Thursday, November 28, 2013


A true story of God's mercy and divine appointments as related to me by a friend who struck up a conversation with a stranger sitting in a waiting room at M.D. Anderson Hospital...

The elderly man sitting next to his wife in the wheelchair in the hospital waiting room was tall and very slender.  He had driven a truck for 40 years until a stroke he suffered made it impossible for him to continue to work.  In that 40 years he and his wife had bought a home, raised their children, paid their bills and taxes and done everything they could to set a good example for their children.  Despite his health issues they had continued to make ends meet.

Six months earlier the doctor in the small town clinic where they lived told the man that his wife likely had breast cancer.  They sent her to a regional medical facility where the diagnosis was confirmed.
Because of the man’s disability and discharge from his job they no longer had health insurance for his wife.  Suddenly they were faced with the reality that his wife needed treatment to save her life – treatment they could not afford.  After many failed attempts to obtain assistance they were ultimately told by the small regional hospital that they could not treat the woman any further.  There was nothing they could do.

The couple returned home and his wife grew more ill with each passing day.  Devastated and with nowhere left to turn the elderly gentleman left his sick wife resting at home one Sunday morning and slipped into a pew at the back of their small town church just hoping to find some relief from the feelings of despair.

At the end of the sermon that morning the Pastor said he felt there was someone there who had something they needed to share.  As the soft music continued to play the elderly gentleman suddenly found himself rising from his seat and slowly making his way down the aisle toward the front of the congregation.
As he neared the front he wondered “what in the world will I say”.  He never spoke in front of groups.  He was terrified.  As he turned to face the crowd he thought his knees might give way.  But as he began to speak in an uneasy tone about the life he and his wife had lived and the situation he now found himself in his voice soon became filled with strength.
He told the Church it was hard for him to understand why they had worked all their lives, raised their children and always taken care of their business and now when he needed help for his ailing wife there was nothing he could do save her.  He prayed daily to God for strength and help.  As tears streamed down his face he said it was almost unbearable to think of life without his wife.  He didn’t know where else to turn.
After some comforting words from the Pastor and prayer from the congregation the elderly man excused himself to the bathroom to dry his eyes and steady himself.  As he emerged from the bathroom the Pastor said there was someone who was visiting in the congregation that day who wanted to speak with him.  The visitor told the elderly man she was very moved by his story and wanted to help him.  She said she couldn’t make any promises but gave him a phone number and asked that he call the next day.
The call the elderly gentleman made the next day started the wheels in motion that would deliver an answer to his prayers.  The stranger who was visiting by chance in the congregation worked at M.D. Anderson hospital.  The stranger arranged for his wife's care at one of the leading cancer treatment centers in the world – free of charge.  His wife had been delivered from certain death by a divine appointment in a small town gathering of God's people.
The story was a reminder to me that when we don’t know where to turn WE WILL ALWAYS FIND GOD IN THE MOST EXPECTED OF PLACES.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Courtesy Spencer Irvine
YOU can change the world by sponsoring a child!  So exactly what does the phrase SPONSORING A CHILD mean?  In short it is simply providing funds to charitable organizations who provide food, clothing, shelter, education and various services to children who would otherwise have limited access to these basic necessities.

When I recently read economist Bruce Wydick's article "Want To Change The World? Sponsor a Child" in Christianity Today it was never more clear to me why God called my family to sponsor children.  It was not the adorable pictures of the children or the letters of appreciation they send.  Those are nice things.  But the real reason for sponsoring children was Biblical for us and is found in part in the following passages:
  1. James 1:27 - "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress:..."
  2. Proverbs 19:17 - "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord..."
  3. Deuteronomy 15:11 - Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor..." 
Let me suggest that even if you don't have a relationship with Jesus and the Biblical reasons for child sponsorship don't have application in your life - it's my sincere prayer that they someday will - sponsoring children still makes sense for the Christian and non-Christian alike.  Here's why:

