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Being the parent of a 6 year-old and a 4 year-old, there’s a lot of finger pointing going on in my house. Last night, I caught the girls playing in Jalen’s room about an hour after we’d put them to bed. I opened the door to find the lights on, Jalen sitting up, playing with her stuffed animals and Emmy dancing around the room like it was

“Daddy…um, I think Emmy…sneaked in my room accidentally.”

“No, that’s not right, Daddy. She did come in my room, but I think she didn’t mean to.

“Yes you did, Jalen. I didn’t do anything. It’s not my fault.”

The truth, once revealed, was actually quite innocent. Jalen was scared in her bed alone and got up to find us. But Jennifer had run to the store and I was upstairs on the phone. She didn’t want to interrupt my call, so Jalen asked her sister to come sleep in her room and Emmy agreed. They were going to go to straight to sleep, but

I wasn’t mad. I didn’t even mind what they’d done. I would have just put them back to bed. But the lie…the blaming…not admitting their part. There was nothing good

They shed some tears and apologized to each other for the false accusations. I asked them to admit their part in what had happened and they did – with smiles on their faces this time, instead of fear. They hugged each other, gave me kisses, and

As I put them to bed and settled into my own, I replayed it all again in my head. And though it was a simple example with small consequences, I couldn’t help but see myself and the rest of us in their childish, but oh so human, example. So often, when we fail or falter, the last thing we want to do is accept responsibility .

How can I make this not my fault? Instinctually, we look for anyone around us that can shine the spotlight and cast the blame on.

But life will teach us this lesson well. We do ourselves no favors by pointing fingers at someone else – or even worse, sticking our heads in the sand, ignoring the power we have and the role we play in our own lives.

More and more, I’m learning the immense power of my choices, both good and bad, to shape my life and experience. Regardless of what anyone else did or does, I am responsible for me. You are responsible for you. And each of us will find our

Even typing that list made my stomach turn a little. But in truth, this is awesome news. Because if our choices were powerful enough to get us where we are, then they’re also strong enough to take us where we want to be.

If avoiding the hardest words will cause us pain, or keep us from where we’re meant to be, then embracing them will end it and move us forward…in an instant.

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Free Again!

I’m Free Again

Satan led my soul astray (Satan led my soul astray I drifted)
From the straight and narrow way (that leads to happiness and life eternal)
But to Jesus I did pray (to the Lord I humbly prayed)
He heard my prayer, rescued me that very day (that very day)
Praise God I’m free (free from every chain of sin)
I’ve been set free by the grace of God
I’m free (with a settled peace within)
No more the paths of sin I trod
I’m free (heaven’s gates I’ll enter in)
The blood has cleansed every sinful stain
I’m free (praise the living God)
I’m free again (I’m free again)

Soon the pearly gates I’ll see (soon the pearly gates I’ll see in heaven)
Soon I’ll live eternally (and then I’ll never die but live forever)
Friends and loved ones wait for me (friends and love ones wait for me)
I’ll sail up high through the sky because I’m free (because I’m free)

Repeat Chorus

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Still Haven’t!


D E V O T I O N Didn’t Miss a Thing

Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil. —Proverbs 15:16

A little with God is better than much without Him. As believers, we will make sacrifices in our lives. There are times, if we were honest, that we will see some people doing certain things, and we think, That looks like fun. You might even be a little tempted. You look at people who live for selfishness, partying, or multiple sexual encounters. But then let the years pass. Look at the course their lives have taken and the course your life has taken.

I had friends from high school who didn’t accept Christ when I did. They went their way, and I went mine. I run into them every now and then, and I think, Thank God that I went the way that I went! Did I miss a few parties? Yes — a lot of them. Did I miss some good times? I missed a few. But I also missed a lot of hangovers and other problems that are associated with that kind of lifestyle. Did I miss out on a few things? Sure I did. But what God gave me in the place of those things has been infinitely better.

It has been said one must wait until sunset to see how splendid the day has been. I know that when you are young, many things look so tempting: Go out and party, or go to church? Go out and have fun, or go sing songs about God?

