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In Last Days, Men Will Be Ungrateful

Never enough.  Never content. Never pausing to be thankful.  No generation has ever had it so good with so much in such abundance, and with so many privileges as we do.  One would think that we would be ecstatic daily to get to live with so many benefits.  But, you know that is not the […]

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“JUST FOR FUN–DID YOU KNOW…?”

I am always fascinated to learn how many things that we enjoy came about by accident. Here are some things that we enjoy frequently but may not know how they originated….. There are several stories concerning the origin of buffalo wings. One of the most persistent says that in 1963 the Bellissimo’s were closing up […]

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Forgiven and Forgotten

Sin is a cruel master that seeks to destroy the one that serves its demands. What appears to be so fulfilling becomes so fatal.  Sin has ruined great people, destroyed characters, divided marriages, driven children from their parents, devastated nations, and marred history. Far too many people live with unconfessed sin and unsettled souls due […]

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Danger Zone

The Lord was found interacting with people regularly.  His contacts ranged from the most influential religious leaders to those that were “nobodies” as far as society was concerned.  He met with the self-righteous and the unrighteous.  Jesus was no stranger to the “sinners” and often rebuked by those who thought themselves to be “saints”. But […]

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Why Are You Here?

No problem finding people angry about their life’s situation.  Wherever we look, someone(s) is voicing (and sometimes shouting) vitriolic phrases about how bad some other person or group is.  Maybe we learn that practice in our childhood, improve our slander skills in our teen years, and move to perfection at it by the time we […]

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Time For a Cleanse

Health has become a major marketing explosion in American culture.  For a nation that was the fast food icon during my generation, the new generation has realized that “cheeseburgers/fries, burritos/beans, and pizza with ‘everything on it’” are not the best choices for one’s dietary habits.  So, today the market is flooded with lots of options […]

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I Am Of No Value to Anyone

How tragic that any person lives in the mistaken view that their lives have no purpose of meaning.  The gloom of that kind of existence would be overwhelming.  Perhaps that is why so many people are ever looking to do something to be noticed, “seen”, or at least acknowledged.  Many a lonely person takes to […]

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Can the Bible Be Trusted?

We demand that products are pure, packaging is tightly sealed from the factory, and electronics have protection from viruses. Why?  Because we fully understand how “corrupting” any type of foreign matter can be to the product we purchased believing it to be functional and clean.  Manufacturers go to great lengths to guarantee that their process […]

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“I THINK THAT IS OKAY….”

Foolishness is part of being a child or young teen.  Because the “years are few” at that stage of life, the experiences of life’s lessons are yet to be learned.  Parents, grandparents, teachers, and care providers are the eyes and ears for a child to prevent them from dong harmful or foolish things. The role […]

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Looking For Hope

These are turbulent times in our nation.  Who has not seen the news and been concerned over rampant violence, hatred, and strife?  How can we not be burdened for all of the natural disasters that are happening around us?  We need hope as never before. We do not need a trite mantra to make us […]

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There’s Always Tomorrow

Life seems endless…day after day…same routine…same demands, duties, and expectations.  It seems that the flow of days into weeks which pass into months as the months become years has a rhythm and routine that will never change.  However, the constancy can create a false sense of complacency.  We can become so comfortable with the “tomorrows” […]

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Whatcha Need?

I hurt for people trying to learn the English language when they arrive on our shores.  For most Americans, we have not mastered the English language.  Although I was an English major in college (I know you are shocked having heard me talk!), I have enough split infinitives and dangling participles to create serious harm […]

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Not Your Childhood Nursery Lamb

Some of the greatest truths about God we learn from the days of our childhood.  The first Bible verse I ever learned was “God is love” (1 John 4:8). One of the first songs we were taught was JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW.  One of the first concepts about God was that He made […]

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I Quit

Most lists of resolutions have lines that begin with, “I am going to quit….”  How many times have you said, “I am going to quit….”?  If you are old enough, the list of “gonna’ quits” is long.  Some have been eliminated. Many are still on the “to do” list for this year. Quitting a bad […]

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You Ought to Fix That

Inspections. Job reviews. Medical check-ups. Academic tests. Fitness examinations. For the average person, none of those things are highlights.  Why?  Because we know that we need to improve in our areas of weakness. In whatever area we are being reviewed or examined, we also know “in advance” that we will not fully measure up. The […]

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year

I know that song is a Christmas carol, but for many, the season that is most wonderful is earlier than Christmas.  The Fall Season means children go back to school and parents “rejoice” this time of year because of that.  It is the season that weather cools, and hot-natured folks rejoice in that.  And, it […]

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The Best of Times and the Worst

The opening words of Charles Dickens in his classic THE TALE OF TWO CITIES could have been written by a modern author describing these times in which we live rather than the days just before the French Revolution (1789-1799).  Who has not read or heard many times the description of Dickens regarding that era…. It […]

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We Are Going to Be in Church

The Psalmist penned a line over 3000 years ago that has been oft quoted by faithful church members.  Ps.122:1 – I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’.  Sadly, the average Christian family today attends church sporadically since so many other things are happening on the day that […]

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It Could Have Been Really Bad

Being treated with merciful kindness when we deserve the full measure of wrath is so deeply moving that we remember it for a long, long time.  For Christians, that is why our conversion experience is so vivid many years after that moment that we realized Jesus would forgive us, transform us, and give us grace […]

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This I Know For Sure

If you were asked, “What do you know for certain?”, how would you answer?   Most of us would first want to give some qualifiers like, “Well, today at this moment, I know…”  Others would want for the question to be less broad so that we could answer with greater confidence.  Because life is ever in […]

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The Power of the Resurrection

…..that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death….(Phil.3:10). Paul knew so many great things from his training as a Pharisee.  His knowledge of the Old Testament, the Covenants of God, the history of the Jews, the various aspects of the worship […]

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Ichabod

She named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”, for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” (1 Sam.4:21 NLT). How can one fully fathom the depth of despair when God’s glory departs from a nation?  When God is revered and adored, “righteousness exalts a nation”.  When God is forsaken by the people, God gives them […]

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Blessed Assurance

The goal of one’s life dictates the decisions one makes daily.  Purposeless living is a result of hopelessness. Empty ambitions have no motivation.  Habitual choices that are destructive indicate the void in one’s soul. Jesus gave us the blueprint for living a full and meaningful life here and the clear instructions on how one can […]

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Me

Welcome to the “ME” generation that is now in full bloom.  What a younger generation was taught by parents in the early 21st century is now being harvested in bushels of belligerence.   Children were often told that they were the greatest “ever”, admired as the center of a home, treated with every generosity, and never being […]

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When Arrogance is Ignorance

When we are young, we just don’t understand why it is so hard to break habits.  Hearing adults talk as a boy, it became almost routine for someone during the meal to speak of some habit that they were trying to break. And, for the most part, many of those same habits are still plaguing […]

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The Necessity of Proof Reading

The Bible has been cherished by those that love and serve the One True God for centuries.  In the Old Testament, we gain knowledge of God creating the world, calling out the father of the Jews, sending down the law to establish the nation of Israel, giving them the Promised Land, and assuring them that […]

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We Will Understand It Better By and By

In the best-selling book “She said Yes!“, Missy Bernall tells the story of her daughter Cassie, one of the students killed at Columbine High School, April 20, 1999. Cassie grew up in church, she came from a nice family, had friends and a nice life. Then it all changed.  When Cassie entered high school (not […]

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It’s How You Play the Game

Many years ago, children were taught a simple proverb, “It isn’t whether you win or lose but how you play the game that counts.”  Don’t hear that much anymore. Truthfully, I never did like that saying as a boy.  Wining was the whole reason for being “out there” playing.  I wanted to give my best […]

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The Facade of Pretense

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.  (Nathaniel Hawthorne). One of the frequent attacks against people of faith is that we are all hypocrites.  That single character flaw, though not unique to Christians, seemingly […]

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Are You “All In”?

Spoiled. Soft. Pampered. Whiners. Entitled. Easily offended. Not able to stay focused. Quitters. Those are not positive words associated with commendation.  Recently, in reading an article written by a university President, I read his assessment of the modern qualities of many in the college ranks. Rather than being young men and women that are highly […]

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Regrets? I’ve Had a Few

Only the very young would argue that life moves by at warp speed.  All the things that we truly think we will do narrow as we age.  More and more we realize the passing of time.  The runway grows shorter daily and the “want to’s” seemingly increase.  For most of us, we do have so […]

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“I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME…”

Among Christians, there is a word that should be delightful to speak, eager to do, and rewarding to experience.  In its Biblical use and function, it is all those things and more.  In the 21st century, worship is so focused on the tastes of mankind that too often, it has lost its vertical draw toward the […]

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“DON’T BE SO JOYFUL”

Sometimes, I find a story that must be shared “just like it is”. This one is one of those…… Christmas Eve 1990. I came this close to being physically thrown out of church.  We were new to town and we heard that a certain church in town had a fantastic Christmas Eve service. So, we […]

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“WAITING……”

We live with so many marvelous wonders that benefit us daily.  Most of them respond to our touch and produce the desired outcome instantaneously.  The frequency of those events occurs with such consistency and regularity that we rarely even stop to consider the miracle of our privilege.  Think with me of just a very few…. […]

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“ARE YOU ‘ALL IN’?”

Spoiled. Soft. Pampered. Whiners. Entitled. Easily offended. Not able to stay focused. Quitters. Those are not positive words associated with commendation.  Recently, in reading an article written by a university President, I read his assessment of the modern qualities of many in the college ranks. Rather than being young men and women that are highly […]

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“DID YOU GET YOUR MONEY’S WORTH?”

How very easy to celebrate an unexpected “great find” and buy it at a ridiculously low price!  From time to time, we hear of such an experience in the news.  And, as one would expect, the “seller” is sick and the “buyer” is elated at the transaction. Recently I was listening to a MYSTERIES AT […]

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“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”

Anonymity can transform lambs into lions!  As long as a person knows that the object of their vitriolic comments is not in earshot, the things one sometimes says are much harsher than if the two people were face-to-face.  How many times does a wimp send a fiery letter to a person anonymously?  Or, when was […]

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Not a Common Compliment

“Pride” has become a virtue in our generation. What was once viewed as meaning “arrogant, boastful, egocentric, and self-elevated”, now is held as a good quality.  Athletes speak of having pride in their team.  Our high school band is called the Broken Arrow Pride.  Parents speak of the pride that they feel for their children […]

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Did You Know That?

The history of our nation has been under attack by revisionists for years now. Their goal is to seek to remove any Christian influence in our 240 years of being a nation.  Christianity, when discussed, is presented in modern secular settings as belligerent, bigoted, and belittling.  The goal of these secularists is to teach a […]

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Hugs Help the Human Condition

Hugs are great for the soul!  There is something about the embrace of a close friend or beloved member of the family that is therapeutic. Scripture reminds us that folks have shown their appreciation and affection by means of a hug since the beginning of time.  Consider these Biblical examples…. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:5 – “(There […]

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So Glad You Fixed the Problem

Have you noticed that almost everyone has the solution to life’s major issues?  In fact, if you have any conversations with others during a day’s time, the wisdom available through ordinary conversations is amazing.  Rarely when two or more are conversing is the opportunity passed up to talk about significant problems reported on the news, […]

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You Almost Crossed the Line

“You just went too far.”  In a previous era that simply meant that one had offended another, took advantage of a person’s kindness one too many times, or failed to live up to a promise “again”. That action could result in hurt feelings, division between friends, or severance of all future business interactions. Today, the […]

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A Friend Indeed

There are very few people in life that are truly “friendless”.  From earliest childhood, we are looking for friendships and those that we love to share the experiences of life with regularly.  As we grow older, friendships expand.  We quickly realize we don’t have lots of “true” friends.  It takes lots of time and energy […]

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What If Everyone Did Like Me?

