newspaper online, am a google expert, and use technology every day at school I love it and the resources I get from it. I'm not ashamed! It is a big part of my life and has made me a better person. So there!

4.Teaching is learning and I love it - This might be more proof that I'm a nerd. I just love being back in the classroom and I have spent the majority of 2012 preparing my return to the classroom. Stephanie and I both had to complete more than 18 hours of College courses this year. It was a lot of work, but I found out that teaching is more about learning than teaching. I have enjoyed this growth and have continued it through the rest of the year. Learning will be more a part of my life in 2013 also. I am excited about discovering new resources and better ways to help kids learn.

3. My Wife & Daughters are AMAZING! - This isn't exclusive to 2012 but I am more and more impressed with my wife & daughters and the lives they lead. Stephanie and I were lucky enough to travel to North Carolina to see Kelley over Labor Day weekend. But I can't even tell you how much I miss her and wish she were here so she could be a part of all the fun times we have. I am joyful that Lindsae is able to come back on a regular basis and I have enjoyed all the extra time going to football games, cross country meets, and wrestling matches with McKenzie. I am blessed with 3 great daughters! Words can not even begin to tell how I feel about Stephanie. She is amazing and the main reason we have amazing daughters. I can't imagine a year without her and look forward to an adventurous 2013!

2. There's nothing better than being a Grandparent! - I hope my daughters understand. Being a grandparent is even more amazing than being a parent. Not that I didn't love being a parent and I've already shared what I think about my daughters. But, grandkids make a life complete. Klayton, Lauren, Hannah, Ayla, and Rian are the joy of my life. In January 2012, I finally put my priorities straight. My kids and grandkids come before my job. It's taken me 34 years of marriage to finally figure that out. So this might be one of the most important lessons I've ever learned and it all happened in 2012. Priase God for his blessings and the joy of my entire family.

 1. God's in control - The NUMBER ONE thing I've learned in 2012 - GOD IS IN CONTROL. Unfortunately, I seem to forget this every year and have to be reminded constantly of his wisdom and grace. God was busy in my life in 2012. He took me from Athletic Director to Teacher. He took me from CMA Chaplain to President. He is leading me in the classroom, with CMA, with my Gkids, my daughters, and with Steph. I could never have planned my life the way it is today. It is absolute proof of God's existence and his mighty hand in my life. Praise God for his blessings and guidance. Praise God that he has taken a sinner like me and blessed me abundantly with his grace and love.

There you have it. 2012 in a nutshell and what I learned along the way. I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for me. I am looking forward to more lessons from my mighty God. I am looking foward to every adventure with my wife, daughters, and granddaughters. Bring it on 2013 here we come!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What were you thinking?

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double‑edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NIV84)

Being in education for over 18 years and being a father and grandfather for over 32 years, I have aske this question on numerous occasions. "What were you thinking?" This question usually comes at a time when someone should have been thinking, but wasn't. If anyone could figure out a way to understand the thoughts of a teenager, he / she would make millions. Really, I guess, that could apply to just about any age group. Sometimes I can't understand how adults think either. Many times I just leave scratching my head.

Out of any power God has, his ability to know my heart and my thoughts, is the scariest. He knows our real attitudes, our real motives, our strangest thoughts. God is actively listening to us, watching us, and searching our heart. We are not a mystery to him.

I guess it's time to do a little searching ourselves. God knows us even better than we know ourselves. A part of my devotion time should be searching my own heart. Sure, I still need to pray to my Heavenly Father. I need to search his word. I need to praise and worship him. But, I also need to reflect on who I  am, what I think, what I say and how I act. How was I today? Did I act as God would want? Why did I do what I did? We're my thoughts pure? Was my attitude that of a follower of Christ? We need to search our OWN heart, soul, and mind. If we don't like what we see, we need to change. God knows what we need to do. He is trying to speak. The Holy Spirit is prompting us. Search your heart, is God there?

Have I made a difference?

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

 Have you ever asked, "What am I doing?" I've had great days in my life and I've had bad days. But, in the end I wonder if I'm really making a difference. I read a story the other day about a Florida Teacher, David Menasche, suffering from cancer. He has been given only a few months to live. So, he is traveling the country to ask his former students one question, "Did I make a difference in your life?" 

 Dying teacher travels across the US to see if he made a difference

What a wonderfully powerful question?  I'm not dying, but I have many days when I wonder if I've ever really made a difference in someones life. More importantly how many seeds I have planted for Christ grew into blossoming, full grown plants. My sole purpose on this planet is to serve Jesus. I have always felt the way I live my life, my witness, is the most important "job" I have. How well have I performed that job? 

I pray that God has been able to use my life. I pray that every waking moment I will be an example of Christ's love. I don't care about what kind of husband, father, teacher, or friend I am unless I can tag each of those roles with "follower of Christ". Nothing else in life matters. 

What is your impact for Christ? You may never know. SO, don't take anything for granted. Be deliberate in your life. Make your life a life filled with Christ. Let your light shine and make a difference for him.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I hate Deer!

Habakkuk 3:19

New International Version (NIV)
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

          I hate deer. Just a little over a week ago, one of my fellow motorcyclists encountered a deer. The Deer lost the battle but my CMA brother had severely broken leg and totaled motorcycle. Many years ago I also had my own deer encounter. 
          I was coming back in the dark on an October evening on a rural highway. The farmers were harvesting corn right near the two lane highway. When out of the corner of my eye, I saw a Huge Buck . It came straight at my motorcycle. It happened so fast I had no time to react. My helmet came within inches of the huge rack of antlers.  We were so close, I could see straight into his eyes. All I remember is seeing the huge beast stop, instantly, turn his head slightly, change direction and jump over the back of my motorcycle. How he could stop that quickly, change directions and miss any contact with me or the motorcycle is beyond me. When I got home, the only "damage" was  a scuff mark on my tour pack and a broken antenna. Absolutely amazing. I still hate deer, but I am truly amazed at how agile and sure footed they are. 

          When I read this verse, I instantly thought of MY deer encounter. I have also witnessed deer and elk in many other situations. They are so beautiful to watch. Their movements are so graceful. As a Christian I am so clumsy and anything but agile. I say the wrong things. I make poor choices and FALL constantly. When I decide to trust in the Lord and lean on him, I am MORE agile than a deer. I can do amazing things through Christ. When I focus on God he directs me to the highest highs and makes my life more graceful to watch than the movements of a deer. So, why don't I focus on him at all times? Well, that is the question for the ages. The nice part is God is always there to pick me up again.

