Patience is a Virtue

It was a cool and sunny afternoon as I sat on the deck talking on the phone with a friend. We were talking about the difficulties of life. We talked through the trials of relationships and how trust needs to be earned. And at times, trust needs to be relearned. And re-earned. We lamented that men and women don’t really understand each other. We agreed that we both live a really good life, imperfect as it may be.

Oh. He is innocent of any indiscretions, and she knows it. But he acted guilty. And she is struggling with letting it go.

What is it you want? I asked.

By dwelling on the past, she can’t look to the future. By holding on to disappointments, she can’t move on to happiness. By living in fear, she can’t trust.

As I sat on the deck talking to her, I looked up at the trees. I noticed that the green leaves were slowly beginning to turn red and gold. This year, the leaves are turning to fall colors later rather than sooner. The weather’s been warm, so the loss of chlorophyll hasn’t been very orderly this year.

I’m eager to see the trees in all the splendor of fall hues. It’s mid-October, and I’m beginning to feel impatient. I’m ready for cool, crisp weather, and it’s finally beginning to appear. It’s beginning to feel like fall. Now when will the look match the feel?

I know. I’m being impatient. But I enjoy the beauty and crispness of fall. Now is the time for it.

What is it that I want?


The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9


She is a great watchdog. She hears every noise. She can see through the dark with laser accuracy. She smells every deer that she can’t see and can’t smell the deer that she does see. She takes her treats outside and leaves them in the grass or on the driveway. She makes sure those treats are safe each time she goes outside. She whines when she sees her favorite neighbor dogs walking by the house. But when she sees her arch enemies, she acts like a maniac. She guards me like I’m a national treasure, and takes up too much space on the bed. She has developed anxious tendencies. She’s rather needy. She requires a lot of attention. Yet all her needs are met in abundance.

What more could she want?

Our neighborhood has recently acquired a black cat. It roams around searching for anything it can devour. It seems to be attracted to my property. I’ve seen it round the back corner of the house, which turns on the motion sensor light. I’ve noticed the cat sitting on the step in the path out back. And today, I watched it eating the treat that my dog had left on the driveway. The cat sat there and ate the entire treat. It made sure to lick up all the crumbs. Then it jumped on the stone wall and groomed itself. It seemed very content until the dog saw it and went berserk.

The thing is. My dog is the one causing the cat to be a regular visitor. If the dog wouldn’t leave food outside, the cat would have to look elsewhere for its next meal. But the dog doesn’t know she’s the problem. She’s only doing what seems natural to her. But her natural tendencies are causing problems that she isn’t aware of.

Life is full of ups and downs. We want it to be perfect. We want our way. We want our relationships to be perfect. We don’t like to be disappointed. We don’t like to wait. We don’t understand others. We are upset when others don’t understand our needs and wants. We expect others to read our minds when we can’t read theirs.

What I’m trying to say is that patience comes after many hardships and trials. After living through unmet expectations and accepting losses. Patience grows by persevering through failures and weaknesses. We all could do better.

Our moments of impatience are teaching moments. We want what we don’t have. Or we have what we don’t want. And all the while, our heavenly Father is calling us to be more like him. To view others we interact with as someone made in his image. As someone just as impatient and needy as we are. As someone who needs God’s forgiveness and mercy just as we do.

I think of our heavenly Father who patiently waits for us to come to him. We never need to doubt his love for us. We may not understand his plans or intentions. But his plans are perfect. He may be slow according to our plans. He never reneges on his promises. He will fulfill all of them in his own time. We may be confused about his methods. But his work is original and his timing is perfect. We have to trust him. Even when we don’t feel like it.

We become impatient with God when he doesn’t answer our prayers they way we want or in our timeframe. God is working even when we don’t see any results. God sees the big picture, and he knows who is ready to meet him face to face. He knows everyone who hasn’t made a decision to live for him. So he’s being patient. He’s waiting so more people will have time to make the decision to turn their lives over to him. In the meantime, we stew and pout because life seems unfair to us.

Perhaps it’s time for us to realize that this life is a temporary stopping point. This life is preparing us for eternity. This life is a test. Seventy or eighty years may seem like an eternity, but it’s nothing compared to an endless eternity. And we have a choice today to spend that eternity with God or with Satan. Let’s choose God now while we still have time. He’s patiently waiting. But he won’t wait forever.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I watch news shows. I read commentaries. I follow news people and influencers on social media. They’re quick to point out their opinion on how poorly they believe the President is doing his job. Some of them are calling him all kinds of names. Some are using harsh language to describe his decisions. They are saying they don’t trust him. They’ve lost faith in his leadership. I’ve heard that some have buyer’s remorse.

Now an obscene chant is taking over sports events.

