Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Man in the Mirror!

“For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
James 1:23-25 NLT.

Most people, including myself, look into a mirror every day, usually multiple times a day. Mirrors are everywhere. Very few restrooms are mirrorless. I'm not real sure why. Do you need to see your face as you wash your hands after using the restroom? I certainly need to watch as I shave so I don't cut myself.  I'm not shaving in a public restroom. I really don't find it necessary to see what I look like. Good or bad, I am who I am. I am more interested in how I look to others. I'm not talking about physical appearance. I'm talking about how people perceive me and my life.  My "image" is so important if I am going to bring others to Christ. This is a real problem for me. I, literally, look like a grumpy old man. YET,  I truly enjoy life. Yes, I can be too serious at times, but I love life and I love people. I want everyone to know that.

If I'm going to change the world, I need to start with the man in the mirror. It's not my physical appearance, but my attitudes, my reflection of Christ, and what he has done in my life. Those are the key things others should see. They should see Jesus in me every day, every moment during that day, through good and bad. I need to reflect Christ to those that know me well and the stranger on the street. I'm not the person I want to be. I want to continue to strive toward that goal.

Dear Lord, Help me be the person YOU want me to be. I know I am far from that goal and I know I can not change on my own. I need your help. YOU are perfect Lord, I want to reflect you to my family, friends, and even the stranger on the street. I love YOU Lord. I praise you for my wonderful life and the blessings I have been given and know what I deserve. I am humbled by your love, mercy, and grace. Amen!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Undivided Loyalty!

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
James 1:5-8 NLT.

God is amazing. I'll be honest. I pray for wisdom all the time. I'm not the smartest person and sometimes I just don't "get it" as quickly as most people. Yet, I feel myself leading in ways that shock me. I hear my own words and can't believe it was ME that came up with them. Do you know what I'm talking about? Have you ever completed a task, said something, or stepped out of your comfort zone and asked "Who was that?", knowing full well it was NOT you but your Heavenly Father speaking through you?

It seems completely unfair that we should receive ANYTHING for accepting the guidance of the Holy Spirit! That's how grace works. That is exactly what happens. I have such a wonderful life. I have been in leadership positions in everything I have done. The only reason is the power of my God. The times my weaknesses show through is due to MY "humanness". When I get out of the way and let God truly control my life, amazing things happen. I see myself doing things that would not be possible through my own power. Praise God for his grace, mercy, and power in my life.

Dear Lord, I am humbled by your presence in my life. I absolutely owe everything in my life to you and your love. I honor you for the patience you have had with me. You have been with me my entire life and I have not always been open to your guidance. Forgive me. Guide me. Take me through this life with your purpose, not my own. Amen!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Such Wonderful Words

“But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”Titus 3:4-7 NLT.

Such wonderful and needed words. 

I am a man of routine. Every morning I get up, make my lunch, get my cup of coffee, sit down, and watch the news. I am confident I can say, "This world is a mess." We have a group of religious radicals bent on destroying us and beheading Christians. The attorney general recommends we defeat them with love. We didn't defeat Hitler with love. We have a completely dysfunctional federal government protesting on the floor of the house instead of getting together to talk compromise. Both sides are so bogged down in their own propaganda, they have no sense of reality. We have a choice between a liar and an arrogant SOB running for leader of the free world. Another police officer was killed. Blue Lives Matter! ALL LIVES MATTER!  This world is crazy!

It would be easy to lose hope. These verses give us the hope. Grace, God's grace and mercy give me complete hope. I have the great privilege being filled with the Holy Spirit. That alone would give hope. I have been declared righteous and WILL receive eternal life. Praise God. I can walk through this mixed up, crazy world with the power of Jesus at my side and my eyes focused on eternity. PRAISE GOD!

Dear Lord Jesus, Our world needs you. Our world is lost and needs your love, mercy, and grace. I need your hope. Fill me with your spirit. Give me the power to share that hope with confidence. Fill me with joy that comes from knowing my ultimate destination, Eternity with you! Amen!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What are you thinking?

15Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. Titus 1:15-16
How can you tell if you are living the life Christ designed for you? 

