Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Grove - Series Update

We are now halfway through "The Grove" where we are exploring some practical and fascinating spiritual truths that come to us through the life and times of an orange grove

Click here see all the installments from "The Grove" and other Bible studies.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Worst Kept Secret - Week 3

The "worst kept secret" is trying to hide our anger. Moses, while a giant of a man both historically and spiritually, struggled mightily with anger. While his win-loss record with anger was nothing to brag about, there are great lessons and changes that God wants to make in our lives.

Click hear to watch, listen and change our hot anger patterns.

Here is a complete list of all the video's to date on the Worst Kept Secret

Week 1, Worst Kept Secret, Moses, Murder & Mayhem

Week 2, Worst Kept Secret, A Deadly 1-2 Combination

Week 3, Worst Kept Secret, Angry at Your Boss

Friday, May 10, 2013

Press Release -

For Immediate Release and GLAD Associates
 are pleased to announce a new online radio program:
Weekly Grace

A new program, Weekly Grace has been added to’s broadcast schedule at 3PM every Monday and Friday. Starting May 13, Weekly Grace will be a 15-minute practical Bible study lead by Chet Gladkowski of Lake Wales, FL.

“We are very happy to bring Weekly Grace to our listeners” says Lionel Green, President of “Chet clearly communicates the good news of Jesus through a very unique and personable style. You can hear it in Chet’s voice; his easy-to-listen-to approach for a hurting and broken world comes from personal experience and pain. He has the scars to prove it too! I know he will be a great blessing to our radio family.”

While Chet has been teaching the Bible since 1971 in various traditional settings, for the past year he’s been leading a live internet broadcast for Dr. Diane Dike and her ministry, Second Chance with Saving Grace. A natural byproduct has been to post these Bible studies on YouTube so people could re-watch and share them. These Bible studies will form the heart of Weekly Grace.

“Chet has been a great addition to our ministry for broken and hurting people” says Dr. Diane Dike, President of Second Chance with Saving Grace. “Every week he brings an inspired message from the Bible that energizes and encourages people around the world. God has used these internet and YouTube Bible studies to speak His truth, love and compassion into the lives of people that have believed the lie that there is no hope. They come away with God’s promise of strength and the Good News of God's transforming grace! His message and interesting presentation always hits the spot.”

“God has been faithfully guiding towards this day and opportunity with” says Chet Gladkowski, President of GLAD Associates. “I am truly humbled and honored for the privilege of joining the WBGRonline family. Together with Lionel, we look forward to God speaking to and healing many broken hearts and lives.”


WBGRonline.comLaunched in May 2012, offers 21 national and local religious programs around the clock. For more information, contact:

Lionel Green, President
6004 Princess Garden Parkway
Lanham, MD 20706
(301) 459-2558

Second Chance with Saving Grace – an international nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Diane Dike and her husband Paul. Its mission is to transform lives by sharing Diane's message of hope and encouragement, based on her personal journey from pain and darkness to joy. For more information, contact;

Dr. Diane Dike, President
Second Chance with Saving Grace
P. O. 673
Eagle, CO 81631
(303) 225-2717

GLAD Associates – Using a very unique and practical communication style, Chet Gladkowski approaches the issues and heartache that people face with the solution focused solely on a relationship with Jesus Christ as the answers to our greatest need. GLAD Associates is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. For more information, contact,

Chet Gladkowski, President
GLAD Associates
1101 Cephia St.
Lake Wales, FL 33853 - blog
GladAssociates - YouTube

Friday, May 3, 2013

Did you see that?

The past weeks have been filled with history bending events that have been greatly influenced by being able to see something right away.

Whether you are a golfer or not, I’m certain that you heard about the incident at The Masters where Tiger Woods was penalized for not dropping his ball in the correct place. While I play golf, and I use that term very loosely, I don’t pretend to understand the rules that govern golf. I mean, if my ball lands against a tree, in the sand or water, shouldn't I be able to move the ball to a place where I can hit it? So when I saw Tiger drop his ball after his shot ricocheted on the 15th into the water at Augusta, I thought nothing of it. But Champions Tour golfer David Eger saw exactly the same thing and thought differently. He got right on the phone and called a PGA official, and that probably saved Tiger from being disqualified.

Fast forward to the incredible and horrifying bombing incident at the Boston Marathon. Not only did we see the actual explosions, but we also see volunteers rush to provide immediate and lifesaving first aid and comfort in the moments immediately following this senseless act. Not only have we watched the explosion countless times, but video cameras were vital in identifying those responsible. The trail of text and pictures were also employed in the subsequent arrest of three students who destroyed evidence and lied to authorities.