I'm "AMPED" up tonight!

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it— how shortsighted to refuse correction! (Proverbs 12:1 MSG)

Getting back to school at GHS is still a week away, but my week off is over. I have to admit it wasn't easy to step way from "Temple Run", "CSR racing", and "Flow". But, today I began working on plans for next week and beyond. I get so excited about finding new resources and planning new lessons. This past year has really REfueled my passion for learning. It's almost embarasssing how much I love to explore. I'm so excited to find a new method or read an inspiring post about education or teaching.. As teachers, how can we expect our students to get excited about learning if we don't.
We can't keep doing the same old things and expect better results.

It's no different with our walk with Christ. When was the last time you shared a burning passion for God. Do you look at your devotion or prayer time as a duty to be performed or as an exciting exploration. Maybe your prayer life is nonexistent or filled with repitious religious speak instead of exciting conversation with your savior. I can't tell you how to refuel your passion. Although I can tell you that it's fun to explore. Why don't you explore a new bible study, pray in a different place, read a different Bible translation, or read a good Chritian Fiction book? Just do something to see the excitement of a life filled with Christ. Maybe you can even start writing a blog! There are limitless possibilities. Maybe the best is to ask God to ignite a new passion in you. I think you might be surprised what joy and thrill might lie ahead. A life of learning can be an amazing life. That includes all areas of your life, including your relationship and walk with Jesus! You can't expect a complete transformation unless you are willing to be transformed!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Don't judge me!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16, 17 KJV)

I hate it when people say "Don't Judge me!" This seems to always come up when a Christian stands up for what they believe or what the Bible says. Usually, they then turn around and condemn the Christian. This world hates us and judges us so harshly, they can't even see the hypocrisy.  I do not apologize for the teachings of the Bible. The word of God is truth and because that truth is so clear, it is very condemning. That is not the intent of God. God did not send his Son to condemn, he doesn't send US to condemn. We are sent to love. We are not to point out the spec of dust in the eye of the world. We are here to remove our own spec first, then spend the rest of our lives loving our neighbor.
The world does not understand, we are all sinners, Christians and nonChristians alike. If we condemn them, we condemn ourselves.
God loved us even before we came to him. He loved us through our most heinous sins. Even then he does not spend time condemning. He loved us so much, even centuries before our birth, that he sent his Son to rescue us. He sees us, not as hopeless, evil, sinners, but as the lost needing a savior. he looks beyond our sin, straight to the heart. We need to also look at the heart of the lost. Our Love needs to be stronger than our judgement, for we are in no position to judge.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 KJV)

Such a simple verse. But, these powerful words have been read on this day for generations. God left his heavenly home and dwelt among us. He came to save us from ourselves. He did it with the power of a simple servant. He ushered in his kingdom from a manger, homeless, with only a few lowly shepherds as witness. 2000+ years later we are still awed by this night. The God of the universe came to us. Praise God for his wonderful gift. May we never forget the love that came forth on this night. Praise God for the privilege of a life devoted to him. Praise God for our one purpose, to bring others to know of his wonderful love. Lord Jesus we worship you and will forever honor you with our service. Forgive us when we lose sight of you. Forgive us when we act as if you never existed. Forgive us our sins against you and our brothers and sisters. Thank you for your son. Thank you for GRACE! Thank you for this night!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

New Year, New Direction

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:12 NIV84)

I have to admit, I have a new addiction. I have been playing Temple run with my granddaughter Ayla the last couple days and it's been fun. Neither one of us is very good. When the game gets going so fast, I have a hard time dealing with all the change of directions. I end up running into trees, jumping into swamps, or being eaten by some jungle monster. Do not fear, In this game you get to start over, and over, and over. 

The Magi also had to make a sudden change in direction. They had been warned not to go back the way they came because of Herod. I'm sure they never expected this.  Im sure Even the start of their journey was filled with wonder and amazement. They had no idea what was coming and where they were heading.

Last year at this time I was also hearing a call to change direction, suddenly, and unexpected. I trusted God. It has been great. My journey isn't nearly as magical as the first Christmas, but for me it IS magical. I had a lot of fear about finances, job security, and just fear of the unknown. After 52 years of life, I should have known God would have it all taken care of.

I love being back with kids in the classroom. I have been blessed with great students and I feel useful and valued. But, most importantly, I feel I am following the direction God has placed before me. He has given me much more time to spend with my grandkids, CMA, and with my 
great wife. I can't stop thinking about how unexpected this new change was. Thank you Lord for guiding my life. Thank you for the unexpected road you have set before me. I can't wait to see what new twist and turns I will face in 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Presence = Happiness!

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 NIV84)

I hate shopping as a regular activity. It's painful. But, I love going Christmas shopping, by myself, on Christmas Eve, and looking for that one special gift. I was just watching a YouTube video about Money vs Happiness. Here it is:

I have never really thought my Christmas presents would bring happiness. The act of giving does bring happiness and I love giving gifts on Christmas. The wise men offered "Treasures". These are not just gifts, they are TREASURES. But, what ever happened to these gifts? I'm not a Biblical scholar so their could be some mention of these gifts I'm not aware of. But, in my Christian life, I can tell you, after Christmas we never talk about these gifts again. Many gifts I've given end-up like this gold, incense, and myrrh.  My gifts aren't all that memorable. It's not about the gifts. It's not about the shopping. It is about the act of giving. It's the act that we take the time to find that one special gift, treasure, to share with the ones we love. The gift is the act of giving ourselves.

When the wise men came to worship Jesus, the gifts weren't as important as their presence. Many of us have been blessed with God given gifts. It is so important we use those gifts for God. But, the gifts aren't the important part. God doesn't really care about the gifts, he cares about us. No, he doesn't just care, he LOVES us. He loves us so much, he wanted to come down to Earth to be with us. He didn't have to, he chose to come down to be with us. Then he took that Love to the Cross.

This Christmas don't get so wrapped up in the Gifts. (no  pun intended)

 Get wrapped up in the act of giving, the precious time with the ones you love, and the relationships with family and friends. They will forget the presents you bought for them. They will never forget the time spent with you. That's what God treasures more than Gold, Incense, and Myrrh.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What will we learn this Christmas?

