Saturday, August 31, 2013

A family Legacy!

Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.” (2 Samuel 7:29 NIV)

I'm in St. Louis, or more precisely, Eureka, Mo. My daughter Lindsae is pregnant and due anytime. We thought we could spend Labor Day weekend with her. We were kind of hoping she would go into Labor on Labor Day! No such luck yet. 

This passage made me think of the birth of this, our 6th, grandchild. I have been harassing my daughter about naming the boy (if it is a boy) Steven Michael Gilbert. Since I had all daughters I wanted someone to carry my name forward. If they can't share my last name, why not the first? Right? I've not been too fair and pretty selfish about the name issue.  The most important legacy I can leave behind is faith in Christ. It's not my name that's important, it's the name of the one who sacrificed his life for me, my family, and the world. I want my house to live forever, not in name, but in eternity! Be Blessed forever Stephanie, McKenzie, Lindsae, Kelley, Jeff, Brian, Klayton, Lauren, Hannah, Ayla, Rian, and BGIII. I am blessed to be in your earthly family, and I pray all of us will be together as a Heavenly Family, for eternity. Praise God for the blessing he has granted to my family!

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Take a Break with God!

This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:9, 10 NIV)

I have to admit, the start of the school year has made me very tired. The schedule has exploded with activities for the grandkids, work, and course preparation. It is now Labor Day Weekend, a time to take a break. Praise God for the little breaks he gives us. We are going to a cross country meet today then on to St. Louis to be with my pregnant daughter and her family. She is due any time and we want to be there for the birth if we can. Even though the schedule is full for this weekend, we will get a break and some needed rest. God provides rest for us. He loves us. He cares about our crazy, busy schedules. He wants to give us breaks so we can rest and look to him. Vacations, holidays, and weekends are gifts from God to escape the labor of our lives.

God is with me through my labor and strife. He is faithful to those who believe and put their hope in him. He is alive and active in my life. I am a witness to his faithfulness. His word is true and deserves full acceptance. Study it, get to know your Heavenly Father. He loves you and wants you to be counted as one of his very own. Take a rest break with him! Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. (Luke 2:45 KJV)

I am so blessed to be a part of a unified church. In the past 6 years I have never heard of turmoil. I'm sure there have been disagreements, but they have not gotten in the way of our mission. The church is still growing, but more importantly our pastors and staff are focused on preaching the Gospel and bringing non-believers into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Likewise, my CMA chapter has also been unified. I have heard of turmoil in the distant past, but Jack Lorence, the Phil Brown have done a great job to build a unified chapter that works hard to fulfill its mission. We now have some new Area Reps and I'm sure they will help our Chapter keep focused on our ministry of building relationships with Bikers and sharing Christ love with them.

So many times, churches, towns, businesses, and schools lose their way because of fighting and strife. It is so sad. Joseph and Mary lost Jesus and had to go back to Jerusalem to find him. We also lose sight of Jesus. So many times in our lives the world gets in the way of our mission. We fight sbout the little things, churches split, believers turn on each other. Instead of dwelling on our differences or disagreements, we need to focus on Christ. God the Father is the centerpiece. He is our strength and our unity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same for each of us. We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, is coming again, and we will get to share eternity with him. Nothing else really matters. Just like Mary and Joseph, we need to turn bak toward Jerusalem to find Jesus. Turn from the ways of the world to the arms of our loving savior!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Teach and Baptize!

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19 KJV)

You can't travel to a city, attend an event, go to work, or attend a school that doesn't need Christ. The "GO" is easy. We are a nation, Christians are a people, on the go! The next two commands are the hard part. We need to teach and baptize. We, I, am so passive when it comes to teaching Christ and the Gospel message. Even as a member of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, we emphasize building relationships, being there when they need us. I love that mission, but we are called to teach and baptize.
We are called to take our witness a step further. This last weekend my church took that extra step. Over the last three years we have baptized around 300 youth and adults. Our Baptism Sunday has become a very emotional and powerful event.
We don't need to travel to Kenya to be on the mission field. Everywhere we GO is a mission and we are missionaries. I can't forget our real goals, teach and baptize. We need to have that mission in the front of our minds as we build relationships with non believers. We need to teach with real words and actions. We need to teach believers in the same way. Just because you accept Christ as your savior, doesn't mean you know all about being a person of faith. We all need to grow in our knowledge of Christ and how we are to walk in his path. 

