Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Mighty Flowing Fountain

If you're like me, your Email Inbox gets filled daily with "facts". I tend to wonder how many of the things I receive are real. But one day, a fact was Emailed to me and really caught my attention. So I did a little research on the fact and it was indeed true. It was concerning the Amazon River. Did you know that the Amazon rushes over 45,000 gallons of fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean every second! This rush of fresh water is so powerful that it washes away all the salt water for 200 miles. In other words, from the mouth of the Amazon to 200 miles out into the Atlantic, the water is so fresh that you can dip a cup in it and drink it. That's actually how the Amazon was discovered. A sailor was about 200 miles off the coast when he noticed he was sailing in fresh water. He turned his ship toward the coast and discovered the mighty Amazon.

Wouldn't it be great if Christians were like the Amazon. Just think, we could all go to Church on Sunday and get totally charged up and rejuvenated and then rush out into the work place the next week like a huge fresh wave for Christ. Just imagine how much salt we could chase away from work, school, grocery store, everywhere...just by allowing the freshness of Jesus to flood through us. Christ has yet to come back as He promised, maybe because there is still someone you or I know that is not saved. Maybe God is waiting on us to personally share His Good News with them. We would not hesitate to go into a burning building to save them, or at least scream and yell to warn them there was a fire. So why would we not warn them of the huge "Fire" that is coming there way? Let's all rush out and flood them with the freshness of Jesus.

Isaiah 62:5 says, "As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you."

Father please help us rush out and share Your Great news with the world. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trust Me

Back in the Old Days, a hand shake was all that was needed to solidify a contract. In contrast, it takes several pages of legal jargon and scores of sign heres and initial theres for a contract today. Back in the day, people never even considered locking their doors at night. But today, however, it is wise to keep them locked, even in the middle of the day. What has happened to trust? It seems so hard to build trust anymore because of the number of times we get let down. Not only is it hard to trust others anymore, but it is also hard for others to trust us. A promise just isn't what it used to be. How many times have we let others down in the past? I know we are only human, born to make mistakes, but you know as well as I do that once trust is broken, it can be extremely difficult to regain.

How many times would it take of somebody breaking your trust before you simply threw your hands in the air and gave up? How many times of them breaking your heart before you finally decide you were just a fool to trust and believe in them in the first place? I know I have had my share of let-downs. Not only have others betrayed my trust, but I have broken theirs as well. But aren't we lucky that we serve a God who trusts us no matter how many times we sin against Him? If other people did to us only occasionally what we do to Christ daily, we would never trust them again. But our Jesus forgives us no matter what we do or how often we do it, and He even forgives us before we ask Him. What an incredible demonstration of the power of God's Grace! I know that there is a big difference between forgiving somebody and trusting somebody after they have betrayed us. Maybe the forgiving part is easier than the trusting part. But with Christ's help, we can learn to do both. And that's a promise we can "shake" on.
Psalm 103:8 says, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy."

Father, thank you for forgiving and trusting us when we mess up. Please help us to do the same when others betray us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Spiraling Out Of Control

Insomnia has reared its ugly head again. I should be used to it by now. At least I have a few more days off work so I can get my sleeping pattern back on track. When I can't sleep, I surf the Web. I just can't believe the amount of violence that has occured over the past day or so. Nationally, I am sure you've heard about the man that attempted to blow up a jumbo jet in Detroit. He said he was working for al-Qaida. I am not sure if he really was or not, but authorities are investigating. Then I heard about a Major with the Salvation Army who was robbed in North Little Rock. He was shot and killed in front of his three young kids, ages 4, 6, and 8. Soooo sad. In Phoenix, a 5-year old girl was abducted by a man in a pick-up truck. Luckily, police caught the bad guy, and the little girl was rescued safe and sound. Locally, there was a bar fight tonight at one of the night clubs in downtown Dothan. At least three people were shot. I am not sure if any were killed, but Police had to converge on the local hospital to keep the peace and prevent a riot. What in the world is going on?

Is our society more violent today than it was in the past, or is it that we just have more News people out there covering stories? A quick look into the history of this country, and the world for that matter, will confirm people have always been violent. But I think we have reached an all-time high. We have all read of how Satan possessed people back in Bible times. There are accounts of people foaming at the mouth and writhing around uncontrollably in the streets. Satan may not possess people in the same way today, but there is no doubt that he is still hard at work. How else can one explain the unspeakable crimes that people commit, especially against innocent children? We need Jesus! And at a time when we need Him most, there is such a push to take Him out of our schools, the work place, and just about everywhere else. The further Jesus is pushed out of the picture, the higher violence seems to escalate. Coincidence? I don't think so. But no matter how bad it gets or how violent our society becomes, I truly believe that God is still in total control. And one day, He will completely remove all the violence that has infested our society. Won't that be an awesome day?

Psalm 145:20 says, "The Lord watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy."

Father, we may never understand why You allow so much violence in our world. But please remind us that You have a purpose for everything. Lord, it is really hard to keep the faith when so many bad things are happening all around us. Please help us to stay focused on You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, December 25, 2009

One For All

Last night while waiting for "Santa", I was watching a documentary about killer bees. These Africanized bees are much more aggressive than the European bees. When they attack, it is relentlessly. I learned that 500 stings from these bees inject as much venom as a single rattle snake bite! Some hives can contain tens of thousands of these killer bees. From the moment danger is detected until the bees have completely engulfed their target, as little as 10 seconds could have passed. Each bee stings only once and then dies. Like little soldiers guarding their home, these guys don't hesitate on embarking on what boils down to a suicide mission-all for the protection and betterment of the entire group. In other words, these bees are willing to die to save the others.

Jesus was like that. He was a King in heaven. But He was willing to humble himself and trade in His Kingship for slave ship. He was willing to die in order to save the rest of us. The difference between Jesus and those bees is that the bees are reacting to a natural instinct. But Jesus made a conscious decision to die for us. He did not have to do it, but He loved us so much, He did. He was more than willing to sacrifice His life to save ours. We always hear people say things like, "I would die for my child" or "I would die for my friend" or whatever. But how many of us would die, not just for those we love, but also for a stranger, EVERY stranger? Jesus did. You know, it's kind of funny: When it is our birthday, people bring us gifts. But on Jesus' birthday, He brought the gift...the Ultimate Gift! Praise God!

Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Father, thank you for loving us so much to send Jesus. I hope You had a very nice "Birthday", Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twisted Christmas

There was a music CD out a few years ago called "Bob Rivers Twisted Christmas". The CD contained parody songs of Christmas favorites. Most of the songs were harmless, but I can see how some people would get offended by them. That CD was just a reflection of how our society has been treating Christmas. Christmas has truly become twisted, even by Christians. Recently, there has been a move to remove "Christ" from Christmas. Taking Christ out of Christmas would be like taking preach out of preacher or good out of goodness. Christmas celebration has changed so much that most people don't really even know what the Bible has to say about it. In fact, the Bible says nothing about Christmas. Two of the four Gospels mention the birth of Christ, but neither gives any clues as to what time of the year He was born. We see Nativity scenes on cards and pictures that are not in accordance with what the Bible says. In fact, some preachers try to convince us that celebrating Christmas is a "sin" because it is not backed by the Holy Scripture.

How do you feel about this? Does it truly matter if we are celebrating the birth of Christ in any certain way? Since the Bible is so "silent" concerning His birth, is it really all that important to celebrate it anyway? My opinion is YES! Although we may not celebrate Christmas the way it was originally intended, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior is a great way to honor Him and to show everybody around us how much we love Him. Who cares how many wise men came to the infant Jesus? Who cares how many people were present at Jesus' birth? Who cares what time of year it was? To me, the true celebration of Christmas is not in the details. The true celebration of Christmas is that He was born for you and for me. And even more important than that, He also died for you and for me. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about how you may or may not be celebrating Christmas. As long as we make Jesus the true reason for the season, I think He would smile down on us no matter what.

Luke 2:10 says, "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord."

Father, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to save us from our sins. Please help us do the things at Christmas that are pleasing to You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fairy Tales

Is it any wonder how many people grow up as Christians and then "turn" from the faith a little later in life? We as parents tell our kids many fairy tales when they are young. For example, we tell them about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and who knows what else. We adults can slice it up however we choose, but the bottom line is we are lying to our kids. Then as they get older and start to realize that those things from their childhood are not true, they begin to wonder about God. Some conclude that if their parents were "lying" about all the other things, then maybe Jesus is just a made-up story too. Can you see where someone may question that?

I told my daughter all the fairy tales too about Santa, the EasterBunny, and such, but there is a huge difference when it comes to Jesus. After she got old enough to see that those other things are just make-believe, she still saw me worshiping God and reading His Bible everyday. I could admit to her that all those other things are not real, but Jesus Christ most certainly is real. I don't really see a problem with all the fairy tale stuff when the kids are young. But if I want to see my child still belive in the One and Only true God when she gets older, I need to live like I preach. In my daughter's eyes, it is obvious that I don't believe in Santa or the other things from her childhood, but she also can see just how much I DO believe in God. I think that is very important. Telling our kids about Jesus is a good start. But we need to continue telling them about Christ by living the part. Are you living in such a way that your kids know you are a Christian? There are many eyes watching us.

Genesis 18:19 says, "I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and houshold after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just."

Father, help us to teach our kids about You Son Jesus. Give us strength to live what we preach. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Last Kiss

In 1964, a one-hit wonder group, known as J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, had a major hit with the song Last Kiss. The song was based on a true story. Just two years earlier, Jeanette Clark and J.L. Hancock, both 16 years old, were out on a date just a few days before Christmas in 1962. Their car was struck by a tractor-trailer on a road in rural Barnsville, Georgia. A local gas station attendant helping with the recovery of the bodies did not even recognize his own daughter. In the song, the girl dies in her boyfriend's arms. The lyrics are as follows: Where oh where can my baby be. The Lord took her away from me. She's gone to heaven so I have to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world.

One of the hardest things to comprehend about Salvation is that it has nothing to do with how good we are. Salvation is a gift from God, not something we can earn. In our society, many things we do are judged based on comparisons to other people. No matter how "good" we are, we will never even come close to the Goodness of Christ. And regardless of how much "better" we are than other people, in God's eyes, we fail just as miserably as they do. When I took Calculus in college, my professor gave the class a diagnostic test the first day to ascertain our strengths and weaknesses. I called him a few hours after the test to see how well I did. He told me I did better than everybody else in the class; I got 2 problems right out of 20 while everybody else only got one right. I might have done better than they did, but I still failed just as badly as the other students in the class. We can't earn heaven no matter how well we do. As Christmas draws closer, let's truly thank God for His incredible "Christmas gift" of Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:5 says, "God our Savior saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy."

Father, thank you so much for Your precious Son Jesus. Help us to remember that He is the true meaning of Christmas. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Enough Is Enough

I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. Have you heard about the 8-year old boy in Massachusetts who drew a stick-figure of Jesus on the Cross? The class assignment was to draw a picture relating to Christmas. When the teacher saw his drawing, she immediately summoned the office. Not only was the boy suspended from school, but he was also required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. This is no joke; It is all over the news. How much more of this can we Christians stand? Even if you are not a Christian, what did the boy do wrong? He followed the instructions of the teacher to the letter. He drew a picture based on his belief of Christmas. Would it have been o.k. if he had drawn a mythical character such as Santa or an elf? I guess our freedom of speech and expression doesn't apply if it involves Jesus. What an absolute shame.

As a public educator, I am appalled at what has happened to that precious child. No wonder so many parents are home-schooling their children. We really should not be surprised about this, as Jesus warned us that we would be persecuted for His name's sake. But it still is almost unbelievable. Christmas is about Santa, elves, reindeer, and such. But that is not all it is about. The true meaning of Christmas is Christ. And that 8-year old boy showed a great deal of maturity and understanding (even more than the teacher and principal of the school). If Bailey had drawn that at her school, I would have been very proud of her. And knowing her school teachers and principal, they would have been proud of her too. Enough is enough!

I Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether ye therefore eat or drink or do whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

Father, bless that 8-year old child who loves you enough to show everybody. Teach us to be more like that. In Jesus name, Amen.
UPDATE: The school is now denying that they suspended the boy. But read the story yourself. It sounds like they are trying to cover-up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rock n Roll Devotions

Before I write today's devotion, I want to ask you for a favor. For the past several months, I have been kicking around the idea of writing a book called Rock n Roll Devotions. I am very fortunate to have spent the past 22 years as a radio DJ. In those years, I have studied and researched hundreds of the songs that I play. I am thinking about writing devotions that come from those rock n roll songs. What do you think? Please take a moment and let me know your thoughts and if you would be interested in receiving a copy. Now, on with today's devotion.