David Taylor came home from school sad and discouraged one day in early November. With tears rolling down his freckled cheeks, he told his mother that his teacher told him that he couldn’t sing in the Christmas program. “She said that I am awful and that I sing too loud,” David explained between sobs. David’s father was sitting in the living room reading the afternoon’s paper and overheard his son’s heartbreak. Mr. Taylor was indignant and furious. How could any teacher do this to a child? Mr. Taylor decided to help his son learn how to sing. After dinner that night, he took David into the living room and had him stand beside the family piano. Mr. Taylor began to play the familiar melody of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”. As David opened his mouth, a cat-like screech came out. “David, part of singing is listening. Listen ... then sing,” instructed the patient father.  David’s second attempt was worse than his first! But when the father was tempted to give up, he thought of the unfeeling teacher and realized, “If a father doesn’t do this, who will?”  The days of November faded into December, while Mr. Taylor and David spent every evening at the piano going over and over and over the melody to the song. “Peace on the earth good will to men ...”  When the day came that David sang for his teacher, she said that he could be in the program! David was front and center in the third-grade Christmas concert. He was angelic and on pitch as the song ended with the glorious thought, “The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing!” On Christmas Eve, Mr. Taylor looked out the window and saw his pajama-clad boy in the front yard looking toward the sky. The father quietly walked out the front door and put his arms around David without saying a word. The son leaned into his father’s chest and said, “The world is lying still, Dad. Just like the song says.” “Do you hear them, Dad? Do you hear the angels singing? I hear them ... do you, Dad?”  -- The father thought that he was teaching a little boy to sing a sweet song at Christmastime, but what had really happened was that the little boy had taught them both to listen ... to listen for the angel’s 

 I got this from my YouVersion Bible Ap,  "Joy to your World" , daily devotional. 

Now that school is out for Christmas break, my world slows down for two weeks, two weeks of peace, joy, and stillness. During these next two weeks I get the joy of giggling grandchildren, the wonder of hugging my kids, family laughter, dedicated time with my wife, the stillness of a peaceful morning, and extended time with God.

Oh, how I cherish this time of year, if I could only capture it the other 50 weeks of the year, I would be a lucky man. The gift of Christmas teaches us so much more than we could ever imagine. Just like this father teaching his son to sing a simple Christmas song. If we truly listen to the words of the Christmas carols, if we truly read the message of the special night in Bethlehem, if we truly listen to the choir of angels, we hear more than our ears can capture. We hear the peace, the joy, and the hope of eternal life through our loving Savior. Christmas is so much more than the hustle and bustle of shopping, Christmas lights, Trees, and packages. Christmas is the peace and stillness of a simple Christmas Carol. Christmas is the joy and laughter of family and friends. Christmas is PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN! 

IF we will just take the time, the simple story of Christmas will fill our hearts with the grace and hope that will last the whole year. 

Praise God for this wonderful time of the year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Living in Fear is not living at all!

I know this is my third post dealing with Sandy Hook. There is so much to say about this tragedy and so much pain. I have heard constant talk about what we do to stop this from ever happening again. Arming teachers, building prison like schools, removing kids to be home schooled, stricter gun laws, mental health care overhaul and countless other solutions have been offered. Fear has some people paralyzed and frantic. Everyone of my classes wanted to talk about it. I assured them how very rare theses incidents are and how our faculty and staff are committed to doing everything to protect them. I also encouraged them to NOT live in fear. Do not let evil win by being paralyzed in life. I had similar discussions with some of my fellow educators.

Life living in fear is not life at all.

In reality, as a Christian, if my worst fear is death, I have no fear at all. Because I have been granted eternal life, God alone will choose my death. He alone will determine the time and place. Until then, I will choose to live a life filled with active service for him. I will love and share regardless of the potential pain or even death. I'm not going to carry a gun. I'm not going to change what I do, where i go or who I meet. I will continue to live life for Christ and Will Not Fear Death! If anything, it has become even more apparent that I need to try to save the lost. I need to be an even more vocal and visible witness in a world captured in the grips of fear. I have nothing to fear because of my wonderful Heavenly Father. He has built my permanent home and if I die, even a horrible and senseless death, I get to spend eternity with him. That alone brings joy to my life and overcomes all fear! Praise God I have nothing to fear and eternal life is mine by the grace of Jesus!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The loss of a life filled with anticipation.

Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord's hand was with him. (Luke 1:66 NIV84

When John was born. Elizabeth and the entire community wondered what this baby would grow up to be. We would eventually find out he was the messenger of the arrival of the savior of the world. At his birth no one knew. He was given a great honor and his life was full of purpose and meaning. The entire community anticipated the future for this new born child.

 The birth of a child is so exciting, but part of the excitement is anticipating the future. we never know what the future holds, but we look forward to the adventure as it unfolds. God knows. Evil may have won in those classrooms of Sandy Hook Elementary, the gunman took away the excitement and the mystery of so many young lives. Their parents and families will always wonder what they would have been. That pains all of us. We know they would have suffered loss. They would have struggled just like the rest of us. They would have had a long hard life here on this Earth before seeing Jesus. 

Now, they get to skip all that pain and suffering and go straight to the reward.

 We grieve the earthly loss, but rejoice for the victory they receive in Heaven, at the feet of Jesus. They will know no more pain, no more sorrow and no suffering. They will be at peace forever.

Praise God for his Love as he wraps his arms around those who have suffered such a tragic loss.

Friday, December 14, 2012

How can we celebrate Christmas?

The tragedy at the elementary in Connecticut is so heartbreaking. I just watched the ABC interview with one of the first grade teachers. She huddled her 15 students into a small bathroom to save them. Her story is both heroic and traumatic. How can this small town move forward to celebrate Christmas? I pray for their peace and healing through this great tragedy and loss. I can't imagine even going to sleep in the midst of the horror of the days events. So, what would God have us do? Strangely enough, in the midst of overwhelming dispair we are to turn to God and Praise him. When Mary was pregnant with Jesus, she praised God. Her life was in turmoil. Uncertainty and public ridicule were everywhere. Yet, she praised God. When Jesus met his painful death on the cross and the torture leading to that death, he praised and worshipped his heavenly farher. In tough times we are called to him. He will comfort. He will heal. He will lift our burden and he is the only one to bring peace in such turmoil. In the face of tragedy, we need to turn to him. And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-49 NIV84)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I will not be shaken!

