Category Archives: Blogs


Week Forty, 2023

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

Has anyone noticed that on older quarters the head faces toward “IN GOD WE TRUST,” but on the new 2022 quarters he turns his back to “IN GOD WE TRUST?”
Is that a mistake is the government conveying an anti-God message?

Do you think that our government is suggest the new quarter reflects modern society turning its back on God. I say we need every head on everything to be turned towards God, now more than ever!

The U.S. Mint released the coin with Washington’s profile facing right as part of its “American Women Quarters Program.”

Well, rather by intent of a design message to America or by natural error, the message is still the same. It is a reminder that as Christians, our focus should be that in God we trust. Originally used on coins during the Civil War and later adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956, the meaning of “In God We Trust” denotes that the political and economic prosperity of the nation is in God’s hands. Adopted in 1956 as the official motto of the United States, the coin change was made to affirm the difference between the atheist and communist Soviet Union, the great enemy of the US in that period of history. Are we not afraid of anyone anymore?

In God, whose Word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. Psalm 56:4. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5). The verse instructs us to put all our trust in the Lord and not our own knowledge. The verse tells us not to be reliant on our strength and knowledge, but to trust in the Lord.

Nothing can be more certain than that our country was founded in a spiritual atmosphere and with a firm trust in God. There are numerous biblical warnings against trusting in anyone but God. Job explained that trusting in wealth is an iniquity tantamount to denying God (Job 31:24–28). Solomon cautions that the one trusting his own heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:26). Jeremiah records God’s warning against trusting in humanity: the one who trusts in “flesh” is like a bush in the desert, while the one who trusts in the Lord will be like a tree planted by water (Jeremiah 17:5–8).

The Bible is replete with teachings and experiences that show the need and value of trusting the Lord.

Should we as a country focus on anything less?


Words of Wisdom from Edgar Aponte:

• We do not build the kingdom, we proclaim the kingdom.

• Jesus is the expected Messiah-King who brings the light and the power of the Kingdom reversing the effects of sin and death.

• Sometimes God manifests His grace in the least likely of places.

• The call to follow Jesus is a call to help others to follow Jesus.

• Evangelize and disciple others.

• A call to Jesus is a call to disciple-making.

— o —

When I was about to be sent to Vietnam, I confidently told my family that “I’ll be back”. It was the same thing when I was sent to Morocco without them. Obviously, I had every intention to live up to my promise. But the truth is, I may not have.

We all make promises like that with the best intentions. It may even be a promise to come home right after work or showing up for a ballgame. In every case, those to whom the promise was made had every expectation of it coming to fruition. Unfortunately, those promises were made by finite people who could not necessarily control all the variables.

Jesus made the promise of returning to gather all those who had placed their trust in Him. In this case, the promise was given to us by the infinite Sovereign of the universe Who does control the variables. So, it is a done deal.

Just as my family prepared for my return, believers must be prepared for Jesus’ return. Make sure we have placed our full trust in Him. Keep going about the work He has given us by making disciples. And live each day as though this is the day of His return.

Are you ready? Rich Jensen


1. To test the strength of our faith.

2. To wean us from worldly things.

3. To humble us and remind us of our dependence on the Lord.

4. To call us to eternal and heavenly hope.

5. To reveal what we really love.

6. To teach us the value of God’s blessings.

7. To develop strength for greater usefulness.

8. To better help others in their trials. Jim Wilson

— o —

Gallup tells us that the share of US adults who are “extremely proud” to be American sits at 39 percent, essentially unchanged from last year’s 38 percent record low and down 31 percent from its high of 70 percent in 2003. The share of young adults who are “extremely proud” to be American has especially plummeted to 18 percent today. Americans fifty-five and older are nearly three times more likely to be extremely proud of their nationality than younger generations.


I want to be a blank slate or a blank page for God. Where He can write His story on me. Where He can mold and make me into the man that He wants me to be. Marty Stubblefield

The greatest chapters in history always begin with risk, and the same is true with the chapters of your life. Mark Batterson

The “worldly” vs. the “sacred” calls on our lives find us in a daily struggle. Scott Whitaker

It’s not about you. It’s all about Jesus. Paul Pervis

Patience does not mean passive tolerance but active perseverance. Jim Wilson

Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. Dale Carneigie

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” Winston Churchill

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility. Peter Drucker

The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas Edison

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein

If we can’t say no to self, we can’t say yes to Jesus. Andrew Evans

God’s hand is in every disruption and every detour. Dan Shock

Let your pain make you feel better, not bitter. The Preacherman

Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will evade you, but if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder. Henry David Thoreau

If you want to know the greatest thrill of giving, make sure that all of your gifts are given without anyone knowing their source! Dwight Short


Week Thirty-Nine, 2023

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. (Psalm 19:8).

The Good News: All of God’s rules and commandments were made specifically to provide happiness to His people and followers.

They are out of vogue now, but I remember when I heard the chimes and music truck passing through the neighborhood. Children were flushed out of their homes with coins in hand, as they dashed for the treat of the day. It not only gave them sweets, but happiness as well.

Recently, I saw an Amazon truck emblazoned with “CAUTION, THIS TRUCK CONTAINS HAPPINESS.” I guess that suggests that “things” bring happiness to people.

What brings you happiness? Is it things… relationships …. power …. position …. publicity? Most studies on what makes people happy agree that family and relationships rank right at the top. Next come meaningful work, positive thinking, and the ability to forgive.

Studies focus on these activities that bring happiness:

• Family and relationships

• Meaningful work

• Positive thinking

• Gratitude

• Forgiveness

• Giving to others

• Religion

• Personal freedom

• Good health

• Watching TV

But for Christians there’s more. ”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

There is a difference between happiness and joy. We all want to be happy. So, we buy a great new house, or take a fabulous vacation or get the car we have always wanted. The trouble is that the house will need repairs, the vacation ends and there is a newer car with more stuff on it. All the things that bring us happiness are external and temporary. It sure would be nice to have that feeling all the time.

Joy is different. Joy is internal and permanent and becomes a reflection of who we are, not what we have. The good news, too, is that joy is free, and it never needs repair or ends or is outdated.

When we place our trust in Jesus Christ, we receive a gift from the Holy Spirit. That gift is a package of positive emotions and behaviors. Among them is joy. All you do is trust in Jesus and the Holy Spirit does the rest.

Why wait?


