Wednesday, August 28, 2013




This week our beloved cat Samson died after 17 years of blessing our family.  He was a gift to our daughter Kelsey on her five year birthday.  We had expected his passing and it was hard to see him decline on the last leg of his journey.  He had entertained us to no end with his antics and our house seems so empty without his presence.  It is amazing how a cherished pet can become such a member of your family and how devastating it is when they leave us.  What are some things to think about when you need comfort on the loss of a treasured pet?   

Think about how God made animals in the creation story (Genesis 1).  Then think about how some animals are so domesticated that they can become a member of a human family.  What a gift from God this is.  Between children and pets you have all the entertainment you need!  Horses to ride, loyal dogs greeting you at the door, cats jumping up on your lap, etc.  Companionship and unconditional love.  It’s such a beautiful way God colors our world.  (James 1:17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… 

I love the story of the poor man and his lamb that the prophet Nathan shared with David: (2 Sam 12:3) But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him.  Then Nathan shared how this lamb was taken from him.  How you can feel the man’s painful loss and you see even David getting emotional.       

Of course the big question is will we see our beloved pets in heaven?  We must examine the Word of God for this.  Consider this scripture:  (Eccl 3:21) Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?  In this verse we see the spirit of man going up to God for judgment and the spirit of the animal going down to the earth.  So we can’t really say animals will be in heaven because they are not redeemed like people are.  (Rev 5:9) And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.   

But here’s an encouraging thought for all animal lovers.  Animals will be in the thousand year reign of Christ! (Isa 65:25) The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox…  And when Jesus comes to earth at the end of the Tribulation He will be riding on a white horse. (Rev 19:11) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  And we will be riding on steeds behind Him!  (Rev 19:14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  So let us be thankful for God’s creation and the wonderful gifts He gives that fills our hearts with love and joy.  We will miss you Samson!    


Wednesday, August 21, 2013




(Pro 14:12) There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. 

Last time I sought to encourage Christian college students to maintain their Biblical worldview in the midst of intellectual and educational liberalism.  Now it is my goal to inspire the believer in academia to maintain a godly lifestyle amidst the backdrop of moral liberalism.  

You have come into the scholastic environment with a Christian background that will be challenged to no end with fellow students testing the limits of morality.  Many Christians have been devoured by the lion because they were either caught off-guard or fell to the pressure of temptation from their peers (1 Pet 5:8-9; Pro 1:10-19).  Be determined like Daniel to not bow to the idols of this world.  (Dan 1:8) But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 

College age is a time of experimentation.  Cherished beliefs will be challenged by the desire to have fun and to push the envelope on what has been traditionally acceptable.  And being a social outcast is the last thing you want to add to your college life.  But remember what the Bible says about sin:  (Heb 11:25) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.  The Bible admits to the fact that sin is pleasurable.  But it also emphasizes how these pleasures are fleeting and consequential.  Alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. will be the norm in the dorm but is that why you signed up for college?  You don’t have to drink poison to know that poison is damaging!  Many a Christian has died on the battlefield of collegiate compromise.  They believed and then were deceived.  Don’t let that be you!   

So what do you do to stay strong?   

STAY IN THE WORD:  (Psa 119:9) How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.  Read your Bible before you read any other book!  

STAY IN FELLOWSHIP:  (Acts 2:42) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.  Find a church to go to close to your college.  Seek out other Christian students for fellowship.  Attend the Christian clubs.  If there aren’t any then start one!  If you are a commuter, keep attending your home church faithfully.   

STAY FIRM IN YOUR FAITH:  (Heb 3:6)…hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.  Say yes to Jesus and in so doing you will be saying no to the world.   

You can reach graduation without losing your salvation.  Keep your armor on!  (Eph 6:10-18) 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013




(Col 2:8) Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Just think of how far you have come in your life.  High school is over and you’re in the big leagues of life.  You are now a young adult preparing for your future.  The doors of education have opened for you and you have ventured forward ready for the challenge.  But as you take this step to attend a secular college or university you will find that your faith will be tested beyond anything you have yet experienced.  Here’s some encouragement for you as you move forward to what lies ahead.   

