Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's Monday!

“Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.”
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 NIV

It's Monday. It's Monday after a long holiday weekend AND it's cyber Monday. I am going to guess it might be difficult for some people to focus on their work today. I am also venturing a guess that some people will be grumpy as well. 

Not Me!

I love my weekends, my family time, and the relaxation, but I love serving my students and my community. It is not a drudge to go to school on Monday, ever! These verses made me think about my roll as a joyful servant. These verses don't let us just stop at service, the Lord wants us to serve joyfully and gladly, in all things, at all times. We need to serve out of our blessings so we might be able to bless others. Serving under duress is not really service. Our joyful service, or lack of it, has consequences. If we choose not to serve with a joyful heart, our lives will be affected. Our prosperity, our basic needs, and our physical well being will suffer. We WILL serve but we will serve in slavery instead of freedom. 

I love it that it is not good enough to just serve. We must serve with a "right" heart for it to be acceptable to our father in heaven. I praise the Lord for the opportunity to serve him In so many wonderful ways. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Hannah

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV --

I learned a valuable lesson from my granddaughter Hannah this weekend. We were visiting and she asked me if I was for letting the Syrian refugees come to the US. I am not. She was devastated. Her compassion for these people was deep and extremely real. I let her down. It made me sit back and think about my position. Her heart was so set on helping people who are in the midst of crisis. Regardless how I believe our own President has caused much of this turmoil, regardless how I feel the innocents are being used as a pawn by an enemy who is bent on destroying us, Regardless of the real or imagined fears I harbor about this topic, I need to have the compassion of my granddaughter and the heart of Jesus. Jesus helped save me even though I didn't deserve it. He saved me even though it meant he would sacrifice his life. I have heard it said even if just ONE of these refugees is a terrorist we should not help the rest. I'm not sure that stands up to the standards of Christ. Maybe I should be willing to sacrifice my own comfort to save just one family whose country is under attack by extremists.

I think we need to find a way to act on the compassion of my lovely granddaughter and we need to do it as soon as possible. If we can just save one life it will be worth it. The divisiveness of politics needs to stop. We need to come together, both sides, to be compassionate and diligent at the same time. Time is short, lives hang in the balance.  My granddaughter has it right and here is my public letter to her:

Dear Hannah, 

      I am so proud of you for your bold stand and emotional compassion for the Syrian refugees. Never ever let politics get in the way of your love of people in need. If our politicians had your love of Christ and the love of people that you have, we would be able to solve most of the problems in our world. Continue to listen to your heart because it is the Spirit of the Lord calling to you. I love you and am honored to be your grandfather!

Love forever,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Do not Panic

“He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.”
Deuteronomy 20:3 NIV --

I have ISIS on my mind, as does the rest of the world. The attacks in Paris last week may be a sign of a new offensive. This "war" is being fought in a very real way. I just heard about a High School group in Dekalb county that have cancelled there trip to Paris in 2017. I'm not sure what I think about that. Regardless what some people think, we are at war and I personally wouldn't travel abroad right now. But, two years from now? I think our fears of war, our fears for confronting evil can get out of control. We can't let the enemy change our lives. That is exactly what they want.

It's not just the fear of terrorists. We fear many of the evils in this world. We need to take this verse to heart. WE can't be fainthearted. We can not change the way we live our lives because of that evil. We need to hold dear our powerful, wonderful God. My wonderful Heavenly Father is with me. He is with those that love him and call upon his name. I will NOT be afraid!

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for your protection. I praise you for your love. I do not fear evil because you are with me. Please Lord help our leaders be strong in the face of this terrible threat. Give them wisdom and strength to continue the fight against evil in this world. We owe it to the weak and vulnerable to protect them with all our strength. We need to be strong and not panic or live lives filled with terror. We can only do that with you! Amen!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What sin have I caused?

“Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”   1 Corinthians 8:13 NIV --

Last week I had the privilege of traveling to an education conference in Orlando. In the evening we chose to go to one of these micro-breweries. I haven't had beer for a long time and didn't drink any this time either. I did have some of their own home made sodas. They were delicious. I had a red raspberry and a home made root beer. Wow did it have great flavor. Afterward, I really thought about why didn't I feel comfortable drinking a beer. It's not a sin. In my past I used to have quite a few beers. But at some point in my life, I decided not to drink alcohol any more. I did this because drunkenness is associated with drinking alcohol. I know many great people that drink and don't get drunk. They are fine Christian people. I just have chosen to try to make sure I don't endorse sin in any way. People know I am a Christian and I don't want to give even the appearance of being hypocritical.

But, do I pay attention to other sins as much as this one? Have any of my actions caused others to sin? Have my actions been hypocritical of the gospel of Jesus? I always need to remember that my actions speak louder than my words. I can spend a lot of time worshipping, praying, or studying God's word, That may make me appear like a wonderful Christian. My actions can destroy that witness in a brief moment.

Dear Lord, please help me be aware of my actions. Lord, forgive me for the times I have destroyed my witness by careless words or deeds. I don't want to become legalistic like the Pharasees. I don't want to judge others for their actions, but I do want to maintain a high standard for myself. I treasure the gospel and your wonderful, saving grace. I praise you Lord for your love! Amen!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We must fight the evil!

