Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Giver Of Good Stuff

One of my daughters asked me the other day to take her to a coffee shop.  Here is a weird confession about me:  I do not drink coffee.  But I do love my kids, so I took my girl, bought her what she wanted, and sat to talk with her while she enjoyed her beverage of choice.  It was a great time of dad-daughter bonding.

A worker there at the coffee shop announced that they had an extra drink available, and anyone could have it for free if they wanted it.  It was some sort of specialty drink instead of a coffee.  "Sure, I'll take it," I replied.  I figured I would give it a try.  After all, it was free!

I took one sip.  That was all I needed to take.  It was absolutely awful.  The worst tasting drink I've ever tried.  My daughter laughed at me.  She knew I didn't like it because of my facial expression, I suppose.  I had to laugh too.

When we got in the car I looked at my lovely daughter and said, "You know, maybe not every gift you receive from the coffee shop is good, but you can bet your bottom dollar that every gift you receive from God is extra good!"  She smiled and nodded in agreement.  And off we drove towards home, happy that we enjoyed such a nice visit.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father" says James 1:17.  God is the giver of good stuff!  A gift from Him is guaranteed to be a blessing.

I doubt I'll accept any more gifts from the coffee shop.  :)  But the years have taught me to accept, enjoy, and appreciate the gifts that come from God.  His salvation, companionship, guidance, peace, joy, strength, purpose, and other blessings are the best things I can enjoy in life.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for being so good to us.  Your gifts are simply the best!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I once was driving around some back roads of Sebring, Florida, when I got stuck.  Foolishly, I tried to drive through a sandy spot that was located off the paved roads when it happened.  That was not one of my brighter moves.  I found myself unable to move backwards or forwards.  When I pushed down on the gas, my tires would only spin.  Yep, I was stuck.

Have you ever found your life sort of like that?  Stuck in a financial mess.  Stuck in an addiction.  Stuck in a toxic relationship.  Stuck in a pessimistic mindset or negative attitude.  Stuck in a depression.  Stuck in a life that is spiraling out of control.  It happens, you know?  And it's not a good spot to be in.

When I realized I was stuck, I picked up my phone and made a call.  I asked a buddy to come help me out.  He got in his big truck, drove out to where I was, and managed to pull my car out of that sand.  It sure felt good to be free!!

If you're stuck in something bad or negative in your life, reach out for help.  First of all, call on God through prayer.  Ask Him to free you from the mess that has you bound.  He specializes in freeing people's hearts, minds, and lives.  Second, call on some stronger, wiser Christian people who can lend a hand.  God has wired and called some people who can listen to you, offer words of wisdom, and assist you in your quest for freedom.  The point is this:  Be real with God and other people when you're stuck in something destructive, and make sure you quickly reach out for help.

Freedom is an awesome thing!  And we have an incredible God who loves to grant it to His people.  So don't suffer silently in bondage any more.  Reach out for help.  And get ready for your moment of liberty to arrive.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" - John 8:36

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Stay Away From The Gators

I noticed this gator in our neighborhood.  He was living in a pond not far from our home.  At times he would come to the shore and lay out in the sun.

I took this picture about twenty-five feet from him.  He was impressive looking and I enjoyed standing there and watching him.  After a while, he slid back into the water and went on with his business.

It does not take a genius to know how vital it is to stay away from gators.  If you get close to them and interact with them, they can really put a hurting on you.  And in some cases, they can easily kill you.  Yep, it's best to just not go near them.

We ought to treat sin that same way we treat gators.  We should just stay away and keep our distance.  Nothing good ever comes out of inching closer and closer to sin.  Sooner or later, we will get bit and bad things will happen.

God does not forbid us from things because He wants to bind us or bore us.  He is not out to keep us from having fun.  Far from it.  The truth is, God forbids us from some things because He loves us and wants to protect us from the pain and suffering that sin ushers into our lives.  And He knows that sin will lead to less joy in our lives instead of more. 