The first thing you will confront is a predominating worldview that is contrary to your Christian beliefs.  Since the Bible is in low esteem in education these days, liberal ideas will manifest themselves in just about every subject of study.  This will take some getting used to.  At first you will be taken back by this but after a while you will come to just expect it.  Every system of belief will arise to assault what you believe.  Every garden variety of philosophy and ism will be handed to you on a tantalizing platter.  In some cases you might be insulted for standing up for your cherished principles.   

College is a time for critical thinking.  The educational environment provides a time to reassess what you have believed and perhaps have taken for granted.  What the devil designs for your downfall can actually be something God can use to strengthen and galvanize your faith.  Never be afraid of subjecting your Christian core values to the crucible of secularism because the truth of God’s Word will always withstand the attacks leveled against it.    Truth is truth and lies are lies.  And God even invites the reasoning person to dialog with Him and the truth:  (Isa 1:18)

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord…  If the reasoning person is reasonable then he or she just may embrace the reasons of life.  This will only be induced though by the light of God’s Word and the illumination of the Holy Spirit bringing the honest and hungry seeker to saving faith in the person of Jesus Christ. (Jer 29:13; Mat 16:17; John 16:7-11)   

Many ideas look good on paper but are unable to deliver what people really need in life.  Look at the idea of Karl Marx in regards to the failed experiment of communism.  How about Sigmund Freud and his inability to identify a spirit in man that relates to God and how this has taken away the Savior and replaced it with behavior.  And let’s not forget Charles Darwin and his argument for the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Through this notion modern man has lowered himself from his God-given human dignity to living only on a sensate level like an animal that he is supposed to have derived from.   Be careful about what you hear from a distinguished and charismatic professor.  High ideas do not necessarily translate into high ideals.  It’s time to really believe what you believe.  That way you’ll never be deceived! 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013




One of the most practical ways for men to serve in the church is to be an usher.  Just think of it, the usher is typically the first person that greets a visitor and makes them feel welcome.  Right away people feel accepted in the love of Christ and assembling together becomes a positive experience.  If you are feeling a tug to become an usher here’s a few things to keep in mind: 

USHERING IS A DESIRED POSITION: (Psa 84:10) For a day in thy courts better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.         

AN USHER ACTS AS A DEACON AND OPERATES WITH THE GIFT OF HELPS: (Acts 6:3) Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business…(1 Cor. 12:28) And God hath set some in the church...helps…  

GREETING PEOPLE CORDIALLY MAKES PEOPLE FEEL BELONG: (Gal 2:9)…James, Cephas, and John…gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship(Rom 12:13)…given to hospitality…(3 John 1:14)…Greet the friends by name. 

BEING JOYFUL LET’S PEOPLE KNOW CHURCH IS A HAPPY PLACE!: (Psa 100:2) Serve the Lord with gladness… 

USHERS ARE TO HELP MAINTAIN ORDER IN THE CHURCH: (1 Cor 14:33) For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints…(1 Cor 14:40) Let all things be done decently and in order. (2 Tim 4:5) But you be watchful in all things… 

USHERS ARE TO USE WISDOM IN DEALING WITH ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS: (James 2:2-4) For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,  3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”  4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?  

USHERS FIND THEMSELVES IN VARIOUS ROLES: Greeting; passing out the church bulletin; helping people find their seats; giving guidance to newcomers about Sunday school and restroom locations; being sensitive for special needs; assisting in the offering collection (1 Cor 16:1); assisting in distributing communion; and after service clean up (Mat 14:20).   

USHERS ARE MEN OF CHARACTER WHO ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST AND THE CHURCH: (2 Cor 5:20) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ…