I had a good time today with the grandkids showing me how to look for fish in the corral. Patty sat on the beach and had a typical “Patty” time visiting with all the other Mom’s and grandmothers that were there doing the same thing we were. Patty and I are having an amazing time with Aaron and Sally and their wonderful kids, Duke, Rock, and Hanna. It has been great but we will head back home in a couple of days. As enjoyable and relaxing as this trip has been I am anxious to get back to work, figuring out how to save the world.
Today I went out on a charter fishing boat with my two grandsons that live here in Oahu that we are visiting along with another local Dad and his son. When we left the dock this morning at 6:00 am the sea was very, very rough. I have never gotten sea sick in my life but I was thinking that I easily could have this morning. Well, all three of the boys got sick, and the youngest who is ten got very sick. He puked at least 4 different times. He would lay down on the bench on the boat curled up in a ball, and then someone would say something about a fish being on, and he would jump up and help reel in the fish. Once the fish was in he would puke and then curl up on the bench again until someone yelled, “fish on“. We fished for six hours , and he didn’t once complain about being sick, or anything else, and when we got back he told his mom, our daughter Sally that he had the best time ever. I was very proud of both of my grandsons today. I thought, I have fished with grown men who had a much easier day of fishing and still grumbled non-stop most of the day about everything under the sun. These boys are going to be champions for Jesus for sure.
I teach Leadership so I am always looking for good quotes about leadership. Because yesterday was Martin Luther King’s birthday there were a bunch of leadership quotes on the internet. Here are some of my favorites.
Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader . . They set out to make a difference. It is never about the role, it is always about the goal.
The greatest leader is not the one who does the greatest things, but he gets other people to do the greatest things.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.
The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.
A good leader is able to get a group of people who are different in every way to work together in unity.
Good leaders inspire people to dream more, attempt more, and become more.
True leaders don’t create followers they create more leaders.
Good leaders convince people that together they can accomplish anything, but separate they can accomplish nothing.
Great leaders paint a picture of a better tomorrow with the power of vision, and inspire others to help them accomplish it.
Successful leaders know that they must first lead themselves successfully before they can lead others.
The best leaders are not just pursuing a vision they are inspiring others to grow as they pursue the vision.
Leaders who accomplish great things with their life are humble enough to know that they need help to do it, they learn how to inspire others to help them, and they give those who helped them the credit for the accomplishment.
Leaders are strong, they know that all great accomplishments take time, and they endure to the end. They never give up.
A good leader takes more than his share of the blame, and less than his share of the credit.
Good leadership is all about influence not about authority. Good leaders don’t boss people around.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep, but I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.
We had a “New Comers Dinner” at the church last Friday. At these dinners I share the history of the last 45 years of JBC and show videos and pictures corresponding to that history. It is a great way for people who have recently made JBC their church home to see how we got to where we are today. It has been over a year since the last dinner, and I forget how amazing the history of our church really is. As I was watching the video clip of setting the trusses on our sanctuary which happened over 20 years ago I got so overwhelmed with emotion, I was glad that I wasn’t speaking during the video. God has been so wonderful and gracious to our church over the years, and I have been so blessed to be a part of what He has done. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and have had a wonderful ride. There have been a number of key people that God has worked through to bring about what our church is today. Some of them have been part of our Body for most, if not all of our history, others for the last 20 years and some even for the last five years. They all have had the same common characteristics of loving Jesus and His Church, of having a wonderful servants heart, of being incredibly faithful, and being willing to make huge sacrifices for the health and growth of our church over the years. I am in the twilight years of my ministry and leadership at JBC and I am looking forward to seeing what He is going to do in the next couple of years as He continues to build His church.
Went to the beach today and watched my son-in-law Aaron surf. Great time. He has stopped trying to talk me into surfing.
Today Patty and I flew to Hawaii to see our youngest daughter Sally, her husband Aaron and our three grandkids that they parent. In fact I am writing this blog on the airplane. Over the last 40 years I have traveled to different countries and places on an airplane a lot. Airports and airplanes had become over the years one of my favorite places to talk to people about their life, their interests, and their faith. I said “had” because they aren’t any more because nobody talks, thanks to face masks. It is like everyone is walking around in their own little, bitty world all by themselves. Another one of my favorite activities was to walk around Home Depot, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Coastal Farm, and Harbor Freight looking at stuff and striking up conversations with other customers. I would go into at least one of those stores several times each week. I don’t do that anymore, it is a waste of time, unless I am there just to buy something, because it is just about impossible to have a conversation with anybody, nobody will talk, thanks to the power of the almighty face mask that is saving us all from death.
I wore a mask most of the day today because I would have gotten yelled at a lot had I not, and I don’t enjoy making a scene. It is a strange feeling being around people all day and feeling lonely, isolated, and like being in prison. People don’t even make eye contact with you anymore as you walk down the aisle of the airplane. No “Hi, how are you” coming from anybody.
From my research and reading I don’t think masks help with the spread of COVID at all, but even if they helped a little, I am of the very strong opinion that the price we are paying in people’s mental, psychological, and spiritual health is much greater than any benefit gained in physical health. There is a very real reason that suicides, alcohol consumption, drug use, and domestic violence have all increased substantially this past year. People were created by God for community, and for social interaction, and even the most introverted person will be unhappy without it.
People often say to me, “wearing a face mask is no different than wearing a bicycle helmet or a seat belt.” I wear a seat belt every time I ride in a car and a helmet every time I ride my bicycle, and my experience today in the world of face masks was much different than a day of traveling on my bicycle. I end a day riding my bike feeling happy, I ended today feeling depressed.
