One more, Lord, just one more…


That was the prayer of a man during World War 2 who was helping wounded men on the field of battle. It should be our motto and our prayer today. Lord, help me to bring one more into your family, just one more. Then go out and do it again and again.

Sometimes we celebrate one more day sober or one more birthday or even one more day without accidents at work. Why not celebrate “One more day to serve You, Lord!”? Be thankful for all that you have because it is all given to you by your Father in Heaven. Your blessings, your trials, your family and friends…everything good and not so good comes through Him either allowing it in your life or by His blessing you with it. Be thankful for everything and everyone in your life because they are here today but we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so tell someone that you love them now, while there is still time.

We have lots of time, we think, but that isn’t necessarily the truth. God never promised us that we would have a set number of years to live. Yes, it does say that we may live three score and ten and by our strength we might reach four score years (for all you young folks, a score is twenty years). As we get older we may ask the Lord for one more year to serve or maybe one more day to be with a sick family member. One more…just one more. Seek to be useful to God for one more day and then ask for another and another. He may grant you those days until they turn into months or years. From that point you will be living for Jesus just one more day…just one day at a time.

That really is all we can do. Live our lives for Jesus and His message to the world one day at a time.

What makes you happy?


Have you found it yet or are you still looking for that person or something which will give you complete contentment? I can tell you for sure that there is nothing in this world which will make you happy. No person or amount of money or things that you own can bring lasting joy and happiness into your life. Depending upon which one of those gives you the most satisfaction, you may feel content or even happy for a while if you do have the love of your life or an amount of money which allows you to cast all of your anxiety and worry to the wind…but it will only last for a while. The stuff that you own only gives you a sense of power because you have something which someone else doesn’t. None of these will bring true happiness for very long.

Many of us do equate happiness with less stress in whatever area of life you feel that in. Whether it is through a satisfying relationship or having enough in your bank account that makes bill paying day easy and fairly stress free. But, could you have or feel happiness and contentment if, like Job, all of it was taken away? How would you feel then? Would you blame God for your troubles? Would you blame yourself?

Feeling discontent and depressed because your life isn’t working out the way that you had hoped it would is kinda natural. Most of us do feel that way from time to time. But blaming God for your trouble or even blaming yourself won’t really help the situation and could make it worse. So, what can you do constructively about the problems in your life? Particularly if the problems were brought on by something that you did or didn’t do. The first step is to admit that you had a hand or even both feet in making your problems worse. If you get that far, then seek out help from someone other than the one who caused the problem. Preferably seek out your answer in God’s Word.

It doesn’t matter if your problem is related to a lack of money or if it is a relationship problem, there is Wisdom found in God’s Word which will give you the right advice to move in the direction of fixing the problem. You have to take the advice to heart and act on it though, God doesn’t reach down and fix things as soon as you ask. He wants you to act on His advice and seek His guidance in whatever area of your life that you need it in. Truthfully, we should be seeking Him in every area of our lives before a problem arises. Not seeking His advice and His wisdom is what gets us in trouble in the first place.

Honor God daily


Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

Luke 11: 2-4 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

In Jesus’ model prayer in Luke, we are told to honor our Father in heaven, but do we? Are we really honoring God as Jesus tells us to do or are we just saying words which we have memorized? In Ecclesiastes, Solomon tells us that we should be careful of saying anything from our own mind when we come before God. Why is this? Because God is our Creator and our Provider and it is from His hand of grace and mercy that we live and breathe. While it is true that people haven’t dropped dead because of their words or their lack of respect for God, at least since the time of the apostles. We should honor God and Jesus with our words and our lives.

Think about Who it is that we are speaking of in this instance. We are talking about GOD and His Son, Jesus! The Creator of All that is or ever has been in the entire universe. We aren’t talking about Joe or Bob that we went to school with. Sometimes we give more respect and honor to our grandparents or military veterans than we give to God and that is wrong.

Do you realize that God gives you the air that you breathe and He keeps all of the physical processes going which allows you to think and eat and walk each and every day of your life? With a thought, He could end your life as it is. He could extinguish the Sun if He wished and we would truly see what an ice age would be like because the oceans would freeze solid. Our lives are only ours because God wants us to be here doing the things which we are doing! It isn’t because we are great and wonderful people or some magnificent accomplishments that we have done! He is the reason that we have the ability and the knowledge to be able to do what we do!

