Friday, July 31, 2015

How to Act

Psalm 112:Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
    who find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;

    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.


Exhausted was how I felt as I walked in the door of the church. I felt I was in round four of a twelve round boxing match against life and my corner refused to throw in the towel. The announcements came at me like daggers as I heard give more time, talent and treasures. Then others asked for help and I had none to give.

  • Sometimes I think GOD is too demanding.
  • Sometimes I think following GOD is too difficult.
  • Sometimes I think GOD set up ridiculous rules so I can fail and then HE can pounce on my every mistake.

When I examine the source of these thoughts I realize they are a mix of the enemy and my own sin nature. I am glad GOD has given us a method to fight against tempting thoughts and crazy feelings.

  • GOD wants me to praise HIM in order to overcome my situation for praise of GOD weakens any attack.
  • GOD wants me to fear the LORD because only HE holds the future rather than any person or thing I worry about.
  • GOD wants me to find delight in HIS commands even when I cannot keep them because it makes HIS SON’s death and resurrection more valuable to me.

It’s amazing that GOD only wants small items and sometimes I think HE wants me to build skyscrapers in some country and irrigate the desert. GOD wants me to stop trying to get my way and simply praise HIM, fear HIM and delight in HIM all of which are free and easy to do. 

One promise that stood out today was “they will have no fear of bad news” which means I could have bad news but my trust needs to be in GOD. Aligning to GOD is always the best way to act!

  • Are you on the brink of giving up?
  • Do you think GOD has forgotten you?
  • Can you stop thinking negative thoughts and go see a different set of positive people?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

You Can Do It!

Psalm:110 The Lord says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”


As I said my first “bad word” I looked around to see if anyone heard me. Some people giggled others still did not notice me. I could curse! As I looked at the opposite sex as objects, people welcomed me in their conversations. I could lust! As I reached in someone else’s bank and removed a few coins to get ice cream I made my escape and came into the house with a brand new Popsicle. My parents noticed and I got torn apart for that. Okay, I couldn’t steal.

  • Sometimes I think I can get away with sin and sometimes I think I will feel consequences.
  • Sometimes I think GOD is mad at me because I have sinned.
  • Sometimes I think I am being punished by GOD because I was born with a sin nature.

Name the sin and I have probably done it or thought about it. Sometimes it seems like sin is winning and I am losing. I mean can’t I just walk the earth sinless the rest of my life? Why won’t GOD just give me the ability to become a superhero, fighting sin and remaining pure? GOD had another thought.

  • GOD said to me “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
  • GOD said to me “Sin is your enemy and it has condemned you to death, so I will die in your place.”
  • GOD said to me “It is finished, I have forgiven you of all your sin, no human can pluck you out of MY hand.”

When I looked around, all of my enemies were defeated. Sometimes they don’t seem that way, but they really are. GOD said “MY grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness.” Sin weakens me and every human except one, namely JESUS. HIS death, burial and resurrection gives me power over my enemies that are already defeated!

  • Do you feel discouraged?
  • Do you feel defeated?
  • Can you get back up and see that the LORD is good?
  • Will you stop focusing on yourself for a minute and know that GOD has defeated your enemies?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stop Dodging

Psalm 109: 30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
    in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
    to save their lives from those who would condemn them.


After a while my eyes would glance away unconsciously. I knew the route that would have the least amount of contact and still get me to my destination on time. Still, on this route there seemed to be more this day. It was inevitable. One got in front of me and there was no way around!

“Could you spare some change?” the seemingly homeless person asked me. “They probably will spend it on booze or drugs” I justified in my mind. And besides I read an article where some guy made more money begging than I did working hard every day! “No” I answered with coins jingling in my pocket.

  • Sometimes I label the needy so I can avoid the needy.
  • Sometimes I justify the act of not helping the needy.
  • Sometimes I look at the needy as “them” and not us.

Terms like “you can’t save everyone” and “God helps those who help themselves” are not written anywhere in the Bible, yet they were guiding principles to my actions towards the homeless and destitute. BUT GOD wanted me to think about people differently.