The point is that you will make some sacrifices. You will deny yourself at times. But then, when you look back on your life someday, you will come to realize that you didn’t really miss anything.

Today’sdevotional is an excerpt from EveryDay with Jesus by Greg Laurie,2013

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Somethings just have to be posted different

Possible Homicide Victim
Opelika, Alabama
January 28, 2012
On the morning of January 28, 2012, skeletal remains were located at a trailer park on Hurst Street in Opelika, Alabama, after residents observed a skull on the premises. It was later determined that the remains were believed to be those of a young African American girl, 4 to 7 years of age. The child was likely abused and malnourished, and the cause of death was ruled to be probable homicide.
A forensic reconstruction of the girl’s appearance was done based on the skeletal remains and is shown above. Law enforcement officials are now seeking the public’s assistance with the identification of the girl.


Be part of the solution.
Protect your family, your local community, and the nation by helping the FBI catch wanted terrorists and fugitives. You can also help reunite missing persons of all ages with their loved ones. Rewards are offered in some cases. Use the Search Center below to find specific cases.

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Steer Straight


Steer Straight & Keep Pedaling

bike wheel

Last month, when the weather warmed up, I pulled Jalen’s bicycle out of hibernation in the garage. She was ecstatic – until she noticed that I’d removed her training wheels.

“Daddy, where are the little wheels?”

“They’re gone, babe. You’re 5 now. You don’t need them anymore.”

“No, Daddy; I do! I can’t ride without them. Will you please put them back?”

“Nope, it’s time. I know you can do it. Here – I’ll help you.”

Much whining commenced, but in the end, she relented and got up on her bike to try. I assumed the position that every parent has found themselves at some point. Left hand on the handle bars, right hand under the seat – trying to run sideways as fast as I could. And when I couldn’t keep up, I gave her a push. “You’re doing it! Keep going!”

It was a beautiful sight…for about 3 seconds – and then she crashed – hard. I coaxed her back up a few times but it always ended as it had begun – Jalen on the ground, scraped up, crying and working on a new bruise. When she’d had enough, she stood up, defeated, left her bike where it landed and began walking home.

“Jalen…baby…where are you going?”

“I don’t want my bike anymore, Daddy. I can’t do it.”

She wasn’t trying to be dramatic. She meant it. She didn’t see a way over the hurdle in front of her. In her mind, it was impossible for her to ride it without the crutch she’d grown to expect and rely on. So she gave up; she quit.

In that moment, my heart broke a little. The thought of her feeling incomplete or incapable in any way pierced me, even over something so small. I wanted to intervene, but what could I do? It wasn’t enough for me to believe she could do it. She had to believe for herself. This was her journey – and she’d decided she was done. So I held her hand and her bike – and walked her home.

Thankfully, that’s not how this story ends because yesterday, she decided to try again. And lest you credit my parenting skills or even the iron will of my kid, I must admit, it was actually jealousy that moved her to try again. When Jalen saw her little sister riding her bike without struggle, it flipped a switch in her. She looked at her Mom and me and said, “If a 4-year old can ride a bike, then I know a 5-year old can ride it too!” And off she went to try again.

What happened next is going to change my life. I’m sure of it. I think it might change yours too.

Jalen climbed up on her seat and in a burst of energy and faith, she took off. Tons of passion – not a ton of skill, so you know how that ended. As she stood up, looking at a freshly scraped knee, I could almost see her standing at a crossroads. She could retreat to where she was safe – and sad – or she could try again and move a little closer to the awesome thing waiting for her. This moment would cut a path for her, in either direction.

I got down on my knees and put my face close to hers. “Do you wanna know a secret? …Did you know there’s a really special trick to riding a bike that only big kids know?”

Her eyes got big and she smiled a little. “What is it?”

Slowly, like I was delivering top secret information, I whispered, “Are you listening good? You’ve gotta steer straight and keep peddling…Say that back to me.”

She whispered it back to me. “You’ve gotta steer straight and keep peddling.”

