Monthly Archives: March 2021


In the Middle Ages, governments had power and control over people and their rights, and the church also had much power and used it to control people. There was a constant battle between governments and the church over who was most in control. One of the doctrines that had evolved in the church was that a person had to be a member in good standing in their church to go to heaven. So the church began to use the threat of ex-communication, which was basically kicking people out of heaven to control them, especially government officials. The government used courts, laws, prisons, and the threat of death to control people, especially church leaders. If you read much history of this period you will read of people getting burned at the stake, drowned, hung, pulled in two by horses, thrown to animals, thrown off of high places, and starved to death. Executions were made public and cruel for the sake of intimidation and fear which was essential to controlling people.

Through the Reformation years, the struggle for power and control continued, and hundreds of so-called heretics were burned at the stake. In a number of recorded executions the children of those being burned were forced to light the fire that killed their parent. John Fox wrote his book, “Fox’s Book of Martyrs, ” in 1563 with many detailed descriptions of executions that were fully intended to put fear into those who watched and heard of the awful deaths of those who refused to be controlled by tyrants.

The earliest of immigrants to America from Europe came seeking religious freedom and freedom from the fear mongering that was still the normal way of controlling people in Europe. Those who wrote our Constitution and the Bill of Rights which followed were very much aware of European history and wrote a document designed to maintain people’s freedom from oppression. It is said that no document that was ever written has the power to protect against despotic autocracy as our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights do.

The Bible is the ultimate document of freedom. It teaches the importance of not trying to control others, how to live in peace with others, how to live in freedom from fear, living free from the power and control of our own sinful nature, and how to be set free from the devil and the kingdom of darkness. It is worth reading every day, and following as a standard for living life in freedom.

Hard vs Easy or at least Easier

When I was a teenager growing up an hours drive from timberline of Mt Adam’s, one of the unwritten but fully understood “life rules” was “climbing Mt Adam’s is hard, very hard, but that is why you choose to do it.” In our culture today there are still a few who operate by that principle, but we have steadily moved in the direction of “hard is bad and easy is good.” One of the main messages of Jesus was “if you want to follow Me you must pick up your cross everyday.” Crucifixion was the most torturous, painful death invented by man, and the cross was a symbol of that pain. When Jesus said, “you must pick up your cross,” He was saying, “following Me is hard, very hard!”

One of the main selling points used today to persuade people to trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior in America is “Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life.” In many countries in the world today to become a Christian is to be ostracized from your friends and family, to be guaranteed a life of poverty because no one will hire you, and very possibly to be martyred for your faith.

Why would anyone choose to convert to Christianity then? Because only those who are followers of Jesus will inherit eternal life in heaven. Life is a blink of an eye in length and heaven is forever. To choose hard here in this life to get heaven forever is the smartest move anybody can make. Part of the problem is that people confuse free with easy. Salvation is free, Jesus paid the price of our sin, we don’t have to reach a certain level of holiness to get into God’s family, but once in we are asked by Jesus to “suffer hardship” as we serve Him.

Most Christians in the United States don’t suffer much because they choose not to do much with their life for the Lord. One little example is prayer, prayer doesn’t require any straining, sweat, or effort, you just sit there. But those who enter into the kind of praying that changes other people experience “hard.” It is a mystery in what makes it hard, and a little, convenient praying isn’t really very hard, but the number who choose to spend some serious time interceding for others is small, and it is small for a reason.

JBC started our “Five Days of Prayer” this morning. We pray from 5:00 to 10:00 am each morning and 5:00 to 10:00 pm each evening. Many in our church choose not to come at all, some come for an hour or two, but there are some who choose the hard way and spend several hours each of the five days praying because they believe that it will make a difference in the eternal destiny of many.

