Saturday, October 21, 2017

I've been silent!

“But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.””
‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭4:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/act.4.19-20.nlt


I have been pretty quiet lately, especially at school. Really I am a very contemplative person. I'm a thinker and over the past several months I have been thinking a lot about what God has planned for me in the next phase of my life. While I'm thinking, contemplating, I just want to be alone. If I avoid communication with people maybe they will just leave me alone.

Theses verses are still true. God doesn't want us to stop telling about the things he has done for us. There is a time and a place to open up the floodgates of his grace and mercy. He want us to tell our story, but sometimes we need to stop talking and listen. We need to let the spirit of the Lord speak and we need to be quiet so we can hear him. God has been speaking. A plan is forming, not from my own thoughts and desires but his. I feel the Spirit of the Lord at work. I can see the path slowly take shape before me. While I wait to see the entire picture develop, I will continue to remain silent, listening for direction, praying, and spending time away from the crowds. If you wonder what's wrong with me? Nothing is wrong. Im just waiting on the Lord! I'm in a season where I greatly look forward to the Lord speaking and I want to hear less from the world.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Patiently waiting!

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/psa.27.14.nlt

My Achilles! My vulnerability! My Pure weakness!

Patience!

 I am impatient with my family, friends, ministry, and YES, I am impatient with my wonderful Heavenly Father! I want to change everyone NOW! I want everyone to come to the Lord, NOW. I want to solve world hunger, injustice, poverty, illness, cancer, NOW! I want to retire NOW! But I know I have to be patient, Gods plans for me are perfect and sometimes they take time to bloom. I just need to wait patiently.

When it comes to patience I do not understand!

These verses help! Why? Because it shows me the Lord really understands. He understands our lack of patience. He offers us compassion when he implores us to be brave and courageous in the midst of our impatience. Life rarely progresses at a "satisfactory" pace for me! But I trust in the Lord and even though I have no patience, I can survive knowing the Lord is in charge of all things. I can endure the pain, the suffering, the sinfulness of this world because Jesus is with me! I feel his comfort. I feel his presence providing me bravery and courage. I could not survive without him. I am honored that regardless what I have done in my life, regardless of the sins I have committed or the grave mistakes I have made, he has never given up on me, HIS PATIENCE is perfect.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

I fail..... often!

“And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭13:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jhn.13.14-15.

 I should be more bold. I should be a better example. I should do more. I need to take all the pain and hurt of my friends and family and make it my own. Jesus did that for me. I need to be able to do it for others.

I have read and studied Jesus and his teachings my entire life. I should be better at taking his example and following it. I see his sacrifices and just haven't  made that same commitment. He has loved me, sacrificed for me, held me accountable, and kept me from destroying myself through foolish choices. Simply put, I have failed if I can't do this for others. I have the full power of Jesus at my disposal. Why can't I use it?

Dear Lord, forgive me. I'm weak and need your power, strength, grace, mercy, and peace. I pray that I can follow your example and be there for my friends and family. The world surrounds us with sin and evil. We can not overcome it f we don't place you in the center of our lives and live like you did. We need you Lord. Amen!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Take Courage. I am here"

“But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! ””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬


The older and older I get, the more I need Jesus. It's not that I DIDN'T need him when I was younger. I certainly did. But, the more life experiences I have the more I realize I can not do life alone. Trials and tribulations, unexpected tragedies, and loss can lead us to give up hope. The sin that surrounds us rips apart families, friends, and communities. We can live our life in great fear. Not with Jesus.

We, our nation, our world, and yes, little Garrett, Indiana, need the courage and hope of the presence of Jesus. We will not be overwhelmed when we turn to the Son of God. Right now, I need to remember this. I need to relive all the Jesus has done for me and all the "Life" he's gotten me through.  

Dear Lord, please make your presence known in my life and the lives of my friends and family. We need you every day as we face the sin and pain that is so prevalent in our world. I praise you for all that you have done for me. It is only your grace that has brought me thus far. Praise God for his love. Amen!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Change me

“Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭4:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.4.19-20.nlt

We are all called by God to serve him. We are to serve sacrificially, leaving our old life and accepting new life through our service to him. Everything we do has lasting implications to our lives and the lives of the people around you. I need to continue to stay focused on the simple message. God loves us, he wants a relationship with us, so much so, that he sacrificed his on for us. We just need to accept that so we may be transformed into the person Jesus would have us to be.

Dear Lord, continue to change me, filling me with your spirit so I may walk in your light. I want to leave my old ways to follow only you. Change me Lord! Amen!

Monday, October 16, 2017

I'm trying

“The one thing I ask of the Lord — the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/psa.27.4.nlt

I'm trying, but life keeps distracting me!

I love the Lord with all my heart. I seek him and desire him more now than ever before. But I let my life get in the way of truly delighting in him and meditating on his word. So many distractions keep me from serving him continuously. It's me! It's Satan distracting me! It's my lack of focus that keeps me away from the father.

I want to serve the Lord with my life. I want his glory to be seen through me and his love to radiate from my words, my thoughts, and my actions. When those three things are not in tune with the Lord, I miss out on his wonderful blessings. It saddens me when I fall short. I know the gravity of it all. It could mean someone dies an eternal death if I don't serve, if I don't share the message, if I don't help them reach out to Jesus.

Dear Lord, I love you and praise you. I am honored that you have given me a week away to rest and relax. I need to stay focused on you through the distractions of a busy week. I need to stay focused on bringing others to you and eternal life. Thank you Lord for walking with me each day and loving me despite my failures and weaknesses. Amen!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

We have it all

“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/2co.9.8.nlt

Another morning getting coffee ready for my biker friends. It's been a great weekend of service. That's why I love the ministry of CMA. The weekend started off with a vendor needing my generator. I also provided his gas. He really needed it. He and his wife slept in their car. They were around 70 years old and I found out through our conversations they were hurting for money. When a storm was predicted we all pitched in to help them tear down their booth quickly. It was fun to see people helping people.

During the day we were asked to pray for a baby born at 25 weeks. We serve! That's what Jesus wants us to do. We have everything we need and more. He just wants us to share all we have and share his message of love. We are getting ready to host a devotion this morning for the campers. They asked us to. God is good and he is blessing this ministry. I praise him every day for the opportunity.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Just me and a Barn Owl

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jhn.14.16.nlt

I am all set up this morning with fresh coffee ready,  serving at a Biker Event for ABATE of Indiana Region Zero.  It's pretty quiet right now. I'm all alone except for a barn owl hooting to break up the silence. I love the times of quiet . I don't get much quiet,  alone time. But as I sit here reading my bible I'm taken by the thought that I'm never really alone. Sitting in the stillness of this new day I am very aware of the presence of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, filling my heart. The truth is, that same spirit, is with me even in the chaos of a full day at school or a motorcycle event. I just don't take the time to feel his presence. That's a shame.

I need to be more aware of the presence of the Lord. If I wait until the quiet of a morning when it's just me and a barn owl, I am missing out on the many blessings that come through the Lord. I need to be aware of his guiding in tough decisions, his love through service and the joy that is missing in this world. The joy, the peace, It's all there but we are so busy it passes us by. Forgive me Lord for ignoring your presence in every moment of my life. I say I need thee every hour, but don't even take a second to feel your presence. Forgive me Lord. Amen!

