Thursday, December 29, 2016

Giants In Your Life

Do you have a "Goliath" in your life--not a 9' warrior in bronze
armor, but a problem that looks or feels too big to overcome?

What I said in today's prayer I have learned through "precious and
costly experience" and I believe it to be true:

 "You have a solution to what I face before I face it. I will
 see it when I see You as greater than the challenge."
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the
  Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet
  on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five
  thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze
  javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's
  rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield
  bearer went ahead of him. Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of
  Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a
  Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and
  have him come down to me." On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul
  and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. (1 Sam 17:4-8,11 NIV)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Not What You Say

Some think that saying "Lord, I praise You." is praising God. In my
opinion, it is not. It is a vague, unspecific acknowledgement, but
certainly not genuine praise.

My lovely wife constantly encourages me. She makes certain that I
know how she feels about me and she is very specific. However, if
she only said, "I encourage you." over and over, would that be
encouraging? No. Perhaps eventually annoying--but not encouraging.

I believe it is the same in our relationship with the Lord.
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever
  and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever
  and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness
  no one can fathom. (Psa 145:1-3 NIV)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Who Gets Hurt

Ever notice that sometimes people hurt those who are closest and
kindest to them? Perhaps it is like a predator sensing weakness.
Perhaps it is their pain lashing out at a convenient target. Perhaps
it is intentional. Perhaps they cannot help themselves.

Whatever the reason or situation, I know that it takes far more
strength to respond in God's love than to respond defensively.
Personally, I cannot do it on my own--only through the Lord and by
yielding to His Spirit (Romans 8).
O God, whom I praise, don't stand silent and aloof while the wicked
  slander me and tell lies about me. They are all around me with their
  hateful words, and they fight against me for no reason. I love them,
  but they try to destroy me--even as I am praying for them! They
  return evil for good, and hatred for my love. (Psa 109:1-5 NLT)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Rules vs. Relationships

Rules vs. Relationship: A very, very old conflict.

Most of us begin in Rules; that is how we learn. However, we should
grow into Relationship because love is the fulfillment (or complete
expression) of all the Rules. So, how do you know where you are?

Is your interaction with God motivated by requirements and
avoidances to escape consequences, e.g., "I have do this, but can't
do that because it's sin.", or, does it flow out of love for Him and
living in agreement with Him because you love Him?
The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not
  steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be,
  are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
  Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment
  of the law. (Rom 13:9-10 NIV)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Faith, Fear and Sense

One characteristic of genuine faith is to trust God when He does not
make sense: When we cannot understand what He is doing, why He is
doing it, or why He is allowing something we perceive as bad.

Easy to say. Difficult to do--until we learn that He is always right
and always has our good at heart. Always.
Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now
  received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have
  now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy
  as a result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to
  disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Oh, the depth of
  the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his
  judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Rom 11:30-33 NIV)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Please Pray for Me

We all want others to pray for us when we are in need. It is a great
comfort and source of strength to know that we are not alone in our
struggles. However, that also works "the other way around".

A strong principle in Scripture simply expressed is, "Give what you
need." So, as you are praying for your own needs today, ask God who
and what He would have you pray for.
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may
  count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may
  fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your
  faith.  We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be
  glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God
  and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (2 Th 1:11-12 NIV)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What God sees

Have you ever wondered what God saw in you? I certainly have. Still
do. I have not always understood why He chose me, however, I have
learned to trust His choosing. I hope you will for yourself as well.

Our responsibility is as He told Moses: "Now go, and do as I have
told you. I will help you..." He always does. Always will.

"Now go..."

  But Moses pleaded with the LORD, "O Lord, I'm just not a good
  speaker. I never have been, and I'm not now, even after you have
  spoken to me. I'm clumsy with words." "Who makes mouths?" the LORD
  asked him. "Who makes people so they can speak or not speak, hear or
  not hear, see or not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go, and do as I
  have told you. I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what
  to say." (Exo 4:10-12NLT)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Creatures of Habits

We humans tend to be creatures of habit. We like to learn how to do
something, then repeat, repeat, repeat. But that is not always wise
in spiritual matters.

What God said or did yesterday is not necessarily what He will say
or do today--or how He will say or do it. The habit that always
works? Listen. Every time. Every decision. Get the word for "now".
Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you out to preach the Good News
  and you did not have money, a traveler's bag, or extra clothing, did
  you lack anything?" "No," they replied. "But now," he said, "take
  your money and a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell
  your clothes and buy one! (Luke 22:35-36 NLT)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Death is the most "final" thing we encounter in this life. Yet, for
God, even death is not "final".

What is "final" for Him? The only thing I know of is our failure to
believe Him. And if we overcome our failure to believe, then for us
nothing is "final" because we are in His continuum of possibilities.

Jesus said, "Everything is possible for him who believes."
  When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come
  out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips
  of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off
  the grave clothes and let him go." (John 11:43-44 NIV)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Excuses Excuses

"...and out came this calf!" What a story! What audacity! I don't
know about you, but I believe I would feel insulted if someone
expected me to believe such a tale.

If we are honest, most of us would have to admit that we make
excuses for sin today that are no more ridiculous than Aaron's--
especially to ourselves, and by implication, to God.

