Author Archives: deefduke

About deefduke

Pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church, ride a bicycle, fish, hunt, and have 25 grandchildren.

Strategies to Accomplish Your Goals

A goal without a strategy is useless unless it is a little goal. Once a goal is written then thinking must be done to arrive at a strategy to accomplish the goal that is clear. Successful strategies break down the distance to the goal into small, very achievable steps. As each step is successfully taken confidence grows. A written out strategy can take pages depending on the size of the goal. My goal of riding across the United States on a bicycle.

1. Break the trip down to 60 days with approximately 70 miles per day.

2. Map out each day’s ride using a bicycle mapping app designed just for this purpose. Check the roads using Google earth to see what the shoulder width and traffic flow is. Change and adjust the route accordingly.

3. Find a campground with showers for each night with phone number.

4. Save up $2,000 which will be the approximate cost of the trip.

5. Up stationary bike riding to two hours a day on February 1st, three months before start of trip.

6. Figure out meals for every day of the trip and get purchased.

7. Make a list of everything needed on the trip such as extra tires, tubes, tools, bicycle parts, camping gear, cloths etc. Go over the list numerous times so as not to forget anything.

8. Read two separate books written by people who biked the route we are going on. Take note of any problem areas and things needed.

9. Call and make reservations at each campsite chatting for a minute to determine bicycle friendliness.

10. Take my bicycle to a good bicycle mechanic to get everything checked and tuned.

11. Pack all gear and food.

12. Starting in April ride an hour outside on my bicycle two times a week, and two hours once a week.

13. Make a BIG map with route on it to put on a wall somewhere in the church so church secretaries can mark off each day of successful travel.

14. April 27th leave on three day drive back to Virginia to begin the trip on May 1st.

15. June 30th celebrate.

I have as much fun thinking through and writing out the strategies to my goals as accomplishing them.

Patty Duke’s Birthday

Proverbs 19:14
House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Patty is 74 years old today, has been married to me for 53 of those years, and she has, indeed, been a gift from the Lord. I have been the Pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church for 45 years, but without all she did for me, I wouldn’t have lasted two or three years in ministry. She was a partner in the work, putting in as many hours as I did, but most importantly, she was the primary source of encouragement and support for me, especially in the early years when I did so many dumb things and had so much criticism for it. She loved everybody no matter what, encouraged me, and taught me to do the same and how to do it. She has been my most faithful support and my most influential critic. She has consistently pushed me to improve and grow but never given me a deadline to do it. Somebody asked me how much longer I was going to Pastor, I didn’t give them a definitive answer, but in my head I thought, as long as Patty is alive and well. I have been incredibly blessed by the Lord in my life and the greatest of those blessings outside my salvation has been Patty.

My most important focus in life is to know the Lord more intimately and become like Him in character, and next is not how to be a great Pastor or to catch lots of fish, but is to learn better how to love Patty as Jesus loves the church and gave Himself up for her.

Parenting, the Hardest, and the Most Important Job on the Earth

Patty and I raised eight kids, all of them are married with their own kids now. As I think back on those days one thing, I remember more than anything else was the many nights I laid awake fretting and worrying about some event or circumstance that one or more of our kids was involved in. I was fretting about whether we had made a right decision or if in the future we would. I was always thinking about what we had done and what we should do better tomorrow. I was in an almost constant state of grieving over some dumb thing I had done or said. I enjoyed our kids immensely and they added so much to my life, but I don’t miss the constant pressure to be a good parent that didn’t mess up their kids future. I think the pressure of parenting grew my prayer life more tan anything else, I was a constant day and night prayer, and most of my prayers were for our kids. I prayed for and about every detail of their lives. I prayed for wisdom for both Patty and I to make right decisions and say the right words.

I went to a high school basketball game tonight to watch a grandson who is on one of the teams. As I watched I reminisced about all the games Patty and I were at over the years cheering on our kids and praying for them to do well. Those were good year’s.

Sunday mornings at 10:15 am through 11:15 am I will be teaching a parenting class. I used to teach parenting classes telling Mom’s and Dad’s to do what we did and I would tell stories about our family. Now I teach about what I wished I had done better, the things I should have done, and said but didn’t.

We did some things right, and one of them was I was obsessed with being the best parent I could be so I was always going to seminars, and classes on parenting, getting counsel from people who had even a little bit of success as parents, and reading books on parenting, lots of books.

I hope lots of parents come to my class for the same reason I went to classes 40 years ago. Parenting is an incredibly important job, and it is probably the hardest thing I have ever done So I am praying diligently that God will use my class to give wisdom and take away pressure.

Best Statement on COVID I have read!professor Ehud Qimron, head of the department of microbiology and immunology at Tel Aviv University and one of Israel’s leading immunologists, denounces Israel’s mismanagement of the pandemic

Two years late, you finally realize that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect, it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost all of your actions, and even the media is already having a hard time covering your shame.

