Monday, February 29, 2016


Have you ever thought: "I wish life had a "reset button"!"?

Well, it does--as regards your relationship with God. And knowing
you can begin new with Him today can make all the difference in your
attitude, which can in turn affect everything in your life!

I think that is as close to a "reset button" as can be!
 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the
  Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never
  fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
  (Lam 3:21-23 NIV)

Friday, February 26, 2016

We all have been chosen

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe
  yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and
  patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you
  may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And
  over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in
  perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as
  members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  (Col 3:12-15 NIV

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


By now, you know that I see things just a little different. So,
here's a "different" perspective on a traditional assumption:

When facing difficulties--which could be called "storms of life"--
people often assume they are being attacked by the enemy. Sometimes that is true. Sometimes it is not.

"Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm." Interesting. In
today's passage, God was IN the storm, speaking out of it. There are
passages that promise His deliverance and rescue from storms, but
this verse presents a different perspective altogether.

Next time you face a storm in your life, do not automatically assume
it to be an attack. Look for God in the storm. Discover what He has
for you in it, through it, because of it, or in spite of it.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this
  that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself
  like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. (Job 38:1-3 NIV)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Darkness has no physical properties; it is simply the absence of
light. That said: Have you ever been deep in a cave--and the guide
turned the lights off?

When I experienced that, I tell you I seemed to FEEL the dark! I
could not see anything and did not dare move lest I step into a
hole, off a ledge, or into a wall. It was a very helpless feeling.

If the world as a whole could have a feeling right now, I think that
could describe it. And we have an opportunity to remind the world
that Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."
This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
  who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away
  from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not
  see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of
  the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. "But blessed is the
  man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be
  like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the
  stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always
  green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to
  bear fruit." (Jer 17:5-8 NIV)

Monday, February 22, 2016


Sometimes it has not taken long. Other times it has taken years.
Some even decades. And one thing has taken my entire life,
understanding coming just in the past few months.

What am I talking about? Understanding how God has worked through
(sometimes the worst of) circumstances for my good. And He has, in
every one--no exceptions.

Because that is easy to say, please do not think I am being trite: I
am condensing the conclusion of years of struggle, difficulty, loss,
perplexity, questions, learning, etc. into one sentence.

Today's Scripture is true. And if for me, then for you too.
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 1:19 NIV)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Tell it

Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has
  done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my
  tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have
  listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
  Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his
  love from me! (Psa 66:16-20 NIV)

Thursday, February 18, 2016


"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
the heaven:" (Ecc 3:1 JPS) One thing about seasons that does not
change: Seasons always change.

Here is a thought: If you did not know about winter when it grew
cold and snow came, how you would feel? Confused, maybe even afraid?

Even relationships seem to have "seasons". Just as for seasons of
the year, it is important to recognize the season of a relationship.
And if it is changing, be aware of it and trust God in the change.
Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was
  that you might have him back for good--no longer as a servant but
  better than a servant, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but
  even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.  So
  if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
  If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.
  (Phil 1:15-18 NIV)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Some definitions of "override":

1. act in authority to reject or cancel a decision, action, etc.)
2. stop an action that is done automatically
3. modify or suspend an ordinary function or normal operation

We do not have to live as a captive to our base human nature. It is
compelling at times, even overwhelming. But we can override it,
overcome it, in time, by learning, growing, and surrendering to God.
Let the teaching of Christ live inside you richly. Use all wisdom to
  teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual
  songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Everything you say
  and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all
  you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. (Col 3:16-17

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


A pastor-friend once said to me in regard to relationships: "Any
relationship that is not growing is dying."

Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life." He can restore
life to something dead--and I believe that includes relationships.

Take inventory--a health check if you will--of relationships in your
life, beginning with your relationship with the Lord.
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the
  discerning get guidance--for understanding proverbs and parables,
  the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the
  beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
  (Prov 1:5-7 NIV)

Monday, February 15, 2016

You May Not Like The Answer

When God reveals the path that will lead to the solution of our
difficulties, sometimes we do not want to receive it--as when He
says, "Wait."
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In
  repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is
  your strength, but you would have none of it. Yet the LORD longs to
  be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the LORD
  is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isa 30:15,
  18 NIV)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Keep it moving forward

I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of
  earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of
  the Canaanites, among whom I am living. The servant asked him, "What
  if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I
  then take your son back to the country you came from?" "Make sure
  that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said. If the woman
  is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from
  this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there."
  (Gen 24:3,5,6,8 NIV)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Has anyone disappointed you, failed you, or hurt you? (A survey
would likely yield a 100% "Yes." response.)

