Air1 Radio Features – January 2014

Abused and Abandoned?

Have you been abused or abandoned? How can someone become un-abused or un-abandoned? Would it surprise you if I told you that this was exactly God’s will for our lives? Though an emotional scar can remain after our wounds are healed, if we give God all of our pain, it will become a scar of remembrance, a sacred altar attesting to the greatness of God’s healing power. My pain is now worth it. Passivity will keep you from fulfilling your destiny, and a stubborn resistance to God touching your pain won’t allow Him to remove it from your life. But the way to your healing is through Jesus! The truth is “…he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!” (Isaiah 53:5, NLT)

Nameless, Faceless, People

All of us want to be noticed, approved of, and accepted. But what would you be willing to do to become famous? The great basketball coach John Wooden said, “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” One of the great ironies of Earth is that God loves to use nameless people. What was the little boy’s name who gave Jesus the loaves and fishes? Who was the woman with the Alabaster Box, or the widow who gave God her last two mites? Nameless, faceless, selfless souls! Unknown on Earth, but renowned in Heaven! Only our God and Creator can give us the validation we crave. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, live righteously and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33, NLT)

Complaining Causes Brain Damage

Do you ever feel that people who complain a lot are driving you crazy? Well, they are! A study was done which determined that complaining actually damages the neurons in the brains of the people forced to listen. Author Trevor Blake writes, “…if you’re pinned in a corner for too long listening to someone being negative, you’re more likely to behave that way as well.” The Bible says that complainers are actually “…walking according to their own lusts.” (Jude 1:16, NKJV) Various translations refer to them as “grumblers, fault-finders” (NET), mal-contents (ESV), even “bellyachers” (The Message). Paul the Apostle had a great recommendation, “…you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, The Message)

Somewhere On Purpose

It’s been said that, “Everyone ends up somewhere. But, few people end up somewhere on purpose.” In order to fulfill our unique destiny, we must believe that we are created with a specific purpose. And here it is: Romans 8:29 says that we are created to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, Jesus. Our plan must first start with His plan for us. My primary purpose is to be like Jesus…to reflect Him. I’m living out my purpose, by embracing His purpose for me. No one else has my unique blend of background, personality, temperament, physical attributes, needs, identity, gifting, destiny, and calling. I am complete in Him alone. God broke the mold. Not in frustration, but with the satisfaction that who I am created to be brings pleasure to Him.

Insulting Our Creator

How do you insult the Creator of the Universe? Ask Him to do something He’s done before. The God who doesn’t eat leftovers or watch re-runs has never had 2nd thoughts about you. His first thoughts were perfect. Therefore, everything He is, or does, concerning you, is original. We are His one-of-a-kind, limited editions, fashioned in the image and likeness of a generous God. When we embrace this sweet spot of our calling, then God can fill us with more of Himself. “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” (Psalm 139:17-18, NLT) Perhaps God is too busy thinking good thoughts about you to waste His time thinking bad ones.

We Are All Weak!

Did you ever notice God encourages us with Bible heroes who are as weak as we are? Moses felt disqualified because of his past failures. He said, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) Gideon retorted, “How can I save Israel? My clan’s the weakest, and I’m the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15, NIV) When God told Sarah she would have a baby in her old age, she laughed in unbelief. (Genesis 18:12) The prophet Jeremiah complained, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” (Jeremiah 1:6, NLT) God responded: Don’t be afraid! I will deliver you! I have put My words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:8-9) Even Jesus struggled with the fact that, like David and Joseph, His brothers didn’t believe in His calling. (John 7:5) Yet, called He was, and so are you. Never forget, once given, God’s gifts and callings cannot be taken from you…by anyone. (Romans 11:29)

George Whitefield

Do we see the potential in those around us? George Whitefield was the principle evangelist God used to fire up the 1st Great Awakening in American History. During the mid-1700’s, 20% of the population of New England (50,000 people) were added to the churches. As a boy, George Whitefield was a bully, a liar, a thief, a gambler, and a blasphemer. As a teenager, Whitefield stood up in bars on bar stools and mocked the way preachers preached. Once, he even got drunk and, with his friends, broke up a church meeting. Yet, as a converted adult, Whitefield preached to 30,000 people at one time. Benjamin Franklin said he could be heard clearly one mile away. Do I see the potential in those around me? I will take another look!

How Billy Graham Got Saved

Have you ever heard of Mordecai Ham? He was an x-boxer who got radically saved, bought a tent, and began to hold evangelistic meetings across the South in the 1930’s. On one occasion, when he went into a city, the churches didn’t want him there, so he took his tent right outside the city limits. One night, a teenage boy came to a meeting and got saved. His name was Billy Graham. WOW! A little-known evangelist, who was rejected by fellow Christians, but didn’t give up, continued to preach the gospel and Billy Graham got saved. Sounds like we shouldn’t give up when we’re doing God’s will because we never know who’s on the other side of our obedience. “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land…” (Isaiah 1:19, ESV)

57 Cents To Reach Children

A little girl was turned away from a church because “it was too crowded.” The pastor heard about it, and found a place for her. Two years later, when she died in a poor apartment, they found a worn and crumpled purse with 57 cents and a note she had scribbled, “this is to help build the little church bigger, so more children can go to Sunday School.” For two years she had saved for this love offering. At her funeral, her pastor challenged the people to raise money for a larger building to reach more children. A landowner even offered a parcel of land worth many thousands of dollars for 57 cents. Checks came from everywhere. Today, the building still houses hundreds of Sunday School children each week, right next door to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Every Life Serves a Purpose

A dog was born on Christmas Eve with just two hind legs. Even his mother didn’t want him. His first owner didn’t think that he could survive and thought of ‘putting him to sleep’. But then he met Jude Stringfellow. Though he couldn’t walk, Jude named him “Faith.” In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let him feel the movement. After six months, Faith learned to balance on his hind legs and to move forward by jumping in the snow. Soon, he could walk like a human being. No matter where he went, he attracted attention, appearing in newspapers and on TV shows. A book was even written entitled “With a Little Faith.” Perhaps you feel shortchanged as well: born with less than you desired. Don’t let that lie prevail. We have each been given all we need for a great and godly life. (2 Peter 1:3)

Communication in a Healthy Marriage

Four negative patterns of miscommunication are prime marriage destroyers. Criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. Criticism says hurtful comments primarily focusing on the faults of a spouse; it’s where blame is placed on the person and not the problem. Contempt communicates worthlessness through disrespectful statements and actions, sending your spouse the message that they’re inferior and undeserving of respect. Contempt leads to Defensiveness, where we cease being able to receive from our spouse due to lack of trust. And lastly, Stonewalling is when spouses put up unwarranted protective walls. The Bible says, “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her…” (Ephesians 5:25-26, The Message)

Healing Hurts

Is your heart hurting? God wants to heal it. A man came to Jesus and said, “Lord…if you are willing, you can heal me…Jesus reached out and touched him. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be healed!’” (Luke 5:12-13, NLT) If you can believe it, Jesus is telling you the same thing. “I am willing to heal you.” Will you allow Him to heal your broken heart? Are you abandoned? He will surround you with His love! Are you neglected? He will fill your emptiness! Are you fearful? He will give you all the faith you need! Are you embittered? He will soothe you! Have you been abused? He will comfort you! Have you been spoiled? He will train you! Are you performance-driven? He accepts you as you are! Has your heart been wounded? He will make it as good as new!

Air1 Radio Features – December 2013

Cedars of Lebanon

How we build is just as important as what we build. Are we using materials that will last forever, or those that will disappear? The Bible says, “…the godly will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.” (Psalm 92:12, NLT) It was the cedars of Lebanon that Solomon used to build God’s temple. Not surprisingly, when excavator’s unearthed King Tut’s tomb in Egypt, they found that the furniture, made of Lebanese cedar, appeared as fresh as if it had been made last week. Though over 3,000 years old, it was built to last. This begs the question: what are we building with? The Bible says, “…on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.” (1Corinthians 3:13, NLT)

Your Inheritance Is In Your Bible

A woman died and left a will saying, “I give my nephew my Bible, and all it contains, plus my estate, after funeral expenses.” Her nephew was saddened when the funds from her estate barely covered her funeral. Over the next 30 years, he was always poor and didn’t open her Bible even once. When he finally did, after three decades, he found bank notes worth many thousands of dollars. His inheritance had been there all the time, but he didn’t care enough to discover it. Have you discovered the inheritance in your Bible? Don’t wait until the end of your life to find what you’ve been missing all along. As Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12b, NKJV) Heaven and Earth will pass away, but God’s Word will last forever. (Matthew 24:35)

What Lie Are You Believing?

