Monday, October 16, 2017

The Lord Provides

I am sitting here in front of my computer, hands folded in prayer, trying to figure out what it is that God would like me to write about this morning. The topic is easy - God's provision. God provided SO many things this weekend. It was amazing. But that's what God does. The unbelievable. There were just so many examples of His provision this weekend. It is hard to choose!

First there was the tiny home I am building. I had scheduled a wall building event (a few weeks in advance) for this past Saturday. As the day approached the long-range weather forecast showed rain. So I prayed for an opening, an opportunity to build, in between the raindrops.

God provided.

Saturday morning there was a break in the rain from morning until noon. Plus twice the number of people showed up to help than I was expecting. The overnight rain stopped and we were able to build for 2 1/2 hours before the sprinkles began. Thank you Lord!

Another example of God's provision came Sunday morning when I was sitting in church. Suddenly my wife appeared next to me and said, "We have to go." One of our cats was having a medical emergency and was, as the vet told us later, very near to death.

Years earlier I had been gifted a three-day class at The Skip Barber Racing School. That training came in handy driving from Waupaca to Appleton, sometimes in excess of 90 miles per hour. All of this was done calmly and safely. The vet told us, "I was a good thing you arrived when you did."

The staff was able to revive him and my wife, who was in tears most of the morning, was grateful Sunday evening when the animal hospital called saying that her cat was much improved.

God provided once again.

But I think the example that best suits God's style, and is a perfect example of His provision, occurred Sunday afternoon. With her cat at the animal hospital, my wife wasn't feeling like attending a party but she did. It was our grandson's 5th birthday party.

Seeing grandchildren always improves the mood. But the moment that truly made my wife forget all of her troubles and concerns was captured by my daughter in this photos.

Have you ever heard of the place called Jehovah-jireh? It is the location where Isaac was bound on Mt. Moriah to be sacrificed. Just as Abraham raised his knife, he was stopped and God provided a substitutionary sacrifice. A foreshadowing of Jesus and HIS sacrifice for our sins. Jehovah-jireh means God provides. And He does.

"When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” - Genesis 22:9-15

Paul Washer's Testimony about God's Provision

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Sometimes the struggles and trials we find ourselves in can be pretty deep and dark. There are times when the storms seem almost unbearable. We'd give anything to make the pain and the hurting stop. So what do we do? Where can we find hope? The answer is as simple as opening a door.

Sometimes, when we have the windows open in our house and the wind is blowing, doors can open and close by themselves. It's weird to see but sometimes, without us doing anything, doors can slam shut. That's not a super bad deal but when the litter box is downstairs and our cats are upstairs it CAN be an issue.

Sometimes our life can be like that. We can get so busy with a particular struggle or event that our focus on God disappears. The "door" of communication that once was open becomes shut. That's not good.

One way I've found to keep the door between myself and God open is to remind myself of His promises. When I feel alone, I remind myself that He has promised to never leave me. When I screw up and commit a sin I remind myself that God has promised to remove my sins as far as the east is from the west.

Sadly, there are many people who don't know Jesus and refuse to open any doors that might lead to Him. They are choosing to remain alone. Choosing to live with their sin burden. That is a terrible way to live.

The love of Christ is an open door. Once opened He promises that He will come into our lives and live with us . . . IN us.

God transforms lives through His forgiveness. He loves His children. Won't you please consider loving Him in return? Open the door.

"20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. " - Revelation 3:20

On my way to work yesterday I heard a song on the radio. I usually don't listen to the music on this particular station but I did that day for some reason. The lyrics reminded me of God's promises and sparked this story. Listen to it, then, let Him in. :)

The Promise - The Martins
Let 'Em In - Paul McCartney

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Good Recommendation

Back in August I was contacted by a friend of mine who was looking for a place to stay on Mackinac Island. I knew the perfect place. But what I DIDN'T know was that I was about to be doing something that ALL of us Christians should be doing - every day of our lives.

My wife and I love to spend time together on Mackinac Island. If you have read this blog for any amount of time you have read  a few stories about our vacations there. When we go to Mackinac Island we always stay at the same place - The Bay View B&B. We absolutely love it there. Great food, great accommodations. Just an all-around wonderful place to stay.

When my friend asked about places to stay it was easy to recommend the Bay View. Words of praise flowed easily from my fingertips. It's not hard to make a favorable recommendation when you absolutely believe what you are saying about the place is true.

So what does my Bay View recommendation have to do with my Christian faith? Let's examine the steps.

First, my friend Bonny knew that my wife and I had been to Mackinac Island recently. She had seen some of the pictures I had taken on Facebook. Perhaps she had read some of the stories I had written. Who knows. The important thing here is that she KNEW that I might know of a place to stay, so, she asked. She asked me for my testimony.

