android-share author cal connect-logo-adam email-circle email-square email facebook-circle facebook-square facebook googleplus-square googleplus hamburger logo-fbcba-tv logo-fbcba remove search share twitter-circle twitter-square twitter

Menu

Got a Lot of Growing to Do!

They always draw a crowd standing on tiptoe to see how it is done.  No matter what skill or craft is being demonstrated, the excellence of trained hands and eyes that can paint, sculpt, form glass or clay, weave, carve, or whatever that person may be able to do can readily hold the attention of […]

Read More

Please Be Gentle

People are totally different in how one person chooses to tell another person about serious matters or deaths as well as how people respond to very difficult and sad messages.  In delivering the news of a tragedy, some are very direct and blunt.  Others try to soften the blow by seeking to have some light […]

Read More

“Hey Buddy, Can You Help Me?”

No one likes to be swindled. Many a good-hearted person has heard a sorrowful story from one who is begging for help.  If the plea sounds credible, the compassionate hearer will provide money, food, something to drink, or some other gift to render aid.  However, suppose the benefactor makes their “set” delivery or “stop” in […]

Read More

Steadfast and Unmoveable

The news media reported this week that Joshua Harris, the author of KISS DATING GOOD-BYE and Marty Sampson, singer and song writer for Hillsong “walked away from the faith” this week.  Joshua had created a revolution years ago with his book on dating (or more accurately, in refraining from dating until you think you have […]

Read More

Ever Watching Over Us

Of all of the great epics of history and of the writings of literature, likely there is none greater than the account of God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt that is found in the Exodus. Though the event was over 3000 years ago, the scope, length, and faith lessons learned by Israel walking with […]

Read More

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

In the process of cleaning out files in preparation for my retirement, I am finding lots of old illustration files from years previous.  What is amazing is how many of those articles, news stories, and things that were “current issues” then are still relevant now.  One such “find” was a newsletter from James Dobson when […]

Read More

The Work Of Your Fingers (Psalm 8:3-8)

Recently, the world looked back to a warm summer evening in 1969 when Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon.  The feat of NASA to accomplish a challenge set by John F. Kennedy at the start of that decade was nothing short of miraculous.  Although the brightest and best minds […]

Read More

Summer Is Almost Over

Sometimes, we just need to smile at week’s end. I hope these “snapshots” will help you to do so…. The mother ran into the bedroom when she heard her seven-year-old son scream. She found his two-year-old sister pulling his hair. She gently released the little girl’s grip and said comfortingly to the boy, “There, there, […]

Read More

Laugh and the World Laughs With You

Laughter really is the best medicine.  Recently, I read an article about the health benefits of laughter.  Here are six things that were presented in that brief post: 1) Laughter relaxes you.  2) Builds your immune system.  3) Improves your mood. 4) Prevents heart disease.  5) Helps to broaden your perspective on life’s issues.  6)Helps to make […]

Read More

You Bother Me

No one has ever accused me of being quiet, subdued, withdrawn, or introverted. From my earliest days, I was ever gregarious and most of the time in trouble for talking too much. People who are reserved, quiet, and more refined have always fascinated me.  I watch them in crowds of people as they speak graciously, […]

Read More

I Am Looking For….

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1, 2). We need to live the life of the upward look. If we keep our eyes constantly on the things of earth, we live on a low plane […]

Read More

I Can’t Understand What I’m Seeing

Darkness creates problems for all of us when we are in an unfamiliar place trying to find our way without proper illumination to see. When a person lives in darkness physically or spiritually, learning to “see” if given the opportunity is not as simple as it sounds.  Sight works for us because our minds have […]

Read More

Why Are You Singing?

Every Christian should have a song in his heart. In Ephesians 5:19 the apostle Paul speaks of “singing and making melody” in our hearts to the Lord. This verse should encourage everyone who finds it difficult to carry a tune that’s suitable for listening ears. Whether with the lips or in the heart only, singing […]

Read More

Whatcha’ Need?

Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, defined a list of human needs that people now call the Hierarchy of Human Needs. He published this list in the 1940s, and it has become the utmost referenced list of human needs. This list benefits from nearly 75 years of psychology, neuroscience, and sociology research beyond what was known when […]

Read More

Work With All Your Heart (Col. 3:23)

The wealth of America is astounding.  Most of us cannot fathom the enormity of riches of a person who is listed as one of the wealthiest individuals in the world.  We read of the “rich and famous” who measure their wealth in hundreds of millions and/or billions of dollars.  Needless to say, we marvel at […]

Read More

One Experience That Changed Everything

As you can see, I have copied an illustration in its entirety because the event and subsequent responses seem so very strange. In our lifetime, we have seen this happen on occasion. Even having seen it, read about it, and doing my best to understand it, I can’t.  The closing line of the article about […]

Read More

Nothing But the Facts

News stories are “instantly” news due to the vastness of the internet.  There is no delay when some event of notoriety happens anywhere around the world.  Not only are we made aware of the event, we can see in real time what has happened and the aftermath that is newsworthy. One would think that with […]

Read More

Champions

Lots of champions will not get a trophy, blue ribbon, or gold medal.  In fact, their names will not make the news.  They will not be contacted by the President.   No newspaper will herald their tireless efforts.  There will not be any applause nor the sound of any kind of anthem. Yet these brave, persistent, […]

Read More

None So Blind As….

Answer: How much money is enough money? For John D. Rockefeller the answer was “just a little bit more.” At the peak of his wealth, Rockefeller had a net worth of about 1% of the entire US economy. He owned 90% of all the oil & gas industry of his time. Compared to today’s rich […]

Read More

I Don’t Need Your Help

Anybody who has been around an aggravated teen and offered to help them has heard them say, “I don’t need your help”.  That thinking is not limited to young people.  Self-confidence appears wherever “two or more are gathered together”. In a nation that thrives on self-achievement, we are all prone at some point to say […]

Read More

The High Calling of God

Professional sports are all about performance, contracts, and winning. For those of us in Oklahoma, we are witnessing the dismantling of the Thunder basketball team as player after player is being traded for “future” first round picks.  In some cases, it is that the athlete wants to be on a different team. Sometimes, the owner […]

Read More

Does Anybody Really Care?

How often do you have the feeling that what you do is not important?  How many times have you thought to yourself that if you failed to show up at work for several days, no one would really miss you or need the service you provide on your job?  When is the last time you […]

Read More

I Don’t Feel Like Working

When we focus on the founding of America, we hear of the lofty ideals of freedom of religion, speech, assembly, etc.  However, what we fail to remember is the intention of our Founders to put strict limitations on the power of government and maximum power in the hands of the people to have freedom to […]

Read More

His Name Is….

His name is found everywhere.  People speak His name in contempt and cursing.  And, they also say His name in reverence and awe.  It is not uncommon for His name to appear in vulgar slang as well as to be heard as the subject of a spiritual song. God.  The very word “God” evokes different […]

Read More

I’ve Been Adopted

For most people, their identity is set from birth.  Their biological mother and father are there when they enter the world, there to take them home, there to rear them, there for every major event, and the child knows who his family is before he can even say their names. However, there are thousands of […]

Read More

What Manner of Love is This?

News stories are far too often depressing.  In the various reports, the topics covered are about the most tragic, sorrowful, and destructive events.  Occasionally, at the end of the report, the broadcaster will say, “Now here is a heart-warming story…”  It is as if the news staff had to search for that “one needle in […]

Read More

A Word That Has a Negative Connotation

Many years ago, at a meeting of the American Psychological Association, Jack Lipton, who was at that time a psychologist at Union College, and R. Scott Builione, then a graduate student at Columbia University, presented their findings on how members of the various sections of 11 major symphony orchestra perceived each other. The percussionists were […]

Read More

Is That True?

How wrong can the experts be? Let’s look at history and see. Daryl F. Zanuck, who was head of 20th Century Fox, back in 1946 said, “TV won’t be able to hold on to any market after the first 6 months-people will soon tire at staring at a plywood box every night.” Marshall Foch of […]

Read More

Probably Not Valedictorian Material

Recently, I discovered an old file of mine on “criminals who did stupid things”. As you read these examples, perhaps you will also be amazed that they are “among us”!  These are not current examples, but they are timeless. 1.In Ypsilanti, Michigan, a man walked into a Burger King restaurant early one morning and pulled […]

Read More

What’s Wrong With That?

Opportunities abound as never before!  Good ideas can be patented, produced, and with good marketing, can make someone very rich.  Never in the history of the world have there been so many people cashing in on their dreams of providing a better service, product, tech/electronic gizmo, or food outlet.  Books are published in quantities that […]

Read More

No Worries

All of us have it.  For some that do not get it under control, it will kill them.  For others, the effects can create lots of issues emotionally, relationally, spiritually, financially, socially, and professionally.  It has been known to press otherwise good people to become alcoholics, drug addicts, sexually immoral, or become a medical emergency […]

Read More

Well, If You Ask Me…..

Last week, we acknowledged that our nation has been in existence for 243 years.  Among the nations of the world and cultures that have existed for many millennia, that makes us so young that we appear to be still in our childhood as nations go. In truth, too often we are acting more like a […]

Read More

“WHAT DID YOU GET ACCOMPLISHED TODAY?”

I am always looking for illustrations.  Between sermon preparation, blog writing, and ways to illustrate how to make ministry more effective, the daily search for good stories (current or those from history) fills the spaces between other expectations.  Like you, time seems too short each day just to get everything done.  Even if we come […]

Read More

“IN THE BEGINNING…”

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall), approved the Declaration of Independence. Its purpose was to set forth the principles upon which the Congress had acted two days earlier when it voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion to declare the freedom […]

Read More

“NO CHANGE!”

It is good news when things are going well, and the report is given, “No Change”.  That means that everything is still progressing, and the sender of that report is optimistic.  But when conditions are toxic and the prognosis is grim, the words “NO CHANGE” are not welcome news. The following excerpt is now 25 […]

Read More

“SOMEBODY SHOULD COME UP WITH SOMETHING”

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” William Pollard (1911–1989) championed the organization of the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS). He was its executive director until 1974. “Disruptors don’t have to discover something new; they just have to […]

Read More

“I BELIEVE!”

Over seven billion of us now live on planet Earth.  There has never been a time when so many of us shared the same home. Although, we all live at the same location in space, we are far from living the same kind of lives.  We differ in appearance, clothing, food, benefits, clean water, and […]

Read More

“RETHINKING THE PLAN”

My dad was a wise man.  He was a pastor for over 50 years and then served in leadership roles on mission fronts on Hawaii and Alaska.  He taught me many things… pragmatic, theological, family, and social skills that have helped me greatly in life.  When I was still very young in the ministry, I […]

Read More

Are You Due For a Checkup?

Americans are conscientious about maintenance and making sure that equipment, cars, and health are regularly checked. The old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is the axiom of vigilant people. We value those people who can extend the life of major pieces of equipment and the life of an […]

Read More

You’re Only Cheating Yourself

Surely everybody has heard that sentence at one time or another, “You’re only cheating yourself!”  It may have been spoken to a group of students that just did not do an assignment they were given with any degree of effort.  Perhaps it was a coach that was fussing at a team that did not have […]

Read More

What We Would Have Missed If….

