Billy's Blog
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July 18, 2018, 9:45 AM

Your Journey

This week I am going on a journey with our youth to the mountains of Colorado. We attend a youth camp out there that draws between 1,200-1,400 people. It's quite an event. 

A big part of the trip is the journey. If you've ever been on a journey with a large group of people you've experienced all kinds of things along the journey. Bus breakdowns, flat tires, broken axles, car sick kids...there's all kinds of great stories along the way. Actually when I think about some of the journeys I've been on some of the best stories are about the worst stuff. It's funny how that happens. 

How's your journey going? Remember when you were 16, 17, 18 years old and you had your whole journey mapped out. You knew exactly where you going and how you were going to get there and when you would arrive. I laugh out loud thinking about how much did not go as planned. I ended up in places like Iowa, Minnesota, Louisiana and Missouri...four places I had no plans to ever go to. I never thought I would marry a girl from Minnesota and end up having a child born in Mississippi. 

You also don't plan on having a heart attack, losing your dad, losing your father in law, and a brother in law at age 39. 

You don't plan financial difficulties, divorces, miscarriages or job losses. But unfortunately these things are a part of our journey. I saw one meme the other day that said, "Life sucks. Then you die." Well, there is SOME truth to that, life does suck at times, and unless Jesus comes back before your time you will die, but it's much better than that. 


God did not make everything in your life happen. Some of your journey has been there, because of choices you've made. Some of your journey has been there simply because stuff happens. But God has a purpose for all of it. He can use anything you've gone through in your life for His glory and He will if you let Him. 


There are things in your life that were difficult but you've said that you wouldn't go back and change it. You said this, because that experience has helped make you the person you are. The reason the Apostle Paul was so passionate about spreading the Gospel is because he spent so many years foolishly trying to stop it. His journey made him who he was. You are no different. Think about what you are passionate about. You are passionate about that partly because of your journey and what you've been through. 


As a general rule men are conquerors. For example, a guy is driving. He's taking the family on a vacation. Last year the family went to the same vacation spot. Last year it took 12 hours and 36 minutes to get there. This year that number is going down. You will make it in under 12 hours and 36 minutes. If you have to go the bathroom you better grab an empty Coke bottle, because dad ain't stopping. 

It's kind of silly. Here you are on vacation and you're stressing about getting there quicker. We all need to slow down a little bit and enjoy our journey. I am like the kettle calling the pot black on this one. I am bad at it. I'm that competitive conqueror who wants to get there. I need to slow down and enjoy the journey. 

You're never going to get all your work done today so go home at a decent time and enjoy your family. 

Those emails will be there tomorrow...shut your computer off and go fishing with your kids. 

No matter how much laundry you do today there will be dirty clothes tomorrow...sit down and read your kid a book. 

No matter how much you drive today...the road continues on. Take a break and check out that state park. 

God has given us so much to enjoy. We will live for eternity, but we only get one journey through this life. Let's make the most of it. Get all you can out of it and enjoy it. There's no redos so let's get it right the first time. 

July 10, 2018, 9:39 AM

The Corruption Of Power

Power should be a good thing. If you have power and influence that should be good. It's a great opportunity to do a lot of amazing things. If you have power you probably have some money, too. Money can sure do a lot of good things, but the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. The same is true of power. 

I thought this quote by a guy named Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton was pretty good. He said, "All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Power doesn't have to corrupt people, but it sure seems to. And absolute power...usually not a good thing. When you hear the word, dictator, it probably doesn't bring any good memories up. We think of Hitler, Mussolini, with absolute power who did terrible things. 

Why does power corrupt people? Why can't we do good things with power? 

Here's what things like power and money reveal...they reveal what you really love. If you really love people and value people more than power or money you will do positive and good things with your power. If you love power more than people you will use your power to do what's best for you. Read what John writes in 1 John chapter two. 

 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17

If you love the world, the things of the world like money and power and prestige, then you will give in to the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and to pride. You will be corruptible. There are many men and women who go into politics with great intentions to do great things for people, and they end up being corrupted by the power they receive. Their first love changed. Or maybe they were in love with an idea to help people, but it wasn't really who they were. 

There have been many men and women who have used power and influence to help a lot of people. We've all heard stories of rich and famous people who built hospitals, or supported missionaries, or built people homes...these like this. Many of these people do not do it in front of the camera and lights they just do it, because their first love is not the power and the money. 

If you love the world you're going to be corruptible. We don't have to be politicians or wealthy or famous to be corruptible. Our motives and intentions can be corrupted no matter how insignificant we may be in the scheme of things. We need to check ourselves. Is our first love in the right place? 

John also wrote the book of Revelation and in chapter two he deals with a church in Ephesus. This church had some great things in the past. John praises them for their hard work, their perseverence, their endurance, and their willingness to stand up to false teachers. But one thing they lacked...they had lost their first love. They had forgotten why they were doing what they were doing. 

