Friday, December 14, 2012

3 Considerations in the Battle of Good vs. Evil

"Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die" (Proverbs 11:19). If you have been searching for the key to life, look no further than God's word. It gives us the answer to everything we need. The secret to life has fascinated mankind since the beginning. Adam and Eve did not have to contemplate the brevity of life till they were booted out of the garden and given the death sentence because of their sin. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and all have sinned (3:23), nobody can live forever since sin entered the world through Adam. With that said, everyone can expect one of two things in the battle of good vs. evil, life or death. What path are you traveling?

The second consideration in the battle is this, "Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight" (Proverbs 11:20). What a terrible class to be placed in if you are an abomination to the Lord. Anyone who sins is an abomination. The wise man did not talk of levels of sin, but simply noted crooked hearts. Where is your heart? That is where your treasure is (Matthew 6:21). Set your heart on Christ's kingdom and be God's delight.

A third consideration, "Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered" (Proverbs 11:21). Do not let Satan deceive you as he did Adam and Eve. Part of his deception was that no punishment would come upon them. Satan still uses that lie today. One would think after thousands of years people would catch on to his tricks and he would have to come up with something new. This same deception works today though. Satan is whispering to you, "No one will ever know." Resist his lies and James tells us he will flee from us (James 4:7).

Why should humans be concerned about death when we are told how to avoid it? We have a choice in everything we do. With those choices come certain consequences. These will end up in life or death. What changes do you need to make?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Violent Men Get Riches

Don't let your actions be reactions. Some people have the mentality that the best thing to do is wait to see what happens. This is often a necessary and wise philosophy, but this ought not be the mindset for our attitudes. For example, when someone mistreats you or lies to you the reaction is often one of defense. In this defense you may end up lying back and/or mistreating that person in return. If this is the case, you may be letting your actions simply be reactions. You can change this by aligning your principles beforehand so your actions will be proactive rather than reactive.

The wise man wrote, "A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches. A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself. The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward" (Proverbs 11:16-18). If you wait for grace to be given in order to give, you may never get around to it. The wise man encourages a proactive grace. When you wait to be honored without being yourself gracious, do not hold your breath. In a sense, the common saying holds true to this proverb, what goes around comes around. The wise man went on to describe violent men who may obtain riches, but true honor is not due them. Same goes for those who are kind, kindness will be returned. Likewise, if you are a jerk, don't be surprised when others are jerks to you. Be proactive in graciousness and kindness before others interact with you.

Are you interested in riches? It's intriguing that the scriptures never talk negatively about money itself, but does give fierce warning to how riches are obtained and to the ones obtaining them. Do not let your wages be deceptive. My high school history teacher, Mrs. Osborne, used to tell us, "Don't back up to the pay window." In other words, work hard, be honest, and treat others with integrity. These actions need to be proactive. When they are then honor, grace, and kindness will be due you, if not here, then in eternity.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Co-signing Is Stupid

Some instruction in the Bible is just plain hard to swallow. Verses discuss the need for self-control, don't be a glutton, gossip is sinful, etc. I just don't want to hear about it. God did not intend for his people to pick and choose which parts of his word fits their lives best and just lean on them. We are to keep all of his commands if we love him. Sometimes, people go against wise counsel and instruction, not out of rebellion, but what they're confusing as a generous heart. Instruction is given so that in times of weakness and confusion there are established principles to live by.

There are many opportunities to do something we think is helpful, but in reality it is only harmful. When a worm goes into its cocoon and starts to break out, if you tear the cocoon for it in an effort to help its struggle then you have essentially paralyzed it and it will die. The reason being that it did not have the opportunity to build the strength in its wings to fly from the struggle of breaking through the cocoon. People treat their struggling friends and family the exact same way. Solomon wrote, "Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure" (Proverb11:15). You might be thinking, this is for a stranger though, if I co-sign for a friend or family that's different. Proverbs 17:18 carries the same principle, but in regards to a "neighbor."

When we start to justify actions that go against the advice of God's word we get into deep mud. If that struggling family member could just get ahead they would be alright. That may be the case, but it is not justification for doing something stupid. If you have the money and want to give it to them to help along the way, that is one thing. As long as you're not enabling their poor choices, it can be helpful. If you don't have the money, but could co-sign a loan with them, the wise man says that is harmful. If you think you are helping, believe God, you're not.

Monday, November 19, 2012

2 Philisophical Approaches of the Harding University President Selection

It has been said that "change is always a great thing."  At least that's how Fred Armisen quoted it in a recent Today Show interview concerning his role with NBC's Saturday Night Live.  There is also the saying that seems to contradict this philosophy, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  So which philosophy is best?

