Sunday, January 31, 2010


My Mom has been really sick.  She had pneumonia and then got a bad cough.  She’s had trouble breathing for the last week.  A CAT scan revealed fluid in her lungs and around her heart.  If you read this, please say a prayer for her.

As I have thought about her this last week, I have also thought about how quickly we lose sight of the frailty of our bodies, the miracle of life, and how important little things like breathing are.  We never think about breathing, we just do it.  It is automatic.

Our prayer life should be like breathing.  It should be automatic.  We are to pray about everything and to pray without ceasing.  No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we should be praying about it. 

I remembered two other scriptures that talked about breathing.  The first is when God created man, He breathed life into him.  God’s breathe is what gave life to Adam.  (Genesis 2:7)

Man needs to breathe to live, both physically and spiritually.

The other Scripture that stuck out in my mind was that the Scriptures are God-breathed and that is what makes them useful for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training in righteousness.   (2 Timothy 3:16)  God’s breathe infused them with life and truth.  They had to be God’s words in order for them to be inerrant.

Man can’t live by bread alone, but by the inspired (God-breathed) Word of God.  The Bible tells us about how to have eternal life through faith in Christ. 

As you need to breathe air to live, you need to feed on the Word of God to live and grow spiritually.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Knowledge of the Holy

Knowledge of the Holy is a short book written by A. W. Tozer.

Here’s a quote from that book that stuck out to me.

"The divine attributes are what we know to be true of God. He does not possess them as qualities, they are how God is as He reveals himself to His creatures. Love, for instance, is not something God has and which may grow or diminish or cease to be. His love is the way God is, and when He loves He is simply being Himself."

Focus on God’s love and be thankful.

Enjoy your weekend.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Psalm 15

Psalm 15 is a short psalm.  It has just five verses and yet it has a lot to say about our daily life.

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
       Who may live on your holy hill?

2 He whose walk is blameless
       and who does what is righteous,
       who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
       who does his neighbor no wrong
       and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4 who despises a vile man
       but honors those who fear the LORD,
       who keeps his oath
       even when it hurts,

5 who lends his money without usury
       and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
       He who does these things
       will never be shaken.

I thought about the idea of “Who will be accepted by God?”

The holy hill refers to the place where God dwells.  It is the place where you can meet Him and dwell with Him.  Who can be God’s friend and dwell with Him?  Who can enjoy His protection?  Who can experience His favor?   Who can can receive His provision?  What is it that is required of me?

Then it spells it out …

Walk blameless
do what is right
Speak the truth

Who can do this all the time and never mess up?  We need the strength that comes from Christ.  We need the power that comes from the Holy Spirit and His presence in our lives moment by moment in order to meet these goals. 

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  (Philippians 4:13)  

Without Him, I can do nothing.  (John 15:5) 

God works in me to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13)


Sunday, January 24, 2010

What is man?

Our Sunday School discussion today came from Psalm 8.  Here are some of my thoughts today stemming from that discussion.

“When I consider your heavens,
       the work of your fingers,
       the moon and the stars,
       which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,
       the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
       and crowned him with glory and honor.”  (Psalm 8:3-5)

When I look at the stars and the intricacies of creation, I wonder how great is the God that we serve.  The stars in PA where we hope to move are amazing.  It’s in the country and there aren’t any lights close by to interfere with the stars.  They are absolutely incredible.

Then I wonder how God could be so concerned about me – when I constantly disappoint him.  I mean well.  I try hard.  I am so glad I am saved by faith and that the blood of Jesus covers all my mistakes and shortcomings.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  (1 John 1:9)

God created me a little lower than the angels. 

The next time you question your value as a person, remember that God considers you extremely valuable.  He created you in His image.  He loves you.  He knows the number of hairs on your head. (Luke 12:7)  He will never leave you or forsake you  (Hebrews 13:5) 

Listen to the song and let it minister to your heart…



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is God punishing Haiti?

