Thursday, October 31, 2013

A promise is a promise

Deuteronomy 23: 21 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.


“LORD if you get me out of ‘fill in the blank’ then I will ‘never’ do ‘fill in the blank’ again!” I have said on many occasions when my back was against the wall as if I could bargain with GOD. Looking back on those ludicrous statements makes me cringe with fear as to how many promises of “never doing that again” I have not kept.

  • When I’m scared I make frivolous promises with GOD simply to get out of the trial.
  • When I’m lost I begin to bargain with GOD simply to find my way then I return back to the old me.
  • When I’m feeling low I beg GOD to get me out by making promises I may not be able to keep.

GOD made promises that HE holds HIMSELF to.  HE cannot and will not go back on HIS word. When HE declares something, it will happen the way HE said it and how HE said it even if HE has to die in the process. I’m speaking about JESUS just then. In other words HE takes promises seriously.

  • GOD wants me to think before I make a promise otherwise I’m in deeper trouble.
  • GOD wants me to make promises as an act of worship and plan to keep them.
  • GOD wants me to stop bargaining with HIM in order to get my way and make vows to HIM as an act of worship.

Getting out of a trial should not be the goal when I make a promise to GOD.  I may say something I didn’t mean or could not keep when I am in the heat of the moment. GOD wants me to quiet my mind down and think about my promise so I can keep it and not grow weary.

  • Have you made a frivolous promise to GOD?
  • Are you trying to get out of a trial and have no intention of keeping that promise?
  • Won’t you review your promises before you make them to see if you can keep them?
  • Can you make a promise to GOD as an act of worship today?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Assuming they will be fine

Deuteronomy 22:If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet.


Someone was on the side of the road a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t call anyone for help. In fact I can’t remember the last time I called for help for someone on the side of the road. The thought to help flashed in my mind but another thought popped in my head. “Everyone has a cell phone, they can call for help themselves.” I think I have even stopped noticing people on the side of the road.

  • A busy mind can make my heart forgetful.
  • When I assume the person is fine I think I don’t have to do any work.
  • When I believe someone else will help that person I find myself helping no one.

There are all kinds of reasons for me not helping people and they are all good. I mean I don’t have the time or the money or fill in the blank, I just don’t have it. But what does GOD want?

  • GOD wants me to be aware of my surroundings and help where I can.
  • GOD wants my heart to be willing and HE wants some action from me.
  • GOD wants me to see people in need rather than seeing them as an inconvenience.

Help is required all around me each day.  I don’t have to go very far to find a person in need.  GOD wants me to take a moment to help someone even when that deadline is approaching. This keeps my heart from being hard.

  • Are you too busy to help someone?
  • Do you think you don’t have the resources to help that person?
  • Can you change your thought about the “helpless” person and provide some help?
  • Won’t you begin with prayer for the person and see how GOD wants you to help?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Only one person could have done this

Deuteronomy 21: 22 If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, 23 you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.


Miraculous is the only word I could think of when it came to JESUS’ life. Yes HIS birth was amazing and HE did some amazing things when HE was alive, but what about death? HIS body was declared dead as HE hung on the pole or tree or cross as we would say. How was HE going to get down and avoid the curse?

  • JESUS was murdered because people wanted power they shouldn’t have.
  • JESUS was placed on a pole, otherwise known as the cross, as an act of evil to make HIM an example to others, but it became symbolic instead.
  • JESUS was declared dead and they miraculously did not break HIS legs or leave HIM on the pole amazingly fulfilling laws.

What does all of this have to do with me? GOD declared a curse on humans, earth and the surrounding planets and galaxies. Every human born is susceptible to this curse. I deserved to die along with all humans unless one sinless human died for all mankind.

IF JESUS remained overnight on the pole HE wouldn’t qualify as sinless. HE would be under the same curse as all of mankind. BUT GOD made it possible that the guards fulfill the laws even when they didn’t know what they were doing.

Maybe they felt lazy and just wanted to go home. Maybe they were tired of JESUS after beating HIM up. Whatever was the case, they released HIS body and HE was buried properly.

