Chaplain Rick's Thoughts

I recall sitting with my Father and listening to him tell a story and ask him how I might be a good storyteller, he replied; all you need to do is place yourself in the story, then tell others what you see. As a youth I used this storyteller mindset in my school papers writing in such a way that allowed my teachers to participate with me in the story. I found that when I added the three S’s that it added substance to my stories. Those three S’s are Sight, Sound and Smell.

This inside out viewpoint was the method I used as I began in areas of ministry. I tried to stand on the boat next to the sailors looking at Jonah, I was sitting on a bale of hay when David was in the lion’s den, I was the standing in the corner of the pool when the Jesus made the lame to walk; then I wrote what I saw, heard and smelled. My goal was to have people experience the scriptures with me.

Character Study

Part of having someone experience the scriptures, either in written or speech format, you will benefit from studying the people that make up the story or account. The more you know about them, the more you can better relate to them.

Character method of Bible study is simply: putting yourself in their shoes. By looking at the different people in the Bible, their reactions, successes, and failures; you can truly get into the heart of the passage. There is 2 main ways to use the character study:

  • The Personage: looking at the character specifically by name, their history, position, responsibility, ect.
  • The Nature: looking at the nature, attitude, personality, character attributes.

It might not even be the major characters as you might need to see it from a different perspective to truly experience it. My favorite example is the sailors on the ship in the account of Jonah. Looking at what is going on from their perspective allows you to see that decisions have consequences… all decisions. These sailors lost nearly everything, all because of the transgress of one.

Set the Scene

Before jumping into the moral of the story, set the scene, and let people look around with you. Was it hot or cold? Rain or sunny? Day or night? Was it loud with the crowd shouting or whispers of murmuring? Did it smell like flowers on a spring day or the smell of pigs in the trough. How were they dressed? You see the more info you can provide to set the scene, the better your audience will be able to relate to it.

4D Experience

When you can bring in a physical element or demonstration you can tap into the other senses to establish a lasting memory or impression. Some of my more powerful sermons and presentations was where I was able to take a verbal description and add physical elements to it. I once preached the account of Jonah with the light off and the Sanctuary lit by lanterns. I had the sound system playing storm sounds and creaking of the ship, a strobe for lightening, rotten fish smell blown from a fan… then I walked up and down the isles with a spray bottle of water. Eleven people were saved that night in that little church. By placing them in the sermon through a physical setting it takes the message to a whole new level where they can set aside misconceptions to see and feel the experience of the scriptures.

An additional sermon example was to have children’s church separated into groups with each group having a responsibility. The sermon was the disciples in the storm, a row of kids lined up as the disciples rowing, another group with metal chairs was the thunder and another was the sounds of the waves and water.

Other examples might include images, measuring tape to show scale, science experiments and other visual props to provide an audio/visual experience that will allow the mind to recall the sermon more clearly because they feel like they were “involved” in it.

Not Causing a Distraction.

It is important to note that a physical demonstration, activity, or description can cause more of a distraction than adding charcter to the sermon. I must insist this mindset through experience that it must be Lord led, and well thought out and even rehearsed before you present it to God’s people. Sometimes I had what “I” thought was a great idea, but in practice or application; it created more of a distraction where people were more interested in the experience, they did not hear the message. It should also be done occasionally, so that it is something special, not normal. By having a balance that God can use for His glory, this method can see greater fruit in your ministry.

Experiencing the Scriptures in your Own Life

The Bible is written in such a way that it helps set the scene so that you can better understand and experience it. However, you must read it as such. To read the Bible just to read it you lose the message that the Lord wants you to understand. Slowing down and looking at the scriptures with empathy will help you understand how the man that fell among the thieves felt laying in the ditch, stripped of his clothes and left half dead. How you might feel with your outstretched hand as those who could help walked by; and the last person you’d ever want to help picked you up and took care of you.

Even the Book of Revelation is written from the point of view of a man placed in heaven, and simply described what he saw and wrote it down.

Like my Father said… place yourself in the story, then look around and tell others what you see. The mind’s eye can be used by the Holy Spirit to allow you to see, hear and smell details that will help you understand the scriptures better.  

