My Future

family hug

“While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me. Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug. While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married? “Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!” Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months.  I know my expression betrayed me. I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!” The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!”  Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!”

With that, he and his family turned and strode away together. I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, “What’cha looking at?” Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, “My future!”

Walk the Talk !

walk the talk

“Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?…. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works.  Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove… Faith expresses itself in works.”   James 2:17-18, 22  The Message Bible.

                Someone has said that, “the only Bible some people will ever read, is the one shown in the life that you live.”  All around us every day are people who’s first impression of God and Christ are the way we live.  It does not do any good to TALK God, if we’re not going to LIVE God. 

                Perhaps the greatest trick ever devised by Satan to turn people from God is the use of “hypocrites”. The number one excuse for people not turning to God are the hypocrisy that they see in so called Christians.  When someone uses this excuse, I usually say, “Well where do you think hypocrites are?  There are very few believers who call themselves Sinners. But that would be what they have to do to be labeled hypocrites.”

                I realize that in most cases that is just a poor excuse for someone fail to accept Christ, but it shows the power of Walkless TALK.  Let us be more careful that our Walk further amplifies our Talk.

                Pastor Don

Give Thanks

Give thanks

Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does…  Sing to God a thanksgiving hymn, play music on your instruments to God.”  Psalm 147:5,7  The Message Bible

Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God?    You already have all you need.  1 Corinthians 4:7-8 The Message Bible.

Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks… God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.”  1 Timothy 4:4-5  The Message Bible

“The blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving, The honor and power and strength, To our God forever and ever and ever!”  Rev. 7:12  The Message Bible

There is no better time to stop and count our blessings than today. It is an excellent time to remind our world around us that God’s Blessing are real and wonderful.

The Scriptures are full of exhortations to give God thanks for all that He IS , All He HAS DONE, and all that HE IS DOING, both now and hereafter.  I’ve shared just a few reminders to stop and give thanks.

The Classic Worship Song says it so simply:

                Give Thanks with a grateful heart.

                Give Thanks to the Holy One

                Give Thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.

Yes Give thanks for what you have.  Give thanks for family, friends and foods.  Give thanks for the provisions of life. But most of all Give thanks for God’s Love who gives us Daily Blessings

                Pastor Don

Write a Note today !

note writing

“This is an exercise that has helped me to change many lives, assisting people in becoming more peaceful and loving.  Taking a few minutes each week to write a heartfelt letter does many things for you.  Picking up a pen or typing on a keyboard slows you down long enough to remember the beautiful people in your life.  The act of sitting down to write helps to fill your life with gratitude.

                Once you decide to try this, you’ll probably be amazed at how many people appear on your list.  I had one client who said, “I probably don’t have enough weeks left in my life to write everyone on my list.” This may or may not be true for you, but chances are, there are a number of people in your life, or from your past, who are quite deserving of a friendly, heartfelt letter.  Even if you don’t have people in your life to whom you feel you can write, go ahead and write the letter to someone you don’t know instead – perhaps to an author who may not even be living, whose works you admire.  Or to a great inventor or thinker from the past or present.  Part of the value of the letter is to gear your thinking toward gratitude.  Writing the letter, even if it isn’t sent, would do just that.

                The purpose of your letter is very simple: to express love and gratitude.  Don’t worry if you’re awkward at writing letters.  This isn’t a contest from the head but a gift from the heart.  If you can’t think of much to say, start with short little notes like, ‘Dear Jasmine. I woke up this morning thinking of how lucky I am to have people like you in my life. Thank you so much for being my friend.  I am truly blessed, and I wish for you all the happiness and joy that life can bring.  Love, Richard.’

                Not only does writing and sending a note like this focus your attention on what’s right in your life, but the person receiving it will, in all likelihood, be extremely touched and grateful.  Often, this simple action starts a spiral of loving actions whereby the person receiving your letter may decide to do the same thing to someone else, or perhaps will act and feel more loving toward others.  Write your first letter this week. I’ll bet you’ll be glad you did.”

Do All the Good You Can

do all the good you can

“If you continue to do what’s right, what’s wrong will eventually leave your life.” David Blunt”

                “A businessman had personalized letterhead that read: ‘Right is right even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it.’  James 1:12 says, ‘Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterward he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love Him.” (LB)

                Spend less time worrying about who’s right and take charge of deciding what’s right in your life.  Don’t let someone else choose it for you.   Your failures may be planned by hell, but your victory is planned by heaven.  ‘And remember when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it.”  (James 1:13 LB)

                You cannot do the right thing too soon, for you never know when it will be too late.  You can always find the time to do what you really want to do.

                Successful people understand that no one makes it to the top in a single bound.  What sets them apart is their willingness to keep putting one right step in front of the other, no matter how rough the terrain.  We are what we repeatedly do.

                Consider the words of John Wesley:

                Do all the good you can.

                In all the ways you can,

                In all the places you can,

                At all times you can.

                To all the people you can.,

                As long as ever you can.

                You draw nothing out of the bank of life except what you deposit in it. The height of a man’s potential is in proportion to his surrender to what is right.  People who live right never get left.  Any act of disobedience lengthens the distance between you and your dreams.  Likewise, the realization of your dreams is accomplished by sustained prayer and right action.”

                Pastor Don

How do we see the people around us?

1 Timothy 3 16

“This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are quite clear enough: He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit, was seen by angels.  He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples, believed in all over the world, taken up into heavenly glory.”   1 Timothy 3:16  The Message Bible

                What a story to tell!  What a promise to hold onto!  What an opportunity to lift someone out of their circumstances!

