“consistency” is defined as “steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.”

Every year I look back at the previous year. As I do, I begin to formulate goals for the coming year. Those goals normally affect every area of my life.

One of my goals for 2021 was to systematically lose twenty pounds. I lost eighteen…close enough. I will once again set a weight-loss goal for 2022 that I am sure will give me a few “brownie points” with my doctors.

As I get older, my goal setting becomes more inward focused. I desire to be a better, “Husband. Father. Grand Father. Great Grand Father.” I am including these annual goals, however, I am adding a new, single goal for 2022. “I Want to Be More Consistent.” Let me explain.

I don’t just want to set the “broad strokes” of my goals on being a better “husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.” I want to be consistent in EVERY area of my life.

I want to be consistent in:

My Bible Studies. As a pastor I spend many hours every day, 365 days of the year in some sort of Bible study. However, I want to be more consistent in my approach, planning, and attaining a deeper, solid, and retention in my Bible study.

My Prayer Life. Once again, I find myself “catching up” in my prayer life to events and notifications from others needing prayer. I tend to make everyone else’s prayer needs above my own. I want to be more consistent in having conversations with the Creator and my Savior that leads to a deeper and more familiar relationship with God.

My Meditation. Meditation on the Lord and His Word seems, time and again, to be pushed to the back of my priority list…and yet meditation, “chewing the cud” if you will, have been some of the most fulfilling and precious moments in my life. Meditating on the Psalmist words, “What is man that you are mindful of him” is one of my favorite places to camp. But I am missing out on the many prayers in the Bible that bring joy and satisfaction to my life.

My Preaching. I want to be more consistent in my delivery and presentation. I have studied for hours and too many times my delivery and presentation are not what I envisioned. I long to be a “vessel for God’s use” in the pulpit.

My Teaching. I believe my one gift is teaching; however, I want to have the same passion and fire throughout a Bible Study series. I am excited to begin a new study, but in the last few lessons, I find I am already beginning to put my passion and fire into the next study to pen and ink. I want to finish strong in each Bible study I write, every time.

My Servanthood. My desire in 2022 is to expand and develop my life on “servanthood.” Jesus’ whole mission on the earth was to “please His Father.” I want that same single sightedness to be in the very fabric of everything I do. I want to serve the Lord in joy and gladness that Christ had in serving His Father.

I would ask you to join me by reminding me of my 2022 goals. I covet your help. I found myself saying, “I want to be consistently consistent.”

The Four Applications of Doctrine.

Gregg R. Allison, in his book titled, “50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith* described doctrine having four applications. I found his idea intreaging and therefore include his thoughts on the matter.

  1. Doctrine is believed. Orthodoxy is true belief, or sound doctrine.
  2. Doctrine is practiced. Orthopraxis is right practice, or godly living.
  3. Doctrine is confessed. Confession is the public profession of Christian belief.
  4. Doctrine is taught. Teaching (the word “doctrine” comes from the Latin docere, “to teach”) is the faithful transmission of Christian belief from generation to generation.

In today’s world of preaching, a lack of doctrine will lead to false teaching and false belief system.

Oh, that Christians today would fall in love with the Word of God, and practice these four applications of doctrine.





Amen, and Amen.

*Gregg R. Allison, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A guide to understanding and teaching theology, Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books, 2018, p.1

Decline of Christianity in the US.

I was reading with interest the findings of a Pew Research Center survey the other day. In an article: “The U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at a Rapid Pace.” “An update on America’s changing religious landscape.”

The article comments: ” In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.”

It goes on to say: ” Both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009. Meanwhile, all subsets of the religiously unaffiliated population – a group also known as religious “nones” – have seen their numbers swell. Self-described atheists now account for 4% of U.S. adults, up modestly but significantly from 2% in 2009; agnostics make up 5% of U.S. adults, up from 3% a decade ago; and 17% of Americans now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 12% in 2009. Members of non-Christian religions also have grown modestly as a share of the adult population.”

