22 Weeks – Airing 10/29/18 to 3/29/19
Overview – Everyone follows a shepherd. A shepherd is anyone or anything that “leads” your life. It can be a person, it can be a philosophy, it can be a belief system. It can even be an inanimate object. Whatever you take your cues from in life, which is by default your shepherd.
King David in the most beloved Psalm said that the “Lord was his shepherd.” In Biblical times, the shepherd was leader, protector, provider, and care giver! He really believed that the God of the universe was his leader, protector, provider, and care giver. Do you and I believe that?
This series of 22 messages, not only supports that belief; those messages expound on how the Lord is indeed our shepherd in the fullest sense of the word. God bless you as you listen to these messages. Hopefully He IS your shepherd already. If not, maybe these messages will aid you in choosing the One who glad chooses you!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 22, Airing Week of 3/25/2019
Last Word on Forgiveness?
This Week – This is the last of 22 messages from the book of Psalms. Once again, it’s about forgiveness, a critical issue in David’s life. Come to think of it, it’s a critical issue in your life and mine! We are all in need of God’s forgiveness; we also are in need of showing forgiveness to others. We’re both! Forgiveness is really the gut spiritual issue of all of our lives! How has forgiveness or lack of forgiveness impacted your life? This week we talk about that from Psalm 143.
Monday (3/25) – We begin this week by quoting the lyrics of an old Willie Nelson song, “The Lost Highway”. In two words, it’s about conviction and guilt. Do those words resonate with you at all? Listen to the lyric of the song and the text of Psalm 143 today. See if they speak to your life today, both from the song and especially from the Psalm!
Tuesday (3/26) – So many people live and act as if forgiveness is all up to them, what they do in the way of “make up work” for the Lord. It’s not! It’s about throwing ourselves at the foot of the cross and asking the Lord for HIS forgiveness. Have you discovered that yet? Listen to the dramatic story of man who describes himself as a narcissist. What he says about forgiveness is powerful!
Wednesday (3/27) – David makes a statement that may come as a shock to some people. He says in our Psalm that “no one living is righteous in God’s sight”! No one! That includes you and me. There is nothing that we can do to be declared righteousness in the sight of God. It’s all connected to the cross. Life begins the moment we accept that truth!
Thursday (3/28) – David says in verse 10, “Lord, teach me to do your will!” Have you ever prayed that prayer; have you meant it? What could happen in our lives if we prayed that prayer, and actually meant it! Most people want the Lord to get on board with OUR will. Isn’t that true? Deliverance begins the moment we commit to His program and plan for our lives.
Friday (3/29) – We close with the story of what happened in Stuttgart, Germany during World War two. Over 4,000 people were killed by 142,000 bombs that were dropped on the city during the war. All of the rubble was gathered into one place after the war; it’s the tallest point in Stuttgart. At the top is a 40 foot cross that overlooks the city. Do you remember that hymn that says, “In the cross of Christ I glory, towering over the wrecks of time?” The cross of Christ towers over the wreck of our lives! It’s the representation of His forgiveness for us!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 21, Airing Week of 3/18/2019
Land of Beginning Again
This Week – I’ve been told it’s a famous poem by Louisa Fletcher Tarkington, “The Land of Beginning Again”. It may express how you feel even today; you wish you could go back to the beginning of a specific time in your life and relive it. Does that resonate with you? There is a land of beginning again with the Lord God Almighty. What is it? It’s called forgiveness!
Monday (3/18) – We begin with a conversation with a former student of Ohio State University. Years ago, he told me he wished he could go back to his beginning days at OSU. When I asked him why, he shared that his freshman year at college was the beginning of the “bad stuff” in his life. Perhaps most people have a day, week, or month they could relive! What about you?
Tuesday (3/19) – If there was someone in your life who told you they will never forgive you of something that you said or did, would you want to socialize with them? Would you want to relate to a god who said he will never forgive you? Of course not! David says in Psalm 130 that with the Lord there IS forgiveness.That just may be good news for someone today!
Wednesday (3/20) – Do you know any scorekeepers in life? What are they? They are people who keep a record of everything you have done for the last year or beyond! You may be married to a score keeper; you may have a parent or child who is a scorekeeper. It’s no fun to be in relationship with a scorekeeper. It can actually be very debilitating emotionally and spiritually.
Thursday (3/21) – David says we fear the Lord because He forgives! Isn’t that remarkable? We fear God because ultimately He is the One whose forgiveness really matters! He then says God loves us with an unfailing love and with Him is complete redemption. Isn’t that really what we need in life? Anything positive in your life is connected to forgiveness!
Friday (3/22) – We share a touching story about forgiveness connected to “leaving the light on” on the front porch of someone’s home. It’s a true story that just may be a model for you. We all need to forgive someone; we all need to be forgiven. Maybe for you it’s both! It probably is! Let this closing story speak to you in a powerful way. “With the Lord, there IS forgiveness!”
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 20, Airing Week of 3/11/2019
If you lose it, you’re lost
This Week – Do you have a “relationship” with the Word of God? You may have never been asked that question; yet it is a valid one! We have a relationship with the Lord, obviously. But we also are to have a relationship with the book called the Bible! The longest Psalm and chapter in the entire Bible is Psalm 119. It describes the kind of relationship we are to have with the word of God; we are to hide God’s word in our hearts! This week we explain what that means.
