Share The Giver

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Share The Giver

The ther night, I had the opportunity to visit a home up in what would be considered a very wealthy section of our community. This home was a beautiful, white, two-story structure, set high on a hill, overlooking the city of Riverside. Its large, U-shaped driveway took you right to the front porch, where it was impossible not to notice the towering double doors with stained glass windows leading into the home. The yard was perfectly manicured, causing one to gasp, while the panoramic view made you envious. So beautiful! So enticing!

I began thinking to myself, “These people have everything. They have it made. Wow! What a life. They are what America is all about. They are what Americans strive to be.” I began to wonder who these blessed people were who were living within the confines of this angelic structure.

As I entered the house, I was surprised at what I saw. I saw a large entry way with a lack of furniture. I saw a beautiful curved stairway with absolutely no pictures or portraits on the wall. I saw a 6′ wide x 25′ long empty hallway with nothing but doors leading to other rooms. I saw a master bedroom half the size of my entire home, with only a bed, a dresser, and a crucifix on the wall. I saw a master bathroom, with a tiled sunken tub the size of my spa. And, oh yes, I saw a 37 year old female, wife and mother, lying on the bathroom floor, after a failed attempt to kill herself. They weren’t as blessed as I had first thought.

The people in this house—from the outside looking in—appeared wealthy. But once on the inside, I quickly discovered what they really had. They had marital problems, arguments, fights, hurt, pain, sorrow, unhappiness, lack of joy. You name it! They crisis, after crisis, after crisis. Suddenly I was hit with the stark reality of someone, who by all outside appearances, had it all, but inside, her life was filled with turmoil to the point of ending it.

Someone once said, “Wealth is not his who has it, but his who enjoys it.” I saw no joy in this household. These people of wealth were, in reality, very poor. They had a house, but not a home. They had a bed, but not a good night’s sleep. They had a cross on the wall, but not a Savior. The possessions they had they did not own, but instead, their possessions owned them—to the point of self-destruction. These people thought their possessions would bring them happiness. They didn’t! These people thought the gifts of the world would bring them joy. They didn’t! They had the gifts of the world, but not the Giver who created the world.

My point is this: These people in my story are real and they are everywhere. They may be your co-worker, your neighbor, or even a family member. No matter who they are, they need to hear about the Giver. Let us never forget these people. This Christmas season let us share the gift of God’s love to these people every opportunity we have.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”
—1 Timothy 6:17—

Merry Christmas,

Chaplain Steve

Team Work

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Team Work

“We work together as partners who belong to God”
-1 Corinthians 3:9-

Recently, I read a story of two men riding on a tandem bicycle, panting and perspiring, as they finally reached the top of a steep hill. “That was a stiff climb,” said the first man. “It certainly was,” replied the second. “And if I hadn’t kept the brake on, we would have slid back down the hill.” I don’t think their efforts would fit even the loosest of definitions for teamwork.

The word teamwork has been defined as; “a cooperative effort by the members of a group or team to achieve a common goal.” First, this definition tells us that each member in a team has their own unique role to play in order to accomplish the team’s common goal. Second, in order for teamwork to exist, each team member must willingly submit to the unifying goal and work together in harmony with their other team members. To do anything less is not teamwork.

I can recall one evening when my wife and I were at a community park watching a basketball game and observing a pretty good picture of teamwork. A few of our local police officers (not the youngest bunch) took on some of the local youth from our community in a “Cops vs. Kids” basketball game.

Our guys ran up and down the court together, they passed the ball around, they set up, they rebounded, and they took their shots; some very good shots I might add. They clearly worked together as a team that night, as they ran up and down the court.

But teamwork isn’t to just take place on the basketball court. It’s to take place in a black and white, in a fire engine, and in the dispatch center. It’s to take place everywhere in your life, from your department to your home.

Though there will always be those who do not want to work as a team, don’t allow them to distract you from always doing your part. Being a good role model goes a long way in helping others to get on the team. And more importantly, remember that what we do is always to be done as unto the Lord. He is our team leader and He’s the one we truly work for.

Final Score: Kids 37 … Cop’s 36 ……….. Teamwork.

“Wait a minute Chaplain! They didn’t achieve a common goal. They didn’t win! How can you call that teamwork?” Because no one had their brake on.

