Sunday, December 30, 2012

Remember Wins As the New Year Arrives

A little over a year ago, I did a study which I called “God’s Plan for Us” in which ten posts were written. The last post was titled “Remembering Wins” and here is the link: Remembering Wins. A huge win this past year has been writing about faith. I go into more detail at this link: Step Ahead. Thanks for being here to read my post and keeping me accountable to Bible study and sharing with others. Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Silent Night That Changed the World

At First United Methodist Church Waco yesterday, we finished the sermon series that explored the “Songs of Christmas”. The podcast can be watched by clicking this link: Silent Night Podcast and here is a video of this song: Silent Nightwith Lyrics.

In listening to the sermon, the song, and reviewing the podcast, below are some take aways for me.

Jesus was born in a crude stable and placed in a manger on a silent night but soon loud words would be spoken in His life that would spread to change the world. His mother was only around 16 years old but she responded by following God’s will. We all feel like we need to do big things for God but most of the time it is the modest, silent, and small actions we take that have the biggest impact. God wants us to simply be His servant by listening to His directions and following. If we say the words in bold below and believe them, our life will never be the same.


When we do what God has for us, our life speaks for itself and is not so silent. The birth of Jesus on a silent night was a night that communicates God’s love for us. It is a night that sets us free; from hurts, worries, hopelessness, pain, and fear. It is a night that gives all a lift during dark times. It is a night that corrects the darkness with light through Jesus Christ and we all become a part of the light that reflects God’s love.

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Have a Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Everyone has Tremendous Value in God’s Eyes

Think of people or groups that are favored by the world. Those wearing fine clothes, the pretty people on the outside, those with nice cars, and those that live in nice neighborhoods. In James 2:1-13, we are told that such partiality is absolutely wrong. James tells us that God has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom He promised those who love him (v. 5). The right way to live and the standard for our actions are to follow the golden rule, “To love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 8).

The Gospel law of liberty gives freedom to everyone. We are to alleviate barriers or obstacles people face by accepting, appreciating, and affirming everyone that lives by the “Golden Rule”. All Christians share a common father so respect all people because God loves them. We are not to respect others because of mere outward circumstances and appearances. We shouldn’t favor the rich and look down on the poor or accept only those with our same skin color or only the strong and healthy rather than the disabled.

As you go throughout each day, be aware of simple things you can do that will make a big difference to help others get over the barriers that stand in their way? Here’s a video to illustrate how we can apply today’s lesson: Ducklings Get Just What They Need.

Success is not fancy cloths, cars, and homes but discipline and inner peace. If you are tempted to judge others this day with God, be reminded that everyone has tremendous value in His eyes.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Looking Forward to The Day

The Old Testament ends with victory for those who believe and continue to honor God. While expecting His gracious promise to be fulfilled each day, we can be thankful, give effort, be disciplined, and care for neighbors.

Two types of people are presented in Malachi 3:13-4:6; evil and good. We can be thankful for the gracious promise fulfilled in Jesus. This promise encourages us to know God and to fellowship with those who follow His ways.

Thoughts of wrongdoing corrupt good minds and behavior but thoughts of virtue confirm good minds and behavior. Those that follow God’s ways are His jewels that He values beyond measure. The Gospel message changes hearts to prepare all that believe to follow the way of wisdom and happiness. By serving and trusting together with the influences of the Spirit, there is devotion, joy, and effectiveness.

The Old Testament ends and the New Testament is the most joyful book ever written. This day with God will be amazing because we can be thankful. Here’s a video about being thankful: About Giving Thanks to Him.

