Thursday, March 28, 2024

20 Years

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“20 Years”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.


A little over a month ago, my wife and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary.  We decided to take a trip to Waco, TN to see all things Magnolia.  We had a great time and it nice to get away and just enjoy some time just the two of us. 


As we passed that 20 year mark, I’ve been thinking a lot the past few weeks about how 20 years can really change a person’s life.  So much can happen after 20 years. 


Just a little over 20 years ago, I moved to MN and met my wife.  I look back and wonder where I would be if I hadn’t met her and ended up with 2 beautiful daughters.  I also wonder what habits would still be with me if I hadn’t met her.  We’ve experienced ups and downs like any married couple does.  We’ve had great times together and very challenging times as well.  When we hit the 20 year mark, I thought often to myself, “How in the world did she put up with me for so long???”  Haha!  Some of you that have known me in the past many years would probably say she had her hands full!


20 years of being married to my wife and 20 years living in MN.  MN is not the greatest place to live in the winter and it can get VERY brutal.  But, I’ve put up with it.  I have wonderful in-laws and my wife’s family is a family of faith, which I am so thankful for. 


I’ve had just shy of 20 years to watch my girls grow up and it’s been a great learning experience.  It seems just like yesterday they were little and now they are growing up way too fast.  I wish I could slow time down.  I am very proud of both of them and I love them so much. 


20 years of many changes while we’ve been married and lots of learning experiences.  I wouldn’t go back and change anything or trade for anything.  I am very blessed and very thankful I have a Godly woman who has challenged me and taught me so much about God’s love and been SO VERY PATIENT!


I share all of this with you to simply say that it’s important for us to be grateful for what we have and the precious time we have with people we love.  Don’t take it for granted.  God has indeed blessed me way more than I ever expected and I am grateful for a loving family on my wife’s side and on my side.  They both support and love us and I am grateful. 


I want to give thanks for all of this with a grateful heart and I hope that you all will do the same for all the blessings you have in your life!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Be Still: Let God Speak

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“Be Still: Let God Speak”

Psalm 46:10a NLT

Be still and know that I am God.


Last week, for our small Bible group study, we were looking at the idea of asking God to speak to us.  This passage was used and it’s a powerful passage with only a few words. 


How often do we carve time out of our day to just be still and do absolutely nothing?  Through our study, we were encouraged and had discussion about taking time to be quiet and do nothing.  We discussed how we so often take so much time each day to surround ourselves with noise.  There’s even times we will come to God and bring Him our requests and petitions.  We pray for others and ourselves.  This is all good, but when was the last time we just came before Him and did……NOTHING?  When was the last time we sat down with God and just…..listened?


The other day, I was taking a walk by myself and talking to God.  I kept saying, “God, I want You to speak to me”, but then I kept walking and started talking again.  I kept saying that I was sorry and I wanted to hear from Him.  Yet, I kept thinking of things to talk about.  It was hard to just be quiet and listen.  It seems our minds are not programmed well to stop and just listen. 


When was the last time you sat down and just listened to someone and didn’t say a word until after the person stopped talking?  How about a family member or friend that needed to “bend an ear”?  Did you take the time to listen and not say anything to interrupt?  It’s hard, isn’t it?  We’re not at all accustomed to just taking time to listen. 


In our small group study, we were studying about 1 Samuel 3 where Samuel was called by God to listen and confront Eli.  Samuel said, “Speak God, for Your servant is listening”.  Can we be like Samuel who seriously asked God to speak to him? 


In our small group time, I shared how I’ve kept a consistent daily devotional time during the work week every morning.  However, as much as I enjoy that time each day, I was convicted that I so often just spew words out each day, asking God for this and that, but hardly ever just sit and listen.  It’s hard.  I have so much on my mind to bring to Him.  Again, nothing at all wrong with bringing prayers to God, but we also need to take time to just listen to Him.  He will speak to us in some way, but are we quiet long enough to actually just listen?


I want to challenge all of us this week and weeks beyond to carve time out of our day to take time to just listen to God somewhere quiet.  Let’s be challenged to take on this challenge of “Be Still: Let God Speak”.

Monday, March 4, 2024


 YouTube Channel Video Devo


Romans 8:28 NIV

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.


On Sunday, our pastor was preaching a sermon regarding having joy in the midst of trials in our lives.  He spoke about how we God uses all things in our lives to bring about His glory, no matter how painful they might be.  People often get mad at God for things He allows to happen in our lives and people often question the goodness of Him and His love since He allows certain things to happen.  It can be very confusing at times and leave us wondering where God is.


As I was sitting there listening, a scene came to mind from the 2011 Movie “Soul Surfer”, which tells the true tragic story of Bethany Hamilton of how she lost her left arm in a shark attack in 2003.  When Bethany comes back home from the shark attack, her youth pastor asks her how she is doing.  Bethany responds with a quick, “I’m ok, yeah I’m doing ok”.  Her youth pastor says, “Bethany, you don’t need to be like that with me.  Tell me how you’re really doing”.  Bethany then breaks into tears and shares how her family is trying to be helpful and encourage her, but she’s really struggling to understand why God would allow such a thing to happen.  Her youth pastor then says to her that she doesn’t understand why this happened, but says somehow and in some way, God will use this in a great way. 


That scene has stuck in my mind since I saw the movie and it explains well how so many people struggle to find value in what has happened in their lives when terrible things happen.  However, we must realize that God does work in ALL things, good and bad, and He works in ways we’d never imagine and does absolutely incredible things beyond our imagination.  Bethany goes on to touch people’s lives in ways she never dreamed because other girls and surfers look up to her for having the courage to go back out into the water after such a vicious attack.


Friends, some of you out there either hurting from an attack in the past or are currently hurting and questioning why God would allow something so horrific to happen.  Whatever you might be hurting from, please do not turn your back on Him.  As painful and frustrating as it may be, God has a plan through that pain and He will never waste it.  He will use it somehow and in some way in the future.  Just don’t give up.  Trust in Him. 


I had to learn this many years ago when I experienced a very deep and painful hurt in ministry.  It’s been over 8 years since then and I’ve watched God walk me through a lot of emotional recovery and helping me to understand some things I experienced by sharing with others. 


We all need to remember that God always works things out in some way for His glory.