Your thoughts and attitudes are the strongest predictions of your life in Christ. This is a huge struggle for me. I am not always the most positive person and can drag my life down by looking at things from a pessimistic viewpoint. Satan focuses his attack on our hearts and minds. I have to fight that battle constantly.

As Christians we have a choice. We can look at life through the eyes of hopelessness or we can live a life knowing we are already victorious. Living a life knowing Jesus is in charge should put a spring in your step. If you realize what Christ has done for you, that he is with you through every moment of every day, and he has gone to prepare a place for you when you leave this earth, you can't keep from looking at life with joy! We can't let people bring us down and keeping Christ in the forefront of our mind is the best way to keep those pure thoughts. 

I find that Christians, many times, are the most negative people in this world. I don't like to hang out with people that can't or won't look at the positive side of life. I want to be with people that know God and live like they know him. I want to be the person others look to for a positive lift to get through the day. I want people to see my joy in Christ. I want them to see a reason to explore a life devoted to my savior. The joy I put on display every day of my life is directly related the thoughts and attitudes I have. I need to control those thoughts and attitudes to be effective as a recruiter for Christ!

Dear Lord, Help me to live the life you have designed for me. Help me to control the thoughts of negativity. Help me to bring out the positive and share the joy of life in Christ. I love you Lord. I am honored to be one of your servants. Help me to be obedient to your call, to serve you with joy, and to look at life as a precious gift! I praise you! I am humbled by your love! Amen!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

God has seen it all

“Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.”
Habakkuk 1:3-4 NLT

I am always surprised at how "in touch" the Bible can be. Habakkuk could have written these verses yesterday instead of thousands of years ago. Evil is not new. There has been evil around since the beginning of time. As long as we have sin in the world, we will have people following through with evil deeds. God has seen it all. 

It is so easy to panic with all the craziness in the world today. I can really get stressed out thinking of my grandkids and the world they live in. You can get a sense of hopelessness when you see terrorism and hate for Christianity. The rapid moral decay of our society is beyond words. God has seen it all and he knows the victory that lies ahead. I find my relief from the anxiety and stress through my savior. I do that through constant reading of Gods word. I find my relief through praying without ceasing. I can handle the rampant sin through worship and praise. I share my faith as a way to hold back the tide of endless messages of hate and intolerance. I share Jesus to save others from their own destruction. 

There is always hope, even in the a world infatuated with sin! Praise God he provides hope in darkness!

Dear Lord, I praise you that you are here to comfort me, to provide peace in a world of chaos. I know we don't deserve your power and strength, yet you always are there to share that strength and power everyday of my life. I love you Lord and look forward to sharing life with you in eternity.Amen!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

To all my pastor friends, professional and non-professional!

“But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’”
Amos 7:14-15 NLT.

I am so blessed with great preachers in my life. My Dad was a pastor, my grandfather was a pastor. I learned so much from them. I truly praise God for there leadership. But they are only a couple of the great professional pastors I've had. Ted Blosser, Kris McPherson, Stuart Kruse, have all been huge parts of my spiritual growth. But, I really think I have been even more blessed by the non-professional pastors of my life, the lay leaders, volunteer Sunday school leaders, and the plain old friends that shared their faith. 

This past Sunday, I was greatly touched by a Freedom Riders MC prayer. This past year I was deeply touched by Billy Rivers and his testimony. Bud Bearss comes to mind. He is a gifted spiritual leader, not a professional. Jim Rousseau, a dear friend, was a great pastor to me through our friendship. Even a professional pastor, Ron Mabry, had more of an impact outside his role as pastor. He taught me more as a friend. He was my own personal pastor. 

It takes a nation full of pastors to save the world. A few are called to be professionals, but the vast majority of effective, authentic pastors are just like you and me. They love the Lord and can't keep him bottled up inside. I am so very thankful to have so many of them in my life. You are the reason I am saved. You brought me to the saving grace of ChristAmen!