Go, Teach and Baptize, that's our mission.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seek his face, be strong!

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. (Psalms 105:3, 4 KJV)

Its been a while now and I'm getting back in the routine of my personal bible study. I had forgotten how much I enjoy my quiet time with God. I'm actually able to do this twice a day and its wonderful. Every night I prepare for this blog, I read my verse then study it more in depth. I pray about it, sleep on it, and get up the next morning to complete my thoughts. I don't really write this blog for an audience. I write to help me organize my study. I'm not here to deliver some wonderful insight or pearls of wisdom. These words are my thoughts written on a screen. I  am seeking God through writing this blog. I am seeking his face. I treasure this time as a time God speaks to me, where I can see his face through writing and studying.

I rejoice as I seek him. I love how he reveals himself to me, a nobody, a sinner saved by his sacrifice. As I spend more time with him, I gain confidence and strength for my daily trials and stresses. So, my advice, set aside time. Seek him through your study, thoughts, words, and the actions of your life. He will reward you with insight, strength, and knowledge of his will and purpose. God is alive in my life, thank you Lord!

Monday, August 26, 2013

No Chains can hold you.

But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, (Acts 5:19 KJV)

I've never been in prison,jail, or any other means of incarceration. I don't know what it's like to be held captive or not have complete freedom. Sometimes we take that for granted. There are many places in this world where I would be jailed for my ministry with CMA. In reality, there are no chains that can bind me because of Jesus. The Lord himself will send angels to set free his people. He is not going to sit idly by while our freedom is stripped away. You can not be held down! So, why do great Christians get jailed for their faith? In nearly every case I've known, The Lord uses these circumstances for his kingdom. From Paul's captivity through modern day Christian persecution, God is in control and uses these prisoners to bring others to know him. 

Although most of us don't know the solitude of prison, most of us can relate to a life shackled to a dead end job, or the prison of debt, homelessness, or hunger. So many people get trapped in a  prison of drug, sex, or abuse. Although the general prison population is rising in the US, we have an even sharper increase of these types of unconventional prisons. God's response to prisons-without-bars is the same. If you call on his name, he will also send his angels to rescue you. He will deliver you and set you free. Many feel hopeless and see no way out. There is always a way to overcome with the strength and power of Jesus. Don't just rely on your own knowledge and strength, you have a rescuer, an advocate, a powerful army through the person of Jesus. 

We can be set free with one small, but powerful act........ Call on Jesus and you will be set free!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Death watch.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV)

I am a day away from another birthday. Specifically, my 53rd birthday is tomorrow. I love getting older. I love teaching, but I am excited about getting older, retiring, and starting a new adventure. I don't mind getting closer to my parting on this Earth, I have a lot to look forward to. Im not on some type of Death watch because I'm not done here, but I'm always ready!

Death is feared by so many, not me. I look forward to eternal life and my REAL home in Heaven. My life is great here on Earth. I have a wonderful, loving wife who also happens to be my best friend. I have three great daughters that I love dearly. I can't even find words for the love I have for them and my 5 soon to be 6 grandchildren. I have been blessed with meaningful work, great friends, and ministry opportunities that make my life complete. Even with the wonderful life I've been blessed with, I can't wait to reach Heaven. The victory we all seek, the final, real peace is in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we join him in Heaven, we get to share in the celebration and worship for eternity. We get to walk streets paved with gold, spend time with the loved ones we have lost and miss here on Earth, and most importantly spend time with Jesus. No more pain, no more sorrow, no more stresses of life. I am ready!

Until the time The Lord calls me home, I will pursue the lost, share his love and rejoice in the great present and future I have been given. I love the times I have with my family and look forward to many more years here on this planet. God has given me this time for his purpose and I am blessed with more than I deserve. Praise God for his love and mercy, and the place he has prepared for us!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Do I know me?

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103:14 NKJV)

Who are you? Who...Who...Who... Who?

Really, how would you describe yourself? I've heard it said, "there's who you think you are, who others think you are, and who God knows you are." How absolutely true that is. I love to think of myself as a man of God. I like to think I am dedicated to him and live my life loving others, caring and serving selflessly. 

