Separating TRUTH from FICTION.

What the Bible Really Says!

Who is JESUS?

Learning to Live like HIM.

Did CALVARY Matter?

Where would we be if He was as motivated as we are?

What does Worship Mean?

Love without limits.

How Do WE Treat Others?

For God so loved the world that He gave.. what do we do?

Oct 14, 2012

Generation: LOST

riveroffireMy heart has been troubled to the point of not sleeping well the last few weeks.  I suppose, one could attribute it to the headlines in the media regarding the coming election,  or perhaps to the stories of missing children who we later hear have been brutally murdered. And yes, that does trouble me.

However, for me, the haunting images that are keeping me awake at night have more to do with the lack of respect for God’s word. It seems as though many have decided that the principles that we were taught to adhere to, and the scriptures that set us toward our eternal destiny only matter if we choose it to.

It seems as if the fear of God is gone and that it was only words our parents and those who have gone before lived by.  In society and in our churches there is a growing lack of concern about the direction those coming behind us are heading. And it just might be too late.

Now, I realize I cannot speak for the church you attend or the places you minister, but nevertheless I am certain the principles I see unraveling in front of my eyes, I am sure you are noticing as well.

Blinded Eyes?

For quite a while now I have burdened with what I have seen in social media. Nearly everyone we know in our personal lives is on Facebook, and we all know people who are on the site several hours per day.  And for many the images and postings tell quite a story.

It amazes me that many of those I went to Bible School with are either no longer living for God, or have ascribed to some watered down version of what Christianity is all about, to say nothing about being Apostolic.  Oh sure, most of them still quote scripture, they still profess their love for God, but when our eyes are privy to some of the words they write, and see photos of the places they go and the way they act, there is something missing there.

Am I judging? I don’t mean to be, but maybe I am. However, I am the first to admit my life is not perfect, but I find myself wondering what happened in their lives to change them as a person?  Was there some huge even that came into their lives and knocked them off the track?

Many of these are people I grew up with; those who were in the altars at church camp, those who even the very idea of activities they partake in now were considered abhorrent and yet somehow all of that hunger for God we once knew seems to have slipped out somehow.

Now I realize some may think some of what we learned when we were younger was too dogmatic,  too harsh, perhaps not even necessary in living for God. But, it kept most of us going to church, doing the right thing when temptations would come, and most importantly, loving and serving God. It couldn’t have been all bad, right?

The Bible says to ‘train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ Not my words, that is scripture and it does more than just affect you and me. Can our kids even quote a memory verse anymore?

From the beginning of time, mothers taught their children the principles of loving and serving God.  Moses is a great example of how because of what he was taught when he was young, when he was older, he was able to continue in his faith and even lead his people toward the promise land. I am sure Joseph’s early childhood teaching  kept him from giving in to temptation, fear, and hatred, even when he had been treated unjustly by his own flesh and blood.

But what about our kids? What did we teach them? Or what are we teaching them now?

Seared Minds?

Just this past week there was a study that came out that stated most of the divorces in America come from those who call themselves Christian and conservative. In fact they said  in ‘Christian’ marriages, two out of five with end in divorce, and also that there are multiple marriages among Christian believers.

Their reasoning behind it was because we are taught not to be involved in sexual encounters outside of marriage and so they claim that many are unprepared when they enter into their first marriage young, rather than disregard their belief system.  Now, to some extent that is good that some are not wanting to go against their beliefs, but to get married essentially just to be legal at being sexually active is no way to start a marriage. And whatever happened to the vows we took to love, honor, and cherish in sickness and in health? Are those just archaic words that don’t mean anything? Whatever happened to working on our marriages?

Now please understand me, I am not attacking those who end up in divorce. But, it seems the way the world is going, so should the church. Lets just take the easy way out.

The divorce rate is not what is bothering me but what are we teaching our children? It has become what are we getting out of this?

In our lives we have become about who has the biggest house, who has the most toys, who lives the best life, even who loves God more. We are consumed with ourselves instead of hungering after God.  Whatever happened to convictions?

Our worship is just enough to get by; our church attendance is only if it doesn’t affect our fishing trip; or perhaps if we don’t have to get home in time to see the ‘reality’ of Honey Boo Boo, hoarders, and the messed up lives of those on television.

It Is Just Too Hard

It may have seemed when we were growing up that our parents didn’t understand or perhaps they were too hard on us. Every generation believes that.  There were times when our parents, and even teachers, said no, and didn’t let us do some things that they knew were bad for us.

Our families had dinner together, some of us even had a family altar, and we even played games and spent time just  being a family.

We wanted to hang out with our friends, to go to a party, even to stay up a little bit later; they were so mean to us. And for some of us the idea of being ‘forced’ to go to church, yes you know that is what you thought at times’ was just a violation of our rights, and we swore we would be better parents.

Yet, most of us who lived that lifestyle are not in prison, we haven’t killed someone driving drunk, we don’t live a life of poverty brought on by drugs and alcohol. We still go to church even if our kids don’t go with us.

Comfort and convenience is what drives our lives.  Hungry? Instead of taking time to make a dinner for our family to sit down, we rush out to grab a couple of hamburgers on their way to somewhere else.

That new iPhone comes out and instead of paying the money on our past due bills, we stand in line for hours, maybe even days to be the first to have the new and ‘best’ toy.

Everything needs to be in a hurry. Kids grow up not knowing how to cook anything that isn’t in the microwave because that is the way their parents lives have become as well. If we see some clothing outfit we want, or want to go see the newest blockbuster, we will break out the credit card to pay for it, because right now we don’t have the money but it is so important for us to possess.

Our lives are driven by the newest thing, the best sports game, where we will shout until we cannot speak, but when it comes time to have a family altar, or even time to sit down with our kids and help them with homework, we are just too busy and do not have time for that.

And Yet We Wonder?

I am troubled because I have seen some kids, who from birth drooled and slept on church pews, who no longer serve God at all, even though their parents still attend the local shouting church, and they have walked away from what they are taught, and it has become cool to have a baby or two and not be married.

I was talking with someone recently, and they asked me what has happened that when a young apostolic couple begin to date, one or both of them think it is okay to be sexually active, while dating?  To them its just another part of trying to find the right one. But then they will come to church, sit on the pews, sing in the choir, maybe even teach Sunday School, and then everyone is shocked that she is pregnant and he is dating someone else, and she is shunned by those around her?

But it is more than just about losing some of our convictions. It is more than just about what the parents teach their kids away from the church.

Generation: LOST

We can rationalize our actions, maybe even our services as we turn a blinded eye to what is happening. And maybe, for most of us, we will still make heaven, and do not do anything that can be construed as sin.  I wonder when we walk through the doors of the sanctuary, whether in our churches or in our personal prayer lives if we have a format we adhere to, or do we come hungry and lose ourselves for a while in the presence of our Creator? 

Do we find time to really worship and not be concerned with what our neighbor is doing, or are we busy making sure that our kids are minding, or noticing the one who comes in late and the new outfit they are wearing.

Or maybe it has just become about preserving our dignity in front of our friends? But what are we teaching those who come after us? I have friends and relatives who profess to love and serve God, but I see the direction their kids lives have taken and I wonder how did it get so far off track?

Sure, we are all responsible for our own salvation, but we must admit that some of the responsibility must fall to the parents, pastors, and others who went before. We might even still invite friends or people we work with to church, but what about the next generation? What about our own kids?

So What Comes Next?

There was a time when pray in schools was just as common as the Pledge of Allegiance, and even that is disappearing. Our own president doesn’t think it necessary to put his hand over his heart when everyone around him is and someone is reciting the pledge or singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’  It has been said that our children will pick up our bad habits and bring in some of their own as they become adults. What will they pass down to their children?

Our country is changing rapidly and regardless of your political persuasion, not for good.  Most people live their lives wanting their own way and if they don’t get it, they will do what they can to change everyone’s rights to make sure it happens. Gas prices are  too high and soon going to be out of reach, jobs are scarce, and more people are becoming dependent on someone else giving them a handout.

Our schools teach principles that are opposed to the word of God, and when someone comes along to offer possible solutions, he is called a liar and trying to take away their liberties. And I realize some are active and will get angry when they remove the Ten Commandments from in front of a court house, or try to take Christ out of Christmas, but we don’t have a time to get together with our families unless it is in front of a television? 

