Sunday, January 31, 2016

As for me and my Family......

11Then the lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. 1 Samuel 3:11-12

Every time I read this story about Eli and his family, I am deeply saddened. The thought of my kids, my grandkids, and their families not loving the Lord is more than I can handle. My constant prayer is for my wife, my daughters, my son-in-laws, my grandkids and their future families grow in their relationship with the Lord. I pray their lives would be devoted to the Lord. That is my strongest and most fervent prayer. 

Before Eli's death, I am sure he wondered where he went wrong. What could he have done to prevent the corruption of his two sons Hophni and Phineas?  It is so important that my family know the importance and the power of my relationship with Jesus Christ. They need to SEE that power in my daily life. They need to know of the power of prayer. They need to know they importance and the value of studying the word of God. They need to see us worship. They need to know of our service to others. They need to see our evangelism. If we are going to see each other in the hands of Jesus after we pass from this earth, we need to pass on the faith. Our efforts need to be real and we need to persevere. BUT, in the end the choices of our families, the choices of their spouses, and the coming generations, are their own. That's how God designed it. Free will! 

Just as God will not force us to follow him, I can not force the generations of my family to seek the Lord. It has to be their choice. It has to be their faith. I never want to wonder if I did enough. I never want to go through what Eli went through, if I have an ounce of air to prevent it. Sure, I want to bring others to know Jesus, but none are as important TO ME as my family. 

Dear Lord, I pray your mighty hand upon my family: Stephanie, McKenzie, Lindsae, Kelley, Jeff, Brian, Klayton, Lauren, Matt, Hannah, Jordan, Adam, Ayla, Rian, Elle, and Izyk. I love you so much. Help me lead them to you. Give me the words to share your wisdom. Help me to be a great example for them. Send others into their lives that will direct them to a deeper relationship with you, Jesus. Fill them with your Holy Spirit that they would feel your presence every single day. Speak to their hearts and direct them to seek you through prayer, study, and worship. Protect them from the evil one and the constant pressure to conform to the values of this world. Reveal to them your plans to bless them with joy, mercy, and grace. I love you Lord and I praise you for the family I have. I am humbled to be a part. I praise you from the deepest part of my heart. Amen!

Friday, January 29, 2016

I'm not listening!

“And the LORD came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.””   1 Samuel 3:10 NLT --

Last night I was reading this story about Eli, Samuel, and Eli's sons. But, I was struck by the timeless practice of listening. We do not live in a culture that values listening. Contemplation and meditation are viewed as frivolous activities. We don't listen to each other and rarely do we listen to God. 

I am proud, for the most part, of my prayer life. But rarely do I sit and listen to the Lord. I get so busy and wrapped up with my communication that there is little or no silence in my life.  A key part of our worship to the Lord should be centered around listening. I am not good at just listening. When I try, I end up falling asleep or lose focus and my mind wanders. That is not listening.

God speaks to us. He speaks to me. We just have to listen. SO many problems, stresses and turmoil would be eliminated if we just listened to the powerful voice of God. WE / I need to stop and listen to his wonderful wisdom. 

Dear Lord, Forgive me for my arrogance thinking I can solve all my problems by asking and not listening. Lord, I say I need you but do not give you a chance to act. Then I blame you for the problems in my life. I am embarrassed by this fact. I come to you Lord knowing that weakness and begging you to change me, change my heart. I love you Lord. Amen!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I hope to continue to please!

“I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
Ruth 2:13 NLT --

Most days I am completely humbled by my students. I am blessed to work with an all star cast of teenagers. I love them dearly. If you didn't know, you would probably think I was blessed with the best and the brightest academic kids. I'm not. Oh, I do have some that are the best of the best. While I love them as well, I am most honored by the 25% of my students known as "at risk" students. Yes out of my 200+ students I have fifty that come into my world with the deck stacked against them. Some have been kicked out of other classes, some are "slow" academically, some are "resource" students and have had more than one conflict with other teachers. I have the deepest love for them. Why? 

