Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Do You Know What It Means?

Last night on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lt. Cmdr. Data was asked if he knew what desire meant. Just in case you are unfamiliar with the character of Lt. Cmdr. Data, portrayed by Brent Spiner, he is an android, a machine that looks almost like a human. He has a computer brain, so in that sense, he is a genius. But he is not human and therefore he can not "feel" human emotions. When asked what desire was, he gave a perfect, text-book definition for it...to want, to long for. But when asked if he really knew what desire was, he had to conclude that he did not, because he could not really "feel" desire, he only knew the definition. What is a Christian? Do you know? Do you really know?

I believe being a Christian is more than just knowing what it means. I have learned more about it each day as I walk closer to Jesus. Being a Christian is a lifestyle. It is an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. It is something that we can feel, not just know. Oh how sweet and comforting it is to really feel Jesus. I know Him personally, and our relationship grows everyday. Living the Christian life does not mean one has to be perfect and without mistakes. The Bible is clear that nobody is perfect, and we have all sinned. But don't let that sin stop you from trying to become closer to Him. Jesus shed His precious blood on Calvary, and that one act of love was sufficient to forgive all our sins: past, present, and future. Sinning is like dirtying up a window. The longer is gets dirty, the harder it is to see through it. Walking with Jesus and asking for His forgiveness is like cleaning that window with Windex. Sure, the window will continue to get dirty. There's no way to stop that. But God is willing to wipe it clean every time we ask Him. What an amazing God we serve!

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."

Father, please forgive me for my sins and teach me to repent. Thank you for sharing Your Son with me and for wanting to live every moment by my side. Help me to share Your Good News with everybody. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh No!

I have a startling confession: I've turned into my Dad! I took my daughter to the Mall yesterday to get her a pair of shoes. Well you know 13-year old girls. That pair of shoes just had to include a pack of socks and multi-colored shoe laces as well. I know I have not been to the mall lately, but what in the world has happened to our youth? They dress like freaks, act like freaks, and listen to freaky music. I teach teenagers, but I guess in school they are a little more "civilized". I never realized just how far "out there" they have become. Hopefully, I won't need to go to the mall again anytime soon. I don't belong there. I felt like an old man in a young place. A young, freaky place! I loved my Dad and thought he was a wonderful man. I just didn't plan on turning into him until I was old....older than 41.

As a reflect on my mall trip, two things immediately come to mind. First of all, is today's youth really any different from us than we were from our parents? I can remember the first time I wanted to buy a pair of faded jeans. My grandmother hit the roof! I tried to explain to her that that was just what kids wore these days. Absolutely not! She told me I would have to wear "appropriate" jeans. It's kind of funny to think what she would say about the clothes kids wear today. The second reflection I have is the more important one. God made these kids. He loves them with all His heart. He does not see what they are wearing. He sees what is in their heart. Shouldn't I be doing the same thing? That "judging others" thing seems to keep coming up in my life. Think about who Jesus hung out with when he was on earth. He was always seen with the misfits and outcasts of society. Not that our youth are misfits or outcasts, but I'm pretty sure if Jesus was here today, he would have spend some time at the mall. Sadly, He would probably have to spend just as much time at my house.

Jeremiah 17:10 says, "I, the Lord, search the heart."

Father, thank you for my daughter. Teach me to look past the outside of today's youth, and everyone else for that matter. Teach me to see the true heart. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Twists and Turns

Back a couple years ago, one of my students taught me how to solve a Rubik's Cube. I was amazed at how quickly he could line up all the colors and get it solved. It never took him longer than 2 minutes! He would hand it to somebody and ask them to "mess it up" for him. The incredible thing was that regardless of how "messed up" they made it, he immediately went to work and solved it like it was nothing. I was absolutely amazed! I am proud to say that since he taught me, I can now solve it in under two minutes as well. And it does not matter how messed up it gets, I can get it back good as new!

