17 10 2016


Things are not always what they seem. We may notice somebody who comes across as bright, spunky and full of life and little do we know that this individual is deeply struggling with internal issues that make living each day a true challenge! We encounter a crotchety and miserable person who complains constantly while standing in line at the local convenience store and we quickly assume them to just be a total jerk who is wearing their underwear bunched up way too tight. Could there be a story behind those glaring eyes that we purposely try to avoid making any contact with? I propose that it doesn’t take a Colombo or Sherlock Holmes for that matter to dig deeper to get to the actual tale that might be discovered just a notch below the surface. Maybe it is just that the Human Race is a tad too busy running at about a 100 MPH that makes us settle for the sloppy circumstantial evidence presented and forces us to  report a final verdict that just begged us to do a little bit more. If we just did our due diligence alone, we could have eliminated any shadow of doubts that remain in a number too big to ignore.

 You might conclude that this is the most connected generation that ever graced Planet Earth and I would argue that you would be very wrong. Social Media does not take the place of heart to heart communication. Do you know how much you can learn about another by simply looking in their eyes alone? When you ask the obligatory question, “How Are You?” do you ever sense your radar kicking in when you hear a reply of, “I’m Fine,” that doesn’t quite add up? I think the problem might be that not enough people care to stick around for the actual answer anyway. Truth gets buried in a masquerade of polite texts that dance through the minefield without ever having to acknowledge the big old elephant that is stark naked in the room!

 I have the privilege and honor to Pastor a wonderful church. The Lighthouse has become way more than a job for me. Those who attend there are truly my family! But I know that there are still so many that hardly know me and I them. Name tags aren’t enough. Exchanging e-mail addresses won’t do it. If I had my way, I would freeze frame time and stop the clock so that we could be able to go around the sanctuary and share stories that mean something. I would want to know what makes you tick and hear a few of those life changing experiences that helped make and mold who you are today. I long for those around me to know who I really am! I laugh when I hear somebody refer to me using terms that couldn’t be more wrong! I want to educate them but I don’t think they have enough patience for me to set the record straight. The Bible challenges us to, “Love One Another!” But, how can you love somebody you hardly know? The Lord must have more in store for those willing to excavate the mine for pure gold and not just settle for the Dollar Store trinkets!

 I guess I never heard anyone say, “Let’s Kill Them with Ignorance!”  I believe the right phrase that finishes that sentence is the word “Kindness.” In the original language the word means: goodness, excellence and uprightness. It begins with respect. It leads with love. It makes the priority the relationship over the selfish need to use another for your own personal gain. Its foundation is to respond with an unconditional reply of grace no matter how terse the grenade of displeasure may be tossed at you. It is to operate in the big picture without getting sideswiped by an uncomplimentary painter. It is to stay focused on the horizon without getting swallowed by the unfair immediate. It is all about a commitment to going the distance to receive an accurate understanding of what is really going on when the temptation to settle for the shady shortcut is all too easy to do. How well do you know who you say you know? What have you used as the main source of information? Have you come upon it honestly or via the tainted grapevine of gossip? How would things be different if you took the lead and set the pace of this Human Race rather than made another excuse to become the victim of circumstances?

 Here’s your assignment. Make the first move to build another up before life tears them down. Go out of your way today to open the door to kindness. Weigh your words carefully and make sure your sentences are dripping with life verbs and not critical adjectives. Keep it real as nobody needs another phony. But how might things actually change if you allowed God to fill your heart first so that he may spill you later to bless the others who cross your path the rest of the day? Initiate positive action rather than just contemplating later what you could have done earlier. It’s the time of the season for love and if society is going to hear the music of heaven, then you must volunteer yourself as an instrument in God’s orchestra! It is about time we kick the same old song out of the number one spot! But if it is to be, it’s got to begin with you and me and I’m game. How about you?   


