Monday, March 31, 2014

Confidence vs Arrogance

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40 NIV)

I've spent much of my life trying to give young people a confidence they can do anything. It's really a key part of our American culture. Young kids dream about being astronauts, the president, a fireman, a ballerina, or a dog.(yes, I have a granddaughter who thought when she grew up she could be a dog.) we tell them to dream big and reach for the stars. 

There is a downside to this "can do" attitude. 

Our country is full of people who think they can do no wrong and one of the greatest barriers for nonChristians is the idea of sin. We think so much of ourselves! We're proud of our accomplishments. The idea that we are not all that great or that we are sinners goes contrary to our culture. I am a sinner. The gifts I have in my life come from The Lord. My self confidence keeps me from seeing my weaknesses and faults. As a Christian I walk a fine line of living with confidence and being arrogant in the face of God. I can't take credit for the wonderful things in my life. The many blessings from my savior are GIFTS.  Nothing I have or have done comes from me. It all comes from The Lord. When am I going to see that?

I need to be a leader when it comes to seeing my own weaknesses. I can constantly remind others that my wonderful life is from the grace of Jesus. It's not me. It's not MY doing, but it's from Christ who lives in me. If we go through the early years of life thinking we can do no wrong, or survive without Christ, we are wrong. I need to be able to share that truth with love and grace. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'm just camping!

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1 NIV)

This is my summer home! I know it may not seem like much, but I long for the warmth of summer and camping. This year Stephanie and I are heading to the northeast for 18 days. Niagara Falls, Montreal, Quebec City, Nova Scotia, Maine, Acadia NPK, and New York are all on the itinerary. All we'll have is a camper, Vic, and the pleasure of time together. It's a real part of Heaven. This home is temporary, just like my real home in Garrett. 

My life on this Earth is only temporary. My beautiful home will not last. It's a tent compared to the mansion waiting for me in paradise. I enjoy "camping" here in this life, but it's as fleeting as my summer vacations. God promises us a great mansion when we join him in Heaven. We will spend eternity with him and living in the most plush surroundings. It will be a site to behold. I can't wait. 

Thank you Lord for this glorious life and the promise of streets paved with gold and mansions for all the faithful. I will spend the rest of my time here on this "celestial camping trip", recruiting others to fill your many rooms! I praise you Lord and ask for the opportunity to share your wonderful plan with the lost. Guide my footsteps, my words, and my deeds. Help me to make sure they are for your purposes and not my own! Amen!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm ok with nothing to do!

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (Revelation 22:3 NIV)

I'm sitting here at my daughters home in Eureka, Missouri. So far this morning I watched my youngest granddaughter in her jumper, screaming with excitement, I've taken Ayla on a morning trip donut shopping, and made my middle granddaughter cry. Over all I would say I've had a pretty good morning! 

The best part of spring break is no real schedule. I don't have to be anywhere, I don't have a bell going off every 85 minutes, I can eat lunch when I want, and my nap becomes the most important part of the day!

I look forward to Heaven and the peace it brings. I know it's so much more than naps, no schedules, and no stress. People always talk about learning why events happened in their lives. They want to know the "Whys" of the universe. I certainly have things I would like to know. But, that's not my goal. I want to just have peace. I want to rest, relax, and enjoy eternity with Jesus. I want my family and friends with me. Peace that surpasses all understanding. That's the goal!

Thank you Lord for the promise of eternity with you. I praise you for the present life I live and my future in eternity!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

See you in 9 days!

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:52 NIV)

It's here! Just a few hours from now GHS will officially be celebrating Spring Break! I can't think of anyone not ready. I also can't think of anyone who doesn't deserve it! 

I am so proud of our community, students, staff, and support staff for enduring such a difficult school year. The weather has such a huge impact on education. If you aren't directly involved in teaching or learning you probably don't understand. Continuity and routine are such important parts of an effective education. The snow days are always fun, but even the students were tired of the endless winter. Our great custodial and maintenance staff can finally get something done besides plowing snow. Now we get that break we need and when we get back, we will have a mad 9 week dash to the end of the year. 

We are provided times like this to remind us of the joy only God can provide. Sure we can simulate pure joy as we enjoy vacation, or a needed break. But the real joy can only come by turning over life's chaos to the God that created us. The peace we need to fill our hearts, minds, and spirit is found through the daily walk with the Holy Spirit. We don't get to experience the ultimate joy until we spend it in eternity. Until then, we will take moments like Spring Break, stretch out, and live in the temporary joy of a quiet 9 days away from the world!