Elliot had a girlfriend named Randy. He was absolutely crazy about her. He and a couple other college buddies decided to form a rock band and see if they could make a million dollars. Elliot was having trouble coming up with the lyrics for a song about Randy. So he rented a farm house in New Jersey and spent a few days there just working on his song. The time paid off! He finally finished the lyrics, and it would go on to become a #1, million-selling record. At the last minute, he changed the title of the song from Randy, to a name that was easier to sing. Elliot, better known as Elliot Laurie, the lead singer of Looking Glass, made a million dollars from his smash hit Brandy(You're a Fine Girl). It topped Billboard's charts in the summer of 1972.

Inspiration can come to us in many different ways. But sometimes we need to just go and get away from everything and be alone with God. I believe we hear God the most when we are listening the best. And the best way to listen is when we spend quiet time with just Him. It does not have to necessarily be a long period of time. Sometimes just a few minutes alone with God can make a big difference in our day. The important thing is that we make the time for Him each and every day. He may not inspire us to write a million-dollar song, but He will definitely have us singing a "fine" tune.

Ephesians 4:23 says, "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind."

Father, help us to remember to pause everyday to seek Your will. We can do all things through Your Son Jesus Christ. For it's in His name that we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Me And Bobby McGee

Kris Kristofferson wrote the hit song Me And Bobby McGee in the late 60's, and many artists have recorded it since then. The biggest recording was by Janice Joplin in 1971. She took the song to #1. In last Friday's devotion, I mentioned that Otis Redding's Sitting On The Dock Of the Bay was the first posthumous #1 song in history, as Redding died in a plane crash just 3 days after recording the song. Well Joplin died just 4 days after recording her hit, making it the second posthumous #1 hit in history. There are some very clever lyrics in the song. My favorite line is, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." The more I recite that line, the deeper the meaning goes for me. After some serious pondering, I can understand how losing everything would give one a sense of true freedom.

In order to gain true freedom in Christ, we also must give up everything. We must be willing to trade in our old life for a brand-new one. I admit it can be a scary moment. Most of us like to be in total control of things around us. But we must be willing to hand over those controls to the One and only true God. I have discovered that the freedom I have in Christ is much greater than the bondage I suffered without Him. Jesus has truly freed my life from a lot of very bad things. And now all I want to do is tell everybody around me about Him. Have you discovered the freedom of Christ? Call on Him right now.

Galatians 5:1 says, "So Christ has truly set us free."

Father, thank you for freeing my soul from hell. Help me spread the Good News about Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay

It was on this date, December 10, 1967 that the Georgia-born soul singer Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash. The crash happened just three days after he recorded his biggest hit ever. Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay went to number one on Billboard's Pop Charts, making it the first Posthumous #1 hit in history. Have you ever really stopped and listened to the lyrics? It describes a man just passing the time by sitting and watching ships come and go in the bay. It describes a very peaceful moment of relaxation. I wish I had more time to just sit and relax. From the time my alarm sounds in the morning until I lie back down at night, it seems like I do nothing but rush rush rush. That could be a lot of the reason why my blood pressure spiked last week. I need to slow down some and "smell the roses". Don't we all?

Jesus was a great model for each one of us. He spent much of His time working, but He also spent time simply resting. Some Scriptures document Jesus just hanging around with His disciples and friends, enjoying all their company. Some Scriptures also document Jesus off alone praying to the Father. As hard as Jesus worked while here on earth, He also spent a lot of time "enjoying" Himself. We, too, should do the same thing. All work and no play is almost as bad as all play and no work. When was the last time you just did nothing? With Christmas on our doorstep, we are sure to find ourselves running around, almost killing ourselves trying to get it all done. But let's be wise and also find some time to just relax and simply enjoy being alive!

Psalm 131:2 says, "I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."

Father, teach us how to slow down and spend more time simply relaxing. We know that while we are at rest, we may be able to hear You speak to us the most. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Late Saturday afternoon, the SEC College Football Championship was played between the top-2 teams in the nation: The Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Gators were led by Senior quarterback Tim Tebow. He is one of the greatest leaders to ever play the game! Not only has he been a "miracle" worker for his team, winning 2 National Championships and possibly a third, but he has also been a strong Christian leader in his community and around the world. Because he is such a great person, the Media has built him up to stardom status over the past three years. It has been non-stop Tim Tebow this and Tim Tebow that...many football fans around the country are tired of hearing about him, especially non-Christians. Through all the great performances on and off the field, Tebow has always remained humble in interviews, and he ALWAYS talks about Jesus Christ to anybody and everybody who will listen. Well Saturday night, he met his match and was unable to come-back against Alabama. Tebow finally lost one of the biggest games he has ever played in college football. The Tebow bashers have been out in full-force all over the Internet since Saturday night. What a shame. Tebow did not build himself up, the Media did. As the final minutes were ticking away in the game, the cameras zoomed-in on him sitting on the sideline. He was filled with emotions and literally sobbing.

Being a Christian is the greatest lifestyle I have ever experienced! God has blessed me beyond words. Many people who are not Christians, and even some who are, expect us to be perfect if we are out telling people about Jesus. We kind of get built up too, not by the Media, but by those who watch us. They're waiting for us to make a little mistake so they can pounce on us. Well, we will make that mistake; We are not perfect. Don't let others make you feel bad just because you profess Christ but still make mistakes. Other people may not understand that being a Christian doesn't mean you are perfect, but Jesus understands. I have had my share of mistakes in the past, and I am positive I will in the future as well. But I will never stop praising and sharing Christ with others. If you have accepted Christ, He forgives you for any sin you may ever commit. We should allow the guilt of that sin to motivate us to repent, but we should never allow it to be used by others to break us down. Remember, God is for us, no matter who else may be against us.

Nehemiah 9:17 says, "You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love."

Father, thank you for such a great Christian leader in Tim Tebow. Please help us to remember that although we may not win all of our personal contests, you love us anyway. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Time For A Cool Change

Back in the early 80's, the Little River Band had a song called Cool Change. The lyrics of the song came to mind yesterday in a big way. About 2nd period, I start feeling dizzy and light-headed. I have high blood pressure, and I knew it was acting up. My face was red as fire! I went down to the school nurse and within 10 minutes, the paramedics were there. I am embarrassed to even tell you how high it was. I now have to take my BP medicine three times per day. I really need a cool change. My weight is out of control and I don't exercise like I used to do. I have had some close calls and scary moments with my BP, but yesterday was the straw! With God's help, a new, healthier me will emerge!

