Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blessing things!

When you enter the home, give it your blessing. (Matthew 10:12 NLT)

Today my CMA, Christian motorcyclist Association, family are going out to do our first "Blessing of the Bike Shops". It always seems strange to me to claim to bless THINGS. But, it is not without some biblical parallels. Yet, even when you bless a home you are not blessing the building but you are blessing the people in it. When we bless a "bike" we are not blessing the bike but the biker. Today we will ask Gods blessing on these businesses, but we are really asking blessings of the owners, managers, employees and their families. 

I really enjoy bike blessings and this opportunity today is a thrill for me also. Whenever I get the chance to pray for people i myself feel extremely blessed. So many people say they are praying for someone or something, but most of the time those are done in private. I'm not down playing that prayer. But, taking the time to stop and actually physically pray for someone with them is a special moment. 

Praise  God for the opportunity to pray for others. Lord, I know you hear our prayers. I am honored that you truly listen to the prayers of your servants. I ask that you be with us today as we share your call to prayer. Give us the words and the actions as we travel the area today. Be with us and provide my Chapter with a special blessing throughout this day. Amen!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

You're not that important!

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. (Galatians 6:2-3 NLT)

This is such a profound and key message from God. In order to live a life of obedience to Christ we MUST share the burdens of others. No one is exempt. You can not thumb your nose in the air. You are NOT above the fray! You are not so important that you are not expected to serve. 

What can I do? One of the obvious steps we can take is to know the needs of others. It seems so simple, but so rare. At CMA we always emphasize building relationships. It's a foundation of ministry. We can't serve to the fullest until we know the needs. God chooses to serve through us and our actions.

It is also our responsibility to be aware of resources. We need to know what resources are available and how to access them. We need to prepare for the day of need before the need arises. Our knowledge of free food sources, jobs, medical help, financial help, housing, and more are critical to our service. We need to love out of Gods own heart. We need to have genuine compassion and an attitude of "no rest" until all the needs are met.

 As Christians, our focus should be on serving people. We shouldn't rely on someone else to do it. We shouldn't rely on a faceless government, we shouldn't rely on godless agencies, we should lead the efforts to help those that need it. 

Lord help us to serve you through serving others. We need to take the focus on our selves and turn it to helping the homeless, poor, and the lost. We need to put others needs ahead of ours.Amen!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Open honesty in love!

So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the LORD lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The LORD, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. (2 Samuel 12:1-7 NLT)

Talk about an awkward moment, this confrontation between David and Nathan is truly an uncomfortable spot for both men. But, the confrontation had to occur. 

I have had some of those moments in my life. I have had to fire people. I've had to punish a wrong. If had to discipline my children, students, and employees. Every single time it occurs, it's grossly uncomfortable. But, confrontation of a fellow believer about sin would make me more squeamish than any other situation I've encountered. Our society says it's really none of my business. The bible says differently. As a matter of fact it is our duty!

The word "confrontation" is ugly. It sends visions of hatred and meanness. I have never seen a vicious confrontation, even if for noble reasons, end well. Our approach , especially with fellow believers, must be out of love and done with a pure heart. We must let our love shine through stronger than the hatred. We also need to approach any confrontation as a way to earn respect, not domination. An attitude of tears is great, an attitude of joy is not great. If we would just approach every battle of wills as a gentle rebuke instead of a blatant war, we would all be better off. 

Dear Lord' help me with my relationships with my fellow believers. Help me to be honest with them and they be honest with me. If I am do ping something wrong, sinning, or hurting my ministry, I want to know. If my friends, or family are doing the same thing, give me strength to let them know. We need to make each other better. We can not do that without you directing our lives. Thank you Lord for your wonderful love and the joy of living a life for you. Amen!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Doing right things for the right reasons!

But Elisha replied, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept any gifts.” And though Naaman urged him to take the gift, Elisha refused. (2 Kings 5:16 NLT)

I've been listening to a series of messages from Chuck Swindoll at Insight for Living called "What if.......".This verse was a part of my recent study. Mr. Swindoll concluded the message with the thoughts we need to always ask ourselves: Am I doing the right thing? And What are my motives?

