Friday, February 28, 2014

The battle is not mine

1 Samuel 17: 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”


When I’m nervous, scared or worried I can tell the battle is mine. I lay awake tossing and turning wondering if this thing will be alright or that person will be fine. I then compound the issue by thinking about it and lastly trying to fix it. BUT GOD understands.

  • GOD fights the battle, especially when I’m exhausted.
  • GOD fights the battle, especially when I feel like giving up.
  • GOD fights the battle, especially when I am not equipped.

GOD seems to love it when I depend on HIS power.  If I did everything with my own ability and knowledge then I would certainly take credit for GOD’s deliverance. GOD holds all the power and I must give HIM praise!

My courage comes only from the LORD.

  • Are you facing a giant that is adorned with weapons?
  • Do you remember the times GOD delivered you from other problems?
  • Can you take a moment to dwell on HIS deliverance?
  • Won’t you let HIM take out your giant and follow HIS ways

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Life’s Boot Camp

1 Samuel 17: 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”


“Get up and go see the dean” was the thought that popped in my head as I was sitting balled up on my couch in despair after failing out of school. “Get up and work hard” was the voice I heard as I sat on my couch licking my wounds after being rejected for the job I wanted.

“Get up and do something” was the voice of someone as I traveled the murky road of being in transition for the first time in my career. What is my lesson during disappointing times?

  • Sometimes I fail and it seems very difficult.
  • Sometimes I fall on my face and it hurts.
  • Sometimes I can’t see a bright future so I just want to sit and do nothing.

Life can deliver some difficult punches and I have been through many. It seems like as soon as I get my footing another blow knocks me down and I sit on the ground wondering if I should just stay there. BUT GOD wants more for me.

  • GOD allows trials in my life for training purposes.
  • GOD allows obstacles in my life to grow and mature me.
  • GOD allows difficulty in my life so I can empathize with others to bring them to HIS kingdom.

In every difficult situation, GOD has said to me “Get UP!” Looking back, each situation seemed bleak but HE delivered me and gave me a story to talk to others who have been in the same situation. I can encourage people and explain the wonders of GOD. HE delivers and that grows my faith!

  • Are you tired of your situation?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you explain to others how GOD has delivered you in the past and HE will deliver you now?
  • Won’t you mature in your faith and trust GOD today?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The unexpected

1 Samuel 16:Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”


Something seemed wrong about the resume, but this person interviewed extremely well. He dazzled my team with his spectacular stories and then he sat in front of me. I asked him piercing questions and he seemed to answer them well. He was well dressed and polished.

There was another person who wasn’t dressed so well but everyone liked him too. He had the qualifications and it simply came down to presentation. I chose the polished person thinking he would be able to present to hostile crowds. He ended up being a horrible hire that didn’t work out in only six months.

  • Sometimes I look at the outside of a person to make my decision.
  • Sometimes I look at the outer shell of a person hoping they will be able to perform.
  • Sometimes I look at the exterior of a person thinking they will be the same on the inside.

Looking at external features can get me in trouble. I place my confidence in the wrong thing and develop a plan that fails. BUT GOD looks at the heart.

  • GOD looks at my heart and places me in high places I don’t deserve.
  • GOD looks at my heart and knows when I am scared, yet HE chooses me to do battle.
  • GOD looks at my heart and delivers me from some very desperate situations.

It is GOD who chooses mankind to be where they are.  I shouldn’t pout when someone gets in office nor should I doubt that I can’t fulfill a role GOD has intended for me. GOD is the one who knows everyone’s heart and has a wonderful plan for each.

  • Do you doubt yourself and what GOD can do in your life?
  • Do you think GOD has forgotten about you?
  • Can you stop looking at your resources and talent and let GOD decide what HE wants to do for you?
  • Can you stop looking at other people and look at GOD?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

GOD won’t mind… Will HE?

1 Samuel 15:This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”


But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.