11 10 2016


Recently, I saw a very well-known Politician give a speech that called for all Americans to wise up and put aside their religious beliefs for the good of the Country so that “abortion can be safe for all women.” I almost choked on my tongue! Not everyone believes that abortion should even be legal never mind available to all. I thought one of the  principles of our democracy was the freedom to believe and hold true to our convictions. Now, all of a sudden, there is very little tolerance for Christianity because it has standards that supersede Society’s agenda. Looks like there might be some trouble ahead here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave for serious Believers who are committed to following Jesus above all else. But there is no debate for me if it comes to choosing who gets my wholehearted allegiance. I have my letter already prepared and ready to send. “Dear Washington D.C., It is not going to be, ‘I’m sorry Lord- but I need to deny You to obey the government!’ It is going to be, ‘I’m sorry government, but I need to deny you so that I may be faithful to the Lord!” I don’t tailor my faith to fit into my life! I adjust my life to make sure it lines up with the faith! It isn’t “Follow me, Lord! It’s, “I follow Him!”

 As Christians, we actually live in two different worlds that have utterly nothing in common. One is old; the other is new. One is earthly; the other is heavenly. One is deadly; the other is life giving. One is material; the other is spiritual. One is filled with lies; the other is all about truth. One relates to the unclean and the other to the pure. One is passing away; the other is eternal. One is self-centered; the other is God focused. One is shallow; the other values depth. One is fallen; the other is perfection. One is a strange place; the other is home. 

 One of the biggest reasons that I believe our faith isn’t taken as seriously by Unbelievers as it should be is because we who represent the Lord haven’t been doing a very good job of being the examples that God has called us to be. Passions are better caught than taught and if nobody witnesses what an authentic heart after Jesus looks like, how are they supposed to know? More often than not, the perception of Church People is that they talk a good game but when push comes to shove show very little evidence that they are any different than the everyday crowd. This is quite ironic since the Greek word for church literally means, “Called Out Ones!” If we don’t stand out because of our resemblance to the Savior, then who can blame the world for ignoring us when they should be exploring what we are all about.   

 It has forever been an error of the People of God to blend in so well with their community that instead of the culture looking to Christians, the Christians have allowed their lives to become so watered down, they have no power in their punch! It can occur way too easily and more often than not, a church doesn’t even realize that they have lost their edge because they looked for conformity rather than the Christ. When commitment is replaced by complacency, it always leads to compromise. God declared quite clearly that to obey Him is better than offering empty sacrifices and He desires our hearts to be near Him more than just showing up to go through the motions of superficial service. The lips that we use to worship our Lord should not be smooching on idols the moment we leave the sanctuary! Living with the Lord is not just a compartment of our lives. Living with the Lord is life itself and anything less falls way short of the relationship we have been invited into.

 Intelligent people are sensitive to any inconsistency. We are left on this planet to apply and reflect on the gospel practically and not only academically or abstractly. Believers must decide to be all in the Kingdom of God or just come out and admit that they are still inhabitants of the Earth. It is time to desire and dedicate ourselves to consistent behavior, Christ-like attitudes and careful living.

 How can we know if Christ is Lord of every area of our lives? First, we need to identify the false gods of the society around us. Second, we need to look honestly at each area of our lives—our families, our careers, our possessions, our ambitions, our time, and so on—and ask two questions of them: Am I willing to do whatever God says about this area? Am I willing to accept whatever God sends in this area? How can you live as a devoted Disciple of Jesus and a committed Citizen of Heaven- in the midst of the chaotic craziness that earth has to offer? Come to grips that there are 2

Different Worlds but only one of them can have your undivided devotion. Whoever gets a hold of your heart owns the rest of your body. If it isn’t the Word of God, then it will end up being the idols of this world and none of those objects is worth your affection. Jesus is worthy and everything else is worthless when compared to the world that God is beckoning you to. So if I am a citizen of Heaven, this Earth will just have to understand that it can’t keep me from praying, worshipping and following Jesus! There is Somebody bigger than all the Presidents, Monarchs and Dictators who try to usurp the authority that belongs to the King of kings and Lord of lords and now is the time that we who wear his name, live it proud and loud so there will be no mistaking what Kingdom we are loyal to! Give up the shuttle between darkness and light and make your residence sure! 


