2. September 2020


Trust Him When Your Life Screams Not To

At least once in your life, you will be brought to the end of your rope. You will wonder where God is. You will doubt if He is really for you. You will question if He is working on your behalf. 

I confess during my first wife’s 7 year battle with terminal cancer(diagnosed at age 33 with 4 children), I experienced the full misery of what seemed like God abandoning of me.

The chemotherapy, the emotional struggles she and we all of had, the incessant uncertainties of this wretched disease and the humiliating, distancing it causes in marriage brought me, the exhausted care giver to my knees. 

I can’t even watch a cancer commercial on TV. Even though I drove to a lonely park one day near the end and cried out to God that I felt abandoned by Him, I knew His character and His Word stated otherwise. That’s a defining term, “otherwise”. 

Either I was going to walk in anger and despair and listen to what my life was screaming at me, or I was going to love and obey God by trusting that He was a God of His Word. By God’s grace, accountability, and lots of tears and prayer, I chose the latter. I’m glad I did.

You may be here today. Perhaps tomorrow or maybe you’ve been in the dark of life.

Let us pray for each other that we would choose to put our hope and trust in Him and His Word which is eternally true.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

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31. August 2020


Choose the Narrow Path

Have you ever gone hiking? If you’ve been in the military like many of us, you’ve gone on many fun and exciting hikes. Hm!

Seemingly, the best way to hike is to find the smoothest, widest, path…one that was made or repaved recently. Ah yes! Easy, wide, smooth. My self-centered nature prefers that path which gives me what ‘I want’!

If you have been a lover and follower of Christ for a certain period of time, His Spirit will lead you to a life changing option. Some call it a Turning Point. 

He will invite or summon you to take the road less traveled. He will say to you something like, “Turn. Come this way. Follow Me over here.” When I was 30, He brought me to this brokenness. I had been leaning my ladder against the wrong wall of success.

The path to worldly delights and applause is well lit and extremely attractive. Enticing!

Like me, many of you have been on this destructive path. Its Pain: Too deep to describe.

Jesus rescues His truly beloved, His Own Children. The Good Shepherd goes after His sheep.

Let’s pray He would pull us toward the good path.

“This says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way isand walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  (Jeremiah 6:16a.b.c. ESV)

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

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27. August 2020


Stay Your Thoughts on Him

Have you ever pondered a thought with intentionality? Have you studied something to the point that others wondered when “you’d come up for air”? I’m not too good at meditating. My mind tends to travel so fast I feel like a jack rabbit running on a hot bed of coals.

I’ve seen people in art museums, real art lovers, standing in front of some painting staring and pondering for minutes at a time. I often wonder what they are so enamored with. I think they are pondering, studying, and feeling deeply. Perhaps their very soul is moved.

I get that way sometimes when I listen to well written, well-orchestrated, and well performed symphonic music. I am moved deeply, stirred wonderfully, and with eyes closed, I envision some wondrous scene that reflects what I’m hearing and feeling.

I think Psalmists understood this in relating to Almighty God and His Scriptures. They loved all of God; His essence, His character, and His Word. They meditated upon Jehovah and His wondrous checed (Hebrew) unfailing, unconditional, and never ending love for His people (His children). Let’s pray for each other that we’d learn to do likewise today.

“We have thought (meditated NIV) on your steadfast love (checed), O God, in the midst of your temple.”  (Psalm 48:9 ESV)

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27. August 2020


Seek Him When the Ducks Are Nibbling

I went to an animal petting farm with our family when the kids were young. If you’ve not been to one, the experience is memorable. I loved holding the little chicks and petting the sheep, goats, and cows. At the same time, I was looking for that alcohol hand sanitizer!

As I was slowly meandering through the barnyard, suddenly a quick moving brood of ducklings ran up to my feet and began nibbling ferociously at my ankles. They were precious little things and they were persistent.

My thoughts immediately transferred to these little ducklings and their incessant nibbling. Wherever I went, they followed. My ankles knew no relief.

I have found that many days of my life have been like that. Priorities and urgencies, some small, some big, finding their way to my heart and soul nibbling away at my joy and attempting to distance me from fellowship with the Lord Jesus. Here in lies the danger.