Do you feel there is a block between you and God? Then let me ask you: What lie are you believing? David believed that Saul would eventually kill him. It was a lie! But believing it caused David to live in fear, and not faith. Are you living in fear? Then, what lie are you believing? At the end of his life, David finally acknowledged, “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” (Psalm 37:25, NLT) His experience had given him hope and dissolved the lie. I don’t have to experience everything Bible characters did in order to receive the benefit of their journey. I just have to believe that the same God who delivered them, who laid His life down for them, will deliver me.

Jesus Christ is God

C.S. Lewis wrote, “I have heard some people complain that if Jesus was God as well as man, then His sufferings and death lose all value in their eyes, ‘because it must have been so easy for Him’. If I am drowning in a rapid river, a man who still has one foot on the bank may give me a hand, which saves my life. Ought I to shout back (between my gasps) ‘No, it’s not fair! You have an advantage! You’re keeping one foot on the bank’! That advantage—call it ‘unfair’ if you like—is the only reason why he can be of any use to me. To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?” (Mere Christianity) Look to Jesus! He is our only hope of being saved.

Alternate Realities

Have you been hurt by people? All of us have! The truth is, sometimes WE’VE been hurt, and other times, whether intentional or not, WE’RE THE ONES HURTING OTHERS. Those who survive the planet without becoming emotionally jaded are the ones who really win the game of life. So, how do you do that? The Bible says, “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” (Hebrews 12:15, NLT) “…be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32, NLT) Whenever we are unable to process our hurts in a healthy way, they become festering wounds, contaminating not just OUR lives, but even those closest to us. Over time we create alternate realities, a new north. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

Feeling Sorry For People

Recently, I was waiting at a store for tires to be put on my car when an elderly couple, severely hunched over with walkers, came in. My first thought about them was pity. But when we sat and chatted, I found that Laverne and Betty Bartz, 84 & 83 years old, and married 64 years, were quite extraordinary. Three times a week for the last two years, since they’re pretty much housebound, they go to Starbucks and give a gospel tract with a $5 gift certificate to the person in the car behind them. They’ve had numerous testimonies of people crying, even police officers, who felt their act of kindness was a kiss from God. It’s funny how things turn out. Perhaps, we should never judge a book by its cover.

Whoever Has the Most Hope…Wins!

We all wonder why certain things happen…some good, and some bad. Is anyone behind the wheel of our lives…anyone guiding and watching over our souls? The truth is: there are no accidental sparrows or snowflakes; no coincidental moments or mountains to climb. All are carefully choreographed by the Great Dancer in the Sky, the glorious God who right now is contemplating every molecule in the Universe, but none more special than the ones that make up His sons and daughters. We each are given the daily opportunity to have as much hope as God does. “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 43:5, NLT) Never forget: hope is eternal!

Positives and Negatives

All of us would much rather that positive things happen to us than negative ones. Yet, we each need both the positive and the negative to become the people God created us to be. Though I enjoy pleasure more than pain, both motivate me. Though I am grateful to be going to Heaven, the possibility of Hell still compels me. Spoiling children can be just as damaging as being overbearing. If I am never willing to do the hard things, the painful things, even the most difficult things, I will not become the person God designed me to be. The Bible says, “If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.” (2 Timothy 2:12, NLT) Today, two roads are before you: the easy road and the hard road. Which will help you become the person you really want to be?

The Greatest Joy In Life

God is a moving target! Either we move with Him, or we’re left behind. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:23, NIV) The greatest joy in my life is flowing with God—moving with my Creator. Trusting Him so completely that I never question where He’s leading me or what He’s doing. I don’t want to trust an airplane pilot more than I trust God—to ever believe that I know what’s best for my life. I never have, and never will. The Bible says, “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:5, NLT) And as the psalmist wrote, “Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God.” (Psalm 86:2, NLT)

God of the Second Chance

All of us want a 2nd chance. Actually, we all need a 2nd chance. And the best news is: God wants to give it to us. Another opportunity to learn how to live—to be “Born Again,” to stop making ourselves the center of the universe—because, we’re not. To stop insisting on getting OUR expectations fulfilled, when God has a much better plan. It will take faith to receive it and patience to wait for it. We’ll need to swat away the flies of disappointment and discouragement. But, in the end, we’ll look back and see God was always worth waiting for. Today, invite the “God of 2nd Chance” to be the Lord of your life. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, NLT)

Expectations and Offences

Do you have an offense in your heart? Has someone hurt you, or have you been wounded by an expectation that just didn’t take place. It’s been said that an expectation is an offense waiting to happen. Think about that for a moment. What offense do you have? Now, trace it back to an unfulfilled expectation. Someone didn’t act the way you hoped, or some thing didn’t happen the way you expected. The Bible says, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5, NKJV) I’ve wasted too much time waiting for my will to be done, or for someone else to act the way I thought best. Now, I’m just waiting on God. He’s worth waiting for, and has never failed me.

Death Experiences

Have you ever had a “near-death experience?” I have. But now I’m having “death experiences” every day. They’re a lot better. I’m dying to myself, and becoming alive to God, dying to the world, and awakening to the Word. I’ve found: either I feed on the Word of God or the world feeds on me. So, how do you get to know God? Give up the idea that you know what should happen. Allow Him to run the show by dying to yourself. Paul the Apostle wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, ESV)

Air1 Radio Features – November 2013

The Goal of Sowing Seed

Here’s a great goal in life: get as much good seed into the ground as possible. Your seed will always determine your harvest, whether good or bad, and we all should expect a harvest! Would you consider a farmer presumptuous for expecting the land he’s sowed seed into to bear fruit? Similarly, wouldn’t it be absurd to expect a harvest from a piece of land you’ve sowed nothing into? All of us are sowing something and we are reaping something as well. I believe it’s fair to say, “You and I will reap exactly what we have sown.” Embrace the challenges that come your way, and your response to them as a seed. Seeing them as appointments or dis-appointments is always our choice. Take some time to reflect each day on the seeds you’re sowing.

Augustine

There’s power in a praying Mom! Though Augustine’s Mom was a zealous Christian, he chose partying over following her faith. Later, he became a star professor of secular philosophies. But his Mom continued to pray and plead to God for her wayward son. Eventually he acknowledged, “The evil in me was foul.” Reading the Bible, combined with the death of his mother, son, and a close friend brought him to a deeper place of surrender. He wrote, “Mankind is divided into two sorts: such as live according to man, and such as live according to God.” With the destruction of both the culture and church a genuine threat in his day, Augustine responded with such wisdom, his writings are considered some of the church’s most important documents after the Bible itself.

Victims Become Heroes

Do you feel like a victim? Be encouraged, God wants to make you a hero! Why? Because that’s what He did with His Son. He allowed Him at first to seem to be a victim, dying for the sins of the human race, so He could ultimately become a Hero, by conquering sin and death, and then rising victoriously from the grave. His heroic obedience to the Father rescued the entire human race. As Jesus refused to be a victim, so should we. But our transition from victim to victor can never be accomplished in our own strength. We only have the power needed to live a victorious life when we are plugged into the source of our eternal health. “…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NKJV)

Being Creative

Do you ever have a desire to create something…something that uniquely expresses what’s inside of you? It’s been said, “Man is never truly himself except when he is actively creating something.” (Dorothy Sayers) Why is that? Because that’s the first quality of God, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth…” (Genesis 1:1, NKJV) We are each fashioned in God’s image and likeness, and our willingness to use our God-given gifts and talents to create, brings glory to Him— not us. But, in all your creating, never forget, “…neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:7, NLT) “God, thank You for the gifts You have given us. Let us use them as an expression of our love for You.”

