Saved By Grace

Saved By Grace

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tornadoes #3

The weatherman is once again predicting strong thunderstorms, high winds, hail, and tornadoes. Several towns in Oklahoma are still picking through the rubble looking for anything salvageable. Many people from this area have been volunteering to help those affected. "Good Samaritans"
 I can, and do pray for those affected. It's very hard to let go of things that you have accumulated throughout your time here on earth. I can tell you that things can be replaced and some things we can do without. Sometimes devastation comes suddenly and sometimes it is a slow process, due to a number of reasons. Neglect, depression, and financial need.
 I have been in homes not far from my own where I could see basketball size openings in the outside walls, broken windows covered with cardboard, no bathrooms, no heat or AC, and infestations of all kinds of pests. I felt like I needed a shower after just walking through a few of those places. These spots are somewhat isolated and not widespread or considered normal.
We have Christian people here who are doing wonderful things for needy people. I really have a great deal of respect for "Good Samaritans" wherever they show compassion by being a good neighbor.
This is the basic part of the story of the good Samaritan

Luke 10: verse 30-37 Jesus said
 “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

What is unique about this story is that Jesus was referring to a traveler, a priest, and a Samaritan man. Those groups did not usually associate with each other. However, the Samaritan showed compassion to a stranger, whereas the priest and the Levite went out of their way to avoid the beaten man.
We deal with the same types of issues even today. Compassion can be very hard to learn from a book. Compassion is something that is best learned by jumping in and getting your hands dirty.

I really considered not ending with a joke, because of the loss of life and devastation caused by last weeks tornadoes.  If I offend anyone, I'm sorry, but I believe that- a merry heart does good like a medicine.

A husband and his wife were sound asleep when suddenly the phone rang.
The husband picked up the phone and said, "Hello? How the heck do I know? What do I look like, a weatherman?" He then slammed the phone down and settled into bed. 
"Who was that?" asked his wife.
"I don't know. It was some guy who wanted to know if the coast was clear." 

Much Love, Dennis

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornadoes #2

As I was composing yesterday, I was listening to the television. They were reporting the beginnings of another tornado outbreak. I have connections with people near the large area of devastation. Thankfully as far as I know they are all fine. Many others were less fortunate. With today's technology, we are able to witness the devastation as it is happening. There were many lives lost, some of them grade school children. Until I get to Heaven I will probably never understand some of the bad things that happen to children this young. I know that we are all born with a sin nature. I've seen firsthand that babies don't have to be taught how to be selfish or to lie, but it bothers me that some don't get to experience much of life on earth. I know that Heaven is a much better place than earth, but it makes my heart ache for those kids and their family. Here are some shots from Monday. 
Much Love, Dennis

Monday, May 20, 2013


Tornadoes in our part of North America are not unusual. Having a plan ahead of time is something that most of us were taught since our youth. We know to listen to the weatherman whenever possible and to keep our eyes on the sky. Last night was a rough time for many in Oklahoma. As far as I know there were two people who lost their lives and many injured. I have a couple of friends from the Shawnee, Oklahoma area that were very close to the path of the tornado. Thankfully, they are just fine. There was a tremendous amount of property damage. Property is something that can be replaced, most people have insurance and that eases the pain. Wouldn't it be nice if we had insurance and somebody else paid the premiums. I'll preach that sermon some other time. We have a plan at our house, but that doesn't mean it's foolproof. Here's a short clip of some of the devastation near Shawnee immediately after the disaster.
I'm listening to the television as I'm writing this, and there are tornadoes on the ground again today. I'm hearing them talk about the city of Moore, Paul's Valley and Meeker. What they are saying is not good. Please pray for the safety of those affected.

One of the desires of my heart is to be available to help clean up after disasters like this, displaying God's love, dispensing God's Word and being a good Ambassador for Christ.
Much Love, Dennis

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm still here, I still love you, and I have a plan for you

Today is a better day. Pain is subsiding and now things are getting easier to do. Thank you Jesus. I've mentioned this before but God gave me a personal message that took about two weeks because I was receiving it in small doses. It began with something that Joyce Meyer said. Joyce talked about looking for times in your life when God winks at you, just to let you know that he has not forgotten about you.

This is my revelation: God said "I'm still here, I still love you, AND I have a plan for you." Too many times my focus is not where it should be. God is so good, especially when we notice those little things that he does to remind you that he is still here, he does still love me, and he has a plan for me. I don't want to take anything away from those of you who covered me with prayer, but I received a check in the mail yesterday from a distant relative that I haven't seen in years. It wasn't the amount, it was the timing that meant so much to me.
Thank you Walter for allowing God to use you.

 A preacher went into his church and he was praying to God. While he was praying, he asked God, "How long is 10 million years to you?" 
      He replied, "1 second." 
      The next day the preacher asked God, "God, how much is 10 million dollars to you?" 
      And God replied, "A penny." 
      Then finally the next day the preacher asked God, "God, can I have one of your pennies?" 
      And God replied, "Just wait a second."

