Thank God for Krispy Kreme

Every year I select one of the schools our teens from church attend, and I participate in “See You at the Pole,” joining in solidarity as Christian teenagers pray for their school, teachers, state and Country. Yesterday, I attended a small town school as kids from this rural district have started coming to Church within the past year.

When I walked up to the gathering area, the FCA Sponsor greeted me with a friendly smile and we chatted about the Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s Chapter at both the Junior and Senior High’s and about the impact these groups are having on campus. To entice students to roll out of bed early on Friday mornings, the club offers donuts and juice.  The FCA Sponsor told me a humorous little story about a student’s recent visit to FCA.  This student commented to the Sponsor that he

“Didn’t come for any Jesus…I just came for the donuts.”

I love the honesty. However, God uses donuts.

The Apostle Paul said the following:

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”  I Corinthians 9:19

What does it mean to “become all things to all people?” Simply put, Paul meant that he would use their own (Jews and Gentiles) beliefs and ways to show them the truth.  So, to a religious Jew he would use the law to speak to them, to a Gentile he would use his conscience and culture.  Paul met people where they were and pointed them to Christ, ministering without compromising his own faith and convictions.  If Paul felt it important to present a person with a donut to spark a conversation about Christ, so be it.

The young man visiting FCA for the doughnuts doesn’t realize:

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Whenever he attends the Friday morning meeting with only a glazed Krispy Kreme in mind, he’s hearing the Word of God proclaimed by a fellow classmate or guest speaker. God promises,

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

So, young man, keep coming for donuts and God just might grab your heart.

Thank God for Krispy Kreme…..

Walk Off the Wait

As I stood in line at a local discount store, I glanced at the magazine covers while waiting to checkout.  One title caught my eye, “Walk Off the Weight.”  I couldn’t help but smile.  I should’ve written the article.  Over the past 5 months, by way of diet and exercise, I’ve trimmed down 25 pounds.  My exercise of choice?  Walking.

Many people enjoy gym memberships; others enjoy running multiple k’s.  Walking briskly accomplishes the same goal without all the huffing and puffing.  A vigorous walk triggers a heart rate increase, and as mentioned earlier, coupled with a sensible diet, the weight melts away.

When reading the magazine cover, I also considered changing the word “weight” to “wait.”  That statement made much sense to me as well.

Psalm 27:14 reads,

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Many wrongly interpret the verse, thinking “wait upon the Lord” means to put life on hold, and “wait” for God to move.  On the contrary, the word “wait” means to continue serving in the manner of a waitress or waiter in a restaurant.  A good server keeps careful watch over her tables, ready to meet the needs of the patron as they arise.  The server faithfully works in this capacity unless the manager directs otherwise.

When encouraged to “wait upon the Lord,” continue serving Him faithfully until He changes the course of your life, opening and closing doors as He sees fit.  Therefore, keep walking while your waiting.

Now get out there, and “Walk off the Wait.”

Black Life is Human Life

The news isn’t good in Missouri.

There are mass protests growing around the Country responding to the shooting of Michael Brown involving a Ferguson, MO police officer.  It’s a tragic situation for all involved.  Though eye witness accounts contradict, the truth remains, a young black man died in the prime of his life and a police officer will bear the life long pain of pulling the trigger, justified or not.

Of course racial tensions are high.  One protestor in NYC held a sign saying,

“Black Life is Human Life.”

(Sadly, America’s racial tension has been stoked by the current Presidential Administration….but that’s another blog for another day.)  However, I do want to address,

“Black Life is Human Life.”

Of course it is!!!!  There’s only one race, the human race.  Every human breathing on the planet is created in the image of God.  So my question is, where’s the outrage from the African American community over abortion?  Do they not know the history? Margaret Sanger encouraged abortion in the lower income communities to destroy

“…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.” 

Who were these blights upon society in her view?  Blacks and poor people.  She also said,

“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

If protests were every warranted by the African American community it would be outside every Planned Parenthood in America.   Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America, with 78% of the clinics operating in minority communities.  Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America.

Planned Parenthood is the real racist and the black community remains strangely silent.




Flea Market and Garage Sale Flipping

For the last several months, I’ve been hooked on shows like “American Pickers,” “Flea Market Flip,” “Junk Gypsies” and “Market Warriors.”  I’m especially impressed by the repurposing of items no longer deemed valuable for their original purpose.   My wife also enjoys these shows and we’ve decided that we are going to try fixing up and repurposing items we snag at garage sales.

