Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GOD's timing is always right on time.

John 5:2Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; 4for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.

5A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.

6When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?"

7The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me." 8Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your pallet and walk." 9Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.


I read this passage and realized that GOD has plans for all humans. HE desires that every human have the best so HE gave them HIS SON as the ultimate gift. HE knows that while we are on this planet, difficult things will happen.

There will be physical issues and spiritual issues. During these trial times I want things to be better right away, but that doesn't always happen. In fact there are many times that I have had to wait years before GOD changed circumstances.

I think that GOD was created for me instead of me being created for HIM sometimes. I get demanding of HIS powers and I want things to change in my timing. I have noticed that GOD moves in HIS time and in HIS methods.

The only thing I have to do is "trust the process." GOD has special plans that do not always seem like HE is thinking of me in the best way. I can't see that HE is orchestrating amazing situations for the good. I don't see that HE can use the difficult situations to bring many people to HIM.

  • When tragedy strikes GOD is there.
  • When trouble hits GOD protects me.
  • When trials flare up GOD plans the best for me.
  • When traps grab me GOD releases me and sends HIS comforter.

GOD does things in HIS time. It doesn't mean that HE could care less and does not hear me. I must remember that something bigger is going on in my life that only HE knows about. GOD seems to move slowly when I am in pain, but HIS cure is always right on time!

  • Are you waiting to be delivered from something?
  • Do you have physical or spiritual pain?
  • Can you trust that GOD is working on your circumstance?
  • Can you accept HIS answer even if it doesn't meet your expectations?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Which "group" do you belong in?

John 4:7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."


I have friends that I have known for a long time. (You thought I was going to tell you how long, didn't you?) My friends are people I have something in common with. I have met other people who are acquaintances. These are people who have something in common with me but the only reason we are together is "that" thing we have in common.

Then I have met people that I have nothing in common with. The way they grew up is totally different than the way I grew up. I grew up without much and I have run into people who grew up wealthy. The way I grew up shapes how I view people and the judgments I make of them.

I may judge the rich harder than I judge the poor simply because of my upbringing. Because of my fears, mixed in with a little pre-judging, I made assumptions about people not having met them or actually getting to know them.

JESUS meets a Samaritan woman and the social and perhaps racial divide was very apparent. Jews did not mix with the Samaritans and men especially did not address a woman in the type of discussion JESUS had with her. HE met her right where she was in her walk with GOD.

She was amazed that HE would socialize in public the way HE did. She was blind because of her thoughts about Jews.

• When we are blind we judge other people.
• When we are blind we assume the worse about groups.
• When we are blind we talk about "them" versus looking at ourselves.
• When we are blind other people are the problem.
• When we are blind we think the situation with "that" group is helpless.

JESUS sees one of HIS humans. HE does not want to lose one. HE gets excited when we ask HIM the right question which is "Can YOU become LORD of my life?" JESUS knew the Samaritan woman was missing the point. She was looking at outward appearance and relating to HIM with old stereotypes.If she only knew that she was speaking to the Savior of the world, what would she have asked?

• Do you judge others?
• Do you think "your way" is always the right way?
• Do you believe the only way to "GOD is through JESUS?
• Do you think there are other ways?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Less is "more."

John 3:26They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him."

27To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.' 29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become greater; I must become less.

31"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."


I love feeling special. I received awards for academic honors in school, awards for helping companies make more money and awards for community service. At home I get fathers day, birthday, anniversary and Christmas gifts as a token from my family that they honor me and it feels great.

This kind of recognition only lasts a little while. "You are only as good as the last thing you have done" is the mentality that awards and recognition is built on. In other words an award or gift is only a point in time. The same people who reward you and shower you with gifts may be the people who question you or doubt your abilities.

John says "HE must become greater; I must become less." The "HE" in that sentence is JESUS. John knew that he had a specific role on this earth and that was to announce the arrival of the world's SAVIOR. He was seen as being very special to humans because he did not fall to the cravings of mankind.

John could care less about material things or lust for power. His entire life was focused on preaching about CHRIST. He had a huge following but always realized that once JESUS arrived on the scene it's time to back off and let HIM get the spotlight.

I like to control things and stick my hand in where I shouldn't. I want to get credit for someone's salvation or growth. Sometimes in my zeal for controlling the HOLY SPIRIT, I say the wrong things to people that turn them off to GOD rather than drawing them to HIM.

After making this mistake a number of times I realize that it is GOD who changes the heart, not me! Once someone claims to be saved by CHRIST, it is my job to teach, but is it GOD's job to change the person into what HE wants them to become.

My job is to keep people from rejecting who JESUS is. In the last verse it is important to know that "rejection of CHRIST sends people to hell" not lack of knowledge of HIM. Once I am blessed with helping a person understand CHRIST, then HE must increase in their life and I must decrease.

  • Are you trying to control someone's growth?
  • Do you see flaws in other humans or do you see what GOD sees?
  • Are you hitting people with the Bible or are you hitting them with love?
  • Do you like to receive recognition from humans?
  • Whose job is it to grow people, yours or GOD's?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

He Kept Me

I almost let go
I felt like I just couldn’t take life anymore
My problems had me bound, depression weighed me down
But God held me close, so I wouldn’t let go
God’s mercy kept me so I wouldn’t let go

I almost gave up
I was right on the edge of a breakthrough but couldn’t see it
The devil really had me, but Jesus came and grabbed me
And He held me close, so I wouldn’t let go
God’s mercy kept me so I wouldn’t let go

So, I’m here today
Because God kept me
I’m alive today
Only because of his grace

Oh, he kept me, God kept me
He kept me
So I wouldn’t let go

Saturday, March 27, 2010

JESUS loves you by Agee, Adam; Eskelin, Ian

Tell me what do you believe in?
Does your life have rhyme or reason?
Something in your heart that makes you care

I hope that you don't mind me asking
But I have got a burning passion
I need to know forever you'll be there

I can't make it clearer, put it any other way
If you can't see the simple truth I do
Then there's nothing in this world that's left to say

