5 05 2021
May be an image of Rudy Sheptock and Jeff Savage and ocean

McCLOUD AND ME! SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT MAY 5, 2021

In my Article from a few weeks back, I mentioned the fact that I used to love watching NBC’s

Sunday Night Movie Mysteries. Well, it stirred something within me that made me revisit one of the

rotating shows of that series. Dennis Weaver who made his claim to fame as Marshall Dillon’s

Deputy on the Western Gunsmoke, returned to the small screen as Deputy Marshall Sam McCloud.

McCloud aired on NBC from September 16, 1970 through April 17, 1977. The fictional Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud came to the Big Apple from a small western town in Taos, New Mexico. They

had loaned him to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) as a special investigator.

The reoccurring theme in every program was the supposed conflict seen between the good-

natured, clear-eyed buoyancy of McCloud and the metropolitan hard-nosed cynicism of the

residents of New York City. The signature of McCloud’s character was his Western unflappability

and seeming inability to recognize an insult, especially from his NYPD superior, Chief of Detectives

Peter B. Clifford, played wonderfully by Actor J.D. Cannon. At the beginning of every episode, it

appeared that Chief Clifford wanted no part of giving McCloud any assignment of substance.

One of my favorite assignments that was given to McCloud was helping a lonely beaver in the Central Park Zoo. But McCloud was not the “Hick from the Sticks,” everyone assumed he was. McCloud always seemed to find himself solving another crime and rescuing the damsel in distress as might be better known in Dodge City! McCloud’s attire, typically consisting of a sheepskin coat or Western jacket, a bolo tie and his signature cowboy hat and boots, allowed for implied comic relief in many encounters with New Yorkers. Under his jacket or coat, he usually wore a khaki uniform shirt with a brown star-shaped uniform patch with gold trim on left sleeve, lettered “Marshal’s Office Taos, N.M.”. There was a yellow circle in the center with the number 33. He wore two collar pins one was “NM” and the other was “33”. McCloud carried a blued .45 Colt SAA Western-style six-shooter with a 4¾” barrel.

McCloud was the embodiment of the American law officer who always sees the good in people but

knows the real stakes and he spares no pain to catch the bad guy. The character’s catchphrase

which was a must on television back in the 1970’s was, “There Ya Go!” Another memorable moment was when a character played by John Denver, at the end of the show that he guest starred on, traded catchphrases with Weaver. Denver responded “There ya go!” and McCloud chimed in with “Far out!”

Let me bring into the light why I chose to write about McCloud and me in my article today. Many

times, others who think that they know you will attempt to pigeonhole and typecast you into who or

what they think you should be. They underestimate your talent and don’t factor in the difference

faith in Jesus makes in your character and personality. I have tried very hard to never judge a book

by the cover because to do so shows laziness. Before you send somebody out to play a position,

you should at least do your homework and know what somebody actually brings to the table. How

many times have you pre-judged someone only to find out later that your perceptions were way off

base? You probably don’t like when an authority of yours doesn’t give you a fair shake. Why then

would you believe that it is acceptable behavior to do this to another?

Just take a look at Jesus. When He came on the scene, He did not look like, talk like, walk like, live

like what the religious establishment had pre-ordained Him to be. So, in too many cases, the

crowds walked right by the Christ who just happened to be in their midst. Jesus in many ways was

just like McCloud. The avant-garde were in tune with the Savior from Nazareth because they were

already out of the box that society tries to squeeze us into. When will Christians ever come to

accept that their God is experimental, radical and truly unorthodox with respect to how to get it

done here on Earth? Status-quo has got to go. Apathy is a trap you see! Man made boundaries

need to be tested especially if God is calling you to go way beyond the tightly woven legalism of an

insecure congregation. There are those precious miraculous moments that Jesus invites us to add

much needed color outside the lines!

McCloud was always courteous, kind and a good guy but he would not be locked into desk work

when he knew that he was called to make a difference outside the walls of the building. As a Pastor,

I have always believed that my real call is not to hide safely inside the steel frame of the Lighthouse

Church structure. The Lord is calling us to risk it all by loving the unlovely, bringing hope to the

helpless and really loving God by being Jesus in skin to all those we come in contact with. I am not

looking for the bench. I want the Coach to put me in the game. I want to be challenged because that

is the way that I am authentically changed. I will never be satisfied just looking like a member of the

clergy, I want to be practicing what I preach in how I behave the Bible.

Remember, our ultimate unconditional obedience should only be given to God. He is the only one I

need to submit to with no questions asked. There will be time when a boss, a teacher, a coach and

even a friend will try to betray your future with a simple kiss of compromise.  Watch who those lips

are kissing up to. What profits a man if he gains the adulation of this present dimension only to

discover that he has forfeited his soul in the process. If God puts you in a situation for such a time

as this to ignore playing it safe so that you can follow through in radical faith like Queen Esther,

then ditch the desk and grab your badge and pony up. This is one time I relate more to McCloud

than I ever did to Chief. Titles come and go. Destinies are a matter of the heart! What script will

drive your story?





27 04 2021
Silence Is Not Golden | by Jim Wiederhold | LinkedIn

SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN   PASTOR RUDY           APRIL 28 2021

I am not always a fan of silence. I know everyone needs some quiet time every now and then, but I was born a communicator. I want to know what others are thinking and the ideas they have to offer. I desire to be in the loop in what makes someone laugh, what makes them cry and how they are dealing with a present situation. I don’t really believe silence is golden. As a matter of fact, I see the lack of response as a negative before I would ever label it as a positive.

I for one am a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. One never needs to wonder what type of day I am having. I will tell you. You might say that I overcommunicate. Maybe it is one of the reasons that I am drawn to social media. I love sharing my faith and my heart on Facebook and Twitter and the like. It has opened doors to meeting people that I would never have known otherwise. I understand that as in every area of life, there are precautions and boundaries that should be carefully laid out, but I must say that I have had some great conversations that have allowed me to change the label from stranger to friend.

I am shocked by the lack of the significant exchanges that could occur but don’t happen in spite of the plethora of avenues available to cultivate authentic bonds together these days. People settle to express nothing deeper than surface cliches and meaningless banter that doesn’t break the barrier that will being them closer to one another. Many have been burned by relational situations that backfired and betrayed them. Words can become like grenades and when sentences that sting begin to blow up the personal spirit, it doesn’t bounce back that quickly. But to commit to being on the peripheral when real life happens in the middle is no way to behave at all.

