Saturday, April 30, 2016

Forever is not always forever.

“For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying, “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.”
Psalm 132:13-14 NIV --

There is nothing, on this earth, that is forever. I have been reminded of this truth in the past couple days. I have lived in multiple places, had numerous jobs, and had a wonderful group of best friends and colleagues to fill more than a lifetime. Those deep friendships last forever, but the closeness fades away. It's not because we got angry or had a falling out. Life events happen and those great friends and coworkers travel down different paths. I often look back at those people with sadness and joy. Sadness that we ar no longer together and joy of the wonderful times we've had. Graduations at school are just like that. You spend a huge amount of time together with your "school" family. After graduation, you pledge to always be there for each other. Paths split, sometimes you never see those friends again. 

Anytime I am deeply saddened it reminds me more and more that this is not my home. I am looking forward to eternity with Jesus. That new heaven and new earth will be permanent joy. That new home will be forever. I praise God I can be with my friends and family forever. Those that know Jesus, those that claim him as savior and have repented from their sins, will have that joyous forever home. I can't wait. I don't need the sadness I get from this earth. I miss my friends from the past and those that headed a different direction. I hope and pray they will be with me in eternity, 

Dear Lord, I pray you are with those dear friends I have had in my past. I pray they will know you and your love so we can be together again in eternity. I ask you to heal me from my broken heart of missing former colleagues, friends and family. I love you and need your power and strength every day. I can not live without you. I am thankful that love and grace are forever. Amen!

Friday, April 29, 2016

When I Need to Escape

“He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.””  Mark 14:33-34 NIV.

I don't want to sound like I am flippant about this event where Jesus is praying in agony at Gethsemane. I have had one of those days, actually I have had one of those weeks. I can't imagine how Jesus felt knowing his pending death and torture. My week wasn't anywhere near THAT bad. But, today I am at a point of distress, deep distress, and sorrow. At times like this you just need to be alone. Today was such a day. So, what did I do? I went out and mowed the lawn, weeded, and cleaned my garage. It was very therapeutic. 

God knows all about distress. He is the only one with a perfect cure. He is the one we can go to when life just doesn't make sense. It is not always easy to do that when we are in the middle of crisis. Sometimes we just need to get away. For me, getting away is working outside, working in my garage, or the best way is just getting "Wind Therapy". When I escape to my garage or sit on my motorcycle, my mind clears and I can focus on the one who has the cure for life, Jesus. I praise God he comes to me when I need him the most.

Dear Lord, I praise you in times of joy and distress. I am blessed to have you as a counselor, and "therapist" when I need to deal with life. Today, I ask your special hand in my life, the lives of those I work with, my students, and my dear friends. I know when life doesn't make sense, you are the one to turn to. Thank You Lord. Help me to be the person others can go to when they do not know you. Help me to guide them to your love through the good times and bad. Amen!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'm not cool!

“As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.””
Mark 12:38-40 NIV.

          I am just a regular guy. I'm nobody. I'm a school teacher, not rich, not powerful, not anything our world really respects. I am perfectly ok with that. I have seen power corrupt. I have seen riches speak loudly, and I am glad I have no influence beyond my small community of family and friends. Our world is obsessed with power, money, and things. I see it in it's beginnings. At school, kids are so worried about how they look and how they are perceived. They want themselves to be a part of the "cool" kids and those cool kids are usually the ones in charge. They have the power. That pressure to be in charge is sometimes overwhelming. It is no wonder many people reject the christian faith. Our faith is about service, not power. Our faith is about relying on the power of Jesus, not acquiring our own.

          Jesus had access to power. He chose to serve instead. He spoke of strength in weakness. He spoke of power in service. When we give up everything to Jesus, we gain everything in eternity. We gain eternal life. Christianity is about serving others above ourselves. Our faith is more than just stating a belief. It's taking those beliefs and putting them in action for others. That is where the real power is. That is more valuable than gold or the stuff of this earth.