Every week, I get to see people that are working hard so that folks like me can have many benefits in my life.  You see those same folks daily…construction workers, police officers, medical personnel, teachers, business men and women, and lots of others that do what they do tirelessly to keep a city functioning smoothly.  And, invariably […]

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What is the Secret?

No matter what your field of interest, or your profession, or your avocation, there are materials abundant to answer every question that anyone of us might possibly have.  Never has data or research been so available to everybody at any time as it is today. Because of the media, internet, and publications, whatever a person […]

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Only One Thing Can Take That Stain Out

Murphy’s Law is ever in effect in my life.  If something can go wrong, or a full cup of any liquid can be spilled, or there is the possibility of taking a wrong turn, I will make sure not to let such an opportunity pass me by.  As I get “more and more mature”, I […]

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To Tell the Truth

We all know people that have a very hard time with the simple truth.  Some folks exaggerate.  Others only tell “part of the truth” when relating a story.  There are those people that are loose with facts or in frequent innuendos that can wound, damage, or ruin a person’s reputation.  And, still others just find […]

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Don’t Despise Small Beginnings

I have discovered that many of the folks that made a great impact during their lifetime were reared in small towns through much difficulty.  God used those circumstances to build in them the character that would be essential to their success. You may not have heard of this man, but you have heard his music.  […]

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Do You Speak My Language?

Many years ago, in England a circus elephant named Bozo was very popular with the public. Children especially loved to crowd around his cage and throw him peanuts. Then one day there was a sudden change in the elephant’s personality. Several times he tried to kill his keeper and when the children came near his […]

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I Have Seen the Light

Light is a great creation of God.  It was the first thing that appeared in Genesis when God spoke all that is into being.  Light is more than a great gift given to us by God.  It is the very nature of God.  Wherever He is, Light is abundant, radiant, and blindingly bright.  Scriptures are […]

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His Story

History is “His story”.  Even when we cannot fully discern God’s Hand at work, all events are in the Hands of God and “all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose.”  We are quick to praise God when we are delivered from harm or difficulty, but we rarely […]

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Let It Go

Hoarders are an unusual group of people.  They love to get all kinds of things but they just can’t bring themselves to ever discard anything.  The longer they are in a home, the more their home becomes a hazard.  Because they “hold on to everything”, they come to the point that their desire to acquire […]

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God Created Them Male and Female

Men are much simpler than women.  Men are pretty basic and don’t require as much grooming, small talk, or companionship as women.  Men love to wear ball caps which is the great cover for failure to comb one’s hair (if we have not already shaved it from our heads!).  As far as our jeans and […]

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Ready For the Next Step

“I sure will be glad when I am 16!”  I can remember my longing as a child to get to the point that I would be able to drive.  Seemingly, having a license to take the family car and leave for great adventures cruising down 22nd Avenue (our major street) in Humboldt, TN seemingly would […]

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Words From Great Americans

Thomas Jefferson – And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when […]

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Led Away and Enticed By One’s Desire

All of us grew up with super heroes.  The generation that was before mine had comic book heroes that were loved by children.  They read the stories and viewed the “frames” of their super characters saving the day from the bad guys.  In my boyhood, we had lots of “champions”—-cowboys like Roy Rogers, super heroes […]

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“HOW ARE YOU DOING?”

Americans are not easily dissuaded from eating and drinking things that we should not.  We acquire the tastes of foods that we like very early.   We know what we like, and babies “spit out or up” what they don’t.  Some tastes are acquired. Others are just not ever going to be desirable as something that […]

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“DO NOT TALK IN HERE!”

Quiet zones are established.  Regard for those is often violated.  After all, sometimes that person that just entered the room is the very one you had hoped to see to share a pressing issue.  You know that what you have to discuss just cannot wait.  So, without reservation, words flow from your mouth freely to […]

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“ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?”

I have always been one of those people whose concentration can be very easily distracted.  In fact, my ability to focus could be summed up in the words of an old hymn, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it!”  My parents used to frequently ask me when they were really intent on correcting me, “Are […]

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“I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT IT”

Humans are very strange.  We will buy warranties to extend the coverage on expensive appliances or a car that may need major work sooner than it should.  Computers that have our information are guarded by various programs to protect the hard drive.  Medically, we take vaccinations to keep us safe from diseases; we visit doctors […]

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“TRAGEDY—ABANDONING ONE’S DREAMS”

The English language is filled with expressions about “dreams”.  Consider some of these that are most frequently heard…. A dream come true                        Dream on! A pipe dream                                   […]

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“HOW BIG IS YOUR “WORLD VIEW”?

I have loved living in five different states in my lifetime….Tennessee, Alabama, Texas (for seminary training), Arkansas, and Oklahoma.   Now in my Senior Adult season, it is good to look back and remember each place and the wonderful people that I met in every city or town.  My life was enriched by those that lived […]

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“A MORE EXCELLENT WAY”

Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. (C. S. Lewis). For a generation that seeks to make sex and sensuality the blatant manifestation of “free love”, how […]

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“FARTHER AND FARTHER AWAY….”

America is proficient to a greater degree today in our verbal interactions of belittling, sarcasm, scoffing, derision, scorn, ridicule, and mockery.  Most often, that which is the target of verbal assault is any view of sexual morality, anyone in authority, or any conservative value that is founded on God or the Christian faith.  In fact, […]

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“SO YOU ARE GETTING OLDER….”

God surely is good to allow us to continue to see all ages of people around us…babies, children, youth, young marrieds, families, and the seniors.  By being able to see the full spectrum all of the time, we have the privilege of remembering when we were very young and then, in the next moment, be […]

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“I’M JUST BARELY MAKING IT”

The older I get, the less I enjoy adventures in locating a “desired destination” in a large city where I am a visitor.  There are so many “one way” streets, or streets that are named as a “street, avenue, boulevard, circle, or place” and all with the same name.   And, I love it when the […]

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“FORGIVE ME, LADIES…..”

Someone sent me this “instruction sheet” a few days ago.  In a weak moment today, I yielded to temptation and printed it. The men will appreciate it….I hope the women will show me mercy!!! A sign in the Bank Lobby reads:  “Please note that this Bank is installing new “Drive-through” teller machines enabling customers to […]

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“I DIDN’T KNOW THAT IS WHAT THAT MEANT”

The languages of the world have lots of idioms and expressions.  There are many expressions that “if we were asked their origin”, we would have to say we have no idea.  Maybe you have heard or used these but never stopped to ask, “Where did that phrase originate?” How about when someone refers to working […]

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“THE HARVEST IS PLENTEOUS”

We are living in the greatest era ever of a global harvest of souls.  Indeed, the Harvest is ripe.   Here’s proof: According to Wycliffe: Vision 2025 – Translation projects started in every language on the planet by 2025. One report on the current efforts of worldwide evangelism: In “The Faith Equation,” Dr. Marvin Bittinger, Professor […]

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“FROM MANY….ONE”

The God of Creation surely is a Master of diversity, color, function, and symmetry. I am ever amazed at all that science is uncovering about the complexity of this planet and universe that we call home.  What an era to be living!  Pick any area of life and new breakthroughs from exploration, research, and development […]

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“THE URGENCY OF THE PLANTING SEASON”

Farming is one of the most challenging, difficult, wonderful, and fulfilling occupations known to man. For those that have been around a farm, you know that there is always something that needs to be done and there are seasons when the work is demanding and non-stop.  Certainly, the harvest season is urgent, but truthfully, so […]

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“DO YOU NEED A LITTLE HAPPINESS?”

With all of the events in the world and all of the stresses that are very real in the 21st century, finding times of happiness can be elusive without a conscious pursuit to own it. Today, allow me to point you to the Psalmist’s formula for living in the joy of the Lord and then […]

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“CREATURES OF HABIT”

All of us have them.  Some are from our childhood.  Some are deeply entrenched.  Some are very good and beneficial.  And, some are irritating, bad, and ill-mannered.  Habits, like paths, develop over a period of time as we do a certain thing repeatedly.  A “one-time occurrence does not a habit make”.  However, multiple repetitions of […]

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“43”

Celebrations happen every day.  Someone will be promoted today. Someone will get married. Someone will have their first baby or grandchild.  Someone will be celebrating a birthday.  You get the picture.  Every day is a special day for someone somewhere. Today is one of those days for me. 43 years ago, Jenine said, “I do”.  […]

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“I DON’T FEEL ANY GUILT ABOUT THAT”

Our lives are the “living proof” that we are Christ followers or pagan.  There is no middle ground.  One who knows Christ will seek in all of life’s challenges to honor and serve Him.  Those that are devoid of His Spirit’s indwelling will live in open sinfulness and self deception that “all is well” with […]

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“DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING?”

We are often at an intersection of life where we really need wisdom for a decision or direction we are about to take.  The longer that we live, many decisions come readily.  However, no matter one’s age, there are still decisions in life that are critical, urgent, and can affect one’s life for years to […]

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Stop Telling Me What I Should Be Doing!

We are truly the grandchildren of Adam and Eve.  Just as they were led to believe by the tempter that doing what God had commanded was confining, demeaning, and limiting, so do all of those that are their descendants. Stubbornness, disobedience, and resentment are the indicators that the DNA of our “great-great grands” is very […]

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A Very Good Year For “Whine”

There’s a family nobody likes to meet, They live, it is said, on Complaining Street, In the city of Never-are-Satisfied, The river of Discontent beside. They growl at that and they growl at this, Whatever comes there is something amiss; And whether their station be high or humble, They all are known by the name […]

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The Grace to Cure Grudges

Many a person lives in a constant, internal vortex of misery.  The creation of the internal strife is unresolved bitterness toward a person, a job related matter, or a tragic moment in time.  The “wounded party” carries the feeling of being wronged by another individual.  Obviously, the “victim” feels they did nothing to deserve the […]

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After All These Years, We Have Much to Learn

I have never heard anyone that feels good about folks living in poverty, hunger, or the cycle that perpetuates generations to continue that lifestyle.  Seemingly, the remedy that government and too many social programs have provided is to pour money into “hand-outs” to the poor which only increases a person’s dependency on the one doing […]

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A Tireless Adversary

ISIS has become a major player when it comes to murder, kidnapping, rape, torture, executions, and terror.  Far too often, our news agencies are reporting “another” terrorist act somewhere in the world and that ISIS has claimed responsibility for it.  How very different it is for a group to want to be noticed for violent […]

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The Greatest Memorial Day Speech Ever!

From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the invading forces of General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army clashed with the Army of the Potomac (under its newly appointed leader, General George G. Meade) at Gettysburg. Pennsylvania. Casualties were high on both sides: Out of roughly 170,000 Union and Confederate soldiers, there were 23,000 Union casualties (more than […]

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As I Think About Memorial Day

My thoughts today have begun to think about Memorial Day that is upon us.  Every May, I consider all of the people that have died in conflict wearing the uniform of our military to enable me to live the life that I have been able to enjoy.   So many people have made contributions to preserve […]

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What Advice Could I Give a Graduate?

Everywhere we see young people graduating from various levels of education.  When they are leaving high school or college, the time of transition is very significant.  For some, it will be the time they truly spread their wings and fly. For others, they will make poor choices and go through real sorrow if they travel […]

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How Much is That Worth?

On May 11, 2017, it took Victoria Brodski less than 10 minutes to find a diamond in the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park. “I just thought it was a pretty piece of glass.”  The 25 year old young woman from Tulsa found the 2.65 carat brown diamond quickly but did not recognize that it […]

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Miracle Grow For Healthy Souls

The shallowness of western Christianity is a threat.  When all that is expected to become a Christian is to repeat a prayer, then the intention of the Gospel and the power of transformation is ignored. The result is a form of Christianity that does not display the miracle and resulting power of a changed life. […]

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I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

The summer season is here.  The next few months will be packed with every kind of outdoor adventure.  For children and teens, summer means no time for school because of camps, mission trips, sporting events, swimming, and jobs.  One significant thing that causes me to be extremely grateful is how many Christian folks plan some […]

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You Don’t Really Believe That?

