Posts Tagged ‘Teenagers’


I have recently spent a great deal of time with young teenagers. I had many struggles myself, but nothing compares with what our kids are facing today. Peer pressure is stronger than ever, and the divide between God’s way and man’s way is deeper and broader than ever before. Young David began writing the Psalms as a teenager. He made a decision to follow this unseen God with all his heart and life. I believe that decision was with him through every struggle and mistake he faced.  David was my hero as a young man. Sure, he was flawed, but to me that meant he was real. If you have a teenager struggling with peer pressure, with temptations, with their identity, take them through these Psalms. I believe they may hold the key to a life that will be blessed. The decisions that young teens make will determine where they will end up when they are 50 and 60. These select Psalms are an excellent guide to making the right decisions.

The importance of right thinking

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

From my conversations with young teens, bad thoughts and bad words are a real struggle, even from “Christian” teens. Every day they are subjected to profanity, mild pornography, insults, slams to their appearance, and insults to their character. David struggled with insults from his brothers. He struggled with gossip, slander and even death threats from close friends, his Jewish brothers. Embracing, reading, meditating on the Word of God is the only way to cleanse the impurity of our thought and words. We must believe in the power of the Word of God, for it is living! The Word of God ministers LIFE to our soul! Learn to embrace the power of the Word of God. Here are some powerful Psalms that speak to the issues you may face as a teenager.

How can my life matter?

Psalm 1:1-6 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Life is a Choice. Do you want to be like wheat chaff, which simply blows away and is gone? Or do you want to be like a mighty tree, whose leaves never wither in spite of heat or drought, but always has fruit to give to others in his season.

If you want to be like that mighty tree, you must decide to build your life on the Word of God, and meditate in it day and night. You must also decide not to associate with people whose lives are contrary to God’s standards.

Who am I? Why am I here?

Psalm 8:1-9 1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Learn to marvel at God constantly all day long. Learn to call upon His name (Jehovah) and declare His majesty! Learn to see Him in everything you look at, nature, the heavens, your friends, your parents (even when you are having conflict!) God is constantly watching you, loving you and thinking about you! He has crowned you with glory and honor, but you will only realize it as you declare His Glory! Realize he uses the mouths of babies to defeat the enemy! Because of God you are amazing! You are here to be used of God for His glory!

Does God care about me?

Psalm 16:1-11 1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” 3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. 4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. 5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. 7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 8 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. 10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. 11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Learn that for God to have a relationship with you, you must make a decision to follow Him as Lord of your life. Realize He wants you, desires a relationship with you and will communicate with you. He listens when we call upon Him! He will counsel you when you start to pay attention to His Word. Learn to set the Lord God always before you, at your right hand, a place of honor. With Him at your right hand, you will not be shaken no matter what happens. When you pay attention to God and decide to honor Him with your life, He will make known to you His pathway of life!

Why should I follow God?

Psalm 24:1-10 1 The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah 7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah

He is the King of Glory! The earth and everything in it and on it is His! You are His! He hands out Blessing to and righteousness to all who seek him and follow Him! Keep your hands clean and your heart pure, do not lie and swear. He is your King of Glory!

Does God care when my life sucks?

Psalm 25:1-18 1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. 6 Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. 11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. 12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. 13 His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. 14 The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. 15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 18 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Young David had some really horrible days. People were gossiping and telling lies about him, and some wanted to kill him. His life was really messed up. He went from being a hero to a less than zero. But he learned he could always trust in God. He could always tell God how much he hurt, how lonely he felt. And he knew that God would teach him if he paid attention to the way that God worked. He learned that God could actually lead him. Sure, David messed up a lot, but God forgave the sins of his youth, for God’s love is always there for those who have made a decision to follow Him as Lord. Learn to fear (respect) God. Learn to reverence Him. Speak up to your friends when they use God’s name in a wrong way. Learn to turn off movies and shows that use God’s name in bad ways. When you fear and reverence God, He will be your friend. Keep your eyes always on God! He will turn to you when you are lonely and going through tough times.

What about when my life really, really sucks?

