Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The best counsel I’ve heard in years!

1 Thessalonians 5: 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Sitting in the counselor’s office felt very strange for me. It was time to apply for colleges and I had not built any rapport with this person in the three years of my attendance. “What college do you want to go to?” my counselor asked. “Uh…” was my reply.
  • Life can be overwhelming for me when I focus on problems.
  • Negative thinking can bring on greater despair.
  • Even small tasks become unmanageable when I’m in a funky mood.
Many people are “dear in headlights” when it comes to life and I am no exception. When a task is too great then I stop and stare at it for a while and hope that GOD fixes the situation. I do the same with my spiritual life.
I hope that GOD fixes all the evil around me and in me while I sit back and reap the benefits. BUT GOD hasn’t and doesn’t work that way in my life.

  • I have to warn the complainers who sit around crabby about life that this behavior displeases GOD.
  • I have to encourage those who have lost jobs, health, homes, or loved ones to the best of my ability.
  • I have to be patient with people who are “deer in headlights” because life can be overwhelming.
  • I have to make sure that I am a “referee” instead of joining one team or another when my friends or family argues.
  • I must strive to do good even when people all around me are falling to things not pleasing to GOD.
  • I must rejoice “always” even when life seems to be crumbling at my knees.
  • I have to pray about every decision to make sure I am in alignment with GOD.
  • I have to give GOD thanks in “all” circumstances to keep from blaming HIM for my trials.

Paul gives the best counsel about life and how I am supposed to live until CHRIST returns!

  • Is life overwhelming you right now?
  • Can you hear GOD telling you to make a change in your life?
  • Can you try a couple of changes to focus more of your life on GOD’s will?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Help, I’m being attacked!

1 Thessalonians 5: 8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

 9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.


Twenty minutes was all they gave me on the agenda at one of the conventions. Specific problems had emerged and I was determined to smooth things over with the large crowd. Unfortunately the group who had invited me used this opportunity to ambush the project.

The twenty minutes turned into a two and a half hour discussion full of rage and insults.  All I could think about was “where is my help?”
  • Rough times makes me think bad thoughts.
  • Difficult problems focuses me on the negative.
  • Stressful situations puts me in a mood where I want to give up.
GOD wants me to “think clearly” during difficult times. I guess this is why HE gave us HIS Bible. HE wants me to see HIS superiority, splendor, majesty, dominion and power. HE wants me to focus on HIS love rather than thinking on negative thoughts that could take me away from seeing HIS love.
  • I need to put on the armor of love when times get tough.
  • I need to put on the armor of faith when I doubt and worry.
  • I need to wear the helmet of confidence, knowing GOD has a better plan than the one in my worries.
GOD wants me to “think clearly” so that I can see HIM in the way HE wants to be seen. HE wants to show me love to it’s extreme. These thoughts are very exciting and now I can encourage someone to do the same. Encouragement is the real goal.
  • If I can encourage someone then maybe they will have a better day.
  • If I can encourage someone then maybe they will do the same for someone else.
  • If I can encourage someone then maybe, just maybe they won’t reject the great news of JESUS’ salvation.
Instead of me “being heard” GOD wants to be heard and HIS words are encouraging to all.
  • Can you “think clearly” enough to see GOD loves you?
  • Do you have confidence that GOD is doing a great plan in your life?
  • Is there someone you can encourage today?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My prayer for you.

1 Thessalonians 3: 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.


Times are very difficult and LORD I sometimes do not see what YOU are doing. YOU are blessing me daily but my sin blinds me from that fact.
  • LORD please open my eyes so that I can see the people YOU deliver to me.
  • Fill me with YOUR love so my heart can increase to hold others instead of just my own problems.
  • Strengthen my heart so fears, worries and doubts will subside and go away.
  • LORD forgive me so that I can appear blameless before YOU someday.
Bless all those who repeat these words and place them in their hearts.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keep it positive!

1 Thessalonians 2: 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.


“Ouch!” I shouted as I pricked my finger with the needle again. The pain was there but it was worth it. My merit badges had to be just right because we were meeting with people from all over the world that night.

