Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Not politically correct!

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NIV)

I easily get frustrated with people. The logic of the general public baffles me. It's not politically correct, but there is only one way to receive eternal life. It's through the saving grace ofJesus Christ. You can't do it by treating people nice. You can't do it by going to church. You can't do it by your own skill. You can't do it by praying to Allah or worshipping a cow. Actually, you can DO anything to EARN IT. It's a gift for those who love Jesus. You can only secure a life in Heaven by proclaiming Jesus died on a cross for your sins. There is no other way. Yet, our culture doesn't like the rigidity of one way. We can't hurt anyone's feelings by being so rigid and inflexible.

We call it political correctness, but it's anything but correct. Frankly, I'm not worried about hurting feelings. It's more important to me that I take as many as possible with me to Heaven. That can't be done by sugar-coating sin. We don't have the opportunity to claim we were innocent by reason of insanity. We all are guilty by reason of sinfulness. Our sentence has been served. We are now released from our chains because Jesus stepped in to serve our sentence that we could be set free!

Praise God for his love and desire for ALL of us to spend eternity with him. I am honored to be yours. I am blessed by your active presence in my life. Help me to spread your word so more can join me in eternity! Amen!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I didn't see the camel!

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NIV)

My wife and I were traveling down the highway in Missouri a few weeks back and she exclaimed she saw a camel. I didn't see it. She was adamant she had seen it. Then she claimed I had seen it and was just denying it to harass her. I really didn't see it. (I think it was just a cow!) She said I must be blind, yet in truth I just wasn't looking. She's still sensitive about the subject as it was brought up last night. She's still mad at me that I doubt she saw a camel. 

You have to be blind to miss the presence of God in your life. He is everywhere, yet invisible. I have seen the movement of his mighty hand. But, just like the camel, if you're not looking for it you're never going to see his mighty works. I serve a wondeful God that is active and present in my life and throughout the world. I am so excited that I get to witness that presence on a daily basis. 

Praise God for his love, his mercy, and his grace. I don't deserve it, but offers it freely anyway. Thank you Lord, I love you and want to serve you more every day.

Monday, April 28, 2014


For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

I like to feel I'm sort of a handiman! Given the right tools I can fix just about anything. For years this skill lie dormant. I was a little intimidated by my father-in-law who had a career of fixing and designing machines as a tool and die maker. My own father didn't have the time or the desire to do these things. So growing up, fixing things, or working with my hands, was not a part of my life. But, as I grew older, owning my own homes, cars, and motorcycles, I realized I really enjoy working with my hands, building things, taking things apart, and fixing them. I've gotten quite good at it! 

With this verse, I can relate to our loving creator. I take pride in the things I build, my handiwork. On a much grander scale God takes great pride in us, his greatest creation. He loves to see us used for our primary purpose, to do good works. He grants so many opportunities to do good works. Many we just ignore and they pass us by, unfulfilled. When we do GET IT, he loves to watch and admire!

What am I doing? Do I take advantage of the great opportunities to serve and do good works? Do I even look for those opportunities?

Dear Lord Jesus, help me to recognize the blessings I get from serving others. Help me SEE the chances I have that appear every day. Lord I want to do your will, not just talk about it. True service is doing your will in the lives of those I meet everyday. I praise you for your patience with me! AMEN!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I could get used to this!

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. (Romans 14:12 NIV)

What did you do this weekend? How much time was devoted to God?

I had such a wonderful weekend and it just came to me why. I'm not being boastful or prideful. I'm not trying to say how great I am. I'm trying to point how great God is. I really should use this weekend as a framework for my life. I don't devote as much time as I should to Gods work. If you want to know the real truth, I had a great time while serving. Yes, you heard it, you can have fun while serving The Lord.

I ministered with my CMA chapter nearly all day Saturday, visited with my mother, visited and prayed with a biker in the hospital, shared the ministry of CMA at a Church on Sunday, and had dinner and officers meeting with my wonderful officers team. It's not necessarily what I did that got my attention, it's that I really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit along every step of the way. Here's a perfect example. Saturday we attended a HOG chapter pancake breakfast and ride. We randomly sat beside a couple and started a conversation. We shared our ministry, talked bikes, and did what we do as Christian Motorcyclist Association members, we love on bikers. Sunday we arrived at the church we were visiting, set up our information and in walks this couple. Yes, the exact same couple we met the day before. Unbeknownst to us, he was an elder at the church we were visiting. God brought us together. 