  • Sometimes it’s good to ponder our LORD and Savior.
  • Sometimes it’s good to remember that JESUS volunteered specifically for me.
  • Sometimes it’s good to remember there is a much higher purpose for my life.

JESUS gave HIS life so HE could save mine. There is nothing I can do or accomplish to repay HIM. HE only wants a little of my focus to thank HIM whenever I can remember HIM.

Monday, October 28, 2013

GOD is with you!

Deuteronomy 20: When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.


Standing in front of a crowd of 300 I could see faces cringing at my every word.  Some showed contempt, others pity, still others expressed pure anger as I tried to explain everything was perfectly fine with paying additional fees for our services. I was only supposed to have thirty minutes on the agenda.

I was finally released off the stage three and a half hours later after the torches burned out and the pitchforks were broken. This was a major problem that I had no idea where to start at the time. It made me nervous!

  • There are situations that seem big that make me nervous.
  • There are times where my abilities don’t seem adequate and I feel nervous.
  • There are problems that surface where I don’t have the answer and I feel nervous.

How am “I” going to battle this” is usually my first inclination when I see some huge issue. I then attempt to fix all the problems of the world and wind up exhausted, then I get scared which brings on worry. What can help me when I face something much bigger than my abilities?

  • GOD said to me “do not be afraid for I am with you.”
  • GOD said to me “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
  • GOD said to me “It’s not your strength you should depend on but MINE.”

Whenever I get nervous and shaken it’s usually because I am working on a plan that isn’t GOD’s. Either I came up with the plan or someone else and my SPIRIT gets troubled when GOD hasn’t blessed moving forward.  I become fainthearted and act nervous. BUT GOD wants me to focus on HIS strength rather than mine.

GOD wants me to listen to HIM knowing HIS might is greater than any opposition I can face. HE gives me the strength to go forward and fight because it is actually HIM who is fighting the battle!

  • Are you feeling afraid?
  • Do you feel too small for the battle?
  • Are you depending on what you see rather than believing on the unseen?
  • Won’t you trust GOD and HIS might?
  • Can you allow GOD to work HIS great plan for you?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Is my witness reliable?

Deuteronomy 19: 15 One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.


My gruff boss pulled me into his office asking me about a person who previously worked with me at another company.  I didn’t like her very much but she was highly qualified. “I don’t think she will be a good fit” I told the guy. He didn’t hire her. I wonder if people would say slanderous things about me.

  • When I am blind and I want something my witness may not be reliable.
  • When I am blind and full of fear my witness may not be reliable.
  • When I am blind and carry bitterness or poison my witness may not be reliable.

My witness depends on how I view the person. I may see something that wasn’t there because I want the person to fail or get out of my way.  In other words I may fool myself into believing something that isn’t true and then my witness becomes false.

  • GOD wants me to be a reliable impartial witness.
  • GOD wants me to allow HIS will to be done so my witness has to align with HIS.
  • GOD wants me to see others as HE sees them rather than stirring up the crowd.

Compassion is what GOD wants me to give people. A criminal deserves to be convicted but I must not slander the person into being a criminal. GOD will root out the evil in HIS time, my job is to be reliable, truthful and loving.

  • Do you desire for a person you don’t agree with to fail or succeed?
  • Do you think your words are helping people see that person in a good or bad light?
  • Can you modify your witness to include your faults or are you busy talking about what others are doing wrong?
  • Won’t you take your blinders off and look at your witness?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How do I know when the LORD is speaking?

Deuteronomy 18: 21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.


Pricey but sleek was my dream car at the time. It was next on my list of toys I was going to purchase. GOD must want me to have it, because I want it and I have the means to purchase it. I think I even had a date in mind. When the company cut positions, I no longer had the means to buy this pricey hunk of metal. Was my desire from GOD or me?

  • Just because a thought pops in my head doesn’t mean it’s from GOD.
  • Just because I really want something doesn’t mean GOD has blessed my desire.
  • Just because a circumstance is placed in front of me doesn’t mean that circumstance is flowing towards GOD’s plan.