So many creative people are continually at work inventing more and more great things.  Just when we thought life could not be more satisfying, some new product will hit the market that we just cannot live without.  The popularity of that “something” that makes life easier is immediately a hit.  Popularity of a food means […]

Read More

The Book of Great Riches

Not a fan!  When I was a young man, reading was not something I would ever consider doing as a choice.  I was not the best reader in the world.  I sometimes had to read assignments “one paragraph at a time” audibly, and then re-reading that same paragraph several times to grasp any semblance of […]

Read More

Faith That is Steadfast

Most everyone knows the name, Vincent Van Gogh. But how many know about Van Gogh’s abiding faith in Christ?  Both Van Gogh’s father and grandfather were pastors in the Dutch Reformed Church. Van Gogh aspired to follow the same calling. From his childhood, he suffered from depression and a kind of schizophrenia that manifest itself in […]

Read More

Only One

How many times “one” person, “one” deed, “one” gift, or “one something” made all the difference in the life of a person.  Sometimes, that “one” thing can change the course of a nation.  We will not know this side of eternity the full impact of “one’s” life that lived honoring the “ONE TRUE GOD”! Scripture […]

Read More

Never Too Old

I’d like to be a track star. How cool would it be to stand before a roaring crowd that has stood to its feet because I set a new record in high jump! And I could do it, you know—if the record for high jump stood at two feet. Unfortunately for me, the record is […]

Read More

A Tribute to the Unknown

I wish I knew their names.  It is great to hear their stories, but I feel frustrated that I have such limited knowledge of the fuller picture of their lives.  From what little I do know about them, I am very curious.  But the reality is that there is nowhere that I can discover new […]

Read More

Signs

More and more people ignore signs.  Most are not partial to a particular kind or location.  It is just that signs are so numerous, they become ineffective, unengaging, and therefore, ignored.  Highways are lined with billboard signs giving all kinds of advertising for eateries, gasoline stations, a city’s attractions, hotels, etc.  Road signs can warn […]

Read More

Blog Notice

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Notice

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Notice

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Notice

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Notice

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Update

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Update

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Notice

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Blog Status

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17. Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th

Read More

Blog Notice

I am on vacation. I will resume posting blogs the week of June 17.  Thank you for checking in….hope to see you back on the 17th.

Read More

Water, Water Everywhere

For Oklahoma residents, the storms of this spring have set a new level of flooding stats.  The torrential storms and constant rainfall in recent weeks has filled every available lake, pond, river, and has flooded entire towns to the point of total abandonment.  Once the water recedes, the massive effort of mud-out, repair, and new […]

Read More

How Do You Stay in Such Great Shape?

How many times a day do you see somewhere a fitness plan, diet plan, or weight loss plan?  The ads and testimonies are ubiquitous.  Each declares to be easy and highly effective.  The results shown of satisfied customers that were once “well rounded” and are now brave enough to be photo’d in a bikini if […]

Read More

How Long Does It Take?

The story is told of a young man many years ago attending a meeting where D.L. Moddy was preaching. The young man responded to the invitation to be saved.  He told the one that was assigned to talk to him that he wanted to become a Christian. ‘Well, my friend, what is the trouble?’ The […]

Read More

Simple Obedience

It is not ever easy.  It was not for your parents or for your parents’ parents.  It has not been for you nor will it be for your children.  Teaching children to obey parents is a full-time, daily “on-call”, sometimes joyful and often “not” quest.  Just when a parent can rejoice over a child obeying […]

Read More

ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY…..”

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed “Easy Eddie.” He was his lawyer for a good reason.  Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie’s skill at […]

Read More

“WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!”

Oklahoma is not unaccustomed to stormy weather in the springtime.  As surely as there is a rise in allergic reactions to all the “home grown” pollen in our state, there is also a rise in severe thunderstorms, hail, damaging winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This week has been a “nerve wracking, nail-biting, TV weather gazing, storm […]

Read More

“I’M DESPERATE”

Almost everybody loves to think about being on the beach.  Whether they live near an ocean or not, there is some lake or “natural swimming hole” that is ever on the minds of those wishing they could just “get away from it all” for a little while.  There is within us the pull of the […]

Read More

“I NEVER THOUGHT IT COULD HAPPEN TO ME”

Success is always dangerous, and we need to be alert and avoid becoming the victims of our own success. Will we influence the world for Christ, or will the world influence us? Billy Graham. When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say […]

Read More

“STAINED!”

When I was a young man, Southern preachers from that era and pastors of notoriety in the 20th century would sometimes wear white suits to the church where they were preaching.  In some churches, there was a white light in the ceiling that would shine down as it was pointed at the pulpit area. This […]

Read More

“ARE YOU IN THE GAME?”

Have you ever noticed the way that every stadium is put together, no matter what the sport, the stands are a whole lot bigger than the playing field? 22 guys and a few referees are all that’s allowed on the football field, but the stands have seats for thousands. That tells me something: there are […]

Read More

We Are His “Sheep”?

How very rare to find someone who truly does not like animals.  They are repulsed by their smell, their desire to lick the hand or face of the person in range and are ill-at-ease with the way that some animals long to jump on or toward the person they see.  Although there are some people […]

Read More

Are You Sure This Way is Safe?

Even though we are known to fuss about the stress of travel, we have no cause to do so when compared with other nations and previous modes that were common in history.  If Americans had to put all of their items that we pack for a short business trip into a back pack and walk […]

Read More

I Can’t Take This Any Longer

It is bitter and very painful to experience.  From the moment that a wrongdoing is made public and the guilty party is revealed, the shame that is felt by that person is sickening.  Depending on the heart condition and character of the person that committed the sin, shame can seem to be so strong that […]

Read More

Think Before You Act

The many instances of sexual misconduct, abuse, adultery, pedophilia, perversion, and homosexuality are rampant.  Our nation has lost our soul which has resulted in a lack of any physical restraint to sexual behavior that is forbidden by God and found repulsive by those who seek to obey God’s laws. The next time you are tempted […]

Read More

No Longer Useful

Curiosity, energy, tireless exploits, and dreaming of new adventures is the gift of all of us when we are young. Children imagine grandiose moments and put themselves in that moment in their imaginary quests with their playmates.  Teens dream of being the focus of accolades and applause for great achievements in sports, music, or theater. […]

Read More

It Is So Good to Hear Your Voice

There is nothing “fun or funny” about being lost,  Whether a person has been separated from their family at a public event, or a person is in a very scary part of town at night and has no idea what direction to take to get out, or a traveler discovers they are in an international […]

Read More

Choosing to Reject Lonliness

Jesus was often seen with those people who had nobody to care about them.  Lepers, tax collectors, the demon possessed, paralytics, and He even once engaged in a conversation with a woman in Samaria who had had five husbands. They did not all appear to be terribly lonely.  After all, the lepers were in colonies […]

Read More

So, You Would Say You Are a Christian

The number of those professing to be Christians decreases annually.  As it has always been, there are fewer true Christians than the surveys reveal.  Some profess to be Christ-followers, but there is no evidence in their life, witness, finances, influence, or moral choices.   Even those who do not profess to know Christ quickly discern the […]

Read More

What Team Are You On?

The “root” is used often in English.  It is not that the three letters “uni” are foreign to us.  Rather, it is that they are not easily created or preserved.  You know the words – unify, unity, unilateral, union, unique, unison.  All of those indicate a “oneness” that exists or is desired.  Although we profess […]

Read More

Is It Really That Important?

Years ago, George Burns “sang” (well spoke it more than doing any singing) a song that has this verse and chorus… Now time turns the pages And, oh, life goes so fast The years turn the black hair all grey I talked to some young folks Hey, they don’t understand The words this old man’s […]

Read More

Could We Agree On This One Thing?

Unity is not uniformity.  An army marches in complete “uniformity” in uniform, cadence, and stride.  Some would put that kind of expectation on the church of Jesus and the followers of Christ. But each person was created and placed in life with various gifts, capabilities, backgrounds, education levels, and experiences.  All those things do not […]

Read More

The Fervent Prayer of a Righteous Man

On my desk in my study, I have a book of prayers entitled, THE VALLEY OF VISION.  It is a compilation of prayers of various Puritans of the 17th and 18th centuries compiled and published in 1975 by Arthur Bennett who was, at that time, Canon of St. Alban Cathedral in England.  He only contributed […]

Read More

The Power of God Stirred a Nation

In March of 1858 a religious journal reported that the Awakening was wide-spread.  “The large cities and towns from Maine to California are sharing in this great and glorious work. There is hardly a village or town to be found where ‘a special divine power’ does not appear displayed.” In Chicago 2,000 men met at […]

Read More

One Godly Man Started an Awakening

Mr. Lanphier was born at Coxsackie, Greene county, N. Y., on September 3, 1809.  At the age of sixteen Mr. Lanphier went to Albany to learn the tailor’s trade. After serving his apprenticeship he travelled considerably, working in various places. Later, he returned to Albany, where he studied music under the supervision of George Andrews who afterward […]

Read More

The Beginnings of the Great Awakening – 1857

On this Thursday, the National Day of Prayer will occur.  The nation will be called upon to pray to God for forgiveness, intercession for leaders, and plead for a rewed consciousness of God.  Each day this week, I have copied and pasted excerpts about the Third Great Awakening in the 1850’s in America. I hope […]

Read More

I Think I’m Okay

On the corner of Park Row and Beekman Street, in New York City stood a man offering $20 gold pieces for $1 each. All day he kept up loudly announcing his wares, but of the thousands that passed him, most paid no attention and others either laughed or scowled at him. About 15 minutes before […]

Read More

Yearning to Be Free

On January 6, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress as to the state of the war in Europe. The speech was intended to rally the American people against the Axis threat and to shift favor in support of assisting British and Allied troops. Roosevelt’s words came at a time of extreme American isolationism; since World War I, many Americans sought […]

Read More

Love, Sweet Love

Most of the people who do not consider themselves Christians know that Jesus was a kind, compassionate man from their knowledge of His teaching and His deeds.  Because of the number of Biblical illustrations of the Master healing the sick, caring for the poor, reaching out to the outcasts, and showing kindness to all, even […]

Read More

And the Final Question Is….

Academic study was not my priority during my years in school.  It was not until seminary that I began to apply myself for two reasons:  1) I was studying things I really did want to learn, and, 2) the demands of the course curriculum demanded my dedicated attention.  Even at the seminary level, I was […]

Read More

Will This Take Very Long?

The old saying, “He who hesitates is lost” has never been truer than in this 21st century. In an age of rapid transit, instant communication, and “fast food” restaurants (where the word “fast” is not always accurate!), there is no patience for slow delivery, responses, “drivers”, or service.  We expect that those people that provide […]

Read More

Paid in Full

The reality of the crucifixion of Jesus is not debated. Even those who deny that He was the Son of God do not deny how Jesus died.  At 9 AM on crucifixion morning, Jesus was led from Pilate’s last decree to free Barabbas and turn Jesus over to the Jewish leaders be crucified. Jesus had […]

Read More

Passover

Passover was “the” holiday to celebrate and remember God’s goodness to Israel. It was on the night of Passover that the death angel passed over the houses of the Jews in Egypt and the Jews were saved from the sorrows of the death of the first born.  It was then that Pharaoh freed them from […]

Read More

The Guest That is Never Welcomed

Satan never takes a holiday, but he surely can create sorrow while others are seeking to enjoy theirs.  His intrusive and belligerent spirit delights in bringing sorrow, grief, and sadness wherever he possibly can.  That is never the nature of God. His desire that was made known in the life and teaching of Jesus was […]

Read More

Do We Have to Give to God and Pay Taxes?

Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Luke 19:47. Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for […]

Read More

The Lamb

This week, we celebrate the apex of all history.  The events 21 centuries ago divided history in two….  BC and AD.  The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus provided hope for all who believe in Him.  The gates to eternity with God in Heaven were thrown open wide.  Death had lost its effectiveness in threatening […]

Read More

Did You See That?

