Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. (Psalm 130:6-7 NIV)

Today is the last day of 2014. Tonight millions of people will hold off on their rest to ring in the new year. The anticipation will grow and grow until the last minutes will seem like hours. In the mean time celebrations will fill the void and make the waiting fly by. I often wonder if we are celebrating last year or the year to come. I'm not really sure it matters to most people. I am sure it is some of both. 

The anticipation of the new year is a wonderful time. I am always excited to see what God has set before me. When I turned my life to Christ, I vowed to let his plan guide me. I know I don't always follow that plan, but even when I mess it up, he has a way of bringing me back to his will. That is why my anticipation for the new year grows just like waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. Who will he bring in to my life? Where will he take me? What adventurers will I be apart of? I just can't wait.

My anticipation of 2015 is fueled by the great year I had in 2014. This is the year we got a new grandson as my daughter adopted a wonderful young boy. This is the year, I was blessed with some great CMA adventures including Iron Butt rides, Rolling Thunder, my first Changing of the Colors Rally and so much more. Although my wife broke her elbow to cut short our vacation, I had many great times with my wife and family traveling all over the Midwest. It is my wonderful 2014 that builds my excitement for 2015.

Praise God or this wonderful life I live and I look forward to serving you Lord through all situations. Please Lord, direct me to serve those you want me to serve. Grant me the words to spread your message of grace, mercy and love. Fill me with your spirit. Help me love all people including those that don't love you. Help me to be the best husband, father, grandfather, teacher, CMA president, and servant of Christ I can be in 2015. 

Praise God for 2014 and the 2015 to come!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Blessed are the Rich!

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people. (Psalm 113:7-8 NIV)

I am a blessed man and have really never been in want. I don't know what it feels like to struggle for the basics of life. I've always had a home, clothing, and food. Why would I be taken care of, blessed so immensely, and so many people have nothing? I've not done anything to deserve what I have. I'm not anyone special. I'm not the smartest, bravest, kindest, or the most gifted. I just don't get it.

I think it's obvious that I am not blessed because of who I am. But I do pledge to use all that I have been given for the purpose of serving the Lord. None of what I have is mine. It all belongs to him. I will continue to look for ways to serve Jesus with the "things" I have been blessed with. "Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee." That means taking all I have and use it for your kingdom. That means different things to different people. My daughter has opened her home to adoption. I am serving within the Christian Motorcylist Association. Others will use sports, wealthy giving, or their many gifts/talents. We all need to look at our gifts. We need to open our hearts to the leading of the spirit in service. Then we need to act on that leading. We were given stuff NOT for our purposes, but to serve the kingdom. 

Thank you Lord for your wonderful love and grace. Thank you Lord for blessing me beyond all I could imagine. I am humbled by those blessings and am honored that you trust me to use them for you!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Let's get on with Winter!

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)

We didn't have a white Christmas and the winter, so far , has been very mild compared to the craziness of last year. I'm not complaining and I am sure most of the Midwest is in agreement, we need a mild winter. But, I'm guessing the odds are against us and we will be dealing with a winter storm or two, soon enough. 

Sometimes I feel the same way about my life. After you've been through a "season" of storms in your life? You become skeptical of the blessings, the good weather. As Christians we can develop a toughness when we deal with rough weather. As a matter of fact, that is the reason for the rough parts of our lives. God allows them for the development of our character and witness to others. It makes our lives more credible to the unbeliever and we develop more empathy and compassion for the lost. 

The storms of life are blessings to all people as we can learn from our own lives and the lives of others. Lord, I thank you for your love and the many circumstances in our lives. We know you are always with us. Thank you Lord for teaching us through all of our lives special moments. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A wonderful Counselor is born!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

Yes, Christ is born this day! The salvation of the world is here.

We have all heard this verse many times in our lives. Countless Christmas sermons, Christmas Eve services, and seasonal messages spread these truths. If you know me or have read this blog for any length of time you know many of my eccentric thoughts. Here is another: 

Is there meaning to the order of these names, these characteristics of Jesus. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This is not the trinity, it's different. It's somehow more practical. It directs my thoughts to why God even came to Earth at all. There is power and strength in the names Mighty God and Everlasting Father. Identifying Jesus as the Prince of Peace also is fitting of his royal status. Any of those three characteristics could have been first, primary in this list. But, "Wonderful Counselor" is first. I think that is not by chance. It is first because it tells us of Jesus primary mission. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit identify who God is. But, Wonderful Counselor is WHAT God is. 

I praise God for his wonderful counsel. I treasure our times of prayer, communication, and words of advise through out my day. I can't picture my life, where I would be, without the loving counsel of Jesus. For those that don't pray you won't have a clue what I'm talking about. Thank you Lord for caring enough to send someone, your Son, to guide me through this life of peril. Thank you for sending your son, subjecting him to the persecution of the government, thank you for sending him to the cross, defeating death, and going to prepare a place for me! I praise you for the direction in my life. I pray it will always be directed by your will!


A brief encounter with Jesus!

Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region. (Matthew 8:34 NIV)

It's Christmas Eve, my one and only shopping day of the year. I am not fond of shopping but today, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I really enjoy walking the mall, watching people, and choosing just the right gift. After this day is done, I will loath shopping and the crowds. I would rather submit to water boarding than step into a Walmart! 

Tonight churches worldwide will be packed with "Christ-Ers", or those people that attend church only on Christmas and Easter. Like my shopping trips each year, they CHOOSE to spend one brief moment in the worship of Jesus. It is not a recommitment, it's not a conversion, it's an annual recognition of the power of Jesus. After tonight, they will neglect to include Jesus in their daily lives. They send him away until they need him. Some of these same people will even loath the faith and live lives completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus. 

I weep and Jesus weeps over those that reject him. I have seen the power of the savior in my life. I know the countless miracles I have seen. I have witnessed first hand his love, mercy, and grace. The idea of living without him is unimaginable. To think so many people miss that is tragic. But, there is hope. There is the chance that someone innocently attending a Christmas Eve service will see the light of Jesus. I pray that as they sing Silent Night in the solitude of their own thoughts, they will hear his voice. I pray they will open their hearts to his wonderful love and that they will be changed forever. I weep, but do not give up hope. I mourn the blessings that my friends and neighbors are missing. I am saddened by the lack of hope they have. I will not give up on them and neither will Jesus. Ilove to see them and worship with them, even if it's just for a brief moment in time. Praise God for the gift of his son and the joy of worshipping him!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Us vs Them at Christmas!

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 12:8-9 NIV)

We are only 2 days away from the celebration of Christ's birth. The rhetoric from anti-christians and atheists is heating up. I read an article yesterday slamming the inaccuracies of our celebration. They are battling in small towns across America trying to keep us from any public signs or displays. They want to put our symbols and beliefs against the faith of satanists or secularists. I gladly accept the challenge. Look at our faith history, our proof, the value of our beliefs and the impact on society, you would be hard pressed to find another worthy of the praise of Christianity. Indeed we christians do not know the specific date of Jesus birth. We don't know the details of the wisemen and our speculation of all the events fuels more and more inaccuracies. The bible does not give us a detailed list of events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

So what?

As you would expect, these non-Christians miss the point. As I stated, I readily admit to many inaccuracies of the birth of Christ. But, the one thing we hold dearly is the knowledge that God came down to earth to be with us. He spent his life teaching by example how we should live. More importantly he gave us the prescription to die and live again in eternity. He sacrificed himself for us. Even if you completely deny the deity of Jesus you have to value the outcome of his life. Sure you can point to the failure of Christianity on many occassions, but you can not deny the value, historically, has outweighed the negative. You can point to many more NON-Chrisitian sects and leaders who have caused more damage and agony historically in the name of their beliefs. I am saddened that the haters of my savior can not see him as I do. But, I am also saddened they can not see the value of Christianity and the wonderful impact his life and death has on our lives, my life!

