Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are you ugly?

1 Corinthians: 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails…


13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Two girls got on our crowded bus. They made their way back to where we were sitting. Since chivalry was dead, we didn’t consider relinquishing our seats. My friend sat near the window and I noticed the girls craning their necks to “look” at him trying desperately to get his attention.

“Hey! What about me?” “Don’t you like a skinny, glasses wearing guy with a constant bad hair day?” “Don’t you know how great I will be”, I thought about telling them. After years of the same treatment I worked on my physical appearance by lifting weights, brushing my hair, and getting into the latest fashion. I made it! Or did I?
  • Ugly isn’t on the outside.
  • Ugly is measured by GOD.
  • Ugly is thinking someone is not worthy of my company.
  • Ugly is thinking I am better than someone else.
  • Ugly is complaining about “those” people.
  • Ugly is looking out for “me” and “me” alone!
  • Ugly does not understand how GOD has shown me grace and mercy in all circumstances.
When I read this passage, I realize I fall very short in the “love” department. When I “love” myself, I’m hard on others and I become selfish but when I “love” others GOD blesses me with results.
  • LOVE = Patient = waiting on the slow person to get dressed or cross the street.
  • LOVE = Kind = paying a strangers toll, smiling at someone, holding a door, helping someone.
  • LOVE does NOT EQUAL Envy ≠ wanting “that” person’s position, beauty or stuff.
  • LOVE does NOT EQUAL Pride ≠ thinking I’m better than others or my skills and talents are superior or not accepting or asking for help when I need it.
  • LOVE does NOT EQUAL Rude ≠ mistreating people, interrupting to get my point across, embarrassing people.
  • LOVE does NOT EQUAL Selfish ≠ thinking about me all the time. Protecting me, guarding me!
  • LOVE does NOT EQUAL Record Wrongs ≠ always ready to “win” the argument or get my point across.
  • LOVE does NOT EQUAL Evil ≠ wanting to harm someone, or trip them up in their words or lie, cheat or steal.
  • LOVE = Truth = GOD’s Bible and JESUS’ words
  • LOVE = Protection = Instead of justifying why I shouldn’t be with that person I talk only about the good they do.
  • LOVE = Trust = absolutely knowing the person has my best interest in mind.
  • LOVE = Hope = able to look at a better future which is always ahead of me.
  • LOVE = Perseverance = no matter how “ugly” they get I treat them with love.
  • LOVE does not EQUAL failure = When all else fails use love!

JESUS is the only one who can LOVE perfectly, but HE asks that I add this to my diet each day.
  • Who are you “loving” (action word) today?
  • Do you “love” yourself in an unselfish way?
  • Can you add a little “love” today?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Unity requires me to be content.

1 Corinthians 12: 21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment.

But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.


Sitting on the other side of the world lives a family of five in a house that is 6 feet by six feet. The roof is straw and the floor is kind of a homemade cement mixed with tar. The owner has cows, chickens and a lemon tree. As I met this owner the one thing I noticed was his smile and excitement to show what he had!

Through the years I remember this family. I’m sure they argue, but they all seemed content. This was a very different way of living that I used to pity and laugh at but there was unity and harmony that seems to be fading in our modern progressive part of the world.

  • Selfishness causes me to be discontent.
  • Wanting things makes me want other things.
  • When I get the nice clothes or things it won’t be long before I want something else.
  • Wanting “my way” and wanting to “be heard” is more dangerous than it seems.

What does having things or wealth have to do with the unity Paul writes about? My decisions for whether someone can “help me” or not is sometimes based on “what they can do for me” to increase my wealth or get my way.

  • GOD wants me to be content with what I have in my possession “right now.”
  • Relationships with others need to be based on what I can do for them not the other way around.
  • Serving someone who has nothing is just as important as “serving the wealthy to increase my wealth.”

When I read this passage I first thought of diversity, then I thought of appreciating various gifts and talents, but I never thought of what prevents me from appreciating other people. The more content I am with my circumstance, the easier it is to “get along” with different people around me.

  • Are you discontent?
  • Do people get on your nerves easily?
  • Do you have an “agenda” you are secretly trying to fill?
  • Are you trying too hard to get your way and it’s frustrating that you aren’t?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Your “gift” is important.

1 Corinthians 12: 4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.


Standing out in the open field, a high pop fly ball was hit towards me. As it landed on the ground the guys moaned and the coach dismissed me from tryouts. In school I begged my holey pants to meet my shoes but that didn’t happen and I was dismissed from the fashionably astute.

A huge gust of wind blew my extra skinny body off of a porch because the hand me down coat acted like a kite. I was dismissed from the group again. It seemed like I didn’t fit in anywhere. You mean to tell me that I am “gifted?” I certainly didn’t feel like it.
  • Each person has a gift GOD made special for that person alone.
  • GOD meticulously crafted me with special talents that point to HIM.
  • HIS excitement over me is extreme and HE enjoys when I use my gifts and talents to further HIS kingdom.