What a person sees and what they “believe” that they saw are not always the same.  Even the most vociferous eye-witness may proclaim with the greatest of enthusiasm some crime, accident, or incident and yet, facts are brought to light that can refute the person’s eyewitness account. The stress of the moment or the pre-conceived […]

Read More

The Most Remarkable Stain Remover

It is full time work.  No matter how hard I try, I just cannot keep the dirt, dust, and clutter from accumulating.  The locale does not matter.  Whether in my office, my car, my closet, or wherever I frequent, it seems that there is an unusual abundance of irritating “stuff” that can appear as dust, […]

Read More

The Lord Does Provide

The decision to move steadily away from the Bible, Judeo-Christian pillars of faith, and away from the morality that was inherently commanded in Scripture has left us confused, immoral, and fearful. To ignore the reality that God is Sovereign over the earth and universe that He created is not only the sign of man’s stupidity […]

Read More

Choices

The dean of a university was at a faculty meeting when a professor from the antiquities department handed him an old brass lamp they had just acquired. The dean rubbed a smudge from it, and as he did, a genie appeared. “I’m the genie from the lamp,” he said, “and I’m here on a special […]

Read More

It is Going to Rain…..Again!

Don’t you just love it?  Blue skies that stretch forever.  Clouds that are snow white and drift lazily across the sky.  Sunshine that warms the days so that winter coats are closeted, and summertime attire is prevalent once again. But even while folks are infected with that marvelous case of Spring Fever, there is always […]

Read More

“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”

Godly fathers are men of courage, character, and Christ.  These are men who take the vows of marriage seriously.  Their wife’s well being and their children are foremost in their thinking always in the things they do to protect and serve them. Every Godly man’s heart’s desire is to be like Christ and to love […]

Read More

Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts

How many people do you know who may not always be right, but are never in doubt?  It seems that some are so determined to hold to a certain viewpoint that they refuse to consider that their position is wrong.  Facts can expose false assumptions. Verifiable evidence can destroy emotional feelings that have no significance […]

Read More

The Spiritual Discipline of Solitude

Every Christian has a favorite Bible verse.  It is the one that is quoted without even thinking. And, if we are honest, we have some that are very hard for us to obey.  I won’t list all of those that are my nemeses, but I will confess to one that is extremely hard for me.  […]

Read More

Was It Always This Way?

 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matt. 24:10-13). The Spirit clearly says that in later […]

Read More

For Whom Do You Work?

Evidence to make America a socialist country is mounting.  Newly elected government officials, recent university graduates, and an increasing number of Millennials are embracing socialistic concepts.  The indoctrination of prestigious universities are afflicting the minds of students with an agenda that is “anti-American, anti-capitalism, anti-national borders, anti-religious faith”, etc. The starry-eyed neophyte proponents of this […]

Read More

“Say ‘Cheese’!”

Burdened. Heavy hearted. Anxious. Fretful. Fearful. Downcast. Pessimistic. Discouraged. Are you encouraged yet?  Words like those listed above are not anyone’s favorite.  However, many people live in the dark clouds of those characteristics.  If they hear something that is positive, uplifting, filled with promise, victorious, or exhilarating, the feeling is that “joy” is for someone […]

Read More

Have You Considered the Future

Aging is inevitable.  How we age and what we choose to do in our Senior Adult years is a choice for most of us.  If we choose to make wise choices in health matters, have interests that are timeless, invest daily in others, and keep actively engaged in life in mind, body, and spirit, then […]

Read More

The Truth…..Nothing But the Truth

Speech can be a great gift or a life-altering curse. The ability to speak is something we seek to teach babies so that they can talk to us freely.  In the process of getting an education, a student can be involved in debate clubs, speech and diction classes, or drama opportunities.  Each of those equips […]

Read More

Marked

Little boys wear their bruises and cuts with a sense of honor.  Each mark has a story and most will give the boy the opportunity to tell of an accident on his bicycle, a run-in with a fence, a fall that took the hide off of his knee while running for a touchdown, or a […]

Read More

I Have Skin in the Game

Women are very conscious of caring for their skin.  Men… not so much.  But even women who are ever seeking to protect and keep their skin’s appearance looking young rarely talk about the importance of our skin for life.  I was reading about creation and found several fascinating things about our skin.  Here is an […]

Read More

Dangerous and Deadly

Debating has become a national pastime.  With greater access through public media, either or both sides of an issue can have a large audience to hear and comment on opinions expressed. Thus, we have personal irritations, business frustrations, political aggravations, and a host of other situations “aired”.  It is amazing how many people post or […]

Read More

Love Your Enemies

One of the greatest risks we take in a day’s time is talking!  I don’t remember a time when speech was so scrutinized by others for the express purpose of finding fault. Freedom of Speech is being removed from the landscape of this country.  There are various reasons, none of which are good ones.  Some […]

Read More

Etched in Stone

The lives we lead dictate the impact we have in life and the memories others will have about us. It is sometimes humorous and sometimes fascinating what is told about a person’s habits (good and bad) once they are deceased.  Having visited cemeteries many times in my 48 years of pastoring, I have heard strange […]

Read More

An “MRI” For One’s Soul

I am deeply convicted when I read their books.  What they wrote is so probing and causes a deep examination of one’s heart and soul.  It does not take a long time in those books to bring me to a deep contrition of spirit and repentance before God.  Who is it that causes me such […]

Read More

What Happened to Sunday?

The church of our Lord Jesus is compromised.  The hearts of many have grown cold.  The impact on morality in the 21st century is rapidly waning.  Church attendance has been abandoned for every kind of activity from shopping, recreation, children’s sports, family outings, and just plain complacency.  And, to make a profit on Sunday’s, businesses […]

Read More

Stranger Than Fiction

In the course of reading and seeking stories for these blog posts, there are those accounts that are in print of strange and unusual things that I find. Here are four of those that are “strange but true”. Back in the early 1930s, C.D. “Bigboy” Blalock of Louisiana State University, a six-foot-six-inch giant of a […]

Read More

The Deception of Self Exultation

Obadiah 1:3 – “The pride of your heart has deceived you.” Too often, the foolishness of a poor decision by an arrogant person is not fully known until disaster has struck.  Consider the Titanic tragedy and the quote of Bruce Ismay in placing more value on the appearance of the Titanic than on the safety […]

Read More

How is Your Heart Health?

Warnings are everywhere that seek to keep us from neglecting good health habits to enjoy heart health physically.  Here is an article from Johns Hopkins with stats from the 21st century that show how wide spread heart disease is in the US. Each year, heart disease is at the top of the list of the […]

Read More

Look At All the Lonely People

A musical that broke many records was called, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  The music, story-line, and awe for the “Beauty” falling in love with one whose appearance was ghastly moved the hearts of those in the audience.  It stirred admiration for the heroine, sadness for the deformed character of pity, and conviction of how we […]

Read More

What is Your Source of Security?

We are living in the chaos of confusion. Everyone has opinions. Some have platforms from which to speak their views to large sectors of society.  Words are flying in conversations face-to-face, through the media, and on cell phones.  News outlets pour out verbiage 24 hours a day.  Talk shows abound on many outlets to make […]

Read More

Can You Keep a Secret?

The deluge of disclosures of “all things sordid” are becoming the daily news lead stories.  We are told that the reason for all of the focus on the sins of  “those people” is that it is what the public wants to hear and it raises the level of listeners.  But, it does seem somewhat strange […]

Read More

His Mercy Endures Forever

Sometimes in life, we wish we could yell out “Do-Over” and then do something in life a different way. *Like the family man who loves his wife and children, who is under tremendous stress at work, at a moment of weakness commits adultery with a co-worker and destroys his marriage and loses his children. He […]

Read More

What the World Needs Now

Prov. 1:7 –The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Ecc. 2:26 – To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. 1 Cor. 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. James 1:5 – If […]

Read More

They Are Not Expendible

All of us that grew up in an earlier generation are so grateful that we were allowed to do so.  We truly hurt for our children and grandchildren that will have to face a life, a country, and many global issues that are so violent, volatile, and focused on hurting children.  Our government continues to […]

Read More

Rejecting Rejection

Rejection.  Just reading the word causes us to feel some level of pain or discomfort.  Every single person knows what it feels like to be rejected.  In our childhood, we may have experienced rejection from certain people that we hoped would accept us into their friendship circle.  We may well remember being rejected at our […]

Read More

Life Change

Professor Drummond once described a man going into one of our meetings and saying he wanted to become a Christian. “Well, my friend, what is the trouble?” He didn’t want to tell us. He is greatly agitated. Finally, he says, “The fact is, I have overdrawn my account” — a polite way of saying he […]

Read More

More Powerful Than a Warrior

The pearls of wisdom recorded by Solomon in the book of Proverbs are timeless.  That is always the case when the Holy Spirit is the One Who inspired the writings of any Biblical writer. Proverbs is a unique book because after the first nine chapters of Solomon’s admonitions to his son, he continues to give […]

Read More

Graduation

This past Saturday, Jenine’s mother graduated to glory!  Nettie Kimbrough was a dedicated, loving, influential, and truly “grand” mother to her children and grandchildren!  Her life was dedicated to her home, church, and neighbors.  Thurman and Nettie married when they were young adults and spent most of their lives in the community of Red Rock, […]

Read More

Our Most Persistent Enemy

No one would argue that America’s morality is in a slide of cataclysmic proportions. One of the main reasons is that we have forgotten that the foundation of a nation is found in the ties to the spiritual devotion of the people to the God or gods they serve.  Where paganism reigns, we call those […]

Read More

Please, Send Someone to Save Me

No person believes that something tragic will happen to them.  After all, our days are set in normal routines that are very predictable. Our route to work is predictable.  Our office is never the location of violence or threats from anyone.  Our children are in good schools.  Our home is located on a street where […]

Read More

The Skills That Are Amazing

Most every person is skilled at doing something very well.  Now as some of you read that statement, you begin to protest “in your own mind” with self-deprecation.  Your feelings resist the compliment that you are skilled “with some clear and meaningful talents” because you are not a person who has awards, trophies, or certificates […]

Read More

Worth Your Salt?

In ancient Greece, salt was so valuable that the slave trade involved an exchange of salt for a slave and gave rise to the expression, “not worth his salt.” Some 4,700 years ago the Peng-Tzao-Kan-Mu was published in China. It is probably the earliest known treatise on pharmacology, with detailed discussions of the palliative and […]

Read More

What a Friend

Having arrived in my senior years, I marvel to hear others tell their life’s story.  Most of the time, after I have listened to the deep valleys, hurts, illnesses, and heart breaks others have endured, I realize how very easy my life has been.  For so many of God’s people, when they speak of experiencing […]

Read More

Safe

Sad to see folks pushing or pulling their possessions in a shopping cart.  We have all seen people that have lived on the street for a long time.  Their clothes are in layers, their hair is windblown and disheveled, and their “worldly goods” are stacked high on the carts that they push or pull.  No […]

Read More

My Sure Foundation

We surely do spend lots of time in preparation for things that we will be using for a long time.  For instance, the average age of a life span is about 70 years.  Did you ever consider that you spend the first 20 of those in school “preparing? Nothing of importance is done without great […]

Read More

Faithful

They went about … destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them (Heb.11:37-38). There are still some that live sacrificially for Christ.  Not many, but some.  Through the ages, those who lived as strangers and aliens here because they were so focused on the Kingdom of God and His work being done left […]

Read More

Why Do We Worship On Sunday

Sometimes, Christians are accused of consistently breaking one of the Ten Commandments regarding the day of worship.  The Sabbath day is from Friday night at sundown until Saturday night at sundown.  Since that is the case and the law states to “remember that day and keep it holy”, why did Christians begin to worship on […]

Read More

Grace and Peace to You

The LORD rarely does things the way that we think that He will.  “His ways are not our ways!” In every situation, He hears the prayers of His children.  He knows what we are facing before we ever call out to Him in prayer. His grace has already been provided to give us power to […]

Read More

People Need the Lord

Doesn’t it seem to you that health crises are more common than they used to be?  Today, when we hear of someone in the hospital, it is far too often because of cancer, stroke, heart disease, or some other life-threatening malady.  Conversations between friends following the discovery of a friend that has been stricken will […]

Read More

What a Time It Was!