It was a Boy Scout conference where a kind gentlemen from a country in Africa came up to me and said “What a wonderful sash you must have done a lot of work” referring to my achievement badges with my pitiful sewing. Wow! You mean someone actually noticed?
  • Encouragement is a great weapon of GOD!
  • Encouragement fights the battle of depression, fear and worry.
  • Comfort is another great weapon of GOD!
  • Comfort fights the battle of sadness, anguish, heartache and pain.
  • Urging to live a life worthy of GOD is yet another great weapon of GOD!
  • Urging to live a life worthy of GOD fights spiritual battles that cause failure on so many levels.
My parents have said “I’m proud of you” and my friends parents have said “you will be somebody” all while others were saying the opposite. These positive words have driven me to perform better and achieve greater accomplishments.

GOD desires that I encourage people during these turbulent times. So many people have fallen by the wayside and they feel they can no longer support or encourage people because they require support. BUT GOD wants me to encourage people like a father.

Here are some things you can know or do…
  • “You can do it” even when others don’t believe in you!
  • “Have no fear” even when you don’t know the outcome.
  • “Encourage somebody” for your own words will encourage you.
  • “Believe in yourself” because GOD made you and HE doesn’t make mistakes!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Be thankful for one another.

1 Thessalonians 1:  2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.


By six thirty A.M. my voicemail already had messages. After clearing them and walking around to greet my staff meetings began and lasted until early evening. With voicemail and e-mail full, I sat at my desk clearing away the work only to prepare for dinner, but not with my family.

Meanwhile at home, meals were being prepared, clothes cleaned and kids were going to school. Exhausted from work, I would sit around on weekends in the “presence” of my family only to be thinking about “that” meeting or presentation. All of my conversations were about work, never once asking “specific” questions about others lives or struggles. My first words outside of work were “why isn’t this place clean?”
  • When I am focused on “me” I am less thankful about others.
  • When my world is the center of attention then I forget what blessings GOD has given me.
  • When I look for something to always be wrong with people then I can’t see what’s right with them.
Thanksgiving is here and for many the holiday can be exciting, but for some it brings out some deep feelings of a painful year and unmet expectations. Depression sets in because the thought of unrealized dreams cloaks the seasons’ meaning. BUT GOD wants us to think differently.
  • Being thankful of GOD means I recognize HE “is” doing great things.
  • Being thankful of others means I recognize what “is” not what “isn’t.”
  • Being thankful of myself means I know my soul “is” in GOD’s hand and no one can pluck it out.
Paul, who also authored of this letter, wrote “it is great to be content in every situation.” He understood “things” come and go, but GOD’s love remains through thick and thin. My contentment needs to be based on what GOD “is” doing not on the false expectations I place on HIM or others.

It’s not always easy to be thankful of others because my judgment may be clouded, BUT GOD wants me to be thankful of HIM and others so I will take steps to get there.
  • Are you thankful of GOD and do you know HE “is” blessing you?
  • Are you truly thankful of your family or are you trying to get your way?
  • Can you stop worrying long enough to add GOD’s thankfulness to your day?
  • Can you drop your selfishness for one day and recognize the people and things you have to be thankful about?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time to stand up!

Colossians 4: 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.


Quietly we crept down the stairs to the basement to see the thing that was down there. Was it a human, a ghost the boogey man? My brother and sister may have been snickering, but I was actually scared! We walked around the shadowy basement with the lights off then a noise came out of nowhere. I screamed, ran, and bumped my head climbing the stairs! The furnace had turned on.
  • The unknown is a very scary place.
  • The unknown makes me imagine the worst.
  • The unknown causes me to have poor judgment of others and the situation.
  • The unknown truly shows what I am made of and sometimes I’m made of “fear.”
In the "basement" situation my questions would have been answered if I had just turned on the light. Same with GOD… If I would just turn on HIS light, my fear would subside and sometimes go away.
  • GOD wants me to stop listening to my wild imagination and focus on HIS blessings.
  • GOD wants me to be fully assured that HE truly loves me “deeply.”
  • GOD wants me to be firm in my faith.
Maturity in CHRIST means I can handle tougher and tougher situations without blaming or doubting GOD. HE and I can have frank conversations in other words “wrestling in prayer” and when I’m done, I can serve others during the roughest times.