I’ve been thinking about this. A lot. I hear their words. I read their words. And they aren’t kind. These people don’t hold back. I mean. If they’re holding back, then I’d hate to know what they really think. Honestly, they’re saying shameful things about the man.

Here are some of their words. He’s being called a coward. Not cognitively prepared. An idiot. Severely cognitively impaired. Low IQ individual. Dangerous combination of arrogance and incompetence. Abysmal failure.

I’m not saying I agree with his decisions. I’m not saying I support his work. But I’m starting to wonder if the words of these news people and influencers should be toned down. Couldn’t they say things a little more kindly? A little more respectfully? Even if he is making poor decisions, is there a way to speak the truth without being disrespectful?

The thing is. Scripture tells us that God is in charge of everything that happens. He ordains who wins elections and who loses. He knows the outcome of every situation and approves it. Otherwise. It wouldn’t happen.

So who am I? Who are you to say the things that are being said about the leader of our country? Oh. I know. I get it.

But I wonder what would happen if we would start seriously praying for our leaders, instead of calling them names? Instead of complaining and whining and throwing barbs, how about kneeling down and pleading with God to speak truth to them? Why not flood the gates of heavens with pleas for a return to godly leadership?


Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Proverbs 12:18


Oh. It’s easy to say harsh words about someone when we’re not speaking to them personally. It’s easy to call someone horrible names on social media when we think they’re not looking. It’s even easier to say those mean words when we don’t really know the person. When we don’t have a personal stake in their lives or in their business. But does it make it right? Would we say those same words to the person if they were sitting in our homes?

It brings up a good question. How are we supposed to call out others when we see them doing something that is wrong? What kind of words should we use when we disagree with our family, friends, neighbors and coworkers? Do we use kinder words to those we are close to? Do we save the really harsh words for total strangers? People we assume we’ll never see again? Does it matter which words we use when we call out others? Does it matter if they’re friend or foe? Cruel words are cruel words.

How do we talk about people we disagree with without being disrespectful?  How do we talk to people we disagree with without being disrespectful?

Or….are there some things that shouldn’t be said out loud? Even if they’re true?

Where and when does respect come into play?

It is possible to communicate the truth in an ugly way.

Paul M. Gould

There’s an art to having tough conversations. Hard truths sometimes need to be told.  There is definitely a time and a place for direct language. Oh. People need to be held accountable for their poor choices and unthinkable actions. But what kind of words should and shouldn’t be said to them? It’s sometimes hard to know. Emotions get in the way and agendas are sometimes driven by those emotions.

Perhaps some words are appropriate for public hearing and other words are best said in private. Oh. I believe that there is a time to use strong words. Absolutely. But the intent and purpose of the heart needs to be examined. Is evil the true intent? Or is it to publicly shame someone? Or to puff up oneself?  

Do we stop to consider that everyone, whether we agree with them or not, is made in the image of God? Would we say those same words if Jesus Christ was standing next to us? Do we stop to remind ourselves that God hears every word we speak?

Let’s start a movement to bring back constructive conversations. Let’s create open dialog in a safe setting where we agree to disagree. Where we can speak honestly and openly. And still love each other at the end of the day. Let’s spend less time on social media and more time in personal interaction. Let’s find out what breaks someone’s heart and what makes them smile. Let’s work to heal wounds instead of opening new ones. Let’s show some respect.

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A Convenient Lie

I’ve recently been reading about Charles Darwin. You know. The inventor of evolution. The scientist who claims that the earth wasn’t created by God in seven days. The man who decided that the earth and everything in it evolved over time. The man who held the notion that all life is related and descended from a common ancestor. The man who believed in natural selection. Yeah. That guy.

Wikipedia says that Darwin’s scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life. He’s been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.

But did you know that Darwin knew his theory was false?

After all his work on the theory. The testing pointed to the fact that his work was a lie. He could not come to the truthful conclusion that evolution was real. But he promoted that theory anyway. And he never backed down.

Darwin and his followers. They were willing to believe a lie in order to prove their point. Darwin perpetuated a lie that has continued for generations. Nature became a substitute deity for the man. Generations of school kids have been taught a fabrication of lies. There is no truth in this teaching. 

It makes me wonder. Why were Darwin and his followers willing to support a lie? Why did they continue to preach and worship the lie? Why did they reject the truth? They were looking for an alternative to creation. There were looking for a way or a reason to discredit God. That tells me they fear God. They are afraid for God to be true and right and real.

Darwin wanted to keep God out of the picture. He was afraid of the supernatural. Because if he believed that the seven day creation story was true, he would have to confess that God existed. And if God exists, then Darwin might have to bow down and confess that his life was not his own. So he made sure that his theories and hypothesis pointed to an evolution of earth and mankind and every other living being. He manipulated data. He skewed his findings to produce the results he wanted.

Some things never change. Do they?


Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. Ephesians 5:10-14


We’re lied to these days. We’re deceived by fabrications of the truth. We’re manipulated to believe ideas that aren’t true. And unless we do the research. Unless we put in the time to study the subject, we can easily buy into other lies.

We’re told that men can get pregnant. We’re told that we can change our pronoun, and we’ll magically be a member of the opposite sex. We’re told that women should have the right to kill their unborn baby right up to and after birth.

These are all lies that go against the Creation story. God created male and female. And only a female can give birth. Our DNA doesn’t change because we change our pronouns. And unborn babies have the right to life, just as the mother carrying them.

God knew what he was doing on those six days of creation. He didn’t make any mistakes. At the end of each day, he looked at his finished work. And he saw that it was good. Except for one day. On the day he created man, he saw the results of the dust he formed. He saw that his work was very good.

God had a higher purpose for this created man. Because in this man, he placed a soul. And he planned for the soul of every person born on the earth to live in eternity with him. No other part of creation was given a soul. No other part of creation can choose to follow God or ignore him. Only humans were given that ability. Let’s choose wisely.

Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. Romans 1:21-25

A Bite of Fruit

Have you ever wondered what has gone wrong with the world? We seem to be in a precarious place, as of late. And we may be tempted to wonder why. There’s a really simple reason. But it’s not what we want to hear. Because once we hear the reason, we have to decide what to do about it on a personal level.

And that might mean change.

Let’s start with Adam and Eve. No. Let’s go back farther than that. Let’s start with God. He created the world. And everything in it. Plants. Animals. Oceans. Dry Land. Day. Night. Humans. He created it all in seven days. End of story. You might say.

But that’s only the beginning.

Adam was the first man of creation. God formed him from the dust of the earth. But God saw that all of the animals he created were paired up. Male and female. He knew that Adam needed a mate. So God performed surgery. He took a rib from Adam and created Eve. And they became the first couple.

God had created a beautiful garden as their home. He told them they could eat from any tree in the garden except for the tree in the middle of the garden. It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The name sounds forbidden. They weren’t to eat from it. That’s what God said.

And they were satisfied with that answer. They didn’t question God’s command. And they didn’t eat from the tree.

Then one day, everything changed. The serpent came along and asked Eve if God said they must not eat fruit from any of the trees in the garden. Eve told him that God said they couldn’t eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden or even touch it. If they did, they would die.

The thing is. God didn’t say exactly that.

God didn’t said they couldn’t touch the tree. He said that they couldn’t eat fruit from the tree. Or they would die. Eve lied.

But there is more.

The serpent told Eve that if she ate fruit from the forbidden tree that she would know both good and evil. He said she wouldn’t die. He also said she would be like God. The serpent tempted Eve to disregard God’s command.

She took the bait. She took a bite. Then she gave some of the fruit to her husband. And he ate. Their eyes were opened, and they knew they had disobeyed God.


Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 Peter 5:8‭-‬9


It wasn’t just a bite of fruit they were after. After all. It wasn’t a taste of the forbidden fruit that called their name. They could eat from any tree in the garden, except for this one. And they hadn’t even thought about trying fruit from that tree. They hadn’t pondered the thought of circling the one tree that was off limits in the hopes of getting a bite. No. That wasn’t it at all.

They had been content eating from all the other trees until the serpent tempted them. The serpent tricked them into thinking they could have something not meant for them. All for a bite of fruit.

Adam and Eve’s sin was not eating a piece of fruit. Their sin was coveting godlike power, craving something that was not rightfully theirs. They rejected their nature as created, limited, finite beings, and they tried to be what they could never be — divine. They wanted to be their own god.

Charles Colson, How Now Shall We Live

Oh. The funny thing is that God gave Adam and Eve dominion over creation, yet they couldn’t even reign in their own appetite. They had everything they needed in the garden. Food. Work. Home. Companionship. Fellowship with God. Life should have been perfect. To be honest. It was perfect.

But they made a wrong decision that changed their lives. And that one decision changed the trajectory of all mankind. And there’s no going back. Since that bite, mankind has been in a free fall of rebellion.

And oh. How man has fallen. Down through the ages, Satan has continued to tempt us into thinking we need things that aren’t ours. He has twisted truth and distorted reality since he tempted Eve. And he never stops.

Satan. He came in the form of a serpent to the first couple. He’s been coming for the rest of humanity since that moment. He’s coming for you.  And for me. What is it that causes us to take the bite that’s offered? Do we jump at the first offer? Or do we hold out for a time? Do we eagerly accept the forbidden fruit that he offers? Or not? Have we learned to say no to Satan’s advances?

Satan isn’t finished with mankind. He keeps pushing his agenda onto unsuspecting individuals. The truth is. He isn’t irresistible. He is defeatable. He wants his way. And he wants to use us to get it.  We are in a battle, and we must continue to fight against him. It may appear that he’s winning. But he is the ultimate loser.