  1. You'll feel better inside simply knowing you've helped another human being.  We're all wired with an inherent desire to care for and help others.
  2. You won't wind up paying to provide the same services through high levels of taxation when the government steps in and provides the assistance.  Governments are generally proven to be very inefficient and ineffective providers of such services.
  3. You will provide basic needs and education for a generation that will be more self sufficient and will create a better world in which you, your children and their children will come to live.
The following organizations are two that we are personally acquainted with and that we sponsor children through.  There are hyperlinks which direct you to their websites where you can find very detailed information on their mission, finances and programs.  Charity Watch at provides ratings of these two charities as well as many others.  For about a dollar a day the organizations below will see that your charitable, tax deductible donations go a long ways towards changing lives for the better: 

Compassion International
Compassion International - online at, this organization invests 80 to 85 cents of every dollar donated to life changing programs.  Their commitment to Christ, to Children, to the Church, and to Integrity are unsurpassed.  They serve and make a difference in the lives of some 1.3 Million children around the world. 


World Vision
World Vision - online at, the folks at World Vision invest 80 to 85 cents of every dollar donated tackling the causes of injustice and poverty.  Serving close to 100 Million people in 100 countries World Vision is making a huge difference in many lives.

I encourage you to read Mr. Wydick's article for a detailed explanation of how Child Sponsorship can change the world.  By sponsoring a child today you can begin to change the future for the next generation and you will be able to show others HOW WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.  Feel free to post a comment and share other ways in which we can work to make the world a better place.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Most Christians and Historians are very familiar with the on-again-off-again relationship the Israelites had with God.  Over hundreds of years God sent one Prophet after another to remind the Israelites of His commandments and to warn the Israelites of the consequences of their continued sin. They didn't listen.

In Verse 20 II Kings Chapter 17 the consequence for Israel's persistent sins is given "The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight." God turned from Israel and allowed other nations to conquer Israel because of their systemic and persistent disobedience. He did not forsake them. But He no longer protected them from their enemies as He had done.

Curious as to what it takes for God to turn away from a Nation He has favored?  Here is a list of the systemic and persistent sins which God felt deserved specific mention in II Kings Chapter 17 as reasons for His turning away:
  1. Idol Worship
  2. Sexual Sins
  3. Child Sacrifice
  4. Worldly Living
Does our nation, America, which God has highly favoured have significant issues with this list of sins?  Well let's see:

  1. Idol Worship - there is certainly evidence our Nation as a whole does not worship God.  There are statistics that report over half of our nation does not have a true relationship with Jesus Christ.  God is actively being pushed out of places He has always been - schools, public gatherings, public places.  God is being replaced with what the world wants.  And according to God's Word whatever we replace God with has become an "Idol".
  2. Sexual Sins - the porn industry reportedly generates $14 Billion dollars per year in revenue.  Traditional marriage as God defined it is under daily attack and has now been "redefined" by the world's laws in some parts of America.  Divorce due to infidelity (adultery) is reported to be at all time highs in this country.
  3. Child/Infant Sacrifice - approximately 3500 babies are electively aborted in the US every day.  Statistics report the majority of the babies that are aborted are conceived in sex that occurs outside of God's sacred covenant of marriage.  And more subtly a generation of children are being abandoned by parents who shirk their responsibility to raise their children in a Godly manner.
  4. Worldly Living - much is written that it's becoming increasingly harder to separate the Church from the World.  And it's not because the World has become more like the Church.  Quite the opposite is reported to be occurring.  The Church has become much more "tolerant" and "accepting" of the World.  God did not call his people to live as the world.  He called them to do the exact opposite.
Just as in the days of Israel these disturbing trends in living are not shared by everyone.  There are plenty of people striving to live like Christ and sharing Christ as God has commanded.  And no Nation is perfect - and God could not expect us to be - He knows us because He made us.  But God never guarantees us favor as a Nation if we continue to live in and/or increase the level of our disobedience and sinfulness.

So is America at risk of God "turning away" as He did with Israel?  Is it possible it's happening today, right now as you read this?  The falling away of a Nation is a slow fade where things almost imperceptibly become more and more like the World with every passing day.  WILL GOD TURN AWAY FROM US?  What do you think?

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Want to feel like God wrote the Bible just for you?  Actually He did write the Bible just for you!  But I'll bet like me you often read it like we read any other book.  We pick it up from its last resting place, remove the bookmark, and start reading.  Now there's nothing wrong with reading the Bible like that.  But here's a great way to make God's message to you even more personal and real.

