Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Bailey

I can't believe my little girl is growing up so fast. Bailey Morgan Skipper was born on this day in 1996 in Dothan, Alabama. I fell deeply in love with her then, and time has only increased my love for her. She has blossomed from a little baby into a beautiful young lady. I am so proud of the kind of person she has become. She always makes A's in school and never gets in trouble. She is respectful and caring. She has much more talent than I ever had. She plays the piano, flute, and guitar (I can barely play the radio). But do you know what it is about her that makes all those other things pale in comparison? Bailey has accepted Jesus as her Personal Savior. Hallelujah! Bailey, on your special day, I just wanted you to know that you have made me the proudest Daddy in the world. I love you all the way to the sky! Boo, always keep Jesus in the center of your life. Always pray and thank Him for your blessings. I will never stop thanking Him for bringing me the most incredible and precious daughter.

Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Dear Father, thank you for choosing me to be Bailey's Daddy. I ask you to keep her safe and give her great joy on this special day. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The True Power

I have a special request: Please pray for my students at Dothan High School who will be taking the Alabama High School Graduation Exam next week. In order to graduate, these students must pass this test. There is an alarming trend in education today of students not passing. I am sure we all have our personal opinions of why this is occurring, but none the less, we have to keep striving to overcome those barriers. What I truly want to tell the students, which I believe with all my heart will help them the most, I can't...or maybe I should say, "I'm not allowed". I want to tell them to not look deep inside themselves, but rather, look deep inside Jesus. Jesus is the only true source we have for lasting power. I have been teaching for 16 years, but I still pray before every single class and ask God to show me exactly what to do to get the most out of my students. I can't do it without Him, even if I had 30 years of teaching experience.

I did mention in my classroom today that I would be holding a special prayer meeting Sunday night where I will be praying for one hour solid, asking God to be with those students while they take the Exams. I will use that one prayer to call every single name out to God, even those students that I don't know. My kids seemed stirred by my interest in their success. By Break, it had gotten around to a couple of teachers what I had said in class. One of my fellow teachers told me I might be wasting my time because some of these kids are just too far gone. I told her that God rescued me when I was much further gone than they are right now. And if He can save a lieing, cheating, drug-addicted, gossipping, hypocrite like me, He can save anyone! Praise be unto the Father!!

Jesus declared in Mark 9:23, "Anything is possible if you believe."

My Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me these kids. I pray for Your continued guidance as I try to get them ready for their Exams. I KNOW all things are possible with You. You have shown me that first-hand. Be with these precious ones. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


If I was a cat, I think I would have already pulled all my fur out! Stress! (I would have said that I was pulling all my hair out, but God already did that for me naturally..) You know how it can be with the job, kids, bills, etc...So I decided to just stop what I was doing, say a quick prayer to the Good Lord, and read one single Bible verse. Wow, what a difference! Today was probably the shortest amount of time that I spent with Jesus in a long time. But maybe because at the moment I needed Him the most, and then put everything else down and focused on just Him, He renewed my mind and spirit. Honestly, it feels like I just took a 2-hour Power Nap! God is sooo Good to us. Are you stressing at the moment? Try completely stopping what you are doing and focusing on Jesus, even for just one minute. It worked for me. Praise my Lord!

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

Oh Father, thank you for all that You do for me. I can't help but to share it with everyone! I am on fire for you right now, Lord. Please send someone my way this afternoon that needs peace in their heart and their mind. I want to give them what You have given me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, February 22, 2010


OK, I admit that I am usually the last person to try the "in" thing. I didn't buy my first Rubik's Cube until a couple years ago, and those things came out in like 1980 or so. I never got into Disco music until around 1997, and I'm not even going to admit anything about wearing Sun Britches and Parachute Pants! Yesterday, I finally started my first Face Book account. I guess I was about the last person on earth left without one. I signed up in the early afternoon, and by the time I went to sleep last night, I had 77 friend requests. Needless to say, I was baffled! I had old friends from my school-days trying to "connect" with me, and I even had several current students wanted to add me as their "friend'. And to top all that off, I even had people I don't know trying to contact me. I'm sure that is par for the course for a new member like myself, but I was still floored! Many people who wanted to add me as a friend were people I knew of, but never really hung-out with in school. I was not sure if I should add them or not since I am so new at this. But it is very exciting to hear from so many people from my past.

