Walk Backwards

I hope people can learn how to walk backwards – starting today. 

Photo Credit: Quang-Nguyen-Vinh via Pexels

A long time ago, a man got drunk and passed out naked.  One of his sons found him and began telling others about his embarrassing position. 

Maybe his son felt overlooked by his two brothers, maybe he was sternly corrected by his father, maybe he just like being the center of attention – and this sure got people’s attention.

His two brothers listened and were mortified. They looked at their brother and without saying a word, went to their passed-out father. 

As they entered the room, they did not want to see their father disgraced, so they walked in backward. 

They actually walked backward.

They carried a blanket and covered their father as he laid there naked and drunk as a skunk. 

(Try walking backwards right now where you’re at – unless you’re driving : ) 

They wouldn’t dare mention this to anybody. No matter how strict, how selfish or how sinful their father was, they were determined to cover his sin, to sober him up and to encourage him to learn from his mistake and start living a better life. 

He did. His name was Noah, and he built a pretty famous boat. 

There’s an old saying: Love covers a multitude of sins. 

What do you do when find out someone posted something years and years ago that is completely offensive (btw why would you even be looking for offensive material from several years ago?)

Do you “out” somebody, post it, tell your friends, tell your neighbors? 

That’s a “gotcha!” mentality; why not have a ‘grace’ mentality and walk backwards?

I encourage you try to give mercy and grace to people at their weakest moments.  I’m grateful many have shown me that in my life and I’ve tried to show the same. 

I truly believe we will reap what we sow. Some people call it karma, call it what you want, but it’s absolutely true.

Noah’s two sons were blessed and their families; the other son and his family were not blessed. 

You can hurt people or help people, break people down or build people up, you can laugh at them or love them.

Now more than ever, choose love and walk backwards.

The Fireplace

Photo Credit: Stephane Juban via Unsplash

A member of the church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the firey sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.’

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

The Lord is my Shepherd —– that’s a Relationship!

I shall not want —– that’s Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures —-that’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters —–that’s Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul —– that’s Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness –that’s Guidance!

For His name sake —– that’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death–that’sTesting!

I will fear no evil —– that’s Protection!

For Thou art with me —– that’s Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me —–that’s Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies——that’s Hope!

Thou annointest my head with oil —–that’s Consecration!

My cup runneth over —– that’s Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life—-that’s Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord —–that’s Security!

Forever —– that’s Eternity!

Face it, God loves you!

What is most valuable is not what we have in our lives, but WHO we have in our lives!

Ants in My Pants

Photo by Maksim Shutov on Unsplash


This is a great illustration as to why some people do not do politics.
This was my friend’s article in his church’s newsletter.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” ~ Philippians 4:8

As children, we played outside all the time. I am sure it was because we did not have air conditioning and the house was hotter than outside. Getting tangled up with “red ants” was a common occurrence.

Now it should not be a surprise to anyone that I was a very hyper child. So one day I was riding my bike and came across a huge red ant pile. Do you remember the phrase, “I got ants in my pants and I need to dance”? Well, I decided to see what that was like and I sat right down in the middle of that ant pile. You can guess what happens next… I got covered with ants. I ran home screaming and crying. I do not know what my mom said, but I do remember her pouring alcohol all over the bites.

You may be wondering what this has to do with the verse in Philippians. We are living in a time with information overload. We are filling our time watching and consuming information that we have no control over. I have quite a few friends who have become angry, and cynical because all they do is watch the news and then feel like they have to change the world by posting and talking and trashing the headlines.

Mostly it is about politics.
It is just like those ants that I stirred up and paid the price for becoming part of their world. I would have been far better off ignoring them and chasing butterflies. But I gave my attention to the wrong thing.

When we are told to “think about things” that are noble and true, pure and right, lovely etc. it is because that is what is best. We are stressing ourselves out because we are paying attention to the wrong things. God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. It gives light to our soul. It leads us beside still waters and comforts us. These are the things we need to be concentrating on.

I do not think we need to be ignorant of things going on in our world, but posting, commenting and constantly talking about it is like stirring up an ant bed and sitting on it. It makes us miserable and drives friends and families away. And, like it or not, if we disagree with the person it does effect how we feel about them, even if for a short moment. Plus, it does not change one little thing in the world other than “getting it off our chest”

We need to choose to be happy. If we are going to be posting things that are going to change the world, then we need to be posting about Jesus and what He is doing for us.

Let’s all make a commitment to read God’s word and put Philippians 4:8 into practice. Let’s choose to be trustworthy, pure, lovely, commendable, and excellent.