3 10 2016


We live in a world where things go wrong, and many of the things that do so are beyond our control. Accidents happen randomly with no rhyme or reason. People that are well and strong and in the prime of life are suddenly gone from us in ways that are so ironic. Miami Marlins Pitcher, Jose Fernandez, the young man who escaped from Cuba to Miami as a refugee and literally in route jumped out of the overcrowded boat to save his own Mother on the treacherous journey to America, died tragically and shockingly in a boating accident with the best of equipment. He was only 24 years old, had so much talent and a young bride and new baby on the way. It truly makes you shake your head in painful wonder.

Christians can be faithful and fast and pray and still be disappointed. People long for marriage and remain single. Couples long for babies and miscarry. Believers long for peace and live in literal war zones. At times it almost appears like life is conspiring against us. The soil is plowed, crops are sown but the rain never comes. Things go so wrong and we ask why and we receive no reply at all!  So many things are just not right and we are powerless and perplexed!

 But sometimes there are real reasons for our trouble. The consequences that we face are our own fault and even though we may know this deep down inside, we still may not be ready to admit it! We actually bring the pain upon ourselves because of the choices that we make. These heartaches are the result of actions that we end up doing and even worse, behavior that we fail to do! But instead of repenting for our mistakes and getting our hearts right with God, we end up playing the blame game! And this dysfunction leads to many individuals stooping so low as to shaking their fists at Heaven rather than folding their hands in prayer. Unfortunately this path away from the Lord is very self-destructive. It traps us in a delusion of our own making. It damages us physically, morally, spiritually and cuts us off from the only true source of healing and that ultimately comes from above. There is no hope for any of us until we face the facts and man up and admit our blunders and accept the blame and acknowledge our need for help!

 Are you saying that God expects “Blind Trust” and I say “Yes!” How often does God say something for you to do but because of what you see, you doubt him? You need to close your eyes and listen with your ears to what God says and let him lead you to where you would not go without Him! What is blind trust? Good question. Blind trust is when you give your total and I mean total, full, unconditional allegiance in God. Blind trust is like a horse in a burning building. First you must cover the horse’s eyes before you can lead him out or he won’t be going anywhere! Sometimes God doesn’t explain what’s happening to us or where He is leading us because he knows we couldn’t handle it. Like a loving Parent trying to get their children through a scary passage, Mom or Dad covers their eyes for their own good. This is ultimately an act of love! When the Lord chooses to keep us in the dark, it is to literally lead us to the light. We are to blindly trust that he sees everything and knows what he’s doing!

 God may allow circumstances in our lives that are way beyond what we can handle on our own.  They have Louisville Sluggers and we have Whiffle Ball Bats! They are wearing PF Flyers and we have the Payless Brand! They are driving a Lexis and we have Mopeds! All good reasons logically for us to back down except when God says get up! Is there an area in your life today that you are fooling yourself thinking “I Can’t” when the answer really is “I Won’t?”

 God is the God of love and he empowers and equips us unloving followers to love like him! God is the God who rescues and he enables us who were once caught in webs of shame to now offer words of hope and healing. God is the God who calls us to obey so he can use us as his redeemed examples to show people the way! But when we say we can’t, what we are really doing is walking the won’t of defeat! And that has consequences that go way beyond your own life. It affects the lives of those in your family, your church, your community and your world!

 There once was a young lady who was very gifted by the God who made her. She was given an incredible singing voice that stopped traffic. It melted hearts, it made people smile, and it also invited them to explore their emotions. She was so beautiful in so many ways and was adored by her fans. But this gal, like so many women, never believed that she was that special. She believed herself to be a fat pig that disgusted those who saw her and she really believed that if she could just be skinny enough she could finally be loved and cherished and accepted. Obviously, she needed help but nobody talked about “Anorexia-Nervosa” back then. There was a critical turning point in the adventure of getting this lady well but it took her Mother to express the words, “I Love You,” to her daughter. As they sat in that counseling session, Mom said “That’s not the way we do things in our family. We don’t say ‘I Love You.” The Counselor, once again, asked Mom to tell her daughter that she loved her. The Mother said “I Can’t!” What the Daughter heard was “I Won’t” and a short time later, this beautiful flower lost her place in the garden. It wasn’t that Agnes Carpenter couldn’t say, “I Love You,” to her daughter Karen. It was that she wouldn’t! Whenever anybody talked to Agnes Carpenter until she passed in 1996, the first words out of her mouth were, “I didn’t kill my daughter.” Who was she really trying to convince?

