Monday, February 16, 2009


Last night on the farm was somewhat busy and restless as we have our closest encounter with coyotes since we have been here. I didn't hear them but Gustav (our nighttime guard dog) and Kay heard what sounded like plenty of them. I'm used to hearing them yelp in the distance but Kay said they were close and were not only yelping but howling.

Kay woke me as I had already gone to bed and I went out into the pasture at midnight to check on the animals (all of which were fine). I listened for about twenty minutes and then fired off a couple of warning shots with my shotgun to scare them away if they were still around. The rest of the night was filled with light sleeping but it was quiet.

It makes me think about the spiritual battlefield that where we are all presently standing. Just like a sheep in our pasture with coyotes stalking around in the dark; we are sheep in a pasture with satan's demonic forces stalking about.

There is one vital difference though. As Christ Followers, we are protected from the stalking forces by the Holy Spirit. We must be on our guard with the armor of God on our bodies and realize that we are indeed on a battlefield but the battle is not ours to fight, it is God's and he will fight for us. We must just be prepared.

I am so thankful that I have a God that cares enough about me to be my Shepherd and my defender.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In God We Trust

As I read news of 300 people being laid off from Piper Aircraft in my little town of Vero Beach, Florida, I am reminded of the motto that is on the coins and paper money in the United States of America.

"In God We Trust" is something that our eyes probably glance on every day. Do we REALLY trust God though. Sure, it is easy to say that I trust God during the good times when money is in our bank accounts and we are healthy. But what about when the money is short and there is no job available? Do we continue to trust God in the same way?

The Israelites HAD to trust God for their daily provisions when they were in the desert for forty years, they had no other choice. Can I do the same? Am I called to do the same EVEN when I do have a good job, bills are being paid and my family is healthy and happy? I believe that we are indeed called to trust the same way.

I have to admit that it is difficult though and as we read Exodus, it was hard for the Israelites then also. That does not diminish what I SHOULD be doing. God, help us in our unbelief that you will provide... that you will sustain... that you will provide a way. God, please come to the point of our need.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spiritiually Leading Takes Responsibility

As the husband and father in my family, I am called by God to be the Spiritual Leader of my family. I see this extending even to my two son-in-law's as they in turn develop spiritual leadership in their new families.

I was reminded this morning in my quiet time how much responsibility that this entails. Just as Moses was the spiritual leader of the Isrealites during the forty years in the desert, I am to be a lead and guide to my family to constantly point them to God. My pastor said it well in church several weeks ago... He (God) is the Shepherd and spiritual leaders are the under-shepherds that help guide the flock.

As a Spiritual Leader, I must take responsibility when someone under my care falls. Where did I fall short and how can I change to become a better leader? How can I help to lift them back up and place them back on God's path for their life?

I was reminded of how I let distractions enter into my personal time with God. I have made some changes that will lessen these distractions. Before I start looking at the morning news stories, I will get my devotions and prayer with God done first. Sounds simple enough and I get up early to do just that but so many times, I let the morning news crowd out this time.

One other thing that I am doing is that my prayers will be deliberate and with purpose. Although it isn't a formula for prayer, a good format is known as ACTS. A is adoration, praising God for who He is. C is confession, looking back at yesterday and confessing the times that I have fallen short of His goals for me. T is thanksgiving, thanking Him that He is a God of second chances. Finally, S is for supplication. Not focusing on things that I want but things that I need to do His work. Lifting others in intercessory prayer. As the spiritual leader of my household, lifting my family in each of the activities going on in their lives.

I'm being deliberate in my prayers by writing them down and then kneeling in a submission to God, praying them out loud to Him. I'm doing this to keep distractions to a minimum. If I am voicing my prayers, my mind is not wandering on dozens of other things. I want to be focused totally... completely on Him.