Like in the video, this day with God, I’m thanking Him for freedom, for eyes to see His magnificent creation, for hearing His wonderful sounds, for the sense of smell, of touch, and to imagine what it will be like to unite with those lost in this world and with my Father in Heaven.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Promise is in Place

Israel was in dark times but a promise brought hope. The promise of Christ was given in Isaiah 9:6-7.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Today we don’t have to wait because the promise is in place for us now. Keep on doing what God tells you to do and believe in the promise. A song is being sung just for you and as we prepare for Christmas, I hope this video will bless you:  O Holy Night – David Phelps.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful for the Simple Truths of the Gospel

I have been going through the book of Zechariah in my daily devotional. The picture received in Zechariah 11 is different from Zechariah 10. Trying to anchor this prophecy in history is next to impossible and the text is difficult. It seems to cover a wider span of history and perhaps going past our present times. The prophecy begins with the desolation of the land; then goes into the rejection of the Messiah and to the destruction of all that do not accept Christ as the Messiah.

On the other hand, the gospel message is really a simple one. Explained throughout the Bible is this need to be reconnected to God. Sin had disconnected people from God and the solution is His Son who died on the Cross as the ultimate sacrifice. We no longer have to fulfill the law but simply belief that Jesus is our Savior. Here’s a link to God's Plan for Us which documents a study I led with a small group.

Jesus is the way and the glue that holds us together. During difficult times like a death in the family or sickness, God’s people are there to care for each other. In the book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, the following is written, “As believers we share one Lord, one body, one purpose, one Father, one Spirit, one hope, one faith, one baptism, and one love. We share the same salvation, the same life, and the same future - factors far more important than any differences we could enumerate”.

Alone we are just one small drop of water but together with God and with other believers we combine to form an entire ocean that brings new life. The video below helps to illustrate this point: Dolphins rescued by people at the beach.

So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. - Romans 12:5

This day with God, I’m praying that I encourage, build up, and humbly care for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Together, there is an amazing impact.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

This Day with God, Let Him Fight Your Battles

Over and over again, God fought battles for the Israelites in the Old Testament and delivered them. As a child of God, we can let Him fight our battles. The metaphor used “sparkle like jewels in a crown” is our reward of salvation which sets us free. We are exceptionally valuable and the inspiration God gives in writing or sharing about faith will sparkle so that others will be attracted to follow the path to freedom. Here’s a video to inspire: Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) - Chris Tomlin.

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. - Revelation 22:12

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Truth Will Always Be Truth

Truth will always be truth. The truth is that all religious leaders have been buried and we know where their bones are except for one leader and that leader is Jesus. No one knows where the bones of Jesus are buried because He’s still alive! We should seek areas of our life where we fall short and study the principles He has given us to live by. We can neutralize negative habits and push for ones that set us free. Here’s a video to help inspire following the Truth: Solid As The Rock - Avalon.

In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. - Psalms 41:12

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Training Takes Effort

In reflecting on yesterday’s reading of Zechariah 5-6, there is a choice we make in order to become more like Christ. Training for anything be it in sports or in life takes effort. I mentioned yesterday about going out for the football team when in the 10th grade. The hot summer days with two a day practices was grueling and towards the end of our summer work outs, my football coach took the team to see Rocky. Here’s a video of the grueling training: Rocky.

Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. – Colossians 1:24

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Communities Unite to Fight Cancer

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life for Waco Texas was held Saturday into Sunday morning at the Baylor Hart-Patterson Track. I have been a participant for each year since 2006.

It was a tough year for me in 2006 as I lost my mom and a life-long family friend to cancer that year. Take a few minutes to watch this video and see how communities unite to fight back: Relay for Life - Celebrate Remember Fight Back.

Relay for life started at Tacoma Washington in 1985 and is the largest not-for-profit event in the world.

For an inspirational start to each day, join me also at
This Day with God Devotional

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ideas for Building Up Physical and Spiritual Health

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about the importance of physical and spiritual health. In this final post on this subject, I’d like to put forth some ideas. Each day is a new day and our today can be better than yesterday. This day with God, we can get off on the right track, have the right frame of mind, feel better, be happy, and do amazing things. There are many dietary rules in the Bible that test our obedience. These rules can apply today for the food we take in for our souls including what we read, watch, or think about.

