Sunday, February 28, 2010

Haven of the Heart by Helen Steiner Rice

Our father, who art in heaven,
hear this little prayer
and reach across the miles today
that stretch from here to there,
so I may feel much closer
to those I am fondest of,
and they may know I think of them
with thankfulness and love.
and help all people everywhere
who must often dwell apart
to know that they are together
in the haven of the heart.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Come Unto Me - Hezekiah Walker

I heard the voice of Jesus saying
Come unto me all ye who are heavy laden
And I'll give you rest

Take my yoke and learn of me
For my yoke is easy and burdens they are light

I heard the voice of Jesus calling
From the greatest down to the smallest
Jesus said come to me and i'll
Show you what to do

Those who are battered and those abused
Those whose feeling like what's the use
Jesus said come to me and i'll show you
Just what I can do

Come unto me, i'll guarantee
All the ove and the tenderness
You'll ever need

Take my yoke upon you and learn of me
For my yoke is easy, For my yoke is easy
For my yoke is easy and burdens they are light

Friday, February 26, 2010

Are you hiding your "light" to fit in?

Luke 8:16"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."


For a long time I lived a double life. I was a Christian but I didn't want people to know it. Other people seemed like they were having so much fun. They would laugh and joke and drink, cuss, and well you get the picture.

I just wanted to fit in so I went with the crowd. I thought I was having a ball. It was very exciting at first. I started with a foul joke here and a sarcastic remark there. Soon I could weave a tapestry of obscenities so wide your mother would slap me!

I didn't drink heavily, but the drinking games were part of "the fun." My room mate and I had 3 or 4 people come over and the drinks would flow with laughs and jokes. This grew into 20 people being squeezed in a tiny dorm room.

Our solution to this problem was to get an apartment. Now we can have parties with more space! On graduation weekend, we held a nonstop 3 day party in our apartment. We had people laid out on the floor that we didn't know.

We were definitely "the life" or were we? After graduation I moved to a small town. I had grown so accustomed to my phone ringing off the hook in college that no calls seemed like a prison sentence. I didn't know anyone except a handful of people at work.

I started hanging out with some of them and we trolled the clubs and bars. Something was missing though. I couldn't put my finger on it. Then a strange thought popped in my head. One that I had not thought of in years. Why not go to church?

Okay, I will try church. I visited the boring church, then the loud church, then the good music church, the begging church, the church with the most women. I finally settled on a Bible teaching church.

I got excited and felt the desire to teach. I began to read the Bible and teach on Sunday's. But on Saturday's I would still go out to the clubs. One Sunday I had finished teaching my students and I walked down the hall with them in church. A Saturday night guy recognized me and started talking about the great time we had the night before."

Shhhh! Not in front of the students", I thought to myself. Then it hit me, maybe I shouldn't be doing the stuff I was doing. Living a double life is difficult. It is hard to be a good witness of GOD in the middle of sinful acts. Can you imagine telling the person you just lied about to believe in CHRIST? It doesn't work.

It actually is a struggle inside every Christian. GOD knows humans are sinful so I learned to cut myself some slack. I'm not perfect so I don't expect other humans to be. I now tell people that I was and continue to be a sinner. This points people to CHRIST. They don't look at my attempt to be perfect rather that get blessed because they see GOD accepts imperfect people.

GOD wants us to be open and honest with each other about sin. The more a person pretends to be perfect, the more GOD takes away from them. Think about it... the whole purpose of Christianity is to serve CHRIST. By pretending to serve people in order to look good defeats the purpose of being a Christian.

  • Shining light means not being ashamed to say no to the crowd.
  • Shining light means you know CHRIST is more than job, title or wealth.
  • Shining light means giving people the great news about CHRIST.
  • Shining light means you will be hated by the world and churchy people just for following CHRIST.
  • Shining light means everyone around you knows you follow CHRIST.

Our lives are made for CHRIST and we should never forget it. GOD was not made for us, we were made for HIM. Our focus should always be "How can we serve HIM?" versus "what can HE do for me today?" With this new attitude, our light will shine!

  • Are you trying hard to fit in the crowd?
  • Can you be honest with people and tell them about your sins?
  • Are you embarrassed about your past?
  • Can you turn your bondage of the shame of sin into a statement of victory?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Do I really "hear" what HE is saying?

Luke 8:11"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.


I had a great discussion with a dear friend this week. He asked, "How do you know when you hear GOD versus hearing your own voice?" This is a very wise and deep question and I can't fully explain the answer, but I will take a stab at it from my life experiences.

We have a very short time on this planet. I do not believe life is an entrance exam for heaven like some believe. I believe GOD created humans to exist forever. I also believe HE created earth to exist forever. So why does Hell exist and why will GOD destroy earth?

I do not understand how or why GOD created "free will" but HE did. When HE did this, HE created scenarios that even Satan could choose right from wrong. GOD did not want robots who are forced to serve HIM. That's not love.

In this "free will" state, GOD allowed Satan to tempt HIS humans causing them to fall. Now humans question GOD's position. They go on quests to disprove HIS very existence. The longer humans exist, the further they move away from believing in what GOD stands for.

Then GOD came to earth as a human, lived a sinless life and died for all of HIS humans so they will not have to be eternally separated from HIM. HE knew earth and humans were cursed and our choice would not include HIM.

Now humans struggle to hear GOD. We constantly focus on the cursed earth thinking we can make a heavenly existence in a place that will be thrown away.

  • I can't hear GOD when I don't listen to HIS HOLY SPIRIT inside of me.
  • I can't hear GOD when I worry.I can't hear GOD when I think HE doesn't love me.
  • I can't hear GOD when I am depressed.
  • I can't hear GOD when I compare myself to others.
  • I can't hear GOD when I sin.

BUT GOD says if you "do hear ME", then you will persevere while I correct things. HE has to clean up a huge mess Satan created with his selfish choice to try to be GOD.

