Friday, May 29, 2009

Peter Or Judas?

We all make mistakes. We go through stages of strengths and weaknesses. I guess that is what it means to be human. Like a football or baseball team that plays in a game, there will be some winning and some losing. The key is not if you win or lose, it is what you do after the game that matters. When you lose a game, it most definitely hurts. I have played sports my whole life and have been on more losing teams than winning ones. I know the feeling of getting beaten badly. But each time I had to make a choice. I could either give up, or I could move on to the next game. It is impossible to do both. One must make a decision, and then put their whole heart and soul into that decision.

In the New Testament, we learn a little about Judas and Peter. Both were disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Both were eager to learn all about Jesus. But both also made a terrible mistake. Judas betrayed the Lord, and Peter denied Him, even after he said he would never deny Him. The difference, though, was in what they did after their mistake. After both men realized they failed the Lord miserably, they took different paths. Judas gave up and committed suicide. But Peter decided to learn from his mistake, and as a result, he became an even stronger follower of Jesus. We, too, are faced with two options when we fail miserably. We can either learn from the experience like Peter, or we can wallow in our sin and never grow spiritually like Judas. Which one will you choose?

Revelation 21:7 says, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things."

Father, teach us to be like Peter. We can't avoid mistakes. But through Your perfect Power, we can overcome our mistakes. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Root Of The Problem

Last November, I learned that I had a disc that was protruding into my spine. The neurosurgeon gave me a few treatment options that seemed to help a great deal. Of course, he also informed me that surgery was an option, but I wanted to avoid that as much as possible. I have not had too many problems with it since then...except this morning. I can barely turn my head to the right. The pain runs down the right side of my back and into my legs. I pray it is because I slept on it wrong, and it is just aggravated. But in the back of my mind, I know the disc problem is still there and is not going to go away on its own. Please pray that I will not need the surgery. God is still in the miracle business!

This injury reminds me of something. In our lives, we all have problems. Most of those problems are things out of our control, such as my injury, but some of our problems are a direct result of our bad decisions. I can tell you first hand that making bad decisions can lead to a lifetime of regret and sorrow. But it is never too late to make the right decisions and alter our lifetime course. In order to do that, though, we must get to the root of the problem. We can't just mask it and hope it will go away. Oh, it will go away temporarily. But it will always sneak back in sometime and haunt us. By confronting the problem at the source, we have a much better chance of destroying it once and for all. I can think of no better way to do that than to ask for God's help! We know all things are possible with God. Today, let's take a moral inventory of our lives and decide what needs serious changing. Then, go to the root of the problem with Jesus. What problem is bigger than He?

Jeremiah 17:14 says, "Heal me O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for though art my praise."

Father, I ask you to heal my injury. I also ask you to help me right all my wrong decisions. I have faith that you will give me my heart's desire. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Can I Lose My Salvation?

My devotion yesterday entitled, "It's Over", was about a battle we no longer need to fight. That battle "is over". There is no reason why we should beat ourselves up or stress ourselves sick with worry that God will not forgive us for a sin, no matter how terrible it may be, once we are saved. For that reason, we will see murders, rapists, thieves, and such in heaven. All sin is equal in the eyes of God. If we have sin, Romans 6:23 ensures us that the penalty is death. But it also adds that God is offering us a free gift through Jesus Christ. That gift of forgiveness only comes from accepting His Son. The gift is two-fold: Not only does He forgive us our sins, but He also promises us eternal life!