Harding's New President: Dr. Bruce McLarty
He will take office in June 2013 after a 26 year long presidency of Dr. David Burks.  In the decision making process of who would be the next president for the university, many differing opinions were given.  These differing opinions, for the most part, could be categorized under one of the two philosophies mentioned.  Now that the decision is final, some have classified the decision to go with Dr. McLarty as, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Some have spoken out about how they think Harding should move forward in their thinking and be more open to new ideas and groups of people that have been banned from campus in the past.  These people claim that the decision to go with Dr. McLarty will not promote this path.  They say that with the last several years of record enrollment, Harding decided to go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach and this is the wrong move.

McLarty is Not the "Don't Fix It" Candidate
I don't think anyone would agree that Harding is not broken.  By broken I mean like any other institution or human.  It's broken, in need of Christ.  So the mentality of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" simply doesn't fly with this presidential decision.  Harding needs fixing.  I need fixing.  Harding needs change just as I need change.  Dr. McLarty brings just that to the table.  A fresh perspective on the much needed fixing and change.  He's certainly not the one bringing the fix or the change as none of the other candidates would, only Christ does that.

The Board's Recognition that "Change is Always a Good Thing"
You have to be careful when using absolutes.  When it comes to keeping certain people/groups off campus that say/do things contrary to the Bible, this does not need to change.  Jesus and the apostle talk about the importance of resisting false teachers.  Harding does need to change in how they can better resist this encroachment because again, she is not perfect.  I believe the Board of Trustee's decision had in mind that Dr. McLarty is the needed change for the university.  This doesn't suggest I think past leadership was terrible, just imperfect, like me.  Change is always a good thing because we can always be better.  We will never be perfect, which means there will always be room for improvement.  Improvement requires change.  I am excited about that improvement with HU's new president.  I am excited about how Harding will change, hopefully for the good, in the future.

We all need to improve.  What changes are necessary for that to happen?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sermon Updates

Several sermons have been added to iTunes for your free download.  Get convicted today and subscribe at

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Multiple Offers Return as Buyers are Back

This article by Steve Cook makes an interesting case for a great time to list your house for sale.  Do not let the fear that the news pumps out dictate your life and decisions.  Get educated!  This article found at

RISMEDIA, Monday, July 09, 2012— Record tight inventories are making it increasingly difficult for growing numbers of buyers, who are creating multiple-bid environments in markets that haven’t seen buyers battle over homes in six years.

Buyers are back but sellers aren’t, especially in Western markets recovering from large volumes of foreclosures. The result is that inventories are still tightening as the spring buying season ends. Buyers are fighting over what’s available, often to the benefit of those sellers who took a risk in this year’s evolving marketplace.

Prices are reported to be on the uptrend with 62 percent of REALTORS® reporting constant or increasing prices compared to the same time a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS’® (NAR) REALTOR® Confidence Index for May29 -June 8, 2012 that was released recently.

Buyer demand is reported to be growing faster than supply, and many REALTORS® are reporting multiple offers. However, buyer foot traffic slowed in May compared to last year, perhaps as buyers grew discouraged by slim pickings.

However, buyer traffic is still well above the moderate level, but seller traffic is flat, according to the NAR survey. First-time homebuyers accounted for 34 percent of total buyers. Normally first-time buyers are in the neighborhood of 40 percent of total residential sales, according to NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

A majority of the 145 markets monitored by NAR Research experienced slower foot traffic in May of this year relative to the same time in 2011. The data, provided by SentriLock, LLC., is based on the total number of visits to properties as recorded on electronic clock boxes. Foot traffic was lower over the 12 months ending in May in 60 percent of the markets, while 35 percent expanded and 5 percent were unchanged. This moderating pattern suggests a broad based decline in the late spring following an equally broad-based expansion in the late spring/summer of 2011 and early spring of this year.

Multiple bids are changing the playing field in a number of markets this spring and summer. Many agents new to the business who have little experience with them are dealing with a sudden and unexpected competition for homes brought about by inventors more than 20 percent below those of a year ago.

“Remember the “Roaring ’90s?” Those days when you could list your house on Friday and on Saturday people would be parked in your driveway writing offers and good faith checks on the hood of their cars? Multiple offers were the norm and offered sellers a generous selection of offers from which to choose. Believe it or not. we are experiencing a trend toward multiple offers even in this still difficult market and there is evidence that this trend will continue as buyers compete in a market with limited inventory,” reported REALTOR® Noel Crider of Auburn, Calif.

