Friday, November 29, 2013

Do not be afraid!

Joshua 10: 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”


Staring at the posting, I convinced myself I could not do the job! I mean it seemed too hard and I wasn’t that smart and besides… “what if I fail?”
  • I will always be inadequate for a task when I am full of fear.
  • I will always be wrong for the job when I am full of doubt.
  • I will always be wondering when will I become successful if I never try something out of my comfort zone.

Every time I said “It’s too hard, or I can’t possibly achieve that” I am defeated before I start. I then wonder, “What would have happened if I had tried whatever I didn’t try.” Fear holds me down!

  • GOD says to me “Do not be afraid” because HE is with me!
  • GOD says to me “Do not be discouraged” because HE is the one with infinite resources.
  • GOD says to me “Be strong and courageous” because my weakness is strength as long as I lean on HIS might! 

I can’t trust in my own abilities, knowledge, or talent.  It is GOD who raises humans up to the positions they strive for so my fear of failure is unwarranted. I must put my trust in GOD and let HIM fight my battles and HE will win and make me prosper.

  • What is holding you back?
  • Are you fighting a battle that GOD should fight?
  • Do you think you can win with your own wit or strength?
  • Won’t you believe that GOD will deliver you?
  • Can you recognize GOD’s might and seek HIS power?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Consult GOD first

Joshua 9: 14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living nearthem. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.


“Nine weeks will be a short assignment that would enable me to pick up a ton of cash and I can still perform the functions of my business” I greedily said to myself. I thought about what I would do with the cash and then I began planning.

Once I actually started working I realized I was in the worst assignment of my career. The atmosphere reeked of blame and deception. As I sat on the edge of my bed at 3:00 AM I realized I made a huge mistake.

  • When something looks too good to be true for me, it usually is.
  • When I look at things from a “monetary gain” perspective I usually fail.
  • When I think about a plan from a “personal gain” angle I usually fall flat.

Many times I have run off with a plan and have not consulted GOD. These plans sometimes make it pretty far but then come crashing down to the ground with painful consequences. When I wake up in pain I blame GOD asking HIM “Why did YOU let me fail?”

  • GOD wants me to consult HIM first before I make my plans.
  • GOD wants me to ask HIS permission and allow HIM to say NO.
  • GOD wants me to seek HIS wisdom, HIS power and HIS strength, for no plan can prosper without HIM.

The caveat to consulting GOD is I have to perform above the level otherwise HE will turn HIS back on the plan. I must respect everyone associated with the plan and listen to GOD intently. I must accept HIS timing and methods which can be long and scary. I must trust GOD.

  • Are you planning something?
  • Have you asked GOD “what do you want me to do?”
  • Are you staying on the course HE has laid out for you?
  • Won’t you ask HIM what plan HE wants for you instead of asking HIM for help on “your” plan?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged

Joshua 8: Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.


Standing in front of a crowd of people, I muttered the information I knew word for word. You could hear crickets chirping as I delivered my ho-hum class. The first day was finally over and I felt thoroughly discouraged! One person who was with me said “relax and enjoy yourself.”

Years later I understood what he was talking about. When I began enjoying life, it flowed even in the classroom.

  • When I am afraid, I can’t perform.
  • When I am focused on performing, I can’t perform.
  • When I am discouraged, I can’t perform.

When I get so wrapped up in meeting everyone else’s expectations I fall flat on my face. I run after their dreams and realize I can’t run that fast or that long. That’s when I become discouraged. BUT GOD says something different to me.

  • GOD says “Do not be afraid” to me when I have to go on HIS path instead of everyone else’s.
  • GOD says “do not be discouraged” to me when I have to face what seems insurmountable and impossible.
  • GOD says “I will be with you” to me when I feel lost, weak and helpless.

GOD said to Joshua, “I have delivered into your hands” meaning, the battle was already won.  It’s like walking onto the field in any sport knowing you already won, but not in an arrogant way.  GOD has the power to overcome anything. HE wants me to trust that HE has it covered, whatever “it” is.

  • Are you facing something that seems impossible?
  • Does it seem like you are at the end of your rope?
  • Won’t you stop trying to do things under your own power and let GOD work with your plan?
  • Can you focus on something much smaller and let GOD handle the large?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grow up and give it back!