What happens when we are gone? What if our kids suddenly had to live in a situation like Joseph, or perhaps Daniel and the Three Hebrew Children? Would they be serving God or bowing down to the gods of this world? Or are they already there? Can you say with assurance that you know if something happened to your children, they would make heaven their home? Or how about your grandchildren?

What are we doing to prepare them for the coming trials and tests of life? Or do we even still tell them about the goodness of God and His mercies? Or do we just accept them as they are because we don’t want to chase them away and accept that they will be Generation: LOST?

Aug 7, 2012

Who Do You Say I Am?

feet-water-jesusThis has been quite a summer. It has been one of the busiest I have faced in quite a while, and I find myself wondering where it has all gone.

Sure, there was lots of visits with family and friends, my parents 50th anniversary, catching a stomach bug, starting a new job, and doing my best to stay cool in the summer heat.

Politics is in full swing as is the Olympics and of course there is always controversy to some fashion in both of those, but about a week ago there was an event that took place across our nation in response to one man’s comment about his support of marriage between one man and one woman.  Liberals were immediately in arms against this man and his restaurant chain and ‘how dare he define what was right and wrong.’ Surely, you heard about Chick-Fil-A?

On the other hand the supporters, and I would assume believers of the Biblical principles of what constitutes a marriage, came out in full support. Record numbers showed up to purchase chicken sandwiches and drinks from this place to show that they supported the rights of this man. Some said it was bigoted hate coming out; some said it was the Christian thing to do; and still others said it was about civil rights.

Integrity And Character

A video surfaced on YouTube, where a man showed up and called the server at the window hateful, and how could she sleep knowing she was involved with supporting a hate group. It went viral, made most news broadcasts, and in the end the man was fired from his own job for his behavior toward her.

Today, I saw an interview with this girl and she said she had accepted an online apology from the man who was so rude and hateful, but also she was sorry he lost his job and that his family was subjected to so much criticism in the media. She showed amazing patience, integrity, and a great depth of character.

I found myself wondering how would I have reacted in the same circumstance? Would I have been as kind and patient? Would my human nature taken over and I would have spewed out the same type of anger toward him that he was giving to  me? Most probably the latter.

As Christians, we like to think of ourselves many times as above the fray, and that we would react differently if faced with accusations and anger, but let’s face it, most of us can get riled up and ready to fight back with just a couple of words.

The Bible says in the last days there will be wars and rumors of wars, but it also states that brother shall rise against brother, even unto the death. I must admit, even at my age, when my brothers get me riled up instead of walking away, or turning the other cheek, it is much easier to get angry and attack back. Words can hurt and being betrayed by your own brother in a moment that should be happy, can drop the strongest of us to our knees.

While on our knees, we should reflect on the one who is really able to deliver, but usually the anger, the hurt, the flesh takes over and we rise back up to fight with full battle gear. We are human; we don’t like being hurt or accused and generally it is those close to us who tend to give us the most problems. But when we blow our temper, chances are our integrity and character will vanish in the midst of it.

Who Do You Say I Am?

Peter was asked this question by Jesus. He had walked with Jesus, seen many miracles, joined Christ walking on the water; he was one of Jesus’ closest followers.  At first it seems an easy question. 

If we were asked we would probably say God, the son of God, Saviour, healer, or a multitude of other attributes we give to Jesus.

Peter was asked three times and by the last one, he was actually upset because Jesus questioned him. And instead of explaining why he asked three times, Jesus simply told him to feed his sheep and lambs.  The question I believe wasn’t really about did Peter believe in Jesus, but He was searching to see where Peter’s character was at. What did he really believe down deep inside? Was he trustworthy? Could he be counted on?

Jesus essentially was saying, ‘Peter, who are you?’

What About Us?

Most of us like to profess our Christianity. We might even brag to some degree. We have habits of discussing what we believe, and sometimes arguing the finer points of what the Bible really means and at times we can get in heated discussions about it.

This has its place, but I wonder sometimes if we are the same person we were when we first came to Jesus. That moment when we gave Him our all, when He filled us with His presence. Are we still that person?

Now some might say we should grow from where we started and we should, but do you still believe the same values with as much vigor as we did that first moment when we spoke in other tongues? Most of us at that time are quick to tell everyone. We want everybody to have what we have and we are unafraid to share it.

We do our best to get rid of the old man; the lying, drinking, swearing, or whatever bad behaviors we had in our life. We seem to hold our head higher, dress nicer for service, do our best to live a life that would be pleasing in God’s sight. But how long does it last? Or does it? Are we still serving God with the same tenacity we did then?

We know how it was when we began. You would find us reading the word, establishing a daily prayer life, doing our best to encourage and uplift others, and in as much ability as we have, being a witness for Christ.

If someone we knew saw us they might even call us a holy roller, and instead of being upset about it, we wore the tag with pride. We were a child of God. How much better could it be.

Living The Life

In time, though, most of us tend to slip back in some of our behaviors. We aren’t as open about what we believe, unless we are discussing it with someone else who believes. Some of the areas that we had overcame slip back in a little. We don’t pray quite as much because we get so busy, and well for many of us, our Bible gets picked up as we head out the door for church.

What we consider Christian, and even Apostolic,  changes some too. Maybe some of those things that we were so on fire about in the beginning was just our judgmental attitude or maybe it was just zeal at the time. Before long, the church we used to attend very faithfully, the tithe we used to pay, doesn’t seem to matter quite so much, and if our children don’t quite act the way they should, well we give them the benefit of the doubt as we remember them in prayers from time to time.

Please understand, I am not saying that everything we were taught was exactly right. Nor am I saying that we should judge those who do change their way of life. But I wonder if Jesus changed the way we do, would we still treat Him the same?


Lately, most of us have reacted in sheer horror at the shootings in Colorado, and other events that destroyed lives and we feel for those who lost loved ones. 

We wonder how could they do it? What happened to make that man pull out a gun and shoot all those people. We think to ourselves, ‘if it was me I would…’  But the reality is, that except for the grace of God, we could be in the same situation, or perhaps our child might be.

I feel sorry for those who have lost their loved ones, but I do find myself wondering what must have happened in that persons life to change them so much? And then I look around at those who I grew up with, those who I attended church with. The ones who I saw with my own eyes slain in the spirit, or speaking in that heavenly language, and now the life they live would not be pleasing in God’s sight.

I realize to some extent that makes me a judge, but mostly my heart breaks for them. They don’t even seem to realize where they are in relationship to where they used to be. I want to scream to them, ‘get back to God. Don’t live that life!’ But its not up to me.

Maybe there was a change in how their mom or dad lived. Maybe they went through some adversity and instead of finding the encouragement they needed, they felt lost and alone. No one showed up to help carry their burden. The scripture says we are to help out.

‘Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.' Galatians 6:2

It is our duty to help restore our brothers and sisters, but instead many times we find ourselves whispering behind their backs. We still go to church. We still might even look the same and pay our tithes on time, but in the depths of our character, who are we?

Do we still believe it like we used to? Are we still committed to our walk with God, no matter what? Do we love our brother and sister?

What would He say if we asked Jesus, ‘who do you say I am?’

Jul 1, 2012

One Moment In Time


These past couple weeks I have been scanning  photo albums and reflecting on memories from a long time ago. For most of us we have forgotten more than we ever use, and sometimes it only takes a little nudge to bring up the past. Hopefully, most of it is good.

My parents are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in July and I have been participating in the planning and getting ready for the events to take place and I have been scanning all these old photos. I have been wanting to do it for a long time now, and this is an opportunity to remember friends and family and things that happened that brought us to this moment.

Life is like that. For most of us, we tend to measure life in how many years its been, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you really take a few moments and think about it, life is not about years but about small moments in time that dramatically changed the path we were on. History is full of those moments where mankind was headed one direction and some small event, changed everything forever.

It’s Just One Moment In Time

Many times we do not take time to think about the moments in our life. We breeze past so many of them every single day without a thought. Perhaps it is what we might have for lunch, that item we bought at the store, or perhaps that one thing we meant to do but forgot. Oh well, we will do it tomorrow. If it was that important, we would have remembered right? 

It seems inconsequential, and so we don’t give it another thought and before long we have completely forgotten about it.  It usually takes something quite dramatic during our day for us to remember some things but if we do not do it right then, its just another lost moment we will catch up with later. It is just that one moment in time.

It we are honest, we all think that way. I was supposed to pick up that prescription, but I will get it tomorrow. I need to get new tags for the car, but I was running behind today and just didn’t have time. I really needed to get this paper done but… and before long.. just a lot of lost moments.