Ok, how many of you just stopped in your tracks wondering if i was describing the same Steve Rhoades you know. More often than not, including now, we have an exaggerated view of ourselves. From the inside we see the pursuit of the person we want to be. I can say I truly TRY to be the person I described. My sinfulness gets in my way. Paul often described this struggle in his life. i know what I want to do, yet I don't do it. 

People also have a distorted view of who we are. I see this a lot with parents at school. Most have a blinded or jaded view of their child. It could be their sports ability or their academic ability, they just can't separate their love from reality. Just like I know my three daughters were born with halos! I might want that to be true, but it's not. They are great women of God, but like their father, they each have flaws.

God knows us. He knows our every weakness, our joys, our fears, and our hearts. He knows we are sinners created out of the dust of the Earth. He not only knows us, he accepts us just as we are. He doesn't forget we're just a pile of dust. He loves us anyway. God knows our frame and all that is within us. Praise God he loves us anyway. 

As a Christian, I am always pursuing a Christ like life. I know I am a long way off. God will help me get to where HE wants me to be. He has grace and patience to to lead me through life. He knows who I am and loves me because of it!

Don't you want to get to know him in the same way?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: (Psalms 146:5 KJV)

I'm kind of addicted to a Duck Dynasty. I love this southern family, their love of fun and most of all their love of God. I certainly don't know them personally, but from all accounts they are who they are.  They are so funny and happy, happy, happy.

How do we get real happiness? This Psalm says it all. If you rely on God for your help, you will know true happiness. This week has been a little rushed. I'm still behind at school and I don't like it. Yet, even through this, I have had a great week. I just love being with my GHS Academy kids. I get pumped about being around kids that are creative, energetic, and hard working. If you add into that a group of teachers that are passionate about helping kids, I am Happy! Happy! Happy! 

Praise God for the wonderful life I live!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I am living with great purpose

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18 KJV)

Right now, in my life, I am living with great purpose. At school, I am really focused on teaching kids, not just Math, but life. I love it. My days go quickly, I have energy and drive to do the best for our students. At home, I thoroughly enjoy being a husband who loves to spend time with his wife. I treasure our summer trips and travels to visit the kids. I am also focused on spending time encouraging and loving my daughters, their husbands, and my wonderful grandkids. I am greatly honored and take seriously their search for wisdom and advice. i pray for them continuously and long for them to have a deeper faith. At play, I am driven to build relationships with bikers and leading them to Christ. I love my CMA family and have deeply felt the direction of God into this ministry.
I am constantly amazed that God uses my passion for motorcycles to share the gospel. I feel so much a part of the kingdom when I am doing this ministry.

 I have great purpose, a life focused on serving.

Im not bragging or putting myself on top of a pedestal. this doesn't make ME great. This focus, drive and purpose I have is just an example how God can use a sinner like myself for the good of his kingdom. 

I want so much for my students, coworkers, family, and friends to open their eyes, turning from darkness to Jesus. There is no greater purpose in life than to bring others to know the saving grace of Jesus. I'm still a sinner saved by grace, but I am so excited and amazed how the Holy Spirit has been guiding me and helping me to find purpose in my life. Praise God for his wonderful presence.

Don't Google This!

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32 KJV)

I am on the Internet constantly. I "Google"  for information nearly every day. I haven't run into any French Models, but I have seen some crazy information. A few weeks ago I got a tweet that Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos broke his leg in a serious car accident. It was not true. It is so easy to get caught up in the information highway and think that everything you read on the Internet is true. The worldwide web is just like a giant game of telephone. By the time the information sifts through the hands of the techno world, truth and lies are not easy to discern. My advice: go straight to the source. When you find the source, is the source reliable and have a history of truth. One thing you can't Google is the truth of Jesus Christ. You need to go straight to the source determine the truth about the man who died for our sins. Our source for reliable information? The Bible.

Regardless of your position on Faith in Christ, the Bible is full of enduring truths that everyone should live by. It has endured the test of time and the scrutiny of millions. It was written by those that were there, it is historically accurate and morally strong. So, my logical mind says, if you have that type of reliability can't we claim its truth? If we claim it is true, then shouldn't we all be followers of Jesus? 

I'm not sure what type of evidence you are looking for before you comitt your life to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, AND the life. No one comes to the Father except through him. It's the truth! Know it!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

YET, I will ..............