We hear it all the time from the pulpit, and you’ve probably repeated it in some context; but what does it mean? If you ask a group of people, you’ll get quite a few different answers; so I thought I might give you my perspective and some thoughts about being “Sold Out For God.”

I Think of a Store

I have worked at K-Mart (teens ask your parents what that is) One Stop Auto Parts, AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts and a few other retail merchandise businesses where you have product on the shelf. It is this mindset I am using when I define being Sold Out. Now please understand, I’m not trying to say that we should treat the Gospel of Christ like a sales product, not at all. With that said:

Sold out means there is nothing left, the shelves are empty.

What kind of Store do you have? What is on the shelf?

Stores are defined by the merchandise on the shelf. Grocery store, appliance store, variety store… so one might ponder, what have you stocked your shelves with? I mean if a store (Church) is going to be successful, you need to have available that which people need. So often modern Churches have a full stock of music on the shelf, and a light show with drama teams are in no short supply. Other Churches are stocked full of empathy, emotional support centers and even scream rooms. Many Churches with youth programs have turned their Church into activity centers with rock climbing walls and dance teams. However, are these what people need? Is this providing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, doctrine and discipleship? Or are those valuable items found down isle 3, stuck in the back. By the way, compassion is in the discount basket seeming to have no value in Churches anymore.

1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Some might even call the modern Church as a convenience store. Older Churches an antique store and some even still a variety store, when what we need is a specialty store.

Do you Know What’s in Inventory?

If you’ve ever worked retail there is a floorplan for merchandise, and everything in that store has a place to go. Additionally, it was important to inventory what you had in stock so you wouldn’t run out…

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

If we take inventory (Examine yourselves) we will know what we have available to give. Whether a Church or an individual, a good inventory will help assess our effectiveness to our community. So many Churches stretch themselves so thin trying to help in so many different areas; they miss the most important part about ministry… God’s relationship to the Church and its membership.

Additionally, is the viewpoint to that of management:

Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

A good Pastor will not compare his Church to another Church to that of growth, but rather work with the resources (inventory) that you have. So many Pastors look at the Churches around them and want bigger facilities, more ministries, more buses, greater outreach; eventually increasing the scope without increasing the resources. The result is a ministry greater than the resources. The facilities go without upkeep with the workers exhausted from the expansion. Often a Pastor will quote Proverbs 29:18a Where there is no vision, the people perish:.. but that vision should be to use the resources that God provided, rather than a vision that causes the people to perish.

If a Pastor is in continuous evaluation of his inventory, the shelves will never be empty.

Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Lesson here: He didn’t pray for a BIGGER harvest… he prayed for more labourers. Maybe you should wait till you get labourers before you get bigger than you can handle.

Sold Out For God

Let me just be clear to this process, being Sold Out for God is NOT a good thing! It may preach good but if the shelves are empty, it creates discouragement to those who would come to fill a need. How often have you visited a small Church where the membership is exhausted in the ministry. Sold out every week and never getting replenished. Large Churches will have the same issues in a larger effect because you stretch a small team to do a larger work.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In one of the colleges I attended the Church had a huge ministry. This Church seated 5,000, a college with an average of 800 on campus, it even had a full day school, from kindergarten through high school. Yet, when going to workers meetings it was the same small group that seem to do everything. The Pastor would get up and say we gotta do more, we need more on the bus, more visitations, more decisions for Christ; more, more, more… These people in some cases gave all they had to give and often had nothing left. When I looked at the faces when he would he would say that, their countenance was so low.

In retail, when the inventory was low you would line it up on the front of the shelf so it looked like the shelves were full, but in reality they were just barely keeping the doors open. It’s called front and face. So many are weary in well doing, putting on a front and a smile on their face… but inside their shelf is empty in need of replenishment.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. A good Pastor, managing inventory will keep his team replenished, so when people show up needing Jesus… they will find the shelves fully stocked and a team not weary in well doing; but rather renewed and ready to help.

Is what’s on the shelf, worth the price?