 “Can’t is the Won’t of those who Don’t!” God may be asking you to do something that may not come natural or you don’t find easy but if you want to experience life and restoration, we can no longer be slaves to fear.  As children of God, we need to start believing so we can be behaving in the power of our Lord! Remove, “I Can’t” from your vocabulary and replace it with the same response that Mary gave to the angel when she said, “Let it be just as the Lord as said.” Here I am Lord, now lead us on to make a difference; because together, we can! 


26 09 2016



When my kids were little, they loved to cuddle up with me in my chair and we would just have some quality time where Daddy could smother his kids with kisses and hugs. I treasured these times and never felt like it was an imposition. As a matter of fact, it was important for me to have my own chair because I remember doing the same thing with my Dad in his chair when I was young. I also cherish climbing into his chair when I was 40 years old and saying my final farewell to my Pop this side of Heaven. The point I am trying to make is when I would be around my Dad, I would get so close to him that I would literally smell like “Old Spice” long before I ever used a razor blade. My Rudy, Leah, Abbie and Joel would leave me with a strong odor of “Brut” upon their faces. My wife Terri would always say to the children, “You guys smell like Daddy!” They only got that way because they were willing to be that close to me. Who do you smell like today?

 I love when somebody says to me, “I’m Not Religious,” because I usually respond with a quick, “Nether am I.” “As a matter of fact- it was religion that almost killed me!” Please Family! Throw out your old religious mindsets. The problem is that too many Christians have been conditioned by harsh and heartless sermons, rigid and rote prayers and dark dirges that seem to make our Loving and Gracious God appear very distant, always in a bad mood and way too busy stomping on good times to ever take notice of us. Do not be fooled! That’s how the legalistic Pharisees viewed God, but Jesus challenged to change their warped ideas. Jesus showed us that God is approachable, accepting of all people, friendly toward sinners, forgiving, and protective and affectionate. He even touched the lepers, spent time with the shady women and let the disciple John lay his head on His chest which a proper and pompous Pharisee would never do! I am grateful that a real relationship with Jesus isn’t the slightest bit religious. If you let Him, your Heavenly Father will pull you close to His chest, forgive your sins, change your heart, give you a hope and future and still be close enough to smell his scent. I want to smell like my Father!

 Why is it so hard for us human beings to just be loved? Why are we bending over backwards attempting to earn from our God what was freely offered to us as the greatest gift ever given? Do you really think that you or I could add one bit of eternal merit to the ultimate sacrifice that was already accomplished on our behalf by the Lord Jesus?  We strive to be busy, be right, be first, be rich, be smart, be popular, be winners, and belong; but are we willing to be still so we may truly be loved? Why do we make it so hard for the Lord to treasure us, cherish us, admire us, choose us, delight in us, seek us out, and save us just because He wanted to do it? Here is the truth and it is that God decided to initiate the act of ultimate grace and unconditional mercy when He rescued us while we were still sinners! There was not a shred of worth in all those works that we once referred to as our weekly worship that might have dragged our bodies in proximity to God’s presence but kept our hearts in another area code, far away from him! If we want to come into company with the Heavenly Father, shouldn’t we at least follow his directions? Lay your pride down so that he may pick you up and hold you close and instead of spreading the aroma of the world everywhere you walk, we will be smothered with the fragrance of the Father!

