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!

This Years Christmas Star – AMAZING!

Photo by Ian Panelo from Pexels

I know some have seen the post about The Christmas Star appearing this year on December 21st. A friend couldn’t help but really take a deeper look at how amazing that this occurrence would be happening in the year 2020. The following information about this rare event is not only fascinating…it is also very uplifting and encouraging!

In the year when Jesus was born, there was violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It was dark.

The Magi found him by way of the star, which was the “meeting” of 3 stars: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. They followed the star until it rested on where he was and they began to worship him. In a time where is was dark, Light was brought in to our world. Jesus stepped in to the chaos and brought peace.

Fast forward to this year, 2020. It’s a time of violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It is dark. Winter Solstice, December 21st, being a time where the day is the shortest and night is the longest…it’s literally the “darkest day” and is the beginning of what most would say the cold, dark winter season.

But on the darkest day this year, Jupiter and Saturn meet, giving us the Christmas Star! How fitting…that in the moment of time during the Christmas season that we get to see this beautiful reminder…that even in the darkest of times…Light will, and has, stepped in. In our chaos He is there. In our darkest time, He is there. He brings Light, and makes all things new.

So as you look out on Dec 21st for the Christmas Star, may we be reminded of His power, and His Light that he brings for all mankind. He is perfect at stepping into chaos and bringing it into peace.

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!

Why Go to Church Anyway?

Photo Credit: Tim Wilson via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Tim Wilson via CC Flickr

If you’re spiritually alive, you’re going to love this!

If you’re spiritually dead, you won’t want to read it.

If you’re spiritually curious, there is still hope!
A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.  I’ve gone for 30 years now,’ he wrote, ‘and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them so, I think I’m wasting my time and the priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.’
This started a real controversy in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this… They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!’

Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!

Why Christianity Is Like Soap

Someone once asked the legendary evangelist, Billy Graham “If Christianity is so real and valid, why is there so much evil in the world?” To this the famous preacher replied, “With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world?

Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is going to make a difference in our lives.”

Thankful People Are Happy People!

Happy-PeopleI was reading through a bunch of stories the other day and I came across a story (written by Greg Carr) that stated that he had read a news story once of a woman who was getting ready to jump off a 44 story building in New York City.

Witnesses said that she did not look like the type of person who would do such a thing. She was very distinguished and well dressed.

All the attempts made by the police to get the woman off the ledge had failed.

One of the officers asked if he could call his pastor in to see if he could help. When the pastor arrived, he asked permission to go to the ledge and talk to the woman.

As the pastor neared the edge the woman screamed, “Don’t come any closer or I’ll jump!”

The pastor took a step back and then said, “I am sorry that you believe no one loves you.”

This got the woman’s attention and it got the attention of the police. That was something that you don’t usually say to a person who is threatening suicide.

The woman took a step towards the pastor and said, “My grandchildren love me and so does my children. My whole family loves me! I have 8 wonderful grandchildren and they love me.”

The pastor took a step towards the woman and said, “Well then, you must be very poor, maybe that is why you want to take your own life.”

The woman who was a little overweight said, “Do I look like I go without any meals? We live in a very nice apartment. I’m not poor.”

The pastor took another step closer to her and was now 3 feet from her when he asked, “Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don’t understand.”

The woman thought for a moment and then said, “You know, I don’t really remember.”

The story ends with the pastor and the woman walking towards the elevator as she shows him pictures of her grandchildren. Eventually this woman becomes a volunteer on the city’s suicide hotline, helping others choose life.

What did the pastor do to help this woman?

He helped her get her eyes off herself and onto the many ways that God had blessed her.

She learned a valuable lesson that day. She learned that thankful people are happy people.

If you don’t learn anything else today, I hope you learn this valuable lesson. Thankful people are happy people!!!