Imagine with me a ship called Argy-Bargy. Captain Accord is given a mission to sail the ship to an island called Habitué. He tells Lieutenant Divagate to set a course of 340 degrees but the officer is distracted and misunderstands the course as 314 degrees. When he repeats the course back to the Captain, his southern accent does not help and he is given confirmation that is 26 degrees off course. Petty Officer 3rd Class Makebate got in a fight with Petty Officer 2nd Class Invidious and, though he was the instigator, he was furious when Ensign Feckless threw him in the brig for three days. When he got out he managed to convince Petty Officer Mugwump and Seaman Apprentice Fulminate that the officers on board Argy-Bargy were corrupt and out to get them. They hatched a plan to sabotage as many officers as they could on social media by spreading malicious lies. What they didn’t realize is that Lieutenant Commander Popinjay overheard them talking and reported them to Master Chief Petty Officer Sot who just happened to be from Makebate’s home town and was a friend of the family. Sot, after a few beers to think about the whole thing, chose not to say anything to the Skipper. Instead he casually shared with the XO, Commander Garboil, that a misunderstanding had occurred among some of the junior enlisted men but that he had handled it. What do you think of the state of unity on this ship? Will it reach Habitué?
My good friend Dan moved from Tigard to Albany Oregon to work with Dana, another mutual friend. Unfortunately, Dana’s business experienced a downturn and he had to let Dan go. In 2012 Dan felt led to stay in Albany and serve as an Associate Pastor in a Calvary Chapel.
Reelgood’s vision is “to be the place that people go to when they want to watch any TV show or movie.” What I appreciate about this vision statement is its simplicity. One of the first keys to effectively communicating vision is to keep it simple. If we have a grandiose concept that we want others to embrace it must not be overly wordy, complex or ambiguous.
Acts 9:13-15—“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to take My name to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites.”
Psalm 20:4—May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose.
Whenever a new year approaches there is for many people a sense of optimism. Yes, now I can start afresh. Yes, perhaps this next year will be a better year. Yes, finally the hardships or struggles of this past season may come to an end. But beginning afresh requires finishing the old year well. Very rarely, if ever, can you have one without the other.
Revelation 3:2—Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before My God.
In the Army Reserves, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find officers willing to serve as company and battalion commanders. One would think that the opportunity to command would be the sort of challenge many would relish. But the opposite is true. Fewer officers want the risk associated with leading because if they do not do well their careers are in jeopardy. Also, the burden of command requires more work and sacrifice—neither of which is an attractive proposition for those with busy jobs or a comfortable rhythm of life.
Curiosity is a powerful thing. If you are in a group and happen to notice two people whispering to each other don’t you have an urge to know what they are saying? We don’t typically like it when people keep from us secrets. Nor do we appreciate it when those who are in charge withhold information we would like to know. I remember the stress on Matt and Angie, our neighbors, when Nike was getting ready to lay off hundreds of employees. For weeks they were in suspense as to whether they would keep their jobs. Fortunately they both did, but the stress of not knowing weighed heavily on them.
In his book Younger Next Year cowritten with Chris Crowley, Dr. Henry Lodge states that “Over 50% of all illness and injuries in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle in the way we suggest.” The major way they suggest is to exercise forty-five minutes a day six days a week. Four of those workouts are aerobic and two involve weight training. The reason most people grow weak and more susceptible to disease is directly attributed to their failure to exercise!
This month I had the privilege of delivering the commissioning speech to the ROTC graduates at the University of Portland. Seven cadets in front of their friends and relatives raised their right hands and swore to support and defend the constitution. Each stood before a noncommissioned officer to render their first salute and then gave the NCO a silver dollar in keeping with Army tradition. It was a moving ceremony and I was impressed by the quality of the young men and women ready to serve their nation.
Revelation 22:17—Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.
Meet Manasseh Wakawa. He is one of the most fruitful men I have ever met and his heart for the Lord is expansive. He is a powerful example of why spiritual trainers are so vital to the Kingdom of God.
Supervisor’s 1st Week Work Evaluation of Prospective Employees:
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.
Providentially, Jerry discovered Reverationyears ago and signed himself and many African pastors to receive this weekly devotional. Over time he began to correspond with me and to invite me to come to Nigeria to minister. Because I had never met him, I resisted his requests. But in January 2007, I invited him to join us in Kenya so I could get to know him, he could see our work firsthand and then together we could seek God’s will regarding future ministry. I am so glad that God brought Jerry into my life . . .
Recently I had the opportunity to go back for my 25th college reunion. On a beautiful Friday morning we met in the cadet chapel to honor in a memorial service our classmates who have passed away. Dave Mead, my old roommate, planned within the service the opportunity for people to come up to the microphone and share memories of those who had died. Mike Meese was one of many who walked up and paid tribute to our departed comrades. Mike shared a brief story about John Hennessey, a fellow Company D2 member.
Predestination according to The American Heritage Dictionary means“The doctrine that God has foreordained all things, especially that God has elected certain souls to eternal salvation.” It is only mentioned six times in the New Testament and comes from the Greek word, (proorizo). The Apostle Paul in Ephesians reveals that love is the motivation behind predestination and that it is an accolade to God’s grace freely distributed through Christ. To the church in Rome, he wrote that God’s foreknowledge (proginosko—from which we get the word prognosis), is included in predestination. Furthermore, those He predestined were also called, justified and glorified (Romans 4:29,30)!
Joseph is one of my favorite Biblical characters. He is such a great example of what it means to trust God though times and circumstances may be trying. I believe there are three key lessons we can about God from Joseph that will help us in our daily living.
Dick played in my soccer league years ago. I hadn’t seen him in at least five years. So I was surprised twice on Sunday morning when I received a call from Young’s Funeral Home informing me that he died and that he had listed me as his minister.
In 1937, Pastor Rubio Beltazar challenged young men in his church to take missions seriously. The Holy Spirit used his words particularly to inspire Juan Cueva with the task of taking the gospel to the world.