Let me offer you a simple warning because I care about you:  Beware of sin.  It may look harmless and innocent enough on the surface.  But if you fool around with stuff that God has designated as off-limits, you will suffer consequences.  You will end up filled with pain and regret.   

Sin in our thoughts, words, and deeds never has a happy ending.  Please stay away from it.  And if you're already messing around with it, please stop now and get away from it while you still can.

Run to God.  Enjoy His righteousness, peace, and joy.  Discover the blessings of obedience.  Experience the wholeness that comes from walking daily with Him.  The truth is, living God's way leads to a much better life than living our way.
Just be careful out there.  Stay away from evil.  And enjoy the thrill of living in God's will.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

That's What Dads Do

Recently I was talking with a young kid.  I asked him how his parents were doing.  He told me his mom was fine and then he said this about his dad:  "All my dad does is work and come home to lay on the couch and watch tv.  I guess that's what dads do."

Ouch!  Is that really all that we dads do?  I sure hope not. 

That got me thinking about myself as a dad, and other guys too...

I have made my share of mistakes as a dad.  If I could go back in time, I'd certainly do some things different in the lives of my children.  But all I can do is learn from my past and try to do my job well today and in the future.

The same goes for you dads.

Anyway, may our kids be able to say that we do more than work and lay on the couch with the remote control!

Yes, we get tired from getting up early and working all day.

Yes, there is a time for us to rest and unwind at home.

But our families need us to also be involved with life around the home too.

We can play ball with our kids in the yard.  We can take a turn doing the dishes.  We can go for a walk with our wife around the neighborhood.  We can talk with our kids about school, their friends, and other areas of their lives.

I know, guys.  It's not always easy being a dad.  Believe me, I get it.

But let's be actively involved in our homes, as much as possible.  Let's interact and do life with our families.  And let's be the kind of dads who make a visible difference in the lives of our wives and kids.

May God give us guys wisdom to know when it's time to rest on the couch with the remote control and when it's time to interact with our families who really do want and need us.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Nutcrackers

I remember it like it happened yesterday.

A few years ago, our family was in a Target store in Aiken, South Carolina.  Our son asked if we could leave.  He was not too interested in shopping.  I told him to wait for just a few more moments and then we would leave.  He just shrugged his shoulders, mumbled "Ok", and quietly disappeared around the corner.  I waited for a few seconds and then went to see what he was doing.

There sat my boy in the middle of the store's floor.  He had taken the Christmas nutcrackers off the shelves and started playing with them.  I was about to say something to him about it, but I just stood there, smiled, and watched him have his fun.  The kid's imagination was rolling as he played happily right there on the floor.

Emerson had simply chosen to make the best of where he was.  He maximized the moment.  And he decided to be happy right there in his current surroundings.

What a neat reminder for all of us, young and old alike.

Maybe you don't live where you want to live.

Maybe you don't work where you want to work.

Maybe your life is not going exactly how you want it to go.

If that's you, here's a little nugget of advice from someone who cares:  The best thing you can do is whisper a prayer, be thankful for the good things that are going your way, and just make the best of where you are.  Appreciate the now and decide to be happy.

Sure, it's great to set goals and aim for a different kind of life.  It's fine to work towards the job you want and the home you want.  There's nothing wrong with wanting those things.  But while you're working towards them, choose to enjoy the right here and the right now too.  Choose to smile and appreciate the positives of your life in this very moment.

My boy decided to enjoy the nutcrackers that were right in front of him.  Let's follow his example and daily enjoy the blessings that are right in front of us as well.  That will keep a smile on our faces and a spring in our steps.

May God help us to be content and thankful for the His wonderful gifts which surround us right now, and may He enable us to walk in His joy each day, regardless of our circumstances.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Kid At The Barber Shop

Earlier this week I was sitting in a barber shop watching my son get his hair cut.

There was this other kid sitting alone in the corner, which was close to where my seat was.

"Hey, you wanna play chess with me?" I heard him ask.