It was a time when we needed something positive for our nation’s morale.  The news media just kept reporting stories of the war, riots, racial tensions, student unrest on college campuses, political corruption, concerns about threats to the security and freedoms of the US because of groups espousing socialism and great animosity toward the USA.  […]

Read More

I Wish I Hadn’t Said That

Our bodies were created by God to provide for every function of life. We most often use our appendages for good things.  However, in some cases, the hands that we use to grasp things have been clinched to form fists to let it be known we were ready to defend ourselves if necessary.  From time […]

Read More

Creatures of Habit

Behavior patterns are always fascinating.  Each of us has things we do habitually without thinking, or things we do consciously that have no purpose.  Why?  The reasons vary.  Sometimes the behavior are things we began doing when we were very young and just never stopped (biting our nails, beating a rhythm on a table top […]

Read More

When the Pain is Unrelenting

Tragedies come to every person some time.  No matter how hard we work to take care of our health, make our home and work place safe, teach our children how to avoid harm, and work to prevent anything that would cause injury to be removed as a hazard, accidents still occur that we could not […]

Read More

What Love Can Do

Sometimes, there are mountains that seem far too steep to ever be conquered.  You know what that is like…the finances that are needed but there is no possible way for you to raise that amount; the job that you want, but your qualifications are lacking; the trip you would love to take, but you can […]

Read More

Please Keep It Simple

Every field of work has its own vocabulary that is applicable to that discipline.  For an outsider, the words have no meaning, but to the individual trained in that discipline, the words are common, and the meanings leave no question as to what the term is expressing. Sadly, the terms used in Biblical circles are […]

Read More

If Only I Had….

No way to live.  No peace of mind in that condition.  That person that lives looking to the past and replays moments that would have changed everything “if” they had only been pursued and developed lives with great regret.  Everybody has those thoughts that take you back to significant decisions that moved you into the […]

Read More

Even So, Come Lord Jesus

Longevity of life has many rewards.  Most of those are discovered in seeing the rewards that friends and family reap as a result of walking with God, rearing children to love Him and serve Him, and the bonus of getting to see the light in the faces of the “new generation” of grandchildren.  The optimism […]

Read More

Tabernacle With Us, Lord

Some years ago, our church sent us on a Caribbean Cruise of one of our wedding anniversaries.  It was a marvelous experience and memorable in every way.  One of the ports the ship docked offered scuba diving to passengers that chose to do so.  I have never done that and had always wanted to.  I […]

Read More

Tell Me Your Name Again….

Names of people, products, and places are fascinating.  As we hear names throughout the day, some are familiar, and some are names that we never heard before. Some product names are specific to their function or purpose, while others are ethereal and seek to make the consumer believe that “if you use our product”, you […]

Read More

Is There No One Who Can Hear My Cries?

This past week, the state of New York voted into law the most far reaching law in the nation to make sure that mothers could kill their babies until birth. The celebration of those that want abortion to be fully available was loud and long.  The sorrow of those of us that are pro-life was […]

Read More

Contented

Announcements of new businesses, marriages, or churches is always exciting.  The launch of any venture is filled with optimism and enthusiasm.  A business owner believes that he/she has found a niche in the market that is going unmet and what they are offering will be welcomed by lots of people that have often wondered when […]

Read More

No Laughing Matter

Laughter is a great medicine.  We know that is true from Scripture (Prov. 17:22), and we also have experienced that reality in life. Any time we hear laughter around us, we just feel better. When that laughter breaks out in a conversation we are having, then it is sheer pleasure.  With all the benefits of […]

Read More

No Signs of It

If you are an evangelical, you likely remember a day when churches had two “revivals” each year… one in the spring and one in the fall.  Revivals were held to “revive the saints of God” so that sins would be earnestly confessed, reconciliations would take place in homes and churches, prayer would become fervent and […]

Read More

Guide to No Regrets

The Bible is an amazing book for many reasons.  It is God’s Word. It is God’s Word to give instruction to all who read it.  It is God’s Word that will be accomplished whether men heed it or not.  And, as God’s Word, it will stand forever, and God will do what He has promised […]

Read More

You’re Not Fooling Anyone

Not a fan of mimes. Watching someone go through various motions imitating some real-life activity while they say nothing never attracts my attention.  Furthermore, it holds no interest for me to see a painted face, exaggerated make-up to highlight facial expressions, and white-gloved hands flowing through the air as if they are moving through water. […]

Read More

I Really Don’t Understand

If God were man’s creation rather than the other way around, it would mean that mankind would have made Him in our image and given all of the things that God did a logical, explainable, and practical meaning.  But we did not create God. He created us and all things that exist.  The mysteries and […]

Read More

A Moment That Changes Everything

There is something in the mindset of people that longs for notoriety, fame, and the recognition of others.  On a small scale, it may be the braggart in one’s family that is stuck on telling everyone daily of what great things he/she is doing or has done.  We all love praise. All of us appreciate […]

Read More

Give Me Oil in My Lamp, I Pray

Oil revolutionized our lives.  From the first moments that “black gold” was found, it has made life easier in so many ways. Oil, gas, and the many derivatives that have been created are used for a myriad number of things we need and use daily. Before petroleum was discovered, various kinds of oil were part […]

Read More

I Know You Can See Through Me

It doesn’t take much for a “fault finder” who examines the deeds and speech of others to quickly produce “Exhibit A” of someone else’s failure. Many Christ-followers find it much more fulfilling to state the horrible behavior, vile habits of speech, and sinful life-style of “those people” than to come like the Publican in the […]

Read More

It Was No Big Deal

The simplest things can sometimes create major problems.  Because none of us are experts on all things, various professions help us to diagnose and fix things are malfunctioning.  How many times have we had to call a plumber for what he said “was a simple fix” but we did not know what was needed?  What […]

Read More

A Rose By Any Other Name…

Several years ago, a Boston court acquitted Michael Tindall of flying illegal drugs into the United States. Tindall’s attorneys argued that he was a victim of “action addict syndrome,” an emotional disorder that makes a person crave dangerous, thrilling situations. Tindall was not a drug dealer, merely a thrill seeker. An Oregon man who tried […]

Read More

What Did You Call Me?

Civility is in critical condition if not totally dead in our country.  Name calling, slander, character assassination, belittling, backbiting, and downright vulgarity spoken about others is common.  We hear it in politics, sports, school, and even from Christians about other Christians or people in leadership.  “Loving neighbor as we love ourselves” has been abandoned.  Children […]

Read More

Be Sure You’re Focused for 2019!

As we age, parts of our bodies do not always function as they did when we were young.  As a result, we get to know various physicians who want to prod, poke, X-ray, test, and get “up close and personal” in seeking to determine how we are really doing.  Annually (at least), we have appointments […]

Read More

In This New Year, I Am Going To….

“Please take out a clean sheet of paper.”  I still feel ill when I remember those words.  Pop quizzes always give angst to any student that is ill-prepared.  That was me!  I loved every part of school except the academic part!  So, as you can imagine … my major was “Socializing”. Once I entered the […]

Read More

These Are Worth Remembering

It is never difficult to hear or to find bad news.  But we all rejoice when we can celebrate good news.  When that good news relates to victories experienced in Christianity and religions freedom’s defense, then all Christ-followers can readily rejoice.  In 2018, there were many advances and several significant Supreme Court decisions that defended […]

Read More

But, That is So Hard to Do

As 2018 is winding down, we are encouraged to reflect upon the things that happened.  The intention of that exercise is to count your blessings.  However, there are many people who live with the vivid memory of being hurt, wronged, harmed, or in some way received a wound that they cannot seem to let go. […]

Read More

That’s Not Me!

Every family has that person or persons that have done things that cause families occasionally to be embarrassed when people see one’s last name and link that name with a “less than honorable” relative.  Depending on how heinous the crimes or violent the person sharing the same family name, people may shy away from family […]

Read More

Crazy or Courageous

John Allen Chau died on November 17, 2018 while attempting to spread Christianity to the protected island of North Sentinel in the India-administrated Andaman and Nicobar chain. Police have for now abandoned attempts to land on the island and either retrieve the 27-year-old’s body or investigate his murder, saying they do not want to disturb the fragile lifestyle of […]

Read More

“WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?”

What is Jesus’ birth all about? “The Son of God became fully human to identify with sinful humans, to live a sinless life, to sacrifice Himself in our place to atone for our sin, and to rise again to conquer death and give believing sinners the gift of eternal life. Jesus volunteered for this mission […]

Read More

“MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB”

You have almost made it.  This is the Eve of the day when everything is fulfilled that you have been planning for weeks and preparing to celebrate since you put up the decorations last year.  Christmas night will be the first time you have slept comfortably all night since November.  All of the details of […]

Read More

“MORE BLESSED TO GIVE…”

Opportunities abound for providing assistance to the poor, physically or mentally challenged, and those who are in difficult situations in their lives.  Historically, America has been one of the most generous nations to care for their own indigent as well as sending billions and billions of dollars and an army of volunteers and professionals around […]

Read More

“I CAN’T GET THAT OUT OF MY BRAIN”

We are very vulnerable to all kinds of things that can adversely affect us or the things we use daily.  Viruses have afflicted humans since the beginning of time.  Once computers were so much a part of our existence, viruses were created that could do enormous damage to massive interconnected electronic devices containing billions of […]

Read More

“MERRY CHRISTMAS????”

Don’t you just love Christmas?  What a marvelous time when we enjoy parties with friends, time with our family, special musical presentations,glorious decorations everywhere, enough food consumed to feed an army for months, shopping for gifts while the sales prices are in effect, and blowing up the internet ordering gifts from “on-line” retailers to avoid […]

Read More

Do You Really Love Me?

Relationships that have meaning are not as easy to develop as they once were.  We are more superficial, “arm’s-length cautious,and not as trusting as we once were. There is also the entry of a new generation that are now adults.   For a generation that was told from their earliest childhood how special, how loved, how […]

Read More

I Was Born Under a Wandering Star

Do you have highly creative friends that are capable of imaginative perceptions?  The folks that God gifted to see what the average person does not see in a landscape?  Or,what about the person that develops a tool that is perfect for a job’s function? Or, the writer, composer, or inventor?  What a great contribution they […]

Read More

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

Marketing motivates us to do things we might not otherwise do.  Seeing a product that is presented in a way that makes it desirable can move us to want to buy it.  That is true in every product from food to medications. Packaging and content even plays a role in a customer being persuaded that […]

Read More

One Moment in Time

In his autobiography, Just as I Am, Billy Graham tells about a conversation he had with John F. Kennedy shortly after his election: On the way back to the Kennedy house, the president-elect stopped the car and turned to me.   “Do you believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?’ he asked. “I most certainly do.” […]

Read More

Selfless Acts of Valor

Just the words make us sit up straighter and feel a sense of awe.  You know those words that grip your immediate attention, can put a lump in your throat, and even a tear in the corner of your eye.  What words?  Words like… Courage. Selflessness. Sacrifice. Undaunted. Fearless. Fierce. Strong. Unrelenting. Scarred. Gave his […]

Read More

The Insight of an Immigrant

Everyone knows the feeling of being a stranger.  Anytime we go to a gathering in a school, concert, or political event, we are with people we do not know and vice versa.  We feel that “loneliness” on our first day in “middle school, high school, or college”.  That apprehension is common when we appear the […]

Read More

The Ideal Workplace

Year’s end can be a time of great stress at one’s work place. Various factors can affect the workers.  In retail, the long hours of the Christmas shoppers can make fatigue loom like a storm cloud over sales clerks.  Accounting folks must make sure that all the books are balanced.    And, there are many more […]

Read More

Remember Pearl Harbor

The day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to the nation.  His speech was met with tremendous support.  His summation on Dec.8 of what had happened the day before has been quoted countless times since that fateful day.  He said, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live […]

Read More

What Can I Say?