An Unflattering Look At C. S. Lewis

Are you hard on yourself, especially with how you look? Many people are. The great author C.S. Lewis described himself in this way, “I’m tall, fat, rather bald, red-faced (and) double-chinned…” Not a very flattering assessment of himself. He was also known to wear clothes that desperately needed ironing, jackets that were ragged and spotted with food, and shoes that were scuffed and worn at the heels. But “Jack,” as C.S. Lewis’s friends knew him, was meticulous about the precise use of words, and for that the Oxford scholar is remembered as one of the greatest Christian writers of the twentieth century. Each of us can focus on what we’re not, our shortcomings, but God is looking at our long-term attributes, who He created us to be, and that always makes Him proud.

Rejoice in Your Weakness

Do you feel completely incapable of fulfilling what God has asked you to do. Wonderful! That is a healthy place to be: having no confidence in your own ability—realizing if you rely on your own efforts you cannot be who God has asked you to be, nor do what He’s asked you to do. Your only hope is in God! This is reality for every human being, though few know it and fewer still live it. When David was living in a cave, as an outcast, he had little choice but to fully trust in God. But when he became a successful king, he counted his army and relied on his own strength. (2 Samuel 24) Rejoice in your weakness, it is your only hope of true success. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV)

Standing On the Shoulders of Courage

Every virtue stands on the shoulders of courage. Without courage we will not allow the God of love to captivate our heart, the Prince of Peace to be our rest, and the joy of the Lord to be our strength. Without courage we will give up too soon, show up too late, and believe for too little. Bowing to fear is the least safe thing we can do. At times, being brave means being courageous five minutes longer than those around us. Though we will all fight weariness, we must hold fast to the call of God on our lives, and the promises of God we have each been given. Courage is best seen in a humble Man walking up a hill carrying a cross.

Palm Trees

Are you growing from the inside out? God created what is eternal in us, our soul and spirit, to do so. Studies of palm trees found that unlike other trees, they grow from the inside out. Perhaps that’s why the psalmist wrote, “The righteous flourish like the palm tree…” (Psalm 92:12, ESV) It’s true! Godly men and women grow from the inside. The Bible says, “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2Corinthians 4:16, ESV) What’s happening around us is never the main event. We should each focus on what God is doing in us. As The Message Bible says it, “These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.” (2Corinthians 4:17, The Message)

Heaven’s Great Joke

There’s a revealing conversation in “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. It takes place in Heaven where one of the characters says to a spirit being. “‘Everything I say or do is wrong, according to you.’ ‘But of course!’ said the Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my eyes were dazzled. ‘That’s what we all find when we reach this country. We’ve all been wrong! That’s the great joke. There’s no need to go on pretending one was right! After that we begin living.’” What a profound statement! Heaven’s great joke is that there’s no need to go on pretending we are right. Sounds like we all need to quit pretending, admit when we are wrong, and then begin to really live. Being right is so overrated!

Blushing

There is an age-old question that perplexed even Charles Darwin. Do people blush in the dark? A recent study with heat-sensitive cameras determined they do. Researchers found that the faces of women studied, flushed with color after being embarrassed, even though no one was looking. They stated, “In the case of blushing, this trait might indeed be a measure for ‘modesty’.” Hmm? In an age where immodesty is increasingly esteemed, is it possible that God hardwired a woman to be appropriately embarrassed. Noah Webster defined it this way: “Modesty results from purity of mind. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.” The Bible says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30, ESV)

God’s Will is the Express Train

Growing up in New York City my twin brother and I would always run to catch the Subway Express Train. Why? Because we knew it was, by far, the fastest way to get to where we wanted to go. Local trains stopped at every stop…way too slow. In the same way, I’ve found that God’s will is the best and fastest way to living a fulfilled life…the life I’d really want, if I knew all of the options. God will never ask you to do something He wouldn’t do, or be something He wouldn’t be. Whatever request He asks of us is not just for our good, it’s the best possible option for our lives. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…Seek His will in all you do, and He’ll show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)

Following Jesus Alone?

Is it possible to follow Jesus by yourself? Possible? Yes! Healthy? No! It was John Wesley who said, “the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” In other words, there are no healthy isolated Christians. One of the greatest lies is that “your relationship with God is a private matter.” Christianity, from its beginning, has always been centered, not just on an intimate relationship with Jesus, but upon deep and lasting friendships amongst believers. We are members of one another—parts of the Christ’s body that need to remain connected in order to receive the true value of the relationship God intended. The Bible says, “…let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25, NLT)

Air1 Radio Features – October 2013

Jealousy

Are you struggling with jealousy? The root of jealousy is fear…the fear of being replaced, discarded, no longer needed or valued. Perhaps the most tragic part of being jealous is that we cease seeing our lives from God’s perspective. Others may replace us, but no one can take our place in the eyes of God. And in the end, that’s all that really matters. He has made each of us a one-of-a-kind original. When we get our eyes back on God we clearly see who we are created to be. As the psalmist wrote, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14a, ESV) Embracing God’s passionate love for you and focusing on who you are to Him, is the best cure for the dead end called: jealousy.

Broken Over Sin

Is your heart broken over things you have done? Are you troubled that you made such a tragic mistake? Though our heart should always be saddened by the sins we have committed, we should not be upset if our heart breaks over our sin. It is only in seeing the depth of our need for Jesus and His extravagant love and forgiveness that we can live a life running toward God and away from destructive behaviors that only lead to regret. A sure sign of deep repentance is always gratitude—a deeper understanding and appreciation of how serious our sin condition is, and how it cost the death of Jesus to rescue us. As He said, only He who is forgiven much, can truly love much. (Luke 7:47)

Recovering From Loss

Every one of us will experience setbacks and disappointments—even devastating losses. How we respond to these heartbreaking situations will determine whether we will lead victorious or defeated lives. Our ability to recover from loss will directly affect our peace of mind. Our speed in recovering from loss will even determine our level of joy. I have found in my own life it’s not only possible to respond faster to life’s devastations, it’s God’s will for my life. I can spend hours, days, months and even years wallowing in disappointments, or I can wade through them in a much shorter period of time. So, what should you do now? Don’t dwell on the time you’ve wasted. Commit to focusing on Jesus and the good He is doing right now.

Breaking the Cycle of Misuse

I want to break the cycle of misuse in my life…the misuse of my God-given time, talents, and treasures. I want to break old patterns and start new ones, to uproot bad seeds and sow good ones. I may try to ignore the law of sowing and reaping, but it won’t ignore me. It will keep growing until I address it! Like our national debt, ignoring it won’t make it go away. Though we all sense our propensity to lose and do what’s wrong, we are created to end up winners. That’s it: I’m a winner who’s learning to respond well to loss. The Bible encourages us, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57. ESV)

Seeds

All of us have inherited some good seed and some bad seed. Each seed planted in our lives has had a harvest, once again, either good or bad. In turn, we each sow our own seeds. Every conviction we have, or don’t have, is a seed. Every attitude we harbor in our heart is a seed. Every response to life’s circumstances is a seed. Every word we speak and action we take is a seed. Your response to what you are hearing right now is likewise a seed. This seedtime and harvest principle will last our entire lives, so be aware of the seeds you are planting, even today. The Bible says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22, ESV)

Reaping a Good Harvest

Can you see the value of what God’s doing in your life? If you don’t like your harvest, change your seed. The Bible says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8, ESV) The Bible wouldn’t say, “don’t be deceived” if it was unlikely. No one says, “watch out for lightning bolts!” Because there’s an extremely low probability you’d be hit by one. But the deception of forgetting or ignoring the fact that we will reap what we sow is always common. All of us have naively thought we wouldn’t reap a certain harvest until reality finally got our complete attention.

Leaders

Want to know one thing the church and the culture are really in need of? Leaders! Faithful, godly, servant leaders! What’s the #1 reason there are so few? One word: fear! The fear of leading isn’t new. Everyone fights it. From feeble Lot, who lost his family’s respect and became incapable of leading them, to outspoken Peter, warming himself by the fires of the world, denying Jesus, and weeping bitterly. At times we have to hate what we have become in order to embrace what we are meant to be. It will take courage to be a rescuer in this age of rampant numbness! It will take even more courage to first reject numbness in myself. The Bible says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

The Decline and Fall of Rome

We can learn a lot from tragic patterns in history, especially so that we don’t repeat them. In the book, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Edward Gibbon describes five contributing factors to Rome’s demise. The rapid increase of divorce; higher taxes, and spending public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace; the mad craze for pleasure—with sports becoming increasingly more brutal; building a massive military when the real enemy was within—the decadence of the people. And lastly, the decay of religion—faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming incapable of warning and guiding the citizens of Rome. Certainly, we see these factors in our culture as well, and give us reason for fervent prayer and humble reflection.

