Wednesday, May 22, 2013

When God Orders Your Steps

When God orders your steps, it will be a greater adventure than if you had designed or imagined it yourself.

God is many things to us, but He is also a CONCERNED PARENT.  We need merely to engage Him by faith with our plans, goals and dreams to realize that He is already working to bring them to pass.

Proverbs 16:3 (AMP) "Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed."

When you see God as your Father and Resource you will receive His affirmation, instruction and direction.  Unfortunately, there are many people in the body of Christ who are wandering around with a "hobo spirit" because they do not embrace God as a Father.  Spiritually, they can become directionless, purposeless and reactionary in their approach to life.  Like a tumble-weed, they just go wherever the wind is blowing.

It IS possible that each new day brings a fresh new word of help from God to you, in REAL TIME, for the exact situations and needs you are facing.  This comes by FAITH through the SPIRIT.

I particularly love it when God DISTINGUISHES His voice over the voice of others (even your own) and clearly reminds you that He is in control of your life.  You see, when man operates in fleshly emotions, the voice of God is deafened and disregarded.  That's why it's so important to be Spirit-led and in tune with the Word of His Spirit.

I love how Psalms 32:8 says: "I will instruct you in the way you should go.  I will counsel you and watch over you."

I recently experienced such an encounter with God, during a much needed time of rest, renewal and refreshing as Beverly and I embarked on a six-week sabbatical.  On our first weekend out, we decided to visit a place we'd never been to.  God was waiting on us when we got there.  He gave us a Word that not only confirmed the warfare we were fighting, but He also called the devil out for the accuser and the snake that he is. 

Isn't it just like God to show Himself strong on your behalf...affirm you...bring vindication and BLESSING at the same time?  That's just Who He is!

Remember when Stephen was being stoned in Acts 7:56?  God's PERFECT time was at Stephen's WORST time...but God was there!  Luke said, "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God."  

Jesus stood up for Stephen because Stephen stood up for Him.  Whatever we need from Jesus He'll do it.  Whatever help we need in standing for the Lord, He will provide it.  Upon seeing Jesus, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit."  Then he prayed for the people who stoned him. "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."  

Friends, we have a DADDY who is no less interested in speaking success into our lives than we do our own children.  Anytime you are perplexed or trying to figure out the next step of your life's journey - I want to encourage you to ASK GOD!  Then listen...for HE WILL STAND UP for you,  SPEAK and ORDER YOUR STEPS!

Watch this and be as blessed and encouraged as we were! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Catering or Parenting?

In the Word of God, we have a commandment that PROMISES to EXTEND our life!

Ephesians 6:2-3 "Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."

If you're a teenager reading this, remember this: How you treat your day that's how your children are going to treat you.

Ask yourself..."Am I the kind of child that I would want to raise?"

I was raised in a different generation.  In my generation, you didn't get opportunities to TALK BACK to your parents.  

We were too smart to talk back!

But we're living in a generation today that doesn't have any PARAMETERS on how they to talk to their mother or father.  The attitude is, "I'll do it if I want to...and I won't do it if I don't want to."

Today, we've been inundated with psychologists who try to tell us how to TRAIN our children.  However, The BIBLE is how we TRAIN our children!

The Scriptures teach us to use the ROD OF CORRECTION to drive out FOOLISHNESS from our child's heart. (Proverbs 22:15)

A major problem in American parenting today is that we let "little Johnny" and "little Susie" run the house with their bad attitude, rebellion and disrespect.  Worse yet, some PARENTS are mostly to blame because they won't TAKE A STAND and they end up CATERING to their children instead of PARENTING their children.


The Bible gives us some STEARN WARNINGS for disrespecting our parents:
  • Proverbs 30:17 "The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."
We are taught in the Scriptures to HONOR our parents.  Truthfully, it doesn't matter if our parents are good parents or bad parents - we are taught to HONOR.