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:18 KJV)

There is so much missing from this verse. Everything that leads up to this statement is filled with pain. "YET" they rejoice in The Lord. Everyone goes through times in life filled with that same pain. It is a part of the life we live. The key to the life of pain for a Christian is to rejoice in The Lord. We can not let the struggles and stresses of this life tear us from the Love of Christ. That doesn't mean putting on a fake smile. You can rejoice through your own tears. It doesn't mean you can't take your pleas to God. You can rejoice through the cries for help. Rejoicing during pain means that we trust in The Lord even when we don't understand the why. Rejoicing means not giving up on prayer, not giving up on worship, not giving up on studying the word, when we are going through the severe struggles of this life. Rejoicing in The Lord means drawing closer through pain, not drifting further away.

ThIs entire concept is difficult for most, including me. Yet, I do see examples all around me of people who can endure the pain and still rejoice. I see people who have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one, rejoice in The Lord. I have seen those suffering through cancer, rejoice in The Lord. I have seen those who have suffered through tragic motorcycle accidents, rejoice in he Lord. I honor and admire those that can put this key Christian principle into practice. You are an inspiration to all!

I praise The Lord for his grace, mercy, and patience when I can not live up to the task of rejoicing always. Thank you Lord for the wonderful love you have for me, even through my weakness.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Ends of the Earth

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalms 61:2 KJV)

My grandson went on a missionary trip to Kenya this summer. I've never been off the North American continent. I have been to the end of the earth. I have had times when I have felt so separated from God that I was at the end of the earth. God searched for me even at the ends of the earth. He doesn't desert me when I feel so far away. He will go to no ends to draw me to him.

God has asked us to do the same thing. We are to pursue the lost "to the ends of the earth". How close to the ends of the earth have you gone? Sadly, many of us don't come anywhere near the ends of the earth. Most of us don't pursue the lost at all, they have to find us.

 At work, school, or play, we aren't very bold for Christ. How many opportunities have I passed up? How far out of my comfort zone am I willing to go to share Jesus with the lost? There are multitudes of people who have hearts that are overwhelmed with life. They need Jesus. They don't know how to call on the creator. They don't know the peace of a relationship with Christ. They have never known the power of the Holy Spirit or the wisdom of a Heavenly Father that adores them. 

C'mon Christian brothers, get out of your comfort zones, be bold for Christ. Pursue the lost to the ends of the earth? Lead them to the rock. The high place out of the valley of dispair.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm not good with names!

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— (John 10:14 NIV)

I love and hate this time of year at school. We are entering week #2. We spent a lot of time last week team building and getting to know each other. With 62 students I really struggle getting to really know them. I first try to learn their names. I'm not good with names. It seems to take forever for me to learn student names. I come up with little tricks to get around knowing their names right away. It buys me time. But, I want to get beyond names and really know them. That is where the real work is.

How many people do you know that profess knowing God? How many do you think really spend the time getting to know him? That's where the real work is. Most people never get beyond Sunday School and Church. Those are both key parts of the life of a believer. But, there is so much more. My life, really getting to know God, has been filled with cycles. Sometimes I'm on fire and really get into studying and communicating with God. Other times, I am Luke warm at best. I want to know the shepherd. I learn new things nearly every day when I seek them. 

"Dear Lord, fill my heart with desire for you and to know more about you, your love and your grace. Praise God for the ability to know the creator of the universe."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

If I die...............

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. (Psalm 39:7 NIV)

I ride motorcycles. Most people know I have a PASSION for riding. I bought a new motorcycle in February and since then have put over 15,000 miles on it. I am blessed to be able to use that passion for riding. This weekend I got to spend time with my CMA family at our Indiana State Rally. One of our members was there to give a powerful testimony about there tragic motorcycle accident. I love motorcycles and riding, but I have a healthy fear of being extremely vulnerable while riding. There is no activity I do where I am more focused and alert. You have to be alert and keenly aware of who you share the road with. Even then, you still might not be able to avoid a tragedy. This couple did everything right and when that car pulled out in front of them they could not avoid it. Yet, they have a powerful faith. They have a hope in Jesus. They have a powerful message for the lost.

So, with this danger, why do I ride? It's a tough question to answer, but I'll try. 

I truly believe God gave me my passion for motorcycles. I have had such great opportunities to share the gospel because of this passion. Does this mean I am fearless? Does this mean I feel less vulnerable on my motorcycle because, "I'm on Gods side"? NO! But, I do not fear the unknown. I know Jesus is in charge of my life. His plans for me are all that matter. Going to secular rallies, sharing while traveling, living a life as a biker is MY calling from God.