Friday, October 6, 2017

I know Jesus

“We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/1jn.1.1.nlt

Have you ever dreamed about what it would have been like walking with Jesus? To see him, to hear him preach, to just be in his presence. This majestic verse makes me jealous of the first disciples. Yet, I can tell you, personally, that Jesus is just as real, just as active, today as he was when he walked this earth.

 I know Jesus. He knows me.

Sure, I haven't been able to grab his hand, see his smile, or walk with him in the physical sense but I feel him just the same. I can see his gentle guidance in my life. His direction and wisdom are present in some of my decisions. When I look back at what I have done, I can see twists and turns in the direction of my life that are not just luck, coincidence, or by some brilliant plan I have devised. They are only by the hand of God.

I praise the Lord for his real presence in my life and the active role he plays. I love you Lord! I want nothing more than to serve you and bring others to this same relationship.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Isolation

“Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:42‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/luk.4.42.nlt

Sometimes the demands on our time is overwhelming. The world, the country, we live in is a demanding place. It's hard to get a break, a time to just spend with God. Jesus is our example. He found time. I need to find time. I try to do that each morning and each evening. It's hard to stay focused on God during that time. The thoughts of my day, the present news headlines, family stresses, all distract from my time with the Lord. Isolating ourselves from this world to focus on connecting with Jesus is critical to serving the kingdom.

My non-teaching friends have always given me a hard time about all my vacations. I don't apologize for those times. Mentally and spiritually, I need time away. Even the weekends provide time away. I use my motorcycle as an escape. I use cutting my lawn as an escape. I even find myself taking mini breaks often throughout my day to refocus on the Lord. If you don't find time to spend with the Lord, on a regular basis, how can we learn his heart and his will for our lives.

Life is demanding. We can't do "life" effectively without time away. That time away should be centered around Jesus. We need time to pray, study the word of the Lord, and reconnect with our savior. I praise the Lord for the times I have to escape. They are a blessing and I will never take them for granted.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Battle is on! Rise up men and women of God!

“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/rom.12.21.

It just has to stop!

The hate in this world has to stop! But we can't stop it without the perfect love of Jesus. It's not going to come from a president, political party, government, or activist. We can only stop the hate with revival in this land. We need to focus on the word of the Lord, deep, consistent, continual prayer, and true worship. 

We are trying to stem the tide of evil with human power, weak, sinful, human will power. It's not working. We need to bow to Jesus and honor him, well above any patriotic salute, or symbolic flag. We need to kneel before the cross and beg God to spare us from ourselves.

Christians need to forget politics and start preaching the love that surpasses all understanding. We need to pray for our enemies and love them more than we love ourselves. We need to stop dividing and start uniting the world under the cross. We need to go out and use our hands and feet to take real Love to a hurt and dying world. It's not good enough to spout Christian rhetoric. We have to put our words into action. The world can not survive with this much hate. Rise up men and women of God! The battle for the way, the truth, and the life is on!

Prayer

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
‭‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jas.5.16.nlt

I'm not perfect. I'm a sinner like everyone else. I need prayer, just like everyone else. Will you pray for me? How many times have you told someone you would pray for them and didn't. Prayer is such a powerful tool and produces such great results here today. The suffering in this world is great but it is not so great that it can not be defeated by the powerful prayer of the righteous.

I am thankful for my time of prayer and have been amazed by the miracle answers to those prayers. It doesn't make me amazing, it makes my Lord amazing. Please join me in ferevent prayer for my family, friends, our nation and the world. We call on the Lord to heal us, to bring us together, to love each other. This world is a broken and dark place. We need the love of Jesus every day. We need his power of healing. We need his grace and mercy to fill our lives.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Praise God I'm a teacher!

“Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/ecc.9.10.nlt

This is a joyous verse. No work, no 5:30am mornings, no stress from coworkers, deadlines, extra hours, sweat, or toil. Heaven is going to be wonderful. It doesn't mean we slack until the day we arrive on the golden streets. On the contrary, until that day, you need to take advantage of the position God has given you and do it to the best of your ability.


I have one goal in my teaching, helping kids. I teach math but I really could care less about the content, (that sometimes gets me in trouble). I care about building relations with kids. I want them to know I care, I want them to know my sacrificial love, and my dedication to them and their future. It's not about tests, standards, or curriculum. God has honored my time as a teacher. He has blessed me beyond anything I could ask for. I don't have too many years left in the profession, but I will make the best of it. The political wing of education wants this to be about a test score. They want me to put linear equations above anything else. I am confident that I need to teach responsibility, caring, compassion, honesty, work ethic, and countless other character traits over any math topic. I refuse to put imaginary numbers over preparing kids for a future of  taking care of a family, loving each other, and serving others.

Praise God for the pleasure of being a teacher. I wouldn't change anything about my 20 plus years in education. I can't remember a single lesson that I taught, but I sure remember the students  that crossed my door each day. I could care less about the adults I've met in education. It's the students that make each day worth getting up each morning. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Recovery

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/rom.5.5.nlt

I have been disappointed in a lot of things lately. There are personal issues weighing me down. I'm not upset about the resolution, just that it had to be resolved at all. But, I'm moving forward and my hope is stronger than ever. It all comes back to God's love for me. The loss inside is being completely filled with the Spirit of the Lord. I'm healing, slowly but surely, I'm healing from the pain.

Our lives are filled with choices. We can choose to wallow in the pain and suffering or we can push out those pains with the Spirit of the Lord. That Spirit fills us with love. That Spirit fills us with peace and joy. God loves us so much he sent his son to die for us. He also sent his Spirit that we might have peace here on this earth even through life's trials and tribulations. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

WORLD WAR III IS HERE!

““My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/isa.55.8-9.nlt

What's going on in your life? Reading the headlines you would swear the world is ending. There is a reason people are predicting the end is near. The division in our country, the hate, the inequities, corruption, lies, deceit, and evil is everywhere. It would be easy to give up, lose hope and forget, God is still sovereign and Jesus is still the savior of the world. We have not been abandoned and we are not alone.

With all the trouble in this world it is easy to feel defeated. But our God is victorious. Yes, it's easy to say "This doesn't feel much like a win!" But, God has meant for this day to be used for his purposes. We could give up or we could be emboldened to preach the gospel. When the world is facing despair they are ready for Jesus. He is the answer and he is the peace they are all looking for. Everyone, even the lost, don't seek turmoil. The protestors in our society all want a better life. They want joy. They don't want hate. I support THAT goal. They are looking for the same rest, peace, and joy we are. But they are not going to find it without Jesus. They seek it in drugs. They seek it in alcohol. They seek it in professional sports, entertainment, causes, and protests. But they will find nothing satisfies until they meet Jesus.

