Friday, December 31, 2010


Just one day left and 2010 is history.

What happened this past year that I liked?

What happened that was disappointing?

What would I have liked to have happened that didn't?

That would take a book and more. I have learned that when I commit my way to the Lord that He takes all things and works them for my good. Somehow I believe that has happened this year in the good and the bad and the difficult and even in things that didn't happen.

My goal was to make every day count in 2010. Did that happen? In many ways yes, but there certainly was more that I would have loved to have seen done. I commit all that to the Lord. He knows my heart and desire. He will yet work things together in a way that is good. I trust His Word and that is what His Word says.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Wanda and I drove to Ft. Lauderdale on Monday to catch a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to see Jennifer, Javier, Claudia, and Lorenzo. When Wanda and I married, we both doubled the number of children and grandchildren. That makes seeing everyone during the holidays and for birthdays and special occasions challenging. We are blessed and enjoy every moment with every child and grandchild.

The weather is rainy but warm. We left the cold of Florida for the warmth and beauty of PR. I am looking out the window of the condo we are staying and soaking up the view. It is so relaxing here. We need it.

Jennifer has lived here over 12 years now. She has learned Spanish and the kids are bilingual too. I am so proud of Jennifer for the way she has adapted to life in another culture and with another language. She is a true pioneer.

This is a short trip and the goal is to relax with a capital R. That's the plan. I plan to make that happen.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I recently read this little story in my devotional book. It goes:

A mother was taking down the Christmas decorations including the tree, lights, and the nativity. She couldn't find baby Jesus anywhere.

Finally, she asked her little four year old if he had seen the baby Jesus.

"Yes," he said.

"Where is He," the mother asked.

"I won't tell you. He doesn't want anyone to know where He is," the little guy continued.

"Why," the mother asked.

The little boy said, "Because He doesn't want to be put away with all the decorations."


Now there is a parable there. Let the joy of Christmas continue. Don't put Jesus up with the decorations. Keep the Christ of Christmas alive in your heart all through the year.

Friday, December 24, 2010


It is Christmas Eve. Little ones are excited. Mommies are busy. Last minute shopping is being completed. Roadways are filled with family travel. Some hearts are heavy. Some loved ones are in distant places. It is the night before Christmas.

Yet, in a lowly manager hundreds of years earlier, a miracle was to take place. A prophecy was to unfold. Heaven would release the glory of eternity. A Savior would be born.

Today trees and lights and presents and gatherings and worshippers and holy remembrances mark the moment. It is eve before the mystery of mankind would be revealed. Immanuel would come.

For me it is an awareness that He came to live and to live within me. He is in my heart. That can only be because our Lord came in lowly humility to break the impossible barrier between God and man.

Tonight we watch with wonder. Tomorrow we celebrate His glory.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Christmas presents need some wrapping. They need a pretty bow. They need a name to and and name from. They need to be put under the tree. They need someone to shake them and wonder.

Some of our grands are coming and some we are meeting in far places. Some we have already shared Christmas with. All of them got presents that were wrapped. Does that make the gifts more special and fun to receive? I think the answer is yes.

I actually helped wrap some of our gifts. That is why this is on my mind. My wrapping wasn't the best, but it helped Wanda. You should see my wrapping style. Cute. Really cute.

Whether they are wrapped or not, if they are given with love from the heart, that is all that counts. It is about love and giving and sharing and showing care.

Giving and receiving makes Christmas special.

God gave His best. That is the model. That is what He wants from us. That is what we should share with others. It is not how expensive but it must mean something.

So wrap them with love. Share from the heart. Give your gifts with a hug and a kind word.

Make Christmas special.

Monday, December 20, 2010


The exchanging of Christmas gifts has already begun. I love giving to others, and I will admit that there is still enough child in me to look forward and enjoy receiving gifts too. Christmas is a story of giving gifts. It all began with God's gracious gift of love in giving us a Savior.