“The Phoenix Metro Area Housing Market faces multiple offers even in the higher end and luxury market as buyers try to snag homes before the market rises further. We have seen multiple offers for quite some time in the lower price ranges, but now as the market is returning, and returning strong, we are seeing multiple offers in the higher price ranges. We are now seeing multiple offers on homes in the move-up and luxury home market. We are seeing offers that are $50,000 over asking that are not the winning bid. This is causing quite a bit of frustration as buyers are trying to get into a home before the market prices go up further,” reported Brenda & Ron Cunningham, real estate professionals in Arizona.

In Seattle, multiple offers on beginner houses in Seattle are common again reports Phil Leng of Kirkland, Wash. and in Austin, broker Gwynn Teal Carpenter reports, “It’s happened again! We are in one of those real estate markets where we are seeing homes with multiple offers. In Austin Texas, the market is so sizzling hot that it isn’t unusual to have more than 2 offers on a fantastic priced and conditioned home.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Unintentional Pregnancy

It seems very counter intuitive to talk about an unintentional pregnancy with one exception, rape victims.  If a female is raped and gets pregnant as a result, obviously that is an unintentional pregnancy.  All other pregnancies cannot be intelligently described as "unintentional."  Here is a basic lesson that pro-choice advocates have seemed to overlook, pregnancy occurs by sex between a man and a woman.  If people have sex knowing that pregnancy is the natural outcome, they cannot really say that a resulting pregnancy was unintentional.  Call me old fashioned, but if you are not prepared for the possibility of having a child, then you should not be having sex. 
With the one exception mentioned above, all other "unintentional pregnancies" come down to irresponsibility.  Because of this irresponsibility, our nation decides to make it legal to have abortions in order to make up for those irresponsible actions.  I was taught growing up to take responsibility for my actions and abortion is just the opposite of that.  Abortion is literally killing the responsibility that is yours based on the decision you made.  Do not talk to me about unintentional pregnancies when you know good and well the natural outcome of sex.  Sex is a good thing and children are a blessing.  Let us keep these in perspective and take responsibility for our actions.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Realtor Interview Questions

Here are some things to ask when looking for a Realtor:

1. How Long Have You Been in the Business?

2. What is Your Average List-Price-to-Sales-Price Ratio?

3. What is Your Best Marketing Plan or Strategy for My Needs?

4. Will You Please Provide References?

5. What Are the Top Three Things That Separate You From Your Competition?

6. May I Review Documents Beforehand That I Will Be Asked to Sign?

7. How Will You Help Me Find Other Professionals?

8. How Much Do You Charge?

9. What Kind of Guarantee Do You Offer?

10. What Haven't I Asked You That I Need to Know?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inventory of For-Sale Homes Posts Big Drop

Inventory of For-Sale Homes Posts Big Drop

Homes in Searcy, AR are right there with the rest of the nation with low inventory, but that is a good thing for the market as a whole because the demand is rising.   “If the market continues to hold its own, 2012 could well mark the beginning of a broad-based housing recovery,” according to  Things are looking up for the economy and real estate.  Do not allow who is in office to determine your happiness and level of success.  Be responsible for you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Scale of the Universe

I stumbled across this and thought it put the universe into perspective beautifully.
You need Flash player to view.  Enjoy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Called To Ministry

            Upon my arrival to college to study to become a successful business man and preacher “on the side,” I encountered some very uncomfortable language.  First of all, that language of “on the side” sounds harsh in and of itself.  I came to the conclusion that if anything was going to be “on the side” it would be whatever business practice I ended up pursuing.  Another phrase I was uncomfortable with is “going into ministry.”  What does that even mean?  What are you coming “out of” to “go into” ministry?  

            That language has no business entering the ears of anyone, much less someone who is considering ministry for a living.  This may just be a pet peeve with words, but I believe every Christian is in ministry no matter what their occupation.  “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).  Peter did not just speak to the preachers, elders, and deacons.  We are all priests, whether school teachers, administrators, bus drivers, nurses, maintenance workers, electricians, stay-at-home mommies etc.  No Christian can avoid the call to ministry.

            That last statement was another thing that made me uneasy.  People would ask, “What is your calling?”  I would always joke back, “I don’t know, I never got the phone call.”  The language just sounds like everyone should have this great epiphany directly from God about what they are supposed to do in life.  That is not how it works.  Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).  Don’t miss it, “…that by testing you may discern…”  People that sit around and wait for this call from God better not hold their breath.  Knowing God’s will takes action and you can know it.  Whatever your passion is and you decide to do, never forget that each of us entered ministry and its call the day we put on Christ in baptism.  “Of this gospel I was made a minister…” (Ephesians 3:7a).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Lord Surrounds Us

            Some of the most beautiful images of God’s protection resides in the Psalms.  I had another opportunity to visit the Rocky Mountains and the scenery is absolutely breath taking.  Words are hard pressed to describe the overwhelming feeling of being 32,000 feet above sea level and look around to see nothing but snow capped mountain range.  God’s creation is always around us, but those mountains made it feel like his creation had wrapped around me and was giving a bear hug. 