I have heard preachers tell me the end of the world was supposed to happen on a specific date but the Bible says “No man knows the date or time” for this event. I have thought a person was or wasn’t going to do something BUT GOD did opposite of my thought. Is GOD opposing me on purpose? How do I know when HE is speaking?

  • GOD speaks through HIS HOLY SPIRIT HE placed inside of me and has written HIS laws on my heart and the HOLY SPIRIT reminds me to follow them.
  • GOD speaks through ordained humans, not always pastors or teachers, but those HE consecrates to say some tough messages that I sometimes do not like.
  • GOD speaks through HIS Bible which documents past, present and future events.

Why the mystery?  I mean if HE would just open up HIS mouth and audibly say something then everyone on earth would believe, right? Wrong! HE walked on the planet for years and years and many did not believe. Instead of begging for my love HE showed HIS by dying on the cross in my place.

  • Have you asked GOD to show you the way?
  • Have you given GOD the chance to say “no” to your idea or desire?
  • Have you sought GOD by reading HIS Bible?
  • Are you listening to what GOD is saying through other humans or are you critiquing them?
  • Do you check what humans are saying with what the Bible says?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Read, Heed but don’t need

Deuteronomy 17: 18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.


“Read the Bible daily” is what people would tell me.  “Read a book? Read the Bible?” were the two dreadful thoughts that crossed my mind. Can’t someone just tell it to me?  So I picked the Bible up and started to read it from Genesis. It wasn’t so bad until I hit an area I thought was pretty dry.  I mean why do I have to learn about all these laws and lists of people?

I stopped reading because it was boring and I wasn’t getting it. In fact, after a while I stopped going to church because it was boring and hypocritical. Then I stopped praying, at least until things started to go wrong. “What should I do? I know… I need to look in the Bible.”

  • At one point I viewed reading the Bible as a task rather than a need.
  • At one point I viewed reading the Bible as something for pastors and teachers, not me.
  • At one point I viewed reading the Bible as too indicting, too incriminating, too judgmental.

I mean the people who told me to read weren’t following the Bible anyway, why should I read it was my pitiful thought. BUT GOD opened my eyes and showed me something different.

  • GOD wanted me to learn about HIM because in very lonely times HE would be the only one there for me.
  • GOD wanted me to learn about HIM because there are many who are in pain and struggling and need a word of encouragement.
  • GOD wanted me to learn about HIM because HIS love is misunderstood.

It took a while, but now I actually crave spending time reading about HIM. I guess it’s because the wheels have fallen off the tracks enough in my life that I need to find out how to do things with power. Once I began to heed GOD’s message, clarity came into my life.

I no longer needed to be better than the next person, but be the best “me” that I could be. GOD said HE made me wonderful and HE loves me. I read it in words HE spoke to mankind in the Bible.

  • Do you feel a bit lost?
  • Are you seeking a word of encouragement?
  • Can you read the Bible and seek GOD’s promises for you?
  • Won’t you trust that HE has a great plan for you today?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The real stone

Deuteronomy 16: 21 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the Lord your God, 22 and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the Lord your God hates.


Shopping in a village in Africa after work, a stone artist approached me.  “This statue will bring you good luck.” Driving back across the border from Mexico a salesperson approached the car and said “this will bring your luck.” I have no idea what they were selling. In China I some students gave me gifts and said “this will being you luck.” I wonder if this is where I should put my hope. Nope!

  • Wooden statues are carved by humans and have no power.
  • Stone statues are carved by humans and have no power.
  • String necklaces are made by humans and have no power.

When I have my lucky pencil for a test or wear my lucky shirt for my team to win a game or sit in my lucky seat I’m actually forgetting what GOD says about turning to other gods. It means I desire whatever I desire so much, that I would turn my back on GOD to get it.

  • GOD says “Do not place any god above ME.”
  • GOD says “Worship only ME.”
  • GOD says “I hate wooden and stone gods that have no power.”

The stone the builders rejected is the one and only stone I need to pay attention to, namely JESUS. CHRIST is the cornerstone of the church and that means my total trust needs to be in HIM. My desires should never go outside of HIS will and I should accept the daily bread HE delivers to me. HE supplies my needs and fights my battles. HE IS.