I have no particular reason to love them except I am moved to be with them, build relationships with them, laugh with them, push them, and care for them like most adults have not done. I like to see them get even the tiniest spark to propel them into being life long learners. I like to see them see succeed when they haven't had that success in the past. I like to see hope come back to their lives. I can't save all of them, but I love trying.

Today, while working on a character activity, they were to choose someone that was a positive influence to hang out with. They chose me. I was humbled. I'm not all that great. 

I praise God everyday that I have the privilege to serve the students of GHS. My heart is of the Lord. With all the humility I can muster, I tell you it is not me, it's the Lord inside me. I could no more take credit for inventing the Internet than the power of Jesus acting inside of me. I am amazed that the lord would take this sinner and save others through me. I praise the Lord for giving me notice, through these kids, to stay the course. Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1275 Posts later...........

Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. Philippians 3:1

Since July 27th, 2010, I have written 1275 Blog posts in "Rhoadzie's Daily Blog". This math teacher turned amateur writer has loved it. No, I won't be nominated for a pulitzer prize. I don't do it for praise, reward or even recognition. I don't claim thousands of followers. People might get tired of my thoughts. They really aren't that diverse. So, why do I do this? 

I do not write this blog for others, although I am honored people read it. I do it to focus my daily bible study.  I am sure many of you know how hard it is to genuinely, devoutly, study God's word. So many things get in the way of doing that. Our busy schedules, exhaustion, and dedication. I had a grandmother that read through the entire Bible every year. The first time I did that, I realized what kind of dedication that takes. I also saw the value that accomplishment had in her life. I started journaling about my bible readings over 10 years ago. Now it has developed into a public journal. 

Regardless of my reasons, we should all spend time daily studying God's word. I have used multiple formats to help me focus my Bible Study. Nothing has been more effective than writing my thoughts down, letting the Holy Spirit speak to me, and writing it down on the world wide web.  BUT, you need to do it. 

Dear Lord, I am amazed at how your spirit works in my life. I open my heart to you every day and you fill it with your grace, mercy, and strength. Please, Lord, continue to work in me. Guide my thoughts. Guide my actions. Guide my words. Take my entire life and let it be pleasing to you. I praise you, Lord. I am in awe of your love for me. Amen!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I not who I want to be .......... Yet!

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.”
Philippians 4:4-5 NLT

The teachers in our school are going through a series of training sessions helping us understand ourselves and our students. The Growth mindset is a way of looking at life. Many of us go through life feeling we can not improve our character, our intelligence, and our thoughts. I have fallen into this trap, often. We took a character test and hear were my top five character traits:

Love of Learning

I really thought these top characteristics described me accurately. I truly do love to learn new things and love filling my mind with knowledge. Of Course Jesus is such a big part of my life. The others all fit who I am. But, in my typical "Curious" way. I was more interested in my weaknesses. Out of my topi ten were fairness, kindness, humility, and more. I want to represent my Lord as being full of joy, considerate in all I do. I think I have a lot of work to do in those areas. I know I can change. I know I am not done growing. I am happy with my strengths but will never stop working on my weaknesses. The good news is I have a loving savior and creator of the universe that is helping me improve. He is my teacher, my counselor, and my loving heavenly father. I am not finished!

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to be a better follower of you. I want to be a better servant. I want to be a better person. I care about what people think about me. I care to work on my weaknesses and celebrate my strengths. I want to grow in my love of you Lord and how I represent you to this world. I praise you for your patience with me while I work toward the person you want me to be.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Quite the pedigree!

“I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”
Philippians 3:5-9 NLT

My daughter just got another dog, Gus. This is their second. He is just a puppy. They have an older dog, Bob, who is mostly black lab but is a mix. This new puppy is also a mix. You can tell he is a "mutt" , which I say with affection, because he was free. The cost of pure breed dogs is astronomical and for what? The average person doesn't need a dog with a huge list of family accomplishments. They just want a dog for the family. Bob is a big part of the family. My other daughters all have dogs they love (and sometimes hate). They wouldn't love them any more if they had some impressive breeding papers.

Paul had finally gotten to the point in his life that he realized his long list of impressive family credentials, or earthly accomplishments, meant nothing. He said,  "I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him." 

