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Help in your walk with Jesus

“GOD ROCKS!” WEEK: “Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready to Play!” Devo 4-19-11

John Fogerty (formerly of CCR) wrote a song in 1985 called “Centerfield”. If you have ever been to a professional baseball game then you would recognize it. The song is about a guys who is “born again” because there is “new grass on the field” (baseball season is here) He has a “beat up glove” and a “home-made bat” (who does that?) and a “brand new pair of shoes” and he pleads “Put me in Coach, I’m Ready to play….today!”

The guy is anxious to get in and play in the game! He thinks he is ready, he has practiced and now he wants in!

Yesterday we looked at what Isaiah saw in the Temple. He saw God High and lifted up. He saw mighty seraphim singing praises to God. He saw and felt the walls of the temple shake with the voices of the angels. He was terrified and responded with humility, embarrassment and repentance.



He thinks he is ready, he has practiced and now he wants in!

Isaiah 6:8   

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”   

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”   

What is God asking you to do RIGHT NOW to further His kingdom. For some it might be to begin to lead your home well. For others it is that step of faith He has laid on your heart AGAIN. For still others it is finally breaking free form the bondage of sin that so easily “entangles us”.

Whatever He is asking…will you respond like Isaiah did?





See yesterday…


  • I had all the right equipment for the Race…
  • I looked like I knew a lot about cycling. (not only does spandex make you look silly, but it also makes you look like you know what you are doing on a bike. Wow!)
  • I even went through the motions of training

But when the “heat of the Race” came, I was totally unprepared.

We are often the same way in our spiritual lives…

  • We have all the right “equipment” for the race. Never before in history have we had so many ways to study the Bible. Commentaries, computer programs, apps, devotional guides, books, DVDs, CDs etc…..
  • We all know how to “look” like we love the Lord. Ya go to church, tell people “your are praying for em”, and drop something in the offering plate….
  • We go through the motions of training. Church attendance, fellowships etc….

And when the “heat of the race of LIFE” comes, we are totally unprepared.

Three ways to “NOT COAST”

  1. USE YOUR EQUIPMENT! The Bible is more than John 3:16 and Genesis 1:1. I know some Christian men who can take apart a jet engine and put it back together over lunch and yet they claim the Bible remains a mystery to them. I “get” that reading a 1300 page book (my Bible has 1343 pages) is not easy. So how do you do it.  A little at a time…evey day just plug away at it. You will be amazed how much you can begin to “get”.  (also: use an app, podcast, reading plan etc)
  2. RESIST THE URGE TO “LOOK LIKE A CHRISTIAN”. If your focus in your faith is to “look like a Christian in every situation” you will be robbed of the joy of actually being one! Simply focus on loving the one who saved you from sin and death…then act accordingly.
  3. TRAIN HARD! It is the only way we will ever stand the “heat” of life. How many times have we seen folks who simply got “fat” in their faith and when the difficulties of life came they were “totally unprepared!” REMEMBER: the “heat of life” does not change our faith…it reveals it!

Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.



About 5 years ago…..I road in the “Hotter-n-Hell” bike race held at the end of August in Wichita Falls, Texas. It is the largest bike race in the United States and it always lives up to it’s name. “Normal people” can’t ride very far in the North Texas heat without running into problems but us “elite athletes” just need a slight “bump up” in our training and  and a few days of getting used to the bike and we are fine. 🙂  I decided to ride the 100 Kilometer race (about 62 miles) instead of the 100 mile race….not that I couldn’t have done the “whole enchalada” but…… anyway.

I had great equipment for the race.

  • Specialized Composite-forked aluminum Racing Bike (thanks James) …. “black” (aaaww yea!)
  • Helmet (white to offset the black bike)  – to protect my noggin.
  • Speedometer/Odometer to tell me how fast/far I had come
  • Spandex – to cut down on wind resistance. (might have tried to lose some weight to cut down on the wind resistance but that is for another time
  • “clip in” shoes. To push AND pull the crank.
  • Water Bottle. For the journey
  • Cell phone – in case of emergency
  • Extra Tubes in case of a flat
  • Wet towel to keep me cooled off

To go along with the equipment  I LOOKED GOOD! Spandex and all!