God gives us grace--but that is no excuse for or license to sin.
Read Romans 6. My thoughts: God has freed us from the penalty
(death), but we are responsible for our relationship with Him.
After that, he turned to Aaron. "What did the people do to you?" he
  demanded. "How did they ever make you bring such terrible sin upon
  them?" "Don't get upset, sir," Aaron replied. "You yourself know
  these people and what a wicked bunch they are. They said to me,
  'Make us some gods to lead us, for something has happened to this
  man Moses, who led us out of Egypt.'  So I told them, 'Bring me your
  gold earrings.' When they brought them to me, I threw them into the
  fire--and out came this calf!" (Exo 32:21-24 NLT)

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Emotion and spirit can feel similar though they are not the same.
Something that is deeply emotional can feel spiritual. Conversely,
something that is spiritual can feel very emotional.

So, how can you tell the difference between the two when they feel
so much alike? Pray for discernment. Grow closer to the Lord in
relationship. Get to know yourself better.

And very important: Read Scripture. It will help you with all those
things--and it has much to say about emotion (as today's verse).
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper
  than one who takes a city. (Prov 16:32 NIV)

Monday, October 24, 2016


If you are satisfied with your life, I am overjoyed for you! If you
are not, take heart: Circumstances can change--and you can be a
facilitator of the change. How? This is what I believe:

God has the power to change a life or the Universe. However, He is
limited to what He can do for us by our authority--the authority He
gave to us and will not violate. The more you give Him authority to
work in your life, the more He can change in your life.

It has been so in mine. That is why I believe it can be so in yours.
 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise.
  Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have
  sinned against him, I will bear the Lord's wrath, until he pleads my
  case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light;
  I will see his righteousness. Then my enemy will see it and will be
  covered with shame, she who said to me, "Where is the LORD your
  God?" My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled
  underfoot like mire in the streets. (Micah 7:8-10 NIV)

Monday, October 17, 2016

All about timing!

Do you have a dream that God put in your heart, yet it seems beyond
ever becoming reality? Jesus said to Martha: "Did I not tell you
that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

If you concocted the dream in your mind, that is another issue.
However, if God gave you the dream and you have not seen it yet, it
is likely still out there, waiting for the right time or for you.
"Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister
  of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been
  there four days." Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you
  believed, you would see the glory of God?" Jesus called in a loud
  voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and
  feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
  Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."
  (John 11:39-40,43b-44 NIV)

Monday, October 10, 2016

The End

"The end justifies the means." Heard that? Essentially, it means
that if something is deemed important enough, any method of
achieving or acquiring it is acceptable.

About unquestionable sin, people have said to me before: "I believe
God understands." No, God does not "understand"! We do not have
permission to violate His Word because we want something!

He is merciful and patient. He always forgives a truly repentant
heart. But His mercy is no license to disrespect Him and His Word.

Learn it. Love it. Know Him. Love Him.

  I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law. Seven times a day I
  praise you for your righteous laws. Great peace have they who love
  your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your
  salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes,
  for I love them greatly. I obey your precepts and your statutes, for
  all my ways are known to you. (Psa 119:163-168 NIV)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hesitant Faith

"...slow of heart...": Interesting words Jesus chose, essentially an
indictment to his followers. That suggests that they were at least
skeptical or fearful, perhaps even disinterested or indifferent.

The bottom line is that they were not passionate or committed. They
were not awaiting Jesus' resurrection. They were not expecting to see
Him again. All of which implies that they did not believe what He
had previously told them.

Do you really believe--REALLY? Do you really expect Jesus to do what
He said He would do? What do your actions say? (I ask myself these
questions as part of my "check up" on a very regular basis.)
 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb
  early this morning  but didn't find his body. They came and told us
  that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then
  some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the
  women had said, but him they did not see." He said to them, "How
  foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the
  prophets have spoken! (Luke 24:22-25 NIV)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Convenience vs. Commitment

Charles Stanley said: "Too many Christians have a commitment of
convenience. They'll stay faithful as long as it's safe and doesn't
involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in
the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way
their friends are going."

What did Jesus say about commitment? "If anyone is ashamed of me and
my words..." (Mark 8:38)
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization
  and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all
  agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends
  Barnabas and Paul--men who have risked their lives for the name of
  our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 15:24-26 NIV)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Have you seen sci-fi movies where an artifact of ancient, other-
world technology is found that appears to be long dead? Then some
action awakens it and it powers up--as potent and powerful as it
ever was. It usually threatens the galaxy or something like that.

I believe God can activate in us what we thought was long dead. He
is life and the source of power. What enables His life and power to
"power up" in us? Faith--in the context of relationship.
  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with
  a stone laid across the entrance. "Take away the stone," he said.
  "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time
  there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." Then Jesus
  said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the
  glory of God?" (John 11:38-40 NIV)

Thursday, September 15, 2016


It is difficult to be spiritually-minded when: Bills are due and
there is no money to pay them or the children are ill or you are
late for work (again) or you just received very bad news... (I am
certain each of us can add many things to that list!)

It is said: "Life goes on." And so it does. But we must always keep
in mind that there is life beyond what we experience and endure
here. That "life beyond" is our purpose, our goal, and our
destination. Never lose sight of it no matter what you have to do.
Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the
  prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All
  athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize
  that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run
  straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a
  boxer who misses his punches. (1 Cor 9:24-26 NLT)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Let Go!

Do you regret your past? Are there things you wish you had or had
not done, or said, or lost? Are you, like me, hard on yourself,
"beating yourself up" over your failures?

