Monday, December 29, 2014

It's all about Him

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (Phil 3:7-9 NIV)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior -- yes, the Messiah, the Lord -- has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!" Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others -- the armies of heaven -- praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors." When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on, let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. (Luke 2:8-16 NLT)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wise men seek him

  • This is the time of year when Jesus' birth as a human being is acknowledged. Some professing Believers choose to focus more on materialism or secular celebrations than on Jesus. Others want to argue details, e.g., "He really was not born this time of year."

    In my opinion, most important, is that He was born, He lived, He died as the atonement sacrifice for our sin, He was resurrected, and He is alive now and forevermore.

    In order to die for our sin, He first had to be born. Do not let the hustle, hassle, social pressures, and commercialism of this season rob you of time to contemplate and honor all that Jesus did for us.

    Though cliche, this is true: "Jesus is the reason for the season."

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:12-14 NIV)

Monday, December 22, 2014


  • If you have had to live without encouragement, you know how precious any encouraging word can be--like water in the desert. I have been there before, and I am deeply grateful for those who encourage me now. (Especially my wife--the most positive, encouraging person I have ever known--truly a gift from God!)

    There are many ways we can encourage each other; it could be as simple as a smile or a kind word. Sometimes, just listening to someone can be a great encouragement because it shows that you care.

  • From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. (Acts 14:26-27 NIV)

Friday, December 19, 2014


    We may not be able to avoid rejection or keep it from hurting when it happens, but we can keep it in perspective. There is One who will never reject us. In Psalm 27, David wrote: "My father and mother may abandon me, but the LORD will take care of me." (v. 10, GNB)

"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.' "I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." (John 13:18-20 NIV)

Thursday, December 18, 2014


  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

    I want to learn from the past and not repeat the same mistakes over and over. I can learn from history and other people's mistakes, of course. However, if I am truly honest with myself and ask for God's help, I can also learn from my own.

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. (1 Cor 10:1-6 NIV)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Soul Winning!

    Have you ever felt like a failure because you could not "win" someone for Jesus? It is easy to do; we live in a predominantly uncompassionate, results-oriented world.

    However, if you feel that way, you should re-examine those feelings, because producing the results of our obedience to God is not within the scope of our ability or responsibility.

    I believe that the only way we can fail Him is to disobey Him. The results of our obedience are His, and His alone.

"When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking. 'Quick!' he said to me. 'Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.' "Then the Lord said to me, 'Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'" (Acts 22:17,18,21 NIV)

Embrace your trials

Greater of the test greater the testimony! When we look back to what God has done, we can have hope for what He can still do.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Key To Victory

Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. (Psa 111:1-5 NIV)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It will come

  • When I have asked the Lord for a specific answer or direction, seldom has the answer come right away.

    I have learned to wait and to trust that the answer will come. It always has. It always does. Sometimes (almost always) later than sooner, but it comes. 

    At times, I waited days, weeks, or months--sometimes even years. Eventually, the answer came. And when it came, it was at exactly the right time. I am waiting on some answers now; I know they will come.

    What about you? Do you need to hear from God? Do not panic and take matters into your own hands. Wait. Trust. Follow Habakkuk's example: "...wait to see what the LORD will say..."

I will stand like a guard and watch. I will wait to see what the LORD will say to me. I will wait and learn how he answers my questions. The LORD answered me, "Write down what I show you. Write it clearly on a sign so that the message will be easy to read. This message is about a special time in the future. This message is about the end, and it will come true. Just be patient and wait for it. That time will come; it will not be late. (Hab 2:1-3 ERV)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pain vs. gain

  • If you truly love, you risk being hurt; you cannot have one without the other. Some people "shut down" to avoid pain. I know; I was one of them. I was emotionally dead, unable to feel anything.

    I cried out to God to bring me back to life. He did, but ironically, it required great pain.

    If you love, you may get hurt. But in my experience, not feeling anything was far worse than any pain I have ever felt.

    I am not afraid anymore. I learned that if I do get hurt, God can turn it into a treasure beyond price in my life. No doubt.

    I also have no doubt that He can do the same for you, if you are willing. Do not be afraid to love, beginning with God.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God. (Phil 1:9-11 NIV)

Friday, December 5, 2014

God's Will

    What is God's will? That is a very big, very important question.