Have you experienced sending a note, a text, an email, a Facebook message only to wait for an answer that doesn’t come? It’s not that the response rate is just as slow as snail mail. It is that the return volley to your first serve never comes at all. Is it because society has made telling the truth an optional action? Are people becoming colder to the surrounding culture because fear has run rampant where faith used to dwell? The world may be noisier than ever, but are we longing for statements that build up rather than break down? Like Bruce Springsteen sang in the 1980’s, “Everybody Has a Hungry Heart,” the cupboard that holds the daily diet to drive away the grumbling stomach is filled with fast food that teases but never satisfies.   

In the past few months, I have learned the cold reality that cancer is so much more than just a physical battle. There are days that the silence itself is deafening! Oh, the hormones are chanting away a mile a minute, but as I learned back when I was teen, the feelings they cry out don’t always confirm the facts. This makes for an even more challenging adventure as you navigate your way through another difficult day. Kind, encouraging and most importantly, sincere words from family and friends are necessary tools to fuel the chaotic matters of the heart and the soul! Nobody can fix the diagnosis, but company makes the destination doable. Our erratic emotion may conduct itself like the last ride you rode on the roller coaster at the amusement park, but when there is someone laughing, crying, and screaming in the seat next to you, you know you are going to make it. You both know what the thrill was all about and only a glance at your buddy has allowed you to share more than this article could ever say.

But because we feel like we cannot fix the pain, we avoid the contact like a plague. Because things might force the shedding of a tear or two, we try to spy out the exit door as fast as we can. Faith jumps in to even the deep parts of the swimming pool, especially when we see our swimmer struggling. Truth is the only commodity that will set a loved one free. Love holds on for dear life as the hurricane winds try to pry away the grip of your husband, your wife, your child, or your friend clinging on to you. God made us to dwell within community and isolation is a tragedy especially when it isn’t necessary. The Beatles got it right when they sang, “We get by with a little help from our Friends!”

During the six weeks of radiation treatments, I have had to adjust the load on the road of my daily activities. I have two more weeks to go. I must show up with a full bladder which makes going too far from the bathroom the rest of the day is not wise. Needless to say, I have spent much time alone. Some days I feel better than others. There are times that I just want to talk things out. I call it venting. I expect to kick this cancer to the curb. But life will be different for me on the other side. I have always been a Type A personality. My productivity even at 61 would give any 40-year-old a run for his or her money. But I know my times they are a changing. I have no doubt that I have lots left in the tank. My wife and I are about to enter what many call the empty nest for the first time since the summer of 1986. I have 8 beautiful grandchildren. I want to coach them as I coached my own kids. I want to continue to pastor and preach. I love doing radio. I am not running out of ideas to write more articles any time soon. But I am a talker. I need to process out loud. I must communicate and the best way to do so is when it is a two-way conversation. The cat has never had my tongue and the Lord is still my strength and shield. To put it plainly, the enemy will never silence me. Even when I breathe my last this side of heaven, my life will still be shouting praises from the rooftops. 

I share this so if you have someone in your world walking through this valley of covid or cancer or some other disease, keep on talking, singing, sharing, and participating in plugging in to the soul of the one you claim to care so much about. Do not allow what’s going without saying to be left unsaid. Don’t assume that you are treading where someone has wrongly put up a “No Trespassing” sign. God is opening doors and changing lives. Our Lord can do miracles in the midst of the mine fields. As a new praise song sings, God is “Not Done Yet!”

I have cherished every post and prayer from loved ones. I am keeping all the cards as keepsakes of the journey. I am grateful for the Doctors, Nurses and Techs at the Cape Regional Cancer Center. I get radiated to the music of Sirius/XM seventies channel on most days. I sing on the table and while in transit. I do not believe the cancer is good but there is life coming out of this craziness. As a Pastor, God has called me to do way more than just preach on Sundays. It is to walk with the sheep and love on them through it all. Jesus did the same for me. It is the least that I can do to serve Him by reciprocating the gift that He has talked with me all along the way. Silence is not even an issue because when the Lord appears to be out of hearing range, I still have His word on everything that matters in the Bible. This is not a season to be quiet. It is a time to share the happenings of your heart. He cares. I care and there is someone in your world today who needs to know that you care!





20 04 2021
Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver Dies at 75 - WSJ

SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT APRIL 21, 2021

TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

This coming Summer, the New York Mets will unveil a brand-new statue at Citi Field, built in honor of the ballplayer the Metropolitans refer to as “The Franchise.” He is my all-time favorite baseball player, and his name is George Thomas Seaver. There is one problem of monumental size that any true Fan of the Orange and Blue cannot deny about this whole so-called honor and that is that it comes way too late. The greatest Pitcher to ever wear a Mets uniform passed away last August 31, 2020. Contrary to whatever claims that a certain NFL Quarterback wants to make, the one and only authentic “Tom Terrific” deserved to be alive to see this day. He should have been given the chance to experience the love and adulation from his devoted fans like me. It is much more than just a shame that the Mets organization waited far too long and way too late to do what they should have done years ago. There really is no excuse other than management was foolish in putting its priorities in the wrong ideals. I have no hesitation sharing that the Wilpon Family could have done something when the Mets left Shea Stadium and opened their new home, Citi Field. The Mets brass should be embarrassed in how they botched this opportunity up in every way possible.   

Tom Seaver was my childhood hero and I looked up to him because he was a man of excellence and integrity both on and off the field. I wanted to be #41 in just about every way. It is why I chose to wear his number every time there was a uniform available with that number upon it. Tom was a thinking man who taught me that my mental contribution played just as big a role as anything that I might be able to pull of physically. I also learned that Tom was not afraid of bragging about his wife and his daughters in the limelight.  I got the picture clearly from this pitcher that being a loyal family man was something I wanted to aspire to. I just wish that the Team that I have rooted for since 1967 took better care of its own.

I should know better by now. I am 61 years old and still want to believe that justice isn’t a fairy tale. But I have seen too many good men and women never given their due diligence for being loyal, honest and hard-working individuals. After giving the best years of their lives to performing their tasks above the call of duty, once the time on the corporate clock runs out, they are given some token gift of bland appreciation and sent off into the sunset, paving the way for the new kid in town. Our Country has forgotten how to honor its elderly and celebrate its history properly. Long gone are the days when the younger would listen to the stories of how its greatest generation got things done. The Nation’s heritage has been reduced to putting the spotlight of social media upon those who have been deemed newsworthy of its 15 minutes of fame. How can we learn if we have abandoned the value of being teachable?

