View from Paradise

As most of you know Pricella and I are moving to Paradise. Our home closes later this month. (7/2017) We are so extremely blessed.  I have not written anything for along time even though it is one of the things that gives me the most pleasure. As I have said in the past God is constatntly prompting me to write and I tend to find many reasons not to.

Today I just want to thank God for his abundant Blessings and patience with me. As we move to Paradise our new home I think of Paradise our future home. The one that has been prepared for us eternally with our Father in Heaven by his Grace and our faith in His Son Jesus Christ. My wife and I have been excited, frustrated, depressed, overjoyed, angry, grateful and just about any other emotion you can think over the last several months. We have been trying to sell our house in Redding, made several offers on houses in Paradise, second guessed every decision we have made and just have been generally confused about what God is doing. Luckily we serve an Amazing God who never is confused about his purposes. We still have not sold our house in Redding and until the ink dries we don’t have a house in Paradise. Yet I am convinced that all we have gone through and all God has in store for us is to our benefit and God will continue to bless us beyond all we can imagine.

I recently read a devotional, and I would give credit to that person if I could remember who wrote it, that talked about the fact that we have “rich people problems”. That really put into perspective what Pricella and I have been going through. There are more people than not who would love the problems that we have. I’m sure that relates to most of us especially here in the United States. I personally am extremely blessed and as a nation we are one of, if not the most, blessed nations history has ever seen.  Yet we have no problem being discontent with whatever situation we are in. Even if you are not monetarily wealthy the next time you are feeling less then grateful about your situation remember, where you stand with God, is where your true wealth is. As children of God all our issues are “rich people problems”.

God is Good!!!



Sharp the cut

Sin’s first bite

Communion severed

Death’s reign ignites

Sharp the Law

The standard laid

Righteousness lost

Our debt unpaid

Sharp the pangs

A virgin birth

Messiah born

Peace on earth

Sharp the spear

Pierced the One

Triumph whispered

It is done

Sharp the cry

Of Satan’s horde

Defeated death,

Our risen Lord

Sharp the Spirit

Our Fathers Gift

Comfort, power

Hearts he lifts

Sharp the sword

The Mighty wields

Strength, Love

His Grace revealed

Sharp the word

His living trust

Wisdom, Life,

Strength for us

Sharp the light

From Glory’s rays

Holy God

Him we praise.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

“12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

 Grace like a sword has cut through the history of God’s redemptive plan for us. From creation to Glory, God’s Grace is plain to see.

Ralph Leavers 2013

GOD is GOOD!!!

Faith Under Fire

Faith Under Fire

As our young christian men and women go off from their homes to enter our societies places of wisdom and higher education they are soon faced with the reality that their believes are generally not accepted and even condemned by the academic elite. Ridicule and peer pressure soon start to attack the foundations of their faith. Unfortunately many are not equipped to defend this faith. They know it is foolish to deny the love, grace and wisdom of God, but without adequate knowledge they are soon overpowered by the constant barrage of secular “wisdom” and walk away from the Faith that they know is truth. In fact it has been shown that 75% of them will be talked out of their faith while in college.

Psalm 14:1 (NIV)The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

In this passage the word for fool describes a man who is morally deficient. They believe what they believe because they lack wisdom and moral character. Unfortunately when it is professor after professor in classes you are required to attend, without a strong foundation and a ready defense of what you believe, you falter and question truth.

Proverbs 12:15 (NIV) 15 The way of fools seems right to them,  but the wise listen to advice.

As a christian we need to determine are we going to follow the counsel of fools or follow the wisdom of the Lord. Their can only be one truth. It is not determined by popular vote or opinion it is simply the truth. Consequently if it is not truth than it is a lie regardless of who proclaims it. We need to stand firm on the truth that has been made so obvious by God’s creation and his Word. This next verse from Isaiah is a great description of what secular academia has produced in our colleges and universities. God is displeased with the condition of our education system and it is time to defend our youth against the erosion of truth.

