Sunday, January 31, 2010

Psalm 112
  1. Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.
  2. His children will be mighty in the land;the generation of the upright will be blessed.
  3. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
  4. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
  5. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.
  6. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever.
  7. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
  8. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
  9. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.
  10. The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.


I was surprised by verse 7. In the middle of blessings, "bad news" will come along. Expect it. Trust in the LORD.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

If you want me to

My father sent me this song to post.

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

Cuz when I cross over Jordan
Gonna sing, gonna shout,
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk though the valley
If You want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley
If You want me to

Friday, January 29, 2010

A sense of "Purpose."

Matthew 16:24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."


I used to think this set of scripture was talking about selling all that I had and becoming a preacher living in the desert. While that's not a bad idea, it currently is not my calling.

I thought about what was being said here and I believe JESUS is telling me to have a sense of purpose while I'm here on this earth. I remember just getting out of college, ready to take on the world. I hadn't seen church much sense high school, so I thought I would pray. Strange thought, but let me give it a shot.

I prayed that GOD make me "successful." Wow! I had no idea about the ride HE would take me on. My first job enabled me to buy my first new car, instead of the side of the road specials I had been driving.

I started going to church again and even "serving" and this time I prayed "LORD get me out of this small town" for I had moved to "Podunk, Nowhere USA." Shortly after my prayer, I got a job with a premier consulting firm in Chicago that had me flying all over the country. Hey, this prayer stuff is alright!

I then prayed for a wife and family. Poof. OK not Poof, but my wife did come along and we did have kids. Wow. I like this prayer stuff! Then I prayed for a better neighborhood to live in because we were raising kids. I got another job which enabled us to move into a house we built from the ground up in a nice neighborhood.

During this time I was blessed to grow in the LORD, learning, I went to night classes at Bible college, witnessed in neighborhoods, went on missions trips. Life is good!

I got a promotion. Then another. Then another. Then they asked me to move to Southern California! Wow! I'm successful. I can't teach now, I'm too busy, but I do have time to go to that island and on that cruise and "yes" I'll take one of those and two of those.

I got another promotion and this time I had to move back to the headquarters because I am now over the "nation." I'll take one of those and five of those shiny things right here. Only the biggest and the best!

"Wait a minute?" you ask, "what happened to prayer?" "What happened to serving?" Well I had no time for that. GOD wants me to be a good steward over my job right? Yes but not as an idol.

I idolized my job and status. I realized this when I no longer had the position and I wondered where I was with GOD. I had gained the world and was losing my soul. I had lost my sense of purpose of being here.

  • GOD wants us to remember we are here temporarily.
  • GOD doesn't mind you having stuff, just don't make "stuff" your purpose.
  • GOD will let you do "your" thing, but remember, HE wants us to do "HIS" thing.

I forgot my purpose for being on this planet. It is not to look the "sharpest" in the best clothes and drive the best and forget the rest. GOD desires that we tell people about HIS SON. No matter what my career or status, GOD wants me give to others, love humans and keep them from rejecting HIS SON.

  • What is your purpose?
  • What are you "driving" for?
  • What does "success" look like to you?
  • Is GOD calling you to another purpose for your life?
  • Will you use your career to serve GOD also?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Take Courage! Don't Be Afraid.

Matthew 14:23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 29"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."


As I read the Bible, I see that GOD understands humans thoroughly. I get scared so easily! At one time I thought I was the most courageous person who ever existed. Nothing could stop me!

When small things would go wrong, I would spring into action! Something breaks in the house, I would say, "get my tools, I'm going in!" I would drive anywhere without being nervous. I boldly went to neighborhoods and preached. It was easy to do all these things when the money flowed right and everyone was healthy in my family and my relationships were tight. I call this period my "in the boat" time.

Peter and the other disciples were "in the boat" after witnessing JESUS feed about 20,000 people with a little boy's lunch. They were sent by JESUS and they figured HE would join them maybe in another boat or it would take a while to connect. HE walked on water, scared them and then calmed them down. "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.", HE said.

Now it seems like this should be the end right? The disciples were afraid of a ghost and JESUS said "I'm here." But Peter does something strange. He says "If it's YOU."

I pondered what Peter was asking. For all the disciples knew, it may have been an evil spirit that caused the storm. They still weren't sure it was JESUS. Peter said, in so many words, "I'll take one for the team" by requesting to go out in waves that were about to overtake the boat.

Peter walked on water. He walked on waves and took steps. Wow! This is faith and courage! I have done this as well. Not literally, but I have experienced the "out of the boat" feeling. I have attempted things I wouldn't normally try because of the safe life I was trying to protect.

I have gone around the world telling people about GOD's SON and it felt great walking on those waves. Trust me, I was very nervous to get out there and do that! GOD wants us to know that HE can do anything.

I bet you thought I was going to focus on Peter sinking. Well, he did. Just like you and I, Peter saw what was going on and got scared again. JESUS rescued him and calmed the storm. But Peter still walked on water.

I like the reaction of the disciples. They said to JESUS "Truly YOU are the SON of GOD!" You will never know how your "out of the boat" experience will affect someone.

  • Is your life amazing right now?
  • Are you limiting GOD by showing "in the boat" faith?
  • Can you ask HIM to "identify HIMSELF" to make sure this "new idea" is what HE wants you to do?
  • Can you get "out of the boat" in terms of your serving?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is "your" heart soft enough to receive the message?

Matthew 13:19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."


This set of scripture is from the parable of the sower. JESUS spoke in parables to fulfill scripture and letting the blind remain blind to HIS truths. I use this set of scripture to pattern my life.

I read this many years ago and thought I only had to focus on the end where the seed fell in good soil and produced a large crop of their own. I ignored the other seeds that were scattered on the path, rocky places and in thorns.

