Monday, September 30, 2013

Self Induced Stress................ It's crazy!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, 23 NIV)

What's it going to take to get you to relax? The fruit of the spirit is a great place to start. 

I had a stressful day today. It's my fault. I let myself magnify my stress. Do you know what I mean? I woke up early last night about 2am and stressed myself out about some of my student's  progress at school. After a perfectly relaxing, great weekend, I created my own "self induced stress". I destroyed my own sleep for no good reason. 


Like always I worry about things that may not even come about. It drives me crazy. I need to focus on love, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I need to heed my own advice and relinquish control to my wonderful Heavenly Father. God will guide my path. He will lead me. I can not fail when I rely on him. I can rest in his arms knowing none of this matters. It is Christ and his rule that matters the most.

Thank you Lord, for patience with me, for grace, for your power and strength, and your almighty hand in the events of my life. I pray you will fill me with the fruits of the spirit to defeat my stress!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Old-self

That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; (Ephesians 4:20-22 NIV)

I had a great weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday with my CMA family riding the south central Indiana highways, eating, and just having fun. We had a wonderful Sunday morning devotion. I love time we spend with fellow believers and opening ourselves up to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

I just don't understand how Christians can go through life without constant, daily contact with God. I am a sinful person and when I don't converse with Jesus, my corrupted old-self has a way of taking over. I need constant reminders of what I've been taught and what the truth is. I fight a battle every day over my former way of life. Like an alcoholic, the sinful desires never go away. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. Once a sinner, always a sinner. However, with the grace of God we can overcome those desires to live a righteous life. We must remember what we've been taught and keep our focus on him. We need to spend time with our Christian brothers and sisters. The Holy Spirit uses keep us on the correct path. Sharing our inner struggles and our victories help others. We need to be open to the promptings to share our hearts and listen to those who follow that prompting.  If we do, the Holy Spirit will defeat our old-self and we can be renewed daily. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A full schedule does not = importance!

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

I'm not a great person. I am a busy person. Those two things are not related as much as people think they are. I am no different than most other Americans, I am so busy. We often brag about our busy schedules like they are a badge of honor. If we can have a schedule that is busier than my our neighbors, we are more important. Over the last three years I have been doing things to try to empty my schedule. I changed jobs, and have slowly reduced my extracurricular activities. I have one more year as assistant basketball coach and that will be done. I know longer help coach cross country and track. I get to spend more time on things God would have me do. 

I am still busy. But my schedule continues to fill up with service to him and time with family. There is nothing better than having time with family, spending time in Gods word, and service for his kingdom. Maybe we should all work toward that goal.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Battle!

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 NIV)

Satan is real. Satan is active in this world. 

As Christians we can see the pains of this world, the breakdown of marriage, the family, abuse of women and children, mass murders, war, terrorism, and many more. It is not popular in churches to talk about the enemy. I don't want to give them more power than what they have. We DO need to be aware of the deceptions. The sin of this world and the deceptions of the enemy make it difficult to know right from wrong. That's on purpose. We are being attacked on all sides. The enemy doesn't just shoot arrows at us, he shoots "Flaming" Arrows. Double the pain, double the torture. Some events of this world are obviously Satan. Other events seem so harmless and yet are not of God. We need help in the battle.

It takes a special weapon of defense to protect us. The defense is through the power of Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus produces an impentrable shield. Deeply studying the word of a God, building a daily relationship with God through prayer and worship strengthen the shield. We can not fight the battle on our own. 

The goods news, we who have faith in Christ know the outcome. We win!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wisdom doesn't start in the brain, it starts with the heart!

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

I love learning and I love getting kids to learn. When I trigger a spark in one of my students, it's magical. I have spent the better part of my life learning. I'm 53 years old. I spent 12 years like most people, in public school. When I graduated I jumped into the workforce in the Cable Televistion Industry. I spent the next 15 years learning about electronics, engineering, business, and management. Then I switched careers to Education and got my bachelors, then professional development ever since. I have spent 30 years directly in education as a teacher, administrator, and student. I would say another I have spent another10 years in improving myself through coursework. It's been great! 

Through all of my formal education, I learn more through my daily relationship with God than the other 40 years of education. Wisdom is beyond knowledge this world can provide. Wisdom doesn't start in the brain, it starts in the heart!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Daily protection!