Since I've accepted Jesus Christ in my life, and mature in my faith, I realize my life is not my own. I am not here on this Earth for my own purposes. I'm here to be used by Jesus for his kingdom. If God chooses to take my life while I sleep tonight, it's his right. It's his life not my own. If i die in a tornado, its his life to take, not my own. If he chooses to take my life in a motorcycle accident, it's his life, not my own. While I am here breathing,  I choose to listen to his call and respond. He has called me to use my passion for two wheels in service to him. Even a tragic accident can be used for his kingdom. I fully accept that risk for furthering the kingdom of God. Not only do I accept the risk, I cherish it. Any risk is small if I can just help one person come to a relationship with Jesus. 

My hope is in him! My life is in him and my death on this Earth is in him!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Am I up to the task?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)

I was talking to a friend tonight and we were both talking about our weaknesses. We both have been put into positions by God to be used for his kingdom. Yet, we both feel inadequate for the task. Reading this verse tonight is not by chance. Through our weakness Gods power is revealed and I should be excited about my weaknesses, not inadequate. 

I  love my Lord. I have given my life to him. He has stretched me and pulled me. I should be ashamed to feel I am not up to the task he has appointed me. I really do nothing through my own power. I am who I am because of Christ in me. Praise God his grace is sufficient and he doesn't need me to be up to the task! God is up to it, therefore so am I.

Friday, August 16, 2013

ME of little faith!

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18 NIV)

Everyone deals with some stress in their life. It would be great if we became Christians all suffering would go away. That's definitely not what happens. The goods news is we don't have to travel this stress-filled life alone. More good news, our stresses and sufferings are fleeting. We are guaranteed a constant comforter in Jesus.we are guaranteed Eternal life, free of stress and pain when we pass from this Earth. 

So what do you do right now? What do you do when your day is filled with stress? I might not be the one to answer those questions. I am so stubborn when I deal with stress because I always try to deal with it on my own. That is NOT how you should deal with the stress and pain of your life. Don't take hold of the stress, let it go! Turn it over to the one who sacrificed all for you and cares more than you can know. God knows your pain and wants to take it on, if you let him. You would think with all the examples of God working in my life, I would never be stressed. God has constantly brought me through the trials of my life. Why would I doubt? Yet, I do doubt and turn to Jesus only as a last resort. Oh, ME of little faith. 

Forgive me, Lord, for my lack of faith and trust in you!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Rock!

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2 NIV)

As I traveled out west this past week, I find I take comfort in the vision of mountains and rocks. The majesty of large rock formations like Mount Rushmore or the spires of Needles Highway are comforting to me. One of the guys I was traveling with said how could you view these wonderful creations and not KNOW there is a God. I agree.

I love routine. The beginning of the school year is always frantic and this year is no exception. Things will settle down. Life at GHS will get to be predictable as the mountains and huge rock formations we saw this past week..............for a while. This new pilot program we are doing this year at school is a little stressful for the students and the teachers. It's an unknown. This will also change and as the program grows it will also become more predictable. 

The one thing that never changes, from the beginning of time, is God. When I wake in the morning and go to bed each night, I get to spend time with the greatest constant in my life. I am so thankful to have this ROCK that loves me and walks with me throughout all the turmoil and stresses of life. We all need that type of stability. You may be able to take comfort in the mountains or wonderful rock formations, but You can only find real comfort in one spot. God.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My teacher!

Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded. (Proverbs 13:13 NIV)

School is back in session. Students and teachers are in teaching and learning mode. I pray God will take this school year and use it for his purposes. I pray God will teach us how to love and live a life filled with service. I have had the opportunity to have many great teachers, my favorite teacher was not a teacher at all. my favorite teacher is a pastor. When i was a teen i had a pastor named Ted Blosser. at a time inmmy life wheni was transitioning to adulthood, this great teacher, taught me the most important lessons about how to live a life with Christ. He taught straight from the Bible. Just like our students use textbooks and reference material to learn, I love using the Bible to learn. My life would never be the same without this wonderful book. It is my instructor for life. I praise God for people like Ted and the teaching they provide every week. 

