Archive for the ‘Daily Devotionals’ Category

Is anyone genuinely surprised?

The problem is us, not him.

Sex has become the dominating and defining aspect of our culture.

I am not certain when it all began.

Unfortunately it began long before a married President lied about having sex with a young  intern in the White House, only to find his woman and political party standing by his side.

Unfortunately, our entertainment culture – film, music, literature, theatre and art – not only is rooted in sexual expression, but it’s creators and purveyors  have enriched themselves through rude and crude sexual references … think “Book of Mormon” which was hailed as a “must see” because it was the greatest comedy ever.

Unfortunately, we increasingly hear men, women, boys, girls, and children talking about others as sexual objects.

Unfortunately, we live in a “hook-up” culture where men and women, boys and girls, have no qualms about having sex with a stranger in order to fulfill their immediate sexual desires.  Men use women, women use men.

Unfortunately, we have permitted the killing of millions of babies in the name of “Women’s Rights.” We respect choice more than the sanctity of life.

Unfortunately, sex has become the most important civil right in America.  The LGBTQ community trumpets it’s right to dress, poop and engage in sexual relations any time any where with anyone … and you better not say a word about it or you will be condemned as a closed minded hated-filled idiot.

Unfortunately, our government has redefined marriage and says families can be self-defined.  Our government protects the right of anyone to define their sex and engage in sexual activity based on how they feel today.  Biology is no longer science, it’s an emotion.

Unfortunately, millions of women and children have been used, abused, dumped and abandoned after buying into America’s secular sexual liberalism that says sex is a right you should freely enjoy whenever and however you wish.

Unfortunately, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in America are 28 year old single women with 2 or 3 kids from unknown suitors.

Unfortunately, more children are born into single parent households than not.  Thus we should not be surprised that children frequently out number women in homeless shelters because everyone feels free to have sex, regardless of consequences.

Unfortunately we are outraged over a video instead of our culture.  Remember when you were told to be outraged over a video that led to the death of 4 Americans serving our country.

Unfortunately, America has a far bigger problem than him.

The problem is us … and the culture we have created and embraced.

Don’t be fooled or distracted by disingenuous outrage over a video.

Rus Howard – October 9, 2016

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The Harvest Is Coming

The harvest is getting close.

I do not know this because I am an agriculture expert or a 4H grad who can look at the corn and soybeans and know NOW is the time for the harvest.

So, how do I know the harvest is near?

The farmers are busy prepping and readying their equipment for the harvest.  All day long I can hear combines and collection bins being moved from the barn to the field.

The harvest is at hand.

Farmers know that an equipment failure which results from not being prepared can lead to the loss of a whole crop or significantly reduce the value of the harvest.

The same is true in the spiritual realm of your life.  Even Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons … be ready!”

In Matthew 25, the five who were unprepared regretted their decision.  The five who were prepared rejoiced.  There will come the time when it is too late to be right with God.

Are you prepared for God’s harvest?

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Jack Prelutsky, my favorite author of poetry for children wrote a poem, that includes these words:

I’m the single most wonderful person I know.

I’m witty, I’m charming, I’m smart,

I’m often so brilliant I actually glow …


… I’m uncategorically clever,

there is only one thing that I can’t understand –

why nobody likes me … not ever! (1)


The world has been vexing me lately.  From my perspective, no one sees things my way nor do they want to do things my way.  I cannot understand why everyone does not understand the brilliance of my logic and reasoning.


Surely, nothing is wrong with me.


God made a suggestion to me the other day … Try submitting to others!


Submit and submission are two words which go against the grain of our human nature.  


If you asked me to humble myself and to respect you I would not be so defensive, but please do not ask that I submit to you.  


Submission is demeaning and humiliating when it is forced upon us.


Submission is freeing, when we take it up.


I have decided to practice submitting to others.  While it is hard, I am finding it to be a blessing.  I am finding more peace in trusting God, than in battling others.  I know this peace is from God.  


Peter wrote: “Clothe yourselves with humility … for God gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)


Submission is humility put into practice!




(1) The New Kid on the Block: Poems by Jack Prelutsky, Jack Prelutsky, Greenwillow Books, New York, 1984, p. 137.

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Last evening I was blessed by my stupidity.

My covenant group was meeting and I was responsible for playing the DVD for our study.  The DVD would not play on my computer.  We went to another room to use a real DVD player, only to receive the same technological rejection.

I studied the DVD, noticed a slight smug, cleaned it thoroughly, only to suffer identical results.