It’s been my experience that if a product needs to be hyped, it’s probably not worth the price. When you need a hype man to get the crowd pumped up, or to “set the mood of worship”… you might not have your shelves stocked with the right stuff. I’ve often made the analogy that people no longer come to Church hungry for the things of God because they are full on the junk food of the world. Problem is, too many Churches are serving the same candy in a different wrapper. So I ask the question “Is what you have stocked on your shelves worth the price that Jesus paid?” Are you offering faith or fake? Because when the hype music stops, so will the faith apart from the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Not Music, not relevant messages, not plans and programs. God’s word preached, sinners converted and discipled with and through the Word of God.

Here’s a thought

A store places valued or eye catching stock in the store window display, to get your attention. Often even having items in the display, that are not even in stock! Churches have started doing the same. Flashy, dramatic showmanship rather that solid preaching and teaching from the Word of God. When you get inside you get a relevant life message, a watered down bible and rehearsed prayer rather than life changing salvation.

Quality over Quantity

So many Churches today have been stocked with cheap, temporary, flashy inventory that simply doesn’t last. It’s like the Dollar Store quality merchandise designed to look like the expensive version but made with cheap parts. The people truly looking to have the need fulfilled should be able to come and see a Church filled with people excited, refreshed and ready to fulfill that need. Where a Pastor works just as hard to keep the shelves full as he does getting people in the store. (Church) But too often people walk out entertained and empty. Still hungry, still searching for that which will satisfy. 

So my question is if your Church and people are “sold out for God” with nothing left to give?

Has the Church’s Vision exceeded the Value?

Is the quantity of people in the building more important that the quality of the message?

Or is your Church stocked up with the very best that Christ had to give. Shelves full of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, staff and members replenished and ready to fill the needs of a lost and dying world. Where the quality of the work mattered more than the quantity in the seats. Because it’s been my experience that when a store (Church) has the best product and the best service, word gets around.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

When we look at having the right work attitude and the proper work ethic.. it needs to be more than words. You will find as you get older that much of who you are is defined by the way you work.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

Many sit in judgement over others because they have achieved something. They see the rewards often of the labor, without know the sacrifices and risks made. The mindset of a work ethic is more than doing what is being ask of you but, a mindset of doing what is needed whether you are ask or not. 

I have worked a full time job since I was 13. I have never come home to my family without a job to go to the next day. I have served tables, washed dishes, mopped floors, cleaned toilets, cleaned grease traps, painted, turned wrenches, dug ditches, painted rocks and grass, carried dead bodies, directed traffic and more. I have worked as a cook, cashier, bus boy, waiter, mechanic, trainer, bus driver, heavy equipment operator, soldier, data entry, parts and service advisor, manager, business owner, Chaplain, Pastor, consultant, web developer and more.

But of all the things I have done and more; the tiles I prefer the most is Husband and Dad.

-Task oriented vs. goal oriented.

A concept every young person should wrap their mind around is the mindset of Task oriented vs. Goal oriented.

A task oriented person provides 100% toward the completion of the task. Once the task is complete you wait till the next task is assigned. A task oriented person should be detail oriented, punctual and willing to do any task, seeing it through to completion.

A goal oriented person is much the same, however they see beyond the task itself. A goal oriented looks to learn why the task is needed and how it fits into the end result. This goal mindset looks to fulfill the purpose till the need is fulfilled.

In chores or the workplace a task oriented person contributes to the completion of needed tasks, however a goal oriented person contributes to the profitability of the company.

Example a task oriented person will pick up trash, if you tell them to. A goal oriented person knows why its important to keep the place clean and will do so whenever they see the need.

Entering into an Agreement

One of the lessons in attitude can be found in the scriptures:

Matthew 20:7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Again a matter of attitude: Did you agree to work for a certain wage?

Deuteronomy 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Are you giving 100%?

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Whatever you do, do it with all your might.

I can offer my own achievements for consideration however, I have surrounded myself by those whose work ethic would challenge me to do more and more.