If Jesus had a Face Book account, I wonder how many "friend requests" He would get. I bet His Email Inbox would fill up so fast that the computer would overheat! And I am positive He would accept every single one of those requests without hesitation. You see, where as I would look at their profile and try to remember them before I accepted them, Jesus would not even have to think about it. Sadly, I can think of a few from my high school days that I am not sure I would accept as a friend, which is good because they probably wouldn't ever send a request anyway. But Jesus would accept them, no matter what they may have ever done to Him in the past. And regardless of how many times they do it to Him in the future, He would never "delete" them from his "friend's list". That's because we serve an awesome God! We serve an awesome God that has much more mercy for us than we have sin against Him. So maybe I should reconsider accepting those people on Face Book that I don't really know. Who knows, it could be an opportunity for me to lead them to Christ. And if I am able to do that, then I probably would become one of their very best "friends."

Psalm 133:1 says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

Father, thank you for the opportunity You have given me to reconnect with old friends. I ask You to help me as I set out to share Your Holy Spirit with everyone. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Beautiful Saturday

It is almost 12 noon on Saturday, Feb 20th. I am sitting in my backyard on my laptop enjoying the spring-like weather. Under deep-blue skies, the temp is a wonderful 60 degrees. As I write this devotion, my dog, Lucy, is running around barking through the fence at the neighbor's dogs...and rabbit. That's right! One of my neighbors has a white rabbit that stays in their yard..or more times than not, in my yard. Since Lucy is an inside dog, she only gets about 15 seconds from the time I let her out until the rabbit has maneuvered through the hole in the fence to escape back into its own yard. My daughter Bailey is inside getting ready before we go to my favorite restaurant for some buffalo wings. She is in year-one of the "teenager stage", so I know I will have plenty of time to write this devotion before she declares herself "ready".

I just wanted to give you a little glimpse into my world at this very moment. It is a moment of complete and total peace. After a hectic week, I think I just needed to take a second to stop and "smell the roses" before the pace of life leaps back into high-gear. I wanted to take this second to praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He has been so good to me. He has blessed me with a beautiful daughter, a nice home, a wonderful career, relatively good health, and so many other things that I may not even realize. Our God is Good. Our God is Great! I wish I could learn to be this peaceful in those moments of panic, frustration, and turmoil. I wish I could learn to be like Jesus was on the lake that day when the terrible hurricane-like storm blew up and panicked His disciples. As they panicked and feared for their very lives, Jesus remained calm and fast asleep. I wish I could learn to be like that. Some may say that panicking is a lack of faith. That's even what Jesus told His disciples that day when they begged Him to wake up and save them. And I am sure my faith needs to grow. But God knows we are also only human, and worry and panic is just a part of this imperfect world. So what lesson can I draw from my current moment of peace?: That ALL things work together for good. The next time I am in the middle of a storm, I am going to try so very hard to focus on Jesus, and allow Him to bring me back to this day on my back porch. Praise Jesus!

Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

Dear Lord, thank you for this moment of peace. Thank you for more blessings than I can count and deserve. I ask you to pick up and dust-off all those who may be reading this devotion and experiencing turmoil in their lives. I ask you to put your loving arms around them, and say "peace, be still". In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why So Violent?

As I began writing today's devotion, a fight broke out just up the hall from my classroom. Within seconds, there were at least 50 students either fighting or scrambling to watch. It took the Resource Officer, a couple Administrators, and several teachers to get this one broke up. Now please don't think I teach at a violent school just because there was a fight. Fights at high schools are about as common as students who "forget" their homework. This particular fight started with several boys jumping on just one guy. Then a girl who saw it, and recognized that the boy was her cousin, jumped in to help him. And then, like a chain-reaction car crash on a snowy highway, it became completely out of control. Nobody was seriously hurt, and the entire incident is now under control. Why are our young people so violent?