We need to be life long learners. We need to take the message of God and the instruction it provides to improve our life, but more importantly the lives of others. We instruct every day by the lives we lead, the words we say, and the actions we take. We have to be grounded in the word to make sure that witness is the blessing it can be.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

I just got back from a 2700 mile trip by motorcycle to Sturgis. 8 men made the trip to the largest Motorcycle rally in the world. We prayed continually throughout the trip and we had people praying for us here at home. Some said we couldn't do it. We did. It is by Gods grace that we return safely with no major mechanical issues, and safe travels. In fact, the presence of God was evident throughout the trip. We are all believers and we All believed we had Gods grace with us. We believed he was watching out for us and he did. Our fellowship, ministry, and travels were dedicated to the one who saved us by his wonderful power and grace. 

The key is believing that God is in control and that he will deliver you through all things. Praise God he is filled with mercy and grace. We don't deserve it but he provides it through all things. 

Now I start another year at school and I ask for the same mercy and grace for the ministry I have as a teacher. I can't wait to see Gods presence in this school year.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Become someone else's REFUGE AND FORTRESS!

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2 NIV)

WHO is your refuge? your Fortress? Who can you trust with your deepest secrets or your biggest struggles? My wife, Stephanie is that person for me. But, I have had others as well. My Dad was that person when we lived in Elkhart. I cherished that time. I have had numerous friends that I could talk about anything and everything. It takes time to develop a relationship that is that trusting. As I have grown in my relationship with Stephanie, we have grown to trust each other more and more. We have shared things no one else knows about us. It's taken 35 years to develop that love and trust.

We need to work at relationships in a way that we become someone else's fortress and refuge. We need to love and care about someone enough to earn their unwavering trust. Sharing Christ as a stranger is a weak witness. People need to see Christ in you. They need to see nonjudgmental love,  a foundation of faith that will not move. If we want to save the world we need to start NOW, by building relationships that are deep and that will stand the test of time. It requiresbus to be vulnerable and open with everyone meet and to practice the love of Christ 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We need to GO to the people who need a refuge and a fortress. Those people are people we work with, go to school with, or see at family functions. People on the steets, suffering in hospitals, or in homeless shelters need a refuge and fortress in you. People out of jobs, people who DONT KNOW JESUS, need you. It's about relationships!

Monday, August 5, 2013

It could be my last day on Earth!

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. (Mark 13:35, 36 NIV)

What if today was your last day on this Earth? How would you live? I'm guessing most people would not go to work, go on a massive spending spree, or try to strike off all the items left on your bucket list. Many people would just want to spend time with their close family and friends. I googled "Living like today was your last day" and I read some wonderful advice. If we are to live LIKE today were our last, doesn't mean living carelessly. it means living with purpose and passion. If I were to lie like today was my last, and I should, here is what I would concentrate on:

1. Relationships - If I knew today was my last I would make sure all the people I encountered would know I loved and respected them. Stephanie and i have been married 35 years today. My most cherished relationships is that with my wife. spending 3 weeks on a mototcycle isnt the point, three weeks with ONLY my wife, thats the point of my summer vacations. but relatinoships go beyond family. Hate, grudges, jealousy, and differences won't matter if there is no tomorrow. I need to spend less energy on negative relationships, forgive, and forget. I need to loave people even when they are different from me and have different values, goals in life. Sharing Jesus is easy with people who are like me. Sharing with those who are different is not easy and only comes by building positive relationships.

2. Love what you're doing - I load my schedule with frivolous activities. If today was my last, would I want to spend my time doing what I have scheduled today? I love what I do. Teaching kids, riding motorcycles, sharing the love of Jesus. I have always had the theory, if I you don't love what you're doing..........DON'T DO IT! So many people get stuck doing things they hate. God gives us our passions and wants us to pursue them. If you follow Christ and have turned your life to him, he will provide opportunities for you to pursue your passions!

3.Slow down - I love my mornings. I love to quietly complete my devotions, reading the newspaper, and ease into the morning. I love to "piddle" in the garage or water the flowers. Anything i can do without a particular schedule and at my own pace, I love. We need to slow down "live in the moment". I'm not saying live carelessly. Live with awareness of where you are and who you're with. Enjoy the presence of your family, friends, and coworkers. Cherish the time and lie with purpose.

