Thursday, October 29, 2015


“God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.”
1 Corinthians 1:28 NLT

I am nothing and God is using me.

I'm not cutting myself down when I say that. It's the truth of any comparison to Christ. I am unimportant by any definition, yet God uses me! My Lord Has taken nothing and created everything. I praise him for his wonderful plan. 

God has chosen me, an honor I just can't fully comprehend. He has placed me on this planet, breathed life into my body and keeps me grounded through his grace and love. He chooses the weak, the powerless to display his power and might. He chooses the servant to be the leader. He chooses the timid to be bold and confident as they share his message. My wonderful God has chosen me!

Praise God I am his. I am in awe of his love for me. I am humbled that he has chosen me for his purposes and I pledge to serve him forever. Praise God he is MY God! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Choose some well respected men..........

“Choose some well-respected men from each tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.’”
Deuteronomy 1:13 NLT

I have watched every political debate so far this year between each of the parties presidential candidates. I am a deeply political person. I love my country and all that it CAN be. I am gravely concerned. We have lost touch with where we've come from and where we are going. We are polarized against each other and our wonderful nation is deeply divided. I truly believe all our candidates, republican and democrat, have a heart to help people in our country. But, our government has gotten so big that when we see obvious, necessary, changes, we can not move. Our beauracracy has grown to the extant we can't change. The men and women running for our highest leadership position do not have the power and skill to change all that needs changed because real change is not easy. True leadership takes action that's best fort he country, not best for their political future.

I am fearful for our nation. I am fearful we can not lead or find real leaders with wisdom and understanding. I am overwhelmed with the lack of real leadership qualities for our political leaders. We have "actors" trying to fit our leadership mold and have no one to make the thoughtful, tough decisions. 

So, what do I do? 

Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray!

Dear Lord, we need you! We need you to intervene. We need you to raise up great leaders that know you and have the strength, power, and ethics to lead this country. We need you to rescue our country from the evils attacking us from all sides. I love you so much Lord and know I have nothing to fear because you are here to protect me. You have always protected me and watched over me and I am humbled by your love! Come Lord Jesus! Amen!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The obscene phone call!

“The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.”
Psalms 91:14-15 NLT --

Last week I got an obscene phone call from a very dear friend. I was just about home from school and my phone rang. I said "hello"........nothing. I repeated my  greeting, nothing. Then he responded, "this is your worst nightmare!" I knew right who it was! 

Real friendships never die because those friendships endure joy, pain, laughter, tears, and every emotion in between. Friendships can be fleeting in the sense we are such a mobile society. Nobody stays put very long. But the friendships are there even when we get separated geographically. The older I get the more I treasure those people I truly call friends! Maybe that's why my faith gets stronger everyday. I have walked with Jesus for 43 years. I draw closer every day. We have been through a lot. Jesus has always been with me. Even when I separate myself from him, he stays with me, watching me, waiting for my call. I praise God for his faithfulness. I love him and trust him with all my heart. I am humbled because I don't deserve his friendship. I don't deserve the honor or the blessings he gives. I can't count the times he has rescued me, usually from my own sinfullness and he wipes my slate perfectly clean. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

Dear Heavenly Father, I am thankful, beyond measure, for your friendship. I am in awe of your steadfast love, your faithfulness, and your dedication to me and my family. You have protected me from harm. You have rescued me from myself. You have been there to answer my call during times of trial and your have honored me when I needed it the most. I praise you Lord! I love You Lord! Amen!

Your flock!

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.”
1 Peter 5:2-3 NLT --

I am so blessed to have a huge "flock". No, I'm not a Pastor. I don't run a church. I do have a wonderful growing family, a group of students, a CMA ministry, and countless friends in my flock. I am charged by God to care for the people in my life. It can be challenging, grueling, and exhausting to care for the lives of others. You stress out when they stress out. You mourn when they mourn. Their personal challenges become yours. You share their blood, sweat, and tears. We need to cherish that flock. 

Our relationship with our flock is not supposed to be two-way. We are supposed to give-all without getting anything in return. As a matter of fact our real purpose is to build up those that can not help others. To serve those that can't serve themselves is our highest calling. That love and servant heart is not to dominate, but to genuinely meet the needs of others.

