Monday, December 22, 2014

Advent- Salvation, Children Need Christmas

Children Need Christmas- There is something absolutely magical in Christmas. Early Christmas morning as the sun is still fast asleep the lights on the tree are twinkling and shimmering in the reflection of the antique ornaments and illuminating the handmade treasures from years gone bye. All of the beauty and magic of the morning is secondary to the glow and treasure in the eyes of the children.

Excitement is rampant and its fever pitch is evidenced in dancing and prancing little feet, giggles and fun sounds. Moms and dads, with little sleep, take their places on the sofa or their chair. On the table next to dad's chair sits the family Bible. He reads of angels playing their trumpets and announcing the birth of a baby. Little smiles and forming imaginations try and capture a hill with angels and shepherds, and most of all a baby lying in the feeding crib for the animals.

Moments later wrapping paper is flying in every direction possible. Baby Dolls and pretty dresses are admired as mom puts her new robe and slippers next to her on the sofa. Dad puts his new slippers on and admires the perfect fit. In a few minutes the wrapping paper is all balled up and in the garbage. The toys, games and dolls are finding life and mom and dad sit next to each other, sigh and take in the wonder of that Christmas.

Children Need Christmas I am convinced that all children need Christmas magic. There is something about the human spirit that finds life and energy in the miracle of Christmas. Children must have an opportunity to look at the world as a magical place where lights twinkle, angels sing, people smile and the world takes on the presence of peace and goodwill. Children must be able to celebrate the magic of the morning and mystery of the feeding crib.

The truth of giving gifts out of hearts of love and goodness finds its perfect union in the Christmas story. A child holding a gift given out of love can easily understand God giving all of us a gift of love. A young child has little difficulty in listening to the angels sing of a special little baby born to teach the world what love is all about. The entire Christmas story is so special yet almost normal to the heart of a child.

Children Need Christmas  Sadly, the magic of St. Nicholas and Christmas give way to age and skepticism. The Christmas story becomes routine and the mystery of Angels singing and Shepherds searching is lost in the stress of the mall, traffic jams and irritated Old Children.  The sound of music from the street corner beckons us to listen, to become a child, to believe, to wonder, to hope, to pray. "God help me to be a child again. Help me to find the twinkle, the magic, the mystery, again. God, children need Christmas. I want to be a child again".

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Incarnation- The hope of mankind

Incarnation- The Hope of Mankind
We are another week closer to Christmas. In a few days the stores will be filled with folks like me. Yes, I am a last minute shopper for Christmas, always have been, always will be. Besides hating all shopping there is one positive reason I wait. As the days get closer to Christmas the mood of people gets closer to Christmas. The check out folks, already tired, mange to give a genuine, Merry Christmas. In spite of the hustle and bustle most people seem to be in the Christmas spirit. And the Christmas music sounding over the intercom systems in the malls and city centers has been fruitful.

Of all the Christmas music that is played there is that one most meaningful to me. The hymn, Come, O Come, Emmanuelle, is my favorite. Not only do I love to listen to it, I like to sing it. The words speak to me about mankind and our need of a savior. The refrain, Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuelle shall come to thee O Israel. The hope of all mankind is found in one single word, Emmanuelle. Our spelling is Immanuel. Immanuel, God with us. God of Creation became God in the flesh. God, first at home in the womb of a young woman.

Mary knew that her child was from God. I don't think that she really understood all of the truth that was now living within her body. Within her womb was the only and absolute hope of salvation for all of mankind, past, present and future men, women, boys and girls.

The child within her grew and developed just as all children. She gave birth the way all women give birth. She felt the pain and then the absolute joy that comes in holding new life. She nursed him and cared for him as the blessing and passion of motherhood compelled.

Incarnation- The perfect DNA of God-Man. Within the womb of Mary was the miracle of incarnation. The perfect union of God and man. Her child, the Christ of God, was and is God. Christ is the Second Person in the Trinity. He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man. It is a mystery that I will never fully understand. Yet, I believe it with all of my soul. Why do I believe? Because I have witnessed the truth of the God-Man in the changing and transforming of people.

As God, Christ was able to offer up His sinless life as the perfect sacrifice for the sin of all mankind. The Holiness of God demanded a spotless sacrifice, unblemished and perfect in form. In spite of temptations and human weakness Jesus Christ was without sin. In his struggle with temptations he was victorious because of his submission to the Father's will and his love for mankind.

As man, Jesus understood what humanity was like. He witnessed the dire poverty of the destitute and the leper. His heart knew the pain felt by the beggars and the blind. And, he knew of the arrogance and pride that fueled the rich and ruling class. With God-eyes he clearly saw into the hearts of all. With man-eyes he understood the pain and need of mankind.

He went to the sacrificial tree free of sin and spot. The required sacrifice to atone for sin. The love that beat within his human heart supported him as he ceased the eternal struggle for mankind's salvation. For, when he bowed his head and died, incarnation sealed our opportunity to have a place at the banquet table within the Kingdom of God.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christ is The Creator

Walking out on my porch the morning sun has to fight its way through our massive Blue Spruce. At my perch, a padded chair, I watch the birds, squirrels and traffic. The overhang of the porch shields me from the afternoon sun until early evening. I have spent hours on that porch with countless cups of coffee and an occasional Blue Moon.

I love watching the sparrows as they dart in and out of the tree. In a storm they get in close to the massive trunk and find shelter until the storm passes by. The squirrels climb the wires, scurry along our sidewalk and generally do squirrel things. That is until the walnuts start dropping from the trees up and down the streets. For the last couple of years we have helped the busy guys by gathering the nuts and putting them on the porch.

Nature is such a marvelous gift to us. There is very little that feeds my soul more than watching the creatures of the earth and looking upon the flowers, plants and trees. So much I take for granted. The sun light that brings life to everything upon this planet is always  faithful in its rising and setting. I walk out in the sunlight with little thought that it took about nine minutes to travel to me and give light to my porch. In the evening, when the fireflies are dancing, the old man sent his light to me almost two seconds before I gazed up at him.

Scientist tell us, and I have no reason to doubt them, that the universe is about 14.3 billion years old. Some say a bit more and some say a bit less. But what's a million years here or there. Now, if I wanted to drive myself nuts I would try and calculate how big the universe really is. The math is pretty simple, to get the number in the ball park. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second and the scientist tell us that the light from the big bang has been zipping along for around 14 billion years. So, multiply 14 billion times how far light would travel in a year. You do the math.

The Psalmist said, "Praise the name of the Lord, He commanded and they were created. He set them in place forever and ever," in reference to the heavens and the waters. In the New Testament the Gospel of John declares Christ to be the creator as do the books of Colossians and Hebrews. At a single point in time Christ commanded elements into being and cast them into miraculous order and harmony forming our universes.

I do not have a problem with people calling the origin of the expanding universe the Big Bang. The elements that make up life and the universe had a beginning, and so must of had a creative power to bring them about. Seems like common sense to me.

The bigger question, in my small mind is, why. Why did this planet come into being? Why is this planet so perfectly formed that it can sustain life? Our gravity is perfect. Imagine less gravity and we would be in trouble. More gravity and we would all be shaped like Christmas trees or pyramids. We would all have pointed heads and more than half our body weight in our shoes, or around our ankles.

Not only is our gravity perfect, consider a few other things. Our distance from the sun keeps us from frying and freezing. We spin on the earth's axis at close to one thousand miles per hour and we are still walking around. Did you ever ride on the Gravitron at a fair or carnival. They are nowhere near that speed.

Why? Because God wanted us to have a world filled with wonders and beauty. So we could walk out and gaze into the night sky and marvel at the innumerable stars and heavenly hosts. Why? Because God Almighty wants to have fellowship with people who understand His gifts and love Him in return. Why? Because through Christ I enjoy not only His Creation but His re-creation as well. His re-creation of my life; so when I look upon the flowers and birds I can really know that He watches over me.

Check out my website at I would love to talk about my book and how good God has been. My email is

Friday, November 28, 2014

Advent 2014

Mary did you Know- Cee Lo Green penned a great Christmas Adoration masterpiece with the song, Mary, did you know. I want to use that title as the beginning of four Advent thoughts. My services on Sunday will be centered on the positive results of decisions that were made hundreds of years ago and how our decisions will influence the future as well.

In the gospel of Luke the angel Gabriel comes to Mary telling her of the coming Christ in her life. She confesses, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Mary's gentle and agreeing spirit was one of the reasons she was chosen to carry the Christ child. Her decision marks the pivot point in history.

