Wednesday, December 24, 2008


As I sit here on Christmas Eve I starting to think about three words you see on many Christmas Cards. PEACE ON EARTH. One thing is for sure, we haven't seen much peace on Earth. In the last century our country has been involved in two world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, not to mention numerous conflicts. At the beginning of this century we witnessed an attack on our country - the Twin Towers - and now we rage a war on terrorism. At this very moment we have troops stationed in Iraq keeping peace. Not much peace on earth here.

If we look at our own lives we probably can see conflict all around us. Many of us face conflicts with family members, neighbors, church members, co-workers and bosses to name a few. When you put two people together you will eventually have conflict. I think one of the main reasons is a self-centered thinking that exists in all of us. The sin nature if you prefer.

1 Corinthians 3:3 NLT for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world?

So when Christmas arrives we, with good hearts and good intentions, look to find peace. In the process of enjoying the Christmas season we forget about what is going on around us and we find a little peace in our lives, a peace that we so often miss through out the rest of the year.

Jesus knew that peace was important. In John 14 as everything the disciples knew was about to get turned upside down Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (John 14:27) Good words for us today.

After He rose from the dead the first words that Jesus spoke to the group of disciple that were hiding and waiting was, "So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, "Peace be with you." (John 20:19)

If you look at these two verses you will see a common denominator, FEAR. In the upper room before the cross Jesus said "Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." After the cross as He found the disciples hiding because they were in fear. Fear will steal your peace.

In the season for giving one thing is true. You can never out give God. "By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life . . ." (2 Peter 1:3) God is a giver. God has given us many things. However, this Christmas why don't you receive the PEACE that He gives. Peace in the middle of all that is going on around you. Peace that passes all understanding. (Philippines 4:7) A peace that melts fear, gives rest and encourages the soul. It is a gift for all to receive. It is the message the angels sang on a night 2000 years ago. "And on earth peace, good will toward men."

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Glory is Fleeting

"For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting." - Gen. George C. Patton

Today at the end of our 11:15 church service, I experienced a moment I will never forget. A moment where I was really embarrassed. A moment that really blessed me. It came from those whom I serve, the congregation of Grace church. Pastor Bob invited me to come out to do the announcements as usual but as I approached the pulpit Pastor began to speak about the Christmas outreach that we had done the day before. It was a great day where we saw 1,708 people come to received 520 boxes of food and 1,250 toys for their children. 800 kids enjoyed a Kid zone full of games and best of all, 103 responded to the altar call with over 300 people from our church coming out to help.

Pastor stood next to me and said how much he appreciated all that I do for Grace church. That was itself a huge honor for me. But then the congregation not only began to applaud but they stood to their feet. Imagine that. They stood and applauded me. It was embarrassing to say the least.

I believe a man does what he can to the best of his ability. You do it when everyone notices and when no one notices. You do it first to the God you serve and then because you should. My dad taught me, "A job worth doing is worth doing well." Not for recognition or glory but because you are a man. I put the General Patton quote above as a reminder that victories do not last. The Patton quote reminds me that no matter how good you are there is always going to be someone better. I believe you're only as good as the results of your last endeavor. A number of successes will carry you through a few failures, but eventually you've got to hit the single along with a few home runs to stay in front of the game.

You enjoy the moment but you cannot live in it. You must move on. I see this as a form of humility. Humility is one of the top five best character traits a man should have. With humility the Bible says God will give you grace.

James 4:6 NLT ". . . As the Scriptures say, "God opposes the proud but favors the humble."

For what I do I give God the glory. I know myself and if it wasn't for God I would be nothing. To those who appreciate what I do I say, "THANK YOU." These are small words which do not show how grateful I really am for the show of approval. In the end let God get the glory.

Friday, December 19, 2008

if Women Ruled the world

A Bit of HUMOR for your Friday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Positive vs. Negative

We seem to live in a world that enjoys the negative more than the positive. You turn on the news and it is full of the negative. From wall street to you home town street they fill your ears with negative. News media says they are just reporting the events as they see them. However, NEGATIVE news sells better than POSITIVE news. Even our last presidential election proved this. In fact every election I have been able to participate in the election campaigns were all about changing things for the better. In the early 80's President Reagan during his run for the presidency continually asked, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago." It really didn't sound too bad but the implication was, "No, I am not better off now than four years ago. I am worse off because things are worse. Things just aren't as good as they use to be."

This morning after I finished reading and I wondered. If God had a website I wonder what His headline news would be. I wonder what the RSS (Really Simple Syndication - a lightweight format for sharing headlines and other Web content) feed's on God web page would be. Here is what I believe they would be.


God has Forgiven You - I John 1:9

You are God's Beloved - Romans 8:35-39, I john 4:19

God is Still in Control - Psalm 23

God has enabled you to do what you need to do when you need to do it - Philippines 4:13

You are FREE - Colossians 1:13-14

God has made a way where there is no way - I Corinthians 10:13

God has an answer - II Peter 1:3,4

You have the Holy Spirit of God inside of you - Romans 8:11

You are a Citizen of Heaven which means one day:

  • You will eat of the tree of life - Rev 2:7

  • You will wear the Crown of life - Rev 2:10

  • You have a new wardrobe made of White - Rev 3:5

  • You will receive a NEW NAME - Rev 3:12
  • You have a seat with Jesus - Rev 3:21

Facts change but the truth never changes. The things going on in the world are facts that will change. The cold weather will be replaced with warm summer weather. Snow is replaced with rain. Economic down turn will be replaced with economic up turn.