All through the weekend I felt I was where a God wanted me to be. I kind of like the feeling. I should do it more often instead of going where I want to go, doing what I want to do, I should follow Gods leading a lot more. 

Praise God he cares enough to guide and direct my life even though I fight and ignore him. Praise God for the blessings I receive when I serve. They are not my goal but they always happen. Praise God for a life lived in his service. Please Lord, help me to make service for you a regular not a rare occasion!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Home is where I live!

For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14 NIV)

I have lived in all these cities:

Fort Wayne (9)
Kernersville, NC
Michigan City
Virginia Beach, VA
Mahopac, NY
Garrett (2)

          I've lived in multiple places in some of the cities ( ) and I could have some to add before Muncie that I don't remember. Of the 24 towns, I can't think of a bad place I've lived. I'm a blessed man. By this list you would have to say Fort Wayne is my home. Technically, yes, however, home is where I live. Each one of these cities holds a special place in my heart and fond memories were created there. There are some people that live their entire lives in one city. Some never even venture on vacations, not me. I love experiencing new places and new people. I know I have at least one move ahead of me. 

          The "city in the sky" is in my future. I can't wait to change my residency to Heaven. When I get there it will be my permanent HOME. God has prepared that place just for me. It is like no other home, streets paved with Gold, no sickness, and no pain. I have thoroughly enjoyed my many homes in this life, but my future home overshadows  all of them. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Thank you Lord for preparing a special home for me. I know I am not deserving, but you have created this wondeful place out of love and grace for all of that follow you. Help me to focus on bringing more people with me. I know you would love to add more rooms to that wondeful mansion. Thank You Lord! Amen!

Friday, April 25, 2014

O for a thousand tongues to sing!

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (James 3:5 NIV)

I love old hymns! I was reminded of this hymn by this bible verse. Here are a part of the lyrics:

O, For A Thousand Tongues To Sing"
Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumphs of His grace

My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name

So come on and sing out
Let our anthem grow loud
There is one great love 

We so often focus on the evil of the tongue. I'm not here to dispute that. I have seen it myself and know it to be true. But, I have also been a witness to the great beauty of voices lifted up in praise to God. We are so capable of praising God and praising our brothers and sisters. We are capable of igniting passion for Christ. Through our own uplifting words, our own attitude of service, and our own enthusiasm for Christ we can spread the Gospel like wildfire. 

The tongue can be used for Christ! Something as simple as the telling of our own life story can change a life. The response of praying for a person in need can redirect a life of the lost. Words of encouragement for one of our Christian leaders can sustain a ministry. Casual conversations with coworkers, family, and friends can open doors for the gospel. 

Yes, we are capable of using our tongues for good. We can do it and we must do it! Praise God for his perfect design. Praise God for voices lifted to him! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Excited about this foolishness!

but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, (1 Corinthians 1:23 NIV)

Our country has changed. A country founded on the ardent faith of its founding fathers has been replaced with a Godless society bent on proving my faith is foolishness. But, I don't care! I preach the Gospel of Christ crucified. This is foolishness to a growing number of my countrymen. They try to deny Jesus even walked the earth. So much evidence exists and his impact is clear.  Their are endless stories, examples, of God's impact on our lives. He is real, he is alive!

I heard an interesting fact. In all the world, not a single tribe, culture, or people has ever been discovered that didn't worship a god or gods. It doesn't matter how remote they have lived, it doesn't matter their level of advancement, or their longevity. They all believe. Is that just the consistent foolishness of our species? Or is it the revealing of God in the lives of the world. I certainly don't know of all religions, but none compares to the faith of a Christian. Nothing compares to God sending his son down to earth. Nothing compares to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. There is on truth. There is one God and when you really try to get to know that God, life changes, and life never ends. You spend eternity with Jesus! That's exciting "foolishness".