    We talk and pray about being in "God's will" for our lives as though it was a sports field and we must be careful not to run out-of-bounds. But is that really what it is, specifically, for you and for your life? I personally think it is much more.

    I believe "God's will" for our lives is His vision, plan, purpose, and potential for each of us. Of course, there are boundaries--values and principles we absolutely cannot violate and remain in favor with Him. However, I believe "God's will" for us is to be discovered more in the context of our relationship with Him than in ticking off lists of "do's and don't's".

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:13-15 NIV)

Thursday, December 4, 2014


  • Scripture teaches us that faith in God is a requirement. But have you ever considered that God has faith in you?

    He had faith that you would one day choose to love Him (you, personally). And He has faith in you now that you will choose to continue to mature in your relationship with Him.

    Though we believe in Him now, He believed in us first.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb 11:3-6 NIV)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Present Help If!

  • Do you know someone who is "not happy unless they are miserable"? I do. This person sees (or imagines) something negative in everything. This is the most unhappy, miserable human I have ever known.

    We all encounter circumstances that are beyond our control, but it is especially sad when someone creates their own. So it is with this person--and I truly hurt for them.

    If you know such a one, I say to you what I try to do: Do not take responsibility for their misery, however much they may try to make you feel so. Be a light and a witness of God's love to them. He is the only One who can help them--if they are willing to let Him.

They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me. I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me. They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt. (Hosea 7:14-16 NIV)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Is there Jonah in you

  • Think about Jonah: God told him to preach repentance in the capital of the Assyrian Empire. He didn't like Assyria and would rather see them destroyed. So...

    He tried to flee from God on a ship. Didn't work.

    Then he was thrown overboard in a storm (b-i-g storm!). Didn't drown.

    Then he was swallowed by a fish (b-i-g fish!). Didn't die.

    Then, wrapped in seaweed, he was spit up on the beach. Then God repeated the instruction. Then he obeyed. Then Nineveh repented.

    As you read this, get the point, but don't judge Jonah too harshly. Remember: we all learn the hard way sometimes.

    And what is the point? I enjoy a good seaweed salad at my favorite Asian restaurant, but I don't want to do what Jonah did to get one. Better to obey God the first time. Wouldn't you agree?

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city--a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. (Jonah 3:1-5-10 NIV)

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's your Dream!

  • If God has given you a dream, hold to it; do not let it go. If you have not yet seen it fulfilled, it may only mean that it is not over yet.

    Some, like Joseph's brothers, may outright reject you or the dream, however, some, like his father, will keep the matter in mind.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. "Listen," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me." When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, "What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?" His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. (Gen 37:9-11 NIV)

Saturday, November 29, 2014


But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him. Yes, he was a righteous man who was distressed by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the day of judgment. (2 Pet 2:7-9 NLT)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Is Being Good Enough?

As he was starting out on a trip, a man came running up to Jesus, knelt down, and asked, "Good Teacher, what should I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked. "Only God is truly good. But as for your question, you know the commandments: 'Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. Do not cheat. Honor your father and mother.'" "Teacher," the man replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was a child." Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. "You lack only one thing," he told him. "Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark 10:17-21NLT)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

But God!

As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, fastened itself onto his hand. The people of the island saw it hanging there and said to each other, "A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live." But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and decided he was a god. (Acts 28:3-6 NLT)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Stop Fooling Yourself

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psa 139:1-10 NIV)

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. (Rom 16:3-7 NIV)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Temporal or Eternal

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. (1 Tim 4:8-10 NIV)

Are you willing to learn

So Jesus told them, "I'm not teaching my own ideas, but those of God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. Those who present their own ideas are looking for praise for themselves, but those who seek to honor the one who sent them are good and genuine. (John 7:16-18 NLT)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Learn from your pass

  • "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

    I want to learn from the past and not repeat the same mistakes over and over. I can learn from history and other people's mistakes, of course. However, if I am truly honest with myself and ask for God's help, I can also learn from my own.

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. (1 Cor 10:1-6 NIV)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Prayer Faith Feelings

  • Yesterday's message was about prayer, expectations, and not letting feelings override faith. Here is another perspective:

    You have a need. You pray, believe, do not doubt, and... nothing happens. No change. No relief. No solution. Zip. This is the point where some people say, "This faith stuff does not work!".

