Thursday, April 30, 2009

The End Of The World As We Know It?

The World Health Organization is on the verge of raising the status of the current Swine Flu virus to the highest level possible: Pandemic. The number of cases all over the world continue to grow, even here in America where, at the time of this writing, the virus has spread to at least 10 states. The first death in America due to the virus has also occurred this week. The death toll world-wide is now near 200, not even close to the WHO prediction of possibly a million+ deaths. Is this the end of the world as we know it? Are we truly living in the "Last Days"?

Nobody this side of heaven knows, and in fact according to Scripture, only one knows: The One. God. Although Jesus warned us when He was here that nobody knows the exact hour, He did say we should be able to discern the "season" of the Last Days. He gave us several End-Time prophesies in which we should be aware. One of those was that in the Last Days, diseases and pestilences would occur in divers (diverse) places. Notice the words diseases and pestilences are plural. We have seen an outbreak of many such things in the past 50 years-diseases that have killed millions of people already. So is this current swine flu pandemic eluding to the End Times. Nobody knows. But one thing we do know for sure. It could be pointing to the End Times. When Jesus warned of such mass diseases in the future, it would be hard to imagine how a tiny disease in one area of the world could travel to locations far away. But because of today's jet-age, we can now get from one side of the globe to the other in less than 24 hours. That gives this virus the possibility to travel world-wide, which it what it is already doing. So, are these the Last Days? Nobody knows. But the important thing is that it could very well be. Isn't that enough reason to prepare? Ask Jesus to come into your life now, before it is too late.

Matthew 4:17 says, "Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

Father, we don't know the hour You have chosen as the End. Please use this current flu out-break as a sign that we all need to come to Jesus right away. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time Passages

In 1978, singer-songwriter Al Stewart had a hit with the song "Time Passages". Part of the lyrics are:

Well I'm not the kind to live in the past.

The years run too short and the days, too fast.

Things that you lean on are things that don't last.

How many of us are leaning on things that don't last, in particular, things of this world. The Bible teaches us that we are to lay up our treasures in heaven and not in this world. But I don't believe that means we are to ignore the things of this world. Obviously we have responsibilities here before we ever get to heaven. We have to lean on our families, our jobs, maybe our kids sometimes, and many other earthly things. But we should not lean too heavily on any of these. Our families may not last, neither may our jobs (especially in today's worsening economy), and as scary as it is to think about, our kids may not last. So what does last? What is something that we can lean on 100% of the time that will never fail us? Jesus Christ!

If you are over the age of 30, you have probably noticed how the years seem to have sped up, especially since the time when you were a teenager. For me, it seemed like the first 20 years of my life dragged on for 50 years, but then the last 20 years flew by like it was only 10! The years may all be passing at the same speed that it always has, but those years do seem to "be running too short." Life is too precious for us to lean on things that we know won't last. I love the expression "you will never see a U-Haul van following a hearse". We work down here on earth so hard to get "things" that we know we can't take with us when we go to heaven. So why do we lean on those things so heavily? Today, perhaps we should do a little soul-searching and take an inventory of the things on which we are leaning. Is Jesus at the very top of our list? If He is not, it may be time to do a little rearranging and prioritizing of our lives. We aren't getting any younger, and Jesus WILL definitely be back in our lifetime, that is, He will either come for us, or we will go to Him when we pass on. Since we don't know when either of these two things will occur, maybe we need to rearrange and prioritize our lives immediately, before the years speed up any faster.

Philippians 3:13-14 says, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Father, please help us to lean totally on You. We know we have to lean on other things in the world too, but remind us that You MUST be first. I pray for Jackie and her kids, and I ask You to bless them with a very good day today. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, April 27, 2009


They say that men are more visual than women. I don't know if that is true, but I do know I am very visual. Images of various things get burned into my mind and pop up at any time, and completely without warning. It does not matter where I am or what I am doing, right out of the blue...BAM! As you know, I am still in the grieving process from my divorce to Jackie. I can still see the image of her engagement and wedding rings. I see me buying them, I see me placing them on her finger, and unfortunately, I still see them laying on the divorce papers. I hurt!