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 NIV)

My devotion time is the most important time of my day. I need this time to refocus on God. When I leave the house every morning, I feel ready for the day. Most days I feel empowered by God to go through the day. It starts with my morning devotional, my shield against the power of satan. I feel like I am under attack when I head out into the world. I'm not attacked by ny coworkers, or family, or friends. I am attacked by satan's army. If  I don't carry the word of God as my shield, I will fail.

I can't emphasize how important the word of The Lord is in your life. You can't get enough of it just from Sunday morning. Let The Lord fill you with his spirit by listening to his word. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Keep a tight rein on your tweets!

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26 NIV)

I know we should not add things to the bible. I do want to take some liberty to paraphrase this verse: "those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their TWEETS deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." 

As dangerous as our tongue is, our use or misuse of social media can be just as destructive. The principle is the same as for the tongue. We need to make sure our tweets, posts, etc.,match our faith. Our social media should build up, not tear down. It should further the kingdom of God, it should be no different than the witness from our mouth. Pictures, re-posts, retweets, all should go through our Christian filter. If in doubt don't post it. If our tweets keep even one person from coming to know Christ, we should be cast into the fire!

I would also include political messages. I have to say, I often post or retweet political rhetoric. Does this in anyway place a barrier for me to witness to others? Is God a conservative? Is he  a liberal? I think he is way beyond political ties. Yet, many times I act as if he is. Does that mean we can't hold those strong beliefs, or be politically active? NO, we just need to be sensitive to our tone and how that furthers his kingdom. We must be kind and thoughtful in everything we do, including posts on the worldwide web. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Checking the clouds? Winter is coming!

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62 NIV)

It's going to happen. When we least expect it, Jesus will return. Until then, we wait. We don't wait in fear or anxiety, we wait with great, joyous anticipation. It could be before we wake. It could be at the break of dawn. Are you ready? I am! 

I had a really busy day today. It's the first day of Fall. There was a coolness in the air. I cleaned all the outside windows, put up the fall decorations, and made ready for the change in weather. I cleaned out the garage to make sure we have room to park the car inside and I changed the oil for the last time on Vic. I also blew up my lawn mower. (It could have waited another month!) I will continue to make preparations for winter.

I wish people knew as much about the coming of Jesus as they know about the coming of winter. Most people don't give it a second thought. The Bible says we need to be ready and look for the signs. Be prepared!  Get ready, he's coming in the clouds. Be ready to enter paradise. Help others get ready like there is no tomorrow! It could be your last!

Fading Memory is a God thing!

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17 NIV)

My memory is fading. I have never had a great memory, but it is getting worse. In some ways I'm glad. I have forgotten much of the pain in my life. I think God has much to do with that. He is not real big on memory. He forgets our sin and is busy building a heaven where we will completely forget this world. Heaven will be a place where we can have selective memory. We will remember the good, not the bad. We will renew relationships, not the fights. Grudges will be gone, old feuds will be forgotten. Praise God that the new heaven and earth will be a place of renewed spirit and mind. Praise God we don't ever have to re-live the pains of life. Until then, maybe we should take God's lead and forget. We can go ahead and stop hating right now. We can heal relationships, forget the fights and center on Jesus. Unfortunately, I see Christians, including myself, holding grudges just as mush as nonChristians. We need to learn to forgive and forget. Wouldn't the world be a peaceful place if we could forget like God?

Friday, September 20, 2013

How Salty are you?

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50 NIV)

How is your spiritual life? Is it boring, routine, and stale? How is your worship, your prayer time, or bible study? My spiritual life can lose its saltiness, if I let it. So how can we make it salty again? 

Live an Active Christian Life - We are so busy in this country. Most of the activities we participate have nothing to do with Christ. We need to intentionally, actively participate in activities of service, study, prayer, and worship. Active participation does NOT mean just going to church every Sunday. What do you do to contribute to the Kingdom? Are you Going into the world to share the Gospel? There is nothing passive about this command from Jesus. If the best you can do is passively go to church, you need to reflect on your commitment.

