Friday, February 28, 2014


“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10 NIV)

          We had a situation at school this week where some students used poor judgment. It wasn't a huge deal, but still had to be dealt with. We have a student run cafe that is our little version of Starbucks. It's run by our business department and is really popular. It seems some students were giving away free drinks and of course some were receiving them. It didn't amount to a lot,but the principle is a really big deal. I could sense the hurt in the voice of our Principal. He had a lot of consequences to hand out. Many students were embarassed about their mistakes and genuinely sorry. 

          I think it's obvious why the school had to take such a stand on a "little" problem. It goes with this parable. The students were trusted with very little and failed. In order to trust them with much, they will need to learn from this failure and move on. We are preparing students for the real world of work where they will be tempted with bigger acts of dishonesty. If they suffer the consequences now when they are young, maybe they will remember when more is on the line. 

          God knows our hearts. He blesses us according to our ability to be able to use it for his kingdom. Those who aren't satisfied and always need more will probably not receive it. Those that are satisfied with very little, will gain more. We have to earn the trust to be granted more.

          Be satisfied with what you have. Turn everything to The Lord and you will be amazed at the abundance you receive.

          Thank you Lord for the blessings you bestow upon me and my family. May I use them for your honor and glory. May I always be satisfied and recognize the wonderful gifts that ALL come from you. Amen!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

No Pain - No Gain

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV)

I can't count the number of times in my life that I have tried to get back in shape. If you add up all the weight I've lost in 54 years, I could be triplets! So, here I am, February 28th at it again. I've completed two workouts in the past four days composed of running, weights, stretching, and core work. I'm experienced so I know not to kill myself. I need to ease into the training. I've done that but I'm still sore. It's not unbearable, but my body knows life has changed again. The amount of pain is about right. I can tell I have pushed myself and not over done it. You have to go through some pain before you make the gains you want. I've already dropped some weight and my blood sugar is coming down. 

My 40 year relationship with Christ is the same way. I have also had ups and downs in my Christian walk. (I'm not proud of this!) I have to say I've been more on than off over the past 15 years. As I grow more mature in my faith, I have realized some pain in my life is necessary. I don't grow in strength without suffering some pain. I can look back on bad times and see growth through all of them. It's not fun to be in pain. Yet, it's key to our lives. It's through our weakness, our infirmities that the power of Christ rests upon me.

Thank you Lord for sending me through a lifetime of pain. I know you have done it out of love and desire that I grow stronger. I am humbled by your grace and patience with my weaknesses. Your love is perfect just like your plan for my life is perfect. Praise God you are on the throne! Amen.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Declared Flawless!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1 NIV)

This idea of justification through faith is foreign to most people, even some long term Christians. Simply put, God declares we are righteous with only one condition, we must have faith. I've heard it said he DECLAREs us righteous, it's not something he does to us. Hedoesn't  magically make us perfect and from then on we do not sin. No, he just speaks the declaration and regardless of our flaws, we are declared righteous. It's like he's blinded by his own choice to our sins. We can't do anything to be perfect, it's impossible. When you strip off all the works, or good deeds we try to do to earn Gods favor, you simply have faith. It's that wonderful, pure faith that gives us peace. We no longer have to struggle to DO something to earn God's acceptance. We just need faith. 

Can you imagine having peace with God? Here is the creator of the universe. He could end our life at any moment. He creates life and builds the heavens. Why is he so worried about us living a life at peace? 

He loves us. 

He adores us. 

He longs for our unimpaired faith. It's such a high priority for him. It pains him to see our stressed out, crazy, dysfunctional lives. 

It is so simple to receive peace in our lives even through turmoil. It is done simply by faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God he is blinded to my sin and declares me perfect. I know I'm not perfect but because I believe in him, he says it's so. Thank you Lord for your amazing grace and perfect righteousness. I want to serve you and love you every day for the rest of my life!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Talk is Cheap

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20 NIV)

The Pharisees were full of a lot of hot air. They loved hearing themselves pray. They spoke eloquently of the law. They were sharp to judge and criticize those that fell short. Their talk was more important than their actions. We have a few "Pharisees" in our modern nation. So many of our politicians ridicule the "1%". They have waged an all out war on the wealthy while at the same time many of them live that exact same lifestyle. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to slam wealth when your wealth and extravagant living are in the same top 1%? Those are our modern day Pharisees. We must rise above those double standards.

How do we, as Christians, keep from making the same mistakes as the religious  elite of the Bible? I think the answer is pretty simple. Action! I'm sure you've heard actions speak louder than words. It's true! You can talk about serving or you can serve. You can talk about getting to know Jesus or you can do it. You can talk about praying for someone or you can pray. You can talk about love or you can go out and find the most unlovable and love them. You can talk about searching out the lost or you can go to where they are and share with them. Talk is cheap. It costs nothing to say you are a follower of Christ. The real cost is when you make your actions match the rhetoric. The real cost is taking a stand for Christ at school or work. The real cost is giving your life  instead of bowing to your persecutors. The real price is standing up for those that can't defend themselves. The real price is that paid by Jesus for you to love in eternity! 