But Jesus loves you

I know I don't have all the answers
And I have wasted many chances
To prove to you a faith that lives inside

I'm praying there will be a breakthrough
'Cause I can't be the one to save you
God knows how many times I've tried

I can't make it clearer, put it any other way
If you can't see the simple truth I do
Then there's nothing in this world that's left to say

But Jesus loves you

I can't explain, I can't deny
So many times for you I've cried
And to see you on your knees tonight

I can't make it clearer, put it any other way
To know you know the simple truth I do
To know that your forever has been changed

'Cause Jesus loves you
Jesus loves youJesus loves you

Friday, March 26, 2010

What kind of example are you? by my Wife

John 3

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus 1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.[b] 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.[c] 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You[d] must be born again.’
8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” 9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. 10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?
11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man[e] has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.[f]

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[g]”


As a mother, I put a lot of time and energy into raising my children. I try to make sure their basic needs are met such as food and shelter, while also meeting their emotional needs. I want them to feel loved and valued. I want them to be educated and socially well-adjusted. I try my best to prepare them for any situation they might encounter in life. As they get older, however, I am more and more aware that ultimately, they will have to live their own lives.

As much as I try to teach them, they will be responsible for making their own decisions. Their spiritual life will be their own.In this chapter, Jesus is explaining to Nicodemus what he must do in order to see the kingdom of heaven. He tells him that no one can enter the kingdom unless he is born again. Humans can produce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. (vs. 3-5).

For those of us who are in contact with young people, whether as parents, teachers, neighbors or relatives, this does not mean we are free from responsibility for their spiritual development. Children learn by example. They are always watching us and to see if our words are consistent with our actions.

When we talk to them about the Lord, we must also SHOW them the Lord. They should see him in our interactions with them and with others. We should be patient, kind and loving as we put the Fruits of the Spirit into action. We should be able to live in the light instead of hiding our actions in the dark.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ask and Ye Shall Receive by my Wife

John 2:1On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." 4"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."

5His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." 6Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.

8Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, 9and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."

11This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.


In this passage, Jesus and Mary were attending a wedding. During these times, weddings were week-long events to which the whole town might be invited. Hospitality was so important that running out of wine would be seen as a major embarrassment to the bride and bridegroom. When this occurred, Mary turned to Jesus for his assistance.

There are two things that stand out to me about this passage. First, I note Mary’s faith in Jesus. She saw a problem and trusted that he would be able to solve it. At this point, Jesus had not performed any miracles, so she probably didn’t know how he would solve it. She still had the faith that he could solve it and would solve it. This is a reminder to me to turn my problems over to the LORD.

Sometimes I feel like I have to save my prayers for really big things, like jobs or health. Is it ok to pray for things like lost keys or light traffic? I believe it is. We are instructed to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). Matthew 7:7 tells us to “Ask and it shall be given to you”. The LORD wants me to come to him with all of my problems and to trust him like Mary did. I understand that HE knows what’s best, and will answer my prayers according to his will, but I like knowing that I can always turn to HIM whenever I need him.

The second thing that stands out to me in this passage is Mary’s persistence. When she told Jesus about the lack of wine, he asked her why she was telling him and told her it was not his time yet. Mary was persistent, however. She turned to the servants and told them to follow Jesus’ instructions. Mary needed Jesus help and she did not give up until she got it. This reminds me of the parable of the persistent widow.

I have to remember that the LORD is always there for me to turn to when I need his direction. I can ask HIM for anything and trust that HE knows what’s best for me. I also have to be persistent in my prayers. I praise him for all that he is done for me.

  • Do you think its ok to ask GOD for everything, even the small things?
  • Is it easy for you to be persistent, or do you get discouraged if you don’t get an answer to your prayers right away?

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spread the Word! - by my Wife

John 2:35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" 37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

40Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.
41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter). Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me." 44Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
46"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. 47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."

48"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." 49Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." 50Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that."

51He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."


As technology advances, there’s no shortage of ways to spread news. We can call from land lines or cell phones, send text messages and e-mails, update our Facebook status or Twitter. We can invite people into our lives instantaneously to share our joys and sorrows. If I find a sale at Macy’s, I want to tell my friends about it. Why? Because I want them to have the opportunity to share in my good fortune. If I see a great movie, I don’t think twice about recommending it to others. I talk about how wonderful my husband and kids are. I’m not bragging when I do this, I am just so joyful that my joy spills over. When I read this passage, however, I’m reminded that I’m not seizing every opportunity to share the best thing in my life- my Savior Jesus Christ.

In this passage, when Andrew found Christ, the first thing he did was find his brother Simon to tell him. When Phillip found Christ, he went and told Nathanael. Both Simon and Nathanael had transformed lives because someone thought enough of them to share the good news about Christ.

As Easter approaches, this will be a prime opportunity to witness to others. I can share with them how God is working in my life and how he is transforming my heart. This news is just too good to keep to myself. I want others to know him also.

Let’s join together and spread the news. When you e-mail, or text or phone a friend. Let them know that GOD loves them and you do too.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Behold the LAMB - by my wife

29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." 32Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." Behold the Lamb


When I was a child, I remember singing the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb”. As I sang about the lamb whose “Fleece was white as snow”, I never thought about the song could also apply to our savior.

John introduces Jesus as “The Lamb of God”. It’s interesting to consider someone so powerful with such a gentle title. Our Savior as a Lamb. That’s exactly the role he served in and the sacrifice he made for us. Isaiah told us that this would happen. Isaiah 53:7 states” He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” During these times, a lamb was sacrificed in the morning and in the evening to atone for the sins of the people.

The lamb needed to be male, no broken bones, and without blemish. Jesus was the perfect Lamb. He humbled himself to die on the cross for all of our sins, so that we might have eternal life. As the song would say “That’s love”.

I want to be like Mary and take Jesus with me wherever I go. I appreciate his humility. I appreciate his sacrifice. I hope that in my endeavor to be more Christ like, I can love others as unselfishly as he does.