As I read these findings, I did not curl up in the corner with my blanket, sucking my finger and crying; “The sky is falling.” Instead, the words of Jesus as He was ascending to His Father echoed through my thoughts:

Matthew 28:18 – And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We were made for a time like this!

Remember, when Jesus proclaimed these words to Peter, James and John, the world was under the iron rule of the Romans. The percentage of Christians in the world was miniscule. However, the World was changed with this simple Gospel…the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

The last commandment Christ uttered to the disciples rings true today. Let us not look at the numbers as insurmountable. The Truth is still the Truth! And we Christians hold that Truth. Jesus is the way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father, but by Him.”

Fear is the weapon of the enemy, Satan. Truth overcomes fear, every time.

Excerpts from Ephesus – Part 2


The Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the church at Ephesus

With very little argument, the Book of Ephesians is attributed to the Apostle Paul. Paul’s ministry to the church at Ephesus is found in the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 18:18-21; 19:2-41; 20:17-35)
Paul wrote this letter from his Roman prison cell, somewhere around 60-63 A.D. (Ephesians 3:1; 4:1; 6:20). Paul arrive in Rome in the spring of 60 A.D. and was placed under house arrest for approximately 2 years (Acts 28:30). Paul wrote his “Prison Epistles” somewhere between 60-62 A.D. or 61-63 A. D. The Prison Epistles were written to the churches at Ephesus, Philippi, Colossi and to Philemon.
There is a lot of similarity in the letters sent to Ephesus and Colossi, which would leave us to understand that they were probably written about the same time. In Colossians 4:16, Paul mentions another letter that was in circulation among the church of the Laodiceans, which he called the “Epistle from Laodicea.” Paul intended for all his letters to be “circular” in nature. That is that the letter would be circulated to believers everywhere.
Albert Barnes writes:
In 1 Thessalonians 5:27, the apostle also charges those to whom that epistle was addressed to see that it be “read unto all the holy brethren.” It is evident that the apostles designed that the letters which they addressed to the churches should be read also by others, and should become the permanent source of instruction to the friends of Christ.1
This epistle is chocked full of doctrine. It is apparent to me that Paul, knowing that his end was near, wanted to teach as much as he could to each of the churches. In that teaching he reveals God’s purpose through creation and His Son for the church. He encourages the brethren to unity and the hope that lays before them, eternal life.


Ephesus was an important port city in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). The city had its roots. Due to its location on the root of the main highways of Asia minor in its natural, safe harbor. The surrounding land, rich in fertile, was excellent supply of fruits and vegetables to support the city and its growth.
However, the harbor became unusable in the middle of the first century, filling up with silt. However, the trade route had become so successful because of the religions of Diana and Artemis. Temples were erected in the city found new life as their worshipers made pilgrimages, if using much-needed revenue into the city.
Silversmiths brought a whole new industry to the city with idols made for Diana and Artemis. Prostitution in the temple was another revenue stream.
As harbor continued to be filled with silt, shipping found a nearby harbor at the port of Smyrna. As more and more of the shipping revenue is lost to Smyrna, the only income was from the temple rites and associated services. The city eventually died out.

The Church at Ephesus.

Apollos, was the pastor of the church, and Paul visited he found 12 believers. Apollo’s was inexperienced and somewhat misinformed concerning the Holy Spirit. Paul spent three months in Ephesus, teaching the church, and preaching in the synagogues. Because of the opposition, Paul moved the church to the house of Tyrannus. Paul spent the next two years, preaching and teaching the young church. (Acts 19:1-9). The church took on the role of the missions throughout Asia (acts 19:20).
Many miracles were performed in Ephesus, and many believed. The church grew mightily even in the face of the city filled with people of superstition, magic, and a desire for the sensual. It was in this city of immoral and pagan practices that the gospel was preached. People were saved. The church grew. The believer respected fellowship, the Lord supper, and baptism.
Even though the church grew and send out missionaries throughout Asia, they soon followed in the trend of the city, and the church declined as they left the teaching of the apostle Paul and Apollo’s. We see the mention of the church at Ephesus spotlighted in John’s vision of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 2:1-7 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Excerpts from Ephesus, Part 1

This is the first “excerpt” from a commentary that I have written titled: “Ephesians: Preparing the Believer for Spiritual Warfare.”I am always in awe of the writers of the Bible. To put pen to papyrus, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to tell the story of God to man, is most wonderful and exciting.

