The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Forbidden Fruit

When I worked at Love Field Airport there were two men that seemed to have no interest in dating unless they were married. Of course, both of them had been married several times, but in-between marriages they seem to have little interest in women. This was the intrigued of the Forbidden Fruit. I want what I’m not supposed to have.

There are many who believe if we had no laws then it would eliminate desire. Let’s say America declared a “No Law” week once a year. Do you wonder what would happen? I know we would see the full depravity of mankind. Murder, rape and theft would be totally out of control.

This is where it all started. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2”16-17 One tree out of many and Adam couldn’t resist it. So why did God put a tree in the Garden of Eden they were not supposed to eat? God didn’t want mindless automatons’ worshipping Him. He wanted us to choose Him over evil.

He still wants us to do that today. God doesn’t want us to serve Him out of rules and regulations or without choice. God wants us to love Him and for us to have a desire to serve Him. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind. Matthew 22:37 So is the law bad? What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. Romans 7:7 In other words, the law is like a map to a mine field showing us where and what to avoid because of danger. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” Romans 7:8

There are many that believe that since we are in the New Testament age we are no longer under the law. Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? Romans 7:5 Jesus came to help us fulfill the law, not to do away with it.

Forbidden fruit is the sweetest poison you’ll ever taste. Consequence is a bitter medicine to make us healthy by leading us to repentance.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Most of my life I worked so hard for the acceptance of others to the point of losing my identity, my morals and my beliefs. I was afraid to have my own thoughts in fear of rejection. I wanted acceptance so bad that I was used much of the time. The desire for acceptance is extremely strong in everyone. Another word for acceptance is “Love.” We all have the need to be loved and we will go wherever we seek it. It reminds of the song, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.”

People will always be drawn to someone or a group who will accept them. Naturally we are all drawn to groups with similar interest, but I’m talking about acceptance based on physical appearance, financial standing, color, family, background or even sin. The opposite of acceptance is our greatest fear and that’s rejection.

Do God and Satan accept people? Yes! God accepts all people, but He will never accept sin. Satan accepts the people and encourages the sin. God’s acceptance leads to life and Satan’s acceptance leads to death. Many times God’s people tie the sin with the people and refuse to accept the people. Satan will gladly accept those into his fold.

The truth is to accept and love everyone, but to never accept their sin. I’ve known several people in my life who were living in a sin that was destroying them and their life. I was upfront and honest with them and told them the truth. I told them that I have always loved them and that will never change, but I cannot accept their sin nor condemn them for their sin. To love someone doesn’t mean we have to put a stamp of approval on their behavior. There are those who are afraid of losing the person (husband, wife, child or friend) so they compromise instead of standing firm.

Pride will keep us from loving the ones who are struggling and who do not meet our expectations. By some reasoning we feel since we are not doing what they are doing we must be better than they are. You will see many examples of this in the Gospels with the Pharisees. Many profess Christianity in their words but not in their deeds. In church they do all the right things and say all the right things, but when it comes down to living in truth, then that’s another story.

If someone is lost in a dark cave we cannot push and shove them to the exit. We need to lead them out, but it’s so much easier when we know the way. Sometimes it’s the blind leading the blind. We cannot demand that they find their own way out, but we have to patiently lead them and this can be difficult. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Cup

A cup has many functions and meanings, but how we use the cup is mostly for containing liquid or even solids. We can put all types of things in a cup. We can use it to contain coffee, sodas, tea or many other beverages, but it can also be used to contain poison, urine or other types of undesirable liquids.

One of the points I’m trying to make is a cup is neither good nor bad. It can have all kinds of usage. The cup is just a cup. What is put in the cup doesn’t change the cup itself, but it does change how it is perceived.

Many believe when they get to heaven there will be a scale to weigh our good deeds and evil deeds. Depending on how the scale is tipped will depend on our destination. So if we do a lot of evil deeds then we will go to hell and if we do a lot of good deeds then we will go to heaven.

The only way we can get into heaven is we would have to be perfect and I know I’ve already blown that chance as well as everyone else. Eternally the cup is the problem and it needs to be exchanged for a new cup and the only one who has that is Jesus Christ. This is the perfect cup we need to exchange for. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matthew 16:26 Before a person accepts Jesus into their heart their cup is headed for hell. It doesn’t matter how clean or dirty their cup is at the time. The same thing applies when a person who has accepted Jesus into their heart. They receive a new cup bound for heaven from that point on and it can’t be taken away. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:29

The Blame Game

The blame game is definitely nothing new. It started at the beginning of creation with Adam and Eve. Adam said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12 In one sentence Adam blamed God and Eve for his sin. Adam believed he had absolutely nothing to do with it.

