Saturday, July 31, 2010

"He's Sweet I Know" by Mahalia Jackson

He's sweet I know
He's sweet I know
Dark clouds may rise
And strong winds may blow
But, I can the world
Wherever I may go
That I have found a Savior
And He's sweet I know


I can't forget
When I was sad
Head hanging down
And my soul feeling bad
But, all I could say
Was "Lord, take my heart"
You know, Jesus heard me praying
And He gave me a song


Sometimes I'm tried
By Satan's snares
And my burdens seem
So hard to bear
And I'm talked about, Lord
In whatever I do
But, I know a Savior
And He'll take me on through

Friday, July 30, 2010

How to deal with a “stupid” boss!

Romans 13: 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.


Wild spirits like me are difficult to tame. One major problem I have is submitting to someone who knows and does “less” than me. Why should I listen to this person, they don’t know what they are saying or doing anyway? Why are they in this position?

Many times I have run into a boss who lacked knowledge on many vital subjects and we would huddle and discuss his or her flaws. Little did we know that this person was appointed by GOD HIMSELF.

What? GOD appointed a stupid boss over me? No, GOD appointed this person over me and I am supposed to treat them with respect and trust just like anyone else.
  •  GOD put “that” person over me for a purpose.
  • GOD understands there is something in me that needs to change.
  • GOD shapes me by putting tough people in my life.

 My thoughts are not always right. Yes I may be very experienced in a particular area, but what is it about my boss that I should appreciate? How can I get to know and get along with that person? What am I supposed to learn?

Many times I have rebelled against the new boss and I didn’t win. They came down hard with their authority and brought judgment instead of thanksgiving. Fortunately I had great support but I caused many unnecessary battles.

  • When I submit to an authority work is easier.
  • When I submit to an authority I open my mind to a new direction.
  • When I submit to an authority I am blessed for helping and not tearing things down.
  • When I submit to an authority I am submitting to GOD.
Each time I go to work I view my boss as JESUS which means I will always try my best. If I see something wrong happening I warn my boss. If I see a great idea then I let my boss get credit. Why, because while my boss has been placed over me by GOD then maybe HE put them there to see how one of HIS followers should really act.

The world is not mine to gain. Promotions are nice, but being an example of GOD is better. I am not weak rather I show my strength by submitting to GOD.

  • Do you have a difficult boss?
  • Why has this person been put into your life?
  • What is it about “you” that GOD is trying to change?
  • What personal issues is this person going through?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to get back at your enemies!

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the LORD.

20 Instead,
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

 In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.


When someone does something to me or tries to take advantage of me, I spring into action. If it’s a fight they want then it’s a fight their going to get! Well that’s how it went in my mind.

Bullies were not the norm in my neighborhood, but on occasion I would run into them. Sometimes they would pick on me probably because I was an easy target. After college I was tired of being picked on. Instead of being intimidated, I lifted weights and “bulked up.”

After befriending the largest mugs in the gym I thought I was secure. We went out to a bar (gasp, yes I went to a bar) and the largest thugs would try to take us on even though we weren’t looking for trouble. My plan was on the wrong track. 
  • GOD’s strength is far greater than any human.
  • GOD owns revenge and it’s not mine to take it.
  • GOD can protect me when I have faith in HIM.

Bullies are still around me as an adult but their faces look different. Instead of the lonesome thug in the neighborhood, they are the irate boss who flies off the handle or the pushy parent at a child’s sporting event or the impatient driver who rides bumpers.  
  • GOD wants me to love the irritable because I can be an irritant.
  • GOD wants me to pray for my enemy because sometimes I make enemies.
  • GOD wants me to wish my enemies “better than good” so HIS grace will shine on them further.
  • GOD wants me to throw my anger away because HE is not stupid and is keeping track of their ills.

 Revenge is the LORD’s. HE will take matters in HIS own hands and I feel sorry for the person on the receiving side of HIS wrath! 
  • Do you have an enemy?
  • Did someone do something to you?
  • Who can harm the person more, you or GOD?
  • Can you let your wrath go and let GOD deal with the person?
  • Can you demonstrate love as an “act” even though you don’t feel like it?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Appreciate what I bring to the table.

Romans 12: 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.