We went back to my office and watched the next DVD in the series.  It played perfectly well.  Better yet, the lesson we watched spoke directly to my heart about issues which had my bees buzzing last week.

Afterwards, I shared with the men why bees were buzzing in my head and why I was in an extended grumpy mood last week.  Building from the lesson we watched the men helped me to discern how to get the bees out of my bonnet.

It was a good night.

This morning, I decided to try the failed DVD again.  Before putting it into my computer I looked it over again.  The DVD was perfectly clean.  Then I noticed the label.  I had the wrong disc.

I am grateful that God covers my mistakes.

He turned my stupidity into His blessing.

Romans 8:28 is truth for which I am grateful: “God works all things together for good, for those who love Him.”

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Why do parents tell this to their children?

It is a flat out lie, we know the moment the words flow from our lips.

So, why do we tell this lie, in all of it’s various shapes and forms?

Do we want to believe we are invincible, that the human spirit can conquer any challenge, any obstacle, in all creation?

We can’t and we know it.

So why do we constantly repeat the lie?

Christians are equally adept at telling this lie.  We simply throw God into the lie and smile that all is well.

There are things which God does not want us to do?  Ask Adam and Eve.  Take a look at Exodus 20:13-17, these are the “You shall not …” commands.

There are a million and one things which I cannot and will not ever be able to do by willing my mind or by willing God’s mind.

This is Good News!

I no longer have to be Superman or Super-Christian!

I am grateful, God has limited my capabilities.

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After my second year at seminary, I accepted an internship in the midwest.  I was 23 years old and single. When I left the seminary I had to rent a U-haul trailer to hold all of my belongings.  I was embarrassed that I had so much stuff.

After traveling 1300 miles, with my U-Haul in tow, I finally stopped at a hotel in St. Louis.  After a good day’s sleep and an evening out with friends, I came back to the hotel, only to witness my car being stolen.

I stood in front of my car as the thief sped out of the parking lot.  “Surely, he will stop for me!”  He did not.  Luckily, I realized this in the nick of time.

Distraught, I called the St. Louis Police, who did not seemed as vexed over my situation as I.  The police told me that most likely I would never see the car, trailer, or my stuff again.

As I went up to my room at the hotel despairing that I had lost all I had, Jesus spoke to me saying, “I thought you were embarrassed with all that stuff and wanted to be done with it.  I was just trying to help!”

Jesus was correct.  I rejoiced that my prayers had been answered.  I went to bed in peace.  A new life of saintly austerity was before me.

The police called an hour later.  They found the car and the trailer intact.  I had all my stuff back.  I was vexed, again.  My new future was already re-cluttered.

The hardest part about following Jesus is being willing to give up all our stuff.  Jesus advises us to count the cost before following Him.  Many stay behind because the cost involves letting loose of our stuff.

In Luke 14:33, Jesus says, “You cannot follow me if you are unwilling to leave everything you have behind.”

It is hard to follow Jesus when encumbered with the stuff of the world.

Have you ever seen a U-haul at a cemetery?

People are always looking for Jesus at the cemetery.

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A father called his son to him and said, “I have a gift for you.  Do you want it?”

The son eagerly acknowledged his desire for the gift.  The father opened up his wallet and gave his son a $100 bill.  The son grabbed it and said, “Wow! Thanks Dad” before running off with the money.

As the child ran away, the father said, “Wait I have more!”  But the child did not hear him and the father was not able to give the child the full gift.

When God blesses us, most of us run-off before receiving the full blessing which God has to give us.  We tend to be satisfied with God’s first gift and never claim His whole gift.

In Deuteronomy God tells Moses to move off the mountain in Horeb, which is where God had appeared to Moses in the burning bush and where God had given him the Ten Commandments.  Obviously, Horeb was a cherished spot for Moses.

God wanted Moses to leave the mountain because God had promised to give Moses and the Israelites, a land of their own … The Promised Land.  As long as Moses remained at Horeb, which he cherished, he would never receive the full gift God had for Him.

The land God promised Moses was “hill country …fertile lowland … by the seacoast” (Deuteronomy 1:6–8).  It sounds like prime real estate on the coast of northern California.  It was a better place than a spot in Horeb, which was located in the midst of a barren desert.

If Moses had his way, he would have stayed on at Horeb with his cherished memories and God’s people would have remained impoverished immigrants.

When we accept and run with the first portion of God’s blessings, the forgiveness of sins, and do not linger for the next portion of God’s blessings, the gift of the Holy Spirit, we impoverish ourselves.

It is best to hunger for the fulness of God, than to be satisfied with a bread crumb which has fallen from His table.

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