Have a great Spring Break GHS, we'll see you in 9 days! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Grace to you!

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16 KJV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you in an elaborate, generous, and plentiful way. That's what "richly"  means. We need to let Christ dwell within us in a very powerful way. The best way to do that is relinquish all control to our Savior. If we remove our sinful thoughts, words, and actions, to leave room for Christ, a great work will begin to grow from within. 

I am so thankful I have people to encourage me when I'm down. I hope I reciprocate when they need the same thing. I often talk about the wonderful grace of God. We need to share that same grace to each other. We need to love each other and bring joy to our family, friends, and coworkers. We need to offer a pass to those not having a good day, the grumpy, the depressed, and those that just don't feel loved. Our presence I their lives should offer extreme grace and love that only comes from Christ living within us.

Praise God for my grace filled family, friends, and fellow teachers. I am forever thankful for your support and kindness when I am less than the person I want to be. May I be there for you in the same situation! Amen!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Exhaustion is the tool of Satan!

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:20 KJV)

While I was working out tonight I listened to one of my favorite pastors -- Chuck Swindoll. I listened for nearly an hour as he gave advice from the Bible on prayer. Toward the end he mentioned something that got my attention. "Exhaustion is the tool of Satan". I know some people get uncomfortable talking about Satan. Many would choose to believe he does not exist. The Bible is clear, he exists. I can certainly verify exhaustion is evil. Tired people do not make good Christians. I know personally because right now I'm tired and not being a good Christian. I know if I just make it until the end of the week I get a short break. God will provide rest and relieve my tiredness. I just hope I don't offend too many people along the way. 

Here is another post, it fits my mood: 


So, even though I'm tired, grumpy, and not necessarily the best Christian, God loves me. He's not giving up on me. He will continue to do his work in me. He will give me rest and peace so I can continue to do his work. It will be in his time and in his way.

I praise you Lord that I do not have to be perfect for you to love me. I thank you Lord that even though I am far from the person you would have me to be, you will never leave me. I devote my broken life to you and praise you for your mercy and grace! Amen!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Birds should keep me from being grumpy!

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26 NIV)

Officially, it's been spring for four days. I haven't seen my first Robin. Several people say they're around, if they're smart they will stay south for awhile. Chance of light snow tonight and no real warmup in sight. Oh to be a snow bird wintering in some tropical climate! 

In years past, we would be on spring break this week. I can tell. I'm grumpy and  need some time away. This weekend we head to Missouri, them Mississippi, then back to Missouri, then home. I am looking forward to the break. I hope it cures my poor attitude.

This verse is always helpful when I start getting grumpy. When I start getting the attitude that I'm tired, I need something to help me realize I don't have it bad. I need someone to remind me of my many blessings. God is in charge and if he takes care of the birds, how much more will he take care of me!

Lord cure me. Change my grumpy thoughts to thoughts of the blessings you have given me. Help me get the rest I need. Help me to have the carefree attitude of the birds you created. I love you Lord and ask you to forgive me for not being grateful and full of your love every day of my life. Amen!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

History is Important!

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 NIV)

Last week our Academy students engaged in a Twitter Chat. The topic was the historical speech made by then President Truman after the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima Japan. We debated wether we should have dropped it. It was a great debate full of thoughtful comments by our students. It was a great e-learning moment. I thoroughly enjoy those moments of real learning. In some ways I should have been a History teacher.

I think I was originally attracted to the Bible due to the fact it was historical. To think we have a document that originated that long ago and is still alive today, is a true testament of our Creator. I know people debate it's accuracy, it's truths, and it's meaning. However, just the fact it has remained for these many centuries, should tell you about its power and accuracy. We must be able to look back at Christians and nonChristians lives in the Bible and learn from them. We must study that spiritual history in order to correct mistakes and not repeat them. The history of our planet and the history of our faith should be a growing, breathing, active history. Our Bibles are not meant to sit, collecting dust ona shelf. We are to delve into the historical moments, the great stories and the remarkable truths. We are to take its contents and make them apart of our hearts and minds. 

Praise God for the wondeful way he speaks to us through the Bible. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Choose the nobodies!