GOD did a great job when HE made me. HE didn’t make a mistake when HE made me that size or complexion or with that smile or with that quirky sense of humor. HE knew exactly what HE was doing when HE made me and I shouldn’t look at someone else’s gift as something to be obtained.
  • Jealousy over another person leads to grumbling and false desire.
  • Desiring another person’s size, wealth, beauty or status will plague a person into complaining.
  • Complaining about the way you are made leads to questioning GOD.

I have asked GOD “why did YOU make me this way?” Now that I have been around the world spreading HIS great news, I see why HE made me this way. Looking back I can understand why HE put me in certain circumstances. Each experience, good and bad, helps me point to HIS SON.
  • Do you have gifts and talents you are not recognizing?
  • Have you used your talents to tell someone about CHRIST?
  • Can you learn to laugh at yourself and accept who you are?
  • GOD made you does HE “ever” make a mistake?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will “Communion” fix broken things in my life?

1 Corinthians 11: 23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.


For years I have taken Communion in church as a habit instead of an act of worship. I mean that’s just something that we do in church. They pass out some stale cracker and some juice or if you go to one of those fancy churches they pass out wine. This is just a ritual right? Wrong!

It is very clear GOD wants me to take this meal very seriously.
  • First I have to believe that JESUS is GOD who became a human and died as a punishment in my place.
  • Next I must recognize sin in my life and the need for GOD to remove HIS anger towards my sin.
  • Finally I must give thanks for the many blessings GOD has given me through HIS risen SON.

Now what does this have to do with my problems? How is drinking some juice, eating some crackers and admitting my sin going to resolve what I’m going through? That doesn’t make sense!
  • GOD wants to be “GOD” and HE commands respect and authority.
  • GOD is more than a human and HE wants me to recognize HIS position.
  • GOD wants me to recognize “my need” for HIM.
  • GOD took sin so seriously that HE died for me so HE wants me to remember this as often as I can.
GOD’s power is awesome and infinite. HE can turn my situation around in an instant just by speaking a word. So why hasn’t HE? I go to church and pay my money. Well, it’s my attitude HE wants rather than a habit. Paul states “that’s why you’re weak, sick and dead.”

When my attitude towards church, prayer and Communion changed strangely enough I noticed problems in life dissolving. Coincidence? NO! GOD.
  • Do you take Communion out of habit?
  • How often do you stop and remember what JESUS has done for you?
  • Do you take time out of your schedule to admit the need for JESUS every now and then?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I’m Free! Is that a good thing?

1 Corinthians 10: 23"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. 24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

25Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26for, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."


Free spirits love to do “what” they want to do “when” they want to do it and “how” they want to do it and “where” they want to do it. Okay, I admit I am a free spirit. What’s wrong with getting my way whenever I want to? Plenty! It’s like a kid who chooses candy for a meal instead of what’s good for him.

My thoughts are not GOD’s thoughts and my ways are not HIS ways. What I think is great HE thinks is awful. My thinking unfortunately is flawed with sin and I want my way constantly. What happened? Why do I have this imperfect relationship with GOD? Well, I don’t know, but I can guess.
  • GOD made me perfect along with all humans.
  • GOD made “freewill” and “choice” which enables true love to exist. (Otherwise we would be robots)
  • GOD made Satan who also had freewill and choice. (Unfortunately he chose wrong)
  • GOD threw Satan out of heaven for attempting to be GOD. (He tried to control his life without GOD)
  • GOD watched Satan try to ruin all humans by poisoning us through Adam and Eve.
  • GOD became a human and died for everyone’s sin.
  • GOD knew I would never choose HIM so HE chose me.
It’s quite amazing that GOD knew all of the sins I would do before HE made me, yet HE made me anyway. HE knew how many times I would reject HIM and HE didn’t just send me straight to Hell.

Paul tells me that I can do anything I want! I am “free”, but do I really want the freedom? NO! Well, what do I want? I guess I want what GOD wants, true love.
  • Love is made by GOD.
  • Love is defined by GOD.
  • Love is GOD.

Since GOD made love and is love, I want to follow HIS ways. I choose to give up my earthly freedom so that I can acquire "heavenly freedom."
  • Do you wish to be “free” to do what you want?
  • Are you tired of getting “your way” when you know in your heart that’s not “GOD’s way?”
  • Can you stop getting “your way” for a moment?
  • Can you seek the good for someone else instead of yourself?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stomp the competition!

1 Corinthians 9:24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

On a cool fall day in a park in the city we gathered for our meet. My heart pounded as the race began and two miles later I found myself behind another runner. “Come on, you can do it” people yelled! Though I felt I had nothing inside of me, I mustered up enough energy to pass the competition.

