Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017 - God, Call My Number!

Well here we are in the 16th year of doing these weekly devotions and I am sure I have often talked about Memorial Day… especially since I do these on Mondays… but we should never tire of honoring and remembering those that were “all-in” to the point of giving their lives. These soldiers believed in something bigger than themselves… (and it kind of makes me feel a bit embarrassed to know how often we apply the term “all-in” to sports teams.)
Nevertheless we do apply that term to many areas of life; and we simply are saying that there is commitment to not only the ideology of the area but also to the actual carrying out of the mission.
Well today has even more meaning to me this year as I have one of my sons scheduled to enlist this week, and I just wrote a recommendation letter for another young man, that I love like a son, for his enlistment. I want “my boys” to not just be adults, but to be men; to be all-in on God’s plan for their lives and to Go MAD (Make A Difference) in this course they have charted…
From a spiritual standpoint isn’t that the goal… to be all-in? Obviously Jesus was all-in to purchase our salvation… shouldn’t we be looking to fulfill the mission He left for us?
Last week I quoted from a book I am reading, Kingdom Man by Dr Tony Evans. I am making my way through its pages with highlighter in hand to find encouragement and, if need be, rebuke in my own life… and of course will share that freely in the weekly devos!
The book is dealing largely with the fact that God has chosen mankind to manage the earth… to have dominion or rule. Evans reminds us that “most of the time God wanted to do something on Earth, as recorded in Scripture, He found a person through whom to do it. …. He created an Adam, found a Noah, located an Abraham, sought out a Moses, raised up a judge, identified a prophet, chose a king, and when stuff got really bad, He became a man.” (p.100)
Evans encourages us to “memorize 2 Corinthians 9:8. (saying) The truth will blow your mind: ‘And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.’” (p.93) In other words, you and I have all the stuff we need to be difference makers!
God has called us to be on mission… all-in! We have no excuses for inactivity! God is calling your number!
Ezekiel 22:30 “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; BUT I FOUND NO ONE.”
I pray that those words would not be said of us! I pray that when God looks for a man to do His bidding that He find me… calls my number! And yours! All-in!!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017 - Look who's checking into the game...

I’m sitting in my recliner tonight reminiscing a bit… looking back to days with I was in my athletic prime; a time when I laced up the sneakers and was a force to be reckoned with on the court. I know, I know it is “boring stories of… glory days” (thanks Bruce Springsteen for the reminder.) I know, I know we are way better in our memories than we were in reality… legends in our own minds. But let an old man reminisce…

I do remember a time when I walked into gyms and players on the opposite team knew they were in trouble (at least I thought they did.) It was a time where when I laced them up I did a lot of scoring, blocked a lot of shots, won a lot of games… My typical performance was enough to garner the attention of the “enemy.”

Seriously, this is spurred on by a real challenge for us this week from Dr. Tony Evans. In his book Kingdom Man, Dr. Evans begins chapter 1 with the following statement (it is quite a tip-off to the book): “A kingdom man is the kind of man that when his feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, ‘Oh crap, he’s up!” (p.7)

What about you? Does the enemy take notice when you are up each morning? Are you a difference maker “on the court” of life? Dr. Evans went on to ask this, “…when God searches for a man to advance His kingdom, does He call your name?” (p.19)

We can serve Him in full confidence that the victory has already been one in Christ! “But thanks be to  God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)

Make it a point to “get off the bench and check into the game” to the point that the enemy says, “Oh crap, he’s up!”

Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017 - Unexpected Contributions

I am sitting tonight watching an NBA playoff game (which lately I have not been able to do very often.) As the game unfolds I am seeing the star players make some great plays… but that is to be expected… stars are supposed to shine. Yet what I love is seeing other guys step up and make a difference.

I love it when I see a player come in off the bench and start lighting up the scoreboard or making defensive stops. Often the subs are just expected to sustain by filling their roles. Yet all of these guys in the NBA have incredible skill sets and, when given the opportunity, can be a difference maker… (or in our ministry terms a MAD-man!)