Sowing In Obedience

Many years ago, my wife Suzie and I were confronted with a perplexing decision. A businessman had taken funds from his company’s pension fund in order to give us a $25,000 contribution. Though it was a debt we didn’t owe, we believed God wanted us to pay it back. Being financially strapped ourselves, we were only able to give the company $150 a month. We did this for 11 years, prayerfully sowing the much-needed funds as an act of obedience. With 2 1/2 years left, I shared the story for the first time during a weekend message. The next morning, we received a letter saying the company had been dissolved, and that we didn’t need to make any further payments. The letter had been in the mail as I spoke and was such a sweet example of how God always honors obedience.

Athanasius

Do you know the name of the courageous man who first selected the 27 books in the New Testament? The one who spent 17 years in exile fighting heresy within the Church. His name was Athanasius, a short, dark-skinned Egyptian bishop, exiled five times by four Roman emperors. In the end, however, his theological enemies were the ones banished, and his writings shaped the future of the church. Why did he select these 27 books? Because they each affirmed that Jesus Christ was both God and man. Salvation was the real issue: only someone fully human could atone for human sin; only someone fully divine could have the power to save us. The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh.” (John 1:1,14, NKJV)

Jonathan Edwards

Is it possible to pursue holiness and scholarship at the same time…to expand both your heart and head? Jonathan Edwards did! He graduated with a master’s degree from Yale when he was just 19. At 17, he said holiness was revealed to him as a ravishing, divine beauty. His heart panted “to lie low before God, as in the dust; that I might be nothing, and that God might be all, that I might become as a little child.” Intellect and the pursuit of holiness characterized Edward’s entire life. Yet, Edwards insisted that true religion is rooted in receiving affection from God, and then offering our affection in return, not in reason. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, NKJV)

Evil People

Why doesn’t God punish evil people, swiftly and justly? Why are they allowed to hurt and destroy. The question can best be answered when we consider an evil person we each personally know. Someone we’ve grown up with. We’ve seen, not just their actions, but know intimately their motives. Someone like…us! I am most familiar with an evil person called “me.” The Bible says, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, NKJV) How many of you would like God to punish you quickly? Frankly, when it comes to me, I’m more a fan of mercy than judgment. As the Bible teaches, “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NKV)

Air1 Radio Features – September 2013

God Sees, Hears, and Approves

When a girl dresses up and shows off her beauty, she’s saying, “Do you see me? Do you hear me? Do I have your approval?” When a boy plays a game, sport, or a musical instrument, they look for the same thing. We all want to know we are seen, heard and approved of. God has placed these desires in us. The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV) The Psalmist likewise wrote, “You saw me before I was born… How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.” (Psalm 139: 16, 17) Even Jesus needed assurance “…a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:17, NIV) Today, if Jesus is your Lord: God sees you, hears you and approves of you.

Freedom and Truth

There’s no shortage of people talking about freedom and truth. But, may we never forget what freedom and truth really are, and where they come from. Freedom and truth come from God alone. Worldly seductions bring a temporary sense of freedom that always leads to bondage and depression. Man’s attempts to redefine and then repackage truth only results in deception and lies. Truth that transforms requires the compassionate courage to believe and do what God intended would set us free. Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, NLT) Accept no earthly substitutes for truth and freedom. They are only real if they are Heaven sent!

The Cost of Love

Love will always cost us. Without sacrifice, there is no love. We will end up using others or being used. Love can never be unconscious. We must be fully awake to give of ourselves. Only then can those we love sense the genuineness of our care. When a relationship lacks conscious effort, a person feels taken for granted. Much of what people call love in our culture is really lust, costing little or nothing. The Message Bible says, “This is the kind of love we are talking about-not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” (1John 4:10, The Message) God, who is love, paid the ultimate price by laying down His life for each of us.

How To Get Prayers Answered

All of us would like our prayers to be answered. But, if what we are doing keeps God from answering them, changing is our only hope. The Message Bible says, “…husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should, so your prayers will not be hindered.” (1Peter 3:7, The Message) Is it possible that one of the reasons our prayers are not answered is because we don’t listen to our wives. The word “honor” here means to value and esteem, to consider her precious. After God, my wife is #1 in my life. When I love and honor her, she is more willing to join in agreement to see our prayers answered.

What Albert Einstein Didn’t Know

Albert Einstein once wrote, “Every one of us appears here involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing why. To me it is enough to wonder at the secrets.” Hmm? It sounds intriguing, but really quite sad. Einstein, one of the most intelligent men of all time, admitted he was stumped: that he didn’t know the origin or meaning of life. It was enough for him to wonder at the secrets. If only he’d exercised the mustard seed of faith each of us are given, and believed God’s Word, he would have known the origin of the universe! The Bible says, “God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see… Everything has been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16,17) Now, that’s not just intriguing…that’s the truth!

God Takes Pleasure in You

Do you believe that God takes pleasure in you? The Bible says, “…the Lord takes pleasure in His people…” (Psalm 149:4, NKJV) If you are a committed follower of Jesus Christ, then God takes pleasure in you. You could even personalize this scripture and say, “I know God takes pleasure in me!” If you believe that God has ever been pleased with you, then he still is. You say, “But I’ve done some really rotten things since then!” Let’s see: Did God know you were going to do those rotten things in the future when he was pleased with you in the past? Of course He did! How would your life change if you walked around everyday fully convinced that, at any given moment, God is taking pleasure in you rather than constantly critiquing or judging you? This I know, God takes pleasure in me.

Something Out Of Nothing

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, says that God created the Universe. What a simple truth, and yet not everyone believes it. I myself was an atheist for seven years before receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Jean-Paul Sartre, the well-known existentialist author, and adamant atheist believed the “loss of God” should not be mourned. Sartre stated the main problem with all philosophy is that “there is ‘something,’ instead of ‘nothing’.” Hmm? “Something instead of nothing!” That is a real problem, especially for atheists, existentialists, and evolutionists. You would think an objective person would realize if you have “something” it couldn’t come from “nothing.” The Bible affirms this logic when it says, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:3, NIV)

Feeling Like a Loser

At certain points, each of us feels like a loser. Bible characters felt the same way. Adam had serious problems with his marriage and children. Noah preached for 120 years, but didn’t have one convert. Moses couldn’t speak well. Elijah battled depression, and melted under pressure. Jonah refused to obey God. Peter had a bad temper, even cursed and behaved like a loose cannon. Yet, each of them fulfilled the will of God, after majoring in failure. When Jesus said, “It is finished…” (John 19:30, NKJV) before dying on the cross, He was acknowledging that His mission was complete. Having lived a sinless life, He had become the perfect sacrifice for our sins. If you can believe this, and trust Jesus alone to save you, you’ll never have completely failed, because true success is found in Christ alone.

Finding Mr. Right

As a pastor, I’m asked all the time how to find the perfect person to marry? Truth is, you’ll probably never find him…or her. Marriage is not so much finding the right person, as it is being the right person. And that usually takes a lifetime of willingness to change yourself, more than trying to change your spouse. Frankly, it’s a lot easier to learn to accept someone else, than to change them. The Psalmist didn’t write, “Create in my spouse a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within her.” (Psalm 51:10, ESV) He prayed for his own heart to be transformed. It’s really the only strategy that works! Concentrate on changing yourself, and count it a miracle, and an extraordinary blessing if your spouse changes at all. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (Psalm 139:23, ESV)

Devalued, Depersonalized, and Discarded

Mark Twain wrote, “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjectures out of such a trifling investment in facts.” Though quite funny, it also has a good measure of truth. If human beings evolved from nothing, without any eternal purpose, then there really is no point to life. Sadly, it turns a prince into a frog! On the other hand, if we are created in the image and likeness of God, then we have each been given eternal value from a loving, all-powerful Creator. The Bible says, “All things were made through him (through Jesus), and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3, ESV) Without valuing life as God intended, relationships become disposable, babies are aborted, sex is trivialized, and people are ultimately devalued, depersonalized, and eventually discarded.