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, (Psalms 16:8, 9 NIV84) I've had a rough couple weeks and I've let it get to me. I have had colitis and even went to the emergency room. I've been in pain off and on for the last 10 days. Today, I gave my kids the state ECA test. It's a key measure of their Math skills and reflects on our school. After day one, I was depressed. I don't know the results and won't for a while. But, I don't think they did well on it. I let it get to me. Then my nightly devotion had this psalm. Why do I let this world get to me? I know better. God has been in charge of my life for nearly 40 years and he has taken me straight through rough times victoriously. Why do i act like that is going to change now? Its never going to change God will never leave or forsake me. I rejoice in the opportunity he has given me to teach young people. I love it regardless what the outcome. The relationships are the important part. The math is secondary.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Speak it in Love

The truth is not always easy to hear. It may be even harder to speak. This is especially true when you have to speak it to someone you love. But if you don't speak the difficult truth to your loved ones, how can you speak the truth to anyone else. Love is the key.

Have you ever had a coworker ask advice and withheld what you really thought because it might hurt your relationship? Have you ever known a family member who lied to you, but you ignored it to avoid the confrontation? Have you ever been hurt verbally, but denied it so as not to lose a friend? We don't always speak the truth. Should we? Should we ALWAYS speak the truth regardless of the consequences?

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:14, 15 NIV84)

I'm not sure these verses apply, but they are pretty powerful against lies. If we are to grow more Christ like, we must tell the truth. We must do it in a way so as not to destroy, but to build up. We must do it as a tool for improvement of our lives or those affected. We will continue to mature as a follower of Christ only if we do it through honesty and truth. It is said the truth will set you free and I believe that lies will also shackle you. As Christians we must be leaders for truth and leaders for speaking the truth out of love. We must be as pure in heart, soul, and body as anyone when it comes to declaring the truth.

Speed the word of truth. Thank you Lord. Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for deliver wring me from evil Andy the evil of lies. Thank you for your patience in serving as our savior. Praise God for your love.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Too busy!

Wow! That has to be one of the busiest Thanksgiving weekends I've ever had. Two basketball games, two Thankgiving dinners, a birthday party, church, practice, time with the family and Christmas decorations. I'm whipped and I'm thankful all in one. Yes, the Holidays are now in full swing.

I need to remind myself to take time with God during this time of year. You would think with the focus on the birth of Christ, it would be natural to take time with him. I think I'm living proof that's not true. If you don't spend time with God the other 11 months, this time will be more of the same. I have to admit my priorities have not been on God lately. I am so consumed with school, basketball, CMA, and stuff around home, my devotional and prayer time is suffering. I'm just too busy. Can you imagine that? I'm to busy for the creator of the universe. I'm too busy for The Lord of my life and the giver of all that I have. It's a little strange!

I need to change that tonight. I need to recommit myself to him. Please Lord forgive me for my failings and my excuses for not spending time with you. Please help me to slow down and enjoy your daily presence in my life. Help me to focus on serving others for you. Help me to take time with my students and fellow workers that I might be a light to them. I beg your forgiveness for not being the man of God you called me to be. I love you and praise you for your blessings and mercy. Thank you Lord for my wonderful life, the gift of Stephanie and the adventurous life you have given me. Be with me as I travel through this holiday season that I might be totally focused on you. Convict me Lord that I will not waste a moment away from your presence. Thank you Lord. amen.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Seems weird to talk to a God!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV84)

Doesn't it seem weird to talk to the creator of the universe? Once in a while, tonight for example, I am completely awed during my time of prayer. Usually it's a verse like this one from Ephesians that overloads my brain. I mean why do I even pray to a God that is so powerful? Who am I to even feel like I could have something of value to say to God? I can't ask for anything because he provides all. I can't  talk about my future. He already knows it.  In my feebleness and struggle for words, he is powerful. It has taken me over 50 years to finally realize , it's not what I say or ask that God cares about. He just wants to hear from me. In his perfect grace he just wants to spend time with me, his imperfect, flawed, sinful servant. When I do spend time with him, he just can't help but to heap blessings upon my soul.

It really embarrasses me how blessed I am. I have done nothing, yet he has given all, even his own son. This thanksgiving I can't even express in words how much I am humbled to pray to God. Thank you Lord for wanting me. Thank you for your love, mercy, and grace. Even in the awkwardness of my prayers, you are there. Even when I babble in a blog, you are there. Even in my sinfulness, you are there. Praise your name , for I am blessed immeasurably more than I could imagine.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Do You Love Everyone?

What would you think if I told you God loved Porn Stars? Well, that was the message we got today in Church and if that isn't strange enough, listen to this. We had a visit from one of the founders of at church today. is devoted to helping people with an addiction to pornography. They have handed out Bibles at a Porn Convention. Think that's a little strange? What other group of people need Christ more? If I really think about it, it's not much different than going to the "Boogie" and serving water, supplying tracks and serving the biker community.

I think God is speaking to me again. I keep getting hit with the message that We, as CHRISTIANS, are not fulfilling the correct mission. Going out into all the world literally means going OUT into ALL the world. Somehow that message has been modified. We spend more time serving our fellow Christians, in our comfortable church pew, than we do serving the lost. We need to be OUT with the Porn addicted, the gays, the lesbians, the atheist, and the rest of the ANTI-Christian people. We need to be out serving and loving.

There is a LARGE group of people who will NEVER step foot into a Church. The only hope we have of planting the seed is if we GO TO THEM. They make us angry, uncomfortable, and we would just as soon "Stone" them than sit in the same room with them. But, that's not what we are called to do. Christ went to the dispicable, the outcast, the whores, and the insane. He hit the literal UNDERBELLY of society and shared his love with them. We should do the same.

I say all this and you should realize I am a LONG WAY from doing that. Sure, I've served at secular Biker rallies. I might even be doing more than most, but it's not enough. I need to serve more and so do you. Do you REALLY love everyone? How do you show it? Can you show love to someone you avoid? How do you love the sinner and still hate the sin? Can you accept a sinner without endorsing their sin? 

I wish I had answers to these questions.

John 8

New International Version (NIV)
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm set for life!

I got quite a bit done today. I ate breakfast with My wife and grandsughter, attended church, watched football, cut and edged the lawn, put down my fall fertilizer, made final exams for Algebra and Geometry, made 3 math videos for my algebra students, and blogged. I think thats a pretty full day for a "Day of rest"! I can't complain. I have been given a full life by the "One and only God of the Universe" and I love it. For my 52 years of life I can look back and clearly see he has given me all I need and much more. I have never been without. How can that be? I know so many people who have been without jobs, homes, family, and stability in their lives. I have never known that. Am I special? Certainly not, I am a chief sinner, like everyone else, or worse. But, God has chosen to bless me, because of his grace alone. I am, literally, set for life. Eternal Life. I praise God for everything, at all times, and in all situations. He is my rock, my fortress, my refuge, and strength. Thank you Lord! You didn't have to save me, but you did. WOW!

