April 16 – Don’t Be Scared

Today is April 16.  Every year I write something in memory of my Mama Sarah and in honor of my mom, Maxine Stoddard.  On this day 37 years ago, my Mama Sarah was murdered by my biological father and at that point, many lives were forever changed.  She was murdered on my mom’s birthday (April 16) and buried on mine (April 18).  You can read all the details of this day and some of the effects it’s had on me and my family through the years in any of the above posts, but the thing I always cling to in this, and any tragedy, is the truth found in Genesis 50:20:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

And Romans 8:28:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

10341467_10154103134970043_8087444231830981622_nGod is at work in all things. And the power of God is not that He always stops bad things from happening.  The power of God is that He can (and will) bring good out of everything.

So, today, this is where my mind is going.  I think about the fear that must have been in my Mama Sarah’s heart as she walked out of the house with me in her arms before she was shot.  I think about the fear that must have been in hearts of Maxine and Connie Stoddard with the loss of their daughter and now the unknown future of adopting their 2-year-old grandson.

That fear that they faced could have paralyzed them.  It could have kept them from moving or doing anything.  It could have caused their world to crumble.

But you know what?  They looked the fear that they faced in that moment, they looked it in the face and did the right thing anyway.  They chose to not give into fear.  They chose to do the right thing in spite of the fear in their heart.  They trusted even in the darkness.

This is not to say that everyone in my story is perfect.  That’s far from true.  I’m not, Mama Sarah was not, my parents are not.  But I do know this.  In the midst of uncertainty and danger and fear, they chose not to give into the fear.  They chose to do the right thing, even when they were afraid.  They chose to trust that God had a plan, even in the midst of human brokenness.

They chose trust and obedience over fear.

So must we today.  I have no idea what you are facing today.  You may be very, very afraid.  The future may be unknown.  There may be great pain in your life.  There may be things in your life that you have no control over.  Things that make you very, very afraid.

It’s ok.  We all are afraid at times.  We are.  But don’t give into it.  Don’t.  Faith is bigger than fear.  Trust in the fact that there is a God bigger and smarter and wiser than you.  That has a plan.  Trust.  God will bring something good out of it, even if you don’t understand what.

He will.  That’s what He does.

Don’t be scared.  No matter what you face.  One of my favorite quotes from my favorite the shows, Doctor Who is this.  The main character, The Doctor says, “Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.” 

Yes, you may be afraid today.  Believe me, I understand.  I learned at very young age everything I hold precious could be taken from me.  Relationships can be ended.  Harm can come.  I always have that fear in my belly.  Always.

But I can’t give into it.  I have to (by God’s grace) be strong and lean on God’s grace.  I have to, and we have to, have faith, not fear.  Because fear never wins.  And faith does.  It always does.

So, today, don’t be scared.  Have faith.  God has a plan.  Trust.  Obey.  Move.  And don’t give into the fear. All things will work for our God and His glory.  I believe and know that.

Don’t be scared.  It’s going to be ok.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

#realtalk – Faithful Steps

1013621_10152487549297030_5476837018816387443_nI finished out #realtalk our short series on marriage this past Sunday and I had some folks ask if I would share a brief overview of some of the things that I talked about in that message.  Quickly, I want you to know that I have a great marriage, but it’s by no means perfect.  And the reason it is so strong is because of the grace and strength of my wife, Holly.

Those aren’t just words that I’m “supposed” to say.  I mean it.  She really is the rock of our marriage, and none of this would be possible without here.

Second this is not “7 easy steps to a perfect marriage.”  There are no easy steps.  Marriage is tough and awesome.  There aren’t easy steps.  There are only faithful steps.  If we take some faithful steps, God will do great things.

So, just a few of the quick points I made Sunday.

1.  Submit yourself to Jesus.  It all starts with you and your walk with Jesus.  Everything in life eventually walks itself back to that.  It all goes back to our walk with Jesus.  We will never be the husband or wife you want to be with our Jesus.  We will never be the friend, co-worker, anything without Jesus.  It all starts there.  None of this is possible without Him.