How do I honor my parents?
  1. Love them Unconditionally. Love them when they're young and when they're old.  Love them when they have something to give you and when they have nothing to give you.  We owe our very life to our parents.
  2. Be Affectionate. Never take for granted that your parents know you love them.  Tell them and SHOW them. When is the last time that you hugged your parents?
  3. Be Understanding. Realize how much your parents do! They work hard, provide for you, chauffeur you around town, keep the peace, provide a place to live, buy you clothes, take care of you, etc.  Be understanding when they come home from work and are tired.  Your parents may not be able to tell you everything they're going through or have gone through during the day - so be understanding.
  4. Listen Attentively.  When your parents are speaking to you, look them in the eye and pay attention.  If you'll listen, you'll find solutions to your problems.
  5. Help Cheerfully. Your parents can't be paid for the work they do for you.  Nothing can buy that kind of work. When your parents need help getting things done around the house, step up and help with a smile!  Don't pout because your parents forget to say "thank you" to you.  Believe me, they don't pout when you forget to say it. :)
  6. Remember Gratefully. Do something kind for your parents.  Not just on their birthday or Mothers Day/Fathers Day.  Do something, even if it's a candy bar, a phone call, etc.  Remember this...your parents have given you the best years of your life.  They have poured their life into you, teaching you, training you, etc., Remember them.
Parents...sometimes you may feel like you've done all you can do and don't know what else to do for your kids...REMEMBER this...YOU CAN STILL PRAY!

Prayer will change your children's lives!  I still remember hearing my mother pray.  I would stand outside her door and listen to her call my name out in prayer.  She would pray the fire of heaven down upon me!  Even if I was resistant...I couldn't stop her from PRAYING!

Parent's, let's be the example to our kids.  Be FAITHFUL to church.  Be FAITHFUL to your marriage.  Be FAITHFUL to your job.  Be FAITHFUL to the Word of God.  Be FAITHFUL to prayer!

Also, remember to PRAY FOR YOUR PARENTS!  They have prayed for pray for them.

Nothing will bless your parents more than for them to see their children living out their faith, walking in the Word of God and modeling a Christ-like spirit. WOW...what a blessing!

I speak the Word of God over your household today!  Be blessed as you take on the challenges and the rewards of parenting!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Where There Is Agreement There Is Power

Where there is agreement there is power.  We experience this power when we stand together as believers united in Christ, being of one mind, in one accord.

Paul describes the church as a "whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth" (Ephesians 4:16).

It is not perfection, but unity, that enables us to succeed and to operate with power, influence and effectiveness!

Sadly, much of the Church world does not understand the principle and power of unity.  Instead, we have focused on our differences, resulting in division.  Some divide along lines of theology, doctrine, race, economics, church structure, government, and leadership.

However, we need to remember that division is the principle operation of the spirit of darkness.  While in heaven, the archangel Lucifer decided he no longer wanted to be in agreement with God.  Dissatisfied with his subservient status, he sought to dethrone Almighty God, sowing division in heaven as he persuaded one-third of the angels to join him in his rebellion.  God's immediate response shows us how serious He is about division and those who cause it.

Division is completely foreign to heaven - it is an evil thing, entirely the opposite of God's unified nature.  

Satan knows that if he can keep the Church divided, he can keep the Church powerless.

When we understand the principle and power of UNITY, we release the manifestation of God's power among us.

Another way to view UNITY is through AGREEMENT.  Agreement facilitates an atmosphere for a particular spirit to function.  Where there is AGREEMENT, there is power.

If someone wants to have power, they must find someone to be in agreement with them.  For example:
  • Mad people are in agreement with people who are mad.
  • Happy people hang out with other happy people.
  • Scared people convince other scared people what to be afraid of.
  • Praisers are in agreement with other praisers.
  • Depressed people are in agreement with other depressed people about all there is to be depressed about.
You will find in life that people organize themselves around those they can get into agreement with - none of us likes to be around people we disagree with.  

Even when people want to do wrong, and they know they're doing wrong, they're going to find someone else to agree with them, who will say, "Go ahead, do what's wrong."  They avoid people who want to make them accountable to the ethics, the values and the teachings of Jesus.

