Showing posts from October, 2017

The Key To Life Is . . .

Each morning I listen to motivational guru and business leader Darren Hardy give me a 5(ish) minute motivational talk about life, vision, leadership, business and other stuff.  Now I don't know if Darren practices any kind of faith in Christ.  I have been able to ascertain that he is familiar with the Bible and other forms of religion.  But something he said this morning really got my attention. "Be of values to others first, giving first . . . " Acts 20:35 ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” The key to life is - give it all away. When you give value - you will receive it. When you give hope - you will get more. When you give joy - it will come back to you. It isn't karma.  It's called the law of sowing and reaping.  Karma says that you will reap in the next life what you sow in this one.  The Bible is clear, you only get one life.  So are you going to horde everything that you have and keep it for yourself?  Or are you going to share it a


What was that famous line from Rodney Dangerfield?  "I Get No Respect"! Aretha Franklin - Performed a song about it. re·spect - rəˈspekt/  noun - a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. I know people that demand respect.  I know people that earn respect.  I know people that deserve respect.  Matthew 7:12   “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Romans 12:10   Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Exodus 20:12   “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 1 Peter 2:17   Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Philippians 2:3   Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Wow!  The Bible has a lot to say about showing respect.  #1 -

The Sun Shined In A Storm

So yesterday I watched a tropical storm develop in the Gulf of Mexico - Philippe.  With a important Sunday service, church dinner and business meeting I thought to myself, “Oh great”! I get up this morning to clear sky’s.  I check the radar, no rain.  I read the forecast, no rain.  What happened?  Did the storm dissipate during the night?  No, in fact it was just making landfall in South Florida. Not only that but the track took it through Palm Beach County, just south of where I live. A tropical storm was moving through my area with no rain, and little to no wind. I’ve lived in Florida over 30 years and never seen anything like this. Isaiah 4:6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain. no matter how dark it is right now remember this.  God can always make the sunshine in the middle of your storm. PRAY: Dear Jesus, I need some sunshine today.  AMEN 

When You Run Out of Steam

Tired?  I know the feeling. Exhaustion is a fact of life.  We all know it, and we don't love it - but it happens. What happens when you get exhausted?  Well, I know that I make mistakes, get cranky, and become apathetic.  I know that there are a few others, but I'm too tired to think of them right now.  Oh yea, I forget stuff.  Did I say that already? Isaiah 40:28-29 “He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” What to do with exhaustion.  #1 - Get rest.  Stop and take a nap.  Stop and get some sleep.  Stop and just wind down.  #2 - Pay attention. OSA-related traffic accidents are estimated to cost between $12 billion and $39 billion per year (not including medical costs) OSA-related workplace accidents cost the economy between $7 and 22 billion per year.   #3 - Recharge your batteries.  Take a day off or even a week.  During that time relax and spend

When You Are Disappointed

We all get disappointed, but what do we do about it matters. Today, I have been expecting a phone call or an email from a certain person.  I spoke with them earlier this week.  They promised to deliver the information I needed by today.  I've left a phone message.  No answer.  Called back.  No answer.  Finally, I went to the office.  They are not in today, but a very nice gentleman said that he would call and leave them a message. I'm not happy.  But what can I do about it? Psalm 34:18   The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 30:5 Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.  #1 Remember, this too shall pass.  - This will not last forever, and there is a solution to your need.  You may have to look somewhere else for it - but frustration is eventually productive.  #2 Disappointment is a choice.  - The only person making you disappointed is yourself.  No one is forcing you to be disappointed.  Sure i

Connecting the Dots

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 Discovering clarity of mind and heart at times can seem like the search for the Holy Grail.  If only we could know what to do next?  Most of our days are already scheduled for us.  When we get up.  When we go to work.  When we pick up the kids from school.  But beyond that, we are challenged with decisions that can entirely push us to our breaking point.  Should we buy a house?  Should we let our kid go to college right now?  Should we start a new business?  It is just one challenge right after another.   Ask for Knowledge Proverbs 15:14  The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. Many people make decisions without understanding.  Knowledge is a byproduct of patience.  When you wait to learn, wait on God and wait to discover you gain understand and with understanding confidence. Pray for Wisdom. James 1:5 If any of you lacks w

What Do You Value?