It's almost like Satan slashed the tires on the bus and everyone had to get off the bus while the tires are being repaired. Then he pulled up his bus to go on another direction. He promises wealth and freedom and endless pleasure as his destination but lacks the power to "create those things". He can only use the things GOD already created.

Meanwhile GOD decides instead of a bus HE will get a limousine for each person. GOD's destination is far greater than mere wealth and freedom from HIS rules. HE promises that by listening to HIM and remaining in HIM eternity will be a place of endless excitement and love.

  • Hearing GOD means I can persevere through tough times.
  • Hearing GOD means showing love instead of getting my way.
  • Hearing GOD means doing any and everything to get the great news about HIS SON to everyone.
  • Hearing GOD means not being fooled into thinking earthly wealth is something to be obtained.

I truly hope GOD has changed my heart enough to make it open to HIS messages. My desire is to produce the maximum amount of "fruit" while waiting on HIS return from building a new eternity.

  • Are you too concerned with the things of this world to hear what HE is saying to you?
  • Can you change the way you view GOD?
  • Can you focus on more than bills and riches?
  • Are you concerned with bearing fruit today?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Should I get tired of admitting I'm wrong?

Luke 7:36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.

41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[d] and the other fifty.

42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.

46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.

47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." 48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."


A funny thing happens to some people who have been "Christians" for a long time. They become judgmental of others. How do I know? Because I have been a Christian for a long time and I have become judgmental of others.

I have judged people by their occupation, school, lack of school, income, car, clothes, political party, size, shape and tone of speech. It's real easy to spot a sinner, just look around.

GOD said all have sinned and fall short of HIS glory. But obviously that doesn't mean me. I mean I'm clean now and that person over there is dirty, right? Wrong!

In this passage it is clear that the Pharisee judged JESUS as being beneath him and definitely the woman. I don't know if she had ever set foot in the Pharisee's house. She may have never been invited because she was too dirty. Was she a thief, a prostitute, a murderer or did she just fight a lot?

What ever the case, she realized her current way of life wasn't helping anybody. Something inside her made her feel shamed and tired. She wiped animal poop from JESUS feet with her hair and tears. Each tear cleaned HIS feet and her soul.

I get tired of admitting I'm wrong. Can't I just be right sometime? YES! I am made right with GOD by admitting I'm a sinner and HE is GOD. By admitting my sins I give JESUS the right to do whatever HE wants with my life.

I have to trust that HIS choice will be an eternal life with HIM. I have to believe that HE will do the same for others and not try to control them or their situation with GOD.

GOD forgives anyone who wants to be forgiven.

  • Do you judge others harshly?
  • Have you given up a sin and judge others for doing that sin?
  • Do you compare your Christianity to someone else's?
  • Do you believe that JESUS is GOD and HE is the forgiver of sins?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What are "you" saying?

Luke 6: 43"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.


What is "fruit?" I think fruit is a result. You know... the "fruits" of your labor. Well, over the years I have had some good fruit and some bad fruit. I can remember the times I served people and watched them go straight to GOD for thanks. It felt good.

Then there were times I had a lot of "bad" fruit. "When was that you ask?" Probably yesterday I would say. I remember laughing at the person who was smelly or big or goofy. I talked bad about people who were different than me.

I was skinny so I never talked about skinny people. Instead I poked fun at larger people. They were easy targets. I became good at joking about people. I could tear down the best of them. I made people laugh and I enjoyed the spotlight.

I took this attitude to work only this time it was more serious. I would call my bosses stupid and question their leadership. My peers and co-workers were no match for my work. I hoped "that guy" or "that lady" would get fired. "What a bone head!", I would say.

Now after saying these things, when it comes to telling those people about CHRIST, I'm ineffective. Imagine every person hearing every word you say "to" them and "about" them.

I have said some terrible things about people I didn't like. Other people heard my poison and felt the same way about the person. I felt great having support for my feelings. Now the damage was done. The person had been successfully torn down. Now what? Can I tell them about CHRIST? NO!

I complain so easily. I have been trained to have a critical eye and it's easy to find mistakes others have made. In efforts to be efficient and "better" I find ways to improve. Sounds like a great worker. Well, almost. If I only speak in a critical nature and never say what is "right" about the person then I am bearing bad fruit.

  • When I have envy in my heart, I tear people down.
  • When I have disappointment in my heart, I complain.
  • When I have lust in my heart, I objectify the opposite sex.
  • When I have fear in my heart, I control and think small.

GOD sees sinners different that you and I. HE saved us from eternal death by raising HIS SON to life. HE expects us to be grateful for this great act of kindness. Our love for other humans tells GOD we truly appreciate what HE has done for us.

  • When I have love in my heart, I build people up.
  • When I have grace in my heart, I look for reasons to serve people.
  • When I have mercy in my heart, I forget what people have done to me.
  • When I have joy in my heart, I go through circumstances without complaints.

I noticed that GOD says our heart would overflow whatever is inside of it. I had to only listen to myself for one day and I realized that GOD was not overflowing from my heart. From complaint to insult to fear, my heart gushed out insecurity which turned into poisonous words. GOD forgave me and changed my words to seeds. Now I try to speak about GREAT NEWS!

  • If someone recorded what you said could you play it to the person you are talking about?
  • Would you like other people to talk about you the way you talk about them?
  • Can you tell the person about CHRIST after what you just said?
  • What do you think is in your heart?
  • Have you checked what kind of fruit you are bearing today?

Monday, February 22, 2010

GOD heals HIS way and HIS time!

Luke 5: 1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a]with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."

5Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


I often question GOD's method of healing my life. I never understood why HE had me go through things, but each time I did, I emerged stronger and more faithful.

When I am in pain, I want out. When I am anxious for something, I want that thing right now. When I get an idea for something, I want it to be successful immediately.

GOD has never worked the way I wanted HIM to because I am not a patient person. I want HIS promises without the painful work or waiting.

JESUS saw some guys who had a great business idea. They would fish and make money. They probably got pretty good at it and knew there would be some good days and some bad days. Well, this was one of those bad days. They caught nothing and their business idea didn't look so prosperous.