I am proud of my earthly accomplishments, my family, my ministry, my teaching degree, my success as a leader , and educator. Most people have accomplished a lot more than I have. I have the greatest accomplishment of all........ While I was yet a sinner and far less than righteous, Christ loved me. He has rescued me from sure death and brought me to a point equal to the greatest Christians to ever live, not by my wonderful works, but by his perfect grace. I deserve nothing and am blessed with eternal life. My pedigree through Christ is nothing less than perfect.  Praise God!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Small Town America!

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News... Philippians 1:27

          I love living in a small town. When something happens everyone knows about it. When something good happens we all share in the joy. When something bad happens everyone's heart breaks. I am proud of my community and what we stand for. When someone comes to live in our town, we adopt them as one of our own. They have to show they too are dedicated to us. Once they do, they are a part of us. We raise our kids together, we grow old together, and we live life together.

          The community of Christ should be just like small town America. We should have that small town dedication to each other. We should share our joy and mourning. It's not just enough to live as a Christian. We are a part of a community of Christians that are interconnected by a loving savior, Jesus Christ. How much more powerful are those connections than the connections from where we live here on Earth? As a matter of fact, we are a community of nomads just traveling through this life to get to our permanent "promised land" in Heaven. As we go, we need to adopt others into our community so they can come with us to our final resting place. These adopted community members need to follow our beliefs. They need to study and learn the foundations of the faith and then integrate them into their lives. It is a steady trip we take together. We learn and grow together. None of us is perfect and we need to make sure we accept the imperfections of others, just like we are imperfect. We need to support our community, not criticize and judge. We are one!
          Dear Lord, Thank you for my local community. Thank your for the dedication of neighbors and friends to make all of our lives better. I also praise you for the community of believers. I praise you that I have a group of people I call friends in the faith. I love how we live life together, how we support each other through the mountains and the valleys, and I love how we center our lives around you. Thank You Lord for all that means to me! Amen!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Now, I am him.....

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,. Hebrews 12:1

15 years ago today, my earthly father wen to be with my Heavenly Father. 

I miss him.

I miss learning from his wisdom. I miss just spending time with him. 

But I have come to realize, I am now him. I am the Grandpa. I am the Dad of some wonderful adult kids. So even though my Dad is gone, with my Heavenly Father, he lives within me. I am him.

When we leave this earth we leave a legacy. Sure we impact our families like my Dad did. But we also impact the lives of everyone we meet. We need to take that seriously. My Dad did. He was so careful to share the love of Christ from the Pulpit but he was also careful to live a life that matched the words from his mouth. No one could criticize his love of God and his heart for people. He was the same man at home with my mom, with us kids, the grandkids, with his church members, and with the man on the street. What a wonderful example for me and my life. I am so thankful to have him as my example. Now I try to serve like he served. I try to love like he loved and the live like he lived. 

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sharing my Dad with me for nearly 40 years of my life. I do miss him now. But I do remember his wonderful example. I am blessed to have him as my mentor and I thank you, Lord, for honoring me with his love and friendship. I pray Lord that I can be that same example for my wife, my daughters, and my grandkids. I can't do it through my own power and strength. I can only do it through you. I love you and praise you for my life. I want nothing more than to serve you. Amen!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Laugh when you don't want to!

“O LORD, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”     Psalms 5:1-3 NLT

We had a great bible study last night and I needed it. After a long day attending the funeral and the associated sorrow, I was exhausted. But I also needed some time away. That happened. My loving Heavenly Father always hears my cry and listens to my voice.  He surrounds me with great people. He fills my heart with hope and helps me to be able to laugh when I don't feel like it. We had a large group meet for dinner then bible study. My great friends helped me laugh and the fellowship was great. God sent them tonight to help me. I am humbled by his grace, his mercy, his compassion, and his genuine love for me. 

I know there are others that are calling out. Please Lord hear their prayers as you have heard mine. I praise you for helping me through every dark night and every sunny day. As I have gotten older and seen your loving power, I know there is hope. My hope comes from you. Thank you Lord. Thank You for being the God of the Universe AND being MY God. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Peace in the midst of sorrow!