Banks have been using video cameras for years. As the price came down, video cameras were installed in convenience stores, malls and gas stations. Cameras take pictures of cars running red lights while software reads the license plate and automatically sends out a speeding ticket along with the fine. Video camera’s monitor highways and let us know if traffic is clear or snarled, alerting us to alternative routes. Police cars, school buses and classrooms are videotaped, showing exactly what is going on, providing proof positive whenever an incident occurs. Farmers are using unmanned drones with video cameras to watch over and monitor their crops.

And it’s going to only increase. Google's self-driving car gathers 750 megabytes of sensor data per SECOND! That is just mind-boggling to me. Here is a picture of what the car "sees" while it is driving and about to make a left turn. It is capturing every single thing that it sees moving - cars, trucks, birds, rolling balls, dropped cigarette butts, and fusing all that together to make its decisions while driving. If it sees a cigarette butt, it knows a person might be creeping out from between cars. If it sees a rolling ball it knows a child might run out from a driveway. Follow this link if you want to see the car in action.

No matter whether you think this is a good or bad thing, cameras are watching us all the time, gathering up information about us at an accelerating pace. You might think it’s for your protection or an intrusion into your privacy. While it may be a bit of a stretch, it would be hard to deny that someone or something is just about always watching.

If someone’s always watching and monitoring us, then why do we react and rebel against the idea that God is watching? If we’ve achieved almost universal coverage for cell phones and camera’s on highways, why is it so difficult to imagine and trust God to be watching over us?

As I think about a video camera recording my every action, I have absolutely no doubt that they are not necessarily looking out for me and my best interests. I'm just another set of digital dots, no different than the image of a car or tree.

But the idea of God watching over me can be either cause for concern or comfort. And that depends on who God is and what you think about him.

Some people think of God as some really angry guy with a scow on his face and an attitude in his heart, just waiting to pounce. The idea of him watching will put us on the defensive, throwing us into a guilt-infested forest of weeds and vines that are all designed to trip us up. And then we fail, we cringe and hide, thinking that we’re about to get hit upside of the head with a two-by-four.

But God as described in the Bible is one who is deeply concerned with us, wanting to protect and provide. He made us to engage in a deep and completely transparent loving relationship with him.

So why would we run for cover and hide from him? For the same reason that Adam and Eve did that very thing; shame and guilt for turning away from him, making ourselves out to be God. But he did not run away from us, he ran towards us. He sent Jesus to pay the price necessary to reunite us with him, again completely free from all that guilt and shame, reestablishing that completely transparent relationship with him.

I want to encourage you not to run and hide from God, but to come to him. We come just as we are, no need to clean ourselves up or get our stuff together. That’s his job. Our job is to come, his is to receive, forgive and start the process of healing our wounded souls, hearts, minds and emotions.

He loves to see us coming to him. He’s looking for you right now.

Y’all come.

Blessings - Chet

Through GladAssociates, Chet writes and speaks about topics that touch culture, life and faith. This is from a chapter in his upcoming book.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tax Day - My Mount Rushmore of favorite days

If you've been reading this blog for any time at all or have known me for more than 5 minutes, it will come as no epiphany that I have a "different" view of life. Some people call me a contrarian, others just a plain old nut job.

And when he comes to my favorite days, April 15 or "tax day" is definitely on my personal Mount Rushmore of favorite days. It sits atop the entire calendar year along with Thanksgiving, Fourth of July and November 29th (our anniversary).

I was speaking to someone just recently and I mentioned that April 15th is one of my favorite days and they just about flipped out. This is definitely a common sentiment. Just look at all of the blogs, news, Facebook posts, tweets and daily conversations about this day and what it means. The general sentiment is that taxes are a bad thing and were having too much of a bad thing. It doesn't matter whether you're Republican, Democrat or independent; the general reaction to April 15 is one of despair and a date to be despised.

In listening to my friend I got both barrels of exactly how he felt. "What's the matter with you Chet? Are you out of your ever loving mind? We pay so much in taxes and get so little. Doesn't that make your blood boil?” I got him to take a deep breath and bought him a decaf to help calm his nerves.

You have to understand, I do not like working with numbers! I have neither skill nor understanding of anything having to do with mathematics. My dear brother has all of the mathematical DNA material in our family and he's great with numbers. It is virtually impossible for me to do any form of computation in my head. Excel is only one click away and I will create a little spreadsheet for everything, even the most mundane and simple calculation. I'm so insecure about my capabilities with numbers that I will even build a second spreadsheet to double check what was in the first spreadsheet.

