Friday, February 27, 2009

The Great Delegator

We've all heard that a good boss or manager is one who is also a good delegator. Now that does not mean that he or she assigns duties and then simply sits back and does nothing. On the contrary, a good boss only assigns jobs to others that he is willing to do himself. Each member of his staff has strengths and weaknesses, and a good manager will assign duties to them accordingly. By delegating to those best suited for the tasks, the manager is then free to oversee all operations of the business. A company can only be as strong as its manager. And a manager can only be as effective as his employees.

God is an awesome delegator. The Bible says no man has ever seen God, but we all have seen His works. He always works through others. He works through doctors, preachers, teachers, and even kids. In Psalm 91, we learn that God even sends His angles to protect over us. The Scriptures are full of examples of God working through others to reach us. And when you think about it, He used some pretty unlikely workers (a young boy named David and a weakling named Gideon instantly come to mind). I'm reminded about the comical story of the college professor, a true atheist, who yells at the ceiling, "Here I am God. If you are real, then come knock me off this podium. I will give you exactly 15 minutes." After 14 minutes go by, he yelled again, "God, you only have 1 minute remaining to knock me from this podium". About that time, a Marine who had been one of the students in the class got up, walked over to the professor, and popped him in the mouth, knocking him to the floor and rendering him unconscious. After a few minutes, the professor woke up, and while still dazed asked the Marine why the heck he did that. The Marine replied, "God was busy...He sent me!" Since God delegates through anybody and anything, I'm sure He can also use you and me. God, the great manager and delegator, has a perfect job for us. Do you know what your job is? If not, simply spend some time with Him and keep your eyes and ears open. He may just reveal your job through a most unlikely source.

I Peter 4:10 says, "God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of gifts. Use them well to serve one another."

Father, please use me to help others according to Your will. I ask you to also reveal what you would have us all to do. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Second Best Gift From God

What is the absolute greatest gift God has ever given to you or to me? His precious Son Jesus Christ! After all, if it wasn't for that one amazing gift of love, we would all be doomed to an Eternal Life in hell. But today, I want to talk about the second greatest gift He has ever given to us. That is our children! God cared and trusted us enough to give us one, or some, of His precious babies for us to take care of for Him temporarily. I say temporarily because none of us knows how long God will keep them here in our care. But the amazing thing is that out of all the children and parents in the world, He trusted us with the best ones (all parents think their children are the best). So I wanted to take a moment to brag on my daughter Bailey Morgan. Today, she is 13-years old. I just can not believe that this little girl, who used to fit in my hands, is now taller than her Mom...and today she is a teenager!

Bailey is a sweet, warm, and caring young lady. She has brought joy into my life that, unless you are a parent yourself, you just can not understand. She has many friends, and she makes wonderful grades in school. She is always in a good mood and always fun to be around. She started taking music lessons a while back and now plays guitar, piano, flute, and drums. I can barely play the radio! She is much smarter than I ever was at 13. Bailey is happy, and she is healthy. What more could a parent hope for? So Bailey Boo, happy birthday! I want you to know you are so loved by so many people. I hope you enjoy this special day! Daddy loves you sweetheart!

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

Father, thank you for Bailey. I ask that you help her to have an extra special day today. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Energy Shot

Have you ever had one of those days in which you just couldn't seem to get going? From the time my alarm went off this morning at 6 until I arrived at work nearly 2 hours later, I could barely keep my eyes open. And then once I got to work, my lack of energy made climbing stairs almost impossible. So I decided to do something drastic. I walked across the street to Rite Aid and got a Red Bull Energy Drink. Just to make sure it worked, I also chased that down with one of those small, 5-hour energy drinks. It is now 11, and I am bouncing off the walls more than my checks bounce down at the bank. But one thing is for sure. I am definitely awake now!