Psalm 31:12-24 12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror on every side! — As they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life. 14 but I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! 16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love! 17 O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt. 19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! 20 In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. 22 I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. 23 Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. 24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

Learn that your times are in God’s hands. There will be really low times. There will be times when it seems even your best friend has turned against you. Call upon God; tell Him “You are my God!” Ask Him to rescue you, ask Him to shine His face upon you and save you in His steadfast love! He will put the wicked to shame. Maybe not right away, but God will intervene on your behalf. You will look back on those times of trouble and they will seem so minor. Learn to be strong and take courage in the Lord! Praise Him in the midst of the storm for the abundance of His goodness!

Live life God’s way – trust, dwell, delight, commit, be still and wait!

Psalm 37:1-11 1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! 2 For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! 8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. 9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land. 10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. 11 But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

God is cool, and He wants you to be cool. When you follow God, you don’t need to stress about all the (crap) that swirls around your life. Parents being mean? Friends getting away with all sorts of stuff? The bad guys bothering you? Teacher against you? Kids making fun of you? I know it is tough, but God has a better way. He wants you to trust in Him. He is always on the throne. He will always make it right. That doesn’t mean life will always be cool and stress free. What it means is you will always have the “Big Gun” on your side! Don’t fret (fall apart), trust that God is in control, find something about God to delight in, commit what you want to happen to God, then trust Him to act! He will cause you to shine in His timing, and you need to man up and wait fro Him. Do not take things in your own hands. Don’t get mad, don’t start lashing out, it will just get you in more trouble. Wait upon God and you will watch Him give you everything you need. He will give you abundant peace!

Be still, and take time to know God

Psalm 46:1-11 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. 6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Never underestimate the Power of God! He truly is our refuge and strength! Instead of allowing fears to dominate your heart, see yourself in the City of God, surrounded by the Fortress of God, His holy habitation. Be still before Him and know that He is God! Learn to see that He is with you even in the worst of times, when it seems your world is falling apart. He is right beside you, a very present help in times of trouble. He wants you to take time to be still and know Him. He is not an “in your face” kind of God. You must take time to know Him.

Do not be a fool

Psalm 53:1-6 1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. 4 Have those who work evil no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God? 5 There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put them to shame, for God has rejected them. 6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

No one thinks they are a fool. Most teens think they are pretty smart. Not being a fool is not about head smarts, street smarts or anything you think is smart. You become a fool when you leave God out of your life. You are a fool if you say ‘no” to God! If you ignore God or deny that He is watching over your life or even leave Him out of your life, you will become corrupt and foolish in the sense that you are going you own way. You are missing out on what “wisdom” is all about. Wisdom is living your life from God’s point of view, with God set before you.  If you say no to God, you are living by your standards, and you will be a fool to God. Seek after God, for He is looking down from heaven to see if anyone understands Him, if anyone will follow Him.

Learn to cry out to God when surrounded by lions

Psalm 57:1-11 1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! 4 My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! 6 They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah 7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Never try to face your problems alone. Always ask God to stand between you and your problems. Never think that He doesn’t care about what you are going through. CRY OUT TO GOD! He will send out His steadfast love! Don’t worry about what will happen to you, simply Exalt God and ask for His Glory to come from your situation! Kneel before Him in the shadow of His wings and take refuge! Cry out to Him and ask Him to work His purpose for your life. He will save you! Desire His glory to be over all the earth!

Learn to praise the Lord and find His blessing!

Psalm 67:1-7 1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah 5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Learn to praise the Lord at all times. God shines His face upon those who praise Him! The blessings of God inhabit the praise of His children!

Make the Lord your dwelling place and no evil will come upon you

Psalm 91:1-16 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. 14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

When you are growing up, fear is all around you. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing your parents, fear of what your friends think, fear of being unpopular, fear of life, and even fear of yourself and what you might do or say. God wants you to dwell in Him, to make Him your confidence and shelter. Allow His faithfulness and sheild to reinforce your soul. Through faith in His protection you will learn not to fear what may happen, or what is unseen. God will protect and will prevent any evil from taking you. He will be your guard. Hold fast to God in love and He will protect you, because you know His name!

GOD LOVES CRAZY!

Psalm 98:1-9 1 Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! 7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! 8 Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together 9 before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

God loves crazy! So get crazy sometimes! Bang on some pots, make some noise, shout a little, shout a lot! Make a joyful noise to King Jehovah! He loves to hear us! He loves to see us get excited about Him!

Learn the importance of boundaries

Psalm 101:1-8 1 I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. 2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. 6 I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. 8 Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.

