Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Why is it that immorality is being pushed upon people under the guise of not being bigoted or biased? How is it that some feel they have a right to determine morality and others do not have that right. Morality choices happen every day in every strata of society. Who gives anyone the "right" to make moral choices?

For centuries of time, mankind of every race and nation has determined moral acceptability or immorality acceptability. Again, judgements are made. You cannot get around it. To not make a moral judgement is actually making a moral judgement.

So why not make good moral judgements.

The homosexual and lesbian community have pulled a really fast one on American society. They have brought us to a point where there immoral behavior is pushed upon us and anyone who cannot accept their immorality is bigoted and biased. So obviously they feel they have the right to make their judgement of deeming anyone not accepting such a lifestyle as "being bigoted".

Now here is my question, "Who gave them the right to judge others." Are they the only one who can "judge others". Are they the only ones who can make moral judgements? What gives them the right to judge others?

My heart aches for the push to make the Boy Scouts of America change their moral codes as they are being bullied and pushed by the liberal gay community and liberal press. Where have the "rights" of the Boy Scouts gone?

Personal liberties and behavioral rights are two separate entities. Society must make and does make judgement on behavioral rights. We don't have the right to behave in any manner we personally chose. For example, one cannot go naked in public or perform lewd acts.  You cannot kill someone or steal. These are deeded unacceptable behavior. Society has made judgements on such behavior. You cannot behave in this manner.

Inalienable rights are not the same as behavior rights.

Skin color, race, or gender are fixed. We are born accordingly, but behavior is chosen and lived out. Thus, society makes and deems certain behavioral choices as acceptable or not. Society makes such choices because it must.

So again, moral choices are made. Why can't the Boy Scouts of America be free to make their moral choices without being bullied, insulted, or call bigoted? Who gave anyone making those accusations the right to accuse and badger the Boy Scouts?

Monday, January 28, 2013


They say no pain means no gain. I put it this way, "No strain, no gain." Paul wrote in Philippians 3 that we should strain and press toward the goal of the high calling in Christ Jesus. The Christian life is a blessed life, but it is not exempt  from trials. American Christians have lived with a "bless me Lord" mentality for many years while failing to realize that serving the Lord does not come without cost. s

Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him. That is strain and pain. Crosses are not easy. They hurt the flesh. They don't feel good. They are extremely painful. Yet, the Cross of Christ brought the greatest blessing to mankind. Without the Cross there would be no salvation. We would be lost. Jesus died and endured the shame and pain of the Cross so would could live.

I have found that to make gains in my running is painful and requires some strain. Often not long into my runs I want to quit. It hurts. Is strains, but if I press through the strain then I can finish the course. I can win the race. I can experience gain.

That is true in God's call on my life. Sometimes it just hurts and the sacrifice is great. My cross seems heavy. The strain isn't easy. But Jesus come to be my burden bearer. He helps carry the load. Through Him I can do all things.

I am willing Lord, if you will help me. Help me to run my race and finish my course.


Friday, January 25, 2013


Goal setting helps motivate and move one toward an anticipated end. Without goals you never know when you have crossed the finish line. Can you image a football game where there are no goal lines? How would you ever know you scored or for that matter won? What would be the point of the game?

I have set weekly running goals to help motivate and move me toward a higher goal of completing the upcoming 15K Gate River Run. This will be my seventh race and I am shooting for my best race time. That is challenging me to lose about 25 pounds of which I have lost about 14 pounds or so. The more fat you carry the slower and harder the run. Fat doesn't run very good. Ha! I am increasing my running per week by a mile or so to build up to 15K.

I have set some time goals in my training. Earlier this week I ran a 3mi run in 27m. That is a good pace for me. I would like to run it in about 8 minutes per mile or 24m, but I don't know if I will get that fast or not. The 15K or 9.3 mile Gate River Run also crosses the St. Johns River twice. That is draining and demands some strength training. So I am doing sit-ups and pushups along with other strength training. Being stronger is a definite help in racing.

As I was completing a 3m run Thursday afternoon, I passed an older looking gentleman. I ran by him and then continued for 20 yards or so and then walked farther to cool down. Then I turned and headed back to my house and approached him. He stopped me and said keep doing that and you'll live to be a hundred.

"And how old are you," I asked.

He said, "92 years old."

Wow, he looked great and his words inspired me. I walked on and stopped at my house and as he was passing my house he turned and walked up into my drive. He said it again. "Keep doing that and you'll live to be 100."

