It’s all about trust!


This week our daughter-in-law posted something on Facebook about trust that I found interesting. She wrote: “Sometimes you just have to place your Isaac on the alter and just trust.” I understood her meaning to be that there were times in your life that you may not understand God’s purpose, but you believe in Him and trust in Him anyway. It’s truly about trust.

This really is a Bible (God led) concept…

Of course her reference was to Abraham and the time he was told to kill and offer his first born son Isaac as a burnt offering, (Genesis 22), it was all about trust. It turned out to be a test and he was not actually forced to sacrifice his son, but he didn’t know that when he was taking action to obey whatever God told him to do… it was a test of his faith!  Understanding all of this I replied, “Isn’t that the truth!” I said this because there really are times when we have to trust in God, even though we can’t see the final outcome ourselves. Our grandson, (her first born), however replied, “I’m not sure how I feel about this…(offering of the firstborn),” I love his dry sense of humor!

If you go back and read Genesis 22 you will see that God let Abraham get all the way to the point of actually raising the knife to kill his own son before He stopped him. He wanted to know how much Abraham trusted Him. In Genesis 22:12 we read of God speaking: “And he said, Let not your hand be stretched out against the boy to do anything to him; for now I am certain that the fear of God is in your heart, (trust me completely), because you have not kept back your son, your only son, from me.”

It really is all about trust!

There is so much that goes on in our world that we will never understand. We have no idea how God works or how he influences people or the powers that rule. It’s not up to us to try and understand it all is it? Again, it’s all about trust! We (as Christians), just believe that God ultimately has our best interests in mind.

God’s Word is consistent in this message.

That’s the power of one of my favorite verses that the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:28. He wrote: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

God gives us examples

Paul could write these words because he understood from experience the idea of trusting that much…. He had put himself in God’s hands in utter and complete trust on more than one occasion. His life was threatened, he was thrown in jail, he was beaten to the point of being left for dead and was eventually killed for telling others about Christ. Yes, he understood what trusting in God was about, even when bad things were happening in his life.

Where is your trust?

Could it be time to place your Isaac on the alter of sacrifice? Could it be time to trust in God so much that you would give up your most precious thing for God? Can you give up that thing you are clinging to and turn your life over to God? You see the real issue is: “What is holding you back from giving yourself to God?” “What are you holding onto that is keeping you from serving God with unbridled trust?”

I can imagine Abraham pleading with God, “Let me offer myself, not the son I love,” because that’s what I would do. But Abram was a man of greater faith than I… perhaps he trusted God more than I do. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to God, simply because God asked him to. What are we holding back from God? Where is our trust…..

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If You Knew…


If You Knew…

If you knew something was going to happen tomorrow how would you act today? You see, our society is in a constant state of change, even to a casual observer that is evident. I heard a comment in our church a couple of weeks ago that basically ask, “If you knew Jesus was coming back tomorrow, how would you act today?” Stop and think about that concept. I mean, we all recognize that Jesus is coming back at some time, but rarely do we consider the possibility that it might be tomorrow.

Changes have taken place

In years past the preaching in our churches dealt a lot with that idea, at least in my memories of my youth. It’s not like we never hear it proclaimed today, but I don’t think we take the idea to heart as much as we once did.

Death is a reality

I am a child that was born just after World War Two. The idea of there possibly being no tomorrow was real to most people and I think that was transferred to us at a young age. Death was more real, the understanding that life could be cut short was well understood. Every family had lost someone in the war and the understanding that life held the unexpected was well understood even among the young.

So, when the preacher or a bible class teacher said, “Live today like tomorrow may never come,” people responded with their hearts. They knew from life that it was true.  So I ask you again, if you knew Jesus was coming tomorrow, how would you act today. What would you do? Who would you seek out to speak to about eternal life?

Is there a right answer?