I praise you Lord that you said you loved me, then went out and proved it. May I have the same passion to save those I see every day that don't know you, regardless of the cost.  Amen!

Monday, February 24, 2014


This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:12-15 NIV)

This is a wonderful passage of scripture. It struck me as a message for those who serve and don't see the fruits of their labor. Serving others, obviously, helps those you serve. Serving also has other outcomes that we just don't think about. Here are my thoughts on some of the results of our service:

1. It is a way to give thanks to God. I know I always think of giving thanks verbally. But, you can directly thank God by serving others. We should not just focus on the results. We also need to give thanks to our Creator by serving others!

2. Because you are sharing the gospel in obedience to Christ command, others will praise God. Just think about that. My actions could be causing other Christians to Praise God. Wow! That is so awesome.

3. People will see Gods grace in you and they will pray prayers of great rejoicing. You can urge others to keep fighting the fight.

I am a servant in the Christian Motorcyclist Association. We spread the gospel in some really rough places. Many times I/we get the feeling we are not making an impact for Christ. If we're not directly seeing lives turned to Christ, we are not doing our job. This verse points to a greater picture. Serving the lost can also greatly influence the lives of the saved. Sure we want to plant seeds and see the harvest. Sometimes by serving the lost, we are also serving the harvesters. We are not called to neglect the saved in pursuit of the lost.

Praise God for servants that are relentless searching for the lost. Praise God he uses all of us in ways we can not comprehend. Dear Lord, speak to hearts of those who do not see their value in the kingdom. Help them Lord, to see their place and rejoice in serving you, the one true God!


So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

I'm not a strong person physically. I'm all of about 5'6" and not in particularly great shape. Now that basketball season is over and my coaching responsibilities are also over I've been talking about starting to workout again. I have plans to join our local community center and use the fitness room. I don't have any plans to get massively powerful or bulky. I just want to increase my fitness. I don't have any reason to become strong or powerful. Nothing I do in my daily routine makes it necessary to have a lot of muscle. Teaching is an exercise of mental agility not physical.

The Spirit of The Lord is better than any amount of power or might you could obtain. The more I study and fill myself with the Spirit of The Lord, the more my life improves. The battles with loss, sickness, financial distress, family relationships, and turmoil are won by the Spirit not through power and might. Life is more about the battles fought by the spirit than battles of muscle. I can't win those battles with out the wondeful spirit of The Lord.

Praise God for his gift in the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sending the spirit to guide me through the life of stress and turmoil. I praise you for winning the victories in my life!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

USA - Rejoice in the good things

Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. (Deuteronomy 26:11 NIV)

I have pretty strong opinions about most issues in politics. I am a conservative and vote mostly with republicans. I'm sure that's no surprise to most people. But there is one issue I'm just not sure about. Immigration. I try not to have prejudicial views of immigrants after all, our country is a country established by immigration. I do thInk immigration has changed and many (not all) immigrants have pure motives. This country has so many things to offer. We still are the land of opportunity. It is easier to get an education, go to college, and chase your dream. I think it's obvious why people want to come here. But, we have also become a nation of handouts. So many people LIVE off of handouts. Many refuse to try to make their lives better. They just want to get the free support of the government. Many people refuse to take lower paying jobs to work their way up the ladder. They just want to start at the top. Our nation is in crisis financially and to think of letting immigrants come to the US that are not going to support themselves, will just not work. That doesn't mean we shouldn't still gather the huddled masses, the tired, the poor. If they are looking for opportunity and joining this great nation in work to make themselves and our nation better, bring them on. If they want to come here illegally to  milk our government, we need to be tough on them and send them back or at the very least, apply consequences.

I'm not sure how that works in political policy, but I know that we as Christians can love everyone, even those in this country with less than pure motives. We are not to judge any person. Our duty is to love and support all people. That doesn't mean we let people walk all over us. It does mean we share Christ with them. We have a duty to share Christ. God has built this great nation and blessed us. It is selfish to want to hold that for ourselves. We need to move cautiously on our immigration policy. We need to freely give our love, no matter what.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The End!

Well, we knew it would end at some point. Our girls basketball team ends the season with a 23-1 record and my coaching career has also come to an end. Being a part of this team has been one of the high points of my 20 year career in athletics.  I started coaching within the first days of being hired at Whitko High School. I look back fondly at my assistant coaching positions in varsity, jv, and freshman football, middle school girls, freshman and varsity assistant basketball, and assistant track. I also am very proud of my head coaching in Cross Country and Track along with my time as an Athletic Director at two great schools.  I loved coaching and will miss it. But, it's time to spend my athletic time as a Grandparent. I have such great memories!

In my 20 year coaching/athletic career, I can distinctly remember 3 teams that I will never forget. Each of these 3 teams were successful and had developed such a bond, no one wanted the season to end. We all loved each other and even to this day would do anything for each other.

