Tag Archives: God

2015 is Going to be Amazing!

Tortolita Snow
Tortolita Snow

It has been a long time since I blogged here.  One of the things I plan on changing in 2015.  This year is off to an AMAZING start and the signs are unmistakable.

It snowed overnight!  A rare and exciting event in these parts.  I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.  Then, I am driving in my car to see the snow and take a few pictures, and Mix FM is playing an old American Top 40.  The top 100 songs of 1984!  Another unmistakable sign for the new year.  1984 is the year that I took my last pay check and bought a one way bus ticket for Roswell, NM in hopes of landing a radio (and eventually TV) job.  What an adventure as I arrived in Roswell in late Spring.  I hit the pavement looking for that radio gig I had always dreamed of.  I stopped by KBIM AM/FM and talked to one of the owners, Betty King.  They didn’t have any openings, but she was running for state senate.  She talked my ear off!  I guess my fro didn’t scare her off :-)

A couple of months later I was busing tables at Chew Den, a local Chinese restaurant, and the King’s sat in my section.  Betty recognized me despite my haircut.  She told me they had a part time opening and to talk to Harry Deirks.  So, the next morning I did.  He told me that since I had no radio experience he wasn’t interested.  I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  This is what I was here for!  Next morning I was waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  the answer was still no.  Next morning I was there waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  Still no.  The next morning I was there again.  I think he knew I wasn’t going to leave him alone unless he gave me a chance.  He had me read some wire copy.  Not bad, he said, except that I should change my inflection between stories.  At least I didn’t have a west Texas accent like the applicant’s cassettes he had on his desk, he said.  He hired me for weekends!  My first radio gig!  I worked at Chew Den and part time at the radio station until Harry moved me up to full time overnights.  I was there two years and finished my stint at KBIM AM/FM as Music Director.

I moved to TV at KOBR as Master Control Operator.  I learned how to edit, direct news breaks, run audio, graphics, and most importantly use a TV camera.

That eventually led to a news photographer job at KBIM TV.  That led to a reporter job and eventually weather anchor!  Ever since Jr. High I wanted to be a DJ and a Weatherman.  It took almost 8 years, but I made it happen in Roswell.

So this morning when I woke up to snow (I LOVE snow!) and then the top 100 of 1984, I knew.  The signs are clear.  This year will be special.  As I listen right now to the songs that I played as a new DJ, the songs that were the soundtrack of my life as I boldly moved to realizing my dreams, I feel the same excitement.

God has already opened the door to me doing news talk radio.  I know He is with me as I move in to 2015!  I will get in shape.  I will learn Spanish.  And maybe, just maybe… well, I’ll leave that dream to myself for now.

Dare to dream.  Step out in faith.  It is the road less chosen and it will make all the difference.

Cheers!

Amazing July Pusch Peak Sunrises!

I admit it.  I have one of the best apartment views on the planet.  Located in southern Oro Valley, Arizona I am directly across the street from Pusch Peak.  In addition my view north overlooks Oro Valley to the Tortolita Mountains.  In the summer the Sun sets far enough north that I catch wonderful sunsets too.

We are having an outstanding Monsoon so far this year and as a result there are enough clouds at sunrise to create an unusual number of outstanding Pusch Peak Sunrises (patent pending).  It is amazing to be able to sit on the deck enjoying my first cup of coffee listening to the birds waking up and watching God show off His sunrise making skills.  I think this is one of His favorite spots.  I know it’s mine!

I have typed too long already.  These shots don’t need commentary.  Without further adieu (whatever adieu is : ) here are this month’s amazing sunrises starting with this morning and working back to July 2nd.  A few more shots are available at my blog www.TonightsSunset.com/category/sunrise/  Enjoy!

July 31, 2012
July 31, 2012

 

July 30, 2012
July 30, 2012

 

July 29, 2012
July 29, 2012

 

July 26, 2012
July 26, 2012

 

July 25, 2012
July 25, 2012
July 24, 2012
July 24, 2012
July 21, 2012
July 21, 2012
July 20, 2012
July 20, 2012
July 11, 2012
July 11, 2012
July 7, 2012
July 7, 2012
July 6, 2012
July 6, 2012
July 5, 2012
July 5, 2012
July 2, 2012
July 2, 2012

May Your Righteousness Exceed that of the Pharisees!

The Purpose of the Law?  Pastor Duane Sheriff with the most important hour of your day, and possibly your life.  Don’t be self righteous! Be righteous by Faith!!!