2.  Communicate.  James 1:19 says this:

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

We have got to communicate, and that starts with learning to listen.  It’s an old saying, but it’s true.  We’ve been given two ears and one mouth for a reason.  We have to listen.  And by that, I mean really listen.  Part of the problem with communication is that just don’t really hear what the person is saying. So, if you are having problems with communication with your marriage, two suggestions.

A.  Speak concisely.  Say what you mean.  Be honest.  Say exactly what you mean with nothing else there.  Make it simple to understand.

B.  Don’t assume.  When the other person is speaking, don’t assume their meaning.  Don’t assume you know what they mean.  Take them at their word, don’t assume a hidden meaning.  If you aren’t sure what they are saying ask for clarity.  It’s ok.  That’s how you recapture communication.  3.  Schedule yourself

3.  Schedule yourself.  Just like we budget out our money, we must budget out our time.  Work each other into your schedule.  It says in Psalm 90:12:

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

We must make time.  Dave Ramsey talks about knee to knee conversations where you turn off the TV, put the kids to bed, and talk.  You have to build that into your lives and into your schedule. And this is one of the things that I struggle with the most.  I’m a workaholic and would work all day long.  I’ve had to learn to work my family into my schedule.  They matter more than anything.

4.  Remember what you love about each other.  That’s one of the worst things about being in a bad spot in a marriage or a relationship.  We can forget what we loved about each other to begin with.  The Bible talks about remembering our first love.  Sometimes we have to stop and remember what it is that made us fall in love them to begin with.

5.  Serve each other.  That’s the entire point of Ephesians 5: 22-33.  Marriage is not about what you can get out of it, but what you can give to it.  If you are in a bad place with your spouse, do two things.

A.  Pray for them.  You may do it through clenched teeth, but pray.  See if God doesn’t change you heart.

B.  Serve them.  Do something nice for them, desiring nothing in return.  Serve them.  Give to them.  And see if in that action God doesn’t do something.

6.  Serve together.  It says in 1 Peter 4:10

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

Each of us is called to serve.  Serve together as a family, as a couple.  Do something for someone, do something for your church, do something for the kingdom. And that will bring you together.  It will.  If you as a husband and wife will serve together in some way, it will strengthen your relationship in amazing ways.

7.  Don’t sacrifice each other for your children.  Your kids are part of your family, but they are not the totality of your family.  I put it like this; the most important lesson I can teach my kids is to love their mother.  The way that I love my wife will determine the type of man that my daughter desires to marry and will determine the type of man that my son will become. The example I set loving my wife will shape my children more than I can ever understand.

If you’d like to hear this most recent message you can click here, or if you’d like to hear the previous week’s message, click here.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

When They Frustrate Us

frustrated-faceAre you ever tempted to look at someone and say – you know better! Why are you doing that? Why do you keep making the same mistakes? Come on, man, you know better than to do that!

I’m sure each of us has felt that way. We may have felt that way with our kids before. Maybe someone in our family. Or with a friend. A co-worker. Someone.

We can get so frustrated. We want to give up on them, don’t we?

What do we do then? What do we do when we want to give up someone?

Listen to what Paul tells us today in Romans 15: 1-3:

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.

Paul says this – when you want to give up one someone, remember. We don’t live for ourselves. We live to serve and help others. We don’t live for us.

It’s so easy to get frustrated with others. With their weakness. With their mistakes. With their stuff. They can really irritate us. But remember what Paul said. We don’t live for us.

We live for Jesus. And we live for others. We live to point them to Jesus. And that’s one of the keys. As Paul says, Jesus didn’t live to please Himself, He lived for His prose. To point us to His Father.

And you know, you know Jesus must get frustrated with us sometimes, huh? At our weakness. Our faults. Our mistakes. Our stuff.

And how does He respond? He loves. So should we.

He loved us in our weakness and mistakes.

We are to love to love them, in their weakness and mistakes. Because love points to Jesus. And only Jesus can help. Only Jesus can change.