  • GOD wants me to empathize with the poor not just have pity on them.
  • GOD wants me to have the mentality that all can be reached and it is up to me to be available.
  • GOD wants me to seek those who are in need for HE said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Instead of dodging the homeless, GOD wanted me to be prepared to give to those HE put in my path, “for HE stands at the right hand of the needy to save their lives from those who would condemn them.”

  • Are you in need and think GOD has forgotten you?
  • Are you trying to avoid going out and helping the needy?
  • If you are in need can you open your hand and let GOD stand with you?
  • If you haven’t helped the needy in a while can you go out and have direct contact with them instead of anonymously giving?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Human Help

Psalm 108: 12 Give us aid against the enemy,
    for human help is worthless.
13 With God we will gain the victory,
    and he will trample down our enemies.


Baffled and perplexed, I asked “what would you like me to do?” My willingness was there but this was my first time working with this group. The owner was a friend of the family so his tolerance level of me was extremely high and gracious. As his son toiled, carrying up huge troughs, I struggled to carry my own weight. I made mistake after mistake. Quite honestly I didn’t provide much help that entire day.

  • Sometimes my help is worthless.
  • Sometimes my addition may be a subtraction.
  • Sometimes my input is a detriment.

Fortunately for me, the owner had a vested interest in growing me. While I was not very helpful to his business that day, he received rewards for his actions because he invested his time, talents and treasure in me. He was led by GOD.

  • GOD has a way of guiding me through HIS servants.
  • GOD has a way of growing me through HIS people.
  • GOD has a way of gaining my trust though those HE chose to put around me.

Sometimes my help isn’t help at all, BUT GOD has a way of using my mistakes for good. GOD has blessed the business owner with extreme faith and he imparted some of that faith to me. Now I must do the same, sowing seeds of faith rather than crops of death. GOD has the victory!

  • Are you feeling worthless?
  • Do you feel like you are making mistake after mistake?
  • Can you see that GOD is the victor and HE loves you?
  • Will you allow HIM to leverage your situation as a blessing, not a curse?
  • Do you realize, it’s not the situation that you are in, but how you allow GOD to drive the path?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ingredients of Joy

Psalm 107:Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.


Joy is quite different than happiness. I have sought happiness and found it temporarily, but it sometimes led to places that were away from GOD. HE allowed me to be happy, but knew that’s not what I needed.

  • GOD wants me to have “joy” because it endures the desert wastelands.
  • GOD wants me to have “joy” because it leads me out of darkness.
  • GOD wants me to have “joy” because it points me to GOD’s unfailing love.

Joy is hope wrapped in faith coupled with knowledge that GOD knows what HE is doing for you. Joy brings excitement that at the end of the crazy, disastrous, calamitous trouble, my relationship with GOD is strengthened so I will proclaim HIS name to the world!

  • Are you in the desert?
  • Have you been placed in chains?
  • Can you seek joy from GOD versus happiness?
  • Will you proclaim HIS name and the wonderful deliverance HE has for you?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Playing See-Saw is Dangerous

Psalm 106:He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
    he led them through the depths as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of the foe;
    from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
11 The waters covered their adversaries;
    not one of them survived.
12 Then they believed his promises
    and sang his praise.
13 But they soon forgot what he had done
    and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
    in the wilderness they put God to the test.


“Please, please, please let me pass this test” was my cry. When I got my results back, not only had I passed, I got a very high grade! I rejoiced and ran around like a crazy person! The very next semester I returned back to my habits of playing cards all night with the other people who should have been studying! I wound up on probation again.

  • Sometimes I cry out only when I’m in danger.
  • Sometimes I scream for help when I face problems.
  • Sometimes I state my situation when things aren’t going so well.

Out of danger, out of mind was how I treated GOD. I mean HE’s there when I need HIM and when things are going well, I don’t need HIM as much, right? Wrong!

  • I need GOD more when things are “going well” because that’s when I am tempted to follow my own ways.
  • I need GOD more after the trial than during because I will be tempted to relax and possibly run away from HIM.
  • I need GOD more during prosperous times because it is harder for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel going through the eye of a needle.