So what will I give Wanda for Christmas? What should we give all the children and grandchildren? And then what shall we give to our parents? Love and thought go into each present. Actually, I think money is always a good gifts to give and receive, but I will admit that to open a package and enjoy a ready bought gift is nice too.

Children's eyes light up when it is time to open Christmas presents. They get all excited and can't contain themselves. They just can't wait for Christmas to come. Our grands are all hyped up. It is going to be fun.

Wanda has been doing all of our Christmas shopping up to this point. I have to get into the game. Time is running out. Christmas is less than one week away.

So here I come Town Center and maybe a mall or two. While shopping sends pains up my spine, I better get into this quickly. I love to give and that takes thought, time, and attention. I better get with it.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I wonder how many times I have stuck my foot into my mouth and said the wrong thing? Preachers can be as bad at that as any, though I try hard not to do it. Shoe leather doesn't have a very good taste, not even with salt!

Mark Gungor says, "If you are feeling something mean and nasty, it's best to keep your mouth shut."

Good quote!

Life goes better when we let our words bless others rather than hurt them. Yes, I know there are times when frank, serious discussions have to take place, but even then, or maybe especially then, we should use care that the wrong stuff doesn't come out of our mouths.

So, here is the word for today.


Don't let hurt and harm come from your lips. Take a moment and re-calibrate. Get that tongue sanctified and holy. Somebody's future may be at stake. It might even be your own future.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I recently heard a story that helps keeps life in perspective, especially for those who love the Lord. It goes like this:

There was once a king who had a faithful servant who was close to the king and did everything for the king. The servant had a saying that he repeated over and over no matter how good or bad things were. He would say,' It is all good. Everything is good. It is all good."

One day the servant handed the king his rifle to shoot skeet. As the king pulled the trigger, the rifle misfired and exploded, which resulted in the king losing his thumb. Blood flew everywhere, but the servant said, "It is all good. Everything is good. It is all good."

Well that infuriated the king and he threw his faithful servant in prison. The king was angry that the servant were dare think that losing his thumb could be good.

Some time passed and the king was captured by cannibals who were about to barbeque him until they noticed his missing thumb. They let him go because they said they did not eat anything that had a flaw. The king was elated and grateful.

Then he realized the servant was correct. It was all good. So the king rushed to the prison to released the servant who had now been there for some time. The king begged forgiveness, but the servant simply repeated that "it is all good, everything is good, it is all good."

The king couldn't believe his ears. "How could this be good, you being in prison all this time?"

The servant said that if he hadn't been in prison then he would have been with the king when he was captured by the cannibals. The servant held up his two hands and said, "See I still have my two thumbs."

So, you see it is all good. Everything is good. It is all good.


That is God's promise to those who love Him.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I am writing this Sunday evening after just getting home from a church gathering. Sundays are super days filled with worship and preaching God's Word. I love it.

Church on Sunday is the place to be. Why stay home, or go fishing, or cut the grass, or go golfing? Going to God's house feeds the soul, renews the spirit, refocuses life. It is the holy day, the Sabbath. It is set apart for the Lord.

Someone asked if it was possible to be a Christian and not go to church? My response is that why wouldn't a real Christian not want to go to church? After all, it is not like this is a bad or boring thing to do. We get to go to the house of the Lord. It is our Lord's house. Wouldn't a follower of Christ want to go to His house?

Church is filled with life. It is a place of worship, prayer, and healing. It is a place to find our Lord. It is a place to bless the Lord. It is a place to bless others. It is a place of miracles and wonder. It is a place to get answers. It is a place to prepare for eternity.

It is Sunday night as I write this and my soul is full. My spirit is lifted. My heart is hopeful. I have been to the Lord's house. It was good. Soon I will return.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Heavenly music is comfort to the worn and weary soul. It is a balm of peace. It is the sound of joy. It is the soothing of the frayed nerves and strained body. It is uplifting, bringing renewal for eternal glory.