After a couple of weeks of “mild training” in the neighborhood, the day of the race came. I had planned my race strategy perfectly: “when I get tired I will stop pedalling and just COAST…. That way I can rest and I’ll still be moving forward…..cuz I’m on a bike, duh!”  That was my game plan…. genius!  After all, it worked in training…(when it was 75 degrees and I rode for about an hour.)

 The race started well… after 10 miles (84 degrees)  I was a little tired but feeling fine.

  • At Mile 20 (86 degrees) I was uncomfortably hot
  • At mile 30 (90 degrees) I felt horrible
  • At mile 40 (96 degrees) I was almost delirious
  • At mile 48 (99 degrees) I stayed at the rest stop for about 20 minutes
  • At mile 55 (101 degrees) I pulled over under a juniper tree ready to “curse God and die” (ha!)
  • Then at mile 61 (101 degrees) less than 2 miles from the finishline…I BONKED. My body literally locked up.
  • So I stood up and COASTED. Then the bottom of my feet cramped.
  • In the flat wasteland that is my beloved hometown, I ended up literally falling over on the side of the road and leaning against the guard rail.
  • After a few moments of cramps and convulsions I sat down in thorns that had grown there with my spandex offering very little protection (but I could not ohave cared less…add thorns in my fanny to the list of ailments at the time).
  • Other riders who came by asked if I was OK and of course I told them “that I was fine” never mind I was sitting in thorns, tears running down my face (kept the sunglasses on)  and could not actually raise my arm to wave them along.
  • I was dehydrated, sick to my stomach and dizzy….AN ABSOLUTE MESS!!!




GLAD YOU ASKED….. cuz we will be looking at that question for the next three days!!

 Philippians 3:12-14

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.



Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Discipleship, Leadership


“9 Reasons Nobody Likes “Religious” People”

I spent some time over the last couple weeks on a quiet beach. Perfect for reflecting and evaluating the year that was and the year to come. My only rule was to be as painfully honest I possibly could… In looking back over 2016, I saw traces of the thing I promised myself I would always fight… that is “religiosity”. efforts to somehow impress God with my service, piety or talent.

I have prayed for an “allergic reaction” to religiosity because I believe that Jesus is more concerned with my heart being close to His, my faith being rooted in a dynamic relationship with a living savior that I know and talk to … a lot, rather than a dry, duty-flied obedience to a list of rules and regulations almost completely designed to impress other religious people. In fact I would argue that “religion” has, for centuries, impeded the Christian movement that Jesus established 2000 years ago.(but that is an argument for another post.)


From April 2011…

Last week, while I was reading in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 10:11) and the word “religious” stood out to me. It reminded me of a time, many years ago, I attended a summer church party where soft drinks were being served out of an old metal ice chest. In the afternoon sun I made what I thought was an innocuous comment about the Diet Sprite can looking a lot like a Coors Light (trust me, it would have been hysterical with a different audience). One of the men in line started to chuckle before being “caught” by the “older, wiser” matriarch of the group who informed him that she “did not even know what a Coors Light looked like”.

Her condescension and “snootiness” were unmistakable and the implication was clear….. “if you love the Lord you will be so against the world that you will be totally unfamiliar with anything “evil””. (To make the episode more interesting both her son and her husband are known to have a beer….or two……. or more. So she clearly understood what a Coors Light was…and could probably tell me how much they cost and the best place to get one)

Before I am too harsh with her, I think anyone who really has a committment to live a Holy life has to wrestle with her perspective….that is, wanting to be so far removed from the world that you are unstained by it (even ignorant of it) ….. And then wearing that ignorance as a “badge of honor”.

But the command God gives us to “Love our neighbors”, the examples Paul leaves of “sharing not only the Gospel of God but his life as well” , and of course Jesus’ example of dinning with “tax collectors and sinners” does not leave this option available to us. In pursuing “separation” from the world we have developed the desire to actually be so removed that we are, at best….irrelevant and at worst… irritating.

