Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ready Or Not, Here They Come

I have just started my 18th year of teaching in public education.  I am just as excited and nervous today as I was the very first year.  In three days, those kids are going to come rushing into this school eager to learn, willing to absorb, and itching to please their teachers...or not.  One thing is for sure though: ready or not, here they come.  The beginning of a new year is not only exciting, but it is also extremely important because it sets routines that will be followed all year.  Some teachers say the first 5 minutes of a new year is the most critical time.  Although I don't think it is the most critical time, I do agree it is very imporatant.  Most kids try to put what happend last year behind them and try to make better grades and have better discipline.  Teachers also self-evaluate and correct errors from last year.  No matter how bad last year may have been, it's over now, and we must move on to hopefully better things.  Isn't that the same with our Lord?

Why don't we treat this school year like a new beginning, even if we are not a student or teacher.  Why don't we just turn everything over from our past to God and make a fresh start. That is the way He works.  We may not have had good credit finacially last year and may have a hard time obtaining a loan this year.  But our credit with God is always perfect once we ask for forgiveness and accept His Son as our Savior.  He does not hold anything against us.  He is like that teacher that tells His students, "Welcome to my class.  I am so glad you are here.  Let's see what all we can learn this year."  Are you ready to start a new school year with Jesus?  Set your alarm clock for 6 and don't miss the bus!  We got to go to school.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person.  The past is forgotten, and everything is new."

Father, thank-you for giving us a new beginning full of hope.  Help us to transform our lives into what you would have us to be.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Over and Over and Over...

I have learned something very valuable from a young man I am talking to about Jesus.  He has a certain sin that he continues to commit over and over and over.  After we talk and he asks God for forgiveness, he seems to feel much better and stronger.  But within a day or two, he "relapses" and commits the same sin over again.  This has been going on for the entire summer.  It seems like every time I check my Email, I am going to have one from him saying, "I did it again.  What should I do now?"  I am not a counselor and have suggested that he may want to seek a professional.  But he insists on continuing to ask me for help.  What should I tell him?  All I know to do is to keep encouraging him to pray and ask God to forgive him and to give him strength to continue his personal battle.  To be honest, I am getting a little tired of trying to help him because it just doesn't seem to be working.  Then it hit me!

God might be using me to help my friend, but I now realize that he is definitely using my friend to help me.  You see, I also have an habitual sin; perhaps we all do. What should we do about it?  The same thing I suggested that he do about it:  don't ever give-up asking for God's help.  When we continue to pray for help, we demonstrate that we still have faith in God to actually help us.  But if we give-up and stop asking God for help, what does that say about our faith?  There is no guarantee that our family, best friend, or even pastor will never give-up on us when we continue to commit the same sin over and over.  They may get tired of trying to help us, but God won't!  God loves us so much that no matter how many times we sin, even if it is the same sin, He will never give-up on us.  We should always trust in the Lord.  And what better advice is there to give to others?

Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Father, thank-you for reminding me that you are still in charge and for never giving up on us.  Teach us to also never give-up on others.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why Me?

I sometimes ask myself why I write devotions.  Is it to help me or is it to help others?  Who says I am even qualified to write devotions about God?  I sin.  I ask for forgiveness.  I sin even more.  Why would anybody want to read my devotions, especially the people who know me and know how broken I am?  I can't tell you how many times someone will respond to me after I do something stupid with, "and you write Christian devotions?"  How can I even gaze upon this computer screen and hope the words come to my typing fingers?  You know what?  It helps me to combat these obstacle questions with a clear and simple, "why not me?"

If we broken sinners didn't write about Jesus, then who will?  Who amoung us is qualified?  When I read through the characters in the Bible, I realize, although different in many ways, there is one thing that most have in common:  They were broken sinners.  I can honestly say that I write devotions to help me stay focused on Jesus.  If what I write is also helping somebody else, that is great!  But it is totally God's business and for me not to worry about.  I can't worry about how it is affecting others, nor can I let others derail me from writing simply because I may feel that it is not effective.  My only true enemy is me; my only true friend is Jesus.  So, broken or not, I will continue to write about God.  Have you thought about maybe writing some kind of devotions for God?  You may come-up with a thousand excuses not to, but never feel like you are not qualified or that you sin "too much"  Don't we all sin too much?  Let's stand-up convincingly for Jesus, not because we are perfect, but because we are broken sinners.

Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"  

Father, please forgive me of my sins.  Help us to remember that you can use us to help others no matter how broken we may be.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

As a teacher, I have to be very careful that I don't use questions on a test that can be considered as "bad". A "bad" question is a question that can have more than one correct answer or be interpreted in more than one way. For example, answer these 3 simple questions:

1. Who discovered America? 2. What was the President's name in 1982? 3. How many months have 28 days?

Typical answers are Columbus, Reagan, and February. Those are considered correct answers. However, depending on how you look at the questions, the answer to the first one could be Native Americans since they were here long before Columbus. For the second question, another correct answer is Obama, since that has been his name all his life, including in 1982. And the third question, yep, you guessed it, all the months have 28 days. What would be your answer to this simple yes/no question? Did Christ's death on the Cross give us Eternal Life?