Isaiah 59:14-16 (NIV) 14 So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. 15 Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.

Dr. Frank Turek is working on a solution to this tragic problem for our youth. I encourage you to visit his website and get this information to the college aged and those soon to be entering college that are near to you. Give them the knowledge and wisdom to defend the faith that is within them. Please follow the links below and share this valuable tool.

<a href=””>Present the evidence at my church.</a>
<a href=”″>Read the facts for free and pass them on.</a>

GOD is GOOD !!!

True North Travel Tip #9 “Proverbs 16:9”

True North Travel Tip #9

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Have you ever noticed that God doesn’t always pay that close of attention to our plans? It’s not that he ignores us, he’s just a bit more aware than we are. (Okay quite a bit more!!!) Usually I end up very grateful that he follows his wisdom rather than mine, but at the time I kinda get a little bent that he ignores my good suggestions. If you find yourself wondering why things aren’t going the way you planned just stop and pray about it then wait. God knows the beginning from the end and that includes your life he knows exactly where you need to be and when you need to be there. Trust his wisdom, it may not be the path you would have chosen, but it will always be the right one!

GOD is GOOD!!!

True North Travel Tip #5 “Ephesians 6:11-12”

True North Travel Tip #5

Ephesians 6:11-12 (NIV) 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Don’t leave home with out your armor, better yet don’t even roll out of bed!! We wear clothes to protect the body and yet let our souls be naked. Grab your bible and read on through verse 18, God has provided an amazing wardrobe, don’t neglect to use it.
It’s a tough world out there, but God is stronger.
God is Good!!!

True North Travel Tip #6 “Romans 2”

 True North Travel Tip #6

“Romans 2 (NIV) 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

In this passage Paul is addressing judging of others and how when we judge we show contempt for the Grace God has given us. Do you realize the greatness of the riches of God’s glory that has been poured out on those who believe. God’s kindness has taken every sin we have ever done or thought of and has cast them away as if they never existed. His forbearance takes the sins we commit daily, even though we know we should not do them, and covers them with the blood of Christ so that daily we can stand righteous before him. His patience is his love for us knowing that we will continue to sin in the future as long as we inhabit these fallen and sinful bodies, and yet he has prepared a place for us eternally in his presence. Through Christ we are able to stand righteous before God. Don’t diminish the great gift God has given you by condemning for the same things you are guilty of. We all need his Grace and a repentant heart.
God is GOOD!!!

True North Travel Tip #7 “Psalm 27:1”

 True North Travel Tip #7

“Psalm 27:1(NIV)1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

No matter what is going on in your life, if Christ is your salvation, you have nothing to fear. I know that is easier to say than actually live out, but it is a faithful promise, your enemies will not succeed against you if your faith is in the Lord.
STOP!!, Focus on God, give Him your trial, listen to his counsel, and then see the amazing things that can happen as you walk with God through those overwhelming situations in your life. He is Faithful and True, why face things alone.
GOD is GOOD!!!

True North Travel Tip #8 “Isaiah 40:29-31”

true North Travel tip #8

“Isaiah 40:29-31(NIV) 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

This has been one of my favorite passages of scripture since I became a Christian over 25 years ago. What an awesome promise of Gods protection and strength. We give out, we get tired and weary, life has a tendency to overcome us. But when we trust in the Lord, he becomes our strength, we suddenly have super human stamina to get us through. I think we have a tendency to forget this promise and try to make it on our own. I picture Jesus looking at us with a smile saying I can help you if you just ask. Don’t do it on your own we have a big God who loves to pour out his strength in our lives.

GOD is GOOD!!!



True Worship

John 4:23-24(NIV)

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Jesus had just had a conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacobs well, a very insightful chapter that could probably fill several posts, but I want to focus on what he has to say about worship. The woman points out that her ancestors had worshiped on the hill where the well was and that the Jews required worship in Jerusalem. Jesus makes a statement that the old ways of worship both by the Jews and the Samaritans will be replaced by a new worship. The true worshipers will worship in the Spirit and in truth, but what does that mean?