JESUS climbed in their boat and preached. I wonder how long HE preached. Was it five minutes or an hour? Whatever the case JESUS captivated the audience. The disciples didn't know this was part of the healing process. They had to listen to HIM.

Then JESUS has them do something strange. Go back out and fish again. "Wait a minute, we are experienced fishermen and there is nothing out there today!", they probably thought. They obeyed which was another part of the healing process.

They rowed to an area where they probably never catch fish and lowered their nets. This was the last part of the healing process. They caught so many fish that two boats almost sank. Their business venture had paid off!

JESUS says those great words "Don't be afraid." HE said this because people always misunderstand HIS healing methods and timing. GOD has not changed since this incident. HE uses the same strange methodology on all of us. HE asks, "Do you want to be successful?", then do these things:

  • Listen to GOD for a while. GOD wants a relationship where HE does more of the talking.
  • Obey GOD for a while. GOD wants an obedient heart that is focused on HIM.
  • Trust GOD for a while. HE will have you do something strange that no one can explain. In fact, people may laugh at what you are doing.
  • Praise GOD for a while. When, not if, HE rescues you, use your testimony to point people to HIM.

I read the Bible and I see that GOD's methods are definitely not mine. Whenever I come up with a solution to a problem I have to question it because GOD sure does things WAY different than I would. HE cures ailments in me that I cannot see.

  • When I am sick with pride, HE highlights my flaws.
  • When I am sick with depression, HE brings sadder people in my life.
  • When I am sick with fear, HE brings something more frightening in my life.

Each time I am sick GOD sees my ailment in a different way and HE has me "go out into the deep and cast my net." I have never seen a time when HE hasn't answered my needs abundantly.

  • Are you willing to trust GOD today?
  • Are you trying to solve things on your own?
  • Does HE have you doing something strange?
  • Can you trust that the strange thing HE has you doing will work for HIS glory?
  • Can you be obedient a little longer?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Too Shall Pass - Helen Steiner Rice

If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be-

If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me-

If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too-

Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains

That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear-
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rollin' thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed.

Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come
With shouts of acclamation
And take me home
What joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
"My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art
How great Thou art!

Friday, February 19, 2010

How should I act?

Luke 3:10"What should we do then?" the crowd asked. 11John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."

12Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?" 13"Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them.

14Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely—be content with your pay."


Thinking of others did not come naturally for me. When I got married. my wife had to teach me how to think of others. She would serve people scrumptious food, give clothes away and listen to people. I had none of that.

Serving others is something that needs to be taught, learned and practiced. It is not natural for us to serve one another. When I tried serving people for the first time, it was great. Over time I ran into the people I didn't want to serve.

The person who always has to get the last word or the person who has nothing but poison in their heart makes it difficult to serve them. The person who is always complaining or saying discouraging things about me never ranks high on my serve list.

John is busy pointing humans toward a life that pleases GOD. He tells us that JESUS is on HIS way so prepare yourself. Fight your natural tendency to be selfish, sneaky or power hungry.

  • He tells the person with plenty to share with the person who has nothing.
  • He tells the person who is in business to make the right amount of profit and don't gouge the people.
  • He tells the person in power to not misuse their power for greedy gain.

It sounds like John wants us to be "nice." Don't nice people finish last? This is where many Christians are conflicted. They don't want to seem like push over’s. John followed GOD's ways and was never tempted by the things of this world. He was hardly a push over.

JESUS never sinned, never owned a possession and was the nicest human who ever existed. HE was not a push over. Being nice doesn't mean you have to take abuse from people with poisonous hearts. Being nice means you point your life to CHRIST.

  • When I act nice towards someone they are more open to hear about CHRIST.
  • When I act nice towards someone, my anger subsides.
  • When I act nice towards someone, GOD gives me peace that I don't understand.

I find that it takes courage to be "nice" to people. Paying for a strangers meal, dropping in a toll for the person behind you, holding the door open and smiling at a frowning person takes courage.

Approaching the bitter, mean, nasty person with "nice" takes even more courage. It takes a lot of practice to approach this type of person. In the words of John, JESUS is returning soon, have HIM find you doing something "nice" for someone.

  • Is it tough for you to serve the difficult person?
  • Are "you" the difficult person?
  • Do you give to organizations?
  • Can you give directly to a person who has nothing?
  • Are you fair with your dealings?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Have you ever just felt like praising HIM?

Luke 1:46And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."


GOD is truly amazing! I love saying that because it means I can actually see what HE is doing in my life. There are times when I walk around blind to HIS great power.

I get so wrapped up in me that I can't see GOD or HIS mighty blessings. BUT GOD shows me HE is in control. Mary was a teenage bride to be. Jewish custom stated that a couple was practically married when they were engaged. In fact, the only way to break off the engagement was through divorce.

Mary was told by GOD she was going to have a baby who was going to be the CHOSEN ONE. This scared the teen half to death, yet she accepted the path GOD had her on.

She praised GOD because she could not find anything special about herself to be chosen by HIM. She wasn't rich. She didn't own land. She wasn't a queen. Yet Mary was chosen for a very special task, to birth the REDEEMER.

She praised GOD recognizing HIM for who HE is.

  • GOD is the MIGHTY ONE - Nothing can fight against HIM.
  • GOD is MERCIFUL - HE knows our sins and does not punish us.
  • GOD brings down the proud - HE ignores humans who think they are "something."
  • GOD lifts the humble - HE never leaves people who point their lives to HIM.
  • GOD fills the hungry - HE provides physical and spiritual food for HIS people.
  • GOD sends the rich away empty - Those who depend on money will never be content.
  • GOD loves the Jews - Always remember they are HIS chosen people and HE keeps HIS promises to them.

I have to praise GOD! HE has been so good to me that I can't contain myself. HIS sustaining power is unmatched. HE turns pain into joy and fear into confidence. GOD redeemed me and HE has never forgotten me. I am so amazed at HIS great power.

