Showing posts from July, 2018

Be At Peace With Others

I recently read that the belief of pluralism ( A  state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization. ) will ruin young peoples ability to grow and mature.  On paper pluralism sounds good, everyone tolerates everyone else and, all live in peace.  But the problem is that if you tolerate everything you cannot believe in something. For pluralism to work, you have to accept what others believe and never disagree with them. People like to push this ideology off on religion.  "Well if you would all just agree to disagree and get along we wouldn't have all the problems we have."  So, let me see if I get this right.  I can have faith in my system of belief, but I cannot disagree with yours even though I believe your system will have eternally damning results?  I am not advocating going to war with another religion, as some are,

Distractions, Distractions, Distractions

Luke 10:38-42  Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Have you ever been distracted?  We all have.  Being distracted is a constant in our lives.  If we cannot stay on task and focus, we can be diagnosed with some kind of attention deficit disorder.  That means being distracted is serious business.   The world you and I live in is clamoring for our attention 24/7.  The email chimes, the phone rings, an ad on a website flashes,  there is a knock at the door,

Be Contagious

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. But I don’t feel like it!    I’m sure none of us have ever said these words.  NOT! Whether you're being positive or negative, you’are contagious.  Your attitude will spread to others faster than the common cold.  So Paul tells us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that we are to think about the good things in our life.   First of all, anything that is good came from God.  Thinking about His goodness in your life will prompt you to worship Him. Secondly, God knows how you are wired.  He created you after all.  He knows what you dwell on you will become.  Dwell on the truth of His Word.  Dwell on what is honorable and just.  Dwell on what is pure, lovely and commendable.   Do it for a day and it will change

When Life Throws You A Curve Ball

The curveball dates back to the 1860's and 70's.  Even though it is debatable who came up with it, baseball tradition has credited it to Candy Cummings.  The curveball is a tough pitch to hit because it never comes in a straight line but in a curve.   Not I found it interesting that Harvard President Charles Eliot thought it was dishonest to use the curveball and didn't want his students to partake in it.   "That's not fair!"  How many times have you heard your children say that?  How many times have you said that?  You know what, you're probably right.  We usually have a pretty good idea of what is fair and isn't.  But the truth of the matter is, life doesn't care.   God is always fair. He will remember how you helped his people in the past and how you are still helping them. You belong to God, and he won’t forget the love you have shown his people.   Heb. 6:10 (CEV) God is fair.  But His definition of fairness and yours are diffe

Favoritism is Fatal

James 2:9   But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. Favoritism has been a plague in relationships for a long time.   When a parent says, "Why can't you be more like your sibling?'  When a teacher says, "I'm going to give attention you're supposed to receive to someone else because they deserve it."  When an employer says, "I'm going to promote this other person even though you are more qualified."   Just so that we understand what I am talking about when you take praise, reward or attention from one person and give it to another because you have judged them to be, "better" you've have:  - stolen what belongs to them and - set yourself up as their judge.   Two things the Bible says are a sin.  So if you are showing favoritism, stop it.  But what if you are the one who is being unjustly treated?  What do you do?  The Bible says that if someon

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Gen. 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. In my lifetime I have moved from my hometown of Rogers, Ar. to Springfield, Mo., to Jacksonville Fl., to Crystal River, Fl., to Coral Springs, Fl. to Palm City, Fl.   Now I can tell you the pros and cons of each.  Some of them, for me, was an oasis in the desert and some of them were just an Egypt experience.  But when you find the place where God wants you to be, you'll know it.   As you may know, I recently spent a week in Washington DC.  It's a big city that comes with big city pros and cons.  I wasn't there 10 minutes when I declared, "We're not in Kansas any more people!"  There were parts of it I could fall in love with, and there were parts that just broke my heart.   Now there is an acquaintance of mine who pastors there, and he loves everything about DC.  It is the land that God has called him too.  Th

I Hit A Wall . . .

. . .  at it hurt! Monday I drove 16 hours straight through from Washington DC to Palm City, Florida. Yesterday I paid for it, dearly.  I was a total zombie. Today I am doing better - kind of.  But I hit a wall. Hitting a wall isn't fun, but it necessary. In 2 Chronicles 20 armies from different nations are threatening to attack Jerusalem. King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a time of public fasting and prayer. Then Jahaziel addressed the nation in verse 15: “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'” Athletes of all types know this.  Business people know this.  Leaders know this.  Even parents know this.  Life will push you into a corner, and you will lack the strength to get out of trouble.  You hit a wall.   Now I am not going to go into all the reasons why you may have hit a wall.  There are reasons of our own making and others that are out of our control.  

