Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. John 3:3


When it comes to getting into the kingdom God, Nicodemus, you and I have a problem. God cannot let me into his kingdom because as I am, because I would spoil it. It is going to be a place of no tears – but I make people cry. It is a place of harmony – but I fall out with people. It is place of truth – but I lie.

“Sin is not what we think it is. It is not about going wrong on a few of God’s rules, but about going wrong in our whole relationship with God. You see, sin is when we set ourselves up as God, so that instead of living for his will, each of us is living for our own will. And the result is a world in conflict. Each of us has been wounded in the crossfire. But the fact is that each of us has fired our share of the bullets, too. In our world we are at war with one another because we are at war with God”.

However there is good news: “on the day that we all stand before God, those who have responded to Jesus today will ‘not be condemned’. They will not stand before God as his enemies, who cannot come in, but as old friends whom God will welcome home”. (Real Life Jesus, Mike Cain).

Like Nicodemus, we must be born again. And we can be. If we are, we have nothing to fear – not now and not ever! Now that puts sport, competition, winning and losing into perspective!
Stuart Weir

The story of the DOLPHICORN


Our youngest granddaughter, Lainey, age 8, loves to read, paint, sing and have her papa make up stories. She seems fine with stories I make up on the run. She listens intently, even though she knows I am making stuff up as I go. One such story was about a Dolphicorn. Obviously, this was a fictional creature, half dolphin and half unicorn. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with the story! But it kept her attention until I made up some dumb ending, and then she was out of there!


Unfortunately, many in our circle of friends think that Jesus is like that Dolphicorn; a creation of someone’s imagination.They believe the bible is irrelevant to current culture.

Both the bible and secular historians document the existence of Jesus. Most will give me that one. But was he really God and do we need to follow HIM?

Clive Staples Lewis, commonly known as C. S. Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), was a novelist, poet, academic, literary critic, essayist, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. Born in Belfast, Ireland, he held academic positions at both Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1925–54, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College), 1954–63. He is best known for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. (taken from Wikipedia)

Lewis once wrote: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Now why would such a learned man say this? Because here is what Jesus said:

John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.”
Matthew 11:27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Note: No other world religious leader, such as Buddha, Confucius, or Mohammed ever made this claim.
John 17:5 “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die…'”

As Joshua said to the Israelites: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15)

And finally, as Bob Dylan once wrote; It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
(Both Wikipedia and Bob Dylan in the same blog!! How do you like me now? Haha)


Bologna sandwich with Cheese

As a high school student I had the privilege of having a summer job. Because my dad was really good at what he did, his boss listened to him and allowed me to work for the same company during the summers. Wisconsin Wheel and Rim was about a 45 minute commute so we left the house before 7:00 am each day. For a 16 year old, that was early!

Lunch time was always a highlight of the day. After four hours of hard work in the yard or the shop, we worked up a pretty good appetite. Every day my mom packed me a lunch that included 6 bologna and cheese sandwiches with mustard on Wonder Bread. (We were convinced back in the day that Wonder Bread built strong bodies 13 ways!) Typically there would also be a piece of fruit and a Twinkie. (Another wonderful treat of the 60’s with a shelf life of …eternity!)

I loved my sandwiches. Sometimes I would trade mustard for Mayonnaise. Delicious!
Years later my palette has changed but at times I still crave those sandwiches. (Like now as I write this blog)

This is a lot like my growth in Christ. At first I was excited for anything that would ‘taste good.’ I didn’t want to only hear about what was good for me. But as God allowed me to have increased appetite for HIM and HIS WORD, things that I once had no taste for all of a sudden were tasting better. There is still much I need to learn! Often I struggle with what God is saying to me. But I know HIS WORD is very good and I need its nutrients every day.

If you have never tasted the salvation Jesus offers, I encourage you to read about what a personal relationship with HIM looks like. If your personal faith in Jesus is new, you may have limited taste for God’s Word. But as you grow in faith you will begin to crave more of the nutrition God’s Word offers. Go for it!