Standing firm means not compromising on GOD’s ways. It’s very tempting to do the wrong things when jobs or money or possessions are in the balance, BUT GOD wants me to stand firm with integrity while trusting that HE has my best interest in mind.

It’s time to stand up! It’s time to stand firm! It’s time to stand for GOD for HE is my source of power!
  • Is your imagination running wild with negative thoughts?
  • Do you think GOD doesn’t care about you or your situation?
  • Can you remember what HE has done for you in the past?
  • Do you realize HE is in control of “all” situations, even yours?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to “be” friendly.

Colossians 4: 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.


“You’re too skinny” or “where did you find those clothes” or “do you own a comb” were the insults hurled at me as a child. After I grew up and learned to like myself, I became witty, sometimes a little too witty. People would gather around as I hurled insults at other folks as if it were a comedy routine.

The laughter ended when someone told me how hurt they were by my antics. Wow, I had become what I hated!
  • Any insult thrown at someone else is not pleasing to GOD.
  • Insulting language may be misinterpreted by an “outsider” which weakens my witness.
  • Complaints, bitter or harsh words will make an “outsider” miss GOD’s holiness inside me.
Laughter is acceptable when “everyone” agrees the joke is funny but an “outsider” may not know the nuances of the joke. GOD wants me to “make the most of every opportunity” to draw people to HIM.  I don’t think it means never laugh again, rather focus on getting to know this person just for a moment.
  • GOD wants me to have conversations that draw people to HIM.
  • GOD desires me to have words that show “grace” and “mercy” rather than insults.
  • GOD loves when my words are “seasoned with salt” which is just the right amount of HIS word.
People are watching me constantly. They listen to how I handle the irate and belligerent and watch to see if I will join into their rants. “Outsiders” could be people who may not know JESUS as their savior who need to see “grace” and wisdom. This is why HE wants me to make the most of “every” opportunity.

I have a choice, insult, complain, spit poison or show “grace” and use wise “salt seasoned” words. I now choose words that draw people to HIM instead of getting all the attention.
  • Do you insult other people to draw laughter?
  • Are you trying to mask your own faults by laughing at someone else?
  • Do you realize every insulting word you say may be misinterpreted by an “outsider?”
  • Can you get rid of complaints, bitterness, lying, and insults for at least one day?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who do I work for?

Colossians 3: 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.


“Seven o’clock in the morning was just too early for a start time” I thought to myself as I trudged in tired from the prior nights antics. In a zombie like state I stood before the coffee pot trying to wake up. Finally, I gave up the fight and curled up somewhere hidden and went to sleep for thirty minutes!
  • My bad attitude at work is appalling to GOD.
  • My combative attitude towards belligerent customers does not show GOD’s love.
  • My lazy approach on difficult assignments spills into my lazy approach to GOD.
Bad bosses come with the territory of work. They are difficult to serve because of their selfishness, shrewdness, insolence or other flaws. They bark out commands and change directions to cover their mistakes. How should I deal with them?

  • When I work at anything I need to do it for GOD not humans.
  • When I volunteer I need to give it my best because I’m serving GOD not skimping on time or materials.
  • When I provide a service in business I need to be fair because GOD will repay my cheating.
  • When I perform the smallest task I must treat it as precious so GOD will reward me later.

When GOD fills my heart, no task is too menial or insignificant. I can come to work with a smile and a good attitude even though the atmosphere is dismal and bleak. GOD wants me to serve others even though I am the boss or the employee, working with all my heart and getting my joy from HIM.

  • Is your work atmosphere bleak?
  • Does your boss or employee have a bad attitude?
  • Can you bring a smile and a good attitude to work today?
  • Can you brighten up someone else’s day by a task or a good attitude?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I don’t like (insert race) and I don’t like (insert spouse’s name)!