Today's energy rush reminds me of the energy I feel after hearing a dynamic preacher or reading a powerful verse in the Bible. Spiritually speaking, we all suffer from "down" moments. We can find ourselves just barely making it through Church or through our daily Bible devotions. When this happens, we need a powerful jolt from the Holy Spirit! God can quickly transform us from 0 to 100 in a flash! He can "wake" us up spiritually and get us bursting with energy for Him. When we are just barely going through the motions, it is hard to convince a non-believer that the Christian life is a happy one. But when we are absolutely on fire for Jesus, it becomes contagious. And with God's help, we can set everybody else around us on fire for Him too! Have you asked Jesus for your "Red Bull" today?

John 15:11 says, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."

Father, please set me on fire for You. Help me to spread that fire to everybody around me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bonus Points

As a teacher, I have noticed something peculiar about my students. They love working for bonus points. Now that in itself isn't so strange. But what is so strange is that they will work much harder for a 5-point bonus question than for a 100-point test. The minute they get their test, many will go straight to the bonus and start working. Because bonus questions are generally more difficult, they will waste valuable time on the bonus question that they need to spend on the actual test. On my website, I have added a bonus quiz for my high school and college students. Just for taking the quiz, they receive 5 bonus points added to their next test. It is amazing how they will jump on the computer and spend 30 minutes working for 5 bonus points, but won't even spend half that amount of time studying for the 100-point chapter exam.

As Christians, are our priorities just as backwards as those of my students? Do we find ourselves working extra hard for things of this world but then barely spending any time at all on things of heaven? When was the last time we put in "overtime" to study our Bible or pray? When was the last time we turned the TV off and went out witnessing for Christ? When was the last time we set our clocks one hour earlier just so we could spend that time with God? There's nothing wrong with working hard at our careers, at our family, or even at our leisure time. But we should never do it at the expense of God's time. Why would we work so hard to get unimportant things in this world but then neglect working for the great things that are truly Eternal?

Matthew 6:19 says, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."

Father, please forgive us when we get our priorities mixed up. Teach us to work for heaven, not for earth. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Capture The Enemy

It was on this day in 1945 that U.S. marines raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. The 36-day assault saw heavy casualties on both sides. Of the 22,000 Japanese fighting soldiers, just a little over 1000 survived. Although there were many American deaths, over 6800, the battle campaign proved successful, as Iwo Jima was a very strategic location. It was occupied by the U.S. until 1968, when it was returned to Japan. To be successful, the American marines had to become experts at capturing their enemies. The Japanese dug thousands of underground tunnels and trenches. It was hard for the Americans to even find the Japanese soldiers, let alone capture them. But the training and expert command of the Americans proved the difference in the battle.

We are all fighting a spiritual war today. The war is raging on the battle fields of our minds. What is our enemy? Negative thoughts. Have you ever been around somebody who was always negative? It has a way of rubbing off on us. The opposite of that is also true. I just love to be around positive people. For us to remain positive, we must capture all our negative thoughts before they take root. God is our Battle General, and He has trained us well for this war. Today, let's make a true attempt at capturing our negative thoughts. It won't be easy. In fact, sometimes it will be very difficult. But we have a secret weapon....prayer! Are you ready to let God transform your thoughts? Are you ready to win this battle?

Proverbs 16:7 says, "When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

Father, please help me fight off negative thoughts today. I know that through You, I can do all things. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Teach Me To Be Usable

In the 45th chapter of Isaiah, we learn a little bit about Cyrus. He did not know God, but God decided to bless him anyway. The Lord empowered Cyrus and caused mighty kings to become paralyzed with fear in Cyrus' presence. God told him, "I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness-secret riches." God further said, "I have equipped you for battle, though you don't even know me." If God is willing to do this for someone who doesn't know Him, just imagine what God will do for those of us who do know Him.

As a child of God, we are so incredibly blessed! Every single one of us has a job to do for Christ. He has equipped us to help further His kingdom. For years, I struggled with what I was going to do with my life. I would pray and ask God to reveal his will to me. I was constantly asking Him to use me. He wanted to use me, but at the time I was not usable. He finally called me to become a teacher, but I had to first go through 6 years of college. And let me tell you, it was not easy. But when God calls us to do something, He also equips us with everything we need to be successful. He held my hand all through school and even helped me to get my dream job teaching at my Alma Mater, Dothan High School. By following his leading, He was able to make me usable. Do you know what your calling is? Ask God to reveal it to you and to prepare you for the job. Who knows, maybe your dream job is just around the corner!