Bonus time was a great time of the year.  I thought of all the great things I was going to purchase. As I sat in church I heard the preacher say give a tenth of my “earnings.” So that meant my “salary” not my “bonus” I quickly convinced myself.  I quickly went and bought whatever I was looking at.

  • Sometimes I twist the Bible in my favor.
  • Sometimes I hear the words of GOD and ignore the parts where HE would discipline me.
  • Sometimes I think that since I’m saved, I am spared from consequences.

Some of the “rules” and regulations listed in the Bible seem weird, limiting and just plain old crazy to me sometimes. So I pick and choose the ones I can follow easily and throw out the rest saying “those rules are too hard to follow.” BUT GOD wants something different.

  • GOD wants me to view HIS word as protection rather than frustration.
  • GOD wants me to listen to HIM for guidance rather than nagging.
  • GOD wants me to hear HIS words of love rather than HIM being a party pooper.

I do remember hearing one preacher say “read the Bible with the view that GOD loves HIS humans and you will see a different GOD.” He was right. I mean in the Bible and in my life we turn away from GOD every chance we can. GOD simply wants me to recognize the need for HIS salvation because HE cursed the earth and the things I chase after.

HE says “seek ME and you will have treasure in heaven.”

  • Are you constantly fretting over cash?
  • Are your decisions driven by cash and fear and doubt and worry?
  • Can you let go of your fears and allow GOD to lead you?
  • Won’t you stand still and watch HIS deliverance?

Monday, February 24, 2014

GOD chooses some strange methods

1 Samuel 14:Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.


“You have a great idea! Why don’t you run with it? But you don’t have any budget” were the words of the guy who was trying to trip me up.  The idea was huge and would require a lot of resources. I felt trapped.

  • Sometimes when I face a giant circumstance I panic.
  • Sometimes when I face a huge situation I get scared.
  • Sometimes when I face a humongous obstacle I fall down and get tired of running.

After the trapped feeling was over, the LORD blessed me with a confusing peace. I made some phone calls and got people to volunteer their efforts in this huge undertaking. To my surprise, we were more than successful! I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.

  • GOD has all the power so I need to trust HIM.
  • GOD has all the might so the situation has to bow to HIM.
  • GOD has all the strength so the circumstance will be in trouble if it tries to get in the way of GOD’s plan.

Fear has a tendency to blind me and make me think there is no way out. GOD laughs at the circumstance because HIS might is incredible! HE provides manna and incredible dwelling places. His desire is peace and wants me to feel HIS love on a daily basis.

I can face the day without fear and know HE is my deliverance!

  • Are you facing a giant?
  • Do you realize the giant has to bow down to GOD?
  • Can you look to GOD and be filled with courage this day?
  • Won’t you stop groveling at the circumstance and get up because GOD is with you? 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Feeling Unprepared

1 Samuel 13: 19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. 21 The price was two-thirds of a shekel for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.


After filling out a mountain of paper I was now an employee. I was actually making real money! My celebration didn’t last because my boss began asking me questions that I couldn’t answer. I felt so unprepared. Everyone else around me had received proper training from some great institutions. I on the other hand barely made it out after being kicked out twice. “How will I succeed?” I thought to myself with dread.
  • When I look at my tools compared to others I feel inadequate.
  • When I look at my resources compared to others I feel under-dressed.
  • When I look at my help compared to others I feel unsure.

Sometimes I have been in situations where I felt I was clinging to a floating tree in the middle of the ocean. Inadequate resources, pitiful tools and no help in sight made me feel like I was unprepared to face the battle. BUT GOD says something different.

  • GOD says to me “Be still and know that I am GOD.”
  • GOD says to me “MY yoke is easy and MY burden is light.”
  • GOD says to me “I will be with you even unto the end of the world.”