In my prayers last night, I thanked God for giving me another day. I don't know how many more I have ( I sure hope it is millions and millions). But the days that I do have left, I really need to use them to honor God more than what I am doing. Why I have allowed myself to get so out of shape and unhealthy, I will never know. But I believe God gave me a wake-up call yesterday...or maybe I should say ANOTHER wake-up call. I have a beautiful daughter that needs her daddy. She needs a healthy daddy. And today, I have started back on that journey. Praise God! Now if you will excuse me, I got to go get a couple of carrot sticks and broccoli stalks...

Matthew 6:8 says, "For your Father knows your needs even before you ask Him."

Father, please heal my BP and help me to live a healthier life in Your honor. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh No, Here Comes A Thought

I love the 70's sitcom All In The Family. I recently bought a few DVD's of the 2nd and 3rd seasons. Archie and Edith Bunker crack me up! They play their parts so well, they almost seem married in real-life. Archie, the always-mad-at-the-world bigot, and Edith, the always-happy "Dingbat" make the show all by themselves. I was watching an episode last night in which Edith got an idea and shared it with Archie. As usual, the idea was a little lame, so Archie popped off at her. He said, "Edith, the next time a thought comes your way, DUCK!"

That could be good advice for all of us. I pray and ask God to lead my steps and thoughts everyday. But how can one tell when a coming-thought is from God or from some place else? We all get thoughts that we think came from God, but then later, we realize it was only our thought, and it was a bad one. I guess it takes lots of practice and lots of praying to get it right all the time. But until then, we really need to size-up our thoughts and decide if they are truly from God or not. Until we learn the difference, maybe we should take Archie's advice. Maybe we should "DUCK" from some of our thoughts.

James 1:5 says, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you."

Father, please help us discern those thoughts You give us from other thoughts that come from somewhere else. The Bible teaches us that You will give wisdom to all whom ask. Lord, please give me the wisdom to do Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Un-Popped Kernels

There's nothing like a big bowl of popcorn while watching a good movie! The best kind of popcorn is that stuff at the movie theaters...yum! Because it is not always convenient to go out to the movies, we sometimes have to just settle for the store-bought kind. It is pretty cool how heat can make those small, hard kernels transform into big, soft popcorn. But why do some of those kernels just refuse to pop? It seems that in every bag of popcorn I have ever bought, there's always a few stubborn little kernels.

When we accept Jesus and turn our lives over to Him, He transforms our hard hearts into soft ones. He can do things with our hearts that simply defy logic. I have found that through Jesus, I have more compassion and understanding for others. He took my hard heart and transformed it into soft popcorn. He wants to change all of our hearts. But He can not do it all by Himself. We must want to be changed, and we must ask Him to come into our hearts and take up residence. Don't be one of those stubborn kernels that just refuse to be popped. Open the door to Him, and feel Him transform your life like he transformed mine. I can tell you that opening my heart's door to Jesus was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life! Have you made that decision? God can do more with our hearts than even Orville Redenbacher can do to a pile of kernels.

Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."

Father, thank you for transforming my heart and life. I pray for those who may not have accepted You, yet. I ask You to give them strength to step out in faith, and into Your loving arms. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Iron Bowl

It is 3:30 am on Friday morning, less than 12 hours away from the kick-off of one of the best college football rivalries in the country. Alabama and Auburn will play its regular-season finale this afternoon. There is a lot on the line for both teams. For Auburn, a win can go a mighty long way in erasing the memory of a couple needless losses this season. For Alabama, a possible trip to the National Championship game. And regardless of each teams' records, beating the other one is just plain fun and exciting! But sadly, some people will take the game way too far.

I wonder if God doesn't put His "prayer line" on hold during the game. In a span of about 3 hours, there is no telling how many fans are cussing God, thanking God, and begging God, almost all at the same time. Most fans do just what they are supposed to do...enjoy the game. But we know there are others that can get pretty nasty because of the game. Fights break out and even marriages end because of the game. My ex-wife was an Auburn fan and I am a Bama fan. We always enjoyed picking on each other during the game. We may be divorced now, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the Alabama/Auburn football game. But some people can't say that. I just wonder what the divorce rate in this state is due to the game. We can all learn a lesson from the players that participate in the game. When it is over, they all go to the middle of the field and shake hands. I have even seen many hugs between players after the game. If the very players that play in the game do this, how much more should we who only watch the game? So, Roll Tide or War Eagle! But more importantly, PRAISE GOD!

Psalm 28:6 says, "Praise be to the Lord always."

Father, help us to remember that the game today is just that...a game. Help the players and coaches to do their very best, and use the outcome of the game as Glory to Your Holy name. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wrong Tool

Somebody sent a funny picture to me today, and so I decided to use it on my devotion. As you can see, it is a picture of a huge, 6-foot mouse trap trying to lure a deer. The joke is that if Obama takes away our guns, we can always deer hunt with this trap. How many times do we try to do a job with the wrong tool? I am very inefficient when it comes to using tools. I may need a wrench, but if a pair of scissors are handy and will turn the bolt, I'm using it. I can't tell you how many times I have taken a hot dish out of the stove with my baseball mitt because I didn't have any pot holders close by. And don't even get me started about hammering in a nail with a big rock. Tools are just not my thing.

How many people are trying to get to heaven today by using the wrong "tools"? Some think that reading the Bible or going to church every Sunday will earn them a trip to Glory land. Some think that rushing down to "confession" or being baptized will save them. Fact is, there is nothing we can do that we save us...absolutely nothing! The Bible clearly teaches us that Salvation is never earned; It is a gift from God! All we have to do is believe that Jesus was God's Son, and that He is the only true way to heaven. And before we try to boast about believing in Jesus, we must remember that the Bible also teaches that God is the One that actually leads us to believe in Him. But the good part is although there is nothing we can do to earn heaven, there is also nothing we can do to lose it! Once we are saved by the Power of Jesus, no sin can ever separate us from Him again. Are you truly saved today? Have you been using the right tool?

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace we are saved through faith: and not that of ourselves: it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."

Father, thank you for leading our hearts to the Truth that is Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, amen.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

I am in the middle of a battle with a spider at my house. The little fellow built a web from one bush in my yard to another. The web stretches right across the walkway, blocking anybody who wants to come to the front door. I knocked it down about a week ago. The very next day, he had built the web back. So I made sure the second time that it was knocked completely down and destroyed. Mr. spider built it right back. Yesterday, I all but pulled up the bushes so he could not rebuild. But this morning, the web was back! Persistent isn't he?