God loves us so much that Jesus had to come to Earth and die a horrible death in order to pay for our sins…all of our sins! He did this because He loves each one of us, not because He had to. Jesus could not even pray that “model prayer” because He didn’t have any sins to be forgiven of. It shows us how to pray because we are supposed to give praise to God first and honor Him before we ever say anything about our needs or our sins. Praying that prayer as a “prayer” is like repeating a formula or a recipe. It has all of the elements but it lacks the specifics for us.

I don’t mean that the model prayer is anything less than perfect, but if you pray it exactly the way that Jesus said to, then it is not specific to your needs. He said this is how you should pray, not what you should pray. It is the model of your prayers and mine. Give God His glory and His honor in the beginning of the prayer, repent of your sins and ask for His forgiveness and then seek His wisdom for what you are in need of, then thank God for His mercy and grace that you can bring your prayer to His throne. God already knows what we need, but like an Earthly father, He wants to hear His children come to Him and ask for their needs in humility and faith.

Are you afraid?


It seems that we, as Christians, live in fear. Fear of offending someone, fear of telling others about our faith because they might reject us or the message and report it to someone, fear of being apostles like we are supposed to be. Why? Well, in the society which has come into America in the past twenty or thirty years, there seems to be more hostility toward people who profess to have faith in Jesus. Most don’t care if you believe in God because “everyone believes in God”, but if you bring the name of Jesus into the conversation things get a bit tricky. Because they don’t want to hear what He said or believe in Him. Why?

Mostly, because He taught that the hatred of someone is equivalent to murder. He taught that the thought of adultery was the same thing as the sin of adultery. Just the consideration of a sin, whatever it may be but specifically those two, is the same as committing them. That is why, in my opinion, people are so polarized against Jesus and His message. God is okay because His laws begin with the Ten Commandments and nobody could keep those perfectly, right? While this statement is true, they are still commandments, especially the ones about how to treat your mother and father and those which tell us how to behave toward one another.

So, why are we afraid to speak about our faith? Is it because it is our faith which scares others or is it because of the reaction we may get because of our faith if we tell someone about Jesus? Truthfully we shouldn’t be afraid of those around us because we have God on our side. He is in control of the situation regardless of where we may be as long as we have faith in Him to “have our backs” as we walk through this world. Psalm 23 tells us that He is with us through the “valley of the shadow of Death“, so why should we be afraid or live in fear of others? They can hurt us physically but if they kill you, then it was your time to go and you will be in His Presence. Does this give me chills? If I were foolish enough to walk on the streets of a big city after dark, yes I would be afraid, but I would be praying so hard that people would think I was loony anyway so, who cares?

As Christians, born into the family of God, we have His Spirit with us at all times, so why be afraid of talking to someone? One of the Trinity is there with us every step of the way and He gives us the words to speak at the time that we need them. God loves each of us with a love that we cannot understand or imagine and it will be His Presence working through us, protecting us from those of Satan’s army who would try to hurt us wherever we go. So, don’t be afraid of things which go bump in the night because your God is your Protector and your Guide it is He Who will protect you and lead you to the places where there is cool water and rest for your soul.

Where is our help?


As Christians, our help comes from the Lord and the Holy Spirit. But do we always count on them or lean on them for our help or do we try to handle things ourselves until we can’t? Unfortunately, most of us fall into that last group of people whether we are believers or not. We try to do things and handle things on our own and when there seems to be no way for us to get something done…then we will cry out to God for HELP! The problem with this type of attitude and our attempts to do things like a child of two years of age, even when we are old enough to know better, is that sometimes we actually make things worse.

We should seek God’s provision and His help in every endeavor that we try to do, especially when it is something that we are doing for His Kingdom! Everyday life is also where we tend to “do it ourselves”. When you think that you can handle all of your problems without God’s help, that is usually the time when something will come along and make you rethink your thinking.

God created the whole universe! From the largest stars and galaxies down to the atoms of hydrogen which power every star you see. How could you possibly think that you could do better than the Creator? Can you create something from nothing? No but God can. Make sure that He is your Savior and Lord while there is still time in this life to do so because when you have taken your last breath here, you will be in His Presence. The outcome of that meeting depends upon your decision of belief in Jesus as your Savior or not…the choice is yours.

How soon, Lord?


For many who believe and for many who don’t believe this is a question which has been asked for the past two thousand years. Yet, God is silent…or is He?

If you read His Word and pay close attention to the prophecies in Daniel and Ezekiel and the Revelation, comparing them to each other and watching the world news with your Spirit (if you believe), you can see the prophecies coming together. If you are not a believer then you will keep wondering and scoffing at those who do believe. Many people in government and in the world are skeptical and rightly so. It has been a long time since Jesus ascended to the Father but He said that He would return. God doesn’t lie and the Bible is not a book of legends and myths as many people seem to think.