Being Right or Healthy Relationship, Which is it

I get a lot of questions from people about conflict with other people. They desire to resolve it and have peace in the family, at work, in the church, or with a neighbor. I regularly see people creating tension in their relationships because they don’t know how to manage differences of opinion. They tend to make their opinion and the rightness of it more important in the scheme of things than it deserves. There are a few opinions that are worth making a fuss over but not very many. A fool makes a fuss over differences that are not worth making a fuss over. When a difference causes a distancing to take place in a relationship it ought to be worth the cost of that relationship. A fool can’t seem to accurately determine if being right is more important than the unity and closness of their relationship with the person they are having the conflict with. This has become much more prevalent in our present culture, and many people are ending relationships over really stupid things. As I listen and counsel people I often think, they must not value their relationship with this other person much because they are willing to end it over a difference of opinion that really isn’t that big of a deal. It often appears to me that it isn’t the importance of a particular view, but the pride of being right that drives much of this conflict.

Proverbs 20:3
Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will quarrel.

Proverbs 18:2
A fool does not delight in understanding,
But only in revealing his own mind.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

Relationships with other people are such valuable things, and it us so sad to see people almost flippantly ending relationships with people they have known for year’s over opinions on masks, political views, methods of doing things, and theological views that aren’t critical to eternal life. Relationships with people take years to develop and they shouldn’t be damaged over trivia, but so many do.


A couple of days ago, I wrote out some mottos that I like and use. Several months ago, I wrote out some of my favorite leadership mottos. I thought I would repeat the leadership mottos because they are very good and highly motivational to me.

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 can 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 achieve 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 follow the dream.

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.

Going through the Tribulation

I don’t believe that we will go through the Tribulation as described in Revelations, but that we will be raptured at any minute, receive a glorified body and head off to heaven with Jesus. But let’s pretend that we do go through the Seven year Tribulation as described in Revelation chapter 6 through 19. If we are in the Tribulation it will be fairly easy to see where we are on the time line described in Revelations with the seven seal judgments, the seven trumpet judgments, and then the seven bowl judgments being clearly explained along with the mark of the beast and other events.

So now, pretending that we are in the Tribulation how will we pray? Will we pray that God will make everything good, and take away the hard times? Why would we pray that when it is clearly prophesied that the hard times are planned by God? What we should pray for is strength to endure the hard times and that we would be a good witness.

If we read Revelations we will see that the antichrist is a major player and that he is the worst tyrant the world has ever seen, and that he persecuted severely all who do not obey him. What are we going to pray for? That God fixes the government and changes things so that the Republicans are in charge? Why would we do that when we can see clearly what God has planned?

So, maybe what we should pray for is strength to endure and to be a good witness for Jesus.

So, back to the present, how should we pray? That God fixes things, takes away the COVID thing, opens up schools, takes things back to normal? The worse things are the more people turn to Jesus as their savior. People coming to Jesus is far more important than things being normal. What we should be praying for is that those who identify with Jesus are strong, not whiners, not afraid of viruses, joyful, not critical of others, whether they wear a mask or not.

How are you doing as a follower of Jesus?

Life Mottos

A motto is a sentence which summarizes a belief, a commitment, or a philosophy of life that you don’t want to forget.

I am personally a big believer in mottos. They help me remember what my commitments and values are, and also to teach them to others. I am continually collecting new ones that I hear and those I write for myself. Here are a few of my favorites;

-Read the Bible everyday, everyday, everyday.

– You don’t have to act the way you feel.

– Everything rises and falls on leadership.

– Feel angry over every injustice you see, but don’t act or speak in anger, not even a little bit irritated, it changes nothing.

-Being a servant of Jesus is all about influencing people and changing things for the better, even if just a little bit.

-If certain behavior doesn’t change anything for the better, stop it.

-much prayer much blessing, little prayer little blessing, no prayer no blessing.

-If anything in life is important, make a goal to get better at it.

-Measure, count and keep track on paper of anything and everything that matters.

-If you don’t keep track of how much you pray, you won’t pray much, if you don’t keep track of how much you read the Bible, you won’t read the Bible much.

-A goal isn’t really a goal if it isn’t written down, it is just wishful thinking.

-Every year learn a new skill, skills are like tools, the more you have the more you can do.