Some folks have criticized me for being too transparent in my devotions. And I know I do get pretty personal when I am writing them. But the reason for sharing the most intimate details of my life with you are two-fold: For one thing, it helps me to open up and share my most inner thoughts and feelings, and for another, I am not the only one who is hurting right now. It may not be a divorce in your case, but I'm pretty sure you have an area of your life that needs exposing as well, at least to God. Although I continue to grieve, I also continue to have faith that God will work out this whole mess. It's the hope in Him that I want to share with you. I don't know what our future holds, but I do have hope that it will be a good future together. I have put God in control of it! I just wish I didn't keep taking it back from Him from time to time. I guess that is just human nature. I have to admit that from day one of our marriage, we were not clicking on all cylinders. To this day, the reason why we were not is still shrouded in mystery. Jackie is a wonderful Lady, a great Mother, and a Christian who loves the Lord very much. And believe it or not, in three years together, we never had a single argument or disagreement, and that is the truth! Only God knows what happened, but more importantly, what will happen. What is the image that keeps popping up in your brain? Are you also being haunted by something? Regardless of what it is, just don't lose your sights and hope In Jesus. He can do anything for those that believe. And I believe! Do you?

Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Father, although I am hurting right now, I have hope that You will turn my feelings around. I also pray for Jackie at this hour, as I know she is hurting too. In Jesus name, Amen.

Too Busy

I have been fortunate enough to spend the past 22 years in the radio business. And although all my experience has been on-air, I am fairly familiar with the selling of radio advertisement. The number one excuse businesses use for not buying radio advertising is that their business is "too slow right now". Well that is the very time one needs to buy advertisement, when business is slow. Advertising can generate more customers which could equate to more cash flow into their business.

Do you ever feel like you are too busy to pray? Well that may be the very best possible time to pray, when we are busy. We jam our schedules so full of errands and responsibilities that we can find ourselves neglecting time to pray. I don't mean simple cookie-cutter prayers. I'm talking about a real heart-felt prayer with God. The Bible is filled with examples of Jesus praying often. Many times, He was up praying long before His disciples. I'm sure He was a very busy "man" trying to teach the multitudes, heal the sick, and raise the dead. But He made it a point to find time to pray. As we begin another hectic work-week, let's make sure we find the time to pray, regardless of how bust we may be. Because if we are too busy to pray, then we are probably too busy.

Ephesians 6: 18 says, "Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."

Father, I dedicate this day to You. I want to glorify You in every way today. I know I can't do anything without Your help. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Church Signs

I think the best devotion can sometimes be a single line. Have you noticed the increase in Christian messages on church signs? I've decided to share a few that I have seen around town. Feel free to Email me some that you have seen. I hope you enjoy!

When the water gets deep, trust in the One who walked on it.

The tomb is empty so you don't have to be.

Stop, drop, and roll will not work in Hell.

Don't fear tomorrow. God is already there.

God expects spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

Make your eternal reservations now: Smoking or Non-Smoking

It's hard to stumble when you are on your knees.

Caution: Exposure to the SON may prevent burning.

What is missing from ch ch? u r.

Wal Mart is not the only Saving place.

Don't be so open-minded that your brains fall out.

Read Revelations. It will scare the HELL out of you.

The Rapture: Separation of Church and State.

God answers knee-mail.

The best vitamin for a Christian is B1.

Sign broken. Message inside.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the Called.

Again, I hope you enjoyed these. If you have some good ones you would like to share, my Email address is

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Surrender

The Bible teaches that there are four parts to our beings: heart, soul, strength, and mind. And according to Luke 10:27, we are supposed to love God with all four of these parts. This is what it means to surrender to Him. We must relinquish all control of ourselves over to Him. This is one of the hardest things we will ever do as a Christian. More people than not don't hand all four aspects of their lives over to Him on the first shot. It is a process. We make strides in one area but seem to fail in another. The walk with Christ is a relationship. And as you know, relationships take work. The hardest thing, at least for me, is to turn over all four areas to Him when I can't see, touch, feel, or hear Him, at least not in the physical sense.

To have complete peace in our lives, we must give ourselves to him totally. Oh sure, we will fail, and probably fail often. But the more I learn about the heart of God, the more I realize not only does He forgive us when we fail, He actually expects us to fail (The Bible says we are all sinners). I guess our relationship with Him is kind of like a marriage to our spouse, but much deeper. When we are married, we must be willing to yield to our wants and needs in order to provide for theirs. In our selfish, me-first society, that is not always easy to do. I have failed three times with my marriages. I am positive, that with His help, I won't fail on the fourth one. That is, if there is a fourth one. That is completely up to Jackie. I want to spend my entire life with her, but the only way that will even be possible is if I first give myself totally to Him and let Him work out the details. God wants so much to have a rich, fulfilling relationship with each one of us. But it is our decision if we want to return His love. He already made His decision on Calvary! Will you surrender to Him?