#1 - Garrett Boys Cross Country - My first job as a Head Coach was Garrett Head Cross Country Coach. It took a couple years, but we finally started winning with a young group of talented runners. We spent so much time together. All summer long, we ran together, we went to camp together, trained during the winter, and froze together every track season. I built some of the best relationships of my life with those boys. Our first real winning season, we were coming back from winning the Snider Classic (due to some really strange circumstances). I was sitting at the back of the bus with the team. The season was almost over. To a man, they all expressed the sadness that the season was coming to an end. It is one of the most proud moments of my life. Eventually, we were the FIRST team to qualify for Regionals in Garrett CC history. Those boys did it 3 straight years and earned all sorts of honors.

#2 - 8th/9th grade Basketball team - South Adams High School -- As athletic director you never have a difficult time finding someone to coach a winning team. Everyone thinks they're an expert. As Athletic Director at South Adams, I could not find a coach for a team of 8th graders that just couldn't win. So, I coached them. I remember our second game of the season, we were actually IN the game. The players were so excited. We got our first win. From that point on, they began believing we could win. I coached them again as Freshman and we had a winning season. I love those guys. I have never had a group work so hard and improve so much.

#3 - 2014 Garrett Girls Basketball team - Today we ended a great season. Sure everyone would love to be 23-1, win conference tournaments, season championship, and sectional championship. We have had others actually achieve more in terms of championships. None were as talented or as good a TEAM and none of them with the great record. This group of girls was special. But, that's not the best part. They really liked each other. It wasn't just 3 or 4 of them that hung-out. THEY ALL spent every moment together and loved it. They might be the most coachable group of teenagers I've ever been around. There was no room for jealousy, selfishness, or pouting. It is sad to have people doubt the talent and not understand the true meaning of TEAM.

I will never forget this season. I really thought I had the chance of experiencing a Basketball State Championship. I have experienced IHSAA State Cross Country, Track, Wrestling, and Swimming competitions as both coach and athletic director, but never State Basketball or Football. It was a dream. The dream will go unfulfilled, but the memories will replace that in time. Thank You Coach Lapadot for allowing me to be a part of your great team. Thank You Railroader Nation for your support and the great memories. I will miss it, but I will always be proud to be a Railroader!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Help side defense!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NIV)

We have another big weekend scheduled. It stared last night with senior night for our boys basketball team, wall of fame night, and defeating the cross county rival Barons in convincing fashion. It continues today with Girls Basketball Regionals. Then tomorrow I get to hangout with my fellow CMA officers to plan our year. I'm pretty sure I'll be exhausted by Sunday Evening. It's a good exhaustion.

 At hand is the first game of regionals. We've been working on a lot of help side defense to try to defend a pretty talented athlete from our opponent. All of our girls know that we need to guard this athlete collectively, as a team, or we lose. Sure we have someone personally responsible for her, but we know it has to be everyone helping. In basketball it's called help side defense. When someone is helping on this key athlete, someone else needs to help the helper. It becomes a defense of one. Everybody had each other's back.

God is more than my refuge. He is my strength and my constant companion. Just like in basketball, God is the help when I run up against a major opponent. Because I know he is with me I am more at peace in my life than I've ever been. I know I have someone covering for me. If I make a mistake, God is there to make it right. I can live life with confidence knowing God is in my court. I do not have to fear making mistakes.  A basketball player can be more aggressive if she knows someone is there to help if something goes wrong. Praise God he is that helper for me! I can live my life focused on him. 

Our basketball team can be victorious if we just focus on playing together, helping, and playing as one! Good Luck Ladies!

I did that?

Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. (Isaiah 26:12 NIV)

The Olympics are an amazing display of talent, drive, and determination. Sunday I was watching a snowboard race. An American athlete took the preliminaries by a really great distance, she was cruising to a gold medal. The course was really fast and many participants were falling, she was not. Then in the finals she tumbled after having a dominating lead. She didn't even place in the top five. She lost her gold medal. This defeat was devastating and unfortunately overshadows all her great accomplishments.

It is so easy to dwell on our defeats and not on our accomplishments. As I think about MY accomplishments I realize they are not really my accomplishments at all. I can look back at my life and say, WOW, how did I do that? With a little more thought I realize, nothing I have done has been on my own. God has been the reason for every accomplishment of my life. He alone has done this for me. I am so eternally grateful for his love and that he cares enough to lead me. He gives me the strength, the talent, the drive, the determination to love my life.

 Praise God for those gifts.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Love my life, but.......

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (Revelation 22:4 NIV)

I really do love my life. I am the most blessed man on the planet. I have the greatest wife in the world, daughters that all take after there wonderful mother, great son-in-laws, and 6 grandkids that mean the world to me. I have the best job in life spending my days with exceptional teenagers and working with talented teachers that have a passion for learning. God has blessed me with an exciting and fruitful motorcycle ministry that surprises me every day. I can not think of a single complaint about my life, but..............