What do you think?
Do you think it’s easy or difficult to demonstrate humility and selfless love?

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is my Prayer by Helen Steiner Rice

Bless me, heavenly Father,
forgive my erring ways,
Grant me strength to serve Thee,
put purpose in my days ...

Give me understanding,
enough to make me kind
So I may judge all people
with my heart and not my mind ...

And teach me to be patient
in everything I do,
Content to trust Your Wisdom
and to follow after You ...

And help me when I falter
and hear me when I pray
And receive me in Thy Kingdom
to dwell with Thee some day.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.
Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us,

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"In the beginning" is a powerful statement!

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.


10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


There is something amazing about the words "In the beginning." The WORD is JESUS and it clearly says HE is GOD. GOD became a human and we could not comprehend or understand what HE was doing or why.

"In the beginning of what you say?" GOD has no beginning and no end. HE is, was and will be. So "In the beginning" is the start of humanity. Before there were humans, GOD existed, by GOD I also mean JESUS.

The scripture also says that the WORD created everything, the WORD being JESUS. So when it says "In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth" it is saying "In the beginning JESUS created the heaven and the earth."

It actually isn't that simple. GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT, created the heaven and the earth. Whew, there is a lot of theology going on there.

Now all of this is nice, but what does it mean to me? It says that HE came to "HIS own." Well, who are they? "HIS own" were the "Jewish leaders", not all Jews rejected HIM. This made a way for me to be adopted into HIS family.

Since I believe that GOD became man and HE died in my place I can live forever. I an reborn, not from a human, or a "husband's will" but from GOD. Now I can experience full "grace" and "truth." This is a thing to celebrate!

  • Do you believe the term "In the beginning" relates to humans?
  • Do you believe that once humans are created they live forever, even after earthly death?
  • Do you believe all humans have the chance to receive "the ONE" who made them?
  • Why do you treat other humans like they aren't from the same GOD?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What are you looking for?

Luke 24:1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8Then they remembered his words.

9When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.


GOD has promised so many things to humans. HE promised peace, love food places to rest, and no more tears. HE also promised that HE would rise from the dead and become king. I know about HIS resurrection, but what about the other stuff? Where is my peace, prosperity, and pleasure?

When I looked at this scripture, I see that it's very clear that humans don't quite understand GOD. HE told HIS disciples that HE would be killed and rise from the dead but they had their heart set on HIM setting up a temporary kingdom where they could enjoy life here on this cursed earth.

I do the same thing. I look for GOD to give me temporary comfort with a few trinkets here and a pile of money there. Meanwhile, GOD is saying something totally different. HE has said to me over and over "focus on MY Kingdom!" Yet I find it difficult to "believe" this is the right course of action.

Peter got up to see for himself. When he arrived at the tomb he was confused. "What happened?", he asked himself. "What Happened?!", “how could he ask that question?” you say! I probably would have asked the same question.

  • When I desire life’s comforts, I forget the kingdom.
  • When I lose "stuff" and feel a sense of loss, I forget the kingdom.
  • When I am miserable without the "stuff", I forget the kingdom.
  • When I see humans as an inconvenience, I forget the kingdom.
  • When I will do "anything" to get or keep my stuff, I forget the kingdom.

Easter will be here soon. This is the holiest celebration I could possibly observe. JESUS died for me so I would not go to Hell. HE took my place and rose from the dead. HE is preparing a place for me far better than any pleasure palace earth could ever produce.

This is the promise HE has told me. It is up to me to believe. Will I act like the disciples, confused and full of disbelief? Will I stand firm and say no matter what happens to me on this planet, I will hold onto my belief that JESUS is the only way, truth and the life? I chose to believe!

  • Do you believe all humans deserve to die and go to Hell?
  • Do you believe GOD became a human, was murdered by religious followers and was raised from the dead to keep you from going to Hell?
  • Do you believe HE will place HIS HOLY SPIRIT in anyone who believes no matter what sin they have committed?
  • Are you willing to spread this GREAT NEWS about CHRIST?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Your situation may not be caused by you.

Luke 22:31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

33But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."

34Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."


I get tired of good versus evil sometimes. Can't Satan just leave me alone? Well according to this scripture, NO! Have you ever asked "why me?" Well as I have said before, "why not you?!"

When I read this I realize that I am up against a being who is does not sleep and constantly seeks to destroy me. He doesn't play fair and does not want any good to come out of anything he puts in front of you.

When I became a Christian I said I am now an enemy of Satan. He accuses me each day in front of GOD and places temptations in front of me. Peter was a threat to Satan. His zealous contagious personality made him perfect for spreading the gospel. Satan wasn't going to go down without a fight.

BUT GOD stepped in and warned Peter of the battle he was headed into. HE knew Peter would fail the test and HE told him what he would do. GOD also knew that Peter would be one of the greatest preachers who ever walked the earth.

The temptation and sin is only temporary. Yes right now you feel guilty for whatever sin you committed yesterday or last week. GOD has forgiven you for that sin. HE has already forgotten about that sin and moved on. HE knows the wonderful things you are going to do for HIM.

Here is what we should focus on:

  • Look at praise not problems.
  • Look at hope not helplessness.
  • Look at faith not fear.
  • Look at GOD not guilt.

GOD placed HIS HOLY SPIRIT inside of me sealing me into eternity. Nothing can separate me from HIS love. Though I may be tempted and fall, I get up and praise the one and only SON of the living GOD.

GOD knows and loves the fact that I keep getting back up, asking HIM for forgiveness and walking in faith that HE will make things right. I am not worried about Satan sifting me, because GOD is on the other end picking me up.

  • What are you going through?
  • Could it be that you are being attacked?
  • Do you realize the affects of sin are only temporary distractions from serving GOD?
  • Do you realize that GOD may have something huge HE wants you to do?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I just want to "control" my life!

Luke 20:1One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2"Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?" 3He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4John's baptism—was it from heaven, or from men?"
5They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?' 6But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."

