Friday, March 29, 2013

GOD is with me

Genesis 28: 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.


“Unload that truck” was the task, throwing wads of paper at each other was what we did. “Count survey responses” was my job, sleeping was my gift I gave to the company. “Be here on time” was the expectation, but I was extremely tired from staying out the night before.  They should understand this one time.

  • I have broken my promise many times.
  • I have not followed through with what I was supposed to many times.
  • I have fallen short of what I was supposed to accomplish many times.

When I look back at the promises of “praying” for people or “calling” people or “doing the job” I was supposed to do, I realized I failed miserably. I leave a wake of disappointed people because of my broken promises. Is there anyone who doesn’t break promises?

  • GOD said “I am with you” which means HE won’t leave when I mess up.
  • GOD said “I will bring you back” no matter how far I have gone HE will be there to guide me.
  • GOD says “I will not leave you” which means HE will not leave me!

There are times when I think GOD doesn’t hear me or has just left me alone but that’s because I’m looking at HIM through unfaithful eyes. When GOD says “I will not leave you” HE didn’t say it with a conditional clause.

HE knows my every thought, my every move.  HE saw the good with the bad and still loves me with only the love GOD can give. GOD never breaks HIS promises.

  • Are you feeling alone even though there are people around you?
  • Do you feel a bit lost right now?
  • Can you know that GOD is with you?
  • Won’t you stop looking at the circumstance and start paying attention to what GOD is saying to you?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Afraid to plant crops

Genesis 26: 12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 


Comfortable in my position I had no further plans to move up.  I could stay in this position forever as far as I was concerned.  When they offered me a promotion I worried about the future. Not only was it a big step, it was unknown. “I wonder if I should turn it down” ran through my mind.

  • Fear makes me stay stagnant.
  • Fear holds me back from pursuing difficult things.
  • Fear tells me what is wrong with the situation and blinds me to what I’m supposed to be learning.

I don’t think Isaac planted crops thinking “I’m going to be rich.”  I believe he planted what would sustain him and GOD decided to make him rich because of the plan GOD put in motion. Stepping forward is what I noticed here. It took faith to simply step forward and plant the crop.

  • GOD wants me to move forward on faith knowing HE will be there every step of the way.
  • GOD wants me to understand my fears, doubts and worries so I can give them to HIM.
  • GOD wants me to open my eyes and ears to see and hear HIM enough to take steps necessary for HIM to bless me.

I may fail. I may be broken. That’s the risk! BUT GOD is there with me every step of the way.

  • Is something holding you back from accomplishing your goal?
  • Are you blinded by your circumstance?
  • Can you take the next step on faith knowing GOD is with you?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sneaky and apathy don’t mix

Genesis 25: 29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)

31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.


We walked around the store mindlessly browsing and I ran into one of the neighborhood thugs. He was changing clothes in the middle of the store. He looked at me and placed a finger over his lips with a shushing motion. He stuffed his old clothes behind the rack and walked out of the store. I thought to myself, this store deserves to be robbed.  I mean, just last week the manager yelled at us for something we didn’t do.

  • When I become apathetic I don’t care about right or wrong.
  • When I lose my caring I overlook being involved with people.
  • When I overlook people I tend to focus on my problems.

Wait a minute, Esau sold his entire inheritance for a meal from a sneaky brother so what does that have to do with me? Well, instead of helping the guy or talking to him I just let him do what he was going to do.  Also, my apathy towards the store manager was based on not enough information to understand or respect his position. Sometimes just standing there is a problem.

  • GOD wants me to treat people with enough respect to try to bring them to CHRIST.
  • GOD wants me to understand where people are so I can explain the great gift CHRIST gave me.
  • GOD wants me to forget self-preservation for a moment so I can be used as a messenger for HIM.

Whether I’m the sneaky one or the apathetic one or the bystander, I have a role in pointing people to GOD.

  • Where are you?
  • Are you standing on the sidelines letting things fall apart or are you helping?
  • Won’t you allow GOD to speak through you even though it may be uncomfortable?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Make me successful today

Genesis 24: 12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.