For the people had a mind to work”
-Nehemiah 4:6-

Be safe as you work together,

Chaplain Steve

Happiness Is In The Lord

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Happiness Is In The Lord

He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he”
-Proverbs 16:20-

I hope that you and your family had a safe and Merry Christmas.

In just a few days the calendar will once again change to a brand new year. We will be leaving the year 2005 and entering 2006. People all around the world are planning their New Year’s Eve parties. Family, friends and business associates will come together, uncork their champagne, offer a toast, and at the stroke of midnight, wish each other a Happy New Year! They excitedly look forward to a new year, hoping many of their dreams will come true, in order that they might experience happiness.

What is happiness? Happiness has been defined as; a state of well-being, satisfaction and contentment. For different people, it takes different things to make them happy. For some people it might take finances. For others, it takes a certain hobby, a new computer, new car, new home, or new job. Still for others, it takes a new relationship.

There’s no question that these things can make a person happy. However, the reality is this: none of these things can keep us happy. After a while, these things begin to wear out and get old, and then it’s time to find something better and newer that will make us happy.

Perhaps for many of you, the year 2005 has been a very good year. You’ve received a promotion, a pay raise, a new home, or have gotten married. Perhaps you were finally able to take that vacation you’ve always wanted. Right now, you’re happy, and that’s wonderful, and I’m happy for you. But, what if these things had not occurred? What if you had not received that promotion, or pay raise, or new home? What if you had not gotten married, or were able to take that vacation? Would you still be happy, or would you be disappointed, discontented, dissatisfied—unhappy!

Here’s my point: If you’re looking for true happiness; a happiness that will never leave you; a happiness that will never disappoint you; a happiness that is not dependent on happenings; a happiness that will stay with you for all eternity, the Bible tells us how.

“Happy are the people whose God is the Lord”
-Psalm 144:15-

I pray that 2006 will be the Happiest Year of your life, at home and at work, as you enter in to a deeper relationship with the God who loves you.

Happy New Year,

Chaplain Steve

He Has The Keys

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

He Has The Keys

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved . . .”
-John 10:9-

Reaching deep into my pants pocket to retrieve my house key, I felt a whole lot of nothing. “Oh no! Where is my key? What did I do with my key?” Anxiety and worry immediately rose up inside me, as I frantically searched my pockets over and over again. (Why do we do that? Why do we search the same place over and over again? I mean if the keys weren’t there the first time, they won’t be there two minutes later. I guess we hope that some way, some how, they’ll magically reappear.) Anyway, for the life of me, I could not find my key anywhere. “This is not good! I really need my key!”

It didn’t take long for me to realize how much I took for granted this small metal devise; this inch and a half, notched instrument that I always kept in my front, right pocket (until now). I quickly became aware of just how vital my key was to me. I became cognizant of how important it was to have the right key for the right door. I had my car key on me, but it would only open the door to my car, not my house. Until I found—not just any key, but the right key, I would not be able to enter my house, I would remain locked out. My only answer was to call a locksmith to come and unlock my door for me. He would be the one to save the day. But, before he would come, I first had to be willing to call him.

The same is true in the spiritual sense. We need to have the right key, in order to enter into heaven. Without it, we’re locked out. Here’s the BAD NEWS: I don’t have that key and neither do you. Here’s the GOOD NEWS: I know the Locksmith who does.

Soon we are going to be celebrating Easter Sunday, the day that Jesus Christ resurrected from the grave. He died on Friday, as He tasted the full bitterness of death. However, death was not able to hold Him. On the third day, the stone was rolled away and His grave was found to be empty, “He is not here, for He has risen” (Matthew 28:6). By His resurrection, He conquered the enemy of death and He opened the door to life. That is why He is able to say to you and me, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. AND I HAVE THE KEYS of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18).

Remember, Jesus was dead, but today He lives. He wouldn’t be holding the keys to death and life, had it not been for His own death and resurrection. Because He conquered death, death has no hold over us. Jesus is the Locksmith and has come to save the day.

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”
-Romans 10:13-


Chaplain Steve

Don’t Go Back To Egypt

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Don’t Go Back To Egypt

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help . . . but who do not seek the Lord”
-Isaiah 31:1-

In the Bible, Egypt is a representation of the world; the world, that is, without God. It represents slavery, bondage, captivity, persecution, starvation, wickedness, polytheism, and many other evil and terrible things. Bottom line—Egypt represented sin. It also is an apt representation of the sinful world we live in today.