  • Are you amazed at GOD's power?
  • Have you pondered all of the promises HE has kept?
  • Do you realize that when HE says HE will do something, there is nothing that can stop HIM?
  • What praise do you have for HIM today?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why is it so hard to believe in JESUS?

Mark 16:9When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

12Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

14Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.


I believed that CHRIST was my savior at the age of 12, a few years ago. My reason was because I didn't fit in. Kids in my grade would tease me for my tattered clothes, messed up hair and Clark Kent glasses. Adults seemed to lack direction and my future seemed uncertain.

I heard about JESUS from my parents, but they had their own distractions. Then one day I felt the need to believe in HIM. I can't explain that any better. I went sobbing down the middle of the church toward the preacher as he called for those who believed in JESUS.

I pondered my decision over the years and one thing I realized is I needed someone who would accept me for who I was, not who they wanted me to be. JESUS did just that. HE accepted me in tattered clothes, messed up hair, Clark Kent glasses and skinny body.

I never saw HIM, but I sure felt HIM. But the disciples did see HIM. They walked with HIM for three years and saw all kinds of awesome miracles, yet they did not believe when they were told HE had risen, just as HE said.

I thought about this story and asked," how could they not believe?" I mean HE walked on water, fed thousands of people from scraps, healed countless people and HE raised people from the dead. What's not to believe? Crazy disciples!

Then I looked at my life. There have been many times I didn't believe. I doubted GOD would rescue me out of the situation I was in. I thought HE would not forgive me for "this" sin or "that" sin. I thought HE was punishing me harshly when all along HE was loving me and steering my direction.

Humans have the tendency to try to take control of their lives and situations. We believe that JESUS died for our sins, yet we don't believe HE has the best route for our lives. We pray to steer GOD instead of praying to ask "LORD, what do YOU want?" I have done this many times.

  • Belief in GOD means I know, "HE knows" the best path for my life.
  • Belief in GOD means I can accept the path HE has me on.
  • Belief in GOD means I am not embarrassed or ashamed of being an example for GOD.
  • Belief in GOD means I "know" that I "know" HE loves me with infinite love.

It's amazing that JESUS never gave up on the disciples. I mean HE walked with them day and night, yet they didn't believe. It seems like HE would have thrown up HIS hands and walked away frustrated. HE did tell them about their lack of faith, but HE does something remarkable, HE entrusts them with the most important task of telling the world about HIM.

JESUS never, never, NEVER gives up on those who believe in HIM. HE takes people like me who doubt HIM daily and tells them to simply spread HIS great news of acceptance and redemption. Now that's hope.

  • Do you believe?
  • Are you stuck in steering GOD or steering others?
  • Are you afraid of being an example of GOD?
  • Have you believed in CHRIST and doubted?
  • Does GOD's messages offend you? Why?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What are you "looking" for?

Mark 13:32"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "


Hope. What a funny word. It seems like it can be lost and found. I know I have lost hope many times and it did not seem like things were going the way I had planned.

When I plan things out, I see exactly how I want everything to work. I can envision the outcome and get excited about executing my plan. But sometimes my plans keep me from doing the main thing GOD wants me to do namely, look for HIS return.

GOD said to "Be on guard! and Be alert!" HE never said to stop living but keep one eye on my life and one eye on HIS. To "Be on guard" means to know what could go wrong in life. It means to have a healthy view of life that things will go wrong and we are not supposed to fall to pieces.

When I believed that JESUS died in place of me because of my sins, I became an enemy of Satan. GOD allows him to tempt and taunt humans with the pleasures of this world. Many times I saw the nice shiny things of the world and I took my eyes off of GOD.

GOD wants us to remain focused on HIM and our eternal life. BE on guard against taking your eye off the prize.

The next thing GOD says is to "Be alert!" Being alert means things can change any moment. I can be praising GOD one minute and questioning HIS actions the next. I have to be ready to put into action the things I have learned about HIM at a moment’s notice.

That person could say the wrong thing or do the thing you despise the most. By being alert, I can control my actions "when" things blow up. It means I need to be prepared to hand out grace and mercy at a moment’s notice.

I sin and so do you and I know the HE will return soon. I keep thinking to myself, "When the last second ticks away, what would I like GOD to catch me doing?"

Imagine GOD returning during that argument, or lust filled thought or deceitful act. I cringe just thinking about GOD returning in the middle of my sin. The problem is sometimes I get too comfortable being here on earth and I don't think HE is ever going to return.

I have heard people say that CHRIST would not return for them in their lifetime and I say they are crazy. JESUS said plainly that HE is going to return and we are to watch for the signs of HIS return. The more comfortable I get on this planet, the less I watch for HIS return.

  • When I watch for GOD my arguments are shorter.
  • When I watch for GOD my sense of urgency goes up regarding telling people about HIS SON.
  • When I watch for GOD I never get comfortable with the things of this world.

GOD knows the pleasures of life can blind me. Once I get a taste of these pleasures HE knows I will struggle to stay focused on HIM. It’s not that HE wants me to be boring and never enjoy life, rather HE wants me to know that this life is temporary.

I should trust that HE is building an eternal life for me that includes a "never ending" growth of excitement with each day being better than the last. This should be the thing I am "looking" for. But while I am still on earth, I should be looking to love HIS humans and point my life to HIM.

  • What are you seeking in life?
  • Are you working hard just to make ends meet?
  • Are you putting all of your time towards achievement or title?
  • Have you tasted the pleasures of this world and desire more?
  • Are you looking up at the stars wondering which day HE will return?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Giving "is" CHRIST-like.

Mark 12:41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,worth only a fraction of a penny. 43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."


Giving is something I have struggled with over the years. I remember when I thought that giving meant putting that ONE dollar bill in the tray. I was raised like many to give out of habit, probably not at any fault to my parents.

When the offering would come around in church it was time to give my dollar almost like it was a toll or a ticket to get into heaven. I heard many sermons by, what I thought were, some shifty pastors who desired to line their pockets. They drove the best cars, had dinners in their honor and never mentioned a person who was down and out.