So I went on my merry way. I would boldly speak to people about CHRIST and life was good. Hey, this Christian thing is easy... Just tell people about CHRIST and they will believe and life would be good! "If a person doesn't believe then they must have a hard heart", I thought to myself.

Then "trouble and persecution" came. I stopped going to church and wanted to just lie around. Wow, that was quick! My zealousness for CHRIST was zapped away so quickly. When times got rough, GOD was no longer powerful in my eyes. Fortunately for me HE is extremely patient! HE enabled me to get through the pains of my youth and move on.

This time I would do things right and a little wiser. As I got a little older I faced more of life's pains. "I'm not going to fall away this time", I said to myself. As the issues of life kicked at me, I held firm, well at least for a week. Then the "worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth" came in and kept me from telling people about my issues.

Pride and shame ensued and my testimony became nil. I was the strong one! I was the rich one! Problems don't happen to me! But they did and GOD stepped in again and with extreme patience brought me through yet another storm.

Well, today many, many storms have come and gone and many more are on their way if GOD leaves me here. The storms of life have softened my heart to hear GOD a little more. HE has shown me that I will always be "a work in progress" as long as I am hear on this planet.

  • The storms of life wound the heart
  • The storms of life open good soil
  • The storms of life make us pray
  • The storms of life strengthens us

I have finally stopped reading the Bible and applying it to someone else. GOD is only speaking to me when I read. I need to have "my" heart ready to hear what HE has to say.

  • Is your heart ready to hear GOD today?
  • Is your faith easily uprooted from HIM because of what you are going through?
  • What worries are stopping you from serving HIM the way you used to?
  • Where is your daring, exciting behavior that has "NO FEAR?"
  • Are you ready to produce a crop of one hundred?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You will be known by your fruit.

Matthew 12:33"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."


I read this several times this morning and it made me think. What kind of "fruit" am I bearing? I look back on my life and I see some days where I had GODLY fruit and other days I had selfish fruit.

The days in which I had selfish fruit I got my way, but I didn't want what I got. There were times when I was quick to accuse and ready to tell the person or people about their wrong. Trust me, ask my family! BUT GOD showed me that this behavior is not GODLY fruit.

I thought I was being careful with my accusations of the past. I mean I had biblical references and I was ready to slay the people who "wronged" me. After stabbing their heart with what I thought was the truth I wonder if they could hear a message of CHRIST from me?

  • GODLY fruit isn't easy.
  • GODLY fruit doesn't keep count of wrong.
  • GODLY fruit doesn't respond to false accusations.
  • GODLY fruit leaves the door open to tell people about grace.
  • GODLY fruit enables blessings.
  • GODLY fruit can only come from GOD through humans.

I look at the poison I have spit at humans. I accuse and I complain about their actions. "Look at that stupid boss" or "look at the way he is dressed" is what I used to say. How about "look at that raggedy car" or "why don't they paint that house?" ""On no, here comes a beggar, I wonder if they are scamming." The list goes on.

These are not proud moments, but I am glad GOD doesn't keep score. HE loves when I say "thank you" for the blessings others give me instead of complaining about the gift. HE loves when I give grace to people instead of the so called justice I think I need to give them. HE adores when I speak of HIS SON and convinces people not to reject HIM.

GOD knows the times in which I am truly bearing fruit and when I want to look good in front of humans. Fortunately for me HE only keeps track of the good!

  • What kind of fruit are you bearing today?
  • Is there someone who could use GODLY fruit instead of your so called justice?
  • Have you looked at your relationships?
  • How healthy are they?
  • Do you push people away or draw them to you?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tired? Give your burden to GOD and find "rest."

Matthew 11:25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. 27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


I love hearing that GOD cares for me. In the middle of my crisis, GOD speaks great words of comfort. HE says listen to HIM and my burdens will go away. HE speaks about comfort on earth and in heaven.

I get burdened here on earth and I seek GOD's comfort. HE says "Take my yoke upon you and learn from ME." How am I supposed to do that? It seems like the fight is too big and the situation is too difficult for me to handle. GOD says there is nothing too difficult for HIM to handle.

When I place my desires, wants and needs in GOD's hands HE takes them and does the best thing for them. HE settles my nervous heart and calms me down.

I have heard people say to me "Let go and Let GOD." I was always upset by this statement because how can I "let go" when I am in the middle of this situation?

Then I found a way to "let go."
  • As I read what GOD has done for me and how HE pursues me daily I get comforted.
  • When I bless someone with a gift and see their reaction, even during my crisis I am comforted.
  • When I see the little things that GOD does in my life, I get comforted.
  • When I realize that GOD wants all the best for me, I get comforted.

GOD does not want us to be burdened by the world's situations and circumstances. HE desires that we continue to serve others and connect our burdens to HIM. Yell, scream, shout your burdens to HIM, HE will listen.

What I am realizing is the harder I try to fix a situation, the more troubled I become when the situation isn't fixed. Since GOD knows what is best for me, I should be more accepting of the direction HE takes me, no matter how strange or different than my expectations.

When I raise my expectations that GOD knows best and lower my expectation that I know what I need, I get what I want. GOD takes HIS people on amazing journey's, meanwhile HE remains at the center of peace.

  • Is your heart troubled?
  • Are you tired of struggling to get out of your situation?
  • Do you realize that GOD is all powerful and can get you out of any circumstance?
  • Why hasn't he?
  • Are you learning of HIM?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

SPIRIT by Earth, Wind and Fire

Many years has passed and a day
still we walk
In a path that leads
to the light
Shining down on this great beyond
Thoughts ignite us let love unite us

Then turn your face to the wind
And taste HIS love within
You'll find a friend
everlasting love you can depend
And everytime you smile
you bless a child

Our spirit perpetuates
Our spirit meditate love and faith
We must make our brother see
That the light is HE shining on you and me

And the land HE gave roads we must pave
Looking through each others eyes
Humanity will rise
in love
hey in love
in love
in love
And our spirits oh they will be the one
Yeah they'll be one the one

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Peace Be Still by Mary Ann Baker

My father gave me this song to post

Master, the tempest is raging.
The billows are tossing high.
The sky is o'er shadowed with blackness,
no shelter or help is nigh.
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
when each moment so madly is threatning,
a grave in the angry deep?