Be patient. You can only do that through Jesus and His spirit. Love them. Point them to Jesus.

And let Him change them. That’s not your job. That’s His job. Let Him do His work. Your job is just to point to Him, in all things.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Be Who You Want Them to Be

hollybaseballI am often jealous of what an amazing mother Holly is.  She really is the perfect mother, she is compassionate, loving, nurturing, firm, fun, everything you could want in a parent.

I’m not just saying this because I’m married to her, but she is really an amazing mother to our children.

I, on the other hand, often just feel awkward with our children.  I know that’s an odd thing to say, but I feel that way sometimes. I don’t feel that way when it comes to matters of faith, or education, or even pop culture (like Doctor Who).  I think I’m pretty good at that type of stuff.

But you know where I feel awkward?  When we are outside, just hanging out, doing nothing. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

Now, part of that is my overall driven “type A” ADD over-caffeinated personality.  I get that totally. I never have done “downtime” well.

But, it hit me while we were outside as a family playing baseball yesterday why I’m so bad at these kidsdoctortype of things.  I’ve never done before.  I didn’t grow up playing baseball or outside stuff with my parents.  They were older, daddy drove a truck for a living and just didn’t do that type of thing with me.

Now, please don’t think I’m saying my parents were bad parents. They were great; I’m not complaining at all.  I had a great childhood.  But it just hit me, I never really did that lazy day hanging out playing when I was a kid.

And now, I struggle as a parent to do it with my kids.

And I don’t like it.  I don’t like the way that it makes me feel like a I’m not the kind of dad I’d like to be.  So you know what I do?

I do it anyway.  I move beyond the awkwardness of it, and play ball.  I try my best to goof around.  I try my best to laugh and play and turn off the drivenness of my brain and just be present.

You know why? I want Sarah to be that type of mother that does that with her kids. And I want Thomas to be that type of dad that does that with his kids.  I want them to do these naturally.

It says this in Numbers 14:18:

‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’

What does that mean?  Our kids learn from us. They see us. They watch us.  The behavior that we model for them will be the behavior they they do. That’s what this verse is talking about. God doesn’t hold kids responsibility for the parents sins, but more than likely, the sins of the parents will be passed down to the children.

I don’t want that to happen to my kids.  I want them to the type of parents one day that I feel like I’m not always.  I want them to be amazing.   So, I’ve got to be that which I want them to be; as best as I can.

So, I’m learning.  I know who I want to be, who I want to become. And so, I do the things that I should, and I be the man (as best that I can) that I want to be.

As parents, we have to move beyond our comfort zones. We have to take risks.  We have to make sure that our lives aren’t just for us, but for our kids and our families. We have to try, as best we can, to be the type of parents that we want our kids to become.

We have to have the faith that we want our kids to have, we have to live the virtues we want our kids to have, and we have simply “be” that.

Even when we aren’t good at it. Or feel awkward.

Parenting is hard. But that’s ok.  It’s the best thing we’ll ever do.

Family (SOAP)

Today, we are going to take a look at Mark 3: 31-35.

S – scripture

Welcome back to school!  And work!  And the routine of life.  It’s gonna be a long day/week/year, right?

Don’t worry about that.  Listen for God’s voice in this. Don’t worry about all those other things.  Focus on this.  Listen in this.  Slow down.  Breathe.  Listen.

Mark 3: 31-35:

And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

familyframesO – observation

Jesus had a human family

We see in this that Jesus’ family comes to Him.  His mother and His brothers.  Jesus was fully human, as well as being fully divine.  That’s a truth that we Christians have always held to be true.  I posted a comment on Facebook the other day that sort of chrysalises what this means.  Jesus is both fully God and fully human. One of my professors said when you read the early church, they struggled with the fact that Jesus was fully divine. They walked and talked with Him; they struggled to fully understand His divinity. We, on the other hand, fully understand His divinity, we struggle with His humanity. But, scripture teaches that He was fully God, and fully human. It’s the only way that He could be the perfect sacrifices for our sins

Jesus shows God’s family is not just biological

Jesus shows us though, that for Him, it is not just His “biological” family that He cares about, but His family of Faith. When we follow Him, when we believe in Him, when we make Him our Lord, God becomes our Father. And all of those that believe in God, share the same Father, thus making them brothers and sisters with each other.  Through Jesus Christ, we become family.  Real, true family.  That is how deep the relationship must be between us a believers. We are family. Really.  This relationship, this love among believers, it must be deep and for real. Because we are family.

