Week Twelve, 2021

He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone (1 Timothy 2:6).

It was just after midnight when he finished his time on duty and he headed for home to his wife and three children. He was driving his marked patrol car north on the Interstate, probably listening to some of his favorite off duty music. Suddenly, there appeared a southbound vehicle in the northbound lane, weaving and according to witnesses traveling at a speed in excess of a hundred miles per hour, alcohol probably being a factor.

Officer Jesse Madsen, responding instinctively as a trained combat Marine veteran and decorated police officer veered into the oncoming vehicle colliding head on. Both vehicles were instantly reduced to twisted metal and both drivers perished on impact.

Officer Madsen did what he did in order to protect the lives of others on the road. Seven times he had been decorated for saving one or more lives and on this eighth time he had to give his own life in order to save the lives of others. Madsen appeared to intentionally veer into the other car’s path to save those of the community to whom he was sworn to protect. He did not refuse to give his life, but did so voluntarily for others.

His chief called him “an American hero.” Others in the community poured out their hearts to his family. His funeral held at my home church drew several thousand law enforcement officers from all over the country who came to say farewell and to pay their respects to a true American hero, who did not refuse to give his life to save the lives of others.

During this Easter season, may we all pause and thank God that Jesus Christ did not refuse to go to the cross, but gave His life for us. Why did He not escape? The reason is because He knew God had sent Him into the world for one reason: To become the complete and final sacrifice for our sins. This could only be accomplished if He endured the judgment and death we all deserve for our sins — and this is exactly what happened when He went to the cross. He died in my place, your place. He gave his life that we might be forgiven of our sins.

He died that we might live, just like Officer Madsen gave his life that others might live.



There’s a pretty common phrase thrown around in personal development circles. It goes like this, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It’s an important principle actually. I don’t disagree with it all that much.

When we spend time with people who are driven and focused, we begin to take on that lifestyle. When we spend time with people who have a passion for a particular hobby, we become interested in it too. When our closest friends all hold a specific political viewpoint or worldview, we begin to see it as important as well.

The people we spend time with affect us in significant ways. They shape our worldview, our self-esteem, our attitude, and our pursuits. And they influence how we spend our money, our time, and our energy.

For that reason, I don’t want friends impressed by fancy stuff. If you need nice things to impress your friends, you have the wrong friends. The Minimalist

— o —

Worldwide government opposition to religious liberty seems to be escalating. Pew Research Center reports the highest level of global government restrictions on religion in a decade. Since 2007, when Pew began its survey, the median level of government restrictions has risen 65 percent and the level for social hostilities has doubled.

This issue came home for American Christians recently when Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito stated during a keynote address to the Federalist Society: “It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.”

— o —

We are called to…

… Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength

… Love Your neighbor as yourself

… Take up your cross and follow Him

… Go therefore and make disciples, teaching and baptizing them

… Love as you have been loved

… Forgive as you have been forgiven

… Do the work of Him who has sent you as long as it is day. For night is coming when no one can work

— o —

For the first time, life expectancy in America has decreased one full year.

— o —

Black Americans attend church more regularly than Americans overall.

— o —

Almost 40 percent of borrowers with student loan debt didn’t finish their degree.



Sin will always take you further than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay. Jim Denison


We need to stop dating the church and marry the church. Ken Whitten

You will never be successful if you live your life or career as a negative person. Unless of course you’re talking about your Covid-19 test!

One-time Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz said, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

We can’t learn from the problems of our past if we refuse to shine a light on them and acknowledge them. Dineen Wasylik

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed. NAPOLEAN HILL

It is often convenient to not be committed. Ken Whitten

Focus on the hope of tomorrow and not on the problems of today. Chris Dotson