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Or download the 5 hour series here: https://www.dsheriff.org/secure/product-detail2.aspx?id=MS-78&ListType=Mini

Learning to Be Content

Philippians 4:10-12

10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  (NLT) (emphasis mine)

It has been an exceedingly tough year and a half for me.  I have wrestled with many things and I have wrestled with God about many things.  The biggest challenges for me have been trying to find goals to aim myself toward and the other has been even tougher.  Being broke.  So broke that I was spending even more money that I didn’t have on late fees on late rent and insufficient fund fees to the bank (automatic withdrawals to pay bills is not always wise!).

There have been some extraordinary occurrences in the past 18 months as well.  Successes and challenges in the political arena and extraordinary success with some of my videos.  I even had one story make it on Glenn Beck!  Amazing!  And even though all of that notoriety is fun, it doesn’t pay.  I am trusting that it is all leading somewhere, but in the meantime it was discouraging to be on national TV but at the same time having to walk to work because I couldn’t afford gas for my car.

But God has been showing me some amazing things in the middle of all this struggle for money and goals.  The main message has been, quit struggling, trust and wait.  To say that is not easy is an understatement.  How can you not struggle when you feel like you are a chunk of taffy in a taffy machine?!  The best answer to that has been in the period of my want and need God has shown up in many extraordinary ways.

The biggest and best is the way he has used my friends and family to help support and encourage me!  Especially some dear friends of mine who hired me to do work, fed me when I was hungry and spoke life and encouragement when inside I felt like I was dying.  God Himself is constantly reminding me that He is with me, that He hasn’t forgotten me and that He has a wonderful plan for my life.  Just trust, wait and be thankful.

Lately I feel like I am turning the corner.  I am still struggling with my finances, but at least my rent and car payments are now on time.  I’ll take that victory.  My dear friends are now like family.  Another great gift.  My family is closer then ever.  And I am learning to be content with less.  Granted I still haven’t arrived, but as I struggle less and trust God more I continue to see and feel Him encouraging me.  I have learned so much in the last year and a half.  Lessons that will serve me well in the future.  The blessing of friends and family and God’s Love are more precious then a winning lottery ticket.

“Things” are coming a bit more into focus for me.  I am blessed to be a blessing even if that has nothing to do with cash on hand and for that I am thankful.  Still waiting on some things, but wrestling less with God and trusting Him more.  After all, He has the master plan!

Passionately Christian

Yesterday I wrote a little bit of why I am a “Passionate Conservative.”  I could have gone on, but I don’t have hours to write and you don’t have hours to read.  Bottom line is I believe that Conservative Principles when applied in a Representative Republic give individuals the best chance to be the best they can be.  As individuals prosper, the entire society is lifted up.  Indeed the results have been dramatic for the entire planet!

This morning I want to talk a little bit about why I am passionately Christian.  Bottom line is Jesus gave up Heaven so God could have a friendship with me and you!  In other words, God died so that when you die you don’t have to really die!  You can live with Him forever!

The only requirement to qualify for Heaven?  Believe in your heart that Christ died in your place and paid for your sins and on the third day rose from the dead.  Believe that in your heart and confess it with your mouth.  That’s it!  Romans 10:9 & 10.  You then exchange your earthly sin for His absolute righteousness.

Now as simple as that sounds, we all resist.  Well, most of us.  I do know a couple of wonderful people who have been Christians as long as they remember, but for most of us we decided that “having fun” in our youth was more important then being called “Jesus Freaks.”  Of course the fun lead to heartache and sometimes disease.  While we might be “good people” we are all pretty selfish by nature.  Of course God was still drawing us to Him and eventually we responded and accepted His wonderful gift of salvation.  If you haven’t and are alive enough to read this then there is still time.

For me it started in Sunday School at the First Conservative Baptist Church of Canby.  I was maybe 8 or 9 and our Sunday School Teacher was showing me in the Bible that God talked about springs in the bottom of the ocean.  Springs that scientists were just barely discovering thousands of years later.  That was enough for me to accept Jesus into my heart.  I still remember the joy I felt as I prayed and in my minds eye I saw light bursting from my heart!  It was pretty cool.

But.  I eventually stopped going to church and eventually started living more and more for my own desires.  That included increasing drug and alcohol use as a teenager and young adult.  I even shared a drug needle to inject some cocaine into my arm.  I only tried it 2 or 3 times in a one week period when I was about 20 years old, but I ended up paying a high price for the temporary rush the cocaine gave me.