~ Pastor Greg

Free Tickets!!

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andy-li-A_dJOYpxEVU-unsplash

Free tickets!! Who wouldn’t want free tickets to a sporting event? An amusement park? A Concert? The following is great “food for thought” for all of us. It was written by a fellow coach.

Super Bowl 39 featured a classic first half defensive battle, followed by a second half offensive shootout between the explosive New England Patriots and the gritty Philadelphia Eagles. New England claimed the Super Bowl title by only 3 points, 24-21. The game lived up to its expectation as the two divisional champs clashed for the title. Two Tickets to the Super Bowl cost between $3,000 and $10,000. With that in mind, if someone offered you two free tickets to the Super Bowl would you take them?

There was an interesting story several years ago about a guy named Greg Laurie who tried to give away an extra ticket on his way into the Magic Kingdom . As his family went into the park, he told his family, “Hold on while I find someone to take this free ticket. This shouldn’t take long!” But time after time he would approach people at the front gate only to be turned down. He was astounded! No one would take his free ticket.

Think about that…isn’t it hard to believe? Who would turn down free tickets to the Magic Kingdom? Well, shortly after moving to Orlando I got a job at the Magic Kingdom, and along with it an employee pass that could sign in 3 people per day to the theme parks for free.

One time a friend visited me and we went to go into EPCOT. As we were about to go in I said, “Wait… let’s see if we can grab two people to come into the EPCOT for free with us!” I approached several couples who looked like they hadn’t purchased tickets yet. I asked them if they’d like to come into EPCOT for free. I was shocked when time after time they would turn me down, often to walk right up to the ticket counter to buy tickets. Can you believe it? It was just like what Greg Laurie described. I was amazed. People just could not accept what seemed like was too good to be true.

It’s the same thing with the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says that the Lord has prepared a special place in His Kingdom just for you. All it takes is a “free ticket” to get into the gates. But most people can’t accept that anything that good would be so easy to get. Most people try to get into the Kingdom by being good, or acting a certain way or by living a “good life”. But it’s much easier than that:

To claim your ticket into God’s Kingdom you only have to do two things: 1) Admit that you have sinned in your life and need to be forgiven, and 2) to pray and ask the Lord to forgive your sins and to bring you into His Kingdom. It is just that easy and there is no catch.

Once you have your ticket into the Kingdom, all of your sins past, present and future are washed away and you have a guaranteed spot in a celebration infinitely better than the Super Bowl.

Consider these words from the Bible:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Your tickets to the Kingdom of Heaven are waiting for you. All you have to do is pick them up. Will you pick up your tickets today?

Easter…With A Nod to Dr. Seuss

rod-long-aJvSX36kweg-unsplashAround the world, millions upon millions of people celebrate one of the holiest and most blessed days of the year, the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is through that beautiful hope and promise that Christians base their faith upon, that like Jesus, we too will be someday resurrected and live with Him for eternity.

A friend of mine recently sent me the following poem about Easter…with a modern day twist. It has a hint of the legendary writer, Dr. Seuss, and of the times that we are all now experiencing.

It os my hope that this little poem brings a smile to your face, strengthens your faith, and inspiration to your soul.

“Easter…With A Nod to Dr. Seuss”

‘Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began

Bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land.

 

People were sick, hospitals full,

Doctors overwhelmed, no one in school.

 

As winter gave way to the promise of spring,

The virus raged on, touching peasant and king.

 

People hid in their homes from the enemy unseen.

They YouTubed and Zoomed, social-distanced, and cleaned.

 

April approached and churches were closed.

“There won’t be an Easter,” the world supposed.

 

“There won’t be church services, and egg hunts are out.

No reason for new dresses when we can’t go about.”

 

Holy Week started, as bleak as the rest.

The world was focused on masks and on tests.

 

“Easter can’t happen this year,” it proclaimed.

“Online and at home, it just won’t be the same.”

 

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the days came and went.

The virus pressed on; it just would not relent.

 

The world woke Sunday and nothing had changed.

The virus still menaced, the people, estranged.

 

“Pooh pooh to the saints,” the world was grumbling.

“They’re finding out now that no Easter is coming.

 

“They’re just waking up! We know just what they’ll do!

Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,

 

And then all the saints will all cry boo-hoo.

“That noise,” said the world, “will be something to hear.”

 

So it paused and the world put a hand to its ear.

And it did hear a sound coming through all the skies.

 

It started down low, then it started to rise.

But the sound wasn’t depressed.