After leading the Mets to 2 World Series and winning 3 Cy Young Awards, the team did the unthinkable when they traded the one, we thought was untouchable. Tom Seaver was unceremonially let go in 1977 for a quantity of ballplayers that truly lacked any star quality because its CEO was a crusty old cheap skate who misread the whole situation and we fans paid for that ignorance. All Tom wanted was to be treated with dignity and respect and M Donald Grant chose to use a Writer in the New York Post to drum up propaganda that backfired if he thought we would believe such nonsense. But the infamous Dick Young went one article too far when he attacked Tom’s wife Nancy in his daily diatribe. The next day, Tom Seaver was a Cincinnati Red and Shea Stadium became dubbed “Grant’s Tomb.”

In 1983, under new ownership, Tom Seaver came home where he belonged. Unfortunately, once again because those in the front office miscalculated the facts, after only one season, Tom was gone yet again. The Chicago White Sox plucked him away and we were forced to see our Tom win his 300th Game at Yankee Stadium instead of Shea. In 1986, while the Mets were on their way to winning their only other World Championship, Frank Cashen had a chance to bring Tom Seaver back in time to be part of the fanfare. He had already brought back Lee Mazzilli who was one of the few shining stars in the lean years of Flushing. Tom wanted to come home and then Met’s manager Davey Johnson vetoed that deal from taking place. What was Johnson’s issue? I claim it was Davey’s fear, pride and insecurity that allowed another chance at redemption pass by. Tom Seaver pitched his last game as a Boston Red Sox and as history would toss in its most ironic of twists, Seaver was in the losing dugout when he could have easily been in the right one.

The knock over the years is that the Mets don’t do a great job of acknowledging their history and taking care of their stars. The biggest slap in the face of Tom Seaver was when the Wilpons gave us Citi Field. Fred Wilpon, a Brooklyn Dodgers Fan, built the new home of the Mets as a shrine to Ebbets Field. There was a huge portion of the park dedicated to a Jackie Robinson tribute, but Jackie never played for the Mets. Tom Seaver came and noticed that there was not even a hint of the 1969 or 1973 Mets anywhere to be found and of course, a total shutout of appreciation for him.

A few years ago, the Mets learned that Lyme’s Disease had taken its toll and forced Tom to retire from public life. It was only then that the Mets began to do what they had failed to accomplish when it could have meant something. Why do people take so much for granted? Why do we allow to what is going without saying to be left unsaid? Why do we not go overboard in making sure our loved ones know that they genuinely are loved? Why is this Tom Seaver Statue being unveiled now when it could have blessed Tom Seaver when he was breathing? Why buy expensive flowers for a cemetery when they might mean more on the dinner table? I am so sorry Nancy, Sarah and Annie that your Husband and Dad got left at the altar when we his real Fans know that there would be no joy without him. I am grateful for how many of my life memories include Tom Seaver. What the Mets failed to do, I will. I keep #41 around me constantly because of the impact Tom had in making me who I am today and the fact that as a Christian, everything I do, I do For One! I do it for the Lord!

So, who needs words of affirmation, today? Who needs an act of service done for them, today? Who needs to receive a special gift, today? Who could use a healthy hug and kiss of affection, today? Who would appreciate you being with them, today? You can wait until it is too late. You do not have forever to get it right. You can miss the sunrise, even if the glare is right before your very eyes. But you do not have to and if you see a good deed left undone, do it. I will not allow appreciation to be left on the stove if the one I love is hungry tonight. Tom Seaver, we are your statues. Tom Seaver, we are your wins. And even though those with the influence struck out big time in saying this, we know that you know when I linger back in times to those summer days of yesteryear, you will always be there. And I do not need mortar and stone because God has constructed a monument of memories in my heart.                 





14 04 2021

SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT WITH PASTOR RUDY APRIL 14 2021

SINGING YES TO LIFE AND TO THE LORD!

If you were to ask me what some of my favorite Books were, my answer would include “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. It is a tragic tale of what it was like to be in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. Frankl describes how the Nazi Germans did everything in their power to not only kill these Jewish men and women in a horrific fashion but humiliate them and rob them of any ounce of dignity that might remain. Frankl in powerful fashion shares that while the enemy did its best, it could not take away the will to live and to have hope. It also highlighted that human beings can even shine in the worst of circumstances and situations.

While the Holocaust saw millions of men, women and children die in these death camps; included among the deceased were Frankl’s parents and his pregnant wife. But in spite of and despite these personal tragedies and the inevitable deep pain and ache these heartaches brought; Frankl was still able to put this unbelievable suffering in a perspective that inspires readers like me even today.

Of course, Frankl was not alone in those who still found signs of life in a garden of cement. The daughter of Holocaust survivors shares that her parents had a network of friends who, like them, had survived some of the same horrific death camps as Frankl. You might assume that because of this past, they had a pessimistic, if not entirely dark and depressed, outlook on life. But, you would be wrong! She shares that when she was growing up outside Boston her parents would gather with friends who were also survivors of the death camps and have a party. She writes that the women would get “all gussied up,” wearing their finest clothes, decking themselves out to the hilt as if they were going to Cinderella’s ball. She continues that they would also gather for lavish feasts, dancing and being merry together, “enjoying life every chance they had!”

Her father would say, “That’s living” by being grateful to celebrate the little things. They never forgot that life was a gift that the Nazi machine was not successful in taking away from them.” They were absolutely determined, after all the hells they had endured, to say “Yes!” to life, in spite of everything.

I love that phrase “Yes to Life,” Viktor Frankl informs us that it was from the lyrics of a song sometimes sung by the inmates of the four camps in which he was a prisoner, the notorious Buchenwald among them. The song had bizarre origins. One of the first commanders of Buchenwald which was built in 1937 originally to hold political prisoners, ordered that a camp song be written. Prisoners, often already exhausted from a day of hard labor and little food,

were forced to sing the song over and over. One camp survivor said of the singing, we “put all our hatred” into the effort. But for others some of the lyrics expressed hope, particularly this:

“Whatever our future may hold: We still want to say “yes” to life,

Because one day the time will come— Then we will be free!