I praise God for this wonderful life I lead and the magic of the story of God's people. I praise God I am able to preach his gospel among the lost. Praise God even the lowly, like myself, can build a wonderful relationship with our Heavenl Father. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's your soul worth?

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Mark 8:36, 37 NIV)

I posed a question to my students yesterday. If a 6 inch beam was stretched between two skyscrapers what would it cost to get you to cross? $1 million? $100,000? The safety of your family? The question was to get the students to think about what's important to them. What do they value in life? 

As Christians we might turn the question around. If God asked you to give up "something" for him, what would you be willing to part with? If you were called into the ministry would you give up your job? If you were called into the mission field would you sacrifice time with your family, your job, your house? If you were asked to renounce Christ or lose your life would you give up your life?

What priorities do we place in front of God's will? I ask you the questions, but I'm not sure about my own answers. We all need to search our hearts. God wants all of us. He wants every part of our lives devoted to him. He calls us to use every gift, every blessing, every talent, for his kingdom. If we choose to ignore that call, those blessings may be taken away. Is your soul more important than the stuff of your life? 

Monday, April 21, 2014

You will know it when you see it

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35 NIV)

This is the most important character trait we can publicly demonstrate as a Christian -- Love. The further we get from loving one another, the further we get from God. 

We can come up with an unlimited list of reasons not to love someone. We can point to there politics, age, sexual orientation, morals, denomination, education, race, ethnic background,  culture, or their looks. We are great at naming the unloveable. It's sad. God's word describes, in depth, and on numerous occasions, we must love one another. Often if we are hated, we hate back. It's the "Eye for an Eye" Syndrome on steroids. We have to get passed that. True love needs to be the center of our day. It has to be our lives from sun up to sun down, when our feet hit the floor to our head sinking into our pillow, God's love must be on our hearts, in our minds, on our lips, and extending from our hands and feet. When we see God's amazing love in action it is easy to recognize. It goes beyond labels and stereotypes. 

Lord, help us love more and hate less. I pray for my fellow Christians that we might look through a person straight to there heart. May we plant the seed of Christs love and nourish it until it blooms full in their lives. I love you Lord and praise you that you love me with perfect mercy and grace!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

In God We trust!

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8 NIV)

I had such a wonderful, busy, Easter weekend. It was great reading all the Facebook posts celebrating our Risen Savior. When I see such an outpouring of faith, it fills me with a great sense of hope. Yet, this morning the news was filled with people hating on Christians and the Easter Celbration. A group wielding "In Reason We Trust" signs tried to steal the headlines of this wonderful celebration. This Aetheist group is bent on taking God out of all things. Why? Why are they so threatened by our faith? If they believe in no God , how could we be a threat... To them our rhetoric has no power. Are they intimidated by the love we share? Are they afraid the pressure we place on society, irreparably harms us? Just how are we such a threat?

I am an imperfect person, flawed, and sinful. My fellow Christians and I have made our mistakes. But I am here to profess, nothing will deter me from sharing the powerful change the Easter message has made in my life. I have given all to God. I am nothing so that I can serve the people who hate me the most. I will consider it gain to be rejected by these people of reason. So many great Aetheists have come to know my savior and I do not give up on these misguided people. I plan on loving them and YES praying for their salvation. The working of the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts. I pray God will reveal himself to them! 

You can not steal the joy of Easter just because you reject the message or the people who share it! Praise God for the blessings of knowing my savior personally. Praise God I can worship him even through rejection and personal attack. God has overcome the world. Jesus was crucified and risen to set us free of our haters! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

He is not here; He is risen!

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” (Luke 24:2-7 NIV)

What a glorious day! It is at this moment in history we first started to really understand our relationship with God. Life on this planet has changed eternally with the discovery of an empty tomb. The reality that God loved us so much that he sent his one and only son to sacrifice for our lost lives started right here. The women were the first and the news has spread for 2000 years. 

Praise God for Easter and the risen Savior! My savior is alive. He is not locked in some tomb of death and darkness. My savior is with me every day through impossible events or glorious joy! 