One idea is to go on short vacations by surfing the net for pictures that help connect to a Bible verse, find something that makes us laugh, or find facts about our Creator’s amazing world. This activity has two goals in mind. First, it relaxes our body and mind. Second, it equips us for sharing thoughts and ideas with others.

A prescription for stress is working out with God’s Word, praying, and listening to the Spirit. These activities build muscles of faith which stay strong and build forever. Unlike muscles of the physical body, building up muscles for the soul provides an everlasting gain.

One idea I’ve tried is to mix scripture and exercise into a routine that I call believersize. What you do is find a scripture to memorize and search the internet for pictures that crystallizes a principle from that scripture. You then can put these together into an application like PowerPoint. As you ride your stationary bike or walk on the treadmill, you can view the slides. This is a way to take in God’s Word and exercise at the same time.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” The goal is to take care of God’s temple through a system of scripture memory and exercise. You can have all the latest and greatest exercise equipment but if you never take it out of the box, it’s useless. You have to find something that inspires and there’s nothing like God’s Word to get you started. With believersize, you begin to notice things seem easier. That’s because the intangibles of a winner are being built from the inside and all that internal good stuff just oozes out.

For an inspirational start to your day, join me at This Day with God Devotional.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Family, Friends and Prayer

For the last few weekends, I’ve been writing about the importance of physical and spiritual health. Today, I’ll write about the importance of family, friends, and prayer to this core value. Friday and Saturday, I was able to spend some time with family and friends. Friday night, we traveled 50 miles east of Waco Texas to my hometown Teague Texas to watch the homecoming football game. My mom and dad grew up there, fell in love, got married, and after work took them to other place as they journeyed through life, moved back home when I was in high school.

Teague takes homecoming serious as many stay the weekend catching up on what’s going on with their childhood friends. Careers have led many to live now in places like Houston or Dallas but most still have parents and relatives back home. They make floats for a parade and share memories of years gone by.

Each year that goes by and as we journey through life, we become more aware of the fact that the time on earth is but a short time span compared to eternity. Many loved ones and friends are no longer with us.

As we get older, we become more aware of the importance of visiting those in rest homes or in the hospital. What a tremendous boost people get when they get a visit. I remember seeing underneath a mantel the pictures of grandkids and the word HOPE in big letters. Nothing compares to the “beautiful you” in the form of a personal visit to a family member or a friend in a time of need.

Reverend Carolyn Crane says that it is important to receive the positive influence by others when sick. Positive speech and thoughts can hold the key to another person's healing. Prayer provides this positive influence.

In prayer, God is with us as a friend. He heals a broken heart by changing the way we think. Instead of feeling unacceptable, we are accepted. Instead of feeling incapable, we are capable. He will hold us after a difficult day; giving us needed rest and peace. Picture a tiny baby in the arms of a father; relaxed, happy, and secure. This is the picture we should see in our minds as we think about God holding us in His arms.

If we meet with God every day and comprehend that His love is bigger than we could ever understand, there will be a positive benefit to health. We all make some bad decisions at times but through Christ, God reaches out and offers peace and eternal life. Nothing else can take the place of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I read a blog post titled “Greater Than You Can Grasp” the other day that emphasizes the importance of this relationship.

Next weekend, I’ll share more ideas on this very important core value of physical and spiritual health. Until next time, have a wonderful day with God.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Word of God

I’ve been sharing over the last few weekend’s on the core value of physical and mental health. Today I’d like to start laying out some strategies to build up this core value. There are various ways including getting help from family and friends or attitude and discipline but today I’d like to start with the Word of God.

The Word of God can brighten a day; providing lessons for the mind and food for the soul. These are two necessary elements in a healthy life that relieves stress and provides inner peace. In this world there will be trouble but we can take heart because there is comfort and value in Christ’s sufferings. We can lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross; access God’s power through prayer and His word.

