Monthly Archives: October 2022


The lesson that I taught in “Leadership Class” yesterday was on accountability. One of the points in the lesson was that we can accomplish just about anything if we get enough help from others. Most of that help being in the way of encouragement, accountability, and counsel. We all, as Christians, recite Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” but one of the principles of the class yesterday was that God strengthens us through other people, He doesn’t just pour it directly into us, it would be nice if He did, then I wouldn’t need you. We, as believers have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, but He works in us when we are in interdependent relationships. The Power of the Holy Spirit was not given to us to encourage a self-sufficient, independent attitude. Most people don’t seek help from others because of pride, “I can do it by myself,” and because we want to avoid any feelings of shame that would come from the failure to accomplish our goals. We tend to keep our failures a secret, and pretend we are doing alright.

The goal that I struggle with the most is my weight loss goal and my exercise goal. So I am going to post at the end of each day’s blog my weight, how much I rode my stationary bike, how much I ran/walked on the treadmill, and how much weight lifting I did.

My Parkinson’s has taken a turn for the worse, and I am pretty sure it is because of my diet, extra weight, and apathy in my exercising. It is all an issue of self-discipline. I know all the principles of growing in the character trait of self-discipline, I teach them all the time. One of the principles is that “self-discipline” is not really “self,” it is “others,” I get God’s strength from others; I can’t just crank it up in myself, by myself; God did not create us to be successful on our own, by ourselves for very long.

So, here we go!

Weight – 227 lbs, bike – 45 minutes, treadmill – 0, weight lifting – 0.

Good Memories

These two pictures represent good memories with my two sons, Sam and Seth. The first is at the end of a hunting trip on the North slope in Alaska. The second one was an Olympic distance triathlon at Sun River that we participated in. I remember it very well because when the boys finished they turned around, and ran back to where I was and finished the race with me.

Good memories are very encouraging and on days that I am feeling like a loser I will pull these two pictures out and remember the great sense of victory that I felt

Good Health

One of the things that I believe to be true is that the commandment given repeatedly in the Old Testament and in the New Testament to “rejoice always,” has significant rewards and blessings in our life. A major one of those blessings is good health. Nobody has perfect nealth, but some are certainly more energetic and less sick than many others. One of the factors in the level of our health is the amount of positive rejoicing and praising we do as opposed to complaining.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,

We all tend towards fretting and worrying about events coming in the future. The Bible says that we should pray about anything that makes us anxious and God will reward us with a peace that is impossible to understand.

Living our life every day free of anxiety is possible. Living our life free of worry is not only possible but commanded by God in the Bible.

If you have stress, worry, and anxiety popping into your thinking at night or during the day you need to make a goal to conquer it. The cool thing is that growing and becoming a relatively stress free person is very possible for anybody who is willing to pursue it.

Relationships and Friends are a Major Blessing

There were several hundred people who wished me happy birthday on Facebook, with emails, text messages, and birthday cards. As I looked at all the different names I recognized a number of people who were part of my past a long time ago. It was good to see their names and to see their faces on Facebook. If I had time it would be nice to call every one who took the time to write a note to me and chat with them for a few minutes and to get caught up on the news in their lives. One of the sad things in life is how quickly close friends can become almost totally forgotten in a fairly short amount of time after they move away.

Around me there are invisible circular lines, each farther out, like a target, and I am at the bulls eye. Each of the lines represents a relationship level or closeness to me. There are people at each level, and some are moving closer to me and some moving away. At the closest level would be Patty, kids, and grandkids, followed closely by good friends and people at JBC. Those in the inner circle of my life have great influence on my character growth and accomplishments in life.

Jesus had that those lines around Him as well, one person who seemed to be closer to Him than anybody else on the earth, was called “the disciple that He loved,” John. And then came Peter and James, then the rest of the disciples, who He declared were His friends in John 15. Jesus was obviously very close to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, and of course His mother. When Jesus rose from the dead He made a point to see over 500 different people who knew Him.