It Was Sad

If you read my last blog you know I am in Washington DC.  One of the places we visited was the Museum of Natural History. There were some sights in there that was just breathtaking.  It was a celebration of God's creative imagination and power.  Elephants, whales, sharks, buffalos and more.  But then we turned the corner. It was an extensive and overwhelming presentation of man's origin.  But as you may guess, it wasn't about God, it was about evolution.  There is no way I can present a comprehensive argument about creationism vs. evolutionism.  Other people have already done that.  But I will say this. It takes the same amount of faith to believe either one. 1 Cor 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” My daughter turned and said to me, "How sad.  They don't get it."   Today, at the Bible museum, I watched a short video presentation that only reminded me of what I alre

Learning To Drive, All Over Again

If you don't know, I'm in Washington DC right now.  We are dropping my daughter off at a summer dance intensive.  So for the last couple of days, I have been driving in DC.  Everyone I spoke to say, "Don't do it!"  But I had to try.  I have to say, the first day I was terrified.  I hadn't been in DC for 10 minutes when I saw a delivery truck sideswipe a minivan in front of me.  I was honked at, yelled at and screamed at more times than I can remember. Day 2 - A little less screaming and honking.  I discovered their public bus system and did a lot of walking. Day 3 - No screaming and honking.  I got from point A to point B without losing my religion. Day 4 - Lots of screaming and honking.  From me.  LOL!  I was using my horn like a native.  Who knew that thing worked?  But as soon as I started driving like one of them - they forgave all my mistakes. Proverbs 24:16  For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of c

I Almost Saw Jesus

My first car was a Chevy Nova.  I loved that car and it ran great.  Except for about once a month, it would start idling rough and cutting out on me.  So, once a month, I would have to take it out on a stretch of road and run it wide open.  After that, I would be good for the next month. One day as I am driving home the engine started to get a little rough so I decided to give it a good run.  I was on a stretch of road that was unoccupied and I had plenty of room.  So I punched it.  All was well until I saw that stop sign.  The stop sign at the end of a street. I had to go left or right.   I'm going way to fast to stop and way to fast to turn.  I thought the end was near. I stood on the brakes, moved the car as far to the left as I could, glanced to my left to see if there was any traffic, (God was looking out for me because there was none.) Made a right-hand turn that took all four lanes of the road and landed it. Well, I never did that again. While driving home I kept say

Do You Catch God?

A kid once asked me, "If I am to seek God?  What do I do when I catch Him?" Good question! No, we don't, "catch" God.  But we do enter His presence which does tell us something important.  We can be out of His presence. Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The scripture is fundamental to you.  God wants to come into your life in an authentic and personal way.  The idea here isn't to sit down to a formal meal in the dining room.  The idea is to sit down in the kitchen.  You know, the same place where your family eats on a regular basis.   In my house that is at the end of the kitchen.  A small table that seats four.  There we can have a small, intimate dinner.  Talk about the events of the day and anything relevant to our lives.   When you enter the remarkable presence of God, it is hard for us to comprehend that the Creato

How Do You Pursue God?

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. So how do you pursue God?  Think about that question for a moment.  You pursuing Him.  The very thought causes people to twitch.  Some have even told me outright that if they have to pursue God, then He isn't worth pursuing.  WOW! We appreciate that fact that God is with us.  That He is omnipresent and that He will never abandon us.  But what are you doing to be in His presence? Think of it this way.  If there is someone that you really, really want to meet in person you will do all you can to make that happen.  But if there is someone you would rather keep your distance from, then again, you will do all you can to make that happen.  In other words, the relationship depends on you. So, first of all, do you want to be in the presence of God?  It's a yes or no answer.  I know many would like to qualify that statement.


I remember praying at a altar in church.  I so desperatly wanted to experience the presence of God, but I didn't know how to even connect to Him.  I was 15 or 16 years old.  Discipleship was a practice that was handed down from generation to generation.  The older taught the younger by example.  You watched, you listened and then you tried. So there I am at this altar and nothing is happening.  I am frustrated beyond belief.  Then a feel a gentle hand touch my shoulder and someone being to pray for me.  All of a sudden it was as if a ocean wave swept over me.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I knew that God was there.  I had never been so aware of His presence in my life. It changed everything. How do you pursue God? Proverbs 8:17   I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. There is a time that you will have to seek God.  Don't wait until there is a crisis in your life.  Begin to develop a relationship now.  When you need Him in that sudden m

Oh, Grow Up!