“You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.”
Psalms 4:7-8 NLT

Yesterday has been a rough day. 

A former  student of mine passed away this weekend by his own hand. I say mine in a very selfish way. Really he is one of ours, our community's, His loss brought our community together last night after the basketball game. The community mourns together. The collective groans of agony have been heard at school and in the hearts of many students. Today is the funeral. I've spoken with Mom and Dad. I can only imagine their pain. I can't even express myself beyond feeling sorrow for them. I fervently pray for peace within the family, close friends and my students that are hurting and searching for answers. I pray the powerful God of this universe will provide comfort in a real and powerful way.  I pray my my own words and thoughts will be adequate in helping our kids heal, regardless how slow that process will be.

This young man gave me great joy. He made me laugh. I wasn't very effective teaching him math, but I didn't care. We had fun, learning, together. Every good teacher builds a lasting bond with their students. When they graduate they take a part of you. By the time you retire, you have nothing else to give. But when you lose one of "your kids" it sucks a lot more out of you. I've had smarter kids, I've known some of my students for a longer time, but it doesn't lessen the loss. He was still mine. I treasure, deeper than anyone can ever know, every kid I've taught or coached. 

As I said goodbye last night at the funeral home, God gave me a gift. I got to see a former student, athlete of mine. Yep, she was mine.  I hadn't seen her in a long while. My heart beat with joy as I asked her what she was up to. She got saved. and has been following Christ for many years. She home-schools  her kids, four beautiful kids, and has a wonderful husband who loves the Lord. There is no greater joy in the midst of the sorrow and pain. 

Thank you Lord for letting me sleep knowing I am safe in your arms and that even through our darkest days, you are with us. Please Lord, continue to make your presence known throughout this community. Comfort us. Show your love, Amen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


“Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.””
Judges 16:28 NLT

Most Christians no the story of Samson, the strong dude with the long hair. When you delve into the story, it's shocking to me that we share this story with children. Samson is far from being a real hero. In fact he was just like all the rest of us. He had a ton of weaknesses and for most of his life he ignored the Lord. He was so blinded and arrogant by his great strength and he had no time me for the Lord. His weakness, women that were bad for him, led to his death and demise. I still can't figure out why he didn't know what Delilah was up to. She asked three times why he was so strong. Each time he lied to her, he got attacked by the Philistines. So what does he do, he tells the truth. Once again he gets attacked. (Go figure)
Now he loses his eyes and is jailed. He couldn't see through Delilahs fake love.

How many times do I let my blind arrogance keep me from good decisions? How often do I let my sin put me in harms way? I like to think I'm better than Samson. I'm not. I've got a lot to learn. The big difference between me and Samson, I'm not going to wait until the end of my life to rely on the Lord. Every waking moment I have on this earth is for the Lord. I'm just as weak as Samson when it comes to sin, but I get the power to overcome that weakness by faith in Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord, I praise you for your faith in me through all my faults and weaknesses. I am humbled that you are with me through it all. I promise to serve you forever and ever . Amen!

Pleasing everyone

“Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”  Ephesians 6:6-7 NLT

I've heard it said "Its impossible to make everyone happy, so don't even try." 

I'm curious about this statement and it begs the question, "How do you decide who to try to make happy?" 

I really think our lives should be centered around serving others. Jesus did it, so it's good for us. Not only should we serve, but we need to serve all the time, with all our heart, and with great enthusiasm. When I go to school each day, I am serving, not just the students of Garrett High School, I serve the Lord. No matter what you do you are to serve with joy and enthusiasm. I'm there to serve my students in the best way I can, with every ounce of strength I have. I'm there to serve my community and to please them. If I can please my boss I will. I always try. If I can please my students, I will. I always try. If I can please my coworkers, I will. I always try. I don't pick and choose which groups I will try to please. I'm not always successful, but I will try until my last breath to please them all. That doesn't mean I cower and am subservient to people. I won't deny the Lord to please others. But, serving others, is pleasing. So, I wil serve everyone I can.