“How do we put our faith to work?”

In response, these 5 things came to mind:

1) By living what we say we believe. That is by glorifying God through our day to day living… through our work… through our fun… even in the mundane.

2) By doing what Jesus did – loving others, helping others, sharing life with others. Not because we have to, but because He first did for us.

3) By going therefore – That is, by going to make disciples. Whether next door, down the hall, across the country or around the world. Put your faith into action.

4) By loving your neighbor as yourself (goes back to number 2). And who is your neighbor? Everyone – even if they don’t look like you. Overcome hate and disdain with love. Shine where you are.

5) By taking up our cross daily and following Him… loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – loving him with all that we are. Love like Jesus. See as He sees. Respond like would respond. Allow His heart to become our heart.

Let’s be clear – Faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ, the Son of God is what saves us. But as we live and grow in our faith in Him, we are called then to put our faith to work. So others can see Him in us… so others might know of His great love, grace and mercy.

Now is the time for us to shine, to be a light in a dark world… or at least our little part of it. Go now… “Get off the bench and do something… get out of the pew and put your faith to work.” Marty Stubblefield

— o —

How does Moses make his coffee?

Hebrews it.

At what time of day did God create Adam?

Just before Eve.

How do we know Peter was a rich fisherman?

By his net income.

— o —

Reaching your goals and dreams takes more than just doing what is expected of you, as good and as hard as that may be.

Exceeding your goals and dreams is about doing what is expected and then some.

It’s about taking personal responsibility for it.

It’s about owning it.

It’s about more than just dreaming Big Dreams.

It’s about dedicating yourself to doing exceedingly more than what is expected.

It’s about striving to reach and exceed those Big Dreams.

It’s about attacking those Dreams.

Marty Stubblefield


When one who loves God’s principles of hospitality, He blesses his selfless service to satisfy his guests. Stephen Bernard

God’s silence doesn’t always mean no. Dan Shock

Is America destined to become permanently the “Divided States of America”? Jim Denison

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. Theodore Roosevelt

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were. John F. Kennedy

Never does a man stand so tall as when he is on his knees in prayer. Dwight Short

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Henry David Thoreau.

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.” Lady Bird Johnson

Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. John Stonestreet

If Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, we shouldn’t condemn the world, either. Instead, we should “believe the God we believe in. R. C. Sproul

The tragedy of today is that the church is pursuing happiness not holiness. Leonard Ravenhill

I never understood why it is greed to keep the money you have earned but not greed when you want to take away someone else’s money. Thomas Sowell

Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most. Abraham Lincoln

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something. Wilson Misner

I was educated once, and it took me years to get over it. Mark Twain


Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at

Your feedback is welcome and if you want to be taken off the mailing list a simple e-mail will do it. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to [email protected]. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2023


Week Thirty-Eight, 2023

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. With the Holy Spirit inside of us, we are able to possess self-control and demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. 2 Timothy 1:7

Recently, I was cruising at night through the Straits of Georgia near Valdez, Alaska. The city is one of the most important ports in Alaska because it lies at the southern end of the Alaska Pipeline, which carries oil from the Prudhoe Bay oil field on the state’s Arctic Ocean coast, in the waters of Prince William Sound.

The area became well known in 1989 when an oil tanker named the Exxon Valdez, a super tanker, went off course, ran aground, striking a reef and ruptured its hull, spilling 10.3 million barrels of oil, affecting 1300 miles of coastline. To avoid ice from the calving of the Columbia glacier, a decision was made to deviate from the predetermined course. Unfortunately, when they deviated, the intoxicated captain neglected to turn off the autopilot which remained connected to the prior course.

When I was flying, my plane had an autopilot and sometimes, when I had to deviate around weather, I had to disconnect or it would fly me right into a thunderstorm.

God gives us an autopilot. It is called the Holy Spirit. When we yield to Him, He will guide our lives, from now until we go to glory. But so often we deviate to our human will.

Many years ago, songwriter Roy Acuff, wrote a song called “The Automobile of Life.” It compared our Christian journey to a road trip and spoke of all the pitfalls and dangers along the way. The last two lines of the chorus read: “But if you’ll let Jesus take hold of the wheel, you’ll make it to heaven on high.”

It is a natural tendency for all of us to want to be in control. We think we know best for our lives, and we often make our plans and then ask the Lord to bless them. But His way is so much better. He knows the road ahead because He sees the bigger picture. He knows when to apply the brakes, and when to speed up to make it over the hills. He knows the curves ahead and the dangers that await. When we commit ourselves completely to Him, He will direct and guide us safely home. His Holy Spirit is our autopilot.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Will you follow the Holy Spirit’s autopilot, the one the Lord gave you the day you got saved?


UNICEF estimates that “every two minutes a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation,” and well over one million kids are trafficked every year. Almost a third of trafficking victims are children, with that proportion more than doubling in areas like Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. And they warn such statistics likely underestimate the reality of the situation. What are you willing to do to stop this terrible atrocity?

— o —

So I am at Walmart scanning and bagging my almost $300 worth of groceries while the employee “monitors” and then this happened:

Her – why are you double bagging all of your groceries?

Me – excuse me?

Her – you are wasting our bags!

Me – if you don’t like the way I’m bagging the groceries, feel free to come on over here and bag them yourself.

Her – that’s not my job!

Me – okay, then I will bag my groceries how I please if that’s all right with you.

Her – why are you using two bags?!

Me – because the bags are weak and I don’t want the handles to break or the bottoms to rip out.

Her – well that’s because you are putting too much stuff in the bag. If you took half of that stuff out and put it in a different bag then you wouldn’t need to double bag.

*10 seconds of me just staring at her.

Me – so you want me to split these items in half and put half of them in a different bag so that I don’t have to double bag.

Her – exactly.

Me – so I would still be using two bags to hold the same number of items.

Her – no because you wouldn’t be double bagging.

*me pressing two fingers to my left eye in an attempt to make it stop twitching.

Me – okay so here I have a jug of milk and a bottle of juice double bagged. If I take the milk out and remove the double bagging and just put the milk in the single bag and the juice in that single bag I’m still using two bags for these two items.

Her- no because you are not double bagging them so it’s not the same number of bags.

*me looking around at about 10 other customers who at this point are enjoying the show.

Me- is this like that Common Core math stuff I keep hearing about?

Her- never mind you just don’t get it.