Elisha was doing the right thing and he had a pure heart. God honored that with the power to heal Naaman. Elisha knew it was not his power that healed, but the power of God. So, he refused the gifts for the healing. He didn't seek glory, he just followed the calling of the Lord. Oh, if I could be that strong and pure.

We live in such a "me" society. Even as christians it's easy to take credit for the wonderful blessings of the Lord. It's easy to be caught up in successes. It's easy to rest in our own power ignoring the creator of that power. At school, I want to be responsible for the student successes, but blame the failures on the students. People have such a hard time accepting failure. It's so easy to blame others. I need to examine my own heart. 

Am I doing the right thing for the right reasons? Is my heart focused on the Lord. I need to make sure I examine my successes and failures. We can always examine them through those two questions: Am I doing the right thing? What are my motives? 

Dear Lord help me do the right thing. Help me to make good decisions, accept mistakes, and to listen to your guidance. I am not perfect. I will fail. I need your help acknowledging both my successes and failures. Help me to examine my life on a daily basis looking for ways to improve. I love you and know you deserve all the glory for my exceptional life. I praise your holy name, Amen!

Monday, February 23, 2015

My performance evaluation before God

Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. (1 Corinthians 4:2-4 NLT)

I have been so blessed to have some great bosses in my life. Even now I love my Principal. I believe he is fair, caring, insightful, compassionate, and a great leader by example. He is also in charge of my performance evaluation. For some reason, that I fail to see, teachers are in an uproar about our evaluation process. I actually like it. I know it's not completely fair. But, overall it is a good tool to help rate my job performance. But, really I don't care about my Prinicipals evaluation of my job. I report to a higher power, my loving and gracious God.

My evaluation isn't about money. It's about how well I represent Jesus Christ to my students, fellow teachers, parents, and anyone else I deal with on a daily basis. Frankly, if God thinks I deserve a raise, I'll get it. If not, I won't. I spend not one ounce of energy thinking about my teacher evaluation. I love my job more than some earthly rating system. Getting a great or poor performance means nothing without the seal of the Lord. I don't want to do my best for my students sake, my Prinicipals sake or even my own sake. I want to do my best because my savior Jesus Christ expects it. 

Praise God for my career. Praise God for the opportunity to serve my community, school, and more importantly my students. I beg you Lord to give me guidance and direction to do the best for each and every student. I am overjoyed with your presence in my life. I am wildly blessed with your love. Thank you! Amen!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Crushed but not defeated!

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen. (1 Peter 5:8-11 NLT)

I have had times in my life that I have been devastated. I have been to the end of my rope. I have been crushed by overbearing bosses, misunderstood by an intended enemy, dissappointed by those who claimed to love me, and driven to depression because I had lost one of life's battles. The devil has had me right where he wanted me. He waits for my weakest moments. He stalks me, waiting for me to slip in my daily walk. He wants to devour me. He wants me to feel alone and defeated.

God is there to save us. God is there to remind us, the suffering is only for a short time. We are not alone. We all suffer together. We are family and family doesn't let family suffer alone. Our Heavenly Father does not let us suffer long. He raises us up restores us, strengthens us and will help us stand once again on his firm foundation. 

So regardless the pain you feel in this moment. Stand firm on the promises of God. Destroy the stalking Lion. Be strong in your faith. Even the Lion can not win when faced with such power as that which comes from faith in the God of the universe. 

Dear Lord, thank you, I praise you for defeating the stalking Lions of my life. I praise you for rescuing me from the depths, from the pains of life. I deserve nothing, yet you gave all. Praise God for the gift of his Son, Jesus, that we can soundly defeat the evil one! Amen!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Life Like Verses"

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. (James 4:1-3 NLT)

These verses have to be some of the most "life like" verses in the Bible. Don't they fit perfectly with the news of 2015. We see quarrels of all shapes and sizes in our world. We see evil desires, scheming, killing, jealousy, war, fights, and an absence of any communication with our wonderful savior. Hàve you ever just screamed at the top of your lungs! WHY?????? But, really, it should be clear. The reason we lack peace is because we don't ask for it and when we do ask, we do it for the wrong, usually selfish, reasons! We are in it for our own pleasure and that's what gets us in trouble the most. I'm watching the news right now and the first question is "What's in it for us?" The news is filled with selfishness. We, us, me, I are the most popular words of our vocabulary. If we turn from our selfish desires to serving our fellow man, peace will happen.