I will not limit the population of people I choose to serve. I am here to serve them all. Praise God I have the great opportunity to serve. I am honored to breathe every breath in my life serving the Lord through serving people. I promise to do everything in my power to make everyone happy, or die trying! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Imitate this!

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”   Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT

          I love little kids. They are so funny. I know they are always trying to imitate adults and older siblings.  They love to "crazy dance" while standing in front of the television copying all the moves they see. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. If we are truly on a path to God, we need to lay down our own lives with our quirks and faults and do everything possible to imitate the God of the universe. Our first goal is to imitate his love. He sacrificed all for us and never gives up on us. 
          There is so much hate in this world. We need to love like Jesus loves.  It is easy to love those that love us. WE need to love those who disagree with us. WE need to love those that hate us. We need to love our enemies. We need to get past the differences we have with others. People are so "hyper-sensitive" to the differences we have and turn those differences to hate and sometimes violence. On the other side we need to PRAY for those that persecute us. It does us no good, it does not spread the gospel, when we use the principle of an eye for an eye. Jesus said to turn the other cheek and if someone sues for your shirt, give him your coat also. THAT is love. We can choose NOT to be offended. We can choose to ignore the haters or we can choose to embrace them with the love of Christ. It is not easy. It can only be done with the power of Jesus and the strength of our Heavenly Father. 

Dear Lord, We need you. We need your love. Fill us with a spirit of love and fill us with the desire to imitate you. Give us a heart that is compassionate. Give us eyes that are blind to those that hate us and persecute us. Give us a willingness to take action to SHOW love, not just talk about it. This world is filled with so much hate. Help the Christian community defeat evil in our communities and our country. We know the ultimate victory has already been won. Praise Jesus! Amen!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Not the Ten Commandments..... Harder to keep!

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”     Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

I don't hang out with people that kill others. I don't know thieves. Personally, I don't struggle with the Ten Commandments. But, this list in Ephesians is completely different. I am watching the news and seeing quite the battle to be our next president. The American public is fed up with politicians and rightly so. We are fully supporting candidates that show anger, bitterness, hate, and uses harsh words. Why can't we support and seek out candidates that are kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. 

I also have difficulty with bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and struggle being tenderhearted, forgiving, and kind to those not like me. Our society views these three positive traits as weakness and "whimpy". My savior is the epitome of strength, power, forgiveness, kindness, and tenderness. He shows us it is possible and should be our goal in life.

Dear Lord, I praise you for being the example of all that we need to be. When you came down to live with us you were kind, loving, and forgiving, while still being a strong and powerful leader. Help me to do the same as I continue in life with you. Defeat the anger and rage I feel toward my enemy and those who challenge me. Help me to share your compassion and love with all that cross my path. I love you Lord. I beg your forgiveness when I fall short. You are truly amazing and I worship you with all my heart. Amen!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

How can I .........?

““But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”” Judges 6:15 NLT

We just don't know the power we have through the power of Jesus. We doubt ourselves. We doubt our God. We look at only our weakness and completely forget about what God has done in our lives. We/I constantly question, how can I .....? You fill in the blank. 

We need to remember the power that has brought us to where we are today. If your life has been an entire struggle and you have not totally trusted Jesus, you need to change that today! God is real and is active in our lives, when we let him. He has no limits except those we put upon him. Gideon tested God over and over again, doubting everything along the way. Eventually he gave in and realized the power of the creator of the universe. Why wait? Why continue to doubt. Turn your life over. That means you do not shy away from challenges. We embrace the troubles of our world and in our own lives because we know that God lives in us and will help us overcome.

What are you struggling with? Trust God. Turn it over to him, COMPLETELY! He will be there! Do not feel you are alone! You are partnered with the power of Jesus. You need nothing else.

Friday, January 15, 2016

We are who we are!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV

I am what I am.

God has made us all in his own image. He loves us, adores us, and makes us who we are. I am delighted to be a child of God. He doesn't preface that love on our words, or deeds. He just loves us. We need to do the same. I am who I am and am happy in my skin. I know I have some strange quirks and eccentric ways. But, God loves me no different than if I was perfect. 