We can't lose our first love. We can't fall in love with the world and the things around us. This when we get corruptible. We must always challenge ourselves to go back to where it all started...our love for Jesus. That's where it all started and that's where it needs to stay. 

July 5, 2018, 10:37 AM

Hope For The Dark Times

Over 40 million people in America struggle with anxiety. 

Over 16 million Americans suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. 

We aren't just talking about diagnosed instances of anxiety and depression. We know that there are many undiagnosed and unreported instances of anxiety and depression. Plus, what about the millions of us that struggle with discouragement or some minor form of depression that doesn't require medical treatment? 

This is real stuff. 

When you read the Bible you will find many people who struggled with depression and/or discouragement. 

David said his burden was too heavy to bear. Elijah told God he had had enough. Job said he had no peace. Jeremiah had wished he'd never been born. Jesus said that his soul was overwhelmed to the point of death. 

If our Savior struggled with discouragement even to the point of death don't you think that we might struggle, too? 

It's false that Christians have to run around with a fake smile pretending that everything is ok when it isn't. That's called, hypocrisy, and Jesus condemns it. What we need to do is get real with it, understand it doesn't make us a bad person, and get real about our relationship with God. 

In Hebrews 6:19 the Word says that our hope in Jesus Christ is an anchor. You and I need an anchor. We need someone and somewhere to cling onto when the storms come. We need to know that something is going to help us hold it together when the waves and storms of life are threatening to sink us. 

We have to get past the false shame of depression and discouragement. We need to realize that we all deal with it in some way, and that it's ok. It doesn't make our faith weak or relationship with God shaky. We need the anchor, Jesus Christ. We are described in the Bible as "jars of clay"...we are all easily broken. This is our human condition. 

But we have an anchor in Jesus that will help us keep it together if we cling to him and to EACH OTHER. 

June 29, 2018, 2:32 PM

Reaction to Addiction

Addiction is a huge issue in our country. I'm not even going to look up numbers about addiction, because they aren't going to tell the story. Those who are identified as addicts pale in comparison to those who are actually addicted. I'm not talking just about drug and alcohol addiction. I'm talking about food, sex, work...these are all dangerous addictions, too. Addictions to work and money have brought down many a family just like addictions to drugs and alcohol. 

What I want to address is the attitude we have toward people who struggle with addiction. I would say many of us struggle with addiction. We may find food to be a comfort when we are troubled. We might soothe our pain with several glasses of wine. We might go to work to avoid the real issues in our lives. Even though we have our own struggles we might find ourselves very intolerant of the sins of others. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 7:5 when Jesus told us to take the PLANK out of our own eye before we try to remove the SPECK out of someone else's eye. Jesus used hyperbole here on purpose. Imagine a plank in your eye. When I used to set up scaffolding for work we used 2 X 12's for planks. Jesus is comparing our sin, a 2 X 12 plank, with the sins of others, a speck of sawdust. The hilarious visual is of someone swinging around a plank in their eye trying to fix the person with a barely visible speck of sawdust. 

Jesus is not talking about endorsing sin or never confronting sin. He is addressing the idea that we should try to judge ourselves before we judge others. What I've realized in my own life is that when I judge myself first I find that I'm so humbled by own sin that I just give up on criticizing anyone else. 

So try that. When you are tempted to judge someone who struggles with addiction stop and deal with the plank hanging off the side of your own head. You might be so busy dealing with that you won't have time to judge anyone else. 

June 22, 2018, 9:45 AM

The Real Story on Racism

What exactly is racism? Is racism a black cop arresting a white man or a white cop arresting a black man? Is racism a person not hiring someone of a different color because they aren't qualified? Is racism a white person feeling scared in a black neighborhood? What exactly is racism? 

There are lots of definitions, but in my book racism is descriminating against someone merely because of their culture or their skin color. Let me give you an example. I was talking to an older man one time. He was saying that he was going to stop going to this car dealership that he'd bought several vehicles off of, because they had hired a black manager. I asked him if he knew the man or had any bad dealings with him. He said he didn't know him, but he was not going to do business with can fill in the blank. I was very angry and told him what I thought. This was pure racism. 

Division by race is or culture is a battle that Jesus dealt with in his time on earth. When he walked up to that well to get a drink and he talked to the woman there she was shocked. She even asked him why he was speaking to her. Jesus was breaking all kinds of cultural rules. He was a man speaking to a woman. He was also a Jew and she was a Samaritan. She knew that he could get in big trouble for doing what he was doing. He didn't care. Jesus was not bound by the cultural boundaries that people had set up. He crossed over them, because he cared about all people regardless of their nationality or their gender. 

So how do we deal with this in 2018 as a believer? We need to follow the example of Jesus. We need to value people not based on what race they are or what gender they are, but based upon the fact that they are human.  We must decide that we are not going to give into what we've traditionally done or just by what makes us feel comfortable. We treat people the way Jesus taught us to. 

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