Looking back I can see times in which I let GOD slide out of my life, little by little, during prosperity. I wasn’t doing “huge” sins, but I wasn’t worshiping HIM or thanking HIM the way I do when I’m in a trial. In fact when the crowd of complainers gathered, I was in the middle, joining in on the rants. I thought sin could be measured so I stayed away from “big” sin and held onto, what I would call, “little” sins.

GOD doesn’t like a “see-saw” relationship with me. Up one day and down the next. GOD wants me to remain even keel with HIM and worship HIM daily in spite of what is going on. Problems or prosperity, GOD deserves my praise!

  • Are you wondering why your trial is so long?
  • Is there something that needs to change in your life that GOD is preparing you for?
  • Are you letting go of GOD during prosperous times and returning to your old ways?
  • Will you practice praising GOD today or will you die in the desert by GOD’s hand?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Never Forgotten

Psalm 105: 42 For he remembered his holy promise
    given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
    his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
    and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
45 that they might keep his precepts
    and observe his laws.
Praise the Lord.


Crisp presentation, well thought out numbers and counter measures to thwart any attack made me feel confident that I could face the crowd. After the presentation I got feedback that I had “hit a homerun.” After doing this a while I thought to myself, “What would this company do without me?” I mean, it probably would fail. The company had its fortieth anniversary and I was in my late thirties believing they could never do without me.

  • Sometimes I think I did something to get myself to where I got.
  • Sometimes I think my abilities are what elevates me or tears me down.
  • Sometimes I think I cannot be replaced and my expertise is necessary for success.

It’s amazing how little I recognize GOD’s hand in things. If something great happens, then it was my abilities and knowledge that got me there. If something bad happens then I question GOD and HIS poor decision making.  GOD wants me to think differently.

  • GOD wants me to remember HE keeps all of HIS promises which include my life.
  • GOD wants me to look back at what HE has done in my life and others and rejoice.
  • GOD wants me to keep HIS precepts and observe HIS laws because of these great memories.

GOD wants me to “remember.” Each time I have a meal I can remember what HIS SON did for me, and I get hungry a lot! I can go to church and take communion which is more ceremonial and formal, remembering what GOD has done for others and what HE is doing for me. GOD raises me to places where others have toiled and made me heir. I praise the LORD!

  • Are you tired of where you are?
  • Do you think GOD is foolish?
  • Can you let go of the shore and flow down the river HE has for you?
  • Will you remember what HE has done for you and others and give HIM even the tiniest praise today?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hearing When the Noise is Loud

Psalm 104: 27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.


“Hurry, we have to get to the airport on time” were the motivating words out of my mouth that I barked at my team. Barely getting there on time, my heart raced as I got into the routine of shoe removal and laptop stacking in the security line. I quickly sized up the other travelers and noticed a person fumbling to remove their belt.

I quickly dashed into another line and looked incessantly at my watch, hoping to speed up the security screeners. I plopped in my seat and immediately went to sleep not noticing anyone around me.

  • Sometimes the noise of life makes me not notice my surroundings.
  • Sometimes the noise of life drowns out quiet sounds.
  • Sometimes the noise of life keeps me on edge to the point where nothing else fits.

It’s hard to see GOD at work when the attendant doesn’t have my reservation and I may be late for an important meeting. Birds, what birds? What do they have to do with me? I, late! BUT GOD wants me to hear HIM.

  • GOD provides food for the birds and wants me to slow down to notice HE takes care of them and me.
  • GOD made the mountains and waters the field and wants me to know HE cares for me in spite of what’s going on around me.
  • GOD sustains and gives at the proper time and wants me to understand HIS time is wonderful.

Slow down instead of speeding up. Stop looking at the watch or calendar and look out at the bird hopping in the field is what HE says to me. HIS eye is on the sparrow and I know HE watches over me.

  • Are you deafened by your circumstance?
  • Have you gotten to the point where you cannot hear or see GOD working?
  • Can you stop looking at your watch or calendar and see HIM today?
  • Will you listen to HIS voice by slowing down for just a minute?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Truly Understanding the Misunderstood

Psalm:Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.