The people we choose to be in agreement with say something about what things in our lives are important, and what things are unimportant.

All we have to do is see who we're in agreement with to see what direction our life is headed.

Psalms 1:1-2 says, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but, his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he mediates day and night."

That means that for me to be in agreement with God, with His Word, with the people God has called me to, and with the people I have chosen to be in agreement with, that I can't be in agreement with everybody, because some people will bring disagreement where there is agreement.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Embrace of Grace

This past week, I heard an amazing story of a man who came to Jesus after spending years running from the Lord.  He came home...and now he's actively involved in The Lord's work.  He was greeting members and new families as they arrived to church on Sunday.  His smile was infectious and his attitude too!

His story is like so many I've heard which compares to the story of the PRODIGAL SON.  In Luke 15, we get a glimpse of an AMAZING story, that is probably heard so often that it goes in one ear and out the other. (Luke 15:11-14; 17-20)

In essence, when the Prodigal son returned home, his father didn't run and greet him with a list of RULES, EXPECTATIONS, REGULATIONS and GUILT.  His father RAN TO HIM and EMBRACED him.

What a picture of GRACE.  
  • Grace doesn't heap burdens. 
  • Grace releases them.  
  • Grace doesn't tighten restrictions.  
  • Grace frees prodigals to receive joy.  
  • Grace doesn't bind with chains
  • Grace loosens bonds.  

When you read this passage...DON'T OVERLOOK the beauty and depth it reveals!
  • Grace is there when you've squandered your life.
  • Grace is there when you've destroyed relationships.
  • Grace is there when you've walked away from those that love you.
  • Grace is there when you've messed up.
  • Grace is there when you've held on to bitterness.
  • Grace is there even when you've spit in the face of those who love you the most.

The prodigal son DESERVED to be 
  • Cut off from the family.
  • Left out in the cold.
  • Shut off from all blessings.
  • Condemnation.
  • Shame.

And YET...his father smiles and says "You were dead, but now you're alive.  You were lost, but now you're found. You. Are. My. Son!"

Did you see it?

This is exactly what God does for each of us when we come to Him!
  • God rewrites YOUR STORY.
  • God changes THE ENDING.
  • God gives you a NEW NAME. 

What a picture of God's LOVE and GRACE!  When the prodigal son returned home, his loving father came RUNNING towards him with arms OPEN and full of JOY!

Friend, no matter where you are today...broken by life, the choices of others or your own...God's arms are OPEN to you!

What a FATHER...
What a SAVIOR...
What a FRIEND...

Run to JESUS and receive the EMBRACE of GRACE!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When You Find It...Sow Into It

Ready to go to the next level?  However you slice'll need RELATIONSHIPS to get you there.  Not just ANY relationship...but rather, DIVINELY ORDAINED RELATIONSHIPS.

The importance of COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS is a critical part of fulfilling the will of God in our lives.  God has specifically put people into our lives who are there to IMPART into and IMPACT us in a profound way.  Sometimes it's their wisdom, expertise or knowledge that can help us or it may be a specific anointing on their lives that God wants to develop in us.

RECOGNIZING and HONORING those covenant relationships build a BRIDGE to our SUCCESS and PROSPERITY.

Walking through life with someone else reemphasizes the fact that God never intended for us to be an island.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says some very interesting things:
  • Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
The three-fold cord described in this passage can be likened to a relationship that includes GOD, YOU, and the COVENANT RELATIONSHIP He has placed in your life. The Word even talks about how God is in the midst of Believers when they come together. 

Relationships are the lifeblood of human existence. 

COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS are those relationships that God has divinely placed in our lives. A covenant is a BINDING AGREEMENT between two or more parties that involves the EXCHANGE of strengths for weaknesses

Marriages are covenant relationships because they are designed to operate based on this exchange. 

There are other relationships that can be classified as covenant, such as:

  • Certain God-ordained friendships
  • Business relationships
  • Mentorships
Sometimes God places FATHER and MOTHER figures in people’s lives to provide the guidance and direction they never received from their natural mother or father. 