I am looking forward to my future. Retirement is not too far away. I love what I'm doing but I'm always ready to start a new chapter, a new adventure. Starting something new always excites me. So, just the thought of retiring gets my head spinning with amazing possibilities. What will I do? I'm not going to sit around not doing anything, but I will be in control of my schedule. I might do some motorcycle repair, ministry, small business, consulting work, or some other plan God has. My future is going to be just as exciting as the present.

Retirement will be great, but...................

Nothing can compare to my date with eternity. That is the ultimate future. No cares, no sorrows, no sadness, just the joy of the presence of Jesus. I just love reading about that future. It's a dream that seems so far off, but in reality is just around the corner. I hope you can get excited about it like I can. If you can't, you really need to search your heart. If you can't look forward to eternity, you need to seek Jesus right now, I fear for your future! You have no time to waste!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Imitate the right things

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11 NIV)

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. It might be true but we need to make sure we are imitating the right things. I have been fortunate to have some great mentors in my life. As a new high school athletic director I had Herb Resler. I tried it imitate him. He always had a great way of building relationships with people. I have had great principals that I wanted to be like. Kim Lobsiger, Brent Lehman, Matt Smith were and are great role models and I want to imitate them. I have been around some great coaches and they all had some characteristics I wanted to have. The person I am is a combination of these great people I've had in my life. None of them were perfect. There were good and bad traits of all of them. I tried to use the bad traits as examples of what not to do and I tried to imitate the good.

I fall far from the mark, but I also try to imitate Christ. Through constant study of the word of God, I continually get a clearer picture of who he is. I want to be like Jesus. I know I have a long way to go and will never really get there, but we should all strive for that goal.

 Please Lord help me be someone that others try to imitate. Help me to be the type of leader at school, in ministry, and with my family, that imitates Christ. Use me for your purposes, guide my words, thoughts, and actions so that others can see Christ through me. I love you Lord. I praise you for your love and patience with my weaknesses. Continue to mold me in your image. Amen!

Monday, February 17, 2014


Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)

I spend every day with young people. I see so much confusion in their lives. When they were young most of their parents tell them they could be anything. If they wanted to be president, they could. If they wanted to be an astronaut, they could. Everything was within their reach. Sadly, as they grow up, those dreams turn to disappointment. They see those dreams fade and barriers rise up all around them. It is no wonder many of the youth today are disillusioned. The barriers of poverty, disfunctional families, and  education are real. The battle for a better life grows tiresome and it becomes easier to give up than fight. But, there is good news. You can get your dreams back! Just find the way, the truth, and the life! JESUS!

Satan takes the hope of the lost. Dispair sets in when you lose track of the savior. You are guaranteed hope when you turn to Jesus. He's not going to give you a million dollars, he's probably not going to make you president. What he will do is satisfy your every need, give you a way out of gloom and dispair, and give you a peace that comes from a life full of love. There are no barriers to large for Jesus. All you need is to turn to Christ. Begin dreaming again and get the greatest gift, eternal life with Jesus!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Who's to blame!

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

My daughter and I have been having a debate about the demise of our favorite college team, the Indiana Hoosiers. She is not willing to blame the coaches. She is like her mother, she has a heart of gold. I agree, a Coach is not completely to blame, after all, the players make or miss all the shots, turn the ball over, or foul. But, the coach is responsible for building a culture of winning. After a sufficient amount of time if that culture is not there, he is responsible. He must shoulder the blame. 

As Christians we are given the task of spreading the Gospel. It's not easy. We fight the fight with all Gods power behind us. If we do not come out victorious, we must shoulder the blame. We are sinful and can not do it without the love and directing power of Christ. If we are not successful, we can place blame in a lot of places. In the end it's about you and me. We were given the task to proclaim the good news, we are to comfort the lost, proclaim freedom for those trapped in sin, and release the lost from their prisons. We can't blame anyone. God has given us the Holy Spirit, he has given us the opportunities, if we don't take those chances, the lost will be our fault. The ultimate price for our failure is death for those who don't come to know Christ. We can not fail at this mission. We must increase our efforts in a world that has lost faith. The risk of not doing so is too high.

Ups and Downs!

while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, (Titus 2:13 NIV)

Yesterday was quite the day of ups and downs.

Klayton won his first round wrestling match at SemiState in decisive fashion, he lost the second round match and ended his wrestling career. I'm so proud of him and how he has handled victory and defeat. He has made the most of his high school athletic career and will look back on it with pride. Still, it's  sad to see it come to an end.

Hannah had a great day at a Circle the State Choir performance. We are so proud of her for achieving this great honor. She is such a brilliant and talented young lady.

Bo Davis, a Garrett wrestler qualified for State, while his brother Blake was defeated.

Tonight our 3rd ranked Lady Railroader Basketball team remained undefeated, 23-0, defeating 5th ranked Concordia to win our first 3A sectional title. 

The day was filled with Ups and Downs. Our lives will always be like that. The only real consistent part of our life is God. He remains  the same, always. He loves us just the same through victory and defeat, good times and bad times, feast or famine. You can count on him. Eventually, we will leave the ups and downs of this world for an eternity of UPS with him. Until then, we wait on that blessed hope knowing he is with us.