There are those who blame others for everything and those who are willing to take the blame for everything. Then there are some who may accept some responsibility. If you never accept the blame or always accept the blame you will probably end up getting married to each other. Either situation will keep a person from growing and maturing.

Why do people blame? To justify their actions and behaviors. If I can blame someone for my behavior then I don’t have to take responsibility for myself. No matter what happens to us in our life or who does what the bottom line is how we respond and not react. However, the way we respond to it will definitely reveal our maturity. It continues to amaze me how far some will go to justify their sin. We live in a country that promotes and encourages people to not accept responsibility for their actions. As long as there are people willing to accept the blame there will be someone there to let them.

I remember watching the TV show Home Improvement when Jill had done something wrong to Tim. Tim had finally convinced himself that it must have been his fault for a problem they were having. Jill had come to the realization it really was her fault. When Tim came home they both said they had something to tell each other. He forced her to let him go first so he took responsibility for the problem. Then when he asked her what she was going to say she said, “It was anything important.” So she let him go ahead a take the blame for something that was her fault.

People love it when we take the blame because they feel it releases them from any responsibility. It really doesn’t but it makes them feel that way and it keeps them from growing.

Why is growth so important? If you are a parent, then you will see this analogy more clearly. Imagine if your children stopped growing and maturing somewhere around 2 years old and they weren’t potty trained. For the rest of your life this is where your children remained. At that age they are cute, but cute only last for so long. I was glad to see my boys mature, become independent and move out.

Now how does God see us? He wants to mature spiritually so He doesn’t have to deal with our pettiness. Are we maturing and moving forward or are we stuck? Sometimes people will see our immaturity as cute, but before too long we will lose friends quickly.
We may justify ourselves with us and others, but never with God.

Freed from Prison

There was a man named Joe who hand committed grand theft auto and was caught, tried, convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Finally the day came for Joe’s release from prison. Within the first day after his release Joe was arrested again for the same crime plus he robbed a few liquor stores at gun point. Joe once again was tried, convicted and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Joe lashed out angrily at the court and protested he shouldn’t have to return to prison because he had already been there. The judge looked at him and said, “Joe, you paid your debt to society the last time you were in prison and you were released. However, when you were released, you were free to live in society and abide by the law, but you chose to commit crimes once again. You were not freed to do whatever you wanted; you were freed to do what was right.”

Does this sound familiar? So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we've left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! This symbolizes the freedom we received through the blood of Christ.

That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did.

That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you've been raised from the dead!—into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You're living in the freedom of God.

Facing Fear

Several years ago when I worked in Dallas I was coming home from work. It was a normal routine of driving home and everything was fine. Then as I was approaching a major intersection a car ran a red light and caused a five car wreck which I was one of the cars in the wreck. I wasn’t injured, but a little shook. My car had some damage, but not too bad.

For the next couple of months when I would pass that intersection I would slow down and check twice before going through. It took a month or so before I was able to go through that intersection with ease.

What happened that night was a fear was placed in my mind, but after that the fear had become unrealistic. The truth was I could have had another accident at any other time and many other places, but the fear I had at this place was now unrealistic. Most people didn’t have a fear of this intersection. Why? Because they hadn’t had the same experience.

A person who has ever been in a tornado will always have a greater fear and respect for tornados than someone who had just seen them on TV. The same goes for a person who has had their house broken into, a woman that was raped, a person that was mugged and so on. Any kind of trauma at a certain place or situation can leave a severe fear.

The normal thing we usually do is to avoid these places or situations allowing the fear to control us and grow even stronger which sometimes becomes debilitating. The only way I know how to deal with these fears is to face them and deal with them in truth. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 If I would have changed my route to and from work I would have never overcome my fear of that intersection. As I said, it didn’t go away the first time I went back. It took several times. Even to this day I can’t help but remember that intersection when I go through it, but when I do there is no fear.

You cannot bring the fear to you; you have to go to the fear. If you bring the fear to you it just intensifies the fear. You have to face to fear. Something else I noticed was when I had to go into work for a meeting during the daylight hours everything looked so different at that intersection and it lost its power. In Jesus was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

Fear has paralyzed me for large part of my life and has kept me from doing so many things and it has caused me to cheat myself and others. Fear makes us selfish. Are there any dark places in your heart you are afraid to face? Then I suggest you take the light with you. I guess what I am saying is who is suffering because of our fears? Who are we neglecting? What are we not doing because of fear?