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 MSG)

I love hanging out with kids. But, I particularly like to build relationships with students that may not be the best and brightest. I love supporting them. I love encouraging them and just talking. Many don't have great support at home. Many are never recognized. They are neither the best and brightest, nor the trouble makers or lowest. They just get stuck in between and forgotten.

Everyone needs a support system and feeling of being needed. As Christians we need to be that support system. We need to seek out the lost, down trodden, and forgotten. We need to stop worrying about our selfish needs and concentrate on the needs of others. Serving people is rewarding and our life calling. If we listen to that call, lives can be changed and people brought to know Jesus. 

Lord help us focus our lives on others, not ourselves. 

I couldn't be better!

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. (Romans 14:9 KJV)

The ultimate message of our faith. The one truth that must be accepted to receive eternal life. 

This is where the line is drawn in the sand. 

Nearly every day someone asks "How are you?" My response is always "I am great!" or "Fantastic!" or "I couldn't be better!" The reason for this response is not the immediate circumstances. Trust me, I have bad days. My life is certainly not perfect. The reason for my extreme response is the truth that Christ died for me on the cross, rose again, and promises eternal life to those who believe. I believe! Now that I am assured about my future, I can take every day with excitement. My life is great because of my future. There is an end to pain, suffering, stress, and the trials of life. How can you not be excited about life with the great prospect of living with Christ for eternity? 

Praise God for my life and the great future I have here on Earth and in Heaven. Praise God he blesses me every moment with his wondeful love!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I don't want to be a fool!

“My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” (Jeremiah 4:22 NIV)

Those are pretty strong words. One of my goals in life is to get to know God better every day. I pray that my kids and grandkids would all get to know him more every day. I don't want to be a fool and I absolutely love knowledge and the search for it. I can search for knowledge and truth in many ways. My favorite way is through studying the bible. This ancient document speaks so clearly and is filled with truths that will endure all time. It gives the greatest incites to the character of our creator. I also get knowledge of how to do good and suppress evil in my life. Prayer and daily devotionals to let God speak to me is another way I can grow in my love and knowledge of my savior. Practicing the truths I learn in these two ways is also a great way to learn how to live as Christ. As they say, practice makes perfect and trying to apply Gods direction to my daily routine is a challenge. I grow best by challenge. 

Of course there are so many ways we can grow so we are not fools. We need to try everything possible to learn of our loving father. Reading study books and materials of Christian leaders can also help us focus our lives. This also includes weekly worship at my local church. I am so lucky to have a great church and pastor that preaches the truth from the Bible and how to apply that to my life.

Father I praise you for the opportunities you give me to know you and your love. I want to know you and to share all that I learn with the lost. I have been so greatly blessed by you and your love. Thank you for walking with me every day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I just don't understand!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)

There are many things in this world I do not understand. I can't figure out how people hate other people. There are people I disagree with that live life with different goals and purpose. I don't hate them. I don't understand how families don't love each other. You are connected by blood and life, yet this world is filled with so many dysfunctional families. Along the same lines, I don't understand how you can marry someone and the next minute not love them. The love from a relationship is a growing breathing thing, it only dies when you mistreat it.  I don't understand drug use. How you could possibly torture your body with relentless regularity is a complete mystery to me. AND I don't understand why the CUBS can't win a World Series Title! (Ok, that was just for fun!)

There is one world mystery that I don't understand, but accept with joy and praise. GRACE from God is a wonderful, unexplainable event. The idea that the creator of the universe would care enough about ME to send his son that I might have eternal life, is beyond all understanding. You can't receive any other gift even close to this magintude with no cost! We just have to accept it, we don't have to explain it.

Praise God for this gift and the other blessings he freely gives. That includes one of my greatest gifts, my wonderful wife, Stephanie, who has a birthday today. I praise God for bringing her into my life. The joy, love, and grace she has given me over our nearly 36 years is second only to the joy, love, and grace I get from Jesus! Praise God  for this wonderful Lady!

Monday, March 17, 2014

If you could have planned your life, would you be better off right now?

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

Here's a thought: If you could have planned your life, would you be better off right now?

My answer is NO WAY! I might be one of the few that would say that. I have been with Christ for most of my life, 40 years to be exact. I have had a roller coaster faith journey, yet God has led me to this great place in my life. I wouldn't change a thing and I certainly would have messed this up if I were in charge. Yes, you heard it right, I wouldn't change a thing. From that you would think I've led an ideal life. I have not. I have gotten off the path God has set for me. Every time he has brought me back to his journey and I'm always better off. 