 

Why, this sound was triumphant!

It couldn’t be so!

 

But it grew with abundance!

The world stared around, popping its eyes.

 

Then it shook! What it saw was a shocking surprise!

Every saint in every nation, the tall and the small,

 

Was celebrating Jesus in spite of it all!

It hadn’t stopped Easter from coming! It came!

 

Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the world with its life quite stuck in quarantine

 

Stood puzzling and puzzling.

“Just how can it be?”

 

“It came without bonnets, it came without bunnies,

It came without egg hunts, cantatas, or money.”

 

Then the world thought of something it hadn’t before.

“Maybe Easter,” it thought, “doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

 

And what happened then? Well…the story’s not done.

What will YOU do? Will you share with that one?

 

Or two or more people needing hope in this night?

Will you share the source of your life in this fight?

 

The churches are empty – but so is the tomb,

And Jesus is victor over death, doom, and gloom.

 

So, this year at Easter, let this be our prayer,

As the virus still rages all around, everywhere.

 

May the world see hope when it looks at God’s people.

May the world see the church is not a building or steeple.

 

May the world find Faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection,

May the world find Joy in a time of dejection.

 

May 2020 be known as the year of survival,

But not only that – Let it start a revival.

 

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

Revealed Promises of Psalm 23

white sheep on farm

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The 23rd Psalm is arguably the most well-known, most memorized, most beloved passage in all of the Scriptures. Millions of people of people have recited it during times of stress, despair, war, and disaster to give them strength and courage. People have used it during times of death, sorrow, and loss for a source of comfort and security. Still others read or cite the Psalm as a foundation for showing thankfulness and gratitude for their blessings.

Whatever be the case, this Psalm has many assurances that many people have, most likely, never considered or realized. Today’s version of the 23rd Psalm is a verse-by-verse breakdown of each verse ending with one of God’s promises. It is my hope and prayer that this “breakdown” of the 23rd Psalm will serve as a source of encouragement and comfort for you.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd = RELATIONSHIP

I shall not want = SUPPLY

He makes me lie down in green pastures = REST

He leads me besides the quiet waters = REFRESHMENT

He restores my soul = HEALING

He guides me in the paths of righteousness = GUIDANCE

For His name’s sake = PURPOSE

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = TESTING

I will fear no evil = PROTECTION

For You are with me = FAITHFULNESS

Your rod and your staff they comfort me = DISCIPLINE

You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = HOPE

You anoint my head with oil = CONSECRATION

My cup runneth over = ABUNDANCE

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life = BLESSING

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = SECURITY

Forever = Eternity


The Lord is an amazing God. His promises and love for us is everlasting and a great source of comfort for all of us!

Just P.U.S.H.!

Jameson Fink

Photo Credit: Jameson Fink via CC Flickr

Have you ever experienced situations in your life in which seem impossible to solve and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel? Are the obstacles that have gotten in your way and have stopped you from achieving a life dream or a personal goal? Then I have an inspiring and motivational story you!  This is an encouraging illustration of obedience, perseverance, faith and long-suffering. It will demonstrate to you the importance of maintaining your faith and patience with adversities that may come into your life.

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A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.

So, this the man did, day after day

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved.”

Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

Satan said, “Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.”

That’s what the weary man planned to do but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend when I asked, you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.

And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition, you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock.”

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves mountains.

When everything seems to go wrong… just P.U.S.H.!

When the job gets you down … just P.U.S.H.!

When people don’t react the way you think they should … just P.U.S.H!

When your money is “gone” and the bills are due…just P.U.S.H!

When people just don’t understand you, just P.U.S.H.

P= Pray

U= Until

S= Something

H= Happens

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Source: gatewaytojesus.co

Showing Grace

Todd Huffman

Photo Credit: Todd Huffman via CC Flickr

Grace is an amazing thing…an attribute that is hard to find in some people. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve and not getting what you do deserve. The following story is a terrific illustration of the amazing power of grace. As you read this tale, think: do I show grace to other people? CAN I show grace to others? Today, think of ways how you can demonstrate grace towards others, then go out and show it when the time arrives!

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Ahmed Shah was a famous ruler of Afghanistan.

The nation had been wracked by conflict among tribal leaders, but Shah brought peace. Legend has it Shah led the people to a secret valley that he had discovered on his travels, a vast plain, bordered on all sides by sheer cliff faces. To protect their new peaceful way of life it was imperative that no-one reveal the hidden passageway into the plain..