7So they answered, "We don't know where it was from."

8Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."


I used to wonder why GOD would allow "things" to happen to me. I mean, I believed in JESUS at an early age. I tried to stay away from sin as much as possible. I went to church most Sunday's, well at least when I felt like it. I even gave my dollar each week. Why is "this" happening to me? I have questioned GOD, HIS methods and motives and I get the same answer each time. "I'M not going to tell you.

JESUS was upset at the religious leaders of the day. This is one of the rare scriptures that show the entire group who were against JESUS together in one location. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Elders wanted religious control.

"Control" is the word that is the problem. Control is probably the ugliest part of humanity.

  • When I try to control GOD, blessings can't happen.
  • When I try to control my wife, my marriage breaks.
  • When I try to control my kids, they grow weaker and weaker.
  • When I try to control my neighbors, I make enemies.
  • When I try to control politics, I become political and blind.
  • When I try to control co-workers, I become demanding.

I believe "control" is the single most thing GOD despises in humans. Satan wanted control of everything. I'm not sure what he thought he was going to do with GOD, but that's another discussion. GOD threw Satan out of heaven because of his need for control.

Now when I look at my life I see control all over it. I like to control things that are in my control and things out of my control. The problem is when I try to control the things out of my control I wind up frustrated. Weather, traffic, and economy are things out of my control. When I get frustrated at any of these things I fall to unresolved conflict.

GOD cannot be controlled. HE is sovereign in HIS plan and should not be questioned. HE allows us to question HIM, but usually we don't like the answer. Going to church more and reading the Bible more do not make GOD love us more. We can understand HIM better by doing these things, but HE has already taken HIS steps to show us HE fully loves us.

  • When I stop trying to control GOD, I can see HIS blessings.
  • When I stop trying to control my situations, I receive peace.
  • When I stop trying to control life, I can see GOD working instead of punishing.

GOD does not owe me an explanation of every little bump in the road. HE does enjoy it when I let HIM control my life.

  • Are you miserable in life?
  • Does it seem like problems are occurring wherever you go?
  • Are you frustrated?
  • Are you trying to control your life?
  • Are you questioning GOD and HIS methods to bless your life?
  • What or who are you trying to control?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Serve GOD with excitement!

Luke 19:11While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'
14"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'

15"He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

16"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'

17" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

18"The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.'

19"His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'

20"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.'

22"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'

24"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'

25" 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!'

26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."


Who do you see yourself as in this story? I used to think I was the person who received the ten cities, now I see myself as the person with one 'Mina.' I may even see myself as one of the complainers who didn't want the king to rule their lives.

It's funny, when GOD says for me to do something, I whine and complain that I don't want to do that thing.

  • When HE says TRUST ME, I go and try to fix things on my own.
  • When HE says FORGIVE OTHERS, I hold a grudge.
  • When HE says FOLLOW ME, I go off and do my thing.
  • When HE says PRAY, I say I don't have time.
  • When HE says GIVE, I say I don't have enough.

This is a great scripture that tells me to go out and spread the GREAT news about JESUS. I sometimes think "what will this person think of me" or "I don't want to force my religion on them." JESUS says the task of telling people about HIS death, burial and resurrection would not be easy.

People hate hearing that their life is not focused on the one and only Savior. I know I don't like to hear this kind of talk. HE did say, follow MY ways and spread MY GOSPEL in spite of how you or others feel.

Now that I am over the embarrassment, I desire that my family, neighbors and others around the world know who CHRIST is in a saving way.

  • How are you serving JESUS today?
  • Does saying HIS name embarrass you?
  • Is there someone you can tell about what HE has done for you?
  • Do you believe in rewards or treasure in heaven?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ideals by Helen Steiner Rice

Remember that ideals
are like stars up in the sky,
You can never really reach them,
hanging in the heavens high ...
But like the mighty mariner
who sailed the storm-tossed sea,
And used the stars to chart his course
with skill and certainty,
You too can chart your course in life
with high ideals and love,
For high ideals are like the stars
that light the sky above ...
You cannot ever reach them,
but lift your heart up high
And your life will be as shining
as the stars up in the sky.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

His Eye is in the Sparrow - Song by Lauren Hill

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely
And long for Heav'n and home,

When Jesus is my portion?
My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

"Let not your heart be troubled,"
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;

Though by the path He leadeth
But one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
When hope within me dies,

I draw the closer to Him,
From care He sets me free:

His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He cares for me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He cares for me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

NEVER give up!

Luke 18:1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"


I can't count the days that I have felt like giving up. There are so many days that I don't think GOD is hearing me. I mean, doesn't HE see me struggling? Doesn't HE understand my pain?

I read this story and questioned GOD's methods. Why does HE have to take so long to do things? Why doesn't HE give me my way instantly? I had to stop and think about this for a while. A story came to mind.

When I was a kid I wanted a certain toy for Christmas. My parents who were struggling to make ends meet more than likely tried to cater to my desires. They bought me something similar to the toy I wanted. On Christmas day I opened their gift and cried because it wasn't exactly what I wanted. Now looking back on the ordeal, they got me exactly what I needed.

Why do I bring up this story? Because people are fickle in their wants and desires. Looking back to that Christmas as an adult makes me laugh. I don't need the toy that I cried over years ago, I need the understanding my parents gave me.

I see things differently now. GOD knows what is best for me and sometimes, like a child, I am asking for the exact toy that "I" want. The toy for you could be a mate of your choice or more money or some luxury item. I know for me I want many toys, the list goes on and on.

GOD is patient with me because HE has all the time in the world. HE sees me asking for things I don't need and HE just sits there watching over HIS poor helpless child. After I throw my tantrum HE still sits there watching over me. Then I finally wake up and begin to ask for things I need.

  • When I ask for things I really need, I am persistent.
  • When I ask for things I really need, I see what GOD wants me to have.
  • When I ask for things I really need, my prayers are real.
  • When I ask for things I really need, my spirit won't rest until I get it.
  • When I ask for things I really need, I find myself humble instead of demanding.
  • When I ask for things I really need, I don't give up.

