Friday, September 22, 2017

I AM

God is absolutely faithful to do what He has promised. However,

those promises are--almost without exception--conditional: they

require something from us.

Although it felt unfair at times, looking back over some very

difficult situations in my life, I can say that it was always for

the best. God knows what He is doing.

Let's be certain that we seek, trust, surrender, love, believe, walk

in faith, and fulfill our responsibilities to God before we accuse

Him of failing to fulfill His responsibilities to us.

    I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have

  revealed and saved and proclaimed--I, and not some foreign god among

  you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God. Yes,

  and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand.

  When I act, who can reverse it?" (Isa 43:11-13 NIV)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Testimony

I cannot stress enough the importance of being a living witness to

your children, grandchildren, and any who see or know your life. You

teach in ways you of which you may be unaware.

This is very personal for me because as I shared a few weeks ago, I

am a Believer today because of my grandfather. I thank God for him.

In this life, He was unaware of the influence he had on me, and

therefore, on every person this ministry touches.

Also be mindful that family is not necessarily defined by physical

ancestry. Even if you do not have children, someone somewhere is

watching your life. Teach them well.

  We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the

  next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD. We will tell

  of his power and the mighty miracles he did. For he issued his

  decree to Jacob; he gave his law to Israel. He commanded our

  ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation

  might know them--even the children not yet born--that they in turn

  might teach their children. So each generation can set its hope anew

  on God, remembering his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.

  (Psa 78:4-7 NLT)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Controllers

I do not like controlling behavior. "Controllers" are typically very

judgmental and in one way or another pressure you to meet their

expectations. They can do much damage if allowed.

They especially do not like it when you do not let them control you;

you run the risk of becoming their "Enemy Number One". "Controllers"

can also get quite aggravated when you ignore their expectations.

So, what do you do? Please God, meet His expectations for your life,

and seek your acknowledgment and approval from Him. What anyone else

thinks of you is far less important.

(And when I can please God--and by doing so I aggravate a "control-

ler"--do I feel good about that? To be candid: Yes, I do.)

  Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove

  faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human

  court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear,

  but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the

  Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and

  will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will

  receive his praise from God. (1 Cor 4:2-5 NIV)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day

 Happy Labor Day!


It is our human nature to attempt to explain away what we do not

understand--or ridicule it if we cannot come up with an explanation

for it. We do not like not being in control. We do not like not

knowing. But then, there is a lot we do not know, isn't there?

So, keep your spiritual "antennas" up. When you encounter something

you do not understand, do not automatically reject it. Proceed with

caution, of course. Take it to God. Ask Him about it first.

  Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"

  Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much

  wine." Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and

  addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in

  Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I

  say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the

  morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

  (Acts 2:12-16 NIV)

Monday, August 28, 2017

God is always ready

Have you ever been hesitant to bring a need to God because you felt

you were bothering Him or perhaps you felt ashamed because you got

yourself into a bad situation and could not get out on your own?

God cares about everything that concerns your life because

he loves you. There are no exceptions or limits to His love.

And as for situations we get ourselves into: Read about Lot, Jonah,

David, and Peter, to name a few. (There are many more throughout

Scripture.) They each cried out to God to help them in their

circumstances--which they brought on themselves. And He did.

  While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of

  Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said.

  "Why bother the teacher any more?" Ignoring what they said, Jesus

  told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

  (Mark 5:35-36 NIV)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bitter vs. Sweet

Bitter does not become sweet, evil does not become good, and the

wrong thing even when done for a good motive does not become right.

We humans are good at justifying ourselves to ourselves. If only we

could step outside ourselves and hear the unconscious dialog that goes on in our minds... a dialog which God does hear.

He is neither moved or amused. He sees us just as we are--which

should be a goal of how we see ourselves. Today, pick out just one

or two things and think about why you are doing what you do.

    Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them

  and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the

  LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of

  the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

  (Lev 10:1-2 NIV)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Task

What do you do when God gives you a task you know you do not have

the resources or abilities to accomplish? You do it, of course. (No sarcasm intended!)

In The Matrix Reloaded (Warner Bros, 2003), a Council Member says,

"Comprehension is not a requisite of cooperation.". I like that

quote because it our position with God most of the time. We must

cooperate (agree) with Him even when we do not comprehend

(understand) His ways or purposes. Why?