And with that, she went back to her little Podium so she could continue texting or playing games on her phone or whatever it was she was doing before she decided to come over and critique my bagging skills.

— o —

Medical debt has become a leading cause of personal bankruptcy, with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Roughly 530,000 people reported falling into bankruptcy annually due partly to medical bills and time away from work, according to a 2019 study from the American Journal of Public Health.


Never try to have more faith – just get to know God better. And because God is faithful, the better you know Him, the more you’ll trust Him. John Ortburg

The best way to get to know God better, is to get to know Jesus, His one and only Son. The same Jesus who was born in the manger. The same Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. The same Jesus who resurrected and defeated the grave so that we might have life. Marty Stubblefield

Living in fear isn’t how we solve this problem. It’s living in hope. It’s believing that we can make a difference—because we can. Will you? Jim Caviezel

It’s the company, not the cooking, that makes a meal. Kirby Larson

The world can’t continue on much longer the way things are, spiraling ever downward. Dan Shock

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. C. S. Lewis

What has God put in my keeping that He will someday require an accounting for? Dan Shock

Beware of overconcern for money, or position, or glory. Someday you will meet a man who cares for none of these things. Then you will know how poor you are. Rudyard Kipling

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in. Napoleon Bonaparte

All appears to change when we change.

Trees are not known by their leaves or blossoms, but by their fruits.

It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. Lewis Carroll

And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good. John Steinbeck

Definition of stupid: Knowing the truth, seeing the evidence of the truth, but still believing the lie.

You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.

Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will cut you. Benjamin Franklin

Many Christians grow up in church, but never grow up in Christ. They know the hymns, but they don’t know “HIM.”

Set yourselves apart from this generation of corruption. Be saints. You were not made to fit in. You were born to stand out. Jim Caviezel

Would you be blindfolded and eat whatever someone put in front of you? No! Then stop letting the media do it to you.


Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at

Your feedback is welcome and if you want to be taken off the mailing list a simple e-mail will do it. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to [email protected]. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2023

Eternal Alignment—Look to Him

Week Thirty-Seven, 2023

So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. Ecclesiastes 2: 9-11

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

I wonder how we will be remembered. As others look back at your life and mine. What will they see? How will you and I be remembered?

Maybe they will remember us by all the stuff we accumulated. The size and number of our homes and cars, the size of our bank accounts, the championship rings and trophies, the lengthy resumes of accomplishments and business successes.

Solomon’s reflections looking back on his life, recorded in Ecclesiastes, caused him to come to an unhappy disappointing conclusion. Nearing the end of his life and reflecting on what he had viewed as a successful life, he shared these candid words— But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

Solomon looked back and saw that his life was all about him and what he wanted, and what he wanted to do, aligned with the pull of the world. That even though the world saw him as wise, wealthy, and wonderful, he realized way too late that he had missed too many moments in his life to walk with God.

It was all meaningless, like chasing after the wind, he wrote. Another translation records his reflections, that in his life “all was vanity and grasping for the wind.” And as a result, he had missed all the fullness, purpose and meaning of the life He could have had, and was created to have, aligned with God and God’s will for his life.

The world calls us to align with its values and priorities. To bow at the altar of things, success, image, championships and more. The more the better. Solomon found out that was all meaningless, vanity, like chasing the wind. He wasn’t the only one, though.

Moses doubted God, thinking it was about what he could or could not do. Joshua had to be told three times to be strong and courageous as God called him forward. God scooped Jonah up in a fish to cause him do what God wanted him to do with his life.

David went off on his own too many times but kept looking and returning to God to be who he was created to be. Peter denied Christ three times, was forgiven, restored, and realigned with Christ to live the life God created him to live.

Solomon finally got it, though, when he shared — “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”

Calling out to himself, and to you and me, to align our lives with God, and to be all who God created us to be, and to do all He intends for us to do. Remembering God is always there, in all those times when we feel like we’re sinking deeper and deeper, to pull us up and send us back out.

In those times when we can’t seem to find a door to where we should go, He opens one before us. And when it seems like every road we travel leads to emptiness, regret and disappointment, He places our feet on the road to all we can be with Him.

When life seems empty and meaningless, look to Him.

That is how we will be remembered—aligned with God. Scott Whitaker


Words of wisdom from Edgar Aponte

• Christ identifies Himself with sinners, by taking their place, yet He is separated from sin. If you have repented and trusted in Jesus, God loves you the same way He loves Jesus. Trust God’s love for you!

• The devil will tempt you to doubt God’s provision and love in the face of difficulties. Trust God’s Word!

• The devil will use even religion to cause you to sin. Hold Jesus more precious than anything else.

• Don’t allow the desire of the flesh to dictate your identity. Refuse the allures of sin and cling to the Word of God.

• The closer you get to Jesus the more the devil will tempt you.

• The devil comes to us at our deepest point.

• We must choose whether to listen to the voice of God or the voice of the devil. Listen to the voice of heaven and not the voice of hell.

• It is better to suffer than to sin.

• The devil is not just at work in the wilderness but also in the church, as people use the Bible to justify their sin.

• It is so easy to be religious and still be lost.

• We need to trust the word of God in the face of temptation.

• We fall into temptation when we are not abiding in the word of God.

• Learn from temptation and flee from it.

• When we go to Jesus, he helps us flee from temptation and be secure in Him.

• If you are a Christian, then God loves you the same way He loves Jesus.

— o —

A father said to his daughter “You have graduated with honors, here is a Jeep I bought many years ago. It is pretty old now. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you for it.”

The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because they said it looks pretty worn out.” The father said, now “Take it to the pawn shop.”

The daughter went to the pawn shop, returned to her father and said,”The pawn shop offered only $100 because it is an old Jeep.” The father asked his daughter to go to a Jeep club now and show them the Jeep.

The daughter then took the Jeep to the club, returned and told her father,” Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it because “it’s an iconic Jeep and sought by many collectors.”

Now the father said this to his daughter, “The right place values you the right way,” If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you….. Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.


If you are willing to receive from God, be willing to give. Rich Jensen

All human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes. Andrew Carnegie

Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The path to wisdom is paved with humility.

Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it. Thomas Paine

Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others. Robert Louis Stevenson

Whatever you are, be a good one. Abraham Lincoln

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill

God doesn’t care if you pray with fancy words, He just wants you to talk to him.

Though no one remembers exactly how it happened, the unthinkable becomes tolerable and then then acceptable and then legal and then applaudable.

