Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Getting Guidance

Psalm 25:In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.
I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you

    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.


Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.


When I read this I thought the entire chapter should actually be listed here. There are step by step instructions for getting guidance from GOD.

  • First I have to place my trust in GOD “daily” for yesterday’s trust wears off and tomorrow brings fear.
  • I have to put my hope in GOD rather than depending on funds or people or projects to grow me.
  • I have to seek GOD’s path for the day rather than building my own, this comes from quieting down and asking “GOD what will you have me do today?”
  • I have to put down doubt about GOD and believe HE is “Good,” “Upright,” “Loving,” and “Faithful.”
  • I have to know I am a sinner and my sin clouds my view of GOD.
  • Lastly, I have to “Ask” GOD to turn to me, to relieve my troubled heart, to look on my affliction and distress, to guard me and protect me.

GOD is not the ultimate punisher towards those who love HIM. HE seeks me daily and it’s up to me to turn to HIM and ask.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Lifting Up My Head!

Psalm 24:They will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?

    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
    The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory.


Phone calls became a dread to me. I picked up the third call this particular day and it was my insurance company. “You have to get a higher priced insurance because of your ticket history” they said. This was after the call I received from the credit card company and the auto mechanic who just finished working on my jalopy of a car. Both were asking for their money and I had none. Where is GOD during these times?

  • Sometimes it seems like trouble comes in waves.
  • Sometimes it seems like problems hit when I am weakest.
  • Sometimes it seems like I have more questions than answers.

I couldn’t understand why I was going through this circumstance at the time. I was in a mess and I couldn’t see beyond the day. BUT GOD saw my future.

  • GOD owns everything on Earth and all around it, so HE knows what I need.
  • GOD raises me up in HIS time with HIS method.
  • GOD fights my battles even when it seems like I am outnumbered.

GOD tells me to “Lift up my head and stop acting defeated!” The question I had to ask myself is, “What would I be doing if I had all the money I needed at my disposal?” The answer came to me with a statement, “Live for today and let GOD have tomorrow.” I focused my attention on that day and little by little I climbed out of the mountain of debt. I could answer the phone with confidence.

  • Are you in a landslide of trouble?
  • Do you think you have problems on all sides?
  • Can you focus your attention on what GOD will have you do “this” day?
  • Will you stop pouting about what you don’t have and focus on what GOD wants for you today?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Being Lead to the Right Place

Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord


It’s easy to have a favorite scripture and this is probably one of the top for me. There are so many nuggets of wisdom that can be grasped from David as he was filled with elation, gratitude, reality and possibly fear.

Here is what I heard this morning.

  • I need to listen to the LORD who is the ultimate guide (shepherd).
  • I should not want for anything rather understand GOD’s provisions for today.
  • GOD gives me peace in lush places and restores my sinful soul with forgiveness.
  • Even though I will face things that worry me or scare me I will have no fear because GOD is with me, correcting me and nudging me in the right direction.
  • In the middle of calamity I have a feast and GOD gives me a purpose for which good works come and mercy towards me and those I speak to will abound. I will be with GOD forever!

Are you allowing GOD to guide you or are you resisting where HE is taking you?
Do you thank GOD for what you have received this day?
Can you give your fear to GOD and let HIM prepare a meal in the presence of what is scaring you?

Can you see HIS blessings?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Expect the Unexpected

Psalm 22: 19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.


“Help” was all I could utter when trouble number three came. I mean the car was broken, my credit was broken and my will was finally broken. I wondered how far GOD really was from me. I thought that if I started following GOD that things would be fine. I would be rich and famous and on a perpetual vacation. Why was I going through this?

  • Sometimes I go through trials.
  • Sometimes I experience trouble.
  • Sometimes I have pain.

So many unexpected things happen and when they do I am taken thoroughly by surprise. This causes a mild panic and then a crazy thought comes to mind. “GOD is gone” or “GOD is punishing me”, but this thinking is extremely flawed.