Colossians 3:  12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.


This morning I sat in front of the keyboard trembling, knowing the message was clear but it is just something that has to be said. Racism and hatred are alive and well and you and I are the blame and the cure. Not only has the country divided, but the world has developed chasms between other humans that seem to be impossible to span.

Marriages are crumbling at a rapid rate while churches pick and choose who they serve. I have had so many discussions about marital issues over the past few weeks that are very disheartening meanwhile the news and other media continues to belch out racism. It’s funny how similar the problems are between marital issues and racism.
  • Races and spouses want their way.
  • Races and spouses blame others for the current issues in their lives.
  • Races and spouses don’t do the right things when it comes to reconciliation so issues perpetuate.
This problem seems to be huge! What am I supposed to do? GOD chose me to say this message and HE has made me holy and loves me dearly.
  • I must clothe myself with compassion – GOD’s compassion doesn’t see race or wrong.
  • I must clothe myself with kindness – GOD’s kindness goes above and beyond helping people who are easy to help.
  • I must clothe myself with humility – GOD’s humility understands that I am the only one I need to control, not my spouse or another race.
  • I must clothe myself with gentleness – GOD’s gentleness always seeks reconciliation.
  • I must clothe myself with patience – GOD’s patience overlooks the same issues with me for a lifetime and HE expects me to do the same for other humans.

Bearing with others and forgiving others isn’t easy. GOD certainly doesn’t care who wronged who first because I wronged HIM first and HE died in my place. Churches make expansion plans while families make vacation plans both trying to isolate themselves from the world. BUT GOD wants me to mix it up and treat people as HE would treat me, with love and unity.
  • Is your marriage crumbling?
  • Do you have strong relationships between all races?
  • What is it about your spouse or that race that bothers you?
  • Can you let GOD change you in a way that you serve others no matter if they are flat out wrong?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Have I lost connection?

Colossians 2: 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.


We circled the Wal-Mart parking lot for the last time with the fortune of finding a close spot. Two gentlemen approached me asking for money to “catch a bus” even though this store was far away from public transportation. The thought crossed my mind to tell them about CHRIST especially since I had just volunteered for the Billy Graham outreach.

It had been a long time since I told someone the gospel so unfortunately the words didn’t come out so well as my judgmental tone preceded my message. “Do you know JESUS” I questioned in a condescending tone. As I talked “at” them I noticed their eyes glaze over as they searched for a way to get away from me. I had lost connection!
  • False humility is the ugliest way to worship GOD.
  • False humility let’s me judge others without looking at myself.
  • False humility means I am following the letters of the “law” without understanding the “heart” behind it.
  • False humility lives on the “past” service I have done which gives me the license to “currently” judge others.
When I live a life thinking I am spiritually clean I justify my judgmental actions. I declare others unworthy of my wealth and time and I get out of practice of being compassionate. I start complaining about what “others” are doing wrong and what “they” are saying without thinking about GOD.
  • GOD is the one who draws people to HIMSELF.
  • GOD is the one who holds the true church together.
  • GOD is the one who has the right to judge yet shows compassion.
When GOD became a human and allowed HIMSELF to be murdered, that action took all my judgment away. It’s my job to exclaim the great news about being saved from eternal separation from GOD instead of judging people for what they do.
  • Are you talking about “them” and what “they” do instead of looking at yourself?
  • Do you openly listen to messages about giving or do you judge who should get your money?
  • Do you think GOD needs you to spread HIS gospel or do you feel thankful that’s “why” you spread the gospel?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Are all traditions good for me?

Colossians 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.


Holiday season is quickly approaching and the traditions around my house begin to unfold. Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and many other meats and sides adorn the table during this festive time. I have loved this time of year since I was a child. But my perspective has changed on the holidays over the years.
  • As a child I loved Thanksgiving for what I could eat.
  • As a child I liked Christmas for what I could get.
  • As a child I disliked New Year’s celebrations because it meant school was back in session.
  • As a child I liked Easter because of what I could eat and I would get a new suit.
Traditions seem okay, but without CHRIST they seem empty. Spring break to college students has turned into a lustful pilgrimage, weddings have turned into showcases for “beating the Joneses”, and other celebrations have turned into “gimme” exercises.

