Dr. Dan Hayden

When you’re 20 years old and plagued with more self-confidence than wisdom, you do stupid things. I was a college sophomore with friends to impress, so I needed wheels. An upper classman had just put his ’46 Harley up for sale and I just knew I had to have it. Straddling a rumbling motor on wheels with a classic windshield and a suicide clutch appealed to my impulsive spirit—and since the guy was selling it for almost nothing, I bought it. Really dumb only begins to describe the decision.

After a few weeks, spring break provided an opportunity to ride The Beast home from school to surprise my folks (school, being in the Chicago area and home located on Long Island, New York). That’s 800 miles. The adventure was irresistible.

Stupid doesn’t consider the consequences of youthful indiscretions, so I was totally unprepared for what happen. In Indiana, one of the two pistons blew. After limping to a motorcycle repair shop, I also blew most of my travel money. By the time I made it to Cleveland the next day, lake-effect snow covered the roads. The foot-activated suicide clutch almost fulfilled its name as a quick change of gears caused the rear wheel to spin out. Sliding down Euclid Avenue behind a horizontal motorcycle in rush hour traffic is not the best way to stay alive. Cars scattered and the sliding bike with its human trailer finally came to a halt. It took a half hour, sitting with my bike on the side of the road to compose myself.


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Dr. Dan Hayden

So, when are you really a loser . . . when somebody says you are? When you, yourself, think you are? Or, when you actually lose?

I am writing this the day after the Iowa caucuses (February 2, 2016), and Donald Trump lost to Ted Cruz. In fact, according to political pundits, Ted Cruz got more votes than any other candidate in Iowa history.

The irony in all of this is that Donald Trump boasted of running the table in the Republican Primaries. He boasted that he’s a winner—and winners don’t lose. The hard reality however is that he did lose. Even Marco Rubio closed his margin on Mr. Trump to finish a strong third. So, is Donald Trump a loser?


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Dr. Dan Hayden

Mary was exhausted. The seventy mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem tended to be a long, arduous journey–especially for a woman nearing the final days of being “with child.” Jostling on a donkey or in a cart made by her husband for so many days had only made matters worse. Traffic was crazy, with thousands of people trying to get to the place of their lineage to register for the Roman tax. No one was happy.

Hope for a comfortable room at the Bethlehem Inn quickly dissolved into the reality of a bed of straw in an animal shelter. Labor pains began. No doctor or nurse would be available–not even a midwife–only Joseph. What in the world was God doing? This was HIS baby. You’d think He would have arranged something better for the birth of His son. The night promised to be uncomfortably long and painful.

Instead, the birth of the virgin baby wrapped this peasant couple in a mysterious joy. Nothing about their humble situation had changed by the next day. Bad smells . . . animal sounds . . . tired bones . . . the swollen town hustling along, ignoring who they were and what had happened in the night. Mary and Joseph sat alone in the shadows of the shelter, staring in wonder at their baby. Could it really be true that this helpless infant was GOD? Unbelievable!

Yet, it had to be real . . . just as the angel had said.


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Dr. Dan Hayden

We make decisions every day about what we will do, and what we will not do. And therein lies the dilemma of the human experience: Our lives revolve around alternative choices–forks in the road—and consequently those choices determine our destiny. Some choices are minor and neutral but others bear more weight. Some are downright crucial.

Like dominos tilting toward other dominos, most decisions set us on courses of action that influence other decisions, which eventually tumble toward a concluding destination or result. We all want to end up in pleasant places. But not all decisions have beneficial results and sometimes the consequences take us by surprise. Most often, though, we know what the result of a bad decision will be, but we intentionally indulge ourselves anyway. Eating wrong foods or devouring too much is like that. My doctor recently lectured me on eating better to remedy my borderline diabetes. He said, “Dan, if it tastes good, spit it out.”

So in the crucial decisions of life, why as believers in Jesus Christ do we do what we do? Well, it’s because our actions result from our thoughts. If we think like the world, we’ll act like the world. If we think prayerfully on Christ and His Word, our actions will reflect those thoughts. Salvation in Christ is supposed to change our thinking and enable us to make spiritually beneficial decisions. That’s what is supposed to happen. But I have noticed that in today’s American church it rarely does.


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Dr. Dan Hayden

Con men have elaborate schemes to delude their prey. The idea behind a con is to make something look legitimate when in actuality, it is not. Care is taken to cover every potential loophole and to answer every possible objection. Good con artists are articulate and smooth in the way they present their cons to unwary prospects. They often give the impression that to question them is naïve and foolish.

It is not until the con men are long gone and the dupe is left holding the bag that the real truth begins to dawn: I’ve been had! It’s unsettling to be conned. A person is stripped of his or her dignity and oftentimes left in a despairing emotional heap.

The New Testament has a word describing this kind of experience. It is the word, “deceive,” which is sometimes translated “beguile” or “delude.” This is the word used by Paul when he warns the believers in Thessalonica:

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:3 – ESV, emphasis mine).


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Dan Hayden - A Word from the WordDr. Dan Hayden •

Conservatives are mad. Christians are disappointed and discouraged. And most everyone is wondering—what’s next in the precipitous decline of the American way of life.

I am often asked if America is in biblical, end-times prophecy. The short answer is, no. When speaking on prophetic topics, I have an entire session titled “America in the Rearview Mirror.” It appears that America may no longer be what it once was—and that is sad. But the signs of our demise have been with us for some time.

While it is instructive to analyze the “whys” or “wherefores” of this national tragedy, the more pressing issue for us as believers in Christ is, “How shall we then live?


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