Throughout the years I drew on that experience to beat my competition especially in the workforce. When there was a position, I went after it with tenacity. No one was going to be better than me at work.

I trained, studied and practiced for work. When I hit the glass ceiling, I broke through by learning more about becoming a great leader. Golf was the next lesson which taught me about relationships. I conquered work, but did not do the same for my family or friends.
  • Running the wrong race gets results, but the results are only temporary.
  • Receiving a prize for competition is nice, but sometimes leads me away from the true prize.
  • Beating the competition is wonderful, but not everyone is my competition.
The race GOD wants me in is the one where I tell people about HIS SON. The more humble and sincere I can be, the better at it I become. HE wants me to become all things to all people just to “win” them over to HIM. HE wants to keep me from being “disqualified” for HIS prize.
  • Compete against the sin in my life instead of fighting with my wife.
  • Compete against the doubt and fear instead of thinking the end is near.
  • Compete against certain temptations instead of running away from GOD’s revelations.

GOD wants me to compete against the spiritual competition that keeps people from believing in HIS SON. HE protects me and guides me by HIS HOLY SPIRIT to ensure I remain qualified for the everlasting crown.
  • Are you competing against friends and relatives?
  • Are you driven at work or searching for work to compete again?
  • Can you compete against the doubt and fear you have in your life?
  • Can you focus on GOD’s everlasting crown just for a little while today?

Monday, August 23, 2010

The smarter I am, the dumber I become.

1 Corinthians 8: 1Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3But the man who loves God is known by God.


After graduation from one of the best universities in this country my first job was in deep technology. We programmed the 911 system and it could not be wrong. Imagine making an emergency call and getting a wrong number!

We were the brightest of the bright. And quite frankly I became a technology snob. “You won’t understand” as I rattled off some techno-babble. My next company was worse because they were concerned with “image.” The smarter we appeared, the more we could charge.

The problem with me being ultra smart is I wound up ultra dumb when it came to compassion.
  • When I’m too smart for my own good, I try to prove it by winning arguments.
  • When I’m too smart for my own good, I always see opportunities to win while someone else loses.
  • When I’m too smart for my own good, I may win the situation, but lose the opportunity.
  • When I’m too smart for my own good, I can’t listen to suggestions or correction.
  • When I’m too smart for my own good, I leap to give advice instead of just listening and being there.

GOD gave each human special abilities and not one of HIS creations should be looked down on. I need to look at every human as a “person GOD loves” and treat that person with respect.
  • When I build someone up, they feel better about themselves.
  • When I build someone up, they achieve more.
  • When I build someone up, it’s not about me.
I used to be immature and laugh “at” people and what they did because I thought I was more intelligent than them. GOD gets excited when I treat every person as special.
  • Are you trying to prove how intelligent you are?
  • Do you jump to advise someone or do you seek advice?
  • Are you too proud to ask for advice?
  • Are you known by GOD?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Love and Kindness

Love and kindness overcomes all evil.
A kind word is like honey to the bones.
To receive instruction is better than silver.
And knowledge is better than gold.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"In My Home Over There"

When my work on earth is done
At the setting of life's sun

I am going to my home over there
And I shall walk the golden stairs

And I'll be free from every care
I'll be happy in my home over there

In my home over there
That the Lord did prepare

There's gonna be peace there's gonna be joy everywhere
And I shall see His face so fair

And a starry crown I'm going to wear
I'll be happy in my home over there

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don’t waste your “single” life.

1 Corinthians 7: 32I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.


Wow this has been a tough series to write about this week! While I was a nice guy, I was mad at the church, parents, and life when I was single. I was too immature to understand that my life isn’t mine its GOD’s.

In college, I thought I was having fun and always had hoards of people around me. There was no thought about GOD and serving others, it was all about me! My favorite question at that time was “what about me and my needs?”
  • GOD says my life is HIS.
  • GOD created my life to serve other humans.
  • GOD desires that I focus my attention on HIM as much as I can.
  • GOD is pleased when I follow HIM.
Don’t get me wrong married life is great, but Paul writes that it splits my interests. GOD comes first then family then everything else. A single person “could be” focused solely on GOD.

  • A single person dedicated to GOD can worship when they want to without need of a schedule.
  • A single person dedicated to GOD can drop their plans to help someone without affecting others with the inconvenience.
  • A single person can give from their excess without being concerned about paying for life’s incidentals for others.
When I was single I still could have sought a wife but I should have done it in a fashion where I was serving others instead of myself. GOD wants my whole outlook on life to be one of service. Why? Because the more I serve in a sincere fashion without expecting something in return, the more HE serves me in eternity.
  • Are you single?
  • Are you married?
  • Can you dedicate some time to the LORD today?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Married folks go have sex or else!

1 Corinthians 7: 1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.

5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command.


From what I understand the divorce rate is at 50% even amongst people who profess to be Christians. The first contributor to this downfall is money and the next is emotional separation which can lead to infidelity. There are a lot of temptations that come up against a marriage but sex has to be one of the biggest.

