Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I didn't really watch the weather the other night. I probably should have. The total extent of my weather information that day consisted of my wife telling me that "we're supposed to get half a foot of snow over night" as we went to bed. "You can take MY car if you want."

My wife drives a family-sized sedan while I drive a little Ford Focus. She knew my front tires were wearing out. Or as one of my "friends" tells me, your front tires are a lot like your head . . . balding. Funny.

I wasn't really looking forward to my 40-mile commute to work through all that snow so, thinking I should be better safe than sorry, I took my wife's car. Boy, was I glad I did. As I backed out of the driveway I took a quick look at my tire tracks. There was probably more like 7-8 inches of new snow in our driveway. I never would have made it in the Focus.

We live way out in the country, about six miles out of town. We're usually plowed out pretty early in the morning because we live on a school bus route. "Usually" being the keyword there. We're USUALLY plowed out pretty early . . . on days that school isn't canceled and . . . guess what. Yeah.

No snowplow had gone through. 7-8 inches of snow on the roadways. And my headlights were shining on a beautifully prestine, sparkling snowscape because, at 4:45 in the morning, no one had been on the road yet! And I was about to drive 40 miles through that stuff going to work. Nice.

When I got to the bottom of the hill exiting our subdivision, I glanced over at the stop sign and, thinking better of it, decided just to continue on through the deserted intersection. Nobody was on the road anyway. Only fools, right? Ha ha! Yeah . . .

Not stopping turned out to be a good choice. The going was kind of rough and I wasn't about to stop for anything. And then God provided something I desperately needed, as He often does. As I turned onto the road that led to the highway, that's when I saw them. Ruts.

Someone had traveled this next stretch of road before I did. There were ruts laid down through the snow, guiding me. I knew that as long as I stayed in the ruts, the path that had been marked out in front of me, I'd be alright. Unless of course the tire tracks suddenly veered off the road and into the ditch. I therefore decided to proceed slowly and cautiously and, eventually, I made it to work.

When I had come across those ruts in the road I said a brief prayer of thanks for the person who had gone through before me. It was through their efforts and struggles with the unplowed road that MY travels had been made easier. And I was grateful for that.

When I became a Christian a little over seven years ago, I was blessed to have someone in my life to lead me through the snow-covered roadways of MY faith. If I had questions, my friend was there to answer them, or at least point me in the right direction. It is SO valuable to someone who is new in their faith to have a mentor, a guide if you will. Someone to watch their footsteps, making sure they are set on the right path.

These days I now find myself in the role of a mentor. There are many young people in my life who are in the same situation that I was in when I first believed. They are new in their faith. And they are encountering more obstacles in life than just an un-plowed road. They need someone to guide them . . . to blaze a trail.

There is a lot of pressure being a mentor, someone who others look to for guidance. Just like that person creating a trail through the snow the other day, our own path as leaders and mentors must be correct and true or they will lead others falsly, perhaps even to some undesired destination.

So how do we as Christians, as mentors and leaders, know what is true? How do we know which is the right path to choose for those we are leading? The answer is simple. Follow the one, true leader of our faith . . . Jesus Christ. And always go to the one, true source of truth - God's Word. The Bible.

The universalists out there tell us that there are many paths to God. There are many different snow-covered roads. But just like the snowmobile trails I see every day on my way to work, they often lead right back to where they began. We must examine ouselves, and our walk with Christ, daily. One of my favorite verses:

"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" - 2 Corinthians 13:5

There are many paths out there, each offering their own form of afterlife. But there is only one true path that leads to heaven and that is through Jesus. Others will be following us, watching us, as we live out our faith, or lack thereof. Where are we leading the ones who are following? Here are a few words of advice . . . from God.

Matthew 6:33 - "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."

Matthew 6:13 - "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."

To summarize all these great verses, here are a few bumper sticker-like words for you. What is the best way to lead others? It's simple - Lead . . . by following.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


When I was in the fourth and fifth grade my family lived in Michigan. We didn't have much money back then but we usually found ways to entertain ourselves.

