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New Year, New You?

New Year resolutions; promises made but never kept?

We make all manner of plans to be better at (fill in the myriad of goals or plans ad infinitum), presumably with good intentions, but often (always?), those intentions are sidelined are set aside within days, weeks, or months. Today, while driving about for Lyft, two of my favorite teachers spoke to this from a biblical perspective, and that “…still, small voice…” seemed to be telling me to listen up.

First, a stop in Colossians by Dr. Stephen Davey for a profound and awe-full reminder for me as I begin another year (

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for his body, that is, the church. 25 I have become its servant, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 2God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.[1]

As Paul continues his message to the believers at Colossae, he shares a reminder of his sufferings for the Gospel, but in comparison with the following revelation, suffering seems negligible. This truth is often overlooked or, at best, neglected by many (most?) believers. Christ in you! God in us, working in and through us; not a little bit of God in each believer, but all of the deity resides in all who are “…born again….” A mystery, but oh, to experience this glorious truth.

Following this, I listened to another preacher, Dr. Tony Evans of the Urban Alternative (Key to a Successful New Year – The Urban Alternative ( Dr. Evans’s comparison between our facing a New Year with Israel facing challenges with the leadership of Moses sets a mood of hope for whatever God may allow in the coming year.

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant: Moses my servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites. I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses. Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great river, the Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites—and west to the Mediterranean Sea. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you. [2]

Moses, the man God used to lead Israel out of bondage in Egypt, had died. They had become accustomed to his constant presence through the years, and his death may have caused some uncertainty among the people. While Joshua had been one of the two servants of Moses who had stood out for his faithfulness and courage, he was essentially untested as a national leader. God emphatically reminds Israel that it was not Moses who delivered them and led them to their promised land; God was in charge all the time. Over and over, God had tested them (and their leaders), and His presence went with them through their wanderings.

Nothing had changed! As they prepared to enter the land God had promised them, yes, the human leader had changed. However, more importantly, God did not and would fulfill His promises toward His chosen people.

Now, we face a new page in the calendar, and with all that has happened previously, many find their knees knocking as they look toward the following year. Threats to life and livelihood abound; some imagined and others all too real. But God…He has not changed, and He will not change, regardless of what the year ahead may hold.

Corrie ten Boom was a well-known and loved woman whose struggles during World War II while imprisoned with her family for helping the Jews, said it best and I close with this:

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.”

[1] Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), Col 1:24–28.

Christ-mas Child?

This time of year tends to give me the ‘soft and warm’ feeling that can so often be missing as the everydayness of life hardens me to all that I experience. As Christ-mas day approaches, this has happened again, mainly during worship at Crosswinds Church or when I am alone and listening to music that honors my Savior. To quote a lyric from one of Tom Jones’ significant hits, “… it’s not unusual…” for tears to form and my throat to tighten as the message of the music affects me.

Last year I began driving for Lyft to (hopefully) generate extra income and have, for the most part, enjoyed doing this. Some time ago, I started a subscription to I heart radio to provide a mixture of music for my passengers should they ask about something other than what I usually listen to (Christ-centered music). So far, that has only happened once, and I hope that whether my passenger asks about the message of the music or not, a seed will be planted while they ride in my car.

Today, December 20th, I picked up a lady from one of the area hotels and, assuming she was headed to the airport, began driving in that direction (she had her suitcase with her when she came out of the hotel). The Lyft app began alerting me that I was off track, so I asked my passenger (who had already told me she had flown into Wilmington the day before) if she was going to the airport or another destination. She confirmed that she was not yet going to the airport but had to make a stop first. Following the cues from the app, we soon arrived at an office off 17th street whose name was relatively innocuous, making me wonder what kind of business it was.

I wished her a ‘Merry Christ-mas’ as she got out of the car, to which she just shook her head without making any reply. That “…still, small voice…” stirred me to check, and I discovered that it was the Planned Parenthood (a misnomer if ever there was one) center for the area; apparently, she had flown up here from Texas to get an abortion, whether to hide this from her husband or just as such was not available in Austin.

How she came to that decision is beyond us, and I grieve for her thinking that this was her only option. The thought came to me how much she (and all involved in providing such or seeking that ‘service’) needed God’s grace and love. While Mary did not have such ‘clinics’ available to her back in that time, there were other means to rid the women of an unwanted pregnancies:

While the modern practice of abortion is far different from anything of the biblical era, there are occurrences of a failed pregnancy, either purposefully or not. One example of this is from Numbers 5:11-31 that describes the test of the adulterous wife. If a man was suspicious of his wife’s fidelity, he would take her to the high priest, who would make a beverage for the woman to drink made from water and “dust from the tabernacle floor.” Supposedly, if she had been unfaithful “her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry,” and if she was innocent the drink had no effect.

As for the “pro-life” perspective, the 1st-century Christian text known as the Didache states: “do not murder a child by abortion or kill a new-born infant.” Furthermore, Tertullian, a 3rd-century Christian theologian, contended that abortion should be conducted only in situations in which irregular positioning of the fetus in the womb would risk the life of the pregnant woman.