I only hope I can be as persistent in my walk with Christ as that spider is with his web in my yard. Satan is constantly trying to knock us down and keep us from rebuilding. But like that spider, we need to never stop trying to build back all that the devil destroys. There is nothing he can knock down in our lives that Christ can't pick back up. Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross, and He has been whipping him ever since! Don't let Satan get the best of you. Show him who is in control of your life. Allow Jesus to frustrate Satan as much as Mr. spider is frustrating me. I have a plan today; Mr. spider is going down!

I John 3:8 says, "For this purpose the Son of Man was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

Father, thank you for helping us fight Satan. Please help us to always put You in complete control of our lives.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Not having to go to church on Sundays: Zero dollars.

Not having to be nice to other people: Zero dollars.

Not having to read the Bible: Zero dollars.

Not having to ask for forgiveness: Zero dollars.

Having to spend eternity in hell: CHRISTless.

Romans 10:13 says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Father, thank you for Your Son Jesus. Help us to always put Him first and to bring honor and Glory to His precious name. Touch the hearts of those who have not yet come to Him. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Have It Your Way

Remember the Burger King jingle from the 70's? "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us. All we ask is that you let us serve it your way." I can't believe I can still remember it. But as a customer, there is nothing any better than having your food made the way you want it! You are the boss. You are the one paying for it. You should have it your way. Right?

Well having it our way might be good when it comes to a BK order, but just about any other time in life, having it God's way is much better! In John, chapter 21, the disciples were out fishing all night but hadn't caught anything. The next morning, Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. Bingo! Their nets almost burst at the seams with huge fish! How do you think those disciples felt? They were all professional fisherman. Yet, their way of fishing had left them empty-handed all night. But when they turned to God's way, they experienced instant success. It is easy for us to get in a rut and to continue doing things the same 'ole way. But sooner or later, our way will fail. God's way will never fail! Have you asked Him where you should cast your net today?

Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."

Father, have it Your way. I know Your way is perfect. Please give me the strength and wisdom to do Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sweet Seasons

I found this on the Internet and wanted to share with you:

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted them to learn to not judge things too quickly, so he sent them each on a quest to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. He sent his first son in the winter, his second in the spring, his third in summer and his youngest in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no – it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

After hearing all his son’s responses, the wise father replied, “Sons, you are all right — because you have each seen only one season in the tree’s life. But you cannot judge a tree, or a person, or anything else by only one season. Most things can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons have come to pass”.

I think each of us has judged someone or something prematurely, and we have also probably experienced the pain of being judged that way. Lord, forgive us! We need to give each other the benefit of the doubt! We need to look closely enough and long enough to see the big picture before we rule things out. God does that for us all the time. There’s so much work to be done!

1st Corinthians 4:5 says, "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Evil Is Gone

The mastermind behind the DC sniper killings is dead. John Muhammad was put to death by lethal injection earlier this week, as many of his victim's families looked on. If ever there was a reason for the death penalty, he was it! What a monster! We will never forget the panic and fear he spread throughout the Washington D.C. area in 2002. I still remember being paralysed by the Media coverage, afraid he would strike closer to home. Actually he did. He and his little punk-accomplice did shoot and kill someone in Montgomery, Alabama. That proved to be the evidence that caught the deadly duo. Can you believe that as I write these words, I am unsuccessfully fighting back tears. The reason is two-fold. The first reason is simple- I feel very sad for the families of those innocent victims. The second reason, though, is a little more complicated.

Remember the saying, "Why do we demand justice for others but grace for ourselves?" That's kind of where I am at this point. In God's eyes, their sins are no more terrible than mine. How can I judge that evil pair for what they did, when I have sinned against God just as bad. Oh, I have never murdered anyone, mind you. But I have lied, cheated, lost my temper, cussed-out people, and even more bad things than I am too ashamed to even admit. I ask for, and expect God to forgive me. Shouldn't He also forgive them? Yes. My Bible says Jesus' precious blood spilled at the Cross was sufficient for every sin-even cold-blooded, calculated murder. I read in the newspaper where one of the victim's family members said they have already forgiven the killers. Why do I have such a hard time doing the same thing? It might be normal, but it isn't healthy.

Romans 12:4 says, "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not."

Oh My dear Lord, please help us to forgive. You know better than anyone just how hard that can be. Or maybe it is simple for You because You are God Almighty, richly flowing with tender Love and Mercy. But Father, please help us with it. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eerie Coincidence

Country and rockabilly singer Johnny Horton (North To Alaska) was haunted by premonitions of his own death. To those who were close to him, Johnny had an unusual fear of dying. He was married to Billie Jean, Hank Williams Sr.'s Widow. Williams had died on New Year's Day in 1952. Later that year, Horton and Billie Jean tied the knot. On November 5, 1960, Horton was killed in an auto accident. He had just finished performing at the Skyline Club in Austin, Texas. Incredibly, that was also the last place Hank Williams performed before his tragic death. Both men had kissed Billy Jean at the exact same place and on the exact same cheek before each one's death. Coincidence?

Many people didn't believe Jesus was the messiah that had been prophesied generations earlier in the Old Testament. Many thought he was just an ordinary man, despite the mountains of evidence suggesting otherwise. For whatever reason, people chose to overlook His virgin birth, His performed miracles, His raising people from death, and His power over nature. The Bible documents over 50 prophesies from the Old Testament that Christ fulfilled in the New Testament. A modern statistician decided to calculate the odds of any ordinary man fulfilling just 7 of those prophesies. The probability was staggering! He put it into terms that is easier to understand. He said suppose you take one quarter and paint it red. Then you fill up the state of Texas knee-high with regular quarters. Mix all those quarters together, and then blind-fold a man and tell him to walk into that "state" of quarters as far as he wants and pick one. The odds of him picking that exact painted quarter would be the same as any one man fulfilling just 7 of those Biblical prophesies. Coincidence? No way! Jesus is the Christ!

Luke 2:11 says, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

Father, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to save us from our sins. Help us to truly follow Him in all that we do. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

It was on this day that the ore-hauling freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank on The Great Lakes during a fierce storm in 1975. A song written and performed by Gordon Lightfoot tells of the sad story. The lyrics are haunting. One line from the song has always stuck out in my mind. I have a great fear of being shipwrecked, so the lyric is extra scary to me. It says: Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours. I tremble with fear thinking about how awful it would be to just tread the ice-cold, murky water waiting for rescue...or worse. Unfortunately, all 29 men drowned in the storm. If you have never heard the song, check it out sometime. Or even better, click on the following link to read the lyrics. Scary stuff!

