Showing posts from August, 2019


BIBLE READING: 1 Tim. 1: 15 - 17 15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen. BLOG: Well, by now, most people in South Florida know that Hurricane Dorian is tracking away from us. You can hear a collective sigh of relief every time the National Hurricane Center releases a new, more favorable projection. So what do you do now?  Breathe. While we are not outside of the "Cone of Death" at the moment, take a moment to gather your thoughts and get some rest.  Prepare to go to church Sunday. We are having an

Hurricane Fatigue

BIBLE READING: 1 Tim. 1 12-14 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. NLT BLOG: We're all tired. Category 4. 130 MPH winds. Media frenzy. Gas lines. No water. Hurricane shutters. The list goes on. The storm is days away, and we're already suffering from hurricane fatigue. It is stress and exhaustion, which can lead to depression. Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they

Manners Matter

BIBLE READING: 1 Tim. 1:8 - 11 8 We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God. BLOG: Well, we are in full hurricane mode now. I got up early this morning to refresh our hurricane supplies and prepare for what may happen around Monday or Tuesday. At this moment Hurricane Dorian is forecast to be a Cat 4 upon landfall. That's not good. So please pray that this thing goes out to sea, go away, dissipate, or whatever. Lots of people were out shopping at 7 am. Water w

I Don't Like Hurricanes

BIBLE READING: 1 Tim 1: 3 - 7 3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God. 5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. 7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently. BLOG: I don't like hurricanes. As I write this hurricane, Dorian is threatening to strike Florida in a few days. Here? We don't know as someone told me this morning. Following a hurricane is a lot like be

Are You Average?

BIBLE READING: 2 Thess 3: 16 - 18 16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. 17 Here is my greeting in my own handwriting—Paul. I do this in all my letters to prove they are from me. 18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. 1 Timothy 1:1-2: 1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. 2 I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. NLT BLOG: What will take you from great to being elite? I listened to a press conference by Penn State football coach Jim Franklin after their 1 point loss to Ohio State. You can watch the whole conference on Youtube, but it is the portion around the 2-minute mark that impressed me. While anyone could have stood up there and said, "Well, luck wasn't on our side today." Or,

So this happened.

BIBLE READING: 2 Thess 3:11-15 “ Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.” ‭‭ BLOG: So I stopped by the church today after lunch.  A salesman walks in to offer his company’s professional services and asks, “Is this a church?’ For the next 20 minutes we talk about his life and about Jesus. It is these kind of encounters that we should live for. Philippians 2:4  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. In our business we can forget that God will place people into our

Out of Control?

BIBLE READING: 2 Thess 3: 6 - 10 6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don't follow the tradition they received from us. 7 For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. 8 We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. 10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: "Those unwilling to work will not get to eat." BLOG: Change happens, and you might as well embrace it. So many people try to control their world because they are afraid of the change that might occur. Now there is nothing wrong with planning, being prudent with one's life decisions, or making responsible ones. But there is another level to this that can lead to

Click, Click, Click

BIBLE READING 2 Thess. 3: 1 - 5 1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord's message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. 2 Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. 5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. BLOG: I've been taking headshots of dancers all day. I don't mind, and I'm glad to do it.  Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Now I'm no professional photographer. But I am willing to serve where I can. He

Stop It!

BIBLE READING: 2 Thess 2:15 - 16 15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.  16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. BLOG: Anyone who knows me knows I will say, "Stop It!" I blame years of working with teenagers.  But to stop doing something in your life is an act of faith.  1 Peter 2  Stop being hateful! Quit trying to fool people, and start being sincere.  CEV Peter is bluntly saying, stop doing sinful things and stop putting on an act. But maybe you're struggling to stop a bad habit or "stinkin thinkin." Perhaps you're trying to stop being angry with someone or being a "fake" person around others.  Here's the faithful part. God supports stopp