So should I be boring and mope around with a glum face while the world seems to be enjoying itself? NO! GOD wants me to live an excited life and there is a way to truly celebrate.
  • Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for what CHRIST has done for me.
  • Christmas is the celebration of the birth of JESUS and the beginning of salvation for humans.
  • New Years is a date in which I can leave the past in the past and look forward to GOD’s blessings.
  • Easter is the most sacred time in which I celebrate JESUS giving up HIS life for mine.
GOD wants me to remain “rooted” in HIM, “built up” in HIM and “strengthened” in HIM so my thankfulness will be overflowing. This enables me not to pout when I don’t get the gift I was looking for, yet still give to those who haven’t fully caught on to celebrating CHRIST.

My new tradition is to enjoy the season and help others do the same while remaining focused on my LORD and SAVIOR.
  • What traditions do you follow?
  • Have you ever asked “what does this have to do with GOD?”
  • Does every tradition have to be focused on GOD?
  • Are there any harmful traditions you follow that are taking you away from following GOD?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It’s all about GOD!

Colossians 1: 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


Pondering GOD is a good exercise for me to do every once in a while. I begin by asking questions that I can’t answer like “how have YOU always existed” or “how are YOU three separate yet equal parts?” These are too complicated for my little brain but HE does give me a glimpse of HIS “supreme” nature.

Supreme means above all others or the highest or the ultimate, yet sometimes I think I am the highest.
  • When life is tough I want my problem fixed immediately.
  • When life is good I want more good.
  • When life is boring I want a change.
  • When life is erratic I want peace.
Sometimes I view GOD by the temperature of my life. GOD is good when the weather is warm and HE is a punisher when the weather is bad. Unfortunately this is the wrong view of GOD.
  • All things were created by JESUS.
  • Everything in heaven belongs to JESUS.
  • Everything in and on Earth belongs to JESUS.
  • Everything I can see belongs to JESUS.
  • Everything I cannot see belongs to JESUS.
  • Every boss I have ever had or will have was put there by JESUS.
  • Every elected official was put there by JESUS.
  • Every pastor, teacher, trainer was put there by JESUS.
  • Everything is held together by JESUS.
JESUS created it all and put everything in place just for HIM. HE made the church and is the church. HE became the firstborn human and died for me now I have peace!
  • Have you asked GOD “what do YOU want” instead of telling HIM what you want?
  • Do you believe that even your problem was made for HIS glory?
  • Can you see GOD in the middle of a storm in your life?
  • Can you see GOD loving “bad” people?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I heard about how good you are!

Colossians 1:  9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.


Orientation was long that day especially since it was a conference call because we lived in different states. When they announced my name several people said “Oh I’ve heard of you! We can’t wait to have you join us on this mission’s trip.”

My sister had told the people of her church about my prior mission’s trips and a good reputation had been established. This trip with her church was headed to China for the purpose of spreading the gospel through teaching English. The prayers for the trip were carefully chosen and I am glad because we did face a spiritual battle.
  • People should know me as a person of GOD instead of another reputation.
  • People should know my good works without me telling them.
  • People should know I am consistent with my beliefs no matter the circumstance.
I have to admit I want a prayer like the one Paul gave to the Colossians. Listen to what I desire.
  • Pray that GOD fills me with the knowledge of HIS will otherwise I will make my own plans.
  • Pray that GOD gives me understanding through HIS SPIRIT otherwise I will jump to conclusions.
  • Pray that GOD blesses my life that I may live to please HIM otherwise I will pout and run away from HIM.
  • Pray that GOD enables fruit in my life otherwise I will try to control my circumstances.
  • Pray that GOD grows my endurance and patience otherwise I will give up too soon.
The LORD should still be praised even through difficult tumultuous times. I have to thank GOD for giving me a great inheritance instead of complaining that I didn’t get my way out of the latest trial. GOD you are awesome and I thank YOU for the blessings You have given me this day!
  • Do people know about your love of GOD?
  • Can people see HIS light shining through you?
  • Are your complaints or helplessness preceding you?
  • Can you serve others without bragging about it?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Am I driven by “stuff”?