One day, Ahmed Shah was approached by a very nervous lieutenant. “Emir, we  caught someone revealing the location of the secret passageway.” The traitor was Ahmed Shah’s mother!

Ahmed Shah was distraught. He could release Ahmed’s mother, kill the soldiers who captured her and hush the whole matter up by killing the guards who had captured her. But all chaos would break loose once word of this got out. Shah decided he would think it over during the night and announce his decision in the morning.

When morning arrived everyone gathered in the square. Ahmed announced his mother must receive a hundred lashes, which would almost certainly mean her death. Ahmed’s mother was marched into the square and bound.

The first two lashes already saw her bloodied and buckled. Ahmed could bear it no longer.  He halted proceedings, untied his mother and carried her to his rooms. Then emerging from his hut, he demanded that no-one move. He had something to say. He then addressed the crowd,

“The penalty for my mother’s crime was one hundred lashes. She has paid two of them. I will pay the other ninety-eight.” By the end Ahmed was at death’s door, beaten, bloodied and bruised. For some weeks it was unclear if he would survive. He did survive and his people never forgot this act of loving grace.

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Source: storiesforpreaching.com

It Makes You Think…What If?

 

Marina del Castell

Photo Credit: Marina del Castell via CC Flickr

Millions of people around the world believe in a greater, powerful being. For the individuals that don’t share that belief, then, unfortunately, today’s poem is not for you…or is it? There are many things that we don’t know about God but we do believe that He takes care and loves us unconditionally. The following poem is meant to give you something to think about and well as be thankful for the blessings that have.


What if, GOD couldn’t take the time to bless us today because
we couldn’t take the time to thank Him yesterday?

What if, GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because
we didn’t follow Him today?

What if, we never saw another flower bloom because
we grumbled when GOD sent the rain.

What if, GOD didn’t walk with us today because
we failed to recognize it as His day?

What if, GOD took away the Bible tomorrow because
we would not read it today?

What if, GOD took away His message because
we failed to listen to the messenger?

What if, GOD didn’t send His only begotten Son because
He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for sin.

What if, the door of the church was closed because
we did not open the door of our heart?

What if, GOD stopped loving and caring for us because
we failed to love and care for others?

What if, GOD would not hear us today because
we would not listen to Him yesterday?

What if, GOD answered our prayers
the way we answer His call to service?

What if, GOD met our needs
the way we give Him our lives???


It makes you think doesn’t it?

Something Worse Than A Thief

Ryan McGuire

Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire via Pixabay

Once upon a time, an old man spread rumors that his neighbor was a thief. As a result, the young man was arrested. Days later he was proven innocent. After being released, he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.

In court, the old man told the judge, “They were just comments, they didn’t harm anyone.”

The judges, before passing sentence on the case, told the old man, “write all the things you said about him on a piece of paper.” “Cut it up into little pieces and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out of your car window. Tomorrow, come back to hear the sentence.”

The next day, the judge told the old man, “Before receiving the sentence, I want you to go out and gather up all the pieces of paper that you threw out of your car window yesterday.”

The old man said, “I can’t do that! The wind spread them all over the place and won’t know where to find them.”

Then the judge replied, “The same way, simple words and comments may destroy the honor of a person to such an extent that a person will not be able to fix it. If you can’t speak well of someone, don’t say anything at all. Let’s all be masters of our mouths, so that we won’t be slaves of our words.”

“Gossips are worse than thieves because they steal another person’s dignity, honor, reputation and credibility which are impossible to restore. So remember this: when your feet slip, you can always recover your balance but when your tongue slips, you can never recover your words!”

“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” ~ Proverbs 21:23

Why Would God Want Me?

creative ignition

Photo Credit: Creative Ignition via CC Flickr

I’m not perfect. I have all kinds of problems. I have no ability. I have no gifts. I’m just not worthy. Why would God want me?

Well, did you know that?…..

Moses stuttered.
David’s armor didn’t fit.
John Mark deserted Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a persecutor of the church.
Moses was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God’s will.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul – well, lots of folks did.

But God doesn’t require a job interview for salvation. He’s our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss. He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need. He know who we are and what we are and loves us in spite of ourselves

SATAN SAYS, “YOU’RE NOT WORTHY.”
JESUS SAYS, “SO WHAT? I AM.”
SATAN LOOKS BACK AND SEES OUR MISTAKES.
GOD LOOKS BACK AND SEES THE CROSS.

He doesn’t calculate how you failed in ’99. It’s not even on the record.

Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t call us. But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been, what we have done, or the fact that we are not perfect!

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Source: http://gatewaytojesus.com/