Monday (3/11) – We begin with the story of a woman we knew coming to her hospital room after hours of surgery. As she was being wheeled down the hall from the recovery room to her own room, she quoted a number of verses from Psalm 103. Had she memorized the verses to dramatically share with us as she came out of recovery? No, they were “hidden” in her heart and came out at that moment. What’s hidden in your heart or mine?
Tuesday (3/12) – Everyone lives by some kind of “code”. Even the most immoral man or woman you know lives by a code. Verse 9 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” What is the answer? “By living according to your word” is the response given. What code do you live by? What code do your best friends live by? The answer to both questions speaks volumes.
Wednesday (3/13) – You and I cannot meditate on the word of God if we never read it. Verse 16 says, “I will not neglect your word” which means to “let go”. Have you let go of the word of God in your life? Do you regularly neglect the “book”? When you stand by the word of God the power of God stands with you! Try it and you will discover that statement is true!
Thursday (3/14) – We share the longest story I’ve ever told in a message. I’ve had to edit it in a major way! And yet you’ll get the message of a woman who deeply resented another person because of something that happened at an estate sale! It was the word of God that actually set her free from her bitterness toward another person. What could the word of God do in your life?
Friday (3/15) – We close with the story of the administrator of a Children’s Home in Grundy, Virginia. She relates some lessons from scripture that she saw reflected in an episode of the old TV show, “Mash”. Yes, you read that correctly. When scripture is a part of your life, having been internalized into who you are as a man or woman, you will see the word of God in every day experiences in life! What scripture have you seen in your life experiences?
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 19, Airing Week of 3/4/2019
Better One Day with Him
Psalm 84:1-2, 10-12
This Week – Have you ever posed an imaginary choice to say, “I’d rather spend one day with her or him, than to spend weeks, months, or even years with someone else?” The Psalmist says that he would rather spend one day on the periphery of the Lord’s presence than to continually be in the presence of people who don’t give the Lord the time of day! What would you choose? Your answer matters to Him!
Monday (3/4) – We begin with a true story of a sociologist from Omaha, Nebraska who sent 600 Christmas cards to 600 strangers with a personal note just to see the response. Many people wrote back and said, “I knew your father, or I remember your mother.” They didn’t, but were simply glad to hear from anyone who claimed to know them! This illustration is just an indication of the loneliness of people in our country today. People long for a relationship with anyone!
Tuesday (3/5) – Psalm 84 just maybe the most important Psalm for the Christian regarding attending a worship service! “My soul longs and cries out for the presence of the Lord” is a part of this Psalm. What do you “long for” in life? We tell the true story of a minister who tried to fast for 40 days like Jesus. He had to stop his fast on day 30; he was going to die if he didn’t! His body was crying out for nourishment and sustenance!
Wednesday (3/6) – Tell me what you love and whom you love, and I will tell you what and whom you are in the presence of. The Psalmist says “I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.” We explain what a doorkeeper in the house of God is; it’s not what you think. We also explain what the “tents of the wicked” means. Again, it’s not necessarily what you think.
Thursday (3/7) – I tell of taking my daughter to Germany when she was in college for a semester of study there. Days before she left, she informed me that I was going to have to go with her to help her with the moving process. I went! She taught me something about prayer that I had never consciously thought of praying about before. I want you to hear what it was!
Friday (3/8) – We close with the story of an army company commander in Vietnam named Paul Stanley. What he did with a captured Viet Cong prisoner who was just 16 years old will touch you deeply. It speaks about our relationship with the God who made us and the Christ who died for us! You must hear this story that we begin on Thursday and conclude today on CrossHope. Please listen today!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 18, Airing Week of 2/25/2019
When Resentment Destroys
Psalm 73:2-5, 12-17,and 21-25
This Week – Have you ever envied someone who seemed to disregard the spiritual in his or her life, and yet seem to be successful in every way? That’s exactly what Psalm 73 is about. It was written by a man named Asaph who has developed an attitude about the success of people who don’t follow the Lord. More people can relate to this Psalm than care to admit! One psychologist says this is the most evocative Psalm of all! What does it evoke in you?
Monday (2/25) – Resentment of other people is not only common, it can be deadly! It can deaden your spiritual attitudes. The author of Psalm 73 said his resentment and bitterness actually “dumbed him down”. He became like a “brute beast”. We explain later what this means. Maybe that has happened to you or to a family member. What you feel about others can impact your relationship with the living God!
Tuesday (2/26) – “All or nothing thinking” is involved with our resentments toward other people. We explain how in today’s program. In verse 21, Asaph describes his resentment and bitterness toward others had turned him into a “brute beast”! Those feelings had “dumbed him down”. But, when he came into the sanctuary of God, God revealed something to his heart. Maybe that could happen to you today!
Wednesday (2/27) – The Lord will reveal things to your spirit in corporate worship that just may not happen at any other time. I know that’s risky to say that, but I believe that. We share the story of an author who wrote a book about power, how to get it and how to use it. Twelve years later, he wrote a different book; he had cancer and his perspective changed, big time! What if that happened to you?
Thursday (2/28) – We focus on verse 25 that says, “Whom have I in heaven but you Lord, and earth has nothing I desire but you.” You may be in your 20’s and not believe that verse. You may be in your 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s and not believe that verse. You can even be in your 60’s or 70’s and not believe that verse. But someday before your life ends, hopefully you’ll come to the same conclusion.