As one who has been there, let me say to you: Your past has value,
not the least of which is that it got you to where you are today.

And from where you are today, you can choose to allow God to use
your past to propel you into the future He has for you.
See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to
  be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong
  to this world don't know God, so they don't understand that we are
  his children. Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and
  we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But
  we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see
  him as he really is. And all who believe this will keep themselves
  pure, just as Christ is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 NLT)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hang on!

When you are in difficult circumstances for a long time, it is easy
to lose hope and give up--sometimes out of sheer weariness. You feel
that you just cannot take any more! But please don't give up.

God can turn any situation for your good in the end. It is just the
part between the beginning and the end that is so hard to endure...

From my experiences, I can say: This is true and worth the wait.
I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through
  cold and sleepless nights. Yes, twenty years--fourteen of them
  earning your two daughters, and six years to get the flock. And you
  have reduced my wages ten times! In fact, except for the grace of
  God--the God of my grandfather Abraham, the awe-inspiring God of my
  father, Isaac--you would have sent me off without a penny to my
  name. But God has seen your cruelty and my hard work. That is why he
  appeared to you last night and vindicated me." (Gen 31:40-42 NLT)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What God wants

What does God want for your life? Don't know for sure? Maybe not at
all? You are not alone. Here's an idea in 3 steps that may help:

  Step 1: Ask God to cause His purpose for your life to be.
  Step 2: Give the concern of it to Him and trust Him.
  Step 3: Give it time--maybe a lot of time.

  (But don't worry about how much time. Remember,
  you gave the concern of it to Him in Step 2.)

After a while, when you look back, you just may be amazed at what
God has done in your life.
They found no just cause to execute him, but they asked Pilate to
  have him killed anyway. "When they had fulfilled all the prophecies
  concerning his death, they took him down from the cross and placed
  him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead! (Acts 13:28-30 NLT)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Did you know that there are conditions to meet before some prayers
will be answered? In today's verses, we like "...ask whatever you
wish...". We do not like "If..." because it implies a condition.

The condition Jesus taught in these verses is relationship.

Through relationship, there are no limits. Without relationship,
there are no possibilities. Through relationship, He can give us
everything. Without relationship, He can give us nothing.

Everything in the kingdom of God works through relationship.
  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I
  in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown
  away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire
  and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask
  whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's
  glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my
  disciples." (John 15:5-8 NIV)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Dark Times

Things have happened in my life that seemed very bad at the time:
Much devastation; great pain; overwhelming loss. Very dark times. At
the time, I did not understand them or what God was doing in them.

I now understand that He worked in every one for my good--and I do
mean every one. I am a better man today because of them. It took a
long time to come to that understanding for some of those things.

In dark times, you will be tempted to make your own light. Don't:
Trust God in the darkness (Isa 50:10-11). When the time is right,
I believe you will understand, just as I did.
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)

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Have you ever wondered why God gave such specific instructions for
the construction of a portable structure? I marvel at the detail; it
truly is amazing.

Today's message is not an answer, but rather, a perspective. If God
cared so much about a structure, how much more must He care about
our lives? I believe each one of us is made "according to plans".
"Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and
  blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a
  skilled craftsman. All the curtains are to be the same size--twenty-
  eight cubits long and four cubits wide. Join five of the curtains
  together, and do the same with the other five. (Exo 26:1-3 NIV)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How strongly do you Believe?

What do you really believe about Jesus? About His Resurrection?
About Scripture? Do you ever think about it or talk about it?

Here is a test: Do you believe what you believe strongly enough to
tell someone else (or even admit to yourself) what you believe?
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the
  city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.
  When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan,
  they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, "You are
  to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away
  while we were asleep.' If this report gets to the governor, we will
  satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So the soldiers took the
  money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been
  widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (Mat 28:11-15 NIV)

Monday, August 22, 2016

God Can

Do you feel trapped in your circumstances as though you were locked
behind prison doors? God can open those doors. In Paul's case, He
did it via an earthquake. The foundations of the prison were shaken!
Scary? Certainly--but it opened the doors and broke the chains!

Can God shake the foundations of the circumstances that have held
you captive? No doubt. What will it take for you? I do not know--
but brace yourself and trust Him when the "shaking" begins.
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of
  the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and
  everybody's chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw
  the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill
  himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul
  shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" The jailer called
  for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He
  then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
  (Acts 16:26-30 NIV)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Faith the Action Word

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith
  alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered
  righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and
  sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the
  spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:24-26 NIV)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Overcome it

Gravity is a universal law of physics. And then, there are forces
that can overcome gravity, e.g., aerodynamics (how airplanes fly).

When people fail to keep promises, you experience great loss or
failure, etc., the resulting feelings are real. Just as aerodynamics
overcome gravity, there are forces that can overcome feelings, e.g.,
faith in God's love, presence, and promises.

You do not always feel Him or feel the promises "working". Sometimes
you even feel alone and defeated. However, if faith was based on
feelings, it could not overcome feelings, could it?

"But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered,
  each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not
  alone, for my Father is with me. "I have told you these things, so
  that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
  But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:32-33 NIV)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

In God's Will

We all want to be in God's will. We want Him to use us. We want to
fulfill the plan and purpose He has for our lives. Sounds good.

OK. So... what if He really does that? What would it look like? It
may (will likely) require changes, inconveniences, and a risk of
being misunderstood. Read Zechariah's story in Luke 1.

