Saturday, January 29, 2011


Dear Readers,

John Lennon of the Beatles imagined “living life in peace”, with “no heaven”, “no hell”, and “no religion too”. He was a self-proclaimed “dreamer” that “the world will live as one”.

Is it productive to imagine things? Ephesians 3:20 would indicate it is. Paul wrote, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, …”

Imagining things is also closely tied to hope, and most of us are familiar with the fact that “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5.

So John Lennon was justified to “Imagine” the earth with world peace. It will occur. The way it happens and the source of peace, however, is where he went wrong. It only happens when Jesus lives in our hearts by the Holy Spirit...and when Jesus returns to the earth to rule.

See you next time,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"What Should I Do?"

Dear Readers,

This summer Lebron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team to sign with the Miami Heat. Cleveland sports fans felt betrayed as he finally gave us the best chance to win a championship...and now he was leaving. He made a Nike commercial mimicking the difficulty he had making “The Decision”. The commercial was called, “What Should I Do?”

I am still upset with Lebron’s decision, and many other Cleveland sports heroes that “take the money and run”. I also never liked the fact that Lebron had tattooed on his back “Chosen 1”. My opinion is that no person except One should ever take on that moniker; I don’t care how good he or she is in a given profession.

I do, however, empathize with Lebron’s stated dilemma of making an important decision, and questioning “What Should I Do? Each of us faces life-altering question marks throughout our lifetime. Choosing a spouse, education direction, job or career changes, and moving to a new home are examples. Even seemingly less important choices such as choosing friends or changing churches can affect us dramatically. More recently my wife and I have been made keenly aware of former Amish young men and women making a critical decision to leave the Amish life and move into the strange new “English” world.

I am so thankful and in awe that we have a caring God and His Holy Spirit to consult about life-changing decisions. The Bible is chock-full of promises about us asking, and Him answering our prayers regarding the decisions we make!

I am also very thankful for the many sports stars that do openly acknowledge God and ask Him for divine guidance. They are the ones I want to come to Cleveland to finally bring us a championship.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19 (NIV)

See you next time,

Friday, January 14, 2011

How Will People Read Me?

Dear Readers,

Hal Lebovitz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer died about five years ago. Before he died I greatly anticipated reading his weekly column to hear what he had to say about my beloved Cleveland sports teams. Occasionally he had a week off and I found myself almost in withdrawal.

Great poets, authors, and newspaper columnists use words to great effect and seem to have an understanding of what their readers long for. Their passion about what they write is evident and their words almost pop off the page and into our minds and hearts.

It didn’t matter to me how long Mr. Lebovitz’s column was, I read every word. I was greatly interested in his opinion about the newest coach, manager, or player and how they would fare during the season. He got my juices flowing about the possibility of a stellar season, or occasionally he brought me back to the reality of another season of perpetual rebuilding.

I want people to read the story of my life like I used to read Mr. Lebovitz’s column. I want them to see the passion in which I live life, and try to figure out the source of it. Finally I want them to seek the source of my passion…and find it.

"Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him." Proverbs 30:5

See you next time,  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ask, Seek, Knock!

Dear Readers,

“Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Wow, I need these verses often! I don’t think any more comments are needed.

See you next time,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Become a Celebrity!

Dear Readers,

Growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s I had questions how rock band members, movie actors, TV stars, and especially sports heroes were vaulted into celebrity status. What could I do to become one of them? Did I want to become one of them?

I began my road to celebrity status by watching and emulating my favorite basketball and baseball players on TV. For hours I practiced driving to the lane and pulling up for patented fade-away jump shots to win games like John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics. I pulled down rebounds with the ferocity of Willis Reed of the New York Knicks. I raced to catch liners and sizzling ground balls like Woody Held, Max Alvis, or Rocky Colavito of the Indians.

My road to stardom was thwarted, however, by a lack of talent. I was a fair basketball and baseball player and was in the starting lineup in both sports in high school. My claim to fame was playing against and spending a little time at a conference choir event with Bob Huggins, the now-famed college basketball coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers.

But to thrive and become successful in either sport one had to be more than just good…one had to be ultra-good. I soon came to the realization I was not in that league.

Entertainers for the most part also have an extreme amount of talent. They are either prodigies, or have made themselves prodigies in their given field. In some cases their rising star results from who they know, or having celebrity relatives.

Being a somewhat despondent “wannabe” I recently came upon a Bible verse that I had never seen before that might raise my star appeal. It will not result in my becoming a “household name” in most families. But it may result in my becoming a household name in a few families.

The verse is found in Zechariah 8:23. It states the following: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’ ”

I was not born Jewish, but I am by adoption one of God’s chosen people. Therefore I can draw close to God, and the Bible clearly teaches that if we draw close to Him, He will in turn draw close to us. Then other persons will surely see it and grab onto our sleeve to “come along for the ride”… to heaven.

See you next time,