Another type of COVENANT RELATIONSHIP is that which exists between a pastor and congregation

There are people who attend church as a religious routine, and there are those who embrace the man or woman of God who has been called to pastor them as their SPIRITUAL MOTHER or FATHER. 

God cares about our spiritual growth and development, which is why it is His will that every Christian be a MEMBER of a LOCAL CHURCH. 

When God calls us to a particular church, we should obey Him because He is calling us into COVENANT with someone in spiritual leadership. 

The IMPARTATION we receive from our pastors and those spiritual leaders God has placed in our lives plays a huge role in our growth and development, not only as Christians but also in our own personal anointing or calling. 

If we want to grow and partake of the power of God, we must honor those relationships and maintain them. When we do, we will see things begin to take place in our lives for the better. 

I encourage you to EVALUATE your life and LOCATE the relationships that are divinely-ordained by God. These are the people God has called you to glean from and to help you grow. When you know who they are, cherish them. SOW INTO THEIR LIVES and continue to receive their anointing. When you do, you will find the power that operates in their lives operating in yours.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pastor, THANK YOU!

TODAY, Beverly and I celebrate 14 years of pastoral ministry at BFWC.  We've been celebrating this season in our lives with a much needed sabbatical.  A time or refreshing, renewing, re-strategizing and rest. :)

For every pastor out there...we send you a big THANK YOU!  No matter where you pastor, what your denomination is, the size of your church or even the preference you have regarding worship styles...THANK YOU for all you're doing for the work of The Lord!

THANK YOU for answering the call, receiving your gift, proclaiming His message and never quitting!

THANK YOU for waking up in the middle of the night to pray for those that the Lord put on your heart...even when they didn't know you were praying for them.

THANK YOU for fighting the good fight of faith and the spiritual warfare you've endured!  Although, you can't talk about all the things you've battled through, attacks on you and your family, feelings of inadequacy, weariness, etc., yet you've persevered forward because of the One who said He would never leave you or forsake you!

THANK YOU for the sacrifices you've made that no one will ever know about...time, personal preferences, money, sleep and your own have paid the price that most people will never see this side of eternity, and the Lord IS USING your faithfulness to make a difference!

THANK YOU for not quitting when you thought about it...especially on Mondays! :)  And yet, Jesus gave you the courage to press on because when it's all said and done, you've been filled with the GOSPEL of Jesus and won't be sidetracked!

THANK YOU for not being detoured by criticism and slander by people who have never even talked with you and are clueless in regards to your heart for the Lord.  Misquoted, contextualized, the victim of assumicide and hate filled inaccuracies - yet you persevered...and have resisted the urge to give credence to those who have an opinion about what you do but have never done it themselves.  Thank you for staying on the wall and not coming down.

THANK YOU for the tears you've shed over the families in your church and the condition of people's souls.  For allowing what breaks God's heart to break yours!

THANK YOU for dreaming big, grandiose dreams and refusing to give up on what you know in your heart God has called you to do!

THANK YOU  for the children you've dedicated, funerals you've preached, weddings you've performed, people you've baptized, counseling sessions you've offered, hospital calls you've made, sermons you've prepared, meetings you've administered and the squabbles you've refereed.

No matter what you've had to endure, how much work load you've been under or even the feeling of being under appreciated...THANK YOU...from one pastor to another!  

Regardless of what size church you have, employ ten staff or one, whether you're located in the suburbs, inner-city or in the rural country...THANK YOU!  Whether you're full time in ministry or bi-vocational...THANK YOU!  We're on the same team...and truly, no one can rightly understand a pastor like a fellow pastor.  Others may offer their opinion - but NO ONE can identify with you like SOME ONE who is actually doing what you're doing.

You are not alone!
You matter!  

You are awesome!
Your best days are ahead of you!
You are a champion!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

The God of the SWITCHEROO

We all have our preconceived notions of how we think things should "go" in the structure and strategy of our life, church, marriage, family, career, etc.  However, it's always interesting when God decides to perform a "SWITCHEROO on YOU!" 