Feeling special is something I crave. When my skills and abilities are highlighted by others and I receive compliments, it makes me work harder. In fact in many instances, I became the “best” at what I did, or at least in my mind I was.

Being the “best” gave me a false sense of security that I could downplay someone else’s skills and achievements. Each time I received a compliment for the things I did, my head would get bigger and soon there was no room for others.

  • When I appreciate different people, I get better ideas.
  • When I appreciate new ways of doing things, I get better results.
  • When I appreciate another person’s skills, I can focus on my responsibilities.

GOD made a variety of humans each equipped with talents, skills, abilities and gifts. HE is pleased with each of HIS creations and desires that I appreciate people the same way HE does.

Each complaint I have for a family member, neighbor or coworker is noted by GOD on my account not theirs. When I complain about what someone is doing or “not doing” for GOD, HE doesn’t hear my complaint. HE would rather see me trying to work together with those who are tough to get along with.

  • Knowing my skills is important so I can contribute to bringing people to GOD’s kingdom.
  • Knowing my abilities keeps me from trying to “work” my way into heaven.
  • Knowing my talents enables me to praise GOD who gave them to me.
  • Knowing my gifts enables me to take steps to help others.

GOD made me the way HE wanted to. HE gave me spiritual gifts to be used to bring HIM glory. The more I use them on HIM the more blessed I will be.

  • Do you know your talents?
  • What is your purpose?
  • Can you appreciate other people and their gifts?
  • What or who are you trying to control with your talents?




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How wonderful is GOD to you?

Romans 11:

33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!

34"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"

35"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"

36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.


“Praise GOD” is what I hear some people say, but what is there to “praise GOD” about? I mean there is pain and suffering all over. I just came from an area where many people lost all of their possessions, never to get them back.

The news is laced with horrible stories and my problems seem to persist. Why “praise GOD”, HE isn’t listening anyway, or is HE? One problem with the way I look at GOD is I see HIM through my circumstances and insecurities.

  • GOD is all knowing.
  • GOD has all wisdom.
  • GOD is the judge based solely on the opinion of the HOLY SPIRIT and the SON who died for all.
  • GOD has a mind of HIS own which loves me “fully.”
  • GOD is the counselor and does not require advice.
  • GOD provides to the needy and never needs anything.
  • GOD owes me nothing I owe everything to HIM
  • GOD made all.
  • GOD owns all.
  • GOD is all.

When I look at GOD from an unselfish, loving perspective, I can see HE is marvelous. HE is the unstoppable, immovable, irreplaceable, invaluable force in my life. When I do something good or right in HIS eyes, it’s only because HE did it through me.

  • I can never brag about my goodness, I need to point to JESUS.
  • I can never boast about my blessings, I need to point to JESUS.
  • I can never demand that GOD change my circumstances, I need to point to JESUS.
  • I can never do enough good to deserve the grace of GOD, I need to point to JESUS.

The FATHER is quite amazing. HE withdrew HIS wrath and showed me mercy in the middle of my sins. HE accepted me when no one else would. I need to do the same to all my loved ones.

  • Can you look beyond your circumstances to praise GOD?
  • Do you have your expectations so set in concrete that you cannot accept changes from GOD?
  • Is “your way” better than GOD’s way?
  • Why has HE left you in this position or circumstance?
  • Can you see that everything HE does is “best” for you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Are you sent?

Romans10:14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"


Wow! This scripture came at the right time. I just got back from a missions trip to help rebuild New Orleans. It is kind of an easy way to share my faith. Sharing my faith isn't always easy.

One reason it isn't easy for me to share is because I have seen people approach me the wrong way and I don't want to do the same. Here is what I have run into in the past.

Believe or I'll force you to believe
People have approached me and started in their evangelism mode. With scriptures flying at me they assume I'm not a believer in the CHRIST. Once a person asked me if I believed in JESUS, when I said "yes" that wasn't good enough. The probing began and the scriptures flew. I was turned off immediately and I could not imagine this approach working for me, but maybe it does for someone else.