The winds and the waves
shall obey my will, peace be still.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
or demons, or men, or whatever it be.
No water can swallow the ship where lies
the Master of ocean and earth and skies;
they shall sweetly obey my will,
peace be still, peace be still.
They all shall sweetly obey my will;
peace, peace be still.

Master, with anguish of spirit I bow in my grief today.
The depths of my sad heart are troubled.
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
sweep o'er my sinking soul,
And I perish! I perish! dear Master.
Oh, hasten and take control!

Master, the terror is over, the elements sweetly rest.
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
and heaven's within my breast.
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more,
and with joy I shall make the blest harbor
and rest on the blissful shore.

Friday, January 22, 2010

While you're waiting on GOD, here's something for "you" to do.

Matthew 9:35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."


I am probably the hardest worker you will find. I remember once staying at work 36 hours to complete a proposal. I flew all over the country developing strategies to make the company more and more wealthy. During this time I never thought about the sick and helpless.

I wasn't ignoring them rather I was preoccupied with my work. "I want to do a good job", I would say to myself. This took an enormous time out of my life. Then GOD orchestrated circumstances in my life that freed up time. Yes the company reorganized and our positions were eliminated.

Suddenly I found myself on the end of requiring prayer. I was one of the "harassed and helpless" and I had no shepherd! People rallied around me and prayed, but things weren't getting any better. I am sure our prayers were as sincere as we could make them, BUT GOD remained silent.

Then GOD said to me through reading the Bible, "serve my sheep." This passage and many others show how much GOD cares for HIS humans. HE desires comfort as well as pleasure for us, yet HE knows these things are fleeting.

HE knows there will be difficult times that will require leaders who have encouraging words. JESUS saw you and I crying about our circumstances long before our existence. When HE saw the crowds of helpless people, HE saw us.

HE says something strange, "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." I find this to be strange because can't GOD just tell us exactly what to do and say? This shows me JESUS's compassion for HIS humans.

He wants me to have compassion and to know that I can't do this alone. I have to ask GOD for help. GOD wll send the right person for the right job.

I now see GOD's harvest. I fully see hurting people all over and I have compassion on them. I do not pity their situations, rather I can empathize with their struggles. GOD wants me to go as a "worker" and ask for others to do the same.

There are benefits to working now instead of waiting:
  • If I work for GOD now I get blessed in ways I don't quite understand.
  • If I work for GOD now other people praise GOD because they know my circumstances.
  • If I work for GOD now I get to see a helpless harassed person become whole.

GOD wants us to have compassion for each other. HE wants true workers.

  • Are you too caught up in your circumstances to help someone?
  • Are you waiting on GOD to help you when there is someone you should be helping?
  • Are there places you can volunteer to help those who have lost everything?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When will GOD quiet "my" storm?

Matthew 8: 23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" 26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"


I have been through many storms in life. I actually mean weather storms! A couple of times I actually saw a tornado funnel form. The sky turns green like split pea soup and then darkness falls. The wind picks up and blows in all directions. Then, the funnel comes down with it's destructive force. During these scary events GOD protected me as I stood and watched and marveled.

GOD has also protected me through life's storms. I have been through the storms of family members getting sick, friends dying, job loss, hatred towards me and the list goes on.

During these storms or trials, I beg GOD to get me "out" as quickly as possible! Who wants to go through a storm? No one! GOD knows just what it takes to get our attention and sometimes we don't recognize that HE is there with us in the middle of the storm.

I often wonder, why does it take a storm for me to notice GOD? I don't know about you, but I get comfortable when things are going well. When the money is flowing just right I buy things I don't need and I forget where I came from.

When I am not in a storm, I pour myself into work and I forget about GOD's people. Well, maybe I don't forget about them totally... I mean, I see them at church and I write my check so that's enough, right? Wrong! During these times of plenty, my mind is focused on how to get "more plenty" and how to keep "plenty."

Then the storm hits. Health issues rise, jobs disappear, someone leaves or dies. What happens to our faith then? Well, I have to admit my faith goes right out the window. When I go through a serious "storm" of life, I cringe in the corner and get scared like the best of them.

I beg, plead, and threaten GOD and do you know what HE does?

GOD sits on the throne and calmly watches over me.

During the storm:

  • GOD is in control at all times.
  • GOD increases our faith, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
  • GOD knows how much you can handle and it's a lot more than you think.
  • GOD has a purpose that will be revealed to you in HIS time.

The disciples went through this storm and GOD has used this story over and over to comfort those who seek HIM. HE wants us to know HE is in control of the weather AND life's situations.

I read what HE said to the disciples and thought it was a bit harsh. HE said, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" I pondered this and wrestled with it. Why is the GOD of the universe scolding HIS followers for not having enough faith to go through a catastrophe?

Then I had to read this with a different set of eyes. I had to think of the "protecting" GOD versus the "punishing" GOD. JESUS used HIS words carefully and each moment was a precious teaching moment. HIS words weren't scolding because HE never saw his disciples as stupid or hopeless.

JESUS saw HIS disciples as sheep HE loved and that HE had to train them at all times. I am careful to rephrase what HE said, but here goes...

  • "Your faith is small because you are paying attention to the storm"
  • "Why are you focusing on the problem when you should be focusing on the solution, ME?"

JESUS knew all the time there was going to be a storm. HE knew how HIS disciples would react. HE knows the storms that HE brings into my life and HE knows just how I am going o react. I can honestly say that the storms I had as a child are nothing in comparison to those of adulthood. I could easily handle the storm of "not going to the movies with my friends" but it was a storm when I was a child nonetheless.