The first was an old chair that needed a fresh coat of paint and reupholstering.

Here are pictures:

If you have interest in buying the chair, the cost is $50 plus $40 for shipping/handling.  I receive Paypal payments only through  (Yes, that’s a v and not a y)

God bless and thanks for looking!


prezebra zebra1 zebra2 zebra3

What’s Wrong With Our Military?

Daily news reports continue to confirm our Country’s declining on all levels.  Scandals rock the Obama Administration, and still almost half of America supports the President and his agenda.  One of the most recent aspersions to make waves involves the Internal Revenue Service and its practice of targeting groups with ideologies different from those occupying the White House.  It has come to light that email correspondence between Lois Lerner and other top administrative officials “mysteriously” disappeared because of an untimely hard drive crash.  If you believe that, I’ve got ocean front property in Wyoming, and I’m looking for investors….

Anyway, on the evening of June 23rd, a House Committee called IRS Commissioner Koskinen to testify for a second time about “email gate.”  Before launching into the interrogation, Darrell Issa ordered the Commissioner to raise his right hand to take the oath.  Issa asked,

“Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…..”

The Commissioner replied,

“I do.”

Issa omitted the most important phrase of the oath,

“…so help me God.”

And therein lies America’s problem.

A recent article online interested me.  The piece highlighted cases of moral failure in the military and the efforts to stem the lapses in principled judgment.  In February of this year (2014), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed concern over rising instances of ethical problems in the military and ordered service leaders to add urgency to their drive to ensure “moral character and moral courage” on the heels of more than a decade of war.

Moral character?  Moral courage?  Those are absolute virtues of necessity in our nation’s armed forces.  However, the current climate propagated by our current Commander in Chief sets the stage for morality to nosedive.

Fox News Contributor Todd Starnes has identified the problem plaguing our military.  It’s the concerted effort to kick God from our nation’s military installations.  In an article entitled, “Pentagon Grilled About Christians In Military” he reports about instances of Christianity coming under attack in the ranks of our Country’s servicemen and women.  Some of the complaints registered include:

- A Navy directive that banned Bibles at Walter Reed Hospital

- An Army email that listed prominent Christian ministries like the Family Research Council and America Family Association as “domestic hate groups.”

- An Army Reserve program that listed Evangelical Christians and Catholics as examples of religious extremism

- The Air Force banning the word ‘God’ from an Air Force patch logo – even though the reference had no religious connotation

Obviously, Hagel fails to realize that when God’s kicked to the curb, the world goes to “hell in a hand basket.”  The Bible expressly teaches that when Godly leadership ceases to exist, everyone does “what’s right in his own eyes.”  Sadly, what man considers right often contradicts the teaching of God’s Word, falling miserably short of God’s ideal for humanity.  If one strips God from the military, then this Country’s leaders shouldn’t be shocked at a precipitous dip in the moral and ethical behavior of our nation’s soldiers.

The following dialogue from one of my favorite movies (Remember the Titans) identifies the problem plaguing our military:

Bertier : Listen, I’m Gerry, you’re Julius. Let’s just get some particulars and get this over with.

Big Ju: Particulars? Man, no matter what I tell you, you ain’t never gonna know nothing about me.

Bertier: Listen, I ain’t running any more of these three-a-days

Big Ju: Well, what I’ve got to say, you really don’t wanna hear ‘cuz honesty ain’t too high upon your people’s priorities.

Bertier: Honesty? You want honesty? Honestly, I think you’re nothing. Nothing but a pure waste of God-given talent. You don’t listen to nobody, man! Not even Doc or Boone! Shiver push on the line everytime and you blow right past ‘em! Push ‘em, pull ‘em, do something! You run over everyone in this league, and everytime you do you leave one of your teammates hanging out to dry, me in particular!

Big Ju: Why should I give a hoot about you, huh? Or anyone else out there? You wanna talk about the ways you’re the captain?

Bertier: Right.

Big Ju: You got a job?

Bertier: I’ve got a job.

Big Ju: You been doing your job?

Bertier: I’ve been doing my job.

Big Ju: Then why don’t you tell your white buddies to block for Rev better? Because they have not blocked for him worth a blood nickel, and you know it! Nobody plays. Yourself included. I’m supposed to wear myself out for the team? What team? Nah, nah what I’m gonna do is look out for myself and I’ma get mine.