God's plans are perfect for us. That doesn't mean trouble free. I can testify, growth comes from trials. The Bible will back me on that. There you will see countless examples of ordinary people dealing with extraordinary hardships. When they emerge, they are better off than before. A whole nation can testify to that. The apostles will testify, Peter will testify, Paul will testify, and the list goes on and on. All of these and more know that trials led to triumph.

We can not fathom the things God has planned for us. We can not conceive where our lives will lead if we rely on him. We don't have the wisdom or the power to build a better life. Why try?

Praise God he loves me enough to build a special life just for me. I'm humbled by your presence in my life, the greatest of sinners! Thank you  Lord for blessing me and taking away my sins to make my life an amazing blessing! Amen!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Join with me!

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36 NIV)

Christianity is under attack like never before. The world sees us as an exclusive club that is narrow minded and uncaring. The reason is simple. We believe Jesus is the Son of God. If you believe, you'll have eternal life. If you don't believe, you die. If you want to call that narrow minded, go ahead. Where the world is wrong, this is not an exclusive club. Eternal life is open to everyone. There are very few restrictions to joining the club. You don't have to be perfect. Your faith doesn't have to be any larger than a mustard seed. You don't have to be a theologian, or a biblical scholar. You just have to accept who Jesus is and confess you are not perfect and ask Jesus to fix that.

Don't listen to the world. Jesus is available to everyone. If you make the step, the commitment to turn your life over to Christ, you will join a group of loving caring people. Those people spend much of their time and resources to care for the world. You will be with Jesus in eternity and your life here on Earth will be filled with blessings beyond your imagination.

You will never have a more open invitation in any other world religion.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I believe in the Bible, I'm not a hater!

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21 NIV)

I love the Bible. It is the word of God written through man. It is a great story of how we are saved through Jesus and all that leads up to the wonders of the cross. The world doesn't understand it's powers. It doesn't understand the truth. It is a story so precious, we would rather die than live contrary to its teachings. Many of these words offend the world, but it does not mean believers HATE those it offends. It is a simple story that is distorted by the sins of the world. 

I read an article today about a bakery in Indianapolis that refused to make a cake for a gay union. The owner was chastised and many are up in arms about the refusal. It's amazing!  How come when a black, a gay, or a woman is "wronged" everyone is indignant. Protests are forged and battle lines are drawn. Yet, when someone stands there ground in the word of God and is publicly destroyed, no one cares. Do we or do we not have religious rights to worship as we see fit? I support this business. Do I think he would go to hell if he would have made the cake? No! But that's not the point. God has given this man the blessing of talent and ability to bake. He has chosen this work to honor the God he dearly loves. The story links actions like this as reason a young gay teen committed suicide. I'm sorry, how can not selling a cake offend someone so much? All indications are the baker rejected the business of these two people in a loving and caring way. There was no HATE. Just because you disagree with someone's lifestyle doesn't mean you HATE them. If I disagree with you because of your politics, does that mean I hate you? NO. I have family members that strongly disagree with me, I LOVE them and certainly do not HATE them. I know some go beyond disagreeing and intimidate, ridicule, and bully, but this is not the case here. That is not the feelings of most people, and most Christians. This man feels it dishonors God if he would bake this cake and he has the right to refuse. It's not a hate crime. God will honor that decision. His business will flourish, regardless of some protest.

A man who believes he is not honoring God should be able to refuse the work with no consequences. I greatly respect this man for taking a stand for the Bible. If he feels led by the Holy Spirit to take this stand he really MUST obey! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

I'm not timid!

EFor the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

What an interesting combination of personal characteristics. Power, Love, and Self-Discipline. It is so popular to portray Christians and particularly ministers as meek , timid, soft spoken people. It is a characteristic that is not biblical. Certainly being soft spoken is not necessarily a bad trait. Being soft spoken and timid can not mean you are a target for evil. On the other hand being powerful doesn't mean you are loud, boisterous, or arrogant. My vision of timid is lacking confidence, backing down even when you know you are right, or shying away from Fighting for justice. We are called to be confident, strong, and willing to sacrifice everythng for Christ. We can yield power in love and do it in a way that is self-disciplined. 