I hate the show

21“I hate all your show and pretense—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. Amos 5:21-24

Christians need to take action. Christians need to stop spending their lives "at church" and go to the lost, go to the poor, go to the widows, and serve. We sing wonderful praise music on Sunday mornings. We build huge auditoriums. We talk a big talk. We need to go beyond just the "SHOW" and serve Jesus. 
I hate the show of Christianity. So many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are more about the show than the fight for the lost. I hate the show because it covers up the real world. The world that desperately needs a savior.
What are you doing to serve the kingdom? Are you living and endless river of righteousness. Are you pursuing justice? What are you DOING with your faith?
Come on Christians, get off your couches and serve. We need leaders to lead an army for the Lord. We need to enter the battle! How can you sit on the sidelines while the world is heading to eternal death? SERVE! SERVE! SERVE!

Dear Lord, Move me. Move others to serve your purposes. Fill us with your Spirit that we might win the battle for the lost. I love you Lord and I am in pain and overwhelmed by the number of people that do not know you. Our world is pursuing evil because those people don't know you. In order to stem the tide, we need head to the front lines, suite up with the armor of God, and attack! Help us Lord as we follow your word and go into the world to preach the gospel! Amen!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We are at war!

“That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before.”  Joel 2:12-14 NLT.

I don't want to sound like a freak, but the END IS NEAR. The end times are nearly upon us. 

Do you feel it? It is becoming an overpowering feeling in my life. My desperation is building, not because I fear the end. I don't. What I do GREATLY fear is running out of time to save the lost. I see so many good people lost to the power of Jesus. They have no idea what they are missing. I want everyone to sit with me in heaven. We need soldiers that protect the innocent. We need soldiers that understand the enemy and know the powers of peace and love.

In the wake of the events in Orlando, San Bernadino, Paris, and an endless list of other terrorists massacres, persecutions, false preaching, general moral and sinful decay of our world, we must admit we are at war. We are at war, not JUST with radical Islamists, we are at war with satan and the evil he promotes. These terrorists are consumed with hate. They are consumed with destroying anyone they disagree with. We are also at war with the culture that would see the elimination of christian values and traditions. We are at war with a culture that believes there are NO TRUTHS, everything is ok. We at war. War is the beginning of the end. Look at this prediction:

          4Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5for many will come in my name,           claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
9“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.b10And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nationsc will hear it; and then the end will come. Matthew 24:4-14

We are quickly approaching the end of time. As followers of Christ we do not need to panic. Yes, we need to grieve, we need to mourn, and we need to fast. Yet, we still need to be embolden with love, mercy, and grace. There is time! We need to step up our mission to save the world. We need to attack the attackers. We need to fight back. We need to protect our families, but not just with weapons, we need to protect our families from the evils satan is sending into our world, our nation, and our communities. The time is urgent. The time is now. Go out and share the gospel message. Love others, pray, pray, pray, pray. The Bible is our war strategy. Worship is our call to arms. The battle will be won and fought in the communities we live. We are the front lines in the most epic war of all times. I am recruiting you for our battalion. We must not fail!

Dear Lord Jesus, Give us the strength to fight evil with your strength and power. We need you. Evil is here. Evil has invaded our every day lives. Protect us Lord. Protect our families. Protect our communities. We love you. We know the final victory has already been won. Help us to bring recruits to our victorious king. I love you and honor you! Amen!

take down

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A TRUTH Filter

“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT.

This weekend's events in Orlando prove we are in the time mentioned by Paul to Timothy. The Information Age is wonderful, but people have a desperately difficult time recognizing the truth. Politics jade the view of all things. Myths permeate our daily lives. What is the truth? If you spend all your time on the internet, you will soon find a truth that suits your wants and needs. If you are conservative, you will find plenty websites that feed your conservatism. If you are a liberal, the same is true. If you want to radicalize in a religious way, you can find that too. There are infinite teachings how you should live. How do we discern the truth, THE REAL TRUTH!?

TO put it in general terms, you need to have a filter to feed information. You need to have a moral measuring stick. You need to have some ABSOLUTE TRUTHS that are unwavering in your life like "Thou shall not kill"and "Thou shall not steal." If you have a filter of death and hate, you will do anything against people that oppose you. If you have a filter of love and service, you will do anything you can for your fellow man including sacrificing your life. I am sure you can tell where I get MY moral center. 