Jesus shows how to be part of God’s family

Then He show us how to be part of His family. Who are those that are His brothers and sisters?  Those that do the will of His Father.  For faith produces obedience.  If we have faith in God, we will obey God. And if we do that, then God truly is a Father, and we are part of His family.  The “works” don’t make us part of the family, that happens by grace through faith. But, the works are the evidence of that faith.  Just like a living body will breathe, a living Christian will be faithful.  Not perfect, mind you, but faithful.  It’s just what happens.

A – application

Today, be thankful for  your families

Today, so many of us are blessed to have two loving families.  A biological family, a family that you were born into, or that you married into, or that you and your wife or husband have.  So many of us are blessed to have loving biological families.

But, not all of us. Here’s the good thing, through. Each of us, we can have that “spiritual” family.  If we believe, and follow Christ, than fellow believers, they are family. Be thankful for that.  Love each other.  Take care of each other.  Pray for each other.  Support each other.  We are a family.  Those of us that believe in Christ, no matter what differences we may have, we are a family.  Let’s be thankful for that.

And, your church family matters.  If you are part of a local congregation, be thankful, be faithful.  Even thought it is an imperfect body made of imperfect people, it’s also family.  Be thankful, in spite of the imperfections.

Today, be obedient to God’s grace in your life

Those that love God and do His will, those are Jesus’ brothers and sisters. Today, let’s be obedient to whatever it is that God is calling us to do.  Wherever His grace is leading, wherever He is calling, wherever God is leading us, let’s follow.  Because there is life there.  There is purpose there.  There is hope there.  There is peace there.

Today, follow God.  Follow His call.  Follow His grace.  Follow His leading.  And I promise you, that in that, you will find this amazing family. And you will find that life.

P – prayer

Loving God, thank you for our human family, and thank you for our spiritual family. Thank you for your body, the church. In this day, may we be faithful to your call in our life, and may we find the peace that comes through that.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

What Lasts

I was having a talk with someone yesterday about Christmas and buying presents and all the stuff that goes into this time of year.  Think about how much work, how much effort, how much everything goes into this time.

And think about how much of it we remember a few months from now.  I was talking about someone about buying a present for a 3 year old, and we all agreed that the best present that you could buy for them would be a cardboard box.  An empty, cardboard box.

And we could laugh at them playing in that empty box. And just enjoying it.

The greatest challenge of this Christmas season is to remember what really matters.  Listen to what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:17-18:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

karen-tribett-faith-family-friendsSo many things that we put so much stock into are just passing.  They are not eternal.  They are not lasting. They will pass.  So many of the things that we put so much effort into will not be here in a year.

They many not ever be remembered in a week.

So, what matters?  What counts?  What should we count on?  The way I often put it is the “F’s.”  Faith.  Family. Friends.

These things last. These things count. These thing are not passing. These things are the things that we remember and that we cling to in all of life.  These things are where life is truly, truly found.

Faith. Family. Friends.

In this Christmas season, may we remember what is truly most important.  And what lasts.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

 

Older Brother Syndrome

18prodigalsonThe story of  the prodigal son is a story that most of us know and love.  It’s a story that we are familiar with, a story that makes us feel better, that teaches us grace, that allows us to know that God love us, no matter what!

We love reading that story.  We love hearing that story.  And for many of us, when we read or hear that story, we picture ourselves as the older brother, returning home, feeling the love of the Father.  But, the prodigal isn’t the only brother in this story.