Luke 9:23 says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me ."

Father, I surrender my life to you right now. I pray that You will help me fall as little as possible, and forgive me when I do. I pray for Jackie's heart. She is a great Lady and I thank you for bringing her into my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Satan's Weapon

One of the reasons I enjoy writing devotions everyday is because it gives me a chance to release my inner thoughts. I'm sure that's good for all of us. Talking to a good friend or writing down our deepest feelings is a great outlet and very healthy mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I used to hold everything inside until finally it worked its way to the surface and then exploded! If you are one to hold things inside, I encourage you to talk with a confidant or write your thoughts down in a diary or such. It can feel very liberating; It can be a great release. My feeling today is one of pure guilt. I'm sure you have experienced this emotion from Satan, so you know how it feels. The reason I feel guilt is because of an Email I got from my mentor. As you know, I have been struggling with the lose of Jackie. My mentor reminded me that although I may not have her, I have been blessed with some pretty awesome things. I have a beautiful daughter, a wonderful career, I am relatively healthy, and I have many very, caring friends. I feel guilty because I am whining about losing one thing when there are so many others out there who have lost many more things! Granted, losing Jackie has all but gotten the best of me, but I have so many more things in which to be thankful.

Satan uses guilt to trap us into feeling worthless. Look what guilt did to Judas Iscariot. It caused him to hang himself. Now I am not even close to that much guilt. I attempted suicide in the 12th grade but I will NEVER try that again. I guess I can truly say that my hope is just a little greater than my guilt. Hope comes from Jesus Christ! I have hope today that everything will work out. According to the Bible, it all works together for the good. I thank my mentor and all my other friends who have encouraged me recently. I am trying so hard to get beyond this point so I can be encouraging to someone else. I have faith I will get past this point because Jesus runs my life, not my temporary feelings.

Psalm 146:5 says, "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God."

Father, forgive me for clinging to my guilt. Help me to turn everything over to You. I pray for Jackie. I ask you to keep her safe and happy. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Forgive Me

I am embarrassed and ashamed, to say the least. Yesterday, I was acting as if I was the only one in the world to ever experience pain or loss. Through responses from some of you, I realize I was just being a spoiled brat. I was so focused on what I did not have, that I neglected to see what God has given me. I acted so unappreciative. God has been so good to me, and all I can do is complain. I feel just awful! Is this the way Peter felt after denying the Lord three times? Let me just say I am sorry for acting like a child. But I am going to do the grown-up thing now and admit my mistake. More importantly, I'm not going to give up. I'm gonna keep praying and writing for Him. I'm not with my true love Jackie. But I can look at it two ways: I can mope around feeling sorry for myself or I can keep hoping and praying that God has a plan. I choose the later! God can make the blind see, help the cripple to walk, and even raise the dead. Can He not also help me? When I think of Jesus nailed to the Cross in deep agony, I can see Him thinking about me. For it was not nails that kept Him on that Cross...It was Love!

Psalm 32:5 says, "Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.' And You forgave me! All my guilt is gone."

Father, thank you for forgiving me and giving me a renewed energy. I ask You to bless all those who are hurting at this hour. You know best, even when we have no idea. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last devotion

This is my last devotion...I feel like I am living a double life. As you know, I lost Jackie, my only true love. I keep writing these devotions trying to sound as upbeat as I can. But deep inside, I am crushed. My spirit is shot! I am no longer even happy teaching...I hate to go to work and I just can't keep going on. I love Jesus but obviously there are things that I just don't understand, nor can I accept. Don't I have the right to be happy? Well I'm not. I'm miserable. My faith is on its last leg. I don't want God to give me anything else..It hurts too much to lose it if He so chooses to take it away. I know it's selfish but if I can't have my Jackie back, I won't ever be happy again...I'm sorry.

Keep the faith

I had a terrible nightmare last night. I was awakened by my own yell, completely covered in sweat and heart pounding. I have never in my life been so effected by a nightmare. It took nearly an hour for me to finally calm down and go back to sleep. I have had plenty of nightmares over the years, but this one was absolutely the worst! It seemed so real. Even now, images from the dream continue to flash through my mind. Thank God it was only a dream and none of it was actually real. I thank Him for waking me up when He did because I honestly believe I could have suffered a heart attack!