Christmas music is some of heaven’s best sounds. It is the revelation of heaven’s gift. It is the presentation of heaven’s purpose. It is the release of unending hope. It adds light to the darkened soul. It is announced with angelic worship and praise from the common and the elite.

The Season of Christmas is filled with sights and sounds. It is filled with glorious words and wonderful rhythm. Listen closely to the Scriptures and songs that are shared. They will uplift you and bless you. The worship flowing from the singers will lead you into the fullness of God’s message and truth you need to hear today.

Don’t miss the moment.

Listen intently with open ears and open hearts. God is speaking . He is speaking through heavenly music. Listen closely. You may hear angels singing in the background. They are singing of the joy that has come into the world for our Savior is born. He is Christ the Lord, Immanuel, the Holy Child promised from above. He is our deliverer and mighty healer, the restorer of mankind.

Listen closely.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


It is the season to be jolly and busy, really busy. Food, parties, gifts, programs, and music are all swirling around and around. Wow! What to do? Where to go? What to buy? What to give? What to want?

And it is all about Christmas and the Christ of Christmas. It is about His miraculous love and marvelous light. It is about salvation and eternal life. It is about joy. Joy that never ends.

So what is the plan?

It is to make every day count. It is to enjoy the season. It is to share His love and make Him known.

It is to be with family and friends.

It is busy with hustle and bustle.

It is Christmas time. It is the most wonderful time of the year.

Monday, December 6, 2010


We can all be encouragers if we choose to be. Not everyone can sing beautiful solos, go to the ends of the earth to preach the Gospel, or pastor the largest church in America. But, we can all get involved in lifting the spirits of others.

I read somewhere that the best way for a church member to get good exercise is by bending to lift the hand of the fallen one. Yes, I like that.

So encourage someone close to you. Tell them thanks for a simple, common task they perform. Let them know that their efforts are loved and appreciated. We all need it.

Even crabby folks need love and a kind word. They have allowed harsh wounds to turn into deep hurts that have dried their souls. Soft words, kind words, positive words can break through all of that and help them toward a better future.

"Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees." - Job 4:4

Friday, December 3, 2010


Living multiple days at a time is impossible, but sometimes we try. Some live in the past and let bad memories condemn the present. Some carry the burden of worrying over the future and freeze the moment they live.

Jesus said that today is the day we should give attention. I don't believe our Lord was against planning and preparation, but He knew that it is too difficult to carry the burdens of unreal time. The past is the past, and the future is uncertain.

Years ago I heard someone ask what was it that I worried about 10 years ago? I couldn't remember. The point is that our worries of tomorrow are futile and will pass.

So, here is my admonition for the day.

Live today. Tomorrow will take care of tomorrow. Most of what we fear will not come to pass, and regardless of what the morrow brings, our Lord will be there.

So, it is just one day at a time for me. I can't change the past, and I cannot let tomorrow ruin today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Every believer has a testimony. If God has saved you and if Jesus is real and alive in your heart, then there is a story to tell. My testimony is long, real long. I accepted Christ into my life around the age of 5-6. That goes way back.

It was a life changing moment that I still remember very vividly. I know children can be saved because I got saved. I had not committed major, news making sin, but I did need to be saved. Jesus came into my heart and He has lived in me ever since that moment.

From that first moment of conversion until today, Jesus has walked with me and lived in me. He is a friend, a helper, a deliver, and all I need. My testimonies of His faithfulness could fill several blogs.

In my Tuesday morning staff meeting at church, I asked each of the staff to share a personal testimony of a time when God had done a remarkable miracle for them. Each one shared wonderful stories, but the consensus was that we too often fail to remember what God has done. Our memories fade and we lose sight of past victories.

So today I challenge you to remember, reflect, and renew your faith. Let God arise as you give Him glory for what He has done. Trials turn into testimonies if we let God arise. Remember what He has done for you and then look forward to a new victory and a new testimony.

What is your story?