I know the subject of Losing Our Salvation is not viewed the same way by everybody. I am not a bible scholar, but I do have my own opinion. It is my belief that there is only one thing in the world that we can do to receive His gift of Salvation, and there is only one way we can "lose" it. The only way to receive it is to accept His Son Jesus Christ as our personal savior. The only way to lose it is to "give it back to Him" and never accept it again. I believe in order to "give it back to Him", we would have to make a conscious effort to denounce Him for the rest of our life. Of course anybody can be saved or 'rededicated' on their "death bed". The thief on the Cross proved that. Our salvation is not based on works or how much we go to church or anything else that some people "dream up". If we were required to do anything other than accept Christ, then what Christ did on the cross was insufficient. But Jesus clearly said, as he passed His spirit on to the Father, "It is finished." That's it! He did it all. All the things that we do for Christ is not so we can be saved, it is because we are saved. If you have accepted Christ, relax, you are going to heaven, and all of your past sins, or future ones, will never come up again. Not only does God say he has removed our sin "as far as the east is from the west", He also says that He will "remember it no more". God has removed our worry about Salvation this very minute! Now we can replace our worry with energy, and honor and Glorify Him forever. Share His Good News with everyone!

I have found no less than 10 verses in the Bible that lead me to to this conclusion. Once you are saved by the Blood of Jesus, no sin, past, present, or future can "snatch you away from the Father". John 3 15 says, "everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life."

Father, thank you for Your Son Jesus. Please relieve our worry about Salvation. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's Over

As humans, we are subject to many struggles while here on earth. But God guarantees us two things with regards to our struggles: We will get through them, and He will walk with us, sometimes carrying us, until we do (Psalm 34:17). You know the expression "we have to choose our battles?" Well there is one battle that many of us choose to fight, though there is absolutely no reason why we should.

Jesus died for our sins. If we have accepted Him as our Savior, then God has completely forgiven us for all our sins, even the ones we have not even committed yet. Sometimes we struggle with the worry if we have made God mad at us because of choices we may have made. But God is not mad at us, He loves us! The Old Testament explains of how God's wrath was poured out on those who chose to disobey Him. But today, we live by His New Testament. We are under His grace today, not the old Law. Once we accept Christ, we become a "new creature." God promises that the old us is passed away! Will we still sin? Yes, we can't avoid it. But we should never worry that we have made God mad at us and caused Him to turn His back. He will never leave us nor forsake us...not for our sins, our decisions, or for anything else we may do.

Father, forgive me of all my sins. Please help me to not get bogged down worrying if you still accept me. I know You will always accept me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hold On A Little longer

We know we must put God first in our lives, above family, friends, job, and ourselves. But what exactly does that mean? That's a tough one! I have learned that not putting Him first can be a disaster. I have chosen to put other things, and people, above God. If you were to ask me if God was first in my life, I would have given you a quick response: yes! But when things went all wrong in my life, I had to take a step back and determine if He really was first in my life. Sadly, my actions showed that He was not.

I think of it like exercising to lose weight. In order to start burning fat, we must first get our heart rate up to a certain level. Ranging on the type of exercise and our particular body type, that can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Until we get to that level though, we are not going to see great results with weight loss. Maybe that is how it is with God. A quick prayer here and there can do wonders for us spiritually. But we also need to find a time to actually exercise prayer and the seeking of God's will. It may take more than 5 or 6 minutes. It may take a little bit of time getting out spiritual heart rate up to the level where we really start feeling Christ, and learning His will for our life. We have to stop, take sufficient time, and listen to Him. Perhaps we give up too soon, or stop too quickly. After all, it is hard to hear Him speak sometimes when we are running ninety-to-nothing!

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Father, forgive me for not seeking You first in my life. You have shown me the error of my ways Please guide me through Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

God Is Good!

Last night was a terrible night! Part of my trouble is this chronic insomnia. God is dealing with that. First of all, I would like to apologize if my devotion sounded like I was giving up on my life. I'm not! I do have many things in which to be thankful. I have been praying all day...and I mean ALL day! I guess I feel like Peter. I do feel guilty, childish and selfish. But I also feel deep remorse for my actions. I don't think I gave up on God like last night...the Bible says that anything we do against God COMES FROM SATAN, and not from us. Now God forgives me. Will you?