    I believe, like a rite of passage, everyone encounters that point on their journey to maturity. I've been there. I learned (the hard way) that God does answer every prayer--but not when or how I demand.

Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:10-11 NIV

Monday, November 10, 2014

Faith vs Feelings

  •  have been in ministry a long time, and I have seen people pray, but, judging by actions, not expect God to respond. While there is not time here to go in depth, I will say that for some, it was a conflict between feelings and a decision. How does that work?

    We may not feel confident, but that is distinct from a decision to trust God. Example: you may not always feel loving toward someone, but that does not mean that you do not love them. Bottom line: do not confuse your faith with your feelings.

    I pray that as you bring needs to God, you will KNOW that He will hear and respond. Beyond feel, beyond hope--KNOW, with full and complete expectation--that He will respond because you have made a decision to believe the One who always does what He promises.

If you need wisdom--if you want to know what God wants you to do--ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6 NLT)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Love one another

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (Eph 1:15-18 NIV)

Thursday, November 6, 2014


  • I know it would be easy to read this and zip on along... but please do not. Take a few minutes and pray for us today, perhaps as you read this now. We have a connection via this message and you allow us to speak into your life through it--and that makes your prayers for us important. Thank you!

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. "But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. "If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! (Psa 81:10-14 NIV)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Exceptions to the rules

  • It has been said that "rules are rules". And some people say: "If you question whether the rules are the rules, refer to the rule that says the rules are the rules." (I try to avoid those people...)

    We humans have never been good at following rules (e.g., Adam); it is our inconvenient heritage. We know this. God knows it too. 

    I am grateful that He made a way for us that, while not excusing our rule-breaking behavior (sin), gives us a way to be right with Him even when we fail to follow the rules.

For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it. But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight--not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. (Rom 3:20-24 NLT)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Just ask

  • Many would say they believe that God still does miracles, however, deep inside, few feel worthy of one or that their situation is "spiritual" enough to deserve His attention.

    Jesus' first miracle was for someone who ran out of wine for wedding guests. It is possible that negligence in planning was the fault--and that was not a spiritual problem. Yet, Jesus intervened, and the wedding went on uninterrupted.

    What about us and our everyday, "normal" problems--even the ones we create for ourselves? I believe He cares: the "Cana Wedding Incident" tells me He does.

    So, when I am running late and need a parking space, I ask Him for help. Therefore, I encourage you today: whatever your situation, whatever you need, do not be afraid or reluctant to ask.

Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. (John 2:7-11 NIV)

Monday, November 3, 2014


  • When things are out-of-balance, problems eventually manifest. A friend once had a ceiling fan that was not balanced well. He intended to work on it when he had time; He thought it would be all right till then. He was wrong! While He slept one night, it came crashing down onto my bed!

    Our lives need balance. That involves what we spend our time doing, where we do it, and who we do it with. And I believe our life-balance begins with our relationship with God.

    Perhaps it's time to do a life-balance check, avert a potential crash? I do it often now. Think about it. 

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. (1 Tim 4:13-14 NIV)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Make it happen!

  • "Prosper" is a wonderful word. It means: "flourish physically; grow strong and healthy; be financially successful".

    It is not as commonly used today as in the past--but it is something we all desire in one way or another. Most think of it only in financial terms, but its scope if far beyond money!

    God gives us a "how to" in His Word, and today's Scripture is a key.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psa 1:1-3 NIV)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Move your mountain

  • Faith is not a feeling or a product of feelings. Feelings change, and we cannot always control our feelings.

    Faith is not produced by an analysis of circumstances or evidence. Analysis is a process of logic. Faith, more often than not, appears illogical.

    I believe that, like love, faith is a choice, a decision. I also believe it is far more about trusting the integrity of the one who promised than about the circumstances--or even the promise itself.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Rom 4:18-21 NIV)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Help in the time of trouble

  • Sometimes we get to the point that we cannot make it another day--or even hour or minute! If you are there, know that your faith has not failed, nor has God abandoned you.

    Feeling change: that is going to happen from time to time. But God is still the same, He still feels the same about you, and He remains faithful to do all that He promised. 