GOD wants me to rely on HIS power and might. HE desires that I come to HIM when I feel inadequate, overwhelmed or plain old scared. HE understands that I will have fear, but I shouldn’t let the fear consume me. HE says “Trust in ME” and when I do, my fears go away and it ALWAYS works out the way GOD intended.
  • Do you have fear?
  • Are you adding fear to the situation?
  • Can you stop looking at what you have and look at what GOD has?
  • Won’t you begin seeking HIS kingdom instead of fretting about this one?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Why is “that” person in charge?

1 Samuel 12: 22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 


“Slick” was the one word that I could describe this particular boss.  I had just switched departments and my prior manager was a dream.  She was clear in her direction and collected input from her staff. Not this guy. He was unsure of where we were going and on occasion he would stretch the truth. Okay, he would lie all the time!

He would adjust his words to whatever audience he was in front of. “What a con artist” I thought to myself. “I wish I had my old boss back” I sighed.

  • My complaints about “that” person are very unflattering.
  • My jabs about “that” person reflect negatively on me.
  • My negative thoughts about “that” person seem to take up too much of my energy and distract me from the truth.

When “that” person sins I put on my judgment hat saying, “they can’t possibly be GOD’s child” so I refuse to pray for them. I mean look at what “they” are doing. They can’t possibly deserve prayer.

  • GOD says it is a sin for me to hold back prayer, especially for my enemies.
  • GOD says HE would hold it against me if HE prompted me to pray for someone and I refused.
  • GOD says HE wants me to teach “everyone” the way that is good and right.

In order to serve the LORD faithfully with all my heart, I will need to pray for those whom I feel do not deserve my prayer. In fact, I need to question why I feel they don’t deserve my prayer in the first place. GOD wants me to consider the great things HE has done for me and lavish those thoughts on others.

  • Do you have strong negative thoughts about “that” person?
  • Are you judging “that” person without understanding them?
  • Can you release your judgment about “that” person and pray for them?
  • Won’t you get your life back by letting go of the negative thoughts and focus on what GOD is doing for all?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Faith Over Fear

1 Samuel 11:But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”


When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud. 


When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.


“I’m going to try to get rid of you” my boss said smugly. These words were amazing and shocking to me because I was one of the highest performers in the company. This time felt a little different than the many times before when I ran up against arrogance. Instead of ducking in a quiet corner of the company I felt it was time to go.

My sense of peace was met with many challenges of family and friends asking “what are you going to do?” Fear set in and during my exploration. “Why LORD?” I cried out.

  • When fear sets in I blame GOD instead of listening to HIM.
  • When fear sets in I allow myself to be conquered by the enemy.
  • When fear sets in I cannot see how GOD will deliver me.

Fear stifles me to the point where I can see the headlights headed straight at me yet I can’t jump out of the way of the speeding truck! I then want everyone else to feel miserable too, so I spread my “woe is me” to anyone who will listen. BUT GOD wants me to get up!

  • GOD wants me to tell HIM my “woe is me” story and be done with it.
  • GOD wants me to give my pity party to HIM and move on.
  • GOD wants me to spit my poisonous words out so I can carry HIS sweet message of love and salvation.

Many shocking situations have appeared in my life and many more to come. GOD wants me to not be so shocked and remain steadfast to HIS ways, HE wants me to trust in HIM rather than working under my own pitiful power.

GOD delivers in HIS way. Fortunately for me HIS way is mighty!

  • Are you oppressed?
  • Does it seem like you are not getting anywhere?
  • Can you see GOD’s deliverance is through faith in HIM?
  • Won’t you put your trust that HE is concerned about every detail of your life?

Monday, February 17, 2014

GOD blesses people through broken people

1 Samuel 10:As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. 


“Go on a mission’s trip” was the sense that came over me, but my excuse was I didn’t know the Bible well enough so I almost didn’t go.  “Go tell the neighborhood about JESUS” was the thought that popped in my head, but I almost didn’t go because the crowd wasn’t interested and besides, I sin just as much as everyone I would talk to. Why would they listen to me?