Although most of us will never have to battle being shipwrecked, our problems can still be very frightening to us. I have often wondered where God goes at the times when I need Him most. The Bible says He never, ever leaves us. But it can still seem like He is a million miles away sometimes. I wish I knew the words to share with those who find themselves at their scariest moment. All I know to do is pray and have faith that God is there, and will help. Are you "shipwrecked" today? You know, God still performs miracles! Call out to Him.

Mark 5:36 says, "...Be not afraid, only believe."

Father, help us when we need You most. It is so hard to just simply have faith without also having fear. Be with us, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Calling Myself

Today's devotion is taken from the Feb 7th entry of Our Daily Bread.

As I was moving my cell phone, laptop, and assorted books and papers from one room to another, the "regular" phone rang. I hurriedly set down my stuff and rushed to answer the call before the answering machine kicked in. "Hello", I said. No reply. I said hello again when I heard rustling, but still no response. So I hung up and went back to my stuff on the floor. When I picked up my cell phone, I realized that I had accidentally speed-dialed my home phone number. I laughed at myself, but then wondered: How often are my prayers more like calling myself than calling God?

Are your prayers a checklist of things that you want? Do you get frustrated when God does not answer those prayers the way you want? Or maybe He answers those prayers but not as quickly as you had hoped. When we call on God, He will help us. But He will only help us in His perfect way and time. He knows so much better what we need than we do. So why get frustrated? Just let go, and let God.

Lamentations 3:25 says, "The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him."

Lord, forgive me for calling on myself instead of calling on You. Teach me to depend on You 100%. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We can all read the Bible and still get confused about what it actually says. Let's face it, the Bible can be very confusing in parts. And we have been warned by bible scholars to not take verses out of context; we must read several verses and put them all together to get the true meaning. The issue I want to look at today is what sins will send a Believer to hell. Suicide? Murder? Rape? Some believe that the murder and rape can be forgiven because the sinner has a chance to repent, but the suicide is final since one can't repent from that. I am not a preacher or scholar. But my conviction is even suicide can be forgiven. The Bible says that only Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is unforgivable. Since the bible doesn't say suicide is unforgivable, I have to believe that Jesus' death on the Cross was even sufficient for that.

In my classroom, we were talking about how long it takes an object to free-fall from various heights. There is a formula that can be used to determine the answers. We found that the objects that fell from the top of the World Trade Center on 9-11 took roughly 10 seconds to fall to earth. One of my students said, "You mean the person I saw jump from the top of the building hit the ground in less than 10 seconds?". Then the conversation shifted to the fact that that person committed suicide since they jumped to their death. So I asked what the alternative to jumping would have been. So the choice was for the person to just stand there and be burned alive, or jump and make the inevitable instantaneous and painless. Then one of my students said that jumping would not have been suicide since the person would not have been in their right mind. My argument then is what about the person that puts a gun to their head and pulls the trigger. Are they in their right mind? My deepest conviction is that Jesus died for ALL our sins...including suicide.

Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are NOT under the law, but under GRACE." (emphasis added)

Father, thank you for sending Your only Son Jesus to die for ALL our sins. Help us to find comfort when we experience a friend who has committed suicide. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weird Encounter

I felt led to stop by a local church yesterday to talk with a minister. It was a church that I have never attended. I have a home church with a great minister, but he wasn't available to talk to me at the moment, so I just drove to this other church. You know how it is sometimes when you just have to talk to someone at that very moment. Anyway, what a strange incident! Although the church had regular business hours, I found the door locked and had to hit a buzzer on a speaker and tell them why I was there just to get in. Even my bank doesn't have such "security". An elderly gentleman finally came to the door. By this time, I was practically in tears needing some Godly guidance from a pastor or minister. I asked him if I could see a minister and he told me that they were all gone. At lunch? Running errands? No. He said they were gone-all 4 walked out! I was completely and totally in shock!

The man was very helpful, however, and he did call a minister that met me in one hour. We had a very nice talk. I didn't ask for too many details about what happened with the four ministers, but was told that they left because they were being told what to preach and how to minister to the church members. Apparently, the pastor's preaching, which was completely Bible-based, stepped on a few toes, and the people just didn't want to hear the Truth. I don't know, that is just what I was told. How often does this happen today in churches? How often are preachers told to "tone down" the message as not to offend anyone, or offend the least possible amount of people? When I read in the Gospels, Jesus never "toned down" His messages. He was constantly stepping on the toes of those around Him. But Jesus told the absolute Truth! Would we want anything less from our ministers whom Jesus has called? Sometimes I don't like what I read in the Bible because it completely convicts my heart and soul. But that is exactly what I need! It sometimes hurts, but the Truth is what is important.

Jesus said in John 8:31-32, "If you hold to my teaching, then you are really my disciples. Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free."

Lord, please help us to accept the things in Your Word that are hard to swallow. As hard as it can be for us to hear the Truth, please help us to absorb it and apply it to every aspect of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Serious Cleansing

I have read many times how Jesus got angry at least once while He was here on earth. All four Gospels relate the story of how Jesus entered the temple one day in Jerusalem and all but went berserk! You know the story of how He drove away all the sellers and money changers with a whip. He was outraged because the people had turned God's House into a marketplace. Jesus quoted Isaiah 56:7 when He yelled, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a den of thieves'". Of course this angered the Jewish religious establishment because they were making a nice profit in the Temple. How can we use this dramatic incident in our lives today?

We all make mistakes, do bad things, sin against God, and really make a mess of situations. But from time to time, we need to come to a serious cleansing of our hearts and souls. Like Jesus did, we too need to get angry with stuff in our lives and "whip" them out. Of course we can only truly do this with God's help. We need to ask God to remove all our personal defects and character flaws so we can truly live for Him. I guess it is like cleaning the house. We can pick up and do a little each day, but sooner or later, we need a serious "spring cleaning". I don't know about you, but for me, that time has come! In the name of Jesus, I command all evil, sickness, and wrongdoing to leave my body! I only have room for one God...and that is Jesus Christ!

Psalm 138:8 says, "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord endures forever-do not abandon the works of Your hands."

Father, I ask You to give me strength to do the things I know You want me to do. I have made a mess of things, as usual, but I truly have faith and accept that You have forgiven me and will lead me on my way. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just When I Need You Most

I'm sure the main reason is because we are only human, but why else is it that we only call on God when we need Him most? When things are caving in around us, we panic and call on God to deliver us. I know the Bible tells us that He loves to deliver us in our greatest hour of need. But do you feel guilty about it like I do? I tell you the truth, it just about kills me that I keep doing the same things over and over. I ask God to forgive me, and I know He does. But I can't help but to feel like I let Him down, especially when He has blessed me so much. Why do we suffer from this paradox of continuing to do what we know we shouldn't?