I can see that storms make me pay attention to GOD. I wish I could pay attention to HIM during peaceful times, but I guess I'm stubborn.

  • When I am in a storm, I pray more.
  • When I am in a storm, I seek GOD.
  • When I am in a storm, I can't rest until HE answers me.
  • When I am in a storm, I become an example who points to GOD whether I like it or not.

When I ask, "Why me?" I get the answer, "Why not you?" I am the perfect person to go through this storm so that GOD will be praised when I come out the other side. When JESUS calms my storm I get amazed and so does everyone else!

  • Are you in the middle of a storm?
  • Are you paying attention to the problem or the solution?
  • Are you helping someone through their storm?
  • Can you hear GOD in the middle of the storm?
  • Are you "blaming" GOD and others or are you "praising and witnessing" during your storm?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Be Strong! Stand firm on your faith!

Matthew 7:24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." 28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.


During these difficult days it seems like there is more to be nervous about than ever before. I look at my own life and see many things I could be worried about, BUT GOD has changed my worries into peace.


GOD has given me faith in HIS SON and that HE knows what is best for me.

  • I used to panic and wonder if GOD was listening to me.
  • I used to think HE would come up with these evil tests and make me jump through hoops.
  • I used to think HE wanted me to serve until I had nothing left to give, meanwhile HE stood in the corner with a clipboard and pencil marking off the things I did wrong.

Then it hit me, I just described a human, not GOD. We look at other humans as our example of GOD and to tell you the truth, we are bad examples. GOD's faith and foundation are full of endless, boundless love towards me. HE does not have one evil thought towards me.

HE understands that life will be difficult and that I will be tempted to move away from HIM. HE knows life will have many storms, but HE wants to protect me and give me as many tools to cope with life as possible. HE wants me to expect things to go wrong on earth and to hold on to my faith.

I questioned GOD about "life" and I suggest you do the same. I asked "LORD, why do we have to go through life with difficulty?" I got my answer from reading the Bible. GOD made mankind with "choice." I can choose HIM or my own way.

The first man and woman chose their own way and this started a chain of events causing every human to be lost. Humans now had to be perfect in order to have a relationship with GOD. This was impossible so all humans were sentenced to death.

  • GOD volunteered to become a human and die for us.
  • GOD the Father along with GOD the SPIRIT agreed.
  • JESUS walked this earth and those HE came to save killed HIM.
  • HE was raised by the FATHER and now is alive preparing a place for those who believe.

Meanwhile, the earth remains cursed. Crops grow "sometimes" but not always. Men and women argue, fuss and fight to get their own way. Greed, lust, envy and shocking behavior bombard mankind daily. Why? Because Satan desires that man join him in eternal separation from GOD. If he goes we go.

GOD says, "stand firm!" Don't fall for the trick of blaming GOD for life's misery. Satan is powerless against GOD and wants to blind us to the truth. GOD is a mighty rescuer and has never ending faith and love towards you and I. By following HIM our lives will be full of adventure!

  • Do you believe GOD wants the best for you?
  • Do you believe HE can get you out of your situation instantly?
  • Why hasn't HE?
  • Are you fighting the change HE is making in you?
  • Will you "choose" to serve HIM today even though the storms of life remain?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ask and HE will give it to you! Is this real?

Matthew 7:7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


I have seen this scripture for years and sometimes I find it hard to believe. You mean all I have to do is ask? Okay then, where is my money, fame and riches? Why didn't my favorite team win? Why is my friend still sick?

For years I thought this was the blank check to get whatever "I" wanted, but after closer examination I see this scripture, like all scripture, is associated with GOD. Anything associated to GOD has to have a pure motive.

When my motive is selfish then my prayer isn't heard. "Wait a minute", you say... I pray "for" people and it seems like they aren't getting "their" way. It still comes back to motive. I have prayed for people and haven't believed in the thing I was praying for.

When I hear GOD say "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened to you" I hear a message that is no longer paved with greed or lust. So what does GOD want? GOD wants every human to be saved. HE wants the well being of every human on this planet.

  • When I ask for a person to be saved and that it is not necessary for me to see their salvation, GOD gives it to me in abundance.
  • When I ask for my heart to be changed towards the person I am angry with, HE gives it to me in abundance.
  • When I ask for better relationships with family and friends, GOD gives it to me in abundance.
  • When I ask for GOD to supply all my "needs", GOD gives it to me in abundance.

The problem is sometimes I can't separate "needs" from "wants." A "desire" pops in my head and then it may turn into an "expectation." When I expect to get my selfish desire then I get disappointed with GOD when HE remains silent. I pout for a while and then I blame GOD for not listening.

Now I see it... GOD knows that if I get my selfish way I would continue to move away from HIM. The more money I have, the more lavish my lifestyle becomes. After a while I judge “who” are my "true friends" or I judge who gets “some” of my money, or I judge my family’s’ motives asking "do they love me or my money?"

Now this isn't about living a poor life barely existing, but it “is” about motive.

  • If GOD sees a good steward of finances, HE will bless that person with more to distribute to HIS people.
  • IF HE sees a humble person who points their actions to CHRIST, then HE will grant miracles of healing.
  • If HE sees faith in a person then HE will show them more and more of the future which always points to GOD.

Then I read "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." Finally, I get it. "Asking" is yet another tool for me to have better relationships with people. When I "ask" for the best for others, GOD blesses me and grows their faith.

  • Do you think GOD hears you?
  • Check your prayer... Is it all about "you" or about your relationships?
  • Do you really believe GOD will supply your "needs?"
  • Do you need the thing you have been asking for all this time?
  • Do you have bad thoughts about how GOD answers prayers?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I know better than you do!

Matthew 7:1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.


People who didn't do things the right way used to annoy me. "Put the thing in the RIGHT place" or "Just do it THIS way" is what I thought to myself. My annoyance for perfection soon spread into spiritual areas of my life.