At our worst…

1. We Believe We are Better Than Other People. It is true. We all spend some degree of effort ranking ourselves against other people. Sometimes it is financial ranking, aesthetics, age, etc…. but for the religious person it is piety. How many or to what level are others aware of my good works? If I am known as a good person then I rank myself higher than someone else….

2. We Extend Grace to OURSELVES and JUDGEMENT to Others. I had a reason for cutting that guy off in traffic. The guy who cut me off is a jerk! Can’t tell you how many times people have jumped to conclusions because they believe that they know another persons motives, thoughts and purposes.We think we are good and everyone else is bad.Luke 16:15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

3. We See Everyone Else’s Sin but NOT Our Own I have attended a 1000 conferences in my life (at least it feels that way) but I will never forget about 10 years ago watching a man who had to weigh in at 350 lbs explain to us how smoking and drinking were sins. (for the record I did not go to this conference voluntarily!) Strangely he failed to mention gluttony, lack of discipline or slothfulness in his message. He is like many of us…quick to see the “speck in another’s eye” but not the “log in our own”.

4. We Believe that God Owes Us for Living “good lives”. I will behave well and You have to bless me”. That is the deal. “No blessings and I will be disillusioned and frustrated”. If this is our attitude towards God then Jesus can be our “life-coach”, our “role-model” and even our “friend”…but He isn’t our Savior. 

5. We Justify Hate From Homosexuals to Obama to Hollywood. We have made it OK to hate other people. 1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. Luke 6:27 “Love your Enemies”

6. We Believe God is an American… and/or a Republican. He isn’t.

7. We Place “Style over Substance”… as long as we look good on the outside then we are good. Matthew 23:27-28 You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.

8. We Separate the “Sacred and the Secular” Phil 4:8 …finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

9. We nurture “Respectable Sins Things like thanklessness, anxiety, frustration, discontentment, gossip selfishness, arrogance, entitlement, anger, disunity are embraced as pious and upright. While things like lust, murder, smoking, drinking and foul language are considered evidence of a heart far from God. All are sins, yet we have made some acceptable…even desirable.



I sat across from him and wondered to myself…how could it have gotten this bad? His life, once full of promise, had spiralled into a world of meth, alcohol and abuse. At only 30 yrs old he was ready to quit. The only thing that kept him alive was that he could not bear the thought of leaving his three kids behind. His estranged wife had “moved on” and was already with another guy (actually her 2nd “other guy”).

There he sat…looking at me kind of blankly… I don’t think he really expected me to help much. Ya see he was a church kid and had heard it all before….. “God loves you and has a great plan for your life”, “Lean on Jesus”, “God won’t bless the immorality in your life”, “what you are going through is a natural consequence of the choices you have made” ….blah, blah, blah! …

In a simple act of frustration I said the following…”“Those kids of yours that you love so much…all they want is to be close to their dad! They don’t care about your past…to them you are their HERO…start acting like it!” (yea I know, not my most compassionate moment)

He would tell me later that those words pierced him. At that moment he seemed to realize that someone else in his world needed him to be different, needed him to be better….needed him to be daddy.  He is now (many months later) part of a growing group of folks in our church who are coming back to their faith because they realized that their kids were going to follow their examples.  He has embraced his faith with both arms and is not just involved but is leading others to be involved as well.

Now he “walks with the Lord”…closely

THE POINT: Every one of us has people who look up to us. For a lot of us it is our kids.

As we examine our lives can I honestly encourage my kids to  “imitate me”?.

(1 Corinthians 4:16Therefore I urge you to imitate me”.)

Or do I need to encourage them to ignore me?

Dads/Moms, you ARE your children’s HEROES.


HERO WEEK: “Lover, Partner, Friend…HERO!” 4-6-11

Today is my wife’s birthday! And it is completely APPROPRIATE that her birthday lands right in the middle of HERO WEEK! We met when I was 16 and she was 15. Our first date was to the 1983 Round-Up Dance at SH Rider High (see pic below) And while I cannot possibly do justice to the profound impact she has had on my life, I offer this….