-Every year choose to do something you have never done before, experience is the foundation of wisdom.

-Every year plan to go someplace you have never been before, the world is God’s textbook for knowing Him.

-The more you read your goals the more apt you are to accomplish them.

-I will love everybody God sovereignly brings into my life, no matter how difficult they may be to love.

-To love a person is to honor them and to honor them is to pay sincere attention to their words.

-Our memories are short, write down every experience worth remembering.

-Stories are the key to memorable teaching, but only if they are short and well told.

-The self-disciple to delay gratification according to wisdom is the most significant measure of maturity.

-Leaders are readers.

-Without regular and honest self-examination change and growth will be minimal.

-Every conflict with another person is an opportunity to discover a blind spot in my life.

-Quitting something because it is hard is what wimps do.

-I can accomplish just about anything if I get enough counsel and help from others, only a fool insists on doing it by themselves.

-God sees everything I do, hears everything I say, and knows everything I think.

The 20 – 80 rule

20% of fisherman catch 80% of the fish, 20% of the hunters kill 80% of the deer and elk, 20% of the people control 80% of the money, and on and on it go’s. It is called the Praeto Principle because a Italian Economist named Praeto wrote out the principle after researching it for years around the world, and found it to be true in every country and culture in just about every area of life.

Government thinks it is their responsibility to fix the problem, but they always make it worse. Government has an inner force, a spirit, the same spirit since the beginning of government, that spirit desires only to control, not to help or make better.

The beginning strategy of government to create equality is to tax the rich more, much more than the poor, which doesn’t really help the poor. They then enter into a welfare program to help the poorer with food, income, and medical care.

God created a plan and outlined it in the Bible clearly. It began with those who had an abundance helping those who had needs. Most people with plenty have a desire to do that, they are drawn to help those with needs. When Government steps in and takes over the responsibility, those with plenty stop helping. When people help people gratitude is the normal response, when government gives it creates expectation and dependency.

When people with plenty help those with less God blesses them and they make more, help the less fortunate more, and create more business, wealth, and jobs. My Dad grew up during the “depression,” and he often told stories of this very principle happening often.

Franklin Roosevelt introduced the “New Deal” and the modern welfare system was born, and the problem of poverty has increased every year since.

Here is God’s plan;

2 Corinthians 8:14-15 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

Proverbs 22:9 He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed.

Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”


Proverbs 21:3 To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.

Psalms 106:3 How blessed are those who keep justice,
Who practice righteousness at all times!

In our present-day culture of BLM, Antifa, demonstrations, political unrest, voter fraud allegations, and police brutality allegations the topic of Justice comes up a lot. The problem is that justice has been redefined by the liberal socialist movement in our country, and has become the definition permeating much of the present government agenda. The founding Fathers of the United States defined Justice as equal opportunity for all. Socialism has replaced equality with the words egalitarianism and equity.

Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1896 developed the “Pareto Principle.” He wrote it after observing that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the people. He researched and studied this all over the world. His premise was that if all the money in the world were gathered up and evenly distributed to all the people in less than ten years, 80% of the money would be in the hands of the same 20% of the people. When I was a dairy farmer we observed that 20% of our cows produced 80% of the milk. As a pastor of a church I have observed that 20% of the people give 80% of the money, and 20% do 80% of the ministry. In basketball 20% of the players score 80% of the points and on it goes, that is pretty much life.

Simple observation concludes that the reason for the 80% – 20% split is because of a difference in diligence, wisdom, responsible behavior, choices, talent, and ability. Those in the lowest of the 80% would say the difference is because of luck, racism, lack of opportunity, and privilege.

Another observable fact is that some of the 20% who acquire wealth begin to use that wealth’s power to oppress and take advantage of the 80%. So governments in an attempt to provide justice for the 80% to prevent them from being taken advantage of enact laws to protect them. Good governments are able to pull that off, but not many stay good for long.