Friday (3/1) – We close with a true experience of talking to a woman who had recently lost a son to cancer. She was on a plane reading a book about saying goodbye to a loved one who was near death or dying. What she shares may speak to you in a powerful way about what really matters at a time like that. Actually what she shares about her son’s final questions about heaven will move you deeply.
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 17, Airing Week of 2/18/2019
Better Than Life Itself?
This Week – I doubt seriously if there are too many things that you and I can point to in this world and say that having those things is “better than living”! And yet the Psalm writer David said, “Lord, your love is better than life!” Did he really mean that? He did. We explain how and why this week on CrossHope. One of the commentators says this is the most precious of all the Psalms to him. We explain why.
Monday (2/18) – David begins this passage by saying, “O God, you are my God!” Something or someone is your God. Truth be known, what or who is your God? The introductory remark says that this Psalm was written by David when he was in the desert. Some of you reading this may feel that you are in a “desert experience” right now! You can feel that your life is desert like, a “dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Tuesday (2/19) – The god who was the God of David in the desert is your God wherever you may be emotionally, physically, or spiritually. In verse 2, David says that he had seen the Lord in the sanctuary. He was talking about seeing the Lord in the worship experience. Does that resonate with anyone reading this? We can see the Lord in and through our worship experiences.
Wednesday (2/20) – David says “as long as I live I will praise God.” Most of the time, we use that phrase in a negative context, “As long as I live, I will never speak to him or her again.” Or we say “as long as I live, I will never have anything to do with him or her.” Sound familiar? Hopefully, we can say something positive about our relationship to the Lord that involves, “as long as I live.”
Thursday (2/21) – We share the story of a little girl missing from her parents overnight in a forest. When her father came up to her asleep in a clearing the next morning, she blurted out, “Oh Daddy, I’m so glad I found you!” She didn’t find him, he found her! I think that often that’s what happens when we find the Lord; truth be known, He found us!
Friday (2/22) – We explain why one of the Biblical commentators said that this Psalm was the most precious to him. I personally believe it’s because of phrases like, “O God, You are MY God!” It’s very personal. I think it maybe because of the phrase, “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Or perhaps it was the phrase, “You are my help, and I sing in the shadow of your wings”. That speaks of closeness or proximity. Which phrase touches your heart?
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 16, Airing Week of 2/11/2019
If Only I Could Fly!
Psalm 55:4-8, 16-17, 22
This Week – Everyone has either said it or at least felt it. People feel the need to “fly away” from their circumstances, from other people, from some besetting problem. You may have expressed that recently. David felt that need in his life and talks about that in what we are calling the “most graphic” of all the Psalms in terms of describing his situation emotionally. He uses the words anguish, horror, fear, terror, and trembling! That’s pretty graphic, yet maybe you have felt the same way.
Monday (2/11) – I don’t think I have ever used the word “graphic” with a passage of the Bible, but this week we do. Reading from Psalm 55, one reads about a man describing his life in very frightening terms. And yet, it’s real life to someone reading this right now! You may see yourself in this Psalm, including having the desire to escape your situation, to “fly away” from your troubles. Sound familiar?
Tuesday (2/12) – We share the comments of a Christian psychologist friend of mine, who before his death described the “real life” situations of everyday people we see often, even in church! We use it as an illustration of what David talks about in Psalm 55. Many people live lives of quiet desperation! They don’t lived charmed lives, but lives filled with the very words David uses!
Wednesday (2/13) – Dr. Paul Tournier described people wanting to “take flight” in life. What does that mean? Some people take flight into fantasy, the past, the future, work, drugs and alcohol. Some even take flight into disease! The list goes on! They’re all examples of what someone reading this can relate to. We discuss verses in Psalm 55 that apply to what Dr. Tournier shared.
Thursday (2/14) – We share from Psalm 55 David’s plan for prayer: three times a day, evening, morning, and night. It’s not a commandment; it’s a Biblical precedent. We share a story that I almost didn’t use; listen to it to see my concerns. It’s a powerful story of God’s healing power that just may speak to you today!
Friday (2/15) – We close with talking about verse 22 that says to “cast your cares upon the Lord”. It means to place that problem, that person, that illness, that financial burden under the authority of the Lord God Almighty! Intellectually, I don’t know of anything better to do. What do you need to place today under the authority of Christ? You can do that right now! It’s not a denial of reality; it’s a redefining of it!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 15, Airing Week of 2/4/2019
His Prescription for Forgiveness
This Week – Every sermon series that airs on CrossHope usually has one message that stands above the rest. There’s something in the text or in the entire message that makes it the “flagship” of all the series. This week is just such a message. It’s one of what are called the “Penitential Psalms”, or Psalms of confession, repentance, and contrition for sin. David wrote this after his sin of adultery and murder. It is hymn or Psalm of repentance for his tremendous weight of guilt for his sinning against the Lord God almighty. It just may be what you need to read, pray, and practice this week!
Monday (2/4) – We begin with the true story of witnessing a 12 year-old boy who was nearly drowning in the ocean in Haiti. There was nothing that I could do physically for him as a non-swimmer. Thank God there were two people who were life-guards in the states who went into action to save his life. We have something in our lives that we can do nothing about, spiritually. It’s called sin. Only the One who is our Redeemer can save us from our plight!