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see. Alexandra K. Trenfor

Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.

Don’t worry about getting old, worry about thinking old.

Don’t worry about dying, because you will live forever. All you have to worry about is location, location and location.

Do you know why God didn’t teach pets to speak? He wanted to teach them that love and loyalty are demonstrated by actions rather than words.

One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to facts. C.S. Lewis

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but rather by people who watch others do evil and don’t do anything about it. Albert Einstein

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. Henry Ford

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the principal difference between a dog and man. Mark Twain

When asked if my cup is half empty or half full, my only response is that I am blessed to have a cup.


Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at

Your feedback is welcome and if you want to be taken off the mailing list a simple e-mail will do it. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to [email protected]. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2023


Week Thirty-Six, 2023

Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes him rich. Proverbs 10:4

Labor Day that we will celebrate this week is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. Work gives you a sense of worth, esteem and respect. Work is honorable and dignifying. You become a burden to others when you are not engaged in any work.

Success is not a product of luck but hard work. If you hate work, you will die poor. Work is the channel through which God blesses us. There is dignity in engaging yourself in any form of work. You lose your dignity when you are idle and lazy.

Though we may see it as just another job or just something that gives us a paycheck, working as if working for the Lord is worship. It’s all about perspective. It’s all about our heart. It’s bringing Him glory in what we do and how we do it. Working as if working for the Lord is an act of worship.

Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, encouraged them to mind their own business and work with their hands, so that their daily life may win the respect of outsiders and that they would not be dependent on anybody (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

To work is a command and not a suggestion (2 Thessalonians 3:10). It is a command that if any should not work, he should not eat. Many people today want to make money without work. A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich (Proverbs 10:4). Your destiny is at the mercy of your work.

Take pride in your work, as no particular job is indispensable, and all jobs are complementary. You should not look at any job as menial, and you must work to earn a living for others to be encouraged by your example. Stop waiting for cheap success and go to work.

Praise Him in what you do. Beginning today, worship Him in what you do. Work as if working for the Lord. Shine where you are planted.

In the New Testament:

• Of the 132 public appearances that Jesus made – 122 were in the marketplace.

• Of the 52 parables that Jesus told – 45 had a workplace context.

• Of the 40 miracles in the Book of Acts – 39 were in the marketplace.

• Work, in its different forms, is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible – more than all the words used to express worship, music, praise and singing combined.

No matter where or what it is, your work is a holy calling.

I wonder if those we work for and work with will be able to see the difference.


As of this writing, nearly thirteen million babies have lost their lives to abortion so far this year. This number is equivalent to the populations of West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming—combined.

In the US, nearly 20 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. Those who defend such tragedies must shift their focus from the dead child to the issue of “reproductive freedom,” “democracy,” partisan politics, and so on.

— o —

An airplane cleaner was cleaning the Pilot’s cockpit, when he saw a book titled, “HOW TO FLY AN AEROPLANE FOR BEGINNERS (Volume 1)

He opened the first (1st) page which said: “To start the engine, press the red button…”. He did so, and the airplane engine started…

He was happy and opened the next page…: “To get the airplane moving, press the blue button… “He did so, and the plane started moving at an amazing speed…

He wanted to fly, so he opened the third (3rd) page which said: To let the airplane fly, please press the green button… “He did so and the plane started to fly…

He was excited…!!

After twenty (20) minutes of flying, he was satisfied, and wanted to land, so he decided to go to the fourth (4th) page… and page four (4) says; “To be able to know how to land a plane, please purchase Volume 2 at the nearest bookshop!”

Moral Lesson: Never attempt anything without complete information. Half Education is not only dangerous, but destructive!!!* A word is enough for the wise.

— o —

A recent study found that 75% of students did not know all three branches of government. Meanwhile, 37% could not name one right guaranteed by the 1st Amendment!

— o —

In the Cold War it was relatively easy to say that this fighter jet is a weapon and that the phone is a tool. But when we install the ability to sense, digitize, connect, process, learn, share, and act into more and more things—from your GPS-enabled phone to your car to your toaster to your favorite app—they all become dual use, either weapons or tools depending on who controls the software running them and who owns the data that they spin off.”

As a result, “Today, it’s just a few lines of code that separate autonomous cars from autonomous weapons. And, as we’ve seen in Ukraine, a smartphone can be used by Grandma to call the grandkids or to call a Ukrainian rocket-launching unit and give it the GPS coordinates of a Russian tank in her backyard.” Jim Denison


Invest your life in the lives of others. Edgar Aponte

Don’t put the wrong things at the top of your priority list. Dan Shock

Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. Sandra Day O’Connor

Everybody can be great . . . because anybody can serve. Martin Luther King, Jr.

How to frighten the new generation: Put them in a room with a rotary phone, an analog watch and a TV with no remote and then leave directions on how to use written in cursive.

Knowing the Bible is one thing, but knowing the author is another.

Anything you are not allowed to ask questions about, is something you should be asking more questions about. Tucker Carlson

A bottle of water can be 50 cents at a supermarket, $2 at the gym and $6 on an airplane. Same water. The only thing that changed its value was the place. So, the next time you feel worthless, maybe you are at the wrong place.

It’s kind of scary when the weatherman is the closest one to be telling the truth these days.

God doesn’t care if you use fancy words. He just wants you to talk to him.

He that knows nothing, will believe anything.

The Bible doesn’t work like Facebook, where your likes or opinions matter. God’s Word is true regardless of whether you agree with it or not.

Just because a Christian won’t support something doesn’t mean that they hate the people who are involved in it.

God created male and female. Satan made up all the rest.

The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance. Albert Einstein


Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at

Your feedback is welcome and if you want to be taken off the mailing list a simple e-mail will do it. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to [email protected]. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2023


Week Thirty-Five, 2023

There is a way that seems right to a man: Proverbs often speaks of the way, the path of life a man or woman walks upon. Solomon observed that this way often seems right to a man. His path of life seems fine to him, and he wonders why God or anyone else would have a different opinion. Proverbs 14:12

He was an icon in broadcast journalism. For decades people watched him every evening on CBS as he brought the evening news. I met him once over lunch and admired his wit, his honesty and as a much-respected journalist who was as interested in talking about his sailboat as he was about current events. He was Walter Cronkite.