Our life can be like a Rubik's Cube. It does not matter how much we twist and turn the cube, it will always be "messed up". The only way to get our life's pieces back together is to put them in the hand's of the Master! Jesus can "solve" our life's problem in a flash. Why do we continue to twist and turn on it when all we do is make it worse? There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different ways to twist and turn the Cube, and there are probably many more ways than that to mess up our lives. But regardless of the number of ways to mess it up, or how messed up it may be right now, hand it over to the Master! Jesus is willing, able, and ready to "solve" your life's problems. Trust me, He can, and He will get it back together. But you have to turn it over to Him...

Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall."

Father, I know there are many people out there with broken lives. Please encourage them to turn it all over to You. You are the Master! In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


We all want to progress to the next level in our lives. Careers, relationships, finances; I would like to progress in all three areas. But what is it going to take for us to step out of our current situation and step up to the next level? I love this quote: Progress always involves risk; You can't steal second base while your foot is still on first. It can be hard to try to progress in our lives because we fear the risk involved. It is hard to step out of our comfort zone. But we need to find a way to move forward. Yesterday is gone, and no matter how you spent that day, you still have 24 hours to try again today. How are you going to use those hours?

The Bible is filled with examples of ordinary people like us. But they found themselves moving from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary. Why? What was the big step that they took that catapulted them to the next level? It was their total faith in our Lord Jesus Christ! Faith in Him is the key to moving forward in our careers, relationships, finances, and everything else. Sure, it may take a little work on our part and maybe a little "elbow grease". But the key is to put our trust in Christ and let Him guide us. There is no reason for us to remain in a rut in our lives when we can jump to the next level. But we must let Christ be our springboard.

Jesus said is John 14:12, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father."

Lord, thank you for allowing us to rely on you for progress. I am taking a huge leap of faith this evening that I know involves risk. But by Your Holy Power, I am expecting a quantum leap. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Best Poem In The World (Author Unknown)

I found this poem on a fellow Christian's blog site Disconnected Diva. I have never heard it before but it is truly one of the best!


I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--The thieves, the liars,
the sinners,The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Dan, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.'
And why's everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue.
''Hush, child,' He said, 'they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you.


Remember...Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.
Every saint has a PAST.... Every sinner has a FUTURE!

Father, as I read this poem, You have reminded me that I am as guilty of sin as the worst murderer or liar in the history of the world. I thank you for loving me enough to send Your Son Jesus to save me. Thank you for this incredible poem! In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2009

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

How many times have we heard that expression, "God helps those who help themselves"? It is a very powerful, motivating statement that can help us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get moving on with our lives. This statement can be misleading, however, because it also implies that unless you try to help yourself, God won't either. Which book of the Bible can this expression be found? None! It is not even in the Bible. This saying was made famous by Ben Franklin in 1736. He was a Deist, so he did not believe that God took an active role in our lives. In his point of view, if a man was unable to help himself, then he was simply hopeless. Thank God that is not the truth!

Let me provide a few Scriptures for you to look up: Romans 5: 6-8, Proverbs 28:26, and Jeremiah 17:5. These passages teach us that we can do nothing without God. God is the sole source of our strength. The expression made famous by Franklin can be a good one in that it can motivate us to get going. But if you happen to find yourself flat on your back and unable to get moving, call upon the name of Jesus! He will deliver you; His perfect Word guarantees it. So if you are low, and I mean real low, don't fret. For when we are so low that we can not even help ourselves, it is our faith in Jesus, and not our effort, that delivers us. What a great feeling. Even If I am unable to help myself, God still will help me.

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

Father, thank you for loving us. I ask you to help all those who can, and can not, help themselves. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Fine Print

Don't you just hate those annoying legal disclaimers on radio commercials and TV ads? Legal disclaimers are "conditions". For example, an ad may offer a great price or interest rate on a particular product, but there are always "certain conditions" that apply. You can usually recognize those conditions when the announcer speeds up so fast that you can barely understand what he is saying, or on TV, when the print is so tiny, nobody can possibly read it. As consumers, we must beware of these disclaimers. I noticed the fine print on a particular credit card. The interest rate was 12%, which is pretty good for a credit card. But on the back of the monthly statement, in very fine print, it warned that if the payment was so much as one day late, the interest rate would jump to 29.9%! Ouch!