Tuesday (2/5) – We read the text from Psalm 51, where David pleads with the Lord to forgive his sin that he fully acknowledges. There is no forgiveness without acknowledgement! Likewise, there is no forgiveness without our admitting that ultimately we have sinned against the Father. You do that fact, don’t you? Forgiveness requires acknowledgement, confession, and repentance!
Wednesday (2/6) – David appeals to the nature of God to forgive. Why? Because it is Gods nature to forgive, even if it’s not your nature or mine! We all know people in our families and outside of our families who have no inclination to forgive anyone! You may be just such a person. Forgiveness for most people is an “unnatural act”. But we learn that it is Gods nature to forgive!
Thursday (2/7) – We talk about the sensitive areas of forgiveness where people “despise or reject our repentance”. Have you ever apologized to someone who responded by rejecting your repentance? How did you feel when that happened? Have you ever rejected someone else’s repentance to you? Do you remember their reaction? God will never do that with you! This Psalm assures us of that truth!
Friday (2/8) – We close with a story about the mercy of God. You and I couldn’t survive life without His mercy! You and I not only need to know that, we need to believe it and share it with others. If you deserved it, it wouldn’t be mercy. That’s the central point of the closing illustration. Mercy is something we don’t deserve. That’s why it’s called mercy!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 14, Airing Week of 1/28/2019
Your Biggest Mistake, Ever!
This Week – What’s the biggest mistake that you have made in your life? Maybe you can think of several “big mistakes” that you have made. Maybe it’s only one, made years ago. Aside from rejecting Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, we share a big mistake that many Americans make: not accepting the temporary as temporary and not accepting the eternal as permanent. Have you made that mistake?
Monday (1/28) – We introduce one of the great promises of the Bible from the book of Psalms. What is it? God will not “abandon” you to the grave! It’s the greatest form of abandonment, to be left in “death” forever. Many children (and adults) live with what’s called the “fear of abandonment”. We can take comfort in knowing that “God will redeem my life from the grave”!
Tuesday (1/29) – Verse 10 says death is the “great equalizer”. The ground is level at the cemetery, figuratively speaking. Some people may have bigger stone markers, but the grave is the same size for all! The ground is also level at the foot of the cross. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness. You do know that, right?
Wednesday (1/30) – We share an imaginary story from a play about an aging ex-president talking to a young presidential candidate about death. What the older man says is a little jarring, but is basically true! We close today’s program talking about Martin Rinkart, a Lutheran minister who in his day, had to conduct 15 funerals a day for a year! You need to hear what he wrote for his children!
Thursday (1/31) – We share a true story of a man who carried a piece of paper in his wallet that spoke to his life and his death. The God who will not abandon you in death will not abandon you in life! That just maybe the most important statement from this message. You and I need to not only believe that; we need to guide our lives by that statement.
Friday (2/1) – We close with a story about speaking in 2003 at the foot of Stone Mountain in Georgia for an Easter sunrise service. The service began in a foggy darkness, and ended with the sun breaking through the fog and showing the three dead leaders of the Confederacy carved into the mountain. As I was speaking about the Risen Lord, people began to focus on the three heroes above us. The irony was obvious. We were remembering the One who will not leave us in the grave; He will redeem our lives from death!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 13, Airing Week of 1/21/2019
When Your World Shatters
Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11
This Week – The most commonly used text in American pulpits after the tragedy on September 11, 2001 was Psalm 46. Even then President George W. Bush quoted the passage in a message to the nation. It’s a passage that says when the worst case scenario happens, God is still God! It was not only helpful then 18 years ago, it just may speak to your life, your marriage, or your family.
Monday (1/21) – We reference a book that deals with “worst case scenarios” that could happen in our lives. What if your car goes off of a bridge into water? What if you are caught in a hostage situation? Is there anything at all that a person can do in a plane crash? This passage tells us that God the Creator is with us in the “worst case scenarios” of life today in 2018.
Tuesday (1/22) – What would be a world class catastrophe that could impact our lives? According to Psalm 46, it would be a case of the mountains “falling into the sea”. He then says, even if that happens, God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. That is amazing when you think about it. We have events like that happening in our lives, on a much smaller scale. We call them divorce, death, and disappointments of all sizes. They are earth shattering events in our lives today!
Wednesday (1/23) – We share the writing of a former air traffic controller from O’Hare airport in Chicago who went into the ministry. He would eventually become a seminary professor and college president! His comments on this passage just maybe what you and I need to hear in our “earth shattering events.” Listen today and see if you don’t agree!
Thursday (1/24) – Gladys Alward was a missionary in China during World War II. She was in charge of 100 children at an orphanage with only one helper! As the Japanese forces advanced toward their location, Gladys had to lead these children on a journey of escape. A conversation that she had with one of the children will touch your heart in a profound way! Our God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. He really is!
Friday (1/25) – We close with a true story of a German POW who landed a job eventually in Wheaton, Illinois after the war. Not able to speak English, Peter Schneider served as a janitor at Wheaton College in the late 1940’s. Several students prayed for him without his knowledge. You need to hear his story regarding his job 30 years later. Once again, God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 12, Airing Week of 1/14/2019
This Week – Do you remember a time when you were extremely thirsty? Maybe it was years ago in a difficult situation. Perhaps it was more recent than that. The Psalmist actually prays that the Lord would give him a spiritual thirst for the Lord. He compares it to a deer “panting for the water” of a stream or brook. We are to want a relationship with the Lord in a similar way. Do you?