Most of  the things we forget are really not vitally important and time just passes by. Good things, bad things, life moments soon forgotten. If it was something we were supposed to pick up at the grocery store and we forgot, even when we had a list, we usually remember about the moment we walk through the door of our home. Usually we can get by without it. Other times we forget about these moments until something jogs our memories.


Looking at all the photographs, more than two hundred actually, a lot of good memories came cascading back to the surface. Friends, family, loved ones and those little moments of playing games, or what we were doing at that moment seems very close at hand, even when it was years ago. But did you ever stop to think about how those little moments at the time, are having a direct impact on what we are doing right now?

Those friendships you made with the family that lived across the alley from you, or perhaps that one guy who used to protect you from bullies. At the time you were hanging out and then years later you reconnect and all these moments come flooding back, the good and the bad.

Our destiny hinged on what we did in those moments. Oh at the time it didn’t seem so important maybe, but that one moment in time, where you took a left turn instead of a right, or perhaps you walked across the street and shoveled the old lady’s driveway, or maybe even that moment when you got mad and walked away from one of your best friends never to speak to them again. Memories, both good and bad  have a way of creeping back into our dreams and thoughts, sometimes when we least expect them, but they all bring us to this very moment.

We Aren’t Alone

I am certain that King David looked back on moments in his life. Maybe it was the time he slew the bear, or even Goliath. Or perhaps the loss of his child when he recalled how he had sent one of his men to his death because he had crossed into arrogance and stole his wife.

Yes, when we ask forgiveness God forgives but we all know there are moments when we do remember and look back and wonder. You know the ‘what if’s' of life. We all have them. If I could borrow a time machine for a little while, I would love to go back to a few moments in my own life and do it a bit different.  Some things in life we want to forget but the memory of man is much more intricate and can hold a lot more than a few terabytes that our current computers can handle, and we process it faster, and certain scents, images, or thoughts can take us deep into the files and we begin to analyze and ponder what might have been.

I have friends I have not seen in years, and every once in a while they are brought to mind and I wonder what they are up to. It may seem like nothing now, but they were an integral part of who I was at the time, and helped set me on the path I am today, and I wonder what became of them.

Moments Can Be Joyful

That moment you asked your wife to marry you; the birth of a child; the moment you raised your hands toward heaven and began to speak in other tongues. All joyful events with a purpose in our destiny. Over two hundred years ago some men sat in a room and signed a document making a group of tiny colonies into a country. Those few men changed the course of history for us all.

Had they not made the decision they did at the time, we would have remained a part of the British Empire, and the very fabric of our lives we consider normal would be much different. Our country that we are celebrating this July 4th, has been entered into events with purpose that has changed the course of the entire world.

Whether it was sending help to refugees in Africa, or funds and weapons, to the rebels in Libya, or even the wars we have fought in with rational or irrational reasons, we have help format what the rest of the world is today. Good or bad, whether you agree with our political leaders or not it affects us all. Yet, each thing we do begins with one moment, one thought, one action. It has made us who we are today.

Lost Moments

It was just a moment. I felt that tug on my heart to go pray with someone, but I had a headache, or perhaps I was just tired and in a hurry, so I went home instead of going to the altar with them. I haven’t seen them in church in a very long time and I have heard things, and I guess it must be true after all they don’t go here anymore.

Random thoughts can plague us, but they are soon forgotten as just another moment in time. We don’t pick up the phone to give them a call, we don’t take time to send them a letter, or even when they say hi at Wal-Mart, they are quickly forgotten again. And then we get a phone call from someone, and we find out they were in a car wreck, or perhaps they were sick, and we had planned to go visit them, but our wife needed us to run an errand as well, and while we meant to…. now it is too late. They are gone, and we will never get that moment back.

Sometimes Moments Cost

Did you ever stop to think about that? What if David had not picked up the five stones and took Goliath out? Would he have become king? Would he have been in the lineage of Jesus? It was just one moment in time where he made a decision.

And what if Jesus had said no? It was just one moment. He could have said no, I am God, I don’t want to go through this for these who curse me, deny me, and are so full of venom toward each other. I am glad He made the decision He did, but it was just one moment that took us to where we are now.

Can you remember a time when you wish you had chosen another path in life or in ministry? How about when we look back into our life, when we decided to walk away from the ministry. Are we satisfied with where our life ended up? How about the lives of our children? Are they happy? Are they living right? But it was just one moment in time, it shouldn’t matter so much. Tomorrow is another day.

A Few Defining Moments

There are entirely too many to list, but a few that will immediately stand out are listed below:

  • Eve gives Adam a bite of fruit.
  • Noah builds an ark.
  • Moses leads his people into a wilderness
  • David slays a giant
  • Jonah is swallowed by a big fish
  • Jesus is born, lives, and dies for our sins.
  • Peter preaches on the Day of Pentecost
  • We accept Him into our lives

What Are You Doing Next?

May 20, 2012

The Man In The Blue Tie


Recently I have been troubled by statements that have come from the mouths of those who claim to walk in the spirit.

In many ways, their conversations have changed from happy positive thoughts to what sounds to me like anger, bitterness, and resignation.  Maybe it is just a moment of discouragement, or perhaps too much of a focus on the negativity that has become prevalent in our culture, but it has become more apparent to me that values we have held dear in our lives are being swept aside in favor of popular opinion.

I expect it from government and social media, but it has made sweeping changes in lives and ministries of many who at one time had a steadfast heart. I have been hesitant to bring it up because I have also noticed a change from the teachable to spirit to more of  a defensive posture when faced with a challenge.

But I find myself wondering, when did it all change? Are you just speaking words because it is what is expected? Or have you changed your position on what is true and what is a lie?

GOD Doesn’t Change

Of a truth, I am certain that most of us can come to agreement in the fact that God does not change.  In Malachi 3:6, God states, ‘For I am the Lord, I change not.’ Pretty simple really.

We quote the scripture from our pulpits, ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever’ but do we really let it translate to our own personal lives in a way that cannot be shaken.

The Bible states that in the last days everything that can be shaken will be shaken, but does that mean we are just to set aside the foundations of what we were taught just because it does not fit our current lifestyle or the philosophy of those around us.

TRUTH Doesn’t Change

In Proverbs 23:23, the Bible tells us to ‘Buy the truth and sell it not.’ Now I realize for some that is a hard concept to swallow.  Young children were taught from the time they were born to follow after the precepts and laws that their fathers followed.  God laid it out in easy to understand phrases, and even the youngest child could understand.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God; Love thy father and mother; thou shall not lie, covet, lie; most of us know the ten commandments to some degree. The words may be a bit different but the meaning is still the same.

And for most, they follow after those precepts. For some, the Lord’s prayer, the 23rd Psalm, and Acts 2:38 are held in high esteem while some of the lesser known scriptures are tossed aside as if they don’t have as much relevance.

Truth is truth. The word does not change, even if we are not aware of it, or have decided not to pay attention to certain parts.

It Is A Different Age

We hear it all the time, how we are living in a more progressive society, our culture has changed, or even perhaps we have a better understanding of the scripture now, than those who have gone before us.

But when did truth change?

Sure we can blame our predecessors; we can say if they really understood what they were talking about; we can say it was a man-made dogma, but for most of it, the scripture is very clear.

It hasn’t changed. Truth is still truth. The Bible is still the foundation of our lives, and if we deviate from its principles, then we are placing our lives, and the lives of those that come after us in jeopardy.

Over the past few weeks I have heard it played out in several topics of discussion that its either man-made theology, that we are judgmental if we do not agree, or even that God is much more understanding than we give him credit.

And while I agree to a certain extent that some might have mixed their own ideas with theology, it doesn’t change the fact that truth is truth. It doesn’t matter if we believe it. It doesn’t matter if we are looked upon as contrary, any aberration in what we have been taught, and what is written in the word, is not us being judgmental, but rather breaking the laws of God.

It Is A Cultural Thing

We try and justify our own personal concepts every day. Many are so adamant that we are right and everyone else is wrong that we will twist the scripture to what we want it to say. Now, right off I know some are thinking that I am agreeing with them in their deviation from what they have been taught.

To the contrary, I am blatantly saying it works both ways. Some have no problem with using scripture to accuse, but then when it goes against what they choose to believe, then it is misunderstood, man’s theology, or just plain being hateful.