“Misunderstood” is probably the most common name for GOD. I mean when HE tries to help me grow, I mistake it for an attack on my person. I try to recall my sins from the last time I asked for forgiveness and when I come up with no recollection, I try to convince GOD that I have been righteous and deserve better treatment. BUT GOD understands and holds no blame.

  • GOD has forgiven me of ALL my sins, even tomorrow’s.
  • GOD heals me in HIS time, HIS way and sometimes leaves me in the fire when HE sees a need to heal emotional and spiritual wounds.
  • GOD has redeemed me from the pit by looking at my entire life, assessing every sin I ever did and stating “I will die in my child’s place.”
  • GOD crowns me with love and compassion daily and satisfies my desires when pointed at HIS.
  • GOD works righteousness and justice for me, even in my foolish ways.
  • GOD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger abounding in love for me.
  • GOD does not always accuse me so when I feel accused over and over, it is not from HIM (He need only tell me once).
  • GOD does not harbor HIS anger towards me forever, in fact, HE does not treat me as I deserve, nor does HE repay me for my iniquities.
  • GOD’s love for me is endless, as high as the heavens are above the earth.
  • GOD has removed my transgressions away from me as far as the east is from the west.

I really need to change GOD’s name from “misunderstood” to “Thank-YOU LORD!”

  • Are you feeling pitiful?
  • Do you think GOD has it out for you?
  • Can you stop having selfish, negative thoughts about GOD and believe HE has your best interest in mind?
  • Will you praise HIM for who HE really is?

Friday, July 17, 2015

When I am Weak

Psalm:101: 11 My days are like the evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass.
12 But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;
    your renown endures through all generations.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion,

    for it is time to show favor to her;
    the appointed time has come.
14 For her stones are dear to your servants;
    her very dust moves them to pity.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
    all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16 For the Lord will rebuild Zion
    and appear in his glory.
17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
    he will not despise their plea.


“What else can go wrong” were the hilarious words to the beginning of the slide. First I received some bad news, and then I asked that dreaded question. After that I received more bad news that seemed to top the first wave. I said it again and I got some news that seemed to be equal if not greater than the other two combined. I stopped asking.

  • There are times where life’s troubles come at me in many waves.
  • There are times when difficulties hit me one blow after another.
  • There are times that seem like troubles rush at me when I can’t pick myself up and dust myself off.

It’s easy to say “You’ll be fine” sitting from a cruise ship speaking to someone who is going through trouble, but what happens when “I” am the one who is in trouble? I mean who should I turn to?

  • GOD wants me to know “When I am weak GOD is strong.”
  • GOD wants me to know “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
  • GOD wants me to know “MY love is everlasting, no height, nor depth, nor any created thing can separate you from MY love.”

GOD is a GOD of compassion. Difficulty is a way of life and sometimes the waves hit hard, so hard in fact that they may knock me off my feet. BUT GOD says “I know.” HE cares and HIS plan for me works extremely well in the midst of calamity. GOD responds to my prayer and does not despise my plea.

  • Are you going through extreme trouble?
  • Has life knocked you off your feet?
  • Can you let GOD pick you up and not depend on your own energy?
  • Will you look at HIS power in awe and know HE has compassion on you?
  • Can you stay the course for where else will you turn?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I Better Mean What I Say

Psalm 101:I will sing of your love and justice;
    to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
    when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
    with a blameless heart.


“You are sorry you got caught” the officer said to me in reply to my apology. Prior to being pulled over I quickly said “Oh GOD, Please, please, please don’t let me get a ticket!” The officer was right. I was not sorry for what I had done, but I sure was mad that I had to pay.

  • There are times I don’t like justice.
  • There are times I don’t want to sing praises because my heart is too hard.
  • There are times I refuse to yield and end up with consequence rather than blessing.

One day as I was zipping down the road with a coworker, I was pulled over. After claiming my ticket, I sped off only to be pulled over a second time. Fortunately the second officer asked “Where are you going?” He knew the business we were visiting and let me go with a warning! “I better be careful” I said to myself.