Before I ever actually met her, I met her REPUTATION. She was the girl in High School who loved Jesus and loved others. She had friends in every group. Some were cowboys, “preppies”, “druggies”, jocks, “honor rollers” and “holy rollers”. Her key to all of these relationships was not that she changed with each group but that she was the same…every time. She caught some heat from her “church friends” for talking to the girls who smoked, the guys with pierced ears and the “death metal crowd”. But she thought that if Jesus would talk to them then maybe she should too…SHE HAS NOT CHANGED AT ALL IN THIS REGARD. You are just as likely to find her with a friend who is a believer with “it all together” as you are seeing her interacting with someone “far from God”. I love that about her…….. HERO!

Margie is COURAGEOUS. I have seen her in so many situations where she has had to be brave. From the death of her father to standing in front a crowd and teaching what no one else would…… she is a brave woman… HERO!

She gives me COURAGE. In my first church, I was the Min of Students/Music Minister. That’s right I led the singing for the 100 or so folks who showed up! (quit laughing) I was so nervous being in front of a “crowd” that every Sunday morning (first 6-8 months) about 5:30am I would wake up, go to the bathroom, barf my guts out then head to the the living room, sit in the dark and pray. She is the one who came in later…looked me in the eye and said “You can do this!”. She has done that 1000 times since then…….. HERO!

Margie is FIERCELY LOYAL to me. She is always on MY SIDE, always IN MY CORNER and always on my TEAM!! HERO!

Margie is DISCIPLINED. She is a runner….I mean a “marathon running, get up at 5:30am in the freezing cold and run 5 miles before she goes to church kind of runner”. I have learned to work through some very difficult times because of her example of discipline in running …and 100 other things….HERO!

Margie is an terrific MOM. She seems to know “what to do next” in parenting. She can tell when one of our kids acting out of pain or acting out of “rebellion”. Margie can LAUGH at HERSELF. You would think that someone as “freakishly talented” as she is would be “kinda snooty” but she is gracious to everyone she meets…. probably has ever met! ROLE MODEL!

She FORGIVES EASILY. Lets just say it is a good thing she has this quality. (nuff said) HERO!

Margie is the most INTUITIVE person that I know. She just knows things…things about parenting, things about people, things about which way to go etc…She is WISE. HERO!

Margie has close FRIENDS. She has close friends. I mean really close! Margie is georgeous! I mean seriously…who looks that good at “forty-t_ _ _ _” … um…er… her age?

Margie makes me BETTER… a better man, dad, husband and pastor. (Heck, I don’t eat out of a can, belch in public or weight 400 lbs because of her!!) She showed me how to “shake hands and look people in the eyes”, how to look for the person sitting alone and befriend them and how to “speak up” when no one else will. It is an understatement to say if God had not brought Margie to me I would be “lost” in life. (I’m not saying she is perfect, just perfect for me)


RUTH 1:16 “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.



FAMILY WEEK: “But Have Not Love” Devo 3/28/11

“The Love Chapter” is a staple in most Christian weddings. You know the one, “…love is patient, love is kind…” The blushing bride and the anxious groom listen as the minister exhorts the virtues of love the way “God intended”. After the quick ‘smooch and reception”, off they go into marital bliss, never to visit these verses again.

It is a shame because the LOVE CHAPTER was not written to be used exclusively for weddings. It was written to believers as “the most excellent way”(1 Cor. 12:31) to live a life for Jesus. It was written for anyone who wants to live as Jesus lived.

Today we look at verses 1 Cor.13:1-3. “If I speak in the tonguesa of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b but have not love, I gain nothing.

Then, as today, many Christians want the “cool gifts”. Who wouldn’t want to the gift of prophecy, wisdom, knowledge or faith? Nothing wrong with giving your stuff away or in essence being a martyr… BUT all of that is NOTHING if it is done without LOVE!

  • You mean my tithe means nothing unless I love?
  • You mean giving that guy a ride means nothing without love?
  • You mean paying for that kid to go to camp means nothing without love?
  • You mean that mission trip means nothing without love?
  • You mean serving at Faith Mission means nothing without love?
  • You mean providing for my family means nothing without love?
  • You mean teaching LIFE group means nothing without love?
  • You mean……yes that is what I mean already!