With the explosive growth in the fields of research, scientific advances, exploration, and the expansion of medical knowledge, lots of things that mankind held to be true in earlier times in our history have been shown to be false.  For example, folks once thought that bathing was bad for one’s health.  There was a concern […]

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Get Off My Back!

Graduation season is upon us.  Every level of education, whether private or public, has commencement exercises.  Kindergarteners to PhD’s are given the opportunity to don a cap and gown, walk across a stage before a full house of family that are there to celebrate, and receive a piece of paper that certifies the course expectations […]

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I Thought It Was Hopelessly Ruined

When we were children, we thought that adults were so smart, disciplined, and educated that they never did anything really wrong.  After all, they were the ones teaching us, coaching us, and parenting us.  They made sure we knew the right things to eat, the proper way to speak to an adult, words that were […]

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Whatever Happened to Good Behavior?

I am guilty of loving old movies.  I don’t mean 10-15 years old.  I mean 1930’s and 1940’s “old”.   The simplicity of the plots, the dignity of the characters (even some of the bad guys are not uncouth in their manner), the etiquette that is common, and the custom of men showing respect for ladies […]

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How Good Were the Good Old Days?

In 48 hours, Americans will be flooding the highways to get to be with their “mom”.  Mother’s Day is one of the busiest times for restaurants, a peak business day for florists, a crunch time for phone companies, a bonanza for card companies, a very “sweet” day for candy makers, and a wonderful day for […]

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Not Quantity, But Quality

We are nearing another graduation season.  High schools and colleges all over the nation will be saying “farewell” to thousands of young people moving from the academic campuses to further their education or to a career field.  Although this generation has seen so many things happen in the world due to instant coverage, the statistics […]

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I Sure Didn’t Deserve That!

It just doesn’t seem fair.  But then, life is totally unfair.  Between our own acquaintances, local news, national and international media awareness, and social networking, we know more about “everything” than any generation before us.  The “up-to-the-minute” posts and reports leave no one in the dark about any event. In years past, folks would wait […]

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Magnificence of Grace

Grace is one of the concepts that is a central truth in our Christian faith.  We sing of the grace of God.  Central to our salvation is the grace of God.  John would write of Jesus that “He was full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  Paul would begin his Epistles with the word, “Grace […]

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You Know What They Say….

So very much of what is stated in conversations is just idle talk until one gets to the point of speaking about a person that is known to both parties.  Then, one will say to the other, “Have you heard what “they” are saying about him (or her)?”  Suddenly, the countenance of the hearer become […]

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The MRI Shows Nothing Abnormal

In an age of tremendous medical knowledge and technology, physicians have become much more proficient in properly diagnosing medical needs.  Through the marvel of ever improving medical advancements through technology, as medical tests are performed on patients in need, the insight that machines can give is remarkable.  The eyes and experience of the best of […]

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I Can’t Seem to Live in Faith’s Freedom

Jesus shook up the religious traditions.  From the earliest days of His earthly ministry, He roiled the religious leaders with His teachings.  Since He is the “Author and Finisher” of our faith, He was impeccably qualified to speak to the true intent of the law.  Because He struck at the façade of legalistic compliance to […]

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Ministry That Comes From Misery

Jacob is one of the great characters from the Old Testament.  His role was truly strategic in the plan of God.  By God’s will, Jacob would become the one through whom God would bring the twelve man whose heirs would become the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  The primary account of his life is found in […]

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You Are Asking Too Much of Me

If you have ever served in the role of finding people to work in your business, you have hired great employees and you have also sadly had for a short period of time, those that chose to whine rather than work.  Although they agreed to take the job when interviewed and they knew the job […]

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I Can’t Do This All By Myself

Human desire to be independent is deep within our make-up.  A child does not get too far along in development before the declaration is made to an attentive parent, “I can do this all by myself”.   Sadly, a small group of people never get over that style of living life. The ultimate need of man […]

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Walking in Obedience to God’s Commands

Do you remember the first Bible verse you ever learned?  The first one I learned was “God is love”.  The second one that I remember learning was “Children, obey your parents.”  Those were taught to us early as the foundation for life.  If we learn that God loves us, then we recognize that “God is” […]

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There’s Nothing My God Cannot Do!

How in this world did that person do that?  From comical videos to news stories to photo shoots of crazy happenings, we have seen things that defy our comprehension. Certain car accidents, humans being “stuck” in some inconceivable place, boating mishaps, and lots of other “uh-oh” moments.  Some of the things that we see cause […]

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Why Are You Going That Direction?

A true Christ-follower is in a race “that is set before him looking unto Jesus”.  When we observe those that profess faith in our LORD but are fickle, disobedient, wayward, superficial, carnal, and always restless, it is evident that their life does not exemplify their claim of knowing Him.  Christ gives us purpose, meaning, and […]

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All That I Needed

Most of us truly “have no wants”.  I don’t mean that we don’t see things that we mutter or think, “I would love to have one of those”.  But, our momentary desire is just that….momentary.  The wealth and ability to get what we truly want is quickly fulfilled most of the time.  And, what we […]

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Can I Tell You About My Father?

Just about the time that I think we cannot get any more “safety conscious” in our culture, I learn of some new regulation or a new device that is being marketed for our protection. Human beings must be terribly reckless and mindless to require so many warning labels, safety mechanisms, seat belts, helmets, safety glasses, […]

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“I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS….”

As we age, we want to cling to those things in life that are assured.  So much changes over a lifetime and so many things have not remained constants that we thought were solid and sure.  People that were once friends move away and our relationship is still cordial but just not close due to […]

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Do You Promise?

Matthew Henry, born October 18, 1662, was a “nonconformist” Puritan minister (meaning not in fellowship or agreement with the Church of England) in England, and perhaps the most preeminent devotional Bible commentator. He was the second son of a pastor, Philip Henry, who was ejected from his pastorate in the Established Church of England because of his Protestant views. Matthew […]

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Grace and Peace Be Unto You

Peace is in hiding.  Violence, assaults, shootings, war, rioting, bombing, and public outbursts are in vogue.  The global atmosphere is tense and the exchanges between differing viewpoints is toxic. Whatever the issue or group that stands in disagreement with “their opponent”, the feelings that abound are hateful. Nothing that the “adversary” does or says is […]

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While My Preacher Was Prayin’

No matter what additions, electronic infusions, drama, videos, or various kinds and sound of music, the services in churches have the same elements….singing, greeting the crowd, praying, preaching, and fellowship.  For those of us reared in church, we retain the fond memories of special events, times with our childhood friends playing “chase” in the parking […]

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How Can You Possibly Relate to Me?

A few years ago, a short play was written entitled ‘The Long Silence’.  It is very powerful in its insight…. At the end of time, billions of people were scattered on a great plain before God’s throne.  Most shrank back from the brilliant light before them. But some groups near the front talked heatedly – not […]

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The Crucifixion of Jesus

On this day that we call Good Friday when we remember the crucifixion of Jesus, allow me to share some favorite quotes along with Mark’s account of Jesus’ death. Jesus was crucified, not in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves.  – George F. Macleod.  The cross cannot be defeated, […]

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Fit For a King

Colloquialisms and regional expressions are the “spice” that makes each culture unique and fascinating.  We smile when we hear folks say something that were common phrases in their part of the country growing up.  Depending on where they grew up, when they were young folks, and the family’s vernacular, language can be very colorful and […]

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Atheistic Rationale For Infanticide

Speaking to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Dr. L. D. Rue argued that people are better off if we deceive ourselves into believing a “Noble Lie” which will make us think (even though it isn’t so) that humanity and the universe have value.  The New Yorker called Princeton philosophy teacher Peter Singer “the most influential […]

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Be Holy in All You Do

You see the same things I see.  To be honest, I did not really believe that I would ever in my lifetime see the degree of this present darkness that is around us.  I was not disbelieving that it would come.  Although I read it in the Scriptures of how the last days would be, […]

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God Makes Ordinary…….Extraordinary

Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  It is the day that we remember that Jesus entered Jerusalem on Sunday heading for the cross.  He had “set His face” toward that event following the Mount of Transfiguration experience   Now the most important week in all of history was about to transpire.  From before the foundation of the world, […]

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Respect Required

All of us that attend church have often heard Biblical teaching that mankind was “created in the image of God”.  Although that phrase is frequently spoken, I am not sure that any one of us ponders what that truly means.  Perhaps, we see so much evil and sorrow in the world because the “image” of […]

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Fear Can Be Compelling

I recently read this story.  It shed light on how we can “fear God” and still be drawn to Him.  I hope it brings a new understanding for you also….. A few summers ago, we took a family vacation to Toronto. We’d never been there, and we didn’t know what to see, but all the […]

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There’s Nothing My God Cannot Do!

Shortly after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea they got worried because there were so many people and very little food and water left.  Even though they had not physically gotten hungry or thirsty yet they saw that they were getting low.  They started complaining and Moses took those complaints to God. We all know […]

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Can You Hear Me?

Likely, you have a favorite story or two that you love to tell.  This is one of my all-time favorites when it comes to a story about God’s faithfulness.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have and do. Roger Simms, hitchhiking his way home, would never forget the date—May 7. His heavy […]

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No Time to Let Down Your Guard

These last few days have been filled with very sad news stories in our local Tulsa area. Locally, we have had the news of three teenagers that broke into a home and were killed by the son’s owner as he felt threatened by three intruders.  It was reported that a Christian school principle and a […]

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Precious Promises

Until the last decade or so, church music to me was always hymns that we sung on Sunday in the worship services.  Music ministers would announce the hymn number in the Hymnal so that all could open the book and find the correct page with the words to enable the congregation to sing along.  Most […]

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You Are Being Watched

Knowing that we are being watched can either be unnerving and totally disconcerting or very much appreciated.  If we are being watched by a stalker, or by a seedy looking character, or a particular prisoner while “inside” a correction facility conducting a worship service, then being “watched” may be cause of alarm.  However, if we […]

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Never Knowing the Truth

For all of our advances through developments in every field, our grasp of secular knowledge is greater than our understanding of spiritual foundational truths.  We live in the generation that the Apostle Paul warned would arise in the last days…”we are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7). […]

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Grace So Amazing

No one would dispute that ours is a litigious society. Everyone will need an attorney for most any significant transaction or transfer of valuable property.  Lawyers are now specialized to give guidance in a singular field of legal issues.  There are attorneys that specialize in international law, constitutional law, estate laws, tax laws, divorce law, […]

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I Just Never Saw Him

Ridgecrest is a large Baptist-run assembly ground, nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. All summer long, every year, thousands of Christians come to Ridgecrest for training, inspiration, Bible study, and challenge.  A few years ago, during a conference, people began to notice a man hanging around the grounds. He did not look like […]

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“HEARERS OR DOERS?”

I just saw this illustration this week, so I wanted to share it today……. I’d like to begin by telling you a little story about something that happened to me this week. I took the minivan in for an oil change.  I was sitting in the waiting room, which was empty except for me and […]

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Who Can See Any Hope For Me

No matter the situation, we need hope to see us through the difficulties.  Without hope, a person loses any desire to push toward success or even press to take the next step.  Despair robs us of our desire to believe that things can improve even if we try.  When the desire is lost, it is […]

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Please Be Kind

From all appearances, the milk of human kindness has clabbered.  Daily, we hear of every kind of assault and violence as well as verbal and physical confrontations that are devastating.  In reality, there is no winner in an angry verbal exchange.  Although one may be touted as having shut the other party down, the aftermath […]

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In a Heartbeat

His name was Justin Timion. He was only nineteen years old the day it happened. A good looking, fun loving kid, he loved doing auto mechanics with his Dad and often used his skills to help friends and family with car repairs to save them money. He was So soft-hearted he protested if his mother […]

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“IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE….”