“That’s right! You can’t stop pedaling or you’ll crash. And even if you pedal really hard, if you jerk the wheel around all over the place, you’ll crash. You’ve got to keep your wheel straight and look forward. That’s the secret. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Daddy.”

“Do you believe you can do it?”

“Yes, Daddy.”

“Then let’s try again.”

Jalen climbed back on and positioned her feet for takeoff. I gave her a little push and as she pulled away, I heard her whispering to herself. “Steer straight and keep pedaling… Steer straight and keep pedaling.” She picked up speed and her whisper grew louder. “Steer straight and keep pedaling.”

Losing her balance, she jerked the wheel far left and right a few times, but this time, she immediately corrected and steadied herself. Her head was forward now, instead of down – and her courage began to swell. With her wheels turning faster and faster, she yelled out to no one in particular, “Steer straight and keep pedaling!!”

And in that single moment, right before my eyes, I watched my daughter as she stepped out of her past and into her future.

It’s rare that we get to see someone’s moment of breakthrough so clearly. Watching it up close was inspiring – not because she’d learned to ride her bike – but because she overcame her fear and the lie playing in her head. What had been impossible just a day before not only became possible – it became reality.

I want to live my life like that, don’t you? I want to live life moving from breakthrough to breakthrough, stretching the boundaries of what should be possible for me – breaking down those paper fences that dictate who I can be, where I can go and what I can experience. Don’t you?

How do we do that?

By trying one more time.

Even when we think we can’t,

Even when past experience says it won’t work.

Even when we bear the bruises of previous attempts.

What if you’re just one brave moment away from entering a new and beautiful phase of your life? What if you’re just one brave choice away from breaking through what has been and taking hold of what will be? You sincerely might be. And even if that moment doesn’t come today, it will come…if you don’t give up.

So be brave.

Lean into what could go right.

Believe you can and position yourself to try.

You will fall. You will get hurt. You will most certainly have doubts.

But don’t give up.

Get back up.

Steer straight and keep pedaling.

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On and On…

Some things seem to go on forever (and we wish they wouldn’t). Then there are things…

This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it… — Norman Martin, 1988, sung repetitively by Lamb Chop

Some things seem to go on forever (and we wish they wouldn’t). Then there are things that do last forever – and we fear they won’t.

God’s love falls in the second category.

When Psalm 118 says, “God’s love endures forever…”, this is not just a figure of speech, nor is it wishful thinking. This is a quality of God’s character explained in one beautiful Old Testament word: hesed.

Hesed tells the story of an unbreakable, unshakable bond between two parties. It is a love so deep, that our language struggles to explain it. It is a covenant never retracted. Any offenses are covered by hesed mercy. It’s a love in which forgiveness is rooted and a love that has no end. If a wrong is committed against God, hesed is the place where His anger subsides in unlimited grace.

That’s the sort of endurance God’s love possesses.

That’s the sort of love God is.

Why then, since God is for me because He’s so in love with me, why does He let me stumble on the dance floor? Why doesn’t He just keep temptation, and sin, and difficult circumstances at arm’s distance –His arm’s distance?

God’s love is not terminated when our feet get tripped up. In fact, like any good parent, God delights in watching His children learn the dance. Plus, there is always the hope that we’ll turn to Him when we stumble.

In fact, God is more concerned with intimacy than He is fluency. With an ever-present God as a dance partner, when I stumble, it’s certain that I’ll fall into His arms. And this – this nearness and embrace – is the place He desires for His children.

Forever Father, nothing around me defines forever so that I can understand. Birth precedes death. Blossoms wilt. Beauty fades. Relationships fracture. Words break. But You’ve given me a forever love rooted in Your faithfulness and grace. While I don’t fully comprehend, I hunger for it. And my appetite proves this love is real. Today, I pray for time to sit in Your presence and consider the depth of Your forever lovingkindness. Amen.


Copyright ©2014 Telling the Truth, 309 N Water St Ste 425, Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 800.889.5388 – Email:

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