One of those ways was to visit the Rollways on the Manistee River. The Rollways get their name from back in the logging days when the loggers would cut down hug pine trees and send them "rolling" down this large hill into the river. SPLASH!!! The logs would then float downstream to the sawmill where they'd be cut up into lumber and shipped all over the country.

Over time, with thousands of logs rolling down the hill, the topsoil vanished and the gravel subsoil became exposed. That was the condition of things when my family came there to visit. One, big hill of sand and gravel . . . and treasure!

We used to hunt for petosky stones on the Rollways. My mom did most of the hunting. My sister and I would search a little but we usually got bored and went off to do something else. But every once in a while we'd hear mom yell, "Found one!" Then we'd all run to see it.

Petosky stones are kind of cool. They are only found in Michigan. Nowhere else in the world. These "stones" are really fossilized coral from back in the day. The stones are usually a little on the rough side. To see what these treasures REALLY  look like, they need to be polished in a rock tumbler. Only then do they reveal their true beauty, looking much like the picture above.

My sister and I didn't have the treasure hunting patience of our mother. She was extremely deliberate. And her determination was often rewarded by the discovery of these rare Michigan "gems."

This past month I have been reading through the book of Leviticus. Boy, now THERE is some exciting reading. Not! At one point in the book, chapters 11, 12, 13 and 14 specifically, Leviticus is all about instructions from God to Moses. Instructions about unclean food, purification, what to do in case of a skin disease, and of course, everybody's favorites  . . . mold and bodily discharge. Yup. I'm thinkin' you will never see verses from those chapters on an inspirational Christian calendar or as the "verse of the day."

All the instructions were hard to pick through, like that giant hill on the Manistee River. Then I came across chapter 16 - The Day of Atonement. I didn't know it at the time but I had just found a gem - a "petosky stone" hidden in an Old Testament book.

I heard a pastor once say that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. And the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. If you have a Bible handy, please check out chapter 16 in Leviticus. And think NEW Testament as you read it.

The text is STILL all instructions but they are very interesting instructions. In verse six Aaron is told to get two goats and one is to become . . . "the scapegoat." And what is the function of this scapegoat? The answer is in verse 21.

"And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness."

Verse 22 - "The goat will carry on itself all their sins."

So, who in the New Testament carried all of the sins of the people on himself? Jesus.

And the guy who took the goat into the wilderness . . . he was supposed to wash himself when he released the scapegoat. Fast forward to Jesus on trial. Pontius Pilate. What did The Roman prefect do when he released Jesus to be crucified. He washed his hands. Mhmm.

There are all kinds of New Testament gems hidden in the Old Testament. Read the story of Ruth and Boaz. You will read about Boaz being a "kinsman or guardian redeemer." I wonder who that could be in a New Testament setting. Who is our New Testament redeemer? Jesus? Right again.

The Book of Isaiah has got to be one of my favorite places to search for hidden treasure. It's filled with New Testament gems. Read Chapter 53 and try not to be moved by God's masterful and perfect plan - written 700 years before before Jesus began his ministry.

Finally, read the story of Abraham and Issac found in Genesis 22. Abraham was instructed to sacrifice his one and only son (with Sarah). He took him up on a mountain. Some say it was the very mountain upon which Jesus would later be crucified. Just before Abraham stuck the fatal blow, God provided a substitute - a ram caught by its head in a thicket. You know what you find in tickets? Thorns. The ram had thorns stuck in its head! Just like Jesus and the crown of thorns the Roman guards fashioned for him. And how would one place a crown of thorns on someones head? Usually, when someone puts a crown on someones head they use two hands . . . like the guy who placed the sins on the head of the scapegoat. It's all so incredibly perfect.

There are dozens of stories like this - the Old Testament foreshadowing what will eventually take place in the New Testament. The Old testament stories, those hidden gems, scriptural petosky stones hidden in the gravel, are waiting there for anyone to discover.

This past summer my wife and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. We did so in Michigan - Petosky, Michigan. We took a walk on a gravelly beach. Guess what I was looking for? And guess what happened . . .