I carried this chip on my shoulder looking at them and never asked, "what about me?" "Is GOD pleased with my giving?" I ran into a church that truly challenged me to grow. In my growth I began reading the Bible. I read this story years ago and I felt challenged to give more.

I immediately reached in my wallet and gave FIVE dollars. I had increased the "toll" payment and it felt good. I went for a while paying my five dollars and GOD blessed me to get raises and promotions. I was increasing in wealth and never increasing in giving.

Then I ran into a couple who gave thousands annually, yet lived right around the corner from me. I ran into a trumpet player and his family and they gave from the "first dollars" they earned and they each gave thousands.

Let's see... five dollars times 52 weeks brings my total to a grand $260. Then I read the scripture again. I read the woman gave everything she had. "Wow, I'm not giving very much", I thought to myself. So, I increased the "toll" payment to ten dollars, then twenty five then fifty.

Unfortunately I was still churchy focused, trying to meet some budget or keep lights on or build a building to sit in. The hole in my heart remained wide until I met people who were truly down and out. I gave to them and fed them and it felt great.

The hole in my heart was filled up for a minute. After many major increases in salary, I began to give ten percent. It was easy to do because I was so blessed. Giving became an act of "taxes" versus giving to GOD.

When my position was eliminated, I had to choose. Do I keep giving or not? I was so scared to give then, BUT GOD said HE would sustain me and HE did. My eyes were opened to people who need help. They need finances and help all over.

I now give to "people" through the church. I pray my finances makes it to specific people or groups and I truly enjoy handing money to people in need. I wish I had more to give now, because so many are hurting. GOD has given me the right amount to keep me humble while giving.

  • Do you feel GOD owes you something when you give?
  • Are you giving to help GOD's people?
  • Have you helped specific people yourself?
  • Do you enjoy giving?
  • Is there someone you can give something to today?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Somebody Loves You

Somebody loves you more than you know,
Somebody goes with you wherever you go,
Somebody really and truly cares
And lovingly listens to all of your prayers.

Don't doubt for a minute
that this is true,
For God loves His children
and takes care of them, too.

And all of His treasures are yours to share
If you love Him completely and show Him you care.
And if you walk in his footsteps and have the faith to believe,
There's nothing you ask for that you will not receive!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Because HE lives Song by William J Gaither

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,Just because He lives!

Friday, February 12, 2010

First of all, become servants of all.

Mark 9:33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”


Does anyone ever get tired of being told to serve? Well sometimes I do. I want to be served instead of doing all of the serving. I want to be the top of the heap and have those on the bottom serve me.

Sound selfish? Well I could say that's just the way it is and no one can do anything about it. BUT GOD shapes me and points me to HIM. HE tells me the ONLY greatness that is important in HIS eyes is when I serve someone. But what if I don't feel like serving the person or what if the person makes it difficult for me to serve them?

I guess that's why GOD pulled a little child from the crowd instead of an adult. The child's qualities are "blind trust" coupled with "no fear" because they don't know any better. A little child can be told something and believe it and act accordingly while adults are tainted, scared and cynical.

Okay, so I tried this "servant" thing with my family first to see if it would work. I served them in chores and "being there." Guess what, it worked! My family responds positively when I serve them.

I wonder what would happen if I serve the neighbors? So I tried it and guess what happened, they not only responded positively, they were able to hear that GOD has a SON who volunteered to die in my place.

Wow! This is amazing. I wonder what would happen if I took this attitude to another place in the world. Would I get the same results? I went to other countries and served them. I saw people running towards GOD in numbers you would never believe!

Okay, maybe this servant thing isn't about "me." GOD wants me to serve people with a purpose. Now my purpose for serving people is to point people to CHRIST.

I used to get tired serving people, but now I realize that when I serve them, they have a much greater chance of believing than when I expect them to serve me.

  • When I serve, people respond to GOD.
  • When I serve, it provides an example to show others how to serve.
  • When I serve, satisfaction grows in me after seeing a person become whole.
  • When I serve, GOD is excited, especially when I don't look for pats on the back.
  • When I serve with a purpose, I don't get tired of serving!

GOD is very clear that HE loves it when I serve HIS children. HIS kids are sometimes 50, 60 and 80 years old. When I serve people just because GOD wants me to, I get great rewards!

  • Why do you want to be served?
  • Can you serve someone else today?
  • Are you worn out from serving?
  • Are you serving for the right purpose?
  • Can you drop the fear and prejudice long enough to become like a child and trust GOD?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who do "you" say JESUS is?

Mark 8:27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?" 28They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." 29"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."


I have been waiting on THE CHRIST for a long time. I want THE CHRIST to return and fix all this mess humans have done. Note I say "THE CHRIST." I used to think CHRIST was JESUS' last name. Now I know it is HIS title.

But what does it mean to be "THE CHRIST?" Well, Moses wrote about "THE CHRIST" as one who would deliver people from bondage. In Exodus 6 JESUS says "I AM will deliver you." Humans have been waiting on the one who would deliver them from problems and troubles for thousands of years.

Then HE came.

JESUS walked on the earth, performed miracles, never sinned and died for all humans so they would not be eternally separated from HIM. HE then sent HIS SPIRIT and placed it in those who believe.

JESUS is the savior of the world and "ALL" power and authority has been given to HIM by the father. HE went away to build a place for you and I. HE took seven days to build what exists now and 2000+ years to focus on what eternity would look like. Okay, that may be a little deep.

So if JESUS has all this power and has saved me, why do I still have problems?

I had to think about this. Is JESUS really "THE CHRIST" to me? Well, I must tell the truth, not always. I mean, I believe HE has saved me ultimately, but what about today's problems? Is HE "THE CHRIST" over my issues right now?

Then I realized if I let HIM be THE CHRIST, then all will go well for me, no matter what issue I'm faced with. What does that mean? It means if I am willing to listen to HIM and act like HIM in tough situations, then the outcome will point many people to accept HIS grace.