If the prisoners of Buchenwald, tortured and worked and starved nearly to death, could find some hope in those lyrics despite their unending suffering, Frankl asks us, shouldn’t we, who are living in far more positive and still free society, be able to say “Yes” to life in spite of everything this challenging journey brings us? The enemy wants to shut you up and steal, kill and destroy any smidgeon of joy that might be stirring in your heart. Christians need to stop looking for paradise to be a place on earth and learn how to sing the song of Heaven, even as they march through hell. Raise the praise, sing to the Lord, and let the light of Jesus lead the way when we run out of earthly batteries to keep the place from going totally dark. Every day of Radiation treatment, I look for songs to sing, people to love, souls to encourage and happenings of hope that the promises of God still assure us are in our hope and future. Our hope is not built on earth’s humble but unpredictable shores. It is found in the Hands of the One who never let’s us go. Through the calm and through the storms- we have a reason to breathe so don’t be gagged by those who have no right or authority to steal your voice.   





30 03 2021
Common Fig Tree with Fruits 3D Model 3.3m

EASTER 2021 SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD THIS EASTER!

I don’t know about you, but I always wake up singing. I not only keep the songs playing all day long, but I also experience very musical dreams. The other morning, I woke up with the tune, “Tell Me Something Good,” coming from my lips. This record was once a Number 3 Hit for the Band Rufus that featured Chaka Kahn. The Motown superstar Stevie Wonder wrote this song and never released the song himself because he gave the song to Rufus, since Stevie was a fan of their lead singer, Chaka Khan. Around this time, Wonder was turning many of his best songs over to female singers with otherworldly voices: Aretha Franklin recorded his “Until You Come Back to Me,” and Minnie Riperton did “Loving You.”


The story Chaka Khan tells is that Wonder was going to bring them a song in the studio, and when he dropped by and played her one which he had written, she stunned her bandmates by telling the mighty Stevie Wonder she didn’t like it. Chaka says she was 19 and pregnant, so she was a little moody at the time. So, Wonder began jamming at his keyboards and before you could say, “signed, sealed, delivered,” out came the tune: “Tell Me Something Good.” According to Chaka, she loved it and they worked out the song together in the studio and magic was made.

Dear Lord, there is so much bad news around our world this Easter. Please Father, tell me something good! Hope is the anticipation of something good even in the midst of something bad.

Hope is deeper than optimism. Optimism is the tendency to believe things will turn out well. But biblical hope is a commitment to the conviction that in God, we have a sure thing. Promises are kept, His word is His bond and no matter what might be happening right now, for Believers, the best is yet to come. Lord, I may not like the first song, but as long as You are in my life, I know You are composing lyrics with my name on them in Your infinite creativity.

Here is the thing. You cannot do more than you hope to do if you don’t hope, so imagine you have a hope that just doesn’t give up. If God be for us, who can be against us? Imagine that as Christians, we are not intimidated by the pandemic, recession, fear, isolation, and uncertainty. In the power of the Spirit, we can face the bully head on and look the enemy square in the eye and still mine life in a place where people are settling for death much too easily. Imagine being so filled with the hope that Jesus brings that we do not lose our peace, purpose, soul and inspiration when our culture panics. Imagine waking up in the morning eager for the day ahead and not dreading the next 24 hours? Imagine experiencing a heavenly hope that will not give out on earth? Tell me something good! Easter is nothing but God’s best!

The Sunday and Monday before Easter Sunday, Jesus visited the temple twice. He went there briefly upon his arrival in Jerusalem, then stayed that night with his disciples in Bethany, a couple of miles outside the city. Jesus knew that during the day, He would be in hostile territory. The Temple should have been the place where the Son of God was worshipped, but instead, He was hunted. In Bethany, Jesus was welcomed and loved and embraced. Lazarus, Martha, and Mary lived in Bethany. This Easter, is Jesus welcomed in your life, heart, and home? Let us not take it for granted that Jesus is celebrated in every church building. Let’s read on!

One day after Palm Sunday, Jesus returned to Jerusalem to visit the Temple again. On this historic Monday, Jesus would start throwing furniture in the Court of the Gentiles. But there was a true object lesson on the way and Mark records the following story. “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. (Mark 11:12–14)

I remember reading this as new Christian and thinking that somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed. The Lord is being pretty petty and temperamental. Putting a curse on a tree because it was not bearing fruit, and out of season, no less? I hate to be around Jesus when He was having a bad day. But let’s dig a little deeper here and find out the real lesson along the way. Middle Eastern fig trees bore two kinds of fruit. As the leaves were starting to come in the spring, before the figs came, the branches bore little nodules, which were abundant and very good to eat. Travelers liked to pick them off and eat them as they made their journey. If you found a fig tree that had begun to sprout leaves but had none of these delicious nodules, you would know that something was wrong.

It might look okay from a distance because the leaves had emerged, but if it had no nodules it was diseased or maybe even dying inside.

Growth without fruit was a sign of decay. Jesus seizes the opportunity to provide a private, memorable object lesson, a parable against hollow religiosity, with the fig tree as a visual aid.

Tell me something good! Jesus finds the fig tree not doing its appointed job. The tree became a perfect metaphor for Israel, and beyond that, for those claiming to be God’s people but who do not bear fruit for him.  

On that very same Monday, Jesus was returning to a place that was filled with noise and commotion and lots of activity. Picture the New York Stock exchange but add animals to the mix.

Being busy is not a spiritual gift. Doing things for God that keep you from connecting with God are not as life changing as you might believe they are. What was supposed to be a chapel to get closer to the Lord was anything but that. Evidently, Christians can be terribly busy in church activities and still miss out on transformation and heart change.

Later that day, Jesus would clear the temple of all that fruitless activity. He would take the private object lesson of the fig tree and turn it into a necessary public spectacle. God wants us to know that obedience is better than sacrifice. Jesus came to be a King that would not just lead us out of the dark but introduce us to the Light forever. If this Easter, Jesus is not allowed to lead us His way, then we will amount to nothing more than having lots of leaves with no lasting fruit.   

God loves us with an extreme salvation. What Jesus has done for us, demands an extreme response from every one of us. When the Religious Rulers saw the kind of Messiah that Jesus came to be, they wanted to do away with Him. The same response is true today. Either you’ll have to kill him, or you’ll have to crown him. Either you fall at His feet and surrender all or you want the Lord to go away. Easter forces us to make our decision. Please do not try to keep Jesus on the outside when He does His best work on the inside. Tell me something good. Give yourself fully to Him and center your entire life upon Him and let His power reproduce his character in you. Let the church be the church where Jesus doesn’t reign on our terms but on His terms and there is no argument when it comes to the question, “Who is in charge?” Unless you have power over the sin and the grave, I suggest we leave the sovereignty to the Savior! He lives because He took the death out of death! If we want our leaves to grow into everlasting fruit, then it is time for something really good and that takes us surrendering to the Lord!





