All posts by David Porter

About David Porter

When he was in college, David Porter wanted to be a journalist. Today he is a preacher. In Coffee Stains, the preacher and journalist meet to bless everyone who likes a funny East Texas story with a spiritual kicker at the end!

Is God Lost? Should We Look For Him?

Monday morning a wave of agony washed across the United States as Daylight Savings Time officially slapped its 320 million residents. You can subtract the happy residents of Arizona and Hawaii plus various American territories which have had the good sense to leave their clocks alone.

For the rest of us, though, can you imagine the collective pain that wafted into earth’s atmosphere from 300 million tortured people? If you could have put all the groans together that escaped suffering throats when the alarm clock bonged, the sound would have been heard a light year away.

Little Martians would have looked up from the dust of the Red Planet and asked, “Mama, what was that?”

Actually, I had a strange question that floated through the fog that had invaded my head after the annual torture-fest. “How would King David have reacted to an ancient Daylight savings time in the Middle East?” After all, he usually hit the floor early to seek God. Continue reading

Finding Your Destiny, My Destiny, Our Destiny, the World’s Destiny

Have you ever felt you were destined for greatness? How did that go? Have you won “America’s Got Talent,” and gone on to fame?

I’ve noticed something. If you want people to read what you write put something about “destiny” in the title. That’s why I put it in my title four times… and here you are. Works doesn’t it?

Excuse my frankness, but we like to think they we’re more than just the product of our parents’ passion, that we’re on earth for a reason. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I agree a thousand percent with that, but I have a bit of a problem with starry-eyed people floating through life trying to find that marvelous destiny that is certainly their lot. There’s no way God could have destined them to be ordinary. We’re all speeding towards greatness. Right?

Hmmm … if everyone is great, no one is great. If everyone is destined to be great, then great becomes ordinary.

Here’s one definition of “destiny.” “The events that will necessarily happen to a person or thing in the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.”

Kind of like the philosopher, Doris Day sang, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be.”
Isaiah talks about people in his time who worshipped the gods of Fortune and Destiny. He doesn’t hold out much hope for those who sell out to them.

“But as for you who forsake the Lord and forget my holy mountain,
who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will fall in the slaughter…”
Isa. 65 :11, 12, NIV

I get a funny feeling when Christians talk about “fulfilling my destiny,” when the emphasis is on “MY”… We’re not happy with the present, but we’re sure that greatness looms just ahead. Continue reading

Do You Look Like You Are Married?

Do You Act Like It?

Is That Good?





One day I was watching couples at the mall. There are all kinds of couples, did you know? Now we’re going to play a game. Tell me what you think.

Here’s a couple engrossed with each other, absent from their surroundings, laughing, teasing, smiling, and enjoying each other more than they enjoy the mall.

Now, watch closely. Couple number two heads our way … walking, shopping, slightly bored. Griping. Looking in windows. Frowning. Going into shops and browsing. Splitting up to meet back somewhere.

Which one of these couples is married?

Is this good? Why or why not? Is part of it normal? Is marriage the antidote for romance?

It’s not completely normal because if there’s not that romance part, one or the other will be tempted. But it goes beyond romance. One man says that being friends is a vital part of staying together. According to him:

“To be friends with your mate means:

     * You respect her.

* You treat her like your equal when your upbringing and your own selfish ways try to convince you otherwise.

* You talk about how you feel and think about the good and bad of your life together. Continue reading

The Word That Rocks 2018

Sometimes I ask the Lord for a word for my life for the new year. Some years ago, it was, “thanksgiving.” So, for several months I was intentional about making thanksgiving a big part of my life.

Another time the word was, “trust.”

I wanted to reuse “thanksgiving” for 2018 but the word, “hope,” kept intruding. So “hope” it is for 2018.

We’ve downgraded “hope.” A friend who loves the outdoors says, “I hope I catch some fish today.” But, there’s always a question. I’ve come home from a lot of “hope so” fishing trips muttering to myself, smelling more of fish bait than fish.

But the hope that comes from God is a direct result of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” You can’t have one without the other.

When I’ve got hope, I do my best. It pulls me forward. When hope flees, all color washes out of my life and I go through the motions.

One day I was visiting a mental hospital in Luxembourg. As I talked with my friend and saw observed other patients, I realized that there was probably less hope per square inch in that place, than anywhere else in the country.

Something snaps when we lose hope.
Continue reading

14 Questions You Should Have Asked Before You Got Married

So, you’re going to get married?  You mind is made up and no one can talk you out of it? Good.

God says, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22, NLT).  We can truthfully reverse it and say that the woman who finds a husband finds a treasure. I found my treasure 46 years ago.

I smile–most times–when I see two people marry in the Lord. A few times I didn’t smile, but I tried to be optimistic, hoping things would work things out. With the horrible divorce statistics, though, you want to launch into marriage with as many factors on your side as possible. God wants you to enjoy marriage, not endure it.

Someone asked me about preparing to take a life partner. So, I’ve decided to formulate a checklist for those serious about making the right choice for life. I’ve probably forgotten a few things because I was smarter 46 years ago when I started. But, at least I am more seasoned (like a good Thanksgiving turkey).

Consider these things before you say, “I do!” Can you suggest some others?

1-Know a man’s true heart before you give him yours, because after you marry him you will know it. Samegoes for the female side of the equation. “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.” (Proverbs 27:19, NLT).

We drench our first days of knowing each other with so much aftershave and perfume that we really don’t know the person. But, as we talk, interact and watch them live, the real person peeks out from the pretended perfection.

My wife and I became friends with a family who moved to our area many years ago. We shared lots of smiles, jokes and laughter for quite a while. One night, though, he made a comment about a group of people that surprised me. It wasn’t simply prejudiced, but hate-filled. And he said it with passion.

Other very unsavory things popped up in the way he conducted himself towards those of the opposite sex. It took a while, but the real person eventually crawled out of hiding.

2-Yes, appearance is important but it’s not all. Especially at first, we’ll be attracted by the outside but it’s vital to have a relationship that based on factors deeper than good looks.

I’ve noticed my pictures have changed through the years. (Some would say they’ve deteriorated but I pay them no attention. There were the sweet smiles of childhood, attempts to smile like Elvis Presley as a young adult, and the cool and assured smiles of the older adult. Maybe at the end I’ll be smiling the close-mouthed smile of someone with no teeth. I hope not.

The point is, our physical appearance changes. You young people think you’re always going to look like that. I just laugh at you. You know what’s waiting for you? Look at you daddy and mama … and eventually your grandpa and grandma. A bit depressing isn’t it?

Your relation better be more than skin deep because the skin is going to wrinkle and maybe even expand. Continue reading