What are your fundament beliefs?  In other words, what filter do you put everything through?  How do you come to your decisions?   I pointed out a few posts ago that we feel before we think.  That's because everything that enters our brain goes through our emotions before it arrives at our reasoning area.  Now before you say, "Oh I wish I could turn those emotions off." know this.  People, who for whatever reason, cannot feel their emotions anymore cannot make a decision.  Literally, they cannot decide what they want for breakfast or choose clothes to wear.   Core values or your fundamental beliefs are essential to you.  Some of these you might even die for.  It goes beyond saying things like, "I want to be a good person." or, "I need to have integrity."  Core values define who you are. Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such thi

What Is Your Purpose?

I’ve asked people this question before.  I’ll get answers like, “Make a million dollars.” Or, “Raise my children well”. These are not purposes, they are goals.  When I point out the difference between the two and press the question I usually get the proverbial deer in the headlight look. What is a purpose?  One definition says, “Your life purpose consists of the central motivating aims of your life—the reasons you get up in the morning.” “A goal is a desired result or possible outcome that a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve: a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development.” When you focus on goals, even if they are worthy, and fail to understand your purpose it will cause you to lose the meaning of life.  The wife and mother who gives everything for her family but is unfulfilled or the husband who works to be a great provider but doesn’t know why. Ps 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose

When God Decides To Change Everything

You and I don't like change.  Well, most change that is. We like it when we graduate from college. We don't like paying more taxes.  We like getting married. We don't like getting older. But change can be a bit of a conundrum for followers of Christ.  So here are the two rules you need to know. #1 God Never Changes. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. #2 God Changes Everything. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Huh?  The character of God never changes.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Thank Him for that.  Whatever God does in your life will be consistent and reliable.   But God will change your life.  He will do something new in your life that will cause change.  But that will only happen as you trust Him.  Wor

How much is your life worth?

I told this story in church.  So if you heard it, that's ok.  But for everyone else . . . I hear stories from other pastors and missionaries all the time.  But one of the most powerful I ever heard was one told by a missionary to Africa.   He was preaching, and at this time focusing on the subject of giving. Being one of the most impoverished areas of the country, offerings looked more like what you might bring home from a fruit stand. Fruits and vegetables and on rare occasion, a chicken. But many people were giving their life's to Christ through this outstation in the bush.  However, the people had no infrastructure, no health care, and no protection.  Life was dangerous and burdensome, to say the least. One day a lady accepted Christ into her life.  She was overjoyed with her newfound faith and she so desperately wanted to do something great for God.  But she owned nothing.  She had no family and no income. Then one day she came forward at the offering. The missi

Is Absentmindedness a Gift?

What do you mean I didn't blog yesterday? That's what I thought to myself this morning as I sat down to my computer.  I thought I did.  If you  asked me I would have said, "Yes I did!"  But the evidence is right there in front of me.  No - I didn't Have you ever thought that you had a gift to be absent-minded?  I have, more than once. 2 Cor 12: 7 - 10 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, the

God's Plans Are Bigger Than You

Jeremiah 29:1 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Everyone loves this scripture.  Some a little too much.  What does this verse say?  What does it not say?  It says God has a plan.  It doesn't say that God has adopted your plan.  It says that God His plan is for good, not for evil - ever.  It doesn't say that you will be exempt from temptation.  It says that He has your future planned out for you.   It doesn't say that it is an easy plan.  It says God will give you hope.  It doesn't' say what that hope will look like.  Too often we try to convince God to bless our mess.  We think that we have our best intentions in mind, but all we are doing is being selfish.  God's plan for you is more significant than you.  When God asks you to do something, it ought to take your breath away.  When God shows you His plan for your life, it ought to make your

The End Of The World.