24 03 2021
grace.jpg

WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES  SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT MARCH 24 2021

When I was in High School, I turned my life over to Jesus. It was not a casual decision. I had grown up in a religious family, but I was downright miserable. On the outside, I looked like I had it all together. I was a straight A Student, a good athlete, a model child and yet I had no idea what I was doing on earth. I owned no working compass. The world I lived in could not answer my most important questions. I wanted to know I was loved, and that I mattered and being here was making some sort of positive difference. I tried so hard to please all the right people, but I was repaid in all the wrong ways. I could honestly define my soul as bankrupt. I was pouring out every ounce of energy I had and yet, receiving nothing of lasting value in return. So, in April of 1975, when I first heard the gospel, I was so ready to surrender my hungry heart to the One who promised to feed me with the supernatural, satisfying Bread of Life. 

I became an extreme Christian. There was nothing halfway about my conversion. I went diving into the deep end of faith headfirst. And everyone who knew me in High School would also know that wherever I went, Jesus went with me. I finally had nothing to prove so I lived life with nothing to hide and nothing about my Lord to be embarrassed about. I had a Psychology teacher who called me an outright fool for being a Christian. He had no problem singling me out amongst his students as someone who literally kissed his brain “Goodbye,” to believe the way I did. I acted like the Bible was a viable way to live my life according to. I believed every word to be true, and he mocked me as someone who basically checked his brain at the door. I was so committed to Jesus, many of the adults in my life suggested that I should be committed to an institution because of it. But I never hesitated in the way that I should go because if Jesus went the distance to save me, there would be nothing I would not do to serve Him!

I am presently in my 39th year of being a full time Minister. If you ask me to share with you the secret of my success and longevity it would clearly be to have enough wisdom to never stand in the way of allowing God to do His work and His will in and through me. I know that the best candidates to be used in the Body of Christ are those who admit that on their own they are weak, foolish, and childlike. I love what Jesus said when He declared, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children” (Matthew 11:25). God will de-arm us of the props and gimmicks we lean on so that He can re-arm us with the power of His presence. I may not be much on my own but in the Hands of my Savior this fool becomes a chosen tool to take on the very gates of hell! In the eyes of this world, the church may be nothing more than a mismatched collection of misfits and broken and wounded hearts, but in the plan of God, we are His most cherished people. He redeems and restores what society would be happy to just kick to the curb.

The enemy crafts lies like a spider spins silk webs. Human pride is always based upon the charade of illusion. It is all tricks with no treats. God loves us so much that He must expose the kingdom of humanity which has no more depth than a Hollywood movie set! The Lord must puncture the pride of mankind. He does that by using the obscure, the nobodies, the has-beens to quiet the noise and hot air of people who are too full of their own press clippings. God’s wisdom is recognizing the truth that even if you are labeled a loser and a long shot in the eyes of the world, through Jesus we can all become the masterpieces that our Father intended us to be in the first place. The purpose of Scripture is to teach us to walk a different way. But to walk this way of the Spirit, we need to walk in the power of the Spirit. When we choose to live by a different power, Jesus in us will cause us to view reality from a higher perspective.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30–31).

In Corinth, the Apostle Paul was nicknamed, “The Babbler.” One of the smartest and most Spirit-filled man in the first century was reduced to being nothing more than a noisemaker by one of the Church’s he pastored. To be a Christian and to be obedient to God’s call and to be genuinely wise in Corinth, Paul became a fool in the crowd’s eyes so he could shine for Jesus! Are we willing to be fools for Jesus? Are we willing to be shamed for His Name? We are not self-pitying, dour, defensive, forlorn, miserable, “oh-poor-me” fools, but we are unashamed, happy, hope-filled fools for Christ. It is time for Believers to wise up and look up and even if we go down in the opinion of others, we go up in the Eyes of God and His Eyes Got it!

Jesus came to teach us how to exemplify God’s righteousness, holiness, and redemption through our lives. So, the mark of someone who is growing in Christ is that he or she is exhibiting more and more of this godly kind of wisdom. The right actions of Jesus become the way that we act in any and every circumstance. Jesus never did anything that did not have His Father’s stamp of approval upon it. We should never undertake even the smallest act without being fully yielded to the Holy Spirit. Jesus alerted us that apart from Him we could do nothing. If we want to be about something eternal, we must let the Spirit lead. It’s not about us putting God’s name on our stuff. It’s about God putting His name on our soul.   

We also see the evidence of our Lord’s influence in us not trying to mimic the world but being committed to God making us more like Jesus. Being sanctified doesn’t mean being holier than thou. It means not looking to the crowd to get our script. Our Heavenly Director wants us to become servants who showcase love and truth. Jesus loved us enough to tell us the truth, but He only shared the truth with those He already loved. Don’t tell anyone that Jesus loves them until you are ready to love them too. Society uses people for their own satisfaction. Jesus uses us for our own sanctification. We become more loving, truthful, patient, understanding, insightful, bold,

and courageous with every move we make. We are just like Jesus who typified all these qualities.

Finally, to submit to the wisdom of the Word is to allow ourselves to be redeemed and restored to our original God created glory. A human life is much like a piece of valuable property that has been hocked at the pawnshop. While it is in the pawnshop, a diamond ring is devalued. It is not fulfilling the purpose for which it was created. It sits in a display case gathering dust. And that is what the enemy wants to do to us. He wants to die lonely and destitute in the back display case. Jesus has paid the price of our redemption. He walked into that pawnshop and overpaid for each and every one of us. He made it clear to hell that it could not have what belonged to Him. Bought by the precious blood of Jesus. Restored to who Jesus always intended us to be. If that is considered nonsense by our crazy world then so be it. I want as much of that as God will allow me to experience. Jesus was the ultimate Fool on a hill called Calvary. I want to be just like my Lord!  

God does not expect us to be perfect. We are in a process of becoming more and more like Christ.

We have not gone all the way to Christlikeness yet, but we are on the way to Christlikeness. The world uses people up then throws them away. God, in His love and wisdom, keeps restoring and refashioning us for His use. When we fail, He gives us another chance. He never throws us away. We cannot do life on our own. We are God’s fools, God’s tools, God’s instruments to demolish the false wisdom of this world and demonstrate the true wisdom of His grace. I want His grace to be spread all over the place! Only fools need apply!