Next to the Gospels, the epistles of Paul are my favorites. The story of Paul’s conversion, in the book of Acts, is so dramatic, it is difficult to fathom. From a hunter for the Jewish aristocracy, to an Apostle of Jesus Christ alone is worthy of appreciation, marvel and amazement and movie rights.

This book is the result of Bible study and sermon series given at churches that I have pastored in Texas. I am indebted to those wonderful brothers and sisters who helped to shape this study.

There is so much the Church of the 21st century can use in following the Pauline Epistles; its methods of church organization, discipline, evangelism, doctrine and teachings. It is incumbent upon every believer to read, study and apply this letter, not only to the life of the church, but to our own lives as well.

It is my hope that by revealing sections of the commentary, that you, the reader of this blog, will dig deep into this most wonderful epistle.
Let us harken to the voice of Paul as we begin this study:

Ephesians 1:1-3 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Beware of False Prophets

This week I was in a large corporate “Christian” book store and I was shocked at the number of books of “false teachers and heretics” that are stocked on the shelves and sold. As I stood in the isle, I must have been muttering to myself. as one of the store’s employees approached me with a smile and asked, “May I help you?” I knew that they were not the store’s manager, and a deep discussion concerning their agreements and contracts with the publishing houses would come to no avail. So, I simply said, “I was surprised that you were carrying this author.” They replied, with a smile on their face, “Oh, we sell a lot of these books from this author.” I was going no-where, so I thanked them and simply said I was just “killing some time until I meet my wife for lunch.” They smiled and as they walked away, he said, “Let me know if there is anything else I could help you with.”

I wanted to shout, “Well, you could remove all the books of this heretic and burn them on a bonfire in the back” so unsuspecting readers would not be harmed by these false teachers. However, I understand where the problem really lays. It is not the reseller or the publisher, and to some degree not even the author. The fault lays clearly on the demand by the readers. If no one purchased their books, they would not be ordered, stocked and sold. They would make their way to the “deep discount” area and the publishers would stop going into contracts with those authors. The problem could be solved in just a couple of years. However, there is so much demand for these authors that until Christians “wake up and heed Jesus’ warning”, the authors will write, the publishers will publish, the stores will order, stock and sell, and the public will continue to be under the spell of “ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Jesus Taught

Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, warned His disciples concerning false prophets and teachers.

Matthew 7:1520 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (ESV)

I believe the reason so many people follow these false teachers is because they are lazy. “Lazy” you may ask? Yes, an emphatic “Lazy.” Instead of reading and studying their bible for themselves, they take the easy way of simply reading and following teachers that scratch their itch, instead of spending the time in prayer and study of the Bible.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Understand this. You will be held accountable for allowing these false teachers into your mind. Jesus says that you can identify them because they bring forth thorns and thistles instead of good fruit. Translation: these false teachers bring disease that can only bring evil fruit and destruction.

The Apostle Paul Taught

Don’t take the easy way out. the Apostle Paul understood this and in writing to his protégé Timothy;

“2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The Apostle John quoted Jesus;

“John 5:37 -43 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
41 I do not receive glory from people.
42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.
43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

What Are We To Do?

  1. Get a good “word for word” translation of the Bible, without commentary and without references and study the Bible after prayer asking for the Holy Spirit to lead and teach you.
  2. Journal – write your questions, thoughts and impressions so that you can return to them later.
  3. Be methodical in your approach to study. Learn how to study the bible by “Observing what the Scripture says; search out God’s interpretation of the verse, paragraph, text or book and then apply what you have learned to your own life.
  4. Observation, Interpretation, Application – in that order. Don’t jump to interpretation until you fully understand what the “text within the context” is saying. Don’t leap to applying the Scripture until you have completed the hard work of Observing and then finding out what God is saying and what He means.
  5. It takes time and is an investment in your spiritual health.