When Your Scared

BIBLE READING: 2 Thess 2: 13 - 14 13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. 14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. BLOG: There are certain things about life that can be terrifying. A bad report from the doctor. The IRS. A failing business. A broken marriage and family. All of these things and more can cause a great deal of fear. First of all, let's understand this. Feeling afraid isn't a sin. I know that we have this ideal picture of fearless faith. That somehow we can be exempt from feeling it, never going to happen. Faith has to face fear to work. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment,

Anneka Jones Turns 16

BIBLE READING: 2 Thess. 2: 7 - 12  7 As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. 8 We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God's Good News but our own lives, too. 9 Don't you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God's Good News to you. 10 You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. 11 And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. 12 We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory. BLOG: Today is my daughters 16th birthday. Admitting that I have a 16-year-old


BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:4 - 6  4 For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. 5 Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money! 6 As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else. BLOG: I like to go out to the range and shoot some targets. I find it quite relaxing and challenging. Especially when I'm shooting at 50 yards with a rifle.  That's what I was doing one day with a friend of mine. We were taking turns adjusting our sites so we could hit the center of the target every time. But the longer I worked on mine, the worse it got. It didn't matter if I adjusted to the left or right, up or down, it would not work. I was about to throw my rifle out on the ground and give up when it happened.  I tou

Fall Off Your Bike

BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:1-3  “You yourselves know, dear brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not a failure. You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery.”  NLT‬‬ BLOG: When I was a kid I had, what I thought, was the coolest bike on the block.  All the other kids wanted to ride my bike.  Problem was, I couldn’t get the training wheels off.  I tried and tried but to no avail.  I couldn’t ride a bike.  My mom helped me.  My dad tried, until he was exhausted.  In the end I just kept trying.  I skinned my knees, my knuckles, and elbows.  I fell in the dirt, on concrete, on pavement and the ever so painful gravel.  I even ended up in the bushes once.  OUCH! But one day I all of a sudden got it.  I couldn't tell yo

What's Next?

BIBLE READING: 1 Thess 1: 8 - 10  8 And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don't need to tell them about it, 9 for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. 10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God's Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.   NLT BLOG: What's Next?  It's Sunday afternoon, and you're probably close to a carb coma from lunch. You're home from church, feet up and about to take a nap. But what's next?  This morning, you were probably challenged in some way. The worship was excellent, the prayer time was awesome, and the message had a point. A point that should make you go, Hmmmmm. So what'

Yes, you can do this.

BIBLE READING:  1 Thess 1: 4 - 7 4 We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. 5  For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. 6 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. 7 As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. BLOG:  Yes, you can do this.   Have you ever had to face a difficult time or situation in your life?  We all have to one extent or another.  Today I heard about a broken friendship, a terminal illness, a difficult decision, and a broken heart.  It can be exhausting but for one thing.  Love.   Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one anoth

Don't Give Up

BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians 1: 1-2, 1  This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God give you grace and peace. 2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. BLOG: Pro. 18:13  If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. I have long said that making assumptions is disastrous. Often you don't know what you are talking about, and thus you cannot make the right decisions. I have made more than my share of bad decisions based on my assumptions.  One way I see people self destruct with their assumptions is in regards to their future.  I'm not going to get that promotion because the boss likes my co-worker better.  My spouse is going to leave me

A Little Busy?

BIBLE READING: Col: 4: 14 - 18 14 Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas. 15 Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. 16 After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them. 17 And say to Archippus, "Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you." 18 Here is my greeting in my own handwriting—Paul. Remember my chains. May God's grace be with you. BLOG: Each of us is probably going to have a hectic day. Even if you don't plan to have one - WHAM! Then life comes and visits you. A flat tire, traffic jam, a family emergency, or something else. You may be worrying about what is going to happen today? Are you going to make it to work on time? How's the teachers meeting going to pan out? What is my boss going to say? Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not be anxious a

You're Not Jello

BIBLE READING: Col: 4: 10 - 13 10 Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas's cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way. 11 Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been! 12 Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. 13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis. BLOG:  As a kid, I remember my mom making me my favorite jello. Green. (Hey, don't judge!) On occasion, she would pour it into a mold. Out would come these funny shapes and characters. I didn't care; they all tasted the same. 