Well, that inspired me again. I have asked the Lord for 85 good years, but now I think I'll ask for 100. Good living and clean living will help. Trusting in the Lord will help. Making good decisions will help. I don't know how long I'll live, but my goal is now to live to 100. That's a good, solid goal.

Goals are good in other parts of life. Paul had a goal of winning Christ. That was his prize. All of his effort turned toward Jesus. Everything else was counted as garbage. See Philippians 3.

So I am focused on running and winning. I am running my eternal race like Paul to win Christ. Everything else is secondary. Running toward heaven is all that matters.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Loving care lightens the load and soothes the worn soul. All of us need some TLC. I know I do. Loving kindness mends broken fences. It tenders the hardened heart. It quietens the moment.

Encouragement can be eternally timely. It is a difference maker. It settles frayed souls.

Once a few years back, I was visiting a member at a local hospital. I was worn and down. Daylight had been covered by dark clouds of discouragement. I couldn't see the way.

As I waited for the elevator to close to go up several floors to see this parishioner, another person entered the elevator in a motorized wheel chair guided by the breathe of the young man in the chair as he breathed into a tube. He stopped and looked up and smiled at me and said, "Isn't God good."

My burdens were lightened by his smile and good word.

"Yes, God is good," I responded. In a moment I was walking off the elevator with a new perspective. If he thought God is good, then I can too. He changed my mood, manner, and mindset. I was encouraged by his thoughtful outreach to me.

It was an unusual moment of care. I would say "loving care."

So many others need moments of care. They need a kind word. They need a helping hand.

Lord, help me to offer moments of care to others. Help me not to miss a moment of destiny.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Strength comes from several sources depending upon what kind of strength one is referring too. There is emotional strength and mental strength and relational strength and spiritual strength and physical strength and maybe others. All forms of strength are needed to be successful in a stressful world. Life is filled with strength drainers.

Last Friday I was planning to do a five mile run to up my training routine in preparation to running the 15K Gate River Run coming up in March. I like to do my runs first thing in the morning but that doesn't always happen due to weather and daily schedules. As Friday morning progressed, it was into mid-aftenoon before I could attempt the run. I hadn't eaten properly and was not hydrated properly, but I started the run anyhow.

The first mile went fine. The second mile I felt strong. At the 2.5 mile mark I was feeling drained. Usually a 3 mile run is a piece of cake, but it didn't happen that way. As I approached the 3 mile mark, I realized I was done. I didn't make it 5 miles. I was too weak. I was spent.

Friday night, Jennifer arrived from Tampa. She loves fitness too and is good on nutrition and training. We talked about what I had done in not eating properly and not hydrating. She had some suggestions.  I made a correction.

The next morning, Saturday, we ate correctly and hydrated with proper amounts of water. I ate three egg whites and oat meal. Then let our breakfast have time to settle.

Then we were off to the races. At the three mile mark I felt as though we hadn't even started. I completed the 5 mile run and felt strong enough to continue on a couple more miles.

I didn't. Ha!

What is the take-a-way.

Strength comes from several sources. Proper food and proper hydration along with proper training are all important parts of being strong. You can include correct thinking and planning into the mix and proper rest also.

What does that mean for us spiritually or relationally?

It means that we need to feed on the right food spiritually. It means that we to  read God's Word. It means that we need to pray and connect with God. It means waiting on the Lord. It means that we need to think the right thoughts and speak the right words. Good physical health is not an accident. Good genetics help, but proper care and attention to health adds a lot.

Likewise, our spiritual walk needs the water of the Holy Spirit. We need a proper diet of God's Word. We need to think good thoughts and speak faith-filled words. We need to wait on the Lord. Then strength will come. We can complete our race.

Friday, January 18, 2013


The sports world has been shocked by the incredible news that Manti Te'o, an All American Football Player for Notre Dame, has apparently lived a hoax or at least was taken in by a hoax. The hoax centers around a story that he told during this past football season about his girlfriend who he said had died. Now it appears that the girl didn't exist and certainly didn't die.

Why would a hoax like this be perpetrated?

Maybe a poor joke? Maybe to build emotion and sympathy for him and "all he had to go through" this season so he would get more emotional support for the Heisman Trophy ballots. The administration at Notre Dame seems to be supporting him that he was taken in by the hoax and wasn't part of it. Time will tell. No one gets by with anything. We all will give account one day.

Living a lie isn't easy. It takes a toll on emotion, mind, spirit, and body. It is a lifestyle of fear. It is binding and blinding. It is leads to lies and more lies.

Truth sets people free. Truth dispels fear. Truth blesses.

I will not judge Te'o. I don't have the right. As I have stated, truth will work it way out.

