I'm a talker and more importantly I love talking to people I don't know. That's one of the things I like to do on vacation and why I love traveling across the country. I really love speaking on behalf of the Lord. I get that opportunity through my CMA ministry and bike events. My lovely wife says I'm a talker, my daughters are talkers, it's genetic! I consider it a great honor to serve at our CMA booth and to speak to churches. I love to let everyone know, often through this blog, of the complete faithfulness of my loving savior. I am NOT afraid to speak out. I will put it on the line for Jesus. Praise God he has given me the desire and the gift of speaking for him. I am honored to serve the Crestor of the land!
Thursday, June 18, 2015
I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O LORD, well know. I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. (Psalms 40:9-10 NLT)
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise. (Psalms 119:147-148 NLT)
School has been out for nearly 3 weeks and I am still waking up at 5:30 every morning! I'm not sure why. Many times I wake up thinking about things I have to do, but not during the summer. I would like to say I'm waking to think about Gods promises, but that's not always true. However, when I do wake at odd times, I have taken the opportunity to spend time in prayer. It always seems to help. Maybe Gid is waking me for that purpose!
Summer school is over for Stephanie and I at the end of the week and then the real vacation begins. I can't wait for the relaxation, exploring this great country, spending time with the grandkids and, YES, sleeping in. It's time to rejuvenate. It's time to refresh the mind and reconnect with the Lord on a deeper level. It's a right of passage for me every year at this time. I can't wait!
Dear Lord, thank you for summer time and a time to get away. I am blessed to be in your presence wether it is 11 at night, 4 in the morning, or during a busy day. I consider my life blessed because you care for me and want to be with me. Please grant me rest and peace in my time away from school. Renew my soul, watch over my heart. Draw me closer to you and your plan. I Praise you for the great joy in my salvation and the life you have granted me. Amen!
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 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 6:1-3 NLT)
I love helping kids. I love serving others. It makes me feel good. I serve others because I know I'm not that important.
Since the social revolution of the 1960's we have been so worried about the self-esteem of our kids. We give out a lot of trophies and awards at school. We try to protect our kids from failure. We want everyone to feel good about themselves. It's made us nothing but weak and lazy. Part of that weakness and laziness leads to lower rates of volunteerism, and an increase in entitlement. When our society can take their eyes off themselves, even for a moment, and realize they are not all that important, then and only then can we know the heart of Christ.
We need to share in each other's lives. We need to serve others, share their burdens, and commit to making each other's lives better. Part of making lives better is to GENTLY, help believers who stumble, get back to Jesus. We can do this with love. We can do it with compassion and we can do it without judgment.
Stop worrying about your own selfish needs and wants and focus on others. Life is not about you. Life is about serving others and loving them through the stresses of life. We need to be selfless not selfish!
Dear Lord, I love you. Thank you for helping guide my life. Thank you for providing opportunities to serve. Pleas Lord, continue to show me the way. Help me to share your compassion, your gentle guiding hand, and your grace with others that need it. I love you and praise you for my wonderful life! AMEN!
Sunday, June 14, 2015
So the LORD changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people. (Exodus 32:14 NLT)
God wanted to bring disaster yo his stubborn people. He was angry. He could have done it AND the Israelites would have deserved it. He didn't! The reason? Moses! Moses interceded with powerful prayers to the creator of the universe.
God is portrayed as some crazed, narrow minded, dictator. He is not. You can certainly see his flexibility throughout the Bible. But, just as important, you can see his patience reflected in my own life. He listens. He answers prayer. I have rejected him. Ignored him, and he still keeps on loving me.
He still opens his arms when I return to him. He wants so bad to have a relationship with us, his grace saves us from what we deserve. His patience is eternal.
I serve a powerful, yet extremely loving God. He loves me beyond all I deserve. Thank you Lord for being flexible and listening to me and my cries for help. Thank you for listening and acting on my pleading requests. Thank you for answering my prayers when I can't even put them into words. Amen.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth? (Galatians 4:15-16 NLT)
Are you joyful? Is your spirit grateful? Are you still on fire for the Lord? Do your actions match your words?
After years of following Christ, I see so many Christians become stale, worn, and lethargic about their faith. It's so sad! How can you live with the God of the Universe every day of your life and have a bad attitude? If you are connected with God, you can't hide his power without sharing. God will supply you with the enthusiasm the focus and the specific ways you can represent him with Joy!
