Monday, March 26, 2012


During the past year I have published several electronic books on Amazon Kindle. My most successful work so far is DAILY WALK WITH JESUS, a daily devotional, of which I've sold 120 e-copies (1/3 of total sales).

I've begun work on a companion to DWWJ which I am entitling, DAILY WORD FROM JESUS. It will contain 365 original devotions based on the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew. I hope to have DWFJ out on Amazon Kindle by mid-summer. Here is an excerpt from DAILY WORD FROM JESUS.

Matthew 4:10 - “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’”

Sometimes a person has to push back at evil, to yell at the bad influences of life, to shout at the Devil. Jesus has had enough in His Word for today. After being enticed three times by Satan, Jesus told him to get lost. The vanity and foolishness of old evil foe shows itself here. He's neither as smart nor as powerful as people may think he is. If he was, he would have known tempting Jesus was a waste of time.

Jesus' Word for today directs us towards worship and service. Worship is showing God His worth, and it can occur in many aspects of life. We not only worship God in organized liturgy, we also worship Him by service in our daily lives. We serve God best by serving others. 

Think how you might serve other people today. Is there someone at work, in your neighborhood or among your friends who needs a word of encouragement? Does your spouse or child need to hear you say, "I love you"? Does anyone need to hear you say, "I'm sorry"?

Worshipping God comes from a grateful heart. It is good to be thankful each day, thankful to God and thankful to those around us. Who can you thank today? Worshipping God, serving God, thanking God - all these are gifts you can give, gifts from a grateful heart.

I hope DWFJ will be a blessing to all who read it.

"BOBBY WAS A FARMER BOY" (For children):
"MURDER AT PALM CREEK" (A fun "Whodunnit?"):
"SMALL TOWN PREACHER" (My second church):
"COUNTRY PREACHER" (My first church):
"DAILY WALK WITH JESUS" (Daily devotionals):

Monday, March 19, 2012


Many years ago a man and his wife took their young son to a circus that had come to their midwestern town. It was a small, run-down affair with a few mangy "wild" animals, some skinny horses, an old elephant and some plywood booths set up around the main tent. There for a few quarters people could pop a balloon with a dart, ring the bell with a big hammer and win a cigar, or loop a bottleneck with a wooden ring and win a trinket.

Under the "Big Top" people in the stands watched several acts in its one center ring. Near the end of the show, the trapeze flyer climbed the steps high up to the top of the tent and began swinging on her trapeze. This "lovely lady" swung out, let go, turned a summersault in the air and was caught. The catcher swung her back to her platform, and they repeated the act a few more times. The daring lady on the flying trapeze was the high point of the show and certainly got the most applause.

The young boy thought she was amazing, and on the way home told his Dad she was the star of the show. But his Dad said, "I think the catcher was the star. Good thing he didn't drop her!" His mother added, "God is like that with us, son. We have lots of ups and downs in life, even some scary loops. But in the end, God is there to catch us and bring us safely to heaven."

Life is indeed a risky business filled with twists and turns. Jesus once told His disciples, "I am going to prepare a place for you, and I will come again to take you there, so that you can be with me forever." (John 14:1-3). So be encouraged. Jesus the Divine Catcher is waiting to bring you safely home.

Here I come, Jesus, catch me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This time of year in Casa Grande, AZ, we begin bidding farewell to friends returning home after the winter season. Home is always in another state or province. Some long to go home to beloved family and neighbors, or just to plant flowers and see how the house survived the winter. One man even said he longed to shovel a little snow before spring came - imagine that!

One of my favorite symphonies is Antonin Dvorzak's New World Symphony #9 which he wrote after visiting America during the 19th Century. In it he incorporated the haunting melody from a spiritual called "Going Home." Its opening words are: "Going home, going home, I'm just going home."

Yesterday Carol and I watched another kind of home going during a Rockies pre-season baseball game. For the first few innings, our team could not bring a runner home no matter what. The other team brought a couple of its runners across home plate, but our team could not.

Then came the seventh inning. Friends with us decided to leave early, so they missed all the action. It started when the opposing pitcher couldn't find home plate or the strike zone. He walked three batters, gave up a hit and loaded the bases with no outs. He walked one of our boys home, then another. Then he hit a batter scoring another run and was replaced. The new pitcher immediately allowed a long fly ball, the catcher threw high during a base steal, and one of our new boys hit a three run homer. In all, eight players made it safely home as the Rockies beat the Padres 11-2. Twice the umpire shouted, "Safe!" as a runner crossed home plate. It is a fun game when your players come home more than theirs do.

"Safe at home" - that has a good sound to it. It is said home is the place that if you go there they have to take you in. We all have a home somewhere, a dwelling with people, memories and hopefully lots of love. Carol and I have two houses, one small and another even smaller, and we've made both of them our home. Yet we know the earthly homes we have are not our eternal home. That home will be with the Lord, as He told us in John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many rooms... I am going there to prepare a place for you."

Jesus once healed a man with demons and then told him, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." (Luke 8:39) We will meet many loved ones in God's Eternal Home for us, and I pray that all who read this will one day join us there.

Meanwhile, we can enjoy our homes here and share what God has done for us.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Dr. Martin Luther was a prolific writer, teacher and preacher. His passion was to explain the Bible as God's Word for all the ages, so that the Gospel of Jesus could be made known and believed. Over time several compilations of his writings have been collected by people who have read and studied his works carefully. One of these collections, "Biblical Claims and Treasures,"(Spruch und Schatzkastlein) was published by Johann Christoph Schinmeyer of Saxony in 1925.

Rev. E. W. Merz, a Lutheran pastor now with the Lord, owned a German copy of Schinmeyer's book and translated some of those "treasures" into English. Rev. Merz's son Ed Merz, a retired Lutheran school teacher, recently gave me one such translated "treasure" based on Psalm 62:8, "Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge." Here is what Dr. Martin Luther wrote, based on this encouraging passage. It's about how a Christian can pray to God.

"Are you ill-at-ease or heart-sick about something? Well then, for that there is good advice. Pour out your heart before Him and be free to complain to Him. Don't hold anything from God. Whatever it may be, cast it out in heaps before Him, as when you completely reveal your heart's concern to a dear friend. He likes to hear and is glad to help and give advice. Don't be shy and afraid that you are asking too much. Think not that your request it too great or too much. Out with it! Confidently, even if it may seem a pack full of idle petitions. God is great and is content to do more than our weak minds can ask or think. Don't mince your plea with Him, for God is not like man who would grow weary of your much begging and asking. The more you ask, the more He likes to hear. Only pour it out clean, and all of it, without dribbling or trickling. He too, will in like manner, with His boundless mercy, pour out His super-abundant blessings that will submerge and overwhelm your sinful shortcomings."

Some people have said that Luther does not speak to our concerns today, implying that he is old-fashioned or out of date. This is not true. Martin Luther's explanations of Bible passages transcend the ages and speak quite clearly to people of all times who seek to know the Holy Scriptures. Luther helps us understand the Psalmist urging us again, "Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."

Thank you to the Merz's, Rev. E.W. and his son Ed, for providing Luther's encouraging words for us today.