God, the one and only— I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I'm set for life. (Psalm 62:1 MSG)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Who's better?

If you're like me you are tired of political commercials. I cringe when I hear them! All these candidates are trying to convince me they are better than their opponent. I have complete faith in the American voter. We know NOTHING IS AS GOOD AS IT APPEARS! Both candidates in every race are hopelessly flawed. There is no perfect ideology that will solve our problems. No one is naive enough to believe the rhetoric. When this election is over, our massive federal, state, and local government will continue to move just like it does today. In order to change the course of such a massive object, we will have to face an emergency crisis. We're not there yet!

How much does that sound like our Christian faith. Most of us are happy to roll along, business as usual. We get comfortable and our massive amounts of wealth and luxury are huge barriers to our growth. So many times it takes a crisis to make us aware of our Heavenly Father. We won't change without turmoil. Why do we wonder when crisis hits? Don't we know God hates for us to be in pain, but he hates it worse when we are separated from him?

I hope our country makes some big changes before crisis hits. I hope YOU also turn to Christ before tragedy strikes. Gods ways are not our ways. Regardless who you vote for, there is only one right way. No one matches his power , strength, grace, and justice. Turn to him, not to country, party, or sinful man. Turn to him!

"I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree. "For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don't go back until they've watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them. (Isaiah 55:8 MSG)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Politics, yuck!

I learned a valuable lesson tonight. Our country is in serious trouble. I have decided WHO I'm voting for, but I am truly unhappy with politics in our country. We are losing our civility. We have completely lost the art of diplomacy, both at home and abroad. I have finally learned why foreigners laugh at us. We can't get along with each other at all and I'm losing hope that we can change. I have never seen a more outrageous display of disrespect from two, supposed leaders, in all my life.  I truly believe neither candidate is interested in us. They are more interested in the power, than the problems we face. They are more about division than Unity. When two candidates can't even stand on the same stage and act civil, how can we expect them to work together. 50% of this country will lose this election and the other half will win. Feelings are going to be hurt and vengeance will be the order for the next four years. I might not agree with Obama, but i also can't endorse the republican approach of the past four years. the pride and arrogance of the republicans has change them to obstructionists. The Democrats aren't any better. they have lied, cheated the middle class all the while acting like they advocate for us. They bailed out the rich and the wealthy and left us holding the bag. Walls were built on the debate stage tonight and in the past four years that can't be repaired. There is no hope and change. There is no coming together as one.

If there was ever a need for Jesus, it is Now!

I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I'll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common. (1 Corinthians 1:10 MSG)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Bottom line!

In my life before education, I worked in the business world for 16 years. Everything was about the bottom-line. A business just can't run if it doesn't make money. It's not like the federal government than doesn't have to worry about profit and loss. Education is just like the business world. We have limited funding and have to live within our means. The big difference is in the profit. Although I don't like the idea that our kids are products, they do represent the profits of our efforts. We are profitable if our efforts produce citizens that contribute to the community. If the students we graduate can't produce in the changing world, we ALL will lose. Just like in the business world, as an employee, I better maintain some pretty high standards in the quality of my workmanship. If not, I should be fired. The debate is how to measure. Unlike many of my colleagues, I relish the opportunity to show off what I do. If someone has a better way, I want to learn it and make my school more "profitable". I welcome the challenge of overcoming standardized tests, working with kids that have no home support, and dealing with limited resources. I feel I'm up to the challenge. The bottom line: are we graduating responsible, productive citizens.

As a Christian the stakes are even higher. Am I a profitable Christian? Am I producing fruit for the kingdom of God? Am I doing everything I can to bring the lost to Christ? There will be judgement and those who do not bear fruit will be thrown into the fire. People will literally die if I don't do my job. The bottom line is simple, we need to save the world through Christ. I need to stop worrying more about the things of this world and more about his kingdom! We will never be profitable until all are saved.

 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36 KJV)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What a difference!

We have been back in school for one month today. It has been one month since I rejoined the TEACHING profession. What a difference a year makes! This time last year my mind was full of uncertainty. I was questioning what I was doing. I trusted God. I had complete Faith in him. But, I couldn't see what lie ahead. I couldn't believe the path he was taking me. Now I can look back and all I can say is, "WOW."

I get constant questions like, "Do I miss being AD?", "What's it like being retired?" (I"M NOT RETIRED!), "What do I do with all my free time?", and "Do I enjoy being back in the classroom?". I can tell you, with a shout from the roof tops: "I love being back in the classroom and I do NOT miss being AD!

When I left the classroom, 11 years ago, I commented that I missed the daily contact with kids. Now that I've been back in the classroom for a month, I didn't realize how much I missed it. I LOVE MY STUDENTS! They are not perfect, neither am I. But, I really feel like we are building relationships and WE are even learning a thing or two!  I look forward to my classes and GHS every day. I  developed some great relationships with the secretaries, AD's, and Coaches when I was AD. I miss those relationships, especially with my SECRETARY. I will always cherish those people, but God has put me with these students and has given me a heart to teach. I have to listen to that call. I don't understand leaving teaching and then coming back. I guess I don't NEED to know everything.

Besides being in the classroom, I also get to spend time with my daughters and grandkids. I PRAISE GOD every day for the opportunities he's giving me. I have already made a LONG OVERDUE trip to North Carolina. (I really miss my youngest daughter!). I have gotten to support my Grandkids at football, cross country, and have more time just to hear how they're doing. I get to spend more time with my CMA family and, most important of all, I get to spend my evenings with my wife! Life doesn't get any better.  I can't stop smiling!

I am also really enjoying being an ASSISTANT CROSS COUNTRY COACH, helping my wife. She has always been there for me and now it's great being able to be there for her. I get to have a special relationship with the Cross Country girls. They are AWESOME!

I can't always see the future. When I think I can, I'm usually wrong. God is amazing. He knows just what we need. He takes us down paths, side streets, alleys, and through the wilderness. He knows the way that is best. Faith is following God when we have NO CLUE what he's up to. I'm glad I got out of the way, this time, and let him do his thing!

Hebrews 11:1

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984) 
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't be Ordinary!

I had forgotten how much I loved teaching. I love my students and am excited to see them every day. Right now they are struggling with some skill work. But, as I checked their progress tonight I was pleased. They are a hard working and persistent group.