Jesus Christ is my savior. He was born, died, and rose again for me. He has saved me from death and has promised eternal life. The little details about his birth are unimportant in the grand scheme of this world. The symbols, the date, the story may not be completely accurate as we celebrate it. But, it is real. He was born, he lived a perfect life, he did die, and he rose again. Praise God for my wonderful savior and the greatest gift of all: Life Everlasting!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Evil strikes!

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, (Colossians 1:13 NIV)

Here we are only 3 days before Christmas Day and the news is filled with turmoil. The idea of peace on earth is no closer today than it was 2000 years ago. Two New York City police officers were killed in cold blood, another officer killed in Florida, and countless young black people killed in violence around the country due to gang violence. We have cyber attacks, ridiculous protests for a criminal killed by police officers, and a world filled with hatred, terrorism, and ruthless killings. It doesn't exactly put you in the Christmas spirit. 

Humanity is in a downward plunge. While I am sitting in the peace, safely in my home, watching the sunrise over a lifeless field covered in a beautiful frost, the world around me is getting more and more evil. Hatred, sinfulness, murder, immorality, and Christlessness is growing! It all should lead us to Jesus, but sadly it does not. The only real solution is Jesus. The end of the violence is not a different president, or a new political party, a law, gun control, or legislated morality, The change we all need starts with the worship of the babe in a manger. It starts with the invitation of the savior into your heart. It starts with you changing and focusing your life on Jesus!

Dear Lord Jesus, we need you today, right now, in the midst of hatred and violence world wide. We need you. Bring your spirit into our hearts. Help us to spread love and joy to our own communities. Help protect the police officers that sacrifice their own lives for us. Build your hedge of safety around our military serving around the world. Cure the ills of our world, the poverty, the desperation, the hopelessness that leads to these violent acts. I love you Lord and rest knowing you are always with me! Thank you Lord for your love and grace! AMEN!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The end is near!

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7 NIV)

I don't mean to spread gloom and doom during the greatest time of the year. But, the end is coming. It's not a time of fear and dread, it's a time of praise and rejoicing. We celebrate the first arrival of our savior this week. We, however, look with even more joy and anticipation to his coming again. The next time the celebration will not be in a quiet little town or observed by only a few dirty shepherds. This time the world will know and peace will reign for all who believe and worship him. 

Praise God his return is near. Come lord Jesus come!

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19th, 2014 was planned long ago!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

The events of Ćhrist's birth, life, death, and Ressurection were ordained before the world began. God new everything, knows everything from the beginning of time to this very moment. Last night we were blessed with the arrival of Jordan, permanently into our family. My daughter McKenzie, Jeff, and the rest of the family welcomed this young man, permanently, into our family. The adoption will not be final for 6months, but he is one of us. 

Just like God ordained the sacrifice of his own son, he has planned for Jordan to be with us. It's not by chance. I don't know all the details of Jordan's life. I don't know the circumstances of his birth mother giving him up. I don't know the life he has led. God does and for reasons only God knows he has brought this wonderful boy into our lives. I guess I can really say that about all our daughters and our grandchildren. He has appointed us to be a family. So many people take for granted the precious life we live. We all neglect to realize the awesome plan working right before us. This precious moment, December 19th, 2014 we have been granted a precious gift, to see into the heart of God with the wonderful life of Jordan. Praise God. Dear Lord, continue to bless Jordan. We ask that you use his life in a special way that he can share your love like others can not. Protect him and let him know he is always loved. Bless our entire family may we all serve you, answer your call and be open to your mighty works. Thank you Lord! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17 NIV)

Tonight at my mothly Bible Study we talked about big decisions in the Bible. We talked about the fall of man, Nehemiah, Peter and Andrew, James, Jesus being tempted, and more. But the greatest biblical decision of all time......... God deciding to send his son to us. The profound impact of that mighty decision lingers today, 2000 years later.

We are faced with decision after decision during the Christmas season. Choosing the correct gifts, planning where you will be for Christmas celebrations, giving to special Christmas charities, and how much money to spend. But, the biggest decision we make is how we will include Jesus in the celebration of his own birth. It seems a little ironic that a birthday celebration wouldn't even include the celebrant. But, it happens more often than not. Please keep Christ in CHRISTmas. Choose to include him in your life now and every day. Remember the story of his birth is just the beginning. 
Praise God for his sacrifice that saved me for eternity.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I've heard it all before!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (Luke 2:1 NIV)

How many times have we heard this verse? I first remember it from the Charlie Brown Christmas show. But, I have heard it countless times in my 54 years. It never gets old. This beautiful scripture is the sign of great things to come. This story is one of the few biblical stories people know. Even those that don't follow Jesus, that don't worship him on a regular basis, know this story. 

How can you interject anything new? How can you learn anything elsemfrom this "old" story.

This Christmas story and the rest of the bible are applicable today. They are adaptive in that they fit your life where you are at today. It's not just a story of historical fact. It's a story with deep meaning to our lives today, in 2014! 

The Christmas Story is brand new to me this year because my family is changing again. My daughter is adopting a 10 year old boy. He comes to live with them permanently on Friday. What a precious gift! It's not a birth of a baby, but its equally precious and the newness of life is just the same. The Christmas story is about the newness of life. It's about hope. It's about the promise of a future free of sin. We are reminded of that every year through the story that begins, "In those day......" As we welcome Jordan, we are exited to see how the baby Jesus affects his life and how he grows in his trust and love in the Lord.

Praise the Lord for the newness of life and the freshness of this wonderul story. I praise your name for the beautiful gift of a young persons life and bringing Jordan to us. Thank you Lord for all of my family and the life we all share for you and the sacrifice you made to save us. May we never treat the story of Jesus birth as an old tired story. May we see the birth through our daily lives as being relevant and important to us every day. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What are your Christmas Traditions?

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 NIV)

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Christmas Tree decorating AFTER thanksgiving - I love this first official activity of Christmas. This year Stephanie and I got to do this with two of the three daughters and their families.

The countdown - There has always been a countdown to Christmas in my family. My mom used to give special advent calendars for  my kids to countdown the days. I still do it!

Christmas Eve shopping - this has been my tradition for years. I go by myself and enjoy the peace by myself picking out special gifts for the ones I. Love.

Christmas Eve Service - I am saddened that our church does not have a midnight Christmas Eve service. This was such a great tradition of peace and joy leading to Christmas Day. 

Opening one gift at a time - My family still honors this tradition. It stretches out the enjoyment and the fun/fellowship is always more valuable than the gifts.

Christmas Day movie - this started for my family when we lived in New York. I love it!

Egg Nog - I could drink a gallon.

Cinnamon rolls - this started with my grandma Rhoades. Nothing matches hers. Others have tried with only limited success. But, we still love them!

 There are too many more to even list. Christmas is filled with tradition and the most famous story of all time. A miraculous birth is the most precious tradition. I love the peacefulness, the joy and the hope that always comes around Christmas. No matter what your traditions remember to always keep the wondeful savior of the world as the center. Thank you Lord for the gift of Jesus and the traditions we have!

What star are you looking for?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 NIV)

Isn't it ironic the WISEMEN were looking for Jesus. As my devotional from Greg Laurie said last night, they were men of power and influence. They literally had everything including wealth and extensive knowledge. They were very wise and learned men. So why seek out a babe, worship him, and shower him with gifts? Even though they had "everything", they knew something was missing and they sought the world for that something! 

What are you seeking? What are you missing this Christmas season? 