In golf, a system of keeping score has been developed called the “handicap.” Basically the better you play the lower your handicap and the worse you play the higher your handicap. So when four people play a game of golf together on a sunny Saturday afternoon, their handicap is subtracted from their final score at the end of the game, meaning the really bad player has a chance to beat the really good player not because of greater skill but because of his handicap. It is a system designed to keep competition equal so bad players try harder because they now have a chance to win.

In Socialism that is called “egalitarianism” and “equity.”Government is now in charge of creating laws to make it easier for the 80% to make money, own property, get an education, and be happy in life. Historically what always happens is the development of a welfare state where government becomes the oppressor and the middle class disappears, because some of the 20% now move into Government and still control the wealth and now have the power.

The solution? Tomorrow!

The Church and Politics

Way back in Jerry Falwell’s days and the “Moral Majority,” as the pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church, I had to wrestle with the role we would have in the political arena; what did God expect us to do? The question for me boiled down to this, “How do you most effectively change the morals of a country, the values, the belief system for what is right and what is wrong in a culture? Was working through the government the best way to make the most impact? Was working at changing the government and making it good the right emphasis. Many people pushed me in that direction with great passion.

As I wrestled with this I was greatly influenced by Francis Schaffer’s book, “How Then Should We Live”, and all the books written by Chuck Colson, especially “Against the Night, ” and “Kingdoms in Conflict”. As a result of those books and others, I wrote a “Position Paper, ” on what I believed was my personal responsibility outside my role as a pastor and what I should do as the Pastor of JBC and what should our church do. Here is the short version of that paper.

1. The church’s responsibility, it’s job description given to them by Jesus is to “Make Disciples.”

2. Any other emphasis will rob the church of it’s effectiveness at doing the “Great Commission.”

3. A disciple believes in Jesus, loves Jesus, follows Jesus, obeys Jesus. A disciple reads, studies, memorize’s, and meditates on the Bible, God’s Word daily. A true disciple of Jesus spends time with Him every day in prayer agonizing over the world around them. A disciple of Jesus is a leader, an influencer of people, he is salt and he is light. A disciple sees injustice and wrong around him in his world and he fixes it, he does that as and because he is a disciple of Jesus, that is what they do.

4. The core problem in our country isn’t that the government is bad, the key problem is that there are not enough true disciples of Jesus making the government and the culture good.

5. The problem with any culture, country, goverment is that those being led by Satan and empowered by Satan are more in number and stronger than those who are being led and empowered by God.

6. Whose fault is that? The church’s, the church has one job given to them by God, “Make Disciples, ” and they have done a hundred other things except the one thing they were given to do.

Our Kids

Sarah was born in 1975 after the doctors told us that we wouldn’t have any children, and we ended up with eight total. Raising our kids was the center of my life for year’s and then they were all gone and have been now for a number of year’s. Sherri and her husband Thomas and their son Courage live with us so I get to see them every day, and they are perfect in every way. Our daughter Sarah and her family live just 30 minutes drive from us and we see them close to weekly, the same with our daughter Sandee and son Sam, and their families. We do things with them socially on a regular basis. Last Sunday evening we went to Sam’s church in Stayton and listened to him preach, it was awesome. We went up to Fairbanks, Alaska, and spent a week with Shelly, our seventh child, and her awesome family during Christmas, and had fun ice fishing. Then we went to Hawaii and spent a week with Sally, our youngest, and her family and spent some significant time on the beach with them. That was quite the weather change from below zero to 80 degrees.

Tomorrow we are driving to Idaho and are going to spend 5 days with our son Seth, his wife Aimie and their four wonderful kids. Then in a couple of weeks, we are driving in a twelve-passenger van with our daughter Susanna and her husband Kyle and their three kids to Palm Springs and spend a week with them. I am planning on beating Kyle in golf numerous times.

I enjoy many different things like fishing, hunting, working on cars, and riding my bicycle, but nothing comes close to the joy I feel when we are spending time with our kids and grandkids. They are indeed the most significant source of joy in my life, apart from the Lord.

Patty and I are amazingly blessed with eight kids who love Jesus, love each other, and love us. We have a very loving and unified family that genuinely enjoys each other.