To follow God as your Lord and King, you must set some boundaries around your life. Walk with integrity in your home, and do not allow anything that is worthless in front of your eyes. Value endurance and loyalty; never fail to do what you said you would. Do not allow perverseness into your heart. Do not tolerate slander or gossip. Do not allow liars and deceivers into your life. Always see the need to struggle against sin!

Learn to Bless the Lord!

Psalm 103:1-22 1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Keep track of all the Good things in your life, and Bless the Lord every chance your get. God forgives us our sin and heals our diseases. He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. He crowns his children with His steadfast love and mercy. He will work righteousness and justice in your life when you come to Him as one who is oppressed and cast down. He shows compassion to His children, to those who reverence Him. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Make a decision to be righteous

Psalm 112:1-10 1 Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! 2 His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. 5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. 6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. 7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. 9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. 10 The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!

Who you want to be requires a decision to fear the Lord and walk in His righteousness. The righteous are never moved, but firmly established where ever God leads them. The righteous one is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm and trusting in God. The righteous one is not afraid, for he looks in triumph upon his adversaries. The righteous endures forever! Make a decision to follow the righteousness of the Lord! You will still struggle, you will still fall. But when you make a decision to follow God and His righteousness, He promises to always hold your hand! This is God’s promise:  The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

How can a young teen keep their way pure?

Psalm 119:9-16 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! 13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. 14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Seek God with all your heart. If you give some of your heart to a girl, some of it to sports, you will be divided and be subject to temptation. You can even make sports an idol. You can make a young girl an idol. You can put them before God. Your way can then become impure. Give all of your heart to God. Give any girl you like to God. Give any sports you like to God. God wants to be Lord of everything in your life. His Word should be our first love! Through His Word we can keep our ways pure!

No one knows you like the one who designed you!

Psalm 139:1-24 1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. 19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Your Creator God knows you better than anyone in the universe. He designed you. He ‘knit’ you together in your mother’s womb. He knows what you will say before you even say it. He watches you at all times. You cannot hide from Him! His thoughts toward you are more numerous than the sands of the seas. Ask Him to search you and remove any evil thoughts and desires from your life. He will lead you in the way everlasting!

Never stop praising God!

Psalm 150:1-6 1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

Even when things look bad, or you really messed up, bring God into your circumstances through PRAISE! Do not fret, God is always God, and when you turn to Him in praise, He will respond! He becomes LORD GOD when we praise Him!

Take the Thirty Day Challenge

Unsure of which way to go? Take this 30 day challenge. Memorize Psalms 1. Then meditate on all six verses as you lie in bed, before you go to sleep. Substitute your name when it says ‘man’ or ‘his’. Also substitute your name for ‘wicked’. See yourself in those verses. Do that for thirty days and then see which way you want to walk.


show-me-your-gloryMoses longed with all his heart to see the Glory of God. “Please, show me Your glory.” (Ex 33:18). In our churches we sing “Glory to God in the highest”. We sing and pray “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth; (Ps 108:5) We want the World to see the glory of God, and to behold the glory of His Son Jesus Christ. We long for the day when “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Yet God has already shown us His glory. His glory is sitting next to you. You behold His glory when you watch your husband leave for work. You behold his glory when you thank your wife for a great meal. You behold his glory when you nursed your baby. At the same time you behold his glory when you listen to your husband yell at you for spending too much money. You behold his glory when your wife tells you for the millionth time to not leave the toilet roll empty. You behold the glory of God when your teenager breaks your heart by an unkind comment or look.

The truth is that we are meant to experience and reveal and manifest the glory of God through our family, through those people we share a roof with, be it a normal family, a blended family, or a messed up family.

If we see the family as God designed it and wants it to be, we will restore Honor in our homes. And in restoring honor to our homes, we will see immediate rewards, rewards that will reveal the Glory of God to a fallen and disillusioned world.

Peter revealed:

There is wonderful JOY ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These TRIALS will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much PRAISE AND GLORY AND HONOR ON THE DAY WHEN JESUS CHRIST IS REVEALED to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:3-7 (NLT)

No one else will provide testing to your faith in the power of Christ than your spouse or your children. If you pass this test of Faith, you will see glory and Honor.

maid-of-honorMost Brides have a Maid of Honor who helps them with the wedding. Besides the planning and the help with getting dressed, she will also give a speech at the reception after the wedding. She will give a speech with catchy little sayings such as:

Marriage begins when you sink into his arms and ends up with your arms in his sink.