Every day I think about what I can do to be an extraordinary teacher. I don't want my students to be ordinary and I don't want my teaching to be ordinary.  I am trying to teach them to not accept failure as the end. I'm not going to give up on them and I don't want them to give up on themselves. Life is full of struggles, Algebra will be the least of the problems to come. Just like I will be there for them to help with Algebra, God will be there to help us through life's troubles. If they persist, give complete effort and determination, they will overcome Algebra. If we persist, give everything to God, we also will overcome.

Don't be ordinary. Don't be overcome with the failures of this world. Rise above.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV84)

Friday, September 14, 2012

A perfect day from a perfect God!

What a perfect day! The rain from this morning left quickly and I had a great ride to the CMA state rally. We had my favorite meal, spaghetti. We had a wonderful service and talent show, fun around the campfire, and now a quiet night of rest. The only thing missing is Stephanie!

I am so glad I worship a perfect God, because its days like these I can't imagine not knowing him. Why he would ever make this perfect day for an imperfect person is way beyond my understanding. I am so amazingly blessed. When I finally take the time to slow down and look at where I am, I can see Gods grace. During the fast paced life I lead, it's easy to overlook the wonder of it all. It's easy to under appreciate the perfectness of God. It's easy to overlook the perfect gift of his son that he gave us. Thank you Lord for your love, your perfect grace, and the perfect life you have designed for me. I beg your forgiveness for not saying it more. You are an amazing and wonderful father. I Love you!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9 NIV84)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Battle Lines!

Well, I've completed a three day week of school and it was great! I can't tell you how good it was to get back into the classroom. I love my classes and am looking forward to the rest of the year. I know it's early, but i got great feedback from my students. We spent most of the week building relationships and developing CLASS RULES. I do this WITH the students. One of their rules was to allow "Random dancing while in class" . So, I included that rule, with a minor exception. They can't do it when it interferes with instructional time. Not sure any other teachers have a rule allowing dancing in the classroom. In college teachers used to be taught not to smile until Thanksgiving or they would lose control of their classroom. Many teachers develop rules that are more like BATTLE LINES than rules. Don't do this, don't do that, or else!

Learning is a cooperative effort, not a battle. I'm sure I will have students who won't cooperate at some time this year. How a teacher deals with that is more important than any rule they can come up with. We need to choose our BATTLES. FIGHT THE RIGHT FIGHT! It's not us against them. Life is the same way. We need to choose our battles, love more than hate, share our joy! Concentrate on the positive !

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV84)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Being Reasonable

Being reasonable seems to be a dying art. Our politicians don't know how to be reasonable. Being reasonable goes along with common sense and logic. It might have something to do with my mathematical background, but I think you can REASON through anything. Science and Math are built on this idea. Yet, many scientists and mathematicians aren't followers of Christ. That just doesn't make sense to me. As a mathematician the idea of probability alone should lead you to the fact their is a God. What are the chances that I could be created by random chance. Lee Strobel wrote a book I holy recommend, "THE CASE FOR CHRIST". What a great book for the skeptic.  I am confident you can reason and even prove the existence of God, but I also know how he has worked in my life. The things that have happened in my life can not be by chance. They aren't luck and they certainly aren't because of who I am. The blessings and answers to my prayers have come from a God with power and grace.

I don't think you should test God. But, I have a challenge for you. Tonight when you're by yourself, ask God to reveal himself to you. He will. Don't tell anyone. Just privately ask him. You will be amazed at his presence in your life. The only thing you have to do is look for it. God is always there. He is just waiting on the invitation. Be reasonable, HE IS WITH YOU!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Prayer for GKB

Today notes the official start of the school year for the faculty and staff at GKB. The next two days will be spent finalizing the preparation for students on Wednesday. I have been praying for this staff and want to share that prayer today.

"Dear Lord you have graciously blessed our school and community. We are blessed with great school facilities including a great new high school. We thank you, deeply, for those blessings. We have also been blessed with great leadership through our school board, superintendent, and principals. The staff at GKB including teachers, office staff, and support staff were selected by you. We thank you for bringing such a great group of people together to teach the young people of our community. Bless the teachers with your grace and patience. Give them the rest they need and give them time to enjoy each other.  Please guide the decisions of our superintendent as he leads our district. Give him a special wisdom for the difficult decisions he must make. Be with our Principals as they work with the teachers and staff to do what's best for our students. Help us all to enjoy the time we have together.

We ask your blessings on the students and staff during the upcoming school year. Help us to overcome obstacles together and to model positive attitudes and actions even through adversity. Please guide the teachers as they prepare lessons and build relationships with the students. Protect us with your mighty hand and guide us with your love.

We love you Lord and thank you for the blessings. I personally thank you for allowing me to be a part of this great community and school. May we all grow closer to you this school year. Amen!"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Team!

I am pretty passionate about the New York Yankees, Miami Dolphins, IU, and the Garrett Railroaders! This past Friday night I was cheering for my Grandson playing for his high school team. This is the second year for cheering for his team. It's different when you are cheering for an individual that you know and love. It's way beyond cheering for some professional or college team. I want my grand kids to have great experiences. I know they won't win every game or race. I know they're going to have bad days and experience heartfelt losses. I want to be there for them and congratulate them when they are up and support them when they're down.

What kind of life would this be if we treated our friends and coworkers like they were on our favorite sports team? What if we just wanted to share their successes and losses as a HUGE  supporter? As a Christian we need to be the best FAN of our coworkers, friends, and families. We don't have to coach them, we don't have to give grand advice, or judge them. We just need to be there and cheer for them. We need to be there and available for them whenever they need us. We need to love them regardless what comes!

God does that. He is there cheering for us and he IS our biggest fan.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NIV84)

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Mom's across America "Ready or not, here it comes!" Friday night football games started last night. Volleyball, soccer, cross country are all well under way. School begins this wednesday for GKB and Mom's taxi service will run a frantic schedule. For the lives of Americas families, fall is the beginning of the crazy season. That season runs non stop throughout the school year with just a few smll rest stops.

Our schedules are so busy. We train our kids to be busy and it starts with the crazy, nonstop schedules during the school year. Our kids have full time jobs at school, prat time jobs with extracurricular activities, another part time job with homework, and then we add church activities. Kids have very little down time. When do they have time to pray, study the bible, or even think about God. When kids grow up, they keep the same schedules.

It all comes down to priorities. What are yours? DO you REALLY take the time you need for yourself? How much quiet time do you take? Where does God fit in? We make room for things that are important? What's important to you?