So you can see that my enjoyment of April 15th becomes even more of a mystery. Actually, my enjoyment of tax day starts months earlier (now I really have you totally confused, questioning my sanity and general well-being.)

It all starts as I get information together to prepare my taxes. You know the drill: pull out all of your receipts in addition to credit card and checking account  statements. I then start the puzzling process of matching that to my accounting software. While it automatically interfaces to all of my credit cards and bank statements, there are invariably problems and discrepancies. I then leap immediately into panic mode wondering how in the world I'm ever going to get this together.

I calm down as I work through the details and start sorting through all the information. I create numerous “piles” of paper information scattered on the floor. An important note is that you don't turn on the fan or have the windows open – a brisk breeze can ruin hours of work. Time does not permit me to adequately explain the anguish our dog Jitterbug created as she ran through my office, sliding and scattering papers everywhere.

Once I get all the information and paperwork organized, I start to go through it in detail. It's at this point that I transition from panic to pause. I pause to think through the past calendar year to see how I invested my money, and consequently my time and energies.

There is nothing so sobering as examining your expenses to see what you think is important. You may say something is vitally important, but then you evaluate those verbal statements with your bank and credit card statements. You are smacked in the face with the reality of your true choices. Our true faith and beliefs are confirmed by where we spend our money.

I am struck by two truths.

First, I see God providing so much that I am completely blown away. He has done so much for me; I see and experience his kindness in ways that I do not deserve. This past year I dramatically changed direction in my life. Instead of getting a paycheck by working for a company, I struck out on my own through consulting and also started a non-profit ministry organization. After doing all the research in preparation for April 15th, I came to the unbelievable realization that while I took a significant risk and dramatic income reduction, God has been so kind and faithful. I know this because we actually have more money in the bank now than when we started. I can only attribute this to God’s kindness and provision.

Second, Jesus clearly believed in looking at “tax day.” When he said “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” [1] he confirmed the truth about us. We spend on what we “believe” in, what we hold dear.

So as the sun sets on Tax Day 2013, what did you spend your money on? What did you invest in? If you brought your receipts to Jesus, what would he see and what would he say?

Please believe me that I am not trying to play the “guilt card” but for us to clearly look at where and in who we put our faith. Faith is not jumping off a bridge but making daily decisions that line up to what we really think is true. I urge you to change and start following Jesus, realigning your life spending with him so that Tax Day 2014 will be on your Mount Rushmore of favorite days as well.

Blessings - Chet

Chet Gladkowski speaks and writes on topics that touch on culture, life and faith through GLAD Associates. This article is taken from a chapter in his upcoming book.

[1] Matthew 6:21

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Life didn't turn out the way I thought it would

While part of what I do to make a living involves planning, I plan for everything. Planning is in my DNA, here are but a few examples;

  • Driving Directions – While I have an iPad, multiple smart phones and a GPS, I never just leave the house and trust them. Before leaving I always look at a map, figure out the best path (including multiple alternate routes in case of traffic) and print out my route. Yes, I print it – you never know when all the cell towers might all of a sudden go off-line and the GPS satellite could fall out of orbit. I also plan for plenty of travel time plus extra time to spare. I’m not certain how God feels about it, but being late is a great big sin in my book.
  • Projects – Whether it’s raking leaves or tearing out and completely renovating the kitchen, it’s a project and needs planning. No matter the size of the project, I break it down into several smaller tasks, I put the tasks in order and figure out the total time and cost. When we traveled to Italy, there was a detailed spreadsheet with the dates, places and things we were going to visit and do.
  • Painting – First of all, I carefully estimate the amount of paint that I’ll need and then about double it just to eliminate any possible need to make a second trip to the store. After removing all furniture and things from the walls, I put down a drop cloth and “edge” around the ceiling, corners and baseboards (twice.) Then I roll the walls in 4’ by 4’ sections; starting on the top half of the wall I roll in a “W” shape followed by an “M” shape and then rolling over any uncovered space. I then roll horizontally over the area followed by a final “vertical” roll. I repeat this process around the room, section by section.

By now I’m sure you really doubt my sanity! Yes, I pretty much plan just about everything I do. I even plan all the meals and cooking. I shop once a day and pick up all the fresh ingredients I need for the day’s meals, looking at plans for dinner to ensure that I have all the ingredients. This week I made Asian Noodles in a peanut and tahini (sesame seed) sauce so I needed lots of spices and ingredients. Taking my recipe to the kitchen, I carefully inspected what I had and made a list for shopping at the store. I am happy to report that the Asian Pasta dish came out exceptionally well.