“And that’s the way it is.” Sitting behind his desk at CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite delivered that iconic sign-off for the final time on March 6, 1981. That moment put a wrap on an incredible journalistic career spanning forty-six years, three major wars—four if you count the Cold War—the civil rights movement, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the Watergate scandal, and thousands of nightly broadcasts.

At the peak of his career, Cronkite spoke to twenty-nine million viewers every night. He shared the news of the day with honesty, impartiality, and a cool levelheadedness that helped his viewers remain calm even in the most uncertain of circumstances. What is perhaps most remarkable about Walter Cronkite is that he understood the position he occupied within the culture, and he took it seriously.

He often described his role as someone asked to “hold up the mirror—to tell and show the public what has happened. That was it. No flooding the airwaves with opinions. No strong-arming the public to move in this direction or that direction. He simply spoke the truth about the world, and in doing so he helped millions find their place in it.

Given that reality, perhaps it’s not surprising that he was often identified as the most trusted man in America. Regrettably, there are no Walter Cronkites today—no voice or team of voices the majority of us trust to tell us what we need to know. Instead, our world is filled with innumerable prognosticators and prediction-makers ready to share their opinions.

It makes me think of a spiritual parallel. To me it is shocking how many Christians, even some in the pulpit, are reinventing the Bible, to make the Word more comfortable and more in line with the new social culture and morals. The Bible is static; it’s words don’t change and it is never updated. The lessons it gives are independent of the time or age you are born in.

You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Deut. 4:2.

The Bible is true and inerrant, never changing. The church cannot be the salt of the earth if we continue to sugarcoat the Gospel.

And that’s the way it is!



According to a new Fox News survey, only 43 percent of Americans think our best days as a nation are ahead of us. This is a nine-point drop from two years ago and a nineteen-point decrease since 2017. In similar news, Gallup reports that only 31 percent of us have confidence in the US government, a decline of twenty-five points since 2006.

— o —

”And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.” Leviticus 25:10a. NKJV

There’s a difference between liberty and freedom. Freedom is a right given to us by governments and is generally thought to be and expressed as the absence of slavery or restrictions of movements or being unreasonably bound to some action. And, therefore, can be removed by that government.

Liberty, on the other hand, is given to us by God simply because we are created in His image. No person or government has the right to deny us liberty. Liberty means we are able to make choices about our lives like where we live, where we work, what we think or what we say. Those rights are inviolate.

Our founding fathers understood that difference and enshrined it into the documents which formed and govern our country. All the rights enumerated in those documents clearly underscore that rights are a matter of liberty. We “are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Government’s job is to protect them. Our job is to ensure that government does.

Rich Jensen

— o —

I hear a lot of people talking today about the need to “find themselves.” But according to Jesus, the best thing you can do is to lose yourself.

Speaking to His followers one day, Jesus explained the first requirement for discipleship. “If anyone desires to come after Me,” He said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). To seek Jesus, you must deny self. You must give up the habit of self-centeredness.

The greatest example of selflessness the world has ever seen happened on the cross. Though his preference would have been to let that cup (the cross) pass from Him (Matthew 26:39), Jesus laid aside His own will to obey the Father’s will.

Lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

The one who lives only for himself and thinks only of himself will lose everything in the end. That’s because you can’t keep any of those things that you do for yourself. All the successes, all the accomplishments, all the trophies will ultimately burn in the fires that will test our works. The only things you can take with you – the only things that will last forever – are those things you do for Jesus Christ.

Want to find yourself? Want to find the deepest possible meaning in life? Then deny yourself. Lose yourself in Jesus Christ and in so doing, you will find joy and peace that will last for eternity. Dan Shock



Fear and faith are mutually exclusive. Dan Shock

You must be willing to give up something in order to grow up. Ken Weliever

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that this planet is used by other planets as a lunatic asylum.

If the Bible calls it a sin, then your opinion doesn’t matter.

Old age comes at a bad time. When you finally know everything, you start to forget everything you know.

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand

The leading cause of injury in old men is them thinking they are still young men.

There are only two kinds of people: people who will do what they are told, no matter what and people who will do what is right, no matter what they are told.

Most people don’t really want the truth. They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.

Iron sharpens iron. You can’t be sharp hanging around butter knife people.

Only the guy not rowing has time to rock the boat.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

Change doesn’t require motivation. It requires discipline.


Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at

Your feedback is welcome and if you want to be taken off the mailing list a simple e-mail will do it. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to [email protected]. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2023

Meet Jeremy “Moxie” Stopford

Jeremy Stopford has been producing meaningful devotionals for this website for several years.A few days ago he received his diploma as a Doctor of Theology. I asked him to tell the story of how, at age 70, he finally earned his doctorate. Here’s his story, in his own words.

— Pastor Frank Becker

July 26,1971.  Near midnight.  A month earlier I had graduated from a private high school in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  My focus that summer was to play a lot of golf, and to prepare my bags to leave in late August for Canton, New York.  Upstate.  Freshman, St. Lawrence University.   Liberal arts college.  

   July 26.  I was reading a book entitled, “Now That I Believe” by Robert Cook, former president of Kings College in New York State.  The book had been given to me the previous summer by a fellow counselor at a boys’ camp in New Hampshire.  The book had been set aside until that eventful night.  As I reflect back even now, there was an overwhelming conviction while I was reading!  Even though the title was “Now That I Believe,” it wasn’t long for me to realize, “but I DON’T believe.”  It was at that moment I had that wonderful conviction:  Jesus didn’t just die on a cross.  That’s history.  I knew that!  But He died for ME – that’s MYSTERY!  At that moment, I received Him as my personal Lord and Savior.  My life immediately changed.

   Within the month I went off to St. Lawrence, not only as a new freshman but also as a new believer in Christ.  I soon became involved in the campus Christian fellowship as well as in a local church in downtown Canton.  Within the year the next conviction tugged at my heart:  God wanted me to go to Bible College.  

   The following summer I transferred to a Christian college in Canada.  Day #1 I met a girl from central New York, and the rest is history.  We were married the following July, and presently we are in the midst of our 49th year of wedded bliss.