I see a world desperately looking for peace, comfort, joy, and other not so honorable things like power, and wealth. They are looking in the wrong places. They are chasing the wrong star. Everything this world needs is in the babe, wrapped in clothes, lying in a manger. Even those chasing knowledge and wisdom need to look toward Jesus. Those things are not found in books, jobs, or research. Regardless what you seek, nothing of value will be found outside the love of Jesus. You might need a job, a wife, a husband, a family, your health, a home, or any number of valuable things. None of the things will help with the feelings of emptiness without Jesus. Really, all we have to do is seek him and he promises us, we will find him. It's not like tracking down a needle in a haystack. The star you seek is brilliant and visible to everyone. It is not hidden. Just turn your face toward him and you will see it.

Lord, I truly pledge to continue to seek you with every part of my life. I want nothing else but to be with you and to rejoice in your presence. Help me, Lord, stay focused on you, your star, your majesty, your love, and your grace. Thank you for loving me enough to come down to live among us and to sacrifice all that we all might truly live forever. Amen!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23 NIV)

There are so many terms and stories we christians use that the lost just can't believe. This idea that God, the creator of the universe is Immanuel, is unbelievable. Christmas itself is unbelievable. A baby is born, of a virgin, grows up, dies a cruel death so he can save us 2000 years later. It just doesn't make sense. To someone who could care less what happened then, most people care only about what's going on in their lives right now. 

Most people I meet that don't know Jesus have been abandon at some point in their lives. The orphan was abandon by both his parents or maybe just one left and now each day brings no hope. To others they have been abandon by their husband or wife. Still others may have been abandon by a company or job. The reality of abandonment is too prevalent in the world today. Is it a wonder that we can not reach the lost? Doesn't it make sense they are skeptical of the truth that God will not leave or foresaken them? That's the reason it takes time to win hearts for Jesus. People need to see that God will be with them, even when things get hard. 

People will come into our lives every day that just can't believe our message. As christians we need to be steadfast in our faith, but even more so in our loyalty to those that don't know Jesus. They don't need our criticism. They don't need our judgement and they don't need our shunning. They need our loyalty, they need our love and they need to know we are going to be there through sin, pain, trial, and storm. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. Once we've committed to help, there is no turning back. We need to make sure the abandon know what grace is. Their first and only experience may come from us. We have to make sure they see grace and love in action. Until they do, they will remain lost, skeptical that they will never have peace and joy in their lives.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The thief!

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

Why did Jesus come to live with us? This verse says it all: someone has been trying to steal our lives and baby Jesus was born to give us back our lives and to make sure we are able to live them to the full. It's not much simpler than that.

Our communities are filled with people that are victims of the thief. This thief has stolen their joy. He has stolen their life. Orphans, the homeless, widows, the lost are all victims of the thief. But they are not the only victims. I see people every day that trudge through their day oblivious to the joy of the Lord. I see people that can't find the blessings sitting right before them. I know people who say they love their lives but demonstrate extreme negativity and demonstrate real hate for those around them. It's so sad to see people who can't look at life through the blessings of God. Even worse is many of these same people claim to be children of God. How can you live a life of dispair and claim Jesus as your savior?

There is an enemy out there trying to take your life. Christmas is the time to defeat this enemy. When we look at the joy of Jesus coming into our lives to save us, you have to feel victorious. One of the best ways to defeat the enemy is by sharing the joy of Christmas. It's this time of year that we see more people helping others in need. It doesn't take a lot of money to share the gospel message and this time of year more people are open to that message than any other time of the year. The fullness of life begins at Christmas, in a manger, in the little town of Bethlehem, with shepherds and Angels. Take this wonderful time of the year and commit yourself to the babe. Ćommit yourself to sharing this wonderful message of hope, peace, and love. You will be amazed how it defeats the enemy. You will be surprised how sharing the love of Jesus gives you your life back.

Merry Christmas and enjoy th fullness of life that starts with the birth of Jesus!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fear Not! Are you kidding?

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. (Luke 1:30 NIV)

Several times during the Christmas story, Angels visit and their first words are: "Do not be afraid!" Who were they kidding? The shepherds and Mary both got to sense the terror of having these powerful beings disrupt an otherwise peaceful night. I can't even explain the terror I would feel, let alone what my reaction would be. The presence of the angelic host must be quite the powerful, awe inspiring sight. It's easy to say I would love to see it, but I'm not sure I could handle it!

Have you ever been truly afraid? I was riding my motorcycle in the late fall of the year several years ago. I had a VERY near miss with a deer. It happened so quick, but it happened in slow motion at the same time. We actually came eye to eye as he veered to leep over the back of my motorcycle. I was so petrified, but didn't even slow down after it happened. I was paralyzed with fear. 

The older I get the less paralyzed I am with fear. I have survived enough calamity that I know I have nothing to fear. I don't fear people's opinions. I don't fear confrontations. I'm not afraid to stand up for Jesus. I'm not afraid to do the unpopular thing. I just don't fear much. I'm not in the same breath as Mary, but for some reason I have been blessed by God and he has shown, time and time again, that I have nothing to fear. When all is crumbling, I can see the face of God and know I'm ok. 

In the peace of this wonderful Christmas season, fear not, for if you have committed your life to Jesus, you will find favor with God. Praise God for the strength he provides to endure all times, both good and bad.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:11 NIV)

I have bashed "secular" Christmas enough that you know where I stand. But, I can see some great opportunities to serve Jesus and present his message through the secularism. We do walk a fine line. We don't want to promote Santa as God or a god. But, we do want to promote his virtues as being of God. We don't want to get trapped in the thought that our goodness brings blessings from God like the naughty/nice list from Santa. But, we do want to promote giving freely and as a treasured act. The peace of new fallen snow on Christmas Eve sets a great scene and feeling. I get the same feeling about Jesus birth in  little town of Bethlehem. 

It's ok to enjoy the "secular" parts of Christmas as long we use that story to help promote the power of the gospel. It's ok to dream about a white Christmas and the purity of the life of Jesus. God wants us to enjoy life for his purpose at Christmas time and throughout the entire year. Look at Christmas through the eyes of the creator of the universe. Don't just move through Christmas without Jesus! That even sounds ludicrous.


He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

Sometimes I feel like the world is traveling so fast it's going to spin me off into space at any moment. It seems like this time of year when we are supposed to radiate peace and goodwill to men, I am filled with an overwhelming schedule of busyness. Time flies by and I don't take the time to really celebrate the season. I don't like it and my attitude shows it. 

It's at points like this, I need to "Be still," and know GOD IS IN CONTROL. it's hard to do, but God has no desire for us to be exhausted, frazzled, and living a life spinning out of control. So let's STOP..........Take a deep breath...........and know that God is in control. The Lord of the universe is with us. Just like Jesus came down to live with us, so did the spirit of the one high God. Relax, focus on the peace of Jesus Christ and welcome the Holy Spirit to calm your life.

Praise the Lord for getting us to stop, reflect on your love, and enjoy the peace we desperately need. Thank you for my wonderful life. Help me keep you in the forefront and all else in the periphery. Keep my eyes upon you, Jesus. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where's Jesus?

After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. (Luke 2:43 NIV)

I just can't believe this happened! How could a parent lose their child? Even more crazy, they didn't notice it right away! They thought he was with friends or relatives. I can't explain it, but I will guarantee when they realized he was lost they were beside themselves. I am sure Mary and Joseph were frantic when they couldn't find Jesus.

Wouldn't that be wonderful if we had the same feelings about spending time with Jesus. We so often forget all about Jesus in our daily lives. We might not even look for him for days or months. There is no sense of urgency, there is no frantic need, and there is no real search. Usually, we head back to find Jesus when things slow down, when our lives aren't busy with shopping or holiday cheer. 

During this Christmas season, don't forget Jesus. Find time to spend with him, pray, meditate, study the word, praise him with songs and joy. Share him with others. Don't go through the best part of they ear without your savior!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do you believe?

I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:24 NIV)

I got a question the other day from a high school student, asking if I believed in Santa Claus. My stock answer is yes. To not believe in Santa Claus is tantamount to not believing in Christmas. From the secular view, you can't believe in Christmas without Chris Kringle. Our view point, how the jolly old elf might look changes over the years, but we always believe in him. 

