Tuesday, April 29, 2014


It broke my heart.

My brothers and I were given baby ducklings when we were kids.  It was a thrill for us!  Dad helped us fix up a little area for them in our back yard and we placed our new pets in their cozy home.

Within a few days, one of the ducklings died.

Shortly after that, another one died.

Only one was still living, and it was mine.

Dad started telling me I should release my duckling into a nearby lake instead of keeping him in our back yard.  The thought of it saddened me.  I really loved my new pet.  But I realized Dad was right.  The little one had a better chance of surviving in the lake with other ducks than he did in our neighborhood.

So we placed him in one of those old-school, big, paper, brown, grocery bags from the local Piggly Wiggly.  Then we drove to the lake, got out the car, and approached the shore.  I already had tears in my 8 year old eyes.

I stood there and let the little duckling out of the bag.  He made his way into the water and quickly began swimming away to join the older ducks.  After a few moments, I couldn't see him anymore.  And that was that.  It was a quick "Goodbye", and I was so sad to see him leave.

Goodbyes are painful, aren't they?  They signify an end to spending time together.  And they often leave somewhat of an emotional void in our hearts.

One of the many advantages to Christianity is that the word "Goodbye" never has to be spoken.  When it comes to dealing with our brothers and sisters in Christ, all we will ever have to say is, "We'll meet again one day in Heaven."  We know there will be a perfect reunion one day with all of our fellow believers.

Also, God will never tell us "Goodbye".  He has promised to stay with us as long as we're here on Earth.  And He has promised we can spend all of eternity with Him in Heaven.  God will bless us forever with an ongoing relationship of closeness.

Connected.  That is what we will forever be with God and other believers.  And that is why we will never have to say or hear the word, "Goodbye."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Broken Watch

This morning, my family and I were in church for a worship service.  My son made his way over to me while we were singing.  He leaned over and said, "Dad, your watch is broken."  I kissed him on his head, assured him it was not a problem, and sent him back to his seat.  He had been borrowing a cheap watch I bought at Wal Mart for under $10.   So it really was ok.

 That little conversation got me thinking as we continued to stand and sing there at Bible Fellowship Church.  We were in God's house, and my son came to me, his father, about something that was broken.  It occurred to me that I can go to my Heavenly Father about things that are broken in my life.  Things way more important than a cheap little watch.

As the music continued, I prayed, "Father, there are some things in my life that are broken."  Then I talked with Him, as the band played, about things in my life that need divine repair.  It was a neat time of prayer.

Everywhere you and I go, there are people with lives that are at least partially broken.  Marital, financial, professional, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual problems abound.  As that 80's song goes, "Everybody Hurts."

Whether we are singing in church, walking around the block, or driving down the road, we always have the freedom to pray, "Father, I've got something that is broken.  Can you please help me?"  And when we pray that, He not only listens, but He responds according to His perfect will.

I'm glad my son came to me about the broken watch.

And I bet our Heavenly Father is really glad when we go to Him about our broken lives.

What is it that needs fixing in your life?  Take it to the Heavenly Father.  He is there and He does care.  And He is more than capable of making things right.

Friday, April 25, 2014

When Calvin Miller Would Not Let Me Quit

"encourage one another" - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I began working on my Doctor of Ministry degree at Beeson Divinity School in 2002.  It was a thrill for me to learn from their amazing faculty.  And I thoroughly enjoyed forming new friendships with the students I met.

Things got a little tough for me, however, when I began working on my final project.  I organized and implemented a prayer emphasis in First Baptist Church of Williston, South Carolina.  It lasted for several weeks.  I felt really good about it.  My struggle began when I started the writing my final paper, which documented the prayer emphasis.  I had a hard time writing a good paper, and it was difficult for me to get it approved.  The problem was not the school.  Not at all!  The problem was me.  I simply was not writing at the required standard.

So I quit.

Well, almost.

I reached the point where I thought about throwing in the towel and walking away.  My thought was, "Well, I've learned a lot, and I don't have to graduate from here for this to have been a worth while experience."  I had mostly justified in my mind why dropping out of the program would have been ok for me.

Then Calvin Miller stepped in.

Calvin was a professor there at Beeson.  And he was a favorite among all of us students.  For years, he had been writing fantastic books and preaching unforgettable sermons.  On a personal note, I was blessed to have become friends with him, and I was thankful for it.