We are never more like our Heavenly Father than when we are very generous in giving to others.  All that we have, God gave to us freely.  He has poured out abundant blessings on all of us every day of our lives.  Here is a great story from history of a moment of generosity that […]

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The Sense God Gave a Goose

I don’t have enough faith to believe in evolution.  Nothing I have seen can walk me through the development of a living creature over “millions of years”.  I don’t disagree that we start as a cell. We know that from conception.  But, which developed first to move that cell to a multi-faceted marvelous wonder of […]

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Are You a Christian?

Pretense is never attractive.  Rarely is a person credible that seeks to convince another of a lifestyle that they do not have.  Most phonies are readily obvious.  A few that are polished and sophisticated are maybe successful for some period of time, but eventually even the most proficient are exposed as frauds. From our observations […]

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A Life Well Lived

Every life has challenges. Some vocations are constantly stretching an individual to give all that he/she has to the point of wondering if anything that was done was truly successful.  Someone sent me this story this week.  I just had to forward this marvelous example of what one life can mean when lived for Jesus. […]

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Futility

Solomon was the son of King David and succeeded David on the throne of Israel.  His life is remembered for the building of the temple in Jerusalem and for writing three books of the Bible…Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.  Some scholars have stated that Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon as a young […]

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Children Are Welcome Here

Rarely, is there ambivalence.  They are either loved or scorned.  Children are everywhere.  Although everyone understands the need for children in order for mankind to continue to exist, that does not mean that everyone loves children.  You have seen the faces of folks on an airplane when a very active child sits beside or behind […]

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“WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”

Very common question…”Where are you going?”  Moms ask that of children many times a day.  Teachers ask that of students that seem to be heading somewhere they shouldn’t be going.  Folks waiting in airports, rental car agencies, or in a hotel awaiting a shuttle for the airport are not surprised to hear someone ask their […]

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Almost…..

Life is not for sissies.  To make a positive impact in a life time takes the energy, tenacity, and the heart of a champion.  Perhaps that is the reason that so many people never really attempt very much and for the most part, they are successful at it.  Those that live in the “gray zones” […]

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I Put Away Childish Things

Maturity is not so much a destination as it is a process.  Because life is dynamic, we are ever pursuing what it means to be “mature”.  We are complex beings with many levels of activity happening simultaneously always.  So, while we may be maturing mentally, we may be engaged in childish behavior emotionally.  The many […]

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Fruit That is Ever Fresh

American consumerism drives product design, delivery, cost, appearance, and availability. The present “food” demand is for that is which is fresh.  Because of the passion to be physically fit, the diet demands are for farm-to-market produce, vegetables, and fruit.  The customer does not want anything that was sprayed with pesticides, contains additives for any reason, […]

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One Step At a Time

Walking is a common activity.  We do it so often, we rarely think about our steps unless we are on stairs or uneven surfaces.  Because we have done it so often, we are not fearful of going too fast, falling “forward” due to a sudden stop, being thrust backward due to too great an acceleration, […]

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It Is Great Being a Man!

The Pharisees of Biblical times used to pray with thanksgiving that God did not make them “a woman”. Men have a good life and we know it.  We are much less concerned about customs, etiquette, attire, hygiene, verbal skills, organization, emotions, or expressing “inner feelings”.  In fact, just writing that last one made me have […]

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Till the Last One Knows

Slavery is alive and well.  Did you know that there are more people in slavery in the world today than in any other time in history?  Some nations still allow it and in other places, it is not legal, but it is very much practiced.  When it is reported on the news in the West, […]

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Where the Air is Rare

The world’s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa, opened in Dubai January 4, 2010.  At a staggering 2,717 feet tall, it is more than a half a mile high.  At that height, it easily overshadows the previously tallest building which stands in Taipei, Taiwan at only 1,671 feet tall and it is double the height of […]

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Sure I Go to Church, But…..

“Excuses, excuses, excuses!”  They abound everywhere.  We do what we want to do, and find excuses for everything else. No matter what the task or challenge, great things have been accomplished by those that refused to make excuses and did what needed to be done. He that is good for making excuses is seldom good […]

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What Are You Making?

Craft fairs are ever popular because of the creative abilities of artsy people that fascinate us. Not all handiwork is loved by every person, but every person has some interest in a skill or craft that enthralls them.  Personally, I am like a child around a glass blower, sculptor, blacksmith, or potter with a wheel. […]

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What Took You So Long?

Isn’t it strange that a culture that expects instant responses is comprised of people that are perpetually guilty of procrastination?  No matter what the deadline may be, we find excuses suitable for “not doing today what we can put off till tomorrow?  That is not only true with our daily responsibilities….it is also true with […]

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How Far Would You Go?

The apostle Paul said, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). We don’t serve in order to merit God’s forgiveness. We serve because we have already received God’s forgiveness. And our service is simply an expression of our gratitude to God for the forgiveness we […]

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Everything Changed In a Moment

Reflecting on life’s many experiences can cause us to realize that brief moments in time could have (and sometimes did) change our lives forever.  What we may view as a chance encounter, a lucky turn of events, or a near miss of something potentially tragic happening, we truly know it was only by the grace […]

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You Are a Good, Good Father

A native of the small Kentucky town of Franklin, Thomas Obediah Chisholm (1866-1960) was born in a log cabin. He lacked formal education. Nevertheless, he became a teacher at age sixteen and the associate editor of his hometown weekly newspaper, the Franklin Advocate, at age twenty-one. In 1893 Chisholm became a Christian through the ministry of […]

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A New Lens to View Life

It’s the little things.  Most of us can find a way to make it over, around, or through the big demands. But, it is those daily irritations from some little something that should have been so simple that can turn out to be so aggravating.  If we are not careful, the angst that was created […]

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I Just Don’t Remember

We are bombarded with information every moment of the day.  As a result, our retention rate is diminishing.  When we are constantly “up-loading” information, it is very difficult to remember every specific detail about every topic or conversation.  Invariably, we will be asked about “that one specific detail” from one conversation that we just don’t […]

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What Do You Think Will Happen?

There is no shortage of people eager to be prognosticators.  Lots of folks in every field have opinions of what they believe will happen in our future.  With the rise of social media, everyone can post their predictions without any credentials, filters, or verification.  That means that the gullible are swift to embrace anything that […]

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That Was a Bad Decision

Who hasn’t made lots of bad decisions? Everybody makes decisions that do not have the results that we anticipated.  What may have appeared to be a marvelous opportunity or “to-good-to-believe” purchase wound up being an albatross!  When that happens, the person making that decision has a season of self-deprecation as they pummel themselves in their […]

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How About a Grin On Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has become a banner day for those that sell cards, flowers, candy, own restaurants, and movie theaters.  The spirit of the day is to express to your sweetheart the affection that you have for them in word and through giving a token of your love.  It is also a time to see what […]

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Faulty Input Results in Failed Action

Mysteries are a favorite genre of literature, popular subject matter for movies, and make a captivating program to watch as a crime is solved.  Some might find the fact that so many of us love mystery materials a bit bizarre.  However, there are lots of things that happen daily that mystify us. So, seeing, reading, […]

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What’s That You’re Wearing?

Materialism is alive and well.  Because of our insatiable desire to have what advertisers, social media, and popular demands raise as the “most trendy”, no effort is spared in making sure that the label, device, coffee, or auto that we buy, health club and even church we join is viewed as avant garde.  Those things […]

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Whoever Denies Me Before Men

No one has any respect for a traitor.  The very word “traitor” makes us think of the worst of men that would despise their allegiance of their homeland, alliance, fraternity, or faith to aid the opposition.   Perhaps you remember some of these “notables”…. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were a married, American couple convicted of committing […]

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I’d Be a Fool For You

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that life has clear cut choices and those choices have consequences that are significant in life here and in eternity. In Matthew 7, Jesus tells the hearers about two roads with two gates and two destinations.  He then tells about two kinds of trees with […]

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How Many Do You Have?

Our possessions are important to us.  Through the years, we acquire lots of things which is evidenced by our crowded closets, storage rooms, and garages.  Some things are important because we need them frequently (lawn mower, water hose, or tools) but we do not particularly put them in a highly secured place.  However we also […]

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This One Thing I Do

I am not the only one that wonders how life would have been different had I chosen a different vocation or direction in my life.  It is not that I am not delighted to have been a pastor for 46 years.  It is dynamic, challenging, fulfilling, and eternally rewarding.  It was God’s call on my […]

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A Lighter Look At Politics

The last few months have been filled with lots of anger, accusations, and acrimony in our nation’s political actions.  Likely, that will not change anytime soon.  So, today, I found a page filled with quotes that are light-hearted or at least “pleasant” that speak to politics in America.  If you would like to peruse a […]

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Hold On To Sound Teaching

This past weekend, I received an article from a church member that is a picture of how far our world has moved from a devout faith where Christianity is stated to be the predominant faith. The email was taken from the “London Telegraph”, Camilla Turner, education editor, JANUARY, 22, 2017, 11:45 AM. A chaplain to the […]

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How Firm a Foundation

The one constant in this world is change. Nothing stays the same for very long.  Demands for newer, better, more efficient, more durable, lighter weight, smaller, easier to use….all of these demands of the consumer pushes product manufacturers to be planning newer models even as they hope to sell large quantities of items that are […]

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Walk in Integrity

The 21st century will be remembered for many things when history is written.  One of the saddest aspects that will be recorded is the loss of moral uprightness, strength of character, and personal integrity.  The loss of those bedrock characteristics have put America on a collision course with God’s judgment.  Even among those that profess […]

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Abraham Lincoln said, “I walk slowly, but I never walk backwards.” He is remembered as one of the greatest Presidents.  In our rapid pace of the 21st century, “activity” is a given.  Productivity is not guaranteed.  If we fill our days with lots of “busyness” that does not necessarily equate to great achievement.  We don’t […]

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Youth is Wasted On the Young

Our culture is seeking to keep us looking young forever, active for a lifetime, and enjoying life longer than any previous generation.  Youth is wonderful, but it is fleeting.  No matter how hard we work, aging does eventually capture us in its grasp.  We cannot change the process so humor is a great way to […]

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I Wanna Go Home

Some words are soothing to say because of the feelings we have when we hear the word.  For most of us, words like mountain stream, beach, vacation, warm fires, laughter with friends, children, and family…all bring to mind great thoughts of good times.  And, when we live life the way God intended, “home” is one […]

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Insider Info on Inaugurations

I found these incidents in an article on line that is noted at the end of this blog.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did…..  William Taft was installed when presidential inaugurations were still held in March. Despite the spring time date in 1909 though, Taft’s inauguration coincided with a blizzard that covered […]

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A New President

America is witnessing the various reactions that come in times of change.  The media has covered the marvels of the transition of power from one President to another.  And, the various outlets have reported demonstrations of those opposed to a new administration in office.  Sometimes, we wonder if we have ever had such turbulence in […]

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Transition of Power

We just experienced one of the wonders of a free republic.  Each time that a new President is elected, the nation, out of respect and honor of the freedom that is the foundation of this land, stands in awe as one President leaves the White House and another is inaugurated to become our national leader.  […]

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I Need Just a Little More

Idolatry in America is blatant through our worship of materialism.  We measure everything in terms of money.   If we hear news about war, we hear how much it is costing us in money.  The dead and wounded are stated in secondary reports and not as often mentioned.  Christmas in the USA is not about Jesus’ […]

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What’s Your Excuse?

This age will be remembered for lots of things.  Technological advances, electronic devices that are amazing, medical miracles, instantaneous communication “everywhere”, global events that are constantly in a state of upheaval, etc. One of the sadder characteristics is the fulfillment of a very sad characteristic promised in the last days. ….Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the […]

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One Nation?? Under God?? Indivisible??

