Tag Archives: trust

What if LIFE was decided by polls?

This week, our current President’s poll numbers have taken a nose dive. This is not about the President, or whether you like him or not. With approval rates dropping below 40%, ouch. Yet our President said he doesn’t believe in poles. Yeah, right. So polls count, except when they don’t.

Let me share some great and weird and scary poll numbers … 

  • In NCAA Men’s Basketball, the Baptist (Baylor) and the Methodist (Duke) top the polls (good news for bears and devils)
  • 75% of Americans believe in the paranormal (41% on ESP, 46% in ghosts)
  • Mississippi has highest rate of church goers (63%) and Vermont has the least (23%)
  • 2% of people believe in a flat earth (do they believe in cruises or is that dangerous?)
  • There are 5 areas of well-being (purpose, social support, manageable finances, strong community, and good physical health.) Only 7.5% of Millennials thrive in all five
  • Over half of Democratic registered voters favor house arrest for the unvaccinated … almost a third say parents should lose custody of children if they are unvaccinated
  • 7% believe the moon landing was a hoax
  • 9% believe our government adds chemicals to the water for sinister reasons
Don’t always believe the polls!
  • 48% of Democratic registered voters think those who publicly question existing vaccines on social media should be fined or imprisoned … 45% favor interments
  • 67% of Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction
  • 37% of Americans believe global warming is hoax
  • 40% of Americans believe we are in the end times (13% thought Obama was the AntiChrist)

What if you actually took polls before we made decisions … and lived by the results? Would you want your family to vote on who you should marry? Do you want the country to vote on how we can worship? Do you want society to say where you can work, what you should believe, and be completely controlling?

I get we should respect others, and we should protect rights, and we always to realize respecting different beliefs – yet I also understand cultural norms change according to the, well, the culture. *(think about marriage, slavery, American independence, UFOs and how these have changed )

However, the majority is not always right. Sometimes the majority is wrong.

In Numbers 14 … 10 out 12 spies told the nation they couldn’t take the land, the enemy was too great, and they were on the wrong path. But the 2 believed in God, His promises, and the path before them into the Promised Land. The country followed the poll and believed that the hardship was too great.

Truth is truth. And God’s Word is ABSOLUTE. Not up for a vote. It’s not decided by a poll. And it doesn’t change according to what I think. It’s truth, absolute truth. It doesn’t give every answer to every question (like who should you marry or even if you should marry?) But it does talk about marriage. So where it is clear – we stand firm. Where it is grey – we ask for wisdom.

For now, I may occasionally read the polls, but my life stands on the Word. I don’t believe in a flat earth … I believe we landed on the moon … and I also believe in one’s right to refuse an undocumented and new vaccine without being thrown into the Big House. But the only thing I base my life on – the Word of God, His promises, Him.

What about you? What do you believe is Truth? 57% of people believe you’ll ignore this blog by tomorrow. (I made that one up)


Sites I got these polls … herehere … and here

All the cartoons were from a Google search

Road Trip ‘21 … Getting Ready

I’m less then 24 hours away … what will this entail?

  • About 4000 miles with out the fun excursions
  • Many hours behind the wheel
  • Men’s Encounter Conference at GateWay
  • Hot Springs NP (Arkansas)
  • Carlsbad Caverns NP (New Mexico)
  • Guadalupe Mountains NP (west Texas)
  • And most importantly … time with my son and daughter-in-law

Now, today is the ‘get it all together’ day. Wash clothes, pack bags, get everything in order, load truck, and all the rest. I know I’ll forget something. I always do.

This one will be a solo. My wife can’t get away … her position is so demanding and she is so dedicated … she needs a break … but just can’t get away … maybe if her boss reads this he’ll push her out the door for a week or more. (Hint: if you know her boss, send a link to this post over to him – LOL) But when I head out in the morning, I will be headed out alone. My wife is a bit worried about my truck making the trip. Hey, it’s got over 300K miles, so I think another 5K is there. I am planning for another 100K, just not this week.

Life demands a lot of preparation. We plan, make our list, check off the tasks, and get ready for so many things. And a stitch in time saves nine. That’s what I hear. I really don’t understand sewing. It’s a lost art. Back to the issue. Life demands a lot of preparation.

But you can’t plan for everything. There are always the surprises, the unexpected, the unimaginable. Like Apollo 13, we sometimes have to make an O2 scrubber with tube socks.

In this, we can be afraid of what we don’t see. We can tremble at the unknown. We can live in fear.