  • At Mcdonald’s, I became the youngest crew trainer they ever had at 13 years old.
  • At Kmart I worked in every department and could run the register faster than the newly installed scanners.
  • At Mercedes Benz dealership in the parts department I was the youngest employee to break the $1 million ceiling in sales. I Memorized over 1000 part numbers and forced the company to upgrade their computers to keep up with me.
  • In the Air Force I was the first honor graduate that the Air Transportation field ever had at Sheppard Air Force Base. I graduated with a perfect academic score. Believe it or not… they needed to have an honor graduate award cast, because they never needed one before.
  • In my tenure in the Air Force, during the Bosnian relief efforts I was the only NCO that was fully certified in all aspects of the career field. Even after I was injured, I continued in data processing earning 2 additional Meritorious Service Medals for actions above and beyond.
  • Additionally I help reconstruct the database for Microsoft Powerpoint for a more user friendly interface.

With respect in these statements as an example… that was all before I turned 25.

In my life and career I have achieved much, but it is a mindset of a work effort. I was able to take those things that my parents instilled and combined that with God’s grade to truly live Eccl. 9:10.

Often I am prejudged by my disabilities. However I have worked to the best of my ability, sometimes I had to fight through serious pain to see the job done… but it got done. 

My dad said it was about Attitude… If it’s worth doing… its worth overdoing

Proverbs 4:1  Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

On Father’s Day we look at the path of a young man and to recognize that at times the greatest wisdom comes from the unlikeliest places.

My dad volunteered for wartime service before he graduated high school. Yet without a diploma he proved he know how to learn. Within a short time he worked himself to the level of crew chief flying all over the world, responsible for million dollar aircraft. He was recruited into the CIA because he looked, average; but there was little average about him. A combat vet, special operations commando, specialist in gorilla warfare, flight mechanic, engineer, (blackhawk) CIA and Secret Service, spoke 5 languages… but of all these thing I mostly knew him as dad.

During his 40 year military career he had taken courses to finish his high school, got a degree in engineering from the Air Force Community College, took over 600 additional training courses; spent his vacations outside of Army training centers so he could take continuing courses while allowing his family to have some time away.  He literally challenged himself to be the best he could be all the days of his life. Even while he was consulting for the CIA he worked in the automotive industry as a consultant, earning Mercedes and Volkswagen‘s highest honors.

He would continually say things like:

  • Judge not a man by his actions, but by his reactions.
  • Why is it there never seems to be enough time to do a job right, but there always seems to be time to do it over.
  • A job is not complete until it has been done completely.
  • Henry Ford: If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right
  • You should rather be an hour early than a minute late
  • Excellence is a habit, not an act. Practice perfection.
  • The greatest teacher, is failure.
  • Perform forensics on failure so you can be found guilty of greatness
  • Good enough isn’t good enough if it can be better, and better isn’t good enough if it can be best.
  • When you hit rock bottom, you will find the solid foundation in which to build.
  • The only day I will ever be disappointed in you is the day you stop trying.
  • On the day you succeed me will be my greatest day. I will not have a thought of jealousy but rather victory, because in that day my trials will have become trails; having created a path my children can follow.

The Flag and the knife

A nice young man came walkin’ by
He asked, “Why do you fly that flag so high?
Those stars and stripes are tattered and worn
and a new flag would be better adorned…”

I answered back with a smile in place
gleaming through the scars deep on my face.
Why that flag was Grandpa’s, I begun,
He raised and lowered it with the daily sun.

Till he got the call to go to war,
to serve his country on a foreign shore.
You see Grandma refused to let it down
waiting for the day he was safe and sound.

So through the sun, rain and wind it blew,
She said cause that’s what Pappy’s going through.
No one was taking him in each night
as he braved the elements in his long fight.

Till on a sunny day the corner he round,
Grandpa was home safe and sound.
The next day the flag in the sky did soar
then he brought it in at night as he did once before.

For just a few years the flag waved proud
as Grandpa told his stories to the stirring crowd.
No one was more proud than Grandma, no not one
Till the next foreign war called their son.

You see now why this flag is tattered and worn
Grand Fathers, Fathers and Sons now have born,
the responsibility of keeping you free
which is why you see these scars on me.