For myself, I consistently and aggressively ask God to "Do whatever
you need to do..." because I know that whatever the requirement, the
reward will be far greater. But then, it is not even about the
reward; it is about the relationship.
Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as
  priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of
  the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
  And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled
  worshipers were praying outside. Then an angel of the Lord appeared
  to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When
  Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
  (Luke 1:8-12 NIV)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Who can you trust

It has been said, "Don't believe everything you hear." John also
said the same in 1 John 4:1. Sadly, not everyone is honest.

"Who can I trust?" is an essential question for relationships,
business, politics, and even in church. Who indeed? Trust God first.
He knows, well, everything--and everything about everyone!

The closer we grow in relationship with Him, the clearer we can
perceive His mind and will. Then, we can better recognize His
opinion of someone or something.

That is called discernment--and we can ask Him for it.
They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take
  delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts
  they curse. Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from
  him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will
  not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my
  mighty rock, my refuge. (Psa 62:4-7 NIV)

Friday, August 5, 2016


Every day we live, we make choices: We interact with others or not;
we maintain relationships--or neglect them; we allow good things in
our lives or evil; we think on things that are life-giving or
destructive. (And that list can go on and on.)

Each decision-point is an opportunity to affirm, deny, or compromise
our integrity, morals, and faith. And each affects our future
because no decision stands alone: One leads to another, to another,
to another...
I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men
  I hate; they will not cling to me. Men of perverse  heart shall be
  far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. (Psa 101:3-4 NIV)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Why?" is an important question, one of the most important we can
ask. Some "Why?" questions only God can answer. Sometimes He chooses
to be silent--which I believe reveals our spiritual maturity.

Common responses include offense, panic, anger, disappointment, and
the like. A mature response of faith is to trust that He has a very
good reason for His silence, that His reason is always for our good,
and that He will reveal the answer when we need it or can accept it.
 The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of
  the LORD to a valley filled with bones. He led me around among the
  old, dry bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered
  everywhere across the ground. Then he asked me, "Son of man, can
  these bones become living people again?" "O Sovereign LORD," I
  replied, "you alone know the answer to that." (Ezek 37:1-3 NLT)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Right where God can use you

Ever wondered if you were really useful to God, or why He allowed
someone to do something you did not get to do even though you were
qualified? We have all probably had similar thoughts at some point.

It is our nature that we tend to have a very self-focused view even
of the kingdom of God. We easily forget that it is a "team effort".

We win if the team wins--and the team has already won!
For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos,"
  are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?
  Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has
  assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it,
  but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is
  anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants
  and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded
  according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are
  God's field, God's building. (1 Cor 3:4-9 NIV)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Do unto others

It is easy to think that how we treat each other is "down here" and
how we interact with God is "up there", as though the two were on
different levels of accountability.

Truth is: How we interact with each other matters to God. It matters
a lot! 1 John 4:20b: "For anyone who does not love his brother, whom
he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." (NIV)

Monday, July 25, 2016


Have you heard the saying, "Prayer changes things."? It is true.

We typically expect God to change our circumstances as we want them
to be. Sometimes, however, He leaves the circumstances as they are--
and instead changes us in, by, or through the circumstances.

Not exactly an encouraging word for difficult times? I can say this
with all confidence:

In every instance where God changed me instead of my circumstances,
it worked out better in the end than the way I wanted things to be.
LORD, help!" they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from
  their distress. He spoke, and they were healed--snatched from the
  door of death. Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for
  all his wonderful deeds to them. Let them offer sacrifices of
  thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.
  (Psa 107:19-22 NLT)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Short List

Faithful: Think about what it means. How many things or people in
your life are genuinely faithful? (If you are like most, your list
will be short!)
Our LORD, you are eternal! Your word will last as long as the
  heavens. You remain faithful in every generation, and the earth you
  created will keep standing firm. (Psa 119:89-90 CEV

Don't Aim

I saw a window decal that, while humorous, implied a principle worth
considering: "Due to the high cost of ammo, no warning shots will be
fired." It brought to mind my uncle's advice: "Son, never
point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot!"

I treat words the same way. In my opinion, words spent carelessly on
unimportant matters are a lot like random shots aimed at nothing.
And sometimes, like careless, random shots, they may hit an
unintended target something or someone and do great harm!
Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the
  place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus declared,
  "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the
  Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans
  worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for
  salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come
  when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and
  truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is
  spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
  (John 4:20-24 NIV)

Link up Thru Prayer

A few thoughts about the violence in our world:

It seems as though a new wave of violence is raging across our
planet. Does it have a spiritual origin? To me, it appears too
pervasive--crossing too many cultural, religious, racial, and
political boundaries--to be coincidence.

Does someone saying, "Pray!" seems anticlimactic to you? Consider
the words of Jack Taylor in "Prayer: Life's Limitless reach":

"But there is a reach that man has been given that is limitless.
That reach is prayer! It is as infinite as God for it links the
human life to God. It is limitless in space, touching three worlds.
It touches heaven, earth, and hell simultaneously and
instantaneously. It influences God as no other endeavor. It touches
man as nothing else that we can do. It worries the devil more than
any human enterprise. The devil hates prayer because it throws the
battle to God and pits Him against the enemy with all his resources.
Prayer can be launched in an instant and at the speed of thought
hits its target! It is not confined to the laws of space. Prayer
knows no limit in time. It belongs to the principles of a
transcendent dimension. It can be set off in time, have immediate
effect, and reside forever."