One day I was walking on campus and I bumped into Calvin.  He asked me if I had plans for lunch, I told him "No sir", and he took me out to eat.  While we were eating, he looked at me and said, "You know, David, you've come so far in this program.  I'd sure hate to see you quit.  Let me encourage you to stick with it, hang in there, and finish what you started."  As we continued to talk, he assured me that he would help me in any way he could.  I could tell he really wanted me to succeed and graduate.

So I went back home, started working again on my final paper, and finished it.  Shortly after that, I submitted it.  Then I drove back to Beeson and defended it before a panel of professors.  Finally, I was approved by the committee and I graduated.   What a thrill that was for me.  It felt mighty good to finally reach my goal.

Calvin Miller would not let me quit.  He made me believe I could do it.  His words over lunch that day encouraged me to press forward.  And when I got my diploma on that final day, I hugged him and thanked him for inspiring me to persevere.

Since then, Calvin passed away and went home to be with his Lord.  But the lesson he taught me still lingers in my mind.  Still today, I want to encourage others to hang in there, just like Calvin encouraged me to do the same.

Right now, there are people all around this world who want to quit on their marriage, education, job, exercise plan, or life in general.  They're fed up and want to walk away.  In their mind, there is no point in carrying on.

Let's be encouragers!  We can provide support and offer inspiration to those who are tempted to throw in the towel.  We can give them a positive word of affirmation that just may motivate them to try once more.

Encouragement.  People all over the world need it.  So let's be the ones who share it.

What a difference it will make when we don't let people quit

Thursday, April 24, 2014


"Dum spiro spero."  The motto of my home state, South Carolina.  
Translated, it means "While I breathe, I hope."

Andrew Westmoreland is the President of Samford University, which is located in Birmimgham, Alabama, and a great school that I was blessed to attend.  In the March, 2014 edition of Seasons, he wrote the following about Samford:  "More than ever, this is a place of boundless hope."  What a neat way to describe that fine school!

Did you catch it?  "a place of boundless hope."

I've come to realize that the ultimate sweet spot in life is in a relationship with God.  There is no better place than that.  And it is by far the greatest "place of boundless hope."

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my soul finds hope in Him", says Psalm 62:5.  Finding rest is the exact opposite of living like a tense bundle of nerves.  And this rest, which is the same as inner peace, is grounded in the hope we find in a connection with the one, true, living God of the universe. 

Hope in God is way more than wishful thinking.  And it is far better than, "Gee, it sure would be nice if God comes through for me."  Hope in God is actually a rock-solid assurance that He will eternally look out for us and keep us safe in His arms.

We have hope because we know one day God will welcome us home, wipe away our tears, give us a new body, and allow us to spend all of eternity with Him.  All of our troubles in this world will be over.  And a new, better life will begin. 

In the 80's, there was a popular song that included the lyrics, "My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!"  That's especially true for us Christians.  In The Lord, our future is bright indeed.  And that is the ultimate hope we have.

Yes, we find an abundance of wonderful hope in the presence of almighty God.  Because of this, let's not despair.  Let's not throw in the towel and quit on life.  No way!  Let's keep a smile on our face, a spring in our step, and a song of praise on our lips.  Why?  Because the best things in life are ahead for those of us who are connected with God through Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that these words of Paul in Romans 15:13 will become a reality in our lives today:  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


A student left the following message on a dry erase board in our school yesterday:  "Taco Bell Is Life!"

I had to chuckle when I saw that.  I enjoy a good taco.  And to be honest, I love Taco Bell!  Soft taco supremes, meximelts, grilled steak soft tacos, and Mexican pizzas are perfectly delicious.  I'm all for their food.

But to say it is "life" may be going a little overboard, don't you think?

In fairness to whatever kid wrote the message, people of all ages build their lives around all sorts of things.  Sports, money, sex, food, and a significant other are just a few of the many "gods" people adopt and worship as the ultimate meaning of life.

What is your life about?  What do you think about first in the morning and last in the evening?  What matters most to you?

In Phillipians 1:21, Paul wrote "To live is Christ..."  If Paul was writing on a dry erase board, he may would have put it this way:  "Jesus Christ Is Life!"  Nothing mattered to Paul more than his Lord.

Who can blame Paul?  His past was forgiven, his present was sustained, his future was secure, and ALL of that was made possible by Jesus.  So it only makes sense that Paul's world rotated around his Lord.