More important than believing in Santa Claus, you can't believe in Christmas without believing in Jesus Christ. Forget Santa, Jesus is where Christmas turns magical. You never look at Christmas the same way after you accept Jesus in your life. To think the creator of all things would choose to come to Earth, to be with us, in the form of a baby, is miraculous and filled with wonder. 

Believing in the baby is just the start. In order to have eternal life we must believe that little baby went on to die for us, for our sins. It's the only way. Christmas only makes sense if we follow the story to the death and resurrection. I pray you and your family will believe in the whole story of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus!

Friday, December 5, 2014

I hate Xmas!

and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2 NIV)

I am loving this Christmas devotional by Harvest Ministries. Today the discussion was about Xmas. I literally hate it when people use this term. I am not as upset when people use "Happy Holidays" . Using this term around our Jewish brothers and sisters or people from other faiths is understandable. But, really, if I use a "hearty" a Merry Christmas, how does that offend them! I'm not forcing them to believe, just greeting them out of my love. But the devotional didn't spend a lot of time debating these Christmas greetings. The point was: Shouldn't we be equally outraged at what our own Christian family has done with this holiday? I know very few Christians that don't promote the Santa Claus, reindeer, snow filled version of Christmas. 

Instead of getting bent out of shape because someone uses Xmas or Happy Holidays, shouldn't we look at our own attitudes and celebration of this holiday? Manger scenes used to be prominent through out neighborhoods in our country. Go to your local Home Depot or Lowes or Meynards, you can't buy a manger scene. I even had difficulty finding an Angel, but I have one. We should work hard at keeping the true meaning of Christmas in the forefront of our lives. Manger scenes should replace snowmen, the star of Bethlehem should replace the Christmas wreath. The three wisemen should replace Santa Claus and jolly snowmen. We should take this time of year to Praise God openly with evey bone in our body, with every resource we have. To emphasize anything beside the birth of our savior weakens the beautiful gift of Gods son!

Join me in celebrating our saviors birth, not the joy of shopping, not the joy of Santa Claus, not the joy of snow fall or sleigh rides. The holiday is to celebrate the coming of God to live with us here on Earth! Praise God for his wonderful love.

Christmas Encouragement by Greg Laurie
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I promise

the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, (Romans 1:2-3 NIV)

God loves you and he has promised to be with you. The bible is filled with verses Those promises are the center of the Christmas season. Our society doesn't value a promise like it used to. Promises to love someone forever in marriage is not taken seriously. Promises to children are destroyed through divorce and family turmoil. Politicians are better at breaking promises than keeping them. God ALWAYS keeps his promises. 

I am so thankful for a reliable, loving God who has a plan for my life and promises life eternal for those who believe. He sent his son to us that we would see those promises in action. I am honored and humbled by his impact and involvement in my life. May we all remember God's wonderful promises during this Christmas season. May we, as christians, honor our promises and take seriously the commitments we make. The impact of breaking our promises damage the witness we have and may keep the lost from coming to know Jesus. Your number one promise should be to love and serve Jesus. Keep that promise and live in eternity with your loving, Heavenly Father.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Don't stop at Christmas!

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28 NIV)

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Now we make the trek to Christmas Day. 25 days to celebrate the greatest event known to man! As yet! I just started a new devotional for Christmas from my friends at YouVersion Bible Ap. 

(The devotional is fCopyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved and is called "Christmas Encouragement by Greg Laurie." I would like to thank Harvest Ministries With Greg Laurie for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

I will be reading this devotional and share my own thoughts of the readings from now until Christmas. 

The first devotion proposes this thought:  We may be ready for Christmas, but are we ready for the return of Christ? 

So much preparation goes into Christmas. We need the right gift, the perfect decorations, the ideal weather ( not too much snow to prevent travel, but enough for a beautiful winter scene), family events modeled after Norman Rockwell, and peace throughout the world. We need snowmen, twinkling lights, jolly old Saint Nick, and flying reindeer. In the midst of all these puzzle pieces we miss the grand picture, the birth of our savior. Beyond that picture, which we miss more often than not, the even greater picture: the return of this tiny babe from the manger is lost to the world. That is the real story. The babe is going to return and it's going to happen soon. Are you ready?

As Christians we are more caught up in this miraculous FIRST Christmas story than we are the glorious future that lies ahead. We are so caught up in the magic of the beginning, we lose the truth of the reason the story is amazing at all. The birth of Christ just starts the story how God wants us to be with us for eternity. He came down to be with us, sacrificed himself for us, so that we might have eternal life and recieve it upon his even more miraculous return. Even WE miss the real meaning and we miss the grand opportunity to share this wonderful story this time of the year. 

Jesus is coming again, we need to be ready. We need to prepare for that glory by helping others receive Jesus, beg forgiveness of their sins, and dedicate themselves to a life centered around him. Forget the first coming, the best is yet to come! The virgin birth , the wisemen, the shepherds, the angelic host all mean nothing without the second coming of Christ. If we just believe the story of the first coming without the truth of the cross and without the REST of the story, we are doomed to die and doomed to separation from God forever. Don't stop at the beginning, finish the story, accept Christ as your savior and the Christmas story will live in you through eternity!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Real Thanksgiving!

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)

Yes, it's the absolute best holiday of the year TODAY - It's Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving is the ugly stepsister to Christmas. I don't have anything against Christmas. I love celebrating the birth of my savior. But, secularists have taken over Christmas and it is hard to see the real meaning through the presents, the lights, the glitter, and the economic impact. Thanksgiving is the purest holiday. 

Thanksgiving is centered around the important things in life. This holiday has its roots in God and family. There is nothing better than sitting down with the family and celebrating the joys of the blessings God has provided. When you have a wonderful relationship with God it is amazing how you become aware of his many gifts. This year is no exception. Our latest blessing is the addition of a new grandson. My oldest daughter is adopting a young 10 year old boy. We are so excited about him joining our family. When you add him to all the other grandkids, you can't help but shout for joy. God has blessed all my daughters in wonderful ways. We all have our health and our lives are filled with love. 

My prayer for today is that we, as a family, will continue to serve God. I pray we will honor all the many blessings we have received by sharing the love of Christ within our own little worlds. I praise God for his grace and the joy of his salvation. I praise him for the answers to prayer and the amazing love he shares everyday. I love my life and love to get up every day to serve him. Thank you Lord and Happy Thansgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holding hands

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)

One of the great joys in life is the simple act of holding the hand of my young grandchildren. It happens when we are going in to a store and I want to make sure they stay with me. It happens when they want me to come with them to see something and on occasion it happens when we go for walks. It's a brief moment in time when life seems perfect. The act of clasping a hand is the ultimate symbol of oneness. It happens when I hold the hand of my wife, it happens when a group holds hands in prayer. It amazes me how such a small act can bring such peace.

I can just imagine God feels the same way. When I am with God, when I am praying continuously, when I am serving him, when I am worshipping, it is the same as taking a walk with God, hand-in-hand. The peace in my life is directly related to my relationship with my savior. He often grasps my hand for my safety. He gently grasps my hand to lead me through life and he joins me to let me know he loves me. He is my counsel and I look forward to the eternal glory  he will take me to. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I see people being crushed!

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)

As you know, I am thrilled with my life. God has blessed me in great abundance. When I sit down for Thanksgiving dinner this week, I will not be able to contain my thankfulness. But, this is not to say, there is no evil in the world. As a matter of fact, I see evil everywhere. The enemy is at the door, he pursues us and his plans are to crush us.

I have seen the hedge of protection around me and my family, yet I am affected about the evils of this life. I see a young lady battling with cancer as she tries to raise her two young daughters. At the same time she fights a serious divorce. When I hear this I want to shout to God, "Leave her alone!! Protect her because she is being crushed and the enemy pursues her.