Dear Lord, I love you so much and am MORE than satisfied with the humbleness of my existence. I am not  searching for power or riches. I know that you have provided for everything I need. I am honored to be your servant. I praise you and worship you! Amen!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


11So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples. ............. 15When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. 17He said to them,“The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” Mark 11:11, 15-17
I have always appreciated this story in my Bible. The thought that Jesus could get angry somehow really makes him more human to me. I know he was truly human and yet God. The God part of his life is so clear. It's not that I doubted he lived in human form, but I have always had a hard time grasping the fact he was just like me. This verse confirms his human life. If you look back at verse 11, it really looks like his tirade was planned. He visited the temple earlier and looked around very carefully without saying a thing. When he came back he just couldn't hold it in. After careful consideration, he felt it was necessary to "explode" on the people that had transformed his holy temple into a spiritual disaster. It's ok to get upset. It's ok to become indignant. As a matter of fact he did this at least one other time. He was indignant the disciples tried to keep the kids from him. He was angry about it and he let the disciples know it. 
Jesus is the core of my faith. The idea that God would come to earth to live as I do, then to suffer for no reason except to save me from my sins, is so powerful. His life here was real and really human. 

Dear Lord, I can't say thank you enough. Words are shallow and weak when I try to express my gratitude for the gift of Jesus. My wonderful life happens because Jesus came down to rescue me. I praise you for that sacrifice and I pledge always to serve you, share your wonderful message of love, and to serve in your name. Help me to serve today. Help me to represent you to my students and to love them unconditionally, just like you have done for me. Amen!

Monday, April 25, 2016

The trap!

2Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?” 3Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?” 4“Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.” 5But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. 7‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one,9let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
The political season just keeps rolling on. The media are having a field day with the candidates. For nearly a year now, the reporters of our country have been stalking the presidential candidates, ready to ask a question, and pounce if the answer is controversial. Some of the questions are asked JUST for the purpose of catching one of them making a "huge" mistake. This has been the method to whittle down the field to the three remaining left in the republican race. IT is so sad. I do not expect my politicians to be perfect. I want them to be human. I want them to be trustworthy and I want them to be open and honest. 
Christians are treated just the same as politicians. We are watched with eagle eyes. The world is waiting for us to "mess up". They want nothing more to catch us in our sin. "Hey WORLD!" I've got news for you. We ARE sinners. We know it and more importantly GOD knows it. He is working to make us better. We do not have to be perfect. We don't need to pretend to be perfect. We are saved by his wonderful GRACE. We need to be aware of the consequences of our actions. We need to realize our words and deeds could lead someone to the saving grace of Jesus or could drive them away. But we do not need to be perfect. I am really happy about that. I do not live in fear of doing something wrong. I know of the perfect saving grace of Jesus. The world can try to "trap" me. All I need to do is focus on Jesus.

Dear Lord, I am humbled by the grace of your love. I praise you for the life you have given me and the love you have to wipe out my sins. I want nothing more to live a life worthy of that love. I want to live my life for you. But, I am thrilled that you do not expect my life to be perfect. I do not live in fear. Thank You Lord! Amen!

Friday, April 22, 2016

A different Extravagance!

29Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.Mark 8:27

I had a great Bible Study last night with my CMA family. We studied the discipline of "Worship". Most people think of worship as primarily something you do on Sunday mornings. That could not be further from the truth. Worship is the recognition that Jesus IS our Messiah and honoring him with every part of our being. To God be all the glory and honor and praise!
I found a really great definition of worship - Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission (Webster's Dictionary,1828).  The article goes on to state: 

"True worship, in other words, is defined by the priority we place on who God is in our lives and where God is on our list of priorities. True worship is a matter of the heart expressed through a lifestyle of holiness. Thus, if your lifestyle does not express the beauty of holiness through an extravagant or exaggerated love for God, and you do not live in extreme or excessive submission to God, then I invite you to make worship a non-negotiable priority in your life."

We need to love God with all our heart. We have an "over the top" kind of Love for God. That is true worship. We need to live our lives in an effort to follow the will of the Lord. That is true worship. 