It is true that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did die on the Cross for our sins and to give us Eternal Life. But we are not automatically saved because of His death and Resurrection. What Christ did was only an offer for forgiveness and Eternal Life. When people say that Christ died on the Cross to save us, we must remember that we are not truly saved until we receive His offer. We MUST accept Him as our Personal Savior in order to be forgiven for our sins and to receive Eternal Life. So, did Christ's death on the Cross give us Eternal Life? Only if we accept it and choose to believe in Him. Have you received Christ into your heart? If so, you are promised Eternal Life from a God who never lies! But if you have not accepted Christ as your Personal Savior, the Bible explains that you are not saved. What Christ did on the Cross was an amazing gift and offer of true love for each one of us. But we must believe in order to receive.

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 for sending Your precious Son Jesus to die for me. Also, thank you for stirring my heart at age 13, and helping me to accept Him. I pray for all those who have not accepted Christ. Stir their hearts, too, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Desires of our Hearts

I love Psalm 37, in particular, verse 4.  It says, "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart"  I guess what I like about it is that it gives me a feeling of hope, especially when things are not going my way.  We all want the desires of our hearts.  But will God really give us those things that we desire?  What if I desire a million dollars?  Will God give this to me?  No, I don't really think He will do that, so what does His promise really mean? 

When I was in my 30's, I loved to play church-league softball.  I mean, I really, really loved to play; I could hardly wait for Tuesday and Thursday nights to arrive.  But I also worked 2 nights a week and had a baby to take care of.  My wife would really fuss and make me feel guilty, like I was being a bad Daddy or something because I was gone 4 nights a week.  Granted, the job was needed, but did I really have to play softball?  I finally "agreed" with her one day that I would not play anymore, but after seeing me mope around for a couple weeks like a little kid, she gave-in.  I knew I had too much on my plate, but my desire to play softball was almost over-whelming.  So I began to pray and ask God to take away my desire to play.  I don't really remember how long it was after that, but I do remember how all of a sudden, I didn't desire to play anymore. 

When we decide to delight in God and really put Him first in our lives, the desires of our hearts become more aligned with His.  Instead of us wanting things for ourselves, we begin to want things for God.  Our hearts undergo an amazing transformation! It is at this point when He keeps His promise and gives us the new desires of our hearts.  All we have to do is put Him first in our lives and completely trust in His will.  All we have to do is completely immerse ourselves in Him.  Are we truly delighting ourselves in the Lord? A quick search of our hearts' desires will help us to answer that question. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


As we approach another graduation at Dothan High School, I can't help but to feel blessed that I get to be a part of kid's lives.  It's such an amazing feeling to see these kids grow-up and mature right before my eyes between the 9th-grade and the 12th-grade. Once they walk across the stage and are awarded their diplomas, their world completely changes as they know it.  Some are scared but most are excited.  With the world at their feet, they literally can do whatever they want to do; the choices are endless.

Over the past couple years, it has really begun sinking-in how quickly timing is flying by. I have to admit that this aging process is for the birds.  Oh, what I would give to be walking across that stage again today with my entire future ahead of me. be young again. But you know what?  When I think deeper on this subject, I realize that with each passing year, I am one step closer to graduating from this world and stepping into my eternal world. When we are called to heaven by Jesus, it will be like walking across the stage of life and receiving something much greater than a diploma.  As good as God has been to us, it's nothing like how good He is going to be when we get to heaven. With Him, our possibilities will be endless.  So will our lives.  No more growing old.  No more sickness.  No more death.  No more sorrow.  What a promotion that will be!!  Christians, our "graduation" is almost at hand. 

Philippians 3:14 says, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus"

Father, thank-you for being so good to us.  We long to be with you at this very hour.  Please guide our seniors as they continue their life's journey.  In Jesus name, Amen.    

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quiz Time

Ok, here's a little quiz. Which of the following statements is/are true?

1. TV's Mr. Ed was a horse.

2. Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name to KFC to eliminate "fried" from its title.

3. Tapping the side of a soda can will prevent it from spewing when opened.

4. Swimming less than 30 minutes after eating will cause cramps.

5. Poinsettia plants are poisonous to humans.

6. The plane in which Buddy Holly died was named American Pie.

7. Elephants are afraid of mice.

8. The Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure visible from the moon.

9. German chocolate cake comes from Germany.

10. Eating turkey will make one sleepy.

So which statements are true? Actually, NONE of them are true; Each one is just an urban legend (Mr. Ed was in fact a zebra). These myths are spread around so much that after a while, we all start believing them. There is no telling how many "facts" we have heard over the years that we believe to be true, but actually are just myths. The only way to know if something is true or not is to investigate or research it ourselves. I used to believe some things from the Bible, not because I had read it, but because I had always heard it. But since I have started studying God's Word, I have realized that some things I have always believed were in the Bible are actually not there. To find out what is actually in the Bible, we need to spend time reading it. A friend of mine likes to say that Bible stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. God's Word is our instruction manual while we are here. In order to follow what His Word says, we must read what it says. Have you read your Bible lately? It will sure help guide your steps. And that, my friend, is no myth!

