Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No more rain!

He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:17, 18 NIV)

I'm not liking this passage! After a drought last year, we have had ENOUGH rain, snow, and cold weather for this year. Tonight was a great night, FINALLY! I went to my granddaughters track meet then took the long road home on the Vic. It was awesome and wonderfully therapeutic. Now if we can just duplicate this weather on Saturday. Our Annual Run For The Son - CMA event is Saturday. I've been praying for great weather for weeks. We'll see what God has in mind for us on Saturday.

I know, like everyone in Indiana, I love to complain about the weather. I want it to be perfect for me, I really don't care about anyone else. If we had our way, it would never rain or storm. God would have to come up with another system for growth. Don't count on it! Rain and storms never last long. God knows what we need and what we can take, that goes for more than rain, too. We always endure the cold and rain. Eventually we are saved. By his grace we will be rescued! The rain will go away and Heaven will appear. Are you going to be there? Will you see the permanent sunshine and the warmth sitting at the feet of Jesus. It will be Even more amazing than anything you can imagine, even a ride like tonight!

Monday, April 29, 2013

I want to get a peek at the ending!

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8 NIV)

I have gone through many trials in my 52+ years of my life. I turned my life over to Jesus nearly 40 years ago. I have found, without exception, when I let God be God, everything turns out for the best. I have always been able to look back in awe and amazement. I trust The Lord. When I see friends or family going through similar trials, I feel so helpless. I have a close friend going through very similar trials and I ache for him. I feel the anxiousness in my daughters lives as they try to figure out Gods plan. I am anxious for them, not because I don't trust God. I trust him, but I want to see where he is leading. I want to read the end of the chapter and skip the middle.

My daughter and her husband are trying to let God truly be in charge of a big decision in their life. As we all do, they have the plan all figured out for God. They know that our plans are not always Gods plans. They are trying to remember that and not be disappointed if THEIR plan is not Gods. Easier said than done!

I'm sure my friend is thinking the same thing. I'm sure he has solved his own problem, if God would only listen. When we turn our lives over to God, it doesn't give us power to manipulate Gods will. When we devote our lives to faith in Christ, we release control to the one who created the universe. It shouldn't be scary. It should be exciting. In reality, it's both scary and exciting because we are weak and need the strength of Jesus. So, we wait upon The Lord with his infinite wisdom, power, and love.

Still, I wish I could get a peak at the ending!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I need The rain in my life!

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. (Psalm 73:23, 24 NIV)

Rain is not my friend. Today we had a biker blessing in Wilshire, Ohio for the Goldwingers. I checked the weather before I got out of bed. I saw nothing but a radar full of green and yellow. That was not what I was hoping for. It rained nearly the entire event.

Even though the weather didn't cooperate, we had a great time. Just like my life, sometimes it takes a little rough weather to help me realize, I can survive. I can EVEN thrive in the midst of adversity. Stephanie and i rode with our rain suits on. we were safe and dry. we were warm enough and we got to share the ministry of CMA. I heard a wonderful sermon and worship. I got to pray with the GWRRA members. We ate a great lunch and I also got a lot of rest this afternoon. I really needed it. If it would have been warm and sunny I wouldn't have gotten all those blessings.

I had a great day despite the weather. My God knows what I need, he provides for everything. His plans are not mine because his wisdom is unimaginable. Praise God for the rain in my life. Praise him for a life that is full and complete. Praise God for his plan which includes FORCED time of rest. Praise God for his love and grace!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The enemy that pursues me!

The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. (Psalm 143:3, 4 NIV)

Have you ever had someone try to steal your joy? It occurs with me on a daily basis. I can't blame them. They are not the enemy, but the enemy is using them to try to crush me to the ground. It's not going to work! My God is in control and has already defeated the enemy. I have nothing to fear. I have nothing to be dismayed about.

The older I get, and hopefully wiser, I am not greatly influenced by the naysayers. I don't care to try to justify my actions except to my Lord. I answer to the creator of the universe, not the people of this world. I am not perfect. I'm not the perfect teacher. I'm not the perfect parent. I'm not the perfect husband, grandparent, or leader. God loves me anyway. When someone tries to tear me down, The Lord builds me up. A heavenly host of angels protect those belonging to Jesus. I belong to him, so I do not fear!

Thank you Lord for your power and love!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Great Kids! Our world is in good hands!