  • Where is your faith?
  • Do you feel your sin changes GOD’s love for you?
  • Can you trust that GOD has the best intention in mind for you?
  • Won’t you start thinking GOD cares and let HIM provide for you the way HE wants to today?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Want a blessing today?

Deuteronomy 15: 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.


Sitting in the “counselors” chair a homeless person sat across from me and had to hear the “Gospel of CHRIST” from me. He wreaked of booze but was coherent enough to answer my questions. During our anticipated and somewhat robotic conversation it dawned on me… I wasn’t getting through to him so I asked those in charge, “Do we really have to give this guy some food?”

  • When I serve with a grudging heart, I am not at my best.
  • When I give out of obligation I hurl my money at the need in a tantrum.
  • When I expect a monetary blessing because I have served, I may be on the road to manipulation instead of gratitude.

Poor people will always be around me GOD says. HE wants to bless me, but sometimes I see what this person is going to do with “my” money and I become the judge and jury and provide a verdict that is not favorable for the person standing in front of me. I mean this person is a drunk and that person is a drug addict and that person won’t stop being whatever they are being. I mean shouldn’t “my” money go to someone who “deserves” it?

  • GOD says to me “judge not and I won’t judge you.”
  • GOD says to me “look beyond the messy person I delivered to you and give them your best.”
  • GOD says to me “I know you are weary from giving but my grace is sufficient.”

Sometimes it’s hard to give because I am either not seeing the change I want to see fast enough or the ocean of people seems too great for “my” power. I may feel overwhelmed because the need seems too great. BUT GOD says to me “do what you can with what I have blessed you with for I have many servants.”

I must trust that GOD has plenty and that I am only one of many distribution points for HIS wealth. Yes, the wealth is not mine but HIS and HE wants to do with it as HE pleases.

  • Are you giving with a grudging heart?
  • Are you serving out of expectation from GOD?
  • Can you give and serve without expecting something from GOD?
  • Won’t you trust that HE will bless you the way HE wants to bless you, when HE wants to bless you?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Plan for generosity

Deuteronomy 14: 28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.


Anticipation and exhilaration flowed through my veins as I waited on a statement from my investments. I was saving up for a cruise and I wanted to make sure I had enough money to go. I planned this trip for months. I booked the plane and excursions. Yes this was a well-deserved trip!
  • When I want something I plan for it.
  • When I desire something I save up for it.
  • When I yearn for something I get excited over it and anticipate its arrival.

Giving is quite the opposite of my vacation planning.  Sometimes I grumble over giving and other times I look up and whatever money is left I give. I say to myself, I don’t have enough to give right now, yet I run out and buy new stuff because I “need” more stuff.
  • GOD wants me to plan for giving.
  • GOD says “prepare your tithes.”
  • GOD says “pay attention to those in need.”

When I know I am going to give then I automatically deduct the amount I have in my hand by what I have already planned. I no longer say to myself I have $1000 rather the LORD has $100 and I have $900. But wait, what if my income doesn’t cover my bills. Well, that’s a longer discussion but I know GOD loves when I am cheerful in my giving.

Giving frees me from wanting more and more for myself because the focus is on others. Through GOD’s generosity, I can be generous.
  • Are you planning to give?
  • Are you planning to give in big way or have you squeezed GOD’s generosity into your tiny world?
  • Has GOD given you a vision for generosity?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The danger of pointing at myself

Deuteronomy 13 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. 

The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 


“Why am I not getting promoted?” I asked a mentor. He said, “You need to learn the art of self-promotion.” It’s when I tell people how great I am without looking like a braggart. I tried it and it worked! In fact it worked so well that I used it when speaking about “church” not GOD. 

I promoted “churches” and eventually the positions I held within them. Soon people were looking at me. I was now an icon. Now I couldn’t tell people about my sins, people would be so disappointed!

  • My desire to be promoted may spill into other areas of my life.
  • My desire to be noticed may make me do things contrary to what I’m supposed to be doing.
  • My desire to be in the spotlight may take the stage away from the being who is supposed to have it.