I'm sure this list isn't as extensive as it should be, but I think you get the point. Living today like it is our last means trying to live a life like Christ. Love, relationships, sacrifice, are all Christ like activities we should engage in every single day.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (I Corinthians 13:8 NKJV)

There is nothing more important to me, on this Earth, than my family. I am so blessed to have the greatest wife in the world, three great daughters, two wonderful son-in-laws, and 5 1/2 grandchildren. (The six is on the way and due within the next 6 weeks) my life experience with True Love that never fails is through my family. I have been loved and know how to love through my family.

Stephanie has spent this weekend with my daughters and grandchildren in Eureka, MO. I missed being with them. We all love each other. I loved following their fun on Facebook. Sure we have your typical family spats, hurt feelings, and differences of opinion. But, we deeply love each other and love spending time together. Even though we are separated by miles, a day doesn't go by where we don't stay in contact with each other. Phone calls, Facebook, OOVOO, twitter, and blogs ar a blessing from God when it comes to staying in touch with your family.

Wouldn't it be great if we all had that same "Family" style relationship with God. We have so many opportunities to stay in contact with God. Worship, Bible Study, and Prayer are the Social media with Jesus. We have moments on our drive to work, after we wake, before we sleep, walking down the hall, eating lunch or dinner, where we could take the time to connect with God. If we would only cherish these moments like we do our family moments, our lives would be wonderfully blessed. We need to take the time to send God that 144 character tweet, like his word, and repost his posts. 

We are a part of Gods eternal family. He loves us, longs to be with us, and smiles when we are in his presence. Connect with him today!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Scary Movies!

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 NIV)

Last night I watched an old Alfred Hitchcock movie. This one wasn't particularly scary, but it reminded me of several of his movies that were real scary. I don't mind a real good scary movie. I'm not interested in blood and guts, HORROR movies. I just want to watch a movie that is naturally scary.

I'm curious why our society, especially young people, are so interested in scary movies. Life is scary enough. It's not an intense, jumpy, scary. Life is full of so much unknown and things out of our control. Fear leads to so much stress, illness, and loss of sleep. As I grow older, I'm not as fearful as I used to be. I don't worry as much, I'm not nearly as stressed,and the number of nights I can't sleep due to fear  is nearly zero. Many nights in the past I would wake and be worried about something and not be able to get back to sleep. I would be afraid I wouldn't wake up in time, forget to do an important task, or not be prepared for an event. The more I turn things over to God, the more I relax and take what comes. I can do that because I have witnessed first hand what God has done in my life. It is God. It's not me, I am only changed through his grace, mercy, and love. Praise God I don't have anything to fear. I fear no one, I have a stronghold through Jesus Christ. I do not fear!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Ain't Love Grand?

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9 NIV)

I am simply amazed with God's Love for me. I know myself better than anyone and I'm not that great. I really put effort in to being a loving, compassionate, Christ-filled person. I want to be a great ambassador for Christ. But, I fall short of the goal.All of us fall short. Yet, even through all my short-comings God Adores me. I just read in my Bible Study about a theologian , Dr. Karl Barth, was asked what was the greatest truth that crossed his mind. This man was a deep, knowledgeable person. He simply quoted "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." If I stop and take the time to rest and spend time with my God, I realize how wonderful it is that I can spend time,have a relationship, and communicate with the God of the Universe. Thank You Lord. I HAVE life through you and it's not just a life of toil and pain. My life is filled with love and eternal life with my wonderful savior. 

Ain't Love Grand?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Stop drinking the Kool-aid!

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NIV)

Wow! It's been a long time since I've done this. I would like to say I have missed it. But, I have NOT made it a priority and got out of the habit. Sadly, my daily devotional life has been the same way. It has been sporadic lately. I have needed times with God, but have substituted so many other things. that needs to change.

I just started a new Bible Study from Billy Graham. The second devotion used this verse. Psalm 63:1. Rev. Graham stressed the importance of daily devotion and prayer. I have been blessed by consistent daily devotion and prayer, so I know what he says is true.

Instead of quenching my spiritual thirst with living water, I have substituted a sugary drink, an unhealthy substitute. Nothing quenches thirst like water. I have to stop drinking the Kool-aid and get back to pure, clear, water. I need daily prayer focused on listening to God. I need daily time in studying his word. I need worship. When we do this and we embed Christ into our daily life, earnestly seek God, our lives become a wonderful amazing adventure filled with blessings and love.