Thank you Lord for my life and being with me through the Ups and Downs of my life. I praise you for giving me the opportunity to watch Klayton grow from a young boy to a young man. Thank you for watching over him and teaching him humility, drive, and determination through the sports of wrestling and football. Thank you for the talents he has well beyond playing sports. I praise you for all my grandkids and the joy they bring to my life. I thank you for watching over our girls basketball team and coaching staff. Everything in my life is devoted to you including my place on this team. Use me for your purposes. You are an amazing God! Amen!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wild and crazy day, filled with Prayer!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Matthew 6:25 NIV)

This is going to be a crazy day filled with anxious Big moments. 

First my Granddaughter, Hannah, will be participating in a state wide Choir Competition. Stephanie is going to watch. I which I could be there and don't know much about it, except it is a really big competition. I pray for a wondeful, life experience for her and her choir. May The Lord use you in a powerful way!

My grandson, Klayton, is a senior wrestler. Today he wrestles in the IHSAA Semi-State tournament. It is very intense. He must win each of the first two matches. If he loses either if the first two matches, he's done. The entire family is on pins and needles. We sit on the sidelines and we are helpless. It is one of the most stress filled moments I will experience. He went last year as a junior. That's a little different. You always have "next year". Now there is no next year. 

I am also an assist an assistant coach for our high school girls basketball team. We are undefeated, 22-0, and playing a really good team in the sectional championship, tonight. I will be a nervous wreck there also. The waiting, the twists and turns of a Game will put me in agony. 

I have confidence in both my grandson and our basketball team. They are prepared, they know what needs done, and are more than capable of doing it. That does not relieve the stress. Does God really care about these events? I have been in prayer constantly for our team and Klayton. I pray God will give Klayton the wisdom throughout the match to know what to do, that he will be safe and injury free, that he will relax and wrestle with confidence. I also pray this experience will draw him closer to God. YES, I ALSO PRAY HE WILL BE VICOTRIOUS. God already knows that is my desire, he is not surprised by it. 

My prayer is nearly the same for our Basketball team. I pray the coaches will be granted the wisdom to make the correct decisions in the game, the players are able to relax and play with confidence, the officials will make the correct calls, the fans will be loud and supportive in a positive way. But, I also pray that God will use this event to speak to hearts of our players and coaches that they will come to a greater relationship with him. Lastly, you guessed it, I pray for victory for our team. 

I love you Lord and know you are always with us through all situations, even the day to day events, yes, even sporting events. Thank you Lord for your love. Thank you for the excitement of life and the stress filled fun we enjoy. I could not ask for a better life! Amen!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentines Day Steph!

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 NIV)

It's Valentines Day 2014 and this verse pops into my daily devotions. This verse always reminds me of my Dad. This was HIS verse. I heard him utter these words time and time again before he started a sermon. When I think of my Dad and his ministry, I always think of my mom. They were eternally connected in ministry and in life. If you want to know the true, forever kind of love, just look at the love my parents had together. I know my Mom dearly misses my Dad and am sure days like today will take her straight to the memories she has of their life together. That love lives on. Because I had a Dad and Mom that displayed that wonderful love, I now can experience that love with my wonderful wife. 

Stephanie and I have had the great joy of over 35 years of marriage. We raised wonderful kids and now have the great joy of knowing some great grandkids. The love we have in our family is directly tied to the love of my Mom and Dad. Just like they were inseparable, I love spending time with Stephanie. I have been fortunate to work with her, coach with her, minister with her, and spend a lifetime with her. I never get tired of being around her. She's my wife, my best friend,  my counselor, my cheerleader, my coach, my lover, and my constant companion. I can't imagine life without her. I see her wonderful heart in each of my three daughters and the relationships they have with their families. She loves The Lord first and her family second. She is the most caring and unselfish person I've ever met. I praise God every day for her and continually ask him to bless everything she does. Thank you Lord for bringing her into my life.

Happy Valentines Day Steph!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There is no "I" in TEAM!

He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30 NIV)

I am an assistant girls basketball coach at my high school. We are having a wonderful season, 21-0, I can truly say the most obvious reason is we are a true TEAM. Our motto has been TOGETHER! It is true that everyone has a role and accepts it for the greater good of the team. We have some great individual players. We don't have one STAR, the team is the STAR! Everyone contributes, the junior varsity players have to sacrifice themselves every practice as the SCOUT team. The parents, community, and school are active supporters. We couldn't be undefeated without them playing that key role. It's really refreshing to see that kind of devotion to a team.

Our society is full of MEism.(I'm sure that wasn't a word until now). Selfishness is one of the greatest character flaws found in people today.  Life is not about me. Life is about becoming less important and God becoming more. I really think this is one of the greatest barriers to people turning their lives to Christ. As a Christian, God must be first, others second, and ultimately you must be last. Some people just can't handle being second, let alone the least important.  This is true in more areas than just Christianity. Teachers should not be the center of the classroom. It should be more about the students, what there needs are and less the teacher. Athletic teams should be great examples of selflessness. Everyone should know their role with no one more important than another. The same is true in business. A good boss knows he/she is nothing without the employees. They must be there to help get the most out of each worker, sacrificing themselves to make that happen. I wish our politicians could figure this out. They and their parties are less important than this nation and it's people. 