Please don’t get me wrong… it is perfectly fine to let people know accomplishments and to be excited about how GOD is blessing me, but my motive has to be carefully examined to see if “I” need to tell people or should this wonderful situation remain between me and GOD.

Angels have incredible power, yet when John tried to bow to one of them the angel immediately stopped him and pointed to GOD. The angel knew something very important.

  • All blessings come from GOD.
  • All eyes should be on GOD not on me in any way.
  • All thanks and praise should go to HIM not me.

It’s nice to hear when I am doing a good job. Who wouldn’t want to hear it? BUT GOD requires that I point the people to HIM so HE can give me my reward instead of stealing HIS light.

  • Are you following a human?
  • Are you trying to get humans to follow you?
  • Can you place GOD above all humans, even yourself?
  • Won’t you stop promoting the thing that is less than GOD and point people to HIM again?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Am I ready to be blessed?

Deuteronomy 12:There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.


“Just look at how they handled my bags! I should complain.” I thought to myself staring at the mountain of luggage in a pile on the cruise. “What do you mean I can’t upgrade to first class? I have the right status” I verbalized in my complaint. “This rental car smells funny” I should complain I thought to myself.

  • Habitual complaining is easy to fall into.
  • Habitual complaining is blinding.
  • Habitual complaining is detrimental to my witness.

After traveling all over the nation I found myself in the same complaining mode as the rest of the passengers. My complaining spawned impatience which birthed rage and even contempt for “poor service.” I sought better treatment since “I” traveled so much I “deserved” it, right? Wrong!

  • GOD wants me to recognize HIS blessings instead seeking what I can get from complaints.
  • GOD wants me to understand people will mistreat me because they murdered HIS SON.
  • GOD wants me to treat others as I wish to be treated no matter how poorly they are treating me.

Looking back I see I wasn’t a good representative of GOD in my complaining instances. HE would rather see me praise HIM for the many blessings HE has bestowed on me. HE wants me to see beyond the here and now and look to the place HE is taking me rather the place I am right now.

  • Are you complaining about something?
  • Are you blaming someone?
  • Can you stop focusing on what isn’t and look to where GOD is taking you?
  • Won’t you stop for a moment and truly praise GOD for the many blessings without expecting something from it?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

All that matters

Deuteronomy 11: 22 So be careful. Obey all of the commands I’m giving you to follow. Love the Lord your God. Live exactly as he wants you to live. Remain true to him. 23 Then the Lord will drive out all of the nations to make room for you. They are larger and stronger than you are. But you will take their land.


Like deer in headlights I sat in my chair stifled by worry.  I had so many “giant” situations on my mind that flooded my thoughts I could not see a way out. I mean, I had never been released from any position before and I hadn’t given them a reason to this time. Bills weren’t going to pay themselves.

What about paying for college? What about retirement? And that little old lady in some country far away from me, who is going to give to her if I’m out of work?

  • My worries blind me.
  • My lack of faith blinds me.
  • My trust in myself blinds me.

When I think I made it to the top on my own accord then I get blinded to who really put me there in the first place, namely GOD. When HE toppled my tower, I thought HE was mad at me because I was blind to what HE was really doing in my life. HE was refocusing me to look at HIM.

  • When I worry I remember to “love the LORD.”
  • When I lose my faith I remember to “live as HE wants me to live.”
  • When I get suspicious of GOD I remember to “remain true to HIM.”

It was GOD who cleared the way for me to reach the heights I rose to and it is up to HIM to keep me low or raise me up again and again. It’s not that my desires don’t matter to HIM, all that matters is that I love and respect HIM enough to allow HIS decisions to be final. I can find relief from worries by following GOD.

  • Are you worried?
  • Are you facing a “giant” situation?
  • Do you think your “giant” is larger than GOD?
  • Won’t you stop thinking about your “giant” and look at how powerful GOD really is?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Should I treat everyone the same?

Deuteronomy 10: 17 The Lord your God is the greatest God of all. He is the greatest Lord of all. He is the great God. He is mighty and wonderful. He treats everyone the same. He doesn’t accept any money from those who want special favors. 18 He stands up for widows and for children whose fathers have died. He loves outsiders. He gives them food and clothes.19 So you also must love outsiders. Remember that you yourselves were outsiders in Egypt.