 It is easy to say, “God loves you,” but it is powerless unless it makes the journey from your head to your heart. I still have my days when it doesn’t quite compute. Contrary to what people think about me, I struggle big time with my self-image. I walked around for years with an empty love tank the size of the Grand Canyon looking for affirmation and approval from those I deemed influential in my world. This group included my Parents, Teachers, Coaches and others in authority. I would labor constantly in hopes of receiving their praise and words of encouragement. I was not the kind of child you needed to discipline extensively as I would hammer myself pretty good on my own. But this was the era where shame was passed down with fervor and fire. I would hang my head and the guilt would be piled on my shoulders like diners load up on the all you can eat shrimp at the Golden Coral Buffet tables. And while some churches pride themselves in making their congregants feel bad so that the religious right can feel better, this approach is useless in transforming lives. If grace loses than nobody wins! If Jesus is not allowed to seek and to save the lost his way then there will be no way anyone is getting to the banqueting table! The “agape” love of God is unconditional and indescribable and needs to be tasted just as the Lord serves it, to be enjoyed. Don’t be messing with recipe. Only God’s open arms kept me from jumping into a pit that would have imprisoned me forever!

 Growing up in a big family, my dear, but at times misguided Mother would not allow us to go out to be with our friends or participate in extracurricular activities.  She didn’t keep us locked in the house because she wanted to spend some one on one time with us. She laid down the law because she just wanted assurance that everybody was within the sphere of her domain. Too many Christians believe that God operates in that manner also but they could not be more wrong. If God is calling you, it is genuinely because he desires your company and longs for you to seek his closeness. He has stories that he wants us to hear and songs that he longs to teach us to sing. He has challenges to inspire us and changes to transform us so that we become the classic editions of the people that he created us to be. Do you know how others can tell if our faith is fruitful or not? Who do we smell like? I pray we all give Cape May County a strong whiff of what hanging out with the Creator of the universe will do to us!        


20 09 2016


What do we expect from somebody who is a part of The Lighthouse Church? I am not talking about visitors. If someone is visiting and if they’re in a spiritually seeking mode, our only hope is that we would be a place where one can safely learn and explore about faith and come to discover who God is. What I am addressing is that somebody who would call themselves a Christian and who has received God’s grace and who would say that they have put their trust in Jesus. What is our expectation as a church for that person?

 Is it that they attend worship periodically? Is it that they give some money when they are feeling generous? Is it that they serve every once in a while when it’s convenient? Is it that they would affirm the right doctrinal beliefs? Is it that they would live respectable lives in their community?  Is it that they would avoid the really scandalous sins? No, No, No, No and No! My prayer is that every individual who identifies themselves as a Disciple of Jesus would be wholeheartedly and totally committed to Jesus Christ. It is all about owning a deep devotion to loving and serving and honoring God, placing time, life, resources, relationships, choices, work, mind, and obedience at God’s unconditional disposal. Just so we’re all real clear about this, what’s our expectation for somebody who’s part of our church? It is being somebody who is in the process of making progress in being head over heels in love with Jesus and allowing their lives to shout about that connection.

 It’s a funny thing. I have never, ever heard a football coach ask his team to go out on the field and give it about 85 and a half percent. You can’t imagine him standing before the team and saying, “Now go out in the field and give it at least half of what you’ve got.”  I’ve never seen a boss at a great organization interview an employee and say, “We expect you to work about 4 of the 8 hours you are here each day.” I’ve never been to a wedding and heard a groom say to a bride, “With this ring I promise to be devoted and faithful to you almost all of the time.” But I’ve seen people go to church, sometimes for years and years, and they want to hear about grace, and how God loves them no matter what, and they want to get a little bit of relief from their overcommitted, overworked, and overstressed lives but they would really honestly rather avoid hearing a challenge that would call them to a closer walk with God.

 What does wholehearted devotion to God look like? It is constantly initiating servanthood. It doesn’t just follow the rules. It doesn’t just do what it has to do. It initiates. One day when David as a boy sees this Philistine giant taunting the people of God, David says, “God has been faithful to me as a shepherd boy. If a lion or a bear would come, God would protect me. I’ll take this guy on. I’ll risk my life for God.” David didn’t have to go toe to toe with the big bully but he couldn’t stomach somebody taking pot shots at his God and so he went to battle. David knocked the head right off the blabber mouth!

