Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 30, 2006

Good morning and I was only kidding when I said it was cold yesterday! Today it really is cold, -4ยบ at my house. Mornings like this always bring the theory of global warming to mind.
Is it possible for us to disagree as Christians? Absolutely! We read in Acts where Paul and Barnabas disagreed on taking John Mark with them on a missionary journey. They could not resolve the disagreement and went their separate ways. As a result, two missionary journeys were made instead of one and the Word spread that much more quickly! We may disagree on many things as Christians and sometimes we may not be able to resolve the dispute at that time. Later Paul and John Mark were reconciled and Paul came to love John Mark very much. In the same way we can grow in love through disagreements, if we make sure to work on resolution and forgiveness. Letting disagreement breed bitterness through resentment will only make it worse. Forgiveness usually comes through taking a good look at the other person’s position and empathizing.
Do you ever disagree with something that I write? Probably you do or have, and that is wonderful. Just remember that I’m always right; once in a while I’m wrong, usually when I try to say that I’m “always” or “never” something or other, but don’t worry, that never happens. :-)

God bless you this day!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 29, 2006

Good morning… good cold morning! The snow is beautiful and light enough that no one’s travel should be affected. It is easy to be grateful for a warm house on mornings such as this one; praise God for our shelters! If God wants us to have every good thing, then why doesn’t he give all of them to us right now? I once let my cat lick the remaining milk out of my cereal bowl after I had finished eating in the morning. He enjoyed it and so one morning I left quite a bit more than usual. Of course his little system couldn’t handle it and he barfed milk bubbles all over the living room carpet. That little lesson in cat physiology showed me that perhaps God knows exactly how much of the good things we can handle right now. We may leave that narrow path if we are suddenly blessed with too many good things. We may lose our dependence upon our Heavenly Father by thinking that we have it made with so many blessings in too short a time span. God wants us to have a relationship with Him, one that grows closer with each passing day. Remember that wealthy man who said that there is more than one way to Heaven? That doesn’t sound like someone who has put their faith in the one way, Jesus; that sounds more like one who has put his faith in a money pile. Any idols that we may have in this life will not arrive with us at the final judgment; they will not show up to testify on our behalf. The robe of righteousness offered by Jesus to all who will believe is the only way that we can be welcomed into Heaven. We cannot earn or buy one of these robes, they are only given.

Praise God for his saving grace!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

November 28, 2006

Good Morning! It is a great day in the Lord! How often do we want our own way? It is easy to remember that during the season of “I want,” which we see all around us at this time of the year. Wanting is not always a bad thing; Jesus wanted to do the will of His Father in Heaven, we want to follow our Lord Jesus, and our Father wants to give us every good thing. Wanting in the right direction, yearning toward those things which are best for us in God’s sight, seems to be the key. Too often we can think of dozens of material things that we want given to us at Christmastime or any other time. What is gambling but a desire to have a lot given for little spent? We should pray earnestly that our desires come more into line with what God knows is best for us. This requires the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit; the flesh and temptations of the world will fight this every step of the way. The world does not want to let us go. Trust in the saving power of Jesus and remember always His great love for you!


Monday, November 27, 2006

November 27, 2006

Good Morning and Merry Christmas! Love the sinner and not the sin. The media brings us tales of sin every moment in print, video, and web pages. The quickest way to get your name in the paper is to commit some terrible sin. The world will name it something else since “sin” is something the world does not feel comfortable pointing out. Do you feel hated by the world? Perhaps at the present time you do not, but be rest assured that just as the world hated Jesus first, it hates you now. God will not allow that hatred to become more than we can handle at our current state of Christian growth. You may not perceive the hatred yet, but it is there. I read a call this weekend, a call for Christian actors, directors, producers and writers to come to Hollywood. If you have considered this and feel that call, we will pray for you in that very difficult place. That place, Hollywood, brings us back to loving the sinner and not the sin. There is no more influential place on earth than Hollywood. Countries who want nothing to do with us as a people, still watch the movies that come from Hollywood. Much of the perception of Americans has come from those movies and the perception is not very good. Pray that we can start changing that influence to the Good News of Jesus Christ!