(Can you see where this story is going now?)

We who profess a faith in Christ usually come equipped with a testimony, a story about how we came to believe. It's usually one of those stories where things start out kind of bad or blah, BUT THEN!!

Testimonies are wonderful things. I absolutely love hearing how people came to faith in Jesus. I love hearing about the events that lead up to the sudden realization that, "HEY, this Jesus is REAL!!"

Because of my excited testimony about the Bay View my friend booked a room there for their recent 40th anniversary trip. They were not disappointed. And that's exactly how it is when someone meets Jesus. They are NEVER disappointed when they take that step of commitment.

Are we excited when we talk to other people about our faith in Christ? We should be!

And look what happened as a result of this B&B recommendation. My wife and I now share something wonderful with my friends Denny and Bonny. We have all spent our 40th wedding anniversary on the same island and stayed at the same place. That's amazing.

And what's really cool is that Denny and Bonny, and my wife and I, will be spending eternity, staying at the same place - heaven. I have read that our Father's house has many rooms. And I am willing to bet that Rosie will be there as well serving up strawberry shortcake for everyone.

Big House - Audio Adrenaline

Monday, October 9, 2017

Walk Humbly

It's funny how God teaches us lessons. Well, it's not really "funny" I guess. Sometimes it hurts. USUALLY it hurts. Like just the other day . . .

I am building a tiny home. For the most part I have been doing it by myself. Sometimes my wife helps me or a friend comes over and pounds some nails for a bit. I enjoy the work. I enjoy designing and then building what I have designed.

But then this 64-year-old body tries to do what it once did at age 25 and things just don't go the way we thought they should. A lesson learned in human body dynamics at the expense of human emotion and pride.

I have some young friends who once thought they were above the law. Then they got arrested and spent some time in jail. That "alone time" changed them - for the better. Still they carried with them the stigmatism of having a record. Jobs and housing were hard to come by as a result.

There is a lesson to be learned in the humbling of one's self. Either we do it ourselves or God will do it for us. We are to become humble as we walk with our God, not remain narcissistic our entire lives. If we need to change our all-about-self status, God will be more than happy to help us do that.

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8

This song doesn't have too much to do with my story today but it contains that verse from Micah. Therefore, I chose it. It's a good reminder of what it means to be a man. Whether 25 or 65, we were made for a purpose - to seek justice, love mercy. and walk humbly with our God.

Courageous - Casting Crowns

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Daniel's Prayer

It's interesting and appropriate that my daily reading found me in the Book of Daniel this week. Chapter nine. Specifically, Daniel's prayer. Oh, what an amazing prayer it is; especially in light of what happened this past weekend in Las Vegas. Won't you please pray it with me?

I have substituted our present day cities and country names for those Daniel used. See if his prayer fits our needs today as we pray for Las Vegas and our entire nation.

“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

“Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame - the people of Las Vegas and the inhabitants of Nevada and all America, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All America has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.

“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Las Vegas. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.

15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of the world with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Las Vegas, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Las Vegas and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.

17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” - Daniel 9:4-19

What an amazing prayer. What if we all prayed that prayer, each and every day? We are a nation deserving of God's wrath for the things we have done, and not done. Let us repent and turn to God. He has promised to heal our land. What are we waiting for?

"14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

What If His People Prayed - Casting Crowns
Daniel Prayed - Patty Loveless & Rick Skaggs
The Book of Daniel

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Questions of Evil

The question has to be asked. "Where was God in Las Vegas last weekend?" Or "If God is such a loving God, why did He allow this to happen?" Logical questions I guess. The answer is simple. Two little words.

Before I tell you what those two little words are,
let me tell you something that's been bugging me.
There are different ways that people respond to tragic events such as the one that just happened in Las Vegas. For example, in the world of Facebook and Twitter people express their sadness or opinions about the situation in words. We read those words and know how someone feels. But what good does that do?

My least favorite phrase that gets uttered during times of loss is, “Our thoughts are with you.” Really? Our “thoughts”, if not turned into prayers, are meaningless. Here ends my commentary on “thoughts”. Let’s get back to the question about why evil exists in the world.

I promised you the answer in just two simple words. Here they are.


God created us with free will. In others words, we choose to do things. We CHOOSE to get up in the morning and go to work. On the way there we CHOOSE to obey traffic signs and NOT to obey speed limit signs. Adolf Hitler chose to order the killing of millions of Jews. The shooter in Las Vegas CHOSE to fire his weapon into a crowd. WHY? Only God knows why we make some of the decisions we do. however, it is WE who choose to do the evil.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." - Romans 1:28-32

And where is God during all of this? He is right there amongst the hurting and the dead. He is welcoming some of His sons and daughters home. He is providing comfort to those who lost loved ones. He is there with His children. He positioned people at the event - a group of fire fighters who helped set up emergency triage, a band member who helped lead others to safety. He was there.