Much love, Dennis

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Roller Coaster

The last six days have been like a roller coaster. Highs, lows, and curves. I'm learning lessons, one of them is the power of prayer. Thank you to all of my prayer warriors. My rehab doctor from Enid, called on Skype yesterday to ask me how I was doing. I let him know about the pain and we discussed some options. He then introduced me to another one of his patients.  I didn't understand the reason for the introduction until later in the evening. I believe that she was needing some inspiration and he was hoping that I would be someone that could set a good example for her. I realized that I could have done a better job. I've been challenged to rise to a higher level. 

In light of some of the "big brother" allegations concerning unauthorized listening, I certainly hope they didn't hear part of the conversation I had with my mother on Monday. Cheri and I (okay, I admit it was Cheri) gave my mother a potted plant for Mothers Day on Sunday. I asked my mom if she liked the gift. She said the flowers were nice, but she really liked the pot. I told her that, taken out of context, that statement could make some tabloid reporters happy. I'm talking about the part where she said "I really liked the pot".
I know that my mother and I are not near famous enough to have the government or paparazzi listing in on our conversations, but I'm sure that there are people whose words have been used out of context to make them look bad. God is very important, and people do that with his words consistently.

Much Love, Dennis

Monday, May 13, 2013


Thank you for all the prayers. Yesterday I was battling a lot of pain. Today is better. I use Scripture as a positive confession, but I have been too stubborn to share and ask for prayer from those who I know have been empowered by God to be prayer warriors. I know that God uses me to encourage others, but I have been slow to learn that I can reach out to others for encouragement. Thank you for caring. Pity parties are for pitiful people. I'm not pitiful, I am an overcomer!
Much love, Dennis

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I am an overcomer, and I overcome all things by the blood of the lamb- Jesus, and the Word Of My Testimony. I am going through some tough times and would appreciate your prayers. Much love, Dennis

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the Fairview High School FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) program.
 Unfortunately, Thursday was the last meeting until school starts in August. Thank you, Linda Zimmerman and the high schoolers who allowed me in. Hopefully I will be able to attend, starting in August. A couple of the seniors talked about this being their last FCA meeting and they were a little sad about that.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for these young adults. Spiritually speaking, they are miles ahead of me when I was in high school.
Linda had a great idea (more than likely inspired by the Holy Spirit)  for their meeting. She invited Travis Schmidt, the youth minister at the Mennonite Brethren Church to explain communion and then we took the "bread and wine."
I also had the opportunity to meet the pastor of the Mennonite Brethren Church, Marlin Hiett. His daughter is a member of the group.
 I think this is the 4th time that I've been able to be a part of Fairview FCA and I've enjoyed each opportunity.
Since this was my first time to meet Pastor Hiett, I thought I would honor him with a joke.

A mother went to wake her son for church one Sunday morning. When she knocked on his door, he said, “I’m not going!”
“Why not?” asked his mother.
“I’ll give you 2 good reasons,” he said. “#1,  They don’t like me.  #2,  I don’t like them.”
His mother replied, “I’ll give you 2 good reasons why YOU WILL go to church. #1, you’re 47 years old.  #2, you’re the pastor!”
Much Love, Dennis

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pop quiz

I ran across this is short humorous Bible quiz. Some of it is a little corny, but I know that many think I'm a bit corny as well. Here is a link that will take you to the quiz. After you have answered the 10 questions you then hit submit and your score as well as the Bible versus used will pop up.

Feel free to post your score, some of these I've actually written about before.

Much Love, Dennis

Thursday, May 2, 2013

audio-video and God

I had the opportunity today to listen to some teaching from T.D. Jakes.

He posed a theoretical question. What if all of your thoughts and imaginations were broadcast through a megaphone or displayed on a screen every time you thought about something or someone. How many people would you be willing to talk to face-to-face. My answer was, Thank God it's just a hypothetical question. He then explained that there is someone who knows your thoughts and imaginations, even before you think them, God in the form of the Holy Spirit. I know that to be true, but there are way too many times that I ignore that, or delay responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. However his example was like dropping a bowling ball on my toes.
I'm going to try to remember his example and work on getting those negative thoughts and imaginations under control. I know that I can't do that on my own, but with help from the Holy Spirit I can do better. I'm not yet where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.

I remember reading a story about Abe Lemons, player and later head coach at Oklahoma City University. I found it in a magazine and this is supposedly a quote. He was trying to get the attention of an official during a basketball game. The official, his friend, was named Billy. Apparently Mr. Lemons didn't agree with a call.

 It is Abe Lemons screaming during one game out of the thousands he has coached in his 40-year career, and here college basketball`s resident philosopher/wit is trying to get the attention of an official.

Billy, Billy, Billy:
That man, an acquaintance, finally does sidle over, and here Lemons asks, ``Billy, can you give me a technical for what I`m thinking?``
``No, Abe. I can`t.``

``In that case,`` says Lemons, ``I`m thinking you`re an S.O.B."

Much Love, Dennis