Sometimes our daily problems are like our nightmares; They seem so real but in fact, we just tend to over-worry about stuff. I use the phrase over-worry because we are all humans, and worrying is pretty much par for the course. I have been worried lately about fact, I have worried myself nearly sick! For the past few months, I have been battling depression. The doctor put me on some anti-depressants, and I believe that has helped some. I also think my over-worrying about things doesn't help my situation. But unlike a nightmare, this living nightmare from which I am suffering is very real. As many of you know, I lost my true love back in December to divorce. I have prayed and prayed and prayed that she will come back. As of yet, she has not. I wish I could find the words to describe my intimate and unconditional love for Jackie. She is my soul mate, my heart's only desire, my very best friend. The passing of time has not helped much with my suffering. My entire personality has changed since losing her. Everyday is more and more of a struggle for me. God knows how much I love Jackie! But even though we are still apart, you know what? I still have hope. I still have faith that God will turn this situation around and bring us back together. Jackie is the only woman I will ever love...I'm positive of that! I saw a billboard at a church yesterday that read, "God is working on it...hang in there." Oh, you just don't know how much that lifted my spirits. I serve a living God who can do anything He wants to do. I pray every single day that He will turn her heart back around to me. I absolutely know He can...and sooo much praying that He will! Because I will go to my grave totally in love with that woman!

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

Father, please bring Jackie and me back together. You know how much I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her. I promise she and I will glorify Your name and be a walking testimony of what You can do. In Jesus name, Amen.

--Posted By Allen Skipper to Jesus Saves at 4/16/2009 02:28:00 AM

Sticks And Stones

I once heard a story about a young boy who had an awful temper. To teach him to control it, his father gave him 100 nails and told him every time he lost his temper to go out and drive a nail into their white picket fence. The very first day, he drove 35 nails in the fence. The next day, he only had to put half as many nails in it. With each passing day, he used less nails as he learned to control his temper more. He found that it was easier to control his temper than it was to go outside and drive a nail. His dad then told him that each time he was able to control his temper to go outside and pull a nail out of the fence. The day finally came when all the nails had been pulled from the fence. The dad took the boy outside and said you have done a great job controlling your temper, but look at all these ugly holes in our pretty fence.

When we lose our temper, we can say some very hurtful things to people. It is like driving a nail into their heart. Oh sure, we can ask for their forgiveness, and may even get it from them. But those scars don't ever go away. Just think back to something somebody may have said to you out of anger. I'm sure you forgave them, but you can't forget it can you? Let this be a lesson to us to hold our anger in check. Or at least if we do lose our temper, we need to be extra careful what we say to people. Our tongues can be a very power thing. Let's make sure we are using it only to praise others, and not cut them down.

James 3:9 says, "Sometimes it praises our Lord and father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God."

Father, please help us to control our tongues. We can do mighty things with it. Please help us to only use it for good. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Have It So Rough

One day the toothbrush was talking with the deodorant. The toothbrush was complaining about his job. He said, "I got it so rough. I have to clean all those nasty teeth." The deodorant replied, "That's nothing! I have it rough! I have to rub against sweaty armpits". Finally the toilet paper spoke up, "Ha! That's nothing compared to what I have to do!"

I think it is human nature to believe that we have it so rough in life. We complain constantly about our situation and how bad things are in our lives. But if we look around us, we will see other people who are far worse off than we are. I have a bad habit of complaining. I wish I would focus more on what I do have and less on what I don't. I have my health, a great job, food on the table, a roof over my head, an absolutely adorable daughter, good friends and family, and an incredible amount of hope for the future with my true love! I remember seeing an interview with an all-star high school senior football player. He had just signed a college scholarship. At 6 foot 6 and 280 pounds, he was sure to make an immediate impact for the Ohio State Buckeyes. But tragically, just one week from graduation, he was involved in a car crash that left him paralysed and confined to a wheelchair. In the interview, he was asked if he blamed God for taking away the use of his legs. He replied, "I never thanked Him when I could walk, so why should I blame Him now that I can't." Are our situations today really all that bad? And even if they are, don't we know God can change them from bad to good in the twinkling of an eye?