Scatter general seeds
While walking through large crowds I have run into people shouting or using bullhorns to get the message out.  Once again, this is not my style. Please note that if this is your style I'm not knocking it, I just don't prefer it. Years ago a man followed me with a bull horn and it seemed like I couldn't escape his rants. He did state the truth that if the crowd did not believe in JESUS they would go to hell! This is still not my type of approach.

Get to know you
Personally I like to get to know the person, at least a little. As I worked on hanging durable composite siding on a house this week, a man named Daryl approached me. He complimented our work and thanked me for coming to help. I noticed he was carrying a paint brush, rollers and tray so I engaged him in conversation.

The unemployed man was trying to fix up his apartment. I couldn't pull away from our schedule, but I did get the opportunity to see if he needed prayer. He said "definitely" like Troy and Sherry and Earl and others who are in need in that city.

I have come to realize I can't always share the "Great News" about CHRIST the way I want to, but I can share when the moment is right. HE has called me to be "sent" to others in my community, city, state, country and globe.

There are so many people in need right now that you don't have to go far to offer your assistance. Just stick your head out your door and you will find someone who needs prayer.

  • Are you the one who JESUS has "sent?"
  • Are you resisting the calling on your life to tell "that person" about the greatness of JESUS?
  • Does seeing, hearing or saying the name "JESUS" make you cringe or embarrassed?
  • What is stopping you from sharing?
  • Can you do something small like bring someone a drink of water today just because you want them to know CHRIST?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On a missions trip until July 26, 2010


Please pray for us on our mission to help in New Orleans. Your prayers are welcome!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is belief in my “head” or my “heart?”

Romans 10: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
My parents taught me to believe that JESUS did some wonderful things. At the age of twelve I accepted CHRIST as my savior. In other words I believed JESUS died because of sins I committed in order to keep me from eternal death.

It was logical to me that GOD existed and HIS SON died for my sins, but soon my beliefs would be put to the test. I saw Christian men and women fail at what they taught me. I saw people who went to church out of duty instead of need.

I saw the needy neglected and the rich bragging about how great GOD is because of their earthly trinkets. I saw lust instead of love and I saw many people who claim to follow CHRIST by picking and choosing to follow small portions of the Bible when it was convenient for them.

I got disillusioned.

  • GOD said I am different than any human.
  • GOD said I came to earth because I cared for you.
  • GOD said I understand the hypocrisy of mankind and I took care of that too.
  • GOD said I love you!

Broken people are very special to GOD. How do I know? I am one of them. GOD sees me attempt to be good when there is no good in me. HE knows that my belief is only a whisper and I would never have chosen HIM.

Logically I know about GOD and HIS powers, but it takes faith to actually believe in all HE can and will do for me. In order to be saved from eternal separation, I must believe that I need to be saved. I have to confess to the being WHO created me that I have a problem and the problem is “me.”

Here is the best way I can explain salvation:
  • I must believe that I was created by GOD WHO is eternal and all powerful, all knowing and everywhere. 
  • I must believe that while “sin” is not my fault, it is my death and separates me from GOD eternally. 
  • I must believe GOD is not the problem rather HIS love for me provided a solution.
  • I must believe that by saying “Okay, YOU are GOD and I am a human, YOU are superior in all YOUR ways, YOUR actions and thoughts are always right and I fight against YOU”, is my confession.
Confessing that I am wrong and HE is right is probably the hardest thing for me to do. I struggle with trying to get my way, but when I yield to GOD’s way, “I will not be put to shame.”
  • Have you confessed that GOD has the highest position?
  • Are you willing to follow HIS ways and not yours?
  • Have you struggled with HIS methods?
  • What does your “heart” believe?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GOD “made you” and doesn’t make mistakes!

Romans 9: 19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Sometimes I question GOD and I ask “why did you make me this way?” It seems like some people just sail through life without problems. I read about people who were born into wealthy families, had everything at their beckon call and remained healthy to ripe old ages. Now that’s just unfair, or is it?
  • When I am not satisfied with the way GOD made me, I question what HE likes.
  • When I am not satisfied with the way GOD made me, I seek confirmation from the wrong people.
  • When I am not satisfied with the way GOD made me, I try to be something that I am not.
  • When I am not satisfied with the way GOD made me, I attempt to please people who don’t please GOD.
I was born with the characteristics, wealth and health that GOD wanted me to have. GOD has a special purpose specifically for me and only me. This purpose required me to be born into the family I was born into and needed me to be made exactly the way I am.