The Bible specifically says to train up a child in the way, and when he is old he will not depart from it. In a nutshell this means, ‘teach right from wrong.’ There are some principles of life, that are not written out in black and white and red, but still remain true nonetheless.

No where in the Bible does it say that touching an electrical outlet with your tongue is going to result in a shock, or even worse. Yet it is still truth.

Doesn’t Matter If You Agree

Truth doesn’t need to justify itself. Did you see the blue tie in the photo at the beginning of this article? What can you tell us about the man wearing the blue tie?

You really can’t tell much about him because you do not have enough information. All you know is about the tie.

Isn’t it a lovely shade of blue? It looks good with that suit.

No matter how many times I tell you to check out the tie, it isn’t going to change. It is red tie. It doesn’t matter if I agree, or if it doesn’t fit with what I believe, the truth remains.

Words Become Wisdom

When the Children of Israel entered into the promised land, they were instructed to place memorial stones, one from each tribe beside the river.

When asked by their children what the stones meant, they were to explain about the wilderness journey and the trials and victories that happened along the way. In doing so, the heritage was passed down from one generation to another. In doing so, they also gave their knowledge and wisdom, so that some of the tests they went through would not have to be repeated.

Many times we do not understand the reasoning for why some teach as they do, but when the guidelines they laid out for us were decided upon, they had a reason.

No one questions that it is dangerous to play with matches, to touch a hot stove, or to drink poison. We just don’t do it. Yet, when it comes to principles from the Bible, or knowledge that was gained by our forbearers, we can be very quick to protest and toss it aside.

There is a price to be paid when we toss aside these ‘memorial stones.’ The memorials were there as reminders to not go down that path again, and yet it seems in our generations, we toss it aside because of our own judgment and perceptions. Do you think this is wise?

The generations that came after Moses thought his precepts and rules were only to enslave them, and many of them were tossed aside to what end? Repeating trials that they would not have to go through if they had just listened and complied to truth.

For Our Protection

No, I do not understand the reasoning of some and why we should do this or that. Why is this a sin and that isn’t. We have all been in situations where we don’t comprehend the meanings, but it doesn’t change the truth.

It doesn’t matter whether or not we agree with what we have been taught, or even if we cannot back up every single philosophy with a scripture. It is there for a reason: our protection. We only have to look at society around us to see how removing one principle can completely change our entire lives as we know it.

Our forefathers knew the importance of God in our lives. Someone decided prayer in schools was wrong, and now we have killings in schools, lifestyles that have no merit  being forced upon us all, and a government desiring to control our lives in every aspect.

So, when you do not agree with what is being taught, or what might come across your pulpit remember this: unless it deviates from scripture, and ideologies that our parents, grandparents, and those who came before us lived by, then we need to leave it alone. Otherwise, we will see the man with the blue tie, and our lives will be forever altered. 

The Bible says that God is coming back for those who look for Him; not for those who have rationalized out what He really meant. What will our answer be if we no longer know what the memorial stones mean?

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Proverbs 23:23

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Apr 7, 2012

He Came Unto His Own


The last few weeks my life has been different. No, it may not be noticeable on the surface, and some who believe they know me well might not even catch it, but something happened recently to change me.

I do not think I am a better person, or that somehow I have reached a greater plateau but one morning a few weeks ago,  I had an experience that wakes me up in the night.

I grew up in church. There were times I even fell asleep on the pew. Good times, and a few times where I didn’t really want to be there, but there are lingering memories of days gone by that molded me into the person I am today.  Is that a good thing? I am not sure some days. I am human and I have my faults, but there beats within my heart a purpose that regardless of how I feel at any given moment, I know where I belong.

I have heard the sermons of the prodigal son, the good shepherd, and the crucifixion. My eyes have been swollen with tears as my mind painted a vivid picture of Christ hanging on the cross. I saw the beating of those thirty nine stripes across his back for my healing, and at times I do not understand why I struggle with health issues because I know the power in each of those blood spattered scars upon his back.

I have heard the wails of an old saint burdened down in intercession for a lost soul. Maybe it was their child, their husband, or perhaps just the burden for the lost was so intense the moan came not just from their lips but from the utter depths of their soul.

But did any of it change me?  Yes, to a large degree I have lived my life in the shadow of the cross. I have been the good child, that never really desired to stray to far from the altar. I wanted to be about ‘my Father’s business.’

Growing up in a pastors home was not an easy life. Back then, pride was not allowed, and a self-righteous spirit would have been quickly scolded. We were taught respect for the House of God, as well as the ministry. And if we took the name of Jesus in vain, well if we didn’t get a stern look, the shame we felt later when we were closing our eyes to sleep pricked our hearts with guilt and tears would flow down as we apologized to God for our behavior.   But we were still human and we made mistakes.  I have regrets to this day of my attitude, and some things I said or did that may have changed the course of someone else’s life. If I could, I would go back and change it, but that didn’t change who I was.

Like many when they reach the teenage years I rebelled. Oh, I never really did anything of consequence, but when it came to singing solos or being part of the choir, getting up to speak was not going to be my thing. I had no desire to be a preacher. If anything, I ran from it.

Yes, I had seen the good parts, but I had seen the struggles as well of my parents, and others in my family and close to me that were ministers, and I didn’t want any part of it.  A few years later I had a different feeling about it all, but at the time I had other dreams and goals.

I did all the things I was supposed to growing up. I even took some time to go to Bible School, and met some life long friends there.  Looking back I had many experiences that would later shape my life. Moments of excitement when I would preach and see souls come to God. Instances where I would pray for someone and feel the anointing so strong and see them experience their healing.  There were many good moments of ministry, and there were some heavily burdened nights of agony when I realized that the mission was a soul, and they seemed unreachable.

The last several years have been very hard on me. Health issues as well as personal trials at times have dropped me to my knees to where I thought I could not handle anymore. I began to understand some of the conflicts with self and the flesh that surely Jesus must have felt in the garden and on the way to Calvary.

Do I think I was tried like Him? No, but some of my experiences I believe have left me uniquely aware of the agony and perhaps at times, hopeless feeling He must have had. 

Around Easter every year for the last several years, I always feel a sense of guilt and questioning.  I will never really be able to completely ignore or erase these feelings not because of what I did but because of what I did not do.

It was many years ago when I was very involved in the ministry of my church, and I had taken a night to go watch a Passion play at a local church. Our church never put on any really big program, and it was not a church night so I didn’t think it would be an issue if I went for the one performance.  Little did I know that that experience would affect me many years later.

I think I went with a couple church friends, but to be honest I do not recall any of them. The impact that was made in my memory was not about who I went with, but rather a couple events that transpired while I was there.  The production was good. It covered a good amount of Jesus’ life in small glimpses, and then was more detailed when it got to the time Christ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (yes, they had a donkey in the church), the Last Supper, and hanging Jesus on the Cross. But the moment that stands out in my mind was the Garden of Gethsemane scene.

Even though I had grown up with this message, and spent my life trying to do the right thing, and reaching out to others even to the point of ministry, that moment in time still brings tears to me even as I write this.  I felt like I was experiencing the agony Jesus was under as He prayed for the cup to pass from Him.  Paintings of Jesus in the Garden typically show a figure of Jesus with a beam of light showing down on Him from heaven. They depict him most often in some flowing robe with a calmness about Him.

But that wasn’t the way it was in reality. This was the moment of His greatest agony. This was the moment He was most human. I believe he writhed about, sweating, crying, maybe even screaming, as He begged for the pain He knew must happen to be taken away. Perhaps there was another way for mankind to be saved?

His clothes were disheveled, probably torn, and certainly dirty as He knelt, or lay upon the ground pouring out everything He had. Maybe He walked a bit in similar fashion to many old time preachers who would pour their souls out to God against the wall of the old church building, or stood there with His eyes turned down as many do at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

No one really knows what it was like, but it wasn’t pretty. It was an old fashioned prayer meeting. I have been to some of those and they aren’t happy or joyful events most times, but they are burdened cries in the darkness, and stammering lips pleading with God for a soul.

The difference was, even though His closest disciples were with Him, He was all alone. At the Passion play I experienced this in living examples. I saw the agony He was going through, while those who should have spent a little more time with Him, knowing He had just given a heart rending speech to them at the Last Supper, knowing change was coming. But instead, they slept.

Looking around, He noticed, and walked over to gently wake them. He asked them to please pray with Him. He was in the hour or His greatest need, and instead of rising to the occasion, they slept. 