True Worship, not conforming to this world, is not easy. I have a tendency to get caught up in all the"stuff" of this world. I get dragged into the social media political battles. I get caught up in the worship of THINGS. God is so saddened when I replace worship of him with worship of the world. I need to continue to focus on him, his love, and the wonderful life he has blessed me with. I need to honor him by my actions, my words, and my thoughts. I love you Lord!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


“Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!””
Mark 4:8 NLT

Spring is definitely here. I am in the process of cleaning out the flower beds, and the battle of the dandelions is on! I really love yard work. It is a form of therapy for me. Cutting the grass, weeding, watering, and trimming shrubs and bushes give me time to get outside and work up a sweat. If you couple that with my Vic and "wind therapy", I have great options to escape, recover, and receive new life. New life is sprouting everywhere. 

I can't really complain about this winter, except that winter is winter regardless how bad it is. I hate the cold, lifeless, dreary time of winter. Christmas is the exception. When you can finally see the flowers peaking out of the ground, the beauty of flowering trees, and the colors of the landscape changing from dreary grey to brilliant green, it gives hope.  We all need hope. God gives us the spring time to give us hope. The contrast with winter is completely necessary so we can truly appreciate the beauty and hope of spring. Life is the same. We have to have pain, suffering, stress, and turmoil in our lives to appreciate the joy of the Lord. My faith grows through the trials of life, just like the flowers outside my windows. Praise God for the life of spring.

Dear Lord, I haven't had a great couple of days. The stresses of life have gotten me down. I am weary of the busyness of life. But, Lord I trust you, even in the stressful times of my life. I trust that Spring will always come. Joy is in you Lord, through all things, good and bad. Be with me today. Help me overcome the trials. Help me to continue to share your love to my students and all the people I meet. I love you and praise your holy name. Amen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


23“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23
It just makes sense that the lost don't believe in the power of Jesus. But, how can you be called a follower of Christ and doubt in that power, just like a non-believer. IF you ask any Christian they will tell you they believe that "All things are possible" through the power of Jesus Christ. Do you live your life that way?  Do you live your life in faith or doubt?  Do you make back up plans in case Jesus doesn't come through for you?Yesterday was one of those days. It started out great and went as usual. By the end of the day, I was frustrated and needed time outside. I "worked" out my frustrations by doing some yard work. It would have been better to get a little "wind therapy" but after a busy weekend, I needed to get the yard work done. Weeding flower beds, and spraying the yard gave me time to think. It gave me time to talk to my savior. It helped me overcome the frustrations of the day. You couple that with a great night of sleep and I am better today. It took that time to center back on Jesus. How deep is your faith? I wish I could say I have no doubts. I wish I could say I have a rock solid faith and never say the word "IF" when praying to my Lord. My faith is stronger today than it was when I first accepted Jesus. I have seen the power. I have seen the answer to prayers of desperation. Jesus is alive and working in my life. Yet, doubts still enter my heart and mind. When I experience the frustrations of life, it is easy to fall back on my own power instead of the power of the cross. God is in charge, I know it even when I need to be reminded of that throughout my life. 
Dear Lord, I love you. Please forgive me for doubting your power and strength. Please, Lord, forgive me for not relying on you every moment of my life. I praise you that you do not leave me even through those doubts. I praise you that you do not give up on me. Praise God, your grace, mercy, and strength have always overcome my life's challenges. Take this day and make it yours. Take my life and direct it for your purposes. Help me continue to focus on you and to share your love with everyone I see. Amen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Do they like you!

20for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him. Mark 6:20
As a member of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, I am fortunate to be respected at motorcycle events around this community and, really, around the world. We are asked to serve in the community at various events. Bikers understand and respect our mission. They call on us for Biker Blessings and prayer when bikers go down. But, I also get the sense they are a little uncomfortable around us. It's a little funny that things have not changed for thousands of years. John, carrying the message of Jesus just like CMA, made people feel uncomfortable. The message of Jesus is very convicting. I think it makes people uncomfortable because in their heart, they know it to be true. The Holy Spirit is powerful and is constantly working on the hearts of the lost through his servants. If we are spreading the gospel in the "right" way, they may feel uncomfortable, but they will still like us. Herod, felt uncomfortable around John, but he liked him. It is all part of "relational ministry". Even 200 years ago, it was important to build relationships. We have to share the gospel. That is our mission. BUT, we have to do so in a way that people are willing to listen. They need to trust us. They need to respect us. IF they don't, the message will fall silent. That just can't happen.
Dear Lord, I love your message and I love that I have been chosen to share it through CMA. More than the message, I love the lost. I want them to join me in eternity. I know I must share your powerful message while building a loving relationship with those that do not know you. Please give me wisdom to love people first, above all things. Help me to keep from judging others. Help me to keep my witness pure and my heart focused on you. I praise your holy name for the love you have shown to me. You are amazing. Amen!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mad then Saddened