When I married my wife I took a vow to be with her until death. This vow meant to stay together physically and emotionally. There have been times when my selfishness has gotten in the way of the emotional union. After an argument or misunderstanding occurred then I bet you can tell there was no lovin’ going on.

Paul writes “do not deprive each other” and “our bodies are not really ours but our spouses.” He writes this because he knows how powerful sex truly is. If I get angry and withhold sex or emotional unity from my wife then she may be tempted to look elsewhere.

I usually don’t quote books in my quiet time, but here are the 12 steps to adultery from “Temptations Men Face by Tom Eisenman”

1. Readiness – Wanting it.
2. Alertness – Looking for it.
3. The “innocent” meeting – Harmless flirting.
4. The “intentional” meeting – Being at the right place at the right time.
5. Public Lingering – Group settings discussing personal history.
6. Private Lingering – Ideas, feelings and caring shared.
7. Purposeful Isolation – Specific meeting to “help” the other person.
8. Pleasurable Isolation – Sheer enjoyment.
9. Affectionate Embracing – Physical support for one another.
10. Passionate Embracing – “Besides my spouse, no one makes feel this way” move.
11. Capitulation – SEX!
12. Acceptance – They ask themselves if they are a couple.

There are no happy endings to this type of story, but GOD can lead me in the right direction before it starts.

GOD made sex as a holy and honorable act that is reserved as a sacred time, kind of a pleasurable act of worship. Paul says sex is a “duty” which seems more like a “task” but it seems to be the driver of many ills to society today.

I didn’t address the statement Paul said of remaining single because it would take too long. I would just say that if sex is a driver in your life then carefully and prayerfully ask GOD to deliver the right person who will put up with your nonsense. I did.

Are you handling sex in a GODLY fashion?
Are you involved in a relationship with a married person?
Are you angry or blaming your spouse for too many things?
Have you deprived your partner emotional or physical connectedness?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Add GOD to your sexual fantasy! (May be explicit for some)

1 Corinthians 6: 18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.


Okay, I get the message LORD that YOU want me to address sexuality this week! GOD wants me to remain pure, but I don’t, thus the problem. My sexual journey began at 12 when I opened a Playboy magazine in department store. Okay, the internet wasn't invented back then!


“Wow!” I thought I hit the Jackpot! I knew girls were made different but I never knew they were made that different! Okay, some of you may be thinking to yourself what took you so long? Well, my parents did all they could to keep us on track for GOD, but there comes a time when the child has to walk for themselves.

Anyway, I brought the magazine home and “hid it.” Notice I said “hid it.” If it were okay then why not leave it out for everyone to see?

  • GOD says all sin will be exposed.
  • GOD says everything hidden in darkness will be shown in the light.
  • GOD says sex is a wonderful, special time that HE created specifically for a married man and woman to enjoy passionately.
  • GOD says that the “two shall become one flesh” which is extremely symbolic for the union we have with HIM.


CHRIST sent the HOLY SPIRIT to do the dirtiest job inside of me. HE has to sit there while I lust, sin and justify my sinful actions. What an amazing GOD. No wonder the HOLY SPIRIT prays for me in utterances I don’t understand. It’s because HE knows my sinful tendencies and begs the FATHER to forgive and grow me.
  • Find some new GODLY friends to pledge “purity of mind” to.
  • Break old patterns of self medication through masturbation by occupying your mind with a project, game or leading someone else in purity.
  • Flee from that lustful relationship one hour, then one day then one week at a time.
  • Stop saying that “GOD made me this way” and say “I choose to disobey YOU GOD” before your illicit sex act.
  • GOD says “flee from sexual immorality.” I guess this means for me to go in the opposite direction the world is going. They may laugh at me and say my ways are old and preposterous, but GOD says “stay pure as a sacrifice and I will bless you.”
  • What does GOD say about your sexual activity?
  • Do you think if you ignore GOD then the consequences of your sin will go away?
  • If “Christians” fall into the sin of judging your lifestyle then can you find the right Christians who are open and honest and willing to help you out of the lifestyle you KNOW is outside of GOD’s will?
  • Can you give the HOLY SPIRIT a vacation from lust today, maybe just for an hour then all day to start?
  • Can you praise GOD for making you special and wonderful?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Let’s have sex! (May be explicit to some)

1 Corinthians 5:1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?

What would Paul write about the church today? When I saw this chapter quite frankly I didn’t want to address it. Paul is writing to the church telling them to throw a man out for having sex with his stepmother.

“Here we go” I thought to myself. How am I, a person who has lusted while being a Christian, discussing sexual morals? Well, since sex has turned into shades of grey instead of black and white, I will try my best.