As I entered middle aged, my age started to show around my middle. The physical body became harder to maintain but with Jesus the Spiritual body remains connected to the nutritious vine that provides spiritual fitness forever. Those that believe in Jesus receive the water of the Spirit which flows from Him to bring stress free composure and inner peace in the present; making possible fitness and survival in difficulty.

Moses and Aaron did something great by getting water from a rock. The only problem is that there’s always the next thing. Once we do something amazing, there’s always a letdown but if we give all the credit to God, life is lived with staying power and meaning. I remember an email I received from a friend that gave this strategy for keeping the momentum going and having a bright outlook. Every time you see a penny, look at the inscription “In God We Trust”. Let it be a message from God to not worry but trust in Him. The formula to a happy life now and into the future is (1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given).

Mistrust and anxiety are foes to good health but faith can rescue you from them because of God’s love through Christ and a hope for a bright future. When the snake bites in life, there’s one antidote that stops the poison and that is acceptance of Christ as Savior.

Worry is worthless but discovering the treasures of heaven is priceless. Believe that you have a purpose and achieve that which God has in store for you. The Bible gives us a set of rules. Following these rules brings peace of mind and eternal rewards. Not following brings on stress, chaos, and destruction.

With technology today, we can stay connected to the Word of God at all times and at all places. One way, I use technology to stay connected is using an on-line Bible. At this link is the 23rd Psalm which helps with worries. You can also listen to the Bible as you walk or workout. At this link is the 23rd Psalm in audio.

I submit to you today that the best vitamin or performance enhancer is the Word of God. The Word like adrenalin can start in motion the chemicals found naturally in the body to work. Giving you exactly what you need to increase your performance. Next weekend, I’ll continue with some other strategies for better physical and mental health which includes getting help from family, friends, and prayer.

An interest I’ve had for some time now is on ideas or strategies that might help build up families and neighborhoods. Someday, I hope to put these together in a book and call it “Neighbors United”. Another interest I have is in searching for ways to build up the economy. If I were to write a book about this, I would title it “Step Ahead”. I recently set up a facebook page that includes all three of my interests into one place. The page is called “This Day with God – Neighbors United – Step Ahead”. I’m currently in the process of liking other facebook pages that share my interest so I can learn and grow together with them. You can connect with this new page by liking it at this link.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Peace of Mind and Joy

Billy Graham was quoted to say the following, “The word romance, according to the dictionary, means, excitement, adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime”. When I was single, the guys in a small group at my church made lasagna from scratch for the single girls of that group and planned a dinner for them on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or what but about four or five marriages were produced from that group.

There is something to be said about having a partner for life. Researchers have found that people who are lonely have more health issues. Loneliness is more of a factor in health concerns than being overweight, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. There are not many happy hermits. God created us to be social beings that depend on one another. Psychiatrists have done studies to proof that having meaningful relationships will add to better health.

In Luke 14:16-24 is the parable of the great banquet. Invitations were sent out for a feast but everyone made excuses for not showing up. The lesson is to not miss out on the gift of God who helps us physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

What provisions has God made for us? Every person is in equal standing with God who wants to provide us with joy and peace of mind. He is a God of justice who makes wrongs right. This is provided for in that everyone who believes in what the gospel clearly explains and accepts God’s Son as their savior has a protective antidote to a life of eternal misery. Our needs are provided for and He provides joy and peace of mind.

Two ways to increase both physical and mental health are to be kind to others and to be the person that God desires you to be by following His instructions. These are prescriptions to keeping a sound mind filled with wisdom and a sound body that makes available a wholesome dwelling for your soul.

Each day during the week, I write a post at this link. The mission of this blog is to demonstrate an instrument for Bible study that uses technology to develop a better way to study the Bible by integrating the principles or core values God gives into our daily life at work and at home. One core value God gives that I think is important is to take care of our physical and mental body. Next week, we will continue with this core value God gives that I think is important to being all we are intended to be. We will get more into how to build up this key core value in the post next weekend.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Abundant Life with a Bright Outlook

Each day during the week, I write a post at this link. The mission of this blog is to demonstrate an instrument for Bible study that uses technology to develop a better way to study the Bible by integrating the principles or core values God gives into our daily life at work and at home. One core value God gives that I think is important is to take care of our physical and mental body.

