Love, honor and appreciation is extended to the mothers who pour into their children abundant love, care, discipline and diligence in child rearing. The same extends to those non-mothers who generously administer tender loving care as relatives and guardians. My mother passed away when I was a teenager. My dearly beloved aunt Margie stepped in to care for me and my sister. Aunt Margie had two children of her own, but she chose to “mother” us, as well. Through the years, Aunt Margie has done the same for other relatives. Indeed, she’s a jewel in the ways in which she so consistently exhibits love and care. I adored my mother, Helen. As her youngest child, yes, I was spoiled. She was a treasure of a mother. Certainly, we knew that we were loved by the constant evidence presented by Mama. “Recovering” from her absence was a huge challenge. Rebellion was one way that I acted out my profound grief. Coming to grips with my motherless status was immensely difficult. FolksContinue reading »

1 Corinthians 9:25 – KJV And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things . . . Ah, that word temperate. How challenging is it to contain ourselves to consistently exercise temperance? Surely, it’s the wise and reasonable thing to do but how often do we miss the marks in that regard? What readily comes to mind is religious fanaticism. As a child, growing up in church, among other things, we were instructed not to watch TV, and not to go to the movies. Women church members were discouraged from wearing pants and jewelry. Temperance sure wasn’t on board in that restrictive environment. We didn’t know that then — rather we believed that to abstain from such was holy conduct. A good number of churches have relaxed their unreasonable “policies.” Religious fanaticism isn’t constructive or healthy for our spirits, minds or bodies. God encourages purity with balanced lifestyles. How many of us know of “super spiritual” folks who frequently pepper their conversations with “Thank you, Jesus,”Continue reading »

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”Numbers 14:1-4 God had miraculously delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. All day long they made bricks and built walls in Pharaoh’s kingdom and were beaten and treaded with contempt and ruled with a harsh hand. They cried out to God for help. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the handContinue reading »

Fear and faith both like to sail into the harbor of our thoughts and there unload their cargo. It should be abundantly clear that fear should never be allowed to throw out its anchor, but should be banned immediately. Let’s welcome faith however with open arms. Faith is the voice of God and will bring good tidings and cargo from far away places. There is a beautiful story about a small, sick boy somewhere in the African jungle, who lay sick in his hut with a high fever. There was little hope for the boy. His body was weak and he seemed more dead than alive. An old missionary was trying to save the boy, but he lacked the supplies that were needed. ‘If only I would have some ice,’ the old man thought to himself. ‘Then I could control the fevers better and would I be able to save this boy’s life.’ But where can you find ice in the middle of tropical Africa? But the mother of theContinue reading »

The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. Psalm 37:23 He orders my steps. I need not fear what is up ahead because He orders my steps. He counts the hairs on my head. He knew me before I was born. He has numbered my days. Our prayers need not be long and fluid, flowing from one spiritual word to another. Our prayers don’t need many words and lofty phrases. God looks on the heart and He sees us and He knows the desires of our heart even before we do. He has planned my life with all its twists and turns, failures and triumphs, joys and sorrows. He orders my steps. David said in Psalm 37:23 that “the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” In prayer, I speak these words, You order my steps… Before I can even get to the word “so,” He stills my lips until the words “You order my steps” hang in the air. It is enough, HeContinue reading »

Some time ago a businessman was having a visit from an important investor that had the potential to greatly benefit his company. In the middle of their discussion they took a coffee break, and the investor started to discuss some personal problems. He got quite upset as he was relating a business deal that had gone sour and started to curse profusely. “I am sorry,” said the other man, “but what you just said, really hurt me. I am a Christian, and I believe dearly in the God that you just ridiculed. Please don’t say these things in my presence.” The investor looked stunned for a moment and suddenly roared: “What do you think, man? I am a Christian too. I even teach Sunday school.” The first man shook his head and quietly said: “Maybe so, but it’s hard to believe. You certainly don’t act like it.”Right away a little voice in his head whispered, “Nicely done; you just ruined the deal. Congratulations.” A month later the investor came back.Continue reading »

Why would I believe in Jesus? After all, there are so many religions and philosophies and they all claim to have the answer, so why Christianity? Isn’t it just another religion? I was talking to a young man who was adamant in his conviction that Christians were narrow-minded and should be much more tolerant of other religions and philosophies. He shook his head and wondered, “Don’t you know that all roads lead to Rome?” Why Christians are so easily being branded as intolerant is a bit puzzling, as Jesus Himself reached out to everybody and never excluded anybody. He has commanded us clearly to do the same, regardless of race, color or worldview. When Jesus said to love your neighbor, He meant everyone we come in contact with. But this statement that all roads lead to Rome demands further investigation. Are there really so many different religions? It may seem that way, but in essence, there are only two religions. Only two; come on, you must know better than that?Continue reading »

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. Isaiah 55:11 (NLT) I write songs; well, I have written, with God’s help, 15 ½ songs (one needs a chorus still). The lyrics are amazing! I can say that because, just like David wrote the Psalms, God is my inspiration and my co-author. I did the easy stuff and depended on Him for what I couldn’t do, beginning with the melody as a gift and extending to a supply of words that glorify Him and say what is in my soul that praises Him always. My church is building a new sanctuary. It is going to be both spacious and beautiful, and expensive. We have many talented people in our church who have done all of the work so far and, up to this point, we have not borrowed any money. All of the addition that includes officesContinue reading »

Sometimes it looks like the whole world has gone insane. The newspapers are full of news, but it’s mostly bad. Hatred, greed and selfishness seem to be the rulers of this world and many people try to hide in holes of deep discouragement. Where is it all going to? And is there hope? Of course there’s hope. The future is as bright as the promises of God and according to the Bible, our future couldn’t be any better. When the Puritan leader John Owen was dying, his secretary was writing a last letter on his behalf. The man began his letter with the words, “Today, I am still in the land of the living, but…” John Owen motioned to him that that was not at all what he wanted to say. He motioned for the secretary to carefully listen to him and then he whispered, “Write this. Today I am still in the land of the dead, but soon I will cross the threshold and I will step into theContinue reading »

The dark clouds of the Endtime seem to be gathering. There is a storm coming and it may soon break upon our heads. The news reports are full of suffering and pain, and the immediate future could hardly be any darker. But it is only for a little while. Soon Satan’s power will be broken and man’s rule on earth is done. Then these days of pain will be like a dream that is quickly forgotten in the light of the new day, when we raise our hands in joy and worship to the King of Kings. What a day it will be when love is the standard by which we live. The Kingdom of God is coming; Jesus will come for a second time. But the Bible is full of prophecies about the time just before the return of Christ. In Matthew 24 Jesus Himself prophesied, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come toContinue reading »

“Who are my . . . brothers?” – Mark 3:33 With these words Jesus puts forth a question of family and brotherhood. While scholars debate, and renounce, interpretations that claim that Mary had other children the words of Jesus speak clearly- following the Word of God forms a bond as strong as that of blood among Christians. Jesus knew the unique relationship which exists among brothers. No one can fight with each other the way two brothers, no one can get one as angry as a brother can, but no one can help like a brother can. The connection between brothers surpasses and can not be limited by time or distance. The blood and history which exists between brothers- or sisters- has the power to overcome such obstacles. Past insults or hurts are forgiven when a brotherly connection is made. My only brother lives many hundreds of miles away from me and I have not seen him in years. We have had close times and tumultuous times in our lives. Continue reading »