I believe in Jesus Christ. He is my moral center. He is my filter. He is the truth. Jesus never hated others. He loved even the unlovable. He sacrificed his life for me. I could not be a part of a religion, an idiology that teaches hate and violence towards others. It pains me and I just don't understand the appeal to hate others  and to plan death and destruction. We need Jesus now more than ever! WE need to share Jesus love! We need to be there for the lost. We need to go, even to the extremists and preach the gospel. Jesus is the truth. You can stop looking. Pursue him, listen to his voice, answer his call, follow his lead. HE IS THE ONLY WAY!

Dear Lord Jesus, I am in mourning for those precious people that lost their lives in Orlando. I long for the hate to stop. I long for people to come to you. Please Lord give us a discerning heart. Give us a TRUTH FILTER that guides our actions every day. We need you in this world. Give me boldness to proclaim you on every street corner, to every person. Help me to serve and be your hands and feet. I ask a special blessing for the families of those that lost their lives. Make your presence known in their lives. Show them an overwhelming love to drown out the hate that has attacked their lives. I love you and praise you. Your grace and mercy is perfect. Amen!

Sunday, June 12, 2016


“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”
2 Timothy 2:2 NLT.

I have been teaching for over 20 years. I have found one of the most effective teaching tools is credibility.  I still make mistakes even on some off the simplest of math problems. My credibility is not just connected to how accurately I can answer math problems. My credibility with kids is more about my own attitude toward teaching them. Do I genuinely care about them? Will I help them with undying patience and compassion? If I can't show my students I really care, if I can't show them strength in character, I will not have any credibility.

 I want my students to learn about life, not just math. Just like my math skills, it is important for me to be a credible teacher if I'm going to try yo teach about life, especially life with Christ. Credibility comes when people watch you and your faith matches your life. Faith is not about what I say, it's about what I do. Just like working math problems, I make mistakes.  How I deal with those mistakes, develops my credibility. I could blame my math mistakes on others or outside distractions, or I could just admit my humanness and admit I messed up. I could give up on students that struggle with a topic or with math in general. But, if students see I won't give up on them, ever, I have taught them more about life than about math. 

As a Christian, I need to develop real credibility. I need to expose my own sins, not try to cover them up and look perfect. I need to be patient and have a never give up attitude. I need the lost to know my love for them will never stop. It's not based on what they do, it's based on who they are. The love I have, needs to be the same love God has always shown me. It's forever!

Dear Lord, help me live a credible life, a life that makes you proud. Help me deal with my failures with honesty and openness. Help me to be compassionate and caring lost and share your love in tangible ways. I am your servant, Lord, use me! Amen!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Dancing with words!

F“Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions.”  1 Timothy 6:3-4 NLT.

I'm a math guy. I've taught math for over 20 years snd I love the complexities and the certainty of it. Answers are clearly right or wrong. There is very little gray area. So, from my mathematics perspective, language frustrates me. I apologize to my English teaching colleagues. My high school experience with respect to English was terrible. Don't get me wrong. I have always loved writing and even more, reading. The part that frustrates me started with my English teachers bleeding all over my writings. It was a virtual blood letting whenever I got a paper back in English. I don't care about all the rules of writing. I just want to write so people can understand me. I don't want to critically read analyzing every word as I read. I use these verses in my defense, if only with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.

On a more serious note. I really get frustrated with political correctness. What do you mean I can't say Islamic terrorist? Why can't I believe and live out my faith with the bible as my guide? Why am I discriminating if I choose not to endorse a homosexual lifestyle? If I want to protect my own religious freedom, how does that infringe on anyone? I am a blunt, open person. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I WANT you to be clear about what I believe. I don't have time to dance around the truth. 

Jesus Christ is the son of God, the God that created the universe, loves us, and sent Jesus to die for us. I believe in the Bible as Gods holy word, and I believe that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for me and all who believe. God has physically and mentally designed a man and a woman to be together, it says it in the Bible, and I believe the bible is not wrong. I am not going to be politically correct when it comes to sharing the truth. I'm not much of a dancer, literally, and I'm not going to dance around the truth!

Dear Lord, I am in love with you. I want others to know you like I do. That "friendship" is the center of my life. I'm always amazed I can be that close to the creator of the universe. I am constantly seeking your truth. I want nothing more than to share your love and truth with others. Help me, Lord, to continue to be bold for you, Amen!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Money, money, money!