The same cannot be said about my braised pork dinner though. I “thought” I had plenty of chicken stock but forgot that I had just given it to a worthy cause - chicken noodle soup lunch at Mary Ann’s school. Not wanting to go out just for chicken stock, I made a last minute substitution of seafood stock for chicken stock (which is nothing near a fair trade or replacement.) It turned out “OK” but I’m certain that it would have been better with chicken stock. While meals do hang in the balance, no one in our house goes crazy if you make a last minute substitution and produce a clunker once in a while. 

The same cannot be said about life though. This week I had multiple conversations where people said “Life didn’t turn out like I planned.” As I listened, they each had made careful plans, setting the course of their lives, doing all the right things yet they seemed to be missing something. While they had enough things, there seemed to be a hollow pause in their voice as they described life like empty rooms. Rooms that were made to be filled with people, laughter and joy yet their lives seemed to reflect the emptiness of their soul.

All of this came to mind like a flood this morning as I read a piece in (of all places) the Wall Street Journal. Towards the end of this article the author wrote, “Maybe it comes down to this: We want God.”[1]

In those few insightful words, the author captured the essence of what my friends were looking for. They had tried to fill up the rooms of their heart with everyone and everything except the one who could give them comfort, purpose and meaning in life. Without a guide to point the way, we all will drift or run in a direction that ends in loneliness, self-doubt and a sense that life didn’t turn out all that well.

One evening, Jesus was having dinner with the socially undesirable of his day. I’m sure that they asked the same question about life not turning out the way they planned. After all, who starts out in life planning to be a traitor to his people and homeland? Who truly plans to become a prostitute? They were outcasts and looked down on by society as a whole, but especially by self-righteous religious leaders. When Jesus hears the arrogant grumble against his desire to be with these outcasts, he blasts these conceited, self-righteous bigots. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what God means when he says: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” [2]

Jesus continues reaching out to us. He knows that “life didn’t turn out the way we had hoped.” Sometimes it’s because of our decisions, actions or words. Sometimes it was because what someone else did or said. No matter the cause or reason, Jesus is ready and willing to help and heal our brokenness of soul and fill the empty meaningless of life. He knows our weakness and failures, yet he loves us and wants to live life with us.

Now is the time to stop self-medicating to heal our broken hearts. No amount of self-will or planning can fill us with meaning, purpose and restoration. Only by turning to Jesus can life turn into something good, pure and full.

Blessings - Chet

Chet Gladkowski speaks and writes on topics that touch on culture, life and faith through GLAD Associates. This article is taken from a chapter in his upcoming book.

[1] 'Go and Repair My House,' Heard the Saint of Assisi, By Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, March 16th, 2013
[2] Matthew 9:12,13

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Where did it go?

Now I’m a pretty organized person. I know where just about everything is because I put it where it belongs. I had this drilled into me from a very early age. Everything has a place and everything in its place.

My mom’s kitchen was well organized. Things got put away after each and every use. Utensils went in one of those organizers in the top drawer, big sharp knives in the 3rd drawer, paper and plastic bags in the bottom drawer. Even dirty dishes had their place: they did not stay on the table but were picked up immediately and whisked away to the sink where they were rinsed with scalding hot water before they were neatly stacked in the sink in a specific order (large plates on the bottom, other flat plates next, bowls next, pots were not kept in the sink but put on the left side for scrubbing with Comet and a Brillo pad.

My dad’s work room downstairs was equally well organized; tools were kept in their toolbox or tool belt. Each electric tool (drill, saber saw, circular saw) had individual boxes and slots in his workbench. We were welcome to use his tools, but we better put them back right afterwards. I was convinced that it was a very serious sin to leave a tool outside overnight, right below wasting food in the hierarchy of trespasses that were sure to send me to an eternity of stale food and dirty tools while being chased by frothy Brillo pads.

Now you would think that my bedroom growing up would have followed in the same mold as my parents’ kitchen and workroom. You could think that but you’d be dead wrong. While I was required to “dust” my room, I just pushed the dust bunnies that were the size of large rats under my bed. Once a year I had to clean out my closet so my dad could get to the Bat cave (that’s what I called the attic where the Christmas lights were stored.) I use the term “clean out” rather loosely as I picked up all manner of stuff off the floor; toys, clothing, goulashes, pieces of my Erector set, loose B-B’s and dropped it all unceremoniously in paper bags, setting them aside waiting for the end of Yuletide. Once the Christmas decorations were returned to the Bat cave, I emptied the bags back onto the floor until next year... same Bat-time; same Bat-channel.

