Author: Matt Clotfelter

Are You Allowing God to Change Your Perspective?

I want to see the world through Jesus eyes, see through Jesus tears, I want to see the world through Jesus eyes, my vision’s not as clear I want to feel the world with the hands that made it, know the pain and appreciate it Hear their cries and hope to understand -Audio Adrenaline I would rarely claim to be the smartest guy in the room, but I probably won’t deny a little intelligence. I have lived and survived for 40 years, which has given me a set of experience to draw from. But when it comes to making any important decision, I generally try to ask my wife what she thinks. Some people might say I ask her just to make her happy. But early in my adult life, a wise man named Ken told a group of men, “Guys, when you get married, listen to your wives. God gifts them with wisdom you will never possess.” It took me a few years to grasp the truth. If I willingly listen to her perspective …

Are You Waiting on the Lord Patiently?

When I was fairly young, I remember learning a song for a program at church. The chorus has always stuck with me, and both of my boys have heard it several times. Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, You only start to worry. Remember, remember, That God is patient too. And think of all the times when others have to wait for you. Patience is not something natural for humans. Especially as we move toward adulthood, we become more time-aware, seeking to accomplish everything we can in our lives. Our culture pushes us toward greater efficiency, even at the cost of our peace. We don’t want to wait to accomplish our goal; we want to have the next “viral video” to gain notoriety. We want to take a pill and lose all the fat on our body. We want to jump in the car and arrive at our destination faster than we ever have before. In Matthew 4, Satan offered Jesus efficient opportunities to “accomplish” His goals …

As My Surrogate Family, You are Stuck With Me

The word family creates a different picture in everyone’s mind. For me, when I think about family another word which comes to mind is “surrogate.” Google defines this word as “a substitute, especially a person deputizing for another in a specific role or office.” For some, this word conjures up images of women who carry a pregnancy for another family. My image looks immensely different. You may live within walking distance of your extended family. Others may have to drive to a neighboring state. When I was 12, my family moved 11,000 miles from my nearest blood relative. In the missionary world, many times unrelated family units become an extended family of their own. I still have numerous parents of friends I refer to as Aunt and Uncle. It is an adaptive support system helping families in a time when it is hard to go it alone. Family can be one of the tightest forms of community, but even the Bible has examples of dysfunctional family. In Genesis alone, we find a family where one …

Your Story was Designed for Victory in Jesus!

Nearly 30 years later, I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I remember it was quite warm and it hadn’t rained for days. I remember the taste of the hot peppers and the feeling of the branches against my skin. It was the first time I was ever physically bullied. As a middle schooler, I was quite socially awkward. I was still trying to learn how to mesh with my peers. It had been a difficult few months. It was the end of the school day, and my friends were playing a game I had no desire to be involved in, seeing who could eat the most hot peppers. When they realized I was not going to participate willingly, they decided to ensure I did. Before I knew what was happening, I was being held down and force-fed hot peppers. This was not my idea of a good time. Amidst their laughing, I was able to push myself away and make a dash for my bike. I dove through a bush to reach …

How Resolved Are You?

The dictionary defines the word resolution as “​a firm decision to do or not to do something.” Some of the synonyms of the word resolution include aim, resolve, single-mindedness, will power, and decision. In other words, when resolved, we have decided our course, and we are doing what it takes to achieve that end. Resolution is also defined as “the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.” This word is what we think of in legal action. People go to mitigation to achieve resolution to a dispute. As I think of resolutions, I think of one of the most famous resolutions, which became something so much different. The Richard Henry Lee Resolution became something that changed our world. It was his resolution, submitted to the Second Continental Congress, which led to the creation of the Declaration of Independence. It was the line drawn in the sand to declare the “colonies” as an independent nation called the United States. Throughout history, God has had a plan of resolution. As modern day Christians, we have …

Can You Change Your Perspective of Your Circumstance?

When I revisit stories of the Bible we have heard since we were kids, I like to try to look at them from a different perspective. I like the fresh feeling this gives as I seek the living nature of scripture. The story I have been looking at recently is when David faces Goliath. I wonder what it would be like if I were one of the Israelite soldiers called up by Saul to face off against our sworn enemy, the Philistines. I have marched off to the battlefield. When we go out for our first day of battle, at the front of the enemy line marches Goliath. This guy is huge! I can imagine how ferocious his voice would sound, as he taunts and shouts obscenities. And then he issues his challenge: “Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves!” (1 Samuel 17:8-9) No one wants to be the one who risks …

A Quiet Night for Grace to Arrive

During the heavy snow in December 2017, I was at work. To say the shift was busy would be an understatement. Of course, with all the snow on the ground, traveling was much slower than normal. Luckily, there were very few people on the road. Most folks had heeded the warnings to just stay home, often with no power. Once we would get as far as the fire engine could go, we would leave it behind and continue on foot to our destination. Without the chaos of people milling around, without the lights emanating from every house, and even without the noise of our truck in the background, our trip to our destination was always so serene. The only sound was us talking, the wind blowing the tree branches, and the snow crunching under our feet. The only lights were from our flashlights, transformers arcing off as the power company worked feverishly to restore power, and the glow coming up from the blanket of white. My favorite modern Christmas song is “Winter Snow” by Audrey …

Do You Know the Secret to Generosity?

One of the all time greatest Disney movies is “Cool Runnings.” It is enticing–the struggle to overcome unbelievable odds. One of the climactic scenes of the movie has the two main characters discussing purpose. Derice, the bobsled driver, asks his coach, Irv, why he had cheated when he competed. Irv responds, “It’s quite simple, really. I had to win. You see, Derice, I’d made winning my whole life. And when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what. You understand that? A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.” So often, we feel compelled to win. Sometimes we are so compelled we will go to any length to be the victor, even at the expense of our integrity. And this is not confined just to sports; in business, relationships, and even arguments, winning is paramount. Even our modern American culture is rife with language that tells us we have to have it all. Winning is having …

How Can You Trust When Trust Seems Impossible?

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Corinthians 13:7 As a dad, I have to teach my kids how to trust others, how to assume the best and believe all things. But to be entirely transparent, there are times I question how much I should trust someone else, especially someone I have just met and don’t really know. This was the reality that I had to grapple with when my first born arrived in this world. To say she was born early and a little unexpected would be an understatement. Ten weeks prior to my wife’s due date, we found ourselves in the hospital, with a doctor we had just met looking us in the eyes and saying, “So, we are going to be delivering your little one today.” Those were not the words I had hoped to hear. As they wheeled my wife off to prepare for surgery, I watched her till she was out of sight and could not wait to get back …

Are You Ready for the Change God Has For You?

On May 15, 1991 my world changed forever. I sat with my family and friends, preparing to board a plane for the first time since I was an infant. My family was leaving everything we had ever known, and we were going to Thailand. My parents were answering God’s call to be missionaries. We had spent the last two years raising support and making plans. Our stuff had been packed and shipped in 55 gallon barrels more than a month earlier. That day we stepped out into the unknown. I was unsure of what my future looked like. As a 12 year old, everything I knew as normal was about to change. I had an aunt, uncle, and two cousins who lived there already. We knew we had our family to depend on, but we didn’t know what other friendships we would have once we got there. After being in the air for 24+ hours and a 12 hour train ride, we set foot in our new hometown. My cousin began to introduce me to …