Have a joyous Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Darkness is temporary. Hope is Eternal!

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. (Luke 23:50-56 NIV)

The time after Jesus took his last breath to the morning on the third day has to be a dark and terrible time. Joseph handled the gruesome task of burial and the followers of Jesus were scattered. After Jesus was laid to rest, was a time of severe mourning and loss. I can only imagine the hopelessness of the moment. While we love the story because we know the result, it had to be the worst hopelessness felt by these people.

While you are in the midst of turmoil and darkness you just need to move forward. It's impossible to do anything more than what is absolutely necessary. Even the most mundane tasks take all your energy to complete. It's difficult to see any hope for the future and you just live in the moment. 

There is hope. I have 53+ year of life to verify this is true. I have had some dark times in my life and the Risen Savior has brought me through to brighter days. I am getting better at turning life's trials over to Jesus. It is amazing how hope returns when you let the crisis go! The message of Easter is hope. We are not alone. We are not at the end. We are at the beginning if we turn the darkness of our lives over to the Son of God. When we have left everything, then we can begin to live again. There is hope through Jesus.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Advice

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. (Revelation 2:10 NIV)

I hate it when people give you advice out of ignorance. They act like they know how you feel even though they have never experienced what you're going through. I'm a teacher and have been an educator for over twenty years. Yet, people, whose only experience with education is graduating from high school, just love to hand out "expert advice". They test my Christian patience every time we speak.

This ADVICE from Revelation is advice from God and he knows what it feels like to suffer persecution. He knows about being tested and he has always been faithful, even unto death. We need to receive his advice and embrace this Easter Season with the same love he revealed to us. Christ suffered and died for us. He gave up his life at the fathers side so that we might be saved. 

Praise God for his wonderful Easter gift!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm a talker!

For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— (1 Corinthians 1:5 NIV)

I am such a lucky man and I have been blessed with the gift of gab. My wife, Stephanie, rolls her eyes when we go places especially when we go places just for fun. I love to talk to people, strangers, and people who don't know anything about me. I am not an expert at too many things, but I know enough about a lot of things that I can hold a conversation with just about anyone. I call it a gift from God. I'm not sure Stephanie agrees.

Here's my logic. In order to share Christ with a stranger , you have to build a trust. You can't build a trust without a relationship. You can't build a relationship with some common ground. You can't find common ground unless you find out someone's interests. You can't find someone's interests unless you talk with them. My grandfather, a Church of a god pastor, was the same way. He never met a stranger; neither have I.

I have been greatly blessed by the conversations and relationships that began with strangers. I praise God for this wonderful, fun gift. It is a gift I will enjoy using until the day I die!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Check your attitude!

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV)

I am teaching a seminar at school on the book "7Habits of a Highly Effective Teens". This is the second time teaching this book study. This seminar is getting better all the time. I'm a math teacher and getting to do this 6 week seminar is so refreshing because it gets to the heart of living life. Although not a Christian curriculum, the 7 habits parallel how we are to walk our lives as followers of Christ. One focus is on doing positive acts for others and ourselves. That matches this verse. We need to serve others, not out of compulsion, but out of joy! If we want to have a great life we need to center our attitudes on giving cheerfully. I'm not talking about financial giving. I'm talking about working, serving, playing, ministering, exercising, reading, praying, all out of a cheerful attitude. 

Sometimes the easy thing to do is give financially. It's much harder to give of our time and energy. Giving of ourselves at our place of employment is more than just doing our job. It's more than just serving time. Our attitude of service should extend to our employer just like it does our church. We should serve our coworkers, cheerfully, in the same way. Working out of duty or obligation is not what we are called to do. I love my school. I would do anything for my coworkers, my administrators, and the students. I love seeing them everyday. I will constantly look for ways that I can make their lives better. The same holds true with my CMA ministry. If I can't do it cheerfully, I'm not going to do it. I don't do it out of a sense of duty. I do it because I love to do it. My life is better because I love the things I do, everyday!

Check your attitude. Are you giving of yourself cheerfully? Are you serving with a smile? Are you demonstrating the positive power of Christ throughout your day?

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me.........