Try "praying back" scripture to God.  Here's how it works.  I was recently reading in the book of James and I copied James 1:12-18 directly from the NKJV.  It reads like this: 

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.

I then turned the scripture to prayer like this:

Father God, help me to be a man who endures temptations so that I may be approved and receive the crown of life which you have promised to me because I love you.  When I am tempted don't ever let me say it was you who tempted me for I know you cannot be tempted by evil and you cannot tempt anyone to do evil because you are Holy and Perfect.  I know that if I am tempted I will be drawn by my own desires, not by anything you would will.  I know it is my desires that lead to sin and that sin leads to death.  Make sure I realize that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from you the Father of Lights.  In you there is no change or turning.  You brought me forth by your own will so I could be a fruit of your creation.

Now this method doesn't work with every single passage of scripture but it is rewarding to apply the technique to those passages where it does work.  There are actually several books that have been written to help you apply this method to your prayer life.  Author Lee Roberts has written a series called "Praying God's Will For My _________".  You can fill in the blank with Daughter, Son and Pastor to name a few.  They are great books of practical scripture prayers for the important people in your life. 

The great thing about praying scripture is that you know you are praying back to THE GOD WHO WROTE THE BIBLE JUST FOR YOU.

I'd love to hear about the ways you use scripture in your prayers. Share them below.

Friday, February 15, 2013


This is the third in a series of short posts on work and why it is essential to our physical, mental and spiritual well being.

In the last post in this series titled “THREE BIBLICAL EXAMPLES THAT EXPLAIN MAN’S BASIC NEED AND DESIRE TO WORK” we established that man works to Feed, Clothe and Shelter himself. If you missed the post you can read it at

Man's work is actually about much more than simply obtaining food, clothing and shelter.  God actually expects that we work to honor Him.  Here are three reasons we know this to be true.

God Is Honored When We Take Full Advantage of the Gifts He Has Blessed Us With

There are few greater tragedies in life than the squandering of great gifts (talents).  God grants us specific gifts so that we can work and be productive in our lives.  The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:10 "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace".  This is a clear admonition to use the gifts God has provided us with.  Romans Chapter 12 verses 6-8 are even more specific about the different types of gifts we receive and how we are supposed to use them as it reads "Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness."  Each of us must examine ourselves to understand how God has gifted us and then we must use those gifts in our work so that we can glorfiy God through our accomplishments whether they be in the secular or spritual areas of our lives.

God Is Honored When We Work To Provide For Our Families and For Those In Need

Scripture is pretty clear that God expects us to work if we are physically able. In II Thessalonians Paul's directive is pretty blunt. In Chapter 3 Verse 10 it is written "If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat". In Proverbs 28:19 scripture says "Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty."  Work is not necessarily synonymous with employment.  We don't have to be employed by someone else in order to work.  We can work by farming our own land, maintaining our households or simply serving others.  The key thing to remember is that we are expected to work if we are able to work so that we provide for our ourselves, our families and others in need.  Working to help others in need is actually commanded in Ephesians 4:28 which says "...[one] must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need".  God expects us to work so that we provide for our own needs as well as the needs of others.

God Is Honored When We Work To Our Hightest Potential

God doesn't expect us to work just enough to get by. He expects us to give it our all.  Colossians 3:17 says "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." God wants your work to be exemplary.  He knows your workplace is a mission field.  God knows that the eyes that look out from the darkness will see you if you are His light. How you conduct yourself at work can bring either great glory or dishonor to God. Matthew 5:16 says "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven".  By giving work your all and being a living witness as you work you are glorifying God.  We should always remember that all of our work should be done as if we were doing it directly for God.

The next time you wonder exactly what you are working for take heart that you know THREE WAYS YOU ARE HONORING GOD THROUGH YOUR WORK.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


This is the second in a series of posts on work and why work is essential to our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

In the last post titled “TWO KEY FACTS ABOUT THE BIBLICAL ORIGINS OF WORK” we established that God Created Work and God Created Man to Work. If you missed the post you can read it at The modern day definition of work from Webster’s dictionary was presented as [to] “Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result.”