I don't think young Mary understood everything that was involved in her decision and what was to come after. In so many ways we are just like Mary. God speaks to us and we desire to have his will lived out in us. We make decisions based on God's prompting. Never really able to see the end results of those decisions.

A case in point was our desire to be faithful to God's inner promptings which kept us compelled to pursue missionary service. Our faithful decision led us to Zambia near the end of September. Within two weeks of settling in our new home and life our decision was to result in the most unexpected and yet ordained event I could ever be a part of. A few hours away a newborn infant entered into the world and within 48 hours would invade the souls of an American family.

Mary had no idea that the child she was carrying was in fact the very Voice of Creation. Scripture is plain in ascribing the creative process and power to Christ himself. His voice created and tossed matter into space in perfect order and harmony. I don't think little diminutive Mary had any idea of the power of the growing voice within her.

Mary had no idea that the child she carrying was in fact the Incarnation of God himself. She was to bring forth into the world the exact representation of Eternal God in human form. Everything mankind would need to know and understand about God would be found in Christ.

Mary had no idea that the child she was to bring forth was to be the source of Eternal Salvation for all of human kind. As a Jew she understood the teaching of a coming messiah for the Jewish people. Her child would be God's provision for the salvation of all mankind.

Mary had no idea that the child she was to bring forth was to be the power of God's Transforming Presence. The brokenness of mankind would find healing and transformation through her son. Through the child she would bring forth men and women would become all that God had intended.

Decisions have consequences and long term effects. May our decisions impact the world in positive and lovely ways.

Next week the entire message on The voice of creation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanksgiving Continued3

By the spring and summer of the first year about half of the Pilgrims had died. Many parents had buried their children and death had claimed a life from almost every family. The food supplies had barely lasted through the winter. As I think about the Pilgrims, what was it that enabled those people to endure such harsh conditions? There are a lot of things to think about when I consider the entire time of preparation and the voyage.

Consider the sister ship, the Speedwell. Twice she was delayed due to taking on water. This put the schedule weeks behind. Next, the cargo and some of the passengers from the Speedwell were put aboard the Mayflower, back in England. Some of the passengers did not continue on. What would inspire some to continue on when others quit? What factor did faith play in the individual decisions.

If the Mayflower had sailed on her original schedule she would have reached the colonial coast long before the Atlantic storms and bitter cold. Reaching the coast a storm forced the Mayflower to abandon the Hudson River landing and return to the safety of Cape Cod. The crew and leaders of the Pilgrims spent almost a month exploring the area for a place to begin building.

After a devastating winter, spring brought hope and their first real contact with the native peoples. What are the chances that the first real contact would be with an English speaking native? There are so many things that happened it would be hard to believe that all the circumstances were coincidental.

The personal and group theology of the Pilgrims was in fact a very pragmatic and strict Calvinist view. They were convinced that God in His sovereign design had all things planned and ordained. This faith gave them great resolve and a determination that would enable them to endure great hardship and heartache.

The time of Thanksgiving had more to do with spiritual certainties than with temporal blessings such as food and shelter. Moms and dads knew they would be reunited with children, children knew they would be reunited with a mom or dad. That inner knowledge was the real reason for the season.

Happenstance or the Divine Hand of God. I know who and what I believe.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thanksgiving- Continued

After sixty six days at sea the battered ship and the weary and cold travelers were looking at their new world. Due to the weather the Mayflower was off her course and instead of dropping anchor near the mouth of the Hudson River, she was north near the entrance to the bay of Cape Cod. The crew and passengers decided to sail south to the mouth of the Hudson.

Sailing south the ship encountered such a violent storm that both crew and passengers feared shipwreck and almost certain death in the cold Atlantic. In desperation the Mayflower came about and headed back north the the relative safety of the harbor of Cape Cod. Still damaged the ship made to the bay and dropped anchor. The bay, almost an enclosed refuge, would become home to the Mayflower and the staging point of the Pilgrims exploration of the area.

For the next weeks the crew and a small number of the Pilgrims made numerous landings along the shore. The search for water was rewarded with the, "sweetest pools of water ever imagined." Juniper wood was gathered and taken aboard the Mayflower. The aroma from the burning conifer was a sweet relief from the stench of five months under sail. The crew also was able to re-supply the wood for cooking and cleaning.

After a time of exploring a site was chosen for the beginning of the settlement. It was defensible against any attack and within an easy distance of good water. On December 23, the majority of the Pilgrims left the ship and began building their new lives. As Sunday was the 24th the Pilgrims didn't work but spent their first Sunday in worship and praise. Work began in earnest the following day. As Separatist, Pilgrims they did not celebrate Christmas day as they thought it to be a "pagan tradition."

During the construction of the meeting house and various homes many of the Pilgrims continued to sleep aboard the Mayflower. The frigid wind off of the Atlantic forced the settlers to build as fast as possible. This meant that the days were long and the blowing winds and snow would begin to take a very deadly toll.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thanksgiving- Re-visit

The ship's manifest listed one hundred and three passengers, one hundred and two by family name. The one hundred and third passenger was listed as, Dorothy, maidservant. In July of 1620 the Mayflower was being fitted and loaded with provisions for its journey to the New World. She was to wait in South Hampton for the ship Speedwell. The Speedwell had sailed to the Netherlands to pick up the passengers, who had been living in Leiden. Once the Speedwell met the Mayflower they would begin the long and dangerous voyage across the Atlantic. It was still nice sailing weather and the monstrous Atlantic should still be sleeping.

By the time the Speedwell did reach her rendezvous with the Mayflower they were already a week behind schedule. The Speedwell was taking on water and in need of repairs that lasted a week. On August the 5th both ships left the safety of the harbor and headed across the Atlantic. Both crews were hoping that even leaving in early August they would not face the horror of North Atlantic storms.

As both ships headed West the Speedwell began taking on water again. The Mayflower and the Speedwell were now three hundred miles out in the ocean. Both ships headed back for England and the port at Plymouth. Upon arriving in Plymouth it was determined that the repairs on the Speedwell would take to long and her cargo was added to the Mayflower. As disappointment and anger grew, many of the passengers on board the Speedwell abandoned their plans for a new life.
With the remaining passengers joining those on the Mayflower, she set sail on September 6th. By this the weather and the seas were not to be trusted, but the decision was made to sail on. For the first half of the voyage the wind and weather blessed the Mayflower and her crew and passengers. That was to end as the Lady passed the half way mark on the Captain's chart.

As the weather changed one Godless crewman told the Pilgrims that he couldn't wait for some of them to die, so he could throw them overboard and steal their provisions. For the next thirty days the Mayflower was at the mercy of the Monster of the deep. On more than one occasion the ship had to bring down her sail and ride out the storms. During an especially fearsome attack by the watery monster a mast cracked and the crew feared the ship to be lost. The ship's carpenter secured the mast till proper repairs could be done.

Some days before the sighting of land the "Godless crewman" became suddenly ill and died. The ship's log recorded his death as "The Hand of God." During the voyage a child was born and three days short of landfall a young lad died.

On November 9th in the Year of Our Lord, Sixteen Hundred and Twenty, land was sighted. The sixty six day journey across the Atlantic was done.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Colorblind Love

God's Love is absolutely Colorblind. I thank God for placing me where He did during the early years of ministry. I learned that all of us face the same problems and issues. Moving to Benton Harbor Michigan was God's way of preparing my heart for our life in Zambia. While we lived in Benton Harbor Hilary's best friend was a wonderful girl named Olivia.

Olivia and Hilary hit it off because of their attitude towards each other. Neither girl cared about the skin color of the other. They became inseparable, spending overnights together and going to camp as best buds. The relationship of those seven year olds confirmed the work that God had been doing in my heart for some time.

After living in Benton Harbor for two short years we headed to Zambia. Donna and I knew that we were going to the right place at the right time. For ten years we waited, at times patiently, usually impatiently, to be appointed to the mission field. We arrived in Zambia and in no time at all fell in love with the joyous and friendly Tonga people.

Innocent children are great teachers. Hilary and Baby Irene taught me one of the most profound lessons in my adult life. Shortly after arriving at our home Donna and Hilary got busy working with the orphan children and those dying of AIDS. Donna asked me if it would be ok for us to take care of Baby Irene over a weekend. Baby Irene was dying of AIDS and Donna wanted to spend some, touching time, with her. I agreed, and Baby Irene entered my life.