For me, it is not so much doing things that I shouldn't do as it is not doing the things that I should. How many times have I passed by someone who may have been lost, but I chose not to share Jesus with them? How many times have I passed someone who may have just needed a kind word, but I chose not to give them one. How many times have I thought of myself before I thought of someone else? Oh Lord, please forgive me. I would ask You for another chance, but I wonder if I would just mess up that opportunity as well. Although I might mess it up again and again, I will not give up asking for Your Perfect help. I know the Bible says I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Well Lord, here I am asking for Your strength. I ask You to help me make a difference in the lives of others. I ask You to help me win souls for Your Son Jesus. I ask You to help me further Your Heavenly Kingdom.

Psalm 72:12 says, "God will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help."

Lord, thank you for my life. Please help me to do a much better job with it. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

They Are Lined Up

As I sit at my computer watching the curtains sway back and forth and feeling the cool air flow through my open window, I hear the sounds of shrill screams from across the street. My neighbors are hosting their annual Halloween Haunted Forest, and people are lined up down the street to walk through it. I can hear the hypnotic Theme of the 1978 John Carpenter thriller Halloween playing over the loud speakers. I can hear the terrorizing buzz of the chainsaw as Leather Face (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) rushes the guests down the path. It is all in fun of course, and from the looks of the long line, many people are having some serious fun. I can just see my once step-son Jordan running as fast as he can to get away from Michael Myers. Gosh, I miss him and Abbey sooo much! Could you imagine just how scary that forest would be if it was all real? Do you think that forest will be like hell? From the descriptions in the Bible, I bet hell is even worse!

Those people who are standing in line to go through the forest across the street are doing it just for fun. But sadly, many people today are also standing in line waiting to go to hell. And what is so amazing is that they don't even seem to care! I just can't believe that people would take such a huge risk with their Salvation! The Bible is crystal clear that without Jesus, hell will be our final destination. The Bible tells us that in hell, you won't have the luxury of death. You will have to endure endless torture forever more. I just can't imagine that. I know I will NOT be going there because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. If you have also accepted Him, you, too will avoid that horrible, terrifying hell. But if you have not accepted Jesus, you are just standing in line waiting to go through a real haunted forest. And in that forest, those chainsaws have real chains on them!

Revelation 14:11 says, "The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night."

Father, thank you for saving me from Hell. I pray for those who are standing in hell's line. I ask you to save them with the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

We Forgive Because We Are Forgiven

An incident that happened at the Penn State/Minnesota game this past weekend has caused somewhat of a stir in the Media. Before the game, a Penn State player knelt down in the End Zone and said a little prayer. While he was doing that, the Minnesota team mascot also knelt down in front of him and mocked his praying. The Minnesota officials have already apologized for the incident, but as usual, the Media wont let it die. Even worse, many Christians have also been outraged and have even demanded that the mascot lose his job. What do you think?

As a Christian, I am always offended when somebody mocks prayer. It hurts to hear people say that there is no God or that Jesus was not really the Son of God. But what can I do about it? Argue with them? Curse at them? Hope they die and have to "pay" for their unbelief? No, of course not. The greatest power that we have as Christians is our ability to forgive and let it go. All we can do is pray and ask God to help them truly see the "Light" that is His Son Jesus Christ. Yes it hurts, and it is ok to let them know that they offended us. But we must immediately forgive them and pray for their Salvation. Isn't that what Jesus would do? Isn't that what Jesus DID do when He was here?

Romans 12:4 says, "Bless them which persecute you: Bless, and curse not."

Father, please help us to remember that we must forgive others for anything that they may do to offend us. You set the perfect example by forgiving us. Teach us to follow Your example. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Better Or Bitter

It is true that we must first suffer before we can truly experience joy. Think about this for a minute: How can we know how bright the light can be until we experience how black the dark can be? How can we know what warmth feels like unless we feel the bitterness of cold? How can we know the amazing feeling of victory without experiencing the agony of defeat?

The four Gospels give vivid details of how our Lord Jesus Christ suffered before He was called to Glory. He wears a Crown that represents Heavenly joy, but He also carries deep scars that represent His sufferings. If you are going through a suffering season, trust in Him, and joy is sure to follow. You can get bitter or you can get better. By trusting in Jesus, you will get MUCH better!

2 Timothy 2:3 says, "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

Father, suffering is so hard. You know that fact better than all of us. Help us to rely on Your perfect strength to make it through our worst times. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Haunting Season

I used to absolutely love Halloween! Even though I am a Christian, I have never seen the harm in having fun during this fall festival. Those Christians who believe that it is a "sin" to celebrate Halloween have their opinions. But if you look up the origins of Halloween, it was started by Christians. Anyway, this devotion is not a debate for or against Halloween. Like I said, I used to love this time of year. But sadly, Halloween stirs up extremely hurtful memories from last year. It's been almost a year now since then, but admittedly, I am no closer to healing than I was last year. Now, I truly feel haunted by all the Halloween decor that is all over town. Just the sound of the word 'Halloween' brings chills down my spine. Across the street from my house, my neighbors have built a "haunted forest". They do it every year, and there will literally be 100 people to go through it every night. Because the air so nice outside, I like to leave the door in my bedroom open. But all I hear are screams, chainsaws, and the Halloween theme playing over my neighbor's loud speakers. I feel like I am losing it; I feel like I am truly being haunted!

I have prayed and prayed and prayed about this. I have asked God to get me over the hurt. I have asked God to get me over the loneliness and despair. Some days are better than others, but overall, I am still bogged down in my own grief. But I will NEVER give-up on God. There is a reason why I am still suffering. I don't know why, and I sometimes get upset with God, but I do trust Him. Something has got to give, one way or the other! This is probably not a good devotion, but as you know, I always write what's on my heart. If there is anything one can get from this devotion is that God does not always helps us on our time. We have to be patient and wait for His perfect time. I can tell you I have shed over a million tears over this tragedy. I'm sure there will be a million more. But God promises to wipe every one of them from my face. Oh, how I need my Jesus right now!

Jesus boldly told us to "ask anything in my name, and I will do it."