Found one!! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


(sarcasm warning) People love me. That's so awesome! And nowhere is it more evident than while I am driving to work. People flash their headlights at me when they see me, probably in recognition of their great love. They wave at me, sometimes waving with just one finger. Apparently I am number one in their lives. Cool. Some people even tailgate me. I'm sure that's out of love too, just wanting to be near me I guess. And these people don't even know me! It's just awesome!!

And what did I do to deserve such a "following?" Such exuberant attention? Well, I chose to actually drive the speed limit. Try it sometime. You'll be amazed at the reactions.

Where are people going in such a hurry anyway? When I am traveling the roadways I assume most of them are going to work. Hurrying to go to work? Really? Regardless of destination, people in general are in a tremendous rush. To the point where they are willing to break the law to get there are fast as they can.

Most of us, I guess, are pretty much law-abiding citizens. Most of us haven't killed anyone or robbed a bank. We haven't embezzled large sums of money or taken someone hostage and demanded money in exchange for their release. Or have we?

I know this one girl who holds her breathe until she gets what she wants. Where did she learn that? It's really extortion . . . and extortion, blackmail, is against the law. Silly kids.

Have you ever made copies at work of your kids football schedule? Made a copy of your tax return? Have you ever printed off a personal e-mail, or an interesting story LIKE THIS ONE, so you could save it or read it later? Ever PAY for those copies? Have you ever downloaded music or ripped a friend's CD so you could get the songs for free rather than buying the CD yourself?

John Cooper, the lead singer of the band Skillet, once asked the crowd if they had purchased the latest Skillet CD. The crowd roared. Then he asked, "And how many of you have downloaded our songs illegally, breaking the eighth commandment?" There was some general laughter but, truth be told, probably MANY people had done that. And the crowd was largely made up of  Christians!

Truth be told, we are probably ALL guilty of breaking the law, SOME law, every day of our lives. Do you remember the parable Jesus told in Luke 18 about the rich ruler?

"And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.

What law had this man broken? Any ideas? He told Jesus he had kept the commandments since his youth. Every commandment, that is, except the very first commandment - You shall have no other God's before me. This man's god was his money.

So this morning I ask this question: What is YOUR God? What is the idol YOU worship? Is it work? Is it spending time watching TV instead of reading God's Word? Or will it be adultery today . . . simply looking at someone with lustful thoughts in your heart. Will it be stealing. No? How accurately will you fill out your taxes this year? Did you pay for that paperclip at work? And that roll of company toilet paper on your desk because you're too cheap to buy your own Kleenex? What about murder? Pretty safe there, right? God's Word says that even if you hate someone you have committed murder in your heart (1 John 3:15).

Let's face it. We're ALL guilty. How could ANY of us possibly get to heaven based upon God's criteria and our own works . . . our own sins. None of us can. But there is HOPE. :)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

God provided a way for us. A way out of the darkness that is so prevalent in our world today - His one and only Son. Christ died for us on the cross. He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of The Father.

Each of us is deserving of death in the eyes of God. And that is what we will receive. Unless . . . unless someone intercedes for us. It is our faith in Him that saves us. It is our making Jesus lord of our lives that saves us. We need Jesus. We need . . . an intercessor.

Eric Ludy - Intercessor


Sunday, February 17, 2013


I was flipping around the TV channels a few weeks ago (we have a satellite dish so my thumb gets quite a workout). I came across a show named Doomsday Preppers. Interesting show. It's all about people who devote their entire lives to preparing themselves for the end of the world.

They usually live in "bunkers" or in a "compound," which is probably good because I'm not sure I'd want any preppers living next to me in MY subdivision.

Although, being prepared for something is probably good. When I was in the Boy Scouts, "Be Prepared" was our motto. There were merit badges for all sorts of things that today many preppers train in - First Aid, Rifle & Shotgun Shooting, Archery, Fishing and Wilderness Survival. I was a prepper and I didn't even know it!

Do you have any idea what the top ten prepping items are? One website says it's these: a flashlight & batteries, water & food, a source of fire, guns & ammunition, blankets, a first aid kit, a knife, a radio, fuel and  . . . trash bags. Trash bags? Huh? A clean prepper is a happy prepper I guess.