            The Psalmist had similar feelings when he looked at the mountains surrounding Jerusalem.  “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore” (125:1-2). 

            Bobby Price, a song writer, took inspiration from these verses and compiled the lyrics to “Surround Us, O Lord.”  Robert Taylor in his Praise Hymnal thought Psalm 106:47-48 was appropriate for this song as well, “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!”  The song goes like this: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people (Repeat).  Surround us Lord, surround us, O Lord.  We need to be in your presence.  Surround us Lord.  Surround us Lord.”

            What a beautiful and comforting image to think how God surrounds his people.  He is not some distant deity who is out of touch with the world he created and the people he calls his own.  He wants to be a part of us and surround us with his presence and love.  While in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, to look around and see the endless mountain range to me meant that I could not easily escape them.  That’s the picture the psalmist paints.  We cannot easily escape God and ultimately nobody will for one day every knee will bow (Romans 14:11).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


            The doctrine of Scripture is vital for how Christians present the Bible to others.  The world questions things like the Bible’s reliability and if it is really a revelation of God.  Christians even question the doctrine of the scriptures by challenging the necessity of the Old Testament and if God’s presence with us resides solely in a book. 

        The first place often turned to in defense of the reliability of scripture is 2 Timothy 3:16-17, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.(ESV).  This is a powerful text that is hard to deny if one believes that there is a God.  For now we will stick to the doctrine of the scripture for believers in God and deal with Christian evidences later.

A second argument for the reliability of scripture is to consider the prophesies and their fulfillments through the ages, And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19–21).  The Bible is reliable because it contains fulfilled prophecy confirmed by time. 

It is vital that Christians not throw out the Old Testament in their Bibliology.  Paul wrote, For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope(Romans 15:4).  The “Scriptures” the 1st Century Christians had were what Christians today call the “Old Testament.”  They certainly did not call them “old,” but considered them living and active (Hebrews 4:12).  God’s presence resides with us through his Spirit by which Christians speak through the word of God, the Bible, the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are You Still Growing?

            Never stop growing.  People often admire how quickly children grow, but do not recognize as often or as long when someone becomes a babe in Christ.  Hopefully the growth of the Christian does not stop.  So why do people stop taking notice?  Maybe we need to encourage one another more often in spiritual growth.  When was the last time you encouraged someone in a spiritual nature?  Encouragement can go a long ways.  It may just make a terrible day turn bright, and it is free to give.  The only thing it costs you is what God has given you, breath.  This is encouraged in 2 Peter 3:14-18,

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

            Peter wrote this right after he described the end times.  It is urgent that we walk in righteousness since Christ’s second coming can take place at any given second.  With this in mind, Christians have all the more reason to encourage one another and continue in growth.  It can be seen if one measures body weight on a consistent basis that it constantly fluctuates.  If you weigh yourself in the morning it will be different then when you weigh yourself that night.  On a regular day, a person will weigh more in the evening than they did that morning.  Our spiritual weight (i.e. growth) should measure the same way.  Have you grown more spiritually by the end of the day?  If not, then you have not consumed a healthy spiritual diet.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).  Growth comes with a good spiritual diet and encouragement.

Monday, January 30, 2012


            The “study of the last things” is both exciting and frightening.  It should be easy for Christians to say that there is no fear in the second coming.  Revelation tells us who is going to win the spiritual warfare in which we are fighting.  God will overcome evil.  The frightening part is in the unknown.  Nobody knows the day or hour that Jesus will come again, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come…Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake” (Mark 13:32–33, 35-37, ESV).
Jesus states the warning four times to remain “awake,” and once he said “Be on guard.”  The Bible describes how things will unfold in the eschaton, but there is still widespread interpretation of the timing and events of the judgment day and eternity.  “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–2).  Paul then echoes what Jesus said, “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (5:6).  Satan is lulling people away from anticipating the end.
Paul describes how it will be when Jesus does return, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (4:16–17).  What happens then is described in great detail in 2 Peter 3:1-13.  Once everything is burned up and dissolved, a new heaven and a new earth are prepared for the believers and the “second death” for the wicked (Revelation 21:1-8).