How we lead our flock is just as critical as what we do. Our Christian leadership is about setting an example. It's about looking inward it's about that servant heart and not a position of authority. If we want our flock to grow in their relationship with the father, we need to constantly pursue him ourselves. Our relationship, our knowledge of God is never where it needs to be.

Dear Lord, give me a heart to serve my flock. Help me to keep a check on my motives and my attitudes toward serving others. I know your love. I know your example. The sending of your son, Jesus, is that perfect example. May I work toward that type of service. I praise you for your love. I praise you for the Hope you give! Amen!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pursue him!

““Can you direct the movement of the stars— binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth?”
Job 38:31-33 NLT --

We think we know it all. Our arrogance, that of man, is so misguided! We are guessing at what we know. Our knowledge of life, the universe, and it's tangled web is laughable. What do we really know? Can we regulate the earth, the sun, or the planets? What is it that we can create? Can I take nothingness, ignite it, even with a Big Bang, into something even close to life? No, No, No! 

I do not understand the feeling by scientists that we are nearing the end to what can be known. I can't believe that we have come so far as to say we could not be wrong. How many mistakes in theories have we made? Do we still feel the earth is the center of the universe? Is the world flat? Oh yes, we have been wrong before, we could be wrong again! Climate change, evolution, the "Big Bang". They could all be wrong. At least admit we have been wrong before and we could be wrong again! 

I truly love science and the pursuit of knowledge. I agree with what we "think" we know. But there is so much out there that we don't know. Our current knowledge about ourselves is so limited. The knowledge of our own planet, our own bodies is still so slim. Why can't we acknowledge the mystery of life and that God is possible? Is God even possible? If there is even a remote, insignificant chance of the existence of God, our entire life changes. The nay-sayers  won't go down that road.

God is real! He is relevant. He loves us and wants a relationship with us! Anyone who pursues him, explores the existence of my loving God, will find him. Just take a look around you. You will see him. His wondeful creative hand is in all things and I marvel at his creation. Praise God!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Pursuing Jesus!

“Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life." -- Psalms 142:5 NLT --

My favorite prayer is that my family, friends, and coworkers draw closer to the God of the universe. All I want is to do the same.

Maybe it's because of my age. Maybe it's because of my experience. Maybe it's because I have been showered with blessings for 55 years. I just want the Lord. I want him for myself. I want him for my family, I want him for my friends. Can you say the same thing? What else could be so important?

We are heading into the Holiday season. These holidays are centered around family. We make them about STUFF instead. We want this gift or we want that gift. The only gift that real matter is the gift of Jesus Christ. It's easy to lose focus in our busy fast paced society. So many things can occupy our hearts and minds. Pray for it. Pursue Jesus!

Dear Lord, come into my heart and the hearts of all I know and love. Fill me with your love, mercy, and grace. I want only to draw closer to you. I only want my family to draw closer to you also. My entire family needs you. We need you in our decisions, and in the actions we take every single day. Protect us from our own sinfullness. Protect us from attacks by those who do not know you. Fill us with your love! Help us to see your presence! I praise you and worship you! Amen!

Friday, October 23, 2015

I'm praying for you!

“Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.”
Psalms 141:2 NLT --

I'm sure most of you have told someone you are praying for them. I see it all the time on social media. But I'm curious. What exactly does it mean when you say you are praying for someone? Do you just pray for them that one time? Do you begin praying for them and do it forever? When do you stop? 

My list of prayers continues to grow. It is a good idea to keep a prayer list. I'm not always faithful adding the names and as it grows, it becomes a bit cumbersome. But, I still think it's the best way to remind yourself of those in need. Every time you add something or more importantly someone, you can see the others added before. 

The key is: we need to spend more and more of our time in prayer. We can't just pray when asked to do so by our friends and family. We need to be in prayer, often, multiple times a day, without ceasing! We need to rely on our creator for all things, all parts of our lives, the good things, and the bad things. We need a genuine relationship where we get the know God. He already knows us better than we know ourselves. Prayer is a big piece of our relationship. God doesn't need to hear from us. He wants to hear from us. 

What system, how,any times, where, when, why, doesn't matter. Just pray! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Can you take it?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NLT --

One of my greatest challenges is to hear criticism. I don't think I'm the only one to recognize it. I'm not sure it really matters who is doing the critique, it's never easy to swallow. But, it needs to happen. We can't know of God's grace if we don't recognize our own faults and sinfullness. 