The challenge for all of us is to beware of getting stuck in the rut of only going for what tastes good. Get into the deeper nutritious truths of God’s Word. Like our parents used to tell us about eating our vegetables, “It’s good for you!”

John 6:33 “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”

1 Peter 2:2 “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation”

Hebrews 5:12-14 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

1 Corinthians 10:4 “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.”


During my teen years I went through a huge growth spurt. By the time I was dating Carin I was 6’5” and had trouble finding shirts that were long enough. Back in the day they did not have Big & Tall stores. Most of our clothing was purchased from a Penney’s, Sears or Spiegel catalogue or at a local mom and pop store. I remember when I would pick up Carin for a date my future father in law would often tell me “Tuck your shirt in!” My shirts were never long enough to stay tucked in, even with a belt.

Years later, even though we can now shop at Big and Tall stores, I still do not like tucking in a shirt. That phrase “Tuck your shirt in” has been imprinted in my brain. My shirts may get tucked in for weddings or other formal occasions, but any other time, if I can help it, my shirt will be hanging out!

Isn’t it funny how what people say can impact us? I have often told people that in their decision making process they may need to ‘vote someone off their board.’ These are the invisible voices that resides deep in our subconscious minds. Maybe sometime in our lives, a parent, teacher, coach or friend made a comment that has never left our gray matter. We often make decisions based on their vote.
The good news, as followers of Jesus, is that HE is now the Chairman of the Board of our lives. HE has the final vote. If his WORD says it, we go with it. This gives us freedom from the negative voices in our heads! the WORD is freedom, truth and wisdom, and it gives us all the direction we need for our decision making.

Maybe someone reading this blog needs to vote a few members off of their BRAIN BOARD and reinstate KING JESUS as the Chairman. I know I have to consciously do that often!

By the way, I still do not like to tuck my shirts! Not because of mind monsters but simply because it feels better on the added investment in my waistline! Ha-ha!

Proverbs 19:21 – [There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Isaiah 55:8-11 -For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

What do you see every morning when you turn on your computer?
Every morning my computer screen looks like this:

Picture 495

A few years ago I decided to put a picture up that would be a prayer reminder to me. It was taken at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. Yes, I like the picture and the people in it. Especially Aaron! Haha!

I have great memories of a trip to Alaska with these men. It is a reminder to pray for them and for our troops. It is also a reminder to pray for my friend Joe Urcavich, who set up the trip but did not make this picture. I am reminded of that by what I DON’T see.

I’m a very visual guy. In my old office I used to print out pictures, verses and sayings and stick them up on the wall. Each one was a reminder of who God is, what he has done or a truth from his Word.

My challenge this week is a simple one. Why not choose pictures for your PC, laptop, tablet and phone that will remind you to pray? These might be pictures of family, experiences or people you care about.

What is on your screensaver? Challenge: turn it into a prayer reminder!

16 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A word to parents…

This past Sunday, Aug. 29th, Carin and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. So, I was out of the office last week. In light of that I am sending this post that I think is really important for all parents of boys. Carin and I never had a son, but we have worked with many young men. Please give this your attention!

father and son

7 Things a Son Needs from His Father

As a boy grows up, there will be many people who influence him and his development into adulthood. As a father, you want to be the main influence in this area. You are, and should be, his most important role model. Below are 7 things to help you be the best role model you can be in your son’s life. Here is a printable version for you as well. Don’t forget to check out the 7 Things a Daughter Needs from Her Dad too!

1. He needs you to love his mother.

When you love your wife, or the mother of your son, you are showing him how to treat his mother, his sisters, and all the women he’ll meet in his life. This will set the foundation for the relationships he will have later in his life.

2. He needs to see you fail, not just succeed.

The best teacher is failure. The best type of failure to learn from is someone else’s. When your son sees you fail, and handle the failure well, he sees that it is okay to make mistakes and that mistakes can be great teachers. A boy who is not afraid of making mistakes will grow into a man positioned to accept and conquer great challenges.