To continue with the benefits of good physical and mental health, we need to understand that happiness is short term but joy last forever. People get excited about snow in central Texas and when it happens, they build a snow man. But it melts the next day. With God’s word, you build something inside which last forever and can never melt away. Some ways to brighten or warm up your day is to seek the truth of His Word, experience the joy Christ gives, and be aware of the wonder in Creation. These are the true treasures.

Being able to adapt to circumstances, having self-control, and just being a good person are the best prescription for a sound mind and body. The trials we face in this world are not easy but we can believe that our reward is with Christ.

God placed extreme value on us, created us in His image, and crowned us with tremendous honor when He sent His Son to die for us. Because of what He has done for us, we need to give ourselves a chance to be happy. With Christ, we have a chance for abundant life today that only gets better in the long term with daily transformation; growing in grace and a future beyond our wildest imagination.

Take Care of God’s Temple and Honor Him

Take care of yourself because you are God’s temple; a holy place for the Spirit. Honor God with regular exercise, healthy eating, and good sleeping habits. Don’t misuse your body by smoking, drinking, overeating, or being promiscuous. Find your true love and demonstrate devotion. Clear your path to life with enthusiasm, passion, and peace of mind.

A physical workout builds physical muscle and in a similar way we can build muscles of faith by studying God’s Word, prayer, and by listening for direction from the Holy Spirit. If we plant seeds of Christ’s core values into a fertile soul and water with the Spirit, the result is abundant growth. 

Next weekend, I’ll continue with the core value of physical and mental health.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Affects of Good Physical and Mental Health on Society

Good physical and mental health helps a society tremendously. Without it, the quality of life can be in terrible shape. Some third world countries have poor health because of unclean food and throughout life children have difficulties.

A vacation my family once took was to Moody Gardens in Galveston Texas. What started out as a place to help those with paralysis, Moody Gardens has become a place to learn and relax. The major attractions there consist of pyramids that house animal and plant life. Also there are great 3D theaters that show educational short movies. I remember one movie that explained how the health of humans and nature relies on the health of our oceans.

Everything consists of cycles in our world. An example is the water cycle where rain water fills lakes and rivers which flow into our oceans. Then evaporation causes the collection of moisture in the atmosphere to produce more rain. Stress also causes a cycle but it’s a bad cycle which cost our healthcare industry an astronomical amount of money. What’s been discovered is that stress leads to heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidental injuries, and suicide. It pushes many to drinking alcohol which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver for individuals but it can also harm others like in auto accidents.

Refuel and Recharge

Speaking of autos, they can get you many places and go far distances but they have to contain fuel to go. It’s the same with us as everyone needs to refuel. God Himself rested on the seventh day.

So since we’ve established the fact that we all have to refuel, where do we get it? There’s no better fuel than God’s Word. A cheerful heart restores the mind and body; therefore we can be in good spirits by reading the good news of God’s Word, accepting His kindness, and building faith by knowing Christ. The refueling station is His church. Sundays should be a day to take it easy. It should be a day to worship God and be appreciative. It should be a day to slow down and enjoy the comforts of your home.

Our fuel for the soul which Jesus provides is inner peace and abundant life that is full of meaning; infused with purpose, contentment, and joy. With the explosion of computer technology, we sometimes forget that it is only a tool. The greatest machine ever made is you; God has made you to be the most efficient and productive machine ever known. Then He’s provided the fuel to make you go called the Holy Spirit.

Next time, we will look at how good physical and mental health provides abundant life with a bright outlook. Please connect with me on facebook at this link.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Workers Deserve a Holiday

What is “Labor Day”? It’s a federal holiday in the United States observed on the first Monday in September to celebrate the economic and social contribution of workers. Workers deserve a holiday. Think of the issues faced at work; people issues, personality issues, change issues, and technology issues. The people that work for any organization are very important and valuable for its success. 