“Aw man, here comes that dude who talks to himself all the time” I said to myself.  I was on my way into the church and I felt as if I was running late. “Don’t make eye contact, don’t make eye contact, aw man he saw me looking at him” was my dismal thought. He darted over to me and began his rants. Something within me said “invite him in and have him sit in your class.”

What?! He disrupted everything just as I thought. Afterward, he said “I learned a lot and I want to go to this church.”  I felt foolish.

  • When I treat someone different I may miss out on helping someone in need.
  • When I look down on someone I may be mistreating an angel GOD has sent.
  • When I remain in my comfort zone I may be leaving others in a broken state.

GOD is the greatest GOD of all! HE is the greatest LORD of all! HE is “THE” great GOD, yet with all of HIS might and wonder, chooses to treat me the same as everyone else, with love. HE never views HIS position as a problem. In other words HE isn’t too high that HE can’t help those who are low.

  • GOD wants me to respect HIM by treating HIS creations with respect.
  • GOD wants me to serve others higher than I serve myself.
  • GOD wants me to love outsiders because I was once an outsider.

I remember desiring to be in the “in” crowd yet when I got there it felt exclusionary and condescending. GOD wants me to serve those who are thrown away and forgotten so they can feel HIS love just as I did.

  • Are you complaining about someone or some group?
  • Have you prayed for the LORD to bless them instead of complaining about them?
  • Can you stop for a moment to listen to GOD and serve the person you are least likely to serve today?
  • Won’t you treat others with compassion today?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Do I deserve a blessing?

Deuteronomy 9:The Lord your God is giving you this good land to take as your own. But you must understand that it isn’t because you are a godly nation. In fact, you are stubborn.


“You are very good at what you do” people would say. The first few times I heard this, I was flattered but couldn’t believe it. As time passed I would hear those words and wonder “where is my promotion?” After a while I started to demand a raise and a promotion.  “I’m the best employee they have” I thought to myself.

  • When I compare myself to others I get a deserving attitude.
  • When I think my talents are “my” talents I get a deserving attitude.
  • When I have achieved great things and think it’s because of me, I get a deserving attitude.

My deserving attitude can turn into pouting with GOD. “Why aren’t YOU giving me my way right now GOD?” is where I end up.  Then I start telling HIM about how I served HIM way back about a decade ago and maybe how I went to church last month.  Frankly, GOD isn’t impressed.

  • GOD is blessing me in spite of me.
  • GOD is blessing me in the “middle” of my sins and doesn’t wait for me to clean myself up.
  • GOD is blessing me even when I choose not to follow HIM, but loves when I do.

Mercy, grace and love are some of GOD’s strongest attributes but I can’t forget HE also has wrath, jealousy and judgment as part of HIS supremacy. GOD can discipline me when HE wants to and HE can bless me. HE can close doors and open them. HE loves when I submit my will to HIM, but my submission does not change HIS mind otherwise I could manipulate HIM.

GOD blesses me in spite of me and loves me enough to die for me.

  • Do you think you deserve your blessing?
  • Do you feel you have served GOD and now HE owes you something?
  • Can you stop looking at your service and thank HIM for where you are?
  • Won’t you accept where HE has you and thank HIM for HIS great plan for you?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why is GOD doing “this?”

Deuteronomy 8:He took your pride away. He let you go hungry. Then he gave you manna to eat. You and your parents had never even known anything about manna before. He tested you to teach you that man doesn’t live only on bread. He also lives on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes didn’t wear out during these 40 years. Your feet didn’t swell.

Here is what I want you to know in your hearts. The Lord your God trains you, just as parents train their children.

Obey the commands of the Lord your God. Live as he wants you to live. Have respect for him.


“What’s wrong with my computer” I thought in an enraged and nervous fashion. I had to be on a very stressful call discussing whether I had a job or not. I worked from home that day which was highly unusual for me. As I waited for the call to begin I turned the TV on with the volume turned down low. I fiddled with my computer and finally it booted up and I was ready for the call.