“But pity the man who falls and has no one to pick him up” - Ecclesiastes 4:10
God cries with those who mourn. Jesus cried over one man's death (Lazarus). But God has the power to raise the dead. So our prayers for the families of the fallen go up to the only One who can truly save - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May He have mercy on us for the choices we make, and forgive us when we do what is not right in HIS eyes.

Evil and Suffering - RZIM
Who Is Responsible For Evil? - Ravi Zacharias

Monday, October 2, 2017


We've all been disappointed at some point in our lives. Things don't go the way we think they should. Things don't get done when we want them to. So many things disappoint us in this life. Wouldn't it be great if we could eliminate the disappointment from our lives? Well, maybe there is a way.

I was hoping to get lots of stuff done this weekend on the tiny home I am building. The weather looked like it was going to cooperate. Everything was lining up so I could accomplish just what I wanted to do.

Then I was reminded that my wife was taking a trip to visit her father. She asked me if I would like to come along. I said yes. Even though I knew I would be missing out on a day of construction, there are some things that are more important. Family. Marriage.

Well, at least I had Sunday. Oops. I guess not. Our grandson was singing in church. We HAD to go. He did a great job. Then we went out to eat afterwards. Family.

I didn't get all the things done I wanted to accomplish. But other things got done instead. Am I disappointed about not working more on the tiny home? Yes. But I got to see my father-in-law. As I was showing him pictures of the tiny home project he put his arm around me in appreciation. Priceless. I also got to spend time with my wife, which is ALWAYS good. I got to see my son and his wife, her parents and our grandson. A hug from each of them, especially the grandson, was priceless. Oh, and we all worshiped together. Again, priceless.

Politicians disappoint us, NFL football players have disappointed us of late too. So what do we do? There are so many things that disappoint. But there is One who never disappoints. I have heard it said that, "If you think God has disappointed you, you don't know Him very well."

When I get disappointed with life's events or in the people I encounter around me, I try to stop and think about all of the blessings I have been given and remind myself who gave them to me. That usually snaps me right out of the disappointed mood I find myself in.

I also remind myself that I myself disappoint God every single day. Who am I to complain when things don't go MY way.

When you feel disappointed in life, try reading God's Word. Remind yourself of His promises to each of us - His sons and daughters. Then, specifically, read this and see how it makes you feel. It always leaves me feeling better than before I began.

"28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:28-39

So, how are you feeling now? I don't know about you but I'm feeling better. :)

If God is for us, who can stand against us? No one! So forget about life's disappointments and seize the day by seizing and reading your Bible. You will find that being reminded of your faith in Christ can remove many of the disappointments we feel in life. So rejoice . . . and read!

I watched this old Hee Haw video with my father-in-law on Saturday. He liked it. Maybe you will too.

Gloom Despair and Agony on Me - Hee Haw
Don't Worry About Tomorrow - Van Morrison

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Swamp

When I was a kid on our farm in Michigan I spent a lot of time in "The Swamp". I'd go down to the swamp and catch frogs, turtles, snakes or anything else that moved. The swamp is where I had my fun. This story is not about THAT swamp.

Sadly, these days "The Swamp" is in Washington D.C. The snakes that live there get THEIR fun out of spending other people's money and making rules and laws that they usually don't obey themselves.

Our latest president won the election based on a word picture that resonated with many American voters. He said he wanted to "drain the swamp". Most Americans would like nothing more than to start over and recall ALL of our senators and congressmen and women from Washington and begin anew. Nothing seems to be getting done.

Our government throws our money at all kinds of ridiculous things.

I saw a video this week about a guy who decided to build some houses for all of the homeless people living in Hollywood. And there are a lot of homeless there! Things were going well with the project. Houses were getting built, people were loving that they had a roof over their heads.

Then the government got involved. They removed their tiny homes and destroyed them. One would think that if someone like the guy building the Tiny Homes wants to build them and give them to people, they would let him. But no.

LA Musician Builds Tiny Homes For The Homeless

Our government spends money on the stupidest things. They spend OUR money watching birds, vacation for people placed on administrative leave, or solar beer. Here's a Top Ten List.

Top Ten Most Ridiculous Government Programs

The model I like for helping others is found in The Book of Acts. If there was a need the members of the church took care of it.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." - Acts 2 42-47

I'm not saying the church should pay for every government program. I'm saying that when there is a need it should be taken care of, or at least allow people to meet that need if they want to.