"I don't really feel up to it right now, kiddo.  Maybe some other time."  Yep, that was my reply.  I didn't say it in a mean tone or anything like that.  But I just wanted to sit alone in peace.

About five minutes later, he looked at me again.

"I really think you would have a great time if you played some chess with me."

I thought to myself, "Good grief, whose kid is this?  And why does he want to keep bugging me?"  That's what I thought at first.  Not what I said.

Finally I looked at the boy and said, "OK, kid.  I'll play a game with you."  I surrendered and decided to just give the boy some attention.

So there we sat in the barber shop playing chess.  Two strangers.  Having fun.

We laughed and cut up.  It turned out he didn't know the first thing about chess.  I'm pretty doggone good at it, so I taught him a few things about the game.  But that didn't matter.  What mattered was that a lonely kid got some attention.  And I must admit I had fun making him laugh.

Shortly before I left the barber shop with my son, an old lady walked up to me.  The boy said, "This is my grandma."  Then she looked at me and said, "Thanks for teaching him how to play chess.  He's been asking me to teach him, but I just haven't had the time."

That moved me.  That boy had been looking for somebody to just spend time with him.  He was lonely and had been reaching out to whoever would give him the time of day.

As I sit here this morning, I'm glad I gave that kid some of my time.

And I'm glad that God is always there for us, twenty four hours a day.  He is never too busy for us, and He does not put us off until later.  "I am with you always, to the very end of the age," is what He tells us in Matthew 28:20.

Yep, the kid in the barber shop reminded this 43 year old guy of two important truths.  One, everybody needs somebody to care and give them attention.  And two, we have an awesome God who endlessly loves us and wants to fellowship with us.  If we remember those two key truths, our lives will be richer and fuller.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I'd like to introduce you to my Grandmama.

She is a wonderful Southern lady who has always been good to me.  Grandmama loves the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Lutheran church, her bridge clubs, and good books.  And she really loves her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

I'm her oldest grandchild, and I've always been thankful for the good relationship I have with her.  The first college football game I ever attended was with her.  I once travelled around Italy with her.  And I've treasured the days and nights I've sat in her living room and talked with her about life.

Grandmothers sure are special ladies, aren't they?!  They are in a league of their own.  And they deserve our love, gratitude, and respect.

Here are a couple quotes I found about grandmothers:

"A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend."  Author Unknown

"Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while ... but our hearts forever."  Author Unknown

The neatest thing I've read in the Bible about a grandmother is in 2 Timothy 1:5.  It turns out that Lois was Timothy's grandmother.  Lois had a "sincere faith" that she passed down to her grandson.  She made a spiritual impact on a young man that became a leader in the church and a witness for The Lord.

I'm thankful for how Grandmama has encouraged me spiritually.  She has prayed for me and advised me many times over the years.  What a blessing she has been in my life!

On Christmas Eve of 2012, I attended a late night communion service with Grandmama at her church.  She and I knelt side-by-side and remembered the cross of Christ with the bread and the wine.  It was a sacred moment I'll never forget.  And it was just one of many instances where she encouraged me in The Lord.

May God bless all grandmothers who build us up spiritually.

May we grandsons and granddaughters express our gratitude to these special ladies who have looked after us and prayed for us over the years.

Thanks for everything, Grandmama.  I love you!  And I'm proud to be one of your grandchildren.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Plea Of The Produce Stand

My wife asked me to take her to a produce stand here in Sebring yesterday.  So, I did.  It was a neat little place in the parking lot of the mall.  A nice, old couple was running it.  They had plenty of fruits and vegetables for sale, and my wife was enthusiastically picking out the items she wanted.

But my eyes were hung up on a sign they had hanging over the produce.  It was simple and powerful. The sign read, "If you're satisfied, tell everyone.  If you're not, tell us."

The meaning of the sign is pretty obvious:  If you like your experience at their place of business, please tell everyone.  If you are not pleased with your experience, please just quietly tell the workers what is wrong so they can fix it.  In other words, please do not bash them publicly in the community.