Before marriage a man will lay awake thinking about something you said, after marriage he’ll fall asleep before you have finished saying it.

If you’re clever you’ll always have the last word, BUT if you are clever you won’t use it!

When you are wrong admit it, when you’re right shut up!

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

victorian-weddingsActually the Maid of Honor tradition:

” is thought to have originated from Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits (believed to attend marriage ceremonies) by dressing in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits would not know who was getting married. It was thought that evil spirits caused marriages to fail.”

“Even as late as 19th century England, there was a belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint the wedding. In Victorian wedding photographs, for example, the bride and groom are frequently dressed in the same fashion as other members of the bridal party.”

You can have all the maid of honors you want. You can take every precaution to ward off evil spirits. But that is not what causes marriages to fail. The reasons marriages fail are myriad. But I know that if you keep one thing alive in your marriage, your marriage will never fail. I know if you keep one thing alive in your family, with your children, your family will never fall apart.

marriage-made-of-honorThat one thing is Honor. WE MUST HAVE A MARRIAGE OF HONOR. If we restore and treasure Honor in our family, for our spouse, for our children, God promises your marriage will never fail. He promises your children will be a Godly Inheritance.

What does honor look like in the daily life of a married couple? For starters, it means waking up in the morning and deciding that our spouse is the most valuable person on earth to us. It is deciding that we will look after our spouse’s needs before we worry about ours. Honoring our children means we see the value of caring for those God has given us to raise. Honoring our spouse and our children on a daily basis is all about priority.

peter-eyewitness-of-the-transfigurationPeter recounts the Transfiguration:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2Pe 1:16-18)

Christ was transfigured before Peter so that He could see his majesty. He could see the Honor and Glory that God bestowed on His son, even before He did what He came to the earth to do–redeem mankind. God held His son in the highest regard even before he saw the finished product.

how-do-you-value-your-familyWe need to see the value of honor in our homes. We need to see the Value that God places on our spouse and our children, and how Honoring them brings great reward.

When we date we learn to honor each other for what they offer us. Remember honor is placing value on something. Our future wife honors us because we are cute, good-natured, loving, will make a good provider. We honor our wife because of her beauty, the way she loves us, makes us feel. All of a sudden we are talking about the future and then talking about what it would be like to be married and before we know it we are making wedding plans.

It doesn’t take too long after we are married before we realize that the person we married may not have been everything we had thought they were. We discover this about them, that about them. They discover this about us, that about us. Soon you discover they can be selfish, they don’t always value your opinion, and in fact they don’t seem to value at all. Why do so many husbands and wives who were so much in love find themselves so much out of love.

Once this person was so valuable to you, now they are nothing but a liability, something to be discarded from your life. What happened?

Dear Positive Way, I feel my husband married me for my looks and someone for his children when he only sees fit. First five years I expressed the need of him and I committing at least one hour a week alone. I had heard responses like too busy, no money, no response, to even what do you want me to do drop everything for you response, you need friends, its not up to me to make you happy etc. He makes comments about my appearances. When first married I gained 5 pounds he expressed his disapproval of this to me and especially now I have gained 20 pounds since having a baby who is currently15 months. He says he has needs for an attractive wife and it is biblical for him to have these needs. He has seen me cry over his comments about my weight and me feeling I’m not good enough to him. He has even seen me cry numerous times over this. He has full custody and do not see there mother maybe talk to her twice a year. The last 7 years my spouse corrects me in front of the boy all the time and doesn’t allow me to be a parent to him. To the point 3 years ago I was trying to correct my step-son and he yelled at me and said I’m calling Dad and your going to be in trouble. My step-son was 4when I met him and now is 12. He shows no respect to females mostly of the time especially me and school teachers. My spouse doesn’t correct so much with the stepdaughter who now is 18. I feel 98% of the time my spouse has never supported me as the other parent. I feel the nanny in the house except I pay half of the bills and my spouse sleeps with the nanny but the nanny has no say or position to say or want anything in her house. How do I really now my spouse’s true motives or does he even love me or care? My self-image, and esteem is shot. signed, noesteemleft, age 34

How do you restore honor to a home? How do you restore the value of our spouse and our children?