God bless and keep you this week,


Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26, 2006

Good Morning! It’s time to start counting down the days to Christmas! J If you haven’t already, it is now time to play those Christmas tunes. Four glorious weeks of Christmas music and celebration of our Lord’s birth are here at last! Whooo, can you feel it? What a wonderful season of the year, and we may get snow this week. It becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate on work and school as Christmas gets closer, I am glad we get a school break at Christmas.
I was reading in Acts this morning about how we first became known as Christians in Antioch, which at the time resided in Syria. Today the ruins of Antioch are located in Antakya, Turkey. Ruins? What happened to one of the birthplaces of Gentile (that’s us) Christianity? Sadly, it appears to be a victim of the wars between Europe and the Middle East during the Crusades and of the silting up the river that brought shipping to its port. The great things of this earth do not seem to last, even Jerusalem is much changed from the days of old. Those old things will not save us and they do not last. We must put our faith in Jesus, who makes all things new. John saw the New Jerusalem coming down from the clouds after the last days of this earth. The Jerusalem of old, many thousands of years of history behind it, will be replaced by our Lord. The same thing will happen to our very solid planet, 15,000 or 15 billion years old, whichever you like, it will be gone too. Jesus will not reign over a sin stained planet, He makes all things new!

Prepare for the coming of our Lord!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

November 25, 2006

Good Morning! We are still in our Thanksgiving week celebration, so what should we be grateful for today? How about that marvel of modern communication, the Internet? Do we take it for granted that email will always be available? Perhaps we do. There is an ability within us that renders the new and novel into the commonplace in a very short time. 20 years ago only a few academic and government institutions had a method of text messaging over distance. As with every wonderful advance in technology, we can use the Internet and email for good or bad. Along with messages from our brothers and sisters in Christ, we also can have pornography, gambling, and terrorism. Every special interest group has a web site and usually offers the opportunity to join, with the appropriate fee of course. The world would say that Christianity has a fee structure also; there is that 10% tithe we speak of from time to time. However we know better, it costs no money to join our club, it isn’t even a club such as we define the term. We gain a relationship with Christ for nothing; everything has already been accomplished for us. So as we are thankful for this wonderful medium of communication, so also are we thankful for Christ our Lord!

Praise God!


Friday, November 24, 2006

November 24, 2006

Good Morning! Well, there it is; turkey flakes for breakfast, turkey sandwiches for lunch, and warmed up turkey for dinner… it must be the day after Thanksgiving. Sometime next week we will wonder why turkey is eaten at Thanksgiving and ask if perhaps chicken wouldn’t be a better choice. Isn’t that the way it goes on this earth? Too much of almost anything becomes burdensome. Some might say that a person cannot have too much money, but how much is that? Have any of us tried having too much money? Is it possible to have too much love? I think not. I don’t believe that we can have too much of Jesus either. Another beautiful sunrise paints the sky this morning. We get one dose of sunrise on most days, not enough to have too much of that! Some wonderful things are only good for us in measured doses. Studying the Bible should be done daily, but not constantly. We need to let our minds rest and absorb the Word. We also need to share it with others. You may gain some wonderful insights from studying the Word constantly, but what good is that to anyone if you do not take the time to share that insight? So how can we not have too much of Jesus? Easy, He is the Lord. He knows exactly the right touch to form the most beautiful jewel from the basest clay. The process will take the entirety of our lifetime, but our Lord is the master craftsman. No, we cannot get too much of the love of our Lord!

Rejoice in the love of our Lord!


Thursday, November 23, 2006

November 23, 2006

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving! Our gratitude towards God the Father overflows on this day; may Thanksgiving be a blessing to you and yours to the glory of God! Today let’s be thankful for our family. We are thankful for the family of Jesus, our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are thankful for our earthy family, our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters here on this earth. We are thankful for our friends and neighbors, and our co-workers where we work on most days. I pray on this day that all would be saved, that the name of Jesus would be glorified forever! Amen.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22, 2006