First, let me say that “sin is sin” no matter how small. All sin requires death and separation from GOD. JESUS paid for sin and our “belief” brings humans back together with HIM. Now with that said, GOD still requests that humans stop sinning.
  • Sexuality is quite special to GOD that’s why it is being attacked.
  • Those who remain sexually pure throughout life “I believe” will receive a special reward.
  • Pure sex means sex between a married man and woman.
  • When I say GOD doesn’t really mean that, then I am inviting other sins in my life.
  • Once “one sin” enters, then it is only a matter of time when others will cause a downward spiral.
When I ask myself “who set the rules” I quickly get the answer, “GOD did!” I can say GOD is stupid and ignore HIS rules or I can straighten up and follow them. Paul wanted this man thrown out because he was bragging about sex with his mother. I know it was his stepmother, but see how that sounds!

  • Bragging about sin is worst than committing the sin.
  • Bragging about sin means it wasn’t a mistake or an addiction.
  • Bragging about sin is like saying to GOD “forget YOU and all YOUR rules, YOU better save me anyway!”

I get nervous when I read there will be people “who think they are saved” who will shocked that they aren’t. I keep thinking how terrible it would be if I rejected GOD over a little self pleasure thinking “Oh well, GOD will forgive me” and HE doesn’t. Remember what I have said before…


It’s not the “lack of knowledge of JESUS” that sends a person to Hell, it is rejection of GOD’s SON and what HE stands for that separates us for eternity. I do believe “once saved / eternally saved” but I still question do I have the right attitude towards sexual sin that is pleasing to GOD?
  • Are you blatantly falling into sexual sin?
  • What sexual sin are you trying to hide?
  • Have you been sleeping with someone outside of marriage, looking at porn, lusting over another person, sleeping with the same sex, sleeping with someone who is not your spouse, or sleeping with animals? (Is this too explicit?)
  • Can you consider sacrificing this type pleasure for GOD’s pleasure?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Do You Have The Time?

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
and jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done,
my soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
they'd laugh at me I'd fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in His hands God held a book;
It was the Book of Life.

God looked into His book and said
"Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down,
But never found the time."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"The Man Beyond The Clouds"

There's a man waiting way beyond the clouds He's waiting there for you and for me
There's a man waiting way beyond the clouds
He's waiting there to set our spirits free

Oh, why don't you come
And trust this friend of mine
He's proven himself
To me from time to time

Oh, there's a man waiting way beyond the clouds
He's waiting there for you and for me
(Mahalia hums)
He's proven himself
To me from time to time

Oh, there's a man waiting way beyond the cloud
He's waiting there for you and for me

Friday, August 13, 2010

Is my life good enough to imitate?

1 Corinthians 4: 14I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me.


Success in America seems to be defined by how many toys one can acquire over a life’s span. Bumper stickers boast “He who has the most toys wins!” Today, people feel the lowest they have ever felt because their wealth is threatened or gone. Guess what? I felt the same way.

There was a period in my life when things seemed dark and lonely. When the news came down that the department was going to downsize and I was one of them I cringed and hid in the corner. My life had changed and I didn’t want anyone to imitate it. Fear, doubt and worry ensued.

GOD says my life is far greater than a job or earthly riches.
GOD says by siding with HIM, NOTHING can be against me.
GOD says that while I am a sinner, CHRIST cleaned me up according to HIS standards.
GOD says I am great as long as I put my faith in HIM.

When I realized that “greatness” can only be defined by GOD then my pursuits became different. I now seek to read about HIM daily and here is what I found:

GOD loves when I “ask” HIM to forgive my sins.
GOD loves when I “love” my wife and children and neighbors and “enemies.”
GOD loves when I “give” sacrificially not just “in plenty.”
GOD loves when I “change” my motives and direction for my life to follow HIS ways.
GOD loves when I “realize” HE loves me!

My life is not perfect. I still fear, doubt, worry, lust, obsess, spit anger, throw tantrums, you name it. The reason my life can be imitated is because I fully trust that JESUS forgave and forgives me. HE is the one who sent HIS HOLY SPIRIT to me and now HE is working sin out of me a little at a time.

Can your life be imitated?
Is there an area of your life that HE is telling you to let go of?
Why are you trying to hold onto "that" sin so tightly?
Is there someone you can tell about what GOD has done for you?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What kind of life are you “building?”

1 Corinthians 3: 10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,

13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.


Sometimes I ask “what is the purpose of life?” This question seems too deep to answer but I’m sure it does have some merit. It seems like the harder I try to “get ahead” in life there is always something or someone who tries to tear down what “I’ve” built.

Then when I read this scripture I can see I need to “be careful how I build.” When I focus all my efforts on building a good life here on earth I tend to stay worried and disappointed.
  • Building riches and fame brings worry and blame.
  • Building titles and pride brings doubt inside.
  • Building houses and clothes brings pain only GOD knows.