We have a choice. We always have a choice. We must run from temptation. Because Satan is our greatest enemy. He will ruin us. He won’t stop until he has us in his grasp. Run in the opposite direction. While there’s still time.

Sophisticated People

You may have noticed that there is a group of people who seem to think they are above the laws they set for others. They act as if they don’t have to obey their own mandates. They regulate others but include provisions so that the rules don’t apply to them and others like them. There’s a saying “rules for thee, but not for me.” It’s gotten pretty old pretty quick.

They’ve been called the sophisticated people. As if they’re better than the rest of mankind. They seem to believe they don’t have to abide by their own manmade rules. And somehow. Some way. They seem to get away with it. But they are in the minority. Because they determine who is sophisticated and who isn’t. And everyone can’t be sophisticated. That would defeat the purpose.

This certain group of people claim their violations of the rules they set for others are permitted. After all. One was in the middle of a celebration and just forgot about masks. And some groups say they’re exempt because they’re in the performance arts industry. Or there was one big birthday bash that showed obvious signs of disregard for the unsophisticated. And there are many more examples. But we all know what we know.

I’ve realized, before it was made obvious to me, that I’m not in the sophisticated crowd. And I’m ok with that. I’ve studied the mandates and the risks of disobedience. I’ve read about the rules that others say I should follow. And I’ve come to my own conclusions. I don’t have to be sophisticated in this world’s eyes in order to be somebody.

My identity doesn’t lie within the opinions of those who make rules for their own benefit. My allegiance doesn’t lie with those who are in office or out of office. I don’t follow those in the news so closely that they influence my decisions, lifestyle or purchases. I come to my own conclusions and act accordingly. I suggest you do the same.


You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NLT


However. There is One I follow. I’ve found that his message is always spot on. Even when it’s directed at me, and I need to obey. Even when I don’t want to. His words are truth. His ways are perfect. He will not lead me astray. He will not force his ways on me. I am free to choose my own path.

He has a name. Jesus Christ. He is the biggest influence of my life. He’s more than an influencer for me. He is the Way of Life. And he chose me before I knew his name. He knew me before I was even born. And he calls me his own.

But I’m not the only one following this Way Maker. There are many more. And he is always calling us out to be more like him. Oh. It isn’t easy trying to be like him. He sets a high standard. Perfection was his style. But it’s easier said than done for the rest of us. The good news is that he still loves us even when we miss the mark. When we fall short, he still seeks us out.

He calls us by name. And he calls us holy. Set apart. He says we are royalty. We’re his prized possession. Others may call us peculiar, but that’s ok. We are his special people.

The Old Testament explains how God set apart the nation of Israel to be his very own people. He still claims them as his own. And he always will. Just as he has called out this Jewish nation as his own, he calls us to be his people. We are chosen by God, but we must choose him. We must make that personal decision to be his followers.

And it doesn’t matter what names we’re called by those who don’t accept God’s call. Because only his opinion matters. We may be canceled by those who deem us unworthy, but God will always choose us.

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.  Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He didn’t section us off into classes of people. We’re all sinners doomed to hell unless we repent. And those of us who have accepted the call out of darkness must show others the light. As we were shown the light, we too must light the way for others.

We are uncommon people in a common world.

Grow Strong

These are trying times. We’ve had our secure and comfortable lives upended for the past year and a half. And there seems to be no end in sight. There’s a lot of upheaval and unrest in the nation. People are fed up and angry. People are frustrated and have lost trust in leaders. We’re tired to the point of exhaustion. And it isn’t necessarily a physical exhaustion. There are those who are uptight and at the end of their rope. They say they are followers of Christ. Followers of Christ can be anxious during uncertain times.

It’s time to strengthen our relationship with Christ during these uncertain times. It’s time to take the next step into being more like Christ. It’s time to look to his example to see how he was able to stay true to his calling when he was being pursued by those who hated him. When he knew he would be the sacrifice for a lost world.

What did Jesus do to guard against anxious thoughts and fears? When he knew he was going to the cross, what did he do? What were the routines in his life that gave Jesus strength? Because in his humanity, he experienced every emotion that we humans experience. He faced the same temptations we face. By studying his life, we can see how he lived not by emotions, but by God’s Word.

Now I know he was God. He came in human form and experienced life, just as we experience it. He faced the same challenges that we face. The same trials and temptations. So when I look at the life of Jesus, what do I see?

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

As he began his ministry, Jesus surrounded himself with people who believed his message. These followers weren’t just yes men. They were people who believed what he was teaching. They accepted the truth that he was Jesus Christ, the Son of God come in human form. He handpicked those who he would disciple and lead.