  • GOD allowed trouble on HIMSELF so HE could empathize with my troubles.
  • GOD experienced ever temptation so HIS grace IS sufficient for me.
  • GOD wept when HE saw all the troubles I would experience so HIS compassion for me is extreme.

GOD gets no pleasure in seeing me in pain. In fact it hurts HIM deeply when I anguish because HE place the HOLY SPIRIT inside me. GOD cannot get “away” from me even though it feels that way. So when the unexpected comes up, GOD is there, ready to go through the problem with me. HE wants me to expect the unexpected so I can put more trust in HIM.

  • Are you in shock over something?
  • Did something recently happen that caused you to go in a different direction suddenly?
  • Can you ask GOD for strength to quickly resolve your new direction?
  • Won’t you ask GOD for HIS swift resolution?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Confident in the Day

Psalm 21:  Surely you have granted him unending blessings
    and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
    through the unfailing love of the Most High
    he will not be shaken.


“Stunned” was a fitting word as I received news that I was no longer in college. I sat on the couch and stared. I had not said a prayer in years! I think I just said “help!” to GOD. Then I had a feeling come over me, “Go and beg the dean for, yet another chance.” How humiliating! I put pride aside and asked for help. I was reinstated and got stellar grades.

  • There have been times when it seems like the giant in front of me is larger than life.
  • There have been times when it seems like the world is moving and I am on pause.
  • There have been times when it seems like my situation cannot be fixed so I should just shut the door, crawl into a ball and rock back and forth.

Life has dealt many disappointing blows, whether it was a job, person, place or thing that I wanted, many times my expectations have not been met. In other words the answer has been “NO or WAIT!” when I want the answer to be “YES and NOW!” What should I do?

  • GOD says to me “Put your cares and concerns in ME and I will give you rest.”
  • GOD says to me “Tell me your frailties and I will build your faith.”
  • GOD says to me “Identify the thing that you do not trust ME to do and I will build your trust.”

The problem with “trusting” in my desire is what if GOD says “NO” then I would have wasted time, money and effort. BUT GOD says something different. GOD says “I see your efforts and I’M pleased.” Money, time and situations are all HIS, so when I expel any of these on what HE told me to do then it is not a waste.

JESUS expelled an enormous amount of energy explaining to HIS creations that HE is GOD and they could trust in HIM. The result was HIS own creation murdering HIM for not following the Bible as well as them. HE rose from the dead and said to me and everyone else, “See, even death could not hold ME, you can put your trust in me even when you don’t know how.

  • Are you worried?
  • Do you feel empty?
  • Can you tell GOD you have no more energy and let HIM fill you?
  • Will you learn to flow with where GOD has you and get up and focus on GOD?
  • Can you stop believing the lie that the world is in peril and be unshakable, at least for today?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A wonderful Prayer for You!

Psalm 20:May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
    and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory

    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.


What a delightful prayer! When I read this prayer I quickly realized that I need to align my thoughts to GOD’s. Any thought I have needs to be measured against HIS word and ways because they could be answered with positive or negative outcomes. I did realize something.

  • GOD hears me when I am in distress and is planning something great for me.
  • GOD sends help and grants support for me even when I don’t see it.
  • GOD sees any sacrifice I have made, especially the ones no one else knows.
  • GOD knows the desires of my heart even before I am aware of them and HE does not take them lightly, so HE makes strong plans for them to succeed.
  • GOD gives victory and grants requests so this allows me to shout praise to HIM!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Removing the Blockage

Psalm 19:The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;

    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.


Breathtaking is the only word that I could use to describe the landscape as I came around a curve in the road. The ocean was in front of me, mountains behind  and the sun hung brightly in the sky. At that moment I could only see the majestic work of GOD. As time passed, I saw traffic, I saw the problem of the day in my mind through voicemail, and I saw reports from my desk. I drowned out seeing GOD with the noise of my surroundings.