  • If I speak in tongues of men and angels and HAVE love…..
  • If I have the gift of prophecy and HAVE love….
  • If I can fathom all mysteries and HAVE love
  • If I have faith that can move a mountain and HAVE love
  • If I give away all my possessions to the poor and HAVE love
  • THEN you are living the way GOD intended and (opinion) God will absolutely bless you efforts in those areas.

This week we will look at 1 Corinthians 13 in some detail. I am convinced that if a Christian takes these verses and applies them to his life he will see his family, business, church and personal life dramatically change for the better.


Doctrine Week: “The Bible” Devo 3/25/11

Ok, while it is not really a “doctrinal position“, what we believe about The Bible is absolutely essential to the formation of our faith.

I’m one of “THOSE” people. I believe the Bible is true…every bit of it! I know some “high brows” who are more “enlightened” insist that believing ALL of The Bible is naive and foolish. Well I suppose they see themselves as “smart” enough to decide which parts are true and which parts are not…which parts are from an infinite God and which are just made up. Folks like that usually claim to be “thinkers” and “academic” and have God all “figured out”.

Well, for me…. I’m not sure I want to serve a God I can figure out!   Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. I’m going with inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. Call me a “hayseed” if you must, but God has used the Bible to dramatically change my life, the lives of others and guide my family…

THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE  (in fancy talk) …. The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21. 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16 2 Peter 1:20-21 Psalm 119:105, 160; 12:6 Proverbs 30:5


Doctrine Week: “Salvation” Devo 3/24/11

 This post will be limited to one thing…the Author of our salvation. I’ll not talk about “particular election” for my Calvinist friends, or “free will” for my Arminian brothers (this time), no debate about works or “Once saved always saved” and certainly not going to define a “true Christian” for my “legalist” buddies… just gonna deal with where salvation is found…in the atoning work of Jesus Christ….period.

Salvation is NOT found in good works, not in baptism, not in joining a church, not in Jihad, not in martyrdom, not in nature, not in Buddha, not in Muhammad, not in Confucius, not in Wicka, not in animism, not in religion, not in stuff, not in sex, not in a bottle, not in Glenn Beck, not in the Republican party, not in President Obama, not in a priest (unless you count Jesus as High Priest) not in crystals, not in Justin Bieber (nice kid though), not in spiritism, not in education, not in tree huggin, not in UFOs, not in the government (definitely not in the government), not in money, not in … well you get the idea.

The Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology) Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We receive this gift through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance means turning away from our sin and turning towards Christ. Faith means trusting in Christ alone for the remission of our sins. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, His perfect obedience (sinless nature) is credited to us so that God sees us as the “righteousness of Christ”. Every person who truly is saved is eternally secure in the Lord Jesus Christ and will spend eternity in heaven, while those who die in their sins will spend eternity in hell.

Romans 6:23 Titus 3:5, John 14:6; 1:12 Galatians 3:26 Ephesians 2:8-9 Romans 5:1



Doctrine Week: “The Holy Spirit” Devo 3/23/11

I gotta tell you that I used to be kind of afraid of the Holy Spirit (like many of us conservatives) … I had only seen the “wacked out (nice suit though), shouting (nice hair though), sweaty, incoherent, TV preacher kind of “Holy Ghost” and I really did not want to have much to do with Him. I knew He was important so for a while I just created my own Holy Spirit….you know the one… nothing too far fetched or crazy. The one that illuminated the Scriptures, helped me make big decisions and worked quietly behind the scenes to comfort and prompt believers into being good citizens.

It was not until I read Billy Graham’s book the Holy Spirit, that I embraced the Holy Spirit as the very Spirit of God. He is not some “3rd stringer” or a “trick pony” to be paraded around. He is certainly not some emotional worship song to be “caught up” in. He is the following… 

He is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He is the divine helper, assistant, counselor and instructor. He is present in the world to make man aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. At that moment He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls people to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Acts 1:8
Ephesians 1:13; 5:18
John 16:7-13; 14:16-27
1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16
Galatians 5:25