Thank God there are no disclaimers on our Salvation! The Bible is very clear as to how we receive eternal life in heaven. To receive it, we must first admit that we are sinners and in need of a Savior. That Savior is God's only Son, Jesus Christ. Once we receive Him into our heart and make Him Lord of our life, the Bible promises we are saved and will spend eternity with Him in heaven. As a Christian, though we may experience a physical death, we will never experience a spiritual one. God promises that nothing can "snatch us out of His hand". Many people today are not Christians because they feel like they are too "bad" or have sinned too much for Christ to forgive them. But the Bible is clear that the blood He shed on Calvary was sufficient to cover every sin we have ever committed, regardless of how "bad" it may have been. And praise Him, no disclaimers are needed!

Jesus said in John 6:47, "Truly I say unto you, he that believes on me has everlasting life."

Father, thank you for Your Son Jesus. Help us to spread the Good News to everybody around us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Safe And Sound

If you like adventure, I encourage you to read the 27th chapter of the book of Acts. The chapter begins with Paul and some other prisoners being shipped to Rome, Italy. There were a total of 276 people on the boat, which was scheduled to make several stops before reaching its final destination. The entire journey was plagued by difficulties, mainly due to typhoon-strength winds. The boat and its passengers also had to deal with two weeks of relentless storms, complete with not only strong winds, but also blinding rain. The crew and its passengers were in serious peril. God sent Paul an angel assuring him that not a single person on-board would perish, although they would become shipwrecked. Sure enough, on the 14th night of the storm, the ship broke apart and all 276 either swam or clung to pieces of the boat and washed ashore on the island of Malta. Just as the angel of God had promised, not a single soul was lost. While onshore, Paul was bitten by a deadly, poisonous snake. The people were amazed to see that he simply shook off the snake and was completely unharmed.

God is amazing! He had a plan for Paul. Paul was to preach in Rome. He survived weeks at sea, relentless storms, being shipwrecked, and even being bitten by a deadly snake. But through each adversity, Paul never once complained to God. He never once considered giving up. He had such a tremendous amount of faith in God, that nothing was going to derail him from fulfilling God's will. As a matter of fact, during all the trials, Paul spent his time helping and encouraging the others. Paul used obstacles as opportunities to serve others and share his faith. We all know, Paul did make it to Rome and did exactly what God had planned for him to do. What lessons can we draw from Paul's experience? First of all, I'm pretty sure Paul had more faith in God than you and I combined. But that did not exempt Paul from trials and tribulations, so we should expect that we too will have to go through some "storms" and difficult circumstances. Instead of complaining about it, we should use those tough circumstances to share our faith, too. The most important lesson we can draw on is the reliability of God. He brought Paul safely through those storms, and He will bring us through those storms as well. God has a plan for each one of us. It may be tough getting there, but we need to rest assured that as long as we keep faith in Christ, He will get us there, safe and sound.

Psalm 37:24 says, "Though he fall, he will not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand."

Father, as I continue toward my destination, I know I can not avoid trials and storms. I put my trust in You and acknowledge that You will get me through my personal Storm safe and sound. While I am facing obstacles, please help me to use those as opportunities to share my faith in You with others. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Doing A Better Job

It was on this day, March 18, 1925 that the worst single tornado disaster occurred. Known simply as "The Tri-State Tornado", this one twister plowed through the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri killing 689 people, the most ever killed from a single tornado. This death toll is more than twice as high as the second worst tornado in American history (1840 Natchez, Miss.). I looked up the 25 worst tornadoes in history while researching for today's devotion. By "worst", I mean the most deaths caused by a single twister. The majority of those incidents occurred in the late 1800's and early 1900's, with the most modern twister on the list touching down in 1953. Due to such instruments as satellites, radar, TV, radio, and NOAA warning systems, far fewer people are killed today from single tornadoes. The time, effort, and money spent on research have undoubtedly led to technological advancements that have saved countless lives.