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! Mark 3:5

          I get so mad that people don't believe in God. That anger quickly changes to sadness. I just don't get it! The evidence to me is so overwhelming. I have not only READ about his wonderful grace and mercy through the word, I have lived it. I have been the recipient and have seen his hands throughout my life.  We want to know what is wrong, why this world is as crazy as it is? We want to know why the murder, the destruction of the family, the pain and suffering. We ignore God. We have chosen to go out on our own. We no longer need him. 
          My family has seen the REAL power of God. We have seen the answers to prayers in powerful ways. Many, MOST, are completely unexplainable except through the power of God. It's not because of any power I have. It's not some magical power contained in me. It is purely the power of Jesus. 43 years ago I made a decision to accept Jesus. I have not been  completely faithful during that time, but he has. He has never left me even when I have walked away from him. I have been guided along a wonderful path that I did not invent. 
         God is in charge of all things. When we ignore him we ignore the wonderful plans he has for us. He lets us suffer the consequences of the choices in our lives. When we ask him into our heart, we become his child and he now guides us and protects us from ourselves. THAT IS A WONDERFUL plan. He no longer is angry and saddened by our lives. He delights in our reliance upon him. Praise God for his wonderful PEACE, MERCY, and GRACE. 

Dear Lord, I am blessed by your power and your wonderful love. I am humbled by your protection for me and my family. I love you dearly. I praise your holy name. Help me to share that love with everyone I see today. This world needs you now more than every before. WE can not ignore your power forever. I do not want to lose my family and friends. I want them to be with me in paradise. I want them to know your presence and your guiding hands. Amen!

Friday, April 15, 2016

A new President isn't going change the world

25Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since. 2 Kings 23:25
We need leaders like King Josiah. We need a President who turns to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength. We need someone who values the laws and words of the Lord. We need to honor the Lord in all we do. But, the office of President of the United States is not the only leader we need to act like this ancient king. We all need to do the same thing. This world will not change with ONE man (unless it is the return of Jesus). Our communities will not change, our states, our country, our world will not change through the power of one leader. It takes the entire community of Christ to change the world. Sure, we need to do it one heart at a time, but we can not JUST put our hope in the leaders. I still am unclear who I will vote for this fall. The number of candidates is narrowing, but the choices don't include anyone like King Josiah. They all have flaws, some of them major flaws. In reality, none of these people running to be our next leader will destroy the country. None of them will have any impact until we ALL want to change. I would love to have a candidate that followed the path of a GODLY LEADER. If that doesn't happen, it will be up to me and my fellow Christians to impact this world for Jesus. Even if if DOES happen, that one person needs our help. It starts with me. It starts with my heart, my words, and my actions. I Love you Lord and I promise to do my part!
Dear Lord, I love you and we need your help. We need you to appoint Godly leaders. But, we also need you to fill our hearts with your love. Fill us with the desire to make a real change in our communities! It starts with me and spreads through the power of your spirit. That only happens with you! Amen!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