Psalm 107:1 says, "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good."

Father, thank you for blessing me so much today. Help me to focus on what I do have and not on what I don't. I pray for anyone who may be hurting at this hour. Please comfort them Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can Jesus?

Can Jesus mend your broken heart? Can Jesus turn your financial situation around in your favor? Can He take away your aches and pains? Can He change your attitude from negative to positive? Can He help your children at school? Can He give you wisdom? Can He help you get a better job? Can He help in your failing marriage? Can He give you your heart's desire? Can He

_________________ ? (you fill in the blank)

In the 9th chapter of Mark, a certain man brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus. The spirit in the boy had him writhing on the floor and foaming at the mouth. The father explained that the spirit sometimes even made the boy leap into the water in an attempt to drown him. The father cried out to the Lord, "Have mercy on us, and help us if you can." In verse 23, Jesus replied, "What do you mean if I can? Anything is possible if a person believes" (emphasis added). Jesus has healed the blind, the sick, the lame, the possessed, and has even resurrected the dead. There is absolutely nothing facing you or me today that He is unable to swing in our favor. The key is we must believe. Do you believe this?

Father, You are our awesome God. What is too hard for You to handle? We ask you to help us with our situations today, according to Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Take What We Are Given

I have played sports my whole life and one thing I've learned is to take what the other team gives you. Every team will make mistakes. If we capitalize on their mistakes, we could come out victorious. Usually in a ballgame, it comes down to mistakes; The team that makes the fewest normally wins. But even if the other team only gives us one mistake, we can always use it to our advantage. By making as few mistakes as we possibly can, and utilizing their mistakes to our gain, it could all add up to a win for our team.

Satan is a mighty foe! He has many weapons in his arsenal bag but none that are more effective than guilt. There is no telling how much of our joy he steals by making us feel guilty when we sin against God. Should we feel guilty when we sin? Yes, but only until we have asked God to forgive us. After that, He promises that our sin is removed from us "as far as the east is from the west." If God is not holding onto our sin, why should we? And instead of allowing Satan to use guilt against us in the first place, maybe we should turn it around on him. Maybe by using guilt, Satan is making a mistake on which we can capitalize. Perhaps we should allow that guilt to motivate us not to sin. Now I know we can not be sinless, but we can sin less! Although Satan is mighty powerful, he does make mistakes. By putting on "the full armor of Christ", God can help us to use those mistakes to our advantage.

I Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

Father, please help us fight Satan. We can not do it alone. Teach us to use guilt as a motivator, not a destroyer. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"I Question If there Is A God"

I watched a couple episodes of Untold Stories of the ER this weekend and a doctor made a statement that stuck with me. He said that although being a doctor is rewarding when you know you've helped somebody, the fact that so many young people die, some a very horrifying death, makes him question if there is a God. On the surface, it may appear from his statement that he does not have enough faith in God. But if we are honest with ourselves, I'm sure we all have questioned the existence of God too, especially in the midst of tragedy. In the doctor's line of work, I can see how it could be very hard sometimes to keep the faith. God chooses to extend some lives but not others. Why?

My grandfather taught me to never question God. He said, "That's the Lord's work, and we may never know why He does what He does. But He is God." I believe that even before we are born, God has assigned x-amount of days to our lives. We may grow to a nice, old age or be cut down in our youth. But God makes those decisions. I know it can be very hard to handle difficult circumstances in our lives, and I'm sure God understands when we lose a little faith. But don't forget, He does not make mistakes! On the Saturday before Christ was resurrected, His disciples were questioning if he was even real. They all believed He was dead and that was the end of that. If the ones closest to Christ can occasionally have doubts, don't you think God expects we will too? Every single one of us is closer to the day we get called home than we have ever been before. We must make what days we have left, count. Life is too short to be sad, dejected, heartbroken. I know it can be very hard sometimes. But don't give up! NEVER stop praying! And spend as much time with your friends and family as you can.

