Karen worked at Bethel Chapel in the children’s department for two years and was pretty good at her job. When she first started working there she was attracted to her boss, until she found out he was married. Then she did the appropriate thing and simply focused on her work. Her boss, Fred, learned that she was a single mom and he and his wife did their best to help her out. At some point in the process of helping, he became attracted to Karen. Soon, everyone in the office noticed Fred was spending a lot of time with her. Gradually she grew embarrassed by his increasing attention. He continuously texted her, often walked her to her car after work, and was overly aggressive about finding out about her personal life. Though the church office was filled with gossip about Fred and Karen, no one confronted Fred.
Donna sat next to me on my plane flight home. I was blessed to get to know this incredible woman. Donna is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HMS, a company she started. As she shared with me some of her life story I was most impressed by her humility and her sense of gratefulness.
Guards stopped us at the entrance to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ho Chunk and checked our IDs before allowing my Command Sergeant Major (CSM) and me to walk unarmed into the camp where several units were assigned. As we inspected the premises we saw unmade beds and gear strewn haphazardly inside tents. Soldiers walked by us out of uniform. At one point I ducked inside a tent and noticed several unsecured weapons. I grabbed an M16 and slung it on my shoulder. As we continued observing, warning sirens sounded and a quick response force rushed by us to meet a notional threat. I wondered what soldier was running around trying to find what happened to his M16! The captain in charge of the FOB (known as the mayor) approached us and spoke to us for several minutes. Amazingly he completely missed the fact that I was carrying a rifle—not something generals do.
Luke 16:10-12—Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. So if you have not been faithful with the unrighteous money, who will trust you with what is genuine? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own?
In an age of relativism the roar of the crowd is to tame God’s Word. Two traps await Christians in this hostile environment.
I received an email last week along with scores of other pastors, from a man by the name of Rick. Because of the poor representation in Salem, Oregon’s capital, by spiritual leaders against the impending legislation that grants civil liberties and benefits to homosexuals he was spurred to send out an exhortation. He feels we are failing in our duties as shepherds to speak out against sin. His appeal caused me to think much about what it means to be earnest.
I’m working on a CD cover for my latest music project titled “Evidence.” The image that Misha, the graphics designer, is working with is a lightning bolt across a dark sky which reflects vividly off a placid water surface. We labored for a long time in looking for the right picture. Without an amazing cover many people won’t pick up a CD. With respect to marketing, the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” doesn’t apply.
There are times in my life where God gives me opportunity to minister but because of inconvenience or poor priorities I chose to do my own thing. In meditating on Luke 9:10-17 I am convicted by many thoughts. The disciples, earlier sent out by Jesus, returned from ministering in teams of two and reported to Him all that happened. They were tired and hungry and Jesus recognizing this took them away to care for their needs. But the crowds were of a different opinion and need. They raced around the Sea of Galilee to intercept the Son of God and His men at their remote landing.
Instead of escaping 5000 men and the uncounted women and children, Jesus welcomed them, taught them and healed the sick. He set aside the needs of His team and perhaps His own wants to minister to the crowd God brought to Him. I wonder what thoughts ran through the minds of His men!
The Thanksgiving holiday is supposed to be about remembering how blessed we are by our Almighty Father in heaven. If gratitude is the point, food is the reminder. In truth, a hearty feast is a wonderful custom for celebrating our blessings. Not a Thanksgiving goes by for me that I don’t think back to traveling to Newburgh, NY with my roommate and best friend, Dave Mead. We would totally stuff ourselves at his grandmother’s house—eating was a competitive sport for two young cadets.
Remember Moses? He has to rank as one of the greatest leaders of all time. This sheepherder did all he could to avoid his holy calling to free his enslaved countrymen and lead them into the land God promised the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 6:8). He took well over a million people with countless animals out of Egypt for forty years wandering across harsh deserts where food and water were scarce. He had a phenomenal friendship with God which afforded him incredible power and the confidence to lead. Despite the heartaches of dealing with whining rebels, he passionately set out to accomplish a compelling mission.
April 28this a milestone in the York household. My oldest son Bryan celebrates his 16thbirthday. Bryan was diagnosed with a brain-stem tumor on February 14, 1991. His doctor told us he had zero chance of survival; his tumor was a ticking time bomb. At the age of three Bryan endured 72 radiation treatments that shrunk his tumor, damaged his hearing, impaired his mobility, and degraded his ability to process information. In June of that same year, a group of young-married couples gathered with Kathleen, Bryan, and me to weep, pray for him, and worship in song our awesome God. The Holy Spirit descended into our midst and healed our son. He also profoundly taught me the power and hope that comes from worship.
On Oct. 9, 2001, Old Guard 1st Sergeant Robert Watson stood rigidly at attention ready to receive a freshly folded American flag from the casket of a soldier killed by the September 11 attack on the Pentagon. But as a member of the prestigious detail moved to hand Old Glory to Watson, he refused to receive it. A small sliver of white was visible in the triangular fold. Only the blue and white stars should have shown. With his hand he could have covered the mistake and few if any would have noticed the flaw. But while the family waited and a number of VIPs, to include the Chief of Staff of the Army watched, 1st Sgt. Watson stood unmoving.
The story is told of a conversation between a teenager and his grandfather. The young man said, “Gee Grampa, your generation didn’t have all these social diseases. What did you wear to have safe sex?” The wise old gentleman replied, “A wedding ring.”
Moses was a highly educated man, taught by the finest scholars of Egypt. But with all his knowledge he tried to fix the injustices he observed through his own strength and God had to place him with shepherds, stripped of all that was familiar until a burning bush captured his eyes. Then he listened to God’s voice.
If love was a waterfall one would be thoroughly drenched by the Ferraros. In a small town in Illinois, this family radiates what happens when God permeates a household. What strikes me most about them is their commitment to live simply so as to give as generously as possible to support Christians on the frontlines for their faith-men and women who serve in organizations like Gospel For Asia and Voice of Martyrs.
Leviticus 25:4-- But there will be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land in the seventh year, a Sabbath to the Lord: you are not to sow your field or prune your vineyard.
Matthew 7:21--Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord!” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Have you ever assembled a piece of furniture? I recently purchased a home entertainment center knowing my limited construction skills would be challenged. I’m not very skilled when it comes to building things. I’d be a natural guest for Home Improvement in what not to do! But I figured as long as I followed the excellent by-the-numbers directions and had help from my good friend Dan, I’d be fine. I worked late into the night and was quite pleased with the emerging work of art.
A man walked into his garden distressed. As he bent to water his plants he noticed the pathetic condition of the snail-eaten leaves. Beside the plant grew weeds making it hard to discern friend from predator. What an overwhelming battle he thought. What chance has beauty to blossom against the constant threat of bug and weed? Yet as he looked more closely, he observed strong vibrant shoots emerging from weary stems. Then the Lord spoke to him.