Would you have ever thought that the “United” States could be so terribly divided, antagonistic, and determined to fight over the simplest of areas of disagreement?  No group is ever totally in lock-step unity, but we have, to some degree in the past, allowed our differences to be secondary to the primary desire to live […]

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A Shepherd’s Love For His Sheep

This is one of my favorite hymn stories about the faithfulness of a pastor to care for His people. John Fawcett was born of poor parents in Lidget Green, Yorkshire, England, in 1740.  He was converted to Christ at the age of sixteen through the ministry of George Whitefield.  At the age of 26, he […]

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Love Is…..

Are you somewhat amazed by how many books are published to help people seeking to understand how to love another person?  Many of those that come across my desk as “book reviews” seem to be so very simple.  It seems that one should be insulted by a writer spending the time to write such an […]

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Now Remain Faith, Hope and Love

Is there any sadder word spoken to a person regarding the condition of a loved one in the ICU unit than, “I’m sorry.  There is no hope of recovery.”  When the word is given that there is no hope, it is like sucking the air out of the room.  Everyone is optimistic as long as […]

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The Just Shall Live By Faith

The word “believe” surely is tossed about freely.  Most of the time, it is not substantive, nor is it a testimony of great faith in God.  Rather, it has become the mantra of humanists that are ever-present in every sphere of life.  As a result, we hear sports team members that state in their interviews, […]

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Courage Under Fire

Fear is a very real, persistent, and rampant emotion.  It can come without warning.  Under the right circumstances, it can quickly escalate to full blown panic.  The causes that create fears are many.  The reactions can range from momentary surprise to paralyzing apprehensions.  Perhaps, that is one of the reasons that we so often find […]

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Our Kind of People

It goes by many names….clubs, cliques, circles, our group, best friends, SS class, prayer group, or a host of other names of tightly-knit relational groups.  Whatever it is called, it is only appreciated by those that benefit.  Those that are not welcomed continually remember what it was like to be rejected.  We have all known […]

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This is Truly Valuable

I just don’t get it.  What people buy (or are willing to pay) for merchandise is bizarre to me.  It has never been my goal to wear jeans with large holes in the knees as a prized possession bought “new” off the rack at a clothing store.  Or, how about paying hundreds of dollars for […]

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Strong Wind is Forecast

We know about strong wind gusts in Oklahoma. We have wind blowing regularly day and night.  Even Rogers and Hammerstein recognized that Oklahoma is the state “where the wind comes whistling down the plain”.  Many have built storm cellars to prevent the massive winds of a tornado from taking them away.  Our television stations that […]

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Clearing the Fog

Life is a marvelous gift from God.  In His act of creation, He granted what He has enjoyed forever.  He imparted to frail creatures of dust “life” to enjoy for a span of time on earth.  Then, because of His great love and mercy, He then made it possible for us (sinful men) to have […]

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One of Our Heroes Died Last Year

Those of us that were teenagers in the Sixties were witnesses to amazing and tragic moments.  One of the “amazing” milestones was America’s Space Race with the Soviet Union.  Instantly, a group of men were vaulted into the status of national heroes.  The first seven men chosen to go into space for the USA were […]

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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

Every new year, our culture encourages us to make and “keep” resolutions that will improve our spiritual and physical health, relationships, educational training, financial disciplines, job performance, and our home life.  All of those things are important. All have their unique challenges that so often prevent us from fulfilling what we set out to do.  […]

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May I Start Over?

Everybody has those moments when they would like to “start over”.  Children making an oral or musical presentation or adults that feel stressed in a presentation or witnesses trying to answer a question in court….sometimes just need to have the privilege of starting over.  The poem listed below has become a favorite of many people […]

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Approaching the Conclusion of 2016

God intended for us to have an awareness of the passing of time.  He created “beginnings and endings” of days, weeks, months, and years.  We are not so conscious of the passing of time when a single day ends or even a week or month.  But, with the end of a year, we seem to […]

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Sorry, I Just Never Really Knew You

Most people seek to find meaningful relationships.  Sadly, not everyone that has a real need for companionship has that person in their lives that is the source of joy, compassion, and fellowship.  In the absence of one that is a close friend, mankind will find substitutes that are not as meaningful or fulfilling.  The quest […]

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Who Do Men Say That I Am?

My favorite study whether for personal reflection or sermon preparation are the studies on the person and work of our Lord Jesus.  Here are some of my favorite verses about him along with quotes of what some famous men have had to say about Jesus…….He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” […]

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Amazing Births in History

Each year, every pastor does a great amount of research and study to find new aspects on the marvelous birth of our LORD JESUS.  The story of Messiah’s birth is truly wonderful!  Since it is about the historical reality of God becoming flesh, the journey is spiritually edifying as well as mentally stimulating.   As you […]

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“THE AMERICAN CHRISTMAS BEGINNINGS”

Although Christmas is over, the festive atmosphere will linger for several days.  So, today’s blog is a look back at “Christmases from Early America”. The modern holiday is far different from those celebrated in the early American Christmas celebrations.  This brief excerpt from an article written for the Colonial Williamsburg Journal gives us some idea […]

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“ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS STORIES”

If someone asked you to tell them some of your favorite things about Christmas, the list that you would state would have some overlap with other folks.  Although each of us has personal favorites, we also share many of the same experiences.  One of the things that put us in the Christmas mood is hearing […]

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“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS…”

Rarely does anything “just happen” or “happen overnight”.  Although we may become aware of some significant change suddenly, normally it is that we have been oblivious to the things happening that were moving that direction.  Once the change is recognized, we are surprised.  We often respond, “That happened overnight”.  Whatever “that” is, it likely had […]

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“CAUGHT ANYTHING?”

No people in history have had as many opportunities to hear the truth about God, to learn how salvation can be found by turning to Jesus Christ, than those who live in this country. There are about 360,000 churches in the United States. In fact, about 25% of protestant congregations in the world are in […]

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“THE DESPAIR OF DISCOURAGEMENT”

Any person that ever played sports has memories of coaches, posters, and parents giving mottos and mantras to keep in mind when times of fatigue or injury bring discouragement.  Our locker room in high school had those classics like, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  Coaches would use both positive and negative […]

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“GOD CALLED A MIGHTY MAN HOME”

This past week, Jenine and I have been in Alabama for the death and funeral of her father, Thurman Kimbrough.  He was the epitome of that great generation that built this nation.  Thurman lived honorably as a result of his deep devotion to faith in God, his love of family, hard work, sacrifice, and his […]

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Questions Mary Might Have Pondered

Some years ago, Max Lucado, in his book, “God Came Near” listed some questions that Mary may have had in the course of watching Jesus grow up in her home.  I found these interesting then and now.  Perhaps you and I would have had some of these same questions…… 1. What was it like watching him […]

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Faithful

Although I was never a great athlete, I loved playing football as a teen.  Because I loved that sport, our coaches encouraged us to play on the basketball team, baseball team, or get a job doing physical labor in the off season to build up stamina and strength.  Being able to play ball in high […]

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Will Life Ever Be Simple Again?

The pressures, tensions, and stresses of life are taking a toll on all of us.  Although we do all that we can to seek to move beyond the impact of tragedy in the news, conflicts in the homes, hostility at work, and fear in public places, none of us lives fully distanced from the fray.  […]

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Prone to Wander

Driving long distances in my car is a pleasure I enjoy.  Some find road trips boring, uncomfortable, and dreaded.  I find them exciting, refreshing, and consider them an adventure. While traveling, I can catch up on CD’s that I have ordered of motivational or inspirational speakers.  I love old radio shows that I can hear […]

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Say What?????

Definitions, syntax, and size of vocabulary are critically important to the person that hopes to excel in their career.  No matter what the profession, excellent grammar skills are respected.  The more that a person can accurately communicate, the more the “listener” has confidence in their ability in sales, service, counsel, or medical treatment. Being from […]

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One Thrilling Moment……….

Social media has captured America, and from what I see and read, much of the rest of the world.  Once, “social” interaction meant talking face-to-face.  It required the back-and-forth rhythm of conversation.  Brief thought bursts spoken with no further commentary were not valued as congenial.  Rather, giving a few terse words on a topic left […]

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In the Beginning…..

Seems to me that life gets more and more complex as a result of the tsunami of regulations and policies that are put in place by our government officials.  For folks that were elected to “serve us”, too often their decisions put new and greater restrictions and limitations on us.  Sadly, there are so many […]

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A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Until Tuesday, September 11, the bloodiest day in U.S. history was Sept. 17, 1862, when about 4,700 Union and Confederate soldiers died in the Civil War battle of Antietam. The first day of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, killed 1,465. Today is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor which brought […]

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The Weak Will Shame the Wise

How amazing when we read a report of a priceless treasure being bought at a garage sale for a pittance only to discover later that the “find” was extremely valuable!  The owner has a momentary sense of shock followed by great happiness at the news. So it is in the spiritual realm.  In and of […]

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Guess Who’s Coming?

America is a wonderful country and we are truly fortunate to live here.  But, that does not mean we don’t have our issues, hang-ups, quirks, and inequities.  Seemingly the more complex our society, the more opportunities we have to make the very simplest things complicated.  So many people are so adamant that they must “have […]

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And the Award Goes To…….

Awards, trophies, prizes, bonuses, and various forms of recognition are given to those that achieve some notable success in their profession.  Surely everyone has seen some awards show on television or been at a banquet where awards for outstanding achievements were honored.  In some contests, there will be the “top five” nominees and then the […]

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Who Are You Talking To?

Most of us can be really loud.  When we are excited, upset, angry, or forceful, we can get to a decibel level that will cause dogs to stop in their tracks!  Most of the time when we are loud, it is not a bad thing.  We may shout at someone to stop before they walk […]

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I Am Free to Do What I Want!

This “me” generation is stretching the boundaries of what it means to be free.  Because of the disregard for what should be basic personal responsibility and discipline, behavior has become more and more decadent.  The lines of decency are blurred.  Respect for other people and for property has disappeared in many of our inner cities.  […]

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The Worst Plague of All

Medical care, health and wellness centers, and the costs of health insurance are constantly before us.  The news media has stories daily.  Our employers steadfastly review the costs to make sure that the benefits’ costs provided for employees can be covered.  Every possible media outlet has ads about jogging, lifting weights, swimming, golfing, and a […]

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Do You Speak English?

Does it seem that we are having more difficulty than ever trying to communicate in the English language?  Even folks born in this country talk as if English was their second language.  Our lack of good grammar, the use of a word that “sounds like” the one we meant but has a different meaning, or […]

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This is Just Too Bright!

Even for the lovers of light, there are moments when the intensity of a light is just too bright to view.  Recently, I was traveling at night and a road construction crew was working even though the darkness of night was around them.  Their ability to see was provided by a highly intense light that […]

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Who Are You Talking To?

Most of us can be really loud.  When we are excited, upset, angry, or forceful, we can get to a decibel level that will cause dogs to stop in their tracks!  Most of the time when we are loud, it is not a bad thing.  We may shout at someone to stop before they walk […]

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“DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?”

As the vast majority of Americans will be spending time with family and friends for Thanksgiving, this account of someone taking the time to be with a very special lady has always made me smile.  I have printed it before, but since it is one of my favorites, I am sharing it again on this […]

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You Owe It To Me

Everyone has heard the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”. When someone is treating a person, privilege, or possession with disdain that is undeserved, it is clearly noted that the good things enjoyed are being viewed as an entitlement. When a nation has had the blessings of God, the massive privileges of wealth, the freedoms that were […]

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I Amaze Me!

Rarely are proud people our favorites.  The truly great people are usually humble and those that think that they are great are very proud of themselves.  It was Emily Bronte that is credited with saying, “Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.” The word “pride” has the focus of those that are arrogant found in […]

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Truth

After this year’s election, there has been lots of debate, analysis, investigations, and speculation seeking to report the “truth” about various aspects of both candidates and those in their respective camps.  One would think that “truth” would be easy to find since both candidates in this election (and in every election at every level of […]

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Hands Filled With Life’s Stories

In recent days, I have been asked to conduct funerals for folks over 80 years of age.  And, this week, I was a part of a funeral for one that lived almost 100 years on God’s earth.  These deaths made me think about this good story I read about life and “hands”……Grandma, some 90+ years, […]

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Have We Forsaken Traditions?

