God Places People in our Lives for a Reason Devotion

A few weeks ago, the Lord laid on my heart to give the fourth Sunday church devotion.  I texted my Sunday school teacher and asked who was giving the devotion, he wrote back that his wife was giving it, so I thought it was a done deal until he wrote back saying that she was willing to let me have her spot and she will give her devotion at Youth night, which is in the evening of the same day, anyway this is how the devotion unfolded.

See the notes below for the devotion:     

Prayer – Thank God for the Church and the church visitors and the church members.  Thank him for all my blessings…thank you for sending Jesus, your only Son to die on the Cross for our sins.  Thank you for Brother Dickie (interim Pastor, every two weeks) and family, for sending him to fill in, in our time of need, thank you for using Brother Dickie as a vessel to deliver the message you’ve laid on his heart and may we have an open mind and an open heart to receive that message.  Dear God, send us a pastor, the one you have picked out for us.  Give me the words to say, the message you have laid on my heart.  We love you, in Jesus name we pray, Amen

Good Morning Church family.  It’s an honor to be standing before you today.          

Start out with scripture John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Amplified 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [f]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

We have this written on our refrigerator door “Love Like Jesus”

Talk about the church and how we love one another, that we help each other out.  That’s why I love this church.  I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other church. 

Tell the story of Luke and Dee inviting Manuela to church.  My wife helped at Luke and Dee Dee’s farm and they invited her to church and that is how this wonderful relationship with God started or continued for me. 

Tell the story of how we met Miss Lori Goodner.  And that she is at Church and what a blessing it is to have her here and to have her friendship, that God puts people in your lives for a reason.  He used an innocent child to crawl up in her lap and blessed us with her friendship.

Last year when we were registering the girls, Charlotte, 4 and Julie 7, at school.  We were going from one station to the other, signing the kids up for car rider, school bus, lunch meals, etc., etc. and we noticed Charlotte climb up onto someone’s lap.  Embarrassed we apologized, but the lady was not put off by the innocent little one making herself at home in her lap, she said it was fine.  We were able to finish registering the girls and spoke to Mrs. Lori and got to know her, made friends with her on Facebook, making it official, and invited her to church.    

Manuela met Travis at an arrowhead digging school event.  Somehow, we put two and two together and figured out that Travis is Mrs. Lori’s Son. 

We met Neil and Sheila at Jenssen Park at their granddaughter’s birthday party.  Funny story, did you know, Sheila’s maiden name is Taylor, when she married Neil, she didn’t have to change her last name.  We knew Leah Taylor from school which is Neil’s daughter-in-law.  Again, God’s hand in, blessing us with them in our lives. We get to be blessed with specials from Neil and Sheila at church. 

That’s what we are supposed to do, Love one another and invite people to church. 

Second verse: Romans 12:6  

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Amplified Version: Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, [d]with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness. Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.

God gives everyone a special gift and my wonderful wife has been blessed with the gift of giving.  She has a Big, loving, generous heart filled full of love, and all she wants to do is give, generously, you would much rather give that to receive and I love you for that.  I thank God every single day that he put you in my life.  That’s what God does, he strategically places people in our lives for reasons, like Luke and DeeDee, like Mrs. Lori, and Travis, and Neil and Sheila and the rest of you.      

Close out with a prayer, thank you God for putting all these people in our lives, for  Luke and Dee Dee inviting Manuela to church, thank you for using an innocent child to climb onto Miss Lori’s lap, thank you allowing us to meet Travis and his family and for bringing Neil and Sheila and Leah and her family into our lives. Thank you, God, for all the visitors and the members of this church and that hopefully the visitors will be members someday.  Thank you for all your blessings and forgive me for all the many times I have failed you.  We love you Lord, in Jesus name we pray Amen.          

Lost Souls Matter!

Firstly, I wish I could take credit for this hashtag, but I can’t. I stole (borrowed) it from a friend of mine on Facebook, but it did inspire this article.  I hope you enjoy it.

Secondly, do you think God cares what color your skin is? He made you. I have another question for you? What color is your soul? Is your soul saved? Or is it lost? Do you believe in Jesus? Are you going to Heaven or Hell? Those are the only questions that matter!



So instead of #BlackLivesMatter, #WhiteLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter or insert any other lives matter, what about all the lost souls that are killing, rioting, looting, burning, or causing destruction that have hatred in their hearts. What about #LostSoulsMatter! This should be the next movement to try and save as many lost people as possible.

We can’t claim to know Jesus, believe in Jesus, love Jesus or be a Christian if we have hate in our hearts.

I have written about this before. Jesus said a new commandment I give to you.
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Bible Gateway 2020)

What about a movement where we as Christians spread the good news about Jesus to people that are lost because Lost Souls (do) matter! We need to spread love and not hate. We are supposed to love our neighbors and guess what, I believe we all neighbors!

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Bible Gateway 2020)
Luke 10:20 “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Bible Gateway 2020)
Mark 13:26 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Bible Gateway 2020)

I believe our jobs while we are here on Earth is to take as many people with us to Heaven as possible, and when God finally says it’s time, he’ll send Jesus to get us in the rapture, but until then, we as Christians have work to do, let’s get to work.

Love, Pray, Fish

I think this is going to be my new catchphrase from now on; Love, Pray, Fish

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Bible Gateway 2020)  

The World we live in is consumed with so much hate right now, we have people killing each other, we have riots, we have violent protests, Antifa, terrorist groups, and the Corona virus.  The World is a scary place right now.  However, instead of hating, we should love one another, like Jesus told his disciples.

