Finish!: December 30th, 2015

2015 is like a lifetime. Did I live it well? Will Jesus say “Well done, good and faithful servant”?

“Men are like a dream, like grass which in the morning flourishes, then withers. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90: 5,6, 12).

Numbering your days makes us remember that life is short. Keep that in mind and wisdom can find good soil.

Here we stand at the end of the life that was lived in 2015. How did it go? Was it successful? Let’s use the same measure that the apostle Paul used at the end of his life.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. So then, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will award me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:6-8)

Paul’s measure of his life was whether he had kept the faith.

What’s involved in keeping the faith? Fighting. Racing.

There must be some strain involved. Boxers get punched and runners push themselves to the limit. Keeping the faith must…

Paris, Prophets and Salvation: November 25th, 2015

Paris, Russian Flight 9268, Beirut, Nigeria, now San Bernadino, CA…It is easy to agree that terrorism is one of the most critical issues facing us today.

What’s not easy is identifying the terrorists. Evidently, they may be neighbors, college students, friends.  And as we recently discovered in Nigeria they may even be 11 year old girls.  There is though an undeniable common link.  The overwhelming majority of terrorist acts are committed by those who identify with the second largest religious community in the world, Islam.

An unhealthy penchant for political correctness has caused us to lay aside common sense. We dare not state the obvious because it would go against our utopian view that all religions are equally valid and good.  But dealing with terrorism at its root necessitates a real confrontation with those associated with Islam. (more…)

Reformation Day: October 30th, 2015

“For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ? You have fallen away from God’s grace.” (Gal 5:1)

In my devotions the other day I was reading a passage by Oswald Chambers who wrote that salvation is not achieved through our belief in Christ or even our repentance. Salvation is achieved entirely through Christ’s death on the cross. It is easy to sometimes fall into the trap that our belief and repentance is almost a “good-work” that we do in order to bring salvation to ourselves. The truth is that there is absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves. (more…)

Worship: October 8th, 2015

As you may know, Chi Alpha college group at RMU is several weeks into the school year. We have seen a small core of students attending each week. This past week we saw the most students in a while, around 25. While God has been working each week I could sense his presence more strongly this particular night. The worship song closing out the night was “Break Every Chain,” by Tasha Cobbs Grace. It went right along with the theme of the sermon that night which was about putting on the full armor of God in order to combat the lies coming at us from all directions. (more…)

Hungry: September 3rd, 2015

I love watching competition cooking shows. But, I can’t watch them my mouth watering so now I plan ahead by making myself a snack before I dive into an episode. Watching the preparation of culinary masterpieces whets my appetite and creates in me a desire to eat. One Sunday morning recently I was getting ready for church and I put on some worship music (something I had not done in a while). Before the first song was over, I had the same reaction that I do when I watch food shows. I was hungry. I don’t mean that I wanted to go downstairs and make myself a bologna sandwich. I mean that I was hungry for God. (more…)

Will You Marry Me?: August 28th, 2015

While we were dating my wife had me convinced that a woman with any bit of sense would not answer ‘the question’ when first asked but should have few days to think it over.

So I asked her to marry me knowing she’d get back to me with her answer later. It took take the pressure off. “Rhonda, I know you’ll want a couple of days to think it over but well, I’d like for you to consider being my wife. Will you marry me?”

MarriageProposal

“Yes.”
“Yes, you’ll think about it?”
“Yes, I’ll marry you.”
“But I…I…I thought a woman with any sense would want to think it over.”
“I did think it over. How’s September sound?”
I went home not quite knowing what had just happened. (more…)

When Life Takes a Wrong Turn: July 23rd, 2015

Imagine the following scenario with me. You have been on a hiking trip when the path you have been following suddenly becomes a dead end. In front of you is a huge cliff and there is no way around it. The path stops at the cliff and so do all your plans for a glorious adventure. Now what? You busily check your trail guide for the wrong turn you must have made and frantically try to backtrack in your mind. The sun is beginning to set and being lost in the wilderness is not what you had in mind. Your palms begin leaving damp prints on the pages of your trail map as panic sets in.

Where am I? How will I get out of here? (more…)

“One for the Wall”: June 23rd, 2015

In my family we have a saying. Whenever we come across a great one-liner or nugget of truth in our devotions we say, “that’s one for the wall.” We don’t actually have a wall where we write all these great phrases (my Dad still wishes we did). The idea is that these are things we should remember and be reflecting on as we go about our day. Do you ever find that God teaches you different lessons during different seasons of your life? (more…)

Grace: May 14th, 2015

I have a simple story to tell you this month. Something happened to me to make me cry in a way utterly foreign. I am not overly emotional and the typical things like movies do not move me to tears. But, this was different. I will back up and start from the beginning.

Since moving out of my parents’ house last year, I have quickly realized how expensive it is to live. Over the first few months of living on my own I quickly realized that most of my paychecks were needed for day-to-day expenses and bills. Now I appreciate living under my parents’ roof and not having to pay for gas or groceries! Justifying my lack of funds I did not tithe on my paychecks from my new job. (more…)

What You Thinking?: April 22nd, 2015

How’s your mental health? There are all sorts of things out there that can carry disease to the body. And there are a number of contributors to the disease of the mind… (more…)