Free will still has to come into play here. GOD made me able to make choices, so if I choose to be a jerk versus helping others then it is “my choice” that will be judged. This means I can no longer say “That’s just the way I am.” In other words, my personality can change to be more and more like JESUS.

What I’m talking about are things that I cannot or should not change. My gender, height, skin, facial features hair type and color were given to me by GOD. My parents, siblings and household income were also given to me by GOD. The phrase “I didn’t ask to be born” is one that I shouldn’t even say.

GOD desired me to reach a specific group of people or more importantly, one specific person on this earth. I may not know who it is, but my background and experiences makes me the perfect fit for the job! GOD made me special so I praise HIM for it.
  • Do you like the way GOD made you?
  • What are you dissatisfied about?
  • Did GOD make a mistake by making you the way HE did?
  • What purpose do you think GOD has in store for you by making you this way?

Monday, July 12, 2010

GOD is GOD enough said.

  Romans 9: 14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,

"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,

and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.


I have questioned GOD on many occasions. I have said “Why do YOU let these people get away with whatever they are getting away with, meanwhile I struggle?” Then in a temper tantrum tell GOD how good I have been. “I’ve served, gone to church, given money, read the Bible and stopped lying, well I almost stopped lying!”

This is my usual response when I’m not getting my way. The problem is that I don’t know what I need, I just know what I want and sometimes what I want is against what GOD wants for me.
  • When I question GOD, I question HIS authority. 
  • When I question GOD, I question HIS motive. 
  • When I question GOD, I question HIS methods. 
  • When I question GOD, I am basically saying “YOU don’t know better why don’t YOU do it my way?”

Sovereign is a word that describes GOD. This means HE has the power and the right to set the rules and keep them. HE can do anything HE likes including give reckless people wealth to squander it while HIS servants suffer on the earth. Is this fair? Well, it doesn’t seem like it.
  • It’s not fair that my sin caused someone else to die. 
  • It’s not fair that my sin caused a person to assume full blame. 
  • It’s not fair that just because I was born, someone had to die. 
  • It’s not fair that all the wrong I do is forgiven just by believing in JESUS who died in my place. 

Sometimes, okay most times I see things wrong when I look at what GOD is doing. I can’t see that HE is actually showing me goodness and mercy each and every day. I look at what “I want” and I cry like a baby when I really should be thanking HIM for all HE has done.

GOD is GOD not a human. HE did transform HIMSELF into a human to die for me, but HE is still GOD just the same. HE is the creator of the universe and the savior of mankind. My belief in the greatest act of kindness requires praise not doubt.

I guess the true struggle with GOD’s position is that I want my way, but “every” time I yield my heart to HIM, I have “never” been disappointed. GOD is a promise keeper and HIS love toward me is unyielding!
  • Are you jealous over someone else’s fortune?
  • Do you hang around gloomy people to feel better about yourself?
  • Are you leading people to feel better or are you looking to remain miserable?
  • Are you questioning GOD and HIS motives?
  • How would you do things differently if you were GOD?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

MY HAND IN GOD'S By Florence Scripps Kellogg

Each morning when I wake I say,

"I place my hand in God's today;"

I know He'll walk close by my side

My every wandering step to guide.

He leads me with the tenderest care

When paths are dark and I despair--

No need for me to understand

If I but hold fast to His hand.

My hand in His! No surer way

to walk in safety through each day.

By His great bounty I am fed;

Warmed by His love, and comforted.

When at day's end I seek my rest

And realize how much I'm blessed,

My thanks pour out to Him; and then

I place my hand in God's again.

~ ~

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"These Are They"

It was on a Lord's day morning
Out on a lonely isle
In the beauty of the dawning, oh yes
As John was in exile

He heard a voice resounding
Across the rolling sky, yeah, the rolling sky
Oh, like mighty, yes, like mighty billows bounding
Oh, John fell down on, yes, his knees

Well, these are they
From every, Lord, every na-nation
Who have washed, washed their gar-garments
Washed, washed them white

Oh, we coming on up
Coming on up through great tribulations
Oh, as they march, march all around
By God's throne

Friday, July 9, 2010

Nothing can stop me!

