Author: John Mark Caton

What Are Your Odds?

Over the past few months several dead or disabled satellites have re-entered our atmosphere and plummeted to earth. The most recent was a 21-year-old German satellite, which weighed 2-½ tons. The bad news is that there are many other satellites heading our way. However, there is some good news. Researchers tell us that there is only a 1-in-3,200 chance a piece of satellite could strike someone on earth—but there is still a chance. In the Book of John, Jesus gave us some better odds by stating, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, and whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Now that’s good news, and that’s a 1-in-1 chance of eternal life. If you believe, you receive. I’m glad God loves us so much that that he gave us those kinds of odds. Aren’t...

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To Don’t List

Our current society thrives on a fast pace. People rush around, stressed and stretched.  Americans tend to be over-committed physically, emotionally and financially. People do whatever it takes to have an edge or to give their kids an edge, which results in being stretched and exhausted. I recently heard a speaker recommend creating a To Don’t list—a list of things we will stop or avoid doing—a list that focuses on priorities. When creating a To Don’t list, cut out one scheduled activity and cut something from your personal calendar. The more stretched you are, the more stressed you are.  Don’t book your entire day. Carefully weigh each family commitment and determine which ones earn a spot on the To Don’t list. Ephesians 5 reminds us to examine our time when is says, “Do not be as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time.” Have wisdom in the choices that affect your day, your life and your family. Life will be more focused, more energetic, more meaningful, and more joyful, and you will be more productive and more positive in your commitments. So put a “To Don’t List” on Your “To Do List”...

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There are No short Cuts in Life

A few weekends ago, a marathon runner in Northern England was stripped of his 3rd place medal for cheating. This runner decided to quit the race at the 20 mile mark and boarded a bus; however, as the bus rolled up to the finish line, the runner had a change of heart and ran through the woods to rejoin the race, finishing in 3rd place. Race officials became suspicious when times showed that he ran the last half of the marathon faster than the first half. When confronted with the discrepancy, the runner initially laughed off suggestions that he had cheated, but several spectators noted they had seen him riding on the bus and running through the woods. He finally admitted to cheating and was stripped of his medal and the rightful person was awarded his medal. The Bible says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”(Hebrews 12). The metaphor of life being a race is timeless. There are many turns in life’s race: Some moments you may feel like your life is an uphill stretch where everything is difficult. Other times you seem to be coasting with faith, family, friends and finances running peacefully. At different checkpoints in life, you might feel like quitting and don’t think anyone will notice. In your race, you may receive honor and praise or you might work hard but...

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The Key to a Good Marriage is a Good Fight!

The Bible says, “Husbands love your wives and wives respect your husbands” (Eph. 5:31). My friend Zig Ziglar once said, that the key to a good marriage is a good fight. For Zig, a good fight was a fair fight that ends well. Every marriage has its share of disagreements, and sometimes those disagreements can escalate into a fight. Zig gave this recipe for having a fair fight with your mate: He said pull two chairs about 18 inches apart. Sit face to face. Hold your mate’s hand and look each other in the eyes. Start your fight by saying, “We are best friends, and it is not who is right but what is right.” Remember, almost never is one spouse 100% right or wrong. Begin to discuss the problem. Try to come to resolutions and solutions. Someone asked Zig, “What kind of fight can you have with your mate while holding hands?” Zig responded, “Not a very good one, and that is the point!” If you are married, the Bible says love your wife. If you are sleeping in separate bedrooms, the Bible says love your neighbor. If you are mad at each other, the Bible says love your enemies So, if you have a fight in your marriage, make it a “Good Fight”. After all, its not who is right but what is...

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God looks at the heart

The new Baseball movie, Moneyball, is about building a low-budget winning team. The Oakland A’s could not compete with the wealthy Major League teams like the Yankees when it came to affording the best players in the game, so the A’s general manager, Billy Beane, chose a different approach. Instead of looking at the same details that every other major league team examined, he recruited and signed overlooked players who had skills that were not valued by the other teams. To say the least, the 2002 Oakland A’s had an amazing season and set a number of records with this team of overlooked, undervalued, and leftover players. What a great story about innovation leading to success! This story reminds me of how God works in each of our lives. Often God chooses those of us who do not look like much. We are often overlooked, passed over, and undervalued by others, but not by God. The Bible reminds us that the Lord does not look at the characteristics other people embrace. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “The Lord does not see as man sees. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Remember today—when others overlook or undervalue you, God never does! Also, try to see the untapped value in yourself and in others that can be used for the glory of...

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