Our wife, our husband, even our children can lose their value to us because our focus is on the wrong thing. We need to discover God’s Way (Teach me thy way O Lord and I will walk in your path)

1. Husbands – Honor Your Wife

husbands-honor-your-wifeSo God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him… (Gen 1:27)

A. Man Is Created To Bear Fruit – Life

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:27-28)

B.The Abundant Life –Parallels between Abiding and Cleaving

1. Not Good for Man to be alone

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen 2:18)

2. Man leaves and cleaves to reproduce Life

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen 2:23-24)

3. To Join with Christ, we must leave the world and cleave to Him.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (Joh 15:4) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:7-8 (NKJV)

4. Christ’s Life is in the Church, so is Man’s Life in his Wife.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (Eph 5:25-30)

5. Honor our Wives with Abundant Life in View.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1Pe 3:7)

  1. Grace of Life
  2. Power in Prayer

  • If you want eternal life, you believe in Christ as your Savior.
  • If you want an abundant life, a fruitful life, you die to self and then abide in Christ.

You become one with Jesus Christ.
You live a Galations 2:20 life.
Christ lives his Life through you!

wives-key-to-the-abundant-lifeNow Jesus said in John 15:7-8: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Jesus said you will ask what you want and it shall be done for you. But what did 1 Peter 3:7 say? Peter told us men to honor our wives so that our prayers are not hindered.

What he is saying is your ability to abide in Christ, your power in prayer is nullified if you do not honor your wife. Your wife and the way you honor her is key to abiding in Christ! It is Key to having power in your prayer life. And when you abide in Christ and you have prayer power, GOD IS GLORIFIED!

Do you want to see the glory of God? Do you want to have prayers that are answered? DO YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE ABUNDANT SATISFYING LIFE? THEN HONOR YOUR WIFE!

  • But she doesn’t make my breakfast. Honor Your Wife
  • But she doesn’t iron my shirts. Honor Your Wife
  • But she doesn’t….
  • But she….

I DON”T CARE WHAT SHE DOES TO YOU OR DOESN’T DO FOR YOU. HONOR YOUR WIFE. IF YOU DO NOT HONOR YOUR WIFE YOU ARE NOT ABIDING IN CHRIST, YOU ARE WALKING IN THE FLESH YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE HINDERED, AND YOU ARE NOT ENJOYING THE GRACE OF LIFE IN CHRIST!

6. Honor is a Decision, Just as Abiding is a Decision

Every day you say: “I’m going to show my wife that she is extremely valuable to me.”

Honor is a decision. It is the simple decision to place high value, worth, and importance on your wife, to view her as a priceless gift. Love involves putting that decision into action. Honor is a gift we give to our wives. It isn’t purchased by their actions or contingent on our emotions. You’re giving them distinction whether or not they like it, want it, or deserve it. It’s a conferring distinction, much like an honorary degree. You give honor to your wife simply because she is the way you can abide in Jesus and bring glory to God. You will discover that honoring your wife gives legs to the words “I love you.” It puts LOVE into action.

luvrYou must make a decision to be a LUVR:

LUVR (Lover): With her opinions, concerns and expectations, you decide to

  • Listen,
  • Understand,
  • Value, and
  • Resolve any arguments with win-win solutions.

Honor does not involve the belief that your opinions, concerns and desires are somehow superior to your partner’s. Conveying a superior attitude is the biggest killer of marriage and produces the most frustration, hurt, and fear within marriage.

Honor is a “lifting up,” a holding up of your wife with reverence. Honor is permanent, unmovable and forever. Honor is the most important skill you can master; it is even more important than being able to communicate. If honor is non-existent in one partner, there is a high probability that the marriage is over. But if only a spark of respect or adoration remains, the spark can be turned into a flame in a few days.

EIGHT COW WIFE

eight-cow-wifeJohnny Lingo was a young man who lived on the island of Nurabandi, not far from the island Kiniwata in the South Pacific. Johnny was one of the brightest, strongest, and richest men in the islands, but people shook their heads and smiled about a business deal he had made with a man on Kiniwata.