We need to be a soul on fire for the Lord. I know this to be true: The more I serve the more "on fire" I get. I have been blessed to serve with My CMA family these past 5 years. The more I commit to serve the more results I see. The more results I see the more it stirs the fire in me. Staleness is caused by "passivity". It is caused by becoming a Sunday Christian, just wanting to receive and not serve. When I see the working hand of God in my life, I can't help but get FIRED up for Jesus! When I see what he is doing through me I am shocked and humbled.
Lord, I praise you for YOUR fire that stirs in me. I praise you for the joy of serving and the results I see before my eyes. I ask you Lord to continue to use me to reach others for you and to serve and be open to your leading. I ask you to help me continue to build relationships with the lost. Let them see Jesus in me. Amen!
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? (Galatians 3:4 NLT)
God is in everything. He's in the great times and the bad times of your life. He is my teacher. As I walk through the valleys in life he is with me and comforts me. Romans 8:28 says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Yes, it's true, but do we learn always learn from our experiences? I would say definitely not. I am reading the book of Exodus and the stubborn Israelites. This generation of God's chosen people were particularly stubborn. They personally experienced some of the most miraculous acts of God, yet they whined and complained continuously. They were delivered from slavery, fed, they were given shelter, they were protected from foreign invaders. It was so obvious that God was with them. But, they just didn't get it!
I'm not much different than this stubborn people. I am 55 years old. I have seen the hand of God in my life, directly. I have seen him deliver me from my own sin, over and over again. Yet, my faith still falters. My faith is still not much larger than a mustard seed. Even afte the pure miracles in my life, I try to take over. I try to "help" the God of the universe. How ridiculous is that?
Dear Lord, forgive me for my failings. Forgive me for my tiny faith. I do trust you. I do praise you for how you have watched over me for my entire life. I feel your mighty hand. I see the results of your love. Thank you! Thank You! I will work to make that wonderful love known to those around me, today, and always! AMEN!
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
Times get tough. But, I am a strong willed guy. I think I can do it by myself. I think when things get tough I need to come up with a solution. I am a problem solver. But my most effective problem solving strategy is do nothing without the Lord. My loving, wise, Heavenly Father is the ultimate problem solver.
So, here's my advice. When things get tough and you just don't think you can do it. When you think the stress of your job is too much, your kids hate you, you want a divorce, when you are tired and fly off the handle, and when you are at the end of your rope, turn to the Lord. When life gets so tough you have no where to turn, turn to the word of God, turn to prayer, turn to worshipping the Lord. DON'T JUST DO THE SAME OLD THING. Step up your relationship with Jesus. Take every moment you have to be with the Lord, morning, noon, night, breaks at work, noon time, while you are driving, every waking moment. Seek the Lord. It's one thing to turn your problems over to the Lord. However, if you don't give him the opportunity to teach you and lead you, then are you really turning the problem over to Jesus?
In my 55 years of life, God is there to fix my problems. He always has been. But, my problem is I don't take the time to listen to him and hear his solutions. The solutions are in his word. The solutions are in his "still small voice". The solutions are in worshipping him. I don't say this as some pie in the sky ideal. I say it, I give this advice because I have seen it work directly in my life. It's not some "theory" or some untested hypothesis. It's real. It works. It's the only guaranteed, fool proof, solution to your life's ills.
Dear Lord, thank you for caring and loving me through life. I am embarrassed when my stubbornness gets in the way of letting you fix my life. I know you have the answers. You have the plan. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn through your word, prayer, and worship. I love you Lord. Thank you for being my problem solver. Amen!
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. He turned the rock into a pool of water; yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock. (Psalms 114:7-8 NLT)
It is fun reading about the "Exodus". I love the absolute power of the Lord on display for all to see. To think of the multiple wonders seen by Moses and the Israelites is amazing.
My God is the god of miracles and he performs those same wonders for me. We don't give God much of the credit for the miracles in our lives today and we doubt his ability to do miraculous deeds. That might be to strong a statement, but at the very least we doubt he still does those miracles today. When was the last time you saw Lake Michigan part like the Red Sea?
God is just as active today in our lives as he was with the Israelites. We just need to turn our problems , our stresses, and our pain over to him. REALLY release our trials to him, rely on him, expect the miracles, and he will show you his power. There is no problem he can't fix.
Dear Lord, I pray a special prayer today for my family and the stresses we face. I know the hearts of my family, they love you dearly. We need special intervention. Give us your wisdom and your guidance as we turn over our troubles to you. Open our eyes to your path, to your plan when we do not know what to do. Many times we don't even know what to pray for. You know us better than we know ourselves. We need you, Lord! We need you! We need you! Fill us with your love. Fill us with your mercy, and fill us with your grace. May we rely on you in every moment of our life! Amen!