We as Christians are always learning how to live more like Christ. But we are only human, born to make mistakes. I am making a profession of faith that I will not allow Satan to use anything in my personal life to derail me from spreading God's Glory. True, I don't understand what is happening...I may never. But no matter what life throws my way, I can not give up. I have been writing devotions for a few years now, and I honestly truly enjoy trying to search for the words God wants me to write. So, regardless of my situation, I do have faith that God will use every single devotion for His Glory. God loves me very very much, regardless of how I feel at times. He also loves You! Please take my advise and don't let Satan cloud your vision of Jesus Christ. I will continue to write devotions with His help!

Psalm 32:5 says, "I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity, I said ' I confess my transgressions to the Lord'- And you forgave the guilt of my sin."

Father, forgive me! Even at my darkest hour, I know You have a wonderful plan for my life. I accept what I can not have, and I will strive to further Your perfect Kingdom. In Jesus Holy name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What A Combination!

What happened this past weekend in Bellvue, Washington was one of the strangest things I have ever heard about. Fire officials say a sunny day and a dog's glass water bowl combined to cause a blaze that charred the back of a home. They said that the glass water bowl acted as a magnifying glass to start the fire on the back deck. Luckily the dog was rescued, but the blaze caused $215,000 in damage! The sun and a glass water bowl? Who knew?

You know it is the combination of things that tend to cause bad stuff to happen, and even good stuff too. For example, all my students are good, but certain combinations of students can cause me extra stress due to their misbehavior. One or two can be absent one day, and the entire class atmosphere is totally different. And think about how certain meds combined with others can cause undesired side-effects, or worse. That's why you should always inform doctors of all meds you take if he prescribes a new one. What about trying to lose weight? You can diet or exercise and lose some weight, but the combination of the two together will blast the fat away! I am continuing to learn of another awesome combination of things. If you want a closer relationship with our Savior, you should do more than just pray or read your Bible or go to church. I have found it is the combination of all those things that gets God's attention the most. A daily diet of prayer, bible study, faith, hope, and striving to live like Christ will blast away loneliness, despair, etc. Try it! It can be a very damaging combination to Satan!

I Corinthians 15:58 says, "Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Father, please help me to continue to strive to do all the things that bring me closer to You. Thank you for being with me during this awful time in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jesus, How Can You Sleep At A Time Like This?

Well here we go again, round 8 of insomnia. Since last Monday, I would venture to say I have slept less than a total of 10 hours. I found myself today unable to concentrate, even on the simplest of tasks. Around lunch time, I had to get a sub to take over the rest of my classes. But when I came home, not only could I not sleep, I couldn't even rest. It is now after midnight, and although my entire body is totally exhausted, I just can not turn off my mind; It is racing ninety-to-nothing. My mind is jumbled and my heart is in a state of anxious turmoil. But I am confident that the Good Lord will "fix" my problem very soon!

Do you remember the story of how Jesus calmed the storm one night on the Sea of Galilee? As the story goes in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus and His disciples were crossing to the other side of the lake when a huge storm blew up. The winds from this storm caused mad waves to fill up their boat. The disciples, who were obviously used to storms on the lake, were in a state of panic! Could this storm have been hurricane-strength? The Bible does not say. But it was bad enough to frighten these seasoned maritime veterans! They scrambled to find Jesus, who was peacefully asleep down below on a pillow. They woke Him, and He got up and stopped the storm instantly! We all know storms gradually die down, but not this one! Jesus simply said, "Peace, be still". While my personal storm rages about causing me insomnia, Jesus WILL rebuke it, too. I absolutely have no doubt that just any day now, He is going to stretch forth His loving hands over me and say, "Peace Allen, be still." And when He does, the very first thing I am going to do, as soon as I wake up, is jump on here and tell you what an amazing thing God has done for me! To be continued...

Psalm 85:8 says, "I will listen to what God the Lord will say; He promises peace to His people, His saints."

Father, How great thou art! Although I am in the midst of the worst storm of my life, I know that soon, You will bring me sweet peace. Thank You Lord! In Jesus name, Amen.