Good Morning! Okay, since Pastor Rogers started it; we will be thankful for the big things in life today. For those of you reading on the blog, the link to Pastor Rogers devotional is at the end. Yes, if you are among that group of traumatic accident survivors, you and I did indeed thank God for sparing our lives. That gratitude may have been drowned in tears at times as we endured the healing and rehabilitation processes. Some would say that it is somehow easier for those of us who came near to death to believe in God. As a survivor of that type of accident, I would dispute that with you. Now this must come from the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, because at one time, prior to the accident and healing, I would certainly have agreed with you. I am thankful for my life changing accident which caused me to look to Jesus. It is then much better for those who do not require such a traumatic event in their lives and believe already. Jesus said it first when he said that very thing to Thomas who had doubted his resurrection until the Lord appeared to him personally. I still like the part where our Lord says, “Touch me!” He was no ghost or spirit, he is the resurrected Lord! Today we are thankful for the seemingly big things in our lives. The sunrise that is so beautiful; stars and planets, the sun and moon, homes and cars, buildings and trains, airplanes and orangutans, all those things which are just too big for us. An accident, whether it is an earthquake or hurricane, an automobile or plane crash, all are too fast and too big for us alone. Today we are grateful that God is sovereign. There is so much in this life that is just too much for any of us to control in our own strength or intelligence. We cannot comprehend the extent of God’s creation, nor can we understand most of what man has created. Today, all of us will operate devices which we could not recreate on our own. We will walk, sit, or stand near forces which could end our physical life in a moment if God were not in charge. Today, we also thank God for guarding us each and every moment of our lives.

What a glorious day we have in Jesus!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

November 21, 2006

Good Morning! The third day of Thanksgiving week, and that does bring something to mind to be thankful for… Today we will be thankful for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in His resurrection that we have our great hope. I’ve heard the arguments too, “he wasn’t really dead, the body was stolen, etc.” That only goes to show that if a person does not want to believe; there will be no lack of arguments to support that unbelief. However, those of us who choose to believe know one great truth. That Jesus rose again on the third day. Thank you Lord that you live!


Monday, November 20, 2006

November 20, 2006

Good morning! It is Monday once again, so what should we be grateful for but work! Yes, that job that you and I have, going to work and making a living. Some days we just don’t want to go and we would rather stay home. Other days we cannot wait to get in and start. What is this work thing that we do? Remember, back in the days before Jesus became Lord, how unemployment would just wreck your entire emotional outlook on life? Perhaps you have never been without a job, but without Christ it can be a worrisome experience. Yes, we should indeed be thankful for our job and serve our employer well. Gratitude adjusts our attitude; when we are thankful for what we have, the worries and complaints will fall away. That job will take on new meaning and joy in the light of gratitude. Yes, Lord. We are thankful for our jobs this day; let us work with joy in our hearts!



Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 19, 2006

Good Sunday morning! The week of Thanksgiving begins today, what should we be thankful for this morning? Let us be grateful for the dawning of a beautiful new day! Perhaps the weather is not as you or I would like it wherever we are this morning. Maybe the Sunday paper didn’t arrive on time or your favorite college team lost yesterday. Your health may not be where you would like it to be this day or you may be suffering from overindulgence in something last night. However, all these things will pass, we begin anew each day. Often we hear the wish that if only we were young again but knew everything we do now. Well, that wish is granted each day, we simply fail to be grateful for it. We may not be turned back to 19 years old, but each day we begin a new life and we know everything we knew in our old life of yesterday. Each new day we learn more about this life and we draw closer to God in some way. Today we’ll be thankful for our new life each time we wake up. Today let’s be thankful for the new life we have in Jesus. Hallelujah!


Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 18, 2006

Good Morning! What a fine weekend we have in store! That isn’t saying more than the usual, every day is a gift from God. Today I have decided to be thankful for things that may not seem to be bundles of joy shipped straight from Heaven. Bills, aches and pains, schoolwork (on the weekend no less!), house cleaning chores, flu shots, and weakness in general; these are a few things that may seem miserable. Why be grateful for these things? Why not put them down as part of the curse of a sinful world and go whine in a corner? As we do with a large project, let’s break them down one by one. Bills can be difficult to pay at times as there never seems to be enough money. However, bills come from things we buy such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, electricity, and entertainment. Aches and pains remind us of our dependence upon almighty God, bringing us closer to Him each day. Spending time doing schoolwork at my age and on the weekend may seem to be tough. However, we are never too old to learn. What if college education was allowed from 17 to 30 years of age and after that it was banned since old folks might cause problems with younger ones trying to learn? It sounds a bit far-fetched, but worse arguments have won lawsuits and caused laws to be considered. House cleaning chores is an easy one, homeless folks don’t have any house cleaning chores. It is easy to be grateful for a house, less so to thank God for the cleaning chores. Flu shots may cause you to feel ill for a day or two, though usually far less than the actual flu. Virus-borne illness is definitely a sign of the stain of sin upon everything, but God has given us ways to ease or cure the suffering until Jesus returns to make all things new. Do we need to go on? In Acts, the disciples and apostles would praise God to be counted worthy to suffer persecution for the name of Jesus. The persecution we suffer here in America is seldom of the physical variety; we might be shunned or abandoned by friends and family, or we might be held up to ridicule or scorn in the media, but physically we have it easy. As we look forward to a holiday of giving thanks to God, we are a country who should thank God constantly for the blessings He has given to us. Don’t wait for Thursday, begin gratitude with those things that do not seem so wonderful, and then see how much more grateful the wonderful things in this life become to you! Oh, and weakness, why it just shows us how mighty our Lord is!

Praise God and to Him be the glory!


Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17, 2006

Good morning! Let’s manufacture some happiness today! How can we do that? By the opposite of moaning and complaining of course, we manufacture happiness with gratitude. Be thankful to your spouse for just being there and for who they are. Be grateful to your employer for providing you a way to make a living for your family. Be grateful to God in all things, the trials and the pain of life, the roof over your head, that you are still alive, even for the earth to stand or sit upon. Complaining brings down your face and your spirits, even the secularists know this. A smile may help lift your spirits, but Jesus calls us to get to the root of that smile, joy. Forcing yourself to smile because someone says to do so can help a little, but a smile is but a symptom. Forcing a sad person to assume a symptom doesn’t cure the disease. Want to see a genuine smile? Spread the joy that comes with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Today let us be grateful for that Good News; the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord brings a depth of joy to our hearts which even this world cannot extinguish!

Praise God for life in Christ Jesus!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16, 2006

Good morning. The light of the Lord shines upon us today! Anger catches all of us off our guard at times; many things in this world can cause us to be angry. Many rightly so, others are just silly, but they still cause that fuse to start burning. Some of us control it better than others, and some of us only think that we do. That wrath that comes from a slow burn on the inside can be more damaging to both the person and the object of the wrath when it explodes into action. These days, movies and television shows might try to glorify that angry man or woman who has finally had enough and sets out upon the trail to revenge. Jesus tells us that this is not the way, not his way. More often than not, I have found that my internal anger is unjustified, the imagined slight or injustice is just that, imagined. We cannot easily know what is going on in another person’s mind and what may have caused someone to act in the way they did. How many times, when we imagine that we know why a person is doing or not doing something, do we seem to imagine the very worst motives? To help with that wrathful thinking, try to give them the benefit of the doubt and imagine a compassionate motive for them. Often for me it seems that understanding dawns when I imagine a better motive for the other guy, and the healing that is really needed in most cases comes upon… my own thinking!

No foothold for the devil, love one another.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15, 2006

Good morning and a great day to be serving the Lord! How is your behavior at work? Do you act differently at work than you do with your family at home? Sometimes we put on a front to go to work; we might be nicer, more polite, less direct, more cunning or clever, and other behaviors that we don’t use at home. Playing a part puts a great stress upon an actor, it is sometimes stated that 3 movies per year is the average that an actor can stand without emotional or psychological troubles. That makes me wonder just how much stress we put upon ourselves by assuming a “role” at work. If someone tells you that you act very differently at home or that “you’re a different person” at work, that might be a warning sign of stress that you are putting upon yourself. Now there will always be some stress at work, many of the tasks that you and I perform at work would not be necessary at home. Try to imagine your family gathering in a conference room to discuss the latest strategic direction for the company or how to cut costs in the next budget year. (Not that this would be a bad thing in some families!) Some level of stress separates work from home; if your home is stressful then you need to invite Jesus inside. We cannot continue to function with too much stress at home and at work; that would be a terrible burden! Strive to find peace in the home, and be genuine and loving at work.