    Remember this: what you feel and what you believe are two distinctly different things. Believe and trust God in your spirit, and do not allow your feelings to change that.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isa 40:29-31 NIV)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The best is yet to come

  • Have you ever been in a situation that seemed bad at the time, but later, you discovered that it was for your good, perhaps even the best thing that could have happened? It is like finding a treasure in an unexpected place.

    I have experienced enough of those in my relationship with God to trust that regardless of what happens, He will work it out for my good--in the end. Those experiences have taught me that before "the end", there is a process. That process is where most of the education and maturity (and uncertainty and pain) takes place.

    If you are in one of those places, in pain, uncertainty, doubt, or even anger, do not despair. It is not the end yet. Wait for, look for, and expect the treasure to be revealed.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. (Phil 1:18b-19 NIV)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Faith or Feelings

  • Faith is not a feeling or a product of feelings. Feelings change, and we cannot always control our feelings.

    Faith is not produced by an analysis of circumstances or evidence. Analysis is a process of logic. Faith, more often than not, appears illogical.

    I believe that, like love, faith is a choice, a decision. I also believe it is far more about trusting the integrity of the one who promised than about the circumstances--or even the promise itself.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Rom 4:18-21 NIV)

Friday, October 24, 2014

But God!

When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?" Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king." The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. (Dan 6:20-23 NIV)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

He is Able

  • I saw this a long time ago on a poster in a photo lab I used: "We have done so much with so little for so long, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing." (Sort of how I feel about my ministry. 

    Well, God did say that all thing are possible with Him--and He did EVERYTHING with NOTHING. However, for us, there are prerequisites to receiving spectacular answers to prayer. Jesus included conditions: believe and forgive.

"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (Mark 11:23-25 NIV)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


  • We spend a lot of time and energy doing a lot of things for... what?

    Will any of the things we do today last beyond this lifetime?

    These questions are worth considering. The seasons are changing: Fall 2014 begins today. Another year is passing.

    Our lives have seasons too. Consider these questions before another life-season changes. Will you join me in today's prayer?

I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless. It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. (Eccl 2:4-11 NLT)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Live in his will

  • A question: How many prayers have you heard closed with, "Your will be done." or begun with, "If it be Your will..."?

    Another question: How many of those speakers meant what they said?

LORD my God, you have done many amazing things! You have made great plans for us--too many to list. I could talk on and on about them, because there are too many to count. Lord, you made me understand this: You don't really want sacrifices and grain offerings. You don't want burnt offerings and sin offerings. So I said, "Here I am, ready to do what was written about me in the book. My God, I am happy to do whatever you want. I never stop thinking about your teachings." (Psa 40:5-8 ERV)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Who's Spirit do you posses

And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you this, we do not use words of human wisdom. We speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all. (1 Cor 2:12-15 NLT)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fountain of youth

He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (Mar 10:14-16 NIV)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

From Pain To Peace

  • In Psalm 142, David wrote what many feel: " one cares...".

    Feelings of loneliness, abandonment, or neglect: Perhaps everyone experiences them to some degree at some time. Sometimes the circumstances exist only in a person's mind. And again, sometimes, the circumstances are very, very real.

    Whether real or imagined, one thing is common to both: pain--deep, unrelenting pain that can defy all attempts for relief or comfort. I did not read that in a book somewhere. No. I know that pain.

    I have also experienced the peace that comes from reckoning my relationship with God to be more real, certain, substantial, and dependable than anything I can see, hear, or touch, and from trusting it more than I trust myself or my feelings.

  • I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, "You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. (Psa 142:4-6 NLT)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Your answer may be in your trails

  • I learned that hurricanes help keep Earth healthy. They stir up nutrients from ocean depths and influence our weather patterns. Though they can be very destructive locally, they do a lot of good.

    I see life much the same way. I learned a lot in trying and painful times. I would not want to go through those storms again, but neither would give up what I learned. God, through them, made by life better, and what I learned is very precious to me now.

    In my experience, God was in the storm. I got to know Him better there. I believe you can find Him there too--if you look for Him.

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. (Job 38:1 GW)


Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psa 37:4-6 NIV)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Always hating

  • There is a figure of speech that refers to being "stuck between a rock and a hard place". There may be no easy choice: no matter what we do, we will offend someone or be rejected by someone.