It hurts when someone we love or respect does not live up to their
promise or confession. Sometimes the problem is their integrity;
other times, it is our expectation or idealization of them.

Either way, their failure makes the distinction of God's
faithfulness greater. He is the only One whose integrity will not
fail. Not in this life. Not in the next.

And either way, do not let disappointment in another person's
failure damage your relationship with the One who will never fail.

  To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and
  do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and
  consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their
  actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit
  for doing anything good. (Titus 1:15-16 NIV)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How Are You Living

"those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Strong words! We seldom hear such things today. Even when we read
them in Scripture, our cultural influences dilute the potency of
those words to the point they have no impact or practical
application to our daily lives.

But they should. Oh, they should.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality,
  impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord,
  jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and
  envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did
  before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom
  of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
  kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.
  Against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:19-23 NIV)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Everything Has A Purpose

for such a time as this". The phrase is often used to encourage
someone struggling. It sounds weighty, but what does it really mean?

Most of us do not feel significant "for such a time as this". The
world would go on just fine without us--we (mistakenly) think.

Have you seen a roach lately? ("Hope not!", you are thinking...) Do
you know that they play an indispensable role in the nitrogen cycle
of our soil and that if they were not here, we would likely starve?

If God has such a role for roaches, how much more so for His own?

  When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this
  answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you
  alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this
  time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another
  place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows
  but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
  (Est 4:12-14 NIV)

Friday, February 5, 2016

God Has prepared You For Your Future

God has used our past to enable our present,
which implies that He has been and is preparing us for a future.

 Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD; point out the right
  road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you
  are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
  Remember, O LORD, your unfailing love and compassion, which you have
  shown from long ages past. Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth;
  look instead through the eyes of your unfailing love, for you are
  merciful, O LORD. (Psa 25:4-7 NLT)

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Sin is thought by most to be something done or not done in violation
of a list of acceptable or forbidden behaviors or actions.

I believe it is far more--and less--than that! Its simplest
definition, in my humble opinion, is to be in a state of
disagreement with God.

So, how do we live in agreement with God? His written Word is the
most complete and concise declarative record we have of His heart,
mind, will, purpose, and character. If we purpose to live in
agreement with what is written, we will be all right.
   As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to
  it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so
  that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my
  word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
  but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which
  I sent it. (Isa 55:10-11 NIV

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Self Examination

The widow in this famous account looked very different to Jesus than
to anyone else. He acknowledged and honored what no one else saw.

So, how to we look to Him? What real sacrifice does He see in us, if
any? What do we give Him, not in money, but in time, relationship,
loyalty, devotion, obedience--the things that really matter?

A simple definition of "introspection" is "self-examination". We
should all do that, from God's perspective as much as is humanly
possible. Today is a good day, now is a good time...
  Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and
  watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many
  rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in
  two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth,
  this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put
  in everything--all she had to live on." (Mark 12:41-44 NIV)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Being A Target They Cant Hit!

Have you ever been targeted by a "sneaky" person? My experiences
with them left me feeling like I needed a shower after an encounter!

They intentionally try to "push buttons" by provoking us to a
response we would not normally make. We are caught off guard and
respond out of emotion--which is precisely what they want.

Next time you find yourself a sneak-attack target, be aware of their
intent, as Jesus was. Deny them their goal by responding with wisdom
from the Holy Spirit, as He did. Make this your intent.

And if you do become emotional, do not be too hard on yourself.
Remember, they have been planning that attack for a while. They knew
what they were going to say. You did not.
 Watching for a chance to get him, they sent spies who posed as
  honest inquirers, hoping to trick him into saying something that
  would get him in trouble with the law. So they asked him, "Teacher,
  we know that you're honest and straightforward when you teach, that
  you don't pander to anyone but teach the way of God accurately. Tell
  us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" He knew they were
  laying for him and said, "Show me a coin. Now, this engraving, who
  does it look like and what does it say?" "Caesar," they said. Jesus
  said, "Then give Caesar what is his and give God what is his." Try
  as they might, they couldn't trap him into saying anything
  incriminating. His answer caught them off guard and left them
  speechless. (Luk 20:20-26 MSG)