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Then Moses added, “The LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the LORD, not against us.” (Exodus 16:8 NLT)
I can't stand being around people that complain. In schools, the teachers lounge can be a place where teachers go to complain. I'm fortunate to eat lunch with a compassionate group of educators, but sometimes the conversation drifts to complaining. I hate it! Most of it is harmless and is a way for teachers to let off steam, but some of it can be very hurtful for students, fellow colleagues, parents, administrators, kids, spouses, men in general, or women in general.
This verse from Exodus made me think of those temporary "rant" sessions. Why do we complain? Don't we see, especially for Christians, that we are complaining against God? We might think these complaints are lodged against others, but in reality they are lodged against the one in control of all things. If we have turned our life to him and then complain about what is happening, are we really relinquishing control? We need to realize God does not make mistakes, he has put us where we are, with the people we are with, in the situation we are dealing with. He has a perfect plan for our lives and we need to trust him. We need to trust. Sure, he can handle our complaining, but he longs for us to rest in him, his wisdom, and power, and strength. He wants us to freely give up and rely on him. He knows what he is doing!
Dear Lord, I'm sorry for my complaining. I'm sorry about my negative attitude toward this life YOU have provided for me. I know you have the perfect plan for my life and you have always been there to get me through even the toughest of times. I DO trust you. I do have faith in your plan. I praise you for your patience and love for me. You are amazing and I am blessed. Amen!
Monday, June 8, 2015
This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the LORD’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:16 NLT)
I love studying the word of the Lord. It restores my soul. I read in the evening and each morning. It is a great end and beginning of my day. It is a reminder of the powerful hand of the Lord.
When I get into a busy day, I have a tendency to put the Lord on the back burner. It takes every ounce of discipline to keep my savior in the forefront of my day. I should have a reminder branded on my hand or on my forehead for others to see. I'm not much different than the stubborn Israelites who saw, first hand, the power of God and forgot so easily. That's why I pray. That's why I study the word. That's why I worship. I need to focus on the Lord as often as possible. Anything I can do to direct my attention to him, the better my life is.
Praise God, my Lord understands! He longs for me when I'm away and he rejoices when we meet. I am humbled by his presence in my life even when I ignore him. Praise God for that special love he shows me through good times and bad. Thank you Lord!
Sunday, June 7, 2015
God, mark us with grace and blessing! Smile! The whole country will see how you work, all the godless nations see how you save. God! Let people thank and enjoy you. Let all people thank and enjoy you. Let all far-flung people become happy and shout their happiness because You judge them fair and square, you tend the far-flung peoples. God! Let people thank and enjoy you. Let all people thank and enjoy you. Earth, display your exuberance! You mark us with blessing, O God, our God. You mark us with blessing, O God. Earth’s four corners—honor him! (Psalm 67:1-7 MSG)
Do you enjoy God. The writer of the message chose those very interesting words. As a matter of fact the statement, "Let people thank and enjoy you" is repeated often. Can you argue with its purpose? Should you NOT thank and enjoy God? My life, all that I am, all that I have, and all I'm going to be is specific to the grace of my loving God! My God has yielded a magnificent harvest of grace in my life. I can not repeat enough the simple saying, Thank you Lord! He has not judged me fairly. I have recieved a judgement immensely less severe than I deserve. Praise God for that wonderful majesty! Praise God for his saving grace! I truly enjoy your presence. I enjoy you through your word, your intervention on my behalf, and your amazing love. To say I enjoy you is not enough. I can not imagine a day without you. I praise you Lord!
Friday, June 5, 2015
My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! (Psalms 42:4 NLT)
My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be!
I definitely agree with that statement. I love the technology advancements seen over my life time. I love the changes in my own life with kids, grandkids, careers and certainly my spiritual growth. Change is good. Growth is good. Progress is good. I am not saying we should live like the Amish. My heart is breaking over the morality and identity of our country. It started in the 60's with the break down of our families and the sexual revolution. Drugs and sex became accepted in everyday life. It continues today. Everything is ok! Nothing is wrong and nothing is absolute. I am saddened by the acceptance of behavior and "lifestyles" that are just not natural. God created us Man and Woman. There is no debate that men and women are different and even if you don't believe in God, you can't argue that we were made different for a very specific reason. We are changing ourselves against the natural laws and it greatly saddens me. Everything is ok!? Nothing is wrong!? Everything is right!?