Philippians 4:  10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


School was about to begin in September which meant new clothes, but this time the shopping was different; my father was taking me instead of my mother. Now don’t get me wrong, Mom stood firm on the budget, but dad… well. “Let’s go to Goldblatt’s” is the exclamation that began our downward spiral of pitiful shopping.

When we arrived he said “here are some pants” of course this was a box of pants of all sizes and colors that had been rummaged through. “Can’t we go somewhere else?” I said, thinking I was going to get something with a little fashion. “Yes, we can go home!”
  • Being discontent blinds me to real blessings.
  • Being discontent fuels my complaints.
  • Being discontent starts my worries.
Having nice things isn’t bad, nor is “not having” them. GOD wants me to be content with HIS plan no matter what state I’m in. What does being content mean?
  • Being content means I can praise GOD no matter what the circumstance.
  • Being content means I can tell people about what JESUS did for me in good or bad times.
  • Being content means I can refrain from complaining long enough to tell someone about GOD’s greatness.
It actually is harder for me to be content when I have plenty. I know this is strange, but I find myself holding onto things more than I hold onto GOD. I lay awake worrying if my “stuff” will be taken or if I have enough money for “more stuff.”

Now I can see why GOD says “The love of money is the root or beginning of all kinds of evil.” My love of “stuff” can blind me to the real blessing which is GOD. In times of plenty GOD wants me to share my wealth. In lean times HE wants me to give up my pride and praise HIM anyway.
  • Are you content with your situation?
  • Have you been a chronic complainer?
  • Do you see the blessings of GOD or are you blind?
  • When someone points out a blessing to you do you say “yeah, but?”

Monday, November 8, 2010

I found peace this weekend

Philippians 4: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


My mind was filled with excitement as I thought of expansion of my business. On my way to one of my business solution partners, I felt the urge to call my mother to check on her, this was last Monday. “The nursing home just called me” she said in a very somber tone. The inevitable had come and grandma was home with my LORD and SAVIOR JESUS who is the CHRIST.

I have to admit the dread that came over me was not because I will miss her, even though that is true, it was because I wondered how my aunts, uncles, mother and father would take the news. Would there be infighting or blame or would there be a passive aggressive tolerance for one another? What should I do?
  • Peace is what GOD is made of.
  • Peace comes from GOD in the middle of anxiety.
  • Peace from GOD rests my mind.
Grandma truly loved JESUS and wanted her children which included grand children, great grand children, spouses, friends and neighbors, to believe in HIM and this weekend I found out why… PEACE.
  • GOD wants me to rejoice in the LORD always in spite of what’s going on.
  • GOD wants me to be gentle so everyone will see GOD’s face with my actions.
  • GOD wants me to pray and petition HIM so HE can give me wisdom and peace.
Grandma loved. You would think I would have to write more but that sums it up and this is what she would want me to do.
  • In the middle of my fears, think about JESUS who is the “true” savior.
  • When I feel like arguing, think about what HE has done and mimic the “noble” efforts.
  • Instead of always being right, think about JESUS and truly act “right” according to his standards.
  • When faced with the world’s temptations, think about HIM and HE will give “pure” thoughts.
  • During my disgust of the ugliness of the world, think about JESUS who is “lovely” in action.
  • While lusting over worldly items think about HIM and “admire” HIS merciful qualities.
  • When I judge and hold someone to my measure, think about JESUS and HIS “excellent and praiseworthy” personality.
Grandma and JESUS want me to spread unity to my family, which gives me peace.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Am On the Battlefield for my LORD - In loving memory of Marie Williams

I am on the battlefield for my Lord.
I'm on the battlefield for my Lord,
and I promised Him that I
would serve Him 'til I die;
I'm on the battlefield for my Lord.

Verse 1
I was alone and idle, I was a sinner too.
I heard a voice from heaven say there is work to do.
I took the Master's hand, and I joined the Christian band;
I'm on the battlefield for my Lord.