GOD understands life better than any human. HE understands that I try to manipulate HIM to get my way and HE isn't going to cater to this. HE wants me to pray with fervor, determination and tenacity. This type of prayer separates the toys from the needs.

  • Are you "half way" praying for things?
  • Do you pray out of habit?
  • Is your spirit troubled by the thing you are praying for?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you ask GOD to help you be persistent in your prayer?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let's put GOD in HIS place!

Luke 17:7 “When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? 8 No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ 9 And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. 10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”


I think I have become too "familiar" with GOD. Sometimes I forget that HE is the creator of the universe and master of all HE can imagine. When I get busy I forget to communicate with HIM. I jump into my day without asking HIM "LORD what would YOU like me to do today?"

I get in my car and drive to work listening to voicemail or music not once thanking HIM for keeping me safe. I even get mad at HIS humans for driving stupid. When someone says something I didn't like that day, I stored it away as evidence for being right "again."

Then Sunday arrives. I go to church for 5 or 10 minutes, sing a couple of songs listen to a preacher and bolt out of the door ready to start my week again. Occasionally I will volunteer to serve here and there because GOD likes that stuff. Whew! I've done my duty now where are my riches and fame?

Then "it" happens. "It" is any trouble or calamity I face that thoroughly throws me off my schedule. "It" can be an ailment, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a possession, pending bad news or many other things that cause me to worry. I then see that GOD is waking me up and I straighten up quickly.

I try to work my way out of the trial and then I demand that GOD fix everything that I perceive as being broken. My expectations of GOD seem upside down when I read this scripture. I actually thought it was harsh so I had to read it again 3 or 4 times.

When I read this I realized that GOD is GOD, not a human. I was made to serve HIM not the other way around. Anything I do for HIM is duly noted and my circumstance may or may not change.

I had to get my mind around this and I realized that Satan hated GOD's position. Satan said "who does HE think HE is trying to rule me? I should be able to do what I want to do!" He then thought he would be the most HIGH GOD. Well, we all know where that got him. GOD put Satan in his place quickly.

  • When I put GOD in HIS place I see HIM as sovereign.
  • When I put GOD in HIS place I don't have a problem with saying I'm an unworthy servant.
  • When I put GOD in HIS place I can accept HIS answers especially when they are "No" or "wait."
  • When I put GOD in HIS place I serve HIM without expecting something in return on this earth.

GOD is not harsh in HIS statement that we have "simply done our duty." I can get arrogant quickly and think my righteous acts will buy favor with GOD and then I think HE "owes" me something. GOD already paid a great price which was the death and resurrection of HIS SON, JESUS who is GOD.

HE owes me nothing, I owe HIM everything.

  • Is GOD your servant or are you serving GOD?
  • Does the statement "you have simply done your duty" upset you?
  • Do you run out of gas often by serving HIM?
  • What are you looking for in return for your servant-hood?
  • Do you truly believe in storing up treasures in heaven or do you need to see them on earth?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are you defined by your wealth?

Luke 16:11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

13"No servant can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money."

14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.


Wow, this is a timely message. So many people are struggling financially and feeling rotten about it. I have seen a great portion of my "wealth" go away over the past few years. There are some days when I can say "The LORD gives and the LORD takes away" and there are other days where I say "Oh LORD what are you doing?"

JESUS says plainly that I should not "serve" money. I had to think about this statement. What does serving money look like? Doesn't it take "money" to survive in this world? Yes! GOD understands government, in fact HE is the one who established government and raised up greedy rulers who orchestrate circumstances that are in HIS control.

GOD knows our needs. He also know our desires. Sometimes the two don't match. When we desire riches, we will do anything to "serve" it. Serving wealth means you will do anything it takes to keep the little wealth you have. When I say anything, I mean anything.

As my wealth grew so did my desire to maintain my wealth. I found myself working 14 to 16 hours each day. I thought about work constantly. I would wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea for work. I talked about work on the way to work and I talked about work on the way from work.

When I got home, I would talk about how work was tough and I would unwind so that I would be fresh for work. Now having a good work ethic is not bad, nor is having riches bad. JESUS says "serving" is the problem.

  • I serve money when I take even a paper clip from work thinking "they have plenty."
  • I serve money when I would compromise my values to keep it.
  • I serve money when I put wealth over serving GOD's humans.
  • I serve money when I don't notice people in need.
  • I serve money when I worry about losing my money.
  • I serve money when I am defined by how much I have.
  • I serve money when I am ashamed to not have money.

GOD does not have a problem with people who have money. HE despises those who "love" money. There are all kinds of people in the Bible who used their wealth to further GOD's kingdom.

In this same chapter JESUS illustrates an example of a beggar named Lazarus and a rich man. Lazarus died, went to heaven while the rich man died and went to hell. The rich man spoke to another very rich man named Abraham begging him for relief and never could receive it.

Since GOD does not have a problem with being rich how should I act?

  • When I serve GOD I realize HE has a right to take some or all of my earthly wealth.
  • When I serve GOD I know HE controls how wealthy I should be at a given time.
  • When I serve GOD I give a portion of my wealth to others in need.
  • When I serve GOD I worry less about what people think of me.
  • When I serve GOD I don't brag about having the latest thing.
  • When I serve GOD I see what I have instead of fretting about what I don't have.

GOD wants us to remain focused on "true riches." These are the precious eternal treasures that we store up for ourselves in heaven. I can only get these treasures by not trying to manipulate GOD into making me wealthy on earth. I can only get true riches by serving HIS humans and pointing them to CHRIST.

  • Are you worried about what you don't have?
  • Are you feeling depressed about your wealth?
  • Have you considered doing "anything" it takes to get or keep your wealth?
  • Can you focus a little of your wealth on someone who is less fortunate than you?
  • Can you give without getting a pat on the back?
  • Have your friends disappeared with your wealth?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Aren't you glad you "found it."