God always has a plan. His plans work. Ours are subject to fail.

Move forward (cooperate) even without comprehension (understanding).

He will provide what is needed when needed--as long as we are moving.

  Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the

  crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and

  countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote

  place here." He replied, "You give them something to eat." They

  answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish--unless we

  go and buy food for all this crowd." Taking the five loaves and the

  two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them.

  Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They

  all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve

  basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

  (Luke 9:12-13, 16-17 NIV)


Friday, August 4, 2017

Faith vs. Feelings

Jesus said, "I knew that you always hear me..." Have you ever felt

as though your prayers went no further than the ceiling?

Faith is not dependent on our feelings, our feelings seldom

encourage faith, and our feelings are not an indicator of God's

performance of His promises. In other words, our feelings have

absolutely nothing to do with whether or not God hears our prayers.

So, the next time you feel that you are not getting through, set

your heart to trust what God said--whether you feel it or not.

  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)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Pain

Rejection hurts. Love heals. After a painful experience, it can be

difficult to believe that the pain of rejection could ever be healed

or that you could feel all right again. I know this from experience.

If you have been rejected by someone you loved--or someone you

thought loved you (or should have)--God can heal that pain. I know

this to be true from experience as well.

Peace, security, and well being begin in a relationship with God.

Seek this first and above all else. Healing begins from that place.

  The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and

  gives life to the world." "Sir," they said, "give us that bread

  every day of our lives." Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. No

  one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in

  me will never thirst. But you haven't believed in me even though you

  have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to

  me, and I will never reject them. (John 6:33-37 NLT)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Regret and Grief

Regret and grief: Some are paralyzed by it while others are

propelled by it. It all depends on one's response to it.

Do not grieve over your past, regardless of what it has been. It has

value: It got you to where you are today. That is important, but not

the most important thing.

The most important thing is not as much where you are today, but in

what direction you are going. (Paraphrased from a quote by Oliver

Wendell Holmes)

God does not grieve over your past because He has a future for you.

    By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.

  There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked

  us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing

  us one of the songs of Zion!" How can we sing the songs of the LORD

  while in a foreign land? (Psa 137:1-4 NIV)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Miss understanding

When some people hear "God will do all that He has promised.", their mind interprets it to mean "God will do everything I want when and how I want it." I have even heard it taught that God "has" to do so-and-so because of the way they interpret certain verses.

I hurt for those who have been damaged by erroneous teaching. God is loving and faithful, however, He--in love--will not allow us to impose our will on Him in such a manner.

God will do all that He has promised; that is indisputable and absolute. It lies with us to understand what He has promised and bring our lives into agreement with it.

    In the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, when  Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat began his  reign as king of Judah. He was thirty-two years old when he became  king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He walked in the ways  of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he  married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD.

  Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the LORD was not  willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for  David and his descendants forever. (2 Ki 8:16-19 NIV)


Boot Camp

What is spiritual training and how do we do it? There are

similarities to athletic training, as Paul suggested in today's

Scripture. We must study, communicate, exercise, and be tested--

the part we least like.

1. Maintain a relationship with God (communication);

2. Read the Bible and follow Godly teaching to learn (study);

3. Put what we learn into practice every day (exercise);

4. Use what we have learned in difficult situations (testing).

Someone would be downright silly to go to a gym to build muscles

without resistance training, e.g., lifting a bar without weights.

The same principle applies spiritually: No one will build any

significant spiritual strength without resistance.

    People tell silly stories that don't agree with God's truth. Don't

  follow what these stories teach. But teach yourself to be devoted to

  God. Training your body helps you in some ways. But devotion to God

  helps you in every way. It brings you blessings in this life and in

  the future life too. Here is a true statement that should be

  accepted without question: (1 Tim 4:7-9 ERV)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Honesty

Honesty question for the day:


Is it more important to you to get what you want, when you want it,

and how, or, to wait for what God wants for you, when He wants you

to have it, and how--even if it conflicts with what you want?

"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to

God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end,

"Thy will be done." - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

   There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity

  under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant

  and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to

  tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a

  time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a

  time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time

  to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw

  away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a

  time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and

  a time for peace. (Eccl 3:1-8 NIV)


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Promises Promises

Has God ever promised you something that did not happen? (I can

almost hear the counting going on right about now...)