It didn’t matter what type of harshness it was;
a beach, a jungle, a desert because
this flag has flown while we were gone
and our wives this tradition have carried on.

For three generations this flag has flown
through the rain and snow, wind and sun
Across the world for this country we roamed
This flag meant welcome home son, welcome home.

Proverbs 22:28  Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren,

  • whatsoever things are true,

3 John 1:12  Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

  • whatsoever things are honest,

Luke 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

  • whatsoever things are just,

Proverbs 20:7  The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

  • whatsoever things are pure,

Psalms 119:140  Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

  • whatsoever things are lovely,

Song of Solomon 5:16  His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

  • whatsoever things are of good report;

3 John 1:12  Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

  • if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


1 Timothy 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.


There is a movement that has been taking place since the 80’s that has been allowed to propagate by Christians. This movement of “passiveness” has become a major doctrinal departure from the scriptures, yet is supported and promoted by the majority of Modern Christianity.

This progressive interpretation uses multiple methods to dilute the Bible, twist core doctrines and dissolve the scriptural barriers that were established to protect and promote our system of beliefs. This is done by:

  • Changing the word of God to fit this passive progressive mindset
  • Shame those who would hold to core beliefs and practices.
  • Bringing this passive progressive mentality into the mainstream of TV, radio, music, literature and more to make this movement front and center with the focused purpose to replace the truth with a waterdowned version.

Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

Doctrine of Separation

A large part of this movement is to break down the barriers that God established to keep Spiritual things separated from Worldly things.

The doctrine of separation was established through Abraham of the old testament where God set a people unto himself and SEPARATED them from the rest of the world. This separation is to not just keep God’s people away from sin… but to keep a ready sample of purity for people to see.

Even in the new testament the doctrine of separation holds true however, modern Christianity has thrown open the doors and brought the world into the holy of holies; BYPASSED the alter, BYPASSED the laver and brought the filth of the world into the presence of God.

2 Corinthians 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Doctrine of Judgement

Have you ever heard: “Judge not lest thou be judged”. Isn’t it amazing how quick people are to use verses in the Bible to justify their own sin. This fallacy can be propagated because people, who claim to be Christians; don’t know the word of God.

1 Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

1 Peter 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Praise and Worship

Ephesians 5:19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Hebrews 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Psalms 138:2  I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Matthew 6:7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Doctrine of Hell

Part of this progressive mindset is to soften or eliminate the word of God to fundamental truths. Many religions teach hell is non existent or just separation from God. This is to make people “feel” comfortable or to prey off their ignorance however; God’s word hasn’t changed. Rewriting the Bible to fit your desires or teaching false doctrines does not change God’s word!

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Love vs. Hate

One of the largest areas of contention/ willful ignorance that is propogated is that there is nothing that God hates, that He is only love.

The verses they cling to are:

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.


1 John 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

However they are willfully ignorant of:

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Deuteronomy 16:22  Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.

Noah Webster: Abhor – To hate extremely, or with contempt; to lothe, detest or abominate

Psalms 78:59  When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:

Leviticus 26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.

10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.

11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.

12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;

15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:

16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.


In the ‘60’s, a TV show set out to provide a mindset of exploration and adventure being pitched as “the wagon train to the stars”. Gene Roddenberry sought to provide a glimpse of society from the viewscreen of a starship. In this show called Star Trek, he identified issues of the day and attempted to provide a solution that a utopian mindset might solve.

If you’ve ever watched the original series you will see that while the option was presented, it was never really the solution. It always seemed to stop short of a being the best option, leaving a question of whether there was a better solution.

Years after the show was cancelled, fan popularity brought back a Motion Picture in 1979 that revisited the slogan: “To seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where noone has gone before.”

The interesting comparison and perhaps the opening that gave Star Trek it’s extraordinary longevity is the fact that during those same years, Christians we’re beginning to be shamed for having the answer that society was so much searching for.

If fact, when Christians began to be silent, society began to go boldly looking for the answer.

In the 60’s the Bible and Prayer were removed from schools, the Apollo 8 Astronauts were sued for reading Genesis aloud on their flight to the moon, homosexuality became a protected legal status in 1967; all the while Christians continue to become more passive and increasingly silent.