May God bless you this day!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14, 2006

Good morning! In a world so stained with sin, the light of Jesus shines gloriously into the darkness! Hallelujah! Reading the news on most days can really give one an appreciation for the light of the world. Sadly, I don’t even need to give examples; a news web site, a newspaper, the nightly news, any of them will do. You can probably think of many examples without even trying. There is a feeding frenzy at work in the world, people say that gore, sex, and violence is all that is shown; the media folks say that those same subjects are all that the people want to see… one feeding the other in an endless circle. Like Ouroboros, the ancient symbol of the snake or dragon devouring itself, the world feeds on its own tail in an endless cycle. I can see that once again this observation is not new. I can picture a minstrel of ages past coming to a small town and performing his singing news reports. A person might ask him, “Why do you always bring us tales of gore, sex, and violence?” to which he replies, “That is all the people want to hear…” There is a circle of life alright; it is the world spinning in place until Jesus returns.
Did you get a chance to read the dissenting article from Sam Harris in the November 13 issue of Newsweek? It is interesting that in order to make a case, no matter how poorly argued, against Christianity, that atheists must lump all religions together. Of course, misrepresentations, even comical ones, are used liberally throughout the article. “raptured into the stratosphere”? Good grief, you can’t even breathe there, why would anyone want to be caught up to the stratosphere? It’s an old tactic, if you cannot defeat an idea as it stands, then belittle it with comedy first. Jesus is more than an idea, more than a religion, and a walk with Christ is a relationship.

God be with you this day,


Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13, 2006

Good morning on Garfield’s favorite day – Monday the 13th! Yes, it’s back to work for those of us on the regular Mon-Fri work schedule. Have you ever been accused of being self-assured? Does this bother you? It certainly should. Many in the world can be described as self-assured, I have been described that way before and I must confess that I was just that. Back in the day when I could only be described as a complete failure for Christ and an unacknowledged one at that, I thought myself smart and quite self-confident. However, confidence in ourselves gets us nowhere in the end. All of our accomplishments on this earth end when we do. Faith in Christ, now that will get us to a home in Heaven! When we sing that great hymn “Blessed Assurance” we do not speak of self-assurance, we speak of God assurance. Can we really be self-confident after the Law shows us how many times we fail? No, and the Law cannot save us, only condemn. Jesus came to save us and not to condemn, and that is our blessed assurance, salvation in Christ! So this week we can start like any other or we can start the week…

God-assured and Jesus-powered, unconditional love from here to eternity!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12, 2006

Good Morning! Hope everyone obeyed the safety rules yesterday. Of course if you do not participate in deer season then I hope you obeyed the safety rules of driving, walking, or snoozing on the couch. What about those who do not keep a commandment? The minister from Colorado, the actor/director who made The Passion of the Christ, the televangelist caught with his secretary… I don’t even need to name them and you probably know who they are. The world delights in catching someone with their britches down; religious figure, politician, or media star, they will get splashed across the web pages whenever they do something wrong.
I disagree with Dr. Dobson when he says this latest scandal has hurt the cause of Christ. I do not believe that we can hurt the cause of Christ, although we can certainly hurt our own cause or reputation. When Jesus reported to his Father in Heaven that he had not lost even one of those he was given, I believe that refers to all of those who will join him in Heaven. If a minister falls from grace in the eyes of the world and then repents, I truly believe that Jesus is the first one to reach down and pick him up. Sins in our thoughts are no better or worse than those sins made public in the media. The world may not know that you or I have sinned, but God knows the breadth and depth of that sin, just as He knows the truth behind what we see in the media. We will all stumble in our walk with Christ, remember to forgive as He has forgiven us.

