Friday, March 23rd, 2018 Bookmark and Share

March 2018 Dare 2B Daring Daily Devotions

Dare 2B Daring – March 22, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


Over the past two days, I’ve written devotional messages featuring my two sons, Matt and Chris.  So, there’s no way I can leave out my daughter Bethany – who was, is and always will be the absolute apple of her daddy’s eye.


A few years before our family relocated from New Jersey to Florida, I had the privilege of escorting Bethany into prison.  Not as an inmate, mind you, but as a volunteer.  Actually, as a missionary athlete, because she was there to minister as part of a women’s softball team.


Our lady’s team was new and relatively inexperienced.  In fact, Bethany was one of the few girls who had played competitively before.  But that really didn’t matter, because we were there to minister first and play softball second.


That’s a good thing, because we got shut out at the first prison and had fallen behind at the second one.  As coach, I had batted Bethany third in the lineup and she had had a good day at the plate.  However, every time she got on base, there was no one to drive her in.


Until the next to last inning of the final game, that is.  Leading off with a single, Bethany advanced to second on a ground out.  Unfortunately, it looked like she would be stranded there because the next batter struck out.  But then lightning struck, as the next hitter singled to left. 


Knowing that it would be a close play at the plate, Bethany rounded third and headed for home.  She slid hard, arriving a split-second before the catcher applied the tag.  S-A-F-E!!!


Rising to her feet, Bethany limped to our bench and painfully removed her right cleat.  Beneath her blood-stained sock, it was apparent that – in the process of scoring our one and only run – she had ripped the nail off her big toe.  Ouch!


But guess who put her cleat back on and hobbled out to her position at second base?  That’s right… MY daughter!  Excuse me now while I go replace the button that just popped off my chest.


“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels… To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:5, 21 (KJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President


Dare 2B Daring – March 21, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” – Michelle Obama


In 1925, the U.S. Open was played at Worcester Country Club near Boston.  In the first round, playing the 11th hole, Bobby Jones addressed his ball in the deep rough.  As he did, his clubhead brushed the grass, causing his ball to move ever so slightly.  Jones hit the shot and then informed his playing partner, Walter Hagen, and the nearest USGA official that he was calling a one-stroke penalty on himself.


Hagen and the official both tried to talk Jones out of the self-imposed penalty, saying that they hadn’t seen the ball move.  But Jones insisted, signing for a 77 instead of a 76.  That one stroke kept him from winning the tournament outright and instead, Jones lost in a playoff.


Flash forward to a junior tournament about 15 years ago, played at a prestigious country club in Ringoes NJ.  I had encouraged my son Matt to enter to see how he compared to other golfers his age – even though the competition was comprised almost exclusively of “blue blood” kids who had grown up taking private lessons from a PGA golf professional.


On the second hole, a par 5, Matt got into trouble off the tee.  One bad shot led to another, but he kept plodding away.  When he finally holed out, I asked Matt what score he had shot on the hole.  “A 10”, he said matter-of-factly, recording that double-digit number on his scorecard.


I was sure that Matt would lose heart and give up, but instead he seemed to be motivated by the “double par”.  Never losing his composure, Matt regrouped and started playing some excellent golf.  Stringing together a bunch of good shots – and good holes – he managed to finish in the top third of the tournament.


Congratulating him after his round, I told Matt how proud I was that he hadn’t lied about his score on the 2nd hole.  I also complimented him on the way he had rebounded from such adversity.


“Dad,” Matt said, “the guy I played with may have finished with the lowest score, but he really didn’t win the tournament.  I caught him cheating a few times.”


Hmmm… honesty, integrity, grit and determination.  Way to make your dad proud, son!


“For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” 2 Corinthians 8:21 (NIV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 20, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson


About 15 years ago, our family was vacationing in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  For the first part of the trip, we camped on Lake Odetah in CT. 


One day, Matt, Chris and I were swimming in the lake while Deanna and Bethany were hanging out at the pool.  Either I challenged Chris or he challenged me, but we were soon competing to see who could tread water the longest.  After 10 minutes, neither of us was showing any signs of tiring.  The same after 20 minutes.


Finally, after 30 minutes, I suggested that we call it a tie and try something even more adventurous, like swimming across the 32-acre lake.  On the count of three, Chris and I stopped treading water and started swimming.  We invited Matt to join us, but he opted to walk around the perimeter of the lake and meet us there.


To say that Deanna wasn’t too thrilled with me “upping the ante” would be an understatement.  But I wasn’t the least bit tired, the lake wasn’t that deep, and we would be swimming close to the shoreline.  Besides, I was an accomplished swimmer, having served two summers as a Red Cross-approved lifeguard in my youth.


And so, Chris and I set off – with him swimming slightly ahead of me, so I could keep a watchful eye on him.  I was hoping we would encounter a turtle or two, but no such luck.  Instead, after a relatively uneventful five-minute swim, we climbed victoriously onto the bank. 


To this day, Chris and I love recounting that day’s exploits.  It is a shared experience that neither of us will ever forget.


Imagine, for a minute, if we had simply ended our treading water contest in a tie and then called it quits.  Chris and I would have missed out on a great father and son experience, one that taught us a few valuable life lessons.  By pushing each other to accomplish something special, we did exactly that.


Brothers and sisters, please resist the urge to simply tread water in life.  Push yourself – physically, mentally and most of all, spiritually.  And be sure to invite someone else along for the ride… or the swim.


“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thess. 5:11 (NIV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 19, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.” – Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)


I have seen it happen over and over again, almost always with the same tragic results.


Parents, especially fathers, so hellbent on advancing their careers that they wind up neglecting their kids.  A big promotion, a prestigious title, and a corner office take precedence over their paternal responsibilities.  Racked by guilt, the father then showers his son or daughter with every toy or gadget imaginable.


Soon, the child’s room features the newest video game console, and their closet is filled with the trendiest fashions.  Next comes the latest laptop and the snazziest smart phone.  And when he or she is old enough, there is a hot new – and very expensive – sports car sitting in the driveway with their name on the title.


But is that really what a child wants?  More importantly, is that really what a child needs?


I have served in prison ministry for more than 30 years, during which time I have been privileged to minister to an estimated 500,000 inmates.  And for the past seven years, I have also spent countless hours ministering to at-risk youth, many of whom are already dabbling in criminal behavior.


Do you know what is the #1 common denominator among these prisoners and soon-to-be prisoners?  The lack of a positive male role model.


From my experience, there are two kinds of absentee fathers.  First, there are the ones who selfishly and heartlessly abandon their kids at a young age.  The second kind are still living at home, but they spend so much time at the office that they are equally AWOL.  The fathers who deserted their young children gave them too little.  The guilt-ridden dads gave their kids too much.


Dads (and moms, too) do your kids a favor.  Put away the checkbook and give them what they truly want and need – YOU.  Instead of handing them the keys to a fancy new Corvette, offer them something really special: your undivided attention.


“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NJKV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 16, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“No one defended the inerrancy of the Scriptures more than Jesus.  He quoted biblical passages in responding to His disciples, His critics, and the devil himself.  He referred to almost every controversial story in the Old Testament including: Noah, Jonah, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah and Daniel.  He emphasized technical details of interpretation and dared to claim the entire Old Testament message was all about Him.  We are ultimately left with one of two choices: poor dumb Jesus or poor dumb scholars.  I’ll stick with Jesus every time.” – Ed Hinson, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Religion, Liberty School of Religion


As a child, I loved to play with blocks.  Starting with simple towers, I eventually graduated to building forts and filling them with my plastic Civil War soldiers.  Because I had read about their heroic exploits on the battlefield, I usually made sure that Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson won almost every skirmish.


Sadly, I outgrew blocks and my epic Civil War battles became a thing of the past.  However, I still liked to build things and so, I traded my blocks for a deck of cards.  Whereas it was easy to place wooden blocks on top of each other, building houses out of cards required a much steadier hand. 


I think the biggest card house I ever built was a three-story one.  But at some point, my hand would inevitably shake, and the entire house of cards would come tumbling down.


The doctrine of biblical inerrancy works the same way.  Either all of God’s Word is true or none of it is.  If we start picking and choosing what parts are truly inspired and what parts supposedly aren’t, we undermine all of Scripture.  Even worse, we put ourselves in the dangerous position of saying that we know better than God.


Maybe my faith is childlike, but I believe that every word of the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Likewise, I believe that the God who created and sustains the universe is completely capable of preserving His Word throughout the ages.


As philosophy professor Richard Howe puts it, “The Bible is the Word of God.  God cannot err.  Therefore, the Bible cannot err.  If the Bible errs, then either in some sense it is not the Word of God or in some sense God can err.  The logic is undeniable.”


Donald Williams, President of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, puts it this way.  “Some doubt whether inerrancy makes a practical difference.  The difference is this: Without it, authority is inevitably transferred from the Text to the ‘Expert’, whether it be the critic, the scholar, the pastor, or the individual.  For now someone other than the Apostles and Prophets has to tell you what to believe.”  


Why am I so adamant about biblical inerrancy, refusing to budge a single inch?  I’ll let Emir Caner, President of Truett-McConnell College, answer that question for me.  “The inerrancy of Scripture is the key doctrine as it pertains to the character of God and how He relates to man.  What is on the line is no less than the souls of men and women.”  


“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – March 15, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.” – Pat Buchanan


As early as 2007, I sensed that God was preparing me for a new ministry after two decades with The Saints Prison Ministry.  As I jokingly tell people now, that’s why I wrote three books and ran for Congress twice over a three-year period.  Simply put, I had a hard time sitting still while I was waiting on my new “marching orders”.


Finally, in 2011, He led our family to relocate to Florida to launch Risk Takers for Christ.  At the time, I thought that God wanted to use me more as an itinerant preacher and evangelist.  And to a certain extent, I was right.  However, here we are in 2018 and guess what I am spending the vast majority of my time doing?  That’s right; using sports to minister to prisoners!


Of course, I am also dedicating much of my energies to reaching at-risk youth with the gospel before they get into trouble with the law.  As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  But in hindsight, it appears that God wanted me in prison ministry all along.  Maybe I just needed a change of scenery to keep me fresh.


Change can be good, and change can be healthy.  And most definitely, it keeps us on our toes, spiritually and otherwise.  Trust me – leaving a successful ministry to start a new one from scratch will either draw you closer to God or give you gray hair.  In my case, it did both!


But despite the benefits that result from implementing some changes in your life, I don’t advise people to make changes for change sake.  Instead, I suggest that you keep doing what you’re doing while remaining open to God’s leading.  In other words, put down roots and bear fruit… but be prepared for God to “transplant” you elsewhere.


After all, He might what to use a change of scenery, vocation or ministry to keep you fresh, too.


“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, ‘Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’  This is desert.  So he arose and went… Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.” Acts 8:26-27, 39 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 14, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.” – Gen. Douglas MacArthur


I love history, especially American history.  From the colonial days, through the American Revolution and the Civil War, followed by the Industrial Revolution and two World Wars – I continue to be fascinated by the accomplishments (and shortcomings) of the men and women who went before us.


One of my favorite subjects to study and read about are U.S. presidents and military generals.  In fact,  I am currently reading a book about Richard Nixon, and recently finished books about George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton.


However, one thing I can’t figure out is how America went from fighting and winning wars to fighting and losing them.  Or at the very least, to being satisfied with a stalemate. 


Up and through World War II, the United States “pulled out all the stops” whenever it committed its troops to battle.  After all, if you are going to place your best men and women in harm’s way, you’d better do everything in your power to ensure that they win… right?


Somehow, during the 1950’s and 1960’s, that rationale seemed to change.  America went from a “victory at all cost” mentality to more of a containment strategy.  Ignoring Gen. MacArthur’s advice to push into Communist China and finish the job, we settled for a divided Korea in the fifties.  And then in the sixties, we fought with one hand tied behind our backs in Southeast Asia, eventually abandoning South Vietnam in the seventies to Ho Chi Ming and the Viet Cong.


Even more tragic than fighting a military war half-heartedly is following the same misguided approach in the spiritual realm.  Folks, spiritual warfare is real… and it is deadly.  Most importantly, the stakes are eternal.


So, my friend, stop trying to “contain” Satan and his emissaries and quit fighting them without your complete spiritual arsenal.  Instead, recognize that “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”  Put on your full spiritual armor each and every day, wage into battle, and fight to win!


“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” I John 5:4-5 (NKJV)


“Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands.” I Samuel 17:47 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – March 13, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Time heals everything but loving you.” – Mabel Normand


“Mack & Mabel” is a Broadway play written by Michael Stewart (book) and Jerry Herman (music and lyrics).  It tells the story of the tortured romance between silent film producer Mack Sennett and his favorite leading lady, Mabel Normand.


Produced by the legendary David Merrick, “Mack & Mabel” debuted on the “Great White Way” in 1974 with Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters in the title roles.  However, despite receiving eight Tony Award nominations including one for Best Musical, “Mack & Mabel” closed after just eight weeks.


In 1977, I appeared in our high school’s production of “Mack & Mabel” and have many wonderful memories of that experience.  And I still love the musical score, including “I Won’t Send Roses” and the haunting, “Time Heals Everything”.


Yes, time does heal a lot of things, but losing a close and cherished loved one is still hard to get over.  Just ask my mother, who today is mourning the 16th anniversary of my dad’s passing.


“I know He’s with the Lord and wouldn’t want to come back, even if he could,” she told me on the phone yesterday.  “But I still miss him terribly.”


My parents married in 1950 and my dad “graduated to Glory” in 2002.  That means that they spent almost 52 years together as man and wife.  No wonder my dad used to say, “I’ve been married so long, I don’t remember being single.”


Deanna and I are closing in on 33 years of marriage and I pray that we will eclipse my parents’ record of longevity someday.  But in the meantime, I try to tell her each and every day that I love her.  More importantly, I do my best to show her, too.


If you love someone, don’t wait.  Tell them and show them today… and tomorrow… and the day after that.  Someday they will be gone, and it will be too late to send them roses.


“Behold, you are fair, my love!  Behold, you are fair!  You have dove’s eyes.” Song of Solomon 1:15 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 12, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“We need the lift of a driving dream.” – Ray Price, political advisor to Richard Nixon


Admittedly, communicating a grand dream that motivates and inspires is important in politics.  However, it is absolutely essential to a person’s spiritual life if he or she wants to fulfill their true God-given potential.  And no local body of believers can survive – let alone flourish – without a vision of what God wants to accomplish in and through them.


That is why my home church, Cornerstone Baptist Fellowship, just conducted the first of three “Elisha Prayer Walks”.  Based on 2 Kings 7:17, our members are walking throughout the church property, pleading with God to “open our eyes that we may see.”  Just like Elisha’s servant, we want Him to reveal to us a vision.  No, not of the armies of God that surrounded the Syrian army (which, in turn, surrounded the Israelite army).  Instead, we want God to show us what He wants us to do with the seven acres of land our church building sits on.


Our building is debt-free, we have money in the bank, and our property is located on a well-traveled street.  So, the question remains: How does God want us to best use these resources for His glory?


Dear friend, God has not blessed you merely to meet your needs.  He has blessed you so that you will use those blessings to do one or both of the following things: (1.) To proclaim the gospel; (2.) To meet and minister to the needs of others.


If you live in Indian River County, I invite you to join our “prayer patrol” this Sunday evening at 6:00 PM.  Cornerstone Baptist Fellowship is located at 1091 Schumann Drive in Sebastian.  However, if you live elsewhere, I challenge you and your church to conduct an Elisha Prayer Walk of your own.


God desires to bless – and use – His children.  Sometimes, we just have to ask.


“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 9, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The agenda the liberals would impose on America – abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat units – that’s change, all right.  But it is not the kind of change America needs.  It is not the kind of change America wants.  And it is not the kind of change we can abide in a nation we still call God’s country.” – Patrick J. Buchanan


Make no mistake about it.  Today’s devotional is not a political one; it is a moral one.  It is also a testament to the foresight of a good and godly man – and what happens when that prophetic warning is disregarded.


My guess is that Pat Buchanan would rather have been proven wrong than proven right.  However, there is no getting around the fact that virtually every dire prediction he made during his presidential campaign in 1992 has come true.


I am 58 years old and I can’t believe how America has changed – mostly for the worse – since I was a kid.  When I was in elementary school, abortion was still illegal.  Now, because of Roe v. Wade and the abortion mill called Planned Parenthood, we are witnessing the murder of an estimated 1,000,000 unborn babies annually.


Meanwhile, same-sex marriage has been legalized across the country and those who refuse to participate in a gay or lesbian wedding risk fines and/or imprisonment.  As former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork once wrote, we are “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”.


These days, I long for three things.  The first is a nationwide revival and a return to the moral absolutes of my childhood.  The second is for more men and women of God to stand strong in the face of wicked and destructive societal pressures.


Third, should those two things fail to occur, I long for Christ’s return.  But until He does, I want to be found on the front lines of societal warfare, pushing back the forces of evil as much as possible.  Not for me and my generation, but for the sake of my children and grandchildren.


Care to join me?


“When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 8, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“While pragmatism is the popular and fashionable line at present, it has very little appeal to people.  We may have to do what is pragmatic, but we have to talk in terms of principle.” – Richard Nixon in   a memo to Pat Buchanan, 1967


I am currently reading a fascinating book by Pat Buchanan, the conservative columnist and commentator.  Pat ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president in 1992 and 1996; but is probably best known for being a senior advisor to three U.S. presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan.  He also was one of the original hosts of CNN’s popular “Crossfire” political roundtable.


Buchanan’s book is titled, “The Greatest Comeback” and covers the political resurrection of Richard Nixon.  Having lost the presidential race to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and the California gubernatorial race to Pat Brown in 1962, Nixon was considered a “dead man walking”.  In fact, the New York Times famously published his political obituary after he lost to Brown.


But mixing pragmatism with principle, Nixon found a way to fight his way back.  He campaigned arduously for Sen. Barry Goldwater in 1964; and crisscrossed the country countless times for Republican congressional candidates in 1966.  By the time the GOP convention rolled around in 1968, Nixon was the clear frontrunner, besting three Republican governors: George Romney (MI); Nelson Rockefeller (NY); and Ronald Reagan (CA).  He then defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey to become the 37th president of the United States.


Regardless of what you think of Mr. Nixon, the first and only U.S. president to resign from office under threat of impeachment, there are some valuable lessons to be learned from his life and career.


  1. We should establish clear principles and stick to our core beliefs no matter what.  However, there are times when an element of pragmaticism must be added to the mix as long as doing so doesn’t violate those principles and beliefs.  As the saying goes, there are some very well-meaning believers who are “so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good”.


  1. Don’t believe the pessimists and other naysayers.  If God calls you to do something, do it… and trust Him for the results.  All Christians sin and some of us fall harder than others.  However, God is not done using you until you draw your last breath, so keep on keeping on.


  1. When you slip up, confess it immediately.  If it was a private sin, confess it to God and move on.  If your conscience still bothers you, try confiding in a trusted Christian friend.  However, if your sin was a public one, a public confession may be required.  Above all, don’t try to cover it up.


Long story short, apply what Nixon did right and avoid what he did wrong.


“…because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”  I Kings 15:5 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 7, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The fuller a vessel becomes, the deeper it sinks in the water.  Idlers may indulge a fond conceit of their abilities, because they are untried; but the earnest worker soon learns his own weakness.  If you seek humility, try hard work; if you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus.  If you would feel utterly powerless you are apart from the living God, attempt especially the great work of proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ, and you will know, as you never knew before, what a weak unworthy thing you are.” – C.H. Spurgeon


Here is a short list of the times when I have felt the most inadequate in my life (in no particular order)…


  1. Preaching at First Church of God in Vero Beach for the first time before a congregation of 500 people at three different services.


  1. Talking live to Bill Bennett on his popular radio program, which is broadcast coast to coast.


  1. Sharing my candidacy at a closed-door meeting of Washington insiders and power brokers.


  1. Debating a nine-term incumbent congressman on live TV in a major media market (Philadelphia).


These different events all have two things in common.  First, they involved me having to step outside of my spiritual, physical and emotional comfort zones… which made me exceedingly nervous.  Second, largely because of the first point, I was forced to rely almost exclusively on the Lord Jesus Christ to see me through.


And guess what?  He did each and every time!  I did a good enough job preaching at FCOG that I have been invited back numerous times.  My radio interview with Bill Bennett went well, as did my closed- door meeting and my live TV debate.  I may not have won the subsequent election, but I didn’t embarrass myself either.  And yes, I earned more votes than any previous candidate in my party since 1974. 


The moral of the story – and of today’s devotional message – is this: until you try to do something great for God, you will never know just how insufficient your own knowledge and resources are.  In times of desperation, we are more inclined to cry out to God for His protection and provision.


“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 6, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Let the thought of what life would be without Jesus enhance His preciousness.” – C.H. Spurgeon


My heart breaks whenever I think of the parents of the students – or the families of the teachers – who lost their lives in the most recent school shooting.  I pray that God will comfort them not only with His presence, but also with many happy memories of their loved one.  However, I am sure that there will always be a void in their lives as a result of the tragedy.  I can only pray that the emotional pain they are currently experiencing diminishes over time.


Unfortunately, the families of the victims don’t have to imagine what life would be like without their son, daughter, or husband.  But we can learn a valuable lesson from their grief, and it is this: don’t wait until someone is gone to fully appreciate them.


Deanna and I have been married for almost 33 years and I can’t imagine life without her.  Fortunately, since I am five years older than her and women usually outlive men by about five years, I probably won’t have to face that grim reality.  But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t cherish each and every moment we have together now.


The same goes for our precious children and grandchildren.  And yes, even our pets.  Perhaps more than anyone, we need to value the time spent with our aging parents.  Deanna is blessed to have both of her parents still living.  In fact, they are currently staying at our house for a couple of weeks.  I, on the other hand, only have my mother left.  I try to call and/or write her every week and each conversation ends the same way.  My mom’s favorite phrase is, “Love you bunches”, to which I always reply, “Love you too, Ma.”


As the old saying goes, dead people can’t appreciate flowers.  So, send them now! 


“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – March 5, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." – Michael Jordan, American athlete and businessman


As many people know, Michael Jordan was cut from the varsity basketball team in high school as a sophomore.  At 5’11” tall, he was deemed too short to play at that level.  However, instead of giving up, “MJ” joined the JV squad and scored more than 40-points in several games.


During that summer, Jordan trained hard – and grew four inches.  The results were phenomenal.  Michael averaged more than 20-points per game in his junior and senior years and was named a McDonald’s All-American.  From there, he went on to star for the University of North Carolina, winning a national championship in 1982.


After his junior season, Jordan declared for the NBA draft and was selected third overall by the Chicago Bulls.  Over his 16-year career, MJ tallied 32,292 points (30.1 ppg); grabbed 6,672 rebounds; and recorded 5,633 assists.  More importantly, he led the Bulls to six NBA titles (1991-1993 and 1995-1998).  He was also named the league’s MVP five times, was a 14-time All-Star, and won two Olympic gold medals.


Why the two-year gap between championship “three-peats”?  Three months after his father was murdered by car-jackers, Michael announced his retirement.  Four months after that, he signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox to play for the Birmingham Barons.  Jordan only hit .202 that season with just three HR’s.  Soon, he was back in a Bulls jersey, leading them to three more consecutive NBA titles before retiring a second time.


After a two-year lay-off, Jordan came back one more time, playing two final seasons with the Washington Wizards.  He finally hung up his sneaks for good on April 16, 2003.  Today, MJ is the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.


Was Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time?  Probably so.  But he was a failure as a baseball player if you judge solely by the numbers.  However, in my book, MJ was equally successful in both endeavors because he never backed down from a challenge.  He simply did his best at whatever he tried, and then let the chips fall where they may.


Winning doesn’t make one a success.  Accepting challenges and giving 100% makes a person a true champion. 


“Give me this mountain!” Joshua 14:12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 2, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx


Man’s best friend deserves more than one devotional message, don’t you think?  And so, I’ve chosen today to share a few “canine quotes” along with a brief illustration for each one.


“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles Schultz


Schultz was the author of the Peanuts comic strip and countless holiday specials featuring Charlie Brown and his dog, Snoopy.  Linus van Pelt may tell you that a warm blanket is the key to happiness, but Ol’ Chuck would beg to differ.  But they would both agree with the Apostle Paul, who reminded us that the simple things in life were the key to happiness.  “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” I Timothy 6:8


“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings


Pete, the English setter featured in yesterday’s devotional, was the epitome of that truth.  All a dog requires is a place to sleep – preferably by your side – and food in his bowl.  In exchange, he offers a lifetime of camaraderie, companionship, protection and unconditional love.  It’s true that Proverbs 18:24 was written about Jesus Christ.  However, the words “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” could also apply to man’s best friend.


Here are a few final quotes without any additional commentary…


“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” – Charles de Gaulle


“If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” – Roger Caras


“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” – Woodrow Wilson


“You think those dogs will not be in heaven! I tell you they will be there long before any of us.” – Robert Louis Stevenson  


Can you tell I’m a dog lover?  Now go give yours a hug – or better yet, visit your local animal shelter and rescue one today!


“Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.” – Fanny Crosby


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – March 1, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on     a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” – Milan Kundera


It was one of the most heartwarming – and heartbreaking – news stories I’ve read in very long time.


Pete was adopted by a couple in Greenwood Lake, NY when he was 12 years old.  By the time he turned 14, he was saying good-bye to middle-age and hello to his golden years.  Yes, Pete was an English Setter, and a rescue dog to boot.


Pete fit in seamlessly with Stephen and Cathi as well as their other two dogs, Boone and Jezebel.  In his youth, Pete was a hunting dog, but he had gotten too old for that.  However, Pete still enjoyed long walks in the woods with his family.


On one such walk, Pete and his family encountered a large black bear.  Feeling threatened and afraid to turn its back, the bear decided to attack instead.  While Stephen, Cathi, Boone and Jezebel ran for cover, Pete stood his ground.  He bravely fought off the much-larger bear, but sadly, lost his life in the process.