Get Rest - I have noticed in my own life that I need rest. I am a proffesional nap taker. I love the couch at about 3:30 every day. I notice my activity level increases when I go to bed early. A rested Christian becomes more alert, more joyous, and better equipped to serving others. 

Connect with God - This is the real salt. You have to build a relationship with God through private prayer, study, and worship. My blog time, while open to you, is my private time where God and I connect. I study the Bible, pray, and let God speak to ME, through writing this blog. I push myself to make this a center part of my day. I start writing at the end of the day before bed and finish first thing in the morning. You don't have to write a blog, just find a way to connect with God. When we do that we can't lose our salt.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Peace Is groovy!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV)

The term "Peace" really became important in the 60's along with terms like groovy, psychedelic, far out, etc. the Vietnam war really charged the public like no war ever had, negatively. I am so glad we are past that. We honor our military now and value there commitment to sacrifice their lives for our freedom. The Vietnam War ended, we still haven't seen peace. 

Peace in this world is not possible. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Real Peace is not attainable except through Christ. As I grow older, I am more at peace. My heart is not nearly troubled like it once was. I see a new kind of peace growing inside me. I am not so easily stressed. I'm not worried about what people think of me. I am only worried about what God thinks about me and my life. It's not that I don't care. I'm not carefree. I feel comfortable, at peace, with my day, because it is filled with the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am not afraid of tomorrow, or the next day. God will take care of those days. He has a great track record in my 53 years of life. He has provided in amazing ways. He has never left me or foresaken me. I am blessed. He has brought me through my poor decisions and the troubles of this world. 

Peace is only possible when you give up control of your life to the one who sacrificed his life for you. The peace process begins then and ends with eternal peace at the feet of Jesus.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Trekees for God!

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

I am amazed by the mysteries of the universe. Did you know that Voyager spacecraft has left our solar system? Yes, it is hurling into deep space.

I have a confession to make: I'm a Star Trek geek! I really follow all the different series with Star Trek, Captain Kirk of old, Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and all the movies. I am a Trekee!  I want to travel in space. The mysteries of life are found in space. I'm not sure of life on other planets, but somehow I think there are others out there. It's not necessarily biblical, my God is certainly big enough to handle more than one planet of life. To say its not a possibility is to limit God. Nope, I'm not going to do that.

Even more amazing is Gods love for me. Why would he even waste his time? But he does love me  and that love is grander than the universe. It is beyond our galaxy. It is more powerful than warp drive.  His kindness and caring cant be duplicated. Praise God for him sacrificing for us, humble sinners!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wow, I need an outfit like that!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV)

I sense a theme in God's message to me lately. Yesterday I wrote my thoughts on compassion. Now there it is again. What do compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience have in common. I think "clothe" ourselves is the key. Being in education, hanging out with youth, clothing is important. It's not only important to high school students, it's important to adults. I have a granddaughter that used to wear horses on all her shirts. I think it was third grade. One kid at school changed that. We like to be dressed in acceptable clothing. In many ways our clothing is our first impression. We want people to get to know us before they judge us, but that isn't likely. Our clothes make that first statement about who we are.

That's why God wants us to clothe ourselves in these 5 ways. He wants our Christianity to shine through our lives. All of these traits say we are more interested in service to our fellow man than ourselves. There is no room for selfishness. Our testimony grows out of how we treat others or how highly we think of ourselves. We need to share these traits as the keynote for our lives. We need to care about how compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient we are. people should be able to see that in us before they see anything else. People should look and say wow, I need an outfit like that. Be clothed in a way that backs up your testimony and the life you live!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Outside the Box for Christ!

Do not conform 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 NIV)

During some down time between classes last week, I had a fun conversation with some students. The conversation was a little strange. They asked what I thought about "coffee dogs" or hot dogs soaked in coffee. At first I was repulsed by the thought. Soon I warmed up enough to say I would at least try it once. They were quite impressed I would even try it. It was an unusual request and I could have given the response everyone would give, NO! I think coffee dogs would be gross. I would play along just to satisfy curiosity.

Do you ever find yourself going against the crowd? Are you a nonconformist? I haven't thought too much about this, but I do like to go against the flow. Case in point? I ride a motorcycle, minister outside the church at unconventional places. I am trying to make a major change in education, and virtually my entire life has been spent doing things in an unconventional way. I married my wife right out of high school. Most do this because they have a child involved. We didn't.