I would attend church and look around at all of the hypocrites dressed in suits or wearing fancy dresses. I would think to myself, "Just look at them... they probably are not giving or serving or praying." I would then listen to the pastor preach and say "I would have said it different or maybe even better."

Then I would head home and fix the kids and my wife, because they were definitely broken right?! WRONG! When I read this scripture about judging people I soon realized that GOD was talking about me.

I was the hypocrite. My lessons were geared towards remaking people into "me." My idea of perfection wasn't so perfect. I was looking to fix people who were less "broken" than I was. Sure, I was successful in the eyes of humans, BUT GOD laughed at my arrogance.

HE calmly sat right next to me and watched me trample all over people with my tactics of change. Then HE put me in "their" place. HE reversed the role, took away my status and humbled me when I left a company. People looked down at me and tried to "fix" me.

They judged me as "lazy" or "stupid" when I couldn't find work. they would say things like "Did you try" They would ask "Have you tried the government? or networking?"

Wow, I was on the other side of judgment! I couldn't believe it. The same people who celebrated my success had turned into people who were judging me! Then it hit me... it wasn't them who had changed, it was me. I had to realize that all this time I had been judging others in a way that GOD didn't want me to.

My testimony now draws people to HIM because I am truly embarrassed about how I treated others. I thought that my polite smooth behavior was enough to conquer anything, when in reality it was a mask for judging people.

  • GOD wants me to humbly approach people with my "broken" story.
  • GOD wants me to be pure when I approach someone else.
  • GOD wants my motives to be open and not hidden.
  • GOD wants me to stop trying so hard to get my way and allow HIM to work.

I now realize GOD is the only one who can change the hearts of my neighbors, friends and family. When I get in the way of GOD's changes, I actually mess them up. GOD can do a much better job at "hearts" than I can. HE wants me to focus on fixing the most broken person I know. Me.

  • Do you have to control every situation?
  • Are you trying to change people?
  • Are you easily irritated by people and their habits?
  • What thing is bugging you about someone?
  • Can you handle your own "pet peeve" instead of making others do it?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All Humans Are Useful

If heaven made him, earth can find some use for him.

- Chinese Proverb

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wade in the water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God's going to trouble the water.

See that host all dressed in white
God's going to trouble the water
The leader looks like the Israelite
God's going to trouble the water.

See that band all dressed in red
God's going to trouble the water
Looks like the band that Moses led
God's going to trouble the water.

Look over yonder, what do you see?
God's going to trouble the water
The Holy Ghost a-coming on me
God's going to trouble the water.

If you don't believe I've been redeemed
God's going to trouble the water
Just follow me down to the Jordan's stream
God's going to trouble the water.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Do Not Worry?" You've got to be kidding!

Matthew 6:25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


In the past I used to try to avoid the person who would say "Don't worry" when I felt like panicking. "How can they say DON'T WORRY? They don't know what I'm going through!", I would think to myself. Then, in my worried state, I would seek people who would cave in to my worries and tell me that I am right for worrying.

This group of worriers would say "Aw, that's ashamed!" or "There, there." I would look around and find myself with a group of worried people after a while. Each of us sharing our worry stories and feeling defeated and sorry.

Then I ran across this scripture and guess what... I felt worse! I thought at first, "How dare GOD say Don't Worry! Of course HE doesn't have to worry, HE's GOD, nothing can harm HIM." I know a lot of people who have felt this way.

There are so many things to worry about, especially here in the US. We worry about big things like terrorism, economic stability, unemployment and divorce. We worry about little things like tattered clothes, broken gadgets and eating the same thing again.

I had to sit and think "What does GOD mean, Don't Worry?"

GOD did an amazing thing when HE made "choice". HE allowed the difficulties of life to occur, while still caring for and protecting HIS humans. HE knows this planet is cursed because HE is the one who cursed it. HE also knows we have to live in a world where sin and sickness abide with HIS love. So what does this have to do with my worries?

GOD gave me HIS Bible and in it are words of comfort. HE knows that there will be times that I will worry.

  • When I worry, HE says, "remember all of the times I have brought you through the troubles of the past."
  • GOD sees me in a panic and HE reminds me that HE is still here and HE is NOT punishing me each time something is wrong in my life.
  • GOD sees my needs, wants and desires and HE guides me to safety each time.

My memory of the times GOD brought me out of trouble is a "tool" that I call the "Don't Worry Tool." Here is how it works:

  • When I am worried about life, think about how GOD rescued me in the past.
  • When I doubt GOD will do "this" for me, review HIS promises to me.
  • When it looks like no one will help me, I help someone.
  • When I am overwhelmed, I stop, slow down and sit until I can realize that it is life attacking, not GOD.

GOD wants what is best for me. When I worry, I don't believe HE wants me to have the best. I second guess "HIM" and "HIS relationship" with me. My faith dissipates and blame rises. In my worries, I hide and cower and people who see me, see defeat.

When I use the "Do Not Worry" tool, people see GOD. They see victory over circumstance and their faith grows.

  • What are you worrying about?
  • Are you doubting that GOD, who can instantly change things, can change your situation?
  • Can you believe in HIS process?
  • Can you wait on HIS timing?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scary "heart" test results!

Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.


I can be more selfish than the best. There are times when I want the worlds finest things. I see the shiny cars and the lavish vacations and I just get excited! Then I read a passage like this and I get as sad as the "rich young ruler" who, when told by JESUS to sell everything, went away sad.

I had to test my heart to see if I am truly generous. Here is my initial test:

  • Do I give? Yes
  • Do I tithe? Yes

I'm alright... right? Well, maybe not. As I read this a little closer, I can give but have the wrong heart. If I am giving for tax purposes only, then the action still relates to where my heart is... focused on money!

The action has to me matched with the heart. I do remember giving to reduce my taxes, now I realize that there is a human on the other side of the giving. The person who receives my giving gets blessed for the time being.

