KLOVE Features December 2017


It seems everything on Earth is either increasing or decreasing in value. A watch that once belonged to Paul Newman recently sold for $17 million. While a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci sold for $266 million. What about in Heaven? What is our value to God? Would it surprise you if I said it is impossible for us to become more or less valuable to God? From His vantage point, as our Creator, our value is fixed and unchangeable. We are priceless to Him! And if we could ever actually believe this, it would change our lives. We’d never again give into hopelessness and despair. We’d realize we are so precious to God, He’d do everything possible to forgive and heal our past, establish our present, and preserve our future. That’s why Jesus came!


When Jesus said the meek will inherit the Earth, in Matthew 5:5, what did He mean? We are meek toward God when we accept His dealings with us as good, without disputing or resisting them. We are not passive; we are passionately focused and surrendered. In the Old Testament, the meek were those who totally relied on God rather than upon their own strength to defend themselves against injustice. Therefore, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is even using them to purify His followers, and that He will deliver us in His perfect time. Down through the ages, Christian martyrs were neither helpless nor hopeless, but fully trusting in the God who held their lives and future in His trustworthy hands.

Flying on Instruments

A friend of mine who is a pilot said he is required to fly “instruments only” at night or when in the clouds. In those situations, he’s not allowed to fly under “visual flight rules.” This is compulsory because the sensors in the brain will at times disorient pilots from keeping the plane level. One day, while flying in the clouds and looking at his instruments, they indicated his plane was pitched up as if it was ascending, while another instrument showed he was descending at a thousand feet a minute. At that moment, if he had followed his instincts, he would have pulled back, stalled the plane, and probably crashed. Following his instruments saved his life. Following the truth of God’s Word, and not our feelings, will save our lives as well. “For we walk by faith (in God’s Word), not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, NKJV)

The End of Your Movie

Have you ever had someone tell you about their favorite movie, and they said, “Oh, you’re going love the end!” And they are a trustworthy person; fully believable, and not prone to exaggeration. Then you watch the movie and you can’t wait for the ending. No matter how difficult certain portions of the movie may be, you can’t wait to see what happens at the end. What if I told you that’s exactly the script God has written for your life. Your movie has the best ending ever! If you’ll just trust Jesus…follow Him…and believe in Him, more than the challenges you face, you’ll see God is the greatest Script Writer of all time, and you are one of the stars in His movie. “Those who are wise…will shine like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3, NIV)

An Honest Assessment from Friends

When I was a young Christian, it took two friends two hours to provide some objectivity as to how I was wired. They were primarily trying to alert me to the fact that I was very, very intense. It wasn’t a negative critique. It was just a helpful assessment of how God made me. Do you know how you are wired: your temperament, personality, giftings, passions, even your vulnerabilities and weaknesses? I’ve looked back on that conversation, now decades later, and realized, with a much fuller appreciation, that my friends were trying to help me, to give me a healthy grid for the rest of my life. Ask some friends who love you, people you trust, to give you an honest assessment of who you are. If you can hear them, it will change your life.

The Worst Commercial Airline Disaster

In the early days of commercial aviation, the captain had the final say, and it was unacceptable to challenge his or her decision-making. This led to many crashes. The worst commercial airline disaster in aviation history occurred in 1977, when two Boeing 747 passenger airliners collided on the runway of Tenerife Airport, because dense fog kept the pilots and control tower from seeing one another. At that time, the co-pilot’s inability to challenge the pilot’s decision-making led to 583 fatalities. Commercial airlines now require a pilot and a co-pilot to share responsibilities, with the co-pilot being able to advise the pilot in the event his decision-making is skewed. This speaks to me of accountability. Who in your life would be able to challenge your decision-making and spare you and others much pain and regret?

The Hand You Are Dealt

All of us process life differently. I’m intense; my wife Suzie is relaxed. I had a difficult childhood, lost in an oppressive boarding school. She had a marvelous one, surrounded by her happy family. I’ve forgiven her! HA! Our nature and nurture experiences are completely different, but I’m not going to wince, whine or wobble about the hand I was dealt. Even though I don’t wake up each morning to low-hanging hope, I’ve learned to climb the tree of worship and the Word in order to live an abundant life. None of our foundations disqualify us or establish us. It’s what we do with the hand we are dealt. None of us have been short-changed. We have each been lavishly overpaid. When you accept this fact, you finally arrive at a new level of trust.

My Father

When my father was just eight years old, after the death of his own father, he immigrated from Sicily to New York City. As a young boy, he shined shoes to make money, living in a one-room apartment with his mother, brothers and sister. He’d sit in a corner to study, and went to the top of his class in college and law school, becoming a famous political figure: a U. S. Congressman for five terms, and a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Presidents courted his favor; he was knighted by the Pope, and had his picture on the front page of the New York Times when he died. But when he left home, that final day, he was a frustrated, unfulfilled man. It made an indelible impression on me, that without God, no achievement can ever fulfill us.