Irene was six months old and she weighed about 15 pounds. The first time I looked at her I was actually stunned. She looked old and tired. Her fingers were long and skeletal, her face looked aged and weary. She spent the weekend and on Sunday Hilary decided to do something very special. She had brought her favorite doll with her to Zambia. The doll had a very pretty green dress, trimmed in white lace. Hilary, with Donna's wholehearted blessings, dressed Irene in the baby doll dress.

The weekend passed and Irene went back to the hospital. Tuesday morning I watched Donna walking up the road towards me. Tears were running down her cheeks as she told me that Baby Irene had just died and her struggles were over. When Donna told Hilary there were more tears.

 Donna was asked to say a few words at her funeral. So, prior to the funeral Hilary asked the family if Baby Irene could be buried in the green baby dress. Baby Irene was laid to rest in the red dirt of the Chitumbi Village, wearing a pretty green dress trimmed in white lace. The family members asked Donna why she cared so much for Irene. Donna explained that it was because God cared for her and He wanted us to love each other in the was He loved us.

The impact of that event had a very profound effect upon my heart. Love must be shared when the opportunity is presented by God.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Colorblind Love

Love that is Colorblind is a wonderful gift. Before I go any further I need to make one thing perfectly clear. I grew up in a small town with no black people living within the city limits. The area south of Detroit was pretty segregated. Some people in my town were quite prejudice and stereotypes of non-whites flourished.

I didn't meet a young black person until I was a teenager swimming at one of the major metro parks in the area. The kid and I talked for some time and kept on swimming. Our meeting left no big impression on me, he was just a kid swimming in the pool, just like me.

The riots that swept through Detroit and many other major cities brought racial hatred and animus to the surface. As a kid I paid little attention to the civil rights movement and the federal desegregation programs. I do not remember the impression left upon me by the news reports that showed black students getting off buses at once all white schools. It was far away I didn't really care. Now, it was different. The riots were just a few miles away. Buildings were burning to the ground and people were being killed.

Disparaging remarks and ignorant slang were soon tossed around by our gang of friends. A mass tackle playing football took on disrespectful name. I am convinced this grew out of ignorance and the complete lack of understanding of what all people have in common. I can honestly say, I didn't hate black people, or any other ethnic group for that matter. I was a dumb white kid who didn't really pay much attention.

After my junior year in high school we moved from that small town to Northeast Michigan. Living in the north prejudice took on a different form. Ethnic prejudice among whites was focused on European origins. Jokes about Poles, Swedes, Irish, Hungarians and plain ole Southern Hillbillies flourished.

A transformative and defining moment came when I came to Christ. My life and views of life would undergo some massive changes. Two years of seminary near Wrigley Field helped in changing the way I looked at people. While there I was forced to confront some old stereotypes, like skid-row alcoholics, prostitutes and criminals. Conducting church services in the Cook County Jail will cause the blinders to come off most anyone.

I will continue this piece.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Peace in the Middle East- Will it Ever Come

Jewish People are Scattered The history of the Jewish people from the time they entered the Land of Promise to this very day is one of survival and persistence. During the history of the settlement of the promised land the Jewish people display the very human traits of obedience to God and obedience to a corrupt society.

After the death of Kings David and Solomon the Jewish people have all but forgotten their covenant with God. Even though they have forgotten the covenant, God has not. He will use circumstances and human failing as tools to remind the Jewish nation of His place in their life and in the flow of history.

During the time of disobedience and religious corruption a prophet tells of the division of the Land of Promise. Ten tribes will form the Northern Kingdom, called Israel and the two remaining will become known as the Kingdom of Judah. It will not take long until the brothers of Jacob are at such severe odds with each other that hatred against brother is common.

God will have His way in the affairs of mankind and it is He who allows all of this to take place. Soon armies from the land of Arabia and Persia invade and destroy the Land of Promise. The Jewish people are led away as slaves, dispersed into lands far from the Land of the Covenant.

Obedience to God is more relevant than time so He allows the Jewish people to learn some very hard lessons. After years of slavery two men come to the forefront to bring a sense of hope to the dispersed Jews. Nehemiah and Ezra, at two different locations, receive permission from their captors to return to Jerusalem.

Nehemiah returns with permission and access to supplies to rebuild the wall around the holy city. Ezra receives permission and access to supplies to rebuild the city and temple. At the completion of the rebuilding projects a great religious awakening takes place in the lives of the Jewish people.

The Old Testament comes to close with prophets warning the people that they must stay dedicated to God or corrective actions from God will follow.

The New Testament finds the religious life of the Jewish people controlled by corrupt and greedy leadership. The common people suffer under the hand of the Romans and their puppet Jewish leaders. Around forty years after the death of Christ the Jewish Zealots rebel against Roman rule and the city of Jerusalem is destroyed and the Jewish population flees.

More than 1800 years later the United Nations divides Palestine and in 1948 the Jewish people once again find a homeland with their name attached to it.

Now as to the final thoughts on this topic. It is my view that peace will never come to the Middle East, until the hateful character of man comes under the control of the, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and His Christ. God alone can change the character of man and cure the evil within the human heart.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

God Ordained Meeting

God Ordained Meeting- Donna and I like to take a few hours and travel through the small towns of Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana. Today was such a day. She had just finished up at her doctors appointment and the sun was shinning and the temperatures were in the mid sixties. I point the minivan in a southerly direction and soon we were south of a few familiar Ohio towns.

Following US127 we ended up in the quaint town of Bryan Ohio. I always keep an eye out for buildings with striking architecture and the city center building was exceptional. Red brick structures were the norm around here for more than a hundred and fifty years. The building was striking in its lines. The clock tower was simply awesome.

Driving past the city center Donna spotted her favorite building style as well. The sign on the front of the store advertised used clothing as part of a local churches ministry to the city. I drove right past it, which is what I usually do. However, this time I asked her if she would like me to turn the corner and come back. I didn't wait for the answer.

We were sitting in front of the second hand store and I was busy playing(working) on my small electronic magical invisible wave grabbing telephone, email machine, solitaire playing, search engine, fruit phone. About five minutes later, not much time in the world of second hand shops, Donna came out to the van with tears in her eyes.

That usually means she has just connected with someone just like her mom, or she was watching a little baby. Neither was true. She came  out to tell me that a lady in the store lived in Zambia. Her and her husband are missionaries and just happened to stop in the store.

A moment later her husband came out and introduced himself to me. Steve is his name. He is in his mid seventies, tanned and gray. For the next hour we shared stories and the miracle unfolded. He knew many of the same people that we knew and worked with. He was friends with a Zambian man who was our neighbor for close to a year. He experienced many of the same situations. He had malaria, more times than I did. He survived a bite from a Black Mamba.

They are currently raising their funds for their work by visiting supporting churches throughout Northern Ohio and Southern Michigan. His wife is a nurse and her current ministry is with orphans and widows in the Copper belt region of Zambia.

Now what are the chances of all of this happening by accident? We have met many folks from Africa, it is a big place, not many at all from the Texas sized country of Zambia, and never anybody that knew so many of the people we knew and worked with. Certainly it was a God Ordained Meeting.
We will stay in touch, in the real near future in fact. God didn't bring us together just to chat.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Peace in the Middle East/8

Joshua leads the Jewish people into their land of promise. After more than 600 years of waiting, slavery and struggle the People of God are standing at the edge of their inheritance. With the Ark of the Covenant in full view, the entire nation, the Children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob cross the Jordan River on dry ground.

To commemorate the Hand of God and to remind the Jewish people Joshua commands two memorial sites to be erected. The first site is on the freedom side of the river. A representative from each tribe was to carry a stone from the middle of the river over to the freedom side. There the twelve stones were stacked to form a memorial. The purpose, according to Joshua, was to be a reminder of the Hand of God in delivering the Children of Israel to their land of promise.

The second memorial was built by Joshua himself. The memorial was built in the middle of the Jordan River, right where the feet of the priests stood holding the Ark of the Covenant. This unseen memorial was to celebrate all of the miracles, the unseen and the seen, that God showered upon the Jewish Nation.

Settling in the new land was filled with struggles and battles. God promised Joshua that no army would be able to stand against him as long as the Jewish people stayed true to the, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. City after city fell to the leadership of Joshua. His obedience to God still stands as the Warrior Leader of newly liberated Jews.

To the Southeast Joshua faces a battle with a people that have hated the new nation since the days of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael. Four hundred years before the Jews found their freedom Isaac's son, Esau, left his father and made a deal with Ishmael.

The promised land is divided into tribal names and each son of Jacob is honored by the land designation. At this point in the history of the Jewish nation God has kept His promise to the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It will be up to them to keep their part of the covenant, insuring peace and prosperity.