“When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.”
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 NLT

So many of us are angry right now. ISIS and the evil they are perpetuating is disgusting and our anger is real. We must fight to remove evil from this world. They are the biggest threat the Gospel has ever had. We need leaders to stand up for the weak and the persecuted. The spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is our only mission. We are told to GO throughout the world and share Jesus. The growth of Islam and radical muslims is a direct threat from Satan himself. The good news? Even through the vicious attacks, beheadings, and torture, it is reported that refugees are coming to Jesus in mass numbers because of this crisis. WE can never bow to evil! WE must step up our efforts to bring this world to the peace that ONLY comes through Jesus!

Dear Lord, WE need you. We need your protection for those on the front lines against evil in this world. We need your guidance and strength to continue to share your gospel even in the face of death.  I praise you Lord and take comfort in knowing you have already won the victory for us and even though evil exists in this world, you have promised a home in heaven that is filled with nothing but peace and love. Thank You Lord! Amen!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Lord Help us!

“Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Deuteronomy 16:19-20 NIV

Integrity is one of my most prized traits. I do everything I can to be known as a man of impeccable character and integrity. People know I'm a Christian. I pray they can tell through my honesty, integrity, and devout sense of right. Yes, I know that sounds a bit vain. I'm not where I want to be so I strive toward the goal of pure honesty, devotion, and justice. 

I am often saddened about justice in the world today. It seems that right and wrong or "basic" human rights are perverted based on politics and the power of the few. The integrity, honesty, and belief in absolute rightness is lost in our society. It starts with our leaders. The demise of our country hangs in the balance while we search for leaders with strength in character and purpose. We need leaders unaffected by the winds of political correctness. We need leaders that have a moral center and heart for truth and justice. We need leaders willing to attack the evils of this world straight to the enemy. We need leaders devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of love!

Lord help us!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tis' the season!

“If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.”
Deuteronomy 15:7-8 NIV --

During the holiday season "giving" comes to the forefront of our daily lives. We will see bell ringers for the Salvation Army, collections for the homeless, and gift buyers no for poor families. But the poor are with us 12 months out of the year not just during the holiday season. I'm not saying to be hard hearted and not give this time of year, but we should all have a plan for giving throughout the year. We need to give financially, and give of our time,and talents. We need to build relationships with those less fortunate than us and act on their specific needs. It is clear though out the bible this is our mission. 

Dear Lord, we love you and are embarrassed that we do not give more to the poor and the homeless. Help us to be your hands and feet in this world. Help us to serve those that need our resources, our time, our talents, and our money. We need to extend our helping hand with your love and grace. Amen!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Split personality!

“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.”
1 Corinthians 7:32-34 NLT --

I love these verses. For someone who spends a lot of time in ministry, I need to be reminded it is not my whole life. As I mentioned a week ago, I have a very busy life. Between school, after school work at home, taking care of a home, sending time with my wife, being a dad and "gramps" along with my CMA ministry, my life is packed. It can easily get out of balance. All of those things have a value and I honestly believe my work time is also ministry time. The one area that gets neglected the most is family. I need to constantly remember ministry is not an excuse to neglect your family. Work is not an excuse to neglect your family. We need to split ourselves and serve Jesus at all times, with family, work,or at play.

Dear Lord, I love you dearly. The things of this world and my OWN plans for serving you get in the way of real service for you. Please help me keep my life in balance. Even though I serve you wherever I go, I can't forget my family. They need to know your love through me. They need to see my example and dedication to family. I can only stay on your path of I follow you closely. Guide my hands and my feet with your love, grace, and mercy. Amen!

Saturday, November 7, 2015


“Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 NLT --

Today we hold elections in my CMA group. It's a privilege to serve the Lord through this ministry. No one else is running for president but we have a great number of members willing to serve on the officer team and a full slate of nominees. I am humbled to be the president of the Sonrise Riders again for 2016. I pray the Lord directs the votes of our members today. I pray he will send officers willing to sacrifice their time and energy to serve in ministry to the biker community in northeast Indiana and around the world. I pray your blessings upon us  and the  events of our chapter and help us to bring the lost to the saving grace of Jesus. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Be careful

““But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful!”
Deuteronomy 8:11-13 NLT --

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and these verses fit the season. We have plenty of stuff. My home is filled with abundance and our nation is in the exact same position. We are prosperous. You could say we are filthy rich. But when it comes down to it, we don't have it all. Many people miss the entire point of life. We focus so much on our jobs and our stuff that we forget the Lord. We disobey his commands and ignore his plan for our life just to acquire things. I am not exempt from this sinful thinking. Most of us have at least some of those thoughts, yes, even Christians. It's sad but true. We need to be careful that we don't get sucked into the drive for more things, wealth, possessions, and prosperity. I need to drive toward knowing you and your plan for me.

Dear Lord, forgive me for my selfishness. Forgive me for focusing on the wrongs things of life and not focusing on you and your plan. I truly love you lord. I want you to do,I ate my life. I want you to fill me with your spirit. Amen!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I'm too busy!

““Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. You have six days each week for your ordinary work,”
Deuteronomy 5:12-13 NLT --

I do not know a single person who is not busy. We all complain about not having enough time in the day to get everything done. I am no different. My schedule this week has been jam packed with meetings, meetings, and meetings, grading, grading, grading, and then my regular daily duties. When we get together we try to out do each other describing our overloaded schedule. Many of us treat our busyness as an honor. Well, let me tell you....... It's not!

Eventually we have to say no, and mean it! 

God designed the week. He alone is responsible for the length of the day, the week, the month, and the years! It's kind of like spending money. If we make more money, we spend it. If we get more time, we waste it. Instead of asking for more time we need to say no AND we need to respectfully hold ourselves accountable to getting rest. We literally need a break. Sunday is a great day to engage in rest. If you trust the Lord, he will guide you to complete HIS agenda. If the task is not in Gods plan,  it's just not worth doing an God does not plan for our lives to be so busy we can't take time for him.

I need to constantly remember what my goal is. I need to hold myself to a higher standard. I need to get rest, set priorities, continue to focus on the Lord's plan and disregard the rest. The Lord is our priority. Nothing else matters.

Dear Lord, I love you and honor your wondeful name. You have given me such a wonderful life. I ask your forgiveness for filling it full of frivolous busyness. Help me take time to rest. Help me to remember what my life is really about. I praise you for always being there with me even though I don't take time for you like I should. Help me to be organized and to use my time to your glory and not mine! Amen!

What's up?

“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.””
1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT --

I can't tell you what will happen today. 

I can tell you what's happening right now. I can tell you what's happened so far today. But, I can't even tell you what's going to happen in the next five minutes.

 I like it that way. 

I am a creature of habit and I love my routine. I  get up, test my blood sugar, give my shot, take my medicine, shave, brush my teeth, get dressed, watch the news, eat breakfast, drink my coffee, complete my morning devotions, read the newspaper, and then leave for school! It happens every single weekday just like the rising Of the sun. But I really love the mystery and excitement of not knowing the what will happen from one moment to the next. There is no guarantee I will get to fulfill any of the tasks in my monotonous routine. My life is a never ending, mysterious adventure!

I love the mystery of what my savior has planned for me today, tomorrow and the rest of my life. I trust him dearly. I don't need to know the future because I know whatever he has on my schedule is for my good and his glory. The mystery of every waking moment brings a thrill to my life. I anticipate every moment with sheer joy. It comes from 55 years experience and 40 + years of life with Jesus Christ. Because of Christ, I no longer fear the unknown. Because of Christ, I no longer dread the challenges I'll face. Because of Christ  I know I have the power to overcome all challenges, defeat the evil in my life, and live in eternity. It doesn't get any better than that. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The sun, moon, stars, are great but.......

“So do not corrupt yourselves by making an idol in any form—whether of a man or a woman, an animal on the ground, a bird in the sky, a small animal that scurries along the ground, or a fish in the deepest sea. And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the forces of heaven—don’t be seduced into worshiping them. The LORD your God gave them to all the peoples of the earth.” Deuteronomy 4:16-19 NLT.

I am looking out my window at an absolutely beautiful moon and yesterday was the perfect picture of a fall day. I enjoy the natural beauty of this planet, the stars, the moon, and the warmth of the sun. I quickly begin worshipping the creator of those things instead of worshipping the things themselves. That's not true of many people. I see so many people awed more by the creation than the creator. When that happens it's idolatry at its finest. We can easily lose focus on our heavenly father as we become infatuated with many things, including, nature, science, money, power, possessions, influence, or even knowledge. If these thing dominate our lives while pushing out our faith, we are headed for death and the depths of hell. 

There is one God. He created the heavens and the earth. He is above all things and des every our honor and praise. There is no debate about it. Thank you Lord for this beatifil planet and the natural wonders. It points directly to your amazing power. I am awed by you more and more each day. Amen!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


““But the LORD was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more. But go up to Pisgah Peak, and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River. Instead, commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead the people across the Jordan. He will give them all the land you now see before you as their possession.’”
Deuteronomy 3:26-28 NLT --

I love prayer. I really enjoy my time communicating with the Lord. I am very open with my Lord. He knows all my thoughts and desires. He knows MY PLANS and listens to every request, plea, and desire. Because our relationship is over forty years old, I  have learned that sometimes the answer is no and I'm ok with that. I have given God full veto power over all my plans. I have learned this approach after forty years of trying to go my own way and messing things up. I still share it all and yes it sometimes sounds like a small child's Christmas list. Yet, every prayer ends with my sincerest desire for Gods will to be done in every part of my life. Moses kept trying to get God to change his mind, but he didn't. It was a  constant request. God listened but still the answer was no. We often don't know the why's but that's ok. I trust my loving Heavenly Father. I don't always need to understand and I don't have to always get my way. God is in charge!

Dear Lord, I am thankful for your direction. I praise you for your perfect wisdom and how it rescues me from myself. I am thankful you have given all of us the open door to a relationship with you. I thank you for the love you have for me, a sinner, saved only by your grace. Please help me to see your path and to do all things for your glory along that path! Amen!