Joshua 7: 10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 

12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.


Toner got all over my hands and finally some got on my clothes.  I fixed numerous paper jams and it seemed like the automatic stapler went nuts as soon as I fixed other problems.  It was after hours and I had to fix everything myself because I was making copies for my social group. “My company wouldn’t mind because they made lots of money”, I thought to myself.

  • When I permanently borrow something without permission it’s stealing.
  • When I use something without permission it’s stealing.
  • When I go outside the boundaries for my own personal gain, it’s stealing.

Stealing was not my mode of operation.  I would never consider myself a thief.  I mean thieves break in and take what’s not theirs. So what’s the harm in taking stuff from work? “These folks are thieves themselves, they have plenty!”

  • GOD wants me to mature enough to not want even a paperclip that’s not mine.
  • GOD wants me to grow up enough to realize that even the time spent goofing off at work is stealing.
  • GOD wants me to ripen enough to desire HIS supply of my needs rather than me taking them from someone.

Slipping out of work early or taking material from the job or doing inferior work to collect a check has not build the best relationship between me and GOD. I may even justify my actions by classifying the company or even my boss as jerks, but it still doesn’t fit well within GOD’s favor.

GOD wants me to be honest in my dealings and desires that I focus my attention on HIM more and more.

  • Are you stealing from work by not giving your best?
  • Are you stealing from GOD by not serving, giving, or praying?
  • Can you give back what you have taken and start over?
  • Won’t you grow up enough to admit what you are taking?

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Craziest Plan

Joshua 6:Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”


Spreadsheets, calculators and meetings were my tools to predict what “could” happen. Based on past events and current activity, I developed a mitigation plan that was foolproof! I submitted my plan along with my budget requirements.

Months later I had to request more money because my plan didn’t include another department head pouting nor did I foresee one of our suppliers providing inferior parts. My plan was in shambles!

  • GOD laughs at my plans when they don’t include HIM.
  • GOD scoffs at any prediction I make for the future.
  • GOD looks at my pitiful plan and mocks it when I don’t include HIM.

It seems like even the smallest plan I have won’t come to fruition without GOD. I mean I can work my fingers to the bone but without GOD my plans will fail miserably. On the contrary, it seems like GOD’s plans won’t work. I mean pray, wait and watch don’t seem like a good plan. Maybe GOD needs my help.

  • GOD tells me to stand still so I won’t get in the way.
  • GOD tells me to watch HIS deliverance so I won’t think I did the work.
  • GOD tells me to believe and trust in HIM so I won’t try some crazy tactic that HE will have to clean up later.

GOD’s plan sometimes doesn’t make sense to me. HE tells me to give when I don’t have, trust when things are falling apart and believe when I don’t see. I’m not always successful at it but when I do HE blesses me!

  • Are you trying to get out of your trial?
  • Why do you think GOD has you in this trial in the first place?
  • Can you let HIM work HIS plan in you while you remain “anxious for nothing?”
  • Won’t you relax, take a deep breath and believe?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Maturity outside of the desert

Joshua 5: 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.


Silver was my choice as I went inside to do the paperwork. I was very excited because this was my first major purchase on my own.  I waited years for my credit to get better because of all of the tickets, debt from college and poor payment habits. It seemed like I would never come out the other side.

I remember taking my credit cards and cutting them up so I would only spend cash. It was very difficult as I reached in the cabinet and only had a can of corn to eat for dinner. “Here are your keys” the dealer said. I don’t know if I thanked GOD or not but I was elated!

When I’m in the desert I grumble about GOD’s support.
When I’m in the desert I complain about GOD’s sustenance.
When I’m in the desert I murmur about how other people who don’t follow GOD seem to have it all and I don’t.

GOD has a time and place for HIS plan to be executed in my life. HE doesn’t want me looking at someone else’s situation and compare it to mine. HE also doesn’t want me complaining about where HE has me. GOD is growing me.

GOD has a purpose for taking me through “desert” times.
GOD grows me by taking me through “desert” times.
GOD matures me to be able to handle more territory by taking me through “desert” times.