Romans 10 :17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

Father, thank-you for Your Holy Word. Help us to discern what is really in it. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I love the 70's sitcom All In The Family. I recently bought a few DVD's of the 2nd and 3rd seasons. Archie and Edith Bunker crack me up! They play their parts so well, they almost seem married in real-life. Archie, the always-mad-at-the-world bigot, and Edith, the always-happy "Dingbat" make the show all by themselves. I was watching an episode last night in which Edith got an idea and shared it with Archie. As usual, the idea was a little lame, so Archie popped off at her. He said, "Edith, the next time a thought comes your way, DUCK!"
That could be good advice for all of us. I pray and ask God to lead my steps and thoughts everyday. But how can one tell when a coming-thought is from God or from some place else? We all get thoughts that we think came from God, but then later, we realize it was only our thought, and it was a bad one. I guess it takes lots of practice and lots of praying to get it right all the time. But until then, we really need to size-up our thoughts and decide if they are truly from God or not. Until we learn the difference, maybe we should take Archie's advice. Maybe we should "DUCK" from some of our thoughts.
James 1:5 says, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you."

Father, please help us discern those thoughts You give us from other thoughts that come from somewhere else. The Bible teaches us that You will give wisdom to all whom ask. Lord, please give me the wisdom to do Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Vacation

Oh, the excitement, the thrill, the laughter, the anticipation! They are running up and down the halls, hugging everyone in sight! They are about to bubble-over with happiness! And that is just the teachers...imagine how excited the students are! Summer vacation is just 6 days away. Do you remember the excitement you used to feel when you were in school? This is my 18th year as a teacher, and I am just as excited about summer vacation right now as I was when I was a student. Knowing that vacation is close-by gives everyone a boost of adrenaline. We are friendlier to each other. We smile more. It is an awesome feeling!

Why can't we all feel this excited everyday, knowing that Heaven is in our future? Why can't we run around hugging everyone and bragging about what all our Jesus has done for us? He has truly blessed every single one of us, and He is preparing a perfect place for us to spend Eternity. The Bible tells us that there are no words available to describe how wonderful heaven will be. There could only be a few more days left here before He calls us to our perfect home. I am so ready to leave this world behind and be with my Jesus! That will be the best "Summer Vacation" ever!

Jesus said in revelation 22:7, "Look, I am coming soon!"

Father, we long to be with You in heaven. Help us to spread the Good News about Your coming. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Funny How...

Funny how we set our clocks for 6am to rise for work or school but can't seem to get up by 10am Sunday morning for church.

Funny how we call God our father and Jesus our Brother but find it hard to introduce them to our family.

Funny how small "our" sins seem and how big "their" sins are.

Funny how we demand justice for others but Mercy for ourselves.

Funny how we can't think of anything to say when we pray but how easily we can spread the latest gossip.

Funny how we are so quick to take directions from a total stranger but hesitate to take God's directions for our lives.

Funny how churchgoers sing Standing On The Promises but all they do is sit on the premises.

Funny how we want God to answer our prayers, but we refuse to listen to His counsel.

Funny how it is alright to blame God for evil and suffering in the world but it is not necessary to thank Him for what is good and pleasant.

Funny how we believe what the newspaper says but question what the Bible says.

Funny how lewd, crude, and obscene pass so freely through Cyberspace but God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Funny how we can send a thousand jokes through Email but think twice about sending good things about Jesus.

(Author unknown)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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, please Email me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Don't Let It Grow

I once heard a story about an old tutor and his young student. They were walking in the woods when suddenly the old tutor stopped. He pointed out four plants to his student. The first one was barely visible above the ground, the second one was about 2 inches tall, the third one was a medium-sized bush, and the fourth one was a tall tree. The tutor told his student to pull each one out of the ground. The first two plants were easy for the student to pull out of the ground, but the third one, the bush, was very difficult. After some fighting with it, he finally managed to pull it out of the ground as well. But then he attempted to pull up the full-grown tree. He wrapped his arms around the tree but with all his strength, he was unable to even shake its leaves.

This lesson is simple. Bad habits are easy to uproot from our lives when they are new. But the longer they take root, the harder they are to destroy. I have learned that either you can destroy the bad habit, or it can destroy you. I had to deal with a couple bad habits this past summer, and with God's help, I was able to defeat and destroy them. So I am now a witness to God's enormous strength. Maybe you are fighting some "large trees" in your life. No matter how hard you try, you can simply not defeat them on your own. But God sure can! Further, He wants to help you. Consider doing what I did..I let go, and let God! It made all the difference in the world. With God's help, you can even uproot a giant Redwood!
Psalm 72:12 says, "God will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help."

Father, thank-you for all You have done for me, and for what You continue to do.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pencil Erasers

If you have ever taken a math class, you know why there are erasers on pencils. The people who make pencils sure do put a lot of confidence in us. They give us a long piece of lead with a little, tiny eraser. Now that is positive thinking!  But erasers are not just for correcting mistakes; they can also be used for changing plans. How many times have we heard the phrase, "pencil me in for this week?" We use this phrase because we have learned just how quickly our best-made plans can cave-in.  Let's face it:  plans change all the time.
Everyday, I am making my schedule in pencil instead of pen because I know things can change in a fraction of a second. As a teacher, I make plans every week but seldom am I able to stick to those plans to the letter. Something always seems to crop up and derail them. So I have learned to be flexible. I've decided to start making all my plans in pencil instead of pen but giving God control of the eraser.  He knows what is best for me.  If one of my plans gets changed, I will just assume that the Lord used the eraser because He had a better plan. I am putting forth more effort in seeking His will for my life. I don't always know where His will take me from day to day, but I do know it will take me to places that I otherwise couldn't go.  God's will is perfect!  That is why I am letting Him control the eraser.