I got up around 530 in the morning the other day and I went fishing, on the way to my favorite fishing spot, I admired a beautiful sunrise.  I was also able to pray and share my thoughts and concerns with God and take in God’s beautiful World he created to include eight deer, what I found interesting was that they were so spread out.  There was one group of three and the other five were scattered out.  I could not believe how many deer I kept seeing.  I arrived at the ponds and jumped into a boat, the fog was lifting off the pond, it was so beautiful, and it gave me a peaceful calming.  I didn’t’ have a care in the world while I was fishing.  It was a great place to escape from the crazy world we live in.


Later that day, I had a Pastoral Committee meeting and I told them I went fishing and I didn’t have a care in the world at that time, and one of them said “I wouldn’t go as far as saying that.”

But, what do we really have to worry about?  Yes we live in a sinful world that is being taken over by sin right now, like I stated above, we have the Corona virus running rampant, there are people killing each other, we have violent protesting, and riots, people are blocking the roads, it’s just crazy out there in the World, but what is the ultimate goal of a person of faith, that believes that Jesus died for their sins and we are saved through God’s grace?  It’s to meet our maker in Heaven, right!  I’m not saying I want to get the Corona virus, but as followers of Christ, what do we really have to fear?  Yes, we are persecuted for being different, Yes, we are different, and we have a strong belief in Jesus Christ.  There is a common thread here, being different whether it is what color of skin we have or what country we are from.  So, love like Jesus, pray and give it to God, and fish.  That is what I did.  I was able to relax and forget about all my worries and I fed my family in the process.


These Four Walls

We got back from Germany March 20.  We cut our visit short by five days, our flights back to Arkansas kept getting cancelled and we were lucky enough to finally make it back home. We had a productive time in Germany, shining our lights and planting seeds with some family members, now we’re praying that God convicts their hearts.  

When we landed in Dallas, Texas, the CDC was there to greet and screen us, they asked if we were having any Corona virus symptoms and answered no but, were told to Social distance ourselves for 14 days.  I asked so we aren’t quarantined?  They answered, we don’t like using the word quarantine, so basically, we are self-quarantining or shelter in place for 14 days.  However, we are all supposed to be practicing social distancing, keeping ourselves away from people, to limit the spread of the virus.    

We’re on day 8/14 and it is a challenge.  This time at home can be used to spend more time with our family.  We can spend time playing games or building puzzles with our children.  We downloaded ABC Mouse for the kids to learn.  We watched movies with the kids, but it is challenging as well, being cooped up in the house with our six-year old and four-year old, sometimes they play nice and sometimes they don’t.  I bet their getting tired of playing with each other, they may be getting tired of looking at each other.

We have one more week left to go before we can go out in public and interact with different people besides each other, however, we are going to be careful to distance ourselves from others.  This next week maybe we can do a better job of spending more time with each other and less time on our phones.  We’re doing our best to have patience with each other and love one another and I think this is what this time is all about.  It’s about helping our neighbors that can’t get out and go to the grocery store to pick up supplies they need or running other errands.    

A Facebook group was created in our county called positive vibes in our county and I think it is an excellent idea.  It warmed my heart to see a post that said someone was feeling apprehension about going to the store with their two small kids and someone stepped up and said that they would go and do their shopping for them.  This is just one example of what we should be doing in these times of uncertainty.  Instead of hoarding and acting selfish, we need to look out for each other and help where we can.  Remember to love like Jesus.

This time can also be used to pray, get in the Bible and meditate on God’s word. It’s also a time to ask God for forgiveness and repent because we are all sinners. We need to remember to put God first and not have “idols”. Kobe Bryant just passed away. I am sympathetic towards his family and friends, but I am not distraught about his passing. We need to be careful to not idolize people we don’t know, athletes, entertainers, musicians, etc., etc. Also, this time can be used to spend time with our families without arguing, yes it is a stressful time, but we need to make the best out of the time we have with them.

I believe this is a test from God and some of us are failing it miserably.  If you don’t know Jesus, now would be a great time to accept Jesus into your life as your Savior.  God Bless you all, six more days to go.    


Replace Sinful Nature with Good-Hearted Nature (Love)

My wife and I were reading our Bible plan and I came across these verses I wanted to share with you in Ephesians:

Ephesians 5:17 “With the Lord’s authority I say this. Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18. Their minds are full of darkness. They wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.”

20. “But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him. 22. Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  24.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.”

25. “So stop telling people lies.  Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.  26.  And don’t sin by letting anger control you.  Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.  27.  For anger gives a foothold to the devil”, Holy Bible New Living Translation, Second Edition.     

I love these verses.  It’s not easy being a Christian and living up to all the expectations that others have for us, not to mention the expectations that we have as Christians.

Verse 22 says “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.”  Before accepting Jesus into our lives as our savior, we were more concerned about ourselves and filling our sinful needs and wants, but when we accept Jesus into our lives and become Christians, we need to be more concerned with others’ needs and not putting our sinful nature first. It’s about loving others and being more like Christ and when we do sin, we need to be aware of it and ask for forgiveness and try to not fall back into that same mindset again.      I love in verse 26 it says not to “let the sun go down while you are still angry.”  My wife and I try to not to go to sleep mad at each other and that is just one example, but the big picture is to not go to sleep mad at anyone.  That’s a hard feat to accomplish.  We don’t know if we will wake up tomorrow and it would be a travesty if we didn’t make amends with a loved one and didn’t get the chance to say you’re sorry and you love them.  Verse 27 says “for anger gives a foothold to the devil”.  The Devil wants nothing more than to destroy us and every chance he gets he will try to replace our good-hearted nature with sinful nature, so don’t let the devil get a foothold into your life, remember to Love like Jesus.