Tag Archives: Devotional

If You Dance With the Devil

If you dance with the Devil,
His moves will be slow.
He’ll draw you in gently,
But never let go.

His grip will be firm,
His clinch will be tight.
Before you can stop,
He’ll turn down the light.

The shadows will grow,
The darkness will creep.
Demons will circle,
They’ll sing you to sleep.

The compromise is
A move he loves most.
Just one little step
And then you will coast.

The ease of his sway
Will draw you away.
Your soul will be his,
The end of your day.

Devotional

James 4:7-8 (NKJV)
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

A successful leader must avoid the subtle seductions to compromise his values. Notice three tips from this passage.

1. Know and obey the source of your values – “submit to God.”

2. Be on guard and fight against that which opposes your values.

In 2 Corinthians 11:14, God warns us that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (NIV)

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Lucky?

Trust in luck? Are you kidding?
Do you think that I’m a schmuck?
Only God can bring us blessings,
Not some random pagan luck!

Don’t bring me four leaf clovers,
Hang a horseshoe on my wall.
A severed rabbit’s foot charm?!
How could that bring help at all?

Black cats just don’t concern me,
Broken mirrors should they fall.
Passing ‘neath an open ladder,
I’m not worried, not at all!

Hard work and lots of prayer time,
I am on my knees at dawn.
The Lord and I are partners.
That is what I’m counting on.

My Father has it covered.
He sends all I really need.
I’m swimming in His blessings.
Am I lucky? No indeed!

Devotional

James 1:16-17 (NKJV)
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

From this important passage we find three reasons true leaders do not depend upon luck.

1. God is the source of “every good gift.” Since “every perfect gift is from above,” giving credit to luck is like biting the hand that feeds you.

2. The source of our blessings is described as “the Father of lights.” Good leaders make decisions based upon clarity and illumination, not random chance.

3. Good leaders celebrate the advantages of consistency, a place where “there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

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The Compliment

A compliment
Is like cement;
It bonds two lives together,
You need a lot
In every spot
To hold through stormy weather.

So butter up
And fill their cup
So they’ll feel consequential.
Give praise to them,
Life is a gym;
Encouragement’s essential.

A friendship needs
To kill the weeds
And compliments are awesome.
Replace the weeds
With gracious seeds
And watch the bonding blossom.

Devotional

Proverbs 12:25-26 (NKJV)

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.

The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

The relationship between these verses is important. Consider two applications.

1. Anxiety almost always comes through the influence of wickedness. Good leaders guard themselves and their friends from “depression” by avoiding the influences of wicked words that could lead them astray.

2. Good leaders celebrate the value of “a good word.” He chooses his friends “carefully” and surrounds them with compliments in order to make their hearts “glad.”

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Freedom Isn’t Free!

The gift of freedom isn’t free,
Not now or for eternity.
Our soldiers die or suffer loss,
Like Jesus on that wooden cross.

In war we lose our young and brave.
As with the Lord placed in a grave.
A youthful death brings pain, the worst.
God knows. He feels. His Child was first.

And on the day that Jesus died.
Like women now, His mother cried.
Her heart was crushed with hurt and strain,
‘Cause freedom often comes with pain.

Just ask a soldier, he will tell,
A living nightmare – war is hell!
Freedom’s price is very high,
But they, like Christ, for it will die.

And so each day, I pledge to stop.
My hands will fold, my head will drop.
The thankfulness that fills my heart
Will fuel my day, a leader’s start

My voice, I’ll lift above the crowd,
I’m not ashamed, of them I’m proud.
Through Jesus and our soldiers true,
Sweet freedom comes to me and you.

Though some may fight against them both,
Before you now I take this oath.
The crimson blood that each has shed
Will not be wasted on my head!

I’ll live a life of leadership
My grateful heart will never slip
For Jesus and the soldier brave
I’ll honor this great gift they gave!

Devotional

Hebrews 13:7-8 (NKJV)

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Although this passage is specifically addressing spiritual leaders, three general applications can be made about all good leaders.

1. Leaders should be respected enough to be remembered – ” Remember your leaders.” Are you leading so profoundly others will remember you?

2. Leaders should be respected enough to be scrutinized – “Consider the outcome of their way of life.” Are you leading in such a way that the end results draw positive attention?

3. Leaders should be respected enough to be imitated – “imitate their faith.” Someone said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Is your leadership worthy of duplication?

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To Serve or Slumber?

Idle hands,
Lazy eyes.
Trouble comes,
Big surprise.