So, I encourage you, for our world's sake: Pray!
 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to
  be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray
  continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's
  will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Th 5:15-18 NIV)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Love thru Disagreement

If you love someone, do you have to agree on everything to continue
loving them? I do not believe so. Why do I say that? Because Jesus
loves us even when we disagree with Him--and He is our role-model.

Some people may be offended that I suggest they would disagree with
God. Before the offense sets in, consider: Sin is (as I understand
it, in its simplest definition) anything that is not in agreement
with God.

Is anyone without sin (except Jesus)? No. Then we all have been in
disagreement with God. And He still loves and accepts us.
Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the
  brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and
  see how they are doing." Barnabas wanted to take John, also called
  Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because
  he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in
  the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted
  company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose
  Silas and left, com-mended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
  (Acts 15:36-40 NIV)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Price of expressions

The "message" in holiday retail ads says your love for someone is
demonstrated (and sometimes judged) by the expense of the gift you
give. Although I consider the blatant profiteering aspect of that
"message" loathsome, there is a principle in there somewhere.

Jesus gave His very life for us. If that indicates the quality of
His love for us (and it does), then... Wow! I cannot comprehend it.
"If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own
  father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes,
  more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And
  you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and
  follow me. (Luke 14:26-27 NLT)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

God Or Satan

If someone claims to have power of some kind or knowledge of future
events but does not acknowledge God as the source be on high
spiritual alert!

Spiritual authority can be a very complex study, but the simplest
understanding is that there are only two sources for such power or
knowledge. So, if it does not originate from God...
All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your
  astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions
  month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
  Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They
  cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no
  coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by. That is all they
  can do for you these you have labored with and trafficked with
  since childhood. Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one
  that can save you. (Isa 47:13-15 NIV)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Controlled Forgiveness

Think about these things:

 To the degree that you do not forgive, you give an equivalent
 measure of control of your life to the offender for which you
 receive torment and bondage.

 To the degree that you do forgive, you give an equivalent
 measure of surrender of your life to the Lord for which you
 receive joy and freedom.
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 11:25-26 NIV)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fight on

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to
  which you were called when you made your good confession in the
  presence of many witnesses. (1 Tim 6:12 NIV)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Deny Deny Deny?

You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door
  asked Peter. He replied, "I am not." It was cold, and the servants
  and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter
  also was standing with them, warming himself. As Simon Peter stood
  warming himself, he was asked, "You are not one of his disciples,
  are you?" He denied it, saying, "I am not." One of the high priest's
  servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off,
  challenged him, "Didn't I see you with him in the olive grove?"
  Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.
  (John 18:17-18, 25-27 NIV)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

God is Able

Many read the word "temptations" used in verse 13 in a context of
"enticements" or "solicitations". The original word, "peirasmos",
could better be translated "testings". Strong's definition begins
with "a putting to proof..."
But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no
  different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will
  keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up
  against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that
  you will not give in to it. (1 Cor 10:13 NLT)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


One of Jesus' most "human" moments was when He asked those closest
to Him to just be with Him in that painful time before His arrest.
Not "fix" anything. Not do anything. Not even understand. Just "be".

And they could not. How deeply do you think that hurt Him?
(Remember: He felt as we feel; He had our emotions.)

Do you suppose He still hurts when we fail to care about the things
happening in the world now that bring Him grief? Think about it. And
care. (And consider setting aside time to just "be" with Him.)
 He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.
  Stay here and watch with me." He went on a little farther and fell
  face down on the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let
  this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will,
  not mine." Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep.
  He said to Peter, "Couldn't you stay awake and watch with me even
  one hour? (Mat 26:38-40 NLT

Monday, June 27, 2016


Have you ever had a genuine relationship with someone you never met,
or one that grew without communication? Personally, I have not.

I believe this is true: The quality of our communication with the
Lord is an indicator of the quality of our relationship with Him.
 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith
  and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you
  wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal
  life. (Jude 1:20-21 NIV)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Your Not Alone

See if this is familiar:

You do "it"again. You do not want to or intend to, but you do it
nonetheless. You feel compelled to do "it" and powerless to stop.

You think you are struggling alone? You are not! Everyone has an
"it". There is only one who does not have an "it" and He
understands, loves you, and gave His life to have a relationship
with you. Trust His love for you even if you do "it"oagain.
 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do,
  but what I hate I do. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is,
  in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I
  cannot carry it out. For in my inner being I delight in God's law;
  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war
  against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of
  sin at work within my members. (Rom 7:15,18,22,23 NIV)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Love Hell Out of people

1 Corinthians 16:14
Do everything in love. (Hate kills, Love heals! Praying we love the hate out of people! Let's show the world we can truly love one another!) FS. SH&H.

People change the word doesn't

There is much unrest, uncertainty, violence, and hostility in the
world now. It is disturbing. Things we used to take for granted have
changed and things we depended on are no longer dependable.

Jesus and His unchanging Word is worthy of trust. He has already
overcome the source of any problem we may face. The covenant He
established and the promises contained therein will never fail.