Proverbs 16: 9 says, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

Father, thank you for Your perfect erasers. I am willing to alter all my plans based on Your perfect will. In You, I have placed my total trust. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Faith and Fish

It was sometime around dawn on the sea of Galilee. Some of the disciples had been fishing all night but had caught nothing. As they were about to row back to shore, they saw Jesus standing on the bank. He asked them if they had caught anything, but they told him no. So Jesus suggested that they cast their nets on the right-side of the boat and they would catch some. They did what He said, and the nets were barely able to hold the multitude of fish! How do you think they felt? These guys were professional fisherman, and they must have thought this man on the shore was crazy. You see, according to the Book of John, the disciples did not know that the man on the shore was Jesus...not until they had caught all the fish. They could not recognize him from their boat. What does this suggest?

If they had known it was Jesus from the start and followed His advice, then it would show that faith in Jesus is a very powerful thing. But how could it be considered faith in Jesus if they did not even know it was Jesus? This is the way I like to interpret it: Many times, Jesus leads us through someone else. When we ask Jesus for help, we shouldn't expect that help to come to us with ringing bells and flashing lights. Sometimes Jesus helps us in more simple, quiet a stranger on a shore. I think the key is that we need to remain full of faith and hope and stay open to the various ways Jesus may choose to reach us. God has used some pretty unique ways in the past to help His people. Maybe He is trying to help you today in an equally unusual way. Look around and see if you can spot Him.

2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "For we walk by faith, not by sight."
Father, please help us to remember that You answer all our prayers. Sometimes it is not in a loud way. Help us to remember that sometimes You simply whisper. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Two Judgments

One of the questions that was presented to me this weekend from was about the interpretation of 1Corinthians 3:12-15. After researching it a great deal, this was my response.  I thought it would also make a good devotion too,  Let me know if you like it. 

There will be two main judgments that God will pass on every human being:  The Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:12-15) and The Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).  These are two very different judgments, as the first one listed will be for nonbelievers and the second one listed will be for Christians.  We who have accepted Christ will not go through a judgment based on sin, but instead, based on reward.  Jesus already paid the price for our sin at Calvary.  That debt was “paid in full” and will never be placed back onto our “accounts” again.  As Christians, we don’t have to worry about working to make it to heaven because Christ already did all the work necessary for us to go.   There is nothing we can do to add to His amazing and complete work (Galatians 3:1-5).  Instead, we should use all our time and energy trying to further God’s Kingdom and trying to earn heavenly rewards (Matthew 6:19-34).   This is the kind of judgment Paul is talking about in the verses you asked about.  He describes God as using a fire-test of discernment (also see 1 Peter 1:17-18 and Revelations 3:18).  Paul contrasts gold, silver, and precious stones with wood, hay, and straw.  Those quality materials represent Christians who have given dedicated spiritual service to the church while the inferior materials imply shallow activity with no eternal value.

Put another way, once we have accepted Christ, we are promised eternal life (John 10:28).  Depending on how well we used the talents God gave us here on earth though will dictate our levels of reward in heaven.  I may see Billy Graham in heaven driving a Cadillac, but I’m sure in comparison to my Christian work, I will be on a skateboard.  Skateboard or Cadillac, we will both be there.  Again, it is very important to remember that this is not a judgment of sin.  Those who have not accepted Christ will be judged for sin in the Great White Throne Judgment.  I am so thankful God led me to Christ, and I will not have to be judged for sin.  I pray that through His Power, I can use the talents he gave me to His satisfaction.  Notice that verse 15 says that if we have been saved by Christ, even if our works don’t stand up to his test, we will still make it to heaven, “yet so as through fire”

In conclusion, Christians will never, ever be judged for their sins.  Instead, our works will be judged for degrees of reward.  Nonbelievers will be judged for sin, and the only thing they will receive from God is eternal punishment.  One of my favorite bible verses is Romans 6:23.  It puts the two topics in perspective: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  I pray that you have accepted Christ.  If you have, then “endure” with the talents He has given you, and tell as many people as you can about 1Corinthians 3:12-15.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Take My Daughter

As I was praying last night, thanking God for sending His only Son to die in my place, it hit home just how incredible of an act of love He showed me. My mind shifted to my daughter, Bailey Boo. Think about your child as you read this devotion today. I know we are not supposed to hate anybody, but think of a person you dislike a lot. Imagine that dirty, filthy person bringing unspeakable harm to say, your Mom and Dad. As hard as it is, try to imagine that person actually torturing your parents over and over again, while all you can do is helplessly watch. Now imagine that awful criminal is finally caught by the police and sentenced to death. But then, you become filled with tons of compassion for this evil person that just ruined your life. You decide to do something that nobody in the world would ever consider doing. You decide to ask the police to execute your innocent child in the place of this "evil slime".

As you stand by, watching your very own baby being beaten, and having to listen to her cries of sheer pain and agony, you notice that the person you just pardoned is standing around laughing and mocking your child. As your baby hangs there on a cross, bleeding from head to toe, that evil person does not even want your pardon! Your act of sympathy towards his crime is neither deserved nor appreciated. But instead of getting angry at the person, you choose to forgive him. Wow! There is NO way I could ever love another person that much. I know that may be a sin to feel that way, but I just don't see how I could do it. But God did it! When we sin against Him, it is even more painful to Him than it would be for us to watch the torture of someone very close to us. We may think of ourselves as being a good person, but in God's eyes, we are far worse than the worst criminal. But God loves us anyway. He chose to send His only Son Jesus to die in our place. Isn't that absolutely incredible? Have you truly thanked Him for that act of love? I mean, have you truly thanked Him?

Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Father, how do I thank you for what You have done for me? I promise to always keep You first in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lord, Help me Make An "A"

My students crack me up sometimes. As some of them walk up to me to turn in a test, I will hear them say, "God, please help me to make an A". I want to ask them if they also prayed before they took the test. Although I know God can do anything He wants to do, changing the answers on a test is probably not one of them. Now He could help them during the test. He could divinely lead them to the right answer. But after the test is turned in, I believe that is that. Sometimes I will ask them if they studied for the test. Surprisingly, some say no. And those are the very ones who prayed for God's help.

I think there is a lesson here for all of us. We should pray before things happen and not just after they happen. Prayer should be the very first thing we do when we wake...before the day even gets started. Again, I know God can fix many things after they are seemingly broken. But heading off disaster before it even happens is wise. And just praying for things to happen may not always be enough. We also need to prepare for those things to happen. Praying for an A on a test is a good idea. But unless we study for the test, I doubt the Good Lord is going to simply give us an A. He did give us a brain, and He expects us to use it. Depending on God does not just mean blindly praying to Him for things to happen. God gave all of us smarts, talents, and creativity. By using what He gave us, that is also a way to depend on Him.
Psalm 16:2 says, "You are my Lord. Apart from You, I have no good thing."
Father, thank you for wanting to help us everyday. Teach us to depend on You and everything You have given us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bank Account

Suppose I deposited 1440 dollars into your bank account every single day with only one requirement: You are free to spend every penny of it, but whatever you don't spend today can't be carried over to tomorrow; You would just lose it. What would you do? Well I am pretty sure you would spend every bit of it and not waste a single cent. Well God gives each of us 1440 minutes in every single day. We can choose to "spend" those minutes wisely or we can choose to waste them. Whatever is wasted, though, is gone forever. The definition of "wasting" time varies from person to person. But I would think anything that we do that doesn't glorify God would be wasting time. That does not mean that we need to spend all our time only praying, going to church, or reading the Bible. We can Glorify God with everything we do. We can Glorify Him while we are doing our jobs, while we are driving in traffic, and even while we are shopping at the grocery store. Today, let's ask God to help us find some additional ways we can Glorify Him. After all, our 1440 minutes are ticking away.

Colossians 3:23 says, "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."

Father, please help us to not waste anytime and to learn how to spend every minute Glorifying You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Philly Firsts

Philadelphia. It is an amazing city with an unparalleled history, richer than any other American city. Philly is a city of firsts. It served as our nation's first capital. It opened the first public school. It bought the first fire engine. It erected the first brick house, printed the first almanac, created the first botanical garden, opened the first zoo, started the first newspaper, opened the first hospital, and at least 100 other firsts. It was also the home of Charles Vansant, the first documented shark victim on American record. It happened along the Jersey Shore in the summer of 1916, and was the real-life inspiration for the 1975 movie Jaws by Steven Spielberg. In a span of less than two weeks, a rogue shark attacked 5 victims in New Jersey, four of which died from their injuries. What makes that year so unique is that only one person since then has died from a shark attack on the Jersey coast. Up until that summer, "experts" never even suspected that a shark could kill a man. Today, it seems nothing unusual to hear about a shark attack, although the chances of one dying from an attack is less than one's chance of being killed by a falling coconut! The summer of 1916 brought a strong heat wave to the N.E., and that also resulted in many more people venturing out into the water. Where is God at times like these?

That is a very hard question of which I feel nobody has an adequate answer. It is true that God performs miracles everyday. But most of the time, He chooses not to violate the very Laws of nature that He created. He put sharks in the water, and apparently, made them the kings of the water. They are perfect killing machines. Despite this fact, thousands and thousands of swimmers hit the beaches everyday, never to even be threatened by a shark. But we know it happens. And we know it can happen at any time man and shark mix in the shark's very habitat. Atheists use these incidences of shark attacks and other tragedies to argue that there is no God. How could a loving God allow such awful things to happen? I, just as you, have probably wondered that same thing many times. Why doesn't God help us in those times? My mentor explained to me that if God helped us all the time, so we could avoid danger, then we would expect Him to help us no matter what situation we got ourselves into. I have faith in God, but if I walk out in front of a car, I still expect to be seriously injured, if not even killed. We should have faith in God. But God also gave us a brain. Many tragedies could probably be avoided if people used the brain He gave them. Yes, it is very good to depend on Him completely for every single need that we have. But we should never expect Him to help us all the time, especially when we do foolish things that may increase our chances of being in a tragedy. We should use our faith. But we also must use our brains and the good sense God gave all of us.

Proverbs 15:33 says, "The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor."
Father, please help us to not only have faith in You, but also help us to make the right choices in life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


There's nothing like a big bowl of popcorn while watching a good movie! The best kind of popcorn is that stuff at the movie theaters...yum! Because it is not always convenient to go out to the movies, we sometimes have to just settle for the store-bought kind. It is pretty cool how heat can make those small, hard kernels transform into big, soft popcorn. But why do some of those kernels just refuse to pop? It seems that in every bag of popcorn I have ever bought, there's always a few stubborn little kernels.