As I read Pete’s story – and tried to swallow the large lump in my throat – two things came to mind.  One was the love I have for our English beagle, Forrest, and the love he has for me.  Approaching his 10th birthday in April, Forrest has been a member of our family since he was a puppy.  No matter what kind of day I’ve had, Forrest is always there to greet me at the door with lots of barks and lots of “kisses”.  His love is truly unconditional.


The other thing that came to mind was the love my Savior had – and has – for me.  Perhaps C.H. Spurgeon put it best…


“It was from everlasting that He signed the compact with His Father, that He would pay blood for blood, suffering for suffering, agony for agony, and death for death, in the behalf of His people; it was from everlasting that He gave Himself up without murmuring a word, that from the crown of His head to the sole of His foot He might sweat great drops of blood, that He might be spit upon, pierced, mocked, rent sunder, and crushed beneath the pangs of death.”


“Has He from everlasting been going forth to save me, and will He lose me now?  Has He carried me in His hand, as His precious jewel, and will He now let me slip from between His fingers?  Did He choose me before the mountains were brought forth, or the channels of the deep were dug, and will He reject me now?  Impossible!”


“I am sure He would not have loved me so long if He had not been a changeless Lover.  If He could grow weary of me, He would have been tired of me long before now.  If He had not loved me with a love as deep as hell, and as strong as death, He would have turned from me long ago.  Oh, joy above all joys, to know that I am His everlasting and inalienable inheritance, given to Him by His Father before ever the earth was!”


Excuse me now, while I try to swallow an even larger lump…


“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 28, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Everlasting love shall be the pillow for my head this night.” – C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening


A few weeks ago, our son Chris asked Deanna and me to go shopping with him as he picked out his first-ever mattress.  Since moving into his own condo back in November, Chris had been sleeping on a futon made of three different sections – with three different creases.


We met Chris at a local furniture store and from there visited two more.  Finally, we ended up at one of the mattress stores that seemingly fill every strip mall in Vero.  While Chris was speaking with the sales manager, Deanna and I started sampling mattresses on our own.  I felt a little like Goldilocks as I first laid down on a firm mattress… and then a soft one… and then one in-between.


Chris eventually settled on a queen-sized bed to his liking and a collapsible metal frame.  He also purchased a “cooling” pillow that was “buy one, get one free”.  No sooner had he completed his purchase than Deanna and I decided to pull the trigger ourselves.


In our 32 years of marriage, we have only owned two new mattresses – one, when we first got married, and one when we first moved to Vero.  Our original mattress lasted us 25 years, but when we relocated to Florida our finances were so tight that we were forced to buy a bargain-basement one.


That morning, I had told Chris that one of my regrets in life was not investing in a decent mattress.  After all, I reasoned, we spend 1/3 of our lives asleep.  So it was time to “put up or shut up”.


Two days later, a delivery truck pulled up at our house and two men unloaded a new queen mattress.  It was on a great sale and even came with a free reclining bedframe.  And yes, we bought the same BOGO pillows as Chris.


Now, after a long day of work – followed by two hours of pick-up basketball – I can look forward to a restful night’s sleep.  Our new mattress is not-too-firm and not-too-soft, and we love our cooling pillows too.


However, like Charles Spurgeon, it isn’t a new mattress or a reclining bedframe that allows me to sleep peacefully each and every night.  It is the simple fact that I am God’s and He is mine.  His love for me is unconditional and everlasting.




“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 27, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“In passing we should note this curious mark of our age: The only absolute allowed is the absolute insistence that there is no absolute.” – Francis Schaeffer 


Truth is not relative.  It is either absolute or it is not truth.


One of the problems we have trying to interpret the Bible – or understanding world events – is allowing our emotions and personal experiences to influence (and even sway) our positions.  Human emotions come and go, rise and fall, but the Word of God stands forever. 


Last week, following the mass school shooting in Florida, TV and social media were ablaze with admittingly hurting people permitting their raw emotions to dictate their actions and opinions.  Career (and conniving) politicians seized that opportunity to promote their preconceived agendas.


What is needed, in addition to calm and cool heads, is a rock-solid system of core beliefs that will weather any storm, let alone any news headline.


I remember when President Ronald Reagan, one of my heroes, was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  As the disease progressed, Nancy Reagan became an outspoken proponent of embryonic stem cell research.  


What would lead the wife of a pro-life president to support the harvesting of unborn fetuses for scientific research?  Someone had convinced her that the research could result in a cure for Alzheimer’s (despite the fact that no such scientific findings have ever been produced).  And so, because of her deep and abiding love for her husband, Mrs. Reagan was willing to compromise her religious and political beliefs in a vain attempt to save his life.


Folks, don’t wait until you face a crisis to form an opinion or take a stand.  If you do, in almost every case, your emotions will overrule your reasoning.


Know what you believe and more importantly, in Whom you believe.  Then see the world through the prism of your faith.


“…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President


Dare 2B Daring – February 26, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“We should be abler teachers of others, and less liable to be carried about by every wind of doctrine, if we sought a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God.” – C.H. Spurgeon


One of my greatest concerns about the Church today is that, in many places, it is a mile wide and an inch thick.  By that I mean too many professing Christians don’t study the Bible or sit under godly and learned teachers.  As a result, they remain spiritual infants and are easily led astray by religious fads and false doctrine.


A case in point was the Prayer of Jabez craze a few years ago.  Whereas Bruce Wilkinson, the author of “The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life”, may have had good intentions, his teachings soon devolved into nothing more than a passing fad.  Supposedly mature believers started reciting Jabez’s prayer every morning as if it were some kind of mantra or magic incantation, guaranteeing them God’s blessing and favor.


In short order, the Prayer of Jabez became a spiritual movement – as well as a cash cow.  The book’s publishers, Multnomah Press, quickly ordered several sequels and signed multiple licensing deals that led to a wide array of Prayer of Jabez merchandise.  At last count, you could purchase the following POJ souvenir items: key chains, t-shirts, mugs, backpacks, Christmas ornaments, scented candles, mouse pads and all sorts of jewelry. 


I’m cringing, but I think the Holy Spirit is grieving.


Here are a few lessons the Body of Christ should have learned from the POJ debacle…


  1. God doesn’t hide obscure verses in the Bible for centuries, only to reveal them to one person by way of special revelation.
  2. Reciting a prayer by rote has no mythical power (see Matthew 6:7-8).
  3. There is no substitute for daily and in-depth personal Bible study or regular church attendance where a well-trained and spiritually mature pastor proclaims God’s Word faithfully and unapologetically.


“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 23, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Parenting isn’t for sissies.” – Denise Schipani


On February 20th, our son Christopher turned 27 years old.  I had the privilege of leading Chris to a saving knowledge of Christ when he was just four years old.  Today, he works one full-time job and two part-time jobs, one of which is with Risk Takers for Christ. 


Chris earned a B.S. in Business with Summa Cum Laude honors and is currently studying to take his licensing test to sell insurance.  More importantly, he loves the Lord, attends church regularly, and reads the Bible daily.


On the same day that Chris celebrated his birthday, I received a phone call from a brother-in-Christ.  He asked if I would pick up his son and transport him home.  Unfortunately, the pick-up location was the county jail.


I know that this dear brother did his very best to raise his son to know, love and serve the Lord.  And from all indications, he does exactly that.  However, due largely to some cognitive and behavioral disabilities, his son occasionally steps out of line.


Parenting is hard.  In fact, it may be one of the most difficult and challenging responsibilities any of us will ever face.  All we can do is love our children, teach them about God, and try to model Christ before them. 


Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.  There are no guarantees.


However, there is a promise in God’s Word that every parent should cling to and memorize.  It is found in Proverbs 22:6 and it reads as follows…


“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”


I interpret that to mean that – although there may be some bumps and bruises along the way – if your child is raised in a Christian home and with a genuine Christian faith, he or she will eventually return to those roots. 


So, parents, do your best, take a deep breath, and allow God to work in your child’s life.  After all, He loves then even more than you do.


“As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him.  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 22, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Carpe diem!”, which is translated as “pluck or seize the day” – Horace, a Roman poet


In yesterday’s devotional message, I shared about how my brother Gary led me to Christ back in March 1977.  Since then he has gone on to a very successful career in the entertainment industry.  Starting as a song and dance man in Paris and Las Vegas, Gary eventually became an entertainer and cruise director aboard a variety of ships.  Today, in addition to speaking nine different languages, he serves as the Head of Entertainment and Guest Experience for one of the world’s largest cruise lines.


On Sunday, our family drove down to Ft. Lauderdale to see Gary for the first time in about eight years.  He lives in Genoa, Italy, but mostly works out of the corporate offices in Switzerland.  Gary also owns a chalet (more like a small castle) in Normandy, France. 


Because he is constantly traveling the world on business, Gary rarely gets “stateside”.  And so, whenever he is in our area, even for just a few hours, we try to make an effort to see him.


We had a great visit, and Gary got to reconnect with Deanna and me, our three kids, and one of our nephews.  He also got to meet our son-in-law, our daughter-in-law, and our three precious grandchildren for the very first time.


Later that night, we received a text from our daughter while we were at church.  Our son-in-law’s grandmother had suffered a massive stroke and had been placed on life support.  Tragically, she passed away the following morning.


Unfortunately, death is a part of life.  Unless our name is Enoch or Elijah, none of us leaves this earth without experiencing it.  So here is my advice…


Seize every opportunity to spend quality time with your family, friends and other loved ones.  And be sure to show them – and tell them – that you love them, too.


On Sunday, as my brother prepared to board a cab to take him to the Miami International Airport, we exchanged hugs.  “I love you,” I told him.  “I love you, too” he said, fighting back tears.


I miss him already…


“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President    

Dare 2B Daring – February 21, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“As soon as a man has found Christ, he begins to find others.” – C.H. Spurgeon


At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work, right?


On a Sunday afternoon in March 1977, my brother Gary asked my mom if we could have a family Bible study.  I didn’t like the idea, because the minute church was over I would hustle home, gobble down a quick lunch, and then go play baseball (or whatever sport was in season) all afternoon.


But my mom gave me “that look” that told me that attendance at the impromptu Bible study was non-negotiable.  And so, I took my seat around our large 8-person dining room table and listened as my brother tried his best to share the gospel. 


I only remember two things about that afternoon.  First, my brother was extremely nervous and keep stumbling over his words.  Second, everything he said made perfect sense!  And so, when the Bible study was over, I crept upstairs, knelt at the foot of my bed, and trusted Christ as my Savior.


It took another five years (and a period of brokenness) before Jesus became the Lord of every area of my life.  But I can trace my spiritual birth back to that early spring afternoon when my brother cared enough about me – and the rest of our family – to explain God’s plan of salvation.


I mention the rest of our family because, in very short order, my dad, and two of my sisters also trusted Christ.  Today, my dad is in glory and my two sisters are both serving the Lord… all because my brother summoned the nerve to share the Good News with those closest to him.


What is the best way to overcome your fear of sharing the gospel with your immediate family?  First, concentrate on your love for them.  Next, concentrate on the reality of hell.


The rest should come fairly easily.


“He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ).  And he brought him to Jesus.” John 1:41-42 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 20, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The knee is certainly an issue.  I want to point out she also got married.  It’s historically very challenging to race on World Cup with a family or after being married.  Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss that out there, that it could be her husband’s fault.” – Bode Miller


Retired alpine skier, Bode Miller, a six-time Olympic medalist in his own right, was trying to explain why Anna Veith of Austria has been struggling lately.  Sure, she’s had some serious injuries over the past several years, but Miller seemed to think that her recent marriage had something to do with her sub-par times in the downhill.


Since making that comment on live TV, Miller has been lambasted on social media and has publicly apologized several times.  His excuse is that he was just trying to make a joke.


Well, joke or not, Miller was wrong… but he was also right!  Now let me explain before I, too, get hammered on Facebook and Twitter.


For some people (like Adam), marriage is a tool that God uses to complete them as a person and to maximize their potential.  I am definitely one of those people, because I can’t imagine not being married to Deanna.  She is better at money management than me and much handier around the house.  She also keeps an immaculate home, cooks a great meal, and is a wonderful mother and grandmother.


By “tending the home fires”, Deanna has allowed me to pursue my calling as a minister.  If I had to juggle all the things she does in addition to performing my ministry duties, I wouldn’t come close to reaching my God-given potential.


On the flip side, I think God has used me to stretch Deanna’s faith.  After all, I am a “Risk Taker for Christ”!  When we met and married, I had a steady job with a steady income.  Such is not the case in full-time ministry, so she has had to adjust to the financial challenges and the spiritual attacks that “come with the territory”.


But as Paul wrote in I Corinthians 7:25-40, married people face a difficult balancing act.  They want to serve God without reservation, but they also want to please their spouse.  Sometimes, this sense of divided loyalty can be problematic, which is why Paul suggested that single persons are better off remaining single (but they do not sin if they marry).


I think the point Bode Miller was trying to make is this: an Olympic athlete needs to be laser-focused on his or her sport.  Having a spouse, especially a new one, can be a distraction for some.


So, like I said, Miller was right and he was wrong.  Simply put, marriage isn’t one-size-fits-all.


“But I want you to be without care.  He who is married cares about the things of the Lord – how he may please the Lord.  But he who is married cares about the things of the world – how he may please his wife.  There is a difference between a wife and a virgin.  The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit.  But she who is married cares about the things of the world – how she may please her husband.  And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.” I Corinthians 7:32-35 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 19, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“One might think that the money value of an invention constitutes its reward to the man who loves his work.  But I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, is the work that precedes what the world calls success.” – Thomas Edison


I have heard many coaches – and even politicians – say something similar.


A true coach isn’t someone who gets into the profession simply to win games.  On the contrary, most great coaches receive their ultimate satisfaction from teaching their players a new skill or technique, and then seeing them master it.  Winning becomes a natural by-product of sound fundamentals.


Politics, even more so than boxing or football, is a “blood sport”.  Campaigns are often littered with the bruised and bloodied corpses of their opponents… and sometimes their own internal advisors.


Think for a minute about the 2016 presidential election.  Sixteen Republican candidates entered the race and by the time of the first debate, nine men and one women were still standing.  Under the heat and glare of the stage lights, candidates started to melt until there was only a handful left.


Today, if you asked Doug Pederson, the head coach of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, I think he would say that experiencing – and overcoming – the highs and lows of the regular season and the playoffs was his greatest reward.  Winning the Lombardi Trophy was just icing on the cake.


The same goes for Donald Trump.  When he descended the escalator at the Trump Tower in New York City on June 16, 2015 to announce his candidacy, I doubt that Mr. Trump believed that he was going to win the GOP nomination, let alone the presidency.  But over the course of the next 13 months, he picked off one challenger after another until he was named his party’s nominee.  Then he took on Hillary Clinton one-on-one and defeated her in one of the greatest upsets in modern U.S. political history.


Considering the attacks he has received from the media, the Democrats and even from within his own party, I imagine that President Trump occasionally looks back wistfully on his more light-hearted days on the campaign trail.  


Yes, sometimes the process is more satisfying and enjoyable than the result itself.  So enjoy the ride, my friend, enjoy the ride.


“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 16, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.” – Emily Brontë


While I have not paid much attention to the NBA this year, there were some very interesting trades last week. The Cleveland Cavaliers, in particular, made several to completely change the makeup of their team. Isaiah Thomas, an All-Star, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. With this trade, and many others, the Cavs became a much younger and more athletic team.


The Thomas deal, however, was rather shocking. During the previous offseason, the Cavs traded one of the best players in the league, Kyrie Irving, for Isaiah Thomas and a host of other players in a blockbuster move. Irving had become unhappy in Cleveland, and the Cavs were excited to gain another elite player in exchange.


Unfortunately, the trade did not work exactly to plan. Thomas missed the beginning of the season due to injury. In addition, he failed to connect with his teammates. The natural chemistry a team wishes to see between its men was nonexistent, and Thomas was said to have been a problem in the locker room. As a result, he was traded… again.


Isaiah Thomas entered the NBA as a member of the Sacramento Kings in 2011. He has averaged 19 points and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 44.1% from the floor, 36.3% from behind the arc, and 87.6% from the line during his career. With such impressive statistics, you may be surprised to learn that Isaiah Thomas has played for five teams in just seven seasons.


Is Isaiah Thomas a talented player? Absolutely! Is he a good teammate and presence in the locker room? I would say no. Upon hearing of his trade to the Lakers, Thomas reportedly told his agent he refused to come off the bench. Ironically, that is exactly what he did in his Los Angeles debut. Regardless, a pattern of prideful behavior has inevitably marked the career of Isaiah Thomas, and it has come at a cost.


The Bible warns us of pride in multiple passages. Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 16:18 reads, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” This teaching continues into the New Testament. James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Galatians 6:3 proclaims, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”


Isaiah Thomas is truly gifted, but he will not see a full reward until his demeanor becomes one of humility and not pride. Likewise, we will not see a complete measure of blessing in our lives until we walk humbly with our God.


“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10 ESV


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – February 15, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I'll think of it tomorrow, at Tara.  I can stand it then.  Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back.  After all, tomorrow is another day.” – Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind


Yesterday, I gave Deanna not one, but three presents for Valentines Day.  She didn’t want any candy and flowers already graced our table, so I went to Rock City, a local garden center, and bought her three flowering shrubs.


I know, not exactly the most romantic of gifts, but she absolutely loved them!  I guess after almost 33 years of marriage, I know my wife pretty well after all.


Anyway, I’ve already forgotten the names of the bushes.  All I know is that one of them produces reddish-orange blooms and another one grows on a trellis like a vine.  However, the third one may be my favorite.


We had several of these shrubs at our previous home in Vero Beach and I found them to be fascinating.  Every morning, they produced the most beautiful violet-colored flowers.  And then every evening, the petals fell off, decorating the ground with a carpet of purple.  Amazingly, the next morning the bushes were filled with violet blooms yet again!


I never get tired of looking at these remarkable plants, maybe because they remind me of an important spiritual truth.  Like God’s mercies, the purple flowers are new each and every morning (see Lamentations 3:22-23).


Gone are the failures and disappointments of the day before.  Replacing them is a fresh beginning filled with unlimited – and very bright and colorful – possibilities.


Praise God that He forgets about our sins and doesn’t hold our shortcomings against us.  Instead, He buries our sins in the depths of the sea, remembering them no more.  And in their place, He showers us with fresh blooms of blessing.


What a great – and yes, romantic – God we serve!


“He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities.  You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 14, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Results?  Why, I have gotten a lot of results.  I know several thousand things that won’t work.”          – Thomas Edison


Growing up, I was known as being “book smart.”  In other words, I could listen to the subject matter being taught, process and even memorize it, and then “spit it out” on a test.  The result would often be a report card with straight A’s.


However, there have been many times in my life when I was a very slow learner.  It seems like I would have to learn the same lesson over and over – usually, the hard way – before it would finally stick.  Blame it on my German heritage if you want, but I think my innate stubbornness has more to do with my sin nature than with my ancestors.


If I could summarize the most important lesson that God is teaching me these days it would be this: to accept and be grateful for life’s setbacks and disappointments, and to learn from them.  Sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it?  But the more I think about it, God has taught me more from my failures than He has from my successes. 


The same goes for life’s confusing and confounding twists and turns.  We boldly seize some opportunities while allowing others to simply pass us by.  And yet, on the surface they all look equally enticing.  Who knows which decisions are the right ones and which ones are best avoided?


In His unlimited and unparalleled wisdom, God has often used closed doors not only to guide my path, but also to keep me from harm.  Indeed, as I age, I see His hand of providence and protection more and more.


So, my friend, my advice is to stop sweating the small stuff.  In fact, stop sweating altogether.  Instead, try praying, trusting (and laughing) more – and stressing less.  And don’t forget to read and recite verses like Romans 8:28 and Philippians 1:6… again and again… until they finally sink in.


“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’”  Isaiah 46:9b-10 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 13, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“In due time there shall be heard ‘a great voice from heaven’ to every believer, saying ‘Come up hither.’  This should be to the saints the subject of joyful anticipation.  Instead of dreading the time when we shall leave this world to go unto the Father, we should be panting for the hour of our emancipation… We are not called down to the grave, but up to the skies.  Our heaven-born spirits should long for their native air.” – C.H. Spurgeon


Last Saturday, our Risk Takers for Christ basketball team traveled to the DeSoto Correctional Institution in Arcadia, FL to play two games and minister to the hundreds of men housed there.  I use the term “team’ rather loosely, because although we have 17 players on our roster, only three of them (plus one non-playing volunteer) could make the trip.


We advised the institution of our situation, but the senior chaplain still wanted us to come as did the assistant warden who had approved our visit.  And so, off we went, leaving Vero Beach at 5:30 AM.


I had told the chaplain that we would need three inmates – preferably two rebounders and one ball-handler – to play on our team, and that’s exactly what we got.  These three men couldn’t have been happier and more honored than to join us on the court.  “We’re Risk Takers”, they shouted for everyone to hear.


We rotated our three new teammates in and out of the lineup while my son Chris, my nephew Tyler, and I played the entire game that morning.  The final score read, Risk Takers 42 – DeSoto 38.


That afternoon, the six of us took on another inmate team, only this one was bigger, stronger and very well-rested.  In fact, they had two players over 6’6” and both of them weighed about 250 pounds.  But despite the height disadvantage, we won again, this time by eight points.  Far more importantly, we were privileged to share the gospel with 300 men that day and seven of them made decisions for Christ.  PTL!!!


I had kidded with Chris and Tyler on the way to the prison that morning that, at age 58, I might not survive having to play two full games in 88-degree temperatures.  “But I can’t think of a better way to go than on a basketball court sharing the gospel,” I added.


And you know what?  I meant every word of that.  I do not fear death, because I know what – and Who – is on the other side.  My dad, my grandfather, and most importantly, my Lord.  Heaven, here I come! 


But in the meantime, there’s nothing sweeter than sharing my faith, winning two games and ministering alongside my son and my nephew.  And, oh yeah, scoring 16 points in the first game was pretty special too!


“For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.  Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.” Philippians 1:23-24 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 12, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato


“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain


When I was young, my parents emphasized proper manners to my sister, brother, and me. Among a list of do’s and don’ts was the need to hold the door for the person behind you. In fact, I can hear my father saying it as I write. Whether we were out to dinner or simply returning home, the Glading kids knew the polite way of entering and exiting a doorway.


While this principle remains in my mind, I often notice a lack of manners by others in day to day life.  I recently began a part time position at a retail store and observe the way in which people behave and interact. Though some conduct themselves well, it is rather amazing how many do not.


People seem to be constantly in a hurry and single-minded. They rush through doorways and continue on with determined resolution. Many times, I find a simple greeting of “Hello. How are you?” goes unanswered.


Now, my aim is not to criticize. Rather, it is to highlight an effortless way for the body of Christ to stand out in the world. The Bible speaks volumes on the significance of kindness. Proverbs 11:17 says, “A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” Colossians 3:12 reads, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” In I Corinthians 13, we see that love is kind and, in Romans 11:22, we experience the kindness of God if we also demonstrate it.


I understand it is not always easy to be kind. We have bad days, the amount of time to accomplish a task is limited, and some people rub us the wrong way. Still, remember to show kindness. The small act of holding a door can display the love of Christ to the lost.


“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 ESV


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – February 9, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.” – Thomas Edison


Back in 2016, I was engaged in an uphill battle for state representative here in Florida.  Having run for the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey in 2008 and 2010 – winning two Republican primaries but losing both general elections – you’d think I would have learned my lesson.  But idealism got the best of me once again and so, I launched a low-budget, underdog campaign based on “Faith, Family and Freedom”.


Since the other three candidates in the race were wealthy and either self-financing or attracting deep-pocketed donors to their cause, it was suggested to me that I start attending a weekly Bible study at an exclusive country club on the barrier island to get to know some affluent people.  Doing so, however, would mean that I would have to skip a weekly breakfast meeting, where several Christian friends and I got together for food, fellowship and to hold each other accountable.


Call me naïve (or maybe principled), but I don’t think attending a Bible study for political purposes is the right thing to do.  I also disliked the idea of giving my friends the “cold shoulder” so I could rub elbows with the rich and famous.


I doubt that my decision to forego the Bible study at the country club cost me the election.  And in hindsight, I think it was God’s will for me not to win, even though I still consider public service a ministry and not a career.  Simply put, God had another job for me to do… and the woman who won seems to be doing an outstanding job, too.


So, consider this an invitation to join Steve, Greg, Thomas, Dave and me for breakfast every Tuesday morning at Mrs. Mac’s Filling Station on Old Dixie Highway.  I’ll even treat the first time.


And if you have trouble finding our booth, we’ll be the ones wearing overalls.


“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty…”

I Corinthians 1:26-27 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 8, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Being busy does not always mean real work.  The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.  Seeming to do is not doing.” – Thomas Edison


Our family moved from Barrington, New Jersey to Vero Beach, Florida in August 2011.  Shortly thereafter, construction work began on a relatively short stretch of I-95 between Vero and Sebastian, the town where we now live. 


The project to widen this section of I-95 was scheduled to take no more than two years.  So far, it has taken four… and there is no end in sight.


Meanwhile, dozens of accidents – some of them fatal – have occurred as drivers are forced to slow down, change lanes, and navigate through a series of concrete barriers while simultaneously avoiding various pieces of construction equipment.  Considering that many drivers in our area are either senior citizens or visiting tourists (or both), the number of accidents and fatalities isn’t surprising.


I remember reading a few years ago about a massive bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis.  The I-35W Bridge was an eight-lane, steel truss bridge that crossed the Mississippi River atop the Saint Anthony Falls.  On August 1, 2007, it collapsed at the height of the evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.


Because the bridge was the state’s third-busiest, carrying 140,000 vehicles daily, the Minnesota Department of Transportation fast-tracked its replacement.  On September 19, 2007, a $245 million contract was approved for the Flatiron Constructors and Manson Construction Company.  On September 18, 2008, the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge was opened, more than three months ahead of schedule.  Not only that, but the new bridge received the "Best Overall Design-Build Project Award" for 2009 from the Design-Build Institute of America.