 One of the ways you can tell what your heart is really committed to is to ask yourself, “What are my dreams? What are the actions I freely initiate?” “Where’s my heart?” If you’re a follower of Jesus around church, I believe you will want to serve. You will serve inside the body of Christ. That’s part of what makes a church great when everybody says, “I want to help. I want to have something to contribute.” Then outside of that, in your daily life, at school, at work, at home, in the neighborhood or whatever, you also offer God your 24/7 to be his servant at his beck and call. Nothing is too much to do for a God who already died for you. Isn’t it the very least that we live for him?

 Wholehearted devotion to God is also passionately committed to worship. When was the last time you were so excited about what the Lord was doing that you danced before God with all your might? David danced as if he just didn’t care who was watching because his heart was fully dedicated to God. Sometimes people worship God but not with their whole hearts. This makes me scratch my head. There was a funeral, and the guy whose funeral it was, he used to kind of joke when he was alive that he was what is sometimes called a “CEO” church guy.” This stands for “Christmas and Easter Only.” He bragged that, “My body will darken the door of the church only two times a year.” And this stood true for many a year, except last year. He passed away in 2015.

And so because of his funeral, his body made an appearance at the church for a third time. Except this time, you can bet he wasn’t laughing!

 Everybody dies. Everybody ends up somewhere. If you claim to believe in God then he is very worthy of your devotion. He is more than deserving of your worship. Everybody worships. You may not worship God, but you are driven by something or someone. One of the ways to determine your object of affection is to ask, “What do I get most irritated about when it’s threatened in my life or when it’s absent from my life?” Is it an addiction, a substance, a success, a sexual gratification, money, popularity, control, or just your own comfort? I’ve known people who worship by sitting in a chair and watching television. If that were threatened in their lives, you would know the high level of attachment that has been formed in their soul around it. How about your cell phone? Is it the computer? Might it be social media?

 Let me say one last word about a wholehearted commitment to worship. Michal, who criticized David’s dancing, was the daughter of Saul. Her dad Saul did not dance before God with all his might. She grew up used to seeing halfhearted devotion. So I want to say this to parents. If you’re a parent, your wholehearted devotion to God means your kids will see your commitment to worship. I say this because sometimes there are parents who make sure their kids get dedicated or baptized when they’re young because that’s a family expectation. But then they get casual about the spiritual formation, Christian education, and well being of their children. That is not part of the equation. Full devotion means I commit myself to wholehearted worship of God. If I’m a parent, that means I get serious about my relationship with God.

 I’m telling you, if you claim to be a Christian, whatever your age or stage in life, and you’re not all in, then it is time to get off the dime, get serious, and start doing it. Make Jesus your first priority. When you think about doing it, that kind of energy will launch you into an adventure of total trust and devotion with God. I’m telling you, God is calling you to nothing less than total devotion of your all and all to him. One hundred percent commitment and that’s the real deal. It’s not a legalistic thing. It’s between you and God, but it’s nothing less than that. Follow Jesus and behave like he is your King. It is the only way to go!


12 09 2016


Brian Wilson once wrote a song that is featured on the classic Beach Boys album, “Pet Sounds.” The title of the tune is “I Wasn’t Made For These Times.” There is many a day that I believe that this would make an excellent theme song for me. I can’t tell you how many statements made by so called prominent Leaders have me shaking my head. I also marvel at the amount of attention that deeds done by marginal celebrities receive when it might be better off for the state of our entire Nation if they were just simply ignored. One such stunt that seems to be stealing headlines is the backup Quarterback of the San Francisco 49er’s, Colin Kaepernick’s, refusal to stand for the National Anthem before games because he believes that the United States is a country that oppresses black people and people of color. He says, “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