Let's step up our efforts. Let's use every tool, every weapon in the arsenal to bring people to the feet of Jesus. Now more than ever we desperately need the savior of the world. As Christians we need to shout his love from the mountain tops. We need to LIVE HIS LOVE. We need everyone to be comfortable bowing to the messiah and standing against evil. We need the troops to deploy! The battle for the world has begun? World War III, the battle for the soul she of the lost is here. Victory occurs with Jesus leading the charge!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Confidence

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:35-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/heb.10.35-36.nlt

There have been many times in my life that my confidence has been shaken. When people tear you down , en masse, that can happen. Fortunately, I have never lost confidence in the Lord.  I know of my own sinfulness and I have plenty of shortcomings. God ignores all of that and cheers me on through every phase of my life. He wants me to endure the criticism. He wants me to be patient, to wait on him and his plans. He wants me to live life with no doubt in the gift of eternity. I can tell you I know I am walking with God on the path he has laid before me. I am confident he is with me and guiding my words, thoughts, and deeds. No, I'm not perfect. God designed everything about me and loves me deeply. He knows my strengths, my weaknesses, and my sins. He knows my heart and he believes in me. In the eyes of the Lord, I am perfect.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Hate Defeated........ at least for the day!

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the Lord that search all around the world.)”
‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/zec.4.10.nlt

Today we had a wonderful motorcycle event. We rode to prevent Childhood Bullying and Suicide Prevention. The event has been in the works for a few years. Through the dedication of a group of stubborn bikers, it grew!

I praise God that he continues to use a crusty, rag-tag, group of bikers to speak out against hate. Our world is fueled by hate. Hate knows no boundaries. It is seen across political parties, ethnic and racial lines, economic means, and in every country around the world. Yes, even some of my fellow Christians display hateful rhetoric toward those that they disagree with. The world is darkened and getting darker due to HATE.

But for today, a group of societal misfits (of which I am one), stood up to hate. We rode on a blistering hot day to bring hope. We supported a mom who has endured 20 months of a life long sentence in her suffering due to the loss of her son to suicide. We heard from victims of bullying and we got to pray for hope. God is with us. He wants the love of Jesus Christ to permeate our communities, literally. His perfect love, his grace, his mercy is the only real answer to hate.

What started out small has grown, not by our own power or will, but by the power and will of the creator of the universe. We can't let today's event end! We, all of us, need to lead this world by our example. Hate needs to be defeated! It will no longer be welcome in our homes, in our communities, in our social media, and more importantly, it needs to be defeated in our own hearts. Jesus Christ is the only way to conquer hate! Accept him now, accept his love completely, push the hate out by his presence! Amen!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Avoiding the Enemy

“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:22-25‬ ‭MSG‬‬
http://bible.com/97/heb.10.22-25.msg


Sometimes I don't feel very presentable either inside or out. There are also times I just want to avoid people. I don't think I'm the only one who has these feelings. One thing I know for sure, I can't bring people to know Jesus if I crawl into a corner and hide.

God is coming soon, I feel it. I haven't selected September 23rd like some, but the time, the Big Day, is drawing near. If I truly want to bring others to join me in paradise, I need to stop avoiding my enemies. A life of solitude isn't going to change things. It sounds so simple. For me, it is my constant battle. I admit,  I hold a grudge. It's not the get even and wish bad things would happen kind of grudge. It's avoid them like the plague kind of grudge. I just don't want to spend time with people that have persecuted me, or attacked my character, or misunderstood my motives and actions. It's a lot easier to crawl into a hole and hide. I need the power and strength of the Lord to overcome those feelings. Time is short. All Christians need to get out there and spread the good news. We need to overcome our feelings about the enemy and share our love.

Dear Lord, help us. We know you have called us to share the Love of Jesus. But life isn't easy. There are just some people it's difficult to love. I need your help to continue to take the gospel message to everyone. I need your spirit to fill me with hope. I need your words and actions to be my words and actions. Lord help us now and until your coming! We love you! Amen!

Monday, September 18, 2017

My Encore Career?

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/mat.28.18-20.niv

I really have to apologize to my pastor. My mind was drifting today in the morning worship. No it's not that I was hungry and thinking of lunch. No, I wasn't contemplating my football teams game or the work week ahead of me. It's not that the sermon wasn't enlightening, it really was. As a matter of fact, it is the reason I was drifting into deep thought. I have heard these verses, "The Great Commission" hundreds, maybe thousands of times before. But today, the spirit of the Lord, placed a deep thought to take action on those verses, like never before.

For the past several months, since the end of May, I have really been contemplating retirement. Yes, I'm still at least three years away, but the Lord has been pushing me mentally in preparation of that day. Up until May, I really hadn't thought too much about retiring. I joked about it but I never really thought about it. I love working each day with my students. They are not the issue. But, for the past 4 months the Lord has been speaking to me to start looking at my ENCORE career, that career after retirement. The sermon today pushed me even further in that process.

I am starting to pursue the possibility of earning a masters in ministry. It's really early, but I have heard the call more than once in my life. Now it is undeniable and I need to seriously pursue this possibility. Only the Lord knows where this might end. Praise God for his mysterious, marvelous plan for my life.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sin is Sin

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭KJV‬‬
http://bible.com/1/pro.3.5-6.kjv


I do trust in the Lord and yes there are many things in my life I do not understand. I try every day to acknowledge him because I have seen miraculous signs that he is at work in my life. Right now is no different.

My heart is changing. I am changing. An example:

I have gone to the "Boogie" for years. The Boogie is a secular motorcycle Rally in southern Indiana. It is one huge party. Nearly every form of sin takes place at this event. Drugs, alcohol, sex, are celebrated and the group collectively thumbs their nose, and worse, at God. They are searching for fun and a care free life that has no boundaries. As a CMAer, I have been called to serve this group of sinners. In my early years of attending this event, I considered myself as BETTER than them. I served but I did so from some "Crystal Palace" of righteousness. I was proud of who I was and appalled by what I saw around me. As I have attended and worked this event, my heart has changed. I have seen this group of "sinners" through the eyes of my Heavenly Father. My eyes are no longer shocked by what I see. It's not that I am dulled by the repetition of the sins.  My eyes see these wonderful children of God through a deep sadness. I am saddened for them. They are trying so hard to fill their life with joy. But, they just can't seem to find it. They are blind to the love surrounding them. They are missing out and my heart is saddened they can't see the great joy in front of them.

I see them just like my Heavenly Father sees me. You see, I'm not much different than the Boogie Faithful. I might not sin like they do, but I have thumbed my nose at the creator of the universe plenty of times. I have been a slave to my sin. Yes, my father has seen me through his own eyes of sadness. The Lord does not see the difference between my sin and the sin of this group of bikers. He is greatly saddened when I separate myself from him. He deeply loves me and wants, desires a relationship with me. When I reject him, in any way, he is saddened. I'm sorry Lord.

I humbly bow before my savior. I beg his forgiveness for my sin and for rejecting him in so many ways throughout my life. I pledge to serve him and pursue his plan for my life. I do not need to know everything. I only need to be open to the path he has set before me. I only need to take the next step along his road as he joins me in everything I do.Praise God he is with me!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Topsy-turvy

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/isa.30.15.nlt

Our country is in turmoil. Recently, the turmoil is the result of back to back natural disasters. Prior to that you can add racial unrest, political division, and terrorism to the list of tumultous issues we are facing as a nation. I truly believe the only way to make our way through these crisis points is the amazing power of Jesus.


This world is turned upside down. I really mean that literally. Men wanting to be women. Women wanting to be men. Hate has replaced love. We legally kill millions of babies. We pay our sports heroes more than our  military heroes. We want our government to fix all our problems yet hate to pay taxes. We want to save the planet but care little about saving each other. We preach tolerance unless we disagree. Yes, our planet is a wreck, it's a topsy-turvy life we lead.