Have you ever really thought about that? When we pray, we are the ones asking God for something, but at this moment in His humanity, Jesus asked for something for Himself.  What if we were met with the same response when we asked of Him?

Again, He came to find them sleeping, and again asked for just a little bit of time for them to watch and pray with Him. And then finally a third time, He came to find them asleep again, and He let them sleep as the hour was that He was to be delivered unto the Priests and those that were determined to take His life.

To me, that is one of the greatest moments in the Bible.  He became most human at that moment and was in need, and those who were closest to Him, turned their backs. Yes, it is true that just a few hours later, Peter denied and even cursed Him, but this was a moment forever etched in my mind as life changing.  I recall the tears in my eyes as I realized just how alone Christ was at that very moment.  His very own people missed a huge opportunity to know Christ on another level.

A few minutes later I missed an opportunity as well, and it comes back to me every Easter.

At the end of the production, they invited people to come to the front for the ‘Sinners Prayer’ and I stayed where I was since that is not what I believe, but I recall seeing a young woman who couldn’t quite make it up to the front but was standing with tears streaming down her face, her mascara running, and obviously being moved by the spirit.

My heart told me to pray with her, but I was not a minister there, did not even believe the way most of the audience believed and so for me to step out when it ‘just wasn’t my place’ seemed like an irrational thing to do. I stayed in my pew, and saw her slowly make her way more forward and disappear into the crowd.

I will never get that moment back. I will never know what happened to that young lady.  I had a moment where I could have perhaps changed a life, and I didn’t take it. And for the rest of my life, I have to live with it.

Now, I am sure some are saying but you are taking one moment in time, and God understands. Surely, He does, but I could have made an effort. And I didn’t. I am just as guilty as the disciples who slept while Jesus poured out His soul.

He Came Unto His Own

John 1:11 states, 'He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.’ Jesus was not really accepted by his people. Sure, there were many who showed up when He was handing out miracles and doing good, but of the thousands who followed Him for teaching and miracles, only a handful were there always, and then when He needed them, they slept, they cursed, they denied they even knew Him.

Pilate wanted to let Jesus go. He saw no reason for Jesus to die. And if you notice, it wasn’t the poor, the hungry, the hurting that were screaming for Jesus to be crucified, but rather those in the ministry. It was some of those who He fed on the hillside. Perhaps one of those He stopped to hold their child as He ministered to their needs.

It was those who He encouraged and expounded the scriptures with that turned aside and even clamored for the death of Christ. Can you imagine? It wasn’t the Roman soldiers that wanted Jesus to die. It was those who were His own people. The church wanted Him gone. They didn’t like knowing He could see through their traditions and theologies. They felt threatened by what He knew and the authority at which even nature responded to His voice. They couldn’t let that continue. They had to destroy Him.

I have experienced similar behavior myself from some church leaders. Some of you know a lot of what I have been through but for the most part I keep it to myself. I haven’t ever been pushed aside by those we would call ‘the world’ or even other denominational Christians, but rather by my own people. I am certain that I am not the only one who has experienced this. If we are living the way we should and trying to make a difference in others lives, then it won’t be the outsiders or sinners that will attempt to cause us strife, but rather those that are counted among our own people.

We have preached it for years that our churches are supposed to be a hospital for the hurting, a shelter for the homeless, a comfort for those who feel alone. But instead many of our churches have become so bottled up with our own personalities and philosophies that many times, even the message of Christ does not reach the lost.

James 1:27 says, ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’

Understand this; I believe that there should be a respect for the House of God,  the ministry, and of course for Jesus Christ. I believe that some of our ideologies and even what we consider traditions were put in place for a purpose. They are not just some self-righteous rant by someone who decides that their way of living is better than the way someone else lives or dresses. There are some definite guidelines in the Bible that laid out for our direction that should not be messed with regardless of rationalization or lifestyle. Living Holy is still the way to go and it should not be compromised.

However, some have become so caught up in trying to build a dominion and grand edifices to the Lord, that they have set aside the very purpose of Christ. They have forgotten the very reason He came. He came to seek and save the lost. He came to heal and deliver. He came unto His own, and they rejected Him.

Maybe it is the Easter season and while I should be celebrating the fact that He rose again, my spirit is grieved within me.  There are situations in my personal life that trouble me, but not to the extent I wake up crying and burdened the way I am with seeing the lost upon the streets of my city.

Earthquakes, tornadoes, wars, strife all around us as the Bible says will be in the end of the age, and yet our church pews are being emptied out to make way for fellowship halls, basketball games, and to some extent open only to ‘those who can pay the cover charge.’

It seems the days when most of our churches were filled with the poor, the elderly,  and the children are quickly being taken over by those who would rather see the church as a business  or event center instead of a hospital. Many churches have went to one service on Sunday and have become so depersonalized chances are you don’t even know the other person at the end of the pew.

If Jesus were to walk through the back door would He even know it was a service? Or would He feel displaced because there was no one there like Him?

See Jesus was a homeless drifter. I know how that sounds, but He said, ‘Foxes have holes,  and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath no where to lay his head.’  Luke 9:58

And He came unto His own…

How many missed opportunities have we had? Are we losing sight of being a witness, or even just encouraging our brother and sister? Are we too busy to even notice the soul that is nearly gone? Not just the ones on the street corners, but the ones sitting next to us in the pew?

A few weeks ago, I was changed. I have noticed a greater number of people on the streets begging for money or work with their signs. It never used to be a common sight where I live. The few we saw were quickly rationalized to be drug addicts or lazy, and most quickly drove past.

At times, I have actually seen some who have turned begging on the street corner into a business. I watched one climb out of his motorhome, walk over to the corner with his cardboard sign, and stand there hoping someone would give him money.  My spirit wanted to tell him to go find work, but most of the time I didn’t really slow down I just kept driving.  But then one day it was different.

I was headed to Wal-Mart to buy a few groceries and as I rounded the corner I saw him. He was wrapped in several blankets pushing an old shopping cart filled with various odds and ends, and holding a small sign that simply said, ‘I’m Hungry.’ He was straight out of a movie, with a greying matt of hair and beard, an old stocking cap, and worn shoes. I don’t know how far he had come because I had never seen him there again.

I never really slowed down until I got to the doors of the store and I felt pricked in my heart. I had seen countless begging on that same corner and felt nothing, but this time was different.  Payday was quite a ways off, and the amount of money I had at the moment was meager but I couldn’t shake it. I was headed to the back to get my few items as usual, and on the way to the front I put most of them down except for the carton of water and went over to where they sell sandwiches.  I picked out one I would like and headed back outside.

I looked off into the distance where he had been standing and he was gone.  I knew I had to do something, so I went a few blocks out of my way to find him. I got out the vehicle, approached him with a sandwich and one of the water bottles. A tear came to his eye and he stuttered out, ‘Bless You.’

As I got back into my vehicle and drove off I felt different. I am not saying this to brag, and it brings tears to my eyes just reflecting on it, but in that old homeless mans eyes were a gratefulness that I hadn’t seen from anyone in a really long time. I felt guilty because I am not more grateful for what I have.  Sure, like anyone I have trials and tests. I have bills to pay, situations that only God can handle, but I should be more grateful. I should be spending more time worshipping and being loving and kind. I am striving to do better, but I know it’s a process. It won’t happen overnight. But I am changing.

See what I learned was this, ‘It isn’t a sacrifice unless I have to give something of myself to make a difference.’  I should be more willing to sacrifice after all Christ sacrificed everything when He took on Calvary, for me.

Mar 2, 2012

But God…

but-godJust two words. It doesn’t seem like much. It doesn’t seem finished. To some, they would simply pass over  it without a second thought.

However, in those two words hangs the balance of eternity and hope.

Recently I was talking with someone about circumstances in their life. They were really struggling with a situation that was out of their control and really had no idea what to do.

I think we all go through those moments when it seems all is lost.  Even Jesus’ disciples had their moments when it seemed like there was nothing they could do to fix the situation.

In fact, Jesus himself was in the garden praying alone as the others had fallen asleep, and was facing the cross and his humanity was groaning in agony. He did not want to die. He did not want to endure the pain.  Who can blame Him?

I have heard some say, ‘He was God. He knew what was going to happen.’ And He did. But the flesh was in agony just the way we would be in a crisis or a painful situation out of our control.

I know in my own life there have been times that anything would have been easier than facing the things I had to go through.  I would have walked on broken glass, gave away all my worldly possessions, done pretty much anything to not have to go through the trial. But it was not in my control. 