The moral of today’s devotional message is simple: the appearance of work doesn’t mean that actual work is taking place.  Nor does the appearance of ministry equate to actual ministry.


My advice is to sort through the smoke and mirrors – and the glitzy promotional pieces – and support the ministries and office holders who give you the most “bang for the buck”.  Today, more than ever, we need pastors and politicians to stop leaning on their shovels and to start digging instead.


“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49b (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 7, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I never did a day’s work in my life.  It was all fun.” – Thomas Edison


Although he may have exaggerated a little in today’s quote, I think that Thomas Edison was on to something.  Something profound.  Something life-changing.


The simple point that Edison was trying to make was that if you are doing what God created you to do, then your “work” will seem like anything but.  In fact, it will provide you with countless hours of actual amusement.


Following Edison’s logic, you will wake up most days anxious to get to the office, the factory, or wherever you are employed.  And instead of watching the clock and counting down the hours, the workday will fly by all too quickly.


Now don’t get me – or Edison – wrong.  We are always going to encounter rough days at work, no matter our occupation.  But if we are in our spiritual and vocational “sweet spot”, those rough days will be an exception to the rule.


The same goes for ministry.  Paul says that God gifted some people to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be teachers, and so on.  In other words, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to spiritual gifts.


Do you want to be miserable at work, at church and at home?  Try operating outside of your area of giftedness.  On the contrary, if you understand your calling and remain true to it – and to God – then I can promise that you will experience a lifetime of blessing and fulfillment.


Ask God to match your career and your calling…and start having fun today!


“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…” Romans 12:6a (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – February 6, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense.” – Thomas Edison


My son Chris and I were playing basketball at South County Park recently along with two other Risk Takers for Christ volunteers.  We played several games of 4-on-4, winning each one fairly handily.  The reaction from two of the opposing players couldn’t have been any more different.


“We’re going to keep playing until we win,” one young man said with fierce determination.  The other player simply walked off the court without saying a word.


If I had to make a guess, I suspect that the first young man will probably succeed in life whereas the other one may not accomplish much.  How can I make such a prediction based solely on a handful of pick-up basketball games?  Actually, it’s pretty simple. 


Life isn’t fair, nor is it smooth from start to finish.  On the contrary, it is full of ups and downs, highs and lows.  Today’s success often leads to tomorrow’s failure… and vice versa.  What determines how far you go in life is how you deal with that roller coaster ride, that blatant and unrelenting “unfairness”. 


In 1966, Frank Sinatra recorded a song written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon.  Here are its lyrics…


That’s life, (that’s life), that’s what all the people say;

You’re riding high in April, shot down in May.

But I know I’m gonna change that tune;

when I’m back on top, back on top in June.


I said that’s life (that’s life), and as funny as it may seem;

Some people get their kicks,

Stompin’ on a dream.

But I don’t let it’ let it get me down;

‘Cause this fine old world, it keeps spinnin’ around.


Sinatra goes on to sing about being a “puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king.”  He also laments having been “up, down, over and out.”  But then he adds matter-of-factly…


Each time I find myself, flat on my face;

I pick myself up, and get back in the race.


When things don’t go your way and life trips you up or knocks you down, do you pick yourself back up – with God’s assistance and the help of others?  Or do you simply throw in the towel?


How you answer that question – not with your words, but with your actions – tells me a lot.  First, about your faith and character.  And second, about your chances of achieving success.


“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President   

Dare 2B Daring – February 5, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“There are no rules here.  We’re trying to accomplish something.” – Thomas Edison


I used to call them “dream days”.  In fact, I still do.


I started “celebrating” dream days when I was serving as the recreation director at a Christian retirement community back in the mid-80’s.  About once a quarter, whenever I was completely caught up on my work, I would schedule some time alone in my office where I would sort through brochures, catalogs and other information I had collected over the previous several months.  Remember, this was long before laptops, smart phones and personal computers.


Some of the info pertained to local historical sites and tourist attractions that would make a nice day-trip for the more active residents of the community.  Others gave me ideas for in-house programs for those residents who couldn’t venture outside.  Ask me sometime about the “Wiley Olympics” we held, complete with gold, silver and bronze medals! 


I loved “dream days” because they allowed me to stretch my imagination and think outside of the box.  The same goes for today, when I seek the Lord’s leading for new and innovative ways to reach inmates and at-risk youth with the gospel… or to challenge Christians to be bolder in their faith.


What is the secret to having a successful “dream day”?  More than anything, it is forcing oneself to get alone – just you and the Lord – and think deeply.  As Edison famously said, “The best thinking has been done in solitude.  The worst has been done in turmoil.”


Are you facing a big decision or are you overwhelmed by life’s demands?  Do you have writer’s block, a literary term for lack of creative inspiration?  My advice is to schedule – that’s the key phrase – a dream day or even a dream hour.  I promise… you will be amazed at the difference it makes.


Clear thinking requires a clear calendar.


“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” – Luke 6:12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 2, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I am the greatest.” – Muhammad Ali


A few years ago, I penned an editorial for our local newspaper.  It was titled, “I Blame Muhammad Ali”.  The crux of the article was that until Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, came on the scene, the majority of professional athletes were humble… at least publicly. 


Great athletes knew that they were great and so, they let their actions on the field or the court do the talking for them.  It was considered unseemly to toot one’s own horn, so they simply allowed their teammates or the local sportswriters to do it for them. 


But Ali was different and so were his blustering press conferences.  He would describe in great detail all of his positive attributes and then lambast – often in denigrating and derogatory tones – his opponent’s.  Some people found Ali to be refreshing and somewhat entertaining.  On the contrary, I found him to be boorish and egotistical.


The same goes for trash talking.  Having played competitive sports for more than four decades, I can’t remember a single time when I baited an opponent or said something uncomplimentary to his face.  I just wasn’t raised that way.  More importantly, I don’t see self-adulation as being a biblical principle.


However, Scripture does include one incident of “sanctified” trash talking and it is found in I Kings 18.  In his standoff with the prophets of Baal, Elijah ridiculed their false god with taunts about him being preoccupied, out-of-town, or asleep.  “Cry louder”, Elijah said in jest, knowing full well that Baal couldn’t hear a word they were saying.


The point is clear.  Boast about God, but not about yourself.  And for the record, I think Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey would have cleaned Ali’s clock!


“Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NKJV)


“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Galatians 6:14a (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – February 1, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” – attributed to Sir Edmund Burke


As many of my readers know, I am not just pro-life, I am passionately pro-life.  That is why, when we moved to Vero Beach, one of the first organizations I joined was the Republicans for Life.  I even served one term as chaplain and one as president.


At last week’s RFL luncheon, a video was shown of our state representative testifying before a legislative committee.  Being very pro-life herself, Rep. Erin Grall has introduced a bill that would eliminate dismemberment abortions, known as D&Es.  Of course, Erin would prefer that abortion be outlawed altogether, but at least she is trying to put an end to this particularly barbaric practice.


In the video, Erin described the gruesome procedure in great detail from a medical perspective.  As she did, I saw a few people shaking their heads in disbelief or wiping tears from their eyes.  However, I was amazed – and very disturbed – by the reactions of two older women in the room.


The first lady was sitting near me and as soon as Erin began speaking, this woman said aloud with great disgust in her voice, “Too graphic!”  Another woman, seated at an adjacent table, literally placed her fingers in her ears so she wouldn’t have to listen to Erin’s testimony.


Now I completely understand that talking about a dilation and evacuation abortion isn’t pleasant.  But I agree 100% with Erin that it is necessary.  And quite frankly, if you can’t address pro-life issues at a pro-life meeting, where can you?


Many social ills survive because people are afraid to face them head-on.  Instead, they prefer to pretend that they don’t exist, as if not discussing them will make them invisible.  Slavery was one such evil and it took William Wilberforce decades of describing its horrors in Parliament before it was finally outlawed in Great Britain. 


Folks, abortion is evil and evil isn’t pretty.  But it will prevail until and unless bold and brave people are willing to stand up and call it out for what it is.  If doing so shocks some people or bothers their tender sensibilities, so be it.


“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 31, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“We know a thing or two, because we’ve seen a thing or two.” – Farmers Insurance commercial


Whether they feature a mascot on fire, a moose attacking a swing set, or a dog shifting a runaway car from park to drive, the Farmers Insurance TV ads are both creative and memorable.  So is their famous tagline, quoted above.


This past Sunday, our pastor asked one of the men in our church to close in prayer.  Noting that many people in our congregation have been battling illnesses recently, he prayed for restored health but then added a rather unique twist.


“Thank you, Lord,” he prayed, “that these illnesses are building up our immune systems.”


A few people chuckled at John’s words, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was right.  Suffering through – and surviving – an illness does indeed prepare our bodies to ward off a similar disease.  But it doesn’t stop there.


Suffering through – and surviving – any type of affliction makes us better able to handle a similar situation when it occurs.  One financial setback often makes a person better prepared to handle (or avoid) another one.  So does a physical ailment or a spiritual attack.  Because life so often repeats itself, obstacles that are overcome can – and should – make us stronger and better equipped to take the next one in stride... and the one after that, too.


An added benefit to enduring affliction and coming out “on top” is that we are in a much better position to provide counsel and comfort to someone else who is going through a similar struggle.  These headaches and heartaches – Paul calls them tribulations in Romans 5 – also produce perseverance, character and hope.


I hope that you are enjoying good health as you read these words.  But if not, take heart and take heed.  God will teach you some very valuable life lessons on your sickbed if you have “ears to hear”.


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President   

Dare 2B Daring – January 30, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Who can be astonished at anything, when he has once been astonished at the manger and the cross?  What is there wonderful left after one has seen the Savior?” – C.H. Spurgeon


Recently, I heard a radio talk show host tell a story about Buzz Aldrin.  As a crew member of Apollo 11, Buzz was the second person, right after Neil Armstrong, to ever step foot on the moon.  The date of that famous walk was July 21, 1969.


That was almost 50 years ago.  Sadly, the radio host said, when he met Aldrin he came away feeling that Buzz’s life was frozen in time.  It was as if everything leading up to the moon landing was all that mattered, and he has spent the last half-century in some kind of “lunar limbo”, reliving that special moment over and over again.


Now I must admit that being one of only 12 men to walk on the moon is pretty exclusive company.  And viewing the Earth from 238,855 miles away has to be a breathtaking sight.


But life is meant to be lived looking forward, not backward.  I guess that’s why the windshield in a car is much larger than the rearview mirror.  What matters most isn’t what you’ve done or where you’ve been, but where you’re going and what you are in the process of becoming.


For all his achievements, Aldrin has struggled in his personal life, having been married and divorced three times.  He also battles depression and alcoholism, and both his mother and maternal grandfather committed suicide.  This American hero needs – and deserves – our prayers.


As for heroes, one of mine is Caleb.  At the ripe “young” age of 85, he demanded that Joshua give him the greatest physical and spiritual challenge of his life.  Having spied out the promised land, survived 40 years in the wilderness, and being triumphant in multiple battles, Caleb looked ahead and not behind.


“Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:13b-14 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President    

Dare 2B Daring – January 29, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end.  The question – and thus the Quest – concerns how we shall travel the road and whether we shall complete our errand.” – Legolas, the Lord of the Rings


“Life is a marathon, not a sprint”.  You’ve heard that saying many times, I’m sure, and it certainly rings true.  After all, the average lifespan in the U.S. is 78.8 years according to the Center for Disease Control.  That means that we need to pace ourselves, because no one can “sprint” for eight decades.


However, I think there is another message hidden within that iconic statement.  Simply put, life is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.  Far too many people race through life with their head down – and their earbuds in – which means that they miss the sights, sounds and people around them.


When I was a kid, our family made many trips from New Jersey to Florida, towing our Airstream trailer behind a Ford Country Squire station wagon.  Without fail, one of my siblings or I would ask how much longer the 1,100 mile trip was going to take.


“Look out the windows,” my dad would reply each time.  “You may never pass this way again.”


Truer words have never been spoken!


Even Christians are guilty of this behavior, so anxious to “get to glory” that we forget that the road there is full of ministry opportunities.  And yes, equally full of priceless souls whose eternal destiny hangs in the balance.


Marathons are 26.2 miles and half-marathons are 13.1 miles.  Make no mistake… I have zero intention of ever running in either race.  However, I have every intention of running life’s race with diligence and a real sense of purpose.  That means stopping to enjoy my surroundings and minister to my fellow life travelers – especially those who are struggling to complete their own life race or who are unsure of their final destination.


“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1b (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 26, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The people gather, we teach, God works.” – Jim Flora


Jim and Teresa Flora are Southern Baptist missionaries in Lesotho, Africa.  They each felt God’s call to minister to the people of sub-Saharan Africa at the age of 50 and so, they went, leaving their adult children and small grandchildren 10,000 miles away.


Teresa uses her medical training as a registered nurse not only to minister to the physical needs of her patients, but also to build relationships with them.  Jim trains pastors and other church leaders in an effort to establish indigenous churches throughout the country.


Jim’s quote above reflects a simple, but very strong faith.  He understands that God is in complete control, but that we as believers are responsible to do our part.  And so, Jim sets up meetings and invites the villagers to attend.  When they do, he faithfully and diligently teaches them God’s Word.


And then, as Jim puts it, “God works”.


It’s not rocket science, folks.  Sometimes we try to make it more complicated than it really is.  God calls and equips us to perform a specific task in His service.  We prepare and then execute it to the very best of our ability.  The rest, including all of the results, is up to Him.


In the early 1990’s, I had the privilege of touring Prison Fellowship’s headquarters in Virginia.  Entering Chuck Colson’s office, I noticed a sign sitting prominently on his desk.  It read, “Faithfulness, not success.”


I have never forgotten those simple, but very profound words.  I doubt Jim and Teresa Flora have either, because they live them out each and every day.


Two final points about the Floras.  They put God – and creature comforts – before family.  And they did so at the ripe old age of 50, when many of us are padding our 401K’s and planning for retirement.


Read Matthew 19:29 and Joshua 14:6-15 and tell me if you agree with the Floras’ decision.


“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” I Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – January 25, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I am always inspired by our readers’ commitment to think deeply about how the good, beautiful, and true gospel is lived out in these complex times.” – Andy Olsen, Managing Editor, Christianity Today


Permit me for a minute to modify Andy Olsen’s quote to make it even more provocative.  “I am always inspired by our readers’ commitment to think deeply…period!”


If I were king of the world for a day, the first thing that I would do is require my loyal subjects to stop what they were doing for 10, 20 or even 30 minutes each day – and THINK DEEPLY.  That’s right; I would make each person put down their smart phone, remove their ear buds, turn off their TV and, dare I say it, T-H-I-N-K.


To me, taking a few moments every day to clear the cobwebs and the clutter from my mind is absolutely essential.  So is taking those moments to refocus on what is really important and what is not.


My quiet time, which usually lasts about 15 minutes each morning, includes Bible reading, a devotional by Charles Spurgeon, and prayer.  I also try to carve out other times during the day, often while riding in my truck, to talk with God one-on-one.  And yes, to think – or at least try to think – deep thoughts.


One of my favorite scenes in the Wizard of Oz is when the “defrocked” wizard bestows gifts and awards to Dorothy and her traveling companions.  Here is what the wizard says to the scarecrow…


“Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma.”


You have a brain and so do I.  God gave them to us to use to their fullest extent for His glory.  But until and unless we discipline ourselves to unplug from the world and plug into Him, we will continue to waste our collective “gray matter”.


So, here’s my goal for 2018: to double my quiet time from 15 minutes to 30 each and every morning.  Not very ambitious perhaps, but certainly attainable.  And just imagine what spending an extra 5,475 minutes alone with God – thinking deeply – will do this year!


“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 24, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Many people say many things about God, but that doesn’t mean they’re always right.  Unless the things said agree with the scriptures, it’s actually the opposite.” –


Piggybacking on yesterday’s devotional, in which I called out prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen for peddling false doctrine, there is another lynchpin of modern-day heresy that I want to shatter to pieces today.  Here it is…


“God needs you” (usually said in plaintive tones dripping with saccharin).




God is the great “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).  He has always existed and as such, He is completely self-reliant.  He created everything that exists and He sustains it as well.


Who are we to think, to entertain for a single moment, that such a Being would need us to somehow complete Himself?  Not only is that heretical, but it is so self-serving as to be hysterical too.


And yet, that it the kind of “poppycock preaching” that is scratching the itching ears of many people in churches today.  Because we live in a consumer-oriented society, companies try to cater to our every need (i.e. whim) in order to earn our business and separate us from our dollars.  Now some churches are following the same business-model, placing the emphasis solely on the “consumer” instead of on God.


Don’t we see that such a “me-first” and egocentric approach was what led to Lucifer’s fall?  And don’t we realize that Satan used that same evil ploy to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden?


How stupid and gullible can we be?  Is it really so easy to deceive the masses?


Folks, please don’t fall prey to one of Satan’s favorite tactics and stop attending churches (or buying books from authors) that have swallowed the same thing hook, line and sinker.  God does NOT need you, me or anyone else.  However, He CHOOSES to have a relationship with us through His Son Jesus Christ, for which we should be eternally grateful.     


“How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!  For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven,   I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’  Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – January 23, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“It’s my money and I want it now!” – J.G. Wentworth


I’m sure you’ve seen the J.G. Wentworth commercials that feature people sticking their heads out of windows and shouting the company’s famous tagline (see above).  It’s a parody of the movie Network, which was named Best Picture in 1976.  Network is the satirical story of fictional broadcaster Howard Beale, portrayed by Peter Finch, who won a best actor award for his efforts.


Read the J.G. Wentworth tagline one more time.  What two words jump out at you the most?  For me, it is the words “my” and “now”.  In other words, the primary emphasis is on self and the secondary emphasis is on immediate gratification.


Compare Wentworth’s tagline with these words from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, known as the “Prince of Preachers”…


“As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure hardships in this.  The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity.”


I have zero tolerance for modern-day prosperity preachers who convince their audiences that God wants us all to be healthy and wealthy in this life.  That’s nothing but hogwash and heresy.


The Bible states very clearly that, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:58)  Using the logic of false teachers like Joel Osteen, that would mean that Jesus was outside of God’s will because He didn’t enjoy material blessings – or a long and healthy life.  Poor Jesus… if only He had exercised more faith, the Father would have opened the windows of heaven and showered Him with untold blessings.


Here is a good rule of thumb for discerning whether someone is a true or false teacher.  If they encourage you to focus on yourself and the “here and now”, they are most probably peddling false doctrine.  Instead, if they are encouraging you to focus on God and eternity, they are probably a true man of God.


“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)


“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – January 22, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The surest road to wisdom is not speculation, reasoning or reading human books, but meditation upon the Word of God.  The readiest way to be spiritually rich in heavenly knowledge is to dig in this mine of diamonds, to gather pearls from this heavenly sea.” – C.H. Spurgeon


Last week, Gem Diamonds Ltd. announced that they had unearthed a 910-carat stone at its Letseng mine in the kingdom of Lethoso, located in southern Africa.  The D-color Type IIa diamond, roughly the size of two golf balls, is of exceptional quality.  It is reportedly the fifth-largest diamond ever discovered.


Gem did not say how much the diamond could be worth.  However, the Lucara Diamond Corp. sold a 1,109-carat stone last year for $53 million and a smaller 813-carat diamond in 2015 for a record $63 million.


Can you imagine finding any of these remarkable stones?  There, glistening in the vast darkness of an underground mine, your eyes fall upon a “diamond-in-the-rough”.  Immediately, your brain goes into overdrive as your mind is filled with visions of how you are going to spend your new-found riches.


Well, my friend, there is something far more priceless sitting on your bedside table or gathering dust on your bookcase.  It is called the Bible, and it is the very Word of God.  By mining its pages, you will discover untold riches.


Many of the Bible’s gems are spiritual in nature, providing food for your soul.  However, there is also solid financial advice from Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, as well as a wide assortment of relationship and marriage tips.  Want to know how to succeed in business or how to live a long, healthy life?  Look no further, because the secret to those things – and so much more – is contained within its pages.


So put on your helmet, affixed with the light of the Holy Spirit, and start mining for heavenly diamonds in God’s Word today!


“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President     

Dare 2B Daring – January 19, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life.” – Henri Nouwen


Today, after five long days, my health is almost back to normal.  But that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten the valuable lessons I learned while flat on my back, compliments of a raging norovirus that hit me broadside last week.


And so, without further ado, here are Lessons # 6 and #7…


In today’s techno-crazy world with its 24-hour news cycle, it is increasingly difficult to disconnect from all of the external stimuli that constantly and relentlessly compete for our attention.  But it is a MUST!


I have found Nouwen’s quote to be 100% true.  Time spent alone – talking (and listening) to God, meditating on His Word, and simply allowing the cob webs to clear so you can refocus and regain your bearings – is an absolute necessity.  Not just for spiritual growth, but also for physical, mental, and emotional health.


You can either do it voluntarily, which is highly recommended, or you can do it the hard way (see the above reference to being slammed by a norovirus).  In hindsight, I wish that I had willingly set aside some downtime.  But I can assure you of one thing: the harder the lesson, the more it usually “sticks”.


And so, I make the following promise to you, my wife and my still-recovering body:  I will start taking some more time off to rest, relax and rejuvenate.  Admittedly, that is a hard promise to make – let alone keep – for a self-driven, Type-A, over-achiever…especially one from New Jersey!  But unless I want to flame out before my time, it is non-negotiable.  It is also the only way to hear God’s still, small voice speaking amidst the din of everyday life.  Just ask Elijah.


The final lesson?  Simply that someday all of this will not matter.  The stomach flu and every other ailment will be a thing of the past, a distant memory.  In their place will be a perfect place with a perfect Person.  No sorrow, no crying, no pain, and no death. (Rev. 21:4)


Bring it on!


“…and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” I Kings 19:12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 18, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” – Rahm Emanuel




Finally, after four days of battling the mother of all flu bugs, I am starting to feel semi-human again.  Thankfully, I can once again eat – carefully – without worrying about experiencing severe stomach pain.  And as you can see, I am back in the office, playing “catch-up” for a few hours each day.  If I feel up to it, I may even take our dog for a (short) walk later today.


Whew… these last few days have been a real battle and I am grateful that the worst of it is finally in the rearview mirror.  Knock on wood!


Laying flat on my back, covered with blankets, I asked God not to waste this trial.  Instead, I pleaded with Him to teach me some valuable life lessons – especially spiritual ones – and boy, has He ever!


I shared two of them with you yesterday, but here are a few more.  You can thank me later for offering the wisdom I gathered “the hard way” so you wouldn’t have to.


Lesson #3 – Two are better than one.  As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9, it helps to have someone with you when you fall and beside you when you are cold.  My helpmate of 32 years, Deanna, was that and a whole lot more while I was convalescing.  And now that she is fighting a bad head cold of her own, I am trying to return the favor.


Lesson #4 – I have not yet “resisted unto blood”.  As the writer of Hebrews bluntly put it in 12:4; fellow Christians – and Jesus Himself – have endured much worse, so “suck it up, buttercup”.  I am reminded of my friend Debi Large, who recently battled the same flu for two weeks all the while fighting an invasive and aggressive brain tumor with faith, grace and humor.  What an inspiration!


Lesson #5 – As another Christian friend, Bill Spurgeon, said, “I wonder what all the Lord saved you from during these down days.”  In other words, either Romans 8:28 is true or it isn’t.  IT IS!


Stay tuned for two final “flu lessons” tomorrow…


“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 17, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“When we can do nothing, Jesus can do all things; let us enlist His powerful aid upon our side, and all will be well.” – C. H. Spurgeon


It hit me around 12:00 PM last Friday – high noon – and it hit me hard.  For the next four hours, I was almost completely helpless, kneeling beside our toilet as wave after wave of nausea wracked my body. 


How I hate the flu!


When the first wave struck, I prayed that God would relieve my symptoms and bring healing to my increasingly frail frame.  However, it soon became evident that I was in this for “the long haul”.  And so, my semi-eloquent prayers for deliverance quickly dissolved into three simple words, uttered in desperation through clenched teeth.


“Jesus, have mercy.”


By late afternoon, my stomach was completely empty and the dry heaves had subsided.  However, a team of miniature gymnasts continued to turn summersaults in my belly for the next three days.  And simple tasks like showering and eating (what little I could) drained me of every ounce of energy I could muster.


As of Monday, when I’m penning these words, I am still feeling weak and a bit dehydrated.  But unless I relapse, the worst is – thankfully – behind me. 


So, what valuable lessons have I learned from battling the flu bug?  Actually, quite a few!


First, that God is always there, in every circumstance and every situation.  You may not see or sense Him, but trust me – He is there! (Hebrews 13:5)


Second, our prayers do not need to be long and ornate, especially in times of duress.  Here is how Spurgeon put it, referencing Peter’s cry for help when he started sinking: “Short prayers are enough.  There were but three words in the petition which Peter gasped out, but they were sufficient for his purpose.  Not length but strength is desirable.  A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity.  If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing, they would be all the better.  Verbiage is to devotion as chaff to the wheat.”


Yes, three little words did the job!


“Beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30 (KJV) 


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – January 16, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison


When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 10 years old, I had a strange habit.  Before going out to play with my friends, I would sometimes fill my pockets with string and other miscellaneous objects from our junk drawer.  Because my buddies and I would often play “army” and engage in mock battles, I figured you never knew when these things would come in handy.


Hmmm…junk that comes in handy.


When Jesus was gathering his team of disciples, he didn’t go to the local synagogue and hold a “casting call” for the smartest theologians or the most gifted orators.  Nor did he schmooze up to people with deep pockets, hoping that they would underwrite his new enterprise.  Instead, the Master of the universe recruited lowly fisherman, tax collectors – and even a terrorist – to fill his ranks and be His closest confidants.


Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Go ahead and admit it.


But the message that Jesus communicated by choosing Peter, James, John and the rest was simply this: that God can and will use anyone and anything for His glory.  The only prerequisite is that they be willing, because He is already more than able.


And so, my friend, the next time that Satan tries to convince you that you aren’t worthy of being used by God, simply nod your head and smile.  Yes, the Accuser of the Brethren is half-right.  We aren’t worthy, but that never stopped God before and it won’t stop Him now.