Ezra 8:22 says, "The hand of our lord is upon all them for good that seek Him."

Father, thank you for teaching me how to be a teacher. I thank you for my dream job. I pray that You will help lead somebody else to their dream job soon. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where Am I?

I am planning a trip to New Orleans in the near-future, so I decided to get a GPS receiver. What a cool gadget! I am amazed at the accuracy of the information that it displays on the screen. It will allow you to type in any address, and then the system guides you right to the front door! Amazing! It even talks and tells you where to turn so you can keep your eyes on the road. There are over 6 million points of interest programmed in the system. Just for fun, I typed in Walmart. It gave me street-by-street directions to the nearest location. I will never be lost again!

God is like a GPS receiver. No matter how lost you may be or how far off the beaten path you may go, God can instantly guide you back to Him. Sometimes we feel like we are just too lost for Him to find us. Impossible! Sometimes we feel like we have gone so far out of the way that He doesn't even want to find us. Nonsense! God loves us and wants us to be in complete fellowship with Him. No matter where we are, God can track us down and guide us back "home". If you are lost today or if you have strayed far from Jesus, there is no reason to worry about it any longer. Call on Him! He will find you, and He will save you. GPS...God Personally Saves!

Chronicles 15:2 says, "The Lord is with you; If you seek Him, you will find Him."

Father, thank you for saving us. Thank you for loving us enough to always bring us back when we get lost. We praise Your Holy name! In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

There's One Missing

It never fails. On Easter Sunday our family gets together to hide eggs for the kids. It is always so much fun to get out in the yard and help them find those eggs, especially the little kids. But for some reason, maybe Murphy's Law, there is always one egg that we never find. We can hide 100 eggs or only 10 eggs, but either way, we will find all of them except one. Of course we do find the "missing" egg about a week later...all we have to do is "follow our nose".

How many times when we are confessing our sins to God do we try to hide one from Him? If you are like me, I have no problem revealing each one of my sins to the Lord and asking Him to forgive me. When I am praying, I feel a certain closeness to Him while confessing my sins that I don't feel any other time. But there seems to always be one sin that I try to "hide" from Him because I am so ashamed of it. Maybe you can relate to that. It is so easy to reason that if we ignore it, it will go away. But we know it won't simply go away by itself. We know we can't hide anything from our precious Lord. The best thing for us to do is just admit all of our sins and ask Him to give us a fresh, new start. Is there some un-confessed sin "hiding" deep inside your heart? Perhaps we should ask God to help us "find" it before it starts stinking up our whole life.

I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (emphasis added)

Father, please forgive us for ALL our sins. Help us to face even the worst sin and to confess it to You. Remind us that there is NO sin too big for You to forgive. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What A Trade!

New York Yankee Superstar Alex Rodriguez, better known as A-Rod, has found himself in hot water. He has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, which are banned by Major League Baseball. He admitted to taking the drugs, using the excuse that it was necessary for him to keep up his level of being the highest paid baseball player in history. By the way, he "earns" about 28 million dollars per year! That comes out to more than $19,000 per inning of baseball. When he was traded a few years ago, it made major headlines! Now, he makes more money than the entire Seattle Mariner team combined. Can you imagine how great it would feel to be wanted by a team that bad? Money aside, it would be an awesome feeling to know somebody thinks that highly of you.

But somebody did think that highly of you. God "traded" His Superstar Son Jesus for you and for me. He gave us an Eternal Lifetime contract which is worth far-more than 28 million dollars, or any other amount of dollars! The incredible thing is, we do not even have the skills to be on His team. Every single one of us is so bad that no other "coach" would even consider signing us to their team. But God sees something special in each one of us. No matter how bad our skills are, He will train us for the perfect position in heaven! And we don't have to worry about performance anxiety because with God coaching us in heaven, we will be perfect through Him! I can just hear it over the heavenly P.A. system: "Now batting for Jesus and His Redeemed, Allen Skipper." Are you in His lineup?

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace are ye saved by faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God, not of works."