God's Word is truth and it never changes no matter what is going on in our fact based world. How about that for a headline. But then again that is GOOD NEWS. And although that may not sell a newspaper, it is the type of news this world needs. God bless.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Slow Down You Move to Fast, You Got to make the Moment Last

This week it has been BUSY. Preparations for upcoming events have raised the level of busyness in the church to a high. From my office this is December. A month with a high level of busyness. I guess to most that is true. Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, Christmas decorations, Christmas visiting with family and friends which often includes travel plans. Throw in some snow that really slows things down and we have a month of BUSY.

In Luke 10:38-42 is the story of Martha and Mary. Martha was BUSY. Busy preparing to entertain her guests. I love those people who are good at hospitality. They have a sixth sense about what needs to be done and how to do it. From table set up to food preparation to food presentation, they have it all covered. However, Martha, like many of us, ran into a situation that many of us run into during the Christmas season. It is a situation that causes us to get off course in our walk with God. It's called - Over Committed. Verse 40 says, "But Martha was distracted with all her preparations. . ." The word here actually means over-committed. Martha was trying to do more than her could and probably more than she should. Sound familiar. Over committed, Martha got angry and went to Jesus and yelled at Him, basically took her anger, feelings of over commitment, feelings of frustration and fear of failure out on Him. In fact, Martha got real angry at her sister Mary for not helping her.

You will notice in the story Jesus didn't jump up and run to help Martha. Jesus didn't stop everything and tell people they needed to go help Martha. No Jesus focused Martha on what was important. Jesus, said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried (which means you are drawn away in many directions causing you to get anxious) and bothered about so many things (which means to be in an uproar over situations and things)." He went on to say, " . . only a few things are important, really only one." Martha lost sight of priorities, that list of things placed in proper order of importance that keeps us on track. Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. Mary placed Jesus on the top of her priority list.

All the holiday shopping is fine. All the holiday food and decorations are fine as long as we don't forget the reason for all the celebration. JESUS.

Friday, December 12, 2008


One of my favorite bible teacher is John MacArthur. Although I don't agree with everything he teaches he does have great insite into the Word of God. In his commentary on the Book of Hebrews, specifically Hebrews 1:1-4:

Hebrews 1:1-4 NASB God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, (2) in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (3) And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (4) having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

John MacArthur writes:

"Someone has said that Jesus Christ came from the bosom of the Father to the bosom of a woman. He put on humanity that we might put divinity. He became Son of Man that we might become sons of God. He was born contrary to the laws of nature, lived in poverty, was reared in obscurity, and only once crossed the boundary of the land in which He was born and that in His childhood. He had no wealth or influence and had neither training nor education in the world's schools. His relatives were inconspicuous and uninfluencial. In infancy He startled a king. In boyhood He puzzled the learned doctors. In manhood He ruled the course of nature. He walked upon the billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book and yet all the libraries of the world could not hold the books about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all songwriters together. He never founded a college, yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced medicine and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors have healed broken bodies.

This Jesus Christ is the star of astronomy, the rock of geology, the lion and the lamb of zoology, the harmonizer of all discords, and the healer of all diseases. Throughout history great men have come and gone, yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him. Satan could not seduce Him. Death could not destroy Him and the grave could not hold Him."

Well, I just don't know if you can say it better than that. AMEN.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sitting in My OFFICE

As I was sitting here in my office at the end of my day I began reflecting on what just happened in the last 8 hours. It all started out normal enough, staff devotions followed by my morning meeting with Pastor. I then went from ordering hams for the Christmas Outreach we have coming up – not something I do everyday - to spending an hour with a good friend and member of our church who needed to talk and have someone to pray with. This person had just received some not so good news. (I'll bet that happened to a number of you today.) Life does happen and with it some good and some bad. My day ended with a staff person deciding it was time to step down from the position that they have held for 8 years. It was nothing bad they just felt it was time. Their life and family situation had changed enough to demand that they step down.

So as I sit here looking at a huge pile of toys in my office church members have donated for this same Christmas Outreach I mentioned above I realized when you are where God wants you to be you can do anything required of you.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

The Message bible says it this way, "Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." Philippians 4:13 MSG

Whether you are a minister, car sales person, butcher, baker or candle stick maker if you are where God wants you to be you can do it. It's not your call that is important it is your response to the call that is. God will not reward you on what job you have but on how you do the job you have. What may seem small in your eyes is not small to God.

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Matthew 25:23

So as I prepare to leave my office for the day to go home my prayer is. "God, I pray that you can say of me today, "Well done good and faithful servant."" I know if God can say this of me today that one day He will also say, "You were faithful in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the JOY OF your MASTER." Isn't it great to know God gets joy from seeing us do even what some people would consider small.