All posts by Dale Vaughn

About Dale Vaughn

Husband, father, papaw. Life is good with God.


It won’t be long until we will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This photo is of my daughter on Easter several years ago. Notice the bunny, the basket, the new outfit with a bonnet. That’s quite a long way from the events in the Bible that make it possible for us to have an Easter. My view of Easter has grown since this photo.

First we couldn’t have an Easter to celebrate the resurrection unless we first had a death. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of this world. In the Bible we can read the written accounts of four different men who walked with Jesus and witnessed his death. They saw the brutal beating that He endured as He made His way to the cross. They watched as the nails were driven into his feet and wrists. They saw the agony He suffered for close to six hours on the cross. They watched as the one whom they had put their trust in was ridiculed, beaten and eventually died on the cross. But the great news is that He didn’t go away.

I can only imagine the anguish that the disciples had as they watched Jesus go to the cross. Did they question God and wonder why God would allow this to happen? I’m almost sure that their struggle was way bigger than any that I’ve had, but it could have been the same. As I understand it, they were at best perplexed and confused as they didn’t really understand what was happening. I can relate to that because I don’t understand why things happen and I can’t explain easily what’s going on. Often in life I find myself struggling with the problems of life and wondering where God is and wondering why hasn’t He stepped into my world and helped with my problem. But like them, I just don’t understand what is happening.

So how do I get to celebrate the real reason for Easter? It starts with what I believe. According to scripture I must believe that Jesus is the messiah, sent to save a world that was condemned. And I must believe that He died on the cross as atonement for my sins. I must repent of my sins and turn from living a sinful life and surrender to Jesus all that I have and all that I am. Romans chapter 10 summed it up like this………….

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 
ROMANS 10:9-13

This is just a couple of thoughts that I’ve had about Easter. There’s other thoughts running through my mind. Maybe that means there’s another post coming soon. In the meantime, what’s your thoughts on Easter?

A New Beginning

All of a sudden I looked up and it’s December 29th. Only a couple more days and it’ll be a new year. Time to make new years resoloutions. You know what they are don’t you. For most of us they are empty declarations that we will be better in the new year than we were in the last.

It’d be great if a new day on the calendar is all that it took to change my bad habits. To be honest, I’ve had them most of my life and getting rid of them takes more than a new day on the calendar.

I’m so glad that God doesn’t make me wait until a certain day of the year to get a new beginning. His word tells that His mercies are new every day.

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22

Happy New Year!

Floating Ax Head

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about one of the miracles that’s recorded in II Kings chapter 6:1-7. It seems that there was a person who was cutting a tree down and the ax head come off of it’s handle and fell into the water and sank out of sight. My first thought is what’s up with the ax head? Second thought is why is it included in the scriptures? Could the ax head be that important? So I started digging to see what I could find.

It seems that Elisha was with what was referred to as the sons of the prophets. They were staying there for the purpose of learning about God and God’s ways from Elisha. They were the students and Elisha was their master or teacher. The number of the students had increased and the place where they were staying had become cramped, too small. So they sought his advice and asked his permission to go to the valley of Jordan and cut some trees to use to build a bigger place for them to stay in. He said to go and he went with them. Then the tree cutting started.

Suddenly one of the men had a problem with his ax. The handle broke and the ax head went into the water and sank out of sight. To make things worse, it was an axe that he had borrowed. That meant that he would have to replace it. (Exodus 22:14) He then called out to Elisha and said master it is gone. Elisha asked where did it fall in and they showed him the spot where it fell. He cut a stick and threw it in where the axe head had gone under and the ax head floated back to the top.

I can see the scene now. Just as he took a big swing back with the ax, the head came off and found the river. His heart probably sank quicker than the ax head as he realized that it was going to cost him to replace it. I’ve been there and done that. Borrow a tool and then it breaks. That puts you in a bad position. Some commentary I read pointed out that this was a picture of what Christ does for us. We owed a sin debt that we couldn’t pay and he paid it for us on the cross. Another I read made the point that when we fail and fall into the mud of this world, God is very capable of lifting us up out of the mud of our failure and restoring us. I like both those thoughts.

But the application that I like draws a comparision for us when we are working with God and problems arise. Sometimes when we are being faithful and we’re working and we’re learning about God, things will go wrong without any warning or without any real cause. We’re trying our best to be what it is that we’re supposed to be and then the enemy throws something at us trying to distract us or trying to slow us down, we can be assured that God is still there and that He will help us. The reason the ax head went down in the river is because it was heavier than the water. That being the case, gravity took over and down it went. But when the man of God acted with faith that God would help, he suspended the law of gravity and made the ax head float. For me, reading about this ax head reminds me that He is in charge of everything, even making iron float which we all know is impossible.

 Not one concern of ours is small,
If we belong to him;
To teach us this, the Lord of all,
Once made the iron swim.

from the borrowed axe by John newton

The verse above is from a song by John Newton. Here’s a link to the rest of the verses.

I hope you have been encouraged in some small way with this post. Have a great day and know that God loves you!