Some of these preppers however go WAY overboard in my opinion. They have shelves filled to the ceiling with food. They have racks and racks of weapons and ammunition. If there ever is a Zombie Apocalypse, these crazed, armed zealots will be more than ready to defend themselves . . . if they don't eat themselves into a coma first.

Preparedness, in general though, is good. There is nothing wrong with it. We are all preppers to some extent. Most of our cars have a spare tire in the trunk . . . just in case we get a flat tire. Most people have a savings account at a bank, just in case we need some extra money for something. Schools have fire drills, many communities have tornado warning sirens that are supposed to go off in the event of a severe storm. And back when I was in grade school, during he height of the Cold War, we even prepared for a nuclear blast. Duck and cover baby!!

It's good to be prepared. But are we prepared - spiritually?

Recently, a young friend of mine lost her father. He died suddenly. No one knows why. My friend certainly could not have been prepared for that. How could she be? The real question though is, was her FATHER prepared? Are ANY of us prepared?

Jesus tells us "No one will know the day or the hour" He will return (Matthew 24:36) but He DID promise us a return visit. And when He DOES come back, there's gonna be a whole lotta hurtin' goin' on. Read Matthew 24, the entire chapter, and you will see what I mean.

When you get to the end of the chapter, Jesus tells us a parable about a fig tree and also about the head of a household, prepping for a thief to come in the night. These stories are meant to ask us a question. Are we prepared for Jesus return?

So, how do we prepare ourselves? Many theological experts say that we are in the last days before Jesus comes back. How can we be sure that we will be ready? Check scripture.

"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?" - 2 Corinthians 13:5

Hint number one was right there. Jesus has to be "in you" . . . in our hearts. Being baptized as a baby is not enough. Jesus told Nicodemus, "You must be born again" - baptized by water AND by spirit . . . emphasis on "the spirit." Read the first 21 verses of John 3 for more information about this.

Are we bearing fruit? Jesus has told us that if we do not bear fruit we will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 7:19). Folks, that ain't a good thing. We must examine ourselves. Daily! Is our spirit lush and producing much fruit? Or are we simply relying what our pastors and priests tell us is "good enough?" What? "Did Bob just tell us to not trust what our pastors tell us?" That's exactly right. There is only one source of truth and that is God's Word, the Bible. And the Bible says, "examine yourselves!" Examinew ascripture, examine self.

And what if, upon further examination, we find ourselves lacking when we calk down the fruit aisle of our souls? What if the branches of our spiritual tree are barren and non-productive? Then, according to God's word, the spirit of God is not in us. And that is NOT good! I we find ourselves without God's Holy Spirit in us we are therefore not in Christ and are doomed to destruction. We must get on our knees, beg forgiveness and repent of our ways, the lives we are living.

There is only one way to be saved - believe fully in Jesus Christ. He died so that we might live.

From second Corinthians . . .

(Verse 15) And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

(Verse 17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

(Verse 20 & 21) . . . We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Are we prepared? Are we ready for the return of The King. If not, we must GET ready. This is prepping on a biblical scale. We don't want to be left behind, knocking at the door after He has come. If we are not "in Christ" when Jesus returns, God has promised that He will not . . . HE WILL NOT let us in. Time to get preppin'!

“Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you . . ." - Ezekiel 38:7

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


What does it mean "to dwell?" We can dwell in a house. It IS called a DWELLING after all. Merriam-Webster's on-line dictionary says it means "to remain for a time." I guess it could be said then that I dwell at work then. I dwell in my living room chair. I sometimes dwell in the bathroom, but that's probably more than anyone really wanted to know.

We have two cats "dwelling" in our house. Although they can be entertaining at times, they certainly dwell too much in MY presence. We've got this one cat that loves to steal my chair. I can get up, go into the kitchen to get something to drink, and by the time I get back the cat is curled up in my chair, faking like it's asleep. Behind those closed eyelids I KNOW that evil cat is secretly laughing at me.