This past week, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance recognized this value in giving employees a free lunch and a fifty dollar gift certificate in appreciation for winning the J.D. Power “Highest Customer Satisfaction Among Auto Insurers in the Central Region”. We had the highest score in the central region and second highest score among all Auto Insurance companies in the United States.   

Another way the company I work for has demonstrated the value it places in its employees is to set up a state of the art physical health workout facility at the state office headquarters. The better people feel, the better they can serve their customers. Some companies realize the tremendous benefits of their employee’s health so like Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, they’ve set up workout areas at the business and allow their employees to increase their physical health on company time. 

Studies have also been made to show that faith has a positive effect on physical and mental health. Real faith is not just something you say or believe; it’s something you do. The athlete gains stamina and strength with exercise, the Christian gains faith by reading the bible and applying this to help others. To develop the "Just do it" attitude, we need self discipline. Keep in mind that the bible tells us that our bodies are the dwelling for the Holy Spirit so this should motivate us to have good habits that maintain our bodies. Also, through prayer we can receive directions and develop plans to be more self disciplined.

The mission of another blog of mine at this Link is to demonstrate an instrument for Bible study that uses technology to develop a better way to study the Bible by integrating the principles or core values God gives into our daily lives at work and at home. The Bible teaches how to recharge our batteries. It is up to us to listen and receive the Spirit. Be excited about the future and live each day to the fullest. Today is the first day of the rest of our life. We should learn from the past but not dwell on the mistakes of the past. We should determine what we are enthusiastic about and what inspires us. It may be things like music, friends, Christmas, church, books, movies, travel, eating out, romance, gardening, painting, or sports. 

In the old testament of the bible, the temple was burned down. The people put in a lot of hard work and time to rebuild the temple because it was so important. In 1 Co 3:16 Paul says "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you?" We all need to respect each other as the Temple of God. With this mindset maybe societies would be more self-disciplined. Proper eating habits and exercise would make everyone healthier. Young people would study and learn making the education system much better. Crime would hardly exist. There would be no stopping the economy as companies would flourish. 

Next weekend, I will continue my thoughts on integrating good physical and mental health as a key principle or core value that God gives us to live an amazing life. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

This July 4th

The Statue of Liberty was given to the people of the United States from the people of France in 1886 in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. The Statue of Liberty’s symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy as well this international friendship. On the tablet held in her left hand is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. The statue is situated in Upper New York Bay on Liberty Island, south of Ellis Island. Over the years, she has greeted millions of immigrants entering their new home and has been a symbol of hope for a better life.

In the same way, God greets us at times with a spectacular sight in our stress filled present to remind us about hope. It might be a rainbow, a sunset, or a beautiful field of flowers. He may greet us in a song we hear or a movie we see. Many movies have lines that we remember. I remember one line in the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption”, the main character Andy writes to his friend Red, "Hope is a good thing…maybe the best of things."

How can hope make a difference and why is it such a major part of the Christian life? It’s because it gives patience in time of difficulty. For regardless of circumstance, hope keeps us looking forward to becoming liberated from bondage and set free as God’s children. Hope breeds more hope. It has the power to break old habits and create new ones that are good. Hope is a winner. It builds momentum and lights the fire to success. Then success breeds more success and the link to being a winner is established.

In just a few weeks, the 2012 Olympics begin in London England. The Iconic symbol of London is Tower Bridge which was built because of the increased commercial development in the East End of London which required a new river crossing. Ironically, the construction started the same year the Statue of Liberty was given to the United States.

I love bridges and remember years ago visiting the Golden Gate Bridge; the great landmark of San Francisco. Bridges are sometimes used to explain the love of God for all of us; that Christ is our bridge to help us cross over. He provides the path to follow right now and take us home to victory. Just like the love given to us in Christ as the bridge from here to eternity. Love is the greatest God given gift. Greater than being given the skills to make the Olympics, run a thriving business, or Pastor a growing church.