As Christians, we are to study the Word of God. We are to receive sound doctrine and oppose false teachers, even if they are the #1 best seller in your local “Christin” book store.

The Wife of a Pastor

The pastor’s wife normally is seen in the background of most churches. These dedicated women of God have been thrust into a lifestyle and conditions not of their own choosing. And yet, behind every good pastor, is a good pastor’s wife.

I personally believe that I have been given by God, the best wife. Not only is she loving and caring for me, her children and grandchildren, but she cares for a different family, not of blood, but of the spirit. The church in which her husband serves.

My wife Linda, is loving, compassionate, dedicated, and led by the Holy Spirit woman. I am so amazed by her attentiveness, commitment, and swaying devotion to the church family.

I want to tell you about an incident that happened this last Sunday. I was preaching in the place of another pastor, at a church that we’d only visited two times before, and it was Father’s Day. I preached a Father’s Day message out of the Christmas story. The point of the message was that God not only choose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, but he chose Joseph to be the father, the earthly father of Jesus. It would be his task to teach the Son of God him how to be a man. Teach him the Jewish lifestyle and the law. Joseph would teach Jesus the tradecraft of being a carpenter.

Towards the end of the service, I asked all the fathers to approach the altar. I had them spread across the front of the church and then I asked the family members to join them. Those fathers had their family members join them at the altar, except for two, I noticed. They were older, and were standing there all by themselves. I remembered thinking that it was a shame that they would be standing alone during this portion of the service, however, I turned my attention to the remaining fathers. I asked the family members to love on their fathers and pray for them at the altar and that I would give them time for them to accomplish this. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed my wife get up out of her chair, moving to stand between the two men who had no family to stand with them. She spoke softly to each one of them and then reached out and took her hands into hers. She pulled them in close and prayed for each one of them just as any other family member would do. As each of the families completed their time of prayer, they went back to their seats, and Linda, stood on her tiptoes and kissed each of these fathers on the cheek and then she returned to her seat.

I have to tell you, I was in awe and very proud of my wife. Such a simple and honest gesture allowed these two men to join in in this part of the dedication service.

After the ceremony was over as I left the podium and went to be with Linda, I saw a woman move over to speak to her. I overheard part of the conversation. She said, “You sure are a good pastor’s wife. I saw those two men standing there but I didn’t think to get up out of my seat and go participate in the service with them. But you did!” With a smile on her face Linda just shrugged off the complement and turn to get her things.

smiled, with the pride and love for this pastor’s wife. My wife. Linda.

Questions from Youth Camp

Falls Creek Youth Camp, 2016


Another Youth Camp is in the rear view mirror. Every camp takes on a different feel and this year’s camp was no different. We had many first time campers, some previous campers were now counselors and we had several new counselors to our group.

For the past four years, our church, Keys Valley Baptist Church in Belton, Texas, has joined with Grace Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. We go to Falls Creek Youth Camp, located in the Arbuckle mountains. The responsibilities are somewhat shared and we have it down to an organized chaos.

The temperature was in the mid 90’s in southern Oklahoma each day, but that doesn’t stop our 70 campers. They participate in volleyball, soft ball, skate boarding, swimming, canoeing, zip line or many other activities. Memories are made whether it be in the rain and flood of the previous year or the heat this year.

Note: If you decide to read this list of questions, I would ask you to not only look at the question, but think about the reason for the question. I believe you will see some real struggles in the lives of these teenagers (however, there is no way of know if any of the cooks or counselors also placed questions into the box). Many come from broken homes, some abusive. Many parents are not supportive of taking their kids to church. Each year my heart is broken for these teenagers that I get to teach and love for a week. 