Though the call had started, I heard someone on the news say “Oh my GOD, a plane has just run into one of the towers!” Why was all this happening?

  • Stressful situations aren’t always what I think.
  • Evil plots seem to win at times which makes me nervous.
  • Trouble doesn’t come at convenient times when I’m ready for it.

Many people around the world will remember what happened on this tragic day. I know I will. I also remember an argument with a loved one that same day. This day changed the course I was on in many ways and I questioned GOD. “Why are YOU allowing this to happen?” was my question.

  • Out of storms I learn many lessons from GOD that I cannot hear when things are going well.
  • Out of trouble my soul cries to GOD in ways I never cry out to HIM when I have plenty.
  • Out of trials I get stronger because GOD puts my heart to the test, not to see if I would fail, HE knows that, but to burn away impurities to follow HIM the way HE wants to be followed.

This same chapter discusses the problems with becoming wealthy and forgetting GOD in the process. I fully understand this because I have forgotten GOD many days. HE desires that I remember HIS power, HIS love and especially HIS grace for me to respect HIM.

  • Are you in the middle of blaming GOD?
  • Do you think GOD is out to get you?
  • Can you accept HIS course correction and get excited about where HE is taking you?
  • Won’t you respect HIS wishes for you and praise HIM for what HE has done in your life?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

GOD wants to bless you

Deuteronomy 7: 13 The Lord will love you and bless you. He’ll increase your numbers. He’ll give you many children. He’ll bless the crops of your land. He’ll give you plenty of grain, olive oil and fresh wine. He’ll bless your herds with many calves. He’ll give your flocks many lambs. He’ll do all of those things for you in the land of Canaan. It’s the land he promised your people long ago that he would give you. 14 He will bless you more than any other nation. All of your men and women will have children. All of your livestock will have little ones.

15 The Lord will keep you from getting sick. He won’t send on you any of the horrible sicknesses you saw all around you in Egypt. But he’ll send them on everyone who hates you.


Somehow I just felt great for no reason as I walked down the street on this particularly sunny day.  I was headed to a friends’ house to play some games.  With anticipation I walked a little faster. Something slowed me down and as I glanced in the grass I spied a crisp $10 bill on the ground.  Could this day get any better?

  • GOD wants to bless me in spite of me.
  • GOD wants to bless me when I’m not expecting it.
  • GOD wants to bless me because that’s how HE works.

GOD is in the business of blessing people!  It’s not just monetary rather HE has shown me love in many ways. HE has protected me from danger, sent me to preach HIS word and guided me when I wouldn’t have chosen HIM.

GOD is quite loving and awesome!

  • Do you know GOD wants to bless you?
  • Do you realize GOD has nothing but good thoughts about you?
  • Can you recognize the blessings HE has given you already?
  • Won’t you take a moment to praise and thank HIM for the blessings HE has provided you?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Will I forget GOD?

Deuteronomy 6: 12 But be careful that you don’t forget the Lord. Remember that he brought you out of Egypt. That’s the land where you were slaves.


Nervous that GOD would use a lightning bolt to strike me down, I refused to work on a Sunday, at least until this particular boss told his team to go in and set up the convention.  This was the first time we tried a convention of this nature so it was all hands on deck. We worked through the weekend and I realized GOD hadn’t struck me down and I got a bonus for my efforts!  You mean I could have been doing this all along?

  • The worlds’ rewards seem gratifying but make me forget where I came from.
  • The worlds’ rewards seem worth the effort but require me to forget who I belong to.
  • The worlds’ rewards seem great but the greatness is only temporary which leaves me in the bondage of slavery to seeking the next victory.

Many times I speak about GOD’s love and HIS grace and mercy but I rarely speak about HIS wrath, authority and jealousy. Yes, GOD is a jealous GOD and refuses to have anything placed above HIM. It seems when I am in times of plenty I tend to forget GOD and the need to communicate with HIM.

  • GOD wants me delivered out of anything that takes my eyes off of HIM.
  • GOD wants me to remember the great things HE has done for me throughout my life to build up my trust in HIM.
  • GOD wants me to believe HE has the best plan for me no matter how strange HIS plan appears to be.