We live in a bold new age.  About the time we figure out how to master the last “thingamajig” we bought, there is a new and improved one that we want more.  Designers are ever working to make sure that they upgrade everything from electronic gadgets to automobiles to enhance the desire of the consumer […]

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O Say, Can You See?

As I get older, I realize that I am not always as observant as I was in my earlier days.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I can see the primary things around me just fine.  It is just that there are times that it seems I don’t see things happening around me like I once did.  Most […]

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Memories

My blog today is going to be sentimental.  Nostalgia has been my partner over this past weekend.  Memories are so vivid today that I feel like I have been in a time machine.  In recent days, I have been able to travel back to a simpler, kinder and gentler time in my life.  In making […]

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Painted Faces

God made all things good.  However, mankind has taken so many of God’s good creations and converted them to be painful, evil, and harmful.  In this culture, we are being mandated to bow and yield to new laws to honor sexual demands that are deviant.  Some ask “How did we get here?”  It was caused […]

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Is There a Pathway to Peace?

Anxiety, stress, hypertension, depression, fear, apprehension, and many emotional struggles are common in a generation seeking to find personal peace.  Many people have tried many things to find an answer to their inner turmoil.  America has lots of professional counselors, psychiatrists, and others trained to help with personal emotional unrest. Some years ago, Duke University […]

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So You Want to Begin to Exercise

Since most of you “exercised” your civic duty in voting yesterday, perhaps you are considering tackling a regimented physical duty like daily exercise for the body.  We all need to do it.  Some of us (me!) need to do it more consistently.  I have found that humor helps me to think about something that creates […]

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“THINGS TO REMEMBER ON ELECTION DAY”

Here are some quotes from Americans through the years about the importance of voting in a free republic to elect our leaders.  Good things to consider again on this Election Day, 2016. One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are. (Cal Thomas). Let each […]

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Don’t Know Anybody Like Him

Most of us are just common folks.  That’s a good thing.  Those of us that are good, every day, down-to-earth kind of people are the backbone of our communities, nations, and the world.  Only a few in any generation are well known.  Only a very few people are exalted to a status in their field […]

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How Much is It Worth to You?

Everything is measured in financial impact….either gain or loss.  We have become so materialistic that even our disasters are measured in the cost to rebuild and restore.  War is not so much centered on the high cost of human life as it is the “billions” of dollars spent so far. The horror of a terrorist […]

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How Big is Your Vocabulary?

The church in America is changing in most every way.  Some have all but ceased to exist due to the failure to reach the “new” face of the community that has become their neighbors in recent decades.  Others have had tragic things happen through a leader’s moral failure, a horrible shooting in the building, or […]

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Exercises That Do Not Benefit

It is not my imagination.  I am not seeing things nor am I in a state of hallucination.  There is an explosive proliferation of new health clubs, gyms, exercise programs, diet plans, diet aids, diet supplements, diet food and drinks, diet pills, diet companies with a multiplying number of sales personnel, high dollar exercise “outfits”, […]

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The Land of the Free

Like you, I am heavy hearted as I witness the turbulence that is the new reality in the USA.  This election cycle is merely a reflection of the multiple undercurrents, rip tides, and cesspools that are present continually in this 21st century.  There are many factors that have contributed to our present state. That is […]

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Talk is Cheap

That is true in the normal daily routine of conversation between friends.  However, it is not true when it comes to advertising in this modern era. $1.55 million was the cost of 30 seconds of ad time in the championship game of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament on CBS, when Duke played […]

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Do Your Very Best

The old expression states that “you have to get up mighty early to fool me!”  When someone that is savvy and “has been around the block” a few times makes that statement, it would be wise to believe that they are very much aware of what is going on around them most all of the […]

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Should I Not Have Done That?

Recently, I was enjoying a meal with a gentleman that has a marvelous sense of humor and delights in using it to make others laugh.  He has lots of quips and a great wit.  When it came time for dessert and the waiter listed off the options, the man repeated a phrase that I had […]

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It Only Takes a Spark

Do you still find that you marvel over the many small details that work consistently in the day-to-day journey through life? I do!  There is so very much that has to work perfectly together for life to continue on planet earth.   Some of the operation that enables us to live is not visible to the […]

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So the Bible Was True All Along

In early 1991, the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite sent back information to Earth that caused a sensation in scientific circles. This satellite had been hurled into space to peer into the depths of the universe. But what it eventually produced was far more than pictures and measurements of distant stars. In effect, it sent […]

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This Is Not a Drill

“Waste not. Want not”.  I am not sure who stated this proverb first, but it was someone who was very aware of the need to use wisely whatever resource was at hand.  The person that has learned not to “waste” what they have will not lack (or be in “want” or “need”) of that item […]

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“BRANDS FROM THE FIRE”

Fire fascinates us.  We are drawn to a fireplace.  During camping season, folks love to sit in the night air by a camp fire.  Candles illuminate homes for special occasions. Flickering gas lamps add ambiance to outdoor restaurants and venues.  A fiery grill creates an anxious anticipation to taste whatever is being cooked over the […]

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“THAT HURT!”

Even children resent having to give up things.  When a parent seeks to take an object from the hand of a small child, there is great resistance on the part of that little person. They will grip more tightly, begin to use both hands to get a better grasp, push against the adult with their […]

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“RESURRECTION’S REWARD”

Grieving with those who have lost a loved one is very challenging.  Our hearts hurt for those that hurt because we know the deep pain that comes with the news that one we love dearly is dead.  If it is sudden, the first response is denial because the mind cannot fully grasp the finality of […]

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You Swallowed What?

When little children are in a household, their proclivity to do the unexpected is the norm.  The scariest sound in a home with preschoolers is when a three year old is very quiet!  Many a mom when realizing that the house is totally peaceful and serene suddenly runs to the place that she last saw […]

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Who Is That Masked Man?

For those of you that are old enough for Social Security, you remember when we would make sure that we were in front of the television at the time that our “heroes” would be on…. Superman, Batman, and even the Lone Ranger.  Each of them made it clear that crime did not pay.  The bad […]

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Just Wanted a Little Conversation

The human race is needy.  We are not silent about our needs.  It is not difficult to hear the voices of good people tell of various ailments, aches, frustrations, irritations, and pains. Because we love to tell someone of our hurts, a prospective listener is selected by just “being present, being available, and being still”. […]

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Take It Away

“Just take it away!”  I heard a lady in a restaurant some time ago being very vocal with a waitress over something she had ordered that just did not match what she had in mind.  Having seen and tasted the food on her plate, she had made it known “loudly” to her dining companion and […]

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In the School of Prayer

Don’t you find it interesting that two of the professions that charge so much for their services are doctors and attorneys?  And, what makes that so strange is that their credentials to charge so much simply states that they are “practicing” medicine or law.  For the kind of money that a patient or client pays, […]

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The Plague of “I” Trouble

Don’t you just love the person that has one favorite topic and the discussion of that topic dominates every conversation?  For some that may be their success in business, or the political chaos, the violence in America, or their depression over their poor condition in their journey.  When we converse with folks, we love diversity […]

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Life is Like a Vapor That Appears

This week is a very significant time in the journey of my life.  October 12, I will have been pastor of First Baptist, Broken Arrow, for 30 years.  That is almost half of my life and more than two-thirds of the years that I have been a pastor.   I began preaching at age 19 and […]

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“ONE HIDDEN ADVANTAGE OF MOVING”

Every single day someone is moving to or from our city.  Some are close friends and others are merely acquaintances.  Some move across town to a new home while others move to a different city because of job requirements.  Some move into their first home and some move into an assisted living “home”. No matter […]

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“I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW”

Life surely does go by fast.  That is how we speak of it through the lens of reflection and not in the heat of its many demands.  When children are young, they want it noted that they are more than five years old.  So they state, “I am 5 and a half”.  That extra “half” […]

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As Is……

To have strong relationships in the body of Christ we must deal with our brokenness.  How do we deal with brokenness?  Individually….we come to realize and confess that we are all broken people.  In many stores you find merchandise in a certain section marked with a two-word phrase. This two-word phrase “as is” is a […]

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It’s Not My Fault

What a strange experience it is to live in a world where an individual is never to blame for his actions.  He is the victim of what was done to him.  His failure to get a good education is not his fault.  It is the poor quality of the books and equipment as well as […]

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What Are You Trying to Say?

“Words, words everywhere, and no good time to think.”  My apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge for the modification of his original quotation.  In this age of instant communication with social media, and constant re-examination of speeches and conversations electronically recorded, words are “everywhere” thrown at us. We are immersed in sound bites, tweets, Instagram messages, […]

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“SOMEBODY BIGGER THAN YOU OR I”

Every person loves to be recognized for achievement.  As early as childhood, elementary schools have awards days. Little League, Little Dribbler’s Basketball, Flag Football for the “youngest” of players, band, schools, and churches give prizes to children for a myriad number of things that they did well. Contests abound.  Folks can enter and be judged […]

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Coexist………or Christ

How can mankind have advanced so far in scientific discoveries, communication developments, technological wonders, and medical miracles and yet have so many people still be so “blank” spiritually?  One would think that there is no end to strange beliefs being birthed into new “spiritual movements”.  The existence of so many major religions that have been […]

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Be Careful What You Eat

Habits are very hard to break and very easy to develop.  Who among us intends to have as many bad habits as possible when we start the journey of life? Nobody!  We don’t have to set goals to develop poor behavior patterns.  Rather, we have to fight diligently to keep from having ruts develop toward […]

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My Prayer For Tulsa

Today, Al Sharpton is in Tulsa.  He has come at the request of Terence Crutcher’s family following Mr. Crutcher being killed by a police officer.  The officer has been charged with First Degree Manslaughter and the family has received a wide spread outpouring of love through gifts and cards.  There are to be several gatherings […]

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That’s the Truth

Even children are prone to exaggeration, fabrication, or just plain altercation of the facts of something that happened.  I am fascinated listening to conversations and what comes out of our mouths.  A person can have us rolling on the floor with laughter.  Then, out of the blue, there is the need to try to strengthen […]

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I Can See Clearly Now

The miracles of Jesus still captivate our attention.  After 2000 years, we love hearing the accounts of Jesus touching a leper and making him whole, or speaking to a paralytic to “rise up and walk” and he did, or the miracle of seeing Lazarus come from his tomb in burial garb.  Perhaps, one of our […]

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As a Man Thinks in His Heart

Stories of people overcoming self-imposed limitations fascinate us all.  Whatever the profession or field, there are thousands and thousands of successful people that had someone give them a “push” that vaulted them into a great career.  Sometimes, that “push” did not come because of the work that was being done.  Another person saw the potential […]

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It Seemed So Insignificant

Just a few rain drops.  Just one storm.  Just for a moment, I took my eyes off the road.  Just one spark ignited the camping area.  How often have we heard and now have come to realize that life’s sorrows, disasters, and tragedies happen in “one” very brief moment.  But, that one moment in time […]

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Love Never Fails

Judson Cornwall, an American Pentecostal preacher who, after World War II, was invited to speak at a renewal conference in Germany. But Cornwall had a deep seated grudge against the Germans and simply threw the invitation into the bin. It haunted him for days as he shuffled around it. Finally the Spirit won and he reluctantly agreed […]

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There is No “I” in Team

It would be fair to say that America is obsessed with sports…all sports….all of the time.  We have our favorite sport but that does not mean we don’t watch other forms of competition just because our most loved “sports season” may not be at hand.  For those that are “fully” addicted, one can order multiple […]

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“MOM”……

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call.  Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy […]

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“NO ONE SAVED”

First responders are a very select and uniquely gifted group of people.  From the time they determine that emergency response will be their vocation, they know that they are going to be responding to gruesome and dangerous situations that would cause the average person to back away.  Yet, these courageous souls have a bold desire […]

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“LOVE ONE ANOTHER”……

How can those Bible verses that we learn as children that seem so simple to repeat be so difficult to exemplify?  As a child, reciting the verse to “Love one another”, it seemed easy to love the children sitting in the circle of my SS class as we recited that verse.  I was not best […]

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“WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?”