You refused to admit that the infection comes in waves that fade by themselves, despite years of observations and scientific knowledge.

You refused to admit that mass testing is ineffective.

You refused to admit that recovery is more protective than a vaccine, despite previous knowledge and observations showing that non-recovered vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than recovered people.

You refused to admit that the vaccinated are contagious despite the observations. Based on this, you hoped to achieve herd immunity by vaccination—and you failed in that as well.

You refused to adopt the “Barrington Declaration,” signed by more than 60,000 scientists and medical professionals, or other common-sense programs. You chose to ridicule, slander, distort and discredit them. Instead of the right programs and people, you have chosen professionals who lack relevant training for pandemic management.

You have not set up an effective system for reporting side effects from the vaccines, and reports on side effects have even been deleted from your Facebook page. Doctors avoid linking side effects to the vaccine, lest you persecute them as you did with some of their colleagues.

You have ignored many reports of changes in menstrual intensity and menstrual cycle times. You hid data that allows for objective and proper research (for example, you removed the data on passengers at Ben Gurion Airport). Instead, you chose to publish non-objective articles together with senior Pfizer executives on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.

However, from the heights of your hubris, you have also ignored the fact that in the end the truth will be revealed. And it begins to be revealed. The truth is that you have brought the public’s trust in you to an unprecedented low, and you have eroded your status as a source of authority.

The truth is that you have burned hundreds of billions of shekels to no avail — for publishing intimidation, for ineffective tests, for destructive lockdowns and for disrupting the routine of life in the last two years.

You have destroyed the education of our children and their future. You made children feel guilty, scared, smoke, drink, get addicted, drop out, and quarrel, as school principals around the country attest. You have harmed livelihoods, the economy, human rights, mental health and physical health.

You slandered colleagues who did not surrender to you, you turned the people against each other, divided society and polarized the discourse. You branded, without any scientific basis, people who chose not to get vaccinated as enemies of the public and as spreaders of disease. You promote, in an unprecedented way, a draconian policy of discrimination, denial of rights and selection of people, including children, for their medical choice. A selection that lacks any epidemiological justification.

The economy you ruined, the unemployed you caused, and the children whose education you destroyed—they are the surplus victims as a result of your own actions only.There is currently no medical emergency, but you have been cultivating such a condition for two years now because of lust for power, budgets and control. The only emergency now is that you still set policies and hold huge budgets for propaganda and psychological engineering instead of directing them to strengthen the health care system.

Every Day, Every Day, Every Day

I am in seven different accountability groups each week. In the groups, we each report on how we are doing on our goals and the spiritual disciplines. This morning’s group had eight guys, and every one of them said, “read my Bible every day.” It is incredibly encouraging as a pastor to see the number of people in our church who are very faithful to read the Bible almost every day. Most are following a reading plan that will get them through the Bible in a year, and some more than that. We have a bunch of people who are very sick right now, and a number with a variety of serious health issues, but from many of them, in spite of how they are feeling I see their report that they got in their Bible reading for the day.

The Bible mentions over fifty different blessings that come into the life of a person who honors God by faithfully reading His Word. One such blessing is stated in Psalms 119:165,”those who love Your Law will have great peace, and nothing will cause them to stumble.” Another one is in Psalms 1, “He meditates on God’s word day and night, and as a result he will yield fruit and in all that he does he will prosper.” Churches that have a majority of their church family reading will be blessed as well.

Churches that are blessed by God, bless the world, and are used by Him to reach many others.

Psalms 67:1-2 God be gracious to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us—
That Your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Genesis 12:2 . . .And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;

I have gotten personal goals from 25 different people to pray for. I would love to get a bunch more. If you are part of the JBC family and would like to be in an accountability group, let me know, I would love to plug you into one, email me deefduke@icloud.com

Pray for Me

As a pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church I get lots of requests, and the most often given one is, “Pastor would you pray for me?” And when I say “yes,” they give me details of some issue, trial, or problem they are facing.

I pray for every person who attends Jefferson Baptist Church every week. I have a prayer app for my IPad that works great. I can put unlimited information under each person’s name and I can add a picture with their name. Having the picture is a super help in learning people’s name who are new. It takes me about one hour each day to keep up with this commitment, and as a Pastor wanting to make a difference in people’s lives, I believe that nothing that I do has as much power to change lives as praying for them does. In John 17:9 Jesus declared that He prayed for the ones that God the Father had given Him, He had a special jurisdiction in their life. “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me;” I believe that God has given me that same power, that same authority with Him on behalf of those He has given to me.

According to the teaching in the New Testament I have been given authority from God to pray and

-ask that He protect you from the temptations of the devil.

-that He would show you His perfect will for your life.

-that you would have strength and power to bear up under trials and to accomplish a lot with your life.

-that your behavior would please the Lord.