Or …

We can trust a God who has you in his hands, who loves you and cares for you, who will take care of you. That doesn’t mean the unexpected won’t knock us around, but it does mean we can get back up. He is there.

So … I’m less then 24 hours away … what will this entail?

In the end, I really don’t know everything it entails. But I know I’m not really alone. And I know he goes before me, he is behind me, and he’s never going to let me go.

I’m less then 24 hours away … what will this entail? I trust him in everything.

Three Simple Questions

I said it. You probably said it. It was a crazy thing to say to tempt fate. May we never say again, “I’m so glad it’s 2021, for it can’t be any worse than 2020!” And then Wednesday happened. Three Kings Day, Epiphany, the end of the 12 Days of Christmas, and now … the siege of Washington DC..

And so much has been said, written, commented on that anything else I would say seems superfluous. So I just want to ask three simple questions that put my mind at rest and maybe it’ll put yours at rest too.

Now be warned, if you answer any of these in the negative, it may cause more stress, so proceed at your own risk.

First … Do you think God is good and loves his people?

So simple, so basic. Do you?

Second … Do you think God is powerful and in control?

Well, do you? This is so important. If he’s not in control, than nobody is. And if not him, chaos. But if him, then so many other things fall into place. This is not asking if you understand how he works or why he does the thing he does, it’s just asking if you think he is in control and powerful enough to stay in control.

And Third and Last … If you answered yes to the first two, will you trust him, trust him completely in everything?

This is the way we should be living. Trusting him in everything and in every way.

Me? My answers are Yes, Yes, and absolutely Yes.

What about you?

I Want To Move

It has been almost two years that I’ve been at my present church. And in all honesty, I love the post, the place, the people, the prospects, and so on. Yes, I miss my son who is in Dallas, but I can deal with that. Yes, everywhere has sandpaper people (see yesterday’s blog). Yes, there are no Chick-fil-A’s within 30 miles, but I can make the trip when I want.

So why would I write a blog saying I want to move?

I have found the church I am telling God I want to pastor at. Nestled in the mountains this little church that draws my heart.

I am not sure the size of congregation. It doesn’t look like it has much parking. I don’t even want to think about the heating bill. And Chick-fil-A would be a little further than 30 miles. But the view – the beauty – the majesty. I would think this puts me closer to God.

So, if any one has connections, text me and I’ll send my resume.

But is this the way we all are? Don’t we think we know what is best for us, so we “tell” God what we want. We place our demands. And when we don’t get what we want, we often get mad at God. Basically, we act like entitled little snots.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming, aspiring, preparing. But we are to produce where we are planted too. Don’t look past the beauty of where God has you stationed.

The most beautiful place to be is in the center of God’s will.

What can you do where God has you … right now?

Trust You? Why Should I?

How do you know you can trust someone? I mean, promises are made and broken all the time – politicians, friends, even to ourselves. I mean how many times have I promised myself I will exercise more, only to stay under the covers after ignoring the phone alarm?

In this journey of life, I hope you can trust me. But I also know I’ll blow it, disappoint people, and fall short. Out if ignorance (I forget), out of shortcomings (I just don’t have the abilities needed), or even out of selfishness (I willingly refuse to keep my promises), I will let you down.

But, there is someone you can trust.

A song has stuck in my head this week. A new worship hymn out of Vertical Church. It is from an album that talks of grace and the beautiful way God sustains us. Emphasizing the strength and love of God, we are reminded we have a glorious future. In the playlist is Faithful Now.

Faithful Now shows us why we can trust Him, why We can believe Him and His Word. There is a history of strength, power, and proven faithfulness.

Years ago, the avowed atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, debated famed pastor W.A. Criswell. When she ridiculed him for believing the supposed God of the Bible would return one day, asking how Criswell could believe it, Criswell responded by saying God kept all His promises so far, He will keep these as well. He has fulfilled previous prophecies, He will fulfill future ones too.

This is the thrust of Faithful Now. We can trust Him, now. We can trust Him now because He’s proved Himself trustworthy then. In the words of the worship leader of the church where the song was recorded …

“It is a song that not just speaks to the faithfulness of God, but the story of his faithfulness through thousands of years and how his promises and word support that message. In whatever situation or season you find yourself in, a temporary remedy will only temporarily satisfy or heal – but the fulfilled promises, the never-changing word, and the proven faithfulness of God are capable of holding us up and seeing us through anything.”