God intentionally CHANGES things up in order to get us to FOCUS more on Him.  As a pastor, my prayer is often, "Lord, take away any preconceived notions of how church should be 'done' and place YOUR HEART, MIND and DESIRES in me."

Too often, we tend to FOCUS on what we think needs to be the priority and easily overlook what God is PRIORITIZING.

  • It's like the rooster in the chicken yard who was overseeing the hens.  One day, two boys were next door playing kickball, with a brand new white kickball.  One of them accidentally kicked it over the fence, and it rolled into the chicken yard. The rooster walked over to the kickball and examined it carefully.  He then called for all the hens to come out into the barn yard.  When they had all gathered around, he said, "Now, girls, I don't mean to be negative, but here's the kind of eggs they're producing next door.  Ya'll need to step up your efforts!"
We can sometimes lose sight of what God has already blessed us with when we get our eyes on someone else's life, family, career, success, etc.  

Our FOCUS can become fuzzy due to health issues, problems, stress and even success.

God has to constantly push us towards remaining FOCUSED.  Churches are no different.

  • In Acts 2 God changed the idea that the church was supposed to REMAIN a group of 120 people.  He did a SWITCHEROO and added 3000 converts in one day.
  • In Acts 6 God changed the idea that the pastor needed to do everything and the people were merely to observe and not participate.  He did a SWITCHEROO and added deacons who would wait tables, minister to the widows, distribute food and bring assistance to the church leaders.
  • In Acts 8 God changed the idea that church is always safe. He did a SWITCHEROO and the Christians were faced with heavy persecution for their faith.
  • In Acts 9 God changed the idea that some people are beyond the reach of His grace. He did a SWITCHEROO and turned a murderer into a minister.
  • In Acts 10 God did a SWITCHEROO and took Peter through a very uncomfortable experience in order to change the notion that the Gospel is limited to a group of people who looked and acted just like him.
When we FOCUS on allowing God to CHANGE US in order that our attention on Him may become more's not always COMFORTABLE...but it is often NECESSARY!

Perhaps we are just a SWITCHEROO away from experiencing God's BLESSING and FAVOR like never before! :)
  • How's your prayer life?
  • How's your time in the Word?
  • How's your church attendance?
  • How's your tithing?
  • How's your marriage?
  • How's your relationship with your children?
  • How's your health?
  • How's your thoughts?
  • How's your volunteerism?
Philippians 1:6 "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 

The God of the SWITCHEROO loves YOU!  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

You Learn As You Leave

I walked up to the breakfast station this morning and placed my order for an omelet. An elderly lady walked up next and placed her order too.  She then asked for some wheat toast.  I didn't realize that you could only get toast from behind the counter, so I spoke up and said, "I'll have two pieces too."  The elderly lady turned to me and said, "By the time you learn the way they do things around here, it's time to leave."  She then said, "Isn't that just like life?"  I agreed and said to her, "Now that will preach!"  She smiled and we enjoyed a pleasant conversation until our omelets were made. 

What do you need to "get learned" before it's time to leave?  What do you need to take care of before the coming of the Lord?  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Reach For a Fathering Spirit

Have you ever been in a storm that was so fierce that there was no fight left in you?  The disciples experienced it first hand in Mark 6:48.
"And about the fourth watch of the night [the darkest hour] he cometh unto them walking upon the sea."
Fear had them by the throats, and they were certain that they weren't going to make it.  EVER BEEN THERE?

No matter how hard you try or who's right and who's wrong, you're clinging to principle and believing others will do the same.  If you've ever been through a storm that rocks the boat of your life then you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, I pray you never will.

Some of the harshest critics are mellowed when it comes knocking on their door or the door of someone they love.  Until you've walked in someone else's shoes you really don't have the right to speculate or assume.  Don't judge someone else's journey until you've walked it out for yourself.  Don't talk about someone until you've talked to them.