It is possible to have peace in this world today. It depends on your
focus: Who, where, and/or what you are looking to for your security,
well-being, and future.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In
  this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome
  the world." (John 16:33 NIV)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Self Condemnation

When we feel condemned, we often blame the enemy, however, it is not
always his doing. What do I mean? Just this: We do such a good job
condemning ourselves that we sometimes end up doing his job for him.

Live in the freedom and relationship that Jesus died for us to have!

  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds
  because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by
  Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his
  sight, without blemish and free from accusation--if you continue in
  your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out
  in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been
  proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul,
  have become a servant. (Col 1:21-23 NIV)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I have heard people quote today's verses with unrealistic
expectations: They expected God to give them a "personality
transplant" or immediately change their circumstances.

It never happened that way for me. Instead, He taught me how to
trust His promise--through pain and troubles--that joy would come.
And it did. Always.

And looking back, I realize that was the better way.
Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD." You have
  turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my
  clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing
  praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you
  thanks forever! (Psa 30:10-12 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Just A Test

A relationship test:

Consider the people in your life. Who brings you closer to God? Who
is benign (not harmful)? Who influences you away from Him?
 And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch
  out for people who cause divisions and upset people's faith by
  teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught. Stay
  away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they
  are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing
  words they deceive innocent people. (Rom 16:17-18 NLT)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Good Day

When was the last time you opened your heart to God and told Him how
you felt about Him? One of my favorite sayings: "Today would be a
good day."
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in
  truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their
  cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all
  the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the
  LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
  (Psa 145:18-21 NIV)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Enemy's Weapon

Fear: One of the more powerful ways the enemy influences us--and one
we seldom recognize for what it is.

I believe that fear is a significant motivation for what we do or do
not do. An example is the fear of pain, of being hurt, e.g., lack,
rejection, humiliation, disappointment, failure, etc.

When you overcome the fear of a thing, it no longer has any control
over you. One way to overcome is to override one thing with a more
powerful thing--like God's love and the certainty of His promises.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise,
  in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
  (Psa 56:3-4 NIV)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Be a Leader

When God puts something in you to do, find a way to do it and there
will be a way, somewhere, somehow. Things to note in today's verses:

 1. Zach recognized he would not have an encounter with Jesus if
  he did what everyone else did. (He left them and ran ahead.)

 2. He recognized that he was unable to meet Jesus on his own
  terms or without help. (In this case, his help was a tree.)

 3. Jesus made an exception for him and went to his house.

Remember: You do not necessarily have to do what everyone else does.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by
  the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.
  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not,
  because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig
  tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached
  the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down
  immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at
  once and welcomed him gladly. (Luke 19:1-6 NIV)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Do you think about your relationship with the Lord? Here is one test
of its integrity: Has it cost you anything? Some thoughts:

Without commitment, there can be no relationship.

Commitment requires sacrifice. Sacrifice implies cost: Relationships
may be altered, lifestyles or finances affected, beliefs challenged,
behaviors disallowed, confessions and repentance required, etc.

Look honestly and deeply and ask: "Has it cost me anything?"
  Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil
  deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls
  together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of
  the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way
  the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. (Acts 19:18-20

Friday, May 27, 2016


Ever heard the insulting remark that someone is "dumb as a rock"?
Think about this: Natural forces break stones down to become soil.
And God created Adam out of... what?

So, Jesus' statement was not an insult, but a statement of truth to
give perspective to the arrogant people standing in front of Him.

It is always good to keep things in perspective. If God sees value
in an inanimate stone, how much more does He value us?
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to
  yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out
  of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Luke 3:8 NIV)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bad Influences

While not the most eloquent way to express this, it communicates the
message: "Don't let people mess up your life!"

Remember this about bad influences: Regardless of whose idea it is,
you and you alone are responsible for what you do with your life.
My son, if sinners lure you, do not go along. If they say, "Come
  with us. Let's set an ambush to kill someone. Let's hide to ambush
  innocent people for fun. We'll find all kinds of valuable
  possessions. We'll fill our homes with stolen goods. Join us. We'll
  split the loot equally." My son, do not follow them in their way. Do
  not even set foot on their path. (Pro 1:10-11, 13-15 GW)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Focus on you

This is what I have observed in my spiritual life:

 1. The more time I spend developing my relationship with God,
    the less time I have to point out someone else's error.

 2. The closer I get to Him and the more mature I become in our
    relationship, the less I care about what anyone else does.

We are each accountable to Him for ourselves--and ourselves only.
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on
  your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It
  is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will
  bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" So then, each of
  us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop
  passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to
  put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
  (Rom 14:10-13 NIV)

Monday, May 23, 2016

God Knows Whats Best

This is an almost universal experience: You pray, do not get what
you asked for, then become offended because God did not answer your
prayer. Some have even turned away from Him at that point.

I am humbled to realize all the grief and tragedy God saved me from
by not giving me some things I asked for. Knowing now what I did not
know then enables me to trust His choices for me--even when I do not
understand them or they conflict with what I (think I) want.
 He let loose the east wind from the heavens and led forth the south
  wind by his power. He rained meat down on them like dust, flying
  birds like sand on the seashore. He made them come down inside their
  camp, all around their tents. They ate till they had more than
  enough, for he had given them what they craved. (Psa 78:26-29 NIV)

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Someone once told me: "I have a sweater like that. It's the same, only
different." (My head probably tilted kind of like my dog's...)

That is like God in a way: A paradox. A contradiction. Always the
same. Always different. He never changes, and yet, the way He
interacts with us always changes--with circumstances, our level of
maturity, what we know (or need to know), timing, etc.