Father, thank you for loving me enough to trade Your only Son Jesus for me. I will follow You all the days of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, February 13, 2009

True Love

Today is the Eve of St. Valentine's Day. Can you imagine just how busy flower and gift shops are right about now? Everybody wants to get a Valentine. Being loved, and being shown that you are loved, are awesome feelings. The Bible tells us volumes of information about love. Jesus said we are to love everybody just as much as we love ourselves. But there is one love that should be even greater than our love for others. That is our love for Jesus Christ. How do we show our love for the Lord? One way is by demonstrating true faith in Him.

In the 8th chapter of Matthew, we learn of a man's faith that, in Jesus' words, was "amazing". He was a Roman soldier, and he asked Jesus to heal his servant. That in itself demonstrated the soldier's degree of love for others, even for his servant. But it was his amount of faith in God that amazed Jesus. Jesus told him that He would go to the soldier's servant. But the soldier insisted that he was not worthy of Jesus coming into his house, and he asked if Jesus would just say the word, and that would instantly heal his servant from there. Do we have that much faith in Jesus? That soldier knew that it was God's Word, not just His touch, that brought healing power to suffering people. Contrast that level of faith with the faith of Thomas. Thomas could not believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead unless he could actually see Him and "place his hands in His wounds." I can't judge Thomas' lack of faith because Lord knows my faith falters sometimes too. But with His help, maybe it can grow! And by growing my faith in Jesus, I will also be growing my love for Him. And not just some sweet, little Valentine love...but a deep, spiritual love that simply can not be explained.

Deuteronomy 6:5 says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

Father, please help me to increase my faith in You. I want to have as much faith as that Roman soldier. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Resemble That Remark

When we see people who are wicked and completely out of control, it is easy to feel superior and point a finger at them. But in doing this, the Scriptures remind us that we are only condemning ourselves. God is the only One who has the right to judge a person's actions because He is the only One who is perfect. When we believe that we are better than others, we are only building walls of denial around our own lives. But when we begin admitting that we are also guilty of the same things they are, God will begin tearing down those walls. He wants us to achieve a level of Christian joy and happiness that we can't even imagine. But we are the ones who hinder that progress. So today, instead of judging others by their actions, perhaps we should use their actions to truly judge ourselves. For it is only then that we can truly grow to be more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 2:1 says, "You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things."

Father, forgive us for when we judge others. Remind us that we have enough trouble dealing with our own lives, let alone somebody Else's life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

None Of The Above

My students love it when I give them a multiple-choice test. They seem to take a little comfort in the fact that the correct answer is right there in front of them, and all they have to do is choose it. What they don't like is when one of those choices is none of the above. They tell me none of the above choices causes them to second guess themselves. I have to agree that when i was in school, none of the above choices were pretty distracting. But when it comes to praying to God and asking Him for things, we should always include a none of the above choice.

From the time we are born, we are bounded by certain limits. "Don't touch that". "Don't go there". "Be home by 9". Even after we mature into adults, we are still bounded by limits. In fact, knowing our limits is a result of maturity. But although we are trapped by limits, God certainly is not! When I pray, I sometimes give Him a few choices and ask Him to lead me to the right one. But by doing that, I am forcing limits on a limit-less God. Instead of my choices, He may have a totally different plan for me that I have never even thought about. By giving God a none of the above choice, I am opening my life and heart up to His limitless possibilities and power. Why would we want to restrict ourselves and simply settle for what we think is best when our all-knowing Heavenly Father could have a better plan?

Psalm 48:14 says, "For this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death."

Father, forgive me for limiting You power for my life. You know my heart's desire. I accept that it may not be Your heart's desire. I pray for Yours instead of mine. Lead me to where you want me to go. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fireproof Your Marriage

Have you seen the movie Fireproof? It has to be the absolute best movie of the year! It stars Kirk Cameron, as he portrays a fire fighter. I don't want to tell you too much about it just in case you have not seen it yet. The movie will make you laugh, cry, and think long and hard about your marriage. The message from the movie is simple, but extremely important in today's knee-jerk, divorce-crazed world: Every marriage is worth saving!!!!