  • If I am willing to go through the storms then HE with be "THE CHRIST" of the storm.
  • If I am willing to tell people how HE has sustained me, then HE with be "THE CHRIST" of the sustenance.
  • If I am willing to bless people without expecting anything in return, then HE with be "THE CHRIST" of meeting my needs here on earth and blessing me beyond thought in heaven.

JESUS is "THE CHRIST" on earth and heaven. HE supplies needs and helps me to not be afraid. HE has brought me through many storms and will continue do so as long as HE allows me to live. With each storm I weather, a reward waits for me in heaven especially when I go through it with faith!

  • Is JESUS "THE CHRIST" over your situation?
  • Are you willing to depend on "HIS answer" instead of getting "your way?"
  • Can you hear what HE is saying to you?
  • Can you stop steering HIM and let HIM steer you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Even a little "touch" of faith goes a long way!

Mark 5:25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "

32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."


This story fascinates me. I see a woman who had been suffering for a long time. I speculate that since she was bleeding, she was declared "unclean" by the religious leaders and therefore she could not worship. I also speculate that people looked down on her because she was declared unclean.

The reason I speculate this is because I have done the same thing to people. Imagine instead of bleeding the person has AIDS or Herpes. In fear, I judged the person's lifestyle or just didn't help.

If going on a crusade for a cause is your thing then so be it. I just want to be honest, I too have thought the wrong way about someone because they had an ailment.

This woman had an ailment that she could not do anything about. She sought after doctors and other people for help, yet there was nothing they could do. The problem could only be handled by GOD HIMSELF.

I don't know where she got her faith, but it is truly amazing. How did she know that just touching HIS clothes would work? My thought is that maybe it happened to someone else and news traveled.

Just imagine JESUS walking around and people pushing to get to HIM and HIS robe touches a person and they get healed. They are going to run and tell everyone what happened. She may have heard this and was desperate for healing. Her condition was getting worse and she needed GOD right now!

JESUS has an account of where HIS power goes. As HE walked along, HE knew who touched HIM, HE knew their disease or ailment and HE knew just how to heal them. Each touch was like a doctors consultation and surgery all at the same time.

HE asks a strange question for our benefit. "Who touched my clothes?", HE said to HIS disciples. HE did this for our benefit. HE wanted people to notice the woman who had been healed so that they would believe in HIS power to heal all situations.

Her tiny "touch" of faith enabled her to be healed by GOD. It's amazing that faith transcends the physical realm. Her touch was felt by GOD through HIS clothing. HIS inventory of power had been tapped into by her faith.

  • GOD knows just what I am going through.
  • When I reach out to HIM with a little faith HE returns great power.
  • GOD knows just how to heal me and my situation.

She was immediately healed and her body was made whole. Her bleeding not only stopped, but she was fully restored to 100% health. Nothing was wrong with her body. GOD's ability to restore is amazing, just have a "touch" of faith.

  • Is your back up against the wall?
  • Have you tried everything?
  • Are you willing to be an example of how GOD can conquer any situation?
  • Do you have just the tiniest "touch" of faith to reach out to GOD with your situation?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Do not be afraid! HE will calm things down.

Mark 4:35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

41They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"


I used to wonder why the same story was in the Bible more than once. Didn't I just read this? But now I see that GOD wanted to give me a different perspective on the same event.

Mark writes a very simple account of JESUS sleeping while in a boat with HIS disciples. The boat looked like it was going to sink and everyone would drown.

The miracle seems to me is how could JESUS sleep through that?

They got scared and woke JESUS up. Then they were frightened even more when JESUS calmed the storm. I guess I have to focus on the question posed by JESUS, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

Why were the disciples afraid? Well, let me see... Oh yeah, they were on the brink of death! They had left their family and friends in hopes that they would strike it big. They thought this man, JESUS, would build a kingdom on earth and they would be some high official.

Instead, they were told to serve 5000 men which was probably 20,000 people counting women and children. They were told to not follow the churchy people, but everyone else seemed like they were following them. Now they are in a boat and the one person who was supposed to lead them is asleep.

"Don't YOU care?" is what I have asked GOD at times. BUT GOD already knew the storm was coming. HE knew they would be in turmoil before HE went to sleep. HE knows exactly what I am going through and HE wants my trust.

"Why are you so afraid?" Good question. I had to ask myself, "Why am I so afraid?"

  • I'm afraid of what people "think" of me. GOD says I think only good thoughts about you.
  • I'm afraid of losing my stuff. GOD says, I will supply "all" of your needs.
  • I'm afraid of being laughed at. GOD says, let them laugh, they won't like what's coming later.
  • I'm afraid of failing. GOD says, the only failure is not trying.

GOD is amazing. HE knows when the storms are on their way. I sometimes think HE tosses in a storm or two HIMSELF, just to keep humans from getting too prideful and running too far away from HIM.

The next question hurts a little, "Do you still have no faith?" Wow, after everything GOD has brought me through, I still get scared. After everything my parents have gone through, they still get worried. After everything my grandma went through, she still get's worried. (yeah she's very old!)

Humans worry, BUT GOD doesn't scold us, rather HE uses these pointed words to get our attention. Faith doesn't come from looking ahead, rather it comes from looking back.

  • When I look back at the times GOD brought me out of danger, my faith grows.
  • When I look back on the times HE healed me, my faith grows.
  • When I look back on the many blessings HE has given me, my faith grows.

JESUS asks a fair question "Do you 'still' have no faith?" In other words, after all you have seen and been through, are you "still" focused on the things of this world? After all MY teaching and miracles are you still afraid?

HE knows we are going to get frightened about our situations. HE wants us to calm down and remember.

  • When you rush to GOD in a panic, what are you expecting HIM to do?
  • Do you believe HE can calm the "storms" of your life?
  • Are you concerned about what people think about you rather than what GOD thinks about you?
  • Do you know HIS main desire is for you to "trust" that HE knows what HE is doing even in the storms?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Are you willing to listen to GOD's answer?