God loves you!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11, 2006

Good Morning! It’s the opening day of deer season out here on the high plains. Armed folks in orange taking to the dirt roads to put venison on the table and feed their families. I will once again bring a big college paper to completion, actually two of them, this weekend. Such is the life of a college student! Today is also, perhaps more importantly, Veterans Day. If you have not thanked a veteran for his or her service to our country, please do so today. I arrived home in time yesterday to catch a repeat of the dedication of the new Marine Corps Museum on CSPAN; the ceremony featured President Bush, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and others emceed by PBS host and Marine veteran Jim Lehrer. A visit to that museum will be on my itinerary of places to visit out east in the future.
Each year on Veterans Day, I like to remind us of the service given by those among us who have volunteered or been drafted to serve in our Armed Forces. I always think that God likes to see us serving someone other than ourselves. The ultimate example of this is Jesus Christ who continually served others during his life on earth and gave us all a great gift upon his resurrection, the gift of eternal life for all who will believe. Even those who refuse to believe in God can begin down a less selfish path in life by serving their country. We note many non-U.S. citizens joining the Armed Forces to defend their adopted country and to attain citizenship more quickly, and this is a wonderful thing. Certainly there are many who are already citizens who should be shamed a bit by this.
Do you feel that your chance has gone by? You are now 40, 50, or even older and the military wouldn’t touch you with a ten-foot pole? Perhaps you are still young and some other circumstance or condition prevents your service. Not to worry, there is a higher service. Nations will come and go; even this great nation of ours will one day be no more. Jesus calls us to follow him; that service will never end and can begin at any age. We have the opportunity of a lifetime, even unto the point of our physical death, to repent and be welcomed into the family of God. There is no boot camp to face, only a cross to carry and a friend to gain in Jesus. Don’t wait or cling to this earthly life when so much awaits you in Christ, our Lord and Savior!

God bless you this fine weekend!


Friday, November 10, 2006

November 10, 2006

Good Morning! Some time ago I promised to relate a dream I had. This occurred about the time this devotional could no longer be sent from inside my company to other believers both within and outside of the organization. I went through a bit of a dark time then, almost ceasing to write each day as I had become accustomed to doing. If you have ever watched Coral Ridge Ministries or D. James Kennedy on the television, you may have seen their Christmas greetings where Pastor and Mrs. Kennedy speak from a comfortable room and wish us a Merry Christmas. The reason I mention this is that the dream came to me just like that, Pastor and Mrs. Kennedy speaking directly to me; only it wasn’t Dr. Kennedy speaking to me, but Mrs. Kennedy. She simply said that I had to get back to the work I was doing. Nothing more than that, no long scenes of strangeness that might occur in most of my dreams (we’ll not go into that here!), just a simple and straightforward message of get back in the saddle, so to speak. Praise the Lord, I did just that and we have rolled along for a couple of months now, even adding a new believer now and again. Writing is what I have been called to do and I am most happy when doing it for the Lord.

Have a blessed and wonderful weekend in Christ Jesus!

... and today we wish a Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9, 2006

Good Morning! The Democrats have taken over and the world seems to be much the same as yesterday, life goes on. How often does that “idle word” get into our conversation? At times a phrase or word will get into my head that I think is somehow cute or funny and it can be very hard to keep it from coming out. How many times has some little joke or comment, spoken when someone was not present, made its way back to them and then the subject of that word come to you? That can be quite embarrassing and rightly so! What is even more frightening is having the accuser bring all of those idle words out at my trial before the Judgment Seat. What then is to prevent all of us from being condemned by our idle words? One not so idle Word, Jesus! He has paid the price for every one of our idle words. We should fear and respect what God knows, but only to make us strive to live and speak better, to be careful about what we say (or write!). To paraphrase Paul, Love doesn’t take verbal potshots at other people.

God bless you this day!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 8, 2006

Good Morning! The love of God shines upon us today, just like it does on every moment of every other day! We have elected a slightly different governing body today. Yes, the party makeup of the House of Representatives has shifted substantially to the Democratic Party. Many are speaking out about what they think it will mean for us, but in truth that remains to be seen. The new speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, spoke of a return to civility, and then a bit later spoke of a “return to integrity and honesty”.. Ouch! I hope that isn’t a sign of things to come. We can be comforted in one thing; God is sovereign, both on earth and in Heaven. Right now we are allowed to choose those who would govern us and though the “will of the people” seems to be whatever the candidate speaking says that it is; we know that whatever the will of God is, will indeed come to completion in his perfect time. Do you believe candidates or elected representatives when they say “I will do this or I will do that”? They may or not be able to carry out their plans or wishes. However, when God says in His Word that He will do this, I have no doubt that it will come true. I choose to believe, you choose to believe, and we know and are content in His assurance. Do the results of the election affect us? I must admit to some trepidation regarding the change of government; that is only normal for any of us. Like you, I am glad that God has not changed and will not change. I believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

God loves you!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 7, 2006

Good morning and remember to vote today! Just a bit over two weeks from today is Thanksgiving. I start mentioning Christmas well before Thanksgiving arrives and I do not want us to forget that gratitude comes first. While many have forgotten that Thanksgiving is based upon gratitude, not eating, we should not only remember, but remember all the year long. During the difficult times in life it may be tough to remember to thank God for everything. We might be thanking God through tears and we may not feel grateful for a time, but God is with us through joy and pain. His promise to us does not grow dim or farther away; as Isaiah told us, “the people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.” (9:2). We might look to the side or try to shield our eyes, but that light never dims.