The answer is found in our understanding, or perhaps our life experience, isn’t it! Yet, we go ahead planning our lives as if nothing will ever interfere with the plans. We plan vacations, trips, education, all of those things that make life real. Yes, real things, necessary planning, yet far too often not taking into account the unexpected or God’s plans for us.

God’s guidance


James reminds us in this way: James 4:13-15,How foolish it is to say, Today or tomorrow we will go into this town, and be there for a year and do business there and get wealth: When you are not certain what will take place tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist, which is seen for a little time and then is gone. But the right thing to say would be, If it is the Lord’s pleasure and if we are still living, we will do this and that.” (BBE)

Concluding thoughts


So with the uncertainty of life being clearly seen, what do you need to do, how will you act differently, who do you need to speak to? Here is what you need to do today! It’s time to make a decision that may affect you or someone else’s eternity, will  you do it?

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Shadows of your life…


Shadows of your life

Have you ever thought about the shadows of your life and how many people they touch. You can’t walk down a street without your shadow touching someone. You just can’t control your shadow.

Yesterday one of our ministers was speaking about our influence on those around us (the shadows of our life if you will). You may not think you have any influence on anyone, but you really do! Each of us touches so many people around us in ways we never imagine. If we actually thought about that daily, would we live differently?

Here is a thought to start your day: What if you suddenly became famous and they decided to make a movie of your life. Who would it be that played you in the movie? Who would be touched by the shadows of your life. 

You may or may not have heard of the movie “McFarland”, but it holds a special place in my heart. Why, because I know some of the back story too. It basically tells the story of a Christian high school teacher working in a school in McFarland, California. Through his life he touched and changed the lives of many, many people.

Jim White (the main character, played by Kevin Costner), is a devoted Christian and took a special interest in underprivileged kids. Many of kids were migrant workers and he gave them purpose and hope, he showed them how to dream. He changed their lives and many went on to college and became successes in their own lives.

You never know what life will send your way

A reporter heard about Jim and what he was doing and wrote a story about it for the News Paper. Someone read it, someone loved it, someone wrote a script and the rest is history so they say. Disney picked up the movie and it became a super success.

While living in California we got to know Jim and Cheryl White, who were in-laws to one of our best friends and members of a sister congregation. We were blessed in that we even spent some holidays with them while living there and we learned that they are wonderful Christian folk, humble and kind and encouraging.

What’s the lesson for us?

Now here is the point our minister, (Michael), made that started me thinking. Do you think that Jim White ever in his life went to the movies and watched “Dances with wolves”, and thought, “There is Kevin Costner; someday he’s going to play me in a movie.” No, I don’t think he did, yet it happened. Why, because he touched others with the shadow of  his life.

Your life is important!

Your life is important

Have you ever thought of your life as “movie worthy”? I don’t imagine that many of us have even thought that our lives were interesting enough for anyone to want to hear about them much less be recorded in such a way. Yet your life is of great interest to some, but especially to our God. I don’t think it is an accident that these words are recorded for us in Matthew 5:16, where Jesus says: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven”. One modern paraphrase puts it this way: “You’re here to be light, allowing people to see God clearly. God is not a secret to be kept, go out and proclaim his importance in your life through your daily living.”

John writes these words of reminder in Revelation 20:12,And I saw the dead, the small and the great, stand before God. And books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works”. It sounds like what you do with your life is important, what do you think? Who is the shadow of  your life touching? Because someone really is watching!

If you haven’t seen the movie McFarland, I really, really recommend it for your watching. I feel so  strongly about it I’ve added a link below so you can get a copy for yourself. It will bless you with a better understanding of how Christianity is mean to touch others.

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I had a dream…..


I had a dream… I know that having a dream is not that unusual, but for me it’s different if I actually remember the dream. I rarely remember the dreams I have… It may be that watching a few minutes of a Star Wars movie last evening was an influence because the dream was similar in content.