Let's be like Paul and make our lives about Jesus.  Our Lord is worthy of being the center of our lives.  And besides, He makes life so much richer and fuller.

May Jesus be more than a sidekick or tag-along for us.  Way more.  Let's make every fiber of our being and every day on this Earth about Him.  Let's be able to proclaim with total certainty and joy "Jesus is all the world to me!"  And when we do, our lives will be blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Read "Fight"

I just finished reading Craig Groeschel's book "Fight", and I want to encourage you to get your hands on it to read it for yourself.

Craig takes the story of Samson in the Bible and draws lessons from it that apply to our lives today.  Samson struggled with pride, lust, and anger.  Sound familiar, guys?  Most of us deal with these issues along the journey of life.  So it's certainly a relevant book to us.

Craig is a pastor who knows how to present truths in an easy to follow style.  He has a good sense of humor and he is not afraid to be real about his own life and struggles.  Personally, I like how he writes.  It connects with me.

I learned a good deal about Samson in this book.  More than I have from others I have read.  Samson was a powerful, impressive guy, who had all the potential in the world.  But he made some dumb choices along the way (like we guys sometimes do), and he had to pay a price.  Fortunately, God proved once again to be merciful and forgiving, and He did not give up on Samson.  And this book reminded me how God is still merciful and forgiving to us today.

Guys, do yourself a favor and devour this book.  It's an easy read, and it's short.  But more importantly, it will help you with things like being pure towards women, controlling your temper, staying humble, and living in God's strength.  It helped me tremendously, and I know it will help you.

Ladies, you too can benefit from it.  Reading it will help you better understand your husband, sons, brothers, and the issues they deal with.  Also, it will help you know how to pray for them and encourage them.  Guys are different from you.  You already know that.  This will help you better relate to the fellows in your world, and it will equip you to build them up in The Lord.

Let's do what this book advocates:  Let's get strong in The Lord.  Let's FIGHT for righteousness and against sin.  Let's live up to our God-given potential and carry out His plan for our lives.  In summary,  my brothers, let's be real men!

If  you want to learn more about "Fight", and see how you can order it for yourself, just click HERE.

If you want to watch Craig himself preach on this idea, just click HERE.

Be strong today and fight for what is right.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


I am a Christian.

This means I believe Jesus Christ died on a cross of execution to pay for my sins, was buried, and then came back from death to life.  Yes, I believe that.  It is the core of my faith.

Jesus was dead on Friday, dead on Saturday, and alive on Sunday.

What difference does His resurrection make?


1). It sets Jesus Christ apart.  His coming back to life proves He was more than a good man or a wise teacher.  Far more!  No other spiritual leader of any religion has done this.  None.  So walking out of that tomb says something special about Him.  The resurrection proves He was, and still is, divine.  He was, and still is, God.

2). It gives us hope.  If Jesus Christ faced death and lived, and if we are connected to Him through faith, we too shall face death and live.  How comforting it is to know that death is just a door we step through to eternal life!  Because He lived, we too will live.  There is more living for the Christian than several decades on this Earth.  There is living for eternity in Heaven with the resurrected Jesus Christ.

That is why we Christians make such a big deal about Easter.  We are celebrating this wonderful truth:  We worship a risen, living, mighty Lord.  He is like no other.  And He is our hope for life here and beyond.

Josh McDowell stated it well when he wrote the following:  "No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary.  No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or pain you face,  no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the Resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good."

Jesus Christ is risen.  That is the single greatest source of hope for all of humanity.  And that is why I know that ultimately, everything is going to be more than alright.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Long ago, a young Jewish man, who was turning the world upside down, died by execution on a Roman cross. 

The night before, He was betrayed by one from His inner circle and put through a complete sham of a trial.  Then He was beaten and flogged to the point where He was beyond recognition.  In addition to all this, He was laughed at and mocked in the cruelest of ways.  No mercy was shown to Him.

Then, it was Friday.  Execution day.  He was laid down on wooden beams.  Nails were driven into His body.  Through His hands and through His feet.  These nails were tough and solid.  They held victims in their place on a cross while they endured a slow agonizing death in front of spectators.

The nails were strong, indeed.  There's no denying that.  But the truth is, they are not what ultimately kept Him on that cross.  