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’ ?” (Matthew 21:16 NIV)

I am surrounded by youth. I live with them nearly 7 hours five days a week, enjoy my own grandkids and still consider my adult daughters GREAT KIDS! I am inspired by the young people I get to hang out with. So many people complain about the kids of today. It's sad. They look at how they love video games with disgust. Why? Do we think those games are worse than the neighborhood games we played as kids? Yep, they are different, but I'm not sure how playing Army with my neighborhood kids was much better than playing a video war game. They ride skate boards and bicycles, so did we. They love the Internet, we were addicted to Television. They tolerate school and prefer the company of their friends over studying algebra, so did I. We didn't text during the school day instead of working on an assignment. We secretly wrote and passed notes. We pretended to read our text books while hiding a comic book and we occasionally faked an illness to skip a test we weren't ready for.

Things haven't changed as much as we think they have. I see greatness in the kids I hang out with. I see a great hope for the future. I see passion, curiosity, love, loyalty and intelligence in all the kids I hang out with. I wish you could see what I see.

Thanks Lord for the young people of our community and I praise you Lord for the blessing of McKenzie, Lindsae, Kelley, Jeff, Brian, Klayton, Lauren, Hannah, Ayla, and Rian. Our world is in good hands!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Why do the stars exist?

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. (Psalm 147:4, 5 NIV)

I love looking at the stars. They had a planetarium at my high school and I just loved it! I could stare at the stars all night. You can't help but contemplate deep philosophical questions when you stare up at a star filled sky. One question..........why do the stars even exist? We're they placed there by God JUST for our viewing pleasure? What real value are they. They don't all sustain life like our own Sun. They don't provide an invaluable light source or any other great natural resource. They are certainly beautiful but not that valuable.

Yet, God calls them by name. He knows every star in the sky, the purpose of all the pieces of life's puzzle. He created everything for his purpose. His understanding of this vast, complicated universe is unlimited. His knowledge knows no bounds. So why don't I rely on him more? Why do I think, or at least act, like we are equal. It's foolishness to ignore the God of the universe. It makes absolutely no sense to rely on my own understanding to deal with loss, tragedy, or troubled times.

Why does he continue to be patient with me, too love me, and to be gracious to me. It's not because he needs me. He Loves me. He loves me more than the stars above. He knows me better than the stars, and desires a relationship with me beyond all understanding. I may not understand the purpose of the stars above, but I do know he has put me here for his glory. He has put me here to worship and Love, just like he does. No greater purpose than to live my life for him.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stress Relief

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:19 NIV)

Many of my students really get stressed about Math. Many Adults feel the same way. A few weeks ago I started handing out "stress balls" to help relieve the stress. These are those little rubbery, squishy toys that are supposed to release your stress as you squeeze them. For some reason I have collected several and my students like using them. I DO think they work. I'm not sure why, but if you keep squeezing they help you relax.

I have a better stress reliever..................God! When you go to him with stress, it always melts away. The tighter you squeeze, rely on him, the more joy will overcome your anxiety. First of all God loves to hear from you, anytime. But, he wants you to know if you lean on him, he will honor that trust and lift you up!

Depend on him, trust him, call on his name and he will be with you!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1, 2 NIV)

I've run two marathons and two half marathons. I am proud of that. It's not easy to endure the training which is infinitely more grueling than the race. Today the Boston Marathon, the pinnacle event for runners was terrorized by cowards. We constantly are reminded that sin is prevalent in our world. Evil is a constant companion. The race is over, but over 130 people directly and thousands indirectly, will endure physical and emotional endurance races the rest of their lives. It's sad and depressing to know their joy of accomplishment will be forever scarred.

It's times like this, we need to double our focus on Jesus, the pioneer and perfect or of our faith. Our hopelessness will end if we look to him who endured the pain and hopelessness of death on a cross for us. We pray for healing of those affected by these terrorists. We pray for our sinful world. We pray Lord Jesus, to save us and keep us. Be with those who are scarred and Praise God for those who were there to help and serve the injured and broken. Your efforts are of God. Praise him for the first responders, doctors, and nurses who served.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

God's WAY better!

My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. (Psalm 131:1, 2 NIV)

I like to think I'm a contented person, then I find out I'm not. As long as things are going well, I am content. But, I find myself second guessing God a lot. I know I shouldn't. I mean he is the creator of ALL things. He has THE plan for life and beyond. Yet, I have a tendency to tell him how to do his job.  I tell him how to run the weather. I tell him how and when to heal people. I tell him how to organize my life and I try to convince him how great i am compared to the rest of the world.

The matters of God are way to wonderful for me. Why do I think I can do a better job than him? As I've gotten older, wiser, I don't tell God, as much, how to run this creation. I have calmed myself. I am trying to be content. It's not easy. I think I know everything. It's a good thing God is a big God and he is filled with grace and mercy.  I am the poster child for how much grace he has. Even in my weakness and sin, his grace abounds!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Not Me, part 2!

Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1 NIV)

I can't repeat it enough.......................I am blessed! I might be the happiest man on Earth. I have everything anyone could ever want and absolutely nobody deserves. It's not just the things, it's the people. The people in my life are amazing and I don't deserve them. I have the best friend in the world who also happens to be my wife, I have three daughters that love The Lord and are treasures to their family and friends, two son in laws and grandkids that also love The Lord and make me proud to be in their family, CMA friends that are great partners in ministry, great students and staff to work with at GHS, and a church that is on fire for Christ. All of these wonderful relationships help me realize my life is not my own. No one could be lucky enough, that by CHANCE they have the relationships and life that I have. The odds of all theses things coming together in this world is impossible. It is the God of the universe that provides everything, including our wonderful lifetime of relationships. It's not unto us, but your name be the glory forever and ever. amen.

Who has God blessed you with? Have you thanked him for the people he has put in your life? Praise God he loves me so much!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tongue Tied!

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. (Psalm 141:3, 4 NIV)

Sometimes I just can't stay quiet. Even if I know I should, I can't. I can be drawn into a war of words even when I don't want to. Some people are better at provoking me. Do you know the type? They really are evil and they take delight in gossip, mean talk, negative conversations, and insults. When I get around them I really have to fight the urge to join in. But, the older I get, more seasoned, I find that I can control my tongue. It's not from my great will power. It's the working of his spirit in me. I'm not perfect but God has given me greater wisdom. I can see where conversations are heading and cut them off at the pass. I still slip  from time to time but I try.

Our mouthed can be so dangerous. We need to tame it for our own sake and that of others. Praise a God I can, with his help! He has a way of tying my tongue!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:11, 12 NIV)

Stephanie and I have another great trip planned out west this summer. This is our 5th summer trip WEST. I just can't get enough of the wide open spaces. The only down side is traveling across Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. I love these states, but traveling through them seems to take forever. Every mile of highway looks just like the last and like the next 500. When you get to western Nebraska you have some hope and when the mountains start to appear you think your almost there and it goes on and on and on.

When I read these verses, I think about traveling out west. I believe I have a great grasp of the separation of the east and west. I also know the depth of my own sin. Only I can appreciate the love of God and his mercy in relation to my own sin. I know I'm not perfect. God does too. Yet, he acts like I AM perfect. He forgets who I was and only knows me for who I am, washed clean by his great sacrifice.

Praise God for his mercy and grace. His love is blind to my sin. I am perfect!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Not ME!

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. (Psalm 119:36, 37 NIV)

It is so easy to be self centered when things are going great and it's easy to blame God whe it's not!

When riding a motorcycle it's easy to get fixed vision and that can be dangerous. When riding you have to constantly scan and anticipate. You need to constantly prepare for the worst while enjoying the ride.

The hard part of life is to keep focused on things that matter. It's easy to get fixed vision on the wrong things. I love sports, motorcycles, technology, social media, and road trips. Those things are worthless if they get in the way of my real lIfe. I am directed to go and make disciples. I am to be a light in the darkness. I can't do that if I am focused on ME. I can't focus on what makes me feel good. I have to focus on what is pleasing to God and in line with his word.

I can't stay focused on the things of value with out help. So, I need to stay on constant contact with him. I need to listen to the voice of his spirit and act on that voice. I need to serve as he would have me serve, not serve my own selfish needs. It's not easy, but with the help of Jesus, all things are possible!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I could scream!

Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! (Psalm 147:1 NIV)

I think I do a pretty good job running to God when I'm in trouble and I am working on going to him more when things are going great. Now is one of those times. I had a great weekend and God is showing himself more and more everyday. I am seeing him through work, my Church, my family, my CMA ministry, and in so many other areas of my life. I could just shout his praise!  I just feel I need to scream for joy! God is amazing, his grace is spectacular and his love deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Trust me when I say, I am amazed he has blessed ME, of all people. Now, I just can't get enough of him. I'm not sure I can quote any magical formula to receive the kinds of blessings I have. Frankly, I don't see myself doing anything special and yet I am being wildly blessed. The least I can do is praise him. I will do more! I will spread his message anyway I can. I will pray to him. I will read his word and I will be his hand and feet throughout every waking moment of my day.

He deserves all I have and infinitely more!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Are you up to your neck?