Climbing a Goal Post

When I was 19, I went to a football game with my twin brother, Joseph, between Rutgers and Princeton. Since Joseph attended Rutgers, when his team won I was elated. Sadly, though, I was drunk and out of control. Shimmying up a goalpost, I had the top of the 32-foot pole under my stomach as hundreds of people below began to tear it down. Suddenly, the heavy metal pole snapped, stopping just four feet from the ground, and violently shaking me off. Completely dazed, a stranger walked up and said, “You’re an idiot!”  Until then, I didn’t know who I was. Now, at last I had clarity. I was an idiot! HA! How many of us climb the imaginary goalposts of shallow recognition, not realizing we’ll soon fall? My Creator best defines who I am. I will gaze into His eyes to see my true reflection.

The Privilege of God-given Abilities

I have a friend who is a surgeon. He takes his job so seriously, he describes it in this way: “I get the privilege of people trusting me so completely, they allow me to place them unconscious, take a scalpel, and operate on them, believing it is for their benefit. I am so conscientious about the stewardship I’ve been given, that when I walk through the hospital I am continually reminded of the honor God has granted me. Even after doing this for 30 years, I’m still amazed this is what I am privileged to do.” How revealing! Perhaps the reason we are each given unique gifts and graces is because God wants us to see them as a privilege and not a burden. What responsibility has God given you, and are you taking it seriously?

God’s Spared Her Sons Life

A military Mom’s son was stationed in Iraq. She told me with tears how God had protected him. He was the only medic in his unit, when a Suburban filled with explosives wiped out an entire block. Knocked unconscious, when he woke up, having no idea how long he’d been out, he routinely began to administer first aid to those around him. On another occasion, his life was spared. A bomb landed just a few feet from him, shaking the ground, but didn’t explode. Even after all of these near-death experiences, her son has not yet surrendered his life to Jesus, but she is absolutely believing he will. As this year comes to an end, who are you praying for and believing will come to their spiritual senses, allowing Jesus to rescue their lives?

God’s Special Gift for You

I have a quirky doctor friend who has no interest in eating food. He literally says, “I am never hungry!” Going so far as to admit, “If there was a pill I could take that would provide all of the nourishment I would need for any given day, I would take it, and never go through the process of eating food.” One of the unusual aspects of his food connection is that he does have one absolute craving: chocolate, and considers this God’s silver lining, a special blessing from God over his life, allowing him this singular indulgence. He smiles and laughs when he talks about this, and considers it God’s special gift to him. Have you discovered an exceptional gift God the Father has given you? It will make you smile when you do.





KLOVE Features November 2017

Bad Bosses

Ever have a “Bad Boss”? When I was a young Christian, I worked for six months in a casino as a dishwasher. Though I had a college degree, it was what God directed me to do. My boss was this six-foot-four, 240-pound, ex-Highway Patrolman, with a foul mouth and a mean heart. Once he found out I was a Christian, he’d harass and mock me in front the other workers. But, over time, I was the only guy he could trust, so he had me clean the gourmet kitchen, by myself. Periodically he’d come in and I’d share Jesus and, when I left the job, he called me and said, with emotion, “You’re a real friend of mine.” It reminded me of the words of Jesus: “love your enemies,” because you never know how God will use you to affect them.

Unlocking Your Destiny

I’ve found that there’s usually a hurt behind a head of steam. I am most passionate about what has specifically hurt, healed, or inspired me. Trace the reason you have raised your voice, emphasized a point, or told someone what you really think. If the fruit of your words are life to those who hear it, then it probably comes from a healed place. If the fruit of your words lead to an angry confrontation, ask God to show you where you need to be healed. If the acceleration of your voice inspires others to positive action, you have, in some way, tapped into your true identity and destiny. Stake a claim and mine it; there is life there. Your pain has led to a passion that will, however, unlock your destiny and help others.

If the Lights Are On…Someone’s Home!

It’s the simplest scientific question that anyone, even a child, should be able to answer. And yet some of our planet’s most brilliant scientists fail the test every time. Scientists freely admit, there are more stars than the grains of sand on all of the beaches in the world; that every galaxy has billions of stars. Even the deep fields of space have thousands of galaxies, with astrophysicists estimating there are actually more than two trillion. Typical galaxies, like our Milky Way, have 100 billion stars. That means the total number of stars or suns out there is two, followed by 23 zeroes, that’s 200 sextillion. People say, “If God would only do something BIG and beautiful in my life, I’d believe!” Look to the stars — if the lights are on…Someone’s home!