God must be our focus in all we do. Whether in word or deed we should serve The Lord and his purposes. I am the president of my Christian Motorcyclist Association Chapter, but it's not about me, it's about serving the lost and witnessing to the power of Christ. It is so easy to lose track of our mission for Christ. It is so easy to let pride and selfishness rule our lives. We must stay focused on him.

Lord Jesus, please forgive my selfish flaws. I know how great you are. Please help me keep that truth in perspective throughout my daily walk with you. It's not about me. It's about your son coming to Earth to save me. Thank you Lord for your grace and wonderful mercy. Amen!

The Lord is Good!

The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. (Psalm 85:12 NIV)

The Winter Olympics are in full swing. I enjoy most of the events. I enjoy the joys of victory and the agony of defeat. I was watching the cross country ski event where a Russian fell. He was a favorite to win the event. We he fell he just laid on the ground for what seemed like an eternity. He was obviously dejected. In the women's luge we won our first ever medal. The joy on the faces of the winner and her coach was amazing. The Olympics are meant to be a celebration of the unity of our planet. We spend enough time hearing about the problems of this world and the evil is everywhere. But it's great to take time and look at what is right with this world.

One of the greatest blessings of our world is a God that loves us. The Lord is not some iron handed dictator. God is the center of all that is good and right in our world. He has blessed us with so many things. He has given us the opportunity of peace and a life filled with joy. My life is a perfect example. I am so amazingly blessed with a life that is filled with the joy of a wonderful wife, amazing daughters, and even more amazing grandchildren. My life is filled with hope and love from my wonderful savior. I am want for nothing. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Peace over troubled waters

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

I think I am getting to a point where I understand this verse. While my life is a great blessing and I have received so much more than I deserve, I have witnessed trouble. I see and feel tension every day I walk this earth. I see tensions in education dealing with reform. I see political tension in our country. I see stress in ideological differences about abortion, gay marriages, gun rights, and finances. These topics and the everyday stresses of parenthood, marriage, work, health, and disasters make life nearly unbearable, at times. As a Christian I can fall into the same trap of gloom and dispair. But, Jesus has promised us peace through our lives. Through him we can more than survive our stesses, we can overcome them and be at peace. He provides that "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" that we sang about years ago. We don't need to fear the raging flood waters because Jesus provides us a path to peace.

Do not fear, God is with us. There is no greater peace than the love of Christ. Praise God he's in control of my life. He can remove our stress and anxiety today and everyday. We just have to relinquish control. We have to live and breathe the gospel in our lives. We need to make it the center of all we do. Life can not defeat us when we have the creator of the universe on our side. We can overcome with the precious blood of Jesus, sacrificed that we might live forever in peace. That means from today forward. You can't find that kind of complete peace anywhere else!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

God is alive in my church!

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7 NIV)

We had a perfectly wonderful church service today at CLCG. I am awestruck how God can use our own deepest dark days to bring light to the world. Today our Worship Arts Director opened his heart about his life of anxiety and depression. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. It takes so much to open up like that. I praise Kevin and Erica for being open to God using them in this powerful way and I thank God for using our services to speak to the lost and those struggling with life.

I often talk about my perfect life on this blog. I also mention how sometimes it's even embarrassing to have it so good. I don't want the struggles, I don't want the pain, no one does. I know that God does use all things for his good purpose. He uses the good and the bad times in my life. I have struggled at times in my own life. I have never dealt with anything as powerful as anxiety or depression. I am grateful. He has taken all my life experiences and molded them into my testimony. I can tell of his great love through the events like the birth and loss of our children. I have seen his powerful right hand through financial struggles, job stress, and other daily trials. He is with all of us with no trials, great trials and small ones. I am forever in his debt for these things and sending his son to die for me, a flawed sinner.

Praise God for his control of my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters inChrist. I praise you for your love, mercy, and grace. I love you and need you! Praise for Kevin and Erica. Bless them and their family. Heal Kevin and bring peace to his life and the lives of those who are dear to him. Continue to use him for your wonderful purposes! Show him your presence and your wisdom every day of his life. Be with our church as we continue to grow in number and in our relationship with you. Amen!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tea Party -- Yes or No?

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:17 NIV)

I relate with the TEA PARTY. I completely agree that our government has gotten way to large. It is inefficient and the bureaucracy is so large it drains our finances. We need to completely reform our tax system and we can't keep spending like we are. But, I can not tolerate the disrespect that have for the office of President. I will not endorse the Tea Party or their inflexibility. I disagree with the policies of this administration and I am passionate the conservative agenda is the best solution to our nations problems. But, I greatly respect the President and the values of his party. I disagree with their methods, but I think they are truly trying to help the middle class and the poor. I think they are ineffective and wish we would move back to the center instead of the exteemes we live in theses days. I would love to see an air of compromise and cooperation between political adversaries.