It's time to stop! The best way to fight the war is the armor of God! We need to arm ourselves and OTHERS with scripture, the word must be studied with all heart, and we need to deeply communicate with our loving savior. I need to constantly check my motives. How closely are they aligned with the heart of God? I need to turn my prayers from extravagant wish lists to prayers for wisdom, power, strength, to survive this evil, not just for me, but for others. We need to pray for others to know and be able to discern right from wrong. We need to pray for compassion. Help me to build relationships with the lost while at the same time serve them and supply there needs.

I love you lord and want nothing but your will. Help me, grant me wisdom to navigate the troubled waters in front of me. Help me to focus on helping others and service to those that hate meI I love you Lord! I worship you with all the praise I can produce. Thank you Lord! You truly are amazing!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Can't predict the future

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. (James 4:13-17 NLT)

We just can't predict tomorrow. We can't predict stock market prices, the weather, the economy, or any number of life's activities. There is no such thing as a real "fortune teller". No matter how hard we try to control the future, we just don't have that kind of power. As a Christian I try to manipulate the future through prayer. If I just pray the right prayer, I will earn the right to control God! 

You know God is better than that. 

So what do we do?

We trust in the Lord. Our Heavenly Father knows the plan. He has great plans to prosper us. He has told us that. Now we just have to believe it. We need to connect with Jesus. We need to follow the spirit of the Lord within our hearts and minds. We need to act on his promptings and then just let life happen. It needs to change from my plans to his plans. My prayers need to be that the plan is revealed to me that I might do the will of God. When I'm in charge it is a "false" power. God has the real power and the wisdom of the future. Let him make the plans. Let him be the navigator of your life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

You can't force things

The Messenger-Angel said, “Can’t you tell?” “No, sir,” I said. Then he said, “This is GOD ’s Message to Zerubbabel: ‘You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,’ says GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies. ‘So, big mountain, who do you think you are? Next to Zerubbabel you’re nothing but a molehill. He’ll proceed to set the Cornerstone in place, accompanied by cheers: Yes! Yes! Do it!’” (Zechariah 4:5-7 MSG)

I had a wonderful day today. I got some letters from students today that just lifted my spirits. Have you ever wondered in life if you're making any difference? I hope that everyone WANTS to make a difference. I do want to make a difference in the lives of my students. I want to impact the lives of the people I hang out with. I want people to say their lives are better because of me. Of course the ultimate is when they see the Lord through me. 

You can't force these things!

I wish we could force these moments. But, if you do try to force them, they usually never happen. I notice I have had my greatest impact when I'm just trying to be me. The last three years as I have rejoined the classroom, I have seen a difference in me and then how students view me. I care less about how great a teacher I can be and more how great a person I can be. I'm not trying to to be their friend, I'm just trying to be a genuine , caring, loving human that gets the opportunity to hang out with kids. I don't try to be anything, I just am who I am. As I grow stronger in my faith I really have turned more of my daily life over to God. I am amazed to see the person I have become, not by my doing, but by the power and strength of Jesus.

Praise God for his loving presence and the guidance in my life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The next level

......... Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. (2 Corinthians 5:1-5 MSG)

If you don't understand this verse, you better drop to your knees and pray for your salvation. 

I know how absolutely blessed I am. You probably get tired of hearing it. I haven't done anything to deserve it. God gives this gift to those that love him and the best is yet to come. I have been abundantly blessed by my God from above because he wants to prepare me for heaven. I see HIS amazing grace as a teaser that leads me to wanting more and more heaven. I can not wait until the day I get to walk those streets of gold. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for me and for you. I know this world seems so evil and it is heard to find good. If you look hard you can find it and I see the love of Jesus every where. The great blessings I see now are like a drop of water in the ocean. 

I praise my wonderful Lord for this life I have. I don't want to minimize the blessings of this life. But, I have to admit, I am amazingly anticipating the life I am promised in eternity. God doesn't want this relationship we have to end. He has prepared a loving home for me where the blessings of this life can be magnified. Praise God. I can't wait. I want all of you to be with me.

