“Record of Wrongs”

Absorbing God’s Word

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Applying God’s Word

I love my parents and am reminded often of the wisdom they imparted to me as a young boy and eventually as a young man.

I wasn’t a difficult child or teen, but my issues of poor self-worth concerned my parents. They tried to bolster my self-confidence by mentoring me to work in service-related jobs. I mowed lawns, took in ironing, babysat, held cakewalks in our driveway, had two paper routes, sold different items door to door, and never once realized how their efforts would shape my future. They were patient and kind and kept no record of wrongs. They simply loved me.

Recently, I spoke to a good friend of mine who shared that his parents have done the same for him. We love our parents in return, when we treat them with patience and kindness and never keep a record of their wrongs.

Accounting of God’s Word

Do I treat my parents with patience and kindness? Am I keeping a record of their wrongs or simply loving them?

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“Knowing Jesus”

Absorbing God’s Word

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Applying God’s Word

I had an opportunity to speak at my friend’s funeral Friday. Bob and I made a Christian men’s retreat together in April of 1987. The scripture that highlighted that weekend was Galatians 2:20.

We left that weekend with the realization that we knew a lot about Jesus, but we didn’t know Jesus. The retreat challenged both Bob and I to have a relationship with Jesus and to trust God with our lives.

Bob did just that and he did it with great humility. He led by example, never boasting about what he did. It was always about what God was doing through him.

Accounting of God’s Word

How’s my friendship with Jesus? Do I know about Him or do I know Him?

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“Never Offered”

Absorbing God Word

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Applying God’s Word

Last weekend, Louise and I spent a few days in Paso Robles for our six-year wedding anniversary. While there, we did a little wine tasting.

Each wine tasting room has a host or hostess that makes the process of tasting and buying wine easier. They are very knowledgeable about the different varieties, grape types, boldness, etc.

Louise and I asked one wine hostess, Kara, about a certain wine. She said, “I’d like to taste that one myself, but it is never offered at tastings.” We decided to buy two bottles, asked her to open one and to bring back three glasses. After the three of us had a small taste we told her the rest of the bottle was hers to keep. She was overwhelmed. “Thank you so much. No one has ever done that for me before,” she said.

It was one of those God moments, for Louise and me. We hoped it was also a God moment for Kara.

Accounting of God’s Word

Who have I surprised recently with cheerful giving? Who has surprised me recently with cheerful giving?

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“What’s It Take”?

Absorbing God Word

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10

Applying God’s Word

I’ve promised my love and devotion twice, once to my late wife Joanne 5/23/1970 and again when I married Louise 10/3/2015.

In my eyes, these two incredible women have fulfilled the above scripture. Both have been there to catch me when I’ve fallen. I have also had multiple opportunities to be there for them.

Sometimes a young couple will ask what it takes to be happily married and I tell them it’s a four-letter word. They say, “You mean LOVE.” I reply, “No. WORK.” It takes work to keep a married couple’s love alive.

Louise and I will celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary this weekend. We would like you all to celebrate with us by watching the attached eleven-minute video titled “Two Shall Become One” by Allen Hunt. It’s an ordinary story of extraordinary love.  

Accounting of God’s Word

Who do I know that may want/need to see this video besides me?

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“Unplugged”

Absorbing God Word

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Applying God’s Word

For the first forty years of my life, I believed in God and went to church almost every Sunday. I didn’t know Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know what it meant to be a witness. How could I? I was unplugged. It wasn’t until I gave God permission to release His Holy Spirit in me that I really felt plugged in and empowered to pray differently, understand scripture, and tell others about Jesus.

I love praying with others and encouraging others to have a closer walk with Jesus, but that’s not what it means to be a witness. I am a witness to others when I am living and loving the way Jesus does. I don’t do that perfectly, but I’m doing it a lot better these days than I did thirty-five years ago.

People are not impressed with how holy we act or how much we are doing in the name of Jesus. They are moved to have a closer walk with Jesus because of the way we are living. They know by our actions if we are really plugged in.

Accounting of God’s Word

Have I given God permission to empower me with His Holy Spirit? Does my life resemble the life of Jesus at all? How plugged in am I?