The time comes when it is hard to have something to say that fits the occasion or the person that is listening for a kind word.  No matter how much a person likes to talk, there are those moments when words are not readily available. What do you say when a tragedy has just taken […]

Read More

For Better or Worse

Marriages are always a work in progress.  Perhaps it is because through the various stages of life, each person changes, the various demands on the partners change, and people change mentally, physically, and emotionally.  It is good to remember that God made marriage for a reason. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed […]

Read More

What Can One Person Do?

On this planet of almost 7 billion people, it is easy to feel that we are just not that significant.  Truth is that because there are more of us, there really is a decrease in true relationship building and meaningful personal interaction.  Without the security and framework of daily contacts with people that know us […]

Read More

Reality Check

Like any “younger generation” before them, this group has often been lumped together and what has been true for a few has been branded on all. No group of people is ever “all” that someone may say about them either good or bad.  Sadly, we measure an entire segment of people based on a few […]

Read More

So Much More Than Just a Teacher

Jesus truly was the most amazing person that ever lived.  His impact has influenced more people in more cultures across the centuries than any other person.  Christians understand that is because He is “God made flesh” who not only taught God’s truth to us but embodied it in perfection.  Others simply regard Jesus as being […]

Read More

Please, Please…..Tell Me Again!

We now live in the age of belligerent criticism.  There are no filters, no lack of pejorative charges, no boundaries to the names used to describe one’s adversary, and no limit to the depths to which folks will stoop to find a way to belittle another person.  Our tongues are swift to speak evil and […]

Read More

Man of Steel

Strength is admired when it is controlled and used to provide good things for people, business, transportation, and daily functions.  When we reach for a hammer, we expect the head to be hard and durable.  Whenever we board anything designed to transport us, we are confident that the frame and body of that vehicle has […]

Read More

Giving Is the Sign of Gratitude

Anne Keegan’s article “Blue Christmas” was a collection of Christmas stories told by Chicago police officers. One was the story of George White. George lived in a rented room at the YMCA. He had one set of clothes, shoes wrapped with rubber bands to keep the soles from flopping, and a threadbare black overcoat. He […]

Read More

That Was Totally Unexpected!

In his book, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, John Ortberg tells of a young man named John Gilbert. At age five, John was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic, progressive, debilitating disease. At age 25, the disease finally claimed John’s life. Every year John lost something. One year, he lost the […]

Read More

“LIGHT MOMENTS ON THANKSGIVING”

How do you know if you ate too much food on Thanksgiving? The doctor tells you your weight would be perfect for a man 17 feet tall. You are responsible for a slight but measurable shift in the earth’s axis. Paramedics bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the LAZY-Boy. You […]

Read More

“A POWERFUL THANKSGIVING PROMPT”

President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation from October 3, 1789. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me […]

Read More

“THANKING GOD “IN” DIFFICULTY”

Giving thanks is an indication that a person’s heart is full because of an awareness of God’s power and presence filling their lives.  Indeed, some of the most likable, congenial, and genuine people are some that have had sorrows beyond imagination.  Yet, in the midst of those heartaches, they found a way to give their […]

Read More

“WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE EATING…”

I never think about what I eat killing me!  Okay, I know some of you just said, “You really should think about it with your girth!”  Thank you for your quick wit!  What I meant is that I don’t think about it killing me instantly!  I have sinus allergies but no food allergies.  I hurt […]

Read More

“TAKE TIME TO THANK”

It is impossible to thank everybody that makes our lives easier.  Where would we even begin or where would we ever end?  So many contributions to our well-being are done by people that we don’t even realize they “did what they did”.  In the complexity of our modern era, scores of people are doing a […]

Read More

Be Careful What You Say

As hard as it is to remember, there was a time when  people did not feel the need to tell every thought, every deed, and every criticism that they felt daily.  People had less free time and spent more time doing the things that were required just to live. Then, social media came to be.  […]

Read More

Are You Ready?

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The 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. 13 Let us behave decently, as […]

Read More

Let Us Run the Race

It’s a grueling 543.7-mile endurance race from Sydney to Melbourne, Australia – the world’s longest and toughest ultra-marathon.  In 1983, 150 world-class runners converged on Sydney for the event. On the day of the race, a toothless 61-year old potato farmer and sheepherder named Cliff Young approached the registration table wearing overalls and galoshes over […]

Read More

Blue Monday is Still Here

In reading illustrations recently about discouragement and depression, I came across this one.  I have not seen the show, “FRIENDS”, but the theme song is what is described in this example.  The lyrics read in part: So, no one told you life was gonna be this way                      Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love […]

Read More

Veteran’s Day Remembrance

TAKE A KNEE….  A TRIBUTE TO VETERAN’S Take a little trip to Valley Forge in January. If you don’t know where that is, just Google it from the sidelines. Hold a musket ball in your fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There won’t be a doctor or trainer […]

Read More

“ON THE EVE OF VETERANS’ DAY”

Our nation is not united about much presently, but one thing that most Americans respect, and honor are our veterans.  Because they put their lives on the line when they agree to serve in our military, we realize the sacrifice of leaving spouse, children, friends, and jobs behind to sometimes face enemies seeking to destroy […]

Read More

Things Could Be Worse…….Not!

Difficult days always come.  We don’t like them, but we know that they are part of life.  When we despair is when those days become weeks or months, and nothing changes.   Good days are not expected any more.  Spirits are despondent.  Joy is a distant memory.  Failure seems guaranteed. The record for the shortest major […]

Read More

I Need My Space

I read an article some time ago about how the continual frustration that exists from living in large cities may be partly to blame for the increase in violence we are witnessing.   The overcrowding prevents folks living in those densely populated metro areas from having “free” space away from the noise, activity, and constant sight […]

Read More

Open Mouth – Insert Foot

Do you remember the old saying, “The only time I open my mouth is to change feet?”  Sometimes I stick my foot in my mouth so often that all I taste for days is shoe polish! I don’t set out in the morning to see how many times I can say something that is meaningless, […]

Read More

Do Something!

What did America do before warning lights, buzzers, and “beeps”?  There are so many of the things that we use that come with various ways to let us know something is not working properly, or operated in a way that could be harmful, or is being entered without correct identification. Our cars “ding” to let […]

Read More

Guess What is Being Said About You?

Political races are not for the thin-skinned.  From what I see and hear on most political campaign ads on television, no political candidate should be “free to run” for any office.  Each one running for a public office reports that his opponent is a criminal who cannot be trusted, and his reputation is highly tarnished. […]

Read More

Consistent

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”  ― Stephen Covey. We are always being watched.  I don’t mean by security cameras, policemen, or people trained to watch crowds.  Rather, we are watched by our children, work associates, and friends […]

Read More

“THEY MAKE ME SO MAD!”

“A housed divided cannot stand”. (Matt.12:25). The animosity is deep.  Daily, the hatred between groups with different views continues to grow more vitriolic.  Consider the vast numbers of things that divide us…ethnicity, religious beliefs, political persuasions, and even our favorite sports team choices.  Division ever grows more intense because constantly we are confronted by something […]

Read More

“BEHIND THE VEIL”

It’s always risky.  Seeing a photo of something for sale on social media and wondering if it really is in as good of shape as it appears to be.  The potential buyer only has a small picture of the object they are looking to purchase.  In a time when dishonesty is common, buyer beware! No […]

Read More

So, When You Were Young

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2018 – “SO, WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG…” “Here I come. Ready or not!”  That was the phrase we shouted as children playing “Hide and Seek”.  It could also be used to describe the swift moving of life’s journey from youth to senior years.  In our teens, we can’t even fathom (from our […]

Read More

I Will Give You the Crown of Life

International cities that are not frequently in the news don’t really register with us.  The name of a city in some place in the world does not really register and is truly foreign to us.  As we listen, we hear the name of the country where an event happened, but if asked later the name […]

Read More

Standing Up For Jesus

Kelvin Cochran is a Godly man who served the Lord, his city of Atlanta, Georgia, and the profession that was his life’s mission.  Fire Chief Cochran was always one of those individuals that rose to leadership wherever he served.  His determination to honor God was foremost in his focus.  Because of that, in everything that […]

Read More

I Assume That You Are…..?

“Assess before you Assume” ― Lyle Kwiatkowski Proverbs 3:7 – Don’t assume that you know it all….. Seems there was a talented young man in the Midwest. There were terrible fires in Yellowstone National Park burning thousands of acres. This young man was gifted with the camera and could capture the heart of crisis on film. […]

Read More

Not the Man I Used to Be

The “Sixties” changed our nation.  A movement away from anything that was an “establishment” was revered.  No longer were students willing to conform to the mores of their parents or of cultural expectations.  Music, drugs, “escape from reality”, “hippies”, and abandonment of sexual prohibitions all changed America.  The streets were filled with violent protests against […]

Read More

Not “In” Today…..Leave a Message

Today, Fall Break comes to a close here in Oklahoma.  This year, the schools are making the break a long weekend for the children.  I think this format was a hit for families.  The schools closed from Wednesday through Monday to allow parents to take off a couple of days and have a 4-5-day weekend […]

Read More

“DON’T LIVE THERE ANYMORE”

Many people live with deep hurts that have changed them from their younger selves. Maybe you or someone you know went through a very traumatic experience that shook them to their core.  Once that happened, it seemed that they never fully returned to the person that they had once been. Everybody has unexpected events during […]

Read More

One Problem That is Still Rampant

We know the fight to provide clean air, water, and work environments so that we are not subjected to harmful chemicals or toxins.  Food producers are required to list what is in that can or box in the grocery store.  The goal is to reveal what may be ingested that is put in the product […]

Read More

Personal Responsibility 101

Robbing a child of the pain of disappointments, failures, and pain is cruel.  When they are old enough to begin to venture into the world of reality as a teen and young adult, they can be shocked when no one is there to “fix it”, “confront the mean boss man”, or do the job so […]

Read More

Is There Any Hope?

I have been a pastor for almost 50 years (48 and counting!).  During that time as you would expect, I have been present for many kinds of events and needs.  Some were mountaintop experiences that were “one of a kind”.  Others were great experiences that were shared with church members on great occasions. On the […]

Read More

Please Hold Me

The appeal of a small child and the look from a troubled countenance can move a grown man to respond in tenderness.  Although we see many horrific acts daily on the news, most people have a soft spot in their hearts for a wounded animal, a hurting child, or an accident victim that is in […]

Read More

Looking For Praise

Humans are a strange lot.  Of all of God’s creation, we are the most gifted in our abilities to create, build, and explore vast horizons.  We love the challenge of that which is difficult.  The more something appears to be impossible, the more some will try their best (sometimes, even paying with their lives) to […]

Read More

Lord, Send the Old Time Power

Dwight L. Moody was one of the most powerful preachers that God ever created.  Here is Moody telling about the filling of the Holy Spirit in his life that transformed his life. “I remember two holy women who used to come to my meetings. It was delightful to see them in the congregation. When I […]

Read More

What the World Needs Now

Parenting is not for sissies.  The moment a child is brought into this world, the needs of that small person are basic, but the frequency that the “needs” must be met demand one’s constant attention.  Even though young moms and dads know that concept mentally, it is a very different experience to live with it […]

Read More

Indivisible

Our house is divided.  We are not a “United” States.  The tone of our nation’s conversations, debates, and demonstrations is ugly, divisive, accusative, demoralizing, destructive, and growing deeper.  The trends in the various sectors of our nation’s interests are to first choose sides by defining who is “us” and “them”.  Then, go after the other […]

Read More

From the Mouth of Babes

Children grow up to be like us.  We teach them lots of things that are helpful, but they also pick up traits about us that are not beneficial.  If our actions and attitudes are bad, their minds which are like sponges retain those words and actions to use later.  If the things done by parents, […]

Read More

Wonder Working Power

Has God changed?  Is He still in the miracle working business?  Has His might lost its impact or His will no longer in effect?  If you have to ponder the answer to those questions, you are in dire need of a fresh encounter with the Sovereign God of the ages.  Just a quick refresher on […]

Read More

Ever Considered the Possibilities?