This phrase was commonly used when I was an adolescent and young adult.  Not only did my parents tell me this, frequently, and with good reason.  But even my friends and acquaintances would chirp the, "Oh, grow up!" to each other. It's meaning is relatively easy to comprehend.  "Quit being such a kid and starting acting/thinking like an adult."  Today I hear some people say that they have a hard time, "adulting" meaning they don't like the responsibility of being an adult.  I get it.  Now before you assume that I'm about to go on a rant about millennials, young people, or "I remember in the good ol' days" stuff - I'm not.  You're safe. In fact, let me help you out a little.  I'm 54 years old.  I left home and started college at 16, married by 21 and was employed in my career choice by 22.  That was kind of average.  Today is a different story.  You probably need to choose your career path by middle school.  Plan on

God Isn't A Woman

So Ariana Grande came out with a song, God Is A Woman. Now, in all honesty, I have not listened to the song, but I have read the lyrics.  I get it, it is an over-sexualized song.  But the title, still . . . . John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Well, that takes care of the whole gender thing.  God is spirit.   My point isn't to bash Ariana.  In fact, I am praying for her.  But a few days ago, I wrote a blog about someone who was confronted by a believer in the fact that God is a woman.  So when I see something like this pop up in our culture, it tells me that somethings up.   Now, this blog isn’t about women, it’s about worship.  Do we worship a personal God or the concept of God?  If we worship a personal God, then we understand that we connect to Him at a spiritual level.  That His truth from His Word is the truth, we live by. But if we worship the concept of God, then God can be anything we make Him out to b

Shocking To Say The Least

Now I was 9 years old.  My basic understanding of things like electricity was still in development.  But one day I received an education.  You might call it the first download ever.  Because after this happened, I now knew everything I needed to know about electricity.  So it's summer time, and I am enjoying my day.  Mom is cleaning the house, dad is at work, and I am trying to stay out of trouble.  I failed, miserably.  Now, why did I had a set of tweezers?  I don't know.  Why was I under a coffee table next to a wall outlet?  I don't know.  Why did I stick the tweezers in the wall outlet causing a blinding flash, which resulted in me hitting my head suddenly on the coffee table, ruining the tweezers, singeing the outlet and blistering my hand?  I don't know.   My mom heard the commotion and quickly assessed the situation.  I got a whupping followed by her holding me and thanking God I didn't die.  I was glad too and honestly, I didn't need the whippin

Never Assume God's Plans

So the story goes like this. King Herod had James killed.  This pleased the Jewish leadership so much that he thought to himself, let's do it again.  So he had Peter arrested. Acts 12:6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. Peter knows how his trail is going to go. He's going to die. So what does He do? Go to sleep. But something happens! 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed th

Where Angels Fear To Tread

Jude 1:9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” First of all, why did Satan want Moses body?  Answer:  Don't know and don't care.  That's not the point of the scripture.  The point of the scripture is to help us understand how to deal with the powers of hell that work against us.  All through the Bible, we see situations where Satan tries to mess things up.  For example, Daniel in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament.  1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But how do you fight something that even the archangel Michael wouldn't fight?   When Michael invoked the presence of God into the situation, Satan was defeated.  There was no struggle, there was no supernatural wrestling match that ensued.  It was over.

There is Hope

It's been a while since I have written this kind of blog.  So here we go. Jeremiah 29:11   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. There is hope.  But what is hope?  Hope is God's Word.  His promises.  Promises like, He will never leave you or give up on you.  If you repent of your sins, He will forgive you.  He will give you wisdom and guidance in your life every day.  That He will always think the best about you and for you.  That He will still do everything He can to help you live your life for Him.  There are thousands of promises He has made to you.  He will never break them, and He will never stop loving you.  But it takes faith to believe in all of the above.  Faith is acting upon your belief.  Faith is doing what He asks.  Faith is trusting Him to care for your life.   So what is our hope, "killer."  Control.  When we demand to be in control, we destroy all hope.  To