Politics are not the center of life. In reality, neither party is very different and life will continue with either one in control of our government. My life should not be focused on our government. I should spend my time showing respect to everyone, loving the family of believers, fearing God and honoring our leaders. 

As Christians, everyone is looking at how we handle ourselves, how we treat others, what level of respect we share with those we love and those we disagree with, and how we treat our leaders. We have to make sure the emotions we feel about politics and other highly charged topics, don't destroy our witness. In many ways we are responsible for the care of those that don't follow Christ. We need to work at building relationships in order to earn the right to share Christ. We can't do that if we alienate the lost. I plead with both sides of the political spectrum that call themselves followers of Christ to tone down the discourse. Learn to work with each other, love each other, and respect each other.

Praise God I live in a nation where we can disagree peacefully. Praise God for our leaders and their mission to do the best they can for this country. Bless our President, keep him safe, give him wisdom, and fill his heart with your Holy Spirit. Help all our leaders to learn to work together in harmony and respect. Amen!

Friday, February 7, 2014

My words!

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

In June 2008, I began journaling about my devotions and reading the Bible. On July 27th, 2010, I switched from a paper and pencil journal to this blog. This is my 751st blog. The purpose was and is to help me focus my Bible Study and to really make me think about what God is saying to me through scripture. I publish this because knowing that someone might read it, other than myself, helps me really think about what I want to say. You, in educational terms, are my authentic audience.

I'm not a great writer, by any means, and it makes me nervous to think some of my Language Arts colleagues would have a field day marking my writing in RED. It's even ironic that I am a Math teacher spending every day of my life writing. I thoroughly enjoy it and get so much out of every word on every page. I am surprised with how well this blog has been received and the positive comments I receive.

This writing is nothing compared to the word of God. The Bible is my inspiration. It is my teacher, counselor, critic, and spiritual advisor. It speaks to me louder than any human voice. It speaks the truth regardless how that makes me feel. The Bible is true in every aspect and it is a living, breathing document that has meaning beyond its ink filled pages. It is more relevant today than when it was penned so many centuries ago.

I have missed a few days writing this blog, but for the most part, I have been loyal to my devotions and writing. I can't count the endless blessings I have received from this blog, but more importantly the perfect word of a God. Thank you lord for this wondeful gift, written by your mighty hand. I praise you that you have provided a life guide for my life. I promise to use it to make me a better person and follower of Christ. I promise to share my love of your word with everyone I encounter. Amen.


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12 NIV)

Love each other. It sounds so simple and it really is. Jesus demonstrated over and over again true love. He did not discriminate and really worked hard to show love to the unloveable. Can you think of examples where your Christian brothers and sisters did not show love. I sure can and I'm including myself in those things.

Case in point: There is big controversy over the Coca Cola Super Bowl commercial where America is sung in various languages.  Some people were greatly offended, I was not. Some people have a real hatred for immigrants. We don't show much love. Do Christians show love to homosexuals? I can't think of many who have. Do we put our love into action to support all people equally? No, I wish we did. We still have some who hate blacks, Hispanics, or American Indians. All of people need the love of good Christians. Our love is not to be conditional. People shouldn't have to change before we love them. I am glad that is not how Jesus loves. He doesn't care who or what we are. He doesn't say he will love us IF. He just loves us, ALL OF US!

I am no different than most Christians. I struggle with loving everyone like Jesus did. In order for us to change, we need to experience the daily love of Jesus. The more we build our relationship with Christ the more we experience that love. It becomes easier to share the love we experience. The world will be a better place if we ALL share more love.

Thank you Lord for showing me the real way to love. I truly need your help to love those that I really don't want to love. Guide my words and my actions so that it will accurately represent the love you have for me. My witness to the lost depends on that unconditional love. Lord I praise you for this day and every day I have an opportunity to live for you. Amen!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 NIV)

The Lord of the universe is speaking to us. Are you listening? God is abounding in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. He shares it freely to those who follow him. But, you have to listen.

Listening is a lost art. When we teach, give instructions to our kids, or discus issues with coworkers, are we listened to. When we pray we should spend just as much time listening as we do speaking to God. When we read the word, we need to pause to listen to the words. We need to spend time analyzing his message, internalizing what he is saying to us.

Listening to God speak should be easy. But it does take a special relationship. When I pray at night, in my comfy bed, after a long day, it's really difficult to listen. Many times I just fall asleep "listening" . We need to make sure we are having two way conversations with God. If he is doing the talking and we are not listening we will miss his blessings. I have changed my prayer time to include specific listening time where I'm not going to doze off on God.