Initiative

One of the qualities I look for in those I want to labor with is sometimes hard to find. It’s called initiative. Initiative has been defined as “The aptitude to introduce change; to act first. The ability to overcome static inertia and take the lead. Acting prior to the influence of group momentum by setting a course of behavior for others to follow.” WOW! What a concept! Introducing change! Acting first, prior to the group! Setting a course for others to follow! Those are tremendous leadership qualities. God’s looking for each of us to become that kind of person. Why? Because He’s that kind of person! We were created to be conformed to His image and likeness. The Bible says, “…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NKJV) In what area does God want you to take initiative?

Air1 Radio Features – August 2013

So Much Pain

Are you overwhelmed with pain… overcome by discouragement…drowning in fear of the future…held captive by bondages and addictions? Our world is filled with so much pain. Only God knows how much! And He cares! Even at this moment, He wants to help us. We are not alone! The Bible says, “because Jesus lives forever…he is able…to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:24-25, NLT) Jesus “…understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:15-16, NLT) Pray to Jesus! He will meet you at your point of greatest need.

True vs. False Peace

How can I tell when I am slipping backward spiritually? There are a few ways to know. When I am willing to live on yesterday’s manna, that is yesterday’s revelations from God, and not pursue a daily relationship with His Spirit and Word. When I keep looking to my flesh, my old carnal nature for comfort, rather than to the God of ALL comfort. And lastly, when I long for the temporary peace the world provides, more than the lasting peace that comes from God alone. The Bible says, “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2, ESV) Jesus assured, “My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27, ESV) And Paul the Apostle wrote, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” (2Thessalonians 3:16, ESV)

Resurrection Life

Do you long to know God? He certainly longs to know you! He wants to give you life beyond your wildest dreams. God’s dreams are better than ours because He chooses what’s best for us, out of all options. God offers us abundant life, but you’ll have to die to get it…that is, die to yourself and your own will. Specifically, you’ll have to die to what is most important to you in order to receive what is most important to Him. We know God is really our God and not someone or something else when we passionately pursue Him. He promises, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13, NASB) Resurrection life, Jesus died to give it to you, and it’s yours for the asking!

A Warmed and Glowing Life

Moses was warmed in the presence of God. He even glowed! The burning bush warmed him! The burning mountain made him glow! The fire of God illuminates everyone who longs to see Him, and reveals transforming truth found only in His Word. The world can be a cold, dark place, with little warmth and even less light. Some dream of glowing for their 15-minutes of fame…others find warmth in false comforts. But eventually, without a relationship with our loving Creator, all warmth and glow fades. Today let God warm your heart! He alone offers those who follow Him a warmth and glow that lasts forever. The Bible says, “…those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3, ESV)

Receiving God’s Promise

Do you struggle with doubts and fears? All of us at times do! When the ten spies refused to enter the Promised Land because of the giants, they wandered for decades and died without receiving their inheritance. Joshua and Caleb overcame their fears, doubts and unbelief and received all God had promised. If we trust Jesus to help us overcome, we can conquer any obstacle. But, if we refuse to believe that God can free us from these bondages then we will wander in a spiritual wilderness. We are created to conquer the giants that keep us from becoming all God intended. We are called to receive our inheritance, to live in the land God promised. The Bible says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36, NIV)

Waiting vs. Instant

Did you ever notice how waiting always takes longer than you’d like it to? I can’t believe how slow “fast food” is. What I really want is: “instant food,” “instant blessings,” “instant peace.” While you’re at it, can you throw in some “instant maturity” and “instant character.” Though surveys show most people would like “instant fame” and “instant wealth,” nothing eternal ever comes instantly. God’s never in a rush! Ever! There’s no such thing as “time-lapse maturity.” No shortcuts, only “detours.” The Bible says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26, ESV) When we wait on God, our hearts grow larger and we learn to fully lean on Him, for He alone has what we need.

#1 Regret of the Dying

A nurse spent several years caring for patients during the last 12 weeks of their lives. She found the most common regret of those who were dying was: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” She recounted, “When people realize that their life is almost over…it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.” (Bronnie Ware’s Book: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.) One of the most wonderful affects of realizing God loves us just the way we are, is that it then gives us the liberty to be just that. The Psalmist wrote, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14, ESV)

True Romance

We were made for romance! People roam far and wide to find it. Romance has been defined as “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.” Wow! Excitement! Mystery! True love! Sounds like something everyone would want. That’s because everyone does want it. We were made to have an exciting, adventurous love relationship with our Creator. He wants to romance you! To sweep you off your feet! To take you to heavenly places, places He created with you in mind. Don’t chase after natural love that will always fade, pursue the Lover you were created for, Who says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1John 4:10, NIV)

Touching Jesus

What does to it take to be healed? Desperate faith! Only those who hunger and thirst after what God considers righteous are filled. One day, as Jesus was walking to meet a need, someone considered an outcast and unclean reached out and touched Him. The Bible recounts the story, “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’” (Matthew 9:20-21, NIV) Jesus knows when we touch Him. He always knows what we are thinking. Her desperate faith in Jesus made her whole! Have you been bleeding over something that was lost, or wounded by a past hurt or offense? Reach out and touch Jesus. He longs to heal you!

Passion

Are you bored with your life? So many people are dissatisfied with their jobs and even their life. Our society is bored to death! A recent Gallup poll found that seven out of 10 workers have “checked out” at work or are “actively disengaged.” (Gallup, June 2013) Only 30 percent of workers “were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.” They’ve lost their passion for life! Webster’s defines passion as an “intense driving or overmastering conviction; an ardent affection, and a strong devotion…” Life without passion is like a bird that can’t fly. We were made to fly! To soar to new heights with the God of the universe! To see what we’ve never seen! If we can see our lives from God’s perspective, we will never be bored!

Eternal Reunions

If you are hurting from the pain of abortion I completely understand how you feel.  I myself had two abortions before I met Jesus, and though I have two beautiful daughters, I have no sons. I am so grateful that I have been forgiven and have experienced much healing in this area. Years ago, God showed me these lost children were sons and even gave me names for them: Noah and Caleb. One day my wife and I were on a hike with two of our grandchildren. Since our walk was in the snowy off-season, no one was around. We were stunned to run into a couple with two boys whose names were, you guessed it, Noah and Caleb. It affirmed once again, that in eternity we will see the children we have lost on Earth.

Struggles Are Normal

Are you going through great struggles that never quite seem to let up? Does it mean you are out of the will of God? Absolutely not! It may mean quite the opposite. The Bible says, “…do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1Peter 4:12-13, ESV) God has divinely prepared intense challenges for each of our lives that will bring out the best in us, and not the worst, if we see them from His perspective, respond well, and allow Him to lead us through them. As the Psalmist wrote, “I have never seen the godly abandoned…” (Psalm 37:25, NLT)

Air1 Radio Features – July 2013

Mellow

When I was a hippy, before becoming a follower of Jesus, I would pride myself on being laid back, using the common vernacular back then. I was “mellow.” When I finally made Jesus the Lord of my life I looked up the word “mellow” and found out quite humorously that it is defined as “the last stage before rotting.” HA! It was truer than I wanted to admit. In the Book of John, Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.” (John 14:27, NLT) No matter how “mellow” I thought I was, I lacked the eternal peace only God can give. True peace comes from one Person alone, God Himself: the “Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Life Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

I recently went to see a movie that featured such blatantly evil coming attractions it made me want to cry. The world has a romantic fixation with evil. It is as Jesus said, “Light has come into the world, but people LOVED darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19, NIV) Why is there such a fascination with vampires, witches, warlocks, aliens, demons, skulls, the paranormal, the supernatural, other worlds, fantasy, and comic book super heroes? Why do we substitute illusion for true intimacy? It is because deep down we know we are capable of so much more. We long for life beyond our wildest dreams: true goodness, supernatural power, becoming all God created us to be and do, but only God can fulfill these longings, for He alone planted them in us!