The world is full of some great “stuff!” There are so many new gadgets, phones, garments and houses that it’s hard to not want just a few of these things. I mean who wouldn’t want the house with the bowling alley or the closet full of shoes or my favorite a BMW with all the fixin’s.

All of these things are not a problem, but if I “spend my life” trying to achieve titles to acquire “things” then I am truly wasting my time.
  • A good “foundation” is knowing JESUS is GOD who died for me by HIS own rules.
  • A good “frame of my house” is reading about the FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT.
  • A good “roof” is accepting what GOD says and putting it into action.
  • A good “decorated interior” is prayerfully admitting the need for GOD each day.

The great thing about GOD is that HE doesn’t require all of my attention. I take my mind off of HIM often. BUT the more I focus on what HE wants me to do the stronger “my house” becomes!
  • What kind of life are you building?
  • Is life more that the title or riches you are seeking?
  • When is the last time you did something specifically for GOD and GOD alone?
  • Can you add “purpose” or “meaning” to your plans today?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who can I trust?

1 Corinthians 2: 9However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
   no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived

 what God has prepared for those who love him"— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Who can be trusted these days? So many people lie, cheat and steal that it’s hard to put my trust in any human. Then I thought about it. I’ve lied, cheated and stole in my life. Who can trust me? Wow we are in bad shape. Is there any hope?

Fortunately for me the HOLY SPIRIT is there to help me with my trust issues. GOD is pure love and has prepared some incredible, fantastic things for me. The only way I can believe in GOD’s love is through listening to the SPIRIT inside of me.
  • When I listen to the SPIRIT inside of me I get calm when I should be scared.
  • When I listen to the SPIRIT inside of me I don’t sin “this time or that time.”
  • When I listen to the SPIRIT inside of me my motive for doing things get’s revealed quickly.
  • When I listen to the SPIRIT inside of me I can see when someone is lying, yet I am told to forgive them.
The HOLY SPIRIT is quite amazing. HE knows the FATHER inside and out. HE along with JESUS are witnesses to the FATHER’s actions and thoughts. They keep HIM pure and HE keeps them pure. Wow! Nice balance!
  • GOD has pure love that wants the best for me.
  • GOD has pure love that I can have freely if I believe in what HIS SON did for me.
  • GOD has pure love that is shown now and I will understand it later when HE gets rid of my sin.
People can’t be trusted. They all have a sin nature that keeps their motives hidden. I know my motives aren’t always pure. BUT GOD has given us a way to trust people. I have to trust that GOD will handle everyone’s impure motive, including mine, and conclude everything with HIS pure love.
  • Will GOD punish a person who thinks they are “getting away” with their schemes?
  • Why are you worried about what someone else is doing?
  • Do you believe HE can protect you from any harm?
  • Can you put your trust in GOD today?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thank GOD I’m foolish, weak and low!

1 Corinthians 1:26Brothers think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

It’s amazing that GOD works opposite of human thinking. HE definitely does not work the way I think HE should. Over the years I have run into some very intelligent people. Unfortunately their intelligence get’s in the way of their relationship with GOD, yet GOD does not smash them.

There are times where my intelligence get’s in the way of GOD. Whenever I think I accomplished something on my own or if my education got me where I got then I miss out on praising GOD for what HE has done.

GOD is the only one who is intelligent.
GOD raises people from “low” places and no man can remove them.
GOD removes people from “high” places for HIS purpose.

At first I would get sad when someone would lose their job or title. This is human intelligence getting in the way again. GOD in HIS magnificent wisdom has shaken the world’s economy and many have lost their possessions, but have not lost hope.

GOD is showing that “HE” is “the hope” not money, title or possession. Human wisdom is no match for GOD nor is a person in a high office or military stature.

GOD cannot be understood.
GOD cannot be opposed.
GOD cannot fail.

When I think that I am “something,” I am nothing. When I know I am nothing compared to GOD, HE makes me “something!”

Are you relying on your wisdom?
Are you doubting GOD’s ability because of your knowledge?
Do you think your knowledge matches GOD’s?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Are you serving “your way” or “GOD’s way?”

Romans 16: 17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.


What does it mean “to divide or put obstacles in someone’s way”? Thinking back on how I treated people I can say I have done both and the results weren’t pretty. Division means sticking to “a side” to an argument without developing a “win-win” solution.
  • When I use my own logic I quickly jump to “a side” versus watching GOD change the situation.
  • When I try to get my way I don’t listen to GOD when he is speaking through my adversary.
  • When I try to spread my argument to others I divide people and collide with GOD.

 Obstacle building means blocking ideas or placing unnecessary hurdles in the way for the purpose of killing the idea.
  • When I “fold my arms” and refuse to help I am building an obstacle.
  • When I develop rules that are hard for others to follow I am building an obstacle.
  • When I heap high expectations on people I am building an obstacle.
  • When I refuse to communicate clearly and want people to read my mind I am building an obstacle.