Praise God he listens to us, helps us, and delivers us when we call out to him! I'm sure he's dissappointed when his voice is ignored. He still speaks. He still sends his word to us in many different ways. He is patient and loves us with all his power and majesty. Praise God for this wonderful life we live!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A reluctant prayer

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22 NIV)

I'm just not sure about this verse. I had a multitude of requests go unfulfilled in my prayer life. I don't feel slighted in any way, but I have to admit, I think of those situations and wonder about this verse. There is so much more to God than just some cosmic Santa Claus. Look at this paraphrase:

But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.” (Matthew 21:21, 22 MSG)

Many, many years ago I realized that God knows best. The more time I spend in the presence of God, the more my prayers end with, "Not my will Lord, but your will." I have to say I'm sometimes reluctant to speak those words. That certainly speaks to my weak faith. I doubt a God at times. Not that I doubt what he CAN do. I doubt what he WILL do. That is crazy. How can I claim to be leading the "kingdom life" with such thoughts. I need to change. I'm working on it. 

That reluctance to turn over the reigns to God helps put the blame on me for unanswered prayers. We need to constantly evaluate our attitudes and motives within our own prayer life. We need to feel free to express our desires and feelings to God. He wants that free communication with his children. But when it comes down to it, his love will over ride the selfish desires. He knows what's best. He will provide. With me, he always has provided and I am abundantly blessed more than I could have ever asked for. Most of the time that helps me turn over the direction of my life without hesitation. It needs to be all the time.

Lord I trust you. I beg your forgiveness when I let my selfish desires get in the way of your wonderful plan. Please continue to do your will in my life. Use me and give me direction throughout my remaining days. I love you Lord. Amen!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Godless Society won't take care of the Poor!

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, (Matthew 25:35 NIV)

It's up to me!

If this verse doesn't hit you square in the eyes, nothing will. It is clear we are called to serve those in poverty who can't take care of themselves. We are to provide the necessities of life. But, isn't it strange it doesn't say anything about giving our money. I know a lot of people who will pay for a meal, provide a warm room, or fuel for a car, but won't give money! I am included in that. I also don't want my government to redistribute my income. It doesn't help to give it away. My friends on the left will claim us conservatives aren't practicing real Christian service. Yet, I contend just giving is not enough. We need to go beyond giving handouts that are fleeting at best. We need to provide real ways to escape poverty, real jobs, real opportunities. Our giving needs to be practical. We need to give, mostly through private groups like churches, because they do the best job at getting people real help. The government can only efficiently provide a stopgap contribution. It's short term. Unfortunately our welfare state has trained many able bodied Americans to live off handouts, long term. We need to fix the system.

Yes, it's truly up to me to provide service and support for those who need it. I will do that in the best way I know how. But, I do not need to be forced, I will do it out of love and charity, not any other reason. I will also hold my country accountable to long term fixes for the poor. I will make sure that we will provide steps out of poverty, not by stealing from others, but creating opportunity to improve themselves.

Lord , help us to recognize our need to serve. Help our country to focus on giving freely and developing a relationship with Jesus. Those two things are inexplicably intertwined. You can't force either and expect giving to be at a rate which is greatly needed around the world. True Christian Charity is the only long term solution to the worlds war on poverty. A Godless society will not give!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A confession

In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. (2 Chronicles 33:12 NIV)

I have a confession to make.

I'm not always right. If I were being really honest, I would say it's no better than a fifty fifty chance that I'm right. I am pretty stubborn (maybe that's my second confession) and it leads me to having a difficult time admitting I made a mistake. So, to humble myself before anyone, especially God, is pretty difficult. Just like Manasseh, it usually takes distress to force me to admit my error. 

Beyond my stubbornness to see my mistakes, is the thought of seeking favor after I just made a mistake. That's exactly what Manasseh did. He and his people thought they knew more than the creator of the universe and ignored God. They quickly found out they were wrong. So, they asked for Gods favor! That might be one of the most arrogant acts in the bible. 

I do the same things all the time. If I ignore Gods word and sin, I always turn to God when facing the consequences. I sound just like the stubborn Manasseh from the Old Testament. I can fix all my problems or distresses by listening then following The Lord. Yes, most of my problems in life are due to my stubborn attitude that I know better than God. I clearly don't. Acting like I do forces me to come humbly back to The Lord and ask his favor. My life would receive so many more blessings if I would start by going to God. 

Lord help me to do just that!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

No problems here!

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19 NIV)

I don't really understand this. I wonder what burdens he bears? I have to admit. I can't think of burdens I have right now that God has commandeered. I have a wonderful family who loves The Lord. I have a beautiful home, job, friends, and everything I need along with some things I don't need. I can't say I have never had burdens, but the longer I live,the fewer I have. 

Do you think this is because God is carrying them? Have you ever thought of it that way? Sometimes we don't know how good we have it. God shelters us from much pain and suffering that we don't even realize. Sure I have had troubles in my life and NOW it's easy to look back at those times of peril and realize God was there and bearing the bulk of the load. 

We/I don't give God enough credit for the burdens he bears that we are not even aware of. I praise God for the wonderful life I have and the times that I am ligt on burdens. Those little trials that don't grow, those times of stress that quickly fade are all due to your amazing love for me. Thank You Lord!