The study of history is both inspiring and tragic.  The inspiration comes when we read of great achievements and the sorrow is felt as we discover many acts of cruelty, war, and man’s acts of total disregard for human life.   Parents want to protect their children from the dark side and pray for their well-being […]

Read More

Look At All This Stuff!

Americans truly are a unique breed. Though we come from many “tribes, tongues, and peoples”, it does not take long for a new citizen to adapt to our ways of life.  They may continue the national customs in diet, child rearing, family structure, but most come to love the ability to buy “stuff”.  Like the […]

Read More

Choose You This Day

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”  He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having […]

Read More

Who is Out There?

Our mind can be our best help or our worst enemy.  The brain’s capacity to aid us with every duty, each necessary process, and the many marvelous memories that it stores makes it a powerful tool for life.  None of us ever wants to think that we will have dementia or Alzheimer’s to the point […]

Read More

“SO HOW IS YOUR MARRIAGE?”

When a couple asked a pastor if he would perform their marriage ceremony, he proceeded to tell them that he likes to give several sessions of premarital counseling before performing weddings. To which they replied, “We don’t need counseling. We’ve both been married several times before.” ——————————————————————————————————————– A husband read an article to his wife […]

Read More

Living in Anticipation

I am not sure when the first prophet gave the first prophecy of the future.  Certainly, one of the first had to be Noah who preached to warn those around him that God’s judgment was coming.  They scoffed at the old man who preached about a flood and was constructing a huge boat in anticipation.  […]

Read More

Play Me a Little Tune, Please

Music can excite, soothe, energize, thrill, compel, and overwhelm the hearer.  The sounds created by voices, instruments, rhythm sections, and those electronically generated tones have captivated this era.  Now that we have so many wonderful advancements in electronic devices that can cause the listening experience to be so clear and enjoyable, the music industry is […]

Read More

What is Going On?

One of my favorite preachers is Tony Evans.  His style and clarity have opened wide doors for him to speak God’s truth to this generation.  And, every time he preaches, God uses his sermons to inspire, convict, and encourage the saints of God.  Recently, I found a sermon of his entitled, THE PROMOTION OF DETOURS.  […]

Read More

No Matter What It Takes

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”  Proverbs 22:1. It only takes one significant sinful or reckless act for one’s name to be blemished.  Depending on the notoriety and fame of the person, that moment in time may be remembered long after they are dead and gone.  Let me give a […]

Read More

Marvelous Musings From Mom

Can we even fathom what the world would be like if moms were suddenly removed?  I know your first response is that the world would have no creature to bear young, so the population would soon be extinct.  That is certainly true. However, I was thinking more along the lines of the roles that moms […]

Read More

I Don’t Want to Do That Now

“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind–jump in.” Charles R. Swindoll You may delay, but time will not, […]

Read More

All Men Are Created Equal

William Wilberforce was born into wealth and privilege in England in 1759.  He became absorbed with the issue of slavery. Later he wrote, “So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would: I from this time […]

Read More

The Worth of a Soul

Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world and lost your soul. Was it worth it?     Billy Graham We see it so often.  And, because we do, we become somewhat numb to the reality.  Our eyes capture the scenes, but our hearts have become inoculated to the images. You could rattle off a myriad number […]

Read More

What a Great Fix!

Are you not amused when you read of some innovative approach to meeting a need in a most creative way?  The insight that some people have in a moment of facing a challenge is both inspirational and convicting.  Solutions are not so hard to present themselves if we are open to considering different approaches. Recently, […]

Read More

The Transforming Power of Jesus

The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation. Charles Spurgeon. And now let me address all of you, high and low, rich and poor, one with another, to accept of mercy and grace while it is offered to you; Now is the accepted time, now […]

Read More

Easily Remedied

Mistakes are always costly.  No matter what caused the error, the remedy can cost time, money, reputation, or loss of life.  The tragedies of history that were most costly are known long after the event occurred.  Consider these…. Titanic – $7.5 million in 1912 in construction costs and 1517 lives. In today’s economy, the adjusted […]

Read More

My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Peter is a favorite disciple among Christians.  Perhaps it is because we can so readily identify with him.  He was impetuous.  On one occasion, he was so clear in his confession that “Jesus is the Christ” that the Lord commended him with, “Blessed are you”.  And, when Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that He must […]

Read More

Irreplaceable Loss

This past week, the National Museum of Brazil burned.  The destruction was catastrophic.  The measure of all that was lost in the fire has not yet been fully determined.  “The losses are ‘incalculable to Brazil,’” said Michel Temer, the country’s president, on Twitter. ‘Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge have been lost.” How very tragic […]

Read More

“RUN THE RACE…LOOKING UNTO JESUS”

Athletes as well as dedicated individuals that consistently exercise to stay in top physical condition are respected by everyone.  Those that share their passion for physical fitness know the discipline required to maintain a work-out routine constantly.  And those of us not so inclined know that we should be more committed in the quest to […]

Read More

It Is No Secret What God Can Do

A young man cowered in the corner of a dirty, roach-infested death row cell in a South Carolina prison. His body curled in a fetal position, he seemed oblivious to the filth and stench around him. His name was Rusty, and he was sentenced to die for the murder of a Myrtle Beach woman in […]

Read More

Except You Repent

“The American gospel has evolved into a gospel of addition without subtraction. It is the belief that we can add Christ to our lives but not subtract sin. It is a change in belief without a change in behavior… Every new generation of believers must be discipled. Once shown how to add Christ to their […]

Read More

Are You Sure This is the Right Way?

I found out early in my life that I loved flying.  My uncle had a Cessna single engine plane and he took me up on rare occasions when I would visit family in Knoxville, TN.  Although I was very young on those first adventures of sailing into the wild blue yonder, I learned that flying […]

Read More

“NOT VERY SMART”

Proverbs 15:21 – Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom.  Proverbs 28:26 – Those who trust in themselves are fools. Isaiah 32:6 – For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness.  Do you find that some news stories are almost laughable?  And, still others would be […]

Read More

“A TALE OF TWO COACHES”

Football season is upon us! This sport is my favorite and college teams play with the level of emotion and intensity that is most enjoyable for my tastes.  However, any football game has a draw for me because I realize how hard those players have worked to earn a spot on a major college team […]

Read More

Please Teach Me to Pray

George Muller is a name that is well known among Christians. He lived in the 19th century in England, but his life’s story has been told around the world. For those believers that know about mighty men of spiritual valor and dedication, Muller’s name is always associated as having tremendous power in his praying. He […]

Read More

I Want to Be Like You, Dad

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14). You realized it.  We all do. Not at the same time, but we all do.  There is that moment when we realize the brevity of life and we question, “What is our purpose in life?”  Why […]

Read More

I Can’t Find Him

Life puts famous people in the spotlight constantly.  Wherever they show up, there is a hoard of press people, paparazzi, and common folks encircling them to see and hear what they have to say.  When that occurs, there may be so many people in the periphery that a person standing away from the group can […]

Read More

How Much Does That Cost?

You have heard it said, “This generation knows the price of everything, and the true worth of nothing”. That is not always true, but it does convey a great deal of veracity about this time in our history.  Our culture is selling out our character for our cravings.  Children and students have no mooring because […]

Read More

He Still Speaks Even Though Dead

In our youth, we dream grandiose dreams.  We believed that we would marry the “prince or princess of our dreams” (depending on which gender we are—and we knew which gender we were in those days!), have perfect children, an outstanding job paying all the money we needed to live and still have some left over, […]

Read More

If Only I Could Learn These Things…..

Don’t open your mouth when: In the heat of anger – Proverbs 14:17  When you don’t have all the facts — Proverbs 18:13  When you haven’t verified the story – Deuteronomy 17:6  If your words will offend a weaker person – 1 Corinthians 8:11  When it is time to listen – Proverbs 13:1  When you […]

Read More

Failure to Deal With What is Unseen

Negligence is the cause of many tragedies. Postponing action on giving attention to a known problem is never positive.  By failing to address a genuine need that has potentially harmful dangers puts other people at risk.  And depending on how severe the situation, that negligence may be putting himself in harm’s way. The kinds of […]

Read More

Wind Beneath My Wings

Heaven is eternal.  Obviously, that is true since God is eternal, and Heaven is His dwelling place.  But, considering one of the reasons that we need eternity is it will take a long, long time to recognize all of the folks that were so vital in the accomplishment of life’s dreams, but were never recognized […]

Read More

Love is a Many Splendored Thing??

Inconsiderate. Unconcerned. Preoccupied. Detached. Oblivious. Uninvolved. Unloving. What could that string of words possibly be used to describe?  A boss that has no time or use for the burdens of the employees?  A principle that does not engage with the teachers?  A loner that has no use for people?  What would you say? What if […]

Read More

Where Eagles Dare

Heroes are made and revered because they see a tremendous challenge and overcome any obstacle to seek to conquer.  We admire them and their courage.  We desire to emulate them. George Mallory was the famed mountain climber who may have been the first person ever to reach the top of Mount Everest. In the early […]

Read More

What We Could Learn From Mice!

A research psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health was convinced he could prove his theory from a cage full of mice. His name? Dr. John Calhoun. His theory? Overcrowded conditions take a terrible toll on humanity. Dr. Calhoun built a nine-foot square cage for selected mice. He observed them closely as their population […]

Read More

Failure to Plan Can Be Tragic

Boy Scouts made famous the motto, “Be Prepared”.  Planting that concept in the minds of young men in their formative years helped many boys to become responsible men because they put into practice what they had repeated often as scouts.  It is not difficult to find what various folks have had to say about “being […]

Read More

Worthy of Honor

Preconceived notions abound.  From old wives’ tales to ancient superstitions, false information is held to be true because it has been passed down through generations.  When questioned about a statement’s veracity and where a person “heard that”, the response is, “I have always been told that is true.”  So, repetition forms strong convictions even if […]

Read More

Take No Thought of Tomorrow

Experts seem compelled to forecast what the future will bring: economists read their econometric entrails and predict hard times or happy days accordingly; psychics announce that this is the year the San Andreas fault will pitch California into the sea. Well, before you believe any predictions, consider these vintage prognostications: Octave Chanute, aviation pioneer, in […]

Read More

Wow…..99.9% Effeciency

Likely, you have had those times that you feel so excited that your company, your sales team, or your efficiency in your profession was graded at 95% or higher range.  That is certainly commendable.  But in our country, if major, daily events had a 99.9% efficiency, we would experience significant problems (and we do!).  Some […]

Read More

There Goes Another Alarm

Twenty-first century America is filled with warnings, alarms, and detectors.  They were created to protect us, but because of the proliferation of so many bells, horns, beeps, and shrill sounds of warning, most of us never even turn in the direction of the sound’s origin.  We have grown so accustomed to car alarms so that […]

Read More

The Foolishness of Preaching

Worship services and Sunday Schools in churches must be divinely blessed for them to even exist in the 21st century.  In this generation, we are not lacking in various varieties of churches.  Consider any Sunday in America at the number of styles of churches that are meeting to worship. Depending on the size of the […]

Read More

Effectual, Fervent Prayer

Perhaps no word is spoken more often, requested more frequently, or more superficially applied than the word “prayer”.  A request will appear on Facebook and immediately responses will pop up that say, “Praying”.  A person requests prayer of a friend and the statement is made, “I will pray for you.”  When we hear of a […]

Read More

Love in Action

Jesus’ life was filled with accounts of His love being demonstrated to all He met. The account of the compassionate Good Samaritan in the teachings of our Lord Jesus is one of the most frequently told stories in the New Testament. Children learn the story in their earliest visits to Sunday School.  Teens hear the […]

Read More

A Very Bitter Cup

To be an achiever takes focus.  To win in life will mean “playing injured” some of the time.  To see the goals that you set for yourself accomplished, your heart will be broken many times, your reputation questioned, and your abilities impugned.  Perhaps the most painful experiences that anyone will face is the betrayal of […]

Read More

Till Death Do Us Part

A good marriage is a gift from God.  When the right man marries the woman he loves and vice versa, the path through life will still have pitfalls, pain, and problems.  But when those difficulties are shared by “two who are as one”, then the result is like the forging of steel through the fires […]

Read More

Success is a Four-Letter Word……….Work!