  • Sometimes I make excuses so I won’t have to serve others.
  • Sometimes I make excuses so I won’t have to take the hard road.
  • Sometimes I make excuses so I won’t have to change.

Impossible situations seem to pop up in my life and my blindness can’t seem to find any way out of them. Fear, worry and doubt enter my heart, then my own plans kick in and it seems like things get messed up further. BUT GOD has taken my heart into account when developing the plan for me.

  • GOD put’s situations in my face to change my heart.
  • GOD places circumstances in my way so I can only depend on HIM and HIM alone.
  • GOD installs people in my life to keep me praying instead of depending on my own wit.

GOD owns my heart and HE sees the junk I want to add to it.  HE placed HIS HOLY SPIRIT in it so I would always turn back to HIM, no matter how many times I run away from HIM.  HIS love is abundant and HIS faith is everlasting. HIS grace is sufficient and HIS mercy is unlimited.

  • Is your heart hard?
  • Are you blind to your hard heart and see no way out?
  • Can you drop your plan and allow GOD to grow you HIS way?

Friday, February 14, 2014

GOD knows the desires of my heart

1 Samuel 9: 19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20 As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”


Feeling rather defeated, I trudged back to my apartment to eat dinner alone and get ready for the next day. Work was boring and repetitious and I had been turned down for one job and the other company I really wanted to work for went on a hiring freeze. I settled my mind, got my mail and noticed a message on my answering machine.

“No one calls me” I thought to myself living in this strange town.  The message referenced my mail. When I opened the envelope in question, I got a sense this would be a life changing job. I returned the call and began a new adventure.

  • GOD knows the desires of my heart.
  • GOD knows exactly what I can handle.
  • GOD knows exactly what HE wants for HIS wonderful plan for me.

Several times in my life I wanted something and GOD said “Not quite” meaning I only knew what my desire was from the surface. GOD knew something more about my desire and took it a step further.  HE developed the perfect plan for me and I could not have ever thought of the path HE put me on.

  • GOD’s plan is far deeper than the surface plan I can develop.
  • GOD’s plan takes into account my disappointments, wants and needs to form a perfect road for me.
  • GOD’s plan seems like a dead end at times, but always, always comes through.

In spite of my doubts and others, GOD has a plan that is etched in stone for me. HE said “No one can pluck you out of MY hand” meaning HE will never, ever let go of me. Since HE is holding onto me, HIS plan for me won’t fail. All I have to do is trust.

  • Is your trust low?
  • Do you think GOD has forgotten you?
  • Can you open your eyes, ears and heart to see HE is working in and on your life?
  • Won’t you give your desires to GOD so HE can develop a better plan for you?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Do I really want what I want?

1 Samuel 8:So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 


With my first lottery ticket in hand, I waited anxiously to see the results. I prayed “Please, please, PLEASE let me win the lottery!” It was quite a memorable experience because each of my numbers was off by one or two.

Years later, on a mission’s trip to another country, I sat worried over all of the money I had earned. I was quite wealthy so my thoughts of worked piled up. The man I sat across from only had a hut, some cows and a lemon tree. He was at peace and I was discontented. I got what I prayed for.

  • Sometimes I pray for something that is not good for me.
  • Sometimes I want my way instead of wanting what GOD wants for me.
  • Sometimes I beg GOD to allow me to touch the fire.

Looking back on my tears of desire I realize some of my disappointments were really silly and some were against GOD’s ways. I pouted when I couldn’t fulfill my lustful desires and I pouted when others seemed to be able to. Little did I know that GOD was protecting me.

  • GOD wants me to look at HIM as my provider.
  • GOD wants me to see HIS treasure as something to seek after.
  • GOD wants me to desire HIM and HIS ways over any material gain I could ever receive on this planet.