Serving hands,
Searching eyes.
Jesus comes,
What’s your prize?!

Devotional

Proverbs 12:27-28 (NKJV)

“The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting,
But diligence is man’s precious possession.
In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.”

The contrast provided by this passage highlights three of the most important qualities of leadership.

1. A good leader does not waste what he has accomplished – “The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting.”

2. A good leader treasures his own diligence like a “precious possession.”

3. A good leader knows that doing the right thing is always an advantage – “In the way of righteousness is life.”

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Determined

Yes I am, I’m gonna do it!
Stepping up, now let’s get to it!

Bring it on! I’ve got this fight!
Little strain with a little might.

Pressing hard my shoulder to it,
Looky there, it moved! I knew it!

“Get ‘er done!” That’s my approach.
Trust in God, the Lord, my Coach.

Overcome? Oh yes, you’ll see!
No task will get the best of me!

Devotional

Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Focused determination is without doubt one of the greatest trademarks of great leadership. Consider the qualities of determination that are mentioned in this passage.

1. A realistic view of the struggle – “I do not count myself to have apprehended.”

2. A release of the past – “forgetting those things which are behind.”

3. A forward vision – “reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”

4. A worthy effort – “I press.”

5. A celebrated incentive – “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

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Be Careful Who You Follow

I traveled home one foggy night,
My heart was tense and filled with fright.
I could not see far up the street,
And feared what accident I’d meet.

Ahead I saw a car’s tail light,
And chose to follow it that night.
I stayed as close as I could dare,
The stress was more than I could bear.

I gripped the wheel and strained my eyes.
Would something take me by surprise?
The scenes of dread flashed through my mind.
Would mangled cars be what I’d find?

Then suddenly my heart did drop!
The lights ahead came to a stop.
Alarmed, I jumped out of the car,
And rushed ahead, my mouth ajar!

“Why did you stop?!” I asked in fear.
“Is someone dead or injured here?”
The man looked back with puzzled face,
“Why no! I’m home. This is my place.”

I’d followed him into his drive,
With little thought where we’d arrive.
I’d focused on his path so long,
I’d lost my own and journeyed wrong.

With blushing face, I drove away.
I’d learned a lesson on that day.
Be careful who you follow home,
Your story could become a poem.

Devotional

John 12:25-26 (NKJV)
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

Although some might call it tunnel vision, one of the most common traits of great leaders is intense focus. From this passage we can draw three principles that lead to that quality of leadership.

1. The competition must not become a distraction – “He who loves his life will lose it.” In this context, Jesus is the goal and “this world” is the competition.

2. The goal must be emphasized, repeated, and emphasized again. Count the number of times the words “Me,” “I,” or “My” are used in this passage.

3. A leader’s focus must always possess a validating end game – “him my Father will honor.”

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“Happy Birthday, Gabriel!”

(This story was first posted on October 24, 2007)

Well, five years ago today, I held Gabriel in my arms for the very first time. For 9 long months Cindy was the only one who got to hold him, but on October 24, 2002, it was my turn. Wow! What a joy he has become to our family. Yes, God still does miracles today!

Last night after wrapping Gabriel’s present, Cindy made the mistake of letting him carry it up the stairs. Along the way, he conveniently and rather sneakily (Is that a word?) poked a hole in one side. Later he came to my office and asked to play with my flashlight. Being too busy to care about a flashlight, I happily turned it over to him and he left the room.

It must have been a guilty conscience, but a few minutes later he sauntered back into my office and returned the flashlight. While putting it back, I asked him what he had been doing. His complexion changed and he started talking rapidly. He told me about the hole and then he told me that he had been using the flashlight to make sure that the hole wasn’t too big. At this point I think he knew that I was suspicious of his motives. He led me out of the office and knelt down by the package. “See, Dad, the hole’s not that big,” he said with a nervous tone. Then, without thinking, he thrust his hand into the side of the package just to prove his point. Well, a great preacher, he may one day become, but a defense lawyer, he is not. As he thrust his hand into the side of that package it kept going until he was up to his elbow in birthday present. Then, in another attempt to cover himself once more, he said, “I don’t really know what it is, Dad. It just feels fuzzy like a teddy bear to me.” (Note: The gift was in fact a stuffed animal.)

Well, to make a long story longer, I cleared a spot on a top shelf, placed the “holy package” on it and then sternly warned him to leave it alone until his birthday. As far as I know, the sneaky little guy made no further attempts to unwrap his birthday present early.