God has given us the solution to our problems. But, we won't listen. We refuse to turn to him. We refuse to lift our eyes to him. Even through the turmoil and persecution of his followers, the love of Jesus stands strong. He will not give up on you. The storms of life do not keep him from desiring you. They do not keep him from standing up for you in your time of need.  In my own life, the storms have been completely silenced by the power of Jesus. He is my ever present help in times of trouble. Praise a God for his Love, power, and strength. Amen!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Amazing Hope

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/heb.6.18.


I had a wonderful weekend. Nearly 500 of my CMA family got together to celebrate our ministry and 30 years of State Rallys. It was a time of celebration, it was a time of worship, and it was a time of great fellowship. CMA Indiana is a force for the kingdom and I am motivated to  step up my commitment to bring the lost to know the Lord. I was inspired by what my fellow CMAers are doing and what God is doing across our state. 

This annual weekend event always reminds me of the glorious promises of our Lord. I trust in the Lord always. I trust in him for his amazing hope. That even in the midst of uncertainty, we rest on his promises. He is with us. He will protect us and he will give us a vision of the hope that lies before us. Praise God ! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Get off the SUPER-HIGHWAY of Life!

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-29‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.11.28-29.nlt

Stephanie and I have been camping nearly every weekend. Camping is an escape. It helps us remove all the clutter in our lives and enjoy some peace.  We don't take a tv with us and "device" time is limited. We actually take time to be with each other and there is a lot of downtime. It's awesome!

God wants us to slow down. He wants our lives to include ample amounts of rest. He wants to remove our burdens, even for a short time so we can be strong in our faith and our witness. The most common theme I hear from students, coworkers, and ministry partners is I AM TIRED. I know I am a hypocrit when I say this.

WE ALL NEED TO FIND SOME TIME TO SLOW DOWN AND RELAX!

God wants us to rest. We just have to accept it from him. So many times WE refuse to accept the rest he is giving us. We miss the opportunities and we miss the blessings that come from just finding some time to relax and SLOW DOWN. Our souls can not function with our rest just like our minds and bodies need rest. It might not be camping. It might be riding your motorcycle. (I took a long quiet, ME ONLY, ride this past Saturday before returning to the campground) It might be reading a good book, studying the Bible or listening to some fantastic Christian music (Try Third Day!) BUT find some way to step back, relax, and get off the superhighway of life. Your family, friends, and coworkers will certainly appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I'm not going back!

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/isa.61.3.nlt

I have been in mourning over the past 3 months. No it's not the death of a loved one, it's not the typical loss.  But, I have been in mourning over a situation. Slowly I am healing. I have not gained back what I lost but I have been able to move forward. I'm not going back. I don't want to obsess over things not of God. My thoughts, my outlook has changed. I am now focused on the future and the mighty plans God has for Stephanie and I. I know it sounds weird to some, but I believe it has all been part of Gods plan. Yes, I needed to go through this loss, this pain, so I would look at the future through a different lens. We are three years away from retirement and plans need to be put in place to transition to our "Encore Careers".

God is preparing us for a new life and our minds will take time to make that shift. God knows it and he knows we probably wouldn't even think about it unless prompted. I just love how God uses our normal, regular, daily happenings to guide our thoughts and actions. I love how he uses people, even our enemies to fulfill his plan for me. People wish me ill, want my destruction, get thrill out of my failures, but God uses all of that for his glory. He is such a force in my life. I just don't understand how people survive without the power of Jesus and the filling of the Holy Spirit. The clarity of purpose, the plan, can only be explained by Jesus. 

If you are unsure about life. If things don't make sense. If you don't have purpose or clear direction in your life. Turn to Jesus. His wisdom is perfect and when you ask him in to your life, he will fill you with that exact wisdom. I know this from my very own, personal life experiences. This is not just some made up 2000 year old religion. I know because my life can not be explained any other way. Don't look back. Look straight ahead, see your future and the amazing adventure God has in store for you!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mutual destruction Of my enemy.

“David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17:45‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/1sa.17.45.nlt


I have never confronted a giant or someone that wants to kill me. I do have enemies and I do have people bent on destroying me, my reputation, and my message. I am not afraid of my enemies, but I sure don't have the confidence of David.

My normal response is not to shrink back in fear, but to back off in disgust, in sadness, or in reflection. When I am unjustly persecuted and I realize there is no hope of reconciliation, I just let it go. I don't defend myself and I don't recoil in attack. I'm not always sure that's the best approach. Sometimes I just want to attack, to lash out, to punish those that persecute me. That is also not a good idea either. My biggest concern is how will my "lashing out" affect my witness and my ability to serve others. If my attacks in any way destroy Gods plan for my life, if it grows into hate, I need to stop and just let it go. David was led by the Lord to defend his people. I honor that and if called to do so, I will not shrink in fear. I will use the spear and the sword, or maybe the sling and the stone. But I think too often people attack their enemy and that attack is NOT in the Lords plan.

Out of anything I've learned in my life, it's to let go and move on. I could attack and reap mutual destruction of my enemies. It doesn't help me and certainly doesn't help my enemy. I can "turn the other cheek." What I can do is to continue to serve the Lord, to do what he has called me to do and to keep my eyes fixed on him. His love sustains me. His love defends me and in the end I know I win because I get to live in eternity.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I know myself. I need it.

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:26‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.6.26.nlt

God knows exactly what I need and he provides it at exactly the right time. I have seen it. I am witness to his perfect timing and provision. I have been a follower of Christ for 45 years and I can tell you, directly, of the faithfulness of my Lord. When I am at my lowest point emotionally, spiritually, or physically, God shows up. He never lets me suffer beyond what I can endure. Yes, he allows some pain and suffering in my life. I know myself. I need that pain and suffering so I turn to him. I need a constant reminder to rely on the power of the creator to overcome the evil in this world.

God has provided for all my needs. No matter what your situation, God will do the same for you. God's love is with you. When you turn to him, he will be there. I can not imagine, I don't want to imagine,  leading a life without God in the center. There is so much hate. There is so much evil in this world. We are surrounded by a sinful and fallen world. We can't survive on our own. It won't be our political leaders, it won't be our community, our family, or our friends, that will save us. God is the answer. We will thrive, not just survive, the more we rely on Jesus. I pray you will turn to him, now. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Search for the ONE!

“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/2co.10.5.nlt


The number of obstacles placed before people to keep them from knowing God is overwhelming. Satan is working full time to keep us quiet and to harden the hearts of the lost. It seems our cause is hopeless. The media finds all our faults and makes them into today's headlines. Right now Joel Osteen is being attacked. I don't know the truth, but I know the world is watching and even the wrongful perception is hurting our message. Every sinful thought and ineffective deed is used against the gospel message. Barrier pop up everywhere when we take even the slightest step of the path of our Christian walk. We need to continue to destroy those barriers. The more obstacles thrown at us, the more we need to increase our efforts. The more we are persecuted, the more we are isolated from the worldview, the more bold we need to be to share the message of Christ. Our lives need to reflect the love of Jesus. We need to speak the word but our actions need to match our words. We need the power of Jesus to guide us and lead the battle before us.