The Scriptures teach us a lot about love and marriage. I am not a marriage counselor, and given my track record, perhaps I don't even qualify to give advice. But I am certain of one thing. God does not intend for us to be divorced, and with His help, every strained marriage can be rescued! My deep, personal conviction is that if you are married and struggling, seek help either from God, a counselor, a pastor, or even all of the above. Marriages are not easy, in fact, sometimes they can be down right hard. But when two people love each other enough to make a commitment, with God's help, they CAN stick to that commitment. Corinthians teaches us that a "wife should never leave her husband and a husband should never leave his wife". I believe that a failed marriage could be a result of a failed relationship with God. Listen to me...If you are struggling, grab your spouse, get on all four of your knees, and turn it all over to Him. He can, and He WILL restore your marriage! God can do anything! It takes faith and a true commitment to stick together through everything, no matter how tough, "til death, do us part" Somehow, probably only with God's help, we must be willing to forgive our spouse for everything in the past. After all, we are not perfect either. We must be willing to move forward and face each day as a new day, full of exciting opportunities to relight the spark. Our marriage can be fireproof! And as long as God is the shield, no inferno can ever touch us!

I Corinthians 13:7 says, "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" (emphasis added)

Father, I pray for every marriage that may be in trouble at this hour. You are The Great Marriage Counselor. Please help us to never give up on each other. We know we can do anything with Your perfect help. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Because of the state of our economy, many people are experiencing financial hardships. It has forced several families into bankruptcy. There are pros and cons to filing bankruptcy. The up-side is that practically all your debt will be wiped away. Almost like magic, you won't owe another dime to your creditors. But a major down-side is that your credit will be shot for 7 to 10 years. Because of financial hardships, bankruptcy may be the only way to get out from under the debt. And the fact that is messes up your credit could be a good thing. Obviously you can't pay what you have so why in the world would you need to start charging up new debt? Bankruptcy should be approached with tons of caution. But sometimes, it's the only way.

The Bible teaches us that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). Because God is a Holy God, we must pay for that sin debt with our lives (Romans 6:23). It does not matter who we are or how many good deeds we do, all it takes is one "little" sin to force us into forever-debt. And that debt can never be repaid, no matter how hard we try. Even Billy Graham has no chance to "preach" his way out of sin debt. Our only hope is to file for a sin "bankruptcy". Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the Cross at Calvary to pay for the debt for our sins. In essence, He completely wiped out our sin debt! But His bankruptcy is much better than today's bankruptcy. With His, there are no long, tedius forms to fill out, no outragious lawyer fees to pay, and our credit is not shot for 7 to 10 years. In fact, as long as we keep Jesus as our Savior, our "credit" will remain perfect! Have you filed for a Sin Bankruptcy yet? All it takes is a simple prayer, known as the "sinner's prayer". I have included it at the bottom of the devotion for you if you need it. Once you have sincerely prayed that prayer, the Bible promises that your sin debt is completely wiped away, and it will NEVER come up again! Praise God!

Psalm 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us."

God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! In Jesus name, Amen!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Let It Die

I love my cell phone, but I go through way too many batteries. My problem is that I don't do what is recommended by the cellphone company. Instead of letting my battery completely die before I recharge it, I usually just top it off every night, even if there is still some battery life left on it. I'm sure that is not good for the battery and probably explains why I go through them so fast. To increase the life of the battery, they recommend that we let the charge completely die before recharging it. What a concept. Let the battery completely die, and then bring it back to life!

Something hit me like a tons of bricks today. I was thinking about the story of how Jesus waited a few days until His friend Lazarus had died before going to help him. Jesus could have come sooner and simply healed Lazarus, but by waiting, Jesus could perform an even greater miracle..bring Lazarus back from the dead! I guess the hardest thing in the world, at least for me, is to ask God for something but not put it completely in His hands. We may say we are letting the Lord handle it, but are we really? I am so bad about trying to reach in and help Him. I have even found myself trying to convince God why I need it! Instead, we should hand it over to Him, and as far as our hands are concerned, let it die! We should let God work out His perfect will on His perfect time. By us letting it completely die, He may choose to revive it to a level we could only dream about! I'm not saying we should not keep the faith, on the contrary, we must keep the faith. But we should in no way interfere with the Lord. With Him taking care of it, our situation is in Good Hands!