Verse 2
I left my friends and kindred bound for the Promised Land,
the grace of God upon me, the Bible in my hands.
In distant lands I trod, crying sinner come to God;
I'm on the battlefield for my Lord.


Verse 3
Now when I met my Savior, I met Him with a smile,
He healed my wounded spirit, and owned me as Hs child.
Around the throne of grace, He appoints my soul a place;
I'm on the battlefield for my Lord.


Psalm 23 - In Loving Memory of Grandma Marie

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I want to know JESUS!

Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.


"What a strange dream I'm having" I thought to myself. I dreamt that a choir was singing and a person was preaching then the usher woke me up because church was over. Well, I guess I missed that sermon, but at least I did my duty of going to church that day. “I hope next week the sermon will be better” I thought smugly.

  • JESUS forgave me for a reason.
  • JESUS forgave me to have a relationship with me.
  • JESUS forgave me so that I could get to know HIM.
  • JESUS forgave me so that I could spend eternity with HIM.

For many years I thought church was a place developed for me to hear great sermons, feel good about myself and go home to do it all again the next week. Little did I know JESUS wants something much greater.

  • JESUS wants me to want HIM
  • JESUS wants me to learn about HIS ways.
  • JESUS wants me to grow up spiritually so I won’t fall into the same traps.

Once I started reading the Bible for myself and seeking GOD I learned that HE wants my heart transformed. HE wants me to know HIM intimately and in an understanding way so I can help others do the same. HE knows my sin nature blinds me to HIS love so it takes extra effort for me to actually give HIM credit when HE deserves it and to stop blaming HIM when He shouldn’t.  

  • To know JESUS is to know GOD.
  • To know GOD is to know love.
  • To know love is to know compassion.
  • To know compassion is to serve others.

Now that I know JESUS I can join in HIS suffering. HE suffers when one of HIS humans denies HIS salvation or even HIS existence. It’s not up to me to beat lessons about GOD over their heads, rather it is up to me to absorb HIS teaching and apply it to my life so others can see GOD working in my life.

Money, fame and power are the things I try to obtain, BUT knowing JESUS is the best thing to obtain.

  • Do you need a change in your life?
  • Are you making efforts to know JESUS?
  • Can you change your life to join in HIS adventure?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My complaints make me dirty!

Philippians 2: 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.


“Take out the garbage” my mother exclaimed during the middle of my favorite TV show. “Aw man it’s snowing and dark out there” I thought to myself. “Do I have to” was the first statement out of my mouth and the last in that conversation!

She only had to look at me with a cold stare to send a message that I better get off my butt and do this task right away. As I lazily snatched the bag out of the trash can it broke, food and gunk laid on the floor. “Aw man!”

  • When I complain nothing good happens.
  • The more I complain the better I become at complaining!
  • After a while even my friends and family will get tired of my complaints.
I never thought my complaints could make me “impure” BUT GOD says differently. My complaints “to and about” other humans are abysmal to HIM. In fact any complaint I have coupled with a selfish motive truly makes me disgusting and dirty.

  • GOD wants me to stand firm in this warped and crooked generation.
  • HE wants me to shine in this world of darkness.
  • GOD wants me to hold tightly onto HIS word of life and spread it generously.
  • HE wants me to labor but not in a vain or useless fashion.
It’s so easy to complain about life right now. Politics stinking, economy tanking, marriages dissolving and the dog running away would make anyone want to complain, BUT GOD wants me to act differently and shine HIS light in this dismal world.

  • Instead of a grumble HE wants me to encourage somebody.
  • Instead of a gripe HE wants me to enlighten somebody.
  • Instead of a grouse HE wants me to energize somebody.

I have never seen a society where the finger points at other people so much especially in the church. The only solution I can see to this issue is if I reduce my complaints and stand firm with GOD!

  • Are you a chronic complainer?
  • Is your family tired of your constant complaints?
  • Do you see more and more people pulling away from you?
  • Do you realize that your complaints make you disgusting to GOD?