First we need to realize that it does not say in spirit but in “the Spirit”, with out the Holy Spirit present in our lives we can not worship God. Notice I did not say present in the place you are worshiping, if you are one of God’s children, the Spirit is within you. If you have to invite the Holy Spirit into your place of worship then you have no Christians there.

Acts 1:4-5 (NIV)On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

I find it odd when Christians get together and they pray for the Holy Spirit to come into there meeting. We as we gather bring the Holy Spirit because he is within us. What Jesus is saying in this passage is if you want to worship God you must have the Spirit of God within you. That only comes by faith in Jesus as your Lord. The Spirit of God working in our lives and on our hearts allows us to enter into worship with God. We are unable to have a true heart of worship without the Spirit. Before they worshiped out of obedience to the law, they worshiped God for what he had done and the promises still to come. They loved God but could not have the relationship made possible through Christ that we have. We can truly come into the presence of God in our worship, because the Spirit of God is within us allowing our worship to be heard by God.

What is the truth that Jesus is talking about? Well for starters all truth comes from God and what has God given us as our source of his truth? The Bible, it is our source of truth, there is truth that can be found outside the bible, (IE: in nature, in science, observation), but nothing that is true ever contradicts the Bible. If we are to worship in truth our worship cannot go beyond the truth found in the Bible. We as humans have tried through the ages to make up new ways to do everything better, including worship God. There are no gimmicks when it comes to worship. God wants our hearts, no motives, no agendas, no new revelations on how to get closer to God, He just wants our hearts! True worship based on the truths we know from the Word he has given us led by the Spirit He has placed within us.

Worshiping God is an amazing experience when it is done the way God intended, if not, it may be amazing but it isn’t worship. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in worship as He also leads you in understanding the awesome truths of God. It is not a maybe it’s a must!!! You “can not” worship God unless it is in the Spirit and in truth.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

GOD is GOOD!!!


ODG Billy Sunday “Impossibilities”

“We have a God who delights in impossibilities.”

Billy Sunday 1862-1935

Billy Sunday was born in poverty, raised in an orphanage, became a well known outfielder in the National League in the 1880’s then became one of the most well known and influential evangelists of the early 20th century. He was well aware of overcoming impossibilities and he had no problem giving credit to God.

As I embark on this next adventure that has been placed before my wife and I, I am so glad that the God of impossibilities is walking right beside me. It is a scary step, that first one you take in faith, but I know that it is what I have been called to do. True North Christian Fellowship has been on my heart for about the last 10 years. I have either tried to fit it in to someone elses ministry, made excuses that it was not the right time or just been flat out to scared to take that step. Recently God has made it clear that now is the right time.

Church planting is a big task, filled with obstacles that would appear to be impossibilities, and yet God has promised that there is nothing he cannot do or walk us through. (Romans 8:31 b “If God is for us, who can be against us?”) I am so excited for what he has planned for True North and I know that as long as we focus on Love and sound doctrine it will be amazing. Please pray for us.

God is the God of impossibilities, he has never found a problem that is beyond his ability, we need to rest in that. You may find yourself praying that tomorrow doesn’t come because you have no idea how you are going to make it through. I have been there at times, it is scary not knowing if things are going to be okay. Yet, as Christians we do know, we do know that God is in control and things will work out, maybe not how we plan, or in our time frame but it always “ALWAYS” does. I have been so amazed over the last 28 years of marriage and raising my children how many times God has gotten me out of impossibilities. Like this quote says God specializes in the impossible.

If you do not know Christ as Lord you will face impossibilities that truly are impossible. Without Christ you are on your own in a very dark and difficult world. God wants to protect you and guide you through those impossible trials, Christ is your access to that Love and Grace, don’t walk alone! Please ask me or someone you know that loves the Lord if you have any questions, your life truly does depend on it!

Philippians 4:13 (New King James Version)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

All things means “ALL THINGS!!!”

GOD is GOOD!!!