Bertier: See man, that’s the worst attitude I ever heard.

Big Ju: Attitude reflects leadership, captain.

Attitude reflects leadership, Mr. Hagel.  Attitude reflects leadership.


Embarrassing Moments

It’s just a part of our human nature to become embarrassed occasionally.  Probably my most embarrassing moment transpired on a mission trip about 15 years ago.

I was serving as a bi-vocational music and youth pastor at the time, and my wife, my pastor, and I chaperoned a group of teenagers to Houston, Texas, spending a week in the inner city ministering to kids.  In a joint effort with other teenagers from our Church’s Association, we conducted a morning VBS in an area of Houston primarily populated by Hispanics.  My second language is pig Latin, so I enjoyed learning a new Spanish word or phrase each day, and the kids seemed to get a kick out of me trying to speak their language.

One day, as we wrapped up Vacation Bible School, all of the kids gathered in the sanctuary for a departing puppet show.  I thought it might be appropriate to learn the word for puppets, so I inquired of a small child.  As the kids streamed in to the worship center, I screamed at the top of my lungs,

“We’re getting ready to have a puppet show!”

substituting the English word “puppet” with its Spanish equivalent….

Or so I thought.

At the conclusion of the puppet performance, and as the kids filed out to load up on the church vans, a young girl tugged on my arm and said,

“I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

She scampered off to ask her mom.  She came back with a shy smile and informed me I had been yelling for a “topless ladies show.”

I was mortified.

I’ll never live that down.

Recently, comedian Sarah Silverman shared something that embarrasses her.  As a pro-choice woman she’s embarrassed that she hasn’t had an abortion.

You read correctly.

In an interview with Bill Maher she said,

“…I don’t like to admit this…I’ve never had an abortion….”

As a staunch defender of the pro-choice movement, she felt guilty about championing a procedure, she herself had never experienced.

Our society’s so screwed up.  It used to be taboo to admit our downfalls publicly, to share about those moments of caving to temptation for fear of people shunning us or branding us with a scarlet letter.  Now it appears to be in vogue to express apologies for being moral.

People wonder why kids go on shooting rampages, blaming guns, the NRA, and now mental health.  In most cases of violence or in the choice of a woman to discard, like trash, the baby growing in her womb, the issue isn’t a mental one…but a matter of the heart.  America’s moral compass has broken, and we’re guilty of doing that, which God warned us against,

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  Isaiah 5:20

Our Country’s push to be tolerant only shoves us closer to the precipice of God’s judgment.  Our Country’s insistence on being politically correct only drives a deeper wedge between the propagation of Liberal ideologies and Conservative family values.  America’s banned the Bible from the public sphere and embraced a “feel good” religion known as moral relativism.  It’s not a new invention of modern time; in fact the book of Judges ends in this manner,

“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” Judges 21:25

There’s a problem with that philosophy.  Our own eyes deceive us.  And where those around us occasionally express an “evolved” view about behaviors once universally categorized as sin, God’s Word does no such thing.  How His heart must break when a woman apologizes for NOT having an abortion.  America’s in a mess of its own making.

America needs revival.

The Real Meaning of Memorial Day

This weekend, millions of Americans take to the nation’s highways.  Three day weekends send people in pursuit of a little rest and relaxation.  Memorial Day weekenders flock to the lakes, the campgrounds, or lounge in the backyard, sweating over a sizzling grill of bratwurst and burgers.  Ah yes, the familial traditions of Memorial Day weekend.  Boating, brats, and burgers…but is there more?

Originally named Decoration Day, Memorial Day’s founding took place a short time after the Civil War.  General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed on May 5, 1868,

“The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of the comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.  In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

Though several states vie for the origination of Memorial Day, Lyndon Johnson designated Waterloo, NY as the birthplace for this honorable day of tribute.  In 1866, Waterloo established an annual observance, closing businesses and setting aside a day to drape flowers over the graves of fallen soldiers.

Arlington Cemetery hosted the first official Decoration Day on a warm spring day in May of 1868.  President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the five thousand gathered to remember those who sacrificed their lives in the great conflict between the North and South.  Future President, James Garfield delivered the keynote address, and after a stirring ceremony of speakers and music, those congregated decorated the burial plots of both Union and Confederate soldiers.