There are three innate reasons that man engages in work and those reasons have changed little in over 6000 years. They are:

Man works to eat. The first recorded work that man performed was for an essential purpose that continues to this very day – in order that he has food to eat. In Genesis 2:5 scripture reads “Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.” From the dawn of time God intended for man to cultivate the ground and produce food to sustain himself. Man not only gardened and gathered food from the fields but he also worked in the form of hunting animals for food. There are numerous references in Genesis to the hunting of game for food.  In Genesis 26:28 it says that “Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game”. Food is essential to life. Man has always worked in order to eat.

Man works to clothe himself. Almost every child from a very early age knows the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and how God provided clothing for them in the Garden of Eden. Man’s need for clothing originated almost as soon as man originated. The idyllic climate of the Garden of Eden changed immediately when man was kicked out into the world as we know it today. The change in climate outside the Garden of Eden is well chronicled in the Old Testament in numerous accounts of floods, hail storms, droughts, etc. The harsh climate outside the Garden of Eden no doubt required special garments to provide cover, warmth and comfort. The importance of clothing is reinforced in the Old Testament through the sixty plus times that clothing is mentioned. There are many descriptions of animal skins and animal fur being used to produce garments for protective clothing. The Bible is filled with examples of man’s need for clothing for warmth and protection. One such example is in Job 31:19-21 where Job talks about providing warm garments to the needy so that they might not perish. Man has always worked to clothe himself.

Man works to shelter himself. There is clear documented evidence that in Patriarchal times Abraham, Issac and Jacob lived in tents. And it’s reasonable to assume that the art of tent making was likely derived by and passed down through ancestors who learned to knit animal skins together to provide cover from rain and other inclement weather. The Israelites were well known as sheep and goat herders. Sheep and goats not only provided food but their fur was woven together to make tent fabrics. Man hunted animals and raised goats and sheep to help provide shelter for him. In the Old Testament there are many references to the fortified cities that were constructed to provide sheltered protection from attackers. Jericho is one such fortified city of shelters described in the book of Joshua. Houses of the Old Testament provided shelter for man and often times provided shelter for domestic animals in the harsh winter climates. Man has always worked to provide shelter for himself.

It was God’s plan that man would work to provide food, clothing and shelter for himself and we are somewhat hardwired for it in our very nature. In future posts we will discuss how avoiding responsibility for work leads to life problems because of the conflict it causes personally, societally and spiritually. So the next Monday morning you feel that slight urge to play hooky from work you’ll have THREE BIBLICAL EXAMPLES THAT EXPLAIN MAN’S BASIC NEED AND DESIRE TO WORK to remind you why you need to head on in.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


This is the first in a series of posts on work and why it is essential to our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

In the New International Version the opening verse in the Bible reads “In the Beginning God created the Heavens and Earth”. At the same time it also says God Created Work. For those of you who may not recall that particular verse let me explain why you missed it…it’s not written “exactly” like that.

The entire first chapter of the Biblical book of Genesis details God’s creation of the Heavens and Earth. It tells the story of how God separated night from day; set the stars in the sky; and made the animals. Webster’s Dictionary defines work as [to] “Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result…” God’s acts of separating, setting and making are all verbs that imply physical and/or mental activity that took place to achieve the result of creating the Heavens and Earth and the things contained in them. By our modern day Webster’s definition God Created Work in the very beginning of time. Therefore work was created by God and has existed since the beginning of time.

If you’re over the shock of the fact that God Created Work let me provide you with one more fact. God Created Man to Work. Man was not created only to work, but was certainly created to work as an essential activity in life.  In the second Chapter of Genesis the story is told of how God created the Garden of Eden right after he created this little creature known as “man”. And in Genesis Chapter 2, verse 15 scripture says “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Did you get that? God created man, took the man and put him in the Garden to work. God Created Man to Work. From the beginning of time it was God’s design and intention that man work.

So there you have it. God created work and God created man to work. And as we travel through the next few posts in this series we’ll see just how much emphasis God places on work and why working is essential to our spiritual wellbeing. So the next time someone asks you “who the heck came up with the idea of work and who should be doing it anyway” you’ll be armed with the TWO KEY FACTS ABOUT THE BIBLICAL ORIGINS OF WORK which are that God Created Work and God Created Man to Work.