There have been signs in the heavens and here on Earth which have come to pass in the past fifty years. Just in the past five years, there were four blood moons and an eclipse which all happened on Jewish holy days. Those were not foretold in the Bible exactly, but Jesus did say that there would be signs in the heavens.

Many people have tried over the past few hundred years to predict the day or the hour or even the year that Jesus would return and all of them were wrong. When that day comes there will be no doubt about what is happening and what has happened. Anyone who has heard of these prophecies or heard a sermon about the end times or read one of the books which have been published over the years about this time in history will know what is happening. Although many will doubt and many won’t believe what it is unless they see someone taken up or see a grave opening and the body rising to meet the Lord.

How would you react if a number of people around you just vanished, leaving their shoes and clothes on the pews? If you are still in the church when this happens, what do you do? My advice to you is to make sure of your salvation now so this won’t happen to you.

Even then they will be frightened more than anything. Most will begin looking for answers, trying to find someone who can explain what is happening. In some places, there may be a few who are left that can explain what is happening. If it happens on a day that people are attending a church or worship service there will be some who thought they were “right with the Lord” but they will be left. Talk about a bad day!

You cannot earn your salvation, it is a gift from God!

Grief is hard…


When a friend dies, it hurts. When a brother or sister dies, it hurts more and much deeper. When a parent dies, whether it is your mother or your father, the pain is deep and it stays with you for years. It is not something that you can “get over” or move on from. The pain gets a bit easier to think about over time but it does take time. Sometimes it takes a lot of time.

A person who is or has been a mentor and a friend is close enough to be family, that is who left us today. Why do I say this? Because this person worked with my grandfather and he is in heaven with Jesus today. They are remembering so many memories about their children and grandchildren. They are both worshipping Jesus and thanking Him for saving them from their mistakes and their own stupidity. Something that we all should do today.

I pray that those who read this will think about their families and their own salvation and if they aren’t saved through Jesus Christ then seek Him out while you have the chance. This life is the time for becoming a child of God through Jesus Christ so do it while you can. Don’t wait because not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow. I could die from a cardiac arrest tonight or you could die in a car accident tomorrow morning. Please don’t wait.


Mother’s influence


2 Timothy 1:3-5
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Abraham Lincoln said, ”No one is poor who had a godly mother.” He went on to say, ”I remember my mother’s prayers, and they have followed me; they have clung to me all my life. All that I am and hope to be I owe to my angel mother.”

With today being Mother’s Day, I want to salute all of the mothers here. Not just because you came to church this morning but because of all of the different roles that you fill in the lives of your children and this church. Bookkeepers, taxi drivers, teachers, nurses, comforters, friends, a stand-in for Dad (sometimes), a leader in the home and at church, but most of all an example to those around you.

All of us are here because of our mothers so we thank you for bringing us all into the world. God knew each of us before we were ever born into this world and He knew the influence that our grandmother and our mother and father would have in our lives. Our family relationships, broken though some may be, tend to shape us individually into the men and women that we become. So whatever you are right now and what you may become is influenced by your mother first and your family second.

Mom has a role to fill and it has always been an important one. Regardless of the amount of “community” help you may or may not need or want in the raising of your children, God has gifted the women who become mothers with many talents.

I once read that if a woman was paid a wage for all of the jobs which she has in the home and in raising her children, their salary (which few could afford by the way) would be in the six-figure range. No matter how hard it may have been when you were growing up or even how hard it is today,

Mom always seems to find a way to make the ends meet and to make a good meal out of whatever may be in the kitchen or the fridge. So, let’s give thanks to God for our mothers and make sure that they know how we feel about all of the things, big and small, that they do or have done for us.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for our mothers because without them we wouldn’t know how much You love us. We would not have an example of the love that you instill in them which is a reflection of how You love each of us every day and all of the time. We can’t say enough about our mother’s love and compassion and how it has influenced our lives in so many ways. You placed each of us in her care so that we would learn and grow into the people that you knew we could become and without her influence in our lives, we would’ve likely turned out very different. I pray that you would bless all of the mothers here and elsewhere and help their children to know and appreciate all of the good things which they have because of their mother’s influence.  Amen

We are loved…


As God’s creation, we are loved and we have been loved by Him since before the Earth was formed or even before light came into the universe. Isn’t that amazing? God loves you and me! The depth of His love toward all of humanity was not known until Jesus came into the world about two thousand years ago and He embodied God’s love toward humanity. He went around the sea of Galilee with His message of love, forgiveness, healing and the promise of an eternity with Him. What more could we need or ask for?