Churches across the world have come to the aid of the Haitian people.  Aid of all types has not stopped flowing since the devastating earthquake hit their country on January 12th.

This was the worst earthquake in 200 years.  It hit 7.0 in magnitude.  It struck less than 10 miles from Port-au-Prince.  The Haitian government has estimated the death toll to hit 200,000 and it said 250,000 people were injured and another 2 million are homeless in the nation of 9 million.  (AJC, 1/21/10)

With all of this going on, the media has chosen to focus on some remarks by Pat Robertson.  He speculated on why Haiti has suffered so much over the years.  He thinks that the country sold its soul to the devil in order to gain freedom from the French.  He believes that Haiti is cursed because of a pact it made with the devil.

Personally, I think that no matter what Pat Robertson thinks is the reason for this tragedy, airing those thoughts at this time was inexcusable.  Our focus right now needs to be on helping the people.  Christians need to reach out in love to that country.  We need to pray every day for those people.

It would be OK to pray that this disaster would bring a revival in Haiti.  It is not OK to go on national television and claim to know why this occurred.  Unless you are God, you don’t really know why this happened.

Do I think God allows things like this to happen to get the world’s attention?  Yes. 

Did God do anything like this in the Bible?  Yes – ever hear of Sodom and Gommorah.  God’s compassion was extended only to the righteous few within the city.  Abraham pleads with God for Sodom.  “Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." (Genesis 18:32)  God chose to save Lot and his family but he destroyed the city because of its sin. 

How about Ninevah?  Jonah ran away rather than go to Ninevah with the message of repentance.  Jonah knew they would repent and God would forgive.  “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”  (Jonah 4:2)

God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9)  However, He will punish the unrepentant.

As I wrap this up, I guess I think that we should do our part to reach out and help others.  When something like the earthquake in Haiti occurs, we shouldn’t be quick to judge them.  We shouldn’t hypothesize about God’s business.

We should try to point people to the love, forgiveness, and comfort that Christ offers.  Placing the blame for this disaster on the Haitian people didn’t help anything.  We should keep our focus on being available to be used by God to reach others with hope, help, and love.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Paul’s Example of Leadership

These ideas come from Acts 27.   (Click the link to read it.)

Let me set the scene briefly,  Paul has been arrested for preaching the gospel.  He is thrown in jail and held there for over two years.  He is called before Felix, Festus, and then Agrippa.  He gives his testimony to all of these men.  He uses his Roman citizenship and asks to be sent to see Caesar.  Upon making this appeal, he has to be sent to Rome.

Now we are at chapter 27.  Paul has to travel to Rome by ship.  He was on a freighter boat crossing the Mediterranean Sea.  Paul warned the captain of the ship that they were heading out too late in the season.  The boats didn’t maneuver well and depended upon the winds to take them where they needed to go.

The captain ignores Paul’s warning and goes any way. The boat was caught in a terrible wind.  It was tossed around by these hurricane force winds and everything on the boat was lost.  There was no food and the people were sure they were going to die.  For two weeks this went on.  Eventually they were shipwrecked on the island of Malta.

Looking at how Paul handled things in chapter 27, I find that Paul stayed calm through this terrible situation. 

He didn’t get mad or blame the captain for sailing against his advice.  He looked out for the people on the ship.  He didn’t dwell on the past or use an “I told you so” attitude.

He was able to look at their situation, evaluate it, and make a decision.  He stayed calm, positive, and level-headed through the whole thing.

He listened to the Lord’s direction and then gave those directions to the people. 

He must have already won the respect of the others because when he started giving directions, they did what he said.

He encouraged the people on the boat.  They were all terrified that they were going to die.

He looked out for the group’s safety. He warned them about trouble ahead.

He believed God through the entire ordeal.

If we really think about these things, there’s a lot we can learn from Paul and how he handled this situation. 