Romans 12:12 says, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Father, forgive me for continuing to try to help You help me. I know You do not need my help because You know me better than even I do. I pray for my personal situation and trust You will bring it to pass. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cleaning Day

This past weekend, my 12-year old daughter Bailey Boo wanted a little spending money. Coincidentally, I also just happened to have a messy house. My house is not generally that messy, although I have to admit that I do clean like a man. My philosophy is If you can't see it, it is not dirty! But from time to time, I do actually move things around and clean underneath them. So I figured she could clean my house, while learning the value of work, and I could use that time to catch up on a few things I needed to do. I told her I would pay her based on how well she cleaned up. I was so impressed! She went way beyond what I expected her to do. She cleaned places in my house that I did not even know I had. After a little less than two hours, she was finished. For her work, I gave her $50.00. That's a lot for 2 hours worth of work, but she did an outstanding job!
Our walk with Christ is sort of like cleaning our house. For the most part, we can just pick up a few things here and there and keep the house fairly organized. But sometimes we have to spend a day and do some serious deep-cleaning. As we walk with Christ, we can pray and read a little of the Bible each day. But sometimes, we need to stop and do some serious cleaning of our souls. It becomes necessary at times to take a real inventory of our lives and see what we need to address with the Lord. Instead of just cleaning the areas that are visible to us, we may need to ask God to help us with those dirty areas that we can't see. The old saying, a clean house is a happy house, is very true. It also applies to our hearts and souls.
Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, Oh God; and renew a right spirit within me."
Father, please shine Your Holy light on all areas of my life and help me do a little cleaning up. Thank you for understanding that we are not perfect, and for being willing to help us as we strive to bring glory to the name of Jesus. For it is in His name, Amen.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Hope Is Greater Than My Sorrow

I watched a show this past Sunday on TV about a group of five friends who went out on a 3-day sailing trip. On the second night of their trip, a rouge wave from a sudden storm slammed into the port side of their yacht, which caused it to capsize. The captain had just enough time to send out an urgent SOS before they all scrambled to abandon ship. All five of them managed to climb safely into the lifeboat, where they rode out the remainder of the storm. Unfortunately, the SOS that the captain sent out was never received by anyone. Their terrifying ordeal lasted a devastating 12 days before they were finally rescued. But by then, only two survivors remained, as one of the original five died from dehydration and exposure, while two others were eaten alive by sharks. The story that the two survivors told was absolutely amazing! They explained that the way they made it was that they remained positive, and not only did they simply hope rescue was only an hour or so away, they actually expected it to be. That expectation of rescue helped them to focus on hope and excitement instead of on the fear and despair of their situation.

When we are going through troubled seas, it can oftentimes seem like God is nowhere around. I have been experiencing some rough trials lately, and I have been sending out an SOS to Him almost hourly. It seems like He is not hearing my distress call, although I know He is because the Scriptures guarantee it (Psalm 55:17). What is making my situation a little more bearable is that I am trying to stay focused on the "rescue ship" that I know He will send me, and not on the pain and confusion of my current troubles. I have no idea why He has not already sent rescue, but I am trying so hard to remain faithful to Him and to trust that His timing is perfect! There is no doubt I am in survival mode. But by staying focused on Him, I will survive!
Psalm 50:15 says, "Call on Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee."
Father, I thank you that you are still in the miracle business. I need one right now, Lord. Help me to keep the faith, and to continue to expect deliverance, just as Your Holy Word promises. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Day The Music Died

It was on this day in 1959 that the world lost 3 rock-n-roll singers. Buddy Holley, Richie Valens, and J.P. Richardson, known professionally as The Big Bopper, were killed when the twin-engine plane they had chartered crashed shortly after take-off in a blinding, Iowa snow storm. The three young singers, as part of the Winter Dance Party Tour, had just finished performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, and were on their way to the next city of the tour, Fargo, North Dakota. In 1972, Don Mclean captured the somber mood of our nation on that terrible day when he wrote and recorded American Pie. We will always remember Feb. 3, 1959 as "The Day The Music Died"