When we get to heaven there will be those same circles of relationship around Jesus. Someone will sit at His right and left hand. There will be those described in Revelation 3 who will sit on His throne with Him. Part of the rewards that we will receive at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” will be our proximity to Jesus. The closer we are to Him in this life, the closer we will be to Him in eternity.

The key to our relationship to Jesus in this life is our Bible reading, prayer life, and worship. I love Him therefore I will seek Him and draw near to Him. These verses are the motto of my life.

Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Now that is a Lot of Kids

This is a picture of all our kids, spouses, and grandkids, minus one. Praise our newest family member who Sherri and Thomas just brought home from Liberia as their adopted daughter will be in the next all family picture, whenever that is again. There are 46 people in our family now and they all love one another.

Not all, but a bunch of our kids came and visited us, and it was so much fun. It reminded me of my favorite verses in the Bible. Psalms 127:3-5 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;

Powerful Praying

Psalms 57:1-3 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by.
I will cry to God Most High,
To God who accomplishes all things for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches him who tramples upon me.

This passage in Psalms is a prayer of David that he wrote while hiding in a cave when King Saul was looking for him in order to kill him. There are 150 chapters in Psalms and most of them are prayers. I read five chapters in Psalms each day as part of my Bible reading schedule so I get through it each month. Today is the 26th, 26 X 5 = 130, so today I read Psalms 126 to 130. As I read them I also make the words my personal prayer for that day. It is amazing how at least one verse each day will be a perfect fit for me. Todays reading includes this passage.

Psalms 130:5-6 I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

To wait on the Lord means to spend time with Him, to seek a stronger relationship with Him. So as a result of reading this passage I prayed, “Dear Lord, I have been less than faithful in my Bible reading and prayer time lately because of business, I am sorry for that, I repent and commit to seeking You diligently, apart from You I desire nothing on this earth, apart from You I can do nothing that really matters.

Praying through five chapters of Psalms each day is very powerful praying in that the words are ones that are a prophecy of the very words that Jesus prayed as a man on the earth as He lived life.

Happy Birthday

Thursday is my birthday and I will be 74 years old.

Patty and I are 20 years old in the black and white picture. Whoooeeeeee a lot of difference in 54 years.

I have never thought a whole lot about dying. I have thought about heaven and what it will look like and the judgment seat of Christ a lot, but recently I have wondered how I will die, what the whole experience will feel like, what I will be thinking, sensations that I will have, if it will be quick or drawn out. It is like thinking about my first time skydiving. I wasn’t afraid but there was all the questions in my mind of the unknown. I am not afraid of dying, and when I think about it there is no apprehension, just wonder, because it certainly will be a first time experience for me. I wonder about why God put it together the way He did with all the variations of death. If God would give me the choice of dying or being raptured which would I take? I would take getting raptured in a heart beat, why? I am not sure, except that the rapture is going to be a big group experience, and it sounds pretty exciting the way it is described in the Bible.

I was talking to a guy a couple of months ago who was absolutely paranoid about his death. He was afraid of COVID, of cancer, and fretted and worried about every ache or pain he had. I thought, wow, that would be a sad way to live your life. It would be hard to enjoy your life if you were always in a knot about it ending at any moment.

I think a lot of people who think that they are born again, in God’s family, headed for heaven aren’t really. They have a pseudo salvation based on an experience, poor teaching, or a cultural upbringing that convinced them they are in when in fact they are not. I think that the nearer we get to the time of our death that the reluctance to think and ponder about it is a hint that we should be worried about it. When the Spirit of God truly dwells in us as a child of God I am thinking that there will be a confident calmness and a positive expectation of a incomprehensible future. This passage written by the Apostle Paul describes my thinking.