See, this man was not an ordinary man.  He was also ... GOD.  If He wanted to, He could have called an army of angels down from to Heaven to rescue Him and take Him away.  If He chose to, He could have wiped all of those Roman soldiers off the face of the Earth instantly.  But He did not do either of those.  He chose to stay in place, suffer, and die.

Ultimately, it was something other than the nails that held Him on that cross.

Simply put, it was love.  His love for you and for me was what kept Him in place.  He once said, "Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down his life for his friends."  (John 15:13).  Love was all in Him and all over Him, and it was why He chose to do what He did.

He chose to pay for all of our sin on that cross, once and for all, so we would not have to pay for our sin in Hell for eternity.  He chose to take our place.  He chose to sacrifice Himself.  Why?  Because He loved you, me, and the rest of humanity.  

No, the nails were not really holding Him there.  Love was.  Strong, deep, eternal, selfless love.

His name was Jesus.  Jesus of Nazareth.  

Today, let's remember Him.  

Today, let's whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for Him.  

Today, let's honor Him in all that we say and do.

What a love that was.

What a love....

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Apparently my iPod Classic is already outdated and old school.  It's a prized possession of mine, which is stuffed full of 80's hits as well as country, rock, and Christian contemporary tunes.  Also, it's been on lots of trips with me, including one to Honduras.  I love it!

Younger folks look at it like a monkey looking at a math problem.  They act like they have no clue what they're seeing.  Although my version is still available, they only use the newer iPod versions that in no way whatsoever resemble my classic style.  The newer ones have touch screens and apps.  

Of course, I don't care what they think.  I like it.  And I'll stick with my classic style! 

So, in the eyes of some, mine is outdated.

Some people look at the Bible like a few folks look at my iPod :  They consider it outdated.  Out of touch with modern times.  No longer "with it."

Let the scoffers, mockers, and critics say what they want.  They can make fun of the Bible and it's teachings until they're blue in the face.  But the truth is this:  God's Word is perfect, relevant, authoritative, and powerful.  It was true when it was written, and it will still be true years after its critics are no longer able to rail against it.

What the Bible said is right years ago is still right today.

What the Bible said is wrong years ago is still wrong today.

People may change.  Behaviors may change.  Times may change.  But the Bible, which is the inspired Word of God, will never change.  And "Amen!" to that.

So, yeah, maybe my iPod is outdated.  And maybe my kids are right that some of my clothes are a little outdated too.  Ha!  Ha!  It's ok.  I can handle that.  :)

But God's word?  No way!  It's not outdated.  And it never will be.  It reigns as the objective standard of truth and wisdom for all of mankind, and will continue to do so for all of eternity.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Squirrel In The Road

I was driving to work when I noticed the squirrel in the road up ahead.  He saw me coming, and he froze.  My car was getting closer to him.  Then he got this frantic look and zig-zagged back and forth as if he did not know whether to race to the other side of the road or go back to the side that was close.  He took one or two steps in one direction, and then he took one or two steps in the other direction.  Now my car was almost on top of him.  Back and forth he raced.  If there ever was an animal that represented indecisiveness, it was that little fellow.  I remembered that old Texan who once said, "The only things you'll ever find in the middle of the road are dead armadillos and yellow lines!"  Finally (and thankfully), he raced to the other side of the before my tires could make him into a furry pancake.  

That got me thinking:  We are just like that squirrel in that we have to make a decision.  Either we are going to go one way to live for our self, or we are going the other way to live for The Lord.  The day approaches when we have to make up our mind and go one direction or another.

We can't stay in the middle of life's road and have it both ways.  A choice must be made.  Either our time on this Earth will be spent selfishly living for the person who stares back at us in the mirror, or our years will be spent selflessly serving The One who gave His life for us on the cross.

The day of decision is approaching us like my car was approaching the squirrel.  Time is running out.  And a decision has to be made.

Friends, choose Jesus.  Run to Him.  And do it knowing He will receive you, love you, bless you, forgive you, and save you for all of eternity.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Kid's Prediction About Heaven

Last week I had the following conversation with a kid.

ME:  So, you go to church?
KID:  Yes sir, I do.
ME:  Have you asked Jesus to come in your heart and save you?
KID:  I sure have.
ME:  Well, that's cool.  I guess I'll see you in Heaven then.
KID:  That's right.  And when you do, I'll probably be kicking a little kid.

For just a second I looked at him.  Then we both cracked up laughing.  It was just a funny moment with a mischievous boy being honest.