Monday, February 16, 2015


He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. (Genesis 28:12-13 NIV)

I'm not much of a dreamer. I don't mean dreams for the future, I have plenty of those. I don't dream much at night. Some people dream nearly every single night. The dream Jacob had would be one dream I would love to have. The bible is full of dreams, special messages from God, to his people. I wonder why God sends messages through dreams to some people and not to others. Maybe he uses dreams because we aren't open to his messages when we are awake.

God is always speaking to us. The real question? Are we are listening? It doesn't matter if God is speaking if we are not listening. Listening starts by preparing our hearts and our minds for the message. Prayer, bible study, and worship prepare us. Just as important is my attitude. Am I really expecting the Lord to speak? Do I have faith enough to turn my ear to the Lord to hear his wisdom? I have to expect to hear from him. He is speaking.

Thank you Lord for your patience with me. I beg you to speak to me in a way I will know your voice. Speak to me in power so that I might be moved to act on your voice. I love you and worship you. I praise you for the answers to prayer and the guidance I get from your glorious voice. You are wonderful! Amen!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Get'n after it!

So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. (Genesis 28:1-3 NIV)

Have you ever seen God in your life? Have you ever been so amazed that you could attribute it to none other than the Lord himself? As I read the bible it is so refreshing to see an active God. Likewise, it is so wonderul to see God at work in MY life. I see answered prayer in ways that CANT be by chance. It's great to see proof of our active father throughout the world. I read an article recently about the proof of Gods existence by none other than a leading professor at MIT! I am refreshed by the preaching of one of my VERY young CMA brothers a few weeks ago. I could see the words of Jesus as they came  forth from his mouth. I am a part of the community mentioned in these verses. I love being a part of the body of Christ. I am blessed to feel his presence in my life and during my entire day. God is surrounding us. He wakes every morning, not sitting on the sidelines of this tiny planet, but getting after it and embedding himself in everything we do. 

Yes, God is here! Just as with Isaac and Jacob, God is in all things, not just the large or the small, he is in all things. He is real, he is relevant, and he is active. He is with us and he is going to come back, soon! I PRAISE his name and thank him for the wonderful life I am blessed with. Thank you Lord for not giving up on us, loving us, and sending your son for us. Praise God! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Trusting your Coach

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

It's very normal to pick apart verses of the bible. When we do, we sometimes get bogged down with certain words. Many times we "gloss" over those words and we lose the value of the word from our Lord. There are so many key words here, but it is critical how they are tied together. 

I really have two choices in life. I either trust the Lord and all he is doing in my life or I don't trust him and count on my own understanding of the circumstances and events. 

Trusting in the Lord is saying that God knows my circumstances better than I do. 

 "Does God know better than I do about my own life?" Does he have a better view of what's going on outside my area of influence? Does he know more about how outside people are going to impact my life? Can he predict the impacts of my decisions? Until you can say yes, to all three you have no way to be successful in this life.

When you are participating in sports there comes a point in a players career he/she must decide if the coach knows what they are talking about. Practices become extremely trying, long, and tedious. The player asks if the pain is worth the gain. That always leads back to the coach. Does the player believe in the Coach? If not, "game over", if so then real winning can begin. Many times it is a long process to establish that trust. If the mutual trust is developed, the successes are amazing.

I'm not saying it's easy to trust a God you can't see. But, I know from a long relationship, I can trust in the Lord. I believe he sees all and knows all. It is only through his insight that a realistic game plan can be implemented for my life. So, just step out in faith one time. Determine that you will trust in the Lord. I will promise when you try it once you will never turn back. You will see his faithfulness and begin to doubt less. Then as you turn over more and more, he will bless more and more. 

Submit to him, trust him, and you will see!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My God's not mean!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

My lord is powerful. He can move mountains, tear down barriers, part the seas. So many people view God as a powerful, slave master driving us with a whip and dealing vengeance to thse who make mistakes. We look at biblical phrases like "fear the lord" as a literal message to fear his retribution and that my God is just MEAN!  That's why I feel these verses help us do much. You can count on God to have great plans for your life. You can be confident that those plans are centered around what will prosper you and NOT harm you. These plans are designed to give us hope and a future. Most of the ills of my life are due to my sinfulness. They are due to poor choices and distancing myself from a God. Gods plans are for our good to give us hope and a wonderful future. 