Now they didn’t necessarily understand what all that meant, but they believed in his teaching. They believed he was the Messiah. He spent a lot of time with them. In fact, he had a small inner circle who he trusted and relied on. That’s what we as believers need to do. We need to find a small group of like minded believers who will encourage us and challenge us. We need others who will mentor us and hold us accountable. We need close friends to strengthen our faith. We need those who will stand in the gap for us in our time of need. These friends can help us understand what we believe and why we believe it and to help us articulate it. Iron sharpens iron, as Scripture says. We need individuals in our lives who are the iron to sharpen us. We weren’t meant to do life alone.

Jesus was also in the temple on a regular basis. As a child he was taught the law. The Jewish law. He was taught Scripture. He could quote Scripture from memory. He knew the laws by heart. And when he became an adult, he still went to the temple where he began teaching. He began teaching as his Father gave him words and understanding. He opened up the Scriptures and explained them to those following the Jewish traditions.

We too must attend church. We must meet regularly with other believers. Listening to God’s Word preached to us. Worshipping God. Giving of our income to help spread the gospel. Fellowshipping with other believers.

Jesus challenged some of the regular day teachings, because his teachings were of a new way. He was teaching the promise that he was the Messiah, and that he was the hope of the world. And sure. There were many people who didn’t believe him. They knew this Jesus of Nazareth was the son of Mary and Joseph. Why would they believe what he’s saying. They asked. But he spoke the truth. And they didn’t believe him.

As believers, we need to spend time in God’s Word. Not just casually reading the Bible, but digging deep and studying what we are reading. Learning the heart of God. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it. Reading the Word of God is one of the ways we get to know God.


Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33


Jesus spent time alone with his Heavenly Father. He went alone into the wilderness. He fasted and prayed. He spent time in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He took a boat ride to the other side of the lake, so he could renew himself alone with his Father. He knew that his work was demanding and that he would pay the price. He needed time alone with his Father to prepare for his ministry.

It may not be popular these days to fast. To intentionally give up food for a period of time just to pray. Some would say it’s an unnecessary act of self denial. But it will cause breakthroughs in our relationship with God. When we humble ourselves to the point of denying ourselves food. The thing that sustains our human life. When we can forego food in order to feed our souls. When we spend one on one time with God. Communing with Him. Sacrificing our physical needs for our spiritual needs. We will touch heaven.

Jesus sacrificed his life for everyone on earth. He sacrificed himself. He was spit on. He was tortured. His robe was taken. A crown of thorns was placed on his head. And after all of that torture he was forced to carry His cross.

He paid dearly. Physically, for our sins. Yes, he asked to be removed from this suffering. He asked for this cup to be taken from him. There are times that we go through deep trials. Physical. Emotional. Mental. Spiritual. Financial. Relational. We ask to be removed from these situations. It’s okay to ask for that, but maybe the thing we should ask is for God to be with us during these times. Because if we’ve declared that God is enough for us, then is he enough in our weakest, most trying moments of life?

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8

In order to be like Jesus, we need to be able to identify with him. To recognize the struggles that he faced in his life as a man on earth. We see that he accepted those challenges. He didn’t run from trouble. He faced his trials head on and came out the winner. Our strength cannot come from ourselves. Our strength must come from God and God alone. That is only possible if we have a deep abiding faith in God. That comes by spending time in God’s Word. Reading and studying God’s word. Spending time in prayer. Perhaps it’s time to fast and pray. It’s time we humble ourselves to the point that we can face the challenges thrown at us. No matter what they are, come what may, God is our Redeemer. He is our refuge and strength. He’s always ready to help in times of trouble.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

This is Your Time

Did you know that you were born for just this moment in history? It’s a fact. God knew you before you were born. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows the number of days allotted for you. He knew the date and time you were to be born. He knew the circumstances of your birth and of your lifetime. You were born for this time and place in history. All your days of breath have brought you to this moment.

Oh. It’s easy to wish for the good ole days. Whatever they are. These days are meant for you. You were meant for these days. God is working his plan and you are a key player. Don’t forget that. And don’t be afraid. God is in control.

In twenty or thirty years, these will be the good ole days for the younger generation. So make these days count, because who knows what will life be like then.

Parents with young children may be wondering if the world they’re raising their kids in will be stable and secure. They may be wondering if their kids will have to face persecution and trials as they become adults.

Young couples thinking of starting a family may be wondering if it’s a wise decision. They may be wondering if they should forego parenthood. After all, this world seems rather volatile right now. There is a lot of instability and uncertainty. They may be wondering if it’s safe to bring children into the world.

 Yes. These times are troubling. But have kids. Raise your children with a deep abiding knowledge of God Almighty. Train them to know biblical truths so they will stand strong when times are tough. Be faithful to train them to be faithful people.

Those building a career may wonder if they’ll ever land their dream job. Those who have already moved up several steps on the success ladder may realize that their work isn’t as fulfilling as they imagined. They’re only in it for the paycheck. They may have begun to question why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Some may be wondering if their college debt was really worth it. College isn’t for everyone. Everyone isn’t for college. Trade school offers great long-lasting career opportunities.