When we invite Christ to rule our lives we invite the Holy Spirit to fill us with his power. It's not the power of intimidation or arrogance. It's a power centered around the love of Christ and the discipline it takes to endure persecution. The power is equal to the power of our creator and a love equally as strong. We need to use those blessings for Christs Kingdom.

Praise God for his wonderful love and the character to bring the lost to him. Praise God I am  filled with His Spirit so that I do not have to fear. Praise God I can endure hardship, intimidation, and pain while I live my life for him because of the power he gives me.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

News Flash: We're ALL going to die!

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” (2 Kings 20:1 NIV)

I have done some study on this verse because I was trying to find out exactly what is meant by putting your house in order. While doing that I found Hezekiah was only 37 when he was affected by this deadly infection. Yet, he didn't actually die until he was 53. It's fair to say he was probably shocked by Isaiah. I'm nearly 54 years old. I probably would not be as shocked. I'm getting closer to the end every day.

I have found the Bible to be pretty straight forward, not like it is portrayed to the average person. These verses are no different. 3000 years ago or yesterday, when you say "put your housein order" it means the same thing. You first start with your own spiritual life. You better confess, repent and accept Jesus. Enough said. But you also need to make sure your family is taken care of. Have you planned for your death? A will? Sadly, even as old as I am, I haven't. I better work on that. Lastly you need to make sure your resources are taken care of. Who gets your stuff and to what end will it be used for Gods glory. 

New Flash: We're all going to die! 

What happens after the heart stops can be exciting if we "Get our house in order!" You can live forever in eternity, or not. You can be a blessing to your family after you die, or not. You can continue to minister after you die, or not. We are called by God to prepare for leaving this Earth. Our death should not be a burden to others, especially those we love.

Praise God his wisdom is perfect and when we listen to his call to get our house in order, we will be blessed. Thank you Lord for the warning, in love, to look at the future! Amen!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sinners who sin different than me!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NIV)

It is easy to think of fellowship with your friends and family. I just love to spend time with my daughters and grandkids. I thoroughly enjoy my CMA family and fellowship with them every opportunity I get. I love fellowship with my coworkers and students at school. When you get beyond these groups fellowship is not as easy. I can claim I don't have time beyond my "framily" but that's only partially right. It's probably more accurate to say I don't MAKE time for anyone else.

Jesus has asked us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. We aren't supposed to stop with the people like us. We are to go to the WORLD, that includes people we don't like, and that live counter to our Christian values. Spending time with THOSE people does not endorse their lifestyle. We need to take those opportunities to show the love of Christ without condition. It doesn't mean we have to change what the Bible says. We don't have to modify our beliefs. We need to still feel strong and hold the values of the Bible as pure and unwavering. We just need to be open to relationships with the sinners that sin differently than we do. Yes, you heard that correctly. We're all sinners. We don't want to just hangout with sinners that sin like we do. Other people sins aren't worse than ours, there just different than ours. We all need Jesus to purify our sins. He died for all of us.

We need to fellowship with anyone who needs the love of Jesus!

Monday, March 10, 2014

We don't know it all!

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12 NIV)

A few weeks ago there was a very public debate between Ken Ham of the Creation Museum and Bill Nye "the science guy". I knew how this was going to end. The mainstream media claimed unequivocal victory for Nye. Being an educator is not easy for a Christian. Being a science teacher would be nearly impossible. I'll stick to Math! But if you want to hear my theory, here it is:

God created the heavens and the earth. He created all creatures and he created man, period. He did it in seven days, period. The Bible is the infallible word of God, period.

So where's the debate? It's when we look at the details, the proof, that it SEEMS we Christians lose.

 Not so fast! 

First of all I have to confess, I'm not a scientist. I can't debate Bill Nye's scientific knowledge or the knowledge of nearly any other scientist. What I can debate is the presence of Jesus Christ in my life and the indesputable evidence that there is a God. I don't pretend to know about the Big Bang, or the evidence of evolution. I agree that all of our centuries of knowledge dispute the existence of my God. All of our technology, our planet full of science experts ALL agree that the bible is wrong. I can tell you I don't care! I might even venture to ask a question:

"Have Scientists ever been wrong before? Has the world scientific community ever been wrong?

Have we ever been convinced, with science, a theory was indisputable, only to find out later it was wrong? 

The answer is definitely yes. We are sinful, imperfect humans. To think we have this all figured out is crazy. We use to believe the world was flat. We use to believe the sun circled the earth. We use to believe in the impossibility of flight. We are not always right. How can we claim with absolute certainty we're right now? Are we saying we know everything and nothing could possibly change in that knowledge from this point forward? Not even Bill Nye would claim we know everything we're going to know!