When we accept Jesus and turn our lives over to Him, He transforms our hard hearts into soft ones. He can do things with our hearts that simply defy logic. I have found that through Jesus, I have more compassion and understanding for others. He took my hard heart and transformed it into soft popcorn. He wants to change all of our hearts. But He can not do it all by Himself. We must want to be changed, and we must ask Him to come into our hearts and take up residence. Don't be one of those stubborn kernels that just refuse to be popped. Open the door to Him, and feel Him transform your life like he transformed mine. I can tell you that opening my heart's door to Jesus was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life! Have you made that decision? God can do more with our hearts than even Orville Redenbacher can do to a pile of kernels.

Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."

Father, thank you for transforming my heart and life. I pray for those who may not have accepted You, yet. I ask You to give them strength to step out in faith, and into Your loving arms. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It was during this week back in 1985 that Coca-Cola made the biggest mistake in its history: The powers-that-be decided to change the 99-year formula to something different. It was something different, all right. Did you ever try the New Coke? Saying it was horrible would be an under-statement. In fact, it was so bad that the Coca-Cola Company was forced to change back to its original formula just 79 days later. This was the biggest marketing blunder in history.

We all make real dumb mistakes. Once we realize our mistake, it can be very hard to admit it and go back to the way we were doing things before the mistake. We can use Coke as an example to help us when we make a dumb mistake. They made the biggest mistake of all time. But they recognized the mistake, took accountability for it, and then restored the original formula. Since those dark days in the spring of 1985, Coca-Cola once again thrives as the leading soft drink maker in the world. I doubt very seriously, though, that they will ever experiment with their formula again.

God understands that we are only human, and that we are going to make some real dumb mistakes sometimes. The worst thing we could do is to be stubborn about it. Instead, we too must be willing to admit our mistakes and then go through the necessary steps in which to correct those mistakes. But God is ready to help us. His Word promises He will never abandon us no matter what mistakes we make...small, medium, or even big, dumb ones.

Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

Father, thank-you so much for your precious Son, Jesus. Thank-you for forgiving our sins and for giving us such a great role-model.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Two-For-One Deal

I love those buy-one-get-one-free deals! It is awesome feeling to get something for free. But this day and time, one must be careful about two-for-one offers. If you notice the new things on TV ads, most will give you a second product absolutely free..."just pay shipping and handling". Ah! That's where they get you. That extra shipping and handling charge is expensive. And guess what? You can't tell them you don't want the extra "free" item. I tried! You must take the "free" item with your purchase. So although the extra item itself may be free, the extra money you will pay for that "free" item is expensive. Beware of two-for-one deals!

But the Bible promises us a two-for-One deal that has no "catch" to it! In 1John, we are told that if we deny the Son, we also deny the Father. But, the opposite is also true. If we accept the Son, we get the Father automatically! Isn't that awesome? In other words, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we also get God, His Father, at "no additional charge". That's not just a god. That is THE God!! God Almighty! As wonderful as this is, there is the other side of it that is tragic. Some people believe in God, but they don't believe in His Son, Jesus. Then according to this truth in 1John, they really don't have the Father at all. As Christians, we must let people know that simply "believing" in God will get them absolutely nowhere. It is only through accepting His Son Jesus that we will truly have Salvation and Eternal Life. Do you want God? Then there is only one way: Accept His Son Jesus. What an amazing two-for-One deal!

1John 2:23 says, "Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also."

Lord, again, thank you for sending your Son Jesus! I accept Him totally by faith. Teach me to explain to others that in order to gain You, we must first accept Him. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bible Contradictions

One of my favorite topics to talk and write about is apparent contradictions in the Bible.  I don't believe there are any, though I admit, it can sometimes be hard to reconcile certain verses.  Without knowing Hebrew or Greek, many times the anomaly can be directly attributed to translation errors.  If you have trouble reading an ordinary King James version, I would like to recommend a newer translation.  The New International Version (NIV) or the New American Standard Bible (NASB) might help when studying God's Word.  These versions, and some others like it, do a good job of clarifying passages by using our modern-day dialect while still preserving the main idea from the original manuscripts.  The kind I have is a parallel Bible.  It contains the King James version on one side of the page and the NASB version on the other.  By using this type of Bible, I have been able to settle in my mind what I once believed were contradictions.

"Contradictions" can also be perpetuated, not because of translation errors, but because some people mis-interpret the definition of the word.  What exactly is a contradiction?  Logically speaking, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility or discrepancy between 2 or more statements.  Put another way, a thing can not be both "a" and "non-a" at the same time.  For example, it can't be both day and night (non-day) at the same time and place.  As another example, suppose two witnesses to a bank robbery are testifying in court.  One witness said he saw one man in the bank while the other witness claimed he saw two men.  Is this a contradiction?  No, not at all.  The two statements differ but are not contradictory.  In fact, both statements are complementary.  There may have been 2 men in the bank, but our first witness only saw one.  This is very similar to an event in the Bible that some people believe is a contradiction.   Matthew 20:29-34 says that Jesus healed one blind man near Jericho, yet Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43 say there were two blind men healed by Jesus.  For whatever reason, Matthew chose to only mention one man.  Again, this is not a contradiction.