Monday (1/14) – We begin with a story about a famous World War two veteran from Columbus, Ohio. His name was Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker. He spent 24 days in a life raft on the Pacific Ocean after the crash of a B-17. His experience with thirst aptly sets up this message about thirsting after a relationship with the Living God. Let it speak to you today!
Tuesday (1/15) – As strange as this may sound to you, the desire for righteousness IS righteousness. Jesus would say in the beatitudes that “the person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness” is righteous. Tell me what you hunger and thirst after in life, and I can tell a great deal about you! We become like that which we seek after!
Wednesday (1/16) – We look at verse five that says, “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” Being downcast may be a term to describe how you feel right now at this moment. It may describe some of the depression, disillusionment, or disappointment going on in your life. The Psalmist gives some answers to his own problem. Let his answers speak to you about your situation!
Thursday (1/17) – We actually quote the lyrics of a song that my sister, Cathy wrote. Someone listening today to these lyrics will connect to them emotionally and spiritually. I really believe that. This Psalm was an inspiration for her song lyrics that you will hear today. We quote another hymn that Eddie Rickenbacker said lifted him up out some of the depths being stranded in a life boat on the ocean.
Friday (1/18) – We close with a story about the funeral of a retired FBI agent that I knew during my ministry in Dallas, Texas years ago. What one of his sons said at his dad’s funeral may just have a tremendous impact on you. Seriously, all he said was one sentence! You need to hear that sentence. It relates to Psalm 42 in a powerful way.
Message 11, Airing Week of 1/7/2019
Psalm 34:4-7, 17-18
This Week – Every week I realize that I am talking to brokenhearted or broken people. When Jesus began His ministry on earth, He read from the book of Isaiah in a synagogue in a place called Nazareth. He referenced Isaiah 61 as a statement of His upcoming ministry that says this: “He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted! “ That presupposes that there will be brokenhearted people everywhere He went.
Monday (1/7) – My favorite preacher for years was a minister from Chattanooga, Tennessee by the name of Ben Haden. Over lunch years ago, he reminded me that every Sunday I will be speaking to broken hearted people, or to put it bluntly, broken people. Does that describe anyone you know? Does it possibly describe you? The best text in the Bible about brokenness is Psalm 34.
Tuesday (1/8) – A professor in the school of business years ago at Duke University surveyed his students on what they were seeking in life. All of their goals could be summarized under three headings: money, power, and things! David begins our passage with these words, “I sought the Lord!” What a concept in 2019! What do you and I honestly seek in life?
Wednesday (1/9) – Verse 5 says that “those who look to the Lord will be radiant.” We usually reflect what we are “looking for” in life. Have you ever been able to “read” someone’s facial expression? You probably have seen anger, resentment, and even lust! The Lord can read us completely! He knows what we seek in our hearts.
Thursday (1/10) – Verse 18 is the key verse: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Why would He be close to brokenhearted people? The brokenhearted man or woman is usually a humble person, not proud. The Bible says that the Lord gives his grace or gifts to the humble, but He resists the proud. He only deals with humble people! Do you and I understand that?
Friday (1/11) – There’s a difference between being “brokenhearted” and being “crushed in spirit”. We explain the difference. Most people can perform in life with a broken heart. But to be “crushed in spirit” means devastation emotionally. If you feel that is your reality right now, you need to hear this part of the message. God can and wants to minister to you today.
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 10, Airing Week of 12/31/2018
Guilt Trip or Forgiveness?
This Week – We begin our 37th year of broadcast on the radio with this program all this week on CrossHope. It’s a message with a simple message from Psalm 32. Here’s the premise: you and I either live in one continual guilt trip, or we live in a environment of forgiveness from the Lord Himself. It’s actually a choice that we make. Choose forgiveness through Christ, or live in perpetual guilt the rest of your life! It really is that basic.
Monday (12/31) – We begin with the story of Don Bartlett, a man of Native American origins who was born with serious birth defects. His relationship with his father was in a word, horrible. What Don says about his life formation will powerfully speak to you. We introduce the text from Psalm 32 about forgiveness and guilt.
Tuesday (1/1) – A Presbyterian minister tells of a wedding he conducted. It was the third marriage for the groom; the second marriage for the bride. They believed their marriage would be solidified by a 16 page pre-nuptial agreement. There was no acknowledgement of past mistakes or sins on the part of either. This will further illuminate David’s words in Psalm 32 about confession of sin and forgiveness.
Wednesday (1/2) – Anything good in your life, your marriage, and your family relationships are connected to the forgiveness of Christ and our forgiveness of others. Some people don’t believe that, but it’s true. Just look at your own history, past and present! The most Christ like thing we can do is forgiving another person in the name and power of Christ.
Thursday (1/3) – Our lives are shaped by those who forgive us and by those who refuse to forgive us. Isn’t that true in your life? We explain and illustrate how that is so. That’s true both ways. People have been and are impacted by your forgiveness and your refusal to forgive. Death of loved ones will bring this fact to the forefront of your thinking!
Friday (1/4) – Everything about God’s forgiveness is connected to the Cross! God doesn’t forgive because we’re nice, deserving, and one of His favorites. He forgives us because of what His Son accomplished on the cross. Don’t ever forget that! Let me repeat; don’t ever forget that fact of life.