Have a good weekend.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hard Week

I’ve had a really hard week and yet as I read the news of what is going on in Haiti, I realize that I am extremely blessed.

I heard this song this morning and so I looked it up on YouTube.  Listen and be blessed.


Here are the lyrics:

Come to Jesus
by Chris Rice

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sympathy versus Compassion

I usually listen the radio station (FM) 104.7 on my way to and from work.  This morning Kevin was talking about the disaster in Haiti.  He asked us not to just have sympathy for the people but to have compassion for them.  He said that sympathy feels bad for the moment but soon forgets all about it.  Compassion reaches out and does something about a problem. 

He challenged us to at least give a small contribution to the rescue efforts.  Haiti is poorest country in the western hemisphere.  The people have nothing and what they did have, they lost. 

Tens of thousands of people have died and that number may rise.

If you really want to help the people in Haiti, below are some organizations that could use your help.

World Vision

Samaritan’s Purse

Food for the Poor

Compassion International

So the challenge today is, will you help? 

Matthew 14:14 talks about Jesus’ reaction to the needs he saw.  “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

James talks about the idea that faith without action is worthless.

I don’t believe that any amount of works will add anything to your salvation.  However, if Jesus has really changed your heart, you will want to help others.

We have so much and are so blessed.  Are you willing to share a little with the Haitian people who are desperately in need?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Google Docs

This post has nothing to do with spiritual things but I thought this was good information.

Google has just announced a huge addition to Google Docs, more free storage for all of your files. Google Docs now allows you to upload almost all file types including video, images, and document to your account. Each file can be up to 250 MB and your total amount of free storage is 1 GB. If you need more space you can buy it for $0.25 per GB per year. 

Compared to buying even the cheapest 1 GB flash drives, $0.25/GB is very very cheap and comes with the added bonus of not worrying about losing the storage device.

All of the folder and file sharing capabilities that you've come to love about Google Docs will apply to the files you upload and host on Google Docs. So if I upload a PDF or a Word file to my Google Docs account, I will be able to share those files with anyone else that has a Google Docs account.

If you’ve never tried Google docs, now might be the time.  You can access from any computer that accesses the internet.  You can’t lose your files because they back everything up. 

If you’ve ever lost files when your hard drive crashed, consider using Google docs.  Accounts are free – you just have to register and set it up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Attitude is everything

You’ve got to see this video….


Isn’t he just amazing!  It’s not just his musical talent but his attitude is amazing. 

Lord, remind me of Patrick when I feel like complaining and help me to count my blessings each and every day.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snow Day

We had a day off on Friday – a snow day.  Snow days are the best.  They are a day off when you aren’t expecting it.  You never want to anticipate having a snow day.  If you think you are going to get one, you never do.  The trick is to make yourself do everything you would normally do to get ready for work the next day.  Go to bed at your regular time, pack your books the night before, etc… Never count on a snow day!

So when you get that phone call that school is cancelled, it becomes the grandest of all school events.  It is unexpected and greatly appreciated. 

This was an extraordinary snow day because the call came the night before.  That meant I could turn off the alarm clock and sleep in the next morning.  Not that I didn’t do any work on Friday, I did, but it was all like a bonus. 

The specialness of a snow day is not what you do but what you don’t do.  I didn’t get up at 5:00 am, I didn’t wear school clothes, I didn’t answer phone calls from salesmen, I didn’t send a couple of hundred emails, I didn’t eat a school cafeteria lunch, I didn’t do anything related to school. No meetings, no schedule, no anything.

Don’t read into anything here.  I love my job.  I love teaching students.  However, when something as great as a snow day comes along, you just have to love that, too.

Snow days are also great because they remind me what Christ has done for me.  He has forgiven me and cleansed me from all my sin.

So the next time it snows, let it remind you that if you are a Christian, you are clean in His sight and your sins are no more.

Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tiger should turn to Christian Faith

The video below is about 1 minute long.  Listen to it and then read my reaction below.