The Mayonnaise Jar

Well, it's 3:30 Sunday Night/Monday morning, and my severe case of insomnia continues. So instead of just tossing and turning in bed, I decided to write a devotion. I found this one on the Internet. It seems to be from an unknown writer. Since we all know that every good thing comes from heaven, and this one is very good, I will credit Jesus for writing it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar...A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed."Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things- your God, your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else-the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with God. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mr. Sandman

Well this is the fourth day without sleep! Actually I think I slept about 2 hours last night. I occasionally have insomnia, but this is ridiculous! I know it is related to my personal matters. I can't take those sleep aids because they give me the "creepy crawlies" in my legs, and because they never seem to work until I am about to get up in the morning. Then I am dragging and drowsy the whole day. I know I must look cute today with these huge bags under my eyes. But through the sleeplessness all week, I have made it to work each day. Although I am extremely exhausted, I am still effective as a teacher, for I am still getting on their nerves as much as I always have. So that's normal, and a good thing.

Today's devotion is a piggyback of yesterday's. I am going through the most trying times of my life. I am getting beaten and battered right now, but I know God will not let me fall. My personal situations will turn back in my favor soon, I just know it. The biggest tragedy started about 6 months ago, but I still have hope that it will get better. And I can't go much longer without sleep. That, too, will soon get better. "They" say we should keep a positive attitude! Well, I am trying. "They" say I will be a stronger person one day because of my endurance. Well, we will see. Life is a series of mountain tops and valleys. This just happens to be a valley for me-a very low one! There are two people in this world who know exactly what it will take to catapult me instantly to the highest mountain top. But one of those people is just not ready yet. But I STILL have hope! I am learning that hope is one of the most powerful forces in the world!

Lamentations 3:26 says, "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait on the Lord."

Father, although I am struggling right now, thank you that I am alive! You know my heart's desire. I pray for Jackie, Lord. She is awesome! Please be with her, as she too struggles right now. Thank you for what You will accomplish in our lives if we just don't lose hope and faith in You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Port In the Storm

Those that know me know how much I like lighthouses. My living room is full of lighthouses and lighthouse items. I've always been fascinated by them. Most have been around for a hundred years or longer. What amazes me so much is the strength of a lighthouse. Think about it. They are built to withstand not only heat, waves, rain, sleet, hail, snow, and wind, but they are also designed to hold up during the most fierce tropical storms, Nor'easters, and hurricanes. What's more, they are so strong that the Coast Guard never has to replace them due to structural damage from the elements. The lighthouses need to be repainted fairly often due to exposure, but that's just cosmetic! I have determined that if you are trapped on the coast during a hurricane, seek out a lighthouse and take cover.

When the storms of life come our way, as they often do, God transforms us from small huts to huge lighthouses! He promises to be there and to never leave us when we need Him most. When a hurricane approaches, the Coast Guard doesn't scramble to take down a lighthouse to protect it. Nor does God remove us from the storm. But through His strength, He enables us to withstand the storm. We may get beaten and battered, but He will not allow us to fall! So what storm are you facing right now? Maybe you have prayed and prayed and it doesn't seem that He is listening. Maybe your personal storm is raging about you and you feel like you are exposed to the elements. Well, in God's perfect wisdom, maybe we are exposed. But never forget He has changed us into sturdy lighthouses! We will not be torn down!

Nahum 1:7 says, "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in Him. "

Father, we don't always understand why we have to suffer in some storms, but we trust that You will never allow us to fall. Please give us the strength to hold on. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pomp And Circumstance

For high school Seniors, that long-awaited day is almost here: Graduation! This is my 14th year of teaching high school, and in those years, I have never missed a Graduation ceremony. In fact, I have had the privilege of calling the Graduates names as they walk across the stage for the past few years. As I watch each one walk up to the stage, my memories of their four years in high school splash across my mind like a movie on a Big Screen. It is pure joy to see how they have transformed from clumsy freshmen into young adults. I can only imagine the memories that flood the Moms in the audience. I see it in their tears. Those have to be some of the most mixed emotions Moms ever experience. Those tears represent pride, happiness, and sadness, all at the same time. Just how difficult is it for a Mom to have to let go of her little boy or girl? This is that moment when the parent must stop giving roots and start giving wings.