Psalm 90:12 says, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

Father, please help us to accept that You are Lord and that sometimes bad things happen to us. Help us to make the time we do have with our loved ones count for good. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Rest Of The Story

Back a few years ago, Paul Harvey did a Rest Of The Story story that I liked very much. I'm going to try to re-tell the story in the familiar Paul Harvey style:

Alfred was rich and famous. He was an inventor. One day he was reading his local newspaper when something very shocking caught his eyes. He found an article about himself. The shocking part was that he was reading from the obituaries. Although he was very much alive, somehow the newspaper was claiming him to be dead. As he continued to read his own obituary, he started getting a sick feeling in the pit of his belly. You see, Alfred, a very smart chemist and physicist, had just recently invented dynamite. And although he was also very interested in other things such as drama and poetry, the newspaper was portraying him as a killer. The bulk of the obit emphasised the fact that he had invented something that blew up and killed people. Not wanting to be remembered that way, Alfred pledged the rest of his life and riches for the betterment of humanity. In his will, he directed the establishment of a foundation to award annual prizes for achievement in chemistry, physics, literature, and efforts toward international peace. Alfred, better known as Alfred Bernhard Nobel, has one of the most prestigious awards in the world named after him. The Nobel Prize also includes a cash prize of almost a million dollars. In 1968, the prize field was broadened to include an award in economic science.

If you could read your own obituary today, would you be proud of your accomplishments? Alfred Nobel was given a "second chance" to change his impact on the world. Would you be remembered for good things or for bad things? When we allow Christ to live through us, we are also able to make a big impact on people around us. A big and good impact! No matter how insignificant you may view yourself, you are most important to God. And He wants to do some great things through you! Will you allow Him to do it?

Romans 12:21 says, "Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good."

Father, teach us to allow you to live in us and to guide us. Your will is perfect. No matter what a mess we may have made in our lives up to this point, we know You have the power to change all of it in a split-second. Thank you for loving and caring for us this much. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One Pink Sock

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my long days, as I teach at the college at night after teaching all day at the high school. I got home last night around 9. I was pretty sleepy but decided to get a load of red clothes started in the washer. I did not notice the white sock that also went in with the load of reds. Needless to say, I now have one bright pink sock! So I either have to throw that sock away, or wash another white sock with reds so I can have a match. Since Pink is not my color, I think I will just toss that one "pretty" sock.

When we want to have a positive attitude, hanging around negative people is like being the lone white sock in a load of red clothes. Their negativeness will bleed over on us, causing us to also be negative. Like everybody else, I have a few co-workers with a very negative attitude. I don't think they are happy unless they are fussing about something. As I hang around them, I do find myself taking on their attitude. It is best to avoid them as much as possible, but sometimes you just can't. That's when we have to be extra careful not to copy their bad habits. Yes, we are all negative from time to time. But we need to limit this behavior as much as possible. As a Christian, what is there have a negative attitude about anyway? God's alive and Jesus saves! If a negative attitude can rub off on positive people, then a positive attitude can rub off on negative people. Negative or positive? It's completely our choice.

Philippians 4:12 says, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

Father, help us to remain positive even when we have to encounter those people who are negative. Help us to bleed over on them, and not the other way around. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

As a young boy, I can still remember crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It was scary! The bridge is about 22 miles long with two tunnels. On one side of the bridge is the huge Chesapeake Bay, and on the other side is the open Atlantic Ocean. It connects Virginia's eastern shore with the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. Before the bridge was constructed, there was no direct route, other than ferry boat, across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. It was literally hundreds of miles to drive around the Bay through northern Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. It is a little expensive to cross the bridge today, but the money is well-worth the time saved.

In the Old Testament, God gave us His Law through Moses. But we were unable to keep from breaking God's Law. We were in a constant state of separation from Him. So God chose to do something amazing! He sent us a New Covenant. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus became the "bridge" between us and God. God saw that man was helpless and that we would never be able to keep His Law by ourselves. Jesus changed all that! Once we cross over the "Jesus" bridge and get on God's side, we never have to worry about going back. Jesus taught that He was the only way to the Father. We get to God, not by keeping His Law, but by believing and trusting in Christ. It is a precious gift from our Creator. The Old Testament was based on what we could and could not do on our own. The New Testament, however, is all about what we can do through Christ. Have you accepted His free gift? Which side are you on? Have you crossed over Jesus?

Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the Law, but under Grace."

Father, thank you so very much for Jesus! We can do nothing without Him, but anything is possible with Him. Help us to truly accept Your Gracious gift. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Have you ever noticed on those cleaning product commercials such as Lysol that they claim it kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria? Why does it not kill 100%? What is so tough about that .1% it can't kill? Is it a legal thing that they are not allowed to say 100%? It is also the same about doctors and dentists. The commercial claims that 3 out of 4 recommend a certain product. What is the deal about that 1 doctor or dentist that does not recommend the product? What does he recommend?

