Monday, January 25, 2010

God still reigns!

Well, to all my fellow Minnesota Viking fans, I feel your pain. I really do. Last night when the game was over I sat in my chair and actually felt sad and maybe a bit depressed. Sounds kind of silly coming from someone who "should know better", huh? Well, I'm just being honest.

I remember being a Vikings fan since I was just a little boy. Year after year I'd repeat our famous quote..... "There's always next year!" Man, I got tired of saying that.

Finally, in 1998 when they lost the NFC championship game to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, One game field goal away from a trip to Miami and a Superbowl, I decided that I was done. No more would I be such a fan to be let down that hard. Then this year, we acquired Brett Favre and I thought, "Come on, Milt....This is the year. This is the one." So, I got my purple clothes out again and I routed for my team....just like the good ole days. It appeared Brett was going to do it. We might actually make it to the big game again....and hopefully this time, we will be world champions.

Well, irony came knocking and last night we lost the NFC championship in overtime, one game field goal away from yet another trip to Miami for Superbowl 44. I was crushed. How could I have allowed myself to feel so much passion for a game in which all the players get paid way too much money and....well, really it has no eternal consequences, does it?

I say all that to say this: I am human. I got caught up in the moment... a chance for glory with the Minnesota Vikings....And once more, we did not get to taste that sweet victory. We were not victorious in the game, however Brett Favre is a champion. Whether he returns for another season or not, my hat is off to him. He did all anyone could have expected. He took 16 hard hits last night and he isn't exactly 21 and bullet proof anymore. Brett Favre is a champion...because he brought the Vikings to another NFC championship game? No. Because he broke almost every record possible as a quarterback? No. Because he took Green Bay to world championships? No...He is a champion because he made a split second decision. Not a decision to scramble or stay in the pocket but the decision to trust Jesus Christ with his future. He could walk across the field last night and congratulate the vicorious team with a big smile because he knows what really matters. He knows he has a home in glory and he knows whom he has believed in. One day he will tread the streets of gold and I'm guessing he will still be wearing a jersey that reads "4". And I'm pretty sure it will be purple.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Defeating the Divide

Knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25

Standing before Jesus was a man who had three hard strikes against him. He was blind, mute and possessed by a demon. Still he had some friends who led him to Jesus. Jesus wasted no time in casting out the demon, healing eyes that had ceased to work, and freeing the tongue that had never spoken.

The crowd was impressed and began to ask if Jesus was the Son of David, a reference to his being the long-awaited Messiah. When Jesus’ heard this praise, they snapped back, “This man casts out demons by the ruler of demons.” In other words, Satan. Their logic was critically flawed, and Jesus made that clear. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Jesus was the only person to live a perfect and sinless life. Still His enemies created reasons to be critical. Even in the face of great healing miracles, His adversaries used the sharpest words and the most cutting remarks to turn people against Him. Many of the greatest lessons for life came from these confrontations.

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln used Jesus’ words to highlight the danger of a nation split over slavery. The logic was undeniable. Division is always damaging. It is true for countries, families, individuals, and people’s own minds. Unity is strength; harmony is powerful. This is true for groups and it is also true for the internal conflict people often feel.

The divide of heart and mind must be defeated, and Jesus stands ready to help, just as He stood ready to heal a man with three crippling strikes against him. Seek unity of mind, of family, of business, of your spiritual life.

One final thought….. A divided mind and heart is a slick slope, but a determined and unswerving person stands stronger than all others. Division can be healed.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Wow! It is so weird to be in a new decade already, isn't it? I mean it seemed just yesterday that the whole world was in a panic about what was going to happen when we left 1999 and entered y2k....Remember? And now we are in another decade, 2010. I have been reminded of scripture in 2 Peter, chapter 3 lately as several people have asked me the question, "So tell me preacher man.....when is Jesus coming back anyway?" laugh, laugh, chuckle..... I find it very soothing and calming when I get persecuted for standing up for Jesus, don't you? It makes me smile to know I am in the same company with Jesus Himself as well as many great men and women of the faith who were mocked and persecuted. "Where is the promise of His coming?" they ask. I encourage you to take a few minutes of your day today and read these verses of scripture and be reminded that this life....this earth is just a moment. We must be preparing for eternity. God....please bless those who read these verses. In Jesus' name....Amen

2 Peter 3:1-18
This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, "What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created." They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God's righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. And remember, the Lord's patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him- speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction. I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.(NLT)