Huricanes, earthquakes, fires, wars, devastation and destruction.  One might think that the world is coming to an end. Matt 24: 4 - 8 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. First of all there have been and are a lot of people who call themselves the Savior of the world.  Google it!  On second thought, don't.  But there are many who will try to replace Jesus. Secondly, war and rumors of wars.  All you have to do is pick one.  North Korea?  Middle East?  War on Terror?  Jesus said, don't worry,  Why?  Then there are famines and earthquakes.  If you would like real ti

Attitude Rises To The Top

It's Monday morning and attitudes can stink. Monday always gets a bad rap because it's the first day of the work week.  Who wants to go to work? Whatever your attitude is it will rise to the top.  Let's look at a few of the disciples. - Thomas was a doubter. - Judas was selfish. - Peter was head strong. Phil 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ . Paul is a great example that serve us well today.  As Saul, he would wake up in the morning with a foul attitude towards followers of Jesus.  He wanted to ruin them.  He wanted to extinguish the name of Jesus.  But . . .  His attitude changed when he encounter Jesus on the road to Damascus.   Saul changes and his name reflected that change.  The Hebrew name Saul means "asked for, prayed for". It's Latin counterpart Paul means "small" or "humble".  His attitude did change.  How can you change yours? 1. Start right if you want to

David and Goliath - Finish the job!

So many giants come back because we didn't finish the job. 1 Sam 17 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. Goliath has fallen.  David could have stopped there and declared victory; Goliath was dead after all.  But what is the point of defeating your giants if you don't follow through?  David did not walk out on a battlefield to show mercy.  He walked out on a battlefield to destroy the Philistines plans against his people, the nation of Israel.   David didn't just behead Goliath, he humiliated the Philistine nation.  The name David would strike fear in their hearts for decades to come.  Later in life, King David and his army had to face 4 more gi

David and Goliath - Know Your Enemy... And Your Allies

Bottom line.  David was smarter than Goliath. 1 Sam 17 41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the

David and Goliath - Prepare For Battle!

There comes a time when you just have to go to war.   1 Sam 17  31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion a

David and Goliath - Don't You Dare Lay Down And Die

1 Sam 17 28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before. Remember David is a visitor to the camp.  He is there to deliver some supplies and gifts.  While he is there, he asks some of the soldiers what is going on?  His oldest brother overhears him and takes his head off for it.   Why?  - Was he embarrassed that he was one of the soldiers that were retreating in fear?  - Was he afraid that his brother might try something fool hearty and actually face Goliath?  - Was he jealous that his little brother was being included in his group of

David and Goliath - You Have A Choice To Make

1 Samuel 17 19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army.22 And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. David wasn't quite old enough to be drafted into the army.  But his brothers were.  After being in this standoff for 40 days, I suspect that supplies were starting to run low.  So Davids father Jesse sent him to the battlefront with some food for his bro

David Vs. Goliath - You Have Been Challenged!

Life will challenge you.  What are you going to do about it?   1 Samuel 17:1 - 11 The Philistines got ready for war and brought their troops together to attack the town of Socoh in Judah. They set up camp at Ephes-Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. 2-3 King Saul and the Israelite army set up camp on a hill overlooking Elah Valley, and they got ready to fight the Philistine army that was on a hill on the other side of the valley. 4 The Philistine army had a hero named Goliath who was from the town of Gath and was over nine feet tall. 5-6 He wore a bronze helmet and had bronze armor to protect his chest and legs. The chest armor alone weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds. He carried a bronze sword strapped on his back, 7 and his spear was so big that the iron spearhead alone weighed more than fifteen pounds. A soldier always walked in front of Goliath to carry his shield. 8 Goliath went out and shouted to the army of Israel: Why are you lining up for battle? I’m the best sol

Who Is Right?

Can NFL players kneel during the National Anthem?  They have the first amendment right to do so.  (Free Speech)  Can anyone disagree with them by not watching their game, boycotting their games, getting up during the game and leaving?  They have the first amendment right to do so.   Both have a right but does that make it right?  Those that are kneeling argue that they disagree with the direction the country is going in and therefore will not support it.   Others argue that we have a great country, but that it isn't without its flaws.  Nonetheless, we should support it and believe that we can overcome any differences we might have.   Who is right?  It's the wrong question.  You should ask, What is moral?  While the Bible has a great deal to say about what is right and wrong, that doesn't mean that our laws line up with the will of God.  They often times don't. So, legally speaking, both sides of this, kneel or don't kneel argument are right.