God calls Christians to be different from everyone else. We are called to change the worlds system. We are asked to step out of our comfort zone to live our lives. We are not asked to live quiet lives hidden away in obscurity. Be bold, be unconventional. Go out and preach the gospel. Don't just preach to Christians or the "Safe" crowd. People are in need of Christ everywhere. Be creative live outside the box for Christ.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

No one wants to be alone!

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3 NIV)

No one wants to be alone. God doesn't want to be alone. He loves spending time with us. He created us for fellowship with him and each other. We want others to join our fellowship with Christ because God treasures fellowship with us. 

I love fellowship with my Christian family. My Church, CMA family, and my coworkers who follow Christ are a very important part of my life. I don't know how someone gets through a week without having  Family of Christian brothers and sisters. They are prayer warriors. They are my accountability group. They are my "playmates". Yes, we have fun together and spend much of our time laughing.

Strange as it may seem, the creator of the universe created us to be in fellowship with him, too. We're not his equal. We're  not on the same level. He still wants to be with us. He wants to spend time with us every day. just like our Christian family here on earth, he wants to laugh with us, cry with us, and pray with us. he wants us to bring others into the fellowship. Bringing others into a relationship with Christ is a win-win. God wins because he adds another to this great fellowship. We win because we have another brother or sister to fellowship with us. The new believer gets life in eternity with his savior. 

Don't disappoint God. Fellowship with him and with others. Bring more into the family.
Lets get out their and win for God, for ourselves, and for the lost. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

One sentence to live by!

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV)

What do you live by? If you were going to tell someone in a sentence who you are and what you live by, what would that sentence be? For me the second sentence of this verse says it all. The life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and died for me.

Faith in Christ, that's what I live by. That faith is intertwined in every aspect of my life. Since Christ entered into my life, you can not separate me from my faith. Faith isn't something displayed JUST at church or on Sunday. Faith is not just something I do. As I said yesterday it has and is changing me from the inside out. Faith in Christ is displayed by Christ living inside us. He takes up a permanent home in our hearts and transforms, first our hearts, then our thoughts, words, and actions. Faith will lead to great works.

Praise God for a changed life of faith.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

40 years, I've changed!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24 NIV)

I am a changed man. Are you different now than what you were 5years ago? 10 years ago? 20 years ago? 

I can see such big changes throughout my life. I first dedicated myself to Christ at Junior High Church Camp in 1973. That's been 40 years ago this summer! I'm old! Really old! That big event really set in motion the changes I've seen in my life. Who would have thought I would be in motorcycle ministry, serving students, and loving God like I do.  I slowly gained confidence in myself through High School. When I graduated, I got married and continue to gain independence, even from God. Yet, I never really left him and he certainly never left me. I piled myself into work for the next 15 years, then I changed again. I became more focused on others and changed careers. Education has always been a service ministry for me. Coaching and teaching were ways to live by example for young people. About 11 or 12 years ago, I really renewed my committment to Christ. My life change again. Now I can't get enough of ministry either with CMA or at school. I can't get enough studying his word, prayer, or worship.

Yes, I have changed, not because of who I am but Christ has worked in me. My thoughts now are much purer than they were 40 years ago. my passions are more in line with the things of Christ. It has been a long process and its not over yet. I am not where I want to be or where God wants me. I am closer today than I was yesterday. I see more changes ahead even as I gain a few years. I praise God he has been patient with me! I am excited to see how the Holy Spirit guides me and changes me for his purposes in the years I have left on this earth.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Don't worry, just Love God!

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? (1 John 3:17 NIV)

So much of our life is caught up in material possessions and money. We all need it to live. It is said that money is the root of all evil, I disagree. Just like guns don't kill, people do. Money in the hands of sinners is evil. It's not the money,its the people that are evil. Some people have way more than they can handle. So many have a lot less than they need. In my life, I have always found I have enough. God actually promises that in his word:

Look at what Luke 12:22-24 says about His provision. 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!"

I have never gone without food, clothing, or shelter. God has certainly shown his love and that he values me over the birds. God will give us what we need. He wants us to rely on him. Even through the pain, he will provide and ultimately give us the rich gift of eternal life. Worry about money and finances can overwhelm our families, if we let it. God has things under control in your life, if you rely on him. This applies to all parts of your life, money included! 