I think there are as many answers to that question as there are stars in the heavens. This is my 16th year of teaching, and I can definitely tell an increase in the number of angry kids. I am not sure if there are anymore fights than there were when I first started teaching, or even when I was a student, but no doubt, there is an increase in the number of high-strung teenagers. Can we really blame them? Look at what comes on our TV's, our radios, and our movies. It has become more aggressive and violent. But that in itself is not the real problem. Let's face it: The real problem in most cases is the parents. They say kids are the mirror-image of their parents. I realize that this generalization is not true in all cases, but more times than not, these kids learn their behaviour from their parents and from the people their parents allow them to hang around with. We parents need to do a better job of raising our kids. I know they don't come with instructions, but God's Holy Word does. Google how many verses in the Bible pertain to how parent's are supposed to raise their children. I truly believe there is not a more effective way of raising our children than doing it God's way. Sure, we as parents will make mistakes. But as long as we keep God at the center, we will sure make a lot less.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he will not depart from it."

Father, please help us do a better job of raising our children. There is not a single one of us that has done it exactly right. Show us the way, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Do You Believe?

This is just my opinion, so I could be very wrong. I think one reason why some people choose not to accept Christianity is because we as Christians don't even accept the same things as Truth in the Bible. Four Christians can read the same Scripture but interpret it in different ways. If we as "Christians" can't agree on what the Bible says, how do we expect to convince others that it is Truth? Now I know that it is not our responsibility to save people, because we can't. Only God can do that. But it is our duty as followers of Jesus to tell people about Him and to do our very best to live like Him. But if we are not even sure what we believe, it will be very hard to "convince" somebody else. I read a Christian devotion yesterday from a guy who was talking about baptism. He is a wonderful writer and a great servant of Christ. But his views on baptism and mine are different. He can lead me to several Scriptures that seem to "prove" the way he believes, and I think I can lead him to several that seem to lean the way I believe. So which one of us is correct?

Baptism is just one topic in which all Christians don't agree. The Bible is full of these things. Obviously one problem is in the translation from the original Hebrew to English. Another thing is that we generally believe it the way it was taught to us when we were younger. It is hard to change our view on some things that we were brought up believing. So what do we do? I take the same advice that I give to my math students. I tell them that if they don't understand something in their math book, then they should ask me to explain it in another way. God's Bible is the Truth, but just like a math text book, it too can be very confusing. So we should go to the Ultimate Teacher. We should ask Jesus to open our eyes.

Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding."

Father, please help us to see the Truth as You wrote it down in the Bible. Please help us Christians to not fuss and bicker just because we interpret the Scriptures in a different way. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If It Weren't For Bad Luck...

Do you remember that Hee Haw song, "Gloom, Despair, and Agony On Me"? That song still cracks me up when I hear it. I can't help but to sing right along with it. I love the line, "If It Weren't For Bad Luck, I'd Have No Luck At All." We can all relate to that can't we? Bad luck just seems to be par for the course. I remember once in the summer of 1996 I had a string of bad luck that I will never forget. If I was faced with two choices, one good and one bad, I would get blindsided by a choice I never even considered...and it was far worse than the bad one. It is almost funny now looking back on it. I did survive. I try to remember that when a string of bad luck pops up, the law of averages will eventually swing some good luck my way.