In the Old Testament, we read that God’s people dwelled in Egypt for a very long time. So long, in fact, that Egypt had started to dwell in them. Because they had allowed Egypt to dwell in them, they chose to follow the ways of Egypt, the ways of the world they lived in, rather than the ways of God. When God delivered them out of the land of Egypt, at first, they were very excited; but their excitement quickly faded. It faded to the point of disobedience, which culminated in their refusal to enter the land God had promised for them.

Because God’s people refused to follow His plan for them, they were left to wander in the wilderness for some 40 years. Yes, God allowed them to wander in the wilderness, but He didn’t forsake them; He continued to watch over, provide for, and protect them. It is interesting to note that during all of the years God’s people were wandering in the wilderness, not once did they miss a meal nor did any of their clothes wear out!

You see, even though God’s people had been disobedient, God’s love for them never ceased. He had made a promise to them and He kept it, though it took much longer for them to reach the Promised Land than necessary. Although God’s people had wandered from Him, He never wandered from them. God has promised His people, both back in Old Testament times, as well as today, that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Perhaps there are times that you and I, for whatever reason, start “heading down to Egypt.” In other words, we start gravitating toward the things and the ways of the world, instead of staying anchored to God. We begin to allow something or someone else to guide and direct us. We begin to allow the world to enslave us, bind us, and starve God out of us. Our faith in God seems to shift from a vertical relationship to a horizontal relationship. Instead of seeking God first, we seek Him only when all else fails.

If you have been wandering in the wilderness lately, it’s time to get out of Egypt, and to get the Egypt out of you. It’s time to stop wandering and start trusting. Trust in God and His promises, because when He makes them, He keeps them. God is always faithful to fulfill His promises (Hebrews 10:23).

“Trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and lean not on our own understanding”
-Proverbs 3:5-

There’s no reason to wander,

Chaplain Steve

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4th of July

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

4th of July

“He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives . . .”
-Isaiah 61:1-

On July 4, 1776, the delegates of the Continental Congress formally declared our national independence from Great Britain, as they voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence. Contained within this declaration are these unforgettable words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (emphasis added)

It’s been said, “God grants liberty (the freedom from oppression) only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.” Unfortunately, most of us take our liberty for granted, that is until we are about to lose it. I know this was the case for my father who, on December 12, 1941, was taken prisoner of war on the island of Guam by the Japanese Army. For the next four years, he lost the freedom that he and others were fighting to protect.

I give thanks to God for the men and women of our Armed Forces and our first-responder community who are willing to fight and die for the defense of our freedoms, and to protect and serve our citizens. Though our freedom is very important to us and we cherish it greatly, there is a freedom we can have that is far more precious. It is a freedom that comes to us, not because of the brave souls who protect us, but because of a Savior who died for us (1 John 5:12; Galatians 5:1; Psalms 144:15).

Biblically speaking, there are two types of freedoms. First, there is a false freedom, a freedom where a man is free to do whatever he likes. The Bible warns us about that type of freedom. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its way leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). Then there is a true freedom, a freedom that was purchased on Calvary. In this freedom, man is free to do as he ought. This is the type of freedom that God encourages us to embrace. “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). When we choose this freedom, the Lord loves, accepts, forgives, and frees us to live for Him.

May this July 4th be a day when we not only give thanks for the freedom we have as a nation, but more importantly, the freedom we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, YOU SHALL BE FREE indeed”
-John 8:36-

Are You Free?

Chaplain Steve

Our kids need to understand writing helper that privacy is something that needs to be earned.

Happy Valentines Day

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Happy Valentines Day

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
-1 Corinthians 3:13-

Tomorrow we observe what is known as Valentines Day. It’s a day when we send to our “Sweetheart” or ‘Honey” a gift or greeting, expressing our love toward that person. Unfortunately, there are many people who have a very difficult time showing or expressing love to another.

I believe that the word “love” is the most overly used, most loosely used, and most misused word in our English language. It’s a word that seems to lump everything together. How often do we say “I love my spouse”, “I love my dog”, “I love ice cream and donuts”, “I love my job”? As loosely as people use the word—love, one would think there is no difference between loving a pizza and loving my wife.