Our relationships need to be centered around pure honesty and openness. We need to seek ways to get better. That includes better ministry, better friendships, better family relationships, better jobs, and better anything! 

Know me, Lord. Examine me closer than a microscope. But don't just point at my flaws, help me to know the plan to get better. Guide me along your path, a path pleasing to you. I need you Lord. Send people to gently correct me, point out my faults , but still love me in spite of those weaknesses. As always Lord we need your guidance, counsel , and support. I love you with all my heart! Amen!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Follow Gods will!

“I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.”
Psalms 138:2, 7 NLT --,7.nlt

My granddaughter is engaged. It's big news. I am excited for them. 

Marriage is a wondeful adventure at the same time it's not always easy. Lauren is 18. I was 17 when Stephanie and I got married and she was 18. People were appalled. But we really did love each other. There wasn't a pregnancy involved. We did not HAVE to get married. Our first child didn't come until about 2 years later. Lauren and Matt are following nearly the same path. We had a year of marriage counseling and a great supportive group of friends. Most of the family was supportive. Some had reservations that lasted for quite a few years. Now, 37 years later, we have beaten the odds. We believed God was in the center of our decision. Lauren and Matt believe it is all a part of Gods plan for their lives.

Lauren and Matt will face some horrible challenges. They will share some wondeful moments. They will cry, laugh, and travel through life together. I am greatly encouraged by my granddaughters faith. I am greatly comforted that this relationship has a great chance to succeed because it is center around God. Life is never certain. Sin is everywhere. Marriages do end in divorce. So there is no guarantees. But, when God is the foundation, you can and will beat the odds stacked against you.

Congrats to Lauren and Matt. We love you and are always here for you. Praise God for your wonderful love for each other and your love of Jesus.

I have nothing to complain about

““Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful? They live to see their children grow up and settle down, and they enjoy their grandchildren. Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them. They spend their days in prosperity, then go down to the grave in peace. And yet they say to God, ‘Go away. We want no part of you and your ways. Who is the Almighty, and why should we obey him? What good will it do us to pray?’  “Yet the light of the wicked never seems to be extinguished. Do they ever have trouble? Does God distribute sorrows to them in anger? Are they driven before the wind like straw? Are they carried away by the storm like chaff? Not at all!”
Job 21:7-9, 13-15, 17-18 NLT --,13-15,17-18.nlt

I have a very dear friend going through a tough time right now. Although his trials are not quite like Job, they are real and very much undeserved. I have been reading Job for a few weeks and I , happily, can not relate to Job. I really have nothing to complain about. Sure, I've had some trials, but even the worst trials of my life can not begin to compare with Job. Very few people have dealt with such calamity. Maybe I'm just blinded by my blessings, but my tragedies are very few and far between. That's what makes it so painful when I see my friend struggling. It's just not fair. Why am I protected? I am no different than he, yet he struggles and I don't. Better yet, like Job states, why do the wicked lead the life of luxury. Why do those that outwardly reject God feel no wrath? I just don't understand!

Dear Heavenly Father, I'm sorry for my doubts, my weakness, and my questioning your plan. Yet, I know you do have a plan. I trust you. I love you. I am embarrassed of the life you have given me. It's only through your pure grace that I am where I am today. I deserve worse than Job. Please Lord reveal your presence to my dear friend. I know he dearly loves you and is trying to remain strong even through his doubt and questions. Reveal your love to him in a powerful way. Give him comfort and provide strength to his family as they stand with him. Bond that family together and draw them all closer to you. Reveal your plan. Make it clear where his future lies. Guard his heart with your great and powerful name! Amen!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Salute to our all volunteer military

Y“When you go to war, your people will serve you willingly. You are arrayed in holy garments, and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.”
Psalms 110:3 NLT --

Being an avid motorcyclist I get to participate in a multitude of charity rides throughout the ride season. My favorite rides are for our veterans and active military. Bikers understand loyalty, duty, and honor like no one else. Bike clubs, ride groups, and associations are fiercely loyal to each other, just like our military and law enforcement officers. I have seen great sacrifices made on behalf of these brave men and women who serve our country. 

It amazes me how we can have such a powerful military, ready to defend our freedom, and it is an all volunteer service. Like the verse says, they willingly serve. In my words and thoughts they serve US with virtually no thought to their own safety. That is the same sacrifice of our loving savior. 