I serve a wonderful loving God that created us all in his image and different at the same time. The more I think about that during my day, the more I realize I need to do the same. Especially when dealing with teens. The kids I serve are wildly different than I am. God has made them that way. I live in a community with  people that are different than me. God loves them, too. I am not here to change people, but to embrace the differences. I praise God for the diversity of my life. 

Dear Lord, I love you and feel your grace in my life every day. I praise you for your creation. That includes the diversity you have created in people. Help me accept people the way they are. Help me to spend less time trying to change and more time loving them. You are amazing Lord and I am honored to be called a child of God. Amen!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The next generation

“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10 NLT

Being a teacher I spend about a third of my day with the next generation. I am not nearly as worried about the future of our country because of these young people. If you watch the news it is so easy to look at the world as being doomed. There is so much evil and destruction, hate, and death. But I see hope! I spend my day with young people who deeply care about there fellow man and are equally passionate about making things better. They are activists wanting to take a stand and are not willing to let evil win.

We have to pass on our faith to the young people in our communities. With Church attendance on the decline we are not raising a new generation of Christians. We need to share our successes and our failures. We need to be authentic about our weaknesses and struggles so they are not doomed to repeat them. We do not want them to develop our apathy, our isolationism our self-centered attitudes, or our pessimism. We want to encourage creative solutions to all the big problems we face and we want to support all their efforts to destroy evil. The youth of this country should be a priority for all of us. We must not let the faith die!

Dear Lord, I praise you for the opportunity to serve the youth of my community. I pray that others will choose to do the same. I praise you for these young people and their passion for life. Yes, they make mistakes, like all of us do. I ask you to protect them and keep them safe. Help me to present your message every day so that message will be handed down to all the generations to come. Amen!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

God's not Fair!

“But as surely as the LORD your God has given you the good things he promised, he will also bring disaster on you if you disobey him. He will completely destroy you from this good land he has given you.”Joshua 23:15 NLT

I am sure many of you get sick and tired of me boasting of my wonderful life. I truly am blessed by the power of God. It's not that I have done anything. I have received a life I am in no way worthy. Yet, here I am. God has brought me to where I am today. Yet, I am a moment away from pure disaster. The blessings are always of God, but my evil sin and blatant disregard for my savior can spin a web of death, destruction, and disaster. 

We serve a fair and loving God. He is more than willing to bless me and equally willing to let me suffer the consequences of my own sin. But, my God is also NOT a FAIR God and I am glad. Grace is not fair. Grace is not giving me what I deserve, it's a God that is forever giving me a break when I don't deserve it. That is the reason for my wonderful life. IF God was completely Fair, I would be suffering from all my sin and poor choices. I am not suffering, I am thriving.  Don't misunderstand, I have daily stress. I have turmoil. I have failure. But the more time I spend with my savior, the less impact those setbacks have on my life. I have seen growth through my weakness and I have seen growth through the love of my God. He loves me even when he punishes me. He loves me even when he sees me suffer through self inflicted consequences. I praise him for my life. I praise him for his love, mercy, and grace.

Dear Lord, Use me today for your purposes. Take my life and let it be always for you Lord. I owe you all. Give me the ability to love the unloved. Give me the strength to persevere through challenging people and challenging times. I love you LORD!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Go out and save the world

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

I love going to church. I love meeting with my CMA family. I love worshipping. 

Today at church our pastor told our congregation we need to attend church. I agree 100%. He gave some stats that church attenders do so only about 50% of the time. It greatly saddens me that this is true. Why aren't Christians more dedicated to each other and worship? Our pastor also shared this quote from Vince Lombardi:

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual. People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

A football team has an obvious goal, to win the game. All successful teams work together with great purpose, great focus, and in complete agreement. What is our goal as a group of believers? What is the goal of meeting together? Is it just to hear a sermon, great music and get an emotional boost? I DO get an emotional boost, but most of all I get the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I get prompted to ACT not just absorb the message. Even today, throughout the sermon I kept on getting ideas to make my own ministry thrive. But what good are emotions, what good are promptings of the Holy Spirit, if we are not moved enough to act.