I went to meet some of these people in countries around the world and when I actually shook hands with them and saw their homes falling to the ground, my heart changed.

I lost my desire for the latest gadget, shoe or other status symbol. I can attest that it is impossible to serve two masters. I was conflicted many times when I wanted the stuff and wanted to serve GOD's people. It seemed like HE inevitably would put someone in need in front of me just when I wanted to be selfish.

Now I am not saying its bad to have things. I am saying that its bad to let things have me. When I never look up to help anyone, then that's a problem. I think there needs to be balance. I always tell my family three things to do with money.

  • Save some - Wow I am glad the LORD had us do this because rainy days have been plentiful over the years!
  • Spend some - I noticed that I was a "bitter" giver when I tried to give all my possessions away. GOD wants excitement when I give so I had to learn to treat myself on occasion.
  • Give to the LORD - This can be done in a couple of forms... The most popular is tithing 10% (gross or net you figure it out). The next is giving directly to people (I like this one but it really should be done in secret).

We should adopt a balance in out life. When any of the three principles I've listed are out of balance, I can quickly tell.

  • When I am saving too much I start judging people in need.
  • When I am spending too much my worries grow.
  • When I am giving too much to the LORD... wait, too much to the LORD?! Yes, when I am giving too much to the LORD, I become bitter and demanding of GOD. I start asking "Why me?" I get feisty with GOD and demand my way out of the trial.

GOD wants me to be balanced while abiding my time on earth. It’s not bad to have possessions, just give some to someone in need on occasion. You will be surprised how GOD gets excited when you do!

  • Are you giving to GOD and mad at GOD?
  • Is there someone in need you can help right now? (perhaps in another country)
  • Do you have to have "that" thing or can you do without it for a little while longer?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Should I "fast?" GOD says yes!

Matthew 6:16"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Fasting seems to be a practice that has fallen by the wayside. I actually don't know why I didn't do it. I guess I never really thought it was important. It seemed like a practice of the religious fanatics.

I went on my merry way, eating all I wanted to and doing my own thing, until I ran into "life." It seems like difficult situations arise at the same time and this was no exception. While trying to work my way out of my situation, I ran into a very humble pastor who, when offered food at a meal, gently turned it down. "What's wrong?" I quickly thought and I offered him more food.

After turning down my insistent offers, he gently told me he was "fasting." Immediately I had to ask him "why?" He never got on a soap box, nor did he preach a sermon. He gently answered "there's a lot going on right now and GOD has called me to fast."

This perplexed me. What was fasting going to do? I mean it's just not eating right? Wrong. Fasting is an act of worship to GOD just like prayer. In fact fasting and prayer go hand in hand. I don't think there is any magic "to" fasting, but I do know there are supernatural results "from" fasting.

  • GOD recognizes true fasting and stores up rewards in heaven for me.
  • GOD said the only way to fight of specific evil challengers is to fast.
  • GOD wants us to recognize that the things of this world, even food, are not important.

It has been years now since I adopted the habit of fasting. I know there are various forms such as "the Daniel fast" with vegetables only, or the Moses fast with liquids only, but I like the fast with no food or water. I fast from sunrise to sunset and I don't eat or drink anything.

The first time I did this I was nervous. I got a headache and had to sit down often. I think I worked myself up about it and psychologically it was getting to me. I was going to fast until 5:00 pm and when I looked at the clock it was only 12:00 PM. "What? Five more hours? Why am I doing this?" I thought.

Then I remembered... I am supposed to pray for the circumstance when I get hungry. Each time my stomach roared:

  • I was supposed to take a moment to ask GOD to remember me and my situation.
  • I was supposed to talk to GOD about someone else's situation.
  • I was supposed to stop and pray.

Five O'clock finally came and it couldn't have come a minute sooner! I drank a glass of water and said my prayer of thanks over my food. I really meant "thanks for the food" for the first time. Right then I realized that I had never sympathized with the poor and hungry of this world. Fasting has changed my mind and helps me concentrate on prayer.

  • Have you tried fasting?
  • Can you at least miss one of three meals just to ease into it?
  • What situation can you think of that requires a little "extra" prayer right now?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Real prayer considers yourself "and" others.

Matthew 6: 5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9"This, then, is how you should pray: " Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. '

14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


I believe prayer changes us not GOD. This entire existence on earth has pleasure and pain. GOD knows exactly what I am going through. HE knows my embarrassments, and my strengths. HE knows what trouble I will go through before I get there.

GOD did something special for me. HE placed HIS HOLY SPIRIT inside me when I believed. Now the HOLY SPIRIT prays and communicates to the FATHER daily in words I cannot understand. I guess HE did this so I would come to HIM in the right way instead of demanding things I don't need.

But when it comes to prayer here on earth, GOD wants me to transform my thinking. When praying for others, I must do it in secret so that I cannot brag that it was my prayer that changed the circumstance. I know I like to feel special, but GOD wants to be the center of attention.

I have heard this prayer all my life and I never noticed the prayer uses "us" quite a bit. I thought the prayer was about "me", not "us." Then GOD goes on to say I have to "forgive others." Wait, you mean this is a prayer about our relationships? YES! Praying changes our mind about others.

When we pray for others:

  • We forget about our circumstances.
  • We mend broken relationships.
  • We change our heart to want the best for others.
  • We get rewards from GOD in heaven.
  • We have peace.

Prayer is a "tool" that GOD has given us to comfort us. Prayer lifts the burdens and gives them to GOD. I truly don't know what I would do without prayer!

  • Are you able to pray for "that" person?
  • Can you wish the best for others when you aren't getting the best?
  • Are you going through circumstances that only GOD knows how deep your pain runs?
  • Do you believe GOD hears you?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Help somebody today for one day "you" may need help.

Matthew 6:1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


When I read this, I notice that GOD assumes that I am going to give to the needy. HE says "When" you give to the needy, not "if." I find this interesting because GOD knows there will be needy people.