Thank you Lord for your love and the plans you have for me. I see so much evil in this world. I see fear and hate for you, with no reason. As I get to know you throughout my life, I can see your plans for me ARE for good and not to harm me. Through all of that I DO have hope for the future! Amen!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I'm not giving up!

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 NIV)

As teachers it is so easy to get discouraged. I just saw a teacher that had received several high honors, from Ohio, say she was quitting. She was giving up because of a new test being required in her state. Are you kidding? That's the reason she is leaving? So many teachers are leaving the profession. But, I really don't have a lot of respect for the teachers leaving for "greener" grasses or giving up on kids. They let themselves be overcome by the outsiders that try to manage our field. They let the over testing, the long hours, and continuous change, get in the way of our real purpose. They let the bickering politicians in charge of setting policy, force them out. They let themselves be overcome by evil instead of overcoming evil with good. 

I love teaching. Specifically, I love building relationships and sharing my day with teenagers. We laugh, we work, we play, we have deep discussions, we share trivial events, and we spend quality time trying to learn............from each other. I love learning about their hopes and dreams, counseling them on goals, helping them reach for the stars, and dealing with daily stress. Through it all, I actually teach them some algebra, trigonometry, statistics, and geometry. That stuff is minor compared to the life lessons we encounter every day. There is no politician, administrator, community member, or parent that can take those relationships from me. Frankly, I'll teach what ever standards, to whatever test, to what ever curriculum they want me to teach. I will figure out a way to love on my students. You can't measure it with a test. You can't set standards for it. It's better than the 3R's. 

So, you see, I lose respect for people that leave this honorable profession. How could they let anyone keep them from experiencing the joy of building relationships with young adults? You can't experience that joy in any other work environment. I feel honored and privileged to be involved with the students at GHS. I could never leave them, my life would lose its purpose. 

Thank you Lord for this wonderful life I've been given. I am blessed to be your servant and thank you for placing me in this community. Please continue to guide me as I help teenagers develop the skills needed to be successful in life. May I be your hands, your feet, and your mouth in their lives. Amen!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's 4 below zero!

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” (John 11:9-10 NIV)

I can't wait for spring, warm temperatures, more daylight, and spring break. It's coming, but not soon enough. I'm looking forward to is long walks, riding bikes, motorcyle rides, mowing my lawn, and just embracing the sunshine.

Florida, warmth, and the lazy days of spring break are just the thing I need to get me going. It's 4 below zero right now and the week is filled with subzero temperatures in the forecast. But, my hope is rising. I went to the International Motorcycle Show yesterday, it's like a Robin showing up in my yard. I've also noticed the days are getting noticeably longer.

I think many of us that live in the north are enamoured with warmth and sunshine. We need the light. I wish we were just as infatuated with Jesus. I wish we had as much hunger for the Lord as we have for the beaches or riding motorcycles. So many people live their lives in the grips of "Winter". Jesus is our "Spring". He is our warmth, he's our sunshine, he is our savior. He is everything we need in all seasons. Praise God for his love and grace.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Peace in the midst of turmoil!

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Joshua 1:8 AMP)

Corruption is directly related to power.

Recently I have spent a big portion of my time ranting on Facebook and Twitter. Mount Vesuvius is about to blow. I am finding it hard to restrain myself as our democracy crumbles, piece by piece. It's happening in Washington DC, it's happening in other states, and now the fabric of our own state's democracy is in ruins. But, God is in charge. 

I have seen political parties come and go. One year the democrats win by landslide, 4 or 8 years later the republicans win a epic election. Nothing changes. Both parties get power, they get their mandate and squander that power in ludicrous fashion. The power envelopes them and they can no longer see reason or logic and common sense or compromise are never realized. 

Our country is in trouble. God is being defeated by the secularists and is being put on trial every day. The only hope is through Jesus and the ultimate victory is won. The only way of hope is resting in the knowledge God is still in control.  Our prosperity is not of earthly goods. Our prosperity is in the wisdom and successes we are granted from God. 