Church for Sale

I just wanted to invite everyone to our next Sunday service and to let you know that if you by your tickets in advance they are cheaper than at the door. We have nothing but the best quality entertainment for everyone and our ticket prices are very competitive with all the other surrounding churches in the area.

We also have a guarantee that our pastor will not preach over 20 minutes and he will stay on topics that make you feel good and uplifted before you leave. We are always trying to bring in the top notch performers to make your visit with us a very spiritual experience.

Each individual ticket only cost $15, but if you would like to look at our package deals you can purchase them by the month for savings as well as additional savings if you purchase by the year. I want to add that your tithe cannot be accepted as a form of payment. Your tithe needs to be in addition to your purchases. For Example:

Monthly - $50.00

Yearly - $550.00

Just for service attendance.

We have the special package deals that include Baptismal Services as well as the Lord’s Supper.

Monthly - $65.00

Yearly - $700.00

These prices also include Vacation Bible School, Special Events, Christmas and Easter presentations.

I hope you realize that I’m being facetious or am I. Every day I feel that the church is selling out a little more. I know this above may be humorous, however is it really possible that it could go this far. I hate to tell you this, but it has already happened. Maybe it’s not in the church that you attend, but in other churches.

People are looking more and more at churches as a smorgasbord. They are looking at churches that allow them to drink, fool around, curse, doesn’t frown on homosexuality, shack up or just let’s them do whatever they want. You may think I’m kidding, but I have talked with some of these people. One woman told me that she used to go to a legalistic church, but now she’s going to a grace-filled church and she can do whatever she wants. Of course, she was still enduring the consequences, but “So what!”

I heard someone on the radio say this the other day. I feel the church has changed it’s focus to where the congregation is the audience, the musicians are the entertainment and the pastor is the conductor and we hope God will join OUR service and bless it. However, it should be that the church including the musicians are the worshipers, the pastor is the leader and God is the audience.

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

I feel the church is ran too much like a business with it pastor as the CEO, the staff members as the president, vice-president, the deacons are the board of directors and the church are the unpaid employees of the corporation. This was never God’s intention. I asked a pastor the other day what his thoughts were on the present day churches. He said. “I believe the pastors are giving the people what they want and not giving them what they need.”

God wants us to serve Him with our hearts. He didn’t put us on this planet to be entertained and to look for warm fuzzies. We have a job and a purpose to serve Him, not to be served. Jesus paved the example for us. He didn’t come to rule, but to serve. We need to love and encourage one another. Our time on this planet may be short and I know I long to hear… Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! Matthew 25:21

Are You a Pleaser?

Most of my life I was always a pleaser, mostly a pleaser to my self. I thought I was actually pleasing people and I was the one of the biggest people pleasers that ever lived. You see, I didn’t like myself very much and so I thought if I could please everyone they would like me and say nice things to me. That would be a nice fix for a short time, but as time went on I needed more. However, if I didn’t get the praise I would become angry. I used to lie to others and mostly myself saying, “I just like to give to people or I like to do what I can to bring a smile to a person’s face.” The worst thing was I actually believed this.

Around seven years ago I came to face this reality at LEBC. The giver/taker test was a real eye opener for me. All of this pleasing I had done earlier in my life lead me straight to depression. When I realized that I gave to receive appreciation or approval. I was giving for all the wrong reasons. Now when I hear someone make that same statement, “I just like to make people happy,” I immediately know where they are. If you want to test yourself to find out if you really like to give. All you have to do is give anonymously. If you can give without anyone knowing or without hints or clues, then maybe you are a giver. There was no way I could do this because I wanted kudos. Many say they like to give because it makes them feel good. That definitely is selfish.

Did I not love myself? Of course I did! I loved myself so much I thought everyone should think I was special. If I didn’t love myself then I would have relished rejection. I just didn’t like myself.

Over the last few years of growth I’ve learned to not be a people pleaser. In fact, I sometimes feel I’ve gone to the other extreme. I came to believe if I did something to please someone I was wrong. I even thought that I shouldn’t even try to please God because I thought that was wrong.

Then I realized something about pleasing and giving that has helped me a lot. It’s simply
the difference of having to please someone or God instead of wanting to please them. Not for my sake, but only for theirs. If I try to please my wife because it’s my job or I have to, then it’s not real. However, when I do it because I want to or out of love then it’s real. The same goes for pleasing God. If I do it only because I have to or to look good then I’m wrong. “The great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God's authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that's the agenda for rejoicing." Luke 10:20

I know that people will always try to look good in front of other people so they will have a good image of them. So many times this goes too far and we seek to please others more than God. Injustices are done, the truth is hidden and it’s all for such a small reward. “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10