So fill your pockets with string and get busy serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” I Corinthians 1:27-29 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – January 15, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison


Last week, I was privileged to represent Risk Takers for Christ at the American Correctional Association’s winter conference in Orlando.  I arrived on Saturday afternoon to set up our booth and then stayed overnight to rest up for the start of the convention on Sunday.


In order to save money, I didn’t stay at the host hotel, which was a very nice Marriot property.  Instead, I booked a room at a nearby Comfort Suites and commuted back and forth each day.  It was a very nice room with all of the amenities one would need for a brief stay. 


However, there was one problem that I encountered not just once, but virtually every time I tried to enter my room.  The key card simply would not work!  I would try over and over again, turning the card in every possible direction, swiping it slowly and then swiping it quickly.


Next, I would use the spare key card, but usually to no avail.  Inevitably, I would ride the elevator back down to the registration desk to get a new key.


This went on for three days and two nights.  Finally, the card reader started to work… just in time for me to check-out!


Life is full of minor inconveniences like this as well as major disappointments.  If the little ones – like getting stuck in traffic – make you want to throw up your hands in despair, you’ll more than likely “bail out” when things get really tough.


But like Thomas Edison said in today’s quote, trying just one more time is sometimes the key to victory.  In fact, Edison once said that he had not failed, despite thousands of experiments going awry.  He had simply “found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”


Taking that approach almost guarantees success.  Maybe not this time or the next, but eventually… and certainly, eternally.


“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)    


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 12, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The ever-recurring law of necessity soon teaches a man to do what he does not like, so as to avert evils which he would dislike still more... this foresight, well or ill-used, is the source of all the wisdom or the wretchedness of mankind.” – Jean Jacques Rousseau


A few weeks ago, I was reading through the book of Genesis when I came to chapter 34. Though I was familiar with the story, I found it interesting all the same. In this passage, Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, is taken by Shechem, a Hivite ruler, while she is out visiting other women. Shechem violated Dinah and then asked his father Hamor to arrange for her to become his wife, for he had fallen in love with her.


Hamor and Shechem then went to Jacob in hopes of finding an agreement between their two people groups. However, Jacob’s sons had heard what was done to their sister and were filled with rage. They manipulated Hamor and Shechem by promising Dinah in exchange for the rightful circumcision of their men. Shechem quickly obliged.


Three days later, Simeon and Levi, knowing the Hivite men were still recovering, went into the city and killed every male. The sons of Jacob plundered the entire city, taking its women, children, and livestock.


When Jacob learned what his sons had done, he was greatly distressed and feared retribution. In response, Simeon and Levi simply asked, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?” You can decide for yourself concerning the morality of the brothers’ actions. Regardless, they saw an injustice and took action in the best way they knew.


This account reminds me of two others in Scripture where ordinary people do rather extraordinary acts. In the time before David’s battle against Goliath, he asked the men of the Israelite army, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Likewise, when Esther decided to approach the king and speak on behalf of her people, she said to Mordecai, “If I perish, I perish.”


There will be situations in our life that demand action. At times, it will be in defense of our faith and our God. Are you prepared to do what is necessary?


“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” II Corinthians 10:5-6


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – January 11, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Nobody does it better, makes me feel sad for the rest; nobody does it half as good as you, baby, you’re the best.” – Carly Simon


Excuse me for taking liberties by using the theme song from a James Bond movie to introduce a devotional message written by Charles Spurgeon.  But to me, the “Prince of Preachers” was also the best devotional writer the world has ever known.


Forget the fluff that passes for some doctrine these days.  Instead, I invite you to bask in the spiritual wisdom and intellect of C.H. Spurgeon.


“Pleasant it is to the believer to know that God’s eye is thus tenderly observant of that work of grace which He has begun.  He never loses sight of the treasure which he has placed in our earthen vessels.  Sometimes we cannot see the light, but God always sees the light, and that is much better than our seeing it.”


“Better for the judge to see my innocence than for me to think I see it.  It is very comfortable for me to know that I am one of God’s people – but whether I know it or not, if the Lord knows it, I am still safe.  This is the foundation, ‘The Lord knoweth them that are His.’”


“You may be sighing and groaning because of inbred sin, and mourning over your darkness, yet the Lord sees ‘light’ in your heart, for He has put it there, and all the cloudiness and gloom of your soul cannot conceal your light from His gracious eye.  You may have sunk low in despondency, and even despair; but if your soul has any longing towards Christ, and if you are seeking to rest in His finished work, God sees the ‘light’.”


“He not only sees it, but He also preserves it in you.  ‘I, the Lord, do keep it.’  This is a precious thought to those who, after anxious watching and guarding of themselves, feel their own powerlessness to do so.  The light thus preserved by His grace, He will one day develop into the splendor of noonday, and the fulness of glory.  The light within is the dawn of the eternal day.”


As Emeril, the world-famous chef, would say… BAM!!!


“Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 10, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“You are what your record says you are.” – Bill Parcells


During his career as a head coach, Bill Parcells was known for his no-nonsense approach to football… and life in general.  Drafted in the 7th round (the 89th overall pick) out of Wichita State, Parcells only lasted one season as a player in the NFL.  However, he quickly landed a coaching job at Hastings College, followed in rapid succession by stints at his alma mater, Army, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech and the Air Force Academy.


In 1979, Parcells graduated to the NFL, serving as Defensive Coordinator for the New York Giants.  From there, he moved back and forth between the Giants and the New England Patriots until the Giants hired him to be their head coach in 1983.  Taking over a team that had had only one winning season in the previous decade, Parcells led the Giants to two Super Bowl wins in just eight years.


Parcells retired in 1991, but returned to coaching just two years later, guiding the then-woeful Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI in his fourth season with the team.  He left the Pats in 1996 to assume the head coaching reins with the New York Jets, with whom he also had great success.  After three years with New York, Parcells moved onto Dallas, where he ended his coaching career in 2006.


Since “hanging them up” for good, Parcells has served in various front office positions with the Jets, the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns.  He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.   


Getting back to Parcells’ original quote, it sounds to me as if the “Big Tuna”, as he was called, was making reference to the Book of James.  Throughout his epistle, James tells his reader that faith without works is dead.  “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)


Coach Parcells was right.  At the end of the day, we all are exactly what our record says we are.  Talk is cheap.  Actions speak louder than words.


“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 9, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs


The 2018 PGA season is now officially underway with the completion of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.  Played every year at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii, this prestigious event is reserved for players who won a tournament the previous year.


Despite winning 42 PGA events, including five majors during his illustrious career, Phil Mickelson was not invited to play at Kapalua because he hasn’t won a tournament since the 2013 Open Championship.  But as much as “Lefty” will be remembered for winning three green jackets at Augusta National, he will also be forever known for blowing the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.


Leading by one shot on the final hole, Mickelson proceeded to slice his drive left, from where he made a series of poor decisions on his way to a double-bogey.  Par would have won him the tournament and bogey would have gotten him into a playoff with eventual winner Geoff Ogilvy.


After his disappointing finish, Mickelson refused to skip his press conference. Instead, he stood tall and made no excuses.  “I'm still in shock,” he told reporters. “I still can't believe I did that. This one hurts more than any tournament because I had it won. Congratulations to Geoff Ogilvy on some great play. I want to thank all the people that supported me. The only thing I can say is I'm sorry."


Mickelson ended his interview on an even more candid note.  "I just can't believe I did that,” he said incredulously. “I'm such an idiot."


Sometimes, you win more fans by the way you graciously accept defeat than you do in victory.  Greg Norman found that out following his final round collapse at the Masters in 1996, as did 59-year old Tom Watson when he narrowly missed winning his sixth Open Championship at Turnberry in 2009. 


“It tore my guts out,” Watson said years later.  And yet, much to his credit, he smiled throughout the awards ceremony as Stewart Cink was named the “Champion Golfer of the Year”.


Nobody wins them all, not even my all-time favorite golfer, Jack Nicklaus.  The “Golden Bear” won a record 18 majors, but also had 19 runner-up finishes, including seven in the Open Championship.


Like golf, life is full of ups and downs… so enjoy the highs and weather the lows.  Above all, resist making excuses.


“So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’” 2 Samuel 12:13 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President   


Dare 2B Daring – January 8, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Take chances, make mistakes.  That’s how you grow.  Pain nourishes courage.  You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” – Mary Tyler Moore


One of the sadder aspects of entering a new year is being reminded about the people who passed away during the previous one.  In 2017, we lost prominent figures in a variety of different fields.


The worlds of music and entertainment were hit especially hard.  Making their final “curtain calls” were Chuck Berry, Glen Campbell, David Cassidy, Jerry Lewis, Della Reese, and Don Rickles.  We also said good-bye to Batman (Adam West); James Bond (Roger Moore); Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors); Joe Mannix (Mike Conners); and Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran).


And yes, to Laura Petrie, otherwise known as Mary Tyler Moore.


At first glance, one would think that Mary lived a charmed life, moving from one successful TV program (the Dick Van Dyke Show) to another (the Mary Tyler Moore Show).  However, there were many trials and tragedies that filled her life before, during and after those career highs.


Born in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Mary was the oldest of three children.  Unfortunately, her sister died at age 21 from a mixture of alcohol and painkillers, and her brother at age 47 from kidney cancer.


Mary also had her share of physical challenges, being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1969, shortly after suffering a miscarriage.  In 2011, she had a benign brain tumor removed.


Mary’s personal life was also tumultuous.  She was married three times and divorced twice.  Her only child, Richard, died from an accidental gunshot to the head in 1980.


And yet, Mary persevered through it all.  In addition to her very successful acting career, she was a lifelong animal rights activist as well as the International Chairman of the JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).


I have no idea where Mary stood spiritually.  I can only hope and pray that she knew Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  If she did, we will meet someday in glory.  If not, her life can still teach us several important lessons.


First, instead of giving up, she faced – and overcame – countless adversities throughout her eight decades of life.  Second, she may have done so without the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit.


So, for those of us who know Christ personally, what’s our excuse?

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 5, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Some men’s passion is for gold.  Some men’s passion is for art.  Some men’s passion is for fame.  My passion is for souls.” – William Booth


On New Year’s Day, my son Chris and I watched one of the greatest games in the history of college football.  The University of Georgia and the University of Oklahoma battled it out at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and it took double overtime for the Bulldogs to finally pull out a 54-48 victory.


I’m sure that a collective cheer emanated from Athens, Georgia – and a collective groan from Norman, Oklahoma – when tailback Sony Michel took a direct snap from center and coasted into the end zone.  His 27-yard run ended the highest-scoring game in Rose Bowl history, and the first to go into overtime.


As exciting as the game was – especially for UGA fans – I wonder how many of us get just as “pumped” about reading our Bibles, or attending church, or praying to the God of the universe.  Does witnessing to an unbeliever “float our boat” as much as tailgating?


Don’t get me wrong.  I love sports as much as (if not more than) the next guy.  And when the Yankees are in the playoffs or Jack Nicklaus is standing over a birdie putt, I get equal parts nervous and excited.  But at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter who wins a bowl game or a golf tournament.


Only one thing truly matters in this life: S-O-U-L-S.  They are eternal, whereas national championships are not.


So, let’s all try to keep things in their proper perspective.  Go ahead and cheer for your favorite team, but don’t forget to “Amen” your pastor this Sunday!


“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’  Then the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’  And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.” Revelation 5:13-14 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 4, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Secular music, do you say, belongs to the devil?  Does it?  Well, if it did I would plunder him for it, for he has no right to a single note of the whole seven.  Every note, and every strain, and every harmony is divine, and belongs to us.” – William Booth


Now before you jump down my throat – or William Booth’s – let me explain what I think the founder of the Salvation Army meant when he penned these words.


First, remember that Booth was born in 1829 and died in 1912.  That meant that he was never exposed to rock, rap or anything that passes for music these days.  In fact, the “rowdiest” music that Booth ever heard was probably ragtime, popularized by Scott (not Janice) Joplin and others around the turn of the 20th century.


Second, Booth was talking about the actual musical notes, not the accompanying lyrics.  I am sure that he never envisioned the mix of misogyny and profanity that marks the recordings of so-called “artists” like Jay Z and Lil Wayne.


Third, in Booth’s day, music was never played at such ear-splitting levels.  For example, a whisper in a library is measured at 30 decibels and a normal conversation at twice that amount.  Sounds recorded at 90-95 decibels – which is when prolonged exposure can lead to serious hearing loss – include a train whistle at 500 feet and a jackhammer at 50 feet.


Today’s rock concerts – at 115 decibels – are on a par with sandblasting, measuring just 10 decibels below the threshold when actual pain begins.


So, what point was Booth trying to make?  Simply this: that we should stop ceding territory to Satan and his minions.  Music is a gift from God, so let’s seize it back for His glory.   


“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…” Ephesians 5:18-19 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President   

Dare 2B Daring – January 3, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“You must pray with all your might.  That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you.  It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God.  This kind of prayer be sure the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose.  They will pour water on this flame.” – William Booth


I must be lazy and undisciplined.  There is no other logical explanation.


Consider the following facts…


  1. As a child of God, I believe that prayer grants me immediate and unbridled access to His very throne room.
  2. As a child of God, I understand that He hears and answers my prayers, and desires to answer them in accordance with His perfect will.
  3. As a child of God, I recognize that the power of prayer is virtually limitless – moving mountains, healing the sick, etc.


So, if the above facts are true (and they are), then there is only one viable conclusion that can be drawn from the fact that I don’t pray as often or as fervently as I should.  As difficult as it is to admit, I am spiritually lazy… and I’m guessing that you are too.


Martin Luther wrote that the more he had to accomplish on a certain day, the more time he spent in prayer that morning.  Far too often, I do the exact opposite.  When I am extremely busy, it is tempting to shorten my personal prayer time with the Lord in order to start checking items off of my “to do” list.


Ironic, isn’t it?  Instead of accessing the greatest power source in the universe, I pull the plug instead!


Now you know what is going to be my #1 New Year’s resolution: P-R-A-Y longer and P-R-A-Y harder.  How about you?


“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 2, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Only familiarity with the thought of death creates true, inward freedom from material things.  The ambition, greed and love of power that we keep in our hearts, that shackle us to this life in chains of bondage, cannot in the long run deceive the man who looks death in the face.  Rather, by contemplating his end, he eventually feels purified and delivered from his baser self, from material things, and from other men, as well as from fear and hatred of his fellow men.” – Dr. Albert Schweitzer


Will I die in 2018?  I don’t know.  Actually, only God Himself knows the answer to that question.


But let me state unequivocally one thing I do know about 2018.  Whatever days – and strength – God grants me will be spent in His service.  This year, next year and every year until He returns or calls me home.  


As Albert Schweitzer put it so eloquently above, “familiarity with the thought of death” is the key to living life to its fullest in the service of the King.  In other words, once we embrace our own mortality, it is far easier to reject materialism.  


Ask yourself this question: How do I want to be remembered?  As a successful businessman who acquired great wealth, only to see it inherited by less-than-grateful heirs?  How about as a famous artist whose works fill galleries today, but are sold for discount prices at yard sales tomorrow?  


Or maybe your heart’s desire is to be a screen idol with people flocking to see your movies.  If so, there’s a pretty good chance that someday you will be the answer to the trivia question, “Whatever happened to [insert your name here]?”


It may sound a bit sappy, but I’d rather be known in the courts of heaven than in the halls of man.  How about you?


 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property – along with persecution… And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” Mark 10:29-31 (NLT)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – January 1, 2018

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“He realized once more the unsurpassed joy that came through giving one’s life in service to others.” – Ken Gire, writing about Dr. Albert Schweitzer


I just finished reading a short biography about Albert Schweitzer… and what a remarkable man he was!


An accomplished organist, renowned author and highly respected physician, Schweitzer earned doctoral degrees in medicine, philosophy and theology.  He pastored a church, taught at a seminary, and was recognized as Europe’s leading authority on Johann Sebastian Bach.  And yet, at the height of his career, Schweitzer left it all behind and answered God’s call to minister to the people of Africa.


From 1913 until his death in 1965, Schweitzer spent much of his time in Gabon, in French Equatorial Africa.  The hospital that he built in Lambarene treated thousands of patients every year, many of whom would have died had it not been for “Papa Pour Nous”, the name affectionately given to Schweitzer by the Gabonese.


Schweitzer was greatly influenced by the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose life’s motto was, “Do good for the pure love of doing good.”  Perhaps that is why the following phrase was inscribed above the door to the missionary hospital in Lambarene: “Here, at whatever hour you come, you will find light and help and human kindness.”


Albert Einstein, a contemporary of Schweitzer’s, once said of him, “Here in this sorry world is a man!”  Oh, that such a phrase would be uttered about you and me during our life and especially, at our life’s end.


“Do good for the pure love of doing good.”  Sounds like a perfect New Year’s resolution to me!


“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 29, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I observed that when a footballer is about to make a threatening strike to score a goal, there comes a big shout from spectators at the field. He could either get detracted to miss the opportunity or motivated to make it happen. Such is life!” – Israelmore Avivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes


Tapping into our son Chris’ childhood one more time…


As I did for all three of our kids, I coached Chris in soccer on several different teams.  One of them was called “the Bulldogs”, and Chris led his team to an undefeated season by scoring 35 goals.  Going into the final game of the season, Deanna and I offered to take him to “Chuck E. Cheese’s”, the indoor arcade, if he reached 30 goals for the season.  I guess Chris didn’t want to take a chance on us changing our mind, because he scored seven goals that day!


Another year, he had a teammate who was also named Chris.  However, the two of them couldn’t have been any more different.  The “other” Chris was big for his age and not very motivated.  On the contrary, “our” Chris was almost always the smallest kid on his team, but he also hustled the most.


And so, several times every game, our Chris would get the ball at the far end of the field and weave through a phalanx of opposing players until he was within shooting range of the goal.  Almost without fail, the other Chris – who hadn’t moved an inch from his position all game long – would shout, “Chris, I’m open!”


In other words, having watched our Chris do all the work, the other Chris was more than willing to shoot the ball and bask in the glory of scoring a goal.


Using this somewhat comical scenario to make a spiritual application may seem a bit far-fetched, but it makes perfect sense to me.  Simply put, we were hopelessly mired in sin with no hope of ever scoring a goal (i.e. getting into heaven).  However, seeing our plight, the Star Player weaved His way up the field, past a host of defenders, and pounded the ball into the back of the net.  Then, to our utter amazement, he went over to the Official Scorer and insisted that we be credited with the goal.


Or as they say in soccer stadiums around the world, “GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!!”


“Knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” Galatians 2:16 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President    

Dare 2B Daring – December 28, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Share and share alike.” – Ancient proverb


One year, when our son Chris was a little boy, we celebrated his birthday by hosting a party for him and his friends.  Among them was a boy named Andy, whom Chris knew very well from church.


As Chris was unwrapping his presents, every time Andy saw a gift that he liked he would say, “Chris, we share, right?”  That comical scene has given birth to a “catch phrase” that our family continues to use, kind of like an inside joke.


In my devotional readings this week, I read a passage from “Morning and Evening” by Charles Spurgeon that dealt with this same topic.  It was so meaningful to me that I felt compelled to share it with you, my brothers and sisters in Christ.


“As the Anointed Redeemer of Israel, Christ Jesus has nothing distinct from His Church, but all that He has He holds for her.  Adam’s righteousness was ours so long as he maintained it, and his sin was ours the moment that he committed it; and in the same manner, all that the Second Adam is or does, is ours as well as His, seeing that He is our representative.”


“Here is the foundation of the covenant of grace.  This gracious system of representation and substitution, this is the very groundwork of the gospel of our salvation, and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy.”


The Apostle Paul captures this same thought in 2 Corinthians 5:21.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”


John also touched on this theme in his first epistle (3:1).  “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”


It’s as if we, being sinners, saw Jesus in all His sinless perfection and glory and shouted out, “Jesus, we share, right?”  And He said “Yes!”


“And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’  The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” I Corinthians 15:45 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 27, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I finally figured out that not every crisis can be managed.  As much as we want to keep ourselves safe, we can’t protect ourselves from everything.  If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos.” – Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Breathing Room


One of my favorite TV shows is “Designated Survivor”, starring Kiefer Sutherland.  Much of the political intrigue revolves around the unplanned presidency of Tom Kirkman, who was a relatively obscure cabinet officer until a terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol killed everyone in the presidential line of succession but him.


Natascha McElhone portrays Kirkman’s wife, Alex, a high-powered Washington attorney.  Initially, she wrestles with her new duties as First Lady, but just as she seems to be making the adjustment – and shortly after being cleared in a federal investigation – Alex is killed in a car accident.


That’s right… despite riding in an armored limousine and being accompanied by well-armed Secret Service agents, Alex Kirkman is killed instantly when a truck slams into the side of her vehicle.  Whether her death was purely accidental or part of another terrorist plot remains to be seen in upcoming episodes.


Now I realize that “Designated Survivor” is simply a TV show and that the real Natascha McElhone   is alive and well.  But the point remains that life is fleeting and filled with unexpected occurrences.  Some of them are happy, pleasant and more-than-welcome.  Others, like the fate that befell Alex Kirkman, are extremely tragic.


In “The Last Star”, Rick Yancey put it this way.  “You’re never perfectly safe.  No human being on Earth ever is or ever was.  To live is to risk your life, your heart, everything.”


Perhaps Beth Nimmo summed it up best.  “There’s no safety outside of God”, she wrote.


The moral of today’s devotional?  Get right with God by trusting Jesus as your Savior… and then live your life fearlessly and courageously.


“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 26, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.” – Henry Miller


One of the biggest fears that people have is the fear of being different, of not fitting in.  It starts in childhood, grows in magnitude throughout our adolescence, and continues – sometimes unabated – for the rest of our lives.


Is there an upside to uniformity?  Sure, in some ways.  For instance, the U.S. military relies heavily on troop uniformity to be battle-ready.  And denying oneself for the greater good and a higher purpose is also a biblical principle (see Matthew 16:24).


But – and it’s a big but – the Bible also warns repeatedly about the dangers of conforming to the world.  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)


Far too often, there is little or no outward difference between believers and unbelievers.  Sadly, our childhood (and lifelong) desire to “fit in with the crowd” results in us talking like, dressing like and even acting like the unsaved world around us.


Depending on your translation, Peter calls us a “peculiar people” or “His special people”, meaning that we should stick out like a sore thumb in this dark and dying world.  In that same verse, he also refers to us as “chosen”, “royal” and “holy”.  And Jesus Himself challenges us to be “salt and light” in Matthew 5:13-16.


So the next time you feel pressure to put on some “spiritual camouflage”, ask yourself the following questions.  Will blending in help or hurt my testimony?  Will trying to fit in result in me conforming to – or transforming – the world around me?  Most of all, will my actions and attitudes glorify God… or embarrass Him?


Finally, if accused of being a true Christ-follower, will there be enough evidence to convict me? 


“Then he [Moses] said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.  For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except you go with us?  So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.’” Exodus 33:15-16 (NKJV) 


“Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” Malachi 3:18 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 25, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


Soldiers’ Christmas

By Ted L. Glines


Creeping through the silent night

Things that move are things of fright,

Sleigh bells never ringing now

Angels seldom singing now

Nothing comes to make their season bright.



Ring the bells and praise the Lord

For our soldiers’ love outpoured,

Post their names upon your tree

As they fight to keep us free.

Remember their gift forevermore.


Helicopters – guns and tanks

Moving now in guarded ranks,

Not a bit of Christmas cheer

That must wait ‘til they’re home next year,

Since their only present is your “Thanks.”


Now with many flags unfurled

Boys and girls from ‘round the world

Lift their voices – battle cry

Bound to win or bound to die

Brave young heroes all – to chaos hurled.

Here at home with Christmas cheer
In this fun time of the year

Let’s pause a bit from what we’ve planned,

Singing songs – with praises… and

Send a loving hug to soldiers dear.

“Greater love has no one but this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called your friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:13-15 (NKJV)

Dare 2B Daring – December 22, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Apart from vital godliness all religion is utterly vain; offered without a sincere heart, every form of worship is a solid sham and an impudent mockery of the majesty of heaven.” – C. H. Spurgeon


Last Saturday, Chris and I attended the PNC Father & Son Challenge, a golf tournament in Orlando.  No, we didn’t play; we simply watched some of the greatest golfers in the history of the game compete alongside their sons (or in one case, his father; and in another case, his grandson).


Chris and I stood at the first tee and watched every group tee off except for the first and the last two-man teams.  Then we followed my golf hero, Jack Nicklaus, for nine holes as he was paired with his grandson G.T.  Also in Jack’s foursome was Lee Trevino and his son, Danny…what a treat!


Even at age 77 and 78 respectively, Jack and Lee can still strike the ball with authority.  Sure, the “Golden Bear” isn’t launching any 300-yard drives these days, nor is the “Merry Mex”.  But their iron games remain strong and their chipping is nearly flawless.


But try as they might, Jack and Lee had some trouble willing the ball into the hole.  Birdie putts simply refused to drop, leaving them with a lot of tap-in pars.  Not bad, but not good enough to climb the leader board.  By the end of the two-day event, Team Trevino stood at -11 and Team Nicklaus at -10.  The tournament winners were Angel Cabrera Sr. and Angel Cabrera Jr., who shot 59 the first day and wound up at -25.


In golf, there is a saying that says, “drive for show and putt for dough”.  In other words, driving the ball long and straight is an asset, but if you want to win a tournament – and the prize money that comes with it – you’d better have a hot putter in your bag!


The same goes for spirituality.  Appearing religious from the outside gets you and me nowhere.  What God is looking for – and counting on – is a sincere heart.  One that is equal parts repentant, devoted, obedient, and on fire.


Is yours?


“But the LORD said to Samuel,’ Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, for I have refused him.  For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” I Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)     


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 21, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“If I have made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.” – Isaac Newton  


On a recent trip to the library, I picked up the first season of the BBC series Sherlock. I had heard very good recommendations of it and thought I’d watch a few episodes. I have thoroughly enjoyed the show so far. Sherlock Holmes displays his incredible talents for deductive reasoning while working alongside Dr. John Watson.