That was one of the many little sayings I would hear my Dad say as I grew up. Another one was this, “there aren’t very many truly wise men in the world, if you find one, if you can, spend time with him.” Reminds me of Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Another one of his gems was his definition of wisdom, “Wise men can see beneath the surface to see the way things really are.” His definition reminded me of fishing with him.
When I was a kid learning how to fish with my Dad, he would say as we were fishing up a small creek, if you can see the fish in the water you will have a big advantage in trying to catch them. He would say, don’t look at the water, look at the bottom of the stream bed, if you focus there you will see through the water and see the fish. It took awhile with his coaching but I finally got the hang of seeing beneath the surface to where the fish were.
In life most people project images, as opposed to what is really true. We all learn to do it when we are really young. It really isn’t lying, it is covering up the truth, or portions of it, it is over emphasizing some facts and ignoring others. One author that I like calls it, “blowing smoke”, creating a haze that is hard to see through.
Truly wise people can see through the haze, and see the truth. Proverbs says that if we seek wisdom like gold, silver, or precious treasure we will find it. Most people don’t seek wisdom diligently, they just assume that wisdom comes from living life, but as my Dad would say, “there are a lot of old fools running around,” they didn’t learn it from just living life.
There are three keys to growing in wisdom; (1) look for truly wise people and be humble enough to learn from them, (2) read the Bible every day. Psalms 119:98
says, “Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine,” and (3) pray and ask God for wisdom everyday. James 1:5 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” The words of Jesus in Matthew 10:16, are so appropriate for our day,
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
A couple of years ago I got deceived into sending a hundred Dollars to a person for a brand new Honda 1000 watt generator. I thought as I read the advertisement that this is too good to be true, and I was right, it wasn’t true, but the pull to get a thousand dollar generator for $100 was more than I could resist and I took the bait . After I figured out that I got cheated I got very angry, probably more from being made a fool of than loosing the money. There is something very irritating about being deceived.
The devil who is a very real being along with his myriads of demons is the master deceiver. That is what he does, that is how he messes up people’s lives, he deceives them. That is how he gains control of people, he deceives them, that is what he does. He gets people to believe things to be true that are a big fat lies, then they act and live their lives according to those lies and their lives are miserable, which is his goal.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
1 John 2:26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.
1 John 3:7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you.
There is so much stuff going around right now that is not true. A major part of the chaos is that many of those who are totally deceived are accusing those who see the truth clearly of being deceived.
The Bible is the absolute truth of God, and those who read it faithfully every day will know the truth, and they will not be deceived. Many who are thoroughly deceived will claim that the Bible isn’t true. They will claim things to be true that are contrary to the Bible. When I hear them say things that are obviously not true I know that they are deceived or are a deceiver.
When we were recently in Alaska one of my grandsons was explaining the principle of a vortex to me. He first asked me if I knew what a vortex was, and I said, “ a brand of rifle scope”. He then proceeded to explained to me that it was like the water in a toilet swirling around when it is flushed and goes down the drain. He said, the water is calm and flat and then the water in the tank is released quickly and as it rushes toward the drain the vortex is created. He informed me that the water always swirled in the same direction every time the toilet was flushed. Also that at the top of the vortex the water swirled at a slower speed with a larger circumference and as it reached the drain the speed picked up and the circle got tighter. I said, “wow, cool, God’s creation is amazing, thank you for teaching me that!”
We are in a vortex now. All of humanity is headed toward an event that is on God’s calendar like water in a toilet bowl. As the speed that we move towards that date increases a vortex is formed and things begin to happen at an accelerated pace that is terribly unnerving to most. The event and date is the day that the anti-Christ becomes the ruler of the world.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-7
the man of lawlessness will be revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship. . . . And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
This passage says that the “mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” and is being restrained. The restraining work is in the process of being removed like the flapper valve at the bottom of the toilet being lifted. The ultimate restraining force is the church and the Holy Spirit which will exit this world. When that happens the devil will accomplish his goal of a one world ruler, a one world government, a one world economy, and a one world religion and total control over all the people in the world who will be forced to do his exact will.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 describes my attitude and job description now, “to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”
I am in the vortex now, but I won’t be for long so my motto during these days is, “relax, enjoy the ride, take advantage of every opportunity to influence people to trust Jesus, and look forward to getting taken out of this world and getting my new body!”
I am a very firm believer that God has put certain things into our hearts, He has created us with some bents. One of those bents is that there is a God, an awareness of Himself.
Romans 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
People who say that they don’t believe in God are really saying that they don’t want God telling them how to live their life.
Psalms 53:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,”
Most Hebrew scholars would agree that another way to translate that passage into English would be,
The fool has said on his heart, No, God!
Another powerful bent that God has put into us is an awareness that we are eternal, that is we don’t just turn into dirt when we die and cease to exist.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart,
God’s desire is that we would love Him, follow Him, glorify Him as almighty God, serve Him, and live with Him forever. God draws us to Himself in a variety of ways revolving around His goodness, but if that doesn’t work than He uses trials and hard times to turn our heart toward Him and He keeps increasing the temperature. Many never bow to God and they will spend eternity separated from Him in misery.
I have submitted my heart and life to Him, He is my Lord and Savior, and I love Him. I look forward to the moment in time when I step into eternity with Him and get my new glorified body, that will be glory indeed.
2020 was a bummer of a year, and my prediction is that 2021 is going to be worse as God works at drawing the world to Himself. That means that myself and other followers of Jesus are going to go through tough times as well, and that we need to be prepared to share with those looking for answers the truth that is found in the Bible that Following Jesus is the only way to joy and happiness forever.