The plea of the produce stand is actually a great reminder for all of us to be careful with our mouths.

Sometimes in life, someone is going to disappoint us and let us down.  When that happens, we have an important decision to make:  Either we can go to that person and discuss it privately for some sort of resolution, or we can go around bad-mouthing that person to anyone who will listen to us.

What is the best thing to do?

Well, Jesus once said "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you."  (Matthew 18:15)  That was a call for a private, one-on-one discussion between the person who was offended or concerned and the person who appeared to have done wrong.  Jesus was saying that problems between two people or parties should be discussed and corrected in private if at all possible.

The plea of the produce stand is perfectly in line with the words of Jesus.

When people let us down, let's handle it privately and discretely.  Let's deal with it behind closed doors and try to resolve it peacefully with whoever did us wrong.  And let's not run therm down with our mouths to other people. Talking trash about other people only makes the problem worse and actually makes us look pretty small too.

May we remember this lesson today and handle our concerns privately.  When we do this, problems are more likely to be fixed, reputations are more likely to be protected, and relationships are more likely to be repaired.  When this happens, everybody wins.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cleaning The Chicken House

"Blessed are the pure..."  Matthew 5:8

Tim is a good buddy of mine in South Carolina.

I used to do some part time work for him on the side.  And I loved it!  He taught me a lot.

One day he asked me to clean out one of his chicken houses.  Never having done that before, I jumped right into it enthusiastically.  For several hours I worked in there before he moved me to another area.

I learned this pretty quickly:  Chicken houses need to be cleaned.  They can get really smelly and dirty.  Smart guys (like my friend Tim) know to do regular maintenance and cleaning in these areas so these environments don't get out of control.

You know, we have to do regular cleaning in our lives on a regular basis too.

Sometimes toxic relationships, dirty habits, filthy mind sets, and unclean ways can creep into our lives when we're not careful.  Before we realize it, we can become a mess like a smelly chicken house.  Something needs to be done about it.

We must allow God's forgiveness to wipe out the filth from our lives.

And we must daily stay disciplined with scripture and prayer so that He can continue speaking to us and refining us.

We can be pure.

Our hearts, minds, and lives can be made clean and right if we allow God to take charge of us and if we obediently work with Him.

May you and I be cleansed today.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thinking About My Parents

I've been thinking about my parents lately.

We live about 500 miles part.  To be honest, I miss them.  And I look forward to the next time I get to see them.

Dad and Mom are fine people.  I have good feelings and positive thoughts about them both.  And I am glad to have a good relationship with them.

It's true that a lot of us go through various phases of our relationship with our parents.

I remember the late Calvin Miller explaining that we "idolize" and then "demonize" our dads and moms.

We idolize them when we are younger.  This means we tend to focus on their strengths and positive qualities.

Then we demonize them as we get a little older.  This means we tend to focus on their quirks and weaknesses while convincing ourselves we are smarter, cooler, and more "with it" than they are.

In my mind, many of us "normalize" our parents when we mature some by accepting the fact that they are normal people like everyone else.  We realize they are not superheroes or demons; instead, they are just like we are.  Our parents are normal people who have strengths, weaknesses, victories, and failures.

My parents are not perfect people.  I do get that.  They make mistakes just like every other member of the human race.  But they love God and they love my brothers and me.  They've rejoiced with me when I succeeded greatly, and they've stood with me when I failed miserably.  For that, I am grateful.

I don't know how much more time I have with them.  Life is so doggone unpredictable.  But I do know this:  I love, appreciate, and honor them both.  And I'm proud to say I am their son.

If you still have your parents, be fair with them.  Don't expect them to be perfect when you know that you're not perfect either.  And make sure you love them.  Seek as good of a relationship with them as you can and treat them right.

Gary Parker was right when he wrote these words years ago in his book The Last Gift :  "I learned this lesson:  in the final analysis the best any of us can do is this - forgive our parents for the hurts they cause us and bless them for the gifts they leave us."