Doing Life Together.

BIBLE READING: Col. 4: 7 - 9 7 Tychicus will give you a full report about how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you. 9 I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will tell you everything that’s happening here. BLOG: Community is a BIG thing. In the New Testament, it was called Koinonia - fellowship or communion. But in the early church community was a new idea. It was more than a family and friends. It was the glue that held everything together. Genesis 1:26 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” "Let us" is a reference to the Trinit

Day One

BIBLE READING: Col. 4:1 - 6 “Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” NLT‬‬ BLOG: Today is the first day of school. As a general rule, it is rather hectic but uneventful day. What happened? The car line to pick up students is now 3 to 4 miles long. No joke. It is as if the world flipped a switch and everyone went into turbo mode. Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. N

Love Does

BIBLE READING: Col 3: 22 - 25 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites. BLOG: I know that I highlighted this the other day, but I wanted to revisit it for a moment.  1 Cor 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. What your love  does is more important than what you intend. Some of the greatest heartbreaks I have ever seen is unfulfilled expressions of love. Someone passes away before one has a chance to say thank you and goodbye. Someone breaks off a


BIBLE READING: Col. 3: 18 - 21 18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. 20 Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. BLOG: So my good friend today injured himself. Falls right in front of me and injures his knee. We'll know more Monday if its anything serious.  But here we are in the middle of a parking lot. He's on the ground screaming in pain. Then the sky opens up and drowns us. Finally, he was able to hobble in and get some ice on it. We hobble out and get in the car. Wheelchaired ourselves into the Urgent Care center and got some x-rays. We hobble out to the car back into the pharmacy.  Then back to the car.  As I write this, I have to be honest. I've got nothing. I'm exhausted, and what few brains cells I have left are protesting. So here's what I

When You're All Alone

BIBLE READING: Col. 3: 16 - 17 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. BLOG: 22 percent of Millennials in the poll said they had zero friends. 27 percent said they had "no close friends," 30 percent said they have "no best friends," and 25 percent said they have no acquaintances. We are the most isolated and lonely generation ever in history. Now I'm not about to pontificate about the evils of the internet or the ills of our culture. Instead, I would like to offer some hope.  We know that God is a God of relationship. There is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Three in

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No,

BIBLE READING: Col 3: 12 - 15 12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. BLOG: A friend of mine posts a series of signs that said. No Parking, No Exit, No Trespassing. His comment was, "If you could legally change your first or last name to 'NO,' imagine how different your life would be. You would legally gain preferred parking, e, its and special privileges because of you being a 'NO.'" I chuckled at the thought.  The Bible uses the word, "NO" frequently

Jesus Is Lord?

BIBLE READING: Col 3: 5 - 11 5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. BLOG: The phrase, "Jesus is Lord" is used often in church and religious services. "J

Open My Eyes

BIBLE READING: Colossians 3:1 - 4   1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand.2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. BLOG: Recently, at a convention, I was at I had the opportunity to meet lots of people. The one question that kept coming up, again and again, was, "How are you doing?" I would answer as honestly, but as positively as possible. Some people took it the wrong way. One person even went so far as to make up stuff about my church and me. (Reading between the lines.)  Often people ask, "How are you?" We expect the answer "fine" or something like that. When we get anything else but that, we assume the worst. Don't assu

All You Need Is Love

BIBLE READING:  Col. 2: 20-23. 20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires BLOG:   1 Cor 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Loooong hard day.  Details are not important.  What is important is how it ended.  In love. One of my professors in Bible College quoted this verse once and said, “You’ve heard people say, you can’t take anything to heaven.  Well, their wrong.  You can take your faith, hope and love..  These things are eternal.” It is this eternal perspective I would like to pursue for a moment.  Li