What Time Is It?

It's 6:01 pm EST for me, right now.   But that's not the answer I am looking for. Ecclesiastes 3   1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Do you know what God wants you to do right now?  I've said it and you've probably heard it.   Time is everything.  There is a great deal of truth to that statement. I sense that

Do You Know Your, "Why?"

Why do you want to lose weight?  Why do you want to make more money?  Why do you want another child?  Why? Why? Why?  I know that many of us have said, quoting Joyce Meyers, "Why God Why?  When God When?"   But more importantly what is the motive behind your, Why?  I have learned that if you want to lose weight and keep it off, saying, "I want to lose weight and keep it off." isn't good enough.  Saying that you want to fit into that dress or suit by a specific time will never get the job done either.  Why?  Because once you reach your goal, you will put the weight back on.  I guarantee it.  But if you say, I want to be healthy.  Then you're on to something.  Getting healthier changes your lifestyle and guess what?  You'll lose the weight and keep it off.   I have heard people say that they want to get a better job and make more money.  But after they achieve their goal they usually say, "I need a better job, and I need to make

(Bang Head Here)

You've heard me say, "Frustration is eventually productive."  You've also heard me say, "It's all about the journey, not the destination."  Well, I have to be honest with you.  I do not like to be frustrated for very long and I don't like long arduous journeys.  In other words, I run out of patience. Now before some of you start chattering about how patience is a Godly virtue and that I just need to settle down, read this. Proverbs 13:12   Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. God understands that we have our limits.   Paul understood my plight when he said in 2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.   In other words, the journey is difficult but worth it if you keep your faith. He also said in Philippians 4:11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.   Patience and contentment go

How To Change Your World

Change yourself first. In light of recent events, I am hearing people talk about how we need to, "change" things.  Most of what I understand though isn't really change at all.  It addresses peoples action but says nothing about the motives of their heart. If you say, "I am going to be a vegan." So what?  But if you say, "I am going to eat healthy meals!" then you've changed something. If you say, "I am going to stop yelling at people." So what?  You can still be mean with a kind tone.  But if you say, "I am going to treat people with greater compassion!"  Then something has changed. #1 - Understand that change will happen. Everything changes all the time, except God (see #4).  You will not be the same person you are six months from now.  Life causes change.  If you fight it - it will run you over. #2 - Understand that change can be painful but productive. Make the right choices so you can embrace the right change.

Emotions after the Las Vegas Shooting

What happened Sunday is nothing short of horrific and horrible.  As expected, the blame game is in full swing.   But without a motive for this evil, we don't know why this happened. I have noticed that some people are feeling guilty because they don't, "feel" worse about this event.  That in some way they have become jaded or insensitive to the need.  This is causing feelings of guilt and depression which only adds fuel to the fire.  So let's deal with this. Every thought you have goes through your emotions before it reaches your logical/rational center of your brain.  In other words, you feel before you think.  Your brain is designed to multitask some important actions at the same time.  Breathing, thinking, seeing, etc.  So when something so horrific as a mass shooting presents itself, your brain will lock up, thus protecting the other functions from pain.   Recently we have gone through a hurricane.  Watched another tear through the Caribbean.  Watched

Las Vegas = Volatile

Volatile - def. - liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse. As of the writing of this blog, 58 people have been killed and 515 injured in Las Vegas.  This will go down as the one of the worst if not the worst shooting in American history, no doubt. We live in volatile times.  The angst of our culture is boiling over, and there is no end in sight.  Opinions are being solidified, hatred is having a field day, and good people are in harm's way.   Over the course of the next few days, media will try to tell us a story about what happened.  Unfortunately, I am obligated to tell you that there are three sides to every story.  Them, theirs and the truth.  I don't know which one you will hear.   Then there will be those who will point blame.  ISIS, Islam, gun control, mental health care and more.  But addressing any of these issues doesn't address the real problem.  We are an angry culture that has lost its moral compass.   #1 - We ha