It was customary among the people of these islands for a man to buy his wife from her father, with the price being paid in cows. Two or three cows would buy an average wife, and four or five would fetch a highly satisfactory one. Yet for some reason, Johnny had paid the unheard-of price of eight cows for a wife, Sarita, who was unattractive by any standards. As one fellow explained, “It would be kindness to call her plain. She was skinny. She walked with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. She was scared of her own shadow.” Why did Johnny Lingo pay eight cows, especially for such a woman? Everyone figured Sarita’s father, Sam Karoo, had taken young Johnny for a ride, and that’s why the islanders smiled whenever they discussed the deal.

Patricia McGerr finally met Johnny for herself and got the chance to ask about his eight-cow purchase of Sarita. She had assumed he had done it for his own vanity and reputation—at least until she saw Sarita. “She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen,” McGerr wrote. “The lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin, the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right.” Sarita was not the plain girl McGerr had expected, and the explanation lay with Johnny Lingo.

“Do you ever think,” he said, “what it must mean to a woman to know that her husband settled on the lowest price for which she can be bought? And then later, when the women talk, they boast of what their husbands paid for them. One says four cows, another maybe six. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one or two? This could not happen to my Sarita.”

“Then you did this just to make your wife happy?” McGerr asked.

“I wanted Sarita to be happy, yes. But I wanted more than that. This is true. Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. In Kiniwata, Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the islands.”

“Then you wanted …”

“I wanted to marry Sarita. I loved her and no other woman.”

“But …”

“But,” he finished softly, “I wanted an eight-cow wife.”

Because Johnny Lingo considered Sarita to be worth eight cows, she began to see and present herself as an eight-cow woman. Before Johnny entered her life, Sarita was a shy, plain island girl. After he placed incredible value upon her, she was transformed into a confident, attractive woman who knew she was worth far more than any other island woman.

The above story was based partially on an article found in Reader’s Digest (February, 1988 ). The original work was copyrighted by Patricia McGerr in 1965.

2. Wives – Honor Your Husband

wives-honor-your-husbandA. God Defines An “Excellent” WIFE As One Who Fears The Lord

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Pro 31:29-31)

1. Fear of the Lord Leads to Honor for Your Husband

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph 5:31-33)

Respect is “phobeo” – fear. Fear (reverence) of God and His design for your life. God made woman to be a help meet for her husband. Husband and wife are to be one just as a Christian is to be one with Christ. Just as Christ is our protection from this evil world, your husband is protection for his wife. Just as Christ is the guide for our life, a wife must realize that she will she God’s direction and glory as she honors her husband.

2. God Values a Wife Who Honors Her Husband

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. 1 Pet 3:1-6 NLT

B.Your Abiding in Christ is dependent upon your honoring your husband.

For in honoring your husband, you are demonstrating your reverence for God as well as your trust in Him. That is why you don’t give in to hysterical fears.

  • What if he does this…
  • What if he doesn’t do this….

1 Corinthians 7:16 says that our great duty is to promote the salvation of our spouse. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NLT) What good is it to enjoy marriage now and then go to hell together? If you let your spouse be damned, where is your love? Both should inquire into each other’s spiritual state, and use the means appointed to improve it.

Wives, you should learn the value of speaking as “apples of gold”

apples-of-gold“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”Proverbs 25:11

A Are my words APPROPRIATE? “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23

P Are my words PLEASANT? “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

P Are my words PURE? “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life…” Proverbs 10:11

L A re my words LOVELY? “And all bare him [Jesus] witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth….” Luke 4:22

E Are my words ENCOURAGING? “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25

S Are my words SOFT? “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

3. Parent’s – Honor Your Children

Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psa 127:1-5)

honor-your-childrenChildren are a “Nachalah”, a precious possession. God promised his children in the wilderness that if “the children of Israel would obey the voice of the Lord, and keep His covenant, then He would promise them that, “ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine”. The word for “peculiar treasure” is the Hebrew “cegullah” and it is akin to the previous word “nachalah”. It too also means a possession or property with the added meaning of being a special treasure or a jewel.”

Honor simply means deciding to place high value, worth, and importance on another person by viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting him or her a position in our lives worthy of great respect. It’s like what Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (NIV).

As with genuine love, honor is one of the greatest gifts we can provide. In fact, honor is genuine love in action. To honor a person involves choosing to highly value him or her even before we put love into action. In many cases, love often begins to flow once we’ve decided to honor that person. The opposite of honor is dishonor, which is almost certain to make anger develop in a child or teenager’s heart.