On this 40th anniversary of Star Trek the Motion Picture, I think it is appropriate to look at those in the Bible who have boldly gone on before us, having the very answer humanity needs and refusing to be silent. Their lives and precious words can empower us to boldly do the same.

Consider these great heroes of our faith:

  • Moses Boldly went into Egypt to say let my people go.
  • Abraham boldly went into new civilization when God said to go.
  • King David boldly went before his enemies with the power of God
  • Elijah boldly stood before the 450 prophets of Baal and the people saying: “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.”
  • Jesus, Paul, Phillip, Barnabus, Apollos, Pricilla, Aquila, Timothy and John ALL had a testimony of preaching the Gospel and BOLDLY taking the gospel… where it had never gone before.

You don’t have to have a Bible degree to be bold.

Acts 4:13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

People can tell when you have spent time with Jesus.

Boldly speak the truth

Ephesians 3:12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him

With boldness comes knowledge of where our power comes from.

1 Corinthians 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Ephesians 6:19  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

To keep Christians silent society has shamed the truth, diluted the Bible, populated false teachers, and called evil good and good evil.

Boldness from the Pulpit to the People

2 Corinthians 7:4  Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.

Boldness of the People to the World

Colossians 1:23  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;


The final frontier is not the exploration of space or the exploration of our minds; the final frontier is souls. It takes boldness for a Pastor to speak truth and boldness of the people to take the Gospel message to a lost and dying world. Outside these doors lies the greatest adventure you could ever know, Christians have been taught to fear it, hide from it and not speak against it.

But we are told to Boldly Go by our headquarters; to set our coordinates on souls, and perhaps take the Gospel where it has never gone before. Because Christians have been silent for so long… that may be across the street, rather than across the world.


As homes and apartments continue to be built for our ever-growing population, the challenge of space management seems to take center stage. These homes and apartments get smaller and smaller leaving people with the question “Where do I put all my stuff?”

You might ask even, “Why is these tips on a biblical training site?” … Simply testimony. As a Pastor and Chaplain my family was/is constantly pulled in 20 different directions, making it a challenge to keep a clean home. Nothing is more embarrassing than to have a drop-in visitor to find my home to be a mess, it makes for a poor testimony.

So in this article I will look at additional tips and tricks to help keep your busy home a good testimony for the Lord (and help keep your sanity).

Replace and Remove

If you’re like so many of us, we hate to throw things away. I mean, surely we’ll have a use for that one day; right? And so, begins the clutter. A good rule of thumb to help keep your home clutter free is to have the mindset of “replace and remove”. This practice simply helps you make a habit to replace those things that you are upgrading, such as a small appliance; then remove the old one. You might even consider having a yard sale or donating those old items to help keep the clutter down.

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

We’ve all heard this adage, but now it’s time to put it in the practice. By only keeping and utilizing those things that you need, it helps to cut down on clutter, simple; right? Often this is easier said than done. Especially when moving from a larger home to a smaller home or apartment, you’ve accumulated stuff that simply doesn’t have a place in your new home. To help overcome this challenge it will be noteworthy to categorize the different rooms within your home and what you actually need on a day-to-day basis. Then looking for appropriate storage for those things that you don’t use on a day-to-day basis.

The Three-month Rule

Part of having a place for everything and everything in its place is to have, as previously mentioned, appropriate storage for things that you don’t use on a day-to-day basis. Once you put something into storage (closet or cabinet) comes in the three-month rule. If you don’t need it or use it over a three-month period of time, you might not need it at all!

Clean As You Go

One of the things that we teach our kids when talk about home organization, cleaning or clutter removal is to adopt the mindset of “clean as you go”. This practice goes a long way to help keep your home clean and clutter free. If you clean up when you get done… You don’t to clean it up later. Which brings us to the next point:

Store your items where you use them

With our busy lives here it’s easy to identify a task and simply say “I’ll do it later”. If your storage is in a different room or on the other side of the apartment, it’s easy to just leave it for later; only later comes later everyday. Before you know it, you’re dealing with a cluttered mess that you will need more time to clean and organize than if you would have planned to keep the storage and the location closer together.