  • GOD has forgiven me for my sins but allows “crops” to grow where I sow seeds.
  • GOD has forgiven me for my sins and wants me to plant seeds of life rather than death.
  • GOD has forgiven me for my sins and HE desires that I enjoy HIS rules rather than getting mad at how HE works in my life.

Living sinless, or as the author says “blameless” is pretty difficult. I will inadvertently sin; BUT GOD wants me to stay away from sin anyway, not because HE will hit me in the head with a bat but because I love HIM. HE knows there is power in modeling my behavior after HIM. HE knows I should have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The more fruit I bear the more GOD blossoms in my life.

  • Are you bearing fruit with your current behavior?
  • Do you think GOD is after you in a bad way or a good way?
  • Can you believe GOD loves you and wants you to delight in HIS way rather than pouting that you are not getting yours?
  • Will you turn your anger into praise for GOD’s justice?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Praising Takes Practice

Psalm 100:Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.


News about the impending doom couldn’t have come at the worst time. With a second child, it was already difficult enough to make ends meet and for the first time, this particular company was going to do severe cuts in order to keep the stock market happy. When I got to work everyone, including myself was worried. One person said “Praise GOD” and another said “Trust in the LORD.” How in the world can they say that when the world is on fire?!

  • Sometimes I am worried to the point where I cannot see GOD.
  • Sometimes I am worried to the point where I cannot hear GOD.
  • Sometimes I am worried to the point where I cannot speak GOD.

With my world crashing around me I felt helpless and alone, even though there were plenty of others going through the same thing. How in the world could this person say “Praise GOD” at a time like this? They don’t understand “my” situation, or do they?

  • Praising GOD in the face of adversity makes me stronger each day.
  • Praising GOD in the middle of the storm gives HIM the strength and takes the load off of me.
  • Praising GOD in the brunt of the trial enables me to see, hear and speak about GOD.

What I’ve noticed is GOD says “Take heart for I am with you” quite often. HE says “Do not be afraid” more and more to me because there will be scary times in life where it seems like nothing will go “right.” Praising GOD isn’t an appeal to worship the egotistical figurehead that I sometimes think HE is. Praising GOD is actually a spiritual weapon that helps me fight against worry, doubt and fear.

Without praise, I fall into a trap of disbelief. Everyone around me becomes a problem rather than a solution. GOD wants me to carry the spirit of gratitude and to speak about HIS ways to everyone. HE wants me to douse lying spirits and praise HIS holy name.

  • Are you worried?
  • Do you feel even those who usually pray for you, are against you?
  • Do the words “Trust in the LORD” turn your stomach because “these words” seem empty?
  • Can you stop and turn to GOD and hear that HE does love you in spite of what you are going through?
  • Will you take a moment, even if it is a tiny moment, to praise GOD today?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Keep Calling

Psalm 99:Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
    Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the Lord
    and he answered them.
He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
    they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.


Sitting on the beach all I could think about was “What time is my spa appointment.” I had never been to a spa but this trip was a perk to the job and someone had to go! After a day of relaxation, a couple invited us out. We danced until the cows came home.

  • In times of plenty, I sometimes forget about GOD.
  • In times of plenty, I do not feel the need to cry out to GOD.
  • In times of plenty, I “think” I have all I need and my shopping bag does not include GOD.

All of my thoughts were on the next position so I could get even bigger perks. As I climbed higher and higher, I did not notice GOD dissipating out of my life. I mean, I had plenty so GOD must have been there, right? Well sort of.

  • GOD wants me to remember HIM in the time of need as well as the time of plenty.
  • GOD wants me to place my thoughts on HIM and praise HIM evenly, through trouble and plenty.
  • GOD wants me to seek HIS face constantly and not be distracted by trouble or wealth.

Vacations are great; BUT GOD wants me to take HIM with me wherever I go. HE doesn’t want me to get away from HIM in times of plenty and cry out to HIM only when I need HIM. HE wants me to be a full fan of HIM, not just a fair weather fan. My praise should be as equal as my requests. My excitement should be as equal as my doubt. GOD wants me and I call to HIM daily!

  • Have you forgotten GOD?
  • Are you on vacation and feel you can drop GOD off?
  • Will you remember GOD during times of plenty?