Four Convictions of Centennials

A study was done that determined the four convictions people who live to 100 years old adhere to. I believe each have a spiritual counterpart. First: being optimistic and having a positive attitude. Paul the Apostle wrote, “…He who has begun a good work in you will complete it” (Philippians 1:6, NKJV) Secondly: continuing to be engaged with purpose, vision, and activity. “For where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18, NKJV) Thirdly: staying flexible and involved in physical activity. In God’s creation we can see that trees, which are healthy, have flexible branches. And lastly: learning to deal with loss. Paul again wrote, “…For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8, ESV) Isn’t it fascinating that people live longer who practice these biblical principles.

Asking God

George Washington Carver once asked God to tell him about the universe.  According to Carver, the Lord replied, “George, the universe is just too big for you to understand. Suppose you let Me take care of that.” Humbled by this response, Carver replied, “Lord, how about a peanut?” The Lord said, “Now, George, that’s something your own size. Go to work on it and I’ll help you.”  When George Washington Carver was done studying the peanut, he had discovered over 300 products. He believed it was all because he asked God’s advice. All of us need God’s wisdom, that’s why James wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all…” (James 1:5, ESV) and later he said, “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” (James 4:2, NLT)

Flawed…Needing a Savior

I am unable to present my life, or my fellow believer’s lives, as more whole than they really are. This would make me no better than the Pharisees of old. My only honest option is to acknowledge the obvious: I am a flawed man desperately in need of a gracious Savior to rescue me, and an all wise Lord to rule over my soul and spirit. In order for this to happen I must turn myself in daily, living a transparent life that embarrasses and costs me the most. I must do all I can to undo the false premise that as a leader I am in some way less of a sinner and more of a saint than those I serve. The ground is level at the Cross. I must kneel at the feet of Jesus, finding the forgiveness and strength to not cop out living a lie, saying words that cost me nothing. He gave His all, and so must I.

Seeking God’s Approval

God has planned many tests for each of us; each designed to draw us closer to Him. The Bible says that when Moses had come of age he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Why? Was he a fool? He could have been counted amongst Egypt’s rulers, given his own gold coffin, and maybe even had a pyramid named after him, but Moses refused to follow the decadence of the Egyptian culture. He knew, you can not be a true follower of God and simultaneously follow the world. Though Moses never made it to the Promised Land, the Book of Revelation says that in eternity they will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. Paul said, “I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.” (Galatians 1:12, NLT)

Judging Your Secret Life

A famous football player provides each of us an excellent example of the level of integrity followers of Jesus should have, even in private. He said, “When I’m working out alone, I expect every bit as much from myself as I do when coaches or teammates or workout partners are watching. No shortcuts. No cheating. No manipulating. No rationalizing. I know that nobody’s watching. I know that no one would ever know… I want to know I have done everything I needed to do to prepare myself… I can allow no shortcuts, not even in private.” WOW! That sounds like a great goal for each of us. What I am in private, is what I am! The Bible says, “…the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” (Romans 2:16, NLT)

Nothing is Hidden

One of the greatest incentives for not doing something you know is wrong is never losing sight of the absolute fact that you will be caught, there will be severe consequences, and you will always regret having done it. Moses thought no one was watching when the Bible says, “…he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” (Exodus 2:12, NKJV) Just because Moses saw no one, didn’t mean he hadn’t been seen. He then fled for his life and lived in a desert for 40 years. The Book of Hebrews says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13, NIV) Truly, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10, NIV)

Usefully Useless

One of the most difficult realities all true followers of Jesus face is that we are often most useful to God when we feel most useless. When God said to Paul, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul then wisely responded, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2Corinthians 12:9, NLT) Think of the Bible’s greatest comebacks. From God’s perspective aged Abraham and Sarah were prime candidates for having a baby. Exiled, disgraced, and broken Moses was the perfect choice to deliver the Israelites. Childless and desperate Hannah was perfectly suited to become the mother of the great prophet Samuel. The Kingdom of God is often counter-intuitive, most clearly seen in the God of the Universe becoming a man.

Obedience Brings Blessing

All of us will need to be healed at some point in our lives, whether in spirit, soul or body. One action in the Bible that always precedes healing is obedience. After the children of Israel were delivered from the Egyptians and miraculously passed through the Red Sea, the Lord gave them a promise, “I am the Lord who heals you.” The prerequisite for this magnificent statement is found in the previous verse. “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I brought on the Egyptians.” (Exodus 15:26, NKJV) Though we may not see it or understand it, obeying God always brings blessing, healing and deliverance.

Expecting the Unexpected

What does the healthy Christian life look like? It will always look…unfamiliar… unexpected. If you and I keep experiencing the same challenges and adventures in our Christian life it probably means we are going in a circle. God never eats leftovers, and He doesn’t watch reruns. Neither should we! Those who truly follow Him can expect the unexpected. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel had soon forgotten the miseries of Egypt. They would have exchanged the familiar slavery of their past for the uncertain freedom of their future. Isn’t that just like us? As in the case of Lot’s wife, we look back even though we know there’s nothing there. Paul’s advice is always so appropriate. He said, “…one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Philippians 3:13, NIV)

Practical Atheists

Are you a practical atheist? Do you believe in God, but for all practical purposes, don’t really believe He will do anything supernatural in your life or the lives of others? Supernatural things like healing, deliverance, and even victory over temptation? Even still, God’s Word and promises are true! It is impossible for Him to lie. (Hebrews 6:18) And here are two scriptures WORTH believing: Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has…sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…” (Luke 4:18, NIV) “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1Corintians 10:13, ESV)

Air1 Radio Features – June 2013

Being a Parent

As parents, we’re responsible to teach our children to do the right thing, in spite of the consequences. One of our daughters had a friend in high school that would sneak off to have dangerous liaisons with strange guys. When we requested our daughter tell the girl’s parents, she got upset because she knew the girl would ostracize her at school. She did do the right thing, but paid a heavy price. Years later the rebellious girl wrote our daughter and said, “My life’s a mess, and you were the only true friend I ever had!” We compromise our children’s future, when we lack the love and backbone to do what’s right. Sure, we lost our daughter’s approval for a little while, but we gained her respect and eternal gratitude by teaching her how to love even when it hurts.

God Cares About Little Things

God cares about little things. It is He alone who holds every molecule in the Universe together. God cares about little things, and He asks us to do the same. Jesus said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? (Luke 16:10-12, NLT) The answer is: you shouldn’t. The success of each of our lives will come down to being like Jesus, and that will always involve how we respond to the seemingly insignificant circumstances and unimportant people in our lives.

Choosing Light Over Darkness

Is your life empty? The beginning of the Book of Genesis says that when God created the world, “The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface.” (Genesis 1:2, NLT) That reminds me of my own life before I surrendered to Jesus: formless, cloaked in darkness. But as in the creation account, God’s Spirit hovered over my empty life. “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3, NLT) Choosing light over darkness is always our choice, for without a choice there can be no true love. God wants a Bride who desires Him, not a shotgun wedding! When I was a suicidal atheist God was hovering over my life. Even now God wants to fill our emptiness, but it will always be our choice to choose light over darkness.

Value of Tough Times

Have you ever noticed, no matter how much you have, it seems like it’s not enough? Consider this? Which is worse: being overwhelmed because you have too much, or being underwhelmed because you have too little? Ever heard the expression, “spoiled rotten?” The truth is, the lean seasons in our lives are not an accident. They are divinely prepared by a loving God to produce the most growth and lasting fruit. Each of us needs to experience tough times in order to appreciate abundance when it comes. God’s not stingy, He’s just a good Dad who knows the future before it happens, and differentiates between what we want and what we really need. “…the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4, NIV)

The Only Light People See

What do people see in us? The Bible says, “…God made two great lights, the sun and the moon…” (Genesis 1:16a, NLT) Jesus, like the sun, is the greater light that doesn’t reflect…He imparts. On the other hand, we are the lesser light, the moon. We merely reflect the light of the sun. We have no light within us! Without God, we reflect and impart nothing of eternal value. Yet, Jesus encourages us, “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14, NLT) If Jesus is our Lord, then we are called to be a light in a world lost in darkness. As moons, we can only reflect the light of the sun, Jesus. In a world full of darkness, we are even brighter than distant suns. We may be the only light people ever see.