                The new millennium is already shaping up as the most wonderful time of our century to share our faith in Christ.  It is pregnant with opportunities to share our knowledge of Him in our circles of influence. 

                Recently, my heart has nearly exploded as I hear the same old call, in a bright and shining ray of hope.  Jesus said, “go into all the world and preach…”.  Never has the harvest been more ready for this commission.  But what will it take to change our “tunnel vision” of life?  What will it take to move us out into those Harvest fields?

                Darrell W. Robinson has written an excellent book on the subject,

People Sharing Jesus

.  It is reminding us of truths already known, but buried in our religious activities.  I share a few of Dr. Robinson’s ideas today.

                “Taking the initiative to see people, hear people and love people will help you build a bridge of understanding to reach them for Christ.”

                “In this impersonal world with its explosive increase of population, we need to take the time to see people as God sees them.  With our busy schedules, it is easy to pass people, speak to them, sit by them, or do business with them without ever seeing them.”

                “The trend of a materialistic, self-centered society is to view them as objects to be exploited for selfish purposes….. some see people as things to be used………. Some see people as objects to be manipulated……… Some view people as dollars to be gained……  Some see people as numbers to be counted.”

                How do we see the people around us?  Are your close associates expendable when they are of no more use to you?  Is your family there for you to control and run roughshod over?  Do we see new converts as the way to pay the bills?  Are we trying to add more notches to our spiritual guns?  

                Jesus saw people with love and compassion.  He truly reached out to them, despite their unloveliness.  Even the leper who had to stay 20 feet away from a “clean” person, Jesus reached out and “TOUCHED” him.  Lord, who will you have me to touch today?

                Pastor Don

God Never Quits

God never quits

“You’ve always been great toward me – what love!  You snatched me from the brink of disaster!…  You, O God, are both tender and kind,  not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit.”  Psalm 86:13,15  The Message Bible

                Most of us have had times when we were on the brink of disaster and God had to come to our rescue.  It is amazing that we often say, “I couldn’t do anything else, so I prayed.”  It is a shame that when the most powerful weapon of our spiritual warfare, prayer, gets relegated to the “last” resort.  But God in his Omnipotent Patience is always still there to aid and rescue us.

                Has there ever been a time in your life when God did not extend His love to you?  Notice I didn’t say, has there ever been a time when God didn’t give you YOUR way?…. God’s love reaches us with what James Dodson has often referred to as “Tough Love”.  Not granting us what we want, but giving us what we need.  It is His tough love that keeps on giving and giving and giving.

                And the Psalmist recognized another truth about God’s love.  “He is not easily angered..”  In a day when sports figures fight at the drop of a hat, and most of the time don’t even have to drop a hat, and when violence rules our schools and businesses,  God is not easily angered with our careless acts of disobedience.   If we were to have this same kind of patience, what a different world we would live in.

                Jesus told Peter to forgive “seventy times seven times.”  In other words, you can’t forgive enough times.  But we barely are able to forgive a small injustice, let alone one that hurts or affects us greatly.  God, “immense in love” reaches arms around all of the affected parties and draws them to himself first and then to each other.  No greater love has anyone ever shared.

                And finally, God never quits.  A statement made about one of our pastors touched me yesterday.  It was said that this pastor never quits.  When a member made a mistake, the pastor would be there to restore such him to the kingdom.  The comment was that no matter how many times that member “backslid” that pastor would be at his doorstep.  Today, there are many active Christians, heading for Heaven because that pastor would not quit.  I wonder if there is someone that we have given up on?.. God hasn’t quit, why should we?

                Pastor Don

Views on Aging


Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than ten years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

“How old are you?”

“I’m four and a half.”

You’re never 36 and a half you’re four and a half going on 5. You get into your teens; now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number. “How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16.” You could be 12, but you’re gonna be 16.  Eventually.

Then the great day of your life; you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. You BECOME 21….Yes!!

Then you turn 30. What happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED; we had to throw him out. What’s wrong? What changed? You BECOME 21;  You TURN 30.

Then you’re PUSHING 40….stay over there. You REACH 50.

You BECOME 21; you TURN 30; You’re PUSHING 40; you REACH 50; then you MAKE IT to 60.

By then you’ve built up so much speed, you HIT 70. After that, it’s a day by day thing. You HIT Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

You get into your 80’s; you HIT lunch, you HIT 4:30. My Grandmother won’t even buy green bananas. “Well, it’s an investment, you know, and maybe a bad one.”  And it doesn’t end there….

Into the 90’s, you start going backwards. “I was JUST 92.” Then a strange thing happens; if you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half.” 

Happy aging!

A Friend


A friend is someone we turn to When our spirits need a lift,

A friend is someone we treasure

For our friendship is a gift,

A friend is someone who fills our lives

With Beauty, Joy, and Grace

And makes the world we live in

A Better and Happier Place.


Luke 11:5 Then he said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. 6 An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’ 7 “The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’ 8 “But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

The A – Z of Friendship


A Friend….

(A)ccepts you as you are

(B)elieves in “you”

(C)alls you just to say “HI”

(D)oesn’t give up on you

(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)

(F)orgives your mistakes

(G)ives unconditionally

(H)elps you

(I)nvites you over

(J)ust “be” with you

(K)eeps you close at heart

(L)oves you for who you are

(M)akes a difference in your life

(N)ever Judges

(O)ffers support

(P)icks you up

(Q)uiets your fears

(R)aises your spirits

(S)ays nice things about you

(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it

(U)nderstands you

(V)alues you

(W)alks beside you

(X)-plain things you don’t understand

(Y)ells when you won’t listen and

(Z)aps you back to reality

Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


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