SPECIAL MESSAGE SIXTEEN
Airing Week of 12/24/2018
Favorite Christmas Stories, 2018
This Week – All this week on CrossHope, we air the five all-time favorite Christmas stories that come from various messages on our program over the last 8 years. A good story carries its own weight. Each story stands on its own to convey truth and power for the season. We hope you will not only enjoy them, but share them with others.
Monday (12/24) – Jean Gietzen lived in North Dakota during World War Two. Her story of Christmas of 1943 may just move you to tears in a quiet and yet powerful way. It really will! Listen to her story of recalling a memory of her family blessing another family in deep need at Christmas. It just may motivate you to do something extraordinary for another person in need this season!
Tuesday (12/25) – This is my absolute favorite Christmas story! It’s told by Lillian Smith of Georgia. You won’t believe what her father did one Christmas when she was a child. He actually invited a group of 48 state prisoners in what used to be called a “chain gang” over for Christmas dinner! They came with shotgun toting guards! And you are worried about having your relatives over! It truly is a scene out of a movie, yet it really happened one Christmas in her life!
Wednesday (12/26) – We share the story of a young man who didn’t speak to his father during his teen years and beyond. What he did at his father’s grave will impact you in a mighty way! This may just be the most important message of the week. Why? It’s about forgiveness. Christmas is about forgiveness for one simple reason: Christ is about forgiveness!
Thursday (12/27) – This is the only Christmas story I know involving the game of chess. And yet it has a much needed message for Christmas of 2018. We live in a culture today that “sees no Jesus, hears no Jesus, and speaks no Jesus. “ You’ve seen that at Christmas in our community, in our media, and even in families. Unfortunately, we need the “King” at Christmas as well as the rest of the year.
Friday (12/28) – We close the week with a story about the father of a famous Dallas preacher, T.D. Jakes. It describes the direction this country is going this Christmas of 2018. It just might describe the direction your marriage, your family, or even your circle of friends is going this Christmas. It’s not just the “wrong” direction; it’s the opposite direction we should be going. Listen to this great story.
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 8, Airing Week of 12/17/2018
In Whose Hands?
Psalm 31:5, 9-10, 14-15
This Week – Allstate Insurance made the phrase famous, “You’re in good hands with Allstate.” Being in the right hands is important in a lot of circumstances in life. What about in death? Right before Jesus took His last breath on the cross, He quoted David in Psalm 31:5, “Into your hands Lord, I commit my spirit.” If Jesus felt the need to commit His spirit to the Father when He died, why would you and I do anything less in death or in life?
Monday (12/17) – A lot has been said recently about the last words of President George H.W. Bush before he died. Supposedly, he told someone in the family, “I love you, too.” Last words can be and are important! We talk about Jesus quoting Psalm 31:5 when He died on the cross for you and me. There’s a lesson for all of us in this event. We talk about it all this week on CrossHope. The underlying issue is trust! We either trust God or we don’t!
Tuesday (12/18) – Twice in this passage, the term “hands” is used by King David. We are either in God’s hands in life and in death, or very simply we are not! Jesus committed His Spirit to the Father when He died. If He committed His spirit to the Father at death, why wouldn’t you do that with your marriage, your possessions, and your career in this life? You are either in the Lord’s hands, or you are in your hands!
Wednesday (12/19) – David describes his existence in verses 9 and 10 with these terms: distress, sorrow, grief, anguish, groaning, affliction and weakness. What was he describing? In one word, he was describing life! Can you relate to that at all? Of course you can! You’ve probably used one or more of those terms this month! We need to hear what David says about those words.
Thursday (12/20) – If you believe in Jesus Christ, you don’t “give up”, you “lift up”. We share the story of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans who lost three children many years ago. They went through distress, sorrow, grief, anguish, groaning, affliction and weakness. They experienced all of the above. What they did, and how they responded to this will speak to you in a powerful way!
Friday (12/21) – In verses 14 and 15, David says, “My times are in your hands, oh Lord.” We talk about the dual meaning of the word times. It can mean my “immediate moment” and it can me the “stages of my life”. Both matter to you and me! We need to know that our “right now moment”is in the “Hands of the Lord”. But we also need to know that the stages of our lives certainly need to be in His hands!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 7, Airing Week of 12/10/2018
What’s Your Worth?
This Week – What are you worth? Have you ever been asked that question? According to the Word of God, your worth is connected to the One who owns you! Psalm 24 says that the earth is the Lord’sand all that is in it, including all those that have live in it! That means He claims ownership over everything in the world, including you and me!
Monday (12/10) – We begin talking about an auction of some of the memorabilia of President Kennedy and his wife Jackie. Many items were “normal” items you might see at any estate sale today, but their value was greatly increased because of the one who owned that item. If that’s true,your value just went up knowing that the Lord God Almighty claims ownership over you! That makes you special and very valuable.
Tuesday (12/11) – I have books in my library that have special“value” to me because of the person that owned the book in the past. The value to me is really determined by previous ownership, not current book price. Your value has been determined by the One who “made” you and the One who“bought” you by the blood of Christ. Your spouse belongs to the Lord; your children do as well. Your parents, siblings, and everyone we know belongs to Him! Do you and I understand that?
Wednesday (12/12) – Verse 4 says that those who belong to the Lord have “clean hands” and a “pure heart”. Clean hands have to do with behavior and character. A pure heart has to do with inner attitudes. David then says a man or woman who belongs to the Lord does not “lift up their soul to an idol”. We explain what that means using what happens at a wedding reception when people “lift up a toast” to a bride and groom. Let it speak to you about what’s going on in your life!
