Set Your Heart

Set Your Heart

Daniel 10:12

Then he said to me “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard and I have come because of your words.”

I like the message in this verse.

People say, where is God, why hasn’t God done what I wanted?  Why hasn’t God taken care of me?  How could God let this happen to me?

They conclude “Since my life isn’t what I think it should be or what I want it to be, there must not be a God.”

The problem in that conclusion is the word “I”.  It’s not about you and you wanting your carefree life. Continue reading

Paul Knows About Paying Dues

Paul Knows About Paying Dues

Romans 5:3-5

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

This is a verse to read when you are going through some tough times.  I wrote it down on a piece of paper many years ago.  I wrote it down during a time when the frustration and stress of my job was literally starting to kill me.

I had a piece of notebook paper where I copied inspirational and comforting verses from the Bible.  I kept this piece of paper in my front pocket and carried it with me throughout the day.  I would take it out of my pocket and read the verses, especially when the stress levels were rising.  Reading them would calm me down just a bit.

I carried this piece of paper for over a year.

It was folded and unfolded so many times from reading it and adding new verses to it that the folds in the paper had started to come apart.

Then one day my cherished piece of paper was gone. Continue reading

Do Not Be Deceived – Peer Pressure

Do Not Be Deceived – Peer Pressure

1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

I have written about Paul as a team builder.  I guess you could say Paul spent his time going around putting together a team of believers.  In this verse Paul is addressing something we all experience throughout our life, peer pressure.

Peer pressure is tremendous when we are young and in school.

We develop our social circles and want to be accepted.  We want to be a part of something.

Maybe we conform to fit in with the “normal” kids, or maybe we rebel or gravitate to the “weird” and “strange”.

But no matter which way we go we end up accepting the moral standards of the crowd we choose. Continue reading

The Righteous Shall Live By Faith

The Righteous Shall Live By Faith

Romans 1:21-23

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things..

In verse 17 Paul writes:

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

The righteous shall live by faith.  So very hard to do. Continue reading

Special Mediocracy

Special Mediocracy

Luke 17:7-10

Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’?  Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?  So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’

This is a lesson for many of us today.

So many of us feel we should be rewarded for just showing up in life and we teach this to our children. We start this “you are special just for showing up” at a very young age.

Participation trophies, attendance awards, etc., these are meant to make the mediocre special.

No wonder we now throw around hollow and meaningless compliments like pennies in a wishing well.

This feeling of mediocracy as something to celebrate spreads into our adult lives.  We have a government that swears by it and promotes it. We have mass media that follows suit. Continue reading

It Finds You

It Finds You

You can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes you just might find

You get what you need

Growing up there always seemed to be two camps.  The Beatles camp and The Rolling Stones camp.  Most campers liked both but they thought one was superior to the other.

I was in The Beatles camp, but I had my favorite Rolling Stones tunes.

Sympathy for the Devil, Satisfaction, Paint It Black, Gimmie Shelter and the song that has the chorus above, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, were some of my favorites.

At some point in my life I realized just how simple and yet profound the chorus to You Can’t Always Get What You Want was, and as I aged the more I experienced those words. Continue reading

Riding The Train

Riding The Train

This is a follow up piece to Melancholy Goodbye.  I wrote this the day I boarded the auto train with my pickup truck loaded with all my music and recording equipment and a few delicate items that I didn’t want to chance shipping in the moving container.

The day I have thought about for over three months is finally here.  It came three days later than expected but it is here.

I haven’t written in over a week due to the closing of the house sale and getting everything packed, moved or tossed prior to the sale.

I was supposed to leave on a Thursday via the auto train but due to a tropical storm/hurricane deciding to move across northern Florida and then up the east coast, my train ride was postponed not once but twice. But finally here I sit in the train station with two hours to kill. Continue reading