I found out much later that I had Hepatitis C.  The worse kind too.  It was also about that time that God drew me back to him.  I started going to church, got baptized and started reading my Bible.  During worship at church I would cry out to God and also actually cry as He was healing my heart.  The folks around me at church probably thought I was a troubled man, but I didn’t care.  God was working while I was in His presence.

It was during one of those times that I heard God say in my heart about my Hepatitis C, “I’m going to take this from you.”  It was a word I clung to during the difficult one year of combination drug therapy.  I lost a lot of weight and some hair.  Food lost it’s flavor and I had suicidal thoughts.  All side effects of the drugs, but I hung on because I had God’s promise!

Sure enough, after a year of treatments I was Hepatitis C free!  And still am today.  That was 10 years ago.  Since then I have left my TV career and have served in a few ministries.  Mission Odessa, Family Life Radio and Teen Challenge of Arizona along with some churches along the way.  I don’t know if I will stay working in ministries as a job the rest of my life, but I do plan on ministering the rest of my life!  God has shown me a lot in His Word and through experiences with Him that I have to share.  It’s too important.  I don’t always live as I should and God doesn’t just give me what I want, but I know that He is always with me and He always gets me through.

If you want more evidence that God is who He says He is, check out this blog entry from a couple of years ago.  Stars really do sing, just like God said they do thousands of years ago!

If you don’t know Jesus and you are still alive, it’s not too late.  To say that it is awesome to know the God who created the Universe as a personal friend and Father is an understatement!

Looking for Change You can Believe In? Occupy Hard Work.

There are 31 Proverbs in the Bible and most months have 30 or 31 days.  I don’t think it’s a mistake that there is a Proverb for every day.  I was reading this morning’s Proverb and these verses reminded me of what is so terribly wrong with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement.

Proverbs 21:25-26

25 The desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
26 He covets greedily all day long,
But the righteous gives and does not spare.

The class warfare being promoted in this country by Democratic leaders including the President is dangerous and immoral.  I keep hearing that the rich are getting richer.  Someone just posted on Facebook that the top 400 wealthy Americans have more money then the bottom 150 million.  The implication is that our current system just isn’t fair and we must redistribute the rick folks wealth.

In reality it is a straw man argument.  I have never met anyone with any kind of means who didn’t work their butt off.  The rich are rich for the most part because God has given them talent and they work hard!  It’s these very rich folk who create companies that create jobs that allow all of us to find work to feed ourselves and our families.

The OWS reaction to the class warfare being perpetuated by our President and the Democratic Party?  Instead of placing the blame for our bad economy and lack of jobs on policies coming out of Washington they have decided it’s a good idea to go camping in public parks.  Instead of taking their God given gifts and applying themselves (and applying for work) they complain about those who have, and demand that they get their “fair share.”   Problem is that would not be fair because it ain’t their share!

“The desire of a lazy man kills him.”  The OWS camp grounds have been a source of fleas and ticks and drug overdoses, rapes and even a shooting or two.  They spend their time greedily coveting all day long.

On the flip side it is the wealthy that are giving and do not spare.  Who do you think gives to charities across this country?  Where is the appreciation for corporations and individuals of means who GIVE AWAY their money so homeless folks can eat, so battered women have shelters, so drug addicts can be set free, so cures can be found for cancer and birth defects.  The list goes on and on.

I don’t know any poor people who give to non-profits.  They can’t.  They are broke!  It’s the people with money that have the ability to share money.  If the Occupiers would mind their own business, work hard and be thankful they live in a country that gives every individual the best chance to succeed maybe they wouldn’t be such whiny complainers and instead would work hard to become generous contributors.

Rejoice!

Last night was the second Tucson Fall Banquet.  The banquet series takes a break today before resuming for three nights in the Phoenix area.  (you can find out more here)

As you probably know, Teen Challenge of Arizona is my employer.  I maintain the web site and do some YouTube videos.  It is a very rewarding job as you can imagine as we see literally hundreds of boys, girls, men and women set free from drug and alcohol addiction every year.  My small role of support allows me to tell some of the amazing stories of how God is saving lives through the ministry of Teen Challenge.

This years banquet theme is Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I will say, Rejoice!”  The banquets are more then just our major fundraiser for the year.  They are also an opportunity to share the amazing things that God is doing and to Rejoice! in them.