No matter the hopelessness of our world, we need to search for the one, the one person open to the love of our savior. My whole life is about bringing EVEN One person to the love of Jesus. Sure it would be wonderful save hundreds, thousands, or more, but we need to start with just one. 

Dear Lord, forgive me for my ineffectiveness and letting my own impure thoughts get in the way of bringing people to know you. Give me strength of purpose. Give me your power to overcome satans onbstacles so I can bring others to know you. I love you Lord and want nothing more than to serve you with my life. Amen!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

He didn't do it.

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/2co.5.21.nlt

When you make a mistake that affects someone else, you need to make it right. I wish this were the norm. Many people can't even get to the point of admitting a mistake. They certainly don't have it in themselves to correct it. Saying your sorry is just the beginning of the conversation. Healing begins when we say we are sorry, for both people. We are responsible for the pain of others through our sinfulness. We can't just let that pain remain. We need to do more than just say we are sorry in order for complete healing to occur. We need to show by our actions the depth of our sorrow.

With Christ he accepted the punishment for something he didn't do. We did it and he suffered for it. We can try but we can't even make it right. Christ doesn't care that we make it right. He accepted it before we even thought about accepting responsibility for our sin. We are made right through Christ. I am thankful. I know my sin has deeply hurt my loving Heavenly Father. I beg his forgiveness and he discards that sin like a filthy rag. Praise God for his wonderful love and the forgiveness he gives me throughout my life.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Another Year Older!

“And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,”
‭‭Titus‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/tit.2.12.nlt

Well, I'm a year older. Birthdays are amazing. It always humbles me to hear from those that care about me and sometimes I hear from people who just pretend to care. But, I'm blessed either way. As a matter of fact, I am not too worried about those people that wish me happy birthday out of some type of social obligation. I love them anyway. I know from the proof of their lives the other 364 days how much they care.

It's great how God changes our heart through out our lives if we let him. I have done some crazy things in my life that I'm not proud of. I've treated family and friends poorly, fallen from grace, and let my sinfulness rule my life. But God is helping me turn from those sinful activities and really continues to fill me with a desire to serve him. I am completely devoted to him. I am trying to live in this evil world with his wisdom and his righteousness inside me. I'm trying. I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way. When I let his love take over, thats when life really gets fun. I feel freed from having to do dumb things. I am free to live life without being affected by the negative , hateful, selfish, sinful people that impact my life. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lewis & Clark

““But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:18-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/isa.43.18-19.nlt


It's easy to forget what God has done in my life. I have traveled this Earth for 57 years and I have seen his mighty hand throughout my life. But, it's nothing compared to the future and what he is about to do. He's leading me to something new. I can't wait.

In my Design Your Life Seminar, I shared an example about Lewis & Clark. We forget they didn't have a map of where they were going. There were no maps of the great northwest. The only thing they knew was a direction and a desire for adventure to "See what was out there". They carved a pathway through the wilderness, found food, made friends, and explored. All the while they kept heading Northwest. Oh, to be an explorer like that.

I have no idea where I am going to be in three years, or five, or ten. I do know which direction I'm going. I'm following Jesus. He is my "Native Guide". He is my constant companion and we are on a wonderful adventure. The last few months have brought about change in my life. My passions are in flux. The important things of the past seem less important now. God is directing my attention elsewhere, the path is opening in a new direction. Praise God! I can see. The change has already begun!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I have a weird thought!

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/rom.5.5.nlt

I often get some weird thoughts. I want to blame the Holy Spirit who lives inside me. I'm not sure that's always fair! LOL! But maybe right now........


I am sure we can all agree "There is an abundance of hate in this world!" I have to admit my anger rises when I think of certain people in my life. It even rises to an unhealthy level. I think I'm not to hating anyone, but none the less, I do feel anything but love for some in my circle of influence. I hate that about myself and, thus, my weird thought.

Do I really Love myself?

I have noticed in my 57 years of life, I am a pretty harsh critic. I rarely cut my self any "slack". Yes, there are many times I look back and hate what I've done and hate what I've said. Yes, I often hate myself. God knows everything about me. He knows all my stupid mistakes, my sinfulness, and my hate. Yet, he still loves me beyond measure. He fills me with his love to push out the hate inside me. Even as a declared follower, I resist the filling of my life with his love.

How can I love others if I don't even love myself? How can I serve others until I fill myself with the word and heart of God? The world hates others because it doesn't even know how to love itself. We think people are mean to each other, the abuse we give ourselves is infinitely more severe. Lord help me love myself. Help me to honor the presence you have in my heart by serving only you.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ok, Ok, I'm working on it!

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
‭Philippians‬ ‭2:13-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/php.2.13-16.nlt


Ok, Ok, I get it! I'm working on it! Twice in the last week my daily devotions have centered around being thankful and NOT complaining. I really am trying. For those that have been around me, THAT is the reason for my silence. I stand by the solid theory, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all." I have taken that approach to social media since December and since the end of May, I have been quieter face to face as well. Every once in a while I just can't hold it in and I rant. For the past 3 months there have been fewer and fewer rants.

Praise God he is helping me! I am spending much more time listening, praying, and biting my tongue. When I feel a "blurt" rising to the surface, it takes all of my own energy and the power of God to swallow my words. I have chosen this path for several reasons. First, no one listens anyway. Second, many times my leadership skills end up dividing more than uniting. In my opinion, when I speak, I am greatly misunderstood. When I don't speak, people still misunderstand me, but I don't give them fuel to feed their vision. Lastly and most important, I am afraid my boldness, my personality, might get in the way of someone getting to know Christ. The last thing I ever want to do is to build a case against Christ because of my words.

I am learning to be quiet and just lead from behind. I have always thought my boldness and my aggressive, tell it like it is attitude, was an asset. Not anymore. God is pushing me to be a better leader. I feel his presence and praise him 100%, no complaint, no grumbling, and a lot more silence. I LOVE YOU LORD!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Can you feel it?

“They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/luk.4.32.niv


I am amazed at what God has done in my life and even more amazed at what he is still doing. I can 100%, actually feel his presence and his guidance. Can you feel it? If not, why not? When you invite God to take charge, he will. If you truly let go, God will take you to amazing places. 

Right now I feel his preparation, getting me ready for the next phase of my life. He is molding me and directing my decisions. Sure retirement is still three years away, but it is on my thoughts and I feel it is more than a coincidence. God is getting me ready for  something new. He is full of surprises. Many people are stuck in lives they hate. They dread the day. Turn to God. He is the master of life and can take your life, like he has mine, and make it a wonderful adventure. He's in charge and his power and majesty can be seen in your life. Praise God!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Challenge of Confidence

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/1ti.6.12.


Have you ever had a time when you lost your confidence? I certainly have. It seems like the world has torn me down enough that I start questioning myself. Then I  wonder if I am going to do anything right. My motives are questioned, my methods are questioned and then I doubt my God given talents and personality. It has happened to me and I am sure many others have shared those thoughts. The moments of doubt sometimes are fleeting and other times they persists. Right now, in some areas of my life, my doubts can not be shaken. 