I praise you Lord and rest in the fact that you ARE God. I can lead even in the midst of turmoil of corruption and power grabs. Thank you Lord for your wondeful glory, your peace in time of stress and the joys we are a part of every single day. I love you and worship only you! amen!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, (Ephesians 5:15 NIV)

I spend my days trying to explain to teenagers, it's ok to fail. Our society says if you fail you're a loser. I have students that literally die when they do poorly on a test. They just can't accept failure. I also have atudents that just "blow off" failure as a way to cope. Being 50 plus years of age, I have seen clearly that all people will fail. We need to know what to do with failure. If you never fail, when you do, it could be a permanent event.

It's so much more important how you react after failure than what you do to prevent it. We need wisdom in these cases. We need the knowledge in how we failed, what failed, and how could we have prevented it. It's not good enough to just say you'll try harder. Analysis, and re-evaluation helps you grow wise. We all need to learn from our mistakes, our moments of poor judgement, and our sins. When we don't take time to refelct about our lives, we are doomed to repeat those same mistakes, sins,and failures.

One area that we often neglect is prayer about failure. It's not always important to blame. It is important to take those failures to Christ. Pray for wisdom in overcoming and pray for wisdom in making things right especially if it hurts someone. God can provide wisdom.he can provide insight into our own lives and help us keep from making the same mistakes. Reflecting occurs best with God as our partner. We are told to take everything to God in prayer.

Dear Lord, I am flawed. You know that better than anyone. You know everything about me and want me to come to you for wisdom. So, Lord, I do just that. Grant me wisdom. Grant me a heart that seeks you first. Give me a heart that reflects on my decisions and choices. Help me to know how to correct my mistakes and eliminate the sins in my life. I honor you and love you with all my heart and soul. amen!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Early Valentines Day verse!

It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 MSG)

I have been married for over 36 years. I have great partner. I can't imagine life on my own. I know people do it and frankly I would survive, but God brought us together. Our kids have been out of the house for quite a few years and I still greatly enjoy our time together, especially lazy Saturday afternoons, summer vacations, spring break, or any other time we get to spend away from the distractions of this world.

Valentines is a few days away, but these verses reminded me of the day we celebrate the special relationships in our lives. There is no more important relationship than the one I have with my wife. It's more than love. We are one. We are a partnership. We share the work, we share the wealth. If one falls down, the other helps. In nearly 37 years of marriage I have never thought a moment about being without her. I am a blessed man.

Lord I praise you for my wondeful wife. I praise you for the great plan of marriage. It is a key part of life that is meant to be shared through you. I thank you for guiding us through 37 years. I thank you for the true love that has grown between us. Thank you Lord for this great life you have granted me and my family. Amen!

Friday, February 6, 2015


Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10 NIV)

How devoted are we to each other? Commitment used to be such a "final" concept. Marriage was the ultimate love commitment, "until death do the part". But with the crumbling of the family we have also seen the weakening of commitment throughout our lives. Employers are not nearly as dedicated to their workers as in the past. In our leisure we see people abandon teams to cheer for the "hottest" team of the moment. We certainly don't honor others more than ourselves. I've written before about our me society. I am amazed how many social media posts are so self serving, arrogant, and dangerously proud. 

We need to humble our selves before the Lord. We need to see ourselves as sinners only saved through grace. One of the best ways to do that is exalt him. Yes, start by praising God for his power, mercy, and grace. If we focus on him, we can't focus on ourselves. Another option is to focus on others. Prayers should not be a Christmas list of wants. Prayer should be focused on the needy and the lost. When I can drop down on my knees in humility with complete concentration on the needs of others, I can no longer be devoted only to me. 

Lord, thank you for helping me realize the value of humility. I praise you for my wonderful life. I praise you that even though I forget and drift back to "ME" you remind me of my sin and helplessness. Thank you Lord, I can not live this life without you directing my purpose.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8 NIV)

I can relate! The most common question of God is why. Why do we have cancer? Why do we have orphans? Why do we have stress? Why? Why? Why? 

