Monday, August 31, 2015

No Fear!

"Because God's children are human beings--made of flesh and blood--Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form.  For only as a human being could he die, and only be dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying." (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Did you know that we're not supposed to be afraid of dying?  Jesus' death and resurrection delivers us from the fear of dying.  Because Jesus rose again from the grave--we can have confidence that we too will rise again. 

For the past two weeks, Tina and I, have experienced a raging storm that has brought us face to face with the frailty of physical life.  Even now, back in the office, I find myself distracted by Tina's condition.  Is she alright?  Does she need me to come home?  [2 minute break while I call home . . . ok, she is fine]  Fear is the real enemy!  It will rob us of peace, contentment, and the miracle of living in the present.  For Tina and I, we're focusing on making today the best today that it can possibly be.  We're trying not to worry about yesterday or tomorrow.  We're living right now! 

Let me invite you to join us in practicing the Serenity Prayer, "Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time".  Let's get started!  Live!

Monday, August 24, 2015


"He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy." (Titus 3:5)

Praise God for His mercy!  The Greek Lexicon defines mercy as, "kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them".  God sees us in our misery and affliction and wants to help us.  That's Good News!  Even better than God wanting to help, is the fact that God is able to help.  That's Great News! 

Now today, as mercy recipients, let's show that very same mercy.  Look for the miserable and the afflicted and help them.  I'm sure we will all encounter at least one person today who needs a miracle.  Be the miracle!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


"Whoever pursues godliness and unfailing love will find life, godliness, and honor." (Proverbs 21:21)

What are you pursuing today?  What is your day going to be about?  You don't have to be a victim to your circumstances.  You get to choose the focus of your day.  We often bounce around from moment to moment reacting to people and problems without taking the time to actually live.  It's as if someone else is living our life for us.  We're on autopilot and our thoughts and emotions come spilling out without much consideration. 

The Proverb today suggests an alternative to merely trudging through the day.  Live on purpose!  Pursue godliness and unfailing love!  Go deeper with God and make a difference in someone's life today.  Live! Laugh! Love!

Monday, August 17, 2015


"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to each us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Read back through the verse above and you will see a wonderful collection of benefits available to anyone willing to spend some time in God's Word.  We would all benefit from the any one item in the list and yet all are promised.  Don't miss out on God's wisdom! Don't try to live in your own understanding!  Get in the Word!

“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.” --John R. W. Stott

Friday, August 14, 2015


"Beg the Lord your God to show us what to do and where to go." (Jeremiah 42:3)

"Ten days later, the Lord gave his reply to Jeremiah." (Jeremiah 42:7).

The people asked the prophet Jeremiah to seek the Lord on their behalf that they might know what to do.  They had a grave situation in front of them and their lives hung in the balance.  "Beg the Lord your God to show us what to do and where to go."  What I find interesting is that the answer to their prayer did not arrive for ten days.  How often do we pray and then wait ten days (or however long is necessary) to get an answer from God?  I'm afraid that we give up long before we get a response.  We might not wait two days, much less 10, for a response before we guess and do what is best in our judgment.  I wonder how many mistakes I have made simply because I was not willing to patiently wait for God's answer to my prayer. 

Today if you need God's intervention or God's guidance, give Him time.  He is at work and His time is the right time.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Make it Count

"Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)

The verse literally says to let our days be counted.  It means that every day is a gift and every day matters.  The instruction is to make sure that we don't waste even one of these precious days that God has provided.  I suppose that is wisdom--to make each day count.

Several years ago I taped the Prayer for Serenity into the front cover of my preaching Bible.  I often read it before I step up to teach the Word.  It reminds me of God's activity and my need to simply submit to what He is already doing.  I'll share it with the hope that it might help you number your day.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Heritage of Faith

"You have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois." (2 Timothy 1:5)

I have two thoughts when I read this verse. #1--Am I living out the faith of my parents and grandparents? #2--Am I passing along the faith that I've been given to my children?

I've been given a great faith. My dad was a pastor and if I'm not mistaken my dad's grandfather was a pastor.  My mom and dad invested many years in serving God through established churches as well as starting new missions. In addition I have a couple of books on my shelf that describe faith experiences of my ancestors.  Allow me to share from one of those books, One Corner of Heaven, which is a history of Floyd County, Texas.

"A few years after Carr's Chapel was built, the L.A. Williams family moved into our midst. True to custom, several families soon called on them and invited them to Sunday School and church. Though not affiliated with any denomination, they began church attendance. When the revival was held that summer, their third child, Aaron, about nine years old, surprised us on Sunday morning when he walked down the aisle alone and made his decision for Christ. Truly a little child led them, for his father soon followed, then his mother and the other children, Raymond, Lois, Larue, Chloma, and Aldine. It was a glorious sight as the entire family stood at the altar rail, accepting Christ and joining the church."

One of those children who accepted Christ that Sunday morning in 1909 happens to be my mom's father, and my grandfather (Raymond).  I've had the honor of standing at the altar rail of Carr's Chapel in the very place where my grandfather and great-grandfather found Jesus. I'm grateful for my heritage of faith and for a community of believers that cared enough to invite a new family to church. I'm here because of them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


"Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.  Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them." (1 Timothy 6:17-18)

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out,"Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die." "But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!" The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."

Monday, August 10, 2015

Messed Up Men of the Bible

I'm so excited to share the cover for the new book!


"For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10)

Money is essential for living life as we know it and yet it can trip us up if we are not careful.  Notice that it's not money itself that is the problem but the "love of money".  I think that's why it's a good idea to hold financial resources loosely in our hands.  We are to be generous givers, allowing money to slip easily through our fingers.  The danger, of course, is that we will replace trust in God with trust in money.

Today, look for an opportunity to bless someone.  Perhaps we can sacrifice in order to be answered prayer in someone's life.

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”  --Ronald Reagan