How hard was it for Mary and Joseph to give their little Jesus wings? We know from Scripture that both Mary and Joseph knew that they were chosen by God for the awesome duty of raising the Messiah. But just how hard was it for Mary to change from viewing Jesus as her little boy to viewing Him as her Savior? That had to be the hardest "Graduation" any Mom has ever experienced! But the day did come when she had to let Him transform from being her son into being The Son Of Man. And in the same way, we must also allow our lives to transform from being ours to being His. When we accept Christ, we "graduate" to the greatest level of our Spiritual lives. We must completely let go of our old self, and allow the Holy Spirit to take over our new self. We must truly let go, and let God! Have you Graduated to Christ? It is a time of great joy!

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

Father, be with the many Seniors and their parents as they come to this chapter in their lives. Teach us that we must all Graduate to Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dothan City Limit

There is a road here in Dothan, E. Saunders, that runs across the southern border of the city. While traveling on E. Saunders between 3rd Avenue and Hodgesville Road, a distance of roughly one mile, there are no less than 4 signs that read "Dothan City Limit". I have never understood it because when I came across the first sign, I was never even aware that I had ever left the city limit. Then there are 3 more signs that indicate you are coming back into the city, but there are no signs to indicate you ever left. Isn't that strange? Four city limit signs within a mile of each other and no sign to ever let you know that you left the city is beyond my comprehension. Where exactly are you when you are traveling in those razor-thin sections between the signs?

My current personal situation is similar to those signs. I am still struggling with the loss of Jackie, my soul mate. It's like at times, I have hope that everything will work out. And then out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason, my hope fades, only to return a short time later. This on-again-off-again situation is playing tricks on my mind, and my heart. I am sharing this with you because perhaps you have experienced this before, or maybe you are now. I guess as a human, it is hard to have complete hope all the time. Isn't it normal to lose that hope sometimes out of the clear blue? I do trust God that it will all work out according to His perfect plan. But getting there...that can be a battle! I am happy to report that these devotions are now being sent to roughly 500 people everyday. Some of those people are preachers and Christian counselors. I enjoy getting responses from them after I write these devotions. I get some awesome advice from an array of different people. I think those responses help me out a great deal. If I keep losing and gaining hope, does God understand that? He will still help me, won't He?

Isaiah 40:31 says, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength."

Father, I do know this will all work out between Jackie and me. Please help me to stay on more of an even keel. Please forgive me when my hope fades from time to time. I pray for Jackie and her incredible family. In Jesus name, Amen.


As a math teacher at both the high school and college level, I would guess that fractions are the single most math weakness for most students. At the college, one of the classes that I teach is Basic Mathematics. Most of the students in that class are adults who have been out of school for a while. The reason fractions seem so hard for returning students is that it has been so long since they have used them, at least without a calculator. We all know the phrase "use it or lose it". It's the same with my high school kids, too. Many can simply not manipulate fractions without the help of a calculator. Some of the brightest students taking the highest-level math courses can not do fractions with a pencil and paper. Since students are so afraid of fractions, I jokingly tell them for Halloween, I'm gonna dress up like one-third and scare everybody!

We experience the same kind of problem in our Christian life, at least I do. When things are going well, I seem to not be as "active" with God as I should be. Then when the road begins to get rocky, I find myself almost feeling guilty for begging for His help. It is that "use it or lose it" syndrome. I should have learned by now that I need God as much when things are going well as when they are not. I also like to read Bible resource books. They can be very helpful in understanding the Bible. But we can't concentrate more on the resources than the Bible itself. That's like doing fractions on a calculator. More times than not, we need to live the Christian life "with pencil and paper". There is no substitute for good, old-fashioned prayer and Bible study, not just reading. If we use these things more everyday, we will need less "refresher" material!

Romans 15:4 says, "Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Father, help me to focus on You everyday, in good times and in bad. Your Word is good! In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cherokee Indian Tradition

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he never removed the blindfold." It was the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Psalm 145:20 says, "The Lord watches over all who love Him."