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6 NIV)

This verse really brings back some great boyhood memories. I used to be a pretty good singer and I still enjoy praising God in song. This particular verse was put to song. Here it is:

Ok, I know this is an oldie. But, it is a goodie. I remember singing this as a very young boy at my grandparents small country church. I just love the old hymns. My memories of this song and songs like "How great thou art" or "He touched me" or "The Old Rugged Cross" were such big parts of my growth as a young boy. I can still smell the old churches. I can hear the reverberating sound of my grandfathers preaching. I can hear the pianos and the wonderful voices praising God. I love my new modern church and it's glorious performances, but nothing touches my heart like the memories of the boyhood churches I attended growing up. It's a time lost to the world but still alive in my heart.

I praise God for my wonderful Christian upbringing. I am so blessed to have been raised in the church. I've heard friends say their parents dragged them to church. As a boy, I counted it a privilege to go to church. That's probably why I love it so much now. My kids might tell you different, but I never heard them complain about going to church either. They also grew up in the church and made so many friends and memories there. I think that's why they are all so involved at their own churches. I'm glad that tradition lives on. I'm glad their kids will have that same experience.

 Praise God for our freedom to worship!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I call it a God thing!

and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24 NIV)

Sunday was another great day. This is the first Sunday in three weeks we've been at our own church to worship. There is nothing like being in your home church, especially when you love your church. Stephanie and I rode the motorcycle and wore our CMA colors. It must have been the Holy Spirit. While I was talking to our pastor, Stephanie went to the restroom and ran into a new CLCG attendee that just moved from South Carolina. They have been looking for a Christian motorcycle group to ride with. She noticed the leather vest and patch. Most people call that coincidence. I call it a God thing!

It's amazing how those things happen after you've given your life to Christ. The opportunities to share will never cease. I'm not perfect because of my faith. I'm not Holy or righteous on my own standing. It's only through Christ that I get to shed my sinfulness and be re-created in his image. Praise God!

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for this wonderful day. I praise you for this weekend. I am constantly amazed by your wonderful love. Continue to use me for your purposes. Bring people into my life that I might share your greatness and know you are God.  I love the person you are creating in me. I am growing each day into the holy and righteous person you would have me be. I'm not there yet, but I know I will get there with your power and might. Amen!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Seasons of Refreshing

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

Stephanie and I just spent two days with 12 of our Christian Motorcyclists Association Chapter members at Seasons of Refreshing. This is a gathering of 500 CMAers from the state of Indiana. It is led by our National Evangelist and is meant to prepare us for the ride season ministry. I love this event for ONE particular reason. I get to spend two days with some of my best friends. We laugh, we talk, we cry, we eat, and we learn together. It's a great time. Every time I've attended, I find that God reveals himself in some way. This year was no different. His hand was present as one of our chapter members had a rear bearing go out on his ride to Kokomo. It was really dangerous, but Gods protection was evident. I love it when we can actually see first hand Gods protection for us. I know there are so many times when we are protected and we don't even know it. 9 people gave their lives to The Lord. Two young ladies gave their testimony and had the entire gathering of rough, tough bikers crying. To see someone give their life to Christ and shed old sins, is heartening and refreshing for the soul. What a great weekend!

God wants us to have a "Season of Refreshing". We all need a time of renewal even if it's only For a weekend. Our chapter will spend the greater part of the next 6 months in ministry, doing church visits, attending events, blessing bikes, praying with bikers, and just  "Being there when the motorcyclists of our area need us." That's our motto. We take that seriously and minister to this lost community in a loving, grace filled way. I am looking forward to what God has planned for us this ride season!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Be Happy in your work!

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV)

I am a worker. I enjoy working. I enjoy teaching. I enjoy planning, solving problems, trying new things, and sweating. God expects us to work throughout our lives and he intends for us to enjoy our work. 

If you're unhappy in your work, DO SOMETHING ELSE!

This might be a repeat message, but it is one I strongly believe in. I can't understand good people who hate their job so intensely, but refuse to change. I can tell you if I'm not enjoying what I'm doing, I'm not going to do it. That should be everyone's motto. That goes for volunteering also. Why do something, for free, and not enjoy it, or believe in it?