The Israelites were not mature enough to enter the promise land so GOD took them through the desert to rid them of the desire of being back in Egypt where they were on a path of totally forgetting HIM. The desert had nothing to sustain life, yet GOD supported them for 40 years without wearing out their clothes.

GOD brings me out of the desert with new eyes, new ears and a new heart. Instead of blaming people for falling in their own holes GOD enables me to see people with grace, like HE does.

Are you coming out of a desert time?
Do you think you will have other desert times?
Can you focus your attention on GOD and give with joy?

Won’t you take this moment to strengthen your faith in HIM so you won’t pout next time?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GOD is powerful

Joshua 4: 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 

24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”


A fresh coat of wax was the final step in making sure the car was clean for the trip. With passengers loaded we set off on our trip. Rain poured down but I didn’t worry. The wax would protect the car. Suddenly I hit a very large puddle. The car went into a skid and we found ourselves sideways sliding down the road.

Somehow I was able to gain control. “Wow, we didn’t slide off the road and there were no cars around us in all three lanes” I thought to myself. Wax didn't protect the car after all!

  • It’s ashamed when I doubt GOD.
  • It’s too bad when I don’t trust GOD.
  • It’s unfortunate when I lose my faith over little trouble.

It seems no matter how many miracles GOD does, I still have days where I wonder where HE is. I mean “what has HE done for me lately” is my abysmal attitude when I ask for something HE isn’t giving me. The gentle, kind, loving GOD reminds me of a few things.

  • GOD is powerful enough to get rid of any problem, HE is also powerful enough to put some in my way.
  • GOD is powerful enough to speak everything into existence, HE is also powerful enough to curse the earth and watch over me as I toil.
  • GOD is powerful enough to speak HIS promises and keep them, HE is also powerful enough to know when I won’t keep mine.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. GOD doesn’t want me to be so frightened of HIM that I don’t want a relationship with HIM rather HE wants me to know just how powerful HE is and fear trying things on my own.

When HE parted the Jordan HE wasn’t looking to brag nor did HE punish anyone. HE simply wanted everyone to remember HE can fix ANY problem with trust in HIM.

  • Are you trying to fix things yourself?
  • Do you think your plans will work without GOD?
  • Can you put your trust in the LORD fearing that without HIM all plans will fail?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

GOD’s Plan

Joshua 3:And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.


“What a nice sash. You must have worked hard. You will do well!” were the words from a gentleman from another country I remember to this very day. At that age I felt rather directionless and I was in the scouts.  I read my scout book and looked at what it would take to achieve badges.

I sewed my badges on my sash with pitiful stitching. Some were dangling pathetically while others were crooked and pinched. I had no idea what affect this gentleman’s profound words would have on my life. GOD elevated me to heights I never would have dreamed of.

  • Sometimes GOD’s plan starts out with very simple roots.
  • Sometimes GOD’s plan seems cloudy and I have no idea where HE will take me.
  • Sometimes GOD’s plan looks pitiful and hopeless.

Nay-sayers seem to gravitate towards my plans. “You can’t do that” is the first thing out of their mouths. “The odds are against you, why try” is their follow on question. At times, my actions did seem futile and pitiful, BUT GOD says something different.

  • GOD says to me “I will begin to exalt you” right at the inception of any plan.
  • GOD says to me “The battle is not yours” so any fight I face is going to be won.
  • GOD says to me “I am with you, who can be against you” so obstacles and barriers have to bow down to HIM.

When GOD says HE has a plan for me, HE means it. The obstacles of life are a training ground for the strength I will need in another battle. HE grows me and cares for me along the way. HE exalts me in HIS time.

  • Are you wondering where GOD is?
  • Can you see GOD is with you and will never leave you?
  • Won’t you stop trying to fight so hard and let GOD fight for you?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fixing people

Joshua 2:1Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.


After praying and having a number of discussions I felt pretty good about the progress made with this guy. “He is ready to serve” I assessed. Weeks later I got a phone call stating he had a lapse and was back on drugs. We have to “fix” him, otherwise he can’t serve I thought to myself.