I had a dream and it seems I was in a situation after a world wide catastrophe, after the apocalypse so to speak. As is usual in these stories, everyone was going to die unless some brave soul(s) defied death and destruction and retrieved the one thing that would save the world. That was the goal of the ones destined to try and accomplish the seemingly impossible in a world with one objective, to kill anyone who ventured out of their place of safety.

As I said, when I awoke I remembered the dream and as I thought about what it meant to me (though everyone wants to be a Hero), its implications were much larger than just being about me. That is what Jesus, the Messiah, is about, that was his mission that was his goal. He left the safety of Heaven to come and give the world the only thing that could save it from total destruction. In Matthew 1:21, Joseph is told by an angel about the impending birth coming to Mary. He said, “And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

You see, the truth that many fail to recognize is that everyone in the world is lost and heading for eternal punishment… if… it were not for Jesus. It is the daily sins in the lives that of people which separates them from God. Jesus provides us the only thing that will bring us back into the presence of God and save a lost and dying world. The apostle John calls Him our “sin offering,” the tribute demanded by the evil empire if you will. 1 John 2:2, tells us: “He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of all the world”.

Yes, I had a dream and in that dream you can find truth, (if you stop and think about it just a little). Jesus, the warrior, the Lion of Judah; that saves the world from evil, that’s what the Bible is all about from start to finish. How about spending more time learning about Him in this coming year!

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The Elephant in the room…


Is there an Elephant in the room with you? Everyone is looking for something aren’t they, at least it seems that way. We want to be

Elephant in the room

successful, we want to accomplish different things, own different things, go to different places. We sometimes use the reference “the elephant in the room“, to describe something that someone refused to acknowledge. Sometimes we refuse to deal with issues or face dreams for one reason or another and that can be “the elephant in the room” for us.

The question of course is how do we deal with our elephant, whatever it might be?

I lived in Africa for a number of years working “up country” or “in the bush” much of the time. We loved the people and still do, but their meaning of their humor sometimes escaped me, (different culture and all that), but there was one story someone told one day that stuck with me as one man told this story: It seems someone was traveling through the bush one day and came across a small man standing beside a dead elephant. The first man asked, “What happened to the elephant?” To which the small man replied, “I killed him with my club”. The first man responded, That must have been some club! How big is it?” The small man smiled and said, “There about 60 of us.”

OK, I know that is a really dumb story, but then, it’s not my story, and yet it is. You see each of us has a goal, something to conquer, something to overcome and often we can’t do it by ourselves.

Act 2:42-43:And they kept their attention fixed on the Apostles’ teaching and were united together in the taking bread and in prayer. And all those who were of the faith kept together …”

Act 2:46-47:And day by day, going in agreement together regularly to the Temple and, taking bread together in their houses, they took their food with joy and with true hearts, Giving praise to God, and having the approval of all the people; and every day the number of those who had salvation was increased by the Lord.” (BBE)

Our Faith gives us a “Club,” “a community”, that will help us conquer whatever stumbling blocks stand before us. It’s what those who support and encourage do. How about you?

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Using your talents and gifts…



Using our talents


My wife, “the crafty card maker”, shared this wonderful saying with me which she had recently found. I was so impressed that I thought I would share with you. It went like this: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me‘, (Erma Bombeck).

Isn’t that a wonderful saying, yes, challenging, but still inspiring! I don’t know about you, but as I age I tend to slow down just a little (in some things). Often I prefer to do what is comfortable for me and I understand a little more clearly the idea of retirement, (that some folks are looking for). Continuing to use our talents is the problem isn’t it? Yet, I keep discovering new challenges, perhaps new gifts or talents to be developed. For me, my body may be slowing down a little, but my mind, my drive is probably higher than it’s ever been. The truth is, everywhere I look I see more opportunities than I see obstacles.

I have to admit that I have some physical limitations now, so I’m searching out things that I can do, talents that I can develop and ways to use the gifts which God has given me.