Is there someone in YOUR life who has a need? I'll bet there is. When you encounter someone in need, what would YOU do? Think about that. What would God have YOU do?
Helping Others

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

You Are

I'm not sure when it occurred to me. Was it on my ride home? Was it later that night? No, it was yesterday morning during my prayer time. That's when it hit me. It was a message behind the message! See if YOU can figure it out.

First, a little back story. I am building a Tiny Home to be used by those who are in need of a place to stay. Construction has been going slowly all summer. All I have done so far is the floor. It's time to build some walls but I am just one man. So I had an idea - a wall-building party on Saturday. The trouble was, only one person came to help. Together we built and raised one wall. Still, I couldn't have even raised THAT one by myself.

To make things worse the temperature was in the 90's and just about that humid too. By the end of the day I was wiped out - physically, emotionally and spiritually. That's when I made up my mind to hire someone to finish the work. It's nearly October. In Wisconsin! Time is short!! I was depressed at my inability to get more done for those who need homes.

I called a contractor on Sunday but there was no reply. Nor the next day. Remember that bit of information for a few moments.

Monday night I had a meeting with a group of people trying to make a difference in our community. My friend Dana did the opening devotional. It was about Nehemiah and about how the first thing Nehemiah did when we heard about Jerusalem's walls being broken down was he prayed. A great devotional and a great reminder about putting first things first.

But there was a hidden devotional in Dana's devotional about Nehemiah - specifically for me it seemed. Who rebuilt Jerusalem's walls? Most people would answer that Nehemiah did. His name is all over the story. The story is in the Book of Nehemiah. But he did NOT build the walls. The people of Jerusalem did. God used His people to build the walls!

When I told our group about my decision to hire someone to finish building the Tiny Home, they wouldn't hear of it.

"We'll have a barn raising party only for the Tiny Home!"

"I know some carpenter friends."

"I'll make a lunch for everybody."

"I'll help out too!"

Although I am the guy with the trailer and all of the lumber in his garage, I'm not going to be the guy building and raising the walls. It will be the people of our community. Think about it. It's perfect. That's the way it should be! That's why no contractors are returning my calls. Just like in the story about Nehemiah and the Israelites, God had the people build the walls.

God had this plan all along. Who would have ever thought that!! (sarcasm) No wonder things were moving so slowly. It was because I was trying to do things on my own. Without God. God will build this house. I just have to get out of the way.

Lord, you are the God of these people. You are the light in this darkness. Who's building this tTiny Home, Lord? It's obvious. YOU are.

God Of This City - Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin talks about "God Of This City"
Building The Barn - Witness


Who rebuilt the walls?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Distilled Water

We humans love to complicate things. We take very simple concepts, like love for example, and we apply all kinds of conditions and qualifications to it. God's command is simple. Love.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ - Matthew 22:36-39

There's no conditions present. There are no buts or yeah-buts. We are commanded to love. Pure and simple.

Speaking of "pure". A year or so ago my wife was having trouble with her iron. The steam wasn't coming out when she pushed the button to make hot steam come out. She asked me to take a look at it. I noticed a build up of mineral deposits around the steam vent. I suggested using pure, distilled water to make the steam - water that had all of the minerals removed from it. Problem solved.

There is a saying, "The devil is in the details." That's true. I think we are better off keeping things simple.

There was some talk about September 23rd and the Revelation 12 prophesy. I wrote a story about it. Constellations and stars lined up, just like in the prophesy. My summation in that story was simple. Let's keep it simple. We must be ready, whenever Jesus returns. That's it. Forget about dates and times. Our job is not in the details. We get hung up on all of the details to the point where we can lose our focus on the important things. Like being ready!

I watch all these football players on television, protesting; taking a knee during the national anthem. They are protesting details in their lives by kneeling against a song about freedom - the very thing that gave them right to do what they are doing. Keep it simple guys. Distill things down to the basics. The national anthem isn't the problem. If you feel oppressed somehow, or wronged by someone, go talk to them personally. And on your way to talk to them, read Matthew 22:36-39 over and over again until it sinks in.

I see all these "religious channels" on television.  It seems like everyone has their own version of "Christianity". There is only one Gospel. Anything else needs to be distilled out. Jesus in Living Water. Any other message just brings impurities into the picture, clogging up the truth.

People say that Christianity is too exclusive. They're missing the point. They're confused by all of the details. ALL are welcome at the foot of the cross.

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” - John 7:37-38

Are you thirsty? Try drinking PURE water. LIVING water. You will find that water never tasted so good.

All Who Are Thirsty - Kutless