   After graduation from Bible School (where only certificates, not degrees, were issued), we returned to my wife’s hometown.   We got extremely involved in her home church.  It wasn’t long before we were youth leaders.  I was teaching the young adult Sunday school class.  And then…

   I was hired by the local police department as a “special officer” – a position I would hold for well over 27 years.  I always described my employment as a “gopher” job.  I would have to do this and “gopher” [“GO FOR] that!  The job description included two part time jobs combined:  parking enforcement and the New York State mandated dog control.  In addition, the Chief of Police included various other “gopher” positions, like directing traffic and other police assisting helps.  Yet the Lord hadn’t forgot my spiritual training…

   Three years after beginning my work with the City Police, the Lord called me to pastor my first charge, Beaver Meadow (NY) Christian Church.  The position of pastor there was described as a “full time job but with part time benefits”, meaning my job with the police department would not only be a financial boon to my pastoral duties.  It would also be a continuance of my church ministry.  I’ve always introduced the church as “the only fundamental, Bible believing, Gospel preaching church in Beaver Meadow…[dramatic pause, please]…well, actually, it is the only church in Beaver Meadow!”  What an amazing fellowship!  The church ministered to several dozen “members and friends” within the church; yet the opportunity for outreach was – and is still – amazing.  Being the only church in town, it is often asked to be a part of local weddings and, yes, funerals.  My wife and I had the privilege to serve there for just over 20 years.

   In 2007 we moved back to her home town of Norwich.  I never realized how much mental and spiritual refreshing we were in need of.  Yet in a most wonderful way, after 2 1/2 years, the Lord called us to First Baptist Church in Earlville, New York – located about 5 miles from Colgate University.  It would not be long after I began the ministry in Earlville that my spinal fusion surgery would necessitate my retirement from my police employ at age 58.  

   However, one of the things that caught my attention in my Earlville church ministry was the “pastoral package” – I had never seen one before.  And the last item in the package was “books for education” along with a dollar amount budgeted. 

   It was then that the hunger to complete my education began in earnest.  Not long after my Dad passed away, I received an inheritance which a portion would enable me to pay in full for any education.  The Lord gave me a passage which was both a promise and a challenge.  It is found in Ecclesiastes 5:4-5:

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;
For He has no pleasure in fools.
Pay what you have vowed—

5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”

   In memory of my Dad and before the Lord, I vowed to finish what I had begun at St. Lawrence University in 1971.  The Lord led me to Andersonville Theological Seminary in Camilla, Georgia.  The school specializes in remote learning – and we sure were remote!  In addition to the vow I made, our loving Heavenly Father gave me a promise, found in Psalm 20:4:

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose.”

   With God’s grace, on June 17, 2012 – my 60th birthday – I received my Bachelor of Religious Education degree.  Well, actually, my beloved spouse gave me my diploma!  That year my birthday fell on a Sunday, Father’s Day Sunday!  As I was preparing to walk up to the pulpit to begin the morning service, my wife told me, “Please sit down”.  Well, she did say it kindly, as I remember.  She then took over the morning service – it was my birthday after all.  And just before turning the service over to me, she announced, “Pastor Jeremy has been looking for this in the mail all this past week – and I was able to retrieve it on a day when fortunately for me he was not home.”  Then she added, “Jeremy, please come forward and receive your Bachelor of Religious Education diploma.”  I was in tears, and the congregation was pretty excited as well.

   The Vow.  It was soon after that that I began my Master of Theology degree work, and shortly after my 63rd birthday my degree work was complete.  2015.  When I received that diploma, I took it up to the local hospital and showed it to one of my biggest supporters, my wife’s mother who was soon to go Home to Glory.  She was pretty excited for me.  Her words “oh my!” still resonate with me!  The vow was 2/3 complete.

   In late 2015 I began the work for the degree, Doctor of Theology (Pastoral Theology), a degree the school specifically designed for those of us who are/were in the pastoral ministry.  But then the delays.  In 2016 my wife was diagnosed with leukemia, and my world – hey, OUR worlds – came to a screeching halt.  The church was kind to give me much time off as we traveled 3 hours each way to her oncologist.  Fortunately within one year her “team” found a matching bone marrow donor – in Brazil! – which transplant she underwent in late 2017.   We give much thanks that she is considered “cancer free”.  She is still regularly seen by her oncologist, now more often by “Zoom” online rather than in person. 

   Shortly after that, we knew – we just knew – that it was time to retire from the pastorate.  So at the end of 2018, 32 years after beginning in my first charge in Beaver Meadow, we left our second and final charge.  We moved back to her home town, and within the year I began in earnest my final 5 courses of degree work.  (Actually that “within a year” was another delay!  It took almost a year to unpack all the boxes and locate my educational materials!). By God’s grace, that work was completed in late summer 2022, and I received my Doctor of Theology degree the last day of September 2022.  

   This time I took the diploma to my 99 year old father-in-law, a resident at one of our local nursing homes.  Like his late wife before him, he was pretty excited for me.  He had been an encouragement throughout the whole process.  This time, his words were loudly, “you did it!”.  I assured him the Good Lord had a big hand in the process!

   The degree work began around 2009 when I was age 57 and was completed in 2022 at age 70 years and 3 months.  13 years total.  God is faithful!

   My vow to the Lord – as well as to my Dad – was fulfilled.  More importantly, God’s promise to me was fulfilled as well.  What God promised He completed.  He proved Himself once again worthy of my trust.  I like the words of Psalm 21:2:

You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah”.  “Selah” – “pause, think about that!”.  

   This article is my “Selah” moment.  What God has done!

   To God be the glory!

Rev. Dr. Jeremy Stopford, ThD


Week Thirty-Eight, 2022

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Everyone has a worldview. Whether or not we realize it, we all have certain presuppositions and biases that affect the way we view all of life and reality. A worldview is like a set of lenses which taint our vision or alter the way we perceive the world around us. Our worldview is formed by our education, our upbringing, the culture we live in, the books we read, the media and movies we absorb, etc.

For many people, their worldview is simply something they have absorbed by osmosis from their surrounding cultural influences. They have never thought strategically about what they believe and wouldn’t be able to give a rational defense of their beliefs to others.

The worldview of many people today is influenced by secularism, post-modernism, and humanism. While many still profess belief in God, the humanistic mantra that life can be better lived apart from supernatural considerations is the practical approach of a large segment of our society.

The Humanist Manifesto, originally published in 1933, revised in 1973, and further updated by Paul Kurtz in 2003, continues to affirm that “traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual or creed above human needs do a disservice to the human species.”

Kurtz criticizes Christianity because it’s unchanging, based on “the faith once delivered to all the saints” (Jude 3). The worldview of humanism, he believes is evolving. The Third Manifesto speaks of issues that Christians would endorse such as equality, kindness, peace, and everything good and beautiful. However, their basic worldview is unchanged.