I am, with great difficulty, learning to seek the Lord Jesus when seeking Him does not fit into my crazy, impulsive schedule or “To Do” list. You see, the way I’m wired, I’m a Doer… a”Get er done!” kind of guy. Most of you (including the ladies) are as well, no doubt. When I can cross stuff off my pressing list of things I “gotta do today!”,  I feel some temporary relief and my anxiety is reduced. Much of my life is about anxiety reduction. I seldom volunteer to do things. Why? Well, first, I learned in the Army… Ha! Second, if I take on new tasks, my anxiety thermometer just goes up and up.

I have to choose to seek Him. Putting other tasks on hold and then choose to seek and spend time with God and His Word tends to produce anxiety. Why? My flesh, when Jesus is not ruling my heart, wants ANXIETY REDUCTION!

I realize I must choose to seek Him no matter what. He, not getting things done, is my life. Let’s pray that we each would center in on this today.

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,” (Psalm 119:2 ESV)

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26. August 2020


Hope in the Hidden Places

I went for a walk in a mature pine forest near Wisconsin Dells. It was a beautiful summer morning. The sky was blue, the sun up, and the stillness armongst the tall pines was dripping with calm.

I found a nice tree and I sat down on the thick, soft bed of pine needles that had gathered by the base. I took in a deep breath of the pine scented air. I looked up. There, high up in one of the trees about 100 feet away, was a large red-headed woodpecker pecking his best trying to get a bug breakfast from under the bark.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such quiet and peace. No other sound filled the air except for this beautiful bird and the muffled, hollow sound of pecking.

I’ve told a few people this. I feel closest to God when I’m in a pine forest. The distractions of life are, for a moment, gone. I can just focus on God. His presence is real and so comforting. The pine forest is a hiding place for me and for the Lord. I long for it as I write. Let’s pray for each other today that we would find Him in the hidden places.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7 ESV

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2. June 2020

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Be Christ’s Disciple: Be Accountable

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  (1Peter 5:8 ESV)

From almost 40 years of ministry, I’ve learned an important principle regarding following Jesus and being His disciple. “Godly wisdom is learning to trust yourself less and less each day and learning to entrust yourself to your mate, if married, and to 1 or 2 good people of the same gender.”

The above Devil’s Triangle is a simplified strategy the Wicked One uses. Think of the inside of the triangle as one of those ‘Catch a Mouse Sticky Traps’ you put on the floor. Getting you hooked, stuck, or tempted to be drawn in via one angle or side is good. Yes! But he is crafty and often will employ several angles or sides to get you ensnared in deep bondage. He wants you in the middle of the trap. He wants you ruined and dead.

I have voluntarily been in a Foxhole Buddyrelationship since 1988 not because I’m super great and holy. It is because I am profoundly weak and I don’t trust myself. I want to be wise in my weakness, not foolish in my weakness. I’m in my 3rd Buddy relationship now. Seth, married, and a father of 4, and I have either met in a restaurant or called weekly for 6 years. We’ve got each other’s back. The 4 pillar verses we uphold in confidence are: 

James 5:16

Hebrews 3:13

Galatians 6:2

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

If you are not in a grace-based, encouraging, accountable, and confidential same-gender relationship where you look out for each other’s Christian walk, thought life, marriage, priorities, fatigue levels, etc., then you are like the tied up goat in the first Jurassic Park movie: Lunch!

Let’s pray that each of us would get and keep a Foxhole Buddy for the honor of God and the protection of our witness for the Lord Jesus.           

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Galatians 6:2 ESV)

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2. June 2020


Be Christ’s Disciple: Develop World Vision

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8 ESV)

Whether it is the Fast Food ‘drive thru’ employee passing you your burgers or the entire world (7.6+ Billion souls), Jesus’ passion is for the lost. If you do not yet have an aching burden to see lost souls reached, saved, and discipled by the Spirit of Jesus, then please get alone with God and beg Him for lost souls.

Ask Him to well up within you an overflowing passion for the hearts of men, women, and children. Seek and ask Him to burn into you a relentless burden to see none perish in the endless fires of Hell. (2Peter 3:9)

Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  (ESV) Now Jesus came here for many reasons (Read Psalm 146), but one is paramount. If the multitudes are warmed, sheltered, medicated, and fed and redemption through Christ’s shed blood on the Cross is not shared and achieved, how will this increase Heaven?

Great ministries help with these noble causes. Their work is vital. Yet, as important as these are, the work of salvation and spiritual growth must be centered in their operational DNA.

If someone cuts me, I want passion for lost souls to flow out. Just like it did and still does for Jesus.

Let’s pray this for each other today.

“19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)

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