  • Many times I cannot see GOD because of what I’m looking at.
  • Many times I cannot hear GOD because I’m too busy listening to problems or myself.
  • Many times I cannot feel GOD because I think HE is “upstairs” or away from me in some distant galaxy, only doing big things.

Broken stuff, bank accounts, car trouble and my physical body can block me from noticing the little and the large things GOD does. I can get so caught up in the problem of the day that I cannot notice GOD’s creative work. I may even say “How does looking at the ocean solve the broken appliance in my house?” BUT GOD says something different.

  • When I can slow down to notice GOD’s mastery, I can obtain peace that HE can handle my tiny problem.
  • When I can slow down to see GOD’s majesty, I can see HE is concerned about every detail of life, mine included.
  • When I can slow down to listen to GOD’s magnificence, I can understand HE is right here and not in some distant location.

GOD is surging through everything in front of me. HE is all round me and sometimes I need to step outside, quiet myself down and look. Gratitude for HIS work makes me hear HIM a lot better than a complaint for where I am. When I can truly marvel at HIS decision for creation, I can see HIS concern for me.

  • Are you so focused on your problem that you can no longer hear GOD?
  • Do you see GOD’s creative work around you?
  • Can you slow down, look outside and marvel at what GOD has created for a moment?
  • Will you simply praise HIM for who HE is?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Strange Ways Work

Psalm 18: 30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.


With a car full of my stuff I turned down a semi-familiar street. I had only been to this town once so every street looked the same. I felt something say “Turn here.” I looked to the left and it was a one-way street headed in the opposite direction so I only had one way to turn. About one block later my quest ended with the apartment I sought out. Not only was it the perfect price, I discovered it was only blocks from my new job.

  • My intuition can be faulty.
  • My instinct can fail.
  • My insight can be wrong.

Finding an apartment the way I found this one goes against logic. I mean one approach could be to go to my place of work then look within a certain radius of that location, comparing pricing until I found some within my range, and then executing a cost benefit of each one… whew! GOD had something different in mind.

  • GOD wants me to not to be foolish rather depend on HIM for my decision making.
  • GOD wants me to ask HIM first then proceed in the direction HE sends me.
  • GOD wants me to take refuge in HIS way which sometimes may seem strange to everyone around me.

Conventional methods do not seem GOD’s style in my life. I mean HE has lifted me up to places I never should have been and taken me places I never should have gone. Like Noah building an Ark or Joshua marching around a city seven times and defeating it with a trumpet, GOD has me doing strange things that seem extremely unconventional to everyone around me.

HE makes me realize I must depend on HIM and seek HIS face daily in spite of what surrounds me. It is GOD who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

  • Are you listening to GOD?
  • Does HE have you doing something out of the ordinary that is beneficial to the kingdom and not harmful to others?
  • Can you put your full trust in HIM today?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not Making Waves

Psalm 17:I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
    from my mortal enemies who surround me.


Critical of the person on stage I left thinking “What a waste of my time! I could do that better!” In later months I had my chance. I got in front of a crowd and gave it my all. When the evaluations came in I found out my rating was “okay” at best. Some liked my presentation style while others groused about my lack of real world examples.

I decided to shrink out of the public eye and not make waves anymore instead of improving and trying again. My peers made similar mistakes, but they kept trying and improving. Meanwhile, no one was approaching me for assignments. I was on the “bench” because I wanted to hide.

  • Sometimes harsh critics make me want to hide.
  • Sometimes bullies make me want to stay inside.
  • Sometimes my mistakes make me want to crawl in a corner and shrink away from the crowd.

Taking the “not making waves” approach did not work for me. I mean, it’s easy to sit on the sideline criticizing others and thinking “If I just put my head down and do my job then maybe I won’t be noticed and I could get my check each week”. I was wrong. Even with that approach things did not go as planned. What should I do?

  • GOD says to me “Live for ME” which means sometimes I will be misunderstood.
  • GOD says to me “Present MY message in love” which means I have to get out of my comfort zone to proclaim HIS name.
  • GOD says to me “Follow ME” which means I may be slandered, accused and sometimes thrown out because that’s the path JESUS took.