GOD says "The poor you will always have." I find this statement difficult to swallow. I mean, HE is GOD isn't HE? Can't HE just give people mansions and money here on earth? What about all these scriptures on prosperous living? Don't they apply to everyone?

As I sat and pondered this, I realized that GOD has a purpose for each and every human that points to HIS glory. Now how can a poor person point to GOD's glory? Well, I don't have all the answers, but I do know when I help someone in need the "right way" they praise GOD, not me.

I can't answer all the questions of why some people have more than others. Why the rich and greedy seem to get more and more and the poor and hungry seem to get what little they have taken away from them. But I can read passages like this and understand that GOD expects me to help somebody.

What is funny about helping people is you never know when "you" will be on the receiving end. I know this personally. One day I felt like the richest person in the world, then the economy went in the tank and I found myself needing life’s necessities. Fortunately we were blessed very well by GOD and HE has provided all of our needs.

But what about those who are still in need? What about those who are still out of work? What about the teenager who is homeless? Well, guess what... this is where I come in. Yes, it is up to me to help at least one needy person get on their feet.

Wow, that sounds like a lot of effort, can't I just give to my church and be done with it? Or how about giving to an organization, won't that do it? I guess these avenues are great, but how about knowing the person’s name that you are giving to so you can include a prayer with the support you are sending.

I believe it's time to meet with people face to face and give them what they need. Once I have done this, I can't run around and brag about it. GOD has a reward HE wants to give me for serving one of HIS humans. The minute I brag about what I did, the reward get's sent to earth in the form of a compliment from other humans.

Now GOD's riches are incredible and to have my reward turn into empty earthly praise seems ridiculous. Instead, I am to help people without fanfare, thanks or pats on the back. I should help people because they need it.

  • I shouldn't judge "if" they need it.
  • I shouldn't judge how the person got where they got.
  • I shouldn't judge what the person does with my gift.

I should just give.

  • Do you know someone in need today?
  • Can you reach out to help someone?
  • Are "you" in need today? (GOD hears you!)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Touched by An Angel

Touched by An Angel by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight

live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Time to Praise HIM!

I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship you, Oh my soul rejoice!
Take joy, my King, in what you hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear

I love you, Lord, and I lift my hands
To worship you as my soul demands
Take joy, my King, in what you see
May I be a sweet, sweet child on your knee

I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship you, Oh my soul rejoice!
Take joy, my King, in what you hear
Make it a sweet, sweet sound in your ear
Make it a sweet, sweet sound in your ear

Scriptural Reference:"Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation." Psalm 35:9

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Love" is definitely an action word!

Matthew 5:43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Competition is great for business but terrible for relationships. I am very competitive and driven and sometimes in my quest to win, I lose. Yes, I may win the battle, but lose in the long run by creating enemies. What happens when these jealous enemies retaliate? A mess happens!

As I dig my heels in ready to combat my enemies I see these words and get confused and conflicted. I want to win and I want my enemies to lose, BUT GOD wants my enemies to have grace and mercy.

What should I do? It's too late isn't it? I already made the enemy. GOD says start today and treat them with love. Well what if they started it? Surely I am justified in leaving them my enemy right? NO! GOD wants us to treat them with love too.

I don't like being the one to initiate love especially when the person is clearly in the wrong. Well, at least in my mind they are wrong. Now that I think about it, maybe it could be my actions that cause me to have enemies in the first place.

Yes there are small minded people who hate for no valid reason, but what about those who start off liking me and 'something' happens? I see that GOD wants me to love my enemies, because sometimes I may have wronged them and not realized what I have done.

I don't dwell on why the person doesn't like me, it would drive me crazy. I do understand GOD wants me to do a few things for the person.

  • Forgive - GOD was my enemy and HE forgave me, now HE wants me to do the same.
  • Pray - HE wants me to pray for both parties. Arguments have 2 sides.
  • Let HIM have vengeance - HE wants me to throw my poison to the floor and HE will judge the guilty party. (I hope it wasn't me!)
  • Do something HE would do - JESUS washed the feet and fed the person who would betray HIM. HE served those who hated HIM.

I guess I have to take this in baby steps. It would be hard to wash poop off the foot of my betrayer, but I can start with prayer. I can pray for a close exciting relationship with GOD that bears fruit in their life and mine.

When I think of the evil action, I can talk to my HEAVENLY FATHER and ask HIM for peace. Then I can say "do what YOU will to them and me."

  • Do you have enemies?
  • Did someone do something wrong to you or your family?
  • Can you turn that bitterness into a prayer for the person at least once?
  • Can you eventually get to the point where you want the "best" for them?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Keeping your "promises" is important to GOD.

Matthew 5:33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.


Promises today are thrown around as empty words. People make promises to get their way and when its time to be accountable they are no where to be found. How dare they! Wait, what about me? Do I make empty promises?

I thought about the times I was in trouble and I thought it was because of a sin that I had just committed. I remember saying to GOD, "LORD if YOU would just help me through this situation, I 'promise' I will NEVER do 'that' again!" Never is a long time.

GOD sees through my ploy to manipulate HIM and to get my way. HE doesn't want an empty promise made to HIM or "by" HIM to another person. GOD has to keep HIS promises. This is just who HE is. HE cannot lie and once a promise or law is set in motion, HE cannot and will not revoke it.

HE put some promises in place that HE will keep.

  • Accept HIS SON and you will be saved.
  • Reject HIS SON and you will be eternally separated from HIM.
  • Love others and HE will bless you in heaven.

His promises ring true today as they were when the ink wasn't dry when they were first written. GOD doesn't want to lose one single human, but HE will not break HIS promise of the consequences set forth by rejecting HIS SON. That's taking promises seriously.

