Romans 15:4(NASB) "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."There, written in big bold letters, were the rules for how we were to behave in the classroom. I had been disruptive and spent the next 20 minutes standing in the corner! Today's verse is about following instructions, and in doing so, finding hope in God's Word! Back in the day, when teachers could discipline a disruptive child, I had broken the rule of not talking to others during the lesson, my punishment was to stand in the corner to learn the lesson! Today our world leaders are asking us to follow some pretty simple rules in order to keep the virus under control. Breaking the classroom rules left me only standing in the corner but if we break the rules about the coronavirus, we may bring death upon ourselves or others. Let's follow the instructions put before us, that we may have hope in our God that this will end soon! peace, tom
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (ESV) "for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land."In all the confusion of what's been going on in the world, we may have missed it! While out walking our family dog, I heard the chirps of robins, saw crocus' blooming, and the old weathered grass is beginning to grow! Like today's verse shares, it's spring time across the land! Many of us might have missed it, but if we look pasts the virus, we may just see that God is still in control! When all is said and done, we have choice, we can look worriedly at the world crisis or we can look at how God still brings life forth. Carolyn and I have been blessed with some wonderful news, one of daughters is pregnant and new life grows within her, and another daughter has purchased baby ducklings and still another is moving into a new home. Life goes on, just a little different than maybe we were use to but God does bring newness of life. So, let's not sit back and live in fear but live in the knowledge that life, although different, is still going on! Jesus Christ is still on the Throne! peace, tom
1 Peter 4:8(ESV) "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."Not sure if you've ever done this, but I was challenged by a friend one day to list my positives and negatives. As I began to write them out, I found myself wondering why my wife loves me, for my negative list was far longer! Today's verse speaks about loving each other and how that love covers a multitude of sins! I wonder if we have ever thought that God loves us despite our negative lists. At our worsts, HE still loves us, and cares for us. The best part of making that kind of a list and being brutally honest with ourselves is that we can begin to make positive changes in our life. With the recent shut down of a lot of our "normal" activities, we can begin to seek our God's help in making those negatives, positive! Make a list and see where you stand when it comes to God's Word and then find the love of God within the same pages of His Word, then love on someone else today! Begin to make life positive again! peace, tom
Psalm 56:3-4 (NASB) "When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?"As I hug over the edge of the building by a 3/4 inch life line rope, I thought to myself, I must be crazy!! If I allowed the fear to creep in, I would have become frozen at that moment but I put my trust in the men holding the rope and kept focus on the job that I was to do. Today's verses speak to us about fear, about where we should be putting our trust! As the fire became more intense and the only way to get to the people was to repel down the side of the building, I felt fear within me but knew I needed to do what I was hired to do! In life, especially these days, fear can creep into our lives to where we find ourselves frozen. Knowing God and putting our trust in Him, we can find the strength to carry on. Be His Voice during these fearful times and reach out to those who may not know God's Peace. peace, tom
I do not speak of all men but in doing men's ministry for over 25 years, and hearing from pastors around the world, men have been practicing social distancing for years!
One of the greatest challenges for pastors and churches is how to get men involved. Our youth programs like Royal Rangers and others, suffer from a lack of men. Most pastors will tell you that their youth programs fail due to fact that there are not men to help, to share with the young boys about growing into a godly man. Many pastors don't even want to start men's ministry in their churches because they have done it before only to watch it fail.
In fact, most men try to go it alone. We don't like to admit that we need help in life or to sit with other men and share our struggles, our fears, our failures. We hold tight to our "macho" manhood and struggle along.
Maletime is about breaking that cycle, about reaching out to at least one other man to share our struggles with, and not just any man but a godly man!
A godly man is one who is not perfect but reads God's Word daily, mediates upon it and then tries his best to go and live that word in his daily world. He may not be succeed in doing it every moment but tries his best to bring God glory by the life we live.
I wonder how our churches would grow, how our youth programs would attract other young boys if we stopped social distancing in our lives.
1 Peter 4:8-10 (NASB) "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."Today's verse may seem kind of long but I think we have to time to go a little deeper with His Word, with the social distance thing! No matter when I call, he always makes time for me, never complaining, never makes me feel as if I am a bother! Maybe that's what being a father is all about, being there, when they call. I try to live his example to my children as he has taught me through his actions! Being hospitable to each other during this outbreak, where we would rather complain about this and that, isn't His Way. God is always there for us, it may not be what we want to hear but it is always what we need! When I call my dad for help or the many others like uncles, friends, co-workers, they may not give me what I want but they always are there. Like God, let's be there for each other, a good distance away, but be there!! peace, tom
Proverbs 3:6(NASB) "In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."If someone would have told me two months ago, that we would be doing life so differently, I don't think I would have believed them! With the life we knew before, we just kind of followed along the same old same old without much thinking! Today we should be thinking about how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the current state of affairs. Some aren't sure where to go or what to do next but as today's verse shares, there is a way and a place to go to find the path straight. God's Word is filled with directions, advice, guidance, comfort, the list is endless. There are stories we can read to our children, devotions to do with our families, no better place to find comfort during these trying days. No matter what we face, let us acknowledge God and He will make our paths straight! Keep praying for each other, peace, tom
1 Peter 5:7(NASB) "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."It was early morning when the call came in, I knew something wasn't right! We have always told our daughters that no matter what, call. I don't care what your involved in but know that you can always call and I'll come get you! Today's verse speaks about all our anxiety and where to cast them, to Him because He cares! As we drove home that night from picking one of my daughters, I asked why she took so long to call. She replied that she wasn't sure of my reaction, that she was worried about getting in trouble! Sure there is always discipline involved when we stray off the course but that should never deter us from calling those who care for us. While life has changed due to the coronavirus, we need to cast our anxiety, our worries, our fear to the Lord, for simply put, He cares for us. Don't let fear keep us from calling out, even to others to help in our time of struggle! Know you are cared for! peace, tom
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NASB) "we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;"It seemed as if every turn lead us to another problem but we were determined to keep moving forward! There were times in our marriage when things just weren't going well. Some of the problems were due to my anger issues, while others were due to things out of our control but we thank God that He gave us the strength to keep moving forward! Today's verse is a great verse to hold on to as we struggle with the coronavirus and with life itself. Take the verse slowly and meditate upon the fact that God will not allow us to be crushed, not despairing, not forsaken and not destroyed. No mater what we faced as husband and wife, we knew that God was on our side and would see us through, we just had to do our part as well and that meant loving each other no matter what. As we face uncertain times, the norm being changed daily, let us hold firm to our faith in Christ and keep on keeping on! 34 years later, we are more in love than ever before! peace, tom
1 John 3:17 (NASB) "But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?"While boating with the family, we passed a boat that seemed to be in trouble! We could have just continued on with our day of enjoyment but we decided to go back and see if they needed any help! Today's verse speaks to us about helping others, and if we don't, how does the love of God abide within us?! We ended up towing them back to shore, it didn't take long and didn't cost us a thing. In this time of worldwide crisis, we need to be doing our part as well. Churches still need your tithe whether they are meeting or not, neighbors may need something you have, staying at home to keep the virus from spreading, are all things that we can do to show the love of God abides within us. Let's all do our part and we can watch as the love of God takes over the world! peace, tom