JESUS thought “being GOD” was nothing to achieve. HE became a human and tried hard to deliver a message. HE was ridiculed, slandered and even murdered for proclaiming HE was GOD! Now HE wants me to do the same? Yes! But if GOD could not convince humans, who am I? I am the person HE made, sent to the other people HE made to bring them back to HIM. As long as I keep my intentions focused on GOD, HE will help me bear fruit!

  • Are you trying to hide?
  • Do you criticize others from the sidelines while not being in front?
  • Can you stop hiding in life, get out of your shell and go where GOD sends you?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fear of Failure

Psalm 16:Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.


As I made my next move I decided to vet my idea to a few people. One person said I should “go left” another said “go right” another said “wait” and another said “charge.” When it was all said and done I was confused and went nowhere. Shortly after, another person who overheard the idea took it and ran with it, receiving accolades. I was indecisive.

  • Unknown trails are scary to me.
  • Fear of failing causes me to stay put.
  • Impatience causes me to have knee-jerk reactions rather than calculated moves.

One definition of fear is wanting and desiring success or peace, but not taking any steps to get there. Whether it’s under or overthinking, fear cascades through my mind, thinking the worst could happen. Fear gets larger the more responsibility I take on. BUT GOD has some good advice for me.

  • GOD says to me “Fear not, for I AM with you.”
  • GOD says to me “MY grace is sufficient.”
  • GOD says to me “I will wipe away your tears.”

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places and I can see the delightful inheritance of GOD. HE is the only one who can bring peace in the middle of the storm. HE whispers, so I need to quiet down to hear HIM and HIM alone, especially when others around me are confused or panicked. GOD wants me to hear HIM so I will not be shaken.

  • Are you shaken?
  • Do you have fear?
  • Can you put your fear in GOD rather than on the thing you want so badly?
  • Will you seek GOD’s comfort by telling HIM, out loud, what is bothering you?
  • Can you prepare yourself for GOD to say “No” or “Wait” or “Yes” in HIS time?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Learning to Follow

Psalm 15: 1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken.


Grousing at the horrid conditions of not having a full breakfast at meetings was something I couldn’t get into. “We should be thankful for what we had” was my thought. Then the company cut back on randomly giving away tee shirts. “Come on! This place can afford a lousy tee shirt, I groused!”
  • Complaining blinds me more than I know.
  • Complaining hardens my heart to hearing.
  • Complaining leads to slander that is very hard to reverse.

I never knew that the seed of complaining grows an ugly vine within me. I mean even the smallest complaint can grow a tree of superiority, arrogance and a deserving attitude that does not draw people to GOD. How can I counter my complaining attitude?
  • GOD says to me “Utter no slander” even when the crowd is doing it, especially about leaders.
  • GOD says to me “Do no wrong to your neighbor” even when the neighbor is crazy.
  • GOD says to me “Cast no slur on others” especially racial, sexual, age or class.
  • GOD says to me “Despise a vile person” which is difficult when I too am vile so I must give the person to GOD.
  • GOD says to me “Honor those who fear ME, who trust ME, who keeps oaths when it hurts, who does not change their mind, who lends money to the poor without interest, who does not accept bribes” which means I must recognize these traits in others. 

Getting rid of my complaining seeds is not easy, but the more I can spit the poison out of my mouth the more GOD replaces my seeds with fruit.
  • Are you a complainer?
  • Have you spread slander about a person who is not in the room with you?
  • Can you reduce your poisonous words and replace them with praise?
  • Will you learn to follow JESUS’ ways and be gentle, even to your enemies?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Throwing Monkey Wrenches

Psalm 14:The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.
Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!


“That pastor didn’t preach right” were the words that came from my lips as I sat in the audience critiquing the sermon. I mean at least I was in church and I was paying attention and I was dressed in this jamming new suit! I quickly wrote that church off as “not holy enough” and stopped going. I wonder what other church I could go to that meets my criteria?