What is dishonor? The essence of dishonor is when who you are (your feelings, opinions, thoughts, beliefs, etc.) is devalued by another.

  • When do we, in everyday family experience, tend to treat our children like that?
  • When he has just asked the same question for the thousandth time
  • When they leaves her “stuff” out at night, expecting us to clean up
  • When they selectively forgets what he’s been told
  • When she brings home a boy who wears an earring and a leather jacket
  • When he screams at us, claiming that “you just don’t understand!”
  • When she goes out on a date dressed in risqué clothes

Anger, unjust criticism, unhealthy comparisons, favoritism, inconsistency, jealousy, selfishness, envy, disrespect, belittling comments, negative beliefs, and a host of other weapons are “justified” as valid to use against people we consider to be of little value. Here’s something everyone ought to write on a card and read every day: The lower the value we attach to people, the easier we can “justify” dishonoring them with our words or treating them with disrespect. The 5,000 adults we surveyed reported that one of the least-popular things they received from their parents was criticism. As youngsters, many of these teens showed little or no evidence of the problems they face as adolescents today. And often, as we began to look into their history, we found that their parents had had no idea they were failing to honor their teens. “It could never happen to my teenager!” some might say. Let’s look, however, at some of the problems young people often face because, in part, their parents never understood the tragic impact of their dishonoring actions. Some of the devastating things that can grow out of dishonor, either in the teen years or later in life, are:

  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • chronic lying
  • procrastination
  • extreme pride and self-centeredness (narcissism)
  • workaholism and the need to achieve more and more
  • vicious emotional ups and downs
  • repeated absences from church and school
  • extreme submission
  • unhealthy legalism
  • severe withdrawal from society
  • sexual difficulties in marriage
  • lower academic achievement
  • feelings of loss of control
  • stress-related heart problems
  • homosexuality
  • deep feelings of loneliness
  • suicidal thinking and attempts
  • poor marital mate selection
  • clinical depression
  • poor decision making
  • lowered career achievement
  • a pattern of outbursts of anger
  • low energy in accomplishing school or work tasks
  • extreme self-criticism
  • gravitation toward cults and fringe religious groups
  • unrealistic expectations of self and others
  • eating disorders

Parents don’t want to see their teenagers experience such problems. Yet without realizing it, some parents lead their children down these very paths.

The key to avoiding such things in our teens’ lives is to honor them, especially as children. To make them feel valuable, loved, and accepted, we must decide to increase honor and help lower their anger. Even if you’ve unknowingly been in the habit of dishonoring your teen, you can choose today to stop the devastating effects of dishonor—even reverse them—by giving your teen the gift of honor. And when you learn how to communicate in tangible ways to your adolescent that he or she is deeply loved and highly valued, it goes a long way toward combating future problems.

restore-honor-to-familyGod said that your children are His special treasure. He desires them as His inheritance. When you honor them as God’s special treasure, you show them whose they are. They will grow up giving their heart to Him, for they are His.

So how do we honor our wife, our husband, our children? The following are the four faces of honor: (From Gary Smalley)

1. Give Meaningful Touch

2. Picture a Special Future Together

3. Have an Active Commitment

4. Express High Value

These four elements are what make honor possible for a family. They are the driving force to healthier, more exciting families. If we do not have honor, then we cannot have a satisfying life, and abundant life, a Godly Heritage with Children growing up knowing they are God’s Treasured Possession.

The Testimony of Johnny Ferrier

im-thirdThe following is an account of a day Johnny Ferrier had been preparing for all his life. The story was originally featured in The Denver Post in the late 1950s.

Out of the sun, packed in a diamond formation and flying as one that day, the Minute Men dove at nearly the speed of sound toward a tiny emerald patch on Ohio’s unwrinkled crazy quilt below. It was a little after nine on the morning of June 7, 1958, and the target of the Air National Guard’s jet precision team was the famed Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just outside Dayton.

On the ground, thousands of faces looked upward as Colonel Walt Williams, leader of the Denver-based Sabrejet team, gauged the high-speed pullout. For the Minute Men pilots—Colonel Walt Williams, Captain Bob Cherry, Lieutenant Bob Odle, Captain John Ferrier, and Major Win Coomer—the maneuver was routine, for they had given their show hundreds of times before millions of people.