  • When I look at someone else’s sin I can get smug.
  • When I look at people as projects I can get high and mighty.
  • When I look at a person’s contribution to the GOD’s kingdom, I act like I can save them and I have a heaven or a hell to put them in.

When I single out a sin “that” person is doing that I’m not, I can get rather smug in my thinking. I mean, I don’t do “those” things any longer, or I “never” did. “Those people” is a term that assumes I’m not part of that group.  In fact it implies I’m above the group. GOD has something different in mind.

  • GOD sees every person as one of HIS until they reject the SON.
  • GOD can use the most unlikely person to do great things in HIS kingdom and HE wants me to never underestimate HIS choice.
  • GOD wants me to treat every person with high esteem and let HIM assess their sin level and position with HIM.

I can’t tell what a person believes even by their actions. I know I sin and that’s all I should focus on. Talking about other groups of people is very easy. I can point out their flaws and character cracks and I can even doubt they can be used. BUT GOD is the one who cleanses us of ALL unrighteousness!

  • Do you think "that” person is a project?
  • Do you believe “those people” are far away from GOD and “you” are close?
  • Can you stop treating people like projects and give the love?
  • Won’t you drop you assessment of sin and listen to what GOD wants you to do?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Trading in fear for something better

Joshua 1:Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


Deep in thought, I took notes on how I was going to approach my programming when the phone rang.  It was a major corporation asking me if I could program 3D images of a human heart beating on a screen as surgeons performed operations. I froze and said “I’ll pass.” A chance to become the head technology executive of a major company came open and they asked me. I froze and they passed me over.

A major division of a company was opening up and they asked me to lead a portion of it. I froze and my boss’s boss said “What are you scared of?” I took it and got promoted several times.

  • Fear holds me back.
  • Fear drives me to snap decisions.
  • Fear makes me wonder if I had just tried what would I have become.

As I look back on things it was the times that I was stifled with fear that I performed the worst. I would think of the worst case, act nervous and guess what… the worst case would happen! I then would remember the outcome and apply the pain to my decisions saying “I can’t do that, whatever that is.” GOD commands something different.

  • GOD commands that I be strong because this earth is cursed and problems will arise each day.
  • GOD commands that I be courageous because many issues will pop up which will  make me want to quit.
  • GOD commands that I should not be afraid to take steps into the unknown because HE sees everything.
  • GOD commands that I should not be discouraged because the LORD my GOD is with me wherever I go.

Will I ever become weak, frightened, worried or discouraged? Yes, BUT GOD has used a stern voice to get my attention when things are going wrong. HE says focus on ME instead of what you worry about. HE knows my plans are nothing without HIM.

When I accept the fact that it’s not my ability that makes me successful, I can accomplish anything GOD has HIS hands on!

  • Are you afraid?
  • Do you have fear that is stopping you from doing something great?
  • Won’t you stop looking at your abilities and let GOD own your plan?
  • Can you believe HIS plan will work and stop looking at the surface?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bless my work

Deuteronomy 32: 11 Bless all his skills, Lord,
    and be pleased with the work of his hands.
Strike down those who rise against him,
    his foes till they rise no more.”


“Pull up the weeds” my father said so I tried to escape by doing ‘inside the house stuff.’ Wash the walls” my mother said. “I can’t escape!” I thought to myself. When they said they were sending me down to spend some time with my grandmother I got excited!

When I arrived, I plopped down near a fan because of the blistering heat. Little did I know her plans were different. I was awaken early in the morning to work harder than I ever worked before! Won’t this work ever end?

  • Sometimes I complain about the work I’m doing.
  • Sometimes I want to escape the work because it seems like a curse.
  • Sometimes I feel stuck in a rut when it comes to my job.

What is the point? I ask myself. Doesn’t GOD want me to be rich and lazy? Apparently not! For me GOD has something different.

  • GOD has given me talent to work with my mind and my hands.
  • GOD has given me gifts that only I can do so I should not complain about them.
  • GOD has given me work to do and I should treat it with the highest esteem.

Whether it’s pulling up weeds, cleaning toilets (yes I did this too) or planning a multi-million dollar deployment, I need to treat the work like it’s directly from GOD. I can never take credit for the results either. It is GOD who blesses my work especially when I treat work like it’s a blessing!