Romans 8: 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I got so excited when I read this message this morning. I remember a bully who used to pick on me when I was a scrawny little kid. He was huge, probably five feet two inches! He would pick on me because I was not a fighter rather I liked to consider myself more sophisticated. Okay I was a nerd.

One day the inevitable happened, we were supposed to fight. The crowd gathered and I remember trying to back away but it was too late! Suddenly someone shoved me from behind into the bully knocking him down. I then remember several people taking potshots at him. A teacher quickly broke up the skirmish and we went our separate way. He never bothered me again.

I had actually forgotten about this incident, but I do remember the bullies that have appeared in my life as an adult. I’ve had people shout hateful things from moving cars. People have thrown things at me and said very stupid things about me, not even knowing me. At work I have run into “that” person who, if challenged goes into rage and fights.

There is no one who can bully me or bring up a charge against me because I have GOD on my side! There is no situation that can get me down!
  • GOD says “You are MY child, no one can harm you.” 
  • GOD says “You are the heir to MY kingdom, poverty cannot keep you down.”
  • GOD says “You are special to ME, I will protect you.”
When I try to fight my own battles I soon realize I don’t have the strength to win. I quickly get nervous and worry about the outcome. I then cower in the corner, fretting about the future. GOD says all battles, “large” and “small”, are HIS.
  • GOD is invincible
  • GOD is immovable 
  • GOD is all seeing
  • GOD is all knowing
  • GOD is all powerful
  • GOD is everywhere
  • GOD is in everything
  • GOD is unshakeable
  • GOD is!

GOD says there is no reason to fear the future or the present. There is no danger to big for my GOD! No one or no “thing” can separate me from my GOD who gives me all strength!
  • Are you scared about something?
  • Are you trying to do things on your own power?
  • GOD can do anything with your situation, why has HE decided not to take the situation away?
  • Do you believe GOD has a “powerful”, “loving” plan specific to you?

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Romans 8: 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

I rarely, if ever, think about the HOLY SPIRIT. This is the being that was placed inside of me to do the dirtiest job of all. HE is pure good and has to sit there and watch me sin. HE sees the temptation and HE knows the moment I commit to “knowingly” going against HIS advice. 

When I get out of trouble I say Thank GOD, usually thinking about the FATHER. I feel comfortable when I say “thank YOU JESUS for saving me.” But when I say “Thank YOU HOLY SPIRIT” it seems weird. I guess I never consider what HE does. 
  • The HOLY SPIRIT tells me the truth and only convicts me “once” for “that” sin. 
  • The HOLY SPIRIT reminds me to focus on the kingdom and not on earth. 
  • The HOLY SPIRIT calms me down when life brings on hard times. 
  • The HOLY SPIRIT brings me joy when I should be in pain. 
  • The HOLY SPIRIT tells me to give, and love.

JESUS said HE had to die and go away so HE could send the “COMFORTER” and boy I’ll tell you I’ve truly needed HIM throughout the years. The HOLY SPIRIT sees me thinking about sin and considering how to “get away” with the sin. Since HE is there seeing sin conceive, HE can go to the FATHER and ask for the things I really need. 
  • I ask for cars, fame, jobs, and money but the HOLY SPIRIT asks for the right things. 
  • I ask for “that” person to get healed but the HOLY SPIRIT asks for me to be healed. 
  • I ask for peace of mind or for sadness to be taken away but the HOLY SPIRIT asks the FATHER to turn up the heat and bring more issues. 

The HOLY SPIRIT knows me intimately. When I accepted that I needed to be saved from eternal separation and JESUS was the only way to salvation, HE sent the HOLY SPIRIT and placed HIM inside of me. Now GOD only sees the HOLY SPIRIT and not the empty shell who was trying to get his way. 

The HOLY SPIRIT asks the FATHER to forgive me for “that” sin, meanwhile HE gives instructions on how to grow me and show me love. The amazing act that baffles me is when the HOLY SPIRIT crafts “love” that is specific and special to me in the middle of my sins!
  • Have you accepted JESUS as the being who needs to save you?
  • Do you realize you have the same being who created the universe living inside of you?
  • If the HOLY SPIRIT is inside of you, then why do you feel GOD is “far away?”
  • Have you ever thanked the HOLY SPIRIT for HIS help?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

GOD loves me because HE sees HIMSELF in me

Romans 8:7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.


