Happy Valentine's Day To My Bride Donna

Long gone are the days of roaming the campus of Anderson College "University" where I met my soul mate Donna Simpson.  God was definitely orchestrating His greater purpose when He brought us together. After 20+ years together she is still my gift.  Whoever said "Marriage is more about commitment than love.",  made an understatement. My best and worse experiences have been shared with my wife.  Together our love is tested and stronger.  I cannot imagine my life and ministry without her. There are a few verses that come to mind on this Valentine's Day regarding our our journey together:

Matthew 9:4-6  4 “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” 5 and He also said: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

James 1:17 Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.

Proverbs 5:18  Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.

Philippians 2:3-5  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

2 Corinthians 5:9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.

The stories and experiences behind these verses have made us both who we are and brought us to this point together.  I can only pray that the years to come will be even greater. Happy Valentine's Day Donna, I love you!

Happy Valentine's Day Devotion


Attitude Reflects Leadership

I was reminded this morning of a great scene in the move, "Remember The Titans" where two teammates are frustrated and angry at each other because the team is divided in their loyalty between the blacks and the whites.  Both athletes have come to their boiling point and confront each other on their bad attitudes.

There are times in our lives when we are placed in difficult circumstances either by our own choices or by outside forces.  These storms come into our lives to test our faith, strengthen our will, correct our direction and focus our vision.  Our attitude is what makes the difference between these storms being life breakers and life changers.

The Apostle Paul instructs us in Colossians 3:2 to "Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on earth".  The word "set" is an actual action we must take.  We must "flip the switch" in our thinking from being a victim to being a victor, being reactive to proactive.  When we look at ourselves we only bring attention to our lack of power and perspective to deal with our circumstances.  This manifests itself in our lives as pity.  I have always heard the two worst things about a pity party are that there is no food and no one shows up.  The Psalmist tells us to look up!  Look up to heaven to where our help comes from" (Psalm 121:1) 

Paul practices what he preaches in Acts 16:23-26.  Paul and Silas are placed in the darkest of prisons which were reserved for the most despicable offenders like murderers, rapists, thieves,  etc.  They were beaten by rods until their entire bodies writhed with pain.  They were under the ever watchful eye of a jailer.  In that moment, they would have had every "right" to doubt God, walk away from their mission of spreading the gospel and go back to their families to live a comfortable life.  What did they do?  They praised God!  They sang hymns, prayed and continued to do in jail what God had called them to do, share the gospel!  You see, the environment they were in made no difference in them being obedient to what God called them to do.  Henry Blackaby puts it like this,

"You can't always choose your circumstances, but you can always choose your attitude about those circumstances"

Like Paul, set your mind to an attitude of reliance upon God's power to get you through your storm. Chose praise over pity. Your attitude will have an impact on others!