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Luke 15: 1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'

7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin
8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'

10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."


I like to receive thank you's and pats on the back. At work I won a ton of awards and received recognition for doing some spectacular thing. In the community I received praise, plaques and prizes. None of what I received compares to the cheering and praise a person receives when the stop rejecting JESUS.

I sometimes get side tracked into thinking my existence is for work or school or whatever I'm doing at the moment. I pour myself into "that thing" for a while and I come home exhausted. I do this over and over until I need a vacation because I am burnt out.

While I am going on with my life, I don't notice the people around me who are dying. I'm not talking about physical death, I'm speaking about eternal death. People who reject JESUS as their savior are pursuing an eternal destiny of separation from HIM.

GOD wrote HIS laws in every humans' heart and I believe it is the rejection of what we already know that causes mankind to go to Hell. GOD does not take chances on losing HIS humans. HE took measures that would ensure "every" human could be saved.

It's amazing what HE did. HE gave me free will and saw that I would not choose HIM. HE then came to earth as a human and died in my place. HE saw every sin that I would ever commit and HE accepted me anyway.

  • GOD accepted me when I lied.
  • GOD accepted me when I stole.
  • GOD accepted me when I lusted.
  • GOD accepted me when I was lazy.
  • GOD accepted me when I doubted HIM.
  • GOD accepted me when I demanded that HE do something outside of HIS will.

My sins are forgiven because I no longer reject who JESUS is and what HE has done. Unfortunately there are a lot of humans who know this concept and reject it. "How can they know it?", you say. Again, GOD took precautions and wrote HIS law on every heart. My purpose is to be an example and a testimony to GOD showing humans HE accepted me in the middle of my sins.

I now have to tell people that HE accepted me without being cleaned up. People around the world have heard me tell them to accept not reject CHRIST. This is the most important thing I can do in life.

This purpose is for all Christians. All of us are to tell our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances about GOD's great acceptance. We should all be looking for the lost because we were found.
  • What is your purpose in life?
  • Do you think your work or school is more important than keeping someone from rejecting CHRIST?
  • Is your relationship more important than keeping that person from rejecting CHRIST?
  • Would you rather keep a friend on earth and watch them reject CHRIST and go to Hell?
  • Is there someone you can seek to "find" today?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Are "your plans" inspired by GOD or you?

Luke 14:25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

34"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."


We heard a great message yesterday about heaping expectations onto GOD. It's interesting because I have been talking about this subject with a dear friend over the past few weeks. The premise is that our desires could be sinful and outside of GOD's plan.

When we plan to become a "title" or have a certain income level or even to save so "this many" souls, our motives may need to be checked. Chapter 14 of Luke talks about those who seek to be first will be last. The motive behind being "first" is disgusting to GOD.

JESUS ate with the Pharisees and religious leaders of the day. They said and did the right things in front of men and their quality of life was nothing less of a posh existence. Their motive behind talking about the Bible was selfish gain. They held people hostage in giving instead of freeing them to give.

JESUS looks at my motive. I asked HIM years ago to make me successful in business. HE allowed me to do so and I became a great title. My stewardship of HIS kingdom quickly fell off. JESUS knows the issues that come along with our worldly plans.

All ideas are not from GOD. Some of the most innocent ideas can have a sinful root. JESUS talks about planning to a large crowd. Here HE says planning is okay but the story really is about what motive.

The person who desired to build the tower wanted to get accolades from other humans. Instead of accolades they got ridicule when they could not finish. The person who waged war soon realized that it was ego that caused him to do it and he ended up embarrassed when he realized he would lose.

  • I lose when my motive is to look good before humans.
  • I lose when I love my posh lifestyle here on earth.
  • I lose when I get comfortable in a place that GOD wants me to move away from.
  • I lose when I seek to be "first" and have the best instead of being humble.

My wife asked an intriguing question. "When am I giving up versus trusting GOD?" This is a good question. I stumble over the answer but I am going to take a shot. I believe when I quiet myself down and read GOD's Bible, I can get direction.

I then pray "LORD, is this what YOU want me to do? If it is what YOU want me to do, then the results are YOURS. If YOU want me to have a title, then YOU will make it possible. If you want my plan to be successful then YOU will grow it for YOUR purpose. If YOU want my plan to only reach one person they YOU will bring that person to me.

  • I cannot fail when GOD says to do something through HIS Bible.
  • I cannot fail when I give my plans to GOD.
  • I cannot fail when I leave the results up to HIM.
  • I cannot fail when my motive is for the growth of HIS kingdom.
  • I cannot fail when I am being generous instead of selfish.

JESUS says to give up my life and carry my cross. This takes sacrifice and constant humbling of the ego. My desires and motives eventually will point to GOD not humans.

  • Are your plans failing?
  • Have you checked your motives for your plans?
  • Do you brag about your status?
  • Have you gotten a taste of "the best" of life and want more?
  • Have you asked GOD "LORD is this what YOU want me to do?"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Help Yourself To Happiness by Helen Steiner Rice

Everybody, everywhere
seeks happiness, it's true,
But finding it and keeping it
seem difficult to do.

Difficult because we think
that happiness is found
Only in the places where
wealth and fame abound.

And so we go on searching
in palaces of pleasure
Seeking recognition and
monetary treasure.

Unaware that happiness
is just a state of mind
Within the reach of everyone who
takes time to be kind.