I can't even pretend to know the answer to the suffering of this world. The "pat" answer is to blame it on the sin of this world. Yep, I get it. So much of the worlds problems are caused directly by sin. But my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ overcame sin. So for those who have dedicated their lives to him, you would think, wouldn't suffer. But, they do. These verses give us a hint, not a complete understanding, of why. 

Jesus suffered. He is the Son of the most high and he was like me in that he prayed with cries and wailing. He suffered and through that suffering he learned obedience. Even Jesus suffered to learn obedience of our Heavenly Father.

 We are to learn obedience through our suffering.

I know it doesn't make complete sense to me, but if it's good enough for the son of God, it's good enough for me. When we are broken, broken so far down that we have to relinquish all to God, only then are we open to his commands. We are called to obedience not because of what we get. It's not a reward system we don't earn points by doing wonderful things. When things are going great, I obey God because I tie the blessings to my good works. But God wants us to be obedient even in times of pain and suffering. He wants us to pray fervent prayers, petition, shout, and scream for his help. But, mostly he wants us to get to the end of our rope and say," i don't care, even though the raging storm, I will obey you. I will be obedient even unto death"

Dear Lord, I know you hear our cries in the storms of life. I know you love us with an unshackled heart. Give comfort to those struggling. Lift their hearts with the knowledge you have not abandoned them. I fervently cry out to you for them. Hear them oh Lord!  Releave their aching hearts. In their doubt give them confidence in your path. Bless them in every possible way, right your miracle of peace in their sleep and while they are awake! We love you Lord Jesus and know you will strengthen us. We know you are sovereign over our lives. Praise you for ever and ever Amen!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I'm afraid!

God-devotion makes a country strong; God-avoidance leaves people weak. (Proverbs 14:34 MSG)

I am truly afraid. 

I'm afraid of the road this country is traveling. I'm afraid of the polarization of our politicians, churches, and neighbors. I'm afraid of apathy. I'm afraid of wealth vs poverty, us vs them, and hatred for those different than us. I'm afraid of a world where nothing is right and nothing is wrong. I'm afraid of groups that can justify ruthless murder through God. I'm afraid of a morality that defies nature. I'm afraid of the epidemic of laziness and entitlement. I'm afraid of a society that will only give if there is something in it for them. I'm afraid of the persecution of those that love God and publicly proclaim his love. I'm afraid of life where relationships take the backseat to things! I'm afraid of weakness in the face of an unpopular stand. I'm afraid the number of people living without God. I'm afraid! I'm afraid! I'm afraid!


Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak but he is strong. Yes, Jesus Loves Me! Yes, Jesus Loves Me! Yes, Jesus Loves Me! The Bible tells me so!

It's easy to look at this world with great fear. But, you deny the power of God if that fear paralyzes you that you can not live life for him. Our devotion to the love of Christ will overcome all fear! Praise God for his love even in these evil times! Praise God for his promise of eternal life!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A father is always a father

I'm“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?” (Luke 11:10-13 MSG)

I had a "text" conversation with my daughters the other night. It gave me a true life example of what God goes through every day of my life. My youngest daughter is in the Hospital over 1000 miles away. My middle daughter is dealing with family illness, being 400 miles away from home, and a friend dealing with a family member that tried to commit suicide. My oldest is struggling with family issues, anxiety about a sick relative, crazy busy schedule work, life with a growing family, and a son 1500 miles away at college. I need to be with all of them but can't. All I can do is put them in the hands of my loving savior, and let him be their strength.

God came down to be with us because he just couldn't stand our suffering a moment longer. He sent his son to save us, mostly from ourselves. But, even now, it grieves him when we are in pain. He wants us to call out to him so he can heal and protect us. He longs to be with us, for us to want to be with him. He decided to send the Holy Spirit to help until we can be with him permanently. We just have to call on him.

 God aches for his children. He feels every ounce of pain and struggle that we do. Just like me and my daughters. A father is always a father.

Dear gracious Heavenly Father, please stand close to each of my daughters. You know their needs. You know their pains and the trials of this life. Be with each family, husband, and child to draw them closer to you. Guide them through the day, help them get rest. Heal the illnesses and eliminate the stresses they encounter. Defeat the evil in their path. Wrap your arms around them and hold them close for me. You know my fatherly thoughts. Take my place as the ultimate father. Let them know you're their with them always. Comfort them and love them in ways only you can. In your great and powerfully holy name. Amen!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Just Use it!