 GOD wants me to spread unity even though it may mean not getting my way. Trusting in GOD means letting HIM deal with people who are not following HIS words the way HE intended. Trust me; HE has dealt with me on numerous occasions.
  • Are you dividing people at work, home or church?
  • Why are you trying so hard to be heard or get your way?
  • Can you serve the person who is going down the “wrong path?”

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"He Wants It That Way"

Let it rain, rain, rain
He wants it that way

Let it pour, pour pour
He knows what it's for

When it lightens and it thunders
Do you ever stop and wonder
Why he said he wants it that way

Some may smile
While others may cry
All the while

He's watching on high
Count your blessings every hour
God is strong, and He's got power
Everyday, he wants it that way

He made the moon and stars
To lighten the darkest of night
Made the mighty sun and said
Let there be light

Never doubt him for one minute
Read the Good Book
Learn what's in it
And you'll say he wants it that way


Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Shall Know Why by Emily Dickinson

I SHALL know why, when time is over,
And I have ceased to wonder why;
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky.

He will tell me what Peter promised,
And I, for wonder at his woe,
I shall forget the drop of anguish
That scalds me now, that scalds me now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

My prayer needs your help!

Romans 15: 30I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, 32so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. 33The God of peace be with you all. Amen.



Sometimes I ask GOD for things and the answer I get is silence. This can test my faith. It’s times like these that cause me to question GOD and HIS abilities or if HE even cares about me. I mean if HE cares about me then why doesn’t HE grant me “this wish?”


Unfortunately my thinking is flawed. GOD does LOVE me so much that HE became a human and died in my place. This act of kindness is the ultimate sacrifice which keeps me in my loving relationship with HIM for eternity. So why doesn’t HE grant me my “wish” in every prayer I say to HIM?
  • GOD understands my motive and knows it is sometimes selfish.
  • GOD knows the good things in life that point me to the kingdom.
  • GOD is the one who made everything so HE is wise enough to know how to handle my circumstance.
  • GOD’s plan is not my plan since my plan is based on sinful thinking.

Paul knew that his prayer needed some help. He sought after a person GOD would listen to. “Maybe if the collective group would pray then I might be rescued”, Paul may have thought to himself. If we all agree then maybe someone without a selfish motive will be heard.
  • GOD has a plan specific to me that is only brings HIM glory.
  • GOD listens to prayers and listens to the HOLY SPIRIT and determines the best path for me.
  • GOD has answered all of my prayers, it’s just sometimes the answer is “no” or “wait” or “not that way.”
When I truly desire to see people understand the love CHRIST has given me GOD grants this prayer in abundance.

What are you praying about?
Do you think your prayers aren’t being heard?
Do you expect the thing you prayed for to actually come true?
What does GOD say about your prayer?








Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bring someone “hope” today!

Romans 15

1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.


Several times in my life I felt hopeless. The funny thing about that feeling is my situation wasn’t as hopeless as it seemed, nevertheless I still felt distressed and depressed. Many times I felt nervous and worried over a job or no job or a relationship or being alone or an ailment or a death. You name it.

Every once in a while someone would pop up and tell me that I’m doing great! They look at me and say “wow!” That’s when I look at them and wonder who in the world are they talking about? Then I realize they are talking about me.
  • Encouragement for others is better than a pat on the back for me.
  • Encouragement for others grows people to do the same to someone else.
  • Encouragement for others can change someone’s day.
  • Encouragement for others makes my day.
GOD wants me to forget my circumstances for a moment to encourage other people. HE took it upon HIMSELF to suffer for me in my place and didn’t seek pleasure. When someone insults me they are really insulting HIM.

HE knows how difficult life can be so HE asks that I encourage someone today to provide them hope!
  • Do you know someone who needs encouragement?
  • Can you encourage without patronizing the person?
  • Do you know how far a kind word will go in someone’s life?










Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Decide “not” to be an obstacle to someone’s success

Romans 14: 13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.

My actions may have caused a few people to stumble along the way. I just wanted to have fun I thought. We played drinking games that led to getting drunk which led to people dropping their inhibitions which sometimes led to fights or sex depending on the evening. My innocent party led to others stumbling in the wrong way.

I’m not saying don’t drink, there are too many arguments over alcohol, but I am saying that I must think through all of my actions no matter how innocent.
  • I choose not to show kids rated “R” movies, there are enough attacks on their sexuality.
  • I choose not to drink any longer, I have friends who struggle with alcoholism.
  • I choose not to curse any longer, I have friends who have negative words constantly hurled at them.
  • I choose not to let fear get the best of me, the situations of the world are frightening enough for many.
My choice is just what it is… “Mine.” Just because I don’t do certain things anymore doesn’t make me any holier or special to GOD. I was already special enough when I was in the middle of my sins that HE allowed HIS SON to take my consequences. Please don’t think of my acts as being weak in faith though.