Don't worry! Just Love God!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm guilty of murder!

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:14 NIV)

Have you ever had a guilty conscience?

Matthew McCordle had a guilty conscience and made this video confession:

I can't imagine making a mistake of this magnitude, driving drunk and killing someone. I have made mistakes in my life and some had a significant impact on my life, but nothing like this.  The good news, God sent his son Jesus Christ to wipe out the conscience for these types of acts. It may seem unfair that God would do this. Why should a guy like Matthew be freed from this guilt? Shouldn't he live in torment for the pain he caused? i have to admit, I feel he got off easy with a short, public video confession. Why would God forgive and forget? Because my God is a God of grace and mercy. He knows we have all fallen short. We have sinned both great and small. Jesus wipes all of it away. If we start putting levels to our sins, where is the line drawn. What sin is worse than another? I may not have murdered anyone. Have I ever missed a chance to bring someone to know Christ? That could be the same as murder. God makes it simple, he forgives all!

God not only helps cleanse the guilty conscience, he is also there to cleanse the mind of the victims. He frees them of the hurt and the loss, if allowed. The process of letting go for both victims and the guilty, is long and painful, but both can make it. They can release there pain, accept the guilt and move on. My guiltiest thoughts and actions are those that nailed Jesus to a cross. There is nothing more painful than thinking I put him on the cross with the nails in his hands and feet. Yet, he forgave me for that. He sets a high standard for forgiveness. Praise God!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Why Church?

not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 NIV)

I don't want to sound hypocritical, I have missed a lot of church this summer. I was on vacation for four weeks, but I did attend church on the road. I have been involved with CMA (Christian Motorcyclist Association) events and visiting the grandkids. I have only attended my own church sporadically in the past 3 months and I miss it. My life is not complete without worship!

I love attending church and worshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ. In my devotional  ,Day by Day with Billy Graham, the comment was made  -- "The Bible says, “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.” If our Lord loved it enough to die for it, then we should respect it enough to support and attend it." I couldn't agree more. If you don't attend church you can not receive the full blessings God has planned for you. I miss church because it is a time to refuel, encourage others, and be encouraged. If you don't attend a church that does that, find another church. This verse tells how really important that is. This world is a messed up place. The closer we get to the return of Christ the more important it is for us to support each other. We can't do that unless we spend time with each other. 

I know many who claim to be followers of Christ who go at it alone, I feel sorry for them. They don't know the joy of corporate worship or the stirring of a powerful Spirit-led sermon. They don't get solid biblical teaching. They don't get to share in the talents of music and song. They don't know the joy of seeing new believers come to Christ. They don't get to hear of the miracles performed every day in the lives of their own Christian neighbors. They don't feel the support during times of loss or a crisis. Yes, I feel sorry for those who miss out on the love of a great church family. I miss mine and praise God for their love and support!

I thank The Lord continuously for County Line Church of God, the pastors, staff, and members are a wonderful gift from God!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

You can run, but you can't hide!

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:7-10 NIV)

I have put over 16,000 miles on my new Motorcycle. I love riding it. It feels like a part of me when I ride. I have been so blessed with travels all over this country in 2013. I just got back from St.Louis and the welcome of our newest edition to the family. God has been with me the entire 16,000 miles. 

I can't remember a time when I tried to flee the presence of God. Instead I am surprised by this verse. I'm not saying I haven't been embarassed by some of my actions and I have felt distant from God. Those feelings are my own. God has never left me. But, the idea of fleeing God has never crossed my mind, til now! In some ways I do see people fleeing from God's presence. They view him as some vengeful dictator waiting to pounce on a mistake or sin. They avoid him like the plague as if they can avoid his judgment. What they don't realize, he is not held to a physical place like we are. He is everywhere at anytime. You couldn't hide, even if you wanted to. Just like he has been with me on all my travels, he is with all of us as we travel through life. I count on his presence and can't imagine running away. Even those who hate him are not far from him. They don't know it but he is close, just in case they decide to turn to him instead of away. He won't interfere unless he is invited in. But, he is always close by.