The children of Ishmael and Esau have filled the land of the Arabian Peninsula. Their animosity and hatred towards the Jews is passed down through oral tradition. Generation after generation is taught of the life of Hagar and Ishmael and how Sarah mistreated them.

In the same way, the oral tradition of the Jewish people kept alive their miraculous story. Another aspect of Jewish tradition was the care kept in their worship. The Pentateuch, first five books of Moses, were revered as God inspired. Later writers would record, as did Joshua, the life of the Jewish nation.

The Jews had great times of enjoying the blessings of God. They also had horrific times of abandoning their God and becoming involved in the pagan practices of the people surrounding them. Their stubbornness and rebellion against God led to the Promised Land becoming the Partitioned Land.

Armies from the east conquered the land and took the Jewish people away as slaves. The voice of the prophets would call them to repentance and they would call out for forgiveness and restoration. God kept His covenant and brought them back to their land. The circle of rebellion against God and repentance towards God became common in the Jewish nation.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Peace in the Middle East- Will it Ever Come/7

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the Patriarchs. Moses stands next to the three patriarchs as the greatest men in the history of Israel and the Jewish people. The story of his life being spared from certain death to his encounter with God in the desert sets him apart as one of God's transformed leaders.

The book of Exodus gives us the story of the leadership of Moses. Once he had encountered God in the burning bush he was a servant with a mission. His mission was to be obedient to God by delivering messages to Pharaoh and leading the Jewish people to freedom.

The plagues pronounced upon the land of Egypt was the direct result of the Pharaoh's resistance to God's message through Moses. The plagues end with the awful slaying of all Egyptian first born males.

Four hundred years of slavery and the unfulfilled promise of the covenant are coming to an end. Moses leads the Jewish nation out of Egypt. Some scholars estimate the number of Jews leaving Egypt to be close to three million. A conservative estimate is at least one and one-half million. Now the people of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are close to realizing the dream that survived slavery, hardship and the death of infants.

Standing at the edge of the Red Sea the water must have seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. With an enraged army in pursuit terror must have been stealing the breath out of the people. Moses commands the people to prepare themselves to, "See the Salvation of our God". The Red Sea parts and the Jewish people experience, again, the mighty hand of God.

Every man, woman, child, goat, sheep, camel, dog and cat that left Egypt was now closer to Canaan that at any other time in four hundred years. The promise of the covenant was only a few days away and it was theirs for the taking.

Except, Moses was leading a nation of people that were stubborn, resistant and sinful. What could have been their immediate future, the land of Milk and Honey, would have to wait for forty years. God was always ready to keep His part of the covenant. He would make the Jewish people a blessing to the world, give them their own land and be their God. Their part was to obey and honor Him.

Due to rebellion and an unwillingness to listen to Moses the Jewish nation paid a heavy price. The promise of the land and a great posterity would have to wait until every rebellious man died in the forty years of walking in circles in the wilderness of the Sinai.

The importance of Moses leading the Jewish people out of slavery and bondage is paramount to the people of Israel. They hold to the stories of their rescue, their deliverance, their crossing the Red Sea, as proof of the, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, choosing them as, His Chosen People.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Peace in the Middle East- Will it ever Come/6

Jewish people claim their heritage back to the age of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Jacob is the father of twelve sons. His son Joseph was despised by most of his brothers and their hatred led to his slavery. Proving his wisdom Joseph finds favor and becomes the second in command of all of Egypt. Famine strikes the lands and Jacob sends his sons to find refuge in Egypt. Unbeknownst to the son's of Jacob their evil scheme was to be used by God for the salvation of their entire family.

In a scene of great emotion and reconciliation Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. After hugs and tears Joseph asks of his father. Soon the family finds safety and food to see them through the seven years of famine. The family of Jacob finds a welcome place in Egypt due to the power and popularity of Joseph. Due to their good standing the Son's of Jacob stay in Egypt past the time of the famine.

When the Pharaoh who has promoted Joseph dies the new leader does not recognize the Son's of Jacob. They are enslaved and given heavy and burdensome jobs. The enslavement of the Twelve Son's of Jacob lasts for close to four hundred years. In all of their trouble God has been preparing them for deliverance. Even in the midst of slavery and non-stop labor their numbers increase.

Alarmed at the growth of the Hebrew people Pharaoh demands the murder of all Hebrew male newborns. Again, God intervenes and a specific male child is saved. His name would be Moses and he would be raised in the house of Pharaoh. As a young man Moses kills an Egyptian who is mistreating a Hebrew and he flees from Egypt into the wilderness.

Exodus 3  - We find the remarkable story of God's plan of deliverance coming to life. Through the passionate act of Moses he finds himself standing in front of a bush that appears to be on fire. The Lord appears to Moses from within the bush. To state that Moses was afraid would be an understatement. Waiting, with bare feet, Moses hears the voice of God. He clearly, and in unmistakable words identifies himself as, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Moses resists the commands of God in representing Him before the Hebrews and Pharaoh. After making excuses, God commands him to identify him as, The Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the presence of the Hebrew leaders Moses tells of his encounter and how God identified Himself.

Moses and Aaron present themselves to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Hebrew people. The Pharaoh is incensed at the request and demands that the workload of the Hebrews be increased. Under God's directive Moses pronounces plagues upon the Egyptian people. Each plague is resisted until the final plague claims the life of every firstborn male Egyptian child.

At this point a few things to remember. For more than four hundred years the oral tradition has kept alive the hatred between Ishmael, Esau and Isaac and Jacobs descendants. Springing from the posterity of Ishmael and Esau the twelve princes of Arabia become a great nation, just as God promised. Their land encompasses the entire lands east of the Sinai to modern Yemen.

God promised that the entire world would be blessed through the descendants of Jacob. The separation of the families and the animosity will ultimately lead to bloodshed and a continual hatred.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Peace in the Middle East- Will it ever Come/5

Hatred and Bitterness bring division. Because of the animosity that developed between Sarah and Hagar division becomes inevitable. Hagar and Ishmael leave and Ishmael becomes the father of a nation of people. God has chosen Isaac, Abraham's son by Sarah, to be the Covenant Heir.
Over a period of time Isaac will marry. Rebekah his wife, will deliver two sons who will be at odds with each other.

Esau will become a man of the field and Isaacs' favorite. Jacob will is the apple of his mother's eye. The two brothers will do foolish and deceptive things. Esau will sell his birthright to Jacob for some bean soup. Jacob will deceive his father into bestowing the posterity and prosperity blessing upon him and not the rightful brother.

Esau leaves with his heart filled with hatred towards his father and brother. Going against his father's specific commands he marries the daughter of Ishmael. From the marriage of Esau the people known as the Edomites spring forth. Esau lives to the east of Isaac and Jacob, in the land of the Arabian princes.

Before exploring the history of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and their eventual conquest of Canaan a point must be enforced. That single point is the Covenant Agreement between God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The passion and dedication of the Jewish people is directly tied to their absolute conviction that the Lord God Jehovah fulfilled his promise and covenant in giving them the land as He promised.

Over hundreds of years and countless conflicts God has been true to His word. When the Jewish people rebelled against God he corrected them and brought them back to their land. The real debate for many of us about God. Now let's be realistic. In todays world it is a very dangerous thing to say, God does not act that way, God would never do that, or we're all trying to get to heaven.
We are never to cross the offensive line by stating a Biblical truth that contradicts what certain segments of society believe.

A case in point. It would be a dangerous thing for me to walk around in Dearborn carrying a sign that said, "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not the god of the Islamic Fundamentalist." I am using that as an illustrative point. The Bible does stand against much of the religious teaching in the world today.

The very survival of the Jewish people is a testament to the faithfulness of, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The next post will be about the Jewish people entering the Promised Land and the people they fight against.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Peace in the Middle East- Will it Ever Come/4

Hatred can be a killer. Picking up with the split of Jacob and Esau hatred begins to brew. Not only did Esau give up his birthright for some soup, now he is placed beneath his younger brother in everything that pertains to family. He will not become a patriarch, he will not inherit the wealth and prestige from his father. Filled with bitterness and hatred he heads to the land of the Ishmaelite's.

Rebekah hears of the hatred her son has for his brother. She calls Jacob to her and plans on sending him away. Isaac admonishes Jacob to never take a Canaanite woman as a wife. Esau hears the fathers admonition and in order to get back at his father he goes and takes the daughter of Ishmael as his wife. The scripture doesn't give us much light on the behind the scenes conversations between Ishmael and Esau.