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8 NIV84)

Friday, August 17, 2012


God wants us to be happy! Not have all the TOYS happy, but joyous, positive, happy! I ran across a video that I have to share. I shared it with our new teachers yesterday and I believe it is key to being successful.  We like to use the term ATTITUDE. Really we mean HAPPINESS. Shawn Achor has a great formula for success by leveraging happiness. At the end of the video he give a formula. Follow it. As a Christian, I insert Prayer in place of meditation. How I pray is also important. I can't just pray "Woe is me!" I need to PRAISE GOD, for who he is, how he has blessed me, and his wonderful
 Grace. If our prayers stay negative, we are not going to know our truly amazing God. We will only look at him as SANTA. 

I have had a great 8 months and I have felt so much joy and freedom. I believe it is due to a big change in MY attitude. I am choosing to be happy. I am not letting anyone steal my joy.  Just take a look at my blogs during August last year. You can definitely see a difference. I have turned 180 degrees from last year. 

Things are not going to be perfect when school begins next week. I don't care. I am not going to let events or people steal my joy. I am excited about life, I'm not going to hide it. Im going to share that enthusiasm regardless. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10 NIV84)

Everyone knows a whiner! You might even know more than one. I have been a whiner myself. As I mature I am much more satisfied and even excited about my life. It's not because of the great things I've done, but what God has done in my life. I love this verse. Since I've become a Christian my life has been great. If you've read this blog for any length of time, my life is not perfect. I am not perfect. But, even when things have gotten really bad in my life, God has made his presence known. I would rather be in his presence during the bad times than without him in good times. He doesn't promise know problems. He promises he will be with you and guide you through the valleys. I am here to tell you he WILL do that. 

I am excited about what God has done and is going to do in my life. He is in charge and even when I try to mess things up, he is there. How can I whine about anything knowing the creator of the universe is in control of my life?!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Being Bold!

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self‑discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV84)

The older I get the bolder I get. The vision most people have of Christians is either the Bible thumping, fire and brimstone christian or the meek, quiet passive version. Being a bold Christian is neither. Being bold means getting involved. It means taking the great commission  seriously. It doesn't mean forcing or intolerance. It means you are not afraid of setting an example with your life. It means drawing a line and never crossing it, no matter the consequences. The last thing in this scripture is just as important as the first. We must be bold with self-discipline. Having the power of Christ comes withit a great responsibility. If we want to be bold and treat others with disrespect or contempt, we are not following Christ. 

People are watching, our boldness could be a positive influence or it could turn someone off from the love of Christ. Be careful with your boldness. Be careful with your power. Be self disciplined as a follower. Do everything in love for the kingdom.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm a kid!

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18 NIV84)

I like it when God refers to me as a child. I love kids. I guess that's why I'm in education. They have such a great energy and show so much excitement for life. As adults, we become way to BORING. When new things come along, we fight it. When new things come along for kids, they love it. They live for new things and new experiences. They love to DO things. Adults would rather sit around and talk about it.

As Christians we need to act like kids. We need to love with our actions, not just our words. The world of nonbelievers look at our actions more than our words. It's not just about attending church. It's not JUST about prayer and bible study. It's about putting our faith in action and spreading the truth about Jesus Christ. Be a kid for Christ!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1, 2 NIV84)

I was watching a high school preseason football game where the starting quarterback was a senior, who looked really strong. He played well. When they put in the young backup quarterback, he played pretty well also. The difference was his strength. This young kid is talented and athletic, but he wasn't as strong as the more experienced starter. He needs to hit the weights in order to develop his skills at quarterback.

In my early life as a follower of Christ, I was weak. I loved the Lord, but I just didn't have the strength of more experienced Christians. I'm much stronger now. That strength has come from the Lord. He has INTENTIONALLY, brought me through some pretty tough times in my life. He has put me through an intense training program. I've had to come back from injury and loss. But, I am stronger beccause of it. Now, I'm not afraid to face a tough opponent. I'm not afraid of failure. I'm focused, like never before, on Christ and his service. I'm not where I want to be and I have to keep working hard, just like that senior qb. I can't become complacent, I need to work just as hard or harder than the young Christian to keep that strength.

Praise God he has coached me through 52 years of life. Lord, keep pushing me to grow in wisdom and strength.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My complicated life!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:30 NIV84)

Have you been watching the news about the recent landing of the Mars rover Curiosity? I am so fascinated by the complexity of this engineering marvel. If you get a chance go on to YouTube and search the 7 minutes of Terror. It describes the complication of the mars landing and how engineers choreographed this landing. The landing takes 7 minutes and it takes 14 minutes to send signals back to Earth. So the engineers at NASA can't help and won't know about the success or failure until 7 minutes after it happens. Well, the good news, it worked!

Life can be so complicated. If you watch the political debates that are raging in our country you can see how complicated the issues are. Our cars, houses and businesses are controlled by complicated electronic devices. Our family relationships are just as complicated. We have step sons, grandparents as parents, and kids divorcing parents. It makes your head spin. It's so nice to see something simplified. That's what you get with Jesus.

Life can be somed up in this verse. We need to Love God in everything we do. We need to love him with our heart, to the core of who we are, with our thinking and ideas, and with the work we do. In other words, Love God! My complicated life doesn't have to be so complicated. I make it that way. God wants to simplify my life. I need to let him do that!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Brace yourself: School is near!

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV84)

Brace yourself, school is near. Moms are getting ready for round the clock taxi service. Dads wallet will be depleted for books, clothes, and supplies. Nobody is going to get the rest they need.

School will be starting for many young people within the next couple weeks. After being able to sleep in for the past 2 months, they will have to get up every morning and scoot off to school, extracurricular activities, late night studying, and sleep depravation. They will be weary.

When I get tired, I have a tendency to do dumb things. So, I need my rest. I need to get away and renew my strength. Besides heading to bed early, I take time away from SCHOOL WORK by studying my Bible, Praying, and spending time with God. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, and coaches, ALL need to get away from the  busyness of the school year. Everybody needs to take that advice. When you spend time with Jesus you get a new perspective, you get a renewed strength. When I am open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I have a tendency to make better decisions and live a better life. When I get so busy I don't have time to spend with Jesus, I get tired, grumpy, and am not a good person to be around. So, here are two pieces of advice:

Get Rest and Get with Jesus!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pray for a teacher!