As long as our hope and faith remain anchored in Him, our
relationship with Him will always be the same, even as it changes.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very
  clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an
  oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it
  is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the
  hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as
  an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner
  sanctuary behind the curtain (Heb 6:17-19 NIV)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Just Know It Works

God has set many paradoxes and (seeming) contradictions as law in
the spiritual continuum (spirit realm, "in the spirit", or by
whatever other term you prefer to label it), e.g., lose your life to
save it; humble yourself to be exalted; give and it shall be given.

Whether we understand these things, agree with them, or even like
them is irrelevant: It is the way things operate in God's kingdom.

His Universe, His rules. He has already shown us how it works.
The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt
  themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be
  exalted. (Mat 23:11-12 NLT)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Get Off The Fence

I am one of those "yes-or-no, on-or-off, right-or-left" kind of
people who does not like gray areas, mediocrity, or an unwillingness
to commit (which can be bothersome to non-committal-type folks).

Elijah was one of those, and he was especially bothersome to Ahab
and Jezebel. God is too, apparently, because He immediately answered
Elijah's prayer with fire (v.38). No gray area there!

So, as Elijah said that day, "If the LORD is God, follow him."

  So Ahab summoned all the people and the prophets to Mount Carmel.
  Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, "How long are you going
  to waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But
  if Baal is God, then follow him!" But the people were completely
  silent. (1Ki 18:20-21 NLT)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Are You Willing?

God had a purpose and plan for Paul's life. Without question, He
enabled it to be accomplished. And it was done, because Paul was

I believe that God has a purpose and plan for each of us. I also
believe that He will enable that purpose to be accomplished as we
trust in, follow, and rely on God.

The question that remains to be answered is: Are we willing to do
what we must do in order for that to happen? Are you? (Think about
that before you answer.)
The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul
  would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down
  and take him away from them by force and bring him into the
  barracks. The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said,
  "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you
  must also testify in Rome." (Acts 23:10-11 NIV)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grow up!

A 'narcissist' has been described as: "...a person who is overly
self-involved, and often vain and selfish." These characteristics
are a normal for young children--but not for mature adults!

A twenty-first century summary of Paul's teaching in today's verses
might be: "Grow up, people: Don't act like a narcissist! This life
is not all about you. Have compassion for your brothers and sisters
because you are responsible to the Lord for them."
  But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a
  brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble. You see, this
  is what can happen: Weak Christians who think it is wrong to eat
  this food will see you eating in the temple of an idol. You know
  there's nothing wrong with it, but they will be encouraged to
  violate their conscience by eating food that has been dedicated to
  the idol. So because of your superior knowledge, a weak Christian,
  for whom Christ died, will be destroyed. And you are sinning against
  Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to
  do something they believe is wrong. (1 Cor 8:9-12 NLT)

Monday, May 2, 2016


Much of what we do in this life is motivated by fear: Fear of loss,
pain, lack, vulnerability, shame, etc. For example: We work because
we fear lack--being without things we need.

When people or circumstances threaten our security, wellbeing, or
comfort, it can feel like a battle line drawn up against us.

God did not promise what our victory would look like. He did promise
that the battle would be won, on His terms and in His way (which is
always best), as we trust Him and follow His instructions.
After the Arameans saw that they had been routed by Israel, they
  sent messengers and had Arameans brought from beyond the River, with
  Shophach the commander of Hadadezer's army leading them. When David
  was told of this, he gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan; he
  advanced against them and formed his battle lines opposite them.
  David formed his lines to meet the Arameans in battle, and they
  fought against him. But they fled before Israel, and David killed
  seven thousand of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot
  soldiers. He also killed Shophach the commander of their army.
  (1 Chr 19:16-18 NIV)

Friday, April 29, 2016


But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
  do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come
  down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For
  where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder
  and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is
  first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full
  of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:14-17 NIV)

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Thoughts about prayer:

1. Expect God to answer this prayer, but do not expect the time or
  manner in which He will answer it.

2. It will come, but you may not be aware its coming until "after
  the fact".

3. You may discover that it was there all along and you just did not
  see it before, what I call a "BGO" (a "Blinding Glimpse of the
  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. People like that should not
  expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can't make up their
  minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.
  (James 1:5-8 NLT)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

God's Grace

  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is
  made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more
  gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults,
  in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak,
  then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10 NIV)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Who Do You choose

I wonder how many people just got caught up in the crowd that day in
Jerusalem, not really realizing the impact of their actions? I

wonder if some of them worked for the Pharisees and, accordingly,
felt compelled to agree with them? I wonder if some of them could
have been people Jesus had previously healed or delivered?

And if we had been in Jerusalem that day, I wonder what would we
have done?

  With one voice they cried out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas
  to us!" (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in
  the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed
  to them again. But they kept shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
  For the third time he spoke to them: "Why? What crime has this man
  committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty.
  Therefore I will have him punished and then release him." But with
  loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and
  their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.
  (Luke 23:18-24 NIV)

Thursday, April 21, 2016


  • Has God given you a dream, a passion, or a "knowing" of some task or purpose you are to fulfill? Do you feel inadequate or unprepared? Does it look and feel impossible?

    Remember, the purpose, the vision of it, and the passion for it, is His. It was His before He gave it to you, and it remains so after. You are only fulfilling a role in His vision.