I've seen people devastated by unfortunate circumstances.  Today, we see it multiplied in the aftermath of DIVORCE.  God says that He "hates divorce."  Friends, if you or a family member has been through it then you know it can be a LIVING HELL!
  • When someone you've shared your life with, and would have even given your life for, turns around and rips you apart...
  • When friends say thoughtless things that only add insult to injury...
  • When children and loved ones are caught in a war of words because it hurts too much not to talk...
  • When loneliness is so real that it drains the very oxygen out of the room and peels the paint off the walls...
  • When you feel like you have to offer an explanation to everyone you meet because you're not sure what they've heard...
I feel a sense of urgency today to tell someone that the answer to PAIN is PURPOSE!


Isn't that what Jesus meant when He said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone [it will always be lonely], but if it die [die to self: self-seeking, self-serving, and self-centered living] it brings forth much fruit [it will never lonely again]" - John 12:24 

Loneliness is not the absence of AFFECTION; 
it's the absence of DIRECTION.

Tommy Barnett says, "If you want to get God's attention, find a need that nobody's meeting and give you life to it; that'll get His attention every time."'ll make mistakes in life but you'll also make good choices!  One of the choices in my own life was to reach for a FATHERING SPIRIT.

Apostle Paul says, "Ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers." (1 Corinthians 4:5)  Think about that.  A REAL FATHER has the kind of love and maturity needed to keep you from making bad decisions about your future at a time when you probably shouldn't be making decisions at all.  He'll also confront you about the areas in your life that must be changed; otherwise your past will just become your future.

But the real reason you need "a fathering spirit" is that only a father will love you unconditionally and do what it takes to get you back on our feet.  Why?  Because he's committed to the PURPOSE of God that must be fulfilled through you!  If your life fell apart tomorrow, would you know where to find such a person?

A real father will help you understand....

  1. Panic is Pointless.  Everyone goes through crisis in their life.  The enemy's strategy is still the same.  If you're under attack today, listen: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10). That means He's PRESENT, He's in CHARGE, and He has a SOLUTION!  Take time to listen to what God is saying.  Time is your friend.  Patience is the weapon that always forces deception to the surface.  Give God a chance to work on your behalf.
  2. Seek Counsel.  "Where no counsel is, the people fall" (Proverbs 11:15).  Ignorance can be deadly.  Don't risk it!  Somebody knows something you need to know - something that can help you survie and even succeed in the most painful chapter of your life.  Reach for them!
  3. Guard your Mind. You'll never be defeated as long as you're victorious in your mind; that's the birthplace for everything you do.  Satan knows that, and he'll try to get your mind so scattered that you won't be able to concentrate on what's important.  Don't let him. The Bible says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee" (Isaiah 26:3). Get back into focus!
  4. You're not the only one.  The devil would love to convince you that you're the only one going through something.  Why? So you'll feel like a failure and quit, or cut yourself off from the support that comes from fellowship with others.  Don't let him do it to you.
  5. You have to fight!  You'll be tempted to withdraw or become timid and passive; especially if you've been hurt.  Don't!  A wounded animal only attracts attack.  Satan loves shy, fearful types, but real fighters intimidate him.  Be bold!  "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
  6. The Bigger Picture.  Nothing is ever as it first appears.  Look beyond the moment; something great is being birthed in you.  After adversity comes blessing and favor, so get your eyes back on the big pictures!  Paul says, "This short time of distress will result in God's richest blessing" (2 Corinthians 4:17 TLB).
  7. Never Give Up! Jesus said, "No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in God's kingdom" (Luke 9:62). Your dreams and goals are worth...any fight...any price...and any waiting period!  Your perseverance is what demoralizes the enemy.  Remember Joseph?  Every day of adversity was simply a stepping stone toward the throne.  So keep walking and keep believing for victory!
I encourage you to REACH for a FATHERING SPIRIT! God will position the right people in your life at the right time! 