One of the many great things about Heaven for us will be this:  We will not be tempted to do wrong when we're there.  No sin will exist.  So people won't be doing wrong things, like kicking little kids, in that wonderful city.

Think about how much damage sin has ushered into our world.  People have been wounded, families have been split, and communities have been ruined.  It has done nothing but hurt civilization and this planet.

In Revelation 21:27, the following statement is made about Heaven:  "Nothing impure will ever enter it."  Forgiven, cleansed sinners will be admitted.  But sin will be turned away at the gate!

I like the thought of that.  A sin-free existence sounds like a mighty fine life!  Holy, sinless God will see to it that the eternity we enjoy with Him will be saturated with His righteousness and purity.  And what a blessing that will be.

P.S.  If you want to read more about no sin in Heaven, I highly recommend you check out a fantastic article by Randy Alcorn.  Just click HERE .

Saturday, April 12, 2014

They Grow Up So Fast

My oldest got all fixed up today for her prom.  I was blown away at how lovely she looked, and I was very proud of her.  Of course, I made sure to get pictures taken with her.  Moments like that need to be treasured and remembered.

While standing beside her, I was thinking how quickly she has grown up.  It seems like only yesterday she was this little baby girl in diapers playing in the back yard with me.  Wow, time sure has flown by!  Now my girl is becoming a young lady.  And I'm realizing that the time I have with her is precious because it does not last forever.  Of course, the same is true for my other three children too.  It makes me want to treasure each day with her, and make the most of every opportunity I have to be her dad.

I realize that if you're a parent, you love your kids like I love mine.
So, in a way, I'm writing this as a friendly reminder for you and me both.
May all of us parents treasure each day and each stage of life with our children.  
They grow up so fast!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

People Don't Change ... Or Do They?

I've heard people say it many times.  At one point of my life I struggled with what I thought about it.  What am I talking about?  This statement:  "People don't change."  Basically, the core of this idea is the belief that men and women just are what they are, and they remain what they are until they die.

When I read the Bible, however, I see a very different line of thought on this.

Here are just two thoughts for our consideration:

(1). Paul wrote "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" in Romans 12:2.  That word "transformed" was "metamorphoo" in the original Greek.  That was where we got our modern word "metamorphosis", which has to do with experiencing change.  An example of this in nature is how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.  Paul was encouraging the Romans to let God change them from the inside out.

(2).  In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul wrote about people who messed up sexually, worshipped false gods, stole, were always wanting more, drank too much, and practiced no self control over their mouths.  Then, in the very next verse (11), he stated, "And that is what some of you were."  Paul's point was that some of the Corinthian Christians had experienced radical changes in their life.

It is my firm belief that yes, people can and do indeed change when they allow God to work in their hearts, minds, and lives.  Transformation does take place, and people are no longer what they used to be.  From the inside out, God makes individuals new creatures and their old lives simply exist no more.

God takes alcoholics and makes them sober.
God takes hardened inmates and makes prison missionaries.
God takes the sexually promiscuous and makes them pure.
God takes negative, pessimistic souls and makes them joyful.
God takes quick-tempered hot-heads and makes peaceful.
God takes sinners and makes them saints.

I know this:  God has changed me, and continues to do so.  I'm so thankful for His ongoing, transformative work in my life.  No, I am not yet everything I should be.  But, thanks be to God, I am not what I used to be.

Don't give up on people who appear to be a lost cause of faults and mishaps.  And don't give up on yourself if you've made a royal mess of things.  God can, and does, change people.  He miraculously takes ugly, broken lives and reworks them into beautiful masterpieces.

God can change you.

God can change me.

God can change us all.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Little Things

I once held a baby alligator.  It was little and harmless.  And it certainly did not strike any fear in me.  But I did think to myself, "One day, this little gator will grow into a big one."  I knew when that day came, he would be huge, strong, and capable of killing.

The truth is, sin is the same way.

For some reason, we tend to look at some sins as "little things" that don't really matter too much because they do not lead to immediate harm or instant consequences.

I'm talking about things like...

Telling a "little white lie" so we don't get in trouble.
"Innocent, fun flirting" with someone who is not our spouse.
Stretching some numbers to help out our income taxes.
Sharing a small dose of gossip about another person behind their back.
Doctoring up our resume so we can get that job.

People do these "little things" and think, "Oh, it's no big deal.  Nobody's going to get hurt here.  Besides, I could be doing something a whole lot worse than this!"