Remember Ishmael was rejected by Abraham and Sarah. God promised Hagar, Ishmaels's mother, that Ismael would be the father of a great nation and that twelve princes would come from him. Now we find Esau and Ishmael living in the land that would become known as the Arabian Peninsula.

In the middle of this family dysfunction God appears to Jacob. During the night, while Jacob is asleep, God appears to him in a dream. A ladder, or staircase, descends from heaven and angelic creatures go back and forth from heaven and earth. At the top of the staircase Jacob hears the voice of God. The Lord repeats, "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give to you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendant will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the east, to the north, and to the south. All peoples on the earth will be blessed through you and your offspring."

After a period of time we find the marriage of Jacob to Leah and Rachel. Jacob worked for Laban for fourteen years in order to marry Leah and Rachel. He worked six additional years to gain ownership of the flocks he had been tending. Fearing Laban, Jacob departed in the night with his wives and possessions.

Jacob has twelve sons by his two wives and their handmaidens. In time Jacob prepares to meet Esau, his brother. He is afraid  that Esau is still filled with hatred so he plans a meeting strategy. Jacob will send multiple gifts to Esau and each party will tell Esau that Jacob is coming behind them. He spends the night by himself and has a wrestling match with an angel. The angel reminds Jacob of the blessing God has for him and Jacob insists on another blessing. The name of Jacob is changed to, Israel.

Genesis 33- The meeting with Esau goes better than Jacob had even wished. The two brother embrace and weep. Jacob feared for his life for years and Esau dealt with his hatred for years as well. Jacob needed to be reminded by God that his life was in God's hands and that there was a plan that had been put into place and that man was not going to thwart the plan.

God instructs Jacob to return to Bethel and again the covenant is reinforced. In  this setting, Genesis 35, the narrative is a bit different. And God said to him, "I am God Almighty, be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you."

Comments- God is using very imperfect people for His purposes. Abraham disgraced Sarah. Isaac disgraced Rachel and the dysfunction flourished. Deception and deceit seemed to be the norm in the relationships. But still, God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations and that the entire world would be blessed on account of him. Time and time again God reminds and reinforces the truth of the covenant He first made with Abraham. The covenant relationship centered on the Jews worshipping only Jehovah and Jehovah blessing them with posterity and property.

We must decide whether or not we believe in the God of the Old Testament and his plan for the people of Israel.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Middle East- Will Peace Ever Come/3

Abraham and Isaac are inextricably linked to every thing that happens in the middle east. One might think that with the birth of Isaac Abraham's life of faith would rest in the reward of his son. It was not to happen. The Lord promised Abraham that the entire world would be blessed through his son, Isaac. The Lord needed to find out from Abraham just how strong his faith was. So, waiting for many years for the birth of his son was not the end of Abraham's growth in faith.

Genesis 22 gives us the story of Abraham's testing in the command of God in regards to Isaac. God commands Abraham to take Isaac up to a mountain and offer him there as a sacrifice. Abraham complies and walks to the mountain with Isaac at his side. At one point in the walk up the mountain Isaac asks his dad about the animal to be sacrificed and Abraham tells his son that God will provide a lamb.

The sacrificial altar is made complete and Abraham binds his son. The writer, my opinion, cheats us in the narrative. The matter of fact sequence of events does nothing to paint the picture of pain and torment that must be passing between father and son. Picture the scene with me as Abraham raises the flint knife over his head to plunge it into his son. In his soul he must have passed the point of no-return. Isaac was going to die.

In a split second God himself calls to Abraham from heaven. His words set Isaac free and Abraham finds a ram caught in a thicket. Abraham's obedience to the voice of God brings another reassurance of the Divine Covenant between God and Abraham. The truth of Abraham's posterity and property inheritance is given again. This point in the covenant relationship between God and Abraham is the one that Israel rests upon.

As time passes Abraham buries his wife Sarah. He has other wives who bear him children. As Isaac matures Abraham gives his concubines and his children, by them, gifts and sends them out to the east. Abraham sends his servant to find Isaac a wife and brings back Rebekah. Abraham's tasks on earth are completed and he dies at an old age. His children occupy the land from the Sinai to the plains to the east.

God answers the prayers of Isaac and Rebekah becomes pregnant. Her pregnancy is a sign of things to come. The scripture describes her unborn as, jostling within her. She prays and God tells her that her two sons are going to be two nations and that the older son will serve the younger. That declaration from God is the opposite of the culture and Rebekah must understand what the implications are.

Rebekah delivers two sons, Esau and Jacob. During the delivery Esau enters the world first with Jacob holding onto his heel. Esau grew to be a rugged individual who enjoyed hunting and bringing game to his father. Jacob was a quiet man who stayed near the tents. Rebekah favored Jacob and Isaac favored Esau. Trouble is brewing as Esau comes in from hunting and is hungry. He sells his birthright to Jacob for red stew.

Such a simple act will lead to more deception and two brothers will become enemies. Isaac was old and his vision was failing. Desiring some wild game from the hand of his son, Esau, he sent for him. He told him to go and get some meat and prepare him a savory dish and that he would pass his blessing to him. Rebekah heard the conversation and while Esau was out hunting she planned to deceive her husband.

As Rebekah had planned, Jacob disguised himself to appear as Esau. He put goat skins on his hands and neck, his brother was a rather hairy guy. Jacob deceives his father Isaac with meat. Isaac passes the patriarchal blessing to Jacob. Jacob is now the sole heir of the blessing of property and rule. When Esau returns he learns of the deception and pledges to kill his brother.

Esau begs his father for his blessing but Isaac is unable to give his son what he has already given away. Isaac tells Esau that he must serve his younger brother and Esau heads to the East.

I will post the next piece on Thursday.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Middle East- Will Peace ever Come/2

The land of Iraq is of great historical significance in understanding the Old Testament and the story of the Jewish nation. Abraham followed the impress of God and walked to the land of Canaan, a journey of about 1500 miles.

God promises Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation and his seed would be as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sands on the seashore. As he is childless he brings his condition before God and is assured that he would have children of his own. Abraham's wife, Sarah, is barren and convinces Abraham to have a child by her handmaiden, Hagar.

Abraham does not seek God's guidance in regards to Hager and he takes her as his wife. Hagar becomes pregnant and give birth to a son. Abraham names him, Ishmael. As time passes Hagar and Ishmael taunt the childless Sarah. Sarah wants her handmaiden and child driven from the camp.

Genesis 17 - God appears to Abraham 13 years after the birth of Ishmael, when he is 99 years old. God tells Abraham that he is going to be the father of many nations. God establishes the covenant with Abraham in that, God will bless Abraham, give him the entire land of Canaan, make him a great nation and the entire world is to be blessed through him. Abraham is to obey the covenant by the circumcision of all male children.

Again, God promises Abraham that he will have a male child who will continue the Promise of the Covenant. Abraham laughs at the thought that a man close to a hundred years old will have a child. Abraham asks God to accept Ishmael as the heir-apparent and holder of the covenant. God promises him that Ishmael will be a great king and that he would be the father of twelve princes. But, God says, "I will establish my everlasting covenant with the child that Sarah will give you."

Genesis 18 - Gives the story of an extremely rare occurrence in the Old Testament. While Abraham is at his tent he sees three men walking towards him. one of the figures is identified as, The Lord. This occurrence is known as, theophany. Theo, meaning God, and phany, meaning appearance. So, the Lord himself comes to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre. 

After Abraham has prepared food and his guests have eaten the Lord asks Abraham where Sarah, his wife is. Abraham tells him that she is in the tent and then the Lord lays them flat by announcing that this time next year Sarah will be pregnant. Sarah laughs to herself at the preposterous news. She knows that her body is no longer able to become pregnant.

The Lord challenges Abraham as to why Sarah laughed and she is afraid. She insists that she didn't laugh. The Lord, revealing his omniscience, simply tells her that she did laugh. The Lord reveals to Abraham the destruction that is coming to Sodom and Gomorrah. The truth that God would listen to Abraham as he tries to interceded for the righteous that might be in the cities gives clear indication as to Abraham's position.

Due to Abraham's intercession Lot is spared from the destruction of the twin cites. He escapes and lives in the mountains with his two daughters. During the night the daughters get Lot drunk and sleep with him. Both daughters give birth to sons who are to become the father of the Moabites and the Ammonites. [significance comes later]

God's promise to Abraham and Sarah comes to pass and Sarah gives birth to a son. Abraham names him Isaac. On the eighth day Isaac is circumcised as the sign of the covenant. Sarah remembers all of the taunting that came her way by Hagar and her son. Sarah insists that Abraham kick them out of the camp. God assures Abraham that it is ok and that He is going to make Ishmael into a great nation. Hagar and Ishmael walk into the wasteland.