There are two primary reasons why this happens:

No. 1: We do or do not do something that prevents, modifies, or delays what God promised. He has given us authority to do that. It is called "free will"--think of accepting or refusing a gift. 

No. 2: We have not reached the time of the promise's fulfillment. In other words, "It's not over yet."

  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)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Know your Value

Is it just me, or does there seem to be a pandemic of arrogance

these days? Being arrogant has been defined as "having an

exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities or showing an

offensive attitude of superiority."

While there is no shortage of those who think they know more,

better, or everything, do not be concerned about them. Why? Like

Jesus, you will likely never please them no matter what you do.

Find your value and identity in your relationship with God. As long

as you are right with Him, it really does not matter what a few

"know-it-all's" think about you. (And God really does know it all!)

  Mary went to the place where Jesus was. When she saw him, she bowed

  at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would

  not have died." When Jesus saw Mary crying and the people with her

  crying too, he was very upset and deeply troubled. He asked, "Where

  did you put him?" They said, "Lord, come and see." Jesus cried. And

  the Jews said, "Look! He loved Lazarus very much!" But some of them

  said, "Jesus healed the eyes of the blind man. Why didn't he help

  Lazarus and stop him from dying?" (John 11:32-37 ERV)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Desertion 

In The Matrix (1999, Warner Bros.), Morpheus says to Neo: "Like

everyone else you were born into bondage, into a prison that you

cannot taste or see or touch, a prison for your mind."

In reality, many today are in bondage to a power they cannot taste

or see or touch. They are oblivious--and its power lies in its

transparency. Jesus came to expose that bondage and free us.

Be alert. Be aware. Jesus may use you today to be a witness of what

you have seen and heard. You could be someone's "red pill" today:

Just offer them the Truth.

  "Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' "'I am Jesus, whom you are

  persecuting,' the Lord replied. 'Now get up and stand on your feet.

  I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness

  of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue

  you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to

  them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and

  from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness

  of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

  (Acts 26:15-18 NIV)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Let the Lord do it

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless

  the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In

  vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for

  he grants sleep to those he loves. (Psa 127:1-2 NIV)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Emotions 

Fear, frustration, and such are emotions. Emotion is not Truth.

God's covenant (and the promises it contains) is Truth. It is not

dependent on feelings. Emotions change. Truth does not change.


When feelings overwhelm you, override them with Truth. It is not

easy, however, you can do it. It takes determination and strength.

You provide the determination. God will help you with the strength.

It will change you for the better. That is how Truth works.

  You gave them bread from heaven when they were hungry and water

  from the rock when they were thirsty. You commanded them to go and

  take possession of the land you had sworn to give them. But our

  ancestors were a proud and stubborn lot, and they refused to obey

  your commands. "They refused to listen and did not remember the

  miracles you had done for them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed

  a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt! But you are a

  God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and

  full of unfailing love and mercy. You did not abandon them.

  (Neh 9:15-17 NLT)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ministry

Have you ever thought of yourself as a minister? Here is a thought

for your consideration:


We are all ministers, all the time, in the various ways God has

gifted and enabled us. Use your gift responsibly "...so that in all

things God may be praised through Jesus Christ".

  The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-

  controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply,

  because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to

  one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he

  has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace

  in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one

  speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it

  with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be

  praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for

  ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet 4:7-11 NIV)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What you Love

What is the most important thing in your life? Jesus gave us the

test: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.".


You may think you know the answer, but do you really? This is

another test: On what do you spend the most time and attention?


I ask myself that question often--and sometimes the truth is very

uncomfortable! However I must know because I cannot correct what Ido not (or will not/cannot) acknowledge.

Will you ask yourself that question today?

   "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and

  rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for

  yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy,

  and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure

  is, there your heart will be also. (Mat 6:19-21 NIV)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rededication

Are you really serious about having a deeper relationship with the

Lord? Then join me in praying today's prayer. If you are sincere, if

you genuinely mean it, He will take you at your word.

This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We

  too, then, ought to give our lives for others! If we are rich and

  see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we

  claim that we love God? My children, our love should not be just

  words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.