  • What do you do to comfort somebody with Jesus?
  • If God has always been there, were the angels always there as well?
  • What do you do if you feel like God is calling you and you don’t listen and you feel like you sinned?
  • I have been having hard thought’s? What do you do if you’re in a church and you feel like God is calling you and you don’t listen?
  • How do you get baptized faster if the other church you go to gives you a 50 question test that you have to pass to get baptized? What do you do?
  • What do you do if you want to get baptized and your pastor immediately says you’re not ready to do this?
  • What do you do if you have problems getting to church?
  • If you commit suicide, can you still go to heaven?
  • What do you do if you’re having bad thoughts and are questioning if God loves you or not?
  • How do you deal with guilt from sin?
  • How did anyone know about God before Jesus came down?
  • What is Christianity? What is God doing when good people die or have bad times?
  • What if someone dies and they have never heard the Gospel?
  • How should we pray?
  • Do you HAVE to confess with your mouth to be saved or just believe in your heart?
  • What verses can you read if you’re going through a tough time?
  • Is it good to only want to read one verse in the Bible?
  • Will I still be able to get into heaven if I believe in things the Bible doesn’t support it? For example, supporting gay marriage.
  • Is it wrong to be transgender, bisexual or gay? Will God hate me if I am? If it is wrong, I’m sorry.
  • Are gay’s allowed to be in heaven?
  • Do you love God? (question for the Apologetic’s Forum panel). Why?
  • How do we help homosexual people?
  • What do you do if when you’re reading a verse in the Bible and don’t get it?
  • Am I saved if I can’t remember when I accepted Christ, but I still believe in him? I just can’t remember the actual date.
  • How do you know the Lord is with you?
  • Is it OK if you want to get closer to God and get resaved?
  • Is it true they took things out of the Bible they didn’t want us to know about?
  • What is the difference between God the Lord & the Holy Spirit? And if none, why not call all of them one name?
  • How do you talk to people that think God is fake?
  • What do you do when you encounter an atheist that argues about your faith? What are some arguments I can use?
  • How do you overcome doubt of God?
  • Why does God love me? Is it OK to have doubts?
  • If God created earth, who created God?
  • Is God going to make us live again?
  • Did the dinosaurs exist?
  • Why is theism involved in Christianity?
  • What does God’s love mean?
  • How do we begin understanding God’s love?
  • How do we know/feel when God is speaking to you?
  • Why is evolution not in harmony with creation?
  • If you aren’t saved, can you still be saved?
  • In Revelation, it says that someone who “adds to” the Bible will have their name “blotted out of the book of life”, but as Baptists we believe no one can be separated from God after they’re saved. Can a Christian lose their salvation by adding to the Bible? Or, does getting your name removed from the book of life mean losing your salvation?

We ended up the Friday evening Apologetics Forum well after midnight. I am sure that there were many questions that were never put on paper.

Our greatest resource in America are our youth. Would you agree to pray with me for this next generation as they search for answers? Thank You.

The DVR of Life

My wife Linda and I drove three hours to have dinner with some very dear friends.  It was like many of our long drives, we were silent at times and other times we had light or serious discussions. On this particular trip, my wife asked me the most interesting question.  “Looking back through our lives is there anything that you regret or would change?”  I would have to say that this question caught me unaware and it took me several minutes of reviewing my life before I could give an answer.

th2KZ7Z5R9As I thought back through my life I realized there were several areas of my life that I regretted.  Number one on that list were the years that I was out of fellowship with God.  I will not know how many people we did not reach for Jesus until I stand before Him.

I believe that we all have things we would change in our lives or regrets?  Would you agree to that statement?  Well would you be shocked to know that God had regrets about creating man?  In the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis states exactly that: “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

I remember when the JVC and Sony were battling for supremacy in the home video recording market.  JVC brought out the VHS (Video Home System) and Sony introduced the Beta format.  The VHS format eventually won over the market.  How exciting it would be to be able to record a television program and then later watch it at your own leisure. You could record a football game that started at noon when the preacher went long, then you could just watch it when he got home. Recent technology has brought us the “DVR” (digital video recorder).  The DVR has taken video recording to a new level. You can record any program at any time, watch one program while you’re recording another, replay any recording, which is especially good when viewing sporting events.  You can even delete certain programs or scenes.

When Linda asked me if I had any regrets, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a DVR for our life?”  Wouldn’t it would be great to sit down with a glass of tea and watch our lives again as they actually happened, and not the way we remember them?  Imagine fast-forwarding over those scenes in our lives that we would just as soon forget?  You wouldn’t necessarily have to watch those times that were too painful to watch again.  You could even delete some events from your life like they didn’t even happen?  You would create a “This is your life”, the high-lights, so to speak.