One common admonition of Sherlock’s is “observe, don’t just see and listen, don’t just hear”. We see and hear everything around us in the course of a day, but we may not always be paying close enough attention to truly account for it.


This theme is prevalent all throughout Scripture. In the book of Isaiah, the prophet writes that he spoke, but the people did not listen; they heard, but didn’t understand; they were told, but did not know.


Hearing is the precursor to acknowledgement and action. John 5:24 states, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” Revelation 3:20 reads, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”


In your life this coming week, I encourage you to observe and listen intently, especially to what God would show and say to you.


“In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” Matthew 13:14-15


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – December 20, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


"I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china." – Oscar Wilde


The above quote is attributed to Wilde during his university years when he and his roommate were known for hosting lavish parties, possibly subsidized by his father.  William Wilde was Britain’s leading eye and ear surgeon, and was knighted for his medical service.  Meanwhile, Oscar was busy decorating his dorm room with peacock feathers, lilies, sunflowers and various “objets d’art”.


The dysfunctional relationship between father and son became even more pronounced when Oscar considered converting to Catholicism and becoming a priest.  William Wilde responded by threatening to cut his son off financially.  Years later, while on his deathbed, Oscar was baptized into the Catholic faith. 


I am thankful that I had a good relationship with my dad, especially after he and I both trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior in 1977.  Over the next 25 years, he served as a quiet mentor and role model.  He was there when I needed him and non-interfering when I didn’t.


Today, with all three of our children having “flown the nest”, I am trying my best to follow my dad’s example.  Hopefully, our kids know that I will always be there for them, through thick or thin.  But I also realize that they are now adults and need to spread their respective wings.


If Deanna and I did a good job as parents, we are confident that Bethany, Matthew and Christopher will continue to live godly and productive lives.  So far, so good!


And now, much of our emphasis is on our precious grandchildren.  We desire to be a major part of their lives, and to model Jesus Christ before them each and every day.  Our earnest prayer is not only that Brady, Sadie and Levi will come to know Jesus personally, but also that they will become mighty warriors in His spiritual army.


Today’s lesson is simple.  As mature believers, we are to model Christ and pray hard for the next generation… and the one after that. 


“This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet created may praise the LORD.” Psalm 102:18 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 19, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“A visionary is one who can find his way by moonlight and see the dawn before the rest of the world.” – Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde was one of the most flamboyant and sensational personalities of the second half of the 19th century.  Raised by a father who had sired three out-of-wedlock children before him, Oscar was denied a normal upbringing.


Later, he was on the losing end of a lover’s triangle, with his childhood sweetheart choosing Bram Stroker, the author of Dracula, over him.  Although Wilde later married and fathered two children of his own, he eventually adopted a homosexual lifestyle for which he was imprisoned for two years.


After his release, Wilde fled Great Britain, never to return.  He died in abject poverty three years later, reportedly of meningitis.  Today, Wilde is best remembered for his novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, and his play, “The Importance of Being Earnest”.


There are many lessons to be learned from Wilde’s short and tumultuous life.  The first is that proper parenting is critical to one’s future health and well-being.  Conversely, improper parenting often leaves mental, emotional and even physical scars that take years to heal…if they ever do.


Second, people will naturally seek out love and acceptance.  If they do not find those necessary elements in a traditional relationship, they may be susceptible to non-traditional (and unbiblical) ones.


And yet, despite his tortured life, there is no denying Wilde’s brilliance.  He was a creative genius of the highest order.  Just imagine, if you will, how much more productive he might have been – and happier, too – if his father had been a better role model or if those closest to him during his adolescence had steered him in the right direction.


Providing positive male role models for at-risk youth is what our Living H2O Initiative is all about.  Too bad our program wasn’t around when Oscar Wilde was searching for answers.


“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 18, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The ache for home lives in all of us.  The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes


In the late-1990’s, our family was preparing to relocate.  We had lived in – and loved – a small Cape Cod in Pennsauken NJ.  Sadly, our neighborhood was beginning to deteriorate and becoming less safe and so, we started to look around at surrounding communities.


Our two main prerequisites were simple.  First, we wanted a town with a decent educational system, especially since Bethany, our oldest child, was about to enter middle school.  Second, we wanted to be closer to our home church.


With those two thoughts in mind, we took out a map of South Jersey and placed a compass point on Moorestown NJ.  That was where our home church, Moorestown Bible Church, was located.  Our home in Pennsauken was just 15-minutes away, but we wanted to be even closer to our spiritual home.


Using the compass to draw a small circle around Moorestown, we eventually settled on the adjacent town of Cinnaminson.  Yes, it had a good school system, but even more importantly it was only five minutes from our church.  Considering that we attended Moorestown Bible Church every time the doors were open – Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening – the move made perfect sense.  Plus, our prison ministry’s offices were also located at MBC, so I was there six days a week... sometimes more.


Fast forward to 2017.  Deanna and I had decided to sell our house in Vero Beach because all three of our kids had moved out and we no longer needed a 3-bedroom house.  We also wanted to eliminate much of the debt we had incurred from medical bills and student loans.  And so, guess what we did?  Yep, we started looking at houses closer to our new home church, Cornerstone Baptist Fellowship in Sebastian.


God soon led us to a beautiful modular home in a 55 & over community.  Because we don’t own the actual property, the purchase price of our new house was much lower than the selling price of our home in Vero.  That allowed us to pay off all of our debt except for a manageable mortgage.  But best of all, our new home is just five minutes away from Cornerstone!


To me, home isn’t where you “hang your hat”.  It’s where you “hang your soul”!


“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young – even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.  Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You.” Psalm 84:3-4 (NKJV)

Dare 2B Daring – December 15, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“If Moses had operated through committees, the Israelites never would have gotten across the Red Sea.” – William Booth


Many years ago, I attended a church that was collapsing under the weight of its own infrastructure.  Instead of focusing on evangelizing the lost and ministering to the needy, the church members were bogged down by attending committee meeting after committee meeting.


The physical plant, including the sanctuary and church grounds, was in tip-top shape, but the spiritual condition of the congregation was stagnating.  Simply put, there wasn’t enough time and energy to do everything.


One day, I took the senior pastor aside and gave him a piece of unsolicited advice.  “If I were you, I would shut down every committee in the church for one year and replace them all with a single committee.  I’d call it the ‘People are dying and going to hell, what are we doing about it’ committee.”


“After a year,” I continued, “the committees that were truly necessary would re-emerge.  Good riddance to the others.”  


He laughed, sighed and shrugged his shoulders.  I knew he agreed with me, but I also knew that most of the committees had become so entrenched that they had taken on a life of their own.  As a result, the pastor felt powerless to do anything about them. 


Scripture clearly teaches that the Body of Christ has many different members – all with different spiritual gifts – and that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors (see I Corinthians 12 and Proverbs 11:14).  However, too many “cooks in the broth” can result in inaction due to a “paralysis of analysis”.


Better to seek God’s face, seek godly counsel and then act decisively.


“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV)


“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 14, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of a men walking.  First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again – until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.” – William Booth


Our Sunday School class has been studying the Book of James for the past couple of months.  Because we are taking our time, dissecting and discussing each verse, we are still in Chapter 2.


Martin Luther wasn’t a fan of James’ epistle, referring to it as “the gospel of straw”.  I think Luther, having been liberated from the false doctrine of salvation by grace through faith plus works, had a natural aversion towards anything that approximated it.  However, the point that James attempts to make over and over in his letter is that works, although not an ingredient in the salvation process, should be a natural by-product of it.


“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’  Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”


Faith comes first and then works.  Which, as Booth stated above, brings about more faith, which leads to more works, which… well, you get the idea.


Booth put his faith into practice when he launched the Salvation Army in 1865.  His first priority was to win converts to Christianity by introducing people to the gospel message.  But he also realized that spiritual needs are often intertwined with – and even overshadowed by – pressing physical ones.  And so, Booth started ministering to the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the destitute in the name of Jesus.


Today, the Salvation Army is better known for its philanthropic work than for the proclamation of the gospel.  But Booth’s original model of ministering simultaneously to spiritual and physical needs was straight out of the Book of James… as well as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  In other words, Jesus modeled the same ministry style.  


Where Jesus left off, William Booth picked up.  How about you and me?


“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled’, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” James 2:15-16 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 13, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” – James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room


One of my favorite Christmas songs is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”.  It was written by lyricist Kim Gannon and composer Walter Kent to honor American soldiers serving overseas during World War II.  Bing Crosby recorded the song for Decca in 1943 and it became a top-10 hit, as well as an instant holiday classic.


In the song, an anonymous soldier asks his family to prepare for his homecoming with “snow, mistletoe and presents under the tree”.  Sadly, at the end, he admits that a Christmas celebration at home may only take place in his dreams… this year, anyway.


“Home” is a common theme in both song and literature.  “Home Is Where The Heart Is”, a 2008 recording by Lady Antebellum, captured this concept with the following lyrics…


I felt like I was spinning my wheels, before too long the road was calling;

I packed everything I owned, so sure that I was leaving this small town life behind for good.

And not a single tear was falling, it took leaving for me to understand;

Sometimes your dreams just aren’t want life has planned.


Mama said home is where the heart is,

When I left that town, I made it all the way to West Virginia.

And that’s where my heart found exactly where I’m supposed to be;

It didn’t take much time.


Thomas Wolfe famously said that, “You can’t go home again.”  At least that was the title of his final book, published posthumously from a collection of his works by his editor, Edward Aswell.  But can you… go home again, that is?


I think you can, because like James Baldwin said so eloquently at the top of this devotional, home isn’t a location – it’s a condition.  It’s a physical, spiritual and emotional place where, simply put, you belong.


Here on earth, home is wherever your loved ones are gathered.  And once life ends, home is called heaven… at least by believers.  Make sure that you spend this Christmas in the former and eternity in the latter.   


“So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.  For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 12, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin


Safety – like fame, fortune and life itself – is fleeting.  One minute you’re feeling safe and secure in your house, and the next you are the victim of a break-in.  Same goes for your car and a crash, or your investments and a crash of a different sort.


No, there is really only one completely safe and secure place in this world and it is being in the center of God’s will for your life.  Here is how Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers”, put it…


“The doctrine of God’s Word is, that all who are in union with the Lamb are safe.”


Now, does that mean that no hurt or harm will enter into the life or cross the path of a true believer?  Not at all.  It simply means that every trial we face and every tribulation we endure has three things in common. 


First, like the ordeals that Job encountered, these temporary “bumps in the road” are subject to God’s approval and permission.  He knows what is best for us and more importantly, what is required to conform us into the image of His Son.


Second, God promises to be with us in the midst of life’s storms.  The Holy Spirit indwells us and Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us.  That indisputable fact – and that comforting promise – provide us with a “peace that passes all understanding”.


Third, life’s tempests are short-lived.  They may seem unbearable (and unending) now, but in the light of eternity they are a mere blink of an eye.  And compared to the glories of heaven – the absence of pain, sorrow, crying and death; not to mention being in the very presence of God Himself – well, they simply don’t compare.


In Spurgeon’s words, “Sustained by such a doctrine, we can enjoy security even here on earth.  Not that high and glorious security which renders us free from every slip, but that holy security which arises from the sure promise of Jesus that none who believe in Him shall ever perish, but shall be with Him where He is.”


Unlike the soon-to-be bankrupt Social Security System, you can take God’s promises to the bank!


“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 11, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Keeping silent about evil plants the seeds to rise up a thousand-fold in the next generation.” – Aleksandr Soltzhenitsyn, the Gulag Archipelago


Dollar weed.  It was Deanna’s personal nemesis at our previous home in Vero Beach. 


Perhaps because she grew up in the country, Deanna has always taken great pride in how our house looks from the outside.  That means nice landscaping and a lush lawn as free as possible of weeds.


In New Jersey, she would spend time spreading weed killer throughout the yard and pulling up dandelions by the root.  After all, if you don’t remove the entire root system, dandelions grow back with a vengeance… and bring some of their friends with them!


Dollar weed is even worse.  It spreads like wildfire and even fertilizer designed to eradicate this nuisance has spotty results.  What frustrated Deanna even further was when she would have that demon weed “on the run” only to have it make an unexpected comeback thanks to our next-door neighbors neglecting their lawn.


Evil works the same way.  If it is allowed to grow unchecked, it will soon take over the entire “lawn”, choking out the good “grass” in the process.


Edmund Burke famously put it this way.  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”


Don’t let evil prosper.  Not on your watch.  Instead, do everything in your power to eradicate it.  Future generations are depending on you.


That means fighting to put an end to abortion, sex trafficking and other abominations.  It also means standing up for what is right, such as the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded.


Go out and pull up some dandelions today!


“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 8, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“God loves with a great love the man whose heart is bursting with a passion for the impossible.” – William Booth


This week, I have chosen to use – and elaborate on – four different quotes by William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army.  Although each quote is somewhat distinct, they have a common premise: see a need and trust God to use you to meet it.


Yes, God warns us to count the cost first (see Luke 14:28-30), but that cost-counting is not to prevent us from boldly following Him into the unknown.  In fact, the preceding two verses address the cost – to one’s life and one’s family – of following Jesus and yet, the call to be His disciples still goes forth loudly, clearly, and unapologetically.  


I guess you could say that Jesus simply wants us to “look before we leap”… and then to go ahead and leap anyway!


Since Deanna didn’t grow up around a pool, I taught all three of our kids to swim.  Part of those lessons was convincing Bethany, Matthew and Christopher to trust me enough to jump into the water, fully believing that I would catch them.  And you know what, I did… every time!


What are you trusting God for these days?  Something ordinary or something so daring and spectacular that only He can bring it to pass?


According to William Booth, God delights in using simple people to accomplish great things for His glory.  All He requires is a mustard seed of F-A-I-T-H.


I suppose that is why I chose Hebrews 11:6 as our Risk Takers theme verse.  “For without faith, it is impossible to please Him.”  The rest of the verse goes on to say, “for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”


Do you want to please God?  Do you want Him to reward you?  Then guess what?  You must exercise faith and diligently seek Him.  And when you do, He promises to do the seemingly impossible.


“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – December 7, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I am not waiting for a move of God.  I am a move of God!” – William Booth


As a young boy, I remember reading a short story about a character who was so convinced that he was a man of great destiny that he passed up opportunity after opportunity to do something of consequence because he was waiting for something even more momentous to occur.  Years – and then decades – went by, but still he waited.  Finally, on his deathbed, he realized that he had squandered his entire life waiting for an event that never happened and a breakthrough that never came.


Kind of reminds me of Linus Van Pelt, the little boy with the ever-present blanket in the Peanuts comic strip.  Linus is absolutely convinced that there is a Great Pumpkin.  Every year at Hallowen, according to Linus, the Great Pumpkin travels the world looking for the most sincere pumpkin patch.  And so, there he sits, alone in his pumpkin patch, while all of his friends are out collecting bags of free candy.


Of course, there is no such thing as the Great Pumpkin (spoiler alert!)  Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister who has a crush on Linus, discovers that the hard way when she passes up trick-or-treating to keep Linus company in his pumpkin patch.


Life – and ministry – are divided into two groups: participants and spectators.  You can sit passively along the side of the road waiting for the next trolley car to pass by or you can start walking towards your eventual destination.  I loathe the former and embrace the latter.


I guess I am cut from the same cloth as my dad.  He was self-employed and a real go-getter, but also a very impatient man.  Ironically, he used to lecture my siblings and me on the importance of being patient.  “Patience is a virtue… learn it”, he would often say.


But to me, there is a difference between patience and complacency, or even laziness.  God has given me an entrepreneurial spirit, one that causes me to imagine how things should be and then to start making them a reality.  Sure, I have had more than my share of false starts and false steps, but at least I haven’t spent my life sitting idly on the sidelines.


Don’t get me wrong.  Waiting on the Lord is a scriptural principle (see Psalm 37:7 and Isaiah 40:31).  However, God also detests slothfulness (see Proverbs 12:24 and Matthew 25:26).  Know the difference… and then get moving!


“How long will you slumber, O sluggard?  When will you rise from your sleep?” Proverbs 6:9 (NKJV) 


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – December 6, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“If you want to change the future, then you are going to have to trouble the present.” – William Booth


What are the two most dangerous words in the English language?  Give up? 


Status Quo.


Webster’s defines the term “status quo” as “the existing state of affairs”.  Synonyms include “complacency”, “stagnation”, “entrenched” and “intransient”.  Antonyms include “change”, “progress”, “innovation” and “growth”.


As dangerous as the status quo is to a person’s career and relationships, it is even more dangerous to one’s spiritual growth and development.  For instance, if a Christian is merely content with his or her “fire insurance”, they will enter heaven’s gates empty-handed.  No crowns and no rewards.  And between now and then, they will drink nothing but spiritual milk when, in fact, they should be dining on the solid meat of the Word.


However, if that same person were to read the Bible daily, pray without ceasing, and attend church faithfully, there is a better than average chance that they would start growing by leaps and bounds.  Their spiritual infancy would soon be in the rearview mirror as they were conformed more and more to the image of Christ Himself.


Not all change is good and not all status quo is bad.  But all living organisms need to grow, even when doing so creates some discomfort.  Remember your adolescent years, when you were a gawky and gangly teenager?  That was a necessary phase for you to transition from childhood to adulthood.


There’s nothing sadder – and more tragic – than a long-time Christian who should be a mature believer, but who insists on remaining a babe in Christ.


“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – December 5, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight.  While little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight.  While men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight.  While there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight.  I’ll fight to the very end!” – William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army


Deanna and I received an email yesterday that began with the words, “Welcome to your retirement home.”  Boy, did they ever get that wrong!


First, I am “only” 58, so I can’t collect full Social Security benefits for another nine years… and Deanna is much younger than me.  Second, even after 30 years in ministry – 23 of them full-time –

I don’t have a pension and never will, so retirement is not an option.  Third, true ministers never officially retire anyway. 


As long as I have breath in my lungs and life in my body, I will continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to anyone who will listen.  I will also do my best to serve others, especially those in need, by being the hands and feet of Jesus.


How about you?  Are you tempted to put your life on “spiritual autopilot” and coast through your Golden Years?  I hope not!  After all, those years belong to God, not to you or me.


My desire is to minister as long as my health holds up… and even after it begins to fail.  For now, I am still healthy enough to minister to prisoners and at-risk youth by competing on the basketball court or the softball field.  But when I can no longer run around the bases or up and down the court, I still plan to go into correctional institutions every chance I get.  I will simply use my knowledge of the sports I love playing to coach instead.  And yes, I will continue to preach in prison and on the outside.


Like the Apostle Paul, I desperately want to finish well.  That means hitting the spiritual accelerator instead of the brake.


“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – December 4, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)

 “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This weekend, I watched School Ties. Brendan Fraser played the main role of David Greene, a top quarterback from a small high school in Pennsylvania. Greene receives a scholarship to St. Matthew’s Preparatory Academy and accepts it with promise of attending Harvard the following year. It is the hopes of all that Greene will help the school defeat its rival and win a championship.

While Greene fits in immediately with his classmates and teammates, he quickly faces ridicule when a secret of his is revealed. Though he tried to conceal it, Greene’s Jewish heritage is made known.

Amazingly, all those he once called his closest friends turn on him with unfettered prejudice and bigotry. His newfound love, Sally, even separates herself from him.

Greene is forced to embrace who he is and overcome severe hatred. Eventually, he earns the acceptance of some as they see him for the honest, principled young man he is.

As I watched this film, I was reminded of the passage in I Corinthians 12. Here, Paul discusses the many parts of one body in Christ. Verse 13 states, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”.

Paul makes it quite clear that in Christ there is no ethnic, cultural, or social distinction. Today, it can be rather easy to divide people into classes, and to stereotype them by those classes. Our attitudes and feelings may change as a result. Yet, we know that Christ sees no difference and favors no man, and nor should we.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3:28

-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – December 1, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“All the great men of God have been so simple, just like little children.  Isaiah and Paul from the Word of God, John Bunyan, William Carey, Handley Moule, Hudson Taylor, D.L. Moody, Adoniram Judson, to mention just a few; but these men with brilliant minds were basically as simple as little children in their walk with God.  A man may be a saint without having many of the qualities which the world today rates very highly, but he will never be a saint without simplicity of soul, a simplicity that is in Christ.  It was this that burned in the heart of Martin Luther in the days of the Reformation when he said, ‘Let us get through to God.  Give us a basic, dynamic, personal simplicity of faith in Jesus Christ.’” – Alan Redpath, “Blessings Out of Buffetings”


Different day, different quote, same message.  Make that, same simple message.


I have some dear friends whom I have known for about 45 years.  They are successful in their respective fields, but lack true contentment and a quietness of spirit.  As a result, there is a certain sadness and frustration to their lives.


My ongoing advice to them is to “get off of the hamster wheel”.  In other words, to stop chasing the American Dream – a bigger home, a newer car, a more luxurious vacation, and deeper savings – and start chasing Christ.  Focus of the people you love instead of the career you are learning to hate.


Most importantly, ask yourself the question that I try to ask – and answer – myself each and every day: “What will matter 10,000 years from now?”  The answer is your relationship with God and how many people – precious, eternal souls – you have led to personal faith in Him.


Hear the words of Chuck Swindoll…


“The message of Christianity is quickly becoming a system of enlightened thinking instead of a simple call to turn from sin and pursue a relationship with God.  The desire for greater theological knowledge (as good as that is) has supplanted the simple call to know Him intimately… in the power of His resurrection and in sharing His sufferings.”


Stop complicating the gospel and stop complicating your life.  Simple is better!


“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become like little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 (NKJV)  


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 30, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Thirty days hath September, April, June and November…” - Anonymous


Thirty days.  Times 12.  Times 79.9.  That’s how many days the average male in the United States has to live.


How are you spending your days?  And how many of them are now gone… forever?


David Cassidy, a 1970’s teen heartthrob whose career – and personal life – fell apart after the Partridge Family left the air, died last week of organ failure.  According to his daughter Katie, his last words were, “So much wasted time.”


Over the past week, Deanna and I have been staying in our 21-foot trailer awaiting settlement on our new house in Sebastian.  Whenever we camp, I switch devotional books for a change of pace.  And so, instead of reading “Morning and Evening” by Charles Spurgeon every day, I have been enjoying excerpts from “So, You Want to Be Like Christ?” by Chuck Swindoll.


The answer to Swindoll’s somewhat rhetorical question is a resounding, “YES!”  I dearly and desperately want to be more like Jesus.  In order to develop that kind of intimacy with God, Swindoll recommends eliminating as many unnecessary distractions as possible and simplifying one’s life.


John Piper wrote an entire book on this subject called, “Don’t Waste Your Life”.  I highly recommend it and the basic premise of investing in spiritual matters instead of material ones. 


Our move to a 55 & over community in Sebastian is a major step in that direction.  By eliminating our debt except for a manageable mortgage and lot fee, Deanna and I will be able to devote more of our time and energy to ministry instead of figuring out ways to pay bills.  No more robbing Peter in order to pay Paul.  We are determined to live within our limited means and pay cash as much as possible from here on.


For years, I have told others that ministry is all about people.  The people you minister to, the people you minister with, and the people who provide the resources that allow you to minister.  As long as those folks who believe in Risk Takers continue to give generously to our ministry to prisoners and at-risk youth, we will focus even more of our attention on reaching the lost… behind bars and on the streets.


I think David Cassidy would approve.


“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

Dare 2B Daring – November 29, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Do not pursue what is illusory.  All that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and is confiscated in the fell of night.  Live with the steady superiority over life.  Don’t be afraid of misfortune.  Do not yearn after happiness.  It is, after all, all the same.  The bitter doesn’t last forever.  And the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.  It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold.  And if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides, if your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk and your arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom… whom should you envy?” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


I challenge you to reread Solzhenitsyn’s words above.  They are hauntingly profound, written by a man who spent eight years in a Soviet labor camp for alleged crimes “against the state”.  After his release, he was banished for life to a small village in Kazakhstan, where his undiagnosed and untreated cancer almost claimed his life.


Unbowed, Solzhenitsyn penned some of his greatest works while in exile: “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” in 1962; “Cancer Ward” in 1968; and his magnum opus, “The Gulag Archipelago” in 1973.


Solzhenitsyn was eventually expelled from the Soviet Union altogether and stripped of his citizenship.  For 20 years, he lived in exile in West Germany and the United States.  Finally, after the fall of the Soviet Union, his citizenship was restored and he was allowed to return to his homeland where he lived in a small dacha in west Moscow.  Solzhenitsyn died there of heart failure on August 3, 2008 at the age of 89.  


Ponder this question if you will…


Who had a more profound – and beneficial – influence on the world during the 20th century: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who lived in near poverty for much of his life, or some unnamed multi-millionaire who wasted his life accumulating houses, cars, boats, wives and other assorted shows of wealth?


Yep, I think so, too.


“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” I Timothy 6:6-8 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 28, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify.  Simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau


Last week, we sold our home in Vero Beach.  We had lived in it for more than six years and loved every minute of it.  However, with all three children now living on their own, we simply didn’t need a house with three bedrooms.  The other thing we didn’t need was mounting debt.


One of the downsides to being in full-time ministry, especially parachurch ministry, is the uncertain paychecks that come with it.  As a result, it is very easy to accumulate debt.  When unexpected medical bills arise, such as Deanna’s two melanoma surgeries, we are forced to put it on a credit card.  Add that to our truck loan (we only own one vehicle), two student loans, and a home mortgage, and you can see where debt can escalate quickly.


And so, we decided to make a life-changing decision.  Simply put, we decided to drastically down-size and live within our limited means.  Taking the equity from our house in Vero, we paid off our truck, our trailer, two credit cards and the student loans. 


Our new house is a modular home in a beautiful 55 & over community.  It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full-size kitchen, an office and a large storage shed.  The community offers an outdoor pool, a huge lake and many other amenities.  But because we will only own the house and not the property, our new mortgage is very manageable even when combined with the lot fee.