Here is the take-a-way.

All hoaxes will be exposed. Hypocrisy is never kept secret. Ultimately there are no secret sins. Sin is short lived pleasure. It is short term pleasure for long-term pain.

Lord help me to live in your truth and freedom. Help me to honor you. Help me to walk in your blessings.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I run early in the morning several days a week in our neighborhood. Often I will pass people from other parts of our neighborhood who are out for a walk. We pass and nod and quickly continue on our individual paths moving to a very busy day. For some it is only a quick wave or smile or "hi". There are familiar cars and trucks that pass and some will tap their horns and wave. Others just keep moving.

There is one man who walks his big white dog most mornings that I am out. I don't know the man's name or the dog's name for that matter. He lives about three blocks away so I don't have reason to connect, but we pass and I'll greet. When Wanda is with me, we both will say a few words and continue on to complete our 2 mile walk.

The dog is a house dog. I have seen him peering out the windows of his house when I've been running or walking at other times of the day. It is a two story house and the dog will peek out one of several windows as I pass.

It has interested me how happy that dog is when his master takes him out. It is as there is a big smile on the dog's face. I think the dog is the happiest thing we pass each morning. It is bright and excited. I have commented to his master more than once how much the dog seems to enjoy getting out for these morning walks.

What is the point?

Glad you asked.

As a creature of God who He has been given life, we would do well to enjoy the journey and get the most out of each day. The dog really seems happy. He is a creature of God, not made in God's image as you or me, but nevertheless a creature made by our Creator. I have thought that I should at least put on as big a smile as the big white dog and enjoy the day.

I saw the dog this morning. It caught my eye again. I think I will smile more. I think I'll enjoy the day. I think I'll enjoy the journey as much as that big white dog.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Wanda cleaned my computer screen, and boy does it look like a new computer. I have used it for some time without taking time to clean it up. It looked dingy all over and the screen looked like it needed a bath. She used my computer for a few minutes and couldn't stand it.

I guess that is one of the differences between some men and some women. I am not a slob. I make up our bed every morning. I never leave clothes on the floor. I put stuff up. I clean my bathroom sink every morning and put everything  back in place. I like things in their place and looking nice.

But I didn't clean this computer. It is amazing how a little clean up makes things better.

A story is told about the women who judged her neighbor about her dirty laundry hanging in the back yard. The fact was it wasn't her neighbor's laundry that was dirty. It was her own dirty house windows she was looking through.


Lord help me stay clean. Clean up my heart. Clean up my view. Help me to see life, others, and most of all you with a clear vision.

Wow! I have a new looking MacBook. Wanda cleaned it all up. The images on the screen look sharper, brighter, clearer. The whole machine shines.

Now, the Lord is going to clean up my heart. It is going to be a great day.

Friday, January 11, 2013


As I have mentioned before the word "growth" has been big in my spirit as I begin another New Year. I don't desire to be stagnant or passive in life. I want to experience new things in God and increase in my knowledge of Him and His will for my life.

I pray that His Kingdom will come into my life and that His will be done in all things, both big and small. Living for the Lord all these years has given me huge experience of seeking His guidance and direction. Though I have often scratched my heart and wondered which direction to go, I have found the Lord is more than faithful to lead and guide.

His speaks His will through:

1. His Holy Bible.
2. By His still small voice in my inner being.
3. By circumstances and situations of life.
4. By prophetic words from God through others.
5. Sometimes by trial and error.

Point number 5 doesn't sound real spiritual, but it is true. Sometimes the walk of faith is taken when there are no clear signals, signs, or supernatural occurrences. It is just take one step at a time journey. Yet, through it all He remains faithful to guide and direct.

I believe my growth this year will be:

1. In His knowledge.
2. In His fruitfulness.
3. In His adding souls.
4. In His adding laborers.
5. In His blessings financially.

Real growth in the plant world requires soil, seed, planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and harvesting. Each progressive step must be intentional. The soil must be good soil. The effort to water and fertilize and weed must be made. Patience must be exerted. Care must be given.

And then growth comes. Harvest is enjoyed. Fruit is tasted.

Should Jesus tarry, my goal is to stay focused on His plans for my life and the promised growth to come. Harvest is headed my way.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


As I approach this New Year, there are several key words that keep coming to my mind and spirit. I believe they are providential words of destiny. I believe they are words of wisdom for guidance and direction. I believe they will set the pace for God's will and work in my life and those dear to me. I pray that the Lord will give me ears to hear and heart and faith to believe, follow, and faithfully obey.