Ancient Latin must have been the language my professor spoke because I didn’t understand the material. As I sat and studied I realized I didn’t comprehend a thing. I prayed “LORD please help me on this test” and guess what… I failed the test.

  • When I’m in trouble I reach out to GOD but sometimes I’m too late.
  • When I’m lost I reach out to GOD but sometimes I’m already in a world of hurt.
  • When I’m in peril I reach out to GOD but sometimes the road I was going down is closed.

Wait a minute… you mean not all my prayers will be answered the way I want them to be answered? Yes! BUT GOD does want me to include HIM in my plans to make them successful.

  • Before I go on my journey, GOD wants me ask HIM for success.
  • Before I start with my plans GOD wants me to ask HIM for success.
  • Before I move forward with my desires GOD wants e to ask HIM for success.

Moving ahead before GOD gives me permission seems to be my mode of operation. GOD wants me to slow down and ask HIM for “success” the way HE wants it and in HIS time.

  • Do you desire something?
  • Are you working hard on trying to achieve your goal?
  • Won’t you ask GOD to be successful today the way HE wants you to be successful?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Never compromise a standard

Genesis 23:“I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”


11 “No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”

12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”


Cold was only the beginning of the pain we felt. The wind was blowing and it was dark and we were tired from practice. The bus was nowhere in sight and my buddy and I had a mile to walk on this last leg of my usual one hour commute. 

Our neighborhood was pretty good but it had a drug dealer and wouldn’t you know he and his thugs pulled up and offered a ride. We dove into the cars’ warmth and rode home in style. I mean I wasn’t going to use or sell drugs so it was okay right?

  • My comfort sometimes makes me compromise my standards.
  • My lifestyle sometimes makes me take shortcuts.
  • My desire to avoid obstacles makes me take the easy route which may end up with a very bad outcome.

Abraham had a standard to never accept any charity from the group of violent people. He said “they will never be able to say they made me what I am” so he never compromised.  Many times I compromised to “fit in” or to “be comfortable.”  I wonder what GOD would have to say about that.

  • GOD wants me to choose HIM over my comfort.
  • GOD wants me to focus on HIS standards of love, grace and mercy rather than going the easy route of judgment and slander.
  • GOD wants me to hold on to HIM rather than compromise.

When I choose to sin I am compromising what GOD said is right. I may mask my sin in blame or circumstance but when GOD looks at it, it’s still sin. HE wants me to follow HIS standard to bring others to HIM rather than pushing them away.

  • Have you lowered your standard in any areas of your life?
  • Are you showing grace to “those people” that GOD is showing you?
  • Are you looking at yourself in a pitiful, deserving way or can you face the obstacle in front of you with GOD?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

GOD will provide

Genesis 22: 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”


Shuffling through a pile of bills I felt a sense of accomplishment as I paid a little extra on some bills to get ahead. I even had a little surplus so I felt I was on my way.  Then the phone rang.  “We need a new home, appliances and furniture for this person, how can you help?” My first thought was “Let’s buy the cheapest stuff possible then I won’t be that far in the hole.”

Then that feeling came over me “Do exactly what you would want someone to do to you.” I bought the better appliances and went in the hole for a while. A couple of months later I got a raise for more than the amount I owed.

  • When I look at things through unfaithful eyes I can only see bad things happening.
  • When I view the future through crooked lenses I can only see a dismal end.
  • When I scan the horizon through my broken filter I can only see a land of doubt and fear.

Money is where GOD and I disagree. I think I should have a pile of it and HE feels I don’t need much.  Why do I feel this way? Because whenever I seem to have a pile of cash, something comes along to nip at the pile until the pile is gone. Stuff breaks, gets stolen or lost. But GOD has an answer.

  • GOD wants me to fear HIM instead of fearing losing my cash.
  • GOD wants me to sacrifice for HIM instead of doing anything for money.
  • GOD wants me to understand that HE will provide no matter how dark things may seem.

I may not understand the trials GOD allows in my life but I do know HE has strengthened me through each one and HE has provided every step of the way.