I remember when I first met my wife 28+ years ago. After our first date, I was literally on cloud-nine and felt as if I was in love. I remember going home and … climbing up the door and shutting the stairs. I said my shoes and I took off my prayers. I shut off my bed and climbed into the light, all because Sonja kissed me goodnight. Believe me; I don’t behave that way after eating a pizza. Pretty close though. Just kidding!

If I were to ask 10 people to define the word “love” and give me examples of how to demonstrate that love, I would probably get 10 different responses. My point is this: the need to understand and define what love is, and then being able to act upon it, is absolutely fundamental for having a strong, solid, and healthy relationship with people, most of all with our spouses.

In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives us not so much a definition of love, but a list of ingredients of what loves does and doesn’t do. I ask that each of you take a moment and read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and as you do, try putting your name in the place where the word love should be. “_____ is patient and kind. _____ is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. _____ does not demand its own way. _____ is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. _____ is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. _____ never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever”.

The best example of this kind of love is found in God Himself. God didn’t sit in heaven and yell down to us, “Hey world! I sure do love you people!” No, instead He sent His Son to earth to show us His love through both His words and His actions (Romans 5:8). What about us?

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”
-John 15:12-

Happy Valentines Day,

Chaplain Steve

Juli 2009 boten die studierenden der kultur- und herausfinden medienbildung arbeitsgruppen und prsentationen an alev seker und regina baidinger moderierten die abendveranstaltung.

Labor On For The Lord

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Labor On For The Lord

And we labor, working with our own hands”
—1 Corinthians 4:12—

In just a few days, our country will be celebrating what is known as Labor Day. It’s a day that differs in every essential way from other holidays of the year. Labor Day is devoted to no man (living or dead), to no sect, race, or nation. It is a day of national tribute to the contribution workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of a country.

What about firefighters and police officers? Does their work contribute to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country? Absolutely! Without their professions, and those in our armed forces, there would be anarchy and utter chaos in this country. I am so thankful for these men and women. However, they are not the only ones who contribute to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. All who are willing and able to work contribute to the betterment of our nation.

What kind of worker are we in the “spiritual sense” of the word? In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus, when He saw the multitudes of people, weary and scattered like sheep, without a shepherd, being moved with compassion, said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:36-38).

Jesus has commissioned each of us to, “Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We are to go into the world (harvest field) in order to sow and water the seed (word of God) in the lives of people. Perhaps you’re thinking, “The world is a very big place. How can I even begin to go and preach in the world?” Easy! Start where you are (with your family member, your neighbor, your co-worker, etc). When we are moved with compassion for people, we will be excited to be a laborer for the Lord. As we share His love with others, we will be contributing to their strength, prosperity and spiritual well-being.

The story goes of a young man who went into a gas station to use the pay phone. The manager overheard his telephone conversation. It went like this: “Sir could you use a hardworking, honest, young man to work for you?” (Pause). ”Oh, you already have a hardworking, honest, young man? Well thanks anyway!”

The boy hung up the phone with a smile and started humming to himself.

The manager asked the young man, “How can you be so happy, you just got turned down for a job? You know I could use a young man like you around here?”

The young fellow answered, “Thank you for the offer, but I already have a job. I just called my employer to check up on myself.”

Someone once said, “Don’t bother to boast of your work to others. The work, itself, has a much louder voice.”

What would your employer say about you if you were to call him up with a disguised voice to check up on yourself? What would the Lord say to you?

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” —Colossians 3:23—

Labor on for the Lord,

Chaplain Steve

Oriented as to where junction is its 15 miles..

Hold Fast To What Is Good

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Hold Fast To What Is Good

“Hold fast what is good”
-1 Thessalonians 5:21-

A number of years ago, I decided to go to the Victoria Bridge in Riverside, stand at its edge, and jump off. I was a little hesitant at first, as fear began to creep in on me. In the end, I had a great time! You should have seen me. I did a beautiful swan dive. Even though the drop was a good 100 feet, the landing was actually quite soft. I would have rated myself a 9.75 in artistic form and grace. However, the bystanders watching from nearby probably rated me 10.0 in stupidity.