Good Responses

A good response has an infinitely longer shelf life than a great victory. You can have a great victory with a bad attitude, and impress no one. Whereas, win or lose, responding well can give others a glimpse into the heart of God. Frankly, there are so many poor responses to the challenges of life, that when a good response occurs, it turns heads, and even opens hearts. Bible luminaries, Joseph, Moses, and Esther, each responded well to their adversity and subsequently rescued the nation of Israel. Christ’s good response saved the entire world, and though the Apostle Paul was at one time filled with prejudice toward Christ-followers, he eventually responded well and opened the gospel to the Gentiles. Jesus said, “God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.” (Matthew 5:5, NLT)

Extra-Terrestrial Life & Imaginary Gods

I always laugh when I hear about man’s efforts to find extra-terrestrial life. With that said, before I received Jesus, I was travelling with a woman I thought was from Venus (as in the planet.) HA! But that’s a story for another time. Yet, all of our attempts to find the origin of life, outside of God, have failed. When we refuse to accept and honor the God who IS, sadly we spend our lives looking for an imaginary god, thinking we will have to be less responsible to him. Created to be worshippers, we will worship the temporary if we refuse to acknowledge the fact that our magnificent universe had to be created by Someone. Unwilling to accept a relationship with the God of love, we will vainly attempt to find love in all the wrong places.

Mercy and Grace

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God to be fair to me. Him being fair would raise the bar so high, I’d never pass the test. What I really need is mercy. Someone said, “Mercy is the bad you deserve…and don’t get. Grace is the good you don’t deserve…and yet get.” (Creflo Dollar) I’m glad the Bible says, “God’s mercies are new every morning,” (Lamentations 3:23) and not His judgments are new every morning. If you thought God was harsh yesterday, wait till today. I love the Bible’s promise, “if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.” (James 2:13, NLT) Because I’m grateful for having received mercy, I want to offer others the mercy I have freely received. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

(Ephesians 2:8, NLT)

Burly Biker and a Big Knife

When I was a young Evangelist, one evening I was witnessing to a young girl on a motorcycle. She was open. But when her burly biker boyfriend returned, he was less than interested and, so, told me to get lost. Since I had already been really lost in my life, I wasn’t drawn to his recommendation, and commented that his girlfriend was interested in talking about Jesus. At that point, he was the one who lost it. Picking me up by my collar, I noticed a foot-long knife on his side. It wasn’t encouraging. When he got my face a couple of inches from his, much to my surprise, he covertly whispered empathetically, “I don’t want to have to do this to you.” And then he pushed me aside. His response reminds me of what I have seen on many occasions since: don’t judge someone’s inside by their outside.


Have you noticed that more and more people are attached to having their own way, getting angry when it doesn’t happen? From road rage to extreme politics, our fuses are getting shorter and shorter. I remember when I was six years old, playing a game of softball. A big kid on the opposing team hit a ground ball that turned into a home run, winning the game. As his teammates hoisted him on their shoulders, parading him around the field, I lost it! Running toward him I sank my teeth into his exposed thigh, and bit him as hard as I could. It drew blood, and caused him to have to get a tetanus shot. Not my best day, and a scary memory to say the least, but close-up evidence as to what is potentially in the heart of every one of us.


What offends us will reveal the condition of our heart. Seeing so many people getting offended these days about so many things, has made me search my own heart. What offends me? And, yes, I do get offended. I’ve found that it’s always something I haven’t fully surrendered to God: a word, an attitude, or a response by someone else can offend me. Brandon Naramore says, “The world can’t steal what you’ve already surrendered.” Likewise, your life is unprotected unless it’s fully surrendered to God. Jesus challenged all of us to search our own heart in order to weed out offenses when He said, “First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5, NLT)

The Hero of Your Story

Do you want to be the hero of your story? It’s a waste of time. First, because it’s not real. If you know Jesus, He will always be the hero of your story. If, on the other hand, you don’t know Jesus, you haven’t met the only Person who could rescue you from your sins. Unless God is the hero at the end of our lives, we have missed the primary point of our existence. We all know the story of David and Goliath. In America, we want to be David, the hero of the story. But, in many nations, they see David as a type of Jesus, rescuing us from our unbelief. Don’t live your life thinking you’re the hero. It will only lead to a false sense of confidence in self. Let Jesus be the Hero of your story, because He really is.

Cleaning a Greasy Ceiling

God is going to ask you to do things that only He knows will shape your character. When I was a young Christian, I cleaned the gourmet kitchen of a casino. I cleaned it six days a week, 7 ½ hours a day, without breaking for lunch. I wasn’t working for man, but for God. One day, I looked up at the greasy ceiling that hadn’t been cleaned in decades. God spoke to my heart to clean it. I did it at the beginning of my shift, with grease flying everywhere, including my hair and eyes. After about a month, 1/3 of the ceiling was spotless, and that’s when God transferred me. Never forget, promotion comes from God alone. The Bible says, “…work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” (Colossians 3:23, ESV)

Church Lawsuit

In 2016, a lawyer wrote and said, “…when you spoke at my church in 1992, you quoted I Samuel 30:19, ‘But nothing of theirs was missing … David brought it all back.’ Then you said… ‘I don’t know what situation you are facing, but this verse will help guide you to the right answer.’ …your word provided guidance on what do to, and we had a fantastic outcome.” The lawyer then provided a detailed description of how they had been overcharged by a school district…five times the regular rental rate because they were a church. He wrote, “Your word brought unity and…the lawsuit (we filed) has borne amazing fruit… Churches across America have saved countless amounts of money in higher rent they never had to pay because of what you said to us that morning.” Though we may not see it at first, obedient seeds always bear fruit.