For most of us, talking is not as much of a problem as listening.  We don’t like to listen.  Talking is all about “self” expression.  And, as we are expressing what we think or believe, we are not waiting to hear what the other person might want to add or interject.  The longer we talk […]

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“WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?”

No matter where the demands of a single day may take you, there are those expectations that are presented to you that must be accomplished.  Sometimes, it is not clear if the person stating the needs is just “venting” or really is expecting specific help to get done what they are describing.  Each of us […]

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“BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN MEN REVILE YOU”

Christians and Biblical convictions are more and more despised.  As we see flagrant acts of vile living, rampant violence, and vicious attitudes toward any that uphold righteousness, the hearts of Christ-followers hurt.  Our pain is the result of seeing the nation we have loved move so far from what made us distinctively great.  And, the […]

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More Than Slang

Centralia was a small mining town in the eastern part of Pennsylvania with about 1000 residents making their income off of the coal dug just underneath the crust. The town had existed the same way for over a century when pre-Civil War settlers moved there to dig up the anthracite from the earth. But in […]

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Just One Word

She was nearly blind. She was born on April 14, 1866 to Irish immigrants. Life was hard and from the age of three her vision began to fail. To add to her sorrow, Annie’s mother died of tuberculosis when she was eight. Her younger two sisters were farmed out to relatives. Annie tried to care […]

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Greatest of You……Be Servant of All

It was an unusually cold day for the month of May. Spring had arrived and everything was alive with color. But a cold front from the north had brought winter’s chill back to Indiana. I sat with two friends in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town squire. […]

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“HAPPY BIRTHDAY????”

Yesterday, I reached the marvelous milestone of “65 years”!  Good news is that “65” is the age that Senior Discounts are ‘all’ available to me and I also got my Medicare card so I am official!  Friends can be so “kind” when you reach certain significant birthdays.  I know because I have lots of tacky […]

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Soaring With Eagles

In previous times, peddlers would travel by covered wagons and stop in every little town to sell their elixirs that were supposed to cure “whatever ails you”.  Most of those “medications” were high in alcohol content. So, the cure did not come, but the intake of alcohol made the “patient” forget that they were hurting! […]

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Now, That’s a First

The creativity of mankind is ever amazing.  Throughout our history, we have witnessed men and women that could see a need that mankind had and then create something excellent to completely meet that need. Today, every kind of machine, communication device, media, medicine, transportation, or any other “aid” that we use daily was once only […]

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That Stuff Can Kill You!

Were you ever so aware of all that is wrong with the food we eat, the carbonated drinks we drink, and that is in the very air we breathe as in the 21st century?  Not only is there a constant encouragement to join the weight loss movement, newscasters seem to delight to tell us what […]

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That’s the Book For Me

Many believe that the Bible is a fictitious book of fables, myths, superstitions, and contains nothing more than “make believe” wishes for the woefully ignorant that need to believe that there is a force and “person” greater than man that created all that is and can provide for all of nature, sustain us, help us […]

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What About Tomorrow?

Everybody has an opinion about the future.  Some are charlatans. Some are highly respected because of the status they have attained in their chosen field.  Others have a platform because of their entertainment, music, art, theatrical, or motivational speaking prominence. Whoever the person may be doing the speaking, when asked about the future, all have […]

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“SO THE BIBLE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG”

A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Gen.2:24).  In the 21st century, sex has become the secular idol of the culture.  The more the world bows to fleshly desires without God’s boundaries being honored, marriage is weakened; the view of women changes from being […]

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The Broad Way Leads to Destruction

God changes rivers into a wilderness and springs of water into a thirsty ground; a fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.  (Psalm 107:33-34). America has lost more than our innocence.  We have lost our moral compass, our focus on the principles of God for a […]

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Let It Go

We have just witnessed the tremendous athletic ability of the “best of the best” in the summer Olympics in Rio.  The skills that all of these champions possess are beyond the average person’s ability to fathom.  We see them perform and marvel at their mastery over their bodies to do the things that they do […]

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That Changes Everything

My favorite sport is football and the time for the first kick-off of this season is at hand.  Teams are practicing in triple digit heat to be in shape.  Every coach wants his players ready to go the full four quarters to beat an opposing team.   Victory does not come easily.  All of the running […]

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Regrets

“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’”.  (John Greenleaf Whittier).  Living under the dark cloud of regret is a terrible way to go through life.  So many people have regrets that are crippling.  Their minds cannot release them from regrets and their emotions seem anchored to […]

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What is Your Excuse?

Some years ago the Birmingham, Alabama, paper had a headline on the sports page: “The Most Exciting Moment Of My Life.” It showed a picture of Jack Nicklaus writing out a $5,000 check for charity.  As a matter of fact, it was second $5,000 check that day.  It happened because of a game of golf […]

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Shine On!

It is true that some conversations are just hard to link.  One would think that if two people are talking (and only two!), that between them, the flow of words conveying information would be a very simple exchange.  But, you and I know that is not always the case.  Sometimes, the simplest transfer of a […]

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Is the Door Locked?

It is very entertaining to watch a person work at some challenge that they are facing when the audience knows something that the contestant does not know.  The audience has been told the “secret” of what is going to happen at the end of all of the struggle by the contestant.  Because the person that […]

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I Knew You’d Come

Trust is a wonderful thing.  It is hard to get and must be proven over and over consistently to be maintained.  One that is trustworthy is not dependable “occasionally”. Rather, that person is consistently steadfast in doing what is promised and following through on commitments no matter what. We are very disillusioned in the 21st […]

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You Make Life Worth Living

As a part of an assignment for a doctoral thesis, a college student spent a year with a group of Navajo Indians on a reservation in the Southwest. As he did his research, he lived with one family, sleeping in their hut, eating their food, working with them and generally living the life of a […]

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Be Careful What You Wish For

“I wish it was football season.”  “I wish I was 16 already.”  “I wish we could get a new (car, house, boat, etc.)”.  Seems that we all have lots of wishes from our youngest years and lots more in adult years.  As we age, our wishes are fewer in number (most of the time) and […]

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Sad State of Mr. Lonely

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, some years ago, a lonely 76-year-old ex-convict demanded two $50 bills from a bank teller on Monday and then announced he would be outside in his car smoking a cigarette — waiting to be returned to prison. Police said Marvin Stewart walked into the People’s National Bank in this western Iowa […]

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Courage Is…..

“I would not put up with that.  Good thing they did not treat me that way.  I would have let them have it!”  It is amazing how very brave we are when telling someone else to fight.  And, how very reserved we are when we are called on to stand up for what is right.  […]

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Interactive and Alone

Life in the 21st century can provide complete insulation from having to deal with people in a face-to-face transaction.  In this modern age, almost everything can be done on-line.  Now anyone can shop for anything “on-line” and receive it through the mail.  An individual can send an email to a grocery store, pay by credit […]

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A Little Humor For Monday

Someone has composed the following list of “Cards You’ll Never See at Hallmark”: “Looking back over the years that we’ve been together, I can’t help but wonder…. What was I thinking?!” “I’ve always wanted to have someone to hold, someone to love…. After having met you, I’ve changed my mind.” “As the days go by, […]

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If Only…..

“If only I had taken that job.”  “If only I had not quit college”.  “If only I had gone to the doctor sooner.”  How many different ways do we hear people consider the question, “If only…?”  When that is being asked, it is very clear that the individual realizes that they missed a great window […]

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I Am Not On That Wave Length

It is good to live in an era and country where “free expression” of one’s creative abilities is encouraged.  By granting freedom to those that are creative, we have gained great art, music, drama, literature, and other forms of one’s ideas.  Along with that which has been touted as timeless and marvelous, there are always […]

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Lonely?

There are some that just can’t stand it…being alone.  They must have someone on the phone, hearing a voice on television, or being with someone.  When alone, we are forced to think of our lives, our needs, our successes or failures, and our status.  If those categories are not what we had desired from life, […]

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Who Are You Talking To?

Whatever we are doing when we are praying, singing “to the Lord”, preaching, teaching, or “living life” before others, we have to be conscious that our human nature can come between earnest worship and service.  Because we are aware of other’s presence as we “do” whatever we do in a group, we have to choose […]

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But I Want It….

Although we are created equal, most often, we are not fully satisfied nor are we fully convinced that we were not cheated from the beginning.  Because there are those people that seem to have “everything”, many folks find that they are coveting the freedom that wealth provides.  So, we have many that are trapped in […]

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Holding On

“Hoarders” is a popular television show.  The stories are accounts of folks that just can’t let go of “stuff”.  Before long, their homes are so cluttered and stacked so high with junk that normal living is not possible.  Americans shake their heads in disbelief that anyone would live that way.  But, if we are honest, […]

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Lord, You Know I Love You

The Apostle Peter is one that lots of us admit sadly is most like we would be.  Very enthusiastic in our zeal but not always accurate in our perception.  Peter really loved Jesus but he had real difficulty putting his desires to the side to allow Jesus to be truly Lord of his life.  Peter […]

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Don’t Tell Me!

“Can anything good come from this?” That reflective question is on the news often today.  Tragedy followed by terrorism followed by unthinkable violence makes secular as well as spiritually minded folks wonder about anything good rising from the horrors of modern disregard for life.  Seemingly, tragedies are unstoppable.  Sorrows are unavoidable.  Pain is inevitable. We […]

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I’m Right Here

When crises come into our lives “and stay”, we get discouraged.  And, with a downcast spirit, we can begin to question, “Where is God?”  In other words, we feel that if we are doing well and we are happy, God is very near to us.  Yet, if the journey of life begins to be rocky, […]

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I Can Hear You

The bond between mother and child is phenomenal.  No matter where a child is, a mother will hear that child’s cry or call.  Even if they are in a crowded place, or an open park, or at the beach, a mother will be able to hear the voice of her child as if it were […]

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Please Renew My Heart

Everything in the world eventually needs times of repair, refreshing, refurbishing, and renewal.  It is the reality of life that the longer something functions, the quicker it will need some maintenance to continue. That’s true of buildings, machines, appliances, and electronics.  The best working of all things on earth is frequently the human body.  Many […]

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Do You Even Care?

Maybe it comes with age.  Or, maybe it is the culture.  You know, the feeling that the store clerk, the person on the telephone, or the restaurant waiter really could not possibly be more indifferent about poor quality or service. The longer we live, the more evidence we gather that confirms that too many times, […]

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What is Your Priority?