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“The Root of Evil”

Absorbing God Word

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Applying God’s Word

Some say that money is the root of all evil, but the root of all evil is really the LOVE of money. Chasing after money or riches can be a slippery slope when we lose our focus and replace the one true God with the Gods of this world.

It reminds me of a childhood board game we played called “Shoots & Ladders”. The winner is the first player who makes it to the top by avoiding the long slides that take you right back to where you began. The game pretty much describes my life prior to meeting Jesus, but now the focus has changed. It’s not about winning or getting more. 

Louise and I are not wealthy, but we are becoming better stewards of what God has blessed us with. We don’t have to look very far to find someone in need or ministries to support.

We are working harder to make God the Lord of what we have, say, and do.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I chasing after more of God or more of the world?

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“The Plank”

Absorbing God Word

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42

Applying God’s Word

This scripture speaks to me about the importance of having a close intimate relationship with Jesus. If I don’t have a relationship with Jesus, I am spiritually blind. It’s hard to lead others spiritually, if I have a plank in my eye and can’t see clearly. It also warns me not to follow others who are spiritually blind or don’t have a relationship with Jesus. Remember the story about the two blind men?

A blind man grabs another blind man’s arm and says, “Need help crossing the street!” Thinking it was an offer to help him cross the street, the other blind man says, “Sure.” Together, arm in arm, they stepped off the curb into traffic and both blind men almost get run over.

Unfortunately, our world is filled with the blind leading the blind. To know who is or isn’t blind these days, we ourselves must be able to see clearly.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I spiritually blind? Am I following others who are spiritually blind?

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“Life Is Messy”

Absorbing God Word

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Applying God’s Word

Every morning Louise and I ask God to protect us, our family and all of you spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. We pray that prayer, because we know that life is filled with trials; that life is Messy.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had that many days when all of my expectations have been addressed or satisfied. I’ve experienced little messes along the way and every now and again a big one has jumped in to wake me up.

We just finished another best seller by Matthew Kelly titled “Life is Messy”. He’s very transparent about some of the messes in his own life. He says, “The mess of life is both inevitable and unexpected. Life isn’t a color-within-the-lines exercise. My life was fine until everything wasn’t.”

Unless you are living a perfect life, you may want to give this book a read.

Accounting of God’s Word

What are the messes in my life right now?

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“Tim”

Absorbing God Word

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21

Applying God’s Word

A few weeks ago, Louise and I went to Arizona. We have friends there including an ex-partner and one of my lead Account Managers. I also decided to attend a Christians in Commerce Chapter meeting.

I found the church where the meeting was being held, but there was only one other car there besides mine. I walked over to the other car and waved to the gentleman (Tim) sitting inside and inquired about the CIC meeting. He had never heard of it. Tim shared that he was just sitting in his car praying and had recently become a Christian. His excitement about his new walk with Jesus was infectious.

Being touched by his enthusiasm, I asked if I could pray with him. He said, “I’d like that”. After praying together, we exchanged information and I told him to contact me if I could be of any support.

The next day, I received a beautiful email from Tim saying that praying together impacted him deeply.

It was one of those holy moments when Jesus showed up for both Tim and I. It reminded me that we are only called to be faithful with a few things. It’s not a contest!

Accounting of God’s Word

Have I been faithful with the few things God has entrusted me to do? Am I satisfied with that?

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“Invitations”

Absorbing God Word

He (Nicodemus) came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” John 3:1-21

Applying God’s Word

Last week, I mentioned that Louise and I were watching the first two seasons of “The Chosen” a second time. The scenes and the acting are excellent.

One of our favorite episodes in the first season is number seven titled “Invitations”. In this episode Jesus invites different people to follow him, including Nicodemus. What makes this scene so powerful is the intimate conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. We were moved to tears, because it was so easy for Louise and I to see ourselves sitting across from Jesus as He said to Nicodemus, “Follow Me.”

Inviting others to know Jesus and His Father is the example Jesus set forth for each of us. He has deputized us by the power of the Holy Spirit to invite others to follow Him.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I still sitting in the bleachers or am I on the playing field?

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