Lord, thank you for watching over us, even when we don't know You are there. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Many people who are not Christians think of those of us who are as being brain-washed. Since they don't believe all that "Jesus" stuff, they are convinced that we do, only because we have been brain-washed by our parents or friends. To me, brain-washing means to completely change the way a person thinks and then enabling them to believe in something unconditionally. We know there are many religions or cults that use this tactic to recruit new followers. For example, we can agree that Radical Islam uses brain-washing techniques to hook their followers. I mean, how else can one explain a group of people who believe that by killing innocent lives, they will go to heaven and be rewarded?

Jesus said that without faith it is impossible to please God. I have faith in Him, and I totally believe God created the universe and sent His only Son to die for my Salvation. My entire thinking pattern has changed to focus more on Him. I don't understand a lot of things in the Bible, but I do truly believe every word of it, regardless of what scientist may say or current research might "suggest". So am I brain-washed? I just might be. But following the teachings of Christ differs in one gigantic way from other religions and cults: I am also HEART-washed! Not only has my thinking changed to be more like a Christian, but my heart has also been transformed to reflect Jesus' main teaching: Love one another. So if I have been brain-washed, then I praise God for it. And I thank Him everyday for my heart-washing too!

Jeremiah 29:13 says, "And ye shall seek me and ye shall find me when ye shall search with all your heart."

Father, thank you for cleansing my heart, soul, and mind. Help me to Glorify You in everything I do today. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Satan Is Alive And Well

I was horrified when I read the national news yesterday! I was believing that I had become some what desensitised to the bombardment of terrible and horrific news stories these days. Not so! Anyone who wonders about Satan, know this: He is alive and well in America! Yesterday in Tampa, FL, a 20-year old man was fussing with his 17-year old girlfriend. He began to beat her and then he started beating her 3-month old baby. He slammed the baby down on the concrete and then scooped her up and fled in his car. When he reached the Interstate, he simply tossed the baby out the window of his moving car like it was a piece of trash. The whole thing was witnessed by several people. I know it's not the Christian thing to say, but I sure wish i could get my hands on that monster for just 30 seconds!

Satan is alive and well! From Bible times to today, we see the result of Satan's power in humanity. He is the ultimate evil, and he has the power to possess any of us. We are completely helpless in our fight against him. There is absolutely nothing we can do to defend ourselves against his awesome power...that is, nothing we can do on our own. But Jesus has already defeated Satan. Where we are completely powerless on our own, Jesus is completely victorious over him! We must use Christ as our constant shield against Satan. We are involved in a spiritual battle everyday that can spill over into reality. As long as we keep Jesus at the center of our lives, we will have power to keep Satan in check. But if take our eyes off the Lord even for a minute, Satan is right there, ready to pounce on us. Do you have the Power and Protection of Jesus? We need Him more today than ever before!

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 protect us against Satan. We know he is more powerful than we are, but not as powerful as You. Thank you for loving us enough to want to help us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Put My Foot In My Mouth

Recently, I received a traffic ticket. By the way just in case you didn't know, when a police car is on the side of a 4-lane road with its blue lights activated, you MUST change lanes if you can. I usually do, but I had no idea it was a law. It's a law alright: $166 worth! I procrastinated until the final 24 hours to pay the ticket. On the ticket, there was printed a website I could go on to pay the ticket On-line. But, that service was not yet working for my county. Figures! Then there was a number I could call for information. Of course there was no real person on the other end as it was totally automated. The info said I could pay by cash, cashier's check, MasterCard, or VISA. So after 30 minutes of driving around the courthouse, in the pouring rain, trying to find a parking place, I finally was on my way inside to get this ticket taken care of once and for all. The clerk said, "May I help you?" That's when the real circus began!