  • GOD is pleased when I give up certain pleasures for faith.
  • GOD is delighted when I purposefully stop sinning to help someone else get through their trials.
  • GOD is excited when I stop judging a person because of their religious practices and I show them CHRIST by example “and” word.
As I finished the chapter I noticed these words “19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” “Every effort” for peace with each other means someone has to go first. While I still sin, I choose to be the one who brings peace to relationships by doing things for GOD.
  • Are your acts causing someone to stumble?
  • Does what you are doing seem innocent?
  • If what you are doing is a sin, can you cut it out to help someone else?
  • What are the consequences of you holding onto your “pet sin?”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Accept me for who I am (on purpose)!

Romans 14: 1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.


When I graduated college I made some significant changes in my life. I gave up the silly escapades and the racy lifestyle to settle down to a GODLY life. This felt good and I wanted others to do the same. Unfortunately my approach was not the best.

When I read the Bible I saw how GOD wanted me to act. When I made the changes in my life I began to tell others. They wouldn’t listen. Not taking “no” for an answer, I would try a little harder. Soon the battle was on.

My zeal for telling people about how they were living wrong expanded into telling people about how they were worshipping wrong. After a while everyone was wrong and I was the only holy person living in the United States!
  • GOD accepts people at face value and wants me to do the same.
  • GOD has given people different levels of faith and want me to appreciate people for it.
  • GOD desires to show how HE can make the weak strong by HIS power, not mine.
When I judge someone for what they are doing or not doing GOD asks me one simple question… “Who created this person?” By judging a person on “disputable matters” I am calling GOD stupid or wrong.

There are so many denominations of people who claim to follow CHRIST. Each has its own nuance that is slightly different. Humans seek to “belong” to something so they boast about the biblical differences that make them “right” when in reality GOD wants us to praise the differences.

There is one undisputable truth… JESUS (GOD) died for me when I should have. This truth guides me to accept various forms of worship, singing and praise without judging if the person is pleasing GOD or not.

  • Do you see someone who has weak faith?
  • Why are you compelled to tell them they are wrong?
  • Is your faith so weak that you have to see people do things your way?
  • Did GOD honestly tell “you” HE is not pleased with their worship?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nobody will know, but if I’m “sneaky” enough then…

Romans: 11And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


Back in the day sexuality, while loose, was done behind closed doors. In other words we didn’t have the internet or other ways to connect with people. Today sex spills into the family rooms on TV and the internet as common place.

It’s actually too easy to find porn and garbage on the internet. Once I taught a class on how to use the internet on company computers to a group of administrative assistants. The company had strict policies on personal use and pornography. I mistyped a website name voila there was porn!

It was actually quite amusing and we laughed as I quickly tried to scramble to remove the site. That incident was amusing, but I have a kids who are inquisitive teens and I would like them to understand the true and fulfilling purpose of sexuality.

  • GOD made sex pleasurable.
  • GOD planned sex to occur between a married man and woman.
  • GOD knows the emotions that are connected with sex.
  • GOD designed a way to have a fulfilling sex life while remaining true to HIS words.

The words in this scripture are written with choice in mind. We can choose to “get loose” or be fulfilled in GOD. I chose to “get loose” in college and found a life that was not fulfilling. I thought I was having fun when in reality my life was crumbling and I didn’t know how to fix it.

GOD allows me to sin and knows the consequences of my actions. HE allows me to fall into holes and uses HIS grace and mercy to constantly pick me up. HE blesses me when I don’t deserve it.
  • GOD is pleased when I try to remain pure for HIM.
  • GOD is pleased when I dedicate sex to my spouse.
  • GOD is pleased when I remain sober.
  • GOD is pleased when I control myself.

Some of my old “friends” think I’m crazy but I choose to have “fun” in ways that are please to the LORD because I look forward to HIS pending return.

  • Are you trying to please the LORD but doing sex “your way?”
  • Do you think you can’t have “fun” without getting drunk?
  • Does your life have meaning and purpose or does it feel empty?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

SUCH LOVE by S.R. Elwood

Such wondrous Love bestowed to man
Such selfless love, Salvation's Plan
Oh what a gulf the bridge does span,
This bridge Golgotha's Tree.

Such pain He suffered on this tree
As there He hung for you and me
As there His Blood flowed Pure and Free,
On this bridge Golgotha's Tree.

Such anguish felt through time and space
As God The Father turned His Face
From His Son who hung there in Our place,
On this bridge Golgotha's Tree.

And still this cross does stand today
In those God calls their all to lay
Down at its foot where Christ did pay,
The Price for all their sin.

All who hear the Spirit's Voice
Within their souls must make this choice
Choose life, call now with lifted voice,
Ask Jesus in your heart.

Before this bridge from so long ago
Where still God's Holy Blood Does Flow
Wash your sins now white as snow,
Such Love, Such Wondrous Love.