  • Are you full of fear?
  • Do you think GOD has given up on you because you are down a few dollars?
  • Can you realize that GOD may be strengthening your faith in HIM by getting rid of your fear?
  • Won’t you face your fear today and allow GOD to grow you?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sometimes I just have to laugh

Genesis 21: 6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”


Glub, glub was the sound coming from the backyard as I walked in from work. My proud pond and waterfall was not working. I had built this from scratch. Immediately I went out to see what was wrong and as I stepped around the edge of the pond I fell in! Cell phone, wallet, electric car keys came in with me. It was quite hilarious!

  • GOD gave me emotions so I can feel for others.
  • GOD gave me a smile to brighten someone’s day.
  • GOD gave me laughter to make other people endure.

Laughter is truly a great medicine. There is nothing like praising GOD with laughter in amazement of what HE has done. GOD answers prayers at the right time in the right way and it brings me joy and laughter in my praise to HIM.

  • Has GOD done some amazing things in your life?
  • Can you recognize when you are getting too serious?
  • Won’t you learn to laugh at yourself?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Being indecisive hurts me

Genesis 19: 15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.


In the distance I could see the green light.  “I wonder if I can make it” I thought to myself. Another thought popped in my head “No I can’t make it” unfortunately the second thought came a little too late for my raggedy car that would lung forward upon braking too hard. A third thought popped in my mind that said “Go!”

My hesitation caused the driver in the intersection to turn left in front of me and we had a head on collision.

Being indecisive about doing right makes me hesitate.
Being conflicted about moving forward makes me double-minded.
Being uncertain about going in a direction makes me question my faith.

Even when dire situations were presented I froze or made a decision that in retrospect could have been better. I sometimes wonder how I am alive. I wonder if I am being watched over.

GOD grabs my hand when I am about to go off HIS path.
GOD leads me in the path of righteousness when I want to drift from HIS way.
GOD protects me from HIS wrath even though I deserve HIS wrath.
GOD grants HIS mercy on me even though I do not deserve it.

When I hesitate to follow GOD it seems like I collide with life. I mean when my decisions don’t include HIS permission, I run into obstacles that perhaps HE puts in my way. GOD wants me to have faith in HIM and HIS plan. HE will provide.

Are you indecisive?
Are trying to go down multiple paths and are exhausted?
Can you make up your mind by asking GOD what does HE want you to do?
Once you choose your direction can you continue to add GOD to your plans?

Friday, March 15, 2013

All things are possible

Genesis 18: 13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”


Patting my picket I noticed I didn’t have enough money to get on the bus. To my dismay, my money had fallen out of a hole in my pocket. And I couldn’t get home. I was too ashamed to ask people for money.  The bus stopped right in front of me and a person handed me their “bus transfer” ticket. I got a free ride home that day.  It’s hard to believe GOD had a plan for me to run a large department of a corporation someday.

  • There are times when things seem impossible.
  • There are times when only a miracle would transform my situation.
  • There are times when life seems unfair to me.

Current situations blind me to what truly is possible. I think the world is ending because I’m seeing things through a dismal view.  If anyone would have told me my future, I would have laughed.

  • GOD knows the future and doesn’t want me to doubt HIS power.
  • GOD knows what HE is capable of and doesn’t want me to laugh at HIS might.
  • GOD knows HIS plan for me and doesn’t want me to stray away from HIS path.

When I have bad days it seems like GOD doesn’t know what HE is doing. GOD knew the day would be a struggle and has taken that into account with HIS plan for me. All things are possible!

  • Do you think your situation is impossible?
  • Do you feel a bit lost?
  • Can you stop for a moment and ponder GOD’s power?
  • Won’t you believe that if HE says it you should believe it?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It takes faith to get ahead

Genesis 17: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”


Bad news just seemed to find its way to me one year.  It seemed like a blues or country western sad song where everything happened and I felt all alone. I can’t say that I was acting the way GOD wanted me to so I decided to try HIM out. For the first time in years I went to church and the message seemed to be directed at me.

I surveyed my problems after my church experience and do you know what? My problems seemed to double. Wait, I thought going to church would fix my problems. I wondered if I should continue following GOD back then.