Now back to me. If HE takes promises this seriously, HE expects me to do the same. HE doesn't want me to try to make HIM a liar. HE wants me to be faithful to other humans when I say I will do something.

When people ask me to pray for them I have to admit I used to say OK, I will. It seems like the busy day would get in the way and I would forget. Broken promise. Now I simply pray for the person right away. I got that from my sister.

GOD takes HIS promises seriously and HE expects us to do the same. The great thing is, HE has forgiven us for the broken promises of the past, and HE rejoices our efforts to keep the promises we will make in the future.

  • Have you broken a promise?
  • Did you call 'that' person?
  • Have you 'honored' your parents the way they should be honored?
  • Are you refusing to hold up your end of the marriage vow because of how you feel?
  • Are you stealing from work (even a paper clip)?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sex is a subject we need to address.

27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.


Wow... What can I say that won't take 200 pages to write? JESUS really does speak to the heart behind the words so I will be careful while being frank.

Humans are sexual beings. GOD created sexuality as one of the many physical pleasures humans can enjoy while waiting on HIS return. While HE forgives us for sins, HE still said that sex is for marriage.

I can only point to some issues today that need to be discussed.

  • GOD loves marriage, yet divorce is at its highest in history.
  • GOD hates adultery, yet this is at an all time high.
  • GOD hates lust, yet TV lust and internet porn skyrocket.

OK, "this issue is huge", you say. What's the solution? With any big problem, the solution begins with me. I'm not going to condemn anyone for their past behavior, GOD has already forgiven those sins. What I will do is prepare us for serving GOD in a way that pleases HIM moving forward.

I have made many mistakes in the past, yet GOD wants me to serve HIM with purity.

  • HE gets excited when I stay away from adultery.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT jumps for joy when I choose purity instead of lust.
  • GOD enjoys when I treat my wife as my one and only soul mate.

GOD wants me to love those who have fallen in these areas and to say to them HE forgives you as HE has forgiven me.

  • Can you forget focusing on the sin and focus on the forgiver today?
  • Is there someone in your life you are mistreating with sex?
  • Do you think you have committed adultery before?
  • Can you forgive yourself, because GOD has already forgiven you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You are made to "change" others, not have others "change" you!

Matthew 5:13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


I went to a party at work once and there were people telling foul jokes after getting drunk out of their minds. I was conflicted because at that time, years ago, I had just returned to serving CHRIST. I didn't know much about the Bible and I avoided church because of the hypocrisy.

There I was not knowing what to do. Join in as I have in the past or stand firm. I chose to stand firm while not judging. "How 'bout a drink?" they would ask. "No thanks", I replied. Then the question would come out. "Why not?" Now, there is nothing wrong with drinking, but I had just made a promise to GOD that "I" would no longer drink.

What was I going to say? Should I tell then I turned over a new leaf for CHRIST? Should I tell them I am a new creation? This is my chance to shine some light into the world! So I muttered "I stopped drinking" and before I went into why someone interrupted us and my words about CHRIST never came out.

I wonder what I would have said then. Now I know. After many encounters similar to this one I would say the "right" thing to the crowd I am speaking to. What's the right thing?

Well, on occasion I blurted out "it's because of CHRIST that I don't drink any longer." Of course my statement was full of pride and judgment so the crowd slowly crept away from me.

Another occasion I tried to be sly and 'slip JESUS in' by saying "I just started going to church" as weird as I felt, a couple of people complimented me and resumed their conversation. Wow, that was anticlimactic. Where were the pats on the back and the angels singing?

"Salt and light" are not "pride and judgment."
"Salt and light" does not expect fan fair.
"Salt and light" does things to celebrate what GOD has done for them. HE did everything for us now we are to be salt and light to celebrate CHRIST. "
"Salt and light" points people to CHRIST and does not focus people on our actions.
"Salt and light" leads people and does not blame them.

  • Are you ashamed to admit you are a Christian to that person or group?
  • Have you hidden your light just to fit in?
  • Are you blaming someone for your situation?
  • Do people around you praise GOD because of your life or are they running away from you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Your "Attitude" is important!

Matthew 5
The Sermon on the Mount
1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.The Beatitudes
2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


When I read this I realize JESUS is telling me to pay attention to my attitude. Attitude is more important than the action. JESUS sets the tone for one of the most impactful sermons anyone has ever given. HE teaches HIS disciples to deal with other humans from the heart.

HE tells them and me what excites HIM.

  • Poor in SPIRIT - Selfless nature.
  • Morning - Looking forward to being in GOD's total comfort.
  • Hunger and thirst for righteousness - Not a friend to sin.
  • Merciful - Knowing someone is wrong and not judging.
  • Pure in heart - Believing JESUS is GOD and HIS death / resurrection saves.
  • Peacemakers - Focused on winning souls not arguments.
  • Persecuted for righteousness' sake - Follows what GOD says no matter what.

I can see JESUS wants me to focus on others and the big picture. I like winning arguments and competitive events. The world would never call me a loser! BUT GOD says, let the world think one way about me and HE will see me as a winner.

I feared reducing my winning competitive nature would enable people to run all over me. Now I see that GOD would not let this happen. HE promises that if I reduce my will, HE would be able to bless me. That's right, my will can get in the way of GOD.

  • HE said I would be part of the kingdom of heaven.
  • HE said I would be comforted.
  • HE said I would inherit my portion of the earth.
  • HE said I would be satisfied.
  • HE said I would receive mercy.
  • HE said I would see HIM.
  • HE said I would be HIS Son.
  • HE said I would be part of the kingdom (yes HE said it twice).
  • HE said I would have great rewards in heaven.

Now it's up to me to believe what HE said. I can walk around miserable on this planet or I can believe HE promiosed all of this for me and focus my attitude on what HE wants me to be.

  • How is your attitude today?
  • Are you drawing people towards GOD or away from HIM?
  • Are you having more arguments and conflict with people?
  • Do you feel you need to be heard all the time?