Sitting in a weekly worship service, attending a bible study, or any other spiritual discipline, means nothing if it does not move us to action. Going to church is meaningless, if we don't take to heart the teachings and go out to save the world. 

Dear Lord, I praise you for the opportunity to worship in freedom. I know it is not true everywhere in the world. But, Lord, Help me apply the great teaching and take the worship experience into the world. I know your heart is for us to save the lost. Help me act on the promptings of your spirit. I love you Lord. I praise you Lord and I serve you Lord. Amen!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Let's be blunt!

“Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.”  2 Corinthians 7:9 NLT

I am a blunt person. You will certainly know my feelings and my passion. I am passionate, first, about the Lord. I have come so far in 55 + years. I KNOW of the power of the Lord, not just because I have been told of his greatness. I've seen it! I am passionate about my family, ministry, and trying to teach kids about life. With my personality and my passions, I'm bound to hurt someone. I don't do it to hurt or to cause pain. I do it because I want you to have the same passion I do. I want you to share the vision I have. Not because I have this perfect vision, but because I have a perfect God who fills me with his passion. 

I make mistakes!

I don't make them to cause harm,hurt, or pain. I have never wanted to inflict pain, disrespect, or destroy anyone. I love my Lord who leads me beside still waters and who restores my soul even when I have a bad day. Yesterday, was no exception. Praise God for my life! Praise God I have a father in heaven that loves me and made me who I am. I am far from where I want to be, but know that even with the glaring faults I have,God loves me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A wonderful Promise!

“And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”  2 Corinthians 6:16 

What a wonderful promise. So many people live as if they are alone with no hope. Even Chrisitans live in this mixed up world acting as if there is nothing can be done. But, I see the hand of God in my life every day. Jesus no longer walks among us as a live human being. But, he IS here! He is with us in the everyday interactions I have, in my heart, mind and spirit. The more I am in his will the more I see it. It encourages me and motivates me every day. He lives within me. I am his. I am not alone and I have a hope that is stronger everyday.

Dear Lord, thank you for not only sending your son, sacrificing him for my sins, but walking with me every day. I am blessed not because of my "greatness" but because of your greatness. I praise you for a life filled with joy. I praise you for a life filled with excitement and value. I praise you for the hope you have given me for a brighter future. Thank you Lord! Amen!

Taking responsibility for others

“But the LORD said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings.” Joshua 7:10-11 NLT

Poor Joshua! He had no idea some of his people had defied the Lord and gone against his word. Imagine his shock. Yet, the entire nation of Israel suffered. It seems a bit unfair. But, could it have been partially the fault of the entire community? Ultimately an entire family paid the price for this sin.

Look at our nation. We are on a path to certain destruction. Are we as Christians partly responsible? 


How many times have we sat idly by while sin becomes acceptable? How many times have we been quiet as we slaughter innocents? Our lack of passion for the gospel has been over run by those that love evil. We can not lie to God. He knows. He knows our feeble attempts at justice.e knows our lack of passion. He knows our occupation with materialism, and ourselves. 

As Christians we need to stand up! WE need to fight evil on all fronts. If WE do not act, we also will reap the consequences. It is not just those that do not call upon the Lord. Sure they will reap the ultimate punishment, but today, we will all suffer and some will be lost forever. That's just not acceptable!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back at the grindstone!

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”   2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT

Today we went back to school. We started a new year on the calendar and we also stared a new semester at school. I love being back at school. I get to work with some great people and I have the best students around. But a day like today is a challenge. Maybe it's not as crazy as some jobs, but the first day back after an extended break, AND the start of a new term provides a little bit of chaos. I still love it!

The chaos will soon settle down. MY life is the same. When Chaos occurs in my life, it feels like it will last forever. In truth it never does. I am under the protection of the most high God and even though this does not exempt me from troubles, it does guarantee I will make it through. My minor troubles are nothing compared to the the glory of the Lord. His glory, his power last forever. Praise God!