I've learned these two truths:

[1]  There are no "little" sins or "big" sins.  All sin is just sin.  And in God's eyes, it's all evil, wrong, and unacceptable.

[2]  Fooling around with sin, even if it looks like no big deal on the surface, points us in a dangerous direction and positions us for painful consequences.  That "little thing" will grow into a big, dangerous mess, and it can leave us with regrets and scars for the rest of lives.

If we're faithful to God and obedient in the "little things", we are going to be blessed.

If we're foolish and disobedient in the "little things", we are headed towards a world of hurt.

Like it or not, just accept that it's a law of life:  Little things do become big things.

Be careful out there, and make wise choices.

"For the wages of sin is death..."  Romans 6:23

Monday, April 7, 2014

How To Live Each Day

May you and I live each and every day...

With God's Presence.  Let's invite Him to be a part of our mornings, afternoons, and evenings.  May we be mindful of, and moved by, His loving, intimate presence.  We can talk to Him through prayer, hear from Him through scripture, and bond with Him through worship.  His unending companionship is available to us all day, every day; therefore, let's bask in His company and enjoy it.  

Under God's Protection.  It is a dangerous time and world that we live in.  But here is the good news:  God is a shelter to His children.  Nobody can snatch us out of His hand.  As we start out each day, let's ask Him through prayer to be our shield and defender physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Since safety is found in the Lord, let's stay close to Him. 

In God's Peace.  He is the calm in the midst of life's storms.  With all of life's stresses and strains, we need His serenity to fill our hearts, minds, and souls.  Our request every day ought to be for Him to keep us comforted and at ease.  No more living like a wound up bundle of nerves!  Instead, let's live in assurance that He is in control and all will be well.

Through God's Power.  Challenges and trials face us all.  Life is not easy.  But God has unlimited strength.  Nothing is impossible or too difficult for Him.  So when we connect with Him, His potency infuses us, and we are empowered for daily living.  He makes us strong when we allow Him.  Let's allow God to enable us to live in victory.

By God's Provision.  Each of us has needs, and God is The One who can meet them.  He owns all things.  Also, He is incredibly generous.  So we would be wise to ask Him to come through for us and provide for us in every way.  Time after time over the centuries, God has given men, women, boys, and girls what they need.  And He still does the same today.  So let's ask Him daily to bless us and help us where we are lacking.

How should we spend each day?  In God's presence, protection, peace, power, and provision.  There's no better way to live than that.

Friday, April 4, 2014


I always wanted to be a successful basketball player when I was a kid.  I loved the game, and still do.  Before I reached junior high school, I had a pretty decent church league basketball career going.  Those were fun times for me on the court.

Then I tried out for my school's basketball team in the sixth grade.  I got cut at tryouts.  Didn't make the team.  It really hurt.

The next year I tried out again as a seventh grader.  I got cut again.  The coach didn't think I could play on his team.  Two years in a row of rejection did not feel good at all.

In my eighth grade year, I tried out once more.  Guess what?  I made the team.  The coach gave me a uniform.  I got to practice and go to all the games.


I was a benchwarmer.  The coach had me sit on the bench most of that season.  It was a frustrating experience for me.

After that season, I decided to just have fun with my buddies in the student section at the games.  That was way more enjoyable for me.  And I didn't have to torture myself by running suicide sprints in the Thomas Sumter Academy gym any more!

Looking back on that, I realize the coach probably did the right thing.  Most likely I thought I was better at basketball than I really was.  And I understand he needed to win games with his best players.  So it's ok.  No hard feelings.

Here's the great thing about being a Christian and joining God's team:  Everybody plays a role, and nobody is a benchwarmer.  Regardless of whether we're male, female, rich, poor, educated, or a school dropout, we can join in on the action and participate in God's work around the world.

God invites us to befriend the lonely, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, protect the defenseless, encourage the grieving, and evangelize the unsaved.  He allows us to be His hands and feet in this world.  What a huge privilege it is to be on God's team!  None of us have to sit on the sidelines of life and watch the select spiritual superstars do everything. All of us have the thrilling opportunity to join God's redemptive work and make a positive difference in our homes, schools, workplaces, and churches.

I'm happy to be on God's team.  And I realize that if I get in on the action, use the talents He has given me, and follow His game plan, exciting things can happen.  And maybe, just maybe, one day He could look at me and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

And the same is true for you, my friend.