Here on Earth, many people search for more money or fame or stuff but what good does all of that do? All that it does for us is cause more worries and headaches and stress and at the end of your life…someone else gets it and most likely they will sell it or auction it off. The eternity which God offers us is worth far more than anything we can have here. We will have a home and a life with most of our loved ones. I say most because there are going to be some who either didn’t accept Jesus in this life or they walked away from Him and His offer of salvation. I know, that sounds like the same thing but it isn’t.

Some people won’t accept His offer of grace and salvation but they may finally accept it right before their death (if they have the time). Many will hear the message at some point but they will determine that it just isn’t for them and they will walk away and likely never darken the door of a church again. The thing is that only God knows your heart and their hearts so whatever choice you may make in this life, make sure that it is a sure one by walking with Him during your life and leaving your old sinful life behind. Why do I say this? Because other people need to know that your life has changed and you have changed! Your life should be a witness to others for Jesus whether you say anything to them about salvation or not.

That is what Jesus meant when He said for us to “take up your cross and follow Me“. In the passage which is linked here, He says to “deny yourself” which is exactly what you think it is. Deny or turn away from your old ways of living and follow Him by prayer and study of the Bible. People usually look at me funny when I say that they need to study the Bible, but I am not saying that you have to write it out word for word. I only mean that you should pray over what you read daily, just a chapter or two a day and you will read all of it in about a year. If you make it a habit like I have, going a day without it will feel strange.

Reading God’s Word daily is like walking with Him every day because you learn more about Him as you read His Word. Granted there are two books which are very difficult to understand or even know what they offer for our life today but they are necessary. Those books are Leviticus and Numbers. They deal with the Priesthood of Israel and the number of people in each tribe and how much is to be sacrificed to pay for certain sins, etc. What are they good for today? These two books show us how impossible it is to live a holy life, blameless before God without the Holy Spirit guiding us every day.

Make sure of your relationship with Jesus while there is time and opportunity to do so, because after your last breath the chance is gone.

Everyday life


We live each day according to what we have learned in our life. We may live according to what we were taught by our parents or grandparents or according to what we have learned from going to church and reading our Bibles. Some people claim that life doesn’t have a guidebook or an instruction manual but God’s Word is the best manual for living and how to live that I have ever seen or read.

But there are many times in our lives when we can’t find the answer to our problem. Sometimes it escapes us in one way or another. We ask “Why did this happen?” and we can’t find the answer or if we ask God that question…He is either silent or we may not be listening closely enough. Those times cause us to doubt our faith and they can cause us to doubt God too.

Why? It is a very small question but sometimes the answer is not small if it comes at all. The answer can be a diagnosis which a mother or father is not prepared for. The outcome of this diagnosis may be a child which is unable to ever enjoy life again or enjoy anything about life. So what do we do then? Are we supposed to give up on God’s promises of healing and restoration?

God doesn’t make that promise of healing and restoration for every person in the world! If you seek Him in your need and your feelings of grief over a child who is suffering from an accident or even a disease please seek God’s answer and LISTEN to Him. Many of us would rather have our child back or our spouse back, healthy and whole with no problems but consider that God’s healing may take the form of their passing from this life into the next with Him.

While this outcome is not the perfect outcome in our own view, God may truly have something else which is much better. But…we must be willing to truly listen to Him and not to our own voice echo in our head telling us what we want to hear rather than what is good for our child or our spouse or even the decision which is truly in God’s hands.

The problem with waiting for God’s leading and His voice is that we usually try to go around God and get things done the way we want them to be. We don’t want to wait on God but we want the solution right NOW! Life’s troubles and trials are rarely cut neatly with our ideas in mind so that a visit to the hospital turns out as a blessing. Many times it comes with tremendous bills and stress and the possible outcomes which may or may not be the one which we want in our lives.

These are the times when life seems to be broken and there is no amount of glue or tape which can un-break it. Sometimes even our technology can do more harm by keeping a loved one alive but are they really? They are breathing and they may react to some stimulus but if they are unable to live…is that really living?

Pray for those in the hospitals or in nursing homes that are in a coma or a state which, if given a chance, they would likely not want to “live” in. I pray that no mother or father reading this will ever have to go through this type of decision because even though I can write this advice down,  but if it were my son it would truly be heartbreaking to have to make that life-altering decision. He has told me if that ever happens don’t let me live in a coma not knowing what is going on or who is around me. But even with his instructions, it would still break my heart.