 Now one of the freedoms that make our Nation great is that Mr. Kaepernick has the right to say whatever he wants and not be faced with imprisonment or worse yet death for articulating his thoughts. What I have a beef with is that there are those within the Media who are labeling this man’s actions as heroic and courageous.  There is nothing very heroic about not standing for our National Anthem. I go to many a ballgame where individuals do not remove their hats, they talk incessantly through the ceremony and they display as much disrespect to our flag and country as they possibly can. They are allowed to do whatever they want to do but please spare me with the motion to move these spoiled millionaires to be considered for canonization. Real heroes are those men and women who actually put their lives on the line every day to protect these freedoms. Real champions are those who have sacrificed their very lives so that others of different color, creeds and crowds may live. Real bravery involves people who still love those who are filled with hatred towards them and real Believers continually caring for others who have no intention of ever being grateful or thankful for even one second of their time. These are the characteristics that should dominate headlines. These are the unsung citizens whose behavior deserves to be addressed and emulated in the media.

 Tolerance is a tricky topic in our culture. It appears that I will be tolerated as long as I stick with the politically correct party line but the minute I might break rank and dance to a different drummer is the moment that I am labeled a heretic and a hater. Honestly, I don’t hate anybody. I have been known to even form some friendships with Yankee Fans and worse yet, those who cheer for that football team from Dallas. Their outspoken cheering and faithful allegiances have no shot of weakening my love and passion for the Mets, Jets and Eagles. And I love Jesus. You get me, my faith comes with me. I will not check my beliefs at the door. What I have given my heart to definitely drives my behavior, and dictates my directions. It is funny when those who have never even given me the opportunity of having a simple conversation go on and on with their narrow minded ranting and prejudicial assessment confidently defining who I am and what I am for and how I bash that which I am against. If you don’t know me, you have no authority from which to speak from.

 I was in a local coffee shop a while back waiting in line when all of a sudden my ears perked up because the people in front of me were talking about Pastor Rudy and The Lighthouse Church. The one woman spouted out that she had heard that Pastor Rudy is not a real pastor and they don’t even use the Bible at the Lighthouse Church. The other woman shook her head in agreement saying that Pastor Rudy is very liberal and they just let anybody come into the church. It was too delicious a circumstance for me to not say something.

I interrupted and said, “I hear Pastor Rudy is a pretty good guy.” They almost simultaneously chimed together, “Do you know him?” I answered with a big smile on my face, “I am him!” That ended that conversation with a thud!

 I make no apology for being a Christian. I would be dead if it wasn’t for my relationship with Jesus. I would love for every person I meet to share my devotion for God and for one another. But I can’t force anyone to do anything. I can invite you to dinner but I can’t make you come and if you enter my house, I can’t make you eat. Still, don’t kill the messenger because you don’t like the message. There are thousands of Christians being beheaded each day because they will not denounce their faith! I call them heroes but they would probably deflect the attention and say they are just doing whatever a disciplined disciple would do. I would hope that if push ever got to shove and I would have to choose between the Lord and my earthly life, I would decide boldly to honor God until my last breath. It is that radical commitment that has made me who I am, whatever I am doing, wherever I may be doing it. I am pretty much the same guy whether I am Pastoring, Coaching, Disc Jockeying or composing this article. I would hope that you too would be consistent and not hypocritical when it comes to your actions and activity.

 There once was a song that Dave Mason sang in the 70’s entitled, “We Just Disagree.” I am afraid that in the not too distant future of our Country, it will be unlawful to disagree with the government. My heart aches over the fact that we are venturing too close as a Nation where we make faith illegal and God a curse word. This faulty philosophy will flourish under the umbrella of the separation of church and state but I’m not buying it. It won’t be Christianity that fuels this fire. Christians are those who are ingrained with the spiritual promise and presence to love God and love one another. Christians are the ones who will lay their lives down because they know that it was their very Savior who did the same for them. So don’t blame Believers when maybe the villains in the room are those who propagate the “Selfie” gospel and the every man for himself mentality. While I have life and breath, I will continue to dedicate each day to God and treat each 24 hours as the precious gift that it is. But don’t look to me to sanction self-centered behavior as heroic because it never was and it never will be. And if you aren’t willing to become part of the solution, then please don’t expect me to like your sanctimonious self-righteousness on Facebook or Twitter.

Greater love has no man or woman than an individual be willing to lay their lives down for their friends and their enemies. Because when you are truly ready to die, I believe you are finally free enough to live.         