By organizing your home to store your items in the same room or area that you are using them: such as office supplies stored in the desk or CDs and DVDs in the entertainment center; it’ll help you be able to quickly put away those cluttered items before it becomes a bigger problem.

Take Time to Plan

When setting up a new house or apartment you should take time to think carefully about what’s going where and how it’s going to be used. In doing so you can set up or purchase additional storage, for those little things that can cause clutter, so you can keep and maintain a well organized room.

The Skeleton in the Closet

Have a place where all of that extra little clutter can go, call it a junk drawer or a box that is in the bottom of the closet. Wherever you can put those things that don’t have a place to go, but you can’t really get rid of them. Hopefully, over a period of time you can decrease that box of clutter using the three-month rule. But until then at least it won’t be causing clutter on your counters and tables.



The more I visit homes to work with parents and children; the more I realize that the art of cleaning seems to have skipped a generation (or 2). I speak to many well intentioned people that never really learned how to clean or organize their home. Regardless of the reasons, I know there are a number of things that can get in the way of keeping your home in showroom fashion. However, the largest one, is often the easiest one; time.

In this article we are going to point out a few time savers that can help keep your home clean on a daily basis.

Clean As You Go

Procrastination is such an easy thing to do; but it also has the largest ramifications. Often times putting off until tomorrow becomes the next day and the next day. By taking a few quick moments to clean as you go, you frankly; won’t need to “clean house” as often. Momma always said: “You make the mess, you clean it up”. Well, momma has the right idea. If you clean something in each room as you use it; it makes “house work” a simpler chore.

Use Cleaning Wipes

Convenience is something that can be worth the price. Cleaning wipes are a convenient and easy way to clean your home as you go; without the extra prep time. By having cleaning wipes, for example the Clorox brand wipes; in each room you can quickly wipe the counters, toilet, mirrors, table and sinks. This saves the time of finding a sponge, getting the water and detergent, wiping and drying and putting it all way. A cleaning wipe allows you to wipe and walk and get back to the things you want to do.

The No Shoe Rule

As with most homes, keeping the floors clean is a daily chore. Dirt, mud, snow and more gets tracked through the house making a big mess to deal with. Having a “no shoe rule” means having everyone to remove their footwear before entering the home. You can even get a shoe rack or box to place the shoes in outside the doors.

Clutter Chaos

If there is something that can make a clean house look dirty; clutter is it. Mail, clothes, shoes, dishes, magazines, blankets and toys are all things that make a clean house look dirty. It’s amazing how any of these things left out can get the instant reaction and impression that the house is dirty. (although it might be). By just taking a few minutes to deal with the daily mail, put away the toys after you’re done, putting the shoes away, straightening up the magazines; you get the picture, it can really make a big difference on how clean a house really feels.


Nothing like finishing up a hard days’ work to come home to the kids rooms all a mess. However, with every situation is a teaching opportunity. It’s amazing how many thinks that just because they are the “Pastor’s Kids” that they are going to keep their room better than any other child. In this article we will look at some useful tips to help keep your kids room organized and clean. (or at least try)

Is the problem too many toys?

As a parent I have to say that when my kids were young, I bought them toys all the time. Happy meal toys, dollar toys, birthday toys, Christmas… really, I spoiled them; I admit it. What that led to though, is a room with more stuff than storage; and more items than interest.

In making the mindset of organization and cleaning I really needed to ask myself: “Is the problem that they have too much?” If I was going to set them up with a good pattern to follow, I needed to condense the conundrum and get rid of the toys they didn’t play with anymore.

Everything has a Place and Everything in its Place

After you have gone through the chore of condensing, there is a time of training that needs to take place. The younger you start the better; but training is part of getting the child to understand the need of keeping the room clean. Naturally setting the ensample is important, showing them how and making it a consistent chore will lead to good habits. Reinforce that with keeping your stuff clean and organized as well.

Storage, Storage, Storage

Its hard to put everything in its place if there is no place to put it. Evaluating the storage needs and equipping the room with appropriate storage; will help keep everything looking tidy and proper.