The Heart of a Spiritual Father:

  1. Not a Flatterer.  They aren't trying to butter anyone up just so they can get someone to like them or so they can get something from them.  (i.e., offerings, networks, etc.) (1 Thessalonians 2:5; 2 Corinthians 12:14)
  2. Not Ego Driven. They aren't seeking to be exalted by gathering sons around them to feed their own ego. (1 Thessalonians 2:6)
  3. Heart-felt Care. They have a deep concern for the well-being of their sons.  
    • Gentle toward them. (1 Thessalonians 2:7)
    • Cherishes them. (1 Thessalonians 2:7)
    • Longs for them. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
    • Lays his life down for them. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
    • Holds them dear to his heart. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
    • Exhorts, comforts and charges them. (1 Thessalonians 2:11)
  4. Spiritual Development. They spend their energy and effort towards the spiritual development of their sons. (Galatians 4:19)
  5. Not Brutish. They aren't interested in shaming their spiritual children, putting them on a guilt trip or making them feel intimidated. (1 Corinthians 4:14). 
  6. Willing to spend and be spent.  In other words, they are willing to live and give sacrificially for their sons - for their advancement and their development. (2 Corinthians 12:15)
If you are in search of a father-figure, a mentor, or a role model in ministry, I trust you will keep these traits in mind as you look for someone who can be a good influence and example for you.

May God help us all to follow good examples and to be good examples.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I love the GPS feature on my iPhone.  It provides 3D imagery and a friendly voice that gives turn-by-turn instructions.

This past week, Beverly and I headed north to visit Traders Point Creamery.  Before we left the house, we entered the address into my phone and we started out on our "one tank trip."

Somewhere en route, I was so caught up in talking with Bev and listening to music that I didn't hear the voice of the GPS.  As a result, I missed a turn.  Immediately, the GPS started "Re-Routing."

We got off at the next exit, thinking we would turn around, but noticed that there was a sign pointing to our destination.  We decided to ignore the GPS and follow the road signs.  We arrived at our destination and enjoyed some beautiful scenery to boot!

On our way home, we took the same route we had traveled.  Instead of getting on the interstate, which would have made for a faster route, I looked over at Bev and said, "let's take the scenic route home."  With the sunroof open, the windows down and holding hands we were contently enjoying a beautiful Spring day.

We ended up at the entrance of Eagle Creek State Park.  With no cash on us, we were happy when the Park Ranger said, "we take debit cards."  So, with a $5 swipe we started our scenic journey through the park.

Our plan was to exit on the other side of the park (56th Street) and head home from there.  Keep in mind, had we not missed our turn, we wouldn't have even seen the park entrance and therefore would have bypassed natures beauty inside the park.

Inside the park, we parked near the marina.  We were walking along, holding hands, enjoying the beautiful sunshine...when our phone rang.  Our daughter, Kaitlyn, was on the other end saying, "My tire just blew on the interstate."  She was pulled over on the side of the highway and a little frazzled with what to do.  I asked her, "where are you", she said, "almost to 56th Street."  Immediately we knew where she was and told her we were on our way.

In less than 10 minutes we were able to reach her!  Even better, a police officer spotted her  and came to her aid before we could get to her!  He changed her tire in record time!  (We have some amazing public servants!)  We were able to swap vehicles with her so that she could get to her appointment and we could take her tire to the shop.

My point is...sometimes you get "re-routed" for a purpose.  I truly believe that God orders our steps.  A missed turn from our GPS allowed us to see another route that we wouldn't have noticed beforehand.  That missed turn opened up a scenic route that also caused us to SLOW DOWN...which in turn put us within minutes of our daughter when she needed our help.

Friends, sometimes we miss a couple of turns in life.  Perhaps we weren't paying attention when God was speaking.  Maybe we intentionally chose another voice over His. Maybe God re-routed our steps to help us avoid dangerous circumstances and hazardous people.

However, I've learned that even when you end up in a place you never expected to be...EVEN THERE God is RE-ROUTING and bringing His PURPOSE and GOOD to the forefront.

Enjoy the journey...God is working all things for your good! (Romans 8:28)