All I could do was be patient, try and keep going, and hope and pray that somehow it would change, or that I would have the strength to endure it.

It seems macabre to think about it, but it was Jesus’ destiny to endure the cross for our salvation. To most of us we don’t really think about the humanity, the flesh, the analytical mind of Jesus. When we think of Him we think of Him as the almighty powerful one. But His human body had the same genetic makeup as ours. He could hurt. He could cry. He could feel sad. He could be hungry, and even though He knew what was expected, it was the same as it would be with any of us.

Sometimes we get bold and proclaim in the midst of watching calamity face others that if it happened to us, we ‘would handle it better, not get upset, just accept it.’  The reality however, is that when we are faced with a death of a child, a divorce, a wrecked car, our house burn down, or perhaps even someone saying something about us that is not true, we hurt too. And in our moments of pain, we might lash out at others, feel hopeless and rejected, or even just give up on life.


But is a conjunction. It is used in contrasting something already mentioned with another.

(example: I like red tulips, but my wife likes white roses better.)

It shows the difference on one side or other of the conjunction.

So, when faced with a situation, I know what I would want but that doesn’t mean it will turn out the way I want. It could be worse. It could be better.

The person I was talking to their situation did look hopeless to them, in fact it did to me as well. I did agree to pray however, and didn’t hear back for several days. 

Being honest, even though I know prayer works, there are times when I end up with doubts, even about the things I pray about for others. And when it comes to myself, well… we won’t go there.

I was hopeful, but not expecting a good result.

Then Why?

You may be wondering why pray for someone if you do not believe you are going to see a good result?  We have all heard that if we pray and do not have faith, it will not happen. Most of us have been prayed for at one time or other and never had a result.

At times we might think that the person praying for me does not have any faith. I used to be of the opinion that if you don’t believe you should not pray for anyone.  It just makes sense.

There have been times that I have not wanted some people to pray for me, simply because I did not believe that they had any faith, and I already knew my faith was shaken.

Now, this is not the same as having a negative person pray for you. To clarify, there are some who it seems every word out of their mouth is negative. They are filled with so much doubt about everything that it is always, ‘I don’t know, I am not sure’, or the fall back one that nearly everyone uses but it is still a negative statement, ‘we will see.’

When you say ‘we will see,’ you are already expressing doubt for whatever situation, circumstance, need, desire and so it is basically pointless at that moment. Those people I still do not want to pray for me.

But God

Those two tiny words. The title of this article. When you add God to the but, it changes everything.

I would try and explain God, but there isn’t enough room, time, or intellect to do so. And even if I could, you probably would not understand.

But God is the biggest game changer of all.

We could relate many stories from the Old or New Testament where God’s people were in situations out of their control. Mixed with uncertainty or possibly even dying at the hand of the enemy and it all looked like nothing good could come from it, but God stepped in and changed the picture.

And it really made a difference in the battle which side of the but God you were on. If you were on the side needing his help, then you were going to have success. If you were on the opposite side from the intentions of God however, well, you were finished. There was no maybe, we will see, or what shall we do involved. The situation was going to change, for the good or the bad. You just better be on the right side of the change.

But God In Your Life

Remember when we talked about praying without faith for others? I do believe it can work when we pray for ourselves too. And let me explain why.

We may be in the midst of our darkest despair. We may be going through something that we cannot deal with at all.   We may want to pack it in and just give up on life, on our situation, even on God.

If you tell people you have given up on God, the reaction from most is ‘how dare you?’ Or how can you possibly say that. Trust me, I have been in those situations and had people look like they wanted to slap me.  But, God understands.

He lived a human life. He knows how it feels. The prophets of old are even described as being of like passions such as we are. They got mad, they cried, they felt rejected.  They had their moments of not trusting God as well and yet they were used of God in mighty ways. So, when someone says if we ‘do not have faith we should not bother to pray, ‘ IGNORE THEM!

If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

So you see, even if we do not have the faith to believe, God does. When someone asks for prayer, regardless of the situation, they are displaying at least a morsel of faith, and when you agree to pray, then you are giving them even more faith, even if you have your own doubts. So, there is always a reason to pray for someone else.

Who knows, it might even be what you need to get your own victory.

We may not expect or even believe in a good result but we have to remember it is not up to us.

The disciples were headed to the other side of sea. Jesus was tired and went to sleep in the bottom of the boat. A storm arose, and whipped the boat around, lightning, thunder crashing, waves overflowing the boat. They were afraid. Most of us would have been.

This took place after Jesus fed 5000 with just a little boys lunch so you would have thought the disciples would have had plenty of faith, but they too were human. This wasn’t breaking up morsels of food, this was a storm that could take their lives.

These were men who walked and talked with Jesus on a daily basis. They knew Him in the personal relationship that most of us wish we could have. Surely, we would react differently?

In their fear, they woke him up. He arose, rebuked the wind, calmed the sea and there was peace upon the waters.  The situation had been scary to the point of death. We have all been there too. But God stepped in and it was all calm.

I remember several years ago a teen girl was in a very bad car wreck. She had severe head trauma, paralyzed on one side, was in a coma, on life support and the doctors were doing everything they could to keep her alive.

She lived on the machines with oxygen being forced into her lungs,  remaining in the coma for several months. Family members, ministers would go visit her and pray, and talk to her and be positive in the room because they say coma patients can hear what you say.

Finally, the family and the doctors both agreed that there was nothing they could do to change her situation. There didn’t seem to be any brainwave activity, she was basically laying on the bed not moving, the only sounds in the room were the beeps and hums of the machines that kept her breathing. They decided to take her off the machines and oxygen.

About an hour later she woke up.  She still had some difficulties with motor skills being partially paralyzed, but she was alive. Her eyes were open, and she could interact with the doctors, family, and friends. She went back to school.

She ended up graduating high school with honors.

Life for her seemed hopeless. It seemed over. There was nothing anyone could do. But God…

Let God

When God steps into the picture your situation is going to change. One way or other change is coming.

Facing sickness, even death? Financial needs? Relationship problems? Need a job? Discouraged? Lost in sin?

Whatever the circumstance may be, we can only do so much, and most things are simply out of our control. There may not be anything we can do about it. It is easy to get upset, worry, let our emotions get the best of us and most of the time we just try and take care of everything on our own, after all ‘we know best.’

But God can transform the situation. He can taken the most dire circumstance and make it turn out for His glory. Give it to Him. Get your victory!

Jan 14, 2012

The Real Winner

flatfootballToday I watched football, and I wanted Denver to win. They have been ‘my team’ long before the phenomenon of Tim Tebow.

I’ll admit that over the past few weeks I have become impressed with this guy.  It almost seems like someone wrote a script on how we would like to see our sports heroes behave.

I do not know him in person, and granted most of what I find out is either online or on some other form of media, but to some degree this guy almost seems too good to be true; almost as if he is just playing a part in some grand theater performance. He seems genuine though.

Who Is Tim Tebow?

If you haven't heard, he is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. I wrote about him a little, a few weeks back on my other blog.  He has proven leadership abilities both on an off the field.

This past week, and even a little before that, people have been emulating the way he prays, commenting on his life, making jokes, and some like myself have been a bit impressed.

I became more impressed today.

I Was Sick…

It is part of a scripture from Matthew 25. I was sick and ye visited me, hungry and you fed me, and so on and so forth.Today I found out that Tim brings at least one disabled, terminal, or otherwise impaired teen or child with him to each game. Not the same person, but different ones. And not just in home games but even the away games.

Tim spends time with them before the game, takes photos, gives them football gear, even takes interviews with them beside him.  The joy was shown today in the eyes of one young girl.

I am not sure what her condition was called, but you could tell she was very happy, and he spent a great deal of time with her before the game. He mentioned to a commentator that instead of going to the locker room and psyching himself up, he spends time with one of these individuals before the game, and uses that to get himself fired up. He affects change in peoples lives while doing his job.

No Better Than…

He also mentioned that his parents taught him that he is no better than anyone else as a young child. He said even though he is looked upon as something wonderful by so many people, he is only doing his job, and he is no more special than then mail man, fireman, or grocery store clerk.

He honestly seems a bit uncomfortable in interviews because he doesn’t get why they think he is that great. Oh, and did I mention he prays and is a true Christian?

No, don’t run away, this posting is not about Tim Tebow. Well, it is, but hang on.. I am getting there.

Uncomfortable Grace

Today on his Facebook page, Tim posted Romans 8:37-39. In all things we are ‘more than conquerors… nothing shall separate us from the love of God.’

This was several hours before the playoff game to determine if the Broncos would win another level on the way to the Super Bowl game.  I even saw a poll where 41% of people were thinking that God wanted Denver Broncos to win with Tebow. Odds were that they would go all the way, and some had even bet money on it.

But when it comes to talking about himself, Tim always seems to turn the conversation to someone else. The team, the disabled person he brought to the game, even God. God always comes up in any conversation with him.

He could be telling everyone how wonderful he is, but instead he uses humility and grace to turn the conversation to someone else. And he does the same thing on or off the field.

Ego & Bravado vs Humility & Grace

The other quarterback that played today is a far different story. He seems to thrive more on the publicity, even controversial, and he truly believes he is as good as his handlers say. Oh, and he is married to a supermodel, so perhaps some of his ego is deserved.

Now, I don’t know Tom Brady either, but in every interview I have seen, he thinks he is an important as everyone around him says. He is also pretty good at football, and so I guess somewhat deserved, but on and off the field he shows his ego and bravado.  So, of course the media loves him.

I have even seen some people compare the two quarterbacks to evil versus good.  I don’t think that is entirely true, but there is some truth there.

Tom shows his ego and bravado. Tim shows humility and grace.

The Difference

I said this wasn’t going to be about football, or Tim Tebow and it  isn’t. I want to show the difference, not between the men, but between humility and ego, bravado and grace.

  • The Bible says that  we shouldn’t be arrogant or proud. It even says that true love doesn’t puff itself up.
  • Humility will always give others first choice, while ego will take first, or get upset and angry. Humility loves.
  • Grace will always accept the situation, no matter the outcome, while bravado is all about winning. Grace says I can still do it, and there will be a next time.

Evil Sometimes Wins

Now, I am not saying that all ego is evil, or that being brave is not a good thing. It has its place. However, it almost always has the attitude that it will win or else someone will pay for it.

I don’t think Jesus wants us to just hide in the darkness, but humility and grace always puts others ahead of self. Its not about ‘How I am doing, it is about how are you?’

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to win more. I would love to have my way sometimes, just as much as you do, and sometimes I succeed.

But sometimes we lose, and the worst can happen.

The Purpose of Evil

Again, I am not saying that if my team didn’t win, the other team cheats, or that God should just fix it so I always get my way.

The truth is we need difficulty in our lives.  We need times where we don’t get everything we want. We need those times, even when they are hard, where we ask, “Why did God allow this?’

It is in our struggles, or evils, that we learn how to stand. We gain strength, we learn how to trust God. We go through a testing period, either for ourselves, or for a purpose God has in mind down the road.  If there was no trial, test, problem, evil as it were, we wouldn’t have strength, we wouldn’t set goals, we would just go through life without purpose. We would never grow.

Accepting The Circumstance

  • We can call it many things; trial, test, tribulation, situation, circumstance, evil, more terms could follow meaning the same thing

Why would God allow this? Why didn’t he do this for me? We hear those kinds of questions all the time, and even say them ourselves at times.

And don’t get me wrong, there are times that accepting what has happened can be very hard. I realize that. There are times when it takes all we have to keep trusting God, and sadly, there are many who do not make it, but instead fall into things, that in a former life, they would never been caught even close to.

But we can be sure of a couple of things.

  • If we fall we can choose to get up.
  • Evil only wins for a short time and then it is gone.

Change Happens

Whatever the circumstance that knocks us down is, it can only prevail for a little while. It isn’t permanent.  Bravado and ego is the same way.

It is true that sometimes ego is going to win, but it is not long term, and it has a purpose to make us stronger.

However, humility and grace have a lasting effect. It touches more lives, it changes them, and makes things better. He wasn’t lying when He said His ‘grace is sufficient, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’

Ego touches one person for a short time, humility changes lives, possibly eternally.

No one was ever so humble as Christ himself, yet he took on the shame and reproach of the cross that we might win.

He could have come out and said I am God; zap someone with fire or a lightning bolt; go back up into Heaven; and be happy with us going through the motions. Being robotic, just doing what we are told, getting what we need, not striving to achieve anything else. But no, He is the God of humility.

Romans 8:37-39

So, we didn’t win the game today.  Being more than conquerors doesn’t mean that God will give us the ability to always be right, always win, always get what I want. 

That scripture means that no matter what happens, good or bad, we are still more than conquerors, and nothing can separate us from His Love.

So, Who Wins?

James 4:6 says, ‘But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’

Grace to the humble and God resists the proud. Who wins?

As I am sure most of our mothers have told us at sometime, ‘It isn’t whether you win or lose, but its how you play the game.’ How profound!

Humility and Grace for the WIN!


Jan 11, 2012

He Can Roar But He Can’t Hurt You!


A few days ago I saw a video that at first made me jump, and then made me smile.  A little girl was at a zoo and a lion was roaring, pawing at the window, ready to attack her, and the little girl stood there.

At this particular zoo there was glass between the animals and people instead of the usual bars I am used to and so it was all the more heart jumping action as I wondered just how strong that glass was. I  remarked to someone after watching the video how that little girl was amazing, and seemed to have no fear.

An angry, hungry lion in full-on attack mode and three year old Sofia stood her ground. You can see the video clip here.

Fear Not!

How many times as Christians have we heard those words. Fear Not! Seems like over the years maybe thousands of times? Yet, a storm will break out, a trial will come upon us, and our faith is shaken, our fears rise to the surface, and we wonder how we are going to make it.

It has been said that the phrase ‘fear not’ appears in the Bible 365 times. I am not sure of the accuracy of that, but between other similar references it is very clear that we are told to not be afraid of what may come along. 

As Christians our banner is Faith, and so it would be logical that we cannot have faith and still be fearful, but we too are human and fall into the grasp of the faint of heart when trials and tests come our way. I too fall prey to my fears at many times. It is easy to do.

However, one would think that over time, and many trials we would begin to realize that no matter what happens we are going to be okay.

Oh Ye Of Little Faith

Those were the words that came out of Jesus’ mouth when He was awakened by His disciples to calm the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Now, if anyone should have faith, you would think the very ones who walked and talked with Jesus, even ate dinner with Him should have faith. They should know everything was going to be okay. But falling into their own doubts, after a great miracle I might add, they woke Him to ‘Master, careth not that we perish?’

How many times have we done the same thing?

We love the worship, the singing, the dancing, the shouting, but let a little storm come into our life and we wonder where is God? 

Right There With Us

Matthew 28:20 states, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’  He is right there in every situation with his protecting hand to shield us from harm.

Little Sofia knew that glass was between her and the lion. Sure, at first she reacted to the roar, but she stood her ground. She knew she was going to be okay. 

Many times in life, the enemy comes roaring and pawing at us, ready to destroy us. His roars get louder and his attacks seem more fierce as we face him, to the point it looks like he will devour us.

1 Peter 5:8 says the ‘devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.’ He would like to destroy us.  He wants to wreck our life, but more importantly, destroy our soul. He doesn’t like the freedom we can have in Jesus.

We can sugar coat it if we like, but there is a devil and he doesn’t want us having what he cannot. So he might come into our lives, roar and paw at us to try and get us to break. If can get us to stop believing in the power of the cross, the blood of Jesus and His love, then perhaps he can win.

Standing Firm

Galatians 5:1 says, ‘stand therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.’  We have freedom and liberty because Jesus Christ took our sins and hung on Calvary that we might be free from the bondage of sin and death. We can take hope that His grace truly is sufficient for us.

If we have taken on Christ, and are covered by His blood, nothing can shake us. Isaiah wrote, ‘I have engraved you in the palms of my hands.’ We are protected by our Creator against any attack of the enemy.

Just Keep Standing

That lion kept roaring and pawing at little Sofia in the video. It wanted to attack her or at the very least scare her. A lot of us would have run crying, maybe even screaming from that lion. But she seemed fearless. Why?

She knew that between her and the lion, there was a protective barrier. That lion could not touch her. No matter how much the lion roared, it was not going to get through that barrier.

Our enemy is the same way. He can roar, he can paw, he can do all sorts of things to make us afraid but he cannot do anything to us when we are protected and bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. The enemy is powerless against the blood.

The End Of The Story

I am not sure how it all played out after, but at the end of the video clip, the lion is standing there watching that little three year old girl.

I wonder what was going through its mind?