As a Christian, I have to wonder if "bad luck" is really all that bad. We know that God will never put more on us than we can handle. We also know that He is completely aware of every single thing that will happen to us. So if He allows it to happen, and God can be nothing but good, is it really bad luck at all? It sure seems like it. But God can do and see what we can't. That is, look at the big picture for our lives. For all we know, that seemingly bad luck we are getting might be just exactly what the good Lord knows that we need for some special job He has planned for us. I wish I could be more like Job. He was a perfect example of bad luck. But not only did he accept it, he also praised God through it. Was that luck? No way! God knew exactly what He was doing. Now don't get me wrong. I am not going to beg God for bad luck. But if I keep in mind that it is all for some bigger purpose that He has in store for me, I can at least struggle through it. I will NEVER give up on my Jesus, bad luck or not!

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

Oh Lord, How Great Thou Art! Please help us when we get struck with bad "luck". Help us to remember that though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are still right there walking with us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tragedy Strikes Again

It is ironic that the devotion right before this one was about 9-1-1. Since that post, a new tragedy has struck in my life. I don't feel like I need to give all the details right now, but I do ask for your extra prayers. It seems that every time I get things in my life ironed out so I can deal with them, a new problem arises. I guess I should be used to it. Actually, we all should be used to it. Life is mostly good, but from time to time we all get blind-sided with stuff. Today's tragedy differs from the other ones over the past year or so. This time, I have total, 100% faith that God will get me through it, and I will become even better at proclaiming the Power of Jesus Christ because of it! Our Lord and Savior is much more powerful than Satan. It does not matter what the devil throws at us, Jesus is right there by our side. I am so glad He is, because I would be a basket case right now if it wasn't for God. I have said this before and I will say it again: No matter what problems come our way, Jesus is the One we need to turn to for help. He will never fail us! I just wanted to write a quick devotion today to tell you just how much I love Jesus. I will never stop serving Him, nor will I ever stop praising His name, even in the face of tragedy! I guess it is easy to give thanks to the Lord when everything is going great. But maybe God allows tragedies to come our way as a test to see if we still put Him first. This time, I most certainly will!

Psalm 33:20 says, "We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield."

Father, I praise your Holy name, even when my worlds gets rocked like it did today. I know that You have a great plan for my life, and with Your strength, I will keep striving to do my very best. In Jesus name, Amen.


It was on this day, Feb 16, 1968 that the country's first 9-1-1 phone system was activated in Haleyville, Alabama. Before that time, if you had an emergency, you would dial the operator who would take down all the info and then relay it to a dispatcher. Not only was precious seconds lost in the exchange, but more than likely, the operator didn't have any First Aid training and couldn't help you over the phone. We have come a long way since then. With the Enhanced 9-1-1 and GPS, the exact location from where you are calling is instantly relayed to the responding units. Not only does this save time, it also increases accuracy that the emergency units will get to your exact location. One night a while back, I thought I was having a heart attack. I dialed 9-1-1 and within 45 seconds, a police officer was at my door, and then the paramedics arrived less than 2 minutes later. Luckily it wasn't a heart attack, but if it had been, emergency crews could have saved my life because of their quick response.

Have you ever sent up a 9-1-1 prayer to God? I have never been on the brink of life or death, but I can only imagine those people who have. Think of those people who are crowded together in a closet as a killer tornado is going by, or those who have been shipwrecked and they are treading water with a couple of hungry sharks swimming around their feet, or the people on a airplane who have just been told by the pilot that they are going to crash. Our 9-1-1 system can't really help these people much. When in that type of disaster, we need instant help...or an instant miracle. God is always there waiting for our call for help. And His 9-1-1 system is so good, that we don't even have to tell Him where we are or what is happening to us. All it takes is a quick, "Help me, Lord", and His dispatched angels are there in a flash. If you find yourself needing to dial 9-1-1, do so immediately, but also don't forget to call heaven's 9-1-1. With so many people responding to us, along with God's angels, we are sure to be in good hands.

Psalm 34:17 says, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles."