Praise God for the light of Jesus Christ!

Monday, November 06, 2006

November 6, 2006

Good Morning! Tomorrow is time to vote if you didn’t get one of the new mail-in ballots. Somehow I always feel a bit irresponsible or fraudulent in my voting. It seems that on every ballot there is some amendment or election that leaves me thinking “huh?” or “who are these people?” This year there seemed to be many of those on the ballot; perhaps classes have allowed the election to sneak up on me or it may have been the attention paid to the congressional seats. I may need to be more responsible and subscribe to a newspaper again; the national news on the Internet doesn’t seem to cover these state amendments. However, when I mail in my ballot today I will vote against allowing more gambling in Nebraska. I realize that we cannot legislate behavior, but at the same time we should not vote more opportunity to sin! I wonder how many races tomorrow will be decided for better or worse by voters like me who know little or nothing about the people in the race? Should I vote on the board of directors for ESU 13 when I don’t know any of the people listed? In that case it might be best to abstain. That is difficult to do since I have been trained since childhood to answer every question on those fill-in-the-ovals tests. This election pointed out to me the need for us as Christians to speak and email our views on candidates and amendments. We should have research and discussion well before the election arrives, especially the presidential election coming up in 2008.
One thing that impressed me about one point of view’s efforts on one ballot amendment, 423, was the fellow out on Sunday evening delivering flyers to every doorstep on our street. I like to see that kind of effort by a candidate or supporter/detractor of an amendment. If I am not mistaken, our current state senator, Philip Erdman, defeated the incumbent by just such an effort. I am thinking that I can make some effort to help you out by finding information on candidates and issues, and then posting that to another blog. It’s too late for this election, but I’ll see what I can do before the next one.
Let us not forget the one thing that we can do in every election though, and it is not voting that I speak of, but rather it is prayer. Before you fill out that ballot, and I certainly encourage you to do so, we can pray for God’s guidance in casting our vote. We may not know everything about every possible selection, but God does and He is not our last resort, but our first!

God be with you as you vote this week.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

November 4, 2006

Good Morning! In Jesus I am found, no longer lost in a sinful world. Praise God for the Good Shepherd. I do believe there are 50 days until Christmas; it is past time to start playing those Christmas tunes! The celebration of the birth of our Lord on this earth should not be left to the secular world. Every time I go on about the celebration of Christmas, I am struck by the shortcomings in our celebration of Easter, the resurrection of our Lord. The birth is important, but the victory was won upon Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus’ instructions to spread the Good News to all nations came after the resurrection. And spread it did! Christianity outlasted and overcame Rome, made contact with many lost peoples, and began the wonders of modern science. Many languages would remain dark to us were it not for Christian missionaries working to spread the Good News to every corner of the earth. Some would say that the old Greek philosophers began modern science, but did you know that the Greeks had to be rediscovered? Yes, part of the greatness of the Renaissance lay in rediscovery, which should not leave out Martin Luther and his teachings by the way, of much lost knowledge. The great benefit of the printing press was to bring Bibles and reading to everyone. The war has lasted ever since Adam and Eve listened to the serpent in the Garden; we know that it is over and the victory won, we just don’t know when the fighting will end.
May the love of God remind you of Christmas this weekend!