  • When I face difficult circumstances I want them fixed immediately or I start doubting GOD.
  • When I face adversity in my life I want things to change or I start getting mad at GOD.
  • When I face hardship I just want relief or I start blaming GOD for my condition.

GOD wants me to have unyielding faith through impossible circumstances.  At ninety-nine GOD said Abraham would be a father and his ministry was just beginning. GOD sees the beginning and end of my life and builds a plan for me that only I can execute.

  • GOD says walk before ME faithfully and be blameless because MY SON has taken the blame.
  • GOD says I am GOD almighty, with ME nothing is impossible.
  • GOD says I will make my covenant between ME and you and HE developed a plan just for me.

When GOD makes a promise no one can stop it. HE has already poured out HIS blessings on me in spite of me.

  • Are you in a difficult situation that seems like there is no way out?
  • Does the future seem a little murky?
  • Can you hear GOD’s message to you that HE loves you dearly?
  • Won’t you believe HE can and will fix your situation, HIS way in HIS time?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The ONE who sees me

Genesis 16: 13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”


Excited about the position, I followed up with the recruiter.  I had been through three rounds of interviewing and my buddy said if I made it past the second round I would be a shoe in. “We would like to present an offer BUT…” the only word I heard was “offer.” 

As she kept talking I came to my senses and realized they were not going to extend an offer to me or anyone else.  For the first time in their history this very large nameless computer company went on a hiring freeze. I was furious! LORD, am I stuck in this town?

  • Sometimes I think GOD isn’t listening to me.
  • Sometimes I think GOD isn’t watching me.
  • Sometimes I think GOD doesn’t care.

From situation to situation I looked at GOD like HE was the problem.  Whether it was an untimely speeding ticket or a lost valuable item or a physical pain that would not subside I looked at GOD and asked “why me?” I wonder if it was because I was looking at the wrong thing.

  • GOD helps me see HIM when I stop looking at the situation.
  • GOD helps me see HIM when I stop fretting and start believing.
  • GOD helps me see HIM when I stop thinking HE can’t fix this situation.

GOD has a deep unadulterated love for me that I cannot understand. HE disciplines me much softer than HIS outpouring of love on me. HE hears me when I sincerely cry out and sees me all the time. GOD never leaves me nor does HE forsake me.

  • Do you feel alone even though people are around you?
  • Do you think you are being punished for some sin?
  • Are you feeling a bit lost in your direction?
  • Won’t you take a moment to look at what GOD “is” doing in your life and praise HIM?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

GOD is with you through the tough times

Genesis 15: After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
    I am your shield,
    your very great reward.


As I sat at my desk I calculated just how much work I had to do to get the project finished.  My boss seemed to care less about our health and well being and just wanted everything done. I actually thought this was going to be the place I was going to retire from.  I tried to look at my future but the more I looked at it the more frightened I became. What was I going to do?

  • When things look difficult I can only see problems.
  • When situations get tough I get blinded by my circumstances and I fret about the outcome.
  • When obstacles are placed in front of me I think there is no way out and I get frightened.

One problem with looking into the future is I don’t own it. In other words I have never been in the future so why do I think it is going to be as bad as my mind is making it.  Looking back on the many times I have been scared about situations I realize GOD brought me through them and made me a bit stronger.

  • GOD said “Do not be afraid” for HE alone holds the future.
  • GOD said “I am your shield” so anything that will harm my soul will be guarded by HIM.
  • GOD said “I am your great reward” so instead of thinking of the solution to my circumstance I should be thinking about how GOD is using this to grow me.

Life has its difficult moments and GOD knows I will be frightened about the future BUT HE wants me to focus on HIM rather than the circumstance to grow me and mature me in areas HE knows I need to grow.

  • Are you going through something?
  • Do you believe you need to grow?
  • Can you understand that GOD knows you and loves you deeply?
  • Won’t you let go of your fears and allow GOD to grow you today?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Some money isn’t worth it.

Genesis 14: 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’


Day twenty one out of thirty of being on the road and I finally made it home. The company would take any account and since I was trained they would send me anywhere. Promotion possibilities were only whispered to me but nothing solid was spoken.