One amazing story I got to tell after Fall Graduation is that of Karami’s and how God not only saved her life and changed her forever, but also changed her Dad and her entire family!  Karami and her family shared from the stage last night.  While I didn’t record that, I can share part of their story with you via this YouTube story I put together at graduation in September:

Reasons to Rejoice! indeed.

Tired of Backsliding

Originally posted at EmbraceGrace.org


Today is the 14th of November and that means Proverbs 14 is part of my daily Bible reading. That is, when I am being obedient and actually doing my daily Bible reading.

As I was reading Proverbs 14 this morning I didn’t get too far before I had to pause and contemplate verse 14.

14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways,
But a good man will be satisfied from above.

I think we all get frustrated with life sometimes. Disappointed that things didn’t worked out the way we planned or the wait for a promise was just a little (lot) bit longer then we expected. These are dangerous times for the Christian. If we don’t stay close to God and stay in His presence we can allow ourselves to get upset and even angry with God. If left unchecked that can lead to bitterness and a dry spirit. (don’t ask me how I know that : )

In these times (which I hope you never experience) it’s easy to turn to “comfort sins.” Those bad habits the old man used to have that want to come back in and enslave again. It can be as simple as overeating comfort foods or much worse. Certainly the comfort food analogy applies.

If you’ve ever been down this dark path even a little ways (I imagine it may be more common then people like to admit) and back again then you already know the wisdom of God through Solomon in Proverbs 14:14. You will grow tired of being backsliden (new word alert!) in heart. You will have your fill and the Holy Spirit will make you sick of it! Thank God for that!

There is a way back. Even better, there is a way to avoid this backsliden condition to begin with. Run to God every day! Stay close to Him no matter what. Share your troubles with Him. Lay your burdens at His feet. If you pick them back up an hour later, lay them at His feet again! He cares in a very personal way for you and the more you spend time with Him, the more you will see Him working in big and small ways in your life.

God is getting you through whatever it is. If you are frustrated and fall, let God pick you back up. Confess your sins to Him. Turn away from Backslideness (an even better new word alert!) and into His loving arms. Then you will be back on the track to being a good man satisfied from above, no matter what your circumstances.

Take Up Your Cross

Originally posted at EmbraceGrace.org


24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
– Matthew 16:24-25

Does God want you to have a wonderful and blessed life? I would say that the answer is yes. As we are diligent to obey Godly principles in our business dealings and personal dealings it brings success and love into our lives. We will find favor with God and Men and as we draw near to God we become blessed to be a blessing.

However, there is another side to following Christ. One that is vital to keep in mind so as to keep from being discouraged when difficulties come. See, the world may not appreciate that you like to do things the right way. The world doesn’t like when you speak out against abortion for example, or if you try to lovingly remind people that sex outside of marriage is not God’s best. The world hated Christ and if Christ is in you, the world will hate you too. That resistance can show up in a thousand ways. Betrayal from a friend. Loss of a job or promotion. Ridicule and insults and even death at the hands of people who don’t know Jesus.

When Jesus said, “Take up his cross and follow Me” think about what that symbolizes. Think about what happened in that barbaric Roman practice of Crucifixion. The “guilty” party had to carry his own cross through town to the Crucifixion location. (in Jerusalem’s case, Golgotha) As the condemned carried his cross through the crowd he was insulted, spat upon, ridiculed, cursed, had rocks thrown at him, etc. He had already suffered 40 minus one lashes and the insults to injury were not a minor thing. After walking the gauntlet it was time to get nailed to your cross followed by a slow, painful suffocation. (no wonder Jesus was sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was considering about what was to happen to Him)

When Jesus says we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him it is not a small requirement. I think that it’s important that we keep it in mind always so we aren’t surprised when the world attacks the Christ in us.

The minute you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you have grabbed a hold of your cross. As Jesus works in your life and changes you and you start to become more like Him, the world is gonna start to notice and not everyone is going to be thrilled. As you reflect the Holiness and even Love of our Savior don’t be surprised if you have to endure insults, ridicule, harassment, being spat upon and even death.

Jesus said in Mark 10:29-30

29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

(emphasis mine)

I love the Good News! Jesus died our death so we could live in God’s presence for eternity. Jesus came so that we could have an abundant life! There are vast rewards in this life and especially the one to come. You will be rewarded for every cup of water offered to another in His name. But don’t be surprised if the world is not always for you and is even vehemently and violently against you. Take up your cross. Follow Christ. It may not always be fun, but it will be worth it.

Revelation 12:11
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.