Father, thank you for all the service people who risk their lives to save ours. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Heart Of The Matter

This Saturday night on my radio show, in celebration of Valentine's Day, I will be featuring "heart" songs. That is, songs with the word "heart" in the title. How many do you know? Let's see, there is Heart and Soul by the Cleftones, This Old Heart Of Mine by The Isley Brothers, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart by The Bee Gee's, Don't Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee, and tons more. Our heart must be the most important part of our body because we refer to it so often. When we get startled, we say that our heart skips a beat, when we love someone, we say we love them with all our hearts, and when we memorize things, we say we know it by heart. I miss the days in elementary school when I would get those little "Valentines" from my classmates. I can still remember going to the store and getting a box of 30 Valentine cards and then handing them out to classmates. Now that was fun and exciting!

Here's an idea for Valentine's Day this year: Why don't we go to the store and get a box of those little cards and then give them to our co-workers and friends. It would be like we were back in elementary school, and I bet it would make those people we give them to feel real good. It would be a really nice way of saying how much we love and appreciate them. And while we are at it, perhaps we should give one to Jesus too. We could set aside a little time on Valentine's day and say a special prayer to the Lord. We could tell Him just how much we love Him and how much He means to us. I can't think of anyone who has been better to me than God. I have had some major struggles over the past couple years, but God has walked with me every step of the way! Don't we serve an awesome God? This Valentine's Day, let's give our hearts to the One who loves us most. Let's give our hearts to Jesus!

Hebrews 3:12 says, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."

Father, I give You my heart. Thank-you for loving me enough to give Your only Son. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jesus' Facebook Profile

Name: Jesus Christ

Address: 777 Pearly Gates, Heaven

Occupation: Savior

Age: Hard To Explain

Nickname: Lord

Fav. Food: Fish

Fav. Drink: Wine

Fav. Song: What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Hobbies: Saving people, performing miracles, making My children happy

Greatest Accomplishment: Rising from the grave

Future Plans: Bringing My children back to Heaven with me

Bio: Hi, I am Jesus Christ. I was born in a small Middle-Eastern town called Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph are my parents and I have four half-brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. My dad was a carpenter, so I grew up learning his trade. But I always knew I had a much bigger calling from God. Instead of building "things", I always wanted to build "lives". I guess I was a typical teenager of the time in that I obeyed my parents most of the time, but I did sometimes get into a little bit of trouble. Once day when my parents left Jerusalem to head back home to Bethlehem, I stayed behind to teach in the synagogues. I mistakenly forgot to tell my parents and when they came back to find me, they were pretty sore. But they soon forgave me, so I was thankful for that. As I grew older, I began my earthly mission as Messiah. It was one of the hardest tasks I ever tried to do. There were so many skeptics who would not believe I was the Son of God. So I had to show-off just a little, not in order to be boastful, but in order to convince the others that I was truly the Son of God. I was successful in bringing in many people by performing miracles. Over the next year or two, I had several faithful followers. I called my inner circle of followers apostles. The religious system of the time was corrupt, and my new disciples and I finally were caught one night and put on trial. A number of items were submitted against me. I was framed on some charges, but completely guilty on one item : Because I was the real, living Son of God, most people wanted me dead because Blasphemy is punishable by death.
I faced 6 different courts before finally returning to Pilate for a final verdict. He sentenced me to death by Crucifixion. I must tell you that was the most pain I ever felt in my whole life. Not the rusty nails, jagged whips, and the sharp thorn-crown, but the pain I felt for all those who were not saved, and how they would be persecuted later. When they raised me up on that Cross, I wish I could put into words how it felt. Most people thought I felt shame and embarrassment. But on the contrary, I felt pretty awesome. I knew that the only job God made me for was about to end. And when that happened, many would choose to flock to me and be saved. I died on that Cross in the afternoon, and I was placed in a tomb. But just 3 short days later, I rose from the grave! And I have been here with you since, waiting to make you a Follower. If you follow me, I can't promise you a pain-free life, but I can promise you that I will never leave you and that I will always be right there walking by your side and helping you through the trial. God sent me out to catch many souls. I still have a few more to catch, but I never know when God will say "times up". When He finally utters those words, I sure hope you have decided to follow me. Why don't you go ahead and make me your Savior right now, just to be on the safe side? All you have to do is confess your sins and ask me to forgive those sins and to become your personal savior. It's that easy! If you want to know more about me, or if you have decided to follow me, simply shoot me a text-message (Prayer), and I will respond right away.