Prior to jumping, I began thinking to myself, “Why am I jumping off this perfectly good bridge? I’m not bored with life. I don’t have a death wish. I don’t think I’m going through my second childhood. My wife and I are doing well. The kids are all ok. Why do I want to jump?” I’ll tell you why I jumped. Because I like it! Isn’t that the most ridiculous reason you ever heard.

Ok, so I really didn’t free fall off the bridge. You think I’m crazy! But I did repel off the bridge using a lifeline. I was on the Riverside Fire Department at the time, and our search and rescue team was doing some repel practicing. We had to practice again and again, in order to become efficient in the art of repelling.

One doesn’t just put a rope around himself, tie a granny knot in it and then take the plunge. No way! One needs to always make certain that he is ready to jump before he jumps. Here’s what I mean. Before I would ever step off the side of the bridge to begin my descent, I always made sure that my harness was secure, my lifeline properly fastened and strong enough to hold my weight. And, oh yes, long enough to get me to the solid ground below.

Only when I was secured, was I then ready to take the plunge.

When I began my rappelling, I always made sure that I not only had the lifeline fastened to myself, but that I also had myself fastened to the lifeline. If I didn’t, I would lose my hold and the end result would not be to my advantage.

My point is this: As God’s children there will be times when we feel like we’ve just taken a plunge off the side of a bridge and are heading for a hard and fast descent. What are we to do? We’re to “Hold fast to what is good.” We need to hold on to our lifeline. God says, “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand. Saying to you, Fear not, I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).

When you feel as if your spiritual walk is descending rapidly, remember that God is there, and His hand will save you as you grab it and hold onto it. Let Him be your lifeline. When He’s fastened to you and you’re fastened to Him, you have nothing to fear. He’ll set you on that solid ground, He’ll refresh you, and then help you begin your ascent, once again, as you—

Hang on and enjoy your jump,

Chaplain Steve

Half dozen dirt streets to be found in junction!.

Chasing Sparrows

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Chasing Sparrows

“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die . . .”
-Romans 8:13-

Over the years, my wife and I have had many visitors in our home, not just the two legged kind, but also the four legged kind; such as possums, raccoons, foxes and skunks.

Let me share with you about one of those uninvited guests. It had two legs and a set of wings. It was a sparrow-hawk that had flown down our chimney and become trapped in our fireplace, just above the damper assembly. We were able to hear the bird, as its wings frantically fluttered unsuccessfully in an attempt to fly up and out of the fireplace. Knowing this was an opportunity for yours truly to show the macho side of me to my wife, I immediately went to the rescue. After the delicate operation of freeing the hawk from the fireplace and pulling it into our house, I was able to ever-so-gently dust off the soot and then carry it outside in order to set it free. What a good feeling it was to be able to help a bird in need.

Upon re-entering our home, our ears began to detect another noise coming from the fireplace. As I peered up the chimney, I noticed it was the sparrow that the sparrow-hawk had chased down the chimney. That hawk was so concerned with satisfying its own fleshly appetite, that it paid no attention to what lie ahead. It was so focused on one little sparrow, that it lost sight of everything else. In its attempt to pursue its dinner, it almost became dinner. Its pursuit almost led to its own demise. The hunter almost became the game.

What if this sparrow-hawk had made no noise in that chimney and I had decided later to build a fire in the fireplace that evening? Roast hawk! What if I had heard its noise, saw that it was trapped, yet, ignored its cry of help, and made no effort to reach out and save it? Dead hawk!

Here’s my point in this story: You and I were once very much like that hawk. We were chasing after our sparrows; alcohol, drugs, sex, money, possessions, fame, etc. Whatever would satisfy our immediate craving was all we were looking for. We were so focused on that one thing we thought would bring us pleasure, that we lost sight of everything around us. Nothing else seemed to matter. And where was it leading us? It was leading us to the chimney of death. The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).

We began frantically fluttering our wings, trying to save ourselves, all to no avail. When God heard our cry, He didn’t light a fire under us and watch us roast. He didn’t ignore us by turning His back on us. Instead, He came to us in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ, reached out His nail pierced hands saying, “Come to Me! Let Me dust you off. Let Me clean you up. Let Me set you free!”

“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”
-John 8:36-

What a blessing it is to be set free,

Chaplain Steve

You can do the same with the creation renaming and removal of files too.