I can thank my parents for raising me with a great view of God. I have always known he is with me and I can't hide from him. I see him as a loving, but firm Father, who loves us dearly. If we let him, he will guide our lives and is a constant companion sharing in joys and sorrows. He is not to be avoided or run from. Instead we are to run to him! We are to jump in his arms and hold on tightly. I feel great sorrow and pain for people who don't know that. I feel sorry for those who don't realize how close he is. If they would just reach out, they would begin to experience his amazing grace.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

I've been backpacking, many years ago, in Colorado. I remember following a small river, creek through the mountains. It was beautiful. The running water was so crystal clear and ice cold. Yet, it was not fit to drink. We had to boil the water before we drank it. How could that be? It was so pure!

If you've done any kind of wilderness travel you know what I mean. But, the water is filled with disease and bacteria. You can't judge it by its looks. 

How true is this of me and my fellow Christians. On the outside, Sunday morning, we look so righteous. Most people know that couldn't be further from the truth. We are flawed and filled with the bacteria and disease of sin. The nice things is,God will purify us, if we sincerely ask. He will purify our hearts and fill us with his spirit. Sometimes we have to be boiled to get the sin out of us. i need to cosntantly ask God to create a clean heart in me and a spirit that refelcts the Spirit of Jesus Christ. i will fail many times but the grace of God overcomes that sin and loves me. 

Praise God that he listens to this cry for purification! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The hope of New Life

in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, (Titus 1:2 NIV)

Finally, we have a new addition to the family! The miracle of life is proof enough of an amazing and powerful God. If you need proof, how can you not realize the presence of God when you think about the 9 months leading up to the delivery of a new life. After a birth in the family, I always get more hopeful about life. Our hope of eternal life is guaranteed by God to those who have faith. This guarantee is not like worldly guarantees, it is backed by our Heavenly Father who does not lie! 

Many times this world gets to me. We have such stresses of war, famine, and misery. It can drag you down. Recently, all the talk of war with Syria, political fighting in Washington, frustrates me. I just don't understand what happened to the art of compromise. Twisting words, back stabbing, inflexibility, and deliberate lies from all sides seem to be standard. No wonder people are skeptical of the gospel message and forced into cynicism. It is a great reminder that we an always count on the word of God and his promises. We can always fall back on the hope of eternal life and the unconditional love of the creator of our universe.

Praise God for the hope for today and our future. Sometimes it takes the miracle of life to reminds us of the hope that we have!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

This is for Baby Gilbert and his/her impatient family!

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:22, 23, 25, 28 NIV)

God has to stop doing that. This was my study tonight. Most people know that we are anxiously awaiting our 6th grandchild. We are NOT waiting patiently. So God sends me these verses from Romans. its not by chance, its by God! 

In the midst of our busy schedules everyone has a request for when the baby arrives. My granddaughter Hannah doesn't want it born on her birthday (Saturday) or her party day (Sunday). I have a CMA meeting on Saturday, BGIII can't be born then. Brian has to work 7-7 on Tuesday so Lindsae doesn't want the baby born on Monday. This is crazy! 

All things work for the good of those who love him. We all love him, SO it will all work out!

My entire life can be summed up by the impatience for the birth of this baby!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Take my Life.......

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20, 21 NIV)

I'm not sure what you or anyone else thinks about me. I write a Christian blog nearly every day. Those that know me will tell you, I have many faults and weaknesses. But, I am proud of who I am. God has made me and, although I fall short every minute of every day, I am made perfect through Christ.

I didn't say I was perfect. I'm not. Even through my own imperfections, Christ is working in me and using this broken, chipped, and worn out vessel. How can you live life as a follower in Christ and not feel exalted by his presence? I see the things I do each day and know it is not me, but Christ in me. Other days, my sinfulness darkens my path, and I could lose hope. I don't because of the saving grace of my savior. So when it comes down to it, my life or my death doesn't matter. What matters is Christ. If his kingdom is furthered by my life, Praise God. If his kingdom is furthered by my death, Praise God. I just want his perfect will in my life. Use me, Lord, at school, with my students, with my coworkers, with my friends, and certainly with my family. Use me on the streets with the lost. Use me with my hands, feet, words and deeds. Please Lord take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to thee!

 Remember the old Hymn!