I sometimes wonder if my life is "pleasing" to GOD. Did GOD make me so that I would disappoint HIM? Does HE like everything I do? I think HE loves me, but there are some things that need to change.

Before I believed that I needed to be saved from eternal death, I tried to do everything under my own power. In fact, I still struggle with trying to do GOD's job. GOD saw my empty rotting life and decided to do something about it.  HE filled me with HIS HOLY SPIRIT and saved my life.

  • GOD no longer sees sin when HE looks at me.
  • GOD no longer is my enemy.
  • GOD no longer is upset at what I do.
  • GOD is pleased with me because HE only sees HIS SPIRIT HE places in me.

It's amazing what GOD has done. HE saw a very empty person who questioned everything HE did. "Why" was always my first question to HIM. Each decision HE had for my life was met with opposition and I struggled to get my own way.

GOD saw this struggle in my life and decided to save me anyway.  HE knew that I would never love HIM rather I would try to manipulate HIM into doing things my way. HE placed HIS HOLY SPIRIT in me so that HE would see something good in me.

  • Since the SPIRIT lives in me I act different.
  • Since the SPIRIT lives in me I want GOD's humans to not reject HIS gift.
  • Since the SPIRIT lives in me I no longer have eternal consequences.

I used to get confused by what GOD did for me. HE saved me from eternal consequences, but I still have to pay for sins committed against others while I'm living on this earth. If I steal or kill, I will go to jail. GOD loved me so much that HE leads me away from sin, but when I resist, HE loves me anyway.

  • Do you think it is your "goodness" that gets you closer to GOD?
  • If GOD placed HIS HOLY SPIRIT in you, how much closer can HE be?
  • If you are empty and searching for something, will you let GOD fill you up?
  • What more do you want from GOD now that HE has done so much for you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It’s “war” inside of me!

  Romans 7:21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!


So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 

I remember being told not to do something, but I did it anyway. I thought I was getting away with “my way” but then I got caught. When asked “Why I did the offense” those great words came out of my mouth “I don’t know.” 

Self preservation is a great driver of lies. The entire reason I sin is to preserve “self.” I want “what” I want “when” I want it and “how” I want it. Sometimes I will stop at nothing to get what I want. The problem with this attitude is that it leads me to a place where I am going against what GOD says.  
  • My sin makes me question GOD and HIS ways. 
  • My sin confuses me about my relationship with GOD. 
  • My sin makes me doubt that GOD loves and cares for me. 
  • My sin blinds me to the truth. 

Sin loves to lie and twist the truth. When I fall into the trap of wanting to fulfill my lustful desires, then I feed the sinful monster. More lies spill out and I get confused more and more. GOD knows all about my confusion and HE did the greatest thing HE could for me. HE rescued me from the confusion. 
  • GOD guides me daily as the one and only great shepherd. 
  • GOD is never hot or cold in HIS love toward me. 
  • GOD is not affected by my sin, rather HIS love, grace and mercy shines brighter. 
Each day I have to realize there is a war inside of me and I have to choose sides. 
  • Understanding myself helps me know when I am about to sin. 
  • Understanding myself helps me know what sins I am open to so I can stop them before they start. 
  • Understanding myself helps me plan for serving GOD rather than randomly letting it happen.

GOD wants me to know and understand that I am a sinner. My broken relationship with GOD is not because of GOD, it’s because of me. The sooner I realize I have a war going on inside of me, the sooner I will seek help from the only one who can cure me, namely CHRIST.
  • Will sin win or will you let GOD lead your life today?
  • Do you get your way or HIS way today?
  • Can your way be HIS way for a change?
  • Can you plan for the war inside of you and choose GOD today?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Not “forced” to love.

Romans 7: 4So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Rules governing marriage and relationships are necessary, but not always good. When things have to be spelled out to me then either I was missing the point or just being stubborn and wanting to ignore something that I know I was supposed to be doing.