“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.”  1 Timothy 6:17-19 NLT.

There is so much money in this world. Yes, most of it is right here in our country. The whole world strives to be rich. When your talk to most people, they believe their lives would be so much better if they were rich. I don't know from experience, but l know from listening, money does NOT guarantee happiness. Money does NOT eliminate stress or fix your problems. Those guarantees only come from faith in the Lord. These verses are true. God does richly give to those who call him Lord. For those that use their money for good, giving generously to those in need, God blesses abundantly. It is real. His love is the first and only REAL treasure we need. He gives it freely to those who ask.

Store up your treasures in heaven. Store up your treasures by dedicating all you have to the Lord. It's not the 10% tithe he is looking for. It's not just the money. He wants all of you. Money, time, and talents should be completely dedicated to the Lord. Hold back nothing. 

Not popular -- RESPECT

“Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.”
1 Timothy 5:1-2 NLT.

I get to spend a lot of time with young people. One thing I find a bit disconcerting is how they talk to and talk about their parents. The disrespect is appalling. Now, I'm not saying this is true of all students. I would say it's not even the majority. But the numbers keep increasing. They speak disrespectfully to their parents and they treat others the same way. I've seen coaches, teachers, and administrators shown so much disrespect. Again, it's just a small number of kids. I truly fear our society is not endorsing these verses in Timothy.

My life as a Christian is so important. It's so important that I set the proper example, that I am a role model for young people. I need to make sure I don't endorse disrespectful talk. I need to make sure I go above and beyond by honoring others with my words. I can't speak poorly about my parents, my brothers and sisters, my colleagues, or my students. If I don't have anything good to say, I shouldn't say anything at all.

Dear Lord, forgive me for my poorly chosen words. Help me to honor others with every part of my life including the words I speak. I know people are watching me and listening to me to find out if my words match my faith. I need your help, Lord, to honor you with my talk. I love you. I praise you and want nothing more this to serve you. Amen!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wasted Days!

“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.””  1 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT

IT is amazing to me what we spend our time on. I am a former high school athletic director and love sports. Yankee baseball, IU basketball, Miami Dolphin football dominate my life throughout the year. Yet, much of this is really frivolous. We spend countless hours debating the best sports teams, following rock stars and applauding hollywood greats. I wonder how many wasted days and wasted nights I have spent on these minor parts of life. Let's take some of that time and energy and turn it toward the Lord.  We are adamant we just don't have enough time to study the word of the Lord. We save our prayers for the fading moments at the end of the day and leave it up to our churches to raise our children in the faith. 

Stop wasting time arguing over godless ideas and trivial pursuits, Instead spend time speaking to the Lord, training yourself through studying the Bible, and spend your time training your heart to worship him through all things. The things of this world constantly detract from our relationship with the Lord and we need to force ourselves to spend more time getting to know the Creator of the Universe and the plans he has made for us. Their is no greater joy in my life than spending time with my savior. I know I should do it more and I am never satisfied with the relationship. It always needs to be better. 

Dear Lord, I love you and know I need to spend more time talking with you, in your word, and praising you for this life. We waste so much time apart from you. Forgive me. Forgive us. Help us to focus on the more important part of life, you Lord! Amen!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Laws! Laws! Laws!

“For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.”  1 Timothy 1:9-11 NLT.

We are a nation of laws. The average American has no way of knowing all the laws. We have laws for some pretty dumb things. One of my favorite sayings:

"Rules are made for stupid people!"

I know it seems obvious. Most people are smart enough to understand the logic of speed limits. Common sense dictates that it is unsafe for a car to speed at 100mph. You shouldn't have to tell someone to slow down in congested areas. It should make sense. Is it really necessary to tell people they should not steal, or kill? Our laws are not meant for the normal average person. Laws are meant for lawless rebellious people. 

God's laws should make sense to us. They are common sense. So much of the sadness and trouble in this world is caused by people violating those laws. The natural laws of this world can not just be violated without consequences. A man and a women are physically designed to be together and I would say they are also mentally designed to fit together also. I think it's as obvious as laws against stealing or killing. But many people are blinded by their own rebellion and sinful nature. They can not see the obvious. I am saddened by the blindness of this world. So what do we do? Pray. We need to pray and love the rebellious people of this world. We need to look beyond their rebelliousness, beyond their sinfulness and love them. We aren't to ignore them. We aren't to chastise them. We aren't to judge them. 