The Israelites sought power, fame and wealth. Deep down I wanted these as well, but when I received them I found the top of the mountain I dreamt of didn’t have green lush pastures rather dead grass filled with fear, anxiety and lack of compassion. I had to become cold, callous and driven to remain at the top.

GOD wants me to listen to HIM and be compassionate to all, dropping my prejudices toward groups and providing GOD’s love where needed.

  • Are you asking for something GOD doesn’t want you to have?
  • Do you think you would be better off spiritually if you received the thing you ask for?
  • Won’t you let go of “that” thing and let GOD provide for you?
  • Can you operate under the assumption that if GOD wants you to have something, nothing can stop you from getting it?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do not stop crying out to the LORD!

1 Samuel 7:When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.

10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.


One of my peers became my boss and all of us groaned.  He was a sneaky one who prowled around desks looking for the next idea he could take credit for. Our groan was because this was yet another person placed above us who could care less about us.

I found my energy to be low and my innovation hit rock bottom. Someone pulled me to the side and said, “You still have to perform even in difficult situations.”

  • Sometimes when things look difficult I want to give up.
  • Sometimes when circumstances seem against me I want to stop trying.
  • Sometimes when situations seem bleak I want to throw up my hands and surrender.

It seems like when I say to GOD, “I will follow YOU”, I face the most difficult times. Israel had just pledged their commitment to GOD and threw away their idols. No sooner than they uttered those words, they were faced with total destruction. BUT GOD had a different plan.

  • GOD wants me to give my fears to HIM by crying out to HIM with what I am fearful of.
  • GOD wants me continue to cry out to HIM so I can put total trust in HIS ways and timing.
  • GOD wants me to place my faith in HIS plan knowing the battle is already won.

I worry most when I work on my own plans under my own energy. I mean if I haven’t hear from GOD then my efforts seem unsure. Only when I cry out to the LORD for an extended period of time, do I hear from HIM and can gain clarity in my actions.

HE doesn’t always work on my worries right away, but HE always works on them right on time!

  • Are you facing a large challenge?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you write down your specific worry and give it to GOD?
  • Won’t you seek HIS power instead of exhausting yours?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Respecting GOD’s Holiness

1 Samuel 6: 13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight. 


19 But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them. 20 And the people of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?”


“I forgot my mitten” I said to myself and I started walking back to the choir stand. Someone saw my path and they yelled out to me in desperation “Don’t walk behind the pulpit!” Terrified, I changed my course and stayed away from that thing for fear of death!

I later challenged this belief.  I watched people bring glasses of water and other items and place them in the pulpit.  I took my chance and ran quickly behind the pulpit. Nothing. “These people are crazy with their old beliefs” I thought to myself.

  • My doubt in GOD makes me blind.
  • My lack of faith makes me try to prove GOD’s existence or nonexistence.
  • My pitiful trust makes me test GOD to see if HE is there.

Instead of just believing I have asked GOD to show HIMSELF to me in a demanding deserving fashion. I mean, come on… invisibility? No speaking? Miracles only to certain people? So I stopped worshipping HIM and things went wrong. I handled the first few things as coincidence but then more and more things kept happening.

  • GOD has placed obstacles in my way to get my attention.
  • GOD has placed barriers in my path to get me to listen.
  • GOD has placed trials in my direction to get me to focus on HIM.

The Israelites thought they had received a weapon back when in reality they had received GOD’s laws HE gave to Moses. This was supposed to be a sacred time rather than a time of rejoicing hatred and revenge. GOD does the same in my life.

HE never wants me to wish harm on one of HIS creatures nor does HE want me to put HIM to the test because of my lack of faith. GOD wants me to treat HIM as Holy rather than common.

  • Are you treating GOD as common?
  • Do you attend church as a thing you do weekly as a checklist item?
  • Is GOD amazing to you or are you following?

Monday, February 10, 2014

GOD means “no other gods”

1 Samuel 5: After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 

But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained.