  • Are you complaining about your job?
  • Do you think what you are doing is beneath you?
  • Can you look at your work as a blessing?
  • Won’t you treat what you are doing with the highest regard as if GOD delivered it to you?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be carried on HIS wings

Deuteronomy 32: 10 In a desert land he found him,
    in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
    he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
    and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
    and carries them aloft.
12 The Lord alone led him;
    no foreign god was with him.


Sitting on the edge of my couch I wondered how I was going to succeed. I mean the letter from the university said I was no longer in the university and I had no backup plan. I went in and plead my case. Years later I graduated.

Sitting on another couch I wondered if I would ever leave the small town I worked in. I didn’t even know how to search for a job. Years later I moved to a large city with a wonderful job.

Sitting on yet another couch… (Apparently I do a lot of thinking on the couch) I pondered my future as I was out of work for the first time since I was 15. My entire identity was wrapped up in the corporate culture. Years later GOD directs my steps!

  • Being in the desert doesn’t feel comfortable to me.
  • Being in the desert doesn’t feel enjoyable to me.
  • Being in the desert doesn’t feel wonderful to me.

Each time I have been in the “desert” I couldn’t see what GOD was doing. I felt abandoned and alone. BUT GOD always had something different in mind.

  • GOD shields me from dangers I don’t even know about.
  • GOD watches out for me in the middle of the desert as the apple of HIS eye.
  • GOD catches me when I stumble and fall and carries me to new heights I would have never dreamt of.

GOD provides amazing rides. What seems like a desert is merely a training ground for bigger and better responsibility. My response to HIS training can grow me if I accept it.

  • Are you in the middle of the desert?
  • Do you feel a bit lost?
  • Can you recognize that GOD is protecting you?
  • Won’t you get rid of any anger and bitterness toward GOD and recognize HE is with you?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keep going

Deuteronomy 31:The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”


Slam went the trunk of my massive old car as I set off towards my destination. I had only been there once but this time was different, I was moving there.  I studied the map the night before (the internet didn’t exist then) and the route seemed easy enough. Upon arrival to the city I soon realized I was alone there.

I didn’t know where anything was so I drove around. I had a strange feeling to turn down “this” street, so I did. I saw signs for apartments and made mental notes but something wasn’t quite right. After finding where I would work I got lost and turned down an obscure street. I found a set of apartments that were tucked away. “This is the place” I sensed. Funny, this is the place where a neighbor challenged me to go to church.

  • Venturing into the unknown can be scary.
  • Venturing into the unknown can seem discouraging.
  • Venturing into the unknown can be full of obstacles that seem difficult or impossible to overcome.

Looking back I can clearly see I was not alone. It was GOD who guided me through the ambiguity as HE gently nudged me in the right direction. GOD isn’t a punisher or bully, in fact HE is quite loving.

  • GOD said HE would be with me and HE has, even through my sinful times.
  • GOD said HE would never leave me nor forsake me, even through my doubt and lack of faith in HIM.
  • GOD said to me “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” because HE holds a bright future for me knowing HIS plan is marvelous!

Life is full of mountains to climb. It seems like treacherous trails and endless rocks at times and as I go further and further, not knowing what’s around the next bend, I grow weary at times. BUT GOD said “I’M right here. Keep going. You are on the right path. MY plan is worth the tough road.”

  • Are you feeling a bit discouraged?
  • Do you doubt GOD?
  • Are you feeling a bit frustrated?
  • Can you drop your frustration and let GOD gently nudge you?
  • Can you stop looking for signs of HIS presence and know HE is ALWAYS with you?

Monday, November 11, 2013

GOD seeks restoration

Deuteronomy 30:Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it.

He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 


Sitting at my desk I studied feverishly to learn the programming required on my job. It seemed like I was all thumbs and I couldn’t do anything right. My boss’s boss called me into his office. I just knew he was going to give me some terrible news so I braced myself. He told me I was doing a great job and to relax.  In fact he gave me additional responsibilities and sent me to be trained. He restored my confidence.

  • Sometimes I feel lost and frustrated.
  • Sometimes I feel banished.
  • Sometimes I feel I am in a distant land.