Dear Lord, thank you for your love when we don't deserve it. Let us love others like you love us. Lord I know you have designed us for great things and yet we fight that design. Please forgive us when we rebel against you. Forgive us when we think our ways are better than yours. I love you Lord. I am so honored by your mercy and grace. Be with me this day that I might do your will. Amen!

He made me that way!

“O LORD, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.”
Psalms 25:1-3 NLT.

I try to be as open and transparent as possible. I try to be the same person in all situations, regardless who I am with or where I am. I try. I just wish more people would try, especially politicians. 

I am who I am. 

Just because I am proud of who I am, doesn't mean everyone will like me. I want to be clear who I am. God has made me. I love of teaching. God made me that way. I have a passion for motorcycles. God made me that way. I have an overwhelming desire to pursue God. He made me that way. I am a nerd. I love learning. God made me that way. I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe. God made me that way. 

I am by no means a perfect person, but the God of this Universe has knit me together exactly the way I am. He wants me, he wants us, to use our lives for his purposes. He does not want us to change into something we are not. So many people aren't happy who they are. Maybe it's because they are fighting who God has designed them to be. The more I am in contact with my loving savior, the more I am aware of the person he has designed me to be. I am happy who I am. Praise God for his perfect design.

Dear Lord, Continue to mold me into the person you want me to be. I love you and love to feel your presence. I am honored and blessed by your guiding. You are amazing Lord. I love you ! Amen!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

You never know.

“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?””Esther 4:14 NLT

Esther had lied about who she was to the king. The king ordered the death of the Jews. Now was the time for Esther to step forward to save them. 

This wonderful book and verses are a perfect example of  Gods perfect plan. God knows what he is doing in our lives. He has placed us where we are for his purposes and to fulfill that plan. I often question his purposes, but soon find out that things always work out for those that love him. Just like Esther, it is difficult for us to know where his plans will lead. You never know where your life will turn and where your life will lead you.I praise God that he doesn't follow my inept plans but he follows his own plan. I praise him for watching over me! I praise him for the winding path that I have traveled. 

Dear Lord, I praise you for my life and the details you have put together to guide my path. I just don't know where I would be if you were not in charge. I love you and honor you. Let me live my life today for you, for your perfect plan. Amen!

Friday, June 3, 2016

The sparkle in my eye!

I ne“Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.”
Psalms 13:3-4 NLT.

i am sure we all have days where we have lost the "sparkle" in our eye. Weariness and over work often lead to the stress or burn out. I always feel that way at the end of the school year, but I can feel that way also at the end of the week, end of the day, or the end of a conversation. At the beginning of the school year we have excitement, drive, and a sparkle in our eye. Right now I'm transitioning from a busy school year that wore me out. I have spent this past week with my team looking over the past year and preparing for next year. Summer school starts on Monday. I'm taking a summer refresher course on calculus. I'm working on finding and building math projects for students to apply math concepts, I'm modifying old seminars and panning new ones about design thinking, and problem solving. I have three books to read for school and I m helping build learning targets with colleagues for about 6 new courses.

 I'm busy. 

 Then June 26th comes "me time". Well, not really me time, Stephanie and me time. I can't wait.

I know people outside education laugh at teachers and the time we have away. We have a week in the fall, two weeks at Christmas, two weeks at spring break, and about 9 weeks during the summer. Trust me when I say, much of that time is not spent lounging on beaches. It is spent reflecting and constructing curriculum. The time that is spent truly on vacation is no different than the rest of the country. We need it. We need time to spend with family instead of grading and lesson planning. We need time reading a book for fun instead of reading through our curriculum. The time away helps restore the sparkle in my eye.

We all need time away and time to restore the sparkle in our eye. The Lord can help. It's my prayer every year this time of year.

Dear Lord restore the sparkle in my eye, retire the passion inside me, not just for teaching, but for life, and sharing your love. I'm not down, necessarily, but the weariness of life gets to me. I love you Lord and praise you for your love of me. I know you are with me always. Make your presence known today and every day. Your grace and mercy are always enough for me. Amen!