    I believe the harder choice could be deciding who it will be, especially in spiritual matters. Do we offend people or God? Will it be Him or "them"? And whose acceptance is more important?

    My advice? Decide before you encounter the "hard place". Make it a life choice, so that regardless of circumstances, you know what you will do.

    Nehemiah was cruelly mocked and opposed for his choices, but that did not matter to him; he was only concerned with what God thought about him. (His life encourages me and he is one of those I especially want to meet in heaven.)

Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, "What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a day if they offer enough sacrifices? Look at those charred stones they are pulling out of the rubbish and using again!" Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, "That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!" Then I prayed, "Hear us, O our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! (Neh 4:1-4 NLT)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Be care how you hear

  • We cannot always know if what we hear is true because there can a "spin" or biased (and perhaps even manipulative) opinion expressed.

    And sometimes we even do it with God: we put our "spin" on what He said so it will fit with what we want, or, we use out-of-context something He said to justify doing something we want. (In defense: most do it without understanding until after the fact, if ever.)

    Human nature has not changed since the beginning. In today's Scripture, Saul did it. He tried to "spin" God's instructions. Samuel called him on it, and the consequences were severe.

    Good object lesson for us today? I think so.

Why haven't you obeyed the LORD? Why did you rush for the plunder and do exactly what the LORD said not to do?" "But I did obey the LORD," Saul insisted. "I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you from being king." (1 Sam 15:19-21,22-23 NLT)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Let it shine

He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." (Mar 4:21-23 NIV)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Peace is a gift

John 16:33 In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. ( I pray In the midst of life's pain you will find peace in Jesus.) 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Soul winning

When I am with the Jews, I become one of them so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with those who follow the Jewish laws, I do the same, even though I am not subject to the law, so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with the Gentiles who do not have the Jewish law, I fit in with them as much as I can. In this way, I gain their confidence and bring them to Christ. But I do not discard the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring them to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. (1 Cor 9:20-22NLT)

Monday, October 6, 2014

God can

Only God can turn a Mess into a message, a Test into a testimony, a Trial into a triumph, a Victim into a victory.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Can You Do It

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Pro 3:5-6 NIV)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Faith vs. Feelings

  • The situation: You "know that you know"--truly believe--that God commissioned you to do a certain thing, promised a certain thing, or showed you something that was to happen.

    That said, let me ask: Have you ever been so weary in working and waiting for God's promise that you felt like the only thing left to do was give up? Perhaps even now, logic, reason, your mind, and every feeling in you screams, "It's over!" or "You failed!"

    That is the moment that defines the line between faith and feelings. That is the moment that demands a choice.

    If you really "know that you know", you have to follow today's Scripture: "Take courage and work, for I am with you..." Easy to say. Hard to do. But worth it.

But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD. Take courage, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Take courage, all you people still left in the land, says the LORD. Take courage and work, for I am with you, says the LORD Almighty. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid. (Hag 2:4-5 NLT)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Give God a chance

  • Sometimes the pain, disappointment, and loss in your life can feel overwhelming. I understand. (If you know even a little of my story, you know I speak from experience when I say, "I understand.".)

    From that precious and costly experience I say to you: Regardless of what has happened, God can heal, restore, and renew joy again.

    I know how that statement can sound when you are in pain and grief. I know how it can feel impossible to ever know joy again. I also know that it is true because I have experienced it.

    And because I have, I do not doubt that God will do it for you. The process begins with your faith to believe and willingness to ask. For me, it took some time (and a lot of trust along the way)--but it happened. It can happen for you too.

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:21-24 NIV)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Responses are key

  • When someone asks me a question in a demanding manner, my first thought is, "Who are you to ask in such a way?"

    Answering a demand could, in some contexts, be an acknowledgment of a person's authority. Do they actually have the authority to demand in the first place? Maybe so, maybe no...

    Jesus recognized this and His response is a model for us. In some cases, the best answer is no answer. How to know? Begin by praying for wisdom and discernment.

They demanded, "By whose authority did you drive out the merchants from the Temple? Who gave you such authority?" "Let me ask you a question first," he replied. "Did John's baptism come from heaven, or was it merely human?" They talked it over among themselves. "If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn't believe him. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us, because they are convinced he was a prophet." Finally they replied, "We don't know." And Jesus responded, "Then I won't answer your question either." (Luke 20:2-8 NLT)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lost in Love

  • We had an opportunity to "live" this yesterday. Sometimes it takes a little while to get over the initial shock when something (like a direct spiritual challenge) happens.