Let me ask you a very serious question. It is a question I am also asking myself. Are you making advances spiritually? From the time you first accepted Christ until now, have you grown to learn more about Him? Are you spending time each day in His Word? Are you studying the Scriptures and trying a little harder each day to put those Scriptures into practice? Are you spending more quality time with Jesus in prayer? For me, it seems to run in cycles. Some days I hit the spiritual trail running, trying to lead as many to Christ as I possibly can. But then other days, I find myself on somewhat of a spiritual "vacation", just barely getting through the day. Our Christian walk with God is just that, a walk. It is not a run or a sprint. Running and sprinting can tire us out much faster than an easy-paced walk. Maybe we should be more like the turtle and less like the hare. By making small advances spiritually everyday, after a while, those small advances can lead to huge increases...increases that just might enable us to lead more lives to Jesus. Think about just how many lives could be saved spiritually as a result of our personal Christian "advances".

James 1:22 says, "But be doers of the word and not hearers only."

Father, please help us to mature in Christ. Help equip us in ways that will allow You to use us to further Your Kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Are You Up For The Challenge?

I overheard a couple of my students talking yesterday in class about trying to find a job. One of them said she went to an interview and was asked if she had any retail experience. When she acknowledged that she did not, she was told that she could not be hired without that experience. She then asked how she was supposed to get the experience if nobody would give her a job. That same paradox always frustrated me too when I was out looking for my first job. It just never seemed fair. I was willing and able, but nobody would give me a chance.

The Bible says that without faith, we can not please God. It is so very easy to have faith in God when everything is going our way. But what about when we hit a bump in the road? In the first chapter of James, God tells us that we should "rejoice" when faced with trials. Now rejoicing is the last thing I want to do when I am facing trouble. But James explains that it is through these trials that we get the opportunity to grow in our faith. I don't think He means rejoice in the same sense that we do. Perhaps he is suggesting that when we face a bad situation, we should attack it with the attitude that ultimately, God is going to get us through it, and in the process, our faith will grow and please Him. By testing our faith, He is helping us grow in our endurance. After all, how can we get that Christian experience (faith) without getting the job (trials)?

James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

Father, please help us through our daily trials. We want to be faithful to You, but we can't even do that without Your help. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Have No Other Gods Before Me

Some of the Ten Commandments are easy for my to keep. For example, I'm fairly sure I will never murder anybody and I am also sure I won't ever worship any other God. Well, at least I used to believe that. You see, that Commandment, the very first one, would be easy for me to keep because I don't even know any other Gods. Sure, just like you, I learned about all the Greek and Roman Gods in Lit. classes in school, but I never did believe in those "gods". So how many other gods are there? Plenty!

A "God" that the Bible speaks about can be anything from money, to your career, or even to your family. I think anything that occupies most of our mind and heart is our "God". Is that "God" Jesus in your life? I know, this one is a hard one! Obviously we need money, our careers, and our family. But those things must never come before God. A good way for us to tell where our priorities are is for us to take a glance at our checkbook and our appointment book. Those are two good indicators of our priorities. Obviously we can't just let everything go and focus only on God. But while we are focusing on other things, do we still have God in mind? Do we start our day reading His Word and seeking His will for the day? We make many decisions throughout the day. Do we consult Him first? Do we actively look for a way to honor Him each day? Here's a challenge for both of us today: Let's look very hard for at least one way we could show others we are Christians. It doesn't have to necessarily be anything big. Just a simple smile and "how are you today" or "here, let me get that door for you" would make a great start. We are Christians with a promise of Everlasting Life! Let's share that with everybody today and everyday! Perhaps G.O.D. could stand for Give Ourselves Daily. If you will notice, the Ten Commandments all revolve around our relationships with God and with others.

Exodus 20:1 says, "You shall have no other Gods before Me."

Father, please forgive us for not always putting You first. Please give us the desire and show us how to always keep You at the top of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Restless Night

It is 2:45 in the morning, and I can't sleep. We all have restless nights from time to time. Mine is because of the recent tragedy of Samson and Geneva, and of some other sad, personal situations that have transpired in the past 24 hours. What is bothering me tonight may have also bothered you in the past. I am bothered by my unbelief in God. I don't mean I don't believe in Him, I mean I have occasional unbelief in how He can allow certain things to happen. If God wants the best for us, and if the Bible says He protects us, then why do bad things happen to good people? I know He gives man free will, and I know we live in a sinful, fallen world. I also know He could stop such tragedies like the ones that have happened this week. I'm pretty sure He stops some things from happening that we are not even aware of. But why does He allow such horrible things to happen such as a toddler being shot point-blank by a mad man?