God is constantly at work in our lives. Even through times when my confidence is shaken, God is building me up. These verses assure me of one thing. God has confidence in me. He has so much confidence in me that he has guaranteed my eternal life. He wants me to know at the end of life's struggles is a beautiful eternal life. My  fight of faith is the ticket. God is also with me here, today, to tell me that he has unwavering, grace filled confidence in me. It's not that he is satisfied with the person I am. He is always molding me, twisting my life in order to serve him.  But just because he is trying to change me doesn't mean he doubts me. Praise God for his perfect love and his faith in me to do his will. Praise God that when doubts creep into my heart, I can turn my thoughts to Jesus. I can talk to my best friend and listen to his thoughts, let him mold me into someone better than I am today. Lord I invite you today to continue to mold me, love me, and I praise you now for everything I am and will be. Amen!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Life without Jesus

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/2co.12.10.niv

Right now I feel weak, insulted, down, and certainly persecuted. But, I feel the pure strength of the Lord. The world is depressing me. Even from areas I count on, my support has been weak. But I can and I am counting on the Lord. He always comes through. That's why when life seems at its worst, I remember how I arrived where I am today. It's not me . It's the power of Jesus.

I just don't understand how people travel through this life without Jesus. Life is not easy. The world is evil and can bring anyone down. People fall to drugs, gambling, sex, or other things to escape. Nothing works like the power of the savior. I'm blessed to be his. Life without Jesus is not an option.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ghosts

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/jhn.14.27.niv


I had a great evening last night going for a walk. I got a couple miles in while listening to some Mercy Me. On their new album they have a song called Ghost. It's a good one. These verses made me think of it.


I have to admit I never liked calling the Holy Spirit , the Holy Ghost. I think it has to do with the connotation of a Ghost. You know the graveyard, spooky type of Ghost. I never was afraid of ghosts, but I'm not sure I could walk through a graveyard at night without freaking out! But MY Ghost is so different than that. My Ghost fills me with peace when I need it the most. My Ghost is active in protecting me, guiding me, and being my constant companion. That is WAY different than the "Casper" type Ghost.

God does not do things like the world does, like Satan does. God brings a peace which is not connected with external things. He is not a Ghost we see. He is a Ghost we feel inside our being. He gives peace from the inside. He fills me with his spirit and my own spirit can rest. Thank you Lord for loving me, giving me peace and rest from a dark and sinful world.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

24 hr Challenge - Thankful ALL DAY

“They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening”
‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭23:30‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/1ch.23.30.niv


I was challenged in my new devotional to be Thankful for the entire day today. No complaining, just thanksgiving. I'm going to give it a try. I was challenged to be outrageously thankful. Oh boy, I'm not sure about that one. No! It's not thanksgiving day. Hopefully, we have a couple more months of riding weather before we celebrate that day! And these verses don't designate a single day to giving thanks. We should give thanks daily, every day. But, ONE DAY IS A START. Praise God! For those that have noticed my grumpiness, this is NOT a cure. My attitude toward some of my enemies probably won't change. But, I will be THANKFUL God is protecting me from them. I might still harbor some bad feelings, but I PRAISE GOD he has brought me through the attacks and praise him I can overcome the challenges.


So here's my plan. I will be thankful and not complain to anyone and every time I hear a negative thought resound in my head, I will substitute a word of praise for my loving Heavenly Father. One day? Really if I can't do this one day, I'm worse off than I thought.

Dear Lord, you are amazing. I feel your presence every day. I am humbled by your love for me with all my flaws, sins, and stubbornness. Forgive me for not praising your name more and more. The energy I have to walk through a valley of evil every single day, only comes through you. I promise Lord to honor you throughout my day. My love is yours. Amen!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Battle Rages On

“for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/1co.2.16.ni

This was a great two week devotional by Joyce Meyer, "the Battlefield of the Mind." I really love the theme. I think all of us struggle with our thoughts. I am no different. Lately, I have struggled more than ever before with my own thoughts. Even  when I feel broken, I need to continue to focus on the Lord.

I'll be honest. I have been battling with some depression. This fight has been off and on for a few months. I have rarely felt closer to the Lord through this entire process. I believe the changes happening in my life are from him. So, I'm not fighting them. I feel his presence when my patience wears thin. With his power I've been able to control the urge to lash out. I feel his presence when I have felt rage welling up inside me, it passes quickly and then I am filled with peace. I feel the Lord is preparing me for greater things to come. He is making me a better person. I'm excited about that. But I still feel a great loss in my life like I've lost a dear friend. When you lose someone, or in this case something, it takes a while to heal.  I can wait. The Lord knows what he's doing. He loves me. His shield of protection is over me. I feel his love and his presence. Praise God he loves EVEN a sinner like me.

The battlefield in my mind is raging, but I feel the army of the Lord is on the front lines just for me. Victory is imminent!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Love with NO Boundaries!

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬. http://bible.com/111/1co.13.6-7.niv

There is so much evil in this world. The recent events in Charlottesville is a perfect example. Evil thrives on lies. It is the fuel that sustains hate in this terribly lost world. The lies blind us. How you can logically hate someone because of the color of their skin is WAY beyond me. It is utterly ridiculous. Satan wants to tie that kind of hate to Jesus and his followers. We need to stand up and fight this with our lives. Christians can not sit in silence, our passiveness can not be construed as endorsement. We must protect the innocent, the persecuted, and the lost. We must provide truth and hope for a world that is close to giving up.

We can't condemn hate from one group and not all! Jesus wants us, more than ever in these historical times, to love our neighbor. We love with absolutely no boundaries. If you can't do that, don't follow Jesus! It's that simple!

Monday, August 14, 2017

A moment in time.

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.””
‭‭James‬ ‭4:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jas.4.14-15.

It was foggy yesterday morning. As a teacher, I have a completely different view of fog than the normal person. Fog in the morning usually means a delay for school and an extra two hours of sleep. I love sleep! When I got up to go to church, the fog was gone. Fog never lasts very long.

Stephanie and I are nearing retirement. We have plans. We will be downsizing. We will be stripping away the stuff we own and moving to a smaller place. We would love to continue traveling but our main goal is to simplify our lives and continue to serve the Lord. I think this is the will of God. We will find out.  We have placed our faith in the Lord. If he has different plans, we're ok with it. Our life on this earth is fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. We welcome his plan. It's perfect. It always has been. It always will be. Praise God or his love.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

People sent by God

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/1pe.5.8-9.

I was reminded this morning in my devotion that sometimes we put too much emphasis on the battle or the enemy in our life. We make Satan bigger than he is. I also noticed something these verses do not say. The verse says he is looking for someone to devour. It does NOT say he finds anyone. Be strong. We are not going to lose.   God wins! It's not even a fight. The faithful are protected. Praise God! There really isn't even a battle. God wins! We are saved!

It has been several months that I have felt under attack. I really feel the battle. Satan is trying to destroy my faith. Yet, here I am praising God. While I feel under attack and in many ways battling the world, I can feel his presence and his wonderful protection. Much of the challenges I have been facing are dealing with people. Its not been friends, it's not been family, it's been from people that, frankly, could care less about me. Those people just don't matter. Through it all I have received overwhelming support from those that really care. God has placed those people in my life to show HIS POWER AND GRACE. While I am still dealing with my feelings towards the attackers, my day is hopeful because of former students,  close, dear colleagues, family, and friends. God is amazing. Just at the right time, he knows what I need. Praise God!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Withdrawal

“But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬ http://bible.com/116/psa.1.2-3.