David Thomas (1932-2002) was the founder of Wendy’s, one of the world’s largest restaurant chains of over 5,000 restaurants located throughout the U.S. and in 34 countries.  He was known for his humble service within the multi-billion dollar empire he founded.  When asked what made him so successful, he replied, “My MBA”.  But he didn’t […]

Read More

Wasted

The most precious item you have in your hands is “today”.  It has never been before.  It will never come again.  It is one of a kind.  You will not be this age, enjoy the good things of this day, be with people you love in exactly the same circumstances as you will be doing […]

Read More

Can You See a Way Out?

Panic can grip the heart of any person that realizes he or she is trapped and cannot find a way to get out of a bad situation. Crowds that cut us off from clear exits and leave us at the mercy of the direction of the “masses” causes a feeling of helplessness.  One that is […]

Read More

A God Pleaser

We have heard the expression “people pleaser” spoken in ridicule of someone that will do anything to get other people to love them.  No matter what that may require, some individuals will go to any lengths to seek to win the approval of those they wish to impress.  It may mean speaking words of flattery; […]

Read More

Not As Sharp As I Used To Be

Life is continually dynamic.  It never stops.  It gives few warnings of imminent dangers that buffet us. The expectations do not diminish.  No matter how much we delegate, there are many other obligations waiting to fill those slots vacated by assigning tasks elsewhere.  For most people I know, they are working longer days, spending time […]

Read More

A Modern Parable

Parable of the Mouse Trap A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered – he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. “There is a mousetrap […]

Read More

Cheer Up…..Things Could Be Worse

Songs were often written in difficult, heart-breaking, and soul-wrenching times.  The song writer chose music to help alleviate a pain that dug deep into his or her heart.  Rejection, death, disease, war, or isolation created such a wound in the song-writer’s heart that they had to express the depths of their emotion.  You have often […]

Read More

Almost Persuaded

Persuasion is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act of causing people to do or believe something”.  All of us have had times that someone changed our minds about a purchase or an opinion through their ability to persuade.  We have left stores with things we did not really need, but a very persuasive sales person […]

Read More

“BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE”

Real beauty is rare.  Many of those people that are the “beautiful” in the eyes of this culture are seen on movies, magazines, and media.  Beautiful cars and clothes are the foundation of advertising. Beautiful places are photographed and published with a couple smiling big and obviously having a great time.  The inference is clear…. […]

Read More

A Name Worth Remembering

Most of us do not recognize the name Saman Kunan.  But then, we don’t know many of our own military personnel by name.  Saman was from Thailand and had served his country as a Navy SEAL.  He was retired from being a SEAL but continued to help in volunteer situations. When the word came that […]

Read More

I Am With You

Personal interaction is the most effective means of communication.  Although we are surrounded by various voices vying for our attention, the voice of one person speaking personally to us results in a much better grasp of the information, and a much more pleasant experience from the conversation.  If the speaker has compassion, congeniality, and a […]

Read More

Sacrifice?

Pampered. Soft. Coddled. Spoiled. What other adjectives would you say that most of us are because of the many privileges and conveniences we have to enjoy in America?  Wherever you go in the world, you will find that things that we consider to be absolutely essential aren’t!  For most of the planet, the women are […]

Read More

The Sweat of Sweet Honey

Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  All of us know the joy of eating honey on a hot, buttered biscuit!  That sweet substance has such a unique taste.  From childhood, most of us remember having honey on our table. And, moms sometimes truly did […]

Read More

In the Good Old Summertime

Summer is a great season for all things outdoors. And, we Americans do love time outdoors!  The long days provide “free time” after work for time with family, gardening, yard work, sports, or taking in a concert in the park, or cooking out for a picnic with friends.  There are days on the lake skiing, […]

Read More

Are You Seeing Your Life Realistically?

Surprisingly, some of the world’s greatest people, the best known, and most successful do not feel that their lives have been truly remarkable.  Over a lifetime, they convince themselves that the world gives them tremendous accolades out of a sense of community appreciation for their efforts only because they did not quit.  Consider the words […]

Read More

Where Are You Seated?

Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed. Samuel Johnson Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems. Zig Ziglar The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and […]

Read More

Conformity Required

It is not one of the freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights.  But, it should be proclaimed regularly.  You have the freedom of “thought”.  You can approve of an idea or disapprove.  You can be actively engaged in a project or campaign or be totally uncommitted. You can hold a value or conviction as […]

Read More

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Folks surely are a cranky lot. I don’t think I ever remember such joy found in jabbing people, harassing folks on the internet, hostile responses on Facebook, belligerence in public arenas, and a genuine sense of accomplishment when one person feels they have successfully spoken a derogatory word that has inflicted great pain on another […]

Read More

Only in America

Only in America…. …. do people trample each other for sales one day after being thankful for what they already have. … could a man sue McDonalds for still being depressed after eating a happy meal! …can people mess up something good, by looking for something better, just to end up with something worse. … […]

Read More

Love That Transcends Love of This Life

“Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). When nations are engaged in deadly strife, it is common for patriots to declare that he who gives his […]

Read More

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!”

On this 242nd birthday of America, here are quotes from great Americans about us….. “Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, […]

Read More

“LET FREEDOM RING”

Our nation was founded on man’s desire to live in freedom.  That concept brought the first immigrants to this nation and has been the quest for millions of others to become Americans for over 200 years.  Two great documents penned by two remarkably gifted men shaped and have been the foundation for our nation’s long-term […]

Read More

“ON THIS DAY IN AMERICAN HISTORY…”

Do you recognize a patriot’s name …Richard Henry Lee?   Most of us as Americans do not remember this Virginian that played a most significant role in our independence. June 7, 1776: The Lee Resolution is presented to the Second Continental Congress. Richard Henry Lee was from the Virginia colony. He was instructed by Edmund Pendleton, […]

Read More

“REFLECTIONS ON PEACE”

Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the source of “peace that passes understanding”.   Our world does not know Him, seek Him, or believe Him to be the source of true peace.  Jesus is the only way to peace in this life or the next. In the midst of all of the strife, it is […]

Read More

In Seasons of Distress and Grief

My heart is heavy.  I cannot seem to get relief from the sadness.  It is not that I am willfully away from my times of prayer, Bible study, and ministry.  But, the sorrow that is in my soul is deep.  It is not the kind of sorrow that a “pat on the back” can help […]

Read More

Impatients Anonymous

Have you noticed all of the “help” groups for various needs that the general populace has?  There are programs for getting physically fit, weight loss, financially free, parenting, Gamblers Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and even tutors to help with academic weaknesses.  But, there is a malady that either does not have a prayer of being remedied […]

Read More

Procrastination

“Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?”  I am not sure who asked that question first, but it has been repeated with tremendous frequency.  Those disciplined and diligent to tackle life’s demands with enthusiasm and determination are an inspiration.  Well, at least they are inspiring to those who aspire to be diligent […]

Read More

I Want to Go There

Tragically, we have read in the news in recent days of the suicides of two of this generations well known people.  When that happens, many press and media outlets are filled with stories of the sorrow, confusion, and deep broken-heartedness that suicide causes.  Life is a precious gift.  Loss of life creates tremendous pain for […]

Read More

Whatever Happened to……..?

In the 21st century, commitment is much less evident that in previous times.  There was a time that a person made life-long commitments to a job, their marriage, their local church, and to their community.  They believed in making a bond to a spouse and family so that through their lifetime they would be able […]

Read More

I Surely Am Drawn to Him

Fans. Where would actors and actresses, rock stars, athletes, great artists in any field, and accomplished people be without fans. Their success is measured in how many people are willing to pay high prices to hear them, see them, or buy their products. Every city of any size has one or more concert sites where […]

Read More

Just On the Edge

Teenagers are envied by older adults for their zeal, energy, and tireless eagerness for adventure. Seniors remember our years of physical stamina, but now they are simply observers of the antics. Anyone who goes with teens on a regular basis on trips to parks, cities, or sites with challenges, very quickly spot those young people […]

Read More

Fit For the Kingdom

In political seasons, we are bombarded by ads about those seeking to become the candidate for their party for an elected position. Depending on how close the race, the ads begin to become more personal and often, very negative about an opponent’s actions both “in and out” of office.  It has been said more than […]

Read More

Father’s Day Reflections

Father’s Day was yesterday.  It is not that I am just now remembering that fact.  Rather, it is because it is so different from Mother’s Day that some folks may not observe it at all while others simply view it as any other day.  That is not true in most cases on Mother’s Day.  Phone […]

Read More

“IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE”

“It is more blessed to give than to receive”. (Acts 20:35).  Christians know that verse by heart.  But, much like the world in which we live, we too often are found working to “receive” more than working to be able to give.  The minute you read that, some of you bristled.  Your thought was, “That […]

Read More

“THROUGH MANY TOILS AND SNARES”

“Pain is not a problem in and of itself. But rather, it is a symptom, a sign of something gone wrong. When one places their hand on a stove, the problem is not the pain but it’s the fact they are doing something that shouldn’t be done. The pain in this world is simply a sign that something is […]

Read More

I Didn’t Mean That

We say things that are not true.  Some of those we dismiss as “little white lies” that are spoken hastily seeking to keep from hurting the feelings of another person.  Some of those lies are out of fear knowing that an honest answer would create jeopardy for us because of a wrongful act that was […]

Read More

Are You Sure You’re Right?

Pompous. Arrogant. Ego driven.  Self-absorbed.  Proud. Conceited. What do you call a person that lives with every conversation, feeling, and event “all about me”!  It is one thing to live with a sense of confidence.  But, it is altogether something very different when one is so wrapped up in their own abilities that they see […]

Read More

Nothing New Under the Sun

Conversations are always about “what’s happening now”.  Whether at the water cooler, lunch with co-workers, or a night out with friends, the current events swirling like the early stages of a tornadic wall cloud seem to command our discussions.  You have been in some of those that address topics about our President, the moral decline […]

Read More

Forty-four

In 1974, 44 years ago….. In his State of the Union Address, President Nixon declares, “One year of Watergate is enough.” Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is kidnapped from her Berkeley, California apartment by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves breaks Babe Ruth‘s home run record, by hitting his 715th career home run off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium. The Universal […]

Read More

It Looks Good, But What Does it Do?

