Wednesday, December 31, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

Praise God for 2014 and the 2015 to come!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Blessed are the Rich!

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Let's get on with Winter!

He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:17-18 NIV)

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A wonderful Counselor is born!

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

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

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

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

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


A brief encounter with Jesus!

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Us vs Them at Christmas!

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV)

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

So what?

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

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

Monday, December 22, 2014

Evil strikes!

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The end is near!

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

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19th, 2014 was planned long ago!

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I've heard it all before!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What are your Christmas Traditions?

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

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egg Nog - I could drink a gallon.

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

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

What star are you looking for?

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 14, 2014


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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The thief!

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fear Not! Are you kidding?

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where's Jesus?

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do you believe?

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 5, 2014

I hate Xmas!

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

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

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

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

Christmas Encouragement by Greg Laurie
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I promise

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

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

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Don't stop at Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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