This week I want to encourage each of you to not only be faithful in playing your role, but to also step out of the norm to make a difference. I often am told by believers that they do not feel adequate or qualified to step up their game. They feel unworthy or unequipped.

Well I have a different view. We are all “unworthy” but as believers are found worthy in Christ!!! He makes us worthy because when we trusted in His finished work we received His righteousness. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21)

I also believe that you, yes you, as a believer are fully equipped…

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given… that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Colossians 2:10 “and you are complete in Him…”

If you are “on the bench” do the unexpected and get “in the game.”

If you are typically silent about your faith, do the unexpected and share your faith!

You have the stuff to make a difference! Be a MAD-man or a MAD-woman this week!

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017 - Don't Settle for Mediocre

Last week was very tiring but I loved being able to share a bit about the legacy my dad left behind; in the weekly devo we discussed his legacy of “hard work and sharing.” Today’s culture doesn’t seem to value hard work near as much as they value just the end results… trying to get what they want for as little as they have to spend…

As a trainer, I have to remind athletes that there are no short-cuts to getting stronger, faster, better, etc. I have to remind parents of the same thing; literally had one parent a few years back that asked me to help her kid on a particular skill set… then openly exclaimed that she hoped to see that improvement in the game the next day. In this “microwave (get it fast even if you sacrifice quality) / Burger King (Have it your way)” culture we need to be careful to not consider mediocre good, or consider good as great…

I have mentioned in past devotions how I hate that kids can spend $15 or $20 on a pair of socks that are “Elite” socks. You don’t buy “elite”!

I saw another example this past week as my son Caleb put on a pair of my dad’s old work jeans. The jeans had some holes over the knees and someone jokingly said that he looked cool… think about it… one of the major fashions of our day involves people paying for jeans that look like they were worn by a hard worker. Everything seems to be geared around short-cuts…

Short-cuts are a short-sighted approach to short-lived success!

This is true both in our physical and spiritual growth. Isaiah 26:3-4 states, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

Our spiritual growth is a long-term approach to long-term success. Commit to the long-haul!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May 1, 2017 - Feed the Bigs

Going to be a short devotion this week, as I am already a couple days late… but the reason I am late is inspiration for the content of the devo…


On Monday, my father passed away of a massive heart attack. He was 76 years old and seemed to be doing just fine prior to the attack. In fact, over the weekend I had told him how good he sounded on the phone, and on Monday we had talked for quite some time. Yet his death was the clear reminder that even 76 years of living doesn’t alter the abruptness of physical death; all of those years and it ends in a gasp… with the thought then of where things are for eternity. So first off this week I urge you to consider your own life… the fact that it truly is, as James says, a vapor… where do you stand? I am so grateful for the talk I had with my dad last year where he confirmed with me that his hope for eternity was his belief in the finished work of Christ on his behalf!


I am also thankful for the legacy my father left of hard work and giving to others. I have never met anyone that was a harder worker than him; often as a kid seeing that he worked multiple double shifts per week. Years ago I penned the following words about my dad in a song: “Alarm clock screams, he crawls out of bed… Seems he just got there, got a pounding in his head… Little Debbie snack cakes, sinus meds, an RC below the sink… and he’s out to the car by the time he takes a drink.” My dad showed the importance of hard work!


In basketball it is very common to tell players to remember to “feed the ‘bigs’” when they run the floor. In other words, if those guys are going to work hard, they should be rewarded. (And the transverse of that is, if they don’t work hard then who cares if they get the ball!)


The Bible says this about us: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)


Not only did dad show me to work hard, he also showed me to share/care… I remember him looking at one of my friends one day and saying (in his gruff, tired tone), “Boy, there’s the fridge, if you go hungry it is your fault!” I guess that was a country-boy from Kentucky saying, “Mi casa, su casa!”, or “make yourself at home.” Apparently my friends, and my brothers friends, got it... as many have sent there condolences this week and in the process called my dad “Dad.”


This week is a reminder to: Work Hard and Share Greatly! (Thanks, Dad!)