Mark 1:40A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." 41Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" 42Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.


I don't always treat GOD like HE is the supreme being. I sometimes treat HIM like a three year old treats his parents when he wants his way but can't have it. I throw my tantrum, roll around the floor and threaten to do things until HE gives me my way.

Ugly isn't it?

  • Many times I have set expectations of GOD that HE should do things exactly as I have them planned out.
  • Many times HE had something different in mind.
  • Many times I wasn't willing to accept HIS alternative because I thought I knew what was best for me.

In this passage of scripture I see a man with an issue. He is sick and is tired of being sick. I don't know how long he has been in this situation, but he wants comfort. He knew there was nothing inside of himself that could cure him.

He went after the only solution. He asked GOD to intervene in the situation by using a rather unique approach. Instead of throwing a tantrum and getting indignant, HE humbled himself and begged with a humble heart, knowing that the answer could be "No!"

Realize the thinking. The Pharisees were making money from telling people about GOD. They saved the best for themselves and turned away people who desperately needed help. This man had no idea who he was talking to. He just knew this guy healed people.

He humbled himself and was willing to hear "no" but he had to try anyway. His back was against the wall. He may have tried everything, but nothing worked. I can empathize with this man.

I know when I come to GOD the way I'm supposed to, HE takes compassion on me. When I am willing to ask HIM for the thing I want and desire and I am willing to let HIM steer the situation, I get what I want every time.

  • I may ask for one job and HE gives me another. I can praise HIM for giving.
  • I may ask for money and HE allows more to be taken away. I can praise HIM for making me an example.
  • I may ask out of my situation and HE leaves me in a little longer. I can praise HIM for sustaining me.

GOD is quite able to change anything HE wants to. HE can return today and could wipe out all humans, yet HE chooses not to. I believe HE is patiently waiting on the last person who will accept HIS SON. HE is patient with HIS humans and has compassion on those who seek HIM.

So I have tried to come to GOD the way HE wants me to come to HIM. I humbled myself and asked HIM, "LORD if you are willing..." With my statement I realize the answer could be "no", but I also realize that with HIS answer comes compassion.

HE has this overwhelming desire to do the best things for me here on earth and later in heaven. I personally have experienced HIS blessings many times when I am willing to listen.

  • How do you approach GOD?
  • Can HE say "no" to you without you throwing a tantrum?
  • Are you willing to come to HIM in a humble fashion?
  • Do you believe HE is the "only" one who can cure you or your situation?
  • Why hasn't HE done it?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Climb 'Til Your Dream Comes True - Helen Steiner Rice

Often your tasks will be many,
And more than you think you can do.
Often the road will be rugged
And the hills insurmountable, too.

But always remember, the hills ahead
Are never as steep as they seem,
And with Faith in your heart start upward
And climb 'Til you reach your dream.

For nothing in life that is worthy
Is never too hard to achieve
If you have the courage to try it
And you have the Faith to believe.

For Faith is a force that is greater
Than knowledge or power or skill
And many defeats turn to triumph
If you trust in God's wisdom and will.

For Faith is a mover of mountains.
There's nothing that God cannot do,
So start out today with Faith in your heart
And "Climb 'Til Your Dream Comes True" !

Saturday, February 6, 2010

JESUS is Love by Lionel Ritchie

Help your children
and don't let them fall
by the side of the road,

And teach them
to love one another
that heaven might find
a place in their hearts'

Cause Jesus is love
HE won't let you down
And I know He's mine forever
Oh, in my heart

We've got to walk on
walk on through temptation'
Cause His love and His wisdom
will be our helpin' hand

And I know the Truth
and His words will be our salvation
lift up our hearts
to be thankful and glad

That Jesus is love
He won't let you down
and i know He's mine
deep down in my soul

Jesus is love
oh, yes, He is
He won't let you down
and I know He's mine, He's mine, He's mine, all mine
Forever, oh, in my heart
help me,

(Deep in my heart)
I know, I know, I know, I know
Ah, 'cause His love's the power (power)
His love's the glory (glory)
forever (ever and ever)

ooh, yeah (yeah, yeah)
ooh, yeah (yeah, yeah)
ooh, yeah, yeah (yeah, yeah)

I wanna follow your star
Wherever it leads me And I don't mind, LORD
I hope you don't mind

I wanna walk with you
And talk with you
and do all the things you want me to do
'Cause I know that Jesus
(Jesus is love, I know) 'Cause I know, Lord
(and if you ask, I'll show)
(Love is the word forever) and ever and ever

Who can bring you love (JESUS)
Who can bring you joy (JESUS)
Who can turn your life around (JESUS),

ohooh, yeah (yeah, yeah)
YEah (yeah, yeah)

Who will pick you up (JESUS)
when you fall (JESUS)
who'll stand beside you (JESUS)
who will love us all

Hey, hey, Jesus (yeah, yeah)
Jesus (yeah, yeah)
oh, yeah (yeah, yeah)

One thing I wanna say
who can heal your body (JESUS)
who can make you strong (JESUS)
who can make you hold out (JESUS)
a little while longer
Ooh, yeah (yeah, yeah)
yeah (yeah, yeah)
Jesus love you (yeah, yeah) Jesus wants you
If you call HIM, HE will answer

(Jesus) call him in the mornin'
(Jesus) call him in the evenin'
(Jesus) call him in the midnight hour

Hey, hey (yeah, yeah)
Yeah (yeah, yeah)
Yeah, yeah (yeah, yeah)
yeah, y'all say it for me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

God is calling you to GO!

Matthew 28:16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


I get excited when I hear words from GOD. HE challenges HIS disciples to GO to all nations. I guess HE doesn't ever want me to get comfortable until every human on the planet agrees that HE cam to die for the sins of humans.

I used to say "Why would anyone go to another country? We have plenty of issues here." I said that until GOD challenged me to "go." My first trip was to the country of Zimbabwe. I heard many sermons challenging people to go and serve when it finally hit me, this sermon is talking to me!