    However passionate about it you may be, God is more so. And... He will not ask you do to something you are unable to do.

Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?" "How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five--and two fish." Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. (Mark 6:36-38;41-42 NIV)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Faith Vision

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we
  do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. 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 11:1-

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Enemy Never Sleeps

Here is another story Jesus told: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a
  farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as
  everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat.
  When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
  The farmer's servants came and told him, 'Sir, the field where you
  planted that good seed is full of weeds!' "'An enemy has done it!'
  the farmer exclaimed. "'Shall we pull out the weeds?' they asked.
  "He replied, 'No, you'll hurt the wheat if you do. Let both grow
  together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort
  out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.'" (Mat
  13:24-30 NLT)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


"I will give you words and wisdom..."

That is a conditional promise. The condition is that we have to
listen for the Lord's instruction before we open our mouths.
But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.
  They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be
  brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
  This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your
  mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I
  will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be
  able to resist or contradict. (Luke 21:12-15 NIV)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Praise Him

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy
  name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--
  who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems
  your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who
  satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is
  renewed like the eagle's. (Psa 103:1-5 NIV)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Never pass on an opportunity to hear--
again--the truths that Jesus died to give us an opportunity to hear.
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know
  them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think
  it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of
  this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord
  Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to
  see that after my departure you will always be able to remember
  these things. (2 Pet 1:12-15NIV)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Your Mess

You got yourself into this situation; now, get yourself out!"

The enemy likes to use that one on us to make us feel isolated,
rejected, and unworthy to approach God when we fail Him.

Truth is: God always loves us. His mercy and grace is unfailing. He
always hears our heart-cries. He answers our prayers. He has not and
will not ever reject us. We are made worthy through Jesus.

Anything to the contrary is a lie from the father of lies.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who
  call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In
  the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
  (Psa 86:5-7 NIV)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

For Reward?

Doing something for a reward is, well, just the way things work. It
works because God implemented that system a long, long time ago.

While His system works, we humans pervert it by expecting Godly
results from ungodly actions. Then, when we do not get what we want,
we blame God--and that has been around for a long, long time too.
Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired,
  because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.
  When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the
  hypocrites do--blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to
  call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have
  received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to
  someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing.
  Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets,
  will reward you. (Mat 6:1-4 NLT)

Monday, March 28, 2016

What you don't know

When you see someone in ministry that appears to have everything
going their way, think about this:

If they are truly fulfilling God's commission for them, there is
most likely a very long, very difficult, and very costly path behind
them that you do not see. They are where they are only because of
great personal sacrifice and surrender to God's purpose.

Pray for them. They need your prayer.
  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

  So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly
  for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling
  them to do miraculous signs and wonders. There was a plot afoot
  among the Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to
  mistreat them and stone them. But they found out about it and fled
  to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding
  country, where they continued to preach the good news.
  (Acts 14:3,5-7 NIV)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

He is Worthy

Let the whole world bless our God and sing aloud his praises. Our
  lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling. (Psa
  66:8-9 NLT)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Our relationship with God is reciprocal. It works like this: When we
give Him all we are and have, He is then enabled to give us all He
is and has. So much so that He makes us one with Him. (John 17:22-23)

Yet, people strive to acquire things of lesser and temporary value,
while forfeiting what is permanent and invaluable.

Changes are coming: The "real world" will not always be so real.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant
  nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put
  their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our
  enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to
  be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up
  treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so
  that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Tim 6:17-19 NIV)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Keeping Perspective is Key

    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)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Your Vision

Has God given you a dream, a passion, or a "knowing" of some task or
purpose you are to fulfill? Do you feel inadequate or unprepared?
Does it look and feel impossible?

Remember, the purpose the vision of it and the passion for it is
His. It was His before He gave it to you, and it remains so after.
You are only fulfilling a role in His vision.

However passionate about it you may be, God is more so. And... He
will not ask you do to something you are unable to do.
   Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside
  and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered,
  "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take
  eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on
  bread and give it to them to eat?" "How many loaves do you have?" he
  asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five and two
  fish." Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to
  heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to
  his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish
  among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. (Mark 6:36-38;41-42 NIV)

Thursday, March 17, 2016


  • I believe that communication is an absolute necessity in a relationship and that you cannot maintain a relationship with someone without communicating with them.

    I also believe that our communication with the Lord is an indicator of the health and maturity of our relationship with Him. It is the "yardstick" by which our relationship with Him is measured.

    What does your communication with the Lord (of which prayer is a component) say about your relationship with Him? (Tough question, I know: I ask myself that question constantly.)

But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you. (Psa 88:13 NIV)

Monday, March 14, 2016


Be strong and very courageous." and "Do not be afraid or
discouraged.": Those were commands to Joshua, orders--not emotions.
He was instructed not to feel, but to do.

We typically think of love, courage, fear, and such as emotions.
They are, in truth, decisions that are accompanied by emotions.

Now, a decision requires information. And the right information
makes the decision easier to hold to when it is tested.
Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do
  not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything
  you do. Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day
  and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only
  then will you succeed. I command you--be strong and courageous! Do
  not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you
  wherever you go." (Josh 1:7-9 NLT)

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Right Time

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless,
  Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a
  righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to
  die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were
  still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified
  by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath
  through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled
  to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been
  reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Rom 5:6-10 NIV)