I will be praying for that young woman and everyone in her situation. So should we all without condemning or attacking their decision. We all have made decisions that violate the holiness of God; we all need to surrender to God’s amazing grace.

April 10, 1963 -“Experiencing minor difficulty. Have positive up angle. Attempting to blow.”


“Experiencing minor difficulty. Have positive up angle. Attempting to blow.”

I wasn’t quite nine years old when the USS Thresher went down for its final dive on April 10, 1963.

I am sure I remember the news but I am also sure the significance of the tragedy did not reach all the way inside of my boyhood psyche.

That would not come until I went to submarine school in January 1973 and learned much more about the event and its aftermath. Being in New London at the submarine base, you can almost feel the ghosts of all those who perished in submarines. I would feel it again when I went on my first dive on the USS George Washington later that year.

A shipmate of mine reminded me today that the anniversary is coming up tomorrow. I went back into the archives on the Library of Congress site and read…

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The Patriot Act… a bad idea for a Republic

Amazing when you think that George Orwell warned us of this in 1949 (when 1984 was first published), yet it seems that many within the government have used it as a primer rather than a warning!


When the terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, the country was shocked to see the depth of our vulnerability. It is the hallmark of any society steeped in personal liberty and freedom that a certain amount of risk will exist. People who have bad motives and evil intent will find the loopholes and attack the most vulnerable. It was in that spirit that the original Patriot Act was passed.

The USA PATRIOT Act (commonly known as the Patriot Act) was a landmark Act of the United States Congress, signed into law by President George W. Bush. The formal name of the statute is the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001, and the commonly used short name is a contrived acronym that is embedded in the name set forth in the statute.

Opponents of the law have criticized…

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The coming storm

Mister Mac speaks what many (most?) are thinking. Now is a good time to fall on the Grace Jesus offers before it is too late.


Warning: If you don’t like posts about Patriotism, stop reading now.


I was taking inventory of my life in the last few days and here is what I think I found.

First, I was born an American which means that because of decisions my ancestors made, I wasn’t born in Scotland, England, Ireland, Germany, or any of a dozen places listed in my DNA report from a reputable DNA service. 

Second, Because I was born an American, I am included in the words that stated that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

You are correct if you recognize those words from the Declaration of Independence.  Those words were written to express the frustration of a people who felt that the government that they had was no longer looking…

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Galatians 2:20

Galatians 2:20

Bring Them To Me

Strength for Today

Matthew 4:17,18: “They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.”

Isn’t so much of life like this?

I have little faith. “Bring it to me.”

I am nearly out of strength. “Bring it to me.”

“My hope is nearly gone. “Bring it to me.”

My pockets are almost empty. “Bring it to me.”

My heart is breaking. “Bring it to me.”

My goals are crumbling. “Bring it to me.”

My joy is fading. “Bring it to me.”

My sense of peace has all but disappeared. “Bring it to me.”

The hymnwriter wrote, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” We come at the beginning of our relationship with God, having nothing in our hands. We live most peacefully if we are able to continue in that same way…keeping our hands empty, with…

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Who’s In Charge?


Talk about four-letter words!

More and more, I found myself shaking my head and wondering, “Who’s in charge here?” 

It began with President Trump’s ongoing vilification over one trumped-up accusation after another that kept Congress focus away from conducting the country’s business. The Chinese virus’s release worldwide and the contradictory messages that the ‘experts’ broadcast had people isolated from each other for (so far) nine months.  Then the ‘mother-of-all elections’ with the outcome still in doubt (at least to any thinking Americans) with no end in sight as the year draws to its stormy conclusion.

A nation in turmoil and a media feeding frenzy that keeps the water boiling has many (including me) wondering, is anyone in charge?

Recently, while listening to some gospel music on iHeartRadio, one that seemed to remind me that I had let my focus shift from the vertical to the horizontal and thus given the enemy of my soul more power in my life.  Don Francisco released the album “Forgiven” in 1977, the lead song being “Jesus is Lord of the Way I Feel.”  Yeah, it seems that the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket (to coin a phrase), but Mr. Francisco’s song was a wake-up call to my heart.  Quoting from one of my favorite books (Habakkuk 3), the song is a clarion call to keep my focus on the One who most definitely is still in charge.  I can get upset all too quickly and lose my focus when I read some of the stories from the few news outlets on the web that I follow.  However, listening to Don Francisco preach from Habakkuk 3 in the song or a slow, careful reading and study of that part of Scripture serves to remind me that nothing has or can happen apart from God’s will.  As my old friend Job once remarked;

Then Job answered the Lord and said,

Then Job answered the Lord and said,

“I know that You can do all things,
And that no plan is impossible for You.
‘Who is this who conceals advice without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I do not know.
‘Please listen, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent, sitting on dust and ashes.”

Job 42:1-6 NASB

No, I still do not like what is happening and have no clue what God is doing, but I know He does all things well. 

4 Days

8 Days

Spot on and all the more sobering when you realize that WE could be seeing the end of the founders’ dreams.