If you are a Christian or just becoming one, please let me know. Text "I am Saved" to 334-618-1077. Your cell number will not be used for any purpose other than this devotion. I am just curious how many Christians will respond. Here's hoping it is many.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Do you remember the Pet Rock, Rubik's Cube, Hula Hoop, Cabbage Patch Doll, Silly Putty, and Erector sets? How far does that take you back? I can still remember when everybody in the world wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll. The local K-Mart announced that they were getting 10 of the dolls in on Monday. By Sunday Night, there was a line of over 50 people waiting for the doors to open. There were reports in various parts of the country of grown men and women fighting in the stores over these items. But then just 2 short years later, you couldn't give those things away. Some of those items have made somewhat of a comeback, but not to the same degree as when they first hit the shelves. Why are we so captivated by material things?

I recently heard an interview with John Travolta. You might remember his son dying recently. Travolta said he has managed through the pain with help from his religion Scientology. Scientology? What is that? I decided to do a little research to find out. Wow! In looking up Scientology, I also came across over 20 other "religions". Why do so many people flock to these things? I am not judging anyone for believing differently than I do. As a Christian, my Bible tells me I still must love and respect them. I believe what the Bible says, and I whole-heartily believe it is the true, inspired Word of God. In the Book of Galatians, the people were forced to believe in the Gospel being preached by Paul or in the many false gospels of his opponents. We also have that same choice to make today. It is my belief that if your religion is not the Religion of Christ, yours is false! Again, I am not judging others, I am simply quoting God's Holy Bible. Some of these religious "fads" today look shinny and and new, filled with hopes and promises of a happy life. But they will ultimately fail and not stand the test of time. My decision to follow Christ also gives my Promises and a happy life. But there is one major difference in Christianity and these other false fads: I have Eternal Life, they don't! Praise God! If you have not accepted Christ as your personal Savior, then what you have accepted is worthless. If you haven't accepted Christ, you might as well accept Tickle-Me Elmo....

Jesus Christ said in John 14:6 says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man commeth unto the father but by Me."

Father, how can we thank-you enough for sending Your only Son Jesus to die for our sins? Lord, our world is filled with Your miracles, but none of those even come close in comparison to Jesus. For it is in His name we pray, Amen.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pay The Price

I wish I had a dollar for each time I have told students not to blame others for their bad grades. We live in an age where everybody wants to blame others for the things that happen to them. True, some situations happen to us over which we have no control, but more times than not, we are subject to the consequences of our own decisions and actions. I preach to them to not blame their teachers, their parents, their job, or their after-school extra-curricular activities for their low grades. When it is all said and done, regardless who is actually at fault, they will be the ones that will have to suffer and pay the price. Taking responsibility is one of the most important functions of being an adult. But how many adults have failed to adequately learn this lesson?

There have most likely been times when we adults have ignored our own decisions and decided to place the blame on someone or something else around us. But if we are true to ourselves, we will need to decide to participate in a self-examination and "fix" those areas of our lives in which we blame on others. No matter whom or what we choose to blame, we ultimately will pay the price. It is so easy to pretend a problem doesn't exist or that it is somebody Else's fault. But we can only run from the truth so long. Jesus is that Truth! If you find yourself in this delima today, ask Jesus to help. We can not do anything without Him, and if we continue to try to, we will find ourselves lost in a maze of confusion and frustration. When we finally face up to the Truth and decide to place the blame squarely on our own shoulders, only then can we finally live a free, happy life that Jesus desires for us all.

Matthew 7:3 says, "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own."

Father, please forgive us for blaming others for our bad decisions. Give us the strength through Christ to stand-up and face the Truth. In Jesus name, Amen.