When I am in times of plenty, there is no need for me to cry out to GOD and beg HIM for mercy. When things break, I can just go out and get five more. My thankfulness diminishes into complaints about other people. GOD wants me to remember HIS mercy during plenteous times, keeping praise and worship on my lips.

  • Are you in times of plenty?
  • Do you find you have less and less time for GOD?
  • Is work stressing you out to the point where you have no time for GOD?
  • Can you add a little time for GOD on your schedule and increase it each day?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Which commandment am I ignoring?

Deuteronomy 5: 32 So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you. Don’t turn away from his commands to the right or the left. 33 Live exactly as the Lord your God has commanded you to live. Then you will enjoy life in the land you will soon own. Things will go well with you there. You will live there for a long time.


“Where have you been” my parents inquired as I returned late from sneaking off. I thought of a lie, but it didn’t come out quite right. “I thought I told you.” They could see right through it. Another time I noticed what seemed to be more beggars than usual this day.  I planned my route carefully so I could avoid all of them. I mean they got on my nerves and besides I didn’t have enough money for them all.

  • Sometimes I think I’m doing well with GOD by keeping “most” of HIS commandments.
  • Sometimes I compare myself to “those” people who are sinning and say “at least I’m not like them.”
  • Sometimes I downplay my “little” sins because I’m not doing “big” sins.

JESUS said sin is like yeast, it only takes a little to ruin the entire loaf. HE also said “Love one another” which is sometimes very difficult to do. There are many other things HE said that I choose to ignore.

  • JESUS said “go” and make disciples, teaching them about MY love.
  • JESUS said “have faith and do not be afraid.”
  • JESUS said “listen to MY voice.”

I ignore HIS voice when I fear, worry and doubt HIM.  I forget to love others when I am wrapped up in me. I stay where I am when I am mad at GOD for not doing my bidding. GOD wants me to prepare others for HIS kingdom. HE wants me to listen to HIM and truly follow HIS ways.

  • Are you ignoring GOD?
  • Do you have worry, doubt, or blame in your heart?
  • Can you let go of some of these feelings and follow GOD’s commands to “love one another?”
  • Won’t you stop looking at a few scripture and ask GOD for help in following HIS ways?

Friday, October 4, 2013

There is no other GOD

Deuteronomy 4: 39 The Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Today you must agree with that and take it to heart. There is no other God.


Standing on a porch in a hand-me-down snorkel coat, a gust of wind blew and I went sailing. Laughter came from everyone because my frail frame wasn’t enough to hold me down. Since I was so frail I developed fears, especially of bullies, I avoided them at all costs.

When I grew high in a company I complained because I had to pay “alternative minimum tax.” I feared fluctuations in the market so I kept a close watch on where I put “my” funds. Then I met my worst fear, a bully at work who threatened my financial security! What was I going to do?

  • Sometimes my fear of people comes from me viewing them with too much power.
  • Sometimes my fear of losing money comes from me putting it too high on the priority.
  • Sometimes my fear of failure comes from looking at my frail being and thinking I don’t have the power to accomplish huge things.

It was only GOD who could take me to the places I’ve been.  I never would have imagined meeting people I’ve met or doing the things I have done. My fear of the unknown blinds me to the point where I cannot see GOD’s great power.

  • The LORD is GOD in heaven above and on the earth below.
  • The LORD is GOD all by HIMSELF.
  • The LORD is GOD and there is no other GOD.

GOD has ALL of the power, I have none. My frail thinking is only limited by how much I trust in what HE can do. If I believe HE can perform a miracle, then HE will bless me with miracles happening in front of my face. HE performs them anyway, but my blindness causes me to miss HIS great power.

GOD is mighty. GOD is powerful. GOD is everywhere. GOD is.

  • Do you doubt GOD’s power?
  • Do you think HE can’t handle your situation?
  • Can you increase your trust in HIM to do what HE want with the situation?
  • Won’t you let HIM bless you the way HE wants you to be blessed and throw away your false expectations of HIM?