    More important is what you do when you come back to your spiritual senses. Like getting slapped in the face: It takes a moment to recover, but by then, the culprit had better be running...

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! (Psa 46:1-3 NLT)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

He Knows what's Best

  • I have learned that God always answered my prayers--though I did not always like the answer. He did not promise to answer them as I asked (demanded), but as a good parent, He always did what was best.

    I now trust that He will always hear and answer my prayers and He will always do what is best. That is what I ask Him for now. 
    I learned that I can trust Him even with that.

    You can too.

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" (John 11:41-43 NIV)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


  • I believe our relationship with God works like this: He has a purpose for us: a calling, a commission, or a task. He does not require us to produce the results. He only requires us to believe Him and do what He asks in faith.

    What my grandfather did: Sowed seed and trusted the process.

    What we should do: Obey God and trust the results to Him.

Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. (Eccl 11:4, 6 NIV)

Monday, September 22, 2014


  • We spend a lot of time and energy doing a lot of things for... what?

    Will any of the things we do today last beyond this lifetime?

    These questions are worth considering. The seasons are changing: Fall 2014 begins today. Another year is passing.

    Our lives have seasons too. Consider these questions before another life-season changes. Will you join me in today's prayer?

I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless. It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. (Eccl 2:4-11 NLT)

Friday, September 19, 2014

He's a Promise Keeper

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:19-23 NIV)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Be careful of who you listen to

Do not be trapped into following their example in worshiping their gods. Do not say, 'How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.' You must not do this to the LORD your God. These nations have committed many detestable acts that the LORD hates, all in the name of their gods. They have even burned their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods. Carefully obey all the commands I give you. Do not add to them or subtract from them. (Deu 12:30-32 NLT)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Using wisdom

  • Yesterday's message was about the spoken word and its significance. Today's message is also about what we say, albeit from a different perspective.

For the Scriptures say, "If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil." (1 Pet 3:10-12 NLT)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Just words?

  • I had a conversation with a family member last night about words and their significance. I believe our words carry and express great spiritual authority; that is why they are important--so important that Jesus said we are accountable for even the careless ones.

    Think about these things:

  • At the time of creation, God did not think, "Let there be light." He SAID it--and light became. His words carried His authority and everything He commanded happened as He said.

  • We have no record of Jesus praying silently or observing a "moment of silence". In every instance recorded, He spoke when He prayed as He healed, delivered, performed miracles, and taught.

    God is aware of the significance and authority of His spoken words. We should too because we are created in His image.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Mat 12:35-37 NIV)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Real Love

  • From today's Scripture: "All the others care only for themselves..."

    I know from experience the pain and damage such a one can cause. I also know from experience that having one who loves truly, selflessly, and honestly will change your life.

    My Father and Mother selfless love changed my life. I shudder to think what I would have been without them and the love they modeled for a little boy who needed to see what real love looked and felt like.

    This too I know from experience: Regardless of whether you have the former or latter in your life and regardless of what has happened to you, you can be the one that makes a difference in someone's life.

If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon. Then when he comes back, he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has helped me in preaching the Good News. (Phil 2:19-22 NLT)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Take Heed to Learning

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14 NIV)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


  • My understanding, faith--the "God kind"--is more than an intellectual assent or just saying words. Example: You believe you will be alive in an hour (barring some unforeseen event) because you are alive now. It is not something you think about; you just accept it to be true.

    IMHO: We have to know that God will do what He promised just like we know we are alive now and will be in an hour. When we reach that expression of faith and that level of knowing, things will happen.

    Am I there yet? Not as I would like to be... but I'm working on it.

I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me. I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs. (Psa 69:29-31 NIV)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


  • In the dynamics of relationships, there is a concept known as "emotional separation": Those in the relationship may still be together physically but have pulled away from each other emotionally. If not addressed, more serious problems can follow.

    Have you ever thought about your emotional interaction with God? After all, it is a relationship and it requires effort on our part to maintain--just as any other relationship worth having.

It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you don't believe me." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who didn't believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, "That is what I meant when I said that people can't come to me unless the Father brings them to me." At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, "Are you going to leave, too?" Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life. (John 6:63-68 NLT)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Free yourself!