“No deity will save us,” they assert. “Morals derive their source from human experience,” they still promote. And “promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful,” the humanists lament. Biblical world views are based on a Biblical foundation, and the sermons we preach, the meetings we hold, and the classes we teach are built and based on these Bible precepts.

“How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Eph. 3:3-5) Ken Weliever

What’s Your Worldview?




An elderly woman named Violet sat in her bed in a Jamaican infirmary and smiled as some teenagers stopped to visit with her. The hot, sticky air came into her little group home unabated, but she didn’t complain. Instead she began wracking her mind for a song to sing. Then a huge smile appeared and she sang, “I am running, skipping, jumping, and praising the Lord”. As she sang, she swung her arms back and forth as if she were running. Tears came to the eyes around her, for Violet had no legs. She was singing, because she said – “Jesus loves me – and in Heaven I will have legs to run with”.

Violet’s joy and hopeful anticipation of heaven gave new vibrancy to Paul’s word in Philippians 1:21-26 when he referred to life and death issues. “If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me,” he said. “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far”.

Each of us faces tough times that may cause us to long for the promise of heavenly relief. But as Violet showed us joy despite her current circumstances, we too can keep “running, skipping, jumping and praising the Lord” – both for the abundant life He gives us here and for the ultimate joy that awaits us.

Lord, when times are tough, help us to find joy. Help us to live in the tough times of this world with happiness while looking ahead to something “better by far”.

— o —

“Shocking,” is how one researcher described a recent study by the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University, as reported by The Christian Post.

According to CRC a “nationwide study of about 1,000 Christian pastors conducted between February and March” revealed that “just over half of all U.S. pastors of Evangelical churches (51%) have a biblical worldview.”

“Perhaps most surprisingly,” observed reporter Ian M. Giatti “just 48% of pastors of Baptist churches, widely viewed as the most enthusiastic about embracing the Bible as the Word of God, held a biblical worldview.

“The old labels attached to families of churches are not as useful as they were in the past,” observed lead researcher and Director of the CRC, George Barna. He then offered this assessment.

“With barely half of Evangelical pastors possessing a biblical worldview — and that number continuing to decline — attending what may be considered an ‘Evangelical’ church no longer ensures a pastoral staff that has a high view of the scriptures.”

I supposed we ought not to be shocked or even surprised given the state of our society today and the culture of so many churches. Yet, it ought to give us serious pause and cause us to stop and consider our worldview.

— o —

The United Nations says world population will reach eight billion by November 15!



God has a plan for your life provided you don’t spend too much time telling God what He should be doing. Dwight Short

And we are truly living in the beginning of the end time. That’s why, people do not have sane thoughts. The thought of God ebbs from them. But God will have His chosen ones for His kingdom which is going to come soon. Stephen Bernard

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible. Dwight D. Eisenhower

The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain

You don’t get credit for your thoughts. They have to be expressed. Kelly Knouse

Consider the fact that God’s timing is often confusing and frustrating to time-bound humans. Apparent denials or delays are actually manifestations of omniscient grace. If we knew what God knows, we would agree with what God does. Jim Denison

God will not stand by forever and let wickedness reign. Dan Shock

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

A disciple of Jesus must have a correct picture of Jesus and a correct picture of what it means to follow Jesus. Andrew Evans

Our priorities will be based on the principles and values that either consciously or subconsciously guide our lives. Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effectively People,” wrote, “Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them.

Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, is often quoted as saying, “the main thing, is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” That’s just not true in business. It’s true in life. And it’s critically vital to spiritual success.


Your feedback is welcome. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to [email protected]. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2022

©2022 John Grant | Florida State Senator (Ret.) | 10025 Orange Grove Drive | Tampa, FL 33618

Or you can write Frank Becker, 2625 Lochinvar Ln, Bryan, TX 77802.

Who Packed Your Parachute Today?

Week Thirty-Seven, 2022

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil 2:4

Charles Plumb, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. One day his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning,’ ‘how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Later as a motivational speaker he always asked his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?”

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory — he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachute.

Whose parachute have you packed recently?



The dictionary defines a “yoke” as “a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.” When two animals are yoked together, they have no choice but to move in lockstep as they work. They are bound to the unilateral actions of the other.

In the context of human relationships to be unequally yoked with unbelievers is, in the words of one commentary, “to be in a situation…that binds you to the decisions and actions of people who have values and purposes incompatible with Jesus’ values and purposes.”

With that in mind, it’s clear that Paul is not saying we aren’t to befriend, work with, or purchase products and services from non-Christians. This interpretation would contradict much of Paul’s other writings (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, and Titus 2:9-10). Paul is saying that it is unwise to be yoked—that is conjoined with, in-lockstep with, joined-at-the-hip with—unbelievers, whether in business, marriage, or any other partnership.

Why is this unwise? Because we have already been yoked with Christ (see Matthew 11:28-30)! Jesus is the one we are meant to move in lockstep with. Adding a third party who is trying to steer in a direction different from Christ’s is destined for conflict.

If you are unequally yoked with someone at work, pray for God’s wisdom as to how to become unyoked. But if you are largely independent of the actions of the non-Christians you work with, praise God for the opportunity to work in ways that “will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” to them (see Titus 2:9-10). Jordan Raynor

— o —

The average American household owns 300,000 possessions.

— o —

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 NLT

What is your primary concern? Is the Kingdom of God my primary concern or is everything else primary? Are all these other concerns and worries and pressures of the moment what I primarily live for and/or live to resolve, or is it the Lord first and foremost? Where does Jesus really fit in my personal order of importance?

Where do you fit?

— o —

Poll: 63% of Americans get nervous when their partner drives.



And in ways only God can do—He continues to remind us that He is always there, and He cares. Scott Whitaker

Gratitude is Reflecting on His Past Grace, but also Resting in His Future Goodness. Kelly Knouse

God’s silence doesn’t always mean “no.” Dan Shock

Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering. Theodore Roosevelt

Dr. Tony Evans stated, “I think one of the things we’re facing now is the judgment on America because of the failure of the church to be the people of God that represents his kingdom more than we represent the nation.” This is because, as he states, “We’ve been more cultural Christians than biblical Christians.” Is he right?