I have watched far too many people spend half of their lives accumulating things – often times by borrowing to the hilt – and the other half maintaining those same things.  Deanna and I are determined not to be like that.  We prefer living simply, paying cash whenever possible, and enjoying people and experiences… not material goods. 


Between selling our house in Vero and settling on our new home in Sebastian, all of our worldly possessions were placed in two small storage units and our daughter’s garage.  Shaking her head, Deanna said, “We need to start practicing what we preach.”  In other words, my bride of 32 years wants to downsize even more… and I agree!


The simple life truly is the best life!


“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President   

Dare 2B Daring – November 27, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.” – Kazuo Ishiguro


As I entered my senior year in high school, I had my entire life already mapped out… or so I thought.  I was going to graduate near the top of my class, enroll as a political science major at Rutgers University, and eventually attend law school.  Once I had passed the bar exam, I would set out on a political career.


However, a chance conversation with my favorite uncle when I was 17 changed that scenario completely.  “You know, Dale,” he said, “you can major in sports administration these days.”


Within a matter of months, I found myself at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, the only college at that time with an undergrad program in Sports Administration.  After two years at St. John’s, I transferred to Temple University in Philadelphia, graduating with a B.S. in Community Recreation.


Following a prolonged period of unemployment, I worked briefly for Liberty Travel as an agent, before serving for 11 years as the recreation director at a Christian retirement community.  It was there that I learned how to supervise staff and volunteers, manage a budget, write direct mail fundraising letters, and organize multi-day trips… skills that would come in extremely handy when I started my first prison ministry in 1987.


Since 1994, I have been in full-time ministry, mostly serving prisoners and at-risk youth.  I have also conducted numerous men’s conferences and revival meetings as well as preached in countless churches throughout the eastern United States.


Yes, I have also run for public office several times, winning two GOP primaries but never a general election.  However, by the time I campaigned in my late 40’s and early 50’s, it was for the right reasons – to serve God by serving others – and not to feed my once over-sized ego.


It’s strange how God uses seemingly insignificant events like my uncle’s off-hand comment to completely change the path of a person’s life.  Would I have been a successful lawyer?  Possibly.  Would I have earned a much larger income as an attorney?  Absolutely!


But God had other plans for my life and I am eternally grateful for that.  Because of Him, I have had the opportunity to minister to hundreds of thousands of people in three countries on two continents.  So what if I’m not rich and famous.  My health is good, and my quiver (one wife, three children and three grandchildren) is full.  Most importantly, my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.


“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 24, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I’ve found that prayer works best when you have big players.” – Knute Rockne


The response to yesterday’s football quotes was so positive that I thought I’d share a few more of them for your amusement and edification.  Enjoy!


“I asked Darrell Royal, the coach of the Texas Longhorns, why he didn’t recruit me.  He said, ‘Well, Walt, we took a long look at you, and you weren’t any good.” – Walt Garrison, Oklahoma State


“We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking.” – John McKay, USC


“Son, you’ve got a good engine, but your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.” – Bobby Bowden, West Virginia & Florida State


“Football is NOT a contact sport, it is a collision sport.  Dancing IS a contact sport.” – Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State


“If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education.” – Murray Warmath, Minnesota


“We live one day at a time and scratch where it itches.” – Darrell Royal, Texas


Ohio State’s Urban Meyer on one of his players: “He doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘fear’.  In fact, I just saw his grades and he doesn’t know the meaning of a lot of words.”


After USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame, John McKay’s post-game message to his team was simple and to the point: “All those who need showers, take them.”


“And such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.” I Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 23, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“A witty saying proves nothing.” – Voltaire


Thanksgiving in America is generally associated with the four “F’s”: faith, family, food and football.  Hopefully, there is also adequate time given to thank God for a fifth “F” – the religious and political freedoms that we enjoy in this country.


And so, as you gather around the table and gorge yourself on turkey, mashed and/or sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and of course, pumpkin pie, here are a few football-related quotes from college players and coaches to get you ready for the big game.  Some of them are funny, and some of them are profound.


“At Georgia Southern, we don’t cheat.  That costs money, and we don’t have any.” – Erik Russell, Georgia Southern


“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.” – Lou Holtz, Arkansas & Notre Dame


“When you win, nothing hurts.” – Joe Namath, Alabama


“There’s nothing that cleanses the soul like getting the heck kicked out of you.” – Woody Hayes, Ohio State


“I don’t expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation.  I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation.” – Bob Devaney, Nebraska


“In Alabama, an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in Bear Bryant.” – Wally Butts, Georgia


“I never graduated from Iowa.  But I was only there for two terms – Truman’s and Eisenhower’s.” – Alex Karras, Iowa


“My advice to defensive players is to take the shortest route to the ball, and arrive in a bad humor.” – Bowden Wyatt, Tennessee


“I could have been a Rhodes Scholar except for my grades.” – Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State


“Always remember that Goliath was a 40-point favorite over David.” – Shug Jordan, Auburn


“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him.” I Samuel 17:50a (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 22, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” – John Wooden


I have had the privilege of preaching hundreds – perhaps thousands – of messages over the past three decades.  Some in churches and some in prisons.


Many times, the messages are fresh, meaning that I have never preached them before.  But there are a handful of sermons that I have preached more than once.  In fact, a few of them I have shared a dozen times or more.


“Get Out of the Boat” (Matthew 14); “Give Me This Mountain” (Joshua 14); and “If I Perish, I Perish” (Esther 4) are three of my absolute favorites.  So is “Here Am I!  Send Me” (Isaiah 6).


Last week, Pastor Dave McMurray preached three messages on Isaiah 1-6 as part of our three-day Bible conference.  And guess what?  Even though I have studied – and preached from – that passage numerous times, I learned something new.  Actually, not just something new, but a lot new!


That is one of the countless beauties of the Bible.  You and I can read and meditate on a familiar portion of scripture and all of a sudden, a fresh truth pops into our mind and drops into our lap.  In fact, mining God’s Word for previously hidden revelations is a lifelong process.


So, the next time you read Exodus 20, Psalm 23, John 3, or Matthew 5-7, ask God to show you something for the very first time.  I can assure you that no matter how many times you have read those chapters, there is more to them than meets the spiritual eye at first – or fourteenth or four hundredth – glance.


“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)


“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President


Dare 2B Daring – November 21, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher.” – Mr. Miyagi


The above quote is from the movie, “The Karate Kid”.  It infers that if a student fails to learn a particular lesson, it is the teacher’s fault… plain and simple.


Well, I’m not so sure about that!


Last week, three pastors – two Baptists and one Presbyterian – taught a series of lessons from the major and minor prophets at our three-day Bible conference.  Combined, they brought more than 100 years of ministry experience to their messages.


As I listened to Pastor Tom Cox teach on Jonah, dividing that four-chapter book into three separate but well-connected lessons – I was amazed at the depth of his insights.  Then, as Pastor Bill taught on Hosea, Habakkuk and Haggai, I was transfixed by his depth of knowledge.  Finally, as Pastor Dave preached from Isaiah 1-6, I was blown away by the depth of his passion.


It was evident from the beginning of the conference to its very end, that these three choice servants of God had put countless hours of preparation – and prayer – into their presentations.  


Long story short, if I didn’t get something out of their respective messages, the fault was mine, not theirs.  Fortunately, I got A LOT out of each of them and have already started to apply some of the lessons I learned.


The next time you sit in a Sunday School class, attend a church service, or participate in a Bible study… ask God to give you a teachable heart.  Just as importantly, ask Him to help you apply those valuable lessons before they go in one ear and out the other.


“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 11:15 (NKJV)


“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 20, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Nothing does more to activate Christian divisions than talk about Christian unity.” – Conor Cruise O’Brien


Last week, Risk Takers for Christ was privileged to host a three-day Bible conference in Sebastian FL.  It was held at Cornerstone Baptist Fellowship and billed as “Three Days of Teaching & Three Nights of Preaching”.


The speakers at our morning sessions were Rev. Tom Cox and Dr. Bill Waltz.  Pastor Tom is a Presbyterian pastor and Pastor Bill is a Baptist pastor.  Together, they taught on the subject, “Major Lessons from the Minor Prophets”.  Tom gave a three-part message on Jonah while Bill honed in on the “3-H Club” – Hosea, Habakkuk, and Haggai.


Rev. Dave McMurray was our featured speaker each evening, preaching from the book of Isaiah with a special emphasis on chapter six.  To say that his messages were powerful would be the understatement of the century. 


Tying it all together was Kenny Munds, an award-winning country and gospel music vocalist.  Kenny’s soaring vocals, expert guitar-playing, and comedic talents ministered to everyone in attendance.


For four nights, Tom, Bill and Kenny shared our home while Dave and his wife Carm stayed at a local hotel.  We ate every meal together and ministered seemingly around-the-clock.  Yet, despite being sleep-deprived and a cold bug going around, there wasn’t a single harsh word spoken or a single disagreement among us.


When God’s Spirit is moving – and human egos and personal agendas are put in check – the combined ministry is more powerful… and the ensuing fellowship is much sweeter… than anything this side of heaven.


“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President    

Dare 2B Daring – November 17, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”  - Socrates


The headline read “$3.70 price stickers ends with arrest”.  The news story itself was even stranger.


It appears that a 25-year old woman went shopping at a Walmart in Ft. Pierce FL.  So far, so good, right?  Nothing illegal with that.


Well, before filling her shopping cart with more than $1,800 worth of electronic goods, she allegedly covered the bar codes on each item with stickers removed from merchandise in the clearance department.  That made the total cost of her shopping trip – which included a computer, video game controllers and other electronic gadgets – a miniscule $3.70.  Quite the bargain, huh?


Despite trying to slip through the self-checkout lane, the woman was quickly apprehended by store security and arrested by a sheriff’s deputy.  She now faces charges of felony grand theft and felony shoplifting, and is being held at the Indian River County Jail on $3,000 bail.


What stood out the most to me about the entire episode was the rationale the woman gave for committing her crime.  “I am just trying to get gifts for my son that I cannot afford,” she said.  “The computer is for my husband.  Since he just got me a Coach purse, I figured he deserved something nice, as well.”


I wonder if she realized how twisted her logic sounded?  Instead of buying her husband and son much smaller gifts that she could afford – or saving up to purchase the computer and video game controllers at a later date – she allowed her greed and sense of entitlement to get the best of her.  Now, instead of celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas at home with her loved ones, she most likely will be spending those holidays alone in a 6’ by 9’ cell.


But that is what happens when materialism becomes our idol and immediate self-gratification becomes our god.  


“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.” Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 


Dare 2B Daring – November 16, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“We sinned for no reason but an incomprehensible lack of love, and He saved us for no reason but an incomprehensible excess of love.” – Peter Kreeft


This week, Risk Takers held a series of teaching and preaching events, focusing on the role of the minor prophets and the holiness of God. It was our honor to host Pastor Tom Cox, Pastor Bill Waltz, and Pastor Dave McMurray. While Pastor Cox and Pastor Waltz taught each of three mornings, Pastor McMurray was charged with sharing the Word of God at night. In one of his messages, Pastor McMurray referred to a well-known story, the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus Himself.


The point most commonly emphasized from this passage is that of service and humility. The washing of feet was an expected favor of a host to a guest, delegated to the lowliest of servants. And yet, as it says in John 13:4, “Jesus got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist.”


However, this week, I was taught another incredibly significant point. When Jesus reached Peter, He was quickly told by Peter that He was not to wash his feet. Jesus responded, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” With enthusiasm, Peter said “Then, Lord, not just my feet, but my hands and my head as well.”


I think we can understand Peter’s excitement. If being washed by Jesus unites us to Him, we would want to be washed completely. But Peter did not understand something very important. As Jesus would explain, “a person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean.” Just two chapters later, John 15:3-4 states, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you.”


As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been washed by His blood. Our bodies are clean. Still, our feet get dirty. We have been justified, but continue to battle our fleshly desires. So, while we can in no way lose our salvation, we must repeatedly return to the cross and confess our sins to Jesus. Our feet must be washed daily by our Lord and Savior. 


“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director


Dare 2B Daring – November 15, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” – Marcus Aurelius


The other night, I watched a movie adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo. It stars Jim Caviezel as Edmond Dantes and Guy Pearce as Fernand Mondego. In the story, Edmond is falsely accused of high treason by his best friend, Fernand. As a member of the elite, Fernand was driven mad with envy by the loss of a love interest to Edmond, a sailor.


Fernand is quickly taken to the Chateau d’If, where he spends more than a decade in horrendous conditions. While imprisoned, Edmond meets the Abbe Faria, a soldier and priest. From him, Edmond is trained in math, science, language, and combat. The Abbe Faria also reveals to Edmond the location of a vast treasure on the island of Monte Cristo.


When the priest dies, Edmond uses his body bag to escape. He then begins to enact his plan of revenge, which had been formulated over many long nights in prison. After acquiring the treasure, Edmond becomes the Count of Monte Cristo. With his new-found wealth and status, Edmond is able to learn the daily movements of those who wrongly accused him. Eventually, he has J.F. Villefort, the corrupt deputy crown prosecutor who condemned him without trial, arrested and taken away to prison. Moreover, Edmond is reunited with his love and kills Fernand in a duel.


While all seemed to go well for Edmond, we are warned against seeking revenge. In fact, we are encouraged to do quite the opposite. Romans 12:17-21 states, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”


We are encouraged to love others when they have done us wrong. It is the sole right of God to repay. We are to be patient, slow to anger, peaceable, and merciful.


“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18 ESV


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – November 14, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“You can safely appeal to the United Nations in the comfortable certainty that it will let you down.” – Conor Cruise O’Brien


The summer between my junior and senior years in high school, I was selected by a local organization to be a student delegate to the United Nations.  For several days, we were shown the inner workings of that body and given a behind-the-scenes tour of the building.


As you can imagine, visiting the U.N. – and New York City, for that matter – was a big deal for a kid from a town with just 3,500 people.  But my favorite memory of that trip had nothing to do with the U.N. itself.  Instead, it occurred one evening when I decided to take a stroll outside our hotel to “see the sights”.


After walking for a few blocks, I came upon an upscale hotel with a sign advertising that it was one of the host sites for the Democratic National Convention.  The actual convention where Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia was to be nominated was being held at Madison Square Garden, but many of the delegates were staying at this particular hotel.


Realizing that I was still wearing my official-looking U.N. student badge, I decided to push my luck.  And so, I climbed the stairs to the hotel, entered through the revolving doors, and walked briskly and confidently into the lobby.  Yep, as if I was someone important who had every right to be there.


I soon noticed that the first room on my right was bustling with activity.  Figuring I had made it this far without being detected, I entered the room and quickly took a seat.  It was a relatively small room where a private reception was being held for some rather important people.  Among the 25 or so V.I.P.’s were Miss Lillian (Gov. Carter’s mother), Sen. Ted Kennedy… and me.


Can you imagine, with today’s much tighter security, a brash high school student bluffing his way to within a few feet of the soon-to-be president’s mom and JFK’s younger brother?   Yeah, me neither – but it really happened!


That surreal scenario reminds me of a place no one will be able to bluff their way into.  It’s called heaven, and it is reserved for the blood-bought saints of God.  If you try to enter the pearly gates based on your own merit or flashing your own credentials, you will be denied access.  However, if you have reservations and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you will be ushered in like a V.I.P.


“But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:27 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 13, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone's hand is the beginning of a journey.  At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.” – Vera Nazarian


So, did you ride the wave of Charles Spurgeon’s writings through the weekend, experiencing God’s calming peace and presence as a result?  I sure hope so, because I did.


But wait… there’s more!


Because as the “Prince of Preachers” reminds us in his commentary on Isaiah 49:16, God refuses to forsake His people – no matter what.  After all, as He states emphatically, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”


Here’s how Spurgeon “unwraps” that precious verse…


“No doubt a part of the wonder which is concentrated in the word ‘Behold’, is excited by the unbelieving lamentation of the preceding sentence.  Zion said, ‘The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God hath forgotten me.’”


“How amazed the divine mind seems to be at this wicked unbelief!  What can be more astounding than the unfounded doubts and fears of God’s favored people?  The Lord’s loving word of rebuke should make us blush; He cries, ‘How can I have forgotten thee, when I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands?  How darest thou doubt my constant remembrance, when the memorial is set upon my very flesh?”   


“O unbelief, how strange a marvel thou art!  We know not which most to wonder at, the faithfulness of God or the unbelief of His people.  He keeps His promise a thousand times, and yet the next trial makes us doubt Him.”


“I have graven thee.  It does not say ‘Thy name’.  The name is there, but that is not all: I have graven thee.  See the fulness of this!  I have graven thy person, thine image, thy case, thy circumstances, thy sins, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, thy wants, thy works; I have graven thee, everything about thee, all that concerns thee; I have put thee altogether there.  Wilt thou ever say again that thy God hath forsaken thee when He has graven thee upon His own palm?”


That verse – and Spurgeon’s timeless commentary – reminds me of a reoccurring prison incident.  I’ll enter a vast recreation yard with hundreds of prisoners milling around and almost without fail, an inmate will come up to me, extend his hand and say, “Hey Dale, remember me?”


If I’m fortunate, the man is wearing a prison-issued uniform that bears his name and ID number, in which case I can respond accordingly.  However, if not, I am forced to fess up and admit that – having encountered more than 500,000 inmates over the past 30 years – I simply don’t recall every face, let alone every name.




“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – November 10, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“It is well for us that, amidst all the variableness of life, there is One whom change cannot affect; One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows.  All things else have changed – all things are changing.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon


At the end of the day – or in this case, the week – it is sometimes good to sit quietly and reflect.  On life… on God… on eternity…


No one helps me more in that critical spiritual exercise than Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers”.  And so, rather than offer you more of my words, I prefer to offer you some of his.


“There is One who only hath immortality, of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change.  The delight which the mariner feels, when, after having been tossed about for many a day, he steps again upon the solid shore, is the satisfaction of a Christian when, amidst all the changes of this troublous life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth – ‘I am the Lord, I change not.’”


“The stability which the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a hold-fast, is like that which the Christian’s hope affords him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth.  With God “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”.  Whatever His attributes were of old, they are now; His power, His wisdom, His justice, His truth, are alike unchanged.  He has ever been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in the day of trouble, and He is their sure helper still.”


“He is unchanged in His love.  He has loved His people with ‘an everlasting love’; He loves them now as much as ever He did, and when all earthly things shall have melted in the last conflagration, His love will still wear the dew of its youth.  Precious is the assurance that He changes not!”


Feel better, calmer and more at peace?  I sure do!  You know why?  Because "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8 


“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’  And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 


Dare 2B Daring – November 9, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater, looking for a brightly-lit front porch.” – Robert Brault


Piggy-backing on yesterday’s devotional, the second application of Robert Brault’s statement concerns the front porch light that forever beckons.  All of us long to be welcomed and appreciated, to be warmly accepted wherever we go.  We long for a safe haven, one that promises more than a bag of sugar-laden goodies. 


For believers, that safe haven on earth is the church.  Ultimately, it is heaven… and the older I get, the more I long to be there.


But in the meantime, my desire and my avowed goal is to “leave the light on” for others, just like Tom Bodett and Motel Six.  I want to provide a shelter from life’s storms for my fellow travelers who need a place to rest and recuperate.  Better yet, I want to point them to the true Light of the world, the One who illuminates hearts and souls for all eternity.


How about you?  In what ways are you – and your church – being a “brightly-lit front porch”? 


“You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 8, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater, looking for a brightly-lit front porch.” – Robert Brault


There are two different ways to interpret Robert Brault’s statement and both of them have a valuable spiritual application.  So rather than try to squeeze them both into a single devotional, I plan to address one today and one tomorrow.


The first application involves the eternal child that lives within each of us.  I don’t know about you, but I still have many of the same feelings, likes and dislikes that I did as a young boy.  I still love sports – both playing and watching – and I still enjoy reading about U.S. history.  Camping with my family remains a favorite activity and “wetting a hook” continues to be a great source of relaxation.


However, when I look in the mirror – or when I try to keep up with players 40 years younger than me on the basketball court – reality hits home in a hurry.  What I am, my reflection and my arthritic knees tell me, is a middle-aged man with rapidly graying hair who is just two years away from celebrating his 60th birthday.


But that doesn’t mean that I need to start acting my age!  On the contrary, I remain forever young as far as my attitude and my optimism are concerned.  Yes, at age 58, I still have tons of energy and lots of gas left in my tank.  Believe it or not, I am convinced that my best years lie ahead of me.


Better yet, after 40 years as a Christian, my faith remains childlike.  I believe God’s Word in its entirety, and trust Him to answer my prayers and keep His promises.  After all, He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20


Conversely, what should be naturally “aging” is my spiritual maturity.  The writer of Hebrews chastised believers who were long-time followers of Jesus, but still spiritual infants.  “By this time, you ought to be teachers”, he wrote.  Instead, these immature Christians required spiritual milk because they couldn’t stomach the meat of the Word.  How sad…


Paul echoes this same teaching in I Corinthians 13:11.  “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”


The morale of the story – and the goal of this devotional – is for us to remain as energetic and optimistic as a child, while seeking to become as wise and spiritually mature as a “seasoned citizen”. 


That’s no trick… it’s a treat!


“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2 (NKJV)

Dare 2B Daring – November 7, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


"Much of modern Christian enterprise is 'Ishmael.' Born not of God, but of an inordinate desire to do God's will in our own way - the one thing our Lord never did." – Oswald Chambers


As a pastor friend of mine is fond of saying, there is a difference between a good idea and a “God idea”.  One is born of human intellect, reasoning or desire whereas the other is born of the Spirit.  Likewise, a good idea may succeed, but a God idea is guaranteed to do so.


Starting an athletic prison ministry was definitely a God idea.  God gave me the vision in 1982 and carefully cultivated it in my spirit until it became as natural as breathing.  I simply had to do it.


And so, when I took a Christian softball team into a prison for the first time on June 6, 1987, I knew what the ultimate outcome was going to be.  Because God had given me the burden, I also knew that God would bless my obedience… and did He ever!


By the time I left the Saints Prison Ministry in 2011, that one softball team had spawned five others in four different states.  We had also branched out into other sports such as basketball, soccer and women’s volleyball.  And in addition to our international headquarters in New Jersey, we had established branch offices in Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.


Conversely, the aftercare program that we started in the early 2000’s may have been a “good idea”, but not necessarily a God one.  For four years, our subsidiary, Lives in Transition, ministered to 200 ex-offenders.  By providing food, clothing, housing, transportation, vocational training, job placement, addiction counseling and spiritual mentoring, we were able to post a 5% recidivism rate.  That means that only 10 of our 200 clients were re-arrested for new crimes or minor parole violations. 


Compare that to the national average of 75% and yes, you could say that launching L.I.T. was a good idea, maybe even a great one.  But was it a God idea?  Since our aftercare program only lasted four years before we ran out of funding, who is to say?  Maybe God wanted us to begin L.I.T. and only operate it for a short season, I don’t know.  All I know is that we kept a lot of men from falling through society’s cracks and returning to prison.


How about you?  Are you pursuing a good idea or a God one?  There is nothing wrong with having a good idea and implementing it properly.  But when God gives you one of His ideas, look out!  I can tell you from personal experience that the sky is the limit.


“For with God, nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 6, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Whatever I do, I love to win.  I don’t care if it’s tennis or ping pong, I’ll kill myself to win it.” – Andy Pettitte


On our ministry’s website, there is a tab at the top of our home page that reads, “Testimonials”.  If you click on that tab, you will be treated to several letters of recommendations from pastors, other ministry leaders and even a governor and former presidential candidate, all of whom I have gotten to know during my three decades of prison ministry.


One of the testimonials includes the following words…


“Dale is a go-getter and quite competitive.  He likes to do his best and see others do the same.  His vision and drive resulted in the formation of the Saints Prison Ministry more than 25 years ago.”


“Go-getter”, yes.  “Quite competitive”, you betcha.  “Likes to do his best”, absolutely.  “Vision and drive”, I guess so.


Looking back, I can see how God has used those personality traits to accomplish a lot for His kingdom.  However, sometimes my competitive nature has gotten the best of me.  And to my shame, my drive has occasionally turned into “over-drive”, leaving considerable damage in its wake.


Finally, at the ripe old age of 58, I think I’m starting to mellow.  “Starting to”, I said, not “mastered”.  You see, there are still times when my desire to win becomes an all-consuming fire that burns me… and scorches those around me.


Thankfully, most of my friends, relatives and co-laborers for Christ “take the good with the bad”.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied with the status quo.  On the contrary, I am working hard to make the “bad Dale” a thing of the past.


“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President      

Dare 2B Daring – November 3, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“He’s the most mentally tough person I’ve ever played with.” – Derek Jeter, speaking about Mariano Rivera


He is almost universally acknowledged as the greatest reliever in Major League history.  Appearing in 1,115 games and tossing a total of 1,283 innings, “Mo” Rivera struck out 1,173 batters on his way to recording 652 saves.  His 2.21 Earned Run Average was impressive, but his post-season ERA of 0.70 was even more mind-boggling.


And yet, amidst all of his regular season and post-season successes, Rivera hit more than a few speed bumps during his Hall of Fame caliber career.  Mo made a critical throwing error in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series on what appeared to be a tailor-made double-play ball.  Two batters later, Luis Gonzalez blooped a single over a drawn-in infield, and the Arizona Diamondbacks – not the New York Yankees – were World Champions.


Three years later, Rivera blew saves in Games 4 and 5 of the American League Championship Series, allowing the arch-rival Boston Red Sox to come back from a three-games-to-none deficit and win the pennant.


Most players would have carried those defeats over to the following season, potentially derailing or even ending their baseball career.  But not Mo.  He learned from his mistakes and put them behind him.  At the end of his storybook 19-year career, Rivera was as dominant as ever.  In 2013, his final season, he posted a 2.11 ERA with 44 saves and was named Comeback Player of the Year.


Altogether, Rivera was a 13-time All Star, won five World Championships, and was named the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year in the AL five times.  Not bad for a skinny kid from Puerto Caimito, Panama.