Your work is an extension of your faith in Christ. I pray over my students, my coworkers, and the parents of my students. I also pray for all the daily interactions I have with these wonderful people. My school is a better place when God is the center of my life. When I pray, study God's word and worship, I am a better teacher. My attitude is better and my effectiveness greatly increases. Praise God for his involvement in ALL of my life including my occupation. It's not a job, it's my life, it's my faith!

Awful and Wonderful

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 NIV)

It's nearing Easter and my thoughts are turning toward this wonderful day of celebration. At the very same time it is also a horrible day. That Friday the Son of God was brutally crucified for me. He was whipped, framed with a crown of thorns, and nailed to the cross to die the death of a criminal. He did it because we are all sinners and wanted to bring us to righteousness.  Three days later he overcame that sin, death, and rose from the grave. 

Words can not describe the hopelessness of that Friday and the eternal  joy of Sunday morning. Praise God for his sacrifice for us!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Calamity Jane

When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God. (Proverbs 14:32 NIV)


Stephanie and I have taken several trips out west. It's really my favorite part of this great country. When we have taken our motorcycle trips out west, I feel like I'm in the WILD WEST? It's a lot of fun. One person I learned about from the Wild West was Calamity Jane. She was a frontiers woman that lived in the last half of the nineteenth century. She was quite the scout and was involved in many Indian campaigns of the west. However, the only thing known about this woman was written by her in a journal she used as publicity for her Wild West shows. It wasn't a very credible source and many of the events were probably fabricated or at least exaggerated. We do know she was thought to be a beautiful woman which happens to stand in contrast with what I had envisioned. She got her name from bring a compassionate person who was always around when calamity occurred. 

God is our Calamity Jane. This verse talks about real calamity. The worst of which is our own death. It is during such a calamity that the power of God shines forth. But, God is not there to save the wicked. He is there to save the righteous and we are righteous who believe in Jesus Christ. 

Death is the  greatest fear of most people. It is in those final hours that we need God the most. God will not let you down if you have chosen to follow him. He takes the hand of the dead and brings them to eternal hope and salvation. The wicked receive no hope and no salvation. Death comes to the wicked, they get no second chance upon their last breath.

Praise God for his power over death. He has overcome that calamity and promises to bring us with him to paradise! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rain is better than sun?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:43-45 NIV)

My God is a great and wonderful God. He is so often depicted as some vengeful tyrant set out to destroy his sinful people. That is just not true. While you can find verses that would hint to this type of God, there are more verses that would indicate a loving and compassionate God, the father. These verses are in that mold. God gives blessings to everyone, even those that do not believe on him. You can't get much kinder or gentler than that.

In these verses it seems to point to God providing both good and bad to his people. However, that just isn't true. The Sun and the rain aren't contrasting gifts. They are complimentary. While we view rain as bad and a nuisance, the people Jesus was speaking would think of rain as an equal or better blessing compared to the sun. So Jesus isn't saying God will bring the good and the bad to all people. He's saying God will supply ALL the good in our lives. He provides just what we need, when we need it. That is the true definition of blessing and it's also an indication of God's great love for his creation.

Praise God for the gifts he gives all mankind. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A new label!

.........Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. (Colossians 3:9-11 MSG)

Yesterday, our Christian Motorcyclist Association Chapter visited another church. I love doing this. It makes me realize I am a part of something pretty wonderful. Churches across the world met today to share the great message of Jesus Christ. Good preachers, teachers, and leaders put time and energy into preparing a special message to help believers grow closer to God. What a wonderful savior we serve!

After the service we went out to eat. Our Chapter members wear leather vests with a big leather patch on the back. The patch has a praying hands and a bible prominently displayed in the center of the patch. When we walk into a church, a restaurant, or a motorcycle event, there is no question we belong to Jesus. We have God's LABEL on every move we make. 

During our meal an older lady and her husband came up to us. She noticed our patch. She continued to tell us how wonderful it was that we would share in this way. Everywhere we go people recognize our label. Some love it and others feel uncomfortable. We wear our faith for all to see. It's exhilarating!