Now that I’m a law-abiding, responsible and productive member of society, I keep my life well planned and organized. There is an “in-box” on the right-hand corner of my desk where I faithfully deposit the contents of all my pockets whenever I return home. This ritual includes keys, wallet, cell phone, golf tees, you name it. Receipts and other trash immediately go in the can while loose change goes into a clean red Chinese takeout box.

For the most part, my physical and computer “desktops” are also well organized, clean and free of miscellaneous junk. The only exception is when I’m working on a big project (putting together all my records and receipts for taxes.) I have well organized physical and virtual “folders” that are in alphabetical order with sub-folders when needed. I have been blessed with a good memory so I can quickly and easily find most anything whether it’s in my work area, kitchen, filing cabinet, computers, iPod, smart phone, internet.

There is a method to my madness; there is a very important reason why I do all this. I don’t follow this detailed plan because I enjoy doing it, just the opposite is true. I do all this and more because I hate not being able to find things. Did you hear what I said; I used the “H” word, HATE.  I hate not being able to immediately get something, knowing where things are. The panic I feel when I lose something is really deep. When I can’t find my keys, or misplace my cellphone, there is a real feeling of being out of control. I start checking and rechecking all my normal spots, looking over and over for it.

Can I tell you a secret? As I write these words I feel like I’m on Oprah or Piers Morgan when they lean in and say in that low and friendly voice, “Come on, you can tell me, just between the two of us.” I really admire people that can relax when they can’t find something and put it out of their mind. Not me. If I can’t find something, I start slowly and methodically looking for it, as I feel the anxiety rise within me. If after five minutes I still can’t find it, panic starts to grow and grow. It would have made a great episode on any sit-com to watch me search for any lost item, with the emphasis on ANY.

Now you might feel that my fear is a bit over the edge, some will think that I need professional help and others are firmly convinced that I should be institutionalized. But if we are honest with one another, we all have some area of sensitivity and feelings about being out of control. For me, it’s not being able to find things. For some, it’s having a clean home, a nice looking home, an orderly appearance for everyone to see. For many people they are deathly afraid about some part of their past coming out.

This is exactly what happened when a woman was thrown in front of Jesus. The “spiritual leaders” of that community found her in bed with someone other than her husband and they challenged Jesus to be judge, jury and executioner. Rather than argue law, morality or how they found her “in the very act,” Jesus ignores their words and goes to the center of their heart when he told them "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!" One by one they skulked away, embarrassed no doubt by their personal moral failure memories. While Jesus briefly talks about her past, he is definitely more interested in her future. Jesus concludes his conversation with this poor, unfortunate woman by assuring her that he does not condemn her, sends her on her way with a warning to stop. [1]

I really believe that Jesus wants us to Look back, Learn but not Linger about our past. Jesus does not want our past to “define” us but he wants to use his forgiveness in our lives to instruct, motivate and change us.

Recently I listened as someone wanted help in asking forgiveness. I could have probed; bringing up dirty details, holding their feet to the fire and “stoning” them for every little thing they said or did. But I thought about Jesus and how he freely gave forgiveness to this woman, but more importantly his free and total forgiveness to me. As I listened, I heard how God had been moving in their life and their humble and broken heart that yearned to restore broken relationships.

Jesus words to you and me are as powerful and applicable as they were when he first uttered them more than 2,000 years ago to that broken, condemned and scared woman.  The words and heart of “Neither do I condemn you” should be on the bumper sticker of our heart since each of us has missed the mark so many times. He neither condones nor condemns, he gives. If Jesus, who is both God and a perfect man can forgive, so should we. If God is willing to pay the price and forgive me, I cannot think of a single reason not to forgive others or myself, other than my pride and self-centeredness.

Please understand, some who are reading these words have been deeply hurt by the acts and sins of others. I’m not dismissing their wrong in the least. But our ability to heal, grow and move on with our lives is deeply tied to our willingness and aptitude to forgive.

Our need and ability to move beyond who we were to who God wants us to become is a powerful and demanding question. Go and sin no more give all of us the freedom to lose our guilt and shame before God, others and ourselves. I can rest my life and conscience in Jesus. As I lose my guilt and shame, that’s something worth not finding again.

Blessings - Chet

Chet Gladkowski speaks and writes on topics that touch on culture, life and faith through GLAD Associates. This article is taken from a chapter in his upcoming book.

[1] John 8:1-11