I am humbled and honored to support our military, law enforcement, and  first responders. May the Lord protect you, may the Lord make his face shine upon you and give you peace. May your families be blessed in extraordinary ways and may the Lord's presence be made known in every moment of your life. This country knows freedom only because of your great sacrifice. We need you to fight for that same freedom for those around the world that are oppressed and viciously attacked. We support all your actions to bring evil to justice and we support your efforts to kill the enemy of our rights to worship and serve our powerful Lord. Evil lurks in every corner of this planet. Satan slithers even in this great country trying to devour all that is good. You are on the front lines to defeat evil.  Thank you for everything you do! Amen!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How easy we forget!

“And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.””
Matthew 28:7 NLT --

Stephanie and I just completed our last camping trip of the year. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time with the new toy hauler and the great times with our grandkids. We've traveled over much of the country from north to south and east to west. I can't wait to do it all again next year. Rest and relaxation is not a sin. As a matter of fact it is a very important component of life. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the daily activities in life that we forget the important things. Jesus told us there is nothing more important than our relationship with the Father. He told is that next Important is our relationship with each other. Why do we always forget those priorities? Why do we so often forget the power of Jesus as we travel through life's struggles. It doesn't really surprise me that these verses tell us not to forget. 

My number one prayer for those I love is never forget the power of Jesus. That power is enough to get that job or that move you so desperately want. That power is more than enough to provide us with rest and peace when we need it the most. That power can save us from the turmoil swirling around us. It has the healing touch and can remove loneliness or restore relationships. The power of Jesus is real and not to be trifled with. Believe in him and the power that comes through his amazing grace and love. 

Dear Lord, so many times I feel I need to be the answer to my troubles. I rely on my own power and strength to fix my life. It just doesn't work. Jesus is the answer and his power and strength are more than enough for anything I am going through. I praise God for the times I am reminded of his wonderful love. Amen!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

On Fire?

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””    Matthew 28:20 NLT --

These are the last words spoken by Jesus and are a part of what we know as the great commission. They are often neglected by me. I usually am centered on the "Go" part of these important verses. But, really I have a lot more responsibility than just going out. 

I need to spend time mentoring new disciples. 

There is a great song on Christian radio that is called "On Fire" by Sanctus Real. I just love this song. It speaks to our passion for spreading the gospel and how when we were "baby Christians" we are so On Fire and then as we go through life that fire dies. We need other people to light the fire in us and WE NEED TO HELP OTHERS REIGNITE THEIR OWN FIRE! We need to take all dwicpkes of Christ and make sure they are growing I their knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ. If we don't have that fire, how can we expect others to have it. We need to lead by example. We need to share our passion for ministry and we need to keep our own fire going!

Listen to the song. Here is a link:

Dear Lord, Forgive me when I lack the passion to preach your word. Help reignite the fire in me, everyday. Help me to see the joy of your wonderful message and the joy of this life you have given me. I am a blessed man and I need to share everything you have done in my life. I need to share my story with others so I can reignite the passion and fire in them. I love you Lord with all my heart and beg your forgiveness when that love does not shine through me. Amen!

Friday, October 9, 2015

A friend in need

“Do not stay so far from me, for trouble is near, and no one else can help me. My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in! Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey. My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing. O LORD, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs. Snatch me from the lion’s jaws and from the horns of these wild oxen. I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.

 I will praise you among your assembled people. Praise the LORD, all you who fear him! Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob! Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.”
Psalms 22:11-24 NLT

I have a friend who needs prayer. He is feeling under attack. I pray for him and God's will in his life!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

If you don't have anything good to say.......

“Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus remained silent........””
Matthew 26:62-63 NLT --

If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all.

This might be the "go to" quote of my life. I'm not saying I'm the best at following it, but I do think about it often. I share its wisdom with my students, and believe it is very biblical. The power of the tongue is also very biblical. The words from our mouths can do wonders to lift people up and to tear them down. As Christians, we better be more about lifting people up with positive comments than being mean and cruel with our mouths. There is nothing that can destroy our witness more than our own cruel words. How can we exude the love of Jesus if we attack people with hurtful words? The world sees through our shallow faith when we can't control our tongue.