Hagar and Ishmael are near death and an angel appears to Hagar and promises them life and posterity. Ishmael is to become the father of the, Twelve Princes of Arabia.

More to follow the first of the week. Check out my website  Place the blog on your favorite tab for easy access. Comments always welcome.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Middle East- Will Peace ever Come?

Peace in the Middle East- Since 1947 the land of Israel has been filled with violence and wars. One wonders if peace will ever come to the land of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus. How did all of the violence get so out of hand? Who does the land really belong too? Can Muslims and Jews ever really live in peace?

To gain a good understanding of what is happening today we need to understand yesterday. Only, this yesterday is four thousand years ago. It might be hard to imagine and some readers might disagree with me, but my hypothesis is simple. The hatred that brings death today comes from the strife of four millennia ago.

Abraham was chosen by God. The sovereign plan of God was to bring to life a people who would be peculiarly His. From His people he would bring forth the promised messiah, the Christ of God. God chose Abram to be the father of this peculiar group of people. I use the word, peculiar, because in the land of polytheism the worship of a single God made them peculiar. God spoke to Abram and Abram recognized the voice as that of God. [His name is Abram until later.]

God instructed Abram to leave the land he was living in, now Iraq. He was to travel to a land he had never seen before. Abram, his wife and his nephew, along with all of their possessions began the journey from Haran. They walked the 1500 miles to the land of Canaan. Genesis the 12th chapter gives us the story of their journey.

Upon arriving in Canaan God appeared to Abram and informed him that his offspring would inherit the land. There was a famine in the land and Abram must travel to Egypt. While traveling to Egypt he asks his wife Sari to lie to the Egyptians by telling them that she is Abram's sister. It is a half truth as she is in fact his half sister. Abram was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him in order to have Sari. She lies and the Egyptians face the curse of God.

Abram and Sari leave Egypt with gifts of livestock and treasure from the guilt ridden ruler of Egypt. A note; it is important to remember that Abram is a man, with flaws and issues, but chosen by God. When Abram and Sari enter Canaan again Lot heads towards the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God appears to Abram and tells him that as far as he can see to the north, south, east and west, all of the land is his. And, his offspring will be as numerous as the dust of the earth. Abram struggles with the promise from God because he is childless. The importance of children can not be over emphasized in understanding the culture and time of biblical settings.

Not only was Abram without a child, he was aware that a servant child in his household would inherit his possessions and position. God comes to Abram and gives him assurance that he would have a child of his own. In spite of his circumstances in regards to posterity Abram believes what God had said. Righteousness by faith is established as it is noted in Genesis 15:8, "Abram believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness."

The issue of God establishing a covenant with Abraham is the absolute foundation of the relationship between the Jewish nation and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This is the first in a series about events of today in regards to the violence in the Middle East. The articles will take a Biblical Perspective that lay the groundwork in understanding the present circumstances in Israel.

I welcome comments and thoughts about this or any other of my posts. Use my email address ; also find me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Quest

Two of the cats are exerting great concentration and lightning quick moves in their quest to capture an elusive foe, a single fly. Mr. Whiskers and Boo Kitty have been in pursuit of the single house fly since yesterday. They have tried the aerial attack, leaping and twisting in a crazy contortionist flight, their paws trying to connect with the winged insect. All with no success. They have crouched on the carpet, sneaking like cats do, to the curtains in the living room. The fly, in full knowledge of their pursuit, clings to the lower edge of the curtain. With lightning speed Boo Kitty leaps at the curtain. He misses his adversary but manages to get his claws stuck in the curtain.

Even now, while they rest, the winged nuisance is making his presence known. I have no idea how one fly in a house big enough for ten can find the only person inside. I move from one room to another and within a few minutes I get buzzed and then I get aggravated. I wish the cats would have some success in their hunting expedition.  I'll give them until tomorrow and then I will pull out the big guns, fly swatters and bug killer.

How can such a little thing be such a really big nuisance? One way is, you might not see them coming. The little dirt carrying devils can come out of no-where, buzz your ears and land on your neck. Another way, they have creepy crawly feet and when they walk on you it is nasty feeling. Another way, I know where they have been and what they like to eat, stuff I won't mention here. You know what I am talking about

The cats will continue their quest until that fly is no more. I want them to continue. For one thing it is good entertainment. For another, their quest is good reminder to me, sounds weird hey, There are many little things in my life that are a nuisance. Some are negative thinking, belly aching, poor faith, and lots more. I imagine I am not alone in the world.

But, I am on a quest. I am on quest for royalty. I am on a quest for honor. I am on a quest for honesty, and every aspect of the life of Christ that is lacking or missing altogether. I need to face the little things in my life that detract and distract.

I hope Mr. Whiskers and Boo Kitty keep up the good work. And, I will keep watching them and keep faithful in the good fight of faith.

Tedd Galloway is the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. The book was released in May through Morgan James Publishing. It is available at most online sites as well as major bookstores. His website is  At the site you can watch the YouTube video produced to highlight the book and the story of colorblind love.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

God- Wants Me Dead

God Wants Me Dead- That statement sounds pretty extreme don't you think? It is a pretty extreme statement to make, and yet it is true. The statement finds its greatest truth and testing in the lives of His Children, Christians. So, God Wants Christians Dead. Even Jesus, yes, Jesus, wants us dead. In the gospels he gives some pretty sobering guidance for individuals who wants to be his disciples and follow him. That means me. I want to be known as a follower of Jesus Christ and a student of His.

In Luke's gospel Jesus is talking with the disciples about the crowds of people and who they thought he was. Some in the crowd thought Jesus was an Old Testament prophet, back from the dead. When Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter quickly proclaimed, "You are the Christ of God."

Just moments after this confession Jesus made some of the hardest demands upon His followers. The demands that point to my statement, God Wants Me Dead. For, Jesus said that whoever wanted to be His disciple must deny himself daily, take up his cross and follow him. The cross leads to death. Jesus and the two criminals died on the cross. Their bodies were taken down, lifeless and limp.

Now what is the truth that Jesus wanted to help the disciples, and us, understand? It is very simple, yet it is probably the most difficult task in being a Christ Follower. God wants me dead to my own selfish nature. The apostle Paul reminds us, "I am crucified with Christ, never the less I live. Yet it is not I, but Christ who lives within me. And the life that I live, I live by the faith of the Son of God."

Each day I must be willing to put my own will aside. If I have to have things done my way. I must stop demanding my way. If I think I am always right. I need to admit that I am not right 100% of the time, no person is. When God calls on me to do some task I need to complete the job. If God has put upon a human heart some great burden than God expects it to get it done, in spite of how one might feel at any given moment.

The early Church turned the world upside down because they believed that Christ gave them life. They knew that the life of Christ must be lived out in an openly hostile world and they were willing to give their life for Christ. It was the blood of the Apostles and countless disciples that fertilized the barren heartlands and transformed them into flowering oasis's.

Sadly, today the western church is prosperous in property, programs and professionals, yet destitute in selfless living. Church's argue and split because of money, immorality, greed, gossip and at times physical attacks. The symptoms of the selfish church abound, in sharp contrast and contrary to the words of our savior.

Jesus made it very clear that the world judges the church and His followers by the way we love each other. And believe me, there are days that the only way I can love some of the people I deal with is to count myself dead.
I Must be Dead to the World and Alive Unto God

Tedd Galloway is the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God and Encounter at River's Edge. Both books are available through local bookstores, Amazon, and directly from the author.  His website is  At the site you can watch the trailers for both books, access the blog articles, read his bio, and find contact information.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Inspiration- I have spent more than forty years of my life endeavoring to glorify God and bring inspiration to the people around me. My road has taken me to some pretty depressed places and many awesome places. I spent time on skid row in Chicago and came face to face with men and women who experienced the demonic side of drugs and alcohol. I lived in Benton Harbor where men lived in burnt out and abandoned buildings. In temperatures below zero my wife and I walked through the shells of buildings looking for the shells of men.

How can I bring inspiration to people whose soul is filled with pain, emptiness and apathy? How can any person bring inspiration to men and women who care more about the bottle and fix? The answer is quite easy. I can't and you can't.

Inspiration- How do I bring inspiration when I just don't feel very inspired myself? This is a very legitimate question that deserves an answer. I will say a few things at the end of this post. I haven't posted on this blog for a very long time. The reason; I haven't had anything to say.