-that God would stir up your heart to witness to lost people.

-that God would give you joy and peace in spite of trials.

-that God would give you His wisdom to know what to do and say in any situation you may find yourself in.

-that He would convict you greatly for sin.

-that He would make your relationships healthy and unified.

-and that you will seek the Lord diligently through the spiritual disciplines.

The Best

It is interesting that the quarterback of the national college football Champions, the Georgia Bulldogs, is ranked 104th in college football quarterbacks; he is an unimpressive 5’11” tall and 190 pounds, was a walk-on and not recruited by any college, and several sportswriters are saying that when he returns to Georgia next year, he probably won’t be the starting quarterback. Stetson Bennet is not your typical National Champion quarterback for sure.

He is one of those guys that work hard every day, never gives up, doesn’t complain, doesn’t insult those who called for his benching most of the season. After his team won the National Championship, and he was awarded offensive player of the game, the people doing the interviews with him tried hard to get him to badmouth his detracters, but he refused. After the game, listening to the coach and players talk about him, it was evident that they immensely loved and respected him.

Next season I am going to pay close attention to Stetson Bennet and the Georgia Bulldogs because I love seeing someone succeed based on character and hard work.

Ten Million Dollars

If you take one penny and double it for one month, for thirty days you will have over ten million dollars. That seems impossible but that is the power of doubling. If you or I are trying to do something great with our life, there is great power in getting a little bit better everyday. But there is a problem, the doubling phenomena starts out slow. After ten days, one-third of the days and the total is a bit over ten dollars.

In real life people get discouraged with slow starts and quit, if you do that you will miss out on the equivalent of ten million dollars. One of the principles with both Paul and Jesus was that money is around us all the time and it is easy to invest our money and our time.

The key to success is perseverance, going beyond the time of small returns. Endurance and self-control are essential character traits needed to accomplish anything of value. I think the Lord made it that way to separate the champions from the mediocre

Darn Parkinson’s

My Parkinson’s disease goes in cycles; it seems for no apparent reason that I can figure out. The last couple of days have been worse than normal. I stay on top of it most of the time with my extensive exercise, and it is just a nuisance to put up with, but occasionally it will get worse. That worseness is mostly in my legs not wanting to do what I want them to do, and also lots of pain in most all of my muscles, sort of like a full-body charlie horse or cramp. When it happens I work very hard at not grumbling or complaining to myself, to others or to God. I take it as a trial that God is using to develop my character and make me like Christ.

Another issue that I struggle with during these times is that I don’t want to do anything, just sit in my chair and look at youtube videos. One thing I do to counteract that pull toward nothingness, is I make one day goals of all that I want to get done, and push hard to overcome my natural inclination to do nothing. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, but for sure I don’t give up. I am going to increase my time on my stationary bike and faithfully lift weights.

One of the blessings of my condition is that I am eagerly waiting for Jesus return, the transformation of my body into conformity with the body of Jesus, thinking about heaven a lot.

Many people never think about heaven because they have no clue if they are going there or not. If I were in that condition I would look and seek hard for answers.

My Perfect Model

In college I had a class where the mid-term and the final test were the basis for our grade, nothing else. On test day there were three questions on the chalkboard and you wrote as much as you could on each question in the hour that we had. The trick was to guess accurately what the questions would be and study a bunch on those alone. It was unreasonable to think that I could accurately guess all three, so I would guess on six, and study hard for those. The professor wasn’t trying to be sneaky in the ones he chose. If a person attended all the classes, listened attentively, and took good notes, it wasn’t hard to guess accurately, at least with six. But because there were no other assignments for the class many people skipped the class regularly, and then come test day they had no idea what the questions could possibly be. I got an “A” in the class, both semesters that I took it.

It seemed unreasonable to me that I would pay good money to go to college to learn and gain knowledge and then skip the class to do something more enjoyable.

As I write about and describe the imaginary, perfect person that I am striving to be like, one of the predominant characteristics is being responsible and faithful. A responsible and faithful person makes choices and decisions all day long based on principle, not on convenience or comfort. I remember a class I had in the seventh grade where the teacher had a ten-dollar bill and a Big Hunk candy bar. He said, ”if you offer these to a four-year-old, they can have one or the other, but if they choose the ten dollar bill they can’t have it for a week, but the candy bar they can have immediately, which one will they choose?” The class all agreed, the candy bar. Then he asked this question, “At what age will that change?” And then he said this, “Some of you might still struggle with that decision!” That class stuck in my head, and made me want to be a wise person who understood value. The inability to postpone gratification is a significant problem with many people. Mature and responsible people live by well thought out values.

One of my life values is expressed in the little motto that I learned from my Dad, “Do the right thing because it is the right thing, always.”

I want to be a responsible person who always chooses the ten-dollar bill, always does the right thing instead of the convenient or comfortable thing