Good or Best?

We must let go of the good to grab hold of the better. To live a better life, it’s better to have less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 6, “Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind,” meaning that it is better to live a life of simplicity.

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The Gap

Most Christ-followers would like to have a better prayer life. Try this with me. Think about where your prayer, physical, financial, or family life is. Now, think about where you want it to be.  What is in between? If you are normal, there’s the infamous gap! [Not the store!] It’s the same gap that occurs when the exterior doesn’t match the interior. The gap between knowing the truth and implementing the change.  It’s the gap between discipline and regret.

Proverbs 25:28 NLT says A person without self-control (discipline) is like a city with broken-down walls.  No matter the area you need to change, you must make a choice and this choice calls for discipline. Where are the gaps in your life? What discipline is the Holy Spirit leading you to commit to in order to make the change?

You must choose between discipline and regret.

Yum or Yuck

We have approximately 9,000 taste buds in our mouths, each with ten to fifteen receptacles that send messages to the brain saying Yuck or Yum. John Harrison, the official taste tester for a major ice cream company, has developed such a sensitive tongue that his taste buds are insured for one million dollars! (I would like his job!)

All of us need a sensitive tongue, which the Bible compares honey and apples. “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.” Proverbs 16:24. And Proverbs 25:11 adds, “Words spoken at the right time are like gold apples in a silver setting.”

We need to ask God to give us a sensitivity of speech to speak timely words, sensitive to each situation. “…a time to keep silent and a time to speak,…” Ecclesiastes 3:7 God-honoring speech comes only from a heart that honors God.

When a coach loses too many games; he is fired. When a company loses customers and revenue; the CEO is replaced. When a pastor does not live up to the congregation’s expectations, often a new pastor is called. Have you ever stopped to consider that almost all agencies of the U.S. government have failed?

The US Department of Energy was created in 1977 to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. FAILED.

The US Department of Education was created in 1979 to ensure that every American had a quality education. FAILED

In 1913, the IRS code consisted of 400 pages. In 2013, that code has grown to 73,954 pages. FAILED.

The Department of Justice was created in 1870 as an effort to shrink and professionalize the federal government. FAILED.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs = FAILED

The FBI. CIA, Treasury, NSA, TSB, Postal Service, Labor, Transportation, Homeland Security and on and on have failed.

The purpose of this blog is not to create a sense of hopelessness. Nor is it a call for the disbanding of government agencies but rather a call to return to the God that made America great! 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 In all of our planning, we failed to include God in our planning. Unless the Lord builds a house (or government), the work of the builders is wasted.” Psalm 127 

Life is a matter of trust. In the home, on the job and in a country. It is all right to vote for the presidential candidate that you feel is most qualified but ultimately our trust must be in God. Only He can save us.

Late Again?

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Please allow me to share with you something of a personal nature. It is something we all have experienced probably several times in our lives. We all have a horror story about being late — arriving at a wedding just as the bride and groom are running off in a shower of birdseed or picking up your panicked child at an otherwise empty field after baseball practice. You’re not alone. So before you’re late for your next very important date, consider these six tips for being right on time. {Tips are from }

Tip #1: Account for transition activities, like traffic and getting kids out of the house. These are the mundane tasks that stealthily (and consistently) throw off our estimates. Also, take travel time found on Google Map as suggested time.

Tip #2: Beware “I’ll just do everything else faster. We might be tempted to press the snooze alarm or squeeze in one last task, rationalizing we’ll just speed up the rest of our morning or our workday. But it never works; it just makes you frantic.

Tip #3: Rethink your semantics. Instead of thinking “We have be at the recital at 5:00,” think “The curtain goes up at 5:00.” There’s a big difference between being in your seat, program in hand and still cruising around looking for parking at the appointed hour.

Tip #4: Aim for 10 minutes early, if only to increase your margin of error. Punctuality is boiled down to a math problem.Give yourself a ten-minute window of arrival.

Tip #5: Get into the habit of thinking ahead. But most of us are late precisely because we forget to think ahead. We look up the appointment’s address at the last minute and realize it’s farther away than we thought. Or we forget that our reservations are at the height of rush hour.

Tip #6: Try it once and see. If you’re chronically late, pick one upcoming event for which you’ll be on time. Then do it up right: plan ahead, account for all transitions, leave early, and aim to be the first one there.

You’ll love moving from being put on the spot to getting there on the dot.

Can You Fix It?

Having served as a Pastor for over thirty years, I have observed people whose lives are “broken.” Sometimes they would come to me and ask me if I could fix “it.” It may be a broken marriage or a parent/child relationship. Sometimes people look at their situation and conclude “This is so broken it cannot be fixed, repaired or restored.” So they get a divorce, give up on that relationship, or worse turn their back on God and quit living for Him.

I can understand their reasoning. From a human standpoint, there seems no way this wrong can be made right. We think that OUR situation is SO BAD that even God cannot untangle the mess. But that is not so. I have been amazed how God can take the “broken” and bring healing, restoration and wholeness.  Consider:

  • He is the one who heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
  • “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

In Ezekiel 37, we read the story of the Valley of Dry Bones. These were not recently slain corpses but dry bones! God asks Ezekiel a very pointed question, “Son of man, can these bones live?”  Ezekiel answers,“Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”  That is a great answer for only God can “fix” some of life’s greatest challenges!  

Years ago we used to sing a chorus, God Can Do Anything But Fail.” True. Let God begin to work in your life. Turn it over to Him and see God work in your life!

The Way Up is Down

ladder2In an earlier post, Keeping Score, we talked how people keep score. But in the game of life, we need to know how God is keeping ‘score.’ How do we know if we are growing spiritually in our lives? You may think this verse is over simplistic but here is the way God keeps score. “Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son...” [Romans 8:29] God’s ultimate will and goal for all Christ followers is that we become more like Jesus Christ, His Son.

People are obsessed with climbing the ladder of success. Jesus, who was already at the top of the organizational chart of the universe, gave up his rights to become a servant. Philippians 2:5-7The problem with spending your life climbing up the ladder is that you go right past Jesus, for he’s coming down

God’s Word often teaches truth that does not make sense to the world. I Cor. 1:27 God wants us to know that the way up is down. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 I am afraid we often look at people and classify them as failures, while God sees honor. The moment Jesus looked like a failure in the world’s scoring system was His moment of greatest triumph in the eyes of the Father. Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; Philippians 2:9

Remember, God’s way up is down.