This tiny creature who he could probably eat with one bite, stood there against the roar, against the pawing. There was nothing the lion could do.

It is the same with our lives. The enemy can roar at us, but cannot do anything when we are protected by God. Just a bunch of noise, and in the end, we will still be okay.

Sofia wants to go to the zoo, again, for her 4th birthday.

Jan 6, 2012

The Birthing of Revival

I am praying that this year is a Year of Restoration. I truly desire that God works in my life and brings his deliverance and healing into my body and spirit.

I also want revival in my city as I mentioned in a previous blog posting. It has become a passion for me, a burden even, to reach others.  I ran across a message I heard a little while ago and felt like sharing it. The speaker is Sis. Bobbye Wendell.

The Birthing of Revival

Jan 1, 2012

The Art of Gratitude


The New Year is upon us and like most people I too have been thinking about resolutions. We all do the lose weight, get in better shape, be more patient, and other typical thoughts, so I pondered a little bit harder this year.

I wanted to do resolutions that were actually possible, yet something in my own personal life I need to work on. This is what I came up with and I am sharing it with my readers.

New Years Resolutions

Just the very words put fear into some people. Others treat it lightly and make jokes because they know it is something they won’t keep very long. I heard a commentator today talk about his resolution, and he mentioned he made it at midnight and by 12:30 AM he had already broken it. I think he said it had something to do with food. But that is the way most people treat resolutions. It is just something to do.

I have done something similar in the past, even if I made any resolutions. I want to be different this year though. I wanted something that is actually achievable and I want to do my best to keep it. I want it to be an accomplishment at the end of the year.

I Am A Procrastinator

There, yes, I said it, and it is true. I do have a habit of procrastinating. Not with everything but with some things I just can’t get motivated. I make myself lists, even mark it on calendars that pop up on my computer to remind me every few days, and still I forget, and then before long I see the pop-up but I just close it and go back to whatever I am doing.

You know the usual? I keep planning to work out more on the treadmill, cut out some sweets, work on the books I am writing, but it seems I never quite have the time, or at the very least I lack the motivation.  So, what about this year?

I Need To Read

No, I don’t forget to read my Bible, and I do read online, on the iPad, magazines related to my hobbies, and close-captions on the TV. I even take time to read labels when I am shopping for groceries. But, when it comes to sitting down with an actual book, I never seem to do it.

Reading has become a dying skill, unless we count status on Facebook, texts from family or friends. I would dare to say that even most students do not read their textbooks, and in fact I know of at least one school where reading isn’t even a required subject anymore. I know. I was surprised too.

I Have Books

About a year ago, maybe longer, I am actually not sure my brother bought me some novels. They were authors I liked, and the genre I used to read all the time.

There were many nights where I would grab a book after dinner, or even after church on Sunday night, and begin to read as I ate a snack before bed, or even once I climbed in bed to unwind for the day. Many times, I would look at the clock knowing I had to leave for work at 7:30  and notice it was already 4:00 AM! I would hesitantly put down the book, and try to grab a few hours of sleep before work, and would be pushing for lunchtime so I could finish reading.

At the time I was a voracious reader. It was very typical for me to read at least a book a week, and many times two or three.  I loved to read. I am not sure what happened, but over time I guess I just got too busy to keep reading, until the books just sit on a shelf somewhere, unopened, many times with the price tag still stuck to the front. I would dare to say that within my eyesight are at least ten books I have never even opened the cover. Sad, isn’t it?

I Will Read More This Year

My first resolution. I will read more this year. I will make an effort to find the time to sit down with a book and finish it. Yes, life might still get in the way, but I want to get back to reading ‘real books’ before they are no longer being made.

The first book I am going to read this year is ‘The Prayer of Jabez.’ I don’t know much about it, but I have had a friend recommend it, and as a teacher, and an avid reader, I would think she would know what she is talking about.

Take, Take, Take

This year Christmas was different. My parents were away visiting my brother in Japan, and so I wasn’t too excited about Christmas. I live alone and do not have as many friends or family around as I used to, so at times it can become a bit lonely.  However, I decided this past year to go to one of those Black Friday sales, and I must admit I do not want to again.

It was as if people had become ravenous shoppers. Pushing, shoving, snatching items from the shelves before anyone else could get it, and if they happened to notice something in your cart that they wanted, they would try and talk you out of it. It was an experience.

It seems over the past couple of years Christmas has been more about what we get than what we give, even for me. I never told anyone but I was actually disappointed somewhat this year with what I got. Oh, there was a gift that I received that I really needed and appreciated, but  for the most part I felt left out of Christmas.  I didn’t even get a card from some who I really care about, even though I sent out cards myself.


Christmas isn’t supposed to be about sadness, or being disappointed, and yet this year I was. I didn’t really get to spend it with the ones I wanted, and the lack of gifts left me moody and disenchanted.  I only let it last for a couple of days and tried to make the best of it, but still and all, well I think you get the idea.

I started thinking about it the other day, ‘How do I react during the rest of the year?’ Am I of the same temperament that I was at Christmas?

Moody, sullen, downtrodden; are these words that describe me during the year? Sure, I am thankful for what I have, and I get by, but am I ungrateful?


I don’t think I am, and I try most of the time not to let my feelings show, but I really do not like others who are given so much and they act like it means nothing. I spent a few minutes, let’s be truthful, thinking about it and wondering about myself. Is that my attitude too?

The dictionary seems to lump thankful and grateful together. Most people would think they are the same thing, but digging deeper, they are a little bit different.


Thankful: In a nutshell, pleased and relieved. In fact most of the definition mentions relief.

Grateful: Feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness.

There is a difference. Thankful seems to be a reflection of how we feel, while grateful seems to be an action we show others.

All you have to do is go back to Christmas morning and you can see the difference. Everyone is pleased with presents, but you can tell when they are grateful for what they get.

Gratefulness Is An Art

I experienced that this past year in spite of how I felt about Christmas.  I try and get, or make, gifts that I think the person I am giving will actually want.

I don’t just buy some random thing for my loved ones, or get something on a list, but I actually try and find something I think they will like.

This year I bought small stuffed animals for my twin nieces, and I wasn't;t actually sure haw they would feel about them. I liked the animals, you could feed them, pat them on the head, they made noises. The girls are four, so I thought perhaps they would like them but you can never be to sure.

The Gifts

They had a huge pile of presents and I was sure mine would just get lost in the mix, thrown aside, put on a shelf somewhere.

My gift was the second or third thing they opened, and when they saw what it was, immediately they took it to their dad to open the rest of the way. You know, the way they wrap toys these days is a pain, but that is a story for another day.

Anyhow, they stopped opening their other gifts because they wanted to play with what I got them. I felt relieved for sure, but maybe a little proud as well.  My gift mattered and in a small way I felt I mattered too.

Gratefulness Is A Funny Thing

After a little while, their grandmother wanted them to finish opening the rest of the gifts. She even seemed a little bit put off that here were all these other wrapped presents, and the girls were not interested in opening them.

They finally did open the rest, but as soon as they were finished it was back to playing with what I brought them. In a way I felt vindicated, proud, and yes grateful.

The girls gave me hugs, and were excited.  To be honest, so was I.  I was thankful I picked out something they would like, and actually play with, but also I was grateful for their appreciation.

While there wasn’t much for me to open at Christmas, my twin nieces gave me a gift of gratitude. Here it is days later and I still feel emotional about it.

I Will Be More Grateful This Year

My second and final resolution is to be more grateful this year. Sure, I could add in get in better shape, get rid of this or that, but I truly want to strive to be more grateful.

I have a hard time dealing with people giving me things. Most of the time, it  is because they don’t seem to really know me well enough to get something I like, but also, I am more a giver than a taker. It is hard for me to accept things I haven’t worked for, so gifts are not really something I react to.

Still Thankful

As I mentioned before I am thankful for what I have and the people in my life, but  I know at times I can be difficult to deal with, and even more so, I want to be more grateful.

Being grateful isn’t always easy in tough times, but it is an important act of life. A few years ago, there were ‘gratitude journals’ available online and in stores for people to write down their thoughts like a diary. I noticed it, but didn’t ascribe to it, simply because it was a ‘fad.’

However, this year I felt that instead of just accepting what is given me, or the way I am treated, I will really try and be more grateful.

I want gratefulness to be something that spreads into the lives of those around me and even farther until it is an epidemic.  By showing otehrs my gratefulness, maybe it will rub off, and lives will be changed by The Art of Gratitude