My #1 Responsibility

In our hectic, stressed out world, most of us are probably deprived of one thing more than any other. It’s called rest. Yet, even God on the seventh day, having finished creating the heavens and the earth rested from all His work. God didn’t need to rest because He was tired. He didn’t have to rest to catch His breath. God rested in order to show us how we need to live as well. Good fathers are constantly modeling how to live for their children. I don’t have to wait until I’m tired before I rest. Part of our destiny is to learn how to rest in Jesus. I’ve come to believe that my #1 responsibility is to be so at rest that when people see me they feel like they’re looking into the face of Jesus.

Healthy Companions

The first time God mentions something “not good” in the Bible is when He says, “It is NOT good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18, NLT) So, how does God solve this dilemma? The next verse tells us, “I will make a companion who will help him.” We all need a companion, whether a spouse or a friend, it’s not good for us to be alone! It may not surprise you to hear that the most violent, sociopathic men in history have all been loners. None of us were created to be alone. Whether by marriage or in social settings we’re not designed for isolation. Psalm 68 says that “God places the lonely, the solitary, in families.” (Psalm 68:6, NLT) The only way to fill the loneliness we all face is to have a personal relationship with God and healthy companions.

In the Sweet By and By

A dear friend across the country had someone we both loved struggling near death. As we shared about why God would allow those we cherish to suffer so, we considered this comforting thought. Because we love so deeply, and are so attached to loved ones staying with us, we need to be made willing to loosen our grip. Seeing them suffer makes us finally release them into the arms of Jesus and into eternity. The Bible says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15, NKJV) As the songwriter wrote, “There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar; for the Father waits over the way to prepare us a dwelling place there. In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” (Sanford F. Bennett, 1868)

Never Give Up On Anyone

Memorial Day is about those who gave their life for our country. Tragically, over the past few years, more soldiers are taking their own lives at home then have died in combat. There seems to be an epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder and other war-trauma conditions afflicting those who have seen too much of war. It’s no wonder the occupation Forbes Magazine calls the “most stressful job” in America is service in the military. One of my mottos in life is, “I never want to give up on anyone.” I have it because I’ve experienced others giving up on me. If you know of someone who’s been ravaged by the trauma of war, do all you can to help him or her. Pray for their families and remember what Proverbs says, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (Proverbs 17:17, NLT)

Are You Spoiled?

There’s an epidemic that’s gripped America’s children over the past few decades. We used to call it being spoiled, but the term coined today is “entitlement.” Let’s see if you’re infected by it. Do you follow rules and cooperate with suggestions? Do you respond to “no,” “stop,” or other commands? Do you protest everything? Do you know the difference between your needs and wants? Do you insist on having your own way? Do you make unfair or excessive demands of others? Do you respect other people’s rights? Do you try to control people? Do you have a low tolerance for frustration? Do you frequently whine or throw emotional tantrums? Do you complain about being bored? If you’ve said “Yes” to many of these then I would challenge you to reevaluate your life, to humble yourself, and to ask God to change your heart.

Air1 Radio Features – May 2013

Listening For God

A man said to his friend, “Do you hear that cricket?” His friend responded, “Are you kidding, what cricket?” So he turned over a rock, and there it was. The man further explained, “All my life, I’ve been studying nature. And I’ve found you hear what you listen for!” Jesus said, “The one who belongs to God listens and responds to God’s words.” (John 8:47, NET) I believe God is speaking to each of us everyday, throughout our day. First, through His Word the Bible, but daily in our circumstances and challenges. At times, He will give us His thoughts with words of wisdom to answer questions and solve problems, and with words of knowledge, giving insights that only He could know. Jesus proclaimed, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27, NKJV)

A Love Relationship

All of us will go through heartache in our lives. For some of us, it’s a past experience. For others, it is a daily struggle—trying to get over our pain. Perhaps it’s a disappointment that won’t go away, an expectation that was crushed, or a loss that was devastating! Throughout history, God has demonstrated, on countless occasions, His desire for a relationship with each of us. He doesn’t want someone else to be a surrogate parent—not a pastor, a priest, a prophet, a judge, or a king. He has given each of us a loving, relational heart, and therefore refuses to farm out His love. Today, reach out to the One who loves you the most…the One who died forgiving you…who prays for you night and day…and who waits for you to want Him too.

Complete in Him Alone

What causes the dis-ease in our lives? What leaves us most unsettled? Fixation on self! Ours is the generation of a million options, each costing nothing. Effortless, temporary, shallow fulfillment at our fingertips! We can surf the illusion without breaking a sweat, making a commitment, or being loyal to anything but ourselves. It pre-conditions and hard-wires us for self-absorption; cherishing what appears to benefit “me” the most. The only hope for breaking this independent spirit and cycle of entitlement is embracing a pure dependence upon God alone. Since no one knows you better than God, only He can satisfy the inner longings He’s placed inside you. “…you are complete in Him,” and in Him alone. (Colossians 2:10, NKJV)

A Mother’s Prayers

My heart goes out to every mother who has a child far away from God. If that’s you, please don’t give up on them. I once read about a mother who prayed for her son to receive Jesus for 60 years. One week before she died, she received a long distance phone call saying that he’d given his heart to Jesus. My own mother prayed fervently for all of her children. I was especially lost. As a vehement atheist, I would laugh at her as she prayed over her food. But she had the last laugh. Though I was thousands of miles away, and she hadn’t seen me in nine months, I wandered into a little country church and received Jesus on Mother’s Day. Immediately, I knew it was because of her prayers. Never stop praying for your children!

God, the Promise Keeper

God is the original promise keeper. He is a God of covenant, who never makes a pledge He doesn’t keep, from now unto eternity. God is all about eternity! He makes promises! More importantly, He keeps promises! He always backs up His word, and doesn’t quit. He doesn’t give up on us. Ever! Today, God wants to make a covenant with you! A covenant based on who He is—love. God is love! Others may forsake us, but God never will! His love never fails! The Bible promises, “He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes His unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9, NLT) God pledges to love us with an everlasting love. All we have to do is receive it.

Suzie, I Won’t Fail You

When I married my wife Suzie in November 1975, I made a commitment to be faithful to her. I even wrote and sang a song to her on our wedding day with the chorus, “Suzie, I won’t fail you! Come draw near!” Why did I write this? Because I had not been a faithful man before committing my life to Jesus in 1972. I was reassuring myself, and Suzie, that I intended to be true to her all the days of her life. Though I had little confidence in myself, I believed God would give me the strength I needed. Now, many years later I’ve found my failures don’t define me. Instead, by receiving God’s forgiving grace, “I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.” (2Timothy 1:12, NLT)

God, Our Provider

Have you seen God provide for your needs? All of us have, though like me, we can often forget. This temporary amnesia can even cause us to entertain lies about God’s heart for us. Unless we are fully convinced that God will provide for our needs, we’ll make decisions for our lives out of fear, doubt, and unbelief! One of God’s names in the Bible is “Jehovah-Jireh”. It means “God—my provider”. The Bible says, “God will supply your every need according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:19, NIV) Since some of our needs are wants, of course we won’t get everything we want. But, as a loving, all-powerful Father, God promises to provide for each of our genuine needs. Wait for God’s provision! He won’t fail you!

Decision-making

Who is the author of your decisions? God? Or you? Frankly, I’ve learned to try and not make decisions. For years, whenever I had a strong preference, I’d get in trouble. So, I solved it. Now, I want my only preference to be God’s will. Consequently, I experience far less pressure. As soon as I begin to personalize my situation—my circumstances, I take charge and run ahead of God, rather than flow with His Spirit. It doesn’t make any difference if my preference is a “good thing” or a “bad thing,” unless God authors it, He won’t finish it. As a result; I’ve learned to spend my time focusing on obeying God, leaving my personal preferences aside. Trust God! He will guide your every step, if you’ll let Him.

Friends of God

The world is full of both cat lovers and dog lovers. Both are special creatures created by God to bless us. Cats and dogs lick, love and are equally loyal. They comfort us through the great catastrophes of life. But, I want us to consider for a moment that there is indeed a difference between a dog and a cat. Have you ever heard of a “Seeing-Eye Cat”, or seen a sign saying, “Guard Cat or Watch Cat on Duty”? A dog will defend you till the death, that’s why a dog alone is called “man’s best friend.” In the Bible, Abraham was called a “friend of God.” I don’t know anyone else who was given that honor, except, of course, you and I. (Matthew 11:19, John 15:14) If you’ve given your life to Jesus – then you should know God considers you His friend. (John 15:15)

Starting Slow Spiritually

Do you feel like you’ve had a slow start in your spiritual life? One of the greatest followers of God, Abraham did as well. Early in his life he disobeyed God, was a liar, and even deceived others. His life and future was a roll of the dice. But then the lights came on. God turned up the heat and forged his metal. He became a man of integrity, honor, and faith. The Bible says, “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8, NLT) You don’t have to know where you are going in order to follow God. All you have to do is rest in Him and trust that He knows.