Labeling will help school age children keep things organized and teach a proper path to putting things where they belong; rather than just throwing things in cubbies just to “make it look clean”. Parental guidance will be needed to consistently check to make sure the kids are putting things where they properly go.

Clean As You Go

If you read many of my articles you will know that I advocate the “clean as you go” mindset. This mindset will help the child understand that if they clean as they finish, there is nothing left to clean later. This mindset, coupled with storage and training, can go a long way to helping the child keep their room clean.

The Building Blocks of Success

If we look at each task or chore we have our children do as a building blocks to a responsible work ethic; it takes some of the aggravation of constantly repeating ourselves out. Each opportunity teaches the child to have responsibility, exercise self-control, organizational skills, time management; are all things that can be learned from consistent training and chores.

Naturally you can make cleaning fun for the younger children by making it a game; however, school aged children should learn that responsibilities are as much a part of life and the rewards they bring.

It’s no secret in this day and time that young people today lack many of the “work hard” traits that we reflect on as a core principle. Finding a young person that exhibits a work ethic is literally a diamond in the rough. As a business owner and parent; I would like to take this article to reflect on some core values and more specifically: the importance of chores.

Setting the Ensample

Do as I say, not as I do. For years I have heard this expression and disliked it. It might sound good when you’re talking to a six-year-old child; but, in reality it avoids our personal responsibility to teach our children based upon our words AND our actions. Often times a young person’s solid work ethic comes from watching the work ethic of their parents. By showing them what hard work looks like our children will see hard work as “normal” rather than the exception.

The biblical term that best describes this is called the ensample. The difference between an example and ensample is this:

  • An example is telling them how to do something
  • An ensample is showing them how to do something

By setting the ensample for our children we can help produce in them a strong work ethic that will lay the foundation of success for many years to come.

Everybody Hates Chores (but everybody need chores)

Household chores are simply a way to help children become acclimated with work. However, if used properly; chores can also teach children responsibility and accountability. Simply doing chores to get them done, without accountability, is just a way to get free labor; we should rather use chores as a teaching tool. Just as an employer would challenge their employees to complete the task as stated, chores should be handled with the same responsibility and accountability.

As stated: Completing a task the way that you or told or shown how to do. Not how you think or perceive the task should be completed.


If the chore is to take out the trash, was it done exactly as stated? Was it taken out on time? Did the trashcan get cleaned? Did a new trash bag get placed in the trashcan? By following through and making sure that the chore was completed as stated you identified to the child your expectation. By holding the child accountable for the proper completion of the chore you help teach them the same accountability that they should have when working for an employer or later on… for their customer!

Holding the child accountable for the completion of the task to be done exactly as stated requires as much work for the parent as it does for the child. The child should know that our most important goal is that they learn how to complete a task as stated. (Not how they think it should be done). If we, as parents, do not check that the task was completed as stated (to our complete satisfaction) we show them that they can get away with slacking on the task; thus identifying our work ethic towards their learning. Remember we should never consider chores as free labor, it should always be utilized as an opportunity to teach a solid work ethic.

A Real World Example

A few years ago, I listened to the frustration of one of my customers who owned a Sonic drive-thru. He expressed his frustration that it seems like, to him; that he had to teach young people how to work as much as he had to teach the responsibilities of the job. He had to teach young people that had graduated high school how to properly wash their hands, how to count back change, how to speak to others with respect and how to properly perform a task, completely, as stated. Basically, he was frustrated because he had to become their parent rather than their employer. Those young people that were taught a solid work ethic generally found themselves in a management position inside of three months.

A Final Thought

This article was not meant to point out the problems with anyone’s parenting abilities. Nor was it meant to identify that somehow my capabilities to parent were better than anyone else’s. However, I think we all can agree that there has been a decline of a strong work ethic in our young people. As a business owner and as a parent, I am always evaluating my role and willingness to share the lessons that I have learned. If there’s ever room to improve, I want my children to seek those improvements; to go further, be better and achieve higher levels of success. I also know that in order for them to go beyond my means they will need a foundation that is as strong as that will to achieve.