Philippians 1:21-23 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;


Have you ever read Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy through, all three books, and then read them again, and then one more time. Probably not, because they are very hard books to understand and the content has very little direct application to our life. There are several important things about these books; the first is that they reveal a great deal about the nature, the character, and the attributes of God. God the father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are in these books, their roles and relationships, and their desires and goals in regards to people. Another major topic in these books is government, how it is supposed to serve God, protect His people, and to maintain and protect justice among people. It is no surprise to learn that the founding fathers of the United States looked to these books as they wrote the Constitution for our country.

And then there comes Joshua, Judges, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings, and 1st and 2nd Chronicles where there is written the history of the nation of Israel as seen in their government and rulers. Israel had a roller coaster ride over the years, and the ups and downs, the successes and failures were obviously the result of the person who was the king at any given time. The quality of the government, the leadership over the country brought God’s blessing on the country or God’s curse.

Today the same thing is true, the government over a country will ultimately determine the quality of life that the people under that government will experience. We have some input and influence in the choice of who those people are who are the leaders of our government, but in reality not very much influence.

Our greatest influence is stated in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,”

The passage begins with the words “first of all,” which would obviously mean, this is important. Discontent should move us to greater and greater commitment to prayer. God is infinitely powerful and sovereign, he can turn any representatives heart toward justice, any Senators, any President. Their heart is like water in His hand, He can turn it wherever He wants, but He lets us decide and influence through our prayers to Him. If we neglect our responsibility to pray for our country and it’s rulers then the devil gets to decide. Guess who is having the most say at this time in our country.

So Sad

Have you ever seen a picture of a dog more sad than my Roscoe dog? He is getting a bath in the kitchen sink and he is not enjoying it one little bit.

Have you ever been sad? You feel trapped in a situation and you don’t know how to get out of it. There is nothing about what you are experiencing that you like, you didn’t choose to be there, and you are not happy!

It happens all the time to most of us, and it could be picking up speed because of our culture moving rapidly away from being Christian. So what do we do when we find ourselves in an unfair situation? If we want to be used by God as a witness for Him we choose to act and behave the way Joseph did when he was betrayed by his brothers and ends up in prison. But because he didn’t let circumstances control him he became the second most powerful man in Egypt and saved his family, the very ones who betrayed him.

Choose to act and behave like Daniel when he became the prisoner of a foreign king who had no clue who God was, and he was thrown into a lions den but survived miraculously and those who were wrongfully his enemies got eaten. The Bible is full of stories like that to encourage us to choose act like followers of Jesus.

That is the way God operates. Pray and ask God to use you and then be prepared to face a hard situation. Don’t grumble or complain, rejoice always and look for an opportunity to influence others to follow Jesus.

Jesus saved us through the cross, and he has told us in Luke 9 that if we want to serve him and influence people we must, not an option, pick up our cross daily and follow Him.

Oregon vs UCLA

The conference was over at noon and my plane leaves at 7:00 pm and it is now 2:30 pm and I am sitting in a “Sports Bar” in the airport watching the Oregon-UCLA football game and eating fish and chips. It is now halftime and Oregon is up 31 to 13. I am at the Phoenix airport so there aren’t many Oregon fans sitting around me.

I enjoy watching football and basketball, both college and professional, and I have my favorite teams in both. I am not a fanatic for any team, but I enjoy “wanting” my team to win. In the New Testament the Apostle Paul uses sports as an illustration often, usually track or boxing. The point of the illustrations usually has to do with effort, diligence, and endurance. Living the Christian life is very much like most of life, those who work the hardest are usually the most successful.

2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,

Romans 12:11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

Diligence is usually manifest in reading your Bible everyday even when you are tired, spending at least 15 minutes every day with God in prayer, seeking wisdom like gold and silver by reading good books, and listening to pod casts, attending church most weekends, and serving Him in some kind of ministry.

Most are to busy with stuff in the world that has no eternal value to be faithful in the basic disciplines of the Christian life, and won’t do well at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Nice people but not winners.