When I was in college I wanted a teepee. You know, one of those dwellings the Indians used. They were made out of lodge pole pines and buffalo skins. They were SO cool looking and I was positive, in my college-age idealistic mind, that I would be living in a teepee the rest of my life. Wisconsin? Winter? Yeah, I was VERY idealistic. Still is would be a nice place to dwell - "to remain for a time."

When we dwell someplace for an extended period of time we become familiar with our surroundings. My wife and I have dwelled in our house for nearly 30 years. We can walk through the house at night without the lights on. We know where every door is, every piece of furniture and where every squeak is in the floor. Our kids hated those squeaks when they tried sneaking home late at night back in their high school years. Busted!!

Question: Have you ever felt distant from God? This past year there were times when I sure did. I think we ALL feel that way from time to time - some more so than others.

So, do you think we feel distant from God because He wanders off someplace and hides from us? Mmm. No. The way I understand it is, God is everywhere. And if He's everywhere that means He is truly . . . everywhere! Like right now he's standing right behind you! He sits next to you when you're driving your car to work. He was in the hospital room when your grandmother was sick. He's even standing next to me when I am "dwelling" in the bathroom! And that is really awkward to think about!

Yet, despite God always being with us, we still feel alone at times, we can even feel abandoned. Why? God loves us. He has promised he will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) yet we say we feel "distant from God." How is that even possible?!

The only answer left is that WE, ourselves, are the ones who have wandered off. So where do we go? And how do we know we've wandered off when we're always right here where we are? Hmm.

Perhaps, if we "dwelled" in God's Word we could find some answers.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty." - Psalm 91:1

Since November I have been reading five chapters in the Bible each day (3 Old, 2 New). It doesn't really take that long and it helps me keep in touch with God. When I dwell in his Word or spend time serving others in His name, I feel renewed. I feel "closer to God." These activities keep my feet firmly planted on the path and God blesses me for doing so.

And the funny thing is, when we feel close to God, when we're in His Word and serving and worshipping, we never have to look down at the path we're walking on because our feet are firmly planted on it. God dwells in us through His Holy Spirit! He has called us and He died for us. The very least we could do is listen to that calling and follow His leading and we can dwell in His house . . . forever.

"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple." - Psalm 27:4

Sunday, February 10, 2013


When I was a youth leader at our church I had the honor and privilege of feeding into the lives of hundreds of amazing young people - at youth group, rock concerts, mission trips, and just daily life in general. It is so encouraging to watch teens grow. They are basically seekers. They seek answers, they begin to question authority, they laugh and they cry but really they all are beginning to search for something we ALL crave - relevance and truth.

As one might guess from the title of this post, youth leaders exist to have a positive impact on the lives of youth. But what's really neat to see is youth having an impact on the lives of other youth! It's a ripple effect, like the picture above. Take someone with an ability to lead and a passion and love for Jesus, then drop them in the middle of a group of other teens. That one spark turns into a flame, fed by God's Holy Spirit. Next thing you know you have one amazing group of teens - all on fire for Jesus!

It's exciting watching young, passionate adults impacting the lives of those around them. Some of our recent high school graduates have felt led to spread the Gospel to the world. They didn't just complain that somebody should do something about those who don't know Jesus. THEY were the ones who did something. One guy just got back from Africa, the Philippines & China, two others just got back from Mexico and are now preparing to go to Romania. Awesome! They are making a tremendous impact in this world for Christ.

There are other teens; however, who are just waiting for someone to impact THEIR lives. This world is not an easy place in which to live And they find themselves just trying to survive, let alone impact others. But even in such a dismal place as a young teens broken heart there is hope in Christ.

When ever I am in a conversation with someone who is complaining about something, I will eventually ask them this question.

"So. What are you going to do about it?"

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you say something like, "Boy, this sure isn't right. Somebody ought to do something about this." Did you ever think that maybe God has placed you in a situation like that, wanting YOU to be the one to do something? And just how many times have we disappointed our King by doing nothing?