  • Take my life, and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
    Take my moments and my days,
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
  • Take my hands, and let them move
    At the impulse of Thy love;
    Take my feet and let them be
    Swift and beautiful for Thee,
    Swift and beautiful for Thee.
  • Take my voice, and let me sing
    Always, only, for my King;
    Take my lips, and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee,
    Filled with messages from Thee.
  • Take my silver and my gold;
    Not a mite would I withhold;
    Take my intellect, and use
    Every power as Thou shalt choose,
    Every power as Thou shalt choose.
  • Take my will, and make it Thine;
    It shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart; it is Thine own;
    It shall be Thy royal throne,
    It shall be Thy royal throne.
  • Take my love; my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure-store.
    Take myself, and I will be
    Ever, only, all for Thee,
    Ever, only, all for Thee.

  • Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    7 years of Life!

    Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14 NIV)

    Today I was pretty tired. Stephanie and I had a whirlwind weekend of High School Football, driving, Cross Country, Driving, and Grandkids, then more driving. We got home late Monday night and it seems I got about 15 minutes of sleep, then headed to school, more driving, Cross Country, then more driving. I'm wupped! I love being with my family and supporting my Gkids, so I don't mind a little tiredness, it's for a good cause! 


    I could really use a fog delay and when I read this verse about a little mist, I am taking it as a sign from God! 

    I am busy, but my time on this Earth is short. I want to make sure that time is used for good purpose. I can't think of a greater purpose than supporting my daughters and their families. I also think I should spend more time for Gods kingdom. In my Billy Graham devotional today they published these facts about time:

    Use Your Time Wisely

    Nothing takes God by surprise. Everything is moving according to a plan; and God wants you in that plan. The devil also has a plan for the world. God has a plan and the devil has a plan, and you will have to decide which plan you are going to fit into. Scripture says that God allows us 70 years and some beyond. The first 15 are spent in childhood and early adolescence. Twenty years are spent in bed; and in the last five, physical limitations start to curtail our activities. That gives us about 30 years in which to live as adults. We take time out for eating, and for figuring our taxes, and we are down to perhaps 15 years. Now suppose we spend seven of those years watching television. That cuts us down to seven or eight years. Our time is short! The time we can invest for God, in creative things, in reaching our fellowmen for Christ, is short! (Day by Day with Billy Graham, devotional through YouVersion online Bible)

    Time is short, i shouldn't waste my time on frivolous pursuits, or praying for Fog. I need to use my prayer life, my time with God for more important issues. Time is short. We need to focus on spending time with family, God, and bringing the lost to Christ. There are no other pursuits worth spending our short life. 

    Monday, September 2, 2013

    Praise God from whom all Blessings flow!

    I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. (Psalm 22:22 NIV)

    The 22nd Psalm is full of anguish and the pain of David's life. Yet, right in the midst is placed this praise. David felt alone and persecuted for his faith, yet he praised God. He felt separated from God, but praised him in front of everyone. 

     I have never been persecuted for my faith, but can't find the time to praise Him. I am so blessed, and still don't praise the giver. Most of my pain is self inflicted, but I am the first to plead for help and the last to praise. I have repeated praises with hollow words like these:

    "Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." 

    I know many of you have said this over and over again. I have repeated it for my entire 53 years of life. Are they just empty words or do we mean it? Can we sing these words through the storms of life? In the middle of desperation? Loss? Pain? I hope so. But, if we can't find the time when things are great, do we really think we will when they're not! 

    SAY IT and MEAN IT! Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

    I recognize that voice.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17 NIV)

    I need, we all need encouragement. Through our good times and bad, we need someone to tell us it's going to be ok. My Heavenly Father and my savior are my greatest source for encouragement. It can come in the form of a just in time verse, a song from my Christian Radio station, a sermon, a word from a friend, a Facebook post, or directly through their audible voice. God uses all these methods and more to keep us fired up for him. We are not alone. God is our greatest fan. He loves us and knows just when we need an encouraging word. He speaks to us through many avenues, yet,many do not sense his presence or his caring heart. 

    If you don't hear that encouragement it is because of one of two reasons. Either you are not listening, or you haven't developed a strong enough relationship with God to recognize his voice. Which is it for you?