Andy Rozier, Worship Pastor at Vertical Church

You can trust Him. He is capable. He has proven it. He was faithful then, He is faithful now.


Click here to watch the video

Songwriters: Jonathan Smith / Mia Fieldes / Eddie Hoagland / Hank BentleyFaithful Now lyrics © So Essential Tunes, All Essential Music, Be Essential Songs, Capitol Cmg Amplifier, Every Square Inch


Faithful Now

I am holding onto faith
‘Cause I know You’ll make a way
And I don’t always understand
And I don’t always get to see
But I will believe it, I will believe it

‘Cause You make mountains move
You make giants fall
And You use songs of praise
To shake prison walls
And I will speak to my fear, I will preach to my doubt
That You were faithful then, You’ll be faithful now

You’re forever faithful, Lord!
And I trust You, JesusAnd I am standing on Your word
And calling Heaven down to earth
And You will fight enemies, and this will end in victory
And I will believe it, yes I will believe it’

‘Cause You make mountains move
You make giants fall
And You use songs of praise
To shake prison walls
And I will speak to my fear, I will preach to my doubt
That You were faithful then, You’ll be faithful now
Oh You were faithful then, You’ll be faithful now

And I know that I know
You never fail
Oh yes I know that I know
You never will
And I know that I know
You never fail
Oh yes I know that I know
You never will

‘Cause You make mountains move
You make giants fall
You use songs of praise
To shake prison walls
I will speak to my fear, oh I will preach to my doubt
That You were faithful then, You’ll be faithful now

You make mountains move
You make giants fall
You use songs of praise
To shake prison walls
And I will speak to my fear, oh I will preach to my doubt
That You were faithful then, You’ll be faithful now
Oh You were faithful then, and You’ll be faithful now

It’s the End of the World

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the end of the world scenario cross my path. Each was unique, and each made me think a bit different. This is not a doom and gloom discussion, but a make you think scenario – or at least made me think.

First – someone from Hollywood said if Trump gets re-elected, it will be the end of the world. I am not sure that is the case, they pretty much said that about Trump 2016. But I do know they believe it. So, will we? Is Trump the purveyor of doom.?Kings and Presidents are like water in the hand of the God who controls them. So no matter who takes residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I think I will trust in God.

Second, I watched a Nicholas Cage movie, Knowing. This end of days saga intertwines angels (or are they aliens?), Biblical prophecy, and fire destroying everything. They got the fire right, even did pretty good with the Ezekiel vision, but I’m not sure about angels/aliens taking select kids to populate other planets. But again, the end is gonna be pretty dramatic. I don’t think we are really prepared for what the end will be like.

Third, I just finished watching 2012, the movie about life as we know ending. Connecting the Maya calendar, the alignment of planets, and more – this saga lets rich, and aggressive enough people, survive. They missed the point too – the end will be the end. No plans by men will overcome God’s plans.

Lastly, I read the Bible. And He has a plan!

So, why bring this up? People are worried about things we can’t control. And the better answer would be to put your trust in the One who does control it.

And if you can trust Him in the big things, then can’t you trust Him in the small stuff too? He’s a big enough God. I will trust Him in the big and small.

————

Post Script …. oh yeah, forgot about the corona beer virus … yeah, I know it has nothing to do with Corona. And yes they are saying the world is gonna die from that too. Still I trust God and drink my Diet Dr. Pepper. I mean, a doctor made it, so it should be healthy!

Reviewing My Performance

Tonight, I have a meeting. I am meeting with the Pastor Search Team – the very team with which I worked with from almost a year ago. I now am the pastor of the church, but it seems a bit awkward that the Search Team is still meeting. Well, not too awkward. But to some, it may seem if they are still searching. Are they? I don’t think they are.

It has been six months, and they have been tasked with the responsibility to see how things are going. They will review me (every preacher loves to hear critiquing of the worship/sermons, yeahh). Have I upset people? Sure. But if I haven’t upset a few, then I am probably not doing my job. After all, I am called to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted.

But I can also share my feed back as well – not that I have any issues. What I will be sharing are more dreams, more visions, brainstorming some ideas, and sharing where I feel God is leading me and the church.

Now, you can find plenty out there on vision-casting, evaluations, church growth, etc. But that isn’t my point right now. My point is trust. Do I trust them? Do they trust me? Has trust been built? How can we deepen our trust? These are all good questions. But the real key is – Do I trust God?