I was having a conversation with one high school girl about a year ago. In it she was complaining about all the "drama" that takes place at school and on Facebook. It was getting so bad in HER life that it really began to affect her. So, I asked that question. "What can we do about that?" Well, we came up with an idea - turning a negative into a positive. We created the No Drama Facebook page.

There are many things we can do to inspire others, inspire them with the love that God has placed in our hearts. I'd like you to watch this video and see what some people did to inspire others. They were like a rock dropped in the ocean, the ripples, the waves reached distant shores through their one inspirational impact.

Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day

Now . . . what are YOU going to do to impact the lives of those in YOUR life, YOUR mission field? Whatever we do, do it all for the glory of God. :)

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16

Thursday, February 7, 2013



Recognize the guy in this picture? Yeah, it's Gregory Peck. He was a really good actor. Here's a little test for all you movie buffs out there. Do you know what movie this picture is from? There are clues. What can you tell about the character Mr. Peck is playing. It looks like this guy is from Biblical times. Check the shirt. That emblem is the Star of David, isn't it? And he's staring at something. And I mean he is REALLY staring at something! And it looks like he likin' what he sees. He's got that little Gregory Peck smile. :) And look at his eyes. He's looking down on something, or someone. And it looks like he's up high, like on a roof. Hmm.

2 Samuel 11:2-4 - "It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her."


The apostle Paul wrote of doing things he didn't want to do in the book of Romans (7:15) - "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."

I know exactly how Paul felt this past weekend . . . during the Superbowl.

I already knew that the Superbowl was going to be full of "worldly" commercials - lots of sexually explicit content. I was prepared for that. And after the game started, it wasn't long before the first disgusting commercial came on. GoDaddy.com. It featured race car driver Danika Patrick describing the mix of technology and glamor at GoDaddy's web site. The rest of the commercial was a close-up shot of a supermodel french-kissing some chubby, nerdy, techno-geek. Yeah. That'll make me wanna use their web hosting site!

Calvin Klein was next. They purchased some Superbowl ad space, trying to get you to buy some men's underwear. Their commercials are always racy, often stretching the envelope of decency. Their Superbowl spot was no exception. It featured a well-sculpted young man, wearing only his tighty-whities, gyrating around trying to show off every part of himself. He did that, and that was enough for me.

I put on my headphones and grabbed my Bible and began to read, shielding my eyes from the television. I really needed that break - to get away from the "world" and immerse myself in His Word. After my reading, still listening to worship music on my Ipod, I decided to check out Facebook. And that, my friends, was the beginning of my downfall.

As I scrolled down through all of my friend's posts, I noticed that most were about the Superbowl. "So-and-so just scored," "Jim Harbaugh sure is a whiner." Stuff like that. Then I came across a post from a lady friend at work. She and her friends seemed rather interested in that Calvin Klein commercial they had just seen, one of them saying, "I wish I could see that commercial again!"

Now, I'm a pretty helpful guy. But sometimes it is possible to be TOO helpful. And, as I discovered on Sunday, sometimes my desire to be helpful can even outweigh my desire to please God.

How easy it was for me to go to YouTube and type in "Calvin Klein Superbowl" in the search window. How quick it was for me to copy the link and paste it on my friend's wall. It was only after doing those two things that I thought about God. I obviously have not totally "died to self" yet. There is more "world" in me than I realized. And that saddens me.

Just one day earlier I had sat in a seminar at a Christian men's conference. The topic was about creating strong leaders in young men. The speaker told a story of going rafting in a spring-swollen river in northern Wisconsin and how easy it was to swept away under it's incredible power. That's exactly how I felt after posting that link on my friend's wall. Swept away by a power stronger than I am.

One of God's commandments is to not commit adultery. The husband/wife relationship is very precious to God. It runs throughout the Bible. Jesus even used the bride groom and bride analogy when he talked about himself and his relationship to the church.

In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus tells us that to even lust after another woman or man is committing adultery in our hearts. Do you see what I did by posting that link to the Calvin Klein Superbowl spot on my friend's Facebook page? I helped her commit adultery.