Bill Nye's evidence is so convincing. He is convinced of it from all the things we have observed and what we know. From Kepler to Galileo, to Einstein, to Bill Nye, our knowledge of the universe seems so vast and perfect. The problem, our knowledge is so very minute compared to the vastness and power of God. We don't understand some of the most basic concepts and are learning new things every day. Why can't we cure the common cold? Because we don't know everything. Why can't we cure cancer, diabetes, aging, or any number of human defects? Our knowledge is limited. WE DONT KNOW EVERYTHING! Our knowledge is growing and changing all the time. But, just when we think we have it all figured out, something new comes along. We don't know everything. I don't know everything. So how can we say we know this without any doubt? Simply, we can't!

I wonder why God doesn't reveal the truth to us. Why does he let this debate continue? 

I'll give you two more cents worth!

God doesn't want us to come to him because of some scientific formula that proves his existence. God wants us to come to him by faith. He wants us to take a step beyond the accepted theory. He wants us to believe with our hearts first. When we spend time with him, we see all thenproof necessary. Sure, it would be much easier to be able to share some secret proof of the truths in the Bible. It would be great to discover Noah's Ark, the Tower of Babel, or the garden of Eden. It would be indisputable if we could see the Red Sea open and swallow the Egyptians. God wants us to believe in his indisputable love which is seen when we accept Jesus as our savior. The proof is in our changed lives after that leap of faith. I love science and the excitement of discovery. I love the search for the perfect wisdom of our creator. That love doesn't come anywhere near the perfect love of Christ I see in my life everyday. Praise God for that love and grace. Praise God for the wonderful mysteries of his universe.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Get Fit!

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. (Isaiah 58:11 NIV)

I am two weeks in to my fitness regiment. I am working out 3-5 hours a week including running, lifting weights, and stretching. I haven't lost a lot of weight, but that's not really my goal. All I want to do is be more fit. I have seen a noticeable improvement in my blood sugar levels. ( I am at type 2 diabetic) I would have to say I am pretty successful. I feel stronger already and can feel a rise in energy. 

God wants me to take care of myself. He wants me to take care of my spiritual needs along with my physical needs. I've not done either of those with a lot of consistency in my life. I have realized I can't do it without help. I need to rely on my Heavenly Father to provide guidance, motivation and support throughout my life. He has granted those things in great abundance. He has strengthened me throughout my life, even through my own reluctance. He has cared for me like I was his own garden, tilling, weeding, and watering to get the best harvest. The longer I work on improving my spiritual life, the stronger I feel in times of trouble. Praise the Father he is patient, kind, and loving. Thank you Lord. My life would be barren without you. Keep me working toward fitness in all areas of my life. Amen!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Haughty Spirit!

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)

Most of us know about pride. Pride can be a good thing. I'm proud of my daughters and the people they've become. Pride of self can really get you in trouble. If you want to take pride to a new level, you have "haughty". Haughty takes pride and adds to it arrogance and contempt. You know these type of people. They are never wrong and no one can match their skill or expertise. They look down their noses at the "little people" and place themselves above everyone. I have met people like this and do everything I can to avoid them.

As Christians we have to be very careful of pride and haughtiness. With our faith and assurance of eternal life it could be easy to look down on the unsaved. It would be easy to set ourselves on a pedestal of purity. Instead we must continue to grow in humility and selflessness. It is important to serve with a humble heart. We need to love all people and to live a life that does not place barriers between the faithful and the lost. 

Lord, help me maintain a pure heart. I know that all I am is because of you. All that I have and the life I lead is a blessing though your grace and not by my doing. Lead me in service to others and the ability to build relationships with those that don't know you. Forgive me for the times I look down on others and do not live your word in peace and love. Amen!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Enduring winter

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; (2 Timothy 2:11, 12 NIV)

I have the winter blahs. I need SPRING. This weekend we change our clocks to daylight savings time. Usually it's a sure sign of spring. With the thick snow pack still on the ground it's not easy to see the warm freshness of spring in our future. Yet, yesterday it was 40 degrees. The forecast for the week to come is possible 50's. The newness and hope of Spring is such a critical time. 