Thanks, Dad and Mom, for being great parents.  God bless you both.

Friday, March 14, 2014


(Pictured above is our family)


I have one.  And most likely you do too.

What does it mean?

Family means "Let's stick together."  In good times and in rough times, family members hold on to each other.  The unit remains intact and never allows itself to be divided.

Family means "I love you anyway."  When one member does wrong or makes a mistake, the other members still treasure him or her.  The unit does not love sin, but it does continue loving the member who sinned.

Family means "We're worth fighting for."  The unit is worth making sacrifices for and doing what it takes to survive and thrive.  All members are willing to work on things such as service, forgiveness, patience, listening, and understanding for the common good.

Family is a treasure of commitment and unconditional love.  And it's worth working on.

Hold on to your family.  I will hold on to mine.

May God bless our families.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Cafeteria Congregation

It's Tuesday, March 11, 2014.  The last time I preached in a church was in November of 2012.  To be honest, I've really missed speaking before crowds and encouraging them for their daily lives!

But I've been blessed with an awesome opportunity to teach in a middle school.  I love my new job.  It's a great chance to work with some wonderful people and help some great kids.  To put it lightly, I am truly thankful for my teaching job.

Anyway, I walked into the school cafeteria yesterday with my class.  As usual, there was a ton of kids sitting all over this huge room where they eat five days a week.  I stood there and watched as my students made their way through the lunch line and got their trays filled with food.

All of a sudden, it happened.  One of our school leaders, who was talking over a sound system to the big crowd of students, said "Mr. Richardson, would you like to come and share an inspirational thought with everyone?"  Have you ever had that dream where you walked into a classroom and was handed a test that you had not studied for?  That's how I felt.  As I nodded "Yes" and walked towards the microphone in front of all those kids, my mind froze.  I had no clue what I was going to say.  I totally drew a blank.  Then he handed me the microphone.  I thought for just a couple of seconds as I looked down at the floor.  Then the words came to me.

For about 60 seconds, I talked.  I told the gigantic crowd of middle school students that they were about to enter the second half of their day.  And I challenged them to give their teachers and their parents their best effort in everything they did the rest of the day.  Then I encouraged them to live in such a way that when they lay their heads down on their pillow at night, they could honestly say to themselves, "I gave my very best today!"

I didn't know if what I was saying was clicking with them or not.  They were stone silent while I was talking.  But when I wrapped up my thought for the day, and handed the gentleman his microphone back, the kids erupted into applause and cheers!  It was an amazing experience.  God had given me those words.  And those kids received what was said.  It was a cool moment that I can promise you I will never forget.  Ever.  

I walked out of the cafeteria overwhelmed with emotion.  Good emotion.  Something special was happening.

See, it seemed to me that God was telling me something.  In essence, God was saying, "David, I can use you right here in this middle school.  You don't have to be in a pulpit to serve Me.  Just use what I have given you right where you are.  Today, all those kids were your congregation.  Many of them never go to a church, but today they got to see and hear you being salt and light."

Life has ups, and life has downs.  We go through many twists, curves, and loops along the way.  But God is good, and He can use us anytime we want if we just will make ourselves available to him.

Yep, I do hope to preach again one day in a church.  But you know what?  I'm happy I get to serve God right here in this middle school.  It's a great place.  It's right where God wants me to be.  I like being a school teacher.  And I'll happily work with this cafeteria congregation any chance I get!

P.S.  To top if all off, I was told today that I will have plenty more opportunities to share a "Thought For The Day" in the cafeteria at lunch.  Wow!  What a cool chance to make a real difference.  My reply was simple:  "Yes, I'll be ready every day!"  And I will...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Good News For Sinners Like Me

In a cemetery outside of New York City there is a tombstone that has only one word on it.  It's a perfect word.  The tombstone reads:  Forgiven.  

Everything God does is amazing.  The resume with His name on it is filled with awe-inspiring accomplishments.  His divine work is worthy of praise and deserving of celebration.