16 03 2021
There is None Like Our God – Shore Christian Fellowship

SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT WITH PASTOR RUDY MARCH 17 2021

THERE IS NONE LIKE WHO?

How would you finish this sentence: “There Is None Like ???” If I were to get you to be brutally honest with me, what would you say are the things that keep you moving forward? Who or what are you sincerely in love with? And what if I added, we are going to confirm your answer based upon the evidence that it can be backed up by the daily decisions you make? We are what we worship. God knows where He really charts on the Billboard Top 40 of your life? Don’t be singing that you love Him more than anything on Sunday especially if your behavior whistles a different tune come Monday!

Biblical faith should always be a demonstration of God’s power coming through loud and clear as we live our life stories. It is not about people using God for their own intentions and inventions to be blessed and successful. It must be rooted in the truth that I surrender my will so that God’s will can be accomplished in and through me. If we long to see Spiritual fruit on our branches, we best be sure that our every move is rooted deeply in who the Lord really is. Let’s stop telling everybody how much we are doing for God, unless our actions are producing examples of activity that justify that we have definitely been with God. It’s not: Jesus, come for a ride with me. It’s: Jesus take my steering wheel from now until eternity!

The Scriptures clearly spell out God’s greatest commandment for us and it has nothing to do with how we think, but how we love. The brain must submit to the heart for it is there that the engine room of humanity can be discovered. Love the Lord your God first and foremost. Love Jesus above all other loves. Seek Heaven even as you reside on earth. It has got to be vertically secured if we are going to impact our culture horizontally. This means we must surrender our pride and put it aside so the spotlight stays on the Lord! We finally discover true peace and purpose when we forget about ourselves, concentrate on Jesus and do everything we do to worship Him. If what you are doing can’t be entitled an act of devotion to God, then stop doing it immediately.

Sometimes people can say that they are about following Jesus no matter whatever, but then something happens that exposes the fact that it is easier to preach sermons than to live them. Remember when Peter made his awesome declaration on the night Jesus was betrayed? Unfortunately, Peter’s real dedication was founded in saving his own skin, rather than laying it all on the line for the Lord.

I know too many Believers who want God to elevate them and their ministry. They want to write bestselling books and go on sold-out speaking tours. They long to serve at the mega churches and have others elevate them rather than the One from whom all blessings really flow. How can I be like Chris Tomlin? How can I have my songs recognized like Lauren Daigle? How can I have a church like Steven Furtick? How can I be as famous as Rick Warren? By the way, if you haven’t come to this conclusion already, none of these questions are valid. I want to, I need to be more like Jesus. Is that true of you?

 Let me tell you a true story. On October 20th, A Convair CV-240 departed the airport at Greenville, South Carolina at 4:02 p.m. after being filled with 400 gallons of 100-octane, low-lead fuel. The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, was headed for Baton Rouge, Louisiana for their next concert. They never got there. At least not all of them. It was an instant death for pilots McCreary and Gray, and band members Cassie Gaines, Steve Gaines and Ronnie Van Zant. The assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick was also done in a moment. All six were killed on impact. Six others were injured, including Powell and Pyle: band members Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson, and Gary Rossington, as well as security manager Gene Odom. In a look back at the incident in 2017, Rolling Stone magazine reported the other 14 survivors “endured shattered bones, torn flesh, lengthy hospitalizations and grueling rehabilitations.”

A guy named Lenny LeBlanc was almost on that plane. Lenny LeBlanc and Pete Carr were promised seats, but that bond was broken and this time for the best. Some people would give anything for a recording contract with one of the world’s largest and most influential music labels. LeBlanc and Carr had a top ten record with the song, “Falling” in 1978. Lenny LeBlanc gave up his recording contract, his money, his possessions and his fame and fortune so that he could truly have everything.

Months later after that fatal plane tragedy, Lenny got a call from a close friend who lived in Florida. “He was a big-time drug smuggler,” says Lenny. “He called me late one night and said, ‘Lenny, I got saved. I’m going to heaven, and I want you to be there with me. Are you saved?’ This friend was like an older brother to Lenny, so what he said carried weight. I thought, ‘Oh man, this is great. Now that I’m successful and have all this stuff going for me, he starts talking about God.’ I had no idea what ‘saved’ even meant. That friend sent Lenny a Bible and he started reading, and God started revealing Himself to me. God started unveiling to Lenny how much he didn’t own and how he too needed a Savior. Lenny says, “God’s love melted my heart. I started crying out to God for forgiveness, and I become born again right there in my house.” Lenny’s friends suggested that he might be losing his mind. “They thought I was nuts, that I was going off on some religious tangent, but I’d found the Lord.”

At that time, Lenny was signed to Capitol Records as a solo artist and had one record left on his contract. As he sat down to write songs for that record, praise and worship, not pop lyrics, fell from his lips. “Every time I’d write a song, by the time I got to the chorus it would be about what Jesus had done in my heart. I called my manager in Los Angeles and said, “Do you think they’d let me out of my record deal?” He thought I was completely bananas!” Crazy or not, Capitol Records agreed to put Lenny in suspension of his contract—he couldn’t record for another label unless they bought out his contract. This was unlikely, since Christian music was still a relatively small industry in 1981. Few Christian record labels could afford to buy Lenny away from Capitol.

Forced into an early retirement from the music industry, Lenny—a talented craftsman as well as musician, began making stained glass. Often he’d get a job creating a window for a church, and the church would ask him to give his testimony to the youth group, sing a song during the Sunday morning service or give a Saturday night concert. At the same time, Lenny was still writing. But now his songs were no longer about worldly matters. They were about the things of God. By the time Lenny had written more than a dozen Christian songs,  God began to open new doors. Lenny soon met many of the key figures in Christian music, including Michelle Pillar, who recorded three of his tunes. Two years after he left Capitol Records, Capitol realized that no one was willing to purchase Lenny’s contract. They let him out of the agreement. Now Lenny recorded his own albums, but this time for Jesus. Lenny used his life an instrument for others to see Jesus. One of Lenny LeBlanc’s first worship song was, “There is None Like You.” The second line of this composition says, “No one else can touch my heart like You do.” That’s where God wants to heal us first. If we can get the priorities straight in our souls and we learn to love the Lord first, then we have got it right for all eternity. No person, nothing, no amount of money, no fame, no number of social media followers, nothing temporary could complete us like Jesus. I do not care what you put up against a vibrant faith in God, it will never hold up. So, let’s go back to my first question. How will you answer, “There is None Like Who?” Your answer determines your destiny.