Organization…. that word either strikes awe or fear.  For the person that is highly organized, they cannot live where there is little order and great spontaneity.  For the free-spirited individual, organization is a synonym of imprisonment.  One’s car, office, and home quickly demonstrate which side of the fence one lives.  Where there is a lack […]

Read More

To Everything There is a Season

Young Richard Sears was a railroad agent in Redwood, Minnesota when he discovered he could order watches from the manufacturer, then reship them to agents down the line who sold them to local people. Sears launched a mail-order company, later teaming up with Alvah Roebuck.  By 1894, Sears Roebuck & Co. had a 300-page catalog, […]

Read More

Perspective

“We hold these truths to be self-evident”… I am very aware that our Declaration of Independence states that there are truths that we all agree are self-evident (or at least we did when the Declaration of Independence was written). There are “many” truths like that, but there are also precepts that are learned the hard […]

Read More

If Only…….

Every person is blessed with some level of imagination.  Certainly, a small percentage have the creativity to do amazing things in their various fields.  For the rest of us, we are more apt to be creative in our daydreaming or “wish list”. Who has not had a moment when you dreamed of winning the contest […]

Read More

I Don’t Know What That is Like

Suffering is pandemic.  It is not an anomaly, but is present in our circle of family, friends, co-workers, and church relationships. If, by chance, we are not hurting with a need of someone close to us, we are hurting because of a local, national, or international event that is reported on the news.  As we […]

Read More

Was Anybody Saved?

My life has always revolved around the church.  Because my father was a pastor, we were always “at” church, but pastor’s families live “at the church” literally.  The home of my childhood and teen years was a pastorium right next door to First Baptist Church of Humboldt, TN.  Thus, we were the office of the […]

Read More

Be Strong in the Lord

One thing that lots of folks do well in this generation is to live healthy.  They are dedicated to being fit, trim, and strong! Facebook photos of a person’s athletic skill, weight lifting strength, or duration in feats of physical exertion are almost as common as the testimonials of how a certain product can do […]

Read More

“ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY….”

Quotes about the importance of Memorial Day in America….. Adlai Stevenson II – “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” Franklin D. Roosevelt – “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” Gen. […]

Read More

Wisdom For Life’s Journey

So many of you have a child, relative, or friend’s child graduating from high school or college this Spring.  Since you will be sending cards and well wishes, perhaps some of these quotes may be beneficial. “Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” —Henry Peter […]

Read More

What Can Wash Away My Sin?

Who truly understands life choices people are making in this 21st century?  The attempt to allow every person to attain what they want is a dismal failure. Morally, the culture in which we live is fully convoluted. Youth that have more than enough to eat at home are eating Tide Pods for “who knows why”.  […]

Read More

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

When I don’t have anything to worry about, I begin to worry about that. – Walter Kelly If pleasures are the greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of trouble. – Elbert Hubbard.  To carry care to bed is to sleep with a pack on your back. – Thomas Haliburton The beginning of anxiety […]

Read More

Stressed Out

Hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and some mental disorders can be directly attributed to being “stressed out”.  Likely, each one reading this is either really stressed today, or you recently had a time when you wondered how you were going to get everything done that was on your “urgent” list and do it without a […]

Read More

When Did We See You Naked or Hungry?

The groans of pain and suffering are pandemic.  Daily, the cries of the innocent victims, wailing of shattered lives from tragic acts done deliberately to inflict pain, and the copious tears shed from sorrows of life fill our news reports with their cacophony of wounded voices.  No longer does the life and well-being of another […]

Read More

Temporary Suspension of Blog

Greetings……….please note that my blog will be temporarily suspended for a few days due to other responsibilities.  I will resume posting my blog on Monday, May 14.  Thank you for your understanding.  Blessings to you all!  Nick Garland

Read More

I Show You a Mystery

Job 11:7 -“Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? The complexity of the universe should be irrefutable evidence of a Creator.  However, man’s quest to rid himself of God from the scope of secular knowledge has turned man from wisdom to foolishness. There are far too many […]

Read More

Do Unto Others

Pain is pandemic. The evening news is a continuous litany of the latest natural disaster, tragic accident, terrorist attack, shooting, bombing, missile attack, or horrific abuse. One person can inflict great suffering.  When that happens, all of us wonder what could possess a person to do such levels of hate-filled acts. In the midst of […]

Read More

Blessed But Not Happy

First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, OK, is a very mission minded people.  They have always had a heart for the nations.  As a church, our Mission’s Pastor, Kevin Cottrell, and his Global Outreach team have frequent contact with numerous church planting partnerships in the US and around the world.  Several times, I have made a […]

Read More

Can We Talk a Minute?

There is a story of a tool company that manufactured drill bits. Faced with financial losses, company executives gathered to discuss the problem: a declining demand for drill bits. The CEO challenged his men: “How can we revive the bit market?” After an embarrassing silence, one member of the team dispelled the fog: “Sir, the […]

Read More

My Anchor Holds

The Christian hope is the hope which has seen everything, and has still not despaired, because it believes in God.  The Christin hope is not hope in the human spirit, in human goodness, in human endurance, in human achievement; the Christian hope is hope in the power of God! – William Barclay, The Letter to […]

Read More

Influence

The Bible states, “As a man thinks, so is he”. (Prov.23:7).  The mind is a sponge that absorbs what we see and hear.  The more we receive data that is polluted, the more likely we are to think on topics and ideas that are crass.  Like a living computer, our minds simply mediate on what […]

Read More

I’m Mr. Lonely……..Nobody to Call My Own

Loneliness is pandemic.  Social media is filled with folks longing to be heard, recognized, and loved.  Places where the “trendy” hang out are frequented by many who would love to connect with someone to end their loneliness.  Bars and clubs draw folks seeking to find a friend. Nursing homes, care centers, hospitals, churches, schools, and […]

Read More

A Good Name

I love this story about the impact of a good name written by Bill Gaither….. Gloria and I had been married a couple of years. We were teaching school in Alexandria, Indiana, where I had grown up, and we wanted a piece of land where we could build a house. I noticed the parcel south of town where […]

Read More

Ex Nihilo

Seminary is the place that young ministers hope to attend when they surrender to Christian service for a lifetime.  They are not sure all that will await them there, but they know that it is a place to study Christianity, church history, and hopefully learn more about being a Christian leader in their lifetime.  Seminary […]

Read More

Simple Faith

Christ followers globally know that we have been given the great gift of God’s forgiveness of our sins, salvation from our sin, and the joy of eternity in Heaven through faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone!  Although many have deviated from the simple truth of the Gospel by seeking to add things that […]

Read More

When We Are in Church

Church’s are so diverse today in worship, doctrines, polity, and style.  The world has all the varied forms and in cities, several of the variety of worship preferences can be found on any Sunday.  No matter the style or setting, people in the seats are very much the same.  The depth of faith and the […]

Read More

It’s the Little Things

“People who say that small things don’t bother them have never slept in a room with a mosquito.” Dennis Rainey. When it is required, people muster the strength, resources, mental toughness, and manpower to do the great things. History records that time after time, families, cities, and countries came together to fight through great difficulties […]

Read More

Tripping

It is obvious to all we meet that we (the Sixties’ children) have long sense exited the teenage years.  But, when it was our turn to navigate that time in our lives, our generation left a mark that has been indelible.  The generation of the 60’s was reared with the expansion of everything.  Homes were […]

Read More

Dreamers

All of us dream.  Our dreams are as diverse as we are.  Dreams can be about exotic places or familiar places where we feel safe and comfortable.  A dream can have very familiar faces or be about people we do not know at all.   Dreams can be funny, weird, frightening, or comforting.  Those that bring […]

Read More

When Everything Changed

Can you imagine that Sunday night and Monday morning following the Resurrection?  The minds of those that had seen our Lord on that first day of the week had to be reeling.  Truly, no one had ever seen anyone come back from a cross and be filled with life, strength, light, hope, and the power […]

Read More

“NOT JUST ANOTHER FRIDAY”

What a day!  Never has there been one like it.  Started out just like any other.  Surely did not wind up being that way. There were so many people everywhere.  But, then, it was always that way during Passover.  Every street, shop, road into and out of the city was filled to overflowing.  No time […]

Read More

What Are You Doing Today?

Easter is at hand.  All this week, most of you have been preparing for your Easter celebration.  Those preparations vary depending on the things you have planned, the significance of the spiritual aspects your family will observe, and the number of family and friends that will be sharing the day with you in your home. […]

Read More

On Trial: American Morality

Man has never been righteous since the fall of Adam and Eve.  However, in the most recent decades of our American history, we have fallen far from being a nation respected for Christian and moral values to a nation of full blown debauchery and decadence.  From the White House to the school house, rebellion and […]

Read More

There’s Never Enough

Money. When one is wealthy, the desire is for “just a little bit more money”.  If one is middle class, then the want is for “lots of it”.  Poor folks would love to have money, but for many of them, they have learned to settle for just enough to eat and enough for a roof […]

Read More

I Wish the Weekend Was Here

We live with 168 hours every week. If you ask most folks about a week’s time, they will tell you that they “live for the weekends”.  Work is necessary, and it is challenging. But it is not a driving passion for many people.  Although we hear folks say, “I love my job”, there are many […]

Read More

Somebody’s Watching You

Small town USA!  There are so many small communities that make up this nation.  And, it is in those small towns and communities that some of the “brightest and best” live, work, rear families, and worship God. There are so many advantages in those settings that are too often overlooked because of the mentality that […]

Read More

You Make Me So Mad!

Americans are living with unprecedented levels of anger.  Our civility has given way to hostility.  Social media, news reports, and daily transactions have become more and more laden with angry charges, responses, and continual belittling of one another. The deep level of anger so easily surfaces, it is obvious that the event that unleashes it […]

Read More

“I SEEM TO KEEP MAKING MIFSTEAKS”

Is it just the nature of man that seemingly, the older we get the more mistakes we make?  Maybe we don’t make more, but it could be we are just more self-conscious regarding our proclivity to “mess up”.  And, it may be that we want to do things flawlessly because we have had years to […]

Read More

“GUARD YOUR MIND”

“As a man thinks, so is he.” (Prov.23:7).  Thinking requires tremendous discipline.  I am not talking about the instant thoughts that we have of being aware of our surroundings lest we walk in front of a speeding car.  Rather, the thinking that takes determined mental focus is that kind of mental exercise that in Biblical […]

Read More

“THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART….”

This past week, one of the world’s most brilliant men and a prominent atheist died.  Stephen Hawking, having battled ALS for over 50 years, died this week.  He was known for his scientific contributions to a better understanding of black holes in space. Throughout his life, he was an outspoken atheist.  We hear the word […]

Read More

You’re Only As Old As…….

This Friday, I have printed a collection of quips and anecdotes that I copied about aging.  I hope they make you smile if you are young or at least say “Amen” if you can readily relate… Someone has said, “Here are the seven ages of man: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills.” And another […]

Read More

I Will Remember You

Memory is an amazing creation of God.  How God designed the brain which is living tissue kept alive by blood carrying oxygen and nutrients and folded compactly to fit in one’s cranium so that the details of life are recorded is a miracle!  Even when our memory is not as sharp as we would like […]

Read More

I Surrender

Electronic communication has made our world so closely connected that we can send a text to an overseas friend in only a couple of seconds and get a reply in the time it takes them to type in the response.  In fact, the primary mail method that was thought to be so advanced 50 years […]

Read More

Learning Without Life Application

Some days ago, I found an old illustration file from the earliest years of pastoring.  In that file was an illustration that was very sad for me to read.  This article is tragic because of it records within its lines “what might have been” in the life of one boy and how the world might […]

Read More

Suited Up

Most of us have never, ever been in a single day of combat.  For that, we can be extremely grateful. Our nation’s warriors that defend us in battle live with mental, emotional, and physical wounds that are ever a part of their lives long after they have returned home.  Those veterans with massive physical wounds […]

Read More

Essentials

America is a wealthy country.  Many of our “poor” would not be considered poor in other nations.  Only in America will someone drive to get their welfare check and be talking on a cell phone while they are waiting in line to get it! The average person in our circle of friends lives with their […]

Read More

This Present Darkness