When things aren't going well, my "go to" is withdrawal. When  I feel anger towards someone, silence is my response. I have always used these coping mechanisms to solve my problems. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, not so much. When I withdrawal, it gives me time to think, it suppresses my urge to lash out, and most importantly it gives me time with the Lord.

The more stress in my life, the more turmoil packed into my day, the more I desire to bury myself in the word of the Lord. I take so much comfort in studying, reading, and  internalizing the Word of God. I treasure our time, quiet, time together. I praise God for his word. I praise God he allows me to come to him through the storms of life. I praise him for loving me enough, not just to walk by my side, but to carry me when I can't take a step forward on my own.


Dear Lord, I love you. I praise you. I thank you for the word you have given us to get us through our lives. I promise to share that word with others. I will serve YOU alone through my thoughts, my words, and my deeds. I need you Lord. I can not do this life without you. Thank you for always being there. AMEN!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

No reason for Hope

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!””
‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/rom.4.18.

There have been many times in my life that I could not see a reason for hope. It seems like the whole world is gainst me, nothing seems to be going as planned, and I just want to crawl into a cave and hide. It is at those times, my faith grows the most. I have not lost my faith in the sovereignty of the Lord. He is all powerful. He does not waver from  his perfect plan. I turned my life to him and I have never seen a reason to take it back. If God says it, count on it. God has told me he is always with me and he will watch over me and protect me. Praise God!

Dear Lord, I have been facing some challenges lately. I have never lost hope in you. Even as I struggle with my thoughts and feelings, I can rest in knowing you are guiding my decisions and the path before me is yours. I praise you for your perfect love. I praise you for all the joy I see in my life. Everything I have and everything I am is because of you. You are my Lord. Amen!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Challenges of a Changing Life

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/pro.3.5-6.nlt

These couple of verses have been on my heart a lot lately. I don't always understand life. If I really think about it, I rarely understand life. Life changes for seemingly "random" reasons. It changes unexpectedly. I am so thankful I have my faith. Even now through the storms in my mind, I find myself leaning on the Lord. My world is changing right now and I'm becoming more at peace with the direction it is heading. God is at work. In my 57 years of life I have so many experiences where God showed up in big ways. I hear his voice. I think it is clear he is asking me to take more Leadership in some areas and taking a back seat in areas where I have led in the past. It is not in my nature to give up a fight and I have struggled with suppressing those thoughts. I believe God is helping me and he is directing my path. I will learn from the trials and challenges. I will be better because of them. God knows what he is doing.

I love the Lord and his ACTIVE role in my life. I praise him because of his love. I praise him because I feel his presence and I praise him for his perfect plan he is laying out for me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Healing through Serving

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/1pe.5.10.nlt

I had a great but tiring weekend serving the members of ABATE Region Zero. It was great to spend time with our dear friends, Marlene & Phil Bontrager, while serving others. I have mentioned since May that I feel Stephanie and I have been under attack by Satan. I can still feel it. The suffering we have been going through is easily defeated when we get the chance to serve the Lord. There is healing through serving. When we went to this event this weekend, we were serving others FOR the Lord. Although I am physically tired, I am also greatly strengthened because I see the Lord is with us. I want SO MUCH to just crawl into a hole and quietly live out my days. I know that is not what I am called to do. I will serve the Lord even through the storms of life.

I pray the Lord continues to make his presence known in our lives. I pray he helps us get through these stressful times. I pray for rest and restoration. I pray for strength and that we will remain on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. I love you Lord. I love you and honor the grace, mercy, and love you provide in my life every single day. Amen!



Friday, August 4, 2017

Choose Wisely

““Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/deu.30.19.nlt

Our lives are full of choices. I choose God. 

We are in control of our own lives. WE are in control of how we treat others. WE are in control of our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. It is so easy to blame others. We can blame our parents, our financial situation, or our employment. When it comes down to it, we need to look in the mirror for our life's circumstances. OUR CHOICES determine the quality of our lives. 

Choosing God overcomes all. This choice doesn't make my life perfect. This choice gives me the power and strength to overcome my life's circumstances and have a wonderful outlook through eternity. Rejecting God leads to a life without the power and strength of the creator of the universe and ultimately leads to death, FINAL death. 

I praise God he gives us control of our own lives. I am honored to be one of his servants. THAT is the best choice I have ever made.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tired: Giving up!

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/gal.6.9.nlt

I'm tired and I'm giving up.

Not really!

But, I sure feel like it sometimes.

I'm tired and when I'm tired I really feel like giving up. I'm physically tired and mentally weary of life. It's not that I want to do evil. I just get tired of the battle. The battle is fought everyday between good and evil. Christians all over the world are misunderstood, misrepresented, persecuted, humiliated, and attacked. Those attacks come in a variety of forms from a variety of people. Friends, family, coworkers, all are capable of some pretty vicious attacks. The armor protects us but it gets pretty "dinged up" in the heat of battle. We all get tired in the midst of the battle. That's the place I'm in right now.

But, just at the right time, an unexpected blessing will appear. Just when I want to give up, God shows up. My 57 years of life have taught me to never give up, God will show up in powerful ways. Sometimes I don't understand why he waits. Sometimes it feels like and eternity until he shows his face. But, I trust him just the same. So right now in the midst of my inner turmoil, I wait on the Lord. I will continue to do good and wait for his response. I will continue to fight for the lost, the forgotten, and those that can not fight for themselves. Come Lord Jesus, fill my heart. Show your face.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I'm not like you!

“Don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire their delicacies. They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭23:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/pro.23.6-7.nlt

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with a very caring group of people. Quite innocently, a biker friend organized a support ride for a young boy who was being bullied. He posted on Facebook that any bikers could meet him for breakfast and then we would ride Phil to his first day of school. He wanted to show support for this young man. Little did he know that God would touch nearly 50 bikers to come and escort him to school. It was a great morning

Bikers and bullied students have a lot in common. Both are greatly misunderstood. The stereotype of a biker has a heartless, gruff, alcohol, or drug crazed member of society is just not accurate. Bikers are outcasts much like those bullied in school. I can sure relate to these two geoups of people. Our society likes to label people and we like to do it with one look or a brief encounter. We label people based on reality tv or fictional characters. Rarely do we ever care to take time to get to know someone. 

I know the biker community. What we did yesterday is the norm,  not the exception. The biker community might interfere with you while we block roads on a ride most weekends.  But, we are nearly always riding to support a cause. This year I have been on rides to support suicide awareness, homes for vets, Breast cancer, horses for troubled teens, downed bikers, domestic violence, and many other worthwhile causes. These people give up their resources and their time to serve others. 

My advice, DONT JUDGE. GET TO KNOW THOSE THAT ARE REJECTED BY SOCIETY. COME TO THEIR DEFENSE. SUPPORT THEM. SHOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST TO EVERYONE, NOT JUST THOSE THAT ARE LIKE YOU!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Freedom today!

“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””
‭‭John‬ ‭8:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jhn.8.31-32.nlt

I can't thank the Lord enough for my great summer. The challenges were secondary to the great joy and blessings I received through my time away from the "Rat Race".  That is real freedom. 