I see students at school that battle with bullies, confidence, and being socially outcast. My heart aches for their pain. I see the same students abandoned by their parents, fighting broken relationships, and struggling with poverty. I scream, God protect them from the evil of this world. Stop anyone bringing harm to them and punish the evildoers severely.

I see bikers hiding behind sin,convincing themselves their is no God that could love them. I see them lose the battle of destructive decision making. I see satan taking hold of their weaknesses, stealing hope, and providing temporary joy.

Yes, there is much evil in this world. It shames me to see it. But, the Lord saves me. He saves me for his purpose that I might serve the lost and those fighting a losing battle with evil. I praise God and pledge my life to spreading true joy through him!

Get out of their way!

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2 NIV)

“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 really value the thoughts and opinions of teenagers. I'm not sure that's popular. The news always targets young people and their poor decision making. Many think they do not have enough life experiences to make those goo choices. I can see that viewpoint. But, I also think those life experiences can get in the way of making good decisions. If you are scarred by some event, it may prevent you from making a clear choice in the future. Sometimes it is better to view an issue through the eye of a child.

 A we approach the best holiday of the year, I can say I am so thankful to get to spend my days with kids that are passionate about lifes issues. They don't just accept things the way they are. They have plans for changing society. We should listen to them. We should hear their thoughts and help them achieve their goals. We throw so many road blocks at them. We fill their lives with trivial things. We attempt to make them carbon copies of ourselves. Why are we surprised when the world stays the same? 

Let's get out of the way of today's youth. Let's give them the tools to really make a difference. Praise God for the teenagers in our lives. Thank you Lord!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A good nights sleep!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

Eventually everyone needs a old night sleep. I know many people that have a difficult time getting rest. I have not had major problems doing that, but I have times where I wake up in the middle of the night an can't get back to sleep. At those times I just can't get my mind to stop thinking long enough to fall back to sleep. When that happens several nights in a row it "my flesh and my heart fail". I can feel my lack of sleep affecting my day and thus the people around me.

Or those of you that have advanced sleep disorders, I apologize for the simplicity of my solution. I have found my best defense to an overactive brain in the middle of the night is to pray. Speaking to my creator, sharing my concerns, expressing my joy, and listening to the spirit, are so soothing it sends me to sleep. I believe in the power of God. He can cure all things and heal us from anything. Sleeplessness is not any different. God is the strength of my heart. He is my portion forever. Praise God for his healing power and the ability to get a good nights sleep. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


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)

Sometimes I just don't understand. In today's crazy society it is so hard to know the truth. I believe Truth is truth. Our current president and his party have just presented an executive action for illegal immigrants. The opposite side of the aisle presents facts that are completely different than his. It leads you to believe one side or the other. They both can't be right. There is only one truth. But, honestly they have the issue so muddled with "spin" that we can't discern the truth. This is just an example of one issue. There are so many other issues where the truth is not easy to see.

I am so thankful I have a God that knows the truth. He sends the spirit upon his people in order to help us see the truth. We need to rely more on Jesus to help us through the issues of the day. We don't need to know it all, he does. We need to pray through these issues. We need to ask for discernment. We need to ask for guidance. God will provide clarity. The truth will set us free!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I write late!

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

I write most of my blog posts late at night. I reread them in the morning and then post them before I read the newspaper. I do this, partly, because it takes me some time to wind down from the day. My time with the Lord is the very best way to relieve my anxiety. My mind is in constant motion. There is always one more lesson to prepare, one more grade to enter, one more email to reply, or one more post to make. Focusing on the Lord removes the stress. It removes the anxiety, and it provides the peace to gently rock me to sleep.

I find prayer an bible study are my greatest comfort and instruments of peace. My time with Jesus gives me the mental strength to relax my mind. I think we all need time to unwind after out hectic days. Many people use destructive means to relax, drugs, alcohol, an inappropriate websites don't provide the peace from building a relationship with Christ. Real peace and joy comes Christ. I know this first hand. Praise God for his wonderful peace and the joy in my heart! Good Night!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"People Blessings", my life is filled with them!

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2 NIV)

Do you ever get tired of hearing how blessed I am? If I need to I'll apologize. But, my God is a God filled with blessings in many different forms. One of my many blessings are my friends, my students, and my colleagues. 

This verse brought all those many "people blessings" to my mind. I have such a great time at school with my co teachers and my wonderful students. It's not all fun and games, but we laugh, we share our joys, and we share the challenges in a remarkable way. I just can't say enough about the colleagues I have at GHS. It's a special place where we can challenge, provoke, support, joke, plan, tease, collaborate, praise, console, learn, grow, and love each other every single day. I hear such nightmares in schools across our nation. That just doesn't exist at GHS. With a great faculty comes great students. I love my kids. It's my weekday family and there is nothing more valuable on this earth than a family. I see them growing in amazing ways. We are planning a special trip to our local nursing home, not because a teacher came up with an idea, but because one of our caring students had an idea.

The same could be said for my CMA family. They also hold a special place in my heart. They are another example of "people blessings". I can't even find the words to express the joy from this group of dedicated christians. There love for Christ shines through in the fun we have and the ministry we share. 

All of these people plus my REAL family give me reason to shout for joy. Let the nations say, "The Lord has done great things for us!" Praise God for the blessings I have in life, especially the blessings that walk with me everyday! Thank you Lord!


He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord. (Psalm 113:9 NIV)

Having kids in your home is a great joy. I am so blessed to have three amazing daughters and 7 grandkids. Our latest addition to the family is in a young boy my oldest daughter is adopting, Jordan. Life is never dull and boring when you have kids in the house. That is the way God planned it. Why you want to live a life without kids is beyond me. Yes, they can try your patience, but the rewards go way beyond any possible setbacks. 

I deal with families on a regular basis that don't understand the precious gift they have. These kids may not be abused, but at least on some level they are neglected. Parents get busy, they get tired, they get selfish, they focus on anything but loving their kids. I am greatly saddened by our societies lack of focus on raising our kids. We need to spend time with the kids in our lives. We need to share our faith, our love of Christ, our passion for the kingdom of God, or the next generation will not serve Jesus. We need to set the example for our neighborhood kids, grandkids, and our own. We need to give these precious lives all of our love and attention. 

Praise God for the kids in our lives. Thank You Lord for their innocence and their undying love. Protect our children. Give them hearts for you and your kingdom. Help us to focus on raising kids who love you. We are honored with the challenge and blessed with the opportunity to serve you through our kids!

Monday, November 17, 2014


The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; (Psalm 34:15 NIV)

I am getting older and my eye sight and hearing is on the decline. My eye sight while driving at night is not good and my family chuckles at the volume level I need to watch television. I have more aches and pains than I used to have and I need more rest and recovery time. Yes, I am getting older!

The best part of getting older is my relationship with Jesus. I am closer to the Lord than I have ever been. That doesn't mean I'm some righteous super Christian. I'm a sinner like everyone else. But, I can tell you I enjoy spending more time with God. Part of that, I know he is listening. His hearing never fails and he is watching with a keen eye, every day, with no failure. I don't ever have to worry about a savior whose eyes are elsewhere and misses even the smallest event in my life. I never have to worry about a prayer that is not heard, even if it's a whisper for help.

Praise God for his love and our wonderful relationship. I know I have dissappointed you at times, but you continue to watch over me and hear my prayers. Thank you Lord for your great love. You are amazing! Amen!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Boycott to Honor Thanksgiving Day!

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 just watched a report on the news about all the stores opening on Thanksgiving day this year. A young lady is protesting a major retailer because her mom isn't going to be able to be at home for Thanksgiving with the family. I am so saddened by our inability to slow down. Everyone always complains about the busyness of our society. We never do anything about it. This young girl is taking a stand.  I am proud of her and I am joining her.