I accepted the calling and immediately got terrified. I had seen images of "Africa" on TV. The baby with the fly on it's lip and the kids with their large stomachs soon filled my mind with fear. "What will I eat? What will I drink?" Then they told me I need to take Malaria pills and pack certain items. "What have I got myself into?" I thought to myself.

We went to hold a conference and distribute farm equipment as well as material for spreading GOD's message. I read over my notes on the plane because 17 hours gives plenty of time for reading.

We were greeted by smiling faces in a city that looked a lot like Atlanta. Skyscrapers, taxi's, food chains. "Hey, where are the flies and babies with big stomachs and cattle sitting on the food?", I thought to myself. We held the conference and I just knew I was going to teach these people what I knew. I mean they have nothing and I have everything. Right? Wrong!

A man came up to me and said he walked 20 miles to hear me speak. Okay, how humbling can this trip get? We went to places where people had nothing and they sang and praised GOD louder and longer than I had ever done in my life. Yes, it can get that humbling.

I left Zimbabwe understanding that GOD is much bigger that I had imagined. My perspective of "problems" changed when I sat side by side people who had nothing but praise. I thought about my posh life, refrigerated food, air conditioned homes and cable TV and I wonder, why am I miserable and they are so happy?

I remembered the person who walked 20 miles to hear me and it became clear. He had a sense of purpose. He accepted the calling to "go" and nothing would stop him. I wonder what he is doing now.

GOD has called us to "go, Make disciples, Baptize, and Teach." I know we all have excuses that are quite legitimate like "I'm too old, or too young or too broke or too married or too scared", BUT GOD wants us to be concerned about every human.

HE said "HE would be with us to the end of the age" so I guess I shouldn't fear going. I have since gone to a few other places around the world and I see the same thing, people who need GOD.

  • Are you called to "Go?"
  • Have you tried to get out of your comfort zone and tell someone about CHRIST in you town?
  • If you do go, will you have the right attitude to serve and to be served?
  • Is your "walk" boring?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

When we serve each other, we serve GOD.

Mathew 25:31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


I find there are many opportunities to serve people. It takes time and effort, but there are a ton of opportunities to serve. There have been times that I have been to busy to serve.

I used to jump in my car and do voice mail all the way to work. At work I attended meetings and conference calls and then I would repeat the voice mail process on the way home. The garage door would close and the process would repeat five days a week.

On weekends I had to spend "time" with the family. We would squeeze in errands mixed in with a little fun. I would attend church and that was my thought of giving. Meanwhile, I never got to know my neighbors. I would live next to people for years and never know what they were going through.

Yesterday I told you that I clear my neighbors snow. This small act of serving them turned into conversations about their situations. When I mentioned I was praying for them, they opened the flood gates of their problems. Job, loss, health issues and other problems were told to me. I had no idea my neighbors were going through all of that!

I read this scripture and thought I had to search to find hurting people in need. I didn't have to go far to find hurting people.

  • GOD wants us to serve each other.
  • GOD does remember the good things we do for each other.
  • GOD blesses those who serve people and don't expect anything in return.

I now know my neighbors and sometimes it is difficult to serve them. I do understand that GOD is pleased with my actions so I continue the best that I can.

  • Are you serving people?
  • Are there people in your family who you could be serving?
  • Do you pass the same homeless person everyday without helping them once?
  • Have you served anyone who has less than you?
  • Are your actions bringing comfort to someone?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do you really "believe?"

Matthew 21:18Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.

20When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. 21Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.

22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."


Is anybody disturbed by this passage of scripture as much as I am? I see this and feel thoroughly inadequate because I don't think I have this type of faith. JESUS says if I had enough faith and "do not doubt." Doubt!? I doubt all the time. So am I doomed? Will I never get what I want because I doubt?

I had to ponder this a while. Where does my faith come from? Where did JESUS's faith come from? Both get faith from the same place. GOD. JESUS, being GOD knows there is no limit to the amazing things HE can do through humans.

Humans know that we are sinners and deserve death just for being born. Since we believe JESUS saved us from this death, we are coupled with HIM and receive faith.

My faith alone is faulty. When I believe "I" can do something on my own, GOD quickly corrects my thinking by showing me I can do "nothing" without HIM. Now here comes the good part. When I connect my faulty faith to GOD, HE makes it perfect.

My faith is pitiful. One minute I am full of faith and the next minute I am cowering in the corner wondering if GOD is still in the room. BUT GOD has perfect faith and power. HE understands that my faith has a short circuit. HE is the one with the power and wants to give HIS best to me.

  • GOD knew humans would never choose HIM.
  • GOD died for me knowing I would never choose HIM.
  • GOD accepted me in HIS family through belief in HIM.
  • GOD watches over me and protects me daily in spite of my sinful nature.

I want to treat GOD like a genie or a wish granter. I want "my" way, but I don't want "HIS" way. Then it hit me. JESUS was only doing what the FATHER told HIM to do, therefore HE knew it would be done.

So I thought about prayer. Some of my prayer time should be spent "listening" to GOD rather than piling on the requests. Prayer is a time in which I communicate to GOD and HE communicates to me. When HE tells me to do something, I have no doubt that it will be done.

But you say, "I haven't heard a voice, how do I know it's GOD?"

  • I hear from GOD by reading HIS Bible daily.
  • I hear from GOD when I seek to hear from HIM.
  • I hear from GOD when I quiet the noise around me and recognize my nasty attitude.
  • I hear from GOD when I am nervous and panicky.
  • I hear from GOD after HE performs a miracle that only HE could have done.

I used to set false expectations of GOD and get disappointed when HE didn't cater to my whims. When I hear from GOD, I have no doubt that "what HE said" is going to come true, just the way HE said it.
  • Do you believe GOD will keep every promise HE made to you?
  • What promises has GOD made to you?
  • Are you open to communicating with GOD the way HE wants to communicate, through HIS Bible and prayer?
  • Are you listening in your prayer or just spouting out requests?
  • What is GOD saying to you today?