If your work isn’t fulfilling, perhaps it’s time to start a job search. Perhaps it’s time to narrow down what you’re passionate about and seek a new opportunity. Money isn’t everything. Everything shouldn’t be about money. Oh. Money is important. Don’t get me wrong. But deep personal fulfillment doesn’t come from a paycheck or a job title or a degree on the wall.

Many are soon to retire. It’s baby boomer season in the retirement world. Some may have begun to think that the boom has busted. Is retirement even possible? Will the nest egg be full enough on that appointed day? Only time will tell.

There are those in retirement living on a fixed income. There are news reports that their government support may not be so supportive in their final years. What will happen? Will their money last as long as their heart beats?

Things may look bleak, but God is still on the throne. He has known the events of today for as long as he’s been around. And he’s been around forever. He’s been patiently awaiting this time and these events with you in mind. Know that he has you on his mind. He hasn’t forgotten. Nor will he. He knows your name. He has your days ordered.


God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Psalms 46:1-3


We’ve lived through every day of the virus. We’re living through the horrors of Afghanistan. We’re living through the worst inflation in many years. We’ve worn masks together. We’ve social distanced together. We’ve sheltered in place together. We’ve survived a questionable election. We’re now hearing of mandates.  We are survivors. And we are resilient. Don’t forget that.

We’re remembering the horrible, offensive acts of twenty years ago. The events that rocked a nation that thought it was rock solid. Our faith and hope wavered, but the flag still waved strong. Our allegiance for our nation grew as we felt the loss of every heartbeat that fell silent as the towers fell.

Oh. Things appear bad. But they could get worse before they get better. And things may never get better. But we are resilient. We can live through hard times. We just don’t want to. We need to toughen up now before we’re forced to. 

Let’s save more. Let’s give more. Let’s live with less. Let’s be content with what we have. Because we are a blessed nation. We don’t have to have it all to have a great life. Sometimes less is more.

Know what you believe and why. Read and study to show yourself approved by God. Don’t just believe everything you’re told. Test it. Prove it. Disprove it. Be able to discern truth from lies. Just know what you believe and why you believe it.

Read the classics. Read American history and world history. Read autobiographies of those who have suffered and those who have prospered. Let’s not forget the experiences of those who have gone on before us. We can learn much from those who have suffered and lived to tell of it. And we can learn from those who were martyred.

Esther was a young Jewish woman living in a troubled land. The king had removed the queen because she publicly embarrassed him. He sent out an announcement asking for all the young virgins of the land to audition to be the new queen. Esther was brought with many other young women to give themselves to the king in the hopes of pleasing him. Esther pleased the king, and he named her as his new queen. Unbeknownst to the king, Esther’s people were Jewish and were not in immediate favor. She had been advised by her godly uncle to keep her nationality quiet. When someone threatened to kill off all her people, she knew she couldn’t keep quiet. So she spoke up. God used her in a difficult situation to save her people. If she had not come forward, she and her people would have been annihilated. But God, in his mercy, spared her and the Jewish nation who had been threatened by an evil, power hungry man. Her moment in time had come, and she fulfilled her life-saving purpose.

You can read the full story of Esther in the Old Testament.

There’s a song that tells us that if we’re not dead, then God’s not done with us. Let’s remember that and know that God has all of our days numbered. And in our numbered days, God is with us. He will not forsake us. He will use us, but we must be faithful to obey him. Even in hard times. Even when the task seems insurmountable. God’s strength and power are more than ours. Let’s use his power to do his work.

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Slippery Slope

Apparently, there are some in the Christian world who are deconstructing their faith. They tear down their beliefs, bit by bit, piece by piece, verse by verse. They rip apart their Christian faith, leaving it in shambles. They question every biblical truth that they’ve ever learned and once believed. They call it deconstruction. They’re unlearning the biblical truths they have been taught. They’re now going against God and His Word, against biblical truths and values and teachings. Questioning. Challenging. Doubting. Oh. It’s okay to question. It’s okay to challenge. It’s okay to doubt. But when someone starts denying biblical truths that they once held dear is when they’ve headed down a slippery slope.

What does that say? Why does that happen? I can’t say for sure, but there are some possible reasons.

It seems it’s happening to Christians more and more. And I have to believe that at some point, either they were hurt by another believer, or they’ve failed to develop a strong devotional and prayer life. They stopped reading their Bible, or perhaps they’ve never faithfully read it. Perhaps they never really got to know God on a personal level. Or, perhaps skepticism has set in. They’ve begun to deny the truth. They’ve begun to twist truth to fit their life and their goals and their dreams. They’ve decided that biblical truth no longer matters and it no longer stands. They’ve torn it down. They’ve cut it apart. They’ve twisted it into something that is no longer biblical.