My wife mentioned there are many others that have to work in hospitals, military and law enforcement. I also honor them and thank them for their service. They are necessary. A retail store opening on Thanksgiving is NOT necessary.

We, or should I say, I need to slow down, calm and quiet myself. That is what Thanksgiving is about. That day is about shutting out the outside world an spending time with the ones you love. It's about stopping all the craziness and focusing on the blessings of God. We just don't do that enough. Even when we do spend time together on Thanksgiving we throw in football games and other things that get in the way of the true meaning. Thanksgiving is a celebration of the gifts of God.

Please, I plead with all of you, HONOR THANKSGIVING, honor the day for what it is meant. Get up early on on Friday morning and attack the BLACK FRIDAY madness if you must. But, honor the day of Thanksgiving first, don't go shopping. Let the retailers know the day is sacred for thanking God!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Not me!

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 am almost embarrassed to admit how great my life is. When I say I am a blessed man that is a significant understatement. I have the best wife in the world. She loves me and treats me like a. King even with all my faults and eccentricities. I have a great family that loves the lord and I see him active in their lives every day. They are going way beyond anything I have ever done for the Lord and raising families of great God  loving kids. 

I have the best job in the world educating young people. I am excited to head to GHS every single day. Building relationships with young people is the most rewarding occupation you could ever choose. Contrary to popular views, this is the best time in history to be a teacher. Sure there are challenges, but the resources we have and the flexibility we have to teach is at a level ever seen before.

My life as a member of CMA makes my weekends and free time fun, exciting, and filled with purpose.  It is so rewarding to work with my motorcycling family to spread the gospel of Jesus. When you pair that with the wonderful church I attend, I couldn't ask for a better spiritual life.

So, why am I so blessed? That is a great question with a simple answer. The grace of God. It's not me. It's not anything I've done. It's not my greatness. It's the greatness of God. I am far less than great. If you read through the archives of this blog, you will see many of my faults and poor decisions. But, my loving God, overlooks those weaknesses. He has given me this life because of his great love.

Praise God for his wonderful love.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I'm not a great fan!

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)

I love my sports teams. I love watching the Hoosiers, Dolphins, Yankees, Dale Jr. and of course the Railroaders. But, when I am at home watching my favorite team on TV, it's not always pretty. I don't hurt anyone. I don't damage furniture or people! However, I do get a "little" vicuous wIth poor performing team members and officials. I can feel my blood pressure grow and the tension build. If they lose, it takes a few hours to get over it.

Why does it really matter? Besides my patient and very tolerant wife, my over zealous sports fanaticism doesn't hurt anyone, does it? 

In fact the person it hurts most is me and it is not good for me. God want me to honor him at all times. When I don't honor him, it affects my heart and it affects my body. Even after I "cool" down from a game, I realize I have acted pretty foolish. I realize I have not honored my gracious Heavenly Father. I need to change that. I need to work on how I honor God at all times. 

Please Lord, continue your work in me. Continue to change me into the person you want me to be. I love you and don't want to dishonor you in any way. Forgive me! I love you and worship your great and holy name. amen! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jet Lag proves God is amazing!

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)

I am finally getting over my jet lag from my trip to California last week. It is amazing how far it is from the Midwest to the West coast. My aging body was thrown into a frenzy with just the simple three hour difference. It seems like it takes longer to recover now that I'm over half a century old. While I was out there I would wake up at 3am, 4am, 5am, and so on. I couldn't stay up past 7 at night. Now that I'm home, I can't get to sleep. But traveling by jet is fun and I love the beauty of traveling 30,000 feet above our amazing planet. 

So after that exhausting week of travel, I am reintroduced to this wonderful verse. God really loves me and jet lag helps me realize just how much.  I traveled a relatively small distance that had a major impact on my body. God goes to infinitely greater distances to forgive us of our sins. He removes them and forgets them at the same time. He loves me so much and I am humbled by that love. It endures even when I am far from God and his wonderful plan. Praise God!

Veterans Day message: You are alive for a reason!

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 build a busy schedule full of frivolous activities. We can focus on ourselves too much. We can focus on things that do not glorify God. I am not any different. What did you spend your time on yesterday? What about last week? This past year?

Yesterday, was Veterans Day. I heard a Vet speak at our school. He shared the great message about his life in Vietnam. He told of spectacular ways he was protected in battle, even waking through the enemy without being touched. He grew angry at God for all the useless death. He cussed and yelled at Godfor killing people that were great people and saving him instead. God spoke to him. He said that he was not done with him and that's why he was saved. He was rescued from this terrible war so he could serve God. This vet has spent much of his life spreading this message to kids and adults. God had saved him for important purposes. This vet gets that. Do we? You might not have gone through a major military battle, but God has a purpose for your life as well. God does not want you to spend your life on worthless things. He wants you to spend your life focusing on things from him. He has saved your life for his glory. Will you serve that purpose or will you continue to ignore the creator of the universe?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Praise God!

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

This world is turning more and more hostile to Christians. I saw a story the other day that said religion would be eliminated in the next generation. It saddens me to hear such hate for my God. But, through all the hate, through all the anti-Christian sentiment, I praise my God for his love, mercy, and grace. I don't care what others say, I have seen his greatness, I have seen the real God of the universe active in the lives of the people I know.

It is great to give praise. It is great to openly celebrate the wondeful love of Jesus with all we see. Thank you Lord! I praise you and am honored by your love even when I don't deserve it, even when the world turns against you! I love you and worship your holy name!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Message in a bottle!

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)

I find it fascinating how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. So often I come upon verses in 
Gods word that fit so perfectly in my life, not this time. It makes me wonder if it is a prelude to trouble. Yet, I can not see it and don't sense it anywhere. Maybe this message isn't meant for me. Maybe I am the bottle that God is placed a special message. He has tossed me into the ocean of life to be found by just the right person. Just maybe ithe message of Psalm 69:1-3 is meant for me to share. Maybe it will come through me at the right time in someone else's life. 

It really is presumptuous and self centered of me to think God sends messages to me exclusively for my own purpose. In fact I have asked him to use me and right now I restate that desire. Lord use me. I know this verse was sent to me by your love and grace. It was sent for me to share. Open my eyes to the person that needs this verse right now in their special circumstances. I know you love who ever it is and am honored that you trust me to be with them. 

Praise God for your perfect love and the grand plan of our lives!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oh to be patient!

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1 NIV)

One of my worst qualities is the lack of patience. It comes in many forms. I am impatient with people. I am impatient with time and events. I am impatient with the Lord. It's painful to admit that last one. I can justify my impatience with others, even wrongly. But, how can I justify being impatient with the most high God. I must be a fool. None the less, I admit God's time table is usually not my own. You would think with 54 years experience with the perfect timing of my savior, I would develop patience. 

Why can I trust God with everything in my life, but not trust his timing? Has he ever failed to come through? Certainly not! Have I suffered greatly on this Earth because God has not met my schedule? Vehemently No, I have never suffered in this world. Do I have example after example of his perfect timing? Yes, yes, yes. He never ceases to amaze me. I worry, I fret, I stumble, doubt, and cry out, but his timing has always been abundantly better than my own. 

Lord forgive me. I know of all your wonderful love and grace, yet doubt. Please Lord continue to teach me patience. Teach me your ways. It's ironic, but I ask you to be patient with me. Instill in me a peace and contentment waiting on you.


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

We, I can't go through this life alone. I need help. I have the wonderful help of my wife and my friends and colleagues. My real help comes from the Lord. 

How do I know when the Lord is helping me?

My first indication is my prayers. I have noticed God really does answer my prayers. I use need to look for those answers. Most of my prayers are personal and not spoken outside my private prayer time. No one else knows my prayers. It has to be the Lord. The "World" would say it is coincidence or chance or that my own desires direct the answers. That is just ludicrous. God is in control, he is real, and he is my help when I need him.