If everything you are, everything about your profession, your identity, your character, your performance, your personality, your style, et al, if everything was being laid out and discussed – how would you feel? Me, I learned long ago to be the person I am and not try to masquerade anything. Take me as you find me, peeps

It has been said that what you fear is where you trust God the least.

– C Groeschel

Trusting God is critical. It entails surrendering our fears, our worries, and our doubts – and recognizing the sovereignty and provision of our Lord. It has been said that what you fear is where you trust God the least. Give it all to Him

You may not be under a personal or professional review, but we all have issues. I encourage You to trust Him in and through whatever it is you’re facing. And from the words of one who really through times of testing and trials (Corrie ten Boom), I give you the closing quote …

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God!

Corrie ten Boom

Fear is …

Lisa used to love scary movies. Then she moved out of the house and lived by herself for a bit before we got married. Everything changed. Now, she doesn’t want to watch horror flicks at all (except the old Bela Logosi era shows). Maybe movies like The Strangers are a bit too realistic. Now, was it the living alone or getting married to me that makes her really scared? I will never really know what goes on in that mind of hers.

I am traveling these couple of days. Headed back to Virginia for some business and hopefully see my mother. There have been a few scary moments on the road. There was one section near Atlanta where about a half dozen motor cyclist were going near 100 and weaving through the cars like a Fast and Furious movie scene. One almost nicked our front fender. Now I wasn’t scared for me, but I just imagined the rider flying through the air to land in front of on coming truck.

To my point … I am a bit scared of the future. As I ponder alternate treks of my journey, which is the best? What if I choose wrong? What if I fail? Calvin is looking at some career choices too. He ponders the same questions. Whether one is a millennial just figuring out life, or a boomer still searching, we face the same questions, the same concerns, the same … fears. What if?

Lisa wrote a great entry on her connections2excellence today. She emphasized two aspects of God’s character – He is eternal and He is enough. He will always be there, never leaving my side, and never losing sight of me – even if I make a few missteps. And, he is enough – provides and protects.

What if? Doesn’t matter, God is alway there and always taking care of me. What if? He won’t leave me or give up on me. What if? Every step of my journey, God knows and will not be caught off guard. All things work together for the good … even through the what ifs.

So I can take my fears and leave them with Him. This weekend, it is some scary stuff, I often wonder what if. But in the end, God is eternally enough and enough for all eternity.


See Lisa’s whole article here.

Image: dreamicus.com

It Was a Good Day

It was a good morning. This morning, I was honored to lead the Men’s Bible study with my Thursday morning group. The regular leader was in Louisville at conference. I was excited about this. I warned them I had not been behind the pulpit for a while so they should get comfortable because I was catching up!

ONE – It is good to be trusted. These guys had only known me a short while but they took a chance on me. What a great statement about the Christian family. We take chances for each other. We look for opportunities to help others use their gifts and talents for Kingdom work. What a great statement of trust in the family of God.

TWO – It is good to use my gift. I love to teach, to dig into the Word and share it with others, to challenge myself and others with Biblical application, and to see the Word come alive for life today. When the Spirit gave us gifts (which He does to every believer), He expects us to use them. What does it say when we know God gave us something and we just let it sit around?

THREE – It is good to be part of group, a fellowship of believers. I spent the first part of the hour in getting to know them better. It is great to be connected. We were created as relational beings and we need each other.

And FOUR – It is good to be challenged from the Word. We dug into 2 Corinthians 10.1-6 and looked at the principles of the spiritual battle going on in our mind. I encourage you to look at this text and dig in some. But something I often overlook when I dig into this text are the key components of Paul’s character.

Paul was being attacked. False teachers and others where coming against him. They came against him hard. He was defending his ministry. But how did he respond, what was the character of his defense – not with vengeance or anger.

I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—  I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.

Paul responded with three basic characteristics – he was compassionate, he was courageous, and he was confident. These three qualities are described of Paul and they show how we too can respond in times of conflict and hardship. I can dig into these later, but space is limited here (and so is your time)

So the challenge to you (and to myself) …
… Who are you encouraging, trusting, and prodding to use their gifts for Kingdom work? (read Hebrews 10.24)
… How are you using the gift God gave you? (read 1 Corinthians 12.11)
… Who is your group, your posse, your peeps? We need them – and they need you! (read Hebrews 10.25)
… And, what truth has God challenged you with lately? (read Psalm 119.105)

These made my day a good day – it can to the same for you!