Maybe you are struggling with this same issue as I am. Maybe you find yourself questioning if He is even real. I have searched the Scriptures since around 11 o clock tonight and have found comfort in a few things that I want to share. First of all, every single one of us sins. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is full of Scriptures that remind of us that we are sinful. But the Bible also comforts us in the fact that there is no sin too great for God to forgive. In fact, if you have trusted Jesus as your personal savior, then all your sins are washed away, past, present, and future! The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean an occasional unbelief in Him or in the Bible. The only unforgivable sin is the sin of never believing in Jesus all the way until death. If you have already accepted Christ, then you can not commit the unforgivable sin. Haven't you ever questioned if God exists sometimes, especially in the face of horrific tragedies? If we are honest with ourselves, perhaps we all have had the occasional unbelief. I think God chose Thomas as one of His disciples for this very reason. Known as "doubting Thomas", he was constantly in a state of unbelief. But the Bible is so clear that Jesus forgave him every time. And what about Peter? If some of His disciples can doubt Jesus, then obviously God expects we will occasionally doubt Him too. But don't let that worry you that you have lost your salvation. No matter what sin we commit, once we are saved by the blood of Jesus, we will always be saved. The key is to not beat ourselves up. Instead, we should ask Him to forgive us and ask Him to help us repent and mature spiritually from the experience. Maybe "unbelief" is too strong of a word. Perhaps "questioning" about what has happened is a better one. So please, if your heart is heavy with unbelief or questioning tonight like mine due to personal tragedies, remember that God will see us through it! Don't ever give up on Him! Hope is an amazing thing. But His assurance is even more amazing!

Romans 8: 1-2 says, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the Law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (emphasis added)

Father, forgive us for our unbelieving or questioning moments. Please restore our faith and give us peace when we fail You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Twenty Miles Of Terror"

Again, I have been reminded of just how selfish I can be. The past few days have been just awful! It started Monday at school. As you know, I am having a time with kidney stones. While I was in the ER, crying like a little baby from my pain, a little baby was brought it. I could hear that child crying from several rooms over. I learned that he was less than a year old, and somehow, had gotten his tiny fingers slammed in a car door. It completely cut 3 of his fingers off! Right after I learned what had happened to him, I continued to cry myself, although I am not sure if it was from my stones, my broken heart over that baby's tragedy, or if it was from the guilty feeling I felt. You see, I felt guilt because here I was, a grown man, and crying as much as a child with a real problem. All of a sudden, my stones didn't hurt quite as much.

Then I learned of the carnage left in Samson and Geneva. How could I be laying in an ER room crying over a few stones when some people were facing the most unthinkable tragedy? I have prayed for all the families who have been stung by what happened. I, just like you, wish I could do more for them. The Bible warns us just how evil mans' heart can be. As a Christian, I want to demand God give us a reason why He stood by and let this happen. How could He allow innocent people die at the hands of some mad man? We may never know the reason for it. But I do believe God is still in charge and as much as we hurt for those victims, I'm sure He hurts even more. After all, He also created the shooter too, and it breaks God's heart to see how Satan took over that man, and caused him to kill so many sweet, innocent people. After hearing of this kind of tragedy so close to home, what are our problems today? Do we really have any? Thanks for all your prayers for my stones, but I am ok now. Please direct all your prayers to those people who have witnessed the unthinkable. You know, what I keep playing over and over in my mind is the quote from the deputy who lost his wife and toddler to the shooter. He said, "It just seems like I should be coming home to my wife and having my little girl crawl all over me". My heart is so broken. God, be with them.

Isaiah 40:31 says, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Father, how do we go on after such a tragedy? Forgive us for we are only human. Please forgive us for feeling anger toward You. The Bible tells us You can do all things and that You protect those who trust in You. But then something like this happens and we feel so hurt and confused. Please don't leave us now, for it is now we need You most. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kidney Stones

It is a little past midnight. I have been at the ER since 3:30 this afternoon with yet another kidney Stone and high BP. They finally admitted me into the hospital. Please pray for my health. I know I am in good hands...I am in Jesus' hands! Thanks for your prayers..