When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. (John 15:8 AMP)

Rick Warren used this verse in his devotional today and it prompted me to look at it a different way. I always looked at this verse as bringing people to the kingdom. But, Rick looked at this meaning our fruit equals our gifts. God has given us gifts to honor him. When we use those special gifts and talents, he smiles and is filled with joy.

That's the reason I'm in the Christian Motorcyclist Association. Several years ago our Pastor, Stuart Kruse, challenged us to use our passions for God's glory. He claimed that God designed us to be passionate, gifted, in specific areas. God expects us to use those passions for his glory, and his honor. My passions are motorcycles and teaching.  When I am doing those things God is pleased. Using my gifts and passions will bear fruit in ways we can not fathom. I can feel it when I am doing what God has designed me for. I feel his presence in my life the most when I am doing his will. That's not always just "churchy" type things. It's using the passions he placed inside of me. That's what brings a thrill to the heart of our creator.

What are you passionate about? What do you think about from sun-up to sun-down? Are you doing it? Do you get to work in the area you are passionate about? After work, do you use your gifts? I hope you can answer yes to all these things. I can and that is why I experience complete joy in my life. I am doing Gods will by doing what I enjoy. He is thrilled because he designed me that way.

Praise God for his perfect design. May I always Serve you in the ways you created me. May I always have that burning passion to do your will. Thank you Lord for my special gifts. Thank you for the adventure you are leading me through. I only want to serve you. I only want to bring you honor and glory! AMEN and AMEN!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? (Psalm 127:2 MSG)

We don't have school today, well, not AT school. We have an e-learning day due to over a foot of snow falling all day yesterday. I love seeing my students every day, but today we will email each other and communicate electronically. It's not the most efficient way, but it is better than extending the school year or  adding time each day. I have to brag by saying my kids have done wonderfully, completing their work on snow days.

Even though I will be working all day from home, it is a restful day filled with getting caught up on school projects and getting ready for my CMA meeting on Saturday. Sometimes I think I work to much. I'm not complaining, but I'm just stating that I spend many long hours after school working on lessons and checking on stud not work. I explore for online resources, participate in education chats and check on education news for the latest trends. I need to spend more time resting and renewing during the school year.

God wants us to rest and relax. He doesn't want us to work our fingers to the bone. Excessive work is not from God. This is true for secular work as well as work in ministry. I say "we" but I need to include "I" when I say that our work lives need to change. We need to keep balance between work, ministry, and rest. This is an area I struggle with the most. I just can't seem to relax on a regular schedule. I always relax on spring break, or summer vacation, but during the year, I work nonstop. I need to change that. It's not healthy and it's not of God. Sounds like it should be another goal for 2015.

Dear Lord, help me with my "workaholism" . It's easier to justify my work than spend more time with you. Help me Lord to balance my life. Help me to include time with you in balance with work, and rest. I love you and praise you for your patience with me. It is very true that your grace is amazing. AMEN!

I don't care what you say!

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

I had a wondeful day yesterday with the CMA Son Rise Rider leadership team at our state officer training. It is just another great opportunity for the Lord to speak to us and affirm out ministry. But, as I was sitting in some of the training sessions, I realize everyone doesn't share the confidence I have in what we are doing. The "young" officers have so many questions and doubts in what they are doing. You can tell they question themselves around every decision. Many are new to ministry and most have never been in leadership positions before. They will learn.

The "more experience" I gain in life the more I realize the power of God in ME. It is not me bragging about me, but it's me bragging about the God of the universe working in me. I am confident in leadership, not because I am great, but because God is great. Sure, I mess up, but God is always there to perfect his masterpiece in me. I have firmly gotten to the point "I don't care what people think of me." It is so freeing to know I don't have to live up to the worlds standards, I only answer to the almighty God. 

The great thing about my CMA chapter? We all know who we answer to. We treasure our ministry, and honor God through our service. It is great to know our leadership knows that and we are blessed by it. We know we are working for his will and not our own. We are guided by his wisdom, power, love, and grace. Praise God for the knowledge that God is for us and no one can stand against us!