9 03 2021
It's About Time | Knowledge Integration eXhibition | University of Waterloo

SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT WITH PASTOR RUDY MARCH 10 2021

IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Life goes by so fast. We hear those words as children and still we can’t wait for Christmas to come every December. As we grow up, we get antsy and impatient and begin to long for those magical days to hit supersonic speed. It becomes a race of what is next on the horizon. We always want to be old enough! Old enough to go to kindergarten, to play little league, to go to high school, to date, to drive, to go to college, to get a job, to fall in love, to get married, to have kids, to see the grandkids, to stay alive and productive when others might hint that your best days are in the rear view mirror. And before you know it, you discover that the clock is no longer your friend and you won’t shed a tear if you never see a calendar again.

Maybe it’s time for anticipation to grow into appreciation. Rather than yearning for what’s next, what if we actually stuck around long enough for what it happening right now? Life has certainly changed lots since I first came on the scene. And while we have raced forward a zillion miles an hour in the fields of technology, how far have we truly come? If I had a choice right now of what time I could live in, I can tell you without hesitation that I would go back to the seasons that I couldn’t wait to leave. Lord, are we ever truly content and satisfied this side of heaven?

Over the weekend, I watched several old Movies on TCM. I like the old films. I always have preferred the entertainment of the 1940’s and 50’s over what is offered today. Some say I’m old fashioned. I like to refer to it as taste and standards. I could watch Margaret O’Brien cry all night long because whatever she is in, you can bet she is praying hard for somebody. And nobody lights up the big screen like Doris Day who they say is as wholesome as apple pie–but there is nothing wrong with that–and lots of ice cream. I don’t need raunchy words and gruesome special effects. I want faith, hope and a whole lot of love to inspire my hungry heart. You can watch the latest cable programs if you want to, but you will find me in Hope Valley on Sunday nights and Dodge City during the week. Life is not all that bad looking in glorious black and white!

Maybe it’s the sobering effect of being diagnosed with cancer that has opened my eyes even wider or maybe it’s just another level of my faith in God kicking into a higher gear, but I am not buying into the rhetoric that we are better off as a Nation now than we have ever been. There is far too much pride in humanity and not enough healthy humility when it comes to our behavior as a Country. The Bible teaches us that a healthy reverence and holy respect for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The presence of the Lord in a life provides the purpose and parameters by which we can make each moment matter. The minutes we spend now are actually invested into an eternity still to come. This means that I do not tell Heaven’s Headquarters how to guide life down here, but I look up to a Higher Power for my direction and duties. The Word of God in me translates to the reality of the Spirit living through me in the world we presently live in. I do not have to follow the crowd into the pit of despair if the Lord is calling me elsewhere. I can make a difference no matter how many breaths I may have left because Jesus has taught me how to breathe! When that hour comes that I take my last breath here, it will only transition into my first breath in Glory. This is why I am depending upon a new source of oxygen to fuel my journey while I am still here. Just like the astronauts on the moon need their space suits to function in a territory unfriendly to their bodies, I have decided to power up via prayer. How can I go wrong navigating by the two principles of loving God and loving others as He as loved me?

I think it is time we don’t worry so much about being politically correct as we care about being biblically literate and alive in our behavior of the very things we claim to believe. I can still long to be a Jimmy Stewart in a chaotic cartoon system. Just because it seems like the politics favor Mr. Potter for a quick fix, I am anchored to George Bailey and the practices of the Building and Loan. I am Gary Cooper in High Noon, not backing down to the mob mentality of situation ethics. I am Father O’Malley who will fight for the church while others lick their chops over tearing it down. I am dedicated to making music in the midst of the mess and singing loud when the censors try to silence my sermons of going God’s way even if nobody else longs to travel. I believe that who I am is not limited to the physical body that I am stuck in but the spiritual soul that God gave me that can still soar like an eagle even while going through radiation treatments. You can crawl if you want to but I am at my best when I fly and if you ask me, I believe the same things for you.

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? And no, time is not on our side and we cannot stuff it all in a bottle even if we tried. If that is the case, the first thing that we need to do is to cherish every moment as if it were our last seconds to savor the lasting parts of life. And if I choose the values of yesteryear to still be my steering wheel of today, let Jesus take charge and lead me where there will always be a tomorrow and the guarantee that the best is yet to come. The four-letter words that I want to be known for are love and hope and life. For I know whom I have believed in and I am persuaded that He is able to hold tightly all that I have committed to Him until the day that I finally arrive to the land where we will never grow old.





3 03 2021

SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT WITH PASTOR RUDY

CLIQUES AND THINGS!

And we thought the problem of cliques was only something that teenagers battled.

Do you remember when back in High School, there were so many different groups to identify with and find your niche within? The Jocks were the athletes who always wore the uniform of the season in classes every Friday. The Brains were those who never saw anything but “A’s” on the top of their exams and had been weaned towards Princeton from birth. The Bandies were those who played the instruments and excelled in marching on the football field at halftime. The Burnouts were those who were known for their art of smoking in the bathrooms and getting away with it. The Preps were those who donned designer clothing that cost more than all of my outfits put together. The Audio-Visual Crew were those who always got to run the projectors and slide shows and came to the rescue in a moment’s notice if ever there was a glitch on the screen. The Nerds were those who only fit in with each other, but they never seemed to mind. And I’m sure that we could break it down even further if we wanted to, but I’d rather not. I was not a big fan of cliques back then and I’m even more down on it today than I ever was.

Maybe it is because I was a non-conformist who didn’t want to be labeled and hemmed in to any one cluster. I loved sports and was quite good, especially at baseball. I also loved to play piano and sing and was confident enough that if Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Elton John were cool and made hit records, so could I. I was a performer and liked to be in plays. My performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol back at Black River Middle School in Chester, NJ was the stuff that dreams were made of. I was a pretty good student who got enough B’s to keep me humble and when it came to my clothes, I was happy to just wear a shirt and pants. I chose a long time to not drink and smoke because I saw enough tragedy in my own family history of alcoholism to make me run the other way and when it came to trying to be cool, I knew that God had created me with nothing resembling James Dean in my body. Jerry Lewis yes, but a trend setter, not a chance! All in all, I liked to roam from crowd to crowd hoping to get to know as many people as possible. I could pop in just about anywhere with anyone at any given time.