Monday, March 9, 2009


Everyone likes to receive an upgrade, especially if it's free. We like to get an upgrade to First Class, an upgrade to a better calling plan, an upgrade to a newer cell phone, and many others. Today, I want us to concentrate on an upgrade from a popular Christian saying, "With God, there is hope." It is true that there is hope in Him, but the word hope implies that we are not sure. Today, let's "upgrade" to, "With God, there is assurance!" As a teacher, I am going to give you an assignment today. That assignment is for you to ponder just how many things we can be sure of from Christ. I will get us started:

Through Christ, we are assured of Salvation and Eternal Life. Through Christ we are assured of being loved totally and unconditionally. Through Christ, we are assured that He always hears our prayers. Through Christ, we never have to face trouble alone. And finally, through Christ, we always have an absolute, 100% friend! How many assurances can you think of today? PLEASE Email me each time you think of a new one. In one week from today, I am going to re-write this devotion from your input. This is a chance for you to glorify God. Will you help me? I look forward to hearing from you...

Psalm 91:14 says, "Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name."

Father, thank you for your many assurances You give us everyday. Help us to re-write this devotion in one week. Remind us just how many things You do for us that we either don't see or take for granted. Forgive us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, March 6, 2009

We Are Protected

As I prepared for today's devotion, I was reminded of just how weak my knowledge of the Bible really is. Granted, the Bible can be confusing to just about anybody. But I have a deep-rooted conviction about learning more of what the Bible means. My devotion today concerns Satan and 1/3 of the angelic population that was cast out of heaven by God. Exactly how and when this occurred, if at all, seems to be a common debate among Bible scholars. All I can do is read what the Bible actually says about it and pray that God reveals the true meaning to me. It is my belief from what I have read from Scripture that this casting-out was an actual event that took place some time in the past, and that today, 1/3 of all the angels are here on earth trying to keep us from living a Christ-centered life. But if that is true, then 2/3 of all the angels are also here to help us! That means for every angel that is trying to destroy us, there are 2 angels fighting for us! I like those odds!

It is clear that God wants us to live a peaceful, happy life. But because of sin, that is not always the case. But don't you find it comforting that He has placed twice as many helping angels around us as He has fallen angels? We all have our moments of joy and sadness, peace and turmoil, excitement and heartbreak. But as long as we keep Christ at the center of our life, I believe there will always be twice as much good as there will be bad while here on earth. But one Glorious Day, it will all be good! So until that day, keep this in mind: As we battle in our daily spiritual tug-of-war, we have twice as many on our side as "they" do on the other side. And as long as we keep Jesus as our "anchor", we can't lose!

Hebrews 1:14 says, "Angels are servants-spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation."

Father, thank you for sending Your angels when we are troubled. Remind us that no matter how bad things may get, much better things are only a moment away. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We Are Reps

Contrary to popular belief, we do not live in a true Democratic society; We live in a Republic. Instead of each of us voting on every major issue, we elect representatives who vote for us, or at least I will say who are supposed to vote for us. In order to do that, our rep needs to find out how the majority of his or her district would vote on a particular issue, and then cast the vote accordingly. The rep is not simply to cast the vote that reflects his opinion, but instead, that reflects the opinion of the majority. Rarely does this happen. In fact, I wonder just how many times a rep votes on an issue that the people do not even know about. And even more sadly, how many times the rep votes one way despite knowing that the majority would vote the other.

According to the Bible, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. As a good rep, we are to figure out how He stands on issues, and then go out among the people reflecting that stance. There is NO question how He feels about things, as it is written in His perfect Word. The problem lies in when we carry our "opinions" about His things to the people around us. As harsh as this may sound, our opinions don't really matter. All that matters is His fact! People all around us are hurting and in need of a Savior. Only God can save those people, but He sometimes relies on us to reach them and to reflect His character, not ours. What an awesome responsibility! Obviously we can not even come close to being like Christ, but that is no excuse for us to not at least try.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

Father, I know You have given me an incredible responsibility. Please forgive me when I fail you. I ask that you give each one of us strength to do your will. In Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Can You Clarify That For Me?