This happens through a series of judgment calls. When I think someone is harming me or my family, I go into “self preservation” mode which brings out the fight in me. Suddenly I find myself in a place where I am fighting and arguing because of a misunderstanding or a difference in value. It’s those times where the relationship needs to be spelled out to me.

Unfortunately for the other person, or people, freedom to express themselves in a creative way goes out the window.
  • GOD saw HIS humans growing more and more evil. 
  • GOD saw HIS humans becoming more and more scared of HIM. 
  • GOD saw HIS humans treating other humans poorly. 
  • GOD made laws to focus HIS humans back to “need” HIM and HIS love.
The law was difficult to swallow. Every time a human sinned there had to be atonement for it. Something or someone had to “pay” for even the slightest sin. The written laws actually attracted people to sin. It’s like the “wet paint” sign that attracts people to touch it to see if it is truly wet.

JESUS did an amazing thing. HE knew I would not be able to follow the law instead HE took it upon HIMSELF to follow every law to the letter. HE set the standard for what it meant to be “perfect” and showed me that is impossible for me to live a “perfect life.”
  • JESUS’ death and resurrection saves me from the law. 
  • JESUS’ death and resurrection “pays” for all of my sins.
  • JESUS’ death and resurrection enables me to serve people “without guilt.”
The law was put in place to control my selfishness. It keeps me focused on others rather than fulfilling my sinful lusts. JESUS paid for all of my sins and now I don’t need my relationship with HIM “spelled out” to me. HE freed me and now I choose to serve and worship HIM.
  • Do you think you can “save yourself” by being good?
  • Are you trying to follow the law, thinking it will get you in heaven?
  • Do you think you need to be saved from eternal death?
  • Can you serve CHRIST with freedom?
  • Isn’t love better when you choose to love versus being forced to show it?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

GOD'S WAY by Sharon Lambkin

When times seem bad
And clouds are gray
A window in heaven will open
And there will be a way.

God has this perfect plan
For us all defined
We just need to tune into God's will
And all will be fine.

Sometimes in the course
Of our busy day
We offer our problems to God and say
'Your will be done' we pray.

After we give it all to God
Our faith begins to fade.
Lord Jesus, I think I have a better solution
And another request is made.

Remember, just give it to the Lord
And leave it there
God in all his miracles,
Will always be fair.

When he works out your problems
And delivers you from despair,
It's not just a one time shot
He will always keep you in his care.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp

Never would have made it, never could have made it, without you

I would have lost it all, but now I see how you were there for me

And I can say

Never would have made it,

Never could have made it,

Without you

I would have lost it all,

But I now how I see how you were there for me and I can say

I'm stronger, I'm wiser, I'm better,

much better,

When I look back over all you brought me thru.

I can see that you were the one that I held on to

And I never

Chorus Never would have made it

Oh I never could have made it

Chorus Never could have made it without you

Oh I would have lost it all, oh but now I see how you were there for me

I never

Chorus - Never would have made it

No, I never

Chorus - Never could have made it without you

I would have lost my mind a long time ago, if it had not been for you.

I am stronger

Chorus – I am stronger

I am wiser

Chorus – I am wiser

Now I am better

Chorus – I am better

So much better

Chorus – I am better

I made it thru my storm and my test because you were there to carry me thru my mess

I am stronger

Chorus – I am stronger

I am wiser

Chorus – I am wiser

I am better

Chorus – I am better

Anybody better

Chorus – I am better

I can stand here and tell you, I made it. Anybody out there that you made it

I am stronger

Chorus – I am stronger

I am wiser

Chorus – I am wiser
I am better

Chorus – I am better

Much better

Chorus – I am better

I made it, I made it, I made it, I made it, I made it, I made it, I made it, I made it

And I never would have made it

Chorus Never would have made it

Never could have made it

Chorus Never could have made it without you

I would have lost my mind, I would have gave up, but you were right there, you were right there
I never

Chorus Never would have made it

Oh I never

Chorus - I never could have made it without you.

Someone need to testify next to them and tell them I am stronger, I am wiser, I am better, much better. When I look back over what he brought me thru. I realize that I made it because I had you to hold on to, now I am stronger, now I am wiser, I am better, so much better. I made it. Is there anybody in this house other than me that can declare that you made it. Tell your neighbor, never would have made it. Never would have made it. Never could have made it. Never could have made it without you. Never would have made it. Never would have made it. Never could have made it. Never could have made it without you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

On the path to holiness.