Devotional

What should this little event tell us about this year’s Christmas presents? All I know is that it could be a long, hard December.

Anticipation, do you remember lying awake on Christmas Eve dreaming about the next morning? Do you ever get that excited about Heaven? Sometimes I really want to open that package early. Don’t you?

2 Peter 3:13

“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Philippians 2:20-21

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”

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OnOurWayToHeavenThe story above was taken from the book, “A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to Heaven” by Sonny Childs. In the spirit of those chicken soup books, this collection of 52 short stories is sure to inspire.

To purchase your copy, use the buy now button below.



A Little Crowded in Bed!

(This family moment was first published in 2007)

Almost every morning, between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m., Cindy and I get a visitor in bed with us. We have always laid down with the boys to put them to bed at night and we have always made room for them when they wake up in the middle of the night. Bryson outgrew the whole climb-in-bed-with-Mom-and-Dad-thing long ago. However, Gabriel, 10 years younger, is just hitting his stride. Each morning, here he comes.

Several years ago, Cindy’s folks gave us a wonderful queen-size bed. We love it. Although we only use a very small portion of the bed, it is nice to know that the extra space is there if we need it. (Not to get too personal, but Cindy and I are snugglers. We are completely unable to relate to couples who, after many years of marriage, end up sleeping in different beds. If Cindy ever develops a snoring problem, I think I’ll just muzzle her, buy some ear plugs and keep on “spooning.” She is a necessary part of my sleeping process. Like Sid, the sloth, from the movie Ice Age 2 would say, “She completes me.”)

Anyway, every morning like clockwork, Gabriel climbs in bed with us. Now you wouldn’t think that a child less than 4 feet tall and weighing less than 50 pounds would require much space. You wouldn’t think that 2 1/2 people would have any trouble fitting on a queen-size bed. Obviously, you have never slept with my son! By the time I get up, little Gabriel has pushed, prodded, squirmed and shoved against Cindy so hard that she has pushed me nearly out of bed. I’m serious! Most mornings I wake up with half my body dangling between Heaven and Earth! I mean, come on! What’s he doing will all that space? If the Lord comes in the early morning hours, it will be easy for me to meet Him in the air ‘cause half of me will already be there!

Devotional

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV)

“According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

Do you remember the sweet feeling of climbing in bed with your parents? I hope you do. It is a memory that every child deserves to have. Being welcomed into the warm, cuddly embrace of those who love you – ain’t nothin’ like it! If for some reason your parents were not the warm, cuddly type, never fear, your chance could be coming very soon. One day, Jesus will break through the sky. One day He will usher the faithful right into the very presence of God. One day, if you are His, you will feel the very arms of Almighty God draw you to Himself. One day that warm, cuddly, now I can really rest feeling will be yours. Hang in there! Climbing in next to God will surely be worth it all!

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OnOurWayToHeavenThe story above was taken from the book, “A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to Heaven” by Sonny Childs. In the spirit of those chicken soup books, this collection of 52 short stories is sure to inspire.

To purchase your copy, use the buy now button below.



Watch and Choose

Today I sat and watched the world,
They waved at me with sin unfurled.
With shameless acts the heart contrives,
They hurried through their stress-filled lives.

I turned away and watched the Lord,
I saw what others had ignored.
I saw His church reach out in love.
I saw a peace born from above.

I asked myself, which should I choose,
An empty life, the Devil’s ruse,
Or should I seek a life in Christ,
And by His peace to be enticed?

I left my chair, the choice was made,
No longer would I be afraid.
Within the church I’d take my place,
I’d battle Satan, win my race.

The world has nothing it can give,
To bring me peace or help me live.
My hope is anchored to the cross,
I give up all but have no loss.

Devotional

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Perhaps the greatest irony of the human experience is that eternal beings must die in order to live. Within this passage, we find four parts to this ultimate journey of leadership.

1. Our death must be “with Christ.” Only through a partnership in His crucifixion can our death result in life. Study Romans 6:3-4.

2. This partnership in death must result in Christ living within us. Study 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

3. The new life, though lived “in the flesh,” must be lived by “faith.” Study 2 Corinthians 5:6-8.

4. Just as in death, the sustaining power of the new life is “the Son of God.” Study John 14:6.

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The poem above was taken from the book, “A Time for Rhyme: Holidays and Family” by Sonny Childs. The poems and devotionals within this book are sure to inspire meaningful holidays and happy family moments.

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