My problem with this verse is the first sentence. I can't say I am always FAITHFUL to the teachings of Jesus. It's not that I don't try. It's not that I intentionally disregard those teachings. I am just not as strong in my faith as I should be. I am not perfect and my failings bother me. It's worse when those failings get in the way of my ministry or building relationships with people. But, THAT is where the second verse is so important. I know of my weakness. I see my shortcomings every day. But my imperfections don't rule my life. 

I know of something called GRACE. 

I know the TRUTH. The TRUTH is GOD does not expect perfection in us. He accepts us just as we are. The WORLD doesn't accept our failings. The world criticizes my weaknesses, my flaws and my shortcomings. They take joy in bringing me down and seeing me fail. It doesn't bother the world when they steal my joy. GOD doesn't see me as imperfect. He only sees me through the GRACE and LOVE that fill his eyes.  He restores my JOY. My sins and my failures are blinded by his love. PRAISE GOD! That TRUTH helps me to enjoy REAL FREEDOM! I am set free through the LORD!

The truth has set me free. The truth of God's perfect love, even through the trials of my life, the criticisms of this world,  has set me free to just be me. I can not praise him enough. I'm still working toward being a better person. I want to be the best disciple I can be, but I experience FREEDOM TODAY because of the LOVE OF JESUS!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Battle Inside!

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:12 NLT
http://bible.com/116/eph.6.12.nlt

Pardon me while I open up a little bit. I don't post this for pity or for your particular help. I just need to share:

Mentally, I have not been in a good place lately. I have had a great summer, although it's been short! (As it always is) I enjoyed a wonderful vacation with my wife traveling the west. Yep, it did not end as we had hoped. Stephanie broke her wrist. We had some mechanical issues with blown GREAT Northwest. On my 2500 mile return, by myself, I had a lot of time to think. Sometimes that's not a great thing. As I neared Indiana and the upcoming school year a cloud of dread settled over me. I don't like it, but I can't seem to shake it.

I have lost confidence in myself as an educator. I love working with kids. I love the relationships. I love the value of helping them through their struggles, not just with math, but with life. In my 22 years as an educator, I have always struggled with the politics, the adults.  Sometimes those struggles have been with fellow educators, sometimes with parents, or community members, or politicians. I have RARELY had serious conflict with students. It seems like we can always solve those issues. But, my "dominant" personality is not conducive to great relationships with people. So Leadership in education has always been a struggle. In my view, I feel I am greatly misunderstood and NOW I just don't have energy to try to change the perceptions and views of the adults in my life. I just want to avoid the conflicts and the people that are involved.

Thus, my attitude right now is to just avoid contact with the people in my life that have a tendency to steal my joy, drain my energy, and don't really care to KNOW me or care about me. As a Christian, that attitude is not great. I need the Lord to work on my heart. He truly is fighting a battle for me. He is fighting an internal battle that I can never hope to win on my own. I trust the Lord. Even through dark times, I love and honor and praise his patience with me. His grace is perfect and I am humbled that he loves me. Praise God I can face the challenges of the day because of that grace and perfect love! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Facelift

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬. http://bible.com/111/pro.15.13.

Sometimes I just don't feel like smiling. Now is that time. I need help. Ever since May, my spirit has been crushed. Yep, I have put on a happy face but it's not deep. I need a facelift.

A new school year is coming quickly and my typical joy, anticipation of a new school year is nowhere to be found. My normal excitement is non-existence. I need your prayers. My spirit needs help.....


Friday, June 30, 2017

Let's see how inventive we can be.....

Hebrews 10:23-25The Message (MSG)

22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

Stephanie and I are on the road. Our Annual GetAway Vacation, our rest and recovery trip is in full swing. We are about 400 miles from our first destination - The Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington. We have put over 2000 miles behind us and I am finally starting to relax. Yesterdays drive through Montana was amazing. 

These past several weeks, the last week of school and the week before vacation, have been quite successful. I wish the people in my life that have caused so much stress could read these verses. "Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, spurring each other on..."

People all over this country and around the world are so wrapped up in getting the final word in, taking a stand, and voicing their opinions. Sure there is a place to do that. Our question should be at what cost?  At what cost do we stir up dissent?  At what cost do we point to another's faults (Remember to remove your plank!)?  At what cost do we sow the seeds of hate all under the guise of unity! Our world needs to be filled with people that just ask the simple question, "How can I help make your life better?" or "What can I do to encourage you with YOUR GOALS (not mine)?  How can we drop our pretense of caring when it is truly centered around our own selfish agenda or the power we crave?

Dear Lord, I pray for my enemy. I pray for those that have felt it necessary to persecute me? I need to change my own attitude toward them and ask How I can serve them? I need your help doing that. Lord I need to encourage others, lend a helping hand. I can't do that with my present attitude. Lord, Change ME from the inside out. Help me draw your love into my heart. I praise you and love you! Amen!

Monday, June 26, 2017

I will never understand

Colossians 3:17The Message (MSG)

15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

I will never understand. It frustrates me. Don't get me wrong. I truly love the Lord with every fiber of my being. I am humbled that he loves me and know I am only who I am by his grace and mercy. BUT, I still don't get it.

Why does calamity have to happen in my life? Why do obstacles need to be placed in my path?  Why am I opposed like I am some villain? Why do trials occur with seemingly no purpose?  My life has been stressful over the past month. I have written about it continuously. If I understood, would it make a difference in my attitude? I like to think so. But, God has chosen NOT to reveal his plan to me. I DO know why?  He wants me to trust him. I say I do trust him. Do my actions back up my words?  I have to say, truthfully, NO!  

Dear Lord, Forgive me for my weak faith. Forgive me for doubting you are in control even through the fiercest storm. I am exposed. My tenuous faith is out there. Forgive me Lord. I love you. I trust you. Your plan is perfect and I will praise you through every step of my day. I love you. Every detail of my life -- my words, my actions, and every waking moment are yours. I praise you in this present storm because I know the peace that passes all understanding is a gift you want me to accept. Amen!

Friday, June 23, 2017

I'm tired, worn out!

Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

This past month has been a whirlwind. I have been beaten-up at work. I have been beaten up outside of work. I have been struggling. In my Chuck Swindoll daily devotional today he shared these verses. He mentioned about a system of measuring stress. In this method a person can not handle more than 200 points of stress. I think I am at 250. BUT, HELP IS ON THE WAY!

Today is the last day of Summer School. Tomorrow we leave on a month adventure out west. We are traveling to Medora, ND to see our grandson Klayton perform in the Medora Musical. Then we head to Beartooth Pass, MT; Olympia National Park, Mount Ranier, Mount St. Helens in Washington, Crater Lake, Oregon; and Redwood National Park in Northern California. We are more than ready to head out to enjoy campfires, epic motorcycle rides, time together, and time reconnecting with the creator of the universe. 

This trip is pure selfishness. But I think God understands. Yes, it is about me and my wife. If I am to be effective in ministry, at school, and at home, I need time away. I do not apologize, I rejoice. I am blessed that God has given me this opportunity. I know so many people do not even have the option of getting away. 

We all need time away. I am getting away with Jesus. 

Dear Lord, I love you and am humbled that you have given me the resources to get away, to relax, to enjoy your presence without all the distractions that life can send. I pray for rest and peace. I pray for a new spirit to fill me. I pray for time to reflect on my life and the goals set before me. Thank you Lord!