In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a wonderful story about three men who are given jobs of caring for their master’s property. They are each given a sum of money to care for while the master is away. The money is called “a talent,” which translated well into the idea I am trying to present here.

As you know each of us is given something to care for by our Master, our God. It can be called a gift, a talent or ability. And the truth is; that God expects us to use them to his benefit. I have no idea what your talent, your gift; your ability might be any more than you do of me. But the point I’m trying to make is that we each need to be working towards developing and using whatever talents we might have to the benefit of God.

You see I want to be the person in the quote that said, ” at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

If we go back to Jesus’ story in Matthew 25 we see that two of the men were successful in not only using their talents, but in developing more talents also. I want to be like them! I want the response that the master gave them in Matthew 25:21 where we read: “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!”

What do you think, are you using your talents? Leave me a comment on this website: and sign up to receive my blogs articles on a regular basis.


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We are all on a Journey…


We are well into adventure of the New Year now, a whole two weeks at the time of this writing. For some it is a time of new resolution as they face the New Year, for me it is a time of reflection about our adventure in our life journey.

As I sit here in our warm, snug house on this extremely cold, extremely snowy day I am reflecting on the past year, its happenings, both wanted and unwanted. My adventure is ongoing. There have been some very good things happen in my life and some not so good things. It was a year of celebration with friends and family, it was a year that marked 50 years of marriage to my special lady. It was a year of celebrating the little things of life also, such as a beautiful flower bed, with each group of flowers coming to bloom at different times throughout the year. It was a time for enjoying the wondrous color of the fall leaves and now the stark whiteness of the fresh fallen snow.

Of course there were the not so pleasant parts of the adventure this past year also to be remembered. Personal health issues in our family cropped up more than in the past, perhaps part of the aging process. I also had a number of friends who have left this world to be in a better place, it was our loss, but their gain.

As I was reflecting, I also remembered a movie that came out in 1985, which has always been one of my favorites, called “Remo Williams, the adventure begins”. It was an action adventure/spoof movie, about a man whose death was faked and he was given a new identity. He was trained as a secret agent and had some “death defying,” experiences.

Yet, with all that the movie had going for it, the one thing that has stood out through the years is the tagline at the end of the movie as the picture faded out. The line projected on the screen said simply, “The Adventure Continues!”

You see, that line, as well as my understanding of scripture has helped mold my view towards life. The word “Adventure,” is defined by Webster as, “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks”. That describes life doesn’t it?

I understand that most people would rather not have any adventure. Like Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit books who proclaimed that “No one here wants any adventure, if you’re looking for someone who wants an adventure you need to look somewhere else.” He proclaimed that he much preferred his easy chair, a warm fire and his books.

I’m reminded of an incident found in Act 16:9-10 where it’s recorded: “During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” I re-read this and wonder what my vision is, and perhaps you might ask the same question, “what is your vision,” for the future.

The thing about Bilbo is that he eventually chose to go on the adventure and his life was changed forever. He faced dangers and death, but did things, experienced things that you can never experience through books.

So, what is your New Year looking like? Are you ready for a little adventure? Where will you go? What will you do? What commitments will you make that will change you forever? Because you see, the adventure continues, if we open our lives to it.

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There is always something to outgrow!


I was watching an old “Leave it to Beaver” television show the other day and a phrase struck me, because it applies to me.

Beaver (the little 9 year old boy), was having to deal with a fear in his life. His mother said to the father (Ward), “But he is 9 years old, he should be past that (fear) by now”. To which the father replied, “No matter what your age, there is always something you have to outgrow.”

When I heard that it immediately touched something inside of me, because I understand the principle as applied to my life. I remember being a young man in my late teens and thinking, “I’ll be glad when I am older and don’t have to have all of these struggles.” Of course I had no idea what life was about at that time. My “Big” problems then are insignificant as I look back on them.