Thursday (12/13) – We share the most powerful missionary story from the last half of the 20th Century. It’s about a couple from Canada by the names of Don and Carol Richardson who were missionaries in Dutch New Guinea. It’s a story that you may not want small children to hear. But if you’re able to, you need to hear this story! It will speak to you about what it means to “serve the Lord” in a remarkable way! Most people have no concept of what it means to serve the Lord in 2018.
Friday (12/14) – We conclude the story we began yesterday of a missionary couple who worked with people who casually murdered people right in front of their home! We conclude talking about your value to the Lord, by using this text and one from the New Testament. You are loved because of the One who made you; you are loved because of the One who gave His life for you on the cross. Please listen to this final excerpt from this message today.
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 6, Airing Week of 12/3/2018
Turning Your Darkness into Light
Psalm 18:1-3, 24-29
Monday (12/3) – David begins this Psalm with praise for God the Father for physically delivering him from his enemies. His words of praise: “I love you, Lord!” The highest praise spiritually is telling the Lord that you love Him. Isn’t that true in a marriage? Isn’t that true in a family with children? Indeed it is. We illustrate this point humorously and in a very serious way.
Tuesday (12/4) – We tell the story of a 16 year old high school student at church camp telling about getting a new car from her father for her birthday. And yet she could never recall her dad saying three words: “I Love you”. Perhaps you can relate to that story. We continue by talking about what it means that God is our shield, rock, and deliverer”. What those terms mean speaks to what He does and can do in your life!
Wednesday (12/5) – If you have a problem with praising God, you probably don’t understand what God has done in your life! We explain that thought today. There is nothing that you and I do that “gets by” the Lord. He’s never fooled or surprised. We talk about why we need to know that fact! We can actually become an opponent of the Lord through our pride.
Thursday (12/6) – Pride is the most offensive thing to the Lord God Almighty! Does that give you pause? It should. We then move to the verse that says that God turns our darkness into light. God brings light into dark situations all the time! He does that at a funeral, He does that at a hospital. When we share His word of truth; light begins to permeate the darkness. He wants to bring light into your darkness today!
Friday (12/7) – We also bring light into people’s lives or we just create more darkness! Which describes you? We conclude with one powerful story of the power of “light in the darkness” told by an author by the name of John Sutherland Bonnell. It will speak to you in a personal way about his father turning his darkness into light, just by his voice! Have you brought light into anyone’s life this year?
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 5, Airing Week of 11/26/2018
Integrity: Walking the Talk
This Week – Does the Bible define integrity? Yes, by describing it in Psalm 15. David begins the Psalm by asking two rhetorical questions. 1) “Who may dwell in the sanctuary of the Lord?” 2) “Who may live on the Holy Hill of God?” Both of those questions have to do with being in the presence of the Lord. Who qualifies for that kind of contact? David tells us in just 4 verses!
Monday (11/26) – Through King David, the Lord tells us first that a person whose “walk” is blameless may come into His presence. Integrity in the Old Testament is often described by the word, walk. Your “walk” has to do with personal integrity. It’s described as a person “walks the talk” and “talks the walk”. Their word is their bond. They either speak the truth or they don’t!
Tuesday (11/27) – A man or woman of integrity is someone who “speaks the truth from his or her heart”. (We quote a psychologist of our day who talks about two kinds of liars.) A person of integrity also has no slander on his or her tongue. Slander has a definition that you may never have heard before. Slander is “speech that injures”. Have you injured anyone today?
Wednesday (11/28) – Verse 3 says that a man or woman of integrity does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman. Everyone has neighbors in some venue or another. How do you treat the people that fit that definition in your life? A slur can be a silent rolling of the eyes or a raised eyebrow. Sometimes silence can be a form of lying. Verse 4 says a person of integrity keeps a promise even when it hurts! Do you know anyone who does that today in 2018?
Thursday (11/29) – The next two qualities are not only rare, they maybe something you have never heard of! It is someone who lends money without “usury”, and someone who does not accept bribe against the innocent. Usury (in Biblical times) was charging interest to someone who was borrowing money just to feed his family! Accepting a bribe would refer to what we are willing to do for money. What is the price of our integrity?
Friday (11/30) – We close with a story of a man who committed fraud involving “billions” of dollars, not millions! We quote an author who said that the guilty party hired a lawyer; he said we need a Savior. A man or woman of integrity in 2018 is a person who has a relationship with the One who can give us His integrity and spirit. His name is Jesus! We can’t pass on integrity that we don’t possess!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 4, Airing Week of 11/19/2018
Gratitude and Memory
This Week – There’s a connection between gratitude and memory. If you forget what someone has done for you, you’re not real grateful to that person. That’s true in a marriage, a family, and in your relationship with the Living God! But the word “forget” means more than just “ceasing to remember”. It actually has a frightening definition that we discuss this week. It’s a fitting passage for Thanksgiving week.
Monday (11/19) – Psalm 106 says that the people of Israel had forgotten what the Lord had done for them! He delivered them out of slavery, performed one miracle after another, and yet the Psalm writer said they did not remember the many kindnesses and went on to rebel against the Lord! If you’re honest, you can relate to that forgetfulness. So can I!