There’s an older brother.  And, for many of us that are believers, we have what I call the older brother syndrome.  Listen to what happens in Luke 15: 25-32:

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’  And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

The older brother did everything right.  He behaved.  He acted like he should have.  He had his stuff together.

He is the one that we want our kids to grow up and be like.  He is a good guy.

But yet, here he is as well when his brother comes home and says, huh.  That’s not fair.  My no account, good for nothing brother comes home from wasting his wealth, and he gets a party.  And yet, here I work, and nothing. I get nothing. It’s not fair.

And the father reminds him that his brother was dead and is now alive. And that is to be celebrated.  Not resented.

So, today, to those of us that may be tempted to be older brothers, tempted to look down in judgement at the prodigal coming home, tempted to think, huh, why them?  Look at all that they have done!  And look how good I am!  I’m the good one!  I’ve got it all together!  What about me!

Let’s stop. And breathe.  And remember. That we too are saved by grace. That we are all prodigals. That we can’t earn it. And that God loves us.  No matter what.

Let’s be slow to judge. And quick to give grace. Let’s celebrate the when the lost come home, and when the messy, broken, prodigal comes home, let’s be thankful.  Not full of judgement.

Because as much as we older brothers are tempted to think that we have earned it and have it all figured our, remember this. We are just sinners saved by grace.

We are just prodigals coming home.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Discipline

Man, I don’t like disciplining my children.  I really don’t.  I don’t think that any parent does. That’s the hard work of parenting.  No parent like having to do that part of the work.

I will all of parenting was bubble gum and fun and games. But, there are times (lots of times) when you have to say no. When you have to punish.  When you have to be that old oak tree that our kids bang their heads on to learn that they can’t just do what what they want.

We have to discipline our kids.

Why?

Because we want them to grow into fully formed, functioning, moral adults and citizens.

Well, what’s our heavenly Father’s goal for us as Christians?  For us to grow into mature disciples.  And that means, sometimes, yes, He will discipline us.  Listen to what it says in  Psalm 94: 12-15:

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.

potters-handsGod’s desire for us isn’t for us just be happy. It’s for us to be holy.  It’s for us to be different. It’s for us to be followers of Christ, with all that we are.

Why?

Because that’s where life is truly found, in Christ.  In following Him. So, just as a parent will discipline their child to get them to the point that we want them to be as a mature adults, so will God do with us, getting us down the road of faith.

God’s desire for us is for us to be faithful.  Because that’s where life is found. Totally and completely in Him.

Today, if He convicts you.  Or challenges you. Or guides you down a path that you don’t think you want to go, thank Him for that, even if you don’t feel like it. Because He’s growing you. He’s forming you. He’s helping you to be the person that He made you to be.

He loves you. Just like as a parent our discipline can be the greatest sign of love to our kids?  So is it for God.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Holy Land 2013 – Day Three – Family Connections and Hotty Toddy

Someone asked me before I left for this trip was I nervous. I said no, other than my dislike of flying, travel in general, hotels, and being away from home, it should be fine.

It’s all about attitude, you know!

I really haven’t been sleeping too good, but that’s nothing too uncommon for me.  This last night, though, for whatever reason, I didn’t get more than a couple of hours sleep. So, I was dragging when I got down for breakfast.  I knew we had a big day.  I knew I had to wake up.

Today, we started our day off by taking a boat out in the middle of Sea of Galilee. If you know me, you know that I’m not a big fan of all of water, so going out on a boat is never my idea of fun. But, it was a beautiful day and we even go to see one of the men on the boat cast his net to fish with, just like the disciples would have.

From there we went to Kursi.  This is the village where Jesus cast the demons out of man, an into a herd of swine.  From there we went to Bet She’am.  This was a Roman city, part of the  Decapolis.  It is one of the most extensive sites that show what a first century Roman town would look like.

After that, we went to Harod Stream .  This is the location of Ahab’s palace. From this spot, you can also see the Mountains of Gilgal, where King Saul was killed.

After that, we went to Jericho and after giving my beautiful wife Holly a tough time for many years aboutcamel riding a camel, it was my turn.  Yes, I rode a camel.