Let’s pretend that just for a moment that we are here on April 30, 2016 and we are reviewing all the events of 2016 through our DVR.  Would your life be seen in exactly the same scenes as the previous year?  Will there be areas you would fast-forward through?  We can’t answer that question because it hasn’t happened yet.

What do you hope to accomplish in this year, 2016?  New Year’s day is typically when people come up with a list of “New Year’s Resolutions.” However, we normally find that within months, and sometimes weeks the resolution is broken.  So the question I pose to you today is “what do you want to see on your ‘DVR’ when you review it in one year?”

As with all video’s taken of families and outings, there are some scenes that are beautiful and crystal clear.  But other scenes are out of focus or the picture isn’t framed correctly as people’s heads are cut out of the video.  I would suggest that there will be portions that you would want to cut out of the video (taking pictures of the ground when you thought you had the camera turned off, etc.).

To review 2016 with our DVR on May 1, 2017, you will have to watch the good and bad.  Even if you fast-forward, the scenes are still there.  What if you could not delete any portion of the video?  What if the whole world was going to watch the life you lived in 2016?  I am sure that in my life there would be events that I would want to fast-forward or delete so that others could not see.  But what if you couldn’t fast forward or delete, but had to sit on the front row as others watched your life unfold?

While we certainly can’t project the events of the coming year, we certainly can take the steps to make 2016 the best year of our lives. We can begin making decisions today and every day they would ensure one year from now we will be very happy with the recording of our life that took place in 2016.

We have control. We make the decisions that affect how our lives will play out in the next year.

Happy viewing.

A Cement Boat

Ships on a rough sea.
Image via Wikipedia

Recently my grandson Cody was tasked with a science project to design and build a boat made out of cement.  The boat couldn’t just be designed out of cement, it had to float.  We discussed some of the design possibilities.  I have a scientific background and understand that anything can float as long as the weight of the water it displaces is greater than the weight of the object.  For example the aircraft carrier, Nimitz, displaces about 100,000 tons of water.  So if a steel ship can float, then it just makes sense that a boat made of cement should float as well.

We agreed that Ships are designed to float and ride out the most severe storm.  The waves may be raging and the winds howling, but as long as the water can be kept out, the ship will remain afloat.

My grandson was not daunted by the experiment, instead he welcomed the opportunity.  Later I started thinking how his science project applied to the life of a Christian.  When a person becomes a Christian things change.  The Apostle Paul, in writing to the church at Corinth told them that when they became followers of Christ they were; “…a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  In the next chapter Paul taught them to; “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:17).  So the instruction from the Apostle Paul is that when we become Christians, we are a new creation,  a new “ship” so-to-speak.  But Paul also made the point that they were to separate themselves and not have anything to  do with the ways of the world.  The bible speaks of the “world” as being opposite of God and must be separate from the  Christian just as the ship and the water must be separate if the ship is to remain float.

Just as a ship taking on water will eventually sink, a Christian who takes in the world will eventually become useless to God.  The guiding principle of buoyancy is what keeps a ship afloat.  The guiding principles of the bible will keep the Christian afloat.  Both the ship and the Christian share the same problem of keeping out the wrong elements; water out of the ship, and the world out of the spiritual life of a Christian.  The daily storms of the world will bombard the Christian on the seas of  life.  To keep a Christian afloat, they must be filled with the Holy Spirit of God rather than the world.  The immoral, unspiritual or wrong decisions will allow the world to break through the “hull” and replace the Holy Spirit with worldly pleasures.

The Gospel of John discusses these life decisions; “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:15-16).

The problem, as I see it, isn’t the quality of Christians in the world; as much as it is the quantity of the world in the Christian.  Those things in your life that take your focus off of Jesus, or compromises your daily walk or morality must be removed just like water is pumped overboard from the bilges of a ship.

So for the Christian each decision in our lives comes down to; “To float or not to float.  That is the question.”