Sadly, the noble nature of Memorial Day’s specific founding remains widely unknown.  According to a Gallup poll, only 28% of Americans knew that Memorial Day existed to honor the lives of those lost in war.  Others responded Memorial Day honored veterans, and some answered Memorial Day is set aside to honor all deceased.  To encourage recognition of our war fallen, Congress established the National Monument of Remembrance in 2002.  According to the White House Commission on Remembrance, the idea for the Moment was born when children touring the Nation’s Capital were asked by the Commission’s Director the meaning of Memorial Day.  They responded,

“That’s the day the pool opens.”

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to take a break from their festivities on Memorial Day at 3:00 pm, and for sixty seconds observe a moment of silence, honoring all service men and women who have died for our freedom.

Before dusting off the grill or the inaugural swan dive into the public pool, remember.  This Memorial Day, pause to honor our fallen heroes, thanking God for their sacrifice and for allowing us to live in the greatest nation on the earth.

The Bible and Same Sex Marriage- Part One

Most of my blog readership includes fellow Christian bloggers, family and friends.  So, when I posted an entry entitled “Does God’s View of Sin Evolve?” I knew my thoughts would mostly be preaching to the choir.  However, since joining the realm of Twitter, the posts sometimes end up reaching a much more diverse audience, especially with the option to Retweet.  Recently, an individual chose to open a link to my blog an responded to my view on homosexuality and same sex marriage.  Here’s the comment I discovered in my box:

None of you know what it’s like to be gay; if you were, you would drop this “hate the sin, love the sinner” crap.  I’m seriously sick of it.  My relationship is not a sin, in fact, it’s a lot stronger than many heterosexual relationships out there.  Sorry if you can’t handle the truth.  Goodbye.

Over the next few days, I hope to occasionally address some of the issues raised in this message, compassionately detailing the Bible’s teaching on same sex marriage.

“None of you know what it’s like to be gay”

I can’t speak for everyone, but that statement applies to me.  No, I do not know what it’s like to be gay or to be tempted with homosexual desires.  However, I know what it is to be a sinner.  The Bible states,

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

As humans we tend to classify sins, labeling them as big and little offenses.  Murder garners the classification of a big sin; a little white lie lives up to its name…at least in our minds.  However, our categorizations of sin mock God’s holiness.  In God’s eyes, sin’s sin.  I think the reason we fall into the trap of transgression allocation is we base our opinion of sin upon the visible consequences and our own personal distaste of the behavior.  But the truth of the matter remains, sin separates us from God.

Here’s the good news.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

An old hymn reads,

“Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide till the day is done.”

Since Jesus knows and understands our struggles and temptations, He provides the right amount of grace and strength to withstand the deceptions hurled at us by the enemy.  And when the Enemy launches an attack, God promises,

“I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, I will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  (I Corinthians 10:13)

So, whether you battle homosexual tendencies, lust, or sticking to the truth, God stands ready to help us overcome those sinful choices.  Whenever a temptation arises and beads of sweat pool on our forehead as we waver between right and wrong, scan the horizon for God’s escape hatch.  And know this, occasionally (and some more than occasionally…Christians included) we fail miserably in our walk with Christ.  In those instances He stands with His arms open, waiting for the wayward child to repent and come home.

Amazing Grace…..

The Prodigal America

America reminds me of the Prodigal Son.

Remember the story Jesus shared about the way ward child?  The younger of two sons decided he needed a change of scenery and an early escape from the rules and regulations of his father’s household.  After receiving his portion of the inheritance early, the young son high-tailed it out of town to chase his wanton desires.  Long story short, things spiraled out of control quickly.  He frivolously spent his money on wild living and he ended up destitute, craving the food of swine.

Today, America’s the Prodigal.

Founding Father John Adams said,

“Our constitution is only fit for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly unsuited to the governance of any other kind.”

The Constitution of the United States guaranteed people of all faiths the right to come to our shores and worship according to their own conscious.  Their forefathers fled to the New World to be free from having any particular religion forced upon them.  Not wanting to revert to the customs of the Old Country, the Founders promised the American people the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” including the rights of the citizens to worship according to the dictates of their heart.  Sadly, much has changed in two centuries.

Our Country, once inclined to the Word of God, now flounders as atheists, radical environmentalists and homosexual activists control the conversation.  Christians, once courageous, now sit idly by fearing the label of intolerance for Biblical stances taken.  Our Country, the Prodigal, has turned a deaf ear to the Father and now squanders away its wealth in riotous living.  Certainly in the parable, the young man’s choice of “loose living” implies a plethora of moral indiscretions.  America rivals the transgressions of the younger son in similar fashion.  But how?  What sin do we sanction as a nation?