I have also seen help come even when I have not asked. I have seen "supernatural" interventions that can only be explained by my loving savior. Again, the world tries to explain this away. Your thoughts are your own. I have seen the wonderful help from my God. He has intervened for me. He has answered my prayers on multiple occasions. He knows what's best for me and he alone determines when that help comes and in what form. Even when I don't put it into words, he sends help. He is my help in all times. I love him and praise his name!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bald like me!

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. (Psalm 40:11-12 NIV)

I got a little bit of a chuckle about this serious set of verses. For those of you that know me, I don't have much hair on my head. So when I'm reading this scripture and thinking why doesn't the psalmist just shave his head. I really feel my troubles are not that  numerous. They don't surround me and I don't feel they are going to over take me. They do match the hairs on my head.

My God has protected me in amazing ways. I can feel it and see it every day of my life. I often wonder why. I never come up with a sufficient answer. It has to be the grace of God. I have seen his mercy in my own life. I have seen all his power and strength through times of trial and pain. My heart is strong not because of my wonderfulnes. It is not me, it is my savior. So, if you want to overcome your troubles, shave your head. Ask Christ into your life and watch how the love, grace, and mercy fill your life. We should all be bald!

Praise God. I am blessed and amazed ny your love. I am amazed with your grace and how it has brought me to the point in my life that the troubles and trials DO match the numbers of hairs on my head. I am awed by your protection. I am awed by my own life, thank you Jesus for everything. You are amazing! Amen!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm one day closer

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. (Psalm 119:97 NIV)

You might get tired of me saying it, but I am getting closer and closer to retirement. Every time I get my quarterly statement on my retirement, I dream of that day. I really do love what I'm doing and I'm not going to sit around and stare out the windows. One of the things I long to do in retirement is spend more time in the word of God. Right now I have time in the morning before school and in the evening after getting my school work done. I enjoy those times and long for them to be extended.

I think those are the same thoughts of the psalmist. As you grow older and see the results of spending time with God, you come to realize those intimate moments with the creator are the best times of your life. Your life starts to slow down. You are not bothered by setbacks and trials. You start appreciating the little things and the special times with friends and family.  You start getting your priorities in the correct places. You long for the word of God. Yep, I just can't wait until I get that extra time.

Thank you Lord for the wonderful life you have given me. The experiences have all directed me to a life closer to you. I praise you for the growth you have directed in me spiritually. Your power and your grace are overwhleming and the evidence of your love is everywhere in my life. Thank you lord. I love you! Amen!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Only the lonely

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. (Psalm 25:16-17 NIV)

I really can't say I have ever been lonely. It is amazing to me that in our society with all the people, activity, and busyness anyone could be lonely. But, loneliness is prevalent. Young people are lonely, senior citizens are lonely, widows, orphans, homeless, and many more people across this country are lonely. I also think the lost are lonely. Sure they have people in their lives, but do they really have friends that will stand by them through affliction, troubles, and aguish.

My heart is never alone. Jesus is with me, even in the most isolated situation, I don't feel alone. I'm not on my own. I have the greatest strength because the spirit of God is with me. All we need to do is turn to him. He will not leave us and he will heal us from the greatest pains in our life.  God is with us, but is that always enough? We love to have human interaction. We don't want to be alone here on earth even with the greatest friend in the universe. God can handle that as well. When we take our requests to him, he will answer them. He will provide.

Praise God for friendships. Praise God he can heal all things including loneliness, troubles of the heart, and anguish from life. Lord I pray you will take care of the lonely. Provide them with knowledge that you are always there for them. Provide them with a loving community of friends and family that will care for them and make the loneliness vanish. Thank you Lord for your great Love. Amen'

My girls!

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3 NIV)

I love my daughters. At this point in my life, my grandkids get all the "press". It's not fair comparing grandkids to your own children. It's a totally different relationship. I know many grandparents, including myself, that just can't get enough of their grandkids. I've never heard my daughters complain, but really we grandparents almost neglect our own kids.

I can't express enough the love I have for my daughters. I feel for them when they hurt and share their joys. I am filled with pride about the people they have become. It's not easy having one live in St. Louis and another life in Mississippi. I miss seeing those two every day. But in reality the other lives an hour away and it is even tough to see her as much as I would like. 

If God uses kids to reward us, I feel like I've received the Nobel prize. I am blessed to have such a great family, a heritage that thrills my heart. Praise God for these wonderful blessings. I pray constantly that they are protected and are blessed by the creator of this universe. Thank you Lord for these wonderful ladies!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1 NIV)

I have been in the teaching profession for over  20 years. It is the finest of careers. There is nothing more valuable to a society than teaching and preparing young people for adulthood. Our country is tough on its educators. We should be. We can't afford to turn this world over to an ill prepared population. The essence of life is in education. People are passionate about how kids are educated, they all realize the value. 

Education goes way beyond the bricks and mortar of our schools. We teach our kids how to live life to its fullest. We teach kids compassion, dedication, love, honor, joy, sadness, and so much more. Yes, we christians are all responsible for the growth of young lives, young men and women who have dedicated their lives to the kingdom. If these people don't know the real power of the holy word, if they don't know the power of prayer, if they don't know the joy of bringing others to know the Lord, no one will see the kingdom come. We need to dedicate ourselves to TEACHING young christians and educating the secular world about the love of Christ. Teaching should be our greatest profession. We will be criticized, we will be ridiculed, and we will be held to a higher standard. We should be. We are all responsible for teaching the word of God, enduring the criticisms, and living up to the highest of standards. 

Thank you lord for the opportunity to teach young people. I also thank you for the opportunity to teach about your wonderful love for me. Thank you for this wonderful life you have granted me. Give me the wisdom to serve you every single day. I am humbled by your love and the blessings in my life. Amen!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fan the flame!

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:5-7 NIV)

It's always great to look back at your life. When I look back I see a great heritage of believers. My grandparents, my parents, former pastors, youth leaders, and my friends, have helped guide my life to the man I am today. It emboldens me, it gives me strength and courage to persevere, it drives me to make my own mark in service to the kingdom. I can't help but get excited when I think about the amazing life God has given me. 

Part of my duty as a faithful follower of Christ is to fan the flame so that others might be strong in their faith. I am to leave the same legacy that was left to me. If I want to be the leader God wants me to be, I need to be bold, I need to share openly how the flame has grown in me. I need to always be working to share his love through acts of kindness, service, and prayer for others. 

Praise God for this wonderful life. Give me the strength to serve you as a true leader with a clear focus on the mission you have given me. I love  you Lord and praise your name for the constant blessings in my life. Amen!


Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. (Philippians 1:12-14 NIV)

It has been about a week since my wife and I returned from a week vacation. Part of that trip was to the Christian Motorcyclists Association Fall Colors Rally in Hatield, Arkansas. After we left our daughters house in St. Louis, we rode through Missouri in the rain, wind, and cold. We stopped for coffee in Rolla, Missouri. While parked in the lot an unknown person ran into our camper, damaging it and the motorcycle, then fleeing. It delayed our trip, but didn't keep us from attending a great rally.

Many will say that was just bad luck. I say satan was trying to keep us from attending this rally filled with prayer, praise, and worship. It didn't work. There was a point when we could have decided to turn around and head home. I feel the spirit of God intended us to go forward. In many ways this moment emboldened me to move forward an make sure we got to the rally. When the sun came out a few hour later, I could tell God was pleased with our decision.

Everyday we have points where we could give in to satan. We could give up, but I have found when we choose to move forward, we are usually blessed more. Satan intended the barrier for bad, but it turned out to be for good. We can't let the bad events of our lives dictate our faith. We can't let the barriers keep us from Gods wonderful blessings. If we listen and act on his call, God will honor that faith.