  (1 John 3:16-18 GNB)


  Prayer: LORD, I desire that every word I speak, every decision I

  make, every action I take, and even my most private thoughts would

  reflect my commitment to and relationship with You. Help me to be

  like You in everything that concerns my life--without exception,

  hesitation, or reservation. Do whatever You need to do in my life to

  make it so. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Monday, April 17, 2017

 Are you at peace or overcome by worry?

We can look around us and find ample reason to worry, be anxious, or

even despair of hope. We do not have to look far.

God has given us reason to experience joy in even the worst of

circumstances: His promises transcend anything--everything--we can

see, touch, feel, or experience.

There is fact. Then, there is God's Truth. In which do you place

greater faith? One encourages peace. The other tends to anxiety.

Asked another way: Are you at peace or overcome by worry?

When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me.

  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my

  soul. Can a corrupt throne be allied with you--one that brings on

  misery by its decrees? They band together against the righteous and

  condemn the innocent to death. But the LORD has become my fortress,

  and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. (Psa 94:18-22 NIV)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Don't change partners 

We can become so infatuated with "deeper" spiritual things that we

forget to give attention to the basics.


There is an old saying: "Dance with the one what brung ya." It has

come to mean essentially: Be loyal to the person/people, talent,

process, or system that enabled you to be where you are today.


Jesus is our reason. What He did is our why and how. Never lose

sight of who, how, and why we are here--or where "here" is.

 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)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Counterfeit 

There are counterfeits, fakes, and "knock-offs" of almost

everything these days--including spiritual things.


To recognize a counterfeit, you must study the genuine. Once you

know "the genuine article", a counterfeit is more easily recognized.

It gives you the standard by which to judge and evaluate.

 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the

  faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such

  teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have

  been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Tim 4:1-2 NIV)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Opposition with God

Did you ever think that not accepting what God was doing in someone

just because it did not fit your expectation was equivalent to

opposing God? Well, it is, according to today's verses.


This does not mean that we should accept anything from anyone. Far

from it! It does mean that before we say something is not of God, we

had best check in with Him first.


In short: Exercise discernment through prayer before judgment.

   "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on

  us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John

  baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

  So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the

  Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"

  (Acts 11:15-17 NIV)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Compromise?

Sometimes we are in situations where we feel there is no other

alternative but to compromise our values or integrity. More times

than not, that means that we do not like the consequences of

refusal.


Even more important is to consider the consequences of compromise,

beginning with its effect on our relationship with God!

  Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the

  terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him. Don't

  participate in the things these people do. (Eph 5:6-7 NLT)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

What make sense

Sometimes God's instructions do not seem to make sense. Why is this?He knows things we do not. Think of it like this: If you see an equation where 1+1=7, you know something is missing because the sum of 1+1 is not 7. God sees the hidden information-- the 5 that is "missing" as we would reckon it from our perspective. If you trust only in what you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch, you may "miss some numbers"; you may base decisions on incomplete information. Trust God: He sees the whole equation. From His perspective, it all adds up.  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You   are to anoint for me the one I indicate." When they arrived, Samuel   saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here   before the LORD." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his   appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not   look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward   appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Sam 16:3,6-7 NIV)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Trust inTuff times

When you lose your job (or cannot find one), lose a loved one, getsick, plans fail, or any other of a long list of potentially bad circumstances, it will not feel like God is watching over you. This may be hard to hear in difficult times, however, it is true: God does not exist only to make us feel good. Our peace, security, and well being is in faith, relationship with God, and knowing that He will always do what is the absolute best for us--to the degree that we are willing to trust Him.   The LORD watches over you--the LORD is your shade at your right   hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The   LORD will keep you from all harm--he will watch over your life; the   LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.   (Psa 121:5-8 NIV)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What it Cost

Everything we now have in God is by and through the covenant established by Jesus, completed and validated by His blood--His atonement sacrifice for our sin. Some professing Believers not only do not know what that covenant provides, they are not even aware that there is a covenant. Do not be one of them! That covenant is the source of our relation- ship with the Lord, our authority through Him, and our hope in Him.  But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the   covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it   is founded on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong   with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for   another. (Heb 8:6-7 NIV)

What we have and what it cost

Everything we now have in God is by and through the covenant established by Jesus, completed and validated by His blood--His atonement sacrifice for our sin. Some professing Believers not only do not know what that covenant provides, they are not even aware that there is a covenant. Do not be one of them! That covenant is the source of our relation- ship with the Lord, our authority through Him, and our hope in Him.   But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the   covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it   is founded on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong   with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for   another. (Heb 8:6-7 NIV)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What to Do

Much of the world is in conflict. These are uncertain times. What
should we do? Same thing we should do if the whole world was at
peace: Trust God.