Qualities of a Friend

Do you have close friends? All of us need healthy friendships. But the Bible says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV) The only way to have a friend is to be a friend. So, what are the qualities of a true friend? A true friend will tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. A true friend will help you when you’re in trouble. It’s been said, “In prosperity our friends know us. But, in adversity we know our friends.” Lastly, a true friend fulfills his commitments. God has fulfilled every commitment to us He has ever made. Though we all fail, and others fail us, how we respond to failure is perhaps the greatest test in life. “…though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…” (Proverbs 24:16, NIV)

Air1 Radio Features – April 2013

Individual Rights or Responsibility

Is anyone telling you the things you need to hear? It’s called accountability! In Russia, the best man in a wedding must sign the marriage register guaranteeing the union will last at least six months, or he’ll pay a fine. In boating, you are responsible for your own wake. Sadly, we live in a culture that focuses more on “individual rights” than “individual responsibility.” A young man was interviewed for a job as an usher in a movie theater. The manager asked him, “What would you do in case of a fire?” He replied, “Aw, don’t worry about me. I’ll get out all right!” HA! The Goal in life is NOT to take care of your self. The Golden Rule isn’t: “He who has the gold rules!” It’s: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31, NLT)

Who’s Holding Your Rope?

There’s a true story about a boy who fell into a rushing river. A rope was brought, and the strongest swimmer in the village volunteered to rescue him. Tying one end of the rope around his waist, he threw the other end to the crowd and jumped into the river. When he grabbed the boy the crowded cheered. “Pull in the rope!” he shouted over the swirling waters. The villagers looked around. “Who’s holding the rope?” No one was holding the rope. In the excitement of watching the rescue the crowd had let the end of the rope slip into the water. Powerless to help, they watched both drown because no one had made it his business to hold the rope. Who’s holding the rope in your life, and whose life is in your hands?

Sharing Faults

Until I asked others to pray for me, I felt vulnerable . . . unsafe. I needed to be honest with those closest to me. I now believe the day I cease being willing to share my faults is the day my abundant Christian life is over. James, the brother of Jesus wrote, “Confess your sins (your faults) to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) Being accountable to someone else is a matter of life and death. God knows we each have blind spots—things others see that we cannot. He knows we desperately need safe people to help us along the way. But if we refuse to let others in, one day we may fall down and be unable to get up.

What God Thinks About You

When you think about what God thinks of you, does it make you sad or glad? Your answer will define your whole life. Do you make God smile or frown? It’s not just possible to know the answer to this question, it is essential that we do. I’m convinced God makes a distinction between who I am to Him, and my sin. The sinful actions that distort my true identity do not and cannot separate me from His love. Frankly, there’s nothing I could ever do to make God love me more or less than He already does. Therefore, my feeling better about myself should never be based upon my performance. Yes, at times, I still sin! But, because Jesus died for my sins, my God-intended identity is not that of a sinner, but as a son.

Brothers Keepers

When a flock of crows invades a field of corn, the birds customarily station two sentries in a nearby tree to keep watch and warn the rest of any danger. Once, there were two people who succeeded in sneaking up on a flock of crows and scaring them before the sentries had given warning. The birds burst into flight, immediately attacking and killing the two sentries who had failed to warn the flock. Only then did they fly away. Each of us is responsible for others, and to others. It is the life saving check and balance we each need. We are our brother’s keeper! So the following questions can rightly be asked, “Who is watching out for you?” and “Who has God placed in your life to watch over?”

God is Faithful

When people were asked what quality they would most desire in a spouse, and given the options of loving, affectionate, giving and faithful, more people chose faithful than all other options combined. Because faithfulness is the glue that keeps relationships together, it is likewise the first quality we want to see in others, and even God. The psalmist wrote, “Your faithfulness endures to all generations…” (Psalm 119:90, NKJV), and “Trust in the LORD…feed on His faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3, NKJV) Faithfulness literally means firmness. It speaks of security, moral fidelity, stability, steadiness and truthfulness. As trust is the attitude we most need when relating to an invisible God, knowing He is faithful will keep us secure in Him no matter what struggles we are facing. Remain confident in God’s faithfulness every day.

Miracle in a Blizzard

One of the greatest miracles I ever experienced took place as a new Christian. I was driving across the northern U.S. in the middle of December with a young couple in a tiny, compact car. The wife was eight months pregnant. One night, we found ourselves in a blinding blizzard in a remote part of Wyoming. The cold and wind was so severe it stalled our car. Thinking we’d pulled off the highway sufficiently, the husband and I got out, leaving the expectant mom in the back seat. All of a sudden, with no driver, the car rolled forward, further off the road, about ten feet. Immediately, an 18-wheeler came barreling past us, missing the car by inches. We all knew God had saved our lives. Can you remember a time He did the same for you?

Faithfulness

Being a Christian is a marathon! Those who finish have one thing in common. They remained faithful! But, since we are all at times faithless, the one Person who can keep us faithful is the only One who truly is faithful…God Himself. The Bible says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13, NKJV) He cannot deny who He created us to be. Our unfaithfulness can’t dissolve God’s faithfulness. His faithfulness continually draws us back to Him. If we’ll let it, God’s faithfulness is designed to even transform us. It is one of the benefits of knowing Him. The fruit of God’s Spirit is faithfulness (Galatians 5:23). What does faithfulness to God look like? I believe it’s when we are committed to doing nothing without Him; then He can trust us to do His will.

Wrapping Kisses

A three-year old daughter used a whole roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight, and so her father got really upset with her. But the next morning, in spite of his reaction, she brought him the present she’d been wrapping. He was so embarrassed for overreacting. But his anger flared up again when he opened the box and found there was nothing inside. He scowled, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a gift, there’s supposed to be something in it?” The little girl was crushed. With tears in her eyes she said, “Oh Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you Daddy!” The father was so embarrassed. He put his arms around her and begged her forgiveness. He then kept the gold box by his bed for years.

Honoring Your Wife

When I had only been married for a few years a Christian leader challenged me for not listening to my wife. He said to her in my presence, “Your husband, because of his strength, doesn’t listen to you. But God’s going to dig in his ear, because He’s given you great wisdom.” It was a huge wake-up call! I’d been overpowering my wife with words our entire marriage. I didn’t realize that godly wives are given an intuitive sensitivity, and as husbands we need to draw from this reservoir of God-given wisdom. In Proverbs, when God speaks of wisdom, it is in a feminine context. He says, “She/wisdom calls aloud…” (Proverbs 1:20) Likewise, the Apostle Peter wrote: “Husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding.” (1Peter 3:7, NLT)

Speaking To Men

I once received a note from an anonymous man complaining about my Valentine’s weekend message. He wanted me to exhort the woman as strongly as I did the men. I didn’t follow his advice. It’s time for men to be men, and that means becoming the leaders of our families. It’s time for single men to become leaders of the women around them. Leading by example: that means laying down your life for your bride…your sister, just as Christ laid down His life for the Church. I’ve counseled enough men who refuse to lay down their lives for their brides. We live in a culture that encourages men to be predators and not protectors, to use woman and not to honor them and treat them with respect. Men, lay down your lives for the beautiful women around you!

Marriage Is An Adventure

What every wife wished her husband knew: men are pursuers. Women are responders. Men are called to be the initiator. Women are made to respond. A wife wants to be pursued as valuable, as a priority. She has no interest in being part of a boring life! She longs for an adventure to share in, to be cherished and fought for. A wife feels devalued when no one’s fighting for her heart. But she wants to be more than noticed…she wants to be wanted. She doesn’t want to be the adventure. She wants to partner in an adventure, and not one that is past tense. Men, your wife wants you to lead spiritually. She gets frustrated when she has to lead you. Its time for you to be the priest of your home!