It seems like trouble comes in numbers. At the same time when I was trying to get my groove my old jalopy of a car broke down and I was in a town unfamiliar to me. I hadn’t been to church in years and I felt alone. A woman in my building asked me “what church do you go to?” I didn’t have an answer.

She told me about a few churches and went on her way. “That was strange” I thought to myself. I think I will go. I went and a sense of peace and belonging came to me. This carried over into my work and social life. I felt restored.

  • GOD wants me to turn to HIM so HE can restore me.
  • GOD wants me to give HIM my heart so HE can modify it to serve HIM.
  • GOD wants me to understand no matter how gloomy things may seem HE is there ready to restore me.

GOD really does love me. I mean HE goes to great lengths to show me HIS love and all I need to do is open my eyes to HIS marvelous blessings HE pours out on me daily. HE is willing to restore me no matter how far I have strayed.

  • Are you away from GOD?
  • Do you feel you HE can’t possibly forgive you?
  • Can you stop making GOD small and understand HIS words “MY grace is sufficient?”
  • Won’t you let HIM restore you HIS way and drop your expectation of HIM?

Friday, November 8, 2013

GOD will forgive me for that won’t HE?

Deuteronomy 28: 19 When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 


Heart beating, checking over my shoulder every 5 minutes I wondered if I got away with it. I had snuck away from work, hung out with my friends and returned to a quiet building.  I mean I had done the work so why should I have to remain cooped up while everyone else was having fun?

I got in the habit of this after a while and the supervisor came by minutes after I returned. He was angry. I didn’t understand why. I mean I got my work done!

  • Sometimes I may not understand how dangerous getting my way can be.
  • Sometimes I may not understand how futile it is to fight GOD’s decrees.
  • Sometimes I may not understand how defiant it is to say to GOD “Oh, YOU’LL forgive me because you have to.”

When I believed in JESUS’s death burial and resurrection as the center of my salvation I was saved from eternal separation from HIM. This doesn’t give me the license to do everything “my way.”

  • GOD wants me to consult with HIM on all of my plans.
  • GOD wants me to trust HIM even when the plan looks bleak.
  • GOD wants me to only focus on HIM and never put any god, lifestyle or person above HIM.

When I get arrogant and think “GOD won’t mind” is when I am headed to disaster. GOD minds! HE is very consistent and hasn’t liked sin since HE made humans. Yes HE took my eternal punishment away but leaves consequences of my actions here on this planet.

GOD has a tough side fortunately for me HE has a soft spot for me and wants to show love daily!

  • Are you deep in a lifestyle that is not pleasing to GOD?
  • Does it seem like there is no way out?
  • Can you understand GOD doesn’t expect the world of you?
  • Won’t you let HIM deal with your life as HE pleases and follow HIM little by little?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

GOD wants to bless you

Deuteronomy 28: If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.


When I looked at this chapter it had wonderful blessings GOD has promised. I was extremely excited until I read the rest of the chapter where is says quite the opposite of the blessings. If I do not follow the LORD’s commands HE will do the opposite of HIS promises.

If I don’t follow GOD:
63 Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you.

If I don’t follow GOD:
66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life.

If I don’t follow GOD:
67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”

This tells me GOD doesn’t play with HIS commands.  I am forgiven through HIS SON, yet HE somehow wants me to follow HIS commands out of love, not just obedience.

  • Do you want a blessing?
  • Are you stubbornly holding onto something you need to release?
  • Won’t you follow what GOD wants you to do today?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

When the noise is too noisy

Deuteronomy 27:Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, “Be silent, Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. 10 Obey the Lord your God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today.”


With one eye open I peered at the clock and to my dismay it was 4:37 in the morning. I had a very large project due and since I was awake I got up and thought about it.  That led to other thoughts. I realized I had gone to bed without doing voicemail.

As my brain slipped back into consciousness I remembered all of the people I had to contact for that day. By 5:00AM I was fully awake. I worked until 10:00PM. Oh, and I forgot to do voicemail again!

  • Noisy situations keep me awake.
  • Noisy circumstances bring on many thoughts that I lose sleep over trying to resolve.
  • Noisy environments make me lose my concentration and it seems like I can’t focus.