3. He needs your servant leadership.

You may or may not be the boss at work. You may or may not be the pastor or minister at church. You may or not be a leader in your community. But you are the leader of your family. Your son needs to see true leadership in your home. He needs to see you leading by serving. When he sees you leading by serving, he will better understand leadership and be able to more effectively lead versus follow his peers. As he grows, he will better lead his family, lead at work, lead at church, and lead in his community.

4. He needs you to be present.

As you fulfill all the different roles you have, you may be pulled in multiple directions. He needs you to be present in his education, in his social life, in all areas of his life. Some areas are not intended for mom only, or for his friends only. Your presence in all areas will give him the support he needs.

5. He needs your love regardless of his choices.

You may be the biggest sports junkie not living in Bristol, CT (where ESPN headquarters are located). And your son may not be able to kick a ball if you placed it on his toe, nor care that he can’t. No matter what choices your son makes, he needs you to love him even if they are different than yours. Even when they are wrong choices. Your love and guidance will open the door to trust and acceptance that build your relationship. And it will build his self-esteem.

6. He needs you to affirm him.

“I love you, son.” “I’m proud of you, son.” “You are amazing, son.” “I know you can do it, son.” “That was an amazing play you made!” “You are a hard worker.” “You messed up, but I know you’ll bounce back.” Your son needs your encouragement. He needs to hear the words that let him know you love having him as a son.

7. He needs you to discipline him in love.

When you discipline your son, you set boundaries and expectations. He is going to make mistakes just like you did as a kid and just like you do now. But he also needs to know that his actions have consequences. Disciplining him in love will teach him to consider the consequences his actions will have. This will prepare him to think and evaluate the choices he makes both now and in the future.

Taken from http://www.allprodad.com I Strongly encourage all parents to mark this site as a favorite!! < Tom

Get a hair cut!!

Slander is becoming epidemic. Almost daily we hear of individuals or organizations destroyed by damaging words. Politicians and celebrities are among those whose reputations are stained by this sin and they are often not innocent themselves. Sadly, the body of Christ can be just as guilty of slander.


In 2 Samuel 15:1-2 we read about Absalom’s damaging words.
15 1-2 As time went on, Absalom took to riding in a horse-drawn chariot, with fifty men running in front of him. Early each morning he would take up his post beside the road at the city gate. When anyone showed up with a case to bring to the king for a decision, Absalom would call him over and say, “Where do you hail from?”
And the answer would come, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”
3-6 Then Absalom would say, “Look, you’ve got a strong case; but the king isn’t going to listen to you.” Then he’d say, “Why doesn’t someone make me a judge for this country? Anybody with a case could bring it to me and I’d settle things fair and square.” Whenever someone would treat him with special honor, he’d shrug it off and treat him like an equal, making him feel important. Absalom did this to everyone who came to do business with the king and stole the hearts of everyone in Israel.

As followers of Jesus there are many sins that can keep us from being totally connected to HIM, like the branch mentioned in John 15, but slander takes others down with us. Maybe that is why there are so many warnings against slander in the Bible. Here are just a few:

Proverbs 10:18
He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool.

Psalms 101:5
Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.

2 Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

Ephesians 4:31
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Another thought: if you are tempted to slander someone, you might want to get a haircut! Ha-ha

2 Samuel 18:9-10 Absalom ran into David’s men, but was out in front of them riding his mule, when the mule ran under the branches of a huge oak tree. Absalom’s head was caught in the oak and he was left dangling between heaven and earth, the mule running right out from under him. A solitary soldier saw him and reported it to Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging from an oak tree!”
11 Joab said to the man who told him, “If you saw him, why didn’t you kill him then and there? I’d have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver and a fancy belt.”
12-13 The man told Joab, “Even if I’d had a chance at a thousand pieces of silver, I wouldn’t have laid a hand on the king’s son. We all heard the king command you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake, protect the young man Absalom.’ Why, I’d be risking my life, for nothing is hidden from the king. And you would have just stood there!”
14-15 Joab said, “I can’t waste my time with you.” He then grabbed three knives and stabbed Absalom in the heart while he was still alive in the tree; by then Absalom was surrounded by ten of Joab’s armor bearers; they hacked away at him and killed him.