One time at the church I worship at, we had a guest speaker named David Cook who at the time was a sports Psychologist for the San Antonio Spurs basketball team. He told a story of a hunting buddy whose dog got trapped in an iron trap. The buddy was able to open up the trap a little but it snapped back. His dog was freed but in the process, it broke his hand. David went on to explain that the trap is sometimes like our own lives. We get trapped by things sometimes completely out of our control. Sometimes we fall into some bad predicaments and do the wrong things. But like the man that freed his dog, Jesus can free us from our sins.

After this year’s Summer Olympics, The next host city will be Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Overlooking the city is the symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the Christ the Redeemer statue. It’s considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. This symbol of faith makes me think this day about how we can add quality to our faith? One idea may be to plant the seeds of God’s principles so that they grow in the fertile garden of our soul; producing food not only for ourselves but also for others. When we see, hear, feel, smell, and speak of our reinvigorated faith; positive results occur. We become a true believer that is clearly revealed in our heart as faith. Bad situations are turned around with a momentum shift. There is given to all of us the power to apply faith and the results are victory and happiness.

God’s power opened the waters of the sea as a path to safety for Moses and His people. His promise for the future is greater and greater with each new invention that He inspires. On this July 4th, take some time to think of ways to plant seeds of faith, hope, and love. Think of ways to produce fruit for yourself and for others. As I wish everyone a good day, I leave you with this amazing video of the Christ the Redeemer statue and a wonderful song: Let the Church Say Amen - Andrae Crouch.

Friday, June 15, 2012


My daughter went on a school trip to Washington DC recently. They were to meet for a flight at Dallas/Fort Worth airport on an early Saturday morning so we decided to drive up and stay in a hotel. We would take my daughter to the airport for an early morning flight and be in-n-out without much traffic. It had been a while since I had been to that airport because Austin has a new airport that we’ve been using. We live in Waco, Texas which is 100 miles south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and 100 miles north from Austin.

We planned to hit the road around 1:30 PM since this would get us to our hotel ahead of the traffic. Well we didn’t get off until 3:30 and this put us into the 5:00 PM traffic. Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Dallas; new buildings, highways, and one major landmark is gone. The old “Texas Stadium” where the Dallas Cowboy football team used to play back in the glory days was no longer there since they blew it up a few years ago and built the new “Cowboy Stadium” now ten or fifteen miles away from the old location.

Needless to say, things were not coming together for a successful trip. Instead of having a detailed map, I just thought I could remember how to get to where I was going. All of a sudden my wife noticed a sign that told us we were headed to Carrolton which was about five miles North East of where we needed to be. “We’re lost aren’t we”, she said. Like most men, I didn’t want to admit it; hoping I could make a turn and get back on track and keep my self-esteem intact.

The interesting thing about the whole experience is that we had been going through a sermon series at our church called, “Stories for the Road” which was about the path God provides for us; the sure way that has been proven over and over throughout history to take us to where we need to go. The series emphasized planning for the journey and paying attention to the direction God gives in His Word as we travel through life.

Unfortunately, we had not finished the series and I could’ve use that last one called “Pay Strict Attention” because I had not focused on the exit. Instead, I was focused on the things that really didn’t matter like the neat tall buildings and the multilevel overpasses.

Anyway, I finally went into a store and got directions to get us back on track. As we took a road to connect to the right highway, my daughter says, “Hey that’s the hamburger place I saw on TV”. She watches one of those cable channels about food joints and had seen an episode on In-N-Out Burger.