But I'm especially excited about this:  God forgives.  He really does!  And that's good news for sinners like me.

How does God forgive?

Well, He does the following with our sins:

(1).  He stomps on them with His feet and throws them to the bottom of the sea.  (Micah 7:19)

(2).  He chooses to not remember or think about them any more.  (Isaiah 43:25)

(3).  He leaves them behind and never turns around to revisit or see them again.  (Isaiah 38:17)

Aren't you thankful for this?  I sure am.  It's wonderful news.

I am flawed and imperfect.  I have made my mistakes.  But I am forgiven.  And for that reason, gratitude fills my heart.

Let God forgive you.  Allow Him to erase the wrongdoings from your track record.  That blessing alone will give you enough reason to celebrate for all of eternity.

How awesome it is to be forgiven.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Frank Martin is the men's head basketball coach at the University of South Carolina.  He has made the news recently for his bad language.  At a game against the Florida Gators, Coach Martin cussed very loudly and directly at one of his own players.  It was a pretty intense and heated moment.  So he has been suspended for one game, which means he will not get to coach his team that day.

I'm not here to bash Frank Martin.  I've used some words in my life that were not appropriate either.  I'd be lying if I acted like I've never cussed before.

The truth is, we all have most likely uttered a profane word or two in our lives.

Does God care about our language?

Actually, yes He does.

Ephesians 4:29 tells us "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth..."

James 3:10 tells us "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

God wants us to use healthy, noble, positive language in our communication.  And He wants our language to rise above the gutter-level, trashy talk that saturates our world.  Ultimately, His desire is for pure language to spill forth from a pure heart.

I wish Coach Martin well.  Everyone makes mistakes, and God can certainly forgive him, just as He forgives the rest of us.  May the Coach and the rest of us see this as a valuable reminder to carefully select healthy, positive words in our daily communication with others.

Let's honor The Lord today with our words.

Let's edify others today with our words.

Let's set a positive example today with our words.

Let's reflect the goodness of Jesus Christ today in what we think, say, and do.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pax Et Bonum

I remember that Saturday night well.  Sitting on an old pontoon boat in the middle of Santee Cooper, eating boiled peanuts, listening to Ronnie Milsap sing "Lost In The Fifties Tonight" on the radio, and enjoying the view of the Carolina moon and stars. Peace was what I felt that night.

I remember that North Carolina mountain trip like it was yesterday.  Swimming with some good buddies at the base of a cool waterfall back in the woods, and then falling asleep on those big rocks while letting the warm sunlight dry me off.  Peace was what I felt that day.

We all treasure peace.  It's a priceless blessing that soothes our hearts and calms our minds.  It grants us serenity and stability that we need for daily living.

Saint Francis of Assisi and the other monks in his monastery would often speak the Latin phrase "Pax et Bonum."  Christians around the world still use this phrase today.  Here is what it means:  "Peace and goodness be with you."

Most of us can't nightly enjoy a boat ride on the lake.  A lot of us can't daily enjoy a carefree swim in the base a cool mountain waterfall.  But we don't have to do those things for peace to be with us.  Regardless of our location and circumstances, we can have an inner calmness that settles our hearts and minds.

Jesus is described in Isaiah 9:6 as the "Prince of Peace".  What an appropriate title.  He enables us to live in the peace of God.  When Jesus becomes our Savior and Lord, He grants us a calmness that is better than anything this world has to offer.

Are you stressed, worried, afraid, or weary?  Is life getting to be a bit too much for you to bear?  If so, Pax et Bonum.  May God's peace and goodness gently stir afresh within you.  May you be reminded that God is big, powerful, wise, totally in control, and daily looking out for you.  May you be settled with serenity that only comes from above.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


This is the "selfie generation".  Just in case you don't know what a selfie is, it is a picture someone takes of himself or herself.  As you can see in the above picture, I even got in on the action and snapped one of myself one day too.

It seems to be the craze these days.  Celebrities are doing it.  The Pope did it.  Even our nation's President did it.