Romans 6:22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


My life can get quite distracted sometimes. I plan and get busy and then I plan some more. When my plate get’s too full or something happens to my plan, then I go to GOD to get things straight with my plans. The problem with this thinking is I never asked GOD which path HE wanted me on in the first place.

I read this scripture this morning and I realized something I had never seen before. I noticed the benefits of following GOD “leads” to holiness. I had to think about what that meant. All along I was treating GOD as if HE were some sort of wish granter, when in reality HE desires more out of me.
  • GOD wants me to follow HIS ways of compassion when I don’t feel like it. 
  • GOD wants me to show love to those who don’t deserve it. 
  • GOD wants me to be righteous when it isn’t easy to be righteous.
  • GOD wants me to treat HIS humans just as HE has treated me.

GOD has set me free from the ultimate consequences of sin, but there are still “local” consequences of sin. When I sin I run away from GOD’s truth and I justify “my way.” The more I sin, the better I am at sinning. If I lie, I will become good at lying.
  • The more I stay away from sin the more I see and hear GOD.
  • The more I stay away from sin the holier I become.
  • The more I stay away from sin the more temptations seem to come in my life.

The consequence of being a sinner is death. Wait, doesn’t everyone have to die? Yes, so death must mean something else. GOD is so powerful that HE can make a person miserable in “ever increasing” ways. Death means eternal separation from GOD so life means an eternity of “ever increasing” excitement.

True holiness may never be reached, but I will keep trying. It means dropping my sins and judgmental attitude toward those who commit the same sins I used to. I no longer see the benefits of following GOD as attaining large sums of money or a title rather HE will put me and my family on a path of holiness which will result in eternal life.
  • Are you hiding sin in your life?
  • Why are you holding on to it?
  • Can you openly confess your sins to everyone?
  • Are you judging someone for the same sins you commit?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Get control of your body!

Romans 6: 11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.


I read this passage this morning and got a real heavy heart. I will be honest, I like to sin so what am I to do? I had to ponder this message for a while to understand how sin actually turns into a physical act. I will try to keep it rated PG but it may be difficult.

What is my body?

The Feet and Legs
My feet and legs help me walk to places. I have a choice to walk in places GOD wants me to go.

The Hands
My hands can be used to grope, hit or help carry things for someone. It’s my choice to use my hands for GOD’s purpose.

The Private Parts
This is obviously used for sex. I have a choice to keep my private parts dedicated to GOD and have sex as HE defines it. HE wants me to have sex “in marriage only” between a “man and a woman.” If I do anything outside of that I am outside of GOD’s plan.

The Stomach
I can overeat or share my food with others. I can eat all the time or fast to understand that it’s not all about me.

The Heart
I can give my heart to a human or try to protect it from being hurt or put lust in it, all of which take me down the wrong path. I actually need to put GOD in my heart 100%. HE then expands my heart to include a spouse, kids, friends, neighbors and love for enemies. HE turns my lusts into compassion.

The Head
This is a very important area of my body. It contains my eyes, ears, tongue and mind. I have to watch what I watch and be careful of what and who I listen to.
  • If I am gawking over a woman’s breasts or body then I am not in control.  
  • If I am listening to juicy gossip or words that take me away from GOD’s ways then I am in trouble. 
  • If I am saying poisonous things about people or telling lies or being deceitful then I am no good to GOD’s people. 
  • If I am thinking about getting “my way” instead of asking what is GOD’s way then I am wasting my time.
  • If I am considering lust outside of my marriage, or seeking lustful power or thinking any other human is stupid and deserves GOD’s consequences then I am not on GOD’s side.

GOD says to act like I have been rescued from being separated from HIM eternally. Act like I appreciate what HE did. I have to get control of my body from head to toe and “offer it as an instrument of righteousness.” Of course there will be failures along the way, but GOD is there to straighten out my path.
  • Can you offer your full body to GOD?
  • Can you get control of your mind first?
  • Is GOD fully in your heart or are you trying to hold onto a part of you?