  • Sometimes my attitude is the barrier.
  • Sometimes the way I think is the cause of a broken plan.
  • Sometimes my judgmental actions cause me to not help.

I heard before that if I am not “part of the solution I am part of the problem” and not I see that to be true. When even the slightest complaint crosses my lips about another person or group I am part of the problem. My righteousness quickly turns into soiled diapers or used tampons (sorry for the graphic but that’s what the writer meant). GOD expects me to act different.

  • GOD wants me to help the poor rather than creating more hurdles for them.
  • GOD wants me to point people to HIM as a refuge rather than believing in themselves.
  • GOD wants me to let people know the HE and only HE can restore them to their full glory, not humans.

In order to be part of the solution I must drop any superior thinking and join in. I may not understand what the plan is or even how to solve the problem, but my dependence on GOD will always bring fruit.

  • Are you frustrating someone’s plans with your complaints?
  • Do you think your complaints about that person or those people are acceptable to GOD?
  • Can you become part of the solution by dropping your judgment?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Feeling Forgotten

Psalm 13:How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,

    for he has been good to me.


With my heart pumping I raced around looking for my group. I made my way to the bus area but everything looked the same. I saw no familiar faces, then the realization hit me, I had been left. Of course I acted mature and found the nearest official adult and inquired about what to do, right? Wrong! I cried like the “single digit aged child” I was at the time. I had been left at an amusement park, alone with no way to save myself.

  • There are times I have been in a crowd of people and felt alone.
  • There are times when I have cried out and felt forgotten.
  • There are times where I have looked at my abilities and felt inadequate for the solution.

“How long LORD?” is the question David asks, knowing GOD is the answer to his troubles. I understand and have felt the same way many times. It’s great to hear “trust in the LORD” from people who aren’t going through problems but they may not understand the trouble or believe that GOD is the answer. BUT GOD says something different.

  • GOD wants me to trust in HIS unfailing love and look beyond the trouble.
  • GOD wants my heart to rejoice in HIS salvation rather than looking at today’s temporary comfort.
  • GOD wants me to sing praise to HIM and about HIM for HE has been good to me.

“Trouble you will have” says GOD, “But MY love is unfailing.” GOD wants me to quiet down daily and seek HIS face for peace. No matter what circumstance I am going through HE is there to pick me up and tell me “I love you.” GOD’s love for me is unfailing and in troubled times I need to seek HIS face for peace.

  • Are you troubled?
  • Do you think GOD has forgotten you?
  • Can you realize that HIS love for you is unfailing?
  • Can you look beyond the circumstances and seek peace from GOD today?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Protected Forever

Psalm 11:You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race.


In a state of shock I stared, waiting for the horrible ride to be over. This was my first time I had been robbed and unfortunately it wouldn’t be the last. As the bus came to a halt my friend and I stepped off the bus in a daze. I was already broke and what little I had was taken from me.

  • Sometimes I ask “Where is GOD?”
  • Sometimes I ask “Why didn’t YOU protect me?”
  • Sometimes I ask “What did I do to deserve this LORD?”

It’s easy to think GOD is not with me when something goes wrong in my life. I mean as soon as I believed in JESUS as my savior life is supposed to be easy, right? Wrong! In fact there are times where life seems to be harder when siding with GOD. The thieves had their moment and they were rich that day while I was poor. BUT GOD wanted me to notice something different.

  • GOD wants me to know HE protected me through dangerous situations and still does.
  • GOD wants me to know HE sees everything that has happened to me and has protected me the entire time.
  • GOD wants me to know HE has me in HIS hands and no human can pull me out.

The arrogant go about making a name for themselves, sometimes without morals or scruples. BUT GOD wants me to humble myself and side with HIM. HE knows HE is protecting a sinner, but this sinner has accepted the way GOD protects me.

  • Are you nervous?
  • Do you feel on your own?
  • Can you seek GOD’s protection which is infallible?
  • Will you seek shelter in GOD’s loving arms today?