  • I think that being able to forgive and pray for those who have hurt us is an "acid test" of our relationship with God and our trust and belief in what He says.

    It is difficult to do--perhaps the most difficult thing you may EVER do. For me, it is impossible without God's help.

    I remember when I could not; I remember the torment of the great pain certain people caused and the "life cost" of it. It took a lot of hard "learning" before I could let it all go, trust Him, and forgive them.

    I learned that it really did come down to my relationship with Him.

    What do you think?

Now Moses was more humble than any other person on earth. I speak to him face to face, directly and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. Should you not be afraid to criticize him?" The LORD was furious with them, and he departed. As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, Miriam suddenly became white as snow with leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened, he cried out to Moses, "Oh, my lord! Please don't punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. Don't let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth." So Moses cried out to the LORD, "Heal her, O God, I beg you!" (Num 12:3,8-13 NLT)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Love is better

  • I have spent a lot of time in reflection on my life and the pain I have experienced. I discovered that much of what I did was to avoid pain in some way. I believe we all do it more (and in more ways) than we realize.

    Examples: Pleasing someone or seeking their approval to avoid the pain of rejection. Seeking financial security to avoid the pain of poverty. A relationship to avoid the pain of loneliness.

    Of course, the better motive is love. Think on these things in context of your relationship with God. 

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:10-12 NIV)

Thursday, August 28, 2014


  • We all have conflicting, doubtful thoughts and feelings sometimes. They seem to come from "nowhere" at the most inconvenient or challenging times.

    But to willfully, intentionally speak against God is another matter.

    We cannot keep a thought from fleeting across our mind--it's the way we are wired. But we can refuse to linger on it. And we absolutely can keep inappropriate words from our mouth: what we speak is a choice of our will and we are accountable for every single word.

He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High. They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the desert? (Psa 78:13-19 NIV)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Trust God

  •  I believe It is a time for us to be sober, focused, certain in Whom we trust, and strong in our relationship with Him.

    I remember my grandparents speaking of being"prayed up". Yeah. It's time for that.

Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Cor 7:27-31 NIV)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Real Talk

  • This is as real as it gets:

    You are in a "situation". You read Scripture seeking answers, and you get... nothing.

    Don't feel alone in this; nothing is wrong with you. It happens to everyone at times.

    If I can find a situation in Scripture similar to my own, I can apply the principle to my life and believe God will do it for me because He did it for someone else. So, as in today's verses, we can ask Him to open our minds and rightfully, in faith, expect Him to do it.

He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the 

Monday, August 25, 2014


  • Undesirable consequences occur when things get out of balance.

    I once had a ceiling fan that was out of balance. I ignored it. And it worked--for a while. Eventually it worked loose and fell (on my bed in the wee hours!). Learned a good lesson from that experience!

    So with our lives. If we live out-of-balance, we risk having a "come apart" or even a crash. Better to prevent a problem than to fix one.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17 NIV)

Friday, August 22, 2014


For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39 NIV)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Word Above All

  • When I read Scripture, I like to "make it real". (Of course, if you have read Today's Seed for a while, you already know that.)

    So many situations we read about are the same kinds of emotional conflicts we deal with. Take David's circumstances in today's verses for example.

    Has anyone ever responded with hostility to something you did in kindness? It hurt, didn't it? Perhaps you felt anger rising. That was natural. So, how do you think David felt?

    We have those natural feelings--and we also have the Holy Spirit to help us respond in a better way than our emotions would drive us.

    He will if we ask.

David thought, "I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father. When David's men came to the land of the Ammonites, the Ammonite nobles said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think David is honoring your father by sending men to you to express sympathy? Hasn't David sent them to you to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?" So Hanun seized David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their garments in the middle at the buttocks, and sent them away. (2 Sam 10:2-4 NIV)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Don't Lie

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." (Acts 5:1-4 NIV)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Your Worth!

  • The stresses and demands of life and work can cause you to feel inadequate and undervalued. You can fall into the subtle trap of feeling that you are only worth what you can produce--and often that is significantly less than what is required of you.

    It is an accepted principle of economics that "Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it." (Jonathan Reeves) Jesus paid for your life with His own. By His actions, He implied that your life was worth as much as His.