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. Aristotle

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. Thomas Jefferson

The present age is so flippant that if a man loves the Savior he is a fanatic and if he hates the powers of evil, he is a bigot. Charles Spurgeon

Real men despise battle, but will never run from it. George Washington

Life is like a camera. Focus on what is important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives. And, if things don’t work out, take another shot.

Gratitude is paramount to the Christian life. Kelly Knouse

The moment we are born, we begin to die. This morning, you and I are one day closer to eternity than ever before. Jim Denison

God’s hand is in every disruption and every detour. Florida Marketplace Ministry

Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way. Jane Austen

When you’re good to others, you’re best to yourself. Benjamin Franklin

“HUSBANDS: Love your wives AS…”

By Semi-Retired Pastor Jeremy Stopford

“… submitting to one another in the fear of God … Husbands, love your wives, just AS Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives AS their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife AS himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

— Ephesians 5:21, 25-33 NKJV

A little humor to lighten your day…

GIRL: “Did you kiss me when the lights were out?”

BOY: “No!”

GIRL: “It must have been that fellow over there!”

BOY: (starting to get up) “I’ll teach him a thing or two!”

GIRL: “You couldn’t teach him a thing!”

It gets worse:

JOHN: “You MUST marry me! I love you, there can be no other!”

MARY: “But John, I don’t love you. You must find some other woman,

some beautiful woman.”

JOHN: “But…but…I don’t want a beautiful woman. I want YOU!”

Let’s review last week’s lesson, entitled, “A Gentle Quiet Spirit”, or how a wife is to love her husband, according to the Scriptures:

Wives are to be submissive to their husbands:

Just as Christ is submissive to the Father, AND

the Christian is submissive to God, AND

the Christian is to each other, AND

husbands and wives are to each other (VERSE 21)

even so wives are to be to their husbands.

It’s understood that the church loves Christ.

It’s understood that the wife loves her husband.

NOW she is to place herself under, to be voluntarily in subservience to her husband.

This is an high calling, a lifting up of WOMEN to a place of importance which early history robbed from her. She places herself willingly under his care. AND if he isn’t a godly husband, First Peter says for her to have a gentle, quiet spirit. She is to have a winsome spirit, which will be the ministry of the Word of God through her to her husband’s heart.

Since last week’s message was geared to the wives, my wife had suggested that she give the message of the husband’s responsibility to his wife. Just a thought. For some FUTURE time!

I personally believe the husband’s role is harder, because of the Example he is following. Note the Apostle Paul’s instruction of the love of the husband for his wife. In particular, note his use of the two letter word, “AS”.

The husband is to love his wife: First, AS Christ is Head (verses 23-24).

“Do you have the book, “Man, Master of Women”, the young man asked the librarian.

“Fiction counter to your left,” she replied.

The word “HEAD” is a literal word! Yes, it is a part of the body, between the shoulders! It is used figuratively here as the One of authority. Please note Ephesians 1:19-23, a good Easter passage, which in our context of Ephesians 5 fitly describes the love the husband is to have for his wife AS the Lord Jesus is Head of the church:

* A giving of Himself (verses 19-20)

* An eternal Headship (verse 21)

* A Headship purchased (verse 22)

* A Headship wherein He finds fulfillment (verse 23)

As should the husband!

Now read Ephesians 4:11-16 and note the completeness the Savior has in His Headship, His love for His church (us!). This is a completeness TOGETHER, a maturing TOGETHER.

MEN: how NOT to love your wife as Christ loved the church. You are sitting at the kitchen table, sitting pretty close to the refrigerator. Your wife is at the other side of the table, preparing a loving meal for the two of you. Suddenly, you are thirsty. So, without saying a word, you bang your drinking cup up and down several times on the kitchen table. The wife lovingly without a word gets up, walks over to the freezer, gets out a couple of ice cubes and puts them in your cup. THEN she opens the refrigerator door and gets out a soda and lovingly pours it into your cup. THEN she goes back to her seat and continues to prepare the loving meal. Hmmm…

HOW TO LOVE YOUR WIFE AS CHRIST IS HEAD OF THE CHURCH: The husband is head as protector, caregiver, and deliverer. In turn, the wife submits out of surrender to his protection, caregiving, and deliverance. Wow.

The husband is to love his wife: Second, AS Christ loved (verses 25-27).

GIRL: “Do you love me?”

BOY: “Yes, dear!”

GIRL: “Would you die for me?”

BOY: “No, mine is an undying love!”

Our Savior’s love for the church is an “AGAPE” love. The Greeks knew of 3 types of love: (1) “Eros” – an erotic love. Today we would call it “porn” with easy access on the internet. This Greek word is NOT used in the Bible! (2) “Phileo” – “as one, brotherly”. For example, the name of the city, “Philadelphia” means “city of brotherly love”. This word IS in the Bible. (3) “Agape” – a godly, sacrificial love, a word frequently used in Scripture. This word describes our Savior’s love for the world. In particular, it describes above how the husband is to love his wife – as Christ loved. As the love of Christ is a godly, sacrificial love, so is the love of the husband to be for his wife.

For example, in Matthew 5:43-44a, the Lord Jesus uses “agape” to describe His love as it should be on display in His followers:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall LOVE your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, LOVE your enemies…”

The love of the church (as the Bride of Christ) may sometimes fall short, but the love of the Lord Jesus (as the Bridegroom) will never! Such a love is seen in the consummation of it at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (in Revelation 19:7-8):

“7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

The husband is to love his wife: Third, AS he loves his own body (verse 28)

What are my main interests in life? Well, that’s easy! I am extremely interested in golf, which I’ve been playing since age 8. And I have a tremendous interest in model trains, which my dad was collecting long before I was born. Since we’ve been married, my wife, too, has a love for golf – a sport we both play and watched on TV until our TV died. She isn’t so excited about model trains, but she will go to museums with me. How did that happen? This love is more than a DUTY. It is a natural duty, an extension of our love for each other.

The husband is to love his wife: Fourth, AS himself! (Verse 33)

This is what I call The Fulfillment Verse. He loves her as a oneness! In turn, she respects and reverences – that is, honors, esteems, praises, adores. It is ALMOST an idea of veneration (worship) as the love of the church for Christ.

Allow me to wrap up this study with a quotation of Proverbs 18:22:

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing,

and obtains favor from the Lord.”

Does this describe your love for the Savior and your oneness with Him?

Does this describe your love for your bride?