We need a leader

“For the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah—from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes —neither I nor my officials drew on our official food allowance. The former governors, in contrast, had laid heavy burdens on the people, demanding a daily ration of food and wine, besides forty pieces of silver. Even their assistants took advantage of the people. But because I feared God, I did not act that way.”
Nehemiah 5:14-15 NLT.

Where are our leaders? What has this nation become? The political season has been filled with protests and violence. Neither side will stand up for what's right. I can't imagine one of our leaders doing what Nehemiah did. It's not a gimmick. It's not a political ploy. Nehemiah was more worried about what the Lord thought than the thoughts of man. People were hurting in Jerusalem. They were being taxed heavily and in the midst of the ruble and destruction they had very little food. Nehemiah did his part. He helped physically rebuild Jerusalem. He gave up the privileges of his high status. He listened and acted on the requests of the people. We could use some of that right now.

We need an exceptional leader to step up and lead our country. I don't see one on the horizon. Our leaders are too busy playing the game to get in touch with the real needs of our nation. Our leaders are too worried about the stance of their party or donors. This country has some very complicated issues that need addressed. This weekend in Chicago there were 14 shooting deaths and 69 reported shootings. Thus far in 2016 there have been 1300 shooting deaths. Something has to be done. What we are doing is not working. We chastise our police and push political agendas instead of protecting people. We are so worried about the planet and the environment, but we say nothing about poverty and the lack of jobs. We worry about a gorilla shot to protect a child and yet say nothing about the millions of unborn children killed in this country. 

We need  real leader. We need Jesus. We need a leader that fears the Lord. 

Lord Jesus help us. We need you now! Amen!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

4am? Really?

“I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem..........

.........The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders—the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration.”
Nehemiah 2:12, 16 NLT.,16.nlt

I am proud of the fact that I have regular conversations with God. I am also honored to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. This voice often comes at the stangest times, most often in the middle of the night. Just like Nehemiah, I keep most of those revelations to my self. The plans God has laid on my heart are personal and sometimes I never reveal them, but watch them become reality.. I have to admit, sometimes these thoughts keep me awake at night. But, they are clearly from the Lord. 
That magic time for me is 4am. I can not tell you the number of times I am awaken early in the morning with a "revelation". 4am? Really? Ok, I'm fine with the Lord talking to me at anytime, day or night. I love hearing his call.

I am excited for the Lord's plans for my life. I have had over 40 years for experience watching those plans grow right before my eyes. I often wonder if others hear that same voice. Is the spirit of the Lord speaking to you? Are you open to that voice? We Christians often ignore that voice and don't even recognize it as the voice of God. I can say that God is speaking. He speaks to us every day. We need to just take the time to listen. Listen to his direction, his counsel, his love, and I can say your life will change. It is one thing to pray to the God of the Universe, it is completely different to listen to his voice. Listen and be amazed!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why did I miss?

““The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.”  Nehemiah 1:10-11 NLT.

Nehemiah was on his way to ask the King to let Isreal return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. He had a plan, but needed this powerful king to allow him to execute the plan. As Christians working in a secular society, we often need help in carrying out Gods plans. Many times the ones we need approval are anti-Christian. They are biased against anything related to faith. 

God can use anyone and anything for his purposes. Nehemiah's prayers softened the heart of the King. Nehemiah was used by the Lord to help soften the heart of King Artaxerxes. Nehemiah was a cupbearer at the time and still the Lord used him. 

If we are in constant prayer with the Lord, if we spend our lives knowing th Lord, we, too, can be used by him n powerful ways. We just need to spend time listening for the voice of God. We need to be open to the moving of the Holy Spirit and the calling of God. Until we do that, we will miss opportunities to be blessed by the Lord. We will miss opportunities to serve. There is no way for us to know what we missed, but I know, personally, I have missed many. I can look back and see those lost chances and it completely saddens me.

Dear Lord, use me. Use me for your purposes. Open my own heart like you opened the heart of the King. Forgive me for lost chances. I love you and want nothing more than to serve you. Amen!