Now, for a person who wants to be a writer, that is a pretty lame excuse. I read blogs and stories about writers and the good ones all say the same thing, write anyway. Now, I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but, I am not thicker than two planks. I get it. The word is discipline. I need to learn to be a disciplined writer. God is helping me to understand that if my writing is to bring inspiration to others than He will empower me.

Inspiration- The word finds its truest voice in scripture. Genesis tells us that God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul. Inspiration finds its truest source in the breath of God. God's breath gave life to Adam. His breath gave life to holy scripture, the Bible. The author of Timothy tells us that, "All scripture is inspired by God."

On my own I can no more bring inspiration to the souls of men and women than I can direct the clouds and rain. But, in union with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, I have experienced and continue to experience the breath of God. Each day I can be in communion with the life giving breath of God. If I am to be effective in bringing inspiration I must be connected to the source of inspiration.

Some review of the inner man, my own, is helpful in understanding what can happen. I have been pretty stressed these last couple of months. I have had a book released. I am searching for an agent to represent me in the book world. I am working on the sequel to my first novel. I am trying to encourage an older struggling congregation to find their path of ministry.

In other words, I was giving too much and not taking care of my own soul. That is disaster in the making, a coming tornado that will throw everything into the whirlwind of confusion and near blindness.

Just prior to starring at this monitor I closed my eyes for a few minutes and  the prayer of my heart was quite simple, 'Lord help me do what you want me to do."

Take care of your soul. Find and practice the avenues that bring you to the streams of peace, regeneration and inspiration. If you do not take care of your own soul you will be unable to bring inspiration to another.

Tedd Galloway is the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. The book was released in May through Morgan James Publishing. It is available at most online sites as well as major bookstores. His website is  At the site you can watch the YouTube video produced to highlight the book and the story of colorblind love.

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Book

My book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, has been out for a few weeks. A month ago I began participating in a Goodreads program in which I agreed to give away five copies of my book to interested readers. I did not really think about the response to the program. I found myself doing what I do, preparing for Sunday services and making contacts to market my book.

I am finding it difficult to wear the two hats of pastor and author. When I leave my church, West Adrian Community Church, my mind is still working on church stuff. I have to shift gears for a few days and put on my writer's hat. I have this blog that I really need to update on a weekly basis. At times I am on schedule and at times, not so. Also, I am currently writing the sequel to my first novel, The Crossing. So I find my mind and spirit shifting gears all the time.

As I got ready yesterday morning to head to church, I do what I always do. I fired up my smart phone and checked my e-mail. I guess that means I am a tech junkie tied to my phone. Well what to my wandering eyes should appear but a notice from Goodreads that my book must be dear. Not bad, hey. The program was over and I had the names and addresses of the five book winners.

The surprise came when I looked at how many people actually tried to win a book. The number was more than 430 different readers tried to get a copy of my book. I have to tell you, that made my day. The publishing of my book has been an emotional and mental struggle. When the book was first published I had great expectations. Five months later the first publishing company shut down.

After months and months of trying to get my manuscript and art work a friend came through with my property. It took another fourteen months to know that the book would be out in the world again. With my current publishing house, Morgan James Publishing, I am blessed to a great degree. The publishing house put me in contact with a renowned and talented publicist, Meg McAllister. She has taken me under her wing to assist me. Dalitopia Media created my web-site and it is awesome.

I do not have visions of grandeur in regards to my book. What I do have is the vision of people being blessed and challenged as they read the story of a mother and her daughters who made the decision to love a child in spite of color, in spite of physical and mental challenges and in spite of hatred.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, has been released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,

Friday, June 6, 2014

Freedom-At What Cost

Today a great number of Americans and Europeans pay tribute to the thousands who died on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. The European continent was being strangled by a political mindset that sought to destroy the ideal of personal freedom and democracy. The Axis powers had already killed close to ten million people and their plans included the entire planet.

Brave men swallowed their fears and jumped into the waters that had come ashore at Normandy for thousands of years. Now the waters were running red and hundreds of men lie dead and dying, adding to the crimson waves that advanced and retreated on the sand. As every minute passed into eternal history the cost of freedom was rising.

Over the coming months thousands of young men will die. Some young men will die mercifully instant. Other men, as young as 18 and 19, will pass into eternity with thoughts of their mom, their favorite Sunday dinner, the face of their girlfriend, moving across their dimming eyes.

I write this today because I have had the highest honor of knowing a few men who swallowed their fears, jumped into the ocean, walked through jungles, all to defeat the evil design of totalitarian madmen.

I have written before of my father and four of his brothers who volunteered to face the brutality of war. My grandma Galloway believes her boys came home alive due to her praying for them each day. Yet, their were thousands of moms praying for the safe return of their boys only to receive the letter from the War Department with typed letters formed into words that declared the death of their son.

My dad came home from the war in the pacific. The only physical difficulty that he dealt with was the fungal infection that he and thousands of soldiers encountered. He suffered from cerebral malaria as well, the scars of the malaria remaining in his brain. Today my dad would have been diagnosed with PTSD, as would hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

I cherish the American flag presented to the family at my dad's funeral. Some day, when I have a place of my own, and I will fly his flag on very special days.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, has been released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,

Monday, May 19, 2014


Get away from the lights of the city and find a place that is dark, real dark. Now, look into the heavens and wait for a moment. A shooting star streaks across the sky. The really awesome ones leave a trail of glitter behind them.  As you gaze into the endless expanse you begin to understand that you are focusing your eyes on galaxies, stars, and planets that sent out their light thousands of years ago.

I just described what our family did on many summer nights.  Those nights when we knew it was time for a shooting star extravaganza we watched the show on the comfort of our trampoline. The sleeping bags were gathered and put on the trampoline.  Lying on our backs we would try and count the fiery particles as they raced across our eyes. Slowly, with tired eyes, but still enthusiastic, we would fall asleep.

Standing under the canopy of heaven or lying on a trampoline watching shooting stars, a question naturally comes to the searching soul. What am I in comparison to the vastness of the universe? What significance can I possibly have in a world of planets and stars, of mountains and oceans? What difference is one speck of sand on the shores of this world?

A few thousand years ago the same question was asked, under the same setting. "God, when I look up into the heavens, when I see the stars and the moons which you have ordained. What am I? Why should you care one little bit about me? Yet, you made me just a little lower than the created beings of the heavens. You crowned me with glory and majesty. You appointed me the steward of all you made. Glory to your name."

Men and women, boys and girls, all find their purpose and significance in God. He is the one who created mankind and he knows what it takes to fill the heart and soul with meaning and purpose. Jesus told us that He came into the world to give us life and give it in great abundance.

The blessing of the presence of God in the heart of Christ Followers is the presence of transformation. Christianity is no different than any other religion if it does not transform the human character. It is the power of God in our life that can take control. It is the presence of Christ and the fruit of His Spirit that can, should, change humanity.

In light of being transformed by the love and power of God, consider these words from the book of Ephesians. "To know the love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all of the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is working within us.."

The next time you stand under the canopy of heaven thank God, not your lucky stars, that you have great meaning and significance to the God of all creation.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, has been released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dreams should not die

When I was in elementary school I wrote a story based on a movie that Mickey Rooney starred in. It seems that he was in the wrong spot at the wrong time. He was caught in the fall-out from a nuclear test and some crazy things happened to him. My story was entitled, The Radioactive Rabbit. It told the story of a poor cottontail that got caught in the same fallout as Mickey Rooney. He grew to be about six foot tall and had some pretty nasty habits. I loved writing the story and I really loved the feedback I got from the teacher.

Some years later, in high school, I wrote another story. It was the true account of me and a dog named Scout. On a February night, about 20 below, my dog Scout didn't come home. I went out in the night searching for him. I eventually tracked him to a cedar swamp where he was caught in a coyote trap. The trap was frozen to his paw and I was unable to open it. I broke the chain and carried Scout the mile back to our house.

Over the next weeks Scout got gangrene in  the wound. Every day my mother helped me clean the wound and pour antiseptic on it. Close to spring we had to decide if we were going to put him down. The wound was not improving and the smell was awful. I resisted the thought but had to agree that we would give Scout another week to show some improvement.

A week later we noticed that the smell was not as bad and we thought we could see very small hairs beginning to grow. To this day I remember walking up the driveway and Scout running with three good legs and a bandaged paw greeting me. His recovery was fantastic and he became the canine celebrity of Huron Beach.