Tuesday (11/20) – Part of gratitude involves “listening to the Lord”. Listening reminds us to remember and call to mind what the Lord has done. If you have ever taken communion or the Lord’s Supper, the Lord was speaking to you about the cross! Were you listening? If you’ve ever heard a message shared from the Word of God, He was speaking to you! Again, were you listening? We tell a humorous story about listening that you will remember!
Wednesday (11/21) – Today we give the definition of forgetting that some have never heard! Talk to any marriage counselor or psychologist about his or her counseling, and they will tell you that this is one of most serious problems in a marriage. Listen today to hear this definition of forgetting! You may need to hear it for your marriage alone. Your spouse may need to hear it as well.
Thursday (11/22) – We tell a story written by Ben Patterson about two people in his life: an uncle who lived for money and not much else, and his wife’s grandmother who lived for the love of God and family. Ben describes life “whittling their lives down to their essence.” What is left of us is really what we were all along! This is a great thought perhaps for your Thanksgiving dinner today!
Friday (11/23) – Have you ever known someone who has searched for his biological parents? This story that we close with has a “surprise ending”. This man discovered after nine years of searching that he grew up just three blocks from his biological parents! What does that have to do with gratitude? More than you may realize. Gratitude is connected to memory! Your level of gratitude to the Lord is directly related to your memory of what He has done in your life.
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 3, Airing Week of 11/12/2018
Put Out Your Sign and Stand by It!
This Week – What we believe in life seeps out in conversation, in behavior, and even in people’s perceptions of us. If people are around us enough, they will even pick up some of what we believe spiritually! You’ve picked up impressions of other people just by talking to them. David says in Psalm 14 that God actually is looking for men and women who truly seek the Lord.
Monday (11/12) – We begin with a humorous story of a man selling fish that put a sign in front of his business. His friends told him how to edit his sign to improve it. By the time they all had given him input, his sign was empty! We all have a sign out about our lives. We need to put it out and stand by it! That’s especially true spiritually in what you believe about the Lord God almighty!
Tuesday (11/13) – We actually are looking at one of the top ten verses in all of the Old Testament. Verse 1 of chapter 14 says that “the fool as said in his heart that there is no God!” There are two kinds of atheists in life. There is the “intellectual atheist” and there is the “practical atheist”. We all know both types! You may have been there personally. That’s what we talk about today.
Wednesday (11/14) – The “practical atheist” is a man or woman who has the appearance of a believer, yet in real life lives as if there is no God. We share about a man who said he became an atheist in the same way that a child raised in a Christian home becomes a Christian. It’s very insightful! His parents raised him in an environment that mocked the Lord and His word. It was very natural for him to follow suit!
Thursday (11/15) – Today I share one of most touching stories you may have ever heard about a World War 2 veteran. It’s not only a true story; I knew the man and conducted his funeral. It’s a powerful lesson about God’s hand being on you and me when we trust in Him. It just may speak to you about the God you believe in and His son Jesus Christ. It’s a fitting story to talk about in regards to Psalm 14.
Friday (11/16) – We quote astronomer Carl Sagan and a man by the name of Lincoln who share some of their personal beliefs about the Lord. Although opposite views on the existence of God, both teach us some lessons. Tell me what you “seek after” in life and I’ll tell you what you worship! We worship and adore that which we seek after in the lifespan God given us. What is it that you instinctively seek after in life?
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 2, Airing Week of 11/5/2018
Overhearing David’s Prayer
This Week – Sometimes we hear more clearly when we “overhear” someone talking who is not speaking to us. It happens all the time. If you have children, they probably overhear more that they hear! We talk about overhearing the prayer of David who was praying his evening prayer, right before retiring for the night. What he prayed just may speak to you in terms of what’s going on in your life right now!
Monday (11/5) – David begins his evening prayer by pleading (not demanding) for the Lord to answer his prayer. Can you remember pleading for the Lord to answer a request or a need? You probably can. He asks the Lord to relieve his distress. We all have distress. It happens in marriage, in raising children, in making a living, and just existing as a human being! Life is distressful in 2018!
Tuesday (11/6) – God responds to our prayer out of His mercy toward us, not because of our track record. I’m grateful for that! We appeal always to the mercy of God; it’s our only basis of appeal. In verse 2, David says that people “love their delusions” and they seek false gods. That describes people in your life; it may describe us to a certain extent. We tell a story that is both humorous and pathetic at the same time to illustrate it.
Wednesday (11/7) – The great delusion of our day is that “man is god”, man is the highest being in the universe. Some of the false gods in our culture includes money, education, and success. What are the false gods in our lives? Verse 4 speaks about anger in your life and mine. We share some thoughts on anger that people said they never heard before. Maybe that will be your response!
Thursday (11/8) – We use an illustration of families, churches, and businesses that are controlled by “mafia- style leadership”. It’s a reference to anger that is used to control, dominate, and manipulate people. According to an author we quote, that’s when mafia- style leadership comes into play. This is the most interesting part of this message in my opinion. Be sure and hear this part of the message!
Friday (11/9) – We close by defining “distress” and the word “relief”. The Bible says that people live all their lives in their fear of death. We tell the true story of two brothers who were tied up with ropes by older boys and left outside in an empty field for hours. They were literally bound in a way there was no release without help! That may describe you and me emotionally or spiritually! God is the God of release and redemption!
WHO’S YOUR SHEPHERD?
Message 1, Airing Week of 10/29/2018
Who’s Your Shepherd?