In difficult times, God did not say to His people: "How do you feel
about that?" What did He say to them? "Do not be afraid." That is a
command. It requires a decision independent of feelings.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified..."
(Deu 31:6 NIV)

Monday, January 30, 2017

PEP TALK

Sometimes we all need a "pep-talk". Sometimes we all need a
reminder. Sometimes we all need to be awakened from the daydreams of
our emotional self-talk and be reminded of how things really are--as
opposed to how we feel at the moment.

Consider today's message as such.
  
Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O
  mountains! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have
  compassion on them in their sorrow. Yet Jerusalem says, "The LORD
  has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us." "Never! Can a mother
  forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has
  borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See,
  I have written your name on my hand. Ever before me is a picture of
  Jerusalem's walls in ruins. (Isa 49:13-16 NLT)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Success

Whether in sports, business, or life, being aware of and focused on
the goal is absolutely necessary if you hope to succeed. "If you
don't know where you're going, you'll never get there."

For Believers, I believe the goal--the most important thing--is that
we maintain our relationship with God and fulfill His purpose for
our lives. That is why I pray, "Lord, do whatever you need to do to
cause me to be whatever You need me to be."

That said, I do hope He does not have to send a fish to swallow me
to get my attention. However, if that is what it takes, so be it.
  
Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea,
  and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the
  Lord's great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to
  serve him. Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow
  Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three
  nights. Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish.
  He said, "I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he
  answered me. I called to you from the world of the dead, and LORD,
  you heard me! (Jonah 1:15-2:2 NLT)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Be a Better Listener

Has someone ever asked you a question, then they do not stop talking
long enough for you to answer? A good counselor would ask: "How did
that make you feel?"

Have you ever wondered how God feels when we do it to Him?
  
The LORD said to me, "Son of man, look carefully, listen closely,
  and give attention to everything I tell you... (Ezek 44:5 NIV)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

natural

It is a law of nature: Living things reproduce after their own kind.
We, as Believers, reproduce by sharing the message, our experiences,
and our faith by our words, our actions--and our very lives. Those
are ways we testify.

One definition of 'testify' is: "Serve as evidence or proof of
something's existence." And, by the way, testifying is not optional.
  
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is
  the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All
  the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him
  receives forgiveness of sins through his name." (Acts 10:42-43 NIV)l

Monday, January 9, 2017

Work

There is a principle is sales training that I have heard expressed
like this: "You can work hard, or you can work smart."

The same principle applies in spiritual things. We can work hard,
yet accomplish nothing because we do it in our own strength. Or, we
can work in agreement with God and see amazing things happen.
  
  When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep
  water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master,
  we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because
  you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so, they
  caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
  (Luke 5:4-6 NIV)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jesus Wept (hurt)


If you have not been hurt by someone, you may not have been close
enough to them to be hurt. We are deeply emotional beings. It is the
way of life, and just another aspect of our lives that is in the
image of God.

Perhaps you have not thought about God hurting? Remember the
shortest verse in the Bible, the one most of us learned as a child:
"Jesus wept." (John 11:35)?

If He was not capable of feeling emotional pain, I do not believe
we would either. But He is. So we are. And we do.
  
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and
  repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my
  voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he
  with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me
  on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his
  throne. (Rev 3:19-21 NIV)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Years

Some say that the first days of a new year are like any other days.
Others say there is something special about them. Whichever way you
think... you are correct.

True: One day is as another. Also true: If we can use dates on a cal-
endar to help us make changes in our lives, that makes them special.

Whether you make resolutions or not, changes that bring us closer to
God are always for our good. Use what helps; do what works for you.
 
They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable
  idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in
  them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a
  heart of flesh. (Ezek 11:18-19NIV)