We need hope. We need something that gets us through the winters of our life. Christ can do that for you. My hope is in him. I can get motivation to endure tough times by praising God for his perfect plan. I can get to betters times by remembering the obstacles I've overcome. God has been wonderfully faithful and blessed me in my life. He will help navigate rough waters. We will grow in our knowledge and faith in him. 

Praise God for the good times and bad!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Love and Respect your Pastor!

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. (1 Timothy 5:22 NIV)

I had to do some research on this verse before I commented. Frankly, I wasn't sure what it meant and I'm glad I did. This verse refers to the ordination of church leaders. My Dad went into the ministry late in life. He started preaching with the Gideons and then received a part time church charge. It seemed like forever for him to get into full time ministry. He worked hard at ministry. He loved and cared for his church members. I had the great privilege of being one of those church members with my young family. It was one of the best times in my life. During that time I finally realized his real dedication to The Lord. 

After having a father in the ministry I've come to greatly respect and honor pastors. I've even had some close friends in the ministry. A full time spiritual leader of a church has an incredible responsibility. The appointment from God comes with it a crazy, busy schedule, demands that can't go unfilled, a flock of sheep that strain you mentally/spiritually, and countless hours of prayer and study. The expectations are a perfect life with no visible weaknesses. It can be a stress filled existence if it weren't for the power of the God they serve. Yes, some buckle to the pressure and their sins are displayed as a trophy for Satan. But, most thrive and live meaningful and fruitful lives in ministry.

Praise God he has chosen these men and women to lead our churches. Dear Lord bless them abundantly. Give them time for peace and rest. Grant them perfect wisdom and discernment. Protect them from the evil one. Guide their thoughts and give them the ability to bring the lost to you. For all the blessings you grant them,double that for their spouses and children. May all of these families serve you as examples for all of us. Thank you Lord for bringing these people into our daily lives. Love them and bless them forever, Amen!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)

Do you remember the cute Disney movie "Angels in the Outfield"? The haphazard Angels ML baseball team couldn't win a game. Then a small boy gets involved, real Angels come and help the team win. It's a funny show that has a message about faith. I loved that movie because life is about Faith. They had lost so many games they had lost all hope of winning. They needed outside help to bring back the hope. 

It may seem strange, but you can't please God if you don't believe in him. But not only do you have to believe in him, you need to seek him. Faith is central to our life with Christ. The first step is believing in his existence, the second is getting to know him. I've heard it said in athletics, first you have to believe you are going to win before you can win. Our lives  have that same theme and sometimes we need outside help to strengthen those beliefs. Faith is the beginning of our hope for a successful life. Seeking him takes that faith and makes it grow. 

Lord, I believe in you. I am so amazed by the love you show us. I'm humbled by the sacrifice of your son for me. Guide my life in ways that helps my faith grow. Bless this day for your purposes through my words, thoughts and deeds. Amen!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A weak story!

so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. (Psalm 145:12 NIV)

Here is a great story from my Billy Graham Daily Devotional:

"Some years ago I heard about a clergyman who had a friend who was an actor. The actor was drawing large crowds of people, and the clergyman was preaching to a few in the church. He said to his actor friend, “Why is it that you draw great crowds, and I have no audience at all? Your words are sheer fiction, and mine are unchangeable truth.” The actor’s reply was quite simple. “I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.” I fear that so often we Christians give the idea that the truth is fiction by the way we live and by the lack of dedication to the teachings of our Lord."

(Just an FYI, you can find this series of devotions on the YouVersion Ap. They have a great selection of Bible Studies and devotionals)

Why are we not more effective in ministry for Christ? We have the greatest story ever told. Through the last 2000 years this truth has endured beyond all others. We have countless miracles, changed lives, and testimonies to back up this wonderful gospel. Why can't we make a more compelling case for Christ? This little story may hold part of the answer. May be our story is weak because we rely on our own telling. The story of God coming down to live with us is not just our story, it's Gods story. He orchestrated this amazing life lived through his son Jesus. From his miraculous birth through the shocking Ressurection, God spun this tale which pales the grandest novels of all time. His truth is truly more exciting than anything in real life or fantasy. We need to believe all of that and more about his message to us.

Maybe our story is weak because we don't acknowledge Gods place in our own lives. We look at ourselves for the source of our many blessings. We take for granted the life we have, the families, jobs, relationships, and things we've been given. If we truly gave the honor to Christ how could our story ever be less than spectacular. We need to look deeply into our lives, fall on our knees and praise God for his wonderful mercy, grace, and boundless blessings.