It is pretty easy to tell what folks like.  We indicate that daily through where we spend our time and money. Although, we frequently hear someone tell us that “they just don’t have the time” to do what we requested, it is evident from how they spend their time that time spent is a personal […]

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That is Just Wrong

No one likes to find out that they have been “taken”.  No one likes to discover that someone has just significantly over charged them for an item purchased or a service rendered.  It is bad enough to have to spend a sizeable sum to purchase something that is absolutely essential to function, but, to be […]

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A Letter From Camp

My dad grew up on farm in East Tennessee. From his boyhood, he learned to rise early, work till dark, and know that was a daily expectation.  Before enlisting in the Navy in 1945 at age 17, his world view consisted of farm life just a few miles outside of Erwin, TN.  Like most men […]

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Friends

Friends. Just seeing the word brings to mind pleasant faces of those that we consider to be in that category. It is so wonderful that of all of the billions of people on the planet, we can relate to a small circle of folks that we consider our friends. The concept of friendships has been […]

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Under Construction

What would a children’s play room be without building blocks?  Kids are drawn to those simple cubes of possibility.  They love to stack them, line them up, make a “fence” around something, or create some other “construction project” that is first seen in the mind of the child and then constructed with the blocks on […]

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Church Sign Said, “We Love Visitors”

What is at the top of the list of places that you don’t like to have to go to do business?  Everybody has those sites where the workers are disinterested, cold, or sometimes even rude.  It makes me wonder when I am in one of those types of places if the person realizes that it […]

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The Fear of the Lord

We have lost something.  In our quest for seeking personal happiness, selfish desires, and expansion of our holdings, we have lost our soul.  The strength of a nation is found in the character qualities and faith values of her citizens.  When America was a God-fearing people, we held a common view of the Judeo-Christian foundation […]

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I Thank God For Every Remembrance

As many of you know, my mother went to be with our LORD this past week.  She was quite a lady and lived life to the full with great enthusiasm.  She has now entered the most glorious and spectacular setting she has ever seen.  It must be amazing in that first instant when our faith […]

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There will no blog posts this week…

Due to the death of my mother on June 30th, and seeking to wrap up things related to her passing, I will be unable to post blogs this week. Prayerfully, I will be “back” by next week, July 11th.

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NO BLOGS THIS WEEK

There will be no new blogs posted the week of June 27-July 1.  Will continue again on July 4…..

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I Can Do All Things Through Christ

Self-help programs designed to stir us up to action are now being produced for almost every type of human function or desire.  Language learning, weight loss, physical fitness, learning a new job skill, or getting one’s college degree….all are advertised by a person or company that “supposedly” has found the secret to do “this” (whatever […]

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I Feel So Inadequate

Do you ever struggle with your identity?  Do you experience the fear of being unsuccessful, not accepted, or ridiculed?  Many people do.  I found this article and wanted to share it with you. “I had always been shy and self-conscious, controlled by what my peers thought (or might have thought), but I never considered it […]

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May Not Look Like Much, But…..

I have been so fortunate to be enrolled in a place of continuing education and the positive impact it is having on my life is eternally significant.  Like most courses of study, there is the personal time spent in reading and research.  Then, there is the corporate time with others in some type of class […]

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I Don’t Think We’ve Met

“Time and tide waits for no man”, stated by Geoffrey Chaucer.  How true, indeed!  The swift passage of time causes life to move ahead so rapidly.  It is hard to believe that this year, it will be 15 years since the attack on our country on 9/11/01.  That act of terrorism stunned the world and […]

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The Reward of a Godly Dad

What a great opportunity occurred yesterday for those that are Godly and gracious dads to be recognized by family and by their churches.  Being a dad has never been more challenging. It takes a vigilant father and mother to be constantly “on guard” to protect, defend, fight for, rescue, and train their children how to […]

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When I’m Gone

Funerals have a vital function for the family and friends that are left when one that they love departs this life.  We are told by psychologists that funerals are helpful for the family to be brought to accept the reality of death.  Hearing the eulogy and speakers talk in past tense about the person is […]

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He Knows Us

The short play entitled “The Long Silence” says it all: At the end of time, billions of people were scattered on a great plain before God’s throne. Most shrank back from the brilliant light before them. But some groups near the front talked heatedly – not with cringing shame, but with belligerence. ‘Can God judge […]

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Don’t Live With Unforgiveness

Anger, hatred, violence, murder, assaults, stabbings, shootings, and road rage….how many forms of vengeful behavior do we hear daily?  Why?  Because of unresolved anger and the inability to live a life of forgiveness for wrongs (or perceived wrongs) that are done to us.   Lack of forgiveness can destroy every vestige of love in one’s life […]

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The Benefit of Burdens

Isn’t it true?  Don’t we wish for a life that had no burdens, no problems, no stresses, and no anxieties?  We measure days off or vacation days as “GREAT” if we can do only what we want and have no interruptions, no pressures, and no concerns to afflict us.  That sounds like it would be […]

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Reaching for Relevance

I’m really considering a significant change.  More and more I realize how very much out of style I am at 64.  After all, we keep hearing how we need to keep up with the times in which we live.  So, here are some of my proposals that I really think will make me more relevant […]

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Quitting? Not An Option

William Wilberforce was used of God mightily to end slavery in England and to cause other nations to begin the course toward emancipation in their respective countries.  He was strong and passionate in his convictions and served most of his adult life in the fight for the abolition of slave trading.  On July 26, 1833, […]

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Do You Still Have a Yearning?

Complacency, procrastination, and laziness rob good people of being determined to engage and finish projects that require their attention.  Granted, there are those people that are much less enthusiastic even in their childhood to be active.  But for most that are trapped in “indifference and indecision”, it is the slow, progressive actions to refrain from […]

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Real Strength

The 21st century loves power, strength, and raw confidence.  One does not have to be right to be heard.  As long as a person is forceful, loud, and bold, they will gain an audience.  The listeners may well be hostile, but a crowd will gather! Scripture teaches that we are to be “strong in the […]

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Just Rememberin’………

It was a hot day all day.  Seemed like the heat and humidity were both at 100.  But then, it was June in Alabama and no one expects it to be cool again till November.  Grass was growing fast and weeds were growing faster!  Kids were everywhere with school turning all of them loose on […]

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Fans Take the Field of Play

Here are the musings of a pastor as he contrasts sports fans and “church” members…… My interest in the game is matched by my admiration for fellow sports fans. Not only are their numbers legion, but their attitude could turn the world upside-down. It did once, remember? The original saints didn’t play in New Orleans; […]

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Let Me Try to Clarify

English is not an easy language even for those of us that profess to “speak English”.  I pity the internationals that come to our country trying to learn our vocabulary that has sounds that are so often varied in the words in which they appear.  And, there are words that “sound like” the word that […]

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Mike, the Headless Chicken (just for fun)

On September 10, 1945, Mike’s short life was about to take a turn for the worse. On this day, His owners, Lloyd and Clara Olsen, decided that it was time to slaughter a group of birds, some to sell and to prepare others for themselves. As you can probably imagine, Mr. Olsen was the one […]

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The Harder I Try……

How often do you have the experience that no matter how hard you try, things just don’t work out the way you planned?  If you say “never”, then this blog is not for you!  Does it not seem that some days, the harder you try to get that seemingly endless list of things done that […]

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No Spin Zone

Churches across the nation and around the world are changing.  Not all are going through a transition, but those that are growing and vibrant are looking continually at every aspect of the ministry of the church to determine better and more effective ways to care for hurting people.  When most of us read about “helping […]

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day is one of those holidays that grips my soul.  Living in this country and enjoying the benefits of liberty surely does make one grateful for those that gave up their liberty and life so that I could enjoy both.  The most difficult part of this holiday is that I don’t know the families […]

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Value of a Life

Today is Memorial Day weekend. For some, it has little meaning other than a day off and the running of the Indianapolis 500. Yet, the origin of the day began with remembering the dead in the War of Northern Aggression-—the women of Pennsylvania who decorated Union graves in August of 1864, the women of Virginia […]

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A Good Name

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” (Prov.22:1).  Seemingly, security systems for everything we own are being sold.  Home security, virus protection, car alarms, storm warning apps, and lots of other e-gadgets and hardware are on the market to protect our “stuff”.  The mystery to me is that with all of […]

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Faith

We use the same words in the Christian community, but the meanings vary depending on the opinions and background of the person speaking.  One of the most common words that can be heard spoken often across the spectrum of Christianity is the word “faith”.  For some, it is an empty word that means throwing away […]

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You Are a Witness

We don’t realize the gravity of it.  In fact, most of the time, we don’t even think about it. The influence of our lives is powerful.  Christians are God’s ambassadors in every walk of life so that we can influence those around us in positive ways to desire to become children of God.  The Lord […]

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Traditions

Traditions that we hold dear are the basis for actions in daily living.  Traditions can be the reading of Scripture and prayer before the evening meal while the family is gathered at the table. Traditions can include an “every Saturday” routine that the family knows is set and not to be questioned.  Traditions in jobs […]

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Cheap Imitations

Lots of products on the market are cheap imitations of the real thing.  I am not talking about generic brands that are made by reputable manufacturers.  Rather, there are lots of shysters that would be quick to sell a person that wants to appear to be financially successful a cheap imitation of the real designer […]

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Quality Time

No one has much time to do nothing.  As adults, we have enough pulling at us in the business, family, church, community, and recreation world to keep us busy.  But that is not the extent of the demands on our time.  The longer we live, the demands grow in their time expectations that our children […]

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You Use Words I Understand

Children’s Sunday school teachers that are really good at teaching youngsters are my heroes for many reasons.  Their patience and persistence are legendary in that some have taught boys and girls since they were young adults themselves and now are still teaching children well into their senior years. Their love for children is remarkable.  And, […]

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Calloused

Something is wrong with me.  I am not sure when I changed, but I have noticed a big difference in my response.  Perhaps it is an overload or maybe it is just my age.  Whatever it is, I really never thought it would happen.  What has happened to me?  I am growing numb to the […]

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Where Sin Abounds

Temptations are everywhere!  No matter what your weakness, the pull toward fulfilling that desire is reinforced daily with multi-faceted stimuli.  One does not have to work at finding temptation.  We have to truly fight against them to see to be Christ-like. Someone once said that temptation is fulfilling a God-given desire in a God-forbidden way.  […]

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That’s Too Much

How much is too much?  Situations dictate when one has paid, received, or given far too much. A generous giver of gifts will hear, “That is too much.  You shouldn’t have done that!”  The sacrificial gift of an organ donor to a critically ill patient will have the recipient’s family eager with gratitude to meet […]

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Did He Really Do That?

Found within the character of most people is a tender spot called a conscience.  That God-given conviction device and moral guidance system was put there to press us into Christ when times of moral choices come in the course of a day.  That spiritual warning system is set to give us grief when we say, […]

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“I Love You (or, uhhh, really me) So Much!”

We are quick to speak of the needs of others in our conversations, our casual encounters with friends, and with our Christian friends in prayer requests.  It is natural for us to do so.  We love those in our circle.  We also feel great concern for those we may not know well, but is a […]

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Grace So Amazing

Everybody has a story.  Each and every person has a marvelous description of a journey through the stages of life.  As we listen to the accounts of other’s lives, we hear some that have similarities and we are drawn to them since we have similar life experiences.  Others tell of things that cause us to […]

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Wise Reflections

Following Mother’s Day, here is one more blog bout a “grand” woman in our loves….our grandmothers.  Hope you enjoy this reminder of the wisdom that our grandparents have.  They have transferred it to their children and now to us.  How fortunate we are! A young man, seeing his grandmother seated in a chair on their […]

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Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  Every Christ follower I know has expressed often their concerns for our nation and the willful separation from the God that gave us life and liberty in this great country.  Our rejection of God that has seen us through every crisis whether internal or external, in times of […]

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Treasures

Wonder if Roman’s had “garage sales” to rid themselves of excess stuff from their villas?  Did the Greeks have portable wooden sheds set up behind the palatial stone structures for their acquisitions from previous years?  America has had so much for so long that we have to sell, give away, or throw away truck-loads of […]

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Obituaries

I have conducted many funerals in my lifetime.  Each one had an obituary to read.  The following is one person’s imagination of what the obituary for Jesus might have looked like had there been a funeral for our Master. OBITUARIES – Jerusalem 33 AD Jesus Christ, 33, of Nazareth died Friday on Mount Calvary, also […]

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A Reality of Life

Every civilization has tried to stay young as long as possible.  In our youth, we love every moment because life is new, our energies are limitless, and the possibilities of a day’s adventures stretch to infinity.  We cannot believe that “we” will ever be old.  Although, when we are young, we see older adults and […]

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Did You See That?