Today, Mo is a pastor in his native Panama and heads up the philanthropic Mariano Rivera Foundation.  His wore his favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13, on his glove throughout his career.


“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 2, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“It’ll keep you alive for another 10 years if you get yourself a laugh once a day; either provoke it, or look around at the wildest laboratory in the world, the public.” – Jerry Lewis


It was April 2014 and we were traveling from Kakamega to Nairobi in Western Kenya.  By “we”, I mean our six-man ministry team that consisted of two pastors, two body builders, a high-ranking prison official, and yours truly.


For the past 10 days, we had been ministering in correctional institutions throughout Western Kenya, including the Naivasha Main Prison, one of only two maximum-security facilities in Africa.  Now we were on our way back to our starting point, Nairobi, for a final meeting with a prominent cabinet officer and a tour of Kenya’s most famous animal preserve.


Punch-drunk from a week and a half of nonstop ministry compounded by too little sleep, my co-laborers and I spent the 12-hour van trip telling stories and laughing until our sides hurt.  In fact, I don’t remember laughing that hard before or since.  We literally had tears running down our collective faces.


As I look back on that memorable trip – and look forward to a possible return visit in 2018 – one of my fondest recollections is of that tortuous ride on bumpy, dirt roads in a van without air-conditioning.  The only thing that made the trip bearable – actually enjoyable – was the laughter that filled our van from start to finish.


If Jerry Lewis’ quote is true, that long van ride probably added 10 or 20 years to my lifespan!


“A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – November 1, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” – Martin Luther


Yesterday was the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.  It all began when a Catholic monk, priest and theology professor named Martin Luther – convinced that salvation was by grace through faith alone – wrote and then nailed 95 theses on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany.


Luther paid dearly for his alleged heresy, being excommunicated by Pope Leo X and declared an outlaw by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.  But his courage and fortitude, not to mention his clear understanding of Scripture, gave birth to the Lutheran Church and all subsequent Protestant denominations.


As much as George Washington was the Father of our Country, Martin Luther was the Father of our Faith.  Luther’s translation of the Bible into German made God’s Word accessible to the common people for the very first time.  He also wrote hundreds of sacred hymns, the best known of which was “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”. 


In Luther’s honor, I’d like to share a few of his more famous quotes…


“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”


“Pray, and let God worry.”


“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”


“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.”


“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”


“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”


“Every man must do two things; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”


“The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.”


“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 31, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Growing up, I kind of liked the way Thurman Munson played.  I didn’t see much of him, but I remember him being a leader.  I remember him really standing up for his teammates, and that really caught my eye.” – Jorge Posada, former Yankees catcher


I didn’t start following Major League Baseball until 1969, when I was nine years old.  From the very beginning, I was a diehard New York Yankees fan, mostly because my paternal grandfather was one, too.


Although the Yankees had won 29 American League pennants and 20 World Championships before 1969, that season they were not that good.  Their 80-81 record landed them in fifth place in the six-team AL East, 28.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.  One of the few bright spots was Thurman Munson making his MLB debut on August 8th


The next year, led by Munson’s .302 batting average, the “Bronx Bombers” rebounded to win 93 games against just 69 losses.  That was good enough for second place, still 15 games behind the Orioles, and Munson was named the AL Rookie of the Year.


Three consecutive fourth place finishes followed in 1971, 1972 and 1973.  But Munson continued to hone his craft, becoming a great clutch hitter and a fine defensive catcher.  In 1976, he led the Yanks to the postseason for the first time in 13 years.  Although they were swept by the Reds in the World Series, Munson was named the AL Most Valuable Player.  That season, one of Munson’s best, he hit .302 with 17 HR’s and 105 RBI’s.  The stocky catcher even stole 14 bases and only struck out 38 times.


The Yankees won back to back championships in 1977 and 1978, with Munson batting .308 and .297 respectively… and then he was gone.  On August 2, 1979, while practicing “touch and go” landings at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport in Ohio, Munson shorted the runway and clipped a tree.  His Cessna Citation then hit a stump and burst into flames.  His two passengers escaped with burns, but Munson – his neck broken – was asphyxiated by the smoke and fumes.


There are many lessons we can learn from the life and death of the first Yankees captain since Lou Gehrig.  First, if you work hard enough, you can achieve almost anything.  Through sheer determination, Munson transformed himself into a Gold Glove catcher and a perennial All-Star.


Second, you never know when the Lord is going to call you home.  So, trust Jesus Christ as your Savior today and live each day as if it is your last – because one day, it will be.


“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 (ESV) 

Dare 2B Daring – October 30, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Flexibility is the greatest strength.” – Steven Redhead, Life Is Simply A Game


On October 21st, our Risk Takers basketball team traveled to Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell. Although we arrived at 7:45 AM for an 8:45 AM game, we were not processed and allowed into the gym until well after 9:00 AM. Apparently, the appropriate paperwork had not been delivered to the corresponding officers and as a result, we were forced to wait.


Following this delay, we were able to play the first game and deliver the Gospel without further issues. However, we experienced similar problems in the afternoon. Having left to grab a quick lunch, we returned to the prison at 1:00 PM, as scheduled. Yet, upon arriving, we were told we would not be able to go back in until 2:00 PM. So, we went outside and waited for an hour. While we still had the opportunity to share with the inmates, this delay kept us from playing much of the second half.


This was frustrating for me, as I love to play basketball and dislike not finishing games. During these times, I am often reminded by my dad of a quote from Chaplain Larry Lilly. He always states, “The key to prison ministry is flexibility.” After Saturday’s episode, I cannot think of a more trustworthy saying.


We may not always understand the way in which events occur, but we are still to be faithful and trust God’s sovereignty. Our responsibility is to obey the Lord’s calling through exemplifying the love of Christ and carrying out His will.


“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:16-18 ESV


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – October 26, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I have a loyalty that runs in my bloodstream, when I lock into someone or something, you can’t get me away from it because I commit that thoroughly.  That’s in friendship, that’s a deal, that’s a commitment.  Don’t give me paper – I can get the same lawyer who drew it up to break it.  But if you shake my hand, that’s for life.” – Jerry Lewis


Loyalty.  It’s a precious commodity.  To me, there are very few things these days that are more important… or more lacking. 


When Arnold Palmer burst onto the scene as America’s top golfer – and most marketable one, too – it was important for him to find someone to represent his business interests.  Enter Mark McCormick, the founder of IMG (International Management Group). 


McCormick was an Army vet and an attorney, having graduated from Yale Law School.  In the 1950’s, he helped organize various golfing exhibitions across the country, enabling pros on the nascent PGA Tour to earn a few extra dollars. 


In 1960, McCormick decided to become a professional sports agent and he signed Arnie as his first client.  I say “signed”, but in actuality there was no contract.  For the next 43 years, until his death in 2003, McCormick represented Arnie on the basis of a gentleman’s agreement, sealed with a simple handshake.   


Other star athletes were so impressed with McCormick’s work on Arnie’s behalf that they soon joined his stable of clients.  Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Fran Tarkenton, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, Derek Jeter, Charles Barkley and even model Kate Moss followed Arnie’s lead.  So did Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Pope John Paul II.


I don’t know about you, but I long for the days when a man’s word was his bond and a handshake, given in earnest, was more binding than a written contract.  I grew up in an age of athletes playing for one team for their entire career, and husbands and wives taking their marriage vows seriously.


“New and improved” isn’t always so…


“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’  For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – October 25, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Adrenaline is wonderful.  It covers pain.  It covers dementia.  It covers everything.” – Jerry Lewis


I have often said that my greatest strength and my greatest weakness are one and the same: my passion.


Even as a child, I never saw the sense in doing something halfway.  And so, I sought to be the absolute best at whatever I did.  It wasn’t enough to be an honor student; I wanted to get straight A’s.  And if you beat me on the athletic field, kudos to you because it sure wasn’t due to lack of effort on my part.


I guess that passion for excellence has carried over to my preaching.  Not that I’m comparing myself to some of the great preachers of our generation or anyone else, for that matter.  After all, I lack a seminary degree and have had a slight lisp since childhood.  But every time I step into the pulpit, I give it my very best… and that means preaching with lots and lots of energy.


It isn’t something that I have to fabricate or build up to either.  Nor is it a case of me putting on a show.  To be quite honest, I am a bit of an introvert and hate to be the center of attention. 


But here is the secret to my being so passionate when I preach: God’s Word is absolute T-R-U-T-H.


Every time I open the Bible, the Holy Spirit within me lets me know that what I am reading – and what I am preaching – is 100% accurate.  God breathed each and every word of Scripture (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17) and yes, I mean every word!


Handling the Word of God and teaching it to others is extremely humbling.  It is also an incredible honor as well as a heavy responsibility that I take very, very seriously.


In this day and age, when the entire world seemingly has gone mad, I find it comforting and reassuring to cling to the Bible.  Not only does it contain absolute truth, it IS absolute truth!


So, please forgive me for getting a little revved up the next time you hear me preach… which I hope will be soon.


“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 24, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“God didn’t make me handsome, but He gave me something I always felt: funny bones.” – Jerry Lewis


A few weeks ago, our family was looking for something to watch on TV.  Despite having several hundred cable channels to choose from, we couldn’t find a single show worth watching.  And so, we clicked the “On Demand” button and went hunting for an old movie.


The one that I selected was “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”, starring Don Knotts.  It was filmed in 1966 at the height of Knotts’ fame from the Andy Griffith Show.  In the movie, Knotts’ character “Luther Heggs” dresses and acts similarly to Mayberry’s loveable and laughable Deputy Barney Fife.


But you know what?  The type-casting worked perfectly, and both Deanna and Chris enjoyed the movie along with me.


Don Knotts and Jerry Lewis, another comedic genius, understood that God has given each of us different talents and abilities.  Recognizing that not everybody resembles George Clooney or Angelina Jolie, Knotts and Lewis made successful careers out of acting silly and making people laugh.  So did Tim Conway, best known for playing Ensign Parker on McHale’s Navy and serving as Harvey Korman’s sidekick on the Carol Burnett Show.  Conway also co-starred with Knotts in the “Apple Dumpling Gang” movie series.   


Scripture clearly states that each and every believer in Jesus Christ, in addition to our innate talents, is given at least one spiritual gift at the time of our conversion.  Among mine are administration, evangelism and encouragement/exhortation. 


How do I know?  I’ve asked God to reveal them to me and have sought the wise counsel of others.  And yes, I have even taken a couple of spiritual gift tests.  Perhaps most importantly, I have observed what I like doing and what I excel at (and what I dislike and am terrible at, too!)


Maybe Jerry Lewis put it best.  “I get paid for what most kids get punished for,” he once said.  Now there’s a man who knew who he was… and who he wasn’t. 


“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” I Corinthians 12:7 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President


Dare 2B Daring – October 23, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master.  He told me to go slow to go fast.  I think that applies to everything in life.  We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day, but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.” – Viggo Mortensen


Want to hit a golf ball farther than ever before?  Try swinging the club more smoothly instead of more quickly.


Most teaching professionals will tell you that the key to 300-yard drives isn’t the “grip it and rip it” approach popularized by John Daly.  On the contrary, they generally advocate the smooth, slow backswing and accelerated downswing of Sam Snead or Fred Couples.  Yes, clubhead speed is important, but clean, solid contact is far more critical if you want to post a low score.


After all, what good does it do if you can drive a golf ball a country mile, but you wind up in knee-deep rough every time?  And how many winners of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship have ever come in first in an actual PGA Tour event?  The answer is zero.


Yep, I’ll take a 250-yard drive down the middle every time!


The same truth applies to our lives as believers.  The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint.  As such, it requires discipline and endurance – and the spiritual maturity that comes with both.


How many times have you seen someone make a profession of faith and start out “on fire” for Jesus Christ, only to “flame out” when the inevitable trials of life occur?  Now, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be passionate about our faith!  On the contrary, it simply means that we should take time to lay a solid foundation, to ground ourselves in the Word, and to put down deep spiritual roots.


There are no short cuts to spiritual maturity, so S-L-O-W down and enjoy the ride.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are the most effective saints of God.


“Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.  But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.” Matthew 13:5-6 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – October 20, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I’m a fool to want you…” – Frank Sinatra


To the best of my knowledge, Frank Sinatra was only credited with writing one song, “I’m A Fool To Want You.”  Jack Wolf and Joel Herron co-wrote the music, and Frank penned the lyrics.


Sinatra first recorded an Axel Stordahl arrangement of the song in New York on March 27, 1951, backed by the Ray Charles Singers.  After its release by Capitol Records, it spent seven weeks on Billboard’s pop singles chart, peaking at #14.


Six years later, Frank entered the studio with Gordon Jenkins to record, “I’m A Fool To Want You”  for a second time, this time in stereo.  Known as “One-Take Charlie” throughout his movie career for insisting on only filming each scene once, Frank was a perfectionist in the studio.  He would record and re-record a song over and over again until it was just right.


However, on May 1, 1957, Frank entered the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood and – without so much as removing his hat – sang through the entire song from start to finish.  Then he left, too overcome with emotion to continue.


The reason for his emotional reaction?  His marriage to actress Ava Gardner was on the rocks.  Ironically, his 1951 recording of the song took place in the midst of Frank’s notorious affair with Ava.


As much as I admire Sinatra’s enormous talent, he was a fool in his personal life.  He cheated on his first wife Nancy, divorced her, and then experienced two more failed marriages, multiple affairs, and two broken engagements.  What a mess!


By comparison, the Apostle Paul also referred to himself as a “fool”, but for a much different reason.  An extremely well-educated Pharisee, he “threw it all away” when He encountered the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus.  From that point on, he ceased being a prominent member of the Jewish ruling class.  Instead, he suffered a lifetime of hardships – from beatings and stonings to shipwrecks and imprisonment.


But, oh what heavenly rewards awaited Paul when he passed from this life into the next.  The Roman Emperor Nero may have ordered his execution, but Paul had the last laugh… and the crowns to prove it!


“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ!  We are weak, but you are strong!  You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!” I Corinthians 4:10 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 19, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention…” – Frank Sinatra, My Way, written by Paul Anka


If you are a father, it is the most convicting and heart-wrenching song ever recorded.  Harry Chapin and his wife Sandy co-wrote it, and it was released in 1974 as part of his “Verities and Balderdash” album.


Here are the timeless, punch-in-the gut lyrics…


My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say, I'm gonna be like you, dad
You know I'm gonna be like you


And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you coming home, dad?
I don't know when
But we'll get together then
You know we'll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw, I said, not today
I got a lot to do, he said, that's okay
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed
Said, I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him



Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
Son, I'm proud of you
Can you sit for a while?
He shook his head, and he said with a smile
What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later
Can I have them please?



I've long since retired and my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, I'd like to see you if you don't mind
He said, I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad
It's been sure nice talking to you
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me




As the father of three adult children, I couldn’t be more proud of the way they have turned out.  I credit the Lord and my wife, Deanna, for most of that.  I can’t begin to over-emphasize the importance of raising your children in the church and having a stay-at-home mom.

But despite the demands of my ministry, I can honestly say that I was present for virtually every important occasion in our kids’ lives.  I coached them in baseball, basketball, softball and soccer… cheered their concerts and school plays… taught them to swim, fish and ride a bike… and took them on lots of family camping vacations.  Most importantly, I had the privilege of leading all three of them to saving faith in Christ at the tender age of four.


Did I have my share of failures as a dad?  Absolutely… I still do!  But I was determined that one of them wasn’t going to be the lack of quality AND quantity time together.


PLEASE fathers, spend time with your kids.  Let them know that they are more important to you than your job and your career.  Show them by example that God comes first, followed by family.  Love your wife, the mother of your children.


And at least once a year, listen to Harry Chapin’s song and shed a few tears of regret.  Then get up, vow to do better, and keep that promise.


“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 18, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  


The headline screamed in bold-face type, “Florida’s Tom Petty, down-to-earth rock superstar, dies at 66.”


The ensuing article went on to describe in great detail Petty’s life and career, as well as the circumstances surrounding his death.  Apparently, Petty suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California and never regained consciousness.  He was pronounced dead at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles the following day after having been removed from life support.


I didn’t listen to Petty’s music or follow his career, but he and his band, “The Heartbreakers”, recorded many rock classics including “Free Fallin’”, “Refugee”, and “American Girl”.  They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.


Petty also toured with the supergroup, “the Traveling Wilburys”, which included fellow music icons George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.


What I found especially poignant – and more than a little tragic – about Petty’s obituary was the statement he made last year before embarking on a 40th anniversary tour.


“I’m thinking it may be the last trip around the country,” Petty told Rolling Stone magazine.  “We’re all on the backside of our 60’s.  I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can.  I don’t want to spend my life on the road.  This tour will take me away for four months.  With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”


Sadly, Petty’s granddaughter will grow up without him.  Not that he could have prevented his heart attack, but the lesson is clear: if there is something you want to do in life, do it now.  Today is not promised, let alone tomorrow.    


So, take that cruise.  Visit that exotic location.  Write that book.  Follow that dream.  And most of all, hug and hold close that loved one.


“…you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away?” James 4:14 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 17, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.” – Rodney Dangerfield


In a few weeks, barring any unforeseen obstacles, I will be moving into a new place. After searching for a year and jumping through various hoops, it will be nice to finally complete the home-buying process. While my condo is modest, I am thrilled to call it my own. Though moving can be a tiresome and difficult task, it is also a time of change and new opportunities.


When I consider my upcoming move, I am reminded of one much grander that all believers will experience. In speaking to the disciples, Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”


Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”


This address by Jesus was given in order to comfort His disciples. They had just been told one of them would betray Jesus and that Peter would deny Him as well. To encourage them, Jesus reminds the disciples of a promise. He wants them to believe in Him, understand who He is, and remember the place that awaits them in heaven.


I am very excited to move into my new place, but none of its features or amenities can compare to what Jesus is currently building for me. Accomplish the Lord’s work while on earth and look forward to your glorious move when He calls you home.


“And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43 ESV


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – October 16, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“If you want to be more productive, then start at the start: get there on time. Whether it is a meeting, a flight, an appointment or a date, it's important to ensure you are there when you say you will be there. This may feel like an old-fashioned tip to give, but it has served me well for five decades in business.” – Richard Branson


My dad was a salesman extraordinaire.  Some would say that he could sell an icebox to an Eskimo.  But he used his sales acumen to put a roof over our head and food on the table for a family of eight.


Sometimes that meant working more than one job.  My dad sold cemetery monuments, caskets, and bronze plaques and memorials.  His customers were funeral directors and families that had recently lost a loved one.  He also sold pens and other promotional items as well as religious jewelry. 


I did not inherit my dad’s talent for sales, nor did any of my five siblings.  However, I will always remember one important sales lesson that he taught us… actually two.


“A good salesman always has a pen in his pocket,” he would say anytime I asked to borrow one.  But the more important lesson was this: “If you’re on time, you’re late.”


In other words, my dad impressed upon me the importance of respecting other people’s time – and making the best use of mine – by showing up early for appointments.


Truth be told, as I scan the newspaper and watch our world seemingly spin out of control on TV, I wonder whether the Lord Jesus Christ is late for His divine appointment called the Rapture.  I long for Him to return and take His bride, the church, to meet Him in the sky.


But the reason why He hasn’t returned yet is explained clearly and succinctly by Peter in the following verse…


“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  


And so, I will continue to wait patiently… and to witness boldly while I wait!


“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.”  I Corinthians 15:51-52a (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 13, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I think the thing I miss most in our age is our manners. It sounds so old-fashioned in a way. But even bad people had good manners in the old days, and manners hold a community together, and manners hold a family together; in a way, they hold the world together.” – Nancy Friday


As a youngster, I grew up reading the newspaper.  Back then, the afternoon edition arrived on our front steps anytime between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM.


First, I would devour the sports page, and then the comics.  As I matured, I started reading the news stories on Page 1 and the editorials, too.  However, low on my list of priorities were the advice columns written by Abigail “Dear Abby” Van Buren and her sister (and rival) Ann Landers.


However, one long-forgotten column I think we all could benefit from is the one written for many years by Emily Post, who was recognized as America’s leading expert on what constituted proper manners.


Here is an excerpt from her online biography…


Emily Post was an American writer and socialite who became the nation’s most famous authority on how to behave graciously in society and business. Early in her career she wrote society columns and travelogues of pre-World War I Europe. Post published her first novel in 1904 and had a bestselling non-fiction book in 1909, but it was her 1922 book, Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage (also Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home) that made her career. The success of the book led to a radio show and a syndicated newspaper column, and in 1946 she founded the Emily Post Institute for the Study of Gracious Living. By the time Post died in 1960, her book on etiquette had been revised many times and was in its 89th printing. The institute and the brand name continued after her death, directed first by Elizabeth Lindley Post, then by Peggy Grayson Post.


In this day and age, when political commentators insult and interrupt each other continuously, and civil discourse on social media is at an all-time low, maybe we should all pick up a copy of “Etiquette” and read it from cover to cover.


“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – October 12, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but black and white films still hold an affectionate place in my heart; they have an incomparable mystique and mood.” – Ginger Rogers


If I were to list all of the things I love about my church, it would spill over into tomorrow’s devotional message… and maybe even the next day’s.  But at the top of the list would be a strong devotion to God’s Word and an emphasis on applying it by serving others.


I also enjoy the music, which ministers to me every week and further energizes me to preach.  Although we sing a fair number of choruses, much of the music is found in one of the two hymnals that we use.  To me, there is nothing like the great hymns of the faith.


I am convinced that the hymnwriters labored over each and every word and note they wrote.  And I especially like the fact that each stanza differs from the previous one, building on its truth and laying a foundation for the next one.


Two of the hymns we sang recently so ministered to my spirit that I circled some of the words on my bulletin and want to share them with you today.


What Grace Is Mine


So I will go wherever He is calling me

I lose my life to find my life in Him

I give my all to gain the hope that never dies

I bow my heart take up my cross and follow Him


Find Us Faithful


O may all who come behind us find us faithful;

May the fire of our devotion light the way.

May the footprints that we leave behind them to believe,

And the lives we live inspire them to obey.

O may all who come behind us find us faithful.


“Is anyone among you suffering?  Let him pray.  Is anyone cheerful?  Let him sing psalms.” James 5:13 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 11, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“All the strength supplied to us by our gracious God is meant for service, not for wantonness or boasting.” – C. H. Spurgeon


As I mentioned before, I try to read one of Charles Spurgeon’s devotional messages every day.  Aside from the Bible itself, his “Morning and Evening” has blessed and challenged me more than any other book.


Here is an excerpt from the “Prince of Preachers”…


“When the prophet Elijah found the cake baked on the coals, and the cruse of water placed at his head, as he lay under the juniper tree, he was no gentleman to be gratified with dainty fare that he might stretch himself at his ease; far otherwise, he was commissioned to go forty days and forty nights in the strength of it, journeying towards Horeb, the mount of God.  When the Master invited the disciples to “Come and dine” with Him, after the feast was concluded He said to Peter, “Feed My sheep;” further adding “Follow Me.”  Even thus it is with us; we eat the bread of heaven, that we may expend our strength in the Master’s service.”


“Some Christians are for living on Christ, but are not so anxious to live for Christ.  Earth should be a preparation for heaven; and heaven is the place where saints feast most and work most.  They sit down at the table of our Lord, and they serve Him day and night in His temple.  They eat of heavenly food and render perfect service.  Believer, in the strength you daily gain from Christ labor for Him.”


“Even so the Lord feeds and refreshes our souls that we may afterwards use our renewed strength in the promotion of His glory.”


Not much more I can – or should – add to those profound words.


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President


Dare 2B Daring – October 10, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse.” – John Derek


On September 27th, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed from this life into the next.  Pause for a moment and allow the weight of those words to sink in.


After 91 years of living the “high life”, Hefner now must face his Creator and give an answer for the way in which he spent those nine decades here on earth.  If he never once trusted Jesus Christ as Savior – which from his lifestyle I would guess he didn’t – then he will spend eternity separated from not only his Playboy mansion, but also the God who loved him and gave His Son to die for him.


How tragic!


When Hefner founded his Playboy empire, starting with his iconic magazine in 1953, he probably thought that he was going to live forever.  He was just 27 years old and seemingly had the world by the tail.  But I’m sure he would say now that those intervening years passed like a blur.


As for John Derek, he failed to achieve his life’s goal, which was to die young and leave a good-looking corpse.  Sure, he lived “fast”, but he more than paid the price in his personal life.


Derek was married four times and divorced thrice.  He walked out on his first wife and family in order to marry 19-year old Ursula Andress.  Ironically, Andress left him eight years later for a French actor.


Enter wife #3, actress Linda Evans, whom Derek married in 1968.  This marriage also ended in divorce after five years when Derek had an affair with a 16-year old co-star named Mary Cathleen Collins, later known as Bo Derek.


John Derek had two children by his first wife.  His son Russell was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 1969, and his daughter Sean wrote an unflattering memoir about their dysfunctional relationship.


So much for life in the fast lane.


“If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” I Corinthians 15:32 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – October 9, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I’ve learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” – Michelle Obama


There are so many things wrong with Mrs. Obama’s quote – as well as her general approach to life that it reveals – that I don’t know where to start.  I guess at the beginning…


In Exodus 20:3, God tells the Jews through Moses that they are not to have any other gods before Him.  In the very next verse, He forbids them to make graven images or idols for them to worship.


In Mrs. Obama’s case, she seems to have broken the first two commandments rather unwittingly.


Her first mistake is following her own moral compass.  Scripture is very clear that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9)  In other words, by choosing to follow her own heart – and her own moral compass – Mrs. Obama is setting herself up for failure. 


Sadly, she is “lost in the woods” and doesn’t know it.


Even more tragically, she is making an idol of herself.  By saying that she only needs to live up to her own expectations, Mrs. Obama is equating herself with God.  He is the One who sets standards for righteous living, not us.


Since none of us meet God’s standards, He sent His Son to fulfill the 10 Commandments and the rest of the Law for us.  Jesus then died a sacrificial death in our place, experiencing the full wrath of God for the sins of the human race.  Those of us who trust Christ as Savior have our sins forgiven and His righteousness imparted unto us.