Low across the fresh, green grass the jet team streaked, far ahead of the noise of the planes’ own screaming engines. Judging his pull-up, Colonel Williams pressed the microphone button on top of his throttle: “Smoke on . . . now!” The diamond of planes pulled straight up into the turquoise sky, a bush tail of white smoke pluming out behind. The crowd gasped as the four ships suddenly split apart, rolling to the four points of the compass and leaving a beautiful, smoky fleur-de-lis inscribed on the heavens. This was the Minute Men’s famed “flower burst” maneuver. For a minute the crowd relaxed, gazing at the tranquil beauty of the huge, white flower that had grown from the lush Ohio grasslands to fill the great bowl of sky.

Out on the end of his arm of the flower, Colonel Williams turned his Sabre hard, cut off the smoke trail, and dropped the nose of his F-86 to pick up speed for the low-altitude crossover maneuver. Then, glancing back over his shoulder, he froze in terror. Far across the sky to the east, John Ferrier’s plane was rolling. He was in trouble. And his plane was headed right for the small town of Fairborn, on the edge of Patterson Field. In a moment, the lovely morning had turned to horror. Everyone saw; everyone understood. One of the planes was out of control.

Steering his jet in the direction of the crippled plane to race after it, Williams radioed urgently, “Bail out, John! Get out of there!” Johnny still had plenty of time and room to eject safely. Twice more Williams issued the command: “Bail out, Johnny! Bail out!”

Each time, Williams was answered only by a blip of smoke.

He understood immediately. John Ferrier couldn’t reach the mike button on the throttle because both hands were tugging on a control stick locked in full-throw right. But the smoke button was on the stick, so he was answering the only way he could—squeezing it to tell Walt he thought he could keep his plane under enough control to avoid crashing into the houses of Fairborn.

Suddenly, a terrible explosion shook the earth. Then came a haunting silence. Walt Williams continued to call through the radio, “Johnny? Are you there? Captain? Answer me!”

No response.

Captain John T. Ferrier’s Sabrejet had hit the ground midway between four houses, in a backyard garden. It was the only place where he could have crashed without killing people. The explosion had knocked a woman and several children to the ground, but no one had been hurt—with the exception of Johnny Ferrier. He had been killed instantly.

Major Win Coomer, who had flown with Ferrier for years, both in the Air National Guard and on United Airlines and had served a combat tour with him in Korea, was the first Minute Man to land. He raced to the crash scene, hoping to find his friend alive.

Instead, he found a neighborhood in shock from the awful thing that had happened. But then Coomer realized that the people felt no resentment as is ordinarily the case when a peaceful community is torn by a crash. A steady stream of people began coming to him as he stood in his flying suit beside the smoking, gaping hole in the ground where his best friend had just died.

“A bunch of us were standing together, watching the show,” an elderly man with tears in his eyes told Coomer. “When the pilot started to roll, he was headed straight for us. For a second, we looked right at each other. Then he pulled up right over us and put it in there.” And in deep humility, the old man whispered, “This man died for us.”1

It had been a bold and courageous last act. But it was not an act alien to the nature of John Ferrier. He had been awarded one of the nation’s highest medals for risking his life “beyond the call of duty” in Korea. And although he hadn’t known it, he’d been preparing for this tragic day for years by practicing this most important principle: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

A few days after Johnny’s death, his wife, Tulie, wrote the founder of Kanakuk Kamp, Coach Bill Lantz, this letter:

Coach, I went through my husband’s billfold last night and found the old worn card which he always carried—”I’M THIRD.” He told me once he got it from you. He said that you stressed it at one of your camp sermons. Johnny may have had faults, though they were few and minor, but he followed that creed to the very end. God is first, the other fellow second, and “I’m third.” Not just on June 7, 1958, but long before that—certainly as long as I’ve known him. I’m going to carry that same card with me from now on and see if it won’t serve as a reminder. I shouldn’t need it, but I’m sure I do as I have many more faults than Johnny.

The principle by which Johnny Ferrier lived and died is also the greatest lesson you can instill in your family.

At the heart of making others feel valuable, loved, and accepted is a decision to honor them, even above ourselves. If we restore honor to our families, God’s Glory will be evidenced in our lives and in our children’s lives.