Abortion, a legal holocaust plagues our nation.  The innocent blood of over 50 million babies rests squarely on our hands.  Homosexual activists demand benefits  and the same rights as the traditionally married.  Instead of standing strong against the immoral agenda, announcements of states caving to vocal minorities dominate the headlines.  Our government insists the globe faces an environmental crisis perpetuated by men and cattle.  When leaders address the nation and sign-off with “and God bless the United States of America,” it’s nothing more than an effort to assuage the minds of those who “cling bitterly to their guns and religion.”

And we expect God to bless America?

I hate to admit it, but maybe the President was right when he said,

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.”

When the President chose to deliver these remarks, several Conservative Christians were up in arms.  Hold the outrage for a moment, he’s right.  Some who study church trends claim only about 20% of those claiming Christianity actively participate in the life of a local church.  Church doesn’t save anyone, but church attendance is a good indicator that a person has truly accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.  With dismal numbers like this, no wonder we see the Hollywood elite controlling the moral talking points and the Church’s influence dwindling.

George Washington once said,

“The propitious smile of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself hath ordained.”

For the time being, our nation ignores God and speeds down the road of “loose living” failing to realize the slop that lies ahead.  Thankfully, the Father waits patiently for us to return.   In the story of the Prodigal, Jesus shares the young man “came to his senses” after hitting rock bottom.   Now that the Country’s wallowing around with the swine, hopefully we corporately come to our senses and once again seek the God  who established,

“America as a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere. ”  Ronald Reagan

My Response to a YouTube Abortion Video

My wife and I have five children.  At each birth, I nervously sat by my wife’s side and coached her through the most difficult moments of labor.  Though these moments etch indelible memories in our minds…those births are just that, memories for my wife and I to treasure.  We never considered videotaping the throes of labor, even though some more adventurous souls do.  I’m not settled on the fact that family and friends want to watch the “crowning” moment of our little ones.  That being said, a news report broke recently announcing an abortion advocate uploaded a video to YouTube to document her own abortion.  She stated her goal was to show women abortions can be a positive experience.

In the video, Emily Letts announces she’s pregnant but not ready to be a mother.  Instead of offering her baby up for adoption, she chose to abort her baby, filming it for the world to see.  Ms. Letts records another video one month after the procedure.  She assures women she feels no remorse or guilt; she’s not sad or haunted by the decision.  Instead she says,

“I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life. I knew what I was going to do was right, because it was right for me and no one else.  I just want to tell my story.”

Cosmopolitan magazine interviewed Ms. Letts after she won the Abortion Care Network’s Stigma Busting video competition with her YouTube entry.  In the article she informs readers, she didn’t include the father in the decision and concerning the procedure she said,

“I remember breathing and humming through it like I was giving birth. I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”

A special memory?  Killing your own baby?

Some champions of abortion squirm when calling the conceived life a baby.  So, to minimize guilt, the words “fetus” and “clump of tissue” categorize the womb dwelling organism.  However, God sees life much differently.  Psalm 139 shares,

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,     I know that full well.  15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.   Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Though Ms. Lett assumes credit for “making a baby,” God is the Author of life.  In fact, the life God creates, He classifies as a masterpiece.  Imagine for a moment an artist of renowned gifting a friend with a beautiful painting suitable for display in any world class gallery.  Instead of treasuring the artwork, the person tosses it in the dumpster, grateful for the artist’s talent, but not yet ready to hang the gem on the living room wall.  Ridiculous, right?  But not as absurd as being in awe of life, but not awestruck enough to consider the life a treasure to be valued, appreciated, and nurtured.

We wonder why violence against humanity rages around us.  The answer’s really quite simple.  From the moment of conception, some refuse to embrace the miracle of life, instead choosing parenthood only if it’s convenient.  If we refuse to challenge people to respect the life of the most innocent, why should we expect people to esteem life at any stage?  But, what difference does it make?  We can replace people, right? How do I know?  Well, according to Emily Lett, the main point is that we can “make babies” and she has her sonogram to prove it.  Sadly, this valued souvenir documents another life sacrificed at the Altar of Convenience.

And some wonder why America’s going to hell in a hand basket…