I am saddened to see these changes as progress. I am saddened to see so many people working to redefine themselves trying to fill holes in their lives. In my 55 years of life, I have only see one thing work to fill those holes, that is a relationship with Jesus Christ! My heart breaks as I see Christians that stand up for their beliefs, viciously attacked for sharing those beliefs. My heart is breaking! please Lord Jesus, come. We need you now more than ever. I need you now more than ever! Make your presence known in my life and the lives of my friends, family, and coworkers. We all need your presence.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. (Genesis 50:19-21 NLT)
I have been spending time reading Genesis. I love this book and the fantastic stories of the beginning of life on this planet. This verse is at the end of the story of Joseph and his being sold into slavery by his brothers. We could learn much from these verses. Joseph had every right to punish his brothers. No one would have blamed him if he would have severely punished them. He chose not to because he understood Gods plan.
Holding grudges is the norm. Getting even is standard operating procedure for our society. You have heard it said, "An eye for an eye....." But Jesus taught a different way. In a time when our nation is greatly divided, when we really hate each other, we need to constantly remind ourselves of Joseph and how he treated his brothers. We need to build bridges with our enemies and not tear them down. We need to build relationships in positive ways and love our neighbors. Itš not easy when our disagreements are major, when our beliefs are so far apart. But, those differences are not a reason to hate, to judge, and to punish. Judgment and punishment belongs to the Lord alone!
Dear Lord, Thank you for the wonderful messages from the book of Genesis. They are old stories but they are just as relevant today as ever before. May we learn from these stories. May we apply the truths of the bible to our lives today. Thank you Lord for your love. Thank you for your mercy and grace. May we share that same love, mercy, and grace with those we see today. Amen!
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. (Genesis 39:2 NLT)
I don't think we give the Lord much credit in our lives. Most people keep their "business" or "professional" life separate from their spiritual life. That's just not how things work. As Joseph knew, God is in the center of our lives, ALL aspects of it.
My life as a school teacher is not separate from my life as a follower of Jesus Christ. I have been blessed as a teacher, not because of ME, but because God working through me . I constantly ask God to lead me through my day. I ask him to be involved in my attitudes towards my students, their parents, and the community. I pray constantly for my administrators and fellow teachers. I try to represent my savior in everything I do, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I'm not perfect and in many ways I am striving for these goals! I have not achieved them. My intent is not to USE my relationship with Jesus for monetary gain, but success is a byproduct of a sincere relationship with him.
Joseph was in a situation he did not want and in a place he didn't want to be, but because of his wondeful relationship with the Lord, he became a great success. He did not let anything get in the way of his love of God. We need to do the same thing. Our success can be directly attributed to our relationship with Jesus. If you are wallering in your life or your career, you might also be stagnate in your life with Jesus. Change that! Draw closer to him, build that relationship with the Lord as a priority and then sit back and see how your life changes. You will be able to deal with set backs, stresses, and enjoy success like you have never seen before! Give God a chance to really impact your life.
Dear Lord, thank you for the successes I have had on my life. I know that they are directly attributed to you. I am humbled with the ways you have blessed me and continue to want to draw closer, to know you more. I praise you for all that I am. I love you and the grace you have given me. Thank You Lord! Amen!
Monday, June 1, 2015
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached. All the tribes of Israel—the LORD’s people— make their pilgrimage here. They come to give thanks to the name of the LORD, as the law requires of Israel. Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David. (Psalms 122:1-5 NLT)
I miss my church. Yes, Stephanie and I have been away from our church quite a bit this spring. We have attended multiple church visits with our Cma family, traveled to DC to honor our vets, and camped with the family. It's been busy and I miss my church. County Line Church of God is home. I am glad, jubilant, when we get to attend a Sunday worship. We have a great pastor, worship leaders, and a loving / caring congregation. That church IS a house of the Lord. But, God calls us to be away.
I am a servant of the most high God and I will serve him as he is guiding me. Right now that is at school as a teacher, with my Cma family, and with my own family. He calls me away from my home church often and I will obey. But that doesn't mean I don't miss them. I long for a good sermon from Pastor Stu, the wonderful County Line Choir led by Kevin McIntire, and the leadership that serves the congregation. I am blessed beyond belief with this wonderful group of Christians.
Praise God for great churches and great leaders that help us worship the Lord. If you don't have a church that you TRULY miss when you are gone, find one that you do. Church is not a chore. Church is not an obligation. Church, true worship, is a gift God gives us through great Christians. It is a gift to each of us and God weeps when worship inside and outside the church becomes a burden. Don't let it become stale, old, uninspired, or mundane. Serving the Lord should be a great joy in your life that is best shared with a group of faithful believers.
Praise God for County Line Church of God! I hope to see you this Sunday!