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV84)

School is near and the youth of America will be instructed, taught, counseled, and  watched over by some of the most amazing people on the planet. My school corporation is no exception. In this country teachers and schools have been getting heavily bashed because students aren't performing on one test or another. Frankly, I'm glad our students don't perform as well on these tests. Our country has some of the most creative and talented people in the world. Sure, we have the occasional Steven Jobs, but he's not the only one who is creative, talented and innovative. Did you know our country files more patents than in any other country in the world. This includes the Asian countries that kill us on the TEST.  Do you realize how many foreign students come to our country to get the BEST education in the world? Why is that? I can tell you it comes from the teachers and great schools across this country.

It's the teacher that stimulates the creative juices of our students. It is the hard work and long hours of preparation to teach your kids that helps us reams in the most productive nation in the world. Your local teachers, administrators and staff deserve your unwavering support. More importantly they could use your prayers.

As we are days away from students arriving, please pray for your schools and the faculty. Pray for their wisdom, rest, and strength to guide and direct the youth of your community. Pray they will be the example of faith and leadership for our kids. Pray they will be able to take time out of the busy schedule to spend with their families. Pray they remain healthy and safe throughout the year. Pray they will build positive relationships with students, parents, and community.

The start of the new school year is always exciting and crazy. I look forward to being with the students at GHS. I can't wait!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Full Life!

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:9, 10 NIV84)

I live a full life. Sometimes living a full life really makes me tired. Most of the time I sit back and am amazed at this life I've been given. Today is my 34th wedding anniversary and it is proof at how truly blessed I am. God has granted me a wonderful woman to share my FULL life with. I really can't imagine doing these past 34 years without her. We have discussed how much an adventure our lives have been.  The FULLNESS of our life is the blessing.  We have shared wonderful family times, we have lived all over this country, we have had multiple careers, and we have been in ministry together for the entire 34 years. We have traveled the country on Motorcycle from coast to coast. We have enjoyed the excitement of grandkids. We have cherished life with 3 wonderful girls, beautiful grandkids, great coworkers, amazing friends, and supportive family.

I repeat, My FULL LIFE is from God. I'm not saying I'm special and that's the reason God has blessed me with a full life. It's only by his grace that I am who I am. I certainly don't deserve what I've been given, but I accept it as a great and perfect gift from the creator of the universe. It's a gift from an amazing God to a sinner such as I am. I can't answer why I am blessed like I am and others have not received that same blessing. I just praise the name of the one who has blessed me. Thank You Jesus for your Love and AMAZING GRACE!

Happy Anniversary Stephanie!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I feel like I'm the one losin!

Once in a while I run across a song that really touches me. I've shared a few of those on this blog.

I found another one.
Tenth Avenue North "Losin"

Tenth Avenue North has a great song "Losin". Besides the great sound, it has some great lyrics. Do you ever feel like you're losing the battle! I sure do! Sometimes  it's hard to remain positive and full of grace and forgiveness. There is so much hate going on in this world and sometimes I get caught up in it like everyone else. The media attention given to Dan Cathy of Chik Filet is a perfect example. I know what he said is not popular with some people. I don't believe he did it in a hateful way. Yet, he has been targeted as being hateful. Father please forgive them, they don't know what they are doin! Father please give me the grace to forgive them, I feel like I'm the one Losin! The people who were offended by his comments feel like they are losing also. As Christians we have not done a good job loving the sinner. I'm not saying Dan Cathy was wrong, I agree with him and I gree with stating it publicly just like he did. But, we need to go beyond and love these people just the same as God loves us with all our weaknesses and imperfections.

I need to pray for grace to forgive and then I can experience the freedom that God wants me to have.

Friday, August 3, 2012

You can't steal my joy!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV84)

I can't tell you how excited I am to get back into the classroom. School starts in less than three weeks and Preparation are growing every day. Our grand new beautiful school is nearly ready and I couldn't be more proud to be on staff serving the kids of Garrett, Indiana. But, sadly, when the rest of the staff starts reporting they won't all share my joy. I have one thing to say! If you are so dissatisfied that you can't be joyful about what you're doing, DO SOMETHING ELSE!


Don't try to steal my joy, it's not going to work. I read a great post yesterday on twitter encouraging everyone to sign a positive pledge! What a great idea. Visit

and live the pledge. Sometimes I think the negative people of this world only get joy stealing the joy of others.

God has blessed me and directed me to where I am right now. He alone is responsible for my joy. What else can I do but praise him!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Don't believe everything you hear!

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 NIV84)

Don't believe everything you hear, I'm sure you've heard that saying many times before. It's very similar  to don't believe everythimg you read, in the newspaper. There is a whole lot of dishonesty in the world. Now that the political season is in full swing, we are going to have a tough time deciphering fact from fiction. Lies come from both sides. 

The Internet doesn't help. When you are searching the WWW you have to be careful not to believe everything you find is true. You have to filter all the content through your knowledge and experience. You need to ask the simple question, "Does this make sense?" If you can't clearly answer that question, Yes, BEWARE!  As the Republicans and Democrats take aim at each other, we need to ask the same question. I am pretty confident your judgement will prevail and sadly, most of the Rhetoric IS FALSE Rhetoric.

As a Christian, we need to use a similar filter. Do you remember the FAD "WWJD". For those who profess to be christians it can't be just a fad. Any time you are prompted by a friend of coworker, asked to take a stand, make an important decision, make a major purchase, or act on advice, you need to ask, "Does this match with what I know about God?" Does this match with his word? If not, BEWARE.

God has given us a brilliant mind to filter out the False Prophets and the misleading spirits. He has given us his word as a measuring stick for what's right and wrong.  The more we communicate with God through prayer and reading our Bibles, the more confident we can be in filtering out the evil of this world. If we choose not to build a relationship with God, we may find ourselves following something other than his will.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why am I blessed?

O Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. (2 Samuel 7:28 NIV84)

I don't say it enough, I'm a blessed man. We had a member of our local chapter of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, pass away a week ago. "Popcorn Kelly" was a great servant. One of his many ministries was traveling to motorcycle events, setting up his popcorn popper and giving away free popcorn. The popcorn bag had the message of salvation, but more importantly, "Popcorn" shared the message with his servant heart. He always claimed to be a blessed man. He was.

God loves to lavish gifts upon his servants. I have been blessed beyond anything I deserve. The older I get the more I realize God has blessed me in ways I could never have asked for. Sure, I've gone through things I wouldn't have asked, but the ultimate result was being blessed beyond measure. Why would God do this for someone like me? I have asked this question more than once. I am nothing special and yet I am blessed. We're not asked to be the "Superman" of Faith to be blessed we are just called to serve him.

Thank you Lord for your amazing grace and love. Thank you for blessings I don't deserve. Amen!