November 5, 2006

Good Sunday morning! It looks to be a fine morning today. On this devotional I want to give a word of gratitude for all of those behind the scenes players for Christ. In chapter 8 of his gospel, Luke mentions a few players who support the ministry of Christ through finances or other support. Joanna, Susanna, Mary Magdalene, and others not mentioned by name, gave the ministry support of time and resources. In this way, Jesus did not have to spend precious time asking for tithes or doing domestic chores, instead spending that time teaching, healing, and in prayer. The supporting players in the Church hold just as much importance as the visible players. I have always considered the ministers and missionaries as sort of the stars of the work of our Lord, not that their work is more important, but that it is more visible to the public. Today or actually last night, I was thinking that we often don’t encourage and applaud each other enough for the work we do in supporting the Church. Many of us have been called to a secular career, one not directly related to the Church. You see, all of us are on the front lines in this effort, not just missionaries. Everyone expects a minister to behave in a manner above the common herd; the real witness comes when we as employees in our own workplace behave in a manner like Christ. In fact you only hear about the ministers who misbehave, the world cannot resist pointing out that sin and dancing with the headlines.
Today I would like to applaud and congratulate all of you. Called to a secular career, you still tithe, give to charities, clean the church buildings, minister to those around you, encourage and pray for each other, and spend time in prayer for your country, the world, and our brothers and sisters in Christ all around the globe. We may hear about the televangelists in the media, but they are nothing without Jesus and all of us. We need each other until Jesus comes to bring us home. Every leader in the Church needs followers, and every believer needs the prayers of other believers. We are the Church, the bride of Christ. Praise God for the part we have in building His Kingdom!


Friday, November 03, 2006

November 3, 2006

Good Morning! It is good to be near the Lord today. I enjoy Pastor Rogers’ words on patriotism. Another take on patriotism can be found in the book:
AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service -- and How It Hurts Our Country by Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaeffer. The title might be a bit cumbersome, but I want to acquire a copy and read it. I have read that only 1% of the country has served in the military; this seems to me a low figure when I look around here, but perhaps other parts of the nation make up for our higher figure. Then again… when I start counting veterans and how difficult it can be to find them, maybe not so low. Certainly it is understandable when a mother or father does not want their son or daughter to enlist. The military is directly related to war; no matter who starts it, they will have to fight it. People, both civilian and military, die in wars and none of us wish death upon someone else.
As someone who has already served, I think that everyone should volunteer to serve their country in their youth. We have it easy if we can get away with such a low figure and still have a strong and dedicated military service in our country. Many countries with smaller populations must have near 100% service in order to defend their lands; of course, others have huge populations and can draft million man armies without blinking an eye. However, it is one of the great disparities that so many enjoy the freedom of the best country on earth without giving back a few years of their life to maintain it. Although our military has seldom needed that many people, wouldn’t it be great if the military had to pick and choose through stacks of applications to serve our country? Now I read that the Army had to lower its standards to get enough enlistees, few it seems want to serve right now. Picking up a rifle and doing your duty as a free American has always been difficult, especially in war time, but always we have overcome the fear. What is so different now? Have we as a people become so cynical or fearful that even the terrorist attacks on our nation cannot inspire us for more than a few months? Veterans Day is one week from tomorrow, perhaps we should spend at least this week praying earnestly for our country.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 2, 2006

Good morning and it really is morning this time. Wow, praise the Lord for warm houses! It’s cold out there today. Why don’t we see lengthy letters of praise for our efforts, large or small, in the service of our Lord? Do you want rewards in this life for doing good works? Whenever I start thinking along those lines, I find myself thinking of Jesus words at the Sermon on the Mount.

"Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do-blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
5 "And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
7 "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

The phrase “that is all the reward they will ever get” sticks in my mind. It would seem wiser to me to wait for our reward in heaven, the very one that Jesus has gone to prepare. Many people who have been blessed with wealth on this earth give very publicly, seeking the acclaim that goes with that public giving. Money is like any other talent, some are good at handling it, some are not; some have much, some less; we can learn to do it better, but there will always be those with a seemingly magical ability to excel at earning more. Of course, the talent can also be abused. Yesterday I read an interesting article on some ministers who are getting a lot of attention lately. You can view it here:,9171,1533448,00.html , as always when reading articles in the media, read with a critical mind. Whether God wants you or me to be rich in this life I don’t know, but I do think that we should listen to our Lord when he tells us that time is running out. If you think that a minister doesn’t have the entire message of Jesus, then feel free to watch or attend more than one service each week. Our loyalty is to Jesus, not to any one minister or denomination.
The Lord may not grant you riches on this earth, but he most certainly has granted you a mind and heart of love. Love one another and reach out to the lost sheep of this world. Let Jesus prepare your riches in heaven, and don’t become mired down in pursuing money on this earth.

God loves you!