26Then all the people of Judah, from the least to the greatest, as well as the army commanders, fled in panic to Egypt, for they were afraid of what the Babylonians would do to them. 2 Kings 25:26
Refugees have been in the news over the past several years. Specifically, the refugees from ISIS. These people are fleeing from the barbaric Islamic terrorists. They need to be protected from these maniacs. EVERYONE AGREES with that. But, the real question is where?  Do we allow them IN to the United States to live in peace. IF WE CAN DO THIS SAFELY, WE SHOULD PROTECT THE INNOCENTS from anywhere in the world. That's the problem. We are also FLEEING from ISIS. Yes, you heard that correctly. We are fleeing, we are at war with this radical religious group. They want to destroy everything we have and anyone that is like us is going down with us. We have seen multiple cases where ISIS is active in the US. They are active in most free world countries and want to destroy anyone who does not bow to their god. We can not just sit idly by while the world is threatened. We can't just accept all these innocent bystanders. SO, what do we do? Do we abandon these middle eastern refugees? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!!!
I have a plan. WE have plenty of influence with some very powerful middle eastern countries. We should do everything we can to settle these people in one of those countries. We need to provide the resources, the humanitarian aid, and the support to make sure this happens. These people need to have a safe place to raise their families. GOD wants us to protect them, to love them, and to support them. If we bring them here, we open ourselves to more attacks, we put them in a place very different than their own culture, and they have little or no opportunity to return to their native homes when ISIS is defeated. That just doesn't make sense. God loves these people. He wants us to serve them like he wants us to serve every nation regardless of race or color or creed. But, he also gives us the wisdom to be prudent. He gives us wisdom to do this without putting ourselves at risk. 

Dear Lord, be with our country as we try to help the innocent people in the midst of an evil world. We need your wisdom and your resources to provide protection and love for these wonderful people. Thank you for the protection you provide us! Amen!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yes or No!

“About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the LORD says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, O LORD, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly. But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, this message came to him from the LORD: “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’””
2 Kings 20:1-6 NLT

I know! It's one of the longer scripture passages I have posted. I'm sorry, but I wanted you to get the entire story. I thought these wonderful verses show the power of prayer and the love of our Lord. God listens. He is willing to change his mind. For those that love the Lord and are committed to his ways, he will hear our cries. 

This is such a strange concept for me to grasp. I KNOW that my God is all knowing. He knows what is, what was, and what is to come. The idea that he can change his mind seems out of place. Does he really change his mind?  If I start thinking about these mysteries, my head starts spinning. When that happens, I stop, and realize it doesn't matter. I don't need to know everything. This great mystery is ok to be hidden. ALL that really matters is the faith that my Heavenly Father has my best interest in mind. Yes, he might appear to change his mind. He might answer YES or he might answer NO to a powerful prayer request. I am ok with that. Hezekiah got 15 years added to his life. The Lord loved Hezekiah just like he loves us. But for those with cancer or other illness that don't get that healing touch, he loves you to. Just because the answer is no, doesn't mean he loves you less. 


Lord, I love you. I don't always understand your plans. I ask your forgiveness for challenging the answers I receive to prayers. I do trust you with all my life. I can look back in my life and see your powerful hand. I know you love me and want the best for me because I have seen it for 55 years. I praise you for your wisdom and grace. Amen!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Personal Protection

You are my King and my God.You command victories for Israel.
5Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us. O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name.
Life is such a battle. We live in evil, sinful times.  I'm not complaining. I love my life, my family, my work, my friends, and the joys that come to me. I try as much as possible to be prepared. I started carrying a handgun several months ago. It's not that I didn't trust the Lord to protect me. It may seem odd to some of you, but the spirit of the Lord has prompted me to prepare. God helps those who help themselves. God heals through doctors, he doesn't need them, he chooses to heal through them. Sometimes he heals without them. When I am sick, I pray about it. I go to the Lord to heal me. I still go to the doctor, not because I don't trust the Lord. I give the Lord the opportunity to work through my doctor. That makes sense to me.
Carrying my concealed handgun is the same thing as going to the doctor. The Lord will protect me. He may choose to do that through my handgun or he may choose to protect me in a completely different way. I am a responsible gun owner. I practice, I train, I do everything I can to make sure I do NOT have to use my gun. But, I am ready, if needed. My most powerful weapon is the Lord. He is my protector and so much more. He is completely in charge of my safety and that of my family and friends. That is why I praise his name. That is why I worship him. That is why I study his word and pray to him daily. I need him now more than ever. 

Dear Lord, I pray for protection. I pray for my family and friends. We need you Lord. The times are so evil and trouble lurks around every corner. It is you Lord that we trust. I praise you for your love. I am thankful to be a child of yours, Lord. Please continue to watch over me and my family. Praise God! Amen!

Monday, April 11, 2016


13Again and again the lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.”14But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the lord their God.