When Jesus died at Calvary, He washed away 100% of our sins, not just 99.9%! There was no sin too tough for His blood. His act of love and mercy was sufficient to forgive ALL our sins. If you think about it, there will be murderers, rapists, thieves, and other "bad" people in heaven. When we accept Christ, all our sins are washed away. Do you think you can out-sin His forgiveness? No way! If He will forgive murders, rapists, and thieves, won't He also forgive you and me? Absolutely! How incredible is that? Don't lose sleep over worrying if you have eternal life. If you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, you are guaranteed eternal life. Your sins no longer matter after His blood washes you clean. Now that does not mean that you have a license to sin. But because Christ is in our lives, we are able to overcome that sin through Him. No matter how "bad" your sinful germs may be, He will forgive all of it! Praise God!

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

Father, thank you for sending Your only Son Jesus to die for our sins. Please help those who may be struggling with sin in their lives. Help them to accept that Your awesome gift is sufficient for all our sins. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Heart And Soul

Back in the 50's, the Doo-Wop group Cleftones had a hit with the song Heart and Soul. How many times have we heard those two words used together? One of my favorite phrases is to say that I believe something with "all my heart and soul". In our society today, I think these two words have become synonymous. But I don't believe they mean the same thing when used in the Bible. Consider John 14:1 where Jesus tells us to not let our hearts be troubled. But in Mark 14:34, He admits that His soul has become deeply troubled. Is this contradictory? I did a little research and found something interesting. The word heart derives from the Greek word Kardia, while the word soul derives from Psu-khe. In Greek, not only do the words heart and soul derive from different words, they also mean two different things. Psu-khe(soul) has to do with our feelings or emotions, and kardia(heart) has to do with our intellect or focus.

I believe what Jesus is teaching us is that it is ok to feel sorrow when bad things happen. But we should not allow that sorrow to derail us from following His will. In other words, it is ok to slow down and cry sometimes, but don't completely stop. There is no way around trials and storms in our lives. As humans, we can't help but to feel sadness and despair when these things happen. But we can't let those feelings rule our mind. We need to stay focused on Jesus! We will prevail! This too shall pass! There is a mountain on the other side of the valley! Daylight always follows darkness!

Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

Father, help us to keep our hearts separate from our souls. I ask you to bless all those who are hurting at this hour. Please don't allow that hurt to last too long. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crying Wolf

We all have been well-versed on the differences between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch means that conditions are ripe for the formation of tornadoes, but a warning means an actual tornado, or funnel, has been sighted (a funnel is when it is still in the air, and it is only called a tornado once it touches ground). Have you noticed an increase in the number of tornado warnings that have been issued by the NWS, but no tornado ever touches down? It happened yesterday afternoon in Houston County. The reason is because of our advancements in technology in general and Doppler Radar in particular. It used to be that a tornado warning was only issued after an actual eyewitness saw it. Now, the NWS can issue warnings from just looking at the radar reflectivity pattern (bright green right beside bright red indicates a mesocyclone, the beginnings of a tornado). The problem is that not all mesocyclones generate tornadoes. The NWS has a very thankless job. On the one hand, they do issue many "false" alarms due to reflectivity pattern, and as a result, fear that our society will grow complacent, but on the other, if they did not issue a warning, and a huge, killer tornado dropped from the sky, they would be criticized as being incompetent by the media.

We have heard for ages that "Jesus is coming back". Many of His disciples expected it to happen in their lifetime. In fact, I guess every generation expects it to happen during their lifetime. Well its has been over 2000 years, we have all been warned, but no Jesus yet. Have we grown complacent? Just because He has not come yet, does that mean he won't come? To conclude that Jesus has not come yet, therefore He won't, is like saying the woman has not given birth yet, therefore she is not pregnant. Today may be April Fool's Day, but don't be a fool! Jesus is coming back just as He said He would. But neither you nor I know when, not even the most learned Bible Prophesy scholar, but only "The Father" knows the hour. We need to be living as if heaven has issued, not a Watch, but a Jesus-is-coming warning!

Matthew 24:41 says, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

Father, we don't know when You are coming back but we know that the time is closer than ever! Help us to stay prepared and not lose sight of the Truth. In Jesus name, Amen.