One of the things I have learned through the years is life is all a matter of faith. It’s what you believe… what you really believe… that directs your thoughts, decisions and actions in life. It is our faith structure in our lives that determines what is really important to us at any given instance. And once that faith structure is in place, (most of the time), we don’t face the problem of deciding at the last moment whether an action, a decision, a stand we take, is right or wrong in our life.

Now having said that, I know that is a “Great Generalization,” because as the father in the television show said, “No matter what your age, there is always something you have to outgrow.”

Each of us have some level of faith, some greater than others, not everyone is the same in this area. That’s why one of my favorite passages is Mark 9:22. In this passage a man is asking Jesus for help, explaining about the problem his son having with seizures. Look at what happened as he explained: “The evil spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can. “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

I kind of like this modern paraphrase of this section of scripture that says, “If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers,” (MSG). This sounds kind of like the Star Wars character Yoda speaking to Luke Skywalker doesn’t it, he said, “There is no try… there is only do or do not.”

I wish I were that mature and that my faith was that strong all of the time, but it’s not. I know that God has a plan for my life and that he is in control, but some times I let a little doubt creep into my heart. Because, “no matter what your age, there is always something you have to outgrow.” The problem is that some choose to stop growing. Some choose to pull back in their shell of safety and comfort and not grow to be what God intends for them to be. I’m still struggling and I’m trying my best to grow into what God has in mind for me. I believe, God, help me to overcome my unbelief.

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When the lights went out…


Traveling is not always easy is it? Sometimes the roads are bumpy, sometimes their crooked, sometimes they are full of potholes and sometimes they are just dark, unknown and full of unexpected things.

I was thinking about Christmas in past years and remembered one in particular. It had been a great day; we had spent the entire day involved in Christmas. We began by getting up early and preparing food for our family gathering. We traveled to my folks place and spent a great day together with our family, but were looking forward to heading home and getting some rest.

We were driving down a two lane state route road, I was driving about 55 mph, and suddenly the headlights of the car just went out. I could hardly believe it was happening, in fact at first I didn’t know just what had happened, I admit I had felt just a little bit of panic. I messed with the switch and the lights flashed back on for a second and then went out again. Cars were coming towards us flashing their lights telling us “to turn your lights on dummy, don’t you know no one can see you.” I wanted to shout back, “I know my lights are off, but there is nothing I can do about it.” I began to look for a place to pull off the road and happened to have the presence of mind to turn on my emergency flashers. We finally got off the road and called for a tow truck, made it home about 10:30 p.m. safe and sound.

If you want to be reminded of the importance of light, try being in a position like that without any. Christmas traditionally is a holiday of lights, lots of lights, and the more the better. Maybe there is a reason why…

The apostle John writes in John 1:1-5, “In the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that word, was with God, and was God, and he existed with God from the beginning. All creation took place through him, and none took place without him. In him appeared life and this life was the light of mankind. The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.”(Philips Translation)

This passage is talking about the coming of Jesus Christ the Son of God. He is the light that shines into the world dark with sin and it has not, nor will it ever be put out. I know that sometimes it seems like you are driving down the road of life full tilt in utter darkness. Churches, friends and family are seemingly saying, “What’s the matter with you, don’t you know you need light?” You know they are right and you may be tempted to shout back at them, “I know you are right, but I don’t know what to do about it.”

The problem is really much like the problem with my headlights… as far as my car, the repair shop replaces a switch which had burned connections. Perhaps for you and your life you may have a connection problem also. What I am saying is that you may have the same problem as my headlights. That problem will leave you in the darkness until you make the right connection, a solid connection with the source of light, Jesus Christ.

Why not start out the New Year right, with a connection to the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. You can’t drive safely down the road of life with out the proper lights can you? John said, “In him appeared life and this life was the light of mankind. The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.” Perhaps it’s time to make that New Year’s resolution to make sure you have the light of God in your life. Reach out and touch Him through His Word every day and you will have light in your life.

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