For in making others happy
we will be happy, too.
For the happiness you give away
returns to shine on you.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Be Grateful by Walter Hawkins

Be Grateful
Be Grateful
God has not promised me sunshine
That's not the way it's going to be
But a little rain (A little rain)
Mixed with God's sunshine
A little pain (A little pain)
Makes me appreciate the
good times

Be Grateful Grateful
Be Grateful Grateful
God desires to feel your longing
Every pain that you feel
He feels them just like you (Just like you)
But he had to die to make you feel only good (Only good)
Then you can appreciate the good times

Be Grateful Grateful
Be Grateful Be Grateful
Because there's someone else who's worse off than you
Be Grateful (Be Grateful)
Because there's someone else who'd love to be in your shoes

Be Grateful ( Be Grateful)Lord God save us
Be Grateful (Be GratefulBe Grateful (Be Grateful) (*repeated several times)

For giving me your light
Be Grateful (Be Grateful)
Even through the hard times, the good times too
Be Grateful (Be Grateful)
God said in his words that he lived and died
Be Grateful (Be Grateful)Be Grateful (Be Grateful) (*repeated several times)

Be Grateful He wants us to be grateful
For giving me your light

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bad stuff happens to "good" people.

Luke 13:1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
6Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'

8" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "


I have wondered "why do bad things happen to people?" At one time I thought that tragedy and disease happened to people because they were bad. Then I feared GOD because I thought HE would punish me for my sins and reward me for being good.

There are scriptures that tell me about GOD's wrath punishing the stubborn while they are here on earth. When Zechariah, John's father, doubted he was made mute, yet when JESUS said a girl who was dead was asleep, people doubted and laughed at HIM and HE did not punish them. Well... HE did not punish them right on the spot. I got confused trying to make heads or tails out of GOD's actions.

Sometimes I make GOD a little too human. HE has a purpose for everything HE does. What I consider bad HE considers great. When I see something negative going on in my life, HE sees only positive. GOD can see the total picture of my life. HE knows just the right things to get my attention.

I read this message and it is about judging others instead of focusing on the work at hand. When something bad happens to a person I automatically jumped to conclusions that some sin brought this on the person. I even thought my own sins would bring on calamity, but after a while I saw this did not make sense.

My attempt to do good is actually fueled by an evil attempt to manipulate GOD into doing things for me.
  • When I try to manipulate GOD, I temporarily straighten up my act with no intention to continue.
  • When I try to manipulate GOD, my good behavior is short lived and I fall back into bad habits easy.
  • When I try to manipulate GOD, HE sees right through me and does not accept my actions.

So what should I do? Just sit here and let bad things happen to me? No. GOD tells me to go out and bear fruit. Wow, I thought this seemed harsh, but when I pondered the scripture it makes sense now.

GOD says bad things will happen here on earth, expect it. I have been a wimpy Christian too long thinking nothing bad should ever happen to me. GOD tells me in spite of the difficult time here on earth, I should never take my eyes off of HIM. I should not judge people because bad things happen to them.

  • Instead of looking at what happens to other people, I should permanently alter my life to focus on bringing people to CHRIST.
  • Instead of figuring out why something is wrong, focus on serving.
  • Instead of figuring out why people are in pain, bring a word of encouragement.
  • Instead of complaining about issues, praise GOD for eternal life.
  • Instead of complaining about circumstances, teach someone about GOD's grace and mercy.

"Toughen up" is a tough lesson for me to swallow. GOD says that I should not fear bad news but continue to put my trust in HIM. Bearing fruit, not manipulating GOD, is the best medicine for lifes difficulties.

  • Are you going through difficult times and blaming it on your own sin?
  • Do you believe that GOD uses our circumstances to bring other humans back to HIM?
  • Are you busy trying to understand "why" GOD is doing something?
  • Can you stop trying to understand "why" and focus on "what" you are supposed to be doing?
  • Are you judging yourself or other people in regards to their sin?
  • Are your words encouraging?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Again HE says "Do not worry, Do not be afraid."

Luke 12:22Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


I don't know about you but my excitement for GOD is temporary. I can be excited about what I hear about GOD for a day or two but it quickly fades when I get a bill, bad news or "no news." I actually think "no news" is worse when I am waiting on something.

I worry so easily. I have heard some misguided preachers tell people their worry is a sin so pick yourself up and stop doing it. Well good for them. But what about the rest of us who worry and like to wallow in our pity? HE has an answer for that.

GOD constantly tries to let me know HE is not a villain and HE loves HIS humans. HE tries to say how much HE loves me but my sin nature gets in the way of seeing HIS pursuit of me.

HE gives an example of animals HE provides for. HE provides food, life and habitat for them. It's quite amazing that GOD cares about the amount of fur a specific deer has. HE provides grass for the cows and grain for birds.

HE cares about how the sun will affect the flowers. HE makes nature more beautiful and breath taking than anything humans could ever build. Now HE turns HIS attention to me. HE says there is NOTHING in nature more important than me.

HE built this entire world for you and I. Unfortunately, the world is under a curse and the once perfect place is no longer paradise. HE says, "Don't focus on the food, clothes or needs while you are on this earth." HE says HE fully understands my needs.

So how do I stop worrying? HE isn't trying to persecute me in this passage rather HE is trying to provide comfort.

  • When I worry, think of how GOD provides for the plants and animals.
  • When I worry, think of how much more GOD loves me than them.
  • When I worry, remember the times HE brought me through troubles.
  • When I worry, focus on the things HE has given me and not on things that are gone.
  • When I worry, tell someone about the greatness of CHRIST.

It's amazing how confused Christians can be when it comes to GOD. HE gives us answers as plain as day right in HIS Bible. Do not worry means stop focusing on the problem and focus on the solution, or should I say "soul-ution." Do not be afraid means focus on GOD's SON as the ultimate gift and the ultimate fighter.

Imagine GOD fighting your battle for you. HE laughs at the person or thing that is opposing you. HE laughs at the thing tempting you. HE laughs at the thing that causes you worry and doubt. HE says to you and I, "be still and watch my power and glory."

Once I realize GOD is far more excited about me than I am of HIM, I can do what HE says namely help others. Once I stop pitying myself and my situation then I can sell something I own and give the money to someone in need. HE never says give it all up, just some of it.

Focus on helping others and the hole in your heart gets filled and you store up treasures in heaven.

  • Are you worried about life again?
  • Can you focus on GOD's power?
  • Do you believe HE cares about little things too?
  • Do you believe HE cares what happens on earth as well as eternity?
  • Do you actually believe HE cares about you and your decisions today?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I "am" asking, how come I'm not "getting?"