Dear Lord, I praise you for your the great hedge of protection you have around me and my family. I know when life turns into chaos you are their to calm the torrent. I am awed by your power, your grace, your mercy and your strength. Please help my friends and family that are in the midst of the chaos and pain. I love you Lord! Praise GOD! Amen!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A letter from me

“Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 NLT

As a teacher I get to write quite a few recommendation letters. I'm proud to do it. I am fortunate to know some pretty great teenagers and I can truly say I've never had a difficult time writing them. The letters seem to just write themselves for students that really put out the effort and hard work into their education. 

We write a recommendation letter for Christ every day of our lives. How we act and what we say have a huge impact on the future growth of the kingdom. 

Do people see your every day life and say, "Man, I wouldn't mind having what he has. He is living the life I want to live." or do they say, "If that's what being a Christian is all about, I want nothing to do with it."

How would you sum up your life? Does your life write a great letter of recommendation for following Christ? Take some time in these early days of 2016 and review your life. 

Dear Lord, Help me to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can not do that on my own. I need you in every moment of my life. I love you and want nothing more than to bring others to a relationship with you. Amen.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Strength and Courage in 2016!

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”” Joshua 1:9 NLT

Certainly the theme of Joshua's first chapter is "Be strong and courageous!" But as I read this verse it struck me as odd that we are "commanded" to be strong and courageous. I am sure I have read this verse multiple times in my lifetime but now I just recognize, for the first time, I am commanded to do so. 

So I did some research and came upon a sermon by Crawford Loritts called "Desiring God". Here is the link to the entire sermon:

Here is a quote from the sermon that drives home this verse -- "If God has called you, he is with you. Courage doesn't mean that I am not afraid. It means that I fear God more than I fear my environment. It means that I trust in divine resources more than the resources of man." 

I really need this message today. I know I have offended people through ministry. It saddens me to lose people. But, this verse tells me, to be strong and courageous knowing he is with me.

Once I have accepted the "call" of God I am commanded, just like Joshua, to be strong and courageous. The word command exemplifies power and passion. How can I doubt God? It is tantamount to sin if I doubt where and when the creator of the universe has placed me. There are too many weak people in this world. Christians are backing down to the "world" at an alarming rate. We water down our ministry. We share the gospel in weakness and fear of offending. We doubt the power and resources from the Lord. We depend on our own weakness instead of his perfect strength. If God has called us, and HE HAS, we must fear his retribution more than the consequences of the world. That is true strength and that is true courage. We must be confident that we will have everything we need to serve. We have to be confident in his power within us. If we don't have "strength and courage" we are rejecting the power of the God we claim is at the middle of our life. It's just that simple!

So for 2016, be bold, minister with confidence and serve with the power of the one who took Israel from slavery to the promised land. He is with you. He is with me, now, and forever. Amen and Amen!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Gloom Despair and Agony on me!

“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.”   2 Corinthians 1:8 NLT--

I've been a Christian now for over 40 years but you don't have to be a Christian for any real length of time to run into someone who loves to tell you all their woes in life. I could stereotype by saying they are mostly elderly, but that's not true. I have some students who remind me of the HeeHaw song "Gloom Despair and agony on me" (google it!) I will guarantee you can relate that coworker, family member or friend, that just like to grumble about everything. In reality these special people have a real place in my heart for several reasons.

When confronted with the person who "lives under a storm cloud" I often realize how blessed I am and how there is no reason, except by the grace of God, that the roles are not reversed. I am also prompted to pray. I strongly believe in the power of prayer and these opportunities to intervene with prayer are special. I need to stop immediately and pray for them, even though I don't always take advantage of that role. I sense that I need to listEn to these prompting more. Lastly, listening to someone explain there life's troubles is a way we can serve. Many people just need someone to listen. I should find it a privilege to be chosen as the listener. 

God sends us these people. They are a real part of our ministry. To avoid or brush off these rather difficult people is a shirking of our Christian duty and ignoring the prompting of The Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, forgive me for being in a rush and unwilling to listen to all who find me. Send them to me Lord, give me your heart of compassion and service even if the only need is an ear to listen. Amen!