What are those words:

1. Grow
2. Be Strong
3. Accountability

I have heard these words over and over in my spirit and soul these last weeks as 2012 as ended and 2013 was approaching and is here. I want to grow in His knowledge and will. I want to grow and be strong to be productive and fruitful. I want to be accountable to the Lord and His design and destiny for my life.

I remember as a boy experiencing "growing pains". I felt them especially in my legs. This may sound irrational to actually have growing pains, but they were real. Yet, I grew and physically matured. It did take some pain.

What do they say about pain: "No pain, no gain". This is true about growth. Without some pain, there is doubtful that much gain will occur. Now, I am not looking for pain, but I want to fulfill God's plan for my life. They means dying to the flesh and living in the Spirit. It means denial and sacrifice for the greater good. It means that short term pleasure is denied for higher, long term fulfillment. That is my commitment.

Sometimes my physical muscles strain in the workout regimens that I do, but gain, strength and growth takes place. No pain, no gain. I am determining to press toward the prize of the high calling of God.

I want to grow, be strong, and be accountable so I may win the prize.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Well the big National Championship College Football Game is tonight. Alabama is playing Notre Dame for a chance to win a record 15th National Championship. I have been a fan of Bama from my earliest years as a boy watching "The Bear" and his Sunday afternoon football playback on TV of the previous Saturday's game.

The "Bear" would say things like "Bingo" or "That's a goody" after one of his players made a great play. Or he'd say they come from "good stock" speaking of their mommas or dads. Of course, they won most games and the "Bear" always gave the credit to the players and coaches if they won and he'd take the blame for their few losses.

The years of the "Bear" were the golden years of Alabama football. After the "Bear" there were lots of lean years with one National Championship in 1991 until Nick Saban became coach. Now, they are playing for a third National Championship in four years.

Some say that puts Coach Saban in "The Bears" league. Well, in my opinion, he still has a few championships to go. Saban is a very intense coach. He seems to have his act together. I commend him for what Bama's done.

The Tide is a 7 point favorite even though Notre Dame is rated Number 1 and we're number 2. I think the game will be a toss up. Either team could win. The stakes are high.

I'm wearing the Tide's colors today. Can't wait for the game.

Roll Tide and win number 15.

Friday, January 4, 2013


One of the more interesting Christmas gifts that I received this year is a little squeeze ball which fits into the palm of your hand and squeeze to help relieve stress. It is cute, neat, and helps, at least a little bit. Why did Mom Davis give it to me? I'm not sure unless she thinks that pastors or specifically I need to release stress.

I have used it a few times. It helps strengthen one's hands. It is a mental distraction. It gets your mind off of stuff. I guess that helps relieve stress. It is a kind of hands massage.

I like the gift, but there are other ways to get rid of stress. Here are a few:

 1. Rest.
 2. Hobbies.
 3. Reading.
 4. Memorizing and quoting God's Word.
 5. Enjoying the presence of God.
 6. Worship and praise.
 7. Thinking on good things.
 8. Counting your blessings.
 9. Exercise.
10. Productivity.

To be honest, my heart has been heavy in recent days over extreme needs I see in others. I suppose it is the pastor side coming out. The pressure and stress of carrying other's burdens can be too much. I know that has happened to me, but here is the deal. I know the ultimate burden bearer. His Name is Jesus. He has told me to cast my cares and worries on Him.

Today, I do that again. I give my needs and the needs of others to Him. That is better than squeezing a ball.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Today, Wednesday, Wanda and I have made several visits and have prayed and ministered to numerous individuals who have great need. Their issues are of various natures, and I won't go into the details. What has struck me is the magnitude of the needs. Only God can solve these dilemmas, but He can.

As a pastor, the burdens often come in waves. They come crashing down and can be brutal. When you see people hurting, your heart goes out. Somethings pulls deep within your soul. Except for the Lord, you feel helpless.

I prayed with each of these who were hurting and believe by faith that the needs will be met. It gives comfort to know that the mercy of the Lord covers our frail, inept ways. God is a loving, heavenly Father and does play games with our hearts or heads. He covers us when we don't have it all together and stand empty handed. He helps us in our weaknesses. In fact, He has promised to become strong through our weaknesses.

This year I have resolved to pray more, to pray early, to pray with greater fervor and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit praying becomes our helper in time of need. When we don't know how to pray, He prays through us and for us. He prays the mind of God. Then, and only then, can we know we are praying to will of God.

I am trusting God even though I don't see, hear, smell, or feel the answer. I am trusting in His grace and mercy. He has promised to give them every morning. Today I really needed them.