It is time for Christians to stand up and hold each other accountable for our own words. We must be careful and make sure our words are words that Jesus would speak. We need to make sure our love shines stronger than our hate. How can we bring others to know Jesus, or better yet, how can we even earn the right to share Jesus, when we speak cruelly of the world. Something has to change.

Lord, help us to tame our tongues. Help us to live by the mantra speaking good or speaking nothing at all. I praise you Lord, for your patience with us even when we don't represent your love as we should. Amen!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Today and Always

“I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.”Psalms 34:1-3 NLT --

Sometimes you have to repeat these verses over and over again in order to survive the day with Love in your heart. 

You have heard me sing the praises of the Lord often in these pages. It's so easy to do that when life is good. But, when life is NOT so good, that is the true test of faith. I don't have those days very often. But sometimes my work  colleagues and I don't see eye to eye. Sometimes my family and I "but-heads". Sometimes I blow up or I am misunderstood or someone blows up at me. It's those days I need to praise God the loudest. I need to shout his name from the mountain tops and get excited for his love. 

I praise you Lord. I exalt your name above all others. I am rescued by your powerful hand and rejoice within your strong embrace. My life has its ups and downs, but your love for me is always the same and I praise you for that "everlasting" love. I love you Lord, today, and always! Amen!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Still a heavy heart!

“May those who rejoice at my troubles be humiliated and disgraced. May those who triumph over me be covered with shame and dishonor.”  Psalms 35:26 NLT --

I am still struggling a bit with the tragedy last week in Oregon. The fighting and use of this tragedy for political gains is disgusting and appalling. The enemy rejoices at the turmoil unleashed by this lone gunman. I wil say it again and again and again, you can not legislate morality. You can't change hearts with the signing of a law. People that are not grounded in the reality of life, that don't value the lives of others or even their own life, will not live by ANY law created by man. We need to do everything possible to create citizens with hearts for love, that care deeply about their own. 

Satan is laughing with every moment he can distract us from our one mission, turning cold hearts to warm hearts for our savior. When we lose focus on bringing the lost to a saving relationship with Jesus, we lose hope. Satan does not win, our hope is real and that hope remains forever in Jesus. It does not matter what Satan does, it does not matter how humiliated or disgraced you feel, we are triumphant now and forever.

Dear Lord, I sincerely come to you with a heavy heart for the families of those lost on Roseberg. Make your presence known to them. Give them comfort and oeace in this time of great grief and shock. We know you are in charge and the enemy is already defeated. Help us to defeat that enemy here and now. Amen!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Gorge Fest!

““The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come! “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.”
Matthew 22:2-6 NLT --

There is not a more fitting verse in the Bible, right now, than this. It is a parable of today. I know people that would do anything to get invited to a free, all-you-can-eat banquet. Modern day weddings are exactly that. They are "gorge" fests for the invited. You know in your heart if  you were invited you would make sure you would attend. No one in their right mind would refuse. 

That's the key. 

No one in their right mind would refuse the gifts that Christ promises. There are no restrictions. It's free and the extravagance is well beyond your imagination. But, in our modern world, people are ignoring the invitation, rejecting the offer and persecuting the messengers. We are being systematically destroyed. We are being Insulted, beaten, and in some cases killed. Jesus is our only hope in this dark and hostile world. 

Lord help us. Protect us from the evils of this planet. Give us hope and remind us of your ultimate victory. We need you, Lord, now more than ever. Amen! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

This is the answer to stop mass shootings

“Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.””    Matthew 22:37-40 NLT --

I am saddened, deeply, about the Oregon mass shooting. I am even more saddened we can't figure out why. The answer is simple and becomes blatantly clear with this particular incident. 

Jesus Christ himself is under attack. Christians are under attack. The followers of Christ are being systematically attacked by Satan. He is using the countless number of lost souls to target our faith. You will be asked if you are a follower of Jesus. What will you say!? 

Until we start standing up for Jesus, evil will flourish. Our leaders need to stand up for him. The world needs a revival. We need to win the hearts of the lost, serve the homeless, the orphans, and love the unlovable. We need to battle all that is evil with the only power we have. The power of the love, mercy and grace of Jesus, is the only answer.

Dear Lord, I pray deeply for those that lost their lives in Oregon because they follow you. I pray peace for their families and comfort through this tragedy. The world needs you no more than ever. Help us to fight the battle with your power and might. Amen!