The oldest federal constitution in existence was framed by a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen original states in Philadelphia in May 1787, Rhode Island failing to send a delegate. George Washington presided over the session, which lasted until September 17, 1787. The draft (originally a preamble and seven Articles) was submitted to all thirteen states and was to become effective when ratified by nine states. It went into effect on this day, March 4, in 1789, having been ratified by New Hampshire, the ninth state to approve, on June 21, 1788. Since then, there have been 27 amendments to The Constitution, the first 10 known better as the Bill of Rights. These amendments are ambiguous at best, which explains the increasing number of lawyers in the United States.

God's "Constitution", The Holy Bible, has never needed any amendments; God's Word is final! We absolutely can not add to nor take away from any verses in His Word. When we hear somebody talking about the Bible, we need to beware of the phrase, "in other words". Sometimes it is the "in other words" that stray from what the Bible actually says. Now I'm not saying that certain verses in the Bible shouldn't be explained using different wording. Sometimes the explanation helps us to understand the meaning of the verses even better. But we should always test that "explanation" with the actual Bible itself. For if we truly want to know what God wants us to know, we must read it from His original, and not from any of man's "amendments".

Joshua 1:8 says, "Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it".

Father, thank you for Your perfect Word. Help us to feed on it every day. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Leave God A Message?

I read this story today on the Internet:

AMSTERDAM (Reuters Life!) – God is taking calls.
Dutch artist Johan van der Dong has set up a local telephone number in the Netherlands, where he urges people to leave messages for God on his answering machine.
Van der Dong said he set up the number to give people an opportunity to take pause and contemplate life.
"Like praying, leaving a voicemail message is a way to organize your thoughts," he said. "It's a perfect combination for some contemplation."
Callers dialing 06-4424-4901 (or +316-4424-4901 if calling from outside the Netherlands) from March 7 will hear.
"Hi, you are speaking to God. I'm not in right now so leave a message after the beep."

It sounds kinda cute, and I can see where it could be a good thing. It does get one to thinking about Jesus and corresponding with Him. But there is a little problem with it: The part about Jesus not being in. Thank God, He is always in for us. I'm sure there will be a lot of jobs in heaven but a secretary or answering machine will NOT be needed. God does not screen our calls nor does He ever need us to leave a message. He does not have a secretary to fill up His appointment schedule. As busy as God is, He is never too busy to hear us and to help us deal with our problems. Isn't it incredible to think that God Almighty loves you and me enough to be available to us 24/7? When we "call" Him, there are no numbers to punch in, there is not a recorded message at the other end, the line is never busy, and there is no chance of a dropped call. God "picks up our call" even before it rings! Isn't He absolutely amazing?

Matthew 6:8 says, "For your Father knows what things you have need of even before you ask."

Lord, thank you for always being there to help us. We love You, and we praise You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Making Waves

When a pebble is tossed into a pond, small ripples or waves are generated. These ripples form concentric circles. Concentric circles are circles of varying sizes that all have the same center point. The center of the concentric circles is where the pebble lands, and the generated circles grow larger and larger. That is precisely what happens when a tsunami is created. The center point of a tsunami, usually an underwater earthquake (subduction), creates concentric circles that can travel for thousands of miles and up to 500 miles per hour! These waves, virtually invisible until they reach land, generate an awesome amount of energy. I guess we will never forget the devastating tsunamis of 2004 in Indonesia. The waves generated there were over 100 feet high, had as much energy as 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, and killed more than a quarter of a million people! This devastating monster started from a tiny ripple in the middle of the ocean.

When we choose to accept Jesus as our personal Savior, it is like a pebble being tossed into the center of our life. But that pebble can form incredible concentric circles that rush out from us in all directions. As we continue to learn more about, and live more like Christ, those circles send out an awesome amount of energy. Just like the waves of a tsunami, our Christ-generated concentric circles are going to flood over everybody in our path. But our circles don't bring devastation, they bring jubilation! It all starts when we accept Christ. How far those circles travel out from us really depends on us. If we allow Him to, God will send those circles thousands of miles around us and change everything in its path! How far have your "concentric circles" traveled?

Acts 17:28 says, "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being."

Father, please generate waves through me that will touch another person's life. I know i can do nothing without You. In Jesus name, Amen.