As I stated earlier, I love to debate and debunk what some believe are Bible contradictions.  If you have one and can't reconcile it in your mind, please Email me.  I would love the opportunity to research your question or topic.  By doing this, I am able to grow and understand more about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I want to know all I can about Him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can Jesus Do That?

Can Jesus mend your broken heart? Can Jesus turn your financial situation around? Can Jesus take away your aches and pains? Can Jesus change your negative attitude? Can Jesus help you or your children in school? Can Jesus give you wisdom? Can Jesus help you find a better job? Can Jesus take away your addictions? Can Jesus transform you into a better person? Can Jesus _______________________________ ( you fill-in the blank)

In the 9th chapter of Mark, a man brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing. The demon spirit in the boy forced him to writhe uncontrollably on the ground. The father explained that sometimes the spirit would throw the boy into the water in an attempt to drown him. The father cried out to Jesus, "Have mercy on us, and help us if you can." Jesus replied with one of the most-quoted verses in all of Scripture. Jesus said, "What do you mean if I can? Anything is possible if a person believes." 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 Jesus can't swing in our favor. The key is that we must believe. Do you believe this?

Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

Father, I believe in You. I know there is nothing that You are unable to accomplish. Help me to be the best that I can be. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bad Hair Day

I found this on the Internet and wanted to share it. What a great devotion about attitude!

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and saw that she had only three hairs on her head. “Great,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.”
So she did, and had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “Hmm,” she said, “I guess I’ll part my hair down the middle.” So she did, and had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only one hair left on her head. “Wow,” she said, “today I get to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did, and had a wonderful, wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Thank God!” she exclaimed. “I was running out of things to do with my hair!” ATTITUDE is everything! Let’s be grateful for the things God has given us and have a wonderful day!

Father, thank-you for life. remind us to be thankful for what we have, and not sad for what we don't. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Salvation By Faith Alone

The more I learn about Peter, the more I like him. We all know of how he denied Christ on the night Jesus was arrested. We also know of how Jesus forgave Peter. Peter was the sort of man that I would like to be, that is when he was wrong, he was quick to admit it and to start doing the right thing. In the Book of Galatians, again we see Peter doing the wrong thing. He had shifted from preaching Salvation by grace to Salvation by works, namely, the works of the Jewish faith in the Old Testament. Paul called him on it. In fact, Paul confronted Peter in front of "them all". Again, Peter saw the errors of his ways and repented. Lord, teach me to be more like that when I am wrong.
This debate of salvation by works and salvation by faith is one of the biggest dividers among Christians today. Because of what I have read from God's Word, I am a firm believer that we are saved by our faith in Jesus, and not by any good works we can perform. We do good works because we are saved and not in order to be saved. Paul states in Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified." In other words, we can not be saved by going to church, being baptized, giving to the poor, keeping the 10 commandments, or any other good work. Sure, we should strive very hard to do these things, but these things don't "earn" us everlasting life. In fact, Eternal life can not be "earned" at all. It is simply a gift from God. And the only way we can accept that gift is by accepting Christ as our Personal Savior. Have you accepted God's free gift? I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, "Jesus Christ: Our get out of HELL free card."

Father, thank-you for drawing me to accepting Christ. I pray for those who have not accepted Your free gift. Please draw them too, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

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."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mention My Name

Recently, a friend of mine went to a job interview at a local company. I personally know many of the "top dogs" at that company, and I told my friend that when she got in the interview, to mention my name. She got the job! I am not sure if she ever mentioned my name in the interview or not, and even if she did, I doubt that had any bearing on their decision. My guess is that it probably didn't because she was very qualified for the job. And for all I know, maybe she did mention my name but got the job in spite of that. I encouraged her to mention my name, not because I think I am such a good person or because I have so much pull at that company. I wanted her to mention my name so in case they wanted to call me and get the "scoop" on her, I could brag about what a great person she is and how she would be such an incredible asset for their company.
I think that is what will happen to us on Judgement Day in heaven. First of all, we are all full of sin. The Bible teaches us that no human is immune from it. Further, God is a perfectly Holy God, therefore He can not even look upon sin. But when we stand before God on that day, we have a "friend" whom God loves very much. If we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, all we have to do is mention His sweet name in the "interview". By doing this, God then sees us as sin-free. Wow, what a powerful name! The blood that Christ shed on the Cross was accepted by God as a ransom for our sins. My friend who got the job got it because she was qualified for it, not because she mentioned my name. But when we stand before God, we will not be "qualified", but the name of Jesus will have the Power to give us Eternal Life anyway. God is so awesome! His grace is sufficient for all of us, even for me!

Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Father, I am in complete awe when I think about how much You love me. You sent Your only Son to die in my place. I know I can never repay You for what You have done for me. But I do accept Your gift of Jesus Christ. Thank-you, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


In the movie Twister, the scientists invented some electronic sensors that could record valuable information about tornadoes. The only problem was that those sensors had to be injected directly into the storm. The scientists would rush into the path of an on-coming twister, set out their instruments, and then hope the storm passed directly over so it could swoop up the gadgets. It was almost a one-in-a-million shot, and the danger to their lives was great. Most of the time they failed, but their belief was that all the failure would be worth just one success. The information that would be gathered could potentially save hundreds or even thousands of lives in the future.
We read in the Gospels that when the people heard Jesus might be coming their way, they would gather up all the sick and lame and wait for Him to come along, in hopes of His healing. Some had so much faith that they believed just touching Jesus' garment as he strolled by would heal them. One soldier even believed that Jesus could save someone from a distance; Jesus did not actually have to be there to heal. Today we have learned a lot more about the healing power of Christ. No, He does not have to physically touch us to change us. We don't even have to wait around and see if He will be coming our way. We can go to Him, and we can do it right this very minute. Do you need healing in your life? Is there a certain situation that you are facing that is driving you crazy? Is your heart broken because of a broken relationship? There is no reason to wait for Jesus to come by; He is already right here with you and me. All we have to do is ask for His help, and He will hear us immediately.
Psalm 55:17 says, "Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."