There are many things that can cause noise in my life. People bring me problems. Material things break or are lost or stolen. Someone gets sick or feisty or demanding.  All of these things add to the noise and when the noise is too noisy, I want to go in the corner and ball up like a child.

  • “Be silent” is what GOD wants me to be so I can hear HIM.
  • “Stand still” is what GOD says to me when I’m running too fast.
  • “Have rest” is what GOD is giving me when I lay awake worried about ‘insert situation.’

The most powerful and high GOD tends not to yell at me. In fact HE speaks in a very soft, calming, inaudible voice. When life is rushing at me too fast, GOD says “Quiet down and listen to ME. The situation is close to MY heart and I love you.”

  • Do you have a lot on your mind?
  • Does it seem like you are getting confused trying to figure out what to do next?
  • Can you take a moment to quiet yourself sown to listen to GOD?
  • Won’t you let GOD tell you what to do next instead of worrying about it?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Giving is an act of praise

Deuteronomy 26:So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.” Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him. 


Spring was finally here! I wasn’t excited about the trees blooming or a warm breeze gently blowing on my face. It was bonus season!  This particular year I was going to take the vacation of a lifetime. I mean it was going to be first class all the way around! I think I watched my account daily to make sure I could pull the trigger on purchasing multiple tickets to some of the finest places!

  • When I have plenty I sometimes forget to give first and plan later.
  • When I have plenty I sometimes think it’s all mine.
  • When I have plenty I sometimes believe I deserve a break from all of “my” hard work.

It’s amazing how easy it is to think my bank account is “mine.” When it has a lot, I start thinking about some great exotic places I haven’t been and some nice toys I can now afford. I then have more conversations about fine dining, entertainment, better schools and gadgets. But what does GOD want?

  • GOD wants me to remember where my wealth comes from so I won’t become arrogant.
  • GOD wants me to remember HE is in control of my bank account even when it is low.
  • GOD wants me to remember to give when I have plenty and give when I little in order to break the grip of fear money can place me in.

GOD wants me to celebrate the fact that HE is the provider, not me!  HE wants laughter and smiles and celebration rather than giving out of obligation with a staunch, somber, teary eyed face. By taking the firstfruits off of what I make, I am showing GOD that I trust HIM to do what is necessary to provide for me. 

HE can give me plenty and HE can take riches away, but that shouldn’t change my celebration of HIS provision!

  • Do you feel you can’t give right now because you don’t have much?
  • Do you feel you can’t give right now because you have too much?
  • Are you saving up for more stuff?
  • Can you give and praise GOD about your giving?
  • Won’t you put your trust in GOD instead of your bank account?

Monday, November 4, 2013

How do I treat people?

Deuteronomy 25: 13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. 14 Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small. 15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.


Please bring some canned food to give to the poor.  I looked in our cabinets and noticed all of the name brand items and a few “generic” labels we had not eaten. I packed the generic labeled cans and sent the people on their way. I mean we weren’t going to eat it anyway. Why let it go to waste? Meanwhile I hosted a dinner party with the finest food you could eat.

Soon after, it was time to drop off items to charity.  I found stuff we didn’t want and dropped these misfit items off. I mean maybe someone else can use these unwanted items. Meanwhile I bought fancy gifts for others.

  • Treating people differently is so convenient.
  • Treating people with different standards is so easy.
  • Treating people with varying measures ignites my prejudice.

When I treat someone different because of their status I fail miserably. I cheat them out of a full blessing GOD may have wanted them to have. That kind of behavior can creep into other areas of my life. I can cut corners when serving one group versus another. In business I could lean favor to the rich and lean heavily on the poor. What does GOD want?

  • GOD desires that I treat everyone equally serving wealthy and poor.
  • GOD wants me to treat everyone with the same respect so I won’t fear one over the other.
  • GOD wishes that I treat others with the same love that I wish others would treat me.

Whether it’s business, charity or just plain old service, GOD wants me to be the same to everyone, treating them with respect, kindness and love.

  • Do you talk about people?
  • Are “they” doing “it” wrong?
  • Have you examined yourself to see if you are treating one group different than another?
  • Won’t you start treating people the same no matter how painful it may be?