Keep Growing

In 2 Peter 3:18, we are told to”grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

When we first come to Christ, all that we really know is that we are sinners in need of a Savior. I was raised in church and sat through tons of sermons that I heard but they didn’t really mean that much to me. But then one day, God revealed to me my lost condition and what I needed to do. Suddenly, all those sermons became personal. I knew that I was lost, I knew that Jesus was the only hope I had and I knew that I must respond to the gospel that I had heard all my life.

After my prayer asking God to forgive me, I then knew that I was forgiven. I still remember the sense of relief that seemed to flood my soul. I went from feeling condemned to feeling completely forgiven in an instant. I couldn’t explain it, but I felt it.

The next part for me was to do what Peter said when he told us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, instead of growing in my faith, I was content to be saved. Seems like there are lots of people who do this. For me it was a very foolish attitude to have and one that later would allow me to make several mistakes in my life.

I’ve often said that I was taught lots of stuff about how to get along in life. Seems that everyone had good advice on where to work, what kind of job to try for, the vocational school was good for me and all sorts of things. But as it turned out, I didn’t seem to get much about dealing with the bigger more difficult problems in life. Specifically how to deal with the death of family members. From 1976 until 1989 I went through the loss of our first son and also my first and second wife. One wife died of cancer and the other wife to a car wreck. And this was something that I was not ready for and during those years I made lots of bad decisions and did some things that I now wish I hadn’t. I’m not making excuses, it was my fault for not growing in grace and knowledge. If I could do life over, I would make getting closer to God the priority that it should be.

I had so much to do. I was young and just graduated high school, got married and was making my way through life. We worked a lot of overtime at the factory where I worked and if I got a day off and went to church, I usually had to fight to stay awake. I would read and study later. When I got time.

If you can relate to any of this, let me encourage you to take some time to spend reading and meditating on God’s word. I let what I was going through in my life define my view of God. Because I couldn’t understand why I was going through tough times, I ended up with a skewed view of God. I spent a lot of time wondering what God had against me that he was causing me such pain. And that had some bad results.

Let God’s word define who God is to you. Search the scriptures and spend time seeking and drawing near to God. Life still has a way of bringing problems to me to deal with but I can deal with them better if I allow God to be a part of the solution.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.    Hebrews 11:6

Going Home

A few days ago I was reading in the book of Mark. Chapters 6 and 8 to be exact. As I was reading chapter 6 a few things stood out and gave me some things to ask myself. In the very first verse it says that he went out from there and came to his own country and his disciples followed him. What that means is that he left where he was, and he went home. I got to thinking about going home and what that means. When we go home we feel safe and we can be among people who know us, people who love us and people who would back us up even if everybody else in the whole world was against us, we would still find family and friends that we could count on. It didn’t work like that for Jesus because it says in the second verse that when the Sabbath had come he began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing him were astonished and began asking questions.

 "Where did this man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to him, that such mighty works are performed by his hands! Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?"  So they were offended by him.  Mark 6:2-3

Notice that last line. They were offended by Him. They didn’t stand with Him, they were offended. Instead of being glad that a hometown boy had grown up there and was able to teach the scriptures and perform mighty works, they were questioning His authority to teach. They were also having trouble understanding the mighty works that were performed by His hands. Don’t miss that they seen the mighty works, but all they could do was wonder how it was possible. After all, they knew Him. To them, this was just Jesus, a carpenter. They knew His family and had seen His work as a carpenter. Some may have even watched Him grow as a child into a young man.

In a weird sort of way, they missed who Jesus was (the Messiah) because they thought they knew who Jesus was (the carpenter).

This made me think first about my own attitude towards Jesus. Could it be possible that I’m so comfortable with my knowledge about Jesus that maybe I was missing, or even worse, hindering the works that God wants to do in my life? Over time we can get complacent in our work for God and we even think we can know what God will do in a given situation. We think we know God so well that we can know ahead of time what He’ll do in any situation that comes along in our life. I call this “putting God in a box”. We are comfortable when we do that because God does what we expect. Or we like to think that He does. Like the people in these verses, they were comfortable knowing Jesus as a carpenter, son of Mary, brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon and his sisters who were there with them. But they weren’t comfortable with Jesus being more than they knew. It’s like they were keeping Him in a box, one that they could accept. Remember they questioned what wisdom was given to Him that he could perform such mighty works. One reason I believe that they were offended was because they couldn’t easily explain Him. By the way, it’s never a good idea to put God in a box. You can’t easily explain Him or His ways, so the best thing to do is pray, seek to grow closer and to know Him better.

So far, I have found only one way to know Jesus. That’s through the reading and study of God’s word, prayerfully seeking to know Him and not hinder Him as He works in my life. I can’t rely on what I think I know, I must rely on Jesus.

In Philippians chapter 3 verse 8 Paul says that he counts all things that he has gained as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. Then in verse 10 Paul makes the statement ” that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection”. That’s what I want to know. I want to know Jesus in all His glory, power and His righteousness and Holiness.

Thanks for reading and I hope I’ve provided something for you to think about. Have a great day and know that the creator of this universe wants you to visit Him and have a talk. In fact, He died on the cross in your (and my) place just so that could happen.