People question different aspects of their faith. It’s only natural. As you grow and learn, you start to question and wonder about why and what and how. Some things just may not make sense. Things like heaven and hell. Suffering. Miracles or the lack of them.

And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:22-23

Perhaps they’ve been persuaded to worship God in ways that are contrary to biblical teaching. Perhaps they’re disillusioned with the church or the church leaders. Perhaps they realize they can’t change the world, after all. Perhaps it’s no longer cool to ask what Jesus would do if he were in their shoes. Because then they may have to act in a way that isn’t comfortable. And apparently, comfort is preferred over obedience.

Now I’m not one who can say whether they are or aren’t a Christian. That is between them and God. I certainly don’t want to be their judge on that fateful day when they’ve taken their last breath and they’re standing before God. I don’t want to be God and have to decide their eternal destiny. But when someone starts twisting Scripture to suit their ideologies, they’ve given in to the evil one. They’ve given in to Satan. Because he will twist and turn truth in to lies, and he will turn lies into truth. And that’s exactly what’s happening.

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 1 John 2:15

I read news articles about Christians who are deconstructing. Former Christian leaders now teach classes about deconstructing your faith. And people pay to be taught these lies. Again comfort over obedience to God’s word will cost a huge price, whether it’s this side of eternity or in eternity.


Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Romans 1:21


So my thought on this is why don’t we relearn the truth. Why don’t we dig deeper into the Bible? Why don’t we dig into commentaries and biblical sources? Why don’t we listen to teachings from strong biblical teachers who know the truth and who have shared it and taught it and lived it? Why not? Why don’t we stop leaning into ideologies that are manmade? Let’s start digging into the Bible. That is where we find truth. It may not be comfortable. It may not always be pretty, but it is God’s truth. And when we begin denying it, we are denying God’s sovereignty.

God’s word will always stand. Always. But when we start cutting it apart with our newfound ideas, because God’s truth no longer suits our needs or our wants, we’re sliding down a slippery slope.

When we replace God’s truth with ideas that someone has created out of warped thinking, we have turned our back on God.

Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13-14

We need to be careful when we start replacing biblical truth with current social agendas and call them biblical. These social ideals are just that. Ideals. Ideologies that someone is using to replace biblical teaching. And it is being accepted as the new gospel. Shame on us. If we knew our Bible better, we wouldn’t fall for these false teachings. We would know when we’re being set up. We would know when we’re being betrayed by those we should trust.

Current social issues can cause one who isn’t firmly rooted in the gospel to pull away from biblical truths. Some of these issues are critical theory, racial reconciliation, gender and pronoun changes, and the pro choice agenda. Just to name a few. We need to stop and examine those ideas to see if they are actually biblical. What does the Bible say about those teachings? What does the Bible say about self care? Or about teachings that say we are enough on our own? Or about prosperity? What does the Bible say about alternate lifestyles? What are the gray areas that the Bible doesn’t even address? These are the questions we should be asking as we dig deep into the Word of God. Because manmade ideas will fall short on Judgment Day.

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Bite Your Tongue

It was a conversation that wasn’t going well. We disagreed, and no one wanted to take responsibility. He said words. I said words. Then he walked away. I went back to washing the dishes. Nothing was resolved, and I felt horrible. Why did my last words of the conversation have to be so judgmental? Why do I always lean toward negativity? Why not pause and think before I speak? Or, why not just say nothing? Why? Oh. Why?

And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. James 3:6

Someone else talks about others as if talking is going out of style. She shares intimate details about her own life with others. And she shares any and all details she knows about others lives. Nothing is sacred. And no one is off limits. She talks out of both sides of her mouth, so one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:7-8

There is another who speaks lies. She tells the largest and grandest stories. Unsuspecting hearers might never know that the stories she tells are all fabrications. She tries to outdo anyone who is telling their story. She is competitive and she must win. At all costs. I wonder if she even knows what’s true anymore.

Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. James 3:9

He says vulgar words intertwined throughout his business conversations. I always wonder why that one word is such an important part of his vocabulary. But the word comes out without a second thought. I wonder how he turns that word off and on, especially when he’s talking to his customers.

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

There’s the woman who could cut your throat with her words. At times, she could be kind and generous, and then out of nowhere hack you to pieces with her choice of words. Her words can be brutal and vicious. They are said out of fear and loathing. Loathing of herself, not of the victim. And fear of not being the one in charge. But the innocent party doesn’t know that. They have just received the worst verbal lashing in history. And can they recover?