"The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

I don’t know a lot about the Buddhist religion but I do know that they don’t really believe in God.  They believe they can become their own gods.  Perhaps Tiger thought he was starting to achieve this. It seems like he thought he could do what he wanted and not get caught.

I think the guy on this video had a lot of guts to say what he did.  He correctly analyzed Tiger’s problem.  His problem is a spiritual one.  His problem is that he needs a relationship with the living God.

He needs that relationship to help him find meaning and purpose in life.  He needs to trust Christ to save him and help him through tough times.  When a person becomes a Christian, everything he has done in his past is forgiven.  (i John 1:9)  After receiving the forgiveness, the Christian is expected to turn from his sin and change his ways.  No other religion offers this kind of forgiveness.

I’m glad this news reporter had the guts to talk about the real issue.  How many of us would have done the same thing ….


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Starts

I feel like the theme for the last week has been “new starts".” 

I wiped out my hard drive on my laptop and loaded Windows 7.  My laptop got a new start.  All that was done before was gone and I am slowly reloading just the software that I am currently using.  That should make the computer faster and easier to use.  The old is gone away and the new has come.  (By the way – I love Windows 7!)

Our church voted the end of the year and elected a new pastor.  He started this past Sunday.  Therefore, the church got a new start.  I think he is going to be great.  He is a godly man and a great leader.  I think we will be challenged to get off our duffs and do something for the kingdom.

School started back up today and we are beginning a new semester.  All the students got a new start with their grades.  Since my class is only a semester long, I have a whole new group of students to get to know and I get to start the material all over again. 

Of course, I could always talk about the New Year.  Are you getting used to writing 2010 yet?  With the New Year comes lots of new starts.  You could have a new start with keeping up with your finances or your health. 

As we look forward to a new start, let’s always remember that God is always in complete control.  It is His plan that His children grow up to be more like Christ.  He knows the plans He has for us. 

As we look to the new year, do not forget the past.  We need to remember the past so we can learn from it and then move forward into our future with open hearts and minds for whatever God has for us.

Start out the New Year with a fresh point of view to new experiences, memories and blessings. Having an opened mind and heart to wherever the Lord may take you with full assurance and confidence that He is with you. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Be sure to allow others the chance of a new start. Don’t hold things that happened in the past against them.  Allow them room to change as God works in their lives.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Look at your life and try to find areas where you need a “new start” and then go for it.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


Happy New Year!

I spent the last week taking a class at Liberty University.  I was not excited about having to spend a week of my Christmas break taking a class.  However, it was one of the best classes that I have ever taken.  As with a lot of things that happen in our lives, my opinion of the situation looking back on it is quite different than my opinion was prior to it happening.

I was thinking about how I need to have a clear vision of what I want for my future.

The Bible says that without a vision the people will perish.  (Proverbs 29:18)  We need goals and hopes for our future.  These goals and hopes should have something to do with our Christian life.  Do yours include growing in your faith?  Or, are you happy to just keep floating along  - having a kind of whatever will be, will be attitude. 

It’s good to have goals.  “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:14)  We need goals for our walk with Christ, personal goals, dreams that we believe in, a vision of how we can serve God.  Then we need to be determined to see these goals into reality.

If we don’t have a vision, then we don’t have a focus.  We will perish from the lack of focus and drive.  We will perish for a lack of vision.  We won’t achieve the things we want in life.  We need to have hopes and goals, to aim for a vision to believe in, to have something that grips us so much that we cannot and will not let it go.  We need to have that vision for God, to be purpose driven in God, to hold fast to that vision and make sure it comes to pass.

I have had this hymn stuck in my mind today…

Be Thou My Vision – Lyrics

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Look at all the titles that the author of this hymn gives to Christ - Vision, Wisdom, Word, Great Father, Power, Inheritance, High King of heaven, Treasure, bright heaven's Sun, Ruler of all.