It is amazing how certain dates are etched in our minds forever. We all remember exactly where we were when we first heard the news of certain events. I guess the most memorable events would be when Kennedy was assassinated, The Challenger space shuttle exploded, and when the World Trade Center dropped from the New York skyline. It seems that we always remember the dates of tragedies, but do we also tend to remember the dates of happy events? I know it is easy to remember the date we got married or the date(s) of our children being born, but do we recall the most important date of all? Do you remember exactly where you were the very minute Jesus Christ came into your heart and saved you? Do you remember the date? What event in our lives could possibly rival the extraordinary event of God saving us? Perhaps we should circle that date on the calendar and celebrate it every year! Maybe we could have a big party and invite guests over. Maybe we could even take off from work that day and spend it on our knees thanking God for His awesome, free gift! That day could become known to us as "The Day The Sin Died."

Matthew 26:28 says, "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for the remission of sins"

Father, thank you for sending Your only Son Jesus to die on the Cross in my place. Please help me to always remember that date and to celebrate it with true, heart-felt thanksgiving. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, February 2, 2009

We Are Being Watched

The State Department of Education was at Dothan High School today observing various teachers. None of us knew just which teachers would be observed so we all had to be prepared. It is always a little unnerving when the "big bosses" come in for a visit. Most of us become a little more serious, pay a lot more attention, and double check to make sure we have all the i's dotted and all the t's crossed. It is kind of like when you are driving your car and a police officer gets behind you. All of a sudden, you become the world's best driver in an instant! Sometimes I wonder how many of us feel this same type of "pressure" on Sundays when we go to church. We get on our best clothes and our best behaviors. We become "Super Christian" on Sunday, but what do we do on Monday?

We know we can hide certain behaviors from some people, but we can never hide those from God. He is not only watching us 24/7, He is also right here walking along beside us. Judas the betrayer found that out very quickly. He managed to hide what was truly in his heart from everybody else, but he had no chance in trying to hide it from the Lord. Our hearts are completely transparent to the eyes of the Lord. He even knows the things that lurk in our hearts of which we may be totally unaware. Peter was a great example of this. Peter told Jesus that he loved Him so much that he was ready to "die for Him". But Jesus knew that in only a few, short hours, Peter would deny that he even knew the Lord...not once, but three times! I personally believe that Peter did not even know he was capable of denying Christ. But Christ knew everything that was in Peter's heart, and He knows everything that is in our hearts as well. If we can be a better driver every time we are being followed by a police officer, shouldn't we also become a "better" Christian by just knowing that God is with us?

Jeremiah 17:9-10 says, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives."

Father, forgive me for my wicked heart. Teach me to rely totally on You and less on my own heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Where Will I Ever Use This

As a teacher of mathematics, I am constantly asked by my students where they will ever use the math that they are learning. Many times I can give them some real-life applications or careers that utilize the particular math skill I am teaching. But sometimes, it is hard to pin-point exactly how they will use the skill because of the rapid changes in technology. And sometimes, a particular skill they are learning is a prerequisite skill for a more advanced one. It may not be clear to them at the moment, but in time after they learn a few more things, it all comes together. It is like trying to explain to a Kindergartner that the reason they are learning their letters is because one day they fill have to fill out a tax-return form. To their young mind, that makes no sense. But one day, they will "get" it.

The same is true about the will of God. I have struggled with a few concepts of faith. I do want to trust God 100%, but sometimes I just can not understand why He is allowing certain things to happen. I know He is teaching me a valuable lesson, even though I may not totally understand the "value" of it at the moment. So I need to follow the same advice I give my students. I tell them to simply trust me, and the reason why they are learning the math skill will become clear to them soon. Shouldn't I also be trusting God that one day, I too will understand all He is teaching me? He is the Master Teacher, and as long as we stay open to His leading, we will come out a much better student.

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we don't see."

Father, I want to learn all You will teach me. Even though I don't always understand today, I have faith You will make it all clear to me tomorrow. In Jesus name, Amen.