Dear Lord, forgive us for our weak witness, forgive us for being blind to your "mighty acts and glorious splendor". We lose focus on what you did for us on the cross and what you do for us every day. Help me Lord, to take all you amazing attributes and bring them to life for the lost. Make my story YOUR story! Amen!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Who loves ya Baby?

Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. (Ephesians 6:23, 24 NIV)

Ok, time for a trivia quiz. What TV show and character made famous the line -- "Who loves ya baby?"  Need a hint? He made it cool to suck on a lollipop. Ok, give up? Telly Sevalas, Kojak! I loved this show. Now that I look back, I'm not sure why! 

These verses from Ephesians are pretty typical of closing remarks from a New Testament letter. They had an absolutely grand way for closing out a letter. Early Christians had a lot of love and a deep respect for fellow believers. Have you ever had that kind of devotion to a group of people outside your family? I have. Even now I share that deep kind of love with my Christian Motorcyclist Association Family. That kind of love grows when you're in the trenches with someone. You get to really know someone's heart when you try to minister with them against all odds. When you are on the front lines against a culture against God, you need to have deeply devoted friends. I have that with CMA. Our officer team, members, and international organization might not be perfect, but all would sacrifice their lives for you.  

We all need someone that has our back, brothers and sisters that share your deep faith and are like minded beyond belief. Many people look for that type of relationship. Sometimes you can find it at work, sometimes you find it in recreation groups, or service organizations, sports teams, or neighbors. I've found the deepest relationships mimic those of the 12 disciples. They weren't without sin, but in the end they were deeply devoted to one cause, sharing the gospel message. I love my family, but I also a have special love for my Christian brothers and sisters. I need both kinds of love in my life.

"Who loves ya baby?"

You should be able to answer without hesitation. If not you need to go out and embed yourselves in a group that FIRST loves The Lord. Before long you will since that special Christian love in your own life.

I praise you Lord for my brothers and sisters in motorcycle ministry. I thank you for bringing us together for your service. It is an honor to stand side by side with people that have a undieing love for you and would sacrifice all to save the lost. Please bless them for that type of dedication and devotion to thee. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Where would you rather be?

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8 NIV)

This Hoosier winter has been ruthless. Extreme snow storms, deadly cold, and never ending winter forecasts have helped us label this the worst winter on record. It's painful to the body. I shoveled another 4 inches of snow today and my body knows it. I started my motorcycle while I was shoveling. The rumble helped me endure the miserable work. I have to keep reminding myself there is hope. Winter can't last forever. I would rather be anywhere but here. I love my home in Indiana, but right now I prefer to be in a Florida or Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, or countless other warm climates. I am sure all of us in Hoosierland would agree. But, we're here. We will endure. We will survive and winter will become just a bad memory.

As a Christian I have those days where I long to be in Heaven. The stress of the daily work grind, disagreement and discontent of colleagues, parents and students, relationships, and numerous other issues can weigh you down just like winter. It's easy to forget we have hope beyond this world. I love my life, but there are times I would prefer to just be with my Heavenly Father, in his kingdom. But until that day, I will serve. I will dedicate my life to Jesus. I will comit to share the gospel in word and deed. With the Lord's help we will make it until the day he comes back to get us. 

Come Lord Jesus! Save us!


I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. (Psalm 101:2 NIV)

Wow! What a bold statement. I have a wonderful family and 53+ years of family experiences. I wish I could say I have led a blameless life. I wish I could say I conducted all the affairs of our home with a blameless heart. I can not. I can look back fondly on my life and the love of my family. I can say that all of my family love The Lord and while we are all sinners, we treasure our faith. Now the next generation of our family is also exploring faith in Christ. I am excited to see their faith grow and how that will be a part of their lives.

I am so glad I have a Lord that forgives me when I don't lead a blameless life. I can come to him with my failures and my sins. I can come to him and his grace is amazing. His love is complete. He knows everything about me and still loves me completely. That's not unique for God. He loves all of us the same way. He longs to be a part of our imperfect lives. He is greatly saddened when he is excluded because of our shame. He has seen it all and has forgiven sins we can only imagine. He is greater than all of them. Go to him! Ask forgiveness! Express your faith and belief in him. Turn your life over to the creator of the universe. You can live a complete and blameless life through Christ!