Monday, April 9, 2012


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.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Twists and Turns

Back a couple years ago, one of my students taught me how to solve a Rubik's Cube. I was amazed at how quickly he could line up all the colors and get it solved. It never took him longer than 2 minutes! He would hand it to somebody and ask them to "mess it up" for him. The incredible thing was that regardless of how "messed up" they made it, he immediately went to work and solved it like it was nothing. I was absolutely amazed! I am proud to say that since he taught me, I can now solve it in under two minutes as well. And it does not matter how messed up it gets, I can get it back good as new!
Our life can be like a Rubik's Cube. It does not matter how much we twist and turn the cube, it will always be "messed up". The only way to get our life's pieces back together is to put them in the hand's of the Master! Jesus can "solve" our life's problem in a flash. Why do we continue to twist and turn on it when all we do is make it worse? There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different ways to twist and turn the Cube, and there are probably many more ways than that to mess up our lives. But regardless of the number of ways to mess it up, or how messed up it may be right now, hand it over to the Master! Jesus is willing, able, and ready to "solve" your life's problems. Trust me, He can, and He will get it back together. But you have to turn it over to Him...
Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall."

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Give Freely

I wanted to share with you what my daughter Bailey did last night at the grocery store. While we were buying a few items, she came up to me and asked for a couple dollars. I reached into my wallet and took out two bucks. As I was handing it to her, I guess I just naturally asked what she needed. She said, "I am going to donate it to the lady outside who is collecting for diabetes research." I thought to myself, "instead of buying some junk?" I was very proud of her at that very moment.
But then the funny part hit me: It is so easy to be generous with somebody else's money. I nearly laughed and wondered why she didn't just ask for 5 or 10 dollars. Bailey has a kind heart, with my money or with her own. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I would have given those same two dollars to the lady outside. I guess the bottom line is that the money was given, and hopefully it will do some good. Is it truly the thought that counts? This time, it was my 16-year old's thought that counted the most. I love you, Boo.
Psalm 112:5 says, "Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely."
Father, thank-you for Bailey. She is such an awesome young lady, and I am so lucky you chose me to be her daddy. In Jesus name, Amen

Monday, April 2, 2012

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.
Father, thank-you for watching over and protecting us.  Teach us to always depend on you.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Use Me, Lord

I got the most exciting news today!  I have been writing devotions for a few years now.  I am not a professional writer nor am I a Bible scholar.  I write devotions because it helps me stay in-tune to what God is speaking to me.  As you know, the Bible can be very hard to interpret and understand.  I do a lot of praying before, during, and after my Bible study.  I also like to use a few sites from the Internet to help research topics.  I want to HIGHLY recommend  I have used this site for a couple years.  It is a topic-related site which answers thousands of questions about anything you want to know about the Bible, God, Jesus, Christianity, etc.  I honestly feel God through this site.  It is awesome, and I hope you will get a chance to check it out.  If you have a question about a topic, Email it to them, and within a couple days, they respond with your answers, completely backed-up by Bible verses.

I saw a link on their site where they were taking applications to be a volunteer writer.  For about a year, I never even considered it because their writers are much, much better than I am.  But I got to thinking that just maybe it could be in God's will for me.  So I applied.  After completing a few surveys and such, I got a response today.  It began, "Congratulations Allen!  Welcome aboard!"  Praise God.  I almost shouted for joy right in front of my classroom.  So now, when people write to them with their questions, they direct those questions to their volunteer writers to answer.  They told me to prayerfully research the topic, answer their question, and then send it to the editors who, thankfully, clean it up and make it sound like a professional wrote it.  Can you tell I am excited?  Now, I will grow in the Lord simply by studying harder to answer questions.  I admit I am nervous, but also I know that Jesus has my back.  It was Him that got me to this point in my life, anyway.  And I am as thrilled as I have ever been.  PRAISE GOD!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I finally did a little spring cleaning in and around my house this past weekend.  I have the sore, aching muscles and sun-burned face to prove it, too.  But I also have a cleaner, more comfortable home.  I love this time of year!  It is so rejuvenating to see God's world come alive.  Green grass, green trees, and blossoming flowers always have a way of filling me with hope and happiness.  I love the way God "wakes" up the land around us. 

I have also started doing some spring cleaning in my walk with Him.  I have started reading and studying God's Word more, telling more people about Him, and writing my devotions again every day.  I feel rejuvenated!  I feel excited about what this year may hold for me, through Him.  Just as God turns the dead, bleak winter into bright, happy spring, He can also do the same thing in our souls.  I am excited and thankful that He has transformed my seasons.  Happy spring! 

Job 8:21 says, "God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

Father, thank-you for refreshing my spirit.  Please help me to continue my walk with You.  In Jesus name, Amen.