I guess there's no real harm in doing it once or twice.  But there are people today who get a little obsessed with this practice and constantly flood the internet with picture after picture of themselves.  It seems to scream out, "Hey everybody, look at me!"

You know who would NOT take a selfie?  John the Baptist.  If he were around today, that most certainly would not be on his to-do list.

A long time ago, John the Baptist said this:  "He must increase, but I must decrease."  (John 3:30)  He was talking about Jesus.  John's point was simple yet powerful:  He wanted people to see more of Jesus and less of himself.  He wanted Jesus to be center stage and himself to exit the stage.

John the Baptist did not want to call attention to himself; instead, he wanted to call attention to Jesus. And that should be our mission in life as well!  We need to cast the spotlight way more on our Savior and way less on ourselves.

Jesus can forgive sins.  
Jesus can save souls.
Jesus can break addictions.
Jesus can change hearts.
Jesus can rescue sinful, broken, hurting people and turn their lives around for good.

Let's allow people to see Jesus in our actions.
Let's enable people to hear Jesus in our words.
Let's point people to Jesus with our lives!

May we lose the selfie mentality of making life all about ourselves, and may we instead make life all about Jesus.

HE is who people really need to see.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Camping Out On The Roof

It's one of those verses that will raise an eyebrow or two.

"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."  Proverbs 25:24

This dynamite statement forces us men and women to ask ourselves the following question:  Am I easy to live with?

Regardless of whether we are male or female, we are either a pleasure or a pain to others who live under our roof.  And if we're hard to be around, our family members would rather be outside the house (or even on the roof!) in peace than to be inside the house near our unpleasantness.

When our family members pull into our driveway, are they glad to see our car sitting there or are they disappointed?

When we walk into the front door of our home and say "Hey everyone, I'm home!", are our family members thrilled to hear our voices or already wishing we would turn around and leave again?

Here's my point:  Let's be easy to live with in our homes.

Be positive.

Be calm.

Be kind.

Be complimentary.

Be patient.

Be forgiving.

Be the kind of person that other family members want to be around.

If we are easy to live with, our families will be thrilled to be inside the home with us.

If we are difficult to live with, our families may grab their pillows and blankets so they can camp out on the roof of our homes rather than stay inside our homes with us.

Be easy to live with today.

Monday, March 3, 2014


"The problem with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism."  Norman Vincent Peale

It's been going on for a while.

I read it and hear it on a regular basis.

People are referred to as a "hater" (or "h8ter") anytime they offer criticism of almost any kind.

This is the mindset of today's generation:  "How dare you disagree with me or challenge me?  You're just a hater who is out to get me.  I'm going to tune you out from now on!"

Here's the deal, folks:  It's foolish and dangerous to write off all people as "haters" just because they disagree with us or offer us constructive criticism.

Yes, there are some people who love to be negative and enjoy bad-mouthing everything and everyone.  That is true.  And we do have to take some of what they say with a grain of salt.

But there are also plenty of good-hearted, wise, caring people out there who will disagree with us and offer us constructive criticism from time to time.  And on some occasions, they are exactly right!  At moments in our lives we need people to challenge and correct us.  It's for our own good.  And NO, we should not write them off as "haters" just because they aren't applauding everything we do.

I'm glad some people have intervened and corrected me at times in my life.  Some criticism I've received in my life was 100% deserved.  Maybe I didn't enjoy receiving it at the moment; however, I've realized along the way that I'm blessed to have some good people who care enough about me to tell me when I'm wrong.  And the times that I've listened to them and made life adjustments have been to my benefit.

Ecclesiastes 7:5 gives us this bit of wisdom:  "Better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools."  How true!  We come out on the winning side when we listen to wise people who disagree with us or offer us constructive criticism.

Don't get defensive and shut people out just because they challenge you or offer you an alternative point of view.  Don't write them off as "haters".  Why?  Because you may be wrong.  They may be right.  And maybe, just maybe, they are encouraging you to change your direction because they care about you and they want what's best for you.