All Christians wear the label of Christ. Our old clothing has been burned and replaced with clothing, custom made for our lives. We overcome the old labels we've worn or labels placed on us like biker, drug dealer, addict, dumb, lazy, loser, absent father, whore, or worthless. God takes the old labels and destroyes them. We are made new and with our new life we seek out those that haven't shed their label. We help them go shopping for new clothes. That's our mission to help other shed their labels and put on the new clothing of Christ.

We all need something more than vanilla ice cream!

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4:7 NIV)

I had a great day today. I got to spend it with my CMA brothers and sisters first at our monthly meeting and second at an open house for our local Harley dealership. I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while and met some new biker friends. I am so intrigued by the diversity of my friends and aquaintences. I am truly excited that we are so different. It's the same with my daughters and grandkids. They all grew up in the same environment, yet they are all so wonderfully unique. I have a daughter who is just like me. I have one just like my wife and one that is a pretty good mix. They all have different aspirations and their lives grow in different directions, just like the branches of a tree.

 It's all through Gods plan.

God developed our inner most being. Every molecule of our existence is not by chance. The diversity is built into us by our creator and I enjoy it. It seemes,  though, the world continues to try to destroy our differences. We all need to conform. All extremes are discouraged. If the world had its way everything would be vanilla. Not that I hate vanilla ice cream, but ice cream would be pretty boring if it were all vanilla. We all need the variety and uniqueness of churches, jobs, motorcycles, weather, and spiritual gifts. I want everyone to become a follower of Christ, but that doesn't mean I want everyone to be the same. Christ gave us a portion of grace to fit perfectly In our lives. Our portion, our gifts, were uniquely designed so we each could fit into a perfect place in eternity. Don't wish to be like someone else. Don't envy the gifts of others. God has given us each the gift he NEEDS us to have. Celebrate that special gift. If you don't know your gifts, don't worry, you have them. Pray for them to be revealed to you. Pray his wisdom for how to use those gifts.Then go out and use your portion of grace to serve the kingdom.

Praise God for his wonderful gift of grace, molded just for me!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Real Stuff!

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:19 NIV)

          I love the bible. The stories are real, the people are real, my God is real. As Christians testifying to the World, we need to share real stories. Our stories are the best place to start. 

           I just spent the past half hour on the Open Doors ministry website. The persecution of Christians across the world is real. People are dying because they refuse to renounce their faith. Missionaries are being martyred as they try to share their stories in hostile countries. OPEN DOORS is a ministry partner with CMA. A part of our annual fundraiser goes to support the cause of Christ throughout the world. If you read these real life stories of our Christian brothers and sisters you must be moved. The lives of these people are real and we need to support them.

          Whatever you do, don't ever discount the  struggles of Christians serving on the frontlines in the war against evil in this world. You should take every action possible to support the groups that serve the most dangerous parts of the world! Your money, your presence, and your service are necessary to bring people to the saving grace of Christ. Don't waste time, take action!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Think about this!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

There is a lot to think about in this world. Issues of our day are so complicated. Abortion, Homosexuality, health care, taxes, separation of church and state, terrorism, tolerance, religion, evolution, creationism, and the list keeps growing. All of these topics could make your head spin if you were to dwell on them. In the end we need to listen to our hearts, especially if your heart is filled with the spirit of the living God.

This verse in Phillipians will help clear your head. Just before this verse, we are given instructions not to be anxious about anything. Including the stresses of this world. Don't dwell on the things you can not fix. Do not dwell on the things that separate us. Dwell on the things we can be sure of. God is on the throne. 2000 years ago he sent his son to Earth to die for us so that we might have eternal life. All other things don't matter. We know of the real truth. We know of this incredibly noble act. We know if we just focus on the truth, our actions will be guided by the King. We will love all people and our actions will earn the admiration of all people.
Think of excellent things and remember Love is the greatest thing we can meditate upon. We can spend all our time dwelling on the things of God's love and we will live the life God has intended.

Praise God for his infinite power in love! Praise him that we can focus on the things from above and not be entangled in the problems of this world! Amen!