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. (Psalm 69:1-3 NIV)

My wife has been drowning at work. It has been a rough week. She knows God is in control, but it has been a mentally draining week. I thought of her when I read these verses. I would love to be able to come to the rescue but, I can't. Mostly what I do is listen and empathize. I feel helpless. Then I remember I serve the God of the universe and he is never helpless. So, I turn to him and so does Steph. He understands our needs. He will reach down from his throne and remove us from the miry depths. He will give strength to our weak and worn out bodies, minds, and spirit.

God is there , he is our savior, he is our salvation in good times and crisis. Praise God for his love and kindness. God will rescue my wife. She knows it and waits for his majesty to shine!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I love my peeps!

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. (Psalm 149:4 NIV)

No, im not talking about those little sugar filled marshamallow treats. im talking about MY peeps, the people i get to spend my life with. God has filled me with delight in my people. For the last 8 months I am just filed with love of my peeps! I thoroughly enjoy my family, my students, coworkers, and fellow CMAers.  I really can't explain it, except to say the spirit of The Lord is doing a great work in me. I can feel it and I like it. It's not always been how I felt. But, my life is changing and I am really enjoying it.
None of these people are perfect, but it's still easy  to delight in being around them.

How many people love spending time with their families as much as I do? How many people can'twait to get to work every day as a high school teacher? I hear nationally the teaching profession is filled with stressed, over worked, underpaid, teachers. I don't get it. I love being with my students! I am blessed with a great administrative leadership team, and our staff is second to none. I delight in the challenges and the rewards.

God says the same thing about me. He knows my sins, my flaws, my entire life inside and out. Yet, he still delights in me. He wants to spend all his time with me, he can't wait for me to wake in the morning and he won't leave me even as I sleep. I can't explain my feelings and I certainly can't explain God's feelings for me.

I praise God for this wonderful life he has provided. I do not deserve it, but I am truly blessed. Lord help me be a delight to others. Help me to her your voice of delight and to spend my every waking moment in your service.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Please read, I hope you're not offended!

Did I get your attention? I hope so. I really need you to hear me out. I am the President of Son Rise Riders which is the Fort Wayne Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclist Association. I am new to this position but not new to this wonderful ministry. I have been a member for, I think, about 5 years. I really love this ministry.

In a nut shell, we minister, primarily to the motorcyclist community. Many "bikers" are not openly welcomed in Sunday worship. Many have tattoos, feel comfortable in leather jackets and boots, and love riding motorcycles. It's unfortunate that most people turn the other way when they see bikers. They assume the worst. Even Christians, many times, judge by the book by its cover. Frankly, I am saddened by that truth. CMA is here to serve the rejected and the outcasts, I don't share this to shame you! It's just a reality. I love my church and feel Gods hand has been upon its ministry. But, Jesus wants us, his church, to go out to serve the lost. That's what we do at CMA.

Once a year, on the first Saturday in May, we step out of our roles as servants to host our own fundraiser called "Run for the Son". It is really contrary to what we stand for. We don't want to be known for RAISING MONEY. But, we dedicate this one day to do just that. So, this year on May 4th we will concentrate our efforts to raising money for our beloved ministry. 100% of the money goes to support our worldwide ministry. 40% of the money raised goes directly to CMA to minister to bikers. The rest of the money is split between three ministry partners: Open Doors Ministry, which supports persecuted Christians throughout the world; Missionary Ventures, which provides transportation and other needs for church evangelists throughout third world countries; and the Jesus Film project which shares the gospel message throughout the world in the form of this powerful film.

So now I hope I don't offend you. I need your help. Please prayerfully consider making a donation to CMA through ME! Contact me by email, stvrhoades@hotmail.com and we can make arrangements for your donation. The donation is completely tax deductible and I can supply you with a receipt. You can also donate online.

PLEASE HELP ME AND MY PASSION FOR THIS MINISTRY,I WOULD BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL.  CMA has seen over 16 million people comit themselves to Christ. The ministry is powerful and is a great investment in the kingdom. It's not about the money, it's about saving lives through the message of Christ!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Too Proud!

You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. (Psalm 18:35 NIV)

Wow, was I busy today. I was a little too lazy over spring break. I put off everything and then spent Sunday riding VIC around Northeast Indiana. I paid for it today. I was on the go all day. I prayed for help this morning out of shear panic. It worked! Once again God came to my rescue when I truly didn't deserve it. Why he keeps bailing me out is beyond words. At least now I'm less prideful and ask when I need help. In the past I was too proud even to ask.

Thank you Lord, you are my strength and shield.you sustain me, save me, and you make me look so great when we both know I'm not! Praise God for his grace and mercy.