7 09 2016


I always feel like this time of the year even more than January has a “New Years” feel to it. Another Summer has come and literally and figuratively blown by and now we are all adjusting to the back to work, back to school mentality. I have had my share of physical struggles the last few years but during these last few months, I have been blessed with a renewed hope that my best days are not all behind me. I can’t believe that any one of our lives actually peak in the middle. And even those of us who have had some wilderness moments that became months and years still need to trust God’s promise that when it is all said and done, we will reunite in the Garden of Paradise. Heaven is in store for all those who by grace through faith trust the Lord!

 So I am looking up even as I look down at my laptop to jot down this week’s article. While years ago, I actually believed that my best was produced by non stop adrenaline rushes and sporting a never ending calendar filled with a steady flow of constant activities, today I know better. Who would have guessed that more and more of my life and joy is experienced right here in my own backyard in Cape May County! Like Dorothy of Kansas, perhaps I too have realized that there genuinely is no place like home. The stuff that dreams are made of doesn’t mean that I must pack my bags and embark upon an endless pilgrimage of adventure found at the end of somebody else’s rainbow. My pot of gold may be no further than my own front door.

 I do know that way too many human beings treat life like they are always straining to get one step higher and one notch more important than they already are. They seek external answers to what can only be satisfied with an internal ingredient. So they work to get ahead while their hearts fall further behind. They invest the best moments of their time and talent not to God or their family, but to an audience that won’t even care to remember their name when all is said and done. Are you doing what you are doing where you are doing it with the ones you really want to do it with? Before you wake up one day surrounded by a pile of inanimate stuff that is unable to return the affection, are you ready to recalculate and make a few changes before your body becomes set in stone- for real? If this was your last September to be known for what you want to be remembered- would you be tempted to make a change or two? Perhaps it is not just the children that need to go back to school to learn life’s lessons. Maybe we could also use a refresher course so that we are not guilty of flittering away our precious moments in the classroom called “Life!”

 As I sifted through my own baggage of clutter that has clogged up any true passion being able to flow freely through my veins, I have realized that above everything else that God has allowed me to do, communicating with people stands head and shoulders above it all. I come alive when I preach and when I teach. I am energized by writing blogs and articles such as this one and perhaps this is the season to finally begin my book. I have also had a lifetime love affair with radio and that vehicle of connecting with crowds has always been a labor of ecstasy for me. I grew up being raised on the transistor and broadcasting is something that I could literally do in my sleep. As a matter of fact, my wife has woken me up many nights with a shake saying that I was talking and introducing records in my dreams. So this Fall, I know God is inviting me to step up my efforts through the three avenues that always leave me with a sense of purpose and peace. Preaching at The Lighthouse Church where I am beginning a new series of sermons based upon the Book of Judges entitled, “Messy People; Merciful God.” Writing for the Cape May County Herald, my Blog and soon my own book is another assignment that I believe is coming straight from heaven’s Headquarters. Finally, I am adding new opportunities for the radio as I will be broadcasting Monday through Friday from 3-4 PM and Sunday Mornings from 7-8AM on Praise FM 88.1 WJPG. I will be on the airwaves on LIFT FM 97.9 on Wednesday-Friday Evenings from 7-8PM and Sundays at High Noon! And I will be coasting through the greatest hits of all time on The Sunday Ride heard on 98.7 The Coast WCZT from 3-5PM.  I share this because even though much has occurred that attempted to rip down the sails of my schooner, I am back in the water ready to ride the waves of grace like never before. This is no time to give up but a new day to step up and notice that all of this will take place right here at home.

 Passports aren’t always necessary to see the sights. Plane Tickets are not required to fly like an eagle. Cape May County makes the perfect home base to shout from my rooftops about all that makes life wonderful and eternal. So what about you? I have shared about my Lighthouse; now it is your turn. What gets you out of bed every day? Who is receiving the prime rib cut of your time? Where are you going to do your best kind of living this Autumn? Share with me at and I will share with you right here, same paper, next week! Fasten your seat belts September; here we come!