A Godly Student

It is back to school time. Whether you go to a public or private school or are home schooled and meet with other students from time to time, you must make sure that you live properly before others.

Some of your class-mates may not care about serving God at all. They may be more interested in things that you know displease God. Though you have to be around such people, you do not have to be like them.

1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us that friends who do not serve God could teach us to do ungodly things. We can pick up filthy words from people who use foul language. These words do not please or glorify God, Colossians 3:8.

If our close friends get angry quickly, we can develop bad tempers, Proverbs 22:24-25. A person who loses his temper does not glorify God, James 1:19-20.

Some people like to do many things that destroy themselves and others. They may drink alcohol, use drugs, or look at magazines and movies that they should not see. They will think you are strange if you do not do it either:

For you spent enough time in the past doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in sensuality, sinful desires, drunkenness, wild celebrations, drinking parties, and detestable idolatry. They insult you now because they are surprised that you are no longer joining them in the same excesses of wild living. 1 Peter 4:3-4 (ISV)

Even if people do insult you, you do not have to please them. They will have to answer to God for the way they lived if they do not repent. You know you will be judged by God; therefore, you should not follow their evil ways.

When I was in school, choosing to do the right thing meant that I was not always popular with my friends. Sometimes when they wanted to do something wrong and I told them I would not, others took courage and did not do the wrong thing.

Sometimes I had to let them go without me because they would not do right and I would not do wrong. Make friends of people who want to please God and encourage one another to do right.

Back to School

For many of you a new school year has arrived. When you go back, don’t forget to go with the Lord. There may be temptations to do wrong things, talk about others, or choose friends who will not influence you to do what is right. Be sure to stand strong against those temptations as they will not only lead to problems now but may ultimately draw you away from a closer relationship with God. You will be much happier doing the right thing, even when it seems like you are the only one. You are to be a light! And when you do what is right, you may be surprised at how many others will have the courage to also stand for what is right. I pray that you will stand strong and enjoy a joyful school year.

Michael Jackson: A Cautionary Tale

Michael Jackson had fame from youth, earned incredible millions, considered the greatest in his work, adored by millions–all the things that so many people seek. Yet he was haunted by his troubled youth, insecure and unhappy with his appearance, failed in marriage, lost his millions and accumulated excessive debt, fought addiction to painkillers, and was dubbed Wacko Jacko by the public and media that formerly praised him.

MJ is an American Tragedy and cautionary tale. Fame and fortune will not bring you joy or fill a void in your soul. Some of the happiest, content, and noble people you will meet live simple lives unnoticed by the cult of personality and insignificant to Wall Street or Hollywood Blvd. Yet they are genuinely loved and love sincerely, are content with what they have, take joy in the simple pleasures in life, and follow the wisdom taught by God. They are men and women of whom the world is not worthy. They care not that the world doesn’t know them only that God knows their name and it is in His Book of Life. Some will scoff at this simplicity yet by abandoning these simple things many live tortured, miserable, and unsatisfying lives as they strive to catch the wind. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” He loses eternal joy and loses himself along the way.

Be content with who you are, who you love, and what you have. “What your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Trust and serve the one who created you because His word can guide you through the rocky shoals that lay waste to the lives of those who do not seek His help, guidance, and strength.

MJ had great opportunities and talents but got lost along the way. He could not find joy and contentment because he looked in the wrong places. I mourn his death–not of a pop icon but of a tragic life that could have been so different.

I hope your life story has a happy ending. You will write it by the actions of today. If you live a contented life with God, you will have greater riches than Michael Jackson ever enjoyed in his life and your death will not be a tragedy but a victory.

New Year – New Goals

Happy New Year!

I hope this will be a prosperous and joyful new year for you and that you will be blessed with good health and good relationships. As many are making plans for the new year, I hope you will make goals that will draw you closer to God. There are several pages under the Articles tab that might be useful as you make goals and try to start good habits this year.

I’m sorry that I have not written since early December but in addition to the typical holiday chaos of a six person household, my wife and I directed the FC Alabama Winter Camp last week so much time was spent in preparation for camp. It was a rewarding week and I feel uplifted from the few days there.