And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! James 3:10

Words are everything to the hearer. They can stir the pot or they can calm the storm. We can soothe a soul or break a heart. With just a word or two. Our words are powerful. Why don’t we use them to build up each other. Once spoken, words can never be unsaid.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1


Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. James 3:2


How do we stop the words that shouldn’t be said before they’re said? How do we stop lying, gossiping, cussing, nagging and stretching the truth? Oh. We must turn to the One who spoke the first words. The one who hears all words. And knows the intent of the words. We can only break the habit of using hurting words by reading the Word. With much prayer and discipline, the words can be stopped. We can bite our tongue and refrain from offending and abusing others. We must want to change before we can change. God help us.

I must ask myself. Is there a pattern of using inappropriate words in in my life? What are the triggers that take my words down a path they shouldn’t go? Is it pride? Or revenge? Is it anger? Or greed? Or fear? What is the motive for my words? To hurt someone? To get even? To make my point at all costs? To get my way? Do I care if my words offend or annoy someone? Do I care?

We say the Lord is Holy, and he is the giver of all gifts. How can ugly words come from the mouth that also speaks praise? How can the mouth that speaks truth also speak lies? How can the tongue that speaks compliments also spew evil?

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29

Heaven Stands

These times are troubling. That’s for sure. Evil is real and is coming out of the woodwork. But really. That’s not new, because times have been evil ever since people started disobeying God.

Some thought 2020 was the worst year of their life. And others thought January 6th was the worst day ever. And things really aren’t looking up.

Just when we think things are worse than they’ve ever been, they start going even further downhill. And yet we wake up still breathing every day. We’re still here. Wondering what’s next. Wondering what else is going to happen. But we go about our days, doing the things we must do. We go to work. We raise children. We eat and sleep. We’re still going about our lives the best we can. But that doesn’t mean that we agree with what is happening in our world. That doesn’t mean we agree with decisions that are being made. But we just do the next thing that we must do.

This country is appalled and trembling at the events that are happening in another country. These events are very troubling, because they signal a shift in the strength of our country. It makes us question the ability of our elected leaders, if we weren’t already. Now our enemies and allies are watching, because they see weakness in our leadership. We see it, too.

The table is being set for evil to run even more rampant in the world. We must be on guard. We must be prepared spiritually to face persecution and very troubling times. We cannot begin to think that things will turn back to the way they used to be. No. Those days are long gone.

Oh. We can have hope. And we should have hope. But we know that with each passing day, we’re one day closer to eternity. We’re one day closer to Jesus coming to take all his followers to heaven. But before that day comes, things will worsen for those on this earth. So we must take heart. And we must prepare to meet Jesus. We must be ready for eternity.

I’ve read about the country now being wrecked by terrorists. Christians are being threatened and watched and killed. Some are in hiding. I’ve read that some Christians in that country know that they will most likely be meeting Jesus face to face within the next two weeks.

Imagine. Imagine that happening in our cities. What would we do? Would our faith stand?

When our world is shaking, heaven stands.


Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. Psalms 90:1-2


During Job’s difficult days, he didn’t lose faith. He didn’t run from God. He didn’t turn his back on the One who created him. Even during the worst time of his life, he knew that God was in control. He still trusted God. Perhaps Job didn’t know that he was really fighting Satan. Oh. He had questions for God all right.

Then God turned around and said he would answer Job’s questions, but first Job had to answer his questions. And God said he wanted answers. Here were God’s questions to Job.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know! Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced! Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.) Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind? Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning? Who makes the rain fall on barren land, in a desert where no one lives? Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground and make the tender grass spring up? Does the rain have a father? Who gives birth to the dew? Who is the mother of the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens? Can you direct the movement of the stars— binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth? Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct? Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven when the parched ground is dry and the soil has hardened into clods? Can you stalk prey for a lioness and satisfy the young lions’ appetites as they lie in their dens or crouch in the thicket? Who provides food for the ravens when their young cry out to God and wander about in hunger? Job 38:4-41

Oh. God could step in and right every wrong with one swoop of his hand. He could call ten thousand angels to deliver us from evil. He could thwart the plans of those intent on harming the innocent. He could make a way of escape for those trapped behind enemy lines. 

And we don’t know that he hasn’t done some of those things. We can’t see behind the scenes. We don’t know God’s plans. We only see what he allows.

But know this. God is in control. He has not forsaken his people. God’s word tells us that we will have trouble in this world. So we can’t live our lives as if trouble will never touch us. We aren’t exempt. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. We must ask ourselves if we believe that God is with us no matter what.

We cannot control the decisions of others. We can’t trust their decisions. We can’t control life. But God knows every heartbeat and every intention and every decision. He knows the how and why and when of all of life’s circumstances. He allows good and evil. We may be fearful. Times may be uncertain. But our certainty is in God and God alone.

God is in control. We may question the happenings on this earth. We may be bewildered by men’s decisions. We may lose everything. But if we follow God, we have all we need.

There’s only one foundation that is unshakeable, and that is the unchanging Word of God.

John Cooper