We finally made it to the hotel, checked in, and then decided it was time to get something to eat so off to In-N-Out Burger we went. So for me, the whole experience turned out alright and also gave me another lesson; pay close attention and know where you are going but if you get lost along the way, ask for help and remain positive. Who knows, you might just see something or learn something as you get back on the right road that you will be able to smile about and share with others. :)

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Monday, May 28, 2012

How They Spent Their Dash

Today, I’m off for Memorial Day which is observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May. It originated after the Civil War and today honors all Americans who have died in all wars. As a marker, it typically marks the start of summer vacation season while Labor Day marks its end. It’s the end of school for many. Some have graduated and some are starting their career. It’s a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. It’s a time to remember the lessons of the past for each day that goes by gives us another day of recorded history we can model after or learn from or share with others.

I received an email a while back from a friend and in this email was a story of a lady who had started a long time ago to plant one daffodil at a time in a field. Now the field is covered with beautiful yellow daffodils. This story points out that if you start something positive even if it’s small, over time you will build something of beauty. Mark Twain said one time, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream - Discover.”

Memorial Day should inspire the need to get things done now and never put things off because our opportunities to do great things may pass us by. Give it all we have while we can? We should live each day we have like the song by Tim Mcgraw called Live Like You Were Dying. The song puts things in perspective. Some of the lyrics in the song go I loved deeper, I spoke sweeter, I watched an eagle flyin, live like you were dyin.

I remember seeing a TV program called 20/20. They interviewed Christopher Reeves after his horse riding accident which left him paralyzed in 1995. In the interview, he said that when he saw an able bodied person he would say to himself, "Man Just Go for It"! That’s some good advice. You see God has the eraser. He’s present to help us make the needed adjustments if we get off course. So go for it! If you feel a job is above your head, express your concerns in prayer and ask for the necessary skills. Ask for good helpers. Most of all, believe that God has given you a mission. God wants us to accept our lot in life. He gives each of us talents and ideas. It’s up to us to start using what gifts we have and giving God the glory.

One time a bird decided to make a nest inside an ornament on our back porch. The bird gave our whole family a lesson on good work habits. It taught us about having a purpose, planning, and initiative. Memorial Day teaches us the same lessons. There are so many lessons to be learned from history. It was the initiative of Winston Churchill who called a meeting of the entire British cabinet and made his case for an all out war with Hitler. It was the inventors of the past like Ben Franklin who experimented with electricity that started the wave of new inventions for new devices. Without their initiative, just think how things would be – no light bulbs, no washers, no dryers, no TV, or computers.

Memorial Day is a time we can honor the service of those that gave up their life for our freedom. It’s a time we can offer appreciation and some kind words that can strengthen and support. For in remembrance of others, we learn that the best portion of a good person's life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. We should make every effort to add to our faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, kindness; and to kindness, love.

You’ve heard of the saying “Nice Guys Finish Last”. Well, a study was done which found just the opposite. Nice guys finish first because this study found that being kind provides a climate which leads individuals to maximize their potential. It’s like a sprinter running on a fast track with a slight breeze pushing them to break the record. Everything runs more effectively and more efficiently when emphasis is put into making others happy or providing customer service. Examples are found in business, politics, and in communities everywhere.

 I’ve heard a story of a teacher who made an assignment for her students. The assignment was to write down good things or things they liked about their classmates. She gave each student a copy of what others had said. Later in life at her funeral, some classmates shared that they still had that list and went to it frequently to give them encouragement or to lift their spirits.

 If you look at a grave marker, you will either see a dash or a space that separates the birth date and the death date. At a funeral, these dates are always mentioned but it’s the dash or space between the dates that really matters. The loved ones of those being memorialized know what that dash or space means. It’s not the cars, the house, the cash but how they lived.

This memorial day, I’m thinking about things I could change now like slowing down a little, considering the needs of others, or making a difference in my community? Maybe show more appreciation to those that have helped me over the years or be less angry when things don’t work out exactly as planned. Maybe work harder to make sure I treat others with respect or wear a smile for one never knows, the time they have may only be a while. My thoughts on this Memorial Day are about the respect I have for those who have fought for our freedom over the years and how proud we should be for how they spent their dash.