“Ooo $5” I said to myself! I looked around and grinned because no one was there to claim my windfall. Days later I found some coins on this same lawn, then an old but useful umbrella.  Finally I found the cream of the crop, my lucky gold chain and playboy stick pin.

I was hooked on the lucky lawn and would go there daily to see what gifts the lawn would bestow. Wearing my lucky chain I was driving down the street and a car came out of nowhere smashing the front of my already beat up car. Wouldn’t you know it was right next to my lucky lawn? Oh, and the guy didn’t have insurance!

  • There have been times where I put my trust in luck over GOD.
  • There have been times where I thought a piece of metal or a shirt or sitting in a certain place would bring me luck rather than seeking GOD.
  • There have been times where I put my trust in bank accounts, investments and insurance rather than trust in GOD.

It’s not that I was down on my luck or sad, I just happened to get something unexpected and called it lucky. I began to think luck would be with me if I carried it around with me in the form of trinkets. BUT GOD wanted me to think differently.

  • GOD wants me to put my trust in HIM rather than things.
  • GOD wants me to seek HIS ways instead of constantly seeking the “lucky windfall.”
  • GOD wants me to have faith where others fail to see what HE is doing.

I have to be honest, faith is the harder road. It’s easy to believe in luck because when things go wrong I can just blame it on “bad luck” and change my trinkets. GOD wants me to grow up and put my trust in HIM. HE wants me to maturely see that blessings and trials have to ask HIS permission.

HIS sovereign plan is ultimate, supreme and somehow loving and caring. I should worship HIM.

  • Are you putting your trust in “Luck?”
  • Do you think if you buy more trinkets, even crosses, then you will have better luck?
  • Won’t you put your trust in the Living GOD who loves you and wants the best for you?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Churchy stuff doesn’t always help

1 Samuel 4:When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”


“Please pray about the parking lot” were my standard words I read in the announcement at the church meeting. I did not see a barricade to having the high priority parking lot redone so if people prayed then “good”, but if they didn’t then oh, well.  I just thought that since I was in church I needed to say “pray.”

A short time after the meeting, I met with one of the leaders. He confessed to “changing direction” with some of the funds. A battle ensued, I was “kicked out” and to this day I don’t think the parking lot has been finished. I wonder if I was blind to GOD’s plan.

  • Just because I use churchy terms doesn’t mean I’m following GOD at the time.
  • Just because I spray churchy words around doesn’t mean GOD is excited.
  • Just because I hold what I’m saying up with scripture, doesn’t mean I’m directed by GOD.

It is very true that GOD’s word does not go out void, but it is also true that faithless actions will not be blessed by GOD. In this instance, I decided to move forward without consulting GOD, because I figured that it’s for church so it has to be good. I was so caught up in church that I forgot GOD.

  • GOD wants my effort to be on prayer rather than programming.
  • GOD wants me to place HIM above buildings rather than trying to get more comfortable.
  • GOD wants me to seek HIM first and HE will provide the means to sustain those who are reached.

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe the “church” needs to meet in whatever building GOD desires and programs are important. BUT GOD needs to be first, not an excuse. I need to not checkmark prayer and GOD as if those things had to be included as a default. GOD demands to be heard and HE deserves faithful prayer. Without HIM my plans are nothing.

  • Are you planning something without truly consulting GOD?
  • Are you going through the motions thinking GOD is with you?
  • Won’t you stop for a moment and ask GOD if HE will bless your efforts?
  • Can you accept “No” as an answer from GOD?
  • Won’t you seek HIS kingdom first before you proceed with your plans?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fallen words

1 Samuel 3: 19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.


Foul language had never crossed my lips until I decided I wanted to be funny like one of my friend’s. He seemed to get attention and he was quite colorful in his language.  I slipped one in and got some chuckles. Soon my words were as a filthy as a rhino in a swamp.