    I do not believe that any of us see ourselves as being that valuable. But we should--because Jesus does.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Cor 5:21 NLT)

Friday, August 15, 2014


  • Today's message is about good behavior; however, not everyone embraces that lifestyle...

    I had to interact with one of those "harsh and unpleasant" people referred to in today's prayer. This person's behavior is extreme and has affected many lives spanning decades. It affected me again today, and it was a struggle to overcome (again).

    It has been said, "What doesn't make you bitter makes you better." The "bitter" part is a choice. The "better" part is a result of the choice not to become bitter from mistreatment. I am grateful to have realized along the way that I had a choice.

    Please remember, regardless of circumstances, you have a choice too: You can set your heart to be that wise person in today's verses.

The wise are known for their understanding, and instruction is appreciated if it's well presented. Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools. From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive. Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (Prov 16:21-24 NLT)

Prayer: LORD, one way people evaluate each other is by what they say--and some people's words are so harsh and unpleasant that others avoid them. I want to grow in wisdom and understanding so that my words can be positive and encouraging. As I grow in our relationship, what I say will begin to be healing and comforting, welcomed and appreciated by those who hear. May all my words today be a reflection of You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Go with God

  • A good friend believes that God told Him to leave for an extended ministry road-trip on his motorcycle. There were a lot of unanswered questions and he struggled with where he was supposed to go. He confided in me. I could not say, "Yes, it is God. Go." or"No, it is not. Do not go.", because I did not know. I told him this:

    "Frank, if you go, you may not know where you are going, but you know Who you are going with." He found peace in that. His decision was to leave. I last heard from him about a week ago.

    So it is with our lives. We do not always know where we are going, but we can always know Who we are going with if we keep our faith and trust in God. I find great peace in that. I hope you do too.

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Heb 13:20-21 NIV)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Think about it!

  • How many good things have I missed because I did not follow God's instruction? How many problems could I have avoided? Only He knows for certain, but I know there have many of both. Perhaps for you too?

    God's message to Joseph probably sounded extreme to him. Regardless, he put his thoughts and feelings aside and obeyed God.

    We may not see an angel as he did, but God still speaks in various ways. And He really is always right--and I do not say that lightly: It took time and a lot of hard knocks, but I finally learned that He is ALWAYS right, no exceptions.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. (Mat 1:18-20 NIV)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How Deep is your Love for God?

  • What if standing for God meant losing a significant relationship? Or your job? Or friends no longer wanted you around? Or you lost the respect of colleagues? What would you do if given an ultimatum?

    This is what I do: I make decisions with God about important things. Then, when challenges arise, because I have already decided, I do not have to think about how I am going to respond. I have already made the choice; I then only have to honor it.

    I believe that is how Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) handled the situation in Daniel 3. They had already made their commitment to God. So, when Nebuchadnezzar's order was announced, there was no question what they would do.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, "This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace." (Dan 3:4-6 NIV)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ultimate Relationship

  • A relationship with someone you trust is beyond value. When I was without it, I wanted it. Having it now, I cherish it because I remember what it felt like not to have it; I know what it is worth.

    No matter what your circumstances, you can have such a relationship with God. For me, I found that I had to have it with Him first before I could have it with someone else they way it should be.

    That relationship is worth protecting. It is worth doing whatever you have to do to keep it good. Yes, it may require changes, but no matter what it requires, there is nothing worth compromising it for.

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Cor 6:18-7:1 NIV)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Where do you place value

  • Knowing what something is worth can mean the difference between success and failure. Who would buy a home, an automobile, or an investment without first researching what it is worth?

    If the value of those temporary things is important to know, how much more for eternal things, things that determine not just our address or tax bracket, but our "forever destination"?

    God says that instruction and knowledge is more valuable than those things, and that wisdom is more valuable than ANYTHING. He has already done the research; I trust His word on it.

Listen to me! For I have excellent things to tell you. Everything I say is right, for I speak the truth and hate every kind of deception. My advice is wholesome and good. There is nothing crooked or twisted in it. My words are plain to anyone with under-standing, clear to those who want to learn. "Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge over pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can be compared with it. "I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. (Prov 8:6-12 NLT)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Confusion brings division!

Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. (Acts 15:1-2 NIV)