As I walked up to her and handed her the ticket, she asked if I wanted to pay it. "Yes", I told her. She ran it through the computer and then told me the amount, $166. As I pulled out my VISA card, she told me, "We don't take VISA in this office. We only take credit cards through our automated 1-800 number. Getting very frustrated, I informed her that the number was not working for Houston County. She replied, "I don't have anything to do with that, you must pay here with cash or a Cashier's Check", of which I had neither. So I had to leave the office, go back out in the pouring rain, go to the bank, come back and drive around for another 30 minutes trying to find a parking place, and go back inside and do it all over again! I was furious! And I let her know all about my frustrations too. I embarrassed myself with the near-scene I was causing. As I was ranting and raving at her, she noticed my name. She then said something that stopped my dead in my tracks. She said, "Oh, I read your Christian devotions everyday...I love 'em." Needless to say, I wanted to simply melt into the floor. God puts us in situations to Glorify Him. I failed miserably yesterday. Please take my advice: God is testing us. Please don't let Him down like I did.

Proverbs 14:17 says, "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly."

Father, forgive me for acting like a fool. Help me to do better next time. I am embarrassed and ashamed. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The other day in class, some of my students were wanting to use my computer to check their ACT scores. Colleges all over the United States use ACT scores for student acceptance, scholarships, etc. Back when I took the ACT, I had to wait 5 or 6 weeks to get my results by snail mail. But today, those scores are posted Online in half the time. All a student needs is a user name and password to retrieve their results.

Wouldn't it be nice if Heaven had a website where we could check to see if we were written in the Book Of Life? We could maybe log-on with our Social Security Number and see if we had Eternal Life. We would no longer have to worry if we were heaven-bound or not, as the results could be right there in black and white. Knowing we were saved like that could sure take away a lot of worry while here on earth. But you know what? There is a way we can know if we are saved! We don't ever have to wonder or worry about it, and we don't need a computer to check. The Bible makes it crystal clear how to be saved. If you are not sure if you are saved, then you probably are not. To be saved, all you have to do is confess to being a sinner. Acknowledge that God loved you so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die in your place. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your personal savior. When you do these things, the Bible guarantees that you are saved and have eternal life. Have you done these things? If you have, then you are saved! If you have not done these things, then why wait any longer? College may provide us with a secure future while here on earth, but being saved by Jesus will guarantee us security forever!

Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

Father, thank you so very much for saving me and giving me Eternal Life. I pray for every soul who is not saved yet. Lord, please lead them to Your precious Son Jesus. For it's in His name we pray, Amen.

Friday, May 1, 2009

"I Don't Like All That Christian Stuff"

I overheard something very interesting as I walked to my classroom this morning. Today is Club Day which means school clubs get an opportunity to meet from 7:45 until 8:10. On Club Day, there are generally a few students roaming the halls before classes begin. One of the clubs that meets is First Priority, a Christian Club. As I walked past a group of students, I overheard one say that First Priority was meeting down the hall and asked if anyone wanted to join him. One boy blurted out, "No, man, that's lame." Then another replied, "I thought you were a Christian." He then floored me with his response. He said, "I am a Christian, but I don't like to do all that Christian stuff." I wish now I would have stopped and asked him, "What is Christian stuff."

I can only assume what that student meant by his phrase. It's the same thing from which many of us "suffer". You see, we put on this "Church Face" on Sunday. We go to Church smiling at everyone and acting like everything in our lives is perfect. We seem to have it all together. We sing hymns, shake hands, give testimonies, and fellowship with the congregation. But as soon as we leave church, we think we don't have to do anymore "Christian stuff" until the next Sunday. Giving testimonies at church is great. But do we also give them at the workplace, at school, and at the ball field? Is our life a walking testimony for Christ? He told us that we need to focus on God 24/7, not just on Sundays or Wednesdays. Being a Christian is not about doing "things" that we think other people expect us to do. Being a Christian is a complete lifestyle; A change. We shouldn't just do some things some times, we should do everything, all the time, through Christ. Jesus does not love us in secret, He loves us openly. Shouldn't we love Him in the same way?

Galatians 5:22 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."

Father, please teach us that we should show our love for You all the time and everywhere we go. Please give us the courage to not be shy when it comes to telling others about You. In Jesus name, Amen.