Our day finished at the Wadi Qelt and the Monastery of St. George. This monastery is built along a wadi, which is a cavern. This wadi has a stream, and it is believed that it is in this area that Jesus walked during his 40 days in the wilderness where He was tempted.

But, for me, the thing I took away from today was this. Connections.  At breakfast, knowing all this was coming and knowing I didn’t sleep well, I knew this.  I needed lots of coffee.  So, after drinking my double shot of espresso, along with another cup of coffee, I was looking for at least one my cup of coffee.  I walked to the back where the coffee was, and I didn’t see any.  As I walked sadly away, I a guy said, hey, we’ve got some coffee.  And he offered to share.

gandyI sat down started talking. This group was from Tennessee and asked where I was from.  I said Hattiesburg. I assumed most folks that aren’t from Mississippi, if they hadn’t heart of Petal, have heard of Hattiesburg.  He said he had family from that area, in fact one of his family members was buried around there.

Evelyn Gandy.

I said, yeah. I live off her parkway.  How crazy is that?

But wait, it gets better. Since he knew the area, I said, well, I’m really from a little town outside of Brookhaven.  He said, well, his father was born in Hazlehurst. I was speechless. I said I met my wife in college at Wesson, he said Co-Lin?

I mean, wow.  Here I was, halfway around the world, in Tiberias, Israel  and I meet a guy whose family is from my neck of the woods and who has family that have the street I live off of named after.

Ok, one more.  Walking to Kursi, I see a guy walking out of the church area with a black jacket.  And olemisswait, does that say Ole Miss?  So, I do what any Ole Miss fan would do.  I scream out, Hotty Toddy!  To which he responds Hotty Toddy!  There I am, in the middle of this holy Christian site, in Israel, and I meet a guy that’s an Ole Miss fan.

But, there’s more!  He lives in Jackson, and we were talking about what he was doing there; he said, yeah, my dad is a retired minister that is leading a group here, Willis Britt.  I know Willis.  Have for years. And what do you know, there is Willis. So, there are three Mississippi boys, in the middle of the place where Jesus cast the demon into swine just standing there talking

Wow.  You never know who you may meet, where you may meet them.  You never know the people who will come into you life, and you never know the impact you may make on someone’s life.

It is a small world. And we are all connected, through Christ.  No matter where you are, through Christ, we are connected. I am typing this out on a laptop on a bed in Jerusalem.  You may be reading this on an email, through a blog, or on your phone.

That’s amazing!  That’s connection. And through Christ, that’s what we are.

Today, we are connected to each other.  I need you.  You need me. We need each other.  Let’s be there for each other. Let’s support each other.  Let’s be as Christ to one another.

I didn’t have to come halfway around the world to know that truth. But today was a great reminder of that great truth.

Through Christ, all of us that believe, we are connected! Go out today, and be salt and light!

The Day After Election Day

Today is the day after Election Day.  Today is a day for many of great joy and for others great depression.  For some they feel crushed and worried because their hopes for our nation were defeated, for others there is celebration because their hopes carried the day.

For some “my guy” won. For others “my guy” lost.

To both sides, today, I offer these words as a Pastor and as a friend.

By the way, they’d be same words I’d have offered you yesterday and the day before.

It’s the same advice I will offer you tomorrow.

Pray.  Read your bible.  Go to church.  Love your families.  Teach your children.  Men, be the Godly spiritual leaders of your homes. Wives, be the Godly woman that God has created you to be, enabling your family to be the family God needs.

Teach your children the truth of God.  Value spiritual truth more than worldly truth.

Be salt and light.

Remember the words of Psalm 2 1:3:

Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

If your guy won, remember that God is the true king.  If you guy lost, remember that God is the true king.  And true change for our nation starts in the home, in the families, in the churches.

Remember – pray.  Read your bible.  Go to church.

Be faithful.  Love God.  Love neighbor.

Be salt and light.  And remember John Wesley’s final words upon the earth -“The best of all is, God is with us.”

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.