When You Can't Leave A Message

Ok, it works like this. My Grandmother had a hand crank phone that was on a party line.  If no one answered, they were not home. Then there was the wall-mounted rotary phone.  One line per person, no more ease dropping.  If no one answered, they were not home. Then there were answering machines.  Small machines that used a cassette tape to record your greeting and another tape to record your message.  If no one answered, no one was home. The cassette tapes were eventually replaced by small memory devices that did the same thing. Then the phone company offered their answering service.  If no one was home, you left a message. Today, leaving a voice mail is common.  But if the number is no longer in service or if their mailbox isn't set up, what do people do now?  I've seen everything from raw anger to absolute panic.  Our society is so connected that if one connection doesn't work, the earth must have slipped off its axis.  Here's an idea, their not home.  I

In The Good Ol' Summer Time

It's hot in South Florida.  No, I'm not complaining because everyone here knows that any day without a hurricane is a good day. It feels like 96 degrees outside and that the sun would if given a chance, would fry you like an egg.   That's because it would. On occasion, I go to Wal-Mart or Walgreens to get something.  Around 4 in the afternoon there is usually someone in the pharmacy trying to find something to sooth their, "tan."  Let's be honest here.  They look like a lobster, and they are in some serious pain.  Immediately you think, "They're not from around here."  Summertime in Florida isn't the same as everywhere else.  It's intense! Often times we take the same approach to God and church.  We think everything is the same.  True God is always the same, and He never changes.  But we are not, therefore, what God is doing in our lives today isn't the same as what He is doing for someone else. Isa 43:19 Behold, I am doing a


John 13:35  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” In Jesus' day disciples were the best form of advertisement for a local religion.  You can see some of this in the New Testament.  Pagans (people who believed in false gods) were known for their sexual immorality (which in some temples was a form of worship), being materialistic, worshipping creation and abusing their bodies in various ways. Jesus wanted His disciples to be known for their love for each other and for others.  In other words, if someone were kind, compassionate and fair, in a world full of immorality and injustice, people would know they were a follower of Jesus. Nothings changed. We still live in a world of immorality and injustice. We still know "disciples" of the world by their actions. When we love others, the world takes notice.  Sure they may mock it, ridicule it and even call us naive.  So what can we do? Don't try to win THE worl

That's Sounds Satanic! What!?!

So I am outside the church today watching a bunch of construction guys work on the road.  One walks by and starts chatting with me.  Then he asks me a question.  "Are you Catholic or Christian?"  I said, "Pentecostal." Now hindsight is 20/20, that was the wrong answer.  He looks at me and says, "What's that?"  I then think about the question and quickly say, "Christian."  His response took me by surprise.  "Oh, that's good, that sounded Satanic to me."  I punctuated my point by saying, "No, we make it our business to give Satan as much grief as possible."  He laughed and said, "Good!" I can understand some of the confusion.  According to some sources, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.  Of those, approximately 33% of them are Christian/Catholic.  Out of these, there are probably more than 43,000 denominations worldwide.  I can't keep up with all of them. Some people think that the loc

When The Stars Sing

No, I'm not talking about pop stars or your favorite oldies band.  I'm talking about the stars. Genesis 15  1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Abraham is getting old, and he still doesn't have any kids.  He pours his heart out to God, and God answers his question.  So what can we le

It Was 55 Years Ago

The first Wal-Mart was opened on July 2nd in 1962.  I know for some of you that isn't a big deal.  If anything it might be cringe-worthy.  Have you ever seen the people of Wal-Mart?  Google it. But I guarantee that isn't how it started.  My mom was there in 1962.  You see, I was raised in the town the first Wal-Mart was built in.  Before that, Sam Walton had a 5 and dime store in Bentonville. She shopped there too. So I grew up in a Wal-Mart.  I remember the toy department.  When it came time to buy school clothes, it was Wal-Mart.  I remember going to have my picture taken by a portrait photographer. 1 Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. Sam had a vision.  Build 4 or 5 Wal-Marts and call it a day.  It was all that he needed.  But everyone around him encouraged him to go on.  Finally in the 70's Wal-Mart was publically traded on the stock market and the rest is history.   What if Sam hadn't

Don't Run - Pray!

Acts:12 1 - 5 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3 and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Herod was a murderous jerk who had some real insecurity issues.  However, he wasn't stupid.  After persecuting and killing some of the Christians that lived in Jerusalem, he realized that it pleased the Jewish leadership.  Keeping the people happy is always a good thing, so he went a little farther and arrested Peter.  I know that it says he was going to be tried before the people, but his verdict was already set - death.   So what did the chu