I was exceedingly blesse at the CMA Colors Rally. It was a great time with my CMA family, praising God, resting, and relaxing in his presence. Thank you Lord for your amazing faithfulness and spectacular protection.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's never too late!

As you read over what I have written to you, you’ll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ. None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our time has it been made clear by God’s Spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this new order. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board. (Ephesians 3:4-6 MSG)

I have been apart of a program where students complete math courses at their own pace. I have some complete their course work in as little as 6 weeks and others who take an entire year. Both students get the same reward. Why is it so important that all students work at the same pace? This new program has been great for the students who excell at math AND for those that struggle. I've not received complaints fro either student. Both are happy.

The message of the gospel is timeless. God will not bless us based on the length of time we spend as a follower. Coming to God early in life has its great rewards. A lie filled with blessings from God is a treasure. But, being able to make that decision late in life is just as wonderful. It's never too late. You are never too far gone. You are never out of the grasp of the hand of God. Eternity is the result regardless.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Living up to our Potential

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)

Everyone is built to do good things. Doing good is not just reserved for christians. I've seen many non christians do great things. We are all design to encourage, to serve, to listen, to do good works. These verses make that clear. I certainly believe that's true. So why aren't we ALL full of goodness? That goodness, for some people, is locked deep inside their heart. It is buried under lifes trials, poor circumstances, and sin. The only way that goodness reaches others, is through Jesus. The fullness of our potential is only reached through the power of Jesus Christ. Even those that do good works before receiving Christ will change when they change their motivation for doing good works. When we receive Jesus, a humbleness fills our lives and our good works explode like a volcano. We couldn't keep them inside even if we wanted to. The works flow from love and out of efforts to evangelize the lost. Service, showing love is the greatest way to convince the lost to turn to Jesus. 

The good works of a Christian has more meaning mor evalue than just doing good. If we want others to live with us in eternity, we need to actively demonstrate the love of Jesus through doing good!

Life changing!

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8 NIV)

I love how God has changed me throughout my life. I'm no where near perfect, but I enjoy looking back at my attitudes and actions to see how far I've come. One of those areas is dealing with anger. With Gods wonderful grace and love I have conquered this area of my life. It is very rare for me to let my anger boil over. It I very rare or me to "lose my temper". As a young boy and through my early adult years, I had a real problem. Praise God his presence in my life has changed me.

Devoting your life to Jesus is life changing. When you invite God to fill your heart, you can expect changes. These miraculous changes cn occur instantly. Most of the time the changes are throughout your lifetime. I think the Lord he is patient with me. He knows my imperfections and never gives up on making me into his likeness. Thank you lord for your amazing love!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Standing watch!

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. (Habakkuk 2:1 NIV)

As Christian leaders we have a great responsibility to pray earnestly. We need to be vigilant in searching for people and issues to take to the Lord in prayer. We do this by building deep relationships with our family, friends, and coworkers. We need to go beyond cordial greetings. We need to really get to know them so we can pray for them and the daily issues they face. We may be the only one who will take those concerns to the Lord. We need to stand watch and position ourselves to know the needs and concerns of others. 

We also need to be willing to share our own concerns and needs with our brothers and sisters. I always find it difficult to do this. But, the power of prayer is no small matter. It's not just our prayers the Lord wants to hear. 

Praise God for his willingness to hear our prayers. Praise God for his amazing love!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bold Leadership

And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? (1 Corinthians 5:2 NIV)

Sometimes leadership requires bold moves. It's not always easy. Sometimes the decisions will not be popular and many will challenge those choices. It may be that your decisions will reflect the minority, not the majority. So, what do you do? 

As a Christian we are called to make decisions that are right, but not popular. After prayer and petition or the guidance of the Holy Spirit, be bold in making the right choice. God will honor your faith and guide your paths. Praise God for that love and wisdom. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Being vs Doing

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24 NIV)

I have read that we need to focus on BEING a Christian than DOING Chrisitan things. We get so busy doing things for Christ that we don't be the Christian God has called us to be. This is not to say we are not supposed to serve. Christian are called to serve! But, we really need to focus on our own development as a Christian. Being the best we can be, will help us be a brewer servant as well. 

My year is a roller coaster between doing and being. Now that the ride season is winding down, I am looking more inward than outward. What can I do to improve my own faith? Prayer has been my starting point this past couple of weeks. I have gone back to a prayer journal. I will spend more time in study and bible reading. But the thing I am looking for the most is some quiet time, listening to God, hearing his voice and letting the spirit move inside me.

Thank you Lord for the seasons in my life that drive me closer to you. I pray you will use this time to teach me your ways. Speak to me through your word and embed its message deep into my heart.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pick a good team!

Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them (Acts 6:3 NIV)

I serve with a couple of great teams. My school leadership team is phenomenal. The school board, district administration, to the building leaders really care for kids. My CMA leadership team is another great group of leaders pledged to serve the Lord. Both of these teams are great examples that you can't lead alone. 

Teamwork is the key to successful home, school, or business. God helps develop those teams if we ask. I have been in constant prayer lately for the upcoming school board elections and the elections of officers for my CMA chapter. I truly believe God's hand will be on these key events in my life. We should always turn to the Lord for his guidance in voting. He was involved heavily in Old Testament leadership changes and that has changed now.

I love you Lord. I ask you to be with school leadership, church leadership, my elected officials, and my CMA leadership locally, state, and nationally. Please guide these men and women in all they do. Use them for your purposes. Help us vote people that serve those purposes and will lead us in your ways. I praise you for your grace and your hand in all areas of my life. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why am I shocked?

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? (Acts 3:12 NIV)

I have seen the power of God time and time again. It seems I always have the same response, AMAZEMENT! Why am I so surprised! Is my faith really that weak?

A couple weekends ago, we traveled with my CMA family to southern Indiana. We road the best of the best motorcycle roads in Indiana. The trip was full of twisties, sharp turns, acceleration, and leaning heavy on the two tire sidewalls. One of our group recognized low air pressure in one of his tires. We stopped near the end of our day and added some air. About 20 miles later, at our dinner location, we pulled in and he said he could hardly drive his Goldwing. We looked at the rear tire. It was nearly shredded to nothing. Threads and cords were fully exposed. The tire was about to blow!

Our CMA brother was protected. We were all amazed. God showed his power and strength! To think of all that could have been, to think of the potential tragedy, placed all of us in awe!  Many people would say we were lucky. I say we were protected by the God of the Universe. I was amazed.

Why am I so shocked at the power of my God? We ask, we pray, we plead. Why are we surprised when he reveals himself in miraculous fashion?

My God is amazing! I praise you Lord for your hand in my life. I ask your forgiveness when I doubt you. I am humbled that you would choose me for a miracle. I am so excited that you can love me so much and use your power to protect me. Praise God for his miraculous ways!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I learn from the best and the worst!

“Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right —using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.” (Luke 16:8-9 MSG)

You can learn from anyone! I have had some great mentors in my life. There have been people I have modeled my life after because of their great wisdom. I have learned life is about relationships from my father. I have leaned about service and true Christianity from some great leaders in my past, Ted and Lynn Blosser, Jim Rousseau, and famous people like Chuck Swondol and Billy Graham. My mother and my grandparents are other great role models. But, I have also learned how to live from some terrible people. I know you can think of some people you know that are terrible leaders. You know those christians that just don't live the life they promote. We can sure learn a lot how NOT to do things and how NOT to treat people. This is the case for this story. The crooked manager was a true example how not to live your life. Using people, manipulating situations to make yourself look good is a lifestyle we should all avoid.

We need to be life long learners of Christ. We need to constantly search for a better way. We can find that through studying the bible, worshipping with our Christian brothers and sisters, or living life observing others, both good and bad. Regardless, we always need to have our hearts and minds ready to learn. Praise God he provides me with lessons to move me closer to the life he wants me to lead. Lord, continue to mold me, shape me, use me for your wonderful purpose, not my own.