Luke 11:9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"


The entire Bible is special, but anytime words are repeated, they are truly special. It seems like over the past few weeks I have run into GOD saying "ASK." I have to say to myself, "am I asking for the right things."

I pondered again, "what does GOD want me to ask for?" I thought about the things HE definitely won't or can't do. HE won't answer selfish prayer. HE can't cease to exist. HE can't make me GOD. HE can't go back on HIS promises to humans. HE can't and won't save me if I don't believe in HIS SON. Okay, maybe some of those things are obvious. But what about some of the lesser obvious prayers that HE won't or can't answer.

HE won't have my enemy drop dead if I'm the offender. HE won't shower each human with earthly riches instantly. HE won't force someone love you. HE won't force me to love HIM.

Wow, so HE says "ASK" but it doesn't seem like I get what I'm asking for. Check the rest of the story. JESUS had just finished teaching HIS disciples about prayer. The model HE gave them was to praise GOD, ask for needs not wants, ask for forgiveness of sins and ask to not be tempted.

I hear you. If you are like me you are thinking "what about my bills?" "What about the people in my life?" "What about my comfort?" "What about my desires?" Then I notice something. HE says "I'm evil."

I think I've glanced over that for years. HE says that an "evil" person like me knows how to give "good" gifts to my children. HE is right. I know how to provide for my family and I occasionally bring a smile on their faces. In my evil selfish way of thinking I still can give a "good" gift.

Then it hit me. GOD is telling me to "trust" HIM. HE is saying to me that HE has better gifts than I could ever know how to ask for. so HE says ask for the one very obvious thing that HE can provide namely the HOLY SPIRIT.

  • To be filled with the SPIRIT means I am full of joy!
  • To be filled with the SPIRIT means I can face today's issues knowing they can't hurt me.
  • To be filled with the SPIRIT means I go through trials to strengthen my faith not weaken it.
  • To be filled with the SPIRIT means I look forward to the day of CHRIST's return.
  • To be filled with the SPIRIT means I will love humans the way HE loves me.

I now know what to ask for. GOD please give me a healthy dose of YOUR SPIRIT today. Please give me the drive and determination to keep my thoughts and actions focused on YOU. Please remove the frustrated thoughts that take me away from YOU and give me peace.

  • Are you asking GOD for the wrong things?
  • Have you asked GOD "what should I ask for?"
  • Have you asked GOD to reveal HIS plan for you today?
  • Have you asked GOD to change you instead of changing that person?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How would "you" like to be treated?

Luke 10:25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."


I used to think this story was an example to show how to be good to strangers. Two religious types pass by a person in need and one stops and truly helps. End of story. But later I realized there is much more to this story.

The priest and Levite not only represent religious types, they represent me and my actions toward my family and friends and acquaintances. JESUS knew the Sadducee, or teacher of the Law, was trying to test HIM. This is a rare discussion that shows JESUS had compassion on even those who opposed HIM.

HE illustrates how people who have been in church a long time forget why they are learning the Bible. The Bible is meant to be a guide book rather than a rule book. The words of grace and mercy should guide humans away from the path of rejecting CHRIST.

The illustration shows us how to apply this guide book to our lives. JESUS uses an extreme example of a person coming from a group who hated the Jews for their prejudice. The Samaritan helped a Jew. GOD says at the end, "Go and do likewise."

Go and help someone you don't care for? Yes. What about repayment for my actions? GOD says "Your repayment will be in heaven where moths and rust cannot get to it." Flip the script, how would you like to be the person in need? Help someone in need, don't look at the pay, don't judge the person in need.

  • Is there someone in your family who is in need?
  • Are you too concerned with how you look to other people to help someone who is different than you?
  • Is there anyone around you in pain that you are passing by because you are judging them?

Monday, March 1, 2010

What are you holding onto?

Luke 9:23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

26If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."


My struggle with GOD is that I want to control my life and I want to steer the outcome of all my circumstances. I love being in control of my life. I like planning, executing the plan and accomplishing the goals I have set. I am a goal oriented person. The problem with goal oriented people and GOD is sometimes our timing and goals are different.

GOD looks at my feeble plans and chuckles. HE sees that I want total control of my life and that I would leave HIM out of any decisions HE has for me. Now the problem with my plans is when they don't match HIS plans, I get frustrated at HIM. I pout and spit and kick a scream at GOD, meanwhile HE sits back and lets me have a temper tantrum.

I pretend to act humble by saying to GOD, "all I want to do is live a humble existence and pay my bills." But what if that's not what GOD has planned for me? Now what?

  • GOD said "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you," "thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
  • GOD said "Be still and know that I AM GOD."
  • GOD said "I AM the first and the last the beginning and the end."
  • GOD said "I AM"

When GOD has a plan for me and HE get's excited about HIS plan, HE can't wait to make that plan happen in our life. HE is patient enough to allow us to run away from HIM, but HE truly wants us to be in accord with HIM. When I ignore the plan HE has for me then I am saying to HIM, "I know better than YOU."

  • When I accept GOD's plan I drop my worries, doubts and fears.
  • When I accept GOD's plan I bring peace to people not turmoil.
  • When I accept GOD's plan I argue less with HIS humans.
  • When I accept GOD's plan I see endless possibilities instead of failure and misery.
  • When I accept GOD's plan I "know" I am protected instead of guessing about GOD's love.

I long thought the term "denying" myself meant everyone gets everything and I get nothing. This is far from the truth. When I deny myself and ask GOD to reveal HIS plans for me, I get an abundant life full of adventure and praise to GOD. HE provides in abundance and never does anything halfway or shoddy.

  • Are you trying to hold onto an old life that GOD is changing?
  • Are you frustrated with not being able to accomplish your plans?
  • In your future, do you see "abundance" or "not enough?"
  • Are you ashamed to tell people about HIS SON and what HE is doing in your life right now?