I wrote a story about Scout and sent it in to Readers Digest. I was sure that everybody would love the story and I would frame the copy of the magazine. I wasn't prepared for the rejection letter that came in the mail. Not only did I feel rejected, the dumb people were rejecting Scout.

Those two experiences of writing brought me to the highs and lows of trying to express myself with written words. I have had other rejections since then. And, I am blessed to say, I have received very positive words of encouragement and how my words have helped people. There are many days when I feel that I have nothing to say to the world. Putting my fingers on the keyboard, as today, helps me put those days behind me.

I love and hate writing. That might sound like I have some kind of mental defect, probably do. When the words form faster than my fingers can maneuver I am enthralled with writing. When I sit and star at this computer and my mind and spirit are blank, I hate it.

I want to encourage any who read these words to, never give up on a dream. Life circumstances can suck the very energy out of us and our dreams. We can imagine a million reasons why we should not continue with our, Fairy Tale. Do not give up. Get back to it.

Check out my website and my book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is available. It is available online and soon to be in most book stores.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Full Heart

Parenthood is full of emotional highs and lows. In my opinion amusement parks do not compare to the ups and downs of being a dad. As parents, we have a love for our children that can not easily be put into words. Look into the eyes of a dad as he holds his newborn child. Now, try to write about that look. It is almost impossible to describe. Look into the eyes of a new mother as she nurses her newborn. Tell me, how in the world do you put that experience into words, it is impossible. We can only attempt to use the symbols of speech to describe the indescribable.

Parenthood can bring the deepest pain imaginable. I have watched parents in agony as their child languished close to death. The pain that was crushing them, again, is beyond description. The pain in parenthood can come in a hundred different directions. As parents we try to help our children learn how to make good and healthy decisions. Because we know what happens when bad decisions are made. I have made more than a few. When I was sixteen and seventeen I thought my dad was as dumb as a brick. I didn't want to listen to anything he had to say.

I know people who tried with all sincerity and tremendous effort to raise their children with a sense of right and wrong and respect for others. And, I have witnessed those same loving parents put themselves through hell as their children made bad decisions and poor choices. Some children ending up in jail and others on the fringe of society. How do you put into words the pain those parents are dealing with, you can't.

On the other side is the absolutely indescribable sense of love and gratitude that fills the hearts of parents when their children walk into the future with love and confidence. Ask a dad how he feels when he walks his daughter down the wedding isle. He can't tell you without choking up. Ask him how he feels when he watches his children graduate from high school. Ask him how he feels when he watches his children excel, beyond their own expectations, not his. Ask him to describe how he feels when his son is holding his newborn child and the new grandpa knows what is in the future.

Full Heart, I guess those two words are the only way that I can describe the emotions that I just listed. The pain fills the heart and threatens to choke the life out of us. It can knock us down and bring us to our knees. The blessings of the, Full Heart, again are beyond the use of words. It is to be experienced and put into the treasure-house of the soul.

I have experienced both sides of the, Full Heart. This has been an easy post to write for today I have really experienced the, Full Heart. My granddaughter is gifted and intelligent. She is an excellent student and athlete. She is the, first chair trumpet player in the middle school band that just won state honors. Her mom, my daughter Hilary, is an awesome overcomer who is soon to be caring for the elderly in the professional manner of her dreams.

Last week, Ana graduated with honors earning her master's degree. Her life and radiance draws people like a magnet. This weekend, Marily graduated with highest honors and set an example for many to follow.

I wish my heart could write. Maybe then I might be able to put it all into the right words.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is soon to be released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,

Monday, April 28, 2014

God Lovers Doubters

God loves people who have doubts about Him. Lots of folks who go to church heard about doubting Thomas this past Sunday. The people at West Adrian Community Church heard about him and a few others. We first looked in the Old Testament at some pretty famous men who were doubters to the extreme and yet God loved and used them in some pretty remarkable ways.

Abram, the father of many nations was a big time doubter. But, before we get to the doubting part let's look at his heart towards God. God called Abram to walk hundreds of miles to a country he had never been to. Abram did as he was told. God told Abram to look into the night sky and begin counting the stars. He told Abram that he would be the father of a people who outnumbered the stars in the sky. Abram believed God and had a righteous heart. God revealed his plan for Abram in a vision and Abram believed it. Pretty dedicated man towards God.

A famine hits the land and Abram takes his pretty good looking wife to Egypt. His heart and mind know that God has plans for him and Sarah. He knows that God will be faithful. Funny thing about Abram, he doesn't trust God with his beautiful wife. He tells Sarah to lie to the Egyptians and tell them that she is his sister. They lie and trouble comes.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and Isaac, Abraham's son does the same thing. He marries a very beautiful woman. When famine comes he goes to the Philistines for food. Along the way he tells Rebeka, his wife, tell the Philistines that you are my sister. They might desire you and kill me. They lie and trouble comes. Both father and son love God and have witnessed His hand upon their life. Yet, like so many of us, a time came and they doubted that God was involved in the situation.

One last Old Testament character, Gideon. The Midianites were in control of the land are Gideon. The families would thresh their grain out of sight of the Midianites so it would not be confiscated. Gideon was threshing his grain at the olive press, out of sight. God appears to Gideon and tells him that He is going to rescue his people through Gideon. Gideon hems and haws and tells the Lord that he is the least of the clan and the tribe is the least of all the tribes.

Gideon asks the Lord for two separate signs that He would support him. The first sign is a flambeau of beef and broth on a stone. The second being a fleece presented to God. Gideon asked God to give him a sign by having the fleece wet and the ground dry. It was so. Not quite convinced Gideon asks the Lord to reverse the sign, wet ground, dry fleece. It was so. Gideon fought and won and now he passes out bibles in hotel rooms.

Doubting Thomas is no different than his Old Testament ancestors, and us. He doubted and wanted proof. When the proof came Thomas confessed Christ and his life was never the same. You and I are no different. There are times when it is easy and comforting to believe God. But, there are many times when it is not so easy to believe the promises of God.

Many people I know have great burdens for their children, spouses, and other family members. We wonder when God is going to answer the prayers that have gone up for years and years. God will come through. He will prove that He is faithful and the doubts we once had will be transformed into rock hard foundation stones.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is soon to be released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,

Friday, April 18, 2014


Feet near the earth, crowned brow to the skies,

God's arms outstretched, mankind's savior dies.

On the death post, beam,

His precious life blood, does gleam.

Three iron spikes hold in place,

spotless Lamb, now dirty, sacrificial face.

Voice whispering, cracking, groaning,

outpoured life, sinners atoning.

Parched throat, dry lips, mercy please,

Cheap wine on hyssop, Creator they tease.

Deep into heaven does He gaze,

Searching, praying Father, nothing but haze.

Redemption provided, His only cry,

Wounded, bruised head, He bows, He dies.

Cold, hard men, granite like face death,

Watch, remark, Christ of God gasps last breath.

Now, their hearts hard as stone,

Strangely moved, their sin atoned.

For, they have watched countless die,

Limp, lifeless bodies, suspended high.

Men, now close to post, beam,

Ugly truth transformed to beauties gleam

Monday, April 7, 2014

Decisions Made

We make decisions every day. Many are made without a thought. Some decisions lead to routine. How many of us drive to work the exact same way. How many of us go to the same market, same gas station, same fast food place. It happens to all of us, might be part of being human. We make decisions and then continue because we know what the results will be.

Donna and I made a decision almost twenty-five years ago and the results of that decision still amaze and confound me. Yesterday I had the great pleasure and honor of attending Ana's induction into the National Collegiate Leadership Honor Society. In a little over two  months she will receive her Masters Degree in Public Administration specializing in the non-profit sector.

The decision to walk down the adoption road for Ana was an easy decision to make. All it took was a few minutes of holding her and understanding what kind of life she might face, if she survived. The decision might have been easy but the road was at time terrifying, difficult and out of the box. I am not sure the amount of tears could be measured nor the hours of praying recorded as we walked the adoption road.

We believed we knew what was best and we moved forward. We never doubted our commitment and our willingness to pay any price. The price, in effort and faith, was of no consequence. With every set back, and there were many, we kept to our decision and kept going.

That decision did not just effect Donna and myself. Marily and Hilary were such a part of this road that without their love and support the entire dream and desires for their little sister might have fallen apart.

We never know what a decision we make today will eventually lead to. A young boy who payed it forward with a found twenty dollar bill has impacted millions of people. The Sunday School teacher who invited Billy Graham to come to his church has helped usher millions of people into the kingdom of God.

Every time I place my arms around my children I am reminded of how blessed I am and living in the joy of past decisions.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is soon to be released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,