Imagine me, now a Pastor, who still works with people of all ages and all backgrounds in all kinds of contexts. The deadly part of any community is when some insecure self-appointed Leader announces that his or her gang of followers are superior to all others and become every exclusive over inclusive. When a goal of a gathering is to keep people out rather than inviting those around us in, the red flags of “Proceed with Caution,” fly right smack in my eyes. What is it about so called Christians that want to shut God’s created people out rather than invite them into the Heavenly Banquet Hall? I am so sick and tired of manmade standards, that, in reality, I literally have no time to even argue with at this point of my journey. Someone is not rich enough, or smart enough, or tall enough or good enough. There is the right color and the wrong color, the right race and the wrong genes, the chosen neighborhood to be residing in and the over the tracks shacks that should be banished forever. God made it clear that “whosoever will” may come. Thank you, Jesus, that we can enter just as we are, or I would have been left at the landing when the Gospel Train came rolling by. Jesus said that the greatest of these would be happy to be nobodies and the mighty would be the least and the servants would have the most joy in the Kingdom of God.

Personally, I like getting to know people who are different than me. And speaking of different, I recently took the My Heritage DNA Test and discovered that I am nothing like who I thought I was. I’m actually 15% North African Jewish! I love that! It made me want to dance in the streets! I’m even 11% Scandinavian and I can tell you that this wasn’t even on my radar! But ultimately, what makes me who I am is the fact that Jesus loves me and He rescued me when I was in grave danger of throwing God’s gift away because I never believed I measured up. I was using the wrong guidelines. Why would you place your validity in the hands of men when they can’t even get their own stories right? God so loved us that He sent Jesus to redeem us out of the playground of humanity to enter the family room of eternity.

Knock it off with the cliques. Yes, I am a Mets Fan, but I can tell you that there are Philly Fans within my family and my adoration for them has not dropped an iota. Come on, variety is the spice of life. We are not all the same flavor with the same ingredients. Taste and see that the Lord is good, and His people are as colorful as a huge box of Crayola Crayons. Remember, the big one that came with the crayon sharpener? My favorite color is orange! How about you? I like peanut butter better than chocolate! How about you? I like snow! How about you? I listen to my music loud and I will yell out, “I love you!” across the parking lot! How about you? Let’s look for the magic rather than the minutia and let’s make our circle so big, it always has a place to enter!   





23 02 2021
Reviews For The Podcast "No Such Thing as Normal" Curated From iTunes

SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT WITH PASTOR RUDY FEB 24 2021

NO SUCH THING AS NORMAL!

I have to admit that life has turned out to be lots harder than I ever dreamed it would be. I knew there would be challenges along the way. I guess I never thought they would be lined up to battle me one right after another. Just when I think that a season if sunshine might be in store, here comes those storm clouds again. Thunder and lightning have become intricate parts of the soundtrack of my days. And let’s face facts, I think that maybe Eeyore was on to something. I have always longed to be Tigger, carelessly bouncing my way through my adventure, looking to hit even higher heights with each launch. But then some unexpected trial or tribulation comes rushing towards me and I find nowhere to run nor hide. Before you know it, in the end that guided missile has hit me once again. If you have your theology mixed up, one might conclude that God doesn’t even like me, never mind love me. But that is not the way it goes.

There are times when it is easier to count those bomb blasts rather than behold the Lord’s many blessings. I don’t even like me when I start to whine and complain. I look at my family and my flock and I know that God has been doubly good to me. I look in the eyes of my grandchildren and there is no way to properly account for the surge of joy that soars through my soul. My children are all following the Lord and living lives that are making eternal impacts to all those around them. My youngest Son Joel is about to graduate high school and begin preparing for his life mission at Taylor University in Indiana. And I have been married to the kindest and most giving woman I ever met going on 39 years. I deserve none of these divine delights. I rejoice in the salvation God has given me, but let me make it clear, I have never forgotten how selfish and sinful my old self was. Can we all just agree that following Jesus is not so much a one time happening as it is a lifetime path of process to make progress? Let’s give each other more slack than we normally do. We are all under construction and nobody has reached their pristine classic edition yet!

There are days I want to sing of God’s love forever. There are days I want to get the heck out of here. There are moments that I understand who I am and love the call that God has placed on me. There are other times when I want to scream at the top of my lungs and be set free from the skin I am stuck in. Paul said it best when he confessed that he had his moments when he wanted to be raptured immediately into the presence of Jesus and other days when he knew that being here on earth was exactly the position God assigned him to. So I don’t think that it is that unusual to be singing the blues of this place while busting out verses of glory in your next breath! We aren’t schizophrenic as much as we are in transition between life here and eternal life with God. And they told me that hot flashes from the hormone shot would be shocking!

One day Jesus will call my name and I’m not lying when I tell you that He won’t have to call me twice. But I am not quitting until I get wind of the fat angel singing. The one lesson that I have already learned through this latest cancer chapter is that there is no one size fits all for everyone. There really is no such thing as normal! The definition of the word itself should disqualify it from our vocabulary. It means: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. None of those words are endearing to a Believer. Romans 12 tells us that we are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the Spirit as He renews our hearts and minds. When we allow that kind of movement within our souls, there is nothing usual or typical about that at all! Every face tells a story. Every day is a gift. Every step is a potential miracle. And if there is anything I know about Christianity, it is that there is nothing you can expect to happen that God can’t, at any time, at His discretion, literally interrupt your program with something that blows away all of our illusions and gives us a glimpse of how awesome and beyond magnificent He truly is!

Mets announcer Bob Murphy used to tell us Fans to fasten our seatbelts when the game was coming down to the last crucial 3 outs! God never promised me a nice easy ride with no turbulence or dips and dives. Why are we always so addicted to comfort when what we really need to be sure of is His company. When my face turns green from the whirling and whipping, and it looks like I’m about to lose it all, there He is just as He promised, right there in the seat next to me. Jesus promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us and that is true in the MRI as it is on the GWB! (You need to be a north Jersey kid to understand that last reference!) So away we go. I don’t know always know where or when or why or what, but I do know the Who! Will I ever throw out my agenda and just surrender to His activity? I know He won’t give up on me and there is no way I am giving up on Him-so ready or not- we continue to ride! The ride of life is so much more than any man or woman could script. The Holy Spirit holds the pen- and the paper-and me-all at the same time!