Hilarious was my label, but when I wanted to be taken seriously, my words fell to the ground unheard.

  • When I want attention I may use the wrong words.
  • When I want to fit in I may say what the crowd is saying.
  • When I want something I shouldn’t have I may say what is necessary for me to get that thing.

I learned terms like “Business is not personal” so my cold words could affect a life without me being worried about it.  I even went so far to pick up phrases that excluded people from being saved like “GOD doesn’t like that person” or “GOD isn’t with that leader.”

  • GOD wants my words to be encouraging so I can bring people to HIM.
  • GOD wants my words to match my actions so I can bring people to HIM.
  • GOD wants my words to come from HIS words so I can bring people to HIM.

I sometimes forget that I was put on this planet with GOD’s purpose rather than mine.  When I speak poorly about a group of people in leadership or in a different neighborhood than me, then my words fall to the ground. GOD wants my words to be elevated off the ground. When I speak of HIS might, then HE can use these words to bring many to HIM.

  • Are you wasting your words?
  • What are you talking about?
  • Can you take a moment and use some words to be more encouraging?
  • Won’t you say a praise about GOD today?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

GOD’s might

1 Samuel 2:“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
    he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
    he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
    and has them inherit a throne of honor.
“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
    on them he has set the world.


“Check his pockets” the thugs said, being quite thorough in their robbery. Fortunately I kept my precious bus money in my sock. Yes, sometimes it was a bit cumbersome when a quarter would slip down by my toes but it was worth it this day.

This memory popped in my head as I sat at the table of a major corporation making decisions on what to do with their billions of dollars. Looking back, it was only GOD who brought me through it all.

  • GOD can say “No” and “Yes” in my life.
  • GOD can take money away or give me money.
  • GOD can keep me low or raise me up amongst men.

I never would have known that I would be raised up to where GOD placed me. HE brought me through many difficult and dangerous times without a scratch. People think it’s their own abilities that elevate them. They are fooled by their credentials. BUT GOD is very different.

  • GOD elevates and exalts me.
  • GOD lifts and dusts me off.
  • GOD seats me with people I would never have guessed I would be seated with.

I stopped believing in my ability long time ago because my skills are limiting. GOD has far more power than I could ever muster up and HE does amazing things in my life.

  • Is GOD amazing to you?
  • Do you see GOD as a barrier or infinite power?
  • Are you exhausted or energized?
  • Won’t you stop looking at your abilities and become amazed at GOD again?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Keeping my side of the promise

1 Samuel 1: 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”


19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”


 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.


“LORD, if you would just grant me this [insert wish] I will never do this again!” were my empty words on many occasions. This usually meant I was pulled over for speeding or doing something else I shouldn’t have been doing. GOD has actually granted my “wish” at that time and not so soon afterwards, I found myself doing “that” thing again.

  • When I want my way I call out to GOD with an empty prayer.
  • When I want to get out of facing the consequences I call out to GOD with an empty prayer.
  • When I want my sin to be overlooked instead of forgiven I call out to GOD with an empty prayer.

I have made empty promises to GOD and HE doesn’t take them lightly. HE looks at a vow as a word chipped in stone. If I break my word then HE has consequences for me.

  • GOD made promises to me regarding salvation so HE takes promises seriously.
  • GOD made promises to me regarding protection so HE takes promises seriously.
  • GOD made promises to me regarding life so HE takes promises seriously.

If I act wishy washy in regards to my promises to HIM why should I expect HIM to believe my prayer isn’t just a selfish cry for more stuff or more power. GOD would rather I not promise than to state a promise I never intended to keep. GOD hates manipulation but loves when I keep a promise to HIM.

  • Are you trying to manipulate GOD or someone else?
  • Do you think GOD will listen to you if you have no intention of keeping your promise?
  • Won’t you try adjusting your prayer to include a vow to GOD you will keep?
  • Won’t you keep your promise once GOD has blessed you with your desire?