Father, you know very well my heart's desires. I continue to ask for those things because I continue to have faith in You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Found A New Place

I think I have found a new place to share Jesus Christ. Recently, I have been blogging on a college football message board. This is where college football fans from all around the country can debate and "argue" about whose team is better. I have found it to be a lot of fun. I have chatted with some pretty knowledgeable people who really support their favorite teams. But like always, there are some who are not Christians, and who love to poke fun at my picture I use on the message boards. The picture I use is of me wearing a blue "Jesus" shirt. Some of the bloggers love to attack me verbally for believing in "a fairy tale". But for every one of those kinds of people, at least 3 or 4 others will "come to my rescue" and applaud me for having such a strong faith. There is one guy on there that loves his favorite QB so much, that he even calls him Jesus Christ. He claims that Jesus never walked the earth until he started playing for his team. In a few conversations with him, he has flat-out told me that God is just a fairy tale. I try to reason with him that although he thinks God is just a fairy tale, he must believe Jesus is pretty awesome to give his favorite player that name. It goes right over his head!

I am proud to be a follower of Christ, and I am not in the least bit ashamed of it! It is an amazing feeling to be verbally attacked for being a Christian, but to respond to that attack with, "I still love you, and so does God." Not only do those attackers not know how to respond to that, but the other 1000 people reading it gets to see Christ in action through me. By only responding to those attacks in a loving and caring way, I am showing that I am a true Christian. I must admit that it is hard not to attack back. But through the love and strength of Christ, I am able to remain strong. We are lucky that God has called us to be Christians. But it also requires a great deal of responsibility on our part. People are watching us very closely. They watch how we respond to things. The way I see it, when attacks come our way for being Christians, that is an excellent opportunity for us to show our true colors. It is a great opportunity for us to show the true colors of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said in Matthew 5:44-45, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."

Lord, thank you for choosing me to be a Christian. I ask You to always give me the strength to show others I love Christ by loving them. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's All In The Name

This week on my Jukebox Saturday Night radio show, I will be featuring "weird inspiration" songs and groups. That is, I will be explaining the unusual circumstances behind the writing of some of Rock-n-Roll's most memorable songs and how some of the most famous groups got their names. Tune in this Saturday Night at 9 Central time at to find out what songs were inspired by a McDonald's Big Mac, a man in a bathroom, a menu from a Chinese restaurant, a poem written by a 19-year old in just 3 minutes, a bottle of soda pop, and many more. To wet your appetite, let me explain how the band Three Dog Night got their group name. You might remember Three Dog Night with such major hits as Joy To The World (Jeremiah was a bullfrog), Black and White, One (is the loneliest number), etc. In the Australian Outback, like most deserts, it can get scorching-hot during the daytime, and bone-chilling cold at night. To keep warm, some people would sleep with a dog to take advantage of its body heat. On really cold nights, they would use two dogs. And on those freezing-cold nights when your blood would almost turn to ice, that was a Three-Dog Night.

I have always liked the gospel song, The Lovely Name Of Jesus. In the song, it says that the name of Jesus is the name above all others. I suffer from occasional panic attacks, and what helps me more than anything during an episode is for me to continuously say "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." There is just something about His name that calms and soothes me deep down in my heart and soul. It is amazing to me how such a short, simple name can have such incredible, lasting effects! We all face troubled times, even if we don't all suffer from anxiety attacks. We all know how it feels when things around us seem to be caving in on top of us. But there is something we can do to help. The next time you are experiencing a frigid "three-dog night" in your heart and life, allow the simple name of Jesus to warm you up all over. Believe me, it really works!

Romans 8:6 says, "The mind controlled by Jesus is life and peace."

Father, thank you again for Jesus. Please teach us to depend on Him more, and on ourselves less. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Lighthouse Is Gone

Those who know me know I love lighthouses. Not only is my living room decorated with lighthouses and nautical items, but I also have a 3-foot solar-powered lighthouse in my front yard. Well, I should say I DID have! Last week, it was stolen from my yard around noon by a 20-something year-old lady in a gray Mustang. My neighbor, who had been putting up Halloween decorations in his yard, witnessed the whole thing. He shouted out to her, asking what she was doing. She told him that I sold the lighthouse to her. He didn't believe that lie and wrote down her description and a partial license plate number. I called the Police when I got home, but they said it would be almost impossible to locate the thief with only a partial plate. The officer told me that he has been patrolling my neighborhood for a couple years and remembers seeing the lighthouse in my yard. It only cost me about 50 bucks, but it was special to me. And now it is gone.

I can not begin to tell you how violated I feel. What has happened to our society? Whatever happened to "do unto others?" I don't know who the thief is, but I have at least begun to forgive her. But it got me to thinking about all the times I have "stolen" from God. I wonder, each time I sin, does He feel violated like I do about my lighthouse? When I do the things opposite from His teaching, does He feel pain? Does He continue to feel those long, rusty nails in His wrists each time I don't "do unto others?" I know I can't be perfect and live a sin-free life, but I also know I could sin less if I would depend on His strength more than what I do. Oh lord, please forgive me. You are my true Lighthouse, and I don't want to ever "steal" from you again. You know, maybe it took a thief for God to show me that I am not much better.

Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Father, please forgive the lady who stole my lighthouse. And please forgive me for "stealing" from You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Bailey Boo

Forgive me, but I have to brag on my 13-year old daughter Bailey Boo. She is a Christian and attends church regularly. She is a well-mannered young lady who always wears a smile. I wish I could get her to read her Bible more, and I wish I could get her to go down front at church to profess her faith. She is a little shy, but then again, so was I at 13. But let me tell you what happened today at church. She has been taking guitar lessons for a couple years and has gotten pretty good at playing. She knows over 100 songs, and has become a self-learner. She is constantly on the Internet learning how to be a better player. She was overheard playing her guitar by the youth director at church, and he has asked her to join the youth choir as a singer and guitar player!! Praise God! He has given her a talent of playing guitar, and today, she decided to use that talent for His Glory. I could not be any more proud of her than I am at this very moment!

We all have talents that are given to us by the Lord. In fact, anything that we are able to do is because He blessed us with that ability. When we choose to use it to further His Kingdom, there is no stronger peace and satisfaction in the world. He called me to be a teacher 15 years ago, and I love it more today than I ever have before. I have experienced first-hand the joy of knowing I am living for Jesus. Now, Bailey will experience that same joy and peace from serving Him. Bailey, your daddy is so proud of you, sweetie. God has given you a talent. Always thank Him for it, and always use it for His Glory. You are an inspiration to me. I am proud God chose me to be your daddy!

3 John 1:4 says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth."

Father, thank you for blessing Bailey. Help her to always stand up for You and to inspire others to seek Your face. In Jesus name, Amen.