At that time we had just had our first child and I was stuck with a dilemma, keep traveling or get a new job paying less money and be home each night. “I am making a lot of money” I thought to myself.

  • My love of money can sometimes cloud my judgment.
  • My love of money can sometimes make me do things that GOD may not want me to do.
  • My love of money can sometimes cause my worries to mount and I feel enslaved to those who may not have integrity.

Abram chose between getting richer and integrity and chose integrity. Of course when integrity is chosen, no one puts your name in the newspaper or gives you any awards.

  • GOD owns everything and it is up to HIM to take away from me or to give to me.
  • GOD is not excited about my worldly wealth but is excited when I follow HIS ways.
  • GOD loves when I look to HIM for wealth and not be so desperate that I would do “anything” for a little money.

Integrity doesn’t mean I will be poor, it just means I won’t let greed get in the way of my relationship with CHRIST. Where the money comes from and how I make the money is just as important as getting the money.

  • Are you miserable because of lack of money?
  • Do you think having new stuff will make you happy?
  • Can you look at yourself to see if money is making you miserable?
  • Will you look at GOD and trust HIS reason for having you right where you are?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When my ambition supersedes GOD

Genesis 11: 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”


“I can run this place” I thought to myself.  I mean if I work hard I will get promoted and they will put me on top. Well, that didn’t happen, but I did notice that when others were promoted, they executed a smear campaign to take the person on top down. Should I stoop to that kind of behavior?

  • Sometimes my ambitions drive me to take over rather than achieve.
  • Sometimes my ambitions lead me to be on top at any cost.
  • Sometimes my ambitions make me say “I can do that better than that person.”

Ambitions can blind me at times.  I’m not saying having goals is a bad thing, but what I am saying is my goals need to include GOD as the direction I am headed.

  • GOD needs to be first in my ambition otherwise I will complain that HE is in the awy.
  • GOD needs to be the center of my attention otherwise I will sometimes think HE is a hindrance.
  • GOD needs to be top of mind in my plans otherwise I will leave HIM out of my plans and go my own way.

Ambition has gotten me in trouble with GOD before.  My plans were not HIS plans, yet HE allowed me to go with my plans. When my plans failed, I came running back to GOD asking for help and sometimes it was too late. GOD wants to be first, not last when it comes to my desires.

  • Are you driven to achieve?
  • Are you trying to do whatever you are doing without GOD?
  • Can you take a moment to add GOD to your plans?

Monday, March 4, 2013

GOD is no longer mad at me.

Genesis 8: 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”


Plastering was something I had never done before but this particular summer, it was my job.  I had to carry heavy bags of tools or plaster mix or boulders, well it seemed like boulders. I was constantly doing things wrong that the owner would have to correct me. I think I broke stuff and had to take numerous breaks because I got a splinter on my elbow or somewhere!

After my first day I didn’t want to come back but I said “thank you” and the owner seemed delighted. “See you tomorrow” he said. You mean he wants me to come back? I’m pitiful.

  • Sometimes I think I have messed up royally with GOD.
  • Sometimes I think my clumsiness in life translates to GOD being disgusted with me.
  • Sometimes I think GOD is mad at me and that’s why I’m not getting my way.

GOD sees my pitiful attempts to serve HIM and others and is delighted by what HE sees.  I’m not speaking about the times that I try too hard or when I’m feeling ultra-religious and judging others. GOD sees when I have very little to offer and I give that up for HIM.

  • GOD knows my heart is evil yet loves when I try to serve HIM.
  • GOD knows every inclination I have is against HIM yet HE loved me enough to die for me.
  • GOD knows I was born and raised in sin yet HE has a plan that’s great for me.

HE provides food, great weather and enables me to sleep and wake to a new day. HIS love for me will never cease and it’s a great feeling of relief.

  • Do you think GOD is mad at you?
  • Are you feeling like you have not reached your potential?
  • Can you recognize GOD is faithful to you?
  • Won’t you realize HE does not go back on HIS great plan HE has for you?