I pray that God will open Mrs. Obama’s spiritual eyes and reveal Himself to her in a supernatural way.


“Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.” Acts 9:18 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – October 6, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes


As our “Speed Week’ of devotional messages based on our fast-paced lives in this fast-paced world comes to an end, I thought I would share a few great quotes that I ran out of time – and room – to use.  Each one of them spoke to me in a different way. 


Some challenged me, some encouraged me, some made me laugh and some made me shake my head in disbelief.  Guess which were which (see below)…


“Light thinks it travels faster than anything, but it is wrong.  No matter how fast light travels, it finds that darkness has always gotten there first, and is waiting for it.” – Terry Pratchett


“Move fast and break things.  Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” – Mark Zuckerberg


“Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, it’s cheap and it tastes good.  But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu.” – Eric Schlosser


“You don’t burn out from going too fast.  You burn out from going too slow and getting bored.” – Cliff Burton


“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” – Wyatt Earp


“My style is to stay on the offensive: to take risks, to recover very fast when you make a mistake, but to keep moving forward.” – Newt Gingerich


“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light.  Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fear.” – Cesare Pavese


For the record, the first quote made me think, the second one made me cringe, and the third one made me nod my guilty head.  I agree – and disagree – with the fourth one, concur with the fifth, and absolutely love the last two.


How about you?


“Martha, Martha, you are worried about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 5, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Life goes by fast.  Enjoy it.  Calm down.  It’s all funny.  Next.  Everyone gets so upset about the wrong things.” – Joan Rivers


One of the things I liked best about Joan Rivers was her ability to poke fun at herself.  Known for her dozens of plastic surgeries, Joan once recorded a TV commercial in which she asked the viewer, “Am I smiling?  I can’t tell.” as she felt her face in a mock panic.


One of the best pieces of advice I ever read was from Chuck Swindoll.  “Take life seriously,” Chuck wrote, “but don’t take yourself seriously.”


What Chuck was trying to say was that life is a precious gift from God and should be spent in His service, honoring Him.  After all, this life is simply preparation for the next one and eternal souls hang in the balance.


However, Chuck’s second point is that we should stop acting as if the whole universe revolves around us.  It doesn’t, so relax a little, decompress, and cut yourself some slack now and then. 


Yes, take time to smell the roses… hit the links… rock a baby… or wet a hook.


Above all, spend time with people who are the most precious to you: your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your teammates, your classmates and your fellow church members.  


“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – October 4, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Drive slow and enjoy the scenery.  Drive fast and join the scenery.” – Douglas Horton


They’re b-a-a-a-a-c-k!!!


Who am I talking about?  Why, the snowbirds, that’s who. 


Every year, once the leaves start to fall up north, they arrive by the carload.  And quiet, tranquil Vero Beach is quickly transformed into the winter home of hundreds – if not thousands – of transplanted northerners.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I welcome most of the snowbirds with open arms.  After all, our local economy depends heavily on tourism.  And it wasn’t that long ago that this Jersey boy sought refuge in the Sunshine State himself.


But one thing about snowbirds that will drive most anyone crazy is their driving habits.  I am not a fast driver and – knock on wood – have never received a single speeding ticket.  However, sitting behind a long line of drivers who can’t see over the steering wheel and who refuse to use their turn signals can be a bit frustrating.


At times like that, however, it is best to remember that God has a plan and a purpose for each and every day that we live.  I am also convinced that He has a great sense of humor, too.


In other words, it’s always better to shake your head and laugh than to shake your fist and holler.


“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – October 3, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Slow down and enjoy life.  It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast, you also miss the sense of where you are going and why?” – Eddie Cantor


According to Wikipedia, the time it takes to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph is a commonly used performance measure for automotive acceleration in the United States and the United Kingdom.  Current performance cars can cover that distance in under 6 seconds, while exotic cars and some motorcycles can do it in less than 4.


The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport set the record for the fastest production street car in 2010, going from a full stop to 60 mph is just 2.46 seconds.  And the Porsche 918 Spyder, a hybrid vehicle, did even better in 2015, achieving the same speed in only 2.2 seconds.


These days, our world seems obsessed with speed.  For instance, everyone wants – and thinks they need – the fastest internet speed.  Land lines have been replaced by cell phones, but even a phone call seemingly takes too long.  And so, we started texting… then tweeting… then using Instagram… and now Snapchat.


We get impatient when we have to wait in line at the gas station or the grocery store.  I want service, and I want it NOW!!!


Looking at the life of Jesus, He never seemed to be in a hurry.  Although He lived a life of extreme purpose, He rested in the knowledge that God the Father had a perfect plan for His life.  As such, Jesus was confident that enough time would be allocated for Him to accomplish that plan.


And so, my friend, I encourage you to take a deep breath and r-e-l-a-x.  God remains on His throne and He’s not going anywhere.


“And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” Mark 6:31a (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – October 2, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Contradictions are the impossible chasms that create forever separations. God is the forever bridge that creates impossible reunions.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough


Last week, I began reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. Though I am only in the beginning chapters, the core premise of the book seems to be the reconciliation of general relativity and quantum mechanics through string theory.


While general relativity accounts for a large-scale view of the universe, including stars, galaxies, and beyond, quantum mechanics provides a vantage point of microscopic proportions, consisting of molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles.


If you recall from your days in chemistry class, an atom is composed of a nucleus, containing protons and neutrons, and an electron cloud. The proton has a positive charge, the neutron has no charge, and the electron has a negative charge. Like charges repel and opposite charges attract.


But how can this be? The electromagnetic repulsion of protons should cause the nucleus to disintegrate. Moreover, the opposite charges of protons and electrons should lead them to combine and form a neutron. This would eliminate the nuclei of hydrogen, the simplest atom, stopping the formation of more complex elements.


Amazingly, even smaller subatomic particles keep this from happening. They are called quarks. A proton has two up-quarks and a down-quark while a neutron has two down-quarks and an up-quark. Furthermore, there are two forces acting upon these quarks, the strong force and the weak force.


Within a nucleus, the electromagnetic force of protons pushes them away from each other. However, the strong force overcomes the electromagnetic force and holds the nucleus together. Thankfully, our second problem is also avoided, for the mass of an electron is just slightly small enough to prevent it.


The physical world is filled with paradoxes, down to the smallest building blocks of matter. Still, they are resolved and the universe perseveres. The greatest paradox of the spiritual realm involves a holy God choosing to love sinful man. Yet, because of this sin, He is unable to look upon us. It is only through the intercession of Jesus Christ that we can be reconciled to our Father. In this sense, the force of justification overcomes that of condemnation.


“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10 ESV


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – September 29, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backward.”

– Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means


So many insightful quotes and so little time or space.


And so, as our week of technology-based devotionals comes to an end, let me share a few of the more memorable quotes with you… and then add a spiritual application at the end.


“It’s supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button.” – John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar


“At the end of a miserable day, instead of grieving my virtual nothing, I can always look at my loaded wastepaper basket and tell myself that if I failed, at least I took a few trees down with me.” – David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day


“Books don’t need batteries.” – Nadine Gordimer


“We can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined.  We can’t swim in the ocean because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram.  Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag.” – Jeremy Glass


“Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us.  Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.” – Dan Brown, Angels & Demons


So, there you have it, some collected wisdom – and dark humor – from some very learned people.  Allow me to make a brief theological point based on the first quote by John Brunner. 


Ephesians 2:8 makes it abundantly clear that salvation is by grace through faith.  But James, in his timeless epistle, also drives home the eternal truth that faith without works is dead. 


In other words, yes, it’s automatic… but you still have to push the button.


“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’  Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President   

Dare 2B Daring – September 27, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers.” – Pablo Picasso


As a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was the original Star Trek.  It was already in syndication when I started watching, but I never got tired of seeing the same episodes over and over again.


In fact, my friends and I were so “into” Star Trek that we would play-act some of the more classic reruns.  My favorite character was Captain Kirk, but I also liked “Scottie”, the chief engineer, and Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy.


However, the one character that I could never quite warm up to was Mr. Spock.  As a Vulcan, his lack of emotion or expressiveness left me cold.  To me, logic and facts were far less interesting than the real drama of human emotions.


Thankfully, God made man to experience and express different emotions.  There are positive ones such as joy, happiness and love.  And yes, there are also negative ones like anger, hatred, and guilt.


I suspect that one of the main reasons why God gave us emotions was that He wanted us to worship Him in spirit and truth.  In other words, He desired our worship of Him to be voluntary, heartfelt and sincere.  An act of the will as well as the heart.


True God-honoring worship should involve both our heads and our hearts.  Pure emotion-driven worship without mental assent is like a rollercoaster ride that can be derailed at any time.  Likewise, worshipping God minus an emotional element can appear stoic and lifeless, as if by rote.


Just ask Pablo Picasso…


“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President  

Dare 2B Daring – September 26, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore.  Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” – Philip K. Dick


As we continue a week of technology-based devotional messages, I’d like to share a recent Facebook post from a dear brother in Christ, Steve Salis.


Hello! Gordon's pizza?

- No sir, it's Google's pizza.

- So, it's a wrong number?

- No sir, Google bought it.

- OK. Take my order please.

- Well sir, do you want the usual?

- The usual? You know me?

- According to our caller ID, the last 12 times, you ordered pizza with cheese, sausage, and thick crust.

- OK!

- May I suggest to you this time ricotta, arugula and dry tomato?

- What? I hate vegetables.

- Your cholesterol is not good.

- How do you know?

- Through the subscriber’s guide. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.

- Okay, but I do not want this pizza, I already take medicine.

- You have not taken the medicine regularly.  Four months ago, you only purchased 30 tablets at Drugsale Network.

- I bought more from another drugstore.

- It's not showing on your credit card.

- I paid in cash.

- But you did not withdraw that much cash according to your bank statement.

- I have another source of cash.

- That is not showing as per your last tax return unless you bought them from an undeclared income source.

- Enough! I'm sick of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. I'm going to an island without internet, where there is no cellphone service or landline and no one to spy on me.

- I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport; it expired 5 weeks ago........


As comical as this fabricated conversation may be, it also contains some eerie truth that could easily happen in the years to come… if it hasn’t already.  Just look at the recent hack of Equifax, in which the personal information of 143 million Americans was compromised.


But while we’re waiting for Big Brother to completely eliminate our privacy rights, consider the fact that even before you were born, God saw your every move.  In fact, Psalm 139 makes it crystal clear that it is impossible to hide from God.


Jonah learned that lesson the hard way, as does anyone who tries to outrun, outlast, outthink or outlive God.  But for those who are walking by faith in lockstep with God, His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence should be comforting and reassuring.


“Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?” Psalm 139:7 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – September 25, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” – Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt




To what heinous crime am I pleading guilty?  Would you believe being too dependent on my smartphone?


Recently, I was listening to a guest on the Glenn Beck radio program who was formerly employed by Google.  He was making the point that – because of their far-reaching influence on the everyday lives of most Americans – three U.S.-based companies are more powerful than the federal government.


In case you were wondering, those companies are Apple, Facebook and Google.


To further his argument, the gentleman said that studies show that the average American checks his or her cellphone 150 times per day.  That’s 4,500 times per month and 54,750 times per year.  Ugh!!!


These small pocket-size devices that were designed to simplify our lives have, in many ways, made them far more complicated.  Not only have they made us their prisoners, but they have also ruined the art of interpersonal communication. 


Don’t believe me?  Look no further than your local restaurant, where couples on a date spend the majority of their time glancing at the smartphones in their hands rather than gazing into the eyes of their perspective mate.  Or watch four teens sitting in the same booth, chatting away via text with people who aren’t even there instead of talking to their friends across the table.   


Visit your local library and you will leave there shaking your head, too.  The most frequently visited section in the building isn’t fiction, non-fiction or reference…it’s the computer lab.


Perhaps Patti Smith said it best in her acceptance speech for receiving a National Book Award in 2010.  “Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don't abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book."


And, above all books, the Bible is the most beautiful.  Just imagine what would happen if people checked the scriptures 150 times a day instead of their smartphones.  Ouch!!!  More than a little convicting, right?


“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6a (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – September 22, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Not relying on any one guy, but getting contributions from every single person on the roster, that’s how we win.” – Derek Jeter


On Monday evenings, my son Chris and I pack up some basketballs and a cooler full of cold water bottles, and head to South County Park.  It’s only about a mile from our house, but I consider it a mission trip nonetheless.


You see, on any given night, South County Park attracts 30-40 basketball players… sometimes more.  One court usually features guys who want to play full-court games while the other court hosts two simultaneous half-court games.


Chris and I always pick the half-court closest to the lacrosse field and start shooting around.  More often than not, some nearby players challenge us to a game of two-on-two... or three-on-three, if one of our other Risk Takers players is with us.


So there we are, a soon-to-be 58-year old grandfather and a 6’0” leftie who weighs 145 pounds soaking wet.  And guess what?  We win almost every game we play. 


What allows us to beat players that are 35-40 years younger than me…and 3-5 inches taller (and 75-100 pounds heavier) than Chris?  The answer is simple: we play as a team.


Chris plays a multi-faceted game.  He can drive to the hoop or sink a long jumper equally well.  I, on the other hand, can do one thing and one thing only: bury a three-pointer.


And so, our game plan is simple.  Chris attacks the basket.  If he beats the defender, he scores an easy lay-up.  However, if they double-team him, he kicks the ball to me in the corner or at the top of the key and I try to drain a three.


As soon as one of us scores the winning basket, we offer a bottle of cold water to our former opponents along with a gospel tract featuring a prominent Christian athlete.  Then we invite them to our indoor program on Thursday evenings in an air-conditioned church gym.  On average, 35-45 of them show up every week for some “Bible and basketball”.


We call it our Living H2O Initiative and it works… because we work together.


“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor…” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – September 21, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“You gotta have fun.  Regardless of how you look at it, we’re playing a game.  It’s a business, it’s our job, but I don’t think you can do well unless you’re having fun.” – Derek Jeter


Ssshhh… don’t tell anyone.  Please, whatever you do, keep it a secret.


What secret am I talking about?  Simply this: I love being a minister.


For whatever reason, God hardwired me to care about causes greater than myself, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Great Commission being prime examples.  He also gave me a heart for people and their eternal souls.  That means that I take great satisfaction and yes, even pleasure, in sharing the truth of God’s Word – whether it’s in a church sanctuary, on a prison softball field, or on a neighborhood basketball court.


In other words, ministry – at least to me – is F-U-N.


Yes, it’s also very hard work, time consuming, and physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding.  And yes, it comes with a host of headaches, heartaches and pressures… not the least of which are the family and financial sacrifices that it requires.


But at the end of the day – and someday, at the end of my life – I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.  God made me to minister to others by proclaiming His truth, especially in unconventional ways.  He also created within me a passion to do it passionately.


And so, here is my advice for those who are seeking God’s plan and purpose for their lives.  Find something you absolutely love doing.  Chances are, that may be exactly what God wants you to do.


Derek Jeter had a Hall of Fame career for three reasons.  First, God gave him unusual athletic ability.  Second, he worked hard to maximize that athletic ability.  Third, he had fun doing so.


“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – September 20, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Rev. Jesse Jackson


As you might imagine, I have very little in common with Jesse Jackson.  Our political views are    miles apart and I think he has made a career – and a boatload of money – by creating, or at least exacerbating, racial unrest in America.


However, I wholeheartedly agree with his quote above and the sentiment it conveys.  And so, credit to where credit is due.


Why do I despise pride so much?  Maybe because it was the original sin.  Ask most people who committed the first sin and they will likely respond, “Adam and Eve”.  Wrong!  It was Lucifer, whose arrogance led him to want to be like God and to try to usurp His authority.


Thankfully, I am not alone in how much I hate pridefulness.  Many others detest pride and bemoan its corrupting influence on humanity – and dare I say it, on the church as well.  Here are just a few…    


  1. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.  – C.S. Lewis
  2. Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. – Thomas Merton
  3. "Thank you" is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.  – Alice Walker
  4. The greatest friend of truth is Time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is Humility. – Charles Caleb Colton
  5. The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it. – Mignon McLaughlin
  6. Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot. – Sir Thomas Moore
  7. Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.             – Madeline L'Engle
  8. Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.  – Andrew Murray, Humility
  9. Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying. – St. Vincent de Paul
  10. Selflessness is humility. Humility and freedom go hand in hand. Only a humble person can be free. – Jeff Wilson

 “These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look…” Proverbs 6:16-17a (NKJV)

-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – September 19, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.”

– James E. Faust


As part of my morning “quiet time” with the Lord, I read a portion of Scripture (I am currently in the Book of Psalms) and that day’s devotional message from “Morning and Evening” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  I also read three different online devotionals, one of which is written by Steve Marr.


Steve is an accomplished businessman who serves as a consultant with a number of companies across the U.S. and around the world.  Most importantly, he looks at commerce through the eyes of a committed Christian.


In one of Steve’s recent messages, he highlighted the fact that most business success is the result of a team effort, not the result of one person’s effort.  Steve then went on to use the illustration of an orchestra conductor to drive home his point.


“Good conductors take a humble bow, acknowledge the concert master, and then ask the orchestra to stand, giving them credit for their performance,” Steve wrote.  I couldn’t agree more.


As an avid sports fan, I find it harder and harder to watch sports on TV – especially pro games.  A 7-footer with the wingspan of a condor manages to dunk a basketball (how could he not?) and then mugs for the camera like he just discovered the cure for cancer.  A running back scoots down the field for a touchdown and proceeds to perform a choreographed dance routine in the end zone that would make the Rockettes envious.


What about the teammate who passed the ball to the 7-footer?  Or better yet, the God who made him that tall?


How about the offensive line whose blocking created a truck-size hole in the defense for the halfback to run through?  Or again, the God who gave him the ability to run so fast?


I’ve had it up-to-here with self-promoters – whether they are in sports, business or the ministry.  Enough is enough.  Give credit to your Creator, those around you, and do your best to deflect any honor or praise that comes your way.  In other words, stay humble.


“Let us not become boastful”. Galatians 5:26 (NASB)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – September 18, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“There is peace even in the storm.” - Vincent van Gogh


A few weeks ago, my partner and I were completing a survey on Hutchinson Island. As the last

task of the job, I had to walk out into the ocean. At times, the water rose above my waist, but

since it was another hot, sunny day in Florida, I did not mind.


As I stood in the water focused on holding my prism pole to the ocean floor, I could feel the pull

of the incoming tide. Though standing quite balanced, the sand shifted beneath my feet. The

foundation on which I stood was not secure.


We are all familiar with the parable Jesus told concerning a wise man and a foolish man.

Matthew 7:24-27 reads, ““Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be

like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the

winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man

who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and

beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”


Those in attendance would have understood this teaching of Jesus. While the sand of the Sea of

Galilee was tremendously hard during the hot summers, it was washed away by the floods of

winter rains. A wise builder would dig deep into the bedrock in order to lay a foundation that could

withstand the rains.


Life will undoubtedly cast storms in your direction. At times, these will even be literal storms, as

we have seen with hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In order to withstand them, we must have a solid

foundation. During these trials, I can think of no greater foundation than that of Jesus Christ.


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in

the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing

made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the

darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5


-          Christopher Glading, Program Director

Dare 2B Daring – September 15, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“It isn’t necessary to see a good tackle; you can hear it!” – Knute Rockne


As we finish this week of devotional messages devoted to college football coaching legends, there is no better place to end than with Knute Rockne.


Born in Voss, Norway in 1888, Rockne only lived 43 years, passing into eternity on March 31, 1931.  But during his short stint here on earth, Rockne accomplished many things.  As head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1918-1930), Knute led his team to an unparalleled record of 105 victories, 12 losses, five ties and three national championships, including five undefeated seasons without a tie.  His .881 winning percentage remains the highest for any major college coach almost 90 years after his death.


Rockne is also credited with popularizing the forward pass, an innovation that allowed the unheralded Irish to defeat a powerful Army team, 35-13, in 1913.  In that game, Rockne stunned the crowd at West Point by catching multiple long passes from quarterback Charlie “Gus” Dorais.


Tragically, Rockne was killed in a plane crash near Bazaar, Kansas at the height of his coaching career.  Perhaps his greatest legacy is that 29 of his players or assistant coaches went on to serve as head coaches, copying and implementing many of Knute’s strategies.


Rockne’s short life – and premature death – beg two questions.  First, are you ready to “meet your Maker”?  If not, trust Jesus as your personal Savior today!  And second, what legacy will you leave behind?  Are you making disciples as Christ commanded us to do in Matthew 28:19-20?  If not, it’s time to start getting busy by sharing your faith.  


K.P. Yohannan with the Gospel for Asia estimates that 80,000 people die and enter a Christ-less eternity each and every day.  How about throwing a “long pass” in their direction by telling them about Jesus?


“Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4 (ESV)


“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14 (ESV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – September 14, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“He wasn’t just a coach.  He was THE coach.” – John McKay, former head coach, USC Trojans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers


As promised, here is the third and final (for now) devotional message based on the life and times of Paul “Bear” Bryant.


Despite his demanding ways that included some of the most grueling college football training camps ever, the Bear was almost universally loved by his players.  That includes quarterbacks Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler.


Bryant suspended “Broadway Joe” for the final two games of the 1963 season for violating his no-alcohol policy.  Four years later, Stabler was kicked off the team for partying and cutting classes.


So why did these future NFL Hall of Famers hold the Bear in such high esteem?  Because in both cases, Bryant gave them a second chance, reinstating them to the team once they had learned their lesson.


Tragically, the body of Christ doesn’t always treat our wayward members in the same way.  Slip up once – or twice – and you are relegated to the sidelines.  Not for a game or two, but permanently.


Contrast that less-than-kind treatment with the manner in which our Heavenly Father treats us when we go astray.  He loves us enough to chastise us, but His discipline is never meant to punish or condemn.  On the contrary, its sole purpose is to refine and restore.


Contemporary Christian singer Steve Green wrote the song, “Wounded Soldier” in 1984.  Here are the lyrics…


See all the wounded

Hear all their desperate cries for help

Pleading for shelter and for peace

Our comrades are suffering

Come let us meet them at their need

Don’t let a wounded soldier die


Obeying their orders

They fought on the front lines for our King

Capturing the enemy’s stronghold

Weakened from battle

Satan crept in to steal their lives

Don’t let a wounded soldier die




Come let us pour the oil

Come let us bind their hurt

Let’s cover them with a blanket of His love

Come let us break the bread

Come let us give them rest

Let’s minister healing to them

Don’t let another wounded soldier die


That song was written the year after Coach Bryant died, so he never got to hear the words.  But in his own inimitable way, the Bear simultaneously demonstrated tough love and restorative justice on the gridiron.  So did Barnabas (Acts 15:37-40); Paul (2 Timothy 4:11); and Jesus (John 21:15-17).


“Brethren, if any man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Dare 2B Daring – September 13, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“Coaching is a lot like preaching.” – Paul “Bear” Bryant


A college football icon like Bear Bryant is deserving of more than one devotional message, don’t you think?  Not that the Bear was a saint by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, his drinking had become so problematic that he secretly checked himself into a rehab facility in the spring of 1978.


But if you ask his former players and assistant coaches – and even the men he coached against – the Bear’s positive attributes far outweighed his negative ones.  In fact, I plan to address one of Bryant’s most redeeming qualities in tomorrow’s devotional, so stay tuned.


For today, however, I want to focus on the quote above because it contains an important spiritual truth.


Over the past two months, I have had the privilege of filling the pulpit at a local church.  I am not serving as the interim pastor, because Pastor Russ is more than capable of performing those duties.  However, he has needed some help preaching while he recovers from a stroke and I have been more than glad to come alongside him in that manner.


Serving in this capacity has given me an even deeper appreciation for pastors and a greater understanding of the burdens they carry.  You see, all too often, churches hire (I prefer the term, “call”) a pastor and then expect him to do all the work.  Not only is he required to preach 2-3 times per week, but the congregation may want him to visit the sick, coordinate VBS, take out the garbage and mow the lawn.


After all, he is the “hired gun”, right?  W-R-O-N-G.


Scripture makes it abundantly clear what a pastor should be expected – and not expected – to do.  Basically, his job is to train and equip the church members, and then “coach” them from the sidelines.  Look no farther than the early apostles, who delegated many of the more mundane church responsibilities in order to devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.  (Acts 6:4)


Be a team player and help your coach, I mean pastor, do his job effectively.


“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV)


-          Rev. Dale M. Glading, President 

Dare 2B Daring – September 12, 2017

A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)


“I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.” – Paul “Bear” Bryant


It is safe to say that there will never be another college football coach like Paul “Bear” Bryant.  In his nearly four decades as a head coach at Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Alabama, the Bear compiled a record of 323-85-17, giving him a winning percentage of .780.  His teams appeared in 29 bowl games and won 15 conference championships.


Bryant won an incomprehensible 193 games during the 60’s and 70’s, including six national championships.  Even more impressively, Bryant’s teams posted a losing record just once in his 38 seasons of coaching.


There was nothing more iconic than the Bear leaning against a goalpost, watching his team warm up before a game with his trademark houndstooth hat atop his head and a rolled-up playbook in his hand.  “He was simply the best there ever was,” said Bob Delvaney, former head coach at the University of Nebraska.


Bryant retired in 1983, defeating Illinois in the Liberty Bowl in his final game after a sub-par season.  When asked what his plans were, the Bear replied, “probably croak in a week”.  Tragically, Bryant’s words proved prophetic as he suffered a massive heart attack just four weeks later.  His years of heavy smoking and drinking had finally caught up with the Bear.


I don’t know if I could have withstood the grueling training regimen that Bryant required of his players, especially the “Junction Boys” at Texas A&M in his first season there.  But something tells me that the Bear and I would have gotten along pretty well.  Like Coach Bryant, I hate losing and because of that, I refuse to quit – no matter the odds and no matter the score.


If only you and I could apply that same tenacity to the spiritual realm, the sky would be the limit

Home | About | Prison Projects | Conferences | Daily Devotions | Newsletters | Shop | Partner With Us | Testimonials | Contact Us
Copyright © 2018 | All rights reserved.