We live in STUBBORN times. The Lord continues to send people warnings. The more we are warned the more stubborn we become. I have a strong willed granddaughter that does the same thing. Many of you have dealt with a strong willed child and know what I am talking about. The more I tell this little bundle of energy NOT to do something, the more she does it. If I ask for a hug, I'm definitely NOT getting one. If I tell her she is NOT big enough to do something, she really goes out of her way to prove me wrong. She's cute and looks adorable in her defiance. It all looks so innocent.  

As a society we are just as stubborn as a two year old. 

God is sending you and me to warn this world of their sinful ways. Even though we are also sinful and FAR from perfect, we are here as a warning and to spread the Gospel of redemption. The world isn't listening. They just don't understand the consequences of their actions. We don't always see the final outcomes of sin. It all looks so innocent. Life can look so great through the eyes of sin. It's not. The ultimate consequence is death. There are consequences even before our eternal death. The moral breakdown of society leads to pain and suffering. The breakdown of the family and a clear definition of right and wrong leads to violence, anarchy, and hopelessness. We need Jesus NOW more than ever.

Friday, April 8, 2016

It's tough to obey ALL the rules!

But Jehu did not obey the Law of the lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. 2 Kings 10:31
          My family, my friends, and my students know I am certainly not perfect. I AM trying to do the best for all the people I live with each day. I had this discussion with my students yesterday. I have a real difficult time disobeying the rules I am given. I had a simple request from one of my GREAT students. She wanted to go unlock the door to the classroom. She asked for my keys. I wouldn't give them to her. I told her I would rather be inconvenienced, go, and open the door for her, than disobey the rule. (We have a staff rule that you are NOT to give your keys to a student) Really, what was she going to do? Would she go and get into other rooms and cause havoc? Would she quickly go out and duplicate the keys? NO, seh is a wonderful student and would NOT do that. The rule is the rule. I just can't convince myself to violate rules ON PURPOSE. My students were shocked. They said other teachers do it. Yet, I heard a little respect in their voices that I refused to disobey the rule, even though it might not have been that big a deal, even though I had to go out of my way. 

          My life is just like that. I don't go out and intentionally sin. I am not perfect. I do sin, I do make mistakes. I do violate rules. IN my heart of hearts, I try. I don't want to make mistakes. I am praying constantly for help in tackling the sins of my life. I am not proud of them and I know I need the Lord to change.

So, what really does it mean to follow the Lord with all your heart? Does it mean you are perfect?  Can you not make any mistakes as a Christian? NO. Following Christ with all your heart means you do not just worship on Sunday. IT means you continue to grow in your faith and you are striving to reach the perfection of Christ. It means you know your sins, repent, and genuinely work to remove the sin of your life. If you refuse to "turn from your sins", you refuse to STOP, then you are not obeying the heart and soul of our faith. 

Dear Lord, I do ask you to forgive my sins, the times I hurt others and the time I am not the follower you want me to be. I pray for your strength to change my own life. I pray you do a perfect work within me. I love you Lord and promise to spend time in your word, to pray to you, and to strive to follow your laws. I praise you for your patience with me. Amen!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016


“Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. “Go away, baldy!” they chanted. “Go away, baldy!””
2 Kings 2:23 NLT

I was never REALLY bullied in school. Sure, I got picked on some, just like every other kid in the world. But, I either never got bullied or I dismissed it as meaningless. I wish I could remember. Bullying has been around forever. Most people can take insults and this type of harassment then move on with no permanent impact. That's not true for many and the results can be deadly. 

Relationships and hope are so important. Positive supportive relationships are the key to overcoming Bullying. Giving people a life plan, a destination, goals, that is how we get beyond Bullying. Suicide is real and Christians largely ignore this issue. That has to change. So much time is spent on trying to punish and change the bullier. We really need to spend time supporting those that can't overcome bullying. Now is the time. We can't afford the loss of some wonderful people. We need to restore hope to everyone.

Dear Lord, I love you. I praise you for the hope I have. I praise you for the wonderful positive people in my life. We need to BE that positive support for those who have none. Help us recognize those people and act. Immediately! Amen.

What to do?

Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the lord says.” 1 Kings 22:5
          Life is filled with tough decisions. It is filled with the stresses of interviews, selling homes, changing jobs, and relationships. We make decisions every day, sometimes every moment. When I include the Lord on the decision making process, I have never made a mistake. I know that is a bold statement, but I know it to be true. 
          I have said it before, "Life is not about me." and my prayer life has turned more towards others in place of me. But dealing with life's choices should always include the guidance of the Lord. The Lord wants us to lean on his love, grace, and wisdom. He longs for a relationship where he sits as our counselor and father. IT seems like such a natural thing to do. It seems everyone would want to depend on the creator of the universe for guidance on decisions. He alone knows the past, the present, AND the future. Our vision of life is so limited. We don't have a complete perspective and can not see the full impact of our choices. God knows all those things and if we pray for his will, he has a plan. 

Dear Lord, I praise you for your love. I praise you for your wonderful grace and mercy. But, I truly value your wisdom and guidance in my daily life. I am honored to see your powerful hand in my life. I ask you to take my words and my actions and make them your own. I see so many people during the day that look to me and my faith. I am on display every moment. My decisions impact not only me, but all those around me. I need you and am humbled that you are always there for me. Praise God you are always there! Amen!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Watch what you say....... !

“The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the LORD for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.” Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.””
1 Kings 22:8 NLT.

The words of our leaders are very important. Just like my words are also so important to those who look to me for leadership.

It is amazing how powerful words can be. You can build up or you can tear down with a few well chosen or poorly chosen sentences. I should know, I've been on both sides of that statement.  In our present "silly season" also known as the Presidential primary, we have a bunch of King Ahab's. They don't know the impact of their own words. They tear each other down in order to build themselves up. It's ugly. I want to vote for a leader that is sensitive to his/her words. They need to watch what they say. THAT DOES NOT MEAN I WANT THEM TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT. I really hate the term politically correct. I also don't think we need to shy away from telling the truth. 

Our words are so powerful and can destroy what people think about us. They also can keep people from seeing Jesus within us. We walk such a fine line when we are sharing Jesus with others. We just need to be careful! Sarcasm and poorly timed "jokes" can destroy our witness. Words in anger, words under stress, and words when we are tired can't be taken back. As Christians we are under particularly strong microscope and one of the ways we are judged is by our words. I can't handle that kind of scrutiny on my own. I need the power of Jesus. His words and the words of the Father can help guide me. I don't want to mess up.

Dear Lord, Help me to keep my mouth, my words, under control. I know the impact. I know the power I have and want to use the power for your purposes. I love you Lord. I am honored to be in your service and want nothing more than to share you to all I see every day.  Amen!

Monday, April 4, 2016


38Immediately the fire of the lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The lord—he is God! Yes, the lord is God!” 1 Kings 18:38-39 NLT
I had such a wonderful spring break and now it's back to work. My two week break ended this weekend with the 26th Annual Arcola Blessing of the Bikes at St.Patricks Catholic Church in Arcola, Indiana. The weather was miserable. Normally there are over 2000 people at this event. We arrived Saturday morning to a couple hundred people. The youth group at the church uses this as a key fundraiser for their group. I was saddened to see the weather. God is in charge of the weather and I questioned WHY?
When we arrived we were greeted by several groups of Outlaw motorcyclists. They were from Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. We were also met with a rather large force of law enforcement officers including a SWAT team. It was obvious that eveyone was expecting a problem. A rival national gang has been moving into Indiana and they were expected at the event. IT could have been ugly. 
I complained about the weather, but I am absolutely confident that God planned this horrific weather to prevent the ensuing conflict. God knows! We really have know idea how often God protects us. It is not always obvious. I trust in the Lord. I trust that he does protect me and I often take it for granted. Once in a while I  see that protection more clearly. Saturday was that day. Through the snow and somewhat crazy riding conditions God brought me safely home. Praise God for his wonderful protection!

Dear Lord, I love you and praise you for our protection. I see your mighty hand over my life. I see your hand over my family. I see your love in my life every day and I am humbled and honored to be your child. Bless this day for your purposes. Bless this day and use me to further your kingdom. Amen!