Some might say, "Bob, you're being way to hard on yourself. It was just a stupid video. What's the big deal!?"

Well, it IS a big deal. I have sinned against a holy and righteous God. The next morning I went to my friend's Facebook page and deleted the link I had posted. In it's place I left a message saying it was wrong of me to post that video and I reqested an opportunity to talk with her about why. A few days later, we spoke about it. I explained why I had removed the link and she understood.

This country of ours has ignored and turned its back on God. As a nation, we keep putting more and more distance between ourselves and the loving God who gave us life. Personally, from this moment on, I am going to make a conscious effort to rectify that situation. I am turning off the television. I am spending more time in His Word. My goal is to reduce the gap between my self and God and to never, ever "feel distant from God again." Everthing I do, and I do mean everything, must bring glory to God or it is not worth doing at all. I serve a powerful, Holy God. He has saved me from a death I deserved to die. He requires obedience and I for one am going to increase my efforts and become "a good and faithful servant."

This country was established on Christian principals but we have drifted far away from the course they invisioned. It's time to change that course. We need to put our oars in the water and start rowing back upstream, against the current of apathy and disinterest, and return in repentance and obedience to our King.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." - Matthew 5:27-28

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The following post is part of a Group Writing Project for FaithfulBloggers.com

The first creative writing assignment I had in high school was to describe another person - a teacher, a student, whoever. Someone at school that our teacher might know. Our writing teacher was to then see if she could figure out who it was we were describing merely by reading our written words.

I was pretty quick with my assignment and turned my paper in first. That was really a dumb thing to do. My teacher picked up my paper and began reading it while others in the class were still writing. It was really quite. Nothing but the sound of  Number 2 pencils scraping across paper. All of a sudden my teacher burst out laughing. The whole class looked up as our teacher tried to compose herself. They looked at her and then they looked at me. I sunk in my chair out of embarrassment. Obviously, my writing was a joke. I was both embarrassed and ashamed.

The following day we got our papers back. I remember dreading her comments as she passed them out.

"How did you ever think you could write? Are you insane? You totally blew your assignment!! What a joke!!" I imagined.

She set my paper face down on my desk. I kind of looked around the room, checking to see if anyone was watching me as I pulled the paper close to my chest like some card shark trying to hide his winning hand. Slowly, carefully, I took a look . . .


What?? My grade was followed by this hand-written comment. "I know EXACTLY who you mean!!" and a big smiley face!! :)


Why I Write

I have always enjoyed writing, although I never really did a lot of it earlier in my life. It's fun coming up with stories in my mind and them trying to describe them with words. It brings me joy, especially when others read them and like them.

Most of my life was spent as a non-believer. Actually, I kind of believed but I never did anything with my faith. I never lived it. It was kind of like having a TV set that I only used maybe twice a year. I'd sit down in front of the TV but I never turned it on.

When I committed my life to Jesus Christ back in 2006 I could NOT stop reading the Bible. I was obsessed with it. That's when I cam across this verse.

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" - Colossians 3:17

I also read this question in another book I was reading at the time. "What are you doing for yourself today, that you could be doing for God tomorrow?"

I thought about that for a bit. I really wanted to do something for God in light of all the things He has done for me. What could I do that would bring glory to God? Well, I could write!


I began to write stories and e-mailed them to family and friends. They were short little "devotionals" telling others where I had seen God working in my life or in the lives of those around me. I borrowed the title of my weekly e-mail (Lifesongs) from the Christian Band Casting Crowns. Their song Lifesong seemed to fit perfectly what I wanted to do with my writing.

"May the words I say and the things I do. Make my lifesong sing, bring a smile to You."

My weekly e-mails about God did not find favor with several of my family members. Their beliefs differed from my own. I was asked to take their names off my mailing list. These were relatives! I now had critics, and they were people I loved, but they were not critical of my writing style, but of my faith. It was being tested and actually took some time off to re-assess.


It wasn't long before the itch to write became too strong and I decided to write a blog. That was a few months ago and I have already learned a few things about blogging.

  1. Do your research! As soon as I learned that some of the elders from my church were reading my blog, that REALLY got my attention. I REALLY wanted to make sure I was being scripturally correct in what ever I wrote.
  2. Fear Not! Don't get discouraged. Not everyone is going to like what you like. But remember who you are writing for. I write for an audience of One.
  3. Spread the Gospel. This is my prime directive. Every post I share is faith-based. Every post has scripture in it. we bloggers may only get one short at having someone read our stuff. Make it count!
  4. Bring Him glory. Every blog post I write mentions Jesus Christ, the son of the living God. It is for Him I write. The stories I write are not fictitious, but are all true - reports of my witnessing God in action. 
  5. Don't get cocky! God saves, not us. 1 Cor 3:6 says, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth." Our words are the seeds cast onto the soil of our reader's hearts. We water with encouragement, truth and love. And may God bless us and our readers as we bring Him all the glory.
My favorite Christmas carol is Little Drummer Boy. A small child is standing next to the new-born baby Jesus, wondering what kind of gift he can give his new king. He decides to play his drum for him. He gives Jesus the very gift that God had given him! Use your gift with words to bring glory to God. You will be blessed.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Have you ever watched one of those pot makers? You know, with the spinning wheel and the big blob of clay? They spin it and shape it and form it into the image of what they have in their mind. They knew ahead of time what they wanted to make. Maybe it was a plate or a cup or a bowl. They thought of it . . . and then they set about making it. That's cool.

The whole process is kind of messy though. First they take some clay, which is really mud and then they get their hands all wet and make the mud slippery and slimy. Then they SPLAT it on the wheel and begin to create. Man, if I tried to do that, I'd be wearing most of MY creation. I'd be a mess!!

"Throwing a pot" is basically what God does with us. Most of us are big, figurative lumps of clay when God starts working on us - some lumpier than others. For some of us our clay is fresh and new. For others, like me, our clay might be a little on the moldy side and more difficult to work with. Yet, in the hands of a skilled craftsman like our God, the clay, no matter what condition it is in, no matter what age, he can make us useful.

As our clay dries, or figuratively gets glazed in God's furnace, we become stronger than we ever were before. The "fire" we experience in that furnace, life, teaches us things. Trials hone us and sharpen us and over time we become polished and smoothed by God’s loving hands. He patches our cracks when we get damaged, and we ALL will get broken in some way. Sometimes, when the cracks are not too severe, God leaves them because they add character to His creation. He repairs the broken and He keeps us useful no matter what we look like or how many times we’ve been repaired.

Now, before you go calling me an old crack pot, let me tell you something. You're exactly right. My "pot" IS cracked. It got a great big crack in it back in 1994 when a young girl in our community was abducted and murdered. That event, that painful "crack" in my heart, was used by God to create character in this old "cracked pot." But I have been and repaired, restored to working order by Jesus Christ, He now uses me to pour out water, but it is water of a different kind. God took the love that was lost on that fateful day in 1994, restored me and filled me up again so He could pour out His love, through me, to others. Where pain had worked its way into my heart, God used that experience to create an opportunity for joy . . . bringing glory to Himself in the process. That's how awesome God is. He uses the weak and the broken, the lowly and the outcast, to spread His love and word to others.

How has God molded and formed you? What is YOUR "vessel" being used for? How can God use you to accomplish His will here on earth? These are all good questions. Sometimes it seems as if the questions are too many and the answers are too few, but the important thing is, are we willing to be shaped by God's mighty hands into whatever size and type of vessel He desires? The answer MUST be yes. It HAS to be yes. Otherwise, Jesus is not the Lord of our lives. And instead of being used for His purposes, we run the risk of being discarded, thrown in a pile with other broken pieces of pottery.

The potter's hands are always at work. The next time we experience a struggle or some pain in our lives, we SHOULD rejoice